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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:35
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Originally Posted by AmuDarya
Ethiopan Airlines says via Twitter:
Assuming no typos, is that difference in flight hours very unusual, or is it a case of a relatively new first officer being teamed up with an experienced colleague?
Given that relatively new first officers do exist, should they fly with experienced or new captains?
"200hrs [total] and already in the cockpit of a big plane" is another question, but in some parts of the world it is a reality. (I.e. Russia.)
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:39
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I'll wait until the FDR and CVR are found and the contents reveal exactly what happened .But maybe with live data downloads, Boeing and the FAA already know ?
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:42
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Couple of things,

If i have read correctly there is come kind of update Boeing is working on in regards to the MCAS system following JT610, what is this update meant to actually do and what is it meant to prevent?

What is the failure rate of an AOA sensor, lets say this crash is related to MCAS, 2 aircraft which are less than 4 months old to both have failures of the same sensor regardless of MCAS seems very odd to me?
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:43
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Originally Posted by EIFFS
Given the data so far presented and whilst acknowledging the similarities to the Lion Air accident, it seems that the aircraft was fairly low to have reached a clean configuration given the high airfield elevation.

If it wasn’t clean then the MCAS wouldn’t be active?
MCAS active @ 1000ft w/ retracted flaps.
Bird strike on non redundant single AOA sensor doesn't allow much time to negotiate.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:46
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Originally Posted by jantar99
Given that relatively new first officers do exist, should they fly with experienced or new captains?
"200hrs [total] and already in the cockpit of a big plane" is another question, but in some parts of the world it is a reality. (I.e. Russia.)
Europe as well.

I think the FAA is one of the only ones to require ATP for FO's.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 09:51
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Originally Posted by log0008
What is the failure rate of an AOA sensor, lets say this crash is related to MCAS, 2 aircraft which are less than 4 months old to both have failures of the same sensor regardless of MCAS seems very odd to me?
It takes just one bird to lose an AOA sensor - we had that happen just a couple of weeks ago on one of our NGs.

Last edited by xetroV; 11th Mar 2019 at 10:17.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:09
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Originally Posted by sonicbum
You could expect those kind of comments from the average (non frequent flyer) passenger, not from somebody who claims to be a former airline pilot. THERE IS NO PROVEN EVIDENCE SO FAR that the Ethiopian accident has been caused by a technical issue that, despite having been WELL MANAGED (that is another very important point) by the flight crew, ended up in a disaster anyway.
There is, as yet, no proven evidence for the contrary view either - that the Ethiopian accident was not caused by a technical issue.

Only 350 of these birds have been delivered. Two have crashed, with what appears to be superficial commonalities, in less than 6 months.

I wouldn't necessarily avoid travelling on the type, but I wouldn't be critical of somebody who does.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:22
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Originally Posted by bumpy737
From what I understand one condition for the MCAS to work is manual flight. My question is, if the the MCAS starts to trim the nose down, can the AP be still engaged and save the situation?
MCAS only operates in very high (or faulty) AoA, which would probably prevent the AP from being engaged.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:26
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FYI. My employer has just sent out a message instructing its employees to avoid flying on 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The company has no aviation expertise, but has dozens, maybe 100s, of employees in the air at any given moment. I doubt if this is backed by a genuine risk analysis - I wonder if it will actually push pax onto smaller and possibly less well managed airlines ? I am sure lots of other organisations are doing the same; I think all airlines will have no choice but to ground this aircraft.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:29
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Ironic that members here who blame the MCAS system already are switching to A320s for their flights which also have the same type angle of attack sensors along with software to prevent a stall and have received faulty see also from sensors resulting in a fatal crash before the crew could respond. It was 10 years ago the A320 with 3 sensors had 2 freeze due to maintenance, the software selected those 2 to use neglecting the third working AOA sensor because it differed, put the plane into a stall preventing dive at an altitude from which the crew could not recover before plunging into the Med. darn Boeing copying AB.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:34
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welcome to Toulouse

Guys from Everett Factory in Seattle should come to Toulouse, France to see how auto trim work
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:36
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BBC reporting "black box" flight recorder found.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:36
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Originally Posted by NAROBS
Just looking at a profile picture of the 737 - 8 Max, it strikes even the mildly interested, that those huge new engines are positioned almost completely foward and clear of the leading edge of the wing. That must shove the Centre of Gravity of the aircraft way in front of the leading edge of the wing. That's non-standard for a start in a passenger aircraft. Usually the C of G is positioned on or just foward of the centre of lift.

N.
yes ... and it also increases the lift (increased wing area)
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:37
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I would like to note that Boeing appear have a suffered disproportionate number of crashes where their aircraft dived nose first into the ground:-
  • 737-200, UAL flight 585 (rudder problem)
  • 737-300, USAir flight 427 (rudder problem)
  • 737-800 FlyDubai flight 981 (loss of control during go around. Wikipedia indicates stabilizer trimming was involved)
  • 737 Max 8 Lion air flight 601 (suspected AOA/MCAS issue)
  • 767 Atlas Air Flight 3591 (unknown problem)
  • 737 Max 8 Ethiopian Airlines (unknown problem)
The only other incident I recall involved the Douglas (now Boeing) MD80 series.

Even though spread over many years, it does appear to be pattern, notwithstanding the very different causes involved. I cannot remember any of the competing airliners having similar problems - Fokker, BAC, Convair, Sud Aviation, Airbus etc.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:38
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One of the recorders found according to Ethiopian TV
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:38
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It would be interesting to get an idea if anyone else has been having sensor and MCAS problems. We know that the Lion aircraft experienced issues over several days. It seems inconceivable that the Ethiopian aircraft could have experienced anything similar and it not be written up. There are however a number of similarities so far between the two 737 Max accidents. For example both were first flights of the day from the airline's home base. It is quite likely that a daily check would have been carried out by company maintenance personnel shortly before the flights (in the Lion case we know for sure). It is also quite possible the aircraft were powered down before the accident flights, which may or may not be relevant, but experience has taught me that odd gremlins can occur when powering up electronic systems. Both crews lost control shortly after takeoff and impacted terrain. We will find out pretty soon from the flight recorders what happened.

Should it turn out to be the same failure then this is going to be a huge problem for Boeing. I flew the NG for many years and it together with the 777 have had absolutely outstanding safety records and very successful production runs. To lose two brand new Max aircraft within such a short period of time will raise big issues for the program. I have to say that given the present uncertainty I would not go out of my way to fly on a 737 Max until things have been clarified.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:43
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Learned Contributors,
please excuse if this is considered thread drift. If this Ethiopian crash and the Indonesian previously covered on here are proved to be linked. Is
not it odd that out of the total number of B.738M departures since entry to service, no one has been subject to this upset and caught it without loss of life ? Especially since Indonesia as I expect all B.738 Max crews are looking out for a recurrence?
Your time and trouble much appreciated,
Be lucky
David
The Lion Air aircraft apparently experienced the same malfunction on the immediately preceding flight to that which ended with the accident but the crew responded correctly and recovered the aircraft. They wrote up the incident as caused by unreliable airspeed. Engineers changed some components, did a ground test and declared the aircraft serviceable.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:49
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For those fixated on the experience level of the first officer, have we stopped to think of the possibility that the information given out on his/her experience level may be false. So far the only official statement I have read or heard about the experience of the pilots is that of the captain which says he is a senior Captain who has been with Ethiopian for 9 years.

Lets think about this for a minute, 200 hours doesn’t making sense taking into consideration average time to qualify for a CPL, the average time for line training and to get checked out on line as a first officer or second officer at the airline or was this a line training flight with a training captain?

As is common knowledge and has always been said on here, having a low time pilot as a first officer straight out of flight school is not uncommon, this is practiced all over the world and so far without issues, lots of very experienced and very good captains today started that way, not every country has their aviation industry set up like the US to start off in the general aviation sector and work yourself up to the majors.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:54
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Originally Posted by silverstrata


There is always a superman, who knws everything. But how many times have you operated these switches? I think I have touched them twice in 10 years. Still know which way they operate? And warnings going off all over the place; and the aircraft pitching up and down, possibly violently; and you only have 200 hours on type .... still know which way these switches operate...?

Silver

Runaway trim is a recall item. It doesn't take a superman to know the memory items it's a requirement of the job. Heaven forfend.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 11:21
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Unreliable airspeed at takeoff sounds like a pitot problem.
In many areas of africa there are small wasps which habitually try to set up home in pitots so pitot covers are fitted whenever an aircraft is on the ground.
Did someone forget to remove a cover ?

Just a random thought, it has happened before........
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