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On 11/sat/88 at XX00Z flight watch for eastern and central nc was notamed OTS. The efas outlets for ewn, ilm and rdw were released to leesburg AFSS which had no radio capability for those locations. As of 11/tue/88 at XX00Z they still had no radio communications at those outlets. In a season when frontal thunderstorms, icing and turbulence are a major concern for light aircraft at low altitudes, the only source of WX was the overused radio frequency 122.2, which is overloaded with broadcasts, flight plan filing. Flight opening and closure and other assorted services. Flight watch is considered by the FAA to be indispensible to flight safety. With this in mind, it is inexcusable to eliminate low altitude service to such a large area because of an obvious administrative error. Real time WX has been essential in preventing the mix of bad WX and aircraft every day. To prohibit the service to pilots use to having that service is a safety liability. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: the consolidation of the efas into all of the ARTCC, nationwide, has been in the works for some yrs. The efas activity at raleigh-durham FSS was scheduled to be moved into the AFSS at leesburg about 12 months before the date of this occurrence. For many different reasons, this consolidation was delayed time and time again. Finally the date mentioned by reporter was selected. When that date arrived, the communications in rdu had not yet been remoted to leesburg. For some unknown reason, the FAA went ahead with the switchover, even though flight watch could not communication to the users in central and eastern nc. This problem continued for 30 days. The problem has now been corrected.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENROUTE FLT ADVISORY SERVICE (EFAS) FUNCTION WAS MOVED FROM RDU TO LEESBURG BEFORE COM FACS WERE REMOTED TO LEESBURG.
Narrative: ON 11/SAT/88 AT XX00Z FLT WATCH FOR EASTERN AND CENTRAL NC WAS NOTAMED OTS. THE EFAS OUTLETS FOR EWN, ILM AND RDW WERE RELEASED TO LEESBURG AFSS WHICH HAD NO RADIO CAPABILITY FOR THOSE LOCATIONS. AS OF 11/TUE/88 AT XX00Z THEY STILL HAD NO RADIO COMS AT THOSE OUTLETS. IN A SEASON WHEN FRONTAL TSTMS, ICING AND TURB ARE A MAJOR CONCERN FOR LIGHT ACFT AT LOW ALTS, THE ONLY SOURCE OF WX WAS THE OVERUSED RADIO FREQ 122.2, WHICH IS OVERLOADED WITH BROADCASTS, FLT PLAN FILING. FLT OPENING AND CLOSURE AND OTHER ASSORTED SVCS. FLT WATCH IS CONSIDERED BY THE FAA TO BE INDISPENSIBLE TO FLT SAFETY. WITH THIS IN MIND, IT IS INEXCUSABLE TO ELIMINATE LOW ALT SVC TO SUCH A LARGE AREA BECAUSE OF AN OBVIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. REAL TIME WX HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL IN PREVENTING THE MIX OF BAD WX AND ACFT EVERY DAY. TO PROHIBIT THE SVC TO PLTS USE TO HAVING THAT SVC IS A SAFETY LIABILITY. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE EFAS INTO ALL OF THE ARTCC, NATIONWIDE, HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR SOME YRS. THE EFAS ACTIVITY AT RALEIGH-DURHAM FSS WAS SCHEDULED TO BE MOVED INTO THE AFSS AT LEESBURG ABOUT 12 MONTHS BEFORE THE DATE OF THIS OCCURRENCE. FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS, THIS CONSOLIDATION WAS DELAYED TIME AND TIME AGAIN. FINALLY THE DATE MENTIONED BY RPTR WAS SELECTED. WHEN THAT DATE ARRIVED, THE COMS IN RDU HAD NOT YET BEEN REMOTED TO LEESBURG. FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, THE FAA WENT AHEAD WITH THE SWITCHOVER, EVEN THOUGH FLT WATCH COULD NOT COM TO THE USERS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN NC. THIS PROB CONTINUED FOR 30 DAYS. THE PROB HAS NOW BEEN CORRECTED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.