Delta and Swiss International flag problems with A220
Airbus, Boeing, P&W, SNECMA, others have airworthiness issues
SAFETY v. PROFITS ???
Time for Global STAND DOWN?
“As the airline industry – and passengers – ponder the fate of the Boeing 737 Max, a new report claims that another plane, used primarily by Delta Air Lines, might have issues.
Inc. Magazine says problems are emerging on the Airbus A220, 25 of which were purchased by Delta when it eschewed the 737 Max.
According to Inc., Swiss International Airlines was forced to ground all 29 of its Airbus A220 planes after one had to make an emergency landing en route to Geneva. Apparently, pieces of the engine started to fall off over France.
In fact, the A220 has been placed under restrictions in Canada and Europe.
If it flies above 29,000, it can only use 94 percent of its power; if it flies above 35,000 feet, it is susceptible to frost and a flawed anti-freeze system that could overtax the engines, set off alarms and force the pilots to make an emergency landing.
A Delta spokesman told the magazine the airline is concerned in a statement: “We are determining what additional actions might be needed, but Delta has operated our A220 fleet below the engine thrust amounts described in the directive from the FAA. We will continue to do so.”
The FAA last week expanded an order to inspect the Pratt and Whitney engines in the plane, looking for cracks in the engine rotors.
If this is another plane with issues, manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus are entering a new world of public scrutiny.
For decades, consumers have made choices among airlines by comparing service, fares, comfort, amenities and more. Now, ever since the 737 Max was grounded in March, passengers are also considering type of aircraft when flying.
Older Airbus A380 operators are set to be ordered to check for cracking in the region of the outer rear wing span
Pratt & Whitney
This is merely a sample of issues with airframes and powerplants being experienced around the globe.
Recent aviation safety trends HAVE BEEN fantastic. In every measurement, flying was objectively safer. Structures, powerplants, avionics and their manufacturing techniques were all recognized as lowering aircraft flight risk.
At the same time, the problems recently encountered by so many in aviation should cause all to pause and reconsider their safety commitment.
Concurrently, the manufacturers and their governments showed visible signs of becoming more competitive. The aerospace market grew with established OEMs in Brazil and Canada plus aggressive, new airliner manufacturers in China, India, Russia and others. To say that the global aerospace market was hot would be an understatement.
Some have opined that the drive to be #1 in sales may have blurred the OEMs focus on safety. The US Congress has been extremely vocal about the lack of attention.
Is it fair to say that this issue is not confined to the US?
Now might be an excellent time to call for a Global Aviation Safety STANDDOWN.
It is a practice which originated with military aviation and recently an annual institution sponsored by BOMBARDIER and supported by a number of knowledgeable 3rd parties (academics, associations, government and consultants). The basic concept has been to bring together aviators, take them away from their daily responsibilities and focus on how flying might be made safer.
The room is filled with flight departments with different operational requirements, different flying conditions and a wide range of practices to respond to those risks. The participants share their ideas and dialogue at length about how they can be better. Collaboration is a powerful tool.
The Standdown technique for safety improvement has been recommended by OSHA and has been replicated by other industries. As to all of these exercises, SAFETY is the only topic and the sole motivation.
Likely there are lessons to be shared within the aviation community. ICAO might be a sponsor of such an event. The key will be to appoint a facilitator with the knowledge and gravitas to insure that safety is the uniform goal and collaboration is the theme for participation.
IS IT TIME TO CALL A GLOBAL AVIATION SAFETY STANDDOWN???
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