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737-700 M. E. L.

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737-700 M. E. L.

Old 7th Dec 2004, 23:10
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: france
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hello every one,

here some more food for thaught.
a long time ago i was scheduled to fly a fokker 28 out of my home base with a snag on the tailmounted speedbrakes : speedbrakes worked fine, only the autoretract cb was popped with no reset possible. this meant that in case of go-around the speedbrakes would not retract automatically. would then be similar to boeing aeroplanes where this autoretract feature is deemed unnecessary( the aa b757cali pilots might disagree if they still could, black humor, i agree. ...).
anyway, the fokker mel stated that in case of the speedbrakes autoretract system inop, in order to dispatch, the speedbrakes should be disabled alltogether in the retract position. so no sbrakes on this flight. anyone who has flown the f28 knows how valuable an asset the tail speedbrakes are in flight, no vibrations whatsoever, you can descent & decelerate at the same time etc.
& normally at 100ft above ground you extend them to reduce gently from vref+10 to vref at touchdown.
although not required in take off/reject scenarios ( the liftdumpers on the wings are required for that matter), i considered that in view of the short rwy 1476m/4842ft & being at the home base, the remedy of the mel(no speedbrakes), versus manual sb only, was worse than the original problem. i fully understood the fokker technical concern about going around with sb still out in case we forgot to retract them. i don't remember if weather/icing conditions were a factor, but it could have been.
so i refused to accept the aircraft in this condition, causing great commotion to maintenance & the head honchos(management) in their yvory tower upstairs. they even tried to contact another captain to replace me. luckyly the chiefpilot at that time was on my side & stopped the whole thing.(wonder if he would be able to do the same nowadays?). finally, after much hassle back & forth, it was agreed upon to make the necessary repairs & the flight departed with about 3 hours delay & went uneventful. even the passengers understood the tecdelay was for their & our safety.

i welcome any comments, many thanks.

Last edited by blackmail; 8th Dec 2004 at 00:35.
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Old 8th Dec 2004, 10:27
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
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hello everyone,

here another one concerning mel applications.
mel applications is sometimes a hot topic between pilots & maintenance.
pilots rightfully see mel advise & applications as an aid in their decision making process, to go(be) or not to go(be),(shakespeare),that's the question, as where maintenance people see the mel as a licence to do nothing until the last day of the allowed repair period, 10days in case of cat c discrepancy(most squawks fall in this category) & even worse, if then no solution is found, missing or wrong spare parts etc. further extention on mel is sought by the relevant authorities, generally 3 more days. and one more, illegal trick this time, is to interchange the faulty part with another aircraft of the same type & start the mel period all over again.

all very frustrating practices for pilots to be subjected to & doubtful if done in the name of saving costs. eg, apu inop, happens of course mostly in the summer hot season. 10 days groundpower, airstart & airco ground units at 7 to 8 times a day + passenger & crew discomfort with cabin temps reaching +40c & more if no ground airco is available, can easely outrun any anticipated costs savings, not to speak about the bad image the company is exhibiting & the inevitable delays this mess is causing.

but in this case the beancounters probably never heard about something called "preventive maintenance", making sure all apu's & other things are in pristine condition before the hot season starts, with critical spareparts readily available in case of trouble & a positive attitude to take action asap if needed. i stop, because i'm dreaming.

Last edited by blackmail; 8th Dec 2004 at 11:53.
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