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MakeItHappen

NTSB and Skydiving

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FYI:

http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2008/080911.html

snippets:
Quote


Washington, DC -- The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public Board meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 9:30 a.m., in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC.

* Special Investigation Report - Safety of Parachute Jump Operations. The Special Report examines accidents that highlight systemic safety issues within the jump operations industry. Media Contact: Keith Holloway

* Aviation Report - On July 29, 2006, a de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E, operated by Skydive Quantum Leap as a parachute operations flight, crash after takeoff from Sullivan Regional Airport, near Sullivan, Missouri. The pilot and five parachutists were killed. Two parachutists were seriously injured. Media Contact: Terry Williams

...

A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be available on the Board's web site at www.ntsb.gov. Technical support details are available under "Board Meetings." To report any problems, please call (703) 993- 3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.



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Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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Never heard of anything like this in the past in the USA. In wondering what may have prompted it I'd say it's either the increase in aircraft incidents and crashes, or possibly all the swoop deaths, we chose to accept, and they might say we ignore, coming home to roost . . .

(Note to Nervous Guy: Take heart, the government is on the job.)

NickD :o

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Sure as hell makes me nervous. I don't like the government poking around in things. Especially things that I really enjoy doing!
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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Never heard of anything like this in the past in the USA. In wondering what may have prompted it I'd say it's either the increase in aircraft incidents and crashes, or possibly all the swoop deaths, we chose to accept, and they might say we ignore, coming home to roost . . .

(Note to Nervous Guy: Take heart, the government is on the job.)

NickD :o


-------------------------------------------------------

Hey Nick,

I have wondered about the % of General Aviation incidents versus Skydiving operations. The FAA/NTSB has their annual report on GA incidents that include (I thought) skydiving aircraft incidents. Has anyone ever done a study of GA vs. Skydiving?

As for swooping, we (loosely the USPA) 'fixed' things in the past with AADs, increased training standards and minimum pull altitudes. I personally don't think swooping will ever be solved as it has always been a hot dog part of landing since squares were finally accepted as mainstream. Hell, in '83 I used to watch the Golden Knights do early morning dew downwind sliding tennis shoe landings that were quite impressive.

I'm really curious and apprehensive to hear what comes out of this 'hearing.'
____________________________________
I'm back in the USA!!

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FYI:

http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2008/080911.html

snippets:
***
Washington, DC -- The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public Board meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 9:30 a.m., in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC.

* Special Investigation Report - Safety of Parachute Jump Operations. The Special Report examines accidents that highlight systemic safety issues within the jump operations industry. Media Contact: Keith Holloway

* Aviation Report - On July 29, 2006, a de Havilland DHC-6-100, N203E, operated by Skydive Quantum Leap as a parachute operations flight, crash after takeoff from Sullivan Regional Airport, near Sullivan, Missouri. The pilot and five parachutists were killed. Two parachutists were seriously injured. Media Contact: Terry Williams
***


In case you don't know there have been several aircraft issues here in the midwest in the last few years to include the above accident. I have heard rumblings with contact to the local FSDO of possible inspections or other activities to address concerns with aircraft maintanence and operation.
This media event just may be the NTSB's position, and the opening shot, of the blitz to curtail or control the future of aircraft operation in the use of sport skydiving (requiring Part 135 operations on Turbine Aircraft).
As I understand you can view the event via the internet, through the NTSB website.


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USPA is aware of next Tuesday’s NTSB hearing on two subjects, the July 2006 Missouri Twin Otter crash, and the Special Investigation on Parachute Operations. USPA officials will be there, and we’ll report soon afterward on the results of the hearing, either on the USPA news page, the USPA blog, or most likely both.

- Ed Scott, USPA Executive Director
www.uspa.org

Read the USPA blog!

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"Synopses of final reports and any related press releases are generally available immediately following the meetings; published reports are usually available 4-6 weeks later; Opinions and Orders are usually available 2-4 weeks later."

From ntsb.gov



The live webcast is about to start
http://www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu/ntsb/live/ntsblive-cc.htm

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Now pilots getting critized. Fuel, oil fill, weight and balance, stalls and recovery, engine out errors (perris feathering wrong prop).

Pointing out pilot flight review differences between 91 and 135.

New regs on pilot training recommended for jump pilots.

New maintanence requirements recommended

Details not released yet.

adding, investigators have just confirmed that part 91 is appropriate versus 131
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Now they are talking about a potential recommedation to the FAA split Part 91 ops out into different segments. Anything that operates with a crew or for hire ops that should be split and held to different standards. It sounds like they want it so that if you are not the owner of the aircraft or know the owner of the aircraft then there should be different standards. Oversight by the FAA keeps getting hit on for Part 91 ops.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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The NTSB has been tasked with making a recommendation to the FAA. They supposedly don't care about cost or politics...the FAA does. The NTSB admittedly doesn't have good statistical data. All they know is that there have been X amount of deaths that didn't have to happen during the flight of parachute opera tons. They don't care about deaths after exit. They have found that pilots have been shown to be deficient in preflight and flying skills, maintenance items overlooked, seat belts aren't helpful enough in injury protection and a lack of FAA oversight of jump operations exists. They will likely recommend more rules and oversight. It will be up to the FAA to take any action. Action was recommended for Grand Canyon tours some years ago similar to this. The FAA decided not to take action. We will see what happens here. If they require more stringent maintenance and pilot training, cost will go up for all of us. It depends on how they implement any new rule to see if it's effective in making the flight portion more safe. The NTSB today simply has to do their duty and and make a recommendation that will make jump operations safer and get that off their back. Watching this meeting it seems they don't have enough data and direction at this point. My personal opinion is that the NTSB could recommend changes that might make flying safer but also to the point it could severely impact commerce of paid flight. Some of the NTSB members don't understand jump operations and some do. The discussion seems ok to me...for our government anyway.

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Here is what they recommended.

To the Federal Aviation Administration:
1. Require parachute jump operators to develop and implement Federal Aviation Administration approved aircraft maintenance and inspection programs that include, at a minimum, requirements for compliance with engine manufacturers’ recommended maintenance instructions, such as service bulletins and service information letters for time between overhauls and component life limits. (A 08 XX)
2. Develop and distribute guidance materials, in conjunction with the United States Parachute Association, for parachute jump operators to assist operators in implementing effective aircraft inspection and maintenance quality assurance programs. (A 08 XX)
3. Require parachute jump operators to develop initial and recurrent pilot training programs that address, at a minimum, operation and aircraft specific weight and balance calculations, preflight inspections, emergency and recovery procedures, and parachutist egress procedures for each type of aircraft flown. (A 08 XX)
4. Require initial and recurrent pilot testing programs for parachute jump operations pilots that address, at a minimum, operation and aircraft specific weight and balance calculations, preflight inspections, emergency and recovery procedures, and parachutist egress procedures for each type of aircraft flown, as well as competency flight checks to determine pilot competence in practical skills and techniques in each type of aircraft. (A 08 XX)
5. Revise the guidance materials contained in Advisory Circular 105 2C, “Sport Parachute Jumping,” to include guidance for parachute jump operators in implementing effective initial and recurrent pilot training and examination programs that address, at a minimum, operation and aircraft specific weight and balance calculations, preflight inspections, emergency procedures, and parachutist egress procedures.
6. Require direct surveillance of parachute jump operators to include, at a minimum, maintenance and operations inspections. (A 08 XX)
To the United States Parachute Association:
7. Work with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and distribute guidance materials for parachute jump operators to assist operators in implementing effective aircraft inspection and maintenance quality assurance programs. (A 08 XX)
8. Once Advisory Circular (AC) 105 2C, “Sport Parachute Jumping,” has been revised to include guidance for parachute jump operators in implementing effective initial and recurrent pilot training and examination programs that address, at a minimum, operation and aircraft specific weight and balance calculations, preflight inspections, emergency procedures, and parachutist egress procedures, distribute this revised AC to your members and encourage adherence to its guidance.

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My opinion:
Having additional initial and recurrent pilot training will be helpful and have a cost, but not prohibitive.

Making operators overhaul engines at TBO (recommended overhaul by the manufacture) will costs a ton. The NTSB made a statement that jump operations limit the life of engines more so than in other operations. They have no evidence at all of this. In fact, they state in some accidents that the engines had nearly double the time of TBO. That amounts to thousands of jumps and years of operations. It seems they are in fact lasting much longer than the manufacture recommends overhaul. We don't want to run engines till they just quit. They should be allowed to go beyond TBO as long as inspections are made that reasonably insure the good health of the engine to continue. I'm not sure but guess an overhauled turbine for a King Air, Caravan or Otter is more than 100k. Being required to change an engine at TBO can nearly double the cost of operating a turbine aircraft for jump operations. How the manufacture comes up with TBO times may be a point of interest.

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