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General Aviation Safety
ON JUNE 2, 1990, AT 0937 ALASKAN DAYLIGHT TIME, MARKAIR, INC., FLIGHT 3087, A BOEING 737-2X6C, REGISTERED IN THE US AS N670MA, CRASHED ABOUT 7.5 MILES SHORT OF RUNWAY 14, UNALAKLEET, ALASKA, WHILE EXECUTING A LOCALIZER APPROACH TO THAT RUNWAY. THE FLIGHT ORIGINATED AT ANCHORAGE INTERNA TIONAL AIRPORT, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA AT 0828. INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS EXISTED AT THE TIME AND THE FLIGHT WAS ON AN INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES (IFR) FLIGHT PLAN. THE CAPTAIN, THE FIRST OFFICER, AND A FLIGHT ATTENDANT SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES. ANOTHER FLIGHT ATTENDANT SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES. THERE WERE NO PASSENGERS ON BOARD, AND THE AIRPLANE WAS DESTROYED.
THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATON ADMINISTRATION: IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FLIGHT INFORMATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AND IN COORDINATION WITH JEPPESEN SANDERSON, INC., ARRIVE AT A STANDARD DEPICTION OF REFERENCE CIRCLES OR DISTANCE RINGS ON INSTRUMENT APPROACH CHARTS. THE DEPICTIONS SHOULD INCLUDE COMMON RADII OR THE NOTATION OF THE RADII ON THE APPROACH CHART AND COMMON CENTERING POINTS FOR THE CIRCLES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
UNALAKLEET, AK, United States
Markair, Inc., Boeing 737-2X6C, N670MA Controlled Flight into Terrain
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Safety Recommendation History
THE BOARD NOTES THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS THE SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION AT THE JEPPESEN SANDERSON AIRLINE SAFETY SEMINAR HELD EARLIER THIS YEAR, & A CONSENSUS WAS REACHED TO DISCONTINUE THE 5-STATUTE-MILE CIRCLES FROM JEPPESEN'S INSTRUMENT APPROACH CHART PRESENTATION. WE HAVE ALSO LEARNED THROUGH STAFF DISCUSSION WITH JEPPESEN SANDERSON THAT THE OLD APPROACH CHARTS SHOULD BE REPLACED WITH NEW CHARTS BY THE END OF 1994. FURTHERMORE, THE AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION CHART & DATA DISPLAY COMMITTEE AGREED THAT THESE CIRCLES SHOULD BE REMOVED. BASED ON THIS INFO, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES RECOMMENDATION A-91-15 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."
SAFETY RECOMMENDATION A-91-15 WAS THE SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION AT THE JEPPESEN SANDERSON AIRLINE SAFETY SEMINAR HELD EARLIER THIS YEAR. CONSENSUS WAS REACHED AT THIS SEMINAR TO DISCONTINUE THE 5-STATUTE-MILE CIRCLES FROM JEPPEN'S INSTRUMENT APPROACH CHART PRESENTATION. THE AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION CHART AND DATA DISPLAY COMMITTEE ALSO AGREED THAT THESE CIRCLES BE REMOVED.
THE FAA HOSTED A MEETING WITH THE PRINCIPALS IN GOVERNMENT AND NON-GOVERNMENT CHARTING TO DISCUSS THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION. THERE WAS NO RATIONALE FOR A COMMON RADIUS OR COMMON CENTERING POINTS FOR THE CIRCLES ON THE INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES CHART BECAUSE THE CIRCLE ON THE GOVERNMENT CHART SERVES DIFFERENT PURPOSES THAN THE CIRCLE ON THE JEPPESEN CHART. THE GOVERNMENT CHARTS WILL CONTINUE TO NOTE THE RADIUS OF THE CIRCLE ON THE CHART TO ALLOW VARIABLE RADII AND CENTERING POINTS. JAPPESEN WILL NOT ADD A NUMERICAL STATEMENT OF THE CIRCLE ON THEIR CHART BECAUSE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT EVERY CIRCLE HAS THE SAME RADIUS--5 STATUTE MILES.
The FAA hosted a meeting on February 23, 1991, with the principals involved in Government and non-Government charting, including members of Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc. The participants in this meeting could find no rationale for a common radius or common centering points for the circles on the instrument approach procedures (IAP) chart. It was agreed that noting the radius on the circle, as is done on Government charts, would not be objectionable. An explanation of the reference circles, as published on Government and non-Government IAP's may be useful. Jeppesen was the originator of approache procedure charts and has determined that their circle should be focused on the airport and approximate the size of the airport traffic area. When the Federal Government began to produce IAP charts, a decision was made to focus the chart on the approach procedure at a size which could provide the greatest benefit to the pilot. Therefore, the circle is usually 10 n.m. in radius, and all of the information in the circle is to scale. The radius of the circle may vary to cartographically portray the data which are to scale. A common radii would not be appropriate for the National Ocean Service (NOS) or the Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center (DMAAC) as the charts serve aircraft ranging from the slowest helicopter to the fastest jet fighter. The circle needs to be of a variable radius to expand or contract to display the optimum amount of data to scale inside the circle. For area navigation (RNAV) charts, the Interagency Air Cartographic Committee Specifications No. 4 (IACC #4) does not require a circle when the entire PLAN View of the chart is to scale. The centering point of the circle, if a circle is used, is determined by IACC #4 specifications and is usually at the nonprecision final approach fix on both precision and nonprecision IAP's The FAA has suggested that the specifications similar to those used for charting RNAV IAP's be applied to all precision and nonprecision IAP's; i.e., not charting the circle when the data in the PLAN View are to scale. This would eliminate numerous circles to IAP charts and would not derogate the approach as the circle is not an integral part of the procedure. Such a Change to the IACC #4 specifications would require thorough evaluation and coordination with all interested parties using the specifications. For those IAP's requiring PLAN View data that are not to scale, the current IACC #4 specifications pertaining to circle depiction would remain. In conclusion, the circles on the Government chart and on the Jeppesen chart serve different purposes. The Government specifications allow variable radii and centering points, whereas Jeppesen uses only one radius (5 statute miles) and only one centering point--the airport. The FAA is continuing to work in coordination with the NOS, DMAAC, Jeppesen, and the user community to arrive at the most useful way of charting the IAP for the pilot. Since there is no longer a Flight Information Advisory Committee, the FAA is forming an FAA/Industry Charting Forum to address issues such as the one pertaining to this safety recommendation.
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