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yonikasz
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Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:19 pm

The MD80 is an old gas guzzeling aircraft. Everybody knows that Allegiant's MD80s are some of the most unreliable airframes flying in the United States. However Delta's seem like quite the opposite. I read that Delta had a streak of 320 days without having to cancel a flight for a maintenance issue. Obviously Delta has more aircraft to sub with in a situation like that. But do you think that Delta's maintenance program is significantly better than Allegiant's? Maybe DL's TechOps is the best maintenance program in the United States?
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:24 pm

In a nut shell, Allegiant is run more bare bones than Delta. Bare bones all the way through. A place like Allegiant will operate to FAA minimums whereas a place like Delta will operate above and beyond FAA minimums. At my previous carrier, they were a bare bones operator. Eventually our fleet was transferred to a more reputable operator. As the planes would arrive at the new operators MTX facilities for inspection, the stories were ripe with disbelief of the condition of the aircraft when compared to how this more reputable operator kept the condition of their fleet. I would assume if you took an Allegiant 80 to Delta for some heavier MTX, the Delta mechanics would be surprised at what they found.
 
WN732
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:25 pm

If I recall DL Techops is able to manufacture some parts on their own.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:30 pm

DL also has some younger MD80s with the applicable upgrades to make them MD88s. DL also has an extremely robust tech ops division. (U)LCCs dont have very hood maintenance track records (G4 engine issues, and WN being fined after that one incident come to mind); although it seems NK has a good maintenance program and having a very young A320 fleet helps big time there.
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toobz
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:36 pm

DL operates MD88 and MD90 variant. Allegiance I would guess is operating MD82 or MD83.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:41 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
DL also has some younger MD80s with the applicable upgrades to make them MD88s. DL also has an extremely robust tech ops division. (U)LCCs dont have very hood maintenance track records (G4 engine issues, and WN being fined after that one incident come to mind); although it seems NK has a good maintenance program and having a very young A320 fleet helps big time there.


Is there some metric by which WN’s maintenance is inferior to AA, DL, or UA’s? G4 might cut corners. WN doesn’t, or at least not any more than its “high cost” peers.
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TWA772LR
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:07 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
DL also has some younger MD80s with the applicable upgrades to make them MD88s. DL also has an extremely robust tech ops division. (U)LCCs dont have very hood maintenance track records (G4 engine issues, and WN being fined after that one incident come to mind); although it seems NK has a good maintenance program and having a very young A320 fleet helps big time there.


Is there some metric by which WN’s maintenance is inferior to AA, DL, or UA’s? G4 might cut corners. WN doesn’t, or at least not any more than its “high cost” peers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... story.html
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/air ... aft-repair
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/b ... 07air.html
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lightsaber
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:10 pm

Allegiant is switching to a better A32X maintenance program. It improves reliability as well as, long term, cuts maintenance costs. Allegiant's real issue is they cut the JT8D maintenance to the minimum, so any finding was stop and send it to a shop with too few low hour since last overhaul engines as spares.

DL and exceeds the number of boroscope inspections and thus has hundreds of flights between a finding and when the engine should be pulled. With plenty of spares, they didn't need to worry about pairing a young spare if the remaining engine was past halfway in the overhaul interval (a twin must always have at least one engine with less than one half of allowed use since an overhaul).

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Super80Fan
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:12 pm

Simple, Delta is a quality air carrier that exceeds above and beyond the minimums, while Allegiant operates at BARE, BARE minimum and this is one of the ways they "make" money. Mark my words, once those A319's/A320's start aging the problems will return.
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Cubsrule
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:34 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
DL also has some younger MD80s with the applicable upgrades to make them MD88s. DL also has an extremely robust tech ops division. (U)LCCs dont have very hood maintenance track records (G4 engine issues, and WN being fined after that one incident come to mind); although it seems NK has a good maintenance program and having a very young A320 fleet helps big time there.


Is there some metric by which WN’s maintenance is inferior to AA, DL, or UA’s? G4 might cut corners. WN doesn’t, or at least not any more than its “high cost” peers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... story.html
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/air ... aft-repair
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/b ... 07air.html


:?: :?: WN has been fined. So has everyone else.
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777PHX
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:39 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
DL also has some younger MD80s with the applicable upgrades to make them MD88s. DL also has an extremely robust tech ops division. (U)LCCs dont have very hood maintenance track records (G4 engine issues, and WN being fined after that one incident come to mind); although it seems NK has a good maintenance program and having a very young A320 fleet helps big time there.


Is there some metric by which WN’s maintenance is inferior to AA, DL, or UA’s? G4 might cut corners. WN doesn’t, or at least not any more than its “high cost” peers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... story.html
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/air ... aft-repair
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/b ... 07air.html


I can do that too:

https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases ... wsId=13773

So what's your point?
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:09 am

777PHX wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

Is there some metric by which WN’s maintenance is inferior to AA, DL, or UA’s? G4 might cut corners. WN doesn’t, or at least not any more than its “high cost” peers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... story.html
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/air ... aft-repair
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/b ... 07air.html


I can do that too:

https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases ... wsId=13773

So what's your point?


Who remembers AA's MD80 fleet being grounded by the FAA in 2008? That was a maintenance violation.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:17 am

Super80Fan wrote:
Simple, Delta is a quality air carrier that exceeds above and beyond the minimums, while Allegiant operates at BARE, BARE minimum and this is one of the ways they "make" money. Mark my words, once those A319's/A320's start aging the problems will return.


Airbus aircraft are maintained diferently as they have an onboard diagnostic system that tracks everything. This is on all the jets at every carrier that operates them. This allow Allegiant and other carriers to fix problems promptly.
 
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richcam427
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:49 am

toobz wrote:
DL operates MD88 and MD90 variant. Allegiance I would guess is operating MD82 or MD83.


Plenty of MD-82s and MD-83s are newer than DL's MD-88s though.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:13 am

freakyrat wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
Simple, Delta is a quality air carrier that exceeds above and beyond the minimums, while Allegiant operates at BARE, BARE minimum and this is one of the ways they "make" money. Mark my words, once those A319's/A320's start aging the problems will return.


Airbus aircraft are maintained diferently as they have an onboard diagnostic system that tracks everything. This is on all the jets at every carrier that operates them. This allow Allegiant and other carriers to fix problems promptly.

Yes, and Allegiant has changed maintenance to be less reactionary and instead using (paying for) Airbus algorithms to cut overall costs. This is one reason Allegiant is buying somewhat younger Airbus (buying the right avionics). Uh... Younger is 12 to 15 years old... So relative.

I believe pricing and the maintenance holiday is why Allegiant has allowed themselves to be talked into more new A320s.

Allegiant will be a different airline when all A320. Oh, we'll still have fun following their high RASM and liwer utilization strategy. However, more and more of their lines are going moderate to high utilization. A trend that only started with the Airbus.

Lightsaber

Late edit. I was looking for sources on the changing Allegiant ant this CAPA interview is pretty good.
https://centreforaviation.com/analysis/ ... update-663

Highlights, need 8 or 9 fewer spare Airbus aircraft than MD-80, so a (small) net fleet expansion.

Better Airbus utilization. The article doesn't specify, but I believe it is (going from memory) 25% to 30% higher.

In Orlando, G4 isn't parking aircraft as much. It notes higher utilization lines. Hmmm... Anyone else think this is where new A320 are going?

I believe Allegiant is ready to buy a dozen NEO (enough lines at high utilization) and depending on CEO offers (pricing) I could see six to eight more (toral 20 to 22, NEOs to be later year).

Now in my opinion, when NEO, MAX, and C-series production hits stride and over 20% of the narrowbody aircraft in service have the new engines, CEO (and NG) resale values will drop faster. Alas production delays push that to 2022. :(

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kitplane01
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:53 am

lightsaber wrote:
do dn't need to worry about pairing a young spare if the remaining engine was past halfway in the overhaul interval (a twin must always have at least one engine with less than one half of allowed use since an overhaul).

Lightsaber


I think I misunderstanding. Could I buy a twin engine jet like an A320 or 737 and fly all the way until it’s engines need to be overhauled? Would I really be required to swap one of the engines halfway through?

I’m sure there’s no rule like that in part 91. I think there’s no rule like that in part 135. I understand airline rules are different.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:55 am

I should note an airline like DL needs about a third of aircraft new for high utilization (10+ hours/day) a third mid-age for 7 to 10 hours/day, and the rest older (cheap lease or paid off for only high RASM).

Allegiant is maturing, but probably needs only 20% new. Because the CEOs were bought cheap enough new, they are fine today for 8 to 12 hour/day operations. In just a few years, they could be treated as mid-age aircraft. G4 is maturing to need 25% to 30% of the fleet this type (hence my estimation of 14 NEOs and 20 to 22 CEOs).

Every other Airbus G4 buys opportunistically cheap and can be treated as cheap/old aircraft. :). This is the Allegiant model we know so well. A model they will diverge from selectively (e.g., Orlando).

Lightsaber
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cbphoto
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:07 am

Here is the thing that most people here don’t get. Every airline has its issues, and I know people to who fly MD80s at Delta, who have some of the same issues Allegiant has on their fleet. One big factor, is Delta does a better job at PR and keeping the events isolated. Allegiant was fighting an ugly battle with its pilots union, and in the fight, the union was releasing every incindent that happened to the media. If you notice, in the last few years, the number of articles about issues at Allegiant has diminished quite a bit.

One big issue Allegiant has always battled, is their parts vendors. The saying goes, you get what you pay for. Also Deltas cancelation free streak is really more of a PR stunt, then a well run operation. Delta might not cancel the flight, but might delay it 24 hours, but because it didn’t “cancel” it’s not apart of that statictic. They also have a fleet 10 times the size of Allegiant, so obviously they have spares readily available.

Allegiant isn’t perfect by any means, but they are not some 3rd world airline everyone makes them out to be.
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777PHX
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:44 pm

FrmrKSEngr wrote:
777PHX wrote:


Who remembers AA's MD80 fleet being grounded by the FAA in 2008? That was a maintenance violation.


IIRC, that was because wire bundles were tied at four inch intervals instead of the FAA specified three inch interval.
 
CairnterriAIR
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 am

FrmrKSEngr wrote:
777PHX wrote:


Who remembers AA's MD80 fleet being grounded by the FAA in 2008? That was a maintenance violation.


....or the whole corner cutting removing of the engine with pilons from the DC-10 wings back in 1979. I think a few carriers were guilty of that.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:35 am

There was a pretty good post on another board by an Allegiant pilot. The bottom line is that the A320 will squawk when something is wrong. They have been instructed to write up absolutely everything that the Airbus says is wrong. Even if it's transient. Way more than other carriers would write up. They are being constantly reminded of this obligation by management. And maint is following-up and properly repairing what gets written up. He says it's a whole new approach, and it has dramatically-improved reliability.
 
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:04 am

cbphoto wrote:
Also Deltas cancelation free streak is really more of a PR stunt, then a well run operation. Delta might not cancel the flight, but might delay it 24 hours, but because it didn’t “cancel” it’s not apart of that statictic.


If they were doing it often it would skew the on-time statistics. Yet DL's on-time is routinely among the best.
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:08 am

777PHX wrote:
FrmrKSEngr wrote:
777PHX wrote:

I can do that too:

https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases ... wsId=13773

So what's your point?


Who remembers AA's MD80 fleet being grounded by the FAA in 2008? That was a maintenance violation.


IIRC, that was because wire bundles were tied at four inch intervals instead of the FAA specified three inch interval.


All other MD-80 operators had complied with the order, and I believe AA was warned, and chose to ignore the FAA.

So while I was flying an AA MD-80 on ICT-DFW leg out on a business trip to LA, the grounding order was issued. What a mess when I arrived at DFW. Fortunately my LA flight was a 757. 2 days later had to argue with the Boeing travel office to get the return flight changed off AA. Their attitude was it as an AA problem and the airline was responsible to get me back home. Gotta love corporate travel offices. Had the secretary book on Frontier, and dealt with it when I got back.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:20 am

FrmrKSEngr wrote:

All other MD-80 operators had complied with the order, and I believe AA was warned, and chose to ignore the FAA.
.


Well, if I am remembering the right incident (and I'm a bit hazy, I admit), this was a hypertechnical hose job, plain and simple. The AD came out, and while it said what needed to be done, it certainly wasn't at the work-card level. So, one could propose a method of compliance down to the work card level, get it approved, and do it. Or one could "buy" an already-approved method of compliance and do that. And it came down to how the airline wrote up the proposed work cards for the distance between wire ties. IIRC (and I'm hazy), DL's proposed method spaced the ties "approximately" X inches apart, and that was approved. However, the AA method left a word out somewhere on the work cards (i.e. "approximately", so it read something like "secured X inches apart"), and suddenly the FAA guys were in there with rulers busting them on it not being *exactly* X inches apart, despite the fact that there had been no scientific analysis of exactly the precisely-perfect-optimal spacing for the wire ties. It was bureaucratic BS, pure and simple. The airline sucked it up, redid the work where necessary, took the fine, and moved on. Stupid. (I recall some thought about whether to "buy" and "implement" the DL method of compliance, just for that word being in the approved compliance plan; don't know if they tried to or in fact did do that.) All of this lead to some idiot political grandstander bloviating about "rules are rules". But nobody cares about the details except the poor maint people who actually care about the details.
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:37 am

wjcandee wrote:
FrmrKSEngr wrote:

All other MD-80 operators had complied with the order, and I believe AA was warned, and chose to ignore the FAA.
.


Well, if I am remembering the right incident (and I'm a bit hazy, I admit), this was a hypertechnical hose job, plain and simple. .


I only remember my impression from the News at the time.Sounds like you had more insight.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:38 am

wjcandee wrote:
FrmrKSEngr wrote:

All other MD-80 operators had complied with the order, and I believe AA was warned, and chose to ignore the FAA.
.


Well, if I am remembering the right incident (and I'm a bit hazy, I admit), this was a hypertechnical hose job, plain and simple. The AD came out, and while it said what needed to be done, it certainly wasn't at the work-card level. So, one could propose a method of compliance down to the work card level, get it approved, and do it. Or one could "buy" an already-approved method of compliance and do that. And it came down to how the airline wrote up the proposed work cards for the distance between wire ties. IIRC (and I'm hazy), DL's proposed method spaced the ties "approximately" X inches apart, and that was approved. However, the AA method left a word out somewhere on the work cards (i.e. "approximately", so it read something like "secured X inches apart"), and suddenly the FAA guys were in there with rulers busting them on it not being *exactly* X inches apart, despite the fact that there had been no scientific analysis of exactly the precisely-perfect-optimal spacing for the wire ties. It was bureaucratic BS, pure and simple. The airline sucked it up, redid the work where necessary, took the fine, and moved on. Stupid. (I recall some thought about whether to "buy" and "implement" the DL method of compliance, just for that word being in the approved compliance plan; don't know if they tried to or in fact did do that.) All of this lead to some idiot political grandstander bloviating about "rules are rules". But nobody cares about the details except the poor maint people who actually care about the details.


It was a dumb fine for sure - no evidence of any effect on safety of flight, which I thought was FAA’s mandate. But, the whole debacle demonstrates the folly of any attempt to compare safety based on a carrier’s record of FAA enforcement actions.
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jplatts
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:56 pm

I have never flown on G4 since G4 does not serve DAL or DFW, but I have flown on DL's MD-88's and AA's MD-80 planes. The interior of one of the DL MD-88 planes that I was on 2 years ago was still in excellent condition 2 years ago.
 
evank516
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:03 pm

My last MD-88 experience on DL was great. I'm going to miss these when they're gone for sure, however it showed its age when the captain attempted a rolling take off but cut the engines briefly (thought he was aborting) and then powered them back up. When we landed in ATL he told me something (forgot what it was) got stuck.

Even better news, I'm flying on one this Friday and Sunday :D :cloudnine:
 
B757Forever
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:04 pm

wjcandee wrote:
FrmrKSEngr wrote:

All other MD-80 operators had complied with the order, and I believe AA was warned, and chose to ignore the FAA.
.


Well, if I am remembering the right incident (and I'm a bit hazy, I admit), this was a hypertechnical hose job, plain and simple. The AD came out, and while it said what needed to be done, it certainly wasn't at the work-card level. So, one could propose a method of compliance down to the work card level, get it approved, and do it. Or one could "buy" an already-approved method of compliance and do that. And it came down to how the airline wrote up the proposed work cards for the distance between wire ties. IIRC (and I'm hazy), DL's proposed method spaced the ties "approximately" X inches apart, and that was approved. However, the AA method left a word out somewhere on the work cards (i.e. "approximately", so it read something like "secured X inches apart"), and suddenly the FAA guys were in there with rulers busting them on it not being *exactly* X inches apart, despite the fact that there had been no scientific analysis of exactly the precisely-perfect-optimal spacing for the wire ties. It was bureaucratic BS, pure and simple. The airline sucked it up, redid the work where necessary, took the fine, and moved on. Stupid. (I recall some thought about whether to "buy" and "implement" the DL method of compliance, just for that word being in the approved compliance plan; don't know if they tried to or in fact did do that.) All of this lead to some idiot political grandstander bloviating about "rules are rules". But nobody cares about the details except the poor maint people who actually care about the details.


The handling of the AD for the auxiliary hydraulic pump wiring was a debacle perpetrated mostly by politicians and the FAA administrators. It needlessly grounded the AA fleet and caused massive re-work at DL. In a nut shell; the MD80 aircraft have an auxiliary hydraulic pump in the RH forward wheel well. Over time, the wires to the pump can chafe and can start to arc. Many years before the AD came out, McDonnell Douglas had issued a "Service Letter" to operators suggesting they wrap the wires. The service letter, like many, was loosely worded and lacking details which leaves the methodology up to each individual operator. Fast forward quite a few years and the FAA decided this was more urgent and issued an AD to comply with the wrapping of the wires because an MD80 somewhere in the world had not been wrapped and the wires arced. An AD must be complied with exactly as written, to the letter, unless you request and receive an AMOC (alternate method of compliance) from the FAA.The problem is that the AD was issued using the same loosely worded, lacking detail Service Letter instructions which essentially left the compliance of the task up to the individual performing the task. It was idiotic. AA and DL had wrapped the wires on all their aircraft years before using procedures from the SWPM (standard wiring practice manuals). The SWPM calls for using lacing cord (string) to tie the wrap onto the wire bundle at approximately 1" intervals. When you tie at 1" intervals on a bundle with twists and turns you are not going to have exactly 1" where the wires bend. We had FAA Airworthiness Inspectors, under pressure from their administrators who were under pressure from grandstanding politicians checking aircraft with a small ruler finding fault, with lacing cord, that had 1 and 1/8 inch spacing. There was never an aircraft in the AA or DL fleet that was in any sort of peril. This truly was, in my 34 years of aircraft maintenance, the most idiotic bunch of BS ever perpetrated by the FAA. Period.
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litz
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:27 pm

It doesn't hurt DL that they have 40+ years of experience on the DC9 series all the way back to the original DC9 ... and on top of their experience, they inherited all of the NWA experience as well.

(IIRC, when they merged NWA, some of the DC9s NW was still operating were actual original DL birds)

They could, if they wanted to, likely build one from scratch.

There likely isn't a tech group on the planet (including Boeing) who knows these planes better than they do.
 
CRJ900
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Re: Allegiant's MD80s vs Delta's MD80s

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:39 pm

Allegiant bought quite a few ex-SAS MD80s - I heard from several SAS employees that G4 was quite keen on getting these birds because they had excellent maintenance records and would be good for years to come. Have G4 tried to keep up the "SAS standard" MX-wise or are they just doing the most necessary checks on them?
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