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VS 3 turnback

Old 5th May 2022, 06:43
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We had a chat about being presented with this on my last flight, and things are so chaotic at the moment that it seems well within the bounds of possibility. It did look a rare event with very little consequence (for safety), so in the bottom corner of a risk analysis. Pretty much guaranteed to get the regulator hot under the collar, though!
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Old 5th May 2022, 11:59
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I do recall, from memory only and I do not have the references to hand, that it is an EASA (and consequently UK) requirement that the Captain checks the FO's license before flight. Maybe that regulation was designed to catch exactly this type of oversight.

MM
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:12
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Originally Posted by Miles Magister View Post
I do recall, from memory only and I do not have the references to hand, that it is an EASA (and consequently UK) requirement that the Captain checks the FO's license before flight.
I just re-read the "duties of the commander" section in our operating manual (EASA approved commercial operator). It does not mention anything like that and I have never heard about it either nor have I ever seen flight crews cross-checking each other's licenses.
Anyway, the supervision status of a crewmember can not be found in the license. The only way I could possibly find out about my colleagues status is to call the operations manager or the training manager.
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:23
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I think carrying on to destination would have opened up a whole load of worms / legal questions - It is after all a minimum no of two qualified pilots required. A previous airline that was absorbed by Big Airlines rostered me to fly two sectors on A B737 once - when I phoned crewing and explained I was Airbus qualified and never even sat in the cockpit of a 737, they still didnt see it as much of a problem
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:31
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Walking out to at well known British built three engine jet and the young Second Officer suggested he was going to do manual ILS’s on the next two sectors. I suggested it was “normal” to ask the “senior” co-pilot as to which sectors he wished to operate P2, he seemed a bit confused and then it dawned on me….Are you under training? Yes was the response.

The Captain (not a trainer) got involved and we marched back to Queens Building. He suggested to the crew controller there was a problem with his S/O perhaps not being qualified.

The controller stated if the second officer was under training there would be a training file in his cabinet… hey presto… there it was…



Shortly followed by… “Would F/O Bloggs (airport standby) please ring crew control”.. the rest of the day was uneventful.
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:31
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The beeb have picked it up ....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61332456

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Old 5th May 2022, 12:39
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Originally Posted by Miles Magister View Post
I do recall, from memory only and I do not have the references to hand, that it is an EASA (and consequently UK) requirement that the Captain checks the FO's license before flight. Maybe that regulation was designed to catch exactly this type of oversight.

MM
I do recall (from memory only) that the UK is not an EASA member state. There is a working arrangement, due to a process called Brexit.
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Old 5th May 2022, 13:03
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In any case he would already have the type rating on his license before commencing line training. What he appears to have been missing was a final line check. It says somewhere that the FO joined in 2017 so even with Covid was quite probably an experienced Airbus pllot converting to the A350.

It is a serious administrative error like flying with an out of date medical and will rightly attract some attention from the authorities.

The amount of initial operating experience required also varies widely between companies and of course countries. The USA I have heard tell makes IOE pretty quick. Some companies I know of in Europe can take many months to get people through their line training. Of course not everyone passes or achieves the required proficiency in the standard time.
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Old 5th May 2022, 13:14
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Perhaps our rostering software is somehow unique in this, but crew still in the training phase will have a (T) added behind their names in the crew list. And line trainers acting as instructor on that specific leg will have a capital i (I) added to indicate they are instructing. It is of course only as foolproof as the newest fool in crew control, or flight crew paying attention to those details, but still.

Very easy to see if flight deck crew is new, or to take some extra time into account if they are performing training in the cabin etc.
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Old 5th May 2022, 13:26
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Originally Posted by Miles Magister View Post
I do recall, from memory only and I do not have the references to hand, that it is an EASA (and consequently UK) requirement that the Captain checks the FO's license before flight. Maybe that regulation was designed to catch exactly this type of oversight.

MM
What exactly will he have looked for in this instance?
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Old 5th May 2022, 14:03
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Soon in the e-learning platform near you ...
... Operations Staff Refresher Course CAT.GEN.MPA.180

Originally Posted by CAT.GEN.MPA.180 Documents, manuals and information to be carried
(a) The following documents, manuals and information shall be carried on each flight, as originals or
copies unless otherwise specified:
(9) the journey log, or equivalent, for the aircraft
'Journey log' shall contain "duty assignment of crew member(s)" [AMC1 ORO.MLR.100 (a) (4)]

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Old 5th May 2022, 14:14
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The Captain realized that FO is an actual "Virgin".
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Old 5th May 2022, 16:49
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I have a question regarding exactly this topic. Once I succeeded my skill test and then my base training, my license was issued the very next day. (maybe even just after the skill test, I forgot)
So, what would prevent me from operating as a first officer on that day ? When I finished my line training and succeeded the line check, nothing on my license changed.
This means that the airline could roster somebody halfway through line training on a normal line flight, chances are everything would go well, and even if there was a CAA check, the licence would be valid. They would not be able to see problem, would they ?
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Old 5th May 2022, 18:49
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I guess that the flight might not be insured if the F/O had not passed their final line check, (or the training paperwork had not been updated to say they had), or if a training F/O was flying with a standard Cap rather than a TRI or TRE?

I can quite see how a mix-up could happen. The F/O, during their line training, would naturally assume the Cap was a TRE, so wouldn't ask*, or offer any information, unless it came out in normal conversation. And a non-TRE Cap would not ever think their F/O was a trainee. I have never known anyone check licences apart from a TRE doing a line check, or in the Sim.


*Wouldn't go down very well if they did ask to see the TRE's licence !!
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Old 5th May 2022, 18:58
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Originally Posted by CVividasku View Post
I have a question regarding exactly this topic. Once I succeeded my skill test and then my base training, my license was issued the very next day. (maybe even just after the skill test, I forgot)
So, what would prevent me from operating as a first officer on that day ? When I finished my line training and succeeded the line check, nothing on my license changed.
This means that the airline could roster somebody halfway through line training on a normal line flight, chances are everything would go well, and even if there was a CAA check, the licence would be valid. They would not be able to see problem, would they ?
The company in question would be in breach of their OM-D which is a CAA audited approved and controlling document
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Old 5th May 2022, 19:18
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
The F/O, during their line training, would naturally assume the Cap was a TRE...
You do not need to be TRI or TRE in order to perform the duty of a line training captain. So, just like with a first officer under supervision, nothing will be entered in your license. This whole flying under supervision thing is company specific and not easily visible outside the company (and as in this case: not even inside the company). In the previous company I flew for I got "promoted" to line training captain by a phone call the night before a flight when they could not find another qualified captain for a newly hired FO.
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Old 5th May 2022, 20:17
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Only one fully qualified pilot?

If the FO is new and not fully qualified, is it the case that there should be a third pilot on the flight deck? If the captain is incapacitated, it makes no odds whether he/she is a qualified trainer - or am I missing something here?
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Old 5th May 2022, 20:32
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Originally Posted by 911slf View Post
If the FO is new and not fully qualified,...
What is your definition of "fully qualified"? In EASA-land (perhaps different elsewhere) an FO needs to be type rated and checked-out on the aircraft before he is allowed to fly inside a commercial operation. The type rating course as well as the checkrides include one or more "crewmember incapacitation" details where the pilot must demonstrate that he can operate and land the airplane on his own. And then there are many aircraft types with not enough room in the cockpit for a third pilot. Not in this case of course.
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Old 5th May 2022, 20:34
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The challenging Q is: Would anybody (an XAA during a routine platform paper check ?) have found, when they had kept their mouth shut and/or not found out themselves ?

Of course, in case of a dang, this would have been an item in the report.
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Old 5th May 2022, 20:44
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Originally Posted by 911slf View Post
If the FO is new and not fully qualified, is it the case that there should be a third pilot on the flight deck? If the captain is incapacitated, it makes no odds whether he/she is a qualified trainer - or am I missing something here?
As what next points out the trainee is trained and checked out on aircraft handling, including what to do in the event of pilot incapacitation during the simulator phase of the course, as part of the type rating process all done before line training starts....

In reality some companies might stick an extra (safety) pilot on the flight deck for the trainees first two or three sectors of the line training phase but once the trainee had demonstrated competence that requirement would be dropped.
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