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Smooth Airperator
28th May 2018, 10:43
Following on from my thread at: Your company Airbus checklist variations (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/608886-your-company-airbus-checklist-variations.html#post10147542), I would like to find out how one can go about justifying modifying an operating procedure from that stated in the operating manuals. I find myself at an airline with a very overtaxing SOP. Almost everything is a song and dance that must be done in the correct order and when I contest, I'm told "it's in the book". Lo and behold, it mostly is but sometimes it's clearly the opinion of a very opinionated little man. Now I'm not talking about technical aspects of the aircraft operation but more softer topics like sticking to preliminary cockpit check items like glue to the point where even switching the ADIRS on a bit early or getting the Oxygen check out of the way nice and early is frowned upon. Guess I've been lucky and operating the Airbus the lazy and flexible way. So, is there ever a good argument for changing/ignoring what a manufacturer asks to do? Once again, I'm not talking about technical aspects of flying but more related to cockpit organisational / preparatory tasks.

In my experience, previous Airline SOPs have somehow worked out where the standard Airbus SOP has overdone it (according to their own interpretation) and have remove bits or simplified/combined procedures to make for an easy day out. Now I find myself "following the book" verbatim and tiring the crap out of myself before we've even started the flight.

pineteam
28th May 2018, 11:30
There is the SOP and then there is airmanship and common sense. I remember having a captain who will be watching carefully how I will be doing the cockpit preparation and bugged me every 10 seconds cause I did not do exactly as per '' his interpretation of the FCOM procedure''. I try to do the preparation by the books but will you switch on the parking brakes during preliminary cockpit prep when your brakes are still very hot? Or turning on the fuel pumps when you have a 2 hours delay... A part from instructors doing a line check or training flight, people being picky about your way of doing the cockpit preparation have probably a lack of confidence or poor knowledge of the aircraft.

FlightDetent
28th May 2018, 17:12
If you have a full set of SOPs from the manufacturer, only when you want to
​​​​​​- abuse the hardware
- increase the costs
- reduce the performance
- create confusions
- uncover traps.

While the above reads unnecessarily sarcastic, take whatever company specific procedure you see, and audit it against the points above. There are quite a few in my OM-B. Regardless of the fact that for sure the author was a clever and well intending Pilot.

megan
29th May 2018, 05:18
So, is there every a good argument for changing/ignoring what a manufacturer asks to do? Can think of a 747 incident where the airline SOP didn't conform with the manufacturers and crew became unsure of usable fuel state, BA three engine LAX - UK. QF over run BKK using procedures manufacturer didn't endorse. Used to fly a particular type where interruption of pre start check often resulted in engine start with fuel off, would run for about two seconds before rapid movement of fuel lever instantly restored the noise.

vilas
29th May 2018, 05:25
Developing one's own procedures in FBW aircraft like airbus is fraught with danger. The manufacturer designs the aircraft with a design philosophy. They design the procedures in accordance with that. Only they have access to the software, wind tunnel and test pilots results. Operators have only the FCOM which is not good enough to overrule manufacturer's recommendations. It happens that in one part of the world an airline decides to things differently while in another part that procedure had already caused an incident. So if any change is contemplated the least an airline can do is to consult the manufacturer. Some years ago Jetstar Australia and two other airlines on a GA had relegated the FMA call to after gear up. That caused incidents of dangerous descent below minima in poor visibility in all three airlines. The captains had had inadvertently pushed THR levers short of TOGA. And airline procedure asked for FMA after gear up. Gear up was not done because there was no positive climb and that was because FMGC remained in approach mode. The lowest one aircraft came was 14ft. All of them reverted to original procedure. And especially an individual pilot should never have personal procedures. That is the surest of putting the other guy out of the loop.

blind pew
29th May 2018, 06:32
HEATHROW crash..on ground emergency had been changed so that the fuel tank shut off valves remained open as there was no power supply to close them because of the action sequence being split between the two pilots.
I too was one who once tried to change a checklist but you have to be extremely clever to understand the whole picture and very few of us are although we might think it.

Check Airman
29th May 2018, 07:44
I'd be inclined to consult the manufacturer before changing their procedures in any meaningful way. The checklists and procedures in use at my company would be almost unrecognisable to the manufacturer, let alone a pilot from another airline. However, the front of the book says my employer is responsible, so nothing can go wrong. Right?

Smooth Airperator
29th May 2018, 10:25
villas,

I completely get everything you say however it's not the technical operating matters I'm talking about but more related to the prep/organisational aspects of the day (I have edited my post to clarify). My previous airline has over 25 years experience with the A320 series and I guess over time felt the need to condense and simplify certain tasks or simply allow for flexibility.

You say Airbus, being the manufacturer and having access to all the data, clearly should not be ignored because they know what they're talking about. However, I'd like to play devils advocate for a minute and ask the question: Do Airbus fly their planes on a daily basis with real world operational constraints (time being the primary one)? Were the procedures written with 10 interruptions by cabin crew, handling agents or ATC? No Airline operates within a sterile vacuum, therefore overtime adapts procedures to suit a typical day. Aviation doesn't care if you fly Airbus, Boeing or Embraer!

It might be a crude example, but just consider this one for a second. The Oxygen Mask test appears towards the end of the Cockpit Prep tasks (when both pilots are seated). The amount of things pilots must do before they get to the lateral console and glare-shield setup in the real world is simply crazy. We currently do manual loads sheets and have countless interruptions before we get to the briefing. Often there's 3 minutes to go prior to push back (fully loaded A321). Now the Engineer is connected and before we check the masks we need to ask the engineer to temporarily disconnect/remove his headset. What I'm saying is the preparatory tasks as specified by Airbus assume a text book day out. Flexibility can be a bad and a beautiful thing. I should be allowed to get the Oxygen test out of the way when I arrive into the flight deck. Some might say you just take the common sense approach to things, I agree... but when your common sense is questioned because "it's not in the book" you begin to wonder.

Don't get me wrong, we need a standard set of procedures. We need a starting point after all but to forcefully "follow the book" in the precise order it's written when the world around you makes it difficult is IMHO stupid. The glove no longer fits, but we keep forcing it on.

RAT 5
29th May 2018, 11:08
There were occasions where I 'liked to get on with set ups'. Why? I've been sitting on the a/c for 10-15 mins; nice & early., but not doing much. Perhaps the a/c has been shut down for a couple of hours, or is first flight of the day. I liked to get some systems fired up to see if they are working while we have an engineer and time to fix any snags. Discovering there is a problem with only 5 mins to push back and a slot seemed to be unnecessarily 'pushing it'.

Regarding modification of manufacturer's techniques: I once flew B767 for 2 different operators whose CP's didn't like VNAV close to the ground on departure. In one, flap retraction was done in V/S and for the other SE acceleration was done in Alt HLD. Both had come from steam driven a/c and like 'the old ways of doing things'. They could not give a sensible reason to those of us who'd come from Boeing trained airlines. Frustrating, messy and not confidence generating in Flt Ops managers.

vilas
29th May 2018, 11:17
SA
The examples you give are a bit arbitrary and vague. Airbus doesn't operate an airline but surely their product is to be used in certain way. Let us consider the use of mobile phone. It is definitely not meant to be used while driving a two wheeler. In my country you can see people using it twisting their head and holding the phone against the shoulder. They will say there's no problem. If you prepare the cockpit with a dozen interuptions may be that needs to be changed and not the procedure. You're setting up a trap. Any time error will appear. This is how wrong stab setting are set, thrust applied in hurry sucking the technician in the engine.There is a a video by airbus in which they show the approach briefing is disrupted repeatedly by cabin crew with a peoblem and that leads to descent to a wrong altitude. I know an airline which has placards to leave the crew alone when they so desire. I am afraid I cannot agree to your examples. They don't justify change in procedures. There are things like putting landing lights off at 5000ft instead 10000ft or using different acceleration altitude instead of standard no problem.

Denti
29th May 2018, 11:18
There is quite a bit more in the SOPs than just the flying the aircraft part, and some of that might be counterproductive, simply daft or way too long winded for the intended operation. And of course yes, one can use other than the OEM procedures, but should be very sure that his legal department agrees with it.

That said, when i tried to change an SOP i wrote emails to the relevant guys and at usually some ASRs as well, especially if those SOPs were not particularly safe (single point of performance calculation for example which me and a few others changed with ASRs in one company). Underpinning your point with helpful examples, pointers to industry standards and being polite in ones language does help though, but that is just normal stuff anyway.

Quite a bit of the current airbus SOP set seems to be squarely aimed at the lowest common denominator in training possible. And that is needed in certain companies, but not in all. SOPs have to go in line with the prevalent company culture, and have to be relevant for the operation and the type of personnel used, otherwise parts of it will not be followed which creates a negative confirmation bias for the whole set.

blind pew
29th May 2018, 11:21
I would suggest that your company and its captains has got it wrong as in two of my employers no one was allowed to interrupt the flight crew doing checks. Speak when you are spoken to.
And Airbus do have experience of your real world as I have a mate who works for them doing line training for their customers.
my last company changed their checklists on the 747 which resulted in them not being allowed into the USA as both Boeing and the FAA decided that it was illegal.

Check Airman
29th May 2018, 16:25
In my opinion, things as trivial as that can be done slightly out of order. SOP is important, but not at the exclusion of good sense and judgement.

Consider this- SOP has us go to the cockpit first, perform a few checks, then go out to do the walkaround. When the inbound airplane is late, or it's about to rain etc, it's quite common to see a pilot go down the jet bridge and do the walkaround before stepping onto the plane. SOP? No. Sensible and safe? Yes.

pineteam
29th May 2018, 17:16
. I know an airline which has placards to leave the crew alone when they so desire. I am afraid I cannot agree to your examples..

An optional ''ATTND ADV'' push button next to the MECH p/b on the overhead panel can be installed and is used to alert the flight attendants that, during periods of high work load, flight deck entry would be a distraction. I saw that in the A320 Checkride application. We don't have that in our fleet tho. Any of you guys have seen it before?

Capn Bloggs
30th May 2018, 02:41
An optional ''ATTND ADV'' push button
What about "CREW BUSY"?

Seriously....

When the inbound airplane is late, or it's about to rain etc, it's quite common to see a pilot go down the jet bridge and do the walkaround before stepping onto the plane. SOP? No. Sensible and safe? Yes.
Hear hear.

Vessbot
30th May 2018, 15:56
All you guys saying that manufacturer's procedures shouldn't be changed because they're thought out in accordance with the design philosophy... I only agree with you as far as they are actually thought out; and that is NOT necesarrily true!

For example I flew a King Air for two different jobs a while ago. In one of them (the first one) they had a company checklist that was organized for effecient operation (multiple legs a day and quick turns inbetween) as refined over decades of experience.

The other, well... they didn't use a checklist. But I did have access to a training center's sim checklist (marked "not for use in flight," which I did use in flight) and... the manufacturer's checklist! :eek: Which was, in a word, atrocious. It had been designed by someone who thought of all the switch flips it takes to perform a flight and vomited them onto a few pages, with zero thought put to how it might actually be used. Not even one practice run inside their head, let alone in a sim or even in front of a paper tiger or whatever.

For before engine start, there was no differentiation between an acceptance/origination/preflight/cockpit setup (whicever you want to call it) and the actual before engine start procedure. Everything was mashed up and interspersed in one. So, if you were to follow it strictly, you'd twiddle your thumbs and drink coffe while waiting for the passengers, and and after loading them up and their bags, you'd sit down in front of a clean slate and go through 5-10 minutes of setup and system checks, etc. whereas you could have done all of that before, and now go just do 5 seconds of procedure and 10 seconds of checklist of the items only necessary to do immediately before the engine start.

Before takeoff - 12 items most of which could have been done earlier instead of clogging up time at the hold short line.

I was gonna give a blow by blow of all its problems for the whole flight, but hopefully you get the idea. But for the end, here I'll post the Landing checklist. Years later, I still can't get over how astoundingly stupid this is.

LANDING
Cabin sign.......................................................O N
Standby pumps...............................................ON
Flaps...............................................APPROACC H
Prop synch.....................................................OF F
Speed levers..................................................HIGH
Landing gear...............................DOWN, 3 GREEN
Flaps....................................................... ...100%
Landing and taxi lights...................................AS REQ'D
Pressurization............................................CH ECKED
Manual fuel/ignition......................................AS REQ'D
Power levers .................FLT IDLE, GND IDLE, REVERSE
Brakes....................................................AS REQ'D

Notice it starts with things you'd do at a few thousand feet, and ends with the rollout. There's no meaningful start and end point and no point at which you can perform it and say "approach checklist complete" or "landing checklist complete." "Power levers idle, Brakes as required..." gee ya think? Am I supposed to pull this out and read it right after I touch down to check those items? Or wait until a convenient time (stopped after landing) in which case if I forgot to pull the power to idle and apply brakes, I'll have already run off the runway and it's too late. It's not just difficult or onerous to use, but literally impossible.

After going through this experience, I can completely see the potential for lower-grade failures to think ahead to real-life operations even by modern airliner designers (such as the oxygen mask check being inconveniently at the end, from a few posts up). What it takes to do a test flight, which itself might be the center of maybe days or even weeks of organization, and the entire operation revolves around that flight, is not gonna be sufficient for the efficiency required to do routine 25 minute turns with flight attendants and gate agents and mechanics and dispatch in the picture.

In my only airline experience we have company-designed SOP's and checklists, and I'm actually very curious to see Bombardier's raw procedures for the CRJ.

Vessbot
30th May 2018, 16:07
In my opinion, things as trivial as that can be done slightly out of order. SOP is important, but not at the exclusion of good sense and judgement.

Consider this- SOP has us go to the cockpit first, perform a few checks, then go out to do the walkaround. When the inbound airplane is late, or it's about to rain etc, it's quite common to see a pilot go down the jet bridge and do the walkaround before stepping onto the plane. SOP? No. Sensible and safe? Yes.


I partially agree. Sometimes the sensible way to do something would go against SOP like your example. But then the SOP should be designed to allow things to be done that way! Merrily going about your way violating SOP (because this one item is stupid) now undermines the entirety of the SOP structure (because any other item may be considered to be stupid and worth ignoring). Every single time a plane has crashed due to a violation of SOP, the crew thought that item was stupid and not worth doing. So how do we know we're not making the same mistake?

A safe and efficient operation is approached from both ends. Crew complying with SOP, and SOP being designed in accordance with sensible and efficient operation.

Vessbot
30th May 2018, 16:23
SO
If you prepare the cockpit with a dozen interuptions may be that needs to be changed and not the procedure..

Interruptions are a reality of the operating environment like thunderstorms, icing, and winds. To the extent reasonable, SOP's need to be designed to accomodate that. (Along with the crew needing the mental discipline to remember where they left off and continue methodically from there.) The safest and most efficient operation is one where the procedures are designed around reality, not a principled fantasy.

On a quick turn, we're "preparing the cockpit" from the moment we set the parking brake until the pushback commences. If someone needs your attention, making them wait 30 seconds until your next convenient break point is reasonable. Making them wait until you're ready to push back, is not. Because whatever issue they needed you for, is itself probalby something necessary for the flight to commence, and needed some time after your attention, for itself to be resolved.

767-300ER
30th May 2018, 16:56
Aircraft manufacturers write SOPs/FCOMs with the lowest common denominator in mind. Issues like single engine taxi are reluctantly added because of demand, not because the manufacturer endorses this practice. Airlines with multi-manufacturer fleets will often try to make SOPs more similar where possible. Regulators will typically require the Airline to get an NTO letter (no technical objection) from the manufacturer before allowing an Airline to modify the basic FCOM/SOPs...

stilton
31st May 2018, 01:53
Can think of a 747 incident where the airline SOP didn't conform with the manufacturers and crew became unsure of usable fuel state, BA three engine LAX - UK. QF over run BKK using procedures manufacturer didn't endorse. Used to fly a particular type where interruption of pre start check often resulted in engine start with fuel off, would run for about two seconds before rapid movement of fuel lever instantly restored the noise.


I must be missing something


how did you start an engine with the fuel off ?

LeadSled
31st May 2018, 07:46
I must be missing something
how did you start an engine with the fuel off ?



.
Stilton,
I don't think Megan has much experience in the field.

Re. the BA B747 mentioned that continued to UK on three, the crew might have offended the sensibilities of armchair critics, but the crew committed no breaches of operating regulations, everything the Captain did was within his command prerogatives.

Under the same circumstances I would have done the same thing, I have done something very similar on the same type.

As to VH-OJH, QF 1 at Bangkok, that was a screw-up by the Captain, the reports covered many dead trees, mostly written by people of limited or no actual experience, but the underlying cause had nothing to do with an "unapproved procedure" , because that implies he followed a formal "procedure", to the end of his days, that pilot will never be able to explain, even to himself, the "why" of what happened. I knew him well, "uncharacteristic action " doesn't even come close.

Tootle pip!!
As for the "engine starting?

PS: Operating procedures and checklists are part of the aircraft certification, and all major manufacturers have procedures for customers to request changes. If such requested changes are accepted by the Type Certificate holder and relevant certifying authority (FAA etc) this ensures that the C.of A remains valid. To operate an aircraft in violation of the terms of the C.of A. brings with it all sorts of legal complications -- as well as operational pitfalls.
I am amazed at how little this is understood, particularly by personnel of aviation safety authorities of some smaller countries, who believe that they have the "authority" to dictate changes at their whim.

Meikleour
31st May 2018, 09:40
LeadSled: A bit harsh on Megan!

The BA 747 "fly-on on 3" was certainly conducted well within the BA SOPs - HOWEVER - the fuel balancing procedure derived by BA never envisaged the situation where using the Override/Jettison Pumps for fuel balancing would not work once the tank fuel levels got down to the Standpipe levels! The crew then showed a stunning level of ignorance of the fuel system and failed to fuel balance correctly ( like on any other aircraft) thereby allowing the aircraft to land, off diversion, with very, very low fuel quantity in one of the tanks. BA has "history" with regard to modifying it's own SOPs away from the manufactures. (personel experience here )
With regard to the QF1 incident - had the captain been checking another crew who did what he did , then I suspect his debrief would have been most robust! As an aside the captain had, only a short time before, been delivering a talk to CX about CRM procedures at QF!!!! That incident should be a classic example of "things that should not be done in an aircraft".

Groundloop
31st May 2018, 09:40
Were the procedures written with 10 interruptions by cabin crew, handling agents or ATC?

Surely the problem of interruptions is a reason for following the checklist exactly - otherwise you may think you have already done something and, in fact, had not. Why did the Helios crew not notice the pressurisation switch was in the wrong position - had they been interrupted during the check-list?

parabellum
1st Jun 2018, 06:46
I liked the Boeing system of splitting a checklist with a line and it was then possible to complete certain checklists, "Down to the line", where they were held until it was appropriate to continue.

LeadSled
1st Jun 2018, 08:08
LeadSled: A bit harsh on Megan!

The BA 747 "fly-on on 3" was certainly conducted well within the BA SOPs - HOWEVER - the fuel balancing procedure derived by BA never envisaged the situation where using the Override/Jettison Pumps for fuel balancing would not work once the tank fuel levels got down to the Standpipe levels! The crew then showed a stunning level of ignorance of the fuel system and failed to fuel balance correctly ( like on any other aircraft) thereby allowing the aircraft to land, off diversion, with very, very low fuel quantity in one of the tanks. BA has "history" with regard to modifying it's own SOPs away from the manufactures. (personel experience here )
With regard to the QF1 incident - had the captain been checking another crew who did what he did , then I suspect his debrief would have been most robust! As an aside the captain had, only a short time before, been delivering a talk to CX about CRM procedures at QF!!!! That incident should be a classic example of "things that should not be done in an aircraft".

In broad terms I agree with your comments. Sorry, Megan.
Re. BA, many moons ago, a chap from Boeing (who was one of the best aeroplane handlers I have ever seen) made the interesting comment: " We have 199 customers for the B707, 198 do it our way, then there is BEA".
QF had a three engine diversion years ago, where not quite enough understanding of the fuel system resulted in a "very interesting" situation, but they finally got on the ground in one piece. In this case, the "expertise" of an E/O was a big part of the problem.
"Committees", whether in the office or the flightdeck, can have some very unfortunate outcomes, give me one person who really knows, versus a room full of "opinions" any day.
Tootle pip!!

Centaurus
1st Jun 2018, 08:57
I liked the Boeing system of splitting a checklist with a line and it was then possible to complete certain checklists, "Down to the line", where they were held until it was appropriate to continue

Agree entirely. But Boeing for some unknown reason (to we pilots) changed the former split landing checklist in the 737 and certainly not for the better. It used to be Gear down, Flap 15 and landing checklist to flaps. This was done on the downwind leg of a circuit or at some appropriate time during an approach. On selection of landing flap the PF called "Flap 30 etc and "complete the Landing checklist". Boeing in their infinite wisdom decided to change a policy that had served well since the first 737-100 came out of the factory. Now the situation exists where the whole landing checklist is now called for once final flap is down. So that has led to a rushed checklist requiring several challenge and responses just as the PF is concentrating on flying the aircraft on late base or final while still responding to the landing checklist.
.
In turn, at least one Australian 737 operator has adopted this new Boeing policy where the final flap is lowered late downwind and certainly before turning base if a visual circuit. There is a significant increase in thrust required to hold VREF +5 in level flight, just so that the landing checklist is completed early. Reason being with accent on use of full automation, some pilots lack the manual flying skills to stabilise on final even though weather CAVOK. Subsequent QAR pinged pilots for not being stable by 500 feet on final. Wonderful. So the powers that be reduced the number of pings by dirtying up a lot earlier and stuff the extra fuel consumption as the aircraft speed could be as low as 130 knots (Vref40+5) downwind will landing flap down. A bird strike in that configuration (low speed land flap selected) in level flight would require quick thinking by the PF to maintain a safe speed. All IMHO.

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 09:18
Never think in isolation. There are others also doing it. How do they do it? Get back to manufacturer. As one aviation cliche says in aviation if you have to learn everything through your own mistakes you probably won't live that long enough. A320 Cockpit preparation takes 5 to 7 minutes, the longest part is the briefing. Interuptions can definitely be put on hold or staggered between the preparations. The CL itself doesn't take much time to complet it should be done without interruption.

LeadSled
1st Jun 2018, 09:25
Centaurus,
In part, Boeing is probably falling into line with a general FAA "recommendation" that, for all visual circuits, all checks should be completed downwind.
This goes back quite a while now, and as you know, FAA has seriously frowned upon visual circling segments of a non-precision approaches for a long time, imposing MDAs generally 1000" AGL or above for most Part 121 operations of large aircraft, regardless of TERPS or Doc 8168 calculated MDA.
Tootle pip!!

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 10:06
When the inbound airplane is late, or it's about to rain etc, it's quite common to see a pilot go down the jet bridge and do the walkaround before stepping onto the plane. SOP? No. Sensible and safe? Yes If you go directly for a walk around in A320 with parking brakes off as normally they would be how do you check the brake wear? Or it is left to maintainance?

Meikleour
1st Jun 2018, 10:16
vilas: brake wear - simple - just look at the length of "clean" area on the brake wear pins!

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 10:19
According to checklist it requires parking brake on or is your procedure ammended?

pineteam
1st Jun 2018, 10:24
We did the test once. I was in the cockpit on the phone with my colleague standing next to the brakes and he could not notice any difference on the wear pin while I was setting the parking on and off. :} Unless he was not checking properly, I don’t undestand why the FCOM wants us to set the brakes in order to check the brake wear since the wear pin is visible anyway.

swh
1st Jun 2018, 10:41
There is two sets of manuals, the regulatory one being the approved flight manual (AFM), and the suggested procedures these being in a pilot operating handbook or Fcom.

The AFM is a much smaller document be it for a Boeing or a Cessna that cannot be varied..

Pilot operating handbooks or FCOM contain generic techniques which expand on the AFM can and should be modified when local situations deem it necessary without modifying the core AFM requirements which are a subset.

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 11:12
- To ensure that main aircraft surfaces are in adequate position relative to surface control levers.
‐ To check that there are no leaks e.g. engine drain mast, hydraulic lines.
‐ To check the status of the essential visible sensors i.e. AOA, pitot and static probes.
‐ To observe any possible abnormalities on the landing gear status:
Wheels and tires status (cut, wear, cracks)
Safety pins are removed
Brakes status (Brake wear pin length with parking brake ON) This is from FCTM. If you directly go out you cannot perform the first and the last check correctly. If that's accepted by your airline then it's OK not if it's an opinion of an individual.

Meikleour
1st Jun 2018, 12:05
vilas:You are choosing dogma over practicality. These pins are only there to give a measure of how much brake pad thickness remains. With anything other than brand new brakes this is obvious to see. So, using your arguement what happens to the everyday operations with an airline that chooses to routinely set the park brake off on all turnarounds? Your logic would have the flightcrews having to wait until just before engine start (see checklist - brakes ON ) to then rush out and check the brake wear because now the brakes are set to PARK! From your previous postings you seem to be very involved in simulator training - do you get any line flying these days?

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 12:05
Pineteam
MATMAX
9th Nov 2010, 12:03
Hello mayday.call,
All A/C brakes (AIB and Boeing) should be checked with hydraulic pressure applied and the parking brake set or by somebody on the pedals.
I say , by somebody on the pedals just in case that the brake accumulator is not well charged ...
The "length" of the pins , in fact , the measurement will also depends on the brakes temperature ...
They should be checked when the brakes are cold ...
Usually , the brake should be changed when the pin is flushed to the retaining bracket ... some airlines get a company policy where they changed them before to save some money ...
Look carefully to these pins , it is not really an accurate measurement ...
Hope that clarifies. Somebody a long time ago has already answered your doubt why parking brake should be on.

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 12:25
Meikleur
All along what I am trying to say is that procedures are not to be changed by individuals. It is not about little this or that. It sets up a culture, a psychology that deviations are OK and then it doesn't stop there. It portrudes into everything. If what you say is correct then the the airline should incorporate that in the OM. Any change requires an effort to find out the pros and cons and careful thought. Afterall when an incident happenes pilot is answerable so he should alone not bear the burden of on time performance. Shortcuts can go horribly wrong. A year back in a hurry without taking clearence pilot released brakes and applied power sucking the technician in the engine. It was horrendous to see even the photograph. What I do is not important but evaluate what I am saying.

pig dog
1st Jun 2018, 13:30
Never flown the Airbus so can’t comment on them, however every Boeing that I’ve ever flown has something similar to this in the FCOM Normal Procedures Introduction:

”Normal procedures are done by memory and scan flow. The panel illustration in
this section shows the scan flow. The scan flow sequence may be changed as
needed.”

Says it it all really.

Meikleour
1st Jun 2018, 13:34
vilas: I hear what you are saying however rigid blind adherence to SOPs may or may not ensure we are safe! Just look at how often the manufactures change their SOPs due to operational experience! ( Airbus are particularly bad for this IMHO ) All I was pointing out was that the brake wear pins are simply a device to assess brake pad wear and that it is actually possible to determine that from the markings left by the pins during normal operations. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not suggesting that the brake wear be not examined just that sometimes SOPs may be impractical.
I suspect we may not see "eye to eye" on this matter! It is difficult to see how safety critical it may be to know that one has 10 landings left on a brake unit versus 100 left. One commonly sees widely different wear states on brake units due to partial replacements of individual units.

CaptainMongo
1st Jun 2018, 14:27
We have what we term “flows.” A flow is the recommended method for accomplishing a procedure. For example the FO has a flow to accomplish his preflight procedure. The flow is the most efficient method to accomplish the procedure however the flow order is suggested.

Am I going to hammer the FO for not following the flow - no. If we, however, get to a checklist item, (ie altimeter setting) and his setting is incorrect that tells me that his flow is incomplete and then we will discuss why the flows are the most effecient and effective method for ensuring that a procedure is properly completed.

Do we have SOP I disagree with, of course. Have I tried to change that SOP, of course. Have I been successful, very, very rarely. Do I comply with company SOP to the best of my ability on every flight, of course. There are a hell of a lot of people smarter than me telling me this is the way we should do it, and there are to many smoking holes world wide because some pilots think they are smarter than all those people.

Centaurus
1st Jun 2018, 15:33
I recall from 40 years ago when a Pacific island airline bought two new Boeing 737-200's directly from Boeing. A Boeing instructor pilot accompanied the first aircraft from USA to the island and jump seated on various routes to advise the crews where necessary. The chief pilot decided in the meantime to add several more items to the 737 start up checklist based upon his personal views of what should be included or double checked.

The Boeing instructor pilot pointed out that when Boeing designed the 737 as a two pilot aircraft (as against the 727 which required a flight engineer), some systems were automated in order to meet an airworthiness limitation to the number of switch movements and eye scan movements applicable for a two pilot operation. Violation of those limitations meant a flight engineer must be carried as a third person in the cockpit.

That point was wisely accepted by the chief pilot and the extra items deleted from the appropriate checklists. This two crew airworthiness principle seems to have been long forgotten, judging by the number of additional (need I add superfluous) call-out and checklist items foisted upon some airline crews by well-meaning, but historically misguided, chief pilots. Flying school operators are by far the worst offenders with unnecessarily lengthy and superfluous checklist items that often dismay and bewilder their student pilots. .

RAT 5
1st Jun 2018, 16:26
Centaurus: an interesting insight into some designs. I wish the same reaction and effect could be applied to some briefings. I once flew for an operator who had written in the OM that briefings should be brief as the attention of the 'listener' could wane and defeat the objective. All well & good, but the Before Takeoff brief grew with a mind of its own; and 90% of it was SOP applicable to every airfield. The only 'interesting stuff' was any modification demanded by the departure runway. Yawn. With quick turnarounds the takeoff brief became a rapid fire blah blah that whizzed by the ears of PM.

Check Airman
1st Jun 2018, 16:31
This is from FCTM. If you directly go out you cannot perform the first and the last check correctly. If that's accepted by your airline then it's OK not if it's an opinion of an individual.

Vilas,

Your depth of A320 experience is recognised and appreciated here, but I have to disagree.

For the brakes- Our mtx department is pretty good at replacing the brakes when necessary. It's a rare day to find them close to the limit. I can't recall a single time in the last year where they've been close. Given that, when real life intervenes, I'd rather get the preflight done early, and take the 1% chance that I may have to go back up to set the brakes to verify the position.

Regarding the flaps- again, it's rare to see one of our planes parked with anything other than flaps up. That would certainly stand out. Even so, what's so wrong with noting the flight control position outside, then verifying once you get into the cockpit?

Again, I'm not advocating throwing out the SOP, but good judgement must be exercised. I can go get the preflight done first, or stand there at the door for 5-10 minutes, fighting my way through deplaning passengers, crews and ground staff, then having to rush through the preflight.

My time is better spent doing the preflight first, at a more relaxed pace, while the organised chaos at the L1 door dissipates.

vilas
1st Jun 2018, 17:01
CA
first thank you for kind words. My point is not whether to change a procedure or not but rather how to go about it. I said it if your airline accepts it is fine. Didn't I?

RAT 5
1st Jun 2018, 18:05
We had this ever ongoing debate about walk round & hydraulic pumps. The SOP (contrary to Boeing) had been to turn all pumps off. The new crew arrives, and wanting to save time as the pax are disembarking, does a walk round own side each. Except the incoming crew has turned the HYD pumps off. Much banging on the fuselage and signalling to leave the pumps ON. Eventually, after much wringing of hands and tugging of hair, the company decided to go with Boeing and leave pumps on. So following the manufacturer's recommendations solved our dilemma. There were other deviations e.g. full IRS alignment that eventually went the way of the designers.
I often wondered why it was airlines with no experience of the new technology who changed the manufacturer's procedures the most. Curious that.

FlightDetent
2nd Jun 2018, 02:10
vilas:You are choosing dogma over practicality. These pins are only there to give a measure of how much brake pad thickness remains. With anything other than brand new brakes this is obvious to see. So, using your arguement what happens to the everyday operations with an airline that chooses to routinely set the park brake off on all turnarounds? Your logic would have the flightcrews having to wait until just before engine start (see checklist - brakes ON ) to then rush out and check the brake wear because now the brakes are set to PARK! From your previous postings you seem to be very involved in simulator training - do you get any line flying these days?
Strong words, and confused understanding of what the SOPs actually ask for. Exactly the type of discussion where words of practicality, airmanship, and common sense are used to cover argument gaps of various backgrounds. From your previous postings, Meikleour, you actually know better.:ooh:

FlightDetent
2nd Jun 2018, 02:17
:DIt is not about little this or that. It sets up a culture, a psychology that deviations are OK and then it doesn't stop there. It protrudes into everything. If what you say is correct then the the airline should incorporate that in the OM. Any change requires an effort to find out the pros and cons and careful thought. My bolding.

Really, keep calm & understand. The writing is right here.

sheppey
2nd Jun 2018, 04:03
The SOP (contrary to Boeing) had been to turn all pumps off

RAT 5. That policy changed several years ago for the 737. The electrical hydraulic pumps are now left off for the walk around but are turned on for the Before Start Procedure.

RAT 5
2nd Jun 2018, 09:47
Thanks Sheppey. I assumed the Pumps Pressurised was to check for leaks. That is now deemed good once day during the daily.

Piltdown Man
2nd Jun 2018, 10:16
Our SOP’s are virtually identical to those written by the manufacturer (our name is on the front of the manual). Only when they contain errors may we depart, but that is still done officially. Therefore to change SOP we go via the manufacturer. This happens either directly or via operator meetings attended by the manufacturer. It’s clear, non-ambiguous and it works.

PM

Meikleour
2nd Jun 2018, 10:23
FlightDetent: I am not sure what your emojis mean or add to the discussion...............

My original quip to vilas was to point out that it was indeed possible to assess brake wear with the brakes off. Nothing more, nothing less. In true PPRUNE fashion the thread has morphed off into the sanctity of manufacturer produced SOPs.and the inherent dangers of deviating from them, no matter by how trivial an amount. I have never argued against SOPs but I just observe that they do often change especially in light of circumstances and incidents.

LeadSled
3rd Jun 2018, 09:51
I often wondered why it was airlines with no experience of the new technology who changed the manufacturer's procedures the most. Curious that.

Rat5,
That's an easy one to answer, because it is most times very hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Quite a while ago, "we" came across an operator of glass B737 who would not allow use of LNAV/VNAV or moving maps except in cruise, and insisted on switching to only display a "conventional RMI" for departure and arrival. And insisted everything had to be "heading up", none of this flying "track" nonsense. INS/IRS/FMCS was too much like black magic for their liking, best stick to the "tried and true".
It turned out many oi their procedures went back to Viscounts, after all, what would Boeing know?? It was quite a job to culturally update by several generations all at once. The resistance to change was close to immovable, short of removing the management.
Tootle pip!!

sheppey
3rd Jun 2018, 11:23
. because it is most times very hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Quite a while ago, "we" came across an operator of glass B737 who would not allow use of LNAV/VNAV or moving maps except in cruise, and insisted on switching to only display a "conventional RMI" for departure and arrival. And insisted everything had to be "heading up", none of this flying "track" nonsense

I freely admit to being one of those old dogs, although I would never insist others follow my example. For example, when hand flying an ILS (very few pilots are game to try that lest they stuff up) I much prefer to be on HSI/ILS mode rather than MAP mode. The tiny expanded localiser bar directly under the ADI (or PFD as it is called) is so small and can disappear if beyond the one dot limit and you don't know how far off the ILS course you are unless you switch back to the "big picture" which I call full scale HSI mode.
Switching to "conventional RMI" is IMHO sound airmanship and a wise precaution as against blind following of a flight director with its danger of tunnel vision. I always select ILS on the standby ADI when flying an ILS (manual or automatic) to compare it to the PFD ILS or HSI/ILS. Nothing like a precautionary cross check. During a dark night rotation and initial climb I scan the standby ADI as a continual cross check. Maybe it goes back to when artificial horizons could fail and one never forgets those potentially deadly events especially near the ground. Heading up is my preference too, particularly when flying an ILS in crosswinds and I know in which direction to look for the runway at DH.

What are seemingly old fashioned practices to some, are in many cases the product of hard earned experience. Children of the Magenta Line might look at us with pitying glances but that is their problem - not mine

Check Airman
3rd Jun 2018, 12:25
@sheppy

I don't consider that to be "old dog", that's maintaining proficiency. Switch the ND to ILS mode and fly the approach without the FD. I did it in New York 2 days ago. Miraculously, it wasn't on the news. Perishable skill.

RAT 5
3rd Jun 2018, 15:55
Flying EXP APP mode for an ILS works great without an FD. With an FD the track line on MAP should be sufficient to 'lead' the FD. I guess that is what you are meaning by not becoming tunnel vision on FD. Both need scanning. Too many are not taught the correct use of track line. That allows to have a good overview.

LeadSled
9th Jun 2018, 09:18
During a dark night rotation and initial climb I scan the standby ADI as a continual cross check. Maybe it goes back to when artificial horizons could fail and one never forgets those potentially deadly events especially near the ground. Heading up is my preference too, particularly when flying an ILS in crosswinds and I know in which direction to look for the runway at DH.

What are seemingly old fashioned practices to some, are in many cases the product of hard earned experience. Children of the Magenta Line might look at us with pitying glances but that is their problem - not mine

Having started my airline career on the DC-3, I hardly qualify as one of the "Children of the Magenta Line".
Indeed, the operator with whom I spent many years required (not just encouraged) practice and demonstration of flying on raw data, both in the sim. and the aircraft. Indeed, for F/Os, hand flying non-precision approaches in the sim. was mandated.

My point was, prohibiting the effective use of modern instrumentation is not very smart. which is different to maintaining competency.
The air safety outcome statistics are very clear, the situational awareness of having a moving map display, as opposed to "traditional" raw data, cannot be challenged.
It is abundantly clear that such improved situational awareness has greatly reduced GPWS incidents and CFIT losses.
Tootle pip!!

PS: On all the "glass" systems I have flown, if I am flying track up, I still have a drift display which will, effectively, tell me where to look for the runway, and I can choose what raw data I want to overlay on the map, but with disappearing NDB and VOR I have reducing choices.