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Old 03-04-2004, 01:44 PM   #1
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Experts call for modernized airline maintenance

Experts call for modernized airline maintenance
Minutes after AirTran Airways Flight 913 left Greensboro, N.C., nearly four years ago, sparks flew from a wall that separates the cockpit from the cabin.

A part inside the wall of the DC-9 aircraft had been repaired years before by mechanics halfway around the world even though the manufacturer required that it be replaced, not repaired.

Because it hadn't been replaced, a fire blazed inside the wall and noxious fumes filled the cockpit. When a flight attendant opened the cockpit door, she saw the pilots wearing oxygen masks and goggles. As smoke seeped into the cabin, passengers witnessed first-hand what happens when a mistake is made maintaining a jet.

. . .

The fire was one of 11 serious accidents caused by maintenance problems at airlines from 1995 through 2001, a USA TODAY analysis shows. In each case, the accident was serious enough to kill people or cause damage in excess of the plane's value.

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Old 03-08-2004, 03:47 PM   #2
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From same article:
The repair had apparently been done in 1978 when the jet was owned by Turkish Airlines. It was sold later to AirTran.
See what happens when you buy from other airlines! There are so many parts on the airplane that its hard to see if all the changes/modifications (and there are alot of them...even straight out of the factory.) have been complied with. Thats why I'm glad we have ALL 717's BRAND NEW and only WORKED ON under AIRTRAN's watch.

From same article:
In recent accidents, a variety of screw-ups from undiscovered cracks in engines to the failure to lubricate a key part for years were to blame. The accidents struck large airlines such as Delta and Alaska, and smaller carriers such as Atlantic Southeast.
And more:
Every commercial plane receives extensive maintenance. Government-approved schedules require periodic checks or replacement of mechanical parts. Pilots can trigger checks if parts malfunction. The simplest tasks, such as changing tires, are performed between flights. More time-consuming work is usually done overnight. Every few years, jets receive massive overhauls that can ground them for weeks.
Delta Air Lines, for example, spent about $100 million in maintenance at outside contractors in 1996. That rose to more than $300 million in 2002, according to Department of Transportation data.
All in all I think that was a good article though. The technology in planes today almost make it impossible for the pilots to make a mistake, So its correct in that the Technicians/mechanics have the most room to make errors now. I would be happy to keep taking classes like we do here at AirTan now.
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