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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-14-101
Details
Synopsis: On March 30, 2013, at 2320 Alaska daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, N911AA, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search and rescue (SAR) flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. The airline transport pilot, an Alaska state trooper serving as a flight observer for the pilot, and a stranded snowmobiler who had requested rescue were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) as a public aircraft operations flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. The flight originated at 2313 from a frozen pond near the snowmobiler’s rescue location and was destined for an off-airport location about 16 mi south.
Recommendation: TO FORTY FOUR STATES, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Use formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures that include up-to-date weather information and assistance with flight risk assessment decisions.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Talkeetna, AK, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: ANC13GA036
Accident Reports: ​Crash Following Encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions After Departure from Remote Landing Site Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter AS350 B3, N911AA
Report #: AAR-14-03
Accident Date: 3/30/2013
Issue Date: 11/24/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Kentucky (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Open - Await Response)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Closed - Reconsidered)
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Open - Acceptable Response)
Commonwealth of Virginia (Open - Await Response)
District of Columbia (Open - Await Response)
State of Alabama (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Alaska (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Arizona (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Arkansas (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of California (Open - Await Response)
State of Colorado (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Connecticut (Open - Await Response)
State of Delaware (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Florida (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Georgia (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Illinois (Closed - Acceptable Action)
State of Indiana (Open - Await Response)
State of Iowa (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Kansas (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Louisiana (Open - Await Response)
State of Maine (Open - Await Response)
State of Maryland (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Michigan (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Minnesota (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Mississippi (Open - Await Response)
State of Missouri (Open - Await Response)
State of Montana (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Nebraska (Open - Await Response)
State of Nevada (Open - Await Response)
State of New Hampshire (Open - Await Response)
State of New Jersey (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of New Mexico (Open - Await Response)
State of New York (Open - Await Response)
State of North Carolina (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of North Dakota (Open - Await Response)
State of Ohio (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Oklahoma (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Oregon (Open - Await Response)
State of South Carolina (Open - Await Response)
State of South Dakota (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Tennessee (Open - Await Response)
State of Texas (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Utah (Open - Acceptable Response)
State of Washington (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of West Virginia (Open - Await Response)
State of Wisconsin (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Alaska
Date: 3/30/2015
Response: We note that you are equipping your aircraft with flight-tracking capability and that you would like to provide flight-following in the future. However, we understand that, due to the large size of Alaska and the lack of infrastructure, it will take you some time to fully address this recommendation. Although your efforts thus far are partially responsive to this recommendation, we encourage you to provide aviation training to your dispatchers to ensure that flight crews have adequate access to up-to-date weather information and qualified assistance with flight risk assessment tasks. Pending our review of future updates regarding your efforts to address this concern and completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Alaska
To: NTSB
Date: 12/16/2014
Response: -From Gary Folger, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety: Alaska Department of Public Safety is unable to implement a formalized flight following procedure with dispatchers at this time. This is due in part to the size of the state, ability to communicate by radio and lack of infrastructure. However, DPS recognizes that flight following may be a very valuable tool. Currently, DPS pilots have the ability to receive updated weather information through the use of satellite phones. Each DPS pilot is issued their own satellite phone. In 2013, DPS began purchasing off the shelf fleet management devices that are now installed in nearly all DPS aircraft. This allows DPS to monitor these aircraft in real time, provides information about the aircraft and notifies persons monitoring the aircraft if the aircraft stops suddenly for any reason. DPS plans to continue the use of these devices in the future while eventually integrating monitoring through 24/7 dispatch centers statewide.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: We note that ALEA’s dispatchers use flight-tracking technology to follow all flights for their entire duration. We also note that the agency has procedures for assessing risk and responding to incidents, that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that tactical flight officers (TFO) are trained in accessing this information to assist pilots during times of high workload. We commend ALEA for taking these actions before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, which is accordingly classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Alabama
To: NTSB
Date: 2/9/2015
Response: -From J. Spencer Collier, Secretary, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency: Approximately five (5) years ago, ALEA Aviation began flight tracking procedures that included the state-wide training of all dispatch centers in the Agency. The training consisted of guidelines for tracking aircraft and procedures for initiating the Emergency Response Plan should an aircraft have an emergency. Utilizing ITRAK through cellular connection, all aircraft are tracked by a dispatch center when airborne. All of ALEA's aircraft are equipped with Nexrad Radar and/or ADS-B XM satellite radar for up-to-date weather observations. See attached Emergency Response Plan and Tracking Procedures document in the appendix (ref. A-140101).

From: NTSB
To: State of Arizona
Date: 1/18/2018
Response: We note that, in 2008, the AZDPS implemented formalized dispatch and flight following procedures. We further note that AZDPS dispatchers receive aviation-related training, use flight tracking software, and have access to real-time weather information. Because these measures were in place before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Arizona
To: NTSB
Date: 9/13/2017
Response: Terry S. Miyauchi, Aviation Administrator, Arizona Department of Public Safety: The purpose of this letter is to respond to your safety recommendations letter addressed to Governor Doug Ducey, dated August 3, 2017. In that letter, NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13-21 (meteorological evaluation towers) andA-14-100 through 106 (search-and-rescue flight) were provided to the State of Arizona. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) conducts flights across the entire state of Arizona, to include areas where meteorological towers have been erected. Approximately 25% percent of all flights for AZDPS and the State are in support of search and rescue operations. We value the goal of aviation safety as the number one priority for all of our aviation activity and your recommendations are well received. We offer the following specific responses to each of your NTSB recommendations: AZDPS follows formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures consistent with the guidance contained in FAA AC 120-96 Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operations. Because of this, AZDPS was provided with a "Closed-Reconsidered" by the NTSB on May 22, 2014 in regards to the prior NTSB recommendation A-09-132. The above mentioned dispatch and flight-following procedures are still in effect today, to include dispatcher training for HEMS, computer-aided dispatch, flight tracking software utilization and dispatch access/relay ability for up-to-date weather information to flight crews.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arizona
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Arizona on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Arizona on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arkansas
Date: 12/15/2017
Response: We note that, in 2013, the ASP implemented formal flight-following procedures, which include up-to-date weather information and assistance with flight risk assessment decisions, and that dispatchers are assisted by a computer-aided display and trained to assist flight crews when they have a heavy workload. Because these measures were in place before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Arkansas
To: NTSB
Date: 8/29/2017
Response: -From Asa Hutchinson, Governor: Arkansas executive branch agencies involved in civilian aviation use formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures for every flight, which include up-to-date weather information and flight risk assessment decision-making protocol.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arkansas
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Arkansas on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Arkansas on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of California
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of California on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of California on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Colorado
Date: 1/3/2018
Response: We note that the Colorado Army National Guard operates helicopters to conduct SAR missions, and that the Colorado State Police does not operate helicopters. We believe that all air operations could benefit from the safety improvements specified in these recommendations, and we urge the state of Colorado to make the recommended safety improvements to all its air operations. However, because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct helicopter SAR operations, Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106 are classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Colorado
To: NTSB
Date: 9/13/2017
Response: -From John W. Hickenlooper, Governor: We have enacted recommendation A-13- 21 through legislation, when we signed House Bill 14-1216 into law in 2014. This bill requires safety markings for certain towers over 50 feet in height that are located in unincorporated areas of the state, and has been incorporated into Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) section 43-10-117. Specifically, CRS 43-10- 117 requires: (2) Where the appearance of a tower is not otherwise governed by state or federal law, rule, or regulation, any tower over fifty feet in height that is located outside the boundaries of an incorporated city or town on land that is primarily rural or undeveloped or used for agricultural purposes must be marked and painted or otherwise constructed to be visible in clear air during daylight hours from a distance of not less than two thousand feet. Towers must also comply with the following additional requirements: (a) A tower must be painted in equal alternating bands of aviation orange and white, beginning with orange at the top of the tower; (b) One marker ball must be attached to the top third of each outside guy wire; and (c) Guy wires must have a seven-foot- long safety sleeve at each anchor point that extends from the anchor point along each guy wire attached to the anchor point. (3) Any tower that was erected prior to August 6, 2014, must be marked as required by the provisions of this section within one year of August 6, 2014. Any tower that is erected on or after August 6, 2014, must be marked as required by this section at the time it is erected. The Colorado Army National Guard operates helicopters that are used in search and rescue missions, and they report that compliance with all recommendations as outlined in your document of August 3, 2017, as it pertains to the operation of helicopters. Finally, the Colorado State Patrol currently implements recommendation A-14-101, using procedures and avionics that allow for up-to-date weather information and assistance with flight risk assessment decisions. While they do not operate helicopters in search and rescue missions, they are considering implementing recommendations A-14-100, A-14-105, and A-14-106 following an independent and unrelated safety audit they are conducting. Once completed, we will incorporate regulations that are in compliance with the NTSB recommendation, at a minimum. Again, thank you for your correspondence regarding this issue. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my Office should you have any further questions.

From: NTSB
To: State of Colorado
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Colorado on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Colorado on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Connecticut
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Connecticut on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Connecticut on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Delaware
Date: 5/15/2015
Response: We are aware that your dispatch center provides flight-following for the entire duration of flights through two-way communication and that they are assisted by a computer-aided display. We also note that you have procedures for assessing risk and responding to incidents, that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that flight medics are trained in accessing this information to assist pilots during times of high workload. These actions satisfy the intent of this recommendation; however, because they were implemented before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Delaware
To: NTSB
Date: 12/8/2014
Response: -From Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr., Superintendent, Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Division of State Police: Delaware State Police dispatch aircraft from 2 locations covering 3 counties. DSP aircraft can be dispatched by police or fire public safety answering point personnel, based on a request from the field or through automatic dispatch protocols. After dispatch, flight crews conduct flight following by radio with our aviation communications center (AVCOM), which is located in the central county dispatch center. Crews provide departure, arrival, estimated times of arrival and numbers of passengers onboard the aircraft to the dispatch center. With the addition of Sky Node equipment to the aircraft in 2014, real time flight tracking will be accomplished in our dispatch centers. Currently staff members who dispatch aircraft have not received formal training as weather observers, HEMS operations, and have limited operational control during responses. Future plans include, working towards a more formal dispatch program implementing the recommendations of FAA AC 120-96.

From: NTSB
To: District of Columbia
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the District of Columbia on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the District of Columbia on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Florida
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: We note that FWC flights are in constant communication with regional law enforcement dispatch communications centers and that dispatchers are hired and trained by the FWC. We also note that tracking devices are used on any aircraft expected to operate in areas where communication coverage is not reliable. However, we would also like to know whether the FWC has formal procedures in place that ensure flight-following is provided for the entire duration of all flights by trained dispatchers who can assist the flight crew with flight risk assessment. We encourage the FWC to review FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains information about developing acceptable dispatch and flight following procedures that is also useful for SAR operations. Pending our review of FWC procedures consistent with this guidance, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Florida
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/2015
Response: -From Colonel Curtis Brown, Director, Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: FWC flight operatives are in constant communication with our agency regional communications centers (law enforcement dispatch communications centers). The communications center duty officers (dispatchers) are hired by, work directly for, and are trained by the FWC. Duty officers are required by FWC policy to perfom1 a status check if he or she has not heard from an officer within an hour, during the hours between sunset and sunrise, and every two hours, during the hours between sunrise and sunset. Additionally, a GPS tracker is utilized on board select aircraft when conducting air operations during which communication coverage may be intermittent. All aircraft are equipped with an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) and all pilots are assigned an individual personal locator beacon (PLB). Current in-flight weather information is provided by a satellite-based weather subscription through aircraft GPS. Pilots are required to evaluate weather for their fights prior to departure and must comply with minimum weather conditions. Weather conditions are also included as a factor on the flight risk assessment.

From: NTSB
To: State of Georgia
Date: 3/6/2015
Response: We note that your dispatchers provide flight-following for the entire duration of flights through two-way communication and that dispatchers are assisted by flight tracking software and a computer-aided display. We also note that you have procedures in place for assessing risk and responding to incidents, and that both dispatchers and flight crews have access to up to-date weather information. Although these measures are positive steps, we note that your dispatchers are not trained in aviation operations and cannot assist flight crews with flight risk assessment decisions. We point out that reliance for dispatch and flight following support on dispatchers who are not trained in aviation does not ensure that flight crews have qualified assistance with flight risk assessment tasks. Therefore, we encourage you to train your dispatchers as well, so that they can assist flight crews in making flight risk assessment decisions. Pending our receipt of future updates regarding your progress in addressing this concern and completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Georgia
To: NTSB
Date: 12/8/2014
Response: -From Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety: After receiving a mission, a detailed risk assessment is completed. Weather is included in the risk assessment. Numerous sites are utilized to obtain weather and are noted in the risk assessment. All flights are dispatched through the GSP Communication Center in the region where the request is generated. Flight following is conducted by a satellite web base tracking program. All aircraft have weather features on the GPS.

From: NTSB
To: State of Illinois
Date: 3/22/2016
Response: You previously informed us (1) that the ISP uses a dedicated frequency to coordinate and communicate with flight crews and supervising personnel, (2) that real-time weather information is available in the cockpit, (3) that pilots (acting as observers) assist the pilot flying in accessing this information and in conducting routine tasks, and (4) that the ISP uses a formalized Flight Risk Assessment Tool for assessing the risk of each mission. We note that the ISP recently implemented a flight-following procedure that requires flight crews to maintain communication with dispatchers for the entire duration of SAR flights. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation A 14-101, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: State of Illinois
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/2015
Response: -From Leo P. Schmitz, Director, Illinois State Police: ISP Air Operations has developed a flight tracking procedure which will be implemented on January 1st. This will consist of aircraft reporting their position every 30 minutes to either the Air Operations Office during normal business hours or to police dispatchers after hours. Air Operations is also exploring a system similar to what is installed in our squad cars to track the aircraft using GPS at all times.

From: NTSB
To: State of Illinois
Date: 11/20/2015
Response: You previously informed us that the ISP uses a dedicated frequency to coordinate and communicate with flight crews and supervising personnel, that real-time weather information is available in the cockpit, and that pilots acting as observers are able to assist the pilot flying in accessing this information and conducting routine tasks. We are encouraged to learn that the ISP recently implemented a formal flight risk evaluation program and is considering adding flight tracking technology. We would also like to know whether the ISP (1) has formal flight following procedures in place that require dispatchers to maintain communication with flight crews for the entire duration of SAR flights. Pending our review of this additional information, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Illinois
To: NTSB
Date: 8/27/2015
Response: -From Leo P. Schmitz, Director, Illinois State Police: Response: The ISP uses an installed police radio to communicate activity with police telecommunications and the AOB. The AOB monitors a dedicated frequency used to coordinate and communicate with the pilots/crew and AOB supervising personnel. Pilots are issued iPads with the Foreflight application, which provides up-to-date aviation sectional maps and, when used in conjunction with a department provided Stratus device, real-time aviation weather updates. Update: The ISP AOB implemented a FRAT specifically tailored to ISP flight operations. Pilots may obtain mission approval and assistance with risk assessment issues through a dedicated Air Operations radio frequency where they can communicate directly with Air Operations Command. We are researching technology that allows for the real-time tracking of aerial assets.

From: NTSB
To: State of Illinois
Date: 6/10/2015
Response: We note that the ISP uses a dedicated frequency to coordinate and communicate with flight crews and supervising personnel, that real-time weather information is available in the cockpit, and that pilots acting as observers are able to assist the pilot flying with accessing this information and conducting routine tasks. Although we appreciate Illinois’s taking these measures, we are concerned that the ISP does not currently have a formal flight risk evaluation program that includes the use of a risk assessment matrix, as described above (regarding Safety Recommendation A 14 100). In addition, we would like to know whether ISP (1) has formal flight following procedures in place that require dispatchers to maintain communication with flight crews for the entire duration of SAR flights and (2) uses flight-tracking technology. Pending our review of this additional information and the ISP’s implementation of a flight risk evaluation program, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Illinois
To: NTSB
Date: 2/26/2015
Response: -From Leo P. Schmitz, Director, Illinois State Police: The ISP uses an installed police radio to communicate activity with police telecommunications and the AOB. The AOB monitors a dedicated frequency used to coordinate and communicate with the pilots/crew and AOB supervising personnel. Pilots are issued iPads with the Foreflight application, which provides up-to-date aviation sectional maps and, when used in conjunction with a department provided Stratus device, real-time aviation weather updates.

From: NTSB
To: State of Indiana
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Indiana on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Indiana on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Iowa
Date: 10/26/2017
Response: We note that the state of Iowa does not conduct helicopter SAR operations; however, we believe that all air operations could benefit from the safety improvements specified in these recommendations. Accordingly, we urge the state of Iowa to make the safety improvements discussed in these recommendations to all its air operations. Because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct helicopter SAR operations, though, Safety Recommendations A 14-100 through -106 are classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Iowa
To: NTSB
Date: 8/10/2017
Response: -From Tim McClung, Iowa DOT, Office of Aviation: Thank you for the NTSB’s August 3, 2017 letter to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds regarding NTSB safety recommendations A-14-100 through -106. The letter indicates the recommendations were issued as a result of the investigation into an accident involving a Eurocopter AS350 B3 owned and operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Iowa does not own or operate helicopters for use in public safety efforts and therefore does not engage in Night Vision Goggle operations, off airport landings, or operations in mountainous areas. Accordingly, the recommendations would not apply. This communication is intended to provide information needed to close the response status for Iowa on these recommendations. Please let me know if you need additional information.

From: NTSB
To: State of Iowa
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106. We issued these recommendations to the state of Iowa on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search and rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Kansas
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: We note that, although your dispatchers provide law enforcement communication to each tactical aircraft, they do not use formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures. We point out that the intent of this recommendation is for operators to establish formal procedures to ensure that flight-following is provided for the entire duration of all flights by trained dispatchers who can assist the flight crew with flight risk assessment. Accordingly, we encourage you to review FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains guidance for developing acceptable dispatch and flight-following procedures that is also useful to SAR operations. Pending our review of your procedures that address these concerns, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Kansas
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/2015
Response: -From Mark A. Bruce, Colonel, Superintendent, Kansas Highway Patrol: Recently we received a copy of the NTSB's proposed safety recommendations (attached) from your office. We have reviewed them and assessed the impact to KHP aircraft operations. We anticipate the impact to be similar in nature to other law enforcement aircraft operations within the state of Kansas. Below is our assessment and response to those specific NTSB safety recommendations. We appreciate the spirit and nature of the recent recommendations (A-14-100 through -106) provided by the NTSB in their letter dated November 24, 2014. We have not taken the recommendations lightly and have reviewed them for their well-intentioned benefits. Part of our review has included the referenced accident involving the Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter in March of 2013. Keeping the purpose of the recommendations in mind, as well as our already high commitment to safety, we must mention that a considerable obstacle to implementation of several of the proposed measures is cost. Many states and their government agencies have fiscal challenges, and the Kansas Highway Patrol is no exception. While a price cannot be put on a life, we have a responsibility to the public we serve with the very nature of the services we provide, as well as to the employees we request to carry out those services. In return for our responses, we would very much appreciate reciprocation by being provided the responses of other agencies from other states as well. Their opinions and recommendations could be quite valuable. This would also encourage an open dialogue without unintentionally suppressing potentially innovative methods to pursue best practices in a more cost effective manner. KHP aircraft utilize flight-following procedures when filed for Instrument Flight Rules {IFR). Flight- following with air traffic control for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) is seldom used as it is not practical for law enforcement search operations. KHP Central Dispatch provides law enforcement communications to each tactical aircraft, but does not have the capability to track any of our aircraft through a GPS based system. Specialized equipment would be required in order to comply with this recommendation; however the considerable expense, for which there is no existing funding, may not be realistic or justifiable.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Kentucky
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106. We issued these recommendations to the commonwealth of Kentucky on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Louisiana
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Louisiana on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Louisiana on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maine
Date: 7/5/2018
Response: On March 26, 2018, Major Christopher Grotton, MSP, informed our staff that the MSP operates two fixed wing aircraft, mostly for law enforcement missions. Major Grotton reported that the MSP does not operate any helicopters, but that the Maine Forest Service operates helicopters. On April 5, 2018, Mr. John Crowley, Maine Forest Service, informed our staff that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is the state organization responsible for conducting SAR missions; however, because the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not operate any helicopters, the Maine Forest Service assists with SAR missions that require the use of helicopters. Because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct helicopter SAR operations, we believe that the Maine Forest Service is the appropriate state organization to respond to Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, and Mr. Crowley informed us that he is in the process of developing a response. Pending our receipt of this information, Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106 remain classified OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: State of Maine
To: NTSB
Date: 2/12/2018
Response: -From Major Christopher Grotton, Maine State Police, Support Services Division: This letter is in response to the NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13-21 and A-14-100 through -106 issued to the State of Maine in an August 2017 letter to Governor LePage. The Maine State Police Air Wing has a small profile within the overall scope of aviation operations conducted within the State of Maine. We have two fixed wing aircraft in our inventory with no rotary wing asset. Our core mission is primarily traffic related flights which are conducted during the daylight and in VFR conditions only. Any night VFR or day/night IFR flights that are requested would typically be administrative in nature and would be conducted operating under part 91 regulations. When requested, we assist other aviation assets and agencies within the state under the conditions that the flight can be done within the confines of our Standard Operating Procedures Manual and our General Orders that pertains to the Air Wing. Any search and rescue mission that we would be involved in would be conducted during daylight VFR only conditions. Our aircraft are equipped with wheels only and are not allowed to perform "off-site" landings. We are restricted to published airports only. Those flights would also be conducted utilizing part 91 regulations. I am in hopes that this information provides some context for our air operations and the applicability of the recommendations in your August 2017 letter. Our responses (below) to each of your recommendations are crafted within the context of our mission. This is covered in the Maine State Police Air Wing SOP. The operators of the aircraft are required to flight- follow, not only with our agencies dispatch, but with the applicable controlling agency covering the area they are working in.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maine
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Maine on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Maine on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland
Date: 7/15/2015
Response: We understand that the MSP developed and implemented the recommended formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures, which are functions of the MSP System Communications Center, before we issued this recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Maryland
To: NTSB
Date: 3/25/2015
Response: From Michael W. DeRuggiero, Safety Management Officer, Aviation Command, Maryland State Police: In an effort to address NTSB recommendation A-09-132, The Maryland Institute of Emergency Medicine Services System (MIEMSS) in conjunction with the Maryland State Police Aviation Command (MSP AC) began utilizing a formalized dispatch and flight-following "Systems Communication Center" (SYSCOM) in 1989. A MSPAC Duty Officer (DO) is tasked with dispatching all flight requests (HEMS, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security) to MSPAC flight crews. Since 2008, all SYSCOM DOs and civilian Flight Communication Specialists involved in aviation mission management have been certified by the National Association of Air Medical Communication Specialists as "Certified Flight Communicators." Key supervisory personnel have attained additional certification as "Operational Control Specialists." All flight communications personnel assigned to SYSCOM must complete quarterly recurrent training to maintain their certification. Formalized dispatch and flight-following services provided by SYSCOM Duty Officers (DOs) to MSPAC flightcrews include the following: • Flight Following (A W-139): "Sky Track Systems" received supplemental type certification (STC) for the installation of its automated flight following and satellite communications equipment on the A W-139 helicopter and is utilized by SYSCOM to flight follow and track all MSPAC A W -139 helicopters. Flight tracking data received by the Sky Track Systems is "overlayed" onto an electronic Washington Sectional chart or Goggle Earth map, projected onto one or more a large video screens and is tracked in real time by the DO and Communications Specialists on duty at SYSCOM. Additional Services Available to MSPAC Flightcrews via SYSCOM: • Provide up to date weather information obtained from FAA approved weather sources to the flightcrews, when requested. • Assist the flightcrews with in-flight risk assessment by providing information on alternates available in the event that a transport cannot be completed to the intended destination as flight planned. • Develop and provide a flightcrew with a "Minimum Safe Cruising Altitude" for CFIT avoidance (per Operational Specification A-021) upon request. • Provide a communication "patch" between MSP AC flightcrews and ground providers enabling the flightcrews to communicate directly with those tasked with securing the LZ for the helicopter.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the commonwealth of Massachusetts on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Michigan
Date: 9/16/2015
Response: We are also pleased to learn that the MSP Aviation Unit’s operations manual contains formal dispatch and flight-following procedures for assessing risk and responding to incidents, that MSP’s dispatchers are assisted by a computer-aided dispatch system and flight tracking software, that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that tactical flight officers are trained in accessing this information to assist pilots during times of high workload. Because these measures were in place before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Michigan
To: NTSB
Date: 6/29/2015
Response: -From Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director, Michigan State Police: Included in the Aviation Unit Operations Manual are instructions for flight crews to communicate with dispatchers prior to take-off and upon landing of each flight. Flight crews are instructed to provide dispatch wit'1 the aircraft call sign, crew, passenger information, route of flight, and what frequency or talk group they will be monitoring. Additionally, all aircraft are equipped with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) that transmits real-time updates of the aircrafts location. Operations center dispatchers have been instructed on how to obtain aviation weather reports and read them to pilots in-flight for assistance with flight risk assessment decisions.

From: NTSB
To: State of Michigan
Date: 6/10/2015
Response: We note that MSP aircrews are required to communicate all flight information to the MSP Operations Unit and that the MSP currently has flight risk assessment and TFO programs in place. However, we would also like to know whether (1) formal procedures are in place to ensure that flight-following is provided for the entire duration of all flights by trained dispatchers, (2) the MSP uses flight tracking technology, and (3) real-time weather information is available to aircrews in the cockpit. We encourage the MSP to review the guidance contained in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains guidance for developing acceptable dispatch and flight following procedures that is also useful for SAR operations. Pending our review of MSP procedures that address these concerns or plans to implement such procedures, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Michigan
To: NTSB
Date: 1/23/2015
Response: -From Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director, Michigan State Police and Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation: • The MSP Aviation Unit has standard policies in place that require each aircrew to coordinate all aviation flights with the MSP Operations Unit, located within the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center (MIOC). The MIOC is Michigan's fusion center for homeland security and is a 24/7/365 all hazards operation. Air crews are required to communicate all flight information to the Operations Unit, to include the type of mission, all takeoffs and landings, destination; crew members and passengers aboard, radio" frequencies monitored, and estimated times of arrival. The Operations Unit monitors current weather conditions and serves as a resource for flight crews to monitor current conditions and any other event that may impact flight safety. • MDOT Aero has formalized dispatch and flight procedures in place including a dedicated flight dispatcher position. Procedures are being reviewed and updated during the SMS process.

From: NTSB
To: State of Missouri
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Missouri on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Missouri on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Mississippi
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Mississippi on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Mississippi on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Minnesota
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: We note that the MSP follows FAA protocol for traffic control and communicates with police dispatch for flight-following; however, we would like to know whether the MSP has formal procedures in place that ensure flight-following is provided for the entire duration of all flights by trained dispatchers who can assist the flight crew with flight risk assessment. We encourage the MSP to review FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains guidance for developing acceptable dispatch and flight-following procedures that is also useful for SAR operations. Pending our review of MSP procedures that address these concerns, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN-ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Minnesota
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/2015
Response: -From Colonel Matthew C. Langer, Chief, Minnesota State Patrol: We currently follow FAA protocol for traffic control, and communicate with police dispatch for flight following.

From: NTSB
To: State of Montana
Date: 10/26/2017
Response: We note that the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) operates two aircraft for law enforcement missions; however, as Mr. John Spencer, MHP, informed our staff on October 4, 2017, SAR operations are not the MHP’s primary mission, but fall under the purview of the county sheriff’s offices. We believe that all air operations could benefit from the safety improvements specified in these recommendations, and we urge the state of Montana to make the recommended safety improvements to all its air operations. However, because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct helicopter SAR operations, Safety Recommendations A 14-100 through -106 are classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Montana
To: NTSB
Date: 8/18/2017
Response: -From Mike Tooley, Director, Montana Department of Transportation: The State of Montana appreciates the leadership your agency has provided to enhance and promote the safety of law enforcement public aircraft operations across the nation. The Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) operates a 1971 Bell OH-58A helicopter and a 1978 Cessna 182-RG airplane in its law enforcement mission, with a single officer responsible for all flying duties. Total flight hours are less than 100 hours per year. The MHP flight department has considered the NTSB Safety Recommendations and has implemented them in the following manner: Flight following is done through the highway patrol dispatch, and real-time weather information is provided in the cockpit by Sirius XM satellite connection.

From: NTSB
To: State of Montana
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106. We issued these recommendations to the state of Montana on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue (SAR) flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nebraska
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nevada
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Nevada on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Nevada on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Hampshire
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of New Hampshire on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of New Hampshire on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 6/24/2015
Response: We understand that NJSP dispatchers provide flight-following for the entire duration of flights and are assisted by a satellite tracking application. We also note that the NJSP has procedures for assessing risk, that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that all SAR flights are conducted with dual pilots. These actions satisfy the intent of this recommendation; however, because they were implemented before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 2/26/2015
Response: -From Joseph R. Fuentes, Colonel, Superintendent: The New Jersey State Police Aviation Bureau uses formalized dispatch criteria, flight following procedures, and flight risk assessments. All flights are dispatched and monitored through the Aviation Central Unit and/or the Regional Emergency Medical Communications System (REMCS). All A W139 aircraft are equipped with Outerlink and flight following is performed by REMCS utilizing Outerlink.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Mexico
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of New Mexico on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of New Mexico on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of New York
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of New York on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of New York on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of “Open—Await Response.” For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Carolina
Date: 6/10/2015
Response: We note that SHP dispatchers provide flight-following for the entire duration of flights through two-way radio communication and that dispatchers are assisted by flight tracking software and a computer-aided display. We also note that procedures are in place for assessing risk, and that flight crews have access to up to-date weather information. Although we appreciate SHP’s taking these measures, we would like to know whether dispatchers are trained in aviation operations to assist flight crews with flight risk assessment decisions. Pending our receipt and review of this additional information, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of North Carolina
To: NTSB
Date: 2/5/2015
Response: -From William Grey, Colonel, Commanding, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, State Highway Patrol: 1. All flights must (by SOP) have a flight plan entered into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. 2. All flights must be approved by a member of the Patrol who is not on the flight. Approval is not necessarily a “yes or no” statement. Approval may be granted by any member of Aircraft Operations, a Commissioned or non-Commissioned officer of Troop I, or the State Duty Officer. 3. Pilots-in-Command are required (by SOP) to provide an hourly update via radio to a Highway Patrol Communications Center. These updates include a verbal declaration of ”Operations Normal”, the current county of operation and an approximate location using available landmarks. PICs may additionally provide their direction of travel, a set of GPS coordinates and the remaining fuel load. 4. Pilots are mandated to use Spidertracks fleet tracking devices. We currently have three devices in use. One is permanently mounted in the rescue aircraft. The western and eastern duty stations have a removable device that can be switched between aircraft. Spidertracks can be monitored from SHP networked computers, privately owned computers or privately owned iPhones. Pilots have also been instructed (by memorandum) to have the Spidertracks device conduct “push” notifications to Unit supervisors at takeoff and landing for all flights. 5. All aircraft have GPS devices that receive textual and overlay weather information via satellite from a commercial vendor.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Dakota
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106. We issued these recommendations to the state of North Dakota on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Ohio
Date: 3/17/2015
Response: We note that your dispatchers provide flight-following for the entire duration of flights through two-way communication and that dispatchers are assisted by a computer-aided display. We also note that you have procedures for assessing risk and responding to incidents and that up to-date weather information is available in the cockpit. Although these measures are responsive to the recommendation, we note that your dispatchers are not trained in aviation operations and cannot assist flight crews with flight risk assessment decisions. We point out that reliance on nonaviation-trained dispatchers for dispatch and flight-following support does not ensure that flight crews have qualified assistance with flight risk assessment tasks. Therefore, we encourage you to train your dispatchers so that they can assist flight crews with flight risk assessment decisions. Pending our receipt of future updates regarding your progress to address this concern and completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Ohio
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/2014
Response: -From Cari R. Maines, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Office of the Superintendent: The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Section was started in 1947 with the approval of Senate Bill 221. The following year we made the purchase of one fixed wing bonanza. The original mission intent was for disaster relief, air searches, transportation, aerial photography, and errands of mercy. We had one aircraft and one pilot. Today, 67 years later, we have 16 pilots, 1 office assistant, and 16 aircraft. Annually, we log around 7,000 flight hours. Our fleet includes: • 2 Cessna 172R Skyhawk fixed wing airplanes • 2 Cessna 182S Skylane fixed wing airplanes • 9 Cessna 182T Skylane fixed wing airplanes • 1 Cessna 208B Caravan fixed wing airplane • 2 American Eurocopter AS350B2 helicopters Our primary mission is aerial traffic enforcement, and it comprises approximately 85% of our flight time. The remaining flight time is spent conducting other missions, including: • Searches (stranded motorists, downed aircraft, lost children, elderly walkaways, drowning victims, manhunts, etc.) • Surveillance (criminal interdiction, reconnaissance) • Photo flights (crashes, evidentiary, reconnaissance) • Drug interdiction flights including marijuana eradication • Emergency transportation (personnel, blood relays) • Special response team operations • Training Since our inception, we have suffered three crashes. Two of those were fatal fixed wing crashes (1970 & 1976) and the other was a minor injury helicopter crash in 1993. Since 1976, we have accumulated over 250,000 hours of accident free fixed wing flight. Our operations are a bit unique compared to most state agencies. We only use personnel assigned to the Aviation Section as part of our flight crew. Every Trooper / Pilot has spent time in the field as a State Trooper. State Troopers applying for a Trooper/Pilot position must possess a Private Pilot’s License (Airplane – Single Engine Land) with an Instrument Rating prior to appointment. After spending some time in the Section, some of our pilots are then trained as Tactical Flight Officers. Our helicopter pilots are also chosen from among the Section’s fixed wing pilots. We make a concerted effort to make safety our highest priority. We believe that “If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.” We are proud to say that every recommendation issued was either current practice or being developed. The following paragraphs summarize the actions we have planned and/or taken during implementation of the NTSB recommendations. All of our aircraft are equipped with 800 MHz programmable MARCs radios. This is our primary means of communication with ground units and dispatch throughout the state. The MARCs radio system was designed as a ground-based radio system. They remain operable regardless of how low we fly. Every flight we conduct is logged by our Division dispatchers using the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. They log the times to and from our facilities as well as when the aircraft are on the ground for any reason. Our flight crews have the ability to call any dispatch center throughout the state at any time and request an update on developing weather. Our main hangar office serves as the primary source of up-to-date weather information and flight risk decision assistance for our flight operations. When the main office is not staffed, our dispatch facilities serve to fill this operation. Dispatchers will relay information to/from the Aviation Section Commander, the Flight Safety Officer, and directly to the pilots. All of our pilots are issued a Garmin Aera 510 GPS. These are mounted in the aircraft and receive satellite based weather information. This technology allows the pilot to have up-to-date weather, including NEXRAD RADAR imaging, in the cockpit. Pilots are also encouraged to call Flight Watch (122.0) or any ATC facility to request a weather update. Beginning January 1, 2015, as part of the initial phase of our flight risk evaluation program, we are implementing new protocol for our flight crews and dispatchers. When the Section office is unstaffed, we will require the dispatch center to provide checkups on aircraft that are involved in search operations. Pilots will provide dispatchers with an ETA to/from incident locations. Dispatchers will then provide checkups for those flight crews based on a time cycle basis. If any dynamic of the mission changes, dispatchers will provide communication relays between flight crews and the Aviation Section Commander or the Flight Safety Officer to obtain approval before continuing the mission.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oklahoma
Date: 12/15/2017
Response: Although we are encouraged to learn that the OHP’s standard operating procedures include formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures, we would like to know if your dispatchers are trained in aviation operations, and if they are able to assist flight crews with assessing forecast weather conditions or if real-time weather is available in the cockpit. In addition, we believe that the flight risk evaluation program recommended in Safety Recommendation A-14-100 needs to be implemented to fully satisfy Safety Recommendation A-14-101. Pending the completion of that action and our review of the requested information, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Oklahoma
To: NTSB
Date: 8/16/2017
Response: -From Michael C. Thompson, Commissioner, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety: This recommendation was in place prior to the NTSB notice. The OHP Air Support Section policies traditionally require all missions conducted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Air Support Section to be dispatched through the department's chain of command beginning at the command level of authority. Once requested through the command staff the flight decision is handed to the Air Supp01i commander who will weigh the circumstances of the request to ensure compliance with state statutes, review the weather and equipment conditions then assign a qualified pilot for the mission. The final "go - no go" decision belongs solely to the pilot in command of the aircraft who make a second weather evaluation. Additionally, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol maintains a "two to go, one to say no" policy where flights may only be accepted when both pilots certify the weather, equipment and personal limitations to be safe for flight. These policies are on-going and have been in place since the air support section was created in the 1950's. Pilots are not permitted to self-dispatch and all missions may be suspended by any of three levels of authority including the agency command staff, section command or by the pilot in command of the aircraft. The use of flight-following procedures are required and is utilized for all flights operating in any region where flight following radar is available. *Flight following in some portions of the state is limited due to altitude and terrain. Electronic flight progression is required by the section's standard operating procedures. Moreover, use of internal flight following procedures are required under the standard operating procedures for the air support section of the agency and is monitored by the Air Support Commander.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oklahoma
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106. We issued these recommendations to the state of Oklahoma on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of “Open—Await Response.” For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Oregon on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Oregon on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of “Open—Await Response.” For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 1/19/2018
Response: We note that, prior to 2013, the PSP implemented formalized dispatch and flight following procedures, including two-way communications for the duration of a flight. We further note that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that search missions are conducted with dual pilots. Because these measures were in place before we issued Safety Recommendation A-14-101, the recommendation is classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
To: NTSB
Date: 11/2/2017
Response: -Leslie S. Richards, Secretary Department of Transportation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: PennDOT flight operations are conducted under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) which includes direct flight handling and tracking with FAA air traffic control. Pilots are able to access current weather information using on-board Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. Five of the eight recommendations were applicable to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP): A-14-102, A-14-103, A-14-104, A-14-105 and A-14-106. The following is PSP's response to the five recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Date: 6/10/2015
Response: We note that the PRPD’s dispatch center maintains constant communication with flight crews, has access to weather information, and coordinates with ground first responders. We also note that your crew chiefs are trained to assist the pilot with flight risk assessment tasks. Although we appreciate these measures, we are concerned that the PRPD does not have a formal flight risk evaluation program that includes the use of a risk assessment matrix, as described above in our response to Safety Recommendation A-14-100. In addition, we would like to know whether the PRPD dispatch center uses flight tracking technology to assist in providing flight following. Pending our review of this additional information and the PRPD’s implementation of a flight risk evaluation program, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
To: NTSB
Date: 2/23/2015
Response: -From Jose L. Caldero Lopez, P.R.P.D. Superintendent, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: Maintain a Dispatch Center which is constantly in communication with crews during aerial operations, giving them support throughout the mission. Such Dispatch Center maintains: a- Communication with crews during each mission b- Constant information on weather conditions c- Coordination with air and ground operations d- Security logistics between land and air units e- Coordination's of re-fueling service for the aircrafts during missions f- Coordination's with the first responders on land if necessary

From: NTSB
To: State of South Carolina
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of South Carolina on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of South Carolina on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Dakota
Date: 2/22/2018
Response: On January 16, 2018, Mr. Ron Hauck, Aviation Service, South Dakota Department of Transportation, infomed our staff that the South Dakota Highway Patrol operates fixed wing aircraft for law enforcement missions; however, the state does not operate any helicopters. We believe that all air operations could benefit from the safety improvements specified in these recommendations, and we urge the state of South Dakota to make the recommended safety improvements to its air operations. However, because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct helicopter SAR operations, Safety Recommendations A 14-100 through -106 are classified CLOSED--RECONSIDERED.

From: State of South Dakota
To: NTSB
Date: 11/21/2017
Response: -From Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota: As to recommendations A-13-21 and A-14-100 through -106, the South Dakota Highway Patrol has reviewed the recommendations, as well as the NTSB accident report, NTSB/AAR-14/03 PB2014-108877, including the findings, probable cause, and recommendations contained in that report. All flight operations conducted by the state of South Dakota are conducted under FAR Part 91 Rules and all FAR 91 Rules are currently being complied with. South Dakota will continue to conduct all flight operations in accordance with all federal aviation regulations.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Dakota
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of South Dakota on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of South Dakota on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of “Open—Await Response.” For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Tennessee
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Tennessee on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Tennessee on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 5/18/2016
Response: We are encouraged to learn that the DPS has implemented a policy requiring its communication facilities to conduct hourly status checks of airborne DPS flights and a formal incident response protocol if communication is lost and cannot be reestablished. We are concerned, however, that an hour between status checks is too long. We note that you are considering a revision to your policy that would increase the frequency of reporting to every 30 minutes, which we believe is appropriate; accordingly, we encourage the DPS to make this change. Pending such a revision, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 3/15/2016
Response: -From Steven C. McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety: Following the guidance of the Aircraft Operations Division (AOD) administration, to include the Safety/Training Staff and Team, a comprehensive Flight Status Reporting policy was launched as suggested by the NTSB's September 3, 2015 letter. In cooperation with the Texas DPS Law Enforcement Support Division (LESD), directing the communication facilities across the state, the following policy was adopted and implemented on October 2, 2015. Chapter 4.40.04 Flight Status Reporting with DPS Communications. Aircraft crews will contact DPS Communications upon takeoff and advise the call sign of the aircraft, Radio ID number of DPS crewmembers, total number on board, destination, and whether Communication Status Reporting will be required. If the aircraft will not be using an FAA flight plan or the Air Traffic Control Radar Traffic Information System (Flight Following), DPS Communications will check the crew's status every hour while the aircraft is airborne. For aircraft that travel from radio coverage of one facility to radio coverage of another facility, crewmembers will advise the Communication station they are leaving the frequency to the next Communication facility. To confirm the handoff of the transitioning aircraft, the former Communications facility will notify the receiving Communications facility of the aircraft call sign, Radio ID number of crewmembers, number on board, and destination of the transitioning aircraft. The receiving Communications facility will conduct status checks eve1y hour until the aircraft lands or flies out of the radio coverage area to be passed onto the next Communication facility. With termination of the flight the aircraft crew will advise the Communications facility that landing is assured, at which point no further status checks will be conducted. If a flight crew does not respond to a status check in a timely manne1~ a text will be sent to the crewmembers advising of the lost communication. After an additional 30 minutes of no response from the crew, the local Aircraft Operations Captain or the crewmember's chain of command will be notified. It is the intent of AOD and LESD administrators to formally meet at the end of the six month implementation period to discuss relevant changes to improve the policy. One such change under consideration will be to increase the frequency of reporting form 1 hour to 30 minutes intervals.

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 9/4/2015
Response: -From Greg Abbott, Governor: Thank you for your letter addressed to former Governor Rick Perry regarding NTSB Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through 106. I am sharing your letter with the Texas Department of Transportation's Aviation Division, which will coordinate with my office in discussing the flight safety issues you addressed. Please let me know if I can assist you in the future.

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 9/3/2015
Response: We note that the DPS plans to review its flight-following procedures to ensure that (1) dispatchers maintain communication for the entire duration of flights and (2) a formal incident response protocol is in place if communication is lost and cannot be reestablished. Pending our review of the procedures once that review is complete, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 6/19/2015
Response: -From Steven C. McCraw, Director: We do believe that the fully staffed dispatching center as described in AC 120-96 adds value to a crew during high workload operations, but DPS does not have the available full time employee positions to adequately support that type of operation. However, DPS Communications can easily patch the crew to the crew's supervisor. Due to the supervisor being personally familiar with the crew, helicopter, and operating environment that supervisor is the best resource to supply meaningful assistance. Unlike most EMS organizations, all DPS supervisors are on call 24/7. Our Chief pilot frequently receives calls from supervisors to assist them and their crews in making operational decisions at all times of the day and night. As stated in the earlier response dated 12/10/2014, half of our aircraft (which includes 10 of the 15 helicopters) have satellite flight following, onboard cell phones and satellite phones patched through the aircraft's audio panel. In addition to those aircraft phones, each pilot has a cell phone that can Bluetooth connect to the helmet or headset. All of the aircraft have satellite weather via Chelton, Bendix-King, and/or Garmin displays. In the past, there were days when little to no information was available for the aircrew. In the late 1990s Aircraft Operations issued cell phones to all crewmembers and placed Garmin/XM portable displays in every aircraft for real-time radar, in route and airport weather. The issuance of the cell phones was considered a luxury by the DPS administration, but Aircraft Operations believed it to be an important link for the crew to the supervisor's assistance when needed. Today, we have made every effort in acquiring state-of-the-art technology to assist the crew; realizing that good timely information is the key to intelligent decision making, and intelligent decision making is the key to safety.

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 4/27/2015
Response: We note that you are in the process of equipping all of your aircraft with flight-tracking capability, that up-to-date weather information is available in the cockpit, and that tactical flight officers (TFO) are trained in accessing this information to assist the pilot during periods of high workload. Although we appreciate your taking these measures, we point out that the intent of this recommendation is for operators to establish formal procedures to ensure that flight-following is provided for the entire duration of all flights by trained dispatchers who can assist the flight crew with flight risk assessment tasks. Accordingly, we encourage you to review FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains guidance for developing acceptable dispatch and flight-following procedures that is also useful to SAR operations. Pending our review of your procedures that address these concerns, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 1/5/2015
Response: -From Steven C. McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety: DPS crews use local DPS Communication facilities to relay mission activities such as; departure, destination, and estimated time back to the duty station. Twelve of the twenty-three aircraft are equipped with Guardian Mobility; a satellite tracking service that reports the aircraft position every 2 minutes and actively plots the aircraft on a moving map. As aircraft are replaced, new aircraft will be equipped with the tracking system. Each DPS aircraft has a Garmin 396 or similar device that receives updated weather from reporting facilities and all crews use Air Traffic Control flight following when available.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 12/28/2017
Response: Although we are encouraged to learn that the Aero Bureau’s procedures address formalized dispatch and flight-following, we would like to know if dispatchers are trained in aviation operations, and if they are able to assist flight crews with assessing forecast weather conditions or if real-time weather information is available in the cockpit. Pending our review of the requested information, Safety Recommendation A-14-101 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Utah
To: NTSB
Date: 9/27/2017
Response: -From Keith D. Squires, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety: There is a formal requirement for using dispatch centers for opening flight plans and flight-following using aircraft radios. There is also a formal digital notification system that alerts the chain of command including the Commissioner of Public Safety when flights are initiated, concluded, and reports the outcome.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 2 years ago. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Date: 8/3/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the commonwealth of Virginia on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the commonwealth of Virginia on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Washington
Date: 9/16/2015
Response: We note that the WSP’s Aviation Section does not conduct SAR operations; however, we believe that all air operations could benefit from the safety improvements specified in these recommendations. Because these recommendations were specifically aimed at public operators who conduct SAR operations, however, Safety Recommendations A 14-100, -101 and -103 through -106 are classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: State of Washington
To: NTSB
Date: 7/29/2015
Response: -From Lieutenant D. Jim Nobach: Reference our phone conversation on Monday, July 27, 2015 concerning follow-up information regarding the A-14-100 questions, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Aviation Section does not actively engage in Search and Rescue operations. Therefore, the follow-up information previously requested is no longer required of the WSP. At this time we will consider all A-14-100-106 related requests of WSP satisfied. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Washington State Patrol Aviation Section.

From: NTSB
To: State of Washington
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: We note that WSP’s communication centers use flight-tracking technology to provide flight following and that real-time weather information is available to aircrews in the cockpit. We are concerned, however, that WSP pilots may not have assistance with flight risk assessment decisions on all SAR flights. We point out that individuals who could provide such assistance include a second pilot, a tactical flight officer (TFO), or dispatchers who are familiar with, and have been trained to assist with, aviation operations. We encourage WSP to review FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-96, Integration of Operations Control Centers into Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operation, which contains guidance for developing acceptable dispatch and flight following procedures that is also useful for SAR operations. Pending our review of WSP procedures that address these concerns or plans to implement such procedures, Safety Recommendation A 14-101 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Washington
To: NTSB
Date: 2/20/2015
Response: -From Lieutenant Jim Nobach, Washington State Patrol (WSP) Aviation Chief Pilot: Regarding WSP Communication Centers and Flight Following procedures, WSP aircrafts are assigned sequential unique numbers issued under a letter of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA registration numbers associated with the WSP call signs are on file in WSP Communication Centers. During normal operations, all Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flights are tracked by internal Communications Centers with information that consists of departure, aircraft call sign, aircrew by badge number, destination, and estimated time of arrival. As a statewide operator, upon arrival at the destination, the local WSP Communications Center is advised of the aircraft call sign and status (landing or on station for mission). If an aircraft is 30 -minutes past due from the estimated arrival time, an automated “aircraft overdue” notification is generated at the arrival Communications Center. When an overdue aircraft notification is received, the Communications Center will status the aircraft on the local area frequency to verify arrival. If no reply is received, the Communications Center will advise the Aviation Section Commander of the overdue report. Additionally, GPS tracker systems are utilized on aircraft for tracking purposes. In-flight weather is obtained through Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) capabilities issued to all pilots that include ADS-B receivers for all aircraft.

From: NTSB
To: State of West Virginia
Date: 8/1/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of West Virginia on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of West Virginia on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.

From: NTSB
To: State of Wisconsin
Date: 8/2/2017
Response: This letter addresses NTSB Safety Recommendations A-13 21 and A-14-100 through -106. We issued A-13-21 to the state of Wisconsin on May 15, 2013, as a result of our investigations of three accidents in which airplanes inadvertently collided with meteorological evaluation towers, fatally injuring four people. We issued A-14-100 through -106 to the state of Wisconsin on November 24, 2014, as a result of our investigation of the March 30, 2013, accident in which a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search-and-rescue flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others, and we normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years. We have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations, which were issued more than 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, these recommendations will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about Safety Recommendation A-13-21, please refer to our May 15, 2013, recommendation transmittal letter. For additional background information about Safety Recommendations A-14-100 through -106, please refer to pages 54 through 63 of our Alaska Department of Public Safety Eurocopter accident report.