Thursday, February 07, 2008

FAA History Lesson -- February 7



From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Feb 7, 1991: FAA announced a Runway Incursion Plan to cut incursions through actions that included tests of advances in runway marking, lighting, and signs at four airports: Boston, Seattle-Tacoma, Pittsburgh, and the new Denver airport under construction (see Jan 15, 1989). On Feb 15, the agency also amended its ATC Handbook to prohibit controllers from authorizing aircraft to hold at a taxiway/runway intersection at night or when the intersection was not visible from the tower. The change was among several that FAA had been considering as the result of a ground procedures review, begun in early 1990, that also resulted in the Runway Incursion Plan. (See Feb 1, 1991.) “

Whenever you see an entry like this -- if you know where to look -- you can usually find an accident like this:

NTSB Identification: DCA91MA010A

”ON DECEMBER 3, 1990, AT 1345 EST, NORTHWEST FLIGHT 1482, A DC-9 (N3313L), AND NORTHWEST FLIGHT 299, A BOEING 727 (N278US), COLLIDED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RUNWAY 09/27 AND 03C/21C IN DENSE FOG AT DETRIOT METROPOLITAN/WAYNE COUNTY AIRPORT, ROMULUS, MI. AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION, THE B-727 WAS ON ITS TAKEOFF ROLL, AND THE DC-9 HAD JUST TAXIED ONTO THE ACTIVE RUNWAY. THE B-727 WAS SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED, AND THE DC-9 WAS DESTROYED. SEVEN OF THE 40 PASSENGERS AND 1CREWMEMBER ABOARD THE DC-9 RECEIVED FATAL INJURIES. NONE OF THE 146 PASSENGERS AND 8 CREWMEMBERS ABOARD THE B-727 WERE INJURED.“

And in case you’ve already forgotten, it was only six days earlier when a controller authorized an ”aircraft to hold at a taxiway/runway intersection at night.” Controllers haven’t forgotten. One of our fellow controllers was on board the SkyWest that was crushed when the USAir 737 landed on top of it.

Don Brown
February 7, 2008

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