|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : stl.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||MD-80 Series (DC-9-80) Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|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||non adherence : company policies|
|Independent Detector||other other : 4|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
Flight Crew Human Performance
Cabin Crew Human Performance
Had an FAA maintenance inspector riding with us stl-cmh. The flight attendants were connecting from another flight. The inspector was on the aircraft, and we were awaiting the flight attendants to arrive. Dispatch sent a new release, the flight attendants came down the jetway as I went out to get paperwork. Boarding was underway when I went to get back on the aircraft. The FAA inspector was coming up the jetway looking for me. He said he was uncomfortable with something and felt it had to be brought to my attention. He noticed the passenger boarding of the aircraft began before the flight attendants had checked the emergency equipment. He wasn't sure, but thought it had to be done before passenger boarding. Also, he was concerned that we may have to deplane the aircraft, check the equipment and then reboard. He asked what our procedure was and where it was in the manual. I told him I did not know the current requirements as many of the procedures had changed, and I did not have that information in my manual. I told him we would talk to the flight attendants and do whatever was needed to correct the situation and make him comfortable with the correct operation of the flight. Part of the inspector's concern was from the answer one of the male flight attendants gave him when he pointed this out. The inspector said the flight attendant didn't know what the manual said, and the flight attendant said they did things this way when running late. When we were able to board the aircraft, 2 of the flight attendants were in the galley. Immediately they said that the safety equipment had all been checked and was ok. With the inspector there, I pointed out that we were under the certificate, and asked what they had been taught or what their manual said on the subject. One flight attendant said when running late, we just did it this way, board and check when they could. I asked what the black and white official answer was. He answered he wasn't sure, but probably should have checked before boarding the passenger, but thought that the procedures said nothing about passenger boarding. The agent was now here ready to close the door. Before departing I asked the FAA inspector if he was comfortable with the flight departing and if the equipment inspection was ok. I told him I would do whatever he wanted to correct the situation to his satisfaction, including deplaning the aircraft. He said he did not want to delay the flight, and the operation of the flight was fine. I also asked for his telephone number or e-mail address, telling him I would go to my chief pilot, find out the correct procedure, and call or email him to let him know. The inspector said there was no need to call him, it was ok. Bottom line was the equipment had been checked. The flight to cmh was normal. One of the flight attendants found the procedure in their manual and said it only required it to be done in a timely manner. No mention of the boarding process was in their manual.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: MD80 CREW HAD AN FAA MAINT INSPECTOR QUESTION PAX BOARDING PROCS. HE WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH COMPANY PROCS.
Narrative: HAD AN FAA MAINT INSPECTOR RIDING WITH US STL-CMH. THE FLT ATTENDANTS WERE CONNECTING FROM ANOTHER FLT. THE INSPECTOR WAS ON THE ACFT, AND WE WERE AWAITING THE FLT ATTENDANTS TO ARRIVE. DISPATCH SENT A NEW RELEASE, THE FLT ATTENDANTS CAME DOWN THE JETWAY AS I WENT OUT TO GET PAPERWORK. BOARDING WAS UNDERWAY WHEN I WENT TO GET BACK ON THE ACFT. THE FAA INSPECTOR WAS COMING UP THE JETWAY LOOKING FOR ME. HE SAID HE WAS UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SOMETHING AND FELT IT HAD TO BE BROUGHT TO MY ATTN. HE NOTICED THE PAX BOARDING OF THE ACFT BEGAN BEFORE THE FLT ATTENDANTS HAD CHKED THE EMER EQUIP. HE WASN'T SURE, BUT THOUGHT IT HAD TO BE DONE BEFORE PAX BOARDING. ALSO, HE WAS CONCERNED THAT WE MAY HAVE TO DEPLANE THE ACFT, CHK THE EQUIP AND THEN REBOARD. HE ASKED WHAT OUR PROC WAS AND WHERE IT WAS IN THE MANUAL. I TOLD HIM I DID NOT KNOW THE CURRENT REQUIREMENTS AS MANY OF THE PROCS HAD CHANGED, AND I DID NOT HAVE THAT INFO IN MY MANUAL. I TOLD HIM WE WOULD TALK TO THE FLT ATTENDANTS AND DO WHATEVER WAS NEEDED TO CORRECT THE SIT AND MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE WITH THE CORRECT OP OF THE FLT. PART OF THE INSPECTOR'S CONCERN WAS FROM THE ANSWER ONE OF THE MALE FLT ATTENDANTS GAVE HIM WHEN HE POINTED THIS OUT. THE INSPECTOR SAID THE FLT ATTENDANT DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE MANUAL SAID, AND THE FLT ATTENDANT SAID THEY DID THINGS THIS WAY WHEN RUNNING LATE. WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO BOARD THE ACFT, 2 OF THE FLT ATTENDANTS WERE IN THE GALLEY. IMMEDIATELY THEY SAID THAT THE SAFETY EQUIP HAD ALL BEEN CHKED AND WAS OK. WITH THE INSPECTOR THERE, I POINTED OUT THAT WE WERE UNDER THE CERTIFICATE, AND ASKED WHAT THEY HAD BEEN TAUGHT OR WHAT THEIR MANUAL SAID ON THE SUBJECT. ONE FLT ATTENDANT SAID WHEN RUNNING LATE, WE JUST DID IT THIS WAY, BOARD AND CHK WHEN THEY COULD. I ASKED WHAT THE BLACK AND WHITE OFFICIAL ANSWER WAS. HE ANSWERED HE WASN'T SURE, BUT PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE CHKED BEFORE BOARDING THE PAX, BUT THOUGHT THAT THE PROCS SAID NOTHING ABOUT PAX BOARDING. THE AGENT WAS NOW HERE READY TO CLOSE THE DOOR. BEFORE DEPARTING I ASKED THE FAA INSPECTOR IF HE WAS COMFORTABLE WITH THE FLT DEPARTING AND IF THE EQUIP INSPECTION WAS OK. I TOLD HIM I WOULD DO WHATEVER HE WANTED TO CORRECT THE SIT TO HIS SATISFACTION, INCLUDING DEPLANING THE ACFT. HE SAID HE DID NOT WANT TO DELAY THE FLT, AND THE OP OF THE FLT WAS FINE. I ALSO ASKED FOR HIS TELEPHONE NUMBER OR E-MAIL ADDRESS, TELLING HIM I WOULD GO TO MY CHIEF PLT, FIND OUT THE CORRECT PROC, AND CALL OR EMAIL HIM TO LET HIM KNOW. THE INSPECTOR SAID THERE WAS NO NEED TO CALL HIM, IT WAS OK. BOTTOM LINE WAS THE EQUIP HAD BEEN CHKED. THE FLT TO CMH WAS NORMAL. ONE OF THE FLT ATTENDANTS FOUND THE PROC IN THEIR MANUAL AND SAID IT ONLY REQUIRED IT TO BE DONE IN A TIMELY MANNER. NO MENTION OF THE BOARDING PROCESS WAS IN THEIR MANUAL.
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.