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Old 01-14-2003, 11:01 PM   #1
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AIRTRAN- A VERY SAFE AIRLINE!

Mr. Baker, I was surfing the web and came upon this web site and to say the least was upset at the comments made concerning the safety of Airtran Airlines. I happen to be a very proud Captain at Airtran and I have some serious issues with your views and your facts concerning my Airline.

First, Even though we are a low fare airline this does not in anyway equate to unsafe. Airtran, unlike any other airline, does not carry hazardous materials anymore(safety) most all other airlines do. It would scare you the # of incidents air carriers have had with o2 cylinders in the past years. It was unfortunate the Value jet suffered a fatal flight because of them.

Second, DC-9's are, as you said, a very safe aircraft it is the aircraft that I presently fly. When you fly a 30 year old airplane there are going to be events (mechanically) that I, any mechanic or the company can not foresee, as was the events of the 2 aircraft that had electrical problems causing smoke and subsequent air returns. The excellent training that Airtran puts its flight crews through and the quality and dedication to passenger SAFETY that those crews exhibited is what kept those 2 incidents just that, incidents.

Third, Here are some statistics you should be looking at before you jump on the anti-Airtran band wagon.

American Airlines 06/1999 Pilots using poor judgement to fly into bad weather, tired, crash in Little Rock 139 killed

American Airlines 11/2001 Aircraft departs behind a heavy, flies through wake turbulance, pilots use excessive rudder, tail has a fatigue crack maintenance should have cuaght, tail comes off 251 killed

American Airlines since 1997 has had 8 other fatal accidents with 574 fatalities(this does not include 9/11 and shouldn't)

Delta,Northwest,Continental & United all have numerous accident with fatalities

Since 1997 here are some statistic concerning incidents/accidents(nonfatal)

Delta 21
American 45
United 23
Airtran 3

Since 2001

Delta 8
United 10
American 19
Airtran NONE

If you looked at the statistics and the causes surrounding them it would appear to me that American Airlines would be the least safe and Airtran Airlines would be the safest airline to fly on. This info is available to all @ www.airsafe.com

Last thing, we presently have 50 B-717's and 9 DC-9's, the DC-9's will all be gone by the end of July. By the end of the year we will have around 75 B-717's and probably some other new larger aircraft making us the youngest flying fleet in the industry. Our Training is top notch and very tough. SAFETY IS the #1 concern for our passengers at Airtran Airlines.

I hope that all of you that read this post come away with a little different opinion than Mr. Bakers of what I think is a Wonderful Airline. Understand, low fare does not mean unsafe and nothing this web site has posted concerning Airtran being unsafe has any basis in fact. The opinion of Mr. Baker is just that, an opinion, and not a very intelligent one at that.

Happy flying no matter what Airline you choose!
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Old 01-14-2003, 11:46 PM   #2
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Re: AIRTRAN- A VERY SAFE AIRLINE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
First, Even though we are a low fare airline this does not in anyway equate to unsafe.
Absolutely, I agree, and I've never said anything to the contrary either on these forums or on the ITYT Airtran site. I believe that venerable Southwest Airlines, the pinnacle of discount carriers, is the safest US airline ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Airtran, unlike any other airline, does not carry hazardous materials anymore(safety) most all other airlines do.
That's good to hear, since Airtran isn't allowed to, yet other airlines are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Second, DC-9's are, as you said, a very safe aircraft it is the aircraft that I presently fly. When you fly a 30 year old airplane there are going to be events (mechanically) that I, any mechanic or the company can not foresee, as was the events of the 2 aircraft that had electrical problems causing smoke and subsequent air returns. The excellent training that Airtran puts its flight crews through and the quality and dedication to passenger SAFETY that those crews exhibited is what kept those 2 incidents just that, incidents.
DC-9s comprise a plurality of Northwest's fleet (they have 16, yet they don't have constant "smoke in the cockpit/cabin" issues, nor have they had a fatal DC-9 incident in over a decade. For what it's worth, that fatal incident was caused by taxiing in fog and being hit by a 727.

The DC-9 is one of the safest aircraft, with a comparable rating to the Boeing 767 and more safe than the Airbus A300 or A310. Do you not find it unusual that so many Airtran DC-9s have been destroyed in crashes, fires, or involved in major incidents?

In several reports, the NTSB has contradicted your statement by indicating that training was not sufficient and documentation was lacking in emergency procedures, specifically the handling of smoke in the cabin and cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Third, Here are some statistics you should be looking at before you jump on the anti-Airtran band wagon.

American Airlines 06/1999 Pilots using poor judgement to fly into bad weather, tired, crash in Little Rock 139 killed

American Airlines 11/2001 Aircraft departs behind a heavy, flies through wake turbulance, pilots use excessive rudder, tail has a fatigue crack maintenance should have cuaght, tail comes off 251 killed

American Airlines since 1997 has had 8 other fatal accidents with 574 fatalities(this does not include 9/11 and shouldn't)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
If you looked at the statistics and the causes surrounding them it would appear to me that American Airlines would be the least safe and Airtran Airlines would be the safest airline to fly on. This info is available to all @ www.airsafe.com
Although you've clearly looked at quite a few statistics, it's quite evident that you don't understand them. The number of incidents is only valid for comparison when it is divided by the number of flights operated.

You consistently compare Airtran to American, as if the two operate the same number of flights. With 2,800 daily departures using over 800 aircraft, American has nearly 5 times as many flights as Airtran with over an order of magnitude more aircraft. Airtran operates just 420 daily departures with a fleet of 70.

If you look at the same site that you referenced to me, you can see the "accident rate" for airlines, which reflects the number of flights operated in comparison to the number of incidents. You'll see that AA has a rate of 0.54, CO 0.18, NW 0.28, and Airtran's rate is 5.88. Southwest has 0.00, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
SAFETY IS the #1 concern for our passengers at Airtran Airlines.
I sincerely appreciate that you took the time to respond to the site and that you are committed to safety, which is really all that matters. The problem is that running an airline is a team effort and requires a corporate culture of safety, which is a lot harder to create than a motto.
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Old 01-15-2003, 12:56 AM   #3
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dsab-
Me and dbaker were discussing how many 717's and DC-9's AirTran's operate.I said that 65% of AirTran's fleet are NEW 717's. dbaker argued that most of AirTran's fleet are DC-9's. Which is correct? Also, I believe that AirTran is pretty safe for the most part and have learned their lesson. I dont think we can really call them an un-safe airline because they haven't had any fatalities or negligent accidents.
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Old 01-15-2003, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwgoldelite
I believe that AirTran is pretty safe for the most part
The safety of an airline isn't really a matter of belief or faith. Thankfully, due to the dilligence and purview of the NTSB we need not speculate or feel or believe when it comes to the subject of our safety. In any event, such loose and meaningless statements like "pretty safe" add nothing to the discussion.

The data presented paints a very comprehensive picture of poor safety when it comes to AirTran/ValueJet's past. While there's room to debate on whether or not AirTran's current management has fully (or even partially) rectified the problems that led directly to AirTran's history of poor safety I trust we can all agree that their present run of no fatalities has not been of sufficient duration to completely erase our memories of past failures and mistakes.

I hope and pray that AirTran never has another fatality. The statistics do not appear to support this hope, but we can still be optimistic.

As to the current statistics on AirTran's fleet -- this data is readily available and has been presented on these forums on numerous occasions. Even within this very thread. I can't see why you'd want to argue about it.
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Old 01-15-2003, 01:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
dsab-
Me and dbaker were discussing how many 717's and DC-9's AirTran's operate.I said that 65% of AirTran's fleet are NEW 717's. dbaker argued that most of AirTran's fleet are DC-9's. Which is correct? Also, I believe that AirTran is pretty safe for the most part and have learned their lesson.
What are you, like 12 years old or something? It wasn't dbaker who said that, it was me. After I checked more current sources, I found out that it was true that AirTran's fleet was mostly 717s, and I posted that. That you would bring it up again in this manner makes it a troll.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
I dont think we can really call them an un-safe airline because they haven't had any fatalities or negligent accidents.
So if an airline has a crash and changes their name, they're safe because they haven't had any fatalities. Great logic there, dude.
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Old 01-15-2003, 01:57 AM   #6
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Re: AIRTRAN- A VERY SAFE AIRLINE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
When you fly a 30 year old airplane there are going to be events (mechanically) that I, any mechanic or the company can not foresee
Yes. This is actually a strong argument against flying on older aircraft. From studying NTSB reports, there have been many CFIT crashes while the crew was attempting to diagnose or resolve a problem. Mechanical problems can greatly increase crew workload, and can make things especially difficult during periods of flight that have a high operational tempo or are difficult in their own right, such as landing during adverse weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
The excellent training that Airtran puts its flight crews through and the quality and dedication to passenger SAFETY that those crews exhibited is what kept those 2 incidents just that, incidents.
The NTSB reports, read in their entirety, show a much darker picture. For one, what sort of airline would buy a high-speed compressor disk, a critical engine component, with 95% of its service life already used up, from a repair station in Turkey? Then it's like this big surprise when the thing blows apart and the airplane burns on the runway.

More to the point, safety issues cited in reports include equipment, training and procedures for addressing in-flight smoke and fire, insufficient HAZMAT procedures, insufficient oversight, failure of Airtran to provide adequate training and guidance regarding hazardous weather encounters, failure of the flight crew to brief flight attendants regarding turbulence, inoperative intercoms, inoperative cabin PAs, inoperative autopilots... the list is extensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Third, Here are some statistics you should be looking at before you jump on the anti-Airtran band wagon.
You definitely have to compare the number of segments flown before you can begin to get anything useful from this information, as has already been pointed out by another poster. Airtran had a perfect safety record the 15 weeks it was shut down, for example.

Look, Airtran is probably a much safer airline than it was a few years ago. Maybe they've gotten past the cash-strapped startup mode and they're not taking risks like they used to. Comments about the 717 being an orphan aircraft have been dealt with in a previous thread, but will continue to raise concern for the airline. You'd be better off, I think, saying it wasn't safe but it is safe now than trying to assert it has been safe, because it hasn't.
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:25 AM   #7
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Well gents I see everyone needs a little education. I will respond to each of you.

Mr baker, Your site states " this site is a public warning to potential customers of Airtran", "Airtran has a history of negligent and unsafe practices that make it the most unsafe airline in the U. S." in the same breath with low cost, now frills airline. Sounds to me like you are trying to connect the two.

I would like to see a list(factual) of these practices you make mention of concerning Airtran Airways.

We do not carry hazmat because the airline chooses not to, there is no restriction imposed on us not to. It is the safe thing to do!

There needs to be an understanding of something here also, Valujet and Airtran Airways are to differant airlines. I did not work for Valujet tho' I am very familiar with its history. Valujet surrendered its certificate and with the merger and subsequent start of the new Airtran Airways a new coporate culture did emerge. When you all decide to seperate the two you will see it.

SAFETY at Airtran Airways is not only a motto, it is the corporate culture!

As for the NTSB reports you refer to that contradict my statement, there are none. There are NTSB reports that reflect issues at Valujet(as well as there are for other airlines) not so for Airtran.

Northwest with its large fleet of DC-9's has had multiple cases of smoke in the cockpit and on top of that has had several gear failures, engine failure/fires, some of which were related to poor maintenance, does this then make them an unsafe airline? Under your scrutiny it would.

Do not try to insult me either, I know exactly how the statistics are formulated to determine airline fatality rates. 1 fatal event/170,000miles will give you 5.88 how easy it is to hide nearly 1000 fatalities in 17,000,000miles as is the case with American, and appear there isn't a safety concern because I get .54, come on.

Here is something else you should look at when determining the safety of an airline. How many NTSB accident/incident reprorts are on file for the airline, and when you read them look at the cause of those findings. Take a look at these #'s.

American Airlines 142 NTSB filings since 1982 7.1/year
Delta 116 " 1984 6.5/year
United 136 " 1982 6.8/year
Continental 78 " 1983 4.1/year
Northwest 62 " 1984 3.4/year
Southwest 25 " 1985 1.5/tear
Valujet 11 " 1994 3.5/year
Airtran 1 " 1997 .2/year

What is truly interesting when you read these SWA who you consider the safest has more people injured from pilots flying into bad wx.
American has all the issues Valujet faced and then some...read for yourselves.

It is unfortunate that Valujet suffered a fatal crash due to the improper loading of O2 cylinders if you research this you will find many airlines have had incidents with these cylinders they have only been lucky. You will also find that Sabretech and the FAA were also cited for the cause of that crash.

Karl, You are right our fleet is comprised of 50 B717's, 9 DC-9's these will be gone by July. At the end of the year we will have 75 B717's and they are going to announce a new larger aircraft.

Buy the way, the aircraft with the faulty part from turkey had an engine failure, it did not burn on the runway. This was a Valujet event not Airtran .

Understand, ALL airlines have safety issues, Valujet had theirs yes, but Airtran is a different airline with a different corporate culture. We are a safe airline and there is nothing out there painting a different picture for Airtran Airways......dude!

Nugget, your first paragraph say it all! So go look and read those NTSB reports look closely at American. I think the rest of the #'s speak for themselves.

Safety as I said before, and as Mr Baker pointed out, does come from coporate culture. Before you make statements like "the most unsafe airline...." you need to research and educate yourselves. Unfortunately because we are a low cost, no frills airline, there are those that equate that to inadeqaute training, maintenance etc.. this is just not the case. Airtran, which by the way as of Jan. 1st has become the nations newest major airline, is today financially one of the strongest, our crews our well trained and safety is our #1 concern. This is our motto and it is our coporate culture.

Happy Flying!
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Old 01-15-2003, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Mr baker, Your site states " this site is a public warning to potential customers of Airtran", "Airtran has a history of negligent and unsafe practices that make it the most unsafe airline in the U. S." in the same breath with low cost, now frills airline. Sounds to me like you are trying to connect the two.
Can you actually read from one statement to the other in the same breath? I tried, and couldn't even get into the second paragraph before I needed a breath.

The first statement is at the top of the first paragraph and the second is at the top of the third.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
I would like to see a list(factual) of these practices you make mention of concerning Airtran Airways.
The NTSB actually does a great job describing maintenance practices. Have you read their hundreds of pages regarding the ValuJet/AirTran maintenance facilities that are still in use today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
We do not carry hazmat because the airline chooses not to, there is no restriction imposed on us not to. It is the safe thing to do!
This is factually incorrect. The FAA has said that Airtran is not authorized to carry hazardous material. Although Airtran could conceivably apply for permission to carry hazmat, employees would be required to undergo training in handling hazmat properly. At this point, employees have not had such training and the airline has no permission to carry hazmat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
There needs to be an understanding of something here also, Valujet and Airtran Airways are to differant airlines. I did not work for Valujet tho' I am very familiar with its history. Valujet surrendered its certificate and with the merger and subsequent start of the new Airtran Airways a new coporate culture did emerge. When you all decide to seperate the two you will see it.
This is factually incorrect. They're not two different airlines; on September 24, 1997, CEO D. Joseph Corr announced at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, "I'm pleased to announce that we are permanently retiring the name ValuJet and henceforth we wlil be known as AirTran Airlines." [1]

Additionally, it is factually incorrect that Valujet surrendered their operating certificate. During (at least) the initial stages of the "merger," ValuJet continued to operate under a separate operating certificate.[2]

ValuJet continued to operate the same aircraft with the same employees and the same maintenance facilities.[2]

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
As for the NTSB reports you refer to that contradict my statement, there are none. There are NTSB reports that reflect issues at Valujet(as well as there are for other airlines) not so for Airtran.
The SEC filings from AirTran reflect ValuJet as the same airline. If you're going to take a different position, it's going to be difficult to discuss this with you. Are you taking a different position on the situation than the company's official position?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Here is something else you should look at when determining the safety of an airline. How many NTSB accident/incident reprorts are on file for the airline, and when you read them look at the cause of those findings. Take a look at these #'s.

American Airlines 142 NTSB filings since 1982 7.1/year
Delta 116 " 1984 6.5/year
United 136 " 1982 6.8/year
Continental 78 " 1983 4.1/year
Northwest 62 " 1984 3.4/year
Southwest 25 " 1985 1.5/tear
Valujet 11 " 1994 3.5/year
Airtran 1 " 1997 .2/year
I'm sorry, but you continue to present effectively the same statistics that you are seemingly unable to interpret in a meaningful way. The number of incidents that an airline has had is meaningless unless it's compared with the number of flights that they operate.

Do you feel that it's unfair that someone with an income of $2,000,000 annually spends more on income tax than someone with an income of $15,000? After all, they're both people and they're both people paying tax, right? But one ends up paying hundreds of times more than the other. The reality is that it would only be fair to compare the amount paid for two people with equal earnings. Do you disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
What is truly interesting when you read these SWA who you consider the safest has more people injured from pilots flying into bad wx.
American has all the issues Valujet faced and then some...read for yourselves.
I would like to read for myself about how Southwest has "more people injured." Can you provide a source on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
It is unfortunate that Valujet suffered a fatal crash due to the improper loading of O2 cylinders if you research this you will find many airlines have had incidents with these cylinders they have only been lucky. You will also find that Sabretech and the FAA were also cited for the cause of that crash.
The FAA was cited for not overseeing ValuJet enough. Blaming your incompetence on someone that's supposed to be evaluating you is consistent with AirTran's corporate culture of "safety is someone else's problem" and it's disconcerting to me that you maintain that position even after you've said so many times that safety is your number one priority and the corporate culture.

Footnotes:
[1] http://www.cnn.com/TRAVEL/NEWS/9709/24/valujet.presser/
[2] http://www.fool.com/Industry/Airline...inesWeekly.htm
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:39 PM   #9
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Mr. Baker, I think it is very apparent that you have only one agenda and that is to dissuade people from flying Airtran. You seem to have some deep seated dislike for the airline. I hope those who visit this site come away with a different view.

"Have you read the hundreds of pages...." show me...I found 11 total www.ntsb.gov you must be referring to American. You can also read about SWA there.

You seem to want to use the NTSB reports to support your dislike since you constantly refer to them, but it seems they only apply to Airtran or in your case Valujet. If the safety, you so think is lacking at my airline(Airtran), is based on NTSB reports then it seems this should be the basis for judging all airlines....true.

I truly hope in your intellectual mind you are not suggesting to the traveling public that if I fly 17 million miles vs 1 million as an airline or have 2000 flights compared to 200 then it is OK to have an exorbitant # of accidents/incident or fatalities and to make light of this and compare human life to the filing of taxes is deplorable!

As for my comment on carrying hazmat I was factually correct you are not! Airlines do not ask permission per say and the FAA has not restricted the airline from doing so for some underlying reason as you seem to suggest. Any airline that wishes to carry hazmat has to submit to the FAA a training curriculum for their employees once approved and employees have been trained you can carry hazmat. Airtran has opted not to include this training therefore we do not carry hazmat, and this decision is based on the safety of the flying public. Nothing more.

I would like to see the SEC filings you speak of.

"blaming your incompetence on someone else......." There you go again trying to insult me...what does my competence have to do with anything!! I had nothing to do with Valujet or the crash...

I have not once suggested in any post that Valujet did not have there problems just that there were more parties involved than 1.

The only "position" I have maintained is that SAFETY is Airtrans #1 concern and it is the corporate culture of this airline!

Happy flying!
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Old 01-15-2003, 08:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
"Have you read the hundreds of pages...." show me...I found 11 total www.ntsb.gov you must be referring to American.
271 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1997/aar9706.pdf
184 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1996/AAR9607.pdf
139 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1996/AAR9603.pdf

You can read all about the procedural and design failures in ValuJet/AirTran operations and maintenance facilities that are still in use today.

I certainly hope that you complete your checklists and pre-flight walkarounds more thoroughly than you did your examination of ntsb.gov.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbaker
The SEC filings from AirTran reflect ValuJet as the same airline. If you're going to take a different position, it's going to be difficult to discuss this with you. Are you taking a different position on the situation than the company's official position?
I would like to see the SEC filings you speak of.
Sure! Take a look at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da...-97-002099.txt

Specifically, you might note the "COMPANY CONFORMED NAME," "FORMER CONFORMED NAME," and "DATE OF NAME CHANGE" fields.

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.sec.gov

FILER:

COMPANY DATA:
COMPANY CONFORMED NAME: AIRTRAN AIRLINES INC
CENTRAL INDEX KEY: 0000914277
STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION: AIR TRANSPORTATION, SCHEDULED [4512]
IRS NUMBER: 880290707
STATE OF INCORPORATION: NV
FISCAL YEAR END: 1231

FILING VALUES:
FORM TYPE: S-4/A
SEC ACT:
SEC FILE NUMBER: 333-37487-01
FILM NUMBER: 97733334

BUSINESS ADDRESS:
STREET 1: 1800 PHOENIX BLVD
STREET 2: STE 126
CITY: ATLANTA
STATE: GA
ZIP: 30349
BUSINESS PHONE: 7709072580

MAIL ADDRESS:
STREET 1: 1800 PHOENIX BLVD
STREET 2: STE 126
CITY: ATLANTA
STATE: GA
ZIP: 30349

FORMER COMPANY:
FORMER CONFORMED NAME: VALUJET AIRLINES INC
DATE OF NAME CHANGE: 19940513
Further in the filing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.sec.gov
AirTran Airlines, Inc., a Nevada corporation formerly known as ValuJet
Airlines, Inc. ("ValuJet Airlines" or the "Issuer") , hereby offers, upon the
As far as having as desiring to dissuade people from flying AirTran, you're exactly right. With a history of being unsafe and refusing to acknowledge and recover from this failure, why should anyone fly AirTran if there are comparable alternatives available? Many people aren't even aware that ValuJet is AirTran and wouldn't fly AirTran if they knew -- it's just deceit on the part of AirTran management. Frankly, I find the behavior to be unethical and just despicable. This isn't a joke and you don't get second chances for no reason. ValuJet/AirTran has literally destroyed lives, families, left children without parents, and ruined the potential for everything that people have worked for. Accidents do happen; it's a fact of life and it's unfortunate, but it's not acceptable when those accidents are as a result of negligence and incompetence. If you can read the NTSB reports above and disagree with me on this, then I don't think we have anything further to discuss.

I think that you're fighting a losing battle if you're going to try to argue against the facts and statistics. Perhaps you should rather spend time trying to make the AirTran management take safety seriously and place a real emphasis on how important this matter is. Serious and rigorous oversight of maintenance as well as re-evaluating the safety documentation and training that flight crews receive might be a good start.
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:24 PM   #11
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Mr. Baker, For the 3rd time you have but thrown insult out after your red herrings. The 3 ntsb reports you have listed are 3 of the 11 I already put out there, they are just the long form versions of the same thing. The first is 270+ pages on the crash of flight 592.

The sec filings are for the merger and stock swaps that took place and yes the name was changed this typically happens when mergers take place.This all started in 1994 at the completion of which the Valujet certificate was surrendered and Airtran Airways began. There is no deceit in any of this.

"with a history of being unsafe and refusing to .....and recover from..." Do you honestly hear what you say! I have presented the history of all the major airlines you seem little interested in anyone but Valujet. The fact that Valujet is no longer in business is aknowledgement of there mistake and Since Joe Leonard has been at the helm of Airtran Airways Safety has been #1 at this airline and Airtran has recovered from the shadow of Valujet, which I think is evident in the track record we have since Airtran has been in existance.

The crash of flight 592 was terrible and yes there was negligence involved on several levels, but tell me how this is any different from the 2 fatal crashes american has had in the past 3 years taking nearly 400 lives. Both due to negligence and pilot incompetance. You stated and I quote "[Accidents do happen; it's a fact of life and it's unfortunate, but it's not acceptable when those accidents are as a result of negligence and incompetence] I suggest you come down as hard on American and others as you have Airtran!

I am definitly not argueing against the facts, I have presented the facts on all the major airlines. My arguement is, I do not believe we are in any way an unsafe airline and I stand behind that.

Your safety is our first concern at Airtran Airways! Happy flying!
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Old 01-16-2003, 06:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
the DC-9's will all be gone by the end of July. By the end of the year we will have around 75 B-717's and probably some other new larger aircraft making us the youngest flying fleet in the industry.
Airtran's press releases say that you will complete the DC-9 retiring in December 2003, not July 2003.

Additionally, you will not have the youngest jet fleet. That claim belongs to ExpressJet Airlines (d/b/a Continental Express), which operates over 200 Embraer ERJ-135, ERJ-145, and ERJ-145XR aircraft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
The sec filings are for the merger and stock swaps that took place and yes the name was changed this typically happens when mergers take place.This all started in 1994 at the completion of which the Valujet certificate was surrendered and Airtran Airways began. There is no deceit in any of this.
Okay, so you agree that when you said, "There needs to be an understanding of something here also, Valujet and Airtran Airways are to differant airlines," that was incorrect, right?

It is deceit because the name was changed to hide the fact that the known-to-be-unsafe ValuJet is doing business as no-bad-history AirTran. This was acknowledged by AirTran management in the October 6, 1997 edition of Advertising Age:

Quote:
Tad Hutcheson, Director of sales and marketing for the airline said, "In terms of brand equity of the old [ValuJet] name, there was none-it was negative equity." The decision to change the name of the airline was applauded by industry consultants. According to Doug Kelly, VP-aviation consulting at Avitas, "Every start-up was hurt as a result of the accident and everyone remembers it."
I can no longer debate the safety statistics with you. My many attempts to explain them have failed and I'm not sure how else I can help you understand. Perhaps if you respond to my tax analogy? Seriously, if you could see how that relates to airline safety statistics, I think that you might be able to see what I (and several other posters) have been trying to demonstrate.

I'm really shocked that you're (pretending?) to be so blind about what happened. It's so obvious and apparent that a website called SatireWire has created a joke news article announcing that Firestone (Bridgestone) is changing their name to ValuJet to shed their relation to the deaths and injuries caused by their faulty tires. Among the various dead-on slams to AirTran is:

Quote:
At a press conference to unveil the name, ValuJet's Fidrich demonstrated the power of this new system. Asked repeatedly if the company will now attempt to evade lawsuits stemming from the 174 U.S. traffic deaths linked to Firestone tires, Fidrich appeared genuinely confused.

"I'm sorry, but we are ValuJet Tires," she said. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any products made by another company."

When reporters pressed the point that ValuJet evolved from Firestone, Fidrich grew impressively irritated. "Honestly, to what absurd lengths are we going to take this? Should we also blame Exxon-Mobil for things Standard Oil did back in 1900?"
Since you seem to be a bit obtuse about these things, I'll fill you in -- the joke is on you and exactly how you're behaving. Perhaps the corporate culture at Airtran focuses more on denying wrongdoing rather than safety and correcting failings in the system.
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:26 AM   #13
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Well Mr. Baker, it seems with each new post your intellect fails you even more and your posts become more childish in nature. This will be my last reply to you and your web site. I think we will let those who veiw it judge for themselves.(if you are brave enough to leave the posts alone)

It seems that once again I know something you do not! At the time of the press release Dec was probably the plan, at the time of my post and according to the maintenance retirement sheet I possess it is July..sorry!

Without knowing the age of expressjets a/c I could't intellegently debate this so how about this...We will be the youngest flying Major airline fleet!

There was a pre-merger airline, Valujet, and a post merger airline, Airtran, 2 totally different cultures, 2 totally different airlines...again you are wrong!

It can not be deceit if someone is out there explaining to a public forum why and how it came to be...this was a pretty foolish statement on your part.

You have never debated the statistics, not once! I would just like to hear a response to 1, the American Airlines events, and I am sure every reader will see your great attempts to avoid responding to the statistics...and your tax analogy is an insult to every family who has lost a loved one to an air disaster...pathetic!

And I could give a s@$t about satire websites created for no real purpose!

"obtuse" there you go yet again with insults, shows your immaturity and lack of respect for anyone but yourself.

Lastly Mr. Baker, I definetly do not consider any of this a joke. I take what I do very seriouly and I know the company I fly for Airtran Airways takes it very seriouly. As I have stated in each post SAFETY IS #1 at AIRTRAN AIRWAYS. The corporate culture of our airline is to be the safest, passenger freindly airline in the business....and we will be!

The fact that millions of people across the country are flying Airtran and we are growing is true testiment to the confidence the flying public has with our airline. Thank you to each of you that do!

Happy flying!
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Old 01-16-2003, 01:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Well Mr. Baker, it seems with each new post your intellect fails you even more and your posts become more childish in nature.
Between the two of you, dsab, your posts are far more inflammatory than dbaker's, as this quote above ably demonstrates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
This will be my last reply to you and your web site. I think we will let those who veiw it judge for themselves.
That's unfortunate, if true. Despite the fact that I disagree with you, I've appreciated reading your viewpoint and I'd be disappointed if you let this disagreement drive you away from the site entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
It seems that once again I know something you do not! At the time of the press release Dec was probably the plan, at the time of my post and according to the maintenance retirement sheet I possess it is July..sorry!
I'm inclined to believe that your information is more accurate than an old press release. I don't see why everyone (you, dbaker, nwgoldelite) seem so intent on arguing these numbers, though. To me, the fundamental concerns over AirTran's focus on safety are not affected by the specific numbers of particular aircraft in their fleet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
There was a pre-merger airline, Valujet, and a post merger airline, Airtran, 2 totally different cultures, 2 totally different airlines...again you are wrong!
In this specific case, dbaker cited SEC filings and quotes from AirTran's own management team that are at odds with your assertion. All the evidence presented so far clearly indicates that ValueJet *renamed itself* to AirTran. You've provided absolutely zero reason for us to believe that anything more took place at the same time. You've provided absolutely zero reason for us to believe that the corporate culture within the airline changed along with the name. If you want to make your case, start with giving us some reasons to believe that what you say is true. WHY are they two totally different cultures? Why are they two totally different airlines? WHY does even AirTran management not make the assertions you're making here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
As I have stated in each post SAFETY IS #1 at AIRTRAN AIRWAYS. The corporate culture of our airline is to be the safest, passenger freindly airline in the business....and we will be!
Exactly. You've stated. To borrow a quote from bwilson: "until you start making a point instead of just stating a point you are just ranting." You keep saying this over and over as if the sheer force of repetition is sufficient to make your case. It is not. Why should we believe you when all the evidence points to the contrary? You've given us no reason to believe what you are telling us and seem to resort to name calling to avoid substantiating your position. The arguments for not trusting AirTran's commitment to safety are numerous and objective including their accident history, accident rate, and the very detailed analysis of the NTSB reports. There is real, legitimate, and substantiated data which supports mistrust for AirTran's safety. I'm afraid that simply telling us that we're wrong (even if you do it in ALL CAPS) is not a compelling argument. You are not making a case, you are just stating an opinion.

I'd love to be convinced that AirTran has undergone a meaningful shift in corporate values and focus concurrent with their renaming. Nobody wants AirTran (or any airline) to be unsafe. I wish you could provide some reason for me to believe that AirTran has become more safe and has changed their behavior when it comes to safety. At this point, though, I see no reason to think that's the case and AirTran doesn't get a second chance for my opinion simply because they've changed their name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
The fact that millions of people across the country are flying Airtran and we are growing is true testiment to the confidence the flying public has with our airline.
Or it could be a true testiment to the fact that most air travellers aren't aware that AirTran is really just a new name for ValueJet. Are you of the opinion that AirTran would be experiencing the exact same volume of business had they retained their old name "ValueJet"?
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
It seems that once again I know something you do not! At the time of the press release Dec was probably the plan, at the time of my post and according to the maintenance retirement sheet I possess it is July..sorry!
You would probably be wiser to just say you're wrong on this one. Do you realize the implications of releasing material nonpublic insider information about a publicly traded company? This is especially true in the matter of your forward-looking statements and projections without a securities disclaimer.

For what it's worth, the article I read with the December projections was dated January 8, 2003 and is consistent with the AirTran press releases from a few weeks ago. You must be really on the ball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
Without knowing the age of expressjets a/c I could't intellegently debate this so how about this...We will be the youngest flying Major airline fleet!
How is Airtran a "major airline" in a way that ExpressJet isn't? ExpressJet operates more than 950 daily departure to 110 cities in the US, Canada, and Mexico. AirTran only offers 420 daily departures to 41 destinations.

Anyway, Airtran and Boeing have both said that Airtran will have "one of the youngest" jet fleets in the industry, which is a far cry from your statement.

Regardless, the age of the aircraft is quite moot in this argument since I don't feel like the age is a more important factor than a company's operational and mechanical history.

It's not like AirTran even has a good safety record with the 717, so I'm not sure why you're pushing that so much as an improvement in safety. In May of 2000, an Airtran 717 experienced smoke in the cockpit, attributed to a bad switch on a control panel. Also in May of 2000, another Airtran 717 experienced a total electrical failure in flight and had to make another emergency landing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
There was a pre-merger airline, Valujet, and a post merger airline, Airtran, 2 totally different cultures, 2 totally different airlines...again you are wrong!
Just saying that I'm wrong doesn't make it the case. Perhaps you should try to prove your point rather than repeating it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsab
You have never debated the statistics, not once! I would just like to hear a response to 1, the American Airlines events, and I am sure every reader will see your great attempts to avoid responding to the statistics...and your tax analogy is an insult to every family who has lost a loved one to an air disaster...pathetic!
I've discussed statistics in almost every post, but you just misconstrue it every time.

Answer this simple, hypothetical question about two fictitious and perhaps we can clear things up:
  • Mango Airlines operates 200 daily scheduled departures (73,000 annually) and, on average, has one fatal accident every five years.
  • Plum Airlines operates 6,000 daily scheduled departures (2,190,000 annually) and, on average, has one fatal accident every year.

    Which airline is safer in the sense that they have less frequent fatal accidents?
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Old 01-16-2003, 04:13 PM   #16
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I've been following this thread and, while I don't know nearly as many details as either dbaker or dsab, I am concerned about my safety. To say again - my safety. What concerns me is, when I get on a given flight, what are the odds I'm going to get hurt/killed? To figure out these odds, you need the number of incedents divided by number of flights.

OK, now that we've figured that out, let's go back and look at the numbers. I'll let each person decide what to do with that.

Now for an analogy that dbaker might like. You're looking at buying two cars. One has 100k miles on it and has had 10 major problems. The other has 20k miles and has had 5 problems. Wich one would you say is a more reliable car?
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Old 01-17-2003, 12:06 AM   #17
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OK I'll respond again. The big question...is Airtran Airlines an unsafe airline?, does the FAA think that Airtran is unsafe?, do they feel Airtran maintenance practices are substandard or unsafe? Well if I answer this, as nugget pointed out, I would be "ranting" and since the FAA is someone you all seem to respect, since they are who, you say, you are baseing your safety concerns on. I will let them speak for themselves.

www.businesswire.com/webbox/bw.022798/794587.htm
http://www.businesswire.com/webbox/b.../200760322.htm
http://www.businesswire.com/webbox/b.../211712364.htm
http://www.businesswire.com/webbox/b.../223432464.htm

The first is dated 1998, 1 year after the start of Airtran Airways and I will quote " the FAA said it found no significant issues that would have a direct impact on safety, or systematic failures with Airtran Airline. We found no evidence of fraudulent activities. In addition, there was no indication of improperly trained or unqualified flight crew members nor aircraft operating in an unsafe condition. this conclusion was validated by an independent review and analysis team of senior inspectors."

Now you can read all the rest, infact, there are many others also. I do not know what else I could submit to you.

Here again are the ntsb accident/incident statistics for most of the majors. judge for yourselves.

These are in response to the mango/plum hypothesis....dated from 1997.

American Airlines 51 acc/inc 8.5/year 391 fatalities
Delta Airlines 49 acc/inc 8.1/year 1 fatality
United Airlines 38 acc/inc 6.3/year
Continental Airlines 21 acc/inc 3.5/year 1 fatality
Northwest Airlines 20 acc/inc 3.3/year 1 fatality
Southwest Airlines 6 acc/inc 1/year
Airtran Airline 2 acc/inc .3/year

www.ntsb.gov/aviation/aviation.htm

Now show me the data the supports any mistrust of Airtrans Safety, and which one of the above airlines would you truly be concerned to fly on?

After the merger and start of Airtran Airlines things did change folks, the corporate culture of the airline changed, the total commitment to safety in every aspect of the airline is especially significant. This not only coming from me, but management, the FAA, the flying public and the fact we have had only 2 ntsb acc/inc in 6 years.

Mr.Baker as long as airplanes fly there will always be a situation were someone will have to declare an emergency, return and land, the fact that this happens does not make an airline unsafe.

Nugget, I hope this will change your mind and give you... reason to believe.......Happy flying!

...how do you guys get that little quote box to work....
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:35 PM   #18
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Is AirTran Safe?

These statistics are based upon the number of fatal accidents per million flights that the carrier has flown since 1970.

AIRLINE | RATE | EVENTS | FLIGHTS |GRADE
AirTran Airways | 5.88 | 1 | 0.17M | F
American Airlines | 0.54 | 12 | 17.0M | A

It turns out that AirTran Airways is one of the two airlines rated that did not get an A. Midwest Express got a D.

It turns out that AirTran is on the same level as Air India and Cubana.

Isn't that reasuring?

P.S. If you would like to see the web site, click onto http://www.airsafetyonline.com/safet...portcard.shtml.
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Old 04-25-2003, 04:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
AIRLINE | RATE | EVENTS | FLIGHTS |GRADE
AirTran Airways | 5.88 | 1 | 0.17M | F
American Airlines | 0.54 | 12 | 17.0M | A

It turns out that AirTran Airways is one of the two airlines rated that did not get an A. Midwest Express got a D.

It turns out that AirTran is on the same level as Air India and Cubana.
Let's see. They have only had 170,000 flights? So if I take the # of flights from FL press releases, I should have less than that as that includes VJet, which doesn't have press releases. I am taking the number of daily flights from the press release closest to the middle of each year to come up with the number of flights for the year, as FL has grown fairly steadily year-year over the last 5 years. Let's see now:

1998(earliest year they have): 283
1999: 275(PRs say 'over 275' so I'm going to keep the number at 275.)
2000: 292
2001: 326
2002: 388

total over 5 years: 570860. Just a hair more than the 170,000 that they claim over the entire time of Valujet/AirTran Airlines/AirTran Airways(10 years come this October).

Since dsab's thesis(which I agree with) says that AirTran has changed, let's look at accidents/incidents since 1997, which he provided us with, and a source to back it up:

Quote:
American Airlines 51 acc/inc 8.5/year 391 fatalities
Delta Airlines 49 acc/inc 8.1/year 1 fatality
United Airlines 38 acc/inc 6.3/year
Continental Airlines 21 acc/inc 3.5/year 1 fatality
Northwest Airlines 20 acc/inc 3.3/year 1 fatality
Southwest Airlines 6 acc/inc 1/year
Airtran Airline 2 acc/inc .3/year
While American Airlines is bigger, they don't have more than two dozen times the number of flights as AirTran does to account for the number of accidents/incidents. Same goes for the other two large carriers, Delta and United.

Quote:
Anyway, Airtran and Boeing have both said that Airtran will have "one of the youngest" jet fleets in the industry, which is a far cry from your statement.
Not a far cry. The only other candidate I know of would be CoEx, and my guess is that is by less than 6 months. Not that much of a far cry from his statement.

Quote:
It's not like AirTran even has a good safety record with the 717, so I'm not sure why you're pushing that so much as an improvement in safety. In May of 2000, an Airtran 717 experienced smoke in the cockpit, attributed to a bad switch on a control panel. Also in May of 2000, another Airtran 717 experienced a total electrical failure in flight and had to make another emergency landing.
the smoke in the cockpit in number one was a wisp. In number two, the problem was fixed as it was a flaw in the 717 design, and was attributed to some melting ice coming into the cockpit. I know TWA had an electrical failure on a 717. IIRC, it was even the day that it went up to MKE so MidEx execs could look at it.

Quote:
Okay, so you agree that when you said, "There needs to be an understanding of something here also, Valujet and Airtran Airways are to differant airlines," that was incorrect, right?
Wrong. Valujet changed its name to AirTran Airlines on the certificate. It then dropped that certificate and adopted the new one, which belonged to the original AirTran Airways and the name was changed as such.

It is similar to what will happen with TWA^A. Trans World Airlines became TWA LLC, and when the merger is finally 100% complete, the planes will be transfered over to the AA certificate.

Quote:
Quote:
dsab wrote:
"Have you read the hundreds of pages...." show me...I found 11 total www.ntsb.gov you must be referring to American.


271 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1997/aar9706.pdf
184 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1996/AAR9607.pdf
139 pages: http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1996/AAR9603.pdf

You can read all about the procedural and design failures in ValuJet/AirTran operations and maintenance facilities that are still in use today.

I certainly hope that you complete your checklists and pre-flight walkarounds more thoroughly than you did your examination of ntsb.gov.
Those all relate to Valujet pre-AirTran days. Please come up with these horrendous filings for some stuff on AirTran. And don't show that AirTran 956 sensationalism again, it landed because some idiot left their curling iron on.

Quote:
dsab wrote:

It is unfortunate that Valujet suffered a fatal crash due to the improper loading of O2 cylinders if you research this you will find many airlines have had incidents with these cylinders they have only been lucky. You will also find that Sabretech and the FAA were also cited for the cause of that crash.



The FAA was cited for not overseeing ValuJet enough. Blaming your incompetence on someone that's supposed to be evaluating you is consistent with AirTran's corporate culture of "safety is someone else's problem" and it's disconcerting to me that you maintain that position even after you've said so many times that safety is your number one priority and the corporate culture.
care to show how Valujet is to blame for SabreTech, a company which at the time was doing maintenance ops for AA, DL, and loaded the full O2 containers so CO could see a clean operation when they checked them out.

If you care to keep back on the times would it be safe to say that CO flies old aircraft and has incompetent management because that was the truth 10 years ago? So why is it any different for Vjet?

Edited to change a word.
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Old 04-25-2003, 11:37 PM   #20
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Oh yeah, if you think FL is unsafe, let's look at all the safety guidelines and procedures CO mechanics follow: http://www.aviationhumour.co.uk/continental.pps

And unlike the Satirewire article, this is for real.[/url]
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