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Door meets TEF.

Early one morning and towards the end of my shift, I set out to do a low-power turn (LPT) on aircraft 403. The power-plants shop had just replaced the No. 1 engine. As a QAR, I've often assisted the work centers with LPTs. This one seemed routine. After checking out all the required tools, I started my aircraft walk-around.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The CDI, AD3 Canseco, briefed the PC and me on the specifics of the job. After all of my checks were good, I jumped into the cockpit and did my internalswitch checks. I signaled to the PC that I was ready to start the APU and No. 2 engine. After the No. 2 was online, the CDI signaled me to put the flaps to AUTO. I signaled the PC that I was putting the flaps to AUTO and I flipped the switch (the flaps didn't go to the AUTO position, but no one bothered telling me). Then I verified there were no cautions preventing me from starting the No. 1 engine.

After completing my checks, I signaled the PC that I intended to shut off the APU and cross-bleed start. After the No. 1 engine was online, the PC signaled me to shut off the No. 2 and cross-bleed back to No. 1 in order to verify the primary bleed-regulators. Meanwhile, unknown to me, the CDI and his worker had opened the 64L door to leak check the No. 1.

While the No. 2 engine was coming back online, I felt the flight controls move as the flaps starting going to the AUTO position. As they did, the port trailing-edge-flap (TEF) collided with the open 64-door. The PC signaled me to hold, and I raised both hands, letting him know I was "hands-off." He then went to check on what had happened and reported back to me with the bad news: We had damaged the TEF and the 64-door hinges. The PC signaled me to shut off the engines; then, we notified Maintenance Control and QA.

Examining this LPT gone wrong, I can highlight several communications failures. The PC did not notify the turn operator (me) that the flaps did not go to AUTO when selected. As the turn operator, I failed to verify that the flaps went to AUTO before continuing. The CDI didn't verify that the flaps were in the correct position prior to opening the door. Perhaps the greatest lapse in communication was that the CDI (via the PC) never told the turn operator that maintenance personnel had opened a door. Compounding the breaks in communication, the turn crew was 13 hours into the work day and had not conducted an adequate pre-turn brief.

Petty Officer Paningbatan works in QA at VFA-147. Petty Officer Canseco helped write this article and works in the power-plants shop at VFA-147.

By AD2(AW) Rudy Paningbatan

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Author:Paningbatan, Rudy
Publication:Mech
Date:Mar 22, 2010
Words:476
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