andrej
Topic Author
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 8:31 am

(Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:55 am

Hello all,

just came across this interesting article. It shows that Air France A340 flew for about 5 days, with missing some components (about 30 screws that connected "protective panel between the fuselage and the wing").

This occurred at Taeco-Taikoo facility. No further information.

Is this the new norm of 'outsourcing' or just honest mistake that can occur anywhere? I tend to lean (hope) towards the latter option, but it does seems a little concerning that while airlines are cutting costs (understandably), such thing went unnoticed for 5 days (not at the maintenance facility nor at CDG).

Cheers,

Andrej

P.S.

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...er-maintenance-visit-to-china.html

EDIT: After posting the topic, I have decided to remove part of a title thread (shady) and add (Poor?); as it reminded me of yellow journalism and I do not want the topic to sway into off-topic items.  

[Edited 2011-11-25 01:58:45]

[Edited 2011-11-25 01:59:19]

[Edited 2011-11-25 02:52:35]
 
scarebus03
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:14 pm

RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:16 am

Quoting andrej (Thread starter):
(about 30 that connected "protective panel between the fuselage and the wing").

Would they be screws by any chance?   
No faults found......................
 
notaxonrotax
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:29 pm

RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:21 am

How important would this particular part be!?

No Tax On Rotax
For anybody that happens to be wondering:"yes, owning your own aircraft is a 100% worth it!"
 
AngMoh
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:25 am

Interesting story, probably with significant details missing. There was an earlier thread which seems now removed which contained a very poorly translated french article. That original seems to indicate that it was flagged by a Union which indicates that it is part of trying to protect jobs (nothing wrong with that, it is their right but just don't expect an unbiased observation).

2 Questions:
1) What was really the problem and why did Taeco do such a poor job
2) Why did AF with their own (union) staff do such a poor job in acceptance of the work done in China
 
andrej
Topic Author
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 8:31 am

RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:57 am

Quoting scarebus03 (Reply 1):
Would they be screws by any chance?

Bingo!   Now changed.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 3):
Why did AF with their own (union) staff do such a poor job in acceptance of the work done in China

That is what makes me wonder as well. I thought that once (outsourced) maintenance is completed, there is an in-house inspection (once the plane arrives to its base).

But given the fact that the plane flew for five days, I guess that the component was not 'critical one'?!  

Well I am looking forward to read more about this. I would not surprised this incident to be used by Unions and portray outsourcing as bad idea.
 
ozglobal
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:19 pm

I'm hearing too many stories about break downs in processes at AF. Pilot traning, maintenance, outsourcing, etc, etc. I am avoiding them (my choice) until I judge they are doing a better job. Wonder if the new CEO will have an impact?
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
474218
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:35 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 3):
2 Questions:
1) What was really the problem and why did Taeco do such a poor job

How does anyone know it was Taeco that was responsable for the missing screws? Did they remove the fairing (that is what they call protective panel)? Was it removed sometime during the five days after it left Taeco? The original articial does not say. But the articial does say the original report of the missing screws came from an internal "union" bulletin??

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 3):
2) Why did AF with their own (union) staff do such a poor job in acceptance of the work done in China

I agree that AF should have caught the missing screws before the aircraft left Taeco, but I really doubt any union people from AF were on-site at Teaco. The reasion airlines send there aircraft to facilies like Taeco is because they are non-union and cheaper sending you own inspectors would defeat the purpous!

However, why didn't any "union" members find the misssing screw in the previous four days?
 
airproxx
Posts: 406
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 3):
Interesting story, probably with significant details missing. There was an earlier thread which seems now removed which contained a very poorly translated french article. That original seems to indicate that it was flagged by a Union which indicates that it is part of trying to protect jobs (nothing wrong with that, it is their right but just don't expect an unbiased observation).

2 Questions:
1) What was really the problem and why did Taeco do such a poor job
2) Why did AF with their own (union) staff do such a poor job in acceptance of the work done in China

This story has been leaked by Alter, a minority pilot union @ AF, wich is also the worst organization of pilots ever.
Makes me sick thinking they're still around. Anyway it seems Alter is looking for further (and careless) impact inside the airline.
(As a side note, Alter has been ruled out as a union, by a AF pilots referendum a few months ago, as they only represented something like 2 or 3% of AF staff. Their actions are to be taken with extreme caution)

To stick with this subject, the screws were missing from a wing karman.
The only actual danger comes from the risk of losing this aerodynamic part in flight, causing a hit into some more crucial parts of the airplane.
30 screws missing looks like a big lack of checking after maintenance operations....
Maybe overhaul operations in China are not that equivalent to those performed "at home"...

I think the real subject of this topic should be changed from:
-> "Poor maintenance of AF A340"

to:

-> "Poor quality of maintenance operations from Chinese partners..."
If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
 
Carls
Posts: 194
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:14 pm

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 5):
Wonder if the new CEO will have an impact?

I hope if there will be an impact is only on the CEO and not on another of the AF planes...  
 
LV
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:20 pm

So this plane has a few screws loose. I guess the MX guys in China really screwed up. It really seems like a screwy situation. But maybe the union is just worried about getting screwed.

Thank you, Thank you, I will be here all week. Tip your waiters   
 
my235
Posts: 94
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:21 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 3):

Interesting story, probably with significant details missing.

Probably. But I'm getting quite sick of the whole "the media does such a horrible job of reporting the right details" story line. Some screws WERE missing. Somebody messed up. Simple as that. We all know the media people are quite daft.

[Edited 2011-11-25 09:23:41]
 
zainmax
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:01 am

RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:55 pm

Now that's the media's role in this scenario.
This is one of the most critical checks done during SAFA inspection and they experienced now.
ZAINMAX APPRENTICE MECHANIC - PIA
 
trex8
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:35 pm

Worse things have happened even with OEMs. The JL123 747 in the 80s whose bulkhead repair was not done properly by B and crashed- 2nd largest loss of life after the Tenerife crash. Pratt disassembled a F100 engine from a Taiwanese F16 at the factory to check on QA from a new supplier and reassembled it wrongly and the part eventually failed and it crashed on a landing few years ago!
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:58 pm

And to think that the productivity of these Chinese MRO facilities is still 20-50% below Western productivity levels. What will happen when these guys handle twice the workload they have now?

Thenoflyzone
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
tdscanuck
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:52 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 13):
And to think that the productivity of these Chinese MRO facilities is still 20-50% below Western productivity levels. What will happen when these guys handle twice the workload they have now?

They'll hire more people...one thing China has no shortage of is labour. Airlines don't care how many people an MRO needs to do the job, they just care what it costs and how good the work is.

Tom.
 
JAAlbert
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:13 pm

Quoting LV (Reply 9):
So this plane has a few screws loose. I guess the MX guys in China really screwed up. It really seems like a screwy situation. But maybe the union is just worried about getting screwed.

I can see the airlines will have to screwtinize repairs done in China more carefully!

And it sounds like, without this protective panel, a flight on this plane would be a real drag.
 
Chamonix
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:26 pm

The last 12 months have been bad for AF - full of serious blunders.
http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/socie...n-d-incidents-chez-air-france.html
 
XXXX10
Posts: 702
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:36 pm

Similar problem ocured on a BA777 in 2004 discovered after take-off

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/sites/aaib/pu...s/formal_reports/2_2007_g_ymme.cfm
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 10997
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:15 pm

Did anyone notice the picture in the Bloomberg story was a picture of a B-777, not an A-340?

I take almost anything the news media says about airline maintenance with a big grain of salt. But the airplane should have had an acceptance inspection upon arriving back at CDG from HKG. This smells like union tactics, not some overly concern for safety. Is this the fairing that blends the upper wing surface to the fuselage? If it is, it is not a critical peice unless it hits some other part of the airplane when it seperates, or someone on the ground. Also, if it is this fairing, then there are nearly 100 screws securing it, so were all 30 missing screws in a row, or were they every 3rd screw?

I'm sorry but I just don't see an incident here. I question if the screws were really missing, or did someone just say they were and claimed to reinstall new screws?

Then again, Taeco is partially owned by CX, isn't it? Of course CX is One World and AF is Sky Team.....just thinking
 
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ZKNCL
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:40 am

Love how in the picture they call a 777 a A340 
 
zainmax
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:37 am

Quoting ZKNCL (Reply 19):
Is this the fairing that blends the upper wing surface to the fuselage? If it is, it is not a critical peice unless it hits some other part of the airplane when it seperates, or someone on the ground. Also, if it is this fairing, then there are nearly 100 screws securing it, so were all 30 missing screws in a row, or were they every 3rd screw? I'm sorry but I just don't see an incident here. I question if the screws were really missing, or did someone just say they were and claimed to reinstall new screws?

I think that's what EU and Air France should realize when they do SAFA Inspections on foreign careers, in which they point out single screw missing, latches, etc.
So why not for AF, just because they are a part of EU ?
I think it should be investigated and they should be penalized by EU as well as by FAA.
ZAINMAX APPRENTICE MECHANIC - PIA
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 10997
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Quoting ZKNCL (Reply 19):
Love how in the picture they call a 777 a A340

Its one of the new AF AB-347s..........      
 
Derik737
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:53 am

RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:31 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
But the airplane should have had an acceptance inspection upon arriving back at CDG from HKG

I don't know of any airline that does that when an airplane returns from a 145 Repair Station. It's got a maintenance release so isn't it airworthy for revenue service?
 
jr
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:18 pm

Quoting airproxx (Reply 7):
I think the real subject of this topic should be changed from:
-> "Poor maintenance of AF A340"

to:

-> "Poor quality of maintenance operations from Chinese partners..."

I realize this is a sensitive issue. But with all due respect, I really don't care. I am flying an AF A340 in 2 weeks and I just want to know that the AF A340 is safe. Where, what, who and how the maintenance was done does not matter at the point I board the plane. All I know is, if I keep hearing these kind of stories, I will not be flying AF again any time soon.
I've flown on 9V-SPK.
 
goldorak
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RE: (Poor?) Maintenance Of AF A340?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:27 pm

Ad the same Chinese company is making maintenance for BA, LH, AA, KE, etc     

[Edited 2011-11-26 10:31:44]

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