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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-09-079
Details
Synopsis: On March 4, 2008, about 1515 central standard time, a Cessna 500, N113SH, registered to Southwest Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic PC of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, entered a steep descent and crashed after colliding in flight with a flock of large birds about 2 minutes after takeoff from Wiley Post Airport (PWA) in Oklahoma City.2 None of the entities associated with the flight claimed to be its operator. The pilot, the second pilot,3 and the three passengers were killed, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The flight was operated under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from the ramp of Interstate Helicopters (a 14 CFR Part 135 on-demand helicopter operator at PWA) and was en route to Mankato Regional Airport (MKT), Mankato, Minnesota, carrying company executives who worked for United Engines and United Holdings, LLC.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Update and keep current the aircraft charter guide on the Federal Aviation Administration’s website to include reliable information on the certification status of on-demand commercial operators and the aircraft that they are authorized to operate.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DFW08MA076
Accident Reports: Crash of Cessna 500, N113SH, Following an In-Flight Collision with Large Birds
Report #: AAR-09-05
Accident Date: 3/4/2008
Issue Date: 9/29/2009
Date Closed: 3/28/2013
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Part 135, Records

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/28/2013
Response: The revisions you described that have been made to the FAA’s publicly available Airline Certificate Information database satisfy Safety Recommendation A-09-79, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/11/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As stated in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) previous letter, section 119.9, Use of Business Names, states, in part, that a certificate holder conducting operations under part 135 may not operate an aircraft using a business name other than a business name appearing in the certificate holder's operations specifications. The regulation further requires the name or certificate number of the certificate holder who is operating the aircraft to be legibly displayed on the aircraft and such name must be clearly visible and readable from outside the aircraft to a person standing on the ground. The means of displaying the name on the aircraft, and its readability, must be acceptable to the FAA Administrator. In its May 27, 2010, letter on recommendation A-09-78, the Board questioned why we indicated that the recommended action was not feasible, given the means of instant communication available. In response, we surveyed two Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO). In these two FSDOs alone, we identified several 135 certificate holders that do not have access to, or own, "instant communication" devices, including computers. The FAA does not require part 135 certificate holders to own computers or other office related communication devices that could be used to generate a ticket. The unique nature, and often remote location, of the work that some part 135 certificate holders engage in makes this requirement unfeasible for those operators. Requiring part 135 certificate holders to purchase computers or other "instant communication" devices, which may not be functional at all part 135 operator locations, is not cost justified. However, to help get information to passengers the FAA does have an Airline Certificate Information database. This database includes part 135 carriers and can be searched by company name. The Airline Certificate Information database is available to the public and includes the operator's certificate number, the aircraft each certificate holder is authorized to operate, and the FSDO responsible for overseeing the operator. The database can provide a list of all part 135 operators or can find a part 135 operator using a name search. The database is updated daily and can be found at the following Web site: http://av-info.faa.gov/OpCert.asp?SrchBy=Name. In our previous letter we stated that we would create a new database; however, modifications to the existing Airline Certification Information application have made it much more user-friendly. We believe the application meets the intent of the recommendation, which is to provide access to information to the flying public. We also mentioned in our previous letter that insurance coverage would be included in a publically available database. Insurance coverage is verified by the FAA and is a requirement for obtaining and maintaining a part 135 operating certificate. Because the database does not list compliance with other requirements, we believe including current insurance status is unnecessary. If an operator does not have insurance they are not permitted to operate under part 135. In addition to the database, the public can contact the local FSDO and ask if a proposed charter flight is legal. The contact information to local FSDOs is included in the Airline Certificate Information database, printed phone books, and on the FAA's Web site. Given the operating environment and current regulatory requirements for part 135 certificate holders, we plan no further action on recommendation A-09-78. Additionally, I believe the FAA has effectively addressed recommendation A-09-79 via the Airline Certificate Information database, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/27/2010
Response: The FAA’s plan to develop an online database that will provide a searchable list of Part 135 operators by name or certificate number, and that will show a current list of authorized aircraft, current insurance status, and the specific part of the regulation applicable to that operator is responsive to this recommendation, provided that the FAA also includes provisions to ensure that the information in the database is regularly updated and current. Pending the development and public release of the database and action to ensure that the information in the database will remain current and up to date, Safety Recommendation A-09-79 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 1/7/2010 3:59:43 PM MC# 2100009: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: 09 CFR section 119.9, Use of Business Names, states, in part, that a certificate holder conducting operations under part 135 may not operate an aircraft using a business name other than a business name appearing in the certificate holder's operations specifications. The regulation further requires the name or certificate number of the certificate holder who is operating the aircraft to be legibly displayed on the aircraft and such name be clearly visible and readable from outside the aircraft to a person standing on the ground. The means of displaying the name on the aircraft, and its readability, must be acceptable to the Administrator. Because of the unique, spontaneous, and many times, remote locations of part 135 operators, establishing any additional passenger notification requirements (paper documents) is not feasible. However, to supplement and support the intent of this recommendation, the FAA intends to develop an online database that will provide a searchable list of part 135 operators by name or certificate number. Once the operator has been identified, the database will show a current list of authorized aircraft, current insurance status, and the specific part of the regulation applicable to that operator. We hope to begin developing this in Fiscal Year 2011.