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United B777 Fleet Grounding  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 22159 times:

Another FAA related maintenance check.

Quote:
United Advises Customers of Some Delays and Cancellations Today
Wednesday April 2

CHICAGO, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Airlines is informing customers traveling on April 2, 2008 on United's Boeing 777 aircraft that they may experience flight delays or cancellations as a result of a functional check being performed on the aircraft.

As part of a regular review of maintenance records, the company discovered that the functional test that checks the firing system on one of the five bottles in the cargo fire suppression system on the Boeing 777 was not performed, and this was voluntarily disclosed to the FAA. United is in the process of checking this part of the system. This system is regularly tested as part of the pre-flight safety checks.

These checks are related to compliance. United will not operate these aircraft until the tests are complete.

United will conduct the check on all 52 Boeing 777 aircraft in the company's fleet.

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080402/aqw104.html?.v=39

I'm sure it will be a painful day for may travellers today. Most of the European 777 flying has been cancelled already.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
66 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 22101 times:

Any ideas how long the check will take per aircraft? Did not see it in the article, maybe I missed it.


Phrogs Phorever
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21917 times:

Have they actually been grounded or is this another UA747 issue where they were checked over the course of an average four hours before going back into service?

User currently offlineHiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2177 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21785 times:

Just a check before going back into service...some are flying already having had their's completed.

User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3060 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21736 times:

Looks like every LHR service was cancelled last night/today.

Terminal 3 must be like a bear pit today  crowded 

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21715 times:

There are almost no UA 777s airborne at this time except a few that left prior to the grouding. Most Asia-US flights and Europe-US 777 flights are cancelled for the day. In addition there is atleast one ferry bringing a plane back to a maintenance base.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21599 times:

Sounds like a complete nightmare, I hope they they get them back in the air ASAP

User currently offlineUshermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2969 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21507 times:

Hmmm, somebody cutting some corners, eh?!
Well at least they got "busted" before something happened.



Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineYULYMX From Canada, joined May 2006, 977 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 21153 times:

Was on CNN a few minutes ago

User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 20985 times:

Seems like all the US carriers are trying to avoid a WN-esque fine now that the FAA is finally cracking down a bit.

User currently offlineDragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 20564 times:

Whats the difference between this and what WN did? Everyone does self checks, they find a problem, they disclose it to the FAA and they fix it. WN proposed to Boeing and their on site FAA rep there plan to complete the inspections over the course of... 10 days? They got their blessing, but some whistle blower didn't approve of the plan and it became bigger than it should have been. So everyone else is just going to down their fleets to complete inspections and cancel flights.

Quoting Ushermittwoch (Reply 7):
Hmmm, somebody cutting some corners, eh?!
Well at least they got "busted" before something happened.

Self disclosure is not getting busted? Busting yourself maybe? Its like double checking your fly is up rather than waiting for someone to tell you its not.



Phrogs Phorever
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6132 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 20439 times:

Looks like all the transpacific flights from the US to Asia are operating pretty much on-time at this point, the Asia to US departures are all out of wack either late or cancelled. I did some random checking on Europe to US and most of those flights were canceled however the US to Europe bank tonight seem to be ontime at least the ones that I checked. I also noticed that of the flights from Asia to the US the ones out of NRT are operating however most are hours behind schedule. I'm kind of wondering if this is alot like last time where it takes three or four hours to do the inspections and then the A/C are good to go.
As things this afternoon/evening look pretty normal at this point are they ferrying the A/C empty back to the US for the inspections? While that would drive the Greenies nuts (I'm all for that and besides its a short drive.) that would explain why NRT operated its flights, although really delayed for A/C servicing reasons, and the rest of the 777 from outstations in Asia were canceled.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6132 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 20438 times:



Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 10):
Whats the difference between this and what WN did?

WN operated hundreds of flights after discovering the problem, that's the difference.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1487 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 20189 times:



Quoting Ushermittwoch (Reply 7):
Hmmm, somebody cutting some corners, eh?!
Well at least they got "busted" before something happened.

According the internal memo to B777 pilots this check is for one of the 5 cargo fire suppression bottles. This one bottle was not included in the checklist of items to inspect during the maintenance process. From reading the memo it appears the checklist was approved by the FAA and Boeing and was missed by ALL parties including UAL Mtc. The bottle must be inspected before flight. If the bottle is found to be inop it may be deffered and the flight may continue, however it must have the inspection prior to being dispatched.

As a UAL pilot I offer up my biggest apology for those that are inconvenienced by this check. I have great pride in my company and find it very frustrating to have something like this occur. Personally I don't see this as a hazard to flight as the bottle is deferrable if found inoperative but it is never good to make headlines with a grounding.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9817 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 20169 times:

I'm surprised such a grounding is required. I work functional testing, but never in fire suppression systems, so I don't know the scope of the problem. I'm surprised so many flights have to be cancelled. I would think that with the proper crews, it shouldn't be that lengthy of a delay, but I guess I'm wrong. Anyone know what is entailed in such a test?

This is going to cost UA a lot of money. I'm guessing that grounding the 777 fleet for a day will cost them a few million dollars.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineChicagoFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 19995 times:

Talking about ugly news. The following flights are canceled for Wednesday, April 2nd SO FAR... all appear to be inbound US. More may be still to come...

Flt Dep Arr
951 BRU IAD
915 CDG IAD
967 FCO IAD
933 FRA IAD
905 FRA LAX
945 FRA ORD
941 FRA ORD
927 FRA SFO
892 ICN SFO
886 KIX SFO
939 LHR DEN
919 LHR IAD
925 LHR IAD
935 LHR LAX
929 LHR ORD
959 LHR ORD
931 LHR SFO
903 MUC IAD
830 NGO SFO
872 TPE SFO

The following flights were canceled yesterday; in addition yesterday's IAD-KWI is delayed almost a day (19 hrs or so, rescheduled for today at 5 pm).

Flt Dep Arr
948 DEN LHR
932 IAD FRA
924 IAD LHR
938 ORD LHR
926 SFO FRA
954 SFO LHR


User currently offlineSh0rtybr0wn From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 528 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 19859 times:

What a terrible thing to do. They'll lose so much business over the next few days. But I suppose they had no other choice.

User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4417 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19578 times:

None of this is surprising -- the North American aviation industry (airline and regulators alike) has experienced 7 years of financial distress, and cut corners in safety were inevitable. Not to sound crass, but most aviation lawyer I know of expects massive increases in the practice over the next few years...


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3671 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19434 times:



Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 10):
Self disclosure is not getting busted? Busting yourself maybe? Its like double checking your fly is up rather than waiting for someone to tell you its not.

"Double checking" means you've already checked once.

These 777's had components that were required to be checked but weren't. Hence, the grounding.

From MSNBC:

United, a subsidiary of UAL Corp., said a review of maintenance records showed a test on one of five bottles in the fire suppression system hadn't been performed.

This is like *not* checking that your fly is up, then realizing it about 5 hours later after walking around all over the place, and finally doing it to make sure nobody's laughing at you.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19354 times:

So here is my question, how are they dealing with all of the pax from these canceled flights, how are they going to clear the glut of backed up pax, are they loading up their partners aircraft, rescheduling, or what?

This is a minor issue, mechanically, but operationally having to ground a fleet of 52 long haul widebodies is a bid deal.

In my opinion, this is sad. UA has always been good to me, I'm scheduled to fly MSP-ORD-SFO-TPE and back next month, and I'm glad this happened now and not then. My question is, how is UA handling this for the people who are inconvenienced by it?



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19242 times:



Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 19):
My question is, how is UA handling this for the people who are inconvenienced by it?

How else would they handle it? Rebook on later flights or other carriers.

The fact that this check was missed by UA, the FAA, and Boeing is very worrying...you'd think at least one of the parties, especially the FAA, would have realized it was missing. Makes you wonder what else they missed, and not just at UA.


User currently offlineRJ777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1886 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19178 times:

So, how does this work? does a plane get inspected, and then once the inspection is done and is given the go, does the plane go right to the gate?

User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19075 times:



Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 20):

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 19):
My question is, how is UA handling this for the people who are inconvenienced by it?

How else would they handle it? Rebook on later flights or other carriers.

I guess I didn't phrase myself well... how badly is this effecting UA passengers? Have they found solutions for this so people are getting where they are going, or are this a situation where there are thousands of stranded people in airports all over?

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 20):
The fact that this check was missed by UA, the FAA, and Boeing is very worrying...you'd think at least one of the parties, especially the FAA, would have realized it was missing. Makes you wonder what else they missed, and not just at UA.

So if Boeing and the FAA missed this, does this only effect UA 777s, or are other carrier's 777s potentially also missing this bottle check?



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineTozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 19004 times:



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 18):
"Double checking" means you've already checked once.

These 777's had components that were required to be checked but weren't. Hence, the grounding.

The firing mechanisms in the 777 cargo fire suppression system are checked automatically before every flight. Maintenance is supposed to DOUBLE CHECK this item at regular intervals, but even if it is found to be inoperative, the item can be deferred. The reason the inspection was missed is because engineering failed to make up a job card for it so the mechanics did not know to do the inspection. At no time was safety of flight compromised, but WN and their cracked airplane/no rudder inspection fiasco has everybody on edge.

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 17):
None of this is surprising -- the North American aviation industry (airline and regulators alike) has experienced 7 years of financial distress, and cut corners in safety were inevitable. Not to sound crass, but most aviation lawyer I know of expects massive increases in the practice over the next few years...

This problem has nothing to do with cutting corners. I'm curious to know what "Massive increases in this practice" means. Massive increases in maintaining aircraft? I guess that would be a good thing, although I think the US airline fleet in general is among the best maintained in the world. I think possibly your lawyer friends are dreaming of ambulances to chase.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 19):
In my opinion, this is sad. UA has always been good to me, I'm scheduled to fly MSP-ORD-SFO-TPE and back next month, and I'm glad this happened now and not then. My question is, how is UA handling this for the people who are inconvenienced by it?

Although I don't know for sure, I would imagine that people are being re-booked on other airlines and code share partners. Some will end up being delayed a day, which is not good, but unfortunately this happens some times. WN really stirred up a hornets nest here, but in the end I think it will be good for aviation security. Safety is not something that can be rushed.



Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 18866 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 4):
Looks like every LHR service was cancelled last night/today.

I'll bet AA's LHR-ORD flights today (2 April) were pretty packed.


25 GSPSPOT : Makes you wonder.
26 YULWinterSkies : I understans that this is UA's initiative, but these 52 777s have probably been flying "unsafely" for quite a while, and I'm surprised that no agreeme
27 Dennys : .... i am affraid the other airlines could be touched like the DC10 s in 1979 ... dennys
28 Hiflyer : Looks like they are getting them done.....7 out of NRT with between 2-4 hr dlys per flt exp due to arrive back into the states fairly shortly....(gues
29 DC8FanJet : At no time, has there been a "safety" issue. The B777 self-checks the fire detection system every flight, this test is simply the "extra layer" of ch
30 Dragon6172 : WN tried this idea and some whistle blowers and vote fishing political types plastered it all over the front page news as being unsafe. They only did
31 Post contains links United1 : Decent article on what happened on CNN.... http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/04/02/united.777s.ap/index.html[Edited 2008-04-02 11:12:05]
32 Avek00 : Quite simply, there is a rather widely-held belief in many quarters of the aviation law community that we are going to soon enter a period of increas
33 HAMAD : Oh my god! this is a real mess!!!! i am wondering about all the angry passengers out there. this is a United's fault, so are they going to compensate
34 Mcdu : Hardly as many people affected as say the BA T5 issues or the grounding of the AA and DL MD80's recently. Is this an inconvenience? Of course, howeve
35 Airbazar : The pathetic thing about it is that this is the sort of thing we're use to hear from third world country airlines and now it's happened to just about
36 Dennys : Well if we could see less 777 but only one good UA 744 once a day in CDG , I should be delighted ! What a great disappointment to learn the UA and QR
37 Silentbob : As if Boeing is going to tell one of their biggest customers to ground a big chunk of their fleet. It would also have been spun as an utter lack of f
38 7673mech : And how exactly do you feel qualified to speak on the subject? I work in the industry day in and day out and can honestly say I do not see any corner
39 JPRM1 : Don't you find surprising that after the WN fine, suddenly Airlines do what they normally had to do since months, even if it is small maintenance....A
40 Avek00 : With all due respect, that's a logical falsehood. One need not be an airline employee in order to have a comprehension of aviation safety issues. In
41 PlateMan : If I may quote FOX5 DC on the incident about canceled flights. "Even flights to Roanoke are canceled.:" Something tells me United does not fly 777 fro
42 Movingtin : And I suppose you 2 will post proof of this?? show us the large increases in accidents and deaths due to cutting corners and skimping on maint that s
43 Murf : I hope your statement proves to be wrong. Only time will tell. Correct me if I'm wrong, the last "major airline" accident was the AA A300 crash just
44 Luv2cattlecall : You didn't hear? They're canceling all current service and replacing it with a bi-monthly 777 flight!
45 Post contains links KU747 : You are right, UA 982 scheduled arrival time is 17:05 on April 2nd. Estimated arrival @ 12:15 April 3rd. http://www.kuwait-airport.com.kw/Index_e.htm
46 Post contains images JetMech : I really don't think it will be anywhere near that dramatic. If it is only a functional check as mentioned, it sounds to me to be very much a procedu
47 Flylku : It is strange how people can read the same thread and interpret it in oppostie ways. "Skimping" infers intentionally performing at a less than accept
48 Post contains links Hiflyer : At 530pm EDT AP is quoting UAL as stating 36 of the 52 already done and returned to service. In regards to KWI they are going to get back to back flig
49 B707forever : Well, if there's any good news here it's that nothing happened and it took BA off the front page of the aviation world.
50 Avek00 : 1. I hope my statement proves to be wrong too. 2. Don't forget to count serious runway overruns & incursions, significant ground collisions, and most
51 Ziggy78 : Update from UAL to it's employees.... Yesterday, through a regular review of our maintenance records, we discovered we had not performed functional te
52 Ordfrbdl : It was so interesting listening to the news media calling these aircraft "seven seven seven"s or "seven seventy seven"s, which sounded like tongue twi
53 WorldTraveler : While likely true, I think there has been huge overreaction over the last couple weeks to some of the problems that are perceived to have occurred. So
54 NWAatNGO : Well now I know why my flight from NGO to SFO was canceled yesterday. Was originally supposed to fly NGO to NRT on NW, but they had a mechanical issue
55 777-500ER : Domestic 2 class 777s were not affected. All flights to Hawaii ad intra-hub operated as normal. Michael SFO
56 ConcordeBoy : What (or better yet why) do you limit to the designation of "major airline" accident? ...I'm pretty sure the surviving family members of the fatal WN
57 PlateMan : Haha, I missed that memo, thanks for keeping me informed. Brian
58 LACA773 : Out of LAX was UA able to reaccomodate their passengers on LH? With AF's new flight to LHR, did UA send their passengers over to T2 if they had the s
59 Airbazar : Ok, so according to you, only after there is an accident can we we say for a fact that corners were cut? Excellent. Let me know what airline you work
60 UAL777UK : Are you not forgetting that Boeing did not have the maintenance requirement in the manual which UA follows updated. Your very quick to point the fing
61 TUIflyer : It takes an airline like UA to have the courage to do the right thing by the passengers. Well done UA! TUIflyer
62 Avek00 : Not so much courage as worries of potential liability, especially if something bad had happened.
63 TUIflyer : My point precisely, UA stopped it before someting did. We only have to look back in the last few decades to see other airlines which have turned a bl
64 Tdscanuck : Unfortunately, your profile does not reveal your industry, but based on your statement I have to assume you've never worked with UA or Boeing. UA abs
65 Airbazar : I wasn't targetting just United but the US airline industry in general: UA, AA, DL, WN. I'm not naive enough to believe what you imply. I'm not naive
66 Mcdu : Sir, It was not the day after an FAA whistle blower pointed a cover up at Southwest that this discovery was reported. The SWA whistle blower started
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