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"....unapproved sensors on almost 800 737s"

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"....unapproved sensors on almost 800 737s"

Old 11th Mar 2020, 12:42
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"....unapproved sensors on almost 800 737s"

"FAA fines Boeing for unapproved sensors on almost 800 737s"

OK, what's the truth here? Is there a real safety problem with the sensors, or is it just a question of incorrect documentation that is perhaps old news anyway?

My money's on the latter, but I'm curious to see if that's right.
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 13:43
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Originally Posted by old,not bold
"FAA fines Boeing for unapproved sensors on almost 800 737s"

OK, what's the truth here? Is there a real safety problem with the sensors, or is it just a question of incorrect documentation that is perhaps old news anyway?

My money's on the latter, but I'm curious to see if that's right.
There will not be any quarter given to Boeing for even minor things. Expect fines if the font is wrong on a certification form. The FAA has the entire world's certification bodies looking over its shoulder and cannot afford to be seen to be flexible or giving favors. I expect this will be the 'new normal' for sometime.
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 17:05
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Originally Posted by old,not bold
OK, what's the truth here? Is there a real safety problem with the sensors, or is it just a question of incorrect documentation that is perhaps old news anyway?
Just documentation.

The sensors were installed before the formal certification for use on the particular aircraft type. Later that paperwork was completed with no changes to the sensors.

I think the sensors were already approved for other aircraft, just not specifically for the 737-NG.

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Old 11th Mar 2020, 18:42
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Sadly, it's painfully simple to mess up the paperwork, and the FAA/Boeing systems make it more so.
Even after a change is certified, there is a requirement to notify the FAA of it's first installation in each major and minor model - so for example it you certify the change for the 737NG, you'd need to notify of the first time it was delivered in a 737-700, 737-800, 737-900, and if they ever built another the 737-600.
When we put together the cert plans, we need to call out the incorporation point for each minor model. However, that's months (or even years) before the actual incorporation, schedules change, and new aircraft don't always deliver in line number order, so it's really easy to mess this part up - and the Boeing system doesn't help.
I personally got caught up in this shortly before I retired on the 747-8 - we'd made an engine control change, did everything per the cert plan, with incorporation points for both the 747-8 and the 747-8F. Except that the airline that was supposed to receive the first 747-8 went bankrupt and the aircraft 'ticket' and delivery didn't happen, but no one bothered to inform me. We delivered half a dozen 747-8 Intercontinentals with the change before we stumbled across the issue and informed the FAA - they were not amused. I spent the next month arguing with the Boeing Regulatory Administration (RA) over who was responsible - me or the RA. I finally threw it back and them and said they needed a system that - if a delivery was delayed or cancelled - would notify the Cert Plan owners who called out that aircraft as initial incorporation so they could take appropriate action. Since such a system was not in place, it was the RA's fault and they owned the escape. They didn't figure out how to throw it back at me before I retired - no idea what happened after that...
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 18:42
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To be fair I think these sorts of things happened before quite a few times with various manufacturers , it is just that now the media picks up everything that from the FAA has the name Boeing on it .
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 22:48
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Well Boeing painted themselves into this corner by cutting so many corners and flaunting so many rules and regulations. They cannot blame anyone but themselves if they are now being nick picked. They well and truly earned it.
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 23:53
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Originally Posted by Giant Bird
Well Boeing painted themselves into this corner by cutting so many corners and flaunting so many rules and regulations. They cannot blame anyone but themselves if they are now being nick picked. They well and truly earned it.
A sad indictment of a once proud and universally respected aircraft manufacturer. Such a pity.
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Old 12th Mar 2020, 00:26
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This was not "just a documentation issue." The HUD units were originally approved to be installed in combination with particular sensors based on compatibility demonstrations by the HUD vendor. Later, Boeing made a production change to use different sensors without the HUD vendor demonstrating that the HUD worked properly with the different sensors. After the issue was discovered (after delivery of many airplanes) the evaluation was done to verify the sensors were compatible with the HUD. It turned out they were, so no design change was necessary. "Paperwork" was involved, but that paperwork documented a compliance showing activity that was only done after many airplanes had already been delivered prior to the proper evaluation. While it didn't bite them in terms of an event caused by an incompatibility, that's not a trivial error.
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Old 12th Mar 2020, 17:39
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
To be fair I think these sorts of things happened before quite a few times with various manufacturers , it is just that now the media picks up everything that from the FAA has the name Boeing on it .
Indeed. Such problems and fines happen often. They just aren't picked up by the media.
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Old 12th Mar 2020, 17:40
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Originally Posted by Dave Therhino
Later, Boeing made a production change to use different sensors without the HUD vendor demonstrating that the HUD worked properly with the different sensors.
That's a different take than the one I saw before.

Do you have a link to it? I'll try to find the one I saw again.
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 08:05
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We were at one point told we were not allowed to change the setup, hence move phones, monitors etc., on a workstation... because the setup was approved by the authorities, and any moving around would require paperwork. Even changing a monitor to another, would require so... they needed the correct serialnumber, not just the specific type of monitor...

And we're ATC.
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Old 13th Mar 2020, 08:12
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Originally Posted by jmmoric
We were at one point told we were not allowed to change the setup, hence move phones, monitors etc., on a workstation... because the setup was approved by the authorities, and any moving around would require paperwork. Even changing a monitor to another, would require so... they needed the correct serialnumber, not just the specific type of monitor...

And we're ATC.
Yes , same everywhere I would say in a modern civil ANSP . on an ATC workstation an ergonomic study is made , validated and then prescribed. You cannot just change the setup as you wish afterwards. you would need a safety case for that. , that is indeed paperwork . .
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