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verticallimit
28th Oct 2008, 21:14
Is it right that you fly faulty airplanes, with a defect which believes there should be repaired in the last airport, back for reperarer in your own workshop, and thereby save some money,


I found this article in the Danish magasine: Ingeniøren.
Translated by google


Transport: Now must aircraft mechanics criticism of security in Europe

The harsh criticism from the international federation aircraft mechanics are now a matter for the EU aviation safety. Now the State Aviation Administration will take up the issue at EU level, according to Transport Minister Lars Barfod.



Could European airlines take to fly around with defective aircraft until they are allowed to land at airports where repairs can be done cheaply? The question is topical because the airplane crashed in Madrid remains incomplete cleared up. Here was a mistake on the plane before it went into the air. But it is not apparent from the interim accident report, how long the plane had been defective.

Lars Barfod (Danish goverment) (R) will ask it to be examined at European level, there is truth in the claim that airlines are putting passengers at risk to save money on repairs.

It happens after Per Clausen of the Unity has asked the minister on the basis of Engineers article, 17 October.

In the article prosecutor of the international federation of aircraft mechanics one the registration of defects on the aircraft until the aircraft is en route to their base.

Such behavior would logically make the repair cost and consequential costs much cheaper, but it simultaneously increases the risk for the safety of passengers to begin the return journey with an aircraft that should have been repaired first.

The controller, Danish authority for aviation security, SLV (the State Aviation Administration) has previously refused to Ingeniøren (Danish magasin) aircraft mechanics accusation and claimed that SLV not have the resources to investigate the allegation.

Mechanic Federal dare not provide documentation
Ingeniøren have tried to obtain documentation from the AEI, but the mechanic has tentatively linked not been able to provide solid evidence.

Allegedly because it could be difficult to avoid revealing which of its members, acting as whistle blowers and thereby the unfair employees of the airlines. To talk likely to pose a risk of firing the employees concerned.

Authorities can easily investigate allegations of mechanics
The initiative of Lars Barfod, it will be a matter for the EU to decide whether the issue should be taken so seriously that the airlines' logbooks to be examined, so it can be determined whether there is a preponderance of error reports on home tours.

It would be easy to investigate because, according to the AEI, there is an excess of 85 percent. Another allegation, which is easy to examine, is that SAS will never have its aircraft repaired in Malmo, according to the company's workshop here were closed.

Transport Minister states in its response to Per Clausen, there is no doubt that each aircraft commanders are responsible for reporting technical fault so quickly that flight safety is not compromised.

He refers to the Council Regulation 3922/1991 on the harmonization of technical requirements and administrative procedures for civil aviation.

Human Factor
28th Oct 2008, 21:54
There is a document for every aeroplane called the Minimum Equipment List (MEL). It is in fact an extremely thick book. This is approved by the manufacturer and details defects to the aeroplane and the implications regarding dispatch. Some defects prevent dispatch. Some defects can be dispatched with provided there is some maintenance action. Some defects can be dispatched with no action. All have time limits on the repair, ranging from "before the next flight" to an unlimited period, provided the defect is regularly inspected. If an item is not included in the MEL, you cannot dispatch. Two extremes for you:

You cannot dispatch with an engine unserviceable. Hopefully, that's self evident.:rolleyes:

You can dispatch with a landing light unserviceable.

Would you really want to cancel a flight for a failed landing light bulb when there are plenty of other lights you can use instead?

Sounds like the usual journo fishing. :zzz:

verticallimit
28th Oct 2008, 22:39
I know about the MEL.
And it is probably not nice for the pilot to fly with to many MELs.
But as a pilot, do you think there are flights where the plane should have repaired before departure. And do pilots have the courage to say NO to a flight, only with suspicion to a fault.
You can also have temporary failures which are hard to find, and not pressent by mechanics troubleshooting.

I know that it is a bit provocative questions.
But it may well stand as a pilot in the dilema that was to choose between having a suspected fault and ground plane that cost the company a lot of money, or to fly with an fault.

SNS3Guppy
28th Oct 2008, 23:14
And it is probably not nice for the pilot to fly with to many MELs.
But as a pilot, do you think there are flights where the plane should have repaired before departure. And do pilots have the courage to say NO to a flight, only with suspicion to a fault.
You can also have temporary failures which are hard to find, and not pressent by mechanics troubleshooting.


What is "nice" isn't relevant. Only what's safe, and what's legal.

The purpose of a Minimum Equipment List, and a Configuration Deviation List is to spell out exactly what can be flown in an inoperative condition, the circumstances under which it may be done, and the duration for which this can be done, safely. Further, the MEL/CDL serves to make the aircraft legal and in compliance with approved data.

Why should a pilot say "no" to a legal, and safe flight?

If a "temporary failure" is hard to detect, then what exactly is the point? Are you referring to "could not duplicate?" If the problem is intermittant, then there's only so much that can be done to find it.

If airplanes are being flown with inoperative equiment which is legally deactivated, and for which legal provisions have been set forth allowing for the safe operation of the aircraft...there should be no objections to flying the airplane.

Hot 'n' High
28th Oct 2008, 23:42
Ah, an interesting point being discussed here. Most times, the MEL covers it. When something clearly is not working at all it is easy! However, you can have situations where a system is not operating as "advertised" but some pilots are happy with it during the inevitable "have you flown x-abcd recently? have you noticed..." type issues. In many cases "inferior piloting skills" are implied so you tend to shut up as everyone else is coping. How do you deal with that?

john_tullamarine
29th Oct 2008, 00:03
While acknowledging the gulf between philosophy and reality, an MEL item should be viewed as a non-coercive operational permission.

The pilot retains a right not to accept the MEL operation to cover the situations where either

(a) there exist current operational considerations, or

(b) there is some overarching consideration

which makes the operation undesirable.

The balance against inappropriately conservative pilot use of this let out is the subsequent tea and bikkies session with the chief pilot ...

Hot 'n' High
29th Oct 2008, 00:22
JT, me simple chap! In English? Please! LOL! H 'n' H

john_tullamarine
29th Oct 2008, 00:29
.. sorry ... MEL is intended for getting me home .. if I reckon it's OK to do so.

Ex Cargo Clown
29th Oct 2008, 00:29
Another example of MEL/CDL is as follows.

Imagine a flight that picks up a snag on a LON-Deepest Darkest Africa routing.

It's covered by the MEL/CDL, so where would you rather the repair take place, at base with company engineers or in the middle of nowhere with engineers of dubious quality and parts that you can't be sure of.

Hot 'n' High
29th Oct 2008, 00:45
Cheers JT! How would you cope with the scenario where, say, engine, response is "different" but all the other pilots say "yes, but it's not a problem". It later turned out that, while the system was still operating, it was outside engineering limits - but, as pilots, we did not know what those engineering limits were. It was a mild but noticeable problem in normal ops and we coped with it - but I snagged it when, in poor weather, the combination of conditions and the system response saw me use some rather choice language as I "just" landed the aircraft! At that point I said "Blow me! Enough is enough"! Perhaps I used some other phrase other than "Blow me" - but I was a tad stressed at the time! LOL! This is not an MEL issue - the system worked but, subjectively, different pilots found the problem greater/lesser than others. Cheers, H 'n' H

PS It turned out to be a rigging problem!

Karl Bamforth
29th Oct 2008, 02:56
If you feel something is wrong write it up and let the engineers decide, or at the very least discuss it with the engineers.

Once written up the engineer will fix it or ADD, either way he will have to reference the engineering limits or MEL as appropriate.

SNS3Guppy
29th Oct 2008, 03:10
Cheers JT! How would you cope with the scenario where, say, engine, response is "different" but all the other pilots say "yes, but it's not a problem". It later turned out that, while the system was still operating, it was outside engineering limits - but, as pilots, we did not know what those engineering limits were...yada, yada.


I lost you when it turned into teenage sexual innuendo.

We're not talking about unresolved mechanical issues here. We're talking about properly deferred items which have been resolved and are approved.

OBVIOUSLY an unsafe or illegal condition must be rejected. However, that's not what's under discussion here, and that's not the condition to which is referred in the original post.

Clearly if one does not feel that one can abide a given mechanical condition, regardless of it's disposition in light of the MEL or other relief, then one has a duty to either refuse the flight, or make arrangements which are acceptable. That goes without saying.

A safe, deferred item, however, is not something improper. It is not something unsafe. It is not something which presents a hazard to society or legal jeopardy to the operator. It's a legal modification to the type certification for the duration of the deferral. The aircraft is being operated in accordance with approved maintenance procedures and conditions established by both the manufacturer, the overseeing regulatory body, and the airline or operator for whom the list is approved. This isn't a haphazard operation.

spannersatKL
29th Oct 2008, 09:40
Rainboe, I agree you won't need an engneer at every stop....BUT some defects do need investigation by a suitably qualified engineer that a 'pilot' even on his great pedastal in the sky would not have any idea about the servicability of or not....so flying it back for maintenance in some cases is not really the option.

Step back and await the flak from the few pilots with B1 and B2 licences!!!

matkat
29th Oct 2008, 10:42
HF sorry for being pedantic but I spotted some anomalies of your description of the MEL this is not approved by the manufacturer but the MMEL (Master) is, the operator will then "customise" the MMEL and have the relevent NAA to then approve what becomes the MEL. Also there are not any items within an MEL that have unlimited times of repair the longest a defect can be carried is a "D" category MEL which has a 120 day limit.

matkat
29th Oct 2008, 10:49
Rainboe I very much doubt if they want an engineer at every station as you say as engineers also have families, I have no pilot training and would never assume to tell you when to fly in an operational sense so why you would be able to tell whether an A/C is fit to fly is beyond me! ok if certain defects are obvious and not within the MEL then its a no brainer anything more complex and outwith this should not be any pilots decision indeed that is why the MEL is there, to state that the federation of aircraft mechanics are trying to maintain standards to get a pay rise is unfortunately an endemic way of life today. Sir the comment is beneath you.

Big Bad D
29th Oct 2008, 12:03
The MMEL is prepared by the manufacturer on the basis of acceptable safety assessments and it is approved by the manufacturer's primary authorities. Only then is it dispatched to operators and national authorities as being acceptable for the preparation of individual MELs.

WindSheer
29th Oct 2008, 15:15
Knowing quite a few engineers and pilots really well, I would say listen to the engineer every time! If he says dont fly it, then dont.
BUT...I will emphasise the word ENGINEER.....not mechanics!

I have seen a few arguments on the flight deck over the years, i.e. the captain wants to take it, but the engineer doesn't want him to.

Pilots have FANTASTIC knowledge of the machines they fly, inside and out, but I would always listen to that chap in the overalls who is capable of completely re-building the thing!

Thats just my 2 pence worth..:ok:

TURIN
29th Oct 2008, 16:51
I think we should maintain the status quo and let the pilots decide whether the aeroplane is fit to operate, like we have up to now!

Pardon? :eek:

Are you saying a plane is only fit to fly when an engineer gives his OK, not when I judge?

Er, well yes. :=

I'm sure it's written down somewhere...

Let me see,

ANO? God knows it's a big thick book, hard to read.

AWNs? Bit vague but it could be there somewhere.

BCARs/JARs/FARs? Probably, dunno they too are reading for insomniacs.

However, in the Tech Log there's a little box with Cetificate of Release to Service (CRS) in small print.

I've never asked a pilot for permission to sign it?

Swedish Steve
29th Oct 2008, 17:06
Until about 5 years ago the Scandinavian Authorities required a Technician to carry out a transit check at every stop. This was long after everyone else let pilots do it. When they finally introduced pilot transit checks, SAS then withdrew all the technicians from smaller stations. It is now seen that before about 60pc of Tech Log enties were into main base, now 95 pc of log entries are at main bases. The Authorities tend to assume that pilots are not writing up defects at unmanned stations.

Vee1Kut
29th Oct 2008, 17:37
I had an airline interview where they asked 'if the one of the Nav lights was inop, and your ready to depart on a night flight, the capt said, go...what would you do?'. There are a variety of answers for this...I answered that I would try to get it fixed, ...they countered it's late at night, you can't...then I countered that I could go to the MEL, let it decide, and hold to it, regardless of what the capt says, they countered(two line capts) that it wasn't up to me to do that, the capt would decide...so seeing where it was going...I stated, that I would defer to the capts authority in a very low key, diplomatic sensisble way. I musted have answered the question right, I moved on to interview with the chief pilot. The right answer: If the capt wants to fly an illegal, unsafe plane, then the FO better agree with it. Same airline that had a jackscrew come apart because the mechanics weren't doing the inspections but just signing it off...

BigJoeRice
29th Oct 2008, 17:59
Dear Windsheer,

As an A&P Mechanic who's been certifying the safety of Boeings from the 707 to the 777, I would suggest you take your "two pence" worth about engineers and .....

TURIN
29th Oct 2008, 18:08
Big Joe,

I don't think Windshear means to offend.

On this side of the pond Mechanics are unqualified and have very little if any certification privilages.
The term Engineer or Certifying Technician is just the same as A&P Mechanic.

(Prediction- this thread now descends into a "my license is harder to get than yours" bun fight....again! :rolleyes:

Mad (Flt) Scientist
29th Oct 2008, 18:14
Are you saying a plane is only fit to fly when an engineer gives his OK, not when I judge?

Er, well yes. :=

I'm sure it's written down somewhere...

Let me see,

ANO? God knows it's a big thick book, hard to read.

AWNs? Bit vague but it could be there somewhere.

BCARs/JARs/FARs? Probably, dunno they too are reading for insomniacs.

However, in the Tech Log there's a little box with Cetificate of Release to Service (CRS) in small print.

I've never asked a pilot for permission to sign it?

Actually, it's only fit to fly when you BOTH say so. At least in Canada ...


Part VI - General Operating and Flight Rules
Canadian Aviation Regulations 2008-1
Subpart 5 - Aircraft Requirements

Aircraft Equipment Standards and Serviceability

605.06 No person shall conduct a take-off in an aircraft, or permit another person to conduct a take-off in an aircraft in their custody and control, unless the aircraft equipment required by these Regulations

(a) meets the applicable standards of airworthiness; and

(b) is serviceable and, where required by operational circumstances, functioning, except if otherwise provided in Section 605.08, 605.09 or 605.10.


TCCA website (http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/Regserv/Affairs/cars/PART6/605.htm#605_03)

Per that first sentence, rainboe may not conduct a takeoff, and TURIN may not release it for him to do so, unless they are both satisfied that the aircraft is airworthy etc. The engineer can't make the pilot go fly; the pilot can't "snatch the aircraft keys out of the engineer's hand".

verticallimit
29th Oct 2008, 18:21
Should you not as a pilot request a defect repaired as soon as possible, instead of flying with the defect for a long time. :=
What if a new error occurs and this becomes much more serious because it already has a flaw in the system.

The systems on the aircraft depend on each other and multiple defects may well provide an unintended and unknown effects.

The systems on the aircraft has been designed for optimum safety, every time a system is flawed, its removes a part of safty.

I can not imagine that they will put many additional systems into the cockpit, just because you have to be able to fly for longer time without repair.

And it should be possible for both mechanic and pilot to ground the plane

Defects must be repaired as soon as possible :ok:

Mad (Flt) Scientist
29th Oct 2008, 18:35
What if a new error occurs and this becomes much more serious because it already has a flaw in the system.

The systems on the aircraft depend on each other and multiple defects may well provide an unintended and unknown effects.

That's why the guiding document, the Master MEL, is produced by the OEM, and is dependent upon safety analyses which mirror that for basic certification. "Next significant failure" is a key part of that assessment, and that's why some items can't go on the MEL - not because they are unsafe per se, but because they leave no redundancy for the next failure.


The systems on the aircraft has been designed for optimum safety, every time a system is flawed, its removes a part of safty.

Actually, not true. "Optimum" safety is unattainable. You could just keep adding system redundancy until the aircraft weighed a million tons.

Aircraft are designed and certified for safety goals, expressed in the likelihood of a failure per flight hour, compared to the hazard of that failure. A "catastrophic" failure can occur no more than once per billion flight hours. But once you meet that standard, you're done.

So if I do my MMEl analysis, and I *still* meet the 1 in a billion rule - I'm good.

I can not imagine that they will put many additional systems into the cockpit, just because you have to be able to fly for longer time without repair.

Actually, intentionally adding redundancy to improve dispatch reliability is not that uncommon. It all depends on the cost of a missed dispatch versus the cost of carrying the extra redundancy around. Sometimes it will make sense to add it, sometimes not.

And it should be possible for both mechanic and pilot to ground the plane

Actually, neither can, they can only release it or not. If some other pilot is willing to fly, or some other engineer to sign it off ... well, ultimately there's an element of engineering judgement involved.

WindSheer
29th Oct 2008, 20:12
Dear Windsheer,

As an A&P Mechanic who's been certifying the safety of Boeings from the 707 to the 777, I would suggest you take your "two pence" worth about engineers and ......

:O:O:O:O:O
Complete sincere 100% apologies to you my friend!
As Turin already commented, the term mechanic in the uk is used for a fairly unqualified person......changing wheels, brakes etc.
I CERTAINLY didn't mean to degrade your title!

All the best.:ok:

P.s. Consider 'two pence shoved'!

Hot 'n' High
29th Oct 2008, 21:22
Karl B - thank you for your very helpful – and very obvious suggestion - which I never considered to my utter embarrassment. Actually, a quick phone call to “Spanners” would have solved it but peer pressure (everyone else claimed it was not a problem when I spoke to them) made me think it was me being a pathetic pilot! So that call was not made – this time! Learned a big lesson here so thank you for that!

SNS3 – I’m not quite sure where your “sexual innuendo” comment stems from, nor why I seem to have upset you so much. My point raised is that, if something is NOT clearly broken (ie covered in the MEL), how should you approach an issue when you feel something is not quite as it should be, but all the more experienced pilots in the Company who you talk to say something is fine? Fortunately, Karl Bamforth has quickly steered me in the right direction – an approach which I should have taken, and will in the future, take. I look to more experienced people like you and Karl for help so please have a think before you have a go at those less experienced than yourself! It may prevent an accident happening one day. Seriously!

All – regarding who can define when an aircraft is fit to fly or not … I believe it must start with an Engineer who will have a whole raft of things to do which are not obvious to a Pilot. This is really an “AND” gate situation in IT logic terms – both the Engineer AND the Captain must agree the aircraft is fit to fly. Both parties can deem an aircraft “unfit to fly” – and neither should be questioned in that decision, and neither can over-rule each others decision as those decisions are often based on different criteria. If one says “Go” and the other says “No”, the only way forward is not to fly until a suitable, mutually agreed way forward, has been devised – a classic example being a limitation placed on the aircraft until such time as the problem can be further investigated. Here, the MEL should define that limitation – for example, VFR flight only or whatever is laid down appropriate to the system in question. Hope this helps – and does not rile SNS3 too much! Just seen Mad Scientist’s post – so UK-wise I believe it to be the same!

BigJoeRice
29th Oct 2008, 21:34
Windsheer.

Maneuver well executed. Thank you

BigJoeRice

SNS3Guppy
29th Oct 2008, 23:22
I’m not quite sure where your “sexual innuendo” comment stems from,


At that point I said "Blow me! Enough is enough"! Perhaps I used some other phrase other than "Blow me" - but I was a tad stressed at the time!


regarding who can define when an aircraft is fit to fly or not … I believe it must start with an Engineer who will have a whole raft of things to do which are not obvious to a Pilot.


As a pilot I disagree with that statement. As a mechanic---what some of you call an "engineer," I disagree with that statement.

An inoperative, or "defective" component is located. It's referenced in the fault manual or MEL. A determination is made as to whether it's acceptable for flight or not. It's handled accordingly. Very simple. Not exactly rocket science. There's plenty that a pilot has to consider that isn't on the "engineer's raft." Certainly a MEL item may require maintenance action, but it's not the mechanic's call as to whether the pilot will fly with that condition or not. That responsibility, and that right, sits squarely in the lap of the pilot.

Should you not as a pilot request a defect repaired as soon as possible, instead of flying with the defect for a long time.
What if a new error occurs and this becomes much more serious because it already has a flaw in the system.


A "defect" which has been properly deferred is no longer a "defect." It's been properly addressed. If an additional problem arises, then that problem shall be addressed in turn, on it's own merits, applicable to the conditions that exist.

Deferrable items come with specific time intervals for which deferral is allowed.

I may get in an airplane with three deferred items, and fly it on a six or eight hour leg. I get out of the airplane and go to the hotel. When next I get to the airport, a different airplane will be waiting. At some point during my typical three week tour, I'll likely get in one of the same airplanes again, and it may o rmay not have the deferral.

There will be a host of others who have seen and considered that deferral...not just me. If the airplane is properly altered and is both legal and safe, then I'm not goin to insist that the maintenance deferral interval is cut short out of an arbitrary whim. I act safely and legally, but it is not my intention nor place to dictate how the company will do business.

The systems on the aircraft has been designed for optimum safety, every time a system is flawed, its removes a part of safty.


Not at all true. We have another thread going on a similiar topic presently. This last week I climbed into an airplane in which the flight director was deferred. The autoflight system consists of an autopilot/flight director, an autothrottle, and a yaw damper. On that particular airplane, the autothrottle went unused for the duration of the flight. The flight director was hardly missed, and I spent much of the flight without the autopilot in use, including the approach and landing. Safety was in no way compromised. With one component of the autoflight system inoperative and properly deferred, a failure in another component of the system would scarcely have been missed, and certainly would not have impacted safety.

One can hardly made such a broad brush assumption that safety is impacted because a component, applicance, or part has been deferred.

On another trip, an airplane was delayed away from a maintenance base where the flight management system would normally be updated with a current data base. I arrived to pick up the airplane to find the FMS database out of date...no longer current. A deferral per the MEL was arranged, and the airplane safely, and legally flown on a trip that terminated in a maintenance base. There, the update was arranged. We were required to manually verify each waypoint as it couldn't be extracted from the database, and we flew a VHF approach on arrival...which wasn't really any different than any other day because I always verify the lat long on each waypoint against the flight plan and chart anyway. Just not a big deal.

I can not imagine that they will put many additional systems into the cockpit, just because you have to be able to fly for longer time without repair.


Irrelevant.

Systems are not put into airplanes purely as spares to be used while other systems are deferred, but that's neither here nor there. Equipment, systems, parts, applicances, etc, can be deferred. Period. When they are deferred, it's done safely and legally, and thus ends any concern regarding the matter. A function of the MEL is the establishment of time intervals for the deferral. In my experience, seldom do the deferrals go this long, but if they do, what of it? There's a reason that the item has been given these limitations, and so long as it's safe and legal, there's little argument to be made.

Defects must be repaired as soon as possible


Deferred items are not "defects," and no, they don't need to be repaired as soon as possible. They need to be repaired within the time intervals specificed for the deferred item...time intervals set forth by the manufacturer, by the governing body, and by the operator in an approved program.

Again, a known problem isn't simply let go willy-nilly. It's addressed in accordance with a well regulated and considered program of maintenance...it's not as though a deferred item is simply ignored. When a minimum equipment list or configuration deviation list program is applied to a discrepancy, then that item has been addressed by the maintenance program.

Wirelock
30th Oct 2008, 09:20
a pilot that thinks he knows everything = a dangerous pilot
a pilot that ignores no go defect = a dangerous pilot

likewise

an engineer that thinks he knows everything = dangerous
an engineer who ignores a no go defect = an idiot.

the only thing is i honestly think that a dangerous pilot is more likely to take a no go aircraft than an engineer would be to release one

as for a pilot that doesn't want to accept an aircraft that has been released... ok explain why and if you still don't accept it... well then i'm going for coffee
as for a pilot that thinks an aircraft is servicable when its not... i park my car, tug,or anything that i can behind it so it cant depart... take the key and...... then i'm going for coffee

Wirelock
30th Oct 2008, 22:51
so Rainboe, i ask you a simple yes or no question.
have you ever knowingly flown an aircraft with a no go item after considering it an non safety issue??

you are the only person who seems to have an agenda here.
engineers have only 1 goal in mind and that is to release an aircraft in a servicable condition.
whether the engineer signs for a daily check or an engine replacement for us it is the same... the aircraft is only released when we are sure that the work is performed correctly and aircraft fit to fly.
i congratulate you that you are able to perform a walk around check... well done. so here you go ,there is a spoiler mixer, can you please change it, rig the cables, test it and release the aircraft to service???
i get the feeling the answer is NO

vs69
30th Oct 2008, 23:33
Rainboe: Do you mean to come across on a bit of a downer towards engineers or are you just trying to spark a lively debate? Input is always welcome from flight deck crew and can go some way towards helping rectify a problem that is not easily replicated on the ground but this can be taken too far sometimes where individuals feel they know more than the manuals, MEL, and any other approved documentation. I would imagine they are the ones that dont get invited out for beers down route........... :-)

vs69
31st Oct 2008, 00:35
Well we do have an interest in maintaining our status and meagre (in comparison to pilots) pay in a climate where forces are at work to erode how many of us there are and how much we get paid for it, sadly this isnt helped by the lack of a solid union for engineers that is the equivalent of BALPA in terms of power and industry coverage.
I appreciate that a pilot can sign for a transit inspection and see the economic reasons for doing so, that was not why I posted before.
Ultimately we all have responsibilites to each other and there should be respect between crews and engineers (Is this not CRM?) and I feel, Mr Rainboe, that you have little respect for us spanner wielders and would be keen to find out why.
As for the downroute beer comment, not aimed at you at all but you did bite quite well!

Wirelock
31st Oct 2008, 02:22
Tell me you're kidding, eh? I have the MEL for guidance as well as my own judgement. Are you saying a plane is only fit to fly when an engineer gives his OK, not when I judge?
:= sorry Mr rainboe, again engineers use manuals not judgement... you might have a look in your cockpit for an AMM the next time you use your judgement, you will probably find that in some cases your judgement is wrong.
you think you know, but in fact you are guessing whatever way you put it!!

as for the comment about spoiler mixers... engineers have alot more to worry about than doing transit checks. I´d hate to have to be going to an aircraft doing a transit check about 50 times in a shift. as for an outstation, if there is an engineer there, maybe it is the only thing he gets to do all day.

i had a classic example 2 days ago , when i met a pilot on nightstop who told me that they had a leaking brake...they had returned to home base in this condition... which when i checked the leak was out of limits. the pilot thoughtit would be ok... well it was but if there had been a different senario then maybe they are dealing with a brake and wheel fire.

i have a good relationship with the pilots in my company but having read your posts and those of sns guppy it leads me to believe that some pilots do there own thing nevermind the potential consequences

lomapaseo
31st Oct 2008, 04:05
I thought that this thread had reached its zenith about a page back with the post by Mad (Flt) Scientist

It certainly does not gain by personalizing it to a "them and us" state of mind of who is in charge.

You can bet that following a related accident the investigation will be examining very closely the work responsibilities involved and the enviornment that they were carried out within.

john_tullamarine
31st Oct 2008, 04:43
The decision should never be one taken by one person (group) in isolation. Fitness to fly is the end product of the efforts of a number of groups -

(a) the OEM/regulatory design engineers, flight test personnel, certification folk and ICA groups .. etc

(b) the MMEL/MEL stakeholders

(c) the operator's tech services group, maintainers and aircrew/cabin crew

In respect of maintainers and aircrew, the maintainer (and this includes a pilot exercising an MA away from home base) has to release the aircraft before the pilot gets to consider the matter. The pilot, then, is the final link in the safety chain and ought not to just accept a snag deferral unless he/she has assessed all the operational matters which might impinge on the particular snag for this particular flight ... on most occasions, the MEL write-off is accepted and the flight proceeds. On some occasions, however, the pilot will decline the flight on the basis of some rational operational assessment.

Swedish Steve
31st Oct 2008, 12:45
Engineers on this thread do have one goal in mind- engineering presence for every departure, not primarily for safety reasons, but industrial.
Well I for one hate transit checks. Nothing so boring as wandering around an aircraft and finding nothing wrong. Luckily my airline lets the crew do the transits, then they call me out if they need help. So I sell my services to other airlines to make some money for the airline, but am on call if required. They know I am around, and I get called out to around one transit in ten.

airsupport
1st Nov 2008, 00:28
Not everything is so black and white, IF an aircraft has a toilet U/S for instance, it IS a defect so technically any Pilots flying that aircraft ARE flying a "defective" aircraft, but obvious safety is not compromised.

It ONLY ever becomes a problem if Pilots push the limits of the MELs in order to get home on time, there must be some commonsense involved here.

I have seen this all my 40 years in the Industry, and have even done this myself, I helped Pilots ferry (no pax) an F27 aircraft from Australia to England years ago, a trip of some 10 days and not one defect in the log books until we were on finals into Norwich when I wrote up 3 pages of defects. ;)

By the way, everywhere I have ever worked the Captain can always over ride an MEL and refuse to take the aircraft, but he must have a VERY good reason and be prepared to explain his reason to the chief Pilot and Company.

Jumbo Driver
1st Nov 2008, 09:37
By the way, everywhere I have ever worked the Captain can always over ride an MEL and refuse to take the aircraft, but he must have a VERY good reason and be prepared to explain his reason to the chief Pilot and Company.

Agreed - that is of course because the final responsibility for ensuring the aircraft is serviceable before flight lies with the Commander. He can always decide, notwithstanding a defect entry that is permitted by the MEL, that he will not accept the aircraft. In particular, he is specifically required to consider, where there are multiple defects "in the book", whether the inter-related aspect of several items which in themselves are acceptable defects (ADDs), may mean that in combination they result in a non-acceptable situation that may not have been foreseen by the MEL.

What he cannot do, however, is to override the MEL requirement and fly the aircraft if the MEL says the defect is not acceptable. In this event, appropriate remedial action must be taken before flight.


JD
:)

spannersatKL
1st Nov 2008, 09:55
Gents its not the MEL that is really in discussion, the limitations are spelt out in there (though sometimes in a wooly manner) and should be adhered to. I am thinking of the oft found damage to for example Fan Attrition Linings? There are limitations for this and some are fly on limits some are not, but the data is in the AMM Chapter 72. What does our down route pilot do about this.....say in my 'judgement' this is OK?

Or in a small island somewhere the rear fuselage gets dinged.......does he have the SRM limitations to hand?

No...can some untrained/unlicenced 'judgement' be used here? I don't think so......but sadly due to commercial pressure this is what is being done on a daily basis. It'll only end in tears!

Jumbo Driver
1st Nov 2008, 10:28
Actually, spanners, if you re-read the original question, I think you will find it was about whether captains are carrying known defects but not declaring them until it is "convenient", for one reason or another, to do so.

Nowadays, with EICAS and EEC linked to on-board CMCs, it is less easy to do this but the practice does continue nevertheless. Theoretically, I agree it should be stopped but, human nature being what it is, it would be difficult to eradicate it completely. It is when Commanders allow commercial pressures to overrule professional common-sense that the real danger exists.


JD

:)

Jumbo Driver
1st Nov 2008, 11:54
Safety Concerns, I agree with you absolutely.

Since I started commercial flying nearly 40 years' ago, there has always been an element of this. Initially, it was driven as much by the urge to "keep the show on the road" and avoid personal disruption as anything commercial. More recently, commercial pressures have become much greater, often of course through management bonus inducements. It is a brave Commander who will delay a flight - for perfectly sound technical reasons - where he feels company pressures are so loaded against him.

One answer might be to engage union (BALPA) support to reinforce the Commander's rights (and legal duties) to the company, to help counteract any underlying atmosphere of employer intimidation. In my experience, this sort of pressure is generally better dealt with collectively, than personally.


JD
:)

airsupport
1st Nov 2008, 12:28
Now I remember why I don't post on PPRuNe very often. :rolleyes:

I just received a PM which read in part.............

The situation is now completely out of control with over 90% of faults only being entered on a flight into a base. Quite frankly this is not on and is a major safety issue.

But how did we end up in this situation? Because over many years engineers thinking they were clever writing up 3 pages of defects in Norwich for example were in fact STUPID. These sorts of actions not only put lives at unnecessary extra risk but allowed operators to cut engineer numbers back to such an extent that maintenance no longer takes place when it should but when its convenient.

What a load of rubbish.

The example I quoted was on a Fokker F27 FERRY FLIGHT from Melbourne Australia to Norwich in England taking some 10 days, just myself and 3 Captains on board, NO other help available unless were we grounded and would have had to seek local help in various Countries on route, NOT doing anyone out of a job, certainly NO danger involved.

We had many "defects" on route for example one maxaret played up on some legs but as we were using major International Airports with massive long runways (for an F27) we ALL decided to press on, another was no water methanol on one side sometimes, again due Airports/runways being used it was NOT a problem or danger.

However when handing the Aircraft over to another Company in Norwich I was obligated to log any defects that were on the Aircraft at the time.

Sorry if you don't like that, it is (or was in my time) called being a PROFESSIONAL. :ok:

spannersatKL
1st Nov 2008, 16:00
Jumbo Driver ....agree but the damage discovered during the transit stop does the commander then use his so called 'judgement' and fly home or does he await proper maintenance to properly assess the damage?

air support glad you are retired............its different now for many many reasons...fly with anti skid inop on one wheel..no problem on long runway......all good until the swiss cheese starts to line up....you divert due to a problem with the engine without the water meth (I know only used on TO but linked to the fuel control) and oh yes only the short runway is available at your enroute diversion due to that wonderful tail wind you were enjoying in the cruise.....wish we had anti skid I hear?? See it might work when all is going in your favour but in reality it isnt like that is it?

Of course one could then hear the words of the investigator at that point as he looks at the aircraft off the end of the runway.....you realise your C of A is now invalid and thus your insurance?

Rainboe
1st Nov 2008, 17:27
Why do you think you can do the pilots job for him as well as your own? I suggest you keep out of the operational side and just mend the broken bits and change the oil and plugs!

spannersatKL
1st Nov 2008, 18:37
Oh dear Rainboe....I'll change the bait on that hook shall I?
No doubt with your attitude you have a great relationship with those who keep you sitting on your butt at the front?

airsupport
1st Nov 2008, 21:29
air support glad you are retired............

Yes thank you. :ok:

Especially if you two are typical of current Engineers, no wonder the Industry is in such a mess. :(

Rainboe
1st Nov 2008, 22:06
No doubt with your attitude you have a great relationship with those who keep you sitting on your butt at the front?
I don't have any sort of 'relationship' other than when the aeroplane is released by engineering (which they are responsible for), it then becomes my responsibility. Takes 2 minutes: 'is it OK then? Sign the Tech Log please and off we'll go!'. They say goodbye, and boom boom. Why do I need a 'relationship' with the engineers any more than I need a 'relationship' with catering? I interface with them for 2 minutes- I don't need a briefing 'headlights are a bit wonky, ignition on right engine a bit slow, might find left alternator doesn't want to connect......'!

Can you communicate without pretending you are setting 'traps'? It's very bizarrre.

Jumbo Driver
1st Nov 2008, 23:50
Jumbo Driver ....agree but the damage discovered during the transit stop does the commander then use his so called 'judgement' and fly home or does he await proper maintenance to properly assess the damage?

If the DDM/MEL did not give sufficient guidance in the circumstances you describe, I would expect the Commander to contact Main Base or obtain local maintenance advice as to the acceptability of such damage before making any decision as to the serviceability of the aircraft for dispatch.

I see that as the Commander's clear legal responsibility and that's what I would do. I hope you would agree ...


JD
:)

vs69
2nd Nov 2008, 00:11
Rainboe: A briefing is a bit like holding a door open for someone, its not compulsory, it IS courteous but you dont always get a thankyou..... If there is something that has proved troublesome and requires DD'ing I would sooner have a chat with the crew than not but then in our human factors we have always been taught the best form of handover is written and verbal.
Likewise, you dont need a special relationship with your caterers but it may stop them gobbing in your sandwiches if you keep them on side!

john_tullamarine
2nd Nov 2008, 22:10
While I appreciate that some topics (including this one) can generate hot under the collar feelings .. can I ask that we all take a few deep breaths before posting, please ?

As always, the preference is to play the ball rather than the player.

airsupport
2nd Nov 2008, 23:55
While I appreciate that some topics (including this one) can generate hot under the collar feelings .. can I ask that we all take a few deep breaths before posting, please ?

As always, the preference is to play the ball rather than the player.

Couldn't agree with you more, and I always do that.

However after some of the posts here, and a couple of PMs I received, it appears some people have a hidden agenda.

While I spent my whole career trying to get aircraft out as close to on time as possible and IN A SAFE CONDITION, some now appear to be trying to delay aircraft for trivial reasons, either to boost their own egos, or for some industrial reason, to gain either more Engineers or better conditions.

Wirelock
3rd Nov 2008, 02:46
While I spent my whole career trying to get aircraft out as close to on time as possible and IN A SAFE CONDITION, some now appear to be trying to delay aircraft for trivial reasons, either to boost their own egos, or for some industrial reason, to gain either more Engineers or better conditions.

:D.
please enlighten me of these examples you have of some trying to delay aircraft for trivial reasons.
look airsupport while you and your pilot colleagues sit in your nice warm cockpit getting your food and drink served to you, an engineer and/or mechanic spent the night time, sometimes in freezing cold, wind, rain, snow etc etc etc etc getting your aircraft ready for your passengers so please don't patronize us.
also Sir i will have you know that my bonus is directly linked to the delays caused by maintenance and the time taken to fix them... often caused by pilots not writing the defect in the tech log. however that does not for 1 second come into my head if there is a problem
so while you spent your carreer trying to get your aircraft out on time without delay and in a safe condition, i am spending mine trying to get aircraft out on time in accordance with the relevant documentation.

next time i see my manager i must ask him if he can get it to stop raining and been so bloody cold at night in the winter... oh my job conditions would be so good then

airsupport
3rd Nov 2008, 03:18
What are you on about??? :confused:

I am NOT, and never have been a Pilot.

I am, or more correctly was, a Licenced Engineer for 40 something years.

airsupport
3rd Nov 2008, 08:46
It never ceases to amaze me how people twist everything to suit what they want. :ugh:

Air support how exactly does one manage to get an aircraft out on time and safely after say a lightning strike and left engine bird ingestion during approach into an airport where there is no technical support?


IF you read what I said, then obviously that would NOT apply. :rolleyes:

IF I had got the aircraft out reasonably on time and safely, then OBVIOUSLY I must have been there, so it was an airport WITH Technical support. ;)

I have been invoved in some incidents like you are on about, including one with a bird strike on a B737-300 at an outstation, where the Crew contacted us at Main Base via telephone and insisted they had thoroughly inspected the aircraft and did NOT need help. On the following leg to another outstation they experienced severe engine vibration, shut down the engine on descent, landed and then called for help. I went up there and it turned out the one they shutdown was NOT the worst engine at all, it "looked" worse to them when they saw it on the ground, but the other one had all shingled fan blades. The Captain was demoted over the incident.

So NO of course I understand about problems at outstations, but from PMs I received it seemed that this is just part of a campaign to get more Engineers at more ports, which I would of course support, just NOT the way this thread is worded.

Rainboe
3rd Nov 2008, 09:27
As to the points you keep raising, with any of those items, at an outstation, I would phone home and there would be a local other airline or engineering service engineer who will be arranged to come and view the problem. A small delay- still cheaper than what I think your desired 'cure' would be. For those defects and no local engineer present, a big delay. Still cheaper! I rather like being alive myself- I can't imagine ever wanting to 'take a chance' on that list of items. I think you are using ridiculous scare tactics.

Jumbo Driver
3rd Nov 2008, 09:55
What we don't accept however is that when that moment arrives, it is ignored and unairworthy aircraft continue to carry fare paying passengers back to a station where repairs can be affected.

So, next time it happens, why don't you raise an MOR (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP382.PDF), using SRG1601 (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/SRG1601.pdf), as suggested here (http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1425&pagetype=90&pageid=8178) ?

You could also bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate Aircraft Maintenance Standards Dept at the CAA ...

... or be a whistleblower (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/872/CAAWhistleblowingStatement.pdf) ...


JD
:)

boredcounter
3rd Nov 2008, 10:21
I am niether Aviator or Engineer, just the humble Ops guy getting caught up in this day in and day out, therefore, no offence is intended to either trade.

'By the way, everywhere I have ever worked the Captain can always over ride an MEL and refuse to take the aircraft, but he must have a VERY good reason and be prepared to explain his reason to the chief Pilot and Company.'

The Captain (Crew) may elect to, not accept an aircraft iaw the MEL, they do not refuse. Sorry it is a real downer of mine, the use of refuse to accept.

In declining the aircraft, the Crew will have a valid reason and thought process in doing so. This may range from the classic 'known or forecast icing' to non allowable multiple ADDs, not spotted at the outstation ADD'ing the defect they were reqested to attend.

As it is a highly trained and competant Engineer / Mechanics job to offer the aircraft iaw MEL, it is the Crew who will act as backstop, from the machine operators point of view.

A bloody minded Crew, may refuse an a/c and as you say will have tea and biccies, but I have worked for a company where engineers maintained the hangar was the base and once out of the hangar, repairs could not be made.

Jumbo Driver
3rd Nov 2008, 11:20
That's sad to hear, Safety Concerns. All I can say is that the system worked for me - several times - but that was quite a few years ago now. However, if it is not under a UK AOC, then my ideas may not be so appropriate.

From the description you offer, I find it difficult to assess whether it is an engineering or industrial matter. That's why I suggested earlier in the thread that the advice and help of a good union should be sought. In the absence of anywhere else obvious, the Technical Section of BALPA might be a good place to start.


JD
:)

airsupport
3rd Nov 2008, 11:20
'By the way, everywhere I have ever worked the Captain can always over ride an MEL and refuse to take the aircraft, but he must have a VERY good reason and be prepared to explain his reason to the chief Pilot and Company.'

The Captain (Crew) may elect to, not accept an aircraft iaw the MEL, they do not refuse. Sorry it is a real downer of mine, the use of refuse to accept.


I have only ever seen this a couple of times in my career, and NO I do NOT mean when there is a valid reason, like weather or multiple conflicting MELs, I mean where the Captain just refuses to accept the aircraft with a quite legal MEL that he just doesn't agree with, in both cases there was no alternate aircraft available and the Captain eventually gave in to reason (Company pressure).

As for the other business, I give up and will not participate further on this thread, the ONLY reason I mentioned about trying to get more Engineers was because of the wording in a couple of very abrupt PMs I received from "Safety Concerns", but on this thread he denies that is the case. :ugh:

oladapo
3rd Nov 2008, 11:54
It is unexplicably amazing to think anyone in their right senses would put an aircraft in the air without it being hundred percent fit to fly at varanda of cost saving! It is criminal and absolutely unacceptable.:=

lomapaseo
3rd Nov 2008, 14:58
It is unexplicably amazing to think anyone in their right senses would put an aircraft in the air without it being hundred percent fit to fly at varanda of cost saving! It is criminal and absolutely unacceptable.

Of course your right, but can you define 100%

Do you get out of bed every morning feeling 100%

NonFlushingLav
3rd Nov 2008, 18:14
Very relevant considering the congressional hearings on SouthWest's 'deferment of maintanance items'...Alaska's Jackscrew endemic 'overlooking and sign-off items'...ect ect. It's pretty clear when we should take off or not...it's kinda scary when we are told to take off when we know something has been deferered or not even inspected in the first place. Big difference between interpretation and outright fraud/negligence.

Jumbo Driver
5th Nov 2008, 20:10
If you have genuine concerns about safety, this really should be MOR-ed.

There is no point just airing the problem here, without taking any action to stop it - you know it will have no effect.

I suggest you read the Statement by the Chairman of the CAA at page vii/viii of CAP 382 (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP382.PDF) - then have the courage to report it.


JD
:)

verticallimit
7th Nov 2008, 15:55
Thank you for your answers.
It's been exciting reading.

However, it is a little disturbing to hear that there are a few pilots who do not have a limit, to how many number of defects to be in an operational aircraft.
Even if MEL says OK for each defect.

(just to provoke a bit) :E
Do pilots and technicians nothing to stop this at some point, then you accept more and more defects, so in the end it is legal to fly IFR only on the fuel gauge.

No matter what you call it, I would call it a defect, for there is something that does not work 100%


Next time I will fly, I will enjoy the trip as always.
I love to fly. :ok:
So I let the professionals to do their work.
I trust in your decisions, from mechanic to pilot.

Jumbo Driver
9th Nov 2008, 10:27
Safety Concerns, I'm sure I don't need to remind you that not MOR-ing a reportable Occurrence when it comes to your attention as a responsible professional isn't too clever either ... not only is it contrary to Article 142 of the ANO, but it could also be said to be potentially endangering lives in precisely the same way as the instances you are complaining about ...


JD
:hmm: