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airernie

ATR pushback and engine start

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Maybe the answer is obvious, but if I choose to not use Hotel Mode, what is the appropriate time for engine start?

If I do it at the stand, then IRL will the crew push back an aircraft with the engines running?  Also, if I wait until the push has been done I've lost my GPU and along with it my PFD and ND until one of the engines start.

Because of the above I've been either a) waiting until just before pushback to enter Hotel mode or b) starting both engines at the stand and reversing myself out of the spot, so that no push back is required.

Thanks,
Ernie


Ernest Pergrem

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Posted (edited)

Here’s how we do it, since we pushback at my base.  
 

We come to the airplane with a GPU attached to it, and it’s almost 100% of the time cold and dark.  Power it on, I go do the walk around, the FO sets up the flight deck.  After I’m done outside, we finish programming the FMS, get a clearance, all that, etc… the usual preflight routine.  
 

I would turn the prop brake on as part of my pre-start flow.  Before we disconnect the GPU, the tow bar is hooked up and the truck is ready.  I’d start engine #2 in Hotel Mode.  Then start engine one.  Disconnect the GPU.  With the prop brake on, it’s safer to approach the GPU since the prop isn’t spinning.  Of course, never actually go near it or into the prop arc, but it’s still safer without the blades spinning.  
 

Brakes off, push back, keep one in feather and the prop brake on.  
 

After the push is complete, the ground crew would disconnect the tow bar, and I’d bring engine one out of feather once they’re clear.  When engine one stabilizes, that powers the AC Wild system, so the hydraulics are pressurized and the prop brake can be released.  Signal to the ground crew “starting two” because the prop will start spinning and go prop brake off.  15 seconds later, bring that prop to AUTO and then your after start flows and checklist.  
 

At a ground station without a GPU or pushback, we usually start it in Hotel anyways just so the aircraft is powered when passengers are boarding.  
 

When it’s freezing out in the winter, #2 usually stays running all day long if we’re not at a base with a heat cart and GPU.  We would never shut it down when its -40 outside, just the prop brake when the aircraft is at a station. 
 

IF for whatever reason the prop brake was MEL’d, I’d start number one, then disconnect the GPU, then start number two after the ground crew is all clear. 

Edited by ATRguy
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2 hours ago, ATRguy said:

IF for whatever reason the prop brake was MEL’d

Could you pls explain the term MEL'd?.


Cheers, Ed

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1 minute ago, edpatino said:

Could you pls explain the term MEL'd?.

It’s when the system is broken, but you’re allowed to fly with it anyways.  On the ATR, if the prop brake is broken, maintenance can defer fixing it so we can still operate, it would just be noted in the logbook and placarded so we don’t use it.  
 

Sometimes there’s restrictions on how long things can stay broken, and other operational limits.  Like if we only have one pack for pressurization, we’re limited to FL200 instead of FL250.   Things like that. 

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One other question

12 hours ago, ATRguy said:

Here’s how we do it, since we pushback at my base.

Wow! Thank you..

One other question.  Only because it happened to me more than once and because I can't find an answer online.

What is PROT LEVEL?  I think that it has something to do with low speed and when it occurs it seems to be a bear to control the aircraft.


Ernest Pergrem

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I’m not too sure.  We don’t have that indication on our 300/500 series ATRs at work.  Can you post a screenshot, or tell me when it happens?  Also a screenshot of the overhead, so I can make sure it’s setup properly. 

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1 hour ago, ATRguy said:

I’m not too sure.  We don’t have that indication on our 300/500 series ATRs at work.  Can you post a screenshot, or tell me when it happens?  Also a screenshot of the overhead, so I can make sure it’s setup properly. 

Will do as soon as I can make it appear again.


Ernest Pergrem

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16 hours ago, edpatino said:

Could you pls explain the term MEL'd?.

Further to ATRguy's answer, definition and explanation : Minimum Equipment List

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3 hours ago, airernie said:

Will do as soon as I can make it appear again.

I’d assume it’s some kind of speed protection.  
 

If you find you’re not climbing fast enough, we use the “cheat code”.  Turn the power management to cruise and you actually make more power than climb.  In the 72, we climb at IAS 170, in the 42 at 160. 

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