That's why it's so important to do a complete and thorough preflight, especially after any service. Thankfully I've never found any problem other than compass deviation. From time to time I've mentioned that people should do predrive with automobiles as well. At the very least, check all your tires every time you get in the car, and stomp on the brakes to see if they work.
This is indeed "frightening." Maybe Design News should be highlighting this kind of scary story as we approach Halloween.
What stands out to me is how the crew's attitude changed when Len hit the "gear up" switch. He was right from the beginning, but no one took his concerns seriously until he had a physical demonstration. Then he quickly won everyone to his side.
This should be a lesson to all engineers that "show" is better than "tell."
The spirit (or should I say ghost) of Richard Feynmann lives on.
I'm really, really surprised that the sliver wasn't accounted for during the modification. Aircraft maintenance and fabrication is normally much more focused on accounting for everything that goes in and out of an aircraft. Lost fasteners must be found and so forth.
Good points - I agree it is always more convincing to show than tell. We as engineers are often too busy to spend the time to figure out how to show - it's not always easy. But definitely worth it - especially when it comes to mission critical issues.
The longer I am in engineering, the longer I realize intuition is as important as math and numbers. Learning to listen to your intuition is as important as learning theories. There are so many interactions in a system, is impossible for anyone to systematically troubleshoot. Sometime when you are faced with a problem, is best to stand back and ask yourself what do you think. What does your little voice tell you.
After reading the story I don't believe that Lockheed designed a single point failure mode of the primary flight control system. All aircraft are designed with redundancy based on risk. Flight control failure though low in risk is high in severity and thus qualifies for redundancy.
Linear guides are one of the most important components required for the design of automated or computer-controlled equipment. Aluminum profile extrusions, used for these guides, can enable designed-in functional features.
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.