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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-83-085
Details
Synopsis: 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.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: AMEND 14 CFR 139.49 TO PRESCRIBE A MINIMUM LIST OF RESCUE/SUPPORT EQUIPMENT TO BE CARRIED ON EACH CRASH/FIRE/ RESCUE VEHICLE WHICH IS COMMENSURATE WITH THE AIRPORT'S INDEX OF FIREFIGHTING AND RESCUE SERVICE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: BRAINERD, MN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA83AA013
Accident Reports: Republic Airlines, Inc., Convair 580, N844H
Report #: AAR-83-08
Accident Date: 1/9/1983
Issue Date: 12/22/1983
Date Closed: 3/29/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/29/1990
Response: Regarding Safety Recommendation A-83-85, we maintain that 14 CFR Part 139 should prescribe a minimum list of rescue/support equipment to be carried on each vehicle used for aircraft rescue and firefighting. In view of the FAA's reluctance to adopt this recommendation, we have classified it as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/2/1988
Response: The role of the aircraft rescue and firefighting activity pursuant to 14 CFR Part 139 is to complement and assist the aircraft evacuation responsibilities of the air carrier cabin crew. Under 14 CFR Part 121, the cabin crew has specific regulatory requirments, including a maximum time allowance, for the evacuation of passengers in the event of an aircraft emergency. Under 14 CFR Part 139, the role of the airport's aircraft rescue and firefighting activity is to provide fire suppression at the exit points of the aircraft to facilitate the passenger evacuation. Because of this defined role, 14 CFR Part 139 does prescribe support equipment. The revised 14 CFR 139.315, 139.317, and 139.319 significantly expand and clarify the specific identification of the aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment required, as well as extinguishing agent and operational requirements. Support equipment for aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles acquired with Federal airport grant funds are an eligible cost of the project. The FAA has not prescribed specific equipment for these vehicles. Therefore, because local needs and preferences vary as to what equipment is desirable to carry out its responsibilities under 14 CFR Part 139, the FAA allows the airport operator to select that support equipment which best fits the needs of the airport. If the FAA were to establish a minimum regulatory list of required equipment, it could discourage local airports from acquiring equipment beyond that minimally required. I consider the FAA's action to be completed, and I plan no further action on this safety recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/11/1987
Response: The Safety Board has reviewed Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5220-14, Airport Fire and Rescue Guide, Chapter 3, which accompanied your letter. The Safety Board notes that the rescue and support equipment list provided in the AC does comply with the rescue equipment needs addressed by this recommendation. However, as the Safety Board has stated in evaluating other recommendations, as an AC is only guidance material there is no requirement for compliance. Thus, even though an airport may purchase a properly equipped vehicle or transfer the necessary support equipment to a new vehicle, there is no requirement that emergency vehicles will always be so equipped thereafter. It is the Board's opinion that the only way to ensure that rescue vehicles are always equipped with sufficient, and functioning, equipment is by regulatory action and not by offering guidance material. Therefore, the Safety Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses Board requests that the FAA reconsider its position. Pending further correspondence, Safety Recommendation A-83-85 has been classified as "Open-- Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/30/1987
Response: THE FAA AGREES WITH THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION BUT DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT AN AMENDMENT TO 14 CFR 139 IS NECESSARY. VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE AIRPORT FIREFIGHTING AND RESCUE VEHICLES AT INDEX A AND B AIRPORTS ARE PURCHASED WITH ASSISTANCE FROM THE FAA'S AIRPORTS GRANTS-IN-AID PROGRAM. THESE VEHICLE ACQUISITIONS NORMALLY INCLUDE THE NECESSARY RESCUE AND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN AC 150.5220-14, AIRPORT FIRE AND RESCUE VEHICLE GUIDE, CHAPTER 3, THE EQUIPMENT MAY NOT BE INCLUDED AS PART OF THIS PURCHASE IF THE AIRPORT ALREADY HAS THE EQUIPMENT FROM A VEHICLE BEING TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE. IN 1986, 15 AIR PORT RESCUE FIREFIGHTING VEHICLES WERE PURCHASED UNDER THE GRANT PROGRAM FOR INDEX A AND B AIRPORTS. A REVIEW OF THESE PROJECTS REVEALED THAT THEY INCLUDED THE PURCHASE OF ANY NECESSARY RESCUE AND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT THAT THE AIRPORT OPERATOR DID NOT ALREADY HAVE. THE FAA, THEREFORE, BELIEVES THAT THE PRESENT PROCEDURE IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO PROVIDE THIS EQUIPMENT.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/17/1984
Response: The FAA responded that 14 CFR Part 139 requires two-way communications on all CFR vehicles. The FAA further stated that support equipment which is purchased through grant-in-aid programs is mutually agreed upon by the FAA and the airport owner and that Advisory Circulars (AC) provide adequate guidance and flexibility in the selection of the support equipment. The FAA maintains, therefore, that an amendment to 14 CFR Part 139 is not necessary. Safety Recommendation A-83-85 was developed because of two serious problems discovered during the investigation. First, the CFR truck lacked a radio for communications from the scene of an accident to the city's fire and police dispatcher. Thus, when the truck responded to an aircraft accident involving a fire and/or injuries, the truck operator could not request assistance from the scene but would have to return to the terminal after assessing the situation at the airplane and telephone for assistance (as was done following this accident). The Safety Board believes that this lack of on-scene communication is totally unacceptable and that CFR vehicles stationed at Index A and B airports should be equipped with two- way radios to permit communications from the scene of an accident to off-airport Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses firefighting agencies. At smaller airports which service air carrier airplanes and large air taxi and commuter aircraft, it is critical that requests for back-up firefighting assistance be transmitted as quickly as possible via direct radio networks during those hours when full-time airport employees are not available. The second serious problem found during our investigation was the total lack of even rudimentary support equipment onboard the CFR truck. We would expect that CFR vehicles under the grant-in-aid program at Index A airports would be required to be equipped or to at least meet the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles (NFPA 414-1978). We agree with the FAA that existing Advisory Circulars contain useful information which can benefit airport owners in complying with 14 CFR Part 139, and that there is a need for some flexibility in equipping CFR vehicles, especially at larger airports, to avoid unnecessary duplication of support equipment. Nonetheless, we believe firmly that CFR vehicles at smaller airports should be provided with the support equipment which is necessary for firefighters to perform basic rescue duties. This equipment requirement should not be subject to interpretation and negotiation between FAA inspectors and owners of small airports as is now permitted. The Safety Board continues to believe that regulatory action is necessary to require minimum rescue and support equipment for CFR vehicles, especially at smaller airports which are served by a single CFR vehicle. The Safety Board requests that the FAA reconsider Safety Recommendation A-83-85 and has classified the safety recommendation as "Open--Unacceptable Action" pending further consideration by the FAA.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/8/1984
Response: FAA COMMENT: THE FAA DOES NOT FEEL AN AMENDMENT OF 14 CFR 139.49 TO PRESCRIBE A MINIMUM LIST OF CRASH/FIRE/RESCUE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT IS NECESSARY. THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS PART 139.49 (G)(4) REQUIRES RADIO COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FIREFIGHTING AND RESCUE VEHICLES. AS TO OTHER SUPPORT EQUIPMENT, THE FAA, THROUGH THE AIRPORTS GRANT-IN AID PROGRAMS, PARTICIPATES IN THE ACQUISITION OF MUTUALLY AGREED UPON EQUIPMENT. THE GUIDANCE USED FOR DETERMINING THESE REQUIREMENTS IS CONTAINED IN ADVISORY CIRCULAR (AC) 150/5220-14, AIRPORT FIRE AND RESCUE VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS GUIDE, AND OTHER AC'S WHICH PROVIDE SPECIFICATION GUIDANCE FOR CRASH/FIRE/RESUCE VEHICLES. WE BELIEVE THAT THIS GUIDANCE IS ADEQUATE AND ALLOWS THE FLEXIBILITY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL AIRPORT.