Friday, August 31, 2007

B737 Slat Stop UPDATE

Asahi Shimbun reports that several other aircraft have been found with similar defects as what likely caused the China airlines barbecue we discussed here.

Apparently, if you do not install the washer under the nut, there's nothing to keep the bolt from sliding out and punching a hole in the slat track can.

And what did you say the inspectors whose job it is to sign off on installations like this were doing?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Will The Real John Leahy Please Stand Up? The Toulouse-Rapid City Connection Exposed

I got a message yesterday from Saj over at Fleetbuzz saying, more or less, that John Leahy, the ever present salesman and mouthpiece de luxe for da Festung had been pretty quiet of late.

So we here at the Dougloid Papers, high atop the Dougloid Towers....where was I? Oh. I remember.

We went looking, and through the good offices of Google we think we have found John Leahy.

In the Rapid City Journal, the bes' li'l ole scandal sheet in all of South Dakota we are informed that John Leahy apparently has a second life he hasn't told anyone about. Or else there's a doppelganger on the loose.

It seems that he's the operations manager for the Rapid City landfill.

But the things he said about activities at the landfill, to wit, that landfill officials didn't have to use too much overtime to deal with extra rubble, employees were asked to prioritize and perform different duties for a few days and that a few different areas of the landfill were shut down during the influx of rubble-these things don't sound too different from the things we hear from Toulouse these days.

Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Could This Be The Start of Something?

Reuters informs us this day that Kuwait Airways cancelled a $3 billion order (letter of intent?) for 19 Boeing and Airbus aircraft that were to be leased from ALAFCO, a Kuwait based aircraft leasing firm. It's supposed that if Kuwait Airways reorders, they will do it directly from the manufacturers.

It's tempting to indulge in some divination or reading the tea leaves here given the present state of decomposition over on Wall Street. But I shall refrain, for now.

But it IS food for thought for the paranoid.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Kid On The Block II: China Law

The China Law blog is always an interesting read and I've added it to the links section. Affairs in China are always of more than passing interest, in part because the scale of them is astonishing. I'm sort of like one of Ding Darling's characters looking at the Empire State building and smacking my forehead, that's how big this is.

I've just finished watching a two hour special on the Three Gorges Dam project, and anyone who isn't astounded by that is probably, well, comatose or deceased.

Not the least part of why I find the blog interesting and informative is that the author is a transplanted midwesterner who (no doubt profitably) spent four years as a Grinnell Pioneer. I've also rated a favorable mention on a couple occasions therein. All of which should tell you something.

What makes China Law more important than it usually is this morning is the linked article in the New York Times entitled As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes.

It's well worth an hour of your day to read this excellent article, watch the slideshow and video and consider the dark lessons that it presents for our consideration.

Once, long ago in another day and another time I had an experience with a physician who told me that what I had would get worse before it gets better.

Is this the same concept at work?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

China Airlines Cookout UPDATE II

Pic courtesy of Flight International. Exploded drawing from the Friendly Aviation Administration.

They're reporting that yes, Virginia, this can and does happen when slat bolts come adrift because they've not been properly safetied or pinned.

These little pictures explains it all better than I could.

There is an emergency AD out on this item that you can see here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Welcome to Painting the Future-Now Get Lost

Aero News informs us this day that no matter how great everything looks, it's always raining somewhere and as everyone in aerospace should know, BOHICA* is the only constant.

This particular cloudburst belongs to the Boeing IT department which chose to announce that 149 senior information technology people are going to lose their jobs to an outsourcing company.

Of course, what we always see in these things is business Newspeak that would make George Orwell proud. Back in my day it was 'downsizing', 'RIFFs', 'rightsizing'[, 'retooling' and my favorite, 'reengineering'. Now we're 'painting the future'.

It's all the same thing. Some poor bastard is going to lose his job. That's the reality.

In this particular case Boeing trotted out a talking head (Cathy Rudolph-could she really be da Festung's Barbara Kracht on special assignment?) to say that they're always looking at different ways to do IT work but they don't have any overall plan for outsourcing.

A memo from Boeing's VP Radha Radhakrishnan remarked that the CNO Leadership Team was working for four months to "Paint the Future" of the organization and outsourcing could yield significant savings.

Nice paint job there, Radha. Let's hope you get a taste of the brush and soon.

*BOHICA is an acronym used in the aerospace industry that stands for Bend Over-Here It Comes Again.

China Airlines Cookout Caused By Errant Bolt?

Forbes tells us this day that the recent China Airlines barbecue of a B737 may well have been caused by a wandering slat bolt that penetrated the wing tank. Apparently witnesses saw raw fuel leaking out at a high rate when the aircraft rolled up to the gate.

There isn't a lot of information out there on this subject as yet but we'll be following it.
Photo credit BBC

Friday, August 10, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Lance

On the heels of a smashing 1-3 victory in this year's admittedly quirky Tour de France, Tailwind Sports, whose main cycling sponsor has been Discovery Channel, is disbanding its professional cycling team because it cannot find a corporate sponsor. Lance Armstrong, as you know, owns a chunk of Tailwind and is the visible presence of the team.

Cycling teams come and cycling teams go, but it's strange indeed to see one of the most successful teams in recent memory fall on the knife and commit seppuku in such an overt fashion. Discovery Channel was expected to field Ivan Basso this year, but Basso submerged in the wake of doping allegations (what else?).

Dark horse Alberto Contador and faithful domestic Levi Leipheimer finished 1-3, although Contador has himself been the subject of doping rumors. Of course, what would the Big Enchilada be without a good juicy scandal with lots of 'J'accuse!' tossed in.

Perhaps Discovery Channel's sponsorship was the latest victim of the parade of doping scandals. And that's tough.

I mean, who's going to carry the flag?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Open Letter to the Continent

The great failing of the internet is that it gave a voice to everyone, and most people don't have anything worthwhile to say-oh, they say a lot of nonsense, repeat things they saw on fox news and all, stuff they saw on some idiot's blog about how Britney showed up at some club sans skivvies but reasoned, well thought out opinion is just as hard to find as it ever was.

It just leads to the conclusion that 'vox populi, vox doggy doo'.

I'm sure you're well aware that there are a lot of people, including Benno Hansen, who seem to think that they are permitted to bitch, piss and moan about Uncle and hold all of us personally and morally responsible for the perceived failings of our government, our way of life, and the size of our automobiles, not to mention our opinions about feeding cattle and Article Three of Provisional Authority Order 81.

In fact, that worthy gennelmun from the great nation of Denmark thinks I'm a stooge in the pay of Monsanto-which is hilarious, because I've yet to see a paycheck from the St. Louis colossus with my name on it. Benno, I'm working for free.

I haven't heard anything about bridge construction yet but I am quite sure that there are Europeans who are making a direct connection between the collapse of the bridge between Minneapolis and St. Paul in the great state of Minnesota to the declining dollar, pollution, global warming, genetically modified farm crops, and the moral flabbiness of 300 million Americans.

It gets old being everyone's favorite punching bag.

All I'm asking is that people speak plainly and directly. The world's far too dangerous a place these days to be playing at word games.

I'm not asking that people love the US-that's got to be pretty difficult these days. Just to speak truth.

I can, however, tell you with a degree of certainty known only to Iowans that the times are a-changin', and the odor of decomposition emanating from the Republican party is real, because they haven't any answers to the question we're all asking here and that is "WTF are you going to do about Iraq?"

Like my old man used to say "Something on your mind kid? Spit it out!"