International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

European Ramp Checks – most popular questions from inspectors

Of late, the level of interest in OpsGroup for European Ramp Checks has been very high.  There has been a lot to think about. First, we discovered in March that French inspectors had started recording a finding for operators that were using the Manufacturer MEL instead of a customized one, and it turned out that across EASA-land inspectors were raising the same issue. There is an update on that below.

One of our members posted a great list of the most popular findings/issues raised by EASA Inspectors in the last 12 months, together with the skinny on “how to fix these, so you don’t get a finding”.

So, first let’s look at the Top 3 Categories, with the subset questions, and then an update on the D095 MMEL/MEL issue.

Popular European Ramp Check Items

Visiting and locally based aircraft may be subjected to ramp inspections as part of a States’ Safety Programme. The EU Ramp Inspection Programme (EU RIP) is one such inspection regime which currently has 48 participating states. The EU Ramp Inspectors review findings and use this intelligence as a basis for prioritising areas to inspect during a ramp check.

The most frequent findings and observations raised since January 2016 follow. This information can be used to help avoid similar findings being raised during future ramp inspections on your aircraft.

Most Frequent Findings

The main 3 categories of findings, relate to: Minimum Equipment Lists, Flight Preparation and Manuals.

1. Under the category of Minimum Equipment List, the finding is.
• MEL not fully customised.

2. Under the category of Flight Preparation, the main findings are:
• PBN Codes recorded on the flight plan which the operator did not have operational approval for
• Use of alternates which were not appropriate for the aircraft type; and
Use of alternate airports which were closed

3. Under the category of Manuals, the main finding is.
• AFM was not at the latest revision.

 

Simple Steps to Avoid Similar Findings

1.    Review your MEL, especially amendments made to the MEL after the initial approval, and ensure it is fully customised:
•    Where the MMEL and/or TC holders source O&M procedures require the operator to develop ‘Alternate Procedures’ or ’Required Distribution’ etc. these must be specified in the operators MEL and/or O&M procedure;

 

Full report in your OpsGroup Dashboard, including the standard ramp checklist PDF:

Opsgroup Dashboard login Join OPSGROUP for access

To get the full report and checklist – there are two options:

  1. OPSGROUP Members, login to the Dashboard and find it under “Publications > Notes to Members”. All FSB content like this is included in your membership, or 
  2. Join OPSGROUP with an individual, team, or department/airline plan, and get it free on joining (along with a whole bunch of other stuff), or

Airbus 380 flips CL604 – full report is now published

  • Interim report finally released by the German BFU
  • Flight Service Bureau version of events confirmed
  • New pictures released by the investigators

Back in March, FSB covered a major wake turbulence upset experienced by a Challenger 604 after passing an A380.  After our initial story was published, it was covered in various versions in The Times of London, Flying magazine, AIN Business Aviation News,  Deutsche Welle, and NBC. The picture on the Flight Service Bureau facebook page was viewed 1.1 million times.

From the interim report, these facts are confirmed:

  • The incident was caused by the wake from an Airbus A380 at FL350
  • The Challenger 604 passed directly underneath the A380 at FL340
  • The wake encounter occurred 48 seconds after the cross – when the two aircraft were 15nm part
  • The Challenger initially rolled 42 degrees to the right, then 31 degrees left, and experienced G-Loads of 1.6g positive followed 1 second later by -3.2 g.
  • It lost altitude from FL340 to FL253 over a 2 minute period – loss of 8700 ft.

In an interview, the crew said:

The airplane shook briefly, then rolled heavily to the left and the autopilot disengaged. [We] actuated the aileron to the right in order to stop the rolling motion. But the airplane had continued to roll to the left thereby completing several rotations. Subsequently both Inertial Reference Systems (IRS), the Flight Management System (FMS), and the attitude indication failed”

“… since the sky was blue and the ocean’s surface almost the same colour [I] was able to recognise the aircraft’s flight attitude with the help of the clouds

The BFU published the FDR excerpt above, and a full interior picture of the cabin, post event.

 

Flight Service Bureau has issued guidance to OpsGroup members, in Note to Members #24 (March 19th, 2017), which can be downloaded publicly here. The highlights are:

  • As Aircrew, use SLOP whenever you can.
  • As Controllers, be mindful of smaller aircraft passing underneath A380’s.
  • Avoid flying the centreline if you can. SLOP 0 is not an offset. Choose 1nm or 2nm.
  • Note the new SLOP rules from ICAO in the 16th edition of Doc 4444.
  • Expect guidance from EASA and the FAA to follow

With very recent updates to both NAT Doc 007 and ICAO Doc 4444, the rules for SLOP are a little different than before.

 

References:

 

Bermuda PPR requirements for the Americas Cup

Bermuda will host the Americas Cup from May 29 – Jun 27.

As a result, the airport will be busier than usual, so plan ops and parking well in advance.

There are now a number of requirements for private/non-scheduled flights, applied between May 23 until June 30:

  • PPR is mandatory. You must have permission from the Airport Company before operating
  • The Americas Cup dates are May 29-Jun 27, but PPR is required from May23-Jun 30.
  • The request must be made at least 24 hours in advance, unless you are operating a Medevac flight
  • PPR Number will be issued and must be shown in Field 18 of the FPL
  • Request the permission from ac35ppr@skyport.bm, or phone them on +1 441 299-2470

PPR is not required to carry TXKF as an enroute alternate (it’s a popular ETOPS airport), but bear in mind that if you do choose to divert here, recovery may take longer.

 

Ramadan 2017 – country by country

In most of the world, Ramadan is expected to begin on May 26 and end on June 24, with both dates depending on lunar sightings. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed June 25, though the exact dates will vary by country. Across the countries which celebrate the holiday, there will be delays processing permits, slots, and other operational requirements involving CAA’s and Airport Authorities.

Ramadan Summary for 2017

Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays over the coming weeks in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia during the observance of the month of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours and/or close during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

Algeria: The month of Ramadan is expected to begin May 26 or 27 and end June 24 or 25, depending on lunar sightings. While public offices are not officially closed during Ramadan, most government offices will open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m. Government offices will also likely be closed on Eid-al-Fitr. Processing delays can be expected.

Bangladesh: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 26. While the government offices will operate with reduced workforce during this month and until June 29, they will be closed from June 23 through 27 in observation of Eid-ul-Fitr. Processing delays of permit applications should be expected throughout the month of Ramadan.

Brunei: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 27. Government offices are expected to operate on reduced business hours throughout the month of Ramadan. These offices will be closed for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday, which is expected to take place June 26 through 28, but may change depending on lunar sighting. Processing delays are expected throughout the month of Ramadan and may continue for up to two weeks after Ramadan ends.

Indonesia: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 26, ending with Hari Raya Idul Fitri which will fall on June 25 and 26. Most government offices and consular posts are expected to reduce their business days by one to two hours throughout the month of Ramadan, and closures will likely occur several days before and after the Idul Fitri holiday due to staffing shortages. Processing delays are also expected throughout the month of Ramadan.

Malaysia: The month of Ramadan will begin on May 26. Government offices are expected to operate with reduced hours throughout the month of Ramadan. Government offices will be closed for Hari Raya Aidilfitri on June 26 and 27. Processing delays are expected throughout the month of Ramadan and may continue for up to three weeks after Ramadan ends.
Middle East/North Africa (Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates): The month of Ramadan is expected to begin on May 27 and end on June 24. Government offices across the Middle East will be working reduced hours during Ramadan, which may affect processing times for all permit applications. Foreign nationals and employers are advised to check with the relevant office for exact hours of operation. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

Turkey: Government offices will be closed June 26 and 27. Processing delays can be expected on these days.

Europe’s on fire today!

Above is the current lightning map for Europe today; this is the first mass CB/Thunderstorm event of 2017.

These occur regularly during the Euro-summer, and operations in NL, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria get heavily impacted.

Eurocontrol says: CB activity with local Thunderstorm activity forecast over Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Several en route and aerodrome arrival regulations have been applied.
EDDF, EDDM, EDDS, Paris TMA, LOWW, LSGG and LSZH. Moderate to High delays can be expected.

 

New disinsection procedure for Hong Kong (VHHH/HKG)

From April 25th, 2017, Hong Kong will require disinsection for all aircraft inbound from Zika affected areas (i.e. last port being a WHO Category 1 or Category 2 area). The current list of Zika affected areas can be found in WHO’s latest Zika virus situation report:

Per the new regulations, there are three groups:

  • Airlines/Aircraft operators adopting residual disinsection – this group of airlines/aircraft operators should repeat residual disinsection before the expiry dates marked at the last residual disinsection certificates and provide PHO with the new disinsection certificates upon request.
  • Airlines/Aircraft operators adopting non-residual disinsection – Upon request, this group of airlines/aircraft operators should provide PHO with the details of non-residual disinsection in the Health Part of the Aircraft General Declaration and empty or partly used insecticide cans within 24 hours of arrival of each aircraft. These items should be submitted to PHO (Room 5T577, Level 5, Arrival Hall, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport) at 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm daily. For private jets, their crew/operators should submit the Health Part of the Aircraft General Declaration and the photos of empty or partly used insecticide cans to PHO by email to sphi_ap@dh.gov.hk. PHO will take follow-up actions if an airline/aircraft operator fails to comply with the above requirement.
  • Airlines/Aircraft operators adopting no disinsection – For airlines/aircraft operators not adopting regular disinsection, they will be reminded of the disinsection requirement before their aircraft arrive. The Airport Authority will allocate an outside berth for the aircraft.

Residual Disinsection

The internal surface of the aircraft, excluding food preparation areas are sprayed with residual disinsection at intervals not exceeding eight weeks (WHO, 1995)2. Pesticides used and methods of application should be recommended by the WHO. Pesticides used should be registered according to the Pesticide Ordinance (Cap. 133).

The residual disinsection remains efficacious for eight weeks and causes minimal inconvenience to passengers and prevents the crew or passengers from exposure to aerosol sprays.

Non-Residual (Spraying)

Blocks away The Blocks away disinsection is recommended by the WHO and takes place after passengers have boarded, the doors have been closed and prior to take-off. The cabin is treated by crew members walking through the cabins discharging aerosols.

Pre-flight and Top of Descent The pre-flight spraying involves the aircraft cabin and hold being sprayed with an aerosol containing a residual insecticide while the aircraft is on the ground but before passengers embark. Pre-flight is spraying usually followed by a non-residual top of descent spraying. The combined treatment lasts for the duration of single flight sector.

On-arrival On-arrival treatment of cabin and hold of incoming flights to Hong Kong should be carried out when no spraying has been conducted prior to departure for Hong Kong or during the flight. On-arrival treatment is carried out after landing with passengers on board by the crew under supervision of PHO.

Insecticides

For aircraft disinsection, WHO currently recommends permethrin (2%) for residual disinsection (WHO, 2005) and d-phenothrin (2%) for space spraying. The specification of the insecticides are attached in Annex I.

References

 

OpsGroup NYC Notam Summit – April 4th, 2017

JOIN US IN NYC

Tuesday, 4th April 2017- Manhattan, New York

 Ops Group Meetup and Notam Summit

We’ve never done this before, but we’re going to run our first OpsGroup meetup.  Emails and slacks are all fine, but human contact is where it’s at.  Come along and meet us and other awesome members of the OpsGroup!

Location: Secret downtown location in Manhattan, we’ll meet at 9am-ish on Tuesday morning, 4th April.  By 10am we’ll have kicked off into International Ops  2017 with Mark, NAT chats with Dave, Antarctica fireside stories with Jamie-Rose, and then move on to looking at stupid Notams and how to fix them.  You should come!

Here is the deal:

0900 You arrive. So will others. We will mostly be pilots, dispatchers, ATC’s and flight dept managers but whatever your specialty is, come along.

930-ish We’ll start with the International Ops Chats- NAT ops, Antarctica, 2017 changes, and your questions.

1100 We’re probably still going with the International Ops Chats

1130 We’re onto talking NOTAMS by now

1300 Powerpoint has overheated, we’re done. Off to Lunch

1330 We’ll be having a late lunch. Join us for chats and beers, war stories, jokes, or head home instead- whatever you like.

1500 That’s All Folks. We can recommend: A visit to Concorde, go see a show on Broadway like School of Rock, go see the Nicks v Bulls, visit the Comedy Cellar, or get your Uber back to the Teterboro Holiday Inn.

Afterwards, tell us what you thought: team@ops.group

Antarctica Fireside Chat

Jamie Rose McMillen from the FSB Int’l Desk is going to tell us some good stories from her six years living on the Ice.  Find out how International Ops works in Antarctica and McMurdo Station. Join us in NYC!

International Ops 2017

There have been a city-full of changes to the International Ops world so far in 2017.  A380 wake, no devices, BOE changes, ATC strike, Conflict Zones, 767 shooting, the end of Soviet QFE approaches. Mark will answer questions. Join us in NYC!

North Atlantic Changes

Dave Mumford will run through the new rules on the NAT, and answer questions from the My First Atlantic Flight guide. Just don’t ask him about the new contingency procedure. Join us in NYC!

NOTAMS

Judging is finally complete in the Notam Goat Show.  After we present the winners, we will have a good old fashioned competition, with prizes, and then get into the main event: How do we fix the Notam problem?

Join us in NYC!

COME TO NEW YORK!

RSVP

US 737 tests the China ADIZ

China: Go away quickly please
US Aircraft: Nope
China: Go away quickly!
US Aircraft: No!

The US is doing us all a huge favour at the moment. In fact, it’s been providing this service to the world for some time.

Every so often, a country extends its borders a little too far – outside the normal 12nm limit, for example. China has been busy. They’ve been building some things in the South China Sea. Islands, in fact. And on those islands they’ve built runways, control towers, and big radars. Naturally, they confirmed last Friday that they are for civilian use only. Hmmm.

So the US dusts off an airplane and knocks on the door. Flies around for a bit. Sees what’s going on. And reminds the country that international waters are just that. They publish a list each year of where they’ve done this. Worth a read.

In 2013 they popped up an ADIZ. And made everyone passing through it copy their Flight Plans to Beijing. In principle, ADIZ’s are a pretty good idea. The normal 12nm isn’t really much time for the military to figure out if you’re coming to bomb them. Especially on the weekend.

But you can’t tell airplanes to get out of an ADIZ. It’s an Identification Zone, not an Intercept Zone. So, normally ADIZ’s require you to squawk something and have a Flight Plan.

That much is OK. But China has been warning aircraft to get out of ‘their airspace’. And it’s not. This 737 (aka P-8 Poseidon) went for a nosey.

These operations help us all operating internationally to have less rules to worry about. Which is good.

 

Initially, most abided by the 2015 ADIZ rules. In 2016 that adherence quietly eroded. And China quietly didn’t care too much. It did threaten a second ADIZ in the South China Sea, but since the first one didn’t really take off, they probably won’t.

It’s part of a bigger diplomatic game. Interesting to watch, though.

Unsafe Airspace update – French Guiana, Egypt

Flight Service Bureau has issued the 2nd Unsafe Airspace Summary for 2017, effective March 26th. Through safeairspace.net, FSB and members of OpsGroup work together to share information on risks and threats affecting Airspace and Airports around the world, and make this information available to all aircraft operators. Read about our mission here.

In this edition, the changes since January 2017 are:

  • New advisory (Level 3) for French Guiana (protests, airports closed). 26MAR17 Widespread protests, increasing in size. Avoid travel. SOCA/Cayenne has no fuel available, and per US Diplo reports 24MAR is closed. SOOG/St. Georges, SOOC/Camopi, and SOOR/Regina are closed. Monitor SafeAirspace.net for updates.
  • New summary for Egypt (SA-7 missile found), fresh GPS jamming warnings.
  • Updated warnings for Mali, Kenya, Pakistan, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Philippines.

Further Reading:

  • You can download the new PDF summary directly (600kb).
  • View the map at safeairspace.net
  • Join OPSGROUP for direct updates.

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the cabin – before and after the wake turbulence encounter

The Challenger 604 vs Airbus 380 story has gone once around the world.

But is it even true? Some have asked. Let’s do a reality check.

After our initial story was published in last weeks International Operations Bulletin, which we first monitored thanks to the great work of the Aviation Herald, it was republished in various versions in The Times of London, Flying magazine, AIN Business Aviation News,  Deutsche Welle, and NBC. The picture on the Flight Service Bureau facebook page was viewed 1.1 million times.

First, the picture.

The incident happened. This has already been confirmed by the German BFU, who have responsibility for investigating accidents. The Canadian TSB have assigned an accredited representative to the investigation, and Bombardier have assigned a technical advisor.

So to the cause. The crew reported that 1-2 minutes before the loss of control, at about 0840 UTC, an Airbus A380-800 had passed overhead, slightly to the left. The Aviation Herald’s reporting is of the highest standard, and we trust their source.

Like the Aviation Herald, we also deal in facts. Joining the dots to form the bigger picture doesn’t require Colombo on the job.

  • The incident happened on January 7th, since which time the German BFU have been aware of the case.
  • The story has been out in the aviation community since February 7th, when it was posted that: “A CL604 enroute Male to Europe, upset by opposite direction, 1,000′ above, A380’s wake. Several rolls, large G excursions. Diverted into Muscat.”

 

Since the authority, manufacturer, and operator are all aware of the story, it is reasonable to deduce that were a material part of the widely reported incident not true, then that would have been stated rather quickly.

The ultimate confirmation will come from the Germany BFU, hopefully on this Interim Reports page.

 

The Boeing 757 parallel

On Sunday, we reported the similarity between this A380 story, and the 10 years it took to determine that the Boeing 757 had a wake 1.5 times stronger than other similar aircraft.

Our primary interest here at Flight Service Bureau is keeping the International Flight Operations community safe and informed. Consider this opening line from the New York Times on Dec 23rd, 1993:

Nearly a year after being alerted to the problem, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered air-traffic controllers to warn aircraft flying behind Boeing 757 jets of the potential for dangerous wake turbulence.

In the last year, two crashes that together killed 13 people have been attributed to turbulence caused by Boeing 757's. In the more recent crash, on Dec. 15, five people were killed when their private jet went down in Orange County during a landing approach" 

Wake Turbulence Enroute

The entire topic of wake turbulence is not fully understood by any of us. There is much more to learn. Truly innovative studies were last done back in the 1970’s. Some experienced crews have even questioned whether enroute wake turbulence even exists.  Flight school drills into us as pilots, that wake lives around the airport. “Heavy, clean and slow” are the dangerous ones. But “slow” means about about 150 knots for aircraft like the 380. In the cruise, that goes up to about 250 knots IAS at the higher altitudes. If 150 knots is slow, then 250 knots isn’t really “fast”.

Before the crash of a Delta Tristar at DFW in 1985, we didn’t know much about windshear and microbursts.  Maybe we have to learn the same lesson with enroute wake.

In Flying magazine, Les Abend has a very readable example of enroute wake in this article.


 

And here are some other examples of enroute wake turbulence encounters:

  • Air Canada, FL370, 55 degree roll at FL370 – wake from Boeing 747
  • Virgin Australia, FL350, 45 degree bank – wake from A380
  • American Airlines, FL220, bang – wake from B777
  • Air France, FL360, 25 degree bank – wake from A380
  • United Airlines, FL240, severe turbulence – wake from MD11
  • British Airways, FL320, 30 degree roll – wake from A380
  • Antonov 124, FL320, 15 degree roll, altitude loss – wake from A380
  • Vueling, FL320, sudden 40 degree right bank – wake from A340
  • Japan Airlines, E170 – uncommanded increasing roll to left – wake from A340
  • Armavia, A320 – A/P disconnect, steep banks – wake from A380

Note to Members #24 – Wake Turbulence Enroute

While the industry awaits further guidance from the authorities, Flight Service Bureau has made public its Note to Members #24 (normally restricted to OpsGroup circulation). Revised 22MAR2017.

Key points from our Note:

  • We might be wrong! Like we said above, there is much still to learn about enroute wake. Read the note, but make up your own mind.
  • Consider the wind. The danger point is roughly 15-20nm after the crossing point, as this is when the wake will have drifted down 1000 feet. In stronger winds, the wake may have drifted well away from the centreline. A turn away may not be necessary.
  • SLOP where possible. It may not prevent all situations, especially crossing traffic, but if you’re 2nm right of track you’re a lot less likely to be directly underneath another aircraft.
  • Read the note for the full guidance, and tell us if you have any further thoughts.

 

 

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