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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-12-045
Details
Synopsis: December 29, 2010, incident involving American Airlines flight 2253, a Boeing 757-200, N668AA, which ran off the departure end of runway 19 and came to a stop in deep snow after landing at Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The occupants were not injured, and the airplane sustained minor damage. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this incident was a manufacturing defect in a clutch mechanism that prevented the speedbrakes from automatically deploying after touchdown and the captain‘s failure to monitor and extend the speedbrakes manually. Also causal was the failure of the thrust reversers to deploy when initially commanded. Contributing to the incident was the captain‘s failure to confirm speedbrake extension before announcing their deployment and his distraction caused by the thrust reversers‘ failure to initially deploy after landing.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require all newly type-certificated 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 25 airplanes to have a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed during the landing roll.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open Acceptable Alternate Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Jackson Hole, WY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA11IA015
Accident Reports: Runway Overrun of American Airlines Flight 2253, Boeing 757-200, N668AA
Report #: AAR-12-01
Accident Date: 12/29/2010
Issue Date: 7/3/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open Acceptable Alternate Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/3/2017
Response: In your December 23, 2014, letter about this recommendation, you said that you reviewed the relevant regulations and guidance, including amendments made to Part 25 on November 2, 2010, that included new requirements for flightcrew alerting. Prior to that date, the speedbrake lever’s lack of movement was considered adequate to notify the crew that it had failed to deploy. In our investigation of the American Airlines flight 2253 incident, we found that the only indication available to the pilot that the speedbrakes had not deployed was the speedbrake lever position; however, when the airplane initially touched down, the handle began to move, giving a misleading cue regarding its deployment. Your December 23, 2014, letter also indicated that Part 25.1309(c) requires that the flightcrew be given warning information to alert them to unsafe system operating conditions. As a result, you believed that current regulatory requirements, especially recent additions to Part 25.1309, addressed Safety Recommendation A 12-45. You planned to issue a new policy statement that would clarify compliance with existing regulatory requirements and emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed on landing or during a rejected takeoff. In your December 23, 2014, letter, you said that you expected to publish this proposed policy statement for public comment by December 31, 2014. We replied that the policy statement was an acceptable alternate solution that satisfied the recommendation; however, we cautioned against long delays in issuing it. In your current letter, you write that the policy statement will address methods to determine when the failure condition requires an alert. We note that you were developing guidance on this subject when your Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) determined that it should address it. We further note that the ARAC is considering a proposal by the FTHWG to revise the means of compliance for Part 25.1309 for failures that can lead to runway excursions, including methods to determine the criticality of the failure condition. Finally, we note that you expect the ARAC to approve the proposal by December 2017. Pending issuance of a policy statement that addresses the recommendation, Safety Recommendation A-12-45 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/25/2017
Response: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: ln our previous letter to the Board dated May 12, 20 16. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reiterated that we plan to issue a new policy statement that will clarify the FAA’s expectations for compliance with existing regulatory requirements and emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed on landing or during a rejected takeoff. One significant item that will be addressed in this new policy statement is the determination or failure condition criticality regarding whether an alert is required or not. The FAA was in the process or developing guidance on this subject when the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG) determined that they should address this concern. The FAA will consider recommendations from the FTHWG in order to develop an approach that reflects industry-wide input and harmonization with other authorities. The FTHWG created a proposal to revise the means of compliance to Title 14. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 25.1309 for failures that can lead to runway excursions. to include methods for determining the criticality of the failure condition. The FTHWG proposal is currently wi th ARAC for consideration, and we expect ARAC to approve it by December 20 17. We plan to review the final FTHWG proposal and. if necessary. revise our current policy to align with it. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by August 2018.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/29/2016
Response: We note that you continue to develop a policy statement on speedbrake deployment that will clarify your expectations for compliance with existing regulatory requirements and that will emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert to warn pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed during the landing roll. We consider this to be an acceptable alternate solution to the recommendation; however, we caution that long delays pose unacceptable ongoing risks. Accordingly, pending timely issuance of this policy statement, Safety Recommendation A-12-45 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/12/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: Due to competing priorities, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has experienced delays in issuing the policy statement (PS) on speedbrake deployment: PS-ANM-25-25, Guidance for Compliance with Type Certification Requirements Pertaining to Failure of Speedbrakes/Spoilers to Deploy During Landing or Rejected Takeoff. As stated in our last letter, the PS will clarify the FAA's expectations for compliance "with existing regulatory requirements and emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed on landing or during rejected takeoff. We expect to issue the PS for public comment by December 2016. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by May 31, 2017.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/6/2015
Response: We note that you reviewed relevant FAA regulations and guidance, including amendments made to Part 25 on November 2, 2010. Prior to this date, lack of movement of the speed brake lever was considered adequate notice to the crew of the failure of the speedbrake to deploy. In our report on the American Airlines flight 2253 incident, we found that the only indication available to the pilot that the speedbrakes had not deployed was the speedbrake lever position, but that, when the airplane initially touched down, the handle began to move, resulting in a misleading cue regarding speedbrake deployment. You believe that current regulatory requirements adequately address this recommendation, and as a result of your review, you plan to issue a new certification policy statement that will clarify what constitutes compliance with existing regulatory requirements. The policy statement will emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed. Pending your issuance of this statement, Safety Recommendation A-12-45 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/2014
Response: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agrees that it is important to have clearly distinguishable and intelligible alerts to warn pilots of failure conditions that are necessary to take corrective action. We examined current regulations and guidance material and reviewed how a broad range of transport category airplane designs complied with these regulations. We have determined the following: 1. The effect of speedbrake non-deployment on stopping distance varies by airplane type and operating conditions; 2. Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 25.1 309(c) requires warning information to be provided to alert the flightcrew of unsafe system operating conditions; 3. Advisory Circular (AC) 25.1309-lA, System Design and Analysis, states that a system's failure warning or indication should be timely, rousing, obvious, clear, and unambiguous. This AC also states that the warning should occur when the capability of the airplane and flightcrew is sufficient for appropriate action; 4. Effective November 2, 2010, Part 25, as amended by Amendment 25-131, was revised to include new requirements for flightcrew alerting. Specifically, § 25.1322(a)(2) requires that flightcrew alerts are readily and easily detectable and intelligible, and § 25. 1322( c )(2) requires that warning and caution level alerts provide timely attention-getting cues through at least two different senses by a combination of aural, visual, or tactile indications; and 5. Past practices used to alert the flightcrew of speedbrake failure to deploy have varied. In some cases, the determination for failure condition criticality determination included consideration of landing distance safety margins required by air carrier operating rules that may not be present at the time of landing, and that are not applicable to other types of operations. In many cases, lack of movement of the speed brake lever was considered adequate indication of speedbrake non-deployment. We believe our current regulatory requirements, especially with the recent addition to § 25.1309, are responsive to this safety recommendation. In light of our findings, we plan to issue a new policy statement. The policy statement will clarify the FAA's expectations for compliance with existing regulatory requirements and emphasize the need for a clearly distinguishable and intelligible alert that warns pilots when the speedbrakes have not deployed on landing or during a rejected takeoff. The FAA anticipates the proposed policy statement will be published for public comment by December 31, 2014. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by July 31, 2015.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/20/2012
Response: The FAA is investigating the issue addressed by this recommendation and is evaluating potential solutions. Pending completion of the recommended action, Safety Recommendation A 12 45 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/29/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: We share the Board's concern that clear information should be available to the flightcrew when speedbrakes have not deployed during the landing roll. We will investigate the issue and evaluate potential solutions to determine the best approach, considering current alerting requirements, system integrity, and reliability. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by October 31, 2013.