Friday, September 21, 2007

Whither Floyd Landis?

As nearly everyone's heard, Floyd Landis lost his appeal and was stripped of the mayeux jaune and his victory in 2006's Tour de France. Whether Floyd will pursue further appeals is unknown.

There seems to be a degree of conceptual severance here, and I believe it is that the people who are making the adjudicative decisions here do not understand the process of working with sensitive test equipment and the procedures that must be rigorously followed to obtain consistent, reproducible results that are directly traceable to a standard.

It's a very simple notion, really, and anyone who spent as long as I did in the aviation field understands it well. It goes like this.

If you can't document and depend on the accuracy, traceability, and consistency of your processes and methods, you've no business assuming that you've got a reproducible result that you can bet the ranch on.

That's why we calibrate our measuring and test equipment from torque wrenches and calipers to sophisticated vibration analyzers, and why we use a checklist that ensures that the setup and test sequence is by the book. If you don't have that traceability, you don't have a consistently reproducible result.

And if you do not have a consistently reproducible result, you have no business releasing an aircraft for flight, pronouncing something good or bad, or hanging a guy out to dry on that basis.

Whatever. At its rock bottom worst, Floyd will be back, with his integrity intact.

He didn't roll over and play dead as he was expected to.

And he got himself across the finish line.


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