International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: May 2017

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.




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, 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.


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