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Old 02-15-2019, 09:53 AM   #31  
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Most maintenance managers are former military crew chiefs or just managers without so much as a mechanics certificate. They will say and do anything to make themselves look good. I wish I could convey how dysfunctional and low rent that part of the aviation community really is. The whole maintenance system is able to function because its designed to accommodate retarded twelve year olds as workers. Even "good" places are like working at a car wash. After wrenching for way too long, I know there's a big game of Russian roulette being played.
Why do we have so few fatalities (in the US)?

Why are the last several fatal airline crashes 100% (regional) pilot error? You have to go back almost 20 years to find a fatal airline crash which had anything to do with the plane itself (2001).

I don't think even the SWA fatality was due to a violation of MX requirements, I think it was a higher level problem more related to design and MX/inspection requirements as dictated by the Mfg and FAA... as opposed to line MX screwups or mismanagement.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:54 AM   #32  
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Just because there are no fatal crashes linked to maintenance issues recently does not mean everything is hunky dory.
On the day of SWAʻs fatal fan blade incident, Delta and UAL had emergency landings due to maintenance issues.
There are a dozen or so emergency landings a month in the US. Some are pax related, but the majority are maintenance related. Its really not many, but they do happen. The redundancy of systems and pilot training help to alleviate the dangers.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #33  
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It is the system and process that keep aircraft from crashing, NOT the ability of maintenance personnel. Very few A&Ps can repair a car, most struggle with motorcycles and lawn equipment.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:31 PM   #34  
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It is the system and process that keep aircraft from crashing, NOT the ability of maintenance personnel. Very few A&Ps can repair a car, most struggle with motorcycles and lawn equipment.
Were you one of those incompetent A&Ps yourself?
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:57 PM   #35  
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Were you one of those incompetent A&Ps yourself?
I hold a certificate because its free to do so. I quit that line of work long ago and now question what I was thinking at the time.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:31 PM   #36  
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Maybe kevbo's not too far off after all. After six years of stalling on a contract this is their plan? Looks like SWA jumped out of the frying pan, and then poured fuel on the fire...


Southwest Airlines declares 'operational emergency,' orders mechanics to report for work or risk firing

Southwest Airlines Co. declared an "operational emergency" Friday because of an unusually high number of aircraft taken out of service for maintenance, and ordered all scheduled mechanics to show up for work or risk being fired.

Workers "alleging illness" will be required to provide a doctor's note on their first day back at work, the Dallas-based airline said in a memo. Some workers might be called in on overtime, the carrier said, and those refusing to report for duty could face firing.

"This is not the type of communication I (or any leader) want to issue, but it is necessary to get our aircraft back in service in order to serve our customers," according to the memo from Lonnie Warren, senior director of technical operations.


The number of planes taken out of service recently has more than doubled from the daily average of about 20, Southwest said in a statement, "with no common theme among the reported items." The carrier had 750 Boeing Co. 737 aircraft in its fleet at the end of 2018, and operational planners have been working to minimize the impact on customers.

"We are requiring all hands on deck to address maintenance items so that we may promptly return aircraft to service," the airline said.

O Rings
Separately, Southwest alerted the Federal Aviation Administration about a maintenance issue involving the suitability of engine fuel-pump filter seals, or O-rings, on a limited number of planes, the regulator said in a statement. The airline completed the necessary repairs, the FAA said.

Southwest said all 22 affected aircraft have been returned to service.


The carrier has been in contract talks with the union representing mechanics for more than six years. Members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, representing 2,700 Southwest workers, rejected a tentative contract agreement in September.

In 2017, Southwest accused the union of encouraging members to refuse overtime assignments in order to pressure the company in contract talks. A lawsuit filed by the airline was suspended in 2018 after an initial agreement was reached.

A statement posted Friday on the union's website from national director Bret Oestreich accused Southwest of creating the emergency.

"This declaration ... occurs just (11) days after a CBS News report detailing the efforts of Southwest maintenance to resist coercive pressure to ignore aircraft damage and the FAA's confirmation of the degraded safety culture at Southwest," the statement read. "Unfortunately, Southwest's response has been to increase the level of coercion and further degrade safety. Southwest operates with the lowest ratio of technicians-to-aircraft of any major carrier."

Oestreich urged union members "not to be baited into acts of defiance that will be characterized as insubordination. We must follow the adage 'work now, grieve later.' Work hard, be productive, and let us get those broken planes back into service in an airworthy condition."

He stressed that he wasn't calling for an unlawful job action, which would "further complicate our effort to achieve an equitable agreement. We are only asking that we be permitted to perform our job in accordance with federal law - nothing more and nothing less."

Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg, and The Dallas Morning News reported this story.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:08 PM   #37  
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I've worked for a lot of maintenance departments. I've yet to meet a manager who wasn't a mechanic. Ever.

Most are experienced mechanics and inspectors.

I've been a working A&P for a lot of years now, and have yet to see any standard in the FAR dealing with a requirement to repair lawnmowers or cars.

There's no federal certification for lawnmower mechanics nor for automotive mechanics, but there certainly is for those working on aircraft.

There's not a damn thing in AC43.13 about repairing motorcycles.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:53 AM   #38  
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I've worked for a lot of maintenance departments. I've yet to meet a manager who wasn't a mechanic. Ever.

Most are experienced mechanics and inspectors.

I've been a working A&P for a lot of years now, and have yet to see any standard in the FAR dealing with a requirement to repair lawnmowers or cars.

There's no federal certification for lawnmower mechanics nor for automotive mechanics, but there certainly is for those working on aircraft.

There's not a damn thing in AC43.13 about repairing motorcycles.
Aviation is governed at the federal level, everything else is under state or professional organizations. This by itself doesn't make an FAA certificate any better. I believe the standards for aircraft workers are far lower than any of the other common skilled trades. I would include much of unskilled labor for that matter.
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #39  
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
I've worked for a lot of maintenance departments. I've yet to meet a manager who wasn't a mechanic. Ever.

Most are experienced mechanics and inspectors.

I've been a working A&P for a lot of years now, and have yet to see any standard in the FAR dealing with a requirement to repair lawnmowers or cars.

There's no federal certification for lawnmower mechanics nor for automotive mechanics, but there certainly is for those working on aircraft.

There's not a damn thing in AC43.13 about repairing motorcycles.
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Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
Aviation is governed at the federal level, everything else is under state or professional organizations. This by itself doesn't make an FAA certificate any better. I believe the standards for aircraft workers are far lower than any of the other common skilled trades. I would include much of unskilled labor for that matter.
A program that is federally certified leads to an “unskilled” labor profession

A program that is state or professionally certified leads to a “skilled” labor profession.

That says enough right there.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #40  
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Maybe kevbo's not too far off after all. .
No. The fact that labor negotiations are in play is all that really needs be said.

The rest is confirmation bias and political drama.

The fact is that I can inspect any aircraft, regardless of how well maintained at any level, and find discrepancies, and there's a high probability that I could find the means to ground it were I to choose.

The difference between automotive mechanics and aircraft mechanics is that the aircraft mechanic is expected to look beyond the task card at the surrounding area, and be constantly in search of discrepancies and problems. The automotive mechanic seldom looks beyond what's being done. The engine may be cracked through, but if his task is to drain the oil, then that's his mission, and god forbid that he clean the engine while he's there, though federal regulation requires the aircraft mechanic to do it before he starts the work.

That an aircraft mechanic is not required to be an automotive mechanic is an idiotic straw man reach of mindless proportion. The ER doctor is not expected to fix a sewer, and the courtroom attorney is not expected to write nursery rhymes or coach football. Apples to apples, else the example has zero credibility and marks the hack attempting to make the point as a blathering idiot. Someone who suggests that aircraft mechanics should be responsible for repairing motorcycles, for example.

Likewise, the utterly idiotic, brainless, stupid assertion that federal certification in any way lessens a mechanic's ability, skill, or attention to detail, or the bald-faced lie that automotive certification is required at the state or any other level. Again, the products of weak argument, which is the hallmark of ignorance and quite possibly, low intellect.

No surprise when bantied about by those who couldn't make it in their profession and who failed. We see this often by the same poster, though. This self-professed authority, with very little experience who isn't working as a mechanic appears like a dark cloud every time the maintenance profession is discussed, his personal mission in life to rain on the parade, always with lies and the perspective of one who failed in his career, and who expresses little to no understanding of the business, yet again.
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