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Old 07-14-2010, 12:54 PM   #1  
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Default UPS-Management Crew Taking Directs

A UPS management crew recently submitted an ASAP report for an event involving two flights through airspace that was not authorized by UPS Operations Specifications.

Background:
The Icelandic volcanic eruption resulted in many modifications to normal UPS operations. The MD11 management flight crew involved in this event was called out to fly a non-standard city pairing as a result of the volcanic activity. They were scheduled to fly ANC – CGN and then CGN – ANC in order to accommodate service demand. In preparation for this anomalous pairing, Flight Control constructed a routing which was restricted by MD11 OPSPECS. The MD11 does not currently have authority to fly through the Canadian AMU and the southerly track of both planned flights reflected this.

Failure:
Prior to the first leg, the acting IRO made a phone call to the dispatcher in order to determine why their flight was filed on such a southerly route. The call was made from the aircraft by cell phone and was completed as the Captain and First Officer were finalizing preparations for push back. The dispatcher stated that the flight was filed as such due to the Area of Magnetic Unreliability and also added that only the 747-400 was approved for this airspace. Thinking that AMU was synonymous with Polar Operations, the IRO dispelled any concerns as irrelevant and never communicated his conversation with dispatch to the other two pilots.

History Repeating Itself?
Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, we had a management B767 captain take a direct routing over Iran. He ended up in CGN an hour early and was patting himself on the back for saving time and fuel. He had no idea that UPS was not authorized to fly over Iran's airspace.
Incidentally, the dispatcher was written up for this. Unfortunately ASAP didn't exist at the time.

Summary:
When you sign a flight release, you are agreeing that the flight/route can be conducted safe and legal. If you take a direct without knowing the OPSPECS, you're on your own and don't blame the dispatcher if you break the rules.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:05 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by GOCKY View Post
The MD11 management flight crew involved in this event was called out to fly a non-standard city pairing as a result of the volcanic activity.
Or perhaps UPS was furloughing line pilots who might have understood what AMU meant and the "B" team dropped the ball.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #3  
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If management pilots got out from behind of the MRB desk and stopped breaking into hotel rooms of the pilots hired to move boxes, maybe they would get a clue about flying airplanes. Are these guys on property still? I would think that would be three union cards that should be signed sealed and delivered to the IPA
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:11 PM   #4  
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Gee, maybe if UPS quit flying these routes with Flight Qualified Supervisors who don't have union protection, this kind of crap wouldn't happen, at least without access to the Grievance and Arbitration procedure. But for some unknown reason, the IPA has operated for the last twenty years under the assumption that the "airline within the airline" is good for the IPA and good for contract negotiations. Thst means that the Flight Qualified Supervisors can either fly the route as ordered or be fired. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #5  
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Thst means that the Flight Qualified Supervisors can either fly the route as ordered or be fired. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
The filed route did not take them through the AMU. They were offered and accepted a short cut by ATC on the outbound leg and leg back. Only when one of the pilots ACARSed the dispatcher and asked why they weren't filed a more direct route were they told by the dispatcher the reasoning for the original route.

Had they flown the original route or consulted dispatch prior to accepting the shortcut, everything would've been fine. Not ATC responsibility to know UPS OPSpecs
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:33 PM   #6  
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The only pilots at ups who have responsibility to know op specs are the IPA pilots. These questions are usually asked sometimes in orals or checkrides by FQS pilots who don't know them themselves.....
Precisely.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:54 PM   #7  
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What makes this more comical is that the management crew took a direct in foreign airspace without ever looking at the enroute charts...twice. The AMU is actually CHARTED. Also, the feedback comments (all 3 of the them) on airupsers all state the dispatcher should have included a remark on the flight release as to why/where they were routed. ****??? My assumption is that these three comments were from the crew. What would have been more appropriate would have been the following for our invaluable ACPlz:

REMARK: Do not touch aircraft until familiar with FAR121, company FOM, OPSPECS, and aeronautical charts for route of flight. Do not allow IRO to place phone calls to dispatch while pretending to be the captain. Blindly deviating from flight plan cancels joint authority. Do not fly aircraft into the ground.

And yes, it is ironic that this foolishness just doesn't seem to happen with our line pilots who actually fly for a living...you know, the professionals who we're throwing overboard.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:29 PM   #8  
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Larry, Curley and Mo could have done better in that cockpit!
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:01 PM   #9  
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Three check airman blaming a dispatcher. Pretty typical here at UPS......

Few people I know of that have lost their license's for a lot less than this are very interested in how this one turns out.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:23 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrontSeat View Post
I have witnessed myself a check airman who is telling crews that CPDLC and ADS are identical. That they are interchangeable terms.

There is also a check airman going around telling crews that if they are on a redispatch flight plan and for some reason if they cant contact dispatch to get rereleased to go ahead and press on to desired destination if they have the fuel without the ARTR. And that ups will back them up.

This goes against the FOM, FAR's and all common sense. But the boxes will get to destination on time.
Did you laugh when he told you this?
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