Repeated incidents at Boeing: should we worry about flying on these planes?

see my news

American aerospace giant Boeing has been offering safe air travel for decades. Since the 1990s, Boeing and its European competitor Airbus have dominated the wide-body aircraft market.

But this year, Boeing has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In January, a door separated from a Boeing 737 MAX mid-flight, prompting an investigation by U.S. federal regulators.

More recently, one of the brand’s planes lost a tire on takeoff, another had to reverse due to a fluid leak, an engine caught fire, a landing gear collapsed and one plane “fell” in flight, injuring to dozens of passengers. A Boeing engineer, a whistleblower regarding manufacturing quality control of the company’s 787 and 737 MAX aircraft, committed suicide on March 9.

As travelers, should we be worried?

Many incidents, but not all attributable to Boeing

The recent series of events has certainly been dramatic, but not all of them can be attributed to Boeing. Five incidents occurred on planes owned and operated by United Airlines. They are related to factors beyond the manufacturer’s control, such as maintenance problems, the possible presence of foreign object remains, and possible human error.

A United Airlines Boeing 777 flying from San Francisco to Japan lost a tire during takeoff, a maintenance issue unrelated to Boeing. The plane landed safely in Los Angeles.

A United Airlines flight from Sydney to Los Angeles had to return to Sydney due to a maintenance issue after fluid leaked from the plane upon takeoff.

Videos: currently on Actu

A United Airlines 737-900 flying from Texas to Florida ended up with bubble wrap in the engine, causing the compressor to stall. This is an interruption in the flow of air to a running engine, causing kickback and emitting flames.

A United Airlines 737 Max flying from Tennessee to Texas suffered a landing gear collapse after a normal landing. The pilot continued to the end of the runway before exiting onto a taxiway, perhaps at too high a speed, and the plane ended up in the grass and the left main landing gear collapsed.

The fifth incident occurred on a United Airlines 737-8 flight from the Bahamas to New Jersey. The pilots reported that the rudder pedals, which control the plane’s left and right movements in flight, became stuck in the neutral position during landing.

Quality Control Concerns

The departure gate failure in January occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight. US regulators are currently investigating Boeing’s manufacturing quality control following the ruling.

This door was installed by a Boeing subcontractor, Spirit AeroSystem. The door locks were not securely fastened and the door flew down. The same aircraft had experienced a series of pressurization alarms on two previous flights and was scheduled for an end-of-flight maintenance inspection.

Spirit came about after Boeing closed its own manufacturing plants in Kansas and Oklahoma, and Boeing is currently in the process of purchasing the company to improve quality control. Spirit is currently working with Airbus, but that could change.

What has changed at Boeing?

Critics say Boeing’s culture has changed since Airbus became a major competitor in the early 2000s. The company has been accused of prioritizing profits over engineering quality.

Former employees expressed concerns about strict production schedules, which increased pressure on employees to complete the planes on time. This led many engineers to question these processes, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fined Boeing for quality control violations after tools and debris were found on airplanes under inspection.

Several employees testified before the United States Congress about production problems related to quality control. Following Congress’ findings, the FAA began to more closely inspect Boeing’s processes.

Several Boeing employees noted that employee turnover was high during the Covid pandemic. This situation is not unique to the company, as all airline manufacturing processes and maintenance facilities around the world have also been affected by high turnover.

The result is a serious shortage of qualified maintenance engineers and pilots. This shortage has created several issues that are preventing the airline industry from returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Airlines and maintenance training centers around the world are working hard to train replacements, but it takes time because there is no you become a qualified engineer. or airline pilot during the night.

So can we continue to fly Boeing airplanes safely? Yes it is. Despite the dramatic incidents reported by the media and messages on social networks mocking the companyAir transport remains extremely safe, including for Boeing.

We can hope that these problems related to Boeing aircraft will now be solved. The financial impact has been significant, so even a for-profit business will require changes.

Doug Drury, Professor/Head of Aviation, CQUUniversity of Australia
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Follow all the news from your favorite cities and media by subscribing to Mon Actu.

Leave a Comment