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View Full Version : MELs . . . how many?


Mr Trim
21st Mar 2008, 02:25
As a new airline pilot, and for comparison purposes, I am quite interested in knowing how frequently do you guys fly with MEL items. Is flying frequently with deferred maintenance items the norm? If so, how many of them on average? Does it vary greatly from company to company or aircraft to aircraft? Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.

PhilM
21st Mar 2008, 02:38
It's not uncommon at all, where I work you'll generally find most of the fleet have between 1 and 3 ADDs on them. Mostly due to parts taking a day or so to arrive from the airline's stores.

Old Fella
21st Mar 2008, 03:51
In my experience it depends a lot on for whom you fly and is directly related, in many cases, to the financial state of the company. Personally, it was uncommon to carry more than four or five ADD's and often they related to pax entertainment or galley problems. The worst I have ever heard of was a former PanAm L1011 which came in for heavy maintenance with a total of over 80 ADD's, some of which had been there for more than twelve months. Can't confirm the truth of the claim, however there was no reason for it to have been just a story.

Dream Land
21st Mar 2008, 06:24
Our company has a self imposed limit of 4 "B" defects, more than that and the aircraft is AOG, pretty good considering our A320 fleet is close to 14 years old, our 321's new. Some defects seem to go unnoticed though, like altitude switches for lavs, QAR on maint status. :ok:

bflyer
21st Mar 2008, 07:57
Hi

Like it has been previously said...financial ststus,availability of spares,aircraft usage time
Where i work..2-3 is the norm,..mostly pax entretainement,qar items..and it is due primarily to heavy aircraft shedule

ratchetspanner
21st Mar 2008, 08:48
1 to 3 is the norm for us, and this normally boils down to lack of spares. This figure will creep up during the summer season due to the lack of down time the aircraft have for maintenance.....

Mr Trim
21st Mar 2008, 16:03
Thanks for all the replies guys!

Dream LandOur company has a self imposed limit of 4 "B" defects, more than that and the aircraft is AOG

That seems to be a reasonable policy form a safety standpoint. I was wondering the other day if there was a legal limit on the maximum number of MELs. Apparently not, so it has to be self-imposed.

Nator
22nd Mar 2008, 00:59
First post inPprune, Hi everybody!

Im glad to say I seldom find a MEL item where I work. Rmember though taking a plane with four items in the HIL.
Very unusual to have more than one.

matt_hooks
22nd Mar 2008, 01:20
Mr Trim, I'm not sure as to your reasoning behind there being a limit to the number of items that can be unserviceable. Absent the rare case where items are interdependant, the number of items is irrelevant. If it's safe to fly with it broken then it doesn't matter what else is broken (as I said, there ARE exceptions to this, but in general it holds).

As for how many is the norm, I would suggest this varies from airline to airline, and from season to season. Heavier scheduled times of year will inevitably result in less time on the ground to allow for repairs to non safety critical components, and obviously part availability is another big concern.

Dream Land
22nd Mar 2008, 03:24
That seems to be a reasonable policy form a safety standpoint. I was wondering the other day if there was a legal limit on the maximum number of MELs. Apparently not, so it has to be self-imposedThe MEL is a document to give you safe guidance on continued operation with known defects and to get the aircraft back to a maintenance base while maintaing dispatch reliability, it's not a license to run around with several defects but some companies will treat it like that. :=

allthatglitters
22nd Mar 2008, 04:03
With the costing and availabillity of parts, you cannot afford to have everthing available at a local company store just sitting there for the moment you may require it. Also with the different varients of the same aircraft and the differing mod state and age, mel application is very important for contiued safe operations.

Mr Trim
25th Mar 2008, 16:35
matt_hooksMr Trim, I'm not sure as to your reasoning behind there being a limit to the number of items that can be unserviceable. Absent the rare case where items are interdependant, the number of items is irrelevant. If it's safe to fly with it broken then it doesn't matter what else is broken (as I said, there ARE exceptions to this, but in general it holds).

Hey Matt. Thanks for your post. My idea behind suggesting a limited number of MELs is just as Dream Land put it:

Dream LandMEL is a document to give you safe guidance on continued operation with known defects and to get the aircraft back to a maintenance base while maintaing dispatch reliability, it's not a license to run around with several defects but some companies will treat it like that. :=


Also, I do think it matters if you are constantly flying with a large number of inoperative items (despite if they are interrelated or not). In that way a lot of the redundancy (thus safety) of aircraft systems is lost.

P.S. Hey, guys, how do you quote?