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RYR taxi with towbar in LPL

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RYR taxi with towbar in LPL

Old 13th May 2011, 14:26
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RYR taxi with towbar in LPL

Strange incident in LPL yesterday, where a RYR 737 taxi's away before the towbar is pulled clear of the aircraft. From what appears happens, the groundcrew 'forgot' it was there and the crew didnt confirm it was clear.

It ended up being tangled with the main gear and the fire crews having to cut it free!!

Lots of questions for the crew and groundcrew, but is it not SOP to complete the after start checklists and then ask for taxi AFTER the tug, towbar and man is clear of the aircraft?
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Old 13th May 2011, 15:18
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Questions all round I'd say!

Of course it is SOP to confirm tug and tow bar are disconnected before completing the after start checks and then taxiing.
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Old 13th May 2011, 15:27
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By being pushed all the time by short turn around , time pressure etc...something like that had to happen and will probably happen again.

I remember also one dispatcher loosing his job due to a headset forgotten on the front wheel doors and banging on the fuselage once airborne...

I hope the crew will not have to pay too much for that
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Old 13th May 2011, 15:58
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And then there's the lifting tugs that don't use towbars. So many ways to see your arse in this profession. Stick to SOP's no matter how tedious they may seem and you should be good.

"Tug, towbar, headset, pin and thumbs up"

Last edited by Unhooked; 13th May 2011 at 18:56.
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Old 13th May 2011, 18:11
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You cannot see the towbar from the cockpit. Either you get a signal that all is clear or you don't taxi. On balance I find it hard to imagine the ground crew forgetting the towbar is still attached and giving the signal. Still anything is possible.
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Old 13th May 2011, 18:19
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You cannot see the towbar from the cockpit.
True, but you can watch the tug drive away, and check if it has a towbar attached!
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Old 13th May 2011, 18:58
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"Man, pin, tug, towbar, after start check list please". in an ideal world.

Mind you, there but for the grace of god.............
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Old 13th May 2011, 19:02
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I've never heard a Captain not ask if the tug and town bar are disconnected or groundcrews not confirming the same, but plenty of CRM studies show that people doing repetitive tasks can go through the motions and confirm completion of a task without actually engaging brain.

Last edited by Mikehotel152; 14th May 2011 at 14:10. Reason: Spelling...
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Old 13th May 2011, 19:27
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It's more insidious than that.

The eye does not actually see everything in detail and it makes a construct if what it expects to be there.

Normally, things work out, but I can accept that someone could 'see' no tow bar in place

This is not from the world of psycho babble, but is hard science.
 
Old 13th May 2011, 20:18
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This should't happen, but still does.. all the time and at all airlines.
Now here they taxi out with the towbar connected, more often it is the engineer that is still there, much more dangerous (especially with a 737).
Could have been far worse.
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Old 14th May 2011, 04:38
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When we do departures, our procedure is to show that we have removed the steering pin. {As most, no doubt are} But I have to say, sometimes getting the flight crews attention is sometimes hard as they are completing their pre taxi checks and are often looking down. So I would imagine, that some dont even look to see where the tug or tow bar are. If we sign off on the headset and say our courtesy good-byes, I would say thats good enough for the drivers.
I think this sounds like, as all us aviation profesionals know, all the holes in the swiss cheese lined up!! Just an unlucky mistake.
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:43
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It's not tricky to watch out of the window to ensure that all ground equipment and personnel are clear. Even if the ground crew gave some sort of signal the Captain should see that the bar hadn't been removed!

Rushing = Reports!
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Old 14th May 2011, 07:06
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" It ended up being tangled with the main gear and the fire crews having to cut it free "

Did it indeed ?. The 737 tow bar is hardly a small piece of kit and, if correct, would suggest it was clearly disconnected and ready to be re-connected to the other large bit of kit, the tug..which is clearly visible ( usually) from the flight deck. Given the distance from the nose to the main gear, how it ended up embedded in the latter to the extent it had to be cut free ( as stated here ) is "interesting" to say the least.

More questions than answers ( as always ) and the official report will no doubt make equally interesting reading as should the human factors aspect.
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Old 14th May 2011, 07:20
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Having been a dispatch for 7 years in a previous life I do not know how many times flight deck have tried to run me over! Sabena, Spanair , Eurofly, to name just a few of the feckers! Now seeing things for the last 7 years from the flight deck I can honestly say that this is just down to complete disregard for SOP's. TUG, TOWBAR, MAN WITH A PIN. After start x-list.
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Old 14th May 2011, 08:17
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Rushing = Reports!

In these multi sector, 25 minute turnaround days, things like this are going to happen. Starting the engines while the PNF is doing a before start cx list (that'll be a hot start and a blown engine then!) , taxi clearance to get ahead of the 4 other aircraft on pushback without even completing engine start or the cx list. And with this happening, it's very easy to lose the SOP sequence and miss something vital........

It's up to the Captain primarily to set an example for this reason.
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Old 14th May 2011, 08:47
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Was it:
  • day or night
  • raining
  • training flight
  • ontime
  • headset used
  • how many in pushback crew
  • was any a trainee
More information about mitigating circumstances please
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Old 14th May 2011, 08:47
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Time from cadet to command in RYR - 3000 hours , or just about 3 years.....

Maybe nothing to do with it in this case, but a lot of the guys in the LHS are still relatively inexperienced in all aspects of the operation .....

There is no quick substitute for experience, airmanship etc, it is simply a factor of time, no matter how well one jumps through the hoops etc.

It's not tricky to watch out of the window to ensure that all ground equipment and personnel are clear.
I rest my case !
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Old 14th May 2011, 09:45
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The tow bar was disconnected and left in front of the aircraft, both groundcrew thinking the other had secured it to the tug.

The aircraft then taxied from stand 9 for about 100 metres before grinding to a halt, disembarking the passengers and having the fire crews do their bit.

Now whether the short cuts were taken by the flight deck remains to be seen. If they taxied too early, didnt wait for signals etc, that is pure conjecture. But I'd of thought that as soon as you move such a hefty bit of kit would be immediately noticed. It must of needed a fistful of power!!!!
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Old 14th May 2011, 09:47
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Was it:
day or night
raining
training flight
ontime
headset used
how many in pushback crew
was any a trainee
If SOP was followed i.e TUG, TOWBAR, MAN WITH PIN none of the above matters.
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Old 14th May 2011, 10:27
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Was it:
day or night
raining
training flight
ontime
headset used
how many in pushback crew
was any a trainee
Was it: Friday 13....

Seriously, so often (in every company) the flipping headset doesn't flipping work as no-one will spend the flipping money. So hand signals, confusion, and the lining up of holes.

Sounds like no injury and no damage so hopefully nobodys' arse will be too sore.
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