ESP fault locator
This article seems almost humorous when the use of the ESP devise is disallowed by the FAA — ha. Excuse me, if I can troubleshoot a system with any non-evasive device that will help me resolve a problem, believe me, I will use it.
OK, I will not record (log) just how the problem was found.
— Bob Bartell, Palm City, FL
Bill O’Brien’s “Hangar Heroes” article in the April 2008 issue would have been much better if he had also given recognition to the four mechanics immediate managers other than just Larry Galarza. If it weren’t for the team of field service managers (Marco Cardenas —- TFE731; Wes Moreland — ALF502, Rolls-Royce Spey/Tay and the CF34, and Terry Huecker whose product line wasn’t even mentioned in article), who also know these product lines backwards and forwards inside and out, the mechanics wouldn’t be able to do their jobs as well as they do. Maybe AMT could do another article on the support that the field service managers give to the hard-working Dallas Airmotive field techs. The managers are on-call trouble shooting, moving guys from here to there 24/7 and organizing the next engine change, hot section, etc. and they don’t get overtime or air miles and the other perks that the techs do. The techs are extremely well compensated.
— Holly St. John
Response from Qantas
I am extremely concerned to read the article ‘Bad Air’ in your March issue, this item contained errors damaging to Qantas without any opportunity for comment from Qantas.
The most serious error relates to the number of aircraft affected. Only one aircraft was involved – not the 51 stated in the item!
The incident was quickly identified and rectified before the aircraft operated and the entire tank affected was purged and refilled with oxygen. The incident was a one off, yet all aircraft which had been serviced in Melbourne have been checked for oxygen purity. No other aircraft were found to be contaminated. These checks involved Qantas’ entire B747 and A330 fleet.
A number of statements in ‘Bad Air’ need to be corrected, these include:
- The new nitrogen cart does not look “identical” to either the old or new oxygen carts — they are completely different colors;
- The cart was not used on and off for 10 months in the wrong configuration. The incorrect configuration was only used in the one off incident;
- The article states “that cockpit oxygen bottles are usually topped up every day or serviced at least a couple of times per week. That is why such a large number of aircraft were serviced with bad air in such a short time.” This is incorrect. Dependent on the sectors flown the average top ups for oxygen for Qantas operations is approximately three per month; and
- Formal training was delivered before the carts were introduced into service and the original mechanics that bought the carts into service were also trained.
In summary, this was a one off incident. It was dealt with by the rigorous safety systems we have in place at Qantas. This incident is now used as an example to our staff of the importance of remaining vigilant at all times.
We have worked hard to achieve our reputation and your readers can be assured, that through continuous staff training and investment in infrastructure, Qantas will continue to strive to further develop our reputation of safety excellence.
— David Cox, Executive General Manager Engineering, Qantas Airlines
Bill O’Brien: Thank you for your comments on my article “Bad Air.” Since your job in corporate communications is to put Qantas in the best possible light I can see where you are concerned about my comments in my article which talks about the incident in which Qantas engineers (mechanics) serviced a B-747 pilot’s oxygen bottle with nitrogen.
I hold an A&P, IA, commercial pilot certificate. I worked in repair stations for 12 years before I went with the FAA in 1980 and worked 30 years as an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector. All in all, I have 45 years in aviation maintenance and I am still learning.
A human factors case study: Qantas’ nitrogen cart
Vacuum anchor technology I read with interest the article in the March 2008 issue page 32 about the “technology developed to protect mechanics and aircraft” by Tim Maroushek. Although I am...