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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-78-034
Details
Synopsis: ON DECEMBER 13, 1977, AIR INDIANA FLIGHT 216, A DC-3, CRASHED AT DRESS REGIONAL AIRPORT, EVANSVILLE, INDIANA, SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF FROM RUNWAY 18. THE AIRPLANE WAS ON AN IFR CHARTER FLIGHT TO TRANSPORT THE EVANSVILLE UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL TEAM TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. THE 27 PASSENGERS AND 2 FLIGHT CREWMEMBERS WERE KILLED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: INSTALL AN ALERTING FEATURE ON ALL EXISTING AND NEW EQUIPMENT FOR DISSEMINATING ESSENTIAL WEATHER INFORMATION IN ALL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FACILITIES, AT POSITIONS THAT REQUIRE TIMELY INFORMATION AND AT POSITIONS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO ISSUE CURRENT WEATHER INFORMATION AS A PART OF THEIR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FUNCTIONS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Evansville, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA78AA001
Accident Reports: National Jet Services, Inc., Douglas DC-3, N51071
Report #: AAR-78-10
Accident Date: 12/13/1977
Issue Date: 5/11/1978
Date Closed: 7/27/1989
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control, Weather, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/27/1989
Response: As a response to the Board's concerns over delays, the FAA has cited the existence of the terminal area next generation radar and the enhanced low level windshear alert system. Additionally, in the FAA response to A-86-78, the development and installation plans for the meteorologist weather processor (MWP) and the real-time weather processor (RWP) were described. The response to A-86-78 is being considered separately; however, implementation of A-78-34 will partially be incorporated in the MWP and RWP installations, as well as in other portions of the national airspace system plan. Unfortunately, the schedules for those programs have slipped, further delaying the installation of this 11-year old safety recommendation. The original intent of A-78-34 would have been satisfied by simply installing a bell or other alarm device on electrowriter machines, as the U.S. Air force had done to alert the controller when new weather data was being transmitted. Although the safety board is confident that the intent will ultimately be implemented, the unwarranted delay and inadequate response to this safety recommendation results in its being classified as Closed--Unacceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/14/1989
Response: IN A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 26, 1988, THE FAA TOLD THE BOARD THAT IT WAS CONTINUING WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF THE ADVANCED AUTOMATION SYSTEM TOWER CONTROL COMPUTER COMPLEX (TCCC). THIS SYSTEM WOULD AUTOMATICALLY DISSEMINATE AND DISPLAY AIRPORT SYSTEM STATUS, LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL DATA, AND CRITICAL METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION. THE CRITICAL METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION WOULD BE ENCODED TO DRAW THE CONTROLLER'S IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND WOULD REMAIN DISPLAYED UNTIL ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE CONTROLLER. SINCE THE FIRST TCCC WILL NOT BE IMPLEMENTED UNTIL 1994, THE SAFETY BOARD REQUESTED THAT THE FAA PROVIDE INFORMATION ON OTHER CHANGES THAT MAY FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION. THE PURPOSE OF THIS LETTER IS TO APPRISE THE SAFETY BOARD OF TWO MAJOR PROGRAMS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY THAT MAY SATISFY THE INTENT OF THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION. THESE TWO PROGRAMS ARE THE TERMINAL NEXRAD AND THE ENHANCED LOW LEVEL WINDSHEAR ALERT SYSTEM (LLWAS). THE TERMINAL NEXRAD WILL PROVIDE DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR COVERAGE FOR 16 MAJOR AIRPORTS. THESE RADARS WILL BE REPLACED WHEN THE FIRST 45 TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADARS ARE DEPLOYED. THE TDWR IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE COMPLETE WEATHER PROTECTION FOR THE AIRPORT. THE CAPABILITY TO ADVISE DIRECTLY THE COCKPIT CREW OF ADVERSE WEATHER IN THE AIRPORT AREA IS INHERENT IN THE TDWR DESIGN AND WILL BE IMPLEMENTED THROUGH USE OF THE MODE S DATA LINK. THE ENHANCED LLWAS (PHASE III) PROVIDES RUNWAY ORIENTATED WINDSHEAR AND MICROBURST ALERTS TO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS. THE LLWAS AT DENVER STAPLETON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WAS EXPANDED TO INCORPORATE ADDITIONAL SENSORS, NEW CONTROLLER DISPLAYS, AND MODIFIED SOFTWARE. BASED ON A SERIES OF COMPUTER SIMULATIONS AND ANALYSES, COUPLED WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A GOVERNMENT-INDUSTRY ADVISORY GROUP, NEW FORMATS AND PRODUCTS WERE DEVELOPED FOR THE LLWAS AT DENVER STAPLETON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THE EXPANDED LLWAS WAS OPERATIONALLY TESTED IN THE SUMMER OF 1987 AND WAS COMMISSIONED IN JANUARY 1988. THE EXPANDED SYSTEM PROVIDES LONGITUDINAL WIND COMPONENTS EXPRESSED IN SPEED LOSS OR GAIN. ADDITIONALLY, THE SYSTEM ALLOWS THE CONTROLLER TO ADVISE THE PILOT ON THE TYPE AND LOCATION OF WINDSHEAR IN THE PROTECTED ZONES. CURRENTLY, PHASE III LLWAS IS OPERATIONAL AT DENVER, COLORADO, AND NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. MICROBURST DATA FROM THE TDWR SYSTEM AND WINDSHEAR ALERTS FROM THE ENHANCED LLWAS ARE DISPLAYED TO THE CONTROLLER ON AN INTEGRATED DISPLAY. THIS DISPLAY PRESENTS THE INFORMATION IN A FLASHING LIGHT ALPHA-NUMERIC FORMAT. IN ADDITION, AN AURAL SIGNAL IS GENERATED WHENEVER A WINDSHEAR EVENT IS DETECTED BY THE LLWAS. WHILE NOT A WEATHER DETECTION SYSTEM IN ITSELF, THE AIRPORT SURFACE DETECTION EQUIPMENT (ASDE-3) WILL PROVIDE RADAR COVERAGE OF THE AIRPORT SURFACE AND IS ABLE TO DETECT AIRCRAFT AND SMALL VEHICLES DURING INCLEMENT WEATHER. THE ASDE-3 IS SCHEDULED TO BE DELIVERED IN 1990. INITIAL EQUIPMENT DELIVERIES ARE SCHEDULED TO GO TO THE KEY TEST SITE, THE ACADEMY, AND THREE LOWER ACTIVITY SITES WHICH DO NOT HAVE ASDE EQUIPMENT TO FURTHER SHAKEDOWN THE SYSTEM AND REFINE THE INSTALLATION TECHNIQUES. THIS METHODOLOGY IS USED TO PERFECT THE IMPLEMENTATION TECHNIQUES TO LESSEN THE IMPACT ON A HIGHER ACTIVITY FACILITY SINCE A SHUTDOWN AND CUTOVER PERIOD IS REQUIRED. I BELIEVE THAT THESE PROGRAMS, ALONG WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TCCC, WILL SATISFY THE INTENT OF THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/26/1988
Response: THE FAA IS CONTINUING WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF THE ADVANCED AUTOMATION SYSTEM TOWER CONTROL COMPUTER COMPLEX (TCCC). THIS SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY DISSEMINATE AND DISPLAY AIRPORT SYSTEM STATUS, LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL DATA, AND CRITICAL METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION. THE CRITICAL METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION WILL BE ENCODED TO DRAW THE CONTROLLER'S IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND WILL BE DISPLAYED UNTIL ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE CONTROLLER. I HAVE ENCLOSED A COPY OF THE CURRENT SCHEDULE FOR PROCUREMENT AND INSTALLATION OF THE TCCC SYSTEM. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD APPRISED OF THE FAA'S PROGRESS ON THIS ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/25/1988
Response: The last correspondence was acceptance of the above FAA comment by the Safety Board in March 1987. As mentioned last year, the Board believes that the TCCC is a very positive step forward for the FAA. As the above FAA comment was made over a year ago and because the implementation of the first TCCC system will not be until 1994, we would like to have some indication of objectives with which to assess the plan's progress. With the advances of the last ten years, it may also be possible that some other changes have fulfilled the requirements of Safety Recommendation A-78-34. Therefore, we would like to be briefly made aware of any other changes which might have been implemented, or initiated, since the original safety recommendation was made. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. The classification of this recommendation is being maintained as open--acceptable action pending your response.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/23/1987
Response: We are pleased to note that the FAA has amended the facility management Handbook, 7210.3d, providing direction for the timely dissemination of current weather information. We are also appreciated of the engineering and research programs underway for the development and installation of a consolidated cab display (CCD), to alert controllers, by visual and aural alert, to the latest weather information. Pending the installation of the CCD at Level IV and V terminals, this recommendation is being maintained in an open-acceptable action status.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/17/1987
Response: We are pleased to be informed of the development and installation of the Tower Control Computer Complex (TCCC) that will automatically disseminate critical meteorological information to controllers. Hopefully, this critical weather information will then be immediately relayed to flightcrews. We note the first TCCC will be installed in 1994 and that 240 TCCC's will be commissioned by 1999. We appreciate the FAA's offer to keep the Safety Board apprised of progress. This recommendation remains classified as open--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/24/1987
Response: THE FAA'S ENGINEERING AND RESEARCH PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND INSTALLATION OF A CONSOLIDATED CAB DISPLAY HAS EVOLVED INTO THE ADVANCED AUTOMATION SYSTEM TOWER CONTROL COMPUTER COMPLEX (TCCC). THE TCCC WILL PROVIDE AN AUTOMATED TOWER CAB INFORMATION SYSTEM AND WILL PRESENT LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND AIRPORT SYSTEM STATUS DATA TO THE CONTROLLERS. ALSO, THIS SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY DISSEMINATE CRITICAL METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION TO CONTROL PERSONNEL. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FIRST TCCC WILL BE IN 1994. SUBSEQUENTLY, 240 TCCC'S WILL BE COMMISSIONED BY 1999. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD APPRISED OF PROGRESS.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/17/1986
Response: OUR LETTER OF JULY 24, 1978, ADVISED YOU THAT WE HAD SENT A LETTER TO OUR REGIONAL OFFICES REQUESTING THAT AIR TRAFFIC FACILITY CHIEFS BE DIRECTED TO REVIEW THEIR PROCEDURES PERTAINING TO THE DISSEMINATION OF WEATHER AND TO TAKE POSITIVE MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT CONTROLLERS ARE AWARE OF NEW WEATHER AS IT IS RECEIVED. IN ADDITION THERETO, WE REQUESTED ALL REGIONS TO EVALUATE THE SITUATION AND PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO HOW THIS TASK COULD BE BEST ACCOMPLISHED. AS A RESULT THEREOF, WE HAVE ADDED A PARAGRAPH TO FACILITY MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK, 7210.3D EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1979, PROVIDING DIRECTION TO TERMINAL FACILITIES FOR THE TIMELY HANDLING OF CURRENT WEATHER OBSERVATIONS. ADDITIONALLY, THE AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE AND THE AIRWAY FACILITIES SERVICE ARE NOW WORKING TOWARD THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DISPLAY FOR THE TOWER CAB WHICH WILL PROVIDE CONTROLLERS WITH A CONSOLIDATED DISPLAY OF ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION DATA. THIS CONSOLIDATED CAB DISPLAY (CCD) IS NOW IN THE ENGINEERING STAGE WITH THE FIRST PROTOTYPE SYSTEMS TO BE INSTALLED AT BOSTON AND ATLANTA. THE CCD WILL INCLUDE BOTH AUTOMATICALLY AND MANUALLY INDUCED WEATHER INFORMATION. UPON RECEIPT OF THE WEATHER INFORMATION, THE CCD WILL ACTIVATE A VISUAL AND AURAL ALERT TO THE CONTROLLER. TO SILENCE THE ALERT REQUIRES A CONTROLLER TO MANUALLY ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT. BECAUSE OF THE LARGE COST OF THE CCD, IT IS PLANNED ONLY TO INSTALL THEM AT LEVEL IV AND V TERMINALS. PRESENT PLANS INCLUDE THE INSTALLATION OF THIS SYSTEM AT NINE LOCATIONS IN FY 81. CONCERNING ALL OTHER LOCATIONS, THERE IS NO KNOWN ACROSS-THE-BOARD EQUIPMENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE JOB. WE BELIEVE THE DIRECTION GIVEN TO OUR FACILITIES IN THE HANDBOOK CHANGE WILL SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT AT THOSE LOCATIONS FOR THE TIME BEING. IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL INITIATE A REQUEST TO SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE DESIRED TASK. THE FAA CONSIDERS ACTION COMPLETED WITH REGARD TO THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/17/1986
Response: In our letter of may we, 1979, we expressed our appreciation to the Federal Aviation Administration for amending the Facility Management Handbook, 7210.30, providing direction for the timely dissemination of current weather information. We also expressed our appreciation for the engineering and research programs then underway for the development and installation of a Consolidated Cab Display (CCD) to alert controllers by visual and aural alert of the latest weather information. However, we also stated that, pending the installation of the CCD at Level IV and V terminals, Safety Recommendation A-78-34 would be maintained in an open-acceptable action status. We request to be informed of the status of this recommendation. Its classification as open--acceptable action remains unchanged, pending your response.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/23/1979
Response: We are pleased to note that the FAA has amended the Facility Management Handbook, 7210.3d, providing direction for the timely dissemination of current weather information. We are also appreciative of the engineering and research programs underway for the development and installation of a Consolidated Cab Display (CCD), to alert controllers, by visual and aural alert, of the latest weather information. Pending the installation of the CCD at level iv and v terminals, this recommendation is being maintained in an open--acceptable action status.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/27/1979
Response: FAA LTR: FAA ADDED A PARAGRAPH TO FACILITY MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK 7210.3D, EFFECTIVE 7/1/79, PROVIDING DIRECTION TO TERMINAL FACILITIES FOR THE TIMELY HANDLING OF CURRENT WEATHER OBSERVATIONS. ADDITIONALLY, THE AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE AND THE AIRWAY FACILITIES SERVICE ARE NOW WORKING TOWARD THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DISPLAY FOR THE TOWER CAB WHICH WILL PROVIDE CONTROLLERS WITH A CONSOLIDATED DISPLAY OF ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION DATA.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/24/1978
Response: FAA LTR: ON MAY 30, 1978, THE FAA SENT A LETTER TO THEIR REGIONAL OFFICES REQUESTING THAT AIR TRAFFIC FACILITY CHIEFS BE DIRECTED TO REVIEW THEIR PROCEDURES PERTAINING TO THE DISSEMINATION OF WEATHER AND TO TAKE POSITIVE MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT CONTROLLERS ARE AWARE OF NEW WEATHER AS IT IS RECEIVED. ADDITIONALLY, WE REQUESTED THE REGIONS TO EVALUATE THIS PROBLEM AND PROVIDE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS UPON WHICH A SYSTEMWIDE SOLUTION MIGHT BE BASED.