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FlyGlobeSpan fined over ANO breach

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FlyGlobeSpan fined over ANO breach

Old 4th Aug 2008, 20:35
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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No risk? thats certainly not what the recorder thought. Thats why the company was gound gulity. I can understand minimal risk but no risk? The recorder did say, quite sensibly, that it added another layer of complexity, which is a hole in the cheese. Fortunately there were no other holes which lined up. In itself the violating of the MEL is not overtly significant but control measures are there for good reasons and shoud not be eroded. Piper Alpha's permit to work papers were one such measure but got eroded to the point where they meant little. If MEL is going to be thought of as effective then they must be policed, and although 5000 quid is nether here nor there for an airline, I bet the adverse publicity is costing them more than that by a long way, and so it should.
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 21:08
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"I am told and I am satisfied that the failure of the EPRs on this flight did not render the aircraft unsafe
and did not in any way endanger the public who were flying on that aircraft."



MD.

The quote above whilst it does not say the words "no risk", certainly conveys that meaning.
GSM where found guilty of two breaches of the ANO.
Not of putting the public at risk.

To say that the breaches of the ANO put the public at risk is subjective.
And the recorder under guidance from the CAA I presume
did not think there was any danger at all.

CMO
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 21:34
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"It rather placed extra burdens and pressures on the pilot and co-pilot to calculate manually the performance of the engines."
"they were stretched more than ideally than they could have been in flying the plane safely, and fly safely they did". These are risk factors if ever I heard them. I did say that the holes didnt line up in this case, but if the recorder meant anything it was that the possibility was opened. How far the risk stretched with the extra burdens is subjective but not absent.

The recorder's words may be considered contradictory in this case as No Risk means no risk... minimal risk should be stated as such. My reading of his comments are different, and context is everything. In this case the violation of MEL did not cause any subsequent safety issues on that flight (past tense...it didnt cause any on that flight...) but violations of MEL could be a factor in future flights, which is why they are there.
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 23:23
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londonmet

The fine was awarded by the Court, not the CAA, so your comment about the CAA and it's supposed lack of backbone is a bit short on merit!

The CAA doubtless reported the company to the DPP or whoever prosecutes these cases.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 04:26
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It's very easy to say that there was no risk to the public flying on board, once the aircraft has arrived safely at it's destination.

But to all you pilots like Rainboe who think they know better than the MEL have you considered these scenarios before making your reckless decision?:

How sure can you be that it is just an EPR indication fault?
The EECs may be working in N1 revision mode which is it secondary mode.
The RB211 is not the most bleed stable of jet engines, hence the amount of bleed valves placed all over it.
The reason why you might be allowed one U/S EPR gauge, would be to fly to the known EPR then match N1 on the other one. With them both U/S you are flying on N1 alone which is not as efficient and not the preferred method of thrust production. How accurately can you calculate your fuel burn in N1 mode, especially on an ETOPS sector?
Let's consider a go-around on finals.
If you had to firewall the throttles of a flight idle engine in N1 mode, the risks of a compressor stall / surge are significantly higher.

The MEL is a Go / No-Go reference. Admittedly some are written rather ambiguously but most are clear enough when safety is at stake. If you blatantly go against it, then you deserve everything you get.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 09:51
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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By the summation the situation is readily apparent and have to semi-agree with Rainboe on this one.

In accordance with the Air Navigation Order and EU-OPS 1.030/JAR-OPS 3.030, a UK registered aircraft shall not commence flight if any of the required equipment is missing or inoperable unless a Permission/Approval to do so has been issued by the CAA.
An MEL is based upon the relevant Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) and requires approval from the CAA.

The Approval of an operator's MEL forms the Permission required for flight in these circumstances.

Operations outside of the procedures detailed in the MEL are prohibited unless permission is granted by the CAA. Permissions will not be granted for operations outside of the constraints of the MMEL.

James Curtis QC's comments are telling...

"I am told and I am satisfied that the failure of the EPRs on this flight did not render the aircraft unsafe and did not in any way endanger the public who were flying on that aircraft."

"they were stretched more than ideally than they could have been in flying the plane safely, and fly safely they did".

The fine of 5,000 also indicates that this was more of a slap on the wrists for GlobeSpan. The legal fees they incurred alone would have been vastly greater than the fine.

What the problem appears to be is that GlobeSpan did not obtain approval for operating outside of the MEL prior and received a legal address of "you didn't compromise safety by this action, but you should have got approval to it."

one thing to note is that James Curtis QC is at 6 King’s Bench Walk chambers, which is in the field of criminal law.

So this reverts back to the thread and question of criminalization!
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 10:19
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MEL

The MEL reasoning is based on probability and looks to the next significant failure eroding the margin of safety beyond acceptable levels.
Next significant in this case could be N1 indication or anything that would require additional monitoring by the flightcrew.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 10:24
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Position of Authority

As usual Rainboe has placed himself in a position of what he believes to be unimpeachable authority since he is a long haul pilot. He says he would be happy to have operated the aircraft in its technical circumstances if he had been given dispensation. It seems that the problem in this case is that the dispensation was not sought or granted. So in these circumstances presumably Rainboe you would not have operated the flight. Globespan did and hence the prosecution.

To casually dipense with the opinions of others because they are not pilots or worse if they are short haul pilots does not do this profession any credit. Reassuring the nervous passengers who pay at least a portion of our wages is both kindly and professional. To assume that your experience as a long haul pilot sets you apart from other professionals in this wide ranging industry is demeaning to all.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 10:38
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2 issues here , MEL and MMEL dont allow dispatch with both EPR'S inop. 757,767 and A330. All these types are also fitted with N1 controlled engines as well so surely there must be a reason for it not being permitted ?? Also look back at accident history with EPR problems i.e 737-200 with EPR probe icing . Since that accident i have seen RR powered 757's arrive with one engine at idle because a sense line leak gave a very high reading so crew throttled back thinking they could be overboosting the engine !!! Easy to dismiss but i guess if all your ops , autothrottle etc is based on EPR figures you tend to work to them .
2nd issue here is if you are to operate outside MEL then you need a dispensation , which they didnt have. I would suggest that they wouldnt have got one for a commercial flight.
Be interested if anyone has any theory as to why only one inop EPR is permitted on all the above types ?
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 11:19
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Position of Authority

Rainboe.

I am most flattered that you have taken the trouble of researching my past writings. Enjoy!
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 11:32
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Without wishing to enter into dispute, may I suggest that it would be most unwise for a commander to depart with a defect which was not approved in the MEL, especially if there was evidence that said commander was aware of the defect.
The FO & (if fitted ) FE could also be held culpable.
If things go wrong, many companies will throw you to the wolves.
I was once told by a very eminent trainer to always check the MEL if there is any defect on the aircraft and not to assume that, because the previous captain had accepted the fault, it was OK to go.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 11:53
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Originally Posted by iranair777
I'm suprised that there was only 20 people on this flight!
As I understand it the flight was operating Liverpool-Knock-JFK. There appear to have been 20 passengers boarded at Liverpool, but an unstated number then boarded at Knock for the transatlantic sector; possibly it was full, possibly not. The initial issue was before departure from Liverpool. Somehow the point that there were two sectors involved seems to have been missed in the reporting.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 12:39
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Winglit, I don't agree with your comments. Why are you trying to imply there may be more than an EPR indication fault? Are we supposed to accept that there may be something else? There was just an EPR indicating fault. Many planes don't even have EPRs. The pilots can look up go-around N1s, so what is the problem?
Because the EPR indication is taken from the EPR transducer inside the EEC and fed to both EICAS computers and the SEI. If all three indications are not working then it would be prudent to assume that the fault lies within the EPR sensing / transducer system and that therefore the engine is operating in N1 mode.

That's why.

So you obviously don't know as much as you think you do, which even more worrying when you think you can circumvent the MEL.

You're one of the swiss cheese holes mate!
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 13:36
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I'm mainly concerned about this statement

One needs to be technically aware to review combinations of defects and what would be a bad combination to fly with, even though individual faults in themselves are not serious.
You have managed to convince me in this thread that you are not technically aware. You seem to think that the EPR indication on an RB211 is just another instrument for your reference. You don't seem to know that it uses EPR for target thrust calculation and that the EEC computes all data on valid EPR settings. If it doesn't receive EPR signals, then it reverts to N1 mode which employs a cruder fuel scheduling to reach a target N1 rather than thrust.

The risks of engine surge are greatly increased when in N1 mode as the BVCU also uses EPR for it's calculations. You argued my statement about the RB211 being bleed unstable. The only reason it is now stable is because of the sophisticated bleed management controlling the numerous bleed valves. When the engine is in it's secondary mode, many of these protections are inoperative.

I agree with you that it was the engineer who signed it off was at fault. In my opinion he should be hung out to dry. But I don't agree with you, that you think that this was a harsh penalty for Flyglobespan to pay. It also concerns me that you don't think there was anything wrong with the operation of this aircraft, and that you would have done the same.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 14:16
  #35 (permalink)  

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Rainboe
I am a little confused at your view of the MEL. Yes alleviations can be given and recorded but if my memory is correct (I retired 5 years ago) those alleviations are given by the CAA not by the OPS Director or Chief Pilot and are generally for a return to Engineering Base not dispatch from it. You generally find that when someone in a "senior position" is asked to back up his verbal "it'll be OK" "alleviation" in writing you can hear the gears going into reverse.

I am a little concerned that the EPR failures were apparently caused by a lightening strike. I presume that the lightening strike engineering checklist was carried out so wonder why the reason for the EPR failure wasn't established.

I think that the wool was pulled over the eyes of the Judge on this one. After all if it was OK to operate with 2 EPR's U/S it would be in the MEL. Patently the CAA Rolls or Boeing had reservations.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 14:31
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Rainboe as an engineer it is very worrying regarding your replies. I for one would NOT be happy flying in the back behind you. Firstly your interpretations of the MEL are way off the mark.
One EPR inop full stop.
Two requires a dispensation, in Writing. I would not sign off without one. Secondly on your MEL preamble quote 'continue a flight to an airport where repairs can be made'. This I think would refer to a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic/Pacific NOT Liverpool airport where you could fly down the road to Manchester, Taxi spares to Lpool.
Next we have the problem of the Ops director making engineering decisions. This is where I agree with you the engineer screwed up. As an experienced engineer I would have profferred the Tech Log to said Ops director and said sign it.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 15:04
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I don't have a 757 MEL to hand, so I can't comment on your statement about allowing BOTH inop EEC's.

The reason you have become so reliant on modern electronic systems is because you no longer have a flight engineer behind you looking after your systems.

The last thing I would want as your passenger, is a pilot too engrossed in manually operating his systems rather than handling his aeroplane.

Also I might add that it is not your decision to operate outside of the MEL even with dispensation. The responsibility lies with the engineer who signs the CRS. Even with dispensation it is ultimately his responsibility. You cannot legally dispatch with an open defect so it either has to be deferred or rectified. Some pilots when down-route, can defer items allowable in the MEL with approval from Maintrol. But not even a licensed engineer would dare defer anything outside of MEL boundaries. Once the engineer has handed over the aircraft to the Captain, it is then his prerogative to accept it. Even if something is deferred within the MEL, he may elect to refuse the aircraft, but it doesn't work the other way around. The Captain should not accept an aircraft with an open defect, or with a deferral outside of MEL limits. That is why you should always check deferred item with their MEL references before each dispatch. This is something I always do before a flight. I do a technical brief going through all deferred defects with the MEL page open so that the Captain can see for himself and ask any relevant questions.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 16:04
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Rainboe,Have you been working for Sri Lankan recently?? Just trying to lighten the thread somewhat!!
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 16:10
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Glad to see it was taken in the full jest in which it was meant! Keep Smiling.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 17:05
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Who are you calling a rottweiller?

Can you seriously justify this previous statement?

I find it difficult to believe that this prosecution was necessary. As a 757 pilot, if I were to be given a dispensation to operate with both EPR indicators u/s, I cannot see what the problem is and would be happy to accept. I am saying the level of risk was actually zero. All power information was present. I have been given dispensation many times to operate beyond the terms of the MEL in order to return to a maintenance base. It comes down to the pilot to judge as a professional for himself and do what he is paid to do- make a sensible judgement of safety, which he did. I fly the thing. I see nothing wrong.
Even though you acknowledge the fact that there had been an engineering error, you still consider that there was nothing wrong? You would have accepted the aircraft.

Your ego has got in the way of rational thinking. Yes you may be an experienced pilot with gazillions of hours. But to undermine the role of engineers and flight engineers is reducing your capacity for effective CRM. This pompous attitude does nothing other than narrow your ability to operate safely.
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