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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-88-154
Details
Synopsis: ON FEBRUARY 19, 1988, AN AVAIR INC. FAIRCHILD METRO III, N622AV, OPERATING AS AIR VIRGINIA (AVAIR) FLIGHT 3378, CRASHED IN CARY, NORTH CAROLINA, SHORTLY AFTER IT DEPARTED RUNWAY 23R AT RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (RDU), MORRISVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, WITH 2 FLIGHTCREW MEMBERS AND 10 PASSENGERS ON BOARD. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK WATER WITHIN 100 FEET OF THE SHORELINE OF A RESERVOIR, ABOUT 5,100 FEET WEST OF THE MIDPOINT OF RUNWAY 23R. THE AIRPLANE WAS DESTROYED AND ALL 12 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE KILLED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: CONDUCT A SPECIAL AIRWORTHINESS REVIEW OF THE METRO III AIRPLANE, AND DETERMINE THE NECESSITY OF THE STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM STICK PUSHER. IF THE TESTS FAIL TO DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR THE STICK PUSHER, THEN THE STICK PUSHER SHOULD BE PERMANENTLY DISENGAGED ON ALL METRO III AIRPLANES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Aviation
Location: CARY, NC, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA88MA032
Accident Reports: Avair Inc. Flight 3378 Fairchild Metro III, SA227 AC, N622AV
Report #: AAR-88-10
Accident Date: 2/19/1988
Issue Date: 12/28/1988
Date Closed: 11/19/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/19/1990
Response: We are informed that flight tests for longitudinal stability and stalls were conducted by the FAA on the longer bodied SA227-AC prior to certification. It was found that the longer bodied airplane did not exhibit the adverse longitudinal stability characteristics of short-bodied airplanes. However, it was still unable to comply with 14 CFR 23.203 stall recovery requirements because it exceeded the 15- degree roll limit. As a result, the system is designed to enable the airplane to comply with this rule. We appreciate the FAA's detailed response and have classified this safety recommendation as "Closed--Reconsidered."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/13/1990
Response: THE ABBREVIATION SAS MAY MEAN "STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM" OR 'STABILITY AUGMENTATION SYSTEM.' FAIRCHILD USES THE TERM SAS-SQUARED) TO MEAN A STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM COMBINED WITH A STABILITY AUGMENTATION SYSTEM. THE INITIAL REC. ADDRESSED ONLY THE STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM (SAS) ON THE SA227-AC. A LETTER WAS SUBMITTED TO AN INVESTIGATOR-IN-CHARGE IN RESPONSE TO AN ON-SITE ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION ISSUE, BUT WAS NOT GERMANE TO THE REC. OR THE STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM USED ON THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE. THE CONFUSION RESULTED FROM A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE TERMS SAS & SAS-SQUARED. SAS SQUARED WILL CONNOTE BOTH SYSTEMS WHILE SAS WILL REFER ONLY TO THE STALL AVOIDANCE SYSTEM. THE MODEL SA226-T (SHORT BODY) REQUIRES AN SAS-SQUARE. THE SA226-TC & SA227-AC, BOTH LONG BODIES, REQUIRE AN SAS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF 14 CFR 23.201 (WINGS LEVEL STALL) & 23.203 (TURNING FLIGHT & ACCELERATED STALLS). FLIGHT TESTS FOR LONGITUDINAL STABILITY & STALLS WERE CONDUCTED BY THE FAA ON SA226-TC AND SA227-AC AIRCRAFT PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FAA REITERATES THE POSITION STATED IN ITS LTR DATED 3/17/89, WHEREIN THE RATIONALE FOR NOT CONDUCTING A SPECIAL AIRWORTHINESS REVIEW OF THE METRO III WAS PROVIDED. THIS SYSTEM (SAS-SQUARED) IS NOT REQUIRED ON THE SA227-AC SINCE IT IS A 'LONG-BODIED' FAIRCHILD WHICH EXHIBITS GREATER DYNAMIC LONGITUDINAL STABILITY. THE BASIC SAS SYSTEM ON THE SA227 AC IS ESSENTIALLY A CARRY-OVER FROM THAT CERTIFIED ON THE SA226-TC WITH MODIFICATION. THIS STATEMENT IS CORRECT. THE CONFUSION APPARENTLY STEMMED FROM THE DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS FOR SAS AND SAS-SQUARED.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/12/1990
Response: In Safety Recommendation A-88-154, we asked the FAA to conduct a special airworthiness review of the Metro III airplane and determine the necessity of the stall avoidance system stick pusher. We stated that if the tests fail to demonstrate the need for the stick pusher, then the stick pusher should be permanently disengaged on all Metro III airplanes. Recommendation A-88-154 was proposed, in part, from information given to the Safety Board in an FAA memorandum dated July 27, 1988, from the Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, ASW-100, to the Manager, Accident Investigation Division, AAI-100. The memo states, in part, "This system (SAS2) is not required on the SA227-AC since it is a 'long-bodied' Fairchild, which exhibits greater aerodynamic longitudinal stability. The basic SAS system on the SA227-AC is essentially a carry-over from that certified on the SA226-TC with modifications." This information conflicts with the information contained in your letter to the Safety Board on January 9, 1990, in which you state, in part, that "...later flight testing of the SA227-AC airplane (found) that the airplane did not exhibit the adverse longitudinal stability characteristics of the short-bodied airplanes, but still was unable to comply with 14 CFR 23.203 stall recovery requirement in that is also exceeded the 15 degree roll limit." The Safety Board believes that if the airplane has not demonstrated the need for an SAS, as the memo of July 1988 states, then the system should be disconnected. If the flight tests demonstrate the need, then the Board will classify this safety recommendation as "Closed--Acceptable Action." Until more definitive information is received, this recommendation is classified as "Open--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/9/1990
Response: "--IT WAS FOUND DURING--FLIGHT TESTING OF THE SA227-AC THAT THE AIRPLANE DID NOT EXHIBIT THE ADVERSE LONGITUDINAL STABILITY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SHORT-BODIED AIRPLANES, BUT STILL WAS UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH 14 CFR 23.203 STALL RECOVERY REQUIREMENT IN THAT IT ALSO EXCEEDED THE 15 DEGREE ROLL LIMIT. THEREFORE, THE SAS SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED TO ENABLE THE AIRPLANE TO COMPLY WITH THIS RULE.--"

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/23/1989
Response: Safety Recommendation A-88-153 is classified as "Open--Acceptable Action" pending completion of the FAA's ongoing review. In Safety Recommendation A-88-154 we asked the FAA to conduct a special airworthiness review because there was no evidence that flight tests were conducted on the Metro III to determine if a stall avoidance system (SAS) was needed. We believe that the requirement for the system was determined by the needs of the earlier Metro II and "grandfathered" in on the Metro III. In this regard please see page 60 of the Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR- 88/10. According to FAA's memo from its Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, to its Manager, Accident Investigation Division, dated July 27, 1988, "this system (SAS2) is not required on the SA227-AC since it is a "long-bodied" Fairchild, which exhibits greater aerodynamic longitudinal stability. The basic SAS system on the SA227-AC is essentially a carry-over from that certified on the SA226-TC with modifications." Therefore, according to the information supplied by the FAA we stand by Safety Recommendation A-88-154, and, until we are informed that flight tests have been carried out, this recommendation is classified as "Open-- Unacceptable Action." Regarding Safety Recommendation A-88-155, we have reviewed Action Notice 1800.6, and the "National Aviation Safety Inspection Program-Special Inspection FAR 135 Commuter Air Carriers--1988," and we are satisfied that these documents are responsive to this recommendation which is classified as "Closed-- Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/17/1989
Response: "THE FAA DOES NOT AGREE WITH THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION AND DOES NOT PLAN TO CONDUCT A "SPECIAL AIRWORTHINESS REVIEW" OF THE METRO III AIRPLANE... THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATION FLIGHT TESTS INDICATED THAT THE METRO III AIRPLANE WOULD NOT MEETTH AVOIDANCE SYSTEM STICK PUSHER AS AN EQUIVALENT SAFETY MEANS OF COMPLIANCE WITH THIS REGULATORY REQUIREMENT... I PLAN NO FURTHER ACTION..."