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Thread: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

  1. #31
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Tell you what, take the current US commercial fleet, and have them make as many flights per day as there are automobile trips per day. Same number of pilots, same number of mechanics, same maintenance schedules, same air traffic control system, same number of flight paths, same weather conditions, etc.

    Now explain to the us how the airline safety record isn't going to get worse and how the safety records compare....
    I think the one factor you're omitting with that scenario, Ltlabner, is the distance traveled in those trips. The average car trip is only a few miles, while the average air trip is hundreds of miles.

    Trip for trip, I'll take your word for it as described in the quote above. But mile for mile, I would suspect that air is safer.
    Last edited by macro; 03-13-2008 at 08:43 AM.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    We wouldn't have this problem if we all had the FLYING CARS WE WERE ALL PROMISED 8 YEARS AGO!

    I WANT MY FLYING CAR!
    They'll be here in seven more years, Raisor. Seven more years...


  4. #33
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    They'll be here in seven more years, Raisor. Seven more years...

    2015 did seem so far away back in the day. We don't even have Mr. Fusion yet.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

    All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.

  5. #34
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    And yes, I argue that if the average flyer really knew about the maintence issues of the american commerical aviation fleet, they would serriously reconsider their options. The convience and speed of commerical air travel makes for a wonderfull opium against the cold realities of air travel for those not currious enough to investigate further.

    Yeah and if the average diner knew what went on in a Chinese Restaurant he'd never eat Chinese. So what?

    If the maintenance is so poor on commercial American airplanes why aren't we seeing them falling out the sky? Seems to me the maintenance is doing what it's supposed to do--get passengers safely from point to point.

    How many commercial airline deaths have we had since 9-11? I can't think of any. It must be very few. How can you expect the airline industry to improve on that record?

  6. #35
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    As I said, the average flyer has no idea what really happens in the world of commerical aviation.
    I know people don't die in commercial aircraft. Well, once every few years they do...but I'll take my chances.

    I'm flying this weekend, and am not giving it a second thought.

    Gosh, do you think I'll make it to my destination alive?
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  7. #36
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    I know people don't die in commercial aircraft. Well, once every few years they do...but I'll take my chances.

    I'm flying this weekend, and am not giving it a second thought.

    Gosh, do you think I'll make it to my destination alive?
    I'm not superstitious but you're giving me the creeps. Quick, throw some salt over your shoulder or something.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
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  8. #37
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    I think the one factor you're omitting with that scenario, Ltlabner, is the distance traveled in those trips. The average car trip is only a few miles, while the average air trip is hundreds of miles.

    Trip for trip, I'll take your word for it as described in the quote above. But mile for mile, I would suspect that air is safer.
    Good point. Then again, the average flyer makes a trip per year, or very few, anyway. While they drive nearly every day some distance.

    There's all sorts of ways to measure "safety" and you can compare the safety of flying to riding a horse or taking a buss. Doesn't mean that it gives you any usefull data.

    Commercial airline travel is indeed a very safe process when everything is averaged out. It's just a very thin razors edge between safe and unsafe when all the variables are honestly looked at.

    I didn't realize so many people would get riled up by making a comment that hurling 350 people through the air in an aluminum tube at 500mph suspended by suction was actually, like you know, dangerous or something. Doesn't mean I wouldn't fly, or I lose any sleep over it (as noted in several of my posts), but IMO you have to be pretty nieve to think the American public's perception of "safe" can't be squewed by several news reports. Hell, Ralph Nader wiped out a entire car line with one book.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 03-13-2008 at 05:32 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    If the maintenance is so poor on commercial American airplanes why aren't we seeing them falling out the sky? Seems to me the maintenance is doing what it's supposed to do--get passengers safely from point to point.
    I've never said maintenance is so poor that airliners are ready to drop from the sky. In fact, I've commented several times that commercial aviation has gotten safer at a staggering rate since the 1960's.

    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.

    Can an intellectually honest person actually say, "nope, no increased risk of problems there"? IMO, no. And we've not even discussed the agining air traffic control system.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't fly. Heck, I just booked a flight to Las Vegas for work. I love to fly. Nor am I suggesting people should be gripped with fear about flying. The american public are like sheep, however, and given the right shepard they can easily be steered away from particular activites.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  10. #39
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    Gosh, do you think I'll make it to my destination alive?
    Yes. You should be gripped with fear and cling to your woobie.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    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.

  12. #41
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    You did give the impression that they're ready to drop from the sky
    No, my point was that there is razor thin line between safe & non-safe and if the general flying public knew how close to the line the industry is, the herd mentality would lead them to chose other forms of transportation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    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.
    Again you are missing the point. All I am saying is that there is a small margin of error between safe and non-safe in commerical airlines. Those events you mentioned mearly push the airlines closer to that edge, not necessarly over it. Will the airlines and technology push the ballence away from the edge? Likely they will, but that doesn't change the fact that a whole bunch of issues can effect the safety of an airliner. You'll also note that I've said those events would "increase the risk" not "those events will definatley lead to planes falling out of the sky".

    I've not said that the airlines are unsafe, in fact, several times have said the advancements is safety have been huge and that airlines are signifcantly safer now than they were in the 1960's. I also commented that the improvements are mostly testiment to the men and women who fly and maintain the aircraft.

    BTW - the most recient domestic maintenance related crashes include a Northwest Airlines CRJ in 2004 due to engine failure, US Airlines Commuter B1100 in 2003 due to misrigged aerlons after a maintenance check and American Airlines A300 in 2001 after the vertical stabilzer broke off the aircraft.

    The 1990's had a raft of maintence related crashes, but you are correct that it's been a long while since one, and a greatly reduced number at that. (Then again, many of those maintenance/mechancial related crashes did involve the older aircraft types of the time...funny...almost like the point you keep missing).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    You're deriding the industry and I think they should be commended for their record.
    If you want to call pointing out the obivous deriding, so be it. I agree that the industry should be commended for the record (as I have stated a few times now and you continue to ignore) but that really has no relation to any of the points I have made.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 03-13-2008 at 10:21 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  13. #42
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post




    BTW - the most recient domestic maintenance related crashes include a Northwest Airlines CRJ in 2004 due to engine failure, US Airlines Commuter B1100 in 2003 due to misrigged aerlons after a maintenance check and American Airlines A300 in 2001 after the vertical stabilzer broke off the aircraft.

    The 1990's had a raft of maintence related crashes, but you are correct that it's been a long while since one, and a greatly reduced number at that. (Then again, many of those maintenance/mechancial related crashes did involve the older aircraft types of the time...funny...almost like the point you keep missing).



    If you want to call pointing out the obivous deriding, so be it. I agree that the industry should be commended for the record (as I have stated a few times now and you continue to ignore) but that really has no relation to any of the points I have made.
    The points I tend to "ignore" are the ones I agree with and you're right, we do agree for the most part. I don't waste people's time pasting points you made that I agree with generally.

    I do disagree that the AA flight in 2001 was a maintenance issue.

    The National Transportation Safety Board has found that pilot error was the probable cause. Sharply criticizing American Airlines Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program, the Board said that American Airlines' pilot training included a simulator exercise which could have caused the first officer to have an unrealistic and exaggerated view of the effects of wake turbulence, erroneously associate wake turbulence encounters with the need for aggressive roll upset recovery techniques and develop control strategies that would produce a much different -- and potentially surprising and confusing -- response if performed during flight.
    http://www.planecrashinfo.com/2001/2001-57.htm

    It doesn't sound like the 2004 flight you mentioned was a maintenance issue either:

    ...PC: The pilots' unprofessional behavior, deviation from standard operating procedures, and poor airmanship, which resulted in an in-flight emergency from which they were unable to recover, in part because of the pilots' inadequate training The pilots' failure to prepare for an emergency landing in a timely manner, including communicating with air traffic controllers immediately after the emergency about the loss of both engines and the availability of landing sites and the pilots' failure to achieve and maintain the target airspeed in the double engine failure checklist, which caused the engine cores to stop rotating and resulted in the core lock engine condition. Contributing to this accident was the engine core lock condition, which prevented at least one engine from being restarted, and the airplane flight manuals that did not communicate to pilots the importance of maintaining a minimum airspeed to keep the engine cores rotating.
    Unlike the 2003 crash you mentioned, this report mentions nothing about maintenance issues.


    Suffice to say I feel much safer traveling by air than I do trying to merge into busy traffic on I-75. Perhaps that feeling is misguided.

  14. #43
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    Re: Might want to think twice about flying Southwest Airlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I do disagree that the AA flight in 2001 was a maintenance issue.

    It doesn't sound like the 2004 flight you mentioned was a maintenance issue either
    The AA flight in 2001 is a source of heated, on-going debate. One side of the coin is the pilot-error crowd (and the NTSB) while the other (which I agree with) contends that vertical stablizers should not seperate from the aircraft when the ruder is moved. Keep in mind, my comments early on mentioned both maintenance and mechanical issues. So I'd definatley include that crash on the list.

    I got the 2004 one from airdisaster.com which just gives a breif synopisis rather than the prob cause. So yea, take it off the list.

    Of corse, in searching the NTSB database I've found 11maintenance/mechancial related incidents in the last 15 months that did not result in fatalies (a testiment to the skill of the particular men & women behind the controls). Again, maintenance/mechancial issues that the average flyer knows nothing about.

    This continues to support my claim that if the average flyer knew what was going on "behind the sceens" (since most of these are not reported nationaly) they'd be less likely to fly. 11 events in 15 months. If the news bleated about these incidents nearly once a month, you really think that wouldn't impact the average flyer?

    For those of you bored here are snipits from NTSB preliminary reports (these are only prelim reports).

    Airbus Industrie A319-114, registration: N349NB
    On January 9, 2008, at 0749 eastern standard time, an Airbus Industrie A319-114, N349NB, operated by Northwest Airlines as flight 853, experienced an engine cowling separation while on approach to land on runway 27R at the Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), Detroit, Michigan
    On November 25, 2007, at 0042 mountain standard time, a Boeing 737-832, N3744F, registered to and operated by Delta Air Lines, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, and operating as flight 430, sustained minor damage when the tread on the right outboard wheel came off and struck the airplane during takeoff from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona
    On September 28, 2007, at 1316 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), N454AA, operated by American Airlines as flight 1400, executed an emergeny landing at Lambert-St Louis International Airport (STL), St. Louis, Missouri, after the flight crew received a left engine fire warning during departure climb from the airport. Upon receiving the left engine fire warning during climb, the flight crew discharged the aircraft engine fire bottles into the affected engine. During the visual return and single-engine approach to the airport, the nose landing gear did not extend.
    On May 13, 2007, at about 11:30 pm local time, a Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, registration N863DA, took-off from Tel Aviv, Israel for a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. After the airplane took-off, pieces of the #8 tire assembly were found along the departure taxiway and runway. An aerial search was done in Tel Aviv along the departure flight path to try and locate the #8 wheel and tire. It was not located. On landing in Atlanta, it was discovered that the #8 tire assembly was missing.
    On May 2, 2007, about 1106 eastern daylight time, a Mc-Donnell Douglas DC-10-30, N270AX, registered to Omni DC-10 Leasing LLC, operated by Omni Air International, Inc., as flight "Reach 370", experienced a malfunction of the horizontal stabilizer during a normal descent, and landed uneventfully at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia. Preliminary examination of the airplane revealed that a shear pin/bolt in the horizontal stabilizer chain drive unit (P/N AJH7337-507) was fractured. The horizontal stabilizer chain drive unit was retained for further examination.
    Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of Frontier Airlines, Inc. Incident occurred Sunday, April 22, 2007 in Atlanta, GA. The mechanics failure to follow procedures and directives in securing the lower engine cowling after maintenance, and the failure of the first officer to follow the checklist to ensure the engine cowling was secured during the walk around inspection resulting in the separation of the right lower engine cowling during initial take off climb.
    On April 18, 2007, about 1652 eastern daylight time, a Beech 1900D, N46AR, registered to CSC Applied Technologies LLC, operated by Gulfstream International Airlines, Inc., experienced a loss of engine power from the right engine while applying power to takeoff from the Marsh Harbour International Airport, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas
    On April 7, 2007, about 2123 eastern daylight time, a Canadair CL-600-2B19 (CRJ), N77181, operated by Mesa Airlines as flight 7264, was substantially damaged when the thrust reverser translating cowling separated from the left engine during cruise flight and struck the horizontal and vertical stabilizers
    On April 1, 2007, at 0645 cdt, Air Wisconsin Flight 3714, a Bombardier CRJ registered as N419AW, experienced a stabilizer runaway nose-down trim event shortly after departure from Milwaukee, WI (MKE).
    On March 29, 2007, about 1616 eastern daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83), N877GA, registered to Boeing Aircraft Holding Company and operated by Allegiant Air as flight 758, a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Sanford, Florida, landed with the nose gear retracted at the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB),Sanford, Florida. It was discovered that a "B" nut on a hydraulic pressure line had backed off from the rudder hydraulic shut-off valve, located in the right hand side of the aft airstair well, which is operated by the right hydraulic system. Fluid residue was present in the area. The line and "B" nut were removed from the aircraft for metallurgical examination.
    Air Carrier operation of MESA AIRLINES INC. Incident occurred Thursday, January 25, 2007 in Cripple Creek, COWhile climbing through FL 240, the No. 1 engine experienced a fan disk separation, which resulted in the separation of the inlet, fan rotor assembly, the fan containment case, and portions of the thrust reverser. A fatigue fracture, which resulted in the separation of the No.1 engine fan disk. Contributing factors in the accident were the operators' maintenance personnel lack of training to be able to detect arc-out damage on the fan disk, and the fan disk manufacturer's inadequate electro-chemical etch match marking process of the fan disk to forward fan shaft that allowed for the initiation of a fatigue point that was undetected at the time of original manufacture.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


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