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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-85-063
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1117:38 PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME, ON AUGUST 24, 1984, WINGS WEST AIRLINES, FLIGHT 628, A BEECH C-99 (N6399U) AND AESTHETEC INC., ROCKWELL COMMANDER 112TC, N112SM, COLLIDED IN MIDAIR NEAR SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA. THE WEATHER AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION WAS CLEAR. FLIGHT 628 HAD JUST DEPARTED SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY AIRPORT EN ROUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, CALIFORNIA, AND WAS CLIMBING ON A WESTBOUND HEADING. THE ROCKWELL COMMANDER HAD DEPARTED PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA, ON A TRAINING FLIGHT AND WAS DESCENDING TOWARD THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY AIRPORT ON AN EASTBOUND TRACK. THE AIRPLANES COLLIDED HEAD-ON AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 3,400 FEET. THE WRECKAGE OF BOTH AIRPLANES FELL INTO AN OPEN FIELD ABOUT 8 NMI WEST NORTHWEST OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY AIRPORT. ALL 17 PERSONS, INCLUDING THE 2 PILOTS AND 13 PASSENGERS ONBOARD FLIGHT 628 AND THE 2 PILOTS ONBOARD THE ROCKWELL, WERE KILLED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: AMEND THE OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS OF COMMUTER AIR CARRIERS TO REQUIRE THAT FLIGHTS TRANSPORTING REVENUE PASSENGERS EITHER BE ON AN IFR FLIGHT PLAN OR AT A MINIMUM, HAVE REQUESTED RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICES, WHEN AVAILABLE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA84AA034AB
Accident Reports: Midair Collision of Wings West Airlines Beech C-99 (N6399U) and Aesthtec, Inc., Rockwell Commander 112TC N112SM
Report #: AAR-85-07
Accident Date: 8/24/1984
Issue Date: 9/20/1985
Date Closed: 6/5/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/5/1987
Response: In this recommendation we asked the FAA to make it mandatory for commuter air carriers to be on an IFR flight plan or, at least, for pilots to seek radar traffic advisory services when available. We are disappointed that the FAA has again taken no positive action to satisfy this recommendation. Consequently, Safety Recommendation A-85-63 is also classified as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/27/1987
Response: THE FAA DOES NOT REQUIRE 14 CFR PART 135 OPERATORS TO CONDUCT THEIR OPERATIONS SOLEY UNDER IFR. WE DO, HOWEVER, SUPPORT THE POSITION THAT BOTH COMMUTER AND ON-DEMAND OPERATORS SHOULD REQUEST RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. ACOB NO. 8-78-3 REFERENCED IN THE FAA'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1984, TO THE FIELD POINTED OUT THE NEED FOR PRINCIPAL OPERATIONS INSPECTORS TO ASSURE THAT THEIR RE SPECTIVE OPERATORS WERE EMPHASIZING THE NEED FOR FLIGHTCREWS TO REQUEST RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. THE INFORMATION I HAVE INDICATES THAT THE THE MAJORITY OF THE OPERTORS CURRENTLY USE RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. I BELIEVE THAT THE ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN BY THE FAA ARE RESPONSIVE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION AND THEREFORE CONSIDER ACTION COMPLETED.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/13/1987
Response: This recommendation was prompted by the fact that had the flightcrew of Flight 628 obtained an IFR clearance on the ground, or as a minimum, had they requested a discrete beacon code for radar traffic advisory service, the controller's radar identification task might have been accomplished sooner, and may have shortened the time the controller needed to enter the flight into the IFR system. In 1985, FAA records indicate that there were 28 midair collisions and about 750 near midair collisions in U.S. civil aviation. These occurred mostly in good weather, during daylight, and in the vicinity of airports, pointing to the fact that the "See and Avoid" concept has its limitations, and more assistance may be necessary from the radar controller who now has available more sophisticated and computerized tracking equipment. We do not believe that the FAA has been responsive to this recommendation and request again that commuter carriers be required to be on an IFR flight plan or that they be required to obtain radar traffic advisory service when available. Pending your further response, this recommendation is held in "Open-Unacceptable Action status."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/21/1986
Response: THE FAA DOES NOT REQUIRE 14 CFR PART 135 OPERATORS TO CONDUCT THEIR OPERATIONS SOLELY UNDER IFR. WE DO, HOWEVER, SUPPORT THE POSITION THAT BOTH COMMUTER AND ON-DEMAND OPERATORS SHOULD REQUEST RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. ACOB NO. 8-78-3 REFERENCED IN THE FAA'S LETTER OF 11/7/84, TO THE FIELD POINTED OUT THE NEED FOR PRINCIPAL OPERATIONS INSPECTORS TO ASSURE THAT THEIR RESPECTIVE OPERATORS WERE EMPHASIZING THE NEED FOR FLIGHTCREWS TO REQUEST RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. THE INFORMATION I HAVE INDICATES THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE OPERATORS CURRENTLY USE RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORY SERVICE WHEN AVAILABLE. I BELIEVE THAT THE ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN BY THE FAA ARE RESPONSIVE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION AND THEREFORE CONSIDER ACTION COMPLETED.