View Full Version : MEL - when have you dispatched ??

17th May 2003, 17:52
Had a discussion with a colleague the other day, about JAR OPS regulations with reference to MEL.
When have you by definition dispatched ?? When you leave the gate, or when you apply thrust for takeoff ??

17th May 2003, 18:05
In my airline you have dispatched when you leave the gate.

Max Angle
17th May 2003, 21:33
I believe the correct legal definintion in the UK is "when the aircraft first moves under it's own power for purpose of taking off"

In bmi the company policy was that the MEL applied until you started the take-off. If you had a problem during taxi you could not disregard the MEL, you had to return to the gate and get if looked at, fixed, carried forward or get off it was a stopper.

We have now reverted to using the legal definition but I think common sense still comes into it, if it's something thats going to ground the a/c downroute or a major failure it's clearly better to gi back to the gate.

Notso Fantastic
17th May 2003, 22:04
I think the right answer is when your Company flight manual says when. It's important not to cloud your head with alternative definitions!

17th May 2003, 22:13
My understanding is that, legally, the MEL applies up until take-off. In my company, however, the MEL comes with the caveat that "if a failure occurs during the taxi phase before the start of the take-off roll, any decision to continue the flight shall be subject to pilot judgement and good airmanship. :confused:

Reverend Doctor Doug
18th May 2003, 00:31
My airline uses the dismissal of the ground engineer after start as dispatch. Having tried a few different methods, i find this one excellent and logical. Obviously prior to dismissal of eng, you can still consult about problems, after that you are on your own. From that point until take off, the MEL is advisory only.i.e Captains discretion. So if the problem will be limiting down route, he has the option to come back to the gate, if it is not limiting he can continue as per the non-normals.


The Rev

18th May 2003, 01:07
Airbus manuals (and my company's) consider MEL applicability at any time prior to applying T/O thrust.

However, if memory serves me right I recall Boeing's definition of dispatch was up to engine start. (They also had a different view of the applicability of Status messages).

I think either way is acceptable as long as it is clearly defined in your airline policy. Has anyone found it on Jar-Ops 1?

18th May 2003, 08:08
Our ops manual says that the provisions of the MEL cease to apply at the point of despatch - and then goes on to quote Article 129(2)(a) of the ANO which defines "the point of despatch" as the time at which the aircraft first moves under its own power for the purpose of commencing a flight.

So if a problem occurs whilst you are pushing back or starting engines you return to the gate. If it occurs whilst taxying you can excersise your commanders judgement (for which you are being paid huge sums of money) to decide whether to return to the gate or continue the flight - if you deem it safe to do so. On the occasions that it has happened to me, I have consulted the MEL and if that document has said that the engineers can raise an ADD, and if the weather conditions etc are all suitable to carry the fault if that was done, then I have continued and snagged it at the next station.

Admittedly, our flights are around Europe and short sectors. If you are off across the pond you might decide differently.

19th May 2003, 20:08
excrab makes a good point,

For example, we can dispatch with 1 generator out (744). Across Europe perhaps, but not across the Indian Ocean from JNB to SYD (for example). If you lose 1 more gen then the system will start load shedding. Not good form when over the ice shelf at 65 south.


22nd May 2003, 21:19

When did the definition change ?

I can't find the reference.

Can you help ?

Roger Miller.