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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-09-015
Details
Synopsis: On July 10, 2007, about 0835 eastern daylight time, a Cessna Aircraft Company 310R, N501N, part of the fleet operated by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) corporate aviation division, crashed while performing an emergency diversion to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida. The two pilots on board the airplane (a commercial pilot and an airline transport pilot [ATP]) and three people on the ground were killed. Four people on the ground received serious injuries. The airplane and two homes were destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require that initial and recurrent training for maintenance personnel working on general aviation aircraft include the most current best practices regarding inspection and maintenance of electrical systems, circuit breakers, and aging wiring.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Sanford, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: NYC07MA162
Accident Reports: In flight Fire, Emergency Descent and Crash in a Residential Area Cessna 310R, N501N
Report #: AAR-09-01
Accident Date: 7/10/2007
Issue Date: 2/18/2009
Date Closed: 9/28/2012
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): General Aviation,

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/28/2012
Response: The FAA has previously described a number of actions it has taken in response to these recommendations, including (1) issuing special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) CE 10 11, “Electrical: Fire Hazard in Resetting Circuit Breakers (C/Bs),” (2) publishing advisory circular (AC) 120-80, “In-Flight Fires,” (3) publishing a technical forum dedicated to aircraft wiring in two issues of Nuts and Bolts–a Newsletter Written by Mechanics for Mechanics and publishing summaries of several advisory circulars issued to address airplane wiring, and (4) distributing copies of the SAIB via email to over 300,000 pilots, instructors, and maintenance personnel. We previously responded that, although these actions constitute effective first steps in addressing these recommendations, we were concerned that after several years had passed, a one-time publication of this information would be unlikely to prevent a repeat of the chain of events that caused the accident in Sanford, Florida. Rather, we believed that a requirement for the recommended initial and recurrent training was needed before these recommendations could be closed in an acceptable status. We recognize that, in order for the FAA to issue a new regulation, it is required to perform a cost benefit analysis that must be reviewed by the Secretary of Transportation and by the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that the benefits of the new regulation are greater than the societal costs. In its current letter, the FAA stated that it has no way of estimating the number of lives that could be saved or the number of future accidents that could be prevented (the benefits of the recommended action) if recurrent training on circuit breakers were required for pilots and maintenance personnel. Therefore, the FAA believes that providing circuit breaker information through the actions it has already taken (issuing SAIB CE 10 11 and AC 120 80, and widely distributing this information to the aviation mechanic and general aviation pilot communities) addresses these recommendations to the best of its ability. We remain concerned with the need to periodically refresh awareness in the mechanic and pilot communities regarding resetting circuit breakers and best practices concerning aircraft wiring, but we also acknowledge that, at the current time, the FAA cannot issue the recommended regulations. We are also aware that, by emailing this information to over 300,000 people in the aviation community and publishing several articles, the FAA has done more than simply issuing guidance that may be overlooked, now or in the future, regarding these issues. Accordingly, we have determined that the actions taken by the FAA constitute an acceptable alternate response to Safety Recommendations A-09-13 and 15; accordingly, these recommendations are classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/24/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: As stated in the Federal Aviation Admini stration 's (FAA) earlier response, there is no regulatory requirement that mandates recurrent training for maintenance personnel. However, by regulation, a mechanic must maintain currency to exercise the privileges of his certificate and ratings. Under 14 CFR § 65.8 1 (b), "a certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless he understands the current instructions of the manufacturer, and the maintenance manuals, for the specific operation concerned." Section 65.83 states that "a certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges o/" his certificate and rating unless, within the preceding 24 months - (b) he has, for at least 6 months (1) served as a mechanic under the is certificate and rating, (2) technically supervised other mechanics, (3) supervised, in an executive capacity, the maintenance or alteration of aircraft; or (4) been engaged in any combination of paragraph (b) ( I), (2), or (3) of this section . However, we do agree with the Board that it is important for maintenance personnel to be kept up- to-date with current best practices in order to continue to maintain proficiency and obtain the highest degree of safety. Information in the form of publications, which as safety alerts for operators, information for operators, special airworthiness information bulletins (SA IBs), best practice guides, and collaboration on industry trade publications, is available to maintenance providers on a wide variety of pertinent topics. In the case of the pilot community, initial flight training followed by regular flight reviews address special emphasis areas. The flexibility of topics addressed in these areas allows the examiner/instructor to highlight items based on individual need and the most current safety topics. Therefore, the FAA believes the issuance of SAIB CE- IO-I I, Electrical: Fire Hazard in Resetting Circuit Breakers (C/Bs), Advisory Circular (AC) 120-80, In -Flight Fires (both previously provided), and the special emphasis areas in the practical test and flight reviews adequately address the issues pertaining to circuit breakers, inspection and maintenance of electrical systems, and aging wiring. At this time, we have no way of estimating the number of lives that could be saved or the number of future accidents that could be prevented if recurrent training on circuit breakers was required for pilots and maintenance personnel. Therefore, the FAA believes providing information regarding circuit breaker information via SAIB CE-10-1 1, AC 120-80, and best practices adequately addresses the concerns of the Board. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed these recommendations, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/29/2010
Response: The FAA described a number of actions that it has taken in response to these recommendations, including (1) issuing special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) CE-10-11, "Electrical: Fire Hazard in Resetting Circuit Breakers (C/Bs);" (2) publishing a technical forum dedicated to aircraft wiring in two issues of Nuts and Bolts-a Newsletter Written by Mechanics for Mechanics and summaries of several advisory circulars issued to address airplane wiring; and (3) distributing copies of the SAIB via e-mail to over 300,000 pilots, instructors, and maintenance personnel. Although the issuance of the SAIB and the other publications are valuable and the distribution of information to the large number of pilots, instructors, and mechanics is particularly commendable, these actions are not fully responsive to the recommendations. The NTSB emphasizes that we have recommended a requirement for initial and recurrent training for GA pilots and maintenance personnel. Once several years have passed, a one-time publication of this information is unlikely to prevent a repeat of the chain of events that caused the accident pron1pting these recommendations. Pilots and mechanics will continually enter the field of aviation in the future, and some who received the information, without the reinforcement of recurrent training, will forget what they have learned. We also believe it is unlikely that all GA pilots and mechanics will notice the postings on the FAA's website. The actions the FAA has taken are effective first steps in responding to Safety Recommendations A-09-13 and -15, but they are not sufficient for the NTSB to close these recomn1endations. Accordingly, pending the issuance of a requirement for the recommended initial and recurrent training, Safety Recommendations A-09-13 and -15 are classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/7/2010
Response: MC# 2100211 - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued a special airworthiness information bulletin, (SAIB) CE-IO-II, Electrical: Fire Hazard in Resetting Circuit Breakers (C/Bs), which advises pilots, owners, maintenance personnel, and operators of an airworthiness concern of all Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 23/Civil Air Regulations (CAR 3) airplanes (enclosure I). The bulletin advises pilots to review circuit breaker resetting (tripping) procedures in Advisory Circular (AC) 120-80, In-Flight Fires, and to include this bulletin in initial and recurrent training and flight reviews. Although recurrent training is not required for airmen holding a mechanic certificate, this SAIB advises maintenance personnel to: (l) conduct an 2 electrical load analysis or make electrical measurements that account for all electrical loads when installing additional electrical devises; (2) review standard wiring practices; and (3) replace wires that show evidence ofdamage. The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) published two issues of Nuts and Bolts -a Newsletter Written by Mechanics/or Mechanics, Issue 08-02 (June 30, 2008) (enclosure 2), and Issue 09-01 (March 31, 2009) (enclosure 3). This publication is distributed to the maintenance community. These issues contain the tech forum that is dedicated to aircraft wiring, parts 1 and 2, and provide a summary of several ACs that have been issued to address airplane wiring. Additionally, the FAASTeam sent the SAIB, via e-mail, to pilots, instructors, and maintenance personnel (totaling 305,598 users on FAASafety.gov). The SAIB is also listed on FAASafety.gov as a notice that can be reviewed by users ofthe site. The FAA also published an article entitled "In-flight Electrical Fires" in the FAA Aviation News (September/October 2009) (enclosure 4). We believe the issuance of SAIB CE-l 0-11 and the enclosed publications satisfactorily address the issues pertaining to circuit breakers, inspection and maintenance ofelectrical systems, and aging wiring. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed these safety recommendations, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/9/2010
Response: With regard to Safety Recommendation A-09-15, the NTSB further disagrees with the FAA that the recommended SAFO will meet the intent of the recommendation. The FAA and the aviation industry have developed free training related to best practices for electrical system maintenance and electrical wiring safety in aircraft. The intent of this recommendation is that this training in best practices be required as part of initial and recurrent training for aircraft mechanics. Although the NTSB acknowledges that there is no recurrent training requirement for aviation mechanics, the FAA is not requiring that the best practices training be included in initial training for mechanics nor it as a component of recurrent training for IAs. Pending the FAA’s instituting such a requirement, Safety Recommendation A-09-15 is classified OPEN -- UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/4/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 5/12/2009 12:11:59 PM MC# 2090293: - From Lynne A. Osmus, Acting Administrator: FAA Comment. Recurrent training is not required for airmen holding a mechanic certificate. However, the FAA believes adding information including most current best practices regarding inspection and maintenance of electrical systems, circuit breakers, and aging wiring to the SAFO per Safety Recommendation A-09-12 is sufficient for this recommendation. We anticipate issuing this SAFO by December 2009.