Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-16-039
Synopsis: On November 10, 2015, about 1453 eastern standard time, Execuflight flight 1526, a British Aerospace HS 125-700A (Hawker 700A), N237WR, departed controlled flight while on a nonprecision localizer approach to runway 25 at Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR) and impacted a four-unit apartment building in Akron, Ohio. The captain, first officer, and seven passengers died; no one on the ground was injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Rais Group International NC LLC and operated by Execuflight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, Dayton, Ohio, about 1413 and was destined for AKR.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121, 135, and 91 subpart K operators and 14 CFR Part 142 training centers to train flight crews in the performance and use of the continuous descent final approach technique as their primary means for conducting nonprecision approaches.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Akron, OH, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: CEN16MA036
Accident Reports: Crash During Nonprecision Instrument Approach to Landing Execuflight Flight 1526 British Aerospace HS 125-700A, N237WR
Report #: AAR-16-03
Accident Date: 11/10/2015
Issue Date: 11/7/2016
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 4/6/2017
Response: The NTSB has long been a proponent of the CDFA technique for nonprecision approaches. Beginning with our investigation of the November 12, 1995, crash involving American Airlines flight 1572, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, which struck trees while on approach to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, we have finished five major aviation accident investigations in which the failure to use CDFA during a nonprecision approach was an issue, and we have issued eight safety recommendations regarding CDFA use. To address the issue, you issued Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 09011, Parts 121 and 135 Operators Using Constant Angle of Descents Techniques for Nonprecision Approaches, on May 21, 2009, which recommended that Part 121 and 135 operators always use a CDFA technique when conducting nonprecision approaches; and on January 20, 2011, you issued Advisory Circular (AC) 120-108, Continuous Descent Final Approach, to promote the CDFA technique. However, you decided not to require the use of CDFA. Our investigation of the Execuflight accident in Akron revealed that, despite SAFO 09011 and AC 120-108, neither pilot had been trained on how to use the CDFA technique. At the time of the accident, Execuflight’s FAA-approved flight crew training did not require training in the CDFA technique. Flight crew training programs for Part 135 flight crews are currently both required and approved by the FAA. Existing FAA guidance in AC 120 108 states that operators should incorporate training on CDFA in those elements of their training programs where nonprecision approaches are performed and evaluated, and that operators should revise their flight manuals and SOPs to identify CDFA as a standard method of performing nonprecision approaches. As a result, we believe that within current rules and regulations, an FAA inspector is justified in including the recommended CDFA technique in any Part 135 training program that the inspector approves. In your letter, you said that you are reviewing your current guidance and you will examine “the prevalence of flight crew use of CDFA as a primary means for conducting nonprecision approaches to determine the feasibility of initiating rulemaking.” Although we believe that determining the prevalence of flight crew use of CDFA is valuable if the examination includes Part 135 operators, we do not believe any rulemaking is necessary to take the recommended action. Please tell us what information you will review to determine the prevalence CDFA use by flight crews operating under Part 135. We emphasize that, for this review to be part of an acceptable action to satisfy this recommendation, the examination must include Part 135 flight crews. Pending completion of your examination of the prevalence of flight crew (including Part 135 flight crew) use of CDFA as a primary means for conducting nonprecision approaches, and action to require the recommended training, Safety Recommendation A-16-39 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 1/9/2017
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: An AEG is currently investigating this matter to determine the various deviations related to the term ·'landing assurance." In addition, we are reviewing the current guidance for parts 121.135, and 91 subpart K operators and for part 142 training centers. We will also examine the prevalence of flight crew use of the continuous descent final approach technique as a primary means for conducting nonprecision approaches to determine the feasibility of initiating rulemaking.