View Full Version : MYT Flight Revolt

12th Aug 2003, 02:16
Journalist Peter Lazenby in tonight's Yorkshire Evening Post reports (front page lead) that holidaymakers 'refused to fly' on MYT 392 from Minorca to LBA on Friday because of 'farcical' technical problems, including having the captain 'twice refuse to take off' and then culminating in him asking, 'standing on a chair', "who would be prepared to fly". This was a front page story on a big-selling paper and maybe it's time you guys and gals put in place a PR function that journalists (the good, bad and ugly) could check things out through before printing garbage. C'mon Danny, this is the next development in your brilliant website. And please, readers, don't misinterpret this post. I'm a grateful pax and hate some of the stuff I read about the profession I never quite attained.

12th Aug 2003, 03:01

Take your blood pressure pill first :uhoh:

Hand Solo
12th Aug 2003, 03:50
What makes you think journalists want to check their facts? Its much easier to make things up, and exaggerated or even outright fabricated stories sell far more papers.

12th Aug 2003, 04:11
But the situation described in the newspaper article is almost exactly how one of my neighbours described the incident to me on Sunday (see separate thread on Questions forum). He was one of the passengers who refused to fly. A middle aged sensible professional chap who is used to flying. Dont miss the main point by criticising the journalists. Whatever the position the crew found themselves in, Mytravel's treatment of their passengers at the time was poor. They need to give urgent attention to just how much information to give to passengers, and avoid creating unnecessary fears. As Ptarmigan states this is a big selling newspaper and it's not the publicity the company needs.

12th Aug 2003, 10:44
The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk) has a slightly different version of the story. Here it is, from Tuesday's (12 Aug) online edition:

This is the captain speaking. Who wants to get off?
By Paul Stokes
(Filed: 12/08/2003)

Fourteen passengers, including a former pilot, refused to rejoin a holiday flight after they were involved in two high-speed test runs to check a faulty warning light.

The light came on as flight MYT392, a Boeing 757-200 operated by MyTravel, was preparing to take off from Minorca with 230 passengers bound for Leeds-Bradford airport. It indicated that the aircraft was airborne when it was still on the ground.

The captain used the recognised procedure of accelerating along the taxiway, a test area beside the runway, and braking sharply to redistribute the luggage in the hold.

The first attempt failed but the second succeeded in switching off the light.

Women and children were in tears as the aircraft then returned to the terminal at Mahon airport, where staff transferred luggage from the rear baggage hold to the front.

The captain stood on a chair and explained what had happened. He said that all safety precautions had been carried out and that the airliner was now ready for take-off.

Maurice Atkinson, 72, a former RAF pilot, and his wife Sheila were among those who refused to get back on.

Mr Atkinson said: "A lot of people did not want to, but when the pilot said that if they stayed behind they would be responsible for getting themselves back home, only 14 refused to go on board."

Mrs Atkinson said: "It was very chaotic. A lot of people were very upset.

"It was supposed to have been a computer problem that caused the light to come on, but I did not want anything going wrong as we flew over the Pyrenees."

The couple, from Harrogate, paid £100 each for a flight home on Saturday, a day late, and spent £46 more on train fares. They plan to seek compensation. Flight MYT392 arrived at Leeds-Bradford eight hours late.

MyTravel said: "The captain took all reasonable safety measures and kept passengers informed at all times.

"Anyone who did not choose to fly was assisted with alternative flights."

Kaptin M
12th Aug 2003, 14:26
The captain used the recognised procedure of accelerating along the taxiway...and braking sharply to redistribute the luggage in the hold. :ooh:

Personally I haven't used that "recognised procedure".
I guess it's Boeing approved?!

"Yeah..just chuck 'em in anywhere. I'll be using the old "Baggage Redistribution Procedure (RDP)" to sort 'em out!".

Danny - this one is RIGHT up your alley.

12th Aug 2003, 16:14
The Times reports it thus:

August 12, 2003

I've fixed the plane, now hands up if you want to fly with me, says pilot
By Steve Bird

A PILOT asked nearly 200 weary British tourists to give a show of hands if they wanted to fly home on board an aircraft that he had personally repaired.
The holidaymakers had been stranded for seven hours in Minorca after the Boeing 757’s onboard computer repeatedly insisted that it was airborne despite being parked on the sweltering Tarmac.

Covered in oil after resetting a sensor in the aircraft’s nosewheel, the pilot stood on a chair in the terminal building and pleaded with the exhausted tourists to join him. But despite reassuring them that the MyTravel aircraft was safe, families were split over whether to board. In the end 13 passengers refused.

Johnathon McMillan, 36, said that his wife Fiona, 34, and son, Ross, 6, began to cry when one of the passengers mentioned his fear that the aircraft could crash. “I’ve never had to make a decision like that in my life before. If the truth be known, we thought it was a decision between life and death. The prospect of being in a plane which doesn’t know whether it’s in the air or on the ground is terrifying.

The aircraft had been due to fly at 5.20pm last Friday. Nearly seven hours later the pilot took off, and landed safely at Leeds-Bradford airport at 2.13am on Saturday.

The McMillan family flew home the next day. Mr McMillan paid £350 for his family to fly with another airline. They plan to try to claim back the money.

A MyTravel spokeswoman said that the problem was “merely a faulty indication light” and that the captain had kept passengers fully informed at all times. “Any customer who did not choose to fly was assisted with alternative flight options.”

Ewen Godrey, 50, a senior education officer from Bingley, West Yorkshire, also refused to board. He said: “There were a lot of scared people.” He said that passengers were told that accommodation on the island was full and they would have to pay for their own flights back if they did not board.

12th Aug 2003, 16:46
Could someone who knows what the tech problem was give us details on the procedure that called for a high speed run with harsh braking (I’m assuming it’s a short runway

But what possessed the crew to do something like whatever it was they did with pax on board? Were they hoping they could continue the takeoff if the glitch resolved itself?

As for: The captain used the recognised procedure of accelerating along the taxiway, a test area beside the runway, and braking sharply to redistribute the luggage in the hold. …give me strength! Even allowing for the sometimes ridiculous comments we see from so-called journalists, I’d have thought even the most yellow-press editor might have paused before allowing one of his ‘journalists’ to submit something so patently ludicrous as that.

no sponsor
12th Aug 2003, 16:46
Would that be one of the two big indicators that says 'In Air' or 'On Ground'?

Those Airplane movies spring to mind.

12th Aug 2003, 17:05
Sounds like a problem with the gound/air logic squat switch in the nosewheel leg. Enjoyed the bit about slamming the brakes on to redistribute baggage though, most amusing!

Electric Sky
12th Aug 2003, 17:09
From the BBC:


Isn't it great how 230 pax = "nearly 300" :p

ES ;)

12th Aug 2003, 18:37
Kirsty Young on Radio 2 (sitting in for that plonker Jeremy Vine) has just put out a request for any of the pax on this flight to call in with their stories...


Pax Vobiscum
12th Aug 2003, 19:17
Note the BBC article (see Electric Sky's comment above) provides for readers' comments. I see one 'Danny' from the UK has already posted (nah, couldn't be ...)

12th Aug 2003, 19:21
Ozzy, is one allowed to ask what you are doing listening to Radio 2 at 3 in the morning?:confused:

12th Aug 2003, 19:37

"Why does the pilot need a light to tell him whether the plane is on the ground or in the air? Isn't there some kind of manual check for this?"
Nick, UK

Reminds me of Mark Twain. Give FOs a plumb line to heave out the window. Put some knots in the string and they could work out the speed in knots as well. :} :p

12th Aug 2003, 19:42
newswatcher I don't sleep much so I'm on the Internet listening to R2 and ppruning...sad innit:ugh:


Raw Data
12th Aug 2003, 20:03
Perhaps some of you need to stop and think before you accuse the pilot of bad captaincy. Seems to me he went above and beyond the call, he could have just said "tech" and parked it.

Instead, he did all he could to solve the problem, communicated with his pax about the nature of the problem and his fix, and then gave them the choice as to whether or not they wanted to travel- probably because he realised some would be nervous. He could have left these tasks to engineers and handling agents (but then of course there probably wasn't an engineer for 100 miles, and many handling agents are less than helpful in these situations).

The "facts" are somewhere between sketchy and fantasy, but a little less jumping to conclusions would be in order, don't you think?

12th Aug 2003, 20:13
Well in Raw Data. Once had an interminable delay on board a Eurocypria 320. The cap went into great detail about oleo's & why we had to stay on the a/c whilst the techs whipped out the wd40.

At least we knew...

12th Aug 2003, 20:18
Ozzy, can't imagine that Radio does much to keep you awake! Perhaps you should be listening to one of the other 363 "British" stations available through the Internet!!


Tyke returned
12th Aug 2003, 20:20
Raw Data - you may well be right although in that case the captain needs to do some work on his people management and communication skills. The fact that some passengers refused to fly on an airworthy plane seems to indicate that he didn't manage their concerns effectively.

Use of appropriate language can do a lot in these circumstances. I cannot remember how many planes I have been on with technical delays but I have never known panic as reported here. I was on a plane with cabin airpressure problems (far more concerning than this problem I would have thought) but we eventually departed with all the passengers.

Something along the lines of telling SLF there was a minor problem with a suspension indicator light and that he was confident that the plane was still safe but he wasn't going to take any risks no matter how small, may have worked better than letting people believe that they were on a plane which thought it was airborne when it was parked!

12th Aug 2003, 20:41
Must say I'm very interested in this recognised procedure of using braking force to shift cargo bay baggage to within limits thus extinguishing a spurious flight deck light indication. It sounds almost too funny to be an answer in a JAR Mass and Balance exam! Where do these journo's dig it up from? :bored:

Anyway, enough has been conjectured already so I won't add to the ridiculous speculation with my thoughts at this early media hysteria stage save to say that I feel sorry for the Captain who by the sounds of it did his best to manage the situation tactfully. Perhaps he should have just called "tech" and left it at that? Notes have been taken incase I ever encounter a simliar scenario as appears here that's for sure.*

One last thing: does anyone else think this hardly qualifies as Daily Telegraph front page fodder and ITV Lunchtime News material? More proof that the media are again (for whatever personal gripes) trying to stick the knife into the commercial aviation world rather than doing the honourable thing and blowing sunshine up up it's ass at this low point in it's history. Suprised ITV never managed to slip some library footage of BA in their news item. I bet BBC do! ;)


* Reminded of the young FO who kindly informed the pax they'd be entering turbulence in seven hours.

12th Aug 2003, 20:52
Sadly, it seems to be the usual newspaper trash at this time of year - no real news to report, so let's scare the holidaymakers - this morning we had some toerag from the Express getting a baggage handler's job at LHR, and then deliberately smuggling in sharp objects; last week there was some tripe about great white sharks off the Cornish coast.

I liked Eric Moody's comment about helicopters!!

12th Aug 2003, 20:58
Perhaps the pilots decision not to just call the plane Tech' and walk away was the result of him being informed by HO that most of MYT's other northern based a/c had also thrown sevens and the weekend schedule had already been decimated. Far be it from me to suggest that the pilot should "fudge" some sort of repair in order to avoid adding to MYT's tech problems but it would add up wouldn't it? You could speculate that on another weekend the plane would have been sat and a replacement called in, but as is mentioned elsewhere on PPRUNE there was little or no subcharter capacity and certainly no spare aircraft. It's bad enough that the press have got hold of the story but imagine what a meal they'd make of it they put the weekend's chaos together with it and made a whole new aviation safety story.

12th Aug 2003, 22:25
Am i on the right website? I thought it said Proffesional in the title.if this story is true then god help us .Gnd /flt sensing does not just put on a little indicator.It is a valid signal to dozens of other systems including all the really important ones we dont like to go off.with a defect like this you should ground the a/c end of story,and get the engineering support that it warrants no matter what the delay.How about an engineer flying an a/c home one sector because of a crewing problem? Don't laugh,It is just as illegal and only a bit more dangerous.

12th Aug 2003, 23:18
Not one ounce of fact in this thread which is a pity. Presumably if the aircraft is a B757 this could be STS MSG Landing Gear Monitor or Gear Disagree both no go items

Instrument Ranting
13th Aug 2003, 01:41
What a bunch of whingers!

This is most definitely a story...worthy of prominent coverage.

Surely you chaps fly by numbers...procedures etc. Either you go or don't go...if you need clarification I presume you have a technical department in your own airlines to go to.

You do not stand on a chair and ask the pax to make a decision....what position are they in to judge whether it is safe or not??

You have all been so quick to condemn this report as inaccurate garbage, and yet the more we hear the more accurate it appears to have been reported - so in fact it was many of you jumping to conclusions and publishing half facts.

rant over - but a more tolerant attitude to criticism of the industry would not go a miss on this website.

Notso Fantastic
13th Aug 2003, 01:58
You call people here 'whingers'. You're a prat. You know nothing about the technical details. Anyone who flies professionally will know what nature the problem was. It was not done to 'shift the baggage in the holds'- a ridiculous conclusion dreamt up by imbeciles. It was done to work the weight switch. Hats off to a doubtless very tired pilot trying his best to keep the show on the road and fix the problem the only way he could see.

U/S President
13th Aug 2003, 01:58
Well Instrument Ranting, here’s a quote (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3143237.stm) from a pax who was actually on the flight:

I was one of the passengers on this flight (with my wife and 2 young children) and have been amazed by the inaccuracy of the reporting on this event. The vote was not to see if we should "risk it" but merely whether passengers wanted to go the lengths of boarding the plane again (3rd time) to try and fly home. The only "risk" was that the plane would only be able to taxi to the end of the runway and because of the fault not start the initialisation sequence. We would then have had to go straight back to the terminal and wait at least another 4 hours for the engineers to be flown from the UK.

All the news I have read today is about a “patched” plane “personally repaired” by the pilot and then us voting whether we thought it was safe to fly, which is just not the case but obviously makes for a better headline. It is funny that the bit of oil on the pilots shirt has now become him being “caked” and “covered” in oil!

13th Aug 2003, 01:59
You have all been so quick to condemn this report as inaccurate garbage, and yet the more we hear the more accurate it appears to have been reported - so in fact it was many of you jumping to conclusions and publishing half facts.

Not ONE fact has been published about this incident.

The news reports are complete garbage:-

Taxiway = a test area
Sudden braking to re-distribute luggage = an approved procedure
A warning light to say it was airborne
230 = nearly 300

This report is total garbage UNTIL someone in the know tells us what actually happened.

Only the following is clear:

There was an incident/failure of some sort preventing take off.
The pilot manged to fix it somehow.
The aircraft flew home safely without a few of it's pax.

Anything else - let's wait and see.

13th Aug 2003, 02:02
No one seems to have picked up this comment from the BBC website which has some relevance:I was one of the passengers on this flight (with my wife and 2 young children) and have been amazed by the inaccuracy of the reporting on this event. The vote was not to see if we should "risk it" but merely whether passengers wanted to go the lengths of boarding the plane again (3rd time ) to try and fly home. The only "risk" was that the plane would only be able to taxi to the end of the runway and because of the fault not start the initialisation sequence. We would then have had to go straight back to the terminal and wait at least another 4 hours for the engineers to be flown from the UK.

All the news I have read today is about a "patched" plane "personally repaired" by the pilot and then us voting whether we thought it was safe to fly, which is just not the case but obviously makes for a better headline. It is funny that the bit of oil on the pilots shirt has now become him being "caked" and "covered" in oil !
Nigel, England

Whatever was reported by the press can be attributed to a [email protected] editor sending an even lower life form to report the story. :}

Oh, and the comment by 'Danny' wasn't me. Honest! :\ You can see who bothered to read the previous comments and who didn't but were still prepared to come out with real indignation even thought hey only had the [email protected] reporting to work from! :yuk:

Lou Scannon
13th Aug 2003, 03:09
My heart really goes out to this captain who, not only was trying to fix the problem himself, but also took the trouble(and had the b*lls to walk into the terminal and tell the pax the truth).

All it takes is one passenger claiming to be a pilot to stir things up and create panic amongst the assembled masses. Add to that a few journo's short of a story and... Bingo!

And the passengers wonder why they are never told anything and why we regard the majority of journo's as pratts.

Thanks Danny for the report on what the passengers actually heard from the captain!

Instrument Ranting
13th Aug 2003, 03:53
But Notso, the pilot wasn't addressing fellow professional pilots was he? He was talking to passengers. Can you blame them for being , un-nerved by a pilot saying 'do you want to give it a try?'.

You may fully understand that there would never be any risk because he would not have taken off if the problem re-occured, but can you blame some pax for not grasping that...after all another favourite past-time of these forums is to highlight the apparent stupidity of so called self loading freight.

My point is the pilot did fix the problem himself.
He did ask his pax if they wanted to give it a try (both facts referred to by the airline itself). That makes the story as I read it accurate:

BBC News On Line (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3143237.stm)

it also makes it newsworthy.


PS It seems a pity that after western civilisation came through the renaissance and the enlightenment, that your first response to an argument challenging your views was 'You're a prat'!

Notso Fantastic
13th Aug 2003, 04:14
You started the name calling! But to move on, a very tired pilot feeling for his passengers. Knowing they may feel shaken. Good on him. Whether he said anything indiscreet I wouldn't like to judge, but I shall learn from this. Sometimes you can be too honest, to give too much information.

13th Aug 2003, 04:25
Instrument Rating ...

It's obvious you don't have a clue about what you're going on about. Listen to the people who have tried to explain it to you !

There wasn't a serious 'safety' issue at all. It was a flight deck instrument failure that meant the Captain could not legally depart without having it fixed.

It was fixed, the aircraft departed, albeit without a few pax.

The Capt had the decency to explain to the pax what was happening and to give them the opportunity to 'try it again' to ensure the fix remained fixed ! If they wanted to offload they could, but would be stuck there overnight until the company could arrange alternative accom and flights.

At no time were pax EVER in danger ! This was a professional airline Capt - not some cowboy for Christ's sake !

The problem was a few pax used the chinese whisper syndrome to alarm others. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing !

It seems a pity that after western civilisation came through the renaissance and the enlightenment, that your responses to overwhelming evidence to discredit the reports are met by your blind and increasing intransigence !

Newsworthy probably, but not in it's current guise. The crew should be commended for keeping the pax appraised !

But we can't win can we - tell pax nothing or tell 'em everything and we're condemned either way !

Disclaimer - I wasn't there, but have just listened to and read the reports.

Methinks this thread should be retitled 'Revolting Reporting' !

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Jet II
13th Aug 2003, 04:26

Anyone who flies professionally will know what nature the problem was. It was not done to 'shift the baggage in the holds'- a ridiculous conclusion dreamt up by imbeciles. It was done to work the weight switch

Air/ground sensing on 757 is done by proximity sensors - they are either 'near' or 'far' - what 'weight switch' would be fixed by taxying fast and braking hard.

Whilst I don't know the exact details of this incident, I have had similar snags in the past - if the nose gear oleo is over-inflated and the freight is loaded too far back it can extend the nose gear on the ground and give a spurious air/ground signal - the quick fix is to let some nitrogen out of the nose gear.

Instrument Ranting
13th Aug 2003, 05:11
Notso - fair point.

Ghost rider, I do understand and I don't concur that it was legal semantics. Isn't it the case that such a micro-switch forms part of a mechanism that guards some systems from delpoying in flight?

But in a way you make my point - can you blame some pax from being unnerved by being asked to vote on whether they attempt to fly or not?

I have no doubt this pilot worked hard to get the aircraft in the air - and he was very honest, but the bottom line is, it was the wrong thing to do.

I know hindsight is a wonderfuly thing, but really he should have made the decision and then informed the pax - that is what most pax expect when they say they want to be kept informed...not asked to take part in a vote.

13th Aug 2003, 05:38
Its hardly suprising the passengers were alarmed, most of the posts here seem to be oblivious of the fact that the vast majority of these type of customers only fly once or twice a year, and only have a minimal appreciation of aircraft performance.

The captain has to be applauded for his efforts in attempting to be honest with everyone, and trying to explain the problem, but I really do wonder if he would have been better off if he'd kept them off the aircraft until the problem was resolved.

Lets hope he is not made a scapegoat because of the publicity.

13th Aug 2003, 05:47
Yes, fair play to the Captain for trying to keep the pax informed. I too sincerely hope he isnt hung out to dry for this.
The comment posted by Danny clarified most of it for me.

13th Aug 2003, 16:37
Radio 2 did eventually get two passengers from this flight on the phone to talk about it. It was illuminating to say the least.

The passenger who flew said the fact that the pilot addressed them and kept them informed gave them absolute confidence that he would be operating safely or not atall. She was complimentary and understanding about the whole incident.

The passenger who did not fly also commended the professionalism of the pilot and the company but simply decided that he and his family would prefer not to fly and would make their own arrangements. He also said that despite the fact that this was their decision not to fly MYT arranged transport and accommodation, which of course the pax had to pay for, but said that the company were most helpful and didn't mention compensation once.

Both passengers said they felt the event had been exaggerated in the news.

They also had Eric Moody on who gave some background insight.

I have no idea what the problem was or the rights and wrongs of the situation so I have no comment. All I can say is that people who were involved from both sides said the captain did a professional job. Good enough for me.



Notso Fantastic
13th Aug 2003, 17:45
AFSKAP- you don't need a fully qualified ground engineer at every turnaround. Basic and simple defects can be handled by 'ACF' (Acceptable Carry Forward) in the Technical Log. This is an industry that is trying to cut its costs! If he was able by this means to get the machine home for further checking, it is a perfectly acceptable procedure.

13th Aug 2003, 18:44
Not so NOT SO,

Ldg gear monitor/ldg gear disagree is a NO DISPATCH status message. It cannot be deferred.


The C of A would only be invalidated if the defect was written in the tech log and the a/c flown with it uncleared. As I suspect this was not the case then technically it was ok to fly.

Down route defects are quite commonly rectified by pilots talking to maintenance (Maintrol) to see if a simple fix will clear it and I suspect this occured this time. Redistribution of the hold baggage (BY BAGGAGE LOADERS NOT A HIGH SPEED TAXI AND BRAKE MANOUVER) is an acceptable way to ensure the nose squat sensor is in ground mode. Had it not worked I'm sure the pilot would have grounded the a/c.

Tony Flynn
13th Aug 2003, 19:18
Forgive me for my simple slf interpretations but generally as far as I'm aware, if a large passenger aircraft crashes then everybody or most everybody on board dies. The crew don't get a choice to live, they take their chances with the rest of us. Therefore if the crew are willing to get on then I really don't worry about it, my risk is their risk and they're the ones with the informed decision. The captain did a fine job in keeping the passengers informed, I guess in any load there will always be a few with the 'soap opera' dramatic mentality.

Ranger One
13th Aug 2003, 19:52
Whilst it's clear this is basically a story about crap reporting, Instrument Ranting has the beginnings of a point... by all means keep the pax as fully informed as you like, but the vote was *probably* a mistake... and as we've seen, liable to misinterpretation.

I recall a conversation with colleagues many years ago about the nature of captaincy... one colleague told the story of the Navy captain who, with shore leave due and the ship approximately equidistant from two possible ports, allowed the crew to vote on where *they* would prefer to take shore leave.

When the higher-ups found out about it, the captain was immediately ordered back to home port... and never allowed to sail again. Desk job.

Granted, this was a military command. The point remains: with ultimate responsibility comes ultimate authority. *You* carry the can, you don't need the help of the pax to make decisions like that...

Probably seemed a good idea at the time...!


13th Aug 2003, 20:02
Both The Guardian and The Independent reported that a high-speed test run was made AND that baggage was redistributed - NOT that the taxi run was made TO shift the baggage. Which goes to show - don't believe the Torygraph...

I. M. Esperto
14th Aug 2003, 08:14

Pilot shows confused plane what's up

August 12 2003 at 11:24AM

London - A British pilot took matters into his own hands by repairing a defective computer on a Boeing 757 himself and returning to England with 20 passengers, the Times reported on Tuesday.

A monitor on the MyTravel aircraft last Friday indicated that the plane was airborne despite being parked on the tarmac in Menorca for about seven hours.

Covered in oil after resetting a sensor in the plane's nosewheel, the pilot stood on a chair in the terminal building and pleaded with the exhausted ........................

Anthony Carn
14th Aug 2003, 13:53
The light begins to dawn as the truth slowly seeps through the media rubbish. I'm grateful to others for buying newspapers - they're useful floor protection when I'm decorating ; I've got better things to spend my money on.

Lets hope the Captain concerned works for an intelligent and decent management. I've worked for management who would now have one thing on their minds, even if the guy was blameless - "Let's cover our behinds and be seen to discipline this guy. That'll keep the heat off us."

14th Aug 2003, 14:00
Re comments about the CRS and pilot maintenance:

1) All known defects have to be reported/recorded
2) If recorded, the aircraft cannot depart until a CRS has been issued or the defect has been deferred. A pilot can defer a defect provided it is covered by the MEL and no maintenance action is required.
3) If all this hype is true, the pilot should not have attempted any form of rectification or fault-finding. The fault, as described, seems to relate to prox sensors on the nose leg or an over-serviced/defective nose leg extended too far (I've seen that several times). This also manifests itself with the EICAS showing inflight start parameters with the engines shut down on the ground. I suspect the attempted fast-taxy may have been an effort to rectify this.
4) Unless he/she is a licenced engineer (there are a few) authorised on type the pilot should attempt nothing - a maintenance organisation should have been involved. If none were available, it's a wait for the pax pending the arrival of suitably qualified people.
5) Why is it that the only aviation experts the press contact are E. M. and D. L?

14th Aug 2003, 16:22
Which aircraft was this? not i hope G-PIDS this used to (rest) at Leeds and was nick-named "pax in deep shit" due to the number of times it had gone `tech` with minor niggels.
Away from the reporting you need to bear in mind that for most of these pax's they are not frequent flyers and its an adventure for them. I can remember years ago my parents tell'in me about "how they nearly ran out of fuel" coming back from some sun spot and how they has to land in Portugal to refuel, strong head winds in an old 737-200 no doubt, either way the point you need to remember is that its part of their holiday and most will still be talking about it in't workin' man's club at Christmas but come next summer they'll back off to Lanzygroty and willStill fly with Mytravel aslong as they are 50p cheaper than Air2bob!

Later today when all the old dears get together for their bingo (pension day) it will start all over again, quickly followed by "you should sue them, my friend sued the bingo club cos she tripped over someones walking stick ,got `thousands`" and on it goes where there is blame there's a claim!!!

Most of my PAXS today will spend more on their ticket to AMS than this lot paid for a week, but its is their own cash i guess


I guess you don't fly for a living, lifes not black and white, thankfully most tech problems are, but every now and again, normally well away from home, some little microswitch says` ****** this 39c is to warm for me`

right off to cloggy land

14th Aug 2003, 19:13
The thread is interesting for a number of reasons. 'Chinese whispers' show that despite some quite clear facts, the interpretations by the various readers have left most of them with quite differing pictures of what went on and what they would/would not have done, and their mindsets.

It demonstrates that almost any action taken by the Captain would have found him open to someone's criticism and a hero to some, unprofessional to others, lazy uncaring git to the remainder.

It show that the tabloids will spin to sell, and cater to an audience whose titalation is the pricipal object of the exercise. Truth figures in a vague sort of way, and generaly comes way behind in the list of an editors priority's. Most are a waste of good paper.

Groundbased's account of actual reports from passengers actualy there and involved, would seem to have a ring of truth. MYT is like many others is struggling to survive and this sounds like an effort above and beyond by a staff member detirmined to do his best for his company and his passengers.

The hows why's and wherefor's aside, it is a demonstration of someone trying to sort out a problem and get the job done despite the odds. In a day and age where most people are simply out for themselves and the easy way out, where trains planes and automobiles are late, cancelled or in a gridlock it makes for a refreshing read.

My hat is off to the Captain of that flight.

I. M. Esperto
14th Aug 2003, 23:51
Anthony - "intelligent and decent management".

Surely you jest.

Notso Fantastic
15th Aug 2003, 02:13
You're not living in the real world. It's all very well for ground engineers to insist that any defect is repaired and signed off by a licensed aircraft engineer, but in the real world sometimes light bulbs need changing, things need a little tap with a torch, and weight switches need a bit of persuasion to operate correctly, and hey, if they then do function correctly, who's to stop the operation. The real world doesn't allow ground engineers everywhere, there are no hotel rooms to spare in Menorca, and this guy sorted the problem. So if you feel like casting the first stone step forward and see how far it gets you, but a clever and resourceful pilot got the aeroplane home, legally as far as I can see, so why don't we give him a bit of grudging respect?

15th Aug 2003, 02:58
There have been some idiotic statements on this thread along with some wild speculation from so called professionals who really ought to know better. Some of them have been as wilfully stupid as the newspaper articles that this thread set out to ridicule.

Prince amongst the idiots is clearly ASFKAP with the final sentance of his post. I work for MYT in the left seat of a 757 and the culture he alludes to is not one that I recognise. Shame on you ASFKAP...you are an absolute pr*ck.

15th Aug 2003, 13:31
Not so Fantastic,

Sorry, you're absolutely wrong. While the pilot could possibly be commended for doing his best to get the pax home, and was perhaps under some pressure from MAN base, he was operating outside his qualifications. He should have said "no". You may feel that the most simple tasks are not beyond the abilities of the unqualified; they may be in practice but there is a reason why most tasks are left to those best (and legally) qualified.
You also have to consider the fact that his (well-intentioned) interfering with the air/ground system has other implications. Suppose the whole episode had had its desired conclusion - pax home and happy. It is possible that no record of his actions would ever exist.
Suppose, as a consequence of his actions, a subsequent failure/incident related to the air/ground system occurred. The last certification of any legitimate work on that system remains in force. The engineer responsible could potentially and innocently be in the frame for something he did not do.


A and C
15th Aug 2003, 14:49
I dont know enough to comment on the technical issues of the 757 ground sence system , but what we have here is the press not letting the truth get in the way of a good story and a bunch of so called professionals slagging a guy who was just doing his best to get the job done without putting anyone in danger.

I am lucky enough to hold an engineers licence and to command a jet airliner and from my point of view the captain did nothing wrong , infact he he should be congratulated for his persistance in trying to get the situation sorted out.

What is crystal clear is that some of the loudest voices posting above dont have the first idea what it is like to be in command of an aircraft that has just "gone tech" and they know even less about the best way to resolve the situation.

To the captain I say "well done and I,m sorry that the press got hold of this ".

To his more viciferouse critics above all I can say is "I dont think that you have what it takes to do his job".

15th Aug 2003, 17:09
Sorry, A&C - I totally disagree with you. Accidents often happen because those involved are trying to do their best, with no malice intended, without necessary back-up. Circumstances conspire against them and it spirals out of control from there.
Furthermore, as a licenced engineer, you should know better than to make remarks suggesting that some of those contributing to this post "don't have what it takes".
Get-home-itis is a potential killer.

15th Aug 2003, 19:45
Seems to me there is a lot of comment on this thread from those who clearly do not know what they are talking about and some from those who sadly should know better!

The company is supporting the actions of the Captain so I guess that says it all! Good to see some level heads around as well as Muppets on this thread though!

Another story blown out of all proportion by the good old British press.

Bally Heck
15th Aug 2003, 20:11
Just to inject a fact into this thread. (Not many so far)

"The nose gear compressed logic sensing system provides logic to relays controlling stall warning and portions of the caution and warning system."
(From the Boeing 757 manual)

There is no question of thrust reversers/spoilers/self destruct mechanisms or lavatory inhibiting levers deploying.

It affects warning systems only.

All the critical stuff comes off the main gear truck tilt sensors.

15th Aug 2003, 22:09
Some may be missing the point. It is not the complexity or simplicity of the system that is at issue. He should not have involved himself to that degree. I would have thought that the systems mentioned by Bally Heck warrant sufficient concern.

I would expect the pilot's peers to defend him and reasonably so. No doubt MyTravel are only to happy to defend him - it is probable a fair amount of commercial pressure was the reason this whole episode started!

However, when we get the full story we'll probably find it never happened.:ok:

15th Aug 2003, 23:08
There have been some cold hearted callous insinuations that the newspapers might have blown this episode out of all proportion purely for their own mercenary interests. These leading some to believe that all they are good for is wrapping fish and chips in. I would like to point out however that the TV guide section can be quite usefull in detailing which rubbish not to watch, and they can be invaluable for housetraining small puppies.
In the meantime the readers of the thread all maintain a vigorous defence of their respective positions, still it would be a dull old world if we all thought said and did the same as everybody else.

16th Aug 2003, 00:03

As has already been pointed out by those that were there he did not ask the passengers to vote on the airworthiness of his aircraft.

Clearly you have more information than I, as you feel able to comment on his professionalism. However, those who were present seem to feel he conducted himself professionally and with consideration for his passengers. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story!

As for the technical issues and legalities I am sure with all the publicity the CAA will have looked into the problem. As far as I know they have no problem with anything he did unless of course they are part of some cover-up as well!;)

Onan the Clumsy
16th Aug 2003, 01:20
* THE NATRJE RETURN CODES ARE AS FOLLOWS; Sorry, must've overwritten the cut and paste buffer :hmm: the pilot should not have attempted any form of rectification It's taken a while to read all this and I can't remember now. Where did it say he actually 'fixed' anything? I know he nipped outside and returned 'covered with'/'caked in' oil, but did it actually say he fixed anything?

The fast taxi and slam the brakes on was good for a laugh though. Still the newspaper obviously got that wrong. Everyone knows the 'standard procedure' is to do it on the runway and not a taxiway. :=

Just More Crap
16th Aug 2003, 01:54

At the end of the day; the passengers got home safely, the crew did their best to rectify the problem. Legally or illegally it is not our call to judge the pilots actions. We were not there, we do not know and therefore we cannot pass judgment on anything until proper facts are known. One thing is for sure, that the pilot acted in the must suitable way he knew and got passengers home; and for that he should be commended!


16th Aug 2003, 03:17

Sorry your posts seem to contradict each other!

Jet II
16th Aug 2003, 15:19
I'm a bit surprised that after a week of speculation over what the Captain did/did not do, nobody from MYT has come on board and posted the facts - surely there is someone out there from MYT who can use a computer?;)

A and C
16th Aug 2003, 15:53
Now lets have a think about this ......what can the guy do to the system with the resorces that he has at hand ?.

He wont have had a set of tools with him so all he could have done was to have cleaned off the prox sensors with a bit of paper and done a BITE check reset under the advice of the engineers back at base.

So what is the big deal ? none of these actions could have made the situation worse and it seems that whatever he did it fixed the problem.

As an ex line engineer I have no problems with this but I do have problems with the undertones of job protection being the main reason for the critisium of this guy.

16th Aug 2003, 16:29
Absolutely, A&C.

However you dress it up ASFKAP, your posts seem to be more about protecting engineers jobs than flight safety.

In the real world, there just ain't gonna be engineers at every turn-round any more.

Cleaning a bit of gunge from a sensor rather than calling out an engineer, possibly from UK with all the delays that might cause, seems the sensible route.

The real point is that captains must be soooo careful what they tell pax and how they put it over.

Remember the PA in which the captain said something like 'I'm afraid the weather in XXX is not too good' was reported in the press as 'PILOT AFRAID'.

There's absolutely no way a pilot can interfere too much now anyway, as even his nail clippers have been confiscated, let alone his trusty Leatherman!

16th Aug 2003, 21:03
Sorry guys even if we had all the facts until the company makes the information public it would not be right for any of us to do so on this forum! We have already seen how some like to twist the truth for a good story so better to keep it in general terms until the official report comes out which will not be for a few weeks.

All I will say from what I know, most of the technical speculation has been way off base and the Captain conducted himself well given the difficult circumstances and did nothing wrong. A real none story unless you want to stir up a bit of trouble of course.

I love the way the papers assume a former pilot is an expert and therefore adds weight to their story. My wife is a former pilot but knows little about large transport aircraft and more to the point would not pretend too!

16th Aug 2003, 22:01

A few words about the prox sensors on the 757 nose air/ground system.

Not normally affected by a bit of grease on the target. However, I have seen anomalous EICAS messages on the ground due to the external power cable being draped across the top of either sensor.

Wily Coyote
22nd Aug 2003, 16:46
Sorry to drag this one up again but at the time I was so angry with the poor quality of reporting that this "story" displayed that I wrote and complained to the beeb. For those who are interested I have copied the majority of it below.

It makes no mention of the fact that my main gripe (through implication) was allowing uninformed members of the public to criticise the actions of a trained professional on a public website and make comments on his/her behaviour without actually being in possession of the facts.

It seems that this BBC employee ran off quickly to do some research (AFTER the story was published) in order to counter any complaints from people like me! I am not a commercial pilot so if anyone would like to comment on the technical details given below than I would certainly be interested...



Thanks for your email expressing concern about the BBC's reporting.

There is, in fact, a light in most aircraft that informs the pilot when the plane is airborne. Its function is to allow the aircraft to switch certain systems from 110 volts in the air to 24 volts on the ground (for example the de-icing systems.) I believe that another possible function is to indicate the load on the aircraft's wheels - as the plane may encounter difficulties if there is too much pressure on the axle.

I'm by no means an aircraft expert, or even a science writer for the website, but I can assure you that the reporting in this case is accurate.

However, thank you for getting in touch. Please feel free to contact me with any other concerns you may have.

Kind regards,



22nd Aug 2003, 17:14
Where do they get them from?

An expression containing lighthouse and desert springs to mind.