More problems for the "B Team" from ST. Louis

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Bill-Higdon

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gtae07

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A few notes from my engineering experience in aviation so far...

Back before ODAs, applicants (companies) used FAA DERs to approve designs. Quite a number (most?) of those DERs were employees at the company they were doing approvals for.

My recollection is the ODA system was encouraged because the FAA lacked the manpower to employ many of their own DERs or supervise the "independent" DERs.

Getting an independent DER ticket today (at least for doing design approvals, vs. perhaps PMA approval) is reportedly pretty difficult, from talking to many of my coworkers who have looked into that path. The FAA seems to discourage it, preferring use of ODAs and citing a "lack of market need" for independent DERs. Shades of the arbitrary restrictions on numbers of DARs and flight examiners, citing "lack of market demand"...
 

PagoBay

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Excellent historical and technical review of Who and What changed at Boeing over the past twenty years.
Highly engaging and actually gripping in the details. Worth your time to read.
 
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BJC

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I was subjected to some of Jack Welch’s acolytes. All were vile, disgusting human being. It would be difficult to overstate the damage that Jack and the adherents of his management practices did to a wide range of businesses.

Recognize, however, that there is a difference in working to maximize long term corporate profits and systemstically destroying a corporation is pursuit of self-aggrandizement.


BJC
 

PiperCruisin

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I was subjected to some of Jack Welch’s acolytes. All were vile, disgusting human being. It would be difficult to overstate the damage that Jack and the adherents of his management practices did to a wide range of businesses.
I'm currently being subjected to some Welch legacy. It's horrific. One should not underestimate the long-term damage upper management fads and over-simplification can do.

Had a "guest" manager that said "cutting cost is like trimming you fingernails, it always has to be done." The engineers designed a prototype that worked well, the he stipulated no steel castings (long lead items). The result was heavier and more expensive and had a number of other drawbacks. Ended up with more castings than we started with because the project was now running behind schedule. If you don't trust the people with the local knowledge you lose engagement.
 

Bill-Higdon

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I was subjected to some of Jack Welch’s acolytes. All were vile, disgusting human being. It would be difficult to overstate the damage that Jack and the adherents of his management practices did to a wide range of businesses.

Recognize, however, that there is a difference in working to maximize long term corporate profits and systemstically destroying a corporation is pursuit of self-aggrandizement.


BJC
As a victim of Neutron Jerk I agree his distruction of my emplyer and several otehrs I saw was sad
 

Victor Bravo

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American cars were once the pinnacle of design and quality, envied by the world. Apparently now airliners too.

As a proud, fully enfranchised American, I believe Capitalism and free market is basically good - but there are limits. Capitalism is the same as food, water, shelter, and clothing... there is such a thing as too little, and such a thing as too much.

I must repeat an admittedly over-simplified, angry comment I made... the only possible solution to this is to have certain categories of things where corporate capitalism is set aside, and typical cost-cutting measures made illegal. We already have that on the books regarding public safety but there are no "teeth" to it. Because of the lure and power of money, I'm afraid we need to have real-world Stalin-esque penalties for the people at the top, and let that fear trickle down. Life in prison, loss of assets, transfer of assets to the victims, etc.
 

gtae07

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Interesting article. I do take issue with one passage though:
Inevitably, airplane crash investigations disappear down numerous rabbit holes of technical obscurity; more often than not culpability is a collective, not individual act and has so many fingerprints that the simple villainy of homicide is impossible to ascertain.
As much as the public and media might like to have a simple black-and-white villain to point to for every accident, someone they can point to and say "they're a bad person and should be punished", most accidents really are accidents, not acts of deliberate malice or even criminal negligence.
 

blane.c

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American cars were once the pinnacle of design and quality, envied by the world. Apparently now airliners too.

As a proud, fully enfranchised American, I believe Capitalism and free market is basically good - but there are limits. Capitalism is the same as food, water, shelter, and clothing... there is such a thing as too little, and such a thing as too much.

I must repeat an admittedly over-simplified, angry comment I made... the only possible solution to this is to have certain categories of things where corporate capitalism is set aside, and typical cost-cutting measures made illegal. We already have that on the books regarding public safety but there are no "teeth" to it. Because of the lure and power of money, I'm afraid we need to have real-world Stalin-esque penalties for the people at the top, and let that fear trickle down. Life in prison, loss of assets, transfer of assets to the victims, etc.
This country needs a serious blood letting.
 

blane.c

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Interesting article. I do take issue with one passage though:

As much as the public and media might like to have a simple black-and-white villain to point to for every accident, someone they can point to and say "they're a bad person and should be punished", most accidents really are accidents, not acts of deliberate malice or even criminal negligence.
If you shoot a gun into the forest and someone dies because of it you will be charged, manslaughter/murder something. Malice will have nothing to do with it. Why should corporate executives be treated different? They should suffer the same consequence, it is the only way to curb the retardation of my country!
 

Kyle Boatright

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American cars were once the pinnacle of design and quality, envied by the world. Apparently now airliners too.

As a proud, fully enfranchised American, I believe Capitalism and free market is basically good - but there are limits. Capitalism is the same as food, water, shelter, and clothing... there is such a thing as too little, and such a thing as too much.

I must repeat an admittedly over-simplified, angry comment I made... the only possible solution to this is to have certain categories of things where corporate capitalism is set aside, and typical cost-cutting measures made illegal. We already have that on the books regarding public safety but there are no "teeth" to it. Because of the lure and power of money, I'm afraid we need to have real-world Stalin-esque penalties for the people at the top, and let that fear trickle down. Life in prison, loss of assets, transfer of assets to the victims, etc.
See, I think corporate capitalism is good. Properly done, capitalism should generate the best returns over time. Improperly done, you get bad products and bad outcomes and someone else comes in and claims your share of the market. Buyer beware and all that. I'm OK with it.

And cost management (or cost cutting) does need to happen all the time, or you end up with bloated legacy spend. The old "if we don't spend our budget, The Man will cut it next year" kind of thing. I'm all about base zero budgets, which is a simple way to say "Spend what you can justify and no more."
 
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blane.c

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See, I think corporate capitalism is good. Properly done, capitalism should generate the best returns over time. Improperly done, you get bad products and bad outcomes and someone else comes in and claims your share of the market. Buyer beware and all that. I'm OK with it.

And cost management (or cost cutting) does need to happen all the time, or you end up with bloated legacy spend. The old "if we don't spend our budget, The Man will cut it next year" kind of thing. I'm all about base zero budgets, which is a simple way to say "Spend what you can justify and no more."
********.

I am for something rare these days, common sense.
 

Kyle Boatright

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So my a$$ is riding around in a Boeing airliner during one of these "bad outcomes, so someone else claims their share of the market" phases.... and my life is lost, but it's actually OK because it helps the market eventually correct itself.

Tell it to my dog, he will be fairly upset over my loss.
I'd take it up with the airline which saved a nickel by hiring pilots unable to fly the airplane under manual control. ;-)

Seriously, no system is perfect. Socialism (for instance) hasn't generated a ton of commercially successful aircraft designs.
 

Victor Bravo

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I forgot to also mention that the airline corporations need to be held to the same standards. You hire some young pilot with 200 hours because of their gender, skin color, or anything else besides education and flying ability... and that pilot's lack of experience causes an accident that would have otherwise been no biggie for a 1000 hour freight dog.... the CEO gets to spend some quality time with Bubba in jail.
 

PiperCruisin

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Interesting article. I do take issue with one passage though:

As much as the public and media might like to have a simple black-and-white villain to point to for every accident, someone they can point to and say "they're a bad person and should be punished", most accidents really are accidents, not acts of deliberate malice or even criminal negligence.
Reminds me of a quote that goes something like this, "Never ascribe to malice that could be explained by stupidity." ~Napoléon Bonaparte Original "N’attribuez jamais à la malveillance ce qui peut s’expliquer par la stupidité." Self-serving motives and self-preservation probably don't help the overall team outcome.
 

gtae07

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If you shoot a gun into the forest and someone dies because of it you will be charged, manslaughter/murder something. Malice will have nothing to do with it.
Still, depraved indifference/deliberate negligence. Deliberately taking an action that is known to be dangerous and negligent, vs. making an honest mistake.
Why should corporate executives be treated different? They should suffer the same consequence, it is the only way to curb the retardation of my country!
Read what I wrote. I never said the executives in this case should be treated differently. What I said was, the statement from the article that I'm referring to reads like they're bemoaning that major aviation accidents in general don't have one neat and simple cause, and thus don't have one clear villain that they can point to and say "make that person pay!" and it makes them sound like a bunch of ambulance chasers.

I would happily see executives and senior management be held responsible for the consequences of their decisions. And in this case it certainly does sound like there was some deliberate negligence, or at the very least, inexcusable stupidity going on. But as mentioned above, "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" (though it wasn't Napoleon who first said it), and the majority of the people along the development chain (especially as you go further down the heirarchy) probably weren't able to see enough of the big picture to know something was wrong. Major aircraft OEMs are huge and most of the personnel are really, really specialized.
 

blane.c

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When the BM's (bowel movements) run an aviation company people die, every time. Do the BM's (bowel movements) die, no they get raises and umbrella packages. I would like fish and game to open a season on them, I would buy tags.
 
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