BETTER REPAIR NOTATION MIGHT ADDRESS PASSENGER CONCERNS

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ARTICLE: Alaska apologizes for MX message on 737

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Part 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations also referred to as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) prescribes exactly how operators (in this case an air carrier) must record problems or damage, such as one shown in the photo. FAA inspectors know what records to review to determine if it was properly documented. The photo of a small section of flap that was removed as part of an approved repair procedure resulted in a lot of dialogue on the Reddit discussion forum.

The Redidit discussion forum provided some good insight as to how operators handle these discrepancies. One commentator stated that the visible “on the wing” recordation is a good way to inform subsequent line station maintenance personnel that the problem has been booked and eliminates the potential for redundant maintenance log entries.

Another commenter suggested that the visible record may provide comfort to passengers, who may notice the hand written note on the flap. Alaska apologized to its customers via Twitter for any concerns that it may have caused its customers, but they also indicated that cutting out the damaged section is an authorized repair.

The FARs and FAA policies as well as the operators documented reporting and repair procedures, which are approved by the FAA, are used daily with great success. The notation on the flap by a maintenance person is a common industry practice that is an effective way to notify airline staff that the discrepancy has been reported. In the event that operators use hand written notations to ensure communication with other line station personnel a maintenance log entry date and approved repair/OK to fly notation would have been more appropriate.

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