The purpose of this Safety Enhancement is to reduce the risk of taking off with misconfigured flaps or slats by directing air carriers to review and amend (as necessary) their current Standard Operating Procedures (Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)) related to setting proper flap/slat configuration for takeoff.
Flight operations data provided by air carriers shows that air carriers that delay takeoff configuration until after initiating taxi have about four times greater likelihood of an attempted flaps-up takeoff.
Air carriers should review and consider modification of current policies and procedures to configure flaps and slats before taxi, consistent with other operational requirements.
Air carriers should have robust procedures to verify flap position for those operations in which takeoff configuration is delayed until after taxi commences.
The FAA should evaluate the increased potential for takeoff misconfiguration when developing or modifying icing holdover timetables.
Manufacturers should review their recommended operational procedures to minimize the risk of takeoff flap misconfiguration.
Based on air carrier association surveys, Output 1 of the Safety Enhancement, which calls for the review of current policies and procedures for takeoff configuration, is complete. Additionally, manufacturers have reviewed their recommended procedures for anti-icing and taxi on slush-covered surfaces with flaps retracted with no action taken. Amended language will be published in the 2017-2018 holdover tables, completing Output 3.