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Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Safety News

The following are excerpts from the National Transportation Safety Board files on the Air Midwest Flight 5481 crash in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 8, 2003. (Q=question, A=answer during interviews of various mechanics who worked on the airplane at Raytheon Aerospace's Huntington, West Virginia facility. First officer excerpts are from the cockpit voice recorder in the accident airplane.)

Q: Do you recall anybody installing the elevator travel board on the horizontal stabilizer?


Q: In your training here at Raytheon, did you receive any maintenance resource management training?

A: No.

Q: Has anyone ever told you that making the gate is more important than turning out a safe aircraft?

A: No.

Q: Did you receive any maintenance resource management training here in the Huntington base?

A: No.

Q: How about FAA oversight? Have you ever seen the PMI, your primary maintenance inspector?

A: Not really.

Q: Have you received any maintenance resource management training here?

A: No.

A: The push-pull rod, there is a lot of stuff in here and that seems to be where the questions are coming from-how much of the rig procedure is required on tensioning a cable. Tensioning a cable is not going to change push-pull rods. It's bolted together. You can't possibly change that.

Q: How do you determine what steps to include and what steps to bypass?

A: That's where you get together with QC and figure out exactly what needs done.

Q: How did they determine what can and cannot be bypassed?

A: You just get together and discuss what is normally done in the company.

Q: Have you received maintenance resource management training?

A: No.

First Officer: He's probably lookin' at our...tail like 'bout ready to hit the ground right now, with all the bags back there...[sound of laughter].

First Officer: ...as long as you listed at the bottom like, you know, on the manifest that you have this many-I always thought like...you only use child weights if you absolutely need to and only then the listing of how many...you know, adults, children, and infants you had was just in case you ever crashed or something-they're looking for bodies kinda thing.

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