behramjee
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Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:34 pm

You know there are many airlines (pax and cargo) that operate aircraft well over their intended life period. For example PIA operating F 27s for 40 years almost, NWA having DC9s for 30+ years, British Airways-JAL-LH kept their B 741s/2s for over 20 years etc etc.

So my suggestion is that ANY PASSENGER aircraft should be banned to be flown after flying for 20 years of flying and any converted or all cargo freighter should be banned on 25 years of service max.

Also an airline should be told by the IATA that it must look for a replacement aircraft for an or series of aircraft it has that have reached 15+ years of service so that before the aircraft gets banned at the age of 20, a newer one would be in the fleet.

In this way, I feel BOEING and AIRBUS too benefit as it will be compulsory for airlines to place small or large scale orders on a regular basis.

Now if this law was applied today, lets take an example of a passenger aircraft :

1. NWA's numerous DC 9s would be long gone and Airbus would have add a sizeable A 318-319 order to replace the type.

2. IBERIA wouldnt be operating the B 742s and instead it would have forced to place a replacement order for A 346s earlier than recently.

3. This rule would have made sure that Indian Airlines and Air India placed an order for aircraft replacing their AB4s and B 742s well ahead of time instead of the snail's pace that its currently going through.

4. NWAs numerous B 747Fs alongwith JALs 74Fs would have been replaced a few years ago by B 744Fs!!! Infact NWA still is not saying when they will replace their ageing 74Fs with 744Fs!!!

5. BIMAN too would not be flying its DC 10-30s today if this rule was enforced!!!

[Edited 2004-02-29 10:35:01]
 
aviationmaster
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:40 pm

I think the age of aircrafts are "mesured" in the number of cycles and not by age.
 
L-188
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:43 pm

Bad idea,

There are plenty of 60 year old DC-3's, Beavers, Otters that are still getting around just fine.

Economic lives being what they are, it doesn't pay to keep older jets around as long as their prop counterparts, or even the first generation of jets.

And I can think of one area of operation where the best suited aircraft for pax service was a 50 year old airplane. More modern examples just didn't have the combination of range, payload, and performance.

DC-6's are really popular freighters up here too because they combine those factors and don't need to go high, like a jet.

Besides, fuel burn and noise restrictions are already killing them off fast enough.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
kalakaua
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:43 pm

Airliners should be judged by cycles, instead of age. Also, you have to think about money.
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:10 pm

I don't agree at all with this. "Intended life period" is a very fuzzy concept. If you mod the plane (new engine type on DC-8/727, for example), you change the whole equation.

- Some cars run 50 years and some break after 5. And even so, planes are not cars. They are looked after with tender loving care from the minute they roll out, with what most industries would consider incredibly excessive maintenance.

- "Age" depends on initial quality, maintenance, operating regime, climate conditions and upgrades, not years of service.

- A lot of planes may be "old" but the engines, pumps, tires and a host of other parts have been changed, probably several times. And it's the moving parts that tend to break first.

- In the hands of some operators, a plane may be unsafe from the day it is delivered, while other operators operate 30 year old planes as safely as new ones. And if you look at crash statistics, you will probably see that aircraft age is not very often the determining factor.

- Forcing airlines to upgrade just to produce aircraft orders seems a bit like economic blackmail, since there is no rational reason for it.

- If an airliner does not meet FAA/JAA airworthiness requirements, it should not take off, be it 6 years of 60 years old. That's like a pilot physical. If you pass it at 25 or 55, you are still as fit to fly the heavy metal.

The one thing I could see is environmental concerns (noise and air pollution) but these are "easily" addressed by hanging new engines on old planes, and other things.



[Edited 2004-02-29 11:15:28]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
L-188
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:14 pm

I never understood why people think old airplanes are unsafe....


Lets face it, if they wheren't safe, they wouldn't have gotten to be old airplanes.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:16 pm

L-188 said:
Lets face it, if they wheren't safe, they wouldn't have gotten to be old airplanes.


Incredibly well said!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:17 pm

L-188 said:
Lets face it, if they wheren't safe, they wouldn't have gotten to be old airplanes.


Incredibly well put!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
behramjee
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:04 pm

Some of your counter points are valid but what about the economic costs of operating these old planes...their heavy fuel burn compared to more modern jetliners (DC9 vs B 737-700/A 319) + very high maintainance costs + the economics of operating a very old aircraft like B 742 vs B 744 or AB4 vs A 332 !!!
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:16 pm

Lets not forget that airlines operating new equipment for the first time sometimes have accidents.

If this were the case then we can wave bye bye to all the DC-10s, DC-9,s, 727's and other classic aircraft.

This is one of those really stupid points put forward to make more money, just like our government doing away with road tax and charging by the mile driven, they are going to make more money. Just pointless.

As for the environment, to hell with it. Environmentalists screwed Concorde early in it's life and new environment rules are making it harder to find Smokies in the UK.

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
Moolies
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:53 pm

It also depends on how good the maintenance is.

SAA had a 742 that has done 106700 hours and is 27 years old or some age around there.

It is to make one mroe flight before being finally retired at Rand airport.
ZS-SAN has served many faithful hours and is still going strong.

 
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Ryan h
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:54 pm

In my opinion if an aircraft is in good condition and well maintained why get rid of it?. So if a cargo operator for example used a 707 it would probably cost more to get a newer aircraft and train the crew than it is to keep what thay are using going.
L-188 summed it up perfectly. If an aircraft is so unsafe it would have gone to the scrapyard a very long time ago.
South Australian Spotter www.ryanhothersall.net
 
Moolies
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:04 pm

It also depends on how good the maintenance is.

SAA had a 742 that has done 106700 hours and is 27 years old or some age around there.

It is to make one mroe flight before being finally retired at Rand airport.
ZS-SAN has served many faithful hours and is still going strong.

 
andz
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:06 pm

My wife wouldn't be too happy with this idea, she is a flight attendant on the only two passenger certified DC-4s in the world!

Moolies, ZS-SAN entered service with SAA on 6 November 1971, 32 years and 4 months ago!



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:16 pm

Behramjee said:
Some of your counter points are valid but what about the economic costs of operating these old planes...their heavy fuel burn compared to more modern jetliners (DC9 vs B 737-700/A 319) + very high maintainance costs + the economics of operating a very old aircraft like B 742 vs B 744 or AB4 vs A 332 !!!


That's not necessarily good economics. The operator has made an investment for a plane and expects to use it for a certain period of time. If he buys/leases a new plane, that's still a cost (up front or staggered) that needs to be paid, and the decrease in operating costs may take years to recoup the investment. You don't buy a new car every two years just because the newer one burns less fuel, do you?

If and when it is a valid proposition, the operator will replace the plane.

And what about the old plane? You have to sell it on today's market. Simply not using it does not mean that it suddenly costs nothing. It binds up capital (a problem since you need the capital to buy the new plane), maybe costs ground rent, and if you are leasing it or have taken a loan to buy it, those costs do not disappear.

Granted, most operators don't envisage 30+ years of useful life out of a plane when they buy it, but if you are cash-strapped and have a bad credit rating, keeping the old planes may cost less in terms of interest payments alone! NWA stated that the DC-9's are completely paid for. NWA has no interest payments. Buying new planes would entail using capital (or borrowing) which they would rather not do.

BTW, I haven't even gone in to all those other costs involved in buying new planes: new stocks of spares, new ancillary equipment, training of ground and aircrews, training of maintenance personnel, simulators, certifications, and I could go on but I think you get the picture.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:54 pm

So if an airline must start looking for replacements once they have aircraft that are 15 years old then BA and AF would have to be looking at replacing their oldest A320 aircraft as these are 16 years old this year.  Insane
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
PER744
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:59 pm

It'd even out the playing field, once everyone is bankrupt things will be fairer  Big grin
 
DeltaMD11
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Sun Feb 29, 2004 10:45 pm

"Some of your counter points are valid but what about the economic costs of operating these old planes...their heavy fuel burn compared to more modern jetliners"

Yes, and the millions of dollars that you would have to spend to replace aircraft prematurely that are still as airworthy as the day they delivered them in 1966 or throughout the 70's and 80's would totally negate these costs. The aircraft are payed for, no leases, no upfront costs. It ends up saving the airlines a great deal of money. That would be like buying a Mercedes E class, and when it turned 2, you sold it just because you could get a new E Class with a .3 mile per gallon advantage. But then you just shelled out how much more money as well?

Not only that , but if a company is having financial difficulty and the mandatorially had to replace a sizeable amount of their perfectly operational and safe aircraft with newer ones, the costs assosciated with that could possibly run the airline into the ground.

Edot: Whoops, just saw starlionblue's response which is somewhat similar to mine. Sorry starlion! I guess great minds think alike.

[Edited 2004-02-29 14:47:22]
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:25 am

No problem DeltaMD11!

The beancounters have calculated the entire predicted lifespan of the aircraft way before the contracts are signed. SQ, for example, have a high fleet turnaround, so their beancounters calculate how much it will take to pay back the aircraft (plus a profit of course) in that time. Other companies do the same, with longer planning horizons. This principle is of course valid for any investment.

Of course, nothing ever turns out the way you think it will, and all of a sudden fuel costs go up/down, the economy changes, Mr. O'Leary makes an appearance on CNN, the weather is unusually cold, etc. And that's where hedging comes in. To guard yourself agains, for example, rising fuel prices, an airline will buy fuel options and be able to buy fuel at a predetermined price in a couple of years. This way the beancounters, who like certainty, can sleep at night.

Now, the airframer has probably guaranteed a certain performance level over a certain period, so the operator already knows today how much each plane will cost for every year in the next couple of decades. The further in the future, the fuzzier the forecast, but there is a lot of history to be drawn on and these guys are, like insurance actuators, good at probabilities and statistics.

If I were a shareholder in NW today, I would definitely not want them to buy new planes to replace the DC-9's, since that would decrease my projected dividends in the next decade, or in other words decrease the profits of the company.

Ok, I (and others on the board) could probably go on about this sort of thing for ages. Buy yourself a copy of Brealey/Myers "Principles of Corporate Finance", the quintessential textbook on investment, for (much) more detail.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
aa777flyer
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:14 am

Bad idea, that would also press ticket prices higher since airplanes would have to be replaced more frequently. Look at NW will all those D9S, if they were FORCED to replace them a few years ago, then they would not be in as good financial shape as they are now (all the 9's are paid for).
By your logic then you should be forced to buy a new car every say once the car gets 80,000 miles on it.
If an airplane is well maintained it is as safe as it was the day it came off the assembly line.
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
Spacepope
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:26 am

There are certain countries where this proposal is in effect. In Nigeria, after a rash of BAC 1-11 crashes, they instituted a 22 year maximum age on aircraft there, with some older airframes grandfathered in (depending on the kickback, this IS Nigeria after all). Indonesia has a 20 year limit on airframes doing Hajj charters. Most of these regulations stem from previous experiences where the fault could be attributed to shoddy (or complete lack of) maintainence, or human factors. I can't think of an accident with a properly maintained airframe that could be attributed solely to the age of that airframe. The only thing this proposal would serve to do is to drum up more buisness for aircraft manufacturers. If they didn't overproduce during the late 90's, there would be no reason for them to need this help.

T.J.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:30 am

It is a crude method of regulating, but I can see the point. Although a more refined policy would produce better results.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
deltaffindfw
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:34 am


Also, if they did institute regulations like this, what would a.net members do? I think I would miss the weekly "when will NW replace their DC-9s"  Big grin
 
DutchFlyer
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:59 am

Yep, replace aircraft after 20 years of service, then we also replace the F/A after 5 years, the flight crew after 15 years and the pax after 25 years.

What a silly idea.

If the planes keep their certificate of airworthyness then they are able to fly safely.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:17 am

Andz,

Was your wife in SXF at the ILA airshow back in 1996 with Cpt. Flippie Vermeulen and Kevin May? I might have met her then!

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
ANX4fishing
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:28 am

Behramjee,
was that a goof post..? Such nonsense.

ANX
 
andz
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:42 pm

Jan, if that was the Berlin Airlift commemoration then yes she was!

After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
wgw2707
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:59 pm

I must say, the notion of a legal "maximum age" on airliners in service is absurd for the following reasons:

1. The age of an airliner is not measured in terms of years but in terms of hours. Thus inspite of having been in service since the 1970s the Concorde fleet was far younger than many of the worlds airlinesr when it finally was retired.

2. Older aircraft are not neccessarily unsafe. Proper maintenance and replacement of worn out components can keep an old aircraft in service indefinitely. That's why we have DC-3s from World War II still in commercial service today. Aircraft are probably the most well-maintained vehicles in existence and consequently, inspite of the high amount of strain placed upon them in service, can last quite a while. All it takes is proper maintenance.

3. There is an economic advantage to operating fully paid off aircraft even if the aircraft are a bit older. As long as the aircraft are still economical to operate in terms of fuel consumption and crew requirements, with a ready supply of availible spare parts, and as long as they are paid off, it makes sense to continue using them. That's why 737-200s and DC-9s remain in widespread passenger service and that is why FedEx and UPS are able to continue to profitably operate large fleets of DC-8s and 727s.

4. As mentioned a few posts up, older aircraft sometimes will have range/speed/payload characteristics not offered by newer aircraft. For instance, at present to my knowledge there are no propliners being manufactured that offer the same range, speed and capacity as the "classic propliners" such as the Douglas DC-6, L188 Electra et cetera. So for some operators where there is no modern aircraft availible that meets the job description the use of older aircraft is a neccessity.

5. Such a law would also effectively put a stop to tourist operations that fly vintage aircraft such as DC-3s. Gone would be JU-Air, Chalk's International and many other fine tourist air services.

6. A substantial portion of the world's current cargo fleet is well over 25 years in age. It would cost UPS, FedEx, DHL and the like a fortune to replace their still fully serviceable airliners with new planes.

7. New aircraft aren't as visually interesting Big grin (ok just my opinion...I guess I'd better prepare to be lynched by the 777 and A330 enthusiasts  Laugh out loud )

-WGW2707
 
UAL727222
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:31 pm

In reply to a previous post, the 744 is not an old, fuel-inefficient aircraft. The 744 is still in production and has only been in service since 1989. With a reasonably full load, the 744 is the most efficient aircraft in service. Obviously, with machines as large as the 742, 744, A300, etc., fuel consumption is greater, although these machines are not intended to be used on short, low capacity hops but on long, high density routes which makes the use of bigger planes not only profitable but essential.

Airlines try to get about 30 years out of an airplane and consider retirement as a consequence of not being able to operate a plane profitably in changing market conditions. UA retired the 727 in 2001, as a result of over-capacity, but if the market warranted its continued use, the airline would have continued to fly it, and the planes, while old, would have served safely. All planes must pass periodic C and D checks, and regular airline maintenance ensures that all aircraft are airworthy. Look at our record- we operated the 727-222 Adv. for 24 years and never had one fatal incident. NWA has not ever had an accident with its DC-9s, to my knowledge, not one to blame on the aircraft, and the reason for these records is not purely luck. They are well-maintained and quality aircraft. In 1999, we retired our last 741, which was 29 years old, and I flew those old jumbos, with more 100,000 hours, and they performed fine. And, if the airline hadn't retired them, they would still be flying safely, across the ocean, with hundreds of satisfied passengers and crew.
 
COSPN
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:35 pm

Lets Just Replace All Airline Employees every 5 Years... Smile Like SQ Does..
 
FlyGuyClt
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:47 pm

Just woke up and this is the first thing of life outside of my home that I have had contact with. I can see my day will be full of humor !

Safe Flying  Smile
Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:07 pm

Andz,

Thiswas when "Lebombo" blew #1 cylinder of #3 engine and the flight to THF had to be canceled? I was giving the guys a hand back then. There was also a whole detachment of German Luftwaffe, who moved their party to the apron just in front of the plane and between eating steaks, theyworked on the plane. Next day she was flying again. If she sees Capt. Vermeulen or Kevin May, please tell her to give them my regards (Jan Krusat). I was with Lufthansa back then and volunteering for a local museum that had a C-54 and a C-47 in THF. BTW, after the successfull repair theyinvited everybody who took part in a free flight from SXF to THF.

Jan
.
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:30 am

If it aint broken, dont fix it as to if its maintained very well, keep flying it.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:39 am

If you take good care of your tennis shoes, you don't have to replace them nearly as much. Same goes for a -9 or a 747. If you have qualified mechs working on them, what's the sense in taking them out? Max cycles is what we're worried bout! Nice to see classics in there.

What are we going to do when the last NW DC-9 stops flying? I think some people are finally going to get sad...

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
CRJ'sRule
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RE: Aircraft Outlaw Age Proposal

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:50 am

It's hard to make a judgement on merely the age of the aircraft on whether it's airworthy. There are plenty of airlines in the world that are relatively new that their airlines do not look after them very well (i.e Garuda), and plenty of airlines that do. As a Calgarian, where for the longest we were overran by pretty old 737-200's with a lot of flying time on them (Westjet, Aiir Canada/Canadian), and they still seemed to be okay for service. You have to look at a lot for determining how much an aircraft should age.

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