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NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 02:41 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

During the past year or two, me and my family are buying the cheapest
fares available, and so why am I not surprised by this write-up about
Air Tran's success.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/bu...22airtran.html

  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 04:12 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

They have made a reasonable recovery from their disastrous management
performance ten years ago. When you change your name and hide
eventually most folks forget what a disaster your company was.

Robert Cohen wrote:
During the past year or two, me and my family are buying the cheapest
fares available, and so why am I not surprised by this write-up about
Air Tran's success.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/bu...22airtran.html

  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 04:32 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

"Robert Cohen" wrote:


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/bu...22airtran.html



Pretty funny quote: "Our airplanes are newer than most airline's snacks."
  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 04:35 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

"Frank F. Matthews" wrote:

They have made a reasonable recovery from their disastrous management
performance ten years ago. When you change your name and hide
eventually most folks forget what a disaster your company was.


What disasterous management performance? As near as I can tell, they were
under a microscope at the time, since they were the first airline to
extensively contract out maintenance. Something done in many other
industries, I might add. There was an accident, which arguably wasn't the
fault of the airline management, and were then considered as "unsafe".

When they merged with AirTran, they used AirTran's operating license, and
contracted their maintenance to that company. Otherwise, they are still
building on the same model they used as ValuJet.
  #5  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 06:40 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

In article 42, James
Robinson wrote:

... they were the first airline to
extensively contract out maintenance. Something done in many other
industries, I might add. There was an accident, which arguably wasn't the
fault of the airline management, and were then considered as "unsafe".


Please. They contracted things out to SabreTech because they were
CHEAPER, simple as that. Their subcontractor cut corners, and 110
people died as a result. ValuJet wasn't DIRECTLY responsible, no, but
they were most certainly at fault for using a shady contractor.

Further, the cabin-to-cockpit interphone had been deferred, meaning the
cabin crew had no way to communicate the fire to the flight crew other
than yelling through the cockpit door.

So yes, Valujet shared a great deal of responsibility for the crash.
  #6  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 10:15 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

The DC-9s

By phasing-out those old planes and phasing-in the new 7117 (?),
they've sorta overcome my resistance/reluctance/fear.

Less than 10 years ago we flew ATL to MIDWAY/Chicago, a bargain fare of
$59 (?) one way in a DC-9.

We sat toward the rear, and some rackety noise of an old part(s) did
worry me.

Please tell me they're not cutting corners by using low bidders to
maintain the 7117s too.

I also now recall a post-crash expert commenting on National Public
Radio (after a crash) about complex wiring being relatively difficult
to repair in the old DC-9 (I think it was).

  #7  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 10:15 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More


Clark W. Griswold, Jr. wrote:

"Robert Cohen" wrote:


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/bu...22airtran.html



Pretty funny quote: "Our airplanes are newer than most airline's snacks."



When I read that I thought, "WHAT snacks!?"...

--
Best
Greg


  #8  
Old April 23rd, 2006, 05:50 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

beavis wrote:

James Robinson wrote:

... they were the first airline to extensively contract out
maintenance. Something done in many other industries, I might add.
There was an accident, which arguably wasn't the fault of the airline
management, and were then considered as "unsafe".


Please. They contracted things out to SabreTech because they were
CHEAPER, simple as that. Their subcontractor cut corners, and 110
people died as a result. ValuJet wasn't DIRECTLY responsible, no, but
they were most certainly at fault for using a shady contractor.


Are you implying that dealing with the lowest bidder is somehow wrong?
It is the way business is done. Everything from computer programming to
moon landers is awarded to the lowest qualified bidder as a normal
contracting process. SabreTech was a licenced aircraft maintenance
supplier.

As far as SabreTech being "shady", they were properly licensed by the
FAA to perform aircraft maintenance. It's not as though they were some
back lot garage that repairs cars using stolen parts.

Also, please describe how the accident was as a result of Sabretech
"cutting corners". The airline prohibited the shipment of hazardous
material, and weren't aware that the oxygen generators were aboard. The
maintenance contractor made a mistake in not discharging the generators
or applying safety caps. It was more a mistake than a deliberate act to
save money.

Blaming the airline, even partially, is like blaming Ford Explorer
drivers for Firestone tire failures: They shouldn't have bought them,
therefore they are at fault.

Further, the cabin-to-cockpit interphone had been deferred, meaning
the cabin crew had no way to communicate the fire to the flight crew
other than yelling through the cockpit door.

So yes, Valujet shared a great deal of responsibility for the crash.


The lack of interphone communication was not cited in the NTSB report as
either a cause of the accident or even aggravating the conditions. It
was a side issue, and ValuJet was perfectly legal in flying the aircraft
without the interphone according to the FAA-approved Minimum Equipment
Lists.
  #9  
Old April 23rd, 2006, 06:50 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

In article 42, James
Robinson wrote:

... they were the first airline to extensively contract out
maintenance. Something done in many other industries, I might add.
There was an accident, which arguably wasn't the fault of the airline
management...


Please. They contracted things out to SabreTech because they were
CHEAPER, simple as that. Their subcontractor cut corners, and 110
people died as a result.


Are you implying that dealing with the lowest bidder is somehow wrong?


Not at all. What I'm directly *saying* is that using a contractor to
do work doesn't absolve the company of responsibility for the work done
by that contractor. That's one of the risks a company takes when it
relinquishes control of necessary work to an outside, third party.

It is the way business is done... SabreTech was a licenced aircraft maintenance
supplier.


Of course they were. Just as the garage is where a friend always gets
his New York state inspections "done" is a certified New York State
Inspection Station. Still, for fifty bucks, he gets a sticker on a car
that shouldn't be on the road. The certification means very little.

Also, please describe how the accident was as a result of Sabretech
"cutting corners". The airline prohibited the shipment of hazardous
material, and weren't aware that the oxygen generators were aboard.


Correct. SabreTech *mislabeled* the shipping containers as containing
empty oxygen generators, because full ones cannot be transported in the
cargo hold of passenger aircraft, and thus must be sent on cargo-only
aircraft. That costs more money. That's what I mean by "cutting
corners."

Blaming the airline, even partially, is like blaming Ford Explorer
drivers for Firestone tire failures: They shouldn't have bought them,
therefore they are at fault.


That's an excellent example, actually. But it's more analgous to
blaming Ford for the Firestone tire failures. *Ford* sold the tires,
*Ford* recommended that they be underinflated. Yes, it was Firestone
that built the weak tire, but they were OEM tires -- Ford is the
primarily repsonsible party, not Firestone.


The lack of interphone communication was not cited in the NTSB report as
either a cause of the accident or even aggravating the conditions.


http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1997/aar9706.pdf

Page 108:
"Therefore, the Safety Board believes that the FAA should specify, in
air carrier operations master MELs, that the cockpit-cabin portion of
the service interphone system is required to be operating before an
airplane can be dispatched. "


Page 138:

"As a result of the investigation of this accident, the National
Transportation Safety Board made the following recommendations:
‹to the Federal Aviation Administration:
....
Specify, in air carrier operations master minimum equipment lists, that
the cockpit-cabin portion of the service interphone system is required
to be operating before an airplane can be dispatched. (A-97-57) "




It was a side issue, and ValuJet was perfectly legal in flying the aircraft
without the interphone according to the FAA-approved Minimum Equipment
Lists.


"Perfectly legal" doesn't necessary equal safe, in the aviation
business or in any other. In New York, it's illegal for me to hold a
phone up to my ear and talk, but "perfectly legal" to type a message
out on a Blackberry. That doesn't make it safe; some common sense
needs to come into play.
  #10  
Old April 23rd, 2006, 07:51 PM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default NY TIMES: The Humble Valujet No More

beavis wrote:

It is the way business is done... SabreTech was a licenced aircraft maintenance
supplier.



Of course they were. Just as the garage is where a friend always gets
his New York state inspections "done" is a certified New York State
Inspection Station. Still, for fifty bucks, he gets a sticker on a car
that shouldn't be on the road. The certification means very little.


Are you sayiing that SabreTech paid off the FAA inspectors?
That's quite an accusation.
 




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