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Wed, Jun 26, 2019

NTSB Board Member Criticizes FAA Following Hawaii Skydiving Accident

Jennifer Homendy Puts FAA 'On Notice' To Improve Safety For Skydiving Operations

In the wake of an accident involving a skydiving plane in Hawaii over the weekend which resulted in 11 fatal injuries, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy has publicly criticized the FAA for not implementing safety recommendations made by the safety board.

“There is an inherent risk to parachuting, but passengers should be able to count on an airworthy plane, an adequately-trained pilot,” Homendy (pictured) said during a news conference in Hawaii. “The NTSB has called on the FAA to improve the safety of parachute jump operations. They have not.”

While the board has obviously not determined what caused the accident ... that investigation will take a year or more ... Homendy said that the accident brings additional attention to the boards broader concerns about how the FAA regulates skydiving operations, according to a report from Hawaii News Now. The Board issued a recommendation more than 10 years ago that the FAA treat skydiving operations in the same way it does air taxi or air tour operators.

The FAA defended its skydiving regulations in a statement released Monday. “The FAA required its safety inspectors to conduct increased surveillance of parachute operations, revised the safety guidance we issued to parachute operators, and increased our safety outreach to the parachuting community. Parachute operators must follow existing regulations concerning pilot training and 100-flight-hour aircraft inspections,” the agency said in the statement.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case, (D-HI) also criticized the FAA, saying the current regulations essentially amount to a 'Wild West' regulatory scheme for small-scale regulators, according to the report.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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