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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-07-102
Details
Synopsis: On February 7, 2006, about 2359 eastern standard time, United Parcel Service Company (UPS) flight 1307, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F, N748UP, landed at its destination airport, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after a cargo smoke indication in the cockpit. The captain, first officer, and flight engineer evacuated the airplane after landing. The flight crewmembers sustained minor injuries, and the airplane and most of the cargo were destroyed by fire after landing. The scheduled cargo flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Night visual conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require cargo operators to designate at least one floor level door as a required emergency exit and equip the door with an evacuation slide, when appropriate.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA06MA022
Accident Reports: In-Flight Cargo Fire, United Parcel Service Company Flight 1307, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F, N748UP
Report #: AAR-07-07
Accident Date: 2/7/2006
Issue Date: 12/17/2007
Date Closed: 4/27/2011
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/27/2011
Response: The FAA indicated that service history data do not justify the implementation of a requirement for additional emergency exits equipped with evacuation slides for crew egress on all-cargo airplanes and that such a requirement could have significant design ramifications. In addition, the FAA indicated that the current requirement to supply a rope or other device for use by the crew for emergency egress is sufficient. The NTSB disagrees. The two cockpit windows provide a means for the flight crew to evacuate the airplane; however, a floor-level emergency exit having an evacuation slide would provide a more efficient and expedient way for all occupants to exit a cargo airplane in the event of an emergency. In addition, a floor-level exit would provide ARFF personnel wearing protective gear or breathing apparatus that could prevent their entry through a cockpit window with the most efficient means of entering an airplane. Further, as evidenced by the UPS and FedEx accidents, even if the cockpit window exits are accessible, the floor-level exit is often the preferred emergency exit for occupants egressing the airplane under emergency conditions. Because the FAA has indicated that it has completed its actions to address this recommendation, however, Safety Recommendation A-07-102 is classified CLOSED – UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/6/2010
Response: CC# 201000359: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: After careful consideration following our last letter dated August 21, 2009, the FAA has determined that the current requirement to have a rope or other device for use by the crew for emergency egress is sufficient as supported by extensive service history data. Sufficient data do not exist to justify requiring additional emergency exits equipped with evacuation slides for crew egress on all-cargo airplanes. Therefore, we have decided not to pursue additional rulemaking. Current requirements for crew exits do not mandate that the entry doors qualify as emergency exits, as long as other exits are available. Depending on the airplane, the crew may board through a door that is not accessible after cargo is loaded. All-cargo airplanes are not required to have a floor level exit that is accessible from the inside once cargo is loaded. A requirement for an accessible floor level emergency exit for the crew in all-cargo airplanes could have significant design ramifications. When persons other than crew are carried on all-cargo airplanes, as allowed by § 121.583, the requirements of part 25 for emergency exits apply unless relief is granted by exemption, in accordance with § 11.61.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/27/2010
Response: The NTSB believes that a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB), which would notify operators who subscribe to the FAA’s Regulatory and Guidance Library of the actions recommended in Safety Recommendation A-07-103, constitutes an acceptable interim solution; however, the NTSB points out that issuance of an SAIB alone will not satisfy the intent of Safety Recommendation A-07-103, because an SAIB is non-regulatory guidance. In addition, the NTSB points out that these recommendations were issued in 2007 and, although the FAA indicated that it is considering regulatory changes, the FAA has not conveyed the findings from its evaluation nor has it provided a schedule that outlays its plan for implementing the recommended changes. Therefore, the NTSB requests that the FAA submit additional information to indicate its progress in implementing the recommended changes. Pending the NTSB’s review of this information, Safety Recommendations A-07-102 and -103 remain classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/21/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 9/1/2009 11:30:04 AM MC# 2090556: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration evaluated these recommendations in light of current regulatory requirements and has determined that changes to the regulations would be required in order to mandate the changes outlined in the recommendations. We are in the early stages of assessing the feasibility of those changes. In support of Safety Recommendation A-07-103 we will recommend that for existing aircraft, operators voluntarily improve the markings for exits that can be opened from the outside using a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB). It is anticipated that the SAIB will be issued by June 30,2010.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/4/2009
Response: The FAA replied that it is evaluating what regulatory changes and guidance materials are needed to implement these safety recommendations for both newly produced aircraft and the existing fleet. Pending the FAA’s taking the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations A-07-102 and -103 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/8/2008
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 9/18/2008 12:11:57 PM MC# 2080573: - From Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator: We are evaluating what regulatory changes and guidance materials would be needed to implement these safety recommendations for both newly produced aircraft and the existing fleet. I will provide the results of our evaluation by January 2009.