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ON OCTOBER 28, 1989, ABOUT 1837 HAWAIIAN STANDARD TIME, ALOHA ISLANDAIR, FLIGHT 1712, A DE HAVILLAND DHC-6-300, TWIN OTTER, N707PV, COLLIDED WITH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WHILE EN ROUTE ON A SCHEDULED PASSENGER FLIGHT FROM THE KAHULUI AIR PORT, MAUI, HAWAII TO KAUNAKAKAI AIRPORT, MOLOKAI, HAWAII. THE FLIGHT WAS CONDUCTED UNDER VISUAL FLIGHT RULES (VFR) AND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 14 CFR PART 135.
THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE COMMERCIAL OPERATORS TO CONDUCT SUBSTANTIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS OF PILOT APPLICANTS, WHICH INCLUDE VERIFICATION OF PERSONAL FLIGHT RECORDS AND EXAMINATION OF TRAINING, PERFORMANCE, AND DISCIPLINARY AND OTHER RECORDS OF PREVIOUS EMPLOYERS, THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION SAFETY AND ENFORCEMENT RECORDS, AND THE NATIONAL DRIVERS REGISTER. (Supersedes Safety Recommendation A-88-141)
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Unacceptable Action
HALAWA,MOLOKAI, HI, United States
Aloha IslandAir, Inc., Flight 1712 DeHavilland Twin Otter, DHC-6-300, N707PV
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Records,Training and Education
Safety Recommendation History
THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE FAA CONTINUES TO BELIEVE THAT A VOLUNTARY COURSE OF ACTION WILL BE AS PRODUCTIVE AS REGULATORY ACTION REQUIRING THESE CHECKS. WE FURTHER NOTE THAT THE FAA ISSUED AIR CARRIER OPERATIONS BULLETIN (ACOB) 8-92-2, CERTIFICATED AIRMEN PREEMPLOYMENT SAFETY VERIFICATION, ON 5/21/92, AS AN ALTERNATIVE ACTION TO ADDRESS THIS SAFETY ISSUE. HOWEVER, AS THE BOARD STATED IN ITS 5/22/91, LETTER TO THE FAA, IT CONTINUES TO BELIEVE THAT THE FAA MUST REQUIRE COMMERCIAL OPERATORS TO CONDUCT SUBSTANTIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS TO PILOT APPLICANTS. THE BOARD'S ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION EXPERIENCE INDICATES THAT REGULATORY ACTION IS NEEDED TO INSURE THAT THESE CHECKS ARE ACCOMPLISHED. THEREFORE, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES RECOMMENDATION A-90-141 AS "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."
THE FAA DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT REQUIRING THE BACKGROUND CHECKS AS REQUESTED IN THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE ANY MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN PURSUING A VOLUNTARY COURSE OF ACTION. THE FAA BELIEVES THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AIRLINES TO VERIFY THE VALIDITY OF A PILOT'S CERTIFICATE. AS AN ALTERNATE ACTION TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, THE FAA ISSUED AIR CARRIER OPERATIONS BULLETIN (ACOB) 8-92-2, CERTIFICATED AIRMEN PREEMPLOYMENT SAFETY VERIFICATION, ON MAY 21, 1992. THIS ACOB PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR OBTAINING INFORMATION IN THE FAA AIRMEN DATA BASES AND ENCOURAGE CARRIERS TO USE THE INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THESE DATA BASES TO VERIFY THE VALIDITY OF THEIR PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES' AIRMEN CERTIFICATES AND SAFETY HISTORY. PRINCIPAL INSPECTORS ARE DIRECTED TO ADVISE THEIR RESPECTIVE OPERATORS THAT THE FAA EXPECTS THEM TO VERIFY THE CERTIFICATION OF ANY AIRMAN THEY EMPLOY, INCLUDING FLIGHT ENGINEERS, AIRCRAFT DISPATCHERS, REPAIRMEN, AND MECHANICS. THE BALTIMORE TRACON WILL CONTINUE ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE AIRCRAFT ON INSTRUMENT APPROACH TO FREDERICK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT. BALTIMORE WILL IDENTIFY THE AIRCRAFT TO THE DULLES TRACON USING THE AUTOMATED RADAR TRACKING SYSTEM. SINCE THE PRESENT DULLES AIRPORT SURVEILLANCE RADAR (ASR) COVERAGE IS APPROXIMATELY 600-700 FEET LOWER THAN THE BALTIMORE ASR-9 (2100 FEET VS. 2700 FEET), DULLES WILL CONTINUE TO RADAR MONITOR THE AIRCRAFT TO THE LIMITS OF ITS RADAR COVERAGE IN THAT AREA. WHILE AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH IS BEING CONDUCTED, LAND LINE COMMUNICATION WILL BE MAINTAINED BETWEEN THE TWO TRACONS TO ALERT EACH OTHER TO ANY SITUATION THAT MAY DEVELOP. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE TRANSFER OF THE AIRSPACE TO THE DULLES TRANCON WILL TAKE PLACE BY JANUARY 1993.
Safety Recommendation A-90-141 recommends that the FAA require commercial operators to conduct substantive background checks of pilot applicants, which include verification of personal flight records and examination of training, performance, and disciplinary and other records previous employers, FAA safety and enforcement records, and the National Drivers Register. The Safety Board notes that the FAA believes it is the responsibility of the airlines to verify the validity of a pilot's certificate. The Safety Board notes that the Secretary of Transportation sent a letter in November 1988 to all air carrier chief executive officers advising them about obtaining information from the various FAA data bases. On November 30, 1988, the FAA issued Action Notice 8430.26, Certificated Airmen Preemployment Safety Verification, which instructed principal operations inspectors to provide a copy of the notice to all carriers. The Safety Board understands that, as a result of this safety recommendation, the FAA will issue an air carrier operations bulletin to reiterate the content of the Secretary's letter and the action notice to include information on the availability and use of the National Drivers Register. On November 15, 1987, the Safety Board issued Safety Recommendation A-88-141, which addressed the same issues as Safety Recommendation A-90-141. The FAA agreed with the intent of Safety Recommendation A-88-141 but did not believe that the benefits derived from such a regulatory change would outweigh the costs of promulgating and enforcing it. Therefore, the FAA is relying entirely upon voluntary efforts of the operators to establish the scope and standards for such screening. The Safety Board believed that the FAA's response to the recommendation was unacceptable and, upon issuing Safety Recommendation A-90-141, classified Safety Recommendation A-88-141 as "Closed--Unacceptable Action/Superseded." The Safety Board continues to believe that the FAA must require commercial operators to conduct substantive background checks of pilot applicants. Based on the above information, Safety Recommendation A-90-141 is classified as "Open--Unacceptable Response."
The FAA does not believe that requiring the background checks as requested in this safety recommendation would be any more productive than pursuing a voluntary course of action. The FAA believes that it is the responsibility of the airlines to verify the validity of a pilot's certificate. In November 1988, the Secretary of Transportation sent a letter to all air carrier chief executive officers informing them of how to obtain information from the various FAA data bases, encouraging them to use the data bases to verify the validity of an applicant's certificate and safety history, and encouraging the carriers to use the information in making pilot hiring decisions. On November 30, 1988, the FAA issued Action Notice 8430.26, Certificated Airmen Preemployment Safety Verification, which instructed principal operations inspectors to provide a copy of the notice to all carriers to remind them of their responsibilities in this area and to increase surveillance of certification records during routine reviews of air carrier records. As a result of this recommendation, the FAA will issue an air carrier operations bulletin (ACOB) to reiterate the content of the Secretary's letter and the action notice and to include information on the availability and use of the National Driver Registry.
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