Tom in NO
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Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Fri Apr 14, 2000 9:05 am

Over the course of my 13-odd years at MSY, I've seen many things, and here's another to add to the list:

A Dobbs catering truck (this afternoon about 2:30 or 3) ran into the left rear door of a United 727-200 N7287U, that was parked at the gate. As a result, there now exists about a 6 foot wide, by 8 to 12 inch high, by 2 or 3 inch deep gash in the side of this jet. Needless to say, this jet offloaded its pax, and moved to a free gate. Also, one person on the a/c was slightly injured.

It's always been a tight squeeze for a full size catering truck to get to that door on the 727, but still, that's no excuse. BTW, the driver said he couldn't get the truck to shift from 'reverse' into 'park', and that it slipped into 'drive'. To think about it, that would involve shifting in the totally opposite direction on the shifter. Something's verrrry fishy about this....

Mark from UA@MSY, feel free to call me tonight, or I'll see you at the 'port tomorrow.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

A question, I guess UA will fix it at MSY, but does anyone think they may low-altitude ferry it to DC, DEN, or ORD.
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
flyf15
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Fri Apr 14, 2000 9:12 am

If they had to ferry it out, I'd guess it would be to the closest airport with a mx company that can fix it. Maybe even like CO's operation in IAH or AA/DL in DFW.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Fri Apr 14, 2000 9:15 am

Chris, I think that flight was scheduled to visit you at DEN in the first place, before it got dinged up (heh, heh).

Tom
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
DL_Mech
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Fri Apr 14, 2000 6:17 pm

The type of damage to the airplane determines whether this plane can be ferried or not. From your description, a six foot wide gash probably damaged some formers and stringers, so my guess is that UA will send a crew to do a few temp repairs and then ferry the plane (unpressurized) to SFO or whereever they have a hangar. We at DL recently ferried a 757 that had a hard nose landing from LAX to ATL; so long, unpressurized ferries are not unheard of. A couple of years ago, a contract cabin cleaner truck drove into an L-1011 at full speed here at ATL. The driver claimed that "the brakes failed" on the vehicle and he actually made it about 1/3 of the way through the forward cargo compartment. The airplane was fresh out of overhaul, so the decision was made to repair it. After 30 days and several million dollars, the TriStar was flying again. Seems the people at Dobbs (now GateGourmet) could use some "better shifters."
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
avion
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Fri Apr 14, 2000 7:26 pm

When did GateGourmet take over Dobbs?

Thanks

Avion
 
DEN-HNL
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Slobbs Strikes Again!

Sat Apr 15, 2000 1:16 am


Now I'm not defending Slobbs here, but on our ground equipment at UA, the shifter is different from conventional shifters on street cars. From top to bottom there is R-N-D-3-2-1. Compared to a normal street auto which has P-R-N-D-3-2-1. Since there is no "Park" position in the first example, the driver could have been shifting from R to N, then applying the parking brake. The shifter could have slipped through N, into D. What do you think?
John Hancock
 
DL_Mech
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RE: Avion

Sat Apr 15, 2000 2:31 am

I read that GateGourmet was taking over Dobbs a few months ago in ATW magazine. They changed the stickers on their vehicles here in ATL last week.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
DEN-HNL
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RE: DL Mech

Sat Apr 15, 2000 3:14 am

Do you know if this will be system-wide for Dobb's or only specific locations?
John Hancock
 
avion
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RE: DL Mech

Sat Apr 15, 2000 3:21 am

SAir Group took over all of Dobbs locations world-wide. Making Gate Gourmet the largest caterer world-wide. Gate Gourmet now employs 60'000 people.

Avion
 
OPNLguy
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TOM In MSY

Sat Apr 15, 2000 7:14 am

DL Mech nailed it, probably an unpressurized MX ferry (pilots + FE only) to one of UA's MX bases at ORD, SFO, IND, or elsewhere. MX ferries (unpressurized) are often limited by terrian, and getting across the Rockies can often be anything but a staight shot.

As a former Dobbs driver myself (25 years ago @ IAH and DFW), the trickything about the 727 aft galley was *backing away* from it due to the sweepback of the wing. United (and Braniff) 727 galleys made this all the more difficult since their aft galleys were on the F/Os side of the aircraft. Every other airline on the planet had their 727 aft galleys on the Captain's side, so one you backed away, the wing was on the same side as the driver and visibility was good. Backing away from the aft galley of a UA/BN 727, the wing was on the passenger side of the truck, and visibility was far more constrained.

Always wondered how much worse UA and BN's ramp rash was compared other airlines' 727's....

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Tom in NO
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Here's An Update!

Sat Apr 15, 2000 1:23 pm

I talked with some guys at United today. UA was going to have Boeing fly some parts from Seattle to ORD today, then have them trucked down to MSY for the repairs. UA is expecting the 727 to be at MSY for 2 weeks while the repairs are effected.

As for the damage, I (and a bunch of others) got inside the rear cargo hold today, and, apart from the obvious outside damage, there was major damage to 3 structural spars (bent, creased, and cracked), and numerous stringers, and the skin itself. I don't think the airplane is ferry-able (there are full cracks in the skin, as well).

I'll be in Nashville from Saturday through next Thursday, so I'll post the latest on it late next week.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Sat Apr 15, 2000 3:19 pm

Sucks especially for the Dobbs driver...wonder if that's payroll deductable? 

Same thing happened to us SFO-SEA on Shuttle...not quite sure if it was catering or the lav truck, but either way, we ended up with a nasty hole up by the nose.

FLY777UAL
 
mdsmith11
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Yet Another Update!

Mon Apr 17, 2000 9:28 am

Sorry that it took so long to be able to respond but I've been working 15 hour days for the last several days. Yes, the A/C does have "significant" hole thru the fuselauge. The drive that hit the plane, I've spoken with him on hundresds of occasions. Oh well, what can I say....it happens, just thankfully no one was "hurt".

The plane was towed to a hanger on the west end of the airport by yours truly yesterday (Sat) afternoon. We have a group of about 6-8 mechanics working round the clock to indeed ferry it out. Two - six weeks is the anticipated downtime that 'ole N7687UA will be out of commision for and an antipicated cost of .... gulp 3-500K! Not counting the lost revenue.

As a side note, that was the first time that I got to actually go out to the runway. This was necissated because of MSY's de...er, uh I mean construction. After waiting for awhile, the tower finally gave us permission to enter the runway. Our electric tug pulling a B-727 with 35lbs of fuel on was no mmatch for a WN -737 on final approach. One of the most awesome sights to see those bright landing lights coming DIRECTLY at you and then to see them do a go around at the last minute at a head-on-angle.

Mark from UAL @ MSY
 
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Bruce
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Mon Apr 17, 2000 10:33 am

First of all, Hi to Mark (mdsmith11)! Long time no see.....we don't have that kind of excitement up here at HSV. That must've been a pretty neat experience to tow a plane down a runway!!!!!!!!!

Maybe the title of the post should have read "Dobbs Truck Driver Looks For new Job"  

I sure hope they don't take it out of his pay....now that's a heck of a "payroll deduction" !!
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
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What Took So Long?

Mon Apr 17, 2000 1:35 pm

All I can say from reading this thread is, "What took so long for something like this to happen?" Working on the ramp in ORD, we constantly have problems with Dobbs drivers, and I use the word "drivers" loosely. They cut across the ramp totally oblivious to the drive lanes. They cut us off and then race through the gate envelopes. They park in the middle of the drive lanes when they do manage to find them. I don't know how they got their CDL's to drive those trucks. From what I see out there, I'm surprised these things don't happen more often with more injuries. Hats off to the DOA police who are constantly pulling Dobbs trucks over on the ramp!!
 
trey
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RE: What Took So Long?--the Answer

Mon Apr 17, 2000 2:54 pm

basically, the delay was because, well.... frankly cause it's new orleans. as any resident of the city or anywhere in louisiana can tell you that to get anything done takes a small act of the legislature. speaking of, i can't believe that some of the state reps up in baton rouge couldn't find some way to get a cut out of this fiasco at the airport. united should consider themselves lucky that the airport authority didn't try and impound the plane, or hell, even loose it. i know this sounds ridiculos, but trust me.

speaking of, does anyone out there from MSY know what has become of the old TACA hanger? i noticed a few weeks ago that it is no longer lit up with the pretty TACA sign on the front. is it still in use? sold off? colsed down?
 
mdsmith11
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The Taca Hangar

Mon Apr 17, 2000 10:10 pm

First off, I musta really been tired judging from my spelling on my update post.

The TACA hangar is still in use. In fact they had a 737-200 spend a day or tow there just last week. Not too often will you see something inside of it, but yet is is still definately in use.

Mark from UAL @ MSY
 
MSYtristar
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RE: The Taca Hangar

Tue Apr 18, 2000 12:29 am

About the TACA hangar.......I have seen a DC-8 in there on several occasions. But, the doors are usually closed. And was that the old Pan Am hangar back in the day?

MSYtristar
 
mdsmith11
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The Taca Hangar

Tue Apr 18, 2000 1:16 am

It may have very well have been a TACA hangar. I'll try to find out this afternoon. However my friend Tom is in Nashville this week, so I'll try.

I've never seen a DC-8 in there personally, but that certainly doesn't mean that there hasn't been one in there.

A month or two ago, Midway had a broke F-100 that stayed in there for a few days.

I'm gonna try to go in a few min early and see how the repair is going.

Mark from UAL @ MSY
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Tue Apr 18, 2000 1:16 am

Hello from Nashville, I'm at a conference.

Trey, the only reason that Baton Rouge doesn't get a cut of the action at MSY is because Marc Morial won't give them a piece of it. Besides, the FAA is on record as saying they are not in favor of a regional state-run airport between MSY and BTR.

The old TACA hangar is still TACA's. They recently repainted it, hung up a new sign, and demolished four of the six bungalows that were behind it. Stephen, I'm not sure if that was PanAm's old hangar. I've been there long enough, so I should know.

Bagsmasher, Dobb's running into UA was the worst of those incidents here, but I know of a couple of SW jets that have been run into over the years.

As an aside, an ASII fuel truck ran into the #2 engine of a Northwest 757 at MSY back in '87 or '88. Creased the tailpipe but good. It was out of service for a least a week.

Bruce, I did think about the title you suggested, but I thought I'd go with something more headline grabbing.

Mark, did you tow the 727 to Freeport's Mac's old hangar, or is it down by general aviation?

Tom in NO (at MSY, out of town at BNA)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
DEN-HNL
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RE: Actual Reg Number?

Tue Apr 18, 2000 1:45 am

What is the actual tail number? Tom started the thread with N7287U, then Mdsmith11 told us 7687U? Could somebody please verify? Thanks!

BTW, yesterday I saw the first Slobbs truck in GateGourmet colors here in DEN. It was servicing UA270 to ORD, a 767.
John Hancock
 
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Bruce
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Tue Apr 18, 2000 2:05 am

Tom, i was just kidding withthe title  

Maybe one of you MSYguys can put up some pics of the plane?
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Tom in NO
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RE: UA 727 Is N7287U

Tue Apr 18, 2000 2:54 am

I hate to do this to my friend Mark, but the tail number is N7287U, or msn 21565/1424. UA's 727's registration numbers start with 72 or 74. There is no N7687U (at least according to Bill Harms' airliner registration list web-site.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
mdsmith11
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Tom Is Correct

Tue Apr 18, 2000 9:14 pm

Tom has the correct reg number.

I'm working on getting some digital pictures of the damage from one of the visiting mechanics.

As much as I wish that I did, I don't have an A & P, but the work needed to fix the hole is alot more in depth than I woulda thought. For example, so far the plane is up on jacks, the number 2 engine has been removed (in a lil over 2 hours!), windows have been removed to insert wood beams thru the fuselauge to take more weight off the structure, which nessicated removing the aft galley, several seats, overheads, and side trim panels.

The plan now is to fix the plane completely here in New Orleans, ferry to IND and then enter back into revenue service from there.

Last but not least, Dobb's insuranse could be looking at repair bill approaching a cool million $'s.

Mark from UAL @ MSY
 
Shanti
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Tue Apr 18, 2000 11:14 pm

A very similar thing happened two days ago in MPX to a AIR EUROPE B777 departing to Maldives. This is the third time that this company's B777 are hit by a catering truck in MPX.
Food is quite expensive for Air Europe.....
 
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Bruce
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Why Repair?

Wed Apr 19, 2000 2:19 am

Isn't UA going to get rid of the 727s anyway? So why bother repairing it? They ought to just swap it for one of their many new airbuses.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Why Repair?

Wed Apr 19, 2000 6:06 am

Hey Bruce,

I'm not sure that UA could afford to mothball it yet. As you well know, airliners are too expensive to have spares sitting around. Another thought I have is that the flight schedule is set so tight, so that any aircraft being out of service for a length of time is going to mess something up down the road, and it's possible that UA can't yet cover the schedules that N7287U is set to fly.

BTW, thanks for your BNA advice. I'm still up here at my conference, got a little spotting in on Monday, and will go back tomorrow to visit a friend who works for BNA Airport Authority who used to work with me at MSY. Also stopped at BHM for a few minutes.

Take it easy.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Guest

RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Wed Apr 19, 2000 6:25 am

I believed this plane can not be ferried to the hubs of UAL, but in fact, the UAL maintenance employees at ORD or IAD, closest to MSY airport could get on a jet to MSY and fix it over at MSY airport hangar....., these pax & baggages should be taken on another planes as a replacement to the aircrafts damaged, I would not blame the driver of the Dobbs catering truck on a blame for this, this accident happens to cars very oftens same with all trucks.... as a result, this plane will needs a few replacement parts for the plane from the Boeing company in Seattle or from UAL's recent 727's parked at any UAL hubs !!!!


bassim        
 
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Bruce
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Wed Apr 19, 2000 9:32 am

AAAhhhhh....now there's an idea. Take some parts from a previously de-commissioned United 727. That has got to be cheaper!
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
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Got Pictures?

Wed Apr 19, 2000 2:43 pm

I was just wondering if anyone got a picture of the incident. If not, I'm sure I'll see it around sometime.
 
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RE: Why Repair?

Thu Apr 20, 2000 12:47 am

Tom, enjoy the rest of the convention. And this has nothing to do with the subject, but does the Jamaica Shuttle still run the twice-weekly flights to MBJ from MSY? I haven't been in town in nearly a month, so I was just checking.

Stephen
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Dobb's Truck Hits UA 727 At MSY

Thu Apr 20, 2000 1:11 am

Bruce, I like your idea. Take the parts off of a junked 727. But the UA folks say that they were getting parts flown from Boeing to ORD, then trucked to MSY.

Stephen, yeah the Jamaica Shuttle is still running, but they're using UPS and American Trans Air aircraft.

Tom in NO (at MSY, but at BNA until tomorrow)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
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Maint. History

Thu Apr 20, 2000 1:24 am

This bird in question had only small write-ups in its log such as low nose strut pressure and ACARS problems. The only long term deferred items were that of blind rivets installed in the cockpit window frames and a small dent found on the left inboard wing.
 
Tom in NO
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Any New News?

Sat Apr 22, 2000 1:12 am

Just got back into New Orleans late last night, so haven't gotten a chance to go see the 727 yet. Any of the locals got an update on the repairs?

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina

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