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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-113
Details
Synopsis: On December 20, 2008, about 1818 mountain standard time, Continental Airlines flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500, N18611, departed the left side of runway 34R during takeoff from Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado. A postcrash fire ensued. The captain and 5 of the 110 passengers were seriously injured; the first officer, 2 cabin crewmembers, and 38 passengers received minor injuries; and 1 cabin crewmember and 67 passengers (3 of whom were lap-held children) were uninjured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight, operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121, was departing DEN and was destined for George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas. At the time of the accident, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, with strong and gusty winds out of the west. The flight operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Once a methodology as asked for in Safety Recommendation A-10-112 has been developed, require manufacturers of transport-category airplanes to develop type-specific, maximum-crosswind takeoff limitations that account for wind gusts.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open Acceptable Alternate Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA09MA021
Accident Reports: Runway Side Excursion During Attempted Takeoff in Strong and Gusty Crosswind Conditions Continental Airlines Flight 1404, Boeing 737-500, NN18611
Report #: AAR-10-04
Accident Date: 12/20/2008
Issue Date: 7/29/2010
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open Acceptable Alternate Response)
Keyword(s): Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/25/2019
Response: You indicated that, on December 14, 2017, your Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee approved the Flight Test Harmonization Working Group’s (FTHWG’s) final report, “Crosswind & Tailwind Recommendation Report,” which proposed revisions to Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7, “Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes,” to improve the clarity and consistency of compliance demonstrations by specifying that airplane manufacturers must assess how gusts affect airplane handling in crosswinds. We note that you will now revise AC 25-7 as the group recommended. Although we remain concerned with the age of this recommendation, we understand that the FTHWG was assigned many competing tasks, which delayed the completion of its final report. We continue to believe that appropriate revisions to AC 25-7 may be an acceptable alternative that satisfies these recommendations and we understand that, because this AC addresses many topics, the next comprehensive revision will not be issued for comment until June 2021. Pending our review of the draft updated guidance, Safety Recommendations A 10 112 and -113 remain classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/12/2019
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: As stated in our November 1, 2017, letter the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) released a draft Crosswind & Tailwind Recommendation Report that proposes revisions to Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7, Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes, but does not recommend changes to the existing regulations for crosswind demonstration. The ARAC approved the FTHWG final report at its December 14, 2017, meeting. The Federal Aviation Administration will incorporate the report's recommendations into the AC guidance for crosswinds. This new guidance will specify that aircraft manufacturers should assess how airplane handling characteristics in a crosswind are affected by gusts when specifying the maximum demonstrated crosswind. We currently plan to publish the updated guidance for public comment by June 2021. I will keep the Board informed of our progress on A-10-112 and A-10-113 and will provide an updated response by December 2019.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/19/2018
Response: We note that, on January 19, 2017, your Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) completed its evaluation of tailwind/crosswind issues and released a draft “Crosswind & Tailwind Recommendation Report.” In the report, the FTHWG determined that existing rules governing crosswind demonstration should remain unchanged and are sufficient to account for gusting conditions. The FTHWG did, however, recommended that Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7C, “Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes,” be revised to improve the clarity and consistency of compliance demonstrations by specifying that airplane manufacturers must assess how gusts affect airplane handling in crosswinds. Finally, we note that, after the FTHWG approves its final report, you plan to revise AC 25-7C as the group recommends. We have been concerned by the lack of action in regard to Safety Recommendations A 10 112 and -113 for many years. We are pleased to see progress toward addressing these recommendations, and we believe that appropriate revisions to the AC may be an acceptable alternative that satisfies them; however, we will need to review the specific changes before making a final determination. Pending revisions to the AC that satisfy Safety Recommendations A 10 112 and 113, they are classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/1/2017
Response: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) completed its evaluation of tailwind /crosswind issues and released a draft "Crosswind & Tailwind Recommendation Report" on January 19, 2017. The FTHWG determined existing rules governing crosswind demonstration should remain unchanged and are sufficient to account for gusting conditions. The FTHWG recommends revising Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7C, Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes, to improve clarity and consistency regarding compliance demonstration for crosswind, by specifying that airplane manufacturers need to assess how airplane handling characteristics in crosswind are affected by gusts when documenting the maximum demonstrated crosswind. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to receive an approved final report from the FTHWG in late 2017. Upon receipt of the approved report, the FAA will revise AC 25-7C, or the current version, accordingly. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA' s progress on these recommendations and provide an update by September 2018.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/21/2016
Response: We understand that the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG), is assigned many competing tasks, which must be prioritized based on the relative safety benefit of each task. We are concerned, however, that these recommendations are almost 6 years old with no confirmation that you will take the recommended action. We point out that the scope of the airplane manufacturers’ crosswind guidelines, which have been provided to operators since before this recommendation was issued, varies among manufacturers and that these guidelines do not, therefore, constitute an acceptable interim measure until the FAA acts as recommended. Accordingly, pending our timely receipt and review of the development of gusting crosswind limitations of transport category airplanes and requirements for their use, Safety Recommendations A-10-112 and -113 remain classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/18/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is cognizant of the Board's concern over the timeliness of implementing these recommendations. However, as previously stated, the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) adopted a risk-based prioritization schedule. The FTHWG remains on schedule to evaluate these recommendations beginning in May 2016. We continue to believe that the crosswind guidelines currently provided by airplane manufacturers, as noted in our response to Safety Recommendation A-14-114, are sufficient to mitigate the risk until the FTHWG is able to focus on this task. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by March 31, 2017.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/23/2015
Response: We note that the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) recently prioritized its tasks and determined that tailwind/crosswind issues, including the crosswind issue identified in these recommendations, would be postponed until 2016. We understand that the FTHWG is assigned many competing tasks, which must be prioritized based on the relative safety benefit of each task. However, we are concerned that these recommendations are almost 5 years old, and we still have received no confirmation that you will take the recommended action. Accordingly, pending our timely receipt and review of the development of gusting crosswind limitations of transport category airplanes and requirements for their use, Safety Recommendations A-10-112 and -113 are classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/30/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As mentioned in our May 30, 20 13, letter, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has referred work supporting Safety Recommendations A-10-112 and -113 to the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee, Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG). The FTHWG recently completed a task prioritization exercise. In prioritizing the 30 tasks it was given, the FTHWG had to consider the relative safety benefit of each task. The benefit assessment considered the direct effect of development of new or improved guidance material where none presently exists, and also considered the indirect effect of rulemaking programs whose completion will allow the FAA to devote more resources to continued operational safety. According to this prioritization, tailwind/crosswind issues, including the crosswind issue identified in these recommendations, will be addressed beginning in 2016.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/29/2013
Response: We are encouraged that the FAA evaluated a representative sample of airline crosswind policy and procedural information to determine whether an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and standardized mean/gust crosswind policy would be feasible and appropriate and that, because of the variability found in the sample reviewed, the FAA is referring the issue to its Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group. We emphasize, however, that the purpose of these recommendations is to include information on gusting crosswind limitations of transport category airplanes. Pending the development of such limitations and requirements for their use, Safety Recommendations A-10-112 and -113 remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/30/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As mentioned in our letter dated November 21,2011, the Federal Aviation Administration (fAA) collected a representative sample of airline crosswind policy and procedural information. We evaluated the information to determine whether an ..AJrplane Flight Manual limitation and standardized mean/gust crosswind policy would be feasible and appropriate. Due to the variability in the responses we received, we determined that additional consideration is required. We are referring the issue to the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group. The FAA ARAC Flight Test Harmonization Working Group began work on these issues in May 2013. The ARAC group is addressing flight test methods used to determine maximum tailwind and crosswind capability. Also, crosswind testing will be exanuned to better define intended operational use of demonstrated maximum steady and gusting crosswind performance. The first phase, prioritization of tasks, is scheduled for completion by the end of2013. The prioritized list of tasks will help to define the follow-on schedule. To address A-10-114, airplane manufacturers have provided crosswind guidelines to operators. The scope of the guidelines varies among manufacturers. We intend to assess this variabiiity when evaluating the feasibility of introducing standardized mean/gust crosswind policy, and will also ask the ARAC Flight Test Harmonization Working Group for recommendations regarding the variability. I will keep the board informed of the FAA's progress on these safety recommendations and provide an updated response by April 30, 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/6/2012
Response: The FAA reported that it is collecting and will analyze a representative sample of airline crosswind policies and procedural information. We appreciate having this new information. Accordingly, pending the FAA’s completing this effort, developing a methodology to determine maximum-gusting-crosswind limitations, and requiring use of the methodology, Safety Recommendations A-10-112 and -113 remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/16/2011
Response: The FAA indicated that it is investigating the issues raised in Safety Recommendations A-10-112 through -114 and is considering the feasibility of using an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and standardized mean/gust crosswind values to address these recommendations. Pending the FAA’s developing a methodology to determine maximum-gusting-crosswind limitations and requiring its use, Safety Recommendations A-10-112 through -114 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/21/2011
Response: -From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is collecting a representative sample of airline crosswind policy and procedural information. We expect to have initial inputs by December 20 II. Once collected, we will analyze the information and determine whether an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and standardized mean/gust crosswind policy would be feasible and appropriate. If, as a result of this information collection, additional actions are justified, we expect to begin discussions with industry by December 2011 and complete discussions by December 2012.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/14/2010
Response: CC#201000393: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The FAA is investigating these issues to determine whether an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and standardized mean/gust crosswind values, for use by airline operators, would be feasible and appropriate.