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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-97-096
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1638 EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, ON 10/19/96, A MCDONNELL DOUGLAS MD-88, N914DL, OPERATED BY DELTA AIRLINES, INC., AS FLIGHT 554, STRUCK THE APPROACH LIGHT STRUCTURE & THE END OF THE RUNWAY DECK DURING THE APPROACH TO LAND ON RUNWAY 13 AT THE LAGUARDIA AIRPORT, IN FLUSHING, NEW YORK. FLIGHT 554 WAS BEING OPERATED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 14 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR) PART 121, AS A SCHEDULED, DOMESTIC PASSENGER FLIGHT FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA, TO FLUSHING. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED THE WILLIAMS B. HARTSFIELD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT ATLANTA GEORGIA, ABOUT 1441, WITH TWO FLIGHTCREW MEMBERS, THREE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, & 58 PASSENGERS ON BOARD. THREE PASSENGERS REPORTED MINOR INJURIES; NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED BY THE REMAINING 60 OCCUPANTS. THE AIRPLANE SUSTAINED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO THE LOWER FUSELAGE, WINGS (INCLUDING SLATS & FLAPS), MAIN LANDING GEAR, & BOTH ENGINES. INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS PREVAILED FOR THE APPROACH TO RUNWAY 13; FLIGHT 554 WAS OPERATING ON AN INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT PLAN.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE TO OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATIONS: ISSUE A BRIEFING BULLETIN TO MEMBER OPTOMETRISTS, INFORMING THEM OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF AND PROHIBITION AGAINST MONOVISION (MV) CONTACT LENS USE BY PILOTS WHILE PERFORMING FLYING DUTIES, & URGING THEM TO ADVISE PILOT-RATED PATIENTS OF THOSE POTENTIAL HAZARDS (MV CONTACT LENS' EFFECT ON DISTANCE JUDGEMENTS/PERCEPTIONS) .
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: FLUSHING, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: NYC97MA005
Accident Reports: Descent Below Visual Glidepath and Collision with Terrain Delta Air Lines Flight 554 McDonnell Douglas MD-88, N914DL
Report #: AAR-97-03
Accident Date: 10/19/1996
Issue Date: 8/29/1997
Date Closed: 1/3/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Academy of Optometry (Closed - Acceptable Action)
American Optometric Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Heart of America Contact Lens Society (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
National Association of Veterans Affairs Optometrists (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
National Optometric Association (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Optometric Extension Program (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: National Optometric Association
Date: 1/3/2002
Response: On July 25, 2000, the Safety Board wrote to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) requesting information on any actions taken or planned in response to Safety Recommendation A?97?96. The Safety Board has not received any correspondence from NOA concerning this recommendation. Therefore, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If information is provided in a timely manner on action completed, initiated, or planned in response to this recommendation, these actions will be evaluated, and we will consider reclassifying the recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: National Optometric Association
Date: 7/25/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY FURTHER ACTIONS THE NOA HAS TAKEN OR INTENDS TO TAKE TO ADDRESS A-97-96. IF THE NOA DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE ANY ACTION, PLEASE INFORM THE BOARD SO THAT WE MAY CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of Veterans Affairs Optometrists
Date: 1/3/2002
Response: On July 25, 2000, the Safety Board wrote to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) requesting information on any actions taken or planned in response to Safety Recommendation A?97?96. The Safety Board has not received any correspondence from NAVAO concerning this recommendation. Therefore, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If information is provided in a timely manner on action completed, initiated, or planned in response to this recommendation, these actions will be evaluated, and we will consider reclassifying the recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: National Association of Veterans Affairs Optometrists
Date: 7/25/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY FURTHER ACTIONS THE NAVAO HAS TAKEN OR INTENDS TO TAKE TO ADDRESS A-97-96. IF THE NAVAO DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE ANY ACTION, PLEASE INFORM THE BOARD SO THAT WE MAY CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: Heart of America Contact Lens Society
Date: 1/3/2002
Response: On July 25, 2000, the Safety Board wrote to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) requesting information on any actions taken or planned in response to Safety Recommendation A?97?96. The Safety Board has not received any correspondence from HACLS concerning this recommendation. Therefore, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If information is provided in a timely manner on action completed, initiated, or planned in response to this recommendation, these actions will be evaluated, and we will consider reclassifying the recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: Heart of America Contact Lens Society
Date: 7/25/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY FURTHER ACTIONS THE HACLS HAS TAKEN OR INTENDS TO TAKE TO ADDRESS A-97-96. IF THE HACLS DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE ANY ACTION, PLEASE INFORM THE BOARD SO THAT WE MAY CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: American Academy of Optometry
Date: 10/7/2009
Response: On November 25, 2008, the NTSB wrote to AAO, pointing out that AAO’s position paper on monovision contact lenses did not inform its members or the general public of the dangers of the use of these lenses by flying pilots. AAO had previously indicated that it considered the publication of this position paper to be adequate to address the recommendation and did not intend to take additional action to address the recommendation. As a result, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 was classified Closed Unacceptable Action. In its current letter, AAO indicates that the position paper has been revised and was published on its website in January 2009. On April 29, 2009, AAO sent an e-mail to all of its members, informing them of the revised position paper and providing a link to it for their review. The position paper indicates that it is important for both optometrists and the lay public to be aware that the Federal Aviation Administration proscribes monovision lens wear by pilots operating an aircraft in U.S. airspace. The summary paragraph of the position paper further states, Optometrists should utilize information on occupation and avocation when prescribing visual options, including monovision, to patients. The revisions to the position paper made by AAO after our November 25, 2008, letter meet the intent of the recommendation. Consequently, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 to AAO is reclassified Closed Acceptable Action.

From: American Academy of Optometry
To: NTSB
Date: 1/16/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 2/3/2009 4:02:21 PM MC# 2090059: Thank you for your correspondence, dated November 25,2008, to Richard E. Weisbarth, OD, FAAO, now Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Optometry, regarding the issue of monovision contact lens wear by pilots. This issue is important, and has been addressed by the Academy’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies in its most recent revision of the Section’s position paper on monovision (a copy of which is attached to this letter for your information). While there are monocular depth clues such as speed of motion, shadows and other factors that pilots utilize while flying, the position of the Academy -as stated in this document -is that it is important for both optometrists and the lay public to be aware that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proscribes that a pilot not wear monovision while piloting an aircraft in US airspace. In its guidance for Aviation Medical Examiners, the FAA states, The use of a contact lens in one eye for dlstant visual acuity (monovision) and another in the other eye for near or intermediate visual acuity is not acceptable for aviation duties. Further, the summary paragraph states that optometrists should utilize information on occupation and avocation when prescribing visual options, includmg monovision, to patients. This position paper also discusses the hnitations of monovision-including activities that require critical detail needs in order to help the patient and their optometrist determine the best vision correction modality for their circumstances. I apologize for the delay in responding to your most recent letter. I trust that this information will allay some of the concerns your agency has expressed with the American Academy of Optometry’s position on monovision.

From: NTSB
To: American Academy of Optometry
Date: 11/25/2008
Response: The AAO wrote to the Safety Board on October 4, 2000, and stated that this recommendation had been discussed by its Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses and that the AAO had decided to take no further action with its membership. The AAO indicated, however, that it was actively working on a position paper addressing the topic of monovision. The AAO further indicated that the position paper would be published on AAO’s website when it was completed. On January 5, 2001, the Board replied that we believed that the accident at LaGuardia Airport illustrated the hazards of pilots using monovision contact lenses, and that we encouraged the AAO to include in their position paper information about this hazard. The Board asked that the AAO inform us when the position paper was finished. Pending incorporation into the AAO position paper of information about the hazards of pilots using monovision contact lenses, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 was classified Open Acceptable Response. The Safety Board has not received any further correspondence from the AAO; however, during our recent review, we located the position paper on AAO’s website. In a section titled What Are the Disadvantages to Monovision? the paper indicates that monovision could cause a reduction in distance depth perception, particularly in visual situations that are already challenging (such as driving in poor weather or at night). However, no mention is made of the potential danger that a reduction in depth perception would pose to pilots during flight. This section of the paper also states that visual stress may result to a person wearing monovision contact lenses while using a computer; again, no mention is made of a similar danger to pilots. The section of the paper titled Who Should Not Consider Monovision? also overlooks pilots. In its guidance for Aviation Medical Examiners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states, The use of a contact lens in one eye for distant visual acuity (monovision) and another in the other eye for near or intermediate visual acuity is not acceptable for aviation duties. The AAO’s position paper did not take the opportunity to inform AAO membership of the problems monovision contact lens use may pose to pilots; because of this omission, an optometrist might inadvertently advise a pilot to wear such lenses while flying, against the FAA’s prohibition. The Safety Board is disappointed that the AAO’s position paper missed these opportunities to inform its members and the general public of the dangers of monovision contact lens use by flying pilots, as demonstrated in the Delta Air Lines flight 554 accident. Because the position paper does not contain the recommended information and the AAO has stated that it has decided to take no further action, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action.

From: NTSB
To: American Academy of Optometry
Date: 12/5/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE ACCIDENT AT LAGUARDIA AIRPORT ILLUSTRATES THE HAZARDS OF PILOTS USING MONOVISION CONTACT LENSES. THE BOARD ENCOURAGES THE AAO TO INCLUDE IN THEIR POSITION PAPER INFORMATION ON THIS HAZARD, AND WOULD APPRECIATE THE AAO INFORMING THE BOARD WHEN THE POSITION PAPER IS FINISHED. THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS ISSUED TO A NUMBER OF PROFESSIONAL OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATIONS TO BRING GREATER AWARENESS TO THE EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY OF THE HAZARDS FOR THEIR PATIENTS WHO MAY BE PILOTS WHO USE MONOVISION CONTACT LENSES. THESE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS HAVE DEVELOPED ARTICLES IN THEIR MEMBERSHIP PUBLICATIONS THAT DESCRIBE THIS ACCIDENT, AND THE SAFETY BOARD'S FINDINGS OF THE ROLE PLAYED BY THE PILOT'S USE OF MONOVISION CONTACT LENSES. THE BOARD HAD HOPED THAT THE AAO WOULD TAKE SIMILAR ACTION. PENDING INCORPORATION INTO THE AAO POSITION PAPER OF INFORMATION ON THE HAZARDS OF PILOTS USING MONOVISION CONTACT LENSES, A-97-96 IS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: American Academy of Optometry
To: NTSB
Date: 10/4/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/06/2000 1:00:02 PM MC# 2001495 A-97-96 WAS DISCUSSED WITH MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY - SECTION ON CORNEA & CONTACT LENSES. AT THIS TIME, WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO TAKE ANY FURTHER ACTION ON IT WITH OUR MEMBERSHIP. OUR SECTION ON CORNEA AND CONTACT LENSES IS ACTIVELY WORKING ON A POSITION PAPER ON THE GENERAL TOPIC OF MONOVISION. WE HOPE TO HAVE THIS DOCUMENT COMPLETED LATER THIS YEAR, AT WHICH TIME IT WILL BE POSTED ON OUR WEB SITE (HTTP://WWW.AAOPT.ORG). THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY ON YOUR LIST OF INFLUENTIAL EYECARE RELATED ORGANIZATIONS. IF WE CAN EVER BE OF ANY ADDITIONAL SERVICE TO YOU, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US.

From: American Academy of Optometry
To: NTSB
Date: 9/8/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 09/21/2000 3:04:32 PM MC# 2001383

From: NTSB
To: American Academy of Optometry
Date: 7/25/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY FURTHER ACTIONS THE AAO HAS TAKEN OR INTENDS TO TAKE TO ADDRESS A-97-96. IF THE AAO DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE ANY ACTION, PLEASE INFORM THE BOARD SO THAT WE MAY CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: College of Optometrists in Vision Development
Date: 1/3/2002
Response: On July 25, 2000, the Safety Board wrote to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) requesting information on any actions taken or planned in response to Safety Recommendation A?97?96. The Safety Board has not received any correspondence from COVD concerning this recommendation. Therefore, Safety Recommendation A-97-96 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If information is provided in a timely manner on action completed, initiated, or planned in response to this recommendation, these actions will be evaluated, and we will consider reclassifying the recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: College of Optometrists in Vision Development
Date: 7/25/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING OF ANY FURTHER ACTIONS THE COVD HAS TAKEN OR INTENDS TO TAKE TO ADDRESS A-97-96. IF THE COVD DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE ANY ACTION, PLEASE INFORM THE BOARD SO THAT WE MAY CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: Optometric Extension Program
Date: 9/8/2000
Response: THE ARTICLE PRINTED IN THE VOLUME 8, NUMBER 5, ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL OPTOMETRY ADDRESSES THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE SAFETY BOARD APPRECIATES THE OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION PROGRAM FOUNDATION'S ACTIVITIES IN RESPONSE TO A-97-96, WHICH IS NOW CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Optometric Extension Program
To: NTSB
Date: 9/2/1997
Response:

From: NTSB
To: American Optometric Association
Date: 12/10/1997
Response: BASED ON THE AOA'S ACTIONS, THE SAFETY BOARD CLASSIFIES A-97-96 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION".

From: American Optometric Association
To: NTSB
Date: 9/11/1997
Response: