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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-72-218
Details
Synopsis: ON AUGUST 24, 1972, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD COMPLETED A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE DELTA AIR LINES, INC., DC-9-14, N3305L, ACCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED AT FORT WORTH, TEXAS, ON MAY 30, 1972.
Recommendation: DEVELOP METHODS FOR TOWER CONTROLLERS TO AID PILOTS OF FLIGHTS IN THE TRAFFIC PATTERN TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE SEPARATION TO AVOID WAKE TURBULENCE ENCOUNTERS. SUCH METHODS MIGHT INCLUDE THE USE OF LOCAL GEOGRAPHIC LANDMARKS, RADAR OR TIME SEPARATION OVER FIXED POINTS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79669
Accident Reports: Delta Air Lines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, N3305L
Report #: AAR-73-03
Accident Date: 5/30/1972
Issue Date: 12/20/1972
Date Closed: 11/27/1974
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control, Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/31/1974
Response: Closed--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/9/1973
Response: Since the introduction of large turbojet aircraft in the National Airspace System, many methods have been developed to aid pilots in avoiding wake turbulence encounters. Some of the programs implemented were: "Keep-'em-high," Terminal Control Areas (TCA) and Stage III in the National Terminal Radar Program. Additionally, terminal facilities attempt to segregate small aircraft from large air carrier type aircraft, whenever possible, by using various runway combinations to eliminate the possibility of wake turbulence encounters. We presently use local geographic landmarks and radar to aid a pilot in observing the aircraft he is to follow. However, once the pilot has traffic in sight, it is and should continue to be his responsibility to provide adequate separation between his and the preceding aircraft. The Advisory Circular on Wake Turbulence with was published by the FAA is quite descriptive. Hence, any pilot who studies this information can adopt operating procedures to avoid wake turbulence encounters. This recommendation strongly suggests total controller assumption of pilot separation responsibility rather than "methods for tower controllers to aid pilots . . ." We always have and will continue to aid pilots as much as practicable. However, we do not believe the complete responsibility of separation should be placed on the controller when aircraft are operating in visual meteorological conditions. Under these conditions the "see and avoid" concept must remain the rule. We request that your technical staff provide us with detailed proposals in writing to implement this recommendation in a nonradar terminal environment.