FLYBOYSWA2900

When preflighting an airliner...

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So I wanted to know, you know how like if a pilot ever approaches a small GA prop plane, the aircraft is always cold and dark? Like with no power on, no lights on, no avionics on, etc. With every Boeing I have ever seen or any airliner I have been in, I have never seen one cold and dark when at the ramp. Pilots of those aircraft never really seem to have to do cold and dark startups. The airplane is always on. Why is this? Do some pilots ever get to the aircraft on it's first flight of the day with it being cold and dark, and have to do everything themselves? Or is it like a mechanic who does all the work, and these pilots just set up the autopilot, start the engines, and fly the plane? Or do pilots sometimes switch the airplane fully off, and let the next crew do everything? My main question is do these airliners ever see a cold and dark state when they are not being used, but still in active service and not in maintenance, or are they always powered on? Thanks!

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I worked for US Airways at DFW. (retired) If the airplane was already at the gate in the morning it was usually cold and dark. If we had to tow it in from the hard stand then the APU would be running when it got to the gate. If the crew was waiting we left the APU running. If not, we shut the APU down and put on ground power. At night aircraft left on the gates were completely powered down and the jetway was removed to make unauthorized access more difficult.

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I was with US Airways in LAX, BWI, and CLT and we did the same at each of those as well.

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It varies from operator to operator, i.e legacy, budget, small or larger fleets operations. 

Quite often though, in domestic airlines, an aircraft that's done a night stop in a main port or base will quite often have had a 36 hourly inspection carried out by ground engineers prior to the next days flying. 

Depending on the outfit/company and they'll have ground power connected, or in our case leave the the APU running if it's getting close to departure time, but it's not unusual to arrive to a cold and dark aircraft, a narrow body turbo-jet aircraft in this case for example. 

It happens less frequently to find it in a C&D state, but really depends on how organised the particular airline/engineering department is. 

Sometimes it's down to a staff shortage and no one is around to boot it up as it were, there are a lot of variables.

Also something to consider, in tropical or humid operations, It's far more prudent to keep avionics running with aircraft that have EFIS style displays, as the humidity plays havoc with the expensive electronics when powered down, so keeping the electronic systems (PFD,ND and FMGC etc) running in airline or a high capacity charter operation, keeps all the gear drier if it's left running for a few hours between crew changes. but that's another story.

 

Cheers

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With the more modern stuff like the 787 and I suspect the same would be true of airbus, they are usually left “plugged in” overnight as they don’t like being left cold and dark, it causes gremlins. I also hear the 787 requires a good quality GPU or it’s not happy.

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Here's what happens with our airliners which we service (mostly Thomas Cook Airbus A320s, A321s and A330s, but also occasionally B737s, CRJs and ATRs)...

Typically, an A321 might arrive at EGCC at perhaps 1.30am, this effectively being its last flight of the day, it is probably going out in the morning for its first flight of the next day at perhaps 6.00am. So, it taxies up to the stand - let's go for a typical arrival here and say it comes in on Stand 32 at Manchester, which has an airbridge and fixed electrical power - so, the moment the brakes go on, it gets chocked, coned, and the fixed electrical power is plugged into it to enable the APU to be shutdown and the airbridge is connected. The passengers disembark, the bags and cargo come off, cleaners might go on board and the engineers might check it over, top up oil and such. Now at this point it could stay on Stand 32 all night and stay on fixed electrical power (£90 per hour charge for that from the airport, in addition to the regular landing fees, apron parking fees etc), but the airport prefers aircraft not sat on the most convenient stands with airbridges and FEP which could of course be used by other arriving aircraft, so it's most likely to be towed off to a remote stand. So, here's what happens with that...

We usually know that an aircraft is intended to be towed off to a remote stand after arrival to ensure the stand it initially occupies will be clear for other arrivals, and we usually get told something along the lines of, 'it has to be off the stand by XX time, and towed to (for example Stand 231 Left)', so we plan for that. We'll get a towbar, get a tug, get an EBT (Electric Baggage Tractor) and use three people to do the tow (plus an engineer to sit in the cockpit for the tow) and we'll take some steps out to the remote Stand 231 Left and perhaps a GPU (a towable Ground Power Unit). So, for the tow, we put the steering bypass pin in, then connect the towbar, then connect the tug to the towbar (on a tow, the tug is connected to the towbar on its back end, on a pushback, the tug is connected with the cab end facing the aeroplane). We also put towing pins in the three main gear which prevent the gear from accidentally retracting when on the tow. We'll also connect a headset to the aircraft so we can talk to the engineer in the cockpit and string the headset wire to the cab of the tow tug. The non-driver in the tug will operate this (not everyone uses this precaution incidentally, but we do).

An engineer sits in the cockpit and will start the APU so that there is power to operate the anti-collision beacons (if the APU will not start, preventing the beacons from being used, an airfield ops vehicle will escort us on the tow). Someone parks an EBT near the edge of the Stand and then gets a couple of marshaling wands and stand by for the tow to commence. The airbridge is then retracted and the chocks and cones are removed. In the tug, the driver calls up ATC ground frequency and requests permission to tow the aircraft from Stand 32 and re-position it on Stand 231 Left. ATC might say stand by, or tow approved, or whatever, and if approved, they will say via which taxyway route the tug is to go, whether it should proceed unhindered, or perhaps hold at some junction or whatever, and will request that the tug reports when the movement is completed. ATC know the tow is going to take place and just like any other aircraft movement, such as a departure, they have an aircraft movement 'strip' prepared for it (these days the strips are usually electronic rather than being the wooden blocks with paper inserts, but all towers maintain that older wooden block system as a back up). So, let's say ATC approve the tow, the engineer in the cockpit is monitoring the radio and hears the tow is approved and so he puts the anti-collision beacons on and releases the parking brake. The person with the wands lights them up and stands in the road with the wands extended to stop any traffic and the aircraft is then pushed off the stand, when it is over the road and clear of it and the stand, i.e. on the taxiway, the marshaler jumps into the EBT and races over to Stand 231 Left, where they will ensure traffic is stopped and also uses the wands to indicate the turn on point for the stand to the tug driver, as these can be difficult to see from the tug's cab, especially in the wet or at night.

On the tow, the person in the passenger seat of the cab who is wearing the headset watches the towbar and helps the driver keep a lookout. If the shear pins on the towbar break (they are designed to do this if too much strain is placed on the nose gear), they will issue the call 'x-ray, x-ray, x-ray' which lets the engineer in the cockpit know that he needs to apply the brakes to stop the aircraft (this is why he's in there), meanwhile the tow driver 'floors it' to get out of the way of the aircraft. If this occurs, another towbar has to be fetched out and fitted to allow the tow to continue.

Assuming the aircraft is towed without mishap to the remote Stand 231 Left, having marked the turning in point the marshaler walks down the stand's centreline to assist the tug driver in seeing the line, then stands off to the side as the aircraft is towed on and signals the correct point for the tow to stop to the tug driver. This is a painted mark on the Stand's centreline with the aircraft type painted alongside it, so there can be a few of these on some stands and on others there is just one marker for all types of aircraft. The front wheel should stop on this point.

Having come to a halt, the engineer is signaled to put the parking brakes on, then everything is disconnected and the aircraft is chocked and coned again and steps are brought up to the front door on the port side so the engineer can disembark. Occasionally he might leave the APU running, (for example if the aircraft is to be serviced by cleaners), or if he shuts it down, he will wait until a GPU is connected to the aircraft before shutting the APU down. Remote stands such as 231 Left do not have fixed electrical power, so a towable GPU has to be used to power the aircraft if the APU is not running.

Needless to say, if the APU is not running and there is no GPU connected, the electrical and hydraulic systems will not function, so the aircraft will effectively be 'cold and dark' when the first crew arrive at the aeroplane to fly it for that 6.00am departure, if it is going from that stand, however since there is no airbridge on Stand 231 Left, this is not the airline's preference as it means passengers and crew have to be transferred to the aeroplane by bus. So it's very likely that the aeroplane would be towed back onto a better-equipped stand at perhaps 4am in preparation for that 6.00am flight, in which case it is likely that engineers will warm the aircraft up in preparation for that flight, getting systems up and running, in which case there would be less for the arriving flight crew to do. It's worth noting here that the engineers are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it because they want to know the aeroplane is good to go.

Contrary to what most people do in a flight sim quite often, the flight plan is usually dumped into the FMC electronically from the airline HQ, or from a tablet, rather than programmed into the FMC completely by hand, so as far as your flight sim is concerned, it's more akin to how things are done for real to simply import a plan into your FMC and just tweak the SID and put in the relevant ATIS stuff rather than doing it all from scratch, so it's not the complete pain in the behind it might seem to have a 'cold and drak' aircraft anyway. The bit they have to concern themselves with is pretty much the same as would be the case for any other flight in the day, i.e. the load sheet from the dispatcher and any special cargo instruction on that.

So yeah, I know flight simmers are often obsessed with their add ons being able to do a completely cold and dark start, but in reality, it's not that common for pilots to have to do all that stuff completely from scratch, and really, it's more of a 'look how realistic our add-on airliner is' selling point for the high end developers, which is why it's not the big deal people sometimes think it is to have a mid-level realism add-on airliner, because from a flight crew standpoint, they're just about as realistic as they need to be for most stuff.

Incidentally, with regard to the 787 and GPUs, it actually needs three of them on occasion (or the FEP plus two mobile GPUs), and unlike a lot of airliners, one of the connecting points is near the wing root. Some aircraft are better than others when it comes to GPU/FEP connections and their placement and design and it's more often this which is the problem for a good connection rather than a finicky GPU with intermittent power. The 737's ground power connection point is good because it is at an angle and this stops the plugs from dropping out (they are very heavy and will do that easily and they bloody hurt if they drop on your head lol), the 757's GPU socket is a pain in the @ss because you have to stand on the nose wheel to reach it and it goes straight up too, so you need a tight-fitting plug, the A320 and A330's GPU socket (two on the A330) is awful, the plug goes straight up and is supposed to jam in there and stay purely off being a snug fit, but the plugs get worn and then they don't fit in tight and can drop out. If I ever meet the person who designed that, I will slap him lol.

There's all kinds of different stuff on the 787, for example, the steering bypass pin lever goes from left to right, unlike on most other airliners, where it moves from back to front to allow the bypass pin to be inserted. It's also finicky with airbridges, because of where the air data probes are positioned, which means it's important to stop it right on the mark when it taxies on stand. The bulk cargo hold entrance is on the port side as well, which is unusual, except on the CRJ, where the cargo doors are also all on the port side. This is all the kind of stuff you get used to with aircraft when you work on a ramp and it's very often the case that you know more about this kind of thing than the pilots. This is why it's us that do the final walkaround check prior to departure and not the crew. So as you can imagine, we take that sort of thing very seriously and we certainly will stop an aircraft from departing if we are not happy with something.

If you're ever stuck for a job, working on the ramp is one of those jobs which is kind of fun and there's always vacancies for it because it is pretty hard work in all weathers and the pay isn't that great, so it's easy to get into, but it's good if you harbour a desire to do other stuff in aviation which is better paid, such as dispatching, engineering or aircrew or whatever, as it is very educational and gives you great experience, especially if you're into aeroplanes. And after all, when else do you get to play with multi-million dollar aeroplanes and get paid for it?

 

Edited by Chock
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Interesting. On a side note on short turn around does a crew member have to step outside and do an external walk around on each leg of the trip or is that just a beginning of the day requirement?

Another question might sound silly but if that short turn involved an international flight like KMIA to Managua and back to Miami would a crew member stepping on the ramp for a walk around creat a customs issue  when reboarding?

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10 hours ago, toucanair said:

.....as the humidity plays havoc with the expensive electronics when powered down, so keeping the electronic systems (PFD,ND and FMGC etc)....

It's a pity that the more technologically advanced a bit of kit is, the less robust it gets and the more babying it needs. I cannot believe that current engineering hasn't sorted this out. We've landed spaceships on comets and have reliable recoverable rockets...which can land on barges out at sea..

Were good old CRT displays better at combating the harsher climates for example? Just curious.

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7 hours ago, Chock said:

so as far as your flight sim is concerned, it's more akin to how things are done for real to simply import a plan into your FMC and just tweak the SID and put in the relevant ATIS stuff rather than doing it all from scratch,...

That makes me feel much better about my Sky Simulations MD-11 :wink:.. and thanks Chock for the detailed rundown! :cool:

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8 hours ago, PATCO LCH said:

Interesting. On a side note on short turn around does a crew member have to step outside and do an external walk around on each leg of the trip or is that just a beginning of the day requirement?

Pretty sure the walkaround is a requirement on every sector - hence an additional reason to consider the weather at your destination when deciding who's going to fly which sector (normally a PF duty)!

Don't imagine it would cause any sort of issue as the crew would be airside and not actually officially entering whatever country they might have landed in.

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21 hours ago, FLYBOYSWA2900 said:

So I wanted to know, you know how like if a pilot ever approaches a small GA prop plane, the aircraft is always cold and dark? Like with no power on, no lights on, no avionics on, etc. With every Boeing I have ever seen or any airliner I have been in, I have never seen one cold and dark when at the ramp. Pilots of those aircraft never really seem to have to do cold and dark startups. The airplane is always on. Why is this? Do some pilots ever get to the aircraft on it's first flight of the day with it being cold and dark, and have to do everything themselves? Or is it like a mechanic who does all the work, and these pilots just set up the autopilot, start the engines, and fly the plane? Or do pilots sometimes switch the airplane fully off, and let the next crew do everything? My main question is do these airliners ever see a cold and dark state when they are not being used, but still in active service and not in maintenance, or are they always powered on? Thanks!

As a passenger I have flown on a few cold and dark airliners, as mentioned here already, usually at the beginning of the day, also propjets I have flown in were more likely to be cold and dark without an apu as most modern airliners have.  The L1011 was interesting as it used a CART start, which always produced a lot of acrid white smoke with the well known smell of kerosene.  I

remember being a small boy approaching a 727 in the sixties, the sound of the apu was a bit scary with its whine, I was afraid the engines were started and it was going to run over me, my poor parents had to carry me one holding each hand as I freaked out afraid I was going to be run over, they thought I was afraid to fly but I was never afraid to fly, although I have been in a few incidents that were too close in terms of being fatal, it came with the territory because I was a business traveler who flew every five to seven days for ten years straight. 

All but one of the incidents were landing incidents, and another was a ground collision while I was still onboard a UAL 733 with its apu running, and to add another, a taxiing incident in a 727, where the aft window door was not sealed properly, bringing engine noise into the rear cabin when the pilot applied full thrust, I and another passenger had to repeatedly ring the call button and call a flight attendant twice until the irritated flight attendant brought the first officer back, who saw the door was open as we were next in line for takeoff, he berated the flight attendant who gave us evil stares for the duration of the flight, which we returned when we exited the aircraft.  Pressurized aircraft do not like to go into the air with their aft doors opened, not only would our deaf ears have been offended, our bodies would have complained as well.  Business travelers know the equipment as well as the flight attendants do, which is why I was often asked if I would sit by an emergency exit door given my strength and my size, which I would welcome for the first class leg space and wing view.

I love questions of your nature, because they stir up the memories of my business travel and pleasure travel I've had since my first flight on a Lockheed PSA Electra Turboprop back in '66

John

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10 hours ago, PATCO LCH said:

Interesting. On a side note on short turn around does a crew member have to step outside and do an external walk around on each leg of the trip or is that just a beginning of the day requirement?

Another question might sound silly but if that short turn involved an international flight like KMIA to Managua and back to Miami would a crew member stepping on the ramp for a walk around creat a customs issue  when reboarding?

Yup, the flight deck crew will do a walkaround check on a fast turnaround (or 'spin' as it is usually called) and nope, it doesn't involve going through customs. Here's how that typically goes:

Let's say SAS flight SK541 (which could be a Manchester - Copenhagen Boeing 737 or maybe an A320) comes into Manchester at 18:00 hours, and will be due to go back out at around 19:00 hours. It will be on the deck for about an hour.

So, it taxies onto stand, pulls up, gets chocked and coned, the bridge goes on, then it shuts down when the FEP is connected. We put an additional set of steps on the rear port passenger door, the cleaners will use this to do a quick clean up the moment the passengers have deplaned via the airbridge steps, the steps will be left on until after the fuel truck is gone as a precaution, so that if there is a problem with fueling, passengers can evacuate quickly via two exits on the side away from the fuel truck. Meanwhile, we get the bags and cargo off it as a fuel truck comes up to it and connects to it and might pump a bit of fuel on to the thing depending on requirements; the pilots have a little light up board (like the ones held up at football matches which identifies a substituted player's number to tell that player to come off and also showing the number of the player coming on) the crew put the amount of fuel they want to go on board on this little gizmo and they'll show it at the cockpit right side window so the fueler can see it. They could also use the radio to do this too if they wanted to.

The bags are expected to be all off the aircraft and on the carousel for the deplaned passengers no later than 25 minutes after the plane came to a halt, and usually this is achieved in about 15 minutes or less. Then, the bags of new passengers who are boarding are loaded on, this takes maybe five to ten minutes or so, but sometimes there's a last minute bag or pushchair or whatever which might come down the helter-skelter chute to the stand from where check in is. These have the stickers off the luggage tag manually removed and placed onto a 'bingo card' to ensure the final bag tally matches that of the load sheet, all the other bags which were checked in on time would have been electronically scanned into the BRS (baggage reconciliation system) and do not need to have this done. Every stand at the airport has a computer screen and keyboard, mounted in a weatherproof steel case which allows the ramp staff to access the BRS to check things and ensure no mysterious bags which have not been scanned are allowed to be loaded, if anything is not able to be checked via this system, it does not go on the aircraft. This is invariably the reason why very occasionally your bag might not arrive at your destination and is flown out on a later flight for you, as it is better to be safe than sorry. I always keep in mind the fact that it was a bag which was not fully screened at the departure point, but instead loaded from a Pan Am B727 being the cause of the bomb making it onto Pan Am 103, which was destroyed over Lockerbie. I'd rather any flight I was on be delayed ten minutes whilst a mystery bag was checked, than take off with a potential threat on board, and so I treat every flight I work on by doing so in such a way in terms of safety, that I'd be happy to fly on it.

Whilst all this stuff is going on, on board the aeroplane there will be probably at least four cabin crew since regulations require at least one crew member for every fifty passengers on the aeroplane. Meanwhile the crew will be putting in the flight data into the FMC for the flight, but one of them will do a quick walkaround check. They can get down on the ramp easily, there is a small door and a gantry steps set on the side of an airbridge where you can get down to the ramp, since you remain airside when on the aircraft and on the ramp, there is no need to pass through any checks to get from the flight deck to the ramp as it is already a secure area.

The crew are mostly concerned with checking the fueling on their walkaround although they will give everything else a look (sometimes to varying degrees of thoroughness) as any pilot worth his salt would want to do, but it doesn't really matter because we do one anyway.

In case you are curious, here is how to do a 'proper thorough walkaround' of an airliner when it is ready to push out:

Start at the towbar where it is connected to the tug and ensure that is correctly attached, move along it and make sure the towbar's wheels are raised, then give the hydraulic handle a quick pump to ensure the wheels can be lowered. Move along the towbar and check its condition, specifically, ensure the two shear pins are intact, then make sure the connecting lock handle is fully closed and that the locking handle safety pin is is inserted and secured so it is preventing the locking handle from being released. Check the towing lug is correctly locked on the landing gear and make sure there is a steering bypass pin fitted correctly to the landing gear and that it has a remove before flight tag on it. When you've checked all that, move back to the tug and commence the aircraft inspection.

First check the radome cover for any signs of impact damage and make sure it is secure, check the windscreens are in good condition, windscreens need to be clean. Observe the ice accretion indicator pin (the bit that sticks out in between the two front windows) for signs of icing. Now move down the starboard side. Check the headset is connected properly and clipped on, check the static port for obstructions and check any pitot heads and AoA indicator equipment is okay, check the nose gear tires for condition and inflation, look for signs of hydraulic leaks from the gear and brakes, check the anti-torque scissors link for any unusual indications of CoG, check the hydraulic lines and all the lights on the landing gear, make sure there is no evidence of a bird strike. Look up in the gear bay for anything untoward, tools left there, towing pins left there, birds and so on.

Move down the starboard fuselage and check the first passenger door for correct closure and any signs of damage around it from ground service equipment or steps contact. Continue along and check the forward cargo hold is properly shut and latched and any control access panels are closed, check the cargo door indicators are flagging it as securely latched. Check for any signs of damage from GSE contact damage. Carry on down the fuselage ensuring all hatches and doors are closed properly and continuously look for signs of any dents on the fuselage, old dents will have a tiny numbered sticker next to them indicating they are known and in the aircraft's log book, but any new ones will be clean and have no sticker near them.

At the wing leading edge root, check the leading edge for damage signs and check the slats look okay. Move out to the engine check the sides and underside (crouch right down and look properly because the cowling clips are often right on the bottom of the engine cowling) for any signs of leaks or panels left open or cowlings not secured. Look at the front of the engine, check for signs of ice accretion, make sure there are at least six bolts securing the fan spinner. Check the fan blades for signs of damage. Move around to the back of the engine and check the tailpipe, especially looking for any tools which might have been inadvertently left there by someone using it as a convenient 'shelf' (this is not unknown but is more likely on an aircraft which has been parked for a few hours and worked on than one on a spin, however, you never know so it is worth looking). Look under the engine for signs of a leak. Move back to the starboard wing's leading edge and continue along it. Check that the fueling nozzle access door is closed and properly locked with the indicator arrows pointing forward (note that there is one on each wing), continue along the leading edge to the winglet/wingtip and check that the nav light is lit green and is intact. Come around to the rear of the starboard wing and move down it toward the fuselage, examining the ailerons, flaps, flap canoes, static wicks. Check the wing join seals when you reach the fuselage. Check the fuel control data panel is closed and secured. Check the starboard main gear for all the things you checked on the nose gear, and at this point the chocks from the main wheels will probably have been removed with only the nose wheel remaining chocked as a precaution, so make a note of whether the chocks are there or not (you don't want to try pushing the airliner out when it still has chocks on it, that will definitely break the towbar and probably break the landing gear too). Go under the aircraft fuselage and look up and down the length of it and make sure nothing looks untoward, ensure the red anti-collision beacon looks undamaged. Carry on down the starboard fuselage to the tailplane, checking exits and the main rear cargo hold door and the bulk cargo hold door as you did with the front cargo hold doors. Step out away from the fuselage a bit and examine the starboard side of the tailfin and rudder, then look around the leading and trailing edge of the starboard horizontal stabiliser, checking condition and static wicks etc, also check that the port and starboard elevators have the same droop angle. Check the area around the APU exhaust outlet and inlet and look for anything untoward. Check the tailplane navigation light (white), look at the rear underside of the fuselage and check the tailskid, look out for any signs that a tailstrike might have occurred. Come back along the port side and repeat the process you did on the starboard side as you proceed to the nose checking all the same stuff (obviously the nav light on this side needs to be red). Pay particular attention to the two forward doors where the air bridge has connected to ensure they have no damage incurred from air bridge contact. That's it, done.

Now when you are waiting for clearance from ATC to push it out, you tell the flight deck crew: 'Walkaround completed, no discrepancies, all GSE clear of the aircraft, all doors and hatches secured, standing by for pushback clearance. Do you require a non standard or standard pushback?' One last thing, when you commence the pushback, once the wheels start rolling, look at the tires again and make sure there is nothing wrong, there is the bit that was in contact with the ground when you did the walkaround which you could not see before, but now with the wheels rolling, you will be able to see that part of the tire.

If you ever see a pilot do it that thoroughly on a one hour spin (like I do), let me know, because I've never seen one do that lol

Edited by Chock
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Wow everyone! Thanks for the awesome replies! They were a true help in me learning more about my future job! Thanks again guys! :D

 

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1 hour ago, FLYBOYSWA2900 said:

Wow everyone! Thanks for the awesome replies! They were a true help in me learning more about my future job! Thanks again guys! 😄

 

Chock especially is the guru of ATP information, when he replies, I learn and unlearn things that he debunks, such as urban legends related to ATP.  I worked on a small project for American airlines, helping them integrate their flight crew scheduling software with US Airways, it was that fantasy every simmer wants fulfilled, to have been a small part of the airline industry, but even that did not give me all-knowing knowledge since Information Tech in all large industry has its own pigeon holes so one can focus on the projects one is hired for. 

But what I loved working at American's/USAirways offices in Tempe, near Sky Harbor airport, were the posters of flight nostalgia and the spirit and openness of the workers, like our fellow hobbyists here like Chock or you, with your insightful question.  I remember how proud I was getting my hall pass, so to speak, my security badge that would have let me on the Sky Harbor tarmac although I never used it.  I faithfully used it for the duties for which I was assigned, and turned it in when my contract ended.  Right before my contract ended I was invited on a free overnight casino trip in Fountain Hills, about thirty minutes from Tempe, with my wonderful and happy going colleagues, who were well behaved, not rabid gamblers or drinkers, just out for fun with their peers and seeing their bosses with their hair let down.  I gambled a little, had one beer as I recall, and swam in the beautiful pool. 

Phoenix is surrounded now on all sides by mid sized casinos, like Reno has, and we get name entertainment there all the time, since Phoenix is a big city for air travel and conventions, one of the biggest draws in the US, especially in the winter.  We're called conservative but with the big University presence in the core of the city, and down in Tempe, we have more of a laid back feel than people would guess, we're more into life than politics, sports than philosophy, which is why I moved from California to Arizona, because my Air Force pal, who had been stationed here, told me it was the perfect place for me, so when I got married, I made it my family home and eventually got my brother and mother to move here during the final part of their lives.

John

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13 hours ago, HighBypass said:

 

Were good old CRT displays better at combating the harsher climates for example? Just curious.

Not so much the screens themselves usually, but mainly hardware and relays running them on the avionics racks or in the avionics bays and the ways the different processors,computers on board talk to each other, that's where the gremlins usually showed up. 

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19 hours ago, Chock said:

One last thing, when you commence the pushback, once the wheels start rolling, look at the tires again and make sure there is nothing wrong, there is the bit that was in contact with the ground when you did the walkaround which you could not see before, but now with the wheels rolling, you will be able to see that part of the tire.

If you ever see a pilot do it that thoroughly on a one hour spin (like I do), let me know, because I've never seen one do that lol

If I ever see a pilot inspecting the plane as it's getting pushed back, I'd start to get concerned. That said, most of the videos I've seen with pilots doing the walk-around usually happen when things are taking place around the aircraft, like the cargo loading, catering, and refueling, at which point, none of those doors would be closed anyway.

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1 hour ago, Captain Kevin said:

If I ever see a pilot inspecting the plane as it's getting pushed back, I'd start to get concerned.

+1 LOL,   btw,  it's not the tread that's so important since the cuts can be so deep and wide that you can stick a large screwdriver into the tread damage and you are still good to go.

It's the sidewall damage that's most important, and that's what you should check during a walk around. 

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