Grounded for the dumbest of reasons
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On this week’s episode of AvTalk, United Airlines’ fleet of A321neos is temporarily grounded for the dumbest of reasons. Plus the NTSB comes out swinging at the FAA demanding new rules requiring 25 hour cockpit voice recorders apply to existing aircraft as well. And the preliminary report on the Atlas Air 747 engine fire points to a missing plug (no, not a door plug) and fire coming out the wrong hole. You must comply with all lighted signs and placards The small fleet of five United Airlines A321neos spent some extra time on the ground this week because of a paperwork snafu of the dumbest kind. We wade into 14 CFR § 25.791(a), 14 CFR § 121.371(a) and more as we untangle a morass of red tape. Boeing building 737s more slowly than it says Boeing is committed to a rate of building 38 737s per month, but an analysis of their production finds that only 20-25 are coming out of the factory each month. This could have implications for how soon Boeing can increase its production rates and how quickly customers can take delivery of their aircraft. Public comments come in on the FAA’s 25 hour cockpit voice recorder rules The NTSB is among those weighing in on the FAA’s proposed 25 hour cockpit voice recorder rules. The safety agency says the 25 hour rule should apply to all aircraft, not just new aircraft. And manufacturers of smaller aircraft say they have concerns. Improperly installed plug leads to fire through the wrong hole The preliminary NTSB report on the Atlas Air 747 engine fire in Miami points to a missing borescope inspection port plug as the cause for the flames where they shouldn’t have been. PW geared turbofan supply chain slowing fixes Pratt and Whitney says the supply chain continues to be the limiting factor in getting engines back on the wing, with time off the wing for affected engines averaging 300 days. Venezuelan 747-300 seized in Argentina flown to US A former Mahan Air 747-300 acquired by Venezuelan airline EMTRASUR was seized in Buenos Aires in 2022 after the US alleged it was transferred in violation on sanctions. This week it was flown to the US, reportedly to be used as a fire trainer. Nolinor bringing back the 737-200 for gravel runways Airlines usually make a big deal about their new aircraft. Nolinor is proudly calling attention to one of its oldest. The airline is reintroducing the 737-200 for gravel runway operations in far-northern Canada. Flamingos in flight When their incubator broke on a flight from Atlanta to Seattle, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant jumped in to keep six Chilean flamingo eggs nice and toasty. The flight attendant recently caught up with the now-hatched flamingos at their new home at the Woodland Park Zoo. Thank you for listening! Thank you so much for listening to AvTalk! Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us. And tell that friend who asked you for a podcast recommendation that AvTalk is the one they want to listen to next. Click here for a transcript of this week’s episode.  
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