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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 29th Apr 2019, 15:34
  #4581 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
Watching the live news conference from Chicago, the Chief Exec gives me precisely zero confidence that Boeing are on top of this. He cannot bring himself to admit that the MCAS, as designed and fitted, had a major role in the accidents.
Was quite a staggering presser really.

“The MCAS system met with our design and quality criteria and this was a series of events” or something along those lines.

I find that statement incredible. The arrogance. This was a clearly flawed system which has cost the lives of 300 people.

The question I ask - do you agree that a 737-100 is the same aircraft as a 737-9 in terms of TCDS?
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 15:35
  #4582 (permalink)  
 
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Cows, you're focusing on the automation, I'm focusing on the pilots...do you want better pilots or Children of the Magenta pilots?
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 15:38
  #4583 (permalink)  
 
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what 737 Driver is trying to tell all of us ...

Many on here seem 'niggled' by 737 Driver's posts. The posts are well written, thought provoking and factual ... but if I were to sum up exactly what 737 Driver
is trying to say, it's simple ..
BOTH PLANES WERE FLYABLE !
There was nothing mechanically/electronically/software wrong that was stopping these planes continuing to fly!! FACT
There was no 'show stopper' !!
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 15:57
  #4584 (permalink)  
 
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formulaben, I don't think it's that simple. For sure, I don't want children of the magenta, I see enough of them already. But equally, I think the 'better pilot' nut is far more difficult to crack than writing a more failsafe bit of software. In fact, I would want to know what you think makes a better pilot.

I want safer flying which, with a safety manager hat on, means that all elements of the system are considered. This includes from design, manufacture, training, oversight, flight crew etc. The lot.

If we end-up blaming the pilots and then allowing Boeing to get away with a fudge then we have failed as part of the industry.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 15:58
  #4585 (permalink)  
 
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meleagertoo, #4589
how can it be possible for two professional pilots on a type with a known and highly public failure mode to appear not to be aware of it's symptoms when it occurs to them?’

You appear blinded by hindsight.
The first symptoms and alerts immediately after takeoff were of low speed, approach to stall, erroneous air-data. The crew managed this situation correctly, concluding UAS.
Note that the alerts and annunciations for UAS are similar, identical to the emergency AD re MCAS except there was no trim activity.

Subsequently, flap retraction, MCAS moved the trim. Previous discussions have considered the salience of trim activity and time required to conclude a failure in an intermittent system.
The combination of increased stick force - ‘fly the aircraft’, and UAS could be interpreted as control difficulties - speed error could affect the feel of the aircraft - as would trim.
Thus the crew required a step change in their mindset to associate the revised situation with MCAS, or at least trim problems and then isolate the trim system.
Surprise, startle; the original problem understood, now its not !
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:03
  #4586 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger View Post
formulaben, I don't think it's that simple. For sure, I don't want children of the magenta, I see enough of them already. But equally, I think the 'better pilot' nut is far more difficult to crack than writing a more failsafe bit of software. In fact, I would want to know what you think makes a better pilot.

I want safer flying which, with a safety manager hat on, means that all elements of the system are considered. This includes from design, manufacture, training, oversight, flight crew etc. The lot.

If we end-up blaming the pilots and then allowing Boeing to get away with a fudge then we have failed as part of the industry.
For some reason you presume I don't want BOTH better automation AND better pilots. Your original question was why would I "fear such an outcome" and the outcome I was speaking to was pilot RELIANCE ON AUTOMATION. Not automation in general. I'm not letting Boeing off the hook and I'm not against better software/hardware, etc. In this instance I'm speaking about the pilots and the pilots only.

Stop putting words in my mouth.

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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:06
  #4587 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sorry, I didn't think I was putting words in your mouth. My point is that if we are in a safer place with reliance on automation then we shouldn't be wringing-our hands because we may perceive this would be at the cost of airmanship.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:23
  #4588 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PerPurumTonantes View Post
Just like a goalkeeper who dives the wrong way during a penalty shoot out. Last line of defence and he failed. Clearly should have trained better.

Any pilot who looks at the FDR tapes in detail and doesn't get a shiver going down their spine, and a feeling in the back of their mind "yep, on a bad day, that could have been me" is either genuinely a superhero or has an overestimation of their own abilities. Which is just as dangerous as low abilities.
First, a question. Are you a pilot and a professional pilot? Your previous post regarding 21 years in safety leads me to think not.

I have read both reports and have imaged them in my mind about what I would do in a similar circumstance. For the part between lift-off to flap retraction when it was solely an unreliable airspeed condition, I thought of the case early in my career when I was an FO on a B737-200 and we got stick shaker immediately upon lift-off (no other bells or whistles). I recall the incident clearly; myself and the Captain looked at each other in surprise, we confirmed that the engines were putting out the expected power (EPR), the attitude of the aircraft was correct and the controls were not mushy...no reason to believe that we were in a stall. The second thought was training we received about UAS in the simulator as I believe UAS was a result of AF447. This time there was bells and whistles (no stick shaker) but again revert to basic flying principles (power and attitude) to get some air underneath you first before troubleshooting but at all times someone flying the aircraft. In fact, the sole purpose of the PF (pilot flying) is to fly the airplane while the PNF (pilot not flying) does the troubleshooting/drill. Note that 0 of the 4 pilots in the accident aircraft did the UAS drill and that the incident aircraft the day before did and survived. That is not a coincidence as they were able to control the speed of the aircraft and were able to manually trim the aircraft.

With regard to when MCAS kicks in, yes, that will get your attention however MCAS is so aggressive (i.e. it is neither subtle nor insidious) anyone that knows how to hand fly an aircraft will immediately sense that something is wrong with the flight controls, pull back on the control column and trim aggressively to return to an in trim condition. And I don't mean little, tiny bursts of trim but holding the thumb switch down and really letting it rip.

Trimming out the control forces is an instinctive and unconscious action that 737 Driver has so nicely articulated that is a fundamental skill that pilots with 5 hours of flying time have. I was an instructor in the RCAF on jets and beginning with the second flight with a student (the first flight was a freebee for the instructor to demonstrate the aircraft including his aerobatic sequence!) we harped on trimming the aircraft. Once the student made trimming instinctive, theirs lives and that of their instructor got a whole lot better. This is long winded way of saying that it is impossible for a trained pilot to a) not trim the aircraft and hence nullify MCAS, and b) not determine that the trim is in a runaway (for whatever reason) and disable the trim using the emergency procedure.

I don't believe that doing what one has been trained to do requires superhuman skills; it is a matter of being trained and being prepared. And by being prepared I mean knowing the emergency drills for the aircraft. Perhaps I am "superhuman" in that regard as I regularly review them, particularly the memory items as the memory ain't what it used to be at 59 years of age. Rather than being superhuman, I subscribe to the notion that a professional pilot should know the memory emergencies for their aircraft. Call me old fashioned.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:24
  #4589 (permalink)  
 
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737 Driver,
your ‘default training’, choice of action, appears to differ from many pilots.
Consider. Having assessed the situation, choose the action according to that situation; not a rigorous follow SOPs / training without question.

The ‘automaton’ approach - follow SOPs, could favour selection of a procedure before assessment and then making the situation fit that mental model; it stifles wider thoughts and adaptation.
Aircraft are not flown via ‘mantra’, by rote; pilots are well trained, skilful individuals, doing their best in difficult circumstance, why then tell them what to do in ‘every’ situation, where ‘every’ situation is only known to them.

Your pedantic focus on procedure - set power as per standard UAS, could reduced the aircraft’s ability to continue climbing when departing for a hot / high airfield, with potential terrain issues; would this be considered, or just follow SOPs adding risk to an emergency situation.

Lengthy posts #4590, and bolded text does not replace the required, well-considered arguments to support a point of view.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:30
  #4590 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
Watching the live news conference from Chicago, the Chief Exec gives me precisely zero confidence that Boeing are on top of this. He cannot bring himself to admit that the MCAS, as designed and fitted, had a major role in the accidents.
I watched the press conference too. He was absolutely correct in saying that this accident, like virtually every other one, is the result of a chain of events. MCAS is not the exclusive cause of these accidents as this lively thread demonstrates. As myself, 737 Pilot and others have been trying to say, MCAS needs work but so does the rest of the industry (manufactures, CAA's, airlines, pilot groups) in terms of pilot training, experience and skills.

Having had dealings with the media before and knowing how they like to twist facts, it would be irresponsible of the Boeing CEO to accept full responsibility for these accidents. MCAS is just one piece of the puzzle.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:48
  #4591 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
You appear blinded by hindsight.
The first symptoms and alerts immediately after takeoff were of low speed, approach to stall, erroneous air-data. The crew managed this situation correctly, concluding UAS.
Note that the alerts and annunciations for UAS are similar, identical to the emergency AD re MCAS except there was no trim activity.
Erroneous air data was definitely present in spades but what is your proof of "low speed and approach to stall" were present? Every take-off consists of "low speed"; the question is is whether the engines are continuing to put out the advertised power (94% N1 in the case of ET) and the aircraft is accelerating and/or climbing, i.e. gaining energy. They were and it was.

There was no indication whatsoever of an approach to a stall either as the indicated airspeeds were all increasing and the attitude of the aircraft was normal. We cannot tell from the FDR whether the controls were "mushy" or not. But for argument's sake, lets say it was an impending stall - what is the memory drill for that? Lower the nose to reduce alpha then slowly add power being careful not to let the nose pitch-up too much and re-enter the stall. This drill was not done so take your pick, normal take-off (with no changes in pitch/power) with bells and whistles or an impending stall without doing the stall recovery?

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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:49
  #4592 (permalink)  
 
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how can it be possible for two professional pilots on a type with a known and highly public failure mode to appear not to be aware of it's symptoms when it occurs to them?’

You appear blinded by hindsight. ??? How on earth do you figure that? But something had them blinded, that's for sure.
The first symptoms and alerts immediately after takeoff were of low speed, approach to stall, erroneous air-data. The crew managed this situation correctly, concluding UAS. They never even started UAS! Had they concluded it the autothrust would have been disconnected, speed/pitch/thrust under control and flying reasonably normally, not trudging through more or less normal after t/o actions with no atempt to deal with anything else, even including engaging a/p at 400' with a stickshaker going????
Note that the alerts and annunciations for UAS are similar, identical to the emergency AD re MCAS except there was no trim activity. Having read the AD, Lionair reports and discussions they'd know to be only anticipating MCAS activity at flap retraction. Events and sequence were all but identical to LionAir. I rest my case! How could crew on a type that had just suffered such a well publicised accident not recognise the similarities?

Subsequently, flap retraction, MCAS moved the trim.Re-read last comment above. How was it not blindingly obvious at this point? Previous discussions have considered the salience of trim activity and time required to conclude a failure in an intermittent system.
The combination of increased stick force - ‘fly the aircraft’, which they didn't do, did they? and UAS could be interpreted as control difficulties - speed error could affect the feel of the aircraft - as would trim. I suspect they never looked at the speed, or they'd have made the connection between full thrust, overspeed etc etc. And the mythical 'completion of UAS' would have ascertainied which speed indications were reliable/in error so that's not a sound answer.

Thus the crew required a step change in their mindset to associate the revised situation with MCAS which ought to have been in the forefront of their mindset , or at least trim problems and then isolate the trim system. Go and re-read that line again! This should all have been complete deja-vue! Inexplicable trim problems four months after the last big accident - how can memories be that short?
Surprise, startle; the original problem understood, now its not ! I don't think they understood much at all I'm afraid.


If a whole bus-load of people in your previously bear-free neighbourhood were eaten by bears a couple of months ago in the scariest event your neighbourhood has ever seen and you were wandering home one night - fat, dumb and happy others might quite reasonably question the appropriateness of your low-key mental state. Is it wise under the circumstances? But even with one's attention being on the path if you sudenly hear unfriendly animal noises right behind you do you really think - oh - that sounds unusually large and fierce for a raccoon but instead of doing the racoon drill all I'll do is carry on as normal and maybe throw it some peanuts- and just carry on strolling eyes-front as the thing bellows away behind you? It never occurs to you to have a suspicion about what's actually growling? And when you hit the moonlight where you know it'll attack if it actually is a bear you still just stroll on oblivious no thoughts of bears in your mind at all? - indeed you begin to run which is going to make it bite all the harder? And even when it's chewing your arm off your'e still saying, "nice Rocky, have another peanut?" instead of pulling out your bear-gun because you didn't read the newspapers or talk to the neighbours who all said that would be a pretty good idea under the circumstances? Didn't the fact you were even carrying a bear gun suggest to you that even with a runawway bear chewing your ass it might just be there for a useful reason?

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Old 29th Apr 2019, 16:52
  #4593 (permalink)  
 
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Many posters citing weak piloting skills, human error, are biased by hindsight, with further biases of believing that all pilots will think and behave the same way (or as they do - earned dogmatism effect) or as trained. These views also represent ‘fundamental attribution error’ seeking the nearest - in action, or last person in a chain of events - timeline.
In reality many of these issues reflect the same difficulties that the accident crews experienced; how to make sense of the situation, choosing a course of action, and opportunity to act.

Posts suffer similar deficiencies in ‘airmanship’ and ability to ‘fly the aircraft’; unable to understand the current situation, think critically and review what is currently known. This ‘lack of airmanship’ is a weakness in thinking skills or ability to use them wisely; particularly with the wisdom of hindsight. First ‘fly you mind’, then act - only post comments after well considered thought; where thought should is based on skills training and particularly practice of those thinking skills.

Pursuing the ‘blame game’, embedded in ‘responsibility’, might be a self-satisfying generation of individual understanding, but this offers little opportunity to learn due to premature closure, from those who already have the (their) ‘answer’.
Other people in this forum also seek understanding, using a cautious evaluation and review, involving skills of critical thinking, which similarly are core values in airmanship.
If posters are unable to achieve a suitable level of thinking given the enlightenment of hindsight, and the luxury of time and wealth of additional information, then they should heed the possibility that they could take similar deficiencies of thought - airmanship, situation awareness, assessment, and judgement into their flight decks.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 17:39
  #4594 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
737 Driver, your ‘default training’, choice of action, appears to differ from many pilots.
Consider. Having assessed the situation, choose the action according to that situation; not a rigorous follow SOPs / training without question.
A careful reading of my posts would indicate that the method I am preaching presupposes that the crew is unsure of the nature of the situation, and as such does not have a default SOP to follow. Certainly, if the crew has correctly identified the situation and malfunction, they most certainly should resort to the appropriate procedure. These accident crews did not. In absence of any other guidance, they flailed around until they lost control of the aircraft. Hence the mantra: When faced with an undesired aircraft state, unknown malfunction, or loss of situational awareness...., well you should know the drill by now.

Last edited by 737 Driver; 29th Apr 2019 at 17:53.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 17:40
  #4595 (permalink)  
 
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L39, no ‘proof’ of low speed awareness, only the reported stick-shake and likely ‘barbers pole’ on the EFIS speed display deduced from the system logic.
The inference from the ‘feel diff pressure’ annunciation was that stick forces would generally increase due to stall warning.
Reference to the FDR, there is an indication of a reduction in pitch after takeoff. There is a significant difference between stall avoidance from an alert of stall warning (stick shake) and the actions required for stall identification, particularly at low altitude immediately after takeoff.


meleagertoo, thank you for a colourful reply.
It is difficult to find any clear point, only cherry picking issues for which none of us have an understanding in relation to what the crew saw or thought.
Generally your approach is that of ‘what was’, opposed to an alternative ‘what could have been’, which could provide the basis of wider understanding and benefit to safety.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 17:47
  #4596 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post

Thus the crew required a step change in their mindset to associate the revised situation with MCAS which ought to have been in the forefront of their mindset , or at least trim problems and then isolate the trim system. Go and re-read that line again! This should all have been complete deja-vue! Inexplicable trim problems four months after the last big accident - how can memories be that short?
Surprise, startle; the original problem understood, now its not ! I don't think they understood much at all I'm afraid.

If a whole bus-load of people in your previously bear-free neighbourhood were eaten by bears a couple of months ago in the scariest event your neighbourhood has ever seen and you were wandering home one night - fat, dumb and happy others might quite reasonably question the appropriateness of your low-key mental state. Is it wise under the circumstances?

Part of the could be restated as :

Suppose you were a tourist in a country where you had a 'technical' fluency in the language but mainly relied on a 'news for tourists' paper and 'safety guidelines for guests' published by the tour operator in your native language,
You had seen an article in the 'news for tourists" about a a bus-load of people perishing due to the rival tour operator's bus driver making a rookies mistake.
Your tour operator did not update his "safety guidelines for guests' as a result of the prior event.

You then unexpectedly meet a bear despite the safety guidelines stating the biggest animal in the region is a raccoon.

The point is that "everyone knew all about Lion Air' is not a proveable true statement and the AV herald statement re lack of knowledge of update trim procedures bt ET pilots strongly suggests that some did not.

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Old 29th Apr 2019, 17:50
  #4597 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by alf5071h View Post
Many posters citing weak piloting skills, human error, are biased by hindsight, with further biases of believing that all pilots will think and behave the same way (or as they do - earned dogmatism effect) or as trained. These views also represent ‘fundamental attribution error’ seeking the nearest - in action, or last person in a chain of events - timeline.
In reality many of these issues reflect the same difficulties that the accident crews experienced; how to make sense of the situation, choosing a course of action, and opportunity to act.

Posts suffer similar deficiencies in ‘airmanship’ and ability to ‘fly the aircraft’; unable to understand the current situation, think critically and review what is currently known. This ‘lack of airmanship’ is a weakness in thinking skills or ability to use them wisely; particularly with the wisdom of hindsight. First ‘fly you mind’, then act - only post comments after well considered thought; where thought should is based on skills training and particularly practice of those thinking skills.

Pursuing the ‘blame game’, embedded in ‘responsibility’, might be a self-satisfying generation of individual understanding, but this offers little opportunity to learn due to premature closure, from those who already have the (their) ‘answer’.
Other people in this forum also seek understanding, using a cautious evaluation and review, involving skills of critical thinking, which similarly are core values in airmanship.
If posters are unable to achieve a suitable level of thinking given the enlightenment of hindsight, and the luxury of time and wealth of additional information, then they should heed the possibility that they could take similar deficiencies of thought - airmanship, situation awareness, assessment, and judgement into their flight decks.
Unfotunately most people these days want a quick easy solution to life’s complex problems.
You can see it in politics and in daily life. It leads to repetitive emphasising of dogma and it led to Trump.
You can see it in these discussions.
The tragedy is that some of the items of dogma could be valid, if discussed reasonably but can’t be heard in the torrent.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 18:38
  #4598 (permalink)  
 
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L39 Guy and 737 Driver- I owe you both a reply form last night, but it will have to wait for a bit.

In getting caught up with the thread just now a number of continuations of the theme from teh past week popped up, some in support of your stated observation/opinions and some against. Instead of arguing about them ad infinatum I had a vision of explaining how we aren't necessarily as far apart as it may seem, but also how your view as stated is (IMHO) deeply flawed and unforgiving towards four people who are not here to defend themselves.

My path to enlightenment is actually very easy and short.

Assumption: MCAS is a bastard system (some would say a killer) that was created and installed at the last minute and that provides a stupid feel/feedback control with actual control over the entirety of the horizontal stabilizer's range of movement.

Statement 1: Many professional pilots feel strongly that the primary focus for responsibility (note I said primary, not sole) lies with the airmanship (or lack thereof) of the flight crews who perished. In a narrow window of time they failed to correctly (as in solve the puzzle) answer the challenge they had been presented with, the first time never getting there, the second not getting there until the stab was outside of a previously unknown box that would allow it to be manually rolled back into more usable territory. The follow-on to this statement is that both crashes were the fault of the crews for failing the most basic of tasks- to fly the airplane.

Statement 2: Many of us here feel that there is a deep and very real culpability within Boeing and the FAA for creating such a lethal design. In this case (this is all entirely hypothetical, please work with the suggestion rather than the actuality) an engineer was presented with a problem that needed to be solved. She and her team came up with MCAS. The person responsible for choosing the best course of design knew that MCAS would have a profound impact on the horizontal stab, and they chose to shoehorn it in there anyway. The flight-test crews knew of the system at least and failed to properly review it for (what are now) obvious technical and safety shortcomings. Then, in a further admission that they were pushing the envelope everyone involved at Boeing literally hid the existence of the system from the pilots and operators who would fly the airplane. That person(s) also misled the FAA by informing the feds that the maximum authority that MCAS would have was .6 of a degree, when in reality (and they knew this) it was 2.5 degrees at a whack. In a final insult they said "all you need is an hour with this here tablet-thingy and you will know all you need to know to safely command and fly the MAX series of aircraft!!

With those two statements on offer- and the acknowledgement that there is plenty of blame to go around, the question I have is why are you not focusing on Boeing, the corporate culture that created this monster, the profit-driven betrayal of everyone here, and the fact that they are clearly working to pull a rabbit out of the hat in lieu of actually starting over again- which is what any rational society would require them to do. Yes, we know who the four crew members are, so that makes them easy targets, but if the professionals on this forum are willing to eat their own while looking the other way as Boeing goes about its PR campaign then what does that really say about all of us??

Warm regards-
dce
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 18:40
  #4599 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bill fly View Post


Unfotunately most people these days want a quick easy solution to life’s complex problems.
You can see it in politics and in daily life. It leads to repetitive emphasising of dogma and it led to Trump.
You can see it in these discussions.
The tragedy is that some of the items of dogma could be valid, if discussed reasonably but can’t be heard in the torrent.
Very well said
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 20:28
  #4600 (permalink)  
 
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Seattle Times article

https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...37-max-design/

Facing sharp questions, Boeing CEO refuses to admit flaws in 737 MAX design
April 29, 2019 at 10:47 am Updated April 29, 2019 at 1:19 pm

by Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

CHICAGO — In a dramatic and tense news conference, his first since two deadly crashes of 737 MAX airplanes, Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg faced sharp questioning but refused to admit flaws in the design of the airplane’s systems.

“We have gone back and confirmed again, as we do the safety analysis, the engineering analysis, that we followed exactly the steps in our design and certification processes that consistently produce safe airplanes,” he said. “It was designed per our standards. It was certified per our standards.”

In the case of the MAX, those processes certified as safe a new flight-control system that was triggered on both the Lion Air and Ethiopian crash flights by a single faulty sensor and then engaged repeatedly to push the nose of each airplane down. Boeing is currently flight testing a software redesign of this system — Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Yet Muilenburg would not concede that there was anything wrong with the original MCAS design, saying only that the system is being “improved” with the software redesign.

He said airplane accidents are typically due to “a chain of events,” and that “it’s not correct to attribute that to any single item.”

He pointed to actions by the pilots on the two flights, who he said did not completely follow the standard procedure when uncommanded tail movements begin to push the jet’s nose down. He added that Boeing’s system safety analysis of MCAS, a technical document prepared by Boeing during certification of the MAX, depends in part on the pilot making the appropriate response in the case of a system failure.

At the brief news conference following Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting at Chicago’s Field Museum, Muilenburg faced one question after another about flaws in MCAS but repeatedly declined to concede that it was badly designed.

His statements hewed closely to the line he followed on an earnings teleconference last Wednesday, when he said the MAX crashes were not due to any “technical slip” by Boeing during the jet’s design or certification.

He took questions for less than 15 minutes. Finally, after parrying a question about whether he had thought about resigning and a last question about blame for MCAS, Muilenburg walked out grim-faced.

As he strode briskly from the room, many reporters had not been called upon. One of those shouted after him: “346 people died. Can you answer some questions?”

Boeing’s proposed software fix for MCAS ensures the system takes input from two sensors, instead of one. It will activate only once, not multiple times, if the sensor reading remains stuck at a high value. And the power of the system will be limited, so that the pilot can always pull back on the control column with enough force to counteract any automatic nose-down movement.

With that fix, Muilenburg said, the MAX when it returns to service will be “one of the safest airplanes ever to fly.”

During the shareholder meeting, a couple of small stockholders asked more gently worded questions about the MAX crashes.

One older man, who identified himself as an engineer, questioned how MCAS was designed to depend on a single unreliable sensor. A young woman questioned whether oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration was sufficiently independent.

Muilenburg’s response to the engineer simply reiterated the statement that Boeing had followed its long-standing procedures in the design and development of the MAX.

On the need for independent oversight, he said Boeing’s airplane development process includes “non-advocate reviews,” when experts who aren’t on the specific program are brought in to evaluate it.

Security was tight at the shareholder meeting, which was attended by the entire Boeing board. Attendees were screened through airport-style metal detectors and explosives-detecting dogs sniffed at all bags.

The event featured shareholder votes on a series of formal proposals, including one to separate Muilenburg’s dual role as chairman and CEO by appointing a separate chairman, another seeking to ensure that executive pay is not boosted by share repurchases, and another to force more disclosure of Boeing’s lobbying activities.

All these external proposals were given short shrift by the board and none came close to passing.

Outside the museum, a small band of relatives of people who died on the Ethiopian Airlines plane protested in the pouring rain. One sign called for the prosecution of Boeing and its executives for manslaughter.

Tarek Milleron, the uncle of 23-year-old Samya Stumo, who was among those killed, said that Boeing’s leadership “should open up on the chain of events that led to these accidents.”

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or [email protected]; on Twitter: @dominicgates.
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