NTSB: Crossfield Not Warned Of Adverse Weather

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A controller who was communicating with famed test pilot Scott Crossfield shortly before he crashed his Cessna 210 in April 2006 did not provide any severe weather advisories, although he acknowledged that adverse weather was present "all over" his sector, according to the recently released NTSB factual report. The controller told investigators that he believed his radar information to be unreliable and he expected the pilot would have a better idea about the location of the adverse weather than he did. "By not issuing weather reports to the pilot, the controller violated several paragraphs in FAA Order 7110.65, 'Air Traffic Control,'" according to the NTSB. Crossfield, 84, died in the crash. The NTSB investigation is continuing and no probable cause has been determined. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation reminds pilots that they must be cautious when flying near convective weather. "Mr. Crossfield taught us a valuable lesson, unfortunately with a tragic outcome," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the ASF. "Weather does not respect any type of certificate or experience level." The ASF offers an online program, Weather Wise: Thunderstorms and ATC, that is free to all pilots. The program includes information such as what weather services are available from ATC, how to ask the right questions of controllers to get the information you need, and radar capabilities of ATC facilities. "Most ATC centers and TRACONs have the ability to detect precipitation, and pilots flying in the area of thunderstorms would be wise to discuss what the controller sees and ask for suggestions for avoidance," said Landsberg. Now is a good time for pilots to review this information, with summer thunderstorm season already upon us. (Photo: Jeb Burnside)