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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-08-067
Details
Synopsis: Parachute jump (or skydiving) operations, which the Federal Aviation Administration defines as the activities performed for the purpose of or in support of the descent parachutists (or skydivers) who jump from aircraft, are a segment of U.S. general aviation that transports parachutists on at least 2. 16 to 3 million jumps annually, according to data compiled by the United States Parachute Association (USPA). Most parachute operations flights are operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 and are typically revenue operations; parachute jump operators provide the flights as part of their services to parachutists who pay to go skydiving, or parachutists pay dues for membership in parachuting clubs. The risks of parachuting are generally perceived to involve the acts of jumping from the aircraft, deploying the parachute, and landing; parachutists are aware of and manage these risks. However, the National Transportation Safety Board’s special investigation of the safety of parachute jump operations found that traveling on parachute operations flights can also present risks. Since 1980, 32 accidents involving parachute operations aircraft have killed 172 people, most of whom were parachutists.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Revise the guidance materials contained in Advisory Circular 105 2C, Sport Parachute Jumping, to include guidance for parachute jump operators in implementing effective initial and recurrent pilot training and examination programs that address, at a minimum, operation- and aircraft-specific weight and balance calculations, preflight inspections, emergency procedures, and parachutist egress procedures.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: SULLIVAN, MO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: CHI06FA210
Accident Reports: Crash of Skydive Quantum Leap de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E
Report #: SIR-08-01
Accident Date: 7/29/2006
Issue Date: 9/25/2008
Date Closed: 7/23/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Jump Operations, Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/23/2015
Response: We note that, on December 4, 2013, the FAA published AC 105-2E, which provides suggestions to improve sport parachuting safety. The AC notes in section 8.b. that, “for those [operators] that do not have a nationally recommended jump pilot training program, the FAA recommends that pilots flying aircraft for the purpose of sport parachuting have appropriate initial and recurrent training. The training program should include testing to ensure a high level of competence in the jump aircraft being flown.” Among the minimum training items recommended in the AC are these: weight and balance takeoff computations and weight shift in flight procedures for exiting jumpers; preflight inspections specific to jump aircraft and modifications; emergency procedures, including standard aircraft emergencies, emergencies caused by jump activities, and bailout procedures; and low-speed operations for jump runs, including maneuvering at minimum speed, opening and closing the jump door, and stall recognition and recovery. These revisions to the AC satisfy Safety Recommendation A-08-67, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: On December 4, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published Advisory Circular (AC) 1 05-2E, Sport Parachuting. In this version, we specifically addressed appropriate initial and recurrent training with examination, as requested in the Board's March 6, 2012, letter. The AC includes the following applicable sections: • Paragraph 8.b.( l) highlights the elements recommended to be included in jump pilot ground training programs; • Paragraph 8. b.(2) highlights the elements recommended to be included in jump pilot flight training programs; and • Paragraphs 8.c. and d. provide greater detail regarding weight and balance procedures and computational methods. This AC can be found at rgl.faa.gov. I believe the FAA has effectively addressed this recommendation and consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/6/2012
Response: We note that AC 105-2D recommends that pilots flying aircraft for the purpose of sport parachuting have appropriate training and have received a thorough checkout in the jump aircraft; the document also provides a list of areas that should be included in this training. However, we are concerned that the AC does not specifically address initial and recurrent training and examination programs. In addition, we are concerned that the item “preflight inspections” was not included in the list of areas that should be addressed in jump pilot training. We point out that the USPA highlighted the AC guidance on jump pilot training in two articles that it e-mailed to its members. In addition, the USPA developed a “Jump Pilot Training Syllabus,” which includes suggested aircraft and jump operation areas of familiarization and a sample written test, for its members. As a result of the USPA’s actions, Safety Recommendation A-08-70 was classified “Closed—Acceptable Action” on October 19, 2011. Although we believe that the guidance included in the USPA’s Jump Pilot Syllabus is useful, we are concerned that the syllabus is not available to all jump operators. The FAA indicated that its actions in response to Safety Recommendation A-08-67 are complete, but we request that the FAA reconsider its position. In the interim, pending additional revisions to the AC that address initial and recurrent training and examination programs, as recommended, Safety Recommendation A-08-67 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/16/2011
Response: -From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), in coordination with the USPA, and other members of the sport parachuting community, have evaluated the effectiveness of restraint methods applicable to sport parachuting operations. The evaluation was based on existing research findings and field experience. This was limited to seat configurations found in the larger drop aircraft that carry the majority of parachutists. This evaluation resulted in observations concerning the relative effectiveness of the available restraint methods. Using the observations mentioned above, CAMI developed recommendations for revisions to Advisory Circular 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping. The recommended guidance provided the relative effectiveness of the restraint options applicable to each seating configuration. The dual point-dual tether restraint method was identified as the superior method available for aft facing occupants. The recommended guidance also included illustrations showing the most effective method for attaching restraints to the parachute harness. In addition, it included the most effective installation geometry for each restraint method. Although the seating and restraint methods available are limited by each aircraft's size and configuration, CAMI recommended that the revised advisory circular guidance provide jump aircraft operators the information they need to implement the most effective restraint configuration applicable to their aircraft. Based upon CAMI's recommendations, we published AC 105-2D, Sport Parachuting, on May 18, 2011 (enclosed). The updates in this AC include the following: • Suggested areas for pilot training and currency programs; • Suggested pilot testing programs; • Aircraft airworthiness; • Egress information for both pilots and parachutists; • Rigger record keeping guidance; • Seatbelt restraint information; and • Airport layout information. AC 105-2D also includes information on dual point restraint systems in Appendix 3, Seats and Restraint Systems. This appendix was developed according to research provided by the FAA's Office of Aerospace Medicine. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed these safety recommendations, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/18/2011
Response: The NTSB notes the FAA’s and the USPA’s ongoing efforts to address these recommendations, and we look forward to reviewing the FAA’s revised AC and Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System. Once revised as planned, the guidance contained in these documents should heighten the awareness of pilots, operators, and parachutists on the safe conduct of sport parachuting operations. Pending completion of these revisions and our subsequent review, Safety Recommendations A-08-64 and -67 remain classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/9/2010
Response: CC# 201000388: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: (This letter addresses A-08-064) The Federal Aviation Administration, working in conjunction with USPA, is revising Advisory Circular (AC) 105-2, Sport Parachuting, to comply with this safety recommendation. Both the sport parachute skydiver and the aircraft operator use AC 105-2 for guidance and information during Drop Zone (DZ) operations. The revised AC will provide information for DZ operators, including inspection, maintenance, configuration, and pilot safety requirements. The FAA is also revising FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System, to comply with this safety recommendation. The status of both revised guidance documents will be included in our next update. USPA agrees with the FAA that current regulatory requirements for inspection and maintenance must be better communicated and disseminated. USPA will educate aircraft owners, pilots, and DZ operators by using the association's monthly magazine, email, and website, as stated in their response to this safety recommendation (enclosed). The USPA Web site serves as a central communication platform for sport parachuting information and provides safety-related information through direct email communication with its membership, which includes both individuals and DZ operators. In addition, USPA will include the content of the FAA's revised AC and Order 8900.1 in their manual, which is available online and in print. I will keep the Board informed of the FANs progress on this safety recommendation, and I will provide an update by August 2011.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/26/2010
Response: The NTSB is encouraged by the proposed revisions to AC 105-2. Once incorporated, this guidance should heighten the awareness of pilots, operators, and parachutists on the safe conduct of sport parachuting operations. Pending the NTSB’s review of the FAA’s proposed revisions to AC 105-2, Safety Recommendation A-08-67 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/12/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 3/26/2009 10:07:31 AM MC# 2090175: - From Lynne A. Osmus, Acting Administrator: Whether pilots are flying parachutists or sightseeing passengers, the safe operation of the aircraft and emergency procedures are the same, except for egress of the parachutists upon reaching a safe exit altitude. The FAA and the USPA have been working for several months on updating FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 105-2, Sport Parachute Jumping. As recommended, the revised AC will provide additional guidance for pilots, operators, and parachutists on the safe conduct of sport parachuting operations. Some of the revisions will include: Suggested areas for pilot training and currency programs; Suggested pilot testing programs; Aircraft airworthiness; Egress information for both pilots and parachutists; Rigger record keeping guidance; Seatbelt restraint information; and Airport layout information. We find that our current regulations and planned revision to AC 105-2 meet the intent of these Recommendations. We anticipate publishing the revised AC by the end of Fiscal Year 2009. I will keep you informed of the progress on the revision to the AC and provide a further response by February 2010.