September 8, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident and Lessons Learned: When You Don’t Have Proof – Make Up An Answer

The BBC headline read:

‘Ice in fuel’ caused BA jet crash

Yet the article goes on to state that the investigation into the crash landing at Heathrow of the British Airways Boeing 777 jet continues because the investigators think that the odds that this actually caused the crash are very low.

In other words, if you don’t have proof of what caused the crash, but you can make up an unlikely hypothesis, that must be the cause if you can’t find anything else.

Here’s another article making the same conclusion, published by Associated Press:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h74C0Fmf2iAMhGLsEYaGHy1WgqggD9300N8O1

The investigators are making recommendations to avoid ice in fuel.

My idea – a vent system that is closed with a nitrogen blanket. This would also prevent accidents like the TWA explosion over New York.

But remember, this is a recommendation that isn’t based on root cause analysis. It is simply adding an additional Safeguard to prevent future accidents based on a hypothetical explanation.

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