|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : pvr|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Large Transport, Low Wing, 3 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 14000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : second officer|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
pilot : flight engineer
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 1900
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
Damage was discovered to a navigation light housing unit during flight engineer walk-around inspection at pvr mexico. Damage attention was focused on a small tubular projectile extending about 8 inches aft the left wing tip. A white tail light is housed in the aft tip of the tube. Appearance suggested a ground vehicle had contacted the tube. Visual evidence of damage was contained to a peripheral skin crease (of the tube), a slight tubular bend, and a small, straight skin laceration along the vertical crease of about an inch. As captain (PIC), I requested local (contract) maintenance to address the situation. The discrepancy was immediately entered in the aircraft logbook. A mechanic arrived, assessed the situation, and determined aluminum aircraft tape was a legal and proper solution to restore airworthiness of the aircraft. Local station personnel monitored the mechanic's work, including verbal communications with me and my crew. As PIC, I concurred that safety, airworthiness, and documentation was handled in a conservative, thorough manner from all perspectives. In addition to main body of the logbook writeup and write-off, I took assertive action to assure corporate maintenance was immediately brought into the communicative loop. This was done via dictated logbook addendum that specific follow-up attention by tulsa tech is required. I was assured station personnel would take this action immediately and prior to ramp departure. I departed the station with the understanding structural integrity, airworthiness, aerodynamics, and documentation were totally sound and within published regulations and guidelines. Flow of post event communication found corporate interdeptal challenge as to my immediate handling of the situation. Thesis of critique charged that higher mgt should have made the go/no-go decision regarding further flight. All MEL and OM requirements were met as best we could determine. The light remained operative and fully functional. Contract maintenance personnel are approved by our company, and are therefore an arm and designee of our maintenance department. As captain, I had to rely on the certified, trained, and licensed mechanic for professional counsel regarding mechanical integrity of the aircraft. In fact, I asked that specific question of him prior to the sign-off. If the slightest question was raised in his, or any other crew member's mind, I would have 'stopped action' and actively engaged soc and tech as I have done many times in the past. In my judgement as a nonmechanic, the 'on-the-spot' action and write-up was proper, professional, and within ethical interests of the traveling public. After consulting with several other very experienced capts with my company, unanimous opinion prevails that contract maintenance is used almost exclusively (due to costs) for items that come under the technical category of 'airworthy items.' deferral and/or cabin convenience items (at outlying stations) are handled by approved crew placarding and downline maintenance follow-up procedures. Emphasis, contract maintenance nearly always addresses items requiring immediate, on-the-spot airworthiness attention. I am unaware of any procedure that requires our capts to involve soc and tech in every discrepancy, for their specific approval (following remedial action) prior to further flight. If the policy exists, it has not been properly communicated, as most all capts operate otherwise en-mass. Furthermore, no directives have been issued with widespread understanding that would make mexico or international flying an exception via operating manuals, flight plan F-4's. Crew operations bulletins, or the computer file for mexico operating highlights. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: apparently the question of communicating with company to make go no go decision was instigated by a flight manager who was known to be overly assertive and somewhat self effacious. No further problem has occurred from the incident.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR LGT WING TIP DAMAGED BY GND VEHICLE WHILE PARKED AT RAMP.
Narrative: DAMAGE WAS DISCOVERED TO A NAV LIGHT HOUSING UNIT DURING FE WALK-AROUND INSPECTION AT PVR MEXICO. DAMAGE ATTN WAS FOCUSED ON A SMALL TUBULAR PROJECTILE EXTENDING ABOUT 8 INCHES AFT THE LEFT WING TIP. A WHITE TAIL LIGHT IS HOUSED IN THE AFT TIP OF THE TUBE. APPEARANCE SUGGESTED A GND VEHICLE HAD CONTACTED THE TUBE. VISUAL EVIDENCE OF DAMAGE WAS CONTAINED TO A PERIPHERAL SKIN CREASE (OF THE TUBE), A SLIGHT TUBULAR BEND, AND A SMALL, STRAIGHT SKIN LACERATION ALONG THE VERTICAL CREASE OF ABOUT AN INCH. AS CAPT (PIC), I REQUESTED LOCAL (CONTRACT) MAINT TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION. THE DISCREPANCY WAS IMMEDIATELY ENTERED IN THE ACFT LOGBOOK. A MECHANIC ARRIVED, ASSESSED THE SITUATION, AND DETERMINED ALUMINUM ACFT TAPE WAS A LEGAL AND PROPER SOLUTION TO RESTORE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE ACFT. LOCAL STATION PERSONNEL MONITORED THE MECHANIC'S WORK, INCLUDING VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME AND MY CREW. AS PIC, I CONCURRED THAT SAFETY, AIRWORTHINESS, AND DOCUMENTATION WAS HANDLED IN A CONSERVATIVE, THOROUGH MANNER FROM ALL PERSPECTIVES. IN ADDITION TO MAIN BODY OF THE LOGBOOK WRITEUP AND WRITE-OFF, I TOOK ASSERTIVE ACTION TO ASSURE CORPORATE MAINT WAS IMMEDIATELY BROUGHT INTO THE COMMUNICATIVE LOOP. THIS WAS DONE VIA DICTATED LOGBOOK ADDENDUM THAT SPECIFIC FOLLOW-UP ATTN BY TULSA TECH IS REQUIRED. I WAS ASSURED STATION PERSONNEL WOULD TAKE THIS ACTION IMMEDIATELY AND PRIOR TO RAMP DEP. I DEPARTED THE STATION WITH THE UNDERSTANDING STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY, AIRWORTHINESS, AERODYNAMICS, AND DOCUMENTATION WERE TOTALLY SOUND AND WITHIN PUBLISHED REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES. FLOW OF POST EVENT COMMUNICATION FOUND CORPORATE INTERDEPTAL CHALLENGE AS TO MY IMMEDIATE HANDLING OF THE SITUATION. THESIS OF CRITIQUE CHARGED THAT HIGHER MGT SHOULD HAVE MADE THE GO/NO-GO DECISION REGARDING FURTHER FLT. ALL MEL AND OM REQUIREMENTS WERE MET AS BEST WE COULD DETERMINE. THE LIGHT REMAINED OPERATIVE AND FULLY FUNCTIONAL. CONTRACT MAINT PERSONNEL ARE APPROVED BY OUR COMPANY, AND ARE THEREFORE AN ARM AND DESIGNEE OF OUR MAINT DEPT. AS CAPT, I HAD TO RELY ON THE CERTIFIED, TRAINED, AND LICENSED MECHANIC FOR PROFESSIONAL COUNSEL REGARDING MECHANICAL INTEGRITY OF THE ACFT. IN FACT, I ASKED THAT SPECIFIC QUESTION OF HIM PRIOR TO THE SIGN-OFF. IF THE SLIGHTEST QUESTION WAS RAISED IN HIS, OR ANY OTHER CREW MEMBER'S MIND, I WOULD HAVE 'STOPPED ACTION' AND ACTIVELY ENGAGED SOC AND TECH AS I HAVE DONE MANY TIMES IN THE PAST. IN MY JUDGEMENT AS A NONMECHANIC, THE 'ON-THE-SPOT' ACTION AND WRITE-UP WAS PROPER, PROFESSIONAL, AND WITHIN ETHICAL INTERESTS OF THE TRAVELING PUBLIC. AFTER CONSULTING WITH SEVERAL OTHER VERY EXPERIENCED CAPTS WITH MY COMPANY, UNANIMOUS OPINION PREVAILS THAT CONTRACT MAINT IS USED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY (DUE TO COSTS) FOR ITEMS THAT COME UNDER THE TECHNICAL CATEGORY OF 'AIRWORTHY ITEMS.' DEFERRAL AND/OR CABIN CONVENIENCE ITEMS (AT OUTLYING STATIONS) ARE HANDLED BY APPROVED CREW PLACARDING AND DOWNLINE MAINT FOLLOW-UP PROCEDURES. EMPHASIS, CONTRACT MAINT NEARLY ALWAYS ADDRESSES ITEMS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE, ON-THE-SPOT AIRWORTHINESS ATTN. I AM UNAWARE OF ANY PROCEDURE THAT REQUIRES OUR CAPTS TO INVOLVE SOC AND TECH IN EVERY DISCREPANCY, FOR THEIR SPECIFIC APPROVAL (FOLLOWING REMEDIAL ACTION) PRIOR TO FURTHER FLT. IF THE POLICY EXISTS, IT HAS NOT BEEN PROPERLY COMMUNICATED, AS MOST ALL CAPTS OPERATE OTHERWISE EN-MASS. FURTHERMORE, NO DIRECTIVES HAVE BEEN ISSUED WITH WIDESPREAD UNDERSTANDING THAT WOULD MAKE MEXICO OR INTERNATIONAL FLYING AN EXCEPTION VIA OPERATING MANUALS, FLT PLAN F-4'S. CREW OPERATIONS BULLETINS, OR THE COMPUTER FILE FOR MEXICO OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH REPORTER REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: APPARENTLY THE QUESTION OF COMMUNICATING WITH COMPANY TO MAKE GO NO GO DECISION WAS INSTIGATED BY A FLT MGR WHO WAS KNOWN TO BE OVERLY ASSERTIVE AND SOMEWHAT SELF EFFACIOUS. NO FURTHER PROBLEM HAS OCCURRED FROM THE INCIDENT.
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.