Originally Posted by Ltlabner
I've never said maintenance is so poor that airliners are ready to drop from the sky.
My main point, all along, has been that airliners are very complex pieces of equipment that operate in a demanding environment. There's already lots of things that can fail and ultimatley bring an aircraft down. Add to that the aging aircraft fleet (you do realize that an older aircraft requires more maintenance resources than an old one right?). Add to that increasing pressure on maintenance staffs to do more with less. Add to that an industry where most major players have been in/out of bankrupcy at least once. Add to that the talk of continued mega-mergers and the complexity of merging two airlines with diverse equipment.
You did give the impression that they're ready to drop from the sky:
I'm not defending Southwest, but if people really knew about the maintenance situation on most jets in the US fleet they'd likely never fly again.
If recent events are effecting airlines (age, bankruptcies, mega-mergers) then why are they safer than ever? I can't recall the last maintenance related crash. Most are either weather or driver error like the Comair one in Ky a few years ago. You accurately described the principles of flying (in a thin metal tube at 500mph) and the fact that there are so few incidents is a compliment to the air transportation system.
How many of us have been delayed due to mechanical problems? Probably every single one of us.
You're deriding the industry and I think they should be commended for their record.