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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-86-068
Details
Synopsis: ON AUGUST 2, 1985, AT 1805:52 CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME, DELTA AIR LINES (DELTA) FLIGHT 191, A LOCKHEED L-1011-385-1, N726DA, CRASHED WHILE APPROACHING TO LAND ON RUNWAY 17L AT THE DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL (DFW) AIRPORT, TEXAS. WHILE PASSING THROUGH THE RAIN SHAFT BENEATH A THUNDERSTORM, FLIGHT 191 ENTERED A MICROBURST WHICH THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO TRAVERSE SUCCESSFULLY. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE GROUND ABOUT 6,300 FEET NORTH OF THE APPROACH END OF RUNWAY 17L, HIT A CAR ON A HIGHWAY NORTH OF THE RUNWAY KILLING THE DRIVER, STRUCK TWO WATER TANKS ON THE AIRPORT, AND BROKE APART. EXCEPT FOR A SECTION OF THE AIRPLANE CONTAINING THE AFT FUSELAGE AND EMPENNAGE, THE REMAINDER OF THE AIRPLANE DISINTEGRATED DURING THE IMPACT SEQUENCE, AND A SEVERE FIRE ERUPTED DURING THE IMPACT SEQUENCE. OF THE 163 PERSONS ABOARD, 134 PASSENGERS AND CREWMEMBERS WERE KILLED; 26 PASSENGERS AND 3 CABIN ATTENDANTS SURVIVED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: INCLUDE A MESSAGE ON THE AUTOMATIC TERMINAL INFORMATION SERVICE BROADCAST WHENEVER WEATHER CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO THUNDERSTORM OR MICROBURST DEVELOPMENT EXIST IN THE TERMINAL AREA OR WHEN SUCH ACTUAL CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN OBSERVED OR REPORTED.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: DALLAS/FT WORTH, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA85AA031
Accident Reports: Delta Air Lines, Inc., Lockheed L-1011-385-1, N726DA
Report #: AAR-86-05
Accident Date: 8/2/1985
Issue Date: 9/3/1986
Date Closed: 12/10/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Thunderstorms/Rain/Snow, Weather, Weather Equipment/Products/Reports

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/10/1987
Response: The Safety Board is aware of the information regarding the reason for and makeup of the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) broadcasts as outlined in this current FAA response. This same information is included in various parts of the Board's report on the Delta Air Lines, Dallas/Ft. Worth windshear accident (NTSB/AAR-8605). Based on our knowledge of the ATIS and on the findings of our investigation, the board believed that the ATIS should be expanded to include conditions conducive to thunderstorm or microburst development. As it appears that we have been unable to convince the FAA of this need, we have classified Safety Recommendation A-86-68 as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/7/1987
Response: THE ATIS WAS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ADVANCED, NONCONTROLLED AIRPORT AND TERMINAL AREA OPERATIONAL AND METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION FOR USE BY AIRCRAFT ARRIVING AND DEPARTING AN AIRPORT AND OPERATING WITHIN THE TERMINAL AREA. THE MESSAGES ARE DESIGNED TO BE AS BRIEF AND CONCISE AS POSSIBLE. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF STRICTLY LOCAL FLIGHTS, VERY FEW AIRCRAFT REMAIN WITHIN THE TERMINAL AIRSPACE FOR MORE THAN 15-20 MINUTES. CONSEQUENTLY, LONG-RANGE FORECASTS SERVE LITTLE OR NO PURPOSE ON THE ATIS. HANDBOOK 7110.65E, PARAGRAPH 2-127, SPECIFIES THE INFORMATION THAT IS REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BROADCAST. PARAGRAPH 2-127 EMANDATES THE INCLUSION OF SIGMET'S CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S, AND CWA'S PERTINENT TO OPERATIONS IN THE TERMINAL AREA. SIGMET'S ARE WEATHER ADVISORIES ISSUED CONCERNING WEATHER SIGNIFICANT TO THE SAFETY OF ALL AIRCRAFT. SIGMET ADVISORIES COVER SEVERE AND EXTREME TURBULENCE, SEVERE ICING, AND WIDESPREAD DUST AND SAND STORMS THAT REDUCE VISIBILITY TO LESS THAN 3 MILES. CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S ARE WEATHER ADVISORIES CONCERNING CONVECTIVE WEATHER SIGNIFICANT TO THE SAFETY OF ALL AIRCRAFT. CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S ARE ISSUED FOR TORNADOES, LINES OF THUNDERSTORMS, EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS OF AN INTENSITY LEVEL, AND AREA OF THUNDERSTORMS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO VIP LEVEL 4 WITH AN AREA COVERAGE OF 40 PERCENT OR MORE AND HAIL 3/4 INCH OR GREATER. CENTER WEATHER ADVISORIES ARE UNSCHEDULED WEATHER ADVISORIES ISSUED BY CENTER WEATHER SERVICE UNIT METEOROLOGISTS FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL USE TO ALERT PILOTS OF EXISTING OR ANTICIPATED ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS WITHIN THE NEXT 2 HOURS. A CWA MAY ALSO MODIFY OR REDEFINE A SIGMET. SIGMET'S, CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S, AND CWA'S ARE ALL FORECASTS OF VARYING LENGTHS. SIGMET'S FORECAST CONDITIONS UP TO 4 HOURS IN THE FUTURE, WHILE CONVECTIVE SIGMET'S AND CWA'S NORMALLY COVER A 2-HOUR TIMEFRAME. FAA BELIEVES THAT THESE CURRENT BROADCAST REQUIREMENTS ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIVE TO THIS SAFETY RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/23/1987
Response: The Safety Board has reviewed the article for the Air Traffic Bulletin mentioned which accompanied your letter. It is the Board's opinion that this article, in concert with existing FAA regulations which require that current weather information be included in the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) broadcasts, will help ensure that pilots are aware that severe weather conditions exist at the airport. However, part of the Safety Board's intent in issuing this recommendation was that information on conditions conducive to thunderstorm or microburst development in the terminal area be included in the ATIS broadcast. The Board notes that your action is only partly responsive to this recommendation in that there is currently no requirement to report on ATIS the forecast of potentially severe weather. The Board requests that the FAA expand its response to include this important information. Pending further correspondence, Safety Recommendation A-86- 68 has been classified as "Open-Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/27/1987
Response: AS STATED IN MY LETTER DATED 12-16-86, HANDBOOK 7110.65D, PARAGRAPH 2-127, REQUIRES THAT THE CURRENT WEATHER INFORMATION, WHICH INCLUDES ACTUAL THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY, BE INCLUDED IN THE ATIS BROADCAST. ADDITIONALLY, PARAGRAPH 2-127 REQUIRES THAT LOW LEVEL WIND SHEAR ALERT INFORMATION BE INCLUDED IN THE ATIS BROADCASTS. THE FAA HAS PREPARED AN ARTICLE REEMPHASIZING THESE PROCEDURES AND WILL INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN AN AIR TRAFFIC BULLETIN.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/20/1987
Response: Pending the Safety Board's review of the proposed article for the Air Traffic Bulletin mentioned in response to this recommendation, Safety Recommendation A-86-68 has been classified as "Open--Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/16/1986
Response: I BELIEVE THAT THE FAA'S PRESENT PROCEDURES SATISFY THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE FAA WILL, HOWEVER, REEMPHASIZE THESE PRESENT PROCEDURES BY INCLUDING AN ARTICLE IN AN AIR TRAFFIC BULLETIN TO REMIND CONTROLLERS OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF HAND BOOK 7110.65, PARAGRAPH 2-127. A COPY OF THIS BULLETIN WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE BOARD AFTER PUBLICATION.