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Boeing Certified Dreamliner By Themselves?  
User currently offlineCiC From Germany, joined Jun 2010, 55 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15042 times:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...g.recommends%22}&action_ref_map=[]

Am I right? The FAA outsourced parts of the certification of the 787 to Boeing, so "Boeing did the certification by themselves"...?

How can this happen???

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinephxa340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 14946 times:

This is far more common than you would think - they didn't certify the entire process, just some processes within the overall certification.

User currently offlineflight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3407 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 14859 times:

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
That's capitalism.

Do you honestly think it's any different with airbus? I'll be the first to tell you it's not. The FAA does not have the manpower to oversee the certification and testing of every small component on every aircraft certified.


User currently offlineokAY From Finland, joined Dec 2006, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 14793 times:

Quoting flight152 (Reply 3):

It is nowhere said Airbus would not have similar practices.

As flight 152 points out, this is more or less standard procedure nowadays. I am, however, surprised FAA did not pay closer attention to the battery-based design. They did at one point raise questions about it, did they not? I am surprised they did not then decide to keep a closer eye on the development. Now, the milk is spilled, all over the table!


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 14715 times:
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Quoting CiC (Thread starter):
How can this happen?

It is standard practice in multiple industries across the world. Government regulatory agencies do not have the budget or manpower to be experts in everything.

That being said, it should not be construed as the FAA did nothing and just accepted whatever Boeing sent them. FAA personnel were present for a fair bit of the flight testing and certification process so there was direct FAA oversight of the process. Boeing was also allowed to self-certify certain parts of the plane because they have proven to the FAA's satisfaction that they are competent to do so to the level that the FAA would have done so if they had the manpower and expertise to do it themselves.



Quoting okAY (Reply 4):
I am, however, surprised FAA did not pay closer attention to the battery-based design. They did at one point raise questions about it, did they not?

That the FAA did raise questions and set up a list of special conditions for their use in the 787 looks to me that they did pay attention to the design. Perhaps not as much as they should have, but it certainly doesn't look like they just told Boeing to do whatever they wanted with the batteries.

[Edited 2013-02-11 09:18:02]

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2839 posts, RR: 45
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 14532 times:

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
That's capitalism.

Because corruption doesn't occur under socialism or communism? Please.  

Stitch is exactly correct:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
It is standard practice in multiple industries across the world. Government regulatory agencies do not have the budget or manpower to be experts in everything.

That being said, it should not be construed as the FAA did nothing and just accepted whatever Boeing sent them. FAA personnel were present for a fair bit of the flight testing and certification process so there was direct FAA oversight of the process. Boeing was also allowed to self-certify certain parts of the plane because they have proven to the FAA's satisfaction that they are competent to do so to the level that the FAA would have done so if they had the manpower and expertise to do it themselves.


User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2459 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 14377 times:

Quoting CiC (Thread starter):
How can this happen???
Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
This is far more common than you would think - they didn't certify the entire process, just some processes within the overall certification.

Agreed. Boeing has been delegated by the FAA to find compliance to aviation regulations consistent with their Organization Designation Authorization (ODA). For details, read FAA Order 8100.15A. Most OEMs have delegation to approve items on behalf of the FAA. Boeing, Cessna, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Hawker-Beech, etc.

http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...B6F?OpenDocument&Highlight=8100.15



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineDTW2HYD From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 2213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 14075 times:

Self-Regulation is the norm in every sector here. FAA treats Airlines as customers and FAA Inspectors serve Airlines. It appears same philosophy is extended Aircraft Manufacturers.

User currently offlineukoverlander From United Kingdom, joined May 2010, 383 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13829 times:

Quoting flight152 (Reply 3):
Do you honestly think it's any different with airbus?

What does Airbus have to do with it??????


User currently offlinedfambro From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13813 times:

Quoting CiC (Thread starter):
How can this happen???

It's fine for this to happen, and there is nothing wrong with the process. The manufacturer does the testing and regulator reviews the results.

I'm not in avaition, I work in pharmaceuticals. All the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are responsible for their own testing, and clinical trial results supporting drug approval are submitted to the regulator (the FDA here in the US). In addition, the regulator provides general guidance for its requirements and, through an on-going structured dialog, specific guidance for the approval requirements of a specific product.

If a company mis-reports, deliberately misleads or disobeys the regulator, they are committing a criminal act. That's a very rare occurrence, in part because the industry fosters a culture of integrity. I would assume a similar culture of integrity is at work in aviation as well.

The process works very well in pharmaceuticals. But of course, nothing is entirely perfect and there are occasional problems with specific products. And that's what it appears we have here with the battery isse, one of those occasional problems. It does not mean that the regulatory system is broken. It may, however, point to ways to further improve the system.


User currently offlineMaersk737 From Denmark, joined Feb 2004, 717 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13789 times:

Quoting ukoverlander (Reply 9):
Quoting flight152 (Reply 3):Do you honestly think it's any different with airbus?
What does Airbus have to do with it??????

Not much when it comes to the 787.... But who do you think tested most of everything regarding the A380?

Peter



I'm not proud to be a Viking, just thankfull
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21562 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13789 times:

Quoting flight152 (Reply 3):
Do you honestly think it's any different with airbus? I'll be the first to tell you it's not. The FAA does not have the manpower to oversee the certification and testing of every small component on every aircraft certified.

Same is true in construction. An engineers stamp means that the engineers are certifying they have calculated what needs to be calculated and checked their work. Then the review takes place, where SOME of the data is checked, the major components are examined, etc. Small things are not always checked, nor is every change over the course of the product necessarily checked with the scrutiny you might want, and sometimes it's the small things that kill people.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9703 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13722 times:

Boeing is responsible for determining if the airplane is compliant with many of the federal regulations. The regulations keep expanding every year. The certification process is more robust than ever. Part of the reason for outsourcing it to Boeing was that the regulations were becoming so intense that the FAA and independent observers did not have the expertise or knowledge to approve that the designs actually conformed to the regulations. The FAA has found that when they try to manage things that they don't have the expertise for, what happens is the whole certification process grinds to a halt and nothing can ever get certified.

In the 1960s, airplanes were certified using engineering judgment and basic safety assessments. Certification safety assessments were pages for each system. Nowadays, they are about 500-1,000 pages per discipline. The amount of work going into fault trees, functional hazard assessments, certification plans, etc is far more robust than ever.

People see the title of the article indicating that the FAA outsourced certification compliance determination to Boeing and immediately think it is less safe. In reality, I think the system is more safe than it was 30 years ago.

Personally I am more worried about COMAC than Airbus or Boeing. Both the big players understand the certification process and have the expertise in house to demonstrate compliance. Boeing kept the certification work in house for the 787 even though much of the design was outsourced. COMAC is outsourcing the Authorized Representatives to suppliers because they don't have the internal expertise. That's two removed from the FAA/EASA, and the implications on COMAC could be severe if they try to get FAA or EASA certification.

[Edited 2013-02-11 11:53:03]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2591 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 13485 times:

Quoting dfambro (Reply 10):
If a company mis-reports, deliberately misleads or disobeys the regulator, they are committing a criminal act. That's a very rare occurrence, in part because the industry fosters a culture of integrity. I would assume a similar culture of integrity is at work in aviation as well.

The process works very well in pharmaceuticals.

Very good analogy - in both industries, false reports or negligence in testing/certification could result it people dying.
The moral ramifications of falsifying results to bring a product to market, to say nothing of the financial ones are too great for a reputable company to even think of doing so.


User currently offlineLHRXXXLHR From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 12389 times:

Every check airman (substitute your airline's term here) is doing the exact same thing. He/she is an airline employee doing the regulator's job.

The title of the Seattle Times article is a bit disingenous as well since those faulting Boeing are an ambulance chaser and a former FAA official with an ax to grind. I'm willing to believe that mistakes were made but find some more credible sources.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3814 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 11934 times:

I don't think any manufacturer would take the certification process, internal or external, in anything other than the most serious way.

Whenever an accident happens and, god forbids, lives are lost, they know too well that the full power of the public-opinion-and-politics-backed hammer of the law will land on them with all the fury one can expect, not to forget the complementary mediatic shitstorm... Stakes are too high to play with that.

This is a hyper-regulated environment where every mistake is tracked down to the last detail and where punishments are extremely severe. Plus, civil aircraft manufacturers don't tend to have powerful lobbies in the government.
This is not the pharmaceutical industry, thankfully.

This, to me, is a case of the implementation of a new technology on which no one had any relevant operational experience to back up the certification standards. They were thus likely mostly based on theoretical knowledge.

One could argue that the certification of Li-ion batteries was too lenient in light of the lack of operational knowledge, but there has been no major accident, and prompt actions were taken, so then again, maybe it wasn't.
And since the cause of the problem seems to remain elusive, it seems regulators and engineers would have had a very hard time to foresee it happening.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinea380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1117 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8149 times:

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
This is far more common than you would think - they didn't certify the entire process, just some processes within the overall certification.

If one wants the regulator to check everything, the regulator must overshadow almost every move of each of Boeing's workers. They lack the man power and the expertise to do so.

I'm not surprised certification works like that and I tend to agree that the guy has an ax to grind. Yet, I think the 787 has been a particularly messy program and I would not be suprised if here and there the FAA had been a little looser than usual. The pressure to get this plane in the air and the production moving has been bigger than on standard program because of the unprecedented delays. That is why I would not be surprised it the battery issue was only the first in a series of problems that will occur on this plane. Starting with the Potemkine roll-out, I think there was something fishy about this program from the beginning. I'd be surprised if the battery issue was all there is to it in the hidden defects department.


User currently offlinerobsaw From Canada, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8080 times:

A more surprising storyline would have been "FAA Directly Supervised All Aspects of 787 Certification".

Of course if that truly had been the case, does the "blame" shift for the sensationalizers?


User currently offlineflyorski From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 996 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2880 times:

All we know is that the way the aircraft got its airworthy certificate was inadequate. Had testing been more vigorous it is likely the battery problems would have appeared sooner. Boeing could have delayed initial deliveries a few months and avoided the fiasco of grounding the fleet worldwide for weeks.


"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
User currently offline7BOEING7 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1704 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2644 times:

Quoting flyorski (Reply 18):
All we know is that the way the aircraft got its airworthy certificate was inadequate. Had testing been more vigorous it is likely the battery problems would have appeared sooner. Boeing could have delayed initial deliveries a few months and avoided the fiasco of grounding the fleet worldwide for weeks.

Based on the fleet vs flight test flight hours it could have been years until Boeing duplicated the ANA/JAL events, if ever. You can't catch everything. Until they determine the cause, if they ever do, we won't know what other testing would have been necessary to find this issue prior to passenger service.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3063 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

Quoting flyorski (Reply 18):
Had testing been more vigorous it is likely the battery problems would have appeared sooner.

So what would you have done differently? Development and testing took 7 years.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2743 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2046 times:

Boeing as well as Airbus have a ODA/DOA - design organization approval, EASA part 21J, which is mentioned in the article. As well as a POA (for production - same thing from a manufacturing point of view, EASA 21G). It is not easy to obtain, and you have to work to maintain it as you are regularly audited for it.

For example, strictly speaking, Boeing/Airbus would have to obtain a new Permit to Fly from FAA/EASA for each prototype test flight with a new non-certified aircraft configuration. During a flight test campaign for a new type such as the 787 or A350, with multiple daily flights, that would be a nightmare for all. But as DOA's, A&B can approve those test flights themselves (with exceptions in case of major changes of course).

And it's not just A&B... various companies have various degrees of ODA's/DOA's granted to them by th authorities:

http://easa.europa.eu/approvals-and-...-approvals/docs/lists/easa_doa.pdf

http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviat...ignee_types/media/ODADirectory.pdf


User currently offlinerobsaw From Canada, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1691 times:

Quoting flyorski (Reply 18):
All we know is that the way the aircraft got its airworthy certificate was inadequate. Had testing been more vigorous it is likely the battery problems would have appeared sooner. Boeing could have delayed initial deliveries a few months and avoided the fiasco of grounding the fleet worldwide for weeks.

No, "we' don't know that at all. You are making an assertion without any supporting evidence. The number of battery problems in no way suggest a high probability of more vigorous testing showing anything "sooner" within the timeframe of a few months. The batteries (in fact, the entire battery system) were tested as vigorously as any regulations and engineering standards deemed sufficient. When a Boeing engineer comes out and makes your statement with evidence of some known battery issue then you may have a point.


User currently offlinebongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3659 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1635 times:

Lets be clear, Boeing did not "certificate the Dreamliner by themselves" The certificate was stamped by the FAA. The FAA will have looked at Boeing's procedures/methodology and come away satisfied that everything had been correctly designed, reviewed, checked etc.
This is how approval works in all industries now. If the FAA was to investigate and individually certify every component, sub assembly and then the plane, they would have then have so many staff and facilities that they might as well design the plane themselves !


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