Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

A forum to discuss all aviation items (not for latest aviation news and military aviation news)

Moderator: Latest news team

VEX802
Posts: 160
Joined: 13 Sep 2005, 00:00

Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by VEX802 » 15 Feb 2012, 00:47

Has somebody more details concerning the incorrect de-icing of a Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome the previous week? Apparently a serious part of the wing profile was still covered with snow after de-icing and fortunately a cabin crew member detected this dangerous situation minutes before take-off.

Shanti
Posts: 395
Joined: 17 Sep 2008, 16:08

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Shanti » 15 Feb 2012, 06:54

Is it not the job of the captain to check this?

VEX802
Posts: 160
Joined: 13 Sep 2005, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by VEX802 » 15 Feb 2012, 11:24

Shanti wrote:Is it not the job of the captain to check this?
He could not see this during the external check. Apparently only the outside of the wing profile (area of the wingtips) was deiced, not the inner area. A large layer of snow remained on this area. A cabin crew member saw this error minutes before take-off and informed the flight crew. I have heard that they immediately decided to return to the gate. The aircraft had a serious delay.

cnc
Posts: 1325
Joined: 19 May 2009, 16:14

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by cnc » 15 Feb 2012, 17:10

Shanti wrote:Is it not the job of the captain to check this?
no

fcw
Posts: 610
Joined: 01 Nov 2006, 23:20

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by fcw » 15 Feb 2012, 17:25

cnc wrote:
Shanti wrote:Is it not the job of the captain to check this?
no
But he is responsable!

User avatar
tolipanebas
Posts: 2455
Joined: 12 May 2004, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by tolipanebas » 15 Feb 2012, 17:47

It's called 'delegated responsability', meaning that in case of de-icing for instance, the responsability is transferred to the certified de-icing company upon the order to de-ice the aircraft and the person supervising the whole procedure for that company has to state at the end of it that the plane has been correctly de-iced according to specifications, either in writing (hand over a signed de-icing slip) or verbatim (through 2 way radio contact with the cockpit and thus being recorded on the CVR ).

In fact it is all fairly similar to how fuel uplifts, loadsheets, NOTOCs, cabin searches or in fact maintenance actions on planes are legally dealt with as there too, responsability is delegated from the captain to others and can only be assumed back by him upon formal confirmation that everything has been done as specified. If you read the small print on those documents, you'll often see some legal text telling exactly this.

Makes sense too BTW, since no captain is every going to be able to personally supervise and check the successful completion of a de-icing after push back himself, for instance.

Flanker
Posts: 395
Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 21:05

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Flanker » 16 Feb 2012, 03:56

tolipanebas wrote:Makes sense too BTW, since no captain is every going to be able to personally supervise and check the successful completion of a de-icing after push back himself, for instance.
Because of the lazyness?
Ok, on the Avro you can't (except on your mirror image on terminal A windows in BRU :D ), but on all other aircraft, you can open the cockpit window or send the F/O to the back after de-icing to check it. It takes 30 well-spent seconds, this incident only proves that it's worthwhile.

A good captain checks everything again for as far as it's within easy reach. Even though responsibilities are delegated, it's part of a good CRM culture. When you think about it, your life depends on it.
This includes giving a thorough glance to the loadsheet to check that he's setting the correct data for performance calculation but also for general awareness. A pilot who's used to doing this will get a good feel and detect errors easily, and prevent accidents such as seen recently at EK and Cargo B.

http://www.37000feet.com/report/871712/ ... nd-balance

A look at the notoc does no harm as a distracted load controller, could have placed something that should be accessible by the crew in flight, at the wrong spot (cargo ops) or some CAO cargo on a pax aircraft.

It's also good practice to monitor cargo loading in absence of an on-board loadmaster, because good luck finding the guy who signed off the loading in some airport in Africa. If something happens, for instance a heavy, badly secured container shifting aft during rotation with all the consequences, the guy who signed it off will disappear, never to be found again...

Many companies prefer to remove snow at the gates to prevent damage to flight controls during taxiing to the de/anti icing pad and other reasons, such as reducing queues at the pad, the extra safety of leaving the gate at least snow-free, etc...

User avatar
tolipanebas
Posts: 2455
Joined: 12 May 2004, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by tolipanebas » 16 Feb 2012, 04:14

Flanker wrote:
tolipanebas wrote:Makes sense too BTW, since no captain is every going to be able to personally supervise and check the successful completion of a de-icing after push back himself, for instance.
Because of the lazyness?
Ok, on the Avro you can't (except on your mirror image on terminal A windows in BRU :D ), but on all other aircraft, you can open the cockpit window or send the F/O to the back after de-icing to check it. It takes 30 well-spent seconds, this incident only proves that it's worthwhile.

A good captain checks everything again for as far as it's within easy reach. Even though responsibilities are delegated, it's part of a good CRM culture. When you think about it, your life depends on it. This includes giving a thorough glance to the loadsheet to check that he's setting the correct data for performance calculation but also for general awareness. A look at the notoc does no harm.

It's also good practice to monitor cargo loading in absence of an on-board loadmaster, because good luck finding the guy who signed off the loading in some airport in Africa. If something happens, for instance a heavy, badly secured container shifting backwards with all the consequences, the guy who signed it off will disappear, never to be found again...

Many companies prefer to remove snow at the gates to prevent damage to flight controls during taxiing to the de/anti icing pad and other reasons, such as reducing queues at the pad, the extra safety of leaving the gate at least snow-free, etc...

There's more to de-ice the just the wings you know: ever seen the doors being reopened and stairs put up against the tail so the Captain can check the tail for instance? Nope, of course not or you'd run out of hold over time! besides, contrary to what tou pretend, the location of the de-icing at the airport is decided not by the airline, but by the airport / the handler! Seems like over the last year, your de-icing knowledge hasn't grown much, has it?
Oh, and crews supervising the loading of the plane? ROTFL... They often arrive at the plane when loading has already started!
I suppose you also expect them the supervise fuelling then right? I mean, there could be water in the fuel delivered to the plane.... Etc etc
Get real: If any airline would have procedures in place where the responsibility of their captains can not be delegated, they'd need turn around times of 2 hours even on a little turboprop, which is why in reality, airlines all use the delegated principle through making use of approved and licenced contractors for all those tasks: commercial aviation is something else then general aviation, you know?

Flanker
Posts: 395
Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 21:05

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Flanker » 16 Feb 2012, 04:33

Sticking your head out of the cockpit is a 10 second job, and if you check the wings it's pretty good already.
Better than having a stewardess tell you that the wing is contaminated, that's embarassing.

As to cargo loading, it depends on the safety culture at the company and where you fly from.

But if you rather believe the words of a captain:

Always; always double and triple check the data provided as motivations are probably different for moving airplanes and how it is accomplished

http://www.37000feet.com/report/871732/ ... reaches-of

User avatar
tolipanebas
Posts: 2455
Joined: 12 May 2004, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by tolipanebas » 16 Feb 2012, 04:40

Flanker wrote:Sticking your head out of the cockpit is a 10 second job, and if you check the wings it's pretty good already.
And pretty good is still pointless really

BTW, are you sure you are able to see wing root from the cockpit of a 737?
FWIW, only wingtip view up to the engines is guaranteed even if hanging out of the window.... :roll:

In this particular case, the blame solely goes to the de-icing company for failing to conduct the contracted de-icing according to manufacturer's specifications and so it is up to the Italian authorities to act upon this quality exceedance, starting probably with an audit leading to some retraining of staff at the company and in the worst case loss of licence of staff / managers or even the whole company. All the rest is just conjecture, as they say.

Flanker
Posts: 395
Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 21:05

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Flanker » 16 Feb 2012, 05:08

tolipanebas wrote:BTW, are you sure you are able to see wing root from the cockpit of a 737?
FWIW, only wingtip view up to the engines is guaranteed even if hanging out of the window....
You can see the wing root easily from the B737 window even without sticking your head too far out.
Much more of a challenge on the A330, and at night to even distinguish reflections moving towards the tip, but still worth doing.
tolipanebas wrote:And pretty good is still pointless really
Not if it's so bad that a F/A can clearly see it from a cabin window.
Checking the wings and not being able to check the tail is already pretty good and at least much better than doing nothing out of concern of sticking your head out in the cold.

Oh well, I'm an amateur and so is the FAA who advises this practice.
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guida ... 120-58.pdf

Ensure that a thorough post-de/anti-icing check is performed prior to take-off even though this may also be the responsibility of other organisations or personnel.

Common sense and good practice, but not so if we may believe at least 3 pilots at SN.
MOL is maybe right about putting a F/A instead of a F/O. They seem to take safety more seriously.

It's never too late to start doing it, you know.


Also about the type II vs type IV anti-ice, contrary to your consistent beliefs, type IV is most used.
The Avro RJ is very vulnerable given its elevator is aerodynamically actuated and therefore BAe Systems prefers the use of type II or type III for their better residue characteristics.

The manufacturer of anti-ice fluids says:
Octagon E-Max Type II is a versatile fluid now produced in Europe for our European customers. It is ideal for operators not equipped to use the recommended two-step Type I deicing/Type IV anti-icing process. E-Max is a dual use, anti-icing and deicing fluid.

http://www.octagonprocess.com/products_ ... ml?cache=1

The problem is specific to BAe Systems aircraft using that elevator architecture, see Think Ice 2007, can't find an online copy.

cnc
Posts: 1325
Joined: 19 May 2009, 16:14

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by cnc » 16 Feb 2012, 07:53

Flanker you clearly prove here you are a man who knows our world only in theory, i would suggest you try to follow up some rotations and see for yourself how much of the theory is possible 8-)

airazurxtror
Posts: 3789
Joined: 17 Nov 2005, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by airazurxtror » 16 Feb 2012, 11:59

Responsability of the Captain : Cpn Jean-Jacques Bertrand has just been sentenced to six months imprisonment (with remission of sentence) and the company he worked for (Regional) fined to 20.000 euros.
On 25 january 2007, he had attempted to take off from Pau with a Fokker 100 improperly de-iced and had crashed, killing one person on the ground.

http://www.air-journal.fr/2012-01-03-cr ... 42058.html

shockcooling
Posts: 231
Joined: 25 Jan 2007, 17:18

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by shockcooling » 16 Feb 2012, 12:18

Come on, that's a different story, that Air France crash didn't do a de-icing at all...

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... rs-320577/

cnc
Posts: 1325
Joined: 19 May 2009, 16:14

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by cnc » 16 Feb 2012, 12:25

airazurxtror wrote:Responsability of the Captain : Cpn Jean-Jacques Bertrand has just been sentenced to six months imprisonment (with remission of sentence) and the company he worked for (Regional) fined to 20.000 euros.
On 25 january 2007, he had attempted to take off from Pau with a Fokker 100 improperly de-iced and had crashed, killing one person on the ground.

http://www.air-journal.fr/2012-01-03-cr ... 42058.html
the pilot decides if deicing is needed and what should be deiced, ground crew decides fluid type and how much they use of it.

Inquirer
Posts: 2040
Joined: 14 Feb 2012, 14:30

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Inquirer » 16 Feb 2012, 14:31

I don't know much about the operational side of aviation, other than what I have seen as a spotter over all those years at so many airports around Europe, but it seems to me that ice protection treatment at large airports is mostly done after the plane taxied out to the runway and I must say I have never ever seen a single crew member doing any kind of external check at the holding point thereafter, so either all those airlines do it completely wrong according to the official recommendations then, or they happen to work under some legal provisions which allow them to do so.

Just for information: my last flight from CPH to BRU only a few days ago was treated near the holding point with engines running and once done, the plane took to the skies within minutes, without anybody getting out to check the fuselage or wings for correct treatment. I am sure because I was in business class first row so I could see the doors throughout. That was on SAS, and I assume at least they should know how to deal with snow, right? However... If I am to believe some here, that was completely reckless then?!

Do I need to be worried now, or are some people here only good at quoting from legal text, yet missing the correct knowledge on how all those obligations are put into daily practice by airlines, for instance by delegating it to an external supervisor like some already mentioned?

B.Inventive
Posts: 79
Joined: 19 Nov 2010, 19:08

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by B.Inventive » 16 Feb 2012, 17:29

There is 'some' truth in what is being said. However reality dictates this is simply impossible.

There was a day when pilots used to handle every single thing concerning the flight. These days have long been gone since aviation became a commercial interest and started dealing with money. Now to create an efficient workflow, it simply is impossible to have pilots handle all these issues as this would create turnaround times of up to 6 hours at least (considering we take ALL safety issues back to the pilot, screening of pax, screening of cargo/luggage, loading supervision, fuelling supervision, de icing, re deicing etc etc etc)

These days indeed responsibilities are being transferred to other competent personnel. As a pilot we are considered to be trustworthy of all those other 'competent' co-workers. If we didn't, we should simply stop flying. The business has become too much a money business to remain efficient not doing this.
You should really check the concept of 'hold over time' and how little pilots have often to get going after getting the 'OK' from the de-icer...
Trying to put blame on this cockpit crew for what happened is the same as blaming the cockpit crew of the air france concorde crash for not checking the runway was clear of debris... it is pointless.
Considering the fact that this crew REQUESTED a de-icing, got a report from the handler et al... there is NOTHING to blame this crew. The only thing we CAN do is honor the cabin crew member for being so attentive to this. And take a lesson from it. (f.e. note: FCO de-icing to be audited...)



@cnc the ground crew can only suggest what type and concentration to use, it's pilots decision to choose what it will be (usually limited due to availability)
@inquirer you have nothing to be afraid of. This is not common, de icing is a serious business and this is probably 1 case in a billion of things gone wrong. It is not proven to this date that if that aircraft had taken off it would have crashed, these are 'assumptions'
@airazurxtor this guy didn't take his responsibility in deicing at all. There is a difference between not asking for something and asking for something and having it poorly done/verified by ground crew
@flanker get real... there is only so much one can do. If tomorrow I ask you to stick your head out of an A330 cockpit and look at the far end of the leading edge of the wing and tell me if there is ice accumulated on it (usually thin layers are imperceptible) you wouldn't be able to tell me at all. So your theory is useless. Your idea wouldn't be 'idiot proof' either.
Also Type II fluid is quite commonly used as it's less expensive and considering all circumstances often powerful enough to keep the wings clean. (Type IV is used primarily if it's the only thing available, or when you really need that increased hold over time)
Also concerning that good look at the load sheet... seriously? We always cross check documents but nevertheless this is assuming this document has all the correct information on it and I dare you to come and verify wether the actually Traffic Load is correctly depicted each flight... (meaning you would have to personally weigh every piece of cargo, count the n° of bags and pax and calculate).... thought not... If you don't trust anyone, stay home.
(talking about quality controlled and audited airlines/service partners here btw! nothing else)

appel
Posts: 93
Joined: 15 Oct 2010, 06:07

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by appel » 16 Feb 2012, 17:31

I don't know how the layout of the SAS business class is but it's also possible to check the wings from the inside trough the windows.

Inquirer
Posts: 2040
Joined: 14 Feb 2012, 14:30

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by Inquirer » 16 Feb 2012, 17:56

Thanks for explaining, B.inventive.
Your remarks fit what I see being done on a regular basis whenever I fly [very often in scandinavia]
The suggestion made a pilot had to personally oversee the ice protection treatment simply did not match up with what I have seen at so many occasions at many different airlines.
I could be wrong but to me it always looked pretty much like refuelling almost, with somebody else doing the job and passing a receipt through the window at the end of it for administrative purposes...
I presume that provided those companies contracted to do the treatment are officially certified and well audited, it should be quite effective and perfectly safe indeed: after all, that's pretty much how things go in most industries these days: routine acceptance upon formal statement of conformity of the services delivered with the required specifications, combined with the occasional spot checks during internal audits, which happens to be my department. Although I am not into handlers or even aviation at all, it seems there's a job to do in Rome! :mrgreen:

airazurxtror
Posts: 3789
Joined: 17 Nov 2005, 00:00

Re: Incorrect de-icing of Brussels Airlines airplane in Rome

Post by airazurxtror » 16 Feb 2012, 20:38

The pilot of Brussels Airlines is thus unanimously absolved from all blame.
I have two questions :
- what would have happened if his flight assistant had not warned him of ice on the wings, just in time before take-off ?
- would the comments have been the same had it happened to a pilot of Ryanair ?
I just wonder.

Locked