User avatar
TVNWZ
Topic Author
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:02 pm

Pointed and disturbing charges about the airline. Very concerning. Yikes.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/busines...t-over-obscene-maintenance/2260591
 
User avatar
cjg225
Posts: 1838
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:21 pm

Well then.

I was on G4 just a couple weeks ago and have a family member on it in a few more weeks. That makes me.. uh... hesitant.

I mean, I've always felt G4's on-time rate was accounting for the fact that their aircraft needed a variety of repairs given their age and use, but... if they're not the right repairs...

[Edited 2016-01-11 13:22:10]
Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
 
n471wn
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:31 pm

Remember two sides to every story and G4 cannot comment on former employees
 
rj777
Posts: 1803
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 1:47 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:55 pm

I'm surprised G4 hasn't had a crash yet. If they have all these maintenance issues, and a lot of people think they're unsafe, does anybody think they're overdue for a major event?
 
stlgph
Posts: 11044
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:10 pm

Quoting rj777 (Reply 3):

   happy place...   
   happy place...   
   happy place...   
   happy place...   
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
User avatar
JetBuddy
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:04 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:24 pm

It doesn't surprise me if his claims are correct. The Mad Dogs that G4 aquired from SK were some of the best maintained MDs in the world. And Delta and American are flying similarly old aircraft of the same type, without the same kind of issues. At least not as frequently.

I think the reason we haven't seen any serious incidents yet, is that airline safety goes far beyond what people without any knowledge of the industry would consider normal. Backup systems for everything, checks more frequently than strictly needed and so on. Which is a good thing.
 
bennett123
Posts: 9145
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:34 pm

If they are that bad, it is strange that no planes have been lost especially considering the age of much of their fleet.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4130
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:35 pm

He worked there for 2 weeks...
 
StrandedAtMKG
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:54 pm

"Schaefer said Allegiant maintains "numerous channels through which any employee can bring attention to safety concerns," which "offers a systematic and non-punitive method for pilots, flight attendants, maintenance … to voluntarily identify and report safety concerns."

Yeah, well, here's *my* safety concern as a potential customer: I will not fly Allegiant because of persistent concerns about their safety and maintenance practices. If this were an isolated incident I'd write it off as a crackpot disgruntled employee, but at this point it's a pattern. The pilots have said it, the FAA has said it, and now a former mechanic has said it. My father and his girlfriend go on a gambling trip every year, and for the time being they'll continue to take the SY charter junkets to IFP instead of G4 flights to LAS.
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Topic Author
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:54 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 7):
He worked there for 2 weeks...

...and quit in disgust after many years with USAir.
 
jc2354
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 9:56 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:27 am

Things that make you go hmmmmm:

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 9):
ply 9, posted Mon Jan 11 2016 15:54:29 your local time (38 minutes 40 secs ago) and read 188 times:

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 7):
He worked there for 2 weeks...

...and quit in disgust after many years with USAir.

This is an airline that allowed the VP of Operations and the Director of Flight Safety to pilot an MD-80 with 144 passengers from LAS-FAR even though they had NOTAMS that FAR was closed. By the time it reached its intended destination of Fargo ,they were told that the airport was temporarily closed so the Navy's Blue Angels flight team could practice for an air show. One of the pilots told an air traffic controller that he didn't have enough fuel to reach another airport and couldn't even wait 20 minutes — he would declare an emergency and land. Later we were told that, what he said and what he meant were two entirely different things. Both pilots remained at Allegiant.

Another Allegiant flight made an emergency landing after taking off from the PIE. Smoke appeared in the plane's cabin about eight minutes after takeoff, the captain returned to PIE. After landing and with reports of cabin smoke, the captain ordered an evacuation of the airplane. He was fired from Allegiant for the unnecessary expense of the evacuation.

This experienced mechanic, 5 years into retirement, must have heard about the maintenance issues at Allegiant. Maybe it's his "So I fired Allegiant as my employer," attitude. I can't help but think he just waltzed himself into the hanger one day, thinking he was so experienced and knowledgeable and wanting to take over the department. When things didn't go the way he thinks it should have, and probably saying a few things to his fellow mechanics over the 2 week period, he quit.

Just my opinion. But the story does leave you with "what's the rest of the story" question.
If not now, then when?
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4130
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:36 am

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 10):
This is an airline that allowed the VP of Operations and the Director of Flight Safety to pilot an MD-80 with 144 passengers from LAS-FAR even though they had NOTAMS that FAR was closed. By the time it reached its intended destination of Fargo ,they were told that the airport was temporarily closed so the Navy's Blue Angels flight team could practice for an air show. One of the pilots told an air traffic controller that he didn't have enough fuel to reach another airport and couldn't even wait 20 minutes — he would declare an emergency and land. Later we were told that, what he said and what he meant were two entirely different things. Both pilots remained at Allegiant.

Another Allegiant flight made an emergency landing after taking off from the PIE. Smoke appeared in the plane's cabin about eight minutes after takeoff, the captain returned to PIE. After landing and with reports of cabin smoke, the captain ordered an evacuation of the airplane. He was fired from Allegiant for the unnecessary expense of the evacuation.

This experienced mechanic, 5 years into retirement, must have heard about the maintenance issues at Allegiant. Maybe it's his "So I fired Allegiant as my employer," attitude. I can't help but think he just waltzed himself into the hanger one day, thinking he was so experienced and knowledgeable and wanting to take over the department. When things didn't go the way he thinks it should have, and probably saying a few things to his fellow mechanics over the 2 week period, he quit.

Just my opinion. But the story does leave you with "what's the rest of the story" question.

I know of the incidents and I agree that allegient has problems. If this was a supervisor or the Director of Mx, it would hold a bit more weight. There is no way he was even fully trained on Allegiant processes but he was an expert on the MEL and DMI information for the airline?
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7855
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:43 am

Where is the FAA over site...? When I was with an airline our PMI was in the hangar a few times a week, and you never knew when. He did a few 0400 walk throughs..right at the morning push.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4130
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:49 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
Where is the FAA over site...? When I was with an airline our PMI was in the hangar a few times a week, and you never knew when. He did a few 0400 walk throughs..right at the morning push.

I'm sure they are there. I work at a smaller 121 carrier (way smaller than allegiant) and they are there almost daily for one reason or another.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 8262
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:54 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
If they are that bad, it is strange that no planes have been lost especially considering the age of much of their fleet.

Not true. Fatal accidents are a very rare event. NASA even states publicly that they are not a statistically-valid method of evaluating an airline's "safety", because they are so rare.

And what he is complaining about isn't the kind of stuff that leads directly to a fatal accident.

What it DOES lead to is a lot of aircraft having to make precautionary landings because whatever they MEL'd wasn't checked to insure that it was indeed the cause of the problem and/or because they didn't check to see what they fixed actually fixed the problem. And that's what he is claiming he saw.

And guess what? Allegiant DOES have a disproportionately-high number of precautionary landings and returns.

Again, this isn't the kind of thing that leads directly to a fatal accident. But it is a hole in the Swiss Cheese. It requires the pilots to be the next level of safety, which they apparently are doing.

I am not at all surprised that there hasn't been a major accident and that the paperwork gnomes at the FAA are satisfied with that they are seeing.

But what the man describes speaks to a sloppy, crappy safety culture (which is his accusation and which the incidents he cites tend to support) which EVENTUALLY is going to lead to a problem.

And when the NTSB starts crawling up their ass AFTER the fact, all the smelly sh*t they find will cause G4 management to say that they are shocked, just shocked to find out that all these violations of their policies were occurring. Happens all the time. "We didn't know." You didn't know because you didn't WANT to know.

Clearly, G4 is doing the paperwork correctly. The underlying question is whether, at least in Florida, they are actually doing the work reflected in the paperwork and/or doing it correctly.

And the FAA should be all over them about this. But they won't be.

This is a relatively-easy management fix. It's where most operations that aren't well-managed end up -- with people doing only so much work as they can get away with and not taking things seriously. This could be cleaned up in a jiffy, but upper management has to give a crap. And instead of being in constant denial, they really should act.

I wouldn't be concerned that I would be killed on an Allegiant jet, but I would be concerned that my flight might have to come back to the gate because something was broken, or make a diversion somewhere. And that in fact seems to be the experience that a lot of Allegiant customers have been having.

This guy worked at US Airways for decades. As much as people complained about them (the original US Air), it is clear from speaking to family friends years ago who worked there that despite their reputation they had a very strong safety culture at Mainline US Air. Plainly, stuff that simply wouldn't have happened at this guy's old employer was happening regularly at his new employer, and, having grown up in the US Air culture and its sense of right and wrong, he saw "wrong" all over.

The pilot whining is just that, and driven by the union issue, so doesn't have much credibility. But this guy has no obvious axe to grind and correct-or-not seems sincere. He is a canary in the coal mine. And SOMEBODY needs to take heed.

Now, did he overreact? Quite possibly. But can he back up his claim that their safety culture needs improvement? It appears so.

[Edited 2016-01-11 19:07:40]
 
wjcandee
Posts: 8262
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:04 am

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 10):
This is an airline that allowed the VP of Operations and the Director of Flight Safety to pilot an MD-80 with 144 passengers from LAS-FAR even though they had NOTAMS that FAR was closed.

And an assurance from the FAA that SCHEDULED airlines were going to be given permission to land. The FAA backed waaaaaay off it's initial claims on this, and immediately published new NOTAMS which made crystal clear that sked flights were to be allowed to land and even the direct telephone number that dispatchers could call to ensure that their flights were going to get through. The FAA had notice of this flight and its intended destination and arrival time from -- what? -- an hour before it even took off. Odd as it seemed to be after all the media attention, it appears that this one really was on the FAA. However, there was plenty to be concerned about, including the confusion caused by the dumbass pilot's non-standard and incorrect phraseology ("bingo fuel"). He was just trying to show that he used to be in the military, Big Dog Managment Pilot that he still is. He should have been spanked, in my view, but the overall incident wasn't what it first appeared to be.

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 10):
After landing and with reports of cabin smoke, the captain ordered an evacuation of the airplane. He was fired from Allegiant for the unnecessary expense of the evacuation.

That's not what he was fired for. There is plenty on this in earlier threads. Arguably, the guy was a wuss and a tool. But that's also not what he was fired for.

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 10):
This experienced mechanic, 5 years into retirement,

Actually seems to have a legitimate beef. Even if he is holier than thou, it doesn't mean that he isn't right.
 
jc2354
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 9:56 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:59 am

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 15):

Thanks for the input. I shall read up on the wuss of a captain. And, I agree that the mechanic was appalled at the situation at Allegiant. I just seem to get the vibe that he was carrying a pretty big ego on his shoulder. Especially the "So I fired Allegiant as my employer," Next time your in Las Vegas, let me know.
If not now, then when?
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Topic Author
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:26 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 14):
I wouldn't be concerned that I would be killed on an Allegiant jet, but I would be concerned that my flight might have to come back to the gate because something was broken, or make a diversion somewhere. And that in fact seems to be the experience that a lot of Allegiant customers have been having.

That's exactly how I look at it. And this guy is bring forth actual incidences. There are no generalizations that are not backed up with specific examples. Each one, to me, show a culture of not paying too close attention. And that will most certainly come to bite you in the end.
 
pliersinsight
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:06 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:18 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 15):
I wouldn't be concerned that I would be killed on an Allegiant jet, but I would be concerned that my flight might have to come back to the gate because something was broken, or make a diversion somewhere. And that in fact seems to be the experience that a lot of Allegiant customers have been having.

I think wjcandee's post was a fair assessment, although I'm not as trusting that the first link of the accident chain won't go anywhere fatal. How many engine failures can you have before one kills somebody in the rear of the aircraft...or the emergency landing doesn't go so well because of a cascade of reasons? The accident chain starts with link one....why even let it get to link one and think the safety culture at link 2 is going to save the day? Not a good bet in my opinion.

Speaking of risk, we all remember the relationship between probability of occurrence charted against degree of harm. I'm not one to accept the frequency and severity of what happens at Allegiant, especially given the small fleet size, even if the chance of degree of harm is slight. In other words, if we suppose 1 in 1000 engine failures (made up stats for example purposes) result in at least one death, 3 in 1000 cause injury and 974 in 1000 cause no injury or death, then Allegiant is going to hit the jackpot before anyone else, because they are crushing everyone else in the race to 1000. If you believe in calculated risk, Allegiant's odds suck and it will catch up with them.
 
MKEdude
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:55 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:35 pm

While I'll grant the possibility, and perhaps even likelihood, that this is a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind, he is far from being the first to voice these concerns about G4. There is simply too much smoke here for there to be no fire.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
 
TJM321
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:18 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:27 pm

I'm not a mechanic nor do I work in the aviation industry, but it makes sense at least as bystanders to think that there is some level of compromised safety involved in Allegiant not following safety processes correctly. Obviously, all we have at this point is word of mouth as to which specific processes are not being followed however on the same token all we have is word of mouth from Allegiant that such processes ARE being followed adequately.

The article mentions a couple things that stand out - firstly, that they are making fixes that, in the opinion of the mechanic, do not fix the actual mechanical problem; secondly, that they are not adequately testing fixes made to make sure they are actually fixed; and thirdly, that because the airline is "small" there is less bandwidth to replace aircraft that need repair and more of a need to put such aircraft into the air instead of delaying or canceling affected flights.

I agree with posters here who have said that these issues, if true, may not be directly putting passengers' lives into danger on the next immediate flight. What concerns me, however (again, if the allegations are true), is that maintenance becomes unable to track what fixes have been bypassed because they are not closely managing the details of issues, and the hidden issue later plays a significant role in what looks to be a "small problem" that leads to a catastrophic chain of events. It's not the immediate MEL's that are concerning - it's the fact that there are so many, within a small fleet, that possibly aren't being attended to immediately. We really don't know if/what issues are being swept under a rug - but mechanics at Allegiant may not be either, and THAT to me is the issue.
 
nws2002
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:04 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:40 pm

Quoting rj777 (Reply 3):

I'm surprised G4 hasn't had a crash yet. If they have all these maintenance issues, and a lot of people think they're unsafe, does anybody think they're overdue for a major event?

Accidents are a poor indicator of past, present, or future safety. They simply happen too rarely to be of any statistical value one way or another.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 7):
He worked there for 2 weeks...

Exactly. I don't know the man, but the vibe I get is that he didn't fit into the company culture, which isn't surprising if he worked for USAir for a long time.

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 10):
This is an airline that allowed the VP of Operations and the Director of Flight Safety to pilot an MD-80 with 144 passengers from LAS-FAR even though they had NOTAMS that FAR was closed.

The NOTAM actually allowed for scheduled Part 121 flights. Burning into reserve fuel is an emergency. You shouldn't have to touch it and I would want to get on the ground ASAP if I was or it looked like I was going to.
 
flight152
Posts: 3432
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 8:04 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:07 pm

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 21):

Burning into reserve fuel is NOT an emergency and allowed for use if needed.
 
nws2002
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:04 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:30 pm

"Although not defined in the AIM or Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), the industry-wide connotation typically associated with the term "Fuel Emergency" is:
The point at which, in the judgment of the Pilot-in-command, it is necessary to proceed directly to the airport of intended landing due to low fuel. Declaration of a fuel emergency is an explicit statement that priority handling by ATC is both required and expected."

That is straight from G4's GOM, and I'm pretty sure they took it from an FAA document.
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Topic Author
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:49 pm

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 21):
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 7):He worked there for 2 weeks...
Exactly. I don't know the man, but the vibe I get is that he didn't fit into the company culture, which isn't surprising if he worked for USAir for a long time.

I think he admits that. He wanted to do everything by the book. G4 didn't, according to him.
 
flight152
Posts: 3432
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 8:04 am

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:54 pm

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 23):

In that long drawn-out definition of "emergency fuel", nowhere is it associated with fuel reserve. They are two totally different things.
 
bahadir
Posts: 1339
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 4:57 pm

Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:36 am

If you think Allegiant is ok, read the following article..

http://teamsterair.org/sites/teamste...uploads/updatedtamc-march_2015.pdf
Earthbound misfit I
 
OMP777X
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:10 am

RE: Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:48 am

Quoting bahadir (Reply 26):
If you think Allegiant is ok, read the following article..

Wow, reading that was even more eye opening than the article the OP linked to. At this stage you couldn't pay me to get on one of G4's flights. I'm happy enough to be alive that I don't feel the need to roll the dice and fly them just to save a buck. These reported incidents are very alarming.

Best,

OMP777X
"Happy Flighting!"
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Topic Author
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Former Allegiant Mechanic Blasts Airline

Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:59 pm

The Teamsters have an ax to grind, but that does not make them wrong. What you are seeing is a constant, systemic problem. A blind eye is turned at incredible risk.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos