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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-84-016
Details
Synopsis: ON JULY 23, 1982, A BELL UH-1B HELICOPTER, N87701, REGISTERED TO ROCK MOUNTAIN HELICOPTER, PROVO, UTAH, AND OPERATED BY WESTERN HELICOPTERS, INC., RIALTO, CALIFORNIA, CRASHED DURING THE FILMING OF A MOVIE AT INDIAN DUNES, VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA. THE HELICOPTER WAS BEING USED IN THE FILMING OF A MOTION PICTURE SCENE DEPICTING A VILLAGE TYPICAL OF VILLAGES IN VIETNAM WHICH WAS UNDER ATTACK FROM HEAVY ORDNANCE. THE SAFETY BOARD APPRECIATES THE FAA'S RECOGNITION THAT SIGNIFICANT PRECAUTIONS MUST BE TAKEN TO ASSURE SAFETY OF PERSONS AND PROPERTY WHEN CIVIL AIRPLANES ARE USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF MOVIE AND TELEVISION FILMS. SINCE MARCH 1982, OPERATORS OF AIRPLANES (BUT NOT HELICOPTERS) USED IN FILM PRODUCTIONS HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PREPARE A FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANUAL DETAILING THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS THAT MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE THE OPERATORS ARE PERMITTED TO FLY THE AIRCRAFT AT ALTITUDES BELOW MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDES ESTABLISHED BY REGULATIONS. THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE FACTS, CONDITIONS, AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT AMPLY DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR A REQUIREMENT THAT HELICOPTER OPERATORS PREPARE SUCH A MANUAL AND CARRY OUT ITS PROVISIONS AS A PREREQUISITE TO THE USE OF A HELICOPTER IN MOVIE AND TELEVISION FILM PRODUCTION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: EXTEND THE TERMS OF FAA ORDER 8440.5A SECTION 5, WAIVER OF SECTION 91.79(A) AND (C), MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANUAL, TO REQUIRE AN FAA-APPROVED FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANUAL FOR ALL TYPES OF AIRCRAFT. (NOTE: THIS RECOMMENDATION SHOULD HAVE REFERRED TO SECTION 91.79(B) AND (C), RATHER THAN 91.79(A) AND (C).)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: VALENCIA, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: LAX82AA274
Accident Reports: Western Helicopters, Inc., Bell UG-1B, N87701(Revised)
Report #: AAR-84-14
Accident Date: 7/23/1982
Issue Date: 3/9/1984
Date Closed: 7/1/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/1/1986
Response: "-----WE WILL AMEND ORDER 8440.5A, CHAPTER 14, SECTION 5 TO CLARIFY AND EMPHASIZE THAT HELICOPTER LOW-LEVEL MOVIE MAKING OPERATIONS DO REQUIRE A CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER. WE ANTICIPATE THIS ACTION WILL BE COMPLETED WITHIN 120 DAYS.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/1/1986
Response: We note that the changes have been incorporated in FAA Order 8440, Chapter 14, Section 5, Paragraphs 234 and 234-1. Accordingly, this recommendation is now classified as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/26/1984
Response: The Safety Board has reviewed the proposed changes to the FAA's Order 8440.5A, Chapter 14, Section 5, Paragraphs 234 and 234-1, and finds the proposed changes to be consistent with the intent of this Safety Recommendation. Pending incorporation of these changes into FAA Order 8440.5A, Safety Recommendation A-84-16 is being maintained in an "Open--Acceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/24/1984
Response: FAA COMMENT: ENCLOSED FOR THE BOARD'S INFORMATION IS A DRAFT COPY OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION'S ORDER 8440.5A, CHAPTER 14, SECTION 5, PARAGRAPH 234, CONCERNING CLARIFICATION OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR HELICOPTER LOW-LEVEL MOVIE-MAKING OPERATORS. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE FINAL CHANGE WILL BE ISSUED BY DECEMBER 1, 1984. WE CONSIDER OUR ACTION COMPLETED ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/16/1984
Response: The Safety Board notes that the above recommendation should have made reference to Section 91.79(b) rather than 91.79(a). We have reviewed Change 28 (dated March 23, 1982) to FAA Order 8440.5A, General Aviation Operations Inspector's Handbook, Chapter 14, Section 5, Waiver of Section 91.79(b) and (c) for Motion Picture and Television Filming Production, included in your letter. The Safety Board agrees that this change was broad enough to meet the intent of the recommendation. However, as noted in the recommendation letter, the applicability of the section on helicopter operations was not clearly recognized. The FAA's proposed amendment to Order 8440.5A, Chapter 14, Section 5 to clarify and emphasize that helicopter low- level moviemaking operations require a certificate of waiver, should satisfy this Safety Recommendation. Safety Recommendation A-84-16 has been classified as "Open-- Acceptable Action" pending review of the contemplated amendments.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/4/1984
Response: FAA COMMENT: THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) HAS ALREADY COMPLIED WITH THE INTENT OF RECOMMENDATION A-84-16. CHANGE 28 TO FAA ORDER 8440.5A, GENERAL AVIATION OPERATIONS INSPECTOR'S HANDBOOK, SECTION 5, WAIVER OF SECTION 91.79(B) & (C) FOR MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION FILMING PRODUCTION (APPROPRIATE PAGES ENCLOSED), WHICH WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 23, 1982, SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSES ALL TYPES OF AIRCRAFT. WHILE THE FAA FINDS FAA ORDER 8440.5A TO BE TECHNICALLY CORRECT AS WRITTEN, RECOMMENDATION A-84-16 HAS BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION AN APPARENT INTERNAL PROBLEM RELATIVE TO THE APPLICATION OF FAA POLICY. THEREFORE, WE WILL AMEND ORDER 8440.5A, CHAPTER 14, SECTION 5 TO CLARIFY AND EMPHASIZE THAT HELICOPTER LOW-LEVEL MOVIE MAKING OPERATIONS DO REQUIRE A CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER. WE ANTICIPATE THIS ACTION WILL BE COMPLETED WITHIN 120 DAYS.