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QF B744s VH-OEC, VH-OED Grounded

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QF B744s VH-OEC, VH-OED Grounded

Old 26th Sep 2003, 14:52
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QF B744s VH-OEC, VH-OED Grounded

Two Qantas B747-400s VH-OEC and VH-OED the ex Malaysian
aircraft have been grounded due to major cracks in the fuselage.
It was believed they were found in the last 24 hours.
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Old 26th Sep 2003, 15:30
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It was apparently located near where the FD crew sit in the cockpit....a new directive prohibits the use of wallets onboard effective immediately!!!
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Old 26th Sep 2003, 16:18
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Anyone able to offer any info like the hours and cycles on the airframe (serial numbers, etc.)

Would trawl through Airliners.net, but the rugby is on TV!
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Old 26th Sep 2003, 16:28
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I heard of the first one four days ago..............

Wonder if it will fly again???????????????????

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Old 26th Sep 2003, 16:38
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The rugby is dull

So found this

If you can't be bothered with the link -

(from the site) The aircraft has CF6-80C2B1F powerplants and was delivered on 27-09-1990 (Ex. N6009F, 9M-MHN).

Was it new in 1990, or added to QF in 1990 - and who ran it as N6009F (or was that a delivery rego.)

Also, MAS had an A330 that had to be scrapped after a chemical spill caused major corrosion - unrelated??
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Old 26th Sep 2003, 20:41
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These are the "ugly sisters":-
25778 983 B747-48E CF6-80C2B1F 1993-06-24 QANTAS VH-OEB LS-DJ HL7416
24836 808 B747-4H6 CF6-80C2B1F 1990-09-27 QANTAS VH-OEC MR-DE N6009F, 9M-MHN
25126 858 B747-4H6 CF6-80C2B1F 1991-06-10 QANTAS VH-OED MS-AJ 9M-MHO
Comparing the serial and line numbers, it looks like 1990 must be the original delivery date. QF only acquired these aircraft relatively recently.
who ran it as N6009F (or was that a delivery rego.)
A Google search throws up so many different aircraft that it must be a delivery rego.

Last edited by Globaliser; 26th Sep 2003 at 21:05.
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Old 26th Sep 2003, 22:49
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Ah Cheap Second Hand Aircraft.....you get what you pay for after all. Hope the guy who got the bonus from the cost cutting has spent the money and run!
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 00:23
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Cracking grounds Qantas jets
By Steve Creedy, aviation writer
September 27, 2003

Qantas has grounded two jumbo jets and called in manufacturer Boeing after maintenance engineers found a 75cm crack in a crucial part that joins sections of the fuselage near the rear of the plane.

The crack is thought to have spread from damage caused when a metal tool was used to scrape off paint.

The damaged strap, called body station 2181, is used to knit together sections of the aircraft during manufacturing.

The damage is believed to have been done before Qantas acquired the leased aircraft in 1998 and could potentially have led to a structural failure if left unrepaired.

Qantas sources said the airline also had found problems with other production joints in the aircraft.

"(Qantas is) now looking at all the fuselage joints right around the aircraft, and they've actually found other damage in those joints," a source said.

Asked how dangerous the crack was, the source said: "I'd be very concerned myself. I wouldn't have been pleased if I thought my family had travelled on it."

A 1.76m crack in the skin of a China Airlines 747-200 was blamed for the aircraft breaking up in mid-air in 2002. All 209 passengers and 16 crew were killed shortly after take-off from Taipei.

Boeing spokesman Ken Morton said last night the manufacturer was taking the crack "very seriously".

"We would want to be the catalysts to making sure that any other airline that had an aircraft that had been subjected to the same procedure was alerted," Mr Morton said.

It is understood the crack was found last week as the damaged aircraft, VH-OED, was undergoing a maintenance procedure known as a D-check.

D-checks are the most intensive of maintenance and involve detailed examination of the stripped-down aircraft using a variety of hi-tech devices.

Qantas acquired the two jumbos from Malaysia Airlines in 1998, and had them repainted before they came back to Australia. "As part of a regular heavy maintenance check we discovered some low-level damage to the fuselage of a 747-400," a Qantas spokeswoman said.

"We're investigating the cause of the damage and we are in close consultation with Boeing. We've notified the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and we will advise them of the outcome of our investigations."

The spokeswoman said a second 747-400 repainted at the same place and time as the damaged plane was being inspected as a precaution.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed last night that Qantas had notified it of the crack. It said that it was monitoring the situation.

Spokesman Peter Gibson said CASA had also informed the US Federal Aviation Administration.

"We can't really do anything while Boeing is considering engineering solutions to the problem," he said.

"And obviously we and Qantas will be guided by that, whenever they come."

The crack could be detected only from the inside of the aircraft.

"The good thing is that it was found during the maintenance check, which is, after all, what the maintenance checks are there for," Mr Gibson said.

Meanwhile, airlines lashed out yesterday at the handling of the Sydney jet fuel shortage as international passengers faced delays of up to 10 hours and oil companies warned that supplies would remain tight for two more weeks.

Shell Australia believes it has fixed a problem at its Clyde refinery in western Sydney and is optimistic this, and fuel from a recently arrived tanker, will allow its supplies to return to previous levels later today.

The new fuel allowed the group of oil companies supplying Sydney airport to boost supplies from 35 per cent of normal to 50 per cent.

But Shell Australia chairman Tim Warren said Sydney's jet fuel supplies would remain tight until a Caltex refinery undergoing maintenance returned to full production on about October 8.

Thousands of international passengers were inconvenienced by the rationing, some waiting 10 hours for delayed flights and others missing connecting flights.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane demanded an explanation as to why the oil industry's contingency plans failed to cope with the unexpected combination of events that led to jet fuel rationing.

============================================
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 00:57
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On an aside. Ryanair are retiring some 737-200's early because of cracks. The cracks started from scratches made during repainting.
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 08:32
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Innocent question, so please be gentle:

Are these the first "d" checks of the 744's in question???

I believe it is a significant, and expensive check, and that it is due after so many cycles/hours???

To end, I suppose this is the very reason to have a "d" check. Glad it wasn't found under different circumstances...
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 09:49
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This incident is a perfect example of why maintenance should not be carried out in developing countries at cheaper rates.

You get what you pay for with aircraft maintenance, and it is important that CASA realises this now, and puts a halt to the practise of allowing airlines to carry out maintenance off shore.

If the aircraft had been painted in AUS this wouldn't have happened.
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 10:18
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Gday all,

Pullock, bit harsh to say that if they were painted in Oz it would not have happened. There are slack [email protected] everywhere you go around the globe. I am not disagreeing re the third world country cheapo work though, it is a great concern.

Anyone who knows anything about sheet metal work, and in particular Alclad, knows that if you, god forbid, scribe Alclad or scratch it, it will eventually work harden and crack.

The average 3 peso/day paint stripper probably would not be aware of the dangers nor perhaps give two hoots jsut as long as he gets his 3 peso's!!


Cheers,
I'm gone!
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 14:35
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And the best thing is that VH-OEC had a D-Check done only a few months ago. Now that they found cracks on OED they checked and have to repair OEC too. On OED it is bad enough but at least the cracks were discovered during a D-Check and the aircraft is on the ground anyway. But OEC needs to be repaired although it does not require a major check. By the way, Boeing reckons that the repair on OED will take 3 months. Not sure if it is really going to take that long, but the D-Check was supposed to be finished in a few weeks.

The damage is by the way in the butt joints where the sections are joined during manufacture. The straps behind got gouged and one finally cracked over 75cm. Since those joints are usually sealed it is not possible to see any damage from outside, only during the D-Check crowninspections from the inside became the massive crack apparent.

******
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 16:25
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Talking

I travelled on VH-OED and sat near the back!

I knew I shouldnt have eaten that second cheeseburger
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 20:13
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oh yeh Qantas has a cracked tail and it's 'isn't our matinence programe good', and ansett have a ? suspision and it's 10 aircraft grounded , it makes me sick to look at the favouritism of what is going on the moment, Ansett was just the same as QF.....but god forbid the national carrier gets a bad name........they grounded10 767's for less then QF's problems now......what does that tell you.............and they say there is no corruption in aviation.....b..ll..s..hit..!
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Old 27th Sep 2003, 20:43
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Nav Light

It may be my faulty memory, but wasn't it Ansett had overrun the inspection intervals and hadn't done the checks they should have done and so the aircraft were grounded?
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Old 28th Sep 2003, 08:37
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VH-OEB is a B747-48E. 8E is the Boeing customer code for Asiana Airlines.

VH-OEC and VH-OED are B747-4H6s. H6 is the Boeing customer code for Malaysian Airlines.

If the aircraft had been painted in AUS this wouldn't have happened.
Oh really?

That statement has about as much basis in fact as the popular myth that Qantas has never had a hull loss accident. (it has had several)

The only thing that we can be confident of is that if an Australian engineer had used an inappropriate tool or technique the ALAEA (the Australian aircraft engineers trade union) would have been out in force to distract and delay until any incriminating evidence had been inexplicably misplaced.

You get what you pay for with aircraft maintenance, and it is important that CASA realises this now, and puts a halt to the practise of allowing airlines to carry out maintenance off shore.
Here we go again engineers trying to pretend that an industrial relations issue is a flight safety issue.

Ho hum....
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Old 28th Sep 2003, 09:36
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Here we go again engineers trying to pretend that an industrial relations issue is a flight safety issue.


O.k you have dangled the red rag, are you sure you want to take this thread in this direction.

Maybe you would like to start a new thread, and wait for the on slaught. I dare you
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Old 28th Sep 2003, 09:57
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Sorry vortsa, but I have to bite.

BIK

Once a d!ckhead always a d!ckhead.

If an Australian engineer stuffed up then the only thing the ALAEA would provide him with is appropriate representation - full stop. The Association provide legal support if and when engineers are called to task by CASA. What else would you have them do?.

I continually read on this forum about the dissatisfaction many pilots have with their representative body. But you continually, and may I say in this case quite tangentially, choose to slag off a professional body which does work on behalf of it's consitituents in all sectors of aviation - ranging from, yes , representing members who have had show cause notices form CASA, to fighting court battles on behalf of ex AN members who are owed their legal entitlement from M & M.

You seem to equate any safety related engineering issue with industrial issues. I, for the life of me, cannot see any comment in this thread which consititutes an industrial position. The closest is "pullock''s contribution - but that argument holds true for any and all maintenance organisations. As ''I'm gone'' suggested, their are slack people everywhere. To suggest that the ALAEA would protect the likes of these is to slur the ALAEA and all it's members. But that appears to be your sole aim when it comes to engineering.

I'm curious, did a LAME run your dog over at some time in the past

Last edited by AN LAME; 28th Sep 2003 at 17:51.
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Old 28th Sep 2003, 10:09
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BIK_116.80,

I can say for certainty that this would have not happened in Australia. Having worked in Australia and throughout Asia and had the advantage of seeing first hand the differences between maintenance practises between here and there, I feel confident to make the statement that the same error would not have happened here. The systems in place and training and qualification in Australian aircraft maintenance are there to ensure the quality of work performed is of the highest standard. These systems, and training, and safety culture just aren't in place to the same degree in other countries.

When is a maintenance error not a safety issue?

Everyone who has experience in the area has been aware of the difficulty of maintaining quality in offshore maintenance, and this is a perfect example of this fact. You clearly have no idea of how engineering works, the role that the ALAEA plays when a maintenance error does occur in Australia, or the Australian regulations surounding maintenance recording, documentation or procedures. www.casa.gov.au might be a good place for you to start your learning experience.

Airlines carrying maintenance out in developing countries to take advantage of the low wages and poor exchange rates can only resuly in safety compromises, it just stands to reason. It is a safety concern that I hold, along with a great number of engineers, and I hold firm to my conviction that it needs to be looked in to by the regulator.

Last edited by pullock; 28th Sep 2003 at 11:35.
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