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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-032
Details
Synopsis: On February 12, 2009, about 2217 eastern standard time,1 a Colgan Air, Inc., Bombardier DHC-8-400 (Q400),2 N200WQ, operating as Continental Connection flight 3407, was on an instrument approach to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, New York, when it crashed into a residence in Clarence Center, New York, about 5 nautical miles northeast of the airport. The 2 pilots, 2 flight attendants, and 45 passengers aboard the airplane were killed, one person on the ground was killed, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The flight, which originated from Liberty International Airport (EWR), Newark, New Jersey, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, 135, and 91K operators to revise the methodology for programming their adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting subsystems so that the subsystem-generated weather document for each flight contains all pertinent weather information, including Airmen‘s Meteorological Information, Significant Meteorological Information, and other National Weather Service in-flight weather advisories, and omits weather information that is no longer valid.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Clarence Center, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA09MA027
Accident Reports: Loss of Control on Approach, Colgan Air, Inc., Operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407, Bombardier DHC 8 400, N200WQ
Report #: AAR-10-01
Accident Date: 2/12/2009
Issue Date: 2/23/2010
Date Closed: 7/23/2014
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Weather, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/23/2014
Response: We note that, in October 2012, you revised FAA Order 8900.1, “Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS),” volume 3, chapter 26, to add additional information about adverse weather phenomena reporting and systems, and to add system requirements for adverse weather phenomena forecasting systems. In March 2013, the data collection tools for the air transportation oversight system were modified to ensure that operators are complying with the changes specified in the revised guidance. In November 2013, you updated Operations Specification/Management Specification (OpSpec/MSpec) A010, “Aviation Weather Information,” to include reporting and forecast systems for adverse weather phenomena. Finally, on March 12, 2013, you issued Notice 8900.210, “Aviation Weather,” which requires FAA principal operations inspectors to complete a comprehensive review of operators’ aviation weather information prior to reissuing OpSpec/MSpec A010. Accordingly, Safety Recommendations A-10-32 and -33 are classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/9/2014
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As mentioned in our previous letter to the Board on Safety Recommendation A-10-32, there is no regulatory requirement for parts 121 supplemental, 135, and 91 subpart K operators to have an adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting system/subsystem. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has guidance on adverse weather phenomena reporting in FAA Order 8900. 1, Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS), volume 3, chapter 26, section 1. This guidance is applicable to parts 121, 135, and 91 K. In October of 2012, an entire section in Order 8900 was added on adverse weather phenomena reporting and systems. This guidance is located in FAA Order 8900.1, volume 3, chapter 26, section 3. Additionally, volume 3, chapter 26, section 3, paragraph 3-2096 lists the system requirements for adverse weather phenomena forecasting systems. The new guidance also applies to parts 121, 135, and 91k operators. The Air Transportation Oversight System (A TOS) data collection tools (OCT) were modified in March 2013, to ensure pat1 121 operators are in compliance with the changes in the revised guidance on adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting systems and subsystems, which are discussed above. The changes in the OCT specific to these recommendations can be found in element performance inspection and safety attribute inspection 3.2.1, titled "dispatch/flight release." These OCTs require periodic review of the operator's weather documents. Part 91 K and 13 5 operators are not covered under ATOS. Principal operations inspectors (POIs) assigned to these operators use the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem in conjunction with FSIMS guidance as part of their work program to periodically inspect and track operators' weather documents to ensure they contain all pertinent weather information, as described in A-10-32. Additionally, we updated Operations Specification/Management Specification (OpSpec/MSpec) A010, Aviation Weather Information (issued November 22, 20I3), to include adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecast systems and we issued Notice 8900.210, Aviation Weather, on March 12, 2013. This notice required that POIs complete a comprehensive review on part 121, 135, and 91 K operators' aviation weather information prior to the reissuing of OpSpec/MSpec AO10. The updated OpSpec/MSpec ensures that operators are in compliance with new adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting system guidance and pol icy. OpSpec/MSpec AO 10 and Notice 8900.210 can be found at the provided links: OpSpec/MSpec AOIO: http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N_8900.242.pdf. Notice 8900.210: http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media!Notice/N 8900.210.pdf. In our first response to Safety Recommendation A-10-33 on June 22, 2010, we incorrectly responded that we would update the icing intensity definitions found in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) to be consistent with those defined in Advisory Circular 91-74A. Instead, we will update the AIM and AIP in response to A-1 0-34, not A-1 0-33. Please review our most recent letter on A-10-34 for an update on our progress on the revisions to the AIM and AIP. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed Safety Recommendations A-10-32 and -33, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/18/2012
Response: To address these recommendations, the FAA plans to revise Order 8900.1, “Flight Standards Information Management System.” Once the changes to Order 8900.1 are complete, the FAA will revise the data collection tool (DCT) contained in the air transportation oversight system. Pending completion of the revisions to Order 8900.1 and to the DCT, Safety Recommendations A-10-32 and -33 remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/24/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: Currently, there is no regulatory requirement for Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121 supplemental, 135, and 91 K operators to have an adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting system/subsystem. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has guidance on weather reporting in FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System that is applicable to parts 121, 135, and 91 K. Based on the FAA's evaluation of this guidance, we have determined that changes are necessary and are currently working on revisions to meet the intent of recommendations A-IO-32 and -33. Once the changes to Order 8900.1 are complete, the FAA will revise the data collection tool (DCT) contained in the Air Transportation Oversight System (A TOS). A TOS is used to ensure that operators are in compliance with regulations. To further address Safety Recommendation A- IO-34, the FAA has completed the draft revision to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) as proposed in our last letter on recommendations A-10-33 and -34. The revision incorporates the reportable icing intensities from Advisory Circular 9l -74A, Pilot Guide: Flight in Icing Conditions, into the AIM. Upon approval, the revision will be coordinated internally to develop, coordinate, and deliver training to air traffic controllers on the new terminology. Once the change is published in the AIM, the FAA will issue an Information for Operators to inform pilots about the change in terminology. The FAA is also planning to update the Aeronautical Information Publication. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on these safety recommendations and provide an update by October 2013.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/25/2011
Response: The NTSB acknowledges the FAA's concern that determining which weather reports are pertinent is very subjective, and that, although weather reports are only valid for a specified period of time, the data they contain can still be useful for determining weather trends. Although the infol111ation provided should allow a pilot to determine weather trends over the planned route, the information provided in the Colgan flight 3407 accident contained such a large number of outdated or otherwise irrelevant weather reports that it would be difficult for any pilot to find the information needed and include it in his or her flight planning. The FAA's plan to evaluate current requirements to determine what changes should be made to address Safety Recommendations A-10-32 and -33 is a first step in an acceptable response. Accordingly, pending completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations A-10-32 and -33 are classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/22/2010
Response: MC# 2100243 - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: We understand the intent of this recommendation and agree that an operator's subsystem-generated weather document for each flight should contain all pertinent weather information. However, determining which weather reports are pertinent is very subjective. While weather reports are only valid for a specified period of time, the data they contain can still be very useful for determining weather trends. For example, aviation routine weather reports (METAR) and aviation selected special weather reports (SPECI) provide current weather conditions at an airport and are typically valid for an hour or until replaced. Even though the historical METARs or SPECIs are replaced, they still contain useful information by showing pilots how the weather is changing, such as improving visibility or wind shifts associated with weather frontal passage. The historical data helps provide a better picture of the overall weather conditions. Currently, there is no regulatory requirement for parts 121 Supplemental, 135, and 91K operators to have an adverse weather phenomena reporting and forecasting system/subsystem. However, we are evaluating all of our current requirements, policy, and 9 guidance for parts 121, 135, and 91K operators to determine what changes should be made to appropriately address this recommendation. We plan to provide an update to the Board by December 2010.