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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 3rd Apr 2019, 03:59
  #2941 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Turbine70 View Post
Part of fixing it means Boeing are revising training.
They might fix MCAS training, but I doubt they will do anything to change basic pilot training. In the Lion Air case, why would a pilot sit there, flying more or less level at a more or less constant speed and allow an automatic trim system to trim nose down on 20-odd occasions without doing something to stop it? If an automatic system is doing something it's not supposed to do and is making control difficult, then there's one very obvious solution. Deactivate the bloody thing and revert to something more basic. To my way of thinking, that should be part of a pilot's basic training
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 04:16
  #2942 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BuzzBox View Post
They might fix MCAS training, but I doubt they will do anything to change basic pilot training. In the Lion Air case, why would a pilot sit there, flying more or less level at a more or less constant speed and allow an automatic trim system to trim nose down on 20-odd occasions without doing something to stop it? If an automatic system is doing something it's not supposed to do and is making control difficult, then there's one very obvious solution. Deactivate the bloody thing and revert to something more basic. To my way of thinking, that should be part of a pilot's basic training
They only need to fix MCAS implementation and training to deal with problems caused by MCAS.

737's weren't dropping out of the sky otherwise.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 04:22
  #2943 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Turbine70 View Post
They only need to fix MCAS implementation and training to deal with problems caused by MCAS.
So what happens next time somebody has a different type of problem for which they have had no specific training?
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 04:54
  #2944 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BuzzBox View Post
So what happens next time somebody has a different type of problem for which they have had no specific training?
Needn't worry the actuaries and accountants have already costed it to the cent.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 05:42
  #2945 (permalink)  
 
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On the touchy ( forgive me ) subject of hand flying there was a time some here will recall, when a lot of training was done in the airplanes, some of it at night. Circling approaches, recovery from unusual attitudes, stalls and steep turns, offsets and every conceivable situation that might be encountered before all the airports had good approach aids and long enough runways. Hands on, heads up stuff you could never forget because it scared the daylights out of you. Behind us now, with a few exceptions in remote parts of the world, and good riddance to it. Safe and sanitary simulation, nowhere near as stimulating but a lot less dangerous, is here to stay. But it is no substitute for experience, and that brings up something else that has changed. Flying time and flying experience are no longer the same thing. Five thousand hours at one time would have exposed you to several difficult and trying situations in almost any job outside the airlines and some within. Today, five thousand hours in the right seat of a scheduled carrier with modern well maintained equipment may seem like enough time, but it may not be very much experience at all. I don’t have humble opinions, but the one I do have favors intelligent acceptance of the inevitable AI, not the expensive step in the wrong direction of trying to make new pilots more like the old ones. The teachable autopilot is right around the corner, able to be programmed with more experience than a room full of pilots. Driving airplanes is not what it used to be, nor should it be.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 05:43
  #2946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GarageYears View Post

His point was any time the airplane isn’t doing something he expected - turn off all the automatics including electric trim and figure out what was going on.

- GY
Hindsight is a wonderful thing............but in the past people have disconnected the autopilot when things have gone wrong, lost mental capacity and made some pretty poor decisions.......although there are some situations where autopilot disconnect is a memory item or sometimes it might be plain common sense to do so, but I would suggest you would "figure out what's going on" before you disconnect, and only if it's appropriate to do so!
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 06:00
  #2947 (permalink)  
 
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I shouldn't paste the whole article but these are the opening two paragraphs. I'm sure this will be more widely picked up by other news outlets shortly.

Pilots at the controls of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX that crashed in March in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by the plane maker but still failed to recover control of the jet, according to people briefed on the probe’s preliminary findings.

After turning off a flight-control system that was automatically pushing down the plane’s nose shortly after takeoff March 10, these people said, the crew couldn’t get the aircraft to climb and ended up turning it back on and relying on other steps before the final plunge killed all 157 people on board.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 06:12
  #2948 (permalink)  
 
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  1. [*]
  2. Busines Ethiopian Airlines Pilots Initially Followed Boeing’s Required Emergency Steps to Disable 737 MAX System

Details of Ethiopian crew’s actions gleaned from preliminary black-box data

People from various hamlets and villages pay respects to the 157 victims who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images
By
Andy Pasztor andAndrew Tangel
April 2, 2019 11:47 p.m. ET Pilots at the controls of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX that crashed in March in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by the plane maker but still failed to recover control of the jet, according to people briefed on the probe’s preliminary findings.After turning off a flight-control system that was automatically pushing down the plane’s nose shortly after takeoff March 10, these people said, the crew couldn’t get the aircraft to climb and ended up turning it back on and relying on other steps before the final plunge killed all 157 people on board.
The sequence of events, still subject to further evaluation by investigators, calls into question assertions by Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration over the past five months that by simply following established procedures to turn off the suspect stall-prevention feature, called MCAS, pilots could overcome a misfire of the system and avoid ending in a crash.

The pilots on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 initially reacted to the emergency by shutting off power to electric motors driven by the automated system, these people said, but then appear to have re-engaged the system to cope with a persistent steep nose-down angle. It wasn’t immediately clear why the pilots turned the automated system back on instead of continuing to follow Boeing’s standard emergency checklist, but government and industry officials said the likely reason would have been because manual controls to raise the nose didn’t achieve the desired results.

After first cranking a manual wheel in the cockpit that controls the same movable surfaces on the plane’s tail that MCAS had affected, the pilots turned electric power back on, one of these people said. They began to use electric switches to try to raise the plane’s nose, according to these people. But the electric power also reactivated MCAS, allowing it to continue its strong downward commands, the people said.

The same automated system, also implicated in a 737 MAX crash in Indonesia in late October, has become the focus of various congressional and federal investigations, including a Justice Department criminal probe.

The latest details are based on data downloaded from the plane’s black-box recorders, these people said. They come as Ethiopian investigators prepare to release their report about their preliminary conclusions from the accident, anticipated in the coming days.

Investigators probing the Oct. 29 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 believe erroneous data from a single sensor caused the MCAS system to misfire, ultimately sending the plane into a fatal nose-dive and killing all 189 people on board. Some of the same key factors were at play in the Ethiopian crash, according to people briefed on the details of both crashes.
U.S. Investigators looked at debris from the crash in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, on March 12. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images
After the Lion Air accident, Boeing and the FAA issued bulletins to 737 MAX operators around the world reminding them of the existing procedure pilots are trained to follow should the plane’s flight-control system go haywire and mistakenly push down the nose. Those are the steps the Ethiopian pilots initially took months later, these people said.

That procedure works to disable the new MCAS, much like another flight-control feature on earlier 737 models, by cutting power. The plane maker and FAA’s bulletins highlighting that safeguard were often mentioned after the Lion Air accident when U.S. aviation industry officials vouched for the aircraft’s safety. Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg noted the procedure in a Nov. 13 television interview when asked about information given to pilots.

“In fact, that’s part of the training manual,” Mr. Muilenburg said on Fox Business Network, adding the manufacturer was confident in the plane’s safety. “It’s an existing procedure so the bulletin we put out…pointed to that existing flight procedure.”

At a briefing for reporters last week, a Boeing official noted investigations of both crashes were continuing but didn’t comment about specifics when he outlined a coming software fix for the MCAS system and related training changes. The revised system will rely on two sensors, instead of one as originally designed, to prevent erroneous data triggering it. The system will now be designed to make it less aggressive and allow pilots more control over it, according to previous Boeing and FAA statements.

Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy, said last week the plane maker had “complete confidence that the changes we’re making would address any of these accidents.” The software fix could come as soon as mid-April, according to a person briefed on that issue, but further tests are needed before regulators can approve and mandate it so the grounded fleet can return to service. Another person close to the process, however, said final FAA reviews and tests could take up to six weeks. After that, it could take months longer for some overseas regulators to review and certify the fix for aircraft they oversee.

Activation of MCAS and a related pilot alert, which warns pilots of an impending aerodynamic stall, had been reported previously regarding the Ethiopian crash. But in the wake of the tragedy, Boeing, the FAA and Ethiopian authorities leading the probe have refrained from making any comments about whether the crew followed Boeing-sanctioned procedures to cope with the emergency.

Going forward, aviation experts, regulators and pilots debating the relevant safety issues will have to consider the implications that while the pilots did take such steps in the beginning, those apparently didn’t work as expected likely due to the plane’s speed, altitude and other factors. Eventually, the crew veered to other, nonstandard procedures that made their predicament even worse.

Another issue likely to be raised by the preliminary Ethiopian report is why a single sensor malfunctioned or somehow may have been damaged shortly after takeoff—touching off the deadly chain of events.

Write to Andy Pasztor at [email protected] and Andrew Tangel at [email protected]
Appeared in the April 3, 2019, print edition as 'Ethiopia Pilots Followed Boeing Steps.'
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 06:25
  #2949 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by YYZjim View Post
Once is airplane error; twice is pilot error.
Wright Bros broke more than 2 planes...

If you amend your comment from PIlot Error to Human Error, which would include the software designers, the DER's operating under the ODA, the Regulatory oversight of the OEM, the airline management response, the mechanics undertaking fault finding of apparently repetitive defects, the regulatory oversight of the operational and maintenance program, and possibly the pilots, then that may be a valid statement.

The pilots here were the first to the scene of the accident, and in these cases they had an interest in surviving, yet didn't. Pretty easy post hoc to brand the crew with the fault, when they are confronted with what appears to be events that precluded a safe outcome, irrespective of how clear and simple that appears to us sitting around our computers and relaxing, without being placed in a life threatening situation. When we know why the second crew didn't sort it out, the industry will have gained valuable knowledge and maybe hardened against similar future events. With the knowledge that the 2nd crew had been briefed on the issue, the fact that it didn't end well is important, and until we understand why that was the case, the system will have a hole in it.

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” Arthur Conan Doyle
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 07:02
  #2950 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 73qanda View Post

I don’t want to agree with you. Hopefully you’re incorrect.
At the moment the regulator mandates that I get 8 hours of simulator time p/a. In reality it’s more like 16 because the pilot I am teamed up with also needs 8 hours. We complete this over two checks held six months apart. If the regulator mandated that I need 12 hours, and the extra four hours had to be sans automation and both high level and circuit work, the difference in my handling skills and confidence as a pilot would be significant. The cost would easily be passed onto the flying public and would effect all operators equally.
With all the cosy relationships between Airlines and regulators and manufactureres globally I won’t hold my breath but it would go a long way to making our Industry safer for very little cost.
This is one situation that would benefit from some autocratic leadership and hang the corporate consequences......anyone know a leader like that?
Edited to add; A ‘bad outcome’ from the Max saga would be that Boeing tinker with their software and manage their corporate relationships to get the aircraft flying again.
A ‘good outcome’ to the saga would be if pilots around the world became more competent through mandated automation-free sim time that is in addition to the current requirements.
There is nothing I would like more than to see those with your attitude get what you want, even if I disagree.. Check out my last 2972 post and you will see why I feel the need for a different approach.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 10:05
  #2951 (permalink)  
 
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737qanda that's a great idea.

Ferry pilot, I think producing pilots capable of hand flying with confidence is an essential skill - it can be achieved without much cost but just requires a change of culture. Some airlines already do this just by encouraging turning off the automation (when appropriate, ie good weather, low traffic levels).

I remember a skipper I flew with when I almost overcooked a hand flown approach say: what would the passengers rather have, a perfectly flown approach by the autopilot everytime or a pilot who can confidently fly if the situation requires it, even if we'd had to throw that approach away?
​​​​
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 10:56
  #2952 (permalink)  
 
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One think I don't understand in all the above.
The consensus is that these pilots were not adequately trained or knowledgeable about the aircraft, which may of course be true.
But to get into their situation there had to be a failure in the aircraft systems of some kind.
So accepting that the fact that all the US pilots were better equipped to deal with this situation , have there not been any failures of this system on US registered aircraft?
Apart from the 2 we know about, have there not been no log book write ups for this system in the US ?
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:02
  #2953 (permalink)  
 
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Now that it seems very likely that MCAS was involved in both the Lionair and the Ethiopean accidents, a sad irony emerges namely that the pilots (of the non-accident Lionair flight) who had the least knowledge of both the general MCAS issues and also of their own specific a/c issues, were the only ones who were able to handle the problem. Assuming warnings, cautions and lights were somewhat identical on all three flights - what was different? And what were the significant differences?

I didn't read through the now closed Lionair thread until yesterday and I realize many of the questions, quotes and opinions from my previous posts were already there - my apologies and thanks to Hans, Bernd, iff789, Denti, FCeng84 for their patience, persistence and insight. Kudos to gums for figuring out the gist of it within a couple of days of the first accident!
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:04
  #2954 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GotTheTshirt View Post
The consensus is that these pilots were not adequately trained or knowledgeable about the aircraft, which may of course be true.
?
Or maybe not. The WSJ article quoted above says that the Ethiopian pilots were aware of the Lion Air crash and did turn off the stab trim motors but couldn't get the nose up using the manual wheels.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:35
  #2955 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TTail View Post
Now that it seems very likely that MCAS was involved in both the Lionair and the Ethiopean accidents, a sad irony emerges namely that the pilots (of the non-accident Lionair flight) who had the least knowledge of both the general MCAS issues and also of their own specific a/c issues, were the only ones who were able to handle the problem. Assuming warnings, cautions and lights were somewhat identical on all three flights - what was different? And what were the significant differences?

I didn't read through the now closed Lionair thread until yesterday and I realize many of the questions, quotes and opinions from my previous posts were already there - my apologies and thanks to Hans, Bernd, iff789, Denti, FCeng84 for their patience, persistence and insight. Kudos to gums for figuring out the gist of it within a couple of days of the first accident!
Actually, the most intriguing question is: Why the data from the two different vanes of two separate airlines in two separate continents made the MAX-8's, more or less, went berserk the same way...??

There are about 380 B38M's in operation, and about 100 of them - roughly 26% of it- are operated in the US/Canada.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:44
  #2956 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mh370rip View Post
Or maybe not. The WSJ article quoted above says that the Ethiopian pilots were aware of the Lion Air crash and did turn off the stab trim motors but couldn't get the nose up using the manual wheels.
During my 737 3-400 type rating training I clearly recall a demonstration in which stab trim was allowed to go beyond the point where manual trim could be operated due to control loads. Whether this was part of a stab trim runaway drill or an extension of demonstrating the trim system I no longer recall. The purpose was to enable awareness of the condition and practice the technique of (both pilots) hauling back on the yoke and then relaxing the pull while simultaneously clawing back a little manual trim using the wheel. This has to be repeated several times before the loads reduce enough to allow continuous trimming without unloading pull on the yoke.
If a pilot hadn't seen this simple but crucial demostration their recovery from a sufficiently runaway stab would be problematic, and in the Ethiopian case I expect their inordiantely high airspeed would have exacerbated the problem.
Little details like this can make a huge difference years later on the line, and if small details get dropped from the training manual...
Does any other 737 pilot recall doing/not doing this exercise? I'd imagined it to be a universally inuded part of the course but perhaps not. It would certainly be of great importance to now if it was included in the training all four accident pilots recieved.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:44
  #2957 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TTail View Post
Now that it seems very likely that MCAS was involved in both the Lionair and the Ethiopean accidents, a sad irony emerges namely that the pilots (of the non-accident Lionair flight) who had the least knowledge of both the general MCAS issues and also of their own specific a/c issues, were the only ones who were able to handle the problem. Assuming warnings, cautions and lights were somewhat identical on all three flights - what was different? And what were the significant differences?
I posted this elsewhere this morning: IMO the main differences were the speed at which the trim switches were cut. It has become clear that manual control is not possible when the horizontal stabiliser is loaded by the elevator deflection, at airspeeds > 250kts. The only way to survive that scenario was to reduce the power, and cut the switches early enough. Can someone with the FDR readout of the earlier Lion Air flight confirm if this was what happened?

Edit: Ironically in a nose down condition, engine thrust may produce a pitch up force due to the underslung engines. This could have given some assistance at low speeds, but would not overcome the inability to move the stabiliser at high speeds.

Last edited by GordonR_Cape; 3rd Apr 2019 at 12:11.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 11:57
  #2958 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GordonR_Cape View Post
I posted this elsewhere this morning: IMO the main differences were the speed at which the trim switches were cut. It has become clear that manual control is not possible when the horizontal stabiliser is loaded by the elevator deflection, at airspeeds > 250kts. The only way to survive that scenario was to reduce the power, and cut the switches early enough. Can someone with the FDR readout of the earlier Lion Air flight confirm if this was what happened?

..

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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 12:03
  #2959 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GotTheTshirt View Post
One think I don't understand in all the above.
The consensus is that these pilots were not adequately trained or knowledgeable about the aircraft, which may of course be true.
But to get into their situation there had to be a failure in the aircraft systems of some kind.
So accepting that the fact that all the US pilots were better equipped to deal with this situation , have there not been any failures of this system on US registered aircraft?
Apart from the 2 we know about, have there not been no log book write ups for this system in the US ?
I don´t know if this incident is related to the discussion. In this case the ADIRU has been replaced.
A Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, registration C-GMXB performing flight WG-439 from Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 176 passengers and 6 crew, was enroute at FL350 about 50nm northwest of Washington Dulles Airport,DC (USA) when the captain's instruments began to show erroneous indications. The first officer was handed control of the aircraft as his instruments and the standby instruments remained in agreement. The crew decided to descend out of IMC into VMC as a precaution and descended the aircraft to FL250. Descending through FL280 the weather radar and TCAS failed. The crew declared PAN and worked the related checklists. The left IRS fault light illuminated. The flight continued to Toronto for a safe landing without further incident.

The Canadian TSB reported the left ADIRU was replaced.
Incident: Sunwing B38M near Washington on Nov 14th 2018, multiple system failures
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 12:20
  #2960 (permalink)  
 
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TTail
I tend to believe that the most significant difference would be the fact that in the cockpit there were 3 heads, 6 hands/arms and 6 feet/legs available for turning on and off switches, pulling very heavily on yokes and, most of all, turning very quickly 2 trim wheels to pull a (by the wind speed “forced-up”) stabilizer back down.
R.I.P. 347 lost souls.

Last edited by Mike FRA; 3rd Apr 2019 at 15:07. Reason: answer to who (TTail) was missing
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