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Did somebody drop the ball at Boeing?


Staff member
Super Moderator
A year or so ago now an Australian TV channel run a documentary on Boeing and how the fabrication of the joins in the sections of the planes was not done to spec and analysis of plane crashes showed in too many crashes they broke open at the joins in the fuselage.

The doco stated that the matching holes where the sections were bolted together did not match up so they were simply reamed out to make them match and in some cases additional holes were drilled with a portable drill when the holes were supposed to be drilled by machine to very strict tolerances.

Seems they haven't learn't much. Perhaps the industry needs to be audited by groups of independent skilled auditors drawn by a transparent and public ballot.
Can you cite the specific title of the documentary? I know there's one made by Al Jazeera about Boeing 737's...


#24 is saying today that now one battery incident is attributed to too much applied voltage, but the other one is thought to be a battery-centric issue.
You might be on to something, it would actually be better if the auditors now doing the work had actually installed rivets, worked metal and done real hands on stuff instead of the majority having been some kind of quality puke or having worked in a single area or department. I know of very few AS auditors that have worked an airframe up from nothing to it's final acceptance flight or built aircraft structural components from scratch. I'd almost bet my A&P that I have more hands on time (hours) on Bell 204 rotor systems alone than many current aerospace auditors have doing real hands on aviation stuff in their work career. Am I an aerospace auditor? Nope, according to the "requirements" I'm not qualified to audit, but according to the FAA I am qualified to do actual work on them, rotary or fixed wing (or no wings at all), turbine or internal combustion (or unpowered)...and my A&P is just as valid today as it was 20+ years ago and will be tomorrow, none of this X number years within 10 years dribble..............But, I do know a couple folks that audit who also hold an A&P so at least they know the difference between a rivet and a Huck-bolt....I could probably get them on dissemetry of lift though:lol:
In agreement there. Applies to other industries too; the best architects that design single-family homes are the ones that used to be framers.


Quite Involved in Discussions
I'm not sure that I could trust the source of that documentary.
Any particular reason Jim?

At the time I started that thread someone said the same thing but the ABC referred to in the doco is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (goverment owned)
Any particular reason Jim?

At the time I started that thread someone said the same thing but the ABC referred to in the doco is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (goverment owned)
I answered that on post 23.

I'm not sure I could trust anything produced by Al Jezera.


Think I saw something about the JAL planes having a Japanese supplied battery system as opposed to the A123 original batteries supplied to Boeing. Last I heard the review board was headed to the Japanese Battery manufacture for inspection. Dayton Business Journal Online.

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
I think this issue is too serious for being second guessed with hearsay from the media. Boeing is obviously a trendsetter and the new technologies associated with the 787 aircraft clearly present risks which need to be managed. Many organizations out there don't have an appetite to tackle risks and they normally will never lead their respective segments, exactly because of the risk adversity they have.

Boeing was very bold with the 787 program and I have no doubt that society will be better off when we are all flying commercial airplanes which consume 20% less fuel than traditional ones. From a Sustainability standpoint, the 787 is a major step forward, not only for Boeing and the airlines which will fly the Dreamliner, but society at large.

There is no question that Boeing will solve the challenge. The question is how long and how much will it take. But, rest assured, the lessons will be learned and passed on to the 737 MAX and 777 X programs.

In the meantime, instead of speculating, I think we should all wait for Boeing, the regulatory agencies and the suppliers involved perform a root cause of the problems. I have no doubt that adequate resources and attention are being provided.
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