- 10 -
a complete file at their headquarters which was "substantial compliance with the regulation." Since the flight crews do not commence all flights at company headquarters this method of dispatching does not insure the traveling public that the Mohawk illisible crews will receive all available and required weather information prior to commercial flights.
The authority to sign a release is specifically placed in the captain and the aircraft dispatcher. Any delegation of this authority must originate or emanate from the possessor of that authority. In this instance there was no proper delegation of authority from an aircraft dispatcher to an authorized Rochester station employee. To properly accomplish the delegated functions, the Customer Service Agent should have performed certain essential services in addition to the single act of signing the release form. He was required to prepare the flight plan release form and supply copies of the weather conditions en route, at the destination and the alternate. This required knowledge as to the identity and sources of this information. It also required the ability to identify the latest document by time and date and a general appraisal of content to insure that all available information relative to the operational safety of the flight had been supplied the captain by every means possible.
Since Customer Service Agents had little, if any, previous operational experience, Mohawk Airlines attempted to qualify them by examination. This was proper and in accordance with existing requirements.
The examination was prepared by the Training Department but there was no coordination with, or review by, the Mohawk Dispatch Office. The sample examination was deficient in content and scope. As an example, while the examination is titled "A Qualification Examination for Authority to Sign Release Forms," only three of the eleven questions had even a remote bearing on the subject matter. There was nothing in the examination which would assure that the examinee had been trained in or was familiar with information regarding local weather reports, forecasts, notices to airmen, or the required attachments to the flight plan release form.
A grade of 100 percent in the examination would not insure that the examinee could identify a sequence weather report, a terminal forecast, an area forecast, or a SIGMET, or would know where to secure this information. Such an examination should include the philosophy for delegation of authority, the working tools, and the mechanics for performance.
The insufficiency of the qualifying examination and the resultant performance of Customer Service Agents can be attributed, in a large measure, to the company's organizational structure which insulated the dispatch office from supervision of the Customer Service Agent's performance. The Customer Service Agent performed in behalf of but was not responsible, in the chain of command, to the dispatch office. As a result of this, the dispatchers at Utica could not or did not monitor the performance of Customer Service Agents acting in their behalf.
- ↑ CAR 40.411 states "A dispatch release shall be prepared for each flight between specified points from information furnished by the authorized aircraft dispatcher. This release shall be signed by the pilot-in-command and by the authorized aircraft dispatcher only when both believe the flight can be made with safety. The aircraft dispatcher may delegate authority to sign such release for a particular flight, but he shall not delegate the authority to dispatch."