August Storm Led To Discovery Of Threat

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DALLAS, Aug. 2 (UPI) — The crash of a U.S. passenger jet 26 years ago Tuesday exposed a serious threat to aviation posed by thunderstorms, weather forecasters say.

Blame for the crash of Delta Flight 191 near Dallas on Aug. 2, 1985 was placed on a weather phenomenon known as a microburst that can occur when some thunderstorms collapse, Accuweather.com reported.

More than 130 people died when the Delta passenger jet bound for Los Angeles encountered strong downburst winds as it was landing at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport during a thunderstorm.

The downburst caused the aircraft to lose control, clip a water tank and explode short of the runway.

Today aviation officials are aware that thunderstorm downbursts poise a serious hazard to aircraft.

The disaster led to the installation of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar at 44 U.S. airports, with the specific purpose of detecting wind shears, including microbursts, Accuweather.com said.

In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration established a program to teach pilots how to avoid downbursts and what to do if they get caught in one.

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