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:
My inspection experience at the Everett site in the 777 Wing Stub Body Join area had taught me much about a wide range of Boeing specifications. But most of my knowledge of specifications there was also gained the same way I got it at PSD: by "on the job learning." Many inspectors seemed never to refer to specifications or the drawing. I just assumed they were incompetent inspectors. I always knew these types of inspectors existed, at least since I was transferred to BCAG from the Military Airplanes division of Boeing where I had been a grade 4 mechanic for five years on the B-2 Program and a few months on the A-6 Re-wing Program.
These "incompetent" inspectors were, in fact, the main reason I got into inspection in the first place. I had seen how "incompetent" the inspectors were that were assigned to us while I was a door mechanic/rigger on the 777 Passenger Entry Door (PED) crew. Sometimes they would never step foot on the airplane before they would buy a job off. Sometimes they would buy off jobs without inspection for some mechanics they apparently "trusted", while briefly looking at the work of the mechanics they didn’t like/trust. When they did inspect, they would simply walk over to the door and open and close it and buy it off, when detailed inspections were called for in the plan. I don’t remember specifically ever seeing them with a drawing when they inspected. I just assumed they were lazy and/or incompetent. I knew, even then, that their jobs weren’t optional, like the way they actually would perform them. I just had virtually no knowledge of their QA manual, as I was a mechanic.
I, unlike some of my fellow mechanics, had a problem with them just buying the job off, without at least looking at it. I thought I was one of the best mechanics on the Door Crew, but I was biased, and I knew it, but I still knew that even I, who had done my job to the best of my ability per the door rigging document and drawings, could make mistakes. Plus, I believed in the Company’s stated goal of CQI, Continuous Quality Improvement. I wanted to do my job better and more efficiently each time I did it per that goal, but if I didn’t get any feedback from the inspectors about the mistakes I knew that I, a good mechanic, had made due to the fact they never looked at my work or looked at it only in a cursory way, I knew I would never be as good as I could be if I had gotten feedback about the mistakes that I, and every human, would inevitably make.
I’ve always liked constructive feedback. I’ve always seen it as an opportunity to improve. Unfortunately, I also knew the difference between constructive and destructive feedback. I didn’t appreciate the destructive kind. Those were merely putdowns or pseudo-constructive feedback that seemed on the surface to be giving me information that would improve my work performance, but really sought the opposite--to get me not to do my job so well.
Since I knew that our "incompetent" inspectors on the door crew were not doing their jobs (at least I thought so), I, late in my Door Crew career, decided to give feedback to my fellow Door Crew members about mistakes they had made, as I knew the inspectors weren’t. In 777 Final Assembly where I was assigned at the time, we installed the interior panels and escape slides on the PEDs, along with performing a semi-final rig job...We also performed functional tests on the escape slides and PED sensor readouts on the flight deck. During interior panel installation we had to adjust brackets and supports, and had to change out door hardware on bluelines and greenlines.
I noticed during this work, many of the fasteners were incorrect and I had to change them out. I believe there was much more than that, including incorrectly rigged doors, but I can’t remember the specifics at this late date. I documented this lengthily list of mistakes, that were missed by what I thought was careless inspection, on a piece of paper. I gave it to to my lead or supervisor, I don’t remember.
The next morning, (name), Door Crew Supervisor, brought the note up in the usual morning crew meeting. He read the list of items to the crew and told them to watch for them. I believe he told us the list was from me, but I had already told some of the Door Crew I was doing it, so everyone knew whose list it was anyway. After the meeting, I could tell some mechanics didn’t take this constructive criticism well. So I never did such a thing on the door crew again. I once thought that that one action had helped motivate my Door Crew Management to release me off of the door crew and allow me into my inspection job, although that was not my intent.
The Last Inspector