The National Transportation Safety Board published a Notice of Proposed Rulemakingyesterday in the Federal Register proposing to expand 49 CFR Part 830 to include certain events that are not currently subject to Part 830’s reporting requirements. The proposed amendment is “intended to enhance aviation safety by providing the NTSB direct notification of these events so that [they] can investigate and take corrective actions in a timely manner.”
The proposed amendment includes revision of the definitions in Part 830.2 to remove reference to ground damage to helicopter rotor blades from the list of exclusions in order to “bring events involving ground damage to main or tail rotor blades within the definition of an accident and clearly make them reportable events.”
The NTSB is also proposing to amend Part 830.5 so that the following events are added to the current list of events requiring immediate NTSB notification: (a) failure of any internal turbine engine component that results in the escape of debris other than out the exhaust path; (b) structural failure of a propeller resulting in the release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, excluding release caused solely by ground contact; (c) loss of information from a majority of an aircraft’s certified electronic primary displays (excluding momentary inaccuracy or flickering from display systems that are certified installations); and (d) any Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories (RA) issued when an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan.
These amendments seem appropriate and the NTSB would likely receive safety related information sooner. This would in turn probably result in the NTSB issuing safety recommendations sooner than they otherwise might. However, given the delays and oftentimes reluctance on the part of the FAA and affected industry players to implement NTSB safety recommendations, it remains to be seen whether the additional notification requirements proposed by the amendments would result in timelier implementation of NTSB safety recommendations and enhanced aviation safety.
Comments concerning the proposed rule are due on or before February 25, 2005 and should be sent to Deepak Joshi, Lead Aerospace Engineer (Structures), National Transportation Safety Board, Room 5235, 490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20594. For more information, the NPRM provides greater detail and explanation for the proposed revisions, or you may also contact Deepak Joshi directly at (202) 314-6348.