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Airline Mechanics Pressured To Overlook Potential Problems

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Broccoli Iglesias, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias

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    What do you think?
     

  2. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

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    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    IIRC, military aircraft mechs take the first ride, after the repair.
     
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  3. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    This tension will always exist in air transport. The planes have to fly to make money.

    The three specific examples named were "worn tires, worn brakes and damage to the fuselage." Meh.

    We're in a Golden Age of aviation safety.
     
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  4. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

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    Sounds like the way they run cab companies, nothing gets fixed properly until it fails completely.
    Back in the early 80's, I worked as a mechanic for a cab garage, the stuff they did was scary.
    I remember doing a brake job and telling the boss that the car seriously needed rotors, he said "don't look at the rotors, just change the pads". OK, you're the boss. When I pulled one of the calipers off I noticed that the brake hose was badly frayed, I could see the very inner rubber line. I urgently told the boss "this needs a new brake hose, you can't let this leave the way it is". His reply "don't look at the hose, just change the pads". OK, you're the boss. So I did what he said, and out the door it went, only to come back a few hours later on a tow truck. That's right, just as I predicted, the hose blew, he lost the brakes and crashed. The boss looked at me like I had screwed it up. I said "don't blame me, I told you the brake hose was dangerously frayed". I quit soon after that, I take pride in my work and hated doing half-assed crap like that.
     
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  5. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    It's a long time since I disagreed with anything you wrote, sir, but air transport aircraft maintenance is nothing like that.

    An A&P has to put their name and number in writing on every maintenance action. If they really thought an aircraft was not airworthy they wouldn't sign it off imho.

    What we're talking about here is the difference between "airworthy" and "factory condition."
     
  6. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

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    Was this the boss?

    6a00e54ffb0bef8834016766bd2194970b-250wi.png
     
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  7. Brin747

    Brin747 NES Member

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    Dead on! I have been in aviation maintenance for 25 years on the component side. An A&P who overlooks problems will not be employed for long.
     
  8. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    You recall incorrectly.

    This isn't about the mechanics fixing the planes overlooking things or putting things aside. It's about management and supervisors pressuring them to not fix things to speed things up and keep planes moving. It's real. It exists. Fortunately from my experience the guys actually working on the planes don't succumb to the pressure in a way that impacts safety. But I have zero experience with the commercial side of things.
     
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  9. mu2bdriver

    mu2bdriver NES Member

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    This is a well timed propaganda piece being that we are presumably just a week from another govt shutdown and the only reasons the first one ended were the fear-mongering ‘experts’ scaring the uninformed masses about ASI’s, POI’s, and PMI’s off the job and the resultant delays in air travel from predominantly Center call outs.
     
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  10. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson NES Member

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    Granted I worked in parts overhaul as opposed to line maintenance, and I can only speak from my experience, but it took what it took to do the job properly . There was no such thing as good enough, and time was never really a consideration.
     
  11. tuna

    tuna NES Member

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    Hurr durr, safety safety safety.

    Chinese planes fly with duct tape in the engines and we make a huge deal out of minor issues.

    If the plane doesn’t crash, it was safe.

    Spent 22 years in the Air Force (not a pilot) and was always amazed at the BS that could ground a plane on the basis os “what if”.
     
  12. NHKevin

    NHKevin NES Member

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    Good thing you aren't turning wrenches on my airplane.
     
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  13. NHKevin

    NHKevin NES Member

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    Agreed.
     
  14. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias

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    +1
     
  15. JJ4

    JJ4 NES Member

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    Hmm... towards the end of the video (5:30): "Both Southwest and American are locked in tense union negotiations with mechanics over pay and benefits".

    Everyone speaking to reporters were from Southwest and American.

    Not a coincidence...
     
  16. grizquad

    grizquad NES Member

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    Spent my last 5 years at BOS working for a major airline as aircraft maintenance crew chief. NONE of the allegations occurred while I was there and worked 13 years for that airline. If it wasn't right, it didn't go...........PERIOD. The aircraft mechanic had more authority than the supervisor. The only person who could over rule a mechanic was a QC supervisor. I will agree that during contract times or if company was messing with the natural order of life, lots of things could be written up, but as a CC I would get with the mechanic and see what we could fix, or placard to be fixed at another overnight station. If it was a legit write up, the plane stayed until it was fixed.
     
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  17. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

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    Yes, I know this, my comments were aimed at the management, not the maintenance people.
    I felt like a douche doing half-assed work, I always want to do things the right way, but I still had to do what the boss says, that's why I didn't stay long at that job.

    Exactly^
    That's the point I was trying to get at by making the comparison to a cab company.
     
  18. amb

    amb NES Member

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    I've got some experience on both sides of the house, and some people over on the noncommercial side are a complete shitshow. ("You need an annual inspection signed off today? No problem! I can see it through the window, where's my pen?")

    The airline side always seemed totally on the ball and had no problem ground aircraft that weren't good to go. The only recent major maint screwup that comes to mind from a US carrier (a bad mix of DC-9 elevator jackscrew lubes that put Alaska 261 at the bottom of the Pacific) was from procedures dictated by the head office being cheap, not anybody turning wrenches. It's the people at the pointy end driving who crash most of them.

    Still, my time was with a couple of the big mainline carriers. I wonder if some of the commuters and low-cost carriers (ValuJet anyone?) are in the middle somewhere. The CBS piece still sounds like a hit job, though.
     
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  19. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    That’s purely idiotic.

    22 years doing what?
     
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  20. tuna

    tuna NES Member

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    Finished in intel but worked in ops as a 1C0 for a while. No not a pilot or mechanic, but I’ll still say a lot of things that grounded planes were over cautious.

    Flame me if you want, but I just don’t see safety as such a big concern.
     
  21. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    There is a special type of duct tape for that!
    upload_2019-2-11_5-23-54.png
    Nothing to see here, move along!

    :(
     
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  22. grizquad

    grizquad NES Member

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    Its 100 mph speed tape (aluminum tape with really good glue). If its applied to the aircraft for a reason, there is relief for a temporary repair in the Structural Repair Manual. It looks bad, but the tape really works for what it is intended for.
     
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  23. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Not sure if serious... [rofl]

    Theres a bunch of solid reasons the regs are retarded WRT aircraft. You can't just pull over on the side of the road for major issues, like you could in a car or a
    truck. By the time the self-diagnostic of "bad shit is happening", it's already too late. The problem is the cost of some in-flight systems failures is often guaranteed death, or on a good day, a serious compromise in safety, or a seriously damaged airplane on landing.

    This isn't anything at all like the intellectual fraud states pull with mandated "safety inspections" on cars, etc. It's a whole other ball of shit entirely, and might as well be on a different planet.

    -Mike
     
  24. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Friend of mine flies C5s and those things are broken/grounded all the time, although usually only temporarily. He's never said they were "over cautious", even if he's annoyed with maintenance issues/delays. You would be amazed at the level of broken shit they are allowed to fly with, although most of that stuff falls into the category of "not fatal" if it breaks completely or is partially functioning.

    -Mike
     
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  25. blindfire

    blindfire NES Member

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    Agreed. Gravity works 100% of the time...so the plane had better work 100% of the time as well.
     
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  26. Cabinetman

    Cabinetman

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    Speed tape.....very expensive aluminum duct tape that worked wonders patching holes in non-critical spots on the fuse good for 600 mph if I recall. I worked at BDL at Delta for 6 years over 45 years ago. Gosh I'm old. We had a great team of mechs and we ops guys used to work with them from time to time. They would identify an issue and if it wasn't critical they would tag it as an "MCO", or "maintenance carry over" to a station that had more parts or facilities. I truly loved working on 727s and Convair 880s. I recall helping one mechanic close the clamshell on one 727 engine using a piece of 2 x 4. In another 2 AM shift, I taxied a 727 to the maintenance area sitting in the captain's seat and taking it down the runway under power. Those, sirs, were the days. Best job I ever quit. I didn't want to move from New England.
     
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  27. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    There's a list of stuff that must be functional for an airliner to be flown. I believe they call it a MEL - Minimum Equipment List. Airliners fly with non-functional equipment every day, as long as it's not on the MEL.

    Anyway, the best answer to the OP's comment which nobody has made yet in so many words is "Contract negotiation time."
     
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  28. robjax

    robjax NES Member

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    way back when the wife and I went to Aruba. We took Allegra air...lol. Anyway, on the way home the flight was delayed because the radar wasn't working. They mentioned that it violated FAA regulations to fly in the US without radar. Apparently radar wasn't required for passenger airliners in all countries at that time. Anyway, on this day there were huge thunderstorm running up the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Canada. I think they delayed the flight because they were waiting for the storms to clear. Otherwise I think they were going to fly to Logan and get it repaired. Then they came over the PA and told us that the plane's radar was not working and we were flying to Cancun to get that done as the parts were not available in Aruba for that repair...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  29. mu2bdriver

    mu2bdriver NES Member

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    It’s actually the other way around: if it’s in the MEL, it can be inoperative for a defined period of time, and still be considered airworthy, and operate as normal within any limitations set out by the notes of the MEL. If it’s not in the MEL, it’s considered essential unless some other exemption/deviation/relief is granted on a temporary and specific-instance issuance. An MEL’d item can be inoperative anywhere between ‘as specified’ to 3, 10, or 120 days of the write up. If air carriers could not operate with an MEL, US air travel would look fourth world.
     
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  30. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    Sorry bud, but I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. I’ve only spent half the time in the AF as you but it’s all been in flying. That’s not how it works.
     
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