qantas777
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Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:46 pm

The media keeps feeding me stories in the US over mx issues regarding several reputable airlines: aa, wn.

Personally, I am all for outsourcing mx in order to save money, but I am starting to get concerned. Is it to the point where I should pick the equipment I fly on, ie, newer models than older?

Will it take some big blunder before something is done? Or am I over reacting too much? Any mx folks out there care to share? any mgt mx folks out there that are looking at the numbers and looking at oversight at facilities in Mexico and El Salvador, for example?

Thanks
 
LAXintl
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:56 pm

For the record the Southwest issues have nothing to do with foreign repair stations. SWA only this summer commenced sending planes to El Salvador.

And from personal experience Aeroman in El Salvador is a top notch operation. Matter of fact it was only one the few invited facilities to be a founding member of the Airbus global MRO network.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
2H4
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:09 pm



Quoting Qantas777 (Thread starter):
The media keeps feeding me stories

Remember, when it comes to covering aviation-related topics, the goal of most media sources is to sensationalize and frighten. Not to report with any degree of accuracy or discipline.

2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
BMI727
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:07 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Remember, when it comes to covering aviation-related topics, the goal of most media sources is to sensationalize and frighten. Not to report with any degree of accuracy or discipline

Exactly. Remember that many of the accidents resulting from MX issues were performed by Americans. Honestly, I think that there is nothing to worry about.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting Qantas777 (Thread starter):
Personally, I am all for outsourcing mx in order to save money, but I am starting to get concerned.

I have a different view and I totally disagree. All I will say is: You get what you pay for....  no 
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
mt99
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:51 pm



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
I have a different view and I totally disagree. All I will say is: You get what you pay for.... no

Would it make you feel better if the maintenance in El Salvador got paid the same in than in the US but use the same people/procedures/parts ect as they currently use?

You would pay more, would you get more? Can you determine that alone on a dollar for dollar comparison?

If something cost more - does that automatically make it better?
Step into my office, baby
 
silentbob
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:22 pm

My issue with outsourcing the jobs to other countries is that it reduces the number of people in the US that can afford to fly. Every time jobs that pay decent money are sent to central america or asia, a number of skilled technicians are put out of work. Those people are less likely to be employed at the same rate (or higher) and are likely to contribute less to the economy as a whole. When enough companies do that, the economy tanks. You cannot have an economy based on the service sector alone.
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:25 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
And from personal experience Aeroman in El Salvador is a top notch operation.

Absolutely!

Quoting Qantas777 (Thread starter):
Will it take some big blunder before something is done? Or am I over reacting too much? Any mx folks out there care to share? any mgt mx folks out there that are looking at the numbers and looking at oversight at facilities in Mexico and El Salvador, for example?

Okay, I am a member of the Techincal Operations-Supply Chain crew at B6. There are a lot (and I DO mean A LOT) of things that are taken into consideration when procuring aircraft parts. Carriers that are here in the US have to abide by many rules and regulations for choosing business partners that have the regulatory right to manufacture or repair aircraft components. This is why even speed tape and masking tape has to come with a type of certificate of Conformance (C of C) and costs higher if we just went to Home Depot to get it. We also get audited for paperwork and stock and such by FAA and QA. Internally, you have receiving Quality Control who review all the paperwork and components to verify if it is legit, Supply Chain and MX to also look at the components when issuing and installing, and internal Quality Assurance to re-review paperwork, stock, etc. This is a many step process with a lot of safety barriers. Many carriers also have a program that will not allow a particular repairable unit to come back into inventory if it has failed a certain amount of times for the same failure within a particular amount of time. Needless to say, the process, rules & regs, and staffing to support this are mind blowing.

As far as heavy MX in foreign countries, they are still overseen, all the paperwork is reviewed, the plane has to be released by the airlines QC department. B6 takes a lot of punches because of our heavy MX line in SAL at Aeroman, and I will tell you right now that those folks work harder than I have ever seen, do a great job, and work well with this company. We also have heavy MX in the US (TPA, BNA, RME) and Canada (YUL). I love my BNA crew too (that one goes out to you EMBQA LOL!!) Airlines like B6 have to make an educated decision if having their own heavy MX is economically worth it based on a forcasted schedule, cost of manpower, facilities, parts, etc....for us, it isn't feasible yet. Larger airlines, sure, they can do it.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Remember, when it comes to covering aviation-related topics, the goal of most media sources is to sensationalize and frighten. Not to report with any degree of accuracy or discipline.

As always 2H4, you hit the nail right on the head.

Just my  twocents 

~H81
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
LAXintl
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:42 pm



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
All I will say is: You get what you pay for....

And I've experiences some terrible work done by vendors here in the US.

It comes down much more to the vendor then where they might be physically located.
Having managed at widebody operator we received excellent service at very good rates from SE Asian facility. They beat time and cost estimates and planes operated more reliably post check then what we were able to achieve with several US vendors over the years.

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 6):
You cannot have an economy based on the service sector alone.

Maybe, maybe not. So what do we do? Ultimately we as a nation must remain competitive on a global stage. If the hourly average US shops labor cost is $60+ (what a vendor charges), and overseas facilities are only $40 what do you expect an airline to do?
As with most things, the business will flow to the lowest cost producer of a service or goods.


Anyhow here is a good read from the LA Times about attractiveness of overseas shops.

U.S. airlines flock to foreign repair shops
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/30/business/fi-fixplanes30
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
movingtin
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:02 am



Quoting Qantas777 (Thread starter):
Personally, I am all for outsourcing mx in order to save money,

You make a statement like this and then want to know if you should be worried??

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
I have a different view and I totally disagree. All I will say is: You get what you pay for....

Spot on!!

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 7):
As far as heavy MX in foreign countries, they are still overseen, all the paperwork is reviewed, the plane has to be released by the airlines QC department. B6 takes a lot of punches because of our heavy MX line in SAL at Aeroman, and I will tell you right now that those folks work harder than I have ever seen, do a great job, and work well with this company. We also have heavy MX in the US (TPA, BNA, RME) and Canada (YUL). I love my BNA crew too (that one goes out to you EMBQA LOL!!) Airlines like B6 have to make an educated decision if having their own heavy MX is economically worth it based on a forcasted schedule, cost of manpower, facilities, parts, etc....for us, it isn't feasible yet. Larger airlines, sure, they can do it.

Great PR type quote for peaple not in the industry!! But the rest of us know different, I am sure deep down you do too!

How many of the people working those planes have an A&P, B1,B2?
How many have a 10 year background ck?
How many are drug tested at all, Much less randomly?
How secure is the facility?
How suseptable is a Mechanic making 100 bucks a month going to be to taking an offer from someone to plant something for, say a couple of grand?
How much pressure is put on the few Guys who are actually licsenced to sign off work so we can " make the schedule we promised". Because if we dont turn it early to get the Bonus, we don't make money on the job.
How many "Random" FAA checks are performed?(none)


To answer the OP's question, we are well into using up the built in safety margin of aviation! And as long as everyone gets to fly cheaper than Greyhound, The public wont care!

But, Nothing is free forever!
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:03 am

I agree that the media is all about sensational headlines when aviation is involved. I'm not up on the WN parts in the latest story, but I would guess the only thing wrong with the parts on the planes are bad paperwork. If the paper trail is wrong, the part is wrong. I really doubt some guy is making these parts in a shed out of garbage can lids and selling them as genuine aircraft quality doohickeys. That could be the case though.

I think even in tough times Mtc is not a place major airlines are going to cut corners. Now on a small regional airline....Been there. "Don't write up any brakes this week. We don't have any instock and we can't afford to buy any." That took one call to the local FAA office to fix.
 
A346Dude
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:40 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Remember, when it comes to covering aviation-related topics, the goal of most media sources is to sensationalize and frighten. Not to report with any degree of accuracy or discipline.

A little off-topic perhaps, but this mentality among the media is not at all limited to stories related to aviation.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:52 am



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Remember, when it comes to covering aviation-related topics, the goal of most media sources is to sensationalize and frighten. Not to report with any degree of accuracy or discipline.

Totally accurate to the point......Sensationalize & sell.Why don't they print the experts view in such case....because the dramatic effect won't be there.

regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
mt99
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:22 pm



Quoting Movingtin (Reply 9):

How many of the people working those planes have an A&P, B1,B2?
How many have a 10 year background ck?
How many are drug tested at all, Much less randomly?
How secure is the facility?
How suseptable is a Mechanic making 100 bucks a month going to be to taking an offer from someone to plant something for, say a couple of grand?
How much pressure is put on the few Guys who are actually licsenced to sign off work so we can " make the schedule we promised". Because if we dont turn it early to get the Bonus, we don't make money on the job.
How many "Random" FAA checks are performed?(none)

Since you like number questions:

How many accidents/incidents have been cause by them?

How many accidents/incidents have been caused by places who do all that you say?
Step into my office, baby
 
movingtin
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:45 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 13):
How many accidents/incidents have been cause by them?

How many accidents/incidents have been caused by places who do all that you say?

Do you really think these Airlines are going to tell the public what discrepencies they found after MTC performed at a contractor?
 
mt99
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:08 pm



Quoting Movingtin (Reply 14):
Do you really think these Airlines are going to tell the public what discrepencies they found after MTC performed at a contractor?

So how would you quantify the quality of their work? Other than posing alarmist questions?

You make it sound what work in US is perfect - all the time.
Step into my office, baby
 
swiftski
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:09 pm

As Stelios once said, "if you think maintainance is expensive, try having an accident"
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:10 am



Quoting Movingtin (Reply 14):
Do you really think these Airlines are going to tell the public what discrepencies they found after MTC performed at a contractor?

When DL first sent airplanes out of house en mass we had a ton of problems with some of the airplanes. The low bidder on the Maddog fleet was US based but did terrible work. After completing the check the plane came to ATL to get an 'Afterhaul'. Those of use that had worked MD HMV were appaled at the condition of the planes. It all came down to dollars. Even with the week long recheck it was still 50% cheaper to send out the HMV. We have since moved on to better and I bet more costly contractors.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:08 pm



Quoting Dalmd88 (Reply 17):
When DL first sent airplanes out of house en mass we had a ton of problems with some of the airplanes. The low bidder on the Maddog fleet was US based but did terrible work.

Shouldn't the contract specify a satisfaction clause.If the operator is not happy with the Mx.There should be a compensation.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
EMBQA
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:20 pm



Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 7):
I love my BNA crew too (that one goes out to you EMBQA LOL!!)

Thanks J.....

Quoting Movingtin (Reply 9):

Boy I'd love to go blow holes in those questions, but I have better things to do tonight.


After the Valujet accident the FAA made changes to the oversight of outsourced substantial maintenance. Airlines are required to have people on-site to oversee the work and perform audits of the facility
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:12 pm



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):

I'm pretty sure that was the case. We terminated that contract after just a few airplanes. Avborne just couldn't deliever the quality we demanded so we pulled the contract after just a few planes.
 
boeing767mech
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:29 pm



Quoting Dalmd88 (Reply 17):
When DL first sent airplanes out of house en mass we had a ton of problems with some of the airplanes. The low bidder on the Maddog fleet was US based but did terrible work. After completing the check the plane came to ATL to get an 'Afterhaul'.

We had a problem like that in the 80's when we had a bunch of DC-10's coming up for heavy check, we sent a couple of airplanes out to a 3rd party, during the flight test there where so many problems the pilots where asked if they could fly the airplane back to Tulsa for do an AFTERHAUL. The airplane spent a month getting brought back up to our standards and the contract was canceled.

I have worked for a couple of third party shops before working for my current employer, I was laid off 4 times in two years because they where changing ownership or bankrupt even other week. (not that working for an airline is any different now).

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 6):
My issue with outsourcing the jobs to other countries is that it reduces the number of people in the US that can afford to fly. Every time jobs that pay decent money are sent to central america or asia, a number of skilled technicians are put out of work.

AMEN to that, this is my biggest problem with sending work overseas.

David
Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:45 am



Quoting Silentbob (Reply 6):
My issue with outsourcing the jobs to other countries is that it reduces the number of people in the US that can afford to fly.

This is a fallacy. Outsourcing often increases total wealth in an economy. (That is in fact typically the objective). If you can spend less on something, you can spend the savings on something else. Sure, you will have people who lose jobs and are displaced, but on the whole, on average, wealth increases,

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 6):
Every time jobs that pay decent money are sent to central america or asia, a number of skilled technicians are put out of work. Those people are less likely to be employed at the same rate (or higher) and are likely to contribute less to the economy as a whole.

You're only looking at the micro effects. On the macro scale, the money saved will go back into the economy and total wealth will increase. Not so much fun for those displaced, but on the whole better for the economy.

Note that the effects are hard to see in the short term. If you look at the long term, however: How many people could afford new sneakers every year if said shoes were made in the US, and cost 5x as much?

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 6):
You cannot have an economy based on the service sector alone.

For a national economy there is no reason why not. There are many countries who get the majority of their revenue from tourism for example. Also, the economy doesn't stop at the border. If aircraft maintenance is done in Saint Louis or San Salvador makes little difference. They are both part of the economy.

In any case the US is a very very long way from being solely service based.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
ex52tech
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:08 am



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
I have a different view and I totally disagree. All I will say is: You get what you pay for....

AMEN brother.

I worked for an airline that swore up and down that we were more expensive and the outsource facility did better work than we did. That was hard to stomach when we would spend days, up to and including weeks preparing an outsourced aircraft for it's first post heavy check revenue flight.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:06 am



Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 20):
I'm pretty sure that was the case. We terminated that contract after just a few airplanes. Avborne just couldn't deliever the quality we demanded so we pulled the contract after just a few planes.

I thought so.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 22):
This is a fallacy. Outsourcing often increases total wealth in an economy. (That is in fact typically the objective). If you can spend less on something, you can spend the savings on something else. Sure, you will have people who lose jobs and are displaced, but on the whole, on average, wealth increases,

Outsourcing using skilled workforce at a lower scale makes sense,but not at the cost of quality.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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thebatman
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:59 am



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
I have a different view and I totally disagree. All I will say is: You get what you pay for....   

Precisely...

Quoting Movingtin (Reply 9):
How many of the people working those planes have an A&P, B1,B2?
How many have a 10 year background ck?
How many are drug tested at all, Much less randomly?
How secure is the facility?
How suseptable is a Mechanic making 100 bucks a month going to be to taking an offer from someone to plant something for, say a couple of grand?
How much pressure is put on the few Guys who are actually licsenced to sign off work so we can " make the schedule we promised". Because if we dont turn it early to get the Bonus, we don't make money on the job.
How many "Random" FAA checks are performed?(none)

Exactly. What this basically boils down to is this: your OSV may be the hardest working crew you've ever seen, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of these people do not hold U.S. A&P licenses. One guy signs off the work of several others. You can talk all you want about QA audits and inspections, etc etc...but like I've said before, how would you feel if only ONE of the PILOTS flying the airplane was licensed? What if one out of ten DOCTORS at your hospital was licensed?

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 22):
If you can spend less on something, you can spend the savings on something else.

Yeah, it's called executive bonuses...
Aircraft mechanics - because pilots need heroes too!
 
aogdesk
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RE: Recession/maintenance What To Expect?

Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:00 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 13):
How many accidents/incidents have been cause by them?

How many accidents/incidents have been caused by places who do all that you say?

I'm not the "sky is falling" guy, but these questions are by no means an accurate or acceptable metric of how safe the airline industry is!!!!

What if I said "I poured gasoline all over myself and then lit a match. But I didn't blow myself up, so it must be safe."

What others in this thread have said about reducing the margin of safety is accurate. There IS cause for concern. Not as much as the media would have you believe, but it IS an issue! MRO insiders see many things falling through the cracks. Unfortunately, the line between legitimate safety/QC issues and union/non-union are sometimes blurred, which exacerbates the problem.

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