BR715-A1-30
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Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:35 am

What was wrong with the DC9-21?
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If anything they were newer than the -30s. Why did Valujet/Airtran ditch them after the ACCIDENT?

This one has me stumped.
Puhdiddle
 
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LN-MOW
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:43 am

After the accident, valuJet ditched not only the -21, but also some MD80's that they just had gotten hold of. Due to reduced traffic, they chose to stick to their -30's and get rid of the other aircraft types.

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
 
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:46 am

Easier to focus on one type of aircraft. If I remember, J7 only had a couple of -21s, so they didn't make any sense to operate.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:49 am

Most of the VJ DC-9-30's were also likely younger than the -20's. The '20's were all built in the late 60's.

Only 10 -20's were ever produced, of which only a couple were operated by VJ.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:51 am

Two reasons...

1/ After the 592 crash in the swamp, they took huge PR hits. While some were unjustified, what mattered more was the perception of the flying public. It wasn't just the 592 deal, it was also the earlier uncontained engine failure and aborted takeoff at ATL, which burned up the aircraft. The public perception seemed to become that they acquired used aircraft from other airlines that that "used them up" to keep their costs down. Dumping all the old aicraft in favor of the 717 dealt with that...

2/ Irrespective of the low acquisition cost of used aircraft, they are more-expensive maintenance-wise. In the aftermath of the Aloha 737 affair, "aging aircraft" now had much tougher inspoection intervals, and thus higher MX costs, especially if problems were found. It essentially became a case of "you can put a pig in a dress and use lipstick on it, but it's still a pig". In other words, they could still spend the bucks to overhaul and spruce-up the older aircrafr, but they were still going to e high-time high-cycle aircraft.

Overall, they've done a pretty good job of re-inventing themselves....

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Cody
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:52 am

I think there were four. Did you know they used to operate them from Boston nonstop to Florida? I flet so bad for those passengers on there.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:56 am

Did you know they used to operate them from Boston nonstop to Florida?

Yes, that does ring a bell. For some reason, VJ operated the -21 on some of their longest routes (BOS-MCO etc).

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
travatl
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:52 am

I was based in BOS at the time, and often worked the DC9-20s. It was a love/hate relationship.

I loved their performance (rocketed off the runway), but hated being the layout. 89 seats, and NO place to go. To top it off, we always staffed them with three flight attendants.

Biggest reason the DC9-20s left? Actually, they had already decided to sell them BEFORE the crash, but they were still flying. If they had intended to keep them, the FAA wouldn't have allowed it anyway. One concern in our infrastructure was consistency. At the time, ValuJet operated 11 different types of aircraft in terms of cockpit commonality. Eliminating DC9-20s and -80s was one way to narrow those differences. Second, when we came back to service in September, 1996...we were flying a grand total of SEVEN aircraft (and restricted in growth to 15). The original seven were tails 934, 935, 937, 938, 940, 945, and 946.

Travis
 
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 11:11 am

Travis, Thanks for the info. I did not know they had 11 different cockpit layouts. That is amazing. I know they had the Delta Cockpits, KLM Cockpits, -20 Cockpits, and MD80 Cockpits, and Turkish Cockpits. But I only counted 5 different layouts there. Where did 11 come from?
Puhdiddle
 
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 7:29 pm

Well,the -21's were all ordered and operated by SAS so you can add another layout there!
It was basically a KSSU flight deck.(KSSU=KLM,SAS,Swissair,UTA).In the late sixties and up through the 80's,there was a technical co-operation between these airlines to order and operate the DC-10 with identical specifications and equipment.This co-op also included the DC-9.
"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:29 pm

Another reason for dropping the -21s was layout commonality. The -21s were, as stated above, 89 seats, while the -31s were (and are) in 106 seat configurations. Also, the -21s would have to have different load plans, MTOW, and landing fees from the -31s.

Now the 717 offers similarities in cockpits, weight (in almost all a/c), seating, noise/vibration levels, and servicability. Plus the lavs and potable water are easier to service.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Tue Nov 12, 2002 11:39 pm

The DC-9-21 was a special variant which mated the larger DC-9-30 wing with the smaller DC-9-10 fuselage. I'm sure that the large wing was a fuel-wasting liability for Air Tran, but those rare birds sure are interesting! I suppose that SAS needed the extra lift to get out of small airports.
 
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RE: Valujet: Why Did AirTran Get Rid Of DC9-21

Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:20 am

That is correct FBU 4EVER!. My grandfather who worked for SAS from 1948 until 1982 worked with Douglas to come up with the DC-9-21. It was also my grandfathers idea for the KSSU to happen and since he was pretty good friends with several technical people at KLM, Swissair and UTA, that went together pretty smoothly. You know that the first KSSU delivery ceremony was the delivery of the DC-10 to all 4 carriers. I have photos at home framed from Douglas of the even which were given to my grandfather. He passed away 3 years ago and I have inherited all of his airline memorabilia, all sorts of stuff. Man what a rich life he had with SAS.

Stephen