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Old 10-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #91 (permalink)
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You bet...

You are right of course and all one needs to do is look at so called "mine safety". We could fill up several pages in mining disasters that are the direct result of companies sacrificing safety for profit and unduly influencing mine safety agencies to look the other way.

This conversation caused me to dig up that old ACI video and watch it again. The waste in human life that are the result of a select few trying to squeeze as much profit out of an operation as possible by compromising safety angers me and it especially hits home for me when it comes to aviation. If you are interested, here is that video along with a new follow up one from the new series on Discovery called "Mayday".


Seldom has there been so glaring an example of this than in this video of the horrific air crash in France in 1974 caused by the design flaw in the then new DC-10 aircraft. What is criminal in this case is that a near crash over Windsor, Ontario 2 years earlier from the same problem, illuminated the need for a design change. Because the business interests of the CEO`s of McDonnell Douglas basically bought favors from the FAA, the recommendations of the NTSB were ignored. The end result was the worst aviation accident in world history killing over 300 people aboard Flight 981. An accident that was 100% avoidable....













Here is a little bit of history on the crash:

Turkish Airlines Flight 981 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, registered TC-JAV and named the Ankara, that crashed in Fontaine-Chaalis, Oise, France, outside Senlis, on 3 March 1974. Known as the "Ermenonville air disaster", from the forest where the aircraft crashed, the accident resulted in the deaths of all 346 on board. The crash of Flight 981 was the deadliest air disaster of all time before the Tenerife Disaster event of 1977, and remained the deadliest single-airliner disaster until the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 in 1985. Flight 981 has the highest death toll of any aviation accident in France and the highest death toll of any accident involving a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 anywhere in the world. It is also the deadliest single plane crash with no survivors.

The crash resulted from the failure of the rear cargo hatch latching system, which allowed the hatch to blow off in flight. The resulting decompression of the cargo hold caused the cabin floor above the hatch to collapse. The flight control cables for the airplane that ran through the floor were severed, leaving the pilots with almost no control over the aircraft. Problems with the latching system and the potential failure mode that led to the crash were known to Convair, the fuselage's builder, with the information passed on to McDonnell Douglas several years prior to the accident. Changes that addressed the problem had been found, but were not applied to TC-JAV, nor any other aircraft in the DC-10 fleet. McDonnell Douglas instead chose a solution less disruptive to schedules but failed to ensure that personnel were trained to follow the new procedures to ensure the hatch had locked. McDonnell Douglas's reputation and the reputation of the DC-10 were harmed.

Turkish Airlines Flight 981 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This "accident" which it really is not, illustrates exactly how greed and business interests do kill people and it further shows that we can not trust the free market to do the right thing. While I agree that we do not want to over regulate our society needlessly, I also feel that since we humans are prone to error, it is better to err on the side of too much regulation, then re evaluate and back off as needed than to allow industry and the "free market" to make errors that routinely kill people either instantly such as an air disaster or slowly through poisoning our air and water and food with toxins and other substances that are not regulated.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:15 AM   #92 (permalink)
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United Airlines Flight 811 experienced a cargo door failure in flight on Friday, February 24, 1989, after its stopover at Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii. The resulting decompression blew out several rows of seats, killing 9 passengers.

The aircraft involved was a Boeing 747-122 (c/n 19875/89, reg N4713U), delivered to United Airlines on October 20, 1970. What is tragic is that after the incidents with the DC-10`s shown in the previous videos, still no changes were made because the cost of redesign was considered too costly. What is really sickening is that from what my civilian counterparts tell me within the airline industry, these companies actually weight the cost of a major disaster against the cost of repair. If the occasional crash ultimately costs them less than a fleetwide design change, they consider that a "good business tradeoff" The human lives lost are simply not a factor in their business calculations.

I know this seems off topic, but I don`t believe it is. It is this pervasive attitude toward the human equation that is persistent throughout the upper echelons of our society`s elite that the OWS protesters have had enough of. If a corporation will behave this callously towards things that cause actual deaths, it is not hard to imagine that these same entities care even less about your ability to earn a decent living or have access to affordable health care.

 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:19 AM   #93 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Outlander View Post

You are right of course and all one needs to do is look at so called "mine safety". We could fill up several pages in mining disasters that are the direct result of companies sacrificing safety for profit and unduly influencing mine safety agencies to look the other way.
At risk of being labeled a commie (fuck if I care, though, I'm over labels), I'd propose worker-cooperative as a possible solution to the absentee capitalist system of ownership. Mine safety, or airline safety (you mention above, young pilots being overworked/underpaid which is qualitatively similar) and a number of other workplace problems, are endemic of capitalist exploitation.

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Because the business interests of the CEO`s of McDonnell Douglas basically bought favors from the FAA, the recommendations of the NTSB were ignored. ...

This "accident" which it really is not, illustrates exactly how greed and business interests do kill people and it further shows that we can not trust the free market to do the right thing.
Both this example, as well as allusion to mine safety also illustrates that we can't always trust the regulators to do the right thing, either.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:20 AM   #94 (permalink)
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I can only agree with cheese insomuch as the fact that some regulation is written to create an unfair advantage for some businesses when they collude with government. But that is not true for all regulations, and to believe that is completely naive. The free market will always put greed above people.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:22 AM   #95 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Outlander View Post
What is really sickening is that from what my civilian counterparts tell me within the airline industry, these companies actually weight the cost of a major disaster against the cost of repair. If the occasional crash ultimately costs them less than a fleetwide design change, they consider that a "good business tradeoff" The human lives lost are simply not a factor in their business calculations.
Reminds me of that scene in Fight Club...

Quote:
Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.

Woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?

Narrator: You wouldn’t believe.

Woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?

Narrator: A major one.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:30 AM   #96 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by david_z View Post
At risk of being labeled a commie (fuck if I care, though, I'm over labels), I'd propose worker-cooperative as a possible solution to the absentee capitalist system of ownership. Mine safety, or airline safety (you mention above, young pilots being overworked/underpaid which is qualitatively similar) and a number of other workplace problems, are endemic of capitalist exploitation.



Both this example, as well as allusion to mine safety also illustrates that we can't always trust the regulators to do the right thing, either.

No disagreement from me on either point.

This accident not only illustrates my point but also bolsters yours and that of Cheese`s that even the regulators are very prone to corruption. In is a classic case of "who watches the watchers".

I think most all of us from the hardcore Libertarian to the most left leaning bleeding heart liberal all agree that money in politics is probably the number one problem we all face. I honestly do not believe that we have nearly as much of a left versus right issue as many think. I think the power brokers use this to divide and conquer the American people so they can continue to play their shenanigans while we are focused on other things.

In the case referenced, the FAA and NTSB or rather corrupt individuals within those agencies were as guilty as any business interest. Again, I think we need to fix the problems not throw the baby out with the bath water though.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:34 AM   #97 (permalink)
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I honestly do not believe that we have nearly as much of a left versus right issue as many think. I think the power brokers use this to divide and conquer the American people so they can continue to play their shenanigans while we are focused on other things.
Absolutely agreed.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #98 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by snowjeeper View Post
I can only agree with cheese insomuch as the fact that some regulation is written to create an unfair advantage for some businesses when they collude with government. But that is not true for all regulations, and to believe that is completely naive. The free market will always put greed above people.
It doesn't matter what it's intended to do, it's what the final result will be. Take FDIC, for example. Great in theory, but what does it really do? Any non cash on demand deposit accuounts (savings, CD's, money market accounts etc.) are insured for up to $100,000 losses per account. What this really means is the bank has up to $100,000 which is completely risk incentivized. This tends to drive down lending standards and risk appraisals which are borrowed against these monies which hurts rate of return for these types of instruments. A better practice to protect against asset loss is to audit the underwriting standards for the banks you want to keep your monies with, or forgo rate of return for a minamilist investing to cover upkeep costs and pay the difference in fees in some sort of institution like a credit union.

Outlander: deregulation doesn't mean a lack of standardization. Many things in the engineering industry are standardized for safety and effeciency but this is down outside of the purview of government. This is because government doesn't have the expertise to know how to standardize such thing. Professional organizations like ANSI, ASME, ASTM, IEEE etc. (there are thousands of these) do nothing but collude with subject matter experts across industries to establish standards for everything from boiler and pressure codes (ASME BPVC), hardware, materials testing, radio frequency domains, electromagnetics, seatbelts, manufacturing etc. I couldn't even name 10% of the areas that industry standardized without the interference of government even if you gave me 100 hours, access to the internet and a Tony Montana sized mountain of cocaine.

My point is, if government can concede it doesn't have the knowledge and expertise to standardize and regulate things in the engineering industry, why can it not also concede it doesn't have any such expertise in the matters of business, health and safety, medicine etc.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #99 (permalink)
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I agree that deregulation does not mean lack of standardization. Regulation is enforcement of those industry accepted standards. The enforcement arm of the FAA does not have to be a pilot or a structural engineer who is an expert at cargo door design in order to ensure that compliance with proven safety requirements set forth by industry are met.

Boeing; a private corporation who builds an airplane establishes maintenance requirements for one of its airplanes sold to an airline. The FAA (the government) enforces regulations to ensure that the carrier complies with the maintenance requirements to ensure the public safety.

The government regulating agency does not necessarily have to be an expert in a given field in order to ensure that regulations determined by industry experts are complied with. It sounds to me that you insists that generally you think government is bad or inept and private business can and will protect the public interest far better. I fundamentally disagree with that position. I believe that we need to look at regulations more closely and have a more streamlined procedure to amend or revoke regulations that do not work and place unreasonable burdens upon industry. I do not believe that allowing these industries to self police is in the public`s interest.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #100 (permalink)
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The problem, in most cases, is that the regulating agency does set the precedent for standardization and the interpretation of what it means to comply with any number of standards.

However, the intention of a standard is often set by people who have a strong working knowledge of the technical aspects of whatever the standard is being applied to.
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