Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Pitot Covers Brisbane Take 2

Old 29th Aug 2022, 06:06
  #101 (permalink)  
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Remember that they will blame you for any mistakes if you take on the responsibility and solve problems for them. If BNE flights are always delayed 5 mins to check the pitots are correct then they will soon enough get the message. If you get some push back just quote them chapter and verse of the manual and the problem will become theirs to deal with. Nothing gets solve quicker in aviation than an issue that affects a manager's bonus
Our choppers had the choice of using Mobil Jet oil, as used in our engines, or a particular automotive automatic thransmission fluid in the main transmission driving the rotor. Company decided to use the automotive product because it was one third the price, trouble was after a period of time the transmission pressure would drop into the yellow, when it happened I got into the habit of shutting down at an out station and having maintenance come and do an oil change because badgering management to change to Mobil was getting no where. Only had to call out maintenance a couple of times and management saw the wisdom of changing to Mobil, an hours flight time for the rescue ship could buy buckets and buckets of Mobil Jet..
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 07:27
  #102 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by framer View Post
Tom Sawyer
That shouldn’t happen. If Engineers are making a conscious decision to do this then they don’t understand how fallible their minds are. Distraction is probably the greatest threat but their are others. If any Engineers are reading this I hope you’re disturbed by the idea of signing them off as removed prior to removing them. I’m pretty sure most of you would not contemplate it.
Framer, I totally agree that this should not happen but these are positions we are put into. I have cited two examples of where we sign for items as part of the Transit Check, but they are not carried out until after close up/pushback and the check has already been certified in the Tech Log for practical reasons, so straight up it is happening and accepted by Crew, Engineers, QA and the CAMO, and the Authority. Taking the by-pass pin a stage further, it is not that unusual these days to have a ground handler doing a push back and pulling the pin for display to crew........yet it is the Engineer who has taken responsibility prior to the event as part of the check. We may not even be there for push back - I worked for one international carrier where this was exactly the case.

Now pitot covers are a different level in flight safety terms and we know what the procedure should be. Flipping this around a bit for sake of argument; Engineer does the procedure correctly and removes covers, verifies and signs for the job after completion at say 15-20 mins before departure, so maybe 30 mins plus before take off, barring any issues. Aircraft departs and gets airborne with a ASI fault as per the first in the series of three, the EY aircraft, and is found to have mud wasp nest blocking pitot tube. Subsequent inquiry finds pitot covers removed too early. Where do we go from there? Is it deemed acceptable risk, and on what basis, after all, we don't really know how many ASI incidents have been averted by the fitting of pitot covers in BNE. At the moment the data from incidents is mud wasps 1, pitot covers 2 so not conclusive. We can't control mud wasp nest building, but we can control pitot covers but they come with an inherent safety risk that needs controls and management, which may include accepting signing for the job before carrying out the task as per steering by-pass pin which is controlled by showing the pin. For that matter covers could be shown to the crew through the DV window as they are removed immediately prior to push when the person is on the steps (if you can find any).

I'm not advocating that the Engineer did nothing wrong. I'm not advocating this approach to all Engineering tasks. I'm trying to apply some real world reality to the situation that reduces the risks from both aspects. We can't Eliminate the risk (Mud wasps). We can't Engineer the risk out (pitot tubes). So we are left with Manage, which is down to fallible humans. I don't think the lessons from the MH incident have been learnt. More robust and active "Manage" measures are required from both Engineering and Flight Crew, and recognition that we do not operate in a perfect, controlled world but one that where one "solution" could impact another causing another issue.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 08:59
  #103 (permalink)  
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Framer, I totally agree that this should not happen but these are positions we are put into.
But why are you in that position? That’s the real crux of the issue.

There is nothing stopping you from waiting right up to end, getting a thumbs up from the pilot, removing the pitot covers, walking up to the flight deck handing over the covers or showing them to the Captain, signing the paperwork and walking off the aircraft.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 09:02
  #104 (permalink)  
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Tom Sawyer

Well said.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 10:15
  #105 (permalink)  
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As C441 points out....First item of the Before Start checklist:
"Pins & Pitot covers".

I am led to believe a former iconic airline had, along with the pitot cover log reference, a "before start and pushback" checklist between cockpit and engineer on headset when doors closed and the aerobridge was retracted and went along the lines of.....
Engineer...Checked closed and locked

Pilot...Pins and pitot covers
Engineer...Removed and stowed

Etc, etc,etc,

Even though the log book entry was cleared and covers shown to crew, for some reason management decided the checklist was a waste of time and got rid of it.
To me it would serve as a backup reminder just in case.

Rgds McHale.

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Old 29th Aug 2022, 11:00
  #106 (permalink)  
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Tom Sawyer, spot on. 👍
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 11:16
  #107 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
.............There is nothing stopping you from waiting right up to end, getting a thumbs up from the pilot, removing the pitot covers, walking up to the flight deck handing over the covers or showing them to the Captain, signing the paperwork and walking off the aircraft.
True in principle, but as Tom Sawyer is trying to tell you: if you have ever been a part of, say an A330 turnaround, the airbridge will have to be left on until the engineer has removed the PITOT covers, (from both sides of the aircraft), taken the mobile steps away, walked up the airbridge stairs, to doors 2 (usually), waited and got past the passengers stowing their cases and standing around in the aisle, waited and got past the purser who is exiting or entering the flight deck, and into the flight deck. Then he sits down and writes the release in the tech log, removes the tear-out pages and exits the aircraft past all the pax standing in the aisles etc.

Then, doors 2 is closed, and someone needs to be found to drive the airbridge away.

Then, the pilots wait for the headset guy to come on the interphone and give their checks and the pilots can call for push and start. That is a good 10 mins already since the covers were removed.

Push and start can take 5 mins or sometimes more to start both engines and complete the after start checks and call for taxi. Then you have maybe a 10 minute taxi...

Plenty of time for the mud wasps to do their thing after the covers were removed.

The PITOT covers ideally need to be removed after push and start, with the steering bypass pin (by having strings to pull them away by someone at ground level without needing steps), and shown to the pilots during the wave-off.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 11:20
  #108 (permalink)  
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Tom Sayer;
Framer, I totally agree that this should not happen but these are positions we are put into.
I think we’re mainly in agreement about this. I think it’s worth noting though that most Brisbane Engineers don’t sign for removing the covers before doing it so if they can get it right, surely the others can get it right?
Anyway, I don’t mean the above to sound antagonistic, have a nice night everyone
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