To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

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invertedattitude
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To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by invertedattitude »

I just wanted to make a short note.

On this day, we had a 5 hour delay departing, due to an immense snow storm which rolled through overnight.

After all this of course we had to take time for de-icing and I witnessed something that needs mentioning.

For the first time in all the flights I have taken, one of the FA's, not only "Took a look" but made a concentrated effort when de-icing was completed to visually inspect both wings, and I don't mean just a glance, of all the flights I've been on that required de-icing (including subsequent flights the last couple of days), both WestJet/Air Canada I have never seen an FA take such a dedicated effort to ensure the wings were clear of contamination.

So in short, whoever this FA was, THANK YOU for taking the time to do your job right.
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Jastapilot
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Jastapilot »

Many do, and many of us pilots ask them to look too. I had some very good FA's that would have saved our lives about a year ago out east, due to some shoddy deicing. Long story short, the pilots knew about it but it was good to know they saw it too.
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WJ700
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by WJ700 »

I always brief that I like them to look and tell them the story about an Air Wiski RJ that had only one wing de-iced in YWG last year.
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twinpratts
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by twinpratts »

:shock:
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I want to die like my grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming in terror like his passengers...
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Chuck Yeagermister
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Chuck Yeagermister »

I had one Flight attendant tell me that we had to get de iced again cuz the wings were not green! lol. Are they orange? yes they are... ok perfect.
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Jastapilot
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Jastapilot »

The good news is they don't have to be an expert on the how's and why's. They just need to know they want some westjet coolaid on the wings to make the plane fly faster!
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Legacy
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Legacy »

Jastapilot wrote:The good news is they don't have to be an expert on the how's and why's. They just need to know they want some westjet coolaid on the wings to make the plane fly faster!
Jeez where have you been. Haven't you heard that we picked up a new sponsor and ditched Kool-Aid. We signed on with Powerade now.
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Jastapilot
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Jastapilot »

sweeet! They have better commercials anyway.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by tailgunner »

Most airlines have the PILOTS inspect the wings after deicing to confirm the state of the fluid coverage and fluid dynamics.
As a passenger I would expect to see a fully qualified and trained PILOT making that inspection, instead of an FA.
Who holds the liability if the FA is wrong, or frankly doesn't know what the hell they are supposed to be looking for? I am not making a direct comment on this crew, or this flight, but if this is a standard practice then it needs to lead to some serious thought.
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jjj
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by jjj »

Pay attention tailgunner.

Pilots do inspect the wings and other critical surfaces and make the call to de-ice. After that - there is little that is done beyond monitoring holdover times etc.. It is not required procedure to open the ballistics door and go have a walk through the cabin to see how the wings look. When ICEMAN says you are "clean" then that assessment is trusted. After all - my tail is about 18 feet off the ground.

If/When TC and WS flight OPs come up with a procedure for me to do quality control for the work done on my aircraft after I leave the CDF in YYZ for exmple - then I will follow the procedure to the letter. It's not a bad Idea - but it's not required. Perhaps it is somewhere else - Lets ask T. Soprano if he and his goes to have a look at the wings in his bird after a de-ice "to confirm the state of the fluid coverage and fluid dynamics."

Unfortunately in an airliner you have to place a large amount of trust in the ground support people to do their jobs right - everything from ensuring things are buttoned up properly to pushing the a/c back and de-icing among other things.

Despite the best efforts of the best crews - ground personnel will let a crew down every now and again.

I have been suspicious of a de-ice in the past and acted accordingly. Got sprayed in Edmonton the other day and it took very little time. Opened my window and practically hung out the side to give a good look to asses the workmanship.

If an FA or a jumpseat pilot from another company observed something that is out of whack - the lines of communication are open and the problem can get fixed.

By the way Tailgunner - where do you get the piece of information that "Most airlines have the PILOTS inspect the wings after deicing......."

You do all of this on your 172 by yourself so you don't need the help of a ground support crew or anyone else. You pull 'er out of the hanger - clean 'er off - load'er up - and close the doors then fly somewhere for a piece of pie.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by invertedattitude »

tailgunner wrote:Most airlines have the PILOTS inspect the wings after deicing to confirm the state of the fluid coverage and fluid dynamics..
I know of no major airlines which have their pilots do this.

The years I spent on the ramp, I had never seen or heard of the flight crew coming out, or moving into the cabin to check the wings prior to departure.

A great deal of trust is placed in de-ice crews, and thus they are relatively heavily trained in the job and the consequences of doing it wrong.

During my ramps days I went through many a WestJet De-ice course, as well as Continentals, Morningstar, Cargojet, and KFC, none of them have the pilots inspect the wings after de-icing unless there's something unusual going on, but I've never seen it.

As much as a visual inspection is nice anyway, the only thing that "counts" is a tactile inspection, since clear ice can sit under de-ice fluid and give the appearance of a clean wing, and doing that from the cabin is impossible.

Furthermore who says the FA's are not trained in a visual inspection? It doesn't take a genious to see snow on the wing, but it does take a trained eye to see an improperly applied Type IV spray.

On that note, sitting in the emergency exit row while we parked at the CDF, the de-ice crew did apply Type IV incorrectly on a subsequent flight I took, leaving a massively thick glob of Type IV in one spot while he appeared to pause over the wing, definately a lot more than the required 1-3MM.

I Air Canada is losing money these days, they should spend some time out on the CDF, every time I've been there it's been massive overkill on the deicing fluid amounts. Those fancy trucks sure keep the ground crew warm and safer, but they sure as hell waste a LOT of fluid.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by whiteguy »

invertedattitude wrote:
tailgunner wrote:Most airlines have the PILOTS inspect the wings after deicing to confirm the state of the fluid coverage and fluid dynamics..
I know of no major airlines which have their pilots do this.
AC pilots do ever since an A319 left BOS with only the right wing and tail de-iced. A picture of the left wing covered in snow is used for recurrent training on the ramp in YYC every year.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by tonysoprano »

I Air Canada is losing money these days, they should spend some time out on the CDF, every time I've been there it's been massive overkill on the deicing fluid amounts. Those fancy trucks sure keep the ground crew warm and safer, but they sure as hell waste a LOT of fluid.
Yeah. Deicing is way over rated. It sure cuts into profits alright. I also think the new smoking laws are way over rated. I mean, death should be a God given choice. :roll:
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Rem »

Tony:

I think what he's getting at is that the deice trucks in YYZ are not being efficient in their application of fluid. It wasn't a "to spray or not to spray" comment I'm pretty sure! :D
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by Hyster »

At my airline a pilot will go back and inspect the wings before takeoff everytime we deice or expect contamination, no questions. I know most FAs can tell me if there is anything on my wing and I encourage them to let me know, but I'm not going to put my life and my passengers in the hands of someone who had a 3 week training on how to serve cookies and open doors.
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invertedattitude
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by invertedattitude »

tonysoprano wrote:
I Air Canada is losing money these days, they should spend some time out on the CDF, every time I've been there it's been massive overkill on the deicing fluid amounts. Those fancy trucks sure keep the ground crew warm and safer, but they sure as hell waste a LOT of fluid.
Yeah. Deicing is way over rated. It sure cuts into profits alright. I also think the new smoking laws are way over rated. I mean, death should be a God given choice. :roll:
Tony to stay as polite as possible, try reading my post before reacting.

As Rem said, this isn't about the decision to de-ice. Read over some of my history on this board for that info.

My point is, you can de-ice an airplane safely, and then you can overkill to make the ramp company money.

How much money would be made/lost in YYZ if every airplane was oversprayed by 100 litres? I know the 737 if memory serves is supposed to have 136 litres of Type IV if sprayed correctly that's there for a reason not just monetary value. Too much Type IV becomes a contaminant.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by tailgunner »

How can type 4 become a contaminent? This is a more valid question then what it seems. Type 4 fluid is designed to have a shear event at 100kts or so. That is, it quickly changes from a viscous state into a state quite close to water due to molecular activity..friction. I would suggest that type 4 has almost zero contamination properties regardless of the amount that is present before 100kts.
One can see deice fluid seeping from flap tracks, etc. but this fluid has the consistency of water and poses no danger at all.
Legally, deice fluid is the only "contaminent" allowed on the wings...
I believe that there is quite a misunderstanding of the dynamics of the fluids which results in assumptions and that are not necessarily totally correct.
I don't claim to be an expert by any means, but a good discussion is always welcomed.
My airline also requires the pilots to inspect the wings under certain conditions after deicing.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by xkbal »

tailgunner wrote: My airline also requires the pilots to inspect the wings under certain conditions after deicing.
Most, if not all, airlines require this. This is good but at some point you are still trusting your life to the deice crews, or do you also get out and check the tail? As mentioned in a previous post at least once a whole wing was missed, why not a whole tail surface?

Not saying it isn't a good idea to look at the wing but like it or not at some point in airline flying you are trusting others to do their job, from deicing to loading the aircraft to airport security stopping some nutjob. It simply isn't possible to do everything yourself.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by tonysoprano »

inverted:
they should spend some time out on the CDF
Could be a typo, bad english or just my usual reading problems, but with this line I thought you were implying that we should use a little less fluid or stay out of the CDF a little more all together. Trust me, we are well aware of the overkill on the fluid. That doesn't mean we can tell those guys to "go easy on the spraying" or to skip spraying more often because it's "just a little frost". I have seen other airlines skip the spray while the rest of us were being soaked. Thanks but we'll pay the price and get cleaned. Years ago, TC came up with the "Clean Wing Concept". They are very clear on what that means. The company that does the spraying will not do anything else but overkill to protect their asses and sure, why not, make a little more dough too. If I'm not mistaken they recycle the shit these days. On my airplane, it takes big bucks to clean the surfaces no matter what. We are certainly not going to care about a few more extra liters. What I find a little more concerning is the title of this thread. A flight attendant did the post deice inspection(?)... Wow, you guys really are different. Teaching F/As how to tell if the plane's good to go. Well I'll be darned.
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Re: To the crew of WJA659 Feb 23/2009

Post by double-j »

tonysoprano wrote:inverted:
they should spend some time out on the CDF
Could be a typo, bad english or just my usual reading problems, but with this line I thought you were implying that we should use a little less fluid or stay out of the CDF a little more all together. Trust me, we are well aware of the overkill on the fluid. That doesn't mean we can tell those guys to "go easy on the spraying" or to skip spraying more often because it's "just a little frost". I have seen other airlines skip the spray while the rest of us were being soaked. Thanks but we'll pay the price and get cleaned. Years ago, TC came up with the "Clean Wing Concept". They are very clear on what that means. The company that does the spraying will not do anything else but overkill to protect their asses and sure, why not, make a little more dough too. If I'm not mistaken they recycle the shit these days. On my airplane, it takes big bucks to clean the surfaces no matter what. We are certainly not going to care about a few more extra liters. What I find a little more concerning is the title of this thread. A flight attendant did the post deice inspection(?)... Wow, you guys really are different. Teaching F/As how to tell if the plane's good to go. Well I'll be darned.

Sorry, I call bullshit. If you are referring to WJ, I doubt any Captain would be calling on an FA to do a pre-takeoff contamination check prior to takeoff. A pre-takeoff check must be completed by the captain or his designate if the holdover time has been exceeded. I am quite sure that does not include FA's. I know as a Captain at said company I or my partner can check from the flight deck if the fluid is starting to fail. If not, I have no issues in sending him back to check from the emergency exit prior to departing.
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