Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has this interview with 787 program head Scott Fancher about the in-flight fire incident Tuesday of 787 ZA002.
Fancher’s interview is clearly an effort to see the bright side of an event that shouldn’t have happened and which potentially will have serious, adverse affects on Boeing. The headlines are justifiably worrisome and the Wall Street analysts are weighing in with negative reports.
Many will see Fancher’s comments as trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but in fact in an interview we did yesterday (Nov. 10) with KOMO Radio (Seattle), we noted there actually is a silver lining in the clouds that have gathered over Boeing.
Fancher, of course, hit on some of these: the airplane flew through the emergency and landed safely. (The cascading series of electronic failures were glossed over, but this has been reported by several media, and this column, before.)
We told KOMO Radio that this incident will give Boeing “real-time” and “live” events (as opposed to theoretical and/or simulated events) to analyze from this emergency. Potentially, assuming Boeing repairs the airplane (which, readers will recall, has already been written off and which will not be sold), this will demonstrate to customers in real-form the ease of repairing an aircraft-on-ground (AOG), as Boeing has represented to customers in sales campaigns.
Every accident or incident serves as a learning experience, and with the good fortune that this was a completely survivable incident with only one minor injury, Boeing and the regulatory authorities have the opportunity to learn not only what went wrong–and make the plane safer in the process–but also what went right.
We believe there will be new program delays, if for no other reason than the timeline that is normally required for an investigation of this type. Whether there are program delays induced from the cause and fixes that might be required (which we tend to believe will be the case) remains to be seen.
On the subject of delays
Someone always sees humor in adversity, particularly when nobody was hurt. We had this email exchange with a reader:
Reader: Will be interesting to see who blames who for the next delay to be announced:
Us: You are WARPED! (smiley face)
Reader:…just like the T900 IPT disk…