Sean Reynolds
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2001 5:33 am

Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:11 am

Won't lie to all of you, I'm scared when it comes to flying. Well, next month I'll be flying to Houston, Texas from SLC all by myself and am scared to hell.

I checked up on the plane I'll be on, the Boeing 737 and read some things with the rudder, is this still a problem?!? Anyone know how safe the Boeing 737 is? I hear it's been in a lot of plane crashes.

Well, thanks in advance.
 
pmk
Posts: 609
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:15 am

You worry too much. It is a VERY safe plane that makes THOUSANDS of flight per day.

Peter
 
Guest

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:17 am

The 737NG has never gone down and the 737 is just as safe as the A320
 
FrequentFlier
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 10:45 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:22 am

The 737 has been under so much intense scrutiny over the past decade that everything has literally been gone over very closely.

The 737 is a very solid a/c that is taken care of very well.

 
JBLUA320
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:23 am

Dont worry about it- the 737 is a very safe aircraft and you have nothing to worry about.

Just remember, once your through that door, you gotta relax- its out of your control.

Happy Flying
Ben Kaufman
JBLUA320
 
Jean Leloup
Posts: 1953
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 10:46 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:27 am

The 737 is perfectly safe, as is any commercial airliner in North America today. There have been many 737 crashes, but this is most directly attributed to the fact that there are so many 737's to begin with. The new one's are especially safe (Are you flying DL? Perhaps you'll get a shiny new 737-800), but even the old ones, if well maintained, are perfectly safe. You have nothing to worry about!
Next flight.... who knows.
 
geotrash
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:25 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:38 am

Statistically, the Boeing 737 is one of the safest planes in the sky. See the fatal accident statistics for yourself:

http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/rate_mod.htm

Note that the statistics make a distinction between the earlier 737 100/200 and the later 737 300/400/500 types (the type you will likely be on). This is because the latter are a newer design with more modern engines, and hence have been more reliable and safer than the ealier types. Note also that the statistics do not yet reflect the safety of the latest generation of 737s. the 700/800/900 series, which have yet to have a fatal accident.

Perhaps the reason why it seems like there are more 737 incidents than other aircraft is that there are more 737s in operation than any other commercial jetliner...by a wide margin. Since most 737s serve on short hauls, 737s experience high takeoff and landing frequencies as well. When this is taken into account, you can see that the 737 has an excellent safety record, on par with or better than similar Airbus types, which are also excellent.

Enjoy your flight remembering that the 737 is one of the safest aircraft in the sky. I fly them all the time and am constantly reassured knowing that I am flying on a very safe and dependable plane.
 
Sean Reynolds
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2001 5:33 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 10:43 am

Thanks all! You've been a great help!  Smile And you're right Ben, I remember someone said takeoffs are optional, landings are required.  Smile
 
FrequentFlyKid
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2001 5:04 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 11:21 am

Sean -- Of course the aircraft is safe. It's the workhouse of the aviation industry. Here's my question, would you really want to hear anyone tell you it isn't safe anyway? Like someone above said, it's been through so much scrutiny. The news media thinks too much. Kinda like if you've watched the news lately then you know that everything causes cancer now. Don't worry, relax....
 
bkkair
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 11:25 am

Remember the exploding fuel tank on the Thai Airways 737-400 last year ( similar to the 747-100 of TWA800)?

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/440416/4/

and the most recent rudder incident a couple of days ago ( after UA at COS, US at PIT and Silk Air over Indonesia)

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/832502/

It is the most widely used jetliner in the world so is bound to have more incidents but alot of us wonder if the rudders have really been fixed. I suppose the pilots would refuse to fly if it wasn't safe but questions remain.

I fly on 737's all the time, but personally, if there was another aircraft flying the route I would choose the other aircraft type.

The nagging questions remain.
 
geotrash
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:25 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 12:22 pm

Bkkair,

Then fly another airplane. Let the rest of us who rely on accurate statistics above simple reckoning and fear keep our sanity and save money by flying a proven safe and reliable aircraft. Are you sure that all the kinks have been worked out of the A320? It has been in the air proving its safety record for far fewer years. Or what about the 747? Is aluminum really meant to withstand the stresses that the sheer mass of a jumbo places on it? The 737 does not deserve to be singled out as unsafe amongst its peers. Review the numbers again, do your homework, and comment again when you have something solid to base your opinion on. Hype and drama don't cut it.

-Geo
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 12:25 pm

You're more likely to die on the way to the airport then you are on the flight.

You'll do fine.

Have fun.
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
Thumper
Posts: 520
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 12:28 pm

Mr. BKKair do you worry about flying on an A-300 because the rudder fell off one? Do you worry about flying on the Concorde because it crashed? How about the 747's or the A-310's or the MD-11'S or even the 767's? What aircraft do you feel safe on? Whatever you feel safe on chances are that the 737 is a safer aircraft! Don't worry about flying a 737 they are one of the safest planes in the sky!
 
Hardkor
Posts: 227
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 12:46 pm

I was wondering, a few years ago didn't the FAA issue a directive of some sort to modify the rudders on all 737-200s? Did that ever go through? Even though I always think about that Pittsburgh crash in 94 whenever I'm on board a 737, I cannot argue with statisitics. I think one stat says there is a 737 taking off and landing somewhere in the world every ten seconds. That is absolutely mind boggling, considering there have only been a handful of 737 crashes over the last 18 years. So try to have fun with it. The only thing that plane has to worry about is penetrating that thick Houston smog!
Cheers,
Hardkor
 
akelley728
Posts: 1964
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 1:16 pm

There was a very long article in this month's 'Air & Space' about the USAir 737 incident in Pittsburgh.

It went step-by-step on how they found the core issue with the rudder. Very interesting read. After reading it I'm even more convinced that the 737 is a safe aircraft to fly.
 
User avatar
AirIndia
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 2:27 pm

As safe as travelling in ur Car. Safer perhaps.
 
Guest

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 2:35 pm

Oh come on lets not try to scare the kid. The 737 is a great aircraft. Your flight will be uneventful. The only thing that you will have to worry about is trying to pass the time.

 Big thumbs up
 
Hardkor
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2001 1:51 pm

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 2:40 pm

So did they actually correct that rudder problem then?
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 3:08 pm

Well, I think that the Boeing 737-700/800/900 is safe. These are modified, improved, advanced versions of the classic 737s. I believe these are safe, but the Classic 737s need some work, but overall the 737 is the most reliable plane built
Puhdiddle
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Thu May 30, 2002 3:12 pm

Statistically, of around 5000 737's built about 1% has been lost in an accident. But still the rate is 1 per 2.2 million departures.

I have flown on 737 for 20 years, almost on a daily basis. Never encountered any major problems. The plane is tough and cantake a beating. I feel safer on a 737.


 
AlaskaMVP
Posts: 145
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 4:57 am

BKKair, Hardcor,

The fix for the 737 rudder was to change from two actuators to three, adding additional redundancy in case one of the actuators misbehaved (according to the Discovery documentary). Supposedly the fix has been rolled out throughout the U.S. fleets.

http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1999/AAR9901.pdf

The SilkAir crash was a pilot suicide, not a rudder problem.

http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi_bin/view_details.cgi?date=12191997&airline=SilkAir

The Billings "problem", though it might have been a rudder vibration problem, it's description doesn't sound anything like the "unintended actuation" problem. Planes occasionally have vibration problems, an F28 had one in PDX last year.

The exploding fuel tank may have been a terrorist bomb (the Prime Minister was scheduled on the flight).
http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi_bin/view_details.cgi?date=03032001&airline=Thai+Airways+International

So when you come down to it, the "unintended rudder" problem has only been shown to have caused 2 crashes out of 80 Million flights. If you are worried about that, go play the lottery now, cause you are hot, hot, hot!!! In reality,the 300/400/500 models have a fatal accident once every 3 Million flights. Fly a 737 once a day, and you are guaranteed to be involved in one in oh, about 1,000 years.

Note; This record includes the Piedmont flight that lost cabin pressure, and one passenger died due to "natural causes", the Thai explosion that occured before any passengers boarded, and numerous crashes with survivors, making the 1 in 3 Million flights over-state the risk, the typical passenger probably has about close to 50% chance on average of surviving the wide definition of a "fatal accident".

 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 5:22 am

So is anyone in here trying to suggest that apart from the 737/700/800/900, the other models of the 737 rudder have not been fixed?

Arsenal@LHR
In Arsene we trust!!
 
slawko
Posts: 3742
Joined: Tue May 25, 1999 7:40 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 5:27 am

Well it wont fly you into the side of a forest if you dont want it too...not all aircraft companies can bost that kind of reliability  Smile
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
 
Staffan
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 5:28 am

Slawko, can any aircraft company claim that?
 
Beefmoney
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RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 5:51 am

LOL Slawko, I remember someone on here, after watching video of an A320 at an airshow (not the famous Air France forest incident), but he made a comment that the computer in the airplane probably said after the pilot made the successful low pass " Zat is not how you fly for ze airshow, now fly into ze trees!" ROFLMAO Smile
 
Squigee
Posts: 634
Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 3:21 pm

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 7:36 am

AlaskaMVP and BKKair,

The Thai incident was ruled an accident. The centre fuel pump was left on while the tank was empty, while the aircraft was preparing for a flight.

About the rudder problems, this is why newsmedia makes me so angry sometimes. It's like the book "Airframe" by Crichton. It's a non-issue blown out of proportion by sensationalist headline seekers which only serves to frighten people who are already uneasy about flying.

You are many more times in danger driving to the airport than you are on the flight itself. In fact, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than crashing.

Please, visit this site if you are worried about flying: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/safety/
Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
 
Squigee
Posts: 634
Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 3:21 pm

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 7:40 am

Knew I forgot something:

The five-model 737 Classic family has one of the industry's best safety records. Introduced 30 years ago, the aircraft has safely transported nearly 6 billion passengers - equal to theworld's entire population. The 737's 77 million flights since 1968 span more than 32 billion miles - approximately 175 trips to the sun and back. By far the most widely purchased, widely flown passenger jet in history, the 737 Classic has posted more than 91 million hours of service for airlines. That's equivalent to flying 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for about 10,390 consecutive years.
Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
 
AlaskaMVP
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 11:41 am

RE: Boeing 737, How Safe Is It?

Fri May 31, 2002 10:06 am

Another point. Assume the 737's "unintended rudder deflection" problem still existed (even though it appears that 737s have been updated with fixes). A reasonable estimate is that it has caused only 2 crashes in 81M flights! If it takes 40M flights to cause a crash, how do you know other planes don't have the same problem? Only the DC-9 & 727 have more than 40M flights, so I guess those are the only safe planes?

Well, there were incidents where no crash occured, so for the sake of argument say there were 10 total, so it takes 8M flights before any incident occurs...

Well, the MD-11 & 777 have less than 1M flights, the L-1011, 767 & DC-10 less than 8M flights, so how do we know their rudders are okay? Same with Airbus A300, A310, A320! Maybe all these planes have the same problem, they just haven't flown enough to trigger it!

Obviously, I'm joking... The 737 and planes in general are so safe, and just getting safer all the time that it's silly to worry. As a previous poster said, worry more about driving to the airport, that's statistically much more dangerous!

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