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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-85-075
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: REQUIRE PILATUS BRITTEN-NORMAN TO INSTALL A DEVICE TO MEASURE AIRPLANE ATTITUDE, E.G., A SMALL BUBBLE-LEVEL, ON ALL BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2B, BN-2T, AND BN-2A MK III MODEL AIRPLANES DELIVERED IN THE UNITED STATES IN ORDER TO PROVIDE A READY MEANS FOR ENSURING THE AIRPLANE IS LEVEL DURING PRE FLIGHT CHECKS FOR FUEL CONTAMINATION. CONCURRENTLY, REQUIRE BRITTEN-NORMAN TO DEVELOP A SERVICE KIT OR MODIFICATION INSTRUCTIONS TO RETROFIT EXISTING BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2B, BN-2T, BN-2A MK III MODEL AIRPLANES WITH A SIMILAR DEVICE.
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):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/24/1986
Response: In view of the unique design of the fuel tank sumps, the Safety Board maintains that the checks for fuel contamination cannot be made effectively unless the airplane is in a level attitude. Since the FAA and the CAA-UK do not concur with this recommendation, it is classified as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/3/1986
Response: "THE FAA AND THE CAA-UK DO NOT CONCUR WITH RECOMMENDAION A-85-75, AND THE FAA DOES NOT PLAN TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF A BUBBLE-LEVELING DEVICE ON THE BN-2A SERIES AIRPLANES. THE BN-2 AIRPLANES' FUEL TANKS WERE DESIGNED TO ALLOW DRAINAGE OF WATER FROM THE FUEL SUMPS AND MET CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. THE CERTIFICATION COMPLIANCE WAS BASED ON THE PILOT/OPERATOR MAKING A FUEL CONTAMINATION CHECK PRIOR TO THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE DAY OR AFTER REFUELING. I CONSIDER THE FAA'S ACTION TO BE COMPLETED ON THIS RECOMMENDATION."

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.