"The Life And Times Of Prophecy"
After careful inspections of 737 Boeing aircraft, prompted by the emergency landing of a Southwest Airliner that left a 5-foot hole in its fuselage, Boeing said that its engineering and safety experts were caught off guard by the incident. Boeing admitted to grossly miscalculating the safety of certain older versions of their 737′s, stating they knew such risks of cracking problems did exist, but didn’t anticipate these possibilities to occur until much later in their lifespan.
Now Boeing had advised airlines that the planes could make 60,000 flights before they needed to undergo detailed inspections of the relevant sections. On Tuesday, Boeing said that it miscalculated: it now recommends inspections after 30,000 flights, half the previous threshold. The current situation Boeing is facing after the Friday incident with Southwest gives the public a rare glimpse into how Boeing is able to handle unexpected problems, since the company prides itself on engineering prowess and its ability to predict such wear.
This new finding is now raising doubts in Boeings true understanding of the longevity and safety of their engineering, especially since new technology will be implemented in their new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, half of which will be composed of carbon-fiber composite material, a material in which Boeing has much less long term experience with.
In truth, the Southwest incident thankfully raised awareness to these problems before anybody has lost their life. Hopefully with all the focus and attention on Southwest and Boeing, higher standards of engineering and disclosure of information can lead to safer standards in aviation.