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Is LET-410 A Safe Plane?  
User currently offlineJrosa From Brazil, joined Jun 2005, 367 posts, RR: 11
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12618 times:

On March 31st 2006 a LET-410UVP of TEAM doing a regional flight from MEA to SDU crashed on a hill killing all passengers and crew, since then TEAM flights are not with good loads.


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I checked on airdisaster.com the track record of LET-410 and there are 20 crashes with this type, the vast majority killing all passengers and crew on board.

If you consider that LET-410UVP is not an aircraft type with too many frames built its track record of 20 crashes indicates that this aircraft type is not the safest around.

http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi-bin/a...rcraft_detail.cgi?aircraft=Let+410

I would like to know from you if you consider the LET-410UVP a safe or an unsafe aircraft.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

JC

p.s.: I may have to get a flight operated by TEAM using the LET-410UVP, so it's very important to get some information.

[Edited 2006-08-19 03:55:17]

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12599 times:

I don't know of any problems inherent to the LET-410 itself that would make it a plane to be wary of. On the contrary, actually. The problem here is likely that the specific operators of this type tend to be third and fourth-tier carriers -- many of them unscheduled operators -- in small countries. At these sorts of companies, accidents are more prone to occur in the first place, regardless of aircraft type. (Note: "more prone" does not mean "prone" -- even the most "unsafe" company is still safe.)

Best,

Patrick Smith

www.askthepilot.com



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 12503 times:
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Quoting Aviateur (Reply 1):
The problem here is likely that the specific operators of this type tend to be third and fourth-tier carriers -- many of them unscheduled operators -- in small countries. At these sorts of companies, accidents are more prone to occur in the first place, regardless of aircraft type.

I'd also agree with that. The L-410 safety issue is much like the 732 safety issue - maintenance, crew training and general operational conditions have a huge part in it. The L-410 was designed from the outset to operate in spartan conditions and as the airframe ages, it becomes less resistant - but is still flown in the same conditions. There's quite a number of early L-410s still cheerfully flying with no problems.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineMacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1073 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 12442 times:

according to the A/C data sheet on here there were more than 1100 410s of all variants built (since 1969) with still 400 frames in service. I wouldnt think thats "not an aircraft with too many frames built".

The 410 was designed for operations on unprepared strips. So no wonder why you will find that plane mainly in lower developed regions, where maintenance is a huge issue when it comes to crashes.

I have had 4 flights on it this June with Atlantic Airlines from Hondureas. Once we had to change a frame due to fuel leakage. The fuel was dripping out of an engine. Still nice flights. However, as the data sheet mentioned toilets, I cant remember having one on these planes???

Fly it and enjoy!



I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 12332 times:

Heres a better list,
http://aviation-safety.net/database/...320%&cat=%1&sorteer=datekey&page=1


User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 12302 times:
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Quoting Macc (Reply 3):
However, as the data sheet mentioned toilets, I cant remember having one on these planes???

Depends on the version I think. I remember seeing them on all UVP-E pax/combi versions (at least those operated by TradeAir of Croatia). I also remember hearing that paratroop versions don't have one, but I'm not clear on that.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineRAPCON From Puerto Rico, joined Jul 2006, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 12252 times:

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 1):
I don't know of any problems inherent to the LET-410 itself that would make it a plane to be wary of. On the contrary, actually. The problem here is likely that the specific operators of this type tend to be third and fourth-tier carriers -- many of them unscheduled operators -- in small countries.

I agree. A good comparison would be to check the accident rate of LET410's in the Eastern European countries and compare that to the third world.

I would have no hesitation of flying a LET410 out of, lets say, Bratislava.

At the same time if a LET410 is the only available mode of transportation to get me out of XOXIMILCOTUPELQUXZE, Guatemala, after a civil war starts, I will not hesitate to jump on board.

So I guess it's all about your own individual comfort level vs. desperation.



MODS CAN'T STOP ME....THEY CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME!!!
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 12216 times:

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 6):
I agree. A good comparison would be to check the accident rate of LET410's in the Eastern European countries and compare that to the third world.

Would you know of any operators of the LET410 in Western Europe or in North America - past or present? With this aircraft being equipped with PW engines, you would think that it should have attracted at least a handful of orders in those markets.

And I agree with observations above. This aircraft is cheap to acquire and operate, and thus is popular with small operators in third world countries. I think the accidents and losses of frames follows and is reflective of the required safety standards of those countries, and not that the LET410 is an unsafe aircraft per se.


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12201 times:

Manx2 operate the Let-410 out of the Isle of Man to Blackpool, Belfast and Leeds. Their aircraft is Hungarian registered and seems to be fairly reliable so far.

Their aircraft is NOT fitted with a toilet and their website tells pax specifically to make sure they go before the flight!! Big grin

Currently they operate one Budapest Air Services and one Silver Air (Czech) planes. They are due to take delivery of their second BAS plane in a week or so.

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlinePRGLY From Czech Republic, joined Dec 2004, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 12149 times:

check this website
http://www.planes.cz/l410/l410.asp?xml=a_l410&xsl=index_l410&id=czs
a lot of answers about L410 can be found there
english version available



just fly - it is nice
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4358 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 12119 times:

I once flew Atlantic Airlines Let-410 from San Pedro Sula to Belize thru turbulence, I didn't feel safe due to the bad safety record of the Let linked to the third worldish background of Atlantic, well but going overland would be a bit unsafe as well.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 12090 times:

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 1):
The problem here is likely that the specific operators of this type tend to be third and fourth-tier carriers

And also likely to be the third or fourth owner of the aircraft.

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Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 7):
This aircraft is cheap to acquire and operate, and thus is popular with small operators in third world countries. I think the accidents and losses of frames follows and is reflective of the required safety standards of those countries, and not that the LET410 is an unsafe aircraft per se.

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[quote=Scalebuilder,reply=7]Would you know of any operators of the LET410 in Western Europe or in North America - past or present?

Quote:


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[quote=Scalebuilder,reply=7]With this aircraft being equipped with PW engines, you would think that it should have attracted at least a handful of orders in those markets.

With the planned revival of production, we just might see them in more places.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12009 times:
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Quoting Jrosa (Thread starter):
If you consider that LET-410UVP is not an aircraft type with too many frames built its track record of 20 crashes indicates that this aircraft type is not the safest around.

I fly this aircraft so often from Port au Prince to Santo Domingo.

I will not defend this aircraft but yes it's price, the availability and the market for this aircraft of 30 seats.



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently onlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4704 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11994 times:

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 7):
With this aircraft being equipped with PW engines, you would think that it should have attracted at least a handful of orders in those markets.

Why would you want western engines ? Several western aircraft are built with or converted to the Walter M601 turbine, which powers the LET-410. A few examples: Turbine Lancairs, converted King Airs and agricultural aircraft, several kitplanes, among them CompAirs or the turbine version of the AviaBellanca Columbia... And the list goes on ! The engine is especially popular because it doesn't require hot section inspections and because it's cheaper to buy and overhaul.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineTu204 From Russia, joined Mar 2006, 1256 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11963 times:

It is a safe plane. During the test phase they did have a problem with the fusulage...it broke in half in midair but they returned to the drawing board and fixed the problem.
Btw, during that crash, the test pilot Vilk (I am not sure how to spell his name in english...but it means "wolf" in Czech.) went down with the plane and was relaying to the ATC what happened to the plane so that the designers could find the cause and fix the problem. Which they did.



I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11926 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 13):
Why would you want western engines ? Several western aircraft are built with or converted to the Walter M601 turbine, which powers the LET-410.

It was not my intention at all to turn down other engine alternatives, so I think you misunderstood me.

I don't think we can deny that supply chain strategies and availability of parts for that matter, plays a big role when it comes to the choices of engines for an aircraft and the airline that decides to operate these. The Czech Republic is obviously an open, free and democratic country today, and the Walter M601 turbine is likely an excellent choice today as well. In the past maybe the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A27s would have worked better for Western airlines with the Czech Republic being dominered by the Soviet Union, and being in a state of transition for several years that followed. It takes time and conviction for the airline industry to be convinced that "We can get our replacement parts when we need them". I am by no means trying to express that Pratt & Whitney Canada is the superior engine choice for the LET-410.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17180 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11918 times:

Quoting Jrosa (Thread starter):
I checked on airdisaster.com the track record of LET-410 and there are 20 crashes with this type, the vast majority killing all passengers and crew on board.

Nowadays my kneejerk reaction to anything on airdisaster is "Bulls**t!" The stats are attributed a significance they just don't have.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 4):
http://aviation-safety.net/database/type/type.php?type=320

Much better site. Avoids flawed statistics and flawed interpretations of statistics.


For the rest, I would agree that the operator and the operating conditions have a much bigger impact on accident frequency than the aircraft.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently onlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4704 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11918 times:

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 15):
It was not my intention at all to turn down other engine alternatives, so I think you misunderstood me.

I don't think we can deny that supply chain strategies and availability of parts for that matter, plays a big role when it comes to the choices of engines for an aircraft and the airline that decides to operate these. The Czech Republic is obviously an open, free and democratic country today, and the Walter M601 turbine is likely an excellent choice today as well. In the past maybe the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A27s would have worked better for Western airlines with the Czech Republic being dominered by the Soviet Union, and being in a state of transition for several years that followed. It takes time and conviction for the airline industry to be convinced that "We can get our replacement parts when we need them". I am by no means trying to express that Pratt & Whitney Canada is the superior engine choice for the LET-410.

Ah, I see. I agree, in the past PW would have been better. But then again, it's the whole aircraft you have to maintain, not only the engines !



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11890 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 17):
Ah, I see. I agree, in the past PW would have been better. But then again, it's the whole aircraft you have to maintain, not only the engines !

Engines will likely have a higher ratio of required inspection and maintenance than any other parts of an aircraft. Cars that you and I drive every day work the same way. If something goes wrong with your car, in all likelihood you will likely have to pull the hood up and figure it all out.


User currently onlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11761 times:

Quoting Jrosa (Thread starter):
I would like to know from you if you consider the LET-410UVP a safe or an unsafe aircraft.

Not really. Mostly because of the reasons already stated by others: Xth owner, small operator with dubious safety procedures and financial strenght to send a/c for checks. The best years of this a/c are gone and comparison with 732's safety issues is a very good one.
2005 in particular was a really bad year for L410. Four major crashes in 10 months is just horrible.
On the other hand if you read through the accident descriptions (the most fatal ones) you'll see how often the cause of the accident was either overloading the a/c, flying in poor weather, midair collision, etc. causes not to be attributed to the aircraft as such. There are also several disasters caused by pilot's actions (I'm not pilot myslef, can anyone more experienced tell whether how safe and wise is it to practice engine failure with 13 people or perform barell-roll at 100m with this type of an aircraft).


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17180 posts, RR: 66
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11660 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 19):
There are also several disasters caused by pilot's actions (I'm not pilot myslef, can anyone more experienced tell whether how safe and wise is it to practice engine failure with 13 people or perform barell-roll at 100m with this type of an aircraft).

Eh. I don't have to be a pilot to tell you that those actions are not kosher in any commercial airliner.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2915 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 11563 times:

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 14):
Btw, during that crash, the test pilot Vilk (I am not sure how to spell his name in english...but it means "wolf" in Czech.) went down with the plane and was relaying to the ATC what happened to the plane so that the designers could find the cause and fix the problem. Which they did.

And what happened to the brave wolf himself? Did he parachute out or did he stay in the plane relaying data? What a story!!!



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineFlymad From South Africa, joined Jun 2006, 207 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11475 times:

Have flown Let 410 with Air Malawi a couple of times and have never felt unsafe in the a/c. - To the contrary I thoroughly enjoyed all the flights as all were at a lower altitude than normal commercial a/c and in one or two cases could actually spot game on the ground. A/c a little noisy but exciting. If you get the opportunity, I say fly on it even if just for another experience.

User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11353 times:

One of the cool things about the Walter is the automatic overtemp control; it won't let you slag the engine (at least not easily).

The Let seems built like a tank, but the fact that it's often used in more dangerous conditions and by less-funded operations certainly wouldn't help the safety record. Just look at the DC-6 safety record from, say, 1965-1980 conpared to 1950-1965 as the planes transitioned from primary operators to secondary ones.

Steve


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