Re: 747 forward cargo door

Date:         02 Dec 96 01:44:35 
From:         Pete Finlay <pete@meads.demon.co.uk>
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In article <airliners.1996.2572@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "John S. Maddaus"
<jmaddaus@gte.com> writes
>OK I have several questions.  I flew UA808 (747) from SFO to ORD on Friday.
>My seat was right over the cargo door.  As the baggage handlers brought the
>treadmill up to begin loading the plane, they must have mis-judged and hit the
>plane with the treadmill.  The whole plane lurched and for the next 45 minutes
>to an hour, I sat in my seat listening to some terrific banging (hammers I
>presume) going on.  My whole seat shook each time.  A bit disconcerting to say
>the least.  The pilot finally announced that the baggage crew had indeed hit
>the edge of the cargo door opening and damaged it and they wanted to make
>sure the seal wasn't damaged (I'm presuming here that the compartment is
>pressurized).

it certainly is.

>  My questions are:
>1)  The gates were never brought back during
>this time.  Wouldn't one of the crew want to look at this? and the fix?

in the airline I work for, they bring up a set of steps to door 1L, and
the passenger jetty goes on door 2L. So, even though the jetty may have
moved away, the front steps would probably still be in place for the
flight crew to inspect the work, and also for the groundcrew to complete
the paperwork.

>2)  Who has final authority for verifying the fix is sufficient? Ground
>personnel?  Having worked with hammers before, it didn't seem to be an overly
>precise way of bending metal.

Initially, the ground engineers doing the job, or their supervisor. If
the aircraft is fortunate enough to carry a professional flight engineer
(!) instead of just a panel operator, then the F/E would also want to
check the work. I certainly would.

>3) Given the history with the plane out of HI, wouldn't the crew want to
>insure that things were OK personally?

Probably, yes. we die 40 feet in front of you.

>4) Did the HI incident result in any mods to the cargo door system?

What incident are you refering to?

[Moderator's note: Probably UA 811 on 24 Feb 1989.  KLS]

>Also, where does security start and passenger piece of mind begin?  They
>brought the gate back up for the bulb change, and one passenger deplaned
>saying he only had carry-on.  The FA promptly notified the company.  Several
>of us wanted to get off because we were now 2 1/2 hours late and new we would
>miss our connections in ORD.  We were told by the FAs that if anyone so much
>as placed a foot on the ramp, they would have security haul us away, whether
>we had checked baggage or not.  Several people only wanted to use their
>cellular phones since the phones on this plane all had stickers saying the
>system had been disabled and to excuse the inconvenience. Yup, misssed my
>connection.  Is this completely crew dependent or are there specific security
>regs now in force that would force them to pull all the cargo for each
>passenger that leaves (which is what they were really saying)?

Don't know about FAA regs, but over here in England the CAA has made it
mandatory for every British registered aircraft that if a passenger de-
planes, then so does his luggage. No discretion is allowed. It's
aviation law.

can't help you with the quantas stuff.

regards

--
Pete Finlay
pete@meads.demon.co.uk
Boeing 747 Senior Flight Engineer