Re: A brief commentary

From:         d.jensen@geel.dwt.csiro.au (Dennis Jensen)
Organization: CSIRO
Date:         27 Jun 96 12:42:12 
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In article <airliners.1996.1055@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
   Jon Ward <Jon_Ward@blibble.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>This is not a political comment, but just something I which I found mildly
>amusing.
>
>Has anybody else noticed that with the rash of Boeing and MD crashes, the
>amount of Airbus bashing has dropped considerably? I will not get drawn
>into an argument about which airframer is superior (I have worked on
>projects for all three and more), but I feel it emphasises how partisan
>people can get about these things.
>
>Also, the number of recent crashes raises some serious questions in itself.
>It's starting to look slightly statistically significant. Are air saftey
>standards dropping? Is it just bad luck? Have airports suddenly started
>employing black cats to cross in front of aeroplanes to give their rescue
>people a job? I'm interested in hearing other peoples' views.

What may appear statistically significant is probably not so. Consider the
spate of DC-10 crashes in the late '70's, none of which was actually an
inherent design fault. There was o'Hare, where improper maintenance (using a
forklift to align the engine) resulted in stresses on the engine mounting
bolt, which sheared on takeoff. Then there was the McMurdo Sound Air New
Zealand crash, which was due to reprogramming of the autopilot route without
informing the crew, and the DC-10 that crashed into a fire tender on the
runway at Mexico City.

People stayed away from the DC-10 in droves, despite the fact that the only
real design fault (faulty rear cargo bay door) had been fixed in the mid
'70's.

Just goes to show, crashes happen like bunches of bananas.

Dennis