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Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:22 am

The FAA made an agreement with XTRA, the shop that had "repaired" the faulty AoA sensor on one of the crashed B737 MAX.

"From November 2009 until May 2019, Xtra failed to complete and retain records in accordance with procedures in its repair-station manual to support parts on its capability list," says the FAA. "The company also did not substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publications and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list."
The FAA says the order revoking Xtra's certificate is part of a settlement agreement under which the company waives its right to appeal the decision."
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... 37-461804/

I find it rather surprising that an MRO shop can't "substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publications and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list."
And why to make an agreement that the "company waives its right to appeal the decision"?
Wouldn't it be in public interest to have a court case for the public to hear what the FAA and what the MRO shop has to say?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:08 am

But it is not in the interest of the FAA nor the Company. Yes, they busted the MRO, but where was the ongoing oversight. They didn't notice that the MRO sent the same QA plan in as last year with new dates. Did they calibrate the test equipment? Etc. For the company it saves tons of cost to go to court, also contesting and fighting could open criminal investigations. Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.
 
bennett123
Posts: 9735
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:21 am

The the FAA didn’t notice for 10 years!!.

Why would they want this explored in open court?.
 
Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:41 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
...
Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.



While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:50 am

Sokes wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
...
Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.



While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.


I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:33 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Sokes wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
...
Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.



While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.


I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.


That sums it up well. The FAA could never have enough inspectors, to do full compliance inspections of every license holder, or authorized repair shop 100% of the time. So they do random spot checks, rely on designees, and if necessary do full compliance inspections. The system has worked well for decades.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 24357
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:47 pm

Prepare for incoming angry posts about how discussing aspects of the tragedies that do not direct all the blame at Boeing are a form of absolution so are not acceptable.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:33 pm

Revelation wrote:
Prepare for incoming angry posts about how discussing aspects of the tragedies that do not direct all the blame at Boeing are a form of absolution so are not acceptable.


Tuche! :box: :praise:
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:03 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Sokes wrote:

While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.


I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.


That sums it up well. The FAA could never have enough inspectors, to do full compliance inspections of every license holder, or authorized repair shop 100% of the time. So they do random spot checks, rely on designees, and if necessary do full compliance inspections. The system has worked well for decades.


Thank you, yes the good guys that are trying to do it right do that without big brother looking over their shoulder, the crooks already figured out the most profitable way to cheat. The FAA needs the tools to crush the crooks once found, by crushing this MRO that was cheating it will enhance compliance at other borderline outfits.

In the natural gas utility market, PG&E decades ago cheated by using welded up crap instead of the seamless pipe required in a main line near San Bruno, CA. Then they managed to over pressurize the line, blowing up a neighborhood. They received a number of corporate felony convictions for it, what is interesting is this case is the reason why we know of all of electrical fire information. PG&E is crooked and is now being crushed, other utilities are going back ensuring they are doing it right. https://www.abc10.com/article/news/loca ... 6e90196ca4

Columbia Gas did poor design on a repipe and replacement project in Andover, Mass. They missed the presence of the existing regulators on the system, managed to bypass them and pressurize a whole network of piping from low pressure to 50 psi, blowing apart regulators all over town. The NTSB report has crushed them, but only after the damage occurred. Columbia Gas lies somewhere between grossly negligent, incompetent, and truly criminal, but they fly on for new. Their required insurance is now going to cost far, far more. https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/Mu ... 88501.html
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:11 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Sokes wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
...
Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.



While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.


I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.

What’s funny is the smaller the project the more likely all your calcs are checked by B&S. Every house I’ve submitted the city engineer checked every calc, choice and assumption. Because it’s small enough to handle.

Once it gets unwieldy they rely on your professional license and risk of imprisonment to keep you honest.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:31 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
...
This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.



Great post. I totally missed out on the responsibility of the airline. And I agree the regulator can not check everything.
However we know that aviation is a business which brings many companies close to bankruptcy.
Also I prefer Roosevelt's Glass Steagall Act over self regulation of banking.
Random spot checks are o.k., but not only every ten years or so. Would it be a scandal if the FAA had to make a random check with this company 2 years ago?
As the Boeing management seem to believe that redundancy is not required: Are they ignorant that such MRO shops exist or is it just criminal neglect?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:16 am

In my work for the government I regularly have to certify that the work is in accordance with the specifications. Well if I faked something I am criminally liable, so there is incentive to do it right.

Random checks by the regulator should be random, not nonexistent. Near me a Navy hazmat center was required to be inspected by the Industrial Hygienist annually, it didn't happen for 7 years. The new facility had tons of worker protections, but the crew chose to add chemicals to the tank just with buckets over the edge with lots of toxic exposure. When the shit hit the fan over the problems there the foreman was fired. He managed to steal all of the test records on the way out of the door, now he is suing the Navy using the stolen test records. Needs lots of popcorn to watch the drama.

The building codes basically require the Fire Marshal to inspect every non-residential building annually. The firemen look for blocked exits, bad procedures, overcrowding, verifies the sprinklers and fire alarms are in service, etc. They often do it when a call is easy, they will spend an hour or 2 doing inspections of the buildings nearby, totally random. Amazing what they catch, the FAA should be doing annuals on all of their license holders, just a 4 hour walk thru, a look at the machine calibration reports and logs, worker qual records, material cert processing, as well as chain of custody records. Probably within an hour the inspectors can tell if it is being done right or not. If not, the inspection gets intense.

Any part from the MRO should have records to go along with it, at installation into the aircraft there should be operational tests. If the instrument has a bad calibration I am sure it is to be reported, then the FAA knows to review the MRO's work. Only shops in full compliance should be in operation, human nature brings out the worst so newspapers have something to write about.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9386
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:36 am

Revelation wrote:
Prepare for incoming angry posts about how discussing aspects of the tragedies that do not direct all the blame at Boeing are a form of absolution so are not acceptable.


Is the repaired AoA sensor relevant? It is exactly this comments that make your postings perhaps irrelevant. You seem not be able to distinguish between what matters and what does not matter. A single AoA sensor failure should not lead to the crash of an aeroplane.

In regards to the repair shop. It is not an question about 100 % oversight, it is a question, if there is any oversight. The FAA seems to be completely off its game.
Going to a company, after they are caught doing bad work and finding out, that they have not followed regulations for 10 years, begs the question, how did they ever got certified? Does the FAA ever check the companies before they certify them? Is there any supervision, if the FAA can not look in for a whole decade? What should one expect, once a year, every two years, but not having visited a MRO for 10 years or longer seems to be a bit off.

I would say a failing FAA puts a whole industry in the USA in a bad light. Who can still put hist trust into the certification of an USA aviation connected company. And people here talk about bad oversight in the third world.
Last edited by mjoelnir on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9386
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:47 am

ikramerica wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Sokes wrote:

While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.


I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.

What’s funny is the smaller the project the more likely all your calcs are checked by B&S. Every house I’ve submitted the city engineer checked every calc, choice and assumption. Because it’s small enough to handle.

Once it gets unwieldy they rely on your professional license and risk of imprisonment to keep you honest.


It seems that in the USA in case of aeronautical engineering, criminal actions do not apply, or are never proceeded with. We all know that when a building collapses some civil engineer will be called in to in to explain in front of a jury what happened. A building collapsing is proof enough about some wrong doings, of course not after 50 years of bad repairs. If the engineer can not show that somebody did not follow his design, he is in deep shit.

There should have been somebody accused here of some criminal action, but than they would also have to put the FAA on the hot seat.
 
dopplerd
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:30 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:00 am

The lesson? If you are an unscrupulous person then there is money to be made in MRO by cutting corners as the FAA has no oversight. Had Boeing designed a system that had some redundancy to it XTRA’s sensor would have been replaced at the next opportunity and no one would be dead. Boeing was relying on the sensor working and the sensor MRO was relying on Boeing designing redundancy.

I fear that the level of redundancy and safety in these planes is being taken for granted and we are cutting into the margin of safety. There are particular checks I have done for years that I have never found to be faulty yet I continue to do them, even when it is cold and raining and I’d rather be inside. I know that every sign off I do I can defend, others might not bring that same level of integrity to aviation and they are in the wrong business. Unfortunately with the current regulatory structure theses people are only rooted out after an accident or incident.
 
Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:47 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
...
The firemen look for blocked exits, bad procedures, overcrowding, verifies the sprinklers and fire alarms are in service, etc. They often do it when a call is easy, they will spend an hour or 2 doing inspections of the buildings nearby, totally random. Amazing what they catch, the FAA should be doing annuals on all of their license holders, just a 4 hour walk thru, a look at the machine calibration reports and logs, worker qual records, material cert processing, as well as chain of custody records. Probably within an hour the inspectors can tell if it is being done right or not. If not, the inspection gets intense.



We are in total agreement. I even suggest that a two hour walk through/ year is enough. I also believe most inspectors will know by the reactions of employees alone if something is "fishy".


dopplerd wrote:

I fear that the level of redundancy and safety in these planes is being taken for granted and we are cutting into the margin of safety. There are particular checks I have done for years that I have never found to be faulty yet I continue to do them, even when it is cold and raining and I’d rather be inside. I know that every sign off I do I can defend, others might not bring that same level of integrity to aviation and they are in the wrong business. Unfortunately with the current regulatory structure theses people are only rooted out after an accident or incident.


Can you expand on the last sentence?

Most people believe politics is boring. I disagree.
Take reliable people like yourself. If politics decides that one doesn't need to control a shop even after 10 years attitudes, culture ... goes out of the window.
Your work is required, so is political "work".

If enough people had to get upset, something good may come out of the MAX crashes. But who cares?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
dopplerd
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:37 pm

Sokes wrote:
Can you expand on the last sentence?


Sure. There are many people who feel that deregulation is a virtue in itself. But they also want safe meat, cars, homes, and – for the sake of this discussion – air travel. Those two things are incongruous. The fact is even the deregulators are really regulators. They just want to impose the regulation after the blood has been spilt. All the talk now of withholding pay and bonuses from Boeing execs by elected officials: that's regulation. The president has bragged that he grounded the MAX: that's regulation.

In an alternate universe where a vigilant FAA knew about and insisted on a more robust MCAS system that didn't result in a nose dive after a single sensor fault would have saved Boeing and its shareholders BILLIONS of dollars, not to mention the 348 lives. Yet regulation is bad? The airlines themselves were doing a heck of a lot better financially before the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 than they did after it.

In summary, I'm in favor of a proactive regulatory system in aviation before the accident rather than after it.
 
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Revelation
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:44 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Prepare for incoming angry posts about how discussing aspects of the tragedies that do not direct all the blame at Boeing are a form of absolution so are not acceptable.

Is the repaired AoA sensor relevant? It is exactly this comments that make your postings perhaps irrelevant. You seem not be able to distinguish between what matters and what does not matter. A single AoA sensor failure should not lead to the crash of an aeroplane.

Thank you for this rendering of the fear of absolution narrative albeit a day later than I thought it would be.

Yes, poorly trained crews and poorly maintained planes and poor aircraft design are all relevant.

One of these has major efforts in progress to address the shortcomings, two do not seem to.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Sokes
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:38 pm

dopplerd wrote:

The airlines themselves were doing a heck of a lot better financially before the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 than they did after it.

In summary, I'm in favor of a proactive regulatory system in aviation before the accident rather than after it.


I also believe fixing and supervising rules is one of the prime tasks of government.
Indeed early political thinkers were mostly concerned about the legal framework. It's only today that people believe the prime task of government is infrastructure. The MAX is a reminder that rules and oversight, taken for granted when working properly, can't be taken for granted.
You are good in language. I like your wording.

I disagree about deregulation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_Deregulation_Act
I believe that technical monopolies (water + electricity supply, garbage collection, railways ...) in industrial countries should be government owned. I guess that qualifies me as a socialist?
But even I believe earlier regulation was about the government telling the citizens with whom they have to fly at which routes. The government has to set the framework. It's not the government's job to interfere unless necessary.
Of course earlier the passenger numbers were so small that one could call most routes technical monopolies.
We can agree that we disagree about the meaning of "necessary".
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:40 pm

Revelation wrote:
Thank you for this rendering of the fear of absolution narrative albeit a day later than I thought it would be.

Yes, poorly trained crews and poorly maintained planes and poor aircraft design are all relevant.

One of these has major efforts in progress to address the shortcomings, two do not seem to.


I am guessing your emphasis is on poor maintenance

Lion Air's MX contractor(BAT) used a part refurbished at a FAA certified repair shop, which may or may not has been calibrated correctly because the well-run repair shop never kept any records for 10 years. FAA settled with the repair shop. What is the relief for all airlines using those parts? Did FAA or Xtra notify to check airlines those parts? How is this a great system compared to third world MX guy didn't check two boxes? A settlement is not the silver bullet here.

Poor aircraft design and component/assembly quality issues.
What hasn't failed on brand new 787? Spoiler actuators take the cake, all three FMCs shutdown, bank of toilets failed, windshields cracked frequently, AC packs failed, door latches disintegrated, RAT disintegrated, ELT caught fire, software issues, interior decals peeling off, J class seat components, even an oven caught on fire.
Why none of these components failed at this rate on a 777 or any previous type.

Aviation pundits blamed Air India finances for not buying a lot of spare parts(for its brand new planes under warranty), its maintenance practices, making fun that AI was looking for compensation and FAA's Huerta was blaming local regulators for lack of oversight.

Fast forward a few years and what the Seattle Times investigation showed?
FAA knew Boeing had 787 quality issues, did sloppy paperwork and assembly. Settled with Boeing for a fine, refused to share details with Seattle Times until they were forced through FOIA request. Suppliers couldn't produce enough parts to match failure rate, world had only three parts depots.
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... ne-boeing/

So, the third issue is not addressed. If settlements and fines worked, MAX shouldn't have happened.
All posts are just opinions.
 
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:16 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Lion Air's MX contractor(BAT) used a part refurbished at a FAA certified repair shop, which may or may not has been calibrated correctly because the well-run repair shop never kept any records for 10 years. FAA settled with the repair shop. What is the relief for all airlines using those parts? Did FAA or Xtra notify to check airlines those parts? How is this a great system compared to third world MX guy didn't check two boxes?

Can't we work on fixing issues with both the "great system" and the "third world MX guy"?

Or are you suggesting it's OK for the "third world MX guy" to not follow procedures just because the "FAA certified repair shop" also did not follow procedures?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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mjoelnir
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:20 pm

Revelation wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Prepare for incoming angry posts about how discussing aspects of the tragedies that do not direct all the blame at Boeing are a form of absolution so are not acceptable.

Is the repaired AoA sensor relevant? It is exactly this comments that make your postings perhaps irrelevant. You seem not be able to distinguish between what matters and what does not matter. A single AoA sensor failure should not lead to the crash of an aeroplane.

Thank you for this rendering of the fear of absolution narrative albeit a day later than I thought it would be.

Yes, poorly trained crews and poorly maintained planes and poor aircraft design are all relevant.

One of these has major efforts in progress to address the shortcomings, two do not seem to.


You are beating that theme to the death, all in the defense of Boeing, while accusing others to miss the part of the Indonesian pilots MRO and regulator.
Once again you can not accept the difference between primary and contributing causes. Once again you promote the things that matter less over the things that do matter.

First show me any try of the USA regulator to address it's shortcoming. I do not see it. Closing down the MRO shop in regards to the AoA sensor with the resulting nonsense action, is just a panic attack of a regulator, that does not want to fall any light on it's doings. When they looked at that shop they had to realise that non of their work was according to the regulation and that the last decade.

You talk about poorly maintained planes, but we are only provide one instant of a possible maintenance fault, the not documented testing of the AoA sensor after installation. We do not know if the AoA sensor was defect when installed. The licence of the repair shop was pulled because their process was not according to the rules and the testing in the MRO was undocumented.
We have seen mistakes in many countries, including the USA, in maintenance. It is always pointed out, that one instance does not damn a whole operation.
We have also seen substandard pilot actions in other countries, without damning the whole group of pilots.
You have runway overruns, a broken FLG in a rather normal landing and so on, just read the aviation Herald. There are problems with CRM not only in Indonesia.

The point is they usually do not have to contend with a frame that is actively trying to kill them.

You must be very proud of the MROs in the USA and the regulator there, when it is possible to run such a workshop over a decade completely under the radar doing all that time uncertified work.

I do also not see the effort Boeing is suppose to be making, MACAS 2.0 fixes one problem, that leaves a frame kept in production and in the air through a long list of exemptions from the current rules, with no try by the regulator to get the manufacturer to fix some of this exemptions when the next model comes around.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:25 pm

Revelation wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Lion Air's MX contractor(BAT) used a part refurbished at a FAA certified repair shop, which may or may not has been calibrated correctly because the well-run repair shop never kept any records for 10 years. FAA settled with the repair shop. What is the relief for all airlines using those parts? Did FAA or Xtra notify to check airlines those parts? How is this a great system compared to third world MX guy didn't check two boxes?

Can't we work on fixing issues with both the "great system" and the "third world MX guy"?

Or are you suggesting it's OK for the "third world MX guy" to not follow procedures just because the "FAA certified repair shop" also did not follow procedures?


Never said sloppy third world MX practices are acceptable. They have to fix their issues. But, I am of the opinion the first world needs to maintain higher standards if we want to keep superiority and command trust and respect from the rest of the world in aviation. Maybe I am old school to believe in practice before you preach. Fine, Settle, Repeat cycle is not doing it.
All posts are just opinions.
 
AirlineAuditor
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:32 pm

Getting back to the OPs original question, what do this situation teach us about MRO or FAA in general. Let me begin by saying my profession is to audit maintenance and repair overhaul providers for the air carrier I'm employed at. I look at these shops day after day to verify compliance to the applicable Federal Regulations and my carrier's specific requirements.

In fact, I've had personnel experience with this shop and I was perplexed by their statement that they "failed to comply with procedures in its repair station manual for implementing a capability list in accordance with the Federal Aviation Regulations." I've put my own eyes on that document, so then I'm thinking more along the lines that the capability list they had just did not much up with how their manual described it.

The FAA Press Release (https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases ... wsId=24314) also states that "Xtra failed to complete and retain records in accordance with procedures in its repair station manual to support parts on its capability list". These general statement could mean a few different things then what face value may suggest, such as Xtra may have performed its self-evaluation process for capability list updates but failed to document it; or simply did not keep those records for the period of time specified in their manual. Personally I have seen repair station's state in their FAA-accepted manual that they will only keep the self-evaluation records (which is your substantiation process) for 2 years or 5 years or 7 years, others will say for as long as part is on the list. The rule in 14 CFR 145.215 says "the repair station must retain on file documentation of evaluation", but is not clear for how long or how detailed those records must be. Must a repair station keep the documentation for parts removed from the capability list as well? Will a form showing the repair station verified it could work the part be sufficient or must I also include objective evidence?

The next statement from the press release "The company also did not substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publication, and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list". This statement would be about the self-evaluation process that is described in the repair station manual and could mean that when Xtra was asked to provide their self-evaluation forms, they no longer had them, even though they may have been completed at the time the article was added to the capability list. It could also mean that form was completed but they could not provide details, such as a data package, that showed how determined they could work on the article.

All these considerations I've given above would point to what guidance the FAA gives in the 8900.1 Inspector Handbook for accepting a capability list management process. So I hope the FAA will look at that and see what they can do to help the inspectors and industry create acceptable capability listing and ensure any additions to said listing can be adequately proven whenever challenged. Of course, it cannot be overlooked that this FAA office did not do due diligence in reviewing the capability list and self-evaluation process.

An additional lesson for repair stations to learn is to make sure their tool equivalency process considers how the equivalent tool is operated and what impact it may have on comply with the maintenance instructions. Things like different modes of operations being available for what the OEM-recommended tool (which the test tool would have only been a recommended tool, since it is a commercial off-the-shelf item, not a tool designed by the OEM).

Disclaimer: These thoughts and opinions are my own and do not represent my employer. As a professional auditor, it has been a good exercise to look at what the repair station auditing industry can do to help protect our the flying public. I certainly have learned from the accident report and the FAA press release.
 
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kanban
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:47 pm

There is a catch 22 in auditing manufacturers and suppliers. one one hand you cold insist on 24/7 auditing and 24/7 FAA attendance, but at what cost???? On the other hand having been a process auditor, daily viewing can dim ones vision do to the repetitiveness, while periodic viewing leaves ones vision less impaired. example: I would audit a specific work area once a month and send my observations to the general manager. he disputed them and made no changes. he firmly believed I was making it all up. So I asked him to pick a day and time and we would both review the production area he selected. The first hit came within a minute of starting, a mechanic installing parts on a 737 using a 15 year old 727 drawing. the tip off was a corner of old fashioned blue print sticking out of the tool box. we went on and found 5 major and probably 15 lesser procedure, process, or drawing deviations. the manage asked how I did it since he and the area supervisor had spent 2 hours going though the area before I arrived. simple I told him, you look at the same area day after day and your mind only sees what it wants and you rationalize any deviations (like the chemical expiration date and time was up only an hour ago). but coming in at random, there is no such blindness. I would trust a random inspection far more than a hurried daily blind gander.

I've been on FAA ACSEP audits and the FAA auditors are good at seeing through the everyday mist, asking pointed questions etc. In one case the mechanic was using a grease that was not defined on the drawing or manufacturing plan. the mechanic says "it's what the tool room gave me". QA shut the line, pre flight and the delivery center down. There was an engineering drawing deviation published because the original vendor went out of business.. on producing that the FAA gave the process an all clear. then turned to the QA manager and said why don't you change the spec on this container to match the paperwork... OK says the QA manager pulling out a pen. Wrong I say, that is a trick question that almost got you fired. instead we left the mechanic with the proper authorization to continue using the replacement.

Almost every case of some want-a-be whistle blower screaming about improper parts or processes we found he did not have the current drawing revisions or deviation allowances.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:50 pm

kanban wrote:
There is a catch 22 in auditing manufacturers and suppliers. one one hand you cold insist on 24/7 auditing and 24/7 FAA attendance, but at what cost???? On the other hand having been a process auditor, daily viewing can dim ones vision do to the repetitiveness, while periodic viewing leaves ones vision less impaired. example: I would audit a specific work area once a month and send my observations to the general manager. he disputed them and made no changes. he firmly believed I was making it all up. So I asked him to pick a day and time and we would both review the production area he selected. The first hit came within a minute of starting, a mechanic installing parts on a 737 using a 15 year old 727 drawing. the tip off was a corner of old fashioned blue print sticking out of the tool box. we went on and found 5 major and probably 15 lesser procedure, process, or drawing deviations. the manage asked how I did it since he and the area supervisor had spent 2 hours going though the area before I arrived. simple I told him, you look at the same area day after day and your mind only sees what it wants and you rationalize any deviations (like the chemical expiration date and time was up only an hour ago). but coming in at random, there is no such blindness. I would trust a random inspection far more than a hurried daily blind gander.

I've been on FAA ACSEP audits and the FAA auditors are good at seeing through the everyday mist, asking pointed questions etc. In one case the mechanic was using a grease that was not defined on the drawing or manufacturing plan. the mechanic says "it's what the tool room gave me". QA shut the line, pre flight and the delivery center down. There was an engineering drawing deviation published because the original vendor went out of business.. on producing that the FAA gave the process an all clear. then turned to the QA manager and said why don't you change the spec on this container to match the paperwork... OK says the QA manager pulling out a pen. Wrong I say, that is a trick question that almost got you fired. instead we left the mechanic with the proper authorization to continue using the replacement.

Almost every case of some want-a-be whistle blower screaming about improper parts or processes we found he did not have the current drawing revisions or deviation allowances.


Drawing control is always a bug a boo, your blueprint from the 727 hits home. One must think, "where did he get this drawing?!?!". One nice aspect of having the drawings on an Ipad is the system can be controlled to only have the latest drawing on the factory floor. With real paper it is amazing what gets stuffed away in the toolbox.

On the random inspection seeing problems not visible to the occupants, a company I used to work at did Safety audits of every major projects we built. We had a team of 3 do the audit - a project manager from another job so was 'clean' and two from other parts of the company, like the accounting staff. Those 2 not used to the industrial setting saw every head knocker or hazard we just didn't see. A side benefit is the staff people learned what our company actually did and how important the individual workers are.
 
Sokes
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:13 am

Great discussion with professional insight. You have to be right, otherwise planes would be falling of the sky every now and then. As we say in German: "It's not eaten as hot as it is cooked."

Let's see if I understand it:
A workshop once upon a time had the qualified labor to do certain maintenance. They stopped this work and accordingly don't accept this type of job any more, but failed to update their paperwork with the FAA.

Maybe or maybe not it's like this. We will never know as there won't be any court case.
Doesn't a plane crash justify criminal proceedings?

But I anyway don't care if the shop was irresponsible or not. The FAA signs of safety critical features without redundancy just by Boeing suggesting so. And didn't EASA have objections? At least at that moment FAA should have had a second look.
And now we learn a shop didn't get a random visit for ten years.

For a lay person like myself it looks as if the FAA is financially starved by politics and run by politicians who want to suck up to Boeing.
Therefore my question earlier if FAA officials upon leaving the FAA get advisory jobs from industry? What motivates them to act irresponsible?
Do I need to say that I have no issues with controllers on the ground?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:05 am

How governments regulate and supervise an industry can be critical to obtain growth and improvement. The tech industries tend to be very low regulated, in particular if away from cell phones which have a bunch of regulation. The car industry is much more regulated and controlled. Look at Tesla, which wants to innovate like a tech company but the rules it must live by are the automotive industry. Time and again they have hit compliance issues, often it is because the MFG has not done all the safety analysis required, there are a lot of great ideas but there are total design screw ups like doors do not open without power on. All kinds of assisted driving issues where the system is not ready for prime time, etc. The right answer for the industry is better regulation that encourages innovation, probably 1/3 of the way to where Tesla is. How the industry addresses the certification requirements for self driving cars will be very interesting to watch and is very important.
 
strfyr51
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:25 am

Sokes wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
...
Happens all the time in Medical Malpractice cases, the State handles professional licenses 97+% outside of court, for the same reasons.



While all your statements are true, I want to discuss the medical malpractice comparison.
Governments have to make rules/ laws. If these laws do justice in 90% of cases, it's fantastic. However it's also injustice in 10% of cases. Think of divorce laws, for example. Governments have to take a statistical approach.
In medicine the training and the exams have to make sure that 100% students can diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure correctly. What about rare tropical diseases somebody brings from holiday? Even if one could ensure that 99% students can diagnose it, a doctor 10 years in practice having never had such a case may not remember. Doctors can not live in permanent fear of being dragged to court. The government has to make sure that the training and the exam lead to "good statistical results".
Two plane crashes have a higher public interest than a doctor who makes a treatment mistake once a year. And the case we discuss here is not about an MRO shop making mistakes, but about oversight. It's a bit like the government rubber stamps the medical exam of a student without going through it.

Maybe the MAX disaster is not about Boeing, as greed always wins. It's about failed oversight. In short, about FAA.
Do former FAA employees, just like former politicians, get advisory contracts from industry once they leave the FAA? I'm not suggesting this. It's a serious question. I try to understand how the FAA can mess up such a lot, be it redundancy in a plane or the oversight of a MRO shop.

well? It WAS the FAA that let Boeing self certify. They wanted (or Washington wanted Less oversight.) and they got it. No way to tell what Else didn't get looked at.. And NOT just at Boeing!
 
AirlineAuditor
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:35 pm

Sokes wrote:
Great discussion with professional insight. You have to be right, otherwise planes would be falling of the sky every now and then. As we say in German: "It's not eaten as hot as it is cooked."

Let's see if I understand it:
A workshop once upon a time had the qualified labor to do certain maintenance. They stopped this work and accordingly don't accept this type of job any more, but failed to update their paperwork with the FAA.

Maybe or maybe not it's like this. We will never know as there won't be any court case.
Doesn't a plane crash justify criminal proceedings?

But I anyway don't care if the shop was irresponsible or not. The FAA signs of safety critical features without redundancy just by Boeing suggesting so. And didn't EASA have objections? At least at that moment FAA should have had a second look.
And now we learn a shop didn't get a random visit for ten years.

For a lay person like myself it looks as if the FAA is financially starved by politics and run by politicians who want to suck up to Boeing.
Therefore my question earlier if FAA officials upon leaving the FAA get advisory jobs from industry? What motivates them to act irresponsible?
Do I need to say that I have no issues with controllers on the ground?


No, they didn't stop work. I was trying to convey is I think the new article and press release are an oversimplification of the truth and its likely more involved. The capability list creation and the maintenance of the supporting documentation is not as clear as it should be. The FAA should renew its initiative to overhaul the capabilities and ratings system currently in place. Imagine if this shop had held a class rating, which does not stipulate any type of review process has to be completed or documented before a repair station can work an article. Now most shops will perform an internal review as it is in their best interest to do so, but there is mandatory recording of such as review.

To me, the accident report's findings are more illuminating as to the actual short comings the shop had and the pitfalls the maintenance and repair industry needs to avoid. Shops using equivalent tooling is a common and necessary part of the maintenance industry but it must be done with a robust vetting process. Hopefully industry will take a closer look at their equivalency processes to make sure they are considering how the replacement tool or test equipment is used and ensure there are clear instructions for how to use the tool or test equipment.

The FAA is not adequately equipped to perform routine, detailed inspections of repair stations. The FAA has made it clear their preferred oversight instrument are the U.S. air carriers that are mandated by law to audit their maintenance providers. You would probably be shocked to hear that FAA repair stations are not required to have an internal or self audit system, there is no regulation that mandates it. However, most do because the U.S. air carriers (and air carriers of other countries when they were required to perform audits as well, many are no longer obligated to do so) have made it a requirement to do business.

FAA officials can work in industry but there are rules around taking on such positions. 14 CFR 145.160 outlines the specifics for repair stations if you are interested in having a look yourself. I also think the majority of the time the humans involved do not make a conscience decision to act irresponsibly but rather issues such as complacency, limited resources, time pressures, and lack of understanding. I do not think the FAA involved with or its management stepped over the line to criminal action as this appears the mis-calibration of the AoA vane was a one off, as the FAA did not issue an Airworthiness Directive mandating all AoA vanes repaired by Xtra to be removed from service. If the accident investigation suspected that mis-calibration was a result of willful negligence then a criminal proceeding would be recommended to the FAA's legal offices.
 
Sokes
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:25 pm

AirlineAuditor wrote:
...
I do not think the FAA involved with or its management stepped over the line to criminal action as this appears the mis-calibration of the AoA vane was a one off, as the FAA did not issue an Airworthiness Directive mandating all AoA vanes repaired by Xtra to be removed from service. If the accident investigation suspected that mis-calibration was a result of willful negligence then a criminal proceeding would be recommended to the FAA's legal offices.


Thanks for your great effort and sorry for not reacting earlier.
I'm not saying that both Max crashed through AoA sensors of that one repair shop, but how did the other plane crash? Also AoA sensor?


There are news:
The failed AoA sensor was repaired in Florida. And what solutions does politics offer to improve safety?

"Still unclear is whether the committee made any last minute tweaks to the bill. But as originally written, the bill would require that the FAA conduct unannounced safety inspections of foreign repair stations annually."
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -r-462446/
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
kiowa
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Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:36 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:

I myself am a Structural Engineer that designs buildings, my Errors & Omissions policy that is $2M in aggregate (sounds like peanuts, yes) runs 8% of revenue even though I have not ever had a claim. I turn in my designs to the Building Department for review, but do they repeat my calculations, if a Navy job I turn in my RISA model for their review, and they do look at it but in the 5% review range. It is that threat of the claim as well as my professional ethics that regulates my work. Basically it is the same reasoning in the laws between manufacturing responsibility, medicine, engineering, and construction. I would personally want more review by the regulators, but then they assume responsibility. If they approve the subdivision that altered the land that caused a landslide, the approving city WILL get sued and WILL lose.

The Genoa bridge collapse happened to a difficult to maintain design with poorly managed maintenance and upkeep. There I am sure it was greed of several parties fighting over the dough, suddenly the bill comes thru. The Hard Rock New Orleans hotel collapsed recently, I smell a number of slimy parties there between the developer, builder, and the architects that did it - the kind that will cut every cent. The Government thru Amtrak and Sound Transit spent a huge sum building a cutoff for the passenger train, decided to keep a bridge that did an S sweep over the I5 Freeway with a 30 MPH speed limit. On the opening day run it was going 60 in that same curve, jumped the track and landed into traffic below - now it is the government that killed people.

This MRO shop I am sure is required to keep very accurate records of calibrations, training, and procedures. But it is a random spot check enforcement, the FAA may ask tomorrow to see all of it, if it is not proper they can require action - including closure of the operation as they did here. A good airline will verify the qualifications with the MRO shop at the RFP & contract stage and will avoid the shaky ones. Greedy airlines will push beyond what is proper, and we hear of cases where the actions are criminal. This MRO shop will be sued for their faulty calibration.

What’s funny is the smaller the project the more likely all your calcs are checked by B&S. Every house I’ve submitted the city engineer checked every calc, choice and assumption. Because it’s small enough to handle.

Once it gets unwieldy they rely on your professional license and risk of imprisonment to keep you honest.


It seems that in the USA in case of aeronautical engineering, criminal actions do not apply, or are never proceeded with. We all know that when a building collapses some civil engineer will be called in to in to explain in front of a jury what happened. A building collapsing is proof enough about some wrong doings, of course not after 50 years of bad repairs. If the engineer can not show that somebody did not follow his design, he is in deep shit.

There should have been somebody accused here of some criminal action, but than they would also have to put the FAA on the hot seat.


The FAA deserves to be in the hot seat as much as the airlines and the manufacturers. Several airlines pushed Boeing and the FAA to stretch the limits on the 737. The FAA is much like most government organizations. They want all the authority and none of the responsibility that goes along with it.
 
EasternSon
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:07 pm

Re: What does failed AoA sensor MRO teaches us about MRO or FAA in general?

Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:57 pm

I was a salesperson at a third-party FAA Repair Station for 15 years. We routinely got the pants beaten off of us on pricing and turn time by South Florida "Repair Stations" (including Xtra Aerospace) because there are so many who just don't give a damn about following the CMMs or keeping proper records.
The CMM, for example, says a Repair Station would have to replace all expendable parts, bearings, etc., with brand new pieces in order to legally call a part "Overhauled" on the 8130-3. Then run the full test, per the CMM. That would cost us $2,400 for parts - without labor, without paint, without overhead. South Florida shops would quote the same work, flat rate, for $2K.
It was called the "aerosol overhaul" and most repair buyers at airlines were fully aware of it (but did it anyway because they could show repair cost savings to their bosses).
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac

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