Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-86-072
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: REQUIRE THAT ALL PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN WEATHER COORDINATOR DUTIES ATTEND THE FORMAL WEATHER COORDINATOR TRAINING COURSE OFFERED BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION ACADEMY, AND EXPAND THAT COURSE TO INCLUDE TRAINING IN THE INTERPRETATION OF WEATHER ECHO INTENSITY LEVELS AS DEPICTED ON REMOTE WEATHER RADAR DISPLAYS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate 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: 6/18/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Training and Education, Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/18/1990
Response: The FAA has taken action to expand the guidance pertaining to Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) staffing contained in FAA Order 7210.38, the agreement with the National Weather Service regarding CWSU staffing, and the inclusion of definitive instructions in the CWSU Station Duty Manual. The Safety Board accepts these actions as meeting the intent of this recommendation. These actions should ensure that fully trained meteorologists are available to the FAA weather coordinator any time that severe weather is known to be occurring or is expected to occur. (Recommendation A-86-72, issued September 3, 1986, is reclassified as "Closed-- Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/13/1989
Response: The FAA has reevaluated its position and has reached agreement with the National Weather Service (NWS) to include additional guidance in FAA Order 7210.38 regarding Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) staffing. The following statement will be added to paragraph 20, Operating Hours and Staffing: "Shift hours may be varied as necessary to ensure continued meteorologist support when hazardous weather conditions are known to be occurring or are forecast to occur." As soon as this change has been approved, it will be incorporated into Order 7210.38. The NWS will also include the following instructions in its CWSU Station Duty Manual: (1) The duty meteorologist should not leave the control room anytime severe weather is known to be occurring or expected to occur by the meteorologist (except under extenuating circumstances or where another meteorologist is available to assume the weather watch) and (2) The duty meteorologist should advise the FAA official assigned to the weather coordinator function (or an available member of the traffic management unit) prior to leaving the control room for any significant length of time (e.g. lunchbreak). I have enclosed a copy of the letter directing this change to the CWSU Station Duty Manual. I believe that the FAA has met the intent of this safety recommendation, and I plan no further action.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/20/1987
Response: The Safety Board continues to believe that all personnel engaged in weather coordination duties should be properly trained to interpret weather echo intensity levels as depicted on remote weather radar displays. While the Board agrees that this recommendation would cause some duplication of abilities and that color graphics display radar will potentially help the Traffic Management Unit personnel interpret weather information, the Board believes that such redundancy is desirable in order to prevent additional accidents involving windshear. Therefore, the Safety Board has classified Safety Recommendation A-86-72 as "Open--Unacceptable Action," and requests that the FAA reconsider its position on this issue.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/16/1986
Response: THE FAA DOES NOT AGREE WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE CENTER WEATHER SERVICE UNIT IS REQUIRED TO INTERPRET ALL DATA FROM THE RADAR REMOTE WEATHER DISPLAY SYSTEM AND ISSUE THE APPROPRIATE ADVISORIES, SIGMETS, CONVECTIVE SIGMETS, ETC., TO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS THROUGH THE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT UNIT (TMU). TO HAVE THE MEMBERS OF THE TMU (WEATHER COORDINATORS) ATTEND FORMAL TRAINING AND DUPLICATE THE QUALIFICATION OF THE CENTER WEATHER SERVICE UNIT ON THE RADAR REMOTE WEATHER DISPLAY SYSTEM EQUIPMENT AND INTERPRETATIONS OF WEATHER ECHOES IS NEITHER DESIRABLE NOR FEASIBLE.