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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 07:44   #1 (permalink)
 
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Ryanair FR1919 incident in VLC 21 August 2012

Flight FR1919 from Valencia to Charleroi begun to lose fuel in a large volume while being refueled and while being boarded. The news say passengers "hurried to abandon plane"
Not sure if this was commanded by the crew or if it was an spontaneous act.
The news suggest that "passengers ran away"
The ramp was flooded by fuel.

This news link is in Spanish. You may use an online translator if you need.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2012/08/22/valencia/1345622389.html
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 08:55   #2 (permalink)
 
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Ryanair say it was a defective fuel valve that 'should have been repaired.'

Daily Mail type reporting although without the dramatics, they interviewed 'Miguel Angel' who knew all the answers!

El Mundo is a relatively serious newspaper, no doubt the gutterpress will produce their own version of 'millions of gallons of highly inflammable petrol about to explode as pilots walked round the aircraft with cigarettes in their hand'
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 12:00   #3 (permalink)
 
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The fuel supervisor was readjusting his stetson at the time of the incident. His attempts to alert the Flightdeck couldn't be heard for the sound of the captain's spurs rattling off the floor.The cabin crew junior was too busy dosey-doeing on the ramp and failed to notice the stricken panic of her passengers.

Something like that I'd imagine

Last edited by Callsign Kilo; 23rd Aug 2012 at 12:01.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 14:20   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
"A faulty valve that should have been replaced"
On the aircraft or on the refuelling rig?
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 14:55   #5 (permalink)
 
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Oh don't be silly. Why would it matter if the fault lay with the fuelling truck or the guy who connected the hose?
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 14:57   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
On the aircraft or on the refuelling rig?
Good question. Any further detail on this point?
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:23   #7 (permalink)
 
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Silly me. I had assumed they use overwing gravity refuelling - surely that must be cheaper? (And no valves to go wrong)

Jock. Do you remember doing that in Francistown circa 1965/66? Barrels of fuel fork lifted (or some such method) to be high enough and poor flight engineer precariously on top of wing. I chose not to join him in a supervisory capacity
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:32   #8 (permalink)
 
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I do indeed.

I also remember a refueller managing to put the entire fuel load in one wing such that when I walked out to the aircraft, it already had a 10 degree wing down list, the oleos on the left wing had almost gone flat and fuel was pouring out of every rivet hole. The airfield concerned was Sharjah.

It could not have happened at a better time. I was taking the C in C back to Aden!

We took a small delay.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:37   #9 (permalink)
 
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Looks like their was yet another Ryanair "situation" on Alicante - Bristol the other week
>> Unexplained "Procedural" behaviour on Ryanair flight
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:42   #10 (permalink)
 
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From the Google english translation of the Spanish site, it sounds like an overflow from one of the Fuel Tank Vents, the NACA ducts under the wings near the tips.

An overflow such as this occurs if the fuel limit switch doesn't close the fuel valve when the tank is full (i.e. either component fails) - and is one reason passengers are told not to walk under the wing whilst boarding/disembarking.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:44   #11 (permalink)
 
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As far as I can remember on the B737 you only get this situation when wing tanks are full. Now, if the crew on RYR doesn´t even have time between shocks to go to the toilet never the less to watch a refueling, so who to blame?

On a normal situation an eng. or crew member would be with the fuelling meanwhile the other pilot would be in cockpit getting the aircraft ready for next trip.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 18:43   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
As transilvana says the poor crew wouldn't have had time to go the toilet let alone supervise fuelling!
There is a requirement for the Captain to nominate a "Refuelling Supervisor" which has to be a suitably qualified person and will generally be the First Officer, the Captain (himself) but could be an Engineer or another crew member who is travelling "jump seat". The Refuelling Supervisor is required to establish communication with the flight deck and report any problems asap. The RFS is, as far as I can recall, only required to be "on station" when pax are on board and/or deplaning or boarding.

In my 5 years with the said Company I ensured this requirement was strictly complied with and am sure that my colleagues did likewise.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 19:30   #13 (permalink)
 
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Ryanair is the only company I've ever seen providing a crew member to supervise the refuelling between flights.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 20:23   #14 (permalink)
 
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This is totally off-topic but is a quote from the link @post 11:

Quote:
the crew checked under the seat they were sat in, the seat in front, dropped down each of the tray tables then removed the seat cushions to check underneath.

"They're looking for something" said one passenger
The point being that we really shouldn't underestimate our paying customers...

And what tray tables are those, then? Subbing out again mick?

Anyhow...
RYR is the only company I know that requires crew to take up station as RF supervisor, therefore going single-crew for most of an already rushed 25 minute turn round. Do they not pay the professionals enough to do their job properly? have I just answered my own question?

Last edited by 16024; 23rd Aug 2012 at 20:26.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 20:31   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
it's a requirement in most companies.
Nope. Nowhere I've worked in 25 years.

Quote:
I wonder what ryan ops would say if you nominated that for the delay??
You mean the newly created "Lago Valencia"?

Still, it shows the SOP works well doesn't it?

Last edited by 16024; 23rd Aug 2012 at 20:36.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 20:36   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I wonder what ryan ops would say if you nominated that for the delay??
As long as the correct delay code and an explanation was written on the voyage report it was never an issue in my experience.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 21:27   #17 (permalink)
 
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From EU-OPS:

Re/defuelling with passengers embarking, on board or disembarking

An operator must establish operational procedures for re/defuelling with passengers embarking, on board or disembarking to ensure the following precautions are taken:

1. one qualified person must remain at a specified location during fuelling operations with passengers on board. This qualified person must be capable of handling emergency procedures concerning fire protection and firefighting, handling communications and initiating and directing an evacuation;

2. a two-way communication shall be established and shall remain available by the aeroplane’s inter-communication system or other suitable means between the ground crew supervising the refuelling and the qualified personnel on board the aeroplane;

3. crew, staff and passengers must be warned that re/defuelling will take place;

4. “Fasten Seat Belts” signs must be off;

5. “NO SMOKING” signs must be on, together with interior lighting to enable emergency exits to be identified;

6. passengers must be instructed to unfasten their seat belts and refrain from smoking;

7. the minimum required number of cabin crew specified by OPS 1.990 must be on board and be prepared for an immediate emergency evacuation;

8. if the presence of fuel vapour is detected inside the aeroplane, or any other hazard arises during re/defuelling, fuelling must be stopped immediately;

9. the ground area beneath the exits intended for emergency evacuation and slide deployment areas must be kept clear; and
provision is made for a safe and rapid evacuation.



Ryanair's Refueling Supervisor procedure comply with these points, but it's always up for interpretation. Commonly you establish communication and then go for your walk around, wait outside till fueling is complete, sign the receipt and go back up. Certain airports, Italian ones typically, apply the regulations more rigorously and requires the supervisor to on the headset throughout the refueling process.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 21:27   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
In my 5 years with the said Company I ensured this requirement was strictly complied with and am sure that my colleagues did likewise.
Well, today I watched 5 RYR aircrafts on the tarmac and I didn´t see any soul comming from the cockpit to check the fuelling. Actually in two of them pax leaving were waiting on the bus to be boarded meanwhile pax arriving were boarded on different buses.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 22:38   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Well, today I watched 5 RYR aircrafts on the tarmac and I didn´t see any soul comming from the cockpit to check the fuelling. Actually in two of them pax leaving were waiting on the bus to be boarded meanwhile pax arriving were boarded on different buses.
The refuelling supervisor does not have to "come from the cockpit" - it could be a ground engineer, for example. Normally the way to communicate would be via a headset plugged in outside to the interphone but an open cockpit window with said RFS banging on the nose and shouting to attract attention may arguably satisfy the requirement (not saying I liked that system myself).

Are you sure refuelling was actually taking place with passengers on board? Just because the bowser is connected does not mean that fuel is being pumped.

If crews are disobeying this regulation then they do so at their own peril since this aspect is monitored by SAFA inspectors and also Company personnel. Also as Captain I wouldn't like to be held liable in the case of fire and loss of life/injury.

As has been pointed out previously Ryanair are, to my knowledge, the only airline that requires crews to nominate a Refuelling Supervisor.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 23:37   #20 (permalink)
 
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In normal airlines, ground staff is trained for this, meaning recurrent training etc.
FR surprisingly doesn't want to pay for it...hence, flight crew has to do it....
The answer is ALWAYS they don't want to pay!
That's a theory which is very close to reality if not 100%
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