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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-70-054
Details
Synopsis: A TRANS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES DOUGLAS DC-8-63F, N4863T, FERRY FLIGHT 863 CRASHED DURING TAKEOFF AT JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, NEW YORK, AT 1606 E.S.T., SEPTEMBER 8, 1970. APPROXIMATELY 1,500 FEET AFTER STARTING TAKEOFF, THE AIRCRAFT ROTATED TO A NOSE-HIGH ATTITUDE. AFTER 2,800 FEET OF TAKEOFF ROLL, THE AIRCRAFT BECAME AIRBORNE AND CONTINUED TO ROTATE SLOWLY TO AN ATTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 60 DEGREES TO 90 DEGREES ABOVE THE HORIZONTAL AT AN ALTITUDE ESTIMATED TO HAVE BEEN BETWEEN 300 AND 500 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. THE AIRCRAFT ROLLED ABOUT 20 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT, ROLLED BACK TO THE LEFT TO AN APPROXIMATE VERTICAL ANGLE OF BANK, AND FELL TO THE GROUND IN THAT ATTITUDE. THE AIRCRAFT WAS DESTROYED BY IMPACTAND POST IMPACT FIRE. ELEVEN CREWMEMBERS, THE ONLY OCCUPANTS OF THE AIRCRAFT, DIED IN THE ACCIDENT.
Recommendation: A. ALL DC-8 OPERATORS BE ADVISED OF THE HAZARDOUS CONDITION THAT CAN BE CREATED BY FOREIGN OBJECT JAMMING OF THE AIRCRAFT'S ELEVATORS. B. UNTIL ADEQUATE PROCEDURES ARE DEVELOPED FOR POSITIVE CHECK OF ELEVATOR POSITION, ALL DC-8 OPERATORS BE ADVISED THAT TAKEOFF SHOULD BE ABORTED WHENEVER PREMATURE OR UNACCEPTABLE ROTATION OF THE AIRCRAFT OCCURS DURING TAKEOFF. C. THE DC-8 FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM BEEVALUATED BY THE FAA IN THE INTEREST OF DEVELOPING A STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR CHECKING THE SYSTEM FROM THE COCKPIT. THE PROCEDURE SHOULD PROVIDE FOR POSITIVE DETECTION OF A JAMMED ELEVATOR. D. CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN FOR A REQUIREMENT TO INSTALL AN ELEVATOR POSITION INDICATOR IN THE COCKPIT OF ALL DC-8 AIRCRAFT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Jamaica, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79693
Accident Reports: Trans International Airlines Corp., Ferry Flight 863, Douglas DC-8-63F, N4883T
Report #: AAR-71-12
Accident Date: 9/8/1970
Issue Date: 10/21/1970
Date Closed: 2/18/1972
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/18/1972
Response: Closed Acceptable Action

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/8/1971
Response: The FAA reported that Douglas has developed check procedures involving control yoke and movement to check for elevator movement and jamming prior to takeoff. This pre- takeoff check made by the pilot will provide adequate assurance that there is proper elevator control for flight. FAA believes actions taken thus far are consonant with the Board's first three recommendations. In regard to the fourth recommendation, i.e., for the installation of an elevator position indicator in the cockpit, the FAA believes that due to the design of the elevator controls, the usefulness and value of such a position indicator would not justify the large cost and complexities of installation and would only duplicate the information provided by other checks. The FAA states it has evaluated other makes of transports and because of differences in design, it cannot conceive of the elevators jamming due to external foreign objects.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/20/1970
Response: FAA issued Air Carrier Operations Alert Bulletin No. 70-2 for inclusion in DC-8 checklists. Procedure requires physical movement of elevator yoke to forward stop and aft stop. If the full yoke stop is not reached in either case, this could indicate a control restriction and flight should not be made until further control checks verify complete freedom of movement. The Douglas Company will expand, in a "know your DC-8" letter, operators urged to include procedures in flight manuals and checklists. Note to File: On December 18, 1970, FAA and NTSB representatives met to discuss implementation of recommendation. 1. NTSB was made aware of FAA's Air Carrier Operations Alert Bulletin dated December 1, 1970. 2. The decision to abort is a complex one with many variables and to arbitrarily say "abort" could lead to further serious difficulties. First, that takeoff should be aborted whenever premature or unacceptable rotation of the aircraft occurs during takeoff and, second, applying this philosophy only to DC-8 operators, needs some clarification. The Board is requested to provide the benefit of its thinking as to how this can be applied. 3. FAA's Western Region representatives had advised that if the controls were moved from "stop to stop," such checks would prove an adequate procedure to detect the pressure of a jammed elevator. 4. FAA representatives did not believe there was adequate justification for an elevator position indicator in the cockpit.