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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-99-010
Details
Synopsis: ON 2/9/98, N845AA, A BOEING 727-223 (B-727), OPERATING AS AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 1340, LANDED 180 FEET SHORT OF THE RUNWAY 14R THRESHOLD AT THE CHICAGO O'HARE INT'L. AIRPORT WHILE ATTEMPTING A CATEGORY II INSTRUMENT LANDING SYSTEM APPROACH. OF THE 116 PASSENGERS AND 6 CREWMEMBERS ON BOARD, 22 PASSENGERS AND 1 CREWMEMBER REPORTED MINOR INJURIES. THE AIRPLANE WAS SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FAA: IDENTIFY ALL AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER TITLE 14 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS PART 121 WITH LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS THAT OPEN DOWNWARD AND ISSUE AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE TO LIMIT THE DISTANCE THAT THOSE COMPARTMENTS CAN OPEN.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: CHICAGO, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA98MA023
Accident Reports: Ground Impact of American Airlines 1340
Report #: AAB-01-01
Accident Date: 2/9/1998
Issue Date: 2/19/1999
Date Closed: 4/15/2004
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/15/2004
Response: On February 6, 2001, the FAA indicated that it had identified all aircraft affected by this safety recommendation and that only the Boeing 727 was of concern. That action satisfied the first part of this recommendation. The FAA recently issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2003-20-14, effective November 13, 2003, which is applicable to Boeing 727-200 series aircraft. The AD requires installation of four lanyards on the forward access ceiling panel/door to prevent them from falling down and blocking the aisle, which would impede evacuation in an emergency. Issuance of the AD combined with the FAA's previous activity to identify affected aircraft fully addresses Safety Recommendation A-99-10, which is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/3/2004
Response: FAA issued AD 2003-20-14, effective November 13, 2003.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/2/2002
Response: Pending issuance of the rule, Safety Recommendation A-99-10 remains classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/12/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/15/2002 8:21:18 AM MC# 2020289 On February 6, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed the Board that it had completed its investigation of the liferaft ceiling stowage compartments or compartments that formerly held liferafts that open downward on the Boeing 727, 737 Classic, 737 Next Generation, 757-200 Classic, 757-300, 757-200 New Look Interior, and 777 series airplanes. The evaluation included a comparison of these designs to the Boeing 747 design as modified by Airworthiness Directive (AD) 91-22-05. The investigation revealed that the Boeing 727 was the only aircraft model for which additional action was required. The FM also stated that it would prepare a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to require operators to modify the Boeing 727 liferaft ceiling stowage compartments located in the forward and aft ends of the aircraft to be equivalent to, or better than, the Boeing 747 design as modified by AD 91-22-05. The FAA anticipated issuing the NPRM by the end of 2001. Subsequently, the FAA has discovered that the panel that opened during the subject incident and blocked the aisle was not a door of a liferaft ceiling stowage compartment that formerly held a life raft, but rather a ceiling access panel/door. This access panel/door is part of a Boeing desig where structural provisions for a future life raft installation are installed; however, an access panel/door is fitted in lieu of the actual liferaft ceiling stowage compartment door. The ceiling access panel/door design consists of four latches--two located on either side of the panel near each end and an open hinge along the aft edge. This design allows the operator to either swing the access panel/door down like a door or completely remove the access panel/door by lowering both the forward and aft ends simultaneously. The design of the liferaft ceiling stowage compartment door for the Boeing 727 aircraft has been reevaluated and although similar to the Boeing 747 design before being modified by AD 91-22-05, a few design features separate the two models. The Boeing 727 incorporates a dual paddle with positive overcenter pin and latch with no requirement for adjustment versus a single paddle and dead bolt on the Boeing 747. The FAA believes that the latching design of the Boeing 727 differs sufficiently from that of the Boeing 747 to prevent disengagement and, therefore, regulatory action is not merited. Consequently, the FAA plans to issue an NPRM to require operators to modify the Boeing 727 lowered ceiling access panels located in the forward and aft ends of the aircraft to incorporate lanyards that will limit the distance that the panel will fall in an event where it becomes dislodged. The Boeing Company has committed to develop a service bulletin, and the FAA plans to issue the NPRM by the first quarter of 2003. I will provide the Board with a copy of the NPRM as soon as it is issued.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/5/2001
Response: Pending the issuance of an AD that limits the distance that liferaft ceiling stowage compartments or compartments that formerly held liferafts that open downward can open, Safety Recommendation A-99-10 remains classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/6/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/09/2001 5:47:51 PM MC# 2010105 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has completed its investigation of the liferaft ceiling stowage compartments or compartments that formerly held liferafts that open downward on the Boeing 727, 737 Classic, 737 Next Generation, 757-200 Classic, 757-300, 757-200 New Look Interior, and 777 series airplanes. The evaluation included a comparison of these designs to the Boeing 747 design as modified by Airworthiness Directive (AD) 91-22-05. The results of the investigation (some of the airplane models are grouped together because their designs are similar) are as follows: · Boeing 737-100, -200 (Classic): These aircraft do not have liferaft ceiling stowage compartments or compartments that formerly held liferafts. The liferafts on these aircraft were installed on "hat rack containers" or inside stowage bins. Therefore, the FAA does not believe that regulatory action is warranted. · Boeing 737-300, -400, -500 (Classic), and 757-200 Version 1: These liferaft ceiling stowage compartment designs incorporate a dual paddle latch with two dead-bolt engagement pins. The latching mechanism and the snubbing system are equivalent to the 747 designs as modified by AD 91-22-05 to prevent disengagement of the latches.Therefore, the FAA does not believe that regulatory action is warranted. · Boeing 737-300, -400, -500 (Classic), and 757-200 Version 2: These liferaft ceiling stowage compartment designs incorporate a single center paddle latch with two dead-bolt engagement pins and two gas springs for counterbalance. The paddle latch is also a "slam" latch, which provides visual indication of when the compartment is closed and latched. The latching mechanism and the snubbing system are equivalent to (or better than) the 747 designs as modified by AD 91-22-05 to prevent disengagement of the latches. Therefore, the FAA does not believe that regulatory action is warranted. · Boeing 737 Next Generation, 757-300, and 757-200 New Look Interior: These liferaft ceiling stowage compartment designs incorporate a single center paddle latch, two hook and pin latches, two compression springs, and two snubbers. The paddle latch is also a "slam" latch, which provides visual indication of when the compartment is closed and latched. The latching mechanism and the snubbing system exceed the designs as modified by AD 91-22-05 to prevent disengagement of the latches. Therefore, the FAA does not believe that regulatory action is warranted. · Boeing 777 series: This liferaft ceiling stowage compartment design incorporates a single center paddle latch, two rotating clevis', and two dead-bolt engagement pins within the latch. The design also incorporates two compression springs and two snubbers. The paddle latch is also a "slam" latch, which provides visual indication of when the compartment is closed and latched. The latching mechanism and the snubbing system exceed the 747 designs as modified by AD 91-22-05 to prevent disengagement of the latches. Therefore, the FAA does not believe that regulatory action is warranted. · Boeing 727 series: This liferaft ceiling stowage compartment design is similar to that of the liferaft ceiling stowage compartment design on the 747 series aircraft before being modified by AD 91-22-05. The FAA believes that similar regulatory action needs to be taken on the 727 series aircraft. The FAA plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to require operators to modify the 727 liferaft ceiling stowage compartment located in the forward and aft ends of the aircraft to be equivalent to that of the Boeing 747 designs as modified by AD 91-22-05. It is anticipated that the NPRM will be published by December 2001. I will provide the Board with a copy of the NPRM as soon as it is issued.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/13/2000
Response: PENDING COMPLETION OF THE FAA'S REVIEW OF ALL MANUFACTURERS AND THE DEVELOPMENT AND ISSUANCE OF AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES AS APPROPRIATE, A-99-10 REMAINS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/15/2000 1:33:23 PM MC# 2001067 THE FAA REQUESTED THAT ITS AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION OFFICES IDENTIFY AIRCRAFT AFFECTED BY THIS RECOMMENDATION AND DEVELOP DATA ON LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS. THE FAA ALSO SENT A REQUEST TO MANUFACTURERS OF AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER 14 CFR PART 121 AND TO APPROPRIATE REGULATORY AGENCIES REQUESTING INFORMATION REGARDING THE INSTALLATION OF LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS. TO DATE, THE FAA HAS RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM 11 OF THE 13 AIRPLANE MANUFACTURERS. THE 11 MANUFACTURERS HAVE REPORTED THAT ONLY SOME BOEING AND MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AIRPLANES HAVE LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS THAT OPEN DOWNWARD INTO THE AISLE OR EXIT PASSAGEWAY. THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-10 AND MD-11 SERIES AIRPLANES DO NOT HAVE LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS THAT OPEN DOWNWARD INTO THE AISLE OR EXIT PASSAGEWAY. THE REMAINING 9 MANUFACTURERS THAT DO NOT OUTFIT THEIR AIRPLANES WITH LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS ARE LOCKHEED, AIRBUS, BRITISH AEROSPACE-AIRBUS, BAE-REGIONAL AIRCRAFT, BOMBARDIER, EMBRAER, DORNIER, SAAB, AND SHORT BROTHERS AIRCRAFT. THE FAA HAS NOT RECEIVED RESPONSES FROM DASSAULT AND AVIONS DE TRANSPORT REGIONAL (ATR). HOWEVER, BASED ON THE SIZE OF THE AIRPLANES MANUFACTURED BY DASSAULT AND ATR, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THEY WOULD HAVE THESE LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS BECAUSE OF THE SMALL AREA BETWEEN THE INTERIOR CEILING AND THE FUSELAGE OUTER STRUCTURE. THE FAA WILL REVIEW THESE DATA AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE. THE FAA INITIATED A STUDY OF THE DIFFERENT COMPARTMENT DESIGNS USED IN THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AND BOEING AIRCRAFT AND HAS DEVELOPED THE ENCLOSED TABLE, WHICH SUMMARIZES THE FINDINGS. ON THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AIRPLANES (DC9-30, MD80, MD87, AND MD90) AND BOEING 717 AIRPLANES, THE STOWAGE COMPARTMENT DOORS OPEN LIKE "BOMB BAY DOORS." THERE IS ONE DOUBLE-HINGED DOOR LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENT LOCATED IN THE FORWARD CABIN AND ONE IN THE OVER-WING AREA. WHEN ONE OR TWO COMPARTMENT DOORS IN THE SAME AREA ARE OPENED, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE TWO COMPARTMENT DOORS IS ENOUGH TO LET A PASSENGER TRANSVERSE THE AISLE. THE LOWER DOOR EDGE DISTANCE IS HIGHER THAN THE LOWEST INBOARD EDGE OF THE STOWAGE COMPARTMENT. THE BOEING 717 CEILING LIFERAFT COMPARTMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN ENGINEERED AT THIS TIME. BOEING DOES OFFER THE COMPARTMENTS IN THE BOEING 717 OPTION CATALOG, AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE OPTION IS NOT PREENGINEERED. IF AND WHEN AN AIRLINE ORDERS THIS OPTION, THE DESIGN WOULD BE SIMILAR TO THE MD80/90 DESIGN. THE FAA HAS DETERMINED THAT THESE COMPARTMENTS, WHEN OPENED, DO NOT IMPOSE AN IMPEDIMENT TO RAPID EVACUATION OF THE AIRPLANE. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FAA FINDS THAT THESE DESIGNS ARE ACCEPTABLE. THE LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OF THE BOEING 767 ARE USED FOR EITHER MISCELLANEOUS STOWAGE OR LIFERAFTS. THE BASIC DESIGN OF THE CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS FOR MISCELLANEOUS STOWAGE AND LIFERAFTS ARE BASICALLY THE SAME--THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE SIZE AND THE LOCATION INSIDE THE AIRPLANE, DEPENDING ON THE CONTENTS. REGARDLESS, THE COMPARTMENTS WILL STAY IN A CLOSED POSITION WHEN UNLATCHED. ALSO, WHEN THE COMPARTMENTS ARE OPENED TO THE FULL EXTENT, THE USABILITY OF THE AISLE IS NOT IMPACTED BECAUSE OF THE LOCATION OF THE COMPARTMENT AND THE VERTICAL CLEARANCE FROM THE FLOOR TO THE DEPLOYED COMPARTMENT. THE FAA HAS DETERMINED THAT THESE COMPARTMENTS, WHEN OPENED, DO NOT IMPOSE AN IMPEDIMENT TO RAPID EVACUATION OF THE AIRPLANE. THEREFORE, THESE DESIGNS ARE ACCEPTABLE. BOEING 727 AIRPLANES HAVE TWO LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS THAT ARE LOCATED ABOVE THE OVER-WING EXITS. THIS DESIGN IS PROVIDED BY HEXCEL INTERIORS (FORMERLY HEATH TECNA) AND IS INSTALLED BY A SUPPLEMENTAL TYPE CERTIFICATE. THESE COMPARTMENTS ARE USED FOR THE STOWAGE OF LIFERAFTS OR MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. THESE COMPARTMENTS OPEN DOWNWARD TO THE FULL EXTENT WHEN UNLATCHED, WHETHER THE COMPARTMENT IS LOADED OR NOT, AND REMAIN IN THE FULL OPEN POSITION. HOWEVER, THE DISTANCE FROM THE FLOOR TO THE LOWEST PART OF THE STOWAGE COMPARTMENT IN THE OPEN POSITION IS ADEQUATE TO LET FREE ACCESS TO THE OVER-WING EXIT DOOR. ALSO, EVEN UNDER THE MOST ADVERSE CASE WHEN BOTH COMPARTMENT DOORS ARE OPEN, THERE IS ENOUGH SPACE BETWEEN THE TWO COMPARTMENT DOORS TO LET A PASSENGER TRANSVERSE THE AISLE. THE FAA HAS DETERMINED THAT THESE COMPARTMENTS, WHEN OPENED, DO NOT IMPOSE AN IMPEDIMENT TO RAPID EVACUATION OF THE AIRPLANE. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FAA FINDS THAT THIS DESIGN IS ACCEPTABLE. FINALLY, THE BOEING 747 AIRPLANES ARE EQUIPPED WITH SEVERAL DIFFERENT DESIGNS OF LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS THAT ARE USED FOR MISCELLANEOUS STOWAGE EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT AND LIFERAFTS. THESE COMPARTMENTS, WHEN UNLATCHED, WILL OPEN TO THE FULL EXTENT WHETHER THE COMPARTMENT IS LOADED OR NOT. THESE COMPARTMENTS WERE ADDRESSED IN A PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATION (A-90-59). IN RESPONSE TO THAT RECOMMENDATION, THE FAA ISSUED AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE (AD) 91-22-05 TO MANDATE DESIGN CHANGES TO THE STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS, WHICH INCLUDED CHANGES TO THE LATCHING MECHANISM AND SNUBBER SYSTEM, AND DESIGN CHANGES TO PREVENT DISENGAGEMENT OF THE LATCHES. THE BOARD AGREED THAT THE AD ADDRESSED A-90-59 AND CLASSIFIED IT IN A "CLOSED ACCEPTABLE" STATUS. THE FAA PLANS TO REVIEW THE DESIGN OF THE LIFERAFT STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS ON THE BOEING 727, 737 CLASSIC, 737 NEXT GENERATION, 757-200 CLASSIC, 757-300, 757-200 NEW LOOK INTERIOR, AND 777 SERIES AIRPLANES AND COMPARE THESE DESIGNS WITH THE BOEING 747 DESIGN AS MODIFIED BY AD 91-22-05. THE FAA PLANS TO COMPLETE THIS REVIEW BY 1/15/01. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD INFORMED OF THE FAA'S PROGRESS ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE FAA IS TAKING THE ACTION REQUESTED IN THE SAFETY RECOMMENDATION. PENDING RECEIPT OF INFORMATION NEEDED TO IDENTIFY ALL AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER 14 CFR PART 121 WITH LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS THAT OPEN DOWNWARD AND THE ISSUANCE OF AN AD TO LIMIT THE DISTANCE THAT THOSE COMPARTMENTS CAN OPEN, A-99-10 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/20/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/27/1999 8:09:27 AM MC# 991513 THE FAA HAS REQUESTED THAT ITS AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION OFFICES IDENTIFY AIRCRAFT AFFECTED BY THIS RECOMMENDATION AND DEVELOP DATA ON LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE REQUIREMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS. THE FAA HAS ALSO SENT A REQUEST TO MANUFACTURERS OF AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER 14 CFR PART 121 AND TO APPROPRIATE REGULATORY AGENCIES REQUESTING INFORMATION REGARDING THE INSTALLATION OF LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS. TO DATE, THE FAA HAS RECEIVED RESPONSES FROM SAAB, EMBRAER, AND THE BOEING COMPANY. OBTAINING RESPONSES FROM ALL OF THE PARTIES IS TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED. THE FAA PLANS TO CONTACT THOSE MANUFACTURERS AND REGULATORY AGENCIES THAT HAVE NOT YET RESPONDED AND REQUEST THAT THEY PROVIDE A SCHEDULE FOR COMPLETION OF THIS EFFORT. THE FAA ANTICIPATES COMPLETING WORK ON THIS PROGRAM BY JUNE 2000. THE FAA ALSO CONDUCTED A DATA SEARCH OF THE NATIONAL AVIATION SAFETY DATA ANALYSIS CENTER (NASDAC) FOR ANY OTHER REPORTS OF LIFERAFT STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OPENING IN-SERVICE AS THE RESULT OF TURBULENCE OR HARD LANDINGS. NO ADDITIONAL REPORTS WERE FOUND IN THE NASDAC SYSTEM.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/2/1999
Response: A-99-10 ASKED THE FAA TO IDENTIFY ALL AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER 14 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS PART 121 WITH LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS THAT OPEN DOWNWARD AND ISSUE AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE TO LIMIT THE DISTANCE THAT THOSE COMPARTMENTS CAN OPEN. PENDING THE REVIEW BY THE ACTION AGENCIES AND CORRESPONDING ACTION BY THE FAA, A-99-10 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/14/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 5/3/99 4:30:52 PM MC# 990466 THE FAA HAS REQUESTED THAT ITS AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION OFFICES IDENTIFY AIRCRAFT AFFECTED BY THIS RECOMMENDATION AND DEVELOP DATA ON LIFERAFT CEILING STOWAGE COMPARTMENTS OR COMPARTMENTS THAT FORMERLY HELD LIFERAFTS. THE FAA WILL COMPLETE ITS ANALYSIS OF THIS SAFETY ISSUE AND PROVIDE THE BOARD WITH A DECISION REGARDING ITS COURSE OF ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 1999.