|Quoting LTU932 (Reply 1):
Ferrying it back to AMS would be very difficult, it might most likely have to fly at very low altitudes because of this. That being said, I doubt that a hole in the fuselage is something quick to repair. If you look back, Boeing had to work for months until they managed to repair the wrinkled fuselage of G-SJMC in PUJ. And given that the 767 is the workhorse for MP's longhaul fleet, its age could influence a decision on whether it should be repair or written off.
While I don't doubt that the bird with the wrinkled fuselage took some months to repair, fuselage holes are not usually as major damage with respect to severity and repair time.
The usual culprit for damaging the fuselage (and it's not always a "hole" one can put their fist through) is a piece of ramp equipment, such as a belt loader, lav cart, baggage cart, or their other item. In my personal experience, the usual practice for when such an incident occurs (at a place where the airline has no repair facilities) is that the aircraft will be first be inspected by local contract maintenance personnel. If the aircraft is deemed airworthy for a maintenance ferry flight, it will operate unpressurized (10,000 feet or below) to an airport where repairs can be made. I'm certainly not suggesting that the damaged bird here will ferry CUR
at/below 10,000 feet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it ferry CUR
, hangar space rented, and having a Boeing repair team work on it there. It could also ferry CUR
and then on to another US point for repair. AA
? BFGoodrich @ PAE
? In the past, we've also used Boeing-Wichita (IAB), where the 737 fuselages are built--certainly alot of expertise there, even with the change in ownership and name change. In more recent years, we use BFG @ PAE, and in fact we ferried our nosegear bird N356SW OAK-PAE for the repair work.
Depending upon how bad the fuselage damage is, the aircraft could be out for as little as 2-3 days, or 2-3 weeks, or more. Even considering the age of the aircraft, I don't see much potential for the economics of the repair warranting a write-off of the aircraft--it'd have to be some really
bad fuselage damage, and in that event, you wouldn't be talking about ferrying anywhere for repairs (probably wouldn't be airworthy, even for ferrying), you'd be talking about breaking the aircraft up there in CUR
[Edited 2007-07-25 21:14:26]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.