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jbs2886
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:40 am

rbavfan wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
morrisond wrote:

Generally they don`t ground something unless it is an immediate safety concern - but given the Airline and personalities involved - this could be posturing and a way to reduce costs at a time when cash is scarce.


That would make sense if Qatar weren't bringing retired A330s back into service, which can't be zero cost. If Qatar cancelled flights/adjusted it schedule to compensate for 13 fewer aircraft, sure, but that isn't the case. I'm not saying politics aren't involved or to what extent they are driving what is happening.


They already own the paid off A330's & B77W's. While grounded they do not have to make payments (most likely) on the A350's. So it could save money.


I mean, yes, they are on the property, but it’s not like an aircraft is just parked and you can start flying it immediately. They decommissioned the A330s and now have to prepare to reintroduce them into service. There is no way this saves money, there is a cost to bringing aircraft back into service and then parking (and paying on) A350s (and before saying QR won’t pay, their contacts aren’t with Airbus and they’ll have to fight Airbus for compensation).
 
VV
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:53 am

It seems this issue is specific to Qatar.
What's so special about their A350 fleet beyond the Sandy enviroment in which they operate?

Why does the issue concern only 13 aircraft?
 
XT6Wagon
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:12 am

It may be like the Q400 landing gear problem. Its a widespread issue, but unique situation at one airline brings that problem to light very early. In that case they were spraying the landing gear down with corrosives, which made the issue apparent earlier than airlines who weren't. Yet the failures would have occurred before the first check for those parts was scheduled at any airline.

As I say this *may* be the case. I hope there is resources being put into identifying what the complaint is, if its a safety issue, and why its shown up there before other places.
 
LX321
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:01 am

sxf24 wrote:
3rdGen wrote:
It cannot be just the paint not sticking. If that was the case why was the problem not found out until after the paint was stripped off for the repaint. The reality is that something under the paint isn’t right with the aircraft. One thing that is clear is that it isn’t a safety issue, it is something that is expected to happen within the life cycle of the aircraft but it is happening too soon for Qatar’s liking. I think thats a fair concern to have. The issue now is that Qatar is clearly not getting anywhere with Airbus and are now taking their spat out in public, and refusing to fly the aircraft on which they are finding the issue.


Exposure of the wire mesh is a safety issue.


Any official document or source that this concerns a safety measure?
 
Virtual737
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:03 am

SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


Not so long ago the Chinese were on the leading edge of safety and many here derided them for it. The US eventually decided that the safety issue was real and followed suit (one of the last to do so).

If the US can be last (or close to), why couldn't Qatar be first? Now I wouldn't bet my house on it, but it's not beyond the realm of of possibility.
 
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3rdGen
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:17 am

Virtual737 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


Not so long ago the Chinese were on the leading edge of safety and many here derided them for it. The US eventually decided that the safety issue was real and followed suit (one of the last to do so).

If the US can be last (or close to), why couldn't Qatar be first? Now I wouldn't bet my house on it, but it's not beyond the realm of of possibility.


China grounded all 737 Max. Qatar is still flying over 30 A350s. If it were a major safety issue there would be a directive. And once China grounded the planes everyone else followed suite very quickly. It isn't the same here.
 
mig17
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:59 am

A few things about Qatar.
They pay very well for products and services but in return, they are a demanding customer. And for them, appearance is a paid feature even if not 100% explicite in contracts.
Appearance which is very important in Qatar. Their white tunic is always mint. Their 4x4 are cleaned to always be shinny as new, their streets are clean, ..., so their aircrafts have to look "perfect" as well. For exemple, they would never fly a dirty Air France 90's plane even if perfectly safe from a maintenance point of view ...
The other thing in Qatar is that their is no clear bondary between the state and the private sector. Some high ranking family are present everywhere. I don't know much about their civil aviation authority, but if it is like in other sectors, I suspect the authority and Qatar Airways are very close.
So it doesn't supprise me both Qatar Airways and the Qatari aviation authority considere that appearance is a performance and it is not met by Airbus on some A350. Even if safety is not compromise, it is still a performance not met.
 
brindabella
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:29 pm

VV wrote:
It seems this issue is specific to Qatar.
What's so special about their A350 fleet beyond the Sandy environment in which they operate?

Why does the issue concern only 13 aircraft?


I have read through and I can;t see where any other operator has actually stripped the paint off like QR did.
Not conclusive - the QR conditions may be unusual.

But that will surely be something any investigation will do.

The other unresolved issue is the exposed mesh.

Big red flag if that is confirmed.

cheers
 
md11sdf
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:02 pm

Is it time to admit that the whole composite fuselage thing was a bad idea and go back to building airliners out of light metals?
 
brindabella
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:16 pm

md11sdf wrote:
Is it time to admit that the whole composite fuselage thing was a bad idea and go back to building airliners out of light metals?


The 787 has surely had lots of issues.



But not this one - at least so far!

Very different construction methods.

cheers
 
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Polot
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:18 pm

md11sdf wrote:
Is it time to admit that the whole composite fuselage thing was a bad idea and go back to building airliners out of light metals?

You say that as if aluminum fuselages and wings never have issues.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:56 pm

mig17 wrote:
.
The other thing in Qatar is that their is no clear bondary between the state and the private sector. Some high ranking family are present everywhere. I don't know much about their civil aviation authority, but if it is like in other sectors, I suspect the authority and Qatar Airways are very close.
So it doesn't supprise me both Qatar Airways and the Qatari aviation authority considere that appearance is a performance and it is not met by Airbus on some A350. Even if safety is not compromise, it is still a performance not met.


I keep reading comments about how Qatar Airways and the aviation authority are very close.

Qatar is a category 1 authority

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... asaws.xlsx

In order to get the Cat 1 rating, they must pass this checklist from the FAA

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_3.docx

Here are the surveillance of airlines checklist

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_7.docx

Saying Qatar has higher standards than the FAA based on culture is definitely possible.

What doesn’t sound right to me is those who are suggesting the Qatari aviation authority grounded the planes as a favor to Qatar Airways to help them better negotiate with Airbus. Aviation authorities that do things like that are unlikely to pass an FAA International Safety Assessment Audit in my opinion.
 
mig17
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:12 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
mig17 wrote:
.
The other thing in Qatar is that their is no clear bondary between the state and the private sector. Some high ranking family are present everywhere. I don't know much about their civil aviation authority, but if it is like in other sectors, I suspect the authority and Qatar Airways are very close.
So it doesn't supprise me both Qatar Airways and the Qatari aviation authority considere that appearance is a performance and it is not met by Airbus on some A350. Even if safety is not compromise, it is still a performance not met.


I keep reading comments about how Qatar Airways and the aviation authority are very close.

Qatar is a category 1 authority

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... asaws.xlsx

In order to get the Cat 1 rating, they must pass this checklist from the FAA

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_3.docx

Here are the surveillance of airlines checklist

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_7.docx

Saying Qatar has higher standards than the FAA based on culture is definitely possible.

What doesn’t sound right to me is those who are suggesting the Qatari aviation authority grounded the planes as a favor to Qatar Airways to help them better negotiate with Airbus. Aviation authorities that do things like that are unlikely to pass an FAA International Safety Assessment Audit in my opinion.

And I am not saying that. My opinion is Qatar Airways and the A350F is a "done deal" but blocked and maybe even in jeopardy because of the A350 coating problem.
What I am saying is even if safety is not compromise, it is normal for both the authority and the airline to treat seriously the coating problem in Qatar.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:47 pm

3rdGen wrote:
How are you so certain that the issue is with the wire mesh? And if it is a safety issue why are 100s of A350s still flying? Why hasn't a major regulator like EASA issued a grounding of the aircraft worldwide. The first aircraft with the issue was discovered in January.

Forum rules require links when stating facts. There is a link to Reuters saying there is exposed wire mesh, but it using unnamed sources. All we have to go on then is Reuters's reputation for fact checking, which IMO is pretty good but of course not perfect. Reuters is also saying there is a dispute between QR and Airbus as to how the wire mesh got exposed. QR is saying the surface below the paint degraded, Airbus apparently feels it has something to do with how the paint was removed.

As noted earlier exposure of wire mesh would be a safety issue because it is a part of the lightning protection system, but as far as we know this only happened as a side effect of paint removal as opposed to normal airline service. We have 13 grounded A350s yet no independent reports on their condition that I know of, so I for one am going to withhold judgment till more is known.

The flip side of this just being a simple painting issue would be that Airbus could/would have supervised repainting of another frame or two and shown there is no issue when it is done properly and the whole issue could have gone away a long time ago. Airbus has even older A350s, the prototypes are still parked somewhere, they could use them to show there is no such issue as AAB alleges.

rbavfan wrote:
While grounded they do not have to make payments (most likely) on the A350's. So it could save money.

I don't think that's true. Financiers would not agree to such a condition. If you buy a car and it's a lemon, it's between you and the car manufacturer, the bank still demands to be paid. Boeing MAX customers had to keep making payments, they only got compensation from Boeing after the problem was sorted.

md11sdf wrote:
Is it time to admit that the whole composite fuselage thing was a bad idea and go back to building airliners out of light metals?

Doubtful. Most of the empennage of the A380 was done in CFRP using shell style fabrication. I'm sure they've been through some big livery changes e.g. LH so they've been stripped of paint. Famously the A300 vertical stabilizer was CFRP too, and they have been in service for decades now. There is a long history of the use of CFRP on airplanes. We are still early on in this current situation, time will tell what the true issues are.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:55 pm

mig17 wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
mig17 wrote:
.
The other thing in Qatar is that their is no clear bondary between the state and the private sector. Some high ranking family are present everywhere. I don't know much about their civil aviation authority, but if it is like in other sectors, I suspect the authority and Qatar Airways are very close.
So it doesn't supprise me both Qatar Airways and the Qatari aviation authority considere that appearance is a performance and it is not met by Airbus on some A350. Even if safety is not compromise, it is still a performance not met.


I keep reading comments about how Qatar Airways and the aviation authority are very close.

Qatar is a category 1 authority

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... asaws.xlsx

In order to get the Cat 1 rating, they must pass this checklist from the FAA

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_3.docx

Here are the surveillance of airlines checklist

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/i ... -F2_7.docx

Saying Qatar has higher standards than the FAA based on culture is definitely possible.

What doesn’t sound right to me is those who are suggesting the Qatari aviation authority grounded the planes as a favor to Qatar Airways to help them better negotiate with Airbus. Aviation authorities that do things like that are unlikely to pass an FAA International Safety Assessment Audit in my opinion.

And I am not saying that. My opinion is Qatar Airways and the A350F is a "done deal" but blocked and maybe even in jeopardy because of the A350 coating problem.
What I am saying is even if safety is not compromise, it is normal for both the authority and the airline to treat seriously the coating problem in Qatar.


Regulators grounding airplanes for non-safety issues is likely something that would be picked up in the FAA international audits.

Others are challenging the credibility of the Qatari regulatory authority. The FAA audit results don’t substantiate that opinion.

SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?
 
pugman211
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:13 pm

Certain paint strippers are safe to use on CFRP, some are harmful and will damage the panel.

For the mesh to be exposed surely the upper layers of the composite must of been compromised some how.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:56 pm

rbavfan wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
morrisond wrote:

Generally they don`t ground something unless it is an immediate safety concern - but given the Airline and personalities involved - this could be posturing and a way to reduce costs at a time when cash is scarce.


That would make sense if Qatar weren't bringing retired A330s back into service, which can't be zero cost. If Qatar cancelled flights/adjusted it schedule to compensate for 13 fewer aircraft, sure, but that isn't the case. I'm not saying politics aren't involved or to what extent they are driving what is happening.


They already own the paid off A330's & B77W's. While grounded they do not have to make payments (most likely) on the A350's. So it could save money.

Even if the aircraft is grounded, and unless the lessor is the aircraft manufacturer, the lessor is expecting to be paid as the grounding has nothing to do with their own doing.
The airline is still liable to the lessor, and then can go back to the aircraft manufacturer (or LRU OEM, as applicable) for compensation.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:57 pm

XT6Wagon wrote:
It may be like the Q400 landing gear problem. Its a widespread issue, but unique situation at one airline brings that problem to light very early. In that case they were spraying the landing gear down with corrosives, which made the issue apparent earlier than airlines who weren't. Yet the failures would have occurred before the first check for those parts was scheduled at any airline.

As I say this *may* be the case. I hope there is resources being put into identifying what the complaint is, if its a safety issue, and why its shown up there before other places.

In the case of the Q400, multiple aircraft were impacted; so far, it appears only 1 A350 has had this issue.
 
VV
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:58 pm

brindabella wrote:
VV wrote:
It seems this issue is specific to Qatar.
What's so special about their A350 fleet beyond the Sandy environment in which they operate?

Why does the issue concern only 13 aircraft?


I have read through and I can;t see where any other operator has actually stripped the paint off like QR did.
Not conclusive - the QR conditions may be unusual.

But that will surely be something any investigation will do.

The other unresolved issue is the exposed mesh.

Big red flag if that is confirmed.

cheers


Why should Qatar's A350 paint be stripped in a different manner than any other A350?

Is Qatar's paint chemical composition different? Or is it Qatar's paint scheme very special?

Something is not clear here.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:58 pm

3rdGen wrote:
Virtual737 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


Not so long ago the Chinese were on the leading edge of safety and many here derided them for it. The US eventually decided that the safety issue was real and followed suit (one of the last to do so).

If the US can be last (or close to), why couldn't Qatar be first? Now I wouldn't bet my house on it, but it's not beyond the realm of of possibility.


China grounded all 737 Max. Qatar is still flying over 30 A350s. If it were a major safety issue there would be a directive. And once China grounded the planes everyone else followed suite very quickly. It isn't the same here.

And the 737 MAX grounding was right after 2 crashes almost back-to-back; comparison here is not on the same level...
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:05 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
XT6Wagon wrote:
It may be like the Q400 landing gear problem. Its a widespread issue, but unique situation at one airline brings that problem to light very early. In that case they were spraying the landing gear down with corrosives, which made the issue apparent earlier than airlines who weren't. Yet the failures would have occurred before the first check for those parts was scheduled at any airline.

As I say this *may* be the case. I hope there is resources being put into identifying what the complaint is, if its a safety issue, and why its shown up there before other places.

In the case of the Q400, multiple aircraft were impacted; so far, it appears only 1 A350 has had this issue.

I agree, we really need an independent party to inspect the other 12 grounded A350s before we can say this is a broader issue.
 
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3rdGen
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:40 pm

VV wrote:
brindabella wrote:
VV wrote:
It seems this issue is specific to Qatar.
What's so special about their A350 fleet beyond the Sandy environment in which they operate?

Why does the issue concern only 13 aircraft?


I have read through and I can;t see where any other operator has actually stripped the paint off like QR did.
Not conclusive - the QR conditions may be unusual.

But that will surely be something any investigation will do.

The other unresolved issue is the exposed mesh.

Big red flag if that is confirmed.

cheers


Why should Qatar's A350 paint be stripped in a different manner than any other A350?

Is Qatar's paint chemical composition different? Or is it Qatar's paint scheme very special?

Something is not clear here.


This is the first time an A350 in service has ever been stripped of its paint.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 6:30 pm

Revelation wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
XT6Wagon wrote:
It may be like the Q400 landing gear problem. Its a widespread issue, but unique situation at one airline brings that problem to light very early. In that case they were spraying the landing gear down with corrosives, which made the issue apparent earlier than airlines who weren't. Yet the failures would have occurred before the first check for those parts was scheduled at any airline.

As I say this *may* be the case. I hope there is resources being put into identifying what the complaint is, if its a safety issue, and why its shown up there before other places.

In the case of the Q400, multiple aircraft were impacted; so far, it appears only 1 A350 has had this issue.

I agree, we really need an independent party to inspect the other 12 grounded A350s before we can say this is a broader issue.


Did this 12 got stripped too? Or is there another way to check if the layer above the fibers is intact? Or did this 12 got painted by the same subcontractor or with the same batch of colour?
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:55 pm

There is inconsistency between two of the assertions referenced so far in this thread:

1 the degraded "undercoat" is not unexpected but merely premature

2 the lightning strike mesh was exposed

I have difficulty comprehending that exposure of the mesh is "expected"
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:12 pm

Do the Qatar planes have different materials under the top coat due to the desert heat? These aircraft go from 50 C in the sun to - 50 C at flight level 350 over and over again.
 
LDRA
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:58 pm

Psst, mere superficial issue skin deep. Will buff right out
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:12 pm

Yeah...a little Turtle wax and a little elbow grease she'll look good as new. :)
 
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Heavierthanair
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:49 pm

G'day

LDRA wrote:
Psst, mere superficial issue skin deep. Will buff right out


Maybe, just maybe, whoever stripped the paint from the fuselage overdid the buffing a little bit and ground away enough of the carbon fiber composite to expose the wire netting within the structure. So who is to be blamed? :rotfl:

Cheers

Peter
 
SteelChair
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:52 pm

Surely Airbus and at their safety regulator (EASA) have seen the damage and performed at least a cursory evaluation. If there were a serious safety concern, there would have been almost immediate communication from one or both of them. The abscence of such leads me to believe that a grounding by the Qataris is very premature. I fear that prematurely grounding an aircraft type is a bad precedent.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:03 am

brindabella wrote:
The 787 has surely had lots of issues.



But not this one - at least so far!


It has previous a,net thread viewtopic.php?t=1461737
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:05 am

SteelChair wrote:
Surely Airbus and at their safety regulator (EASA) have seen the damage and performed at least a cursory evaluation. If there were a serious safety concern, there would have been almost immediate communication from one or both of them. The abscence of such leads me to believe that a grounding by the Qataris is very premature. I fear that prematurely grounding an aircraft type is a bad precedent.


There is a big difference between an immediate safety concern requiring action for the entire fleet and not a safety issue at all. Most safety issues take 12 months or so from safety determination until fleet action is published via a service bulletin with airworthiness directive following that. Immediate safety assessment should be done within 20 days, so you are right that Airbus hasn’t decided it is an immediate safety issue requiring fleet interim action. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the 13 planes with damage found are airworthy. It also doesn’t mean that it isn’t a safety issue. Airbus very well could have determined it is a safety issue and is working on a service bulletin with inspection requirements. It’s been a long time since I’ve had access to AirbusWorld, so I can’t look it up but some on this forum can.

It’s also possible that the maintenance program has sufficient coverage via CMRs and AWLs under existing Airworthiness directives so that we won’t see the fallout unless we have access to the A350 maintenance planning document revisions

https://www.regulations.gov/document/FAA-2020-0217-0003
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:31 am

JerseyFlyer wrote:
There is inconsistency between two of the assertions referenced so far in this thread:

1 the degraded "undercoat" is not unexpected but merely premature

2 the lightning strike mesh was exposed

I have difficulty comprehending that exposure of the mesh is "expected"


Here's some additional reading on the coating/painting of composite aircraft structures:

https://www.aero-mag.com/coatings-for-composites/
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:48 am

zeke wrote:
brindabella wrote:
The 787 has surely had lots of issues.



But not this one - at least so far!


It has previous a,net thread viewtopic.php?t=1461737




The complaint by QR is not a paint adhesion issue. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-03/

A direct quote from the QR CEO. "This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:05 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
The complaint by QR is not a paint adhesion issue. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-03/

A direct quote from the QR CEO. "This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday.


Putting the quote in size 200 to yell is not appropriate.

The issue is the same as far as I am aware. Paint is used to describe a process and also the cosmetic layer you see, it normally consists of a base coat and top coat. These days it’s is normally a polyurethane product.

The issue on both the 787 and A350 from what I understand is between the primer and the skin. The primer used on composites is not a paint (ie polyurethane), it is an epoxy. After surface preparation the epoxy primer is applied by the paint trades, and it is applied in the paint hanger, however the maintenance task that deals with the process does not refer to the epoxy primer substance as paint, the overall process from surface preparation to top coat however is called paint. Confused yet ?

Paint process

composite aircraft -> surface preparation/sand -> epoxy primer -> sand -> base polyurethane paint -> sand -> top coat polyurethane paint - > finish

If the polyurethane paint peels, the underlying structure remains protected by the epoxy primer, if the epoxy primer peels, it leaves the underlying composite unprotected. This can result in composite degradation, the composite version of metal corrosion.

The role of the primer is to bond to the composite to provide a liquid and chemical seal, and provide UV protection to the underlying composite, and a metal like finish. The paint (base coat and top coat) is the cosmetic treatment placed on top of this.

The 787 issue as stated in the FAA SAFO 20006 (available online as I stated earlier in this thread) is “damage between the primer and the resin layers on the upper wing”.

My guess is QR is saying to Airbus they want Airbus to repaint the aircraft, and Airbus is saying it’s a maintenance issue, not a manufacturing issue. In the mean time QR has a reason to stop deliveries it has committed to however does not need at the moment. That is just my opinion.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:24 am

zeke wrote:

My guess is QR is saying to Airbus they want Airbus to repaint the aircraft, and Airbus is saying it’s a maintenance issue



Why are you guessing it is a paint issue when the QR CEO is explicitly saying it is not a paint issue. You have been told this by multiple posters and provided direct links and quotes directly at odds with your continued misstatements. This is a fact based forum. The QR problem with the A350 is not a paint issue. Here is the link based factual evidence. Per Al Baker, "This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-03/
Last edited by ElroyJetson on Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:44 am, edited 4 times in total.
 
Virtual737
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:34 am

3rdGen wrote:

China grounded all 737 Max. Qatar is still flying over 30 A350s. If it were a major safety issue there would be a directive. And once China grounded the planes everyone else followed suite very quickly. It isn't the same here.


WayexTDI wrote:
And the 737 MAX grounding was right after 2 crashes almost back-to-back; comparison here is not on the same level...


My comment was not trying to compare any safety impact between this issue and the MAX. It was to show that SteelChair's comment of "Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?" suggests that there are certain countries you might expect to be first in line in doing the right thing and others not so. Other relatively recent events have shown that this is unreliable at best.
 
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3rdGen
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:44 am

Virtual737 wrote:
3rdGen wrote:

China grounded all 737 Max. Qatar is still flying over 30 A350s. If it were a major safety issue there would be a directive. And once China grounded the planes everyone else followed suite very quickly. It isn't the same here.


WayexTDI wrote:
And the 737 MAX grounding was right after 2 crashes almost back-to-back; comparison here is not on the same level...


My comment was not trying to compare any safety impact between this issue and the MAX. It was to show that SteelChair's comment of "Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?" suggests that there are certain countries you might expect to be first in line in doing the right thing and others not so. Other relatively recent events have shown that this is unreliable at best.


Whatever the issue its not a critical safety issue, in fact from the way the press release is worded it seems that the issue is in fact expected to occur but not as soon as it has.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:48 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
Why are you guessing it is a paint issue when the QR CEO is explicitly saying it is not a paint issue.


Please reread my post, I also do not think it is a paint issue.

I went into detail with the difference between polyurethane paint and the epoxy primer. I have been very clear in my post providing a depth of detail.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:10 am

zeke wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
Why are you guessing it is a paint issue when the QR CEO is explicitly saying it is not a paint issue.


Please reread my post, I also do not think it is a paint issue.

I went into detail with the difference between polyurethane paint and the epoxy primer. I have been very clear in my post providing a depth of detail.



Excellent. Agreement is a beautiful thing. I think you would also agree with me that this is likely not a safety issue at this time. Zeke, I think the A350 is a fine aircraft. I do not know what is going on between QR and Airbus. However, there are enough odd things that have happened to raise some serious questions, at least in my mind. In the thread regarding the A350 sent to Toulouse, manufacturing processes used by Boeing and Airbus to manufacture the main composite bodies of the A350 and 787 were discussed. My speculation is this maybe a manufacturing issue, but again, I admit that is my opinion only. I also note that no other regulatory bodies have issued any warning or statements regarding the A350, nor have any other operators made any negative public comments. So this might just be Al Baker posturing, but again I do not know.

Regards.
 
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flee
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:20 am

To me, it would seem that QR is trying to avoid taking more A350 deliveries without penalties. Last year, we saw QR is some financial difficulties and I believe that they are not out of the woods yet. I think that they need to raise some issues so that they have a reason not to take more deliveries.

The Airbus body language is one of non urgent nature. You can bet that if it was safety related, Airbus would have acted quickly. Furthermore, no other airline has taken up the same issue that QR has. So IMHO, this issue is really QR vs Airbus and the A350's "problems" is merely collateral damage.
 
Scotron12
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:32 am

It cannot be a paint issue. LH changed their paint scheme and AFAIK has had no issues. How many times has the Airbus A350 prototypes had their paint scheme changed?

Lack of specific issue from QR and nothing from Airbus is a bit weird. IMO

Rgds
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:41 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
Agreement is a beautiful thing.


As long as you understand I agree is it not an issue with paint (I.e. the cosmetic livery), and as I previously posted I think it is an issue with the paint process and maintenance. They are not the same.

ElroyJetson wrote:
I also note that no other regulatory bodies have issued any warning or statements regarding the A350, nor have any other operators made any negative public comments.


No regulatory authority “have issued any warning or statements”. The maintenance provider in Ireland would be required to submit defect report to the Irish CAA, the maintenance provider in France would be required to submit defect reports to the French CAA, and similar in Qatar to the Qatar CAA.
 
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Polot
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:28 am

Scotron12 wrote:
How many times has the Airbus A350 prototypes had their paint scheme changed?

Not often. Most of the changes you see are the addition/removal of decals, not paint.
 
VV
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:10 pm

3rdGen wrote:
VV wrote:
brindabella wrote:

I have read through and I can;t see where any other operator has actually stripped the paint off like QR did.
Not conclusive - the QR conditions may be unusual.

But that will surely be something any investigation will do.

The other unresolved issue is the exposed mesh.

Big red flag if that is confirmed.

cheers


Why should Qatar's A350 paint be stripped in a different manner than any other A350?

Is Qatar's paint chemical composition different? Or is it Qatar's paint scheme very special?

Something is not clear here.


This is the first time an A350 in service has ever been stripped of its paint.


Really? There have been several A350 that changed operators and thus changed livery.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:22 pm

Scotron12 wrote:
It cannot be a paint issue. LH changed their paint scheme and AFAIK has had no issues. How many times has the Airbus A350 prototypes had their paint scheme changed?

Lack of specific issue from QR and nothing from Airbus is a bit weird. IMO

Rgds


Does Airbus commonly comment publicly on technical issues affecting the fleet? I’m not used to seeing Airbus publicly acknowledge technical issues with the in service fleet. I don’t think silence from Airbus means much
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:10 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Does Airbus commonly comment publicly on technical issues affecting the fleet? I’m not used to seeing Airbus publicly acknowledge technical issues with the in service fleet. I don’t think silence from Airbus means much


They normally don’t do anything via the public, if they are aware of a fleet wide safety issue, they send a telex to all operators (by email these days), and that is followed up by either or both a service bulletin (maintenance action) and an Operations Engineering Bulletins (OEBs, for flight crew actions).

An example of this on the A350 was the drink spill in the cockpit that was previously discussed on here with this thread viewtopic.php?t=1440101 . You will notice a lot of the contributors to that thread were talking about coffee cup holders rather than the actual issue. Airbus published a telex to all operators, an OEB telling crew what to do in the interim, and a service bulletin to install the rubber boots.

This is a pretty common process with all aircraft manufactures as part of the continuing airworthiness responsibility under the TCDS.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:30 pm

Virtual737 wrote:
3rdGen wrote:

China grounded all 737 Max. Qatar is still flying over 30 A350s. If it were a major safety issue there would be a directive. And once China grounded the planes everyone else followed suite very quickly. It isn't the same here.


WayexTDI wrote:
And the 737 MAX grounding was right after 2 crashes almost back-to-back; comparison here is not on the same level...


My comment was not trying to compare any safety impact between this issue and the MAX. It was to show that SteelChair's comment of "Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?" suggests that there are certain countries you might expect to be first in line in doing the right thing and others not so. Other relatively recent events have shown that this is unreliable at best.

My comment was to highlight that the 2 situations are different:
- the 737 MAX was grounded first by China after 2 deadly crashes; the other aviation authorities soon follow;
- the A350 is "partially grounded" by ONE country (so far) after its government-owned CEO is having a fit (so far not substantiated) about ONE frame...
 
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kanban
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:12 am

One thing I notice in all the discussion is nobody knows how big (area wise) the problem is. It maybe some mechanic contaminated the mesh by touching during the installation process, or during transfer to the facility for the epoxy primer application and the epoxy primer didn't stick properly. It might be areas are only finger tip sized and not as big a panic as if an entire panel sloughed off in paint stripping.

I recall a case where freeway transported wing skins were getting contaminated with oil and tire residue because the trailers were open under the load. And Airbus likes to shuttle parts and subassemblies all over the place. :duck:
 
Scotron12
Posts: 577
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:47 am

Delta are getting A350s from LATAM, and Lufthansa has taken some from PAL. Both will require repainting.
 
VV
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:58 am

Quite honestly, I am perplexed by the whole story.

I just don't understand what's going on, but it is probably normal.

Maybe there isn't any issue after all.

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