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mo32a

Allegiant Fuel Problem

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While a transcript of the conversation between the Allegiant cockpit and Fargo's air traffic control center indicated the twin-engine MD-80 jet was dangerously low on fuel as it approached Fargo, Allegiant officials say the plane had 42 minutes of fuel remaining when it arrived at 1:02 p.m”

A question regarding the Allegiant claim that there was 42 minutes of fuel remaining. Was that time calculated based on the low altitude considerations normally applied, or was the data plucked from a FL 330 cruise chart?

Regardless, unless the alternate was next door, or Allegiant is using ‘contact’ style flight planning, they were dangerously low on fuel.

“The pilot said the two executives flew Flight 426 because the airline is short of qualified pilots”

....and they still were when that flight operated!

Why is it automatically assumed that someone holding a management / check / training position is a competent pilot?

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Why is it automatically assumed that someone holding a management / check / training position is a competent pilot?

Given his alleged reputation for playing whack-a-mole with any pilot who dares to cross the line, you think he'd strive to be competent just to avoid being accused of hypocrisy. :/

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I'm willing to bet the pressure to earn big bonuses has considerably more oomph behind it than concern in the executive suite for those aspects of the operation that get in the way of profitability...like carrying adequate fuel reserves.

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I don't know the decision-making process that goes into creating and distributing NOTAMS but it reeks of a bureaucracy tucked away in an office somewhere which knows nothing about aviation from the end-user/customer of the process, the flight crews.

The Canadian NOTAM Procedures manual is the authority on this subject. http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/products-and-services/Pages/NOTAMProcedure.aspx

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Thanks, cavok, will take a look.

No problem. Of course, the document explains how very well but it doesn't address the why.

I suspect most of the manual is copy/paste from an ICAO document (most of our regs are).

Airports and NavCan are blindly following procedures for issuing NOTAMs because we both lack the power to deviate from established international practices. If this is going to change, ICAO will be the one leading the change.

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Actually, a very good point, (re ICAO).

Interestingly, while ICAO requires FDM Programs as part of an air carrier's approach to safety, Canada has yet to regulate it let alone adopt it as part of SMS and it is my understanding that Canada has filed an exception to this ICAO requirement. ...another thread! ;-)

Took a look and it's a useful site for finding actual NOTAMS in force - that's very useful for some work I still do, so I do appreciate the lead.

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From the TC site referenced, (dated 2001.11.01):

. . . .

FUTURE DISPOSITION

The Aeronautics Act is currently being amended and the proposed amendments include general protections of data derived from voluntary programs (such as FDM). These proposed protections should be similar to the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act provisions that pertain to the use of cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders.

CONCLUSION

With the Aeronautics Act amended it will be possible to more clearly identify these "voluntary programs" and provide more specific detail on the policies that apply to them. This will be done by amending the CARs, a task that will be undertaken by a Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) Working Group composed of members from the aviation industry as well as government.

It is expected that these changes to the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations will be promulgated in 2002.

M.R. Preuss
Director
Commercial & Business Aviation

When the Aeronautics Act was open for industry input a number of us from different carriers supplied wording for the protection of safety data including FDM data. Our input was summarily dismissed. Wording has subsequently been prepared similar to what we supplied, (any progress is good progress) but the Bill, (C-6, then C-7) has been around since 2006 and has never made it into legislation by this government.

Consequently, there are no regulations in the CARS governing safety data and/or FDM Programs, nor requiring FDM Programs, nor are FDM Programs required under SMS.

In Europe there is a healthy relationship between FDM and SMS - the two work well together at a number of European and British carriers.

The United States, (FAA), implemented FOQA requlations that protect FOQA data as long as the carrier has implemented and is running an FAA - approved Program.

I frankly would welcome TC as a similar partner in such world-wide flight safety work as FDM but there is no basis for a relationship, no legally-defined environment in which any exchange can be contemplated and established, and no basis the consider that any shared data would be protected for what it is, safety information. In fact, the converse is unfortunately the case, where trust is a significant issue still. I understand pilot association concerns very well and they will continue until there is some basis for a flight-safety relationship. This includes the TSB.

I really don't think that this is a healthy approach to flight safety in Canada. There are excellent tools and processes by which flight safety is measurably enhanced and their presence and utility is neither being acknowledged nor encouraged by positive action.

Air carriers are way ahead of the regulator in doing the right thing with their safety information and as a consequence the regulator has an enormous job ahead catching up and involving itself in this flight safety process.

Sorry for the drift once again, but to me the ignoring of this long-established technology and process for the past fifteen years is inexplicable, the promises of 2001 are proven hollow, and frankly it is time to get on with it.

Air Canada's FDM Program was and is, like all FDM Programs in Canada, a voluntary, joint, corporate-and-pilot (and pilot representative/association) enterprise. Air Transat is running a program, West Jet, First Air, (now) and Flair Air which does charter work. There may be others of which I am unaware.

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So Don, despite our heel draging on FDM, I guess we are lucky that we seem to be doing better re safety than those who have signed onto it, at least based on recorded accidents to Major Carriers. Keeping my fingers crossed. I hope it isn't just a matter of luck.

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F.CPAir;

Not sure of the point you're making; surely it isn't: "Don't do FOQA as it can increase the accident rate."

Since you raise the question of validity of FDM here vs. the Major Carriers (referring to the U.S., I am assuming), I have to ask, Are you not in favour of creating formal legislation to govern/guide FDM in Canada in much the same way legislation guides SMS, or the way FDM is done in Europe? If not, I'd be interested in understanding why, as it may provide a clue as to why it hasn't happened thus far.

I know there are present a lot of informal processes, but the primary point I wished to make was/is that safety information/data is not formally, legally protected in Canada in exchange for implementing and doing such programs. There is no definition of process that guarantees as much as possible within the judiciary system, the protection of information where the primary purpose is to enhance flight safety, but which may also be used in legal prosecutions.That creates and maintains a certain "chill" in the otherwise-necessary exchange of safety information, and I think that is the wrong way to do this work.

You must know that keeping one's fingers crossed doesn't affect the real world but only our perception of it and that isn't a flight safety solution.

To push it a bit..., we know that "luck" does not occur in the natural world and instead is entirely a man-made, purely-technical concept to explain or excuse that over which we would otherwise remain in denial; luck is almost always wrought by hard work, knowledge, preparation, intuition and some understanding of probabilities.

In fact, looking at it this way, the meaning of notions like "coincidence", "timing", "accident", "rare", "common", "good fortune", "chance" etc., all lose some of their effect. I view a "black swan" event as one that just hasn't been anticipated well enough. For some wholly-mysterious events we do need explanations but such truly-random things are (by definition), "rare" ;-)

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Don: guess you missed the tounge in check nature of my post. I am in favour of Legislation to govern/guide FDM in Canada

.Here is what I intended my post to ask but I see you did answer my question in your post.

Despite not having it, our commercial safety record here in Canada is very good. Are the practices / procedures we have in place now, doing a good job or have we just been fortunate ?

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"keeping one's fingers crossed doesn't affect the real world but only our perception of it and that isn't a flight safety solution"

Great line!

I think the word 'accident' is highly overused, especially in aviation. I think it disguises the truth in that most 'incidents' could be better described as 'eventualities'.

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F.CPAir, re, "guess you missed the tounge in check nature of my post.", yes, I did miss the subtlety, (my bride often has the same observation :lol: ). But it led to some thinking and then a discussion and after all that's why we're here, so thank you.

DEFCON, ;-) thanks...I agree with you - I think the word "accident" doesn't belong in the lexicon any more because we know way more about how humans think in technical environments.

Most of the time this is an unimportant observation and doesn't affect our daily lives, (except when driving a car or a motorbike). But in aviation it is a critical understanding that must accompany any and all engagements and work whether it is in the cockpit, the cabin, the hangar, the operations room or the boardroom.

Our language facilitates this impression of reality - for example, we shiver a bit and even sometimes startle afterwards in what we "know" was a serious "close call", believing "there, but for the grace of... etc." signfies our luck when there are counterexamples, (meaning they can't be explained by the same theory).

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Air Canada's FDM Program was and is, like all FDM Programs in Canada, a voluntary, joint, corporate-and-pilot (and pilot representative/association) enterprise. Air Transat is running a program, West Jet, First Air, (now) and Flair Air which does charter work. There may be others of which I am unaware.

Jazz also has a FDM Program started on the CRJ 705 and Q400 fleets. Great stuff where we've seen benefits already.

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Thank you Canoehead, I was unaware - much appreciated. It would be great to have a chat with your FDM guy/gal some time - not many of us out there and we usually have no windows!

best.

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I was looking for an update on the original story and came across this:

https://www.allegiantair.com/interactive-routemap

BEST interactive airline map I've seen. Click on any dot.

Also - note the names of airports near some Canadian border crossings - they include the Canadian city as well.

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