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Boeing in 'safety cover-up' - Documentary on Al Jazeera

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Boeing in 'safety cover-up' - Documentary on Al Jazeera

Old 24th Dec 2010, 18:20
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Too true..

These days you have money to get educated. I passed a scholarship when I was 11. It kinda gave a voice to the blue collar guy of which I count myself as one. Blue collar folks generally care about folks more than money. We also have a habit of being very firm with MBAs and accountants.
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 18:36
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DERG View Post
Yes you said it they are experienced "engineers". Well I guess where they come from, they get the license to ptactice from a different engineering body than we do here in the UK.

We, UK chartered engineers, swear an oath never to endanger life. Basically this means that you WALK AWAY from an enterprise that is taking serious with the safety of the public. Please note THE PUBLIC.

Calculated risks for enterprises such as the military has another set of rules. Nuclear installations are another example.

It is very clear to me that Boeing employs cheap people. To those who post on this site who have no understanding of what they opine on..HIYA..so glad you are nowhere near me or anything that I use day to day. May you burn in hell.
Sir. I am in fact a UK Chartered Engineer and, for your information, there was no oath extracted from me of the form you suggest. And since all aviation is ultimately managed risk, no such absolute could be consistent with working in this industry, for any company on the planet.

I do however know that my Canadian Engineer colleagues do have an oathtaking ceremony and take it extremely seriously; the ring they all wear is by tradition (if not perhaps in fact) manufactured from metal reclaimed from a fatal bridge collapse in Quebec many years ago, to highlight on a daily basis the consequences of failure to do their duty.

I think you'll find that engineers the world over take their jobs seriously; I've never encountered a US DER, for example, who struck me as in any way cavalier as to his responsibilities. The same has applied to every engineer, of every nationality, in every company I've dealt with. I would say that we all, as engineers, have enough problems with the "common enemies" of bean-counters and project managers that we don't need to start throwing mud at each other.
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 19:14
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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I think he was talking about the oath he made at the Lodge...
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 21:10
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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From my few decades in the engine business, I can state that those engineers who aren't competent and dedicated and creative, and learning more every day, do not last long in the design business.

The ones who are merely marginal (but good communicators) might wind up in field service, where they have to live in the real world of engine operations. They then can convey that experience back to product improvements and newer generations of engines. (I'm not impugning all those in field service - most are first class and love their work.)

But the ones lacking in integrity or talent get recycled as shoe salesmen.
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 21:39
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Engineering Command

At 6ft 5ins tall and with a formidable personality I never had a problem motivating my men or my client or the customers' agents.. God was good to me that way. Now as far as the oath goes that all depends what college you attended and what institute oversaw the rigour of the course taken.

Things began to go downhill around 1992. Accountants and MBAs started to take decisions which at best could be described as dubious and often led to a long term headache very similar to the 737 debacle this thread is discussing.

The fact is that people cannot be led by money alone or by ego. Then again it all depends just where and who trained you as an engineer. Please don't confuse technicians, engineers and improvers. Never believe than one is better than another, all need each other.

I never slung mud...I used to take 'em inside a cupboard for a private chat..
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 15:22
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Why are so many people honing in on the small part of this television programme that is just pure speculation?

As I have already said, I would think that most of us who operate jet aircraft, accept that the chances of any of these aircraft actually suffering a catastrophic failure caused by these parts being built as described before being picked up by maintenance, is pretty darned slim to say the least.

And I am sure that all that the hyping up of those three accidents and trying to connect them with the real problem is achieving, is to give ammunition to those who do not want to face the “elephant in the room”.

What appears not to be in question is that the parts supplier involved was not manufacturing these parts in the manner specified or to the tolerances required by Boeing.

What is stunning is that at the time this was brought to light, neither Boeing, the FAA nor the US government appeared to be willing to do anything about it, and instead sacked those who exposed the incredible shortcomings.

I have been part of this forum since it consisted of Danny sending out a daily email of the items that had been emailed in to him that day. I rarely choose to comment or get involved unless the subject being discussed is close to my heart or unless I know at least a little bit about it, (as might be indicated by my total number of posts). I also do my level best not to insult anybody regardless of what they write. It just isn’t worth it.

For this thread, I really think that the minimal requirement in order to make a post worth reading is to have watched the darned programme! So John Tullamarine, while I have every respect for your experience and what you do within this forum, with your admission that you hadn’t watched and didn’t intend to do so, I too found your contribution both astonishing and unhelpful in any respect.

I also thought that it was somewhat insulting to those of us who have watched it and made our comments accordingly. I am long enough in the tooth to not to be taken in by media hype about our industry thanks and my background does include three years spent studying mechanical engineering (admittedly a long time ago), so while I am no expert by a very long chalk, I am not entirely ignorant about what it is that is concerning these ex-Boeing and FAA people.

Having said all that, I really do hope that everyone reading had an enjoyable Christmas and that we all have a better year in 2011 than this last one.

Last edited by John Boeman; 26th Dec 2010 at 15:26. Reason: typo correction
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 19:55
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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the point

As I have already said, I would think that most of us who operate jet aircraft, accept that the chances of any of these aircraft actually suffering a catastrophic failure caused by these parts being built as described before being picked up by maintenance, is pretty darned slim to say the least.
I would like to consider the following:
  1. IF central structural components indeed were (had to be) assembled using force to fit, and/or modified by drilling new holes, one can assume there MIGHT occur some material fatigue prior to planned lifespan. This might be after 10 years or even 20 years, but the essential is that initial planning and calculations won't necessarily have the safety margins in terms of lifespan and structural strength.
  2. IF these problems indeed were known as now exposed and simply shuffled under the mat, doesn't this lack of integrity and transparency in safety and company culture scare you at all? What else do we not know?
Remind you about the Space Shuttle and the outcome of the accident investigations. The problems were found to be quite a bit bigger than the failing gasket or falling bit of foam. It was more a question about WHY it could happen in the first place, not so much about WHAT failed.

Last edited by Caygill; 26th Dec 2010 at 22:26.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 20:43
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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There are stories going back decades about compromises in manufacture.

The one I like was told of Lockheed Constellation manufacture. A KLM rep gigged a mis-driven 1/8" flush rivet in a skin panel, and insisted it be drilled out. The assembler knew that this would result in an oversize hole, requiring (per KLM spec) that the skin panel be replaced.

But Lockheed had their own rivet shop, and they made (under the table) 5/32" rivets with the same head profile as a 1/8" rivet. Indistinguishable from its 1/8" neighbors, once driven!

Problem solved. Of course there was no structural issue here, merely a visual one.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 10:11
  #89 (permalink)  
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Some odd things being bandied about about UK engineering that require answering, I think.

Originally Posted by DERG
We, UK chartered engineers, swear an oath never to endanger life.
The UK engineering Institutions have a code of conduct for members, no "oath". In order to be a Chartered Engineer, one must be a member of one of these Instutitions. Membership, though, does not suffice to become a Chartered Engineer. However, members must adhere to the code of conduct. The Code of Conduct for the IET may be found at Rules of Conduct - The IET

Originally Posted by DERG
Now as far as the oath goes that all depends what college you attended and what institute oversaw the rigour of the course taken.
No, it doesn't. The code of conduct to which you ascribe by renewing your membership depends only on the Institution of which you are a member. No UK engineering Institution "oversees" the "rigour" of any courses. They have a list of UK degrees, possession of which qualify one for membership without further assessment. If you don't have a UK degree, or if your UK qualification is too old to be on the list, then individual assessment is required. For which, of course, one must pay handsomely.

Originally Posted by Denti
Engineers in the rest of the world outside the uk are usually persons who have a masters degree in engineering. In the UK most "engineers" are what would be called a mechanic or maintenance personnel in the rest of the world.
Utter nonsense.

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Old 27th Dec 2010, 16:51
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Barit1: The one I like was told of Lockheed Constellation manufacture. A KLM rep gigged a mis-driven 1/8" flush rivet in a skin panel, and insisted it be drilled out. The assembler knew that this would result in an oversize hole, requiring (per KLM spec) that the skin panel be replaced.

But Lockheed had their own rivet shop, and they made (under the table) 5/32" rivets with the same head profile as a 1/8" rivet. Indistinguishable from its 1/8" neighbors, once driven!
That's a great story, even though its authenticity can not be verified!

However, Lockheed does use rivets of its own design. An 1/8" rivet has a 3/32" rivet head, a 3/16" rivet has a 5/32" rivet head and so on. The smaller heads means less material is removed when counter sinking for better structural strength and the smaller heads help keep weight to a minimum.

Maybe it worked so will on the KLM Connie that Lockheed made it standard.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 16:58
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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An 1/8" rivet has a 3/32" rivet head, a 3/16" rivet has a 5/32" rivet head and so on.
I think the head sizes must be 3/16" and 5/16", respectively, but I get your point.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 19:56
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Parts Specs

It should be very simple to determine whether or not the parts at the separation points in all three aircraft are identical.

If not, why not?
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 11:22
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Basis of Evidence?

Around minute 37 of the video, when the 3 NG crashes were cited as evidence for the whistleblowers case is the point where the video became nonsense IMO.
The layout of the emergency light battery packs is such that when the fuselage breaks into 3 pieces following an impact, all 3 pieces still have emergency lights. Falling into 3 pieces is an expectation upon impact and not limited to the NG.

The parts that are discussed in the video are inspected during the life of the NG so the potential issues are covered.
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 21:15
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Cool

Hi,

The parts that are discussed in the video are inspected during the life of the NG so the potential issues are covered.
With such reasoning ... one may have to ask what good is a book of specifications or a quality control ... since in any ways .. if there is a construction defect ..it will be discovered during an inspection .. or more unfortunately after a crash ......
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 21:22
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For the same reason as there are specs for every single thing on the aircraft, be they systems or structure, and also inspections and maintenance intervals for most of them.

Initial design specs are to get as good a component as you can get for a reasonable price, weight, etc. (Note - not the best part possible).

Inspections and maintenance are there to catch failures before they pose a threat with a reasonably high - but not certain - degree of success.

Setting the spec thresholds higher usually allows either fewer findings at inspection or longer inspection intervals, but by and large it's the inspection and maintenance intervals which assure safety, not the initial spec. With the acknowledged exception of items lifed for the aircraft design life by the initial spec, though those don't always end up lasting the life.
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 22:09
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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Around minute 37 of the video, when the 3 NG crashes were cited as evidence for the whistleblowers case is the point where the video became nonsense IMO
That's not very fair. All the program attempted to do is ask a question. "Is this evidence?". The questioned was asked because the whistleblowers claimed the planes broke up exactly where the dodgy parts were fitted.

All of the doubting arguments on this thread stink to the high heavens of blind ignorance. The documentary is what it is. If you have a problem with it, then quite simply you have a problem with the whistleblowers and the former FAA officials who are making the claims. I suspect a lot of doubting of this programme is down to nothing more than the fact that it was aired on Al-Jazeera. Wake up and smell the coffee guys, this channel has way more credit than all your networks put together even though 411's friends have tried many times to burn it to the ground.
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 22:36
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All of the doubting arguments on this thread stink to the high heavens of blind ignorance. The documentary is what it is. If you have a problem with it, then quite simply you have a problem with the whistleblowers and the former FAA officials who are making the claims
Count me in as blindly ignorant then.

I don't have a problem with individuals known facts or even their individual opinions.

I do have a problem with the linking of minute facts and extending them into a subject that they have little or faulted knowledge as if the sum total was still factual.

Thus, the inference that the reported facts represent a collective knowledege of experts is pure hogwash.

The TV story like many others is entertaining, and that's all it is.
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 22:44
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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I think the head sizes must be 3/16" and 5/16", respectively, but I get your point.
I don't understand your statement? The manfactured heads are smaller not bigger!

Lockheed standard (LS) rivets have a manufactured head one rivet size smaller than MS rivets.

When you install a 1/8" LS universal (protruding) head rivet you use a 3/32" rivet set (die).

When you install a 3/16" LS flush rivet, the countersink in the skin is the same depth and diameter as that for a 5/32" MS rivet.

The LS manfactured rivet heads are one rivet size smaller than there MS counterparts.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 02:05
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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glhcarl:
Ah, I misread your statement. I though you were referring to the head major dimension, when in fact you meant the head size of the equivalent MS rivet shank. Mea culpa.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 02:27
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I suspect a lot of doubting of this programme is down to nothing more than the fact that it was aired on Al-Jazeera. Wake up and smell the coffee guys, this channel has way more credit than all your networks put together....
Yes, and I'm expecting the tooth fairy tonight, along with the Easter bunny.
LOL....
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