Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR
Starlionblue wrote:The MEL is a guide as to the effects of the deferred maintenance item. Many items don't have an MEL (or CDL) reference.
MEL Preamble wrote:The MEL contains only those items of airworthiness significance which may be inoperative prior to dispatch, provided limitations and appropriate procedures are observed. Equipment obviously basic to airplane airworthiness such as wings, rudders, flaps, engines, landing gear, etc. is not listed and must be operative for all flights.
It is important to note that: ALL ITEMS WHICH ARE RELATED TO THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE AIRPLANE AND NOT INCLUDED ON THE LIST ARE AUTOMATICALLY REQUIRED TO BE OPERATIVE.
Equipment obviously not required for safe operation of the airplane such as galley equipment, passenger convenience items, etc. is not listed.
Woodreau wrote:I once got an airplane with 8 MELs and 8 orange inop stickers - all 8 MELs were for cockpit lighting - oh no big deal...they're just light bulbs.... we flew the plane all day without any issues until....
the sun set...
after the sun set the cockpit was dark - each light that was MEL'd was a light inside each one of our steam-gauge instrument gauges - now were were flying partial panel with no working lighting on my and the FO's airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical speed indicator, and turn coordinator - all we had were the CRTs for the attitude indicator and EHSI/EADI. We completed the leg with the FO holding the emergency flashlight over my head illuminating the instrument gauges, which got dimmer and dimmer the longer we flew - we went thru the FO's flashlight, my flashlight, and were down to the two emergency flashlights by the time we landed...
That's the last time I ever took cockpit lighting MEL's lightly.
Flashlights - another term for dead 2 D-cell battery canisters.
SteelChair wrote:Every airline should have processes and awareness of looking more than one chess move ahead. Unfortunately, some managers snap people's heads off when they point out that they are painting the airline into a corner. Its bad when the MANAGERS are only thinking one flight at a time, but sadly I've seen it happen.
SteelChair wrote:Here's a story:
I was a line mechanic once upon a time. We has a little fold out table in the jetway so that we could do paperwork out there and give the crew access to the flight deck. It was an international flight at a US domestic airline. The crew came down the jetway dragging their bags. The Captain asked, "How's the jet?" I said, "Its fine, only one MEL, and its a non-event." He said, "Well, we'll have to evaluate it and decide." I replied, "Well the book says we can go." He said, "My book over-rules your book. We'll take a look."
I learned something that day. The MEL is written for a "normal" or "routine" day. There can be circumstances which cause an otherwise appropriate MEL to not be applicable in THAT situation. Example? There are many. Here is one: putting an anti-skid on an individual wheel on MEL. This entails a performance restriction. Lets say you are going to an airport with a long runway, say 12000 feet and a short runway, say 8000 feet. Lets say that the long runway is closed per NOTAM (you have to read your NOTAMs!), and there is light rain falling. An 8000 foot wet runway with a single wheel anti-skid inop may entail a performance restriction. We may have to leave people and/or bags behind. Maybe its a tanker leg and the fuel has already been uplifted, how long with the defuel take? Do we have parts, is it quicker to fix than defuel? Can we call the airport authority and see if the long runway can be opened for our ETA? The point of this example is that there are many potential scenarios, and many potential ways to address the concern. Just because it is possible to add the MEL in the MEL book, it doesn't mean that is wise or utile to do so.
Another time a similar conversation ensued. The Captain asked, "What is the item that is on MEL?" I said "TCAS." He said, "Well we need that, we can't go without that can we?" I replied, "Captain, its not even installed on all the airplanes yet....sure we can go without it." And yet, there are systems that, if installed, have to be working. That was not the situation in this case. But TCAS was so useful to pilots, they wanted it. All the pilots were early adopters. Out on the tracks, they could see the guys around them, so that if they needed to climb or descend for turbulence (admittedly hard to get a clearance on the tracks on HF), they could see if there was anyone around them, they knew before they asked if ATC was likely to issue the clearance. I learned something else, good systems don't have to be "sold" to users, they "sell" themselves by their utility.
Jfermeee wrote:Curious if someone could walk me through a few real life scenarios for how an MEL works for the pilots, as handed off to the Maintenance team.
Like, a light goes, off, and the pilot opens up a binder or an ipad with a PDF on it? And then...errr...what happens next.
And then, let's assume its something that can be placarded...how does that work with the maintenance teams. Is that recorded anywhere for the pilot and for the maintenance team? Does anyone keep track of the inoperative items on a MEL?
Trying to wrap my head around how it works from tip to tail.
zeke wrote:For a light, for example a navigation light that was U/S on the walk around, advise the mechanic/engineering and write it in the techlog.
The mechanic/engineering will carry out there procedure to try and repair the item, if it cannot be repaired (often parts are not right next to the aircraft) they will liaise with the pilots to see if they are willing to MEL the item, more often than not, the answer is yes.
Engineering carry out there procedures, which can include disabling NAV SYS 1 via C/B and then raise an MEL in the techlog. This MEL has a number. When they raise the MEL it has a category, meaning the number of days/hours/cycles it is allowed to be differed for. They include a reference to the MEL item number that the flight crew can lookup.
When the pilots lookup the MEL, it might say the repair interval is 10 days, there are 2 systems installed, 1 is required. In the case of a NAV night on system 1 being inop, engineering might raise the MEL that says NAV SYS 2 light operational. The procedure in the MEL says it is placard, so a sticker is placed next to the NAV light selector, and the MEL will say something like during cockpit preparation place switch in position 2.
The MEL remains "OPEN" it it remains in the tech log as well as the maintence planning system until it is cleared, normally by replacing the bulb that was blown on SYS 1.
When the close the entry, it is actually two entries, one to replace the bulb (so the trace the parts on/off), the other to close the MEL to remove the item from the techlog and from the maintenance planning system..
stratosphere wrote:At my last airline and my current one no two entries needed. All log pages have a section at the bottom of the page for parts info you can close the original write up close the MEL with the parts change and put the parts info on the original page.
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