|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B777-200|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 230|
flight time total : 16000
flight time type : 375
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
ground encounters other
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : took precautionary avoidance action|
Inbound aircraft had equipment cooling malfunction; EICAS and warning horn indications. Mechanics were working the problem in the cockpit when I arrived at the aircraft. They were not certain what the problem was; and were troubleshooting. Ground/APU electric power was being applied and removed numerous times during the troubleshooting process. I smelled electrical smoke in the cockpit during the course of the mechanic's work; and subsequently advised the gate agents to hold off boarding until I advised them it was ok. Approximately 10 mins later; without my having said anything to the agents; zone controller or anyone else; passenger began boarding the aircraft. I immediately stopped the boarding process; and asked all passenger to leave the aircraft and go back to the boarding area. I then inquired of the gate agent why the aircraft was being boarded despite my specific instructions not to do so. I was informed that the zone controller had contacted maintenance and been advised that it was ok to board - despite my instructions not to do so. It was not the mechanic in the cockpit who advised ok to board; but someone else in a supervisory position. This is a serious safety issue; especially since 1) the captain is responsible for the safety and security of the flight from the time he sets foot on the aircraft with the intention of flight; 2) I had smelled electrical smoke; and had informed the mechanic in the cockpit; 3) I had specifically told the gate agents not to board the flight; but they yielded to the zone controller; who was more interested in avoiding a delay problem with my first officer than in the fact that the aircraft was being pwred and de-pwred; there was the smell of electrical smoke in the cockpit; and the problem we were dealing with was an equipment cooling problem that could have produced an electrical overheat and possible fire. Someone must reinforce that when a captain says 'do not board;' it is not subject to zone or gate agent schedule concerns; but requires that the captain specifically rescind the prohibition on boarding. Think of the consequences if an electrical fire had broken out at the gate; with a full B-777. Pilot and gate agent pushing are at an all-time high for my 21 yrs at air carrier. Safety at all times; and in all things.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A B777 CAPT ATTEMPTED TO DELAY BOARDING DURING MAINT WORK INCLUDING COCKPIT ELECTRICAL FUMES.
Narrative: INBOUND ACFT HAD EQUIP COOLING MALFUNCTION; EICAS AND WARNING HORN INDICATIONS. MECHS WERE WORKING THE PROB IN THE COCKPIT WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE ACFT. THEY WERE NOT CERTAIN WHAT THE PROB WAS; AND WERE TROUBLESHOOTING. GND/APU ELECTRIC PWR WAS BEING APPLIED AND REMOVED NUMEROUS TIMES DURING THE TROUBLESHOOTING PROCESS. I SMELLED ELECTRICAL SMOKE IN THE COCKPIT DURING THE COURSE OF THE MECH'S WORK; AND SUBSEQUENTLY ADVISED THE GATE AGENTS TO HOLD OFF BOARDING UNTIL I ADVISED THEM IT WAS OK. APPROX 10 MINS LATER; WITHOUT MY HAVING SAID ANYTHING TO THE AGENTS; ZONE CTLR OR ANYONE ELSE; PAX BEGAN BOARDING THE ACFT. I IMMEDIATELY STOPPED THE BOARDING PROCESS; AND ASKED ALL PAX TO LEAVE THE ACFT AND GO BACK TO THE BOARDING AREA. I THEN INQUIRED OF THE GATE AGENT WHY THE ACFT WAS BEING BOARDED DESPITE MY SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS NOT TO DO SO. I WAS INFORMED THAT THE ZONE CTLR HAD CONTACTED MAINT AND BEEN ADVISED THAT IT WAS OK TO BOARD - DESPITE MY INSTRUCTIONS NOT TO DO SO. IT WAS NOT THE MECH IN THE COCKPIT WHO ADVISED OK TO BOARD; BUT SOMEONE ELSE IN A SUPERVISORY POS. THIS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE; ESPECIALLY SINCE 1) THE CAPT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE FLT FROM THE TIME HE SETS FOOT ON THE ACFT WITH THE INTENTION OF FLT; 2) I HAD SMELLED ELECTRICAL SMOKE; AND HAD INFORMED THE MECH IN THE COCKPIT; 3) I HAD SPECIFICALLY TOLD THE GATE AGENTS NOT TO BOARD THE FLT; BUT THEY YIELDED TO THE ZONE CTLR; WHO WAS MORE INTERESTED IN AVOIDING A DELAY PROB WITH MY FO THAN IN THE FACT THAT THE ACFT WAS BEING PWRED AND DE-PWRED; THERE WAS THE SMELL OF ELECTRICAL SMOKE IN THE COCKPIT; AND THE PROB WE WERE DEALING WITH WAS AN EQUIP COOLING PROB THAT COULD HAVE PRODUCED AN ELECTRICAL OVERHEAT AND POSSIBLE FIRE. SOMEONE MUST REINFORCE THAT WHEN A CAPT SAYS 'DO NOT BOARD;' IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO ZONE OR GATE AGENT SCHEDULE CONCERNS; BUT REQUIRES THAT THE CAPT SPECIFICALLY RESCIND THE PROHIBITION ON BOARDING. THINK OF THE CONSEQUENCES IF AN ELECTRICAL FIRE HAD BROKEN OUT AT THE GATE; WITH A FULL B-777. PLT AND GATE AGENT PUSHING ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH FOR MY 21 YRS AT ACR. SAFETY AT ALL TIMES; AND IN ALL THINGS.
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.