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What's Going To Happen To VH-OJH?

Tue Dec 28, 1999 3:00 pm

Hi people,

Just a question on VH-OJH, the aircraft involved in the incident at BKK on 23 Sept 1999. Does anyone have new info on the fate of this aircraft? Will it be W/O or fixed?. I can guess it will cost heaps to repair. Where will it be repaired. Damage was extensive according to the papers, so should it be repaired?
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RE: What's Going To Happen To VH-OJH?

Tue Dec 28, 1999 3:45 pm

-OJH awaits repairs in a hangar at BKK, at an estimated cost of A$100m. Boeing will not touch the airplane until February, and from then-on it will take 5-6 months for repair work to be finished. It is expected that the entire section ahead of the wing will be reconstructed.

The airplane should be repaired because the total cost to Qantas is less for repairs than to write the airplane off. By re-entering the fleet, -OJH can also serve as a reminder to QF employees exactly how close the airline came to a major accident.
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RE: What's Going To Happen To VH-OJH?

Tue Dec 28, 1999 5:24 pm

I have been told tha Qantas has sold VH-OJH and when repaired it will go to another operator. I have been told this by people outside the industry as well as people inside the Aviation game. Only time will tell unless some one can give further information

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QF Is Not "cheap"!

Tue Dec 28, 1999 9:20 pm

QANTAS have refused to take out insurance claims, our newspaper Herald Sun have repoted. I guess they're not cheap like CHina Airlines, with the sasme insurance company was QANTAS, China Airlines claimed somting like $10 millions for their accident in CLK in August.
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RE: QF Is Not "cheap"!

Tue Dec 28, 1999 10:28 pm

The fact that Qantas owns its own insurance company (which is underwritten by several major Australian insurance institutions) is what the Herald Sun has incorrectly reported (or didn't report at all). Different airplanes in the QF fleet are insured under different terms, as well as an asset protection insurance for the entire airline.

Qantas will most certainly take an insurance charge for -OJH; and will neatly arrange repairs to the airplane from insurance re-imbursement as well as a tax-break.
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RE: QF Is Not "cheap"!

Tue Dec 28, 1999 10:37 pm

I have heard that the value of VH-OJH which is now over 9 years old is pretty much the same as what they are going to pay to fix it. It would probably be a lot cheaper to get another aircraft of the same vintage (If it were available). However, if they did this, the Qantas's reputation as being the safest airline in the world would be further damaged than what it is. The world's safest airline would then have an accident which resulted in a written off plane, rather than the 'incident' they now have. I doubt that the crash has done much for the resale value of -OJH either I certainly wouldn't buy it, unless it were very cheap!

Just scrap it and buy a new one, QF, you can afford it!
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RE: What's Going To Happen To VH-OJH?

Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:00 pm

1. Qantas being "the world's safest airline" is a myth delivered to us by Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in the movie Rainman. Whilst we cannot actually measure "safety", we can measure "risk" (future probable accidents) and "accidents/incidents" (past occurrences). Certainly the "risk" of an accident onboard a Qantas airplane is extremely low, and is of an excellent high standard. To say that it is "the world's safest airline", however, is to not understand airline safety.

2. Regardless of what QF does, the VH-OJH occurrence on 23 September is regarded as an "accident". An accident not only causes fatalities and/or major injuries, but is only required to cause "major damage" to the airplane. "Major damage" is usually classed by whether the airplane can continue to fly safely. VH-OJH, with significant structural damage and only two main landing legs to stand on, is not flyable. VH-EAK, a Qantas 707 that suffered from a heavy landing at Singapore in 1964, was able to fly home to Sydney for repairs. However, the airplane had to fly unpressurised and it took three or four stops to travel a distance that it would usually do non-stop.

What is true is that if repaired -OJH will not make it to the "hull loss" list, which is almost as important as the accident/incident statistics.

3. When returned to service, there will (should) be no difference between -OJH and a non-crashed airplane. Qantas and Boeing will team to literally re-build the airframe - a process that is 75% undertaken with a major D-check, anyhow. Infact, the newness of some parts may help to iron out some of the problems associated with -OJH and will probably make it a cleaner airframe aerodynamically.

I would certainly fly this airplane. I watched, one day, a flight training partner of mine plant our airplane into a fence and almost rupture a fuel tank. Six weeks later the airplane was flying again and was better than ever. There is certainly no increased risk of a major event happening because you're flying in a repaired airplane.

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