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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-82-013
Details
Synopsis: AS A RESULT OF ITS CONTINUING INVESTIGATION OF THE CRASH OF AIR FLORIDA FLIGHT 90, A BOEING 737-222 (N62AF) ON JANUARY 13, 1982, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT IMMEDIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION IS NEEDED IN THE AREA OF COLD-WEATHER OPERATIONS PROCEDURES. THE AIRCRAFT HAD DEPARTED FROM RUNWAY 36 AT WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT IN MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND LOW VISIBILITY. THE AIRCRAFT FAILED TO ACHIEVE A SUFFICIENT RATE OF CLIMB, STRUCK THE 14TH STREET BRIDGE ABOUT 4,500 FEET FROM THE DEPARTURE END OF THE RUNWAY, AND CRASHED INTO OF THE POTOMAC RIVER. SEVENTY-FOUR OF THE 79 PERSONS ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT WERE KILLED EITHER ON IMPACT OR BY DROWNING, AND 4 PERSONS IN AUTOMOBILES ON THE BRIDGE WERE KILLED WHEN THE VEHICLES WERE STRUCK BY THE DESCENDING AIRCRAFT.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REVISE THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROCEDURES WITH RESPECT TO AIRCRAFT TAXIING FOR TAKEOFF, HOLDING IN LINE FOR TAKEOFF, AND TAKING OFF TO PROVIDE FOR INCREASED GROUND SEPARATION BETWEEN AIRCRAFT WHENEVER FREEZING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND ATTENDANT AIRCRAFT ICING PROBLEMS EXIST.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Washington, DC, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA82AA011
Accident Reports: Air Florida, Inc., Boeing 737-222, N62AF, Collision with 14th Street Bridge
Report #: AAR-82-08
Accident Date: 1/13/1982
Issue Date: 1/28/1982
Date Closed: 12/30/1982
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Icing,Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/30/1982
Response: We are satisfied that the change to paragraph 972b of the Air Traffic Control Handbook 7110.65C addresses our concern. This recommendation is now classified in a "Closed--Acceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/5/1982
Response: FAA LETTER: CHANGE 2 TO HANDBOOK 7110.65C, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, CHANGES PARAGRAPH 972B. THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERS ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION COMPLETED.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/3/1982
Response: The FAA plans to take action to add an explanatory note to Handbook 7110.65C, paragraph 972b, alerting air traffic controllers to pilot requests for increased taxi intervals during freezing weather conditions. This action satisfies the intent of Safety Recommendation A-82-13 which will be classified as "Open--Acceptable Alternate Action" awaiting receipt of the revision to Handbook 7110.65C, paragraph 972b.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/7/1982
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA PLANS TO TAKE ACTION TO ADD AN EXPLANATORY NOTE TO HANDBOOK 7110.65C, PARAGRAPH 972B, ALERTING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS TO PILOT REQUESTS FOR INCREASED TAXI INTERVALS DURING FREEZING WEATHER CONDITIONS.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/19/1982
Response: We agree with the FAA that the pilot is responsible for making decisions concerning aircraft operational requirements in general, and in particular, for determining the ground separation between taxiing aircraft during freezing weather conditions. The intent of A-82-13 was to ensure that air traffic controllers would be alert to this problem, and to the extent possible, allow for and approve increased separation when requested by pilots. It may be that a revision in air traffic control procedures is not the best way to achieve this objective. We suggest, as an alternative, that perhaps a "note" could be added to the controller's handbook in the appropriate section on "taxiing" that would make controllers aware of this problem. We request that the FAA reconsider this recommendation with a view toward determining the best means to bring this problem to the attention of all air traffic controllers involved in terminal operations. This recommendation, A-82-13, will be classified as "Open--Unacceptable Action" awaiting a reply from the FAA.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/22/1982
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA DOES NOT AGREE THAT THERE IS A NEED TO REVISE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROCEDURES FOR INCREASED GROUND SEPARATION BETWEEN AIRCRAFT WHENEVER FREEZING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND ATTENDANT AIRCRAFT ICING PROBLEMS EXIST. THE FAA BELIEVES THAT THE PILOT IS THE BEST PERSON ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS CONCERNING AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS.