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NTSB: Seaplane Wing Had Cracks  
User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4451 times:

Still think age isn't a factor??

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2005-12-20-miami-crash_x.htm

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4395 times:
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Nah, age shouldn't be a factor ... the better question is -- assuming a fatigue crack caused this -- why wasn't this found during regular inspections ...

In my mind, this is just so eerily similar to the C-130 firebomber crash ...

- litz


User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

If that doesn't make you think, will this?

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2005-12-20-aging-planes_x.htm


User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

Quoting Litz (Reply 1):
Nah, age shouldn't be a factor

 confused 

It is a factor.

You guys should know by know that these cracks are not going to be found, do you really think that Chalk Air is going to do the rigorous checks on all their Mallards? If Mary Schiavo taught us anything is that there are issues with aircraft repair and maintenance both with the people performing the work and sometimes the parts. The Major carriers are one thing but smaller airlines can have certain problems. Air Midwest 5481 is an example of how less than perfect maintenance happens and caused a captain to lose control of an overweight aircraft. This is why age plays a part even more in older planes. Lesser airlines are just not going to spend top dollar to inspect their aircraft. It is a fact. If you think you can use an airline like Chalk and climb on a 60 year old aircraft and be totally safe you are mistaken, I am not bashing Chalks or any other small carrier but the truth is that old aircraft run the risk of having these issues, especially with smaller companies. This was proven horribly when this thing went down.


User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4290 times:

Quoting Litz (Reply 1):
Nah, age shouldn't be a factor ... the better question is -- assuming a fatigue crack caused this -- why wasn't this found during regular inspections ...

 checkmark 

Age is not, and will never be a factor. Proper inspections and maintenance is the factor. An aircraft can fly forever if properly maintained.

I hate to say it folks, Chalk's is going to get crucified over this. We may have seen the last of this airline.  crying 


User currently offlineFilejw From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

The airlines culture is more a factor than anything.Is there responsibility keep it flying or take a little more time for maintance.Like landing on a short icy runway with a tailwind or divert.

User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4273 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4261 times:

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
This is why age plays a part even more in older planes. Lesser airlines are just not going to spend top dollar to inspect their aircraft. It is a fact. If you think you can use an airline like Chalk and climb on a 60 year old aircraft and be totally safe you are mistaken, I am not bashing Chalks or any other small carrier but the truth is that old aircraft run the risk of having these issues, especially with smaller companies. This was proven horribly when this thing went down.

Again you talk like you did in the other post but considering nobody yet knows why the Mallard went down, I aqm not sure why you are jumping to conclusions about it. "AGE" as a reason is not good enough... if there were cracks, then they should have been found and repaired. And remember, age isn't the only factor in crack formation.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4250 times:

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 4):
I hate to say it folks, Chalk's is going to get crucified over this. We may have seen the last of this airline.

I wouldn't dig Chalk's grave just yet. Let us see if this wing separated due to the cracks.

Where these cracks in a place that could be seen without disassembling the wing?


User currently offlinePositiveClimb From Germany, joined Jun 2004, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4242 times:

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 2):
If that doesn't make you think, will this?

Just a quote from the link you gave:

"But the age of the planes, some of which date back nearly 60 years, shouldn't by itself be a safety hazard, according to accident investigators.

"If the maintenance is robust and properly followed, aircraft have a virtually infinite life," says John Cox, a former airline pilot who now works as an aviation safety consultant."

So basically this person (of whom I know nothing, so won't comment on his qualification) contradicts the point of "older planes are more dangerous".That's the point I was trying to make in the other thread

Small Plane Crash In Water Off Miami (by LUVRSW Dec 19 2005 in Civil Aviation)

as well (I know NIKV69 won't agree, but maybe we can agree to disagree  Wink ) : an older plane can be as safe as a new one, if properly maintained (and in such case like an old seaplane dealing with salt water every day proper maintenance means more thoroughly maintenance than for other aircraft).

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):

You guys should know by know that these cracks are not going to be found, do you really think that Chalk Air is going to do the rigorous checks on all their Mallards?



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
Lesser airlines are just not going to spend top dollar to inspect their aircraft

For me this is a whole other question. As I stated, these aircraft (old, salt, water etc.) require much more maintenance than newer planes. If an airline is not willing to put the money/effort into these birds, than this is an airline to avoid (Yes, I know it is not easy to be aware of, and no, I'm not implying that Chalk's has neglected the maintenance). But I would feel more comfortable on a well-maintained older aircraft than on a newer with dubious maintenance records.


Best regards,
Fabian/PositiveClimb



Proud Airbus employee
User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4221 times:

Of course, age is a factor. And yes, with proper maintenance an aircraft can fly forever. Wind cracks on a 1940's vintage seaplane are not unexpected. I am surprised that Chalks did not find them during scheduled maintenance. With the environment and abuse that aircraft takes, you'd think the would be looking closely every month. The FAA will probably ground every other Mallard for inspection and Chalks is toast.

User currently offlineHiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2175 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4180 times:

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
do you really think that Chalk Air is going to do the rigorous checks on all their Mallards?

Yes.


User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4169 times:

So long as an airplane is properly maintained, it can fly until it is not feasible. Whether it be a Mallard, a DC-3, Stearman, I wouldn't have any doubts flying it, so long as, it is properly maintained.

There are many ways to detect fatigue cracks, such as eddy current, X-ray, isotope inspections, so this may be an issue. Where there any specific inspection requirements? Where they accomplished? What were the findings?

Until that is known, it is all going to be speculation.


User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

Age is not a factor. Bad maintenance is.


Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4148 times:

Age doesn't matter. I was at Gamco in 2001 and they were repairing cracks in Gulf A320 wing planks and these aircraft were less than 10 years old.

Chalk has had an excellent safety record, and they operate their aircraft in the most inhospitable conditions you can think of. Flying is inherently dangerous but with proper inspection and repair a airframe can remain safe and should have an unlimited life. Did someone miss something during an inspection, does this area require more frequent inspections, does the area require modification? All these questions will be answered by the investigation. When the investigation is complete the NTSB determine the cause, and place blame, if required and the FAA will recommend any corrective action.


User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4128 times:

I think the notion that aircraft can fly forever is absurd. You could argue that a car will last forever too - as long as you keep replacing parts. I'm not commenting on whether these Mallards are too old or not, I would just liike to point out that aircraft aren't invincible.

As for those who think age is everything, please comment on the YX incident last night.


User currently offlineFlyorski From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 995 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4119 times:

Age is a factor, the older an aircraft is the harder and more expensive it is to maintain. If an aircraft is properly maintained it can fly forever, however it appears like maybe the Chalks aircraft wasn't maintained to the standards it should have been. NTSB will likely recommend that the FAA ground Chalks.


"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4079 times:

Quoting Flyorski (Reply 15):
however it appears like maybe the Chalks aircraft wasn't maintained to the standards it should have been.

Why not wait until the report is out?


User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

One thing that I think will hurt Chalks is what kind of plane exists if they decide to replace their fleet? Can anybody think of a plane with the performance (seaplane) and size that is manufactured nowdays? I can't.

The only modern replacement I can think of is the Cessna Caravan which is at least half the size or the twin otter (is that even manufactured anymore?). Any thoughts?

LPLAspotter



Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
User currently offlineJetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4003 times:

It is almost impossible to find many cracks without virtually dismantling the wing, an expensive excercise in itself. An AD for increased inspections is what often makes an older aircraft uneconomic to maintain and operate.

Many people get all emotional about older airctaft. I'd love to see a lot of older planes still in the air. One of the raesons the mallard is still operating is lack of a suitable replacement.

HOWEVER new avionics, new paintjobs, new interiors, re-engineering with Turbo-props is all good and well - BUT its virtually impossible to replace the superstructure. Wings can be rebuilt in a jig but it's a very expensive job.

REALITY is old airplanes used in heavy commercial ops get replaced because they are generally too expensive to maintain once the get past a certain age



Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3944 times:
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Remember something else ... there are specifications and procedures for maintenance of an airplane (of any model).

The airline is required to adhere to these specifications, and the FAA then overseas (and certifies) the MX work.

Let the investigation work its course. Yes it appears the wing cracked off.

We don't yet know WHY ... and when we find out WHY, then we have to find out HOW ... and if it was a MX procedure (or lack of one) that contributed.

There may very well be an as-yet-unknown failure point on this particular airplane model, that was not in the procedures ...

The fact that it's a 60 year old plane is pretty much irrelevant ... look at the Air Force's B-52s, or the Confederate Air Force's warbirds. Or even NW's DC9s, many of which date to the 1960s ...

Heck, there's DC8s flying freight all over the place that date back as far.

Old planes do NOT equate to unsafe planes ... rather they are simply older machines that require a bit more care to operate safely.

So - as I said above, let the investigation work its course.

There are lots of questions yet to be answered.

- litz


User currently offlineIslandboy From Bahamas, joined Dec 2003, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3893 times:

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
This is why age plays a part even more in older planes. Lesser airlines are just not going to spend top dollar to inspect their aircraft. It is a fact. If you think you can use an airline like Chalk and climb on a 60 year old aircraft and be totally safe you are mistaken, I am not bashing Chalks or any other small carrier but the truth is that old aircraft run the risk of having these issues, especially with smaller companies. This was proven horribly when this thing went down.

No aircraft is totally safe. You can climb into a brand new plane and still crash. It's life. I'd still climb on board any other Chalk's aircraft regardless..as would other people apparently. The first flight out the day after the crash was practically full...but it didn't take off from FLL because the pilots were overcome with emotion.



Looks like the fresh wind has gone stale
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3640 times:

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 4):
I hate to say it folks, Chalk's is going to get crucified over this. We may have seen the last of this airline.

I hope not. Chalks is a staple of Miami and I have a feeling that their FF base will continue to support them...assuming they come out clean.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
Lesser airlines are just not going to spend top dollar to inspect their aircraft.

If Chalks is one of the above, why didn't this happen sooner? Chalks still has one of the best safety records of any airline and is the OLDEST airline in the US...I think they know what their doing.


User currently offlineGatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 874 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3595 times:

Hypothetically, let's say that structural fatigue was the cause of the accident. How likely is it that the other aircraft in Chalk's fleet are suffering from the same type of fatigue?


Cha brro
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3573 times:

Quoting LUVRSW (Thread starter):
Still think age isn't a factor??

No, age is NOT a factor. Proper maintenance and inspection just might be. I've seen brand new, 1 year old aircraft with cracks...!!



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 1985 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

I reckon it's a matter of semantics, but I don't see how anyone is saying age is not a factor. Age, alone, may not be the only factor, but the same maintenance on a new aircraft and you wouldn't have wings snapping off. Age is one of several factors. Not THE factor, but not a non-factor.

25 L-188 : I had to come home and get my hipwaders before entering this thread. there is a lot of BS going around here. First thing is that planes don't get to b
26 EMBQA : Tell that to Canadair when a few years back their 'BRAND NEW' CRJ200's started developing cracks in the wing spar in the center wing box area.
27 Rlwynn : You can say all you want how old planes are safe. But I think with this incident and it's publicity that ols plane are done for with the general publi
28 Post contains images MxCtrlr : From what I have been able to ascertain so far, there was a "major stress crack" in the R/H wing ROOT area - NOT in a readily visible area. Chalk's ha
29 Islandboy : I couldn't have said it better MxCtrlr. Chalk's will survive in one form or another. They are a vital part to some of our Islands economy. Bimini has
30 L-188 : I also want to add, that the physical structure of any amphibian will be much stronger then a land based aircraft. A flying boat lands and taxis on i
31 Sidishus : It shouldn't be, but I fear the negative press may have put the commercial viability of the Mallard fleet down the tubes for passenger service. And m
32 StuckInCA : Ugh. I'm saying a brand new airplane would maybe not have cracks, while an old one might... hence age is A factor (one of, potentially, several). I n
33 SLCPilot : Replacement aircraft? The only one that could reasonably come close IMHO is a Caravan. It would have to be considered as a 2/1 replacement, as it cert
34 L-188 : Still about 10 seats short. You can float a trotter, but you wouldn't get the flying boat experience. Frankly I wouldn't mind having a production Cer
35 NIKV69 : You guys are kidding yourselves, I agree an old plane can fly forever if properly maintained but you still run a risk of something going wrong. When
36 Post contains links MD-90 : If I ever played and won a BIG lottery, one of the planes that I would buy and restore would be a Grumman Albatross. Lovely, tough aircraft. Here's an
37 Sevenair : I think the caravan would be a good option. Even if you had to operate at a higer freq1uency, the single pilot ops means thats half the staffing bill
38 EMBQA : Dude.. That is a Bill Clinton answer..!! I'm an Inspector. I spend every day looking at aircraft of all ages. Some brand spanking new, some 25+ years
39 Post contains links and images TransIsland : I'd love to see Chalk's continue operations... why not one of these birds: View Large View MediumPhoto © Andrea Mugni - SpotIT
40 Post contains images MxCtrlr : Personally, I'd rather have a Grumman Goose (with PT6's if possible) or a GT-70 Mallard! Damn nice aircraft, either one. The Albatross is a little to
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