Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-88-139
Details
Synopsis: ON NOVEMBER 15, 1987, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC., FLIGHT 1713, A MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9-14, N626TX, WAS OPERATING AS A REGULARLY SCHEDULED, PASSENGER-CARRYING FLIGHT BETWEEN DENVER, COLORADO, AND BOISE, IDAHO. THE AIRPLANE WAS CLEARED TO TAKE OFF FOLLOWING A DELAY OF APPROXIMATELY 27 MINUTES AFTER DEICING. THE TAKEOFF ROLL WAS UNEVENTFUL, BUT FOLLOWING A RAPID ROTATION, THE AIRPLANE CRASHED OFF THE RIGHT SIDE OF RUNWAY 35 LEFT. BOTH PILOTS, 1 FLIGHT ATTENDANT, AND 25 PASSENGERS SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES. TWO FLIGHT ATTENDANTS AND 52 PASSENGERS SURVIVED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: REVIEW AND REVISE, AS NECESSARY, THE ENGINEER PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR APPROPRIATE AIRPORTS TO ACCOUNT FOR THE REDUCED AIRPORT CAPACITIES THAT OCCUR WHEN DEICING OPERATIONS ARE IN PROGRESS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: DENVER, CO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA88MA004
Accident Reports: Continental Airlines, Inc., Flight 1713 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, N626TX
Report #: AAR-88-09
Accident Date: 11/15/1987
Issue Date: 11/3/1988
Date Closed: 1/6/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Icing, Weather

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 1/6/1993
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE FAA CONTINUES TO DISAGREE WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION AND EXPLAINS THAT DEICING OPERATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN DESIGNATED A FACTOR THAT IS CONSIDERED DURING THE VARIOUS EPS REVIEWS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON AN AIRPORT'S CAPACITY. THE FAA ALSO STATES THAT TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ARE IMPLEMENTED BY THE CENTRAL FLOW CONTROL FACILITY TO KEEP TRAFFIC WITHIN SAFE AND ACCEPTABLE LIMITS DURING CERTAIN PERIODS SUCH AS WHEN WEATHER REDUCES AIRPORT CAPACITY. IN MAY 1992, HOWEVER, THE FAA SPONSORED AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AIRPLANE DEICING AND, BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THIS CONFERENCE, ISSUED GUIDANCE MATERIAL TO AIR TRAFFIC FIELD FACILITIES FOR USE WHEN DEVELOPING LOCAL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES FOR AIRPLANE DEICING OPERATIONS. THIS GUIDANCE INCLUDED STRATEGIES TO MANAGE DEPARTURES AND MINIMIZE THE LENGTH OF TIME AN AIRCRAFT SPENDS ON THE GROUND AFTER BEING DEICED. ADDITIONALLY, THESE GUIDELINES INCLUDE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR ESTABLISHING REVISED AIRPORT DEPARTURE RATES AND ALLOCATION OF AVAILABLE DEPARTURE SLOTS WHEN REDUCED DEPARTURE RATES OCCUR BECAUSE OF DEICING. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION, THE SAFETY BOARD CLASSIFIES SAFETY RECOMMENDATION A-88-139 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/25/1992
Response: THE FAA DOES NOT AGREE WITH THIS SAFETY RECOMMDATION. THE ENGINEERED PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (EPS) ARE DESIGNED TO BE A GUIDE FOR THE CAPACITY OF AN AIRPORT UNDER VARIOUS RUNWAY CONFIGURATIONS, TRAFFIC MIXES, AND WEATHER CONDITIONS. PREDOMINANT WEATHER CATEGORIES USED IN THE EPS COMPUTATIONS ARE CATEGORY I INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES, HIGHEST CIRCLING MINIMA, BASIC VISUAL FLIGHT RULES, AND VISUAL APPROACHES. AN ATTEMPT TO DEVELOP EPS'S FOR EACH POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF CONDITIONS WOULD BE IMPRACTICAL. THE FAA'S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM COMMAND CENTER (ATCSCC), IN COORDINATION WITH LOCAL AIR TRAFFIC FACILITIES, IS ABLE TO DETERMINE THE MOST DYNAMIC FLOW RATE FOR AN AIRPORT. THIS PROCESS IS KNOWN AS ESTABLISHING THE AIRPORT ACCEPTANCE RATE. DURING PERIODS WHEN DEMAND COULD POTENTIALLY EXCEED THE AIRPORT CAPACITY, TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ARE IMPLEMENTED BY THE ATCSCC TO KEEP TRAFFIC WITHIN SAFE AND ACCEPTABLE LIMITS. THIS WOULD TYPICALLY OCCUR DURING PERIODS WHEN WEATHER REDUCES AIRPORT CAPACITY. IN MAY 1992, THE AIR TRAFFIC ORGANIZATION PARTICIPATED IN AN FAA-SPONSORED INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AIRPLANE DEICING. AS A RESULT OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THIS CONFERENCE, GUIDANCE MATERIAL HAS BEEN ISSUED TO APPROPRIATE AIR TRAFFIC FIELD FACILITIES TO USE WHEN DEVELOPING LOCAL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES FOR AIRPLANE DEICING OPERATIONS. THIS GUIDANCE INCLUDES STRATEGIES TO MANAGE DEPARTURE RUNWAY QUEUES AND MINIMIZE THE LENGTH OF TIME AN AIRCRAFT SPENDS ON THE GROUND AFTER BEING DEICED. THE GUIDELINES ALSO INCLUDE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR ESTABLISHING REVISED AIRPORT DEPARTURE RATES AND, AS APPROPRIATE, ALLOCATION OF AVAILABLE DEPARTURE SLOTS WHEN REDUCED DEPARTURE RATES OCCUR BECAUSE OF DEICING.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/8/1992
Response: THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT AWAITING DEPARTURE DURING A SNOWSTORM IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE TIME THAT ANY ONE AIRCRAFT WOULD BE EXPOSED TO ICING CONDITIONS. CLEARLY, AIRPORT CAPACITY COULD BE EXPECTED TO BE REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY WHEN SNOW HAS REDUCED CEILING AND VISIBILITY, WHEN AIRCRAFT REQUIRE DEICING, AND WHEN RUNWAYS AND TAXIWAYS MUST BE PLOWED. AS YOU KNOW, THE SAFETY BOARD'S INVESTIGATION OF THE USAIR FOKKER 28 ACCIDENT AT NEW YOR LA GUARDIA AIRPORT ON MARCH 22, 1992, IS FOCUSING ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT CONTINUING PRECIPITATION HAD ADHERED TO THE AIRPLANE'S WINGS AFTER IT HAD BEEN DEICED AND WAS AWAITING DEPARTURE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/1989
Response: THE ENGINEERED PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (EPS) ARE DESIGNED TO BE A GUIDE TO THE CAPACITY OF AN AIRPORT UNDER VARIOUS RUNWAY CONFIGURATIONS, TRAFFIC MIXES, AND WEATHER CONDITIONS. PREDOMINANT WEATHER CATEGORIES USED IN THE EPS COMPUTATIONS ARE CATEGORY I INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES, HIGHEST CIRCLING MINIMA, BASIC VISUAL FLIGHT RULES, AND VISUAL APPROACHES. AN ATTEMPT TO DEVELOP EPS'S FOR EACH POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF CONDITIONS WOULD BE IMPRACTICAL. THE FAA'S CENTRAL FLOW CONTROL FACILITY, IN COORDINATION WITH LOCAL AIR TRAFFIC FACILITIES, IS ABLE TO DETERMINE THE MOST DYNAMIC FLOW RATE FOR AN AIRPORT. DURING PERIODS WHEN DEMAND COULD POTENTIALLY EXCEED THE AIRPORT CAPACITY, TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ARE IMPLEMENTED BY THE CENTRAL FLOW CONTROL FACILITY TO KEEP TRAFFIC WITHIN SAFE AND ACCEPTABLE LIMITS. THIS WOULD TYPICALLY OCCUR DURING PERIODS WHEN WEATHER REDUCES AIRPORT CAPACITY. THE FAA DOES REVIEW THE EPS, AS NECESSARY, WHEN CHANGES DEVELOP WHICH AFFECT EQUIPMENT, RUNWAYS, AND ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE MIXES. HOWEVER, DEICING OPERATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN DESIGNATED A FACTOR WHICH IS CONSIDERED DURING THE VARIOUS EPS REVIEWS SINCE THEY DO NOT HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON AN AIRPORT'S CAPACITY.