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JAT DC-10 Flew To China With No Weather Radar  
User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5861 times:

(I got this from


a magazine in Serbian)

Here is my translation:

“Even a blind chicken finds a way to peck a seed” people say when they want to say that things of importance should not be left to chance. At JAT it seems, they do not think this way, as the airline’s DC-10 flew for four months to China without radar. Explaining that this is a piece of equipment necessary to ensure normal functioning of the flight, especially if meteorological conditions are not ideal (for example, so the plane doesn’t fly into hailstorm cloud) our sources comment that that “luckily a catastrophe never happened”. At JAT this “ minus of equipment” was unclearly and incompletely presented in the planes log. Encase of an emergency the plane would have had to land immediately at the nearest airport, which does not remove the possibility of an accident.

It is up to the proper authorities to now find out who was responsible for this sloppiness, but also to check whose goal it was to fly to Beijing, no matter what. Was it simply a matter of bringing Chinese travelers to JAT’s Belgrade hub where they would continue travelling on, or were Chinese migrants just a cover for removing foreign currency and gold from Yugoslavia? Because, throughout all the four months of the summer, at Airport Belgrade something was always being loaded on to planes.


(original Serbian text)

Do Kine naslepo
Da i ćorava koka neko zrno nađe kažu ljudi kad hoće da kažu na to da se važne stvari ne smeju prepustiti slučaju. U JAT-u izgleda ne misle tako, pa je avion DC 10 čak četiri meseca leteo bez radara za Kinu. Objašnjavajući da je reč o uređaju neophodnom za normalno funkcionisanje leta, pogotovo ako vremenski uslovi nisu idealni (da avion, na primer, ne uleti u gradonosni oblak) sagovornici "Reportera" komentarišu da se "srećom nije desila nikakva katastrofa". U JAT-u su ovaj "manjak opreme" na listama o spremnosti aviona za let prikazivali nemuštim i nedorečenim konstatacijama. Da je, kojim slučajem, došlo do problema avion bi morao hitno sletati na najbliži aerodrom što ne isključuje ni mogućnost nesreće.
Na nadležnim inspekcijskim organima je da sada pronađu odgovorne za ovaj javašluk ali i da provere kome je to bilo u cilju da po svaku cenu leti za Peking: da li je u pitanju bilo samo poštovanje dogovorene dinamike dovoženja Kineza za Srbiju (koja im je usputna stanica za Evropu) ili su migranti iz Azije samo pokriće za iznošenje zlata i deviza. Jer, tokom sva četiri letnja meseca na Aerodromu "Beograd" se stalno nešto tovarilo u avione.

This sounds very scarry. I really do not know how dangerous it is to fly with no weather radar but I am sure safety is greatly compromised. Could any of you experts (pilots) on this forum please explain just how dangerous this is? I also can't help but wonder who was responsible for this. It is sad to see that a once good airline has sunk to such a low.

What is your view on the whole thing?

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDl727-200adv From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5827 times:

While I am surprised an airline would take 4 months to repair a inop weather radar I would think that flying with an inop weather radar is legal under the airline’s approved MEL (minimum equipment list). Certainly it is far safer to fly with a working weather radar but there are other sources of meteorological information to help the crew avoid flying directly into a thunderstorm. However I seem to recall an accident involving a Westwind business jet flying into a severe thunderstorm after it’s weather radar partially failed & the aircraft departed controlled flight, entered mach tuck, and subsequently suffered a structural failure of the empennage. So there are accidents to prove safety is compromised when flying with an inop or marginal weather radar but I think it is legal.
That’s just my $.02 on the matter. Any airline pilots here have more information on how MEL’s treat the weather radar?

User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5776 times:

It's also strange that JAT's Beijing flight is not non-stop anymore, it needs a stop in Kiev.

User currently offlineRyaneverest From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5764 times:

I don't think it's strange, Jiml1126. I don't see a big load on the Beijing-Belgrade route, and JAT needs some money from shuttle flights. So I guess the stop in Kiev is necessary or they would simply axe the route.

User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5736 times:

At one point JAT had a flight to Kiev directly from Belgrade once weakly on an ATR-72 but they got rid of that. I guess this is how they make up for it. Also, the people travelling from Kiev to Beijing make them some money on that route.

User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5731 times:


I just checked their website and they have two other flights to Kiev. On Tuesdays with an ATR-72 and on Fridays with a Boeing 737-300. The schedule does not say where the DC-10 stops on its way to Beijing.

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