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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-01-049
Details
Synopsis: On June 1, 1999, at 2350:44 central daylight time, American Airlines flight 1420, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), N215AA, crashed after it overran the end of runway 4R during landing at Little Rock National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. Flight 1420 departed from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, about 2240 with 2 flight crewmembers, 4 flight attendants, and 139 passengers aboard and touched down in Little Rock at 2350:20. After departing the end of the runway, the airplane struck several tubes extending outward from the left edge of the instrument landing system localizer array, located 411 feet beyond the end of the runway; passed through a chain link security fence and over a rock embankment to a flood plain, located approximately 15 feet below the runway elevation; and collided with the structure supporting the runway 22L approach lighting system. The captain and 10 passengers were killed; the first officer, the flight attendants, and 105 passengers received serious or minor injuries; and 24 passengers were not injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Flight 1420 was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: For all 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 and 135 operators of airplanes equipped with automatic spoiler systems, require dual crewmember confirmation before landing that the spoilers have been armed, and verify that these operators include this procedure in their flight manuals, checklists, and training programs.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: LITTLE ROCK, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA99MA060
Accident Reports: Runway Overrun During Landing, American Airlines Flight 1420, McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Report #: AAR-01-02
Accident Date: 6/1/1999
Issue Date: 12/10/2001
Date Closed: 12/10/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Checklist, Flightcrew, Spoilers, Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/10/2003
Response: The Safety Board notes that on February 27, 2003, the FAA amended Appendix 1 to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-71, "Standard Operating Procedures for Flightdeck Crew Members," to include more explicit language regarding the use of spoiler systems. The AC now contains, as recommended standard operating procedures, (1) the practice of dual crewmember confirmation that the spoilers have been armed before landing and (2) a callout by the pilot not flying to verify that the spoilers have, in fact, deployed or have failed to deploy in response to automatic or manual activation after landing. The Board also notes that Safety Recommendations A-01-49 and -50 were discussed at the FAA Regional Branch Managers' meeting held in Renton, Washington, on July 22-24, 2003, and the FAA's amendments to AC 120-71 were emphasized. The amended AC providing the guidance needed to implement the recommended actions, together with discussion at the FAA's meeting in Renton, Washington, meets the intent of the recommendations. Therefore, Safety Recommendations A-01-49 and -50 are classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/6/2003
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 6/18/2003 5:29:17 PM MC# 2030304 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amended Appendix 1 to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-71, Standard Operating Procedures for Flightdeck Crew Members, to include more explicit language regarding arming the automatic spoiler system. The language was qualified so it does not conflict with any operating procedures already approved by the FAA or recommended by the manufacturer for each specific airplane type and model. The language identities, as a recommended standard operating procedure, the practice of dual crewmember confirmation that the spoilers have been armed before landing. Standard operating procedures appearing in AC 120-71, Appendix 1, are highly recommended by the FAA for inclusion in the manuals, checklists, and training programs used by U.S. airline pilots. I have enclosed a copy of the AC for the Board's information. I believe that the FAA has satisfactorily responded to this safety recommendation, and I look forward to your response.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/17/2002
Response: The FAA states that it will amend Appendix 1 to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-71, "Standard Operating Procedures for Flightdeck Crew Members," to include more explicit language regarding arming the automatic spoiler system, and more explicit language regarding callouts during ground spoiler deployment after landing. Pending the amendments being made to Appendix 1 of AC 120-71, Safety Recommendations A-01-49 and -50 are classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/19/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/21/2002 7:49:04 PM MC# 2020178 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will amend Appendix 1 to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-71, Standard Operating Procedures for Flightdeck Crew Members, to include more explicit language regarding arming the automatic spoiler system. The language will be qualified so it does not conflict with any operating procedures already approved by the FAA or recommended by the manufacturer for each specific airplane type and model. The language will identify, as a recommended standard operating procedure, the practice of dual crewmember confirmation that the spoilers have been armed before landing. Standard operating procedures appearing in AC 120-71, Appendix 1, are highly recommended by the FAA for inclusion in the manuals, checklists, and training programs used by U.S. airline pilots.