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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-79-080
Details
Synopsis: THE AIR TAXI INDUSTRY, PARTICULARLY THE COMMUTER AIR CARRIER SEGMENT, HAS ENJOYED TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN RECENT YEARS. HOWEVER, THIS EXPANSION HAS BEEN ACCOMPANIED BY A CORRESPONDING RISE IN COMMUTER AIR CARRIER ACCIDENT FATALITIES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE FIRST 7 MONTHS OF 1975 THERE WERE 27 COMMUTER AIR CARRIER ACCIDENTS WHICH INCLUDED 9 FATAL ACCIDENTS AND 24 FATALITIES. DURING THE FIRST 7 MONTHS OF 1979 THERE HAVE BEEN 27 COMMUTER AIR CARRIER ACCIDENTS INCLUDING 10 FATAL ACCIDENTS AND 48 FATALITIES. ON MARCH 1, 1979, A COMMUTER AIR CARRIER FLIGHT, A BEECH MODEL 70, EXCALIBUR CONVERSION, CRASHED DURING TAKEOFF AT THE GULFPORT-BILOXI REGIONAL AIRPORT, GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS OVER ITS MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED GROSS WEIGHT, AND OUT OF ITS C.G. ENVELOPE. IT ALSO REVEALED UNCORRECTED MAINTENANCE DISCREPANCIES, THAT AIRCRAFT DISPATCH OPERATIONS WERE HURRIED, AND THAT, IN PARTICULAR, DATA FOR WEIGHT AND BALANCE COMPUTATIONS WERE CARELESSLY COMPILED. MOREOVER, THE PILOT HAD RECEIVED NO TRAINING ON THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES AND HANDLING QUALITIES OF THE AIRCRAFT UNDER HIGH GROSS WEIGHT CONDITIONS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE THAT PILOTS INVOLVED IN 14 CFR 135 OPERATIONS BE THOROUGHLY TRAINED ON THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES AND HANDLING QUALITIES OF AIRCRAFT WHEN LOADED TO THEIR MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED GROSS WEIGHT OR TO THE LIMITS OF THEIR C.G. ENVELOPE, OR BOTH.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Gulfport, MS, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA79AA001
Accident Reports: Universal Airways, Inc., Beech 70 Excaliber Conversion N777AE
Report #: AAS-80-01
Accident Date: 3/1/1979
Issue Date: 10/3/1979
Date Closed: 7/5/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/5/1983
Response: We have reviewed far section 135.244; change 6 to chapter 3, section 8, faa order 8320.12; ac 120-27a are earlier notices and genots pertaining to weight and balance. We are satisfied with the actions taken in response to this recommendation which we now classify in a closed-- acceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/10/1981
Response: FAA LETTER: THE EXPERIENCE REQUIRED BY SECTION 135.244 IS OBTAINED ON COMMUTER PASSENGER-CARRYING OPERATIONS, OTHER THAN AS PILOT-IN-COMMAND, WHICH ARE FREQUENTLY CONDUCTED AT OR NEAR MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT. THE PILOT'S RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES IS CONTAINED IN THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER'S APPROVED PILOT TRAINING PROGRAM. THE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES ARE BASED UPON THOSE CONTAINED IN THE AIRCRAFT FLIGHT MANUAL. AS PREVIOUSLY STATED THE FAA NOT ONLY APPROVES THE CONTENT OF THE OPERATOR'S TRAINING PROGRAMS, BUT ALSO HAS PLACED SPECIAL EMPHASIS IN THIS AREA. IN ADDITION, CHANGE 6 TO CHAPTER 3, SECTION 8, FAA ORDER 8320.12, INCORPORATED INSTRUCTIONS THAT DEAL SPECIFICALLY WITH WEIGHT AND BALANCE CONTROL FOR FAR 135 OPERATORS OF AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATED FOR NINE OR LESS PASSENGERS. THESE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAIN ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET WHEN APPROVING A WEIGHT AND BALANCE CONTROL PROGRAM FOR THESE OPERATORS. WE BELIEVE THAT THESE CHANGES, COUPLED WITH CURRENT REQUIREMENTS FOR LARGE OPERATORS, THE REVISIONS OF AC 120-27A, AND PREVIOUS NOTICES AND GENOTS CONCERNING PART 135 WEIGHT AND BALANCE, ARE FULLY RESPONSIVE TO SAFETY RECOMMENDATION A-79-80.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/20/1981
Response: In safety recommendation a-79-80 we proposed that the faa require that pilots involved in 14 cfr 125 operations be thoroughly trainedon the performance capabilities and handling qualities of aircraft when loaded to their maximum certificated gross weight or to the limits of their center of gravity envelope, or both. We have examined the new federal aviation regulations section 135.244, operating experience effective march 1, 1980. Although this new regulation upgrades the experience of a pilot-in-command, no specific mention is made of a pilot's handling of an aircraft loaded to maximum gross weight. Instances of twin engine aircraft crashing during takeoff, after the failure of one engine, occur too frequently. The manner is which a pilot should be trained to respond to such emergencies is unclear. We request the faa to fulfill the intent of this recommendation in a clear and positive manner. Pending its resolution, a-79-80 will be maintained in an open-- unacceptable action status.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/21/1981
Response: From the aviation accident report of Scenic Airlines, Inc. Cessna 404, N2683S, near Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan, Arizona on July 21, 1980. The Board adopted this report on 1/21/1981. As a result of this investigation, the Safety Board reiterates Safety Recommendation A-79-080, which was issued to the FAA on May 17, 1978.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/6/1980
Response: FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION LTR: THE FAA'S RESPONSE STATES THAT REGULATORY ACTION HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY THE NEW SECTION 135.244, OPERATING EXPERIENCE, EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1980. THIS WILL ENSURE THAT PILOTS INVOLVED IN COMMUTER OPERATIONS ARE ADEQUATELY TRAINED IN ALL PERTINENT OPERATIONAL AREAS, ONE OF WHICH INCLUDED AIRCRAFT HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS AT MAXIMUM TAKEOFF GROSS WEIGHT.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/27/1980
Response: . . . in the transmittal letter of 10/17/79, ntsb stated it would be impractical to accomplish flight training in an aircraft loaded to gross weight or at c.G. Limits, but the pilots should nevertheless be thoroughly familiar with performance at maximum certificated gross takeoff weight and have training under conditions at or near gross weight, etc. The revised training and testing requirements and the exposure to various weight and loading conditions that the pilot will receive during the acquisition of operating experience now required in amendment no. 135, willprovide the needed additional familiarization and knowledge of aircraft performance deficiencies. We believe these actions fulfill the intent of safety recommendation a-79-80.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/22/1980
Response: From the special study of commuter airline safety from 1970-1979. The Board published this study on 7/22/1980. Based on the findings of this study, the Safety Board reiterates the following safety recommendations which were previously issued to the Federal Aviation Administration: A-79-80, A-79-81, A-78-27, A-78-28, and A-78-29.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/9/1980
Response: The faa's response of january 15, 1980, indicated actions were in progress to resolve these recommendations. To better evaluate their progress and update the public docket. We would appreciate a further report of actions taken.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/28/1980
Response: From the accident report of Comair, Inc. Piper PA-31, N6642L in Covington, Kentucky on October 8, 1979. The Board adopted this report on 5/28/1980. As a result of this investigation, the Safety Board reiterates the following recommendations: A-79-80, A-78-27, and A-78-28.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/15/1980
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA IS IN THE PROCESS OF AMENDING PART 135 TO REQUIRE OPERATING EXPERIENCE SIMILAR TO THAT REQUIRED IN PART 121 FOR ANY PILOT PRIOR TO DESIGNATION AS PILOT IN-COMMAND ON COMMUTER AIR CARRIER OPERATIONS. THIS OPERATING EXPERIENCE WILL BE ACQUIRED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A COMPANY CHECK PILOT. THE ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE FOR THIS REGULATORY ACTION IS MARCH 1, 1980. IN ADDITION, WE ARE ISSUING A DIRECTIVE THAT WILL BE MORE SPECIFIC AS TO TESTING STANDARDS REGARDING PILOTS AS STATED IN PART 135. ALTHOUGH PRESENT TRAINING AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS COVER AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE, THIS ADDITIONAL DIRECTIVE WILL COVER THIS AREA IN MORE DETAIL. ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE FOR THIS DIRECTIVE IS FEBRUARY 1, 1980.