Murphy's Law: Sloppiness and Sabotage


January 10, 2009: In Japan, they take responsibility very seriously. So when three civilian mechanics were found to be responsible for incorrectly installing some wiring in an F-2 jet, which then crashed on takeoff, injuring the two pilots, the three were taken to court. The three year old F-2 had just undergone scheduled maintenance and was on a test flight when the accident occurred. One the accused was the worker who actually installed the wiring, and did it incorrectly. The second man was the quality control supervisor and the third was a supervisor. The men admitted that they had screwed up, and the court fined each of them $5,500. The main charge was " professional negligence resulting in injuries." This was the first accident for the 75 F-2s (and upgraded version of the F-16, costing about $120 million each) Japan has built. 

While the Japanese workers were sloppy, in the United States a sheet metal worker was recently sentenced to five months in prison (and five months house arrest, plus a $110,500 fine for restitution) for deliberately sabotaging (by cutting wires) a CH-47 helicopter he was working on. When the damage was discovered, the entire CH-47 plant was shut down for two days. The defendant apologized and blamed the stress of the factory environment for causing him to damage the helicopter.



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