Discussion 4.3.docx - United Airlines Flight 232 DC-10-10...

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United Airlines Flight 232, DC-10-10 In hindsight, the process stages that United Airlines (UAL) and the General Electrical Aviation Engines (GEAE) took upon to introduce the DC-10-10, which was a tri-jet wide-body airliner, showed integral engineering and maintenance issues that resulted in a well-known accident of UAL Flight 232. Even though the aviation industry at the time of the DC-10-10’s introduction still depended on reactive safety, meaning only when an accident or incident happened was an aviation problem fixed, there were certain instances that UAL could have seized to prevent the accident. One instance was that the UAL management should have been more critically attentive to their maintenance program, before the scheduled UAL Flight 232, by implementing an additional level of redundant inspection oversight for critical part inspections to focus on the human factor issues of their existing maintenance procedures. This would have allowed for stringent assessments of the performance and methods that their Non- Destructive Inspection (NDI) personnel conducted when examining engine components, and in this case the titanium alloy stage one fan disk of the GEAE-powered CF6-6 tail-mounted engine (NTSB, 1990). In effect, the UAL maintenance program would have better understood the human limitations in their aviation manufacturing and maintenance processes even with sophisticated procedures such as the fluorescent penetrant inspections (Christian, 1990). More importantly, enhanced supervision or a second set of eyes would have perhaps aided UAL maintenance personnel to detect the metallurgical flaw in the stage one fan disk of the number two engine, essentially improving the organization’s hazard identification strategy and quality inspection process. An example would be the NDI personnel work environment. Since, at that time, the inspection process was mainly independent with minimal supervision and on top of that, certain UAL inspection directives did not consider integral areas for inspection like the center bore area of the disk (NTSB, 1990).

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