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Southwest Airlines forced to ground 128 Boeing 737 airplanes for inspections

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"Southwest Airlines confirmed Tuesday evening that it grounded 128 of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft that day after it discovered that the airplanes had not received required inspections." (aviationblog.dallasnews.com) Ещё...

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gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Remember USAir flight 427 while arriving into Pittsburgh in 1994? That aircraft was a total loss of crew and all passengers. It put a hole in the ground that I had to fly over for years. It was determined that the cause was an uncommanded rudder hard over. You only have to read my link.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCwQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.post-gazette.com%2Flocal%2Fregion%2F2014%2F09%2F07%2FUSAir-Flight-427-20-years-later%2Fstories%2F201409070272&ei=rOf0VJHuAsHvUs2QgdAF&usg=AFQjCNHWs8tN0c4jDWRGwi8XTU2XAhSbvQ&sig2=d30dSFbqUGoDXrW3R_eJag
This is why all airlines need to follow inspections and make repairs. SWA included.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I remember that very well, and I agree with you on much of this.. However, inspections would not have helped with this issue because it was not known what the problem was at the time... As a matter of fact until the one 737 (Eastwinds 517) has a rudder hard over and over came it and made a successful landing.... It was also determined that not only was the rudder going hard over, but was also going in the wrong direction. A Service Bulletin was issued immediately to tell crews how to handle the situation and an AD issued soon after for required repairs...

There were other pieces of information that makes this not the best example as I had a friend who caught it on film. When he contacted the NTSB to share his evidence, the FBI took the film and put a gag order on him... Where the 737's did have a real problem that Boeing fixed, it was not a Rudder issue on this particular aircraft. Enough said.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
How do you "miss' an inspection--even if it is only a secondary hydraulic system. What if you just happen to bust a checkride? Oh,I just happened to bust my checkride. Maybe nobody will notice. Inspections are not a "just if we can" type of thing. They are for a reason. SWA is getting away with murder.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
SWA has had a history of this.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Flying SWA is cheap. It's a cattle car and it's a train wreck waiting to happen. Cockey airline.Saftey is not their priority. $$$$$$$
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
That is it... Maintenance is one of the places they cut costs.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Remember when most all of the airlines were outsourcing maintenance? They all cut costs where they can, but certainly not to the place where safety records would be affected. I believe you saw things that went against your grain, but simply do not believe SWA is alone. I said it before, just look at its safety record. You and many others seem to be of the impression it's profit at all cost. I don't. Other than non-profits, all businesses are there to make money. It's called Capitalism. If it runs in the red, it gets shuttered and everyone's out of a job.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Are you trying to say that they do not out source maintenance, you are wrong... They out source the larger heavy check maintenance to South America.... Very little known fact, and they try it cover it up.... Just like the mechanic who found a structural crack that was not in the work scope of the inspection he was working on. He got fired, finally won a lawsuit and got his record cleaned up after many years.

I have looked at their safety record

Flt 1248 in MDW Slide off the runway killing 6 Captain did not turn on AntiSkid
Flt 1455 in ALS Over Ran the runway ( procedures instruct the pilot not flying to make altitude call-outs at 1000, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100, 50, 30, and 10 feet (3.0 m). )
Flt 2294 in CRW (Diverted) Lost Pressurization, Hole Blew out in the fuselage, missed inspection
Flt 812 i 2 injuries to Yuma , Hole Blew out in the fuselage, missed inspection
Flt 345 in LGA, Capt made a bad very steep approach because she wanted to make schedule. Put the Nose gear through the Forward Avionics Compartment.
Flt 649, Burbank CA, Near MidAir collision with cessna (where was the TCAS
Flt ???, LGA, Crew had a Cargo Door Warning, Capt on CVR stated that it was an indication issue, did not gate return, said they would write it up at the next station. Unable to pressurized a/c returned to field and the cargo door was in the OPEN and LATCHED position... No one ever even tried to close it.

Personally I think their record is pretty bad... I have looked at it in great detail.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I've said it before, I get your point. Do you have any idea how other airlines of like size stack up against what you've just posted? Over how long a period of time did those 7 incidents happen, do you know? Is it any better or any worse than average? I'm keeping in mind as I read your posts that it's easy, just like anyone who has negative feelings, to talk about all the bad and quite frankly, to dig up everything they can find that's bad. (Not saying yours aren't warranted - not saying that at all.) I am just curious if SWA is worse, better or typical in this arena.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Other airlines do not have these massive a/c that miss inspections.... Others have had crashes and incidents, but none for Delta, American, and USAir or any other US Major that has had the inspection groundings and fuselage separations caused by poor maintenance. The DC-10's had maint issue with changing engines, but it was not a blatant miss, and was thought to be a good procedure.. Those procedures went away.... SWA just keeps making the same mistakes and do not learn from them
mergem
Hans Lam 1
Gpliego36
Guillermo Pliego 1
By the way that my name was put compleatly. The isue that happened in Reno the fatal day of the Races, I wanted to go watch them , but didnot because I needed to discus business with my travel companion, we did confirm the reservation at the same time and at the Gate where put at different groups so i insisted on sitting next and where declined, so Icomplained and WAS GROUNED because a Latino did not like me complaining my need to sit together , sent for Security and the man asked if I was MAD, I said was disapointed. So they did not let me board t he plane!!!!!!
My companion bussiness partner took of and landed in Las Vegas without FLAPS and almost EAT the runway. So she arrived at San Antonio half hor before me 8pm.
I own Two planes and know about maintenance, was told by one mechanic about the corrition under the bathroooms on
The 737s Boings. The Airline all Boing is good saving stock for replacements, but is PUTTING all the Egss in one basket!
Remember the Hawaian plane that lost the Roof inflight and the Noble plane landed Safe. Good Planes.
Have the picture of the guy who grounded me!
Gpliego36
Guillermo Pliego 3
Had been in flights with South West that had provlems with its Equipment that landed the overused planes without Flaps in Las Vegas .
I have thoughts about inspections with this Planes as a result of keeping the planes in the Air and not mantaining them properly.
Good mesure to ground them before a fatality.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
That is what I have been saying.. Well said.
callnab
norman belanger 1
As a paying passenger for the past 20 years I must say they are the only airline that never left me stranded at an airport I didn't want to sleep in.
Their employees treat customers like they are pleased to see them and the opportunity to take their money and deliver the service advertised.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I must agree... they have a great front end staff that meets the public, however in the background, it is not that way... What the public sees is a real cover up to what the real story is all about.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Its safety record must surely speak for itself. Although these statistics are from 2012, I'm still impressed:
"Southwest Airlines has never had any passengers on board die as a result of a crash. Southwest Airlines incidents include 2 deaths (1 non-passenger death on the ground, 1 passenger homicide in the air) and 8 accidents (including 2 aircraft hull losses). The airline was considered amongst the 10 safest in the world in 2012."
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I'm impressed too... But not in a good way.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Boing always puts out a "memo" to an airline. Like SWA has rudder issues. It's up to the airline to comply. I think it'a "Hard over" issue problem with the rudder.
Just fix it.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Those memo's are call "Service Letters" and the manurfacture cannot force a carrier to comply with them.... The FAA issues AD's sometimes that mentions these Service Letters and makes them mandatory, which was the case in the Rudder Hard Overs.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
Why does everyone have to assume the worse, rather than giving the company props for discovering the error and doing what is right?! Sadly, it seems our society has become a glass half empty one.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Very Simply... I used to work there.... Even though the company did not push, the pier pressure of the company forces a Tire Change in 10 minutes and a Brake Change in 20 minutes... And that is from the time you decide to change it. The 10 minutes is from the time you decide to change the tire, not actually start the removal. Everything is Rush Rush Rush. Everything has to make schedule... I know I used to work there... I quit because I was not going to be in a position of putting an aircraft in a dangerous situation because of a time table.

They are so hell bent on making schedule that the Nose Gear that was plastered into the Electronics compartment on landing and the air return due to "Unable To Pressurize" only to find the AFT Cargo Door wide open... We know it was never closed because it was latched open.

I don't assume the worst, until I have seen the worst... I worked for the Worst and now I am glad I am out of there.

When going to work for them (as a mechanic) the Seniors (non-probation people) really dominate the probationary people to the point they are running scared. If someone brings in a snack to share with everyone, the probationary people better not take some until invited by a senior. To prove the theory I bought 8 dozen doughnuts... I gave 5 dozen to the Seniors and 3 dozen to the probationary. The probationary people would not hardly touch one, and a few said, we have not been told its ok by a senior... I told them, I brought them, and I say who gets them. The ones who did take them, hid them and rushed out as not to be seen by a senior.

If a Senior sees someone doing something they don't like (ex: eating a doughnut that they were not invited too, then someone will write up a speedy note to give to the supervisor advising them they did something wrong).... I am a non-drinker, and I do not like to be around it... I got written up because I was considered "NON-SOCIAL" because I did not share beer with them at the time clock 15 minutes before clock out, and hangar mechanics not 20 feet away were still working on a live aircraft. Too me this is drinking on the job. Don't ask me how someone gets written up for being non-social, but it was in my file.

Feeding this, everything is push push push... Get it done... Get is signed off.... I know, I was there... and that is why I left voluntarily because I would not work in that environment.

You asked the question.... The above explains why I assume the worst, as I was actually there. The above is not fiction or made up.. It really happened, and I was not going to work in that environment. They were the Arm-Pit of my career.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I understand why you feel as you do Sparkie, but I note that just about everything you have an issue with is related to seniority - a union issue, not a company issue. I worked in Labor Relations and believe me, the unions aren't there by choice of the airlines, rather by choice of the employees.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
You are correct, but by the same token the pier pressure is what causes the issues in the first place.... and the pier pressure to maintain a perfect schedule has proven in many cases to be a real problem... I feel they are lucky that they have not had many fatalities. I am glad they have not, but it is still surprising to me.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I could be wrong her but I think that SWA, except for the pilots, is Non-Union. There is still a pecking order though, or so it would seem.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
They are all union... Mechanics, Pilots, FA's, Rampers. I am not sure about the gate agents.
cgoldman1
charles goldman 1
Gate agents are represented by TWU 555.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Unless changes have taken place recently, SWA is heavily unionized. We don't hear about it often because there is so little labor strife. The Southwest Airline Pilots' Association, a union not affiliated with the Air Line Pilots Association, represents the airline's pilots.[78] The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians are represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).[79] Customer Service Agents and Reservation Agents are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union (IAM). Flight Dispatchers, Flight Attendants, Ramp agents and Operations agents are represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU).
preacher1
preacher1 1
New one on me. Tks, for the info.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
preacher1
preacher1 2
That is just a reputation that SWA seem to have earned by some of it's past shenanigans, whether real or imagined. They have no friends left.
lyndarva
Lynda Thompson 1
Hope they get things in control before I fly out very soon. I do have a photo I took from last year where the tail of one of their planes was damaged and on the ground in Atlanta, getting ready to board passengers.
wrkruspe
bill kruspe 0
Why is it an issue that it was a BOEING Aircraft ? Why is Boeing relevant ? SWA failed to inspect their fleet.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
It is only relevant that, that is all they fly.... Boeing is the best, and one of the few things they have done write is to go with Boeing... SWA is the issue, not boeing.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I didn't really think it was other than the story identifying a particular group of aircraft due for the inspection. The only thing for relevancy is that the 737 is all they fly, not a mixed fleet as some carriers. Why worry about the small stuff?
honzanl
honza nl 2
profits over safety, it is all about mentality...
genethemarine
Gene spanos 0
Great job S.W.
What about the rest.
Gene
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
The feds just have not found them yet.. Give them time.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
That is the tatics of SWA.. This is not the first time... Someday they are going to have a major issue and a lot of people are going to pay the ultimate price. The SWA way is not the right way.. that is why I left them.
ccoogan
Chris Coogan 2
Gents..nobody wants to go in a smokin hole. I am disappointed that ANY inspection was missed, but I commend them for self reporting. When the other 'low fare' carriers were still in existence, People Express, Florida Express, Reno Air, PSA, the second incarnation of Eastern, etc, etc. The media thought process assumed 'something' ...read maintenance, was being forgone for profits. Southwest knew that back then, so why such an oversight now?
Let the MX heads roll. They deserve it. No excuses for missing anything!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well. as one post said here, by self reporting they avoid any fine as a result of the action so while sounding so, they aren't being all that noble. 10-4 on the mx heads rolling BUT it may have come down to a time thing and just couldn't get it done.
stevooz
steve rogers -1
makes you wonder how many airlines are flying around with over due maintanence .
preacher1
preacher1 1
Possibly everybody that don't get ramp checked on a regular basis, I personally doubt that it's anything major if there is. Granted, there are a lot of rules and regs but it is as much to the airlines to maintain this stuff as it would be to let it go. As with this, it was a minor thing on a backup system at that.
hardworker7
hardworker7 1
Disturbing pattern of behavior. Guessing these aircraft weren't acquired from other carriers and we're talking about ONE type of aircraft. Yesterday's mistake is tomorrow's fashion !!!
dcumberland
Dan Cumberland -5
its because they do alot of maintanence down in Honduras
dtw757
mike SUT 5
"Self reporting" allows them the opportunity to avoid the fine for not doing the required inspections.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Not in all cases... Sometimes it only reduces the fine... But at any rate, it saves them some money most of the time. They are really getting to be obitual offenders. They do it so often, maybe the feds should just say.. You are grounded until you get them all fixed.
yr2012
matt jensen 1
preacher1
preacher1 4
Yeah, I know but not being one of their big fans, I wonder what else they aren't reporting
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
If you were a fan, would you wonder what else? I mean the way you put that means you don't genuinely believe they aren't.
dtw757
mike SUT 0
Do they have any fans other than the people who want Walmart prices and service? Certainly not in other Pilot circles. Warp 9 to the OM, Warp 8 to the gate (97% reliability there). :-)
rdlink
rdlink 6
What planet are you living on. Their service is among the tops in the industry. Want to talk about Walmart service? Point to any of the "legacy" carriers. Problem is they don't give you the Walmart prices to go with it. They try to convince their customers that they provide a level of service that they don't.

I'll take SWA any day over almost any domestic carrier.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 4
I'm with you! Flew SWA in January with a broken ankle and received the best treatment imaginable, start to finish, both to and from. Can't knock the "Walmart prices" either - why would I pay more when I get the best of treatment, on time flights and free checked baggage? I'll fly SWA whenever possible.
preacher1
preacher1 5
Well, one thing they hadn't counted on has kinda bit them in the butt a little, and that is turnaround time on their equipment. As the 737 has grown in size over the years, their turn time has increased by a full 10 minutes over 10 in the early days to 20 now and will soon increase again, whether they want it too or not. I guess they have shown that it can be done but that is an awfully quick turn time for a full reset by a flight crew, but Herb saw on the front end the value, or lack of it, of time spent on the ground. Pilots learned to kiss roll marks, make 1st turnouts, and be running checklists for outbound before they ever got to the gate. They may not be on my fan list but you got to give the devil his due. Problem is that Herb had the COACH mentality and Kelly has that of a BEAN COUNTER and at some point, he won't be able to motivate the troops.
PSBJ
PSBJ -2
If something happens before then Southwest could be in deep trouble.
LittleT
LittleT -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA: Southwest for now can use planes that missed inspection

Federal officials have agreed to let Southwest Airlines Co. keep flying planes that missed an inspection of a backup rudder system if the planes are checked in the next five days.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/faa-southwest-for-now-can-use-planes-that-missed-inspection/ar-BBhWx5Q?ocid=iehp
preacher1
preacher1 5
I guess it's good that they self reported it but how do you miss required inspections on 20% of your fleet. Makes you wonder what they are not reporting.
thegoodguy
thegoodguy 1
Would seem to be more of a save n face move then doing the right thing. Had it hit the news the FAA found it and "Grounded" them would have look worse. But most of us on FA know better :-)
maxtribolet
Max Tribölet 1
https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled

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