NTSB expands reporting requirements

January 14, 2010

The NTSB has issued a final rule that adds six reporting requirements to NTSB 830.5 (a). The reporting requirements, which will go into effect March 8, specifically address aircraft with turbine engines and glass cockpits, and also include air carriers and fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Aircraft operators must report the following incidents:

  • Failure of any internal turbine engine component that results in the escape of debris other than out the exhaust path;
  • Release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, excluding release caused solely by ground contact;
  • A complete loss of information, excluding flickering, from more than 50 percent of an aircraft’s cockpit displays, known as Electronic Flight Instrument System displays, Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System displays, Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor displays, or other such displays;
  • Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued either (1) when an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft, or (2) to an aircraft operating in class A airspace;
  • Damage to helicopter tail or main rotor blades, including ground damage, that requires major repair or replacement of the blade(s);
  • Any event in which an aircraft operated by an air carrier lands or departs on a taxiway, incorrect runway, or other area not designed as a runway, or 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.

AOPA had commented on the proposed reporting requirements in 2008. In its comments, the association explained that the FAA already requires the reporting of ACAS resolutions; however, in its final rule, the NTSB said “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 also considered other comments and modified its final rule to make it clear that separation of the propeller blade or portion of the blade need only be reported if it happens without ground contact. Based on comments submitted by AOPA, the board  clarified its reporting requirement for glass cockpits to better reflect its intent to “capture ‘display blanking’ events in which many of the newer ‘glass cockpit’ type displays have gone blank.”

For a copy of revised NTSB 830.5 in advance of March 8, download the final rule.