The Michigan Daily-Saturday, August 7, 1982- Page 5
ifi-fated jet warned of wind danger
WASHINGTON (AP)- Air controllers were aler-
ting pilots about possible "wind shears" at the New
Orleans airport minutes before Pan Am Flight 759
took off and crashed into a suburb, killing all on board
last month, tower radio conversations show.
Transcripts of airport tower radio conversations
released yesterday confirmed that controllers were
concerned about sudden shifts of wind in all parts of
the airport. At least four times within six minutes
before the Pan Am jet took off, they advised pilots of
so-called "wind shear" reports.
FEDERAL investigators previously have said that
the recording of conversations in the cockpit of Flight
759 indicated the Pan Am crew had heard at least-two
of the wind shear advisories.
While federal investigators have not given a cause
for the crash of Flight 759, information made public
from the plane's flight data recorder supports the
theory that the jetliner may have been caught in a
severe wind shear.
The recorder indicated the aircraft reached a
takeoff speed of 155 knots, well above normal for a
Boeing 727, dwindled to 140 knots, and then picked up
speed again. Investigators say that may be an in-
dication of an abrupt shifting of wind as one might
have ina severe wind shear.
THE AVIATION industry and safety experts for
years have been concerned about the effects of
violent wind shears-sudden changes in wind direc-
tion and velocity-that can force a jetliner to the
ground during takeoff or landing.
While pilots acknowledge that they take wind shear
reports seriously, they say the alerts are used in con-
junction with other available information, par-
ticularly reports from other pilots, to determine
whether a takeoff should be made.
John O'Brien, a safety specialist with the Air Line
Pilots Association, says a wind shear alert does not
always mean that a wind shear threat is present for a
departing aircraft since the detection devices are
THE CREW of the Pan Am jetliner asked for wind
information about seven minutes before it received
takeoff clearance, but was told of nothing unusual.
"Wind zero four zero degrees at eight knots," the
ground controller replied.
The Federal Aviation Administration transcripts
showed that about a minute after Flight 759 received
the response, the tower issued its first wind shear
alert for the northeastern part of the airport. That
followed with four more references to such shears.
The fully loaded Boeing 727, on a flight to Las Vegas
and on to San Diego, crashed July 9, minutes after lif-
ting off from Moisant Airport, plowing into single-
story houses in a residential area of suburban Ken-
ner. All 146 people aboard and eight on the ground
were killed in the nation's second worst commercial
enter final weekend
From UPI reports
U.S. Senate candidate William
Ballenger completed his record-setting
election walk with a splash yesterday.
U.S. Senate hopeful Phil Ruppe was
contending with another campaign boo-
boo and the other candidates were still
running hard as the campaign entered,
its final weekend.
Ballenger, who trailed Ruppe in the
only independent poll on the Republican
senatorial campaign, ended his 1,037-
mile campaign walk on a sweltering
day in downtown Detroit with a cool dip
in the Detroit River. The walk began
last winter in 17-degree below zero
Sault Ste. Marie.
THE FORMER state licensing direc-
tor said he stayed with 43 different
families and got a feel for the concerns
of the public during the walk which he
says broke a record set by Tennessee
Gov. Lamar Alexander.
Whether the gimmick helped boost
him into contention remains to be seen,
Aides in Ruppe's frontrunning Senate
campaign were red-faced over a letter
to political action 'committees which
inadvertently praised U.S. Sen. Donald
Riegle, rather than Ruppe, as the man
"best suited to handle the future energy
problems of the United States" and rip-
ped Ruppe, instead of Riegle, as the
favorite of big-government groups.
Ruppe's campaign manager blamed
an "inexcusable" mistake by a
Washington, D.C. firm hired to produce
In Lansing, two Democratic guber-
natorial candidates, state Senator Ed-
ward Pierce (D-Ann Arbor) and East
Lansing attorney Zolton Ferency,
vigorously worked the crowd at a
Capitol rally promoting an end to the
nuclear arms race.
Unemployment rate hits
record 9.8% during July
(Continued trom Page 1:
employment rate of 9.9 percent in 1941.
Unemployment has not been above 10
percent since the 14.6 percent an-
nualized rate of 1940.
Within various segments of the
working population, postwar unem-
ployment records were set for blue-
collar workers, 14.4 percent; white
workers, 8.7 percent; adult males, 8.8
percent, and teen-agers, 24.1 percent.
HARDEST HIT last month was the
manufacturing sector of the economy,
where 90,000 jobs were lost.
At the White House, presidential
spokesman Larry Speakes called the
unemployment report a "lagging in-
dicator" of economic recovery.
Speakes also said President Reagan
"is sympathetic, deeply concerned and
he believes his program, once fully
enacted ... will provide a permanent
solution to unemployment problems."
THE LATEST report produced howls
of anguish from organized labor and
House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill,
(D-Mass.), issued a statement saying
the report "reinforces the need for im-
mediate action in creating jobs." He
urged Reagan to support an emergency
jobs bill, now pending in the House, to
employ 200,000 people rebuilding roads,
bridges and other facilities.
Gerald F. McEntee, president of the
American Federation of State County
and Municipal Employees said, "The
latest unemployment figures doom
economic recovery. It is impossible for
Americans to spend their way out of the
current recession while standing in the
Total employment was 99.7 million in
July, down from the 99.8 million repor-
ted for June. the total employment
figure is adjusted by government
economists to account for normal
seasonal variations, such as increases
in the labor force that typically occur