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Airline Mechanics Pressured To Overlook Potential Problems

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Broccoli Iglesias, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    As for the above posts, neither are accurate nor wrong. The MEL has things that you can’t fly with, can fly with, can fly with the in certain circumstances, etc. It’s not even as simple as that but it’s not entirely worth my time to expand on.
     
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  2. tuna

    tuna NES Member

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    Probably. But when has knowing what you’re talking about stopped an opinion on the internet.

    But then again, I’ve never been known to be too safety minded. I’m of the “remove warning labels and let things sort themselves out”. I’m willing to risk looser standards.
     
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  3. RDG

    RDG

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    This coming from loadmaster? Do you even know where the MEL is man....

    Go fetch the pilots a cup of coffee and heat up that pax’s dinner....

    Totally J/K
     
  4. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    The 1st generation Hamilton Standard engine fuel control for the B-747 JT9D engine.
    [​IMG]

    A massive casting, with all kinds of fuel and pneumatic passages drilled out and blind-capped,
    and completely filled with levers, springs, diaphragms, and o-rings.
    It mechanically determined proper fuel metering based on throttle input,
    and various system parameters like ambient pressure and temperature.
    No computer circuits at all.

    Following the four-page full color fold-out system diagram,
    it took several minutes to follow all the part motions to prove that
    pushing forward on the throttle actually fed more fuel to the engine.

    One per nacelle.

    Periodic maintenance consisted of spending two man-weeks removing all the parts,
    cleaning it, and then installing new springs and o-rings for another two man-weeks.

    If on the 13th day of reassembly a screw was dropped inside,
    and spinning the fuel control upside down on the maintenance stand
    didn't cause the screw to fall out, then the mechanic had to spend the next 13 days
    tearing it back down to bare metal in search of the lost screw,
    and then spend two more weeks putting it back together again.

    Or you could just half-ass it and kill 500 people.

    Certainly not picking up the "lessons learned" journals.

    Recall that the Texas ANG story about Bush '43 was that he spent days in
    a pilot's lounge reading magazines, while waiting for a combat assignment.
    He wasn't reading Braniff in-flight shopping catalogs.
    He was reading the pilots' versions of "lessons learned" journals.
     
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  5. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    Whenever the team needed an airplane, Murdock would be tasked with acquiring it. Unfortunately, airplanes are somewhat closely watched so he would generally choose one from the repair line. Sometimes their "borrowed" plane would develop indigestion during their flight.
     
  6. 1776

    1776 NES Member

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    Test pilots I knew said the first thing they did was to fly inverted to see what loose crap came out from below, like wrenches and hardware. Not all facilities use ATC Level 5 systems. Missing tool in toolbox, tool box log not filled out, plane was just worked on and is in the air.....O S*#t

    Where did the end of that wire go when it was clipped? Why is the top of that documentation rack full of lead clips?
    Industrial Tools - Xuron Corp. - Maker of hand tools for electronics, areospace, hobbies and jewelry industries

    Is that big ESD ground lug stud on the back of that test set supposed to be connected to that buss bar ground cable drop? Followed by, Sir...please follow us out of the building while pushing that big red button on the wall


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YmMNpbFjp0

    And...where did that phony no cal required sticker on that piece of test equipment come from? And...that guys every 6 month eye test was done how many years ago?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 7:16 AM
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  7. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    no bush pilot in alaska flies without one of these:
    upload_2019-2-12_6-46-17.png
     
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  8. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    I remember one of those one panel cartoons ages ago, showed a guy walking on a runway spotting a loose bolt on the ground and wondering if it was important, in the sky behind him you see a airplane breaking in half.

    Of something along those lines. Can't find it at the moment.
     
  9. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    Thus far I'm just hanging out waiting to start training, but I've been super impressed with army aviation maintenance the past year I've been in. I honestly figured it would be terrifying, coming from the Marine infantry side of the fence and seeing how incompetent our mechanics could be (at their worst). I'm sure there are incompetent maintainers in army aviation, but at present I've only seen a super tight ship being run. I can say I'm confident things are being done right.

    As to the comments that people are too safety focused, have you read up on any air disasters? It's often something little and stupid that kills hundreds of people. I'm happy with the absolutely insane safety record of American commercial carriers as of late. Also, as someone hopefully spending a good deal of time in the cockpit the coming years who generally likes my family, I'm happy with overly cautious.
     
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  10. jpk

    jpk

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    There's a ton of dumb shit that grounds planes.......if one of those floor lighting strips isnt working they ground the plane.......yes, I've been there waiting for them to scrounge up another plane because they were unable to fix dumb shit like this......
     
  11. NHKevin

    NHKevin NES Member

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    Nope - it is rarely one stupid thing that kills people in aviation. Usually, it is a bunch of things going wrong in just the right combination or sequence.
     
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  12. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    Sure but typically there are a few stupid links in the chain events that are simple and easily could have been caught/done different/resolved. I see your point on the swiss cheese though.
     
  13. RapidTransit

    RapidTransit NES Member

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    It was either AA or Delta plane gets half way down the runway started to tilt a smidge and failed to take off, engine trouble... the best part after we changed planes they couldn't find one of the pilots
     
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  14. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    Nope...never happened when I was in naval aviation. Not unless they needed a ride to verify a problem or repair that only a flight could verify which was very rare indeed.
     
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  15. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    (Mercury-Redstone 3 Technical Debriefing)
    ...
    During a later debriefing at (Grand Bahama Island) the next day, Shepard described this portion of the flight essentially as follows:
    ... I don’t really remember noticing the weightless condition until I noticed a washer flying by.​

    I don't think electrical systems were 100% insulated with potting compound, etc. until the lessons learned from the Apollo 1 fire were incorporated in the Block II Command Module, etc. Imagine if that dumbass washer had touched the terminals on the back of a switch in the first Mercury's instrument panel?

    I asked Skylab 4 commander Gerry Carr about whether the risk of getting debris in an astronaut's eye in-orbit might justify wearing goggles 24x7. His reaction was that ground service procedures for the Shuttle used massive quantities of controlled airflow to keep dust and grit out of the cabin.

    I still think they're playing with fire. The ouchiest eye grit may not get picked up by Hazel the Housemaid's vacuum cleaner. It's all fun and games until one of the flight crew scratches a cornea after Trans Lunar Injection.

    Apollo 15 Mission Report
    Chapter 14
    14.0 ANOMALY SUMMARY
    14.1 COMMAND AND SERVICE MODULES
    14.1.3 Service Propulsion System Thrust Light On Entry Monitor System
    The service propulsion system thrust light located on the entry monitor system panel was illuminated shortly after transposition and docking with no engine firing command present. This light indicated the presence of a short to ground in the service propulsion system ignition circuitry. Ignition would have occurred if the engine had been armed.

    The short was isolated to the system A delta-V thrust switch which was found to be intermittently shorted to ground ( fig. 14-3).​

    Two different loose strands in the wiring of a single switch!
    One inside that couldn't bridge a terminal,
    and the (vaporized) long one at the external connector
    that didn't show up on X-ray, but left scorch marks.
    Good grief!
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. 1776

    1776 NES Member

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    Management 101 and risk management, is it more costly to fix a problem or suspected problem or pay off life insurance claims based on cost and probability. And if your pressured not to document a problem, then management never knew about it. They love it when they know you have a lot of expenses that need a big paycheck to cover as a threat. The threshold of acceptable risk is the question.

    If have seen the situation of more senior individuals being put in a position of risking committing a Felony as a promotable attribute. I call that a criminal enterprise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 2:54 PM
  18. atmay

    atmay

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    IME, pressure to get the job “done” is an unfortunate fact of life in just about any maintenance setting.
     
  19. 1776

    1776 NES Member

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    My example goes way beyond a maintenance setting. It's more of an evolving and expanding catch me if you can culture.
     
  20. atmay

    atmay

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    I wasn’t specifically replying to you, but the thread/topic at large.
     
  21. John4166

    John4166 NES Member

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    This guy is the ideal aircraft mechanic.

    789a9aaf5a71e4f8fc4d362dda1d2c4765da19f30fdaab50df63aeb1377ededc.jpg
     
  22. dustoff22

    dustoff22 NES Member

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    Pretty much true with the Army. At least with any unit I have flown in. As a test pilot, I would always take the primary mechanic for the initial flight after any flight component change, particularly anything engine, drive train, rotor blade(s), transmission, or gear box related.
     
  23. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

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    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    Thank you, dustoff. I KNEW I'd heard that, somewhere. Nothing like having some skin in the game! [laugh]
     
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