Friday, January 27, 2012

It's all clear now

I am closing this blog because it has become clear what was going on at Qantas: The constant equipment failures on Qantas planes were deliberate sabotage by Qantas maintenance staff. The union knew that the work they do was gradually going overseas and that they were all in danger of losing their jobs so in their addled way they thought that their constant undermining of Qantas reliability would lead Qantas to come to terms with them and give them "job security" -- i.e. guarantee no more transfer of maintenance work overseas.

When Mr Joyce grounded the fleet, however, it became clear to them that they were dealing with a man who was not going to buckle and who would weather the storm of taking ALL their work away.

So what happened? The constant maintenance problems Qantas was having suddenly ceased. From that time to this Qantas has not had to turn back a single flight due to equipment malfunction. It is that sudden large change which speaks louder than words in revealing what was going on. The unions realized that the equipment malfunctions were a good reason to give them all the boot so have stopped their constant sabotage.

Further evidence that the union concerned is now shit-scared for their jobs is the fact that they were first to reach a settlement with Qantas under the Fair Work Australia negotiating process. They went from being the most militant union to being the tamest. And they settled despite Qantas refusing them one of their major demands: Bring the A380 maintenance to Australia.

These are totally despicable people who repeatedly risked the lives of Qantas passsengers with their sabotage. I think Qantas should still fire the lot of them and have all Qantas maintenance done in Germany.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A380 cracks: check fleets now, say engineers

Plane makers in damage-control mode: Publicity damage, not aircraft damage

Aircraft engineers have called for Airbus and airlines including Qantas to inspect their fleets of A380s as a matter of priority after tiny cracks were discovered in the wings of five superjumbos worldwide.

Airbus has given assurances that its flagship A380 aircraft – the largest passenger jets in the world – are safe to fly and will be issuing a service bulletin to airlines this month requiring them to check for the problem when their superjumbos are due for heavy maintenance every four years.

But the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said today that it wanted airlines and the European plane maker to conduct inspections for cracks in the wing-rib attachments as soon as possible. "There is no way on God's earth that I would be waiting four years to inspect them," Paul Cousins, the federal president of the engineers' union, said today.

"At the moment it seems that a Band-Aid fix has been applied too quickly to a situation that could become very serious. "This is a large aircraft carrying 520 people across the fleets in the world – we need to be absolutely sure it is flying safely."

Mr Cousins said he was concerned that the failure of one of the rib attachments would put added pressure on others within the wing. "Our concern is a continuing stress on the wing. In this case, Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency have been too quick to come out with a fix, rather than saying we need to investigate this further," he said. "It increases the chances that we are going to have a serious problem."

Qantas said the cracks found in one of its A380s under extensive repair in Singapore did not present a risk to flight safety and it was awaiting a service bulletin from Airbus advising of the steps it needed to take. "It is an Airbus aircraft. They are the experts and we will take their advice," a spokesman said today.

Airbus has confirmed that the cracks were found in various parts in the feet of the wing-rib attachments of five superjumbos – one belonging to Qantas, two to Singapore Airlines, one to Emirates and one of Airbus's development aircraft.