NTSB tells business aviation to sharpen up its act

This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

The US National Transportation Safety Board has issued a list of recommendations that effectively tell business aviation operators and pilots to smarten up their act.

If the Federal Aviation Administration accepts the NTSB recommendations, it will issue basic instructions to on-demand charter and corporate operators to ensure that their crews are provided with standard operating procedures and follow them, and that their pilots should be required to use the same checklists on the line as they use in training.

Also on training, the on-demand charter sector should conduct pilot-in-command line checks over full operational profiles that demonstrate the commander's ability to manage "weather information, checklist execution, sterile cockpit adherence and other variables that might affect how revenue flights are conducted".

Some recommendations to tighten up flightdeck procedures are directed at airline operators as well, such as a demand that checklists require pilots to respond to a "flaps" call with the actual flap position, not just "set" or "as required". All operators are also urged to ensure that aircraft fitted with terrain avoidance warning systems have the latest terrain database uploaded.

Specifically aimed at business crews is a recommendation that pilots should be trained in fatigue prevention and recognition, and fatigue management during operations.

The NTSB wants manufacturers of in-service and newly certificated turbine aircraft to include in their flight manuals the description of type-specific "committed to stop" points, beyond which go-around is no longer an option. The board provides an example by citing the case of a Hawker 125-800A, for which the "committed to stop" point is deployment of the lift-dumpers.

Broader recommendations exhort the FAA to "actively pursue with aircraft and avionic manufacturers the development of technology to reduce or prevent runway excursions, and once it becomes available, require that the technology be installed."

Further evidence of NTSB concern about business aviation's poor record on runway overruns is a recommendation that manufacturers should provide more accurate information about distance landing assessments for wet runway conditions.