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China Northeastern Airlines Safety Concerns, Beware!

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China Northeastern Airlines Safety Concerns, Beware!

Old 23rd Feb 2008, 08:12
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
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Wouldn't wish for anybody I know to fly with, or for, any airline in China (or Republic of China (Taiwan) for that matter) - and I tell anyone I know to avoid these carriers, like they would the plague.
The fact that i.e. Air China and Shanghai Airlines have been included in Star Alliance, is not a proof that they are safe, but rather that they are very strategic partners for the economy of the Star Alliance and their members.

For Chinese airlines, do I have to mention de-icing? Type I is what you get...and what THEY use, regardless of heavy snow falling and the non-existing hold over times for Type I.

Does it matter if the hardware - brand new aircrafts, terminals, interiors - is state of the art, when the software - ATC, Pilots, engineering support and ground handling - is far from it?
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Old 23rd Feb 2008, 15:39
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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STPs comments may be coloured by the fact that if you want to go from HK to Beijing he cheapest way is to take the HK$140 ferry from HK to Shenzhen International and fly from there on a ticket which is half the price of going direct.

If Type 1 deicing is so dangerous why do DragonAir accept it?

I fly in China. Not with an airline but I have Chinese engineers, ATC and I train Chinese plots to operate to within very tight parameters. There are difficulties and they are proud people so communicating with them when they make a mistake is a gift one has to have. There are still the old dogs who have no idea about CRM and still think they are the God, but they are a dying race. Now I have co-pilots with not a lot of experience asking me to justify a decision that I have made, not because they disagree with it but to put in their memory banks in case it happens again.

Aviation accidents in China are no worse than the developed world. Some may argue that in a totalitarian state they can hide the bad news.
There are 375,000,000 active mobile telephones in China. If an aircraft spashes in Manchuria they will be discussing it in Shenzhen Starbucks within the hour.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 24th Feb 2008 at 01:02.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 02:44
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Using Vertical Speed Mode to smooth out power changes during step climbs as suggested by ACMS does not work at many places in China. PRC ATC often insists on waiting for you to level off before giving a transfer to the next frequency for further climb. You can try to smooth out the power changes by using energy management i.e. letting the aircraft accelerate during the level segment while you change frequencies. However, you may come up against Vmo before the next climb instruction is given, resulting in another thrust reduction.

Also, we really have to distinguish between customer service standards and operational standards. The average passenger really has no idea about operational standards behind the scenes. Although if baggage is being piled up at emergency exits then this may give a glimpse of the rest of the operation. Nor, despite what Fendant says, do most passengers really know what the standards are like in the flight deck. To get an informed opinion of operational standards, ask any Dragonair pilot who has been doing the wet leases in China for the last 2 years (but not in a public forum!).

Regarding de-icing fluids - Dragonair accepts Type 1 de-icing fluid because it has no real choice. Type 1 is all that is available at PRC ports. Type 1 fluid is perfectly safe for de-icing the airframe, however its anti-icing properties are useless. That is why you will see a Dragonair aircraft sitting on the ramp in Xian for 3 hours waiting for the snowing to stop while other carriers will come and go oblivious to the hold-over time requirements.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 06:57
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Harsh words STP, considering that EVA of TAiwan has an excellent reputation for safety (no fatal accidents) and a very high service standard!! CI on the other hand has an excellent service standard but is still climbing out of the flak from several headline crashes.

Chinese airlines have had a pretty good safety record too , believe it or not.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 09:22
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I'm with you STP, can't remember the last time departing without any anti-ice in freezing fog was considered safe, mostly new a/c and a good bit of luck responsible for safety record of late.
Yes, Dragon do except type 1 de-icing fluid when the conditions are appropriate, freezing rain is not one of those conditions.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 10:23
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Missing maintenance

Just had a flight on China Eastern flight on an A300 or A310 from PEK to Shanghai and being a professional I was surprised about the not working lightbulbs in the cabin. 75% of all NO SMOKING signs and FASTEN SEAT BELTS signs did not work. This is a clear sign for me about attitude towards safety and maintenance. Those lightbulbs just do not die on the same day and to get to a state where 75% are not working, it takes a very long time.

But I was impressed by the friendly service and the good service on the short trip, even in economy class.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 11:57
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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We can can pontificate about this and that and quack all we want.

But Engine3firehandle's comment above pretty well cuts to the essence of the matter being discussed on this thread
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 20:48
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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All thee of the west...leave the middle kingdom at once, don't go there, don't work there. Have nothing to do with them Chinamen they are sooooo dangerous! Otherwise if you do, you are prostituting thyselves for the big RMB that is greatly undervalued, hurting the western interests..yada, yada, yada.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 14:11
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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mohdawang
All thee of the west...leave the middle kingdom at once, don't go there, don't work there. Have nothing to do with them Chinamen they are sooooo dangerous! Otherwise if you do, you are prostituting thyselves for the big RMB that is greatly undervalued, hurting the western interests..yada, yada, yada.
You might be missing the point being discussed here?
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 21:04
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
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I have been flying into China for nearly 20 years, with 3 different airlines over this time. For all their shortcomings, i can say this in all honesty - that they have come a very long way. In ATC, in ground handling. Back then, i recall that we needed to carry interpreters from the CAAC to work the radios whenever we went into Chinese airspace, and you never knew what he was talking with the controller. Back then everything was in QFE too, sometimes landing with 5200 ft elevation on QFE....... in metres. And back then every other approach was an NDB or VOR letdown on questionable NavAids. Sometimes with big cumulus "granitis" sitting around the airfield and no EGPWS terrain database. In monsoon conditions...... And de-icing...... there was none. Type 1 came much later........... ah yes, but i too seem to recall Anchorage, as late as 1999-2000 also only gave us Type 1? That was the USA!

Of course there is still much more to be done in China, but the point here is that there is movement......... in the correct direction. It'll happen.... Type 2, 4........ better ATC... Just cut 'em some slack.

Last edited by gengis; 26th Feb 2008 at 10:42.
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Old 27th Feb 2008, 00:38
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Had an air-to-air battle with a China Soutern 747 going into KLAX several years ago. He missed us. I've kept the ATC computer printout of the event. He overshoots 24R, then 24L, then 25R, then 25L. The only problem is we were lined up on 25L.

So we turn away. End up 1 mile south of the localizer, just outside the FAF, with the 747 belly up to us as he's trying to make it back to 24R. 1700' lateral seperation. Yup, near miss.

Sorry, but I wouldn't fly on them.

Last edited by misd-agin; 27th Feb 2008 at 00:39. Reason: grammar
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Old 27th Feb 2008, 01:09
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Wow! By the beard of Christ! KLAX ATCers must had great stomachs and nerves of solid steel. Shouldn't they have ordered them to go around if they had crisscrossed all the runways?
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Old 16th Mar 2008, 18:41
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I am not apologising for bringing up this thread again but this weekend I was taking a trip from Guangzhou to Luzhou and return. It was an Air China flight and this route could not be described as one of their blue riband routes. Being a professional pilot and very experienced SLF I decided to assess the service as impartially as I could.
The outbound sector was CA4340 departing Guangzhou at 1840. Guangzhou is enormous terminal and when I checked in it was discovered that the travel agent had misspelt my name so it did not agree with my passport. The check-in girl told me to wait, went off to some office and returned three minutes later with everything corrected and chopped.
The chariot was a 737-300. It had been around a bit because it still had ashtrays in the armrests. Despite this the interior was immaculate and looking along the wing surfaces it was as clean as could be expected. There were the inevitable sooty streaks from the corners of wing panels which can only be expected with flying in Chinese industrial pollution. Despite the age of the aircraft the seat belts were effectively brand new.
We pushed back at 1839. During the taxi out flap extension was smooth with no juddering, something I have seen with western aircraft. The passenger brief was live and bi-lingual and was clearer and more understandable than the last passenger brief that I had on a British Airways domestic flight which was in some Commonwealth accent. This route being somewhat down the bottom of the seniority list apart from the purser the girls were straight out of the box. Despite this I was impressed by their firmness with the passengers. Elderly Chinese men do not like being told what to do by a slip of a girl but they weren’t taking any excuses.
Habitually on Chinese aircraft the seatbelt signs are on continuously and people wander off to the toilet regardless. When turbulence is encountered there is a warning from up front and then they whip everybody back to their seats. I took the opportunity to walk up and down and EVERY seatbelt/no smoking light worked as did all the cabin and Exit lights. The only exception being above row 20 DEF where the reading light panel did not have them incorporated. The only technical fault I could find was that my ash tray handle had broken off the defunct ashtray.
The VOR letdown and landing was as good as could be expected as we went into moderate to severe turbulence at the start of the descent. There were no indications of over controlling and the landing was a real beaut..
Luzhou it a small agricultural city of about 9 million and the airport has no more than a dozen or so movements a day. Ten years ago it was a collection of wooden sheds but now it has a modern fully glazed terminal building some three stories high. The flight No was CA 4351, departing at 1525. The check in was electronic, again the error on my e-ticket corrected in two minutes and we were boarded. No air bridges this time so one has to walk. Again a 737-300, Reg B2951. On the walk out I observed two modern medium sized fire appliances fully crewed. This is in contrast to Karratha, Western Australia, with similar movements plus their oil related helicopter traffic, who have to call up the local volunteer fire brigade some 12 kilometres distant if the have an accident/incident. That is assuming there is somebody there because ATC is not manned.
No ashtrays this time. The seatbelts were older, possibly a bit stiffer than I would have liked but they adjusted satisfactorily. The row in front of me had some bits missing off the rear of the armrests that had been taped over but apart from that nothing else attracted my attention. At 1523 the engines were started and at 1525 it was off chocks. Again the service was first class and again all the lights worked.
The air bridge was connected at 1707 and we all went to carousel No 9 to await our baggage. I noticed a sudden exodus of people to carousel No 11 and one of the ground staff almost ran over to tell me that the carousel had been changed. Despite this I had my bag in my hand at 1716.
Yet again, an excellent experience flying in China. The safety record speaks for itself. Badly trained crews could not achieve that. The aircraft were on their fifth and fourth sectors and on time. Badly maintained aircraft cannot manage that. There are a lot of spiteful and unsubstantiated comments going around about Chinese aviation. Perhaps some of the perpetrators should look in a mirror.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 00:29
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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As an SLF I can't comment on the technical aspects of a flight or flying. I have been flying in China since '95. I used to hate flying in China. The planes were old, the service terrible and the other passengers had a very interesting attitude......I would only fly Air China and I didn't enjoy doing that.

But in recent years and especially since 2000, the fleets are a lot more modern, the aircraft usually quite new and the service has improved considerably. I have rarely noted faults with the inside of the aircraft and no more than I have done with major carriers come to think of it. Service is much better than previously though sometimes the CC seem to try a little too hard to follow how they've been instructed to act. Then again - they have to deal with some passengers who still seem to take it as a personal affront to be told what to do by a young girl. I've flown many of the regional Chinese airlines and some of the smaller and newer airlines that have cropped up.

The one thing I can't get used too is the flight deck don't talk to the passengers to introduce themselves and explain the route / weather etc. which has always for me been something I appreciate and it has a psychological calming effect for some reason. (On me anyway). I've supposed the Chinese attitude is 'Pilots fly planes, cabin crew look after passengers'.

I have had flights - not just in China where it has seemed that the aircraft is racing and then slowing, climbing then throttling back more abruptly than usual - if some one can explain the reasons why this sometimes happens I'd appreciate it.

Cheers,
LT

Last edited by Load Toad; 17th Mar 2008 at 13:46.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 11:32
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
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I have been passenger on Air china and China Eastern from Chengdu to Xian and back using MD80 and Airbus A320. On a later date from Chengdu to Lhasa and back using A320 and B757.
On all occasions I had the same impression as Fareastdriver and was pleasantly surprised. On one occasion I met with the cockpitcrew, but they did not seem to understand english, which may explain the lack of information from the cockpit.
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