Old 10th Apr 2019, 12:35
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 5,172
Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
This has been a textbook FUBAR for Boeing PR

At one level it was never going to end well - Boeing implemented a system that COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONALLY but nevertheless factually caused an upset in which a plane and all its SOB were lost. We have not had the Final Report, but if we know it now, and indeed knew it then, then Boeing knew it even better.

At that point Boeing had the opportunity to 'own up', publicly, big splash, here is what we are doing about it, consider grounding the fleet until it could be demonstrated to be safe. But it chose not to, issuing an AD to the effect that aircrew should already know what they need to about runaway trim.

That was sufficient only in the case that there was not another event. But there was.

Even THEN Boeing did not choose to ground the fleet but it was left to overseas authorities to push the FAA into action.

All this drains confidence from the 'consumer' (including the professional flying community as the threads on this forum demonstrate).

I would say that the time between fix and confidence returning is something like the time from original incident to Boeing appearing to take the issue with "sufficient seriousness" x 4 or 5

And I don't think we have reached that point of inflection yet - the sense given is still of 'we can swiftly provide a fix through a software mod and hope to have the frame re-certified as soon as possible', rather than 'we need to be very very sure that this cannot happen again so WE will not release the aircraft for certification until WE are sure it's right'
Boeing as a manufacturer has No means to ground a fleet so as to damage the goods that others have purchased. Boeing's responsibility is to provide fixes for known problems with a suitable reccomendation for incorporation (ALL this under the rule of Continued Airworthiness).

As what they knew or didn't know at the time of their initial responses, that is TBD in the onward investigations

The same goes for the FAA who are dependent on Boeing for analysis of the data coming in from a field event and in-house testing, all which take time.

There is an underlying mode of operation that you don't prematurely ground fleets unless you have a path for ungroundings by identifying an unsafe action/design to bring the certificate back into compliance.

Many posters have a sense that simply discussing fatalities equates to instant groundings of whole fleets rather than finding means for restrictions on how they are flown with what fixes..

Personally (without data so just an hunch) I would have restricted the fleet to only fly with crews that were ably to comply with the restrictions needs. Of course that would have taken time to requalify crews but at least that gives the user operator more control over his costs and operations.

from a Sr Fellow in Continued Airworthiness
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