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AA Older Planes : Are These Planes Safe Enough?  
User currently offlinegonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 16504 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, 3355 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 16228 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 onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31418 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 16166 times:
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These types of issues are not dependent on the age of the plane.

User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3845 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15920 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, 2413 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15855 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 onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31418 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15835 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, 13542 posts, RR: 100
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15837 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, 2413 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15737 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 (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15610 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 onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31418 posts, RR: 85
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 15482 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, 368 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 15470 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, 1412 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 15469 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, 3222 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 15471 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 offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3845 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 15428 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, 5947 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15188 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, 20343 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15153 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, 2413 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15112 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 (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15112 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 onlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15112 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, 368 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15047 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, 1412 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 14940 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 onlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 14793 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 onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31418 posts, RR: 85
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 14647 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, 8768 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 14460 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, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 14444 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......................
User currently offlinedaviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 14398 times:

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
I've never heard of a plane being in an accident because it is older.

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 read many times that airplanes bought by other airlines (Delta buying Eastern's old TriStars; United obtaining Pan Am's 747s), that they were in dreadful shape and just barely passed FAA requirements. When an airline is on the skids, their maintenance can sometimes be cut back to simply pass muster, nothing more.

[Edited 2012-10-01 14:51:29]

User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 26, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 14211 times:
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Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
See above link in relation to AA's performance in maintaining their fleet correctly and potential fines being imposed by the FAA.

Your link is related to an early August press release that has been thoroughly discussed here. Notably, this occurred before the current operational troubles at AA. I don't see this as a relevant insight into AA's overall airworthiness, which no one -- most especially the FAA -- has called into question.

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
All airplanes are affected by mishaps but older aircraft need more TLC or they are more prone to these mishaps.

There is absolutely no evidence that this incident occurred because of the airplane's age, nor is there any evidence that AA's older airframes are somehow less safe than similar types at other carriers. Again, there is not an issue here.

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
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.

I happen to think that you're seriously exaggerating the severity of this incident. Yes, this is something that shouldn't have happened, but this was not a direct impact to flight safety, nor was this potentially dangerous for the entire aircraft involved.

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
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.

Again, too much ado about very little. This is not an indicator of anything at AA other than a loose seat mount. The FAA has shown that it is willing to look into what's worth looking into at AA and all other carriers, and it will do so in this case in due course, but if it thought that AA was somehow unsafe today, the planes would be on the ground. Period. The FAA has done it before and would do it again.

Extrapolating this one incident into a supposedly-worrisome trend is simply absurd.


User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3013 posts, RR: 1
Reply 27, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 13747 times:

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 is going to fall out of the sky.


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8768 posts, RR: 3
Reply 28, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 13329 times:

Quoting daviation (Reply 25):
When an airline is on the skids, their maintenance can sometimes be cut back to simply pass muster, nothing more.

That's a really destructive comment. Passing muster means (surprisingly for you) that safety will be absolutely perfect even if the airline were to liquidate tomorrow. These reactions come from a position of ignorance about the maintenance procedures in place.

Maintenance in this case means factory approved conditions and utter safety beyond all doubt are to be _maintained_ at all times. Occasional part failures do happen at known intervals. The platform is robust to these failures.


User currently offlinedaviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 29, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 11544 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
These reactions come from a position of ignorance

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 airlines have been considered in appalling condition by their new owners. In order to fly for their new airlines, they needed rigorous additional maintenance to bring the craft up to their new owners' standards. I certainly didn't say that the planes weren't airworthy.

My God, have a glass of wine!

[Edited 2012-10-01 18:05:26]

User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 30, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11329 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):

Maintenance in this case means factory approved conditions and utter safety beyond all doubt are to be _maintained_ at all times.

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 amazing that people don't know that.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 31, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11281 times:

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
I've never heard of a plane being in an accident because it is older.



http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=aloha+...:429,r:2,s:0,i:77&biw=1024&bih=628



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineairliner371 From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 1516 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11086 times:

Quoting crapper1 (Reply 8):
I wish the media would grow a pair and report real news instead of loose seats on an airplane.

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 important.

I watch ABC World News and they do a great job reporting on aviation, I think the best out of all of them. I think ABC World News did a great job reporting on this as they did with the 3 planes near Reagan.

What you are saying is that those 3 planes at reagan that almost go into a collision were not important but I think most people would think that was important too.



"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."- HF
User currently offlinegonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 33, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks ago) and read 10157 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 26):
Again, too much ado about very little. This is not an indicator of anything at AA other than a loose seat mount.

After reading all the replies here, I see many of you never read this part of my original post :

Quoting gonzalo (Thread starter):
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.

( I never said that the plane almost crash !!! ).

The age of the aircraft can be a factor in this case. Maybe a brand new plane can have a row o seats loose too, but I think the chances of that are remote compared with a plane dealing with the tear and wear of 25+ years in service. I'm fully aware that, if properly maintained, you can have a WWI airplane flying. Certainly I'm not saying that this plane must be retired and scrapped tomorrow. All I'm asking is, can the recent events in AA cause some sort of "distractions" that can affect in some degree the safety of the passengers ?

This answer to my question is one of the most balanced in the thread, this is what I'm talking about :

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
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.

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineAAosm From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9738 times:

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 4):

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 with disgruntled maintenance workers from AA.


User currently offlinesciurusmdg From Argentina, joined Apr 2012, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9662 times:

Until recently Austral/Aerolineas Argentinas operated a fleet of MD-88s with very little problems, however they have now been replaced with E190s and 737s... and this is an airline with an operating loss of $2m per day (even if subsidized.).

It seems slightly incredible that AA haven't replaced these older planes with newer models, I am aware they have a much larger fleet, however-even in terms of fuel burn, passenger comfort and even basic economics- it would still make sense.

I think what Gonzalo says is a valid question, and is not over dramatizing anything... the fact of the matter is that loose seats are a real health hazard in the event of even a minor emergency (rejected takeoff etc) and could result in a serious injury.


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 1
Reply 36, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8873 times:
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Quoting yeelep (Reply 21):

That wouldn't be a Lightweight seat would it ?? No need to mention the Vendor I think I KNOW which one that might be.


User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 933 posts, RR: 2
Reply 37, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8697 times:
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Quoting yeelep (Reply 21):
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.




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 because the airframe is old does not mean that the seats are. I guarantee you they are not. My airline replaces entire ship sets of seats on a time basis. They are then sent for overhaul and returned and installed on another aircraft. Seats are no different then landing gear or engines, they wear out. This is just a case of either parts failure or a mechanics mistake. It does not, IMO, have anything to do with AA's employee relations. I have been working aviation maintenance for 32 years and can say that no matter how bad things got with my employers I would never ever sacrifice safety or do a unsafe job. Period.


User currently offlineCRFLY From Costa Rica, joined Jan 2004, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8409 times:

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 took off around 2035 local MIA time... Next thing I knew was that the mechanics apparently could not fixed the original problem and the pilots had to perform an emergency landing in MBJ, and I knew about it because my friend called to inform me he just landed in MBJ and to ask what can he do... A 2.15hr flight ended up arriving in SJO instead at 2030 local time, at 1130am the next morning as the 757 had to overnight in MBJ to get fixed! So give me a break, there are labor issues with the pilots and maybe other unions, but there are operational and maintnance issues as well... And now this last story about the loose seats??? I truly believe everybody at AA should get their act together and solve all this issues and mess before it is too late and we see a tragedy happening...


With Age comes Wisdom...
User currently offlineD328 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7524 times:

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 NEVER want to fly anything unworthy of flight... GIVE the company a break! The pilots are all about safety, they DO NOT WANT TO DIE! If they didn't feel safe they wouldn't go! Get over it people... AA is still safe!


User currently offlinePurdueAv2003 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 251 posts, RR: 2
Reply 40, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6797 times:

Quoting D328 (Reply 39):

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 NEVER want to fly anything unworthy of flight... GIVE the company a break! The pilots are all about safety, they DO NOT WANT TO DIE! If they didn't feel safe they wouldn't go! Get over it people... AA is still safe!

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 pilots or mechanics are disgruntled, the aircraft would probably be SAFER! If they want to slow down the operation, they aren't going to sabotage it. What they do is go over the aircraft with a fine tooth comb and write up every stinking little discrepancy they can find. The more they write up, the longer the aircraft is out of service for maintenance and/or paperwork. In fact, it seems like the operation tends to run more reliably than normal after a slowdown because of all the extra maintenance that was done!



Ptu = Ftu X Anet (not to be confused with a.net)
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6800 times:

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 dealership. An A&P is a FAA certificated airman with at least 2 years of education in aircraft maintenance (including among others aircraft systems, structures, regulations, math and physics) and passed 9 FAA exams, and that's when the real training starts. Once in the airline world, the mechanic's training is constant, from fleet FAM schools, run/taxi schools, human factors, and endless OJT items, down to daily read-and-signs and online training.

Some of the implications here show a lack of understanding of just how much liability an Aircraft Mechanic holds. I like to use the (morbid, I know) comparison that a doctor's screw up can only kill one person at a time. An A&P can incur civil and criminal penalties not to mention the loss of their livelihood if derelict enough in their responsibilities. Even a relatively benign breach of regulations or policy can land you a suspended licence. ALL aircraft maintenance work is documented, so you can bet the mechanics who installed those seats have already been investigated by the company and the feds. Also noteworthy is that airline mechanics tend to fly on their own work quite a bit (both for work and pleasure).

So the idea that sabotaging seats could be used as a work action is ignorant beyond the point of serious consideration. A disgruntled aircraft mechanic is the safest guy you'll ever meet, he will be following EVERY rule to a "T" and will be doing no favors for his company to get a plane out.



Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6744 times:

Quoting PurdueAv2003 (Reply 40):
The more they write up, the longer the aircraft is out of service for maintenance and/or paperwork. In fact, it seems like the operation tends to run more reliably than normal after a slowdown because of all the extra maintenance that was done!

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 company/agency, and transfer it to the end user(labor), and honestly, are not feasibly designed to all be followed explicitly at all times. As the AA pilots have demonstrated, all you have to do to shut down an airline is to follow every rule exactly as it's written, all the time, every time.

[Edited 2012-10-02 03:11:39]

[Edited 2012-10-02 03:35:50]


Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6648 times:

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
All airplanes are affected by mishaps but older aircraft need more TLC or they are more prone to these mishaps

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 their maintenance program for the MD-80 fleet insufficient.



Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 44, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
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..

Great story!

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
"This plane has been flying for 25 years. What are the chances that it's going to fall out of the sky today?"
Quoting Flighty (Reply 23):
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!  

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 around!

[Edited 2012-10-02 03:26:17]

User currently offlinegonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

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 that.. this could be just a box of screws with a manufacture failure or another thing..... but we all most recognize that this string of loose seats is strange, and must be properly investigated to the root cause *


http://www.avherald.com/h?article=456c75aa&opt=0

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 46, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6123 times:

Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 42):
are not feasibly designed to all be followed explicitly at all times.

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 in a condition of "roving compliance", with effort applied to the most important thing at any particular point in time. There's literally no way to always do everything in precise compliance with every directive.

Well, there is...do LESS but do it exactly by the book, but that is not usually an acceptable course of action, as AA is finding out.


User currently offlineArcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6008 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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 doing it this way but it damaged the supports which they were unaware of.
No way pilot error. He lost all electrical indications so did not know slats retracted and by slowing to 2 engine climb
speed the left wing stalled.


User currently offlineairfrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2829 posts, RR: 42
Reply 48, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5990 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
Unlikely. The legal and criminal risks for the union would be too high.

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 management here, or management ignored it.

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?

No. That's the point. It's so seriously out of the ordinary, and the disruptions have gotten so bad, that it's impossible not to conclude that it's one side or another monkeying with customers.

Welcome to Charlie Bryan territory.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12964 posts, RR: 25
Reply 49, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4069 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
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.

Ah, so that explains Air France's cleaning policies!  
Quoting airfrnt (Reply 48):
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 management here, or management ignored it.

OR perhaps a third possibility, such as:

Quoting AAosm (Reply 34):
From what I understand at work. Is that the plane with the loose seat track came from maintenance from timco.

Seems the most likely to me. Plane was in heavy maintenance, seats were removed and not reinstalled correctly...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 50, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3875 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 31):
http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=aloha+...:429,r:2,s:0,i:77&biw=1024&bih=628

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the Aloha Airlines maintenance program to detect the presence of significant disbonding and fatigue damage which ultimately led to failure of the lap joint a S-10L and the separation of the fuselage upper lobe. Contributing to the accident were the failure of Aloha Airlines management to supervise properly its maintenance force; the failure of the FAA to require Airworthiness Directive 87-21-08 inspection of all the lap joints proposed by Boeing Alert Service Bulletin SB 737-53A1039; and the lack of a complete terminating action (neither generated by Boeing nor required by the FAA) after the discovery of early production difficulties in the B-737 cold bond lap joint which resulted in low bond durability, corrosion, and premature fatigue cracking."

Where does it say the accident happened because the aircraft was old?

Quoting D328 (Reply 39):
Myself as a low hour as in 700ish in a twin/single engine would NEVER want to fly anything unworthy of flight... GIVE the company a break! The pilots are all about safety, they DO NOT WANT TO DIE! If they didn't feel safe they wouldn't go! Get over it people... AA is still safe!

   Especially because if anything happens because of something that could've been caught during the preflight inspection, the pilot-in-command's on the hook for it.

Quoting PurdueAv2003 (Reply 40):
In my experience, when the pilots or mechanics are disgruntled, the aircraft would probably be SAFER! If they want to slow down the operation, they aren't going to sabotage it. What they do is go over the aircraft with a fine tooth comb and write up every stinking little discrepancy they can find. The more they write up, the longer the aircraft is out of service for maintenance and/or paperwork.

   AA pilots are simply doing their job and A.net is up in arms.

Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 42):
As the AA pilots have demonstrated, all you have to do to shut down an airline is to follow every rule exactly as it's written, all the time, every time.

  


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 51, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3835 times:

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 50):
Where does it say the accident happened because the aircraft was old?
Quoting OB1504 (Reply 50):
early production

It would not likely have happened in a later (newer) production B737.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 50):
low bond durability

Nor in one of the same vintage with fewer cycles.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineN737AA From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3780 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
The real issues is that the maintenance budget was cut.

Actually it hasn't been cut YET, but nonetheless the cuts have not been implemented as you would like everyone to believe.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
Two employee groups that aren't happy will hurt opperations.

The mechanics are doing a fine job of keeping the airline going given what they are facing.

Quoting crapper1 (Reply 8):
The media is acting like seat fastners never became loose before.

We find "loose" seats in seat track all the time. But loose in different than not secured.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
I've never heard of a plane being in an accident because it is older.

Aloha
Chalk

I'll leave it at that.....

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 26):
Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 24):
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.

I happen to think that you're seriously exaggerating the severity of this incident. Yes, this is something that shouldn't have happened, but this was not a direct impact to flight safety, nor was this potentially dangerous for the entire aircraft involved.

Actually it is quite serious for the reasons scarebus03 mentions. It is a safety of flight issue plain and simple.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
they needed rigorous additional maintenance to bring the craft up to their new owners' standards.

I see plenty of corrosion on all aircraft that come in for check that has been flying for their usual 5 years between heavy C check. Its part of the business. The aircraft are designed to withstand it. As far as bringing the aircraft upto the new operators "standards", that just a syncing of the maintenance programs for the most part.

Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 41):
There seems to be alot of ignorance here about who and what an Aircraft Mechanic is.

Well seems you need some educating. Plenty of folks who got their A&P via part 65 and not part 47.

N737AA


User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 933 posts, RR: 2
Reply 53, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3714 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 41):
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 dealership. An A&P is a FAA certificated airman with at least 2 years of education in aircraft maintenance (including among others aircraft systems, structures, regulations, math and physics) and passed 9 FAA exams, and that's when the real training starts. Once in the airline world, the mechanic's training is constant, from fleet FAM schools, run/taxi schools, human factors, and endless OJT items, down to daily read-and-signs and online training.

Some of the implications here show a lack of understanding of just how much liability an Aircraft Mechanic holds. I like to use the (morbid, I know) comparison that a doctor's screw up can only kill one person at a time. An A&P can incur civil and criminal penalties not to mention the loss of their livelihood if derelict enough in their responsibilities. Even a relatively benign breach of regulations or policy can land you a suspended licence. ALL aircraft maintenance work is documented, so you can bet the mechanics who installed those seats have already been investigated by the company and the feds. Also noteworthy is that airline mechanics tend to fly on their own work quite a bit (both for work and pleasure).

So the idea that sabotaging seats could be used as a work action is ignorant beyond the point of serious consideration. A disgruntled aircraft mechanic is the safest guy you'll ever meet, he will be following EVERY rule to a "T" and will be doing no favors for his company to get a plane out.






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/taxi/emergency procedures to renew my Taxi/Run Designee certification. This is a internal certification (with no benefits) so I can sign off other mechanics for a Run/Taxi license after they have completed initial training.

As said above, if our name and number is on that log page or work order you can bet if it isn't done properly and causes problems we will be held accountable.


User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 54, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3702 times:

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 sensationalism. When I see how they are reporting on this stuff, I don't know what to believe anymore when I read on subjects I am not familiar with.

The only thing I want to add about the age of our aircraft (and AA is planning on having the youngest fleet in the next few years with the new aircraft deliveries) is that we have the best damn mechanics we could possibly have working our aircraft.

I would put my mother in law on any aircraft we operate. Ok, maybe that wasn't very convincing. I would put my kids on any aircraft we operate any time.


User currently offlineiFlyLOTs From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 492 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 54):
I would put my mother in law on any aircraft we operate. Ok, maybe that wasn't very convincing. I would put my kids on any aircraft we operate any time.

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 happening around AA recently.



"...stay hungry, stay foolish" -Steve Jobs
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Quoting N737AA (Reply 52):
Well seems you need some educating. Plenty of folks who got their A&P via part 65 and not part 47.

I assume you mean part 147 right?  



Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 46):
"roving compliance"

My new favorite term



Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2755 posts, RR: 8
Reply 58, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

Quoting gonzalo (Thread starter):
AA Older Planes : Are These Planes Safe Enough?

As long as they are properly maintained.

Quoting gonzalo (Thread starter):
Or just hysterical media doing a big deal of small problems ??

They always do that.

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

Wow...You have to be kidding right. there are millions of LEGAL ways to disrupt operations for mechanic. Do you really think they are going to risk fines and going to jail or the lives of their fellow co workers just to make a point. Their family flies on these and the family of their co-workers and friends. Not only can I be fined or sued but the people hurt or killed can go after me in civil court and destroy not just me but my family.

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 7):
"Mistakes" happen all the time, right?

Grow up....

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

It does happen.

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 16):
But, we are ,so it is wise to consider all factors.

No we are being ignorant to think that people will risk the lives of themselves and others just to make a point. If you have no evidence or no clue as to what you are talking about stop such nonsense.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 22):
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

The Transport Workers Union. And like I said there are ton's of legal ways to disrupt and delay flights. Why would you open yourself to go to jail or to civil lawsuits?

Quoting gonzalo (Reply 45):
.. this could be just a box of screws with a manufacture failure or another thing.....

Do you think we install seats with a box of screws?



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlinescarebus03 From Ireland, joined Apr 2005, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 59, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2973 times:

Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 43):

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 their maintenance program for the MD-80 fleet insufficient.

Already done  


Brgds
SB03



No faults found......................
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