Deli Mike

TC-JDM
Airbus A340-311 Turkish Airlines TC-JDM, LHR London, England (Heathrow Airport), United Kingdom PP1368101922.jpg
TC-JDM in 2013
Other name(s) Deli Mike
Type Airbus A340-300
Manufacturer Airbus
Construction number 115
Manufactured 1996
Registration TC-JDM
Owners and operators Turkish Airlines
In service 1996–2019
Status Stored

Deli Mike or Deli Mayk (English: Crazy Mike) is a given nickname to an Airbus A340-300 operated by Turkish Airlines with civil registration TC-JDM. Joining the Turkish Airlines fleet in 1996, the aircraft was used to fly to far destinations from Turkey and had a record of having strange technical failures. This unreliability gave the aircraft its nickname, which is a wordplay on the ICAO spelling alphabet.

The aircraft was re-configured in 2016 to only have economy class seats and was used to carry passengers to Hajj. Deli Mike was removed from the Turkish Airlines fleet in early 2019 and was flown to O. R. Tambo International Airport later that year. The aircraft is currently stored and has been re-registered as 2-AVRA.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

In late 1980s, Turkish Airlines wanted to expand to North America and East Asia. However, there were no aircraft in the fleet of the airline that could fly the distance.[1] After the examination of two possible aircraft types, Airbus A340 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the board of directors of the airline chose the Airbus A340. On 27 March 1990, Turkish Airlines ordered five Airbus A340-300 aircraft, which included an option for further five.[1]

TC-JDM joined the fleet of Turkish Airlines in April 1996 and became the fourth A340 to do so.[2][3] The aircraft was given the name "İzmir".[3] Like all A340 aircraft of Turkish Airlines at that time, TC-JDM had 34 business class and 236 economy class seats.[2]

Technical failures and nickname[edit]

The cockpit of TC-JDM in-flight

Shortly after delivery, the aircraft started to have "random" technical issues and failures. Sometimes, the aircraft turned its lights on by itself and turned them back off as someone was trying to intervene.[4] The lights of the emergency exits were turned on one by one from front to back "like a Mexican wave", not all at the same time.[5]

The aircraft made "small jokes" to passengers and crew. On one occasion, the aircraft started sounding the "emergency situation" alarm in the cockpit, causing one of the inexperienced cabin crew members to panic.[5] According to technicians of Turkish Airlines working on the aircraft, "Deli Mike can fly to the other side of the world without any problems if she wants to. If she doesn't feel like it, she won't move even one metre on the ground."[4]

In the ICAO spelling alphabet used in aviation, the spelling of D and M, the final two letters of the civil registration of the aircraft, is "Delta Mike". Following the technical problems surrounding the aircraft, technicians of Turkish Airlines have swapped "Delta" to "Deli", which means "crazy" in Turkish, to reflect the characteristics of the aircraft, which gave the nickname "Deli Mike".[3][4]

Subsequent history[edit]

A close-up of the aircraft in 2011

In July 2016, the aircraft was re-configured to only have 354 economy class seats, without any business class seats.[2] From this date onwards, TC-JDM and other A340 aircraft in the Turkish Airlines fleet were used to carry passengers to Hajj.[4]

On 22 October 2018, Turkish Airlines grounded TC-JDM alongside her sister aircraft TC-JDN at Istanbul Atatürk Airport.[6] The aircraft was retired from the fleet of Turkish Airlines in early January 2019.[3][5] The livery of the airline was removed from the aircraft later that month.[7] The aircraft was ferried to O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on 23 March 2019 and re-registered as 2-AVRA. 2-AVRA is currently owned by Avro Global and is stored in Johannesburg.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cem Kozlu (2007). Bulutların üstüne tırmanırken: THY, bir dönüşüm öyküsü (in Turkish). Remzi Kitabevi. ISBN 9789751411983.
  2. ^ a b c d "2-AVRA Avro Global". Planespotters.net. Archived from the original on 7 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Selçuk Bulut (26 October 2021). "THY'nin efsane uçağı: Deli Mayk". Milliyet (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 7 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Uğur Cebeci (23 August 2017). "'Deli Mayk' 21 yaşında". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 9 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Erdal Kaplanseren (13 January 2019). "THY'nin efsane Uçağı 'Deli Mayk' emekliye ayrıldı". Posta (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  6. ^ "THY iki A340 uçağını yere indirdi". AirportHaber (in Turkish). 22 October 2018. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  7. ^ "'Deli Mike'ın boyaları söküldü". AirportHaber (in Turkish). 28 January 2022. Archived from the original on 22 April 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2022.


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