CairnterriAIR
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:25 am

This is a question for anybody who is or was a pilot. Was there any particular aircraft in the fleet that was known to be a "hanger queen"...a plane that was forever breaking down or in for repairs? Which aircraft was it? What was the usual issue with it? Did it have a nickname given to it by the crews/mechanics? Would be interested to read.
 
AA737-823
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:46 am

Well, I'm a mechanic... is my opinion still welcome?

I'll continue as though it was.

Yes, airlines have hangar queens. Mine doesn't have any one nickname that bears repeating in public.
But even in very small fleets, even between two aircraft, you can easily identify the more reliable of the two. And that applies to 25 year old airliners, AND five year old ones... even rolling right off the line, you can figure out pretty quickly whether you've got a good bird, or one that was completed at 4:59 on Friday, Seattle local time....
 
Northwest727
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:22 am

I've talked to my company's mechanics to other mechanics in the past, who have always laughed about a particular aircraft being in the hangar often. Usual names are "Problem Child" to "Hangar Queen" up to and including the "Hangar Whore." One mechanic told me about an aircraft that was in the shop so often he just wanted to burn it and get it over with.
 
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aerdingus
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:17 pm

I heard a story about one of the EI 747s, EI-ASJ, that went tech so often it was referred to as "Ah Sweet Jesus!"

  
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boeing767mech
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:10 pm

Well as an inspector for a little airline, we used to call our Hangar Queens, AIrbus A300-605R's but now those are gone we call them 767-200's. Every night we have a -200 in for B Check the managers call planning and tell them to route it on a later flight just because of all the problems we find on the airplane, from corrosion to delam on the MLG doors or flaps. So now a check that takes 12 hours to complete now takes a couple of days because of all the stuff we find wrong. Then of course we get "G&^D*&N QA is F*&K*(G US AGAIN WRITING THE HELL OUT OF THE AIRPLANE". Something about flying a 25 plus year old airplane.

We do have certain tail numbers that will always be in the hangar for repair just because they are a POS

David
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KELPkid
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:43 pm

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 4):
I heard a story about one of the EI 747s, EI-ASJ, that went tech so often it was referred to as "Ah Sweet Jesus!"

And I've heard that with BA's 744 G-BNLB, NLB stands for "Never Leaves Base"  
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SAAFNAV
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:52 pm

There's always a hangar queen.
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futureualpilot
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Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:03 pm

Oh yeah. Our entire fleet is old and very high time, at least on the type I fly so one could argue they're all hangar queens. There are a couple stand-outs that seem to enjoy attention from the mechanics more than the rest though.
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aerdingus
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:50 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5):
And I've heard that with BA's 744 G-BNLB, NLB stands for "Never Leaves Base"  

Hahaha, I hope that's not the 747 I'm scheduled to fly to HKG!
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Lufthansa
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:02 pm

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 8):
Hahaha, I hope that's not the 747 I'm scheduled to fly to HKG!

No that one is NLH, cause it was leased to QF for a bit and it became VH-NLH instead of G-BNLH....
and everybody quickly said 'never leaves hanger"
 
Speedbird741
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:53 pm

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 9):
No that one is NLH, cause it was leased to QF for a bit and it became VH-NLH instead of G-BNLH....
and everybody quickly said 'never leaves hanger"

It may also be possible that NLH was given that nickname. However, I have repeatedly heard about NLB being dubbed 'Never leave base' due to maintenance issues.

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 8):
Hahaha, I hope that's not the 747 I'm scheduled to fly to HKG!

You needn't worry aerdingus as, sadly, Lima Bravo is stored at CWL since late 2008. My most memorable flight was on G-BNLB and I am still hopeful that she will fly again before ending up as NLC.

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HAWK21M
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:34 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):

Well, I'm a mechanic... is my opinion still welcome?

 

Exactly..........

Out here there was one in the early 90s that had regular snags, it was a B737 & its registration marks gave it the nickname in Hindi called "eesee pay problem" or Problem exists here.As it was frequented by numerous snags.

Then theres always that liked craft that rarely has any snags too .
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genybustrvlr
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:49 pm

Given the detailed maintenance records required for planes, I suspect that airlines are able to identify these problem aircraft fairly quickly, particularly if these problems manifest themselves shortly after delivery. Do airlines ever go after manufactures, seeking replacement or damages? I'm sure a case could be made by showing time out of service records and maintenance logs w/ costs. Are new aircraft delivered "as is"?
 
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:24 pm

When I was at United, we had a DC10, nose number 3149, that towards the end of her UA existence, would fly the UA1 UA2 (ORD-HNL-ORD) trips like a trooper, then it would break HARD. 95% of the time I remember it was a hydraulics-related break.

When they finally retired the aircraft, the router put in the CURRTG entry in Unimatic (the daily aircraft routings) that "They Called Her Christine"

I still shudder thinking of working the UA DC10 pilot crew desk with 3149 in the air...
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SURFER
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:51 pm

I remember the mechanics from ATA who were based in SNN use't to hate seeing L1011 N164AT(think i have the right reg) landing as it always ended up going tech,a real Hangar Queen!
 
andz
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:36 pm

SAA had an A300, ZS-SDD that was known as "double disaster" because she was a bit more problematic than the others. My wife had an incident on her when she was an F/A and the gear wasn't giving a green indication, they did a couple of fly-bys of the tower to check then landed safely.
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Phen
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:56 pm

If I remember correctly, Aer Lingus had a problematic A330-300 too; EI-JFK, now flying with Vladivostok Air as VQ-BEQ.

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I recall reading on A.net that apparently she used to have problems with one of her fuel tanks hence EI used to send her on the shorter of their TA routes to BOS or JFK and avoid sending her as far as ORD.
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Well we had one particular problem child at our airline, G-BOPB, a feisty and battle hardened 767-200ER which at the time of our airline's demise was pushing 20 years old. In training they said it's affectionately called "Papa Bravo" but in reality it was usually referred as "Big Ole Pile (o) Bks" (I'll give you a clue, men traditionally have two of them and they are not found on ladies).

Honestly though, the aircraft was one of my favorites but it was a big heap, however it had been flying charter for 20 years and had even gone as far as Australia when it's previous airline decided that would be a good idea. Notable issues were lavatories failing completely, IFE not working, APU knacked, No 1 engine problem, No 2 engine developing a fault (usually after No 1 had been fixed), door trouble, TCAS issues and a myriad of things which I have been told about happening before my time at the company.

That said we had a leased in 737-800 from another airline and that was a bit of a pain, come to think of it there were a few issues with one of it's sisters too...

However the winner is, TF-ELV (Good ole "Victor" - god I miss that aircraft). One that was in such awful condition when it went to SNN for an annual check they grounded it until numerous faults were fixed. Then again at the time there were so many things wrong with that aircraft we were always amazed it came back in one piece (so much so I had - and still do - a list of all of the issues that I knew about with the aircraft). For example, the APU went completely tits up, there was a hole in the fuselage that nobody had discovered for weeks (thanks to some airstairs) which caused a few ear-ache issues for crew. The air conditioning had to be flushed as it apparently was very likely to breed Legionnaires disease, it had a total electrics failure on the ground, it had a severe electric failure in the air resulting in a PAN diversion and to top it off the battery died (though that was the engineer leaving the lights on overnight). Still it was a fun flight and oddly enough my favorite point in my life, like flying in the 80's   We only had that aircraft for 4 months too 

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roseflyer
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:16 pm

I'm not sure this was directed to pilots, but I'll stab at an answer. When I was working monitoring the fleets at a specific airline, we didn't necessarily have hangar queens, but rather airplanes that would have certain systems be less reliable. After a while, the reliability engineers and maintenance controllers would find out what the root cause was and do some serious maintenance. I remember one 747 with what turned out to be a zone temperature controller where the upper deck stayed at about 80 degrees for multiple months before the component could be isolated and replaced.

I have found that rather than specific hangar queens, we usually had some aircraft that were the opposite. They spent far less time in unscheduled maintenance. There could be a variety of reasons, but there are so many systems on airplanes that they all break in different ways. A good maintenance control center working with a dedicated reliability team will help improve overall performance. Newer airplanes with AHM or other downloadable diagnostic information drastically improve airplane performance.
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:57 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):
even rolling right off the line, you can figure out pretty quickly whether you've got a good bird, or one that was completed at 4:59 on Friday, Seattle local time....

One of the best comments I've read here to date hahaha
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goboeing
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:27 am

I have been at two airlines.

The first one had too large of a fleet for me to keep track of any single airplane, and every single one of them completely sucked anyway (EMB-145) so it didn't even matter.

The second airline I'm a now is significantly smaller and I've been here longer, and I do now notice some that aren't as good in some ways (nothing major of course, but little annoyances).

Any plane past a certain ship number has more ACARs and printer problems than the rest. These being the newest of the fleet, I wonder what change at the factory happened sometime along the way to change things enough to the point where other pilots and I notice it?

Lightning strikes do happen occasionally and a friend texted me a picture of the rudder of one that he had just flown and they were struck multiple times, including a visibly singed rudder.

I flew that plane several times in the following months and it was riddled with electrical 'gremlins.' It seems to be back to normal.
 
konrad
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:44 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5):
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 4):
I heard a story about one of the EI 747s, EI-ASJ, that went tech so often it was referred to as "Ah Sweet Jesus!"

And I've heard that with BA's 744 G-BNLB, NLB stands for "Never Leaves Base"

One of LOT's 767s reg SP-LPE is also known as Lima Papa Error
 
Fabo
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:17 am

One of SkyEuropes 735s was known as Sierra Echo Disaster. Hangar Queen of the NG era was OM-NGQ.

CSAs OK-VGZ was known as VGZávada, roughly translateable as VGBreakdown.
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boeing767mech
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:43 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):
or one that was completed at 4:59 on Friday, Seattle local time....

Haha so true, We have an airplane here tonight that has 50 hours total time. ACARS in on placard troubleshoot down to a open wire in the system. We have already had to change a hydraulic pump since we took delievery.

Go going Boeing what is the return policy on a 737-800????

David
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747400sp
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:50 pm

I believe there was a Fed Ex 747 200F powered by JT9-70As, that gave them a lot of problem. I think it was here on A-net, where I read about it.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:48 pm

Quoting Northwest727 (Reply 2):
One mechanic told me about an aircraft that was in the shop so often he just wanted to burn it and get it over with.

I believe it. I am very familiar with a particular 767 that would make pilots (and mechanics) groan when it showed up at the gate. It was (in my wholly subjective but widely held opinion) the single worst aircraft for reliability I have ever had to fly. Awful. Mercifully it has now left our fleet. Christine was FAR too nice a name for that piece of...umm...Boeing engineering.

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 4):
Well as an inspector for a little airline, we used to call our Hangar Queens, AIrbus A300-605R's but now those are gone we call them 767-200's.

I can't comment on the A-300, but I hated the older 767's.

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 4):
We do have certain tail numbers that will always be in the hangar for repair just because they are a POS

That is for sure!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:35 pm

Another Weird Maintenance observations is that Snags on similiar type in the fleet are Contagious  

One has it then the next & next until it goes away or rectified .
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dc863
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:00 am

I've heard and personally experienced on three occasions in the mid 1980s that Pan Am's "Clipper Beacon Light" an ex AA 747-123 was a true lemon.
 
sulley
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RE: Pilots: Did Your Airline Have A "Hangar Queen"

Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:15 pm

CO has issues with several of its 757-300s, particularly the ex-ATA builds... however Ship #855 is a big POS and it's an original CO plane. I hate that tempermental bird!

[Edited 2011-09-12 06:16:45]
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