This quote is also from my first report to the FAA local MIDO office, when I was naive and chose not to believe all those press reports about the FAA being the "handmaiden of the aviation industry" and a "tombstone agency." This quote is from the section of my report noted in the first quote below that I deleted to make that quote shorter and I stated that I may quote later. This quote from that section details my history as an inspector at Boeing, and some of the other corrupt Boeing QA supervisors I've worked for over the years. This section is about when I was an inspector at the Everett plant, proving that the corrupt quality system is indeed spread throughout BCA, although the similarly corrupt FAA chose to confine their "investigation" of my report to only the small division I worked at, PSD:
It was when I had about six months of inspection experience, on or about 2/10/97. I was performing my inspection job in the WSBJ area, when (my QA Supervisor) called me over to the flat part of the jig by the R/H wing tip. (Yes, I do almost remember it like yesterday, it had such an effect on me.) As we stood there, he asked how many jobs I had bought so far that day. I don’t remember the number I told him, offhand. He said, even though I was a "big guy", that he seen how quickly I would move up and down the stairs and slanted decks, and that it didn’t seem to effect my speed getting from job to job. I agreed. I asked him if there was some sort of quota of jobs to be bought everyday by inspectors in the area. He said there wasn’t. I told him how I often would get stuck writing a tag or two each day, and that had slowed the number of jobs that I was able to buy. I told him that I had noticed how, with the number of inspectors we had in the area, that there seemed to be only enough inspectors to inspect the jobs if they were all without defects to document. There seemed to be no time built in for inspectors to write their pickups and tags.
He said that the ratio of mechanics to inspectors was about 8 point some odd mechanics to each inspector and that was a normal ratio. I explained to him that a lot of the jobs in the area I had never inspected before, even though I had been there for awhile, and that when I scanned into a new, unfamiliar job in (the computerized call sheet), that I always would pull the drawings and review any unfamiliar specifications used on the job in addition to going through the plan in detail. I told him that I did that so I would then be familiar with the job, and that I would be able to be more efficient the next time, as I would then know the job. He replied that line inspectors like me were simply "master mechanics" who served as "a second set of eyes" on the mechanic’s work, implying that my perusal of drawings, specifications, and the plan, were unnecessary.
He said he had gotten complaints from shop that I was writing up items that other inspectors weren’t. (I was the only inspector, to my knowledge, that would write up bolts that were too long--not shanked--but nearly so, that didn’t meet the requirements section for maximum bolt protrusion in (the spec). I also would write shop up if they installed the wrong bolt, the wrong washer or nut on the bolt, or would install Hi-Loks incorrectly per the requirements of (the spec), such as using the wrong amount of counterbore substitution washers when substituting a nut for a Hi-Lok collar.
I even had to write a NCR once on the installation of the Flaperon, because the bolts attaching it to the A/P were still too long after the maximum number of washers were installed, and no length shorter bolt was available. I believe that quite a few Flaperons had been installed before that with shanked, or nearly shanked bolts. The other inspectors in the area seemed to care less about the bolt length requirements, or didn‘t know about them. I also made a few mechanics angry when I wrote one up for sanding a large electrical bond jumper down to base metal in order to get a good electrical bond in the strut aft fairing area, and another one up for wrapping a wire repair spirally when that was prohibited per the spec.)
He brought up the pickup item I had wrote on excessive latch force on the strut aft fairing access doors. (That was one of the few bogus write-ups out of thousands I had written as an inspector.) He said I should have used a push-pull scale instead of my calibrated arms. [It was extremely embarrassing, I had to go down with the mechanic, who was not too happy, understandably, to the airplane on that pickup, and watch him test the latch force. I had almost been right, they were all at the top end of the requirement, but I had learned my lesson well on that one bogus write-up, and after that incident, was very careful I only wrote up valid discrepancies. Plus, despite the embarrassment, and despite that one write-up was probably a gazillionth of a percent (you know what I mean) of all of the valid discrepancies I had written up, I was hammered for it.] He said that he wanted me to take all of my intended write-ups to my lead, (name), and have them approved by him before I wrote them on pickups or tags. I was devastated. I grew deeply depressed. I had been doing my job to what I thought was the best of my ability, documenting all defects before they got passed on to the customer, but yet I had still failed by my bosses standards by writing that one bogus item up.
Shortly thereafter, on 2/11/97 (my QA supervisor) gave me (and I think he had me sign it) an "Agreement of Expectations" that documented that I was to clear all my write-ups with my lead prior to initiating any NCM documentation. It also included the line, "These inspections must be crisp and clean, without delay." It was the same thing (my QA supervisor at PSD) had said to me. (My QA supervisor at PSD's) vivid description of the real, unwritten BCAG Quality System had finally allowed me to grasp the full meaning of that statement, although I really knew it back then, but didn’t want to believe it. It really means "These inspections must be crisp and clean, without delay to look at the drawings, specifications, and plans."
The reason for the "Agreement of Expectations" and the noted conversation with me was not really because I had written one bogus item up. It was because I had written any items up. Notably, items that the shop did not approve of. It was a scolding because I did not play by the rules of the corrupt unwritten BCAG Quality System. In that System, the inspector is unnecessary, as mechanics have obviously already built the quality into the part. It can’t be inspected in. That is a waste of time and Company resources. Inspectors don’t inspect. They train. They are the expert/master mechanics that help the mechanics interpret the specifications if they ever have the need to ask one of us "inspectors" for help. Even though, by my experience, 99% of mechanics would probably prefer dental surgery to having an inspector tell them how to do their jobs.
No inspection is necessary, as our products are so well designed, that no defect a mechanic could make on the product would cause it to crash. But if they do happen to look at the product by some chance, it is only to serve as a "second set of eyes"--no drawings or specifications or plans are necessary, as our products are designed for commonality across all installations and across all models, and once you’ve seen one drawing you’ve seen them all. No drawings are required because the inspector, this "second set of eyes", is only there, if he breaks away from his training duties and looks at the product, is only there to look and see if the major parts are "good and tight", or "guten tight" as the Germans say, so as not to fall off in flight and hit people on the ground. That, in the news, would be bad for Boeing’s reputation. All our planes our designed so well they can still fly without major parts, such as the engine wire bundles, as (name), QA Supervisor at PSD, the engine experts, said (sarcasm intended).
You see, (my QA supervisor at PSD's) generosity to let me in on the entire, real, BCAG Quality System, has made everything I’ve ever experienced as an employee of BCAG make sense, where it seemed that it was me against a group of incompetent coworkers that wouldn‘t do their jobs, it was really them that were doing their jobs per Company unwritten policy, and me costing the Company needless money by not seeing "The Big Picture" and continuing to write (dollar amount Boeing thinks (in error) the average NCR costs) NCRs on defects that would never make the airplane crash, in any case. Were the incompetent inspectors the ones that don’t walk onto the plane before they buy jobs saying they did? Nope. Not incompetent. They had a more pressing appointment to train a mechanic, their real job. Inspecting that job was unnecessary.
They were just following the actual BCAG Quality System, not the one I, prior to 1/12/02, was trying to foolishly work to. Roller stamping is bad? No. We still have to show compliance with the FAA-approved BCAG Quality System while we operate to our own unwritten System. This FAA-approved System requires us to have paper that states we inspected the work, even though we have not, and don’t have to, per the real System. Even though all of those stamps are unnecessary, we still have to apply them to fool the FAA into believing we’re working to their System. The roller just makes this unnecessary process more efficient. Planning pickups? Why bother? Who cares if the plans are correct if they signify nothing to us? They’re a waste of time, obviously. As long as the FAA doesn’t complain too much about them, were fine! Retests after rework? Who needs them? The plane will fly without the whole part anyway due to our perfectly redundant design. Who cares if the part of the unnecessary part we reworked fails in flight? Removal Records for previously accepted parts removed per MRB-type NCRs or rework-type NCRs? Don’t need them.
They’re required per the FAA-approved BCAG Quality System, but we don’t work to that, we just pretend to. What we don’t write, the FAA won’t know about. The same with documenting rework-type NCR (pickup) items at PSD, flagged on jobs by inspectors who don’t fully grasp that they don’t really have to flag any defects with tape, as that is too much like inspecting, which is per the FAA-approved System, not ours. Tell those naive "inspectors" that documenting those defects in NCM is optional, even though the FAA-approved BCAG Quality Manual they still foolishly believe in doesn’t say it’s optional to document those discrepancies. We’ll snow them until we can bring them around fully to belief in the unwritten System. If they don’t document defects per our deceit, we can then show the FAA how few defects our "inspectors" find on each job by showing them the absence of any documented defects on any of our jobs, in NCM. We’ll tell them our mechanics are "building the quality into the product" so well, that maybe they’ll let us go to ODA, our goal, where we’ll need only 10 percent of the "inspectors" we have now.
It would save the Company a lot of money by getting rid of these unnecessary "inspectors" we only keep around because the FAA says we have to. They don’t inspect, they only train. Why do we need 1700 some odd instructors for our mechanics, 8 per 100? That’s outrageous. 1 per 100 would be excessive. Plus, one of those "inspectors" may betray our real BCAG Quality System to the FAA someday. The fewer that know about the System the better. Our one-on-one meetings with those "inspectors" who just don’t get it, for plausible deniability purposes, have worked so far, but may not forever. Canned Notes document? Nah. That would only result in more unnecessary inspections on the unnecessary jobs. Those roller stamps will wear out faster if we do that, costing us money.
Oh, and if some "inspector" does not come around to be a roller stamper by our constant subtle hints and awards given to roller stampers chosen by Mfg, and still continues to hold on to a belief in the FAA-approved BCAG Quality System, then we’ll have to fire them, under the guise of "not supporting the delivery schedule", as they’ll never be able to inspect the product and stamp off the job as fast as those inspectors who follow the real BCAG Quality System, and only have to stamp off the job.
Am I overreacting? I don’t think so. You say, Gerry, tell me how you really feel? I did.
(My last corrupt QA supervisor before I was fired actually tried to do this exact thing--he tried to CAM me (Corrective Action Memo me--only three of which will get you fired at Boeing) by comparing the amount of jobs I bought with the amount of jobs bought by the worst rollerstamping inspector at PSD--an inspector that rollerstamped so much that other inspectors at PSD would complain to me about the "wild abandon" with which they rollerstamped jobs off without actually inspecting them (they knew they couldn't complain to our corrupt management, as this inspector was just doing what management wanted them to do, and was treated as a "golden child" by management for doing their unethical and illegal directives so well).
And I was being threatened with a CAM even though I myself was rollerstamping jobs off as my management wanted me to do--I just insisted on actually inspecting the engine components and engine mounts I was rollerstamping the jobs off for as I normally would if I was not rollerstamping. I just was not verifying the configuration was per the planning paperwork, drawings, and to some extent engineering specs, as was the method of all other inspectors at PSD who were forced and/or willingly rollerstamped jobs off. But even that most minimal level of doing my critical job--actually looking at the work I was buying off--was not sufficient rollerstamping per my management.
They didn't really want me to inspect at all, as other inspectors accused the inspector I was compared negatively to by my management of doing. And the reason for that was clear--It was because I insisted on actually looking at the work I rollerstamped the inspections for, and wrote up any defects I saw rather than ignore them and let those defects deliver to Boeing's customers. My management did not want me to do that because documenting the most serious defects (that required an NCR) and flagging other defects for rework by mechanics slowed the "production flow" down from the pace it would be at if I had just purely rollerstamped the jobs with only a pretend "walk by" inspection.
And, NCRs were all given the same high and bogus dollar value when calculating the cost of rework and repair, a key Boeing metric that Boeing tracked and my management was rewarded for if those costs were reduced below goals, as this bogus cost was perceived to subtract from the bottom line and jeapardize the all important implementation of "self-inspection," (which would actually be "self-rollerstamping," in the current corrupt Boeing quality system, as the job of rollerstamping the inspections off would just be transferred from the current rollerstamping inspection system employees to the mechanics that do the work) a goal, if reached, would mean really big bonuses for managers.)
The Last Inspector