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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-79-081
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: EXPEDITE RULEMAKING WHICH WOULD MAKE THE FLIGHT TIME AND DUTY TIME LIMITATIONS, AND REST REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMUTER AIR CARRIERS THE SAME AS THOSE SPECIFIED FOR DOMESTIC AIR CARRIER CREWMEMBERS UNDER 14CFR 121.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 10/30/1981
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Fatigue

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/30/1981
Response: We are not informed that the proposal has significant drawbacks and that, in light of the president's executive order 12291 on federal regulations, the NPRM, has been withdrawn. We are also informed that the FAA will reexamine its role in this safety area. The Safety Board's concern for the need to provide adequate flight time and duty time limitations dates back to recommendations made to the FAA on November 7, 1962. Since we see no satisfactory resolution of these recommendations in the foreseeable future, we are classifying them in a "Closed--Unacceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/18/1981
Response: SUMMARY OF FAA'S RESPONSE: RESPONSES TO PROPOSALS HAVE BEEN EXTENSIVE AND NEGATIVE; FAA RESPONSIBILITY IN AREA QUESTIONABLE; FINANCIALLY BURDENSOME TO CARRIERS; SUBJECT HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL; SAFETY PROBLEM NOW DIFFERENT IN LIGHT OF AVIATION ADVANCES; NPRM WITHDRAWN IN LIGHT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 12291; FAA WILL REASSESS SAFETY ROLE RELATIVE TO LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/20/1981
Response: In safety recommendation A-79-81 we asked the faa to expedite rulemaking which would make the flight time and duty time limitations and the rest requirements for commuter air carriers the same as those specified for domestic air crewmembers under 14 CFR 121. We appreciate the rule- making actions underway to fulfill this recommendation which we are maintaining in an "Open--Acceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/6/1980
Response: FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION LTR: WORK ON THIS PROJECT IS CONTINUING. A SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 11, 198O. THIS SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE PROPOSES TO REVISE THE FLIGHT AND DUTY TIME LIMITATIONS AND REST REQUIREMENTS FOR FLIGHT CREWMEMBERS UTILIZED BY DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL AIR CARRIERS, COMMERCIAL OPERATORS, AND AIR TAXI OPERATORS. THIS SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE IS BASED UPON TWO NOTICES OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING ISSUED 1977 AND 1978 AS PART OF THE FAA'S REGULATORY REVIEW PROGRAM.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/27/1980
Response: On August 4, 1980, the FAA issued a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) no. 78.3b, docket no. 17669, to revise the flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements for flight crewmembers utilized by domestic, flag, and supplemental air carriers, commercial operators, and air taxi operators. I am enclosing a copy of the NPRM for the Board's review and records.

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: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/15/1980
Response: FAA LTR: CONSIDERABLE WORK HAS BEEN DONE ON AMENDING THE PRESENT FLIGHT AND DUTY TIME REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH 14 CFR 135 AND 14 CFR 121 TO PROVIDE COMPATIBLE REQUIREMENTS. THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING DOES PROVIDE FOR IDENTICAL REQUIREMENTS FO PARTS 135 AND 121. THE SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING, NOTICE NO. 78-3B, ON THIS SUBJECT, SHOULD BE ISSUED BY THE END OF MARCH 1980.