ARTICLE: How US Airways Checks Its Boeing 737s

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by Funtodoimpossible, Apr 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Funtodoimpossible
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    Funtodoimpossible Gold Member

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    TEMPE, Ariz. (TheStreet) -- As the airline industry explores how to address the problem of metal fatigue in aging aircraft like Boeing (BA) 737 300s, analysts say that US Airways'(LCC) method of checking older aircraft is potentially a benchmark for the future.

    Over the past decade, the 58 older 737s in the US Airways fleet have been subject to an inspection process that is far more rigorous than what newer 737s endure.

    The frequency and rigor of US Airways inspections "should be a model" for the industry, said John Goglia, a safety consultant who is a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board and a former US Airways mechanic.

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    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11078078/1/how-us-airways-checks-its-boeing-737s.html?cm_ven=GOOGLEN

    Wow! I never imagined that US would put their 733 & 734 fleet would regularly go through such a rigorous testing regime going above and beyond what the FAA required.
     
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  2. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    I guess they crunched the numbers and learned it's cheaper, easier and more beneficial overall to do preventative maintenance than to do the bare minimum. WN's expenses in mechanic overtime, passenger compensation (not just meal vouchers either), agent overtime (to handle all the extra reticketing) and baggage couriers (when someone is rerouted but their bag is not) due to grounding such a large portion of their fleet, even for a short time, must be a lot more than it costs US to do these extra checks, plus it lessens the company's exposure to lawsuits by preventing a maintenance-related fatality.

    US did just recentl have to ground their A333's for a day or two due to fuel leaks found on one plane during maintenance/inspection; lots of displaced International passengers. UA recently grounded a large number of planes for mechanical reasons too, can't remember the specifics but will try to find them and post them here. But these are very expensive scenarios and I'm really not surprised if the motivation behind aggressive inspections is at least in part financial.

    Bean counters are not always bad ;D
     
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  3. richinaz
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    richinaz Silver Member

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    Did you mean.........
     
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  4. N965VJ
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    Just keep in mind that WN will have higher cycles on their airframes compared to US.
     
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  5. Funtodoimpossible
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    WN definately racks up cycles faster then US, but these planes have a fair number of cycles on them as well.
     
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  6. Mr. Jack

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    Perhaps it's a bit cynical, but there's the persistent theory that one way WN is able to cut costs is by cutting maintenance.
     
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  7. Funtodoimpossible
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    To WN's defense, Boeing has said that the design of the WN 737 that had the incident was "an attempt to improve the design and provide a longer life of the lap join," and Boeing's analysis and testing led them to believe it would permit them to delay the inspection requirements until 60,000 cycles.
     
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  8. Mr. Jack

    Mr. Jack Active Member

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    Quite true, but interesting that US implemented the electrolytic testing process even though not ordered to do so whereas WN was ordered. And, of course, it's not like WN doesn't have a 'black mark' or two against it with regard to maintenance the past year or so.
     
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