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Flying Planes With Known Maintenance Issues  
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

Interesting story....If true, some of these items are concerning.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/fligh...intenance02_CV_N.htm?se=yahoorefer

Although, I did see one issue that didn't seem that serious, from an airworthy standpoint:

On 374 occasions from May 23 to June 23, 2004, JetBlue released jets from its New York and Long Beach, Calif., maintenance facilities without performing required work on their in-flight entertainment systems. The FAA said JetBlue flew passengers with planes in "unairworthy condition" and fined the airline $49,000.

How is IFE related to its airworthiness?

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3449 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Thread starter):
How is IFE related to its airworthiness?

Ask those who perished in the Swissair MD-11 crash.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3422 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Thread starter):
How is IFE related to its airworthiness?

The fire that brought down Swissair 111 was caused by arcing in some wiring for the IFE system. It is thought that the system had been improperly installed by the contractor and this contributed to the accident. As a result, airlines and the FAA are scrutinizing those systems even when it comes to maintenance.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3173 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Thread starter):
The FAA said JetBlue flew passengers with planes in "unairworthy condition" and fined the airline $49,000.

How is IFE related to its airworthiness?

Airworthiness is a technical term with a precise definition, and that definition is not just "safe to fly". Boiled down, airworthiness basically means "safe to fly" AND "complies with all FAR's". If you haven't done a maintenance step that your ops spec says you should, you're in violation of the FAR's and, by definition, unairworthy.

If you are unsafe to fly, you are unairworthy by definition. But it's entirely possible to be absolutely safe to fly and still be unairworthy. The most common cause of this is missing or improperly completed paperwork.

Tom.


User currently offlineDL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2755 times:

People want cheap tickets and the airlines have to control costs. Sometimes things get overlooked or ignored.

User currently offlineToobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 800 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2751 times:

I saw the article. Holy crap AA not only got fined alot but had like 213 warnings! And I wonder what airline reported the 767 brake issue upon landing. Scary stuff.

User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

One thing I take exception to in the article is how they presented how many flights are going with items that are inoperative. We have a "Minimum Equipment List (MEL)" that allows items to be inoperative. In most cases there is enough redundancy that one or two can be deferred and in no way effect safety of flight. Thrust reversers are on there, coffee makers, radios, lights, APU, etc. Flying with these items in an inoperative condition is perfectly legal, and safe, if the conditions in the MEL is followed.

If we didn't have this, the airlines wouldn't exist or it would be so cost prohibitive to fly that it would still be a mode of travel limited to the extremely rich. I'm making no apologies for the mecahnic's errors mentioned in that article, but the only way I can figure out that 65,000 number is that they used MEL items which is a regular occurence.

On the subject of airworthiness. If it's installed on the aircraft, it has to be in working order or the aircraft is not airworthy until it's repaired, replaced, or deferred per the MEL. A leaky spigot in the lav won't crash the plane, but since it's on the aircraft one of the three items above has to be done to keep the aircraft in service. It wouldn't make much sense to cancel the flight and fix the problem at an outstation that doesn't have a spare spigot when you can shut off the faucet, defer it and fly it safely for a couple days until it makes its way back to a maint. base.



DMI
User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14075 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 6):
If we didn't have this, the airlines wouldn't exist or it would be so cost prohibitive to fly that it would still be a mode of travel limited to the extremely rich. I'm making no apologies for the mecahnic's errors mentioned in that article, but the only way I can figure out that 65,000 number is that they used MEL items which is a regular occurence.

On the subject of airworthiness. If it's installed on the aircraft, it has to be in working order or the aircraft is not airworthy until it's repaired, replaced, or deferred per the MEL. A leaky spigot in the lav won't crash the plane, but since it's on the aircraft one of the three items above has to be done to keep the aircraft in service. It wouldn't make much sense to cancel the flight and fix the problem at an outstation that doesn't have a spare spigot when you can shut off the faucet, defer it and fly it safely for a couple days until it makes its way back to a maint. base.

Don´t forget that the MEL gives you an exact time frame in which you either have to rectify the defect or the aircraft gets grounded. Some items might just allow vone flight "home", others, less important ones, can be deferred for 120 days or until the next heavy maintenance check.
Under some circumstances you can push a deferred item, e.g. with the consent of the relevant aviation authority if the required spare part is currently unavailable due to shipment times, but in this case the airline has to prove that it made a serious efford to get the part. The aviation authorities monitor these extensions very closely and keep statistics. If an airline applies again and again to push deferrals over their normal expiry date, they´ll become very grumpy.
One rather illegal thing some airlines do is to do some proforma maintenance action (e.g. "Cleaned connector, ops check satis, deferral closed"), close the deferral and open a fresh deferral again after the next flight, with the clock starting again from zero.
Maybe Jetblue got caught doing this.

Jan

[Edited 2010-02-03 12:42:25]

User currently offlineADXMatt From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 952 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2025 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 6):
I'm making no apologies for the mecahnic's errors mentioned in that article, but the only way I can figure out that 65,000 number is that they used MEL items which is a regular occurence.

Most maintenance discrepancies at large mainline carriers is the paperwork not being filled out correctly or an interpretation of a procedure. You don't see big legacy carriers using car air conditioners on the planes to save money.

If you have 1 error in interpretation multipled by 100 aircraft multiplied by the number of segments each aircraft made over the year or 18 months it can easily add up. Each time a plane departs counts toward the total.


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