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FAA Fines Boeing - $13.6Mil -Late Service Bulletin  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24785 posts, RR: 46
Posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6491 times:

The FAA is proposing a civil penalty of $13.57 million against the Boeing Company for failing to meet a deadline to submit required service instructions.

Back in 2008, the FAA published Fuel Tank Flammability Rule, which required manufacturers to develop design changes and service instructions for installing systems to further reduce fuel tank flammability. Boeing committed to meeting the statutory December 2010 deadline.

Instead the manufactured delivered the requires information to the FAA and operators, 301 days late for 747 model aircraft and 406 days late on the 757 model. In total 383 US registered Boeing planes are affected by the delays

Press release:
http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13776

=


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7174 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6277 times:

Is it just me or is the FAA just a little too far-reaching into the aviation industry?


One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2761 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6207 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
Is it just me or is the FAA just a little too far-reaching into the aviation industry?

Well, they are the Federal Aviation Administration, after all.

  



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User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7174 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 2):
Well, they are the Federal Aviation Administration, after all.

LOL true but it still seems like they're doing more than they need to..


but on the flip side of the coin, we haven't had much in the way of fatal accidents in the last few years



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5970 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5923 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
LOL true but it still seems like they're doing more than they need to..

We have a federal budget deficit. $$



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User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1127 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
Is it just me or is the FAA just a little too far-reaching into the aviation industry?

Not only is this a right the FAA has, it's the FAA's mandate. While the agency is tasked with the promotion of aviation, punitive measures need to be taken in some cases.

As we've seen recently with DL, UA, AA, and several times with WN, the agency is making it a priority to promote good maintenance practices and punish risky decisions. The finding against DL was a little flimsy, I'll admit...but this finding against Boeing is more than justified. They were instructed to issue a bulletin and they dragged their feet. Since there was already one major accident attributed to this (TWA800), this was NOT something to delay. I'm a big fan of Boeing products, but neglecting this issue was not the best move on their part.



1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1127 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5901 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
but on the flip side of the coin, we haven't had much in the way of fatal accidents in the last few years

Most of that is due to FOQA and better training and maintenance practices. FAA's threats to levy fines do add a certain level of motivation, too.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 4):
We have a federal budget deficit. $$

I'll assume this was sarcasm. $13m in the grand scheme of things doesn't make a damn bit of difference to a deficit.



1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21490 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5894 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
Is it just me or is the FAA just a little too far-reaching into the aviation industry?

What, there's something wrong with the FAA holding Boeing accountable for failing to meet a deadline they committed to on a safety-related item?

If you're going to have regulations, they need to be enforced. Otherwise, what's the point of having them?

-Mir

[Edited 2012-07-13 16:04:11]


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User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 889 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5877 times:
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Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 6):
I'll assume this was sarcasm. $13m in the grand scheme of things doesn't make a damn bit of difference to a deficit.

In an industry where removing 100lbs of weight from an aircraft is a big deal, you'd think we'd be used to such penny-pinching.. Sure, 13.6m in the "grand scheme" doesn't seem like much, but it all adds up eventually.



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5847 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
Is it just me or is the FAA just a little too far-reaching into the aviation industry?

Seems they are not far-reaching enough as companies do not live up to requirements. Would love to know how they figure out the fines.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5737 times:

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 5):
this finding against Boeing is more than justified. They were instructed to issue a bulletin and they dragged their feet.

Is there any evidence they dragged their feet? SB's are complicated beasts, especially for situations like this. It's possible Boeing just underestimated what it would take. SB's need to be certified too; it's not that unusual to have to sit on a draft SB for months trying to line up an aircraft to certify the thing on (this is a much worse problem with out-of-production models).

Tom


User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1127 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5633 times:

Quoting ghifty (Reply 8):
In an industry where removing 100lbs of weight from an aircraft is a big deal, you'd think we'd be used to such penny-pinching.. Sure, 13.6m in the "grand scheme" doesn't seem like much, but it all adds up eventually.

If you read what I was responding to -- this wasn't what I was referring to. I was referring to the federal deficit and the assertion that this was somehow an attempt to "close the gap." I'm well aware of what implications a $13m fine can mean to an airline or a manufacturer.



1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlineBoeing12345 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 10):
Is there any evidence they dragged their feet? SB's are complicated beasts, especially for situations like this. It's possible Boeing just underestimated what it would take. SB's need to be certified too; it's not that unusual to have to sit on a draft SB for months trying to line up an aircraft to certify the thing on (this is a much worse problem with out-of-production models).

Yep exactly Tom. I don't know about the 747 but the 757 was delayed as Boeing and the FAA fought over what Boeing considered prepriority data. So the FAA was involved the entire time this was in discustion...yet they fine Boeing.


User currently offlineimiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5452 times:

This is good news.

There has been far too close a relationship between the regulator, operator and OEMs. You only need to go back the last two decades and read the reports on the rudder issues, cargo doors, engine pylons and no doubt more I've missed, to see a very laid back and reactionary culture existing between the FAA, the OEMs and the airlines (all in the name of saving a buck).

How many lives has this cosy threesome cost?

And just to add salt into the wounds:

The US National Transportation Safety Board says an engine fire on an American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER in February would not have occurred had the Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive after a similar problem in 2006.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...cf6-directive-in-2006-ntsb-374366/


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User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5305 times:

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 13):
There has been far too close a relationship between the regulator, operator and OEMs.

Have you ever actually worked with an aviation regulator? "Close" is not exactly the right word to describe the relationship. "FAA: We're not happy unless you're not happy" is closer to the mark.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 13):
You only need to go back the last two decades and read the reports on the rudder issues, cargo doors, engine pylons and no doubt more I've missed, to see a very laid back and reactionary culture existing between the FAA, the OEMs and the airlines (all in the name of saving a buck).

Not a single one of those events was done intentionally; as soon as they knew what was wrong the problem was fixed. You can argue that maybe the problem should have been detected sooner but the problems didn't happen because of any coziness (or believed cost savings at the expense of safety). They happened because someone made an incorrect judgement, not a malicious one.

Crashes cost *far* more than you save by shorting safety; all the airlines and OEM's know that.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 13):
How many lives has this cosy threesome cost?

Air travel is the safest form of transportation devised by man; it would be far more appropriate to measure how many lives they've saved.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 13):
And just to add salt into the wounds:

The US National Transportation Safety Board says an engine fire on an American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER in February would not have occurred had the Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive after a similar problem in 2006.

If airplanes never took off we'd have a perfect safety record.

The NSTB's job is to determine what caused an incident and what you would need to do to stop that incident from happening again. It is *not* their job to determine if their recommendation is feasible or viable. That is the FAA's job. The NTBS recommends stuff that's unfeasble and/or unviable all the time; that's OK, that's their job. The FAA looks at the NTSB recommendations and implements those that are feasible and viable and rejects those that aren't; that's OK too...that's *their* job.

Tom.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5970 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5279 times:

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 6):
I'll assume this was sarcasm. $13m in the grand scheme of things doesn't make a damn bit of difference to a deficit.

I was being sarcastic, yet at the same time, making a point. Congress wants to strip the DOT, and especially the FAA of non-vital funds. While you're right, $13M will barely put a dent in a company's budget, if congress gets its way, then say goodbye to a huge chunk of the federal deposit to aviation general fund, which pays for a lot of FAA programs, and construction. Thus, the FAA will have to start being self supporting, which means more fines being levied to a lot more places, more often.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Air travel is the safest form of transportation devised by man; it would be far more appropriate to measure how many lives they've saved.

As most statistics it depends on how you measure. Aviation is very safe when measured per passenger km. Measure by vehicle km, trips or hour and the result changes. All are valid measurements but vehicle km may be more proper measurement of individual risk.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 16):
As most statistics it depends on how you measure. Aviation is very safe when measured per passenger km. Measure by vehicle km, trips or hour and the result changes.

Aviation is also very safe when measured by vehicle km. The breakeven between aircraft and cars is about 500 miles (above that, aircraft are safer). It's mostly an effect of aircraft risk being primarily cycle based and vehicle risk being primarily distanced based. The aircraft risk doesn't grow much with travel distance.

Tom.


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4865 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 16):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Air travel is the safest form of transportation devised by man; it would be far more appropriate to measure how many lives they've saved.

As most statistics it depends on how you measure. Aviation is very safe when measured per passenger km. Measure by vehicle km, trips or hour and the result changes. All are valid measurements but vehicle km may be more proper measurement of individual risk.

I don't really get you reasoning. A 747 crashing once a month would seem to obviously be a much greater impact on airline safety that a Cessna 402 crashing every month. If a person is travelling somewhere, he's going to be travelling about the same km, no matter how he does it, so safety comparisons would seem to mean more figured by passenger km.

In this case, it doesn't depend on how you measure it. With 24,000 or so vehicle deaths in the US last year and almost no commercial avition deaths you can figure it any way you want, and it's still as lopsided as it can be. The ratios for the rest of the world would be different since few countries have folks who drive as much as Americans, but I'd be surprised if aviation didn't still come out as safest by a longshot no matter how you measured it.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineimiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4678 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Not a single one of those events was done intentionally; as soon as they knew what was wrong the problem was fixed.

Are you serious?

In many of those instances, the OEMs were aware of the underlying design flaws and yet the FAA was only too happy for airlines to carry on flying another 6 months or whatever before mandatory compliance.

Lets take United 811 as an example. Two years prior, a PanAm 747 failed to pressurise climbing out of LHR due to a failure of the cargo door latching mechanism. Once the flaw was discovered, the FAA gave airlines 18 months to implement the fix. Maybe the cost of compliance was too "great" for the airlines and they along with Boeing leaned on the FAA - I don't know. Result? Nine people dead.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):

Air travel is the safest form of transportation devised by man; it would be far more appropriate to measure how many lives they've saved.

Complacency kills. It's disappointing to hear that coming from an engineer.


User currently offlinebeau222 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4583 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
The FAA is proposing a civil penalty of $13.57 million

Exactly where do the funds for fines wind up? Do they stay with the FAA or is it divide up somehow?


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2309 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4464 times:
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Quoting beau222 (Reply 20):
Exactly where do the funds for fines wind up? Do they stay with the FAA or is it divide up somehow?

Fines normally go into the general fund.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9485 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4417 times:

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 19):
In many of those instances, the OEMs were aware of the underlying design flaws and yet the FAA was only too happy for airlines to carry on flying another 6 months or whatever before mandatory compliance.

Airplanes don't suddenly become less safe when a safety problem is discovered. Almost all ADs and Service Bulletins that are safety related have compliance times. Without compliance times the fleets would be grounded on an almost weekly basis. That 6 month window was decided based on engineering analysis just like the fix was. It was not about happy or not.

Opinions don't create service bulletins, engineering does after quite a bit of research analysis and design. A service bulletin and design change like mentioned is complex involving dozens of different engineering disciplines. We all wish it could be done faster but sometimes investigations and engineering work draws out over a year.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9286 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4280 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):

No. The FAAs job is to find things and force them to be fixed. If we didn't have the FAA we wouldn't nearly have the safety we have now, IMO. Boeing, Delta, Southwest, American etc. can NOT stand getting fined by the FAA. Most of the time the money itsn't much, its the terrible PR that gets them.

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):

very very true.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):

Have you ever actually worked with an aviation regulator? "Close" is not exactly the right word to describe the relationship. "FAA: We're not happy unless you're not happy" is closer to the mark.

lol true that. FAA is the boss 100%. Not much meeting half way.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 15):
Thus, the FAA will have to start being self supporting, which means more fines being levied to a lot more places, more often.

yep. This had good sides and bad sides. (good sides would be it will greatly reduce the chance of any kind of buddy-buddying but the bad side is it may force the FAA to fine things that normally wouldn't/shouldn't be fined.)

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 22):
Without compliance times the fleets would be grounded on an almost weekly basis

10x if it was for every single AD. I would bet money that if you come to Atlanta and go to TechOps you can find something every hour of the day that has to do with an AD. It can be a light bulb to a cargo door. The parts/people/space would simple kill Aviation.



yep.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
Have you ever actually worked with an aviation regulator? "Close" is not exactly the right word to describe the relationship. "FAA: We're not happy unless you're not happy" is closer to the mark

For someone who apparently works in the industry that's a horrendous thing to say. What a cavalier and dangerous attitude to airworthiness.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
They happened because someone made an incorrect judgement, not a malicious one

You're bleating for evidence that Boeing 'dragged their feet' (a term which seems to downplay the seriousness of Boeing's problem), yet you're making sweeping statements about 'incorrect judgements'?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 10):
SB's are complicated beasts, especially for situations like this.

If Boeing don't like FAA-endorsed processes they can feel free not to build commercial aircraft.

Of course, had Boeing designed the 747 FQIS in an intrinsically safe way in the first place then they wouldn't have to adopt this SB.


25 Cubsrule : I work with another similarly-regulated industry on a daily basis, and I'd say that his statement is largely accurate, especially under the current a
26 cmf : As you say the risk in aviation is based on cycles. Combine that with that the average trip is much longer than the average trip of any other form of
27 tdscanuck : Yes. You're talking about compliance intervals...as others have said, there is no other realistic option. If every AD was an emergency issue with ins
28 Roseflyer : Even if they did, they would still have to support their fleets. I fully agree that the design process and service bulletin process is painfully slow
29 pygmalion : Which is what happened with the cargo door failure as well. The AD change was to make it even harder to breach the safeguards that ensured the door w
30 Post contains links and images imiakhtar : You hit the nail on the head when you said it was about finding a balance. Prescribing a 30 day compliance period for every issue would be unworkable
31 Cubsrule : So 18 months is wrong . . . . . . and so is 12 months. What's the right answer? And why do you know better than FAA?
32 Roseflyer : I have never seen a mandatory safety change that required new hardware implemented in under 12 months. I think you underestimate the work involved. I
33 tdscanuck : In hindsight, that does sound high. The number was in my head because my former employer (non-aviation) had *huge* driving exposure so they directed
34 kanban : Unlike with A.netters who solve all issues within hours, the cause of a problem, lab duplication, design (both for new a/c and for retrofit which may
35 Cubsrule : The need for rulemaking is somewhat peculiar to FAA, though. To cite a similar - but not completely analogous - industry, the vast majority of recall
36 Boeing12345 : Yep and a CAL 757 was the pilot project for the 757. That airplane flew around for months after the pilot project while the final SB was being worked
37 nomadd22 : Miles as a passenger or driver in a ground vehicle in the US is right around 3 trillion a year with 32,000 killed last year, or about 1 death per 100
38 777236ER : "Highly adversarial" is your subjective statement, and is bizarre when you're trying to claim you are trying to ensure airworthiness. You're defendin
39 PITingres : Bizarre how? What would you prefer, a cozy lovey-dovey setup? Which would advance safety how? I suspect you're taking "adversarial" the wrong way. Do
40 KC135TopBoom : The FAA has been trying to justify its own exsistance for decades now. That is why a few times every year headlines are made by the FAA about some hug
41 Roseflyer : Let's be clear, before TWA800, it was considered adequately remote that ignition sources requiring separate bonding and grounding in the fuel tank wo
42 tdscanuck : Which specific practice do you think I'm defending? I do defend compliance intervals; your counter-position appears to be that all AD's should be "ma
43 777236ER : Either Boeing are ignoring the FAA, or they can't comply with a simple safety-related SB. What's the third alternative? Yes, there is. No, it wasn't.
44 cmf : Do you have anything to backup your insinuation that they weren't pro-active and didn't ask Boeing? Airbus managed to do it in time. I think both of
45 Roseflyer : Simple safety-related Service Bulletin? SFAR88, is one of the most complex changes to aircraft design & maintenance that is being retrofitted tha
46 PW100 : So really, what your saying is that the complete 737 fleet should have been grounded (for years) until the rudder issues were really sorted out? And,
47 tdscanuck : That it's not a simple safety-related SB and it's more complicated than you think. There's a very simple question behind this...have you read SFAR88?
48 pygmalion : EASA has not mandated NGS on Airbus aircraft yet. Though that may change. Airbus and EASA said that because the A380 has its ECS systems in the wing
49 cmf : I can only think of extension or grounding. Neither is a good option. Unless there is something to suggest that the airplanes are increasingly becomi
50 KC135TopBoom : Do you have any clue what you are talking about? The FAA can mandate anything they want to. But that doesn't mean they have an understanding of the e
51 Post contains images PITingres : Go on, we're listening. Well, yeah, maybe the entire lack of one. That doesn't improve overall safety, though, which is the goal here. What's offensi
52 Post contains links cmf : Didn't they? You made the suggestion so you should back it up. More importantly, does it matter if they did? Isn't it Boeing's responsibility to info
53 Cubsrule : True, but because so many of the FAA's mandates come via rulemaking (as opposed to via fiat, as many other agencies' mandates do), the engineering fo
54 StressedOut : Wow. There are some truly wild remarks being made on this topic. Thank goodness for Tom taking the time to debunk all of the drivel. Several points af
55 Post contains images cmf : That has become a mantra but reality is that safety has never been number one. Nor should it be. We never design for maximum safety. We always design
56 StressedOut : Of course this is true, but I would argue that safety is still their number one concern. A grounded airplane has maximum safety so your point is take
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