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NPR 8621.1D
Effective Date: July 06, 2020
Expiration Date: July 06, 2025
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Procedural Requirements for Mishap and Close Call Reporting, Investigating, and Recordkeeping (updated w/Change 4)

Responsible Office: Office of Safety and Mission Assurance

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |

Chapter 8. NASA Aircraft Mishap and Close Call Investigations

8.1 Readiness to Conduct Investigations

8.1.1 Centers shall describe, in MPCPs, the NASA response to incidents for all flights within the local flying area and cross county flights that occur for three or fewer days' absence from the home Center, for NASA aircraft owned by NASA Centers, in addition to the elements listed in section 1.3.1.

Note: Project MPCPs for aircraft operations need not address flight operations of three days or fewer for cross-country flights or short campaigns.

8.1.2 In addition to the Mishap Preparedness Contingency Plan (MPCP) elements specified in paragraph 1.3.1, Centers and Project Managers conducting aircraft operations shall include the following additional elements in MPCPs:

a. Designate the position responsible to receive and act upon Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) transmissions received by FAA or other Air Traffic Control agencies.

Note: Ensure ELTs are registered appropriately with a 24-hour contact number that has authority to initiate a NASA mishap response. Ensure the 24-hour ELT point of contact has an up-to-date emergency response checklist that also notifies the Center safety office and flight operations personnel.

b. Specify the organization responsible for IRT and MIB resourcing (staffing and logistics) in the event of an incident involving a NASA aircraft loaned to another Center or a NASA pilot flying as a guest from another Center.

c. Specify next-of-kin contact procedures and supporting resources.

d. Specify drug and alcohol testing procedures for civil service and contract aircrew and maintenance personnel both at the assigned Center and off-site during mission campaigns.

e. Require inclusion of a table that lists for each Center aircraft all hazards, locations, and emergency procedures that emergency response personnel are aware of (including mission-specific hazards).

f. Specific NASA Aircraft Management Information System (NAMIS) data capture procedures in the event of a mishap or close call including during global flight operations (to include contacting JSC NAMIS Administrator to lock down NAMIS data entry for the incident aircraft).

8.2 Mishap Response, Notification, and Classification

8.2.1 Center and Program/Project employees shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, report an aircraft mishap or close call, including an NTSB-defined accident (defined in Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, and Records, 49 CFR pt. 830), to the cognizant Safety Office and the Center Chief of Flight Operations and Center Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director and provide the information required under 49 CFR pt. 830.

8.2.2 Center and Program/Project employees shall report unexpected aircraft departure from controlled flight for all aircraft except when departure from controlled flight has been pre-briefed (e.g., upset recovery training, high angle of attack (AOA) envelope testing, aerobatics, or Out of Controlled Flight (OCF) for training) or mitigated through the flight test process inherent at each Center.

8.2.3 The Center's Chief of Flight Operations or his or her designee shall immediately notify the NTSB (per 49 CFR pt. 830) of the NTSB-defined accident that could also be categorized as a NASA A or B mishap, and then advise OSMA Mishap Investigation Program Executive and the Aircraft Management Division (AMD) that NTSB has been informed.

Note: NTSB notification definitions are found in 49 CFR pt. 830.

8.2.4 The Center or Program/Project cognizant Safety Office shall enter all information for aircraft mishaps and close calls listed in 49 CFR pt. 830, with the exception of the aircrew members' names, into NMIS.

8.2.5 The Center or Program/Project Manager shall report the following events in NMIS as a "Non-NPR 8621 event":

a. UAS events, where the UAS damage cost is below $20,000, to document the potential hazards of UAS operations. This includes any engineering analysis, findings, and corrective actions from the event.

b. Non-damaging bird or wildlife strikes. Damage to aircraft or hazardous conditions encountered in flight as a result of weather conditions, as well as a bird or animal strike will be treated as a mishap or close call. All bird strikes, regardless of damage, also have to be reported to the FAA or DoD for inclusion in the national bird strike database.

8.2.6 Within ten days of an aircraft mishap or close call that meets the reporting requirements in 49 CFR pt. 830, the Center Chief of Flight Operations shall submit an NTSB Form 6120, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report, to the NTSB regional office closest to the location of the mishap or close call.

8.2.7 Under Commercial Aircraft Service (CAS) operations, the organization having operational control of the aircraft, helicopter, or UAS is the one responsible for making all NTSB notifications as required in 49 CFR pt. 830.

8.3 Investigating Authority and Investigation Support Selection

8.3.1 In the event the NTSB exercises its authority to investigate a NASA aircraft mishap, NASA may conduct a separate investigation, if determined necessary by OSMA.

Note: A program-independent flight operations office manages aircraft operations; therefore, the CD serves as the AO for mishaps and close calls involving aircraft managed by the Center.

8.3.2 The Center or Program/Project AO shall obtain concurrence from AMD, OSMA, OCE, and CHMO for IA selection for Type A, Type B, and high-visibility mishaps and involving aircraft.

8.3.3 For Types A and B and agency high-visibility mishaps and close calls involving aircraft, the AO consults with the Director, AMD, OSMA, and CHMO to appoint an aircraft operations voting member (a NASA civil servant qualified as Pilot in Command in any NASA aircraft per reference NPR 7900.3, NASA Aircraft Operations Management) and an aircraft maintenance voting member (a NASA civil servant qualified as a NASA Maintenance or Quality Assurance Officer per reference J.13) and a NASA civil servant flight surgeon or other Federal medical professional.

Note: AOs should consider assigning advisors qualified per reference 1 as an airworthiness engineer, aircraft life support systems (ALSS) expert, and human factors subject matter expert beyond a Human Factors Investigation qualification.

8.4 Mishap Investigation Process

See Chapter 4 for the mishap investigation process.

8.5 Mishap Investigation Report

For aircraft mishap investigations delegated to NASA by the NTSB, OSMA shall submit the approved NASA mishap investigation report to the NTSB, ensuring it meets the NTSB's required information. The NTSB may reformat and streamline the investigation report as necessary to meet its requirements without changing the report's causal and contributing factors, recommendations, and findings.

8.6 Post-Investigation Activities

See Chapter 6 for the post-investigation process.

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |
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