|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Flight Phase||ground other : taxi|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 300|
flight time total : 10000
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|Airport||other physical facility|
On our ramps and txwys we are seeing increased FOD damage to engines. One FOD item that appears to be the most dangerous and the most present is the fiberglass banding straps that are used to secure us mail shipping boxes. On every air carrier gate and on just about any other air carrier ramp it is possible to find these straps. They are particularly dangerous because they blow very easily in jet blast and can be readily ingested. Because of their strength they cause incredible balde damage. I have made repeated requests to have ramps swept for this and other kinds of FOD. Even if these ramps are swept within a very short period of time this FOD reappears. I would suggest that this banding system be eliminated and that instead the post office would adopt the plastic shrink wrap system or some other system that doesn't required large amounts of FOD to be produces. (For example, the carrier to which I work had over 30 engine removals for FOD in 1987 with a minimum cost of $100000/engine.) this says nothing for the potential for loss of aircraft and lives in the event of loss of engine power due to FOD damage. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: the problem is mainly at the larger airports and is primarily the way the post office secures the mail. Reporter suggested should be some way to get post office officials out to see how poor their present banding is and the problem it presents. Reporter feels the FAA should make this an item of interest it discuss with airports. Some of problem is tenants not sweeping ramps, but also stated ramp can just be swept and then mail loaded and there are bands back on the ramp. He has brought problem up with his company and even suggested some sort of incentive program for company ramp people to keep ramp picked up, such as a percentage of money saved from no FOD damage if effort made to keep ramp clean.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR FLT CREW COMPLAINT ABOUT FOREIGN OBJECT DAMAGE (FOD) CAUSED BY TYPE OF BANDING USED IN PACKAGING MAIL FAILING AND CLUTTERING RAMP AREAS.
Narrative: ON OUR RAMPS AND TXWYS WE ARE SEEING INCREASED FOD DAMAGE TO ENGS. ONE FOD ITEM THAT APPEARS TO BE THE MOST DANGEROUS AND THE MOST PRESENT IS THE FIBERGLASS BANDING STRAPS THAT ARE USED TO SECURE U.S. MAIL SHIPPING BOXES. ON EVERY ACR GATE AND ON JUST ABOUT ANY OTHER ACR RAMP IT IS POSSIBLE TO FIND THESE STRAPS. THEY ARE PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY BLOW VERY EASILY IN JET BLAST AND CAN BE READILY INGESTED. BECAUSE OF THEIR STRENGTH THEY CAUSE INCREDIBLE BALDE DAMAGE. I HAVE MADE REPEATED REQUESTS TO HAVE RAMPS SWEPT FOR THIS AND OTHER KINDS OF FOD. EVEN IF THESE RAMPS ARE SWEPT WITHIN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THIS FOD REAPPEARS. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THIS BANDING SYS BE ELIMINATED AND THAT INSTEAD THE POST OFFICE WOULD ADOPT THE PLASTIC SHRINK WRAP SYS OR SOME OTHER SYS THAT DOESN'T REQUIRED LARGE AMOUNTS OF FOD TO BE PRODUCES. (FOR EXAMPLE, THE CARRIER TO WHICH I WORK HAD OVER 30 ENG REMOVALS FOR FOD IN 1987 WITH A MINIMUM COST OF $100000/ENG.) THIS SAYS NOTHING FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR LOSS OF ACFT AND LIVES IN THE EVENT OF LOSS OF ENG PWR DUE TO FOD DAMAGE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THE PROB IS MAINLY AT THE LARGER ARPTS AND IS PRIMARILY THE WAY THE POST OFFICE SECURES THE MAIL. RPTR SUGGESTED SHOULD BE SOME WAY TO GET POST OFFICE OFFICIALS OUT TO SEE HOW POOR THEIR PRESENT BANDING IS AND THE PROB IT PRESENTS. RPTR FEELS THE FAA SHOULD MAKE THIS AN ITEM OF INTEREST IT DISCUSS WITH ARPTS. SOME OF PROB IS TENANTS NOT SWEEPING RAMPS, BUT ALSO STATED RAMP CAN JUST BE SWEPT AND THEN MAIL LOADED AND THERE ARE BANDS BACK ON THE RAMP. HE HAS BROUGHT PROB UP WITH HIS COMPANY AND EVEN SUGGESTED SOME SORT OF INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR COMPANY RAMP PEOPLE TO KEEP RAMP PICKED UP, SUCH AS A PERCENTAGE OF MONEY SAVED FROM NO FOD DAMAGE IF EFFORT MADE TO KEEP RAMP CLEAN.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.