Decisions

TATC File No. O-3132-60
MoT File No. 5802-162686

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Dana Glen Randall Grant, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S., c. 33(1st Supp.) s. 7.1(1)
Approved Check Pilot Manual, s. 6.3.3, 10.3, 10.3.2, 10.27.5

Rejected take-offs (RTO), Pilot proficiency check (PPC), Pilot flying (PF), Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM), Approved check pilot (ACP)


Review Determination
Hebb C. Russell


Decision: February 13, 2006

I disagree with the Minister's decision to fail the pilot proficiency check of the applicant and therefore I am referring the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration.

A review hearing on the above matter was held September 29, 2005, at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, in Mississauga, Ontario, at 10:00 hours.

BACKGROUND

Captain Dana Glen Randall Grant is a Skyservice, Airbus, EA-320 pilot. Over the past 30 years in aviation, he has held various positions with Skyservice such as company check pilot, assistant chief pilot as well as training captain. Prior to this he had held a position as a civil aviation inspector for seven years.

On March 26, 2005, Captain Dan Grant and First Officer Michael Parr underwent a pilot proficiency check (PPC) in an EA-320 flight simulator located in the Air Canada Flight Training Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Captain Grant's PPC was administered by approved check pilot (ACP), Captain Christopher Ludwig, who simultaneously was undergoing an ACP monitor which was being administered by Inspector Doug Matthews of Transport Canada.

The PPC is broken into two sessions, with a short 15-minute break taken in between. The first session was completed successfully with Captain Grant acting as pilot flying (PF) – pilot who is at the controls, and First Officer Michael Parr acting as pilot not flying (PNF) – pilot who is not at the controls.

Following the break, with First Officer Parr now assuming the PF duties and Captain Grant assuming the PNF duties, the first item, on the scripted PPC, was an engine fire on take-off. This resulted in Captain Grant assuming control of the aircraft, rejecting or aborting the take-off, bringing the aircraft to a full stop on the runway and calling for First Officer Parr to commence the Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) actions. This is essentially an onboard computer generated list of actions to perform in fighting the engine fire.

It was during this time that Captain Grant advised First Officer Parr to "stop" the ECAM action and initiate the passenger evacuation check list. The PPC was terminated by Captain Ludwig, following Captain Grant completing the evacuation check list and evacuating the passengers.

Following the termination of the PPC, the assessment of a failed PPC was given to Captain Grant and an assessment of an incomplete PPC was given to First Officer Parr.

Captain Grant feels that he had done nothing that would have warranted a failed PPC and therefore, he is appealing the failure.

THE EVIDENCE

The Minister's representative, case presenting officer (CPO), A.D. (Fred) Pratt, called witnesses ACP, Captain Christopher Ludwig, and Inspector Douglas Matthews of Transport Canada.

Captain Grant called First Officer Parr as well as himself as witnesses.

Captain Ludwig testified that up until this hearing date he had served as ACP for Skyservice on Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft since March, 2003 and with Canada 3000 for four years prior to that.

Captain Ludwig stated that in the first portion of the PPC, where Captain Grant was PF and First Officer Parr the PNF, he observed no problems or errors committed by either of the pilots. It was only following the break, in the first exercise which was a pre-programmed engine fire resulting in a rejected take-off and the ensuing passenger evacuation, that the problem occurred.

Captain Ludwig described how the PPC was administered according to one of the two scripts used by Skyservice ACPs to assess the proficiency of their pilots. These Transport Canada approved scripts guide the ACP through the sequence of events that should be programmed into the simulator in order to fulfil the requirements in assessing the renewal of a PPC in accordance with the regulations.

Captain Ludwig described how he loaded the simulator fault icon indication for an engine fire. This fault has the engine fire extinguishable after one (fire extinguisher agent) bottle discharge. The intent of this scripted engine fire fault is to have the rejected take-off carried out, with the crew recognizing that there is no fire since the fire indication light goes out. The ride then continues with the next exercise.

Inspector Matthews stated that the script called for a rejected take-off with an engine fire and he believed it was engine number 2 that had a fire that was extinguishable with a one-agent discharge and that was programmed for 123 knots,[1] which was about 50 knots under V1.[2]

The First Officer, now as PF, performed the take-off as per the standing operating procedures (SOPs). When the engine fire warning illuminated, the Captain called "STOP", assumed control of the aircraft and brought the aircraft to a complete stop on the runway. The engines were brought to forward idle thrust. The park brake was set. First Officer Parr accomplished all of the approved ECAM actions that are listed as being his responsibility under this procedure. He did declare "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday".

Inspector Matthews also stated that the first officer went through the ECAM to the point where it calls for the second engine master to be switched off. At this point Captain Grant called for the passenger on-ground evacuation checklist where the first officer reads the challenge and response. They carried out the checklist and evacuated the aircraft.

Inspector Matthews further stated it was his observation that Captain Grant did not make any calls to anybody, look outside or make any other assessment of the situation. He relied merely on the fire warning light.

Captain Ludwig stated that the first officer did complete all of the ECAM actions as he was supposed to do and noted that he did them fairly quickly. He also noted that the first officer did not inform Captain Grant that the fire was not out, as is the published Skyservice policy.

Captain Ludwig stated that when Captain Grant finished his initial rejected take-offs (RTO) items, Captain Grant looked up and saw the fire light was still illuminated along with both fire extinguisher agent bottles indicating "discharged" for the number 2 engine. With the engine still on fire, that is when Captain Grant called for First Officer Parr to commence the on-ground emergency checklist.

Captain Ludwig stated that it was during the initial few actions of the on-ground emergency checklist that the light in the handle extinguished, as it was programmed to do.

Captain Grant acknowledged that just prior to making the evacuation command to the passengers, the fire light had extinguished.

Captain Ludwig stated that he stopped the PPC at this point. He realized that the light, indicating the engine fire, had gone out, indicating to the crew that there was no longer an engine fire on number 2 engine. Therefore there was no need to evacuate the passengers. However, Captain Grant continued on with the passenger evacuation.

Captain Ludwig stated that he asked Captain Grant if he realized that he had just evacuated the passengers for no apparent reason. Captain Grant responded that he had already made his decision to evacuate and he was going to follow through with it.

Captain Ludwig mentioned that, had Captain Grant recognized that the fire had gone out and had stopped the checklist prior to evacuating the aircraft, he would have continued the check ride and it would not have been a failure.

First Officer Parr stated that, following Captain Ludwig stating he was stopping the ride, both he and Captain Grant sat in disbelief and shock for a few moments. Then Captain Grant stated that in 30 years, he had never failed a ride to which Inspector Matthews stated that he would not be the last person to fail a ride.

First Officer Parr testified that at that time he stated to Captain Ludwig that the light was on when he started the checklist, and Captain Ludwig stated, "yes, it was" and added with words to the effect of, "I could see it coming."

Prior to being joined by pilots Grant and Parr in the debriefing room, Inspector Matthews conferred with Captain Ludwig[3] and asked him if it was Captain Ludwig's intention to fail both pilots or only the captain? While Captain Ludwig was pondering the answer, Inspector Matthews then asked if First Officer Parr had made any mistakes that would warrant a failure?

Captain Ludwig said that there were no mistakes made by First Officer Parr and that he felt he had acted quicker and more expeditiously than he should have, but he had made no mistakes and he could not justify a failure on his PPC because he had only done a half of a ride.

When Captain Grant and First Officer Parr arrived for the debriefing, Captain Ludwig stated that Captain Grant's ride was assessed as a failure and First Officer Parr's ride was assessed as incomplete.

Captain Ludwig informed Captain Grant that there is a requirement for the captain to assess the situation prior to making a decision on evacuating and that there are other sources of information available including ATC, fire and rescue personnel and a visual check of the engine by the pilots or the cabin crew. Captain Ludwig felt that none of these external assessments had been requested or acted upon by Captain Grant and that he appeared to have been looking right at the fire indication light being out and yet he continued on with the passenger evacuation.

Following Captain Ludwig's comments on the availability and requirement to seek outside information, Inspector Matthews stated that during the debriefing, Captain Grant acknowledged the fact that he did not do the items that were expected of him in assessing the outside of the aircraft through ATC or any other means prior to calling for the evacuation.

Captain Ludwig stated that he advised Captain Grant at the debriefing of the right to appeal his decision before the Tribunal and that it was laid out in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).

Captain Ludwig stated that he completed all of the paperwork as well as the 0249 form and Inspector Matthews issued a Notice of Suspension of Captain Grant's A320 PPC at that time.

Captain Grant stated that during the conversation following the failure, Inspector Matthews commented that other airlines have a definitive procedure in place for a final assessment just prior to giving the evacuation command but that Skyservice did not.

Captain Ludwig stated that the debriefing was completed and the ride rescheduled and that he commented that there was no real training to be done as it was simply a matter of educating Captain Grant to acknowledge that more assessment should be done prior to the evacuation of an aircraft.

Exhibit M-1 , Transport Canada Flight Test Report (form 0249) was introduced. It was noted that Item #7, Rejected take-off (RTO) had a note under:

COMMENTS - GENERAL ASSESSMENT

7. LOSS OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS WHICH RESULTED FROM INADEQUATE ASSESSMENT OF AIRCRAFT CONDITION. EVACUATION INITIATED UNNECESSARILY.

Exhibit M-2 , revision 3, a copy of Skyservice A319/A320 Revision, Emergency Evacuation, page 21, dated March 15, 2004, was presented by Transport Canada. This document starts with:

EMERGENCY EVACUATION

  • Proper as well as clear and concise communication and situational awareness are vital between:
    • cockpit crew
    • cabin crew
    • ATC

[...]

Captain Ludwig stated that this revision is from the company training briefing package that was distributed to both pilots, prior to both the training and PPC simulator. It was his opinion that this revision gives direction to the pilots that, prior to an evacuation, there must be an assessment made to ensure that the well-being of passengers and crew are at risk and there is a potentially dangerous situation.

ARGUMENT

The Minister's CPO submitted several points supporting the decision to assess the PPC of Captain Grant as a failure. The first submission being that Captain Grant agreed under oath that he failed to analyze the situation before abandoning the aircraft thereby admitting his error which justified the Minister in the assessment of Below Standard (1) or a failure. A second submission was that the only person in the simulator, at the time of Captain Grant's PPC, tasked with deciding whether the actions of Captain Grant constituted a pass or a fail, was Captain Ludwig. A third submission presented was Captain Ludwig's guidance in assessing the actions of Captain Grant is contained in the Approved Check Pilot Manual.

Captain Grant contends that he did not do anything to warrant an assessment of (1) or a fail on the RTO manoeuvre, therefore this does not constitute a PPC failure and he requests that all reference to a failure be removed from all Transport Canada and Skyservice files.

Captain Grant argued the following points on non-adherence to Transport Canada approved manuals or policy:

(1) At the time of the PPC, there were no Skyservice or Transport Canada official published manuals or approved guidance, providing assistance in making the correct decision of whether or not to initiate an evacuation.

(2) The ACP Manual states that the Minister is supposed to put the PPC candidate at ease during the check ride. This guidance was not followed by Inspector Matthews when he stated that "you will not be the last person to fail a PPC" and later when the Inspector stated that other airlines have precise direction in their approved manuals but Skyservice does not.

(3) The Minister has the obligation to ensure that the ACP's assessment is fair and in accordance with standard company SOPs.

(4) Proper assistance was not provided by ACP, Captain Ludwig. Once a "Mayday" or emergency had been declared it was the ACP's function to act as ATC, fire department, dispatch and I/C flight attendant during the PPC.

(5) All reports were not completed or explained properly, in accordance with the ACP Manual:

  • Notice of Suspension and appeal process were not fully explained.
  • Notice of Suspension did not correctly identify the appropriate failure as depicted in the Approved Check Pilot Manual.
  • Notice of Suspension was not commented on properly as depicted in the Approved Check Pilot Manual.
  • Flight Test Report form (0249) did not correctly identify the appropriate failure as depicted in the Approved Check Pilot Manual.
  • Flight Test Report form (0249) was not debriefed properly as depicted in the Approved Check Pilot Manual.

THE LAW

Subsection 7.1(1) of the Aeronautics Act:

7.1 (1) If the Minister decides to suspend, cancel or refuse to renew a Canadian aviation document on the grounds that

(a) the holder of the document is incompetent,

(b) the holder or any aircraft, airport or other facility in respect of which the document was issued ceases to meet the qualifications necessary for the issuance of the document or to fulfill the conditions subject to which the document was issued, or

(c) the Minister is of the opinion that the public interest and, in particular, the aviation record of the holder of the document or of any principal of the holder, as defined in regulations made under paragraph 6.71(3)(a), warrant it,

the Minister shall, by personal service or by registered or certified mail sent to the holder or the owner or operator of the aircraft, airport or facility, as the case may be, at their latest known address, notify that person of the Minister's decision.

DISCUSSION

It is acknowledged that the burden of proof rests with the Minister who must establish, on the preponderance of the evidence, that the assessment of a (1) Below Standard that was given to Captain Grant was justified under the circumstances.

Firstly, the respondent argued that Captain Grant stated under oath that he failed to analyze the situation before ordering the aircraft abandoned, thereby admitting his error which justified the Minister in awarding Captain Grant a (1) or a fail on his PPC.

Although Captain Grant could agree that an appropriate action would have been to assess the situation one last time before evacuation, he did not feel that it should be considered a failure for not doing so, because the SOPs did not specifically direct him to do so. Captain Grant made this statement while he was justifying his point of view as to why the PPC evaluation should have been assessed as a (2) and not a (1). Therefore, I do not agree with the respondent's view that this statement should be interpreted as an indication of error on behalf of Captain Grant.

Inspector Matthews stated that he recalled, during the debriefing, that Captain Grant acknowledged the fact that he did not do the items that were expected of him in assessing the outside of the aircraft through ATC or any other means prior to calling for the evacuation. When Inspector Matthews was asked to describe how Captain Grant acknowledged that further assessment was required, he responded by saying that he could tell by Captain Grants's response and his body language. This member finds this answer to be not very definitive and indicates that this could be Inspector Matthew's personal interpretation of Captain Grant's response.

Also, it is this member's contention that if Captain Grant did acknowledge, during the debriefing, that he did not do the items that were expected of him in assessing the outside of the aircraft through ATC or any other means prior to calling for the evacuation, he was only agreeing with Captain Ludwig and Inspector Matthews on their point of view.

It is my opinion that Captain Grant most probably would have been in a state of great anticipation or concern at that point in the proceedings, being moments after being informed of his simulator failure. Had he been informed that his statement or indication of agreement was going to be interpreted as an admission of guilt, it is highly unlikely that he would have made the statement or agreement at all.

Regarding the issue of ACP, Captain Ludwig being the only person in the simulator at that time tasked with assessing Captain Grant's PPC as a pass or a fail, I refer to the following from the ACP Manual:

6.3.3 Upon completion of the flight check portion of the ACP monitor,... Where a disagreement exists between the evaluations of the TC Inspector and ACP, the TC Inspector's evaluation shall take precedence and be used in the debriefing.

I therefore disagree with the respondent since it states in the ACP Manual, section 6.3.3, the Transport Canada inspector is the higher authority of the two authorized individuals grading the PPC monitor. Therefore both the inspector as well as the ACP have input on the assessment.

The third issue raised by the respondent regards the assessment of below standard (1), or in other words, a FAIL.

Approved Check Pilot Manual:

10.3 Description of the (1) to (4) Marking Scale

10.3.1 When applying the 4-point scale, award the mark that best describes the weakest element(s) applicable to the candidate's performance. Remarks to support mark awards of (1) or (2) must link to a safety issue, a competency standard, or an approved technique or procedure.

[...]

10.3.4 Basic Standard (2)

[...]

b. A sequence shall be rated Basic Standard (2) where

[...]

vi. safety of flight is not compromised. Risk is poorly mitigated.

10.3.5 Below Standard (1)

[...]

b. A sequence shall be rated Below Standard (1) where

[...]

vi. safety of flight is compromised. Risk is unacceptably mitigated.

Most sections in this chapter include a list of common errors that may affect the rating of a sequence. ACPs shall use the wording of the appropriate common error where applicable.

The respondent claims that the reason for the failure was inadequate assessment and the subsequent loss of situational awareness in not recognizing that the fire indication was out in number 2 engine.

Mr. Pratt, CPO, submitted that Captain Grant did not analyze the situation before ordering the aircraft be abandoned, as stipulated in the Approved Check Pilot Manual. The following were listed as specific errors committed by Captain Grant:

10.15.5 Some common errors that may be observed and affect the assessment of the sequence are:

[...]

h. endangering the safety of passengers and crew and/or rescue personnel through improper handling of the emergency condition.

And

10.27.5 Some common errors that may affect the assessment of this sequence are:

[...]

b. inadequate knowledge of the procedures required to deal with an emergency, or failure to carry out vital actions in an acceptable time period;

c. loss of situational awareness during the completion of required checklists or procedures;

[...]

e. checks/procedures not in accordance with the AFM and SOP manual;

[...]

It is the Minister's contention that while the first officer was performing the ECAM actions, the captain was to assess the emergency by using other sources of information, air traffic control, crash fire rescue, I/C flight attendant, or a visual check of the engine.

Captain Ludwig stated that Exhibit-M2 gives direction to the pilots that, prior to an evacuation, there must be an assessment made to ensure that the well-being of passengers and crew are at risk and there is a potentially dangerous situation. The first line reads, "- Proper as well as clear and concise communication and situational awareness are vital between - cockpit crew - cabin crew - ATC".

It is this member's opinion that Exhibit M-2 was published as a notice of clarification for Skyservice pilots emphasizing that, during an "EMERGENCY EVACUATION", communications are "proper, clear and concise" between cockpit crew, cabin crew and ATC. I fail to find in this notice any reference or guidance directing pilots to seek additional sources of information for clarification purposes on whether to evacuate the aircraft or not.

Captain Ludwig explained that Exhibit D-3, amendment no. 7 to the Skyservice Flight Operations Manual, was directing pilots to seek external sources for added situational awareness and in particular, it states, "Prior to calling for an evacuation, an external source such as ATC, crash/fire, CSM etc., wherever available, shall be consulted to verify the condition of the aircraft."

As Exhibit D-3 was included in a package of documents that Captain Ludwig had previously provided to Transport Canada pertaining to this case, I had admitted it as evidence. However, Captain Ludwig stated the date showing at the bottom of Exhibit D-3, 01 Feb 2005, was the date that this amendment was submitted to Transport Canada for approval by Skyservice and not the date of operational activation for the revision to procedures. Therefore, this amendment was not being used operationally by the pilots on the line at the time of Captain Grant's PPC. I therefore have decided that this document is not directly relevant to this failed PPC. It does show, however, that there was about to be a change in procedures in advising pilots to seek external sources of information regarding evacuation decisions. This, in my opinion, could have been instrumental in both Captain Ludwig and Inspector Matthews wanting to see Captain Grant seek other outside sources of information to assist in his decision on whether to evacuate the passengers or not.

Three of the witnesses, Captain Grant, First Officer Parr and ACP, Captain Ludwig, agreed that at the completion of the ECAM fire drill, that the fire light remained on for the number 2 engine.

In trying to determine how much time is required in deciding if the engine fire is actually extinguished or not, before calling for evacuation of the passengers, I find that only Exhibit M-3, Airbus Flight Crew Operating Manual from the Abnormal and Emergency checklist, states: "Carefully analyze the situation before deciding to evacuate passengers. However, do not waste valuable time." As there is no reference as to how much actual time is required, other than this statement, "do not waste valuable time", I find Captain Grant was justified in not wasting time when he called, "stop ECAM", and to start the on-ground emergency evacuation checklist.

Captain Ludwig gave evidence to the fact that the first officer did not advise the captain of the fire light status, which is the last item on his list of responsibilities in Exhibit D-4, Skyservice Briefing Notes, Rejected Take-off: "ADVISE CAPTAIN IF FIRE IS OUT OR IF FIRE INDICATIONS ARE STILL PRESENT". There was no evidence as to why First Officer Parr neglected to make this call. However, it is my understanding that the captain can call for the stopping of the ECAM actions and the initiation of the on-ground emergency evacuation checklist at any time he feels the situation is uncontrollable and an evacuation is warranted.

For the above listed reasons it is this member's opinion that Captain Grant was operating under existing SOPs for Skyservice that were current at the time of the PPC in question. He was justified in treating it as a fire out of control, after observing both engine fire agents were discharged into the number 2 engine and the fire light was remaining on when he called for the on-ground emergency evacuation checklist. Therefore, he was justified in not waiting for First Officer Parr's call on the fire status, or himself in not seeking added information from external sources as contended by the Minister.

The applicant's first issue regards the candidates were not put at ease throughout the PPC as it is stated in the ACP Manual:

9.1.4 Flight checks may induce tension and feelings of apprehension in even the most experienced pilots. The ACP shall attempt to reduce apprehension and create an environment in which a true demonstration of ability can be established.

It was made clear from testimony that Captain Grant's concern and anticipation started well before the actual day of the PPC in question. He had several conversations with Captain Ludwig and Captain Mark Hughes of Skyservice Pilot Standards, regarding his concern of having to undergo his PPC while the ACP, Captain Ludwig, was undergoing his annual proficiency check administered by Transport Canada.

Captain Grant contends that Inspector Matthews made statements that were confrontational in nature and contributed to the atmosphere in the simulator. The first statement was made in the simulator following the PPC termination and was made in reference to Captain Grant not being the last person to fail a check ride. The second statement, made during the debriefing, referred to other airlines having precise directions in their approved manuals on emergency evacuation guidance, but that Skyservice does not have the same manuals.

It is this member's finding, after reviewing the evidence presented before me, that I did not hear of any contentious statements that were made, by either Captain Ludwig or Inspector Matthews, that could be construed as being confrontational in nature, prior to Captain Ludwig stopping or terminating the PPC. These comments were all made following the PPC termination; therefore, they could not have attributed to Captain Grant's level of apprehension that he may have been experiencing prior to as well as during the PPC itself.

It is this member's opinion that these comments made by Inspector Matthews, however well intended at the time, were inappropriate under the circumstances and indicate a certain level of direct participation that I would certainly not classify as being passive in nature and therefore go directly against how a Transport Canada inspector should conduct himself.

The applicant raised the issue of the assessment not being fair and in accordance with the SOPs as laid out in both the Skyservice and the Approved Check Pilot Manual.

As I have stated earlier, it is this member's opinion that Captain Grant should not be faulted as he was operating by the existing Skyservice SOPs, when he called for the on-ground emergency checklist without seeking additional information from outside sources, as he was not trained to do so and these extra steps were unknown to him at the time of the PPC.

Captain Grant claims the ACP should have, but did not, provide external, ATC, or airport firefighting or I/C flight attendant input. He contends that once the first officer declares "Mayday" as per the RTO procedure, all of these services should be providing pertinent information as they see it.

It is my understanding that when a captain declares an emergency while performing a RTO procedure with an engine fire in progress, there is a lot going on in a very short period of time. In the simulator, this puts a very heavy workload on the ACP. He must watch very carefully what each pilot is doing, as well as listen to what each is saying, both to ATC as well as to each other. Also, he must take notes of the process and work the simulator radios while acting as ATC, crash/fire and and I/C flight attendant, etc.

So, I can see how Captain Ludwig could see it coming, in that as soon as Captain Grant observed engine 2, fire agents already discharged and the fire light remaining on, he would understandably conclude that the fire was uncontrollable and call for the passenger on-ground evacuation checklist. The simulator fault as described by Captain Ludwig was programmed to have the fire light go out in the area of 10 seconds, following the first fire agent being discharged.

Captain Grant did not know the light would go out within seconds but Captain Ludwig did and Inspector Matthews also knew, as he stated, from observing many past rides that this was a common occurrence and therefore a common reason for previous failures. Therefore when Captain Grant called for the passenger on-ground evacuation checklist and by Captain Ludwig not playing his part as ATC, crash/fire, I/C flight attendant etc.,[4] the chances were high that Captain Grant would miss the fact that the light had gone out and that he would evacuate the passengers.

After reviewing the sequence of events that took place in such a very short period of time, it is this member's opinion that ACP, Captain Ludwig, was not playing his part in this simulator exercise.

When asked why he, Captain Grant, continued on with the passenger evacuation, even when he saw the fire light had gone out, Captain Grant replied that he had already made his decision to evacuate and was going to follow through with it. Captain Grant also stated that, once he had decided on calling for the passenger on-ground evacuation checklist, he stayed focused on completing it correctly without any items being missed.

It is this member's opinion that it is good airmanship to complete each ECAM checklist or paper checklist sequentially and thoroughly before starting another checklist. Completing and not switching checklists should be a priority of any simulator exercise or session, with only another overriding emergency taking precedence.

In reviewing Exhibit M-1, Flight Test Report, I see Captain Ludwig has assessed Captain Grant with three level 4 assessments, one for his handling of the go-around, the second for his handling of air conditioning smoke and the third for his handling of a FADEC fault.

Again I must refer to the ACP Manual:

10.3.2 Above Standard (4)

[...]

iv. behaviour indicates continuous and highly accurate situational awareness,

v. flight management skills are excellent,

vi. safety of flight is assured. Risk is well mitigated.

It is this member's opinion that to be given three level 4 assessments on one PPC, Captain Grant has demonstrated a pilot possessing exceptional skills and competency.

Regarding the applicant not receiving proper notification of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) appeal process, Captain Ludwig did state during the PPC debriefing that there was an appeal process available through the TATC. It is this member's opinion that, although this explanation of the appeal process may not have been to the detail expected, Captain Grant was informed of the review process available to him and therefore it should not be a factor in this decision.

The applicant raised the issue of Captain Ludwig's marking the failed item under #7 on the 0249 form as being incorrect. It is Captain Grant's contention that this was an error in the filing as the RTO portion of the emergency procedure was performed without any errors, but rather it was the evacuation of the passengers that was the issue of contention and therefore it should have been listed as a separate item under Abnormals/Emergencies on the 0249 form.

It is this member's opinion that, although Captain Grant does have a point, the issue of filing a 0249 form should be treated as a clerical issue only and therefore it should not be treated as a factor in this issue.

However, also contested was the actual wording of the assessment as a failed RTO with a (1) or below standard, with the comments, "LOSS OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS WHICH RESULTED FROM INADEQUATE ASSESSMENT OF AIRCRAFT CONDITION. EVACUATION INITIATED UNNECESSARILY."

It is this member's opinion that the wording of "EVACUATION INITIATED UNNECESSARILY" is not a strong enough reason or wording to justify a Below Standard (1) assessment for Captain Grant on this PPC. Therefore with this wording, it is my opinion that there should be an assessment of a (2) or Basic Standard in this case.

Also, following the debriefing, Captain Ludwig advised Captain Grant that there was no real training to be done, it was just simply a matter of educating him that more assessment should be made prior to evacuating the aircraft.

It is this member's opinion that, by Captain Ludwig assessing the additional training requirements necessary for Captain Grant to undertake a second PPC with just an advisory briefing and no requirement for additional simulator training or practice, indicates to me that this is not severe enough of a situation to warrant a Below Standard (1) where risk is unacceptably mitigated, but rather a Basic Standard (2) where risk is poorly mitigated.

DETERMINATION

For the above stated reasons, I disagree with the Minister's decision to fail the pilot proficiency check of Captain G.R. Grant. I am therefore referring the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration.

February 13, 2006

Hebb C. Russell
Member
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada


[1] All speeds are in knots per hour.

[2] Take-off decision speed. The speed above which the take-off is continued, and below which the take-off is rejected or abandoned in the event of an engine failure.

[3] TP 6533 - Approved Check Pilot Manual

6.3.3 Upon completion of the flight check portion of the ACP monitor, the TC Inspector and ACP shall meet privately to reach agreement on the results of the check and the items to be covered in the debriefing. Where a disagreement exists between the evaluations of the TC Inspector and ACP, the TC Inspector's evaluation shall take precedence and be used in the debriefing.

[4] Approved Check Pilot Manual, Appendix Q – PPC Briefing Guide – 18.2.1

Check Pilot Role

  • in addition to administering the flight check, the ACP will act as ground servicing, ATC, dispatch, maintenance and I/C flight attendant as required.