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Lord_Slayer

Maintenance/Parts issues in US Navy

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Can't do Military Contracting while  'Working from Home'.

Defense contract workers are also considered 'Essential' along with medical, law enforcement, and Food distribution.

....

There is a large body of people in varying levels of management who DO NOT want this pandemic to end.
They like working from home..  They like not dressing up and commuting 3 hours a day.

Some business folks do a better job from home, where they have all the technology and information at their fingertips.
Problem is that all these 'Zoom' meetings are not secure.  Anything dealing with the military needs attendance in a sealed secure room.

This is becoming a problem.

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On 7/1/2021 at 5:52 PM, AVR_Project said:

Can't do Military Contracting while  'Working from Home'.

Defense contract workers are also considered 'Essential' along with medical, law enforcement, and Food distribution.

....

There is a large body of people in varying levels of management who DO NOT want this pandemic to end.
They like working from home..  They like not dressing up and commuting 3 hours a day.

Some business folks do a better job from home, where they have all the technology and information at their fingertips.
Problem is that all these 'Zoom' meetings are not secure.  Anything dealing with the military needs attendance in a sealed secure room.

This is becoming a problem.

the military has secure methods of communicating that aren't zoom if they want to use them...this was a bunch of weirdly political drivel 

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This is sadly becoming common across the DoD....sustainment of fielded systems suffering to pay for development of new systems.  Space Force is practically letting critical systems die on the vine so they can afford new satellites.  USAF cant keep B-1s in the air for lack of parts.  Other specialized platforms are so bad off they cant meet POTUS directed mission requirements. 

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1 hour ago, JohnPJones said:

the military has secure methods of communicating that aren't zoom if they want to use them...this was a bunch of weirdly political drivel 

I'm not talking about the military.

I'm talking about DEFENSE CONTRACTORS...   You know...  the civilians who support the military logistics.

Last time I checked, I don't have a KG-35 and a secure voice in my house.  All our phones and computers are made in China.

But there ARE secure areas where security work MUST be done at the various factories.  These things can neither be done - nor supported from home.

Political Drivel ?????    Logistics has nothing to do with politics.  You sound like a member of the 50 cent army.

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19 minutes ago, missile742 said:

This is sadly becoming common across the DoD....sustainment of fielded systems suffering to pay for development of new systems.  Space Force is practically letting critical systems die on the vine so they can afford new satellites.  USAF cant keep B-1s in the air for lack of parts.  Other specialized platforms are so bad off they cant meet POTUS directed mission requirements. 

Defense contractors are catching up with all that.
Seems the funds have been diverted to 'something else' for the last couple years.

In the past, orders were placed, but funding was on hold.  Sorry about the B1 parts.  Defense Contractors across the board had to lay off a lot of people due to lack of work.
But there is a rehiring effort now.

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If you've actually had to deal with procuring or making parts for US Naval vessels, something I did for nearly two decades, you'd quickly learn that the Navy has a bad habit of letting contractors do some really whacked stuff when it comes to design of equipment.  For lots of this equipment contactors bid the job "cost, plus."  That is they'll bid it at say one million dollars plus whatever it costs to make the item(s).  The procurement people aren't overly picky so long as there's cash in the OPTAR to cover that.

When you start reviewing the drawings and specs for stuff, it's often either so out-of-date it's impossible to source, or the engineering on the original is insane.  I can't tell you how many times I had some civil service engineer tell me "I had to put a spec on it..." when asked why they wanted a particular grade of metal, or a specific part used in making whatever it is.  When dealing with SubPac and SubLant I had to submit a LARS (Liaison Action Report System) form for every change I wanted to make on materials for a particular item, and that was pretty much the case for every drawing that came my way.  SpaWar was no better.  Their engineers were idiots.  They'd pass half finished drawings to you.  

I'd look at some of this stuff and the only thought was [edited]* were they thinking?

When I supervised the first 400 unit batch of ADU 801E SLAM-ER adapter brackets (this wobbly aluminum thing that went on an Aero 58a trailer--it takes 4)

 image484.jpg

I had to redesign half the parts on the fly with some guys from Pt. Mugu and Paxtequent River giving approval.  The rubber pad was particularly egregious.  They wanted me to use a product that would take about 6 hours a part to cure and have a rework rate as high as 50%.  I switched it to a different rubber that was actually better and the whole process of bonding and molding it to the bracket took all of 10 minutes with zero rework at less than 10% of the material cost.  Got a NAM for that...

Maintenance always takes a back seat in my experience until stuff breaks.  Then it's an all-hands-on-deck emergency to get it fixed yesterday.  There's never time and money to do it right, but there's always time and money to do it over...

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Shortages cycled off and on at times.  I remember long ago the USAF talking about a shortage of parts for their F-16s in the 2000s, despite all the increased military spending of the decade, they were cannibalizing parts off some birds to fix others.  Mind you, this happens on a normal basis in aircraft maintenance, it's just there was an uptick of this.  Same thing happened with the USN / USMC Hornets later on.

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It was the same in the interwar forces, practicality is not sexy, and sexy sells politicians and get people promoted. Usually it takes a war to make things different.

Edited by Dr_Seadog

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Cannibalizing parts is nothing new to the USN.  I retired in 98 after 20 years and this went on all the time.  Instead of 2 widgets being down, you only had one.  But that one was in greater need after the process.  We had pieces of equipment that stayed down hard for entire deployments due to lack of repair parts.

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6 hours ago, 23Pair said:

Cannibalizing parts is nothing new to the USN.  I retired in 98 after 20 years and this went on all the time.  Instead of 2 widgets being down, you only had one.  But that one was in greater need after the process.  We had pieces of equipment that stayed down hard for entire deployments due to lack of repair parts.

There's also stuff that will be down hard anyways due to scheduled, periodic maintenance.  So the squadron would yank parts off the barn queens to more quickly fix aircraft that could be brought back to "up" status sooner.  Ideally you want to let supply come through and deliver a replacement, less work for the maintainers at the organizational / squadron, but sometimes even supply can't provide it soon enough.  So, cannibalization it is.  Twice the work for the same job.

Sometimes it takes an extra day for the replacement part to arrive.  It really depends.  Sometimes it takes weeks.

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On 7/8/2021 at 8:44 PM, AVR_Project said:

I'm not talking about the military.

I'm talking about DEFENSE CONTRACTORS...   You know...  the civilians who support the military logistics.

Last time I checked, I don't have a KG-35 and a secure voice in my house.  All our phones and computers are made in China.

But there ARE secure areas where security work MUST be done at the various factories.  These things can neither be done - nor supported from home.

Political Drivel ?????    Logistics has nothing to do with politics.  You sound like a member of the 50 cent army.

what are you actually droning on about? contractors  who need to communicated with DoD officials about sensitive information will have methods supplied to them if they didn't already have them.
just because you don't have such methods doesn't mean crap.

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1 hour ago, JohnPJones said:

what are you actually droning on about? contractors  who need to communicated with DoD officials about sensitive information will have methods supplied to them if they didn't already have them.
just because you don't have such methods doesn't mean crap.

Maybe you don't understand.  We need to be in a secure setting to TALK WITH EACH OTHER about sensitive issues.  The DOD or other government/military entities are not there.  But they dictate the platform.

Little logistical things, like parts availability and 'controlled product' movement is held secure for obvious reasons.
We need to schedule our action items for the day.  And this depends on some secure information that can't go outside the bubble of classification.

We're not James Bond here.  It's everyday life action items.  There is no cute 'codewords' or funky language.  Secure is secure, and folks working from home simply are cut off from the loop.  They are worthless.

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On 7/14/2021 at 5:36 AM, 23Pair said:

Cannibalizing parts is nothing new to the USN.  I retired in 98 after 20 years and this went on all the time.  Instead of 2 widgets being down, you only had one.  But that one was in greater need after the process.  We had pieces of equipment that stayed down hard for entire deployments due to lack of repair parts.

There was also the substitution of a subpar part to get something up and running now rather than use the higher quality part that was really required.  A common one I ran into like this was with electric motor bearings.  You ordered one and they gave you a bearing that wasn't sealed and pre-greased.  This was common industry standard even in the 80's.  So, you have a bearing that needs periodic greasing except there's no grease nipples on the motor, and no internal seals so the grease will get everywhere inside the motor.

But the higher ups want it back in service ASAP anyway.  So you get what grease you can find--since you normally aren't having to grease bearings because they're sealed--and use it along with the bearing you have.  Of course, now this motor also doesn't get a PMS card for greasing the bearing periodically either since it really isn't supposed to need it...

The result is that the bearing fails prematurely and you have to do the repair over sooner.

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I would sum up the Navy's (and most company's for that matter) attitude towards maintenance as There's never time and money to do it right, but there's always time and money to do it over...

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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

I would sum up the Navy's (and most company's for that matter) attitude towards maintenance as There's never time and money to do it right, but there's always time and money to do it over...

Sh*t man.  I still remember in the USMC (copies USN maintenance practices) this stupid bit of comedy.  An aircraft is down for one of our systems.  We pull the part and get it sent to supply.  Supply will have a replacement sent to us in just over an hour.  But that's not fast enough for Maintenance Control stressing about having enough aircraft for the flight schedule.  So Maint.Ctrl has us cannibalize the part off another plane to fix the other.  The cannibalization is completed and systems check good on test, the maintenance action forms completed, sent to Maint.Ctrl, the jet is back in "Up" status.  A few minutes after this is done, the new part arrives.

 

Doubled the amount of f--king work we did to shave off a few minutes.  Sorry... After 20 years doing maintenance, sh*t had gotten to me.  Glad it's done.

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:36 AM, Murotsu said:

I would sum up the Navy's (and most company's for that matter) attitude towards maintenance as There's never time and money to do it right, but there's always time and money to do it over...

Businesses nowadays treat training in a similar fashion.  No money for training till worker bees start messing stuff up due to little or no training.  Suddenly we have a full on training program to set up from scratch..

 

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1 hour ago, 23Pair said:

Businesses nowadays treat training in a similar fashion.  No money for training till worker bees start messing stuff up due to little or no training.  Suddenly we have a full on training program to set up from scratch..

 

Pretty much the entire air industry operates under the Tombstone Mentality, the pervasive attitude of ignoring design defects until people have died because of them.

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1 hour ago, Sventex said:

Pretty much the entire air industry operates under the Tombstone Mentality, the pervasive attitude of ignoring design defects until people have died because of them.

Is that a jab against Boeing? :Smile_hiding:

They actually didn't ignore the defects have killed people.  They only changed their tune after lots of people have been killed.

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1 hour ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Is that a jab against Boeing? :Smile_hiding:

They actually didn't ignore the defects have killed people.  They only changed their tune after lots of people have been killed.

I've seen every episode of air crash investigation, it's a jab at the entire industry.  Even something as basic as making it procedure that the Traffic Collision Avoidance System be given priority over Air Traffic Control was not even done after the 2001 Japan Airlines mid-air incident, which could have been the worse aviation disaster in history.  Instead they left it up the pilot to choose who to listen to, leaving it an obvious recipe for disaster.

maxresdefault.jpg

Changes were only made after the 2002 Überlingen mid-air collision, the vast majority of fatalities being children.  This incident was so famous, it became a Schwarzenegger film.

f57485_57f09b17129a49b98b0f0a8254408cf9~

Even going back to the 1956 Grand Canyon collision, it was evident even before the collision that the "See and Avoid" flight rules were just totally inadequate and the US needed radar coverage because ATC can hardly control traffic in radar dead zones.

gc-1956-airplane-crash-illustr_wikinoaut

Or famously the DC-10 hysteria being caused because MD didn't fix the cargo door when it nearly resulted in a crash.  They even promised to fix it and than didn't do it leaving the NTSB recommendations pointless.

10a_dj2018_n103aadoorinspectfinalsize_li

Which resulted in Turkish Airlines Flight 981, the worst aviation disaster in history back then.  Only with bodies was the FAA willing to act against MD.

turkish_airlines_flight_981_by_fnafmangl

It's Tombstone Mentality,  the industry only changes when there are bodies.  The pilot's Quick Reference Handbook is often written in blood.  Obvious problems often get thrown on the backburner and maybe after many years, will the change occur without a fatality.  The airlines, the manufactures, the FAA, there's a tremendously powerful status quo that inherently likes to ignore  problems until they hit the media.

Edited by Sventex

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It's money.

It takes money to design those changes.

It takes money to implement them.

And of course, money is lost if planes are taken out of the fleet and not flying while changes are implemented on them.

 

They'd rather have bodies falling out of the sky like rain before having to make safety changes.

 

The fun part with what I learned in USMC aviation maintenance (we follow USN practices) is that there's a lot of crap that happens that never makes the news, stuff that makes you go "Oh damn" than a lot of what passes for regular broadcasted news.  I'm sure civilian aviation is the same way.

 

I've seen an F/A-18 Hornet land so hard that the main landing gear broke, the fuselage external tank shatter and break away, nose landing gear broken like a compound fracture, sparks flying all over the place lighting the night up, and take off... Didn't make the news.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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18 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Is that a jab against Boeing? :Smile_hiding:

They actually didn't ignore the defects have killed people.  They only changed their tune after lots of people have been killed.

Its not a crack at Boeing, as much as at the entire aircraft/airline industry.

17 hours ago, Sventex said:

Or famously the DC-10 hysteria being caused because MD didn't fix the cargo door when it nearly resulted in a crash.  They even promised to fix it and than didn't do it leaving the NTSB recommendations pointless.

10a_dj2018_n103aadoorinspectfinalsize_li

Which resulted in Turkish Airlines Flight 981, the worst aviation disaster in history back then.  Only with bodies was the FAA willing to act against MD.

turkish_airlines_flight_981_by_fnafmangl

 

The DC-10 had a couple of things leading to the hysteria.

The door was one issue.

An engine dropping off the plane on take-off and photos of the crashing plane are another (Flight 191)

Aa191_ohare.jpg

The issue is the NTSB can only make suggestions based on what the find as a cause or at fault in an accident. It is up to the FAA to implement that suggestion, but the FAA only has sway over aircraft that fly into the US.

The DC-10 cargo door was case in point. The door opened outward from the aircraft, not inward like the passenger doors or cargo doors of other planes. This meant the internal pressure of the plane would not be helping to keep the door closed. In this instance, the door closing process was electrical, and then the locks engaged by hand. However, there was an issue where the locking mechanism could be 'forced' closed and show closed by all indications, yet the locks were not fully engaged.

When the issue was found out, the FAA allowed MD to redesign and correct the issue and MD did issue a bulletin about it, and told the airlines about the issue and to use proper procedures until the fix. While the Turkish airline had the bulletin, they did not implement the change. The baggage handler also could not read the warnings about the locks on the hatch, as they were in english and he could not read or understand it.

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26 minutes ago, Lord_Slayer said:

An engine dropping off the plane on take-off and photos of the crashing plane are another (Flight 191)

Aa191_ohare.jpg

Yes I'm well aware, that's the worst aviation disaster in American history.  My next door neighbor lost her husband on that flight.  That crash also happened due to bad design, with all the critical alarms systems being powered by the engine that fell off with no redundant backup.  Somewhat reminiscent of MCAS having no redundancy in it's input.

 

32 minutes ago, Lord_Slayer said:

The issue is the NTSB can only make suggestions based on what the find as a cause or at fault in an accident. It is up to the FAA to implement that suggestion, but the FAA only has sway over aircraft that fly into the US.

The DC-10 cargo door was case in point. The door opened outward from the aircraft, not inward like the passenger doors or cargo doors of other planes. This meant the internal pressure of the plane would not be helping to keep the door closed. In this instance, the door closing process was electrical, and then the locks engaged by hand. However, there was an issue where the locking mechanism could be 'forced' closed and show closed by all indications, yet the locks were not fully engaged.

When the issue was found out, the FAA allowed MD to redesign and correct the issue and MD did issue a bulletin about it, and told the airlines about the issue and to use proper procedures until the fix. While the Turkish airline had the bulletin, they did not implement the change. The baggage handler also could not read the warnings about the locks on the hatch, as they were in english and he could not read or understand it.

The loss of confidence I think can be traced to the "Applegate memorandum", the smoking gun.  "Applegate voiced his concerns to management about potential design faults in the door. In his view, these faults could cause the aircraft’s cargo doors to open mid-flight. Should this occur, there would be an instantaneous loss of pressurization of the cargo area. It followed that the pressurised passenger cabin floor, which lay just above, would buckle under the force exerted on it, with probably disastrous consequences. Applegate noted that this precise failure had occurred during ground testing of the DC-10 in 1970. He believed that if this were to happen in flight, the plane’s critical control systems and control lines (which ran through the floor) would be either severely damaged or completely destroyed, and the pilots would lose control of the aircraft. A potentially fatal crash would seem imminent."

It proved the fault of the door was known before the DC-10 was ever introduced to the airlines, which showed these planes were released rotten, with known critical faults.  I find the DC-10 to be a beautiful plane, but I feel it's reputation was well deserved.  This is why I lump the airlines, the manufacturers, the FAA together, because they form the industry as a whole.  Any weak link in the chain can cause a crash.

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1 hour ago, Sventex said:

Yes I'm well aware, that's the worst aviation disaster in American history.  My next door neighbor lost her husband on that flight.  That crash also happened due to bad design, with all the critical alarms systems being powered by the engine that fell off with no redundant backup.  Somewhat reminiscent of MCAS having no redundancy in it's input.

not quite.

Yes, the critical alarm systems on the captain's side of the plane were disabled: the instrument panel, the stick-shaker, and a few others. But a switch did exist for the Captain to flip to restore power to the systems. It was never flipped.

The co-pilots systems were not effected, however, the co-pilot did not have a stick-shaker. That was an option that MD provided that American Airlines (the airline the flight belonged to) chose to not install in its fleet. It was after this crash that stick shakers for both pilots became mandatory.

 

The cause of the crash was the engine separation, itself caused by improper maintenance practices.

During routine service, the engine and the pylon were removed for inspection. MD procedure called for the engine to be removed, and then the pylon. However, 3 airlines (including American) came up with a way to save time and decided to remove the engine and pylon together. One Airline used a crane. American and the third airline used a forklift.

In this particular planes instance, when the engine/pylon was being replaced, a shift change occurred and the forklift motor was shut off, causing the load to shift. This apparently damaged the pylon and it's mount. That damage, and the resulting flights after until the crash caused fatigue in the mount and it eventually failed.

It should be noted that several DC-10s were examined after the accident from both American and the third airline and they were found to also have damage and fatigue cracks in the pylons as well. The airline that used the crane seemed to have escaped the damage, but MD would not encourage the procedure.

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31 minutes ago, Lord_Slayer said:

The cause of the crash was the engine separation, itself caused by improper maintenance practices.

Not quite because the plane was still airworthy when the engine fell off.  The DC-10 was perfectly capable of flying after takeoff with just 1 engine.

I am aware of the damage to the hydraulics and the slats retracting, but these were all recoverable problems, had the pilots known they were stalling.  Even the CVR black box was only powered by Engine 1, the crashing showing yet another design flaw when trying to piece together what happened.  The Cockpit Voice Recorder stopped recording the moment the engine fell off, leaving the actions of the pilots a matter of conjecture.  It is assume the pilots followed procedures for an engine failure on takeoff, which would have crashed the plane.

I gather we are both very familiar with this crash.  A lot of shortcomings of the plane were discovered from this accident.

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