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Thread: irrational fear of flying

  1. #1561
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Company culture is as much important as processes.

    If for example, someone realize he missed some specific check. How the company react when said error is found? Are employees safe to warn about these kinds of issue or would they fear losing their job? Is there a possibility they would falsify/cover things for fears of being blamed instead of warning the hierarchy and customers?

    In most IT companies I have worked with we have introduced blameless postmortems and you are usually encouraged to share your own errors so they can be fixed asap and you will be rewarded for your openness regardless of who did mistakes, some companies even share postmortems publicly.

    How does Boeing fare in that regard?
    Aviation is supposed to be ‘blameless’ as well. A so-called “Just Culture”. We hear about the culture problems at Boeing and I don’t doubt it. It comes from the top and trickles downward. This all seems to have begun with the acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing drifted away from being an engineering company to being focused on the money alone. The quality lapses at their South Carolina plant were appalling.

    But that still doesn’t answer the question of the work order for the door plug and the missing bolts. I would like to understand what this process is supposed to look like. Is each bolt accounted for? Are mechanics checking each other’s work by design? I would doubt each employee who handles this task is an A&P (Airframe and Power Plant) mechanic but I don’t know.

    My brother-in-law used to work for a French company called Alstom in Switzerland, working on turbine blades in industrial scale gas generator engines. Each critical component could be traced to a date and employee station in case of problems down the road. A code was etched into the pieces.

    I’d be curious if it is possible to trace backwards to whoever worked on this door plug. Not for punitive purposes but the truth needs to be known.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Aviation is supposed to be ‘blameless’ as well. A so-called “Just Culture”. We hear about the culture problems at Boeing and I don’t doubt it. It comes from the top and trickles downward. This all seems to have begun with the acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing drifted away from being an engineering company to being focused on the money alone. The quality lapses at their South Carolina plant were appalling.

    But that still doesn’t answer the question of the work order for the door plug and the missing bolts. I would like to understand what this process is supposed to look like. Is each bolt accounted for? Are mechanics checking each other’s work by design? I would doubt each employee who handles this task is an A&P (Airframe and Power Plant) mechanic but I don’t know.

    My brother-in-law used to work for a French company called Alstom in Switzerland, working on turbine blades in industrial scale gas generator engines. Each critical component could be traced to a date and employee station in case of problems down the road. A code was etched into the pieces.

    I’d be curious if it is possible to trace backwards to whoever worked on this door plug. Not for punitive purposes but the truth needs to be known.
    Sorry, was not FAA - it was NTSB. From NYTimes (excerpted):

    Four bolts used to secure the panel that ultimately blew off an Alaska Airlines plane during a flight last month were removed — and appear not to have been replaced — at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Wash., according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    The panel, known as a door plug, was opened to repair damaged rivets on the plane’s fuselage, according to Boeing’s records. The report did not say who removed the bolts keeping the door plug in place. But the safety board said it appeared that not all the bolts were put back once the door was reinstalled on the plane after the rivets had been repaired.

    As evidence, the N.T.S.B. provided a photograph of the door plug after it was reinstalled but before the interior was restored. In the image, three of the four bolts appear to be missing. The location of the fourth bolt is covered with insulation.

    The report said the image had been attached to “a text message between Boeing team members on September 19, 2023.” The Boeing employees “were discussing interior restoration after the rivet rework was completed during second shift operations that day,” the report said.
    The safety board said there was no evidence that the plug was opened again after it left Boeing’s factory. The plane was delivered to Alaska Airlines at the end of October....
    Last edited by j44ke; 02-07-2024 at 09:16 AM.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    It would be crazy to think they don't count the unscrewed bolts to make sure they put them all back again. It drives me crazy if I replace my significant other's smartphone screen and I end up with bolts left in the tray. It would be a life endangering stuff I would totally have one person doing the operation and another one noting what is done on a work sheet. 4 eyes and all that.
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    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Company culture is as much important as processes.

    If for example, someone realize he missed some specific check. How the company react when said error is found? Are employees safe to warn about these kinds of issue or would they fear losing their job? Is there a possibility they would falsify/cover things for fears of being blamed instead of warning the hierarchy and customers?

    In most IT companies I have worked with we have introduced blameless postmortems and you are usually encouraged to share your own errors so they can be fixed asap and you will be rewarded for your openness regardless of who did mistakes, some companies even share postmortems publicly.

    How does Boeing fare in that regard?
    Fascinating interviews with floor guys who turn the wrenches on the American PBS last night. They were all complaining about "pressure from executives to speed things up" "when you say to the execs we need to take more time on this process, they don't want to hear it" "it has been all about how fast can we get the planes out to the customers for the last several years".

    Which only makes me double down on my earlier posts on the GE guys who were on the Board and are now running things and how they never learned to build things but did learn how to milk the cow to get personally wealthy without concern for the other stakeholders or the coming years.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Why did Alaska Airlines take delivery? Why did they not require the plane AND complete paperwork?

    I took a moment to look up Stan Deal, head of commercial airplanes, because he’s been providing quotes about Emirates et al. From what I find he’s only ever been an exec—country head, next rung, next rung, etc. Came in with an MBA and bypassed the lower rungs where things are actually made. This career path is not unique to Boeing and it has tremendous blind spots built in.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    The Boeing quality saga continues to spin. A few thoughts:

    - Not sure if it was mentioned up-thread, but Boeing uses two different systems for technical communications within the Renton factory. One system formally tracks and records documentation necessary to meet Government requirements. The other system provides informal notes on the work performed. The work done to open the door plug was insufficiently tracked within the formal system, enabling a breakdown of documentation. For reasons not yet publicized, it was more fully documented in the informal system, but the systems were not cross-checked. (Strike 1)

    - The FAA requires a licensed mechanic with an Inspection Authorization (IA) to inspect all work defined as "Major Repairs" and "Major Alterations" under the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). In the business, we simply refer to those mechanics as "IAs". Opening the door plug was considered to be a minor maintenance event and hence did not require independent IA inspection. Had the door plug been fully removed, independent inspection would have been required. (Strike 2)

    - The bolts were removed during one shift with the intent for them to be replaced on another shift. The communications between shifts were insufficient to ensure proper workflow and continuation of earlier work. (Strike 3)

    As others have noted, all work on aircraft is required by the FARs to have logbook entries documenting repairs/replacements. This documentation contains dates, part numbers/serial numbers, and signatures by cognizant mechanics and/or inspectors. I am reasonably confident that the investigation into this incident will determine who removed the bolts and why appropriate processes/communications failed to ensure their re-installation.

    Greg
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    I am seeing similar broad trends in my own work world. 20 years ago, there were too many scientists/engineers/specialists with deep subject matter knowledge and introverted personalities rising through the ranks to leadership positions, aka the Peter Principle. The backlash to this (by org management and business academia and the MBAs it produces) has swung the pendulum too far in the other direction now. Leadership positions are now considered plug and play, where any MBA with overconfidence and a commanding grasp of business speak can be hired to lead teams of experts. And those traits that are so highly valued now -- mostly overconfidence and a willingness to blunder ahead against all odds -- is getting us all in trouble.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by bcm119 View Post
    any MBA with overconfidence and a commanding grasp of business speak can be hired to lead teams of experts.
    This is delightfully worded.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    This is delightfully worded.
    I think what he’s saying is that Boeing hasn’t leveraged their core competencies sufficiently to maximize synergies since the acquisition of MD Aircraft, resulting in quality escapes.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    My last full time engineering manager job that I happily left in 2022 was impacted by overconfident MBA holding people at corporate. One guy in particular, came up with a plan to motorize all our material carts instead of using an electric "tug" to pull non-motorized carts. He made this huge proposal on the cost savings and improved efficiency. I asked how we would charge the batteries in 300 carts and was told that it was my problem to solve. I solved it in late 2018 by purchasing 32 motorized tugs that could each pull three carts at once, and we only had 50 carts. The MBA guy left after a year with the company, and probably bragged about his efficiency project (which we never did) on his resume.

    About a year before I left, a corporate engineer sent me an email to remove "MA" after my name on my email signature. He said that it was misleading because my MA was in American History. I ignored him. It took over a year to find my replacement after I left.
    Retired Sailor, Marine dad, semi-professional cyclist, fly fisherman, and Indian School STEM teacher.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by bcm119 View Post
    I am seeing similar broad trends in my own work world. 20 years ago, there were too many scientists/engineers/specialists with deep subject matter knowledge and introverted personalities rising through the ranks to leadership positions, aka the Peter Principle. The backlash to this (by org management and business academia and the MBAs it produces) has swung the pendulum too far in the other direction now. Leadership positions are now considered plug and play, where any MBA with overconfidence and a commanding grasp of business speak can be hired to lead teams of experts. And those traits that are so highly valued now -- mostly overconfidence and a willingness to blunder ahead against all odds -- is getting us all in trouble.
    I think that's the case in most sectors including mine.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Great. A combination of narcissists or sociopaths with the ability to say look at me the loudest (as opposed to any real skills) rise to the top. There's something really broken in the corporate, legal and political fields.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    They are still sunning the field at Allegiant for the game Sunday.


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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    First it was literal shit on a trans-Atlantic flight, and now it's maggots wriggling from an overhead compartment. One wonders just whom Delta has offended such that it keeps on having some rather emetic-inducing incidents.

    The passenger probably got off light, as s/he certainly would have been subject to a fine by U.S. CBP.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    First it was literal shit on a trans-Atlantic flight, and now it's maggots wriggling from an overhead compartment. One wonders just whom Delta has offended such that it keeps on having some rather emetic-inducing incidents.

    The passenger probably got off light, as s/he certainly would have been subject to a fine by U.S. CBP.
    Me. Lol.

    Because they once sent my luggage to Honolulu when I flew from JFK to ZRH, and I had to suffer the indignity of wearing the Belle Mère’s husband’s clothes for a couple of days.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    I was watching an old Rick Steves travel episode and he pronounced Schiphol “skipple.” This sounded odd to me—I didn’t think it was a hard c. Is “skipple” the correct pronunciation?

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    I was watching an old Rick Steves travel episode and he pronounced Schiphol “skipple.” This sounded odd to me—I didn’t think it was a hard c. Is “skipple” the correct pronunciation?
    I think you need to page @rabo for this.

    Are you and yours thinking of traveling to AMS some times soon?

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    I think it is more Skip-hole or Skip-hul. The "h" is present.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    I think you need to page @rabo for this.

    Are you and yours thinking of traveling to AMS some times soon?
    Of course! 1) think of travel 2) look for book 3) look for Steve's advice 4) look at other travel shows like No Reservations, Somebody Feed Phil
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    Of course! 1) think of travel 2) look for book 3) look for Steve's advice 4) look at other travel shows like No Reservations, Somebody Feed Phil
    As you previously mentioned that your child adores Miffy, I guess the top suggestion would be Utrecht, hometown of Miffy and home to the Rietveld Schröder House. To boot, it's only ~35 minutes away from Schiphol Airport by train. And to make this cycling related, the city has served as the grand depart of all three grand tours.

    There's also The Hague and Gouda between The Hague and Utrecht. Kunstmuseum Den Haag if you like Mondrian, Mauritshuis for Old Masters.

    I didn't plan our trip well and squeezed The Hague and Utrecht into one single day, and I completely skipped Gouda. I'm pretty sure the Gouda town market hosts various cheese mongers during the warmer months. We hope to visit all three some times in the future.

    I would defer to others re: good dining options. Desserts and beer were generally top-notch. But at the risk of coming across as too grumpy on a Friday, in Amsterdam, we were served some really tough and stringy osso buco from an upscale place that had high ratings, and it seemed like the proprietor got away with serving the locals sub-standard fare without repercussions.

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