|Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):|
I'm beginning to wonder if this is political pandering against Boeing from the Obama administration
Of course safety is first. No doubt about it but I've flown on the 77L. A few times. No one on board ever thinks there's anything obviously wrong with it. DL keeps it in great shape obviously. I hope this doesn't draw negative media attention to Boeing.
I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Airworthiness Directive process, but it has nothing to do with political pandering and the Obama administration.
Usually Airworthiness Directives are generated from in service problems that the airlines report to the manufacturer and FAA. It is up to the manufacturer to determine what the root cause of the problem and make a determination if it is a safety problem or not. For safety related problems, it goes through an engineering investigation which solves the problems. Next a Service Bulletin is typically issued to correct the problem and the FAA will issue an Airworthiness Directive that mandates airlines follow the manufacturer’s Service Bulletin within a certain time frame. Airworthiness Directives don’t force anything on Boeing. They force an airline to comply to a design modification that was not a requirement of the original type certificate.
The only politics I see is USA Today trying to slam the FAA and relate this to Swissair 111.
I have no inside knowledge of this problem, but the normal path would be that a problem happens in service such as an IFE electrical fire. It is discovered that the design resulted in a safety problem, so Boeing fixes the design problem, and the FAA mandates that the airlines incorporate the fix. This has little to do with how well airlines maintain their airplanes. It’s the normal process for improving airplane designs that have already been certified based on in service experience. Airplanes like the 777 get dozens of airworthiness directives issued every year. And yes, the same happens to Airbus, and any other manufacturer that holds a type certificate issued by the FAA.
[Edited 2013-05-10 09:43:45]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!