Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Virgin puts brakes on VARA

Old 18th Apr 2014, 22:53
  #81 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
Thread update/merge....

Post # 1874 - Shades of PelAir perhaps??

scrubba: Given the emerging story of the VARA ATR at Albury, what are the chances that the ATSB and CASA have found a deep enough part of Lake Hume to hide the CVR and FDR, given that everyone survived...

Classic scrubba... If part of the somewhat disjointed thread rumours are indeed true it certainly paints for some disturbing parallels with PelAir:

Virgin plane suffers two mid-air incidents, one resulting in woman breaking leg

Updated Fri 7 Mar 2014, 8:12am AEDT
Map: Australia
An investigation is underway into a flight that left a Virgin Australia crew member with a broken leg, and another incident involving the same plane a few days later.

The female crew member was injured when the ATR-72 turbo prop encountered severe turbulence on a flight from Canberra to Sydney last month.

Virgin says the plane was inspected by an engineer and cleared to fly.
Five days later, during a flight to Albury in New South Wales, the pilot reported a possible bird strike.

He later found the aircraft had been damaged.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says the plane remains on the ground at Albury.

The bureau is interviewing crew and maintenance personnel and examining the flight recorder.


Passing strange that the first incident (actually listed as an accident) is duly recorded (see here & page 15 of weekly summary here) and yet the ABC article listing a possible bird strike incident 5 days later is not recorded as such, rather it is listed pg 16 here as:

25/02/2014 * 201400985 *Accident-Yes - AO-2014-032* near Albury Aerodrome NSW*
ATR - GIE Avions de Transport Regional* ATR72-212A*Air Transport High Capacity*Passenger* D CTR
During a post flight inspection, substantial damage
to the aircraft's tail assembly was detected. The
investigation is continuing.

So the ATsB has tied the two incidents (accidents) together, yet there is no big media statements from the bureau/Fort Fumble, no pending show cause notices and no voluntary grounding murmurs from VARA... Oh that's right SOP 101 i.e. "nothing to see here...move along!"

One thing is for sure JB cannot be happy...
Then from PT on Good Friday...
Virgin Australia’s leg breaker ATR now ATSB tail breaker

There are some peculiar matters to note about the misfortunes of a 68 passenger Virgin Australia region ATR72 turbo-prop in February.
On 20 February the aircraft was involved in a turbulence incident on a flight from Canberra to Sydney which was sufficiently severe to leave a flight attendant with a broken leg.

The ATSB has launched an investigation.

The aircraft was given a post turbulence inspection by an aero-engineering service on behalf of Virgin Australia which found no damage and cleared the aircraft to continue in service.

(Without prejudice to anyone, Virgin Australia may, like any airline, outsource maintenance and repair, but it cannot outsource its obligations nor responsibility for any outcomes for the work it sends to others.)

On 25 February the same aircraft was alleged by the pilots flying it to Albury to have experienced a bird strike.

A post landing inspection discovered damage to the tail of the aircraft, and it has remained on the ground since then, inside a hangar.

Virgin Australia says the aircraft has not been released by the ATSB for repairs. Yet the ATSB doesn’t list an investigation of the claimed bird strike. Instead this is what the ATSB says in relation to the Albury grounding.

During a post flight inspection substantial damage to the aircraft’s tail assembly was detected. The investigation is continuing.

What investigation? The number quoted is the same as that for the Canberra leg breaker on 20 February. But you will only find that reference if you go to the second last entry on page 16 of 18 at the above link.

Could it be that the ATSB knows how to bury potentially embarrassing references to incidents involving high profile airlines, or is at the very least, delinquent in its duties to transparently communicate with the public interest it is supposed to act for?

Or put another way, does it have a clue as to the public interest at all, in a supposedly modern western democracy?

Note that the ATSB makes no reference to a bird strike. Unless this was a mature pelican from the Hume Weir or Lake Eildon, frozen into the form of a feather covered boulder after being sucked up to a high altitude in a chance encounter with a tornado, it is surpassingly difficult to imagine it doing so much damage to a modern airliner’s tail, rather than its front, that it is going to be held for ATSB inspection for perhaps as long as it takes the agency to write its final report, which was originally claimed to be finished by May.

The fact that the ATSB expects to complete this report by May, this 2014 May, is in itself almost unbelievable considering the time it usually takes to finalise reports.

And it’s a double report, an undisclosed double report into the Canberra-Sydney leg breaker and the Albury tail breaker.

Yet despite the speed with which the hidden double header is being thoroughly investigated the ATSB can’t even release the aircraft for repairs, seven weeks after the incident and only a matter of weeks before it is supposed to have been read in final draft form by the parties and then published.

So if it is conducting tests or whatever on the ATR72, how can the report be almost completed?

It beggars belief that Virgin Australia, or any Australian airline, would allow a plane of size to be kept out of the skies for such an extraordinary period of time. If this was a Virgin Australia 737 the airline would have a senior executive camped on the ATSB’s doorstep every day, demanding that it give it back its plane.

Virgin Australia says the aircraft is awaiting release, and then repairs. But its been in a hangar with nothing happening so far as anyone can tell for weeks.

There is no evidence of teams of ATSB inspectors poring over every rivet and no doubt searching for embedded pelican feathers every day in their desire to solve this mystery and give the plane back to Virgin Australia before they actually release the report. Is there?

Just what-the-hell is really going on?

Plus comments

Just a driver

Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

So I was in AY the day the ATR arrived. Our ground handler told us they inspected the tail after a bird strike, and when on the scissor lift, noticed a substantial crack. Aircraft grounded and alternate arrangements made for PAX.

About a week later, I am told that upon further inspection other damage to airframe discovered including several cracked wing bolts. Manufacturer has no repair process for damaged parts of airframe and cannot leave AY under special permit. CASA and ATSB doing back flips as the airframe flew 10 sectors before damage noticed.

Scary stuff.

Dan Dair

Posted April 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

As you rightly say Ben;
“Virgin Australia may, like any airline, outsource maintenance and repair, but it cannot outsource its obligations nor responsibility”

However,
If it’s really that bad (& the extended grounding would give you a clue that it is), who the hell inspected it & what were they actually looking at.?
If ever there was an advert for keeping inspection & maintenance in-house…….

Just a driver,
“(the) Manufacturer has no repair process for damaged parts of airframe”

All-in-all, if true, that’s a bit of a bugger, to say the least.?
There may be more Prince but that should be reasonably updated for Easter long weekend cogitation...

Last edited by Sarcs; 18th Apr 2014 at 23:05.
Sarcs is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2014, 23:49
  #82 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Singapore
Age: 52
Posts: 69
Managers Perspective (and Prince)-

How can the MR not be in effect for the flight? You can't SFP a pax flight (if you can, let me know who your contact is so I can start using them), so normal MR CAR/CASR procedures would have been in place.

Anyway, any crew or engineer (or maintenance controllers - or the operations guys looking at the flight data downloads, etc, etc) can cease the MR under CAR47. Nothing unique right there and I don't see any smoking gun by quoting it.

You probably should be quoting SDRs.



Who does the ATR engineering stuff? Toll?
CAR42ZE is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 00:18
  #83 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Inside their OODA loop
Posts: 242
Stop and think about this - the only thing that saved 50+ pax & crew was a serendipitous bird strike & a keen eye. What would have happened without the bird strike, subsequent diligent inspection & professionalism of the engineer? If the rumours of the substantial damage are correct, then it would appear a major fatality was inevitable, in time.

Would the investigation have conclusively linked the the previous turbulence incident & the systemic failures (company maintenance & regulatory oversight) or seek to apportion blame to someone else who couldn't speak for themselves?

If we are now down to lady Fortuna for safety inspections, have we descended to the inverse Reason Model, where the holes are the defences?

This appears to be a very interesting snapshot of a grand failure in progress, captured at the point where the regulators can't wriggle out of their own failures of oversight & are caught in the cover-up. No doubt the spin will be: "this was a one-off, see the system worked, nothing bad happened". We all know differently.
FYSTI is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 05:30
  #84 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 137
AOC operated passenger flight, no Maintenance Release required.

No Maintenance Controller approval required.

MP
Managers Perspective is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 08:16
  #85 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 347
I don't understand why ATR would manufacture a repair.

Exactly what motivation is there for them?

It would be no skin off their nose to say it is unfit for repair and sell them a replacement airframe.

Any repair, even manufacturer designed, carries elevated risk of compromised structural integrity - and associated liability, especially as time goes on.

Tell them it's scrap and fly home to France. I would.
Slippery_Pete is online now  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 08:38
  #86 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 430
Australian aviation history teaches us we don't write of airframes . We fix them then quietly move them on .
Toruk Macto is online now  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 09:30
  #87 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,199
Slippery Pete.

I don't know about you.

But I wouldn't feel that excited as a passenger boarding an aircraft type that, once it encounters severe turbulence the airframe is written off.

As an airline executive, I wouldn't be that excited about purchasing or leasing an aircraft type, that once it experienced severe turbulence the airframe is written off.

As an insurer, I wouldn't be that excited about insuring an aircraft that once it experiences severe turbulence may be written off.

As a pilot training provider..........nah.... I won't go there.

MC
Mstr Caution is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 10:57
  #88 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 279
I don't understand why ATR would manufacture a repair.

Exactly what motivation is there for them?

It would be no skin off their nose to say it is unfit for repair and sell them a replacement airframe.

Any repair, even manufacturer designed, carries elevated risk of compromised structural integrity - and associated liability, especially as time goes on.

Tell them it's scrap and fly home to France. I would.
Why wouldn't ATR design a repair and get the aircraft back in the air? Not good for repetitive business if you don't provide support post sale....

Boeing send an army of engineers to fix aircraft that would be on the verge of being written off eg, VH-NXE in Darwin... Design the repair, new maintenance schedule covering the repair (if required) and away you go.
717tech is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2014, 10:59
  #89 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 347
Hi Master Caution.

Agree wholeheartedly, but...

The inference earlier in the thread is that the controls were inadvertently split by the two pilots and that during the ensuing mayhem large and opposite elevator inputs caused severe torsional forces on the tail.

I'm pretty sure the type has seen severe turbulence since certification without any airframe damage.
Slippery_Pete is online now  
Old 19th Sep 2014, 21:13
  #90 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 71
Posts: 11
Where has this thread gone? Many months since last posting!
Crackup is offline  
Old 19th Sep 2014, 23:19
  #91 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: A house
Posts: 622
I guess the brakes are released then Crackup?
Chadzat is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2014, 03:09
  #92 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: YMML
Age: 28
Posts: 165
VHVPI went into service a few months ago and VHVPJ is on its way...
ASY68 is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2014, 03:15
  #93 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Australia
Age: 32
Posts: 26
just remember there will be 7 of the Virgin Australia cadets finishing soon so that will take up a few of the spots
michael36 is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2014, 03:36
  #94 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 1,246
A one off intake of seven cadets. What's that all about?
pilotchute is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2014, 05:41
  #95 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Back Paddock
Posts: 136
It's not a one-off
Capt. On Heat is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2014, 21:55
  #96 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 71
Posts: 11
Hi Chadzap, being well past my use-by date, the brakes are now permanently parked.
Crackup is offline  
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 04:35
  #97 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The pineapple plantation
Posts: 58
Two more F100's on the way and potentially another A320, Melbourne and Launceston on the sched for the ATR, some more FIFO contracts recently won off other operators, increase in RPT for F100's, so it sounds like the foot is squarely planted on the little peddle!

Last edited by Riding the Goat; 22nd Sep 2014 at 04:50.
Riding the Goat is offline  
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 04:57
  #98 (permalink)  
BPA
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 618
B737 replacing the Ejet in PER

Riding the Goat,

The Ejet flying in PER is being replaced by the B737. At least another 2 737 are being based there and the Ejet crews who bid for the B737 have been advised.
BPA is offline  
Old 22nd Sep 2014, 09:40
  #99 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Townsville
Posts: 97
Virgin puts brakes on VARA

Seems like the park brake will be set for sometime. Not sure what has happening. Been on hold file for 12 months now with VARA and still no sign of start. Can anyone shed some further light on the slowdown?
Hold_Short is offline  
Old 23rd Sep 2014, 13:30
  #100 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 2,082
I'm afraid so.

No Money!
KRUSTY 34 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.