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Old March 7th, 2017   #1
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Default Design To Fail Strikes Again!

60 Minutes last Sunday had the final findings of the inquiry into the sinking in a hurricane of the elderly container ship Faro in the Caribbean a few years ago and Design To Fail played a big part in the tragedy which killed the entire crew of over 30 souls.

The Faro was bound for Puerto Rico from I believe Charleston SC and was in the south west quadrant (the least active quadrant) of a hurricane. The primary cause of the sinking was the failure of the crew to secure one or more doors on the side of the ship. This let in water which caused the ship to list to one side.

This wouldnt have sunk the ship itself. But the list caused the oil in the engine sump (diesel?) to tilt away from the oil pickup. A computer detected this and SHUT THE ENGINE DOWN. Nothing the engineer did could restart the engine. The list itself wasnt serious enough to sink the ship but without the engine, the pumps wouldnt work to correct the list. WIthout oil at the oil pickup, the engine wouldnt run either. Helpless before the storm, the ship turned sideways to the wind taking on more water. That was the end of the ship and its crew.

What Should Have Happened

No way a computer should have been able to shut down the engine in a situation like that. No way the engine should have been the sole source of power for the pumps. Early single engine jet fighters had this flaw also. The controls were hydraulically operated by the engine. Lose the engine on takeoff or landing...the controls lock and the aircraft rolls and hits the ground before the pilot can do anything. Here in NJ a few years ago thats exactly what happened to an F86 at an airshow on takeoff.

Without a constant flow of oil the engine would have been damaged if it kept running, but probably not disabled. The engineer (or the designers) should have allowed ahead of time for a way to make the engine run in the event of a list that severe. Flooding happens in storms. The engine should have run with the ship listing.

But no, it was designed to fail.

Last edited by echo; March 7th, 2017 at 01:48 PM.
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