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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-85-073
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 0805 ATLANTIC STANDARD TIME ON AUGUST 2, 1984, A PILATUS BRITTEN-NORMAN MODEL BN-2A-6 ISLANDER AIRPLANE, N589SA, CRASHED SHORTLY AFTER DEPARTING THE VIEQUES AIRPORT, VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO. THE AIRPLANE, WHICH IS MANUFACTURED PRINCIPALLY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, WAS BEING OPERATED BY VIEQUES AIR LINK, INCORPORATED, IN AN AIR TAXI OPERATION. THE PILOT AND EIGHT PASSENGERS WERE KILLED. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD'S FINDINGS IN THE ACCIDENT INDICATE THAT THE AIRPLANE'S FUEL WAS CONTAMINATED BY WATER DURING REFUELING SHORTLY BEFORE TAKEOFF AND, AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE LEFT ENGINE LOST POWER SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: ISSUE AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE APPLICABLE TO PILATUS BRITTEN-NORMAN BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2B, BN-2T, AND BN-2A MK III MODEL AIRPLANES REQUIRING THE INCORPORATION OF BRITTEN NORMAN MODIFICATION NB/M/350 TO PROVIDE INCREASED PROTECTION FROM FUEL CONTAMINATION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: VIEQUES, PR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA84AA033
Accident Reports: Vieques Air Link, Inc., Britten- Norman BN-2A-6 Islander, N589SA
Report #: AAR-85-08
Accident Date: 8/2/1984
Issue Date: 9/25/1984
Date Closed: 9/24/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Fuel Contamination

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/24/1986
Response: The Safety Board determined that the loss of power in the left engine was the consequence of water in the fuel system. We maintain that had the Britten-Norman modification been incorporated, increased protection from contamination would have been provided. In view of the reluctance of the Civil Airworthiness Authority - United Kingdom (CAA-UK), and the FAA, to comply with this recommendation, it is classified as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/3/1986
Response: RESPONSE STATED THAT THE DESIGN OF THE SUMP IS ABOVE THE U.S. AND BRITISH REQUIRED AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS. THE MODIFICATION NB/M/350 WAS INTRODUCED AT THE FACTORY AT THE REQUEST AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. THERE ARE ABOUT 68 AIRPLANES FLYING WITHOUT THE MODIFICATION, 15 OF WHICH MAY BE IN THE U.S. "IN VIEW OF THE SATISFACTORY WORLDWIDE EXPERIENCE WITH THESE AIRPLANES, THE CAA-UK IS OF THE OPINION THAT, ALTHOUGH MODIFICATION NB/M/350 MIGHT BE THOUGHT TO YIELD ENHANCED PROTECTION, THE EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT THE REQUIRED SUMP CAPACITY IS ADEQUATE IF WATER DRAIN CHECKS ARE PERFORMED. A REVIEW OF THE CAA-UK MANDATORY OCCURRENCE REPORTS DATA, THE FAA'S SERVICE DIFFICULTY REPORTS, AND ACCIDENT/INCIDENT REPORTS HAS REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF INCIDENTS DUE TO WATER IN THE FUEL OTHER THAN THE SUBJECT ACCIDENT. THE FAA CONCURS WITH THE CAA-UK ANALYSIS AND DOES NOT HAVE JUSTIFICATION FOR MANDATORY RETROCTIVE ACTION FOR THE BN-2A SERIES AIRPLANES."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/13/1986
Response: The FAA's investigation relative to these recommendations is continuing. Recommendation A-85-74 is being reviewed by the FAA's Central Region Flight Standards Division for its evaluation and comments. Recommendations A-85-73, -75, and -76 have been forwarded to the FAA's Brussels, Belgium, Aircraft Certification Office for evaluation and coordination with the United Kingdom Civil Airworthiness Authority and to the manufacturer Pilatus Britten-Norman, LTD. I anticipate that the FAA's investigation will be completed by March 20, 1986, and I will advise the Board of the FAA's further actions shortly thereafter.