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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 25th Mar 2019, 12:03
  #2501 (permalink)  
 
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Two crashes bad. Third crash - jail time for all involved. And I would mean top to bottom at Boeing and the FAA.

So lemme see. Boeing rushed some software in in a rush, in a couple of years due to the NEO threat. Now they've rushed some more software in, in a few months, and this is somehow better? Have they even started to write test plans for all the interactions with other systems? Started to look at the AD converters? Perhaps the Boeing board would like to spend next week strapped in a MAX cabin doing high speed touch and go's in Africa with the greenest crew from Ethiopian Airlines/Lionair, people with 50 hours each on type and a messed up sleep pattern on a plane fixed by the greenest mechanics going with airline bosses yelling to keep the schedule going regardless? Is the USAF/USN letting this new software go onto their 737 derivatives?

G
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 12:21
  #2502 (permalink)  
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Started to look at the AD converters?
I find the A to D fault giving just over 20 degrees error such a compelling hypothesis that I'm deeply concerned when all I hear is Boeing rewriting MCAS code and recommending training.

With such an error lurking, it won't matter how many AoA vanes are replaced, or how gently the fault now manifests itself. It will still be a fault.

I'm worrying about nothing. Boeing can't be that blinkered . . . can they?
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 13:00
  #2503 (permalink)  
 
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Fairly obviously, it will be very difficult for the FAA to certify a fix without first having a review of the FDR of the Ethiopian flight. Further difficulties are likely because other authorities may not approve certification without independent assessments of the "fixes". The only solution will be considerably more transparency from the FAA and the Boeing. Public opinion is the final arbiter for the future of the the MAX aircraft and perhaps even Boeing itself.

Having read the contributions, there is still considerable controversy about how the AOA/MCAS/Automation systems actually operates in ALL circumstances. While it seems the intention that MCAS is triggered in manual flight without flaps; it is not absolutely clear what are all the circumstances that it may maintain authority. Certainly, autopilot would appear to be disabled, and even if it were not, it may be affected by AOA errors. It is also not clear that a flap condition totally disables MCAS in all circumstances. There are also discrepancies over the left/right authority and the left and right seat controls and feedback. Above all it is fairly clear that the automated controls are inappropriately attempting to force a nose down condition that must be "rescued" by pilots. It is also not clear that there is enough time available to pilots to rescue that erroneous condition.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 13:47
  #2504 (permalink)  
 
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Update From WSJ this morning:
Ethiopian Airlines’ chief executive said a stall-prevention system on Boeing’s 737 MAX appears to have been activated on a jet that crashed earlier this month—the first time an aviation official familiar with the flight has specifically said that the system could have been switched on during the accident.
Mr. Gebremariam didn’t detail how he had made his determination about MCAS. He doesn’t have access to the precise detail from the data and voice recording devices, but he has listened to recorded radio communications between the cockpit of the flight and the tower at Addis Ababa airport, from which the flight departed on March 10.
“To the best of our knowledge,” MCAS was activated on the flight, Mr. Gebremariam said in the interview, adding though that he wanted to wait for the investigation for conclusive evidence.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 14:03
  #2505 (permalink)  
 
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“yanrair”
regular line pilot who might be on day 5 and of average skill.
you know that many companies roster more than 5 days, don’t you.

and
multiple warnings
you have the answer right there
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 14:52
  #2506 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by yanrair View Post
And of course how else can you test the scenario at headquarters on Boeing Sims without pilots who have studied the crash in minute detail and are fully expecting it?
All pilots world wide are pretty aware by now. It’s like tying to find a clean jury. Actually you can.
You. Introduce the failure on a regular sim session with a crew who think they are doing something completely different and are not training captains. We do it all the time on sim checks. Then you see how they cope.
Even better try it on a 737NG (Not MAX) crew expecting unreliable air speed or similar fault and see what happens. Just mimic the (existing) MCAS actions using the trim.

This would match what Lion air pilots were faced with, before MCAS was 'discovered' behaviour was claimed to match 737NG.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 14:54
  #2507 (permalink)  
 
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That has got to be one of the most lame PR exercises that I have ever seen and betrays a lack of an engineering mindset at America's premiere aerospace company. Congratulations, Boeing, you have proven that any competent pilot could have flown your faulty aircraft before the fix, any competent pilot can fly your aircraft after the fix, so Joe Passenger should have no worries at all about pilot skill and pay when boarding Economy Airlines -- who happen to be your target customer for the Max!

If you can't reproduce the problem, then you don't know what the problem is. I would feel more comfortable if the story were that these elite pilots had a really hard time recovering the aircraft before the fix, and after the fix all was good.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 15:27
  #2508 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
Two crashes bad. Third crash - jail time for all involved. And I would mean top to bottom at Boeing and the FAA.

So lemme see. Boeing rushed some software in in a rush, in a couple of years due to the NEO threat. Now they've rushed some more software in, in a few months, and this is somehow better? Have they even started to write test plans for all the interactions with other systems? Started to look at the AD converters? Perhaps the Boeing board would like to spend next week strapped in a MAX cabin doing high speed touch and go's in Africa with the greenest crew from Ethiopian Airlines/Lionair, people with 50 hours each on type and a messed up sleep pattern on a plane fixed by the greenest mechanics going with airline bosses yelling to keep the schedule going regardless? Is the USAF/USN letting this new software go onto their 737 derivatives?

G
To me I suspect they rushed this plane into production because of Airbus competition and got caught with a faulty product. Its too bad the company did not think through it all and now...? What they lost in terms of product confidence, trust in Boeing and the FAA cannot be bought back,
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 15:46
  #2509 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
Perhaps the Boeing board would like to spend next week strapped in a MAX cabin doing high speed touch and go's in Africa with the greenest crew from Ethiopian Airlines/Lionair, people with 50 hours each on type and a messed up sleep pattern on a plane fixed by the greenest mechanics going with airline bosses yelling to keep the schedule going regardless?
Good one , but if only half of what we read here turns out to be correct , they might have to do something like this to restore confidence in the flying public..
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 16:06
  #2510 (permalink)  
 
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At present there are very few sims capable of demonstrating MCAS.

A CAA might justifiably require MAX8 crews be presented Lion and/or Ethiopian scenarios on an MCAS capable sim.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 16:16
  #2511 (permalink)  
 
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Why would any operator need to experience a Lion MCAS event if the purpose of the ‘fix’ is to prevent such a failure, or at least its severity.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 16:46
  #2512 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
Two crashes bad. Third crash - jail time for all involved. And I would mean top to bottom at Boeing and the FAA.

So lemme see. Boeing rushed some software in in a rush, in a couple of years due to the NEO threat. Now they've rushed some more software in, in a few months, and this is somehow better? Have they even started to write test plans for all the interactions with other systems? Started to look at the AD converters? Perhaps the Boeing board would like to spend next week strapped in a MAX cabin doing high speed touch and go's in Africa with the greenest crew from Ethiopian Airlines/Lionair, people with 50 hours each on type and a messed up sleep pattern on a plane fixed by the greenest mechanics going with airline bosses yelling to keep the schedule going regardless? Is the USAF/USN letting this new software go onto their 737 derivatives?

G
Where are you going with this Groundbum!! If you are suggesting that Boeing or Airbus have to make planes that can be flown "doing high speed touch and go's in Africa with the greenest crew from XXX Airlines/AN other Airlines, people with 50 hours each on type and a messed up sleep pattern on a plane fixed by the greenest mechanics going with airline bosses yelling to keep the schedule going- regardless?", then who are you blaming? Clearly the airlines are responsible in this case and I would not want to fly with an airline like that. There are many like this and they are listed here and I would not fly with them.
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes...-ban/search_en
However I think you have to expect the manufacturer to make planes intended to be flown by competent pilots who can deal with most anything that comes along, as it does daily, and sometimes extraordinary events ( BA 747 quadruple engine failure; Hudson; 767 Gimli Airfield; BA 777 Heathrow; hundreds of others that are out there). And we expect National Authorities to regulate their airlines properly and the airlines to manage them properly so that the scenario you describe should not occur. It is why we should have highly trained pilots and two of them.
I feel that there is a lot of discomfort among some on this forum to accept that pilots need to know what they are doing and to stay ahead of the plane. A plane is not a play station, much as some would like it to be, and I for one believe that to try and make it into one is a bad move.
A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgement to ensure he never has to exercise his superior skill!! I am not sure that should be changed.

Cheers
Y
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:04
  #2513 (permalink)  
 
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Very well said, YANRAIR. There are probably a few more that should be added to the Ban List
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:24
  #2514 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by yanrair View Post
I feel that there is a lot of discomfort among some on this forum to accept that pilots need to know what they are doing and to stay ahead of the plane.
I feel there is also discomfort among some others on this forum to accept that even pilots that "know what they are doing" might not have been able to save the Lion Air or the Ethiopian flights.

My discomfort is with the constant claims that a "competent pilot" would have identified and solved the problem immediately, and the insinuations that the crews from those two flights "didn't know what they were doing".

Until we get the final reports from the investigating teams, it's the other way around: WE don't know exactly what those crews were doing.

I'm not saying those pilots didn't make mistakes, it's quite possible they did, after all it was a stressful and confusing situation. It would actually be surprising if they did everything perfectly.

But so far I didn't see any evidence suggesting a training deficit of those pilots, compared to pilots from other airlines. If that's true, it means it is not impossible this could have happened to pilots from US or European airlines. There are even some people that claimed it couldn't have happened to European and US crews, because of their better training. I think we don't have enough evidence, and it's way to early for such claims.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:25
  #2515 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Water pilot View Post
That has got to be one of the most lame PR exercises that I have ever seen and betrays a lack of an engineering mindset at America's premiere aerospace company. ...
"Lack of engineering mindset." Yes.

Even the first sentence struck me: "pilots from different airlines met with Boeing executives" ...,

Boeing executives. Not Boeing engineers.

Bernd
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:32
  #2516 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bsieker View Post
"Lack of engineering mindset." Yes.

Even the first sentence struck me: "pilots from different airlines met with Boeing executives" ...,

Boeing executives. Not Boeing engineers.

Bernd
I think that tells us that Boeing considers this to be, first and foremost, a PR problem, not an engineering one. I grew up with Boeing in my backyard but now I am disgusted. When they bought MD and took onboard a bunch of MD executives, their fatal dive began at that moment.
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:34
  #2517 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
Why would any operator need to experience a Lion MCAS event if the purpose of the ‘fix’ is to prevent such a failure, or at least its severity.
It is a futile, and ultimately embarrassing and revealing attempt to show to the world that "the airplane was perfectly safe before, but to cater to idiot third-world pilots, which we didn't even invite, we make it even safer!"


No, this isn't my opinion, this is how the lame excuse for a news article in the NYT reads to me.

Bernd
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 17:39
  #2518 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you, MemberBerry, how very true!
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 18:48
  #2519 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MemberBerry View Post
Until we get the final reports from the investigating teams, it's the other way around: WE don't know exactly what those crews were doing.

I'm not saying those pilots didn't make mistakes, it's quite possible they did, after all it was a stressful and confusing situation. It would actually be surprising if they did everything perfectly.

But so far I didn't see any evidence suggesting a training deficit of those pilots, compared to pilots from other airlines. If that's true, it means it is not impossible this could have happened to pilots from US or European airlines. There are even some people that claimed it couldn't have happened to European and US crews, because of their better training. I think we don't have enough evidence, and it's way to early for such claims.
I think that point of view is exactly right. More importantly even than to know what those flight crews were doing is to make a useful theory of why they did what they did. After we figured out what they did, which should be relatively straightforward from the recordings.

The very few cases of suicide notwithstanding, it is practically always the case that to professional operators suffering an accident (pilots, ship captains, train drivers, excavator operators, chemical plant engineers, ...) what they were doing made sense at the time. Only with hindsight does it seem obvious that it was wrong, and once we know the "correct" solution it seems impossible to miss. But we cannot really evaluate the situation they were in at the time.

I hope Professor Dekker won't mind if I use a small picture from his highly recommended book The Field Guide to Understanding "Human Error" (quotes original) to illustrate:


(2009 Sidney Dekker)


Bernd
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Old 25th Mar 2019, 19:01
  #2520 (permalink)  
 
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Question for the pros from a private pilot (and sorry if this was answered in the thread and I didn't see it):

How often do flight crews experience a stall warning (stick shaker, aural warning, etc) in normal Part 121 flying? I would guess it's very rare.
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