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Captain's Authority Questions

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Captain's Authority Questions

Old 12th May 2010, 16:57
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Contact company let the management deal with the cabin crew.
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Old 12th May 2010, 18:28
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1- They are claiming that we are the only US Major Airline where Captain's can still refuse an airplane with a legal deferral.
But a lot of Captain's see this as questioning their authority and/or pilot pushing.
A poor example is; would you take a 767-300 with APU inop, from US to say Buenos Aires on a 10+ hrs flt time, at night with some terrain/escape route concerns, limited airport availability, etc..
If you can still justify it like that, then is there a problem? Are some colleagues refusing to fly with APU inop from JFK-MIA perhaps?

I don't think we can comment here without knowing the culture of your colleagues, and whether some are substituting excess conservatism for valid experience of what is sensible v what is legal.
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Old 12th May 2010, 18:50
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Hmmmph...!

Weight should be the ONLY reason to limit fuel load. If companies are worried about dumping fuel then let them demand that airplanes are built strong enough to land with fuel! Otherwise it's the captain’s decision and it should be criminal for any business interest to question a Captain or even suggest anything different. I really get sick of these money grubbing jerks pushing economics until people die, for their “bottom line”. I swear they should be dragged into the street and SHOT!
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Old 12th May 2010, 19:57
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Many of these issues arise out of organizations with large pilot groups. Typically in normal operations there is pressure apllied to other departments and when their is a leadership vacuum in the left seat, the vacuum will be filled by some department whether it's maintenance, the FA's or management getting their way.

The problem for many other departments in the typical airline is the pilot's can be inconsistent. The maintenance folks may have gotten Captain's "A", "B" and "C" to fly an aircraft with an issue, then Captain "D" comes along and correctly identifies the safety shortcomings on the flight with the MEL. Instead of Captain "D" getting recognized for superior judgement and safety awareness, he is thought of as the "problem child" or not a team player. Same goes for interactions with the FA's, they may "act up" and slide by several Captains. When the next one expects proper behavior and respect, he becomes the bad guy.
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Old 13th May 2010, 01:52
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....goes for interactions with the FA's, they may "act up" and slide by several Captains.
Tail wagging dog.
A sure-fire cure....
It's called....on the spot termination...as in, 'buy your own ticket home, bubba.'

Works every time...

PS.
Yes, I know, trolly dollies get no respect.
Tough.
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Old 13th May 2010, 03:46
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After all the postings an old rule comes to my mind: 3 persons (or entities) can ground an airplane/stop a flight -the dispatcher, the mechanic, the captain - anytime one of them says no, it's no! But be prepared to look for another job...
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Old 13th May 2010, 10:43
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Devil Captain Authority

Hi All

Been flying for 34years and retired from main line flying 3 years ago. However to support my passion for fast cars and faster women went back flying in the lo-co sector. How sad to see how the Captain's authority has been eroded to no more than a bus driver. Young trolls and F/O's with attitude all comprise the new "team" culture where all crew members are "equal" status with no differential between the poor Captain and the most junior trolley dolly . Whilst the Captain has the ultimate responsibility for the aircraft he is not empowered with the authority that should go with it. If you dare criticise a crew member (privately) you risk the wrath of a cabin crew trainer reminding you of the company "culture"....I wish she was on the flight deck on a dark and dirty night on a Cat 3B approach and handing control over to her...I think she would very quickly get the message..We are 100% professional pilots at the top of the intelligent 5% of the population and not the percived "bus driver" as promoted by the company culture to c/crew...Lo-Co has ruined the profession of the pilot community forever as we are exploited as temporary hired hands by bean counters,management and c/crews from the MCD schools of excellence. I would be interested to hear comments from others on this topic.

From an old F...t, with 21,00hrs jet time!
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Old 13th May 2010, 22:09
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SeniorDispatcher: I believe that we are in near complete agreement on this point. The FARs tend to define an information flow from dispatcher to PIC; while the reverse is not nearly as well defined, it seems clear that any information that will influence the opinion that the dispatcher is required to have under 121.533(c)(3) and 121.627(a) must be communicated. In any other case, the dispatcher’s opinion may not be fully informed, which prevents him/her from executing their regulatory responsibilities. Cell phones have made this incredibly easy.

My only critique is that I still believe that the PIC’s authority does indeed emanate from 91.3. I have pasted in a couple of opinions from the FAA Chief Counsel that I believe support this. Obviously, this is nitpicking, but I wouldn’t be the captain if I didn’t insist on having the last word! Anyway, for what it’s worth:
The term "pilot in command" is defined in Sec. 1.1(14 CFR 1.1) of the Federal Aviation Regulations as the "pilot responsible for the operation and safety of an aircraft during flight time". Consistently, Sec. 91.3(14 CFR 91.3) provides that "the pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.” A second section, Sec. 91.9 (14 CFR 91.9) prohibits operation of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. In general, Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations sets forth the general operating and flight rules that govern the operation of any aircraft. Furthermore, if the operation is of such a nature that it requires either a Part 121 or Part 135 certificate, Sec. Sec. 121.385(c) and 135.35 require designation of the pilot in command for the flight...

...Nothing in FAR 121.629, as amended, purports to change the responsibility for the operational control of the aircraft by the pilot in command or aircraft dispatcher as provided for under FAR 121.533 and 121.535 or other sections within the FAR. As the FAA stated in the preamble to the interim final rule, in response to your comments regarding the ultimate responsibility for takeoff, "nothing in this rule changes FAR 91.3(a) that the pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft." The responsibility of an airline dispatcher, as provided under FAR 121.533 and 121.535, includes "the joint responsibility for the preflight planning, delay and dispatch release of a flight, monitoring the progress of each flight, issuing necessary information for safety of flight, and canceling or redispatching a flight if a flight cannot operate or continue to operate safely as planned or released." As amended, FAR 121.629 does not alter the aircraft dispatcher's responsibilities for operational control of aircraft under FAR 121.533 and 121.535.
411A: I may have mispoken; the company was not expecting me to actually land at BGBW. They were simply using it as a paper alternate to facilitate a non-ETOPS requirement. In the case I described, they then wanted to take advantage of being non-ETOPS to operate outside of the ETOPS MEL provisions. All quite legal, but that is the point of the discussion.

Since you have referenced Air Greenland’s 757 ops into BGBW, I thought I would offer some additional information for those who are unfamiliar with it.

At the time, the only available approach into BGBW was the NDB DME-1 into runway 7. This required a descent gradient from the MAP to the runway of 5.66 degrees. A go-around from below the MDA could be problematic with one engine inoperative, due to the serious obstacle issues and resulting climb gradients. Advisory Circular 120-29A stipulates that
A multiengine aircraft conducting a Category I or Category II instrument approach should be capable of safely executing a “one-engine-inoperative” go-around from any point in an approach prior to touchdown with the aircraft in a normal configuration, or specified non-normal configurations (e.g., engine out, if applicable)… In the rare event that operation out of a runway may not be possible following a rejected landing, then provision of suitable information on a “commit point,” or equivalent condition (e.g., limit weight, minimum speed, or suitable configuration) may instead be provided.
We were aware of Air Greenland’s 757 operation, and I had a pleasant exchange via email with their chief pilot. He stated that they consider the operation “difficult” and highly recommended specific simulator training since, in his words, “pilots often seem to find it difficult to meet the stabilized concept parameters”.

So without the limit weights, commit point, appropriate company procedures and specific simulator training, I would “prefer not” to go there in the middle of the night on one engine. Particularly since the airplane is, in all respects except for the final FAA program approval, ETOPS capable and thus quite able to lumber on over the Kef or Goose.

Last edited by Mansfield; 14th May 2010 at 12:12.
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Old 13th May 2010, 22:30
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Not the subject of this thread but ...

Mansfield; just wondering out of curiosity why not BGSF instead of BGBW ?
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Old 14th May 2010, 18:05
  #50 (permalink)  
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Our company has such a small contingency fuel in the fuel plan (5 mins) that its not 'whether' you take extra fuel or not but, how much extra will we take? A little or a lot.

Senior Dispatcher. I've never discussed how much fuel to take with a dispatcher. It must be different where you work. As far as defects go though, I once had the dispatcher inform me that we were tech, due to some not-very-obvious issue. Issue closed as far as I was concerned. Off to the bar!

My take on the fuel issue is simple: Want to choose the fuel? Fly it yourself!
 
Old 14th May 2010, 18:18
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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>>>Senior Dispatcher. I've never discussed how much fuel to take with a dispatcher. It must be different where you work.

As noted at the outset, a different ruleset, and different job description over there than over here.
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Old 14th May 2010, 19:28
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Spadhamton: don't talk crap.

Gone are the days when captains can just say "ah stick another tonne on" - and the industry is all the best for it. Airlines save money, less fuel loaded=less fuel brnt. Everything's good. I'm all for captains being in overall charge, but the question of fuel is a serious one and fuel calculations should be calculated and thorough. They should, therefore, be able to justify their fuel calculations - not just stick it down on paper and assume that their decision is justified, because they have 4 stripes on their epaulettes.

That would be a very unpleasant, and downright dangerous atmosphere to work in.
Just because they have to justify how much fuel they load doesn't mean there's a lack of respect for them - just means they are given incentive to be a bit more careful.
1234

Edit: no more night flights, bloody well said, chap. i'm an f/o at the moment, and as such understand the extra pressures and responsibilities placed on captains - they deserve, in my opinion, authority in terms of rank as well as responsibility.

Having said that, i haven't come across any cabin crew who have played up yet.
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Old 14th May 2010, 20:39
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CJ1234...Fools Playing Money Games with Lives....

I give my pilots full authority. I also scrutinize every Pre-Flight Action and keep detailed records of those actions. Systems don't run themselves. Systems must be constantly analyzed and trends noted. This is upper management's job. Not just selling space and playing golf.

Last edited by Spadhampton; 14th May 2010 at 20:46. Reason: address
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Old 14th May 2010, 23:38
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Narsasuaq

Hi Guys

I pose this a question rather than a challenge. I am pic with a major with 25 years on the atlantic on 747/777. Narsasuaq has plates for cat a and b only I have never seen anything bigger, if there are please post them!!

One lonely day not so long ago I called their tower as we passed overhead.

My question to him was what was the largest he ever had in to land. He said it was a weekly 737 that left half empty due perf. problems.

My fo was a 20 year vet but in a former life a military boy who had been in as pic with a herc and said it was very limiting.He is one of the few I have flown with with a dual uk/usa test military test pilot rating

Now I am waiting for the knock down but his opinion is one which I do respect and that the chance of getting in ( in a heavy) daylight let alone at night in the **** ie smoke ect was almost zero. He went as far as saying virtually any other option would be better, yet on a regular basis I have colleagues next to me who consider it their best option as the weather is good ( just cat 1 )but have never looked at the reality of getting in. BGSF with all its fun seems benign although I know its miles away.What I am trying to get at as how bad do you think it should be to have a go with the risks that go with that .What other options could you generate if your answer was no.


More on thread I often carry planned fuel if I can but also have no probs putting on 10T EXTRA( less or more) IF I need it .Not once with a phone call to ask why(respect to my management ). Is that not what being a captain is all about. If you need it carry it.

Discuss

Last edited by dav99sod; 15th May 2010 at 00:20.
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Old 14th May 2010, 23:54
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Another 2p worth re fuel.

I am a regional or 'short haul' pilot.

Our lot say you burn 4% per hour, of what you tank due to being heavier.

Therefore 1/2 a ton for an hour= 20kg. (about 10 mins APU fuel)

Talk about cheap insurance.
 
Old 14th May 2010, 23:56
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You can check AIP Greenland for more information.

If 1830 meters are enough for the 747 and a few mountains close to the runway are fine, then you should be good. I don't fly them but I am guessing they need a little more space then Narsarsuaq airport.
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:11
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No probs with the length 1700 at heavy weights with fire on my toes and your mine!!! BUT ONLY IF THE CB GRANITE ARE NOT THERE .

Thats a far quicker end!!!

Last edited by dav99sod; 15th May 2010 at 00:22.
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Old 15th May 2010, 01:36
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DJ77: I believe the answer to your query is in my original post on page 2 - BGSF is indeed a better choice, although not without its own challenges.
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Old 15th May 2010, 09:27
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dav99sod

What I am trying to get at as how bad do you think it should be to have a go with the risks that go with that .What other options could you generate if your answer was no.
Before starting on the A340 I had a briefing with our safety department, and the option Narsarsuak was discussed. If I remember correctly, it is a beacon approach with different inbound and outbound courses, and a very steep final. Not really doable in an A340 without flying a 360 in that fjord. You would have to be at min speed and get lucky not to hit anything. So the only reason to try such a manouver is if all other options are exhausted and not trying it means certain death. I didn't consider it an alternate any more as I would "Alert", where an overrun is certain, but better than falling out of the sky in a burning ball.

Nic
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Old 15th May 2010, 16:51
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Mansfield; Thanks for pointing me to your page 2 post. I should have read everything before asking. I appreciate and share your well balanced views.
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