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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-80-135
Details
Synopsis: ON JUNE 12, 1980, AN AIR WISCONSIN, INC., SWEARINGEN SA-226 METRO CRASHED NEAR VALLEY, NEBRASKA, KILLING 13 PERSONS AND SERIOUSLY INJURING 2 OTHERS. THE AIRCRAFT ENCOUNTERED AN AREA OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WHILE AT AN ALTITUDE OF LESS THAN 6,000 FT AND EXPERIENCED A SIMULTANEOUS LOSS OF POWER TO BOTH ENGINES BECAUSE OF MASSIVE WATER INGESTION. DURING ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD FOUND NUMEROUS DEFICIENCIES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROCEDURES WHICH AFFECTED THE ACQUISITION OF WEATHER DATA AND THE DISSEMINATION OF THAT INFORMATION TO SECTOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS AND PILOTS. THE SAFETY BOARD ALSO DISCOVERED THAT THE CAPABILITIES OF AIRBORNE WEATHER RADAR ON THE AIRCRAFT TO DETECT SEVERE WEATHER ECHOES WERE LIMITED SIGNIFICANTLY BY RAIN-INDUCED TWO-WAY ATTENUATION, BUT THAT THE PILOTS WERE PROBABLY NOT AWARE OF THE REDUCED CAPABILITY OF THE RADAR.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE THAT FLOW CONTROLLERS AND SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL ASSESS THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF HAZARDOUS WEATHER ON LOW-ALTITUDE EN ROUTE TRAFFIC AND USE THE EVALUATION TO ADJUST AIR TRAFFIC FLOW AS NECESSARY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Valley, NE, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80AA019
Accident Reports: Air Wisconsin, Inc., Swearingen A-226 Metro, N650S
Report #: AAR-80-15
Accident Date: 6/12/1980
Issue Date: 1/5/1981
Date Closed: 5/24/1982
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control, Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/24/1982
Response: We are satisfied with the FAA's response to these recommendations and classify them in a closed--acceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/1981
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA CONCURS IN THIS RECOMMENDATION. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FLOW CONTROLLER TO ASSESS THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF HAZARDOUS WEATHER ON ALL EN ROUTE TRAFFIC WITHIN THE ARTCC'S AIRSPACE. THE TEAM SUPERVISOR IS CHARGED WITH THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY WITHIN HIS AREA OF JURISDICTION. THEY ACT JOINTLY TO PRECLUDE SITUATIONS THAT COULD RESULT IN FLIGHT WITHIN ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS DETRIMENTAL TO THE EXPEDITIOUS FLOW OF TRAFFIC. WE HAVE TASKED OUR FAA REGIONS WITH A REQUIREMENT TO PLACE SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON FLOW CONTROLLER, METEOROLOGISTS, AND SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING THE ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECT OF HAZARDOUS WEATHER ON LOW-ALTITUDE EN ROUTE TRAFFIC.