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Scheduled Maintenance

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I would like to share a little bit of how our aircraft are scheduled for maintenance. We have over 500 aircraft in our system, and they all have to be maintained at some point during the day. Most of our aircraft fly around ten flights a day depending on the routes. For example, one day, I might see Lone Star One pass by the hangar that I work in at Dallas Love Field three or four times a day. [asset|aid=142|format=post_large_image|formatter=imagecache|title=hangar pic 1_0.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100]

Our inhouse computer system tells us how much time is left on an aircraft before we have to bring it in for maintenance; it all depends on the type of check that’s scheduled. During normal operating hours, our Mechanics around the system will perform limited routine maintenance before and after each flight, but the majority of our maintenance is done overnight while most of you are sleeping.  However, the department that I work in, "Heavy Maintenance", is a 24-hour operation.

These aircraft are scheduled for Heavy Maintenance every two years and are in the hangar between 12 and 50 days depending on the type of check. We also have scheduled maintenance done by outside contract maintenance bases. [asset|aid=143|format=post_large_image|formatter=imagecache|title=hangar pic 2_0.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100]

We don’t have one place in particular that we send our aircraft for scheduled maintenance, but we have Southwest Maintenance from coast to coast in cities like; Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay in the Eastern  Region and Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City in the Western Region. With that type of maintenance coverage you should feel safe to move about the country.   

9 Comments
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Very interesting Gordon, thanks! What are the differences between the types of checks? (I'm referring to the ones like C, D checks and so on...)
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VegasLUV, The different checks deal with how far the airplane is disassembled and checked. A is the least and can be done in a few hours, D is the longest and can take days/weeks. Normally, the plane will change colors then also. I wish we had those a/c tubes in the mdw hangars! Ding! boy Joe
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Where do you do your maintenance in Nashville? Is it a contractor that does it there? I've never seen your hangar....only the old AA one(I'm assuming that was for maintenance...this is an area I'm not entirely familiar with).
New Arrival
I notice you often fly "when the airline is sleeping" to both PAE (Paine Field) and DHN (Dothan, AL) . Are these where the "outside" maintenance is done? Are there additional "outside" mantainance bases I don't know about?
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Hey Gordon, Who took those great pictures? Was it the same person that didn't get any credit for the Charles taylor picture? Just wondering...
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Scott near SMF, Are these where the "outside" maintenance is done? Yes Are there additional "outside" mantainance bases I don't know about? Yes Please destroy promptly Ding! boy Joe
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anonymous, Where do you do your maintenance in Nashville? It is line maintenance so there isn't a hangar. Things aren't always as they seem. Ding! boy joe
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Hi Gordon, I am now working for heavy maintenance of 737 in Japan. Your article is very impressive. We always respect 737 operations conducted by SWA, then it would be appreciated if you kindly advise us about your mainetenance program of 737NG such as A check, phased C check, HMV intervals and its ground time. Thank you in advance, Kiyoshi
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Hey Gordon tell use how many of your Aircraft are maintained in El Salvador?