Sign in to follow this  
Chock

Last few minutes before pushback this morning...

Recommended Posts

A few pics from this morning taken from my phone whilst waiting for some late cargo to load into the front hold of A321 Echo Delta on Stand 26 at EGCC.

The first one is from my viewpoint sitting on the cargo conveyor driven up to the front hold. Echo Delta (LY-VED) is leased by Thomas Cook, but still wears her old Aeroflot main paint scheme with a few temporary Thomas Cook stickers covering the Aeroflot markings. You can see she has the tug and bar connected and the ground power is still plugged in. She also still has the chocks on the nose wheel because the air bridge has not yet been retracted. The hole you can see on the red cheat line of her livery, just above and to the right of her ED code on the landing gear door, is the avionics heat vent. since the avionics get hot, this pumps out warm air and is handy when the weather is cold because you can stand there and get nice and warm from it. To the right of that you can see a hatch is a slightly lighter grey colour. This is the access door for the avionics bay. The red lined box to the left with the red oval shape which has white inside it and two black dots is the area which must be kept clean around the static ports for the pitot tubes, the static ports are the two black dots:

MGW8uxK.jpg

When I could see the cargo we were waiting for being brought up to the stand, I went into the forward hold, ready to load and secure it because she was due out at 05.25 and it was about 05.15 when I took this pic with still no sign of the cargo arriving, so she ended up departing about ten minutes late.

Below is the empty hold which goes all the way back to the bulkhead for the centre fuel tank which I climbed into to secure that cargo. Because ED is configured for ULD loads, she has metal plates laid over the cargo lugs which secure the ULDs, this was done so she can load loose baggage and loose cargo instead of using ULD cans. You can see the circular holes in those metal plates which allow you to connect tie down straps and rings for cargo nets to fittings on the floor of the aeroplane. The holes also serve as places where you could grab the plates to lift them out if you wanted to convert her back to using ULDs, since they are simply laid on the floor and their weight holds them in place. As you can see, those holes collect rubbish such as luggage tags, bottles and all the other stuff which you find in cargo holds which has fallen off suitcases. Those holes are also annoying when you slide bags down the hold toward the bulkhead as they snag the bags all the time. The panels in the roof with the grill pattern on them are pressure relief blow out panels, the middle panel is a fire suppressant outlet.

Zhrhpjx.jpg

When I'd secured the cargo, I fastened up the net across the cargo door entrance and backed the elevator off the aeroplane. Since we were rushing to avoid any further delay at this point, whilst I was doing securing the cargo with straps and rings, someone performed the walkaround check and commenced the headset comms for the pushback, so when I got out of the hold and closed the hatch, we checked that quickly then I grabbed the marshaling light wands and hurried to the road which separates the stand from the taxiway. These wands are used to halt traffic so the aeroplane can be pushed out across the roadway onto the taxiway. You'll notice they have two little buttons (visible on the left one). One of these buttons makes the wand emit an extremely loud whistle, which is for getting people's attention although it's difficult to hear it on a noisy ramp, so we don't really use it, the other button does three things, if you press it once, the wands light up and flashes red on and off repeatedly, if you press it again, it lights up a steady red (this is the setting we use for a pushback), and if you press it again, the red light goes out and a white torch light on the end of it illuminates so you can use the wand as a torch to check things whilst doing a walkaround at night, one more press turns the lights off completely. You can just about make out that these ones have Thomson (aka TUI airlines) written on them:

iPusXhq.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Great pics. Thanks for sharing and your input to our community! Very important work...Remember Bagram 747-400? 2013 I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Peter Webber said:

Great pics. Thanks for sharing and your input to our community! Very important work...Remember Bagram 747-400? 2013 I think.

That's the one where some armored personnel carriers broke loose on the take off roll and smashed the elevator controls isn't it? A combination of a lot of weight on the rear and no elevator control after rotation, causing a stall and a mush in, caught on the dashboard cam of a car if I recall correctly. Apparently the crew were not correctly trained on securing the load.  

Yup, it's very important to load things up properly and secure things too. In the case of this set of pics, the cargo was a couple of invalid carriages (big battery powered wheelchairs which weigh a lot). We have to do a couple of checks and such with those, first up, the batteries have to be of a type which the aircraft is allowed to carry and they have to be disconnected and the battery secured in such a way so that the terminals cannot arc, then of course we also have to make sure the whole thing is securely in place with either ropes or cargo straps so it can't shift about in the hold. The cargo nets are intended to stop the things moving a very long way away from the position they've been loaded into, but the straps which we secure them with are an additional safeguard. There is usually paperwork attached as a tag with very visible red and white diagonal stripes on it so it can't be missed, which we have to check and sign off with things such as this. We normally secure items such as these right at the front of the cargo hold unless there is no weight in the rear hold, in which case we might put them further back into the wing to maintain a safe CoG. The reason they tend to get loaded last (and often late), and on their own as opposed to with the main baggage, is so that their user is not long without them for long when boarding and upon arrival they can be quickly unloaded so the passenger is not left hanging about without their wheelchair at the destination.

Edited by Chock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Chock said:

That's the one where some armored personnel carriers broke loose on the take off roll and smashed the elevator controls isn't it? A combination of a lot of weight on the rear and no elevator control after rotation, causing a stall and a mush in, caught on the dashboard cam of a car if I recall correctly. Apparently the crew were not correctly trained on securing the load.  

Yup, it's very important to load things up properly and secure things too. In the case of this set of pics, the cargo was a couple of invalid carriages (big battery powered wheelchairs which weigh a lot). We have to do a couple of checks and such with those, first up, the batteries have to be of a type which the aircraft is allowed to carry and they have to be disconnected and the battery secured in such a way so that the terminals cannot arc, then of course we also have to make sure the whole thing is securely in place with either ropes or cargo straps so it can't shift about in the hold. The cargo nets are intended to stop the things moving a very long way away from the position they've been loaded into, but the straps which we secure them with are an additional safeguard. There is usually paperwork attached as a tag with very visible red and white diagonal stripes on it so it can't be missed, which we have to check and sign off with things such as this. We normally secure items such as these right at the front of the cargo hold unless there is no weight in the rear hold, in which case we might put them further back into the wing to maintain a safe CoG. The reason they tend to get loaded last (and often late), and on their own as opposed to with the main baggage, is so that their user is not long without them for long when boarding and upon arrival they can be quickly unloaded so the passenger is not left hanging about without their wheelchair at the destination.

The cargo shift took out the hydraulics in the tail side (bulkhead) (and Flight Recorders). That's the main cause of the stall..no elevator control. Unfortunately recorder power supply lost due to the tail section damage.

Edited by Peter Webber

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to note that I have those exact same wands, minus the Thomson writing, of course. Now I'm sure you're probably wondering why I would even have them in the first place when all I do is drive trucks for a living, but I have actually used them before. Twice, I've had deliveries where the dock doors were inside an unlit building, so I would place them on the ground in a vertical position for guidance. The more common use would be if I was helping another truck driver with backing into a spot. These trucks are so loud that sometimes, you're yelling at the driver to stop and they can't hear you, so the whistle on the wands really come in handy....unless the driver REALLY isn't paying attention, in which case I find myself repeatedly slamming on the whistle whilst simultaneously waving the wands. It definitely makes it easier to see, especially at night, since a lot of these trucks are barely lit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this