Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

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eucalyptus
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Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am

As a sometime passenger on MD-88s, and on this flight (EDIT: 1425 in general, NOT the one that experienced the engine loss), I find myself ... unimpressed.

First, the recent news:

https://gizmodo.com/video-captures-delt ... 1836232799

Next, a quote from the article:
According to Popular Mechanics, the MD-88 is the “oldest plane in service with any major U.S. airline” and has earned a notorious reputation among pilots due to its antiquated controls, cramped cockpit, and extreme noisiness. In 2017, Bloomberg reported that Delta had taken to offering junior pilots fast-track to captain status if they agreed to fly routes using the jet—which Delta is planning to retire by 2020. However, Delta told ABC 11 the MD-88 involved in this particular incident has already had its engine replaced and is slated to resume flying on Wednesday.
Finally, this incident 8.25.2018:

Phase: Initial climb
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Pensacola Regional Airport, FL (PNS/KPNS)
Destination airport: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL)
Narrative:
Delta Air Lines flight DL2179, an MD-88, returned to land at Pensacola Airport, Florida, USA.
The aircraft took off from runway 8 at 11:14 local time (16:14 UTC) and landed back at Pensacola Airport on runway 17 at 11:29.
The FAA reported that a runway sweep after landing produced engine parts.
Last edited by eucalyptus on Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

02nz
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:52 am

Older aircraft are safe if maintained properly. I don't have reason to think that Delta does not maintain its aircraft properly. If I'm not mistaken, in terms of dispatch reliability, the MD-80/88s are actually very good. The article quoted indicates the MD-80/88 is old and less pleasant to fly, not that there's any safety concern. And as we've seen with the 737 Max (and other airliners), new model types can have their own issues.

I don't usually fly Delta, but on American, I avoid the MD-80, not out of any safety concern but because they are very old and worn, with smaller overhead bins and often very grotty toilets, and toward the back (where the engines are located) it does get very loud. But this will all be a non-issue soon enough, as both AA and Delta phase the old MDs out of their fleets.
Last edited by 02nz on Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:53 am

I built a career hopping around the country on Mad Dogs and prefer them to the way most carriers have configured their newer planes. I’ll continue to fly them with confidence.

Annabel Lee
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Annabel Lee » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am

I flew exceptionally maintained 40-year-old DC-9s all over the country while growing up and then starting my career. Delta is absolutely top notch (as is AA - do they have any Mad Dogs left?).

There hasn't been a maintenance-related crash of a commercial aircraft in the United States in... well over 10 years? Longer?

Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.

02nz
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:00 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:53 am
I built a career hopping around the country on Mad Dogs and prefer them to the way most carriers have configured their newer planes. I’ll continue to fly them with confidence.
The 2-3 configuration is a nice aspect of the MD-80/88 layout. Delta's CS100/A220 aircraft will have the same configuration.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:01 pm

Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
I flew exceptionally maintained 40-year-old DC-9s all over the country while growing up and then starting my career. Delta is absolutely top notch (as is AA - do they have any Mad Dogs left?).

There hasn't been a maintenance-related crash of a commercial aircraft in the United States in... well over 10 years? Longer?

Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.
AA is still flying MD-80s, but last flight (AA80) is scheduled for September 4: https://onemileatatime.com/american-md-80-retirement/

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eucalyptus
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 pm

Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.
And yet, there you are, engine parts banging audibly, smoke in the cabin, being urged to brace for landing ... still unimpressed.

Glad there hasn't been a maintenance related crash in so long. Clearly, we've been doing something very right. This, however ....

ohai
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by ohai » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:18 pm

So, you have what... 0.00001% chance of dying vs 0.0000001%?

caffeperfavore
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by caffeperfavore » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:22 pm

You're more likely to die on the way to the airport, by a few orders of magnitude, than you are on an MD-88.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:26 pm

I'm happy to keep flying MD-88s until they are retired from the fleet.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm

I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.

Recent events have called into question the old adage if it ain't Boeing I ain't going.

PJW

02nz
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:37 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
Recent events have called into question the old adage if it ain't Boeing I ain't going.
That was always a very silly saying, just like Airbus' "4 engines 4 long haul."

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 pm
Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.
And yet, there you are, engine parts banging audibly, smoke in the cabin, being urged to brace for landing ... still unimpressed.

Glad there hasn't been a maintenance related crash in so long. Clearly, we've been doing something very right. This, however ....
I would say the engine failure being contained along with a well executed emergency landing is an example of aviation safety at its pinnacle.

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eucalyptus
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.
PJW

Flight 191 was a maintenance-related crash.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:56 pm

Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
I flew exceptionally maintained 40-year-old DC-9s all over the country while growing up and then starting my career. Delta is absolutely top notch (as is AA - do they have any Mad Dogs left?).

There hasn't been a maintenance-related crash of a commercial aircraft in the United States in... well over 10 years? Longer?

Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.
So are threads like this!

I'd have no problem flying an MD-88. (But I'll avoid 737-MAX until it's cleared by the FAA :wink: )

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.
PJW
Flight 191 was a maintenance-related crash.
Practically all airliner crashes have multiple causes. Yes, maintenance of the airplane involved was seriously flawed, which opened the possibility of engine separation. Also yes, according to the NTSB, had the crew reduced airspeed to 110% of the minimum, rather than all the way down to 100% as the checklist called for, the situation would have been recoverable.

Even when there is a deliberate pilot action to crash, like in Germanwings 9525, there have almost always been a long series of previous events, any one of which, if disrupted, could have prevented the disaster. In the present instance, even in absence of taking into account problems with the first officer which had already been detected and reported, if the policy, later adopted, that there must always be at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times could have prevented the lethal result.

PJW

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by David Jay » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:19 pm

Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
I flew exceptionally maintained 40-year-old DC-9s all over the country while growing up and then starting my career. Delta is absolutely top notch (as is AA - do they have any Mad Dogs left?).

There hasn't been a maintenance-related crash of a commercial aircraft in the United States in... well over 10 years? Longer?
The last fatal crash (for any cause) of a US mainline carrier (not a commuter) was the AA A300 out of JFK, November 12, 2001.
Last edited by David Jay on Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:20 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:56 pm
So are threads like this!
Anything to add, or just enjoy attention?

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:21 pm

Great post, thank you.

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm
eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.
PJW
Flight 191 was a maintenance-related crash.
Practically all airliner crashes have multiple causes. Yes, maintenance of the airplane involved was seriously flawed, which opened the possibility of engine separation. Also yes, according to the NTSB, had the crew reduced airspeed to 110% of the minimum, rather than all the way down to 100% as the checklist called for, the situation would have been recoverable.

Even when there is a deliberate pilot action to crash, like in Germanwings 9525, there have almost always been a long series of previous events, any one of which, if disrupted, could have prevented the disaster. In the present instance, even in absence of taking into account problems with the first officer which had already been detected and reported, if the policy, later adopted, that there must always be at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times could have prevented the lethal result.

PJW

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by bgreat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:26 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 pm
And yet, there you are, engine parts banging audibly, smoke in the cabin, being urged to brace for landing ... still unimpressed.

Glad there hasn't been a maintenance related crash in so long. Clearly, we've been doing something very right. This, however ....
Engines have exploded or otherwise failed in recent years on the 737*, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, A32X, A330, A340, A380, CSX00/A220, E170, E190, CRJ100, CRJ200, CRJ 700, CRJ 900, and probably many more.

Then there are hull failures. They're a bit less common, but have happened with planes such as the 737* and 747, albeit in more distant history.

* Here's a really good 737 engine failure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest ... light_1380

** Here's a tragic 737 hull failure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

Yet it's still safer to fly than to venture outside your home.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Cheyenne » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:30 pm

I'm a former airline pilot and I'd fly on an MD-88 (or DC-3) sooner then a 737 Max 8.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by David Jay » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:33 pm

bgreat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:26 pm
Yet it's still safer to fly than to venture outside your home.
Outside your home? Hundreds of people die every year in tub/shower accidents.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:38 pm

Hey, it beats a 727...

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Herekittykitty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:43 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm
.......the policy, later adopted, that there must always be at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times could have prevented the lethal result.

PJW
Maybe you or someone else can help me with this:

I fly occasionally so not much experience. Usually limited to regionals.

It makes sense that at least 2 crew members in the cockpit could improve the chances of avoiding disaster compared to a lone pilot. For example, I think there should be at least 2 pilots in case of a medical emergency to the main pilot; unlikely but could happen.

For a deliberate pilot caused disaster, I could also see how at least 2 crew members would reduce the chance of that happening. But in the end, wouldn't it depend on who overpowered whom? And wouldn't the element of surprise favor the deranged pilot? I envision one of 2 pilots leaving for the toilet and being replaced by a stewardess. The pilot left overpowers the unsuspecting and maybe not as strong stewardess. Disaster occurs.

Not that one person can't overpower another, especially an unsuspecting other person, such as one pilot overpowering the other. Could that happen? I don't know; it would seem difficult but not impossible - but I have no idea.

I would feel more at ease flying if I didn't think about that, or at least if I knew why it wouldn't be likely should a deranged pilot have that plan.

Also, having the cockpit doors locked from the inside seems more secure than before that was done. On the other hand, it also lets a deranged pilot lock out anyone else.

Alas, I remember when flying was comfortable and deliberate disaster was not on anyone's mind.
I don't know anything.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Herekittykitty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:44 pm

Herekittykitty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:43 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm
.......the policy, later adopted, that there must always be at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times could have prevented the lethal result.

PJW
Maybe you or someone else can help me with this:

I fly occasionally so not much experience. Usually limited to regionals.

It makes sense that at least 2 crew members in the cockpit could improve the chances of avoiding disaster compared to a lone pilot. For example, I think there should be at least 2 pilots in case of a medical emergency to the main pilot; unlikely but could happen.

For a deliberate pilot caused disaster, I could also see how at least 2 crew members would reduce the chance of that happening. But in the end, wouldn't it depend on who overpowered whom? And wouldn't the element of surprise favor the deranged pilot? I envision one of 2 pilots leaving for the toilet and being replaced by a stewardess. The pilot left overpowers the unsuspecting and maybe not as strong stewardess. Disaster occurs.

Not that one person can't overpower another, especially an unsuspecting other person, such as one pilot overpowering the other. Could that happen? I don't know; it would seem difficult but not impossible - but I have no idea.

I would feel more at ease flying if I didn't think about that, or at least if I knew why it wouldn't be likely should a deranged pilot have that plan.

Also, having the cockpit doors locked from the inside seems more secure than before that was done. On the other hand, it also lets a deranged pilot lock out anyone else.

Alas, I remember when flying was comfortable and deliberate disaster was not on anyone's mind.
EDITED: I realized my post if tangential to the main topic. Sorry. (But I see my opportunity for an answer to a question that has been bothering me, so I'm leaving it up anyway.) :happy
I don't know anything.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by RetiredAL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:00 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.
PJW

Flight 191 was a maintenance-related crash.
Flight 191 would have likely not crashed if the airline had paid for the optional "stick-shaker" for the co-pilot's side, would have warned the crew of the stall they were entering. Only the pilot's side had the "stick-shaker" and it's power was only fed from engine that fell off. IMO, a great example of nickle saved on purchase costing many 100's of millions in the end.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by bac » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:05 pm

David Jay wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:33 pm
bgreat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:26 pm
Yet it's still safer to fly than to venture outside your home.
Outside your home? Hundreds of people die every year in tub/shower accidents.
It's dangerous to get out of bed. (It's also dangerous not to get out of bed.)

More on topic: Count me among those who see the drive to the airport being much more dangerous than the flight.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Ricola » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:11 pm

Douglas or McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft have a long history as being known as very durable workhorses with long-lasting fuselages, e.g. (DC-3, DC-4, DC-8, DC-9...etc). I had a German airline executive tell me that Douglas Aircraft are the Mercedes of aircraft...Boeing the Chevy :)

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 pm
Annabel Lee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
Articles like this are the pinnacle of irresponsible journalism.
And yet, there you are, engine parts banging audibly, smoke in the cabin, being urged to brace for landing ... still unimpressed.

Glad there hasn't been a maintenance related crash in so long. Clearly, we've been doing something very right. This, however ....
You can pick and choose whichever equipment you want to fly on, however on the day of, you might find another piece of equipment is at the gate.....what are you going to do then? Planes do get swapped out if the scheduled plane is not available.

You can take really good care of your car, but it still breaks down while on the road. Does it mean that there is something wrong with the car, the parts, your mechanic or perhaps you weren't timely enough in making repairs?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Ricola wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:11 pm
Douglas or McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft have a long history as being known as very durable workhorses with long-lasting fuselages, e.g. (DC-3, DC-4, DC-8, DC-9...etc). I had a German airline executive tell me that Douglas Aircraft are the Mercedes of aircraft...Boeing the Chevy :)
Ironic then that Mercedes was acquired by Chevy! :P
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by JackoC » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:49 pm

The general likelihood of a crash on a US domestic flight (or lots of other places or intl but the focus here is US domestic) has been extremely low in recent years. The stats on that are incontrovertible.

But rather than insist that those stats must apply to all airline flights from now, I'd instead say I believe you have almost no chance of identifying factors which might cause the chance to be much higher on a given flight. Whether it's the age or model of the plane or some deterioration of the safety culture at a particular airline. If that happens, you're generally not going to know in advance looking from the outside in as member of the general public.

So with MD 88's either because a McDonnell Douglas product or old, you're not going to be able to quantify the safety aspect accurately. I would say even with the 737 Max issue there was only a marginally usable inference about safety between the Lion Air crash and the planes being grounded anyway shortly after the Ethiopian crash. Nor is it clear the danger level in a typical US domestic situation was that high anyway (could be, and that's plenty enough reason to ground the planes and demand changes, but not enough information to really quantify the risk from outside POV).

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by jbmitt » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:11 pm

No pilot will deliberately risk their life to take an unsafe plane. Delta and the MD-88/90/95-717 all have a safe reputation. Yes there have been some engine incidents and several uncontained failures but it’s a reliable airframe.

Fortunately most routes have several types of aircraft if you chose to avoid a particular aircraft.

If you think you know more than maintenance or the crew, they’ll kindly direct you to the exit and you can find an alternative way to your destination.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:35 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

You can pick and choose whichever equipment you want to fly on, however on the day of, you might find another piece of equipment is at the gate.....what are you going to do then? Planes do get swapped out if the scheduled plane is not available.

You can take really good care of your car, but it still breaks down while on the road. Does it mean that there is something wrong with the car, the parts, your mechanic or perhaps you weren't timely enough in making repairs?

Indeed, I've seen a recent equipment change on this very route, MD-90 for MD-88. Delta has a (I believe) once a day 737-900ER on this route that's nice. I switched out of my next MD-88 flight and I have to admit it would be grimly amusing to be swapped back in. It's about a 10-hour drive, I believe.

As for the car analogy - and this is probably too harsh - I'm not making money by asking 148 of the self-loading-freight to trust their lives to my 30 year-old car.

I should have said, in my first post, very well done to the pilots for landing 1425 safely in North Carolina.

I assume the FAA will eventually report what went wrong with this MD-88s engine.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:39 pm

jbmitt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:11 pm
If you think you know more than maintenance or the crew, they’ll kindly direct you to the exit and you can find an alternative way to your destination.
I don't know more than they do - that's my point.

I hope they know enough.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by chrisam314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:03 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:39 pm
jbmitt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:11 pm
If you think you know more than maintenance or the crew, they’ll kindly direct you to the exit and you can find an alternative way to your destination.
I don't know more than they do - that's my point.

I hope they know enough.
They do. As others have pointed out this is irresponsible journalism.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by jbmitt » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:27 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:35 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

You can pick and choose whichever equipment you want to fly on, however on the day of, you might find another piece of equipment is at the gate.....what are you going to do then? Planes do get swapped out if the scheduled plane is not available.

You can take really good care of your car, but it still breaks down while on the road. Does it mean that there is something wrong with the car, the parts, your mechanic or perhaps you weren't timely enough in making repairs?
I assume the FAA will eventually report what went wrong with this MD-88s engine.
The NTSB has investigative authority but often brings in the FAA to help out, along with representatives from the airline, airframe and power plant manufacturers and relevant experts.

Single engine flying isn’t too bad unless you only have one engine to begin with. Most multi engine training is flying a twin engine aircraft single engine.
Last edited by jbmitt on Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:27 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't particularly like the DC-9 and its later variants, but I've never felt unsafe on one, and I used to travel in them a lot. Even the DC-10 doesn't scare me, despite its troubled history, including the fact that Flight 191's crew thoroughly followed written procedures, which it turns out ensured the avoidable crash, although I believe most DC-10s left in revenue service are freighters.
PJW

Flight 191 was a maintenance-related crash.
The way the engine maintenance was performed was the primary cause of the engine breaking off and subsequent crash. However the airplane was still flyable even after the engine broke off. Control wasn't lost until the crew reduced airspeed. I believe the checklist said something like "climb to XXXX altitude and increase speed to XXX knots." But they were already above the speed listed so they decreased their speed to what what was in the checklist. After the crash the checklist was changed to something like, "increase speed to XXX knots or maintain current speed if greater than XXX knots". Another major issue during that crash was that when the engine came off it broke the drive shafts to the leading edge slats and the force from the air pushed them back up causing a wing to stall when combined with the reduced airspeed. We now have devices which lock the slats in place if the drive shafts are broken.

DC-10 crashes are responsible for many safety enhancements of modern aircraft.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:02 pm

chrisam314 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:03 pm


They do. As others have pointed out this is irresponsible journalism.
This is pretty much how the story was covered everywhere. Smoke in cabin, scared passengers, loud banging, emergency landing.

Which of these facts strikes you as irresponsible?

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Wakefield1 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:19 pm

MD 80 series and the previous DC 9s are hard to kill according to what I hear
Didn't a bunch of MD 80 type aircraft get put back into service (maybe reengined) from being parked in the desert when some other newer planes were taken out of service?

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:48 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:35 pm

As for the car analogy - and this is probably too harsh - I'm not making money by asking 148 of the self-loading-freight to trust their lives to my 30 year-old car.

I should have said, in my first post, very well done to the pilots for landing 1425 safely in North Carolina.

I assume the FAA will eventually report what went wrong with this MD-88s engine.
If the plane is 30 years old, I assure you, that many of the original parts have been swapped out over time. The planes undergo a complete overhaul after a certain number of hours. That is a complete strip-down, replacement of parts and re-build before being put back into service. No commercial airline in the US is flying a plane that is 30 years old without having done this process at least once or twice in its lifespan.
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 pm

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:02 pm
chrisam314 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:03 pm


They do. As others have pointed out this is irresponsible journalism.
This is pretty much how the story was covered everywhere. Smoke in cabin, scared passengers, loud banging, emergency landing.

Which of these facts strikes you as irresponsible?
You can have scared passengers on any given flight - some people including myself are not avid flyers. Emergency landing because the sensible thing to do is to land at the closest available landing strip to avoid any further problems. Smoke in cabin - possible if the intake is the smoke from the engine.
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by dbr » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:06 am

So far the aircraft in main line commercial airline service that have seemed to have some dangerous feature have been the newest rather than the oldest ones. It isn't just the MAX but a history that could go back to the Comet and the Electra.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by pyld76 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:09 am

02nz wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:37 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
Recent events have called into question the old adage if it ain't Boeing I ain't going.
That was always a very silly saying, just like Airbus' "4 engines 4 long haul."
Wasn’t that a Virgin Atlantic saying? I thought they painted it on 747s, too.

On the original post: I have probably 250k miles on DC-9 derivatives. I’d get on one properly maintained tomorrow. The article is irresponsible because pilots hating the maddog cockpit and lack of automation doesn’t make it unsafe. Delta pilots not wanting to be on a platform with shrinking basing and line options and being based in a very high cost of living locale (New York) doesn’t make it unsafe. Lot of logical fallacy reaching going on there to slant the deck.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by hicabob » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:24 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:38 pm
Hey, it beats a 727...
I preferred 727's as a passenger when they were still around. Roomier and quieter. Faster too I think. Very safe too.
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:28 am

hicabob wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:24 am
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:38 pm
Hey, it beats a 727...
I preferred 727's as a passenger when they were still around. Roomier and quieter. Faster too I think.
But way too loud and very fuel inefficient. FedEx phased out the last 727 fleet in 2013. They donated 84 to aviation mechanic schools across the USA.
Last edited by neilpilot on Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:29 am

eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:20 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:56 pm
So are threads like this!
Anything to add, or just enjoy attention?
I'll add: your thread is fake news. An airline had a maintenance problem, that's all.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:40 am

There are so many factors, and these are such low-frequency events, that while I admit to being worried about such things I shrug it off in terms of decision-making. Who remembers what kind of aircraft was involved in the infamous ValuJet crash? That was a crash caused by careless maintenance, and it wasn't even maintenance of anything obvious like the engines, but of the emergency oxygen generators. So, refreshing my memory by reading the Wikipedia article, ValuJet Flight 592,
...airline already had a poor safety record before the crash... known for its sometimes aggressive cost-cutting measures. Many of the airline's planes were purchased used from other airlines, little training was provided to workers, and contractors were used for maintenance and other services. The company quickly developed a reputation for its lax safety...
It seems that it was a Douglas DC-9. In terms of design safety, is that considered a relatively safe or problematical design? Who knows? Not I. The DC-10, there was a cargo door problem related to design issues. But I can't remember anything good or bad DC-9's. It seems to me that the DC-9 must be safe when operated safely, and dangerous when operated by ValuJet.

All these darned aircraft are not really one design, they are built for decades, it's never just a "Cubeb Skyplaster 703," it's always like, 703 model 100, 703a model 200X, 703-300 Grande, 703-310G Transoceanic, 703-5000 Big Gulp, etc. And the 737 Max debacle underlines the fact that airlines order them with different kinds of optional equivalent.

And the same model of airliner may come with a choice of different kinds of engine, and there can be problems specific to one kind of engine.

So even when you read about some problem you don't know if it applies to the particular model you're flying.

Older aircraft designs, well, the physical planes are probably safe if maintained properly. Again using Wikipedia, "The B-52 completed sixty years of continuous service with its original operator in 2015. After being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is expected to serve into the 2050s." And the longer they've been in service, the more likely it is that flaws have been identified and corrected--or understood by pilots who can allow for them.

So you just don't know.

It's always fun discussing whether you should measure safety by passenger miles, but I think it is. You have to get there somehow. Some pilots used to make a point of announcing on landings that you would soon be on the most dangerous part of the trip, the drive home. Ha ha. Big laffs. But, I think, true.

P.S. I only have had one acquaintance--a very distant one--who has ever died on an airline flight. She was on American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11th, 2001. The plane was a a Boeing 767-223ER. The plane wasn't the problem.
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:26 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:47 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:40 am
Some pilots used to make a point of announcing on landings that you would soon be on the most dangerous part of the trip, the drive home. Ha ha. Big laffs. But, I think, true.
Actually the takeoff is the most dangerous part of a flight.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:57 am

pyld76 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:09 am
02nz wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:37 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:30 pm
Recent events have called into question the old adage if it ain't Boeing I ain't going.
That was always a very silly saying, just like Airbus' "4 engines 4 long haul."
Wasn’t that a Virgin Atlantic saying? I thought they painted it on 747s, too.

On the original post: I have probably 250k miles on DC-9 derivatives. I’d get on one properly maintained tomorrow. The article is irresponsible because pilots hating the maddog cockpit and lack of automation doesn’t make it unsafe. Delta pilots not wanting to be on a platform with shrinking basing and line options and being based in a very high cost of living locale (New York) doesn’t make it unsafe. Lot of logical fallacy reaching going on there to slant the deck.
Thanks for the reply, especially your point about the cockpit and automation. The article made it seem as though “junior” pilots, whatever that means, were being recruited for the old planes.

There seems to be a great deal of sensitivity here about reporting on aviation incidents. My Dad was a senior executive at a major US aircraft maker and shared that sensitivity - nothing quite as frustrating as being subjected to reporting about something you know a lot about.

To me, and apparently to the press pretty much universally, efforts to pass this off as an insignificant maintenance issue are a hard sell - perhaps because we are spoiled by an industry that has become so good at safety. I submit that a huge majority of people outside the world of pilots and engineers etc would find this incident, and the thought of being on this plane, terrifying. I’ve experienced last second aborted takeoffs and go-arounds and in every case thought better safe than sorry. Smoke in the cockpit, the sound of the engine breaking, being told to brace for impact - that’s remarkable and newsworthy in 2019. I understand that you may not like that.

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Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Post by eucalyptus » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:08 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:29 am
eucalyptus wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:20 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:56 pm
So are threads like this!
Anything to add, or just enjoy attention?
I'll add: your thread is fake news. An airline had a maintenance problem, that's all.
The internet, my friend, eventually brings out the troll in all of us.

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