Page:CAB Accident Report, Mohawk Airlines Flight 112.pdf/2

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crew en route to Ithaca. At 1340, the Dispatch Office of Mohawk Airlines[1] sent a teletype flight message to Ithaca for the last segment of Flight 115 from Ithaca.

In compliance with instructions contained in the flight release message sent from the dispatcher, a Mohawk Customer Service Agent at Ithaca prepared a flight plan release[2] for the last segment of Flight 115. The flight plan release was signed in Ithaca at 1355. The Ithaca agent testified that he placed the 1400 Service A [3] weather sequence, the latest terminal weather forecast, and the flight plan release on the operations counter. A 1400 Service A weather sequence was found in the aircraft wreckage with a flight plan release, no other weather documents were found.

At 1415, an aviation severe weather forecast was issued by the U. S. Weather Bureau's severe local storms unit [4] at Kansas City, Missouri. The Cleveland

  1. The Dispatch Office of Mohawk Airlines is located at Utica, New York. This central office provides dispatching services for the entire Mohawk system. The Dispatch Office was staffed on a 24-hour basis in three 8-hour shifts. There was a total of 5 certificated dispatchers and 6 clerk/flight-followers employed. Under peak operating conditions two dispatchers were assigned to each shift. One dispatcher handled east-west flights, the other, north-south flights. A clerk/flight-follower assisted each dispatcher. Personnel not certificated as dispatchers were delegated responsibility for certain functions of dispatching at each of Mohawk cutlying stations. These delegated functions included dissemination of weather information and signing of the flight plan release form. The personnel authorized to perform these functions were titled "Customer Service Agents". To qualify as a Customer Service Agent required no previous aeronautical experience; however, before performing operational functions the Customer Service Agents were required to pass written examinations prepared by the Mohawk Training Department. There was no reexamation or recurrent formal training of any kind for Customer Service Agents after original qualification. Mohawk Airlines was not able to produce the examinations taken by Rochester station personnel, however, at the public hearing a series of questions was submitted, for the record, which was represented to be a copy of the standard examination for qualifying Customer Service Agents.
  2. The Mohawk Operations Manual Page 03.04:02 states. "A release is valid authorization to undertake flight...when an authentic copy has been transmitted via PLT (private line teletype) or telpak to each authorized station employee, signed by that employee and the captain... The dispatch release shall contain or have attached thereto weather reports, available weather forecasts, or a combination thereof, for the destination, intermediate stops, and alternates specified therein which shall be the latest available at the time the release is signed by the pilot-in-command and dispatcher..."
  3. Service A is a teletype circuit which is used to collect and disseminate weather information. Mohawk had Service A facilities at Ithaca and Utica but not at Rochester.
  4. The Severe Local Storms (SELS) center, a unit of the United States Weather Bureau is responsible nationally for forecasting weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, etc.