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737 NGs Unsafe to Fly?

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737 NGs Unsafe to Fly?

Old 30th Oct 2002, 14:12
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Icing Issue

I'm sorry but I don't buy that little story. Yes I have noticed the NGs tend to ice up quicker that the Classics....but by the time you block in at the gate it's usually melting. Again this little thread seems to be bashing the Next Gens a little hard. Yes I admit the airplane has had it share of problems....regardless of what you people say it a brand new airplane with brand new issues. I will say this:My airline is entering its 6th year of Next Gen operation and none of the so called problems you people have come up with have impacted our operations one bit. The pilots and F/A love the airplane and we can't wait until we get more. It a great airplane,so please do not bash it because you don't like it. Remember as pilots you have choices.....if you don'tlike the plane:BID OFF OF IT!
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Old 30th Oct 2002, 21:06
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MDWpilot:

Sorry for you that you don't believe the fuel story.

I flew charter flights with the 737-800 from center Europe to the sunny south. During winter, you start with an OAT of around 0C , take-off and climb to FL390 and then after 3-4 hours flight you land with lots of eco-fuel (sometimes fuel is 50% more expensive at the destination - I don't think you have this in the States) at a destination with 10-15C OAT.
What happens with the upper surface of the wing : ICE (and sometimes very thick) - and you can see where the fuel in the tanks ends !! We had several cases at our company, where they had to ask the de-icing truck to avoid a delay of several hours. Since then, it was forbidden for us to take extra fuel when the OAT at destination was around 10C.

For the rest, I don't mind to fly the 737 NG (it's a nice aircraft to fly when you compare it with the 737 EFIS) but it is an aircraft with a lot of mistakes ...
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Old 31st Oct 2002, 05:13
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I take it you are one of the people who actually believe that the Concorde went from being the world's safest aircraft to one of the most dangerous in one morning as well?

Statistics are a dangerous tool if not used correctly.
Yes, but fortunately more than a handfull 737 are flying out there
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Old 31st Oct 2002, 06:11
  #24 (permalink)  
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Excin,

The same problem exists in the A320s. The problem is that the A320 can't get has high as the 737s. A charter 320 will never see 390, especially tankering. The 737s cruise higher. IF you have a problem with fuel icing, simply fly the aircraft down around 350 like an A320 and the difference will be enough.

I flew a corporate 320 for a while and we would tanker and with only 50 seats always went to 390. Landed and iced up. pretty common.

I submit that icing has more to do with cruise alt than wing design.

Cheers
Wino
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Old 31st Oct 2002, 08:06
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Thanks for the info Wino;

This is the first time I hear about this with the A320 and I flew 4 years on this aircraft.

Anyway, what follows is an extraction of our company's "Pilot Notes" about the 737-800 NG Introduction:

"Fuel tankering and wing icing:

Because the amount of fuel in the main (wing) tanks is less than on the B737 Classic, the chance of landing with full main tanks when tankering fuel is greater than on the classic.
The result is the possible appearance of icing on the upper wing, due to the condensation caused by the fuel cooled during the cruise part of the flight. Icing may occur even with an OAT above 20C.
A take-off with any kind of contamination on the upper wing being prohibited and de-icing being unavailable in TFS and HER and other places, this situation may prove to be very disruptive to a smooth operation.

..."
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Old 31st Oct 2002, 13:14
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EXCIN,

I didn't mean to insult you......In my experience with the NGs I have never seen the wing get iced up to the point of having to get deiced at the next stop.......however we rarely tanker fuel(I expect we will be doing it more in the future) and the majority of our flights are about an hour and a half.....and usually whatever ice there is melts by the time you get to the gate( I make sure I bring my hat on walkarounds ). Again I just want to say.....yes some of the features of the NGs are a pain in the ass.....but EVERY aircraft have their issues. I'mgonna be spending the rest of my career on them.....I would'nt be flying them if I thought they were dangerous!
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Old 31st Oct 2002, 14:45
  #27 (permalink)  
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EXCIN

There is a way to tanker fuel without the wing problem. Put it in the center tank and don't burn it. Yes I know that isn't the standard way to do it, but it can be done. It becomes part of the aircraft's zero fuel weight at that point, so consider it like extra pax. You can't get quite as much that way (because of wing bending moments and whatnot, but it can be done.

Its called ballast fuel then, and will stay quite warm in the center tanks. Then you open the fuel transfer valve on the ground and pump it around if you round tripped your fuel, for the fueler will simply add his fuel to the wings and center as applicable.

Just requires a little thought on your load planning/operating the aircraft to make sure you don't excede wing bending and then don't forget and burn it anyway... Also you could let down a few min early at high speed. A nice high TAT will warm the wings quick.

CHeers
Wino
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Old 1st Nov 2002, 03:21
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For info

Flew this evening 3hr 20 mins at FL 390 737-700.
Started with 11 tonnes, finished with 3.2 tonnes.

Hefty layer of ice underneath and on top of wing at destination (+12 C).

After refuel for return (11 tonnes again) took 35 mins for upper surface ice to dissipate.

Slight delay to departure saved a fortune (and probable further delay) in de-icing bill!

It's just a fact with the -700!
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Old 1st Nov 2002, 07:29
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MDWpilot:

No problem. But that's the difference, with such a short flights of 1:30 I don't think you will ever see a large buildup of ice.
The company were I flew the -800 was a charter-company and the duration of most flights was around 3:30 with a max of 4:30- 5:00 at high altitude and sometimes with the fuel temp close to -40C.
The problem in Europe, as I already posted, is the fuel price. Sometimes the fuel is 50% to even 70% more expensive at destination, so the company policy was always to take eco-fuel with us. The procedure that Wino is talking about came later when we had already several cases of delay after ice-buildup on the upper wing.
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Old 1st Nov 2002, 23:04
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Not Unsafe

It's a blaady silly thing to say, however, saying it's a perfect flying machine is an overstatement. To put it mildly.
When it came, some genious had removed the Main gear shimmydampers. Saved some kiloes. That gave you a 20 % chance of getting a severe shimmy if you did a smooth landing. Tried that. Scared the shat out of the SLF's. And me. Panels falling from the roof. General mayhem in the cabin. Thank you for flying with us, etc, etc. I hate making excuses when it has nothing to do with me, or the way I operate. Until that one was fixed we were under orders not to make smooth landings. Had to change a few landing gears too.

DAC engines? This was an engine thing, and not really a Boeing problem. So, we had to operate them (engines) either at idle, or at the setting required in order to avoid failures. Ok. No V/S or intermediate settings during descent or climb.

De-ice. Vibrations after take off. Of course, we didn't know what caused it, but automatically I disconnected the autopilot and autothrottles, and believing it was engine related, I pulled back the throttles. Speed came back, and the vibrations stopped. Didn't stop one F/A offloading herself at destination, the vibrations were really bad in the back of the aircraft. Who am I to blame her? It was bad enough up front. So, speedlimitations in effect.

Never had any vibrations with the speedbrakes though, but limitation max 300 kts in effect.

Fuelpumps? In all fairness, Boeing didn't design them, but they are a big pain in the butt. Landingweight. Say no more.

Rudder anyone? X-overspeeds? The -800 can match the heavy jets approach speed anyday. Limited runway, full load, flaps 40, dodgy wind conditions. Hands full keeping the speed somewhere between stall and overspeed.

I don't want to talk about flight control module failures. We got them fixed. Some aircraft grounded before that happened though.

Don't change MAP mode/range during approach, as the displays may go blank. Or disagree. Or fail.

Leaving the navlights on during daylight will crack the glass. So don't.

Using the retractable landing lights without a special procedure will crack the glass.

It's to blaady noisy! It's beyond me how they can change everything except the nose of the plane. This has become a loss of lisence issue. Doing 320 kts it's as noisy as a turboprop. It s*cks!

The cockpit is beautiful! After you've manhandled yourself into it. 6 large screens. Just don't look up! I'm drooling for a 60's Mustang. Not a 60's overhead panel. It works, but it sure is ugly.

Ice, ice, baby. At least it doesn't enter the engines. A lot of operators with dents in the leading edge of the tailplane. Big surprise. Land with less than 4000 kgs.

Oh, the logo light reflectors will crack of you leave them on in a warm climate.

The taxi light is totally useless. Even the big one, and it's really expensive.

Go around on a single autopilot ILS or any non precision approach, you're on manual controls. It's not a problem, but it's not Next Generation either. In some airlines a manual go around is an emergency procedure. No names mentioned.

Autoland? It will do one very nicely. After touchdown the autopilot will say bye, bye, and you are left on you're own. Not smart. It's 20 (at least) years since autopilot rollout guidance was introduced. What do you prefer when you are running into second seqment 0 visibility?

If I ever kept speed control as poorly as the NG autopilot, my examiner would have failed me. No doubt.


No, it is not unsafe. We, as professionals are very good at developing procedures to make up for the shortcomings of the equipment we operate. We just have a lot of procedures for the NG at the moment.

2 stickers, Fowler. 2. So far.
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 07:01
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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ManaAdaSystem:

That's the 737NG we are talking about...
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