View Full Version : Missing ashtray grounds Jazz Air flight
10th Mar 2011, 20:00
Heard this yesterday on CBC Radio, and the story is apparently legitimate. :hmm:
"Smoking may be banned on airplanes, but a missing ashtray grounded a Jazz Air flight for nine hours last week.
The Feb. 23 flight from Fredericton to Toronto was postponed after the crew noticed during pre-flight checks that the receptacle in the wall outside the lavatory door was missing."
Read full story at:
Missing ashtray grounds Jazz Air flight - Business - TheChronicleHerald.ca (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1231255.html)
11th Mar 2011, 03:40
Missing ashtrays are NO GO items.
End of story
11th Mar 2011, 12:50
This very example was cited to us at a Transport Canada session on developing Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL), last week. It is a very basic example of how a lack of forethought on the part of the manufacturer or modifier, during MEL development, can result in a grounding for no good reason.
It had the group of delegates present mentally going back over designs we've approved in the past, realizing that if our non required modifications quit, even though they are non required, the plane is grounded, unless we get MEL allieviation.
11th Mar 2011, 13:05
Am reminded of the old quote, "Rules are for the guidence of the wise and obedience of fools". Having said that the present regulatory climate does tend to punish the wise.
11th Mar 2011, 13:23
It appears the Canadians' diligence in obeying rules is borderline idiocy. Nothing new; just sample airport security at YYC for example; or ATC at YVR sending squadrons of light aircraft off whilst keeping heavies sitting and burning big fuel at the hold; or being refused to allow your burger to be cooked pink anywhere; etc, etc.
Not the only stupid rule-bound country, granted. The UK is up there too. But the Canadians take the cake. Silly country.
11th Mar 2011, 13:59
Roy, the very same happened to BA a few years ago (IIRC).
11th Mar 2011, 15:07
But the Canadians take the cake. Silly country.
It may not be an entire country who is silly, when a pilot chooses to apply the MEL as it was written and approved. Extend that pilot the benefit of the doubt, maybe there was a TC inspector present, who knows?
Downloading required actions, resulting from an improperly conceived MEL, to the pilot, just before the flight, is not reasonable, and does not make the pilot (or a country) responsible for the resulting problem.
And, it might be an FAA approved MEL, rather than Canadian, I don't know the aircraft type.
11th Mar 2011, 15:47
There was a story in one of the flying mags a while back that SAA was ferrying their first 747 on a one way retirement flight into a museum at a pretty small strip.
Toilet Paper rolls were on the MEL and with an adequate supply they went off.
Having said that, would TC really take action over an item like that? Don't know but I sure would not want to be the poor sod to be a test case.
On a serious note, could you request an alleviation over the phone?
11th Mar 2011, 18:27
Relief from this situation certainly is possible, as long as you have access to a DAR. We do it on a regular basis.
11th Mar 2011, 21:21
Hey Basset, just because I'm curious, what is your DAR able to give you, that relieves the non-conformance with the MEL?
12th Mar 2011, 10:21
Isn't it easier to just mel the whole lav as inop, tape it up and get on with the flight?
There is also that pesky airworthiness directive from 1974 that requires the lavatory ashtray as well...
(c) Except as provided by paragraph (d) of this AD: Within 180 days after August 6, 1974, or before the accumulation of any time in service on a new production aircraft, whichever occurs later, except that new production aircraft may be flown in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to a base where compliance may be accomplished, install a self-contained, removable ashtray on or near the entry side of each lavatory door. One ashtray may serve more than one lavatory door if the ashtray can be seen readily from the cabin side of each lavatory door served.
(d) The airplane may be operated for a period of 10 days with a lavatory door ashtray missing, provided that no more than one such ashtray is missing. For airplanes on which only one lavatory door ashtray is installed, the airplane may be operated for a period of 3 days if the lavatory door ashtray is missing.
NOTE 2: This AD permits a lavatory door ashtray to be missing, although the FAA-approved Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) may not allow such provision. In any case, the provisions of this AD prevail.
74-08-09 R2 - Transport Category Airplanes (http://wwwapps3.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/AWD-CN/documents/US74-08-09R2.htm)
12th Mar 2011, 13:43
B777 MEL states for "Exterior Lavatory Door Ashtrays":
One may be missing provided it is replaced within 10 calendar days.
RoyHudd, you're too funny. Pots & kettles come to mind.
12th Mar 2011, 22:12
PilotDAR; at my airline, we can request an Engineer to sign a document called a "Production Permit" to allow us to defer a defect that is not covered under the MEL. As long as it doesn't contravene the MEL.
12th Mar 2011, 22:15
Av8r76; normally that would be the case, but in this instance it was the one and only lav. Can't proceed with no operative labs, can we?
13th Mar 2011, 15:49
I remember flying out of YYZ for Bombay on Air India with a number of lavs u/s and seals across the doors:ooh:
14th Mar 2011, 00:46
Well, you're the brave one. Did you see the thread about the Air India pilot arrested for having a fake license?
14th Mar 2011, 13:51
Yes. I've flown AI many times. I experienced one of the worst landings ever in 747 at Bombay (as it was called then). The thing actually bounced. However, I remember coming into Heathrow in an AI 747 and it was absolutely the best landing I've ever experienced in a large aircraft - a real greaser.
16th Mar 2011, 18:51
Hmm, Okay, never heard of it. It certainly is not a means of approval or MEL relief in the "normal" TC approval system. I know that airlines do have their own systems, and that is as it should be.
Soap Box Cowboy
17th Mar 2011, 16:04
Silly as it may seem, this law is enforced atleast due to one incident were either a DC-9 or 727 actually crashed because of a fire in a rear toilet due to a cigarette being disposed in the trash can. Hence ashtrays on lav doors. It still holds value today as where is a pax most likely going to smoke up?
The ashtray provides a safe place to dispose of the cigarette. Though a cup with water in it works too. Also a reason why many aircraft are fitted with fixed mini fire extinguishers in the lav bins.
Silly as it may seem, but many of us have seen how the self loading luggage checked their brains at the check in desk :E
19th Mar 2011, 13:43
To all you sanctimonious rule-bashers, I'd like to remind you that the CEO of the company that owned that 600 that crashed in Teterboro was convicted of fraud because the EOW of the a/c was wrong and he is facing 15 YEARS in jail as a result? He already spent 4 months in maximum security jails, all because he annoyed the FAA. Read the judgment and ask yourself if ignoring a "stupid" rule is worth somebody taking you to court?