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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-95-047
Details
Synopsis: On 7/2/94, about 1843 eastern daylight time, a Douglas DC-9-31, N954VJ, operated by USAIR, Inc., as flight 1016, collided with trees and a private residence near the Charlotte/ Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, shortly after the flightcrew executed a missed approach from the instrument landing system approach to runway 18R. The captain, first officer, one flight attendant, and one passenger received minor injuries. Two flight attendants and 14 passengers sustained serious injuries. The remaining 37 passengers received fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. Flight 1016 was being conducted under 14 code of federal regulations part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Columbia, South Carolina, to Charlotte.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Review all low level windshear alert system installations to identify possible deficiencies in performance, similar to those identified by the sheltered wind sensors at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, and correct such deficiencies to ensure optimum performance of the LLWAS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MA065
Accident Reports: Flight into Terrain during Missed Approach USAir 1016, DC-9-31, N954VJ
Report #: AAR-95-03
Accident Date: 7/2/1994
Issue Date: 5/16/1995
Date Closed: 7/3/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Low Level Windshear, Weather, Wind

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/3/2002
Response: The Safety Board appreciates the significant effort demonstrated by the FAA in achieving the objective of this recommendation. As outlined in the summary of accomplishments provided in your letter, since 1995, the FAA has made many improvements in LLWAS at airports nationwide, including the development of new technology for, and increased coverage by, these systems. The Board notes that these improvements specifically included integration of terminal Doppler weather radars (TDWR) with LLWAS at nine airports, commissioning of the remaining installed TDWRs (45), installation of Weather System Processors, and LLWAS Relocation and Sustainment upgrades at 40 airports. The Board also notes that the FAA has extended coverage from 110 to 120 airports. On August 26, 1997, the FAA informed the Board that it had surveyed all airports with LLWAS to determine which sensor poles needed to be replaced or relocated. Since that time, the FAA has either replaced or relocated poles as necessary, or has installed upgraded weather detection systems that do not rely on the LLWAS system. In consideration of the FAA's actions, Safety Recommendation A-95-47 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/1/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/06/2002 7:07:33 PM MC# 2020255 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken numerous actions to provide improved windshear and microburst detection. At the time of this accident, there were 110 commissioned low level windshear alerting systems (LLWAS). The following is a summary of what has been accomplished or is planned to address this safety recommendation: ·Terminal Doppler weather radars (TDWR) were scheduled to be integrated with enhanced LLWAS's (LLWAS-NE) at nine of the highest probability airports. The LLWAS-NE at LaGuardia, New York, was the last of nine original network expansions to be commissioned. This system will be integrated with the TDWR located at Floyd Bennett Field. The integrated system will provide coverage at both LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport. It is anticipated that the John F. Kennedy TDWR will be commissioned in April 2002. ·Currently, 43 of the 45 installed TDWRs are commissioned. The two remaining sites are expected to be commissioned by April 2002. Two airports where TDWRs have been installed (Chicago Midway and Andrews Air Force Base) previously had no windshear coverage. ·The Weather System Processor (WSP) will be installed at 34 operational sites, 27 at LLWAS-II sites and 7 at sites that did not previously have windshear coverage. Currently, there are three WSP sites in operation (Albuquerque, New Mexico; Norfolk, Virginia, and Austin, Texas. WSP's are being installed at the remaining sites with the last operational readiness date scheduled for March 2003. ·LLWAS-RS (Relocation and Sustainment) is being installed at 40 airports. This includes one airport (Providence, Rhode Island) that did not previously have windshear coverage. There are two major efforts being made in the LLWAS-RS upgrade. The first is to acquire any necessary new pole sites and install new tall poles in locations compatible with LLWAS-RS siting criteria. The second is to acquire new hardware and software for the remote and master station replacement effort. Pole installation is complete at 37 airports. The remaining three airports are still having problems with the land acquisition. Tentative dates for first and last installation of the production system are June 2002 and June 2003. Operational test and evaluation of the system at Ft. Myers, Florida, has been completed. It should be noted that the FAA has gone beyond the scope of this safety recommendation. New technology with greater enhanced capability has been developed and fielded. Coverage has been extended from the original 110 airports to 120 airports. Consequently, I believe that the Board can classify this safety recommendation in a "closed acceptable" status based on the progress made to date and the attention the FAA is placing on completing the entire effort in the future.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/26/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE FAA IS PURSUING THIS PROGRAM AND APPRECIATES BEING ADVISED OF PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENTS. ALTHOUGH THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED WITH THE FAA'S PROGRAM, THE SCHEDULE FOR THE LLWAS-RS IS A SOURCE OF CONCERN. THE PROGRAM'S PROJECTED COMPLETION IS 7 YEARS AFTER A-95-47 WAS ISSUED AND 8 YEARS AFTER THE ACCIDENT THAT PROMPTED IT. GIVEN THE LENGTH OF TIME NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE LLWAS-RS SYSTEM, A-95-47 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/10/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 04/17/2000 4:16:07 PM MC# 2000542 THE FAA HAS TAKEN NUMEROUS ACTIONS TO PROVIDE IMPROVED WINDSHEAR AND MICROBURST DETECTION. AT THE TIME OF THIS ACCIDENT, THERE WERE 110 COMMISSIONED LOW LEVEL WINDSHEAR ALERTING SYSTEMS (LLWAS). THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED OR IS PLANNED TO ADDRESS THIS RECOMMENDATION: (1) TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADARS (TDWR) WERE SCHEDULED TO BE INTEGRATED WITH ENHANCED LLWAS'S (LLWAS-NE) AT NINE OF THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY AIRPORTS. THE LLWAS-NE AT LAGUARDIA (LGA), NEW YORK, WAS THE LAST OF NINE ORIGINAL NETWORK EXPANSIONS TO BE COMMISSIONED. THE LLWAS-NE AT LGA WAS COMMISSIONED ON 10/5/99; HOWEVER, IT HAS NOT BEEN INTEGRATED WITH THE TDWR. THE TDWR WILL BE LOCATED AT FLOYD BENNETT FIELD (SOUTH OF LGA AND WEST OF JOHN F. KENNEDY INT'L. AIRPORT (JFK)) AND WILL COVER BOTH JFK AND LGA. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THIS SYSTEM WILL BE COMMISSIONED IN DECEMBER 2000. (2) TDWR'S WERE SCHEDULED TO REPLACE LLWAS'S AT 35 HIGH-PROBABILITY AIRPORTS. IN ADDITION, 10 TDWR SYSTEMS WITHOUT LLWAS WERE ALSO SCHEDULED. CURRENTLY, 41 OF THE 45 OPERATIONAL TDWR SITES HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED. THE LAS VEGAS, NV, SITE IS PROGRESSING, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF TECHNICAL ISSUES LIKE MINOR ALARM PROBLEMS AND LACK OF NEEDED SPARES THAT HAVE SLOWED DOWN PROGRESS. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE LAS VEGAS SYSTEM WILL BE COMMISSIONED BY JUNE 2000. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE SYSTEM FOR SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, COULD BE COMMISSIONED SOMETIME BETWEEN AUGUST AND DECEMBER 2000, THE SYSTEM FOR JFK/LGA NEW YORK BETWEEN DECEMBER 2000 AND FEBRUARY 2001, AND THE SYSTEM FOR CHICAGO MIDWAY BY AUGUST 2000; (3) THE WEATHER SYSTEM PROCESSOR (WSP) WILL BE INSTALLED AT 34 OPERATIONAL SITES, 27 AT LLWAS SITES AND 7 AT SITES WITHOUT LLWAS. CURRENTLY, THERE ARE TWO OPERATIONAL PROTOTYPES AT ALBUQUERQUE, NM, AND NEW AUSTIN, TX. AFTER FULL PRODUCTION IS APPROVED, THESE TWO SYSTEMS WILL BE UPGRADED, AND THE REMAINING 32 WSP SITES WILL BE INSTALLED. THE FIRST SITE OPERATIONAL READINESS DATE (ORD) FOR PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IS NOW SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 2001, AND THE LAST ORD IS SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 2002; AND (4) SINCE THE FAA'S LETTER DATED 4/3/98, THE RHODE ISLAND SITE WAS ADDED TO THE 39 SCHEDULED LLWAS-RS (RELOCATION AND SUSTAINMENT) INSTALLATIONS. LLWAS-RS WILL NOW BE INSTALLED AT 40 AIRPORTS. THERE ARE TWO MAJOR PIECES (CONTRACTS) TO THIS UPGRADE: (1) ACQUIRING NEW LLWAS SITES, AND (2) INSTALLING NEW STEEL POLES PLUS INSTALLING NEW HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE. ALL NEW POLE INSTALLATIONS SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY 2001. NEW SCHEDULES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE ARE CURRENTLY BEING NEGOTIATED WITH THE LLWAS-RS PRIME CONTRACTOR. TENTATIVE DATES FOR FIRST AND LAST INSTALLATIONS ARE JULY 2001 AND JUNE 2002, RESPECTIVELY. AN OPERATIONAL TEST OF THE LLWAS-RS IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION AT FT. MYERS, FL, ON JANUARY 2001.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/27/1998
Response: A-95-47 ASKED THE FAA TO REVIEW ALL LOW LEVEL WINDSHEAR ALERT SYSTEM (LLWAS) INSTALLATIONS TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE DEFICIENCIES IN PERFORMANCE, SIMILAR TO THOSE IDENTIFIED BY THE SHELTERED WIND SENSORS A THE CHARLOTTE/DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, & CORRECT SUCH DEFICIENCIES TO ENSURE OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE OF THE LLWAS. ALTHOUGH WE ARE DISAPPOINTED IN THE LONG PERIOD REQUIRED THUS FAR TO COMPLETE THESE ACTIONS, THE BOARD WILL MAINTAIN THE CURRENT CLASSIFICATION A-95-47 AS "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/3/1998
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 4/9/98 1:11:27 PM MC# 980451) THE FAA STATES THAT THEY ARE CONTINUING THEIR EFFORTS TO PROVIDE IMPROVED WINDSHEAR & MICROBURST DETECTION. THE FOLLOWING IS AN UPDATED SUMMARY OF ACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN, OR ARE PLANNED TO OPTIMIZE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LOW LEVEL WINDSHEAR ALERTING SYSTEM: 1. TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR (TDWR) IS BEING INTEGRATED WITH AN ENHANCED LLWAS (LLWAS-NE) AT NINE OF THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY AIRPORTS. THESE SYSTEMS HAVE A 95 PERCENT PROBABILITY OF DETECTING WINDSHEAR OR MICROBURSTS EIGHT OF THESE SYSTEMS HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMMISSIONED. THE LAST SYSTEM WILL BE COMMISSIONED THIS FALL. 2. TDWR WILL REPLACE LLWAS AT 35 HIGH-PROBABILITY AIRPORTS. TDWR HAS A 90-95 PERCENT PROBABILITY OF DETECTING WINDSHEAR OR MICROBURSTS. TWENTY-FIVE OF THE TDWR'S HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED, & THE REMAINING 10 WILL BE COMMISSIONED IN 1998. 3. THE WEATHER SYSTEM PROCESSOR (WSP) WILL BE INSTALLED AT 27 MODERATE-TO HIGH-TRAFFIC DENSITY AIRPORTS. THE WSP HAS A 75-90 PERCENT PROBABILITY OF DETECTING WINDSHEAR OR MICROBURSTS. THE FIRST WSP INSTALLATION WILL BE COMPLETED BY OCTOBER 2000, & THE LAST SYSTEM WILL BE INSTALLED BY SEPTEMBER 2002. 4. THE EXISTING LLWAS AT 39 LLWAS AT 39 AIRPORTS WILL BE UPGRADED BY REPLACING &/OR RELOCATING SENSOR POLES & INSTALLING NEW HARDWARE & SOFTWARE. THIS UPGRADED SYSTEM, REFERRED TO AS LLWAS-RS, WILL HAVE AN 80 PERCENT PROBABILITY OF DETECTING WINDSHEAR OR MICROBURSTS, VERSUS THE 20-30 PERCENT FOR THE CURRENT LLWAS SYSTEMS. THE NEW SENSOR POLES ARE CURRENTLY BEING INSTALLED, & THE REPLACEMENT/RELOCATION OF SENSOR POLES AT ALL AIRPORTS WILL BE COMPLETED BY OCTOBER 1999. OPERATIONAL TEST & EVALUATION OF THE NEW HARDWARE & SOFTWARE WILL BEGIN LATER THIS YEAR AT FORT MYERS, FLORIDA. THE FIRST INSTALLATION, FOLLOWING TEST & EVALUATION, WILL BE COMPLETED IN LATE 1999, & THE LAST INSTALLATION WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY LATE 2000.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/1/1997
Response: A-95-47 ASKED THE FAA TO REVIEW ALL LOW LEVEL WINDSHEAR ALERT SYSTEM (LLWAS) INSTALLATIONS TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE DEFICIENCIES IN PERFORMANCE, SIMILAR TO THOSE IDENTIFIED BY THE SHELTERED WIND SENSORS AT THE CHARLOTTE/DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, & CORRECT SUCH DEFICIENCIES TO ENSURE OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE OF THE LLWAS. PENDING COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-95-47 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/26/1997
Response: THE FAA IS CONTINUING ITS EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THIS RECOMMENDATION. ALL AIRPORTS WITH LLWAS HAVE BEEN SURVEYED TO DETERMINE WHICH SENSOR POLES NEED TO BE REPLACED &/OR RELOCATED & THE FAA HAS ALLOCATED SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT. ADDITIONALLY, THE FAA IS ACQUIRING RIGHTS-OF-ENTRY ON ALL NEW PARCELS OF LAND & LLWAS SENSOR POLES. THE REPLACEMENT &/OR RELOCATION OF LLWAS SENSOR POLES IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 1998.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/20/1996
Response: THE FAA STATED THAT IT HAS ALLOCATED OVER 36 MILLION DOLLARS TO UPGRADE THE LLWAS INSTALLATIONS. THE BOARD IS ENCOURAGED THAT BY THE END OF THE MONTH, THE FAA SHOULD HAVE SITE-SURVEYED ALL 110 AIRPORTS WITH LLWAS INSTALLATIONS. ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE SOME DIFFICULTY ACQUIRING LAND TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT, THE BOARD IS ENCOURAGED THAT THE FAA INTENDS TO HAVE THE PROJECT COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 1998. THEREFORE, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-95-47 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE" PENDING NOTIFICATION OF THE COMPLETION OF THESE PROJECTS.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/1/1996
Response: THE FAA AGREES WITH THE RECOMMENDATION & HAS ALLOCATED $36.7 MILLION TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LLWAS SYSTEM. THESE IMPROVEMENTS ARE TO CONDUCT 1) SITE SURVEYS TO DETERMINE WHICH SENSOR POLES NEED TO BE REPLACED OR RELOCATED; 2) CONDUCT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS ON LAND PARCELS FOR NEW POLE SITES & ACQUISTION OF THE LAND; 3) REPLACING &/OR RELOCATING THE LLWAS SENSOR POLES.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/26/1996
Response: THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE ACTIONS SET FORTH BY THE FAA WILL ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF BOTH CURRENT & FUTURE LLWAS SYSTEMS. THEREFORE, PENDING COMPLETION OF THESE ACTIONS, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES A-95-47 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/14/1995
Response: THE AGREES WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION & HAS BEGUN AN EFFORT TO UPGRADE THE LLWAS. THE FOLLOWING ARE ACTIONS THE FAA IS TAKING TO ADDRESS THIS RECOMMENDATION: