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Old 27th Apr 2019, 12:56
  #4435 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by wonkazoo View Post
Boeing designed and placed into service an airplane with an active control system that had unilateral control over the horizontal stabilizer, with enough authority to place the airplane in an unrecoverable state if just a single component failed. Further this system gave no indication to the pilots that it was operating, or when malfunctioning that it was operating in error. Additionally this system, which was created solely to increase the amount of force required to pitch up the aircraft at high AOA used the most critical part of the airframe to do this minimal task, instead of using a passive system that had no control authority.

The result of this sad effort was a system that, if it failed, would basically try to kill the pilot and everyone on board. I say again: MCAS will try to kill everyone on board if it fails.

I simply cannot recall... another system on a transport category aircraft with a failure mode that defaulted to "I'm going to try to fly the airplane into the ground. If you line up all the dots and pull two switches at the right moment I will let you live. Otherwise you die... Oh, and BTW I'm also going to fail concurrently with three or four other systems, which actually will alert you to their issues, unlike me, who will sit here quietly winding your trim forward until you get to the point where you cannot wind it back. Sorry about that!!" (It's also worth noting here that the Emergency AD that was put out only gave instruction on what was essentially an enhanced trim runaway. There is no actual way (that I have seen) for a pilot to actually determine if MCAS is malfunctioning. At best you are to stop the resultant (trim runaway) and remain in ignorance over the state of MCAS. WTF?? A system with complete authority over the horizontal stab and you have no way of knowing anything about it. Failure modes, operational status, errors, nothing. Just "If the airplane is trimming down (for whatever reason) and you don't want it to pull the console switches." Really??)

These incidents, indeed the entirety of MCAS' existence are a failure of corporate responsibility aided and abetted by a complete abrogation of regulatory responsibility.... {But} in the end, the only entity who both could have designed a safe airplane, and who not only failed but by all appearances worked to conceal their failure through omission, was Boeing. And the agency that looked the other way was the FAA.

Those are the responsible parties, and that is what I hope people will look carefully at. It starts with the airplane. Build a safe one and operators will still find a way to muck things up, and crews will still make mistakes. But step one, the most important step, is build an effing safe airplane.

Warm regards,
This is probably the most concise, perceptive, and accurate summing up of this truly dreadful 737 MAX debacle. It really ought to be distributed widely to be seen by the widest audience possible.

It counters the apologists' excuses for Boeing's abominable design, and it should silence the criticisms of those who repeatedly try to blame the pilots of those 2 condemned flights / aircraft.

I am sad that it has taken so long for 'dce', 'wonkazoo' to come here to sum this up so perfectly, along with the important lessons for everyone from sharing such a vivid and honest account of their own '***** or bust' moment all those years ago. It takes a special mind to admit to failings with such openness and honesty, and we are all the richer for it. The question is, when will Boeing and the FAA similarly dig deep enough to find similar humility and honesty, and to redress the very clear failings?

Thank you, 'dce' - respect!
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