Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-07-025
Details
Synopsis: On September 24, 2004, about 1642 Hawaiian standard time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N16849, registered to and operated by Bali Hai Helicopter Tours, Inc., of Hanapepe, Hawaii, impacted mountainous terrain in Kalaheo, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, 8.4 miles northeast of Port Allen Airport in Hanapepe. The commercial pilot and the four passengers were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire. The nonstop sightseeing air tour flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 and visual flight rules (VFR) with no flight plan filed. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed near the accident site.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Accelerate the implementation of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) infrastructure in the State of Hawaii to include high-quality ADS-B services to low-flying aircraft along heavily traveled commercial air tour routes.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Kalaheo, HI, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: LAX04FA329
Accident Reports: Weather Encounter and Subsequent Collision into Terrain, Bali Hai Helicopter Tours, Inc., Bell 206B, N16849
Report #: AAR-07-03
Accident Date: 9/24/2004
Issue Date: 2/27/2007
Date Closed: 11/20/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Tours, Instruments

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/20/2015
Response: We note that you have completed the installation of the ADS-B infrastructure in Hawaii and that ADS-B Pilot Advisory Services have been available within most of the airspace surrounding the Hawaiian Islands since September 2014. We further note that air traffic separation services using ADS-B in Hawaii began on August 18, 2015. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation A-07-25, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/14/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has completed the installation of ADS-B infrastructure in Hawaii and continues to integrate ADS-B services. ADS-B Pilot Advisory Services have been available within a large percentage of the airspace surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, including Honolulu En Route Service, Lihue, Kahului, Honolulu Terminal, and Hickam Air Force Base service since September 20 14. These Pilot Advisory Services provide increased situation awareness and safety benefits directly to all properly equipped aircraft within the covered airspace. Air Traffic Control Separation Services initial operating capability began on August 18, 2015. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by September 30, 2016.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/18/2014
Response: We note that, as of April 2014, ADS-B Pilot Advisory Services are available to much of the Hawaiian Islands and that you expect to complete installation of the ADS-B ground infrastructure in Hawaii by the end of August 2014. Although approximately a year behind previous schedules, and not expedited as recommended, timely completion of the ADS-B ground infrastructure will satisfy the recommendation. Pending your taking that action, Safety Recommendation A 07-25 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/18/2014
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to make progress with the installation of ADS-B ground infrastructure in Hawaii. As stated in our previous response, helicopter tour operators are not required to equip ADS-B (Out or In) to fly in the airspace. Hawaiian air tour operators fly in a portion of airspace that will not be affected by the Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) Out Performance Requirements to Support Air Traffic Control (A TC) Services Final Rule (75 FR 30 160). The FAA sought a memorandum of agreement to ensure commitment. However, the tour operators have not shown interest in equipping with ADS-B. Therefore, this is no longer a viable alternative. Investments in expanding the ground infrastructure would not yield any safety improvements unless the tour operators have the appropriate avionics to achieve the safety benefits. The ADS-B Pilot Advisory Services will be available to a large percentage of the islands by April2014 and the FAA anticipates improved safety benefits if helicopter tour operators become properly equipped. The current status of ADS-B ground infrastructure is as follows: Name, Planned Radio Station Installation, Testing, Pilot Advisory Services, Estimated Number of Contributing Radio Stations Planned Honolulu En Route SV-161, Feb 2014, Mar 2014, Apr2014, Aug 2014, 12 Hilo Terminal SV-236 Feb 2014, Mar2014, Apr 2014, Aug 2014, 3 Lihue (Kauai) Terminal SV-237 Feb2014, Mar 2014, Apr 2014, Aug 2014, 5 Kahului Terminal SV-70 Feb 2014, Mar 2014, Apr 2014, Aug 2014, 5 Honolulu Terminal SV-11 Feb 2014, Mar 2014, Apr 2014, Aug 2014, 4 Honolulu -Hickam AFB Surface SV- 192 Feb 2014, Mar 2014, Apr 2014, Aug2014, 2 Hawaii CTV -1022 Feb 2014, Mar 2014, Apr 2014, Aug2014, 12 I will keep the Board informed on the progress of these recommendations and provide an update by December 31, 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/20/2012
Response: The FAA indicated that the ADS-B ground infrastructure in the Hawaiian Islands is still scheduled to be installed by 2013. Pending completion of this effort as scheduled, Safety Recommendation A-07-25 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/28/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: In 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Surveillance Broadcast System Program Office facilitated a thorough safety analysis of weather and surveillance coverage over the Hawaiian Islands to determine the benefit of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) for helicopter tour operators. Since each Hawaiian Island is unique, the analysis was scoped to assess Kauai as a representative island, supported by historical accident rate criteria. As part of the analysis, the team evaluated radar, Wide-Area Multilateration, and ADS-B technologies. It was determined that ADS-B was the only surveillance source that met the needs of the tour operators. Based on the result of the analysis, the FAA plans to increase the number of ADS-B radio stations on the island of Kauai. While the current program baseline is scheduled to deploy two radio stations, the analysis indicates there would be a need for an additional three radio stations above the current program baseline. Also, the analysis concluded there would be a need to deploy six weather cameras, which would be a new service on the island. ADS-B Implementation in Hawaii: The FAA plans to provide an ADS-B ground infrastructure in Hawaii as part of a national implementation plan. The baseline for implementation in the Hawaiian Islands is scheduled for 2013. This will provide pilot advisory services (i.e., traffic and weather information to properly equipped aircraft). In addition, the FAA will provide air traffic separation services by April 2014. An approximate implementation schedule for the Hawaiian Islands is listed in the table below. Name: Honolulu Enroute Planned radio station installation: April 2013 Testing: February 2014 Pilot Advisory Services: March 2014 ATC Separation Services: April 2014 Number of Radio stations proposed: 1 (at Molokai and coverage by Terminal Ration station news) Name: Hilo Terminal Planned Radio Station Installation: April 2013 Testing: January 2014 Pilot advisory services: March 2014 ATC separation services: April 2014 Number of radio stations (proposed): 3 Name: Lihue (Kauai) Terminal Planned Radio station installation: April 2013 Testing: January 2014 Pilot advisory services: March 2014 ATC separation services: April 2014 Number of Radio Station Proposed: 2 Name: Kahului Terminal Planned Radio station installation: April 2013 Testing: January 2014 Pilot advisory services: March 2014 ATC separation services: April 2014 Number of Radio Station Proposed: 1 Name: Honolulu Terminal Planned Radio station installation: April 2013 Testing: January 2014 Pilot advisory services: March 2014 ATC separation services: April 2014 Number of Radio Station Proposed: 2 Name: Honolulu Surface Planned Radio station installation: May 2013 Testing: January 2014 Pilot advisory services: March 2014 ATC separation services: April 2014 Number of Radio Station Proposed: 3 ADS-B Implementation Considerations: a. The implementation of the recommendations will only be feasible if the air tour operators equip with ADS-B compatible avionics; b. Presently, the helicopter tour operators have not shown an interest in equipping their aircraft; c. A memorandum of agreement will be created if air tour operators express interest in equipping with ADS-B; d. The analysis will only expand to look at other islands if strong interest in ADS-B equipage is expressed by the tour operators; and e. This analysis will serve as additional data if any stimulus funding becomes available for incentivizing equipage. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on these recommendations and provide an update by August 31, 2013.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/29/2012
Response: We note that the FAA remains on schedule to deploy ADS-B in Hawaii by 2013. Pending completion of this effort as scheduled, Safety Recommendation A-07-25 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/10/2011
Response: -From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted an Alternatives Analysis (enclosed) to determine the best solution for surveillance, weather, and communications needed to improve service for the Hawaii Tour Operators. The baseline deployment for ADS-B on all Hawaiian Islands is on schedule for 2013. The island of Kauai was selected as the initial 'pilot' project due to historical accidents and potential for ADS-B benefits. Due to operational differences on each Hawaiian island, it was determined that it would be more realistic to approach one island at a time. To support in-flight surveillance and weather capabilities, the preferred alternative for Kauai would entail implementation of additional ADS-B infrastructure (including the flight information service - broadcast service), supplemented with six weather cameras for preflight information. However, the implementation of this alternative will only be feasible with ADS-B equipage by air tour operators. As previously mentioned, it is our intent to create a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) once air tour operators express interest in equipage with ADS-B. Unfortunately, we are not aware of any operator that has expressed an interest in equipping with ADS-B, or interest in participating in an MOA prior to the 2020 mandate. At this time the FAA does not have funding allocated for the additional radio stations and expansion of weather cameras and finds little to no value in doing so until air tour operators equip with ADS-B. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on these safety recommendations and provide an updated response by May 31, 2012.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/4/2007
Response: The FAA responded that Hawaii is currently scheduled to have ADS-B deployed by 2013. The FAA is currently exploring the possibility of creating Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) with air tour operators in Hawaii that would establish helicopter operators’ voluntarily equipping their aircraft with the avionics needed to use ADS-B, and the FAA’s changing the timing of the ADS-B deployment schedule for Hawaii. Pending the creation and adoption of MOAs that result in the acceleration of the ADS-B implementation schedule for Hawaii, Safety Recommendation A-07-25 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/17/2007
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 5/31/2007 8:30:30 AM MC# 2070237: - From Marion C. Blakey, Administrator: The state of Hawaii is scheduled to have ADS-B deployed by 2013. The FAA’s Surveillance and Broadcast Services program office has engaged in talks with the Helicopter Association International (HAI) to explore setting up a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with air tour operators in Hawaii. This MOA will be similar to the MOA with operators in the Gulf of Mexico. We believe that an MOA would provide a mutually beneficial relationship. The helicopter operators would voluntarily equip with compatible avionics and the agency would possibly change the timing of the deployment schedule for Hawaii.