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Ethiopian 737-8 MAX down. No survivors.

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by RWatters, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 11, 2008
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    The Dreamliner is a better plane than the 777 but smaller. I would say the Dreamliner is now my favorite plane Boeing makes, and perhaps the best long range plane in the world.

    The problem for the 777 is the way United configures them. The seats in the back are ridiculously small.
     
  2. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

    Mar 26, 2011
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    Me too, I'm an unashamed fan of the "Triple Seven"; I almost never travel internationally nowadays...and was p...d off this summer when going to Chicago, and back, that I had to fly on an A-330; last time I took a "Triple Seven" was a few years back, to Buenos Aires and back; fourteen hours on a "Triple Seven" one direction, fourteen hours back on an other "Triple Seven", and in business class, what a plane...

    About the "Max" crisis: don't get me wrong, it's not because that I'm French (so: European) that I would be rejoicing about Boeing's trouble (= meaning: Airbus gain). Far from it. I'm fascinated in organisations, and what makes a company that was undoubtedly the leader in its game suddenly make the "wrong" decisions. Lots of lessons to be learned here. As are lots of lessons to be learned in the A-380 commercial failure.

    Rgds
     
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  3. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    That was the common complaint about the 757 also, and in both cases it was not the aircraft's fault. Don't blame Boeing for bad decisions by their customers!
     
  4. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Well... its sold as a kind of substitution for the aging and expensive to operate 747 so airlines try to squeeze in as many as they can.
     
  5. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

    Mar 26, 2011
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    The report on the Indonesian 737 max's crash is out:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-crash/indonesias-report-on-737-max-crash-faults-boeing-design-says-lion-air-staff-made-mistakes-idUSKBN1X401G

    [...] The accident had been caused by a complex chain of events, Indonesian air accident investigator Nurcahyo Utomo told reporters at a news conference, repeatedly declining to be drawn on providing a single dominant cause.
    “From what we know, there are nine things that contributed to this accident,” he said. “If one of the nine hadn’t occurred, maybe the accident wouldn’t have occurred.” [...]

    Rgds
     
  6. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Tom Tanner
    That's the real reason most US airline crews were not afraid to fly the MAX, they knew how to fly the plane by hand. That said Boeing should have disclosed how much control the MCAS system was able to take from the crew when they had an AOA failure. Politics is playing a huge part in the length of time it's taking for a return to service.
     
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  7. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    More typical than not (for any accident). However there also needs to be an accounting of why each of these things occurred and whether they should have occurred, either individually or as a result of a cascading series of events.
     
  8. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I wonder if you can really "fix" the 737 Max with "software". Is it just a patch over an inherent design flaw?
     
  9. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    I wouldn't call it a flaw, rather a design characteristic. All planes have certain characteristics, some good and some not so good. Every design has compromises. Before computers and software they were not as easy to hide, and that is exactly what software did in this instance was hide a not so good design characteristic. In the 'old days' pilot awareness and training would have sufficed to mitigate the issue.
     
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  10. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    The system needs more redundancy in the sensors.

    The Lion Air sensor (one) had been replaced with a used (junk) part, and it did not work any better.
    That next crew kind of walked into a **** show.

    Redundancy in input signals.
    Airspeed....it's important.
     
  11. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    So you won't have the Indonesian government admitting their Repair Process is flawed, or that the new crews are simulator trained and have very low hours experience.

    They don't make much either.
     
  12. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    The part came from a US overhaul vendor. That part may or may not have been faulty (could have been incorrectly installed) but the company has had it FAA Repair Station license pulled.

    As for the installation of the part by the Lion Air mechanics they are unable to determine if the part was correctly installed and/or properly calibrated as part of that installation.
     
  13. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    WASHINGTON—The FAA had first-hand knowledge of critical changes to the 737 MAX maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) during the aircraft’s development, but Boeing’s lack of proper paperwork documenting the updates kept agency experts who may have given the system more scrutiny out of the loop.

    “The FAA was not adequately aware of the evolution of the MCAS from a relatively weak system to a much more robust system,” Chris Hart, chairman of the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) task force that examined the 737 flight controls, told the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee during an Oct. 30 hearing. “The communications to the FAA were not adequate for it to be fully aware of those issues.”

    Assumptions and mistakes made during the MCAS’s design and approval were implicated by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) as primary contributors in the October 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 (JT610). MCAS’s activation is also a key focus of the probe into the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. The accidents killed all 346 people onboard and led to the worldwide grounding of the 385-aircraft MAX fleet.

    Details from testimony by Boeing executives and both the JATR and JT610 final reports shed light on two key issues linked to two fatal MAX accidents: whether Boeing did not tell the FAA about key MCAS design aspects, and whether the regulator failed to conduct adequate due diligence on the system.

    Both reports question whether the FAA knew enough about the MCAS—particularly its expansion to cover low-speed scenarios—to challenge Boeing’s analysis of its risks. Boeing disputes this.

    “The FAA was aware of the [MCAS] low-speed extension and ultimately certified that,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said during the Oct. 30 hearing. “The extension of MCAS to low speeds was done in a rigorous way. It was done in a very visible way. There was testing done on that from the mid-2016 timeframe to the early 2017 timeframe, including flight tests with the FAA on board.”

    Boeing developed the MCAS in response to 2011 wind-tunnel testing that quantified the effects of the MAX’s CFM LEAP-1B engines on the aircraft’s aerodynamics. Its original authority covered high-speed scenarios, such as wind-up turns. In early 2016, flight tests determined that the MCAS needed to address “low-speed scenarios, to improve wings-level, flaps up, low-Mach stall characteristics and identification,” the NTSC report said.

    The MCAS’s original configuration triggered a maximum of .65 deg. of stabilizer movement per activation. The low-speed functionality added beginning in March 2016 required more stabilizer movement—2.5 deg.—per activation to achieve the required results. The MAX’s stabilizer ranges from maximums of 4.2 deg. aircraft nose down to 12.9 deg. aircraft nose up.

    Adding the low-speed authority “meant that each time MCAS was triggered in a low Mach environment, it caused a much greater movement of the stabilizer than was specified in that original safety analysis document,” the NTSC report said. “At a limit of 2.5 deg., two cycles of MCAS without correction would have been enough to reach the maximum nose-down condition. At this point, the flight crew would experience extreme difficulty to maintain control of the aircraft.”

    Boeing’s original MAX stabilizer trim control functional hazard assessment (FHA), completed in 2012, modeled “several” MCAS-related hazards, the NTSC report said, including “a wings-level recovery from a stabilizer runaway during level flight.” Boeing assumed that pilots would react and recover, trimming out the aircraft and, if necessary, using cutout switches disconnect the trim motor from the stabilizer, within 4 sec.

    After Boeing added low-speed authority, it “reviewed” the FHA, and concluded that the high-speed scenarios still presented higher risk, even though the low-speed authority could move the stabilizer more, the NTSC report said.

    “During FHA, the simulator test had never considered a scenario in which the MCAS activation allowed the stabilizer movement to reach the maximum MCAS command limit of 2.5 deg. of stabilizer movement,” the NTSC report said. “Boeing also indicated that engineering and test pilots discussed the scenario of repeated uncommanded MCAS activation during development of the [MAX] and deemed it no worse than single uncommanded MCAS activation because it was assumed that the pilots would trim out uncommanded trim inputs to maintain control of the aircraft.”

    Boeing updated the MAX digital flight control system safety description to reflect the expanded MCAS logic “and provided it to the FAA,” the NTSC report said. But it did not update the stabilizer system safety assessment (SSA), the key system-level evaluation that included the MCAS.

    “The SSA was not updated beyond Revision C of the STS requirements for MCAS” written before the low-speed expansion,” the JATR report said. “The JATR team observed no documented risk, failure, or safety analyses conducted on the MCAS software beyond Revision C.”

    Critically, key FAA engineers who relied on the SSA did not have the latest information from Boeing in writing.

    “Without documenting the updated analysis in the stabilizer SSA document, the FAA flight control systems specialists may not have been aware of the design change,” one of the JT610 report’s 89 findings said.

    Boeing may not have updated the SSA, but it did not keep the FAA in the dark. In July 2016, it presented tests results to the FAA that helped finalize the MCAS. It submitted a revised certification plan in September and held “numerous validation meetings ... supported primarily by FAA flight test and the policy office” with regulatory officials from Canada, China and Europe.

    “In those meetings, the maximum MCAS authority of 2.5 deg. in the low-speed region was specifically covered,” according to an NTSB report given to the NTSC and included in the JT610 final report. “The FAA also indicated that their focus on the SSAs was mainly around other system changes and not MCAS and therefore from a flight controls/system safety perspective, their team does not have recollection of specific discussions associated with Boeing regarding the MCAS changes.”

    The exchanges between Boeing and the FAA were insufficient, the NTSC and JATR said.

    “Boeing did not submit the required documentation and the FAA did not sufficiently oversee Boeing ODA [organization designation authorization],” the JT610 final report said.

    “The JATR team’s belief is that FAA involvement in the certification of MCAS would likely have resulted in design changes that would have improved safety,” the joint task force concluded.

    Boeing’s FHA assumptions were proven wrong in both accident sequences. Faulty sensor data triggered the MCAS, but pilots did not react and counter the stabilizer movements within 4 sec. The Lion Air captain reacted within 2 sec., but he pulled back on the yoke, which does not counter MCAS. After 10 sec., he did what Boeing believed pilots would do: apply nose-up trim through a column-mounted switch. But the crew never flipped the cutout switches—another step Boeing assumed would happen as part of its risk analysis.

    Critics of Boeing, including some lawmakers that questioned Muilenburg in two hearings, point at MCAS’s crucial role in ensuring the MAX mimicked its predecessor as motivation for the company to downplay the system’s existence and capabilities. The NTSC’s description of the MCAS in its JT610 final report summarizes the flight control law’s criticality.

    “The MCAS was needed in order to make the Boeing 737-8 (MAX) handling characteristics so similar to the NG versions that no simulator training was needed for type rating,” the report said. “It was also required so that the 737 MAX passed the certification that the pitch controls could not get lighter on the approach to stall.”

    The latter was a regulatory requirement. The former was market-driven, with expensive consequences.

    Muilenburg acknowledged in the Oct. 30 hearing what has been widely reported but not confirmed: Boeing’s agreement with major MAX customer Southwest Airlines calls for the airline to receive $1 million per MAX if pilots need simulator training to transition from the NG to the MAX. Such “incentive clauses,” he added, “are not uncommon.”

    The original NG-to-MAX transition training did not include simulator sessions. Regulators are still finalizing updated training requirements that Boeing is developing as part of a broader set of required changes that address issues identified in both accident investigations and other probes.

    While Boeing insists it did not withhold MCAS-related data from the FAA, it concedes that mistakes were made in how it handled information during the MAX certification process.

    “We’ve identified some areas where we need to improve the documentation and recording of decisions, and make sure they’ve been communicated to all parties,” Muilenburg said. “That’s one of the areas for improvement we’ve identified, and we’re working that jointly with the FAA.”
     
  14. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    The liberal arts view of what happened.
     
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  15. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    The story is so utterly biased that it is hard to read. Nicely written as a novel but not as a factual treatise.

    What the article calls "...a sensor on the nose malfunctioned...." was in fact they took a bird strike that wiped out the AOA sensor.

    No one should believe that the FAA is populated with the most great and wonderful, gifted people. Far more likely is that they get the paper pushers that can't exist in the commercial world where one is going to be held accountable.
     
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  16. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Yes, I have one
  17. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Sounds like somebody who does not know what he is talking about.
     
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  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    In a government job????

    Say it ain't so.
     
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  19. RWatters

    RWatters Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2006
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    Boeing fined 3.9 million: https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/aviation/473481-faa-proposes-fining-boeing-39-million-for-installing-defective

    This deals with slat tracks according to the FAA release (https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=24456). I'm sure the cost of the fine is nothing compared to the money made/saved by keeping the planes on schedule.
     
  20. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    A neighbour who is an ex Kc135 captain and then decades as an Airilne pilot, recently retired. He said the later 737's are all total sh+t. After 6 months flying one he asked to be transfered out. He then went off for 20 mins on all thats wrong with these planes, it was pretty sobering. Lets just say the Mcas is not the only patch on a patch on a patch. Boenigs answer to him and others was all the systems meet regulator requirements.

    A company run on engineering excelence is now a company of MBA's answering to wall street. It took 20 years of hollowing out the core before it was visisble.
    Like any industrial process, by the time you reckognize a problem youre way in and there are no simple fixes.

    Boeing chose the cheaper option to developing a new aircraft because that did great for the stock price in the short to medium term.
    Looks like theyre doubling down on that policy.
     
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  21. JLF

    JLF Formula Junior

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    Was he talking about the NG’s? It’s a solid airplane, flys great, efficient, reliable, makes a ton of money. As good as anything out there. There’s a reason 73’s are the best seller.
    Total S#$@?.......Hardly.
     
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