|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : jfk.tower|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller limited radar : 19|
controller non radar : 5
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
FAA order 8400.9; national safety and operational criteria for runway use programs; clearly states in paragraph 7.D(1) that; for clear and dry runways; 'the crosswind component for the selected runway (including gust values) must not be greater than 20 KTS.' in that same paragraph; it states 'the tailwind component must not be greater than 5 KTS.' note that the order uses the word 'must;' not 'should;' 'may;' or any other word that might mean 'recommended' or 'optional.' I observed winds at 190 degrees with speeds as high as 16 KTS; with departures off runway 31L as well as runway 22R. According to the tables referenced in FAA order 8400.9 paragraph 7.D(1); the limit for runway 31L with a wind angle of 120 degrees from runway heading is 14 KTS. A wind of 190 degrees at 16 KTS is clearly over the limits prescribed in the order. Of greater concern is that there seems to be absent the use of the runway selection chart in the tower cabin attendant (which appears to conform to the order); no alternate; written criteria at kennedy tower as to when any runway should not be used. From the kennedy tower tmu; the impression is that air carrier's will accept a 20 KT crosswind to a quartering tailwind. This cannot be found in writing; and runs contrary to FAA order 8400.9 when considering quartering tailwinds with a wind angle greater than 110 degrees from runway heading. In addition; as per paragraph 8; I can find no waiver for kennedy airport; it appears we are bound by the criteria contained in the order. The need to accommodate the increase in traffic at jfk is understandable; but is difficult to justify at the expense of safety. If just 1 accident occurs; attributable to loss of control due to wind; it appears to me that the FAA will bear a tremendous liability; especially when it can be shown we are not complying with FAA directives.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: JFK TWR CTLR VOICED CONCERN REGARDING MGMNT'S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH FAA ORDER 8400.9 REFERENCE TO CROSSWIND COMPONENT OPS.
Narrative: FAA ORDER 8400.9; NATL SAFETY AND OPERATIONAL CRITERIA FOR RWY USE PROGRAMS; CLRLY STATES IN PARAGRAPH 7.D(1) THAT; FOR CLR AND DRY RWYS; 'THE XWIND COMPONENT FOR THE SELECTED RWY (INCLUDING GUST VALUES) MUST NOT BE GREATER THAN 20 KTS.' IN THAT SAME PARAGRAPH; IT STATES 'THE TAILWIND COMPONENT MUST NOT BE GREATER THAN 5 KTS.' NOTE THAT THE ORDER USES THE WORD 'MUST;' NOT 'SHOULD;' 'MAY;' OR ANY OTHER WORD THAT MIGHT MEAN 'RECOMMENDED' OR 'OPTIONAL.' I OBSERVED WINDS AT 190 DEGS WITH SPDS AS HIGH AS 16 KTS; WITH DEPS OFF RWY 31L AS WELL AS RWY 22R. ACCORDING TO THE TABLES REFED IN FAA ORDER 8400.9 PARAGRAPH 7.D(1); THE LIMIT FOR RWY 31L WITH A WIND ANGLE OF 120 DEGS FROM RWY HDG IS 14 KTS. A WIND OF 190 DEGS AT 16 KTS IS CLRLY OVER THE LIMITS PRESCRIBED IN THE ORDER. OF GREATER CONCERN IS THAT THERE SEEMS TO BE ABSENT THE USE OF THE RWY SELECTION CHART IN THE TWR CAB (WHICH APPEARS TO CONFORM TO THE ORDER); NO ALTERNATE; WRITTEN CRITERIA AT KENNEDY TWR AS TO WHEN ANY RWY SHOULD NOT BE USED. FROM THE KENNEDY TWR TMU; THE IMPRESSION IS THAT ACR'S WILL ACCEPT A 20 KT XWIND TO A QUARTERING TAILWIND. THIS CANNOT BE FOUND IN WRITING; AND RUNS CONTRARY TO FAA ORDER 8400.9 WHEN CONSIDERING QUARTERING TAILWINDS WITH A WIND ANGLE GREATER THAN 110 DEGS FROM RWY HDG. IN ADDITION; AS PER PARAGRAPH 8; I CAN FIND NO WAIVER FOR KENNEDY ARPT; IT APPEARS WE ARE BOUND BY THE CRITERIA CONTAINED IN THE ORDER. THE NEED TO ACCOMMODATE THE INCREASE IN TFC AT JFK IS UNDERSTANDABLE; BUT IS DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY AT THE EXPENSE OF SAFETY. IF JUST 1 ACCIDENT OCCURS; ATTRIBUTABLE TO LOSS OF CTL DUE TO WIND; IT APPEARS TO ME THAT THE FAA WILL BEAR A TREMENDOUS LIABILITY; ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CAN BE SHOWN WE ARE NOT COMPLYING WITH FAA DIRECTIVES.
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.