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Old 12-25-2002, 06:55 PM   #1
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AirTran safety

What about all of AirTran's 717's? those planes are brand new, dont you think they are safe?
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Old 12-25-2002, 11:06 PM   #2
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Read http://www.ityt.com/airtran/ which you obviously only skimmed before posting your question.

For what it's worth, DC-9s in general are some of the safest aircraft in the world. It's simply a matter of who is operating them. Since Airtran is so DC-9 heavy, they have more opportunity to burn them to the ground.

Do you believe that if an Airtran or Cubana Air or China Airlines operated Boeing 777s (which have never crashed), that they would be safe?
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Old 12-26-2002, 12:57 AM   #3
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Yeah, but AirTran is getting rid of the DC-9's. I just think that AirTran has learned their lesson. 100% of their fleet will be 717's and right now 65% of their fleet is 717's. There have not been any serious accidents with their 717's that i can recall in the near past. By the way dbaker, i watch a really interesting thing on the discovery channel about the crash of ValuJet 592. It was really good. You didnt really mention anything about the air tanks that were shipped in the airplane that caused the fire. You should talk more about that in the report. That crash was definetly ValuJet and SabreTech's fault. Also, i have a question, in the film they sometimes referred to ValuJet as critter, any idea why?
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:36 AM   #4
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Re: AirTran safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
What about all of AirTran's 717's? those planes are brand new, dont you think they are safe?
First, if you fly Airtran, the odds are good you'll get an old DC-9, not a 717, as DC-9's comprise most of their fleet.

The Boeing 717 is a fairly new aircraft; only a few dozen have been manufactured so far. There have been some problems, including smoke in the cockpit during a flight, a total electrical failure during a flight (although in both cases the aircraft landed safely), and some software problems and faults in the flight management system.

My concerns about the 717 are as follows:

1. Boeing obtained this aircraft program from its acquisition of McDonnel Douglas' civilian aircraft program, which had been in decline for many years before being sold. Is there a heavy internal commitment to this aircraft, as heavy as for homegrown efforts like the 777, or is it a red-headed stepchild internally, getting less attention?

2. The 717 has a small order book. I believe there are fewer than 100 aircraft in the order book. TWA was another 717 customer. They have been absorbed by American, a company with too many aircraft as it is. Given the current state of the airline industry, I have to wonder how many of those orders will actually be completed. Also due to the state of the industry, the likelihood for Boeing to make major new 717 sales is questionable. With such a small fleet, I am concerned that the aircraft will not get the attention, the upgrade programs, the stretches, the long production run that guarantees a parts pipeline, tons of pilots with experience in the type, etc.

Is the 717 safe? Operated by a competent airline with a genuine, proven commitment to safety... pretty much. Given Airtran/Valujet's record as an aircraft operator, I believe that Airtran is one of the least safe airlines operating. Operating new, modern aircraft does in general increase safety, but it is only one piece of the puzzle.
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:57 AM   #5
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Karl wrote: (i couldnt figure out the quote button)

First, if you fly Airtran, the odds are good you'll get an old DC-9, not a 717, as DC-9's comprise most of their fleet.

This is untrue. if you read my last post, 65% of airtran's fleet are made up 717's. By next year AirTran plans to operate 100% of their fleet with 717's. If these 717's are unsafe, as you stated, than this is not AirTran's fault. This is boeing's fault. Also i think that AirTran has proved to run airplanes pretty safely in the past couple of years.
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Old 12-26-2002, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
Karl wrote: (i couldnt figure out the quote button)

First, if you fly Airtran, the odds are good you'll get an old DC-9, not a 717, as DC-9's comprise most of their fleet.

This is untrue. if you read my last post, 65% of airtran's fleet are made up 717's. By next year AirTran plans to operate 100% of their fleet with 717's.
What is your source on this? They have changed their plan for this so much over the past few years that it's hard to definitively state this. I observe that you are far more certain of the schedule than Airtran's management is in their SEC filings, which makes me skeptical to say the least.

Additionally, they've crashed and destroyed so many DC-9s over the past 5 years that it's throwing off the figures since the DC-9 isn't manufactured anymore, so they have to replace destroyed aircraft with new ones. If you're using that as a favorable point about their service, I think that you are misguided to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
If these 717's are unsafe, as you stated, than this is not AirTran's fault. This is boeing's fault.
What is your point? Are you saying that Airtran is a safe airline because if they crash, it won't be entirely their fault? Do you not feel that Airtran has an obligation to purchase aircraft that are exceptionally safe?

That seems to be the principle that a lot of people push about their last fatal crash. I wonder if you would feel the same way if your wife was on flight 592.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
Also i think that AirTran has proved to run airplanes pretty safely in the past couple of years.
http://www.ityt.com/airtran/accidenthistory.php
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Old 12-26-2002, 02:28 PM   #7
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My source on AirTran's fleet is www.airtran.com. Second, the crash of 592 was ValuJet/Airtran's fault, but it had nothing to do with mechanical problems. It was mostly just careless workers. I mean the mechanics of the plane ran fine the only thing was those oxygen canister blew up in flight and started a fire. I'm not excusing the crash, but it had nothing to do with unsafe airplanes.
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Old 12-26-2002, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
Karl wrote: (i couldnt figure out the quote button)

First, if you fly Airtran, the odds are good you'll get an old DC-9, not a 717, as DC-9's comprise most of their fleet.

This is untrue. if you read my last post, 65% of airtran's fleet are made up 717's. By next year AirTran plans to operate 100% of their fleet with 717's. If these 717's are unsafe, as you stated, than this is not AirTran's fault. This is boeing's fault. Also i think that AirTran has proved to run airplanes pretty safely in the past couple of years.
The most recent independent source I can find on this is the article "AirTran: We'll Grow With or Without 717", from the November 5th, 2001 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology. It reported that Airtran had a fleet of 26 717s and 33 DC-9s. In the article Airtran asserted they would be taking delivery of 12 to 14 more 717s and retiring 10 more DC-9s, so if they have done that, they would now have a fleet of between 38 and 40 717s and 23 DC-9s

I apologize for the mistake. I was going off a half-remembered Aviation Week article from some number of years ago that said that due to growth Airtran was removing DC-9s from service at half the rate they had previously committed to.

You say that if 717s are unsafe, it is not Airtran's fault. I think Airtran bears some responsibility. They knew they were committing to an aircraft with a dubious future. "Skepticism over the 717 program comes amid reports that Boeing may discontinue the line due to weak demand and poor return on investment" ( AW&ST Oct. 22, p. 22). They took a risk in order to reap certain benefits. One benefit was that it is relatively easy (and inexpensive) for a DC-9 flight crew to transition to a 717. The risk was that they could end up with orphaned aircraft. Another 717 customer was TWA, not known for being the most astute airline on the planet. Maybe dumb airlines buy dumb airplanes.
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Old 12-26-2002, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
My source on AirTran's fleet is www.airtran.com. Second, the crash of 592 was ValuJet/Airtran's fault, but it had nothing to do with mechanical problems. It was mostly just careless workers. I mean the mechanics of the plane ran fine the only thing was those oxygen canister blew up in flight and started a fire. I'm not excusing the crash, but it had nothing to do with unsafe airplanes.
I dispute this for a number of reasons. Disposing of oxygen canisters is a part of the maintenance process. So failing to dispose of them safely is a maintenance failure.

The aircraft was operating with three open MELs and one open CDL:

Left fuel flow guage inoperative

Cockpit interphone inoperative

Autopilot porpoising

Flap hinge fairing removed

The cockpit interphone is how the cabin crew talk to the flight crew. It being inoperative may have contributed directly to the crash. Valujet's flight attendant manual says not to open the cockpit door if smoke or harmful gases are present in the forward cabin. instead it says to use the interphone. With the interphone inoperative, it is likely that a member of the cabin crew opened the cockpit door to warn the flight crew, possibly introducing smoke and harmful gases into the cockpit.

The entire 280-page NTSB report can be viewed online off of http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1997/AAR9706.htm I have read this report in its entirety, but only scanned it for this posting.

I suspect, NWgoldelite, that you fly Airtran. I can understand the desire to, as they have low fares and are very convenient to and from certain US cities. But I feel that this is an unsafe airline and people who think they are safe are working backwards from their desire to save money or gain a little convenience, not from an objective examination of their safety record, both before and after their name change.
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Old 12-26-2002, 08:45 PM   #10
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Actaully to be honest, I've never flowen AirTran in my life. I dont exactly know why i'm defending them. I just think we should give them another chance. In response to your statement regarding the cabin crew opening the door to let gas in. That was not the case. Gas had already begun seeking into the cockpit. I know this because i heared an Air Traffic Control tape between Miami air traffic control and ValuJet 592. In the tape the pilot response to the air traffic controllers question of what problem is ValuJet 592 experiencing. The captain responds,(and i quote) "Smoke in the cockpit, smoke in the cabin." I take this statement to mean that the smoke had already come into the cockpit and cabin. The attendants did not let smoke in.
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVR Transcript
14:10:41 Tower What kind of problem are you havin'?

14:10:42 CAM [sound of horn]

14:10:44 CAM-1 fire

14:10:46 RDO-2 Uh, smoke in the cockp ... smoke in the cabin.

14:10:47 Tower Roger.
Interpretation of what they were trying to communicate would be speculation. Suggesting that the smoke came through the locked cockpit door would be rampant speculation.

As far as giving them a second chance, have you read about how many tens of people have been injured after 592? And how many near-fatal crashes they've had? When does their second chance end? When they kill everyone on their plane and a bunch of folks on the ground?
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:50 PM   #12
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What incidents recently have occured when passengers were injured on an AirTran flight?

P.S. Why did you put the air traffic control tape in your post?
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
What incidents recently have occured when passengers were injured on an AirTran flight?
Is it really necessary for me to paste the URL again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
P.S. Why did you put the air traffic control tape in your post?
Because you misquoted it in yours.
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:57 PM   #14
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I didnt miss quote it.
2:10:21: Tower: Critter five-nine-two, contact Miami center on one-thirty-two-forty-five, so long.

2:10:29: Tower: Critter five-ninety-two contact Miami center, one-thirty-two-forty-five.


2:10:32: ValuJet592: Uh, five-ninety-two needs immediate return to Miami


2:10:36: Tower: Critter five-ninety-two, uh, roger, turn left heading two-seven-zero. Descend and maintain seven-thousand.

2:10:39: ValuJet592: Two-seven-zero, seven-thousand, five-ninety-two.

2:10:43: Tower: What kind of problem are you havin'?

2:10:46: ValuJet592: Uh, smoke in the cockpit, smoke in the cabin.



Also, if your going to blame AirTran for 717's being an unsafe airplane and not boeing then let me give you an example. Let's say i buy a rifle. I'm cleaning the rifle and it malfunctions and i shoot myself in the head because of an error that the manufacturer made. Whose fault is that?
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Old 12-27-2002, 11:06 PM   #15
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I was wondering, if you listen to the air traffic control tape of ValuJet 592 and Miami departure when ValuJet 592 says he needs the closest airport avaliable another voice comes on and says 703. What was that all about?
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Old 01-15-2003, 02:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWgoldelite
Also, if your going to blaim AirTran for 717's being an unsafe airplane and not boeing then let me give you an example. Let's say i buy a rifle. I'm cleaning the rifle and it malfunctions and i shoot myself in the head because of an error that the manufacturer made. Whose fault is that?
Well, I'm not going to "blaim" them, but I might "blame" them...

It would be YOUR fault, because only a FOOL would clean a gun without taking out the bullets first.

However there is one upside to your safety-is-someone-else's-problem attitude, which is that you may some day have a career at Airtran.
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:21 PM   #17
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The theory I was thinking of, about the rifle cleaning, was that a bullet got stuck in the gun because of a flaw in the design by the company.NOT that you keep the gun loaded while cleaning it.

My attitude is not-"safety is someone elses problem". I don't know where you would get this idea. I take safety very seriously when it comes to air travel. And I think your taking this a little too seriously. Why dont you calm down a little?
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Old 01-16-2003, 08:46 PM   #18
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I was thinking about the ValuJet 592 crash and where they were when they went down. Why didn't the MIA ATC controler send them to FLL instead of having them turn around back to MIA. Does anyone know if this could not have been done for some reason?
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Old 01-17-2003, 01:27 AM   #19
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21 miles is a lot further than just a couple miles. Additionally, the captain requested an immediate return to MIA.
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:24 AM   #20
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right, but then asked for the closest airport avaliable, which the controller did not hear.
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