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Byron Bailey, The Australian, MCAS

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Byron Bailey, The Australian, MCAS

Old 13th Oct 2019, 03:48
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Byron Bailey, The Australian, MCAS

From Fridays paper, headlined "Boeing 737 MAX Most Tested Jet and Very Safe".
Indeed there have been several incidences of MCAS activation on US B737 MAX aircraft but experienced American pilots recognised the problem, which just required treating it as a pitch trim runaway, and turned the switches off.
On R & N Takwis, who is a US based 737 pilot going by his profile, says,
It raises a lot of questions. Why is he the only source? No official notices, from FAA or airlines or pilot unions, have mentioned this. What was the cause of MCAS activation? Did it activate for it's intended function, or because of some malfunction? Why have none of these pilots spoken out? Why has Boeing not said, "See, pilots can do this!"? Why hasn't someone else said, "See, it malfunctions all the time!"?

I would say, generously, that this is very unlikely to be true.
Like to see Byron's evidence re US MCAS activations, no one else seems to know about them, in Boeings PR pay?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 04:38
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Megan,
Whilst I don'r have the quotes to hand, several articles in Aviation Week and Space Technology, which have been exhaustively covering the issue, have mentioned same. They never received any publicity at the time, because the crews involved just ran the uncommended stab trim checklist, as did the lost Indonesian aeroplane's crew the night before, Bali to Djakarta.
I don't always agree with Byron Bailey, but, on this occasion, I do.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 05:06
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
Megan,
Whilst I don'r have the quotes to hand, several articles in Aviation Week and Space Technology, which have been exhaustively covering the issue, have mentioned same. They never received any publicity at the time, because the crews involved just ran the uncommended stab trim checklist, as did the lost Indonesian aeroplane's crew the night before, Bali to Djakarta.
I don't always agree with Byron Bailey, but, on this occasion, I do.
Tootle pip!!
Megan is bang on the money, there's no evidence that any US crew ever experienced an erroneous MCAS activation, leave alone ran the Runaway Stab NNC. There were a couple of reports after Lion Air 610 that US MAX crews had encountered an unusual nose down trim command but because they had occurred with the AP engaged none were ever connected to MCAS. Moreover, there's no record of any US crew that had encountered said unusual nose down trim commands using the Runaway Stab NNC; the AND trim command was momentary and correctable. One of the incidents was written up on the ASRS by both the Captain and FO as ACNs 1597286 and 1597380.

With regards to the Lion Air 43 crew, the one with the extra crew in the jump seat, there's no evidence that they actually treated that as a runaway and ran the relevant NNC. They listed the NNCs that they had run (Airspeed Unreliable and ALT DISAGREE) and Runaway Stab wasn't mentioned.

It would appear that Byron is back to his old trick of just making stuff up.

Last edited by MickG0105; 13th Oct 2019 at 07:34. Reason: Typo correction
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 05:35
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
Megan,
Whilst I don'r have the quotes to hand, several articles in Aviation Week and Space Technology, which have been exhaustively covering the issue, have mentioned same. They never received any publicity at the time, because the crews involved just ran the uncommended stab trim checklist, as did the lost Indonesian aeroplane's crew the night before, Bali to Djakarta.
I don't always agree with Byron Bailey, but, on this occasion, I do.
Tootle pip!!
Might want to re-check that - it is required to be reported to the FAA and requires a Tech Log entry, none reported of the 5 or 6 were an MCAS events.

"uncommended stab trim check list" = "Runaway Trim check list" correct?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 06:15
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Conspiracy theorists???

If it was that simple the fleet would not be grounded and REMAIN GROUNDED!!!!!

Believe what you will, have a look for the article on the Boeing gets pilots that took 8000’ to get the failure under control. These pilots knew what was coming and still............

Ah but let’s just blame sub standard pilots eh, the western world is so good!

More to it than meets the eye!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 08:00
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I don’t think anyone is blaming substandard pilots , just the substandard selection and training of pilots.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 11:52
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I note that Byron also suggests that engaging the autopilot would have fixed the issue. I suspect that with the control force that was being applied such engagement would have been unlikely.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 11:56
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Byron also said that on talkback radio - I nearly stopped talking on my phone while driving to call them up and say ‘what the...’. The point in the interview that he made was pilots can’t fly. He omitted to mention the AP will always be over ridden by force!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 12:01
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Boeing will be full throttle on trying to discredit the crew of the MAX. The PIC of the Ethiopian had 8000 hours so was not a newbie. Of course they will have their willing accomplices to be their mouthpieces. Cash for comment is not limited to radio broadcasters. This aircraft is seriously flawed otherwise the FAA would have had it back in the air months ago.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 12:04
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From the other thread mentioning Bailey's articles, it seems the alledged Aviation Week articles are nowhere to be found.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 23:42
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So LS you are prepared to agree with Byron Bailey but are you prepared to disagree with this bloke:

Letter to the Editor
Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger
New York Times Magazine
Published in print on October 13, 2019

In “What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 MAX?” William Langewiesche draws the conclusion that the pilots are primarily to blame for the fatal crashes of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian 302. In resurrecting this age-old aviation canard, Langewiesche minimizes the fatal design flaws and certification failures that precipitated those tragedies, and still pose a threat to the flying public. I have long stated, as he does note, that pilots must be capable of absolute mastery of the aircraft and the situation at all times, a concept pilots call airmanship. Inadequate pilot training and insufficient pilot experience are problems worldwide, but they do not excuse the fatally flawed design of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that was a death trap. As one of the few pilots who have lived to tell about being in the left seat of an airliner when things went horribly wrong, with seconds to react, I know a thing or two about overcoming an unimagined crisis. I am also one of the few who have flown a Boeing 737 MAX Level D full motion simulator, replicating both accident flights multiple times. I know firsthand the challenges the pilots on the doomed accident flights faced, and how wrong it is to blame them for not being able to compensate for such a pernicious and deadly design. These emergencies did not present as a classic runaway stabilizer problem, but initially as ambiguous unreliable airspeed and altitude situations, masking MCAS. The MCAS design should never have been approved, not by Boeing, and not by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The National Transportation Safety Board has found that Boeing made faulty assumptions both about the capability of the aircraft design to withstand damage or failure, and the level of human performance possible once the failures began to cascade. Where Boeing failed, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should have stepped in to regulate but it failed to do so. Lessons from accidents are bought in blood and we must seek all the answers to prevent the next one. We need to fix all the flaws in the current system — corporate governance, regulatory oversight, aircraft maintenance, and yes, pilot training and experience. Only then can we ensure the safety of everyone who flies.
​​​​​​​Sully states what most reasonable thinking pilots know, the 737 Max is a fatally flawed aircraft.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 23:59
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This article comes along at the same time as Alan Joyce is in discussion with Boeing regarding future purchase, to soften up public reaction...
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 00:02
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Remember its Virgin that has an order for Max 8 jets, but I guess QF is a bigger target for some
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 01:32
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Sully is , dare I say it , only partly right.
The sequence of events did start out as an Airspeed Disagree event ,caused by an angle of attack indicator failure, but the crew failed to complete the Non - Normal checklist correctly.
The first items on the checklist are DISCONNECT autopilot and autothrottle. Fly the aircraft.
The unintended consequence of the angle of attack failure led to the activation of the MCAS ,which led to to stab. trim motion ,which led to the loss of control. Completing the Runaway Stabilizer Non-Normal checklist would have resolved the issue.
The failure of the angle of attack indicator ultimately led to TWO Non-normal checklists having to be completed correctly and promptly.
Neither were.
As a long time B737 Pilot I sympathise with the crew. The situation they found themselves in was extremely difficult. I’ve been there.Boeing checklists are difficult to run simultaneously with multiple failures. But the fact remains that completing both checklists correctly would have salvaged the situation.
The B737MAX is not a fatally flawed design.
That’s where Langewiesche’s article is closer to the whole truth.
Training issues for new start airlines in third world countries will be an ongoing nightmare for Boeing AND Airbus for the foreseeable future, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 01:52
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Not quite correct George. If we want to go down that path, the crews, had to complete the 1) Approach To Stall Non-Normal Manoeuvre MEMORY items after wheels off the ground (first item do this immediately at the first indication of stick shaker), 2) Airspeed Unreliable NNC MEMORY items & QRH Performance inflight for pitch/thrust 3) IAS Disagree NNC, and 4) then in the middle it all, observe a Stabilizer partial runaway only when the Flap Leading Edge transit light extinguished after selecting flaps to UP.

I'm not the only one who thinks this is beyond the realm of us mere mortals. That is why the aircraft is still grounded. See also Boeing 737 MAX Flight Control System Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR), October 11, 2019 report that does not cast Boeing or the FAA in a pleasing light.

While contemplating this post, comprehend that each crew also had to deal with this background noise.


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Old 14th Oct 2019, 02:50
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George Glass,
Well put.

Curtain Twitcher,
Have you ever been confronted with multiple conflicting warnings at a critical stage of flight?? I have, and involving a failed AOA vane.

In my opinion, various who have pointed to pilot (or lack thereof) training as a major issue (like FAA and now ICAO) as a major contributor are heading in the right direction.

This is even recognised by Airbus in the A350 syllabus, which starts in the sim phase with just "flying the aeroplane".

After all, the Lion Air aircraft was safely flown the evening before the loss, by a suitable experienced crew.

Tootle pip!!

​​​​​​​PS: CT --- that was just a stick shaker ---- it gets far more distracting than that with a whole bunch going off at once.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 03:29
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Curtaintwitcher, I have had an airspeed disagree event and can confirm that simultaneous over speed clacker and stickshaker is disconcerting to say the least. That’s why I have sympathy for the crew. But the fact remains that you can disconnect everything on a B737 and it will still fly. An instructor once demonstrated that in the simulator by taking us to 30,000 ft. and switching every switch on the overhead panel off. It still flew. I don’t think too many do that sort of stuff anymore. Just fly it like a C172. Personally I will never fly domestically in Indonesia. Ever. Seen too much scary stuff over there.
P.S. Don’t see the need for Approach to Stall recalls. Go straight for Airspeed Disagree.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 03:38
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Leadsled, fortunately I haven't had multiple conflicting warnings, that is my point. The fact that a single point of failure can generate so many bells and whistles speaks to the poor engineering & design that took a 1960's airframes and allowed Boeing to bypass most of the the modern certification. Boeing essentially ignoring all the lessons & human factors discoveries about the fragility of human performance under unexpected duress.

As time goes on we learn just how inadequate humans are in the chain for any degree of complex decision making with conflicting data. The research doesn't say we are getting better, we've never been good, and the engineering should reflect that, not fit the human in as primitive EICAS/ECAM.

You mention the crew that experienced the MCAS activation and landed successfully, guess what, they had a third set of eyes. Nobody can say if there would have been a different outcome with just two crew.

It is actually a true testament to skill and abilities of the global 737NG pilots that the accident rate is so remarkable low. Is this because globally 737NG pilots are inadequately trained? With 100+ million departures, I don't know how we can sustain that argument. Given the part number for the AoA vane is the same in both the NG and the MAX, there is likely no change in the rate of sensor failure rates.

This Boeing data was produced in October 2018, covering the period to the end of 2017, so the MAX shows 0 fatalities. The chart below is stunning to me, the safety of the 737NG operation is remarkable. Boeing & the industry did something right to sustain that level of safety since 1997.

What could possibly explain the difference between the NG and MAX? The pilots, Training or the aircraft itself?


Source: Boeing Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents Worldwide Operations | 1959 – 2017
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 03:39
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But the fact remains that you can disconnect everything on a B737 and it will still fly.
GG and LS you are talking about an analogue only aircraft. I have flown a 737 in full manual reversion and it was a non-event. What you are not considering is that MCAS is a digital system that applies a control input independent of the pilots. Pilots who were not told about the existence of the system or the full failure modes of it. To just dump it on the crew does not explain why the thing has been grounded and even then they have found other issues with MCAS. LS Airbus have included the" fly the aircraft" in their Golden Rules since they introduced FBW so the A350 is nothing special in that regard. Interestingly the A330 was not grounded after a legacy carrier crew put one into a stall and killed all on board and the A320 was not grounded after the Air Asia fatal accident off Surabaya. So there must be a lot more going on than you are willing to acknowledge. Boeing through their shortcuts and corporate greed have presented a product to market that has killed over 300 people. Therein lies the issue.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 03:54
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Max has been grounded for how long now? Max ain’t getting its wings back any time soon or they would not be being ferried to storage facilities. Max obviously has serious issues. Yes the previous Lion Air flight had issues, was it the same fault? What did engineers do to it overnight? Nothing is as simple as it seems.

It does not matter how good you are, if an aircraft is uncontrollable it doesn’t matter how good you are.

I have said it before, I have crashed a sim when over zealous instructor put an non flyable situation of failures into the box! It is not a nice feeling and that’s a sim where the whoops freeze button is hit and a erm sorry ensues.........

I’ve read many articles on Max.

The most interesting one was the Boeing test pilots that took 8000’ to correct the MCAS activation/failure whatever you call it. Now how high were Ethiopian and Lion?
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