A Day in Technical Documentation History

Subject: A Day in Technical Documentation History
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 22:22:57 -0400

Unfortunately, history is often created by incredibly sad or horrible events. Today in 1979, that pretty much describes it. American Airlines Flight 191 crashed after take off at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. A total of 273 people lost their lives as a result, the deadliest aviation accident in the US.

A coworker was only a couple of miles from the airport on that day and saw the smoke all rise up when it happened.He says he will never forget it.

How this ties to technical documentation is that it saved the company that built that plane, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Initially blamed as a poor design and as such, all liability would come on McDonnell Douglas, it was found that MDC had fully documented the correct method of removing and installing the wing engines and that American Airlines and others were using an unauthorized shortcut. As such, MDC was not held responsible.

Hopefully, your documentation will never be tested under such horrible conditions, but please make sure it will stand up to such scrutiny.
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