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Did somebody drop the ball at Boeing?

#32
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.
I don't think it unseemly to speculate.

I'm concerned with the apparent foot dragging by Boeing in grounding and recalling aircraft until the safety glitch was expunged. Craft would still be flying if FAA hadn't stepped up to ground them.

All in all, the foot dragging reminded me a lot of the GM Chevy Corvair situation outlined in Nader's polemic book, Unsafe At Any Speed.

Just because any company takes risks with money does NOT mean it should take risks with safety.

Personally, I've always been willing to risk my own money on ventures, but I never consciously put anyone at risk of injury or death as part of that risk.
 
#33
Define consciously...:tg: Whenever you hired someone to work at your plant, you most definitely exposed that individual to hazards; mainly occupational ones. So, like it or not, you put people at risk, any time they came to work for you.

The question is how are those risks being managed? We can not have a risk-free life. It comes with living.
No problem. No hospital, doctor, or nurse visits required in over ten years operating a contract machining company BECAUSE we assessed potential risks and eliminated them before proceeding. We did have minor cuts and nicks even with gloves - sometimes a burr just finds a way, but they were all less serious than many people encounter in their own homes, usually cleaned, then handled with antiseptic and bandage from first aid kits throughout plant and office and duly recorded.

We were super conscious of environmental risk and had air conditioning throughout, excellent lighting, clear aisles, clean, non-slip floors - no spilled oils, lubricants or cutting fluids anywhere - our shop looked like a machine tool showroom, except it was actually operating.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#34
No problem. No hospital, doctor, or nurse visits required in over ten years operating a contract machining company BECAUSE we assessed potential risks and eliminated them before proceeding. We did have minor cuts and nicks even with gloves - sometimes a burr just finds a way, but they were all less serious than many people encounter in their own homes, usually cleaned, then handled with antiseptic and bandage from first aid kits throughout plant and office and duly recorded.

We were super conscious of environmental risk and had air conditioning throughout, excellent lighting, clear aisles, clean, non-slip floors - no spilled oils, lubricants or cutting fluids anywhere - our shop looked like a machine tool showroom, except it was actually operating.
Wes, what is the name and location of this great company that you keep referring to? Are they still in business?
 
#35
Wes, what is the name and location of this great company that you keep referring to? Are they still in business?
On a number of occasions, I have commented that I liquidated the company in 2000 after my partner's death by cancer, since his heirs were not interested and I was unwilling to buy them out and continue to run it on my own. I sold off physical assets, saw all employees were employed by someone else and arranged all customers to have adequate replacement supplier, often with the part run on the same machine and same employee, only at a new location. I was obsessive about the quality systems of the new suppliers, having used each of them as subcontractors to take our overflow.

At the conclusion of the liquidation, I "retired" for nearly a year until I became interested in working with a small specialty aerospace engineering firm (offices in USA and France) to expand into manufacturing their own designs with government approvals (FAA, JAA, etc.)
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#37
Can you cite the specific title of the documentary? I know there's one made by Al Jazeera about Boeing 737's...
Sorry Stijloor; the best I can do is this. The program was screened by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (ABC) Four Corners program, an investigative journalism program. The program journalist doing the reporting was Australian (from what I could make of it, not that I see the reporter talking to the interviewees.)

There is a link to it in an earlier post by another poster
 
#38
update from NTSB

A copy of the press release (government documents cannot be copyrighted)
NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
NTSB identifies origin of JAL Boeing 787 battery fire; design, certification and manufacturing processes come under scrutiny


February 7, 2013

WASHINGTON - At a news conference today, NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman identified the origin of the Jan. 7 battery fire that occurred on a Japan Airlines 787 parked at Boston Logan Airport, and said that a focus of the investigation will be on the design and certification requirements of the battery system.
"U.S. airlines carry about two million people through the skies safely every day, which has been achieved in large part through design redundancy and layers of defense," said Hersman. "Our task now is to see if enough - and appropriate - layers of defense and adequate checks were built into the design, certification and manufacturing of this battery."
After an exhaustive examination of the JAL lithium-ion battery, which was comprised of eight individual cells, investigators determined that the majority of evidence from the flight data recorder and both thermal and mechanical damage pointed to an initiating event in a single cell. That cell showed multiple signs of short circuiting, leading to a thermal runaway condition, which then cascaded to other cells. Charred battery components indicated that the temperature inside the battery case exceeded 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
As investigators work to find the cause of the initiating short circuit, they ruled out both mechanical impact damage to the battery and external short circuiting. It was determined that signs of deformation and electrical arcing on the battery case occurred as a result of the battery malfunction and were not related to its cause.
Chairman Hersman said that potential causes of the initiating short circuit currently being evaluated include battery charging, the design and construction of the battery, and the possibility of defects introduced during the manufacturing process.
During the 787 certification process, Boeing studied possible failures that could occur within the battery. Those assessments included the likelihood of particular types of failures occurring, as well as the effects they could have on the battery. In tests to validate these assessments, Boeing found no evidence of cell-to-cell propagation or fire, both of which occurred in the JAL event.
The NTSB learned that as part of the risk assessment Boeing conducted during the certification process, it determined that the likelihood of a smoke emission event from a 787 battery would occur less than once in every 10 million flight hours. Noting that there have been two critical battery events on the 787 fleet with fewer than 100,000 flight hours, Hersman said that "the failure rate was higher than predicted as part of the certification process and the possibility that a short circuit in a single cell could propagate to adjacent cells and result in smoke and fire must be reconsidered."
As the investigation continues, which will include testing on some of the batteries that had been replaced after being in service in the 787 fleet, the NTSB will continue to share its findings in real time with the FAA, Boeing, the Japan Transport Safety Board, and the French investigative agency, the Bureau d'Enqu?tes et d'Analyses.
"The decision to return the fleet to flight will be made by the FAA, which underscores the importance of cooperation and coordination between our agencies," Hersman said.
She also announced that the NTSB would release an interim report of factual findings within 30 days.
Additional information, including a video of the today's media briefing, the PowerPoint presentation, the FAA's Special Conditions for the B-787 battery system, and related documents, can be accessed at http://go.usa.gov/4K4J.
The NTSB will provide additional factual updates as developments warrant. To be alerted to any updates or developments, follow the NTSB on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ntsb.
NTSB Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
(202) 314-6100
Kelly Nantel
kelly.nantel@ntsb.gov
or Peter Knudson
peter.knudson@ntsb.gov
 
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