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S3C12 - GROUND HANDLING AND FUELLING OPERATIONS

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

GROUND HANDLING OF AIRCRAFT

AIRCRAFT TOWING OPERATIONS

Aircraft Towing Precautions

Towing at Night or in Poor Visibility

Towing in Strong Winds

Towing on Air Capable Ships

GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT

Self-Propelled Ground Support Equipment

Mechanically Operated Vehicles

ELECTRICAL GROUND POWER APPLICATION

MARSHALLING

Marshalling Procedures

Marshalling Aircraft on Air Capable Ships

Aircraft Arresting Cables

Aircraft Departure

Aircraft Arrival

WHEEL AND BRAKE FIRES

AIRCRAFT FUELLING OPERATIONS

General Safety Precautions

Hot Refuelling

Refuelling Operations in Hangars

Refuelling at Sea

Refuelling Bonding Procedures

Annexes

A. General Marshalling Signals for all Aircraft

B. Additional Marshalling Signals Applicable to Fixed Wing Aircraft

C. Additional Marshalling Signals Applicable to Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing VTOL Aircraft

D. Aircraft Arresting Systems Hand Signals

INTRODUCTION

1. This chapter identifies the general precautions and actions to minimise the safety risk to both aircraft and personnel when ground handling aircraft, other than taxiing. It includes the precautions and actions required when operating Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and vehicles around aircraft. It details additional precautions to be taken in particular environments, including aircraft arrival and departure.

GROUND HANDLING OF AIRCRAFT

2. The ground handling of aircraft is only to be undertaken by appropriately qualified personnel forming a correctly structured ground handling team. The ground handling operation is to be conducted in accordance with standard procedures with consideration given to local environmental conditions. The ground handling supervisor, and in some cases the responsible aircrew member, is responsible for the safe conduct of a ground handling operation.

AIRCRAFT TOWING OPERATIONS

3. Aircraft towing operations must be conducted by trained and authorised personnel. An aircraft towing team must consist of:

  1. a towing supervisor
  2. an aircraft brake person, if appropriate
  3. a tow vehicle driver
  4. a steering arm operator if a steering arm is used
  5. chock persons, as required
  6. safety personnel, as required
  7. other personnel, as required.

Aircraft Towing Precautions

4. The towing supervisor is to ensure that the team members are to be briefed on the intended activity and adhere to the following precautions:

  1. All personnel are to be familiar with the danger zones for the aircraft type being moved.
  2. The towing supervisor is not to undertake any other ground handling task.
  3. The towing supervisor is to be positioned to have a clear all round view of the towing team, intended route, and as far as practicable the aircraft.
  4. Effective communications are to exist between all members of the towing team at all times. Towing supervisors may use a blast type whistle to compliment their verbal commands.
  5. All personnel not involved in the movement are to reman clear of the aircraft and its intended path.
  6. The towing supervisor, through the brake person, is to ensure the braking system if applicable is serviceable and there is sufficient brake pressure for the move. When conducting movements on aircraft with unserviceable brake systems, chock persons must be used.
  7. All ground locks are to be fitted securely and ladders/panels secured, unless specifically authorised.
  8. Towing equipment is to be serviceable and correctly fitted.
  9. Personnel are not permitted on external surfaces of aircraft during the move.
  10. The aircraft should be towed at a pace appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. Tight turns should be avoided.
  11. Checks are to be carried out at all stages of the move for overhead clearance.

Towing at Night or in Poor Visibility

5. The following additional precautions are to be followed at night or in poor visibility:

  1. Maximum permissible lighting, including floodlighting, aircraft navigation lights and tow vehicle lights must be used.
  2. The supervisor and safety personnel are to be appropriately dressed, including high visibility vest or similar, where appropriate, and use light wands to clearly indicate orders and safe clearances.
  3. The supervisor is to consider the use of additional safety personnel if hazards are expected on the route.
  4. Towing is to be conducted at a pace appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

Towing in Strong Winds

6. Additional precautions are to be taken to ensure the safety of the aircraft and personnel. Precautions should also be taken to secure GSE and other loose items in the vicinity of the aircraft.

Towing on Air Capable Ships

7. The movement of rotary wing aircraft on air capable ships is to be carried out in accordance with ABR 5419—Ship/Helicopter Operations Manual.

GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT

8. GSE is to be positioned safely so as not to pose a hazard to the aircraft and is returned to the appropriate storage when not in use.

Self-Propelled Ground Support Equipment

9. All operators of self-propelled GSE must be authorised.

10. Self-propelled GSE is only to be used for the purpose it was designed.

11. Self-propelled GSE manoeuvred within 2 metres of an aircraft is to be marshalled by a safety person.

12. The Self-propelled GSE operator is to ensure that there is adequate clearance between the GSE and the aircraft and is to advise the safety person of his intentions.

13. The safety person is to advise the Self-propelled GSE operator of the proximity to aircraft or any impending situation.

14. When parked within 2 metres of an aircraft self propelled GSE is to have the wheels chocked.

Mechanically Operated Vehicles

15. The movement of mechanically operated vehicles within 3 metres of an aircraft is to be controlled by a marshaller, except where local condition and instructions negate this requirement.

16. Vehicles are not to approach within 15 meters of an aircraft undergoing fuelling operations.

17. Vehicles with petrol engines are not to be operated in hangars unless authorised by the SMM or delegate.

18. Equipment or vehicles with engines running are not to be left unattended.

ELECTRICAL GROUND POWER APPLICATION

19. Personnel who apply/remove ground power to/from aircraft must be appropriately authorised and competent to do so.

MARSHALLING

20. Marshalling signals used in the ADF are in accordance with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Standardisation Agreement (STANAG) No. 3117—Aircraft Marshalling Signals or where there is no NATO designated signal, Air and Space Interoperability Council (ASIC) Air Standard (AIR STD) 25/52A—Marshalling Signals for Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing Aircraft. The current ADF approved and authorised marshalling signals are illustrated in Annexes A, B, C and D.

Marshalling Procedures

21. Marshalling personnel must ensure the area to where an aircraft is to be marshalled is capable of accepting the aircraft, both in size and weight footprint, is clear of obstructions and, where possible, clear of loose objects.

22. The Marshaller must always be clearly visible to the aircraft captain whilst remaining a safe distance from propellers, rotors, jet intakes, jet exhausts. When marshalling, the marshaller must not walk backwards, but must be able to escape should the aircraft brakes fail.

23. Where more than one marshaller is required, one marshaller must be nominated as leader of the marshalling team. The leader is to act as a safety guard/director and ensure that all members of the marshalling team understand their responsibilities.

24. Where the taxi route and parking position is clearly defined, readily visible to the aircraft captain and the approaches are clear, only one marshaller would normally be required. Where the taxi route and parking position is not clearly defined or readily visible to the aircraft captain, or the approaches are not clear, more than one marshaller would normally be required.

25. Marshalling Clothing. Aircraft marshallers are to wear a distinctive vest of fluorescent international orange or yellow colour to assist the aircraft captain to readily recognise them. Marshallers are also required to wear approved PPE in accordance with Section 8 Chapter 2—General Aircraft Safety. During marshalling of aircraft, marshallers are not to wear loose clothing or headgear and are to ensure other items, eg pens/pencils are secure on their person.

26. Wands and Bats. By day, marshalling signals may be given with hands, or using pairs of brightly coloured bats or gloves. During the hours of darkness, each marshaller is to use a pair of approved marshalling wands. Both wands must be illuminated at all times when directing an aircraft.

Marshalling Aircraft on Air Capable Ships

27. Marshalling of rotary wing aircraft on air capable ships is to be in accordance with ABR 5419.

Aircraft Arresting Cables

28. Hand signals in Annex D are specific to runway parties disengaging an aircraft after a hook cable arrestment. As the normal aircraft ‘BRAKES ON’ and ‘BRAKES OFF’ signals may be difficult to see over the distance between the person operating the cable rewind equipment and the person giving the signals, the following signals have been adopted to rewind equipment brakes:

  1. The ‘STOP’ signal is used to indicate that the cable rewind brakes are to be applied.
  2. The ‘READY FOR REWIND’ signal is used to indicate that the cable rewind brakes are to be released.

Aircraft Departure

29. The team attending aircraft departure is to ensure:

  1. The area is foreign object free and all non essential GSE is returned to the appropriate stowage.
  2. All blanks and covers are removed.
  3. Aircraft safety devices are removed and properly stowed.
  4. Assistance is provided to strap in aircrew, if required.
  5. Aircraft steps are removed.
  6. Fire extinguishers are position and manned, as required.
  7. Personnel vehicles and equipment are removed from the danger zone.
  8. Assistance is provided to conduct the engine start, as required.
  9. Ground power and other connecting leads are removed as directed by the pilot or authorised crew member conducting the start procedure, and associated aircraft panels are secured.
  10. Chocks are removed as directed by the pilot or authorised crew member conducting the start procedure.

Aircraft Arrival

30. The team attending aircraft arrival is to ensure:

  1. The parking area and adjacent equipment is foreign object free.
  2. Personnel are available to marshal the aircraft, as required.
  3. Personnel are available to place chocks and connect ground power, etc as required.
  4. Fire extinguishers are positioned, as required.
  5. Aircraft steps are positioned, as required.
  6. Assistance is available or unstrap the aircrew, as required.
  7. Blanks, covers and safety devices are fitted, as required.

WHEEL AND BRAKE FIRES

31. The potential for serious injury at wheel and brake fires is such that untrained personnel should not attempt fire fighting action unless there is a danger to life or serious injury and they have assessed the risk to their own safety. Only trained personnel with correct equipment should conduct fire fighting actions.

32. The following precautions are to be adhered to in the event of a wheel or brake fire:

  1. If available, professional fire services are to be alerted to the occurrence.
  2. All personnel not required to fight the fire are to vacate the area.
  3. The fire should be extinguished using a dry chemical extinguisher. Other extinguisher types are acceptable, although extreme caution is to be taken if water is used, as the thermal shock may cause components to fracture, resulting in flying debris.
  4. Fires should only be fought from in front of or behind the wheel, never in line with the axle, and should be extinguished at the limit of the range of the extinguisher.
  5. The wheel and brake assembly should be allowed to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes after the fire has been extinguished, unless a professional fire service representative gives differing advice, before the aircraft is to be approached.

AIRCRAFT FUELLING OPERATIONS

33. Aircraft refuelling operations must only be performed by trained and authorised personnel. Personnel who do not have aircraft type authorisation to perform refuels, but who understand the hazards associated with working with aircraft fuel, may be used to assist authorised personnel to perform aircraft refuelling. The assistance may extend to delivery of fuel into the aircraft tanks.

34. At all times, the person with aircraft type authorisation is responsible for the aircraft refuelling operation. This responsibility extends to directing the refuelling operation and ensuring the safety of any personnel used to assist the authorised person to perform the refuelling operation.

35. Prior to using personnel to assist in aircraft refuelling operations, the authorised person must satisfy themselves that the non-type authorised person understands the hazards associated with working with aircraft fuel. The authorised person must provide personnel assisting with the refuelling operation with specific aircraft type information relevant to performing the aircraft refuelling operation and provide direction during the refuelling operation. Personnel used to assist in refuelling operations must comply with any aircraft specific direction given by the authorised person. The authorised person is responsible for opening and closing any panels and completing any documentation associated with the aircraft refuelling operation.

General Safety Precautions

36. The following precautions are to be adhered to when conducting aircraft fuelling operations:

  1. The fuelling point and fuelling dispenser are to be manned be appropriately authorised personnel at all times during the fuelling operation.
  2. Liquid Dry Breathing Oxygen systems are not to be replenished during fuelling operations.
  3. Personnel are to ensure fuelling dispenser is serviceable.
  4. Personnel are to confirm the fuelling dispenser contains fuel appropriate to the aircraft being fuelled.
  5. Fuelling dispenser is to be sited outside the aircraft fire hazard areas where practicable.
  6. Appropriate first aid fire fighting equipment is to be suitable located to enable immediate use.
  7. Relevant personnel are to wear personnel protective equipment.
  8. Appropriate footwear is to be worn during fuelling operations; the wearing of iron shod or nailed footwear is prohibited.
  9. Aircraft and fuelling dispenser is to be electrically bonded.
  10. Fuelling operations are to cease when thunderstorms are present in the vicinity.
  11. Personnel in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft are to be advised that fuelling is taking place.
  12. Fuelling operations are to cease in the event of a spillage and should not recommence until it has been cleaned up.

Hot Refuelling

37. Refuelling of aircraft with engines or rotors running is classed as ‘Hot fuelling’. Due to the inherently hazardous nature of hot fuelling the following additional precautions are to be taken:

  1. Hot fuelling may only be conducted on aircraft cleared for the task in accordance with relevant instructions.
  2. All personnel involved in hot fuelling, including the tanker driver are to be authorised.
  3. Hot fuelling is to be at the discretion of the aircraft captain.
  4. The fuel hose is to be routed so that it does not foul or damage aircraft components and is clear of heat sources.
  5. Fuelling equipment is only to be connected when the aircraft captain signals approval to do so.
  6. Personnel not directly involved with the fuelling process are to keep clear.
  7. A safety person is to be positioned to maintain visual contact with the fuelling team and be in visual or speech contact with the aircraft captain. The safety person is responsible for initiating the cessation of the fuelling operation in the event an incident affecting safety of the aircraft or personnel, by using appropriate marshalling signals.

Refuelling Operations in Hangars

38. A fuelling operation is only to take place in a hangar when:

  1. It has been authorised.
  2. There is adequate ventilation and egress capability.
  3. There is a high volume fire fighting vehicle in attendance.
  4. There are suitable tow vehicles and trained personnel immediately available to remove any/all aircraft in the event of an incident.
  5. The fuel tanker should be located outside the hangar. Where entry of the tanker into the hangar in unavoidable, there must be a clearly defined obstruction free escape route.

Refuelling at Sea

39. Fuelling of aircraft on air capable ships must also conform to the requirements of ABR 5419.

Refuelling Bonding Procedures

40. The bonding sequence required when fuelling of aircraft must be in accordance with AAP 7045.002–1(AM1) ADF Aircraft Wiring and Bonding Manual Section 2 Chapter 14—Earthing and Bonding of Aircraft and Ground Support Equipment. The following procedures must be adhered to during fuelling operations:

  1. Ensure the aircraft is earthed to a serviceable earthing point.
  2. Connect the fuelling dispenser earthing lead to a serviceable earthing point.
  3. Connect the fuelling dispenser earthing lead to an appropriate earthing point on the aircraft.
  4. Connect the hose earthing lead mechanism to a conductive part of the aircraft or a specific bonding point, if available.
  5. Connect the fuelling hose and commence fuelling.
  6. When fuelling is complete, disconnect the bonding in the reverse order.

Annexes:

  1. General Marshalling Signals for all Aircraft
  2. Additional Marshalling Signals Applicable to Fixed Wing Aircraft
  3. Additional Marshalling Signals Applicable to Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing VTOL Aircraft
  4. Aircraft Arresting Systems Hand Signals
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