|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : den|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller military : 3|
controller non radar : 7
controller radar : 5
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I recently sent in a form requesting the need for a human WX observer at the den airport. The ASOS system we're using now rarely, if ever, shows any significant remarks. Virga, cumulus, twring cumulus, etc. Today we had another example of the compromise of safety that occurs on a daily basis. During our afternoon wave of thunderstorm activity, a funnel cloud was spotted 6 mi north by a cu-58 departing to cys. Previous to the funnel cloud we had level 6 thunderstorms throughout the den area. The funnel could later descended and became a tornado. It lasted approximately 10 mins. The only thing that showed up on the ASOS was when the rain from the storm came through. A busy level 5 facility like den does really need a human WX observer. My guess is that we are the only level 5 in the nation that relies on a machine to take our WX observation. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter's concern is not so much the accuracy of the ASOS but the lack of data it supplies in remarks and the fact that the contract WX people do not add their own remarks when appropriate. Reporter has spoken to his supervisor regarding this problem.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ASOS RPTING.
Narrative: I RECENTLY SENT IN A FORM REQUESTING THE NEED FOR A HUMAN WX OBSERVER AT THE DEN ARPT. THE ASOS SYS WE'RE USING NOW RARELY, IF EVER, SHOWS ANY SIGNIFICANT REMARKS. VIRGA, CUMULUS, TWRING CUMULUS, ETC. TODAY WE HAD ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE COMPROMISE OF SAFETY THAT OCCURS ON A DAILY BASIS. DURING OUR AFTERNOON WAVE OF TSTM ACTIVITY, A FUNNEL CLOUD WAS SPOTTED 6 MI N BY A CU-58 DEPARTING TO CYS. PREVIOUS TO THE FUNNEL CLOUD WE HAD LEVEL 6 TSTMS THROUGHOUT THE DEN AREA. THE FUNNEL COULD LATER DSNDED AND BECAME A TORNADO. IT LASTED APPROX 10 MINS. THE ONLY THING THAT SHOWED UP ON THE ASOS WAS WHEN THE RAIN FROM THE STORM CAME THROUGH. A BUSY LEVEL 5 FACILITY LIKE DEN DOES REALLY NEED A HUMAN WX OBSERVER. MY GUESS IS THAT WE ARE THE ONLY LEVEL 5 IN THE NATION THAT RELIES ON A MACHINE TO TAKE OUR WX OBSERVATION. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR'S CONCERN IS NOT SO MUCH THE ACCURACY OF THE ASOS BUT THE LACK OF DATA IT SUPPLIES IN REMARKS AND THE FACT THAT THE CONTRACT WX PEOPLE DO NOT ADD THEIR OWN REMARKS WHEN APPROPRIATE. RPTR HAS SPOKEN TO HIS SUPVR REGARDING THIS PROB.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.