Monday, August 16, 2010

So How Old Was The Airplane?

One passenger was killed when an airplane crashed in bad weather and split into two when landing early Monday on the island of San Andres, Colombia, officials said.

Actually, it broke apart into three pieces.

This plane broke apart just forward of the wings and just aft of the wings, points where the most stress and strain is placed on the fuselage. I'll bet serious money that if proper inspections had been conducted, they would have found stress cracks and fractures at those points.

A point to ponder... Airlines like this one buy used planes from major carriers, after those carriers determine the airframe has reached a point where they are no longer considered safe - without expending an excessive amount of money on maintenance. So they peddle them to overseas carriers that have little or no concern about the age or the number of takeoff/landing cycles of the plane, carriers that may consider a proper inspection consists of signing off on a few pieces of paperwork.

This particular plane was a Boeing 737-700. Just how old? I was riding 737's a quarter-century ago.

131 people gambled their lives on this typical south-of-the-border airline operator.

130 were incredibly lucky.

Want to go to Columbia? Take the Titanic... Your chances of getting there alive will be better.

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