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red750

Qantas urged to ground all 737's

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On the 737 NG there are 2 "pickle fork" fail safe assemblies that hold the fuselage to the wing structure. They were designed to last 90,000 cycles, but cracks are being found at the low 30,000 cycle mark.

One of Qantas' 737 NG's with only 27,000 cycles was found to have cracked pickle forks.

Cracks were originally found and notified on 3rd Oct 2019, and 810 aircraft were inspected immediately, and 38 of the inspected aircraft were found to have cracks in the pickle forks, around 1 inch (25.4mm) long.

 

Replacement of the pickle forks would be a very major and very costly exercise. It appears work is ongoing to try and produce an engineering solution that doesn't involve drilling out and replacing the pickle forks.

In the U.S., the aircraft found with cracks have been grounded. If Qantas were to ground all their 737 NG's that were found to have cracked pickle forks, it would no doubt be a costly and disastrous exercise for them.

 

Interestingly, all 19 of Virgin Australia's 737 NG's have been inspected, and no pickle fork cracks were found.

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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O.M.E. - They are likely to be pickle forks from a Chinese supplier. The Chinese obviously know nothing about pickle forks, and how to make them, and how to put the strength needed, in the critical areas.

If Boeing had used chopsticks instead of pickle forks, the airlines wouldn't be having this problem now.

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Qantas have been pro-active in checking their NG fleet as they are only required to do so under the AD within 1000 cycles (takeoffs & landings) between 22,500 & 30,000 cycles. Only aircraft that have had more than 30,000 cycles have to be done within 7 days & none of Qantas' have. It would take about 7 months to complete the 1000 cycles. The engineers calling for the fleet to be grounded is ridiculous. I reckon they are just after more overtime money.

Edited by kgwilson
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When Boeing say

"Trust me!"

 

No wonder QANTAS engineers are a bit skeptical.

 

And no wonder QANTAS (to their credit) started inspections early!

Edited by nomadpete
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After all the focus from the 737Max debacle Boeing won't make the same mistake. This will have been well thought through. The most eye opening fact for me was that the Chairman of the Board of Boeing was also the CEO, something quite common in the US since the 1930s. I think this is a major failing where as our Internal Auditor used to say way back in the 80s "where the division of duties is unclear the probability of corruption is crystal clear". Generally the CEO reports to the board & in reality he is their only employee. I think finally in Boeings current situation Muilenberg while losing the chairmans role & retaining the CEO's role will be short lived. The fallout will require him to fall on the second sword as well. Boeing are not prepared for the big axe to fall all at once.

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25mm cracks in major components that are deemed to be a "fail-safe" component, is enough to make anyone worried.

The fact that this is happening only one-third into their projected and calculated lifespan is even more worrying.

To me, it speaks of either unsatisfactory materials treatment, or failure to meet specified materials specifications.

Edited by onetrack

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I've flown plenty of aircraft with cracks in them, that they keep an eye on. but it's pretty hard to convince the general public that an aeroplane with cracks in it is OK. Having the cracks appear at 1/3rd the life of a critical part is not what one could call acceptable. Critical structures are not fail safe. There's no alternative structure. Nev

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They should be grounded, no exception.

 

If it cracks at a third of life cycle something is seriously wrong.

 

Bugger Boeing and shareholders this is a critical safety issue.

 

If you think otherwise- let me come over and makes some cracks in your spar. That should be fine.

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

I've flown plenty of aircraft with cracks in them, that they keep an eye on. but it's pretty hard to convince the general public that an aeroplane with cracks in it is OK. Having the cracks appear at 1/3rd the life of a critical part is not what one could call acceptable. Critical structures are not fail safe. There's no alternative structure. Nev

Cracks may be ok in non-critical areas but , as you say, these appeared 1/3 into their expected life and there is no alternate load path. No excuse not to ground these. Boeing have lost the confidence of their market.

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Reports that cracks have been found in a third Qantas 737.

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 You would have to give Qantas credit for doing these inspections when they were not theoretically  an AD.. However the CEO is a bit notorious for thinking a maintenance free airframe is possible. He's not very technical and I doubt he has ever inspected  any maintenance Hangar. Accountants can be like that but they pronounce the expenses are too high constantly. You can't wish a need away. Nev

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Things that Qantas embody.

 

Makes safety a marketing issue.

Export all maintenance and safety to other countries.

But the cheapest possible aircraft version, fly with the cheapest possible crew.

 

Claim Aussie battler status.

Get great deals on tax and rarely pay any.

Create divisions to offshore responsibility and costs.

 

Pay the biggest airline CEO wage in world whilst screwing staff and ripping flyers.

Cry poor at every opportunity.

Claim any issue about safety just scaremongering.

 

Sound familiar?

 

You can bet, they have claimed any need to ground planes for inspection and repair would be to disadvantage them financially. They probably even claim a cracked Qantas is safer than another aircraft without cracks, because Qantas is always safe.

 

They should be grounded. 33 of 76 aircraft are the be inspected over months. Yet they already have 3 found to be cracked. 3 of how many checked? 3 maybe?

I really doubt only 3 in the fleet are effected. On the fact 3 have failed well before 1/3 of lifespan would indicate a very high failure rate by 90,000. Cycles.

You can bet they have not fully inspected all 33 in the first batch.

 

Of note is Qantas has claimed the pickle fork is not a flight item and carry no flight loads? Bullshite, they would not have it just for parking loads. Or do they think it is a tow hook?

 

How about a new test rig, use the cracked pickle. Seat all Qantas board and their family on fork. Test repeated cycles to 90,000 over a mine shaft. 

Would they think that is fine?

 

 Casa should get some balls and do their job. The job is not making airlines money.

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You have to be different to look in the mirror and say I'M WORTH $24 million a year. I have trouble getting over that. Nev

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Things that Qantas embody.

 

Makes safety a marketing issue.

Export all maintenance and safety to other countries.

But the cheapest possible aircraft version, fly with the cheapest possible crew.

 

Claim Aussie battler status.

Get great deals on tax and rarely pay any.

Create divisions to offshore responsibility and costs.

 

Pay the biggest airline CEO wage in world whilst screwing staff and ripping flyers.

Cry poor at every opportunity.

Claim any issue about safety just scaremongering.

 

Sound familiar?

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It is easy to think your worth that much money, when your a narcicist or sociopathic. 

 

Both tend to be part of modern CEO thinking.

 

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1 hour ago, bexrbetter said:

With the way I have been treated by some of them, I flat out don't care.

 

The big Poofs on the other hand are just great, best service in the sky, they are the reason I fly Qantas when I do..

Maybe your getting the treatment you deserve. I have never had a problem, it would be a thankless job. 

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26 minutes ago, bexrbetter said:

"you're".

I totally suc at English. Spelling, grammar make no sense to me. No offence intended just a gentle poke.  

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On 31/10/2019 at 4:20 PM, old man emu said:

Was it a pickle fork from First Class like this

image.jpeg or one of these from Economy Image result for disposable pickle fork ?

 

Apparently it's the larger size.

 

 

A graphic of a part of a plane connecting the wings to the body.

(Picture courtesy of an ABC news story today).

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From the abc article.

 

Aviation Authority ordered inspections of all Boeing 737 NG model aircraft with more than 30,000 flights.

Qantas said none of its planes had completed that many flights, but had checked the 33 aircraft with over 22,600 cycles.

 

So they have not even made it to 1/3 of  their service life!

 

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