Management Case #1: Communicate or Lose a $1.4 billion stealth bomber

Posted on June 7, 2008


Note from Rafik Beekun:

Islamic nonprofit organizations lack good internal communication for any number of reasons: lack of understanding of shura, cultural barriers, autocratic and bureaucratic leadership, etc.  Please read below an article from CNN that illustrates how costly a breakdown in communication can be.  In this case, valuable information was not shared among lower-echelon, but critical personnel in the US Airforce.

The Air Force said the first crash of a B-2 stealth bomber was caused by moisture in sensors and estimated the loss of the aircraft at $1.4 billion.


The Air Force stopped flying B-2 stealth bombers for two months after the crash.

The crash probably could have been avoided if knowledge of a technique to evaporate the moisture had been disseminated throughout the B-2 program, Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter, who headed an accident investigation board, said Thursday.

The Spirit of Kansas abruptly pitched up, rolled and yawed to the left February 23 before plunging to the ground at Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam. Both pilots ejected safely just after the left wing made contact with the ground; it was the first crash since the maiden B-2 flights nearly 20 years ago.

“It was just by the grace of God that they were safe, and the good [ejection] system,” Carpenter said.

Water distorted preflight readings in three of the plane’s 24 sensors, making the aircraft’s control computer force the B-2 to pitch up on takeoff, resulting in a stall and subsequent crash. Video Watch $1.4 billion aircraft crash to the ground » [more]

Please click here to read the whole article from

Please click here to learn more about management from an Islamic perspective, including communication.