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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-82-045
Details
Synopsis: ON DECEMBER 31, 1981, A SUN WEST AIRLINES PIPER NAVAJO AIRCRAFT (PA-31-350), N41070, FLIGHT 104 CRASHED EAST OF THE DURANGO-LA PLATA COUNTY AIRPORT, COLORADO (DRO), IN SNOW, REDUCED VISIBILITIES, AND REPORTED ICING CONDITIONS. OF THE SIX PEOPLE ON BOARD, FOUR WERE KILLED AND TWO WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED. FLIGHT 104 WAS ON AN INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT PLAN FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ABQ) TO DRO. PRIOR TO LANDING AT ABQ, THE PILOT OF N41070 CALLED A SPECIALIST AT THE ABQ FLIGHT SERVICE STATION BY RADIO TO REQUEST WEATHER INFORMATION FOR DRO. THE PILOT WAS GIVEN THE ACTUAL WEATHER FOR DRO AND THE ACTUAL AND FORECAST WEATHER FOR FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO. HOWEVER, THE SPECIA LIST DID NOT GIVE THE PILOT THE LATEST FORECAST FOR DRO WHICH INDICATED SURFACE VISIBILITIES OCCASIONALLY BELOW LANDING MINIMUMS IN SNOW BECAUSE THE FORECAST WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE SPECIALIST ON THE SERVICE A CIRCUIT. ALTHOUGH THE IMPACT THAT RECEIPT OF THE FORECAST MIGHT HAVE HAD ON THE FLIGHT OPERATION COULD NOT BE ESTABLISHED, THE DRO FORECAST WOULD HAVE BEEN USEFUL TO THE PILOT OF N41070 AND TO MANY, IF NOT MOST, OTHER AVIATION INTERESTS WHO USE DRO.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: ESTABLISH A POLICY OF TRANSMITTING ALL NONSCHEDULED AIRPORT TERMINAL FORECASTS AND AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WEATHER MESSAGE SWITCHING CENTER IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, FOR DISTRIBUTION ON SERVICE A CIRCUITS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Durango, CO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA82AA007
Accident Reports: Sun West Airlines Flight 104, Piper PA-31-350 (T-1020), N41070
Report #: AAR-82-13
Accident Date: 12/31/1981
Issue Date: 5/14/1982
Date Closed: 10/5/1982
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Weather, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
Date: 10/5/1982
Response: Action fully satisfies the recommendation. "Closed--Acceptable Action"

From: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
To: NTSB
Date: 8/30/1982
Response: NWS LTR: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ADVISES THAT ALL TERMINAL FORECASTS WILL RECEIVE SERVICE DISTRIBUTION AS RECOMMENDED.