Pilots reveal safety fears over Boeing’s Dreamliners

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  NNoah16 28 Jun 2019
at 15:17
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

  • cwoodward
    Participant

    I have never enjoyed flying on the B787. I have found it to be very noisy,gimmicky and with cheap finishes.
    Perhaps that is not so surprising as when compared with the A350 it is of course a much cheaper plane to purchase.
    However I never gave particular thought to its safety……..until I read this article in the Guardian.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/15/boeing-dreamliner-b787-safety-fears

    I will avoid this aircraft where possible in the future.


    WearyWeagie
    Participant

    Why did I read this just before boarding a Dreamliner??


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I didn’t


    canucklad
    Participant

    Quote from the article ……
    “We, as a pilot community, have found it all smacks of taking the cheap route and not the safe route,” says a pilot who spoke anonymously to the Observer.

    Like everything you read in the media, it’s worth remembering that the focus is on selling publications so journalists will taint their tone to reflect the hypothesis of what they want to convey in the article.

    I recall being in the company of Dragonair A330 pilots shortly after the AF 447 tragedy. Their predication of what possibly went wrong , was sadly eerily to close to the bone. They predicted the pitot tubes would have something to do with it, and all agreed that they were lucky to fly with Dragonair who invested in high quality aeronautical equipment rather than AF who paid bottom dollar to equip their aircraft to legal flying requirements.

    In other words , if the AF Airbus had the Dragonair pitot tubes , chances are the pilots lack of training and aviator skills wouldn’t have been stressed. Into failing .

    As passengers do we really know where airlines are buying their critical parts ?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    stevescoots
    Participant

    TBH, i put very little stock in anything the guardian reports on these days, but that’s another issue. As Canuck notes it can be down to individual airlines process and maintenance budgets/culture. The 787 has been in the air now long enough with no airborne fatalities for me to feel as safe on it as I do any plane newer than the good ole’ queen of the skies (which has had its fair share of losses)

    Cabin interiors and the quality of them is down to the airlines rather than Boeing, plasticky and flimsy they are but then that saves both cost in operation and upfront which in theory helps give us semi reasonable pricing


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I’m inclined to agree with stevescoots. The B737 Max will be on my personal no-fly list for a couple of years at least, as was the B787 – but with sufficient time elapsed since the B787’s well-publicised problems I would feel perfectly comfortable on it now (although I prefer the A350) notwithstanding this latest problem – it seems to me that the testing procedure that is suggested for the switch should be sufficient (although in fairness I am not an aeronautical engineer!). In fairness, too, the quality of the interior of the B787 will often be more a function of the carrier than the manufacturer


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    As passengers do we really know where airlines are buying their critical parts ?

    I would be very surprised if any airline was buying / fitting non approved ‘cheap’ parts, especially on a new aircraft such as the 787. There has in the past though been plenty of examples of mechanics not securing hatches properly or incorrectly fitting parts.. (BA engine cowling coming loose springs to mind)


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I would be very surprised if any airline was buying / fitting non approved ‘cheap’ parts,

    Sad as it may seem, there are precedents for this. I seem to recall that it was used parts that had not been re-manufactured to spec.
    I won’t even tell you about an airline I once worked for and some of their practices, and it wasn’t an African airline!


    canucklad
    Participant

    Morning Martyn
    I didn’t suggest that AF had done anything wrong…..they purchased avionics that meet regulatory requirements.

    My point is, at corporate level , it’s the equivalent of me heading into Asda for my monthly shop , and needing to replenish my supply of Cream of Tomato soup I opt for the white label own brand tins rather than investing in the crème de la crème of Cream of Tomato soups “Heinz”

    Both brands pass all the regulatory requirements , its just that one of the brands is better .


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I didn’t suggest that AF had done anything wrong…..they purchased avionics that meet regulatory requirements.

    That is my understanding too, but they failed to adhere to a notice regarding a suggested (not mandatory) update procedure. Short-cutting. ‘We know best’ attitude.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    This is 2 years old but chilling stuff if true.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-aviation-whistleblower-insight/fake-paperwork-poor-parts-challenge-chinas-aerospace-boom-idUSKBN1CL0R2

    I have been manufacturing product and sourcing parts in China for the past 30 years and the above is absolutely typical of what goes on in every Chinese manufacturing industry.
    Facked testing reports,approval documentation and certification documents are everyday stuff that our sourcing team needs to investigate as a matter of routine.
    This happens in many other countries of course but China is the most visible.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    As passengers do we really know where airlines are buying their critical parts ?

    I would be very surprised if any airline was buying / fitting non approved ‘cheap’ parts, especially on a new aircraft such as the 787. There has in the past though been plenty of examples of mechanics not securing hatches properly or incorrectly fitting parts.. (BA engine cowling coming loose springs to mind)

    Well the articles aren’t clear about who are making the parts, but apparently BA has signed a deal with Boeing to supply parts for their Airbus fleet. I can’t imagine Willie doing that if it was cheaper to get them from Airbus…


    stevescoots
    Participant

    This is 2 years old but chilling stuff if true.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-aviation-whistleblower-insight/fake-paperwork-poor-parts-challenge-chinas-aerospace-boom-idUSKBN1CL0R2

    I have been manufacturing product and sourcing parts in China for the past 30 years and the above is absolutely typical of what goes on in every Chinese manufacturing industry.

    Facked testing reports,approval documentation and certification documents are everyday stuff that our sourcing team needs to investigate as a matter of routine.

    This happens in many other countries of course but China is the most visible.

    Likewise, we have had our factory in China 20+ years and come across this all too often in the supply chain on critical components from well established companies, not just Chinese ones but western and Japanese ones. Often the old saying too good to be true is just that. on a number of occasions, we have been up to 50% out on bid prices, pointed out to customer that its physically impossible to get that price, must be out of spec or counterfeit components. Supply chain managers ignore the warnings even after showing them open cost Boms. Well the sample passed, and the paperwork passed so someone else’s problem, boxes ticked, and low price achieved. Of course, sometime down the road it all goes wrong. I often thought when I retire I could write book on the practices not just of china factories but the large corporations and their practices that turn a blind eye to the risk in the pursuit of profit, whether it’s a dodgy connector on cable inside a washing machine that burns a house down, to a not to specification component causing an aircraft to fall out of the sky

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    There is an Afrikaans saying : Goedkoop is duurkoop
    It’s simply translated as : “A cheap buy is expensive.”
    Tragically, people overlook this simple stratagem until it’s too late.
    I am reminded of a friend who bought an expensive sports car, and ran it on the cheapest petrol he could source, doing irreparable damage to the engine on his first long trip.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    GivingupBA
    Participant

    stevescoots wrote, “…I often thought when I retire I could write book on the practices not just of china factories but the large corporations and their practices that turn a blind eye to the risk in the pursuit of profit, whether it’s a dodgy connector on cable inside a washing machine that burns a house down, to a not to specification component causing an aircraft to fall out of the sky…”

    I hope you write the book. I will buy a copy.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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