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AC contractor Air Georgian had faulty maintenance (2019 Update; AC ends contract)

AC contractor Air Georgian had faulty maintenance (2019 Update; AC ends contract)

Old Jun 18, 18, 2:43 pm
  #1  
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AC contractor Air Georgian had faulty maintenance (2019 Update; AC ends contract)

Contractor that operates thousands of Air Canada flights had faulty maintenance, safety-management: federal investigation | National Post

A company that provides thousands of Air Canada-branded flights annually had flawed safety-management, quality-control and maintenance systems, which helped trigger a landing-gear breakdown and tense emergency landing two years ago, a federal investigation has concluded.

No one was injured when the Air Canada Express flight touched down at Calgary airport in July 2016, the front gear failing to extend and the aircraft’s nose scraping along the runway for 20 seconds.

But the recent Transportation Safety Board report concluded the malfunctioning gear was the result of longstanding, systemic problems at Air Georgian Ltd., the sub-contractor that operated that flight, and runs 62,000 others for Air Canada yearly.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 3:19 pm
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WOW!! is all I can say...
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Old Jun 18, 18, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by james dean View Post
WOW!! is all I can say...
I can think of quite a few more things than just Wow.

Like why the past tense when noting the safety concerns? How does anybody know that the company doesn't still have flawed safety management? Why are they not being checked more rigorously now? Why is there no transparency in the process (meaning why aren't these safety concerns a matter of public record along with their remediation)? Why will the company not take any accountability? Why should we believe the company has fixed everything when there apparently have been no penalties, no incentives to do so, no culture change, no management change, and basically no reason to do anything other than say "nothing to see here move along"? When will the TSB and the government start to actually punish companies that can't adhere to safety standards? And, most importantly, why the F should I feel safe flying Air Georgian today? Riddle me that, AC.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 4:29 pm
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I predict that this thread will get rather heated.

In this corner.... the apologists! "Air Canada can do no wrong, and if you don't like them then fly something else!"

In the other corner..... the alarmists! "With a culture like that we are lucky that planes aren't falling out of the sky every day!"

Now just to rile everyone up, remember this guy?
Cabin pressure: Are airline contractors cutting corners on safety to earn business? | Financial Post

In all seriousness, let's try to stay civil and make tcook052's job slightly easier.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
I predict that this thread will get rather heated.

In this corner.... the apologists! "Air Canada can do no wrong, and if you don't like them then fly something else!"

In the other corner..... the alarmists! "With a culture like that we are lucky that planes aren't falling out of the sky every day!"

Now just to rile everyone up, remember this guy?
Cabin pressure: Are airline contractors cutting corners on safety to earn business? | Financial Post

In all seriousness, let's try to stay civil and make tcook052's job slightly easier.
Likely no surprise to those who have no choice other than Air Georgian and fly them a lot. Or, dont fly them as cancelled
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Old Jun 18, 18, 10:03 pm
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agreed, some routes they're the only option (and often cancelled). I've heard AC is looking at a different contractor. Anyone know when the contract is due?
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Old Jun 18, 18, 10:49 pm
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Wouldn't put myself in the alarmist planes are falling camp but this is just another data point in an apparent erosion of safety standards at AC in the last decade or so. Personal evaluation of course and would still get on AC plane tomorrow morning.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
Wouldn't put myself in the alarmist planes are falling camp but this is just another data point in an apparent erosion of safety standards at AC in the last decade or so. Personal evaluation of course and would still get on AC plane tomorrow morning.
I am in the third camp. I want the regulatory system to work. Reading between the lines sounds like the focus of the regulator was the QA program and QA records. They identified them as a High Risk licensee. That is a positive. Perhaps they needed to allocate more resources and different types of resources to stepping up surveillance.

Georgian is the lowest cost bidder on a contract to AC where they frankly bring very little IP or assets to the table. The brand caries no value. The aircraft are probably leased. The customer service procedures are dictated by AC. The maintenance procedures are dictated by the aircraft manufacture. Where can Georgian generate a competitive advantage? Labour cost? Finding creative ways to cut corners? If AC fires Georgian, it will be replaced with another operator in the same boat.

The issue is why the regulator required so long and what have they done to avoid another operator in the same situation.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 9:21 am
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To all the alarmists: the system is working. Transport Canada, for all its warts, manages to do a decent job of identifying and mitigating unacceptable risks created by any number of transport conveyance companies large and small. Don't for a second believe that Air Canada's maintenance and safety management culture is flawless.

Fortunately the levels of redundancy built in to the industry as a whole make commercial flying in Canada an extremely low-risk proposition.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
Georgian is the lowest cost bidder on a contract to AC where they frankly bring very little IP or assets to the table. The brand caries no value. The aircraft are probably leased. The customer service procedures are dictated by AC. The maintenance procedures are dictated by the aircraft manufacture. Where can Georgian generate a competitive advantage? Labour cost? Finding creative ways to cut corners? If AC fires Georgian, it will be replaced with another operator in the same boat.
While there is an competitive advantage to being young, small and agile, there is also a competitive advantage to economies of scale. Its not hard for anyone to think of a friend who tried to scale up and just crashed and burned. The good home cook who opened a restaurant, a plumber or electrician who hired on some assistants and apprentices and couldn't handle being a boss.

I only know what Wikpedia tells me, but the CEO is a pilot. The VP of maintenance is an old mechanic. VP's of flight operations and corporate development, also pilots. Viewed one way, this is a great executive team of people who know the nuts and bolts of operations. Viewed another way, its a collection of good ol' boys who, while being OK at flying or even managing a 5 A/C fleet are simply being pushed beyond their professional abilities.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
To all the alarmists: the system is working. Transport Canada, for all its warts, manages to do a decent job of identifying and mitigating unacceptable risks created by any number of transport conveyance companies large and small. Don't for a second believe that Air Canada's maintenance and safety management culture is flawless.

Fortunately the levels of redundancy built in to the industry as a whole make commercial flying in Canada an extremely low-risk proposition.
Low risk relative to what? And do you think Air Georgian is as low risk as AC? You don't think that since the giant logo on the side of the planes reads "AIR CANADA" that consumers have a right to expect their safety policies to be every bit as good as AC's?
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
To all the alarmists: the system is working. Transport Canada, for all its warts, manages to do a decent job of identifying and mitigating unacceptable risks
The report had something to say with regards to regulatory oversight:

The report also criticizes Transport Canada, saying the regulator relies too much on evaluating companies’ internal “safety management systems” (SMS) and not enough on inspecting their actual safety performance.

I would prefer Transport Canada do more than a "decent" job when the safety of the flying public is concerned.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
I would prefer Transport Canada do more than a "decent" job when the safety of the flying public is concerned.
"Decent" is defined as "conforming with generally accepted standards". Given the realities of enforcing regulations within an entire industry, I'd stand behind the assertion that TC is doing an excellent job. There's always room for improvement, and while legitimate criticisms of the federal regulating agency are warranted, stoking the flames of doubt over a line in a report may not be so.

The TSB will list any deficiency or possible contributing factor to an incident or accident, no matter how seemingly irrelevant - that's their mandate. Expect to see continued mention of all parties that don't bat a perfect 1.0000. I have yet to hear of an airline, regulator, manufacturer or individual achieving that standard.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post

Fortunately the levels of redundancy built in to the industry as a whole make commercial flying in Canada an extremely low-risk proposition.
Dangerous statement. When the regulator finds issues with the self-regulation, it would seem to mean that self-regulation is not working as it should. Definitely grounds for some alarm and definitely action. The fox in charge of the chicks...

Self-regulation presupposes a culture of safety. Not sure how that works once the bean counters end up in full control. I keep reminding myself of the Challenger disaster, politicians (in that case, bean counters at airlines) overriding the engineers.

Safety is expensive, and convincing oneself that "there is enough redundancy" of course helps with the bottom line. But accidents are more expensive. I note that none of the top people at AC is either a pilot or an engineer, and I must say, I don't like it.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Dangerous statement. When the regulator finds issues with the self-regulation, it would seem to mean that self-regulation is not working as it should. Definitely grounds for some alarm and definitely action. The fox in charge of the chicks...
There has been issues with and criticism of SMS since it was announced more than a decade ago and posted in this thread here in the AC forum.
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