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Responsibility In A Pushback Incident  
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

In a situation like this, where the incident occurs during pushback, who would ultimately be responsible? Logic says the tug operator, but with the limited visibility her/she has, wouldn't there be a spotter watching the tail to alert the tug operator of any obstacles?


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29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBrettbrett21 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3503 times:

There are many people in the chain.

Did ATC give a bad push back clearance while the 777 was taxiing behind?

Did the tug driver push back without ATC clearance? or after a mistaken clearance

Was there no wing walker, how often a wing walker is used I don't know?

Did the 777 fail to hold for the A320 pushing back?

It's very hard to place blame without knowing more.



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User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3503 times:

At UAL it was the driver of the tug,if they could not see their spotter they were supposed to stop the push until visual contact was regained,I'm quite sure that is the policy at most companys.

User currently offlineBoeingFixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3493 times:

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 2):
At UAL it was the driver of the tug,if they could not see their spotter they were supposed to stop the push until visual contact was regained,I'm quite sure that is the policy at most companys.

One has to add to your comment that if the tug driver is given an all-clear by the wing walkers, it's the fault of the wing walker and not the tug driver if something is hit.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

Ah, yes, the first question should always be "who do we pin this on"... or perhaps it shouldn't?

Wingwalker, tug driver, ATC, captain of the aircraft... did either of them wish for the accident to happen? Will saying that the wing walker was responsible and giving the poor sod a reprimand make it less likely to happen once more?

The first question to ask is, IMO, 'why' and 'how' did this happen, not 'because of whom'.

If one guy was out drinking the night before and had a hangover, then by all means... he should be driven out of aviation for good. That's bordering on criminal negligence. But if they were all just doing the job just as the job is always done, then there's likely a 'why' to explain it all - and that's where you should start looking, as that can prevent a repeat.



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineFr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5490 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3445 times:

Quoting FredT (Reply 4):
The first question to ask is, IMO, 'why' and 'how' did this happen, not 'because of whom'.

But, most times, IMO, the 1st question's answer is based on the 2nd question's answer.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

...and then there's another 'why', as the 'who' certainly didn't intend for that to happen. Unfortunately, that's often where the investigation stops.


I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineNonfirm From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3369 times:

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 2):
I'm quite sure that is the policy at most companys.

I agree with you.In the training I teach and have received the ultimate responsibility lies with the tug driver.
 airplane 


User currently offlineG4LASRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3303 times:

With us, it's the ramp lead for that gate. Most of the time the lead is the pushback driver, but not always. The lead can allow anyone to push as long as they're company qualified. But the lead is responsible for everything that happens below the wing on that gate until final towbar disconnect and the captain acknowledges the marshaller's salute indicating release of the aircraft.


"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig." - Porco Rosso
User currently offlineMusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1093 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3213 times:

Bear in mind it is China and guess those people could communicate well or to follow precise instructions?


Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3203 times:

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 1):
Did ATC give a bad push back clearance while the 777 was taxiing behind?

Few airports require ATC permission to push back. Many ramp areas are uncontrolled.

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 1):
Did the tug driver push back without ATC clearance? or after a mistaken clearance

See above

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 1):
Did the 777 fail to hold for the A320 pushing back?

The aircraft taxing always has the right away... aircraft being pushed are secondary.

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 1):
It's very hard to place blame without knowing more

Not really... the tug operator is the one in control of the aircraft.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6812 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3202 times:



Anyone speak mandarin?



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User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

It depends on the situation & the cause of the problem.
If there is a wing walker.Its the responsibility of that person to confirm to the Tug driver that the clearences are ok.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3009 times:

Quoting G4LASRamper (Reply 8):
With us, it's the ramp lead for that gate.

Agreed. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the ramp lead to oversee the safety conditions for ground ops at his/her assigned gate. If Maintenance is present, they might be singled out as well. That doesn't necessarily mean that the tug driver or wing walkers will get off, but fingers will definitely be pointed at the ramp lead and the maintenance person (if there's one assigned to that flight).

[Edited 2007-05-12 22:25:46]


No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2853 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
Few airports require ATC permission to push back. Many ramp areas are uncontrolled.

....What??? What are you basing this one on? Even at a small airport like EUG, the pilots are required to get clearence to push from the tower if the tower is operating...EUG is an un-controlled airport between like 0000 and 0600 I believe.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
The aircraft taxing always has the right away... aircraft being pushed are secondary.

Again...Based on what???

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
Not really... the tug operator is the one in control of the aircraft.

Once more...What are you basing this statement on??? Knowlage of the industry?


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5428 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2840 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 14):
What??? What are you basing this one on? Even at a small airport like EUG, the pilots are required to get clearence to push from the tower if the tower is operating...EUG is an un-controlled airport between like 0000 and 0600 I believe.

Ramp areas are almost always non-movement areas. If not, it would mean by definition, that every vehicle/person moving on the ramp would need an ATC clearance. In most cases also, the ramp areas are not all visible from the control tower.

At many airports, there is a "Ramp Control" frequency, and this is to coordinate those movements within the ramp area - but not an ATC function. This is sometimes staffed by the airlines or a third-party company.

Yes, you need clearance before taxying, but only because you need your departure clearance in advance, AND you need taxi clearance before moving ONTO the movement area ... not to move in the non-movement (ramp) part ... unless there is ramp control of course. Any ATC instructions for non-movement areas, are advisory only.

Jimbo

[Edited 2007-05-14 22:57:16]


I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2836 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 15):
Yes, you need clearance before taxying, but only because you need your departure clearance in advance, AND you need taxi clearance before moving ONTO the movement area ... not to move in the non-movement (ramp) part ... unless there is ramp control of course.

And you need clearance to push....That's all there is to it. At almost every single airport I've been to, the pilot needs permission to push from ground....

Not only that, but ground has to monitor the ramp to make sure that planes don't run into eachother. While listening to channel 9 many many times, ground will cut in and tell plane A to yeild to plane B before turning onto taxiway ___.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5428 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2819 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 16):
And you need clearance to push....That's all there is to it.

Well, read what I said ... that's all there is to it. Yes, the ramp might be ATC controlled ... it often isn't. It might be under a ramp control. It is often a non-movement area. It is agreed upon in an LOA between the airport/airlines and ATC.

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 16):
While listening to channel 9 many many times, ground will cut in and tell plane A to yeild to plane B before turning onto taxiway ___.

Yes, because the taxiway IS controlled ... therefore ATC has authority to instruct all aircraft about to move onto it.

I'm sitting at GRR right now .... non-movement area ... I can do what I want until I'm about to enter the movment area.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 16):

And you need clearance to push....That's all there is to it. At almost every single airport I've been to, the pilot needs permission to push from ground

Most airports I've worked it was up to the individual airlines ops tower to handle,ATC has nothing to do with ramp opps.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 13):
EMBQA (Reply 10):
The aircraft taxing always has the right away... aircraft being pushed are secondary.

Again...Based on what???

Check your 'right of way rules in the FAR's"

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 14):
Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
Not really... the tug operator is the one in control of the aircraft.

Once more...What are you basing this statement on??? Knowlage of the industry?

Check his profile..BTW he is correct


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5428 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

I'm surprized that nobody mentioned that the Captain might/does have responsiblity  Wink

To answer the question, it is often (perhaps has to be) detailed in the airlines ops manual, who has overall responsibility for the pushback. It is usually the tug operator (or lead) and the Captain.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2783 times:

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 18):
Check his profile..BTW he is correct

No...He might be correct. Every situation is different!


User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2776 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 19):
I'm surprized that nobody mentioned that the Captain might/does have responsiblity

At UAL it was up to the driver of the tug,after the disconnect and salute,then it was the captain's baby after that


User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2763 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 20):
No...He might be correct. Every situation is different!

No one else is steering the aircraft..and the occupant of the pilot's seat has no knowledge of what is happening behind him,everywhere I've worked,if there has been an incident,the driver of the tug ends up in the hot seat..so to speak.


User currently offlineAceFreighter From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

In Europe, ATC do have responsibility for the ramp areas. It is not like the US over here.

User currently offlineG4LASRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2647 times:

Just to be clear, at LAS the ramps are designated non-movement areas with separate county-operated east and west ramp control towers and frequencies. The ramp controllers are FAA-certified ATCSs (usually former FAA employees holding CTO certificates) but they work for the Clark County Department of Aviation. Yes, a push clearance from ramp control is required prior to push. Once the aircraft is ready to move under its own power, ramp control will clear it to taxi to one of the ramp hold spots (marked by large blue numbered squares painted next to the taxi centerline). The aircraft then contacts FAA ground control (split into east and west when it's busy) for clearance to enter the designated movement area.


"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig." - Porco Rosso
25 Bond007 : Right, which is common practice for the most busy airports in the US ...such as JFK, LAX etc. It's usually those smaller commercial airports, with le
26 N710PS : You taxci into any ramp at LGA and park yourself at the gate and see how fast you end up with a breach and a phone call after setting parking brakes.
27 HAWK21M : Won't Tower advise Landing Aircraft to ctc Grd that allots Parking bays.Where does Ramp Control fit here. regds MEL
28 Bond007 : Yep, which is what we were saying. Out of interest though, that would be a breach of local airport regulations, not FAA rules, since they are no doub
29 N710PS : Correct, it is an airport breach but there are hefty fines attributed to these breaches. I was in the terminal once at DCA when one was handed out to
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