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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-82-134
Details
Synopsis: THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD HAS RECENTLY INVESTIGATED THREE ACCIDENTS INVOLVING COMMUTER OR GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT IN WHICH THE PILOTS DID NOT DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATE AIRPORT, AS REQUIRED BY 14 CFR 91.83(A)(9), WHEN THEY FILED AN INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULE (IFR) FLIGHT PLAN. AN ALTERNATE AIRPORT IS REQUIRED TO BE DESIGNATED IN THE FLIGHT PLAN WHEN WEATHER CONDITIONS PREDICTED AT THE FLIGHT'S DESTINATION AIRPORT MIGHT PRECLUDE LANDING THERE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: AMEND THE PROVISIONS OF FLIGHT SERVICE HANDBOOK, 7110.10F, CHANGE 5, CONCERNING DOMESTIC INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT PLANS TO REQUIRE THAT THE ALTERNATE AIRPORT DESIGNATED BY THE PILOT BE ADDED TO THE ITEMS TO BE TRANSMITTED TO THE AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER AS PART OF THE INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT PLAN.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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-82-12
Accident Date: 12/31/1981
Issue Date: 10/18/1982
Date Closed: 7/5/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/5/1983
Response: We do not agree with the FAA's rationale for rejecting the mandatory transmission of alternate airport information to appropriate air traffic control (ATC) facilities. It is our understanding that ATC normally will require the designation of an alternate airport on an IFR flight plan except when there is a standard instrument approach for the first airport of intended landing and the ceiling and visibility at that destination are expected to be at least 2,000 feet and 3 miles for one hour before and after the expected time of arrival. In our view, immediate access to information regarding a pilot's planned alternate airports is more important for ATC purposes than items of information such as the name and address of the pilot which are transmitted. Accordingly, we believe alternate airport designations on IFR flight plans should be forwarded to the ATC facilities serving the flight. Concerning the remoteness of the possibility of the coincidence of the five situations listed in your letter which played an important role in your evaluation of our recommendations, we offer the following comments. Although the failure of communications components is less frequent with solid-state radios, unfortunately, complete electrical failures do occur; they are not a remote possibility and can prove disastrous. When they occur, the result is an emergency, and the air traffic system should supply redundant procedures for safety. In summary, we fail to see how any of the conditions mentioned in your letter, either individually or collectively, can be characterized as remote or unlikely possibilities. Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses We believe that complete information regarding the pilot's alternate-route requirements on the part of those responsible for air traffic control would provide increased safety for the pilot and passengers, other aircraft and those in them, as well as the system in which they operate. Transmitting the planned alternate airport would enhance the likelihood that the proposed route of flight and safe alternative are fully understood by all concerned, including the pilot. The cost- benefit of such a practice is realized with the safe arrival of the aircraft in question at an alternate airport without endangering the occupants or those in other aircraft along the way. The cost of transmission of data is small by comparison. It is clear, however, that the FAA does not support the transmission of flight plan alternate airport information to the appropriate air route traffic control centers. Accordingly, we have classified this Safety Recommendation in a "Closed-- Unacceptable Action" status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/4/1983
Response: FAA LETTER: WE DO NOT AGREE WITH THE BOARD'S CONTENTION THAT "THERE IS AN INADEQUACY IN THE IFR FLIGHT HANDLING REQUIREMENTS OF THE FLIGHT SERVICE HANDBOOK, 7110.10F, CHANGE 5, CONCERNING DOMESTIC IFR FLIGHT PLANS." THE FACT THAT 14 CFR 91.83 REQUIRES PILOTS TO FILE AN ALTERNATE AIRPORT (UNDER SPECIFIED CONDITIONS) DOES NOT IMPLY A REQUIREMENT TO TRANSMIT THAT INFORMATION TO THE ARTCC.