|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : sfo.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B757-200|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : pushback|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 14500
flight time type : 5500
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Anomaly||non adherence : company policies|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
Our aircraft was parked at the gate for a scheduled departure. The push crew established headset contact for push. We called for pushback and received clearance from ramp control for the push. The aircraft was ready for push from the pilot's perspective. However; he asked me to release the brakes for an on-time departure; then he wanted to leave the tug and go find another working headset. I told him if he was going to leave; that I would not release the brakes. With the delay; we call ramp control and canceled the pushback. The driver said he was going to leave and find a headset cord. I'm guessing that he did not have the cord extension to hook up the headset to the aircraft from the tug. Shortly he returned without a working headset. The ground crew; without any prior coordination or contact; proceeded to give the no-headset brake release signal. I shook my head no; no brake release. He had not coordination with me for non-headset pushback; and we did not have push clearance. He again asked for brake release; and I shook my head no; and held up my hand to indicate to wait for clearance. At no time did I give him the brake release signal. Immediately after he asked for the brakes to be released the second time; I felt the tug brake release and start to push the aircraft. I immediately released the parking brake to prevent aircraft damage and a broken tow bar and potential injury to the ground crew. He proceeded to push the aircraft without clearance from the crew. We were in the process of calling ramp control back for push clearance; so at least we did not push without clearance; but it was too close for comfort. In conclusion; we very nearly had a broken tow bar; possible aircraft damage and personal injury due to nonstandard procedures used by the pushback ground crew. Recommendation; another mandatory review for all pushback ground crews of procedures on pushback without a headset. A more pressing issue should be to have adequate equipment available to ground crew to accomplish the pushback safely. Namely; headsets and extension cords that work; and spares. I called ramp control to request the push crew review the pushback procedures before they push another aircraft. The push crew also wanted me to start engines during pushback without a headset. If I remember correctly; engine start is not allowed before brakes are set without a headset. After brakes were set on push; the driver plugged in his headset; for disconnect. I told him about the pushing without clearance and while brakes were set. He was apologetic; and continued the release procedure.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: B757-200 CAPT RPTS IMPROPER PUSHBACK PROCS BY GND CREW.
Narrative: OUR ACFT WAS PARKED AT THE GATE FOR A SCHEDULED DEP. THE PUSH CREW ESTABLISHED HEADSET CONTACT FOR PUSH. WE CALLED FOR PUSHBACK AND RECEIVED CLRNC FROM RAMP CTL FOR THE PUSH. THE ACFT WAS READY FOR PUSH FROM THE PLT'S PERSPECTIVE. HOWEVER; HE ASKED ME TO RELEASE THE BRAKES FOR AN ON-TIME DEP; THEN HE WANTED TO LEAVE THE TUG AND GO FIND ANOTHER WORKING HEADSET. I TOLD HIM IF HE WAS GOING TO LEAVE; THAT I WOULD NOT RELEASE THE BRAKES. WITH THE DELAY; WE CALL RAMP CTL AND CANCELED THE PUSHBACK. THE DRIVER SAID HE WAS GOING TO LEAVE AND FIND A HEADSET CORD. I'M GUESSING THAT HE DID NOT HAVE THE CORD EXTENSION TO HOOK UP THE HEADSET TO THE ACFT FROM THE TUG. SHORTLY HE RETURNED WITHOUT A WORKING HEADSET. THE GND CREW; WITHOUT ANY PRIOR COORD OR CONTACT; PROCEEDED TO GIVE THE NO-HEADSET BRAKE RELEASE SIGNAL. I SHOOK MY HEAD NO; NO BRAKE RELEASE. HE HAD NOT COORD WITH ME FOR NON-HEADSET PUSHBACK; AND WE DID NOT HAVE PUSH CLRNC. HE AGAIN ASKED FOR BRAKE RELEASE; AND I SHOOK MY HEAD NO; AND HELD UP MY HAND TO INDICATE TO WAIT FOR CLRNC. AT NO TIME DID I GIVE HIM THE BRAKE RELEASE SIGNAL. IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE ASKED FOR THE BRAKES TO BE RELEASED THE SECOND TIME; I FELT THE TUG BRAKE RELEASE AND START TO PUSH THE ACFT. I IMMEDIATELY RELEASED THE PARKING BRAKE TO PREVENT ACFT DAMAGE AND A BROKEN TOW BAR AND POTENTIAL INJURY TO THE GND CREW. HE PROCEEDED TO PUSH THE ACFT WITHOUT CLRNC FROM THE CREW. WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF CALLING RAMP CTL BACK FOR PUSH CLRNC; SO AT LEAST WE DID NOT PUSH WITHOUT CLRNC; BUT IT WAS TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. IN CONCLUSION; WE VERY NEARLY HAD A BROKEN TOW BAR; POSSIBLE ACFT DAMAGE AND PERSONAL INJURY DUE TO NONSTANDARD PROCS USED BY THE PUSHBACK GND CREW. RECOMMENDATION; ANOTHER MANDATORY REVIEW FOR ALL PUSHBACK GND CREWS OF PROCS ON PUSHBACK WITHOUT A HEADSET. A MORE PRESSING ISSUE SHOULD BE TO HAVE ADEQUATE EQUIP AVAILABLE TO GND CREW TO ACCOMPLISH THE PUSHBACK SAFELY. NAMELY; HEADSETS AND EXTENSION CORDS THAT WORK; AND SPARES. I CALLED RAMP CTL TO REQUEST THE PUSH CREW REVIEW THE PUSHBACK PROCS BEFORE THEY PUSH ANOTHER ACFT. THE PUSH CREW ALSO WANTED ME TO START ENGS DURING PUSHBACK WITHOUT A HEADSET. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY; ENG START IS NOT ALLOWED BEFORE BRAKES ARE SET WITHOUT A HEADSET. AFTER BRAKES WERE SET ON PUSH; THE DRIVER PLUGGED IN HIS HEADSET; FOR DISCONNECT. I TOLD HIM ABOUT THE PUSHING WITHOUT CLRNC AND WHILE BRAKES WERE SET. HE WAS APOLOGETIC; AND CONTINUED THE RELEASE PROC.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.