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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-72-020
Details
Synopsis: ON JUNE 22, 1971, A NORTHEAST AIRLINES, INC., MCDONNELL DOUGLAS, DC-9-31, N982NE, STRUCK THE WATER DURING A NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACH AND RECEIVED MINOR DAMAGE. THERE WERE NO INJURIES TO THE THREE PASSENGERS AND FIVE CREWMEMBERS ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT. THE WEATHER AT THE AIRPORT WAS REPORTED TO BE: SKY OBSCURED; INDEFINITE CEILING 300 FEET; VISIBILITY 1 MILE IN FOG; WIND 030 AT 5 KNOTS; ANDTHE ALTIMETER WAS 29.81 INCHES OF MERCURY. THE FLIGHT WAS PERFORMING A VOR STRAIGHT-IN APPROACH TO RUNWAY 24 AT MARTHA'S VINEYARD AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE WATER APPROXIMATELY 3 MILES SHORT OF THE RUNWAY. MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE WAS INCURRED BY THE LOWER AFT SECTION OF BOTH ENGINES. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DETERMINES THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THIS INCIDENT WASTHE LACK OF CREW COORDINATION IN MONITORING THE ALTITUDE DURING THE PERFORMANCE OF A NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACH, THE MISREADING OFTHE ALTIMETER BY THE CAPTAIN, AND A LACK OF ALTITUDE AWARENESS ON THE PART OF BOTH PILOTS.
Recommendation: THE ADMINISTRATOR ESTABLISH APPROPRIATE OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR SUCH EQUIPMENT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Martha's Vineyard, MA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: NYC71IN125
Accident Reports: Northeast Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, N982NE
Report #: AAR-72-04
Accident Date: 6/22/1971
Issue Date: 12/29/1971
Date Closed: 11/2/1973
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/15/1972
Response: 3/15/72 THE FAA REFERRED TO THEIR LETTER OF 15 NOVEMBER 71 WHICH WAS IN RESPONSE TO THE BOARD'S SIMILAR RECOMMENDATION OF NOVEMBER 10, 1971 FOLLOWING THE SOUTHERN AIRWAYS DC-9 ACCIDENT AT GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI. THE FAA STATE THEIR POSITION IS UNCHANGED FOR THEY BELIEVE THAT CURRENT INSTRUMENTATION AND PROCEDURES ARE SAFE AND ADEQUATE ASSUMING THAT COCKPIT DISCIPLINES ARE MAINTAINED. HAD COMPANY ALTITUDE AWARENESS AND CALLOUT PROCEDURES FOR NONPRECISION APPROACHES BEEN FOLLOWED THE LATTER INCIDENT ALSO WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. NEVERTHELESS, THE FAA STATE THEY HAVE REASSESSED THEIR SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR STRAIGHT-IN NONPRECISION APPROACHES AND ARE DEVELOPING NEW CRITERIA. ONE INVOLVES ESTABLISHING A FINAL APPROACH DESCENT FIX SUCH AS A FAN MARKER OR OTHER SUITABLE FACILITY FOR EACH STRAIGHT-IN NONPRECISION APPROACH PROCEDURE. THIS DESCENT FIX WOULD BE LOCATED AT A POINT ON THE FINAL APPROACH FROM WHICH A NORMAL DESCENT PATH OF OF APPROXIMATELY 30 FROM MDA TO TOUCHDOWN CAN BE COMMENCED, PROVIDED THE REQUIRED VISUAL REFERENCE IS ESTABLISHED. THE PILOT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN AN ALTITUDE AT OR ABOVE THE MDA UNTIL PASSING THE DESCENT FIX. ANOTHER CRITERION WOULD BE TO PROVIDE VASI FOR EACH RUNWAY SERVED BY THIS TYPE APPROACH. THE VASI WOULD PROVIDE VISUAL VERTICAL GUIDANCE AT NORMAL DESCENT RATES FOR THE VISUAL SEGMENT OF THE APPROACH. THESE NEW CRITERIA SHOULD RESULT IN A GREATER DEGREE OF ALTITUDE AWARENESS THROUGHOUT THE PROCEDURE. BOTH RECOMMENDATIONS SUPERSEDED BY NOT. 754 RECOMMENDATIONS A-72-34 THRU 36 ISSUED 4/17/72.