Acting on a recommendation spelled out by the NTSB in its final report on a fatal 2014 accident involving a business jet, NBAA recently took an initial step in responding with a plan to analyze the extent of a problem that contributed to the accident, and communicate the results.
The recommendation was one of five – along with three directed to the FAA, and another to the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) – that came as part of the board’s investigation of a fatal runway overrun of a Gulfstream IV, which crashed following a rejected takeoff with the elevator gust lock engaged at Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, MA on May 31, 2014.
In its final report issued last September, the NTSB called upon NBAA to work with business aviation flight operational quality assurance groups to analyze existing data for compliance with manufacturer-required routine flight-control checks before takeoff, and provide the results of this analysis to NBAA Members as part of the Association’s data-driven safety agenda for business aviation.
“Procedural compliance with checklists, standard operating procedures, regulations and company policies is critical to aviation safety,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen following the recommendation.
NBAA’s senior manager of safety and flight operations, Mark Larsen, CAM, is coordinating NBAA’s effort. The plan calls for the creation of a project team whose members will come from the NBAA staff, NBAA’s safety committee, industry safety leaders and relevant safety experts.
Each flight-operations quality assurance group participating in the project will analyze its existing data on noncompliance with manufacturer-required routine flight-control checks before takeoff. The project team will aggregate the results to derive the extent of the problem and provide a data-driven foundation for its solution. By collating the results of analysis of different data sources, further opportunities to mitigate the risk can be identified.
The working group will create a report highlighting the collective compliance rate for the manufacturer-required routine flight control checks before takeoff by business aviation operators. The report will also highlight the value of participating in these data analysis programs as a means to proactively analyze and assess risks to business aviation operations.
Safety has always been the top priority of NBAA. In the nearly 70 years that the NBAA has been in existence, the Association has been addressed in 10 NTSB recommendations, all of which were closed acceptably by the board.