britjap
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:47 pm

A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:19 am

When an aircraft comes to the end of its service life with an airline, it may often be sent to be stripped and broken down, but what if any guidelines are there, employed by Airlines, for this decommissioning procedure, and where can I obtain more information about the process?

Any information on Military aircraft retirement procedures is also welcome.

Thanks for any help

J.
 
socalfive
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 5:37 am

RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:44 am

Here's good information on where all Military Aircraft wind up and the procedures used for long and short term storage and breakup.

http://www.amarcexperience.com/Default.asp
 
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litz
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:45 am

I don't know about "official" sources of what happens, but based on what's happened with previous type retirements, here's my 2 cents ...

If the plane is the last of its type, there's usually a ceremony, invited guests fly the plane to the desert (usually putting signatures all over the airframe), and that's that.

If it's not the last of its type, it's just flown off.

Stories of several DL retirements (L1011, 727, and the Ship 102 767) can be found at : http://www.l1011.homestead.com/

As far as stripping parts ... if there's value in the parts either as spares within the airline, or spares for sale outside the airline, they might strip said parts (obviously nothing affecting flightworthiness).

Otherwise, the plane is flown as-is.

There are reports of planes retired with catering carts stowed in the galleys, magazines in the seatbacks, etc.

- litz
 
EMBQA
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:57 am

Anything worth resale is removed and resold, everything else is destroyed so it can't be resold, the plane is cut up and sold for scrap metel.

Not much to it......
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
britjap
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:47 pm

RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:26 am

Hey thanks for the links guys those websites were pretty useful.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 3):
Anything worth resale is removed and resold, everything else is destroyed so it can't be resold, the plane is cut up and sold for scrap metel

That is easy to say, but the process is far more complex than that. What I am after is the actual procedure airlines (or the military) follow in order to scrap their a/c.
Also the relevant laws, by-laws and standards that must be adhered to regarding such things as who is authorised to undertake such work, where such work can be carried out, and necessary consideration to possibly environmentally hazardous materials.

Any other info is all good.

J.
 
greasespot
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:06 am

Quoting BritJap (Reply 4):
That is easy to say,

Actually it is that easy. the last plane we scrapped we pulled as much off as we could. drained the fuel and Skydrol. and got a big shear in to cut it up and haul it away. Heck the scrapper was just a scrap dealer we found in the phoone book. You only need to be authorized to build and maintain an airplane. To scrap one you just need a saw.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
EMBQA
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:40 am

Quoting BritJap (Reply 4):
That is easy to say, but the process is far more complex than that

Actually no it's not. I've personally been involved in the scrapping of 8 planes. Trust me, it's that simple. We did a Dash-8 a few years back. Right before we really ripped it apart we called the airport crash rescue. They came over and did a training class with all the cutting tools. It was great. They did all the work, The only big thing. The data plate must be removed and returned to the leasing company that owns the plane.

[Edited 2007-02-10 00:44:49]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
britjap
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:47 pm

RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:55 am

Hey EMBQA

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 6):
I've personally been involved in the scrapping of 8 planes.

Hahaha.....Well that will teach me for doubting you!!!  guilty 

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 6):
The only big thing. The data plate must be removed and returned to the leasing company that owns the plane.

What I would say in my defence is that these are precisely the small details that I was actually refering to.

So please if you wouldnt mind could you tell me even more???!!!

J.
 
EMBQA
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:43 am

Ok... finer points.... Not all cases are the same, but here you go....

The plane is flown to the location to be scrapped...most times it comes in with min fuel...
The plane is defueled and all fluids drained and collected for recyclying...
The parts broker shows up and starts to catalog the parts being removed....
All useful parts are removed....parts with more then half life are inspected and resold.......
Parts with less then half life are sent out and recertified or overhauled.....
Call and have a dumpter delivered.....
When all that is left is the shell....call in the cutting tools.....
Remove the data tag, give it to the parts broker, lessor or bank that owns the plane to asure it has been scrapped...
Start cutting.....
Call the scrap yard and agree on a price....
Haul the dumpster to the scrap yard.........

[Edited 2007-02-10 01:48:01]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
britjap
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:07 pm

Thanks for that.

I dont want to nag but I do really want to push the whole environmental issue.

In the EU, The End-of-Life-Vehicles Directive will change the way motor vehicles are scrapped. Due to all the hazardous bits and pieces inside modern cars, the regulations on getting rid of them are already becoming a load of bureaucratic, red tape hassle for ordinary car owners.

Surely this issue would be greatly magnified for an airliner??! No??  boggled 
 
57AZ
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:44 am

Not really. The airlines/lessors would probably do what the shipping industry does-sell the hull to an outfit in a non-EU/US pact region and let them deal with it. Many ships now go to the Indian Ocean to be broken up.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
jetstar
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RE: A Question About Aircraft Decommissioning

Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:16 am

Airplanes do not have much in the way of hazardous products once all the fuel and other fluids are drained. Asbestos was never used in airplanes, but some have some sort of insulation and these are usually in sealed bags attached to the fuselage and can be stripped out as well once the interior is removed. Once the interior is stripped out there is nothing left but an aluminum shell and a lot of wiring.

Scrappers will give the best price if the aluminum is not mixed with anything else than can affect the recycling of the aluminum. Some materials like plastics and paints will burn up when aluminum is melted down at 1200 degrees F. and other metals like steel from the screws and bolts will just pass through the smelter and be caught in a screen as the molten aluminum pours through it and they can be recycled itself as scrap steel.

All other possible hazardous components like batteries are removed before scrapping. Some older airplanes used depleted uranium as balance weights on the control surfaces and these have to removed before scrapping and disposed of properly.

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