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Flflyer83
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AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:33 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transpor ... -airlines/

— American flew a plane with a broken emergency-evacuation slide for nearly three years before telling the FAA
— no risk assessment was done for a plane that had missing engine parts and improperly installed struts holding the engines in place. The plane made 1,002 flights “in an unairworthy condition,”
— in 171 of 185 of cases that it examined, FAA inspectors took American’s word and accepted airline analyses “that did not identify the true root cause of the problem
— In nearly two dozen cases, the FAA closed compliance cases before American fixed the problems
— In 2015, the FAA shifted its method of ensuring safety from enforcement to working cooperatively with airlines. In that time, the number of enforcement actions against American dropped from 572 to 31
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:32 pm

I wonder how typical these problems are. This is not AA inspection, this is inspection of FAA oversight, so a tip of an iceberg is exposed.
2.5 years with slide inop or 1000 cycles with incorrect engine install, or no inspection after birdstrike sounds like nobody actually cares.
And this certainly sheds some light on "shady third world maintenance" context.
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:47 pm

I am shocked that I may be forced to put Allegiant higher on my "fly" list now than AA...
 
freakyrat
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:35 am

KFLLCFII wrote:
I am shocked that I may be forced to put Allegiant higher on my "fly" list now than AA...


Allegiant is flying an all Airbus A320 family fleet of aircraft including 20 brand new aircraft. All Airbus aircraft have onboard diagnostics much like your automobile and report problems to Allegiant maintenance as well as Airbus.
 
sadde
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:41 am

Truly just the tip of the iceberg, and it's not just AA. The sheer amount of paperwork involved is obscene. Things will always slip through the cracks and the FAA is a completely inept agency that's understaffed to boot.
 
JohanTally
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:59 am

freakyrat wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
I am shocked that I may be forced to put Allegiant higher on my "fly" list now than AA...


Allegiant is flying an all Airbus A320 family fleet of aircraft including 20 brand new aircraft. All Airbus aircraft have onboard diagnostics much like your automobile and report problems to Allegiant maintenance as well as Airbus.

AA is the largest Airbus A320 series operator in the world with the same diagnostic tools you mention so that's not the issue. The problem seems to be AA maintenance having a lack of oversight and quality control. Hopefully this will shed some light on the deficiency's within their current practices and lead to a safer maintenance program.
 
N47
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:00 am

sadde wrote:
FAA is a completely inept agency that's understaffed to boot.


While the matter in question is serious your response is a little over dramatic. Yes the agency is understaffed, but to say its inept is a little tough. The US has one of the safest and most efficient airspaces in the world and given its size thats not something that should be overlooked. This is not due solely to the FAA but to the collaborative strategy it takes with all the stakeholders, and yes that sometimes does not work like it should. When the pandemic is over i invite u to visit a FAA facility to see what the agency does beyond ATC and safety inspectors.

At the moment i believe the FAA is understaffed in terms of safety inspectors, they have tons of recruitment ads on social media for them.

I am disappointed in AA and the people who let this happen. Its unfair to the pax and the rest of the aviation community who take safety as serious as it should be.

Not too long ago AA also used non etops airbus to fly to hawaii from lax.
 
DLASFlyer
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:09 am

The problems are concerning but let's not forget the last fatal US crash was in 2009. About to hit 20 years since the last mainline crash.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:36 am

freakyrat wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
I am shocked that I may be forced to put Allegiant higher on my "fly" list now than AA...


Allegiant is flying an all Airbus A320 family fleet of aircraft including 20 brand new aircraft. All Airbus aircraft have onboard diagnostics much like your automobile and report problems to Allegiant maintenance as well as Airbus.


OBD is not a mechanic, nor an inspector. It also cannot evaluate every situation. It is a system that raises its hand and says “look at me” when something it can detect is out of its tolerance. It cannot tell you that a slide is defective, it cannot tell you that an engine is mounted incorrectly, it cannot tell you that an inspection was actually carried out. There are a few things it can do and a million things it can’t.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:27 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/10/22/faa-oversight-american-airlines/
However, the FAA also defended its oversight approach, characterizing it as a “risk management-based approach that has sustained an exemplary safety record.”
In some instances, the IG’s findings mirror those in previous examinations focused on the FAA’s oversight of maintenance practices at Allegiant Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Those reviews also identified shortcomings in training and the agency’s ability to ensure carriers were taking actions to remedy problems cited by inspectors.
Lax FAA oversight allowed Southwest to put millions of passengers at risk, IG says.
American Airlines said Friday it welcomed the scrutiny and emphasized that safety guides every decision at the airline.
“In addition to the FAA, we are in constant communication with other regulators and welcome their review and feedback,” American said in a statement. “We plan to work with the FAA to ensure we take positive action and continuously refine and improve our safety controls.”".


I guess that for those that do not read the article, let's highlight a consideration of that report - that this does indeed mirrors similar reports of bot Allegiant and Southwest.

AA's comments confirm their commitment to improvement, and their welcoming of the scrutiny is impressive, considering the urge to run and negate bad press.

I also agree with the FAA, in that the risk-management based approach has sustained an exemplary safety record. Room to change, and make better - sure! Still did a great job? Yes, also.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:36 am

To better explain what seems to be the root cause of these errors...

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/faa-oversight-american-airlines-flawed-watchdog
The inspector general’s office said that in 171 of 185 of cases that it examined, FAA inspectors took American’s word and accepted airline analyses "that did not identify the true root cause of the problem." In nearly two dozen cases, the FAA closed compliance cases before American fixed the problems, the report said. The report also said FAA didn’t train inspectors to judge whether American’s safety-management system is effective. Those are top-down systems that are supposed to help identify and fix potential safety problems. The FAA required airlines to adopt such systems in 2018.

American has about 9,000 certificated mechanics and aircraft inspectors at stations in the U.S. and around the world, with its largest maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The FAA has about 60 inspectors in Texas and Pennsylvania to oversee American’s maintenance facilities. That ratio means that the FAA relies heavily on the airline’s safety-management system to prevent unsafe planes from flying. In 2015, the FAA shifted its method of ensuring safety from enforcement to working cooperatively with airlines. In that time, the number of enforcement actions against American dropped from 572 to 31. Incidents that were previously treated as enforcement matters were routinely classified as "compliance actions," in which the airline agrees to make changes.


So, to clarify - most experts are pointing to the SMS (the Safety Management System)'s effectiveness is at question, with, all over - 'not being able to identify the true root cause of the problem' - whether via a lack of training, or due to classification errors - as the now identified major issues to change.

For those better acquainted with how these processes go next (how did it go forward, for Allegiant, and/or for Southwest)? How does this differ? What changes could be made at AA? Apart from training, what other options could assist - and how will this affect the way that SMSs are used, nationwide?
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:47 am

kalvado wrote:
I wonder how typical these problems are. This is not AA inspection, this is inspection of FAA oversight, so a tip of an iceberg is exposed.
2.5 years with slide inop or 1000 cycles with incorrect engine install, or no inspection after birdstrike sounds like nobody actually cares.
And this certainly sheds some light on "shady third world maintenance" context.

It was the correct engine, there was a bushing missing on the pylon.
 
alfa164
Posts: 4000
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:13 am

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I wonder how typical these problems are. This is not AA inspection, this is inspection of FAA oversight, so a tip of an iceberg is exposed.
2.5 years with slide inop or 1000 cycles with incorrect engine install, or no inspection after birdstrike sounds like nobody actually cares.
And this certainly sheds some light on "shady third world maintenance" context.

It was the correct engine, there was a bushing missing on the pylon.


We know it was a correct engine; he pointed-out it was not a correct engine install. (Incorrect installation procedure)
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:45 am

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I wonder how typical these problems are. This is not AA inspection, this is inspection of FAA oversight, so a tip of an iceberg is exposed.
2.5 years with slide inop or 1000 cycles with incorrect engine install, or no inspection after birdstrike sounds like nobody actually cares.
And this certainly sheds some light on "shady third world maintenance" context.

It was the correct engine, there was a bushing missing on the pylon.

Comes from same company which used forklift to install correct engine on AA191. Isn't that encouraging?
 
Wacker1000
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:07 am

This is the same airline that mixxed up A321 main tires with 777 nose tires (fun fact - they are interchangeable...sort of) and managed to fly a non-ETOPS A321 to Hawaii. Are you surprised?

If it can be done in today's industry, I'd put money on AA being the one to do it.
 
SteelChair
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:32 am

This smacks of an internal (government) fight between two agencies with AA being used as the lever and the mainstream media being used by the agency making the case. It appears imho to be an almost textbook example of a well used formula.....all that's lacking is some "expert" like Mary Schiavo going on TV to make the case.

Having said that, in my experience these types of errors are fairly common at large airlines. Outsiders would never believe how hard it is to run a large airline. But there are lots of layers in the Swiss cheese and the holes rarely line up, most accidents aren't due to mechanical problems, the airplanes have never been better than they are now.
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 2:01 pm

SteelChair wrote:
This smacks of an internal (government) fight between two agencies with AA being used as the lever and the mainstream media being used by the agency making the case. It appears imho to be an almost textbook example of a well used formula.....all that's lacking is some "expert" like Mary Schiavo going on TV to make the case.

Having said that, in my experience these types of errors are fairly common at large airlines. Outsiders would never believe how hard it is to run a large airline. But there are lots of layers in the Swiss cheese and the holes rarely line up, most accidents aren't due to mechanical problems, the airplanes have never been better than they are now.

Thing is, facts in the report are pretty much what people on this site consider signs of shady third world practices. My take of this is that things fly in the face of best practices industry is proud of.
And yes, there are lots of cheese slices, so things look great until they no longer are. Remember MAX? Are we talking about the same pattern of things deteriorating until last straw breaks camel back?
A pretty interesting part of the report deals with root cause factor analysis and evaluation of problems done by AA. And it is an interesting read...
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 2:24 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I wonder how typical these problems are. This is not AA inspection, this is inspection of FAA oversight, so a tip of an iceberg is exposed.
2.5 years with slide inop or 1000 cycles with incorrect engine install, or no inspection after birdstrike sounds like nobody actually cares.
And this certainly sheds some light on "shady third world maintenance" context.

It was the correct engine, there was a bushing missing on the pylon.

Comes from same company which used forklift to install correct engine on AA191. Isn't that encouraging?

And I doubt anyone involved in that is still at AA. That was 42 years ago.
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:11 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
It was the correct engine, there was a bushing missing on the pylon.

Comes from same company which used forklift to install correct engine on AA191. Isn't that encouraging?

And I doubt anyone involved in that is still at AA. That was 42 years ago.

So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:44 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Comes from same company which used forklift to install correct engine on AA191. Isn't that encouraging?

And I doubt anyone involved in that is still at AA. That was 42 years ago.

So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.

And I can pull up the same or similar
Issues at all airlines.

And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:17 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
And I doubt anyone involved in that is still at AA. That was 42 years ago.

So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.

And I can pull up the same or similar
Issues at all airlines.

And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced

Sure, everyone has issues. Some are really bad issues. Same goes for any human activity. It is all about addressing these issues to keep things going smoothly.
Essence of the report is not issues themselves, it is the way AA is unwilling to resolve things and FAA unwilling to keep AA on their toes. I would understand such approach if issues themselves were minor, but some things look serious enough to warrant attention.
Maybe this is business as usual, after all nothing is perfect in this world. SO far business as usual at Boeing brought some pretty interesting consequences, though.
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:34 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.

And I can pull up the same or similar
Issues at all airlines.

And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced

Sure, everyone has issues. Some are really bad issues. Same goes for any human activity. It is all about addressing these issues to keep things going smoothly.
Essence of the report is not issues themselves, it is the way AA is unwilling to resolve things and FAA unwilling to keep AA on their toes. I would understand such approach if issues themselves were minor, but some things look serious enough to warrant attention.
Maybe this is business as usual, after all nothing is perfect in this world. SO far business as usual at Boeing brought some pretty interesting consequences, though.

And that’s AA’s management not the rank and file mechanics doing the work.
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:40 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
And I can pull up the same or similar
Issues at all airlines.

And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced

Sure, everyone has issues. Some are really bad issues. Same goes for any human activity. It is all about addressing these issues to keep things going smoothly.
Essence of the report is not issues themselves, it is the way AA is unwilling to resolve things and FAA unwilling to keep AA on their toes. I would understand such approach if issues themselves were minor, but some things look serious enough to warrant attention.
Maybe this is business as usual, after all nothing is perfect in this world. SO far business as usual at Boeing brought some pretty interesting consequences, though.

And that’s AA’s management not the rank and file mechanics doing the work.

Well, AA believes it is about rank and file not doing job right. Two thirds of root case investigations from the sample they considered concluded that it is about human factors, aka rank and file messing up.
 
Boof02671
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:46 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Sure, everyone has issues. Some are really bad issues. Same goes for any human activity. It is all about addressing these issues to keep things going smoothly.
Essence of the report is not issues themselves, it is the way AA is unwilling to resolve things and FAA unwilling to keep AA on their toes. I would understand such approach if issues themselves were minor, but some things look serious enough to warrant attention.
Maybe this is business as usual, after all nothing is perfect in this world. SO far business as usual at Boeing brought some pretty interesting consequences, though.

And that’s AA’s management not the rank and file mechanics doing the work.

Well, AA believes it is about rank and file not doing job right. Two thirds of root case investigations from the sample they considered concluded that it is about human factors, aka rank and file messing up.

You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.
 
kalvado
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:54 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
And that’s AA’s management not the rank and file mechanics doing the work.

Well, AA believes it is about rank and file not doing job right. Two thirds of root case investigations from the sample they considered concluded that it is about human factors, aka rank and file messing up.

You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.

Which is great.
But there are 2 events specifically mentioned in the report:
Mechanic failed to perform a bird strike damage inspection
Mechanic documented that tire pressure checks were performed, but never used a tire pressure gauge


Something doesn't add up with your explanations!
 
Boof02671
Posts: 2813
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:01 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Well, AA believes it is about rank and file not doing job right. Two thirds of root case investigations from the sample they considered concluded that it is about human factors, aka rank and file messing up.

You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.

Which is great.
But there are 2 events specifically mentioned in the report:
Mechanic failed to perform a bird strike damage inspection
Mechanic documented that tire pressure checks were performed, but never used a tire pressure gauge


Something doesn't add up with your explanations!

Once again ALL work done on an airplane is documented and signed for.

One the mechanic does work per the maintenance manual and enters it in the logbook and into the computer system, and the signed off logbook page is turned into management and sent off to aircraft records.

Also if a job card is involved it’s signed off or stamped and turned into management along with a copy of the logbook which then gets sent to aircraft records.

If work was signed off and not done the FAA would go after the mechanic and management would discipline the mechanic.

Something isn’t adding up.
 
kalvado
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:13 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.

Which is great.
But there are 2 events specifically mentioned in the report:
Mechanic failed to perform a bird strike damage inspection
Mechanic documented that tire pressure checks were performed, but never used a tire pressure gauge


Something doesn't add up with your explanations!

Once again ALL work done on an airplane is documented and signed for.

One the mechanic does work per the maintenance manual and enters it in the logbook and into the computer system, and the signed off logbook page is turned into management and sent off to aircraft records.

Also if a job card is involved it’s signed off or stamped and turned into management along with a copy of the logbook which then gets sent to aircraft records.

If work was signed off and not done the FAA would go after the mechanic and management would discipline the mechanic.

Something isn’t adding up.

We can agree on that last phrase. Although maybe not on what exactly is not adding up.
One of the points report makes is that FAA switched from punitive to cooperative mode (makes sense to me); and basically allowed AA to deal with those issues in-house.
AA rated risk factor of those 2 occurrences as "low" and "very low" respectively - so I assume end result was not even a wrist slap to mechanics involved. Which again may be not a bad thing by itself, as we all make mistakes. But this is a strage type of mistake. Then, quoting the report:
FAA (inspectors) could not verify whether the 73 percent of findings that American Airlines rated as “low” or “very low” were indeed low risk. This also limits FAA’s ability to effectively assess the carrier’s controls for those safety risks.

So, basically, mechanic not doing the job is not a subject of FAA discipline, and not really a subject to strong company discipline.
 
Wacker1000
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:04 pm

kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Well, AA believes it is about rank and file not doing job right. Two thirds of root case investigations from the sample they considered concluded that it is about human factors, aka rank and file messing up.

You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.

Which is great.
But there are 2 events specifically mentioned in the report:
Mechanic failed to perform a bird strike damage inspection
Mechanic documented that tire pressure checks were performed, but never used a tire pressure gauge


Something doesn't add up with your explanations!


Because all sides are guilty. It isn't just rank and file or management. Both have culpability.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3399
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:16 pm

Wacker1000 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
You aren’t grasping AA, the manufacturer and the FAA sign off on AA’s maintenance program.

Mechanics follow the manuals and job cards.

If those are wrong, it’s not the mechanics’ fault.

Everything a mechanic does is signed for on the job card and logbook and put into the maintenance computer system.

And if the mechanic is at fault their would be discipline from the company and possible action against the mechanic from
The FAA.

So I call BS on AA’s explanation.

Which is great.
But there are 2 events specifically mentioned in the report:
Mechanic failed to perform a bird strike damage inspection
Mechanic documented that tire pressure checks were performed, but never used a tire pressure gauge


Something doesn't add up with your explanations!


Because all sides are guilty. It isn't just rank and file or management. Both have culpability.

I, for one, cannot care less about culpability. I am trying to understand what this means for safety of operations.
 
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GlobalAirways
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:53 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
freakyrat wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
I am shocked that I may be forced to put Allegiant higher on my "fly" list now than AA...


Allegiant is flying an all Airbus A320 family fleet of aircraft including 20 brand new aircraft. All Airbus aircraft have onboard diagnostics much like your automobile and report problems to Allegiant maintenance as well as Airbus.


OBD is not a mechanic, nor an inspector. It also cannot evaluate every situation. It is a system that raises its hand and says “look at me” when something it can detect is out of its tolerance. It cannot tell you that a slide is defective, it cannot tell you that an engine is mounted incorrectly, it cannot tell you that an inspection was actually carried out. There are a few things it can do and a million things it can’t.


Right, and I'm having trouble finding anything in the article or attachments that identify what specific aircraft they are writing about.
 
alfa164
Posts: 4000
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Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:41 am

Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
And I doubt anyone involved in that is still at AA. That was 42 years ago.

So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.

And I can pull up the same or similar Issues at all airlines. And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced


Really? Then "pull up the same or similar issues" at any of the other major US airlines, and show us where they are equally complacent about these safety issues.
 
Boof02671
Posts: 2813
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:44 am

alfa164 wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
So what? We're talking about cultural things. If "this is still the right engine" is the best response, different people doesn't mean different culture...

On a more serious note, sounds like there was more than one issue with that engine install. Report explicitly calls that "unairworthy condition", but AA explicitly didn't bother to assess the risk of 1000 flights in such condition. Since this came up from AA SMS, I assume it was AA to assign "unairworthy" tag to it, or what?
Things really don't add up to me. Either things are way overblown in the report for this particular event, or AA carefully protects their dirty laundry.

And I can pull up the same or similar Issues at all airlines. And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced


Really? Then "pull up the same or similar issues" at any of the other major US airlines, and show us where they are equally complacent about these safety issues.



Southwest Airlines is operating 49 planes that may not have been properly inspected, top FAA official says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... utType=amp

Southwest cancels 180 flights after unusually high number of planes grounded for maintenance

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/southw ... intenance/

Delta faces stiff fines over alleged delayed repairs

https://www.cnn.com/2012/07/11/travel/d ... index.html

United Faces $435,000 Fine, Accused of Flying Plane 23 Times Without Inspecting Repair, F.A.A. Says

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/busi ... e.amp.html
 
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RyanairGuru
Posts: 8785
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:55 am

While I’m not going to discount the human factor out right, I’m agreeing with Boof here. The article is about the FAA not properly regulating the industry, more so than it is about AA. Unless you believe that Delta and United aircraft are maintained by the hands of angels, it is likely that similar issues are cropping up there. The role of the FAA is to ensure the airplanes are safe, not just take the airlines word for it.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3399
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:09 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
alfa164 wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
And I can pull up the same or similar Issues at all airlines. And it’s not a cultural thing. Mechanics go by the paperwork. And the slide overhaul is outsourced


Really? Then "pull up the same or similar issues" at any of the other major US airlines, and show us where they are equally complacent about these safety issues.



Southwest Airlines is operating 49 planes that may not have been properly inspected, top FAA official says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... utType=amp

Southwest cancels 180 flights after unusually high number of planes grounded for maintenance

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/southw ... intenance/

Delta faces stiff fines over alleged delayed repairs

https://www.cnn.com/2012/07/11/travel/d ... index.html

United Faces $435,000 Fine, Accused of Flying Plane 23 Times Without Inspecting Repair, F.A.A. Says

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/busi ... e.amp.html

We're talking not about everyday maintenance issues highlighted in the report. We're talking about mechanic not actually doing their jobs, and company not caring about it. The only one which comes anywhere close in the list is chipped paint on DL radome, where disagreement over assessment between DL engineering and FAA inspector is the essence. Where FAA has an upper hand, regardless of being correct. Remember AA MD80 grounding over "approximately 1 inch" craze?

RyanairGuru wrote:
While I’m not going to discount the human factor out right, I’m agreeing with Boof here. The article is about the FAA not properly regulating the industry, more so than it is about AA. Unless you believe that Delta and United aircraft are maintained by the hands of angels, it is likely that similar issues are cropping up there. The role of the FAA is to ensure the airplanes are safe, not just take the airlines word for it.

You may certainly read it that way. Then the obvious conclusion is that maintenance doesn't perform without FAA guy with a big stick behind them. So cut the crap about safety first, dedicated workforce, qualified union labor compared to crappy overseas maintenance. BIG STICK!!! is the name of the game.
 
freakyrat
Posts: 2400
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:04 pm

Re: AA lax oversight by FAA - Watchdog Report

Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:15 am

GlobalAirways wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
freakyrat wrote:

Allegiant is flying an all Airbus A320 family fleet of aircraft including 20 brand new aircraft. All Airbus aircraft have onboard diagnostics much like your automobile and report problems to Allegiant maintenance as well as Airbus.


OBD is not a mechanic, nor an inspector. It also cannot evaluate every situation. It is a system that raises its hand and says “look at me” when something it can detect is out of its tolerance. It cannot tell you that a slide is defective, it cannot tell you that an engine is mounted incorrectly, it cannot tell you that an inspection was actually carried out. There are a few things it can do and a million things it can’t.


Right, and I'm having trouble finding anything in the article or attachments that identify what specific aircraft they are writing about.


What I failed to explain is from my experience jumpseating on the A320 any member of the flightdeck crew or the mechanics can pull a complete printout of everything that went on during a particular flight.No it cannot tell you that a slide is detective but it can tell you when one is due for maintenance. No it cannnot tell you if an engine is mounted correctly or if an inspection was actually carried out. It still depends on some human intervention. However the system is pretty sofisticated if it shows what times a toilet is flushed etc. and it does. One flight I took was on a Northwest A320 and the crew downloaded a bunch of the data to show me and it even recorded an engine emergency simulation we did. if you have an actual engine emergency like a birdstrike etc. the data comes up on one of the ECAM displays and also is recorded on the the same event recorders along with the FDR and CVR. So yes it is just a tool for the mechanics to know where to look for the problem.

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