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DC9 Tug crew depart aircraft with covered up fuselage damage.

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DC9 Tug crew depart aircraft with covered up fuselage damage.

Old 18th Dec 2008, 10:21
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DC9 Tug crew depart aircraft with covered up fuselage damage.

Just read this on the web..

DC-9 depressurised after ramp crew covered up tug strike

A very good reason for all airlines and handling companies to run a no blame culture to help prevent incidents/accidents rather than making people feel they have to cover up any human errors for fear of losing their jobs... within reason of course.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 11:13
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If this is true, the tug crew should be jailed for knowingly endangering an aircraft
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 11:14
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The expression used in aviation is, "Just Culture", within which the real root cause(s) of errors are determined methodically (MEDA, Kaizan etc etc).

If that exhaustive investigation shows that the error was the result of a deliberate violation, the person responsible will, quite rightly, be disciplined.

The newspaper report says:
In a probable-cause statement on the event, the National Transportation Safety Board says: "The senior ground agent then advised, 'Don't say anything' to one of the other ground agents who was working the flight with him."
Whatever the root cause of the error that led to the damage was, the senior ground agent seems to have subsequently committed a serious violation and should be fired forthwith as being demonstrably unfit for his task.

A "No Blame Culture" is ridiculous; it simply means that if an irresponsible fool endangers safety, he or she will, perhaps after a group hug, be allowed to carry on as before.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 11:43
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I think the "No Blame" culture here would have helped, in the sense that the ground crew would not have anything to fear reporting a mishap like this one.

Of course neglecting the need to report something should have drastic consequences, as it endangeres lives.

The story is actually hard to believe - how can someone in their right mind ignore stuff like that!!!

Nic

P.S: It figures that the thread about the Flybe turning back to Cardiff recieves much more attention...
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 11:58
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A "No Blame Culture" is ridiculous; it simply means that if an irresponsible fool endangers safety, he or she will, perhaps after a group hug, be allowed to carry on as before.

[x] Doesn't understand what a 'no blame culture' is.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 12:15
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Aer Lingus 146

There was a similar incident at STN involving an Aer Lingus 146. The baggage loaders always positioned the baggage trolleys very close to the hold. I can't remember if it was the front or rear hold but to cut a long story short the loaders pushed the trolley to fast and it struck the aircraft piercing the skin. The aircraft pushed back from B21 with all four engines running when one of the loaders involved informed someone of the hole and the aircraft returned to stand.

I remember one of the loaders involved left the company, not sure about the other chap. I'm sure if they had just informed someone about the accident they would have been given a warning or something similar. This probably took place around 1999/2000.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 17:15
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Contract services & unlicensed workers

the key factor in this case, as in several similar, is CONTRACT workers from an outside company. The airline's safety culture isn't applicable to outside, unlicensed employees.

NYC07LA121
"...while at SYR, contract ramp personnel ... loaded the baggage for the flight...
"... the contractor’s ground agents ... The senior ... decided to use a luggage tug to push the belt loader away ... with the ... tug from ... the upper right-hand side of the tug’s cab contacted the fuselage. The senior ground agent [contract labor] then advised “don’t say anything” ..."


More CONTRACT [ramp] damage:
From the _P-I_:
5Jan06 at SeaTac, Menzies contract ramp services

******* Press Rpts ********

"Safety review planned after another Alaska Airlines plane damaged

"The company responsible for Alaska Airlines ramp services at Sea-Tac Airport is bringing in a team of safety experts for a 90-day “top-to-bottom” review of its operations there after another of the airline’s jets was damaged in a ground incident Thursday [5Jan06]....
"... the second such incident by an employee of Menzies Aviation in 10 days...."
"... jet’s right engine cowling hit the baggage loading machine, she said, and the passenger entry door on the left side of the plane hit the jetway...
"...Alaska hired the British firm Menzies Aviation to provide baggage handling and other ramp services at Sea-Tac Airport in May 2005 after laying off nearly 500 unionized ramp workers. Alaska said the move would save it about $13 million a year...."

"... a series of ramp incidents have focused attention on the work being done by those Menzies employees at Sea-Tac. The most serious mishap occurred Dec. 26. That day, an Alaska Airlines MD-80 headed for Burbank, Calif., experienced a sudden loss of cabin pressure at 26,000 feet. After an emergency dive to lower altitude, the jet returned to Sea-Tac Airport, where a foot-long hole was found in its fuselage. The next day, a Menzies employee admitted that he accidentally hit the jet with a baggage loading machine and did not report the incident ..."
Safety review planned after another Alaska Airlines plane damaged

IDENTIFICATION Regis#: 625AS Make/Model: B737 ...
Date: 01/05/2006 Time: 2030 ...

Event Type: Incident ...
Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
City: SEATTLE State: WA Country: US

DESCRIPTION
N625AS, AN ALASKA AIRLINES, ASA808, BOEING 737 ACFT, WHILE PARKED AT THE GATE, TUG PULLED FORWARD SCRATCHED THE FUSELAGE, NO INJURIES REPORTED, SEATTLE, WA

SEA06LA033
... A new (approximately one week on the job) ground baggage handler, who was driving a tug towing a train of baggage carts, ... but had to maneuver around another train of carts to get close to the belt loader. ... After loading the carts with baggage, he attempted to drive away. He said that he turned the tug's wheels as far as possible. He stated, "I was hoping to make it out, but I felt my tug going against something. ... glanced at the body [in moderate rain] of the aircraft to see if there was any damage. It was a quick glance and I did not see any damage." He said two other ground personnel came to assist him in maneuvering his tug away from the airplane. He did not report the incident to anyone.
... the probable cause...: The ground personnel baggage handler failed to maintain clearance from the aircraft with cargo handling equipment during ground operations and inadvertently damaged the airplane's pressure bulkhead which subsequently decompressed during climb to cruise.

Note that in the above case [26Dec05] the NTSB failed to mention the element of CONTRACT LABOR, and the lack of any link with the airline's strict safety culture.

Last edited by IGh; 18th Dec 2008 at 18:05.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 22:54
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There was a similar incident at STN involving an Aer Lingus 146. The baggage loaders always positioned the baggage trolleys very close to the hold. I can't remember if it was the front or rear hold but to cut a long story short the loaders pushed the trolley to fast and it struck the aircraft piercing the skin. The aircraft pushed back from B21 with all four engines running when one of the loaders involved informed someone of the hole and the aircraft returned to stand.

I remember one of the loaders involved left the company, not sure about the other chap. I'm sure if they had just informed someone about the accident they would have been given a warning or something similar. This probably took place around 1999/2000.
I remember this an the guy I pleased to say no longer works in the Aviation industry, we dont need idiots like that, but unfortunately with the cost cutting in Ground Handling safety and the airlines paying peanuts to the handling agents these monkeys will be handling your aircraft.
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Old 19th Dec 2008, 18:37
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SLFGuy

For an understanding of what's wrong with the idea of a "No Blame Culture", and why it has been discarded in favour of the "Just Culture", try the many pieces of work that have been done about this, before launching posts like
[x] Doesn't understand what a 'no blame culture' is.
You could start with a Flight Safety Foundation paper, Roadmap to a Just Culture; the Foreword sums the case against a "No Blame Culture" quite well.
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Old 19th Dec 2008, 19:52
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Capot Well said.

In a just culture if inadvertant damage is done while trying to cope with circumstances and is reported it may result in some extra training etc

In a just culture if inadvertant damage is done while trying to cope with circumstances and is NOT reported it would result in termination

So what do you do with the junior guy who is told to keep quiet?

IGh Thats why an airline has to take an interest in the SMS & culture of their suppliers.
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 03:14
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I don't quite understand the argument here.

Fact is that;

Ground crew make mistake, they admit it and are fired. If they don't then there may be an accident and they may be prosecuted.

Air Crew make a mistake, they are completely immune to any discipline due to the "no blame" culture.

There is something very wrong with this.
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 03:41
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Air Crew make a mistake, they are completely immune to any discipline
Cargo Clown is an appropriate name. You're not one of those 'us and them' types are you? You know the ones, when the pilot says ' g'day mate, hows ya day goin?' and they grunt and look like a bulldog chewing a wasp before walking away.

You might have picked up a few whiffs of diesel exhaust I reckon, maybe try standing upwind of the tug.
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 04:41
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Damage to aircraft

Seems to me that no one here seems to have mentioned the one ingredient required no matter what "culture" or whatever fancy name is put on it. A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY is what is required, surely. It is a fairly simple system, taking responsibility for one's actions that is. It doesn't matter whether it involves aircrew or groundcrew, does it?
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 09:54
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Surely it doesn't matter what name you give it ...?

In all aircraft handling there has to be a system where everyone quickly and without fail reports anything which they see or do that may impact on safe operation.

Having an accident should not mean a disciplinary investigation follows - it should mean an investigation ensues to establish what happened and why.

A "no blame" culture (or possibly the better named "just culture") does not mean negligence goes undealt with ...

Causing a/c damage and knowingly not reporting it should result in disciplinary action - i.e. the accident itself becomes somewhat remote - it's the act of failing to report damage that is the subject of action.




There are two seperate things here ... having an accident and failing to report an accident/aircraft damage.

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Old 20th Dec 2008, 10:10
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I'm sorry if I fall into the trap of "in my day" rose-tinted glasses, but there really was a time when we were proud to be members of the industry, with a primary responsibility to Aviation and a secondary responsibility to our employer.

Seems to me that if you contract out some aviation activity, you require the successful contractor to demonstrate, and allow independent scrutiny of, an employee induction programme which requires emphasis on the safety of flight.
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 10:14
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In my humble opinion part of the problem lies with the handling companies who fail to properly educate their handlers and loaders about the possible consequences of damage however slight it may appear, a lot of these guys simply do not appreciate or understand the implications of even the smallest dent or scratch on an aircraft skin. Ground handling companies tend cut their costs to a bare minimum and that includes the training of their staff
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 10:53
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I fully agree, 42psi, we are all bound to make mistakes, the point is how you deal with it. I have never seen anyone being punished who discovered having made a mistake as long as he/she took proper action.
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Old 21st Dec 2008, 00:03
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In my experience some ground handling agents are very quick to sack people following an incident, hence the reluctance for people to speak up. People should be able to come to work in the knowlege that if they have a genuine accident they can report it without having to fear for their job. After all that is why all parties have fairly hefty insurance policies. Until handling agents stop being hire & fire merchants and have a more open reporting policy then the situation will regretably never change.
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Old 21st Dec 2008, 00:27
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agreed with whats being said, until handling firms get rid of the hit a plane and ur fired attitude then some employee's wont report...

during training i was always told "hit a plane and your down the road"
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Old 21st Dec 2008, 04:07
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At least with metal skins the damage, be it dents, scratches, scrapes is visible.

What's going to happen with plastic skins where that "little bump" shows nothing on the outer surface?
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