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FAA test of the 737 Max

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by TheMayor, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    That is likely true, but you have to survive the next 9-12 months to be here to take advantage of that as an airline. I think a few will not make it in the US and many around the world will fail.
     
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  3. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    On the VIP/corporate aircraft side there are a lot of stories of huge increases in interest in using them. Reports from the various charter and fractionals is that they are hearing rom people that are first timers. Cessna is reporting that they are getting interest in the light jet end of the new aircraft market - something that has been very slow for years. There is a feeling/hope that this may be a long term uptick for corporate aircraft users. Still a small sliver of the airline market but it would be taking away the higher margin segment that the airlines love.
     
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  4. Jeff Kennedy

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    Wiring Fixes Among Changes FAA Will Require Before MAX Can Return
    Sean Broderick August 03, 2020
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    Credit: Boeing
    WASHINGTON—The FAA’s proposed steps for operators to clear Boeing 737 MAXs for service include separating wire bundles deemed to be noncompliant with regulations and conducting “readiness” flights to ensure the long-grounded aircraft are airworthy, a draft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) made public Aug. 3 reveals.

    The wire-bundle issue, discovered during regulators’ comprehensive review of the MAX’s design and certification, concerns horizontal stabilizer trim arm and control wiring that runs the length of the aircraft. The FAA found that the wiring needs to be separated in 12 places to meet 2007 regulatory changes put in place to prevent wiring failures from creating hazards.

    The agency ordered Boeing to fix the issue on new-production MAXs and develop instructions for in-service aircraft.

    Many MAX operators planned to take advantage of the ongoing grounding and make the wiring changes before returning their MAXs to revenue flying, using service instructions Boeing issued on June 10. What was not clear: whether the FAA would require operators to address the issue before the MAXs flew again or give them the flexibility of a longer window for compliance, which is typical for many airworthiness directives. The NPRM confirms that the wiring work is one of several steps that must be completed on each existing MAX before returning to revenue service.

    Because Boeing made the in-service modification work package available nearly two months ago and the FAA tentatively approved its contents, the agency’s wiring mandate is not expected to add time to MAX return-to-service preparation.

    Updating MAX wiring, while an important regulatory compliance issue, is an ancillary change in the package of upgrades that will end what will likely be an 18-month-plus fleet grounding. The major changes are installing updated flight control computer (FCC) software that modifies the MAX’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS); new “MAX Display System” software that gives pilots more information on anomalies; and putting pilots through new, updated training.

    MCAS, implicated as a central factor in two fatal 737 MAX 8 accidents that led regulators to ground the model in March 2019, commands automatic horizontal stabilizer inputs to help the MAX handle like its 737 Next Generation predecessor. The software changes ensure MCAS functions as intended, but does not confuse or overwhelm pilots, and only activates when intended. Its original design, which relied on data from a single angle of attack (AOA) sensor, left it susceptible to a single-point failure. Boeing assumed pilots would recognize and react to unneeded MCAS inputs quickly, but the two MAX accidents, Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Lion Air Flight 302 in March 2019, showed the company was wrong.

    The NPRM and a related FAA summary of its MAX review emphasize that work still remains. The largest piece is having regulators and line pilots validate proposed changes to MAX pilot training. A Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) review, including participation from Brazilian, Canadian, European, and U.S. pilots and regulators, must be done, followed by an FAA-led Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report that will establish minimum training curriculum for MAX pilots. COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions have presented issues for the JOEB work, which would normally be done in one location. The FAA on July 21 said “final planning is underway” for the JOEB and FSB pilot evaluations but did not offer details on timing.

    Among the major training changes expected to be adopted: mandatory simulator sessions for all prospective MAX pilots. Previously, pilots with 737 type ratings could transition to the MAX following computer-based differences training. The FAA also is proposing changes to seven non-normal checklists (NNCs): runaway stabilizer; stabilizer trim inoperative; airspeed unreliable; altitude disagree; AOA disagree; speed trim fail; and horizontal stabilizer out of trim. Some changes are linked to the FCC modifications, while others stem from human factors research that found problems with their language or logic. It also is adding an eighth NNC, indicated airspeed disagree, to the airplane flight manual.

    The FAA’s analysis broke the MAX safety issues into seven categories: MCAS relying on a single AOA sensor; MCAS’s repetitive commands; MCAS’s stabilizer-trim adjustment authority; flight crew recognition and response; how the MAX alerted pilots of an AOA disagree; other possible horizontal stabilizer failures; and MCAS-related maintenance procedures. FAA’s directive and the pending training plan addresses each of them.

    A required “readiness flight” will validate the software upgrades on each aircraft.

    Fixes to the single-AOA sensor issue include the updated FCC software “to eliminate MCAS reliance on a single AOA sensor signal by using both AOA sensor inputs and changing flight control laws to safeguard against MCAS activation due to a failed or erroneous AOA sensor,” the FAA said. Neither the NPRM nor the FAA summary discuss adding additional AOA sensors.

    MAX training will be finalized separately and will include a public-comment period. Once the training program is approved, the FAA will issue an airworthiness directive mandating the return-to-service steps. The agency is not working with a time line. The NPRM is in final pre-publication stages and should be out in the coming days. It stipulates a 45-day comment period, meaning the FAA will not publish a final version until mid-September at the earliest. MAX operators have said they will need at least a month, and likely more, to upgrade their MAXs, ensure they are ready to fly following extended stints on the ground, work them back into flight schedules, and train pilots.
     
  5. Jeff Kennedy

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    EASA Schedules Boeing 737 MAX Test Flights For September
    Jens Flottau Sean Broderick August 27, 2020
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    Credit: Boeing
    FRANKFURT–EASA plans to start Boeing 737 MAX test flights on Sept. 7 in Vancouver, Canada in what is a key milestone for the aircraft to be recertified in Europe.

    EASA said Aug. 27 that it has been working with the FAA and Boeing to schedule the flights, but the process has been made more difficult by the COVID-19 travel restrictions between Europe and the U.S. Performing the flights out of Vancouver proved to be a way to get around these limitations. Transport Canada started test flights Aug. 26 from Boeing Field while the FAA completed its test campaign on July 1.

    “While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests,” the agency said. The flights will be preceded by simulator sessions in London-Gatwick beginning Sept. 1 and will be followed by meetings of the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) in Gatwick beginning Sept. 14.

    The FAA on Aug. 3 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defining conditions under which it would allow the MAX to return to service. Operators must install flight control computer (FCC) and MAX flight-deck display system (MDS) software that Boeing has been developing and validating for more than a year to address issues spotlighted in two fatal 737-8 accidents. They also must modify wire bundles that do not meet the latest wire-separation standards.

    The major changes are installing updated FCC software that modifies the MAX’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), and putting pilots through new, updated training. MCAS, implicated in two fatal accidents that led regulators to ban MAX operations in March 2019, commands automatic horizontal stabilizer inputs to help the MAX handle like its 737NG predecessor.

    The NPRM and a related FAA summary of its MAX review released at the same time emphasize that work still remains. The largest remaining piece is having regulators and line pilots validate proposed changes to MAX pilot training in the JOEB review. That will be followed by an FAA-led Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report that will establish minimum training curriculum for MAX pilots. Among the major training changes expected to be adopted are mandatory simulator sessions for all prospective MAX pilots. Previously, pilots with 737 type ratings could transition to the MAX following computer-based differences training.

    The FAA has been working closely with many regulators throughout the evaluation process. For example, both EASA and Transport Canada flight test and human-factors specialists helped the FAA and Boeing develop scenarios to evaluate flight-crew response to the updated software, the FAA said. Regulatory experts from Brazil, Canada and Europe “are involved with the ongoing review and analysis of the results as validating authorities,” the U.S. agency added.

    However, regulators have not agreed on every issue. EASA has been arguing that Boeing should introduce a third synthetic angle of attack sensor on the MAX for further redundancy to largely mirror the design set-up of the Airbus A320 family, which has three physical sensors as opposed to the MAX’s two. EASA has said that the MAX could be introduced back into airline service without the third sensor but that it could require Boeing to add it at a later time. EASA said it had no further comment on the MAX course of action at this time.
     
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  6. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    In unusual move, FAA chief test flies 737 Max; says more fixes needed

    Washington, DC (CNN Business)Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson says he has some suggestions for new changes to the Boeing 737 MAX after piloting the grounded jetliner Wednesday.

    "I like what I saw on the flight," said Dickson, a former airline pilot who flew earlier versions of the 737.

    "That doesn't mean I don't have some debrief items going forward," said Dickson after his two-hour flight from Seattle's Boeing Field.

    Dickson said he'd like to see tweaks "not so much in the procedures, but in the narrative that describes the procedures."

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/30/business/faa-chief-boeing-737-test-flight/index.html
     
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  8. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Might as well poll every 737 captain and FO in the world.:rolleyes:
     
  9. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Further proof that the FAA is scared of its own shadow.

    On top o this the US House passed some FAA "reform" bill that is based upon how the FAA people are the most knowledgeable. There may be a few of them somewhere that resemble that but the greater majority of all the ones I have known did not. They play in a world where the most qualified already left to avoid the political BS and the one that go to the FAA weren't competent enough to make it in the outside world. The FAA people are also prone to retribution (although the rules say they aren't allowed to do that) if they ever get butt hurt.
     
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  10. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    no comment;)
     
  11. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Analysis Shows 13% Of Stored MAX Fleet Has No Customers
    Sean Broderick October 01, 2020
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    Credit: Boeing
    Boeing needs to find new customers for 13% of the 737 MAXs it has built but not delivered following order-book shuffling by customers prompted by several factors, including the model’s prolonged grounding and the global airline downturn, an Aviation Week analysis shows.

    The company had about 470 MAXs in its possession awaiting delivery to customers as of Aug. 31. Most of Boeing’s MAX inventory has been built since mid-March 2019, when the model was grounded and Boeing paused deliveries of its newest narrowbody.

    An Aviation Week Intelligence Network Fleet Data analysis shows 62 of these, or 13% of the total, have been canceled by their original customers and not re-booked as part of new orders, a serial-number-level analysis of available data shows. Lessors accounted for 49 of these cancellations, while airlines canceled 11 of them. Two others were Boeing Business Jet VIP versions.

    Several of the cancellations affecting the 62 customer-less aircraft, including two by SpiceJet, took place before October 2018, when the first of two fatal MAX accidents took place that led to the model’s grounding.

    In addition to the 62 aircraft with no firm orders attached, another 12 aircraft in Boeing’s current MAX inventory were canceled but then picked up in subsequent orders. Reuters reported that Boeing is pursuing an order from Delta Air Lines for as many as 40 of the remaining white tails. Delta is the largest U.S. carrier without any MAX orders.

    Looking at year-to-date figures, customers canceled 564 MAX orders in the first eight months of 2020, including 114 by airlines, the analysis shows. GOL, with 34, and Air Canada, with 29, account for most of the airline-generated order book removals. Two of the 2020 airline cancellations, both by Royal Air Maroc, are among the 62 aircraft in Boeing’s inventory without a new customer.

    Last year, Boeing lost 270 MAX orders to cancellations—most of them destined for Jet Airways, which stopped flying in April 2019. Boeing’s official Aug. 31 backlog included a 125-aircraft order for Jet Airways. Airlines accounted for 162 MAX cancellations last year, with lessors making up the balance.

    While Boeing publishes monthly delivery data, it does not disclose official figures on the total number of aircraft built and awaiting handover to customers, such as the MAXs built in the last 18 months.

    Aviation Week’s analysis showed Boeing had 456 undelivered MAXs when it paused production in January 2020. Boeing has not revealed firm rates for its 737 program since it re-started what it called “low-rate” production in April, so it is unclear how many MAXs have been produced in 2020. Analysts at Jefferies reported that as of mid-September, Spirit AeroSystems had shipped a total of 22 737 MAX fuselages to Boeing in 2020.

    Boeing’s latest 737 production projections has it steadily ramping up to 31 aircraft per month in the first quarter of 2022. MAX deliveries are expected to re-start soon after regulators begin lifting the operations bans that grounded the fleet following two fatal accidents. The FAA and some other regulators could sign off on changes Boeing is making to the MAX in November or December, clearing the way for a few deliveries in 2020.

    FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a former airline pilot with 737 experience, took the revised training over several days and then flew one of Boeing’s test aircraft on Sept. 30, conducting scenarios that demonstrate many of the required changes Boeing made. In post-flight comments to reporters, Dickson was upbeat about Boeing’s progress, but stopped short of providing a definitive date for the FAA’s sign-off.

    Aviation Week data shows the MAX program with 3,993 outstanding orders, including 11 Boeing Business Jets. The Aviation Week backlog does not include orders still reflected in Boeing’s official numbers that are highly unlikely to be delivered, such as the Jet Airways MAXs.

    —Fleet analysis by Bo-Göran Lundkvist
     
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  13. Jeff Kennedy

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    FAA Releases Proposed 737 MAX Training Requirements
    Sean Broderick October 07, 2020
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    Boeing 737-7 being piloted by FAA Administrator Steve Dickson Sept. 30, 2020
    Credit: FAA
    WASHINGTON—Proposed new minimum training for 737 MAX pilots includes five scenarios in full-flight simulators preceded by reviews of related checklists and materials, a report issued by the FAA Oct. 6 reveals.

    The draft Flight Standardization Board (FSB) document, which covers all 737s, adds “special emphasis training” that focuses on the MAX family’s revamped flight control computer software, including the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight control law. All pilots transitioning to the MAX or flying it following its grounding will have to undergo the training, including a demonstration of the MCAS, which provides automatic nose-down horizontal stabilizer commands during certain flight profiles.

    Inadvertent MCAS activations played key roles in two fatal MAX accidents that left the fleet grounded and prompted regulators to order software and training changes. Previous versions of the FSB did not require any simulator work for pilots with 737 experience transitioning to the MAX—part of Boeing’s philosophy to minimize training costs for current 737 customers. They also did not call for any MCAS training, and Boeing did not include any information on the system in 737 MAX flight crew operations manuals, so most pilots did not know it existed until after the first accident, Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018. Instructions from Boeing and the FAA following the accident that emphasized existing checklists were not sufficient enough to help the crew of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 manage an MCAS-related failure scenario in March 2019 that also ended in disaster and triggered the global fleet ban.

    The proposed updated training includes a review of the revamped MCAS as well as demonstrations of it at work. Related failure scenarios also must be practiced in the simulator—a recommendation that Boeing long resisted but ultimately made in January 2020, following revelations that the company discouraged at least one customer—Lion Air—that felt its pilots needed the additional training. The proposed simulator work includes manual trimming during a runaway stabilizer event, manual trimming during an approach and go-around, erroneous angle-of-attack (AOA) data on takeoff that triggers an unreliable airspeed warning, and activation of a new STAB OUT OF TRIM alert.

    Pilots also must review seven checklists and training material being updated as part of Boeing’s proposed changes, which include revamping the MCAS to ensure it will not activate repeatedly and create the runaway-stabilizer condition that overwhelmed the crews in both accident sequences.

    While most of the proposed changes are linked to the MCAS and MAX-specific changes affecting the flight control computers, some of the scenarios—notably the manual-trim scenarios—could apply to older 737 models. The updated FSB does not propose any new training on older 737 models, however.

    The draft FSB also says that a recent joint evaluation by Brazilian, Canadian, European, and U.S. regulators deemed the new MCAS software “operationally suitable,” or ready for roll-out. The team of regulators noted issues with one checklist, Airspeed Unreliable, that the FAA will review. Among the issues: noted thrust settings for a potential go-around are not clear, and a change to behavior of flight directors—graphic images that guide pilots to proper pitch and bank angles—may not be clear to pilots.

    The FAA is accepting comments on the draft FSB through Nov. 2. Finalizing the FSB—which will guide all MAX pilot training—is one of the last major steps in the 19-month process to win regulatory approval for the Boeing model’s return to service.
     
  14. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    As if further proof of how broken the FAA is the Esa has signed off on the max returning to flight. FAA still working on it.
     
  15. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    I wonder if the FAA is scared of being the first to give an official OK. Last I am seeing the FAA and EASA are still working on the final training requirements and some new MEL definitions.

    Then Boeing gets to start reactivating all the parked aircraft which includes some wire re-routing, which may be by an AD.
     
  16. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    If Boeing is not well along in getting this accomplished that is just another indication of how bad the management side of the house has become.
     
  17. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    One would hope that they have been doing some of what they can but there may be some issues on performing an AD when here is no issued AD to be working against. Especially if this were to devolve into what happened with the MD-80s where some inside the FAA could not agree on the routing and the exact spacing for the securing of the bundle. In that MD-80 case some aircraft had the modification done a couple times as the FAA dithered over what they would accept - goes back to different FAA offices had different interpretations of what was compliant.
     
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  18. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

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    So...they will get re-certified just in time for the holidays? When COVID will be worse than ever and no one traveling for a while? Impeccable timing.
     
  19. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    but hopefully by next spring travel will be heading back towards some sort of nom.
    Even still with low energy prices and lower loads why buy a new plane.
     
  20. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/boeing-737-max-safe-fly-again-europe-s-aviation-regulator-n1243714
    Odd statement in this article
     
  21. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned:

    "The Federal Aviation Administration has reinstated the Boeing 737 MAX’s operating certificate one year, eight months, and six days since it was rescinded on March 13th, 2019. The approval gives airlines the green light to prepare to return the type to service."
     
  22. westextifosi

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    Just talked to a Southwest pilot today who said that it will be at least April before they are flying the MAX on revenue routes. Every one of SWA's 9000+ pilots have to do approximately 90 minutes in one of their 9 simulators before they can return to flying passengers. In the meantime, those pilots who have been through the simulator will be flying MAXs deadhead checking out systems and getting the cobwebs out of birds that have been idle for almost two years.
     
  23. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    The April Max start is mainly due to the Covid 19 fleet groundings. They could be like AA if they wanted and start flying them right away.
     
  24. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Sort of. The FAA is still finalizing the final documents for the new pilot training; should be very soon.

    Also there are the ADs that have to be incorporated. MCAS software change and wiring revisions. Then the FAA wants to do their own inspections, not delegated to Boeing; not clear if this only applies to undelivered Max or if those already delivered to the airlines.

    EASA, Canada and Brazil still have not finished their process to unground the aircraft.

    Yes, AA is moving quicker than the others. They obviously have some need o them into their fleet more quickly than others.
     
  25. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Plus AA has many already delivered aircraft at their storage facilities/MTX bases in N.M. and Tulsa. Most of the Southwest aircraft are at Victorville.
     
  26. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Airplanes don't like sitting, so they will have to do some work on all of them before putting them into service.
     
  27. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    It really doesn't matter much. Airline travel is going to be slow for at least the holidays next year. No real rush while demand is low.
     
  28. JLF

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