The plate was cracked and peeled up in such a way that it formed a pointy triangle that stuck up about and inch to an inch and a half. The rampers still had to get the bags off and I had to move the plane from the gate to Tango remote area. I got a hammer and beat the section back down so I could close the door for the remote and the rampers could off load the bags. The threshold is stainless steel and once I got it bent back, the piece broke off. I was able to remote the plane and wrote up the threshold plate on the board in the shop so that the mechanic who worked the plane that night could inspect it.
The next morning I found out that the threshold needed to be replaced (big surprise) AND the cargo door needed to be replaced as well. I admit that I did not look at the door when i was terminating as I should have done once I saw the condition of the threshold. I was surprised even more when I was told that the cargo door was being flown in on a ferry flight for US to change out! I know that we are mechanics and the this is a job that we SHOULD be able to accomplish in OAK. The reason I was surprised about it is that we have very little tooling in OAK and even less hardware etc.
|Old Threshold with piece missing that I broke off.|
Those of us who have worked hangar work or non-sched type maint. know that work like this is not as straight forward as it sounds. There is always something that will go wrong or some part that will be needed which is not originally thought of. In other words the can of worms will be opened!!
The plane should have been ferried out to PHX as was originally planned but as we know MX control knows better than us when it comes to such things. Instead of ferrying the plane to PHX the door was ferried to us and of course the plane sat here for three days because:
We have no parts.
We have no tooling.
The new threshold plate came without any holes and was then mis-drilled.
PHX mechanics had to come and RESCUE us.
The new door had to be fitted into the old opening.
On day two I went out to the plane to get some grip lengths for our manager, this was before the PHX rescue mission, I decided to check and see how far off the new mis-drilled threshold was. when I put it on I saw that only two of the holes were off, and those holes were not off by much. One hole was almost off by half a hole the other by about a quarter of a hole. I hate to say this but I think that I could have made it work. The persons assigned to the job were not real happy about doing it and so I think they found a convenient stopping point once they saw that the holes were a little off.
This is a recurring theme at OAK. We have people who are not interested in going the extra mile of trying to solve problems in order to get planes fixed. As I keep saying we in OAK cried, and cried about doing OPC mods (moving the On Board Computers in the -300 AC) until they stopped assigning them to us and MX Control thinks we will be able to hang a new cargo door? Any non-sched mechanic would have drilled out those holes and put larger fasteners or washers or something on it to make it work. Like I said this was an old plane and it has no winglets, and only one FMC so I believe SWA is going to be getting rid of it soon. A couple of button head fasteners instead of flush ones would not hurt this plane in any way shape or form.
The PHX guys came in and actually did the real maintenance work that the OAK guys didn't want to do. When they were half way through they came back to the shop and what really amazed them was that no one came out to watch them and maybe learn how to do the job for the next time. That says a lot about the level of work ethic in OAK and about what we once had that seems to be missing now-pride of workmanship.
Guys are more interested in resting than working and god forbid you ask them to try and learn something new. This is one of the things that is chasing me out of this station. Sure it's expensive to live here and I have personal reasons for leaving but this laziness is one of the things that makes it all little easier to make the move. I'm not sure if any of that exists in DAL but I am sure that it has been lost in OAK and that's a real sad thing for me to think about. I have learned a lot from a lot of people while working in OAK but now there are way more people who need to learn way more but don't want to. They have us out numbered.