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Cargo holds & SAFA

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Cargo holds & SAFA

Old 3rd Sep 2022, 17:41
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Devil Cargo holds & SAFA

Hello everyone,
Just need your feedback about one thing. My airline had a lot of recent findings during SAFA checks. Basically the findings were about "pilots not checking cargo holds from inside."
I am frustrated cause I have never done that or seen any other pilot doing that during outside checks.
So my question is;
1. Do you do it?
2. Do you think the findings are fair?
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 20:59
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The problem with being a commercial pilot is that you have to take many reports from other people that they have executed tasks in their areas to the required standard. Whilst you and I are licensed and regularly examined individuals, a lot of the others are minimum wage who have been certified as competent on the basis of a one-day course. You have to ask yourself..... exactly how much enthusiasm does minimum wage buy?

This is what the airline industry has come to. People want cheap flights, but when it all goes wrong they are not interested in how many consecutive shifts the engineer, baggage handler or ramp monkey has worked to make ends meet. Profit is king.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 22:13
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Originally Posted by pltemrah View Post
Hello everyone,
Just need your feedback about one thing. My airline had a lot of recent findings during SAFA checks. Basically the findings were about "pilots not checking cargo holds from inside."
I am frustrated cause I have never done that or seen any other pilot doing that during outside checks.
So my question is;
1. Do you do it?
2. Do you think the findings are fair?
It depends. In a previous airline it was indeed part of the normal walk around to check all cargo holds, in my current airline it is the responsibility of the ground handling to check the holds and the ramp agent has to sign that on the loading form. We get no findings for that as the check is done as per the ground handling manual.

If your airline does not have any general agreements with its ground handling companies and proof that those cargo hold checks are done, those findings are correct.
Denti is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2022, 06:33
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
It depends. In a previous airline it was indeed part of the normal walk around to check all cargo holds, in my current airline it is the responsibility of the ground handling to check the holds and the ramp agent has to sign that on the loading form. We get no findings for that as the check is done as per the ground handling manual.

If your airline does not have any general agreements with its ground handling companies and proof that those cargo hold checks are done, those findings are correct.
Or itís an easy finding for an over officious SAFA inspector canít find anything else? It would concern me if your airline is having multiple inspections in a short period - almost that itís targeted.
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 08:47
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I canít even see much of the cargo holds from the ground, and Iím sure it would be some kind of H&S violation if I tried to climb up in there while loading was in progress.

More importantly, what are you supposed to be checking? I havenít been trained in the difference between correctly packaged/stowed freight and otherwise, especially at the ULD scale, and I doubt many pilots have. I get a loading certificate and NOTOC, and that obviates me from putting my hat on and peering into the hold going ďYes, very good! Lovely work! Carry on chaps!"
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 10:59
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My guess is you should be checking that the hold linings are intact, no holes, gaps or areas that have been caved in.
Especially with regards to holds which use container loading, as the containers easily get damaged and rip the hell out of the linings or hold panels.
It will also depend on what your pre-flight/walk round check contains or if you are allowed to sign for a daily check (most are not allowed).
If they list checking the holds then you don't have a leg to stand on.
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 11:36
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Originally Posted by Mr @ Spotty M View Post
My guess is you should be checking that the hold linings are intact, no holes, gaps or areas that have been caved in.
Especially with regards to holds which use container loading, as the containers easily get damaged and rip the hell out of the linings or hold panels.
It will also depend on what your pre-flight/walk round check contains or if you are allowed to sign for a daily check (most are not allowed).
If they list checking the holds then you don't have a leg to stand on.
How is this possible? Half the time when I get to the aircraft it is already loaded. The engineers check the hold interior after it has been unloaded as part of the daily check. It is an engineering function not a flight crew one.
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 11:40
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I would say it is a common problem with SAFA inspections on a bulk load bellyholds like 737 or non-uld 320 family. We have drawn a clear red line in bellyholds to indicate the max level but it doesnt work all the time with loaders. Loaders are sort of Mc D job and you cannot change it. Then you are receiving a finding since you are supposed to be in control. It is not practical and most of the times impossible for the flight deck to check the load themselves. The only real solution in my mind is to extend SAFA on ground operations/handlers.
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 06:12
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post
The only real solution in my mind is to extend SAFA on ground operations/handlers.
That would be the ISAGO audit (IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations).

Do keep the following in mind: It is allowed for an airline to outsource the work, but never the responsibility. Thus any findings in an ISAGO audit may well point just as much towards the customer airline as the ground handler.
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 09:47
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post
That would be the ISAGO audit (IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations).

Do keep the following in mind: It is allowed for an airline to outsource the work, but never the responsibility. Thus any findings in an ISAGO audit may well point just as much towards the customer airline as the ground handler.
Everything starting with IATA is just a gentlemen club. ISAGO is just a club while SAFA is indeed punitive. Until the ground handlers will start to get punished by authorities they will remain a black hole.
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