This quote is also from my addendum (supplement) to my first report (continued from previous day's quote):
The first item is somewhat related to item 62, lack of "O.K. to Seal" inspections, but involves a little bit more than just that. On the (vendor I.D.) engine (Part Number) forward mount installation, the final installation of the forward end of the two mount links is done on the "crate" job, due to "slave" barrel nuts are installed in the mount fitting for engine monorail hang, then removed and replaced with "real" barrel nuts when the engine is off the monorail and in the shipping buck (the aft barrel nuts cannot be installed without removing the links’ shoulder bolts and swinging them outward so the barrel nuts can be slipped into the sides of the mount fitting). Anyway, (name), EBU (Engine Build-Up) mechanic, asked me to inspect for him and (name), fitcheck mechanic, a few weeks ago on that mount installation, as the EBUs they were working on were positioned in their bucks (transport fixtures) in the fitcheck area. The EBUs we worked on were the (model number) (line number) POS X and X EBUs, I believe. They had me inspect the eight "real" barrel nuts and retainers for the two EBUs for cracking of the locking element and retainer, and then inspect the installation of them in the mount fittings. Then they lubricated the four (part number) shoulder bolts with (lubricant type) for the two EBUs and installed them loosely. They had me witness the run-on torque of the four (part number) nuts on the four shoulder bolts, and buy off the witness inspection on the plan, as they were all within the required XXX-XXX in/lbs run-on torque required per sheet 5 zone B3 note. During the run-on torque I asked them a few questions, and had them modify the way they did the run-on torque. They were going to do the run-on torque with the nuts barely engaged on the threads of the shoulder bolts. I told them that the way I remembered the (specification I.D.) spec, the nut had to be within "X" turns of seating to check run-on torque. (The EBU mechanic) said they always did it the way they had started to do it, but they would do it "my" way. One of them put the dial-indicating torque wrench on the head of the shoulder bolt, and one of them put a wrench on the nut and they tried to do the run-on torque before I interrupted. I told them that...the run-on torque had to be taken by turning the nut with the torque wrench, not the head of the bolt. They said there was no access on the left link for the torque wrench, so they had always checked the run-on torque of the nut by turning the head. I asked to use the torque wrench. I put the wrench on the head of the right shoulder bolt and turned it with the torque wrench, without holding the nut with anything, to see how much torque they were losing by turning the head. The needle of the torque wrench barely moved. Of course, the torque wrench was about a XXX-XXX in/lb range torque wrench. They were losing something, it just didn’t show on that range torque wrench well. It was a very small in/lb amount, as they had lubed the bolt well with (lubricant type) lubricant. I let them do the run-on torque from the head side, as they had always done, even though it looked to me that they could easily put the torque wrench on the nut on the right link with a short socket, and on the left link with a crow’s foot. They were just torquing it from the head side for convenience. I believe we got approximately XXX-XXX in/lbs on the four nuts. Then they started to do the final torque. (Name), their supervisor, arrived and stood by, staring at us in his usual manner. (The EBU mechanic) asked me how I wanted to do the final torque, if I wanted to add the run-on torque to the final torque requirement (which was XXX-XXX in/lbs) for the shoulder bolts, or to just torque them per just the final torque value without the run-on torque added. I told him that that was the first time I had done that job that I remembered, and I asked them what they usually did. He said they did it both ways at times. I looked at the plan, then we did it just per the final torque value. Then they got the (part number) (I guess, that was the drawing callout) cotter pins and cut the ends shorter than what they were manufactured as I stood there, and began mixing up a kit of sealant. It looked like it was going to take them a while to install the cotter pins that were a safety device that was installed into the shoulder bolts to keep the nuts from falling off if their locking feature failed, so I grabbed the work copy of one of the jobs and went over to the shop computer a short distance away to look at the drawings. They didn’t come get me when they had finished installing the cotter pins and sealing them per the drawing. I guess that I had asked too many questions, so they bypassed me and got another inspector. I was actually glad. I didn’t want to have to inspect those cotter pins, as they had cut them to an unknown length and sealed them over after maybe installing them. I wouldn’t be able to see the cotter pins through the sealant to inspect them. They were just doing it per the plan, which was sequenced to seal the cotter pin before the safety device inspection. I had also looked at the (specification I.D.) spec, which I wasn’t familiar with for cotter pin installation requirements. It allowed them to cut the cotter pins, but the installation requirements were pretty bogus from an inspector’s standpoint. The spec showed the cotter pin ends bent back about (distance) around the bolt thread circumference, with a note stating something like "bend back approximately as shown." I hate that. That gives mechanics the latitude to do pretty much anything they want with safety devices, as how do you inspect how approximate is "approximate"--you can’t. If they had got me to inspect it, I would have been placed in the typical position an ethical inspector was put in in these situations--do it right, and have the shop remove the sealant so I could inspect the cotter pin installations, and if they refused to remove the sealant because of the inevitable "it was planned that way so I did it that way so you have to buy it that way" backlash that would come from the shop mechanics or (their supervisor), then I would have to write a planning pickup on the job for incorrect sequencing, and another "unable to inspect safety device because" pickup that would end up simply being roller stamped without rework by my lead (name). Then I would probably shortly thereafter have another meeting with (my QA supervisor) about me disobeying him and inspecting, and not just training, thereby not supporting the delivery schedule. I would then probably be presented the CAM I narrowly avoided in that promised Wednesday meeting that never came following the 1/11/02 meeting. Or, I could just roller stamp the sealed and uninspectable safety devices, saving my ass from holding a sign up at the busiest offramp as my new job, and resulting in the same outcome that would have resulted if I had gone the ethical route--possible discrepant safeties on an installation, that if they failed, could result in possibly the same thing that happened in the case that I told (my QA supervisor) I was thinking of in the 1/11/02 meeting when he asked me if I knew of any planes that had crashed because of an EBU problem (but he hadn’t wanted to know my answer, as he himself probably didn’t know the answer and he was scared I would trump him with mine)--the El Al cargo fight 1862 crash in Amsterdam, in which one 747 EBU departing the airplane knocked the adjacent engine off, causing the plane to crash, killing four people on board and 47 people on the ground. While this was caused by the strut and engine departing the plane, and not just the engine departing the strut, the results could be the same. This was the crash I was thinking of in that meeting with (my QA supervisor), although it wasn’t an EBU problem that caused it (I haven’t had time to search and see if there was a crash that was traced to an EBU or not since that meeting, as I have been working on this in all of my free time).
The Last Inspector