The importance of a washer

January 17, 2014 by Mike Collins

Now, how important can one little washer be?

Pretty important, as it turns out. While this is not a general aviation incident, the lesson here is dramatically applicable to all of us.

The FAA prepared an analysis of what happened to a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 on August 20, 2007, after landing at Naha Airport on Okinawa, Japan. Watch these two short videos. The first is an animation that explains what happened. Then, watch the second video, which shows the consequences of one missing washer.

That’s about a $90.5 million washer, based on average 2013 Boeing list prices. The 165 people on board were evacuated with no casualties, even though it appears to take about three and a half minutes for fire trucks to arrive. Thanks to my friend Bob Punch for calling this to my attention.

 

13 Responses to “The importance of a washer”

  1. DANIEL GUZMAN Says:

    THIS IS THE PROBLEM TODAY, THE AERONAUTICAL INDUSTRY SUFFER THE MIDDLE OF THE BREACH PROCEDURES BY PHASES DURING MECHANICAL MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION AND ARE SUDDENLY FROM THE SAME BUSINESS AVIATION IN ORDER TO MEET AND NOT GIVE ITINERARIES TIME NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE PROPER MAINTENANCE IN THE HANGAR, EVEN IF THE SAME MANUFACTURERS INCLUDING HOURS ESTABLISHED AVERAGES FOR TODAY IS PERFORMED AND THE DAILY LIFE OF THIS SO WONDERFUL INDUSTRY wORTH MAKING NEW EMPHASIS ON PREPARATION OR TRAINING HUMAN FACTORS AND MAINTENANCE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (MRM) FOR ALL MAINTENANCE PEOPLE, THANKS ¡¡¡¡ IF LAMENTABLE CASE ¡¡¡¡¡

  2. Carl Stahl Says:

    Where is the video?

  3. Yuad Says:

    Imho, aside from the missing washer, this indicates a serious design problem on the slat mechanism. There shouldn’t be a situation where the failure/omission of a washer should cause a fuel tank breach and subsequent fire.

  4. alan richardson Says:

    To: Daniel Guzman

    Say again !

  5. Rodney Says:

    It does seem like a design problem if the hole is big enough for the nut to fit through. that must keep a lot of slop in the bolts fit and I would think cause wear. Perhaps a larger nut is needed. Seems incredible that one missing washer could cause this with NO OTHER FAILURE.

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