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  1. #1
    Moderatore L'avatar di Dancrane
    Registrato dal
    Feb 2008

    Predefinito La FAA blocca 38 B738 di Southwest?

    La FAA potrebbe fermare circa 40 Boeing 737-800 di Southwest per carenza sulla certificazione di sicurezza

    Ultima modifica di falkux; 12th November 2019 a 07: 41

  2. #2
    Senior Member L'avatar di TW 843
    Registrato dal
    Nov 2005
    Ormeggiatore di aliscafi

    Predefinito Re: La FAA blocca 38 B738 di Southwest?

    ANALYSIS: US regulators turn gaze on aircraft acquired overseas
    Whistleblowers at the US Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Transportation contend that some aircraft operated by Southwest Airlines that had previously been operated by airlines outside the US remained in service despite having maintenance records that were "alarmingly insufficient," according to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.

    From 2013 to 2017 Southwest added 88 Boeing 737NGs to its fleet that had been previously operated in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, India, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Switzerland and the UK, according to Cirium fleets data. Most of the 88 aircraft are leased.

    Southwest used several contractors to conduct the required review of maintenance records and, through its Delegated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR) authority granted by the FAA, issued the 88 aircraft Airworthiness Certificates, allowing them to enter revenue service, the Senate committee states.

    Discrepancies in the service records discovered in May 2018 by an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) led to a full review by Southwest of all 88 aircraft. The Dallas-based airline found 360 major repairs that had not been disclosed in the contractors’ initial review. Some aircraft were grounded for immediate evaluation shortly afterward but, as the Wall Street Journal reported 11 November, 38 of the 88 737s still lack complete repair documentation. Cirium fleets data shows that 86 of the aircraft are currently in service.

    The FAA's manager for the Southwest Certificate Management Office, John Posey, said in a 29 October letter to Southwest chief operating officer Michael Van de Ven that "Southwest is responsible for the conformity of its aircraft with airworthiness requirements" and that the "FAA is concerned by SWA's slow pace in completing the evaluation of aircraft".

    Southwest responded that there is a low risk associated with the aircraft that had yet to be fully reviewed, according to the Senate committee.

    The committee also reports that whistleblowers say that Southwest "knowingly relied on a flawed documentation review to issue the original Airworthiness Certificates" and that its own review of documents show that "senior FAA officials were made aware of this issue at least as early as September of 2018".


    Since the March 2019 grounding of Boeing's 737 Max, the US Congress has been on high alert for any potential or perceived lapses in airworthiness certification on the part of the aviation industry. Whistleblowers calling attention to unreliable paperwork associated with aircraft added to US fleets from beyond US borders may be just the latest development in this trend.

    Looking at mainline US carriers besides Southwest, Allegiant Air has the most aircraft that had been operated overseas – 78 Airbus aircraft from Egypt, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the UK. All 78 aircraft are leased.

    Alaska Airlines has four Airbus A320s that had previously been operated by Jazeera Airways in Kuwait. All four are leased.

    American Airlines has just one leased aircraft in its fleet that had been previously operated in a foreign country, an Airbus A319 that had been operated by Mexicana Airlines.

    Delta Air Lines has 41 Boeing aircraft that originated from outside the US – from Bahrain, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and Thailand. Delta owns nearly all 41 aircraft.

    Frontier Airlines has five leased A320s that previously operated in India, the UK, the Philippines and Japan.

    Hawaiian Airlines has three Boeing 717-200s from Australia; Hawaiian owns all three aircraft.

    Spirit Airlines has two A320s that had been operated in Bulgaria and two A319s that had been operated in Mexico. All four aircraft are leased.

    Sun Country Airlines has 20 leased 737s previously operated in Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the UK.

    United Airlines has 31 aircraft acquired from overseas operators – 26 Airbus, four Boeing and one ATR planes from China, Turkey, Venezuela and Panama. Most of the aircraft are leased.

    JetBlue Airways has no aircraft in its fleet acquired overseas.


  3. #3
    Socio 2015
    Registrato dal
    Oct 2006

    Predefinito Re: La FAA blocca 38 B738 di Southwest?

    Posto qui. In riferimento alle crepe emerse su certi 737 NG

    Expert view: the impact of the Boeing 737 NG cracks

    Author: Rob Morris, Head of Consultancy, Ascend by Cirium

    Following the discovery of cracks to parts of some Boeing 737 NGs, Rob Morris, Global Head of Consultancy, Ascend by Cirium, explains the impact of the grounding of the aircraft, which has clipped the wings of some of the biggest names in the aviation industry.

    Boeing could have been forgiven for thinking that its troubles were behind it, having made progress in its mission to support the safe return to service of the Boeing 737 Max. Yet the manufacturer now has another situation on its hands, following the discovery of cracks in some Boeing 737-800s, which has led to the grounding of some 50 aircraft globally.

    The cracks which are specifically located in the pickle fork – a primary structure which attaches the wing to fuselage – were identified on a Boeing 737 NG undergoing conversion from passenger to freight configuration in China. This particular aircraft had flown more than 36,000 flight cycles, having been originally delivered as a passenger aircraft in 2001.

    The response from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) was rapid and rigorous, issuing an airworthiness directive on 2 October that required the immediate inspection of all 737 NGs which have flown more than 30,000 cycles – or take-off and landings – and inspection of all aircraft which have flown between 22,600 cycles and 30,000 cycles within the next 1,000 cycles of their operation.

    Qantas unions are asking for the grounding of all 33 of its aircraft following the discovery of cracks to three of its 737 NG fleet. Affected airlines also include Ryanair, which currently has two aircraft under repair in Victorville, California; Southwest Airlines which also has two; Indonesian airlines Sriwijaya Air and Garuda Indonesia Airways which have three combined and, the worst hit of all, Brazilian carrier GOL Airlines which has 11.

    A reduced fleet is not only detrimental to airline operations but revenue too. In addition to taking two to three weeks to repair the cracks, the cost of unforeseen maintenance is still unclear. While some industry observers opined that the cost would be in the low hundred thousands of dollars, more recently it has emerged that the true cost in some situations can run close to seven figures.

    This is because to replace the pickle forks, the aircraft interior needs to be stripped out, including side panels and fixtures, making the exercise almost as cumbersome as an airframe heavy check. If pickle fork replacement coincides with a heavy check or cargo conversion, it may work out cheaper for the airline to replace pickle forks simultaneously since the aircraft is being stripped bare anyway.

    Moreover, if pickle forks pass the first inspection, they still need to be inspected again after another 3,500 flight cycles.

    Then pause to consider that the affected airlines include carriers already losing capacity because of the Boeing 737 Max grounding and the full weight of the crisis comes into sharp focus. There are presently 6,562 737 NGs in commercial service globally, from a fleet of 6,860 (the remainder includes Boeing Business Jets and private charter planes).

    Our initial Cirium data estimates indicate that almost 1,800 aircraft will require inspection, though this is clearly an evolving situation with this number subject to change. As of 4 November, 1,100 aircraft have now been checked and around 50 have been found to require repairs.

    But what does all this mean for the traveler? Should passengers be concerned by the findings or is the response an overreaction from the industry? When it comes to passenger safety, there’s no such thing as being overcautious. That’s why the commercial aviation industry is so highly regulated.

    But this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. The grounding of aircraft is a relatively routine, precautionary measure taken by regulators when a safety concern comes to light. If anything, travellers should take comfort in the seriousness and speed with which aviation safety matters are treated.

    The response to the discovery of cracks on the Boeing 737 NG is yet another example that the strict and thorough regulation that governs the sector is working as intended.

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