737-990 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 378 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 11398 times:
OK, I'm going to ask the mods not to delete this post, I've seen several started and removed. I know there is a thread about AA canceling 200 flights: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/3902914/ , however this thread is a week old and has over 50 replies going off on several tangents. I think that today's news (April 8th) warrants it's own thread and is there for not a duplicate. Several news outlets are reporting that AA has, or will cancel 500 flights Tuesday and an undisclosed number Wednesday. Below is a link to AAs press release:
American Airlines Cancels Flights To Inspect MD-80 Fleet Again To Ensure Technical Compliance With FAA Directive
FORT WORTH , Texas -- American Airlines is canceling several hundred flights today to conduct additional inspections of its MD-80 fleet to ensure precise and complete compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration's airworthiness directive related to the bundling of wires in the aircraft's wheel wells. These inspections -- based on FAA audits -- are related to detailed, technical compliance issues and not safety-of-flight issues.
Flyingcat From United States of America, joined May 2007, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10989 times:
to paraphrase a great line:
"What the f**k's going on down there?"
Geez WN already found itself on the hot seat now AA will put itself on the same position. Also why the MD80s why have we not heard of rumblings from NW cancelling DC9 to inspect something.
Don't tell me that the 737 is also bulletproof.
It seems that AA and possibly DL might have overstepped some time critical maintenance. If DL does not do the same cancellation it may have a really bad affect on AA's public image as they will be viewed upon as the most lax in maintenace whether deserved or not.
CatIII From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3908 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10952 times:
Quoting Flyingcat (Reply 7): It seems that AA and possibly DL might have overstepped some time critical maintenance. If DL does not do the same cancellation it may have a really bad affect on AA's public image as they will be viewed upon as the most lax in maintenace whether deserved or not.
Neither airline "overstepped" anything. I posted this on another thread, and it probably bears being reposted here. If anyone from AA or DL are on here and can add to it, I think we all would appreciate it. I understand that the AA fleet was ordered grounded by FAA during the INITIAL gorunding. This most recent voluntary grounding is a recheck of the same issue to ensure that the wire bundles are properly stowed.
It's my understanding that the initial inspections were the result of ambiguity in the AD itself. A friend from school is an MD-80 F/O at AA, and tells me that the original AD specified a fix that called for "approximately 4 inches" (from the AD) a certain length of wire covering. "Approximately" was the problem that led to the AA fleet being grounded. AA maintenance used a legnth of covering that they though was "approximately 4 inches" (3.8" in some cases, 3.9" in others, and 3.7" in even others). The FAA inspector conducted an audit of the AD, and said that the length of covering used wasn't consistent with the direction in the AD, and therefore he ordered the the fleet grounded. As was rightly stated in other posts, he probably wouldn't have done so if not for the pressure FAA is under following the WN revelations. Also, as rightly reported in other posts, this wiring is a backup to a backup hydraulic system that, according to my friend, resides in a non pressurized area of the wheel well of the main landing gear on the MD-80 (I presume the same on the MD-88 for Delta as well- maybe a DL person on here can confirm?).
It's my understanding that, as a result of FAA's actions, Delta decided to inspect all their MD-88's preemptively to make sure they were in compliance lest the FAA come in and do the same thing to them, and you'll note that none of their airplanes were found not to be in compliance. It's my understanding that both airlines had completed the AD well before these inspections, so it wasn't a matter of the AD not having been completed. The question was whether the AD had been completed to FAA's specs. Both airlines, as I understand it, have voiced strong concerns with FAA over their handling in this as, again, the AD was ambiguous. "Approximately" a certain length means different things to different people.
Moving forward there's probably a few lessons FAA could learn from this:
1) It would do the FAA well to be more specific in their AD's, instead of being ambiguous and then grounding fleets even though an airline tried to comply.
2) The FAA should come up with standards as to how to handle a situation where an airline tries to comply with an AD but doesn't, versus willfully doesn't comply. If this story is true, and the AD was ambiguous, and the fix wasn't something that was dangerous to the flight of the airplane, and the airline made the fix anyways per the AD although the FAA later deemed that the fix wasn't sufficient, then why punish the airline by grounding the entire fleet? Seems overly punitive.
3) The FAA should get more inspectors. It would seem this problem could have been solved a while ago had there been more inspectors out there inspecting the airplanes as they came off the line, instead of waiting until years after the fact.
AirPortugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 4030 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10917 times:
Quoting CatIII (Reply 8): 3) The FAA should get more inspectors. It would seem this problem could have been solved a while ago had there been more inspectors out there inspecting the airplanes as they came off the line, instead of waiting until years after the fact.
Probably a lack of cash money or so they would have you believe
LACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4220 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10634 times:
As we all know AA bases a great many S80s @ ORD and that seems to be where the bulk of the canceled flights were based. Was there any success getting these passengers accomodated on other carrier's or where AA serves the market with 757s as well?
AAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3579 posts, RR: 44
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 10532 times:
Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 4): WHY are they having to do this AGAIN?? Should we be concerned?
No need for concern. AA originally did MORE than the FAA's AD required (way more considering the "approximately" terms used by the FAA). The original grounding was voluntary by AA when it was discovered some (less than 20) planes modifications were not "exactly" according to the AA procedure (1.2" spacing vs 1.0" spacing specified by AA... NO requirement at all per the AD). The latest grounding appears to be those same FAA inspectors not being happy that the FAA MD80 management office in Long Beach approved the AA "alternative method of compliance" and AA is now stuck between bickering FAA offices. Better to ground the fleet, remove the "better than minimum required" FAA approved modification and revert to the original minimum required modification. Having FAA approval is no longer sufficient to some within the FAA.
Quoting Flyingcat (Reply 7): It seems that AA and possibly DL might have overstepped some time critical maintenance.
Not even close to accurate. Both AA and DL performed required modification to specifications way beyond what Boeing and FAA recommended and required. The issue is a couple of FAA inspectors that appear to be trying to "make a name for themselves" by requiring everything to be done to THEIR specifications --even with previous FAA authorizations by other FAA officials and offices.
Quoting CatIII (Reply 8): I understand that the AA fleet was ordered grounded by FAA during the INITIAL gorunding. This most recent voluntary grounding is a recheck of the same issue to ensure that the wire bundles are properly stowed.
Both groundings are VOLUNTARY by AA. There have been no mandatory FAA groundings of any AA fleet for decades.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
I dont think this or WN was a matter of an FAA office looking the other way. Its a matter of one official being able to use experience and ability to interpret laws and regulations to keep an airline operating safely. Another official thinks differently, only believes whats in black and white, or only follows the black and white to make a name and feel important (this is the same guy that probably asks a cop to cut him a break when he gets pulled over for speeding mind you).
Ctermua From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10201 times:
Quoting LACA773 (Reply 14): As we all know AA bases a great many S80s @ ORD and that seems to be where the bulk of the canceled flights were based. Was there any success getting these passengers accomodated on other carrier's or where AA serves the market with 757s as well?
Looks like AA has cancelled all or most of the BOS-ORD flights today and some of the BOS-DFW flights. UA is trying to get an extra BOS-ORD section this morning to help alliviate what could be a very long day for the folks over at AA.
Nycaa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10185 times:
As an AA Flight Attendant I am far from a company cheerleader. While upper management has cut every possible amenity and customer service item to the bare bone, I do have complete faith in the men and women that maintain our aircraft. Along with these flight cancellations come our trips to be cancelled, with that our Flight Attendants are losing money. Maybe if the FAA had done the job we (the U.S. tax payers) pay them to do to ensure "ALL" airlines in the U.S. are operating per FAA guidelines and safely, we would not have seen these events over the past few weeks. Since 2003 our elected leaders in D.C. have found the money to rebuild a country in the Middle East, maybe instead if they had used those hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild our aviation infrastructure (and U.S. infrastructure in general), these types of situations may have been avoided. Just my two cents.....
AAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3579 posts, RR: 44
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10029 times:
Quoting Echster (Reply 16): The FAA inspected 10 x MD-80s for compliance with the AD and found 9 of them to have not been adequately fixed to their liking.
Not even close to the truth. Less than 20 planes (out of more than 300) were found to be potentially out of specifications for AA's method of compliance --the issue was something not even required by the AD to begin with so NO AA aircraft was out of compliance with the AD.
Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 17): sn't that how the whole Southwest mess got started? One FAA office looking the other way? And just happened to be the office located at the biggest hub of AMR as well?
Not quite. WN contracted with outside vendor to complete the required airframe inspections and the FAA inspector responsible for that vendor approved the inspections. The planes were returned to WN and the FAA inspector at WN approved of the vendor's inspections. Later, two other FAA inspectors at WN decided they did not like the wording in the maintenance logbooks that stated the inspections were completed and claimed WN had not completed the inspections (based upon the wording in the logbooks). WN maintenance tried to explain things to them, but were unsuccessful. So WN maintenance managers went to their FAA POI (head FAA maintenance inspector assigned to them) who agreed (and authorized) WN to continue to fly the planes until they could be routed back to a WN maintenance station for reinspection (remember, the planes had already been looked at and approved by FAA twice). The two FAA "gentlemen" didn't agree and used the gov't "whistleblower" program (and its potential multi-million dollar "award" program) claiming WN intentionally flew "unsafe" aircraft. FAA senior management response: fine WN $10M and reassign the FAA maintenance inspectors assigned to WN. Since those folks are based and living in DFW area, guess which airline they they got "reassigned" to.
Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 18): I dont think this or WN was a matter of an FAA office looking the other way. Its a matter of one official being able to use experience and ability to interpret laws and regulations to keep an airline operating safely. Another official thinks differently, only believes whats in black and white, or only follows the black and white to make a name and feel important (this is the same guy that probably asks a cop to cut him a break when he gets pulled over for speeding mind you).
Having the unfortunate experience of having one of the "gentlemen" on my jumpseat a month before the WN thing blew up... you are 100% correct. This is very much two INDIVIDUALS on a power trip and happily making a name for themselves.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
Hiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2247 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9983 times:
Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 18): Another official thinks differently, only believes whats in black and white, or only follows the black and white to make a name and feel important
Lessee....the original AD, the first grounding, and the second grounding are all due to one guy with a complex?
No single FAA inspector can ground a large fleet on his own without coordination with others within the FAA both within his office and with Washington. Further no carrier would agree to a single inspector fleet grounding....it has to run at a higher level than that.
So the original AD said do this A B C....neither DL or AA did it that precise way...they both elected to interpret it so they grounded to do it A B C...except AA apparently continued to not do it that way, flew the aircraft for weeks, and was caught during ramp inspections at two airports by multiple inspectors with failures on multiple aircraft.
Would you not call that arrogance?
I have not heard of any other groundings for other operators of the same fleet types....just the AMR I and II and the DAL I....no others. I find that interesting in that does it mean they have not been inspected...doubtful with all the attention being paid to it....or that these other carriers had it done right originally?
and re those two 'rogue' Southwest Inspectors....don't think so. Watched the hearing last week...far more than two were being disciplined and transferred in an attempt to hush it up. End result is that the ones that were permitting the action by Southwest to defer have been removed from air carrier oversight completely.....and the investigations are continuing within the department. The 'whistleblower' program is not that lucrative and is designed to assist those who are either losing or lost their jobs due to government errors.....