Re: A Day in Technical Documentation History

Subject: Re: A Day in Technical Documentation History
From: Bee Hanson <beelia -at- pacbell -dot- net>
To: William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 05:17:25 +0000 (UTC)

I worked for MDC in the late 80s, not for the DC-10, but for the C-17, which is still flying.Â
My team's 40,000+ pages of documentation were in the cockpit, which by now they have certainly digitized. But it's such a huge cargo plane that extra weight would hardly have mattered.Â
I don't believe any of those planes ever crashed (after first flight), but I can't take credit for it. The whole program was run by the DoD - a military project that was apparently successful.
Who woulda thunk it.
BeeÂ

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:41 PM, William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com> wrote:


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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Follow-Ups:

References:
Flare-only shop?: From: Nancy Allison
A Day in Technical Documentation History: From: William Sherman

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