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Rumour: Sunstate Engineers suspended over aircraft sabotage?

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Rumour: Sunstate Engineers suspended over aircraft sabotage?

Old 29th Oct 2010, 02:44
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Question Rumour: Sunstate Engineers suspended over aircraft sabotage?

Heard a few days ago that a number of Sunnies engineers have been suspended for willfully damaging the cockpit doors on a number of planes (more than 5).
Possible legal action in the wind?
Is that the way to get movement on your E.B.A. negotiations?
Does anyone have any more info??
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 06:07
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Exclamation Wow No Comments To This One !!

Very interesting situation [email protected]% UNION versus QANTAS versus ?
Would be nice to hear official comments from CASA, either the doors comply or dont.

Also an official statement from "STREETS" ice creams denying all legal knowledge of making and supplying "weapons" of potential mass destruction

The Qantaslink paddle pop stick up – Plane Talking

this link to Ben S reporting may be the closest to the truth.
But would like to know the exact circumstances LAMES were stood down.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:38
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In answer to the rumour - No it is not true that 6 or any LAMEs have been stood down for damaging aircraft.

6 LAMEs have been stood down for writing defects into the Tech log snagging the cockpit doors. The company claim they have been looking in areas of the aircraft for defects when they had not been instructed to look there.

Just think about that concept for a while, we couldn't believe it when they gave them the letters.

The doors had been reported at least a month earlier by Tech Crew on SORs and ASIRs. No action was taken to fix the problem until the 6 LAMEs snagged them in the Tech Logs. Mods now underway.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:50
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I think this rumor needs some validation. Is the standown of 6 employees true? Is it considered by their colleagues they damaged company property or did they refuse to certify for the defect? I'm suspecting the later and the company convinced FWA it was industrial action outside of PIA.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 23:26
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Please read my words again.

They are currently stood down.

The allegations are not that they damaged an aircraft or refused to sign off a defect.

The allegations are that they raised a defect for further investigation. ie, they wrote in Tech Log - Cockpit door found to have gap between **** and **** that a small object can be inserted into to unlock door.

They are alleged to have deliberately been looking above and beyond what they were told to look for. Company claim that the daily check requires a general cabin inspection, not a detailed cabin inspection and the defect they found could not be picked up in a general cabin inspection.

They didn't fix it because they were not long off going home and didn't know what component would fix the problem that was essentially a design flaw.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 23:51
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With the current media attention on this very issue one would assume that every Sunstate LAE would be aware of the issue and then face the quandary of deciding whether the doors are 'legal' or not.

That leads back to the age old adage of the engineers professional responsibility to rectify a known defect, regardless of whether it is specifically called up for inspection.

There could be a chance of underlying issues behind this particular occasion, or not, however if the secure flight deck door modification was approved by CASA then it would therefore be deemed by tham and the company to be legal. That a subsequent design flaw has been discovered should therefore be raised directly to the QA department of Sunstate and ultimately to CASA to have this rectified.

I am not condoning nor favouring the actions of the six engineers, however I do consider their actions as 'going out on a limb'.

I would have got the QAM immediately involved in the issue and placed the ball firmly in the QA departments hands as opposed to a group action like what happened that could be completely misconstrued in the cold hard light of day.

I certainly hope that the ALAEA can resolve this situation quickly and effectively for the guys involved.

GB
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 00:18
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Comments by ALAEA Fed Sec are true no sabotage just that these engineers could have written up the defects. Further disturbing is the fact that a senior Sunstate Pilot was stood down at same time as engineers by QANTASlink "management" after initially raising this issue some time ago. As stated Tech crew have raised this previously. Situation at Sunstate is now ready to explode there is simply no morale throughout any section of Sunstate operations. Well done you have succeeded in bringing a great company to implosion.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 00:31
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They are alleged to have deliberately been looking above and beyond
Above and beyond??? On the contrary, it sounds like they should be nominated for an excel award.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 01:04
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Stood down for complying with your legal responsibilities to CASA. Very disturbing. I do the same thing every day at work. Write up defects I have either no time or parts to fix and leave it to the other shift after conducting a hand over. If these actions can cause cancellation of PIA and perhaps loss of employment, where will we all stand into the future?
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 04:46
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I am not condoning nor favouring the actions of the six engineers, however I do consider their actions as 'going out on a limb'.
So, next time I am in the F/D checking the oxy pressure (as per the transit chk) and I smell an electrical arcing smell and see the window heat light flickering, I would be going out on a limb by investigation the possibility of a loose power terminal connection on the windscreen with a possible cross threaded terminal screw etc. or should I just make sure the F/D door is fully closed behind me when I leave so the smoke does not enter the cabin?
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 05:18
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If it is as the FED Sec tells it then I look forward to the fallout from it. Normally I'm not in favor of people going to town in a legal sense but in this case I'm willing to make an exception!
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 05:20
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It would not do any good to shut the door at QANTALINK. If you can open the door using unapproved methods, the smoke will leak into the cabin anyway!

In jest only, I would depower the aircraft and await the response from the flight crew. If they are not concerned with reporting such an incident (and I make note here one of QANTASLINK Flight Crew is rumored to have been stood down for reporting the problem along with the 6 Engineers), then my nasal and visual sensors must be wrong that day.

In reality, I would hope no one would walk away from such an event, Engineer or pilot alike.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 05:27
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Short Circuit,

You may have taken my statement out of context.

There is a big difference in the scenario you are suggesting, to ignore electrical arcing and the situation that has arisen here.

There can be no comparison in the negligence it would require to ignore a defect such as window heat light fickering accompanied by an electrical arcing smell, and the raising of defects in the log surrounding what could be construed by some as a political issue surrounding a possible design flaw in a CASA approved AD compliant modification such as the secure flight deck door in question.

It most certainly is going out on a limb when 6 different LAE's are involved in the same action surrounding a topic that had already become a politically charged item in the media.

The correct course of action is through the correct channels, the first of which is the respective QA department and its manager.

Again I will iterate that I am neither condoning or approving the actions taken, I am merely stating that there are ways and means to achieve goals and getting yourself suspended does not help.

GB
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 06:21
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It shouldn't matter how they found it, but as soon as the defect is found, it must be reported.

CAR51 clearly states:

Where a person who, in the course of his or her employment with an employer, is engaged in the maintenance of an Australian aircraft becomes aware of the existence of a defect in the aircraft, the person shall report the defect to his or her employer.
As far as I'm concerned, I'll report anything I see fit, not just what I'm "meant" to be looking at
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 07:30
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Mark Davey: Message to QantasLink Staff Earlier this evening there has been media coverage relating to cockpit door access on our QantasLink Dash 8 fleet. The reports included claims by ALAEA’s Federal Secretary, Steve Purvinas, that : (i) the cockpit doors on the QantasLink Dash 8 aircraft are unsafe and do not meet regulatory requirements, (ii) that management has been aware of this for some time and did nothing to rectify the situation and (iii) Sunstate LAMEs who investigate the cockpit doors will be reported to Fair Work Australia. I can confirm that Senior QantasLink Engineering staff have reviewed the cockpit door installation and have validated that the door installation is in full compliance with both CASA and DOTARS regulations. A program to further upgrade security of the doors was commenced well before either the LAMEs or Mr Purvinas elected to report this issue to the media. The program is well advanced and will be completed by our maintenance staff by Friday 29 October. And finally, Fair Work Australia ruled last Wednesday 22 October in favour of QantasLink by declaring that the Brisbane LAMEs have been taking unprotected industrial action with the support of the ALAEA. The Commission has subsequently issued a Stop Order against the ALAEA and the LAMEs. The Company is required to investigate and report any unprotected industrial activity. The ALAEA are using the media as part of their ongoing Sunstate Line Maintenance industrial campaign. Please find below a copy of the media statement released by Qantas in response to the ALAEA claims. Narendra Kumar Executive Manager QantasLink
27/10/2010

The company have had door issues for years with several pilots picking up injuries due to the locking mechanism on some of the Q400s. The proposed solution to that problem is a joke and a half , and I hear that the FA union has put a hold on the new plan.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 08:03
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Where is this going do you think?
Is a general walkout possible to develop on this issue of standing down engineers and pilots for just doing the right thing; both line engineers and line pilots?
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 08:20
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GB
May be out of context, but a defect is a defect is a defect, regardless of who, where, when or why it is discovered. It must be reported and answered appropriately. If you are aware of common problems or latest hot issues (ie, simple AD related inspections currently in a system), it is appropriate to keep an eye out on every A/C you work on. After all, that is our job as maintainers. To be stood down for doing so is obscene.
SC
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 08:55
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Hold up...so let me get this right. A pilot and 6 engineers have been stood down for fulfilling their legal obligations by reporting a defect. I'm astounded! What the hell has happened to this industry to allow this sort of thing to happen??? CASA should be interested in not only the defect that has been reported but this apparent 'no-reporting' culture adopted by the Company. Outrageous.

Fuel-Off
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 09:05
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They are currently stood down.

The allegations are not that they damaged an aircraft or refused to sign off a defect.

The allegations are that they raised a defect for further investigation. ie, they wrote in Tech Log - Cockpit door found to have gap between **** and **** that a small object can be inserted into to unlock door.

They are alleged to have deliberately been looking above and beyond what they were told to look for. Company claim that the daily check requires a general cabin inspection, not a detailed cabin inspection and the defect they found could not be picked up in a general cabin inspection.

They didn't fix it because they were not long off going home and didn't know what component would fix the problem that was essentially a design flaw.
IF this is true, it is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard of in the Industry.

Is there nothing the ALAEA can do for them???
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 20:58
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This is again the classic informal company culture versus formal company culture.

The formal company culture of Qantas appears to be "we are the worlds safest airline", backed up by references to devoted experienced Australian engineers, rock solid procedures, etc. etc.

However the real informal company culture is "look the other way".
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