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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-01-059
Synopsis: On June 1, 1999, at 2350:44 central daylight time, American Airlines flight 1420, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), N215AA, crashed after it overran the end of runway 4R during landing at Little Rock National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. Flight 1420 departed from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, about 2240 with 2 flight crewmembers, 4 flight attendants, and 139 passengers aboard and touched down in Little Rock at 2350:20. After departing the end of the runway, the airplane struck several tubes extending outward from the left edge of the instrument landing system localizer array, located 411 feet beyond the end of the runway; passed through a chain link security fence and over a rock embankment to a flood plain, located approximately 15 feet below the runway elevation; and collided with the structure supporting the runway 22L approach lighting system. The captain and 10 passengers were killed; the first officer, the flight attendants, and 105 passengers received serious or minor injuries; and 24 passengers were not injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Flight 1420 was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Modify automated weather systems to accept runway visual range (RVR) data directly from RVR sensors.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: LITTLE ROCK, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA99MA060
Accident Reports: Runway Overrun During Landing, American Airlines Flight 1420, McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Report #: AAR-01-02
Accident Date: 6/1/1999
Issue Date: 12/10/2001
Date Closed: 4/27/2011
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Weather, Runway Visual Range, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 4/27/2011
Response: The NTSB is pleased to learn that the FAA has completed the establishment of an automatic interface between RVR systems and the various automated weather systems used by the FAA. Therefore, Safety Recommendation A-01-59 is classified CLOSED – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 2/18/2011
Response: CC# 201100086: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration has successfully completed efforts to provide an automatic interface between RVR systems and the Automated Surface Observation System, the Automated Weather Sensor System, and the Integrated Terminal Weather System. RVR data can now be accessed via either weather display system. I believe the FAA has effectively addressed this safety recommendation, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
Date: 10/17/2002
Response: The FAA is taking the action recommended. Pending completion of the program to automatically collect RVR data, Safety Recommendation A-01-59 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 2/19/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/21/2002 7:49:04 PM MC# 2020178 - From Jane F. Garvey, Administrator: Efforts are underway to provide an automatic interface between the runway visual range (RVR) and the Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS). Implementation of the interface is nearly complete at 60 Next Generation (NEXGEN) RVR sites. Additional interface cards have been purchased and installation funds are available for 60 more sites once the prerequisite NEXGEN RVRs are in place. Given appropriate funding for both NEXGEN RVRs and additional interface cards, this interface capability eventually will be expanded to include all sites having collocated ASOS and NEXGEN RVR.