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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-94-084
Details
Synopsis: ON OCTOBER 26, 1993, ABOUT 1552, N82, A BEECH SUPER KING AIR 300/F (BE-300/F, OWNED BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) AND OPERATED BY THE ATLANTIC CITY (ACY), NEW JERSEY, FLIGHT INSPECTION AREA OFFICE (FIAO), WAS DESTROYED WHEN IT CRASHED INTO MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN NEAR FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA. THE THREE FLIGHT CREWMEMERS ABOARD RECEIVED FATAL INJURIES.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: PROVIDE DIRECT LINE AUTHORITY TO THE EXECUTIVES AND MANAGERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT OF THE FAA FLYING PROGRAM TO ENSURE SAFETY OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE PROGRAM EQUAL TO THE REQUIRED OF THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY BY THE FAA.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: FRONT ROYAL, VA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94GA010
Accident Reports: Controlled Flight into Terain Federal Aviation Administration Beech Super King Air 300/F, N82
Report #: AAR-94-03
Accident Date: 10/26/1993
Issue Date: 4/21/1994
Date Closed: 12/6/1996
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Oversight

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/6/1996
Response: THE FAA HAS STATED THAT MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE FAA'S FLIGHT PROGRAM INCLUDES A DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, A DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE, & A CHIEF PILOT. THIS STRUCTURE IS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY. ALSO, THE OFFICAL RESPONSIBLE FOR FLIGHT PROGRAM POLICY DIRECTION & OVERSIGHT (THE DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT PROGRAM POLICY & PLANS) & THE FAA SENIOR FLIGHT SAFETY OFFICER HAVE BEEN RELOCATED TO FAA HEADQUARTERS. THE FAA CONSIDERS THIS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE TO BE THE EQUIVALENT OF DIRECT LINE AUTHORITY TO THE VARIOUS ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR'S FLYING PROGRAMS & COMPARABLE TO THE MANAGEMENT & SAFETY OVERSIGHT OF AIR CARRIER ORGANIZATIONS. BECAUSE THIS RELOCATION PROVIDES ASSURANCE THAT DIRECT ACCESS EXISTS TO THE ADMINISTRATOR & THE OTHER ASSOCIATION ADMINISTRATORS ON ISSUES INVOLVING FAA FLIGHT PROGRAMS, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-94-84 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/7/1996
Response: THE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE FAA'S FLIGHT PROGRAM INCLUDES A DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, A DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE, & A CHIEF PILOT. THIS STRUCTURE IS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY. THE DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT PROGRAM POLICY & PLANS, HAS BEEN RELOCATED TO HEADQUARTERS & IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FLIGHT PROGRAM POLICY DIRECTION & OVERSIGHT. THE DIRECTOR HAS DIRECT ACCESS TO ME & OTHER FAA ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATORS ON ISSUES INVOLVING FAA FLIGHT PROGRAMS. THE POSITION OF FAA SENIOR FLIGHT SAFETY OFFICER HAS ALSO BEEN RELOCATED TO HEADQUARTERS & REPORTS DIRECTLY TO THE DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT PROGRAM POLICY & PLANS. THIS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CREATES AN EFFECTIVE HIERARCHICAL MANAGEMENT CHAIN OF COMMAND THAT ENHANCES FLIGHT PROGRAM OVERSIGHT & PROVIDES A GREATER LEVEL OF AWARENESS & AUTHORITY IN RESOLVING ISSUES AFFECTING FLIGHT SAFETY & THE OVERALL FALL FLIGHT PROGRAM. I CONSIDER THE FAA'S ACTION TO BE COMPLETED ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/8/1996
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE FAA HAS REORGANIZED INTO SIX LINES OF BUSINESS & HAS ASSIGNED PORTIONS OF THE FAA AIRCRAFT FLEET TO VARIOUS FUNCTIONAL SEGMENTS OF THE AGENCY. THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION ASKED THE FAA TO PROVIDE DIRECT LINE AUTHORITY TO ENSURE SAFETY OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE FAA FLYING PROGRAM EQUAL TO THAT REQUIRED OF AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY. IT IS NOT CLEAR FROM THE DESCRIPTION OF THE REORGANIZATION PROVIDED IN THE FAA'S RESPONSE THAT THE REORGANIZATION MEETS THE INTENT OF A-94-84, BECAUSE THE POSITION OF DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT PROGRAM POLICY & PLANS STAFF IS SUBORDINATE TO THE ASSOCIATE ADMINSTRATOR FOR ADMINISTRATION & THE THREE OTHER ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATORS WHO EACH HAVE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF FAA AIRPLANES. IDEALLY, THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT OVERSIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT PROGRAM SHOULD RESIDE, IN FAA HEADQUARTERS WITH SUITABLE STAFF, AT AN ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL OF THE SYSTEM SAFETY OFFICE OR THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, TO BE EQUAL TO THE REQUIREMENTS PLACED ON THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY AS REQUIRED BY 14 CFR 121.59, 121,61, 135.37, & 135.39. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT DIRECT ACCESS TO THE ADMINISTRATOR & TO APPROPRIATE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATORS IS CRITICAL TO THIS PLAN. SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIPT OF THE FAA'S LETTER, BOARD STAFF MET WITH FAA STAFF TO CLARIFY THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION & THE FAA'S RESPONSE. DURING THOSE DISCUSSIONS, THE FAA STAFF STATED THAT THE NEWLY CREATED POSITION OF DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT POLICY & PLANS STAFF, DIRECTLY UNDER THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR ADMINISTRATION, WAS INTENDED TO SATISFY THE BOARD'S OBJECTIVES CONTAINED IN A-94-84. THE BOARD WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE FAA'S WRITTEN ASSURANCE THAT THE REORGANIZED MANAGEMENT & SAFETY OVERSIGHT OF THE FAA'S FLYING PROGRAMS IS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF THE AIR CARRIERS & THUS MEETS THE INTENT OF A-94-84. PENDING RECEIPT OF CORRESPONDENCE CONFIRMING THIS, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-94-84 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE REPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/18/1995
Response: FAA REORGANIZED INTO 6 LINES OF BUSINESS & CREATED A NEW DIRECTOR OF AIRCRAFT PROGRAM POLICY & PLANS STAFF, UNDER THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR ADMINISTRATION TO FULFILL THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OVERSIGHT OF THE FAA FLYING PROGRAM. THE FAA'S WRITTEN RESPONSE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE RESPONSIVE TO THE FULL INTENT OF THE RECOMMENDATION. SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS BETWEEN NTSB & FAA STAFF LED TO DISCUSSIONS IN WHICH THE FAA STAFF STATED THAT THE INTENT OF THE NEWLY FORMED POSITION WAS TO PROVIDE THE EQUIVALENT OF DIRECT LINE AUTHORITY FOR THE OVERSIGHT OF THE FAA FLYING PROGRAMS, EQUAL TO THAT REQUIRED OF THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/23/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THE FAA HAS REORGANIZED THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE FAA FLYING PROGRAM, CREATING AN AIRCRAFT OVERSIGHT EXECTIVE. WITH THIS ASSIGNMENT, THE FAA MAINTAINS THAT "THERE IS ONLY ONE EXECUTIVE FOR POLICY & OVERSIGHT OF FAA AIRCRAFT PROGRAMS OF OPERATIONS. THE FAA'S WEEKLY "INTERCOM" 11/22/94, INDICATES THAT THE AIRCRAFT OVERSIGHT EXECUTIVE'S RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE THE FLEET OF 34 FLIGHT INSPECTION AIRCRAFT. THE FAA'S "INTERCOM" OF 12/13/94, INDICATES THAT THE FLIGHT INSPECTION PROGRAM IS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES. THIS INFO RAISES SOME ISSUES THAT REQUIRE CLARIFICATION REGARDING A-94-84 & THE BOARD'S RELATED AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT, FINDING NO.17, QUOTED BELOW: AVN MANAGEMENT OF THE FAA FLYING PROGRAM (WHICH ACCUMULATED ALMOST 50,000 FLYILNG HOURS IN FY 93) WAS INEFFECTIVE BECAUSE: (A) THE AIRPLANE FLEET OPERATED ACROSS THE LINES OF AUTHORITY OF TWO EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS, THREE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATORS, NINE REGIONAL DIVISION MANAGERS, & NUMEROUS OFFICE/BRANCH MANAGERS, & (B) THE DESIGNATED MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION, AVN, WAS, IN ACTUALITY, ONE OF THE OPERATIVE ORGANIZATIONS. TO EVALUATE & CLASSIFY THE FAA'S RESPONSE TO THE RECOMMENDATION, THE BOARD REQUESTS A FOLLOW-UP REPLY ADDRESSING THE FOLLOWING POINTS: DO THE AIRCRAFT EXECUTIVE'S RESPONSIBILITIES EXTEND TO THE POLICY & OVERSIGHT OF PUBLIC USE & LEASED AIRCRAFT OPERATED BY THE TECHNICAL CENTER, THE REGIONS, & HANGAR 6? IF SO, HOW ARE THESE RESPONSIBILITIES ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE RESTRUCTURED ORGANIZATION HEADED BY THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATION FOR AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE TO AVOID THE PREVIOUS CROSSED LINES OF AUTHORITY? IF THE AIRCRAFT OVERSIGHT EXECUTIVE'S RESPONSIBILITIES DO NOT INCLUDE ALL AIRCRAFT IN THE FAA FLYING PROGRAMS, HOW IS THE FAA ORGANIZATION STRUCTURED & WHERE ARE THE LINES OF AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER POLICY & OVERSIGHT OF FLYING PROGRAM FOR PUBLIC USE & LEASED AIRCRAFT AT THE TECHNICAL CENTER, WITH THE REGIONS, & AT HANGAR 6? PENDING RECEIPT OF THE REQUESTED INFO, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-94-84 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/20/1994
Response: THE FAA HAS REORGANIZED THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE FAA AIRCRAFT PROGRAM IN ORDER TO FULLY IMPLEMENT THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE IS SIMILAR TO THAT IN THE AIR CARRIER INDUSTRY & INCLUDES AN AIRCRAFT OVERSIGHT EXECUTIVE, A DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, A DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE, & A CHIEF PILOT. THE STRUCTURE ESTABLISHES THE AIRCRAFT OVERSIGHT EXECUTIVE AS THE SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR AGENCY AIRCRAFT ACTIVITIES. WHILE FAA AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS SUPPORT VARIOUS FAA ORGANIZATIONS ON A MISSION BASIS, THERE IS ONLY ONE FAA EXECUTIVE FOR POLICY & OVERSIGHT OF FAA AIRCRAFT PROGRAMS & OPERATIONS.