An225
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Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:14 pm

Hello all,
Sorry if this topic was posted in the past. I couldn't find any when I searched the forum.

I have looked at Sam Chui's picture of the Iran Air B747-SP (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Iran-Air/Boeing-747SP-86/2168785/L/) and it looks in a very well preserved condition. Looking at Wikipedia it states that other Boeing aircraft are in use, including 727 and 747. Given the more than 30 years long US embargo on Iran this is remarkable that these planes are still flying, not mentioning the SP plane pictured by Sam.

My question is how do the Iranians are able to still keep these birds in the air? especially the SP's which were rare planes to begin with

Thanks,

An225
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:49 am

Quoting An225 (Thread starter):
My question is how do the Iranians are able to still keep these birds in the air? especially the SP's which were rare planes to begin with

I have to imagine: 1) A lot of unapproved repairs (technically, all repairs not done while in contact with the OEM would be unapproved, no?) 2) Machining a lot of parts locally. 3) *Really* good mechanics.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:11 am

Picture here:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui

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rfields5421
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:56 am

Along with those items mentioned above - the Iranian airline folks have been able to purchase many parts through third parties.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:07 am

Quoting An225 (Thread starter):
My question is how do the Iranians are able to still keep these birds in the air?

There are lots of people with Boeing parts that aren't subject to the US embargo...as long as they're willing to sell to the Iranians, they're good. They also must have fantastic mechanics.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
1) A lot of unapproved repairs (technically, all repairs not done while in contact with the OEM would be unapproved, no?)

Most repairs are done without contacting the OEM. That's what the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Component Maintenance Manuals (CMM), and Structural Repair Manual (SRM) are for. Repairs are approved if they meet the requirements of the local regulator...as long as the Iranians are doing whatever the Iranian CAA requires, they're technically covered.

Tom.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:19 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Most repairs are done without contacting the OEM. That's what the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Component Maintenance Manuals (CMM), and Structural Repair Manual (SRM) are for. Repairs are approved if they meet the requirements of the local regulator...as long as the Iranians are doing whatever the Iranian CAA requires, they're technically covered.

Then what is the brouhaha about IR acquiring 743's without Boeing having updated the manuals?
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LAXintl
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:20 am

Until recently lots of help from KLM and Lufthansa...

Lufthansa Technics even list them as a customer
http://www.guideline.aero/references/oems_types_and_customers.html

Here is a news story how LH had to stop helping Iran Air after 40-years as a customer
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...r-iran-air-in-europe-a-858886.html

There are other vendors around the world such as France, Turkey and Japan that have worked with IR in the past also.
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tom355uk
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:30 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Then what is the brouhaha about IR acquiring 743's without Boeing having updated the manuals?

Because if the manual being used is not the most up to date version, then technically I don't think it is meant to be used. For all intents and purposes, most of the information will be the same but there may be certain AD's and procedure changes that are not implemented or described in older versions.
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soon7x7
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:09 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Repairs are approved if they meet the requirements of the local regulator...as long as the Iranians are doing whatever the Iranian CAA requires, they're technically covered.

Are they not then restricted from US airspace as a result of questionable maintenance practices?...The UN general assembly makes exception to this?. They probably operate the same way "Tower Air" used to...they would purchase some timed out equipment from out west and cannibalize the airframes for parts. Bone-yards are now a global reality so the availability of parts worldwide is still fairly robust.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:11 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 8):
The UN general assembly makes exception to this?.

Diplomatic flights by heads of state are exempt from a lot of rules that apply to commercial airlines, or private aircraft.

Such as the Tu-114 that flew into Andrews AFB in Sept 1959 with Nikita Khrushchev - that certainly wasn't an aircraft or airline 'certified' in the US.

The only reason the Iran aircraft is allowed into the US is that it is a diplomatic aircraft. The maintenance history of the aircraft, or lack of, has no bearing on the decision.

Because the United Nations is headquartered in New York City - a long list of 'enemies' of the United States have been able to fly into the US on UN official business over the past 60+ years.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Then what is the brouhaha about IR acquiring 743's without Boeing having updated the manuals?

It all depends on what your OpsSpec says, which depends on your regulator. Most regualators will require that aircraft be maintained per the most Instructions For Continued Airworthiness (ICAs), which the OEM's are obligated to provide. However, for obvious reasons, the Iranian regulators know that Boeing isn't going to be providing them with manual support so there's no reason they'd write that into Iranian's OpsSpec.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 8):
Are they not then restricted from US airspace as a result of questionable maintenance practices?...The UN general assembly makes exception to this?

Generally not. The existing treaties basically allow the aircraft of a country that's a signatory to the relevant UN treaties to operate in the airspace of any other provided that the aircraft meets the regulations of the *home* country. In other words, an Iranian registered aircraft that's compliant with Iranian regulations is generally allowed to operate in other countries' airspace. However, there are specific country-by-country restrictions (e.g. Cuban aircraft over the US) but those are purely based on politics, not maintenance practices. The EU has an airline blacklist that is based on maintenance practices; a portion, but not all, of Iran's fleet is on the blacklist.

Tom.
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:00 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 8):
Are they not then restricted from US airspace as a result of questionable maintenance practices?

I think this is the saddest side effect from US and UN sanctions policy against Iran. The US declares Iran Air a terrorist organistation because it might have shipped parts for their nuclear programme. So no one can risk trading with Iran Air to supply parts or expertise (they can't even buy fuel in many countries). Then maintenance bacomes a problem and the airline is declared unsafe to operate in US airspace. Meantime flight safety is compromised within Iran too and quite innocent civilians put at risk.

I'm not questioning sanctions in general, but sanctions should not be imposed against civil aviation.
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Tod
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:56 pm

As stated above, there are plenty of third/fourth party work-arounds.

When I buy parts off of scrapped planes, nobody asks me what plane they are going onto next and if I turned around and sold them again I don't think that I need to know where they are going, just where they've been.
 
fr8mech
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:00 pm

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 11):
I'm not questioning sanctions in general, but sanctions should not be imposed against civil aviation.

But, the function of sanctions is to make everyone uncomfortable. Indeed, their function is to hurt everyone in the target nation. The assumption is that if you make the populace uncomfortable enough, the government will capitulate on the issue.

There should be no exceptions to sanctions. Not civil aviation, not medical, not humanitarian...nothing.

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 7):
Because if the manual being used is not the most up to date version, then technically I don't think it is meant to be used. For all intents and purposes, most of the information will be the same but there may be certain AD's and procedure changes that are not implemented or described in older versions.

It is reasonable to assume that since they are not getting direct Boeing support, they are not incorporating Service Bulletins and/or Service Letters. Therefore, an updated manual isn't strictly necessary. Yes, Boeing will occasionally change a procedure or limit or parameter or make a correction, but with the marvel we call the Internet, the stuff becomes open source pretty quick.

We all know that AD's should be incorporated within the timetable; and again, with the Internet, getting the information is pretty easy. After that, it's a matter of the engineering department putting together the procedure for incorporation. The sticking point comes from parts (if they are required), that's where 3rd parties come in and/or your own manufacturing.
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Jetlagged
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 13):
But, the function of sanctions is to make everyone uncomfortable. Indeed, their function is to hurt everyone in the target nation. The assumption is that if you make the populace uncomfortable enough, the government will capitulate on the issue.

There should be no exceptions to sanctions. Not civil aviation, not medical, not humanitarian...nothing.

That may be your opinion, but that's not the policy. Sanctions are specifically targetted against certain areas. Google Iran sanctions and see how specific they are. The aim is to hurt the government, not the civilian population. Even in the case of Iraq this was the case. Humanitarian supplies were allowed. In Iran's case the stated purpose is to stop them developing nuclear technology for weapons, not cause more fatalities in civil aircraft.

As for making the populace uncomfortable, why should a dicatorship care about that? It certainly never bothered Saddam.

[Edited 2012-10-10 07:26:02]
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tdscanuck
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:24 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 13):
It is reasonable to assume that since they are not getting direct Boeing support, they are not incorporating Service Bulletins and/or Service Letters.

Thanks to the Internet, I'm pretty sure they've probably got all the SB's and SL's. I'd be surprised if they aren't incorporating the ones that make sense for them.

Tom.
 
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9MMPQ
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:40 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Then what is the brouhaha about IR acquiring 743's without Boeing having updated the manuals?

And to add to everything that has already been said, these were former QF birds. I'd be very surprised if QF would not have had all documentation fully up to date before offloading these aircraft to the next owners.

By the way, I've not heard of these aircraft being in actual service since. Perhaps they've been bought for parts ?
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Max Q
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:46 am

No fan of the Iranian government but I am always amazed and impressed at Iran Air's technical capability keeping these wonderful classics flying.


Not to mention the incomparable F14 !
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HAWK21M
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:31 am

Does Iran Air have a pooling agreement with other airlines/thirdparty vendors for spares.
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Faro
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:39 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Quoting An225 (Thread starter):
My question is how do the Iranians are able to still keep these birds in the air?

There are lots of people with Boeing parts that aren't subject to the US embargo...as long as they're willing to sell to the Iranians, they're good. They also must have fantastic mechanics.

US persons wishing export to Iran "goods, service and/or technology to insure the safety of civil aviation and safe operation of U.S. origin commercial passenger aircraft" can apply for a specific licence with the Office of Foreign Assets Control in he US:

http://www.sanctionlaw.com/2010/04/0...n-ofac-is-not-entirely-in-the-way/

It wouldn't make much sense otherwise; there are many parts which I imagine are too difficult/risky not be be sourced directly from the OEM.


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jumbojim747
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:00 pm

I think that having an embargo on some things is wrong commercial aircraft is one.
Why play politics with peoples lives. ?
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HAWK21M
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:31 am

True....I believe Iran should source their aircraft from other manufacturers/suppliers if spares is an issue....
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jumbojim747
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:42 am

I think they cant buy directly from any manufacturer and risk the wrath of the US
The manufacturers wont sell to them and risk the wrath of the US

[Edited 2012-10-17 01:47:24]
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SXDFC
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:01 pm

If Air Koryo ( N.Korea ) can order Russian planes, whats stopping IR? I am also curious as to if IR can order the SSJ-100..

[Edited 2012-10-18 12:03:23]
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TWA772LR
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:16 am

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 23):
If Air Koryo ( N.Korea ) can order Russian planes, whats stopping IR? I am also curious as to if IR can order the SSJ-100..

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the SSJ has western avionics. Also, Honeywell, an American company, makes the APU. And also a lot of foreign companies, including companies from the USA, UK, EU, Switzerland, among others have parts in the aircraft. So that would make the SSJ a no-go for IR, until they can get them second hand. Possibly from Armavia?
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HAWK21M
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:29 am

Which countries who manufacture aircraft and are not sanctioning Iran?.
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Tod
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 24):
And also a lot of foreign companies, including companies from the USA, UK, EU, Switzerland, among others have parts in the aircraft.

Like a B/E interior.
 
amccann
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:56 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Most repairs are done without contacting the OEM. That's what the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Component Maintenance Manuals (CMM), and Structural Repair Manual (SRM) are for.

I agree that most repairs are done without contacting the OEM however as airplanes age and accumulate damage it becomes much more difficult to perform a 100% SRM repair. Operators begin running in to issues such as co located damages and/or repairs or the SRM does not contain a repair for a specific damage.

I've often wondered if Iranian ground service personal are instructed to be extra careful around their airplanes so that they do not inflict any additional damage.

[Edited 2012-11-12 22:57:51]
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HAWK21M
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:40 am

Quoting amccann (Reply 27):
I've often wondered if Iranian ground service personal are instructed to be extra careful around their airplanes so that they do not inflict any additional damage.

What would Extra carefull mean.....In aviation its doing ones job with attention to safety......which is 100% carefull.....cannot be more detailed.......Im sure the professionals out there know their job well.....The damage if you are implying would be structural......in most cases can be fixed.
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amccann
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RE: Maintaining Iran's Airliners

Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:51 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
Quoting amccann (Reply 27):
I've often wondered if Iranian ground service personal are instructed to be extra careful around their airplanes so that they do not inflict any additional damage.

What would Extra carefull mean.....In aviation its doing ones job with attention to safety......which is 100% carefull.....cannot be more detailed.......Im sure the professionals out there know their job well.....The damage if you are implying would be structural......in most cases can be fixed.

My statement can obviously be interpreted incorrectly. Of course all aviation/aerospace employees are extra careful, critical of their actions, and safety conscious. I never intended on implying any aviation/aerospace employee were not careful, critical, or safe.

I am fully aware of structural repairs. However, it can be said that a portion of structural repairs are due to preventable damage.

[Edited 2012-11-15 17:58:41]
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