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Ciro
Topic Author
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Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:39 pm

Dear all,

I always thought (have I been wrong?)that one of the advantages to fly within a hub was the facility to coordinate scheduled maintenance checks and even to allocate spare aircraft in a emergency (let us say a minor pane that could take one hour to be fixed, so the first available aircraft is just dispatched as a substitute). Also, even though we know that heavy-checks are not necessarily done in the hub; the mechanics and engineers for light work are centralized in one major airport, therefore we assume the scale of both work and logistics (the aircraft would not need to fly to another place just to be hangared. The same work for the technicians, who are not traveling around) would be lower when compared to "point-to-point airlines".

So, could anyone explain to me how a successful PtPs manage such operations? Any ideas between cost differences? The case becomes even more interesting when we check the dispatching reliability rate, which is quite high among PtPs.

Thanks,


Ciro


The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
 
Ciro
Topic Author
Posts: 639
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 5:00 pm

RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:21 pm

No insights at all? Come on guys... I know you are the best ones around!  Smile
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:23 pm

This would be TOTALLY complicated to explain how this works...it would take me HOURS and HOURS to explain how all this was done at AS. Not much fun to do.  Yawn To make it short, each check is planned 1 and a half years in advance by MX planning so there is a schedule that has to be followed. There is alot more to it than that.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Ciro
Topic Author
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Fri Apr 30, 2004 12:05 am

AirframeAS, thank you so much... But has such technique been adopted by both hub-and-spoke and point-to-point carriers? If the answer is "yes", it is not a competitive advantage any longer. What makes PtPs maintenance so special?
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
 
Stratofish
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Fri Apr 30, 2004 5:00 am

It is a question of how well you inrfastructure is developed. LH has some smaller maintenance faccilities at smaller airports and it is no problem doing A-checks and minor repairs there. Most of them are done during the night when the smaller short-haul planes are not needed. They need to be flyworthy the next morning, though.
More complicated stuff needs to be done at more sophisticated hangars and those are expensive. So if you have no hub you need to rotate your aircraft so everyone will eventually (in time and whenever in need) be there. Problems may arise out of schedule.... hell I could talk for ages.
Just go visit a maintenance plant and you will know what we mean.
The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm

Strato pretty much hit it on the nail....like we both said, its pretty complicated to explain because all airlines do not do their MX programs the same way. I learned this the hard way after working at both AS and WN. I found WN's program to be pretty confusing for me. The way things were done at AS made much sense. Like I said, I can go on for HOURS and HOURS explaining how things are done at AS. I dont think my fingers would like me after trying to explain.

I can say that AS has TWO heavy/intermediate check hangars, one in SEA and one in OAK. AS also has minor MX crews around the system, but they are strictly limited to flight line ops. LAX is one example. LAX has a MX crew around the clock but do not have a hangar or anything. So their resources are very, very limited. I dont know how things are done in ANC since they just got a new hangar there that was built a few years ago, but no heavy/intermediate checks are done in ANC, just a hangar line ops.

While WN has like 3-4 different check hangars throughout their system but the check levels vary from station to station. And thats the confusing part for me. One C-check at a certain station is not done the same way as another C-Check is done at a different station. Does that make sense?

BTW, all MX programs in the U.S. are required to be approved by the F.A.A.; D.O.T and the D.O.D.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
aogdesk
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:08 pm

AirframeAS,

Maint programs also require DoD approval? Never knew that and I'm trying to figure out the rationale behind that......

Thanx
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:40 pm

>>>Maint programs also require DoD approval? Never knew that and I'm trying to figure out the rationale behind that......

Civilian airlines are often used for military charters.... After the Arrow Air DC-8 crash at Gander, the military's scrutiny of commercial operators (as it related to the charters) increased. The military hasn't replaced FAA as primary oversight, but they don't want their personnel on unsafe operators.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
avioniker
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:08 am

The Arrow Air accident at Gander has nothing to do with DOD oversight of the commercial contract carriers. The programs were in place long before that crash. And I think you'll find that the loading of the aircraft had a little more to do with it than the maintenance.

I spent 22 years in the AF and believe me they have a lot to learn about proper maintenance. I audited quite a few civilian operators when I was in MSET and ORI and I've been on the receiving end of DOD inspections a few times since I "retired". Sorry, but the AF inspectors are too easy. They really don't know what they're looking at.

The AF has to get the mission off regardless of profit or open write ups. That's why they have multiple catagories for Mission Capability.

Commercial operators must address every discrepancy on the next landing. Even if it's just to defer it after determining that it has no appreciable effect on safety or airworthiness.

I actually used to teach the difference between a German and an American Beer Can for use in patching holes in the aircraft. In the commercial world if a "bag smasher" dings the door jamb the flight will more than likely be cancelled while a 12 hour process to evaluate the damage and repair possibilities starts and the engineers all ooh and ah over the scratch.

DOD oversight is limited to audit of paperwork. They are in no way authorized or qualified to evaluate an operator's maintenance program. They may only audit the program for compliance with written standards as outlined in the operators GMM/GPM and MPM. Then they decide if they're going to use that carrier's aircraft. They can't direct any changes. They may only point out non-compliance with published procedures in the operator's maintenance program. Where the DOD has one advantage is they are very good at nitpicking and finding trivial deviations from approved practices. And before all you soon to retire Chiefs get up in arms out there think about this: You don't know what you don't know. Go back to your tools before you look for a commercial management position. I did and that's what made me such an arrogant SOB. :-(

But I seem to have gotten long winded on my soap box again, sorry.....

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

[Edited 2004-08-12 17:09:56]

[Edited 2004-08-12 17:12:23]
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
737doctor
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Fri Aug 13, 2004 2:20 pm

One C-check at a certain station is not done the same way as another C-Check is done at a different station.

I know your history with Southwest and your history of posting inaccuracies about our MX program.

So, would you care to elaborate?
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:23 am

Maint programs also require DoD approval?

At AS, yes. Other airlines....its rumored that it is required. But the DoD approval does not 'replace' the F.A.A. requirements and regulations. From what Ive heard is that the DoD contracts out AS for pax services and also for cargo services as well. I dont know any more specifics than that. The DoD inspects all the AS hangars once a year.

I know your history with Southwest and your history of posting inaccuracies about our MX program.

So, would you care to elaborate?


Sure! In PHX, Hangar #1 is used to do two very intermediate B & C-checks that last for 2 days approx. at the same time. Before the checks are done, the wash is done next to the hangar line hangar. Then the plane goes out for service after the wash then it comes back during RON to begin the checks. As for flight line work, the A checks are done over at the gates. They used to do it at the hangar but they found it more economical to do it at the gates rather than to tow the aircraft to the hangar and back to the gate one at a time. The Aircraft Appearance Technicians actually take part of the A checks, but in a very minor way, to clean the toilet tank up when the toilet shrouds are removed.

I was also told that the heavy C and D checks are done at BFGoodrich in Everett, WA. I was also told that DAL does some heavy D and C but no SI checks.

All I know about WN's MX program is from hearsay. Most I know about are confirmed from the station I worked at in PHX.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
737doctor
Posts: 1291
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:52 am

The reason I questioned you was because of this statement:

While WN has like 3-4 different check hangars throughout their system but the check levels vary from station to station. And thats the confusing part for me. One C-check at a certain station is not done the same way as another C-Check is done at a different station. Does that make sense?

To the casual observer, it makes us sound like we are running an inconsistent, haphazard MX program, which is simply not true. I will explain in more detail...

In PHX, Hangar #1 is used to do two very intermediate B & C-checks that last for 2 days approx. at the same time.

This is no longer true. Here is how the B/C checks break down:

B/C checks are done in DAL, HOU & PHX. There is one line in DAL, two lines in HOU and three lines in PHX. Instead of having an aircraft out of service for two days, the checks have now been broken down into more manageable work packages (called C1, C2, C3, C4). The reason for this is, as the 2/3/5 series aircraft got older, more things were being added to the 'C' checks and it was no longer practical to keep the aircraft out of service for that period of time. These smaller checks, done within a certain span of time, are the equivalent of a "full" C check, but each can be done overnight without removing the aircraft from service. A similar program is in place for the -700's as well. So it is possible that a plane in PHX might be getting a C4 check, while a plane in DAL is getting a C2 check and a plane in HOU is getting a C3 check, but our MX procedures do not vary from station to station.

I was also told that the heavy C and D checks are done at BFGoodrich in Everett, WA. I was also told that DAL does some heavy D and C but no SI checks.

We do not farm out 'C' checks, but some 1/4D, 1/2D & "full" D checks are outsourced. There are three lines of Heavy MX in DAL where we do 1/4D, 1/2D and 5Y (-700) checks.

All I know about WN's MX program is from hearsay.

And that is why maybe you shouldn't throw out speculation about how we do things. More than once, you've said things that, to the untrained eye, make Southwest's MX program look unprofessional. If you're not sure about our maintenance program, let someone else more familiar with our operations field those questions.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
Jetfixer75
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 2:21 pm

RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:21 am

As JetDoc stated, we only do 1/4, 1/2, and D checks at Goodrich. Although we get the occasional drop-in or mods such as SWACOM.
 
737doctor
Posts: 1291
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:53 am

Just FYI, to those who may be interested, SWACOM = ACARS.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
shark
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:24 pm

RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:16 am

"I can say that AS has TWO heavy/intermediate check hangars, one in SEA and one in OAK."

I don't know what you did when you with Alaska, but your profile states that you are a Maint Student. OAK is the heavy check hangar and SEA is the intermediate check hangar. They are not both considered heavy/intermediate checks.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:27 am

I don't know what you did when you with Alaska, but your profile states that you are a Maint Student. OAK is the heavy check hangar and SEA is the intermediate check hangar. They are not both considered heavy/intermediate checks.

First, I was a Technician Helper on the check crew in SEA. Secondly, I am correct in every aspect I said about AS. They both do the same checks, but OAK has the most workload now than SEA does.

Edited:

And THIRDLY, yes I am a AMT student. Im finishing courses that I didnt do quite yet and getting it over with now. Just because I am an AMT student does not mean I'm stupid or wrong about AS....

Now I could be wrong about WN although I was not there for very long, but my posts about WN are from what I have heard from a WN A&P in PHX who has been with the company for 15 plus years.....

[Edited 2004-08-17 22:30:12]
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
shark
Posts: 52
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:15 am

"First, I was a Technician Helper on the check crew in SEA. Secondly, I am correct in every aspect I said about AS. They both do the same checks, but OAK has the most workload now than SEA does."

I don't know how long you were with AS as a tech helper. I've been a line mech with AS for 13yrs. I'am sorry but you are not correct. The highest check in SEA is an "A" check and OAK is doing "C" checks. I don't think they are the same but what do I know I've only been around for 13yrs. The GPM only lists OAK as a heavy base, SEA is listed as Line/Intermediate. Even with OAK doing "C" checks SEA still has a bigger workload. Thats just because of higher number of A/C in SEA compared to OAK.

"And THIRDLY, yes I am a AMT student. Im finishing courses that I didnt quite do yet and getting it over with now. Just because I am an AMT student does not mean Iam stupid or wrong about AS...."

Hey I never said you where stupid, but you are wrong. Like I mentioned above I've been around a bit longer than you have. And I've been involved with the maint dept a bit more.
 
7673mech
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:46 am

Back to the original subject:
PtP flying really has no big effect on maintenance operations.
It is just a matter of routing the aircraft to your maintenance bases as req.
At a smaller airline this is probably a little easier then at a larger airline.
From time to time you may incur a larger expense when parts and tech's must be moved to an AOG aircraft, but it would be the same in a hub a spoke system if the plane were to break down in a unstaffed downline station.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9865
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:10 pm

Shark, you make me look like I dont know an ounce about AS. Thanks!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
scxmechanic
Posts: 479
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:05 am

AirframeAS,

Sorry dude but YOU make it look like you know nothing about AS... He didn't respond with incorrect info he just pointed out your errors...

And just out of curiosity why do you have such a negative attitude toward WN? Did you get escorted off the property or something?

It seems I have read some of you posts in the past and I get the impression you don't like my airline that much...
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Maintenance On Point-to-Point

Sat Aug 21, 2004 4:58 pm

And just out of curiosity why do you have such a negative attitude toward WN? Did you get escorted off the property or something?

Not exactly 'escorted' off the property...but I was accused of doing things that I never did only because I was on new-hire probation. When my co-workers complained about me, I would instantly get into trouble for whatever it was and was not given the chance to even explain anything at all even if I was guilty of it or not. Besides they would never believe an employee who is on new-hire probation and would believe employees who already passed probation and with the company for a few years or more. I hope that anwsers your question, but I dont want to get into specifics since I was accused of many things that was pretty embarassing... I was pretty much screwed over by the folks at WN in PHX where I was based, they didnt care weather or not I did what I was accused of or not, I was an easy scapegoat.

And no, I dont think my being deaf has anything to do with it. It might, but Im not sure.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.

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