Prepared by Sharyn Aust Smith [sasmith@hillgilstrap.com]
with law firm Hill, Gilstrap, Perkins and Warner

TIMELINE FOR FLIGHT 1420  continued page 2

June 1, 1999

 

11:35:19 p.m. Origel “two two left is the right one…” [File 3A]

11:35:27 p.m. Buschmann: “I uh, I didn't realize that.” [File 3A]

11:35:30 p.m. ??? “eerraaw” [File 3A]

11:35:35 p.m. ATC advised 1420 to descend at pilot's discretion, maintain 4,000

11:35:38 p.m. 1420 acknowledged. [File 3A]

11:35:44 p.m. Buschmann: “four thousand set.” [File 3A]

11:35:48 p.m. Origel: “okay, ten thousand feet, seatbelt sign no smoking.” [File 3A]

11:35:51 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah, I'll get down in a second*.” [File 3A]

11:35:53 p.m. Origel: “okay” [File 3A]

11:36:00 p.m. Origel: “yeah it's ten knots uh…” [File 3A]

“F/O Origel said that when the controller reported the winds, he thought about the crosswind limitations and made a comment about taking out the Operating Manual to check the wind limitations, but the captain said ‘put it away,' so the F/O did not check the manual.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“ATC reported winds at 320 degrees at 40 kts. He did get out the ‘redbook [AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume I]' and reviewed the 30 kts. crosswind limitation and 10 kts. tailwind limitation. The captain and he discussed the winds and the restriction of a wet runway, but Mr. Origel said he thought that was a recommendation and was at the captain's discretion. He said he knew there was a restriction for RVR and wet, but he could not find it in his flight manuals." [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

“The AA Instructor/Check Airman Guide, MD-80 supplement, did not contain any guidance for instructing crosswind landings or landings on a wet/slippery runway.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

Captain Jim Propheter: “…airplane had a 30 kts. crosswind limit and a 15 kts. wet runway limit.”…“He knew visibility could drive the crosswind limits down to 10 kts. as indicated in the Part 1 (Flight Manual).”… “He also knew there were crosswind limits in the red book (Operating Manual, Volume 1).” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

Captain Larry Franklin: “He said the MD-80 maximum demonstrated crosswind was 30 knots and that with reduced RVR, the crosswind limitation was 10 to 15 kts. The autoland crosswind limit was 15 kts. and Category II and III approaches had a 10 kts. limitation.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

11:36:02 p.m. Buschmann: “thirty knots is the crosswind limitation but…” [File 3A]

“The AA Flight Manual Part 1, section 10, page 20 wind landing limits section indicated that the maximum demonstrated dry runway crosswind was 30 kts and that approaches conducted with a visibility of less than 4000 RVR feet or ¾ mile shall not exceed a crosswind component of 15 kts and that approaches with a visibility less than 1800 RVR or ½ mile shall not exceed a crosswind component of 10 kts.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The Flight Manual page 20 also stated in part:
If, in the Captain's judgment, environmental conditions or braking reports indicate that the runway is wet or slippery, the maximum acceptable crosswind should be reduced to 20 kts.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA Flight Manual Part 1, Section 12, page 3 stated in part:
Aircraft Operating Limitations: the latest surface wind for use for crosswind and or headwind limitations would be that in the latest weather observation unless a more recent oral report was available from an operating control tower.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“The AA Flight Manual Part 1, Section 10, page 25 stated in part:
A runway is considered dry when there is no report of snow, slush, ice, or water and no more than the following weather conditions are reported for the airport concerned:  

(1) Scattered showers in the area.

(2) Intermittent drizzle of no more than moderate intensity.

(3) Intermittent light rain with surface temperature above freezing. ” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

11:36:06 p.m. Origel: “thirty knots is the wet, well” [File 3A]

11:36:06 p.m. Buschmann: “that's the dry.” [File 3A]

11:36:07 p.m. Origel: “yeah, dry.” [File 3A]

11:36:08 p.m. Origel: “what about wet?” [File 3A]

11:36:10 p.m. Buschmann: “is twenty” [File 3A]

Origel: “When he was making the plus 20 kts. callout, he heard ATC giving windshear alerts but they had no indications of windshear in the airplane.” [Ex. 2B/File 1C]

11:36:11 p.m. Origel: “ah, it's twenty five. aw, what that the #” [File 3A]

11:36:38 p.m. Origel: “you got the NOTAMS with ya?” [File 3A]

11:37:15 p.m. Origel: “see the airport?” [File 3A]

11:37:16 p.m. Buschmann: “see it blinking out there.” [File 3A]

11:37:18 p.m. Origel “**to the north” [File 3A]

11:37:18 p.m. Buschmann: “straight ahead” [File 3A]

11:37:19 p.m. Origel: “well there's a couple runways here so, the problem is we're sixteen miles south of the VOR and the airport's another five miles past that.” [File 3A]

11:37:27 p.m. Buschmann: “all right. doesn't matter.” [File 3A]

11:37:30 p.m. Origel: “see we've still got a little ways to go…bad part… I'll tell you what. I'm gonna stay on the run… the VOR til we get a little closer.” [File 3A]

11:38:20 p.m. Buschmann: “oh I think I see, I see where it is.” [File 3A]

11:38:23 p.m. Origel: “yeah it's on**.” [File 3A]

11:38:24 p.m. Buschmann: “it's straight up there, yeah…” [File 3A]

11:38:27 p.m. Buschmann: “it looks like there's a stratus layer, right over there.” [File 3A]

11:38:35 p.m. Origel: “*** I definitely got ** (I'll show you this later).” [File 3A]

11:38:53 p.m. Buschmann: “he said there was a storm just northwest of the field?” [File 3A]

11:38:55 p.m. Origel: “he said northwest.” [File 3A]

11:38:56 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah” [File 3A]

11:38:57 p.m. Origel: “lightning strike he said storm, uh” [File 3A]

11:38:59 p.m. “At 0439:00, AAL1420 was cleared to descent to 3,000 feet.”

[Ex. 3A/File 2K]

11:39: 02 p.m. 1420 acknowledged [File 3A]

11:39:05 p.m. ATC: “your equipment ‘s a lot better than uh what I have. how's the final for two two left lookin?” [File 3A]

11:39:11 p.m. 1420 said “okay we can see the airport, from here. we can barely make it out but we should be able to make two two. .. that storm is moving this way like your radar says it is but a little farther off than you thought.” [File 3A]

11:39:22 p.m. “The controller offered a visual approach, but AAL1420 declined

because of poor visibility.” [Ex. 3A/File 2K]

11:39:26 p.m. Buschmann: “naw” [File 3A]

11:39:27 p.m. 1420 responded “at this point, we can't really make it out. we're gonna have to say with you as long as possible.” [File 3A]

11:39:32 p.m. ATC acknowledged and advised that wind “kinda kicked around” right now at 330 ° at 11 kts. [File 3A]

11:39:37 p.m. Buschmann: “whoa” [File 3A]

11:39:38 p.m. 1420 acknowledged and said “well that's a little bit better than it was.” [File 3A]

11:39:41 p.m. Buschmann: “*thirty is a … tailwind though.” [File 3A]

11:39:44 p.m. “He then transmitted a wind shear alert, reporting that the center field wind was 340 degrees at 10 knots, the north boundary wind was 330 degrees at 25 knots, and the northwest boundary wind was 010 degrees at 15 knots.” [Ex. 3A/File 2K]

“AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, ENVIRONMENTAL section, page 13 stated in part:
Avoid areas of known severe windshear. Search for clues which may indicate the presence of severe windshear. Severe windshear has been encountered under the following conditions:

. Thunderstorm and convective clouds

. Rain and snow showers

. Frontal systems

. Strong or gusty surface winds” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“AA DC-9 Operating Manual, Volume 1, ENVIRONMENTAL section, page 14 stated in part:
Landing
When positive indications of severe windshear exist, avoid the areas by:  

. Diverting around the areas.

. On approach, initiate a go-around and/or hold until conditions improve.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

 

There is no definition of severe windshear in the AA DC-9 Operating Manuals or the AA Flight Manual Part 1.

“The AA Flight Manual Part 1, Section 12, page 13 stated in part:
LLWAS – Low Level Windshear Alert Systems  

. These wind reports are advisory only. The reported surface

winds, as presently obtained from the centerfield

instrumentation, are controlling for our [AA] Flight

Operations” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“While flight 1420 was making an approach to runway 4R, the controller made two reports of windshear using LLWAS information.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

“. . .the 4R ILS was operating normally before the accident.” [Ex. 3A/File 2K]

11:40:01 p.m. “AAL1420 then requested runway 4.” [Ex. 3A/File 2K]

“The flightcrew requested runway 4R to have a headwind during landing and the controller assigned flight 1420 a heading for a vector to runway 4R.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

11:40:02 p.m. “The controller told AAL1420 to fly heading 250 for vectors to the runway 4R ILS final approach course and recleared AAL1420 to maintain 3,300 feet.” [Ex. 3A/File 2K]

11:40:04 p.m. Buschmann: “it'd be a headwind.” [File 3A]

11:40:05 p.m. Origel: “yeah” [File 3A]

11:40:11 p.m. 1420 “yeah, we're gonna want the headwind of course… runway four.” [File 3A]

11:40:19 p.m. ATC told 1420: “turn right heading of uh, 250 vectors for the ILS runway 4 right final approach course.” [File 3A]

11:40:25 p.m. 1420 acknowledged and asked “the long way around?” [File 3A]

11:40:280 p.m. ATC said “yes sir, you're a little close to the airport” [File 3A]

11:40:33 p.m. 1420 said “250 that'll work” [File 3A]

11:40:45 p.m. Origel: “four right. 111.3042. I think we were… I think that was the airport right below us.” [File 3A]

11:41:01 p.m. Buschmann: “year it was. okay one eleven three.” [File 3A]

11:41:06 p.m. Origel: “ one eleven three. zero four two. four sixty on decision altitude.” [File 3A]

11:41:13 p.m. Origel: Four thousand for three thousand is armed.” [File 3A]

11:41:18 p.m. Origel: “uh, MSA is thirty three hundred feet all the way around.” [File 3A]

11:41:22 p.m. ATC asked 1420 to “maintain 3,300' for now please” [File 3A]

11:41:25 p.m. 1420 acknowledged. [File 3A]

11:41:30 p.m. Origel: “okay. and two two seventeen glide slope intercept all the way down missed approach right turn to four thousand…***” [File 3A]

11:42:56 p.m. Origel: “let's see, you got the airport? tell you what..*” [File 3A]

11:41:59 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah. ** I don't have the airport.” [File 3A]

11:42:02 p.m. Origel: “** I'm saying you got the ILS.” [File 3A]

11:42:03 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah, I got the ILS.” [File 3A]

11:42:12 p.m. Origel: “yeah, there it is. I got the airport.” [File 3A]

11:42:15 p.m. Buschmann: “okay and decision height is four sixty.” [File 3A]

11:42:16 p.m. Origel: “yeah” [File 3A]

11:42:19 p.m. Buschmann: “do you have the airport?” [File 3A]

11:42:19 p.m. Buschmann: “is that it right there?” [File 3A]

11:42:22 p.m. Origel: “see, I can't” [File 3A]

11:42:23 p.m. Buschmann: “I don't see a runway.” [File 3A]

11:42:25 p.m. Origel: “go out this way.” [File 3A]

11:42:26 p.m. ATC advised flight “it appears we have a second part of the storm moving through. the winds now 340 ° at 16 kts. gust 34” [File 3A]

11:42:34 p.m. 1420 acknowledged. [File 3A]

11:42:39 p.m. Origel: “you wanna accept a short approach? want to keep it in tight?” [File 3A]

11:42:41 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah, if you see the runway. ‘cause I don't quite see it.” [File 3A]

11:42:44 p.m. Origel: “yeah, it's right here, see it?” [File 3A]

11:42:47 p.m. Buschmann: “… you just point me in the right direction and I'll start slowing down here. give me flaps eleven.” [File 3A]

11:42:54 p.m. Origel: “#, it's going right over the …f-field” [File 3A]

11:42:58 p.m. 1420 to ATC: “well we got the airport. we're going between clouds. I think it's right off my uh, three o'clock low, about four miles.” [File 3A]

11:43:04 p.m. ATC: “… that's it. do you wanna shoot the visual approach or you wanna go out for the ILS?” [File 3A]

11:43:08 p.m. 1420: “I can, we'll, we'll (start) the visual. if we we can do it.” [File 3A]

11:43:12 p.m. ATC cleared for visual approach runway 4R and to let him know if he loses it or needs help. [File 3A]

11:43:16 p.m. 1420: “I'll stay with you as long as possible, OK?” [File 3A]

11:43:18 p.m. ATC: “that's fine. I'm working everything…” [File 3A]

11:43:23 p.m. Buschmann: “will you keep me straight.” [File 3A]

11:43:23 p.m. Origel: “keep it right here, keep it right here, ** right here.” [File 3A]

11:43:25 -

11:43:59 p.m. Conversation between ATC and other planes that 1420 trying to land visual but “it's kinda rockin and rollin here.”; advised to put off a little bit; may be out of here in 30 minutes or so, movin' kind of quickly.” [File 3A]

11:43:26 p.m. Origel: “okay, did you notice something? there's the airport right there. okay?” [File 3A]

11:43:31 p.m. Buschmann: “where?” [File 3A]

11:43:31 p.m. Origel: “okay, you're set up on a base for it, okay?” [File 3A]

11:43:33 p.m. Buschmann: “I'm on base now?” [File 3A]

11:43:35 p.m. Origel: “well, you're on a dog leg. you're comin' in. there's the airport.” [File 3A]

11:43:38 p.m. Buschmann: “uh, I lost it.” [File 3A]

11:43:39 p.m. Origel: “right there, you're you're downwind. see it's right there.” [File 3A]

“F/O Origel stated that on downwind they knew rain was in the area and the runway was wet.” [Ex. 2A/File 1B]

11:43:44 p.m. Buschmann: “I still don't see it. [sound of chuckle] well just vector me. I don't know.” [File 3A]

11:43:47 p.m. Origel: “okay, well just go * right here.” [File 3A]

11:43:59 p.m. ATC advised 1420 it could monitor 118.7, runway 4R cleared to land; wind now is 330 ° at 21 kts. [File 3A]

11:44: 06 p.m. 1420 acknowledged. [File 3A]

11:44:14 p.m. Buschmann: “those red lights out there. where, where's that in relation to…” [File 3A]

11:44:18 p.m. Origel: “there's another, there's two runways here. there's three runways.” [File 3A]

11:44:19 p.m. Buschmann: “yeah I know. see we're losing it. I don't think we can maintain visual.” [File 3A]

11:44:22 p.m. Origel: “yeah” [File 3A]

11:44:31 p.m. Origel to ATC: “… there's a cloud between us and the airport. we just lost the field and I'm uh, on this vector here, I have the uh basically last vector you gave us, we're kind of a dog leg it looks like.” [File 3A]

11:44:39 p.m. ATC asked 1420 if they could fly heading 220 ° and will take them out for the ILS approach. [File 3A]

11:44:44 p.m. 1420 acknowledged that 220 ° was fine. [File 3A]

11:44:45 p.m. ATC advised it would probably just be one turn on from downwind to final for ILS. [File 3A]

11:44:43 p.m. 1420: “k that's how it's gonna have to be, thanks.” [File 3A]

11:44:51 p.m. Origel: “yeah, I had it but I lost it with the clouds ant that's what I was saying.” [File 3A]

11:44:54 p.m. ATC advises 1420 to descend and maintain 2,300'. [File 3A]

11:44:57 p.m. 1420 acknowledges. [File 3A]

11:44:59 p.m. Origel: “two thousand three hundred” [File 3A]

11:45 p.m. Buschmann “set and armed. uh, now it is.” [File 3A]

11:45 p.m. “Special observation for Little Rock at 0445Z, wind from 290 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 26 knots, visibility ¾ of a mile in thunderstorm and heavy rain and mist. Ceiling broken at 1,500 feet, broken clouds at 3,500 feet, clouds overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 17 degrees C, altimeter 29.98 inches of Hg. Remarks: ASOS observation, pressure rising rapidly, precipitation since the last hourly report 0.21 inches.” [Ex. 5A/File 2L]

 


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