Page:CAB Accident Report, Mohawk Airlines Flight 112.pdf/4

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Shortly after Flight 115 departed Ithaca, Mohawk Flight 186 departed Toronto, Canada, en route to Buffalo, New York. The pilot of Flight 186 observed a line of moderate precipitation returns "with solid cores" on his radar. This weather was northwest of Buffalo. Flight 186 passed this line of weather five miles west of the Grimsby Ontario Intersection on a due south heading. The pilot of Flight 186 said that 20-25 miles west of Buffalo, he was paralleling an enormous return that almost filled up the entire left side of the radar scope on the 30-mile range. Buffalo Approach Control confirmed this return and mentioned a pilot report of "tops over 50,000 feet". At approximately 1545, the pilot of Flight 186 reported these storms to the company radio operator at Utica. Receipt of the message was acknowledged.

Flight 115 arrived at Rochester at 1542 where it terminated. The flight from Ithaca to Rochester was routine. After a one-hour layover the crew was to originate Flight 112 scheduled to depart Rochester at 1645, in N 449A.

At 1545 a Mohawk Dispatcher sent the flight release message for Flight 112 to Rochester. Upon receipt of the message at Rochester, a Mohawk Customer Service Agent completed the flight plan release for the captain's signature.

The aircraft was serviced with fuel and no maintenance repairs were performed at Rochester.

The computed weight and balance of N 449A at liftoff was later determined to have been within allowable limits.

At 1600, the pilot of Flight 186, on the ground at Buffalo, telephoned the Utica Dispatch Office to discuss the severity of the storms he had reported at 1545.[1] The Mohawk Dispatch Office had not received the 1545 message. A transcript of the radio log of the Mohawk Utica communication station indicates that the message was received by the radio operator between 1535 and 1540. Mohawk stations were connected with the dispatch office by a private line teletype circuit. Operational information and special company weather bulletins were also sent over this circuit. Inflight aircraft of Mohawk Airlines could be contacted via company radio.

The Rochester station was equipped with private line teletype, and telephone to the Utica Dispatch Office; however, it did not have Service A weather facilities. Mohawk Rochester personnel obtained the U. S. Weather Bureau reports and forecasts from United Air Lines on an informal, gratuitous basis. Extra copies were made on United Air Lines duplicating facilities. When duplication was not possible longhand copies were sometimes made by Mohawk personnel. There was no contractual arrangement between United Air Lines and Mohawk Airlines covering this weather service at the time of the accident and no responsibility existed on the part of the United Air Lines to provide weather information to Mohawk.

A Mohawk Customer Service Agent collected weather data from United Air Lines at about 1610, and said he placed the flight documents on the counter in the operations office for the captain's examination and signature. The agent said that

  1. Mohawk Airlines used telephone and teletype for communication between the Utica Dispatch Office and outlying stations. The Dispatch Office was equipped with four telephone lines which connect the dispatch office and the forty-odd outlying stations.