g38
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:56 pm

Someone sent me this article on 737 being prone to problems. I responded by listing for them the number of aircraft that have been built and the number of hours flown compared to the number of accidents. The aircraft's record speaks for its self, that it is infact, one of the safest airliners ever built.

Still I though I would share this article and see what you all though. Personally I find myself rather annoyed by it.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...eet_morning&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet
 
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Stitch
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:02 pm

My personal view is that if it was unsafe, regulators around the world wouldn't certify it for passenger operation.
 
BoeingGuy
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:10 pm

You guys tell us.


How many 737NGs are flying?

How many have crashed due to a fault of the airplane (e.g. not a runway overrun because the pilot flared too long, or a crash due to spacial disorientation or lack of situational awareness)?


That should answer your own question.

Sensationalism, Sensationalism.........
 
nomadd22
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:24 pm

Clive Irving has a long habit of jumping on technical bits he doesn't understand or really want to understand if it would get in the way of him getting another sensationalistic headline. His stories aren't research. They're pick and choose former employees of this and that company or organization who will support his expert wannabe opinions.
Anon
 
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seabosdca
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:33 pm

The article contains a wide variety of errors, oversimplifications, and misstatements, while brushing off the fact that the 737's actual in-service safety record is quite good, particularly if you take dodgy operators out of the mix.
 
AWACSooner
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:39 pm

Sure Boeing's are unsafe...and Airbus's tails snap off.
 
ikramerica
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:41 pm

The 737 is one of the 5 least safe passenger aircraft families that Boeing currently produces!!  
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ikramerica
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:44 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 4):
The article contains a wide variety of errors, oversimplifications, and misstatements, while brushing off the fact that the 737's actual in-service safety record is quite good, particularly if you take dodgy operators out of the mix.

That's an important point. Once an aircraft reaches 25 years old and goes through multiple owners to end up with a third tier carrier outside the developed world, you really can't fairly assess safety anymore, as there are too many other factors involved: does that airline have properly trained mechanics? pilots? proper inspections? use genuine replacement parts? etc...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
BoeingGuy
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:58 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 5):
Sure Boeing's are unsafe...and Airbus's tails snap off.

My boss put it very succinctly. Nobody builds unsafe airplanes, not Boeing, not its competitors. Sometimes good airplanes have a bad day, but no current airplanes are unsafe.
 
jetblueguy22
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:12 pm

What a joke of an article. If planes were dropping out of the sky like fly's i may give him credit. But this is just someone looking for a story where there is none. He listed what 5 events? There are 10,000 of em made. That though a little higher than Boeing would like is far from unsafe.
Blue
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
max550
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:17 pm

I thought the part at the end really shows how badly the author wants to make the 737 sound unsafe. It's just a list of incidents with a total of 1 fatality that were entirely unrelated to the problems pointed out in the article. Surprised he didn't bother to include the TK 738 at AMS and the ET 738 in Lebanon, among others.

Quote:
Take comfort: survivability rates are very high even in violent crashes during landing (as long as there’s no fire). But the newest models of the 737 Next Generation series have suffered shattered fuselages, which makes passenger evacuation difficult – for example, emergency slides are often unusable.

December 2009, Kingston, Jamaica: An American Airlines 737-800 splits open after running off the runway during a rainstorm. All 154 passengers survive, some with injuries.

August 2010, San Andrés Island, Colombia: An Aires Airlines 737-700 rips apart after landing in an electrical storm. One passenger dies, 30 injured.

July 2011, Georgetown, Guyana: A Caribbean Airlines 737-800 ruptures after running off the runway in a rainstorm; 163 passengers survive, some injured.
 
SuperCaravelle
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:32 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
My personal view is that if it was unsafe, regulators around the world wouldn't certify it for passenger operation.

Not necessarily true in my opinion (should stress it's not my intention to divert the thread into a which aircraft is safe and which isn't debate) but yes for the case of the 737. The fact that a staggering number of 737's from three generations are flying around everyday with a minimum of incidents and accidents speaks for itself. This writer is just seeking for an article.

Quoting max550 (Reply 10):
July 2011, Georgetown, Guyana: A Caribbean Airlines 737-800 ruptures after running off the runway in a rainstorm; 163 passengers survive, some injured.

The way this is formulated tells you everything. One would expect a certain number of dead people after the statement "163 survive", otherwise he would've surely wrote "all survive"? Oh wait, they did all survive. The writer is intentionally ambiguous and shows his article has nothing to do with journalism (presenting facts, with probably an opinion afterwards, clearly separating facts an opinion), but everything to do with sensationalism (appeal to the audience first and foremost, in any way possible. Facts are not important).

Nothing to see here, move on.

[Edited 2012-03-19 11:34:40]
 
roseflyer
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:42 pm

He measures safety on very few parameters that have any meaning.

First he says that because the 737 has ADs, then it is not safe. All commercial airplanes have Airworthiness Directives. More common airplanes have more ADs because as the statistics play out, less common failures will happen and ADs will come from them as more Service Bulletins are created.

The article analyzes skin thickness and claims that Boeing used a thinner skin to save weight. On the 737NG, the skin is actually stronger than on the A320 which was a required enhancement when it was certified up to 41,000ft.

The article ignores structural problems and rapid decompressions on airplanes other than 737s.

The article comments on the 737 having the market to itself prior to the A320. That is completely wrong. Early on the DC9 was more popular than the 737 and the DC9/MD80 family was always what the 737 was intended to compete against until the 737NG.

There are many more problems with the article. I usually try to read into articles to see if there is any truth behind it, but on this article, despite trying to appear as a technical well researched document falls pretty flat on useful information. The only practical information is that airplane structure is complex and that at times it fails.

In general this article is all about being sensational. The FAA is by far and away more strict now than it ever has been before. Nothing that is certified today is unsafe. I think it is very unfortunate that a magazine like Newsweek actually published this.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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ssteve
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:51 pm

Newsweek's just a tabloid now. You can probably turn the page from this article and read about Snooki and the Hunger Games delightful teen actors. If you want a weekly newsmagazine that's not a tabloid, BusinessWeek (despite the coupling plane cover) and the Economist would seem to be better options.

[Edited 2012-03-19 11:51:19]
 
MountainFlyer
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 12):
I think it is very unfortunate that a magazine like Newsweek actually published this.

  

Unfortunate, but not surprising.

I think someone should do a study on the public's fixation on the perceived dangers of flying. Why is it every time two planes clip wings at an airport, you hear about it on the national news? More people die on bicycles than airplanes, yet when was the last time you read an article about that? Perhaps it's because of the general mystery of flying, and one of the areas where you put your entire trust in the manufacturers, mechanics, pilots, etc., and have almost no control yourself of the situation. I don't know, but it is such an irrational fear. Most fears are irrational. Did you know that more people are killed by cows than sharks?
SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
 
SASMD82
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:01 pm

With so many 737s flying around safely and with many more on order, I bet there is no real problem......
 
ContnlEliteCMH
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 13):
Newsweek's just a tabloid now.

And how! I generally disapprove of refusal to evaluate an article on its merits because of its author or its publisher, but as soon as I clicked on the link and saw Newsweek I immediately said "Oh. Newsweek." About 20 years ago I subscribed to this magazine for about a year, and read it thoroughly while riding the bus to/from my engineering college co-op job. Even then I thought it was tabloid-ish, but it had some decent articles and I liked the commentaries even though I agreed with virtually none of them.

Now... ugh. It's become the Discovery networks of magazines: no content pertaining to the name of the channel you're watching. Maybe the Discovery network and Newsweek can collaborate on a reality show entitled "Useless Media Producers."

This paragraph from the article is noteworthy:

There are two important safeguards that stand between safety and disaster: technology on the one hand and airline safety checks on the other. And the problem is that as the technology of fuselage design has evolved over several decades, the 737’s has not. As a result, the final responsibility for our safety has moved from Boeing to the maintenance and safety checks carried out by the airlines and supervised by the FAA. So far this final safety net has mostly worked—the flaws have been caught before they caused a fatal crash. But that’s no cause for complacency: an aging design with chronic problems remains our most frequently flown plane today.

The author implies that the final responsibility for our safety SHOULD be with Boeing, but it has been displaced to airlines who operate each airframe. This implication is simply incorrect and no amount of pie-in-the-sky fantasy about engineering can obviate the need for periodic inspections. Safe operation of a commercial airliner has *always* been shared by the OEM and the operator and both parties understand this relationship.

He is correct that the aging design has chronic problems that must be addressed. That's why there are AD's, which allow other operators to learn from the inspections of others and to take action to *avoid* problems, not remedy them. AD's are not evidence that the 737 is unsafe; rather, they show that the author's belief in OEM-as-ultimate-safety-guarantor is completely out of step with how the industry actually operates, and that the airplane can continue to be operated safely so long as the knowledge contained in AD's is acted upon properly.

The 737 is no Comet. THAT airplane had a fatal design flaw.

[Edited 2012-03-19 12:29:00]
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
 
Rara
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:39 pm

Al Jazeera did a similar story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaWdEtANi-0

Obviously the 737 isn't unsafe, as is demonstrated thousands of times every day. Still, I wouldn't completely dismiss any concern. The pressure to safe costs which management exerts on engineering these days is staggering. At some point, this could become a potential threat to safety, and in this case it's best to find out about it early.
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BoeingGuy
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:49 pm

Better call Newsweek to get on another story. The 767 is unsafe too:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/...to-land-at-SFO/UPI-83401332175298/

Oh my gosh, the sky is falling.
 
JETPILOT
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:11 pm

If we knew everything about aircraft structures and could foresee how they would react in the real world then we wouldn't need inspections. But since we can't predict the future we have mandatory inspections to catch things such as corrosion and skin cracks.

It's interesting that the author states the fuselage was taken from the 727 but the 727 didn't share the same issue as the 737.
 
BoeingGuy
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 10):
Quote:
Take comfort: survivability rates are very high even in violent crashes during landing (as long as there’s no fire). But the newest models of the 737 Next Generation series have suffered shattered fuselages, which makes passenger evacuation difficult – for example, emergency slides are often unusable.

December 2009, Kingston, Jamaica: An American Airlines 737-800 splits open after running off the runway during a rainstorm. All 154 passengers survive, some with injuries.

August 2010, San Andrés Island, Colombia: An Aires Airlines 737-700 rips apart after landing in an electrical storm. One passenger dies, 30 injured.

July 2011, Georgetown, Guyana: A Caribbean Airlines 737-800 ruptures after running off the runway in a rainstorm; 163 passengers survive, some injured.

Shattered fuselages? What does he expect? The AA 737 ran off the end of the runway at relatively high speed. It didn't shatter. It broke and the 737 fuselage was so robust that everyone survived that tremendous force on the airplane.

That can happen when airplanes go to places they aren't designed to go at higher speeds. And as he points out, in these three spectacular events - none of which were the fault of the airplane design - the 737's structure protected the passenger such that only one was last out of over 400. A lesser built airplane would not have protected the passengers so well.

You run off the end of the runway, hop over a ditch and end up on the beach just short of concrete blocks. Everyone walks away with bruises. What kind of idiot would have the audacity to suggest the airplane is unsafe?
 
nomadd22
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Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:41 pm

Newsweek picked the story up, but Conde Nast (Esperanto for "overrated fluff") is the source.
Anon
 
max550
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting jetpilot (Reply 19):
If we knew everything about aircraft structures and could foresee how they would react in the real world then we wouldn't need inspections. But since we can't predict the future we have mandatory inspections to catch things such as corrosion and skin cracks.

Exactly, and I believe WN was fined $7.5m or so for not performing required fuselage inspections which the author never mentions.

Quoting jetpilot (Reply 19):
It's interesting that the author states the fuselage was taken from the 727 but the 727 didn't share the same issue as the 737.

The last 2 paragraphs on page 3 say that the fuselage skin was thinned from the 727 because the engines were barely powerful enough. He also implies that aircraft fly more cycles now than they used to. I have no idea if either of those is true but that seems to be his reasoning for focusing on the 737 v. 727. True or not it fits with the rest of the article, a bunch of claims with very little evidence to back them up.

Then there are the two paragraphs about the aft pressure bulkhead. He's concluded it's a chronic problem based on one (or five, he's not clear) AD from 2001.

If I didn't know any better when I read the article I would have come to the conclusion that the 737 is extremely unsafe but incredibly lucky. The chronic skin problems and the aft pressure bulkhead problems have combined to cause a total of 3 incidents with one fatality over 31 years. It's a pretty flimsy case to base an article about how problematic an airframe is.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 22):

The last 2 paragraphs on page 3 say that the fuselage skin was thinned from the 727 because the engines were barely powerful enough. He also implies that aircraft fly more cycles now than they used to. I have no idea if either of those is true but that seems to be his reasoning for focusing on the 737 v. 727. True or not it fits with the rest of the article, a bunch of claims with very little evidence to back them up.

If he is talking about skin thickness, then yes the original 737 had less skin thickness than the 727. The reason was that the 727 was certified to 42,000ft. The 737 was only certified to 37,000ft since it was intended for short haul operations with the average stage length of about 1 hour. Max certified altitude determines skin thickness as it is responsible for the pressure differential and fatigue loading. Boeing changed this with the 737NG as average stage length increased to about 2 hours and the additional altitude was useful for optimization of range/payload and flexible route planning.

It wasn't because of engines being barely powerful enough, but rather lower operating and max certified altitude.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:41 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 18):

Oh my gosh, the sky is falling.

No no. It's just raining airliners.  
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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Utah744
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:43 pm

See the posting I made last year.




UTAH744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted Wed Jan 26 2011 17:20:10 your local time (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2154 times:



http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/local/737/

In 1996 I was living in the Puget Sound area and the Seattle Times did an excellent multi part piece on the Boeing 737 ruder PCU. If you have the time read all of the articles, or just go to part 5 which tells of the relationships between Boeing, NTSB and the FAA. Much of the delays on fixcing the rudder PCUs was due to Boeing (or cost reasons) and the FAA (conflicting mandates - protect flying public & advance aviation industry.)

As to how close the FAA was to grounding the B737's a friend in gthe FAA told me he had heard that it was being considered. After reading all of the articles you sure hope they were considering such an action. I now have not even a second thought about riding on a B737.
You are never too old to learn something stupid
 
max550
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:44 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 23):
If he is talking about skin thickness, then yes the original 737 had less skin thickness than the 727. The reason was that the 727 was certified to 42,000ft. The 737 was only certified to 37,000ft since it was intended for short haul operations with the average stage length of about 1 hour. Max certified altitude determines skin thickness as it is responsible for the pressure differential and fatigue loading. Boeing changed this with the 737NG as average stage length increased to about 2 hours and the additional altitude was useful for optimization of range/payload and flexible route planning.

It wasn't because of engines being barely powerful enough, but rather lower operating and max certified altitude.

That sounds much more plausible. Naturally no mention of that in the article.

Here's the exact quote from the article: One of the most respected authorities on aging airplanes and metal fatigue is Prof. Tony Ingraffea of Cornell’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His extensive investigation of the Aloha 737’s shattered fuselage, part of a long study published in the 1990s, is a classic aviation text. Looking back at the 737’s origins, he explains that the available engines were barely powerful enough for the new model. The designers needed to save weight; to do so, they used an aluminum alloy for the fuselage skin that was only .036 inches thick (the width, for example, of a guitar string).

So perhaps he had bad sources, although it seems he had already drawn a conclusion before writing the piece which tends to steer what sources you end up with.
 
dave2
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:55 pm

The 737 is a safe plane. I have flown in them many times. The only problem I remember had to do with the servo drive was suspect in a few crashes. Boeing put out fixes back in the 1980s for the aircraft. To the best of my knowledge, all other crashes have not been due to a flaw in the aircraft.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:08 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 22):
conclusion that the 737 is extremely unsafe but incredibly lucky.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.  
Quoting max550 (Reply 26):
The designers needed to save weight; to do so, they used an aluminum alloy for the fuselage skin that was only .036 inches thick

Haven't seen .036 skin on an airplane. Have seen .040 skin on an airplane though. All in context of course. The .040 skin was in a chem-milled pocket with thickness at the fastened joints much higher. You'll be surprised how tough even a .032 aluminum skin is . . . go figures . . .

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
flashmeister
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:48 pm

The choice of images should tell you everything you need to know about this "piece of journalism". If they were serious about approaching this topic objectively, they might have included photos of aircraft of the same vintage as those being discussed (i.e. Classics and NGs). Instead, they only show -200s, which do indeed look old, tired, and obsolete. New NGs are none of those things.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 7):
Once an aircraft reaches 25 years old and goes through multiple owners to end up with a third tier carrier outside the developed world, you really can't fairly assess safety anymore, as there are too many other factors involved: does that airline have properly trained mechanics? pilots? proper inspections? use genuine replacement parts? etc...

And, if a 25 year old aircraft is well-maintained by a reputable operator or operators for that time period, it can be as reliable as or more reliable than a newer one. LA didn't have 732s (most ex-LH examples) falling out of the sky, and for much of the 2000s, NW saw better dispatch reliability on the DC-9s than on the 32xs.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
BCEaglesCO757
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:21 am

Wow.

This article was obviously done with no research or knowledge regarding aviation and aeronautics.

Though a very reliable car.......I bet the author thinks honda accords driven by the average american driver are safer and maintained better than the average 737.

But that is me.
 
penguins
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:49 am

It seems like someone needs a story. I guess sales are down.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:24 am

I don't think if you look at the fatigue failures per cycle (on ave) vs. other airframes it would be any higher. I guess the only question in my mind is, do airlines that operate the 737NG have to repair the aft bulkhead or cracks in the fuselage more often than a typical A320 operator? My answer is no if only for the fact that the 737 has to have comparable maintenance costs to the A320 otherwise, they'd have a lot less market share. If airlines were constantly repairing the skin, inspecting it or replacing the bulkhead regularly, you'd know it long before an accident or AD was released.

I did find the testing without G loads and the wingbox a little bit of a shortcut by Boeing but I am pretty sure a well maintained 737 can go 100,000 cycles no problem.
 
Context
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:08 am

I suppose someone was looking to tease out the exact point at which reporting ended and libel began...
 
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Tigerguy
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:21 am

Well, I flew on a 737 on Saturday. Either I'm posting from the dead, or there's some other explanation...   
Good night, and keep watching the skis. Uh, skies.
 
BlueSky1976
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:26 am

I don't know why people would even bother reading this crap... Clearly, someone at Newsweek needed a "filler" article due to lack of other "news" to report on.
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ghifty
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:41 am

This is awful. As a noobie aviation enthusiast, someone who understand basic statistics (normality of samples, etc.), and as an editor-in-chief of a small newsaper, this is extremely offensive.

I still don't see why people like reading these kind of crap. Driving your car, heck riding the train, is more dangerous than a B737, or any other airplane, will ever be. Ridiculous.

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 29):
The choice of images should tell you everything you need to know about this "piece of journalism". If they were serious about approaching this topic objectively, they might have included photos of aircraft of the same vintage as those being discussed (i.e. Classics and NGs). Instead, they only show -200s, which do indeed look old, tired, and obsolete. New NGs are none of those things.

I want to say there use of old pictures is intentional. So that they can sensationalise.. I mean, come on, they wrote about one aviation disaster involving the airplane... that landed safely with only one loss of life and performed admirably given the circumstances... and made it sound like a flying metal deathtrap. Next thing you know, people are going to be calling the A320 some sort of bird-strike magnet because of the Miracle on the Hudson River. !! I'm irked.

[Edited 2012-03-19 20:43:46]
Fly Delta Jets
 
vegas005
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:49 am

I have flown the 737 numerous times and I too believe it is a safe plane. My only issue is it seems to ride "rough"; my most turbulent flights have all been on 737 varieties. I flew LAS_ORD once and the plane basically felt like we were riding down a rocky road the entire flight.
 
CM
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:00 am

Quoting vegas005 (Reply 38):
My only issue is it seems to ride "rough"

Riding "rough" is predominantly a byproduct of low wing loading. To a much lesser degree, wing stiffness plays a role as well. The 737NG has lower wing loading than the A320, and from around line number 800 on, it also has a stiffer wing. LAS - ORD is not a short flight, but if there were a lot of empty seats and you were flying in good chop (especially later in the flight), the 737NG is capable of delivering a rough ride. I doubt if you would have noticed the difference in an A320 under the same conditions, but a 737 Classic would not have felt as bumpy.

BTW - the A320 stiffened their wing this year in order to accommodate "sharklets"' so no real difference there anymore.
 
Daysleeper
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:06 am

Wondered how long it would be before an American media outlet had the guts to say this as questions have been asked about the 737’s safety outside of the US for some time. This article/video springs to mind. – And yes, I’m aware the SW incident was on a classic.

Personally I don’t know what to think, but the fact Boeings own QA staff thought the problems serious enough to turn whistle blower certainly does raise some questions. As for the conduct of the FAA and Boeing …. LOL
 
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Faro
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:20 am

In all good faith, someone should indicate to Mr Irving the presence of the this thread; never too late to learn from one's mistakes...

Faro
The chalice not my son
 
Burkhard
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:38 am

An aircraft is as safe as the schedule for inspections requires the necessary steps and these instructions are followed. From this event we have learned that a well defined series of aircraft, several 100 if I'm not mistaken, needs some additional inspections. That's it.

It is obvious, that with an aircraft produced in such numbers one learns more about the product, and that more unlikely events really happen. I'm very sure that the same will also apply to the A320 family once it is older. But with every lesson learned, aircraft get safer if the lessons are taken serious, and I have no doubt that the major airlines take them serious.

I fly 737s without any hesitation, even classics...
 
soon7x7
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:47 am

WN is a type specific airline. It only flies 737's and none exercises them more than WN. Southwest also happens to be one of the safest and most successful carriers flying today. All to good management and airframe selection. While their airframes have had some burps, it only goes to prove how robust the plane is. Need one say anymore?...'cept....believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...
 
dc9northwest
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:54 am

"The 737 is VERY unsafe. That's why Russia, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, China, Japan, the EU and the US banned it.

In fact, the 737 is to blame for Hurricane Katrina, the massive tsunami in 2004 AND the alien invasion of 2013.

I've personally died twice or thrice on my 68 flights on 737s."

I haven't read the whole article, but this is what I expect it to say.
 
AA777
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:51 am

Isn't it THE best selling jet ever?

The other thing is check out its perfomance in heavy cross winds vs. the 320's.... I'm not a fan of all that oscillation that can happen due to the FBW system in the 320.

I'd say its safe to say this guy doesn't know what he's talking about!
 
max550
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:15 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 30):
And, if a 25 year old aircraft is well-maintained by a reputable operator or operators for that time period, it can be as reliable as or more reliable than a newer one. LA didn't have 732s (most ex-LH examples) falling out of the sky, and for much of the 2000s, NW saw better dispatch reliability on the DC-9s than on the 32xs.

Or the AQ 732's. Why weren't they falling out of the sky for the 20 years AQ continued operating them?

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 40):
Personally I don’t know what to think, but the fact Boeings own QA staff thought the problems serious enough to turn whistle blower certainly does raise some questions. As for the conduct of the FAA and Boeing …. LOL

There are questions and it's good to keep looking into these issues to keep the plane as safe as we possibly can.
This piece however doesn't raise questions, it accuses the 737 of being problematic and unsafe because it uses an old fuselage design which was made flimsily to save weight and the cost of designing a new plane. The evidence of that are four incidents over 31 years, one of which was caused entirely by corrosion, one by corrosion plus high cycles, and two that are potentially related to the frame and a lack of inspections and improper maintenance.

This guy may have a few valid points, the problem is that his judgement is so clouded by making the 737 appear totally unsafe that it's hard to put much stock in the few legitimate problems he brings up.
 
Daysleeper
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:40 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 46):
The evidence of that are four incidents over 31 years, one of which was caused entirely by corrosion, one by corrosion plus high cycles, and two that are potentially related to the frame and a lack of inspections and improper maintenance.

I’m not sure what incidents your referring too, but the preliminary findings for Flight 812 indicate faulty manufacturing.

Quoting NTSB:


Inspections conducted around intact rivets on the removed skin section forward of the rupture revealed crack indications at nine rivet holes in the lower rivet row of the lap joint. X-ray inspections were performed on the skin located forward of the rupture location, and revealed gaps between the shank portions of several rivets and the corresponding rivet holes. Upon removing selected rivets, the holes in the upper and lower skin were found to be slightly offset relative to each other and many of the holes on the lower skin were out of round.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 47):
Flight 812 indicate faulty manufacturing.

Max550's point exactly. The fault was in the manufacturing, not a design flaw. If you want assign blame to that incident, blame that on the inspection process an not the basic design of the 737 itself as the article is trying to do.

Don't know if it's urban myth, but way back when, I was told that the older generation were often over design/built because analysis was not as precise and designers often design with greater margins just to take out the uncertainty. Now with better analysis, we seem to be pushing the margins closer to the line than be fore. If this is the case, then from a structure stand point, one could argue that the older designed frame are much safer than the newer ones. But as everyone is pointing out, safety includes more than structures, and advancements in other aspects of flight have made newer designs "safer" than the older ones.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
max550
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RE: Newsweek Daily Beast Article - Is The Boeing 737 Unsafe?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:40 pm

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 47):
I’m not sure what incidents your referring too, but the preliminary findings for Flight 812 indicate faulty manufacturing.

Which would be discovered through more frequent and more rigorous inspections. Just like the cracks on the A380 have been found and are being dealt with the same way. The existence of cracks caused by a manufacturing defect doesn't make the design unsafe, it just requires more attention be paid to the parts that are affected.

And yes, the two incidents I'm referring to were the WN flights.