Aviation news release 2006

TSB # A10/2006

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA CALLS FOR REGULATORY CHANGES TO REDUCE POST-IMPACT FIRES RESULTING FROM SMALL-AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS

(Gatineau, Quebec, August 29, 2006) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its Safety Issues Investigation report (SII A05-01) on post-impact fires resulting from small-aircraft accidents. The objective of this investigation was to uncover the deficiencies that contribute to post-impact fires and fire-related injuries and fatalities in otherwise survivable accidents. The report also identifies some options for reducing risks associated with post-impact fires.

The Board has made three recommendations to Transport Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration and other foreign regulators. The recommendations are for regulatory changes that, if acted on, would likely have an impact on small-aircraft manufacturers and operators. The first recommendation is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis using Canadian post-impact fire statistics and current dollar-value measurement of human life, and the costs of newest advances in post-impact fire prevention technology. The two other recommendations call for a number of changes to aircraft design standards and measures to make existing small aircraft safer.

Small aircraft have a maximum certified take-off weight of 5700 kilograms (12 566 pounds) or less. The TSB advises that occupants of small aircraft are, and continue to be, at risk of sustaining post-impact fire-related injuries and fatalities.

A Safety Issues Investigation reviews multiple occurrences that the Board deems to be indicative of significant unsafe situations or conditions. The Board identified the need to conduct this Safety Issues Investigation, having considered the higher accident rate in small-aircraft operations, the extent of fire-related injuries and fatalities, and the requirement for more defences. The overall significance of small-aircraft post-impact fires would not have become apparent through individual occurrence investigations, and the conclusions and recommendations could not have been made based on a single investigation.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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The Safety Issues Investigation Report, SII A05-01, and the Backgrounder are available on the TSB Web site.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca