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Anybody Referencing the MEL in Flight

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Anybody Referencing the MEL in Flight

Old 15th Feb 2021, 15:17
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Anybody Referencing the MEL in Flight

Some seem to like to call it a dispatch document only and of no use once airborne. I certainly think it can have some useful information. But little can be found about this.

But I did read this in an accident report today..."Although the MEL is intended to be used prior to the flight to dispatch an aircraft in operation, its associated procedures may be used as a guide or guidance on the conduct to be held by the Navigating Flight Personnel, should system or functionality failures be identified in flight, particularly in the absence of a specific procedure to be applied in flight. , as is the case with the GPWS."
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 15:29
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MEL is not required for the conduct of that flight the ECAM or NNC should be capable of handling that. But there are some after landing complications such as no go and no maintenance at the nearest alternate where reference to MEL can help you decide on a better choice of alternate. So it is referred in flight.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 16:15
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I agree with Vilas.

During flight the MEL is not controlling. However referencing it may help the pilots better understand their non-normal situation. During flight the ECAM is controlling however later referencing the non-normal procedure in the FM may give the pilots more understanding.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 16:32
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Why would you not? Anything that adds to knowledge of a fault can only be helpful.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 16:42
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Where I fly, the MEL is controlling right up to the point where you advance the thrust levers for takeoff. In flight it is not controlling, but I think it is prudent in some cases to take a look.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 17:06
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A knowledge of the relevant MEL item, would help determine whether to (safely) continue to an AOG situation at destination, divert somewhere better, or return to base.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 17:36
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"MEL applicability is limited up to the point when an aircraft begins to move under its own power for the purpose of preparing for take-off."

I agree with Vilas.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 18:34
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Use good judgment. Airmanship. Engage brain. Common sense.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 20:51
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Two reasons: as already said could be some interesting info. Second, on a 2 sector day you may find that your in flight problem is not subsequently dispatch able. That could influence diversion decision etc. Obviously all non normal checklists accomplished first. So, answer equals yes but not always.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 21:16
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Agreed , you may be able to dispatch according to the MEL but certain conditions may then prevail that could prevent you from returning e.g single pack operation max cruise altitudes may not be sufficient with prevailing weather, TCAS failure certain ATC units may want to re-route etc etc. As mentioned, a good knowledge of the wider implications of the MEL are required, particularly if engineering is required before the next leg, i.e no fuel indicators or other items requiring sign off before each sectors. Having said that the MEL is guidance before dispatch.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 22:31
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Of course a sensible captain does
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 02:34
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Once things have settled down, I think it's absolutely appropriate to look at the MEL. It often gives a bit more detail, and a better understanding of the failure, and can help with downstream decision-making.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 15:04
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I agree with most of the posts above. Know the nature of the problem. Pass the details to base engineering and flight ops, they may have some necessary input regarding the whereabouts of engineering and spares availability and will alert engineering at the next stop.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 16:21
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ETOPS is a case when the MEL becomes relevant during flight. At least in my company.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:50
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The item in question may have an operational procedure to deal with the failure which would be worth checking as well as the FCOM and QRH.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 08:14
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Some seem to like to call it a dispatch document only and of no use once airborne. I certainly think it can have some useful information. But little can be found about this
If you are operating to a airport with no maintenance support you have to pull it out in flight lest you ground the aircraft on arrival.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 08:26
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In flight the MEL would only be checked if I had time. It is the bottom of the priorities list.

But if I had time I would absolutely reference it. To be honest even if land at nearest suitable was mandated by the QRH there probably would be time to check it.
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