Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
Buyantukhaa
Topic Author
Posts: 2336
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 5:33 am

FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:30 pm

 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5037
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:17 pm

The 'safety' engineers need strong protection, and that likely protection group is a strong union.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26689
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:48 pm

Buyantukhaa wrote:

From the Bloomberg piece:

“Boeing’s company culture appears to hamper members of the ODA unit from communicating openly with the FAA,” said the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg. ODA refers to Organization Designation Authorization, the group within Boeing that is authorized to make safety decisions on behalf of the government and is supposed to remain independent.

These concerns require an objective review and further fact finding,” said the letter, signed by Ian Won, the acting head of the FAA office that monitors Boeing.

The agency interviewed 32 Boeing employees out of about 1,400 involved in the ODA, the FAA said in an email. That meant 11 people voiced concerns.

It'll be interesting to see what FAA learns, and what they think they can do about it.

The piece quotes one ODA member saying other engineers "don’t listen and keep pushing" -- how does FAA address that?

Maybe they should finally go interview the "four second guy" to get their insights?
 
iamlucky13
Posts: 1454
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Re: FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:06 pm

Revelation wrote:
The piece quotes one ODA member saying other engineers "don’t listen and keep pushing" -- how does FAA address that?


That part jumped out at me, as well.

It's in the nature of an engineer to make decisions based on clear criteria and data. This tends to lead to strong convictions about whether a decision is appropriate or not.

A very common challenge I have observed working as an engineer in several different industries is that often criteria are not very clear for a given matter. Then you end up with disagreements based on each party trying to figure out the appropriate interpretation. If an engineer feels his or her job is being made more complicated than necessary, because the intent of either a regulation or an internal standard can has not been clearly explained, it's in the engineer's nature to challenge the requirement.

In my own job, I make an effort to be conscious of when a disagreement relates to safety, and focus the discussions on making sure I genuinely understand the requirements well before deciding whether or not to challenge them, but it takes a conscious effort to default to acceptance of a complication rather than challenging it. This is doubly true when a requirement is changed - most frequently because somebody assigned the role of interpreting a requirement has decided on a more strict interpretation than was used in the past. It sounds like Boeing's engineers have been having to adapt to a lot of that lately. I think it will take a lot of firm but gentle reinforcement on the part of the regulators and the ODA's to ingrain habitually the type of relationship that the FAA wants to exist between the ODA's (or other regulatory representaties) and other engineers - it's not just a management problem. And for their part, the regulators will need to consistently be patient with and try to answer as precisely as possible the questions about interpreting regulations.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:34 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
The 'safety' engineers need strong protection, and that likely protection group is a strong union.


Boeing engineers are in a union. I’m thankful for that. Makes it a bit harder for Boeing leadership to continue to erode benefits while they continue to line their own pockets with money, on our backs.

As I understand it, it’s a federal law that you cannot exert “undue pressure” on ARs or E-UMs or whatever they are called this week. It’s technically a federal offense for a Boeing manager to coerce a Boeing E-UM on a compliance determination. Not sure how well that is enforced, or if there are proper reporting channels, but in theory E-UMs are protected by law.

The E-UM and managers I’ve personally interfaced with seem conscientious and were not under management pressure, but it sounds like there are still some bad apples that need to be weeded out.

Dave Calhoun always talks big about returning to an engineering culture at Boeing, but then he does stuff like bringing in another of his GE cronies as the new CFO, or putting all the blame on Patrik and Mark for the the 737 Max stuff when they were following leadership direction. Dave hasn’t yet convinced us of his sincerity.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3299
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: FAA to review Boeing safety

Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:55 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
And for their part, the regulators will need to consistently be patient with and try to answer as precisely as possible the questions about interpreting regulations.

There are more than a few rules which don't make sense at all - until underlying reasoning is explained and things become very reasonable. My best example was a fire marshal inspecting the building going into the rules about ceiling tiles. He didn't have to do it at all as his enforcement power was infinite, but spending 30 seconds explaining meant I will be compliant forever, not while inspection is in the room.
I suspect high turnover of engineering force means that sort of knowledge is often lost in transition...

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos