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Photos: Air India begins scrapping its newest Boeing 777-200LR

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Air India’s B777-200LR VT-ALH, a 3.8 years old aircraft is being cannibalised for scrap parts after suffering a cracked undercarriage spar. While the rumors mentioned on the website suggest it sustained hidden damage during a heavy landing, it's still notable that a modern 777 less than five years old is being cannibalized. (www.bangaloreaviation.com) More...

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magicelle78
Ella Talbott 4
Poor girl :(
3 years young and this is her fate....sad.
linbb
linbb 3
Case of takes more to fix than its worth nothing new about that. One too many hard landings I would think.
bizjets101
biz jets 3
Thanks for posting that, interesting.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
The story brings 2 things to mind.

1. How bad the pilots must be to damage an airplane known for being among the sturdiest in the industry.

2. How messed up the finances of AI, that they can't afford to fix the plane and instead choose to canabalize it for parts in order to keep its' other planes flying.

Somehow, I don't see much better airlines inflicting as much damage on such a new and sturdy plane. And I don't see much better managed airlines, with their finances not in tatters, unable to afford the repair of such a new plane.

Even the SW 345 crash plane, while not so old, at 13 years old had over a decade in service. So greater depreciation and lower initial cost. It took a crash in which the nose gear was pushed through the skin (and electronics box) in order to take it out of service permanently.

But what is the untold story that resulted in structurally damaging a sturdy plane like the 777. And so young to boot.
jnavarro182
jnavarro182 2
I've flown four times in the past few months on 777 and is the safest, most solid plane I've ever been on
RECOR10
RECOR10 2
I think that every plane I have ever flown on was a very safe plane...777 was the most comfortable (but for private Citation)...all, solid. Every landing is a great landing when you sit in the back of the tube.
sushajo
Forget about AI cannibalising one young Boing. Reality is The Govt n offials are cannibalising A I itself. Even God won't save it.
BangaloreAviation
Dear Joshi ji, well said. I always explain to non-Indians, Air India is not an airline, it is the NetJets of the government of India. I have written about why the powers that are will not let go of the airline. http://www.bangaloreaviation.com/2011/05/why-indian-government-will-not-let-go.html after all it is the divine cow Kamadhenu to whose udders all these people attach and gorge themselves. Only now the milk is over, so transfusion bail-outs are being given so that the life-blood can be sucked out.

I also wrote about how the modern day "aristocracy" in the government abuses its NetJets http://www.bangaloreaviation.com/2013/03/air-indias-emperor-class-how-india.html.

Hope these two prove interesting reading to you.
georgiewarner
georgiewarner 2
Unbelieveable! I am sure there is a more important reason, than the world will ever know. Sad situation.
jimmyhalwilliams
Jim Williams 1
This is hard to believe!
stangcyn
stangcyn 1
Very interesting
captaincupcake
This really is a very sorry state. It does make one wonder if this is the beginning of the end :(
joefly09
joefly09 1
Really, I think it's more than just a cracking. Wondering if they consulted Boeing. I have never heard of a Boeing plane being cannibalized.
vanstaalduinenj
Bet it's not even paid for yet....
BangaloreAviation
AI's 777s are bought, not leased like their 787s. But yes, they are on loans, which BTW are sovereign guaranteed i.e. by the government of India, and consequently on us tax-payers. :)
vanstaalduinenj
Not flying air India anytime soon anyway, think I stick with old air canada and southwest, united if need be
BangaloreAviation
Jon, despite its faults it is a reliable airline and good service. In fact, at London Heathrow, Air India was above the airport's average for on-time performance, ahead of CX, BA, EK, EK, MH, amongst a lot of others. I wrote a story on my site, so please do visit it. I am not sure of the forum's rules about posting links to my site so will refrain.
hviswanathan
Bunch of monkeys running the AI organization. I remember an article where an AI executive stated that B777 is an inefficient aricraft. On the contrary the range,fuel efficiency of 777 is unmatched. To be seen if A350 can prove to be a worthy competitor but in the last 10 years there has been no competition. The 777 has become a staple of the most successful airlines in the world with Emirates, Cathay, Singapore. Even the American airlines have invested in 777.
Really really sad that AI chose to wreck this beautiful bird. Soon they will bring their sorry asses to the government to bail them out.
vanstaalduinenj
Didn't they purchase a bunch of 787 as well?
preacher1
preacher1 2
I'm a thinkin' you are correct. Last I heard the gov't hadn't certified them for the foggy landings at Dehli or some such as that. More loses and corruption.
preacher1
preacher1 2
It seems like they are flying something until they have to start spending serious money on it and then start cannibalizing, then dump it back in the lap of a lienholder. I guess this will work until they run out of sugar daddies and no more financing or lessors available
hviswanathan
Hmm, Hope that lien holders has some "maintenance" or "acceptable" criteria in the return. If i lease a Ford vehicle here and return in 3 years, I have to maintain the car during the 3 years, else Ford will charge me fees upon return.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I have no idea what they are up to. Kingfisher walked out on a bunch of Airbus equipment and left it in rags. That should have given AI a shot in the arm with the reduction in competition but apparently too much bureaucracy to seize upon the opportunity. It will be interesting.
hviswanathan
Yup they have 13 in service and 14 more on order.
Some forums such as http://www.hkspotting.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7497&view=unread#unread show the dreamliner in an even more pathetic condition.
JENNYJET
I have sadly read a lot of abuse given towards Air India and some wild speculation from contributors upon this and other domains that would put even the worst of feral journalists to shame!

This aircraft is a machine and a tool that was purchased/leased to deliver a financial outcome to the business. Whilst being of a law mind, I am also aware that accountants minds are equally ruthless when it comes to the best interests of a client.

Insurance companies are also devoid of logic at times and this suggests to me that a compromise was reached between Boeing, Air India and the underwriters to obtain maximum benefit for all by extracting the greater sums of the parts above the nominal value airframe itself.

As safety is paramount, any doubt over the integrity of an outwardly intact aircraft is a heavy negative to a potential buyer and on these occasions, stripping the craft can often be more profitable. A cracked undercarraige spar sounds innocent enough but these are critically arranged structures that can impact deeper within the airframe and can perhaps only be discovered and dealt with by way of a D-Check and no 3 or 4 year old aircraft would be required to undergo such a check!
js52501
joe smoljo 1
many planes have had hard landings with no problems. Sounds like here was more of a lack of proper maintenance which was the underlying cause of this to take place.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, the story said HEAVY landing and while in reality, there is not much difference, as there is too much force on the undercarriage/frame, the end result is the same, expensive. A heavy landing would be landing above MLW for whatever reason and while it can be done, if not done correctly, the $ would add up quickly to make it airworthy again. Normally not to the point of replacing a 3 year old airliner, but who knows, with the current financial woes, I would think that it is doubtful that it is going to get paid for and some lienholder will get stuck with what's left. AI pulled this a few months back with AB equipment. It just may that it is a Boeing in line now. This may be their way of juicing up the sale of the other 5 then dumping this in somebody's lap. It will be interesting.
Priestown
Pat Mullally 1
Original story first published May 27th '2014' ! Can the writer see into the future.
BangaloreAviation
Quoting from the page "Original story. First published Mar 27, 2014 12:00 IST" For a moment even I was taken aback by your comment. Have a made a mistake anywhere else? I am unable to find any error in dates. Please do let me know if I have missed anything. Thanks.
vanstaalduinenj
Terrible.... All the hard work to produce this beauty and it's life cut short by incompetence followed by negligence.
inorbit
Eddie Gist 0
Like The Saying Goes, They Don't Build Them Like They Use To! ALAS (747)
drake01
Drew G 0
Hard landings can occur when the reported weight the aircraft (passengers, baggage, cargo) hugely varies with the actual weight. This falls back to the load controller of that particular flight. Airlines need are responsible to conduct recurrent training of their load controllers to ensure the aircraft takes off, cruises and lands balanced.
magintob
M Hinkson -1
When did this plant happen!? One dark night when no one was looking I guess. Very funny
sushajo
Calling newsletter,you are giving info of 2009 & 2010. Is it news or history topics????.
Regards, S.G.JOSHI.
+919422145581
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Landing? Controlled crash they mean.
BluegrassFlyer
Randy Michel -2
That's sad. I get that any airline hates spending money, especially this one, but have they given any thought that if they spent some on proper maintenance and crew training, they might actually get a long useful life out of their aircraft?
BangaloreAviation
Randy, for all its faults, I can attest to the quality of pilots and maintenance at AI. If you check in the pilot fraternity, AI's pilots command respect on the flying abilities. Even the quality of engineering work at AI has never been doubted.

Whether this cannibalisation is driven by a lack of demand for the 77L (due to failure of the ULH BOM-JFK routes) married at the same time to the financial stress at the airline is not clear. The intent of my story was to shame the airline in to repairing this essentially new aircraft and keeping it in good condition.

The core problem in any government of India run organisation, of which AI is just one, is a complete lack of accountability. It is bureaucracy run amok. All the ills stem from there.
jcazalot
jcazalot -4
I know I'm just a crazy conspiracy theorist but after watching LOST it makes you think deeper.
Still no sign of MH370 in the Indian Ocean leads me to believe it's not truly there. Didn't a scrap 777 end up being planted on the ocean floor to hide the location of the real one? I'd keep a close eye on where these parts go, especially being that they are so close to the 'search' area.
locomoco
M.F. LaBoo 1
Awwww. No 370 stories this week and you're jonesin'.
joefly09
joefly09 -5
Plus I have never heard of a hard landingm How ever it could be pilots inability to properly land a 777.
tcmarks
Tim Marks 4
Consider the Asiana flight at SanFran a hard landing to the extreme....get it now?
preacher1
preacher1 3
That is a fine example of a hard landing. LOL
preacher1
preacher1 2
To have never have heard of a hard landing, you must have not been around the aviation world very long. Every aircraft has a certification weight and for specifications on strut depression force, etc. Matters not if is a C150 or a 777. The story did say HEAVY landing. I don't know if that is just a writer's choice of words or for a fact was a landing above MLW. In reality there is not much difference. A HEAVY landing can be done without killing the AC if it is done properly, but it is not advisable, except with a very seasoned pilot and only then attempted in a DIRE emergency, such as fire/smoke at takeoff. That is why you see, at times, pilots dumping fuel or burning off fuel, in order to get Landing Weight down If not, you will probably have serious damage on the underside, catching not only the landing gear but getting into the framework/wing root, etc.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
That's different, he never heard of a hard landingm
preacher1
preacher1 1
I would say that a hard landing, in most cases, is a direct result of the pilot's inability to properly land the airplane. LOL
BangaloreAviation
You are right preacher. It was my choice of words. The airline says the aircraft is not damaged. But there is a tweet I have embedded which claims a cracked undercarriage spar, and photos show a jack on the right main U/C. Since the damage is not confirmed, but at the same time the airline is avoiding my queries to them, I decided to take a "middle of the path" word HEAVY instead of HARD. Hope this clarifies.

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