HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Electronics News

Boeing Should Never Say Never

NO RATINGS
< Previous Page 2 / 2
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/5  >  >>
Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Unsinkable
Charles Murray   4/1/2013 7:23:02 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, notarboca. I think that's why so many of our readers felt so strongly about Boeing's statements. Their statements are classic public relations speak.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Unsinkable
notarboca   3/30/2013 2:36:04 PM
NO RATINGS
@charles, the minute an engineer hears this is more than upsetting; it absolutely goes against the grain of both training and experience.  Most of us can relate to relegating a potential problem to "that's never gonna happen," only to have it happen in real life.  Lessons like that should only have to be learnt once, and to have management proclaim there will be no more fires is the pinnacle of outrageousness and folly.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Unsinkable
Ann R. Thryft   3/26/2013 11:56:09 AM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, I try not to remember the things I did back then that endangered my life. Although the memories did come in handy when helping to parent--or should I say "aunt" as a verb?--my nephew.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Well spoken
Charles Murray   3/25/2013 8:32:29 PM
NO RATINGS
The idea came from the readers, who within 24 hours were expressing disappointment (and sometimes disgust) over Boeing's claims. We've got a smart bunch of readers at Design News.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Never say "never"
Charles Murray   3/25/2013 8:30:22 PM
NO RATINGS
Your point is well taken, William K. If they made their claims with regard to one possible cause, it would be easier to accept. But when they still haven't nailed down the cause of the Logan Airport fire, how can they definitively say there can't be another fire?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Unsinkable
Ann R. Thryft   3/25/2013 12:47:11 PM
NO RATINGS
ScotCan, your example is a perfect one. I worked at companies in the late 80s where MBAs and the bean-counting, short-term-profitability concept they brought with them had a direct, negative effect on the company's product quality, performance, and time-to-market. And the arrogance...well, that was amazing.
OTOH, I also worked at a company that eventually got sold and  disappeared because it didn't have realistic budgets or product launch timelines, yet had one of the most innovative product ideas and engineering I've ever seen.



TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Well spoken
TJ McDermott   3/24/2013 9:22:24 PM
NO RATINGS
Charles, thank you for this article.  You've eloquently stated our strong exception to that press briefing.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Never say "never"
William K.   3/23/2013 4:16:21 PM
NO RATINGS
If those folks at Boeing wanted to be a bit more accurate they could have claimed that there would never be a fire from whatever cause they had removed from the list of potential causes, which it seems that they have done. But there are always other failure modes that can cause problems, and getting rid of all of the possible failure modes is a HUGE effort, perhaps not even possible. On top of that, just one bullet fired from the ground could, if it impacted the battery box, cause a number of failure modes. That is more of a problem with military aircraft, but none-the-less it is another potential cause. In this day and age we do have those who do that sort of thing, like crashing planes int buildings.

On the other side, it is a wonderful thing to be invincible, and quite traumatic to lose one's invincibility. Perhaps we have some folks like that at Boeing.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Unsinkable
Charles Murray   3/22/2013 6:03:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm sure you're absolutely right, loadster. Boeing has to describe this as "zero risk" for legal reasons. When engineers hear those words, though, it's upsetting.

loadster
User Rank
Gold
Re: Unsinkable
loadster   3/22/2013 3:54:51 PM
NO RATINGS
I think your article stated it correctly. Marketers and managers use superlatives without care. Engineers should be immediately alert and  be reminded to use metrics and quantitative realities they can defend. "how to lie with statitistics" is a prerequisite to every political debate.

We may not like the solution Boeing and FAA agreed upon. We may not perceive it as thorough or exhaustive or in our individual branding: safe. They are selling convenient cost-controlled air travel. We are buying or not.

Of course Boeing claims they have created a zero-risk solution. To declare anything else would admit known liability and inherent design flaw. Zero is their definition of significant figures. I'm impressed they gave as much disclosure as they did about the corrections implemented.

So flier beware and keep your will in order. And if you see something, say something. Smoke, particularly.

Page 1/5  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Electronics News
The American motorcycle is enjoying a mini-renaissance today, as the recent success of bike manufacturers Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle, and Victory Motorcycles, among others, amply indicate.
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the countryís worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If youíre an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then youíll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, ďAnalog Design for the Digital World,Ē running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Itís time once again for the Annual Design News Science and Engineering Movie Contest, which names no winners, awards no prizes, isnít really a contest, and appears every three years or so.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jan 12 - 16, Programmable Logic - How do they do that?
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service