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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-82-084
Details
Synopsis: ON JANUARY 13, 1982, AIR FLORIDA FLIGHT 90, A BOEING 737-222 (N62AF) STRUCK THE NORTHBOUND SPAN OF THE 14TH STREET BRIDGE WHICH CONNECTS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITH ARLINGTON, COUNTY, VIRGINIA, AND PLUNGED INTO THE ICE-COVERED POTOMAC RIVER JUST AFTER TAKING OFF FROM WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT. SEVENTY OF THE 74 PASSENGERS, 4 OF THE 5 CREWMEMBERS, AND 4 PERSONS IN VEHICLES ON THE BRIDGE WERE FATALLY INJURED. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WHICH HAD PREVAILED BEFORE AND AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT CONSISTED OF SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES AND ALMOST STEADY MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL WITH OBSCURED VISIBILITY.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: AMEND AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL COORDINATION PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES TO REQUIRE THAT TERMINAL AND EN ROUTE FACILITIES PROVIDE THE CENTRAL FLOW CONTROL FACILITY (CFCF) WITH CURRENT AND ACCURATE INFORMATION REGARDING CONGESTION AND THAT CFCF ACT ON THAT INFORMATION IN A POSITIVE MANNER TO MINIMIZE AIRPORT SATURATION AND EXTENSIVE TRAFFIC DELAYS. REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF PRESCRIBED GATE-HOLD PROCEDURES AND REQUIRE THEIR USE WHEREVER POSSIBLE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate 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: 1/1/1982
Date Closed: 6/1/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/1/1983
Response: We note that the FAA has reviewed, again, the procedures and practices contained in Order 7210.7C, paragraph 3.b(2), Flow Control Procedures, and Handbook 7210.3F, paragraph 1232, Gate Hold Procedures. In addition, FAA's December 1982, Air Traffic Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses Service (ATS) Bulletin No. 82-2, Winter Operations, advised air traffic managers to review local gate hold procedures and to discuss them with airport managers and users to assure that there is a clear understanding on how the procedures are to be applied. The FAA also plans to review, in a future ATS Bulletin, the practices prescribed in Order 7210.7C, Flow Control Procedures, to emphasize the requirements for notifying the CFCF of anticipated or actual delays. The FAA's review of flow control and gate hold procedures and practices, and the use of ATS Bulletins to bring to the attention of traffic managers and airport management and users the criticality of implementing these procedures during delays satisfies the intent of this recommendation. Safety Recommendation A-82-84 has been classified as "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1983
Response: FAA LETTER: CONSIDERING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PROCEDURE, GATE HOLD PROCEDURES WERE INCLUDED AS A TOPIC IN THE DECEMBER 1982 AIR TRAFFIC (ATS) BULLETIN, NO. 82-2, WINTER OPERATIONS. AIR TRAFFIC MANAGERS WERE ADVISED TO REVIEW LOCAL PROCEDURES AND DISCUSS THEM AT MEETINGS WITH AIRPORT MANAGERS AND USERS. IN A FUTURE ATS BULLETIN, WE WILL EMPHASIZE THE REQUIREMENTS OF ORDER 7210.7C, FLOW CONTROL PROCEDURES, REGARDING NOTIFICATION OF CFCF OF ANTICIPATED OR ACTUAL DELAYS. AS A RESULT OF OUR REVIEW OF THESE PROCEDURES, WE HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE APROPRIATE PARAGRAPHS ARE ADEQUATELY MEETING THE OBJECTIVES OF MINIMIZING AIRCRAFT DEPARTURE AT THE RUNWAY.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/12/1983
Response: The FAA comments in response to this recommendation stated, in part, that the CFCF operation on January 13, 1982, was consistent with good operating technique and achieved CFCF's objective of maintaining a reasonable balance between airborne and Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses ground delays with regard to the Washington National Airport (DCA) traffic flow. This recommendation, however, was based upon the Safety Board's concern that at least seven airplanes experienced delays of between 22 and 45 minutes awaiting departure that afternoon during which time the airplanes were subjected to the continuing precipitation and exposed to snow and ice accumulation. Because of the ground space constraints at DCA, the airplanes were not accessible to deicing equipment as they were lined up on the taxiway. The Board viewed the delay as a factor in the Flight 90 accident. The objective of the recommendation was to prompt FAA actions to minimize the time that departing airplanes will be subjected to such conditions and thereby assure that pilots can reasonably adhere to the requirements of 14 CFR 121.629(b). We envisioned that the FAA's actions would address all procedures which would lead to this objective. In our view this requires a coordinated effort between the CFCF, the airport local control facility and the airlines as each one's actions affect the movement of airplanes and the allocation of ramp space on the airport. We do not believe that the FAA's comments which addressed only the adequacy of the CFCF are responsive to our objective. We urge the FAA to reconsider Safety Recommendation A-82-84. In the interim we are classifying this recommendation as "Open--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/15/1982
Response: FAA LTR: THE FAA BELIEVES THAT THE CFCF OPERATION ON JANUARY 13, 1982, WAS CONSISTENT WITH GOOD OPERATING TECHNIQUE AND ACHIEVED ITS OBJECTIVE OF MAINTAINING A REASONABLE BALANCE BETWEEN AIRBORNE AND GROUND DELAYS WITH REGARD TO WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT (DCA) TRAFFIC FLOW.