Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-18-009
Synopsis: On October 28, 2016, about 1432 central daylight time, American Airlines flight 383, a Boeing 767-323, N345AN, had started its takeoff ground roll at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, when an uncontained engine failure and subsequent fire occurred. The flight crew aborted the takeoff and stopped the airplane on the runway, and the flight attendants initiated an emergency evacuation. Of the 2 flight crewmembers, 7 flight attendants, and 161 passengers on board, 1 passenger received a serious injury, and 1 flight attendant and 19 passengers received minor injuries during the evacuation. The airplane was substantially damaged from the fire. The airplane was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Conduct research to (1) measure and evaluate the effects of carry-on baggage on passenger deplaning times and safety during an emergency evacuation and (2) identify effective countermeasures to reduce any determined risks, and implement the countermeasures.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA17FA021
Accident Reports: ​Uncontained Engine Failure and Subsequent Fire American Airlines Flight 383 Boeing 767-323, N345AN
Report #: AAR-18-01
Accident Date: 10/28/2016
Issue Date: 2/6/2018
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 6/6/2018
Response: Many people in the airline industry believe that passengers retrieving and taking their carry on baggage during an evacuation slows evacuation and is an otherwise unsafe activity. In our June 2000 safety study on commercial airplane emergency evacuations, flight attendants reported that their attempts to maintain a constant flow of passengers out an emergency exit “were often thwarted by passengers’ insistence on retrieving their carry-on luggage before evacuating.” The study also found that passengers exiting with carry-on baggage was “the most frequently cited obstruction to evacuation.” However, as discussed in our American Airlines flight 383 accident report, we have not identified any accident evacuations in which delays related to carry-on baggage caused injuries, nor were we able to find any studies measuring the potential delays associated with passengers retrieving and carrying baggage during an emergency evacuation. Our American Airlines flight 383 accident report also discussed the difficult choices flight attendants face during an emergency evacuation, including whether to confront an evacuating passenger with carry on baggage who may delay the evacuation, thereby endangering other passengers, or to allow passengers to take their carry-on baggage, which may encourage other passengers to retrieve their carry-on baggage and also delay evacuation. We issued Safety Recommendation A-18-9 to address these issues, encouraging you to research how much of a safety risk carry-on baggage represents during an emergency evacuation, and to determine the most appropriate response for a flight attendant when confronting a passenger with carry-on baggage during an emergency evacuation. We note that your Aircraft Certification Service Policy and Innovation Division and your Civil Aerospace Medical Institute are determining the details of your action to satisfy the recommendation. We believe that you will need to conduct empirical evacuation research to address these issues; therefore, pending a research program that address the issues in Safety Recommendation A-18-9, it is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 4/26/2018
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: The FAA agrees with the Board· s concerns regarding emergency evacuations by passengers with carry-on baggage. The FAA's Aircraft Certification Service Policy & Innovation Division and the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute will evaluate this recommendation to determine an appropriate course of action. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on these recommendations and provide an update by April 2019.

From: NTSB
Date: 2/6/2018
Response: On January 30, 2018, the NTSB adopted its report Uncontained Engine Failure and Subsequent Fire, American Airlines Flight 383, Boeing 767-323, N345AN, Chicago, Illinois, October 28, 2016, AAR1801. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at Among the Safety Recommendations seven are issued to Federal Aviation Administration, which can be found on page 77 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in these recommendations because they are designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement these recommendations. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number.