Trex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 3970 posts, RR: 14 Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1048 times:
Quoting MarshalN (Thread starter): For the 2002 one -- how did they know the crack existed? If it was on the plane already during maintenance, why did nobody fix it?
There are numerous photos of the area in question on the plane where stains can be seen leading from the repaired area's doubler plate (put on to repair a tail strike early in its career). One way such stains could have been produced would have been by something leaking out from inside! At the time these photos were done as part of a structural assessment, no one seemed to question why these stains existed or it was simply put down to some unusual slipsteam effect from the doubler plate!
The other issue is what type of repair was done on the plane after its tail strike. Apparently the Taiwan CAA at the time of the initial accident did not require that details of the exact procedure for the repair be kept for more than a certain time period. As a result, after the crash, all CAL had was records that the repair was done and when but not specifics as to how it was done. All those who were involved in doing the repair had all died/retired etc. Supposedly Boeing says it has no record of being asked how the repair should have been done at the time of the definitive repair. They know for sure they were asked about an initial repair to allow the plane to fly back to TPE . Even if the definitive repair was carried out "properly" at the time, Boeing apparently did subsequently amend its procedures for such several years later. There was a question of whether CAL knew about these new procedures, and if they had been informed, were they then obligated to repair the repair so to speak. Not that the fact that Boeing having been involved guarantees anything as the botched Boeing repair on the JL 747 which crashed in 85 showed!