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

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:18 am

Not sure why anyone is complaining, a 50 mil coat of Epoxy or Vinyl Ester resin will solve all of this, except that probably weighs 5 PSF x a whole lotta surface.

It may just buff right out anyway.
 
RoyalBrunei757
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:12 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Not sure why anyone is complaining, a 50 mil coat of Epoxy or Vinyl Ester resin will solve all of this, except that probably weighs 5 PSF x a whole lotta surface.

It may just buff right out anyway.

I don't really know the details, but my employer is involved in performance coatings, they are now heavily involved with Airbus to rectify the issue. Fixing it, apparently, is not as easily as many here thought of, I am afraid I can't and don't have much details to share.
 
LTEN11
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:44 am

RoyalBrunei757 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Not sure why anyone is complaining, a 50 mil coat of Epoxy or Vinyl Ester resin will solve all of this, except that probably weighs 5 PSF x a whole lotta surface.

It may just buff right out anyway.

I don't really know the details, but my employer is involved in performance coatings, they are now heavily involved with Airbus to rectify the issue. Fixing it, apparently, is not as easily as many here thought of, I am afraid I can't and don't have much details to share.


The little that you have said speaks volumes. If it had been easy as some had implied, QR wouldn't have made an issue about it.

Hopefully this isn't something that's going to be endemic to the 350, could prove very expensive. I'm sure Boeing is watching closely.
 
RoyalBrunei757
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:55 am

LTEN11 wrote:
RoyalBrunei757 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Not sure why anyone is complaining, a 50 mil coat of Epoxy or Vinyl Ester resin will solve all of this, except that probably weighs 5 PSF x a whole lotta surface.

It may just buff right out anyway.

I don't really know the details, but my employer is involved in performance coatings, they are now heavily involved with Airbus to rectify the issue. Fixing it, apparently, is not as easily as many here thought of, I am afraid I can't and don't have much details to share.


The little that you have said speaks volumes. If it had been easy as some had implied, QR wouldn't have made an issue about it.

Hopefully this isn't something that's going to be endemic to the 350, could prove very expensive. I'm sure Boeing is watching closely.

Yes, I guess so too. Al Baker's noise this time is not without merit. I really hope Airbus can iron out the issue at soonest. A350 is the only Airbus widebody program that can sell, A330neo frankly is hanging by the thread as much I love it.

Boeing will most definitely be happy if Airbus crash and burn with QR. 30 - 50 B77XF order in in their bag easily. :P
 
Pelly
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:23 am

RoyalBrunei757 wrote:
Not sure if there is anything to do with the current issue, QR has cancelled MSN 275, 353, 361 (Airbus did not built these frames too), pending for delivery MSN 409, 430, 438, 440, 444, 450.


Not related, QR cancelled 4 A359 in 2017, and like today it was speculated at that time that it was QR over ordering and dealing over capacity but they ordered instead 4 77W and took delivery of them pretty quickly. QR also switched 5 A359 orders to the A35K.
 
Jomar777
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:44 am

bikerthai wrote:
Jomar777 wrote:
Maybe other airlines have indeed reported the issue


I've seen this type of reaction before.

Some airlines are more stickler on cosmetic issues than others. Some airlines are more ameable to composite repair than others.

In the past, UAL did not complain much about composite repair, they do it regularly and have facilities to do it.

Southwest hates composite repair and complained enough that Boeing had to make the 737 NG fan cowl metallic instead of composite (added weight).

It is probably the same in this case. Lufthansa may be just repairing them routinely without squawking just as what Zeke said. Finnair is too small to make waves. And QR is just using it as a bargaining chip.

bt


It could be...

The problem, though, is how often you would need to be taking the aircraft off service and for how long. Also, it does not look good for your branding image to send an aircraft to an airport that looks as though its been rotting somewhere. Passengers might not notice which kind of aircraft they are flying with but they would notice these if pronounced. The old times where you would fly on a B747-200 where you could clearly see where some patches were added is now gone. Even more because a lot of airlines now paint their aircraft in Boring White.

Then, again, there's the safety issue - how long would it be feasible to fly an aircraft with their bodywork exposed to the environment. The paint is not there only to display your colours; like any ordinary car, coach, truck, etc., it is there to protect the bodywork...
 
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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

Thu Dec 02, 2021 3:32 pm

RoyalBrunei757 wrote:
I don't really know the details, but my employer is involved in performance coatings, they are now heavily involved with Airbus to rectify the issue. Fixing it, apparently, is not as easily as many here thought of, I am afraid I can't and don't have much details to share.

Everyone should keep in mind the components are formed in a mold or mandrel and baked at high temperature/pressure in an autoclave.

I would think it is not easy to repair the damage, especially if it is showing up in aerodynamically stressed areas, as AAB said.

Meeting surface smoothness standards is important for performance.

Thus the long stand-off on addressing the problems.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:02 pm

Revelation wrote:
I would think it is not easy to repair the damage, especially if it is showing up in aerodynamically stressed areas, as AAB said.


Ah, I see now why there is no fiberglass top layer. What ever system they are using may be easier to repair than the one with the fiberglass top ply.

bt
 
9Patch
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 5:38 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
At this point, my hope is a solution is quickly found and these issues can be resolved.

According to Wikipedia, there have been 443 A350s delivered so far. Is it safe to assume that all of them will need the fix, whatever it is?

Airbus is currently building A350s at a rate of 5/month. Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?
 
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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

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:10 pm

9Patch wrote:
According to Wikipedia, there have been 443 A350s delivered so far. Is it safe to assume that all of them will need the fix, whatever it is?

No one knows what "the fix" will be. I would not automatically assume every plane needs a "fix". It could be more a preventative approach with a more frequent and detailed inspection program to catch any symptoms early and treat them before they become a major issue. It could be that this is why some airlines are not seeing problems, they are just being more proactive than QR has been.

9Patch wrote:
Airbus is currently building A350s at a rate of 5/month. Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?

Boeing is still building 787s knowing of all the various shim/tolerance issues. They presume they will get fixed before delivery. Since no one knows what "the fix" is for A350, I presume Airbus will just keep building them. I do begin to wonder about customer's willingness to accept delivery, though.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:12 pm

9Patch wrote:
Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?


Because both the airlines and Airbus need to generate revenue in order to pay for the fixes. Having he airplanes sitting there does no one any good considering they may have a few years before the problem shows up.

Airlines will accept the planes if there is a clear path to the resolution with proper planning and compensation. What they hate are uncertainty and an unrealistic plan.

bt
Last edited by bikerthai on Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Opus99
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:14 pm

Revelation wrote:
9Patch wrote:
According to Wikipedia, there have been 443 A350s delivered so far. Is it safe to assume that all of them will need the fix, whatever it is?

No one knows what "the fix" will be. I would not automatically assume every plane needs a "fix". It could be more a preventative approach with a more frequent and detailed inspection program to catch any symptoms early and treat them before they become a major issue. It could be that this is why some airlines are not seeing problems, they are just being more proactive than QR has been.

9Patch wrote:
Airbus is currently building A350s at a rate of 5/month. Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?

Boeing is still building 787s knowing of all the various shim/tolerance issues. They presume they will get fixed before delivery. Since no one knows what "the fix" is for A350, I presume Airbus will just keep building them. I do begin to wonder about customer's willingness to accept delivery, though.

There is a rumour in the 350 thread that BA is holding off deliveries of 350s based on this. They have not had deliveries of the 350 for a year and the latest one due to be delivered keeps flying in and out of storage which is true.

What I cannot confirm if it’s related to this surface issue
 
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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

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:26 pm

Opus99 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
9Patch wrote:
According to Wikipedia, there have been 443 A350s delivered so far. Is it safe to assume that all of them will need the fix, whatever it is?

No one knows what "the fix" will be. I would not automatically assume every plane needs a "fix". It could be more a preventative approach with a more frequent and detailed inspection program to catch any symptoms early and treat them before they become a major issue. It could be that this is why some airlines are not seeing problems, they are just being more proactive than QR has been.

9Patch wrote:
Airbus is currently building A350s at a rate of 5/month. Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?

Boeing is still building 787s knowing of all the various shim/tolerance issues. They presume they will get fixed before delivery. Since no one knows what "the fix" is for A350, I presume Airbus will just keep building them. I do begin to wonder about customer's willingness to accept delivery, though.

There is a rumour in the 350 thread that BA is holding off deliveries of 350s based on this. They have not had deliveries of the 350 for a year and the latest one due to be delivered keeps flying in and out of storage which is true.

What I cannot confirm if it’s related to this surface issue

And it should be noted QR has a 25% ownership stake in IAG. They did warn of commercial consequences…
 
ABMUC
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:15 pm

Can anybody claiming every unit is affected provide proof? The Statement that Airlines accepting faulty units is just plain wrong.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:57 pm

Can't really say its defective as the design works as delivered. It's just does not last as long as predicted, so it becomes a maintenance and warrantee issue. Kind of of like to getting new brake pad design that wear out faster than anticipated.

bt
 
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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

Thu Dec 02, 2021 9:28 pm

I take it the issue is similar to a car starting to rust, if you remove the rust early and repaint the the area further damage can be controlled, if you wait until the area is rusted thru a repair becomes expensive. It appears that most airlines repaired/repainted the damage before it became serious. If nothing is done water entering the affected area will cause serious damage by expanding when freezing and thus cracking the surrounding composite layers. So likely there is an area where paint damage does occur, and Airbus is aware of it, but the damage Qatar is experiencing could have been avoided by early repairs i.e. repainting. That early paint issue is likely covered by warranty, but leaving it unattended to allow it to cause the serious damage is likely the issue being disputed by Airbus and Qatar.

Like Zeke mentioned in an earlier post his airline is repairing all paint damage immediately, so consequential problems can be avoided. Likely also standard procedure for other airlines that have been mentioned as having paint issues.
 
marcelh
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 9:53 pm

Heavierthanair wrote:
Like Zeke mentioned in an earlier post his airline is repairing all paint damage immediately, so consequential problems can be avoided. Likely also standard procedure for other airlines that have been mentioned as having paint issues.


So the question is of this is a standard procedure specified by Airbus or not.
 
geomap
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 10:09 pm

Heavierthanair wrote:
Like Zeke mentioned in an earlier post his airline is repairing all paint damage immediately, so consequential problems can be avoided. Likely also standard procedure for other airlines that have been mentioned as having paint issues.


Can you provide a link to, or quote this post? I have read many of this users posts and while there are plenty of posts that describe this situation as cosmetic or routine maintenance, and plenty that challenge the veracity of Qatar Airways, I have not seen any that describe his/her experience maintaining the carbon fiber or paint of an A350 aircraft. This poster has also stated that the pictures look like lightning strikes and the damage would have simple to fix if addressed in a timely manner. These are significant claims, that are confusing to me given the other information in this thread. I'd really like to understand if this poster is speaking from actual experience maintaining the paint and surface of an actual an A350 or just speculating. Thank you
 
KingOrGod
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 10:20 pm

bikerthai wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
And QR is just using it as a bargaining chip.


I take that back. QA is being grounded because of their regulator.

bt


Isn't that line a bit blurry there? Can/does the tail wag the dog?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:03 pm

geomap wrote:
I'd really like to understand if this poster is speaking from actual experience maintaining the paint and surface of an actual an A350 or just speculating. Thank you


Zeke is a pilot for a major airline, so he would have seen lightning strike damage.

I've seen pictures of lightning strike damage on composite panels with metal mesh but only on test panels.

The speculation of lightning strike would only be a source/initial impact, the mechanism of the paint damage to me is more related to moisture ingression which could be post impact. A fine point, but nevertheless a posibility.

KingOrGod wrote:
that line a bit blurry there? Can/does the tail wag the dog?


I thought about it when I wrote it. But I wasn't going to go there :angel:

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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 12:11 am

bikerthai wrote:
geomap wrote:
I'd really like to understand if this poster is speaking from actual experience maintaining the paint and surface of an actual an A350 or just speculating. Thank you


Zeke is a pilot for a major airline, so he would have seen lightning strike damage.
bt


Thanks for the response. After the posts on lightning strikes I spent some time out of curiosity searching for images, examples, or research on lightning strikes on composite materials, and on the A350. And I didn't find anything that looked like the photos provided. I also could not find any example of where the copper mesh is not engulfed in some material like resin or fiberglass - as the photos seem to show. I don't know what that all means, but Its not clear to me that all this is cosmetic or routine as has been posted. I guess the only thing I really learned is that the B787 and A350 are very different in the approach to lightning protection. To the point where it seems logical that the maintenance and repair procedures would be quite different. So my question is 2 fold:

1) Does the poster have direct experience with composite maintenance on the A350? If so then I think his/her posts would carry some weight. If not then I don't know what to think.

2) Is my understanding correct that the B787 and A350 are so different that the painting, maintenance, and repair procedures of the composite parts would be very different?

Thanks!
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 12:26 am

9Patch wrote:
Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?


There are a couple of false assumptions in your statement. These issues were not present when the aircraft was delivered.

Customer airlines have mechanics at the assembly plants that monitor the assembly of all new aircraft, if there is something they dont like in the process they have these defects rectified. We know QR have made noises about their aircraft out of one plant during assembly before, they refused delivery of all aircraft from that plant. If you were familiar with acceptance procedures you would know that maintenance mechanics from the customer airlines go over every inch of a new aircraft during the formal acceptance process, inside and out and have any defects rectified before acceptance. It is well know that QR is very fastidious with this, there is media articles where they have refused aircraft for very minor things.

Once aircraft leave the factory they are maintained by the customer airline, in accordance with the customer airlines procedures. Airlines have different procedure approved by the local regulator. The local regulator oversees maintenance by issuing the certificate of airworthiness. If aircraft maintenance procedures are not followed, the regulator will suspend or withdraw a certificate of airworthiness, thus grounding an aircraft.

The state of design or certification in general will not get involved for maintenance related issues, we have seen statements from various agencies that this is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue.

geomap wrote:
These are significant claims, that are confusing to me given the other information in this thread. I'd really like to understand if this poster is speaking from actual experience maintaining the paint and surface of an actual an A350 or just speculating. Thank you


This is from my personal experience, it takes 3 people around 12 hours (36 man hours) to perform a lightning strike inspection in accordance with the Airbus AMM (aircraft maintenance manual) on the A350. The inspection is normally triggered either through flight crew report, or post flight walk around by mechanics. Areas are normally photographed and taped up with further assessment and repaired once each area has been assessed it is repaired in accordance with the SRM (structural repair manual). Lightning is high energy, it will typically leave a burn mark on entry and exit.

Pease see this link (http://aerossurance.com/safety-manageme ... ng-strike/) for some NTSB (hence public domain) photos of lightning entry and exit on a composite airliner (N26906), this strike resulted in the loss of several cockpit displays.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:44 am

zeke wrote:
This is from my personal experience, it takes 3 people around 12 hours (36 man hours) to perform a lightning strike inspection in accordance with the Airbus AMM (aircraft maintenance manual) on the A350. The inspection is normally triggered either through flight crew report, or post flight walk around by mechanics. Areas are normally photographed and taped up with further assessment and repaired once each area has been assessed it is repaired in accordance with the SRM (structural repair manual). Lightning is high energy, it will typically leave a burn mark on entry and exit.

Pease see this link (http://aerossurance.com/safety-manageme ... ng-strike/) for some NTSB (hence public domain) photos of lightning entry and exit on a composite airliner (N26906), this strike resulted in the loss of several cockpit displays.


1) Drones are now speeding up the inspection process considerably (1 hr for drone to cover an A350). Engineers review video/pictures, then access the areas of interest.

https://mainblades.com/a350-lightning-s ... nspection/

2) The pictures of the B787 in the NTSB document do not appear to me to look much like any of the A350 pictures posted by Reuters. There are no burn marks on the A350 pictures, and its not just isolated holes here in there...

3) The number of aircraft affected and timescale of occurrence just at QR is way more than inspections for lightning strikes an average of once or twice a year per A350 (see referenced article above).
 
Pelly
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:52 am

So we are back again with the allegation or assumption that:

- This is due to lightning damage.
- That this issue was left un-repaired until it got so bad.

QR is an almost 30 year old airline with more than 200 aircraft in its fleet, if they have been a history of skimping on lightning strike damage or repair wouldn't this issue be more widespread and appear on other types? The A350 isn't the only composite plane they have, and they operated aircraft with major composite structures since pretty much the beginning. Airbus itself didn't suggest it even though they suggested other possible reasons in the past such as paint stripping or the extreme temperature swings in DOH. The lessors didn't suggest it, they have had a look at these A350s and at least one of the lessors of the grounded A350 leased additional aircraft to them AFTER the grounding.

Same thing goes about the issue left until it got so bad, that again isn't the case at all. There is no evidence that prior repairs were not done or that this was a sudden issue or that they have not reported to AIrbus and worked on the issue when the resulting issues were more minor. Airbus itself was quoted as QR being more affected due to the temperature swings. For some the issue appears as issues with the paint while the mesh layer remains intact.

Finally if the issue is simply a case of multiple unrepaired lightning strikes that are then left and not dealt with the matter would be concluded and Airbus would not be forming working groups or working on updating the lightning protection design.

Just an example of a lightning incident on a QR 787 that's on an open source website :

"A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-800, registration A7-BCD performing flight QR-27 from Doha (Qatar) to Edinburgh,SC (UK), was struck by lightning while on approach to Edinburgh. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Edinburgh's runway 24.

The return flight QR-28 needed to be cancelled.

The occurrence aircraft is still on the ground in Edinburgh 35 hours after landing.

A passenger waiting for the return flight reported ground staff at Edinburgh told them the aircraft had been hit by lightning on approach to Edinburgh and needed to be examined by engineers."


http://www.avherald.com/h?article=47e9cd5c&opt=0
Last edited by Pelly on Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Pelly
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:59 am

Here a passenger sued QR after her flight was cancelled due to the incoming flight suffering lightning damage:

Qatar Airways provided the court with:

a meteorological report detailing the weather conditions at Sao Paulo Airport during the landing; and
a maintenance report detailing the need to cancel the remainder of the flight.

Qatar Airways also proved to the court that the aircraft's captain had reported the accident and the damage to maintenance services which had, after an exhaustive inspection, determined that there was damage not only to the paint but also to the structure of the fuselage.

According to the Qatar Airways operation manual, the aircraft's condition had prevented it from continuing the flight safely: 32 holes were detected in the fuselage (two of which were of such magnitude that they would have prevented the aircraft from flying). Maintenance work had been performed uninterruptedly and the aircraft was released from service for 23.5 hours.


https://www.lexology.com/commentary/avi ... f-contract
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:58 am

I don't think anyone is suggesting all the damage shown in the various Reuters provided photos are due to lightning strikes. Zeke made clear in an earlier post he was by no means suggesting this was solely a lightning strike issue.

One of the photos looks to me as if the initial damage could have been due to a lightning strike. But I want to make clear I am not an expert.

Regardless, Airbus has stated they think the issue may be related to the underlying copper mesh used for lightning mitigation. They are looking at alternate materials as a long term fix. I have no reason to disbelieve them.

I have publicly asked if QR has a reputation for poor maintenance practices. The response back stated both QR and all the ME3 generally have an excellent reputation for maintaining their aircraft. If anyone has a different understanding please speak to it.

This issue will get solved. It is no doubt embarrassing to Airbus, but it does not appear to impact airworthiness in the near term.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:37 am

I agree that the photos showed by Reuters is not lightning.

The following link has pictures of typical lightning damage; along with some great discussion on the issue. In some cases it can expose the metal mesh. But, usually there is a series of holes with burn marks. I don't see any liner cracks.

https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aerom ... 2012_q4/4/

Have a great day,
 
TC957
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:44 am

I don't recall Concorde suffering from paint related troubles, despite the fuselage " stretching " during supersonic speeds and the heat friction that caused.
Yes, I know fuselage construction was vastly different to an A350 but the point about the paint remains.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 11:15 am

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?


There are a couple of false assumptions in your statement. These issues were not present when the aircraft was delivered.

Customer airlines have mechanics at the assembly plants that monitor the assembly of all new aircraft, if there is something they dont like in the process they have these defects rectified. We know QR have made noises about their aircraft out of one plant during assembly before, they refused delivery of all aircraft from that plant. If you were familiar with acceptance procedures you would know that maintenance mechanics from the customer airlines go over every inch of a new aircraft during the formal acceptance process, inside and out and have any defects rectified before acceptance. It is well know that QR is very fastidious with this, there is media articles where they have refused aircraft for very minor things.

Once aircraft leave the factory they are maintained by the customer airline, in accordance with the customer airlines procedures. Airlines have different procedure approved by the local regulator. The local regulator oversees maintenance by issuing the certificate of airworthiness. If aircraft maintenance procedures are not followed, the regulator will suspend or withdraw a certificate of airworthiness, thus grounding an aircraft.

The state of design or certification in general will not get involved for maintenance related issues, we have seen statements from various agencies that this is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue.

geomap wrote:
These are significant claims, that are confusing to me given the other information in this thread. I'd really like to understand if this poster is speaking from actual experience maintaining the paint and surface of an actual an A350 or just speculating. Thank you


This is from my personal experience, it takes 3 people around 12 hours (36 man hours) to perform a lightning strike inspection in accordance with the Airbus AMM (aircraft maintenance manual) on the A350. The inspection is normally triggered either through flight crew report, or post flight walk around by mechanics. Areas are normally photographed and taped up with further assessment and repaired once each area has been assessed it is repaired in accordance with the SRM (structural repair manual). Lightning is high energy, it will typically leave a burn mark on entry and exit.

Pease see this link (http://aerossurance.com/safety-manageme ... ng-strike/) for some NTSB (hence public domain) photos of lightning entry and exit on a composite airliner (N26906), this strike resulted in the loss of several cockpit displays.

I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 12:53 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.


We do, so do other airlines. We also have employees (field service representatives) of the OEM airframe and engine manufacturers within our airline HQ.

LH offers this service on a consultancy basis to banks and lessors who own aircraft in production
https://www.lufthansa-technik.com/aircr ... inspection
 
9Patch
Posts: 689
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:03 pm

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?


There are a couple of false assumptions in your statement. These issues were not present when the aircraft was delivered.

Customer airlines have mechanics at the assembly plants that monitor the assembly of all new aircraft, if there is something they dont like in the process they have these defects rectified. We know QR have made noises about their aircraft out of one plant during assembly before, they refused delivery of all aircraft from that plant. If you were familiar with acceptance procedures you would know that maintenance mechanics from the customer airlines go over every inch of a new aircraft during the formal acceptance process, inside and out and have any defects rectified before acceptance. It is well know that QR is very fastidious with this, there is media articles where they have refused aircraft for very minor things.

Straw man argument. The airplane would look fine at delivery. The problem would not become apparent until later.

Once aircraft leave the factory they are maintained by the customer airline, in accordance with the customer airlines procedures. Airlines have different procedure approved by the local regulator. The local regulator oversees maintenance by issuing the certificate of airworthiness. If aircraft maintenance procedures are not followed, the regulator will suspend or withdraw a certificate of airworthiness, thus grounding an aircraft.


The state of design or certification in general will not get involved for maintenance related issues, we have seen statements from various agencies that this is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue.

You keep making the assumption that this is just a cosmetic issue, not a design flaw. That may be a false assumption on your part.
 
xwb777
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:11 pm

According to Alex Macheras, the French President Emmanuel Macron is in Doha to visit the Qatari President and to discuss the dispute between QR and Airbus.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:20 pm

TC957 wrote:
I don't recall Concorde suffering from paint related troubles, despite the fuselage " stretching " during supersonic speeds and the heat friction that caused.
Yes, I know fuselage construction was vastly different to an A350 but the point about the paint remains.


It also has to do with how well the paint adhere to the substrate. With aluminum, the primer does a good job. With copper, not so much. With titanium, good luck with that.

Even with good primer, if you get water under the layers and get freeze/thaw, you get damage.

Decades ago, when they began using composite honeycomb panel, there was a material that was notorious for wicking moisture. Once the moisture wicks into the honeycomb, it condensed. Water would accumulate and would freeze and bust the panel.

They solved this by better sealing the edges, stop this wicking material short of the edge, improve sealing of fastener holes, etc.

bt
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:00 pm

Polot wrote:
Then the question becomes why is QR only neglecting/improperly repairing A350 lightning damage and not 787 lightning damage (which is also a composite fuselage and has been in fleet longer) or any of their other fleets.


Procedures used on the 787 are not the same as those used on a 777 or an A350, each aircraft type has its own maintenance procedures. Applying the maintenance procedure for the incorrect type has been known to happen. Also under EASA Part 66 which is the licence used in Qatar the licensed mechanics would have B1 and B2 and also a type rating for each different type they are working on. It is not unusual to have mechanics that are not licensed working under the supervision of one that does, there are tasks only licensed mechanics are supposed to perform, and only those they are type rated on.
 
ABMUC
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:07 pm

9Patch wrote:
zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Why would they continue to build and deliver them if they will need to apply an expensive fix later?


There are a couple of false assumptions in your statement. These issues were not present when the aircraft was delivered.

Customer airlines have mechanics at the assembly plants that monitor the assembly of all new aircraft, if there is something they dont like in the process they have these defects rectified. We know QR have made noises about their aircraft out of one plant during assembly before, they refused delivery of all aircraft from that plant. If you were familiar with acceptance procedures you would know that maintenance mechanics from the customer airlines go over every inch of a new aircraft during the formal acceptance process, inside and out and have any defects rectified before acceptance. It is well know that QR is very fastidious with this, there is media articles where they have refused aircraft for very minor things.

Straw man argument. The airplane would look fine at delivery. The problem would not become apparent until later.

Once aircraft leave the factory they are maintained by the customer airline, in accordance with the customer airlines procedures. Airlines have different procedure approved by the local regulator. The local regulator oversees maintenance by issuing the certificate of airworthiness. If aircraft maintenance procedures are not followed, the regulator will suspend or withdraw a certificate of airworthiness, thus grounding an aircraft.


The state of design or certification in general will not get involved for maintenance related issues, we have seen statements from various agencies that this is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue.

You keep making the assumption that this is just a cosmetic issue, not a design flaw. That may be a false assumption on your part.


As false as may be your assumption that it is a design flaw.
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:07 pm

I remain unconvinced that QR has "neglected" anything - it is simply not their style to fly an aircraft with the level of visible damage shown in the published pictures.

I suggest those pictures are of panels initially exhibiting superficial surface damage, that have subsequently been subject to intrusive investigation to reveal what lies underneath.
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:14 pm

zeke wrote:
Polot wrote:
Then the question becomes why is QR only neglecting/improperly repairing A350 lightning damage and not 787 lightning damage (which is also a composite fuselage and has been in fleet longer) or any of their other fleets.


Procedures used on the 787 are not the same as those used on a 777 or an A350, each aircraft type has its own maintenance procedures. Applying the maintenance procedure for the incorrect type has been known to happen. Also under EASA Part 66 which is the licence used in Qatar the licensed mechanics would have B1 and B2 and also a type rating for each different type they are working on. It is not unusual to have mechanics that are not licensed working under the supervision of one that does, there are tasks only licensed mechanics are supposed to perform, and only those they are type rated on.

The number of grounded QR planes suggests that if lightning strikes were involved this is more than some mechanics applying the wrong fix which one would hope would only be an isolated incident or two at most.

I’m aware that each type has its own procedures. It’s entirely possible Airbus’s procedure does not properly rectify all the damage, with this most overt in extreme temperatures where the metal lightning protection grid can expand or contract more. This could be why Airbus is looking into changing the grid as mentioned in the article.
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:32 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I remain unconvinced that QR has "neglected" anything - it is simply not their style to fly an aircraft with the level of visible damage shown in the published pictures.


The photos that were in that article, I don’t think any of them would be readily visible. I believe the photos are taken relatively close up where the sense of scale is hard to visualize. I can only go by the relative size of knowing how big a static discharge is, or the surround on a window. When walking around an A350 static discharges just look like fine hairs from the ground. I could never make out the shape of the fastener head or the direction of the thread from the ground. Both are easy to see in that photo.

In this presentation you can see the areas and frequency lightning damage to A350s has been reported to Airbus from operators, and some photos of the damage. Without a tape measure next to the damage it is not easy to understand the scale involved.

https://flightsafety.org/wp-content/upl ... ternal.pdf
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:43 pm

zeke wrote:
I still remember the days mechanics coming out to meet aircraft with thermal imagers to look for black spots in the sandwich, which was ice contained in the structure.


Did they drill a few holes, drain the melting water into a bucket, then patch up the hole?

zeke wrote:
Without a tape measure next to the damage it is not easy to understand the scale involved.


:scared: I never comprehend the scale of these large wide body until I see them at the airport next to the 737/A320.

bt
 
bpatus297
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:18 pm

Heavierthanair wrote:
I take it the issue is similar to a car starting to rust, if you remove the rust early and repaint the the area further damage can be controlled, if you wait until the area is rusted thru a repair becomes expensive. It appears that most airlines repaired/repainted the damage before it became serious. If nothing is done water entering the affected area will cause serious damage by expanding when freezing and thus cracking the surrounding composite layers. So likely there is an area where paint damage does occur, and Airbus is aware of it, but the damage Qatar is experiencing could have been avoided by early repairs i.e. repainting. That early paint issue is likely covered by warranty, but leaving it unattended to allow it to cause the serious damage is likely the issue being disputed by Airbus and Qatar.

Like Zeke mentioned in an earlier post his airline is repairing all paint damage immediately, so consequential problems can be avoided. Likely also standard procedure for other airlines that have been mentioned as having paint issues.


But what if the airlines have to paint these areas much faster than expected? I could see an airline getting upset if this is going to be an ongoing issue of painting that is possibly (unknown) much more accelerated than expected. Especially with a plane at the A350 price point.
Last edited by bpatus297 on Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
bpatus297
Posts: 425
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:24 pm

zeke wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.


We do, so do other airlines. We also have employees (field service representatives) of the OEM airframe and engine manufacturers within our airline HQ.

LH offers this service on a consultancy basis to banks and lessors who own aircraft in production
https://www.lufthansa-technik.com/aircr ... inspection


Are those mechanics assigned to the respective OEM or are do they drop in on occasion and do inspections? Genuinely just curious.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:44 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
zeke wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.


We do, so do other airlines. We also have employees (field service representatives) of the OEM airframe and engine manufacturers within our airline HQ.

LH offers this service on a consultancy basis to banks and lessors who own aircraft in production
https://www.lufthansa-technik.com/aircr ... inspection


Are those mechanics assigned to the respective OEM or are do they drop in on occasion and do inspections? Genuinely just curious.

I’ve never heard of mechanics or inspectors being at Boeing, Airbus nor OEM and I’ve worked maintenance for 20 years.

Now QA and inspectors (Management) do the acceptable checks before delivery.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:45 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
Are those mechanics assigned to the respective OEM or are do they drop in on occasion and do inspections? Genuinely just curious


They may have been mechanics at one time, but technically they probably belong to the purchasing QA organization and are on-site at the factory.

On the military side, we have a Navy rep at our factory that keeps an eye on all the discrepancies and repairs that are done to the airplane.

bt
 
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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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 4:55 pm

zeke wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
I remain unconvinced that QR has "neglected" anything - it is simply not their style to fly an aircraft with the level of visible damage shown in the published pictures.


The photos that were in that article, I don’t think any of them would be readily visible. I believe the photos are taken relatively close up where the sense of scale is hard to visualize. I can only go by the relative size of knowing how big a static discharge is, or the surround on a window. When walking around an A350 static discharges just look like fine hairs from the ground. I could never make out the shape of the fastener head or the direction of the thread from the ground. Both are easy to see in that photo.

In this presentation you can see the areas and frequency lightning damage to A350s has been reported to Airbus from operators, and some photos of the damage. Without a tape measure next to the damage it is not easy to understand the scale involved.

https://flightsafety.org/wp-content/upl ... ternal.pdf


The only scale mentioned in the Reuters article was a reference to LH that said they had a damaged area that was a meter square. That is quite large. The scale of the photos in the pics is unknown.
 
9Patch
Posts: 689
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 5:11 pm

zeke wrote:
Polot wrote:
Then the question becomes why is QR only neglecting/improperly repairing A350 lightning damage and not 787 lightning damage (which is also a composite fuselage and has been in fleet longer) or any of their other fleets.


Procedures used on the 787 are not the same as those used on a 777 or an A350, each aircraft type has its own maintenance procedures. Applying the maintenance procedure for the incorrect type has been known to happen. Also under EASA Part 66 which is the licence used in Qatar the licensed mechanics would have B1 and B2 and also a type rating for each different type they are working on. It is not unusual to have mechanics that are not licensed working under the supervision of one that does, there are tasks only licensed mechanics are supposed to perform, and only those they are type rated on.

Another straw man. He didn't say they were the same.
 
Spetsnaz55
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:38 am

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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 5:26 pm

zeke wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.


We do, so do other airlines. We also have employees (field service representatives) of the OEM airframe and engine manufacturers within our airline HQ.

LH offers this service on a consultancy basis to banks and lessors who own aircraft in production
https://www.lufthansa-technik.com/aircr ... inspection



They are called customer representatives and they do FOD walks and shake down at all parts of the airplane build. Qatar and Emirates are 2 of the most pickiest.
 
smartplane
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 5:50 pm

Spetsnaz55 wrote:
zeke wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
I’ve worked over 20 years in business in maintenance, we’ve NEVER had mechanics at Boeing nor Airbus monitoring the building of planes.

I’ve worked for Midway, United, Piedmont and US Airways.

Mechanics repair airplanes they don’t assemble them. Nor are they present during acceptance of new planes.

Now at MRO there is a management inspector to check the work.


We do, so do other airlines. We also have employees (field service representatives) of the OEM airframe and engine manufacturers within our airline HQ.

LH offers this service on a consultancy basis to banks and lessors who own aircraft in production
https://www.lufthansa-technik.com/aircr ... inspection



They are called customer representatives and they do FOD walks and shake down at all parts of the airplane build. Qatar and Emirates are 2 of the most pickiest.

Some have their own employees involved, some hire third parties and others rely on documents certifying test results, condition and specification compliance (sometimes issued by the OEM).

Some like EK and QR use all three. And they are also represented at engine OEM's too. Some lessors are also very proactive. In some cases the OEM has to put up with scrutiny by the operator and lessor.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are other customers, especially for volume NB deliveries, that seem as interested as an international rental company receiving new cars and trucks every day.

These proactive customers don't take product with any identified defects. Zero. Promises to fix later, in the field, is not part of their vocabulary. These customers should be applauded for raising standards.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:28 pm

smartplane wrote:
These proactive customers don't take product with any identified defects. Zero.


Yep, I've heard of situation where they would strip off and reapply the decorative laminate on a monument for the smallest of wrinkle just because they know the customer will not accept it

bt
 
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Revelation
Posts: 27396
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

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

Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:41 pm

QR leasing 4 77W from CX:

https://livefromalounge.com/qatar-airwa ... -aircraft/

Wonder it the cost of this will eventually end up on Airbus's tab?
 
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JerseyFlyer
Posts: 1861
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:02 pm

Opus99 wrote:
There is a rumour in the 350 thread that BA is holding off deliveries of 350s based on this. They have not had deliveries of the 350 for a year and the latest one due to be delivered keeps flying in and out of storage which is true.

What I cannot confirm if it’s related to this surface issue

Has IB taken recent deliveries? IAG orders for both BA and IB.

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