Not to criticize CO maintainence (as I'm sure their standards are very high), but is the failure of a hydraulic system something that can just randomly happen to any airline, or is it possibly the fault of bad maintainence?
No mechanical failure is ever technically "random". They could be due to one of three reasons:
1. Faulty maintenance
2. A production or design fault in a particulart part
3. An improper maintenance schedule or improper maintenance requirements
All major airplane parts follow a maintenance schedule and are changed at their end-of-life limit whether or not the part appears to be working properly or not. Theoretically, if an airline follows the maintenance schedules to the letter they should never have a major mechanical failure. But as we all know, life is not perfect. Defects work their way into parts during production, mechanics make mistakes and supervisors don't catch them, airlines don't follow their maintenance schedules properly or the schedule itself may not be rigorous enough for the way a particular part is designed.
Bottom line being it's always somebody's fault. Airlines, the FAA and the NTSB (if an actual accident had occured) don't just throw up their hands and say "oh well, these things happen" - there's always a reason why something like this happens and they will find out why it happened and see what they can do to ensure it doesn't happen again. This kind of review goes on all the time in the industry and you rarely hear about it unless a major accident occurs.
Now, sometimes the economics are such that an airline may tell the FAA "we've determined that there's a 0.0000001% of this ever happening again if we do nothing, and to bring that chance down to 0.00000001% would cost us $80 billion. We don't think it's worth it." And the FAA will often agree. Especially if it's a simple production defect, sometimes there's not much extra that you can do because the tolerances involved in production of critical parts are already so precise.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!