|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : ord|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Heavy Transport, Low Wing, 4 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
ground other : taxi
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 250|
flight time total : 25000
flight time type : 1700
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||non adherence other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
One of the problems produced by the increasing size of jet aircraft impinging on the finite room available at the average airport gate is that departure from the gate under power is almost always impossible, and the bare solution, the tug powered pushback is a stop gap--a dangerous one at best. For this reason most carriers have incorporated a strict procedure into their SOP's and have then modified this SOP on the basis of their operating experience. My own carrier insists upon a specific verbal check back and forth, and then when the tug has been disconnected, the mechanic in charge of the pushback will give a salute and point, and the captain observing this action will announce to the remaining crew members, 'I have a salute and a release from guidance.' and, if he attempts to move before saying this, the other 2 crew members are to question him at once. In view of the fact that this practice is so very dangerous, and since the company keeps drilling this point into us, I have always wondered how anyone could taxi west/O a salute, although I have actually seen another carrier run over a tow bar. Today I learned how it can happen. We had been delayed at the gate by traffic behind us. When the pushback began, the second officer, who happened to be a rated captain on the airplane, was talking to the company, and the rather reticent copilot was talking to ground control, both of whom were apparently quite upset that we were now a blockage, and both of whom kept saying, 'move over to the right as soon as you can.' the starting procedure is complex on this airplane, and so as soon as the second engine stabilized, I brought the power up to move, and then realized just in time that I had not received a salute. Fortunately, nothing happened, other than the fact that the mechanic was frightened and quite justifiably outraged, but I have been deeply embarrassed ever since to realize that I allowed myself to be influenced by pressure from totally unimportant people to try to move, before I caught myself just in time. While it was totally my fault, I discussed the serious breach of SOP's with my crew, who said that they had realized what was happening just about the time I did, and told them that safety was the paramount consideration, and that upon this basis, rushing things for any reason and departure from SOP at a juncture as critical as this as well as the loss of a flexible awareness were critical faults. And, I still thank god that nothing happened.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR HVT STARTED TO TAXI BEFORE RECEIVING THE COMPANY REQUIRED SALUTE FROM GND CREW.
Narrative: ONE OF THE PROBS PRODUCED BY THE INCREASING SIZE OF JET ACFT IMPINGING ON THE FINITE ROOM AVAILABLE AT THE AVERAGE ARPT GATE IS THAT DEP FROM THE GATE UNDER PWR IS ALMOST ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLE, AND THE BARE SOLUTION, THE TUG POWERED PUSHBACK IS A STOP GAP--A DANGEROUS ONE AT BEST. FOR THIS REASON MOST CARRIERS HAVE INCORPORATED A STRICT PROC INTO THEIR SOP'S AND HAVE THEN MODIFIED THIS SOP ON THE BASIS OF THEIR OPERATING EXPERIENCE. MY OWN CARRIER INSISTS UPON A SPECIFIC VERBAL CHK BACK AND FORTH, AND THEN WHEN THE TUG HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED, THE MECHANIC IN CHARGE OF THE PUSHBACK WILL GIVE A SALUTE AND POINT, AND THE CAPT OBSERVING THIS ACTION WILL ANNOUNCE TO THE REMAINING CREW MEMBERS, 'I HAVE A SALUTE AND A RELEASE FROM GUIDANCE.' AND, IF HE ATTEMPTS TO MOVE BEFORE SAYING THIS, THE OTHER 2 CREW MEMBERS ARE TO QUESTION HIM AT ONCE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS PRACTICE IS SO VERY DANGEROUS, AND SINCE THE COMPANY KEEPS DRILLING THIS POINT INTO US, I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED HOW ANYONE COULD TAXI W/O A SALUTE, ALTHOUGH I HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN ANOTHER CARRIER RUN OVER A TOW BAR. TODAY I LEARNED HOW IT CAN HAPPEN. WE HAD BEEN DELAYED AT THE GATE BY TFC BEHIND US. WHEN THE PUSHBACK BEGAN, THE S/O, WHO HAPPENED TO BE A RATED CAPT ON THE AIRPLANE, WAS TALKING TO THE COMPANY, AND THE RATHER RETICENT COPLT WAS TALKING TO GND CTL, BOTH OF WHOM WERE APPARENTLY QUITE UPSET THAT WE WERE NOW A BLOCKAGE, AND BOTH OF WHOM KEPT SAYING, 'MOVE OVER TO THE RIGHT AS SOON AS YOU CAN.' THE STARTING PROC IS COMPLEX ON THIS AIRPLANE, AND SO AS SOON AS THE SECOND ENG STABILIZED, I BROUGHT THE PWR UP TO MOVE, AND THEN REALIZED JUST IN TIME THAT I HAD NOT RECEIVED A SALUTE. FORTUNATELY, NOTHING HAPPENED, OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THE MECH WAS FRIGHTENED AND QUITE JUSTIFIABLY OUTRAGED, BUT I HAVE BEEN DEEPLY EMBARRASSED EVER SINCE TO REALIZE THAT I ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE INFLUENCED BY PRESSURE FROM TOTALLY UNIMPORTANT PEOPLE TO TRY TO MOVE, BEFORE I CAUGHT MYSELF JUST IN TIME. WHILE IT WAS TOTALLY MY FAULT, I DISCUSSED THE SERIOUS BREACH OF SOP'S WITH MY CREW, WHO SAID THAT THEY HAD REALIZED WHAT WAS HAPPENING JUST ABOUT THE TIME I DID, AND TOLD THEM THAT SAFETY WAS THE PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATION, AND THAT UPON THIS BASIS, RUSHING THINGS FOR ANY REASON AND DEP FROM SOP AT A JUNCTURE AS CRITICAL AS THIS AS WELL AS THE LOSS OF A FLEXIBLE AWARENESS WERE CRITICAL FAULTS. AND, I STILL THANK GOD THAT NOTHING HAPPENED.
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.