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Aerodyne.
5th May 2003, 05:00
Does the UK CAA lay down standard terminology that should be used when entering a defect in an aircraft technical log ?. Manufacturers specify standard abbreviations & i think the CAA specify what particulair terms mean in the 'technical' context of differing types of aircraft inspection ie. A visual inspection entails ....
This question stemmed from a discussion of the much used "satis" !.

mono
6th May 2003, 04:42
The only thing I have ever seen in writing is a letter from the CAA requesting that crews NOT use the term U/S as it is too vague. It went on to say that a concise description of the defect be written so as to aid trouble-shooting.

E.g.

ADF U/S. - Not good!

ADF poor DF, but ident ok. - better.

As far as I know the use of the word 'satis' is 'cause we engineers are all lazy ba**ards and can't be bothered to write the complete word! Plus, when you look at the tiny space in the log book where we are supposed to condense perhaps 10 hrs work into a sensible report it is best to use all the abreviations that one can!

Finally it's 'cause we like to keep the pilots on their toes. Many's the time I have left the cockpit to hear the words 'what the hell does 'XYZ' mean'

:D

Bombaysaffires
6th May 2003, 06:39
very interesting post, as i have just completed a large study on this very topic here in the US. Biggest complaints here from mechanics is pilots using "inop" which I take to be the equivalent of "u/s". completely useless write up. In our study across 2 carriers mechanics report getting these writeups all the time and pilots all insist they never but never write things up that way.

interestingly, we found when we asked both groups who they think they are making a log entry for, pilots unanimously said for maintenance, but mechanics said the FAA. explains why descriptions of fixes are cryptic and often just reference the maintenance manual section where the repair is detailed. that way if the feds have a problem with how you fixed it, you have used THEIR approved procedure and the burden is not on you.

we also found here that pilots have considerably less formal training on log entries (if any at all) compared to mechanics, and their log entries are less scrutinized. there are no real penalties to pilots for lousy log write ups, but there are for maintenance. this is perhaps a key factor.....

QAVION
6th May 2003, 09:25
"As far as I know the use of the word 'satis' is 'cause we engineers are all lazy ba**ards and can't be bothered to write the complete word! "

"Satis" is a complete cop out (IMHO).... Rather than laziness, it's what some engineers appear to use when they haven't got the b@lls/confidence in their abilities to use the word "serviceable". You only have to look at some of the meanings for satisfactory in a dictionary to see what I mean. E.g. "Adequate". Does this inspire confidence? Unless someone can come forward with a CAA/FAA legal definition of "satis", I advise pilots to accept nothing less than "serviceable". If an engineer has any doubts about serviceability, he should tell the pilots in the log book.

Having said that, even a write off like "Serviceable as per Manufacturer's Maintenance Manual xx-xx-xx"" may not be a guarantee of serviceability. Some of the checks prescribed in the MM can be, at times, woeful (e.g. after changing (essential flight instrument), check background lighting... FULL STOP... No further checks required). As much detail about the rectification should be included in the write off, even if it means going onto a second or third log coupon. Not only is it helpful from a pilot's point of view, it gives engineers (further down the line) a better perspective on what rectification has been carried out (should the defect come back). If you're pushed for ground time, tell the pilot /FE what you've done so that they have the option of adding what you've said in a following log sequence during/after the flight.

Rgds.
Q. (a Maintenance Engineer, in case you were wondering)

Bombaysaffires
6th May 2003, 09:54
<<As much detail about the rectification should be included in the write off, even if it means going onto a second or third log coupon. Not only is it helpful from a pilot's point of view, it gives engineers (further down the line) a better perspective on what rectification has been carried out (should the defect come back). >>

Qavion, see above post. In the US this is not done because of the punitive nature of the FAA. Mechanics who write a narrative description in their own words of what was done risk being called out by the FAA for not following approved procedure if they don't write exactly what the FAA wants, hence, most mechanics stick to just listing the MM ref #. Yes, this leaves pilots out in the cold (they don't carry maintenance manuals) but mechanics are more concerned about gettign busted by the FAA.

Is this not a concern regarding the CAA or any other country's regulatory authority??

<<If you're pushed for ground time, tell the pilot /FE what you've done so that they have the option of adding what you've said in a following log sequence during/after the flight.>>

In the US pilots are not allowed under any circumstances to fill in any actions taken by the mechanics. If the mechanics don't write it in (and only those who did the work) it doesn't get in the log. FEs are pretty well gone in all our pax carriers. They can write " I was informed by maintenance that..." but this carries no meaningful weight as one can't document it.

Are pilots allowed to write down actions taken by maintenance instead of mx in other countries then??

QAVION
6th May 2003, 18:31
"... hence, most mechanics stick to just listing the MM ref #. Yes, this leaves pilots out in the cold (they don't carry maintenance manuals) but mechanics are more concerned about getting busted by the FAA."

We are instructed by CAA (Australia) to list the MM ref #, but as far as I know, there is nothing against including additional text for the benefit of pilots and engineers, or carrying out additional maintenance (to eliminate as many possible causes of a particular defect as you can). I must admit, I haven't signed off a US aircraft for quite some time, so am not up to date with US regs, but I wouldn't be stopped writing in extra text if I thought it was necessary.

"In the US pilots are not allowed under any circumstances to fill in any actions taken by the mechanics."

I was thinking more along the lines of using verbal communication to provide the pilot with information which will provide a guide to a future log entry (if the problem should arise again). However, if he/she finds it necessary, for clarification, to quote some or all of what the engineer has told him/her, I don't see any harm in that.

Communication with the pilot may stop the pilot carrying out unnecessary actions in flight. I realize that pilots are trained to respond to particular events in a certain way, but in situations where time is _not_ of the essence, it doesn't stop them analysing the situation a little more thoroughly.

Where the defect has been quite complex, I make every effort to explain how I went about diagnosing the problem. If the pilot doesn't understand what I am telling him/her, I will try to word what I am saying differently.... or speak to the co-pilot :}

I am compelled to use MM references in my write ups, but I would never hide behind them (and legal-ese). We're in the business of safety, not watching our own backs. And when it comes to safety, there's probably no such thing as "too much information". Speaking to pilots about defects often provides me with a clearer picture of cockpit procedures and better ways to analyse defects (eliminate possible causes, etc)... and honest dialogue gives both parties a degree of confidence in a log entry which may not have been present beforehand.

Cheers.
Q.

West Coast
7th May 2003, 12:44
Bombay
Are you referring to the corrective action area of the write up on the mx log?