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ON JANUARY 9, 1983, REPUBLIC AIRLINES FLIGHT 927, A CV-580 WITH 3 CREWMEMBERS AND 20 PASSENGERS ON BOARD, STRUCK A SNOWBANK ALONG THE RIGHT SIDE OF RUNWAY 5/23 WHILE LANDING AT NIGHT DURING A SNOWSTORM AT BRAINERD, MINNESOTA. ONE PASSENGER WAS KILLED, AND A CHILD WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED WHEN STRUCK BY A PROPELLER BLADE WHICH HAD SEPARATED AND PENETRATED THE PASSENGER CABIN. DURING THE INVESTIGATION OF THIS ACCIDENT, SEVERAL SHORTCOMINGS WERE DISCOVERED IN THE AIRPORT'S EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO THIS ACCIDENT AND IN THE DEGREE OF PREPAREDNESS OF CRASH/FIRE/RESCUE (CFR) PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT: NOTIFICATION OF EQUIPMENT STATUS; THE CFR TRUCK; AND CFR TRAINING.
THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE THAT AIRPORT OPERATIONS MANUALS (AOM) CONTAIN EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS AND PROCEDURES FOR THE REPORTING OF ANY KNOWN CHANGE IN THE OPERATING STATUS OF THE AIRPORT CRASH/FIRE/RESCUE (CFR) EQUIPMENT TO BACKUP FIRE DEPARTMENTS PROVIDING CFR SERVICES AND THAT ALL AIRPORT OR AIRPORT TENANT EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE REQUIRED TO OPERATE AIRPORT CFR EQUIPMENT BE KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE INSTRUCTIONS AND PROCEDURES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
BRAINERD, MN, United States
Republic Airlines, Inc., Convair 580, N844H
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Safety Recommendation History
Based on your response and supporting documents, Safety Recommendations A-82-89, A- 83-84, A-83-87, A-84-21, A-84-27, A-84-29, A-84-31, A-84-35, A-84-98, and A-84-100, are classified as "Closed--Acceptable Action," and Recommendations A-81-9, A-82-88, A-84-23, A-84-28, A-84-30, A-84-32, and A-84-34 are classified as "Closed-- Acceptable Alternate Action."
The revised 14 CFR 139.319, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting: Operational Requirements, specifies the actions to be taken when the aircraft rescue and firefighting (formerly referred to as crash/fire/rescue) equipment becomes inoperative. This revision also reduces the latitude for operating with less than the full complement of aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment. Notification of air carrier users by Notice to Airmen and/or other means is required when the aircraft rescue and firefighting response capability is lowered. These provisions apply regardless of whether the aircraft rescue and firefighting response units are located on or off the airport. Backup fire departments to assist aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel required under 14 CFR Part 139 are beyond the scope of the regulation. To require instructions and procedures for such backup assistance would be outside the basic capabilities required by the regulation. The instructions for the development of the Airport Certification Manual have been expanded and placed in a special subpart C of the regulation. The focus of the Airport Certification Manual has been sharpened by restricting its content to 14 CFR Part 139 requirements. A new AC has been drafted to assist the airport operator in developing the Airport Certification Manual into a vital working document for maintaining compliance with the regulation. I consider the FAA's action to be completed, and I plan no further action on this safety recommendation.
The FAA's evaluation of this recommendation stated that while 14 CFR Part 139 does not require back-up firefighting capability at airports, the FAA encourages appropriate arrangements be made, where feasible, to have this coverage. Furthermore, the FAA states that its inspectors review AOMs for procedures and instructions for requesting back-up assistance at airports which have these arrangements. The Brainerd AOM contained a letter of agreement with the city fire department whereby the city would provide a firetruck in the event that the airport's CFR truck was out of service. Our investigation disclosed that neither the airline's representative nor the part-time firefighters on duty at the time of the accident were familiar with the AOM's emergency plan which contained the instructions for obtaining back-up firefighting services from the city. There also were no separate procedures for them to notify the airport's owner/operator when the CFR truck was inoperative. At smaller Index A and B airports it is typical to find only airport tenants and/or part-time employees on the premises on weekends, holidays, and at night. In these Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses situations the airport owner/operator must rely on these persons to keep track of the operating condition of the services and facilities which are required by the FAA for the safe operation of the airport. Therefore, these persons should be provided with appropriate procedures for alerting the owner/operator whenever FAA-required services and facilities are not operable. The Safety Board believes that the procedures should be contained in the AOM and, furthermore, that the procedures should be promulgated to airport tenants and to part-time employees. The Safety Board requests that the FAA reconsider Safety Recommendation A-83-84 and has classified it as "Open--Unacceptable Action" pending further consideration by the FAA.
FAA COMMENT: WHILE THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT IN 14 CFR 139 FOR BACKUP FIREFIGHTING CAPABILITY, THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) DOES ENCOURAGE AIRPORT MANAGEMENT, WHERE FEASIBLE, TO ARRANGE FOR THIS ADDITIONAL COVERAGE. WHERE THESE ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE THE FAA DOES, IN THE REVIEW OF THE AIRPORT OPERATIONS MANUAL (AOM), CHECK FOR INCLUSION OF APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES AND INSTRUCTIONS.
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