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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-14-095
Details
Synopsis: The use of over-the-counter (OTC), prescription, and illicit drugs is increasing in the US population. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is concerned about the possible safety implications of increased drug use in all modes of transportation. Yet, in most modes of transportation, data about drug use by vehicle operators is limited to a small proportion of operators and a short list of drugs. Aviation is the one mode in which the regulatory authority, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), routinely conducts extensive postaccident toxicology testing on fatally injured pilots. This study used the results from this testing to assess drug use in aviation. By assessing evidence of fatally injured pilots’ drug use prior to flying and the associated potential for impairment, this study addressed a serious aviation safety issue and a growing transportation safety concern.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Conduct a study to assess the prevalence of over-the-counter, prescription, and illicit drug use among flying pilots not involved in accidents, and compare those results with findings from pilots who have died from aviation accidents to assess the safety risks of using those drugs while flying.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14SS003
Accident Reports:
Report #: SS-14-01
Accident Date: 2/11/2014
Issue Date: 9/23/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/17/2018
Response: We note that on September 21, 2017, your institutional review board approved a revision to your planned research study, and you are currently finalizing the details for obtaining necessary supplies and the mechanisms for getting supplies to and from aviation medical examiners. We further note that you will be briefing pilot organizations, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, about the research project to get their feedback by December 2018. Pending completion of the planned research and our review of the study’s findings, Safety Recommendation A-14-95 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/18/2018
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: On September 21, 2017, the FAA's Institutional Review Board approved our revised application for this research project. We are finalizing the details for obtaining necessary supplies and the mechanisms for getting supplies to and from the Aviation Medical Examiners. We also plan to brief pilot organizations, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, about the research project to get their feedback by December 2018. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA' s progress on this recommendation and provide an update by April 2019.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/23/2017
Response: In your February 12, 2016, letter regarding this recommendation, you told us that the institutional review board of your Civil Aerospace Medical Institute and the federal air surgeon had approved a research study for this recommendation, and that you were preparing a formal research proposal. We note from your current letter that the formal study has been approved and is expected to begin soon, and you are currently preparing to brief pilot unions. Pending completion of the planned research and our review of the study’s findings, Safety Recommendation A-14-95 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/2017
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The FAA 's Institutional Review Board approved the research project. The Prevalence of Drug Use in the Pilot Population. This research project will meet the intent of this recommendation to determine the prevalence of certain drugs in the pilot population. The research effort has completed internal review and coordination. including senior management approval. Preparatory activities to brief pilot unions are underway. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA"s progress on Safety Recommendations A- 14-92 and -95 and provide an update by March 31, 2018.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/20/2016
Response: We note that the Institutional Review Board of your Civil Aerospace Medical Institute and the Federal Air Surgeon have approved a research study for this recommendation, and that you are currently preparing a formal research proposal. Pending completion of the planned research, and our review of the study’s findings, Safety Recommendation A-14-95 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/12/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Institutional Review Board and the Federal Air Surgeon have approved a research study for this safety recommendation. They are preparing a formal research proposal. I believe the FAA has effectively addressed Safety Recommendation A-14-92 and consider our actions complete. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on Safety Recommendation A-14-95 and provide an update by September l, 2016.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/3/2015
Response: We note that you are working to determine the appropriate actions to take in addressing this recommendation. We acknowledge that the recommended study poses significant study design challenges in how to obtain the data for pilots not involved in accidents. Pending your initiation and completion of the recommended study, Safety Recommendation A-14-95 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/1/2014
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The FAA is working to determine the appropriate actions necessary to address this recommendation.