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cityjet
Topic Author
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NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:13 pm

In the trip report section, there is a trip on a NWA DC 9 where the age of the aircraft is 37 years - also a fellow a netter flew on one that was 38 years old and apparently the oldest is 38.5 years.

Surely from a safety point of view, these aircraft should have been scrapped years ago.

Is this normal ? also are there cases like this on this side of the poind. I have never heard of the likes of BA/KL/AF/LH/SK/EI/BD with aircraft at this age.
 
IberiaA319
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:26 pm

Well, they are well mantained, are paid for and have new interiors....that's why we can see them still flying.

Do a search, you will find lots of information regarding NW's DC-9.
 
Boeing757/767
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:32 pm

Have you flown in one? You'd never know how old it is -- nor do 99.99 percent of passengers. They are phenominal aircraft -- built to last, well maintained and new-look inside.
Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
 
sk909
Posts: 244
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:09 pm

Quoting Cityjet (Thread starter):
Surely from a safety point of view

Not necessarily. The aircrafts are maintained more frequently than newer aircrafts. And i am sure that FAA would ground them if there were a tendency of them falling out of the sky.

Aircrafts are not made like cars. There is a higher level of standard assemblying an aircraft, than assemblying a Cadillac or a Honda.

I would have a problem flying with one old birds.

From an economic point of view it might be smart to retire them.  Smile
Life's for Living!
 
anstar
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:16 pm

They show there age when you see them take off or coming into land. They leave a darker trail of pollution behind them than the newer birds.

However, on the ground you couldnt really tell.
 
isitsafenow
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:26 pm

There is nothing wrong with the NW DC-9 30's,40's or 50's and the plane is everything right. As the self acclaimed DC 9 KING of Airliners.net(passenger class) with over 500 rides on the nine, I can tell you we need more nines and less RJ's.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
B4REAL
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:45 pm

Quoting Boeing757/767 (Reply 2):
You'd never know how old it is

I disagree here, NW's DC-9 do show their age - compared to AM's DC-9s when they flew them in 2004.

I will say, that I don't feel unsafe on NW DC-9 a/c.

[Edited 2005-12-28 15:51:34]
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds & @RickVanover on Twitter
 
sk909
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:47 pm

But they are very fine birds. SK had them for many, many years. And I have ridden them for more than 700 hours as pax. Very nice and pleasant. So sad that it isn't made anymore. But it lacked the range vs the B737. Sad
Life's for Living!
 
Web
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:51 pm

Quoting Boeing757/767 (Reply 2):
You'd never know how old it is -- nor do 99.99 percent of passengers.

I can attest to that. I once asked a few random people which plane they thought was the older one, the DC-9 we were sitting in at the moment or the Saab 340 parked outside, and all thought the Saab was much older. Their faces were priceless when I told them the DC-9 was made in the mid-1970s. I think I made a few more nervous flyers that day.
 
deltagator
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:00 am

Despite their age I didn't find the DC-9s all that bad although they were a little noisier than an MD-88. Perhaps the ones I was on had been fixed up recently (they had the new paint scheme) but they didn't seem 30+ years old.

As a side note, I surely thought you were going to ask when they should be retired and wanted to see the responses from the hypersensitive types calling for nothing short of your public execution.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
sk909
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:01 am

Quoting Web (Reply 8):

Interesting...
Life's for Living!
 
ACdreamliner
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:04 am

Quoting ANstar (Reply 4):
They show there age when you see them take off or coming into land. They leave a darker trail of pollution behind them than the newer birds.

the reason we love them. Thats what planes are about, noice, power and the jet  Smile can u imagine how boeing aviation was if every plane on the planet had CFM-56's? all sounding exactly the same? All reasonably quiet? No smoke trail on take off?
Where are you going?
 
spartanmjf
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:15 am

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 11):
Smile can u imagine how boeing aviation was if every plane on the planet had CFM-56's?

Meow!

I heard that there is a reengine project that will let the DC-9 serve Hawaii.....grin.
"Nuts to the man in 21D!"
 
flypdx
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:13 am

Quoting Cityjet (Thread starter):
Surely from a safety point of view, these aircraft should have been scrapped years ago.

When was the last time a NW DC9 fell from the sky?
 
Cubsrule
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:19 am

Going back to 2000, I see a grand total of 3 m/x related problems with NW DC-9s. For a fleet that size, that's pretty darn good.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Superfly
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:37 am

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 11):
They show there age when you see them take off or coming into land. They leave a darker trail of pollution behind them than the newer birds.

the reason we love them. Thats what planes are about, noice, power and the jet can u imagine how boeing aviation was if every plane on the planet had CFM-56's?

 checkmark 
Well said!

Give me a DC9 over a A320 or RJ anyday!
Bring back the Concorde
 
JAFA
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:48 am

Its not the age of the plane but how its maintained. A new or old plane not properly maintained would be unsafe.
Few original parts remain on a 30+ year old aircraft. Parts are either rotable or consumable. Rotable parts have a TBO limit (time between overhaul), cosumable parts are discarded after a certain period of time (like oil filters).

Valujet did a poor job of maintaining thier DC9's. In contrast Valujet had more fires on their small fleet of DC9's in a few years than NWA had on a large fleet for a twenty year period.
 
navairjax
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:00 am

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 13):
When was the last time a NW DC9 fell from the sky?

Never, unless you want to count Flt 255 (MD82). However these birds have had a few ground accidents.
 
Tornado82
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:01 am

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 5):
I can tell you we need more nines and less RJ's.

RJ's are quieter, and probably per seat don't burn much more fuel. The 9's are inefficient.

Quoting Web (Reply 8):
Their faces were priceless when I told them the DC-9 was made in the mid-1970s. I think I made a few more nervous flyers that day.

I was on one in the spring, DTW-MDW, built Sept. 1968.
 
burnsie28
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:22 am

A thing to remember is aircraft are not measured in age, rather cycles. A properly maintained airplane could essentually fly forever, many DC-3's are still flying to this day.
 
2H4
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:25 am




Quoting Navairjax (Reply 17):
Never, unless you want to count Flt 255 (MD82).



255 was a result of poor CRM and poor checklist procedures. The flaps/slats were never set.

I believe...and please correct me if I'm wrong...the aircraft didn't have a configuration warning horn (like on 737s) to alert the pilots of the improper flap setting during takeoff, but 255 wasn't the airplane's fault.




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
2H4
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:33 am




Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 19):
A thing to remember is aircraft are not measured in age, rather cycles



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 19):
many DC-3's are still flying to this day.



One of the advantages to being unpressurized.  biggrin 

Seriously though...Burnsie makes a good point. I think the key is to watch closely for metal fatigue and corrosion. Metallurgy was far less refined 40-50 years ago, and the recent Chalk's crash, and semi-recent C-130 firebomber crash really stress the importance of frequent wing spar inspections on old equipment.




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
wjcandee
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:40 am

Quoting JAFA (Reply 16):
Valujet did a poor job of maintaining thier DC9's.

Reference?

Quoting JAFA (Reply 16):
Valujet had more fires on their small fleet of DC9's in a few years than NWA had on a large fleet for a twenty year period

Reference?
 
ACdreamliner
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:45 am

the point is NW will get shot of the DC-9's when it has to. they have low CASM's due to the lack of financing on them now (bought and paid for). MX costs mature (levelout) and so they can run them until they requre major financial up keep, i.e. a D check. so i think thats when they will be going for good.

(NW's DC-9's have lower CASM's than their A319's)
Where are you going?
 
Cessnapimp
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:47 am

Never mind the NW DC-9 interiors themselves, what about the DC-9 interior photographers out there. For all your petty bickering on how they are nice and all, there is... ONE photograph of a NW DC-9 interior:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sanjiv Kapoor



C'mon US a.net photographers... afraid the TSA goons will grab your 12mm Sigma Lenses? Give it some Oomph will ya!?

[Edited 2005-12-28 20:50:16]
 
goboeing
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:50 am

This spring I flew on a lot of new A-319s/320s and a lot of old DC-9s. Interestingly, the Airbii seemed to have a lot of little things on them that'd break, like tray tables, seats, weird electrical faults in the cockpit that would not reveal the entire problem to the pilots, and other little stuff that isn't going to crash the plane but wouldn't it be nice to have a 2005 A-319 that holds together inside?

There were DC-9s with 1967 registrations that seemed more solid, more dependable than the Airbus fleet. According to several mechanics in the maintenance facility and managers in the training department, the DC-9s have a higher dispatch reliability!

I like the new technology in A-320s and B-737NGs etc. and I do think it is time the DC-9s be phased out. NWA management knows the cost benefits and disadvantages of having them around and so the DC-9s are still flying for a reason. There will be a replacement within a decade.

Another interesting note: in the FL300 to FL390 altitude range, the DC-9 burned more pounds per hour per engine than the Airbus or even the B-757! Time for the desert.

Nick
 
wjcandee
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:59 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 20):
please correct me if I'm wrong...the aircraft didn't have a configuration warning horn (like on 737s) to alert the pilots of the improper flap setting during takeoff,

Okay.

Of course it had a configuration warning. Indeed, it is substantially more sophisticated than the 737. It offers an alert tone followed by a statement, like "Slats" or "Flaps". (NTSB Report Section 1.6.6)

The problem was that the circuit breaker for the system either had been manually pulled or the breaker failed just before this flight (as the system had worked on a previous flight). The NTSB was unable to prove which one it was. (NTSB Report Section 3.2).
 
2H4
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:02 am




Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 26):
The problem was that the circuit breaker for the system either had been manually pulled or the breaker failed just before this flight (as the system had worked on a previous flight).



Ahhhhh, THAT's what it was! Thanks, Wjcandee!




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
StevenG
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:38 am

I believe the ones who say that maintenance on the DC-9's is from a high standard so from that point of view there shouldn't be more safety related problems than with A320's, 737NG's and RJ's.
Beside that, how many original parts from a DC-9 that has been manufactured in the late sixties are still to be find in that same plane today? Only the main frame perhaps?
What makes me wonder however is if the DC-9's still comply with noise regulations in the US. Are they banned from certain airports?
 
toltommy
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting Boeing757/767 (Reply 2):
Have you flown in one? You'd never know how old it is -- nor do 99.99 percent of passengers.

Amen... Most have no idea. When CO downgraded a lot of flying from CLE to COEX, I changed allegiances to NW. Nice to have the ability to upgrade, and even better to not have to fly an RJ long haul. I hate that NW has brought in so many CRJ's as it is.
A300/A310/A319/A320/A321/A332/A333 / 707/712/727/732/733/734/735/738/739/752/753
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aerorobnz
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:48 am

I'd fly a DC9 happily. You guys won't miss them until they are gone.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
nwa757boy
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:11 am

This thread was started because of my trip report on NW last week and the DC9 I was on was 37 years old haha HOT. I did take a few pics in the first class cabin...not the best but here they are:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b381/NWA757boy/IMG_0138.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b381/NWA757boy/IMG_0139.jpg
 
wjcandee
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:35 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 27):
Thanks, Wjcandee!

Always my pleasure, Sir. (FWIW, I think that the prevailing wisdom at the time was that the breaker had been pulled, but the NTSB wasn't going to go there if it was possible, just possible, that the thing had failed [opened] while appearing to be closed, and they couldn't prove that it hadn't.) A pilot who had ridden in the jumpseat with the accident crew on the accident aircraft on the previous leg stated unequivocally that the "Slats, Slats" annunciation had occurred when the pilot advanced the throttle significantly while taxiing (as it should have done), so the system was apparently working then. There were at least a couple of reports of breakers of the type used in the DC9-series a/c (including -80) failing open when they appeared to be closed. But a random test of several hundred breakers of the lots used in the a/c found no failures of that kind. So, it probably could be concluded that it would be a completely freak occurrance that the one specific breaker would fail without warning just before a takeoff in which the guys remarkably forgot to deploy the flaps. But apparently possible.

This is why, however, the report goes into inordinate detail as to the testing of all aspects of the warning system, its integration with other systems, and the warnings that the warning was disabled. They really crossed every T and dotted every i.

Best,

Bill
 
flyabr
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:55 pm

why is it that we always want something new?? new isn't always better! so what if the dc9s are old...they have been maintained extremely well by NWA. back in the mid to late 90s they were completely rewired...landing gear and interior were also upgraded. i believe they have also been upgraded with the latest avionics. PEOPLE...get over it!

[Edited 2005-12-29 05:09:51]
 
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flybynight
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:21 pm

I like the rear engine configurations. Really makes for a quiet plane. And the performance of the DC9 (esp. the "Sports" version that SK flew a lot) was tremendous.
One drawback I will admit to is the engine noise from the outside compared to a 73NH or A320.
The way the US carriers are doing I would be surprised to see those DC9's go a few more years.
Heia Norge!
 
speedbirdegjj
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:56 pm

Ah the a.net classic NW DC9 thread appears once more  scratchchin 

For what its worth, i flew from London to New York in November and booked NW so as to be able to ride the good old 9. Fantastic bird, from an era when airplanes were built to last. You Americans are so lucky to have such 'exotic' equipment to ride around on, think of poor old me chalking up yet another BA 735 ride  yawn 
 
IDAWA
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:41 pm

Here's a picture I took on a 1969 NW DC-9 (N8986E):


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Marco Carcioffo



Hadn't I known it was 36 years old, I would have sworn it was built in the 2000s or late 1990s.

I-DAWA.
Flown on: 319, 320, 321, 340, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, DC9, D10, M11, M80, 146, EM2, BEH, CRJ, DH8, L4T.
 
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flybynight
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:26 am

Quoting SpeedbirdEGJJ (Reply 35):
For what its worth, i flew from London to New York in November and booked NW so as to be able to ride the good old 9. Fantastic bird, from an era when airplanes were built to last

Uhh, I hope they are still building planes to last!!!
Heia Norge!
 
Logan22L
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:11 am

Quoting Cityjet (Thread starter):
In the trip report section, there is a trip on a NWA DC 9 where the age of the aircraft is 37 years - also a fellow a netter flew on one that was 38 years old and apparently the oldest is 38.5 years.

Surely from a safety point of view, these aircraft should have been scrapped years ago.

Is this normal ? also are there cases like this on this side of the poind. I have never heard of the likes of BA/KL/AF/LH/SK/EI/BD with aircraft at this age.

This response partly addresses the issue:

Quoting JAFA (Reply 16):
Its not the age of the plane but how its maintained.

The reason for mandatory scrapping is not age, but cycles (pressurization/depressurization). Different aircraft have different rating in terms of how many cycles are allowed before the aircraft must be grounded permanently. IIRC, the DC-9 is rated for something like 105,000 cycles (correct me if I'm wrong). If well maintained, age means nothing, cycles do (of course age is related to cycles, if you want to go that route).

Also, as mentioned, Douglas aircraft are widely regarded as being just a bit tougher and more durable than those of other makers. I seem to remember reading something about Douglas using a manual rivetting process as opposed to an automated process, as an example. I've flown on a few DC-9's recently, and they hardly look or feel different from those I flew on in the 1970s. Well, if anything, the cabins are nicer.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
srbmod
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:53 am

Quoting JAFA (Reply 16):
Valujet did a poor job of maintaining their DC9's.

Not entirely true. Their DC-9s came from a patchwork of airlines, some of those airlines hadn't taken care of them when they had them. The THY DC-9s were poorly maintained before Valujet got them, as were the spare engines Valujet got in the deal (The "Crispy Critter" engine fire incident @ ATL in 1995 was traced back to poor maintenance by THY, as the engine that caught fire was one from THY.).
 
lincoln
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:14 am

Quoting Boeing757/767 (Reply 2):
built to last, well maintained and new-look inside.

Yeah, had I not known better I would have thought I was on a nearly-new bird for both of my NW DC-9 flights (in 2004)... well kept, new looking interior. Much better looking than the (much younger, I imagine) Pinnacle CRJ I found myself on for the next segment. I really thought that the "hand rail" on the bottom of the overhead bins... Seemed to me to make lots of sense, especially if someone (pax or FA) was up when you hit bumpy air.

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 17):
However these birds have had a few ground accidents

As will anything that spends enough time around fuel trucks, catering trucks, and as many other things that move on the ramp... IIRC, the DC-9 sits fairly close to the ground making it more susceptable to taking dammage, I would imagine.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
NW305
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:37 pm

RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:54 pm

The manufacture date is on a plate on the doorway as you enter the aircraft.
I pointed out to a friend once when boarding a US Air DC-9 in Albany and saw the DOM of 1968, the year he was born.
 
zrs70
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:28 pm

I've never known of a safety lapse sue to the age of an aircraft. Only due to lapse of service.
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
LHMark
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:48 am

On the other side of the pond: Does anyone know how old Lufthansa's 742s where upon being retired?
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
wjcandee
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:00 pm

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 39):
poor maintenance by THY

That's putting it mildly. There was a metallurgical defect (crack) that appeared to have been identified but painted over during servicing so that it wouldn't be caught when the a/c was delivered. Basically intentional. THY was then an FAA-approved MRO. I think they lost their certification after that, IIRC.
 
AirRyan
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:23 pm

I work for NW and have the privallege of riding on thier DC-9's more than a couple times a month - I think their alright but they still get the job done. While I'd rather be in a 717 or a 73G/8, they are what they are. My route only offers a -30 and those old JT8's may suck a little more JET-A than a modern engine but even at a full load that bird gets up and goes (and when the thrust reversers are employed upon landing they really help slow that bird back down again!)

I don't think the cabin pressurizes as well as perhaps a new buld design can, and when we pushback and go from the APU to engine power a little too much JET-A fumes seep into the cabin perhaps more than a more modern airliner, and really besides a really old-school flight deck NW DC-9's are fine and as well as they have performed if it wasn't for the greedy management wanting to get rid of the DC-9 pilots at NW they would have bought 717's a few years ago and the DC-9 series platform with NW would have soldiered on for many more decades.
 
WF2BNN
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:33 am

RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:31 pm

It's only two years ago I was on a 27 year old DC9 flying with SK. Sadly they don't fly them anymore. The captain said she was like his wife - he would not be trading it for anything.

Mats in TRD
What goes up, must come down.
 
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flybynight
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:55 pm

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 42):
I've never known of a safety lapse sue to the age of an aircraft. Only due to lapse of service.

Frankly those go hand-in-hand.
I don't have anything against 35 year old planes, but it can be hard to keep on top of things.
The age of the plane DOES cause problems when age related issues (such as mental fatigue) are missed. So your statement can be viewed in different ways.
Heia Norge!
 
flyabr
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:10 pm

Quoting Flybynight (Reply 47):
Frankly those go hand-in-hand.
I don't have anything against 35 year old planes, but it can be hard to keep on top of things.
The age of the plane DOES cause problems when age related issues (such as mental fatigue) are missed. So your statement can be viewed in different ways.

but the good news is those old birds are pretty simple...at least when compared to today's jetliners. makes one wonder how well an A330 or 777 would fare if it were nearly 40 years old...!
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5300
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RE: NWA Old DC 9s

Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting Cessnapimp (Reply 24):
C'mon US a.net photographers... afraid the TSA goons will grab your 12mm Sigma Lenses? Give it some Oomph will ya!?

Well I couldnt get it accepted to this site, but here is an interior picture of of a DC-9-10

http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=481283

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