Panel missing from United Airlines Boeing 737 after it lands in Oregon

Originally published at:


The rate at which these aviation nightmares has suddenly increased is what is so shocking. By all accounts the executive suite at Boeing has been fairly ‘greed over competence’ for over two decades. So why is stuff overtly falling apart so recently? …really don’t think it’s just observer bias. Is there more to that whistleblower’s ‘suicide’ beyond that it strains credulity that it was suicide? (“Boeing Whistleblower Predicts His Own Death: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’” [one link]) [tin-foil hat tire falls off]

Edit to add recent BoingBoing post to whistleblower’s ‘It’s not suicide’


everyone is cutting corners as much as possible? including the airlines? I mean, look at this, they dont repair anymore, they just patch;

and thats the missing panel section from the current one; guess they forgot the weekly speed tape replacement;


maybe next time the whole landing gear compartment falls off?


Utterly concur, it’s ghastly. But what has shifted just in the last year to have it all happen approximately now? really don’t want to credit an old Boeing engineer associate who insists “The old guard has finally all retired and them young-uns don’t understand technical maintenance matters” …that’s just old folk moaning (surely?)


During the height of the Covid epidemic, passenger air travel dropped to a third of what it had been, and the air lines and manufacturers are still trying to fully recover from that. It’s not just that these planes often sat for a couple of years without use or maintenance, but a good chunk of the engineers and technicians who make and maintain these things found other jobs after being laid off and didn’t come back, and the newbies are making newbie mistakes and there’s nobody with the experience around to say, “you’re doing it wrong.” After a couple of years, manufacturing defects, improper repairs, and botched maintenance damage accumulates, then suddenly the number of incidents is heading rapidly up a bell curve as the built in redundancies are no longer redundant.

Add to that the tendency for humans to pattern-match and the news to pounce eagerly on and hyperbolize anything that looks like a trend, and you’ve got a sudden increased awareness of something that happens with disturbing regularity anyway. Do you really think a panel missing from an aircraft would have made major news if not for all the other recent incidents?

I’m finding it hard to get hard statistics on number of parts falling off aircraft per year over time, but back in the 80s, the Navy noted its fleet dropped about 400 parts per year, and Boeing between 89 and 94 reported 200 incidents involving their aircraft. In any case, while these events shows that Boeing has a problem, a quick search shows that news articles with the subject of “Parts are falling off aircraft all the time” have been common since at least the 1960s.

It’s still safer than driving. Just maybe make sure it’s an Airbus or McDonnall-Douglas for a while.


AKA “the company Boeing bought and ended up replacing the engineers with their toxic pursuit of profit”.

Airbus is saved by the fact that making a profit was not its raison d’être, it seems.


so we could blame boeing, or we could blame… oregon? two for two in the panel department leaves me wondering

have the beavers gotten loose again? or sasquatch? has there been a significant increase in the local geomagnetic field that’s pulling planes to pieces mid flight?

inquiring minds want to know…



Kidding No GIF by Nordisk Film - Vi elsker film


It’s bad enough having to clean bird shit and splattered bugs off our cars /trucks etc now we gotta watch out for Boeing parts littering the landscape. Soon enough the maga morons will find a way to blame it on Biden.

1 Like

Maybe the planes are flying over Eureka?


Well, the good news is that’s not really an issue anymore, but the bad news is that it’s because the number of insects and birds have plummeted in the last few decades due to multiple ecological apocalypses. So airplane parts falling from the sky actually fits nicely into our crapsack dystopian present.


There is half truth to that statement. The institutional knowledge is likely not passed down because senior level engineers “cost too much” so they’re let go/fired/retired early and the new hired employees have no idea what they’re doing. You can’t replace people working on thing for decades with few years/month old engineers. That’s not how it works but what do I know, HR(bean counters) only cares about head counts and cost-per-head metric so it’s all “nice and good” until the next disaster causes PR nightmare. Rinse and repeat. These people “cost too much” for a reason, they know where to hit the hammer, not how to hit things with hammer.


I present you the future.

Mike Judge Dystopia GIF by Idiocracy


Seeing the same thing where I work. New(ish) management wants everything to run like where the (CEO? Prez?) used to be, so they are making changes at a high rate with little regard for how they fit or utility. The older employees with decades of accumulated institutional knowledge are saying ‘Fuck this shit’ and retiring ASAP, leaving gaping holes in the command structure which either aren’t filled, or are filled with n00bs who don’t know where/how things work.

eta: I always said I was going to work as long as I could, but I’m starting to see the wisdom of the retirees. Still have 3 years to go before I’m eligible for full bennies, and I hope I last.


But the good news is, by now you can assemble your own 737 from the castoffs.


“One Piece at a Time” redone for the 21st century?


You’ve really got to worry when the panel makes it to its destination, but the rest of the plane is missing.


I don’t want to agree with Lenin, but I think he might have a point here.


Or, as William Butler Yates would have it,

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


So gyrfalcons don’t live in gyres?