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Wirraway
25th Feb 2003, 16:21
Wed "The Australian" 26/2/03

Engineers slam Virgin on safety
By Steve Creedy, Aviation writer
February 26, 2003

VIRGIN Blue has been accused of cutting corners and compromising safety by allowing pilots to do inspections on its newest planes.

The issue will be discussed as a matter of urgency today by the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association executive, which has also complained to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The engineers want CASA immediately to instruct airlines to use licensed engineers for pre-flight and transit safety checks and have called on Virgin to end a practice they say "downgrades Australian safety standards".

The association has warned of work stoppages by engineers if the issue is not addressed.

But Virgin denied the pilot checks, which are also done by Qantas, were a safety issue and said it was using procedures recommended by the manufacturer and widely used abroad.

"We believe we have some of the most experienced captains, we're very confident in the quality of their work and we believe we're operating above global standards," Virgin head of commercial David Huttner said.

The association's claims come after an incident in which a Virgin captain following the new procedure removed landing-gear pins from an aircraft and left them on the tarmac.

The pins lock the landing gear in place and are a safety device to stop the gear from collapsing during towing and maintenance.

"This oversight could have had fatal consequences and highlights the dangers of taking short-cuts with safety," association president Michael O'Rance said. "The . . . incident showed there is no substitute for engineers with typically 10 years experience in certifying a plane is fit for flight."

The association raised fears last year that potentially serious faults could go undetected if CASA proceeded with a proposal to allow pilots to do routine checks now undertaken by licensed engineers.

Under the proposal for all domestic passenger jets, engineers would check and sign off on aircraft at the start of each day but pilots would be allowed to conduct checks done at present by engineers during refuelling stops.

Pilot checks are allowed in other parts of the world and by manufacturer Boeing for next-generation 737s flown by Virgin and Qantas.

But the association says the move is a cost-cutting measure and pilots don't have the experience to spot the potential faults an engineer would find.

Mr Huttner said Virgin was operating in accordance with CASA procedures as well as Boeing's recommendations and "global best practice".

A CASA spokesman confirmed Virgin was allowed to use pilots to perform the checks on newer planes.

===========================================

===========================================

Snowballs
25th Feb 2003, 20:05
The next thing they will be advocating is the return of flight engineers, navigators and radio operators, all in the interest of safety of course.
They are flogging a dead horse and should get on with their jobs and allow aircrew to do theirs.
It has NOTHING to do with safety !!!!!
:=

SnapOff
25th Feb 2003, 20:25
And since when has it aircrew's job to do an engineers job. How can a pilot with no formal enginering training, and perhaps newly qualified on type, make engineering decisions that on occasion a highly experienced engineer has to go to great depth on. Some times the most innocuous sign can lead to much greater faults that require greater levels of experience than almost any pilot has. I have seen planes at the end of a day that have been subjected to pilot turnrounds and sometimes it isn't pretty, cuts in tyres seem to be a favourite area of ignorance. Engineers are not just glorified car mechanics, our training takes longer than pilots ( 3-4 years just for basic trade and then maybe another 2 yr for licences and on top of that extensive type training and on going recurrent) , just remember we make decisions on a daily basis that keeps you guys safely in the air, and that is us "getting on with our jobs"!!!

737 guru
25th Feb 2003, 20:59
Snowballs,

Have you completely lost the plot!!!!!

We are talking about compromising the safest airline system in the world. I have experienced numerous instances in the past where the early pick up of potential problems has prevented anything more catastrophic happening.

LAME's are trained on type for the reason of ensuring that the aircraft is maintained to an acceptable standard and therefore fit to fly. A large part of the LAME training/licensing involves hands on work over many years in dealing with fault analysis and inspection/maintenance work on the particular aircraft type, this in turn gives the engineer a good back ground experience in what to look for on turnarounds.

I shudder at the thought of us going down the path of what is being proposed here by virgin and qantas because it won't just stop at new gen 737's.
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Kwaj mate
25th Feb 2003, 21:10
What a lot of rubbish.
I wonder how they'll squeeze 5 crew members into the NG's.
Perhaps the Russians & Sir Peter were right all those years ago.

Snowballs
25th Feb 2003, 21:47
What you are really saying is that all turnarounds must / should be certified by Engineers, so unless you are amoral that includes smaller commuter aircraft etc or perhaps aircraft seating less than about 40 passengers don’t count.
You people are thinking like Luddites. Safety is not compromised ! and as far as finding things on turnarounds it cuts both ways. From a lifetime in the industry I can quote many incidences of engineers missing defects.
Nobody has suggested that pilots sign of defects. If an aircraft goes U/S at an out station because there is no licensed engineer to sign off a defect, so be it. That is a cost benefit / loss that airlines would have considered.

737 guru - what a load of rubbish, you are talking about job protection, nothing else.

:eek:

Oz Geek
25th Feb 2003, 22:15
Snowballs,

the return of flight engineers, navigators and radio operators

...the evolution of technology made these tasks simple enough for a pilot to handle whilst still preforming his/her primary role - flying the aircraft.

These tasks were once very complex and time consuming that required highly trained people dedicated to the specific task. Please don't embarrass yourself any further trying to distort historical events to back up your twisted viewpoint.

If your allowed on the ramp, have a look at the B737 Classic and NG...then you can tell everyone else how Boeing manufactured the NG to be inspected any differently to the Classic.

If you can do that maybe I'll regain some respect for your opinions...I look forward to your report.:D :D

As for Mr Huttner :

We believe we have some of the most experienced captains :eek: :eek:

I'm sure you do have some...its the rest I'm not sure about.

I'm sure I'll be entertained with more wisdom from Snow et al...look forward to your responses.;) ;) ;)

E.P.
25th Feb 2003, 22:46
Mr Huttner

Your beliefs and the reality are leviathan in measurement.:)

Capt. Snowball

Does all your 'experience' preclude you from seeing that "pins left on the tarmac" is not a safety issue?

Or was it you Captain, my Captain?

Snowballs
25th Feb 2003, 22:59
And what was not mentioned from the same source !

CASA backs Virgin checks
By Lisa Davies
26feb03

VIRGIN Blue is not compromising passenger safety by removing some safety inspections on domestic flights, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has said.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) has accused the airline of cutting back on safety checks by licensed engineers and using pilots to check aircraft instead.
But CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said Virgin Blue had its full support because the newer aircraft involved required less attention.

"From our perspective we do not believe (passengers) should be concerned about the fact that pilots are doing turnaround inspections on these brand new Virgin Blue aircraft," he said.

"There are no safety issues, but ... there are industrial issues which are nothing to do with us.

"Virgin Blue have done this with our approval, they are perfectly within the requirements of the safety rules of Australia."

Mr Gibson said Virgin Blue was still using more engineers than required by the aircraft's manufacturer.

"(The manufacturers are) just building them better ... it's a bit like, you buy a new car these days and once upon a time you used to have to get it serviced every 10,000kms, now it's every 20,000kms," he added.

"Boeing has said that ... they don't require an engineer to do the turnaround inspections, therefore you can use a pilot."

He said this only referred to visual inspections, which included walking around the aircraft checking for damage.

However, ALAEA alleged a recent aircraft pre-flight safety check had been done by a pilot who removed some critical maintenance safety devices and left them on the ground.

Mr Gibson said that was still strictly prohibited and if during a visual inspection a pilot found damage, a licensed engineer must be called.

:=

737 guru
25th Feb 2003, 23:10
Ohhh Sorry,

I really am quite silly because I'm sure that the Captain & F/O would ground the aircraft on the last flight out of goodness knows where, put everyone up in the local pub on the company endorsed M/Card and then would probaly even buy all the pax the first shout;) ;) ;)

Seriously though, all I'm saying is that I would hate to see pressure being applied to the crew for flight/turn time and something go a miss. At the moment there is someone independant of the Flight Crew who can keep an eye on all things happening during the turnaround ie: Fuel, Dunny servicing, Catering trucks, Gorillas throwing bags etc.... As we all know it gets bloody busy out there.

Oz Geek
25th Feb 2003, 23:14
Snowball,

And your point is???:confused: :confused:

Are you now relying on a CASA spin doctor to back you up???:eek: :eek:

"Boeing has said that ... they don't require an engineer to do the turnaround inspections, therefore you can use a pilot." I'd be very interested to see this in black and white...last time I looked it wasn't in the M.M.

And this gem...it's a bit like, you buy a new car these days and once upon a time you used to have to get it serviced every 10,000kms, now it's every 20,000kms,"

Fantastic!! Your on a winner now Snowballs. Keep up the good work.

Buster Hyman
25th Feb 2003, 23:15
So therefore, Snowballs, you'd be quite happy to check in the PAX & serve them a cuppa during cruise as well? Never mind job protection, what price safety in the safest aviation environment?

If this is how DJ is going to change the industry, then I think I'll walk thanks!

Oz Geek
25th Feb 2003, 23:20
Buster,

I don't think you have a snowballs of seeing that!!!:) :)

Desert Dingo
25th Feb 2003, 23:21
What a great spin.
The association's claims come after an incident in which a Virgin captain following the new procedure removed landing-gear pins from an aircraft and left them on the tarmac.
<snip>
"This oversight could have had fatal consequences and highlights the dangers of taking short-cuts with safety," association president Michael O'Rance said.
This reads like the pilot made a terrible mistake and (in best journo tradition) "we all escaped death by inches".
In fact it is nothing of the sort. I managed to sneak a peek at the appropriate bit of the Virgin manual.
Note: If during the Exterior Inspection, gear pins are in and the aircraft has been released for flight, they should be removed and left on the ground for subsequent stowing by the engineer.
It seems to me that this is a procedure to prevent the slight possibility of the gear pins bein left IN. The only danger I can see is if the engineers now tow the aircraft without checking the gear pins are in. You can hardly blame the pilots if this happened.

Compromising safety. Can't have pilots removing gear pins. Needs years of training and a licence to be able to do that. What [email protected]!

Oz Geek
25th Feb 2003, 23:42
Desert Drongo,

Apart from the fact that the appropriate bit of the Virgin manual appears poorly written with respect to safety: what about FOD precautions or the bloke working on the gear system, or tool accountability etc.... yet another reason for experienced people to be doing the job they have been trained to do. Thanks for that.

How could it be that the aircraft has been released for flight if the captain was still doing an external inspection???

Why is it that this task from the appropriate bit of the Virgin manual is not being carried out by all pilots??? Or did some poor bloke get caught out by reading the book??

What happens at stations without engineering?? Who picks up the pins then??

The only danger I can see is if the engineers now tow the aircraft without checking the gear pins are in. You can hardly blame the pilots if this happened. Even better...don't blame me, I'm only a pilot. If the gear pins have been inserted as part of a maintenace function and a pilot removes them it is the pilot that will be held accountable and answer to CASA.

I think Drongo that your example and attitude is [email protected]

fruitbatflyer
25th Feb 2003, 23:42
"Boeing don't require an engineer...." Why should they? They have to demonstrate that their product is cheaper to run than brand X in order to sell them.
What is more to the point is what the FAA and Euro JAA require.
They operate just a few more aeroplanes than we do in their national fleets, so presumably have some statistics etc to back up whatever they require. I don't know what they do require these days, but not many years ago a pilot could not even do an oil dip on a part 121 (airline) or part 135 (commuter) operation in the USA.
Personally, I have no problem with doing my own preflights, because after all it's my bum in the seat of the thing too. BUT, I do insist on a proper turnaround time to do it. First flight of day - 1 hour 15 minutes sign-on, turnarounds - not less than an hour if taking over the ship, or 45 minutes if I have already flown it. If some management type puts any pressure on me to do it in less time, I just take more time until they get the message that these things can not be rushed. Therein lies the problem for Virgin, from what I have seen of the general hurry they always seem to be in to get everything done on schedule. Once they ingest those gear pins into an engine they'll get the message that I think all of you on both sides above are trying to send.

chuchoteur
25th Feb 2003, 23:47
Huh...

A manual that recommends leaving tooling on the ground?

Anybody ever heard of Foreign Object Damage? Really, if the pilot is going to withdraw the undercarriage pins, he should stow them appropriately and log his actions...

This though is a typical example of how easy it is to lose communications between pilots/ground crew when regulations are vague...

airsupport
26th Feb 2003, 01:06
This has been discussed here previously, and you are NEVER going to get Engineers and Pilots to agree about it. :rolleyes:

The ONLY reason for doing it is to save money, it certainly CANNOT improve safety. :(

Over the years I have known quite a few Engineers who think they are Pilots, however I wouldn't want to fly with them. :eek:

The same applies in reverse........... :rolleyes:

LAYME
26th Feb 2003, 01:26
I was once told by a very old engineer, no matter what happens to aviation in the future, engineers will still be around to fix things pilots break.
May be, the way aviation is going there will not be a requirement for pilots along with flight engineers,navigators and radio operaters.
You fly them we fix them;)

stratoblaster
26th Feb 2003, 01:54
Well all this is very interesting but I for one will not be signing any technical log return to service entries without a formal engineering qualification ie: A LICENCE!

If you guys are prepared to lay your nuts on a legal chopping board go right ahead.

This economic rationalisation is getting out of hand. Lets remember that it costs money to run an airline safely and there is no way out of that.

Beancounters and overpaid executives should be held accountable and liable, if god forbid the unthinkable ever happens.

Familiarity breeds contempt something thats lost on the part of airline managers looking to bolster their bonuses each year!

Wake up!!

Capn Bloggs
26th Feb 2003, 02:01
Snowball,

Keep at 'em.

To the rest of you,

1. RPT jets/turboprops have been getting pilot-walkarounds for many years in the outback (MMA, ANSW, Scabsett, NJS, EW, and, I suspect, Impact), EVEN after an overnight!! God! Shock horror! This issue is not new nor is it dangerous!

2. Have you mob ever heard of a Daily Inspection? This is a CASA requirement, to be signed off by an engineer. Now, since the subject piece of aluminium tubing has no eyes, it doesn't know what time of day it is, and therefore the DI may be done at any time of the day (or night) at a time convenient to the company, provided that it is done within the required time. Besides, my jet doesn't have a belch just because it landed at BME with no engos instead of PER! Black tar is black tar, as far as it is concerned!

3. Steve Creedy should have done a bit a research to see what goes on in the bush instead of sensationalising trivia.

4. DJ: you gunna put a "Gear Pins...Stowed" item in your Originating CL??!!

chimbu warrior
26th Feb 2003, 03:38
Disclaimer : I do not work for DJ (or QF).

IMHO however, the walkaround is a critical part of the pre-dispatch process, especially in an operation where turnaround times are intentionally minimised to increase utilisation. Why? Well on just a few too many occasions I have seen catering or baggage vehicles inflict damage on an aircraft, and it seems to be almost always moments before departure. Given that in this type of operation one reasonably assumes that the tech crew complete their walkaround and then proceed to the cockpit for the pre-departure checks, it is likely that in the 20 minutes immediately prior to start there may not be any technically qualified person on the tarmac to run an eye over the machinery before it launches into the wild blue yonder. Even simple things like ensuring doors and lockers are closed properly, and handles stowed appropriately is quite important, and despite the layman's assumption that these tasks can be accomplished by anyone with a pair of eyes, this is not the case.
This does constitute a reduction in the defences that our industry has traditionally employed to guard against the dispatch of an unairworthy aircraft. Whilst I am the first to admit these instances are rare, engineers remain the last line of defence in the chain. Yes I have heard all the arguments for pushbacks to be accomplished by baggage handlers, but in reality they don't save much.
I'm all for a sensible approach to containing costs, but let's not lose sight of the fact that engineers are a valuable part of the safety chain.

NAMD
26th Feb 2003, 09:24
As an aside, relegating an engineer to just doing dailys and having two or three LAME's to be on line during the day, is effectively putting most (line) engineer's on permanant night shift. 25 more years of permanent night shift is not my idea of a good time, and I, like so many others would consider leaving the industry or to not poking my head out beyond the hanger doors. The average age of LAME's is not getting any lower, and if this kind of crap keeps up, they'll be nobody left to do daily's, let alone transits. (Will the last person out, please turn off the light's?)

Snowball and Capn Bloggs, if you were doing a job, and someone tried to take it away from you, I assume you'd fight it as well?

We've all seen what happens when bean counters take over.

Two sets of eyes have to be better than one.

My two cents, for what it's worth.

NAMD

SeldomFixit
26th Feb 2003, 09:58
The operation I am fortunate to work for, is one where, almost universally a mutual respect is given and taken between the polers and the greasers. When, as is inevitable, something is missed on a walkaround and picked up by the boss, it's " thanks mate - I did miss that and I'm sorry" I don't get to see the mistakes he makes but I'm prepared to bet my left one he does from time to time. Bottom line is, we are all a part of the same team and share a common desire to keep it as good as we can, as often as we can. Cockpits have always made snug beds for egos but recognising where your job begins and ends is vital. The comparison bewteen the regional that flies on a daily signoff until something breaks and the " rest" is hardly valid. Should someone be able to explain to me how the widebody arrives with 2 pages of tech and cabin snags after a single sector and the regional flies on day in and day out without anything ever making the book till it roosts for the night, I'll be prepared to revisit and listen to your point.
I could work with you Chimbu - what's more, I'd probably respect you too.

Clearance Clarance
26th Feb 2003, 10:35
Geek,

The pilot's are not overly happy about it either, so don't get up them. The bit about leaving the pins on the tarmac is straight out of the SOP's (know what they are?) so you should be be having a go at who wrote them, not the crew's for following SOP's.

Are you also saying that if an engineer has done a pre-flight, there is no need for the Captain/FO to do a walk-around?

NAMD
26th Feb 2003, 10:54
CC,

I personally am very happy for you to do a preflight/ transit walkaround as well. I would be just as happy for you to find something wrong (even if it is a bit embarassing!), and hopefully vice-versa would be true, too.

Cheers,

NAMD

BIK_116.80
26th Feb 2003, 13:38
This is so absolutely an INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ISSUE that it isn’t funny.

The ALAEA, the engineers’ trade union, is trying to protect the jobs of its members. Nothing wrong with that, per se.

Unfortunately, knowing that the services of its members are not really required by any objective measure, and having failed to drum up any support from the regulator, the ALAEA has realised that their backs are against the wall and so have chosen to embark upon a public scare campaign. The clear but ridiculous implication is that planes will fall from the sky if the airlines don’t employ lots more ALAEA members.

As my mate DERYN would have said – SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on the ALAEA.

Requiring that a licenced engineer perform each and every turn-around inspection on B737-300/400/700/800s is akin to the requirement for early motor cars to have a man walking out front waving a red flag.

For the ALAEA to seek to represent the self-serving interests of its members is entirely understandable. But the thinly veiled attempt to portray this as a public safety issue is a load of old cobblers.

The reality is that each and every day of the year there are MANY THOUSANDS of airline flights in B737-300/400/700/800s that operate safely WITHOUT having had a licenced engineer perform the turn-around inspection.

Even stiff European regulations don’t require that a licenced engineer perform each and every turn-around inspection on B737s. And there are hundreds more B737s in Europe than there are in Australia. So why should it be required here?

And this is where we start to get into some of the popular misconceptions.

Some people seem to fall into the trap of believing their own publicity. And we all know that there a lies, damn lies, and statistics.

“We are talking about compromising the safest airline system in the world.”

By what measure is Australia the “safest airline system in the world”?

Count up all of the airline jet flying hours in Australia, right back to when airline jets were first introduced four decades ago . Marvel at the enormity of this number. Then be humbled when I tell you that in Europe they fly this many airline jet hours every 19 months. And be humbled some more when I tell you that in the USA they fly this many airline jet hours every 15 months.

Australia may not have had an airline jet hull loss - although there has been at least one note-worthy attempt. But the key word is YET. The reality is that Australia has not yet flown enough airline jet hours, or enough departures, to have had a major disaster.

Claims that Australia has “the safest airline system in the world” certainly allow us to enjoy a nice warm fuzzy feeling. But they also wrongly imply that in developing the current Australian airline working practices we have got things just right, where others have spectacularly failed. Such a view is as misguided as it is dangerous.

Let’s be completely honest here. The real reason that licenced engineers perform turn-around inspections on short-haul aeroplanes in Australia is because of entrenched industrial relations practices. It’s nothing to do with safety.

To require that a licenced engineer perform a particular inspection on safety grounds is one thing. But to require that a licenced engineer perform an inspection simply to keep as many members of the ALAEA employed as possible is just as ludicrous as the man with the red flag.

I bet that each of the jurisdictions that required men to walk out front of motor cars waving red flags could demonstrate enviable safety records too. :rolleyes:

Kanga767
26th Feb 2003, 14:18
I find it interesting that; on one hand; CASA are making it more and more difficult to obtain a LAME license or rating with regard to recognised training and experience.

On the other hand, they are then quite happy for that 'heavily regulated' LAME not to be present anymore during a turnaround.


K

....besides, who ever heard of a tyre being staked by FOD on pushback......

Snowballs
26th Feb 2003, 20:03
Kanga767

....besides, who ever heard of a tyre being staked by FOD on pushback......

Or an engi…. leaving his own locking pin in the nosegear after pushback on an A310. Very embarrassing for the pilots at least

At least some people are starting to be honest and admit the real reason for this scare campaign. If they had done so in the beginning perhaps they may not have stirred up so much derision and resentment.
:rolleyes:

GoodToGo!
26th Feb 2003, 20:46
NAMD said:- As an aside, relegating an engineer to just doing dailys and having two or three LAME's to be on line during the day, is effectively putting most (line) engineer's on permanant night shift. 25 more years of permanent night shift is not my idea of a good time, and I, like so many others would consider leaving the industry or to not poking my head out beyond the hanger doors. The average age of LAME's is not getting any lower, and if this kind of crap keeps up, they'll be nobody left to do daily's, let alone transits. (Will the last person out, please turn off the light's?)

Hence many (not all) engineer's argument.

They don't want to do Night Shift.

Sounds Industrial related to me.........

Oz Geek
26th Feb 2003, 23:24
Clearance Clarance,

I fully support the Flight crew IN ADDITION with LAMEs carrying out these inspections. Both should complement each others tasks with one sole purpose in mind...the airworthiness of the A/C.

The pilot's are not overly happy about it either, so don't get up them.

I only 'get up' the pilots (if they are pilots) that continue to blindly follow everything their operator says. If your not happy about this issue DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT....as the LAMEs are doing. Silence is tacet approval for anything the operators want to do.

As for flight crew removing and then leaving tooling on the tarmac. The SOP was written by someone that does not know any better...pilots and LAMEs do know better! Just because its written in an operators manual it doesn't mean its the correct thing to do.

(The SOP should have been reviewed by senior pilots and corrected BEFORE it made publication. Another safety issue dare I suggest!)

As for the 'Industrial' spin.... The ALAEA is an association of LAMEs that represents LAMEs in all facets of aviation. The LAMEs have serious concerns over this practice and are using their industrial organisation to voice those concerns. If that means its an industrial issue so be it.

Put any spin on this that you may... bottom line is when something goes wrong the operators umbrella will go up, as will CASAs...and then who will be left holding the can?? At least the LAMEs and the ALAEA continue to voice their concerns...as it should be in aviation.

LAYME
26th Feb 2003, 23:41
Just a thought, one of the major costs to airline maintenance is avionics, fitting,upgrading and maintaining warning systems,TCAS, EPGWS,FLIGHT CONTROL and LANDING GEAR WARNING SYSTEMS why? to protect the AIRCRAFT from PILOTS making errors.
The perfect airline pilotless aircraft. ;)

Rubber Chicken
26th Feb 2003, 23:55
The Aircraft was a cold aeroplane. First flight of the day. The Daily and pre-flight had both been signed. The gear pins that were removed are stowed on the flight deck and are not the ones used for pushback. There were no engineers working on the aircraft, it was not up on jacks and all the paper work showed the aircraft ready for flight. The procedure is for the pilot to remove these pins if the aircraft is ready for flight which he correctly did. If he hadn't followed the procedure and had taken off with a pin still in which happend only a few months before and had to do and air return it would have been tea and bickies. You use your head. If the thing is on jacks or there are engineers aroung the aircraft or pannels removed tools on the ground or anything out of the ordinary you leave them in but must confirm they are out before departure. The issue of signing the daily and pre-flight before the pins are out may be an issue. There was no danger of the thing falling on it's nose during pushback as a different pin is incerted. Do i think that engineers should do the walk arounds? YES. I have seen how some pilots do walkaround. They follow the basic shape of the aircraft but look at very little along the way. I am a captain with VB and agree that there are times that engineers pick up thing and times that we pick up things they miss. If both of us do a walk around we at least double our chances of finding problems before they get airbourne.

Dale Harris
27th Feb 2003, 00:08
Great idea LAYME....... You not he first to come up with that theory. Only one problem....... Try getting PASSENGERS to ride in it.........

Oz Geek
27th Feb 2003, 00:22
Rubber Chicken,

Good arguement, well presented.

My Question: If the A/C was ready to go, why does the VB SOP (as has been suggested previous) tell the pilot to leave the pins on the tarmac for the LAME to pick up?

I'm thinking this whole issue has not been thought through very well...from a pilot/LAME point of view anyway.

(Just looking through my Finance & Accounting Text now...here it is...RPT A/C turnarounds...step one.....................);) ;)

airsupport
27th Feb 2003, 00:44
STRIKES THREATEN VIRGIN

The Australian
27-02-2003


VIRGIN Blue faces industrial action by engineers after union officials claimed yesterday they now had three examples of problems with pilot inspections.

The decision by the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association to hold stopwork meetings from March 10 came as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed it had expressed concerns about the way Virgin had implemented the change.

The engineers have called on CASA to instruct airlines to use licensed engineers rather than pilots for transit safety checks on next-generation Boeing 737s.

But CASA disagreed with the engineers' claim the pilot checks degraded safety , and said it was "comfortable" with the airline's actions to redress any problems.

Snowballs
27th Feb 2003, 04:17
Oz Geek
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“As for flight crew removing and then leaving tooling on the tarmac. The SOP was written by someone that does not know any better...pilots and LAMEs do know better! Just because its written in an operators manual it doesn't mean its the correct thing to do.

(The SOP should have been reviewed by senior pilots and corrected BEFORE it made publication. Another safety issue dare I suggest!)”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think you are naïve or just out of short pants as I am sure you will find that the above was a common recognized practice in Ansett at least up until the late 80’s for safety and check reasons therefore I suggest you refrain from any more industrial / safety nonsense.
There were some other checks and limits used when this practice was used but that is another topic.

airsupport
27th Feb 2003, 05:07
Would someone PLEASE explain to me, in a calm and friendly way, what are the big differences between a B737-300/400 that needs an Engineer and the B737NG that doesn't NEED an Engineer? :rolleyes:

There must be BIG advances in the technology somewhere, that are not obvious by just looking at them. ;)

Although they MUST be obvious by just looking at them, because that is all we are talking about the Pilots doing. :rolleyes:

Oz Geek
27th Feb 2003, 05:54
Snowballs,

I think the following sums you up.

There are fleas amongst the pilot fraternity willing bite and suck the blood out of any unfortunate they come upon. In unmentionable bygone days there was some loyalty and honor amongst friends and fellow pilots. The industry (from a working point of view) is in a mess because of the lack of honor amongst fleas / thieves who only see short term personal gain and are blind to the hurt and harm done to others …………… a tragedy if this is allowed to happen

Sad thing is its YOUR quote!!!! :eek: :eek:

Am still waiting for your report on the B737 Classic/NG differences. Whats wrong, having trouble seeing the 737 from your desk??

Until you can provide some substance I suggest you refrain fullstop.:p :p :p:

Snowballs
27th Feb 2003, 09:35
Oz Geek

Are you now suggesting pilots are "sc..s" for doing some walkarounds ?, like they have done for years in many countries, including Australia in some cases.

The refrence quoted referring to “some pilots” is still valid.

The scare / safety tactic being used here is nothing more than a cynical industrial tactic. You guys are lucky the “Fat Man” and his s******ing little lap dog from Canberra are still not around or you would find yourselves up to your necks in writs, as many pilots likewise did over a decade ago.
:=

PS I don't fly or work for VB

Clearance Clarance
27th Feb 2003, 09:40
Geek,

I have heard QF are adopting exactly the same approach re the LAME's and aircraft inspections, so why is all the comotion about DJ, and not QF as well? Correct me if Ive heard wrong.

Do QF have LAME's in Karratha, Kalgoolie or Broome? Or do they travel with the aircraft?

AN LAME
27th Feb 2003, 10:26
The limited knowledge of some pilots is what frightens me the most (at times). The talk about gear pins is a perfect example. (And it was in support of the LAMEs). The gear pins referred to are to 'safety' the gear when hydraulics are off and the aircraft is parked, under tow or undergoing maintenance. The pin used as part of a typical pushback procedure is the nose wheel steering deactivation pin. The reason I mention it is to illustrate that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. (And I don't mean to single out the individual who posted)

And now for something completely different...a 'Preflight' done by a Virgin pilot with the aircraft assessed and 'signed for' as airworthy, immediately followed by one by a LAME as a personal duty of care.Lo and behold it's had a birdstrike - to the extent the aircraft is grounded and the engine requires replacement!
'Gibbo' says not to worry! And Snowballs says it's a beat up with no safety implications. (You're a bloody disgrace and if you're ex AN then I'm simply ashamed and flabbergasted.)

As for QF they are working VERY hard through CASAs Standards Consultative Committee to have this practice implemented...they're just cunning enough to keep their head down at the moment.

Watch this space!

And remember...

'You can teach a monkey to ride a bike...'

BIK_116.80
27th Feb 2003, 14:36
Neither the B737-300/400 nor the B737-700/800 needs an inspection by a licenced engineer on every turn-around.

This safety line is a complete red-herring. Why don’t you engineers be HONEST and just come out and say that you are conducting a public scare campaign for the sole reason that you want to create more jobs for engineers? At least people could respect you then. :rolleyes:

Kanga767
27th Feb 2003, 14:59
Hmmm, I find the 'create more jobs for engineers' line a little difficult to believe.

A large 3rd party maintenance organisation based in the south of Victoria who has a contract with a prominant Australian airline got NO applicants for a recent recruitment.

Simply put, there are no engineers out there looking.....

What seems to be forgotten is that the walkarounds may not find anything for thousands of turnarounds, but you only have to find something ONCE to justify the other incidentals.

K

Snowballs
27th Feb 2003, 19:56
AN LAME

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The limited knowledge of some pilots is what frightens me the most (at times). The talk about gear pins is a perfect example. (And it was in support of the LAMEs). The gear pins referred to are to 'safety' the gear when hydraulics are off and the aircraft is parked, under tow or undergoing maintenance. The pin used as part of a typical pushback procedure is the nose wheel steering deactivation pin. The reason I mention it is to illustrate that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. (And I don't mean to single out the individual who posted)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is the problem ?

The incident I mentioned involved an engineer using his own modified, chopped down Stanley Screwdriver, complete with yellow handle, as a quick fit and release “Nose Gear Locking Pin” minus any attached flag, which he forgot to remove after a pushback.
It was nothing to do with the Nose Gear Disconnect Pin or whatever you want to call it.
I have not seen anyone even suggesting pilots remove the Nose Wheel Steering Disconnect pin. In fact quite the contrary, some airlines insist pilots confirm it is installed as part of their preflight checks for obvious reasons.

AN LAME
27th Feb 2003, 22:25
Snowballs.
Who said that LAMEs are faultless. I certainly don't defend the actions of every LAME in the country. I presume you wouldn't vouch for every pilot.However there is absolutely no requirement whatsoever for the nose gear downlock to have a safety pin inserted for pushback - the individual would not have been following SOP (at AN at least). The Nose Gear dectivation pin is fitted prior to the towbar being connected to prevent shearing of the towbar if you blokes check the rudder at the gate or on pushback. As I said before, you sound like a perfect example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

Kanga767 has hit the nail on the head:
What seems to be forgotten is that the walkarounds may not find anything for thousands of turnarounds, but you only have to find something ONCE to justify the other incidentals.
Because there hasn't been a jet hull loss in this country, many of you believe that engineering preflight is dispensible.

And BIK, you are simply a [email protected] If you listen to Virgin's reasons, they state that Boeing do require a preflight for the classic. But we are not talking about a maintenance schedule. We are talking operational maintenance and serviceability of the aircraft which may be affected by anything from FOD to fatigue cracking; from tarmac vehicular accident to making all doors are closed correctly. On top of that ensuring nothing and noone is ingested during start/pushback.
And then you get on to providing knowledgeable advice to crews having technical problems during start and prior to headset disconnect. Do you understand that you are going to lose all these resources as well?

And remember
'You can teach a monkey to ride a bike..." ;)

airsupport
28th Feb 2003, 01:31
Still waiting on someone to explain why the B737NG does NOT need an Engineering Preflight, but a B737-300/400 does need one? :rolleyes:

While we are patiently waiting, did you see this today. :eek:

(QUOTE)

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority has urged pilots to watch a new safety video on pre-flight checks, prop swinging, refuelling and passenger safety. The 18-minute video, available from the authority's safety promotions section , was made in response to a spate of recent serious incidents involving aircraft on the ground.

(ENDQUOTE)

The Safety Authority that is going along with this ridiculous change to the Preflights, has had to put out a video for Pilots covering Preflights and other things.... :( :eek: :confused:

AN LAME
28th Feb 2003, 02:25
have a look at this http://www.casa.gov.au/avreg/rules/rulings/ar0203.pdf

CASA are about to state their policy is that pilots require NO training. Looks like the lunatics have taken over the asylum...or Peter Gibson has been promoted to Director.

Snowballs
28th Feb 2003, 02:43
AN LAME

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who said that LAMEs are faultless. I certainly don't defend the actions of every LAME in the country. I presume you wouldn't vouch for every pilot.However there is absolutely no requirement whatsoever for the nose gear downlock to have a safety pin inserted for pushback - the individual would not have been following SOP (at AN at least). The Nose Gear dectivation pin is fitted prior to the towbar being connected to prevent shearing of the towbar if you blokes check the rudder at the gate or on pushback. As I said before, you sound like a perfect example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I still think you are barking up the wrong tree ………….. again, nobody has suggested pilots remove the Nose Gear deactivation pin for obvious reasons, they were referring to the practice of pilots removing the undercarriage locking pins if the aircraft is cleared online and laying them on the ground beside the undercarriage.

I certainly never suggested pilots were likewise fire proof from error, I just have a strong belief that there is nothing wrong with some pilots doing some walkarounds at out ports and when some group tries to beat it up in the media by way of a scare campaign read “safety issue” it is only a half truth.

Some airlines I have worked for do insert the nose gear downlock pin (as well as the Nosewheel deactivation pin or what ever you want to call it, during a pushback) as it is included in “their” SOP’s. I guess also you have first hand knowledge as to why pilots would want to check the rudder during pushback as you are so familiar with aircrew SOP’s. A pilot would probably respond that that the deactivation pin is inserted so as the tow bar is not broken and the ground staff trashed when the hydraulics come online during the engine start which occupies most of the pushback time. Apart from an abnormal situation after maintenance, the only time I have ever checked the rudder was during pre taxi or during the taxi and again, as per SOP’s.

This whole thing is degenerating into a pilot vs engineer thing which will result in both sides beating each other to pulp. Perhaps its back to the original thing …… why shouldn’t some pilots do some walkarounds at out stations.

AN LAME
28th Feb 2003, 03:14
Snowballs

I wasn't attacking the pilot SOP of checking rudder operation at the gate. And I did qualify my comment about the downlock safety pin not being a SOP at AN.

However your comment 'I just have a strong belief that there is nothing wrong with some pilots doing some walkarounds at out ports and when some group tries to beat it up in the media by way of a scare campaign read “safety issue” it is only a half truth.' indicates to me that you are unaware that Virgin and QF are proposing that LAMEs are not required to carry out Transit Preflight Inspections at ANY ports (i.e. major ports) not just outports. That is, after the first flight of day inspection by a LAME, you are on your own. I think you will find that most LAMEs (and the ALAEA for that matter) accept that a pilot can trained to carry out a walkaround at an outport in, for example, a 'hub and spoke' operation.

Cheers

'You can train a monkey to ride a bike...'

airsupport
28th Feb 2003, 06:02
Still waiting. :rolleyes:

While we are still waiting, one of the excuses given for this ridiculous idea, is that Boeing said this and that. :rolleyes:

Now while I obviously do not know what Boeing has told any other individual on PPRuNe, or what they told the Airlines to get them to buy these Aircraft :eek: the following is directly from Boeing, and it refers to Maintenance Checks carried out by Maintenance Engineers/Mechanics, NOT by Pilots. ;)

(QUOTE)

Aircraft maintenance inspections

U.S. airlines spend more than $10 billion a year to keep their fleets safe and in top operating condition. An airline's maintenance program specifies the intervals at which certain aircraft and engine parts will be inspected. The maintenance centers that perform inspections and repair work, either the airline's own shops or those of a subcontractor, must be certified by the FAA and open to inspection at all times. Records of maintenance work on an aircraft are carefully maintained and subject to FAA review.

Airlines have maintenance programs for each type of aircraft they operate. The programs are developed jointly with the manufacturers of the equipment, such as Boeing or Airbus, and approved by the FAA and other regulatory agencies in countries where the airline operates.

For every hour that a plane is in flight, maintenance crews spend roughly three-and-a-half hours working to maintain it. Each maintenance program involves a series of increasingly complex inspection and maintenance steps, depending on an aircraft's flying time, calendar time, or number of landings and takeoffs. With each step, maintenance personnel probe deeper and deeper into the aircraft, taking apart more and more components for closer inspection. A typical program involves various types of inspections:


A visual "walk-around" inspection of an aircraft's exterior several times each day to look for fuel leaks, worn tires, cracks, dents and other surface damage; important systems inside the airplane are also checked.

An inspection every three to five days of the aircraft's landing gear, control surfaces such as flaps and rudders, fluid levels, oxygen systems, lighting, and auxiliary power systems.

An inspection every eight months of all of the above, plus internal control systems, hydraulic systems, and cockpit and cabin emergency equipment.

A check every 12 to 17 months during which the aircraft is opened up extensively so inspectors can use sophisticated devices to look for wear, corrosion and cracks invisible to the human eye.

A major check every three-and-a-half to five years in which aircraft are essentially taken apart and put back together again, with landing gear and many other components replaced.
Between the scheduled maintenance checks, computers on board the airplane monitor the performance of its systems and record such things as abnormal temperatures and fuel and oil consumption. In newer aircraft, this data is transmitted to ground stations while the plane is in flight.

(ENDQUOTE)

So, Boeing says, A visual "walk-around" inspection of an aircraft's exterior several times each day to look for fuel leaks, worn tires, cracks, dents and other surface damage; important systems inside the airplane are also checked. :D

Cannot see where even Boeing say except on our New Generation Aircraft. ;)

HGW
28th Feb 2003, 08:53
Air Support

Does Boeing say who is to do the walk round ?.

Engineer, Pilot or someone sufficiently trained.

bentwings
28th Feb 2003, 10:32
AAP Friday February 28, 07:50 PM

Australia's aviation watchdog cracked down on Virgin Blue after surveillance revealed shortcomings in its maintenance checks. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) summoned Virgin representatives to a meeting in Brisbane and issued them with a formal notice over the breaches.

CASA said it was within its guidelines for pilots to conduct the maintenance checks but they were not being thoroughly carried out. "We have had a series of discussions with Virgin Blue today about the issue of turnaround checks," CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.

"The issue for us is the pilots have got to do these checks properly and what we have found in the course of audits and some surveillance of Virgin Blue is that some of these checks are not being done as thoroughly as they should be by the pilots."
The audit was carried out earlier this month and the checks were placed under surveillance for several days this week.

There was no evidence passenger safety was at risk at any time, but the safety shortcomings were serious enough for a formal warning to be issued, CASA said. "We've got no evidence that anything went wrong with the aircraft because they were subject to shortcuts," Mr Gibson said.

Virgin Blue has undertaken to provide pilots with refresher training courses and issued an email bulletin reminding pilots of safety procedures and the need to carry out all tasks thoroughly.
It will also formally write to its pilots outlining the same points.

Mr Gibson said CASA was satisfied that if those measures were undertaken, Virgin could continue to use pilots to carry out the checks.

Virgin Blue commercial head David Huttner said CASA and the company had come to agreement on the issue. "We had a meeting with CASA to discuss their concerns, and we have agreed with CASA to some amendments to our system," he said.
"There will also be a review process in the coming months.
"But CASA has agreed with that, our pilot system will be continued."

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said by using pilots to conduct pre-takeoff safety checks, airlines were watering down an aviation safety system currently among the best in the world. The union's federal executive this week endorsed a series of industry-wide stopwork meetings to consider the issue, starting in Brisbane on March 10.

Virgin maintains the airline has always adhered to safety regulations set by both the aircraft manufacturer and CASA.

But the airline is on notice that it will be watched. "What we are going to do is keep a higher level of surveillance of Virgin Blue in the coming days, weeks and perhaps months to make sure these checks are being done properly," Mr Gibson said.

Break Right
28th Feb 2003, 10:37
AN LAME.

It might be my blonde hair but what are you exactly trying to say with your comment 'You can train a monkey to ride a bike...'
I heard your union man say the exact same thing on the news the other day.
Are you sure your not trying to make it you guys Vs us guys??? Because i'm sure that won't acheive the result that we are all looking for!!:ok:

airsupport
28th Feb 2003, 10:57
HGW,

I don't get what you mean? :confused:

Boeing say quite clearly "maintenance crews", I don't think anyone would consider Pilots to be part of any "maintenance crew" ;) even the pilots themselves. :eek:

airsupport.

AN LAME
28th Feb 2003, 11:55
Break Right

'...but you can't train him to fix it'

Chill a bit. :D

Wirraway
28th Feb 2003, 15:32
Sat "The Australian"

CASA spies on Virgin Blue safety
By Steve Creedy, Aviation
March 01, 2003

THE aviation watchdog cracked down yesterday on Virgin Blue after a surveillance operation found the airline had failed to ensure its pilots were properly undertaking pre-flight safety checks on newer aircraft.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority investigators spent two days secretly observing the checks at the same time as the airline was rejecting union claims it was cutting corners and compromising safety by allowing pilots to replace engineers on the inspections.

It is understood videotaped evidence from the operation was presented to Virgin officials at a meeting in Brisbane yesterday.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson confirmed Virgin had been served with a formal safety alert after investigators found pilots were not following proper procedures.

This is the second time CASA has raised concerns with Virgin about the checks. It also uncovered deficiencies during a recent audit of the airline.

Mr Gibson said the latest surveillance found pilots on some flights had been rushing the checks and cutting corners, although there was no evidence this had resulted in any safety incidents or risks.

"There's . . . nothing to suggest that anything happened, or could have happened, because these corners were being cut," he said.

"But once we were aware through the audit and subsequent surveillance that procedures weren't being followed 100 per cent, we naturally wanted to make sure that situation was redressed."

Mr Gibson said Virgin had undertaken to write to pilots stressing the need to follow the procedures, which also would be reviewed.

It also had agreed to put the pilots through refresher training and to review its initial training.

CASA believed the response was satisfactory but had converted the safety alert to an order for corrective action.

"What we will do . . . is undertake some fairly intensive surveillance on not just this activity but Virgin Blue in general," he said.

Despite the problems, Mr Gibson said CASA retained its view the inspections were not a maintenance function and did not require engineers as Boeing allowed on some newer aircraft.

Virgin head of commercial David Huttner said the airline was addressing CASA's concerns.

But the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said the CASA findings supported its argument that replacing engineers with pilots on the checks downgraded safety.<

airsupport
28th Feb 2003, 20:13
Well that should convince any reasonable person, and end this debate. :rolleyes:

The Pilots have already been found to be NOT doing these safety checks properly. :eek:

The Engineers were right, SADLY safety IS already being compromised. :(

BIK_116.80
28th Feb 2003, 20:58
airsupport

I don’t see anywhere in your rather lengthy Boeing quote any requirement that the “walk around” inspection must be carried out by a licenced engineer. Neither can I find any prohibition on the “walk around” inspection being carried out by, for example, an unlicenced mechanic, or even - god forbid - a pilot.

I disagree with the inference you have drawn from the Boeing term “maintenance crews”. Not all “maintenance crew” are licenced engineers. I think you might be inappropriately trying to infer a specific meaning from an expression where Boeing has deliberately and for good reason chosen to use rather generalised language.

The document you have quoted is obviously a PR type dossier written for consumption by the general public. Would you care to quote from an approved and legally binding Boeing Maintenance Manual? I have never found anywhere in any of the B737-300/400/700/800 maintenance manuals or flight crew manuals where Boeing specifies that the person who conducts and certifies the “walk around” inspection must be a licenced aircraft engineer. I would be delighted to be proved wrong. Boeing don’t generally get involved in personnel licencing issues because such issues are considered matters for National Regulatory Authorities - not manufacturers.

AN LAME

Of course B737-300/400/700/800s require a “pre flight inspection”. We agree on that much.

But I am not aware of any Boeing specification that requires that the pre-flight inspection be carried out by a licenced engineer. And that is, in fact, the issue at the very heart of the public scare campaign being conducted by the ALAEA.

To be clear – we are not talking about the “daily” or “24 hour” inspection. Those DO require an inspection by a licenced engineer.

We are talking about the “pre-flight”, “turn-around”, “walk around” or “transit” inspection. The type of inspection that is carried out before every flight, even if there are no reported defects.

“And then you get on to providing knowledgeable advice to crews having technical problems during start and prior to headset disconnect. Do you understand that you are going to lose all these resources as well?”
I don’t have those “resources” now. And I don’t see why I need them either – unless I have a problem after push-back in which case I will call for them. In the last 12 months I have needed to call for a licenced engineer after pushback on only one occasion.

Let’s not allow ourselves to be distracted by the cheap-shots and the overly-dramatic Hollywood-style headlines from the ALAEA. I’m sure that you and the ALAEA could trot out any number of horror stories of “near death” oversights made by pilots. And I am equally sure that, should I be suitably inclined, I could trot out at least as many examples of significant oversights made by licenced engineer members of the ALAEA. But so what? What would it prove? Nothing very much, I suggest. We all know that we are all fallible.

At issue here is not whether these airplanes need to be inspected before each departure. We all know that they do.

The question is what is an acceptable level of qualification for the person conducting the inspection.

Naturally, the licenced engineers trade union says that we will all crash-burn-die if we don’t use a licenced engineer for every inspection. Such assertions are not unheard of from organisations with an obvious and significant vested self-interest.

But the evidence from overseas would suggest that the ALAEA is, shall we say, gilding the lily somewhat. Every day of the year there are many thousands of B737-300/400/700/800 flights made safely after having their turn-around inspections carried out by one of the pilots. And there aren’t licenced engineers on the headset during the push-backs either. But the pushback crewmember that is on the headset is required to carry out their own external aircraft inspection prior to donning the headset and commencing pushback. This inspection is conducted separate from and independent of the inspection conducted by one of the pilots. All the bleating about “two sets of eyes” is all just huff and puff because there ARE two sets of eyes. And yet there is still not a licenced engineer in sight.

This is approved and accepted practice in numerous mature western aviation markets overseas where the airline industries are many times the size of the airlines in Australia. So why is Australia so different?

It isn’t.

Except that in Australia there are some deeply entrenched working practices that hark back to the days of piston-powered airliners. So enshrined are some of these practices that it is not always easy to be precisely sure where the safety regulations end and the industrial relations issues start.

In any debate of this nature it is of the utmost importance to know which is which. You have to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. And you have to be able to sort the genuine and verifiable safety concerns of technical experts from the self-interested industrial campaigning of an unscrupulous and aggressive trade union.

The deeply entrenched Australian work practices are out of step with much of the world on this one.

CASA don’t require a licenced engineer for turn-around inspections. Boeing don’t require a licenced engineer for turn-around inspections. The employers, it seems, don’t require a licenced engineer for turn-around inspections.

But the ALAEA says we should use them anyway because that’s the way it’s always been done – in Australia at least.

Creampuff
28th Feb 2003, 21:06
There's . . . nothing to suggest that anything happened, or could have happened, because these corners were being cut.

If that’s true, these inspections have no safety nexus and CASA has no power to require or enforce them.

Mr Gibson said CASA retained its view the inspections were not a maintenance function and did not require engineers as Boeing allowed on some newer aircraft.

The question whether the inspections are “maintenance” under the rules is separate from the question as to who should and may perform them.

One thing’s for sure: “maintenance” includes an inspection for the purposes of ascertaining whether an aircraft is in a fit state for flying, and an inspection of an aircraft component for the purposes of ascertaining whether it’s functioning correctly.

Let me see if I got CASA’s message straight. These “pre-flight safety checks” have got nothing to do with safety, and aren’t conducted for the purposes finding out if the aircraft and its bits are OK.

Yeah right.

AN LAME
28th Feb 2003, 23:45
Mr Gibson said the latest surveillance found pilots on some flights had been rushing the checks and cutting corners, although there was no evidence this had resulted in any safety incidents or risks. So having to have an engine change caused by a birdstrike which was missed by the pilot on his preflight, does not constitute a safety concern? (And I'm not trying to stigmatise the individual)

BIK
Could you answer two questions for me? Why does an International flight require a LAME certified maintenance preflight Inspection but a Domestic Flight does not? And why are you advocating two different levels of safety?

By the way, if the ALAEA is ' an unscrupulpous and aggressive union', what does that make the AMWU, or the TWU or dare I say it, an employee group in this same industry some 14 years ago?

Break Right
1st Mar 2003, 01:07
AN LAME

M8 ithink you may need to chill a bit and maybe catch up with the times. Unfortunately it looks as if theres not much you or anyone can do to change Boeing and/or CASA mind on this except to make sure that pilots are being more vigulant in the future. By the way what airline in the world are actually employing full time monkeys to fly these days anyway!! Wakeup and have a banna!!!

:eek:

Yandros
1st Mar 2003, 01:22
While doing a walkaround on a 737, the engineer doing his walk around spotted that 2 of the N1 blades had overlapped and locked together. As the engine was windmilling quite quickly, I had to ask how the hell he could tell that, and I was shown by the engineer that where the blades were stuck together there was a very small gap and you could see it "flash" as they rotated past. Until then I would never have picked that up, how many other drivers of any rank would pick that up?

How often are we shown those Swiss cheese models about how accidents happen? These guys are trained to do their job like we are trained to do ours. Removing them from the equation is like pulling out a layer of that block of Swiss cheese. It might not be the contributing factor to an accident but it sure as hell reduces the defenses against an occurrence.

One last thought. If you as captain sign the return to service, and consequently something happens (be it an accident or something falling off the jet) and people are hurt, I would think that the first person that the injured parties legal team will come after will be the person who signed the return to service. Oh and I'm sure that the company would stand behind the Captain as well......probably way behind.

airsupport
1st Mar 2003, 01:39
BIK.....,

As I said earlier, people are quoting Boeing as the source for this who does what, so I posted verbatim from Boeing's web site. :rolleyes:

Boeing point out that ALL these inspections are done by "maintenance crews".

Any reasonable person would realise that a member of the "maintenance crew" would be a maintenance person, be they Licenced or Unlicenced. ;)

Assuming that you are a Pilot, you MUST be the ONLY Pilot I have heard of in over 40 years in the Industry, that WANTS to be called part of the "maintenance crew". :eek: :rolleyes: :confused:

IF you are the least serious, I sincerely hope you are soon given the same pay and conditions as the rest of the "maintenance crew". ;)

airsupport.

I'm with stupid
1st Mar 2003, 04:21
AN LAME. you're pretty keen on the " you can teach a monkey to ride a bike " are'nt ya.
I guess it's sour grapes coz the monkey gets paid more
:rolleyes:

Pole Vaulter
1st Mar 2003, 04:36
Why is it everytime a LAME makes any comment about the differences in the professions of Aircrew and Licenced Engineers that the old "Sour Grapes" trash gets dug out. I certainly would prefer a trained specialist to give my machine the OK to fly than a quick look around at it myself. Most engineers are not disgruntled individuals who always wanted to fly and this was second best but chose the profession they are in. It really shows the insecurity of certain aircrew when they dig up this furfie. Just maybe some pilots were not good enough to be engineers so they became pilots. Pilots fly aeroplanes and Engineers fix and maintain them. It is as simple as that.

I'm with stupid
1st Mar 2003, 04:53
Hey Pole Vaulter, if you are a Pilot and don't mind being called a trained monkey, then more power to ya, I personally don't like it.

This whole post has been going down the road of how superior engineers are, I'm surprised no one else picked it up ( if you want quotes, I'll go back through the thread and find them all )

I'm sick of hearing this crap about how long it takes to becomne an engineer blah. blah, blah. Both jobs require some degree of skill and intelligence, and there are bad eggs in both positions.

At the end of the day, we are the ones that have to take those crates into the sky, while the engineers sit safely on the ground.
Speak to the captain of the Sioux city DC10 about the superiority of engineers ( trying to cut corners ).

At the end of the day, if our job is so easy ( trained monkey ) for the money, then the ones whinging about it can go and become pilots, it is after all a free country.

Oh, and just on the topic of the thread, the airline I flew for did hundreds of turnarounds a week at remote ports with no engineers ( RPT jet ) with no major incidents ( related to the turnarounds ) in 10 years. That is not to say that an A/C was never grounded at an outport, that happened a bit.

Dehavillanddriver
1st Mar 2003, 05:48
OK, lets look at maintenance in general.

The ALAEA says it is dangerous for pilots to do walkarounds - fair enough - it is a free world and they are entitled to their opinion.

I say that having car mechanics working as AME's doing heavy maintenance on aeroplanes under the supervision of one or two LAME's is dangerous. But funnily enough the ALAEA don't make a public outcry about that.

The whole "LAME is better than a pilot" thing is a little lame (pardon the pun) when you consider the "unsafe" practices that engineers get up to.

I have seen a team of AME's working on an aeroplane under going heavy maintenance with the two supervising LAME's signing work cards for work that they had never been near.

I have seen guys do a walkaround (not a daily) on a transit, come up onto the flight deck and get the log, and go off and get a properly licenced engineer to sign it - even though that licenced engineer had not even seen the aeroplane.

If we are going to slag each other off, maybe we should have a bit of balance.

We don't get a bloke with a private pilots licence to fly as co-pilots - we have at least two properly trained and endorsed pilots operating the machine. If we were to follow the LAME/AME style of setup we would have the Captain as the licenced guy and the co-pilot as the AME.

Maybe the AFAP should start a scare campaign about AME's

It would be as much about safety as the ALAEA's current campaign

AN LAME
1st Mar 2003, 06:28
As Pole Vaulter said, it's simply amazing how whenever an Engineer states that they are more appropriately qualified to do something in aviation, that some pilots take it as a personal affront.

But for those morons out there who have never heard of the saying 'You can teach a monkey to ride a bike but you can't teach him to fix it', it is a light hearted dig. If your IQ level isn't up to a bit of humour... don't read. Money ain't everything and from what I hear from the more rational of you lot, an ATPL career can be as exciting as watching paint dry - and hopefully a LAME somewhere has helped it to be that way, i.e. providing you with a safe machine!

airsupport
1st Mar 2003, 10:55
I take it by the way this thread has turned nasty, that you Pilots have conceded losing the debate. :rolleyes:

There is NO doubt whatever that the best person to do Engineering work is an Engineer. ;)

Equally true, the best person to do the Piloting is a Pilot. :D

The best and safest way to do preflights is to have two independent preflights, one by a Pilot and one by an Engineer.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard Pilots say on long flights that they are bored stiff, as AN LAME pointed out, this is due in a large part to the work of the Engineers.

Also the uncalled for comments about Engineers shows just how much some of you know about it. An appropriately Licenced LAME does NOT HAVE to actually do the work himself/herself, they could be looking after several Aircraft at the same time (unlike a Pilot)however he/she takes the responsibility.

SnapOff
1st Mar 2003, 19:48
For I'm with stupid re; Sioux City, as far as I can remember the fault in the disc was there since manufacture and not something visible to the naked eye, all the walkrounds in the world by engineers or flt crew would never have picked this up. However the captain of said aircraft was probably eternally grateful that the systems he did have left worked which I feel I must point out were and are mainted by engineers on deeper work than a walkround. It could have been a lot worse but some times "luck" is on your side, and yes I do remember people died.
We as engineers are in our job to maintain your and the aircraft's safety, I'm not a frustrated driver, in fact I'm rather proud of what I do. Having spent numerous flights in the jump seat I believe I picked the more interesting career. Every day is different.
On the other hand I'm eternally grateful to you lot for getting me to the beach twice a year and home again, and no doubt I'll sing your praises even higher if one day the aircraft I'm in is landed safely in an emergency.
Both sides play a part, however I still believe each of us are specialists in our own department. I don't tell you guys how to fly, so don't tell me what is an acceptable level of maintenance.

nzer
1st Mar 2003, 20:05
Surely we are only talking about pilot transit checks, which may involve removing/installing the U/C pins - way back when we used to do this in the old F-27 at all out stations - I don't think there is any suggestion of pilots taking to the beast with sleeves rolled up and spanners at the ready, just of pilots doing what they have always been required to do, ie, a pre-flight which may for a first flight of the day or transit or prolonged turn around where the acft is towed and the APU shutdown/restarted require one or two additional items, all within the crews competence and authority to do. Some colleagues of mine were flying for a UK Operator (737's, 767's, 757's) and the crews were required to all the above plus supervise/carry out refuelling and oil checks - I don;t think anyone would suggest the CAA UK was a "lax" aviation authority? "Luddites" is the right word for people who see this as a reduction in "safety".

airsupport
1st Mar 2003, 20:27
I am at a loss for words (almost ;) ) to begin to understand how anyone can say that it is NOT a reduction in safety. :rolleyes:

We have a system where (at most ports) there are 2 independent preflight inspections carried out on the Aircraft prior to flight.

To change this so that there is ONLY one inspection carried out MUST be LESS safe. :eek:

This is NOT, repeat NOT, an anti Pilot thing, it would also be a reduction in safety, and I would still be just as opposed to it, if the Pilot's inspection were done away with and you just had the Engineer's inspection. :eek:

It must be safer to have 2 independent inspections. :rolleyes:

I have been asked where that Boeing info came from, I guess people don't believe it ;) , although it is a little hard to find.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/safety/flash.html

Go to this link, then you select from a menu, this was something like "maintenance inspections", there are also other things for Pilots and F/As etc.......

Kanga767
1st Mar 2003, 21:53
Crikey!!

It's not like the cost of transit checks comes out of Pilot's wages!!

What happened to working as a team?? All the crews I work with are fabulous guys and girls, I'd hate to think that this is a superficial cover for all the expressions posted here!!!


K

airsupport
1st Mar 2003, 23:06
Kanga767,

Interesting point, and something I had not thought of previously, about Pilot's wages.

Are the Pilots at Virgin Blue getting any increase in salary or benefits for being the only people doing preflights?

IF they are going to do this, they SHOULD get something for the extra responsibility involved?

As for safety, my Wife and I had to go out for a while this morning, and prior to leaving the house we BOTH went around to make sure all the doors were locked, and the iron and toaster were turned off, also no taps left running etc.

Now obviously just one of us could have done it, and it would have meant a quicker departure, but we thought it was safer for both of us to check everything before departure. ;) :rolleyes:

Best regards,

airsupport.

Dehavillanddriver
1st Mar 2003, 23:09
This whole thread is not, or shouldn't be, about whether pilots are monkeys and can or cannot do a preflight inspection.

The whole thing is about the claim that the removal of engineers to do preflight inspections is UNSAFE.

I guess that the first thing to do is have a look at overseas markets and see if any aeroplanes that were not inspected by an engineer preflight have crashed as a result of an engineering fault that was evident prior to flight. A look closer top home to check the low capacity RPT aeroplanes where the PILOT does the daily as well as preflight inspection, and see what the accident rates are like for engineering related fatalities and injuries - and hull losses.

If the answer is no - then there is NO demonstrable reduction in safety.

There may well be a percieved reduction in safety but is it real?

We would be having this arguement if we previously had 12 hourly inspections rather than 24 hourly inspections - and then decided to go to 24 hr inspections only. It is the same thing

It appears on the face of it to be a reduction of safety - but as we all know - 24 hr inspection - ie the daily - are perfectly reasonable and safe.

The same applies to pilot inspections. There is NO regulatory requirement to have an engineer conduct the preflight inspection. There is no quantifiable safety benefit to having the engineer conduct the preflight inspection.

So WHY do it?

Is it better - most likely yes.

Would I like to have an extra set of eyes look over the aeroplane? - Yes

Do I feel uncomfortable doing the inspection by myself as the captain of the aeroplane? - NO

The majority of pilots are smart enough monkeys to get someone else in for a second opinion if there is any question about something - I know I do.

I reckon that the ALAEA should be keeping its powder dry to fight the fights that NEED fighting, not running a scare campaign designed to retain a work practice.

This is primarily an industrial issue NOT a safety issue.

But then I am a monkey with 4 bars - not a grease monkey!

airsupport
1st Mar 2003, 23:44
This thread is NOT about Pilots being monkeys. :rolleyes:

Nobody said Pilots were monkeys. :rolleyes:

Except for you DHDriver, YOU just admitted you were......... ;)

Kanga767
2nd Mar 2003, 01:05
Why does an aircraft have to actually crash before it is considered unsafe?

How about an incident? Does this have no effect on reputation as perceived by the customers (general public)?

Do we want an incident-free industry or just an accident-free industry??

Dehavillanddriver
2nd Mar 2003, 01:40
I'll amend my question to accident/incident...

Whilst I would personally like an extra set of eyes I believe that the "safety" arguement is an emotional one not a real one

Maybe the better option would be to point out the COST benefits of having the engineers around.

Have a look at the delays that result when a pilot delays an aeroplane whilst waiting for an engineer to check something. Quantify that as a dollar amount and make the case using the thing that bean counters understand - Dollars.

The emotion is killing the arguement - no matter how valid the un derlying point may be.

Airsupport - I may have admitted to being a monkey - but at least I understand how management works - and I know that making the "just because" arguement, without providing any objective proof to back up my assertions, will not work in the short term.

It may be that the delays that result from continually waiting for an engineer to arrive to check something that an uncertain pilot has found will make the economics of keeping the engineers around more palatable - but you need a sound arguement to get past first base with the management

Kanga767
2nd Mar 2003, 01:50
that actually sounds quite a constructive suggestion DeHavs!

K

engage left autopilot
2nd Mar 2003, 04:01
Kanga 767 we should not be looking for either a incident or accident free industry. Both are totally unachievable. Acknowledging that the human is the weakest link in the safety chain, and devising ways to strengthen it, ie two humans cross checking, will improve safety and reduce incidents.

I as a pilot am totally competant in doing daily inspections as well as preflight, and indeed do now. In the past i've found many defects that would have resulted in the least, turnbacks. In my role i am also required to know about everything in the aircraft i fly. But that also means that there is no way i would get on a aircraft after I had done the engine change.

Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

When management realizes that incidents will happen, and that having another pair of eyes searching will undoubtedly result in less incidents, safety will improve.

After all thats why i thought we had two of everything.

Two pilots
Two engines
Women have two breasts.
Men have two testicles.

It increases the chance of success.

Kanga767
2nd Mar 2003, 04:19
I amend my statement in that post to, "try and achieve".

We seem to be chasing the same rabbit ELA....

MulletHead
2nd Mar 2003, 04:35
"You can train an Ape to use a wrench" ;)

airsupport
2nd Mar 2003, 04:39
This all reminds me of Dick Smith, and his "affordable safety". :mad:

Yes, we could probably operate this new way without losing an Aircraft, Dick would no doubt be able to quote the odds, but it would be safer the way it was. :eek:

It is VERY commendable that you know about everything in your Aircraft, I have never met another Pilot, OR Engineer, that would claim that. :rolleyes:

Whatever happened to the captains of old?

I remember like it was yesterday, but it was about 15 years ago, preflighting a B737 one day and checking an oil leak I found on one of the engines. The F/O doing the walkround came up to me and started asking all sorts of silly questions while I was trying to work. The Captain came over and upon hearing the F/O, asked me was I Licenced on the Aircraft. When I told him yes, on the engines and airframes, he asked me how long the courses were, so I told him (from memory) something like 8-9 weeks. He then told the F/O to f**k off up to the cockpit and stay there. Then HE apologised to me, and said please excuse him, he watched a 10 minute video on the engine and thinks he knows everything.

Whatever happened to those Captains? :rolleyes:

Hugh Jarse
2nd Mar 2003, 05:09
Fortunately, most of those crusty dickheads are gone :yuk: Except for one airline....

They might have seemed to be silly questions, but perhaps the FO was trying to gain some knowledge from you? Don't take it personally. He might have actually valued your experience on type.

In the company I work for, we don't ask engineers if they're type rated. Of course they are, or they wouldn't work for us!

Check your ego at the gate, please folks......

one ball
2nd Mar 2003, 06:02
Ahhhh... grease monkey... now I get it. Sorry for being slow, AN LAME.

When you said engineer I naturally thought you meant someone who drives a train or builds bridges.

And remember... "you can teach a monkey to fix a bike..."




________________________________________________
what is the sound of one ball slapping

LAYME
2nd Mar 2003, 07:18
In the perfect aviation world pilots are employed to fly aircraft, LAME's are employed to carry out scheduled inspections and to rectify defects, these duties are commonly known as AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE.
We now see pilots doing preflights and in some instances allowed to carry out the maintenance requirements of some MEL's. Pilots are not required, at least under the CASA system to make a tech log entry for any of these items, the reason is, it becomes a maintenance function and would have to signed off by a LAME.
What I find very strange is that an aircraft can fly all day and at the end of the day a number of defects may appear as entries in the tech log.
But I suppose thats why we have QARs and ACARs parameter downlinks.BIG BROTHER is watching.;)

Airbornespanner
2nd Mar 2003, 07:56
Gentlemen it seems that we are all chasing our tails and loosing sight of the objective, haveing been on both sides, up the front end piloting, albeit on light aircraft, and (still) wielding the spanners (these days on jets) we need to have a balance of both PROFESSIONS. I know the pressuers of flight planning and preparing to launch into the air, with that in mind I do not feel that the Captain or F/O need the added task of sole responsability of the Daily and/or turn around, the occasional inspection at an away base that does not have a LAME can be tolerated, but LAME inspections should be kept at main bases, with the pilots doing there own walk around. As has been said before two sets of eyes are better that one. We in Australia have an impecable record of saftey and we should keep it that way, it seems to be ok to stray away from this by down grading, but can you imagain the out cry when some thing goes wrong !!!!!! lets keep the airways safe. I appreciate the air crews that I work with and they appreciate us and that is a great working atmosphere. And just to add even new aircarft have problems and have break downs.

GoodToGo!
2nd Mar 2003, 08:14
In the perfect aviation world pilots are employed to fly aircraft, LAME's are employed to carry out scheduled inspections and to rectify defects, these duties are commonly known as AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE.

You inadvertently summed it up LAYME, The transit inspection just happens to no longer be a scheduled inspection

End of story.

Yandros,
While doing a walkaround on a 737, the engineer doing his walk around spotted that 2 of the N1 blades had overlapped and locked together. As the engine was windmilling quite quickly, I had to ask how the hell he could tell that, and I was shown by the engineer that where the blades were stuck together there was a very small gap and you could see it "flash" as they rotated past. Until then I would never have picked that up, how many other drivers of any rank would pick that up?

Indeed how many other engineers would have picked it up?
Not many. After all, in the transit inspection, where does it say to inspect the fanblades for any that are locked together. Probably in the same place where it says "Inspect every rivet for any that are loosening", etc etc etc. The transit inspection is/was a general visual inspection A shame a lot of engineers try to perform damn near a C-check everytime they come within 15 feet of the aircraft!

Airsupport,
Be careful on your use of emoticons, Your style is getting easier and easier to pick up! :p ;) :eek: :) :O :} := hehehe
Also isn't a LAME supposed to supervise the AME's under him not just assume the responsibility.? And don't forget an AME can basically be anyone who walks off the street and works on aircraft.

Oh gee I just watched another Dash startup and taxy out. What? No LAME doing a pre-flight? Nor was there a LAME on the headset! Aye Carumba! Whats the world coming to? Ah thats right its obviously not a real aircraft because its smaller than a 737. Fellas the precedent is already set. The argument will no doubt be lost.

Cheers
GTG!

AN LAME
2nd Mar 2003, 10:15
You're dragging your feet GTG - becoming a habit. Oh and by the way, if I supervise I also take responsibility. Read the Reg.

Menen
2nd Mar 2003, 11:49
Air Support. You ask where are the captains of old? Well I'll tell you. There are no real captains anymore. Their new title is Pilot Flying (PF) and Pilot Not Flying (PNF). Two anonymous faceless figures of theoretically equal experience and therefore skills. Only one gets paid more.

The "captain" does not make command decisions anymore. He seeks advice, asks opinions, sniffs the air, and meekly asks the first officer what he thinks. And nowadays virtually abrogates most of the responsibility to his PF unless that is the captain then he duck shoves it to the PNF. It's called CRM and teamwork and the captain is the team-leader - or is that the PF?

one ball
2nd Mar 2003, 16:22
The "captain" does not make command decisions anymore. He seeks advice, asks opinions, sniffs the air, and meekly asks the first officer what he thinks.
- So says Menen.

Whilst I share your view on how things have seemed for quite a while, Menen, you'll be pleased to know that the current generation of CRM philosophy is swinging markedly back to where you and I would like it. The touchy-feely don't-make-anyone-cry atmosphere is being replaced with one where everyone remembers who's in command. How long it'll take to make it to wherever you work, I don't know.

It might have something to do with less of a need to hammer home the premises of basic CRM (eg. not operating as a 1-man band) as the older generation retires? Similar changes just might be creeping in as the older LAME generation retires, too, you never know. Maybe CRM should be expanded, once again, to include the bloke with the spannner. Apologies if that's already been mentioned.




________________________________________________
you can teach a one ball to fix a bike

SydGirl
2nd Mar 2003, 22:12
Pardon the short digression from the original topic...

one ball it seems that the premise of CRM is totally lost on you. CRM is not about being touchy-feely or not hurting anyone's feelings. CRM is about utilising every crew members skills and abilities in order to reduce the human factors that in turn may contribute to accidents/incidents.

A cockpit is not two people operating as individuals. It is two people operating as a co-operative cohesive group in order to complete certain tasks effectively. Your statement of "one where everyone remembers who's in command" is an example of antiquated, militarian and outdated thinking.

Anyway my 2 cents.. I've been enjoying this very interesting and lively debate, and hope it will continue in a very gentleman-like manner.

SG
:)

GoodToGo!
2nd Mar 2003, 22:13
AN LAME...
You're dragging your feet GTG - becoming a habit. Oh and by the way, if I supervise I also take responsibility. Read the Reg.

Clap clap clap.
Well done AN LAME, however if you read it again, I was referring to one of Airsupport's earlier posts. You do read every post don't you? Or do you just skim for the juicy ones? I am so happy that you actually supervise your AME's. I know a lot of guys don't. Including at the old AN.

Dragging my feet? Becoming a habit? How so? Because I have other things to do than post message upon message upon message on PPrune?

I have seen nothing really new here since we discussed this topic many many months ago. So I have been content (no, not content, amazed is probably a better word) to occasionally check in and hear the old Pilot V LAME argument and who's better than who blah blah blah.

I have already given my 2 cents worth.

Enjoy your 'C'-checks ...sorry, transit inspections, while they last.

Cheers, and have a great day!
GTG!

Edited for speling eror!

airsupport
3rd Mar 2003, 01:52
GTG,

No worries mate, I don't mind. ;)

In among all this, nobody has yet answered my earlier enquiry, about whether the Pilots that are being forced to do these inspections on their own, are being given any extra salary or benefits? :confused:

Just curious that's all.

I would be very interested to know, just how many pieces of gold is the price nowadays. :rolleyes: ;)

one ball
3rd Mar 2003, 03:58
Syd-Girl. It seems the premise of my post is lost on you. Try to relax. Go sit the latest CRM modules and maybe you'll see what I'm talking about. That you don't like the gist of it changes nothing. I'm just telling you what the "gurus" are saying.

Thanks for your opinion, though.

End of digression.




________________________________________________
you can teach a one ball to ride a bike

LAYME
3rd Mar 2003, 06:38
GTG,
I don't know who you work for nor am I interested but the Boeing
MPD still calls up the preflight or transit or whatever you like to call it as a maintenance function.
The lawyers would have a field day with this one and whilst I have your attention, if you fly a Boeing type, check the preamble to the MMEL and tell me if pilots can depart without a LAME signing Off the defect.

Keep the blue side up and watch your six.;)

I'm with stupid
3rd Mar 2003, 07:47
Sorry Snap off, I had the right A/C wrong location.
I was referring to the DC10 that had an engine depart shortly after take off.

SnapOff
3rd Mar 2003, 07:56
I'm with stupid; Yep I know the one your on about, ie lifting an engine on wing using a forklift. Well doesn't that show that any shortcut in maintenace is not worth the risk, and I think that directly relates to what is being discussed here.

GoodToGo!
3rd Mar 2003, 07:59
Layme,
Hmmm, according to the Boeing MPD I am reading it says, and I quote: It should also be noted that flight crew personnel, can under some circumstances, perform Pre-Flight checks. Duplication of these checks by Flight Crew and Maintenance Personnel is not recommended by BCAG
So there is some more juicy stuff for you guys to discuss. Eg. What 'circumstances'?
Your comment re the MMEL? Well the MMEL states When an item of equipment is discovered to be inoperative, it is reported by making an entry in the Aircraft Maintenance Record/Logbook as prescribed by FAR. The item is then either repaired or may be deferred per the MEL or other approved means acceptable to the Administrator prior to further operation.
Doesn't say LAME to sign off there......
Our company MEL? A MEL item may be invoked into the Tech log (and subsequently if required, the Deferred Defect Log) by the Pilot in Command or by an appropriately Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Hmmm There isn't anything similar in the MMEL regarding the last quote.......


More fuel.


Cheers!
GTG!

AN LAME
3rd Mar 2003, 08:11
It should also be noted that flight crew personnel, can under some circumstances, perform Pre-Flight checks.

At an outport I don't have a huge problem as long as it is strictly adhered to. Risk Management principles indicate that a LAME Preflight at main ports will mitigate the lack thereof at outports. It is when the operators push beyond this that we get into areas of unacceptable risk to safety.

Cheers

'You can teach a monkey to ride a bike...'

Casper
3rd Mar 2003, 08:19
Hey! Aren't you all aware that we have here an industrial dispute being reported by our normal hopeless journalists with incorrect statements being offered by the regulator?? It is NOT a safety issue.

Oz Geek
3rd Mar 2003, 08:57
Syd Girl,

Your CRM post was spot on....disregard one balls weak comments (he obviously worked on his so hard he wore one out).


GTG,

You continue promising to stop posting, yet you never do. The only posts that are "pilot v LAME" are posted by pilots and I must say your generalism reflects very badly on the majority of very professional pilots I have had the pleasure to work along side.


Hugh Jarse,

As for your disgraceful comment::yuk:
Fortunately, most of those crusty dickheads are gone Except for one airline.... I believe it was these gentlemen (& ladies) that made your profession (if you are a pilot) what it is today. Unfortunate that some of these people aren't around today to give you a good spanking. Are you suggesting that the airline without "those crusty dickheads" is the same airline trying to do away with these inspections??? What are you trying to say??


Apart from that, this thread seems to be on track....LAMEs trying to do their job and minimise operator short cuts to A/C maintenance and a minority group of pilots that continue to demonstrate their own personal and professional shortfalls.


AN LAME, Airsupport, LAYME, Airbournespanner; I tip my hat to you. Keep it up. MTR. ;) ;)

Geek :O

Cruncher
3rd Mar 2003, 09:59
I'm a Lame, work for a regional, the pilots do the the dailys, they call engineering if they suspect a problem, it works pretty well. I have enough to do at work without looking for more. Strange as this may seem the pilots are lobbying with some success to get the engineers to do the daily.:confused:

BIK_116.80
3rd Mar 2003, 13:44
AN LAME,

I am getting this strange sense of déjà vu - perhaps because you and I did six round on this issue in the past. ;)

I’ve just had a sneak peak back at :

No RPT LAME requirement (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=53217&perpage=15&highlight=ICAO&pagenumber=1)

and at

Pilots may fly solo over safety checks (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=65256&highlight=ICAO).

I always try to play the ball and not the man. But in this case I feel that an exception is justified. I have been trying to figure out how it could be possible for you to develop your current mind-set with regard to the legal requirements.

It seems to me that you have developed, in your own mind at least, a unique and peculiar interpretation of the ICAO requirements, one that has been influenced to a significant extent by an overpowering desire to support an established position.

You have then attempted to relate your somewhat flawed mental model of the ICAO requirements to the Australian regulations, again selectively applying your own interpretations to suit your desired outcome.

Whilst the incorrect conclusions that this flawed process has allowed you to reach might allow you to enjoy a certain degree of self-gratification, it does put you in a rather unique position in terms of your mental model of reality.

The thing is that ICAO does NOT require that a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer must inspect airline jet aircraft prior to each and every flight – irrespective of whether that flight is to be an international flight or a domestic flight.

I have read your lengthy, extremely tenuous, and in my view simply erroneous interpretations of what ICAO says on all the various threads on this matter. Unfortunately I don’t agree with your conclusions.

And I don’t believe that CASA, nor the FAA, nor the numerous National Regulatory Authorities of the JAR member states would agree with you either. Current approved practice in all of those jurisdictions contradicts your interpretation of the ICAO SARPs.

Even a former CASA lawyer says :

Creampuff posted 18th May 2002 05:43 (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=53217&perpage=15&highlight=daily&pagenumber=3 )
AN LAME

We need to resolve two preliminary questions.

First: does the Chicago Convention require that a new maintenance release be issued prior to each and every flight?

Secondly: does the Chicago Convention require that maintenance on transport category aircraft be carried out and certified only by a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer?

I think the answer to both questions is “no”.
(Creampuff’s emphasis)

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and I can accept that this may come as a shock to you since you have invested so much time and emotional energy developing your line of reasoning, but in regard to your interpretations of the ICAO requirements, you are in a minority of one.

ICAO SARPs do NOT require that an aircraft be inspected by a licenced engineer prior to each and every flight.

Such a requirement is no more than a figment of your imagination brought about by your selective and misguided reading of the regulations.

Now, to answer your current questions :

BIK, Could you answer two questions for me? Why does an International flight require a LAME certified maintenance preflight Inspection but a Domestic Flight does not? And why are you advocating two different levels of safety?

Please provide a regulatory reference for the Australian requirement that an airline jet must be inspected by a licenced engineer prior to an international flight.

If such a requirement does in fact exist, and I am not yet convinced that it does, then I would suggest that it is always the prerogative of any National Regulatory Authority to promulgate their own unique local regulations that are more restrictive than the ICAO SARPs. But whether such more restrictive local regulations (if they exist) are justified or not is an entirely separate matter.

I am not advocating two different levels of safety. Whether the proposed flight is domestic or international I see no reason why B737-300/400/700/800 aircraft need to be inspected by a licenced engineer on every turn around.

Indeed, of the 200 most recent international flights I have done, approximately 120 of the pre-flight inspections were carried out and certified by the pilots - without the assistance of a licenced engineer.

By the way, if the ALAEA is ' an unscrupulpous and aggressive union', what does that make the AMWU, or the TWU or dare I say it, an employee group in this same industry some 14 years ago?

I have not attempted to justify the actions of any union. Unions had a place in the 1800s in England when twelve year old boys were working by candle-light 18 hours a day down the coal mines and getting inadequately fed and substandard shelter in return. But those times are long gone.

AN LAME, you seem to have a particular disdain for pilots, and that is highly unfortunate. I suspect that your views on this and other matters is so influenced by this apparently strong disdain that your ability to objectively analyse the issues has been compromised. And that’s a great shame.

airsupport,

I think you are reading far too much into the Boeing PR document that you are quoting.

Even if it were a legal document – which it is not – it does not specify that ONLY “maintenance crews” can perform the “walkaround” inspection. Taking a page out of AN LAME’s book, you have managed to come to a conclusion that is simply not supported by the text.

But in any case, if you are willing to accept that the deliberately vague Boeing term “maintenance crews” might include unlicenced mechanics, then please describe what are the minimum qualifications and experience required to be an unlicenced aircraft mechanic. I don’t believe that there are any – save for having a red toolbox covered in SIDCHROME or SNAP-ON stickers and a size 14 hammer. ;) So who would be in a better position to perform the “walk around” – a pilot qualified on type after having been trained and certified by a LAME, or an unlicenced aircraft mechanic?

But what I find the most intriguing is that you seem to have changed your position on this issue.

airsupport posted 4 June 2002 11:44 (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=53217&perpage=15&highlight=DAILY&pagenumber=5)
Pilots SHOULD be able to carry out a preflight inspection, it is just a visual walkround...

If it was safe and reasonable in June 2002, then what has changed? :confused:


To all the doubters :

This is NOT a regulatory issue.

This is NOT a safety issue.

THIS IS PURELY AN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ISSUE.

one ball
3rd Mar 2003, 17:50
oz geek were you p!ssed when you wrote that pile??

Suggestion. Click on the thread, then disconnect your PC from the net. Connect your brain and read the posts properly. Then go outside and clear your head but DON'T touch your keyboard again for at least an hour or two.

If you feel you understand what people are saying feel free to add a comment but please don't say anything intended to deliberately inflame the conversation like you just did.

Okay??? cool......

Also... do yourself a flavour and check out a current CRM class.




________________________________________________
what is the sound of one ball exasperated

Oz Geek
3rd Mar 2003, 22:02
one ball,

A bit grumpy tonight??:D :D

So if a thread agrees with you its brilliant but if it doesn't its a pile. Now I'm begining to understand you....you simple little man.

Bik,

So who would be in a better position to perform the “walk around” – a pilot qualified on type....or an unlicenced aircraft mechanic?... the minimum qualifications and experience required to be an unlicenced aircraft mechanic. I don’t believe that there are any...

By your own definition, it seems a pilot IS an unlicenced mechanic....and you don't seem too impressed with their ability to carry out an inspection....in your mind who is qualified now??? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Cheers

AN LAME
3rd Mar 2003, 23:41
My apologies to all for my occasional emotive outbursts (Woomera has already nailed me). My belief in the LAMEs side of the argument is what influences me to wear my heart on my sleeve as it were. For that I do not apologise.

BIK

You say that I am 'in a minority of one' in my interpretation of not only the regulatory requirements but also the benefits, common sense, and risk management aspect of having a LAME carry out transits for RPT operations. If that was the case...I would not be supported by ALL of the apparent engineering background contributors and a fairly sizeable number of our flying fraternity as well.

You mistake my enthusiasm for the debate as manifesting as 'disdain' for pilots. As OZ Geek has said, the only advocates of the 'pilots vs LAME' argument appear to be pilots. I have the utmost respect for professional pilots...but at times that respect does not appear to be reciprocated.

You are correct in your feeling of deja vu regarding this debate. As you are so assiduously researching my previous contributions to the debate, and feel that you only now are 'playing the man', I would like to see your interpretation of the phrase.

You still haven't answered my query as to why you believe the ALAEA is unscrupulous and aggressive. Is it simply that you so vehemently disagree with their argument or are you once again 'playing the man' because they are representing the collective view of their membership... much the same as '89 I presume?

Cheers

'You can teach a monkey to ride a bike...'

Woomera
4th Mar 2003, 00:43
107 posts, time to start again if you wish but no eye gouging, spitting or head butting please.:D .

W