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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-01-071
Details
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 Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, ensure that Center Weather Service Units are adequately staffed at all times when any significant weather is forecast.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: LITTLE ROCK, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: 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: 1/27/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Weather, Staffing, Air Traffic Control

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
Date: 1/27/2003
Response: The Safety Board is pleased that the NWS is monitoring the possible workload changes affecting its CWSU personnel. The intent of Safety Recommendation A-01-71 was to ensure that CWSUs are adequately staffed to enable operation whenever significant weather is forecast. The Safety Board continues to recommend to the FAA that CWSU operation be mandatory when significant weather is forecast. Based on the NWS's awareness and monitoring of possible staffing changes needed with a changing workload, Safety Recommendation A-01-71 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." We will continue to follow up with the FAA on this important safety issue.

From: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
To: NTSB
Date: 9/18/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/15/2002 12:01:28 PM MC# 2020862 This recommendation has previously been addressed by National Weather Service in a March 8, 2000 response. In your July 22, 2002, reply NTSB stated "The intent of Safety Recommendation A-01-71 was for the NWS to provide information to the FAA regarding the resources needed to adequately achieve this goal." NWS has provided the following information to FAA (ARS-100): Assuming duty requirements (other than 24 hour per day staffing) do not change, NWS requires a total of 6 positions (5 forecasters and 1 meteorologist in charge) per CWSU operating location. The soon to be completed CWSU concept of operations document may change these requirements. We request this Safety Recommendation be closed.

From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
Date: 7/22/2002
Response: The NWS reports that CWSU staffing decisions, including hours of operation and overtime procedures, are the exclusive purview of the FAA. The Safety Board acknowledges that the FAA is responsible for the costs of the CWSU program and that staffing decisions, including hours of operation, are made by the FAA. Safety Recommendation A-01-58 was issued to the FAA to work with the NWS to ensure that CWSUs are adequately staffed. The intent of Safety Recommendation A-01-71 was for the NWS to provide information to the FAA regarding the resources needed to adequately achieve this goal. Pending implementation of the recommended action, Safety Recommendation A-01-71 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
To: NTSB
Date: 3/8/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 05/21/2002 10:51:36 AM MC# 2020527 CWSU staffing decisions, including the hours of operation and overtime procedures, are the exclusive purview of the FAA. If hazardous weather is expected during times meteorologists are not scheduled for duty, the FAA Air Traffic Manager decides whether a meteorologist remains on duty. The FAA authorizes overtime pay in this situation.