Lets talk about SOP's

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Zaibatsu
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#26 Post by Zaibatsu » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:30 pm

True North wrote:As soon as it is noticed - and in a large airline it will be noticed right away - the chief pilot or fleet captain, whom ever is responsible for the document is going to get a phone call. Even if it is 03:00 on Christmas day. An amendment is drafted and a quick call the your TC POI will get it approved right away.
:lol:
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#27 Post by True North » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:35 pm

Rockie wrote:I've explained it to you once, if you don't believe it explaining it 12 more times won't help.
You didn't explain anything. You made up a bunch of bullshit to try and make it look like you know what you're talking about. It's what you do. Unfortunately for you, I have actually done the job. I've written SOPs and I've dealt with the regulator so I know how the system works.

It's like I'm having a conversation with a three year old. :roll:

I'm out but carry on. I know you like to have the last word.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#28 Post by True North » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:36 pm

Zaibatsu wrote:
True North wrote:As soon as it is noticed - and in a large airline it will be noticed right away - the chief pilot or fleet captain, whom ever is responsible for the document is going to get a phone call. Even if it is 03:00 on Christmas day. An amendment is drafted and a quick call the your TC POI will get it approved right away.
:lol:
What is it that amuses you Zaibatsu?
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#29 Post by Rockie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:57 pm

True North wrote:You made up a bunch of bullshit to try and make it look like you know what you're talking about.
Well, you're entitled to your opinion.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#30 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:06 pm

Anyone have any constructive comments.....
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#31 Post by Bede » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:07 pm

+1 for BPF & Rockie,

I'll give a couple examples:
1) SwissAir 111- land overweight or hit the water.
2) Sometimes errors are made in the SOP and EVERYONE has this figured out and for some reason it never got changed. For example, at my company, the checklist for Before Start below the line calls for it to be done when cleared to start. The Before Take-Off below the line calls for the checklist to be done once clear for take-off. Everyone, including chief pilots, does these checklists cleared to push, and lining up, respectively. I have no idea why it never got changed.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#32 Post by Bede » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:09 pm

True North wrote:If it were actually true, the fix is simple. As soon as it is noticed - and in a large airline it will be noticed right away - the chief pilot or fleet captain, whom ever is responsible for the document is going to get a phone call. Even if it is 03:00 on Christmas day. An amendment is drafted and a quick call the your TC POI will get it approved right away. If it really is Christmas day you might have to wait until boxing day. Then there are various vehicles available for getting the information to the crews in a timely manner.
Yeah, that's exactly how it works...
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#33 Post by goingnowherefast » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:30 pm

SOPs are for multiple pilots flying an airplane together. As soon as the plane breaks and you are on the ground with a snag in the book it's now maintenance's plane. The mechanic now has the time and resources to look at schematics, maintenance manuals, talk to fellow mechanics, pilots and come up with a process to diagnose, repair and/or ferry the plane back to home. There is very little that is standard about broken planes, nevermind a standard "repairing" procedure.

The thread in question was about starting and ferrying broken planes back to a maintenance base for proper repair (change a battery, started, whatever). Then Cat Driver got involved with his derrogatory remarks and taking SOPs out of their context to belittle them.
Cat Driver wrote:Yup, and we didn't need to have someone reading the SOP's in the background. :smt040
Often planes break in non textbook ways. The crew has to decide what, if any SOP applies in that situation. The flaps in a King Air stick half way between approach and landing. Do your SOPs have a procedure for intermediate and unknown flap positions? The crew needs to adapt the established procesures and their experience to come up with a solution.

You are 200 agl on final and the fire light goes off. You you call for max power and run the full fire drill? Or do you acknowledge the warning, land normally then deal with it on the ground?

I'll go back to king airs with the stupid photo sensor for engine fire detection. What do you do on a beautiful sunny day when both engine fire warnings go off at the same time? Can't shut both engines off, especially when there's no other evidence of a fire.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#34 Post by True North » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:39 pm

Bede wrote:+1 for BPF & Rockie,

I'll give a couple examples:
1) SwissAir 111- land overweight or hit the water.
2) Sometimes errors are made in the SOP and EVERYONE has this figured out and for some reason it never got changed. For example, at my company, the checklist for Before Start below the line calls for it to be done when cleared to start. The Before Take-Off below the line calls for the checklist to be done once clear for take-off. Everyone, including chief pilots, does these checklists cleared to push, and lining up, respectively. I have no idea why it never got changed.
Let's make a distinction here. Under normal operations there should be no need to deviate from SOP. SOPs cannot possibly be written to cover every conceivable emergency situation and SwissAir 111 is a perfect example. Fly around in a burning airplane or land overweight. Not much to discuss there.

Your second example of what is going on at your company is more normalization of deviation than ignoring SOP, in other words it sounds like it has become de facto SOP. It also sounds like it has zero impact on flight safety which is perhaps why it has not received any attention.

Rockie's claim that contradictory SOPs can exist is completely different. His explanation of why they would exist and why it would take so long to change is entirely wrong. The process he describes could be a fairly accurate description of how SOPs are developed at an airline, and is exactly why the possibility of contradictory SOPs is so unlikely. There are lots of eyes on it during the development process. After being thoroughly reviewed by the people tasked with writing them, and then by the company's certificate holder, they are reviewed by TC, usually the POI. The POI then has to sign off on them before they can be put in place so he has now exposed himself to liability. If a contradictory SOP is discovered and if it could have any impact on flight safety TC will approve the amendment in a heartbeat to mitigate the risk to flight safety, and limit their exposure. So yes, that is exactly how it works.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#35 Post by dogfood » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:40 pm

I remember a previous job that the sops were strictly enforced by management but they were so poorly written it was frustrating so most pilots just did there own thing. The PC12 sop were pretty much cut and paste from another aircraft in the fleet and it actually prohibited single engine taxing.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#36 Post by Bede » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:48 pm

True North wrote: Let's make a distinction here. Under normal operations there should be no need to deviate from SOP. SOPs cannot possibly be written to cover every conceivable emergency situation and SwissAir 111 is a perfect example. Fly around in a burning airplane or land overweight. Not much to discuss there.
Yes, but SwissAir SOP's said dump fuel. They followed the SOP to the letter- right into the water. This wasn't a case where there was an emergency and there wasn't an SOP for the situation.

The way I see it, safety of flight is #1. If I need to interpret an SOP to make a certain situation more safe, I'm going to do it. I'll never give up a safety advantage to blindly follow an SOP.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#37 Post by True North » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:59 pm

Bede wrote:
True North wrote: Let's make a distinction here. Under normal operations there should be no need to deviate from SOP. SOPs cannot possibly be written to cover every conceivable emergency situation and SwissAir 111 is a perfect example. Fly around in a burning airplane or land overweight. Not much to discuss there.
Yes, but SwissAir SOP's said dump fuel. They followed the SOP to the letter- right into the water. This wasn't a case where there was an emergency and there wasn't an SOP for the situation.

The way I see it, safety of flight is #1. If I need to interpret an SOP to make a certain situation more safe, I'm going to do it. I'll never give up a safety advantage to blindly follow an SOP.
Flight safety is always priority one and again, SOPs can only go so far when things go really, really bad.

I have no knowledge of SwissAir's SOPs but I would have a tough time believing that with an onboard fire, their checklist didn't state land as soon as possible. I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be but it seems to me the crew initially underestimated the severity of their situation.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#38 Post by confusedalot » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:08 pm

I must have had a charmed life since I have not run into an SOP that led you down the garden path but anyways........

I think there is something to be said, as many have pointed out, about following an SOP, which is an objective how to document, pain old airmanship, and command decision, when the how to book does not address a specific situation.

It's not just about an SOP, you need to utilize all three elements to operate adequately. I will leave it there and let each individual determine whether they use airmanship and decision making in their day to day processes.

Had a guy start to slow down and configure for approach 30 miles away because he was about to intercept the localizer, which was his interpretation of SOP compliance.......

Had another one tell me it was airmanship to taxi around on the ground with the overhead light on at night so that you could be seen outside of the aircraft!

Ah, the mysteries of the human mind.

And of course, a non SOP action by pulling up the flaps one notch that saved the day for British Airways with the dual flameout on final. Brilliant.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#39 Post by Rockie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:13 pm

True North wrote:Rockie's claim that contradictory SOPs can exist is completely different. His explanation of why they would exist and why it would take so long to change is entirely wrong. The process he describes could be a fairly accurate description of how SOPs are developed at an airline, and is exactly why the possibility of contradictory SOPs is so unlikely.
Nice theory True North but yet it happens, and it is in fact the way SOP changes are done at a major airline. I happen to know this from experience at a major airline, where does your assertion about how major airlines change their SOP's come from?
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#40 Post by Rockie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:21 pm

True North wrote:I have no knowledge of SwissAir's SOPs but I would have a tough time believing that with an onboard fire, their checklist didn't state land as soon as possible.
Much was learned and both attitudes and procedures were forced to change as a result. For example thanks to smoke testing SwissAir did in their simulators afterwards the smoke checklist in the QRH's of all aircraft were printed in bold because it was discovered crews couldn't read them with smoke and smoke goggles on. They also added the line that essentially says "if at any time the situation becomes uncontrollable land immediately". That means right now whether there is pavement underneath you or not.

Just another example of how tragedy informs our procedures.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#41 Post by confusedalot » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:26 pm

As far as SOP changes are concerned, not that big of a deal, at least it should not be.

I have worked for an (as in many) airline(s) and I did a hit and run at transport following a major bankruptcy after 9/11. Went back to industry afterwards.

The airline types get their act together at some point, put in their amendment for acceptance or approval (depending on which TC unit you are dealing with, an SOP should only be an acceptance, a COM is an approval), and then it is returned for dissemination.

It is really not that hard. Bureaucratic inertia (read inefficiency) can however prove to be tedious.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#42 Post by True North » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:50 pm

Rockie,

I know I'm wasting my time, you love to obfuscate but I'll give it one more go.

This all started with this statement from you,

"The key is knowing when adherence to SOP's is required and when it is not."

I asked you for an example of when it is not required and this was your reply,

"Sometimes a poorly written SOP contradicts itself telling you to do something this way on one page, and another way on a different page. Can't help but violate the SOP somewhere in that circumstance."

I then asked you for an example, which you did not give.

I am not talking about "changing" SOPs. There are countless reasons why airlines make changes. I am talking about correcting a mistake in an SOP which your contradicting SOP would certainly qualify as. You would have us believe you had to deal with this problem for some time. I called bullshit and stated why and how an amendment to correct an SOP would be done quickly. You are trying to muddy the waters now by talking about the process used for changing SOPs or developing new ones. They are totally different animals.

Who I have worked for is irrelevant. You can try and dispute what I have said with facts or you can blow some more smoke. Either way, I really don't care anymore.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#43 Post by Rockie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:23 pm

I’m sorry True North, but I can’t do anything to solve your inability to understand English. Perhaps a night school course...
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#44 Post by sanjet » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:41 pm

Lord thunderin Jesus people.... it's just a job like any other, have a beer :drinkers:

Follow sop's, sometimes you do have to think outside the box (turning on APU before reading QRH when you realize you have a dual engine failure over the Hudson...)

Flying is a mix of science and an art.... SOP's have contributed hugely to safely operating an airliner but there is a reason experience is still valued in this industry.


As the saying goes, ask 2 pilots for an opinion, you'll get three.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#45 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:47 pm

As the saying goes, ask 2 pilots for an opinion, you'll get three.

Actually you will get four if Rockie gets into the mix.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#46 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:03 pm

True North, Rockie, Cat Driver.

Your exchanges, in my opinion are all about internet point scoring, not constructively addressing the thread topic. Instead of hijacking my thread start your own.....

Back to the topic at hand. Digits, in my opinion brought up an interesting point
I also used to work for a company that had multiple airplanes with different equipment. In one airplane it was impossible to follow the SOPs (something about setting up the radio aids etc).
When I read that I thought of a very near disaster that involved a 737 conducting an approach to Prince George. It was right after PWA bought CP. The approach nav radio set up failed to account for a significant difference in cockpit switchology. The result was the VOR being set instead of the LOC and a very near CFIT disaster. The take away is those simple SOP "variations" that are not documented but everybody uses as a work around, can be the start of the accident chain.

Ultimately the use of SOP's is a reflection of the company culture. I worked for a company were it was understood all those SOP's were only for training and the ride. Once you got on the line the tacit understanding was SOP's were advisory only and Captains could do what ever they thought best.....

This attitude, in my opinion contributed to several bad outcomes.

The bottom line from this pilots perspective:

How you use SOP's is a reflection of your professionalism. I think you have a duty to follow the direction you get from your Ops Manager and CP. If you disagree with that direction rather then ignoring it and doing what you think is right, you should engage management to effect change. If the company has the old school attitude I described above and is impervious to constructive change and tolerates operations in contradictions to their own SOP's then I think you need to evaluate your future with that company.

Finally the ability to safely deviate from the SOP is, in my opinion often heavily dependent on systems knowledge. There is again in my opinion a lack of curiosity in many pilots and an attitude of "if it is something I need to know about, the company will teach it to me." Critical to Sully's success was the immediate understanding of the importance of starting the APU ASAP so there was no systems degradation rather then working the checklist to item 14. This almost instant decision in the face of an shocking and off the charts improbable scenario was a reflection of a pilot that had a deep understanding of how the airplane worked and what needed to done as a reaction to what was happening now.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#47 Post by Rockie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:33 pm

BPF

You must be a saint (or the atheist equivalent) to keep so calm after all the shit ignorant a**holes throw your direction. I’m patient, but you are amazing. I salute you sir, but you would be forgiven for chopping the knees out from under some of your detractors on occasion.

Give it a shot, it’s enormously satisfying and easy to do.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#48 Post by confusedalot » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:37 pm

sanjet wrote:Lord thunderin Jesus people.... it's just a job like any other, have a beer :drinkers:

Follow sop's, sometimes you do have to think outside the box (turning on APU before reading QRH when you realize you have a dual engine failure over the Hudson...)

Flying is a mix of science and an art.... SOP's have contributed hugely to safely operating an airliner but there is a reason experience is still valued in this industry.


As the saying goes, ask 2 pilots for an opinion, you'll get three.
Aw man, an easy jobs turns into a.....whatever............
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#49 Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:56 pm

Rockie wrote:BPF

You must be a saint (or the atheist equivalent) to keep so calm after all the shit ignorant a**holes throw your direction. I’m patient, but you are amazing. I salute you sir, but you would be forgiven for chopping the knees out from under some of your detractors on occasion.
.
I am a long way from a saint as many who know me will attest :lol:

I am nearing the end of my flying career, and when I look back there were many experienced pilots who took the time to give me good advice. This advice was only one on one.

One of my persistent hopes was this site could be a venue where advice isn't just one on one but available to anyone who looked. Unfortunately there is a section of the posters that are experienced pilots but instead of passing on those hard earned nuggets of knowledge seem only interested in attacking and denigrating other thread contributors in between blowing their own horn about how great they are/were.

However that is the nature of the internet and so I don't let it bother me. If forum readers get some value from my posts then I am happy because in a small way I have paid forward all the help I have given.
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Re: Lets talk about SOP's

#50 Post by Eric Janson » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:32 am

I have worked at companies where there was an SOP that allowed some flexibility and at one company where there was a very rigid SOP.

In the latter case I was flying with 250hour Pilots and they were lost outside of the books - the only way to make this work was a rigid SOP.

I have written SOPs for 2 different Airlines - writing things down is the easy part. Layout/content/wording is the difficult part. I had written a nice non normal SOP for one Airline and they removed the entire section when it was published.

It is impossible to write an SOP for every situation - a better way to look at SOPs is to see them as a set of tools. You use the appropriate tools for the situation at hand. This is especially true of abnormal situations (these can be extremely complex) where good communication and effective teamwork can make the difference between an incident and an accident.

Some real world examples of SOPs in the real world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swissair_Flight_111

This is an example of following SOP when the priority should have been to get the aircraft on the ground. This accident did result in a lot of changes to checklists and operating philosophy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qantas_Flight_32

In this case the crew were facing 58 different ECAM messages some of them contradictory. There was no SOP for this situation but they managed to land the aircraft safely. They had 2 extra Captains on board which really helped.
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