NTSB this week expanded its list of must-report incidents, adding uncontained engine failures; propeller blade separations; helicopter rotor blade damage that requires maintenance; significant information loss on glass cockpit displays; ACAS advisories in IFR conditions or Class A airspace; major runway incursions; and landings/takeoffs from "incorrect" runways or taxiways.
The rule change, first proposed in October 2008
, generated a few interesting comments from industry and responses from the board. The most insightful came in relation to the ACAS reporting requirements. One commenter suggested that FAA's reporting of these incidents, either as-is or with some enhancements, would be a better fit than burdening operators with making these reports. Responded the board:
The NTSB does not believe that the FAA's processes for assessing and reporting incidents, particularly those involving losses of separation, are sufficiently reliable....The NTSB expects that information provided by aircraft operators under this reporting requirement will help validate the effectiveness of the FAA's reporting process, especially relating to more serious incidents occurring in the system.
Read the full text of the rule change notice here
; the rule's added language is below:
The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office when:
(a) An aircraft accident or any of the following listed serious incidents occur:
* * * * *
(3) Failure of any internal turbine engine component that results in the escape of debris other than out the exhaust path;
(4) In-flight fire;
(5) Aircraft collision in flight;
* * * * *
(8) Release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, excluding release caused solely by ground contact;
(9) A complete loss of information, excluding flickering, from more than 50 percent of an aircraft's cockpit displays known as:
(i) Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) displays;
(ii) Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) displays;
(iii) Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays; or
(iv) Other displays of this type, which generally include a primary flight display (PFD), primary navigation display (PND), and other integrated displays;
(10) Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued either:
(i) When an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft; or
(ii) To an aircraft operating in class A airspace.
(11) Damage to helicopter tail or main rotor blades, including ground damage, that requires major repair or replacement of the blade(s);
(12) Any event in which an aircraft operated by an air carrier:
(i) Lands or departs on a taxiway, incorrect runway, or other area not designed as a runway; or
(ii) Experiences a runway incursion that requires the operator or the crew of another aircraft or vehicle to take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision.