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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-97-078
Details
Synopsis: ON 5/11/96, ABOUT 1415 EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, A MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9-32 CRASHED INTO THE EVERGLADES SWAMP SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF FROM MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MIAMI FLORIDA, THE AIRPLANE, N904VJ, WAS OPERATED BY VALUJET AIRLINES, INC., AS VALUJET FLIGHT FLIGHT 592. BOTH PILOTS, THE THREE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, & ALL 105 PASSENGERS WERE KILLED. BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, THE FLIGHTCREW REPORTED TO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL THAT IT WAS EXPERIENCING SMOKE IN THE CABIN & COCKPIT. VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS EXISTED IN THE MIAMI AREA AT THE TIME OF THE TAKEOFF. THE DESTINATION OF THE FLIGHT WAS HARTSFIELD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, ATLANTA, GEORGIA. FLIGHT 592 WAS ON AN INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT PLAN.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE RSPA: DEVELOP RECORDS FOR ALL APPROVALS PREVIOUSLY ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF EXPLOSIVES & TRANSFERRED TO THE RSPA & ENSURE ALL RECORDS, INCLUDING DESIGNS, TESTING, & PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO INSPECTORS TO HELP THEM DETERMINE THAT PRODUCTS TRANSPORTED UNDER THOSE APPROVALS CAN BE DONE SAFELY & IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ITS APPROVAL.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Miami, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA96MA054
Accident Reports: In-Flight Fire and Impact With Terrain Valujet Airlines Flight 592 DC-9-32, N904VJ
Report #: AAR-97-06
Accident Date: 5/11/1996
Issue Date: 9/9/1997
Date Closed: 7/29/1999
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 7/29/1999
Response: ON 6/23/99, OUR STAFF TELEPHONED THE RSPA ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY TO CLARIFY HOW AVIATION HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INSPECTORS ACCESS ALL RECORDS PERTAINING TO THE RSPA APPROVALS, INCLUDING DESIGNS, TESTING, AND PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS. THE ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR STATED THAT ALL APPROVAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO INSPECTORS IN ALL MODES BY CALLING RSPA'S OFFICE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS EXEMPTIONS AND APPROVALS. HE FURTHER STATED THAT INSPECTORS ARE TRAINED TO CONTACT RSPA WHEN A QUESTION REGARDING THE SHIPPING OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ARISES, WHEREUPON THE REQUESTED INFORMATION IS SENT TO THE INSPECTOR BY FAX. THESE ACTIONS MEET THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. ACCORDINGLY, A-97-78 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/23/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 3/1/99 4:04:14 PM MC# 990188 THE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REGULATIONS (HMR) REQUIRE EACH OWNER OF A SPECIFICATION TANK CAR TO RETAIN THE CERTIFICATE OF CONSTRUCTION, ALONG WITH OTHER RELATED DOCUMENTS WHICH SERVE TO CERTIFY THAT THE TANK CAR CONFORMS TO THE APPROPRIATE SPECIFICATIONS. THE TANK CAR OWNER IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE DOCUMENTS THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD OF OWNERSHIP OF THE TANK CAR. IN GENERAL, THESE DOCUMENTS ARE KEPT AT THE OWNER'S PRIMARY BUSINESS LOCATION. THE HMR ALSO REQUIRE EACH TANK CAR TO DISPLAY A REPORTING MARK AND NUMBER. THROUGH THE REPORTING MARKS, TANK CAR OWNERS CAN BE TRACED BY THE UNIVERSAL MACHINE LANGUAGE EQUIPMENT REGISTER (UMLER) THAT IS MAINTAINED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS (AAR). ALL TANK CAR OWNERS MUST REPORT THEIR RAIL CARS, BY REPORTING MARK AND NUMBER, TO THE AAR'S UMLER. IN ADDITION, THE UMLER FILE CONTAINS THE CERTIFICATE OF CONSTRUCTION NUMBER FOR EACH TANK CAR. THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION (FRA) INSPECTORS MAY USE THIS REGISTER AS A REFERENCE FOR CONTACTING THE APPROPRIATE TANK CAR OWNER FOR APPROVAL INFORMATION. BECAUSE A SMALL NUMBER OF COMPANIES OWN THE MAJORITY OF TANK CARS AND THE FRA INSPECTORS ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE OWNERS, THE UMLER FILE IS USUALLY NOT NEEDED FOR THIS PURPOSE. I HOPE THIS RESPONDS TO YOUR CONCERNS. BASED ON THIS RESPONSE, I REQUEST THAT A-97-78 BE CLASSIFIED AS "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE-ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 12/17/1998
Response: THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT ALL APPROVALS MUST NOW BE ISSUED BY RSPA & THAT ALL APPROVALS ISSUED BY BOE WILL BE INVALID AFTER 12/31/98. THIS INFO SATISFIES THE FIRST PART OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. HOWEVER, IT IS STILL UNCLEAR AS TO HOW "ALL RECORDS, INCLUDING DESIGNS, TESTING, & PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO INSPECTORS." SPECIFICALLY, THE BOARD WANTS TO KNOW WHERE THESE RECORDS ARE MAINTAINED & WHAT THE PROCESS IS FOR MAKING THEM AVAILABLE TO INSPECTORS. PENDING CLARIFICATION OF THESE ISSUES, A-97-78 REMAINS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/15/1998
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 10/26/98 1:44:42 PM MC# 981289) THE MAJORITY OF THE APPROVALS ISSUED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS' (AAR) BUREAU OF EXPLOSIVES (BOE) AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS OR DEVICES. OVER MANY YEARS, RSPA HAS GRADUALLY REPLACED MOST OF THESE BOE APPROVALS WITH APPROVALS ISSUED BY RSPA. UNDER A RECENTLY PUBLISHED FINAL RULE, THE REMAINING EXPLOSIVE APPROVALS ISSUED BY THE BOE WILL NO LONGER BE VALID AFTER 12/31/98. THE FINAL RULE REQUIRES ANY PERSON HOLDING A BOE APPROVAL & DESIRING CONTINUED SIMILAR AUTHORITY TO APPLY FOR A NEW APPROVAL FROM RSPA'S ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY. AS DISCUSSED IN MY 2/9/98 LETTER, THE OTHER CATEGORY OF BOE APPROVALS RELATES TO RAIL TANK CARS. TANK CAR APPROVAL REQUIRES SUBMISSION OF DETAILED INFO TO THE AAR. THE AAR'S TANK CAR COMMITTEE DETERMINES WHETHER THE TANKS OR EQUIPMENT CONFORM TO THE DOT'S REGULATIONS. FEDERAL INSPECTORS OBTAIN COPIES OF RECORDS FROM TANK CAR OWNERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/26/1997
Response: