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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-08-069
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 UNITED STATES PARACHUTE ASSOCIATION: Work with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and distribute guidance materials for parachute jump operators to assist operators in implementing effective aircraft inspection and maintenance quality assurance programs.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: SULLIVAN, MO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: 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: 10/19/2011
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Parachute Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Keyword(s): Jump Operations,

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Parachute Association
Date: 10/19/2011
Response: We are pleased that the USPA developed and distributed to all Group Member Drop Zone operators an aircraft maintenance guidance packet, clarifying which FAA regulations apply to jump plane operators and explaining the inspection and maintenance options available. We note that the USPA also amended its Basic Safety Requirements to verify that all aircraft used for parachute operations comply with the commercial maintenance requirements described in FAR Part 91.409(a) through (f). The USPA stated that all of its 220 member operators comply with the amended requirements. Because the USPA’s actions exceed the intent of this recommendation, Safety Recommendation A-08-69 is classified CLOSED—EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION. Thank you for your outstanding efforts to address this safety issue.

From: United States Parachute Association
Date: 4/7/2011
Response: CC# 201100180: - From Ed Scott, Executive Director: Enclosed you'll find the response by the U.S. Parachute Association to NTSB Safety Recommendation A08-69. After reviewing it, I hope you and your staff will agree that USPA took some bold steps that went above and beyond the actions called for by A-08-09. As I expressed to you at the end of the NTSB hearing on September 16, 2008, USPA was going to use this opportunity to educate and assist our operators with meeting the aircraft inspection and maintenance .~ requirements of the FAA. The cornerstone of our efforts included a revision to our program by which skydive operators affiliate with USPA. Affiliation now requires submittal of a new form that solicits information about the specific inspection program that each jump aircraft is subject to. Operator acceptance was universal. USPA is looking forward to advising the NTSB of our efforts with respect to Safety Recommendations A08-70, A-08-73, and A-08-74 which all await FAA publication of revised Advisory Circular 105-2D.

From: NTSB
To: United States Parachute Association
Date: 4/2/2010
Response: Safety Recommendation A-08-64, which asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with the USPA on this effort, was issued to the FAA simultaneously. The USPA indicated that it agrees with the intent of this safety recommendation and will work with the FAA to develop and distribute guidance materials for operators to promote effective aircraft inspection and maintenance quality assurance programs. The FAA wrote to the NTSB on January 15, 2009, regarding its activities in response to Safety Recommendation A-08-64 and stated its intentions of working with the USPA to develop maintenance and inspection programs for operators. According to the FAA’s letter, the guidance developed will be incorporated into the USPA’s manual as part of the Drop Zone” requirements. The NTSB looks forward to reviewing the details of these programs and associated guidance materials. Pending our review and the USPA’s distributing the guidance materials to its members, Safety Recommendation A-08-69 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: United States Parachute Association
Date: 12/22/2008
Response: CC# 2090001: - From Edward M. Scott, Executive Director: The USPA agrees that efforts are necessary to address the actions of a few marginal operators. With respect to maintenance, we believe that some operators are not aware of the applicable regulations, or that some regulations have been misinterpreted by operators, and even at times misinterpreted by the FAA. We intend to work closely with the FAA to clarify the regulations and to disseminate that information.