This is my 101st post since November 2012. An attempt to reflect upon Aviation's progress from observing the Boeing company and its product. Like the 787 and a million working points of engineering, there are faults and glitches in an unforgiving business, as it should. Because the lives of its customers ride on everything when boarding Boeing's aircraft.
However, I don't have that enormous responsibility of riding passengers on this blog. I only try to reflect upon information using my own background and observational skills to weigh in on points of view, using the information available and coming up with logical conclusions.
The Boeing 787 has come to the point long awaited, The shake out of all its bugs, and glitches. Not unlike ones own brain this aircraft has more opportunity to glitch than any other aircraft produced, simply because of its vast and complex system of protecting the passenger and its crew. The irony is not lost on what has happened to the 787 these last weeks. The systems protecting the aircraft are showing its bugs. Indicators, messaging where the operators are grounding the aircraft, and rightly so as designed. This complex aircraft won't fly unless its right with all its systems and parts.
Seventy years ago a pilot would tap on a analog indicator dial to check if the aircraft fuel reading is really on empty, or the oil pressure is really is low. Remember all those old movies where the pilot was tapping dials when the airplane was going down on fire! Its a little late to tap dials if something is that catastrophic happening to an aircraft. Today's 787 has the capability to find more faults that may have been previously missed on prior generation aircraft. A mechanic had to find errors through testing during maintenance checks. Now sensor and computers are checking everything before it lands or takes off, sending mechanics to meet the airplane before it takes-off or lands. Its a great innovation for Boeing and its passengers. Now after a year's worth of travel and a four month lay over, the airplane flies with a bunch of indicated faults with its various systems from Brakes to air conditioning. Oil filters under performing and deicing included. Mechanics show up with the right tools and parts. No instrument dial tapping found on the flight line to get an oil pressure reading.
Boeing, like all manufacturers have installed super sensitive and redundant systems which keep the airplane flying or placing it back on the ground. It does not, unfortunately indicate how safe the the airplane really is, when an indicator goes off. Fortunately for the passengers and crew it errors on the side of caution and doesn't fly until the indiction is reconciled for safe flight. This is far greater advancement than of a tap on the analog dial for a redundancy check.
There are no excuses for the 787 when indicators are working to keep it safe. It is better to land it or not take off until the problem is fixed. They, Boeing won't dumb down the indicator to remove embarrassing moments that the press loves to report on with this aircraft. If you were at home and your CO2 alarm keeps going off, you don't remove the battery to fix the problem. I once camped in a trailer at a campground where the CO2 alarm kept me up all night because it was going off every half hour. So I opened the window a crack and got a nights rest starting at 4 am. I am alive because the indicator made me a genius by solving a problem by opening a window. The trailer needed fresh air, so I could breath and didn't assume a permanent sleep. Passengers need A/C systems checks continuously for safe comfortable flights.
Aviation has turned a corner because it now has at its disposal the building of smart airplanes that continuously reports its aches and complaints. The indicator is not at fault and needing a finger tap. The system has worked according to design. Its not an indicator fault, but a system fault that the press should be reporting on at this time. Why is the oil light on? What's up with the brakes? The light may be on but don't change the light bulb.