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Old 28th Apr 2019, 17:42
  #4514 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by 737 Driver View Post
I will keep repeating the first commandment of aviation - FLY THE AIRCRAFT, first, last, and always - as long as there is a single aviator out there who denies that this was not the crew's primary responsibility and does not make a credible argument that the tools to do so were unavailable to them.

And this is precisely the direction that I believe the conversation should go.
I think in the attempt to be artful the other night one of the main reasons I wrote what I wrote wasn't communicated clearly enough. (I am referring to my post about bailing out of the Goshawk in 1996...) It occurs to me now that in that failure lies a lot of the disconnect between me and 737 Driver on this one issue, and many others as well.

What I was trying to convey that night was the complete and total disconnect that happens when a very real, very lethal emergency is presented to someone who just seconds before was sitting comfortably doing the same thing they had done hundreds or thousands of times before with predictable outcomes every time. So for those who fall back on the tried and true mantra of FTFA (I'm from New York, you can't say anything without at least one eff being in there...) to fault the crews I hope you can begin to understand that in order to FTFA you have to have a functioning intellect able to process complex and copious inputs and in the short time that each crew had they almost certainly never got past the startle-factor and confusion (I hate to use this word, but let's say paralysis) that the events inflicted on them.

For those of you who think you are super-human and will never flinch when the bullet heads your way I am here to tell you that you will, and the only thing that will determine whether or not you survive is partly luck and partly how quickly you are able to return to a quasi-functional state- if in fact you are able to do so before the clock runs out on your life experiences. 40 seconds (as reported by media) is a stupidly short period of time to be startled, shocked, scared, and thence to recover and take decisive action. I would argue it is a nearly impossible window to react effectively.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for professional pilots (because it implies that you are not in fact in control of your entire domain...) is that you cannot train this away, you cannot tell which pilots will be totally paralyzed and incapacitated vs. those who will shrug and go on piloting vs. those who will recover quickly and get about their business. I smile when I read the pilots who write here in obscene terms about how the crews should have done this and that (specifically not referring to 737D here) because I know full well, and from experience, that they are as likely as anyone to be incapacitated if one day things really do go far south.

If your hands are shaking so hard you can barely hold on to something like a yoke from all the adrenaline pumping through your system FTFA becomes not a mantra but an unattainable goal. THAT'S WHY THEY CRASHED. THEY RAN OUT OF TIME BEFORE THEIR BRAINS COULD NORMALIZE TO THE POINT THAT THEY COULD FTFA.

One more quickie- to 737 Driver's point about no control failures- I would argue that a horizontal stab that cannot be moved due to overpowering control forces (while still in the envelope BTW) is a totally incapacitating failure and will be a significant part of the finding on why ET crashed. In other words: It was far from a perfectly flyable airplane. The crew did what they were supposed to do- they stopped MCAS from trimming down any longer. But they could not rewind the trim to an operable setting.

Warm regards,

wonkazoo is offline