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VOLUME 8  GENERAL TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS

CHAPTER 6  PERFORM TELEPHONE AVAILABILITY

Section 1  Perform Assigned Telephone Availability

8-552    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

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A.    Operations: 1040.

B.    Maintenance: 3040.

C.    Avionics: 5040.

D.    Cabin Safety: 1040.

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8-553    OBJECTIVE. This section advises aviation safety inspectors (ASI) to perform assigned telephone availability according to national and office policies and procedures.

8-554    GENERAL.

A.    Definition.

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1)    “Accident availability” or “telephone availability” is a periodic interval of time where an inspector remains available by telephone for notification, and subsequent investigation, of an aviation accident, incident, complaint, or possible noncompliance. In this section, accident availability and telephone availability are used interchangeably since the procedures are identical. However, accident availability usually refers to in-office duty, while telephone availability refers to duty during evenings, weekends, and holidays.
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2)    Each Flight Standards office should develop accident procedures for use by ASIs while on telephone availability duty.

B.    Office Procedures. Flight Standards office accident procedures should include at least the following:

1)    Procedures for notification to the appropriate areas by the ASI;
2)    Procedures for the conduct and actions of the ASI during the accident investigation;
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3)    Appropriate telephone numbers (e.g., the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Accident Investigation Division (AVP-100));
4)    Copy of telephone availability schedule;
5)    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 1360-33, Record of Visit, Conference, or Telephone Call;
6)    FAA Form 8020-9, Aircraft Accident/Incident Preliminary Notice;
7)    FAA Form 8020-23, FAA Accident/Incident Report;
8)    NTSB Form 6120.1, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report;
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9)    Map of office geographic boundaries; and
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10)    Airport access gate information to the airports in jurisdiction (e.g., code numbers and cards).
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C.    Schedule Preparation. The preparation of the office telephone availability schedule is the responsibility of the Flight Standards office manager. The schedule should be prepared and distributed before the beginning of each quarter of the calendar-year. This will allow inspectors to schedule their task and leave time and still ensure adequate telephone availability coverage. The office should have procedures whereby clerical personnel have the telephone availability list. The Regional Operations Center (ROC) must receive a copy of the telephone availability schedule.

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D.    Schedule Changes. If an inspector must change his or her assigned telephone availability period (e.g., for scheduled training), it is the inspector’s responsibility to effect the change with another inspector. Changes in the schedule are subject to the approval of the office manager. The inspector must notify the unit supervisor, clerical personnel, and the ROC of any changes in the schedule. This notification must include the following information:

    The name of the inspector requesting the change,

    The date the change notification was submitted,

    The affected days and dates of the change,

    The name of the inspector providing coverage, and

    The telephone number of the inspector providing coverage.

E.    Telephone Conduct. The inspector should be courteous and tactful when dealing with fellow agency employees, other government and law enforcement personnel, and the general public during telephone conversations.

8-555    TYPES OF TELEPHONE AVAILABILITY. Telephone availability can be performed while on duty in the office or off duty while at home during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

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A.    Availability During Office Duty Hours. While on accident availability during duty hours, inspectors perform their usual duties until a notification call is received. However, these duties should be ones that keep the inspector on telephone availability duty in the office or in the general vicinity of the office. Calls should be routed directly to the inspector on telephone availability duty, to a personal number or to a dedicated Flight Standards office “hotline” cellular telephone to be used by the inspector on duty. If the inspector on duty is already on an investigation (e.g., at an accident site), the office procedures must compensate for this situation. Some suggestions are assigning an alternate to the on-duty inspector or taking the next available inspector on the telephone availability schedule.

B.    Telephone Availability After Duty Hours. Notification during off-duty hours is normally made by the ROC to the inspector’s designated telephone number and provides employees with advance notice of when they could be called for overtime, thus enabling them to plan accordingly. Employees, however, are not required to be available by telephone, have limitations imposed on their personal travel or nonwork activities, or be in a state of readiness to perform work.

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8-556    TYPES OF TELEPHONE CALLS. Calls received during telephone availability may involve accidents, incidents, complaints, or possible noncompliance. Each call should be handled in the most expeditious manner possible and in accordance with national and office policies.

8-557    PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

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A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of any related regulations, FAA policies, office investigation policies, and qualifications as an ASI.

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B.    Coordination. This task requires coordination with office administrative personnel, the Front Line Manager (FLM), and the ROC. This task may also require coordination with the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Program Manager (FPM), the appropriate air traffic facility, the appropriate NTSB Aviation Safety Regional Office, or state and local law enforcement officials.

8-558    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

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    Office accident/telephone availability schedule.

    Any office manual and/or accident manual.

    Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) (NTSB) Parts 830 and 831.

    National and office policy specific to accident/incident investigation.

    FAA Order 1270.1, Freedom of Information Act Program (FOIA).

    FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program.

    FAA Order 8020.11, Aircraft Accident and Incident Notification, Investigation, and Reporting.

    Volume 7, Chapter 1, Accident and Incident Investigation and Reporting.

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    Volume 14, Compliance and Enforcement.

    Volume 16, Chapter 5, Section 3, Compliance and Enforcement.

B.    Forms:

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    Appropriate forms from related tasks in Volume 7:

    Chapter 1, Section 1, Accident Investigations;

    Chapter 1, Section 2, Incident Investigations and Occurrences;

    Chapter 4, Investigate a Near Midair Collision;

    Chapter 5, Conduct a Complaint Investigation; and

    Chapter 6, Conduct an Investigation of FAA Flight Operations.

    FAA Form 1360-33, Record of Visit, Conference, or Telephone Call.

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    FAA Form 8020-9, Aircraft Accident/Incident Preliminary Notice.

    FAA Form 8020-23, FAA Accident/Incident Report.

    NTSB Form 6120.1, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report.

C.    Job Aids. None.

8-559    PROCEDURES.

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A.    Receive Telephone Availability Schedule. Make note of the week or weeks scheduled to perform telephone availability. Schedule work programs accordingly. If a schedule must be changed, follow office procedures.

B.    Open the PTRS Record. When beginning telephone availability duty, open the PTRS record.

C.    Receive Telephone Notification Procedures During Duty Hours.

1)    Note the date and time of the call using FAA Form 8020-9 or other forms as appropriate.
2)    If not previously identified, identify the caller and obtain the caller’s telephone number.
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3)    Determine the nature of the occurrence (i.e., possible noncompliance, complaint, incident, accident, or fatal accident).
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4)    If the occurrence is a possible noncompliance, see Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2.
5)    If the occurrence is a complaint, see Volume 7, Chapter 5, Section 1.
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6)    If the occurrence is an incident, see Volume 7, Chapter 1, Section 2.
7)    If the occurrence is an accident with or without fatalities, see Volume 7, Chapter 1, Section 1.
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8)    If the occurrence is a near midair collision (NMAC), see Volume 7, Chapter 4, Section 1.
9)    If the event is related to Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) activity, see Volume 16.

D.    Telephone Notification During Off-Duty Hours.

1)    If applicable, before leaving the office, test the phone number to be used to ensure it is operational.
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2)    If you do not already have an accident manual, follow office policy to obtain a personal copy of the accident manual to keep on hand for reference.
3)    Upon receipt of the telephone notification from the ROC or an outside source, note the date and time of the call using FAA Form 1360-33 or other forms as appropriate.
4)    If not previously identified, identify the caller and obtain caller’s phone number.
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5)    Determine the nature of the occurrence (i.e., possible noncompliance, complaint, incident, accident, or fatal accident).
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6)    If the occurrence is a possible noncompliance, see Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2.
7)    If the occurrence is a complaint, see Volume 7, Chapter 5, Section 1.
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8)    If the occurrence is an incident, see Volume 7, Chapter 1, Section 2.
9)    If the occurrence is an accident with or without fatalities, see Volume 7, Chapter 1, Section 1.
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10)    If the occurrence is a NMAC, see Volume 7, Chapter 4, Section 1.
11)    If the event is related to UAS activity, see Volume 16.
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12)    If the notification of the event is from an outside source, notify the ROC in accordance with Flight Standards office protocol and call the number established by office procedures. Proceed with steps 1 through 11 above.
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E.    Keep Unit Supervisors and the FPM Informed. At the earliest opportunity, brief supervisory personnel and the FPM on occurrences. Update them with new information as it is received.

F.    Postduty Briefings. Once telephone availability duty is complete, brief all other office personnel during weekly staff meetings on events that have occurred.

G.    Close the PTRS Record. Close the PTRS record, as appropriate.

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H.    Duty Complete. If applicable, turn the office hotline cellular telephone over to the next person on the telephone availability schedule.

8-560    TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of this task results in:

    A completed complaint record,

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    Performing the Compliance Action (CA) Decision Procedure, or

    A preliminary accident/incident report.

8-561    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Possible future activities include:

    Performing telephone availability at the next rotation.

    Possible complaint investigation.

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    Possible noncompliance investigation.

    Possible accident/incident investigation.

    Possible NMAC investigation.

    Possible followup investigation if additional complaints are received.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 8-562 through 8-577.