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djm18
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:23 pm

tobykea wrote:
Can anyone confirm if United are taking proactive steps like most airlines and checking their entire 737 NG fleet immediately regardless of cycle count?
I’ve emailed their Customer Care team on this and they just fed me the line of “safety is our number 1 priority at United and we can confirm we are acting in compliance with all FAA directives”. I went back snd asked for a specific answer on whether they’re going above and beyond the mandated timelines in the FAA directive like real safety conscious airlines such as Qantas and checking even young planes but have not heard a peep out of them on this. I even posted the question to their Facebook page and they’ve since blocked me which I find strange. I’ve seen vague reports around both AA and United checking their fleets but when this problem initially surfaced United said “we don’t have any 737NG planes with more than 30,000 cycles so we’ll check ours when they need to be checked”. Does’nt inspire a lot of confidence in me. Why hasn’t the FAA updated the directive to have all planes regardless of cycle count inspected immediately as we’ve seen plenty if younger planes showing up with this issue. For a critical part like the pickle fork I would have thought a change to checking all planes immediately would be justified.


Perhaps this email can be of help in getting some clarity...

Contact Us via E-mail: [email protected]

https://sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/home

The United Airlines Fleet Website is the best tool to learn about the United Airlines fleet as there is no other site that has as much information in one place than this sites does.
 
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hOMSaR
Moderator
Posts: 2358
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:36 pm

djm18 wrote:
tobykea wrote:
Can anyone confirm if United are taking proactive steps like most airlines and checking their entire 737 NG fleet immediately regardless of cycle count?
I’ve emailed their Customer Care team on this and they just fed me the line of “safety is our number 1 priority at United and we can confirm we are acting in compliance with all FAA directives”. I went back snd asked for a specific answer on whether they’re going above and beyond the mandated timelines in the FAA directive like real safety conscious airlines such as Qantas and checking even young planes but have not heard a peep out of them on this. I even posted the question to their Facebook page and they’ve since blocked me which I find strange. I’ve seen vague reports around both AA and United checking their fleets but when this problem initially surfaced United said “we don’t have any 737NG planes with more than 30,000 cycles so we’ll check ours when they need to be checked”. Does’nt inspire a lot of confidence in me. Why hasn’t the FAA updated the directive to have all planes regardless of cycle count inspected immediately as we’ve seen plenty if younger planes showing up with this issue. For a critical part like the pickle fork I would have thought a change to checking all planes immediately would be justified.


Perhaps this email can be of help in getting some clarity...

Contact Us via E-mail: [email protected]

https://sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/home

The United Airlines Fleet Website is the best tool to learn about the United Airlines fleet as there is no other site that has as much information in one place than this sites does.


That is in no way an official page.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
djm18
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:36 pm

Not sure who runs the page but it has some great details on their fleet, agreed that most probably not an "official" site.
 
tomcat
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 4:14 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:55 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
Also, if the spare pickle forks are made of titanium, won't it cause problems with electrochemical corrosion?


This should be dealt with an appropriate corrosion protection scheme at the interfaces with aluminum components, including proper fastener selection.
 
bennett123
Posts: 10061
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:18 pm

Three questions;

1. Is it likely that some aircraft will be scrapped rather than repaired.

2. Will B737NG in storage provide a source of Pickle Forks, and is that likely to accelerate their scrapping.

For example, the Germania aircraft at Kemble.

3. Can Pickle Forks be taken from B737 Classics.
 
iamlucky13
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:23 am

bennett123 wrote:
Three questions;

1. Is it likely that some aircraft will be scrapped rather than repaired.

2. Will B737NG in storage provide a source of Pickle Forks, and is that likely to accelerate their scrapping.

For example, the Germania aircraft at Kemble.

3. Can Pickle Forks be taken from B737 Classics.


1. Potentially yes. Alternately, I wonder if we'll see some airlines replace them pre-emptively at a heavy maintenance interval when it can be done more cost-effectively.

2. Very doubtful. The majority of the cost is the labor to replace the part, not the part itself. Actually, I'd guess most of the cost is the labor to remove and replace the stuff in the way of replacing the part, followed by the labor to replace the part itself, followed by paperwork on the entire process, followed by the part itself. So for all that, it does not make much sense to replace the part with one that already has a significant number of cycles and may itself begin cracking very soon and require another replacement.

3. Same considerations as 2, plus I suspect the design was changed with the new wing on the Next Generation.
 
2175301
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:40 am

bennett123 wrote:
Three questions;

1. Is it likely that some aircraft will be scrapped rather than repaired.

2. Will B737NG in storage provide a source of Pickle Forks, and is that likely to accelerate their scrapping.

For example, the Germania aircraft at Kemble.

3. Can Pickle Forks be taken from B737 Classics.


Here's some better answers:

1). Yes, and has already happened - and documented earlier in this thread. One airline found pickle fork cracks in an 737NG that was scheduled to be retired and scrapped within a few months. They immediately moved it's retirement date up to "now" as it would not be worth repairing.

2) No. Due to the economics or recovery of the old parts and risks with their age and condition, and availability of new spare parts.

3) No. The design of the Pickle Fork was changed from the "classic" to the "NG" and the parts are not the same. Again, this has already been discussed earlier in the thread.

Have a great day,
 
KDAL
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:40 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:46 am

Spacepope wrote:
smokeybandit wrote:
3000 hours. 10 days. The math to shove 3000 hours into 10 days, even with 3 shifts per day, just doesn't add up.


Indeed. I'd like to see a full accounting of what is counted in the 3000 hour tally, if that includes the initial inspection, the man-hours for the ferry flight, etc. Something is suspect here as it looks like a Gol and possibly WN airframe may have been fixed already as well, based on what's been coming in and out of VCV.

All of the WN aircraft have been repaired and returned to service. The last one left VCV over two weeks ago. The WN aircraft that have been coming and going from VCV since then are going to IAC for paint.
All opinions and views expressed are my own and not representative of those of Southwest Airlines Co., its subsidiaries, or affiliates.
 
Mostly
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:35 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:09 pm

moa999 wrote:
It's interesting how some countries and airlines (particularly Korea and Australia) have been very forthcoming with factual data and commentary on the check and repair process, yet its radio silence from many others.


Yep. Silence from China. Thousands of high-mile, short-hop 737s operated by low margin airlines in corrosive environments flown by poorly trained pilots. FAA directives don’t have jurisdiction in China, and the airlines don’t have the money to repair their cracked NGs. They likely have hundreds of cracked forks and from their perspective, it makes no sense to admit it. They’ll fly those things into the ground - maybe literally.

They’re almost certainly quietly inspecting them though. The government needs chips in the trade deal negotiations, and threatening to disclose how many of their expensive American planes are broken gives them leverage. They know how damaging that headline could be. Especially considering that Boeing has by far the biggest influence on the Dow Jones average.

Quick edit - the Koreans are even angrier than the Qantas folks
http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article ... Idx=279906
 
PartsGuy20
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:09 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:00 pm

KDAL wrote:
All of the WN aircraft have been repaired and returned to service. The last one left VCV over two weeks ago. The WN aircraft that have been coming and going from VCV since then are going to IAC for paint.


Do we know which frames Southwest found cracks on? And I assume they've inspected all of their NG fleet by now, correct?
 
KDAL
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:40 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:25 pm

PartsGuy20 wrote:
KDAL wrote:
All of the WN aircraft have been repaired and returned to service. The last one left VCV over two weeks ago. The WN aircraft that have been coming and going from VCV since then are going to IAC for paint.


Do we know which frames Southwest found cracks on? And I assume they've inspected all of their NG fleet by now, correct?

I had those tail numbers at one time but I've unfortunately lost them. Google search is probably the best option to find them now unless someone else has them off the top of their head.
All opinions and views expressed are my own and not representative of those of Southwest Airlines Co., its subsidiaries, or affiliates.
 
djm18
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 pm

Mostly wrote:
moa999 wrote:
It's interesting how some countries and airlines (particularly Korea and Australia) have been very forthcoming with factual data and commentary on the check and repair process, yet its radio silence from many others.


Yep. Silence from China. Thousands of high-mile, short-hop 737s operated by low margin airlines in corrosive environments flown by poorly trained pilots. FAA directives don’t have jurisdiction in China, and the airlines don’t have the money to repair their cracked NGs. They likely have hundreds of cracked forks and from their perspective, it makes no sense to admit it. They’ll fly those things into the ground - maybe literally.

They’re almost certainly quietly inspecting them though. The government needs chips in the trade deal negotiations, and threatening to disclose how many of their expensive American planes are broken gives them leverage. They know how damaging that headline could be. Especially considering that Boeing has by far the biggest influence on the Dow Jones average.

Quick edit - the Koreans are even angrier than the Qantas folks
http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article ... Idx=279906


And what about United, Delta and to a lesser degree American Airlines?
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3157
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:20 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Three questions;

1. Is it likely that some aircraft will be scrapped rather than repaired.

2. Will B737NG in storage provide a source of Pickle Forks, and is that likely to accelerate their scrapping.

For example, the Germania aircraft at Kemble.

3. Can Pickle Forks be taken from B737 Classics.

1. As others have said. At least one had it's retirement moved up. In nearly every other case it is not a scrap driver issue. It can b easily and economically fixed.

2. Its a part that must be new. It is nearly impossible to take a drilled structural part off of one airplane and use it on another. Everything is hand match drilled. The holes just don't line up.

3. see answer no.2, plus its a different part.

As for the whole man hours thing. Those numbers that get thrown around are pretty vague figures. The 3000 was a estimate from Boeing? That has a ton of padding built into it. Say they have 8 mechanics, a lead, and an inspector per shift. The guys in VCV seem to have it down to a ten day turn. That's 2400 hours. They have done a bunch now. These types of jobs always get quicker after a few airplanes being done by mostly the same crew. Everyone knows 'their job' in the process.
 
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antoniemey
Posts: 1419
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:38 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:21 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
As for the whole man hours thing. Those numbers that get thrown around are pretty vague figures. The 3000 was a estimate from Boeing? That has a ton of padding built into it. Say they have 8 mechanics, a lead, and an inspector per shift. The guys in VCV seem to have it down to a ten day turn. That's 2400 hours. They have done a bunch now. These types of jobs always get quicker after a few airplanes being done by mostly the same crew. Everyone knows 'their job' in the process.


Kind of like how a ramp crew full of green agents takes 30 minutes to turn a small plane while a ramp crew of experienced agents who work together every day can do it in 15 with a lot less time spent pre-planning the turn.
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
 
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PepeTheFrog
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:02 pm

During the earnings call today, Boeing said it took a $336 million charge for the pickle fork issue.

https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2020-04-29 ... er-Results

a $336 million charge related to 737 Next Generation frame fitting component (pickle fork) repair costs
Good moaning!
 
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Phosphorus
Posts: 1059
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: 737NG Pickle fork issue

Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:42 am

PepeTheFrog wrote:
During the earnings call today, Boeing said it took a $336 million charge for the pickle fork issue.

https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2020-04-29 ... er-Results

a $336 million charge related to 737 Next Generation frame fitting component (pickle fork) repair costs


Thanks, that's interesting!
I wonder -- are we fully done yet? Meaning, have all NG's pickle forks been inspected, and found in good shape -- or replaced, if they were not?
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