SA7700
Topic Author
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Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:07 am

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Virgin Blue's maintenance records are in disarray.

Certainly Qantas will have a field day with this one? Your comments?

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/09/1078594366795.html

When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
Sydscott
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:07 am


Virgin Blue admits poor maintenance
Source: SYDNEY AAP
Date: 2004-Mar-10 05:15 AM

Budget domestic airline Virgin Blue must fly within an hour of an airport at all times because of flaws in maintenance records for its planes, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Herald said the airline reported discrepancies in its maintenance logs to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in December, with several aircraft parts unaccounted for.

CASA subsequently banned Virgin from straying more than an hour from an airport, and ruled that soon to be delivered new 737 aircraft were not to be flown until the situation was corrected, the Herald said.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told the paper the airline had struggled to keep on top of maintenance systems due to a quicker than expected growth of its now 40-strong fleet.

But Virgin Blue strategy head David Huttner said there was no safety risk for passengers and no need for concern over the airline's safety, the paper said.

Mr Huttner stressed all aircraft parts across the fleet were young and well within their lifespan.

He said the company was preempting any issues and ensuring its systems were of the highest standard.

Virgin Blue's international New-Zealand based offshoot - Pacific Blue - makes its maiden flight into Sydney from Christchurch.

The flight is expected to touch down around 8.50am.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Certainly Qantas will have a field day with this one?"

So they should to. If Virgin can't properly account for the maintenance on their aircraft I'd certainly be pointing it out. Theres probably no issue with planes falling from the sky etc, but it doesn't look good for a report like this to be true.
 
BD1959
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:14 am

I'd question the accuracy of this report...

Virgin Blue must fly within an hour of an airport at all times

...so CASA have stopped DJ from flying to Perth and Broome from Adelaide??

BD1959
 
Gemuser
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:20 am

Whats the problem in flying to PER from ADL and staying wiyhin an hour of an airport?

There are a couple of big airports on the Trans Australian Railway, one is Forrest, not sure of the other-Cook?. There is nothing there but they have long runways and have been RPT diversion fields for decades.

Broome I dont know about.


Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
nickofatlanta
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:20 am

Flying within an hour of an airport does not necessarily mean flying within an hour of a DJ-served airport ...
 
BD1959
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:26 am


Nickof Atlanta: Flying within an hour of an airport does not necessarily mean flying within an hour of a DJ-served airport ...

Gemuser: There are a couple of big airports on the Trans Australian Railway, one is Forrest, not sure of the other-Cook?.

Yes, I realise that flying distance does not necessarily mean a DJ served airport - I was questioning whether there were anything within the Nullabor which could provide a strip for a 737. I know Forrest was used in the early days across to PER (didn't it once provide overnight acommodation?), didn't realise it could handle things the size of a 737.

Still wondering about Broome....

BD1959
 
Sydscott
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:45 am


Bd1959 - On the way to Broome you have Alice Springs if your coming from the East, or you have airports like Leonora and Laverton, Port Hedland, Kununurra etc which have all handled jet operations before.
 
A330
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:07 am

Hahahahaha!

What a bunch of journalism CRAP!

Also QF,BA,LH,KLM,...'s B737's need to fly within 60 minute of a suitable alternate airport.
This is just ETOPS people, and nearly no B737's are ETOPS approved as it is almost never needed for medium-haul ops.
Shiek!
 
AJ
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:15 am

A330, that's incorrect.

All Qantas 737s are ETOPS approved and need that approval for more direct SYD-PER, MEL-PER, Trans-Tasman and Indonesian routes. They can fly up to 120 minutes from a suitable airport.

Virgin gained ETOPS and lost it due to record keeping.
 
Sydscott
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:20 am


You beat me to it AJ.

Plus there wouldn't really be a need for BA/LH/KLM etc 737's to be etops approved due to the large number of airports in Europe and the relative closeness of the major cities. Flying from Perth or Sydney to Broome is a bit different to flying from Barcelona to Helsinki or something like that!!!!!
 
Beno
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:21 am

DJ claim that there massive growth since the AN collapse has led to these problems. But in the same period QF added 20 737s, 7 744s and new A330s. But QF have not had any problems.

Seems like bad management to me.

 
A330
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:21 am

Then I do stand corrected.
In Europe (where I used to fly B737) I never heard of ETOPS on the type.
But indeed, now I think of it, also CO, Polynesian and NZ must have ETOPS for their operations in the Pacific... Never been in Oceania, but will be flying towards you people real soon now...
Shiek!
 
wirraway
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:31 pm

AAP

Virgin's blues over grounded jet
By Andrew Hunter and wires
March 10, 2004

BUDGET carrier Virgin Blue has a new 737 grounded indefinitely in a Melbourne hangar because of problems with the airline's maintenance procedures.

The new plane is one of three yet to be commissioned as the airline tries to bolster its fleet to take on Qantas-backed JetStar in an increasingly competitive market.

Two more 737s are expected to arrive from Boeing's Seattle plant next month.

Virgin cannot use any of the aircraft because the airline's maintenance procedures are not up to scratch.

Keeping the Boeing passenger jet in the hangar is costing the company - self-confessed "penny-pinching ******s" - more than $220,000 a month.

The carrier notified the Civil Aviation Safety Authorities (CASA) of problems with its maintenance logs in December. Several aircraft parts were unaccounted for, including engine components.

The airline then forfeited its right to fly Extended-Range Twin Operations (ETOPS) which meant its aircraft were barred from operating further than an hour away from an airport.

It is understood CASA would have revoked Virgin's ETOPS status had the airline not withdrawn it.

Virgin Blue chief Brett Godfrey said the cost of hangaring the new 737 was $8000 per day. The figure was factored into financial forecasts, he said.

"This is only one aircraft (in a fleet) of 40. The impact of this is immaterial," Mr Godfrey said.

"We don't take this lightly - we're penny-pinching ******s - but this was estimated and included in our forecasts.

"There is no financial impact, it's business as usual."

CASA said today there were no safety risks for Virgin passengers and that it would meet the airline's operations staff either today or tomorrow as part of an ongoing process to improve the airline's record-keeping system.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said there was no safety imperative to fast-track Virgin's new maintenance procedures.

"From a safety perspective it does not matter how long this process takes," Mr Gibson said.

"The process is continuing and the length of time they take to finish the process is entirely up to them."

Mr Godfrey would not set a deadline for the new system but said he would not pressure his operations staff to rush the process despite the grounded plane.

The flight restrictions do not apply to Virgin Blue's international New-Zealand based offshoot - Pacific Blue - which made its maiden flight into Sydney from Christchurch today.

Mr Gibson said the restrictions weren't relevant because Pacific Blue had a New Zealand Air Operator certificate.

with AAP

==========================================
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:59 pm

Sounds like another case of an airline expanding too fast for their own good to me. Very few of the worlds great things were slapped together over night; As Mr. Ward once said, "It takes a long time to build an airline..."



CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 3:59 pm

In December, Virgin Blue reported flaws in its maintenance records to CASA. It discovered its logs had lost track of aircraft parts, including from engines.

Sounds like a classic case of the famous so-called pencil whipping practice. Shame, shame!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
TBCITDG
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:35 pm

The one thing that does astound me is that instead of "owning up" to these faults, that are so blatantly obvious, they have stated that it seems quite odd that this report was released just as "Pacific Blue" is launched. I think that this is a sad excuse. Sure thing let's over look your bad maintenance records for a few days until it suits you !!
They also come out and say that it was THEIR own choice to fly 1 hour near an airport, a statement that CASA has recently stated " we would have forced them to either way!!"
Shame on you DJ.
Have the "balls" to admit your wrong.
 
QANTASpower
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:44 pm

And to think some people have the nerve to compare Branson's flying cockroach with Qantas.

SHAME SHAME SHAME

Thankyou

QANTASpower
 
VH-BZF
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:03 pm

Well, looks as though VB's chickens have finally come home to roost!

Look I don't like to see anyone lose their job - it happened to me at AN & I know a few of my ex AN colleagues work now for VB, so I do feel for them!!

That being said, no love lost here for VB & their maintenance balls up! CASA grounded Ansett's B767 fleet (although it is slightly different with VB in that their aircraft are all new, unlike the B767's of AN)!

My understanding from people who work for both VB & AAES (Ansett aviation engineering services) is that CASA are viewing this maintenance record keeping problem VERY seriously & if not fixed soon, they may ground further VB aircraft. I was also told that a few weeks ago CASA grounded 4 VB B737's temporarily?

Typical of the NZCAA, they are a lot more lenient when it comes to air safety regulations, thats why Pacific Blue have not been pulled up!

Cheers - BZF
Ansett Australia - (was) One of the worlds great airlines!
 
B727-200
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 11:28 am

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:55 pm


Can't you people see - it is all a great conspiracy by the Australian federal government to keep QF strong.

1) SQ shows interest in AN - CASA grounds AN aircraft at Christmas

2) AN finally gets rights to fly LAX, NRT and FRA with LHR under negotiation - CASA ground AN aircraft at Easter

3) QF want to start up a LCC - CASA ground DJ aircraft and restrict their operations

Come on conspiracy theorists - jump on this here band-wagon.
 
TSV
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 12:13 pm

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:13 pm

7 News was reporting tonight that Huttner was saying that V*r*in Blue was the victim of a smear campaign within the industry. Yeah right - what's that old saying about you make your bed and you have to lie in it?

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/National/story_12365.asp

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Business/story_28618.asp

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Business/story_55418.asp
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
wirraway
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:13 pm

CASA hasn't grounded any DJ 737, they (DJ) have decided not
to to put any new aircraft on the register untill the new maitainance system
is fixed, thought to be sometime in May, (after todays circus probably the
same day in May that Jetstar launches)

Wirraway


 
tavve
Posts: 169
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RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:24 pm

Beno: DJ claim that there massive growth since the AN collapse has led to these problems. But in the same period QF added 20 737s, 7 744s and new A330s. But QF have not had any problems.

Seems like bad management to me.


Quantas is a great airline but also a big airline (as you know). They have expanded rapidly in number of aircrafts but if you look at the relative expansion, then DJ has expanded quicker. No doubt it's more problematic to expand from 2 to 4 aircrafts than from 100 to 105. U c my point? I get your point with your conclusion and I agree. It has to be bad management.

As long as they are allowed to fly I wouldn't be too worried.
GOT, that's where I live
 
TBCITDG
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 5:17 am

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:09 am

B727-200
What a load of garbage.
I don't understand the poeple that QF bash, even though they have nothing to do with the issues that effect DJ!
What does the collapse of AN have anything to do with DJ's incompetence regarding maintanance?
If there was a huge conspiracy to protect QF, then EK would have limited rights into Australia, DJ would have been grounded already, and AN would have gone under months before they did.
How can anyone blame QF (as always) for something another airline failed to do?!?!?!
 
aussie747
Posts: 1005
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:15 pm

RE: Virgin Blue Maintenance Issues

Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:15 pm


"Can't you people see - it is all a great conspiracy by the Australian federal government to keep QF strong.
1) SQ shows interest in AN - CASA grounds AN aircraft at Christmas
2) AN finally gets rights to fly LAX, NRT and FRA with LHR under negotiation - CASA ground AN aircraft at Easter
3) QF want to start up a LCC - CASA ground DJ aircraft and restrict their operations"

I would first like to address facts on the above first, before you "conspiracy theorists jump on the bandwagon".

ansett's grounded aircraft were a result of the following.
(1) hairline fractures found in fuselages on 767 aircraft.
(2) missing parts on the tales from their 767 aircraft.
(3) 'C' and 'D' checks not being performed when due.
Very serious matter indeed. Even if these were Qantas aircraft CASA would
have very much done the same!!!

AN aircraft to LAX / NRT / LHR would have been 744 leased SQ aircraft, not affected by the said affected aircraft at the time.

DJ aircraft affected, were a result of DJ not being able to account for all parts changed on it's aircraft (doesn't sound to safe to me).

The DJ "grounded" aircraft, are aircraft already delivered as new from Boeing, but yet to be registered. I guess these will be registered and all problems solved, when Virgin Blue has solved this recent problem.

To be fair with DJ their maintenance accounting system as used by them was not designed for the current fleet in mind. DJ Has expanded rapidly exponentially. Unfortunately this has caught up with them. And has been unable to cope.

Although this is serious, I think this matter has been blown out of proportion, and why shouldn't QF pounce on them now that the cat is on the other foot so to speak.


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