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Odd reason for delay - First Officer missing pages in his book?

Odd reason for delay - First Officer missing pages in his book?

 

Old Oct 13, 15, 12:03 pm
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Odd reason for delay - First Officer missing pages in his book?

Last night, AA 4161 RDU > JFK was delayed nearly 2 hours because at pushback time it was discovered that the First Officer was missing required pages in his book. They first tried to get the pages photocopied from another book but were unsuccessful. They announced that the correct pages needed to be flown down from Pittsburgh and offloaded the pax for approximately an hour awaiting the arrival of the pages.

We reboarded exactly 2 hours after the original boarding time and had an uneventful flight to JFK.

I've not heard this reason before in hundreds of flights over 4 decades and am curious about "the rest of the story." Would appreciate any insights about what was really going on.
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Old Oct 13, 15, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by caldrich View Post
I've not heard this reason before in hundreds of flights over 4 decades and am curious about "the rest of the story." Would appreciate any insights about what was really going on.
Crew are required to fly with their FAA approved manuals. If they are out of date or missing content, the airline and the individual can both be fined heavily.

Greg
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Old Oct 13, 15, 12:36 pm
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I thought AA was using iPads for flight manuals now - wouldn't that prevent this?
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Old Oct 13, 15, 12:39 pm
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Fax machine? Scan and email and print at the AC?
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Old Oct 13, 15, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by GregL View Post
Crew are required to fly with their FAA approved manuals. If they are out of date or missing content, the airline and the individual can both be fined heavily.

Greg
Greg, thanks for the quick response. I figured it was something like that but am having trouble understanding how someone in that position wouldn't know and take care of that before boarding the plane with the expectation of doing his job. It seems like a terribly careless omission that probably made some people miss their connecting flights. While I'm never thrilled with delays, this one was particularly senseless!
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Old Oct 13, 15, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I thought AA was using iPads for flight manuals now - wouldn't that prevent this?
Even their regional partners?
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Old Oct 13, 15, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by caldrich View Post
Last night, AA 4161 RDU > JFK was delayed nearly 2 hours because at pushback time it was discovered that the First Officer was missing required pages in his book. They first tried to get the pages photocopied from another book but were unsuccessful. They announced that the correct pages needed to be flown down from Pittsburgh and offloaded the pax for approximately an hour awaiting the arrival of the pages.

We reboarded exactly 2 hours after the original boarding time and had an uneventful flight to JFK.

I've not heard this reason before in hundreds of flights over 4 decades and am curious about "the rest of the story." Would appreciate any insights about what was really going on.
I wonder how this was discovered. I can't imagine anyone (either the pilot owner of the book or a supervisor/manager/GA) routinely checking that every required page is actually in the book unless it was some surprise FAA inspection procedure.

Maybe the replacement pages must match the originals (paper weight and print quality, size, punched holes, etc.) with xeroxes and faxes not allowed.
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Old Oct 13, 15, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I thought AA was using iPads for flight manuals now - wouldn't that prevent this?
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I wonder how this was discovered. I can't imagine anyone (either the pilot owner of the book or a supervisor/manager/GA) routinely checking that every required page is actually in the book unless it was some surprise FAA inspection procedure.

Maybe the replacement pages must match the originals (paper weight and print quality, size, punched holes, etc.) with xeroxes and faxes not allowed.
Just an educated guess but I would imagine even with electronic charts, the flight crew needs the paper as backups in case the ipad/whatever malfunctions.

So I would think that during the preflight checklists/briefings, when the pilot checked his charts and maps for the route and airports, he noticed something was missing or out of date.

Not sure why the needed info couldn't be scanned and emailed.
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Old Oct 14, 15, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by Sant View Post
Even their regional partners?
Yup even regional airlines. My cousin in law flies American Eagle and has an iPad with all the documents.
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Old Oct 14, 15, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Not sure why the needed info couldn't be scanned and emailed.
How about just readily available for download from any location?
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Old Oct 14, 15, 12:52 pm
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Could the "book" have been the aircraft's log? That has to be in the original.
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Old Oct 14, 15, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by caldrich View Post
having trouble understanding how someone in that position wouldn't know and take care of that before boarding the plane with the expectation of doing his job.
For one, pilots aren't always on board when passenger boarding begins. Also, even if they are on board already, the pre-flight checklist is rarely complete prior to passengers starting to board. If the pre-flight had to be done prior to passenger boarding, this would greatly increase the turnaround time needed for each flight. And, since it's not completed beforehand, any item on the checklist has the possibility of prevent the flight from departing. That's the whole point of the checklist. And, in a case such as this, where a flight gets cancelled or delayed because of something on the pre-flight checklist, completing the checklist prior to passenger boarding solves nothing - the flight would have still been delayed 2 hours even if the paperwork problem had been discovered prior to passenger boarding.


Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Just an educated guess but I would imagine even with electronic charts, the flight crew needs the paper as backups in case the ipad/whatever malfunctions.
I don't think so. The main advantages touted of the electronic manuals is a) automatic updates when changes happen, thus saving labor, and b) reduced weight. Neither would be of benefit if they still had to maintain paper.
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Old Oct 18, 15, 2:23 pm
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This is what happened on yesterday's AA 46 ORD-LHR: after boarding, which was already delayed by ca. 30 mins. (due to servicing/maintenance issues?) the flight captain announced that they were ready to go but were missing the log book required on int'l flights (joking that it must be the mechanics who presumable were holding it hostage). After about an hour it was announced that the log book had been delivered, and aircraft pushed back from the terminal.
Some brief moments later the cabin lights suddenly failed (except for battery powered emergency lighting?), and the captain announced a failure of the auxiliary power unit. They pushed back to the gate to have the aircraft inspected, to conclude (after maybe another hour) that it was "probably due to a glitch" and that the auxiliary power unit was not really needed for flying because it was only used to start the engines, and they would start one engine while still connected to the gate's power and later on start the second one from the battery (at least this is what they said). This having been said, the captain added that again the log book was missing. After some more minutes, apparently that issue could be resolved again, and the flight left for LHR with a ca. 3 hours delay, of which it was able to make up about 30 minutes on the way.
The aircraft was an aging B777-200.
I wonder whether this is a common issue with AA and/or that particular aircraft type. Maybe someone with more flight experience with them or other insight might want to comment.
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Old Oct 18, 15, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by geosch View Post
This is what happened on yesterday's AA 46 ORD-LHR: after boarding, which was already delayed by ca. 30 mins. (due to servicing/maintenance issues?) the flight captain announced that they were ready to go but were missing the log book required on int'l flights (joking that it must be the mechanics who presumable were holding it hostage). After about an hour it was announced that the log book had been delivered, and aircraft pushed back from the terminal.
Some brief moments later the cabin lights suddenly failed (except for battery powered emergency lighting?), and the captain announced a failure of the auxiliary power unit. They pushed back to the gate to have the aircraft inspected, to conclude (after maybe another hour) that it was "probably due to a glitch" and that the auxiliary power unit was not really needed for flying because it was only used to start the engines, and they would start one engine while still connected to the gate's power and later on start the second one from the battery (at least this is what they said). This having been said, the captain added that again the log book was missing. After some more minutes, apparently that issue could be resolved again, and the flight left for LHR with a ca. 3 hours delay, of which it was able to make up about 30 minutes on the way.
The aircraft was an aging B777-200.
I wonder whether this is a common issue with AA and/or that particular aircraft type. Maybe someone with more flight experience with them or other insight might want to comment.
This is not unique to AA or this aircraft. Maintenance must update the maintenance log for the aircraft before it departs. Among other things, I believe part serial numbers have to be recorded and only certain people can sign off on the repair. So, from time to time, this results in delays. Other times, you don't even notice it.
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Old Oct 18, 15, 8:11 pm
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Maintenance must sign off on the log, the log must be on the aircraft.

It has been mentioned more than once that the mechanics are among those without signed contracts, and that some have seen evidence of lengthy parts recovery times and lengthy "log sitting" times as well. I've witnessed delays as long as ~1 hour where maintenance had finalized repairs, but could not or would not produce the log and turn it over to cockpit crew.
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