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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-76-037
Details
Synopsis: ON JUNE 24, 1975, EASTERN AIR LINES FLIGHT 66, A BOEING 727, CRASHED DURING A PRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACH TO THE JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, JAMAICA, NEW YORK. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN PERSONS DIED FROM THE INJURIES THAT THEY RECEIVED. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD'S INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT DISCLOSED THAT THE AIRCRAFT DEVELOPED A HIGH DESCENT RATE AS IT PASSED THROUGH OR BELOW THE BASE OF A MATURE THUNDERSTORM. THE STORM WAS ASTRIDE THE APPROACH COURSE AND APPROXIMATELY 1 MILE FROM THE END OF THE RUNWAY. THE PILOTS OF OTHER FLIGHTS WHICH PRECEDED FLIGHT66 ON THE APPROACH REPORTED THAT THEY TOO HAD ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS IN CONTROLLING THEIR AIRCRAFT TO MAINTAIN A SAFE APPROACH PROFILE. THESE AIRCRAFT AVOIDED AN ACCIDENT POSSIBLY BECAUSE THE PREVAILING CONDITIONS WERE LESS SEVERE OR BECAUSE THE PILOTS RECOGNIZED AND RESPONDED TO THE SITUATION FASTER THAN THE PILOTS OF FLIGHT 66.
Recommendation: REVISE APPROPRIATE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROCEDURES TO SPECIFY THAT THE LOCATION AND SEVERITY OF THUNDERSTORMS BE CONSIDERED IN THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTING ACTIVE RUNWAYS. (URGENT)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Jamaica, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA75AZ015
Accident Reports: Eastern Airlines, Inc., Boeing 727-225
Report #: AAR-76-08
Accident Date: 6/24/1975
Issue Date: 3/9/1976
Date Closed: 7/28/1980
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control,Runway Safety,Thunderstorms/Rain/Snow,Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/28/1980
Response: The safety board is pleased to note that the specific requirements of the recommendation have been met by the changes to paragraphs 1204.A and 1204.B of the faa facility operation and administration handbook, 7210.3e. The status of this recommendation is now classified as closed--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/20/1980
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA FACILITY OPERATION AND ADMINISTRATION HANDBOOK (7210.3E) HAS BEEN REVISED TO INCLUDE SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR "SELECTING ACTIVE RUNWAYS." IT WILL BE FURTHER REVISED TO SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE "SEVERE WEATHER ACTIVITY" AS ONE OF THE SEVERAL FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE SELECTION PROCESS. BECAUSE THIS CHANGE CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED TO THE PRINTED HANDBOOK PRIOR TO AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF OCTOBER 1, 1980, WE ARE ISSUING IT AS A NOTICE TO BE EFFECTIVE UPON RECEIPT.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/31/1980
Response: . what is required is a set of objective criteria based upon the proximity and intensity of thunderstorms in terminal areas to select an approach path and runway free of thunderstorm hazards. To accomplish this, sensors to adequately describe the thunderstorms activity beyond the airport perimeter will be required. Although the llwsas is a major step forward in the safety of terminal operations, it is too limited in area coverage to meet the requirements of this recommendation. Based on the above, we do not agree that actions on this recommendation are complete. We are, therefore, continuing to maintain a-76-37 in an open--unacceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/1980
Response: FAA LETTER: TO FURTHER ASSIST PILOTS IN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION, WE HAVE TAKEN THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: APPROXIMATELY 20 LOW LEVEL WIND SHEAR ALERT SYSTEMS (LLWSAS) ARE OPERATIONAL. A TOTAL OF 58 SYSTEMS ARE SCHEDULED FOR INSTALLATION BY THE END OF FISCAL YEAR 1983, WHICH PROVIDES THE CENTERFIELD WIND, WIND SHEAR AND IN MANY INSTANCES, RUNWAY END WIND INFORMATION; ATC PROCEDURES FOR THE PROVISION OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL INFORMATION AND LOW LEVEL WIND SHEAR ADVISORIES NOW MAKE PROVISIONS FOR THE USE OF LLWSAS EQUIPMENT; CHANGES TO THE FACILITY OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION HANDBOOK 7210.3E PROVIDE FOR IMPROVED COLLECTION AND DISSEMINATION OF SIGMENTS AND PIREPS; AND THREE METEOROLOGISTS ARE PERSENTLY ASSIGNED TO PERMANENT DUTIES IN 13 AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTERS (ARTCC). EIGHT ADDITIONAL ARTCCS ARE PROGRAMMED TO RECEIVE THREE METEOROLOGISTS PLUS ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT IN MID-FISCAL YEAR 1980.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/7/1976
Response: FAA LTR: RUNWAY SELECTION ON THE BASIS OF OTHER THAN KNOWN WINDS ACTUALLY AFFECTING THE RUNWAY IN USE COULD HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON SAFETY. DECISION MUST REMAIN WITH PILOT.