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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-108
Synopsis: On December 20, 2008, about 1818 mountain standard time, Continental Airlines flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500, N18611, departed the left side of runway 34R during takeoff from Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado. A postcrash fire ensued. The captain and 5 of the 110 passengers were seriously injured; the first officer, 2 cabin crewmembers, and 38 passengers received minor injuries; and 1 cabin crewmember and 67 passengers (3 of whom were lap-held children) were uninjured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight, operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121, was departing DEN and was destined for George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas. At the time of the accident, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, with strong and gusty winds out of the west. The flight operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Review the required documentation for all low-level windshear alert system (LLWAS)-equipped air traffic control towers to ensure that a letter to airmen has been published and is easily accessible describing the location and designation of the remote sensors, the capabilities and limitations of the system, and the availability of current LLWAS remote sensor wind information on the request of a pilot, in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration Order 7210.3.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA09MA021
Accident Reports: Runway Side Excursion During Attempted Takeoff in Strong and Gusty Crosswind Conditions Continental Airlines Flight 1404, Boeing 737-500, NN18611
Report #: AAR-10-04
Accident Date: 12/20/2008
Issue Date: 7/29/2010
Date Closed: 12/26/2012
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control,

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 12/26/2012
Response: The NTSB notes that the FAA has verified that all LLWAS-equipped airports are in compliance with Order 7210.3, which requires these airports to publish a letter to airmen, explaining, at a minimum, (1) the location and designation of the remote sensors, (2) the capabilities and limitations of the system, and (3) the availability of current LLWAS remote sensor wind information, providing pilots access to potentially useful information regarding available sources of airport wind information. This action satisfies Safety Recommendation A 10-108, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
Date: 8/21/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) verified that all Air Traffic facilities equipped with legacy LLWAS are compliant with FAA Order JO 7210.3X, Facility Operation and Administration, Chapter 10, subparagraph 1O-3-3.a.1, Low Level Wind Shear/Microburst Detection Systems. We would like to clarify that the letter to airmen (LTA) is not only for controllers or the only information available. The information concerning LLWAS, Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), and Weather System Processor (WSP) and their function is described in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). In addition, the locations of these systems are identified in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD). We note that, by regulation, pilots are required to be familiar with the AIM and A/FD. The letter to airman referenced in the above mentioned subparagraph is informational in nature only, valid for a maximum of 2 years, and is not renewed unless a change, upgrade, or modification occurs to the LLWAS serving the airport referenced in the letter to airman; it is then distributed to the user community for that particular airport (e.g., the airport authority. Part 121 carriers, etc.). FAA Order JO 721 O.3X, subparagraph 4-5-2.b.5, Letters to Airmen states that “Each letter to airmen must contain ... a cancellation date and must not remain in effect beyond… 24 months.” I believe the FAA has effectively addressed this safely recommendation and consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
Date: 12/16/2011
Response: The NTSB is unable to classify Safety Recommendations A-10-107 through -109 before receiving additional information from the FAA regarding actions either taken or planned to address these recommendations. Accordingly, pending our receipt of such detailed information, Safety Recommendations A-10-107 through -109 remain classified OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 10/14/2010
Response: CC#201000393: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The FAA is in the process of gathering information to assess recommendations A-10-107 through A-10-109 to determine the best course of action.