Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-81-025
Details
Synopsis: ON JULY 21, 1980, SCENIC AIRLINES FLIGHT 306, A CESSNA 404, N26835, CRASHED DURING TAKEOFF FROM THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK AIRPORT, TUSAYAN, ARIZONA. THE LEFT ENGINE TURBOCHARGER FAILED AFTER TAKEOFF CAUSING A SUBSTANTIAL POWER LOSS. THE AIRCRAFT WAS NOT ABLE TO CLIMB OR MAINTAIN ALTITUDE BECAUSE THE PILOT FAILED TO ESTABLISH IMMEDIATELY A MINIMUM DRAG CONFIGURATION WHICH FURTHER DEGRADED THE AIRCRAFT'S PERFORMANCE SIGNIFICANTLY. THE AIRCRAFT WAS 856 LBS BELOW ITS CERTIFICATED MAXIMUM GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT AND WAS WITHIN C.G. LIMITS; HOWEVER, THE DENSITY ALTITUDE AT THE TIME OF TAKEOFF WAS 10,000 FEET M.S.L. THE PILOT AND SIX OF THE SEVEN PASSENGERS WERE KILLED. ONE PASENGER SURVIVED THE ACCIDENT BUT DIED 5 DAYS LATER BECAUSE OF THERMAL INJURIES. EXCEPT FOR THE POSTCRASH FIRE, THE ACCIDENT WAS SURVIVABLE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE THAT AIRCRAFT FLIGHT MANUALS FOR LIGHT TWIN-ENGINE AIRCRAFT USED IN 14 CFR 135 OPERATIONS CONTAIN DATA RELATED TO THOSE CONDITIONS IN WHICH THE AIRCRAFT, IN A SINGLE-ENGINE CONFIGURATION AND AT AIRSPEEDS BETWEEN VMC AND VYSE, HAS THE CAPABILTIY TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Tusayan, AZ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80AA021
Accident Reports: Scenic Airlines, Inc., Cessna 404 N2683S
Report #: AAR-81-04
Accident Date: 7/21/1980
Issue Date: 3/12/1981
Date Closed: 8/11/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/11/1986
Response: In the subject accident, the left engine turbocharger failed after takeoff causing a substantial power loss. The aircraft was not able to climb or maintain altitude. Our aircraft accident records indicate that each year there are, on an average, eight fatal accidents that result from the loss of one engine during the takeoff phase of flight. Notwithstanding the content of FAR Part 23, FAA-S-8081-2, and AC 61-21A, the Safety Board believes the aircraft flight manual is the primary document for providing the guidance material recommended. In view of your decision not to amend the flight manual as recommended, this recommendation is now classified as "Closed-- Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/23/1986
Response: "...THE FAA RECOGNIZES THE NEED FOR ONE-ENGINE-INOPERATIVE PERFORMANCE INFORMATION WHICH THE PILOT CAN USE FOR PREFLIGHT PLANNING AND DECISIONMAKING IN THE EVENT OF ENGINE FAILURE. THIS INFORMATION IS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 23.1585 AND 23.1587 OF 14 CFR PART 23, AND THE FLIGHT TRAINING HANDBOOK (AC 61-21A) PROVIDES GUIDANCE IN ITS USE. ACCORDINGLY, THE FAA DOES NOT PLAN TO AMEND FLIGHT MANUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LIGHT TWIN-ENGINE AIRPLANES TO REQUIRE INCLUSION OF DATA RELATED TO THOSE CONDITIONS IN WHICH THE AIRPLANE, IN A SINGLE-ENGINE CONFIGURATION AND AT AIRSPEEDS BETWEEN VMC AND VYSE, HAS THE CAPABILITY TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT. I CONSIDER THE FAA'S ACTION TO BE COMPLETED ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/5/1983
Response: We remain concerned about the high fatal accident rate resulting from the loss of one engine - particularly during the takeoff phase of flight. In such critical situations, it is surprising that many pilots attempt to continue flight in the belief that the airplane can perform safely with one engine inoperative. We believe that flight manuals should more clearly define the problem and explain the many circumstances where, after the loss of one engine, the airplane is only capable of making a controlled descent. Pilots need to be warned of the danger of attempting to climb or turn the airplane in level flight at speeds much below Vyse, and that during the initial takeoff phase of flight, after the loss of one engine, their safest course is to continue straight ahead, maintain control of the airplane, and land. We note from your letter that a regulatory review of 14 CFR 23, Airworthiness Standards, is being developed by the Associate Administrator for Aviation Standards and that priority consideration will be given to the requirement for specific takeoff performance data. Also, several other actions are planned to emphasize the importance of training for potential power failure on takeoff. Pending the completion of such actions, this recommendation will be maintained in an "Open-- Acceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/10/1981
Response: FAA LETTER: AS YOU ARE AWARE, THE DIVERSE SPECTRUM OF CONTRIBUTING FACTORS, SUCH AS WEIGHT, TEMPERATURE, ALTITUDE, AND AIRCRAFT CONFIGURATION MAKES THE PROSPECT OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH DATA FOR ALL AIRCRAFT IN SERVICE IMPRACTICAL, AND WE CANNOT NOW JUSTIFY REQUIRING ALL MANUFACTURERS TO DEVELOP SUCH DATA. A REGULATORY REVIEW OF 14 CFR 23, AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: (NORMAL, UTILITY, AND ACROBATIC CATEGORY AIRPLANES) IS BEING DEVELOPED BY THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR AVIATION STANDARDS. IN THIS REVIEW, PRIORITY CONSIDERATION WOULD BE GIVEN TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR SPECIFIC TAKEOFF PERFORMANCE DATA. IN THE INTERIM, IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE ACTIONS, THE OFFICE OF ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR AVIATION STANDARDS IS INCORPORATING IN APPROPRIATE FAA ORDERS AND HANDBOOKS ADDITIONAL EMPHASIS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING FOR POTENTIAL POWER FAILURE ON TAKEOFF. WE PLAN TO REVISE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN ADVISORY CIRCULAR AC 135.3B.