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AA Older Planes : Are These Planes Safe Enough?  
User currently offlinegonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1985 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 16330 times:

I know many of you will immediately answer with a big YES. I agree that probably the flight safety is not degraded due to the recent economic problems, I hope that's is the situation.
But after reading this news I have the feeling that some sort of "minor details" that can affect the safety of the passengers are probably not being correctly handled. An entire row of seats loose can be a real danger for the people on board. The aircraft will not crash, but people can result seriously injured if the plane hits turbulence.
This is the only the latest in a string of recent problems for AA. Maintenance and employee issues have led to significant delays and cancellations in recent weeks.


http://gma.yahoo.com/american-airlin...ng-120246502--abc-news-travel.html

Are all this reports enough reason to be worried ?? Or just hysterical media doing a big deal of small problems ??
Maybe is time to just retire some of the older frames ?


Thoughts ?
Rgds.
G.

[Edited 2012-10-01 08:57:30]


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3285 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 16054 times:

I think this is a pretty hysterical (and not in the funny sense) thread title given the nature of the incident...

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30889 posts, RR: 87
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 15992 times:
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These types of issues are not dependent on the age of the plane.

User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15746 times:

OMG these are, like, complete deathtraps!

All kidding aside, if there was a maintenance issue, why would it affect older airframes only?
A loose row of seats is just as dangerous on a brand new aircraft than an old one... Hell, if anything, all the dirt grime that's accumulated in the rail over the years would probably restrict the seat movement more.

Anyway, I think you're asking the wrong question, and the answer to the question you should be asking is:
There is nowhere near evidence from this article to conclude that AA's maintenance standards, whether maintenance budget has been curtailed or not, have slipped and that the safety level has decreased.

The article only states the higher flight cancellation rate due to maintenance issues. Which basically means that they might have tightened the screws on spares acquisition budget and that parts and associated labor aren't available in time, but since they keep the affected aircrafts on the ground, I fail to see any evidence of a safety risk.

Just a casual observer's viewpoint...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2369 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15681 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Anyway, I think you're asking the wrong question, and the answer to the question you should be asking is:
There is nowhere near evidence from this article to conclude that AA's maintenance standards, whether maintenance budget has been curtailed or not, have slipped and that the safety level has decreased.

Or this question, "Was this a deliberate event triggered by disgruntled union maintenance workers?"


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30889 posts, RR: 87
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15661 times:
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Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 4):
Or this question, "Was this a deliberate event triggered by disgruntled union maintenance workers?"

Unlikely. The legal and criminal risks for the union would be too high.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12981 posts, RR: 100
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15663 times:
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AMR is opperating a safe fleet. Please remember that many of the components are rebuilt at regular intervals; engines and landing gear spring to mind. This isn't like an automobile where an old vehicle might have concerns.

Breaks are replaced at given dimensions. There is no leeway. Same with tires. A checks happen on the set interval and all issues must be documented and addressed. The same with more detailed maintenance. Fatigue is a long term issue, but the MD-80s are the first aircraft to be designed with *supurb* fracture analysis. Yes, the DC-9 has a longer life, but the MD-80 has excellent engineering.

The real issues is that the maintenance budget was cut. So pilots are able to do a work action where they identify issues that they can have forced to be fixed. That is much of the delay.

Quoting gonzalo (Thread starter):
Maintenance and employee issues have led to significant delays and cancellations in recent weeks.

Two employee groups that aren't happy will hurt opperations.

I would fly AA tomorrow from a safety perspective. From a flight delay perspective... I have a different issue.

Note: I personally do not like the MD-80s due to the noise back by the engines. (Somehow I am back there too often...) But if I could be assured a front cabin seat, I would happily book the flight.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2369 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15563 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):

"Mistakes" happen all the time, right?


User currently offlinecrapper1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15436 times:

I would feel safe flying on AA on a MD series. While the flight might get canned for (pick the issue out of the hat ). I still would fly them based on airworthy metal
The media is acting like seat fastners never became loose before. It is cause of it being AA that it makes the news had it happened on DL, The plane would have been swapped out and only the crew onboard and the pax would know about it.
I wish the media would grow a pair and report real news instead of loose seats on an airplane.   


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30889 posts, RR: 87
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15308 times:
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Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 7):
"Mistakes" happen all the time, right?


Yes.

And if AA was not in the middle of labor issues and disruptions, would we even be entertaining such an idea?


User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15296 times:

The reported incident was probably just a random event that would not have been reported except for AA's current operational problems. But, on the other hand, we really can't know how AA's problems are affecting safety, if at all ... and we wouldn't unless something terrible happened. Thus, I would tend to avoid AA if I could until operations return to normal.

User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15295 times:
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the seat shifted in the seat track that's bolted to the Airframe Floor Structure in the cabin You passengers see them as those plastic Humps on the floor as they are the seat track covers, the seat track is what holds the seat and is rated beyond 9G of force in the event of hard landing or a crash. if a passenger were to constantly push the seat in front of him or kick the lower seat legs the seat MIGHT become dislodged or cause the seat foot to break. This is NOT a new occurrence. I actually had a passenger kicked off an airplane for actually Trying to push as seat forward because he "claimed" the seat in front of him was hitting his knees and it hurt. The guy wasn't even 6' tall, and 33" pitch would only effect him were he 6'9" or taller. I once traded a business class seat with Kareem Abdul Jabar after his playing days when a flight attendant asked be to help the Brother out because dude was sitting in Row 40E on a DC-10 and he was Miserable. Being 5'8" and already sleepy from working all night I didn't mind. Later I got season tickets in the mail for the Lakers. Which I HAD to gave away being a 76'er fan. (and a United Employee) But it was Nice just the same..

User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15297 times:

I've never heard of a plane being in an accident because it is older.


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15254 times:

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 4):
"Was this a deliberate event triggered by disgruntled union maintenance workers?"

Wow, I didn't see a union bashing thread coming out of this...
But yeah, sure, since all unions are communist sabotage ventures whit terrorist practices.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5767 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15014 times:

I've seen loose seat rows on brand new planes delivered right from the factory.

Spit happens, move on. World keeps turning, fuel keeps burning.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19516 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14979 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 14):
I've seen loose seat rows on brand new planes delivered right from the factory.

My view summed up:

"This plane has been flying for 25 years. What are the chances that it's going to fall out of the sky today?"


User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2369 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14938 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
And if AA was not in the middle of labor issues and disruptions, would we even be entertaining such an idea?

Nope. But, we are ,so it is wise to consider all factors.


User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14938 times:

Ironically if this seat has been written up before the flight as "loose, needs tightening," a-net would probably be screaming "Pilot slow down, pilot slow down!" While demanding the pilot be fired and banned from flying ever again.
Probably also here the term "union thug," and "criminal," thrown around a lot too.


- The news media would be erroneously calling it a pilot sick out
- AMR management would be calling a slightly loose seat a "frivolous write up."

[Edited 2012-10-01 12:21:34]

User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14938 times:

So, does anyone know if the seat came completely out of the seat tracks, or just the forward mounts?

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
if a passenger were to constantly push the seat in front of him or kick the lower seat legs the seat MIGHT become dislodged or cause the seat foot to break. This is NOT a new occurrence.

I've never seen or heard of a seat failing in that manner, the chance of the inboard and outboard rear fittings both coming loose is very unlikely unless they were not tightened when the seat was installed. Every seat that has come loose from the track that I have heard about or witnessed has been the front mount stud unscrewing from or pulling the threads out of the forward legs. When this happens the seat can pivot freely at the rear mount and the people in those seats get up close and personal with the people behind them, however the seat is still attached at the rear fittings.


User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14873 times:

"No bucks, no Buck Rogers." I hadn't heard that one before.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/...ty_and_you_have_to_stay_away_.html


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14766 times:
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Quoting yeelep (Reply 18):

I've got 40 years in the business 29 of it with United, I've seen it and repaired that MORE than ONCE (Hell more than 10X)
as a terminal line mechanic I've only seen 1 occurrence where the Seat Track failed because depending on the airplane type that's one MEAN repair. Airbus the seat Track is Not an attachment as it is on the Boeing it's part of the structure.
Boeing, the seat track can be cut and Spliced in affecting only 1 or 2 row of seats. If it's seat placement then they might use a foot extension to pick up the next track piece so the problem could be fixed in under 1 hr. or if the seat track is damaged it could take an entire Shift to repair.


User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14619 times:

I never made reference to the seat track being damaged. What I have seen on numerous occasions, on 737's, is the forward stud being pulled out of the seat leg without any damage to the track. While I can't claim the number of years in the industry as you (only 27 years), I can still say that I have never seen or heard of the specific type of failure you have. Perhaps one or more of the seat designs your airline used is prone to that fault. At my carrier we have one type of seat that pulls its forward studs if we don't keep them tight.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30889 posts, RR: 87
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 14473 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
And if AA was not in the middle of labor issues and disruptions, would we even be entertaining such an idea?
Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 16):
Nope. But, we are ,so it is wise to consider all factors.

*shrug*

I give the Machinists Union (or whomever handles onboard maintenance) enough intelligence not to take an action that would open them up to lawsuits and criminal charges for deliberately endangering the safety of passengers.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 14286 times:

Worrying about aircraft safety from a passenger perspective in this country is maybe human nature, but it is frankly not sane. There are many real dangers that threaten people with bodily injury and death. Public health officials are well aware of the leading causes of death -- inactivity, red meat (a big one!!), excessive calories, smoking. The stress of thinking about aviation safety probably kills far more people than actual airliner accidents do. Sitting and posting on the internet is quite dangerous -- proven to shorten lifespans. Sorry but these are some facts to consider!  

User currently offlinescarebus03 From Ireland, joined Apr 2005, 304 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 14270 times:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...fine-american-airlines-over-safety

See above link in relation to AA's performance in maintaining their fleet correctly and potential fines being imposed by the FAA. All airplanes are affected by mishaps but older aircraft need more TLC or they are more prone to these mishaps. I happen to class the above as a serious incident being that in the event of a rejected takeoff, turbulence or a runway excursion the passengers in that row of seats could face serious injuries or worse. Not to mention the fact that loose seats could present a serious obstacle in evacuating the aircraft should something more serious have happened.

As older aircraft require more maintenance it is very important to get the 'basics' right, if an airline cannot get the 'basics' right then I have no confidence in their ability to resolve more complex defects. AA is suffering the effects of restructuring but their legal obligation as an air carrier to comply with the FAA requirements for their type of operation is not 'restructured' it is part of continuing airworthiness.

AMR/AA have to get their act together quickly before something more serious happens as an airline undergoing reform with demotivated personnel and older frames is prone to mishaps and I hope that there will be nothing more serious than this. The FAA need to remain vigilant and run a tight ship in overseeing that safety is not compromised during this difficult time for AMR/AA/AE.

Brgds
SB03



No faults found......................
25 daviation : I may be wrong, but wasn't TWA 800 because of old chafed wires being exposed in a fuel vapor environment, partly due to the plane's age? I've also re
26 flashmeister : Your link is related to an early August press release that has been thoroughly discussed here. Notably, this occurred before the current operational
27 Braniff747SP : If American Airlines' planes were in any sense unsafe, regardless of vintage, they wouldn't be allowed to fly. Just because it its old doesn't mean it
28 Flighty : That's a really destructive comment. Passing muster means (surprisingly for you) that safety will be absolutely perfect even if the airline were to l
29 daviation : Whoa boy, you need some virtual harp music! I am simply quoting from the NY Times and other sources that airplanes purchased or obtained by failing a
30 Darksnowynight : Right. Doctors don't do shoddy work because they're going through a divorce. This is the same. MX has federally regulated standards. Never short of a
31 Post contains links longhauler : http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=aloha+...:429,r:2,s:0,i:77&biw=1024&bih=628
32 airliner371 : I think this is news worthy and if it was another airline it would have certainly been reported on. It may not cause the plane to crash but it is imp
33 gonzalo : After reading all the replies here, I see many of you never read this part of my original post : ( I never said that the plane almost crash !!! ). Th
34 AAosm : From what I understand at work. Is that the plane with the loose seat track came from maintenance from timco. So this would not have anything to do w
35 sciurusmdg : Until recently Austral/Aerolineas Argentinas operated a fleet of MD-88s with very little problems, however they have now been replaced with E190s and
36 strfyr51 : That wouldn't be a Lightweight seat would it ?? No need to mention the Vendor I think I KNOW which one that might be.
37 737tdi : I have seen this happen as well. The forward stud works the threads until they can no longer hold. Gonzalo: One thing to keep in mind here. Just beca
38 CRFLY : The other day my friend's flight AA2127 from MIA to SJO was delayed in MIA 45 minutes because of maintenance... Schedule to depart at 1940, the plane
39 D328 : All of you complaining about unsafe planes or pilots need to get over yourselves... Myself as a low hour as in 700ish in a twin/single engine would NE
40 PurdueAv2003 : The same is true of mechanics. They can be held PERSONALLY liable if their action results in injuries or loss of life. In my experience, when the pil
41 MQTmxguy : There seems to be alot of ignorance here about who and what an Aircraft Mechanic is. An A&P is not the grease monkey at your local chevy dealershi
42 MQTmxguy : Yep, the dirty little secret is that the obscenely intricate web of federal and company rules and regs are all designed to limit liability for the co
43 MQTmxguy : MX programs are designed by the manufacturer and tailored to the airline. So if you would, please contact Boeing and inform them that you have found
44 SmittyOne : Great story! More likely that the cow you are going to choke to death on is walking the earth than the plane you are going to crash on is flying arou
45 Post contains links gonzalo : Another AA B752 has a seat loose, prompting the return of the flight to JFK. * Just in case, I'm not implying that this is sabotage or anything like t
46 SmittyOne : Over the course of my career (20+ years military), I have found that the staggering mass of directives - well intentioned as they might be - result i
47 Archer : AA191 had the engine break off. Not pilot error. You could say maintenance error but Continental did the same technique. They saved a lot of time doin
48 airfrnt : It's unbelievable how far the vitriolic relationship has gotten. At the very least, we are going to find out that either the work groups set up manag
49 Post contains images Revelation : Ah, so that explains Air France's cleaning policies! OR perhaps a third possibility, such as: Seems the most likely to me. Plane was in heavy mainten
50 Post contains images OB1504 : "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the Aloha Airlines maintenance progr
51 longhauler : It would not likely have happened in a later (newer) production B737. Nor in one of the same vintage with fewer cycles.
52 N737AA : Actually it hasn't been cut YET, but nonetheless the cuts have not been implemented as you would like everyone to believe. The mechanics are doing a
53 737tdi : Exactly and right on point. I spent 8 hours yesterday with 3 other mechs. and an instructor in a 737 simulator doing nothing but engine start/run/tax
54 aluminumtubing : I don't want to get into much of what the news media is reporting regarding seats and old planes, etc. I think so much of what is going on is just sen
55 iFlyLOTs : I heard another AA pilot say that yesterday too, and I believe it. It really is just sensationalism with all the other things that have been happenin
56 Post contains images MQTmxguy : I assume you mean part 147 right?
57 MQTmxguy : My new favorite term
58 windy95 : As long as they are properly maintained. They always do that. Wow...You have to be kidding right. there are millions of LEGAL ways to disrupt operati
59 Post contains images scarebus03 : Already done Brgds SB03
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