You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page.
Turn on more accessible mode
Turn off more accessible mode
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Top Link Bar
NEWS & EVENTS
Speeches & Testimony
Most Wanted List
The Investigative Process
Data & Stats
General Aviation Safety
Assistance to Families & Victims
Operations & Policy
Administrative Law Judges
Strategic Plans & Reports
Safety Recommendation Details
The Investigative Process
Data & Stats
General Aviation Safety
ON JANUARY 23, 1982, WORLD AIRWAYS, INC., FLIGHT 30H, A MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-10-30, WAS A REGULARLY SCHEDULED PASSENGER FLIGHT FROM OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, WITH AN EN ROUTE STOP AT NEWARK, NEW JERSEY. FOLLOWING A NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACH TO RUNWAY 15R AT BOSTON-LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, THE AIRPLANE TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 2,500 FEET BEYOND THE DISPLACED THRESHOLD OF THE RUNWAY, LEAVING 6,691 FEET REMAINING ON WHICH TO STOP. ABOUT 1936:40, THE AIRPLANE VEERED TO AVOID THE APPROACH LIGHT PIER AT THE DEPARTURE END OF THE RUNWAY AND SLID INTO THE SHALLOW WATER OF BOSTON HARBOR. THE NOSE SECTION SEPARATED FROM THE FORWARD FUSELAGE AFTER THE AIRPLANE DROPPED ONTO THE SHORE EMBANKMENT. OF THE 212 PERSONS ON BOARD, 2 ARE MISSING AND PRESUMED DEAD. THE OTHERS EVACUATED THE AIRPLANE SAFELY, BUT WITH SOME INJURIES. THE REPORTED WEATHER WAS A MEASURED 800-FOOT OVERCAST, 2 1/2 MILE VISIBILITY, LIGHT RAIN AND FOG, TEMPERATURE 35 DEGREES, AND WIND 165 DEGREES AT 3 KNS. THE WET RUNWAY WAS COVERED WITH HARD-PACKED SNOW AND A COATING OF RAIN AND/OR GLAZED ICE.
TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Use a mechanical friction measuring device to measure the dry runway coefficient of friction during annual certification inspections at full certificate airports and require that a notice to airmen (NOTAM) be issued when the coefficient of friction falls below the minimum value reflected in advisory circular 150/5320-12, chapter 2. (Superseded by A-87-110) (Supersedes Safety Recommendations A-74-119 through -121 and A-76-136 and -137)
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Unacceptable Action/Superseded
BOSTON, MA, United States
World Airways, Inc., Flight 30H, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30CF, N113WA
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action/Superseded)
Safety Recommendation History
(PER GREEN SHEET A-87-107 THRU -111) Recommendations A-82-153 and -154 have been classified as "Closed Unacceptable--Superseded" by A-87-110.
The subject recommendations concern friction measurement for runway maintenance purposes which provide a relative indication of pavement performance under wet conditions. The FAA has found that the most effective way to maintain satisfactory pavement surfaces is to specially treat the runway by grooving, adding porous friction courses, or seal coats. Good friction surfaces are assured under normally encountered wet conditions with these types of treatment. In July 1984, the FAA prepared a preliminary benefit-cost analysis on conducting a yearly runway friction measurement program. The benefit-cost ratio ranged from 1.75 based on FAA undertaking the work with its own forces to 0.80 based on the airports undertaking the work, in part by their own forces and in part by contract. The benefits were computed using accident data from 1972 through 1981 based on the arguable assumption that some accidents could have been prevented by proper friction maintenance. The Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as part of its declared policy, stated that friction treatment should be undertaken to promote safety at commercial service airports. Pursuant to this direction, runway treatment was placed in the highest priority category under the Grant-in-Aid Program. This emphasis accelerated treatment; to date, 98 percent of all passengers travel through airports having runways that are surface treated. There has been significant improvement to runway surfaces since the data period on which the benefit-cost study was predicated. The other maintenance concern under wet conditions is the build-up of rubber from landing operations. Excessive build-up normally can be detected from visual inspection and can be evaluated during regular certification inspections. In view of the above, the FAA does not believe that measuring "dry runway coefficient of friction" during certification inspections would be cost-effective nor would any significant safety improvement result. Also, the FAA does not believe that circumstances warrant requiring certificated airports to develop or carry out a friction measurement plan for maintenance. Traffic levels at over 70 percent of the certificated airports serving turbojet service would only require one measurement per year for maintenance purposes. This interval of use would not warrant the purchase and upkeep of the device. If the service was done by contract, it could amount to a substantial cost, particularly for the lower activity airports. I believe that the imposition of such a requirement would be judged an unjustified regulatory burden. The FAA does, however, believe that ownership and use of a friction device by airports can be useful in making maintenance decisions and for collecting information on pavement performance. The FAA has, therefore, placed friction Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses equipment eligibility under the Grant Program in a high priority category. The FAA has done extensive testing of equipment currently on the market for maintenance use and has determined that there are four devices suitable for this purpose. The FAA encourages airport operators who have the equipment to evaluate its use for operational purposes under snow and ice conditions. The Board is aware that joint FAA/National Aeronautics and Space Administration studies continue on operational correlatability with the goal of establishing a relationship between ground equipment friction values and aircraft braking performance on ice and snow surfaces. I consider the FAA's action to be completed on these recommendations.
We note from your September 20, response that the FAA is considering several proposals involving the use of friction measuring devices for evaluating runway pavement surface conditions. In addition, the FAA has initiated a cost/benefit analysis concerning the use of friction measuring devices during annual airport Data Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses inspections. The FAA expects to complete this study in mid 1984. We are pleased that the Joint FAA/NASA Runway Friction Measurement Program is continuing its testing and collection of data on the use and effectiveness of those friction measuring devices currently available. Also, the Board is vitally interested in the proposed operational tests of these devices at the New York Port Authority's three New York area airports. We plan to continue our staff participation in this program, and we urge the FAA also to continue its support and cooperation. Safety Recommendations A-82-153 and -154 will be classified as "Open--Acceptable Action" pending the FAA's further response following completion of its cost/benefit analysis.
FAA LETTER: WE HAVE INITIATED AN ANALYSIS TO EVALUATE THE COST/BENEFIT RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD ENSUE FROM PERIODIC USE OF FRICTION MEASURING DEVICES DURING ANNUAL AIRPORT CERTIFICATION INSPECTIONS. TWO ALTERNATIVES THAT WILL BE INVESTIGATED INCLUDE THE REGULATORY IMPOSITION OF PERIODIC FRICTION MEASUREMENTS ON AIRPORT OPERATORS AND THE ASSUMPTION OF THIS MEASUREMENT RESPONSIBILITY BY FAA. OUR DECISIONS AND FURTHER ACTIONS RELATIVE TO IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE BASED ON THE FINDINGS OF OUR STUDY WHICH IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN MID 1984. IN THE MEANTIME, THE FAA INTENDS TO CONTINUE RESEARCH AND TESTING AND TO COLLECT ADDITIONAL DATA ON THE USE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THOSE FRICTION MEASURING DEVICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET.
FAA LETTER: THE FAA IS CURRENTLY CONSIDERING SEVERAL ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS FOR ACTION INVOLVING THE USE OF FRICTION MEASURING DEVICES FOR EVALUATING RUNWAY PAVEMENT SURFACE CONDITIONS. SINCE NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE, THE FAA IS NOT AT THIS TIME PREPARED TO RESPOND TO RECOMMENDATIONS A-82-153 AND -154. HOWEVER, WITHIN 4 TO 8 WEEKS, WE EXPECT TO BE PREPARED TO SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS THESE RECOMMENDATIONS AND TO OUTLINE OUR PLANS CONCERNING THE USE OF THESE DEVICES.
Strategic Plan, Performance & Accountability Reports & More
Directions to Conference Center
Web Policies & Notices
Annual Review of Aircraft