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ON 9/8/89 N283AU, A BOEING 727-200 OPERATED AS USAIR FLIGHT 105 WAS A REGULARLY SCHEDULED REVENUE PASSENGER FLIGHT CONDUCTED UNDER 14 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS PART 121 FROM PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (PIT), TO WICHITA, KANSAS, WITH AN EN ROUTE STOP IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (MCI). FIFTY-EIGHT PASSENGERS, TWO FLIGHT CREWMEMBERS AND FOUR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS WERE ONBOARD. A FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION INSPECTOR WHO WAS PERFORMING AN EN ROUTE INSPECTION OCCUPIED THE COCKPIT OBSERVER'S SEAT. THE FLIGHT FROM PITTSBURGH TO THE KANSAS CITY AREA WAS UNEVENTFUL. THE CAPTAIN WAS THE PILOT FLYING AND THE FIRST OFFICER WAS PERFORMING THE COMMUNICATIONS WITH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL. USAIR 105 WAS CLEARED TO EXECUTE THE LOCALIZER BACK COURSE APPROACH TO RUNWAY 27 AT 2129:41. AT 2134:34, THE LOCAL CONTROLLER TOLD USAIR 105 "I" CAN'T TELL FOR SURE BUT IT APPEARS WE HAVE LOST THE LIGHTING ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE AIRPORT." THE FLIGHTCREW LATER DESCRIBED SEEING A BRIGHT FLASH ABOUT THIS TIME. SUBSEQUENT INSPECTION REVEALED THAT THE AIRPLANE STRUCK AND SEVERED FOUR ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION CABLES, LOCATED ABOUT 75 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, APPROXIMATELY 7,000 FEET EAST OF THE RUNWAY 27 THRESHOLD. THE FLIGHTCREW EXECUTED A MISSED APPROACH AND LANDED UNEVENTFULLY IN SALINA, KANSAS.
THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: INCORPORATE REQUIREMENTS FOR VISUAL DESCENT POINTS IN FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATIONS PART 135, AIR TAXI OPERATORS AND COMMERICAL OPERATORS, SIMILAR TO FAR PART 121.651(C)(4).
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
KANSAS CITY, MO, United States
USAIR Flight 105 Boeing 737-200, N283AU
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Safety Recommendation History
THE FAA STATED THAT , IN MARCH 1997, IT ISSUED THE "COMMUTER RULE," WHICH REQUIRED AIR CARRIERS OPERATING AIRPLANES WITH NINE OR MORE PASSENGER SEATS IN SCHEDULED OPERATIONS TO COMPLY WITH 14 CFR PART 121. BECAUSE THE FAA NOW REQUIRES MOST PART 135 OPERATORS TO MEET PART 121 REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE USE OF VISUAL DESCENT POINTS, A-90-128 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."
Letter Mail Controlled 2/5/99 9:15:58 AM MC# 971367 IN MARCH 1997, THE FAA IMPLEMENTED THE COMMUTER RULE, WHICH REQUIRED AIR CARRIERS OPERATING AIRPLANES WITH NINE OR MORE PASSENGER SEATS IN SCHEDULED OPERATIONS TO COMPLY WITH 14 CFR PART 121. CONSEQUENTLY, THESE AIR CARRIERS MUST COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS FOR VISUAL DESCENT POINTS CONTAINED IN 14 CFR 121.651.
Notation 6532: The National Transportation Safety Board has reviewed your Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), "Air Carrier and Commercial Operator Training Programs," which was published in Volume 59, Federal Register 64272 on December 13, 1994. The notice, affecting 14 CFR Parts 121 and 135, proposes to revise the training and qualification requirements for certain air carriers and commercial operators by: (1) Requiring certain certificate holders operating under part 135, and permitting certain others, to comply with part 121 training, checking, and qualification requirements, and (2) mandating Crew Resource Management (CRM) training requirements for part 121 and certain part 135 operators. The Safety Board strongly supports this NPRM. Air carrier accident investigation experience has shown repeatedly that shortcomings in flight crew performance have been cited in the majority of commuter and major air carrier accidents. And, human factors research and operating experience have led to significant advances in knowledge about the significance of human performance factors (e.g. communication, decisionmaking, leadership, management) in safe flight operations. Based on this information, the Safety Board has issued numerous safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advocating the upgrading of air carrier pilot training, checking, and qualification requirements; mandating CRM training requirements; and fostering greater use of aircraft flight simulator devices in training programs. Specifically, the proposed rulemaking is responsive to Safety Recommendations A-94-191, -192, -195, and -196, contained in the recently adopted "Commuter Airline Safety study," as well as several earlier recommendations that advocated upgrading part 135 training, checking and qualification requirements to make them comparable/equivalent to those of part 121. (A-86-101, A-86-108, A-88-126, A-90-128, and A-94-24.) The proposed rule also is responsive to Safety Recommendations A-88-69, A-88-71, A-89-124, A-90-135, A-93-37, and A-94-2 addressed to the FAA, that advocated CRM training for flightcrews of part 121 and part 135 operators. The proposed rule also is responsive to Safety Recommendations A-86-103 and A-93-72 that advocated greater use of aircraft flight simulator devices in the training programs of part 135 operators. Finally, the proposed rule also is responsive to Safety Recommendations A-86-l07, A-88-l37, A-90-l07, and A-90-l08, to the FAA, that advocated upgrading existing pilot operating experience requirements for scheduled part 121 and 135 operations. The Safety Board believes that adoption of this proposed rule would contribute significantly toward improving the level of safety in commuter airline operations, as well as in major air carrier operations. The Safety Board appreciates the opportunity, to comment on this proposed rule.
Safety Recommendation A-90-128 states that the FAA should incorporate requirements for Visual Descent Points (VDPs) in Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135. The Safety Board notes that the FAA is considering the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Pending further information, Safety Recommendation A-90-128 is classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."
THE FAA IS CONSIDERING THE ISSUANCE OF A NPRM TO ADDRESS THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION. I will provide the Board with a copy of any document that may be issued.
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