7
   

Are you considering boycotting Southwest Airlines?

 
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 12:02 am
@hawkeye10,
Thank you for providing some valuable insight into what appears to be a legitimate safety problem.

In the future, I'll think twice before I fly on Southwest in a 737. However, I still will probably fly Southwest, depending on how they resolve this matter. I just won't book a flight that uses their 737 jets. Luckily in most cases you can find out ahead online what plane they are likely to be flying.

On a different arena, I certainly won't invest in Southwest stock, however.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 01:01 am
@Ragman,
Southwest has 173 737-300's. 80 have not had skin replacements, it is only these 80 that are a concern so far as I know. the 737-300 is their oldest plane. The flight 2294 skin failure in 09 was also one of the 737-300's, though the failure was in the rear of the plane I am not clear if it was along the same seam. Reports have it that the latest case has multible cracks along this seam from front to rear of the plane, but that it failed near the front.

the 09 event
http://atwonline.com/international-aviation-regulation/news/ntsb-says-swa-737-fuselage-hole-incident-caused-fatigue-crack

after the NTSB report came out southwest said
Quote:
Southwest quickly issued this response:

"We are in full compliance with all new Safety regulations developed by Boeing and the FAA and we thank the NTSB for its thorough investigation. We worked closely with investigators throughout this process and we concur with their conclusions.
"We've taken aggressive measures to incorporate additional maintenance inspections, additive to existing programs, in response to what was learned from flight 2294. Immediately after the accident, we increased our ongoing maintenance inspections in the impacted area to include recurring detailed visual inspections and non-destructive tests (NDT) - with a goal to not only meet but exceed known Safety standards.

"At Southwest Airlines, everything is secondary to Safety, which is the core of our operation. Southwest continues to improve its maintenance program for the continued Safety of U.S. air travel and our own excellent Safety record."
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/08/ntsb-issues-report-on-southwes.html
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:42 am
@hawkeye10,
When will it be time for FAA to step in and ground the oldest of the 737-300-series jets? Will they do it when it's too late and there are fatalities?

As it indicates from the articles, airframes have a log of mileage they have flown, correct? There is an industry limit - an absolute threshhold where the airframe has to be scrapped. Or perhaps there is one and they ignore? It's clear that as a routine procedure they x-ray these things periodically in their inspections.

What is the appropriate oversight and why does it seem that it's not being adhered to with these older 737-300 planes? Oh, yes profit and the poor economy and lax FAA regulators? Is it that simple?

The industry has been relatively safe from air fatalities so why do they take these potential risks? Or is it something that is just flukey coincidence?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 09:13 am
@Ragman,
Southwest's short-haul operations may be linked to jetliner rupture
FAA plans to order emergency inspections for metal fatigue on older 737s.

Officials say aircrafts' aluminum skin can be stressed by changes in cabin pressure from an average of six flights a day.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-southwest-safety-20110405,0,3395340.story
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 09:38 am
I've never flown with Southwest Airlines, but if I did, I would boycott them
for forgoing proper maintenance. Along with a fine to SW Airlines, the FAA
should be fined as well, since they're the ones who check if airlines uphold
proper maintenance schedules.

I am boycotting Lufthansa though. A young German studying abroad in Japan wanted to fly home after the earthquake and Lufthansa wanted $ 10,000 for a ticket from him. Outrageous to exploit people in distress like this. The student found another airline who charged him a fraction of what Lufthansa wanted. So, Lufthansa is definitely on my black list!
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 09:57 am
I'd probably have no problem flying Southwest. Right now, they're probably the most inspected planes on the planet.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 10:46 am
@Ragman,
Ragman it is my understanding this failure is more a function of how many pressure cycles a plane had gone through not just the flight hours.

A plane used more for short hops would reach a failure point faster then a plane used for longer hauls.

I remember flying one jet that seem more like a bus then a jet as it did a numbers of landings in one trip.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Apr, 2011 12:54 am
Quote:
Mike Boyd, an aviation consultant in Colorado, said Southwest was already moving as fast as it could to phase out the oldest 737s in its fleet. He said Southwest is buying AirTran Airways -- a $1.4 billion deal -- partly to grab AirTran's place in the order line for new planes.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Southwest-finds-cracks-in-apf-2511707183.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=7&asset=&ccode=

This tells me that Southwest realized too late that they fucked up, they let the planes get too old which adds a lot of costs. somebody probably forgot to factor in that Southwest uses it planes a hour more per day than industry average, and gets two more take-off/landing cycles per day more than average...IE the beat the hell out of their planes, so they dont last as long.

OOPS
0 Replies
 
Alm09
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2011 03:42 am
@hawkeye10,
I'm on the West Coast, so luckily for me I have Alaska Airlines here. Here is why I'm saying "luckily". In the last 10 years many airlines began outsourcing maintenance to third-parties MRO (Maintenance and Repair Operations). Some MRO are overseas, some are controlled by overseas companies in US and some are US-controlled. Alaska outsource only to US and Canadian companies, where mechanics are properly licensed.

I suggest you guys check how and where Southwest is MRO-ing their planes. Because this is YOUR life that you entrust them with. I'd rather pay more and be safe.

The largest MRO in the US is Singapore company ST Aerospace (yes, huge service centers in the US). They go with “ST” because many people wouldn't like their real name, Singapore Technologies. According to reports, ST has been caught “pencil whipping” repair logs to cut costs; basically claiming that the repairs were done, when they were not. Local US mechanics are hired to ST without checking their papers and references. Besides, ST routinely brings in cheaper workers from overseas who can barely speak English and using them as mechanics in their US shop - some of them can't even read repair manuals. You can watch all of this on PBS Frontline’s report called “Flying Cheaper”
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/flying-cheaper/
0 Replies
 
 

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