|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : flight data|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
There is a situation that; in my opinion; could potentially contribute to an aircraft accident and/or loss of life. In the 1990's; the database used by the AFSS model 1 full capacity (M1FC) computer was modified so that locations in the route field of a flight plan mask; used for retrieving WX and NOTAMS; will not have its NOTAMS displayed unless the location has 1) WX reporting; and/or 2) is associated with a NAVAID. (Locations in the departure; destination; and alternate fields will have all NOTAMS displayed.) this does not apply to the oasis computers used by some AFSS's. NOTAM filtering was added because; in the opinion of some flight service briefers at the time; the number of tower obstruction light NOTAMS and fdc NOTAMS made it difficult to see the more pertinent NOTAMS along the route of flight. (The fdc NOTAM issue was fixed by having M1FC group them at the bottom of the NOTAM display.) NOTAMS for locations that do not report WX nor have an associated NAVAID can be manually requested by the briefer. I believe NOTAM filtering presents safety risks that far outweighs any benefit to the briefer's computer display. Recently an operational error occurred at a western AFSS because the briefer apparently had the destination airport in the route field followed by another location added for retrieving additional WX. The added location became the destination when the screen was saved because M1FC moves the last fix in the route down to the destination field if the destination is left blank. The actual destination (which was now part of the route only) was affected by NOTAM filtering and the airport closed; NOTAM was not displayed. A student pilot landed safely and later found out the airport was closed; but the result could have been worse. M1FC NOTAM filtering could also affect a pilot planning a low altitude night flight who uses an airport that is being filtered as a waypoint in the route of flight. As a result; the pilot may miss receiving a NOTAM about a 2500 ft tv tower that has its lights OTS. It is my understanding that NOTAM filtering can be removed from M1FC with minimal effort and at little or no cost. Although M1FC will be replaced by lockheed martin's fs-21 system in 2007; M1FC will continue to be used in alaska.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AFSS CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING THE LIMITATIONS OF THE AFSS MODEL 1 FULL CAPACITY SOFTWARE AND NOTAM FILTERING LIMITATIONS.
Narrative: THERE IS A SIT THAT; IN MY OPINION; COULD POTENTIALLY CONTRIBUTE TO AN ACFT ACCIDENT AND/OR LOSS OF LIFE. IN THE 1990'S; THE DATABASE USED BY THE AFSS MODEL 1 FULL CAPACITY (M1FC) COMPUTER WAS MODIFIED SO THAT LOCATIONS IN THE RTE FIELD OF A FLT PLAN MASK; USED FOR RETRIEVING WX AND NOTAMS; WILL NOT HAVE ITS NOTAMS DISPLAYED UNLESS THE LOCATION HAS 1) WX RPTING; AND/OR 2) IS ASSOCIATED WITH A NAVAID. (LOCATIONS IN THE DEP; DEST; AND ALTERNATE FIELDS WILL HAVE ALL NOTAMS DISPLAYED.) THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO THE OASIS COMPUTERS USED BY SOME AFSS'S. NOTAM FILTERING WAS ADDED BECAUSE; IN THE OPINION OF SOME FLT SVC BRIEFERS AT THE TIME; THE NUMBER OF TWR OBSTRUCTION LIGHT NOTAMS AND FDC NOTAMS MADE IT DIFFICULT TO SEE THE MORE PERTINENT NOTAMS ALONG THE RTE OF FLT. (THE FDC NOTAM ISSUE WAS FIXED BY HAVING M1FC GROUP THEM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE NOTAM DISPLAY.) NOTAMS FOR LOCATIONS THAT DO NOT RPT WX NOR HAVE AN ASSOCIATED NAVAID CAN BE MANUALLY REQUESTED BY THE BRIEFER. I BELIEVE NOTAM FILTERING PRESENTS SAFETY RISKS THAT FAR OUTWEIGHS ANY BENEFIT TO THE BRIEFER'S COMPUTER DISPLAY. RECENTLY AN OPERROR OCCURRED AT A WESTERN AFSS BECAUSE THE BRIEFER APPARENTLY HAD THE DEST ARPT IN THE RTE FIELD FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER LOCATION ADDED FOR RETRIEVING ADDITIONAL WX. THE ADDED LOCATION BECAME THE DEST WHEN THE SCREEN WAS SAVED BECAUSE M1FC MOVES THE LAST FIX IN THE RTE DOWN TO THE DEST FIELD IF THE DEST IS LEFT BLANK. THE ACTUAL DEST (WHICH WAS NOW PART OF THE RTE ONLY) WAS AFFECTED BY NOTAM FILTERING AND THE ARPT CLOSED; NOTAM WAS NOT DISPLAYED. A STUDENT PILOT LANDED SAFELY AND LATER FOUND OUT THE AIRPORT WAS CLOSED; BUT THE RESULT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. M1FC NOTAM FILTERING COULD ALSO AFFECT A PLT PLANNING A LOW ALT NIGHT FLT WHO USES AN ARPT THAT IS BEING FILTERED AS A WAYPOINT IN THE RTE OF FLT. AS A RESULT; THE PLT MAY MISS RECEIVING A NOTAM ABOUT A 2500 FT TV TOWER THAT HAS ITS LIGHTS OTS. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT NOTAM FILTERING CAN BE REMOVED FROM M1FC WITH MINIMAL EFFORT AND AT LITTLE OR NO COST. ALTHOUGH M1FC WILL BE REPLACED BY LOCKHEED MARTIN'S FS-21 SYS IN 2007; M1FC WILL CONTINUE TO BE USED IN ALASKA.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.