SafeFlyer
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Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 8:33 am

I recently read an article talking about old aircrafts with more than 100 000 flying hours like a BA 747-100 retired in Oct 1999 with 107235 hours. Do you consider old aircrafts with a lot of flying hours dangerous and would you fly on them?
 
JETPILOT
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 8:40 am

Airframe hours are not a good indicator of airframe age. Cycles are. That 747 with 107,000 hours probably had less than 30,000 cycles on it.

JET
 
watewate
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 8:46 am

Agreed. Number of cycles is the true indicator. That's why a/cs designed for short haul that's 25 yrs old is likely to be discarded whereas the equally old long-haul jet has much more life. BTW, a/cs these days can be kept airworthy virtually forever with proper maintenance. But of course, economics and egos keep driving up sales of new ac/s.
 
Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 9:07 am

I'm not worried to fly on older planes, I just don't like them because they are generally less comfortable and much louder (case in point: DC9)!
 
Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 10:05 am

I must say that I definitely feel better flying on a newer aircraft, but who doesn't? Not only do I feel safer, it also has a higher comfort level. However when it comes right down to it there really isn't anything wrong with flying on an older aircraft.
 
david_mx
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:04 pm

Well, in my country Aerocalifornia uses DC9-15 or -30 aircraft and at least they are working. As Boeing said on their website

"An airplane’s age isn’t as relevant to safety as the way the aircraft is maintained and operated. It’s much like driving an old car: If all the key safety equipment — tires, brakes, steering, lights, shocks, wipers, etc. — are in top condition and you drive safely, your risk will be minimal. The same is true of commercial aviation. Of course, each new generation of airplanes benefits from the lessons learned in designing, building, and operating the previous generation. The resulting safety enhancements, however, do not mean older jets are less safe since many of the key safety enhancements incorporated in newer aircraft — such as collision avoidance systems — have been added to older planes in the fleet as well."

And I drive a 1989 VW jetta and I feel real safe on it... so... old planes are safe too.

David.

 
747-451
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:42 pm

It depends on the airline. If I flew on a "classic" from British, United, Northwest, Lufthansa, Delta etc...I wouldn't give it a second thought. (presumably they are more likely to have bought them new originally or bought from other airlines with technical skill (eg NW bought a few 747's from Singapore Airlines who is one of THE premier airlines) and their pasts can be tracked and assured the aircraft has been properly maintained...).
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Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:56 pm

I would never ever fly on a Tupelov or Illusyin plane, no matter what date it was built!

Also, I would never fly on a 737-100, or -200.

Also, I would never fly on a DC-9.

I would rather fly in a UPS plane in a box than on a DC9 or 737-100,or -200.

When talking about bad airlines, I would never fly frontier airlines either because they operate old 737s.

737s and DC9s are the worst aircraft. I like carvelles better.

 
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ERJ135
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 5:14 pm

I personally have no problem flying on anything at all. I assume that since it flew from where ever it came from to where I was, that it would do so again with out drama.
Having said that I recently flew with Impulse on a brand new 717 on it's first revenue service, and I have to admit it's far nicer to fly on a new aircraft.
On the other hand I have flown on old DC-8's with an asian airline, and the planes were dreadful but it did not bother me, they still arrived on time. I have also flown on a DC3 which was built 30 years before I was! I was stunned that the flaps on a DC-3 were fabric stretched over timber frames!
Still it flew for years and still does.
I remember when the DC-3 was new!
 
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ERJ135
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 5:19 pm

I personally have no problem flying on anything at all. I assume that since it flew from where ever it came from to where I was, that it would do so again with out drama.
Having said that I recently flew with Impulse on a brand new 717 on it's first revenue service, and I have to admit it's far nicer to fly on a new aircraft.
On the other hand I have flown on old DC-8's with an asian airline, and the planes were dreadful but it did not bother me, they still arrived on time. I have also flown on a DC3 which was built 30 years before I was! I was stunned that the flaps on a DC-3 were fabric stretched over timber frames!
Still it flew for years and still does.
I remember when the DC-3 was new!
 
Notarzt
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 6:00 pm

Indeed, the 'total cycles' is more an indicator for airframe age than the 'total hours'. On the other hand, referring to the topic, safety exclusively depends on maintenance, passenger appeal on the airline's care for interior configuration, refurbishment and service. An aircraft's age does not count in this respect.

Daniel
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 7:57 pm

'I', I can assure you the 737-200 is a very nice aircraft to fly in, especially up in the front office...

I don't see why you're so worried about flying in them, heck they're younger than you...

As for Illyushins and Tupolevs, I wouldnt bat an eyelid flying in a well maintained russian built aircraft. I'd be more worried about hitting an A310 from some cash strapped airline over there that cant afford to maintain it...
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
mls515
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 9:23 pm

Hey i, I would have to disagree. I love the 737-200s. They're awesome. I got to fly on a 1968 model last summer. Nothing bad about that flight. It took off like a rocket! I don't think you'll have any trouble with the -100s though--they're not around much anymore.
 
chepos
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 10:05 pm

Im not scared to fly anything at all. If its the last day to live youll die wether your in the newest most safest plane or in the oldest plane around.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Fri Jan 12, 2001 11:38 pm

Age is not a factor, again asssuming it is on a well-maintained aircraft. I would love to have flown one more time on a 707, but that won't happen..Perhaps a chance yet on a stretch-8..assuming maintenance, and a qualified flight crew!
 
OO-AOG
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 3:37 am

I love to fly onboard old birds. I've flew this last 2 years on a HS748, 1959 Electra, DC8, AN-2, 1960 Shorts Belfast, YS-11, a couple of very old 727s and the last 737-100 in service. I will be soon in Gabon and will try to fly the last scheduled passenger Caravelle out of LBV.
Maybe I'm mad...but it's still safer than driving my car!
Falcon....like a limo but with wings
 
caravelle
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 3:51 am

OO-AOG,
Wish I were on board.....

In Norway, full of envy,
- caravelle
Trains and boats and planes....
 
N312RC
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 4:46 am

I flew a BA 747-200 just about a week ago, there were no problems, I wasnt worried at all.

I frequently fly old airplanes out of DTW, because NW's fleet is old. We fly their DC-9's and 727's to FL all the time. I dont prefer it, but what are you gonna do?
N/A
 
CV990
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 4:54 am


Hi!

I think if we have a chance of flying an old airplane we surely will do that, well at least I will! I have some good memories of flying old airplanes, but surpringly the oldies I flew where both Portuguese Air Force airplanes, I don't consider a 26 years old airliners an old airplane, that was the best I got in civil - a Chicago/Denver flight with United DC-10-10 N1811U - but the other 2 times I flew once in a DHC1 Chipmunck FAP Nr. 1317 with more than 35 years old, and second time a FAP T-33A FAP Nr. 1928 with lovely 40 years old!!! The pilot and I our age together passed a little the total age of the plane, but it was great to fly that and smell that old airplane, the old leather and all the atmosfere!!
Regards!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
VirginLover
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 4:59 am

I'm worried about flying one of Iberia's 744's in 35 days, the A320's that we're taking in Spain I'm not worried about, but I hope we get a relatively new 744 on the way there and on the way back!
 
OO-AOG
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 5:01 am

Virgin Lover

Well If Iberia had 744 I wouldn't be worried at all. I simply guess you will fly a 742 or 743...
Falcon....like a limo but with wings
 
747-451
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CV 990

Sat Jan 13, 2001 7:13 am

I have flown on your namesake, now THAT was a plane!!

flew-
CV990 - Spantax
CV990 - Swissair
CV990 - AA

Good looking, nice inteririors with those gold anodized fittings and "science fiction luxe" Kuchemann Karrots (speed fairings in AA nomencalture!!!!!)
-451
 
roberson
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 4:37 pm

I-
According to Frontier's website, their aircraft age is lower than the industry average at around 11 yrs. Also, I don't think that there's a specific problem with older 737s. There is the case involving the rudder, but it appears to be extremely rare and there's no definite cause determined yet about that. Many airlines still operate 732s (UA, DL, NJ, even F9) and although many are old, many are still safe to fly provided maintence has been performed to an acceptable level. I'll take my chances on a Frontier 737 (perfect safety record, by the way) before I would board a UA 722 to go DEN to MCI.

New planes have issues as well, as witnessed by the AirTran incident with an electrical problem in the 717. You couldn't pay me to fly an AirTran DC-9. Anyone's crazy to fly them until they get a new fleet of 717s and sufficient maintence procedures. Aging aircraft is, nevertheless, a complex problem with no good solutions, but airlines with poor maintanence are a larger problem.
 
Guest

RE: Roberson

Sat Jan 13, 2001 8:04 pm

Why are you scared to fly on FL's old aircrafts? Here are two article clips for you, with the link at the bottom of each article.

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 16, 2000--For the fifth year in a row, AirTran Airways (Nasdaq:AAIR) has earned the Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Safety Program "Special Recognition Award," an honor bestowed upon those carriers that achieve above and beyond the required levels of safety training for their aviation mechanic technicians.
To qualify for the award, half of an airline's total maintenance locations must earn a certificate of excellence for exceeding the FAA's required participation levels. There are five different certificates awarded depending upon the percentage of a location's mechanics that participated in the safety training. A "Diamond Certificate of Excellence" is the highest honor, requiring a minimum of twenty-five percent of a maintenance location's mechanics to participate. AirTran Airways' maintenance bases in Atlanta, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Washington, D.C. (Dulles International Airport) and Orlando all received the "Diamond Certificate."
http://www.businesswire.com/webbox/bw.031600/200760322.htm

AirTran Airways has been recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for developing improved techniques to assure the quality of inspections of a component in the horizontal stabilizers of Boeing DC-9, 717 and MD-80 aircraft.
While carrying out an emergency airworthiness directive that ordered airlines to inspect the jackscrews on the above fleets, AirTran Airways maintenance technicians noticed that some of the instructions associated with the work orders seemed sufficiently vague to warrant concern that the inspection was being properly carried out. So, in consultation with Boeing and the FAA, AirTran Airways' Engineering Department developed work cards that were more specific and that resulted in new standards for the required inspections.
http://www.businesswire.com/webbox/bw.121100/203462639.htm

Enjoy.
 
astrojet
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OO-AOG

Sat Jan 13, 2001 8:19 pm

Hey OO-AOG, you are not mad, you are a real aviation lover. I wish I could fly these planes too.  
 
Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sat Jan 13, 2001 8:50 pm

During the summers, I occasionally fly in a couple Grumman Goose(s) and have flown in a Widgeon once. They are used as mail planes to some remote destinations here in Alaska and frankly, are used pretty roughly (driving up on beaches, getting stuck etc.). But I love flying in them and landing on the water, and am not afraid at all. For those interested, they are operated by Peninsula Airways. Those are old planes!

Dan
 
Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sun Jan 14, 2001 8:39 am

NOT AT ALL!

I'VE FLOWN ON 737-200 (METROJET) 727-200 (so many airlines i cant name them all YAK 40 AND 42 (cubana) Tu-154 CUBANA IL 62 CUbaNa

But there's nothing as good as a Boeing 727-100 Maybe one day il be lucky enough to get to fly in one sice theyre dissapearing so fast.
 
roberson
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sun Jan 14, 2001 5:52 pm

Yes, the good old 721s and more common 722. That and 732s are still some of the safest and most reliable aircrafts ever made. With enhancements, good maintence history, and good operators, these planes would probably still be in passenger service if not for economic and noise issues. Of course, they are still used for freight due to wide availability and cheap costs to purchase.
 
Guest

RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sun Jan 14, 2001 6:19 pm

I fly pax/combi & cargo DC-8s(yes passenger!we are the last in the world!) for Air Transport International.The DC-8s & CVR880/990As were built like tanks.Corrosion/fatiuge is the B707s only problem(cost prohibitive but not un-safe).Todays A/C have a known "shelf-life".Titanium & cable from the old days is better than fiberglass & digital wire of today!!!!

Check out "DC-8pax airline in 2001 update" in this forum!
 
cba
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sun Jan 14, 2001 6:38 pm

I prefer to fly newer aircraft, as I have flown on most of the older types. I always like to fly an a/c I haven't flown. I'd love to fly a DC-8 or 707.

737-200's are great a/c, and as some else said, they takeoff like a rocket. It felt like we were going straight up.

The only thing that concerns me about old aircraft is the TWA flight 800 incident. Didn't they rule the cause as a faulty wire shorting and igniting the fuel tanks? But I guess that also could've been prevented with better maintanence.
 
Tg 747-300
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Sun Jan 14, 2001 8:26 pm

I have no problems with flying on old aircrafts.
Old (and good mainteaned planes) are actually the safest, because they don't hav any "stupid" computers that can break down ore do something strange.
I like planes were the pilots (human beeing) have the "last word" in how to fly the a/c (Boeing, MDD, old airbuses) and not planes were the computer is the boss (new airbus planes)
I love the DC9 (my favourite shotr haul a/c)

tg 747-300
intentionally left blank
 
roberson
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RE: Worried To Fly On Old Aircrafts?

Mon Jan 15, 2001 5:16 pm

Yes, as a student aspiring to be a pilot in the future, I hope the Airbus trend involving computers having the upper hand doesn't become standard practice (at least with Boeing). Either faulty programming or a crimnal trying to seek revenge on an airline could wind up crashing one of these Airbuses through the computer. Scary to think about. Also, there's just something wrong about replacing the yoke with a joystick. Where did that idea come from? I couldn't imagine not being able to "feel" the plane you are flying.

In some ways, I envision the pilots of older aircraft being more alert and having stronger skills than those who rely upon computers to fly the plane by themselves. If a computer was to fail, some pilots might not be as sharp compared to those who are "hands-on" flying older planes every day. I would rather have to read a hundred gauges than rely on CRTs to give me pertinent data in an emergency. Another issue I keep debating is removing the flight engineer. Computers are cheaper and more efficient, but they can never replace the skills of a human being. I always trust a person reading the gauges and flipping the switches before artifical inteligence. Besides, who will be the line of defense when a maniac breaks down the cockpit door and grabs the controls? It's also nice to have a free man to help out if there is something going on the cabin involving an unruly passenger. The FE could be one more man to help out in critical situations involving injured flight crew or threats from passengers. Just an issue that troubles me somewhat, but I'll eventually come to accept as standard practice. I'll miss the old FE station.