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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-80-138
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: EVALUATE PROCEDURES WHICH GOVERN THE TRANSMISSION OF SIGMET'S ON NAVAIDS TO DETERMINE WHAT ADDITIONAL STEPS ARE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE TIMELY DISSEMINATION, AND TAKE NECESSARY CORRECTIVE MEASURES TO INSURE THAT THEY ARE ISSUED ACCORDING TO THE PROCEDURES.
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: 5/19/1989
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Weather, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/19/1989
Response: Thank you for the two recent FAAetters responding to the ntsb's safety recommendations a-88-20 through -23 and a-80-138. These safety recommendations address a requirement for controllers to frequently broadcast significant weather activity, reporting the loss of airborne weather radar, and the implementation of the hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (hiwas). With regard to safety recommendations a-88-23 and a-80-138, the safety board has followed the development and testing of the hiwas system and the other components of the national airspace system plan. Recommendation a-80-138 addresses an evaluation of procedures for transmission of sigmets and implementation of corrective action. The nasp contains the results of the evaluation, and the implementation of hiwas, along with other identifie componentsof the aviation weather system, constitutes corrective action. Therefore, safety recommendation a-80-138 has been classified as closed-- acceptable action. We will hold safety recommendation a-88-23 in an open--acceptable alternateaction status pending the faa's assurance that this work will be given the highest priority.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/3/1989
Response: ON AUGUST 24, 1988, A PRELIMINARY OPERATIONAL TEST OF THE HAZARDOUS INFLIGHT WEATHER ADVISORY SERVICE (HIWAS) EQUIPMENT WAS CONDUCTED AT THE PATRICK HENRY AIRPORT, NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA. THIS TEST IDENTIFIED OPERATIONAL DEFICIENCIES THAT MUST BE CORRECTED PRIOR TO THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE OPERATIONAL EQUIPMENT. SINCE THAT TEST, THE FAA HAS BEEN WORKING TO RESOLVE THE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED. RESOLUTION OF THESE TECHNICAL ISSUES WILL ENABLE THE MANUFACTURER TO PRODUCE EQUIPMENT CAPABLE OF SATISFYING THE HIWAS PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE HIWAS EQUIPMENT WILL BEGIN IN APRIL 1989, WITH FULL PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION COMPLETED BY JULY 1990. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD APPRISED OF THE FAA'S PROGRESS ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/11/1987
Response: The safety board is pleased to note that hazardous inflight weather service has been adopted as a national program and will be imple- mented throughout the conterminous united states as resources permit. However, we remain concerned at the length of time that will be required to implement the system and request the Federal Aviation Administration to expedite the program. This recommendation remains classified as open-acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/21/1987
Response: THE FAA APPROVED THE HAZARDOUS INFLIGHT WEATHER SERVICE (HIWAS) FOR NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION. PROCEDURES FOR THE HIWAS PROGRAM AND ENHANCEMENTS ARE IN EFFECT; HOWEVER, THERE HAVE BEEN DELAYS IN ACQUIRING RECORDING EQUIPMENT. BECAUSE OF THESE DELAYS, COMPETING REQUIREMENTS FROM A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS TO UTILIZE THE BROADCAST CAPABILITY OF THE VHF OMNI-DIRECTIONAL RANGES (VOR) HAVE RESULTED IN REGIONS RE EVALUATING SPECIFIC HIWAS OUTLETS. ADDITIONALLY, MANY VOR'S ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED FOR HIWAS ARE BEING USED FOR ROUTINE COMMUNICATIONS, E.G., CLEARANCE DELIVERY. THIS PRECLUDES THEIR USE FOR HIWAS AT THIS TIME. THREE AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL AREAS HAVE IMPLEMENTED HIWAS; EQUIPMENT FOR THE REMAINING AREAS IS SCEDULED FOR IMPLEMENTATION BETWEEN APRIL 1988 AND FEBRUARY 1990. BY THAT TIME, THE FAA PLANS TO HAVE THE ADDITIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES INSTALLED TO MEET ALL OF THE INFORMATION DISSEMINATION REQUIREMENTS DISCUSSED ABOVE. THE FAA RECENTLY ADDED SEVERE WEATHER FORECAST ALERTS TO THE HIWAS BROADCAST THROUGH THE ISSUANCE OF ACTION NOTICE A7110.11. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD APPRISED OF THE FAA'S PROGRESS ON THIS ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/10/1986
Response: THE FAA'S LAST RESPONSE IS DATED AUGUST 22, 1983. THIS IS A "NO MAIL CONTROL" FOLLOWUP LETTER TO REMIND THE FAA THAT THEY HAVE NOT RESPONDED TO OUR PREVIOUS FOLLOWUP LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1984.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/10/1986
Response: In our letter of February 8, 1984, we stated that the incorporation of the faa's proposal at 364-82-2 in faa handbook 7110.10f, flight services, as well as the approval of the hazardous inflight weather advisory service (hiwas) program were responsive to this recommendation. We also stated that pending the complete implementation of the hiwas program, which is currently operational in the Miami, Atlanta, Houston, and Jacksonville air route traffic control areas, we would hold a- 80-138 in an open--acceptable action status. The classification of this recommendation remains unchanged; however, we would appreciate receiving an updated status report.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/8/1984
Response: The adoption of the faa's proposal aat 364-82-2 (effective date december 23, 1982) on flight service station priority of duties and its incorporation in faa handbook 7110.10f, flight services, as well as the approval of the hazardous inflight weather advisory service program for national implementation, are responsive to the objective of the recommenda- tion. Pending complete implementation of the national hiwas program, whic has begun with the commissioning of the hiwas outlets in jacksonville and miami, we will hold a-80-138 in an open--acceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/22/1983
Response: FAA LETTER: PROPOSAL AAT-364-82-2 ON FLIGHT SERVICE STATION (FSS) PRIORITY OF DUTIES WAS ADOPTED AND BECAME EFFECTIVE ON DECEMBER 23, 1982, IN HANDBOOK 7110.10F, FLIGHT SERVICES. ADDITIONALLY, A TEST PROGRAM FOR HAZARDOUS IN-FLIGHT WEATHER ADVISORY SERVICE (HIWAS) IN THE SOUTHERN REGION IS BEING APPROVED FOR NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION. THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION (SIGMET) REPORTS, CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S, AIRMEN'S METEORO LOGICAL (AIRMET) REPORTS, AND URGENT PILOT REPORTS (PIREP) PERTAINING TO THE AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER (ARTCC) AREA IN WHICH THE BROADCAST FACILITY IS LOCATED. HIWAS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED ON A CENTER-BY-CENTER BASIS AT SELECTED FSS'S BY SIMULTANEOUSLY COMMISSIONING DESIGNED HIWAS OUTLETS WITHIN AN INDIVIDUAL ARTCC'S AIRSPACE. INITIALLY, THE MIAMI AND JACKSONVILLE ARTCC'S WILL BE COMMISSIONED. ALL FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS IN CENTER AREAS THAT DIRECTLY ADJOIN COMMISSIONED HIWAS AREAS. THE ATLANTA ARTCC'S AREA IS PROGRAMMED TO COMMISSION HIWAS IN FISCAL YEAR 1983. THIS NEW NATIONAL PROGRAM WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR INDIVIDUAL DELIVERY AND BROADCAST OF HAZARDOUS WEATHER INFORMATION AND REDUCE THE WORKLOAD OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/8/1982
Response: FAA LETTER: EACH FAA REGION HAS RESPONDED INDIVIDUALLY TO OUR REQUEST TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON PRIORITY OF DUTIES. BASED ON THESE RECOMMENDATIONS, WE HAVE SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL (AAT-364-82-2) AND ALL COMMENTS RECEIVED ARE UNDER EVALUATION. WE EXPECT TO COMPLETE THE REQUIRED CHANGES AND REVISED PROCEDURES BY SEPTEMBER AND IMPLEMENT THE CHANGES BY DECEMBER 1982.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/24/1982
Response: The FAA's proposed actions, as stated in aat-330 dated march 12,1981, addressed to all regional air traffic division chiefs, is responsive to this recommendation. However, we were informed that the regional review and evaluation was expected to be completed by june 13, 1981. We request to be informed of the progress of this recommendation which we are main- taining in an open--acceptable action status. We thank the faa for the consideration given to these recommendations.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/1981
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA CONCURS IN THIS RECOMMENDATION. EACH FAA REGION WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE ITS FLIGHT SERVICE STATION FACILITY PERSONNEL REVIEW THE APPLICABLE BROADCAST AND FACILITY DIRECTIVES TO ENSURE THAT EACH SPECIALIST IS AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF BROADCASTING HAZARDOUS WEATHER ADVISORIES. ADDITIONALLY, EACH REGION IS BEING REQUESTED TO REVIEW THE ACCIDENT REPORT AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE MOST APPROPRIATE PRIORITY OF DUTIES. WE EXPECT THIS REGIONAL REVIEW AND EVALUATION TO BE COMPLETED BY JUNE 15, 1981.