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Old 10th Feb 2021, 06:24
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: EDSP
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
There have been something like 100 amendments to the FARS in the last 30 years (compared to about 40 in the previous 30 years). Yes, a few addressed shortcomings or updated the regulations to reflect current technology (e.g. FBW, FADEC, and carbon composite structures). But the vast majority have been bureaucratic make-work that increased the regulatory burden with zero contribution to safety.
The problem isn't a lack of regulatory oversight. The problem is that the regulators are not looking at the right things.
Complexity of systems has exploded since then. Gauges, switches and knobs are no longer handeled by humans but by algorithms and control loops that are strongly dependent on each other, introducing failure modes that - if not cought in design and certification - will cause loss of life because the effects cannot be expected to be diagnosed and fixed by human operators timely.
The 737Max is a prime example of what happens if this is not done with due dilligence and care by both the design bureau and the regulator.
Of course this increased complexity adds significant amount of effort equally to design and validation. Regulation is only second line of defence but must keep pace with this increased complexity and sometimes fails to do so - by advancing slower than technology and containing loopholes.
It is therefore vital, that organisations provide the ressources neccessary to cope with increased complexity and that individuals in these organisations do not take the bait of compensating work load by cutting corners.
Both did not happen within the regulator and the designer. Add some Forkners (people that are not governed by engineering ethics but by career considerations and slavish obedience of unrealistic objectives by superiors) and you have a Max.
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