If Only They Did The Same?

KUALA LUMPUR: The report below strikes a chord with me. Yes, the US is the most litigant country in the world but I wonder whether if our servicemen or their families decided to take up such a law suit against the manufacturer of our defence equipment.

Certainly the pilot in question cannot sue the USAF but since he is suing a commercial company he might be on new ground here. On the positive side, the in depth investigation by USAF certainly helps. Our crash investigation report has never been made public apart from the summary so its difficult, I believe, to start legal proceedings. But one can always try….

U.S. Pilot Sues Boeing Over F-15 Falling Apart

The pilot of the F-15C Eagle that broke apart in November, forcing an U.S. Air Force-wide grounding of F-15s, has sued the jet’s builder. Maj. Stephen Stilwell’s lawsuit accuses Boeing Co. of endangering the lives of F-15 pilots and claims the company should have known the fighter wasn’t built to specifications.

The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 from Boeing. The 27-year-old jet was built by McDonnell Douglas, which became part of Boeing in 1997.

The “misconduct of Boeing constituted gross indifference” and a “conscious disregard for the safety of F-15 pilots,” the lawsuit filed March 21 in St. Louis, Mo., federal district court claims.

The lawsuit says that Stilwell, a Missouri Air National Guard and commercial airline pilot, has not been cleared to return to flying military or civilian jets because of the injuries he suffered as the plane broke into pieces and he ejected. Calls to Boeing were not immediately returned.

After the Nov. 2 breakup, an Air Force investigation which included assistance from Boeing, determined that the fighter broke apart behind the cockpit because one of the support beams – called a longeron -that reinforces the fuselage snapped apart. The aluminum-alloy longeron failed because it was thinner than what specifications called for and its rough finish left the longeron susceptible to cracking.

The breakup occurred as Stilwell flew a 7.8G-turn, a standard training maneuver.

An inspection of all Air Force F-15s turned up 149 that also had thin or rough finished longerons and nine jets with cracked longerons.

Since the inspections, the Air Force has cleared most of its 420-plus F-15s to return to flight. However, Eagles with questionable longerons must be inspected more often. From Defense News

–Malaysian Defence

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4 Comments

  1. He didn’t eject. The plane literally disintegrated around him during flight. He never triggered the ACES II ejection seat. I guess you could say the plane ejected instead!!!!!

  2. It reminds me that the RMAF still has 44 A-4 airframes in storage at AMARC. The poor Skyhawk got a really bad rep because the whole deal was botched. You only have to look at the service that the RASF got for theirs. Why we should not have sent our birds down south for rebuilding as SuperScooters is one of those things that we must chalk up to the success story that is Wisma Putra.

  3. We are not as lucky as them in the sense that they can take action on their own free will,which do not exist in our military culture.everything is decided for them by those people on top.my point is most of the time the decisions are made by the people who i believe keen to keep their deep pockets.

  4. The hawks is the US have become hulks already. The Argies had a look at them in early 90s and found the birds were good for the scrap heap only. What a waste.

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