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When is a flight considered "dispatched"

propsync

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm curious, does your airline specify at what point your flight is considered officially dispatched?

For example, is at door closing, push back, taxi under own power, or takeoff.

I seem to recall from a previous job years back that they were very specific as to when an airplane was dispatched, the reason being was that it was important to distinguish between when you were to take your guidance from the MEL vs when you take your guidance from the POH/QRH. Their philosophy was that after dispatch, for all intents and purposes the FAA does not distinguish whether you are on the ground or in the air, you do not use the MEL at this point. For example you taxi out and have a problem, at this point you do not refer to the MEL or call maintenance, you only speak with your dispatcher and use the QRH/POH.

Another side question which may or may not be related to whether the airplane is "dispatched" if that is even a term any more is when does the Captain officially take charge of the airplane?
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
#2
I'm curious, does your airline specify at what point your flight is considered officially dispatched?

For example, is at door closing, push back, taxi under own power, or takeoff.

I seem to recall from a previous job years back that they were very specific as to when an airplane was dispatched, the reason being was that it was important to distinguish between when you were to take your guidance from the MEL vs when you take your guidance from the POH/QRH. Their philosophy was that after dispatch, for all intents and purposes the FAA does not distinguish whether you are on the ground or in the air, you do not use the MEL at this point. For example you taxi out and have a problem, at this point you do not refer to the MEL or call maintenance, you only speak with your dispatcher and use the QRH/POH.

Another side question which may or may not be related to whether the airplane is "dispatched" if that is even a term any more is when does the Captain officially take charge of the airplane?
In my short career I've always treated being blocked out/in as the primary marker (so basically the parking brake).

If you're blocked out you deal with the QRH, if that doesn't provide the level of satisfaction you're looking for you can park and call MX. At that point it's either they provide a reset/fix/crew applied MEL or you return to the gate.
 

Autothrust Blue

"How can you be so obtuse?"
#4
Where I work, I believe the "point of dispatch" is the point at which I accept the release, either via my initialization of ACARS, or via my signature on the manual manifest at non-ACARS stations. (This is also the affirmative statement of fitness for duty required by Part 117, incidentally.)
 

Luigi

Well-Known Member
#5
Where I work, I believe the "point of dispatch" is the point at which I accept the release, either via my initialization of ACARS, or via my signature on the manual manifest at non-ACARS stations. (This is also the affirmative statement of fitness for duty required by Part 117, incidentally.)
Point of dispatch where you work is running TO numbers in ACARS. Unless something has changed, I don't work there anymore. The fit for duty statement is the init of ACARS.
 

ian

Well-Known Member
#9
Either my instructors didn't know or my memory is bad but they asked multiple times what I believe was " when are we dispatched?" and were always looking for "advancement of thrust for takeoff"...
Was that for dispatched or when a new release would be required?
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
#11
Either my instructors didn't know or my memory is bad but they asked multiple times what I believe was " when are we dispatched?" and were always looking for "advancement of thrust for takeoff"...
All I know is that we had an issue once getting ready to push. Door closed, brakes released, waiting on ramp and the cabin called with a seat problem. We called line MX and were told, "you guys are considered dispatched, call MX Control."
 

saxman

Well-Known Member
#16
Where I work, I believe the "point of dispatch" is the point at which I accept the release, either via my initialization of ACARS, or via my signature on the manual manifest at non-ACARS stations. (This is also the affirmative statement of fitness for duty required by Part 117, incidentally.)
Hmm, I work at the same shop as you and I want to say it's out time; door closed, released. Reason being is because I show to plane and find that dispatch release isn't up yet. Call dx and they say visibility is too low at the destination and he can't legally make a dispatch release. It's <1 hour flight so we have to use the METAR as well as the TAF. Well finally it comes up enough to get a dispatch release, but we still can't go because vis is below mins still (I can't remember exact details about why we got one, but still couldn't go). Well operations gets me on the phone via the gate agent and tell me we need to board and go sit in the box ready for takeoff and just wait for the visibility to go up. This is when I got to pull my PIC authority. I was 90% sure this was illegal and called my dispatcher to verify. I was right though. My dispatcher said you can board but DO NOT close the door and release the brake as that was considered dispatching the flight. We both agreed that would be a FAR violation. So we waited some more and finally the visibility came up, and we could block out. I don't blame operations for asking me to leave though. Turns out they needed that gate and I later found out another aircraft was waiting in the box for 30-45 minutes for our gate. Felt bad for those pax that missed their connections, but rules are rules.
 

Luigi

Well-Known Member
#17
Hmm, I work at the same shop as you and I want to say it's out time; door closed, released. Reason being is because I show to plane and find that dispatch release isn't up yet. Call dx and they say visibility is too low at the destination and he can't legally make a dispatch release. It's <1 hour flight so we have to use the METAR as well as the TAF. Well finally it comes up enough to get a dispatch release, but we still can't go because vis is below mins still (I can't remember exact details about why we got one, but still couldn't go). Well operations gets me on the phone via the gate agent and tell me we need to board and go sit in the box ready for takeoff and just wait for the visibility to go up. This is when I got to pull my PIC authority. I was 90% sure this was illegal and called my dispatcher to verify. I was right though. My dispatcher said you can board but DO NOT close the door and release the brake as that was considered dispatching the flight. We both agreed that would be a FAR violation. So we waited some more and finally the visibility came up, and we could block out. I don't blame operations for asking me to leave though. Turns out they needed that gate and I later found out another aircraft was waiting in the box for 30-45 minutes for our gate. Felt bad for those pax that missed their connections, but rules are rules.
I worked at your company as recently as January of this year, and when I left, the point of dispatch was running T/O numbers...
 

Flagship_dxer

The Penis Mightier
#19
Hmm, I work at the same shop as you and I want to say it's out time; door closed, released. Reason being is because I show to plane and find that dispatch release isn't up yet. Call dx and they say visibility is too low at the destination and he can't legally make a dispatch release. It's <1 hour flight so we have to use the METAR as well as the TAF. Well finally it comes up enough to get a dispatch release, but we still can't go because vis is below mins still (I can't remember exact details about why we got one, but still couldn't go). Well operations gets me on the phone via the gate agent and tell me we need to board and go sit in the box ready for takeoff and just wait for the visibility to go up. This is when I got to pull my PIC authority. I was 90% sure this was illegal and called my dispatcher to verify. I was right though. My dispatcher said you can board but DO NOT close the door and release the brake as that was considered dispatching the flight. We both agreed that would be a FAR violation. So we waited some more and finally the visibility came up, and we could block out. I don't blame operations for asking me to leave though. Turns out they needed that gate and I later found out another aircraft was waiting in the box for 30-45 minutes for our gate. Felt bad for those pax that missed their connections, but rules are rules.
These are some very conservative interpretations of the regulations. The regulation says weather reports or forecasts or combination of those indicate at ETA the weather will be below landing mins than you cannot dispatch the flight. I would say that if you had a legal forecast but it was the METARs that were the issue, I would say it is legal to push as METARs can change pretty quickly and can update several times an hour.

The bigger issue is were you guys using RVRs and checking the ASOS? Most airport plates in the CONUS have RVRs for landing mins for ILS and LOC approaches and for almost all 121 carriers RVR are controlling when available and authorized on the chart mins. Some airports can be reporting 0 SM visibility for half the day but the RVRs are 6500 all zones and holding steady for that same period. If going to an airport with RVRs, I would say as long as you had a legal forecast you can both board, push and takeoff with the METAR being below the statute mile mins. If the airport has an ASOS you can call, that usually updates every minute and is more up to date than the METAR which is a snap shot at the time it was issued.

If a flight is less than one hour, you are not required to use the METAR for dispatch. You are allowed to but you can still use the forecast. With visibility you really need the whole picture in terms of RVRs, ASOS, forecast, and if other flights are diverting or launching for that airport. Your flight may be more than an hour but if everyone is diverting and the vis and rvr are not showing an improvement, it may be better to hold off on taking off until there is an improving trend.

Forecasts are not that reliable and that is why there is 3585 for domestic ops and why for international ops on 10% reserves you can dispatch to an airport forecast to be below landing minimums.
 

Luigi

Well-Known Member
#20
These are some very conservative interpretations of the regulations. The regulation says weather reports or forecasts or combination of those indicate at ETA the weather will be below landing mins than you cannot dispatch the flight. I would say that if you had a legal forecast but it was the METARs that were the issue, I would say it is legal to push as METARs can change pretty quickly and can update several times an hour.

The bigger issue is were you guys using RVRs and checking the ASOS? Most airport plates in the CONUS have RVRs for landing mins for ILS and LOC approaches and for almost all 121 carriers RVR are controlling when available and authorized on the chart mins. Some airports can be reporting 0 SM visibility for half the day but the RVRs are 6500 all zones and holding steady for that same period. If going to an airport with RVRs, I would say as long as you had a legal forecast you can both board, push and takeoff with the METAR being below the statute mile mins. If the airport has an ASOS you can call, that usually updates every minute and is more up to date than the METAR which is a snap shot at the time it was issued.

If a flight is less than one hour, you are not required to use the METAR for dispatch. You are allowed to but you can still use the forecast. With visibility you really need the whole picture in terms of RVRs, ASOS, forecast, and if other flights are diverting or launching for that airport. Your flight may be more than an hour but if everyone is diverting and the vis and rvr are not showing an improvement, it may be better to hold off on taking off until there is an improving trend.

Forecasts are not that reliable and that is why there is 3585 for domestic ops and why for international ops on 10% reserves you can dispatch to an airport forecast to be below landing minimums.
Yeah so at the company they work for if the flight time is below an hour (taxi out+burn) they would require a legal METAR to launch. They can launch if they have the required RVR reading and the METAR is still illegal. Their company doesn't have that "upward trend" language that a lot of the majors carry.