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Closing Statement: Steep Climb and Uncontrolled Descent During Takeoff, Bagram Afghanistan
Christopher A. Hart
NTSB Boardroom

In closing, I would like to recognize the hard work of the NTSB staff in producing this report, and thank my fellow Board Members for their very thoughtful participation in the process.

Today we have called on the FAA to revise its oversight and guidance in a way that will ensure that airlines have, and follow, appropriate procedures for securing special cargo loads, using only FAA-approved data as a source.

We have also called for initial and recurrent training for FAA inspectors, specifically addressing many facets of cargo operations involving special loads, including operator procedures, documents, restraint, and support for technical decisions.

We have recommended that the FAA establish appropriate limitations on the deferral of surveillance items for both Part 121 and 135 operators, and implement temporary risk-reduction measures when items are deferred.

And last but not least, we have called for a certification for personnel who are responsible for the loading, restraint, and documentation of special cargo loads on transport-category airplanes.

Many of the safety lapses we saw in the Bagram accident had their roots in a poorly defined standard for the loadmaster position in use at NAC; not only is there no training or guidance regarding how a loadmaster must handle special cargo, there is not even a definition of what a loadmaster is.

Today’s recommendations to the FAA, if acted upon, will help to clarify blurred lines, help to standardize previously ambiguous areas of oversight and guidance, and prepare FAA inspectors to determine whether this clearer guidance is being followed.

Our investigation revealed that the seven people who died in Bagram were operating in a world in whichimportant considerations were handled by individual supposition rather than by a system of best practices incorporated into procedures that are easily accessible and that have been shown to work.

It is up to the FAA to provide oversight and guidance regarding such procedures; it is up to each and every operator to include such procedures in their training and documentation; and it is up to individual employees to follow such procedures.

We stand adjourned.