Eastern Airlines Flight 66




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TitleEastern Airlines Flight 66
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  • MACROBURST: A large downburst with its outburst winds extending greater than 2.5 miles horizontal dimension. Damaging winds, lasting 5 to 30 minutes, could be as high as 134 mph.

  • MICROBURST: A small downburst with its outburst, damaging winds extending 2.5 miles or less. In spite of its small horizontal scale, an intense microburst could induce damaging winds as high as 168 mph.





















http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkavH9aZue8







The following are some fatal crashes that have been attributed to windshear/ microbursts in the vicinity of airports:

  • The following are some fatal crashes that have been attributed to windshear/ microbursts in the vicinity of airports:

  • Eastern Airlines Flight 66

  • Pan Am Flight 759

  • Delta Airlines Flight 191

  • USAir Flight 1016



















Major research effort between FAA and NCAR during the 1980s to understand and find ways of dealing with downbursts.

  • Major research effort between FAA and NCAR during the 1980s to understand and find ways of dealing with downbursts.

  • Centered at Stapelton Airport in Denver

  • Once the phenomenon was understood, proposed solution to allow warnings: terminal doppler radars and LLWAS.







  • In 1983, the FAA asked NCAR to develop a version of LLWAS that could detect microbursts.

  • Between 1983 and 1988, NCAR developed and tested a new LLWAS system that detected microbursts, determined the strength in terms of headwind/tailwind gains or and located the event (on the runway, at 1, 2, or 3 nm on departure or arrival).

  • This system was later improved and is now called the Phase-3 LLWAS. A typical Phase-3 LLWAS will have enough sensors to be spaced 2-km apart (~1 nm apart) and cover out to 2 nm from the end of each major runway. The largest LLWAS is at Denver International Airport. It has 32 wind sensors. Most Phase-3 systems have between 12 and 16 wind sensors.





The four best known downburst aviation disasters in the U.S. happened in the summer.

  • The four best known downburst aviation disasters in the U.S. happened in the summer.

  • (1 in June, 2 in July, 1 in August)

  • All four happened in the late afternoon or early evening (from 4:05 to 7:43 local time)



The threat of wind shear has been reduced but not eliminated. It was mentioned in an average of 25 National Transportation Safety Board accidents and incident reports a year from 1983 through 2001. But the vast majority of cases were nonfatal and mostly involved general aviation.

  • The threat of wind shear has been reduced but not eliminated. It was mentioned in an average of 25 National Transportation Safety Board accidents and incident reports a year from 1983 through 2001. But the vast majority of cases were nonfatal and mostly involved general aviation.



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