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Aircraft Usage On Extremely Long Flights  
User currently offline787ewr From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 204 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 18305 times:

I just flew QF 108(Better known as QF One-oh-Late) from JFK to SYD via LAX. I know that airlines want their planes inn the air as much as possible, but I was wondering if any special maintenance procedures occur when they return to their home base?

For example, SYD-LAX-JFK-LAX-SYD approximately 40 hours in the air in a 48 hour period. Do they perform any particular maintenance on it or do they simply clean them and re-dispatch?

Thanks.

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15504 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 18192 times:



Quoting 787ewr (Thread starter):
Do they perform any particular maintenance on it or do they simply clean them and re-dispatch?

Probably not other than regularly scheduled stuff. QF probably could for instance, swap planes at LAX to send a different plane down under if they needed to, because if I'm not mistaken there is usually an extra QF jet at LAX.

MX can also be done during long turns. I think I read here before that CO does some 777 maintenance at HKG where the plane sits for a long time before returning to the states.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineSwiftski From Australia, joined Dec 2006, 2701 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 18183 times:



Quoting 787ewr (Thread starter):
For example, SYD-LAX-JFK-LAX-SYD approximately 40 hours in the air in a 48 hour period. Do they perform any particular maintenance on it or do they simply clean them and re-dispatch?

Clean them and re-dispatch. They are designed to be in the air.


User currently offlineSwiftski From Australia, joined Dec 2006, 2701 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 18196 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
MX can also be done during long turns. I think I read here before that CO does some 777 maintenance at HKG where the plane sits for a long time before returning to the states.

Same for AC


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18714 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 18174 times:



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 2):

Clean them and re-dispatch. They are designed to be in the air.

 checkmark  They're built to fly 14 hours, get cleaned, fueled, given a quick once-over, and flown back out. They're machines. The maintenance schedules exist for a reason.


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8416 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17952 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
They're built to fly 14 hours, get cleaned, fueled, given a quick once-over, and flown back out

What happens on longer flights then? 14 hours is not a long flight these days.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 17729 times:



Quoting Andz (Reply 5):
What happens on longer flights then? 14 hours is not a long flight these days.

No difference whether it's 14 or 18. Line maintenance is similar. Wear and tear is largely incurred by cycles and less so by the hours an aircraft spends in the air.

Eventually you will hit the next A/B/C/D check when the cycles or hours are up. If anything shorthaul aircraft require more maintenance when you start counting the number of cycles they clock in the same amount of time.



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User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8416 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 17693 times:
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Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 6):
No difference whether it's 14 or 18. Line maintenance is similar. Wear and tear is largely incurred by cycles and less so by the hours an aircraft spends in the air.

I was being facetious.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineBeakerLTN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 17486 times:

My missus thinks (sorry, 'knows') that all aircraft have a service after every round trip, with a minor check over after every leg.

For the sake of my future holidays, I prefer to not tell her the truth!

I think quite a lot of regular people/passengers would be suprised how many cycles a typical a/c has between major checks.



300/319/320/321/330/732/733/734/73G/738/744/772/77W/146/EMB135/EMB145
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15504 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 17479 times:



Quoting BeakerLTN (Reply 8):
My missus thinks (sorry, 'knows') that all aircraft have a service after every round trip, with a minor check over after every leg.

They do have the walk around inspection. And ETOPS flights have extra checks before each ETOPS segment.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineBeakerLTN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17415 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):

I did tell her that on our recent flights AF CDG>HKG and SIN>CDG that they have more stringent tests due to ETOPS*. She like to think that every plane is serviced before every flight so I don't like to shatter that illusion for fear of her never stepping on a plane again!

*although these are long flights on twins I guess they're not actually ETOPS fights though as they don't go over oceans- is that correct? (or is the route over northern china ETOPS due to the himalayas?)



300/319/320/321/330/732/733/734/73G/738/744/772/77W/146/EMB135/EMB145
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15504 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17374 times:



Quoting BeakerLTN (Reply 10):
*although these are long flights on twins I guess they're not actually ETOPS fights though as they don't go over oceans- is that correct? (or is the route over northern china ETOPS due to the himalayas?)

I know that some parts of Siberia are ETOPS, and the same may be true for the more remote regions of China but I'm not sure. I would think that the aircraft would be ETOPS certified anyway for the purposes of fleet flexibility.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17328 times:



Quoting BeakerLTN (Reply 8):
My missus thinks (sorry, 'knows') that all aircraft have a service after every round trip, with a minor check over after every leg.

For the sake of my future holidays, I prefer to not tell her the truth!

Does the missus think your car should have a complete MOT inspection every time it driven?


User currently offline787EWR From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17072 times:

Thanks for all of the responses.

I just looked this up.

A Check
This is performed approximately every month or 500 Flight Hours (FH). This check is usually done overnight at an airport gate. The actual occurrence of this check varies by aircraft type, the cycle count (takeoff and landing is considered an aircraft "cycle"), or the number of hours flown since the last check. The occurrence can be delayed by the airline if certain predetermined conditions are met.


[edit] B Check
This is performed approximately every 3 months. This check is also usually done overnight at an airport gate. A similar occurrence schedule applies to the B check as to the A check.


[edit] C Check
This is performed approximately every 12–18 months or a specific amount of actual Flight Hours(FH) as defined by the manufacturer. This maintenance check puts the aircraft out of service and requires plenty of space - usually at a hangar at a maintenance base. The schedule of occurrence has many factors and components as has been described, and thus varies by aircraft category and type.


[edit] D Check
This is the heaviest check for the airplane, also known as a Heavy Maintenance visit (HMV). This check occurs approximately every 4–5 years. This is the check that, more or less, takes the entire airplane apart for inspection. This requires even more space and time than all other checks, and must be performed at a maintenance base. Often, older aircraft being phased out of a particular airlines' fleet are stored or scrapped upon reaching their next check.

Modern transport category airplanes with MSG-3 derived maintenance programs employ usage parameters for each maintenance requirement such as flight hours, calendar time, or flight cycles. Maintenance intervals based on usage parameters allow more flexibility in scheduling the maintenance program to optimize aircraft utilization and minimize aircraft downtime.


User currently offlineRedChili From Norway, joined Jul 2005, 2179 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16099 times:



Quoting 787EWR (Reply 13):
A Check

Do you happen to know how much time a typical A, B, C and D check requires?



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User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15504 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 15881 times:



Quoting RedChili (Reply 14):
Do you happen to know how much time a typical A, B, C and D check requires?

A & B usually take roughly overnight. C checks are in the 2-3 week neighborhood, depending on type. I don't really know about D checks, but it is probably over a month.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineJcded From Switzerland, joined Jan 2004, 213 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 15487 times:

QF planes land morning in LA remain over day and leave at night, sometimes there are upto 4 QF widebodies on the ground. QF has a deal with AA to do maintenance in their high bay hangar west of TBIT. One of the concerns of the TBIT/MSC project was where to relocate a new hangar for AA that would be able to service the QF A380.


You breathe to do good and have fun.
User currently offlineBrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4064 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 15228 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
I think I read here before that CO does some 777 maintenance at HKG where the plane sits for a long time before returning to the states.



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 3):
Same for AC

Don't both CO and AC have some of their heavy maintenance done in HKG on their long haul fleet?



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineAznCSA4QF744ER From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 13017 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Probably not other than regularly scheduled stuff. QF probably could for instance, swap planes at LAX to send a different plane down under if they needed to, because if I'm not mistaken there is usually an extra QF jet at LAX.

QF107/108 SYD LAX JFK LAX SYD are not on the same a/c. The swap take place at LAX. The LAXJFKLAXSYD route is normally on the inbound QF093 from MEL.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
They're built to fly 14 hours, get cleaned, fueled, given a quick once-over, and flown back out. They're machines. The maintenance schedules exist for a reason.

UA @ SFO are all turns only taken out of service when they are needed for checks or not used until the evening INTL departures.

Quoting Jcded (Reply 16):
QF has a deal with AA to do maintenance in their high bay hangar west of TBIT. One of the concerns of the TBIT/MSC project was where to relocate a new hangar for AA that would be able to service the QF A380.

AA doesn't ground handles QF's planes nor do they services them. The hanger that QF use (former TWA hanger) belong to them and not AA. All checks and small MX are preformed in-house.


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12903 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
I don't really know about D checks, but it is probably over a month.

I've done quite a few TOC tours over at the DL campus. I've always heard about 30 days or right around there.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineVs346 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 339 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11793 times:



Quoting Jcded (Reply 16):
QF planes land morning in LA remain over day and leave at night, sometimes there are upto 4 QF widebodies on the ground.

This has never made sense to me. Why not have the flight scheduled so that there is an outbound flight about 120 minutes after an inbound? Isn't this better utilization of the fleet? On most transatl flights, the turn is asap, regardless if it's the same plane or one that's come from somewhere else and headed back to base.

The only theory I've come up with is a timing thing, with the length of the flight to Australia, it's hard to schedule flights to leave at a reasonable hour from LAX and to also arrive at a reasonable hour in SYD or MEL. Is this part of the reason?



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User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11574 times:



Quoting Vs346 (Reply 20):
This has never made sense to me. Why not have the flight scheduled so that there is an outbound flight about 120 minutes after an inbound? Isn't this better utilization of the fleet? On most transatl flights, the turn is asap, regardless if it's the same plane or one that's come from somewhere else and headed back to base.

The only theory I've come up with is a timing thing, with the length of the flight to Australia, it's hard to schedule flights to leave at a reasonable hour from LAX and to also arrive at a reasonable hour in SYD or MEL. Is this part of the reason?

You answered your own question.



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User currently offlineN104UA From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 897 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11106 times:



Quoting Vs346 (Reply 20):
Quoting Jcded (Reply 16):
QF planes land morning in LA remain over day and leave at night, sometimes there are upto 4 QF widebodies on the ground.

This has never made sense to me. Why not have the flight scheduled so that there is an outbound flight about 120 minutes after an inbound? Isn't this better utilization of the fleet? On most transatl flights, the turn is asap, regardless if it's the same plane or one that's come from somewhere else and headed back to base.

The only theory I've come up with is a timing thing, with the length of the flight to Australia, it's hard to schedule flights to leave at a reasonable hour from LAX and to also arrive at a reasonable hour in SYD or MEL. Is this part of the reason?

Exactly when a flight arrives in LAX at 7am due to the time in SYD you can not leave that soon, I believe that QF does have a noon departure that arrives at 8pm +1, but then they can not leave between 3pm and 10pm due to arriving in the middle of the night in SYD and also QF does lots of MX in LAX cause then they only have about a 4hr turn in SYD back to the states so the only place to do maintenance is then LAX



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User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24113 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10966 times:



Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 21):
The only theory I've come up with is a timing thing, with the length of the flight to Australia, it's hard to schedule flights to leave at a reasonable hour from LAX and to also arrive at a reasonable hour in SYD or MEL. Is this part of the reason?

You answered your own question.

The other major reason is that most business travellers prefer overnight flights on longhaul routes to reduce the amount of unproductive travel time. Since those passengers also paying the highest fares, airlines consider their requirements first when planning schedules.


User currently offlineBorism From Estonia, joined Oct 2006, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9713 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):
Does the missus think your car should have a complete MOT inspection every time it driven?

Does your car routinely go over or into oceans, mountains, polar regions, jet streams and severe weather, often 3+ hours of travel to nearest diversion point at max speed?


25 Chapavaeaa : ETOPS don't have to go over oceans...it's anywhere that there is not a suitable landing site. Deep South American flights from the US can also be ETO
26 Boeingluvr : I know that some airlines get MX checks done during as stopover at some bases. I think I was told that WS gets an mx check done from UA engineers duri
27 FlyLKU : I suspect that the destination can prepare for some types of unscheduled maintenance that crop up while the aircraft is en route. I was connecting in
28 777STL : Exactly. SYD has a hard curfew that can't be violated. When the LAX-SYD day flight was operated, if the flight left late and wouldn't make SYD before
29 Jbernie : Remember, QF has a MX base at LAX, so the down time in LAX is to their benefit, the Pacific flights could be thought of as LAX is home base for the ai
30 Gemuser : It's not because you arrive in the middle of the night, it's because SYD is CLOSED between 2300 and 0600 daily. The breaking of that curfew is a Fede
31 474218 : Any aircraft that goes into oceans is going to need more than a maintenance check.
32 BMI727 : Thanks for the confirmation. I should also note that the time is different for different types, and it probably takes longer if the plane is receivin
33 SunriseValley : Are you referring to ETOPS180 or a lesser time? Great Circle Mapper shows the limits of the various ETOPS times .From this source the South American
34 Iadbudd : The same points could be brought up about USA-BRAZIL flights. AA,UA,DL,CO all have a/c that arrive early in the morning and sit on the ramp all day in
35 Tiger119 : - Is that all catagories of aircraft or just passenger carrying aircraft?
36 Gemuser : It's all "pure jet" aircraft. Turbo props were exempt, not sure of their current status, piston engine aircraft not included. Gemuser
37 JetMech : At my first employer, we never did "B" checks, but we did do a check known as a "half C" check. "A" checks usually take 12 hours or so, "half C's" ab
38 Thegeek : Not too sure that the GFC had much effect, but the A380 probably did. Not to mention this reason: In theory, QF8 could have left LAX at 1100 and arri
39 Valkyrie01 : The airlines that i had work for does B check inside the hangar even the A checks were done inside the hangar.The only thing we did at the gates was
40 787EWR : Correct. I saw my plane being towed about 60 minutes after I got off(I remembered the registration number).. Took me 45 minutes to collect my bags, g
41 Jbernie : Yes but are you a US resident/citizen? That is normally the big difference for the QF arrivals... and most arrivals from Australia. My wife (citizen)
42 Chapavaeaa : SunriseValley... I could be wrong. It's been a few years but I'm fairly certain AA treated a couple of the destinations as ETOPS. I know that they ha
43 SunriseValley : I assume we are talking 767's. Did they maintain part of the fleet to 180 min standards and elected to use these aircraft on South American routes? N
44 DavidByrne : Actually it's RAR and APW to LAX.
45 ZK-NBT : Is that right? I can imagine it would happen if the QF107 from SYD is running late but QF93 wouldn't have a lot of time to turn around as QF107 to JF
46 SunriseValley : How much does this reflect the reduction in capacity that has been implemented?
47 JRadier : Another option is equalized maintenance. In such a program you do B (if required) and C tasks during A-checks (line-maintenance) so you spread out th
48 SunriseValley : For Polar routes there are 6 suitable alternates in Russia and 7 in China. For trans-Siberian ( China/ Japan/ Taiwan to Europe) there are at least 10
49 JRadier : which is ETOPS90. Non-ETOPS is 60 minutes or less.
50 VikingA346 : You may be correct, but this was not the case on my latest QF 107 flight, just on the 13th of August of this year. We came in on 107 from SYD and fle
51 Airvan00 : And on two days of the week QF 93 is an A380 and that dosn't go to JFK.
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