badpilot
Topic Author
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:13 pm

Feels like something is missing

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:34 pm

I was on a B717-200 yesterday, looking out the window, and I saw something a little odd. Looked like the inboard flap hinge fairing was missing. I wanted to compare to the other side but there is exactly one seat on each side with a view of this part, and the passenger was fast asleep. After we landed, I took a look (and searched up photos of the plane) and indeed the other side has a fairing. I told the flight attendant as I left and she said they will look into it.

Anyway, now I'm wondering if this is normal, or if I misunderstood what I saw.


Photos:
https://pasteboard.co/HMheNxq.jpg
https://pasteboard.co/HMheYNc.jpg
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 2600
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Feels like something is missing

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 pm

Could be on the Configuration Deviation List as an acceptable missing fairing. Those are, like MEL items, planned and any decrement to performance accounted for.

GF
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Feels like something is missing

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:41 pm

badpilot wrote:
I was on a B717-200 yesterday, looking out the window, and I saw something a little odd. Looked like the inboard flap hinge fairing was missing... ...After we landed, I took a look (and searched up photos of the plane) and indeed the other side has a fairing. I told the flight attendant as I left and she said they will look into it.

Anyway, now I'm wondering if this is normal, or if I misunderstood what I saw.


GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Could be on the Configuration Deviation List as an acceptable missing fairing. Those are, like MEL items, planned and any decrement to performance accounted for.

GF


Solid answer by GalaxyFlyer.

The Configuration Deviation List (CDL) is an occasionally used document that allows for the operation of the aircraft with certain items - usually fairings - missing. Generally, there's a performance and/or fuel burn hit, though they are generally minor.

I recall one flight where a panel on a 737-300 engine strut was missing and it had already been placed on the CDL. So I briefed the flight attendants on it as it was certain that some passengers would notice (the missing panel was quite obvious).
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5390
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

Re: Feels like something is missing

Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:32 am

As a mechanic, I have mixed responses.
It can be SOOO ANNOYING when a passenger "notifies" crews about this thing that they feel is terribly dangerous, and how dare we endanger their lives, yadda yadda.
On the other hand, I certainly don't blame anyone for being concerned for their own safety, and the "see something, say something" approach is a reasonable plan.

Just don't be the guy that tells us that we have a panel falling off of the wing.... when it turns out to be a spoiler. Spoiling. Because that's what spoilers do.
He even drew us a picture on a napkin and let us know he'd be calling the FAA's emergency hotline.
Because... that's a thing???

I also was a passenger once on a Northwest 757 where the passenger in front of me freaked out and started yelling for help, because his window was on fire. He was VERY insistent, and quite rude when people didn't respond with an appropriate level of panic.
In reality, it was sunny, and he'd pulled his sun shade down, and direct sunshine is... hot.
But he was absolutely convinced that his window was on fire.

Anyway. Use your noggin; don't be the window fire guy! But if you do see something that looks dangerous, it's best to tell the crew and let the professionals figure it out. That's what we're here for!
 
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HAWK21M
Posts: 30037
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

Re: Feels like something is missing

Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:04 am

I would rather as an Aviation Engineering person welcome any smallest doubt raised by an untechnical person & decide whether its serious or not & in the process assure them
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
747Whale
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Feels like something is missing

Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:37 am

AA737-823 wrote:
As a mechanic, I have mixed responses.
It can be SOOO ANNOYING when a passenger "notifies" crews about this thing that they feel is terribly dangerous, and how dare we endanger their lives, yadda yadda.
On the other hand, I certainly don't blame anyone for being concerned for their own safety, and the "see something, say something" approach is a reasonable plan.

Just don't be the guy that tells us that we have a panel falling off of the wing.... when it turns out to be a spoiler. Spoiling. Because that's what spoilers do.
He even drew us a picture on a napkin and let us know he'd be calling the FAA's emergency hotline.
Because... that's a thing???



Why, yes. It is a thing.

It's not annoying to me. I've been flying professionally for a very long time, and have been an active professional mechanic longer. On a recent flight as passenger, I noted a lot of fuel venting out one wing, and I did make a note, and advised the crew; I gave the note to the flight attendant, who let the crew know.

I've had passengers notify me of things that they noticed; I take each one seriously and will never be upset if someone takes the time to relay what they think may be a safety concern. Never.

If someone doesn't understand something they see, that's a good time for education, not ridicule.

As for a missing fairing; we have fairings on the underside of the flap on the 747 that are over 12 feet long, and do occasionally disappear in flight. It happens. That's what a post flight inspection is for.

An aircraft with a missing fairing can be released, but must be done so with an authorization, typically the minimum equipment list, or the configuration deviation list as others have noted. In many cases, there's no performance penalty, but there may be if several items are taken into consideration together, so each one is listed and considered when looking at takeoff, climb, cruise, or landing performance.

It won't bring the aircraft down; worst case is a very slight decrease in efficiency.

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