|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : ccs|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : lex|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||DC-8 Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : flight engineer
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 66|
flight time total : 17000
flight time type : 1800
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
non adherence : published procedure
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
other flight crewa
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
Departed mia morning of apr/xx/96 at XA18 local time en route to ccs, venezuela, on aircraft DC8. Shortly after takeoff, discovered that my pdi was not functioning properly (course bar centered about 45 degrees off known position). First officer's instrument ok. Because RMI needle pointed correctly, I idented my pdi as the problem. After checking aircraft manual and MEL, I notified company that my pdi was unusable and must be repaired before dispatch from ccs. They agreed and said they would arrange for repairs in ccs. After 2 other company flts later arrived in ccs from mia absent the required part and the company's inability to borrow a pdi from other airlines, the company began to pressure me to depart for bog, columbia, and then to mia. First they claimed that because I had 2 omegas, I could proceed. When I asked where in the MEL that this provision was stated, they dropped that claim and pointed out SP34-23B. I then stated that the way I interpreted the MEL, SP34- 23B applied only to the ILS function of the system. They disagreed with my interpretation and faxed me a letter stating that the company had determined that I had 2 functional vors and that I could proceed. I called back and told director of operations that the facsimile I received did not accurately describe the situation. After angry words he faxed me the same letter (enclosed) with his hand written note that said 'you may proceed with pdi 45 degrees out of phase.' I had spoken with chief pilot and vice president of maintenance and operations and all 3 signed the faxed letter and were very intimidating over the phone. I am ashamed of myself for allowing this intimidation to cause me to accept an aircraft which I did not think could be legally dispatched. We were headed into very mountainous terrain (bog) at night. I would never have done this with passenger but my crew and I accepted the risks knowing that failure to do so would result in our termination. The above scenario is very typical, the difference being that rarely do management types put in writing such damning evidence. I blame the FAA for allowingthis kind of thing to continue to be typical of supplemental carriers. I do not understand how during inspection of our aircraft maintenance logbooks, the FAA continues to remain silent about repeat write-ups with the typical signoff 'cleaned cannon plug, ground checks ok.' when I flew for a now defunct major airline, they encouraged us pilots to review the logbook and identify repeat items to aid maintenance in identing past repairs which were ineffective in correcting a problem. My present employer forbids reference to past write-ups in our logbook entries. I believe this indicates that they are not truly interested in fixing problems, but are only interested in moving airplanes and freight regardless of the condition or safety of the aircraft. Another unsafe aspect of this trip was that we were kept on duty for approximately 26 hours with no rest facilities. We supplemental and/or international crews get just as tired as our domestic counterparts, so why is there a difference in our duty time limitations. Remember, our last leg was into mia after 26 hours of continuous duty! Would you be concerned if you lived under the approach path to mia? Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states the company pressure was dreadful, the mechanic refused to sign the logbook. The so finally agreed to sign it so the crew would not lose their jobs. Pretty poor working conditions to feel job threatened all the time. Reporter feels there is a trend in the industry to overlook things just to get the job done. It is obvious when the same things are written up day after day and not repaired that something is wrong. This company forces flight crew to land overweight, they overload the aircraft so that maximum temperatures must be exceeded for takeoff. He has even carried a full load of explosives without knowing it until after the flight. This is all illegal. Many of the pilots of this company feel that the FAA inspector is taking bribes to ignore these things. The primary reason reporter initially refused to fly with pdi inoperative was that a friend and fellow pilot almost raninto a mountain due to a second pdi failure. The GPWS saved that flight. Reporter believes the FAA should make it mandatory for flight crew to review logbooks and note previous problems. He feels the provisions for crew rest facilities and time limits should be established for supplemental and international carriers. Analyst recommended hotline. Reporter afraid he could be idented.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CARGO CARRIER DEPARTS WITH 1 PDI INOP HDG FOR BOGOTA ON NIGHT FLT.
Narrative: DEPARTED MIA MORNING OF APR/XX/96 AT XA18 LCL TIME ENRTE TO CCS, VENEZUELA, ON ACFT DC8. SHORTLY AFTER TKOF, DISCOVERED THAT MY PDI WAS NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY (COURSE BAR CTRED ABOUT 45 DEGS OFF KNOWN POS). FO'S INST OK. BECAUSE RMI NEEDLE POINTED CORRECTLY, I IDENTED MY PDI AS THE PROB. AFTER CHKING ACFT MANUAL AND MEL, I NOTIFIED COMPANY THAT MY PDI WAS UNUSABLE AND MUST BE REPAIRED BEFORE DISPATCH FROM CCS. THEY AGREED AND SAID THEY WOULD ARRANGE FOR REPAIRS IN CCS. AFTER 2 OTHER COMPANY FLTS LATER ARRIVED IN CCS FROM MIA ABSENT THE REQUIRED PART AND THE COMPANY'S INABILITY TO BORROW A PDI FROM OTHER AIRLINES, THE COMPANY BEGAN TO PRESSURE ME TO DEPART FOR BOG, COLUMBIA, AND THEN TO MIA. FIRST THEY CLAIMED THAT BECAUSE I HAD 2 OMEGAS, I COULD PROCEED. WHEN I ASKED WHERE IN THE MEL THAT THIS PROVISION WAS STATED, THEY DROPPED THAT CLAIM AND POINTED OUT SP34-23B. I THEN STATED THAT THE WAY I INTERPRETED THE MEL, SP34- 23B APPLIED ONLY TO THE ILS FUNCTION OF THE SYS. THEY DISAGREED WITH MY INTERP AND FAXED ME A LETTER STATING THAT THE COMPANY HAD DETERMINED THAT I HAD 2 FUNCTIONAL VORS AND THAT I COULD PROCEED. I CALLED BACK AND TOLD DIRECTOR OF OPS THAT THE FAX I RECEIVED DID NOT ACCURATELY DESCRIBE THE SIT. AFTER ANGRY WORDS HE FAXED ME THE SAME LETTER (ENCLOSED) WITH HIS HAND WRITTEN NOTE THAT SAID 'YOU MAY PROCEED WITH PDI 45 DEGS OUT OF PHASE.' I HAD SPOKEN WITH CHIEF PLT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF MAINT AND OPS AND ALL 3 SIGNED THE FAXED LETTER AND WERE VERY INTIMIDATING OVER THE PHONE. I AM ASHAMED OF MYSELF FOR ALLOWING THIS INTIMIDATION TO CAUSE ME TO ACCEPT AN ACFT WHICH I DID NOT THINK COULD BE LEGALLY DISPATCHED. WE WERE HEADED INTO VERY MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN (BOG) AT NIGHT. I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THIS WITH PAX BUT MY CREW AND I ACCEPTED THE RISKS KNOWING THAT FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD RESULT IN OUR TERMINATION. THE ABOVE SCENARIO IS VERY TYPICAL, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT RARELY DO MGMNT TYPES PUT IN WRITING SUCH DAMNING EVIDENCE. I BLAME THE FAA FOR ALLOWINGTHIS KIND OF THING TO CONTINUE TO BE TYPICAL OF SUPPLEMENTAL CARRIERS. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW DURING INSPECTION OF OUR ACFT MAINT LOGBOOKS, THE FAA CONTINUES TO REMAIN SILENT ABOUT REPEAT WRITE-UPS WITH THE TYPICAL SIGNOFF 'CLEANED CANNON PLUG, GND CHKS OK.' WHEN I FLEW FOR A NOW DEFUNCT MAJOR AIRLINE, THEY ENCOURAGED US PLTS TO REVIEW THE LOGBOOK AND IDENT REPEAT ITEMS TO AID MAINT IN IDENTING PAST REPAIRS WHICH WERE INEFFECTIVE IN CORRECTING A PROB. MY PRESENT EMPLOYER FORBIDS REF TO PAST WRITE-UPS IN OUR LOGBOOK ENTRIES. I BELIEVE THIS INDICATES THAT THEY ARE NOT TRULY INTERESTED IN FIXING PROBS, BUT ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN MOVING AIRPLANES AND FREIGHT REGARDLESS OF THE CONDITION OR SAFETY OF THE ACFT. ANOTHER UNSAFE ASPECT OF THIS TRIP WAS THAT WE WERE KEPT ON DUTY FOR APPROX 26 HRS WITH NO REST FACILITIES. WE SUPPLEMENTAL AND/OR INTL CREWS GET JUST AS TIRED AS OUR DOMESTIC COUNTERPARTS, SO WHY IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR DUTY TIME LIMITATIONS. REMEMBER, OUR LAST LEG WAS INTO MIA AFTER 26 HRS OF CONTINUOUS DUTY! WOULD YOU BE CONCERNED IF YOU LIVED UNDER THE APCH PATH TO MIA? CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES THE COMPANY PRESSURE WAS DREADFUL, THE MECH REFUSED TO SIGN THE LOGBOOK. THE SO FINALLY AGREED TO SIGN IT SO THE CREW WOULD NOT LOSE THEIR JOBS. PRETTY POOR WORKING CONDITIONS TO FEEL JOB THREATENED ALL THE TIME. RPTR FEELS THERE IS A TREND IN THE INDUSTRY TO OVERLOOK THINGS JUST TO GET THE JOB DONE. IT IS OBVIOUS WHEN THE SAME THINGS ARE WRITTEN UP DAY AFTER DAY AND NOT REPAIRED THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG. THIS COMPANY FORCES FLC TO LAND OVERWT, THEY OVERLOAD THE ACFT SO THAT MAX TEMPS MUST BE EXCEEDED FOR TKOF. HE HAS EVEN CARRIED A FULL LOAD OF EXPLOSIVES WITHOUT KNOWING IT UNTIL AFTER THE FLT. THIS IS ALL ILLEGAL. MANY OF THE PLTS OF THIS COMPANY FEEL THAT THE FAA INSPECTOR IS TAKING BRIBES TO IGNORE THESE THINGS. THE PRIMARY REASON RPTR INITIALLY REFUSED TO FLY WITH PDI INOP WAS THAT A FRIEND AND FELLOW PLT ALMOST RANINTO A MOUNTAIN DUE TO A SECOND PDI FAILURE. THE GPWS SAVED THAT FLT. RPTR BELIEVES THE FAA SHOULD MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR FLC TO REVIEW LOGBOOKS AND NOTE PREVIOUS PROBS. HE FEELS THE PROVISIONS FOR CREW REST FACILITIES AND TIME LIMITS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED FOR SUPPLEMENTAL AND INTL CARRIERS. ANALYST RECOMMENDED HOTLINE. RPTR AFRAID HE COULD BE IDENTED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.