Minimum Flight Altitude (MFA) is the generic term for the minimum altitude at which it is safe for an aircraft to ﬂy.
When operating on a deﬁned route segment, national authorities may have published the Minimum Enroute IFR Altitude (MEA) for that segment. This altitude (or ﬂight level) ensures obstacle clearance and navaid reception. When available, MEA is published in black on the LIDO en-route charts below the airway designator. Alongside, in red, LIDO publishes Minimum Terrain Clearance Altitude (MTCA). This is a LIDO derived value, based on rounding up the elevation of the highest obstruction within 10nm of the airway to the nearest 100ft, then adding 1000ft tor terrain below 6000ft or 2000ft for terrain above. MTCA is always available.
LIDO OFPs present Route Minimum Oﬀ Route Altitude (Route MORA). This is a LIDO derived value based on the highest terrain within 20nm of a given route segment. For terrain up to 5000ft Route MORA provides 1000ft clearance; for higher elevations it provides 2000ft clearance.
When not operating on a deﬁned route segment, LIDO presents area obstacle clearance data in the form of a Minimum Grid Altitude (MGA). MGA is calculated by rounding up the highest obstruction within the respective grid area to the next 100ft then adding either 1000ft for obstructions up to 6000ft or 2000ft if they are higher. The lowest indicated MGA on LIDO charts is 2000ft. MGA is shown in purple if it is less than 10000ft and in red if it is greater.
Minimum Sector Altitude (MSA) is the minimum altitude that provides 1000ft of obstacle clearance within 25nm (unless otherwise speciﬁed) of a speciﬁed navigation facility. It is published as a segmented circle on LIDO plates. It is for emergency use only, and does not necessarily guarantee navaid reception.
Additionally, various instrument ﬂight procedure altitudes are calculated by national authorities when designing instrument procedures, and these are published on LIDO instrument plates. In particular Minimum Radar Vectoring Altitudes (MRVA) are provided to ATC and may be ﬂown when the aircraft is under positive radar control. The LIDO MRC chart shows MRVAs to allow cross checking of ATC instructions.
[ eom-a 8.1.1, eoma 220.127.116.11, lido route manual ]
With the exception of DA, which must be corrected if OAT is less than -10°C, baro VNAV approaches with a promulgated minimum temperature below OAT do not need to be corrected for temperature. For all other approach types, whenever OAT is less than -10°C, the Final Approach Fix altitude, platform altitude, NPA equivalent glide altitudes, DA/MDA and any other minimum altitudes on the approach must be corrected for temperature. This is most easily done using LIDO functionality; Table 6.1 may also be used. ATC must be informed of the corrected FAF altitude for traﬃc separation purposes.
Height above QNH source (feet)
To correct higher altitudes for temperatures below ISA, a conservative rule of thumb is to add 1% of the altitude for every 2° that the actual temperature is below ISA, e.g for a 20,000ft MEA with ISA-20° add 200x20/2=2000ft.
When operating in low atmospheric pressure conditions with an altimeter setting of 1013, the aircraft will be ∼30ft below the indicated altitude for every millibar that the QNH is below 1013. This can be applied as a positive increment to a published minimum altitude to calculate a minimum ﬂight level.
A combination of high winds and high terrain can result in localised variations in atmospheric pressure; consideration should be given to increasing MFA under these conditions.
Note that the Route MORAs presented on the LIDO OFPs do not have any of these corrections applied.
[ eom-a 18.104.22.168 ]
Obstacle clearance for take-oﬀ and initial climb phase is provided by a combination of LPC performance calculation and SID and EOSID design.
Engine failure or loss of pressurisation may lead to a requirement for en-route descent. Currently, the highest obstacle aﬀecting easyJet routes is Mont Blanc at 15,771ft. This is at least 2000ft below the A319 green dot one engine ceiling assuming MTOW and ISA+20. Thus, there are currently no special drift down diversion procedures in place. In the case of emergency descent following loss of pressurisation, all obstacles must be cleared by at least 2000ft. It is worth noting that the time of useful consciousness without supplementary oxygen is 30 minutes at 18,000ft.
For the approach phase, unless in visual contact with the ground with ﬂight visibility suﬃcient to identify all relevant obstacles, ﬂight below MSA should only be conducted on promulgated routes or instrument approach procedures or when being vectored at levels not less than MVA.
[ eom-a 22.214.171.124 ]
easyJet is responsible for ensuring that all airports selected as destinations or alternates are adequate in all respects, including runway dimensions, obstacles, ATS, lighting, approach procedures, weather reporting and emergency services.
Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) category 7 for A321 and 6 for A320/A319 are the normal minimum acceptable levels of cover. For some destinations, category 5 is considered acceptable; this will be notiﬁed on the OFP. Temporary reductions of up to two categories is permitted at departure and destination for a period of time not exceeding 72 hours. Downgrade to category 5 at UK alternates and category 4 at non-UK alternates is acceptable. If a downgrade occurs during ﬂight, the Commander may elect to land at an aerodrome regardless of RFSS category if it is considered safer than diverting.
easyJet will categorise aerodromes from A to C in order of increasing diﬃculty. The category of an aerodrome is promulgated on its LIDO CCI page. Operation to a category B aerodrome requires self-brieﬁng. Signing the OFP conﬁrms that this has been done. Operation to a category C requires speciﬁc crew qualiﬁcation.
[ eom-a 126.96.36.199, eoma 188.8.131.52 ]
All easyJet aircraft are Category C for the purpose of calculating operating minima.
Aerodrome speciﬁc take-oﬀ minima are presented on LIDO AOI charts. Pilot assessment of RVR for the initial part of the take-oﬀ run is permissable, but reported RVR must be considered for all other relevant reporting points.
Minima for instrument approaches (including circling) are presented on the relevant LIDO approach plates. Where decision height is listed as “Company”, NO DH should be used for CAT3B and 50RA should be used for CAT3A. easyJet is not certiﬁed to use “Localiser Perfomance with Vertical guidance” (LPV) minimas. Only RVRs applicable to relevant segments of the runway need to be considered for landing. Required stop end RVR is always 75m and required mid-point RVR is always 125m unless ROLLOUT mode is used, in which case it is also 75m.
When RVR is not reported, and provided that required RVR > 800m (after conversion), Table 6.2 may be used to convert Met Visibility to RVR for the purposes of complying with landing minima.
|Lighting Elements in Operation|| |
RVR = Met Vis x
|HI approach and runway lighting|| |
|Any other type of lighting installation|| |
|No lighting|| |
Circling minima should be used unmodiﬁed. It is permissible to descend prior to the ﬁnal turn. However, descent below circling minima should only occur once the landing threshold has been identiﬁed and all surrounding terrain is in sight.
If standby ILS transmitters, markers, meteorological measuring equipment or lighting systems are downgraded, approach minima may need to be modiﬁed. A table is presented at EOM-A 184.108.40.206 for this purpose. If a downgrade occurs below 1000ft on the approach, the approach may be completed at the Commander’s discretion.
A visual approach requires Met Visibility > 5km and cloud base > 2,500ft. Visual approaches at night are authorised unless prohibited in the relevant CCI. Visual circuits must be ﬂown at a height greater than 1500ft that ensures at least 500ft separation from obstacles.
MDA and DA must always be above OCA and must therefore be adjusted if OCA is increased by NOTAM.
[ eom-a 8.1.3, eom-a 8.1.5, eom-a 220.127.116.11 ]
Figure 6.1 shows a ﬂow chart for determining required minimas for take-oﬀ and destination alternates. A table for interpretation of TAFs with regards these requirements can be found at EOM-A 18.104.22.168.
Dispatch with no destination alternate should only be considered when payload or performance is limiting. Runways may be considered independent if each runway has a separate approach procedure based on a separate approach aid and no conceivable blockage of one runway would render the other unusable.
Two destination alternates are also required when landing performance cannot be assured due to wind or runway state or when no meteorological information is available for the destination.
In the case of an engine failure at any point along the planned route an adequate aerodrome must be available within 60 minutes single engine ﬂying time. Table 6.3 shows the equivalent distances for the easyJet ﬂeet.
[ eom-b 5.1 ]
The OFP presents the following values for use in pre-ﬂight fuel planning:
Fuel loaded at the discretion of the ﬂight crew. There is not much oﬃcial guidance as to amounts; my personal ballpark ﬁgures are:
[ eom-a 8.1.7, eom-b 5 ]
Where payloads are such that the carriage of normal fuel loads results in exceedance of structural or performance limitations, eom-a 22.214.171.124 presents a number of methods of reducing fuel requirements below those that would normally apply.
The simplest method is to reduce the trip fuel requirement once it is certain that the SID and/or STAR that will be ﬂown requires less track mileage than those anticipated in the OFP route. The adjustment is 4kg per nm.
More signiﬁcant reductions can be achieved when the conditions for not requiring a destination alternate (see Section 6.4) are met. In this case, the alternate fuel can be replaced with 15 minutes of holding at destination.
Finally, it is possible to reduce contingency fuel by declaring an “en-route alternate”. This will, at most, allow contingency fuel to be reduced to 90th centile statistical contingency fuel (SCF), or, in the absence of SCF ﬁgures, 3% of trip fuel. The contingency can never be reduced below 5 minutes of holding at 1500ft at destination, and minimums of 200kg for A321, 170kg for A320 NEO, 204kg for A320 CEO or 190kg for A319 also apply. Details of the procedure, including the somewhat complex determination of where an en-route alternate must be situated, may be found in eom-a 126.96.36.199.4.
[ eom-a 188.8.131.52 ]
The aircraft operating manual speciﬁes maximum ramp, take-oﬀ, landing and zero fuel weights. The maximum take-oﬀ weight may also be reduced by easyJet to take advantage of reduced ATC charges; where this has been done, the new MTOW must be treated as a structural limit. These limitations are also presented in the weights block of the OFP.
The basis for calculations to determine compliance with these structural limits is the Dry Operating Weight (DOW). The DOW is the total weight of the aircraft with no usable fuel or payload. It is available at the top of the OFP, but the canonical value is that contained in the EFB database unless otherwise notiﬁed by a ﬂight brief notice. Other weights are calculated as follows:
In addition to the main structural weights, load limits for individual cargo compartments may be found in fcom per.lod.cgo.
[ eom-a 184.108.40.206.1 ]
Tables 6.4 to 6.7 give the standard weights that may be used when calculating payload.
|Child (Age 2–11 inclusive)||35kg|
|Type of Flight||Weight|
|Within the European Region||13 kg|
|All Other||13 kg|
easyJet generally uses standard weights for passengers and crew and actual weights for baggage. It is not permissible to use standard weights for baggage if this leads to a value less than known actual weights. Freight must always be weighed.
The standard crew weights include an allowance for hand baggage. Any additional baggage must be accounted for.
[ eom-a 8.1.8 ]
Compliance with balance limitations is achieved using the EFB Weight and Balance modules with actual seating positions. A “free seating contingency” is available at EOMB 7.5 for exceptional circumstances precluding the use of allocated seating data.
[ eom-b 7.1.1 ]
An LMC exceeding +10/-20 Passengers requires new paperwork and a new performance calculation. A change in CG greater than 2% in either direction or an increase of payload of more than 250kg require a new performance calculation. If payload change ≤ +250kg and the change in CG is 2% or less then the original performance calculation can be used.
[ eom-b 7.4 ]
Operational Flight Plans (OFP) are usually downloaded to the pilots’ iPads via the Smart Portal app. In the event that one pilot is unable to download OFPs, there is a facility to transfer OFPs between iPads via Bluetooth. Ensure that the status of all ﬂights is “closed” at the end of the duty as this indicates that easyJet have received the completed OFPs.
If neither pilot is able to download OFPs, they may be downloaded as PDF ﬁles from the easyJet web portal and annotated using the Acrobat app. A ﬁnal fallback is to have OCC email the PDF ﬁles. The annotated ﬁles must then be emailed to easyJet at the end of the duty.
[ eom-a 8.1.10 ]
All entries must be completed in block capitals.
Any signature must be accompanied by a printed surname, the date and any applicable authorisation or approval numbers.
If an entry is changed, the incorrect entry must have a single line drawn through it, the reason for the alteration entered next to the original text and a signature.
The Tech Log must be cross checked for errors after the ﬁnal sector of a duty.
[ eom-a 220.127.116.11, eom-a 18.104.22.168, eom-a 22.214.171.124 ]
The tech log is divided into prologue pages and a main section.
The prologue pages include the Certiﬁcate of Release to Service, records of Acceptable Deferred Defects (ADD), the Damage Register and “Brieﬁng Notes to Crew”. These must all be checked prior to accepting an aircraft.
Each page in the main section is divided into a defect section and four tear-oﬀ sector record strips. Unused strips on the current page should be struck out if any entry has been made in the defect section or when a crew change occurs without a direct handover.
The top half of each sector record strip is for recording details of a sector after it has been completed. The “Log Time” and “Landings brought forward” boxes are no longer used and should be struck through. The “Full Rated Thrust T/O” and autoland reporting are only relevant to the 737 ﬂeet. If the record of the previous sector is found to be incorrect or incomplete the duty pilot must be contacted for authorisation to continue.
The bottom half of the strip is used to record pre-departure data and acceptance of the aircraft. The “Oil Check” and APU oil level boxes are not relevant to ﬂight crew and should be struck through. The ambient temperature fuel uplift should be recorded rather than the temperature corrected ﬁgure. To calculate approximate uplift in kg, multiply the uplift in litres by 0.8. If anti-icing has been carried out, the type of ﬂuid, concentration and start and end times should be recorded. If anti-icing is carried out more than once it will be necessary to use multiple strips; each strip must have a copy of all the pre-departure data.
Each main section page has three coloured carbon copy sheets. The pink page is used to comply with regulations requiring retention of documentation at departure station. The pink strip with the commander’s acceptance signature must always be left behind. The entire pink page should be left behind when there are no more usable strips, including when the strips have been struck out in accordance with the paragraph above. All other pages belong to engineering.
[ eom-a 126.96.36.199, eom-a 188.8.131.52 ]
All defects should, with the following exceptions, be immediately entered into the tech log:
MOC must be contacted whenever a defect is entered in the tech log. Where possible MOC will arrange for engineering to rectify the defect or clear it to an ADD sheet in accordance with the MEL.
When no engineering support is available MOC may request that the ﬂight crew clear a defect to the ADD pages. Deferral of defects by ﬂight crew is only possible when the defect is assessed by MOC as having no eﬀect on airworthiness or when the relevant MEL entry has no maintenance actions speciﬁed.
To clear a defect to the ADD pages the commander should obtain an ADD Level 1 AMOS workorder number from MOC and enter it in the “ACTION TAKEN” column along with the MEL reference and repair interval. The commander signs for this in the “ACTION TAKEN” column and crosses through the CRS section; authorisation by MOC for release to service is implicit in the creation of the workorder number. The relevant ADD entry should then be completed on the Aircraft Status Report sheet. The complete tech log defect description should be transferred, along with the tech log page reference and item number, any MEL/CDL reference number and limiting criteria (e.g. expiry date).
Successful computer resets should be recorded by making a suitable entry in the defect section, e.g.
CREW RESET: COM CIDS 1 + 2 FAULT ON THE GROUND, SUCCESSFUL RESET AS PER QRH
These entries do not count as open defects, so signatures should be placed below the entry and the associated “Action Taken” and CRS sections should be struck through.
Information that may be useful but which does not require immediate engineering action may, with MOC’s agreement, be recorded as a “FOR INFO” entry in a similar way, e.g.
FOR INFO: FMGC1 FAILED. RECOVERED WITH NO CREW INTERVENTION.
Signatures should be placed below the entry, and the phrase “Reviewed and nil defect conﬁrmed” should be entered in the “Action Taken” column to indicate that MOC are aware.
Bird strikes that do not result in damage may be recorded as “For Info” entries, providing the restrictions in EOM-A 184.108.40.206 are observed.
[ eom-a 8.1.11, eom-b 220.127.116.11, eom-b 3.3, eom-a 18.104.22.168 ]
The validity of recurrent engineering checks must be conﬁrmed prior to accepting an aircraft. This is done for most checks by checking that the Certiﬁcate of Release to Service is valid. Completion of the daily check is recorded via an entry in the defect column; the earliest a daily inspection for a given calendar day may be certiﬁed is 18:00z on the previous day.
[ eom-a 22.214.171.124 ]
The SCCM enters details of cabin defects in the cabin defect log and presents it to the commander at the end of the ﬂight. The commander must review the defects and transfer any airworthiness items to the technical log.
[ eom-a 126.96.36.199 ]
All required manuals and charts are carried in electronic format on the EFB.
The following ﬂight documentation must be carried in paper form:
[ eom-a 8.1.12 ]