Notices
Cargo Part 121 cargo airlines

FDX QA Observations

Old 06-15-2014, 01:47 PM
  #11  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Albief15's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2006
Posts: 2,626
Default

I am concerned they would be an additional distraction. In his environment we all need to be 100% focused on the job at hand. Do these observers help or hinder your focus?
Albief15 is offline  
Old 06-15-2014, 02:11 PM
  #12  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,156
Default

When we had our QA observation, we really had no idea about the program. After the flight, we still didn't.

The QA guy was an LCA from a different fleet. He said the program wasn't about the pilots, then promptly asked us several questions about our rest prior to the flight and then went into some "stump the dummy" questions about flying cost index and maintaining Mach on overseas routes. The captain stepped up and said since it wasn't a check ride we wouldn't play that game.

He was recording events like, when did we get the weight and balance, dg, etc. I found it slightly distracting. When I mentioned that I wouldn't participate, I mean I wouldn't participate in the interview. After all, it's none of his business how much I slept and if I commuted, etc.

The way I see it, there is nothing good that can come from these flights.
golfandfly is offline  
Old 06-15-2014, 07:03 PM
  #13  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Apr 2012
Posts: 256
Default PIC authority 121.547 vs 121.583

Originally Posted by 4A2B View Post
All good questions and from what I know it changes daily, first based primarily on the ALPA Grievance and FAA not happy with Check Airman doing these QA rides and now with the new FO squadron who knows what they do. I suggest asking your Fleet Captain where to find out the program details and SOP.

As for giving them a ride, I think the part of where they sit or maybe not go at all is up to the Captain just like any PIC Authority decision when it comes to seats in the Cockpit (all 121.583 seats, like all in 767/777).
Just some discussion, YMMV, and each PIC must make his or her own decision. The following offered and to the best of my knowledge is pretty accurate on the lay of the land with jumpseats. I will ask the Jumpeat guy at the MEC to render an opinion also if required.

547 deals with PIC authority and admission to the flight deck. 583 deals with carriage of persons aboard all cargo aircraft without meeting the same safety equipment requirements as passenger carriers.

If you have a cockpit door, forward of the door governed by 547, those behind the door authorized to ride under 583.

If no door, flight deck and jumpseat area is all 547.

547, unquestioned, UNFETTERED authority to deny access. Read the reg, as if you deny an LCA, Secret Service or FAA, you can - HOWEVER you better have a very very serious reason to deny them. But everyone else, PIC authority. Don't need to give a reason for not allowing them access to flight deck.

583, those in the back on the other side of a cockpit door, you can deny them access to aircraft but must have a valid safety or security reason. Reason to deny, safety of flight or governed by guidance for securty under the FOM and All Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program - All Cargo AOSSP.

Under the FOM, if you deny a 583, you must submit the reason in writing in a certain time frame to management.

Lengthy legal decision on this whole issue is available if you write the jumpseat guy Rich at the MEC. It goes into even further detail.

Use good judgment. My judgement says no need for an FO QA guy to ride in my cockpit. I've had no training on the QA program. No MOU signed on it. Not an FAA LOSA program...an according to a management memo, they are in a management entry level program...yeah, I want the guy looking over my shoulder...Really?

Easy decision for me.

Links on the regs and some discussion.

FAR Part § 121.547: Admission to flight deck -- FAA FARS, 14 CFR

14 CFR 121.583 - Carriage of persons without compliance with the passenger-carrying requirements of this part. | LII / Legal Information Institute
HKFlyr is offline  
Old 06-15-2014, 09:48 PM
  #14  
Gets Weekends Off
 
CloudSailor's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,722
Default

Originally Posted by golfandfly View Post
...He said the program wasn't about the pilots, then promptly asked us several questions about our rest prior to the flight and then went into some "stump the dummy" questions about flying cost index and maintaining Mach on overseas routes. The captain stepped up and said since it wasn't a check ride we wouldn't play that game...
It is great to be flying with a captain like that.

Why not go with the tried and proven, very successful LOSA? Instead, our union is having to grieve the way in which these quasi-check rides are being implemented.

I agree with Albief15, QA events, or whatever they're called, are NOT an additional distraction we should have to deal with in the cockpit (talking about vacations and summer events are distraction enough ).
CloudSailor is offline  
Old 06-16-2014, 08:00 PM
  #15  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Sep 2006
Position: MD11 FO
Posts: 804
Default

Let's see how Tony handles his TAA observer (or whatever the program is called) tonight.
Tuck is offline  
Old 06-16-2014, 09:03 PM
  #16  
...Whatever It Is!
 
MD11Fr8Dog's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,677
Default

Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
Let's see how Tony handles his TAA observer (or whatever the program is called) tonight.
Tony C? He's going to HRL on 255/17 now. Looks like what ever he was on went away and he got 255 in SUB. Where did you see the TAA observer?
MD11Fr8Dog is offline  
Old 06-16-2014, 10:10 PM
  #17  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Apr 2012
Posts: 256
Default Your welcome to a seat in the back!

Originally Posted by MD11Fr8Dog View Post
Tony C? He's going to HRL on 255/17 now. Looks like what ever he was on went away and he got 255 in SUB. Where did you see the TAA observer?
No doubt how he will handle it.
HKFlyr is offline  
Old 06-16-2014, 10:13 PM
  #18  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Sep 2006
Position: MD11 FO
Posts: 804
Default

Huh - whichever one he was on before had it listed.
Tuck is offline  
Old 06-17-2014, 06:02 AM
  #19  
Organizational Learning 
 
TonyC's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Nov 2005
Position: Directly behind the combiner
Posts: 4,720
Default

Originally Posted by Tuck View Post

Let's see how Tony handles his TAA observer (or whatever the program is called) tonight.

Hmmm. What would Tony do?

I was originally scheduled for Trip 602 MEM 11 17JUN14 - MEM-ROC, 15:17 Turn, ROC-MEM. I've got a whole week of 'em scheduled. A B-777 First Officer was placed on my pairing as "JS1", and a Hotel Reservation confirmation number was added to Trip Notes. A few days ago, another note was added "TAA/QA Obsv". This B-777 First Officer has a week of such trips where he is listed as JS1 and a note shows him as "TAA/QA Obsv", but none of them are on airplanes on which he is qualified. Trip 525 MEM 11 18JUN14, Trip 344 MEM 30 19JUN14, Trip 354 MEM 30 20JUN14, and Trip 665 MEM 11 21JUN14 round out his week, and those 5 trips in 6 days constitute the entire June Calendar for this First Officer.


Is it paranoia if they're really out to get you? I wasn't quite sure what to think when my FO alerted me to this attempted QA ride a couple of weeks ago. I had the luxury of time to contemplate my options, reread pertinent sections of the CFR and FOM, and to plan a course of action. When I was removed from the trip because of a guage change (been happening a lot, by the way -- they seem to be having trouble finding enough MD-11 FOs to fill all of the MD-11 trips), I wondered if this FO Manager Wannabe would follow me to my new destination, or follow the new crew to the original destination. He wound up with an Airbus crew doing a ROC Out & Back, Trip 512 MEM 30 17JUN14 Rv 02 (XTRA). Obviously, that Captain did not have the luxury of time to study his options.

The way I read Title 14 CFR §121.547 Admission to flight deck., no person may admit any person to the flight deck unless that person is a (1) crewmember, (2) an FAA air carrier inspector, a DOD commercial air carrier evaluator, or an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, who is performing official duties, or (3) has my permission. Our FOM requires me to provide cockpit access to FAA Air Carrier Inspectors, Line Check Airmen conducting evaluations, and (the one ALPA is grieving) Fleet Check Airmen conducting QA observations. A First Officer not qualified in my airplane is NONE OF THE ABOVE.

I also had time to contact an ALPA attorney to inquire if they were aware of any experiences with QA Observers, and what responses from The Company were, if any. The counselor I spoke to was not aware of any conflicts or consequences.


They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that actions speak louder than words, so feel free to believe or doubt as you see fit. Since the pairing was changed, I cannot report what I did; I can only relate what I intended to do. I intended to listen to this QA Observer's introduction and explanation of his role on the flight, and then to politely inform him that I would be invoking my authority under 14 CFR §121.547 and not granting him permission to access the cockpit. I would give him the option, and a few minutes to decide, to ride in a cabin jumpseat to ROC and back if he really wanted to go to ROC, but I would be calling Jumpseats and the Dispatcher to inform them of his new status -- cabin jumpseater, or cancelled jumpseater - - his choice.

I would expect him to balk at first, in which case I was prepared to inform him that while I'm not obligated to provide him a reason for denying flight deck access, I will go so far to say that his presence in the cockpit would present a distraction that would not be in the best interest of safety. In light of the letter I received a couple of weeks ago from our System Chief Pilot imploring Captains to remove distractions from the cockpit, I am sure that the Duty Officer and the System Chief Pilot will support my decision to ensure the safety of the flight.


Originally Posted by 3pointlanding View Post

The QA is a part of SMS and an IOSA requirement. Part 5 will soon be issued. Observations should be just that. . If we are to be on the IOSA registry and in compliance with SMS we have to do it.

IOSA -- IATA Operational Safety Audit

IATA -- International Air Transport Association

Last I checked, our airline is registered in the U.S. of A., and governed by the FAA. The FAA's Safety Management System (SMS) consists of four voluntary programs:

1) Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

2) Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)

3) Line Operations Safety Assessments (LOSA)

4) Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)

Three parties voluntarily participate in each of the four programs: The FAA, The Air Carrier (FedEx Express), and the pilot's representative (ALPA). All three parties share in the conduct of the programs, and share in the information collected. Any party can withdraw from any program, and the program will stop.

None of those characteristics apply to The Company's QA program. There is only one participant -- The Company. Only one party is privy to the results - - The Company (sound like the Enders report?). The Company's QA program is NOT part of SMS, it betrays the spirit of the voluntary safety programs, and it is therefore being grieved. There has been plenty of information communicated by the ALPA FDX MEC, and most people should have heard about this via the Recurrent Ground School briefing that cut into your lunch break. Anybody who hasn't heard of this just isn't paying very close attention.


As an aside ... ALPA (and FPA) and FedEx fought for years over the terms for ASAP and FOQA programs. FedEx refused to let go of provisions that would allow discipline of pilots participating in these voluntary programs. Congress required the FAA by public law to report which airlines were participating in AQP, ASAP, FOQA, and LOSA. In January 2011, The FAA reported (Federal Aviation Administration Voluntary Safety Programs Response to P.L. 111-216, Sec. 213) that FedEx had AQP and LOSA programs, but not ASAP and FOQA. The next month, we had a "bridge" CBA with ASAP and FOQA. Still, instead of having the MEC Chairman sign an ASAP MOU and FOQA LOA and implementing the programs immediately, we were told we needed to ratify the CBA to get the programs, and we had to wait for the membership ratification process to conclude.






.
TonyC is offline  
Old 06-17-2014, 08:42 AM
  #20  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Apr 2012
Posts: 256
Default WWTD - What Would Tony Do?

Originally Posted by TonyC View Post
Hmmm. What would Tony do?

I was originally scheduled for Trip 602 MEM 11 17JUN14 - MEM-ROC, 15:17 Turn, ROC-MEM. I've got a whole week of 'em scheduled. A B-777 First Officer was placed on my pairing as "JS1", and a Hotel Reservation confirmation number was added to Trip Notes. A few days ago, another note was added "TAA/QA Obsv". This B-777 First Officer has a week of such trips where he is listed as JS1 and a note shows him as "TAA/QA Obsv", but none of them are on airplanes on which he is qualified. Trip 525 MEM 11 18JUN14, Trip 344 MEM 30 19JUN14, Trip 354 MEM 30 20JUN14, and Trip 665 MEM 11 21JUN14 round out his week, and those 5 trips in 6 days constitute the entire June Calendar for this First Officer.


Is it paranoia if they're really out to get you? I wasn't quite sure what to think when my FO alerted me to this attempted QA ride a couple of weeks ago. I had the luxury of time to contemplate my options, reread pertinent sections of the CFR and FOM, and to plan a course of action. When I was removed from the trip because of a guage change (been happening a lot, by the way -- they seem to be having trouble finding enough MD-11 FOs to fill all of the MD-11 trips), I wondered if this FO Manager Wannabe would follow me to my new destination, or follow the new crew to the original destination. He wound up with an Airbus crew doing a ROC Out & Back, Trip 512 MEM 30 17JUN14 Rv 02 (XTRA). Obviously, that Captain did not have the luxury of time to study his options.

The way I read Title 14 CFR §121.547 Admission to flight deck., no person may admit any person to the flight deck unless that person is a (1) crewmember, (2) an FAA air carrier inspector, a DOD commercial air carrier evaluator, or an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, who is performing official duties, or (3) has my permission. Our FOM requires me to provide cockpit access to FAA Air Carrier Inspectors, Line Check Airmen conducting evaluations, and (the one ALPA is grieving) Fleet Check Airmen conducting QA observations. A First Officer not qualified in my airplane is NONE OF THE ABOVE.

I also had time to contact an ALPA attorney to inquire if they were aware of any experiences with QA Observers, and what responses from The Company were, if any. The counselor I spoke to was not aware of any conflicts or consequences.


They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that actions speak louder than words, so feel free to believe or doubt as you see fit. Since the pairing was changed, I cannot report what I did; I can only relate what I intended to do. I intended to listen to this QA Observer's introduction and explanation of his role on the flight, and then to politely inform him that I would be invoking my authority under 14 CFR §121.547 and not granting him permission to access the cockpit. I would give him the option, and a few minutes to decide, to ride in a cabin jumpseat to ROC and back if he really wanted to go to ROC, but I would be calling Jumpseats and the Dispatcher to inform them of his new status -- cabin jumpseater, or cancelled jumpseater - - his choice.

I would expect him to balk at first, in which case I was prepared to inform him that while I'm not obligated to provide him a reason for denying flight deck access, I will go so far to say that his presence in the cockpit would present a distraction that would not be in the best interest of safety. In light of the letter I received a couple of weeks ago from our System Chief Pilot imploring Captains to remove distractions from the cockpit, I am sure that the Duty Officer and the System Chief Pilot will support my decision to ensure the safety of the flight.




IOSA -- IATA Operational Safety Audit

IATA -- International Air Transport Association

Last I checked, our airline is registered in the U.S. of A., and governed by the FAA. The FAA's Safety Management System (SMS) consists of four voluntary programs:

1) Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

2) Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)

3) Line Operations Safety Assessments (LOSA)

4) Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)

Three parties voluntarily participate in each of the four programs: The FAA, The Air Carrier (FedEx Express), and the pilot's representative (ALPA). All three parties share in the conduct of the programs, and share in the information collected. Any party can withdraw from any program, and the program will stop.

None of those characteristics apply to The Company's QA program. There is only one participant -- The Company. Only one party is privy to the results - - The Company (sound like the Enders report?). The Company's QA program is NOT part of SMS, it betrays the spirit of the voluntary safety programs, and it is therefore being grieved. There has been plenty of information communicated by the ALPA FDX MEC, and most people should have heard about this via the Recurrent Ground School briefing that cut into your lunch break. Anybody who hasn't heard of this just isn't paying very close attention.


As an aside ... ALPA (and FPA) and FedEx fought for years over the terms for ASAP and FOQA programs. FedEx refused to let go of provisions that would allow discipline of pilots participating in these voluntary programs. Congress required the FAA by public law to report which airlines were participating in AQP, ASAP, FOQA, and LOSA. In January 2011, The FAA reported (Federal Aviation Administration Voluntary Safety Programs Response to P.L. 111-216, Sec. 213) that FedEx had AQP and LOSA programs, but not ASAP and FOQA. The next month, we had a "bridge" CBA with ASAP and FOQA. Still, instead of having the MEC Chairman sign an ASAP MOU and FOQA LOA and implementing the programs immediately, we were told we needed to ratify the CBA to get the programs, and we had to wait for the membership ratification process to conclude.






.
Like I said, no doubt in my mind how Tony was to have dealt with this ill thought out, poorly implemented, and FEDEXED attempt at a LOSA wanna be program, with our new entry level management FOs...

In HK LEC meeting yesterday, subject was broached...and like Tony, I know what I'm going to do. For all the same reasons. Safety first, remove distractions. (However, our newly minted QA in attendance at the meeting stated that the FAA is considering changing LOSA to mirror our TA program because they like it so much...uh huh, yep, sure, Really?)

But, let's get back to negotiations...FDX stock sevens to be doing better than expected...

Enjoy your days off gents...
HKFlyr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Zoro
Cargo
32
07-26-2012 06:32 AM
vagabond
Cargo
83
07-14-2010 07:27 AM
Ernst
Cargo
148
07-08-2010 06:04 PM
⌐ AV8OR WANNABE
Cargo
61
03-19-2009 08:40 AM
CloudSailor
Cargo
18
05-19-2008 10:34 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread