American B757
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 1999 11:19 am

When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Thu Jan 20, 2000 11:23 am

What happens when an airline retires a plane with the things INSIDE the plane?[like seats, safety cards, galleys if they are on pallets like UPS 727s...]

Also, when a type is completely taken out, what happens to those pilots? are they trained on other types?
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 11:46 am

RE: When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Thu Jan 20, 2000 11:54 am

1. The planes are taken to an airplane grave yard and left to R.I.P.

2. The pilots are then re-incarnated into a later life where they are typed in different planes..


Sorry, i couldn't resist! Honestly i don't know.. but hey someone on here is bound to know :-)

Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Thu Jan 20, 2000 1:46 pm

On a similar note, what happens to the old seats when an airline installs new ones? For example, when the L-1011s and DC-10s switched from 8-abreast seating to narrower 9-abreast seats, thousands of nice, comfortable seats were removed and replaced. What became of them?

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:59 am

RE: When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Thu Jan 20, 2000 6:18 pm

We have an outfit at GSO that occasionally buys retired planes. They're located just across from my cargo ramp. The last airliners they had were an A300 and DC-10, and they were being slowly taken apart as parts were needed. Most of the valuable parts were mechanical, like the engines and APU. I went inside the A300 a couple times, and all the stuff you'd expect to see on the inside (most of the seats, bins, side panels, galley stuff, etc...) was still there. The exception was the cockpit, in which every instrument was gone and only the wiring remained. Over the course of a couple years they sold off most of the seats and bins and stuff, then trashed all the non-metal parts from inside the plane. After that they tore the remaining fuselage apart with a arm-grapler into a huge pile of scrap aluminum. That A300 is now holds your Budweiser.
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Thu Jan 20, 2000 7:35 pm

I guess they sell everything that's being replaced. And if not, they burn it! But most of the things are sold to other airlines, as spares or replacements.
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

RE: When Airlines Retire A Plane....

Fri Jan 21, 2000 1:32 pm

Lufthansa was selling their airlines seats when they were upgrading it to a newer economy class seat... the rest I dunno... I'd like to buy some too  
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

...this Is What Happens

Fri Jan 21, 2000 3:30 pm

1) The pilots are given the choice of retiring (it isn't called being fired) but airlines are obligated to allow them to continue by training them in a new aircraft type or, more often and if possible preferably, in a new version of the current aircraft.

2) The aircrafts are flown to various remote locations for one of two purposes: 1) Dismanteling; 2) Storage (forever or for future use). Those which go to dismanteling are described quite well in one of the other reponses. They sit, often for years, while others in line are digested, unless there is a demand for parts. All valuable entities, mechanics and computers, are removed. The tires are often deflated or removed entirely, and the engines are almost certainly taken off (engine fan blades are coated with a material similar to diamond to prevent things from easily chipping them). The airline's logo is painted or stripped off. Seats and other casual interior decorations or passenger facilities are sold to anyone who will buy them as they are needed, but can be found in great numbers in land fills (I always thought if I got rich I'd take up a collection and start myself a regular aero-theater!). The fuselage itself may not be touched, but once everything inside is finally out, it will probably be torn apart (broken up) so that the metal can be re-used. Wings are a more difficult manner since they are made of composite materials, and thus are frequently left alone to sit in heeps somewhere.
Those which go to storage can be found by the scores in desert facilities such as those at Mojave. Their windows are blocked, valuables removed, logos painted off, and they are left (usually with wings and landing gear attatched) to sit and bask in the sunlight until time should see them go. Some of them are left in-tact so that second, third, fourth, or even fifth-hand airlines may purchase them.


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