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Wash Post Claims Boeing Used Bad Parts  
User currently offlineAzstagecoach From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6752 times:

I couldn't find this posted yet, so here goes: the post reports four whistleblowers claiming Boeing was using faulty parts on its 737's. The problem appears to be with a supplier named Ducommun.

Edit: this is a new article with additional investigating and reporting by the post and not merely a rehash of an old lawsuit.

"Whether questionable parts ended up in hundreds of Boeing 737s is the subject of a bitter dispute between the aerospace company and Prewitt and two other whistle-blowers."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2006/04/16/AR2006041600803.html

[Edited 2006-04-17 06:03:44]

[Edited 2006-04-17 06:04:49]

[Edited 2006-04-17 06:15:11]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6671 times:

http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2005/10/flightrisk2.html

Mother Jones had it last year.


User currently offlineBreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1914 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6471 times:

Quoting Azstagecoach (Thread starter):
The problem appears to be with a supplier named Ducommun.

Got worried for a minute. Ducommun is a French name! Think, "French company provides bad parts to Boeing". What a bashing session in waiting.
But, saved, Ducommun Incorporated is a US company (sweat) Smile


User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 6388 times:

Quoting N754PR (Reply 2):
Would have been 80 posts by now if this happened at Airbus.........

Judging from the recent A.net discussion history, I think you are correct on that...


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6327 times:

Few posts from the US, this is true, but, aprt from the subject this may also be linked with the time: the original message has been posted at a bad time for America (north and south).

I am located in Venezuela, it is now Monday morning 8:30, we are just starting the day here !



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 6247 times:

I would think that Boeing would have been jumping quickly on improperly fitting parts as it takes far longer to assemble parts that require rework. However, someone must have approved having drills out at the line for corrections. Do they also have saws and cutting torches too?

Did you notice that this Ducommun was using methods that "god forbid" were used on the classic 737's, not the NG methods. So outdated.

I would not consider Mother Jones a "Highly Reputable" publication. Apparently, most of the other media spots don't either. With this Washington Post article, there are now a total of 8 stories of it on Google.

Normally, there is a huge amount of flak that the americans don't look at their own companies. All of the google references are US. The thread starter is from US. So I guess this is an american conspiracy this time.

Stop and think for a moment, would WN want literally hundreds of planes with known defects. If this had any merit, wouldn't you think WN would be having a fit as they have a few of these planes. This has been bouncing out in the courts etc for over 5 years, does anyone know if Ducommun even produces the parts anymore or the problem still exists.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 6247 times:

Quoting Breiz (Reply 2):
But, saved, Ducommun Incorporated is a US company (sweat)

[edited]
Interresting tidbit, though, if I remember correctly, they are California's oldest publically-traded company.

Lincoln

[Edited 2006-04-17 15:26:34]


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAzstagecoach From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 6188 times:

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 5):

I would not consider Mother Jones a "Highly Reputable" publication. Apparently, most of the other media spots don't either. With this Washington Post article, there are now a total of 8 stories of it on Google.

The washington post is a very, very reputable investigative newspaper, and not lightly dismissed. As for what "other media spots" think, ignoring the entire issue because a political publication like mother jones also reported on it is not a sensible response. If national review also reported on it, I would still pay attention.

Further, the story is not in other pubs yet because it's the POST that did the investigation.

So I ask again: what is boeing going to do, continue to blow smoke or actually perform a thorough investigation into using unapproved parts?


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 6142 times:

Quoting Azstagecoach (Reply 7):
Further, the story is not in other pubs yet because it's the POST that did the investigation.

So I ask again: what is boeing going to do, continue to blow smoke or actually perform a thorough investigation into using unapproved parts?

Ask all you want but Mother Jones DID cover this one a year ago. If I felt like spending 8 cents a page on this one AGAIN, I'd log onto PACER and read all the filings. In fact, MJ contacted a friend of mine who is a DER and asked him about this lawsuit about a year ago. He asked me about it. I looked at the petition and then dug into it. It's intimately connected with EEOC lawsuits and some classic disgruntled employee shit.

It's old news, stale news, and the people who filed it do not have clean hands. They thought this would give them leverage in an EEOC lawsuit. WP is beating a dead horse-their reporters ought to get to something fresher.

You can get a PACER subscription and download the documents and filings yourself if you feel like finding out what really happened and have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket. It's the District of Kansas.

http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/psco/cgi-bin/links.pl


User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 6083 times:

A tip from someone who lives "inside the beltway": Don't believe everything you read in the Washington Post. When the FAA says something is wrong at Boeing I'll believe it.

I don't know how the Post has time to write such an article about Boeing when they're so busy investigating every single thing that happens in the White House.



Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 6063 times:

Quoting Contrails (Reply 9):
A tip from someone who lives "inside the beltway": Don't believe everything you read in the Washington Post. When the FAA says something is wrong at Boeing I'll believe it.

I don't know how the Post has time to write such an article about Boeing when they're so busy investigating every single thing that happens in the White House.

Possibly Halliburton made an investment into Ducommun or Boeing recently. Or it may be just the standard hate/distrust big business article


User currently offlineDesh From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

Quoting Contrails (Reply 9):
A tip from someone who lives "inside the beltway": Don't believe everything you read in the Washington Post. When the FAA says something is wrong at Boeing I'll believe it.

First step in damage control : Discredit the source ?

WPost is good paper , and they would not put their reputation at stake by publishing a smear against one of the icons of American industry....... and this is from someone who lives inside the beltway as well ...



"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again." - Kurt Vonnegut
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5970 times:

Quoting Contrails (Reply 9):
When the FAA says something is wrong at Boeing I'll believe it

I don't think I would belive that then either.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1553 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5905 times:

Another story about this.


http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/tic...e=20060417&ID=5645426&Symbol=US:BA



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1555 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5847 times:

Quote:
The whistle-blowers initially made the claims in 2002, the newspaper said. A review by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Pentagon, which bought some of the planes, found the charges had no merit.

I think that says it right there. The Post goes on to claim that the FAA didn't inspect any actual planes, but without asking half the people involved, would they really be able to know?



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5801 times:

Muckraking and whistleblowing are interesting phenomena because they raise the specter of suspicion without the need for proof, and those who want to believe will and those who don't want to will dismiss.

I do remember reading something on A.net last year, so either way, this isn't new. The Post may think it's new because of a slow news day (nothing better to do after Easter?).

But while some people will always believe a "whistleblower" thinking they are always altruistic and brave, the reality of the situation is that most so called whistle blowers are disgruntled former employees holding a grudge. In rare cases are they actually interested in the public good, still holding their jobs, what have you. Doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth, but often, they aren't.

Once a working relationship goes sour, accusations come out. I've see it happen personally to friends of mine. Am I to believe every accusation leveled by or against these friends?

If this story has merit, it will be investigated and discovered. The reality that the FAA already looked into and didn't discover anything should throw some cold water on the issue, but maybe they have to look closer? I don't know.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineHoya From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

I am a bit skeptical about this report, mostly because it is the Washington Post and they know very little about aviation. If this was published by a Seattle newspaper, I would believe it more.

It's a long article, but from quickly reading it, both the FAA, the airlines, the military, and others have reported no problems with the allegedly faulty parts. According to the story, no issues have come up during maintenance checks or during inspections. No airlines have complained, at least from the Post's investigation, about the 'faulty' parts. I feel like this is a sensational story without that much backing it up. Boeing is in the spotlight now with its skyrocketing stock price and its increasing sales, so it is an easy target for any negative press. I'm not trying to say that this whole story is false or anything like that, but when the article even quotes experts as saying that isn't really a problem, then I question why the article was even published in the first place.

Quotes from the paper:

Quote:
After the whistle-blowers notified federal authorities in 2002, the FAA and the Pentagon looked into their charges. Each said its investigation cleared the airplane parts and found no reports of problems from military or civilian operators of Boeing jets. The Department of Transportation's inspector general also dismissed the charges.

....

Beverly Sharkey, who heads the parts investigation office, said the agency decided not to physically inspect the parts already on aircraft because that would have required the "destructive testing or peeling apart" of hundreds of cabins. That was unnecessary, she said, because airlines had no reports of parts failures and the FAA had no reason to believe that there was a safety problem. Inspectors visited the Ducommun and Boeing factories and said they found no problems.

...

Other aviation experts said that even if FAA procedures were violated, metal parts used for reinforcement are not as critical as, say, the main landing gear.

"Sheet metal parts are necessarily pretty flexible so if they don't fit perfect as delivered, it's not a big deal to shove them into place, bend them a little bit, push on them and rivet them together," said Charles Eastlake, a professor of aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and a former aircraft structural designer for the Air Force. "Quality control people turn purple when they see that, but it's the way it's always been."

Another argument holds that because planes are stripped down for major maintenance every five to seven years, any early cracks or corrosion would probably be spotted before the part could create a problem. In fact, FAA officials said their inspectors combed through records from airlines that performed such maintenance and found no reports of problems with bear straps, chords or frames. Spokesmen for Southwest, American and Continental airlines told The Post they had found no problems with the parts.


Sure, I omitted some of the arguments that the parts could cause problems, but I'd rather believe an engineer from Embry-Riddle than some aviation analyst that may know a lot about airplanes, but in the end is not an engineer.



Hoya Saxa!!
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13028 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 5691 times:

To me the problem (also noted in the article I read on this) is if the 'adjustments to fit' to some critical parts do cause stress related problems or failures before major inspections are due. There were apparent quality control, manufacturing process, and specifiation meeting issues with this subcontractor company for a long time, with a number of parts outright rejected before being installed. It is a serious issue that does need to be investigated more throughly, especially as part of a 'whistleblower' lawsuit.

User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 10):
Possibly Halliburton made an investment into Ducommun or Boeing recently. Or it may be just the standard hate/distrust big business article

I think this is most likely. That and the Post A section has been kinda thin lately. They must be looking everywhere for news to create.


Quoting Desh (Reply 11):
WPost is good paper , and they would not put their reputation at stake by publishing a smear against one of the icons of American industry....... and this is from someone who lives inside the beltway as well ...

Sure they would. Just go back and look how much ink they used in reporting on the Boeing tanker debacle. They rarely miss a chance to take pot shots at American business. If it's not Boeing, it's Walmart.

The Post is generally a good paper, but they spend way too much time on old news like this, and not enough time investigating the corruption on Capitol Hill.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
I do remember reading something on A.net last year, so either way, this isn't new. The Post may think it's new because of a slow news day (nothing better to do after Easter?).

Yep.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
But while some people will always believe a "whistleblower" thinking they are always altruistic and brave, the reality of the situation is that most so called whistle blowers are disgruntled former employees holding a grudge. In rare cases are they actually interested in the public good, still holding their jobs, what have you. Doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth, but often, they aren't.

That would be a big "yes" as well.

Quoting Hoya (Reply 16):
It's a long article, but from quickly reading it, both the FAA, the airlines, the military, and others have reported no problems with the allegedly faulty parts. According to the story, no issues have come up during maintenance checks or during inspections. No airlines have complained, at least from the Post's investigation, about the 'faulty' parts. I feel like this is a sensational story without that much backing it up.

But it sounds like a juicy story, so the Post runs it. Making news, not reporting it.

Quoting Hoya (Reply 16):
Boeing is in the spotlight now with its skyrocketing stock price and its increasing sales, so it is an easy target for any negative press. I'm not trying to say that this whole story is false or anything like that, but when the article even quotes experts as saying that isn't really a problem, then I question why the article was even published in the first place.

The Post looking for a Pulitzer, no doubt.


User currently offlineGritzngravee From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

None of us work in the Beltway which makes us out of the loop(no pun intended). If we aren't in the room hearing it then we know nothing about it, only when it is printed do we know and that's after it has been edited by about 5 people. Those who cannot write books & screenplays usually become reporters hence a lot of fiction!!!!!!!!! And there is no way one can say this publication is more reputable than the other. Remember the NY Times was supposedly the best source about 2-3 years ago!!!! What is it now??

User currently offlineAzstagecoach From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

Thanks for the on-topic replies.

I posted this article this morning. At the time, I expected to see a thoughtful analysis develop regarding

(a) what might have happened to cause bad parts to enter the system, or
(b) whether such parts could actually be used in a safe manner, or
(c) whether the lawsuit has merit (not whether it is related to the EEOC)

Instead, here we have this thread about the Post being a shady newspaper:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 18):
The Post looking for a Pulitzer, no doubt.


Quoting Hoya (Reply 16):
I am a bit skeptical about this report, mostly because it is the Washington Post


Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Muckraking and whistleblowing are interesting phenomena


And my favorite:

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 10):
Possibly Halliburton made an investment into Ducommun or Boeing recently.

PLEASE can't someone just for a moment consider the possiblity that this is NOT a politcally motivated attack and address the MERITS of the article, instead of its supposed connections to a Liberal Cabal?

I have such high regards for the members of this forum, I just can't believe this is the best it can do. Thanks, AZStagecoach

[Edited 2006-04-17 22:25:15]

User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Quoting Azstagecoach (Reply 20):
Instead, here we have this thread about the Post being a shady newspaper

You're the person who said "The washington post is a very, very reputable investigative newspaper, and not lightly dismissed".

You hijacked your own thread.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Mother Jones.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2005/10/flightrisk2.html

http://www.motherjones.com/news/outfront/2005/11/flight_risk1.html

More info about where the case went.

http://www.komotv.com/boeing/story.asp?ID=42128

and still more.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2006/02/28/ap2560282.html

It's a bogus case. The plaintiffs are trying to get traction in their wrongful termination lawsuit by cooking up an alleged flight safety issue. The WP reporters in this case are knownothings.

Get a PACER account and see for yourself. I've given you more than enough leads here.


User currently offlineGearup From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 3999 times:

The commercial aviation business is beginning to sound like the automotive business. Intense competition and narrow margins can cause even very reputable companies to be, let's say 'less than careful' with their QA systems. Unfortunetly for Boeing, this is not the first time concerns have been raised about something like this. BTW, I am sure the competition is not without it's issues also. I seem to remember someone saying here on A.net that one of the issues that the Renton plant has to deal with, is the need to repair rail delivered airframes that have been riddled with bullet holes!! Not a Boeing issue however you got to wonder about the supply chain management and the mentality of people who shoot at passing trains.

GU



I have no memory of this place.
User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 3999 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 22):


It's a bogus case. The plaintiffs are trying to get traction in their wrongful termination lawsuit by cooking up an alleged flight safety issue. The WP reporters in this case are knownothings.

Why did the FAA then reopen the case if it's so obviously bogus?

From what I read, it looks like the parts weren't exactly built to spec, so some new holes had to be drilled and force used to jam them into place. That apparently isn't how planes are supposed to be built and regulations were breached, but in practice no real safety issues appear to have been introduced so this case is more of an embarassment to Boeing than a crisis.


25 Azstagecoach : If so, I have learned an important lesson. The Post won four pulitzer awards today, and I was under the (apparently wrong?) impression that pulitzers
26 Halls120 : I wasn't suggesting the Post was mounting a politically motivated attack. The merits of the article? What we have are either two courageous former em
27 Post contains images BCAInfoSys : I am the one who posted this to a.net last summer after I walked by a recently delivered fuselage outside the final assembly building and saw numerou
28 Post contains images Rev3oh2 : How do we know it's not some organized terrorist plot by sleeper agents with high-powered rifles who know the routes of train cars carrying 737 fusel
29 Post contains images Joni : Really curious how little press this report has gotten on this forum. We could speculate just for fun, what kind of reception this would have received
30 Desh : Its not like they are obligated to investigate corruption on Capitol Hill more just because they are situated in DC (who will then write about the Re
31 Dougloid : Picking up a story six months after it was reported in Mother Jones hardly qualifies as effective or timely journalism. It's more along the lines of
32 Post contains images Tod : Most of the holes that happen in-transit from Wichita are easy to fix per a standard Boeing repair process and in the short term, much cheaper than p
33 Post contains links Leelaw : The Federal Aviation Administration and other government agencies did not adequately assess many of the key allegations made by three whistle-blowers
34 Post contains images DAYflyer : I'm sure this multi-billion $ corporation would wreck it's entire future by buying and using sub-par parts.
35 Desh : Enron , Arthur Anderson? Its not like a big corporation has not wrecked its future before
36 NumberTwelve : Wasn't Washington Post the newspaper that reported from Watergate Scandal? So how can you blame Washington Post about bad journalism? Sorry, but unve
37 Tod : Don't they always sent LHT people? Tod
38 Gearup : That's standard procedure, LH would have engineering reps at Airbus also. GU
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