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GBNorman

Should Regionals Fly Under Their Own Colors?

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What a ridiculous situation that was...I mean, even after they realized their mistake, couldn't they come up with a better (and cheaper) solution? The article makes it sound like Skywest realized in midflight that the aircraft was 'too large' for them to handle at their Chattanooga station. I am assuming that they meant their jetbridge couldn't 'mate up' with the aircraft?

A much better solution would have been to either use a portable airstair, or if worse came to worse, 'eat crow', and arrange to use one of the other carrier's gates there for just that round trip flight... :unsure:

Edited by railiner

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A few years ago American accidently dispatched a non ETOPS A-321 on a Hawaii flight. It had to return to origin airport,passengers had to be put on the correct type. They had to get the correct plane to Hawaii, since once the pilot was aware, he could not carry passengers back. They were well into the flight when this ws discovered, Even the mainlines do stupid stuff.

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American "owns" that one; their aircraft, their Flight Crew (should have known what acft they were to fly), their "black eye".

 

Even if they "comped" the passengers "from here to heaven", more likely than not, they were on vacation - and if in the workforce, that meant a lost vacation day.

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They flew the aircraft that dispatch assigned them. It is usually marked with a big sticker in the logbook, and a label on the nosewheel doors. Besides the older former USAir A-321, AA has newer A-321 both ETOPS and non ETOPS that are equipped and laid out the same way, in is the maintenance and inspection requirements that would differ. Actually in re reading the record, they completed the flight since they were past the point of no return, cancelled the return flight, and flew back empty as a ferry flight since they could not fly it as a passenger flight.

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Their flight dispatching system screwed up big time. If set up correctly it should not have permitted the use of that aircraft for that route. Either that, or some helpful human overrode the system and force assigned the aircraft. Never discount the possibility of human ingenuity leading to a screwup.

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They flew the aircraft that dispatch assigned them. It is usually marked with a big sticker in the logbook, and a label on the nosewheel doors. Besides the older former USAir A-321, AA has newer A-321 both ETOPS and non ETOPS that are equipped and laid out the same way, in is the maintenance and inspection requirements that would differ. Actually in re reading the record, they completed the flight since they were past the point of no return, cancelled the return flight, and flew back empty as a ferry flight since they could not fly it as a passenger flight.

This has me wondering...how much difference in cost is there in the same aircraft being maintained to a higher standard for ETOPS certification as opposed to not?

Apparently enough to make it only cost effective to certify only the number of aircraft actually needed for that service, plus perhaps some reserve...

This is something I was never aware of, so thanks for bringing it up.

 

As for that example...at least the passenger's on the flight were not inconvenienced, since they were past the "point of no return"...(cue theme from "The High and The Mighty" :P )

Only those bumped from the cancelled return were affected.

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It pays to know the system.

 

Except the system is constantly changing. There are so many levels and variations of cooperation, each with their own rules and pricing, that I never really know what to expect anymore. Code sharing, contracting, and interlining seem to be in a state of perpetual flux these days. Two airlines that were enemies yesterday are acting like best friends today only to ignore each other tomorrow. United once sold me a trip with connecting "partners" that refused to accept each other's paperwork or luggage and needed airport staff to help bridge the divide. The era of the global travel alliance has turned out to be much more frustrating and far less cooperative than I originally envisioned.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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What a ridiculous situation that was...I mean, even after they realized their mistake, couldn't they come up with a better (and cheaper) solution? The article makes it sound like Skywest realized in midflight that the aircraft was 'too large' for them to handle at their Chattanooga station. I am assuming that they meant their jetbridge couldn't 'mate up' with the aircraft?

A much better solution would have been to either use a portable airstair, or if worse came to worse, 'eat crow', and arrange to use one of the other carrier's gates there for just that round trip flight... :unsure:

 

While the exact situation hasn't been revealed, discussion on other sites gives a lot of insight (or at least speculation) into why the return to ORD was the best course of action.

 

The "too big" comment was probably a throwaway comment by a pilot not wanting to bore passengers with all of the technical specifics. However, the speculated cause on these other websites is that Chattanooga did not have a tow bar compatible with the E-175. Therefore, there would be no way to get the plane out of the gate once it parked. I'm not familiar with that airport, but it's also possible that it doesn't have the proper setup to put an airline flight on a remote stand and bus passengers to/from the terminal. Portable airstairs might also not be the right height, either (the E-175 is pretty low to the ground, but not low enough to just hop off, and the plane probably doesn't have built-in airstairs).

 

Dispatching the wrong airplane type was dumb, but once they discovered the problem, returning to origin and swapping out with the correct type was probably the best course of action given the limited time they had in which to make a decision.

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^Basically what he said.

 

I'm trying to get some inside information, but basically it's probably a combination of not having the right equipment and the ground personal not being properly trained on working the ERJ-175. The FAA is very strict about this sort of thing and perhaps the cheapest and easiest solution was to just turn back to Chicago. If they had landed, it may have taken hours to get a set of stairs together, or the plane could have parked at the gate, they might not have been able to push it back with out the right tow bar. Certainly, in an emergency the aircraft could divert to CHA and they could work out something then, but this wasn't an emergency. Had it landed, the aircraft would have probably been stuck there for awhile.

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They flew the aircraft that dispatch assigned them. It is usually marked with a big sticker in the logbook, and a label on the nosewheel doors. Besides the older former USAir A-321, AA has newer A-321 both ETOPS and non ETOPS that are equipped and laid out the same way, in is the maintenance and inspection requirements that would differ.

One must wonder why didn't the First Officer on the walk around note the absence of the ETOPS marking on the nosewheel door? Edited by GBNorman

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They flew the aircraft that dispatch assigned them. It is usually marked with a big sticker in the logbook, and a label on the nosewheel doors. Besides the older former USAir A-321, AA has newer A-321 both ETOPS and non ETOPS that are equipped and laid out the same way, in is the maintenance and inspection requirements that would differ.

One must wonder why didn't the First Officer on the walk around note the absence of the ETOPS marking on the nosewheel door?

Certain pilots and first officers can forget a lot of important things.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45584300

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Here is all you'll ever want to know regarding the AA LAX-HNL non-ETOPS incident, which occurred AUG 31-15:

 

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=594907

 

Oh and finally, ETOPS - Engines Turn Off, Passengers Swim 🤩🤩

Edited by GBNorman

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Actually, after reading thru all four pages of those posts, my question was still not answered....what more does it cost, either actual, or as a percentage, to certify an otherwise identical type to ETOPS?

While I did learn a few things about ETOPS, the gist was partisan's arguing over what fines or other remedies should be done in that case...

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If I buy an otherwise identically equipped plane the initial cost is minimal. The differences would arise in a more stringent inspection schedule, so depending on where the airline does those inspections and maintenance routines, the need to cycle a particular aircraft to a location it might not be required to visit as often, particularly in its role as an ETOPS ship matters. Where does AA service VF2500 engines, that's what their newer A-321 were purchased with. The legacy USAir 321 have CFM-56

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Besides the maintenane schedule, ETOPS certified also have to have longer fire-suppressant capability, as well as longer lasting medical oxygen...

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That's part of the requirement, but nothing stops you from just specifying them on all of the ones you buy. It makes parts stocking and maintenance training easier. I do not know if AA did that or not.

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