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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-117
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: Require operators to perform periodic inspections on the Burns Aerospace model 2501-5 jumpseats for fatigue cracks within the jumpseat structure and replace the jumpseat if fatigue cracks are found.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
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: 7/18/2012
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Maintenance, Metal Fatigue

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/18/2012
Response: The FAA stated that B/E Aerospace (formerly Burns Aerospace) had submitted Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), 25-29-99, revision 4, to the FAA on August 18, 2011. We note that the revised CMM, which applies to all B/E Aerospace flight attendant seats (including the 2501-5), recommends that operators accomplish monthly and heavy maintenance checks of the seats. We also note that, although operators are required to repair or replace the seat if damage is found during the maintenance check, the maintenance check itself is not required, and the FAA does not intend to require these checks because its criterion for issuance of an airworthiness directive was not met. The NTSB remains concerned that a B/E Aerospace jumpseat that has weakened from undetected metal fatigue could fail under lower-than-expected crash loads and thus injure a cabin crewmember who might later be needed to perform critical safety duties, such as evacuating passengers. However, because the FAA indicated that its actions are complete and it will take no additional action to address Safety Recommendation A-10-117, this recommendation is classified CLOSED—UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/5/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: We acknowledge the Board's concern regarding fatigue cracks on the model 2501-5 jumpseats. In our November 21, 2011, letter we reported that we would be working with BIE Aerospace (formerly Bums Aerospace) to gather archived records and other information related to jumpseat installations to establish the level of risk and determine if mandatory airworthiness action is warranted. We have concluded this investigation and performed a quantitative risk analysis using our approved process. The results of this analysis indicate that the criterion for issuance of an airworthiness directive (AD) was not met. Our Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) accepted BIE Aerospace's revised Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), 25-29-99, revision 4, which was submitted on August 18, 2011. The revised CMM is applicable to all flight attendant seats manufactured by B/E Aerospace that are currently in operation, including the 2501-5. Page 14001 of the CMM directs operators to accomplish monthly and heavy maintenance checks of the flight attendant seat for any cuts, nicks fatigue cracks, corrosion, and excessive wear. Page 5001 specifies how the checks are to be performed. If any damage is found, operators are required to repair the damaged structure, in accordance with page 6001, or replace it. Copies of the relevant pages from the CMM are enclosed. I believe issuance of the revised CMM effectively addresses this safety recommendation, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/6/2012
Response: The FAA indicated that B/E Aerospace (formerly Burns Aerospace) is developing a service bulletin to require periodic inspections of the jumpseats for fatigue cracks and/or to determine the need for the replacement of a fatigued structure. We note that the FAA plans to use the bulletin and installation information to establish the level of risk and to determine whether mandatory airworthiness action is warranted. Pending our review of the FAA’s assessment and completion of the recommended action, Safety Recommendation A-10-117 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/16/2011
Response: The FAA indicated that it has been working with B/E Aerospace (formerly Burns Aerospace) and Continental Airlines to determine appropriate actions in response to Safety Recommendation A-10-117. We appreciate this collaborative effort. Accordingly, pending completion of the recommended action, Safety Recommendation A-10-117 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/21/2011
Response: -From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: B/E Aerospace, who acquired Burns Aerospace in January 1996, is developing a Service Bulletin (SB) to require periodic inspections of the jumpseats for fatigue cracks and/or replacement of fatigued structure. BIE Aerospace needs additional information related to installations to establish an appropriate interval for the inspection and complete the SB. We are continuing to work with BIE Aerospace to obtain archived records related to jumpseat installations (number of installations, the aircraft on which the jumpseats are installed, current status of the aircraft, etc). BIE Aerospace contacted Boeing for assistance as an alternate source of this information. We will use the SB and installation information to establish the level of risk and determine if mandatory airworthiness action is warranted per FAA Order 81110.1 07, Monitor Safety/Analyze Data.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/14/2010
Response: CC#201000393: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The FAA is working with the jumpseat manufacturer, B/E Aerospace, formerly Bums Aerospace, and Continental Airlines to investigate the issue and determine an appropriate course of action. We are considering the feasibility of periodic inspections and replacement of the fatigued structure.