|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : fai.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-400|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : parked|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Maintenance||contributing factor : schedule pressure|
performance deficiency : repair
Flight Crew Human Performance
Leaving, we had a MEL issued for a wing light inoperative. MEL 33-7A. 33-7A specifically applies to nighttime operations, and as I read it, it applied to day operations. We were in day operations at the time, but I asked maintenance controller to clarify this MEL and perhaps issue both an a and B to cover us during daylight hours. Maintenance controller refused and explained that MEL 33-7A applied to both day and night, however, that is not what the MEL says. I asked maintenance controller to facsimile me a letter declaring that it applied to both before I departed. We received the letter from maintenance controller and departed. We referenced the correct log page. In the same flight, same aircraft, the line mechanic that accomplished the walkaround found a hydraulic leak in the #1 engine, wrote up the leak in the logbook and grounded the aircraft. After an extensive delay, and an attempt by flight control to cancel the flight (flight attendant left the aircraft and catering took all the food off, operations told us we were cancelled, and scheduling booked us on another flight) maintenance changed the plan. While they did not fix the leak, they announced after an engine run that they 'found a loophole' in the maintenance book. They made this announcement on the radio in the clear. I was contacted on the aircraft and informed that the leak was within limits, and we would fly the flight as scheduled, albeit late. I was reluctant to continue since it sounded as if the line maintenance was trying to pull something I wanted no part of. Respectfully and appropriately, I asked many questions for documentation from a certain mechanic before I accepted the airplane. Again, we referenced the log. In the end, the logbook and paperwork were in order, and as the PIC did not have grounds to refuse the flight, I departed. However, I wanted to bring this to your attention and perhaps debrief the maintenance folks on how this was handled. I also had to put my own reputation on the line to convince the flight attendants to return to the aircraft that they were told was broken. Passenger were asking many questions of us before they would return to the aircraft. Also, in the end, it was my reputation and me standing in front of passenger and crew telling them it was ok before they would board. I was comfortable doing this, since I read the boeing documents and spoke directly with 2 mechanics. However, it was not our best day on the line.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: B737-400 CAPT IS SUSPICIOUS OF THE MEL ITEMS THE ACR MAINT CTLR IS ASKING HIM TO ACCEPT FOR THE FLT.
Narrative: LEAVING, WE HAD A MEL ISSUED FOR A WING LIGHT INOP. MEL 33-7A. 33-7A SPECIFICALLY APPLIES TO NIGHTTIME OPS, AND AS I READ IT, IT APPLIED TO DAY OPS. WE WERE IN DAY OPS AT THE TIME, BUT I ASKED MAINT CTLR TO CLARIFY THIS MEL AND PERHAPS ISSUE BOTH AN A AND B TO COVER US DURING DAYLIGHT HRS. MAINT CTLR REFUSED AND EXPLAINED THAT MEL 33-7A APPLIED TO BOTH DAY AND NIGHT, HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT WHAT THE MEL SAYS. I ASKED MAINT CTLR TO FAX ME A LETTER DECLARING THAT IT APPLIED TO BOTH BEFORE I DEPARTED. WE RECEIVED THE LETTER FROM MAINT CTLR AND DEPARTED. WE REFED THE CORRECT LOG PAGE. IN THE SAME FLT, SAME ACFT, THE LINE MECH THAT ACCOMPLISHED THE WALKAROUND FOUND A HYD LEAK IN THE #1 ENG, WROTE UP THE LEAK IN THE LOGBOOK AND GNDED THE ACFT. AFTER AN EXTENSIVE DELAY, AND AN ATTEMPT BY FLT CTL TO CANCEL THE FLT (FLT ATTENDANT LEFT THE ACFT AND CATERING TOOK ALL THE FOOD OFF, OPS TOLD US WE WERE CANCELLED, AND SCHEDULING BOOKED US ON ANOTHER FLT) MAINT CHANGED THE PLAN. WHILE THEY DID NOT FIX THE LEAK, THEY ANNOUNCED AFTER AN ENG RUN THAT THEY 'FOUND A LOOPHOLE' IN THE MAINT BOOK. THEY MADE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE RADIO IN THE CLR. I WAS CONTACTED ON THE ACFT AND INFORMED THAT THE LEAK WAS WITHIN LIMITS, AND WE WOULD FLY THE FLT AS SCHEDULED, ALBEIT LATE. I WAS RELUCTANT TO CONTINUE SINCE IT SOUNDED AS IF THE LINE MAINT WAS TRYING TO PULL SOMETHING I WANTED NO PART OF. RESPECTFULLY AND APPROPRIATELY, I ASKED MANY QUESTIONS FOR DOCUMENTATION FROM A CERTAIN MECH BEFORE I ACCEPTED THE AIRPLANE. AGAIN, WE REFED THE LOG. IN THE END, THE LOGBOOK AND PAPERWORK WERE IN ORDER, AND AS THE PIC DID NOT HAVE GNDS TO REFUSE THE FLT, I DEPARTED. HOWEVER, I WANTED TO BRING THIS TO YOUR ATTN AND PERHAPS DEBRIEF THE MAINT FOLKS ON HOW THIS WAS HANDLED. I ALSO HAD TO PUT MY OWN REPUTATION ON THE LINE TO CONVINCE THE FLT ATTENDANTS TO RETURN TO THE ACFT THAT THEY WERE TOLD WAS BROKEN. PAX WERE ASKING MANY QUESTIONS OF US BEFORE THEY WOULD RETURN TO THE ACFT. ALSO, IN THE END, IT WAS MY REPUTATION AND ME STANDING IN FRONT OF PAX AND CREW TELLING THEM IT WAS OK BEFORE THEY WOULD BOARD. I WAS COMFORTABLE DOING THIS, SINCE I READ THE BOEING DOCUMENTS AND SPOKE DIRECTLY WITH 2 MECHS. HOWEVER, IT WAS NOT OUR BEST DAY ON THE LINE.
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.