More Aviation Incidents to Require NTSB Reporting
A final rule taking effect March 8 will require reports when an aircraft lands or departs on an incorrect runway, when damage of a helicopter’s tail or main rotor blade necessitates major repair or replacement, and when all or part of a propeller blade separates from an aircraft, except when ground contact is the sole cause.
Beginning March 8, several types of aviation incidents will require a report to the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB published a final rule on Thursday amending its reporting requirements, making some changes in the initial language in response to six comments received.
The rule will require reports when an aircraft lands or departs on a taxiway or incorrect runway, when an aircraft 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, when damage to a helicopter's tail or main rotor blade necessitates major repair or replacement of that blade, and when all or part of a propeller blade separates from an aircraft, except when ground contact is the sole cause.
The rule also requires reporting any "complete loss of information, excluding flickering, from more than 50 percent of an aircraft's cockpit displays known as: (A) Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) displays; (B) Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) displays; (C) Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays; or (D) Other displays of this type, which generally include a primary flight display (PFD), primary navigation display (PND), and other integrated displays."
The agency noted a professional pilots' union felt propeller damage caused solely by ground contact should not be excluded because "liberated propeller blades or blade segments pose a significant hazard to the crew, passengers, and bystanders." While NTSB said it agrees such incidents are hazardous, it said propeller blades "are designed and certified to operate within the atmosphere and, as such, the expectation is that they remain intact and in place during normal operation. Propeller blades are not designed or expected to continue to remain intact and in place following contact with the ground. The NTSB continues to believe that the language of the reporting requirement will achieve the NTSB's objective of receiving notification of any release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, inconsistent with its design parameters and certification, thus excluding releases caused solely by ground contact. Therefore, the NTSB has not amended this addition."