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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 12th Mar 2019, 16:55
  #721 (permalink)  
 
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Netherlands airspace is closed for the MAX.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 16:56
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OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian Air will temporarily ground its Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jets at the advice of European regulators, it said on Tuesday.

“Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice,” the company said in a statement.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-e...-idUSKBN1QT1U5
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 16:57
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THOUGHTS ON A POSSIBLE FIX

On the subject of a 'software fix', as well as possibly feeding data from both AoA sensors to the microprocessor concurrently rather than consecutively, would adding another precondition to MCAS operation affect certification?

What I am suggesting is a >minimum altitude to be achieved before operation of the system.

The stabiliser is a very powerful control surface and having a system which can repeatedly trim the nose down at an altitude where time to recover is limited has the potential to cause more harm than it can prevent. A system which can require both pilots to simultaneously apply greater than normal elevator control added to the need for either the system to be disabled (one hand off the control column to operate two guarded switches or selection of flaps), opposing the MCAS trim by repeated manual trim control, or all three is quite frankly an ergonomic mess!

Despite the 'it wouldn't happen in a Western/white airline' nonsense we keep hearing, as many people on here have said, MCAS operates normally most of the time and even the best forewarned crew would (and should) not immediately respond to every upset as though it was an MCAS problem. Even a very quick and efficient diagnosis of the problem could still take the same length of time as it takes for the automatics to put your aircraft in a potentially fatal nose down trim. This is not primarily a training issue, it is a systems issue which Boeing now seems to be accepting despite the 'making a very safe aircraft even safer' statement.

This is a general observation, regardless of the cause of this particular incident. As mentioned above, the best time to have an AoA sensor failure is just after take off (even at night) when there are still some visual references to help you decide whether to believe either what your instruments are telling you or what you are seeing outside the cockpit.

So if we don't get a rethink of the whole system, would putting a minimum altitude requirement for its operation pass existing certification or is MCAS protection required for all phases of clean flight? As MCAS is intended to provide protection in low energy situations a great deal of thought would need to be given to how the minimum operating altitude would be determined.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 16:58
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Originally Posted by A0283
What surprises me most, since the Lion Air crash, is how very very very far Boeing and the FAA are behind in this. Historically Boeing has often been ahead of events (having the benefit of validated information of course). Viewed from the outside this is a watershed in Boeing culture. In the coming years we will find out if this has anything to do with the move to Chicago, or that they have just been surprised and startled by social media speed.
This MCAS system was half-assed designed... behested on only one AOA sensor, which is simply criminal. They did not think it fully through, by any means. Nor were they weren't true to their philosophy, and took a poke at Airbus' philosophy, and it is gonna bite them.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 16:59
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Posting a bit too much but

If it were the AAIB they would put out a preliminary as soon as possible I think to try to clarify - as we saw with the recent heli crash in Leicester, with an almost concurrent AD. Can we expect the same from an Ethiopian inquiry?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:02
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Originally Posted by loob
The correct approach is to ground the craft until faults are identified, the idea that the craft should continue flying until we discover the fault is backwards and seems to be a common line of thought nowadays amongst people who like to think that they are scientific but do not understand data analysis.
That is, if we want to place lives and people before profits
If profits come first, continuation of operation might be the only option. E.g.: we continue, ET crash was not mcas related -> best possible profit outcome. All others are just loss minimisation.

Just saying.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:02
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FAA EASA

Be it MCAS in this case or not, the MCAS certification of the MAX series smells. To certify a system that directly controls primary flight surfaces AND that is reliant on a single sensor (AOA), is against written and unwritten rules in aircraft design, engineering and certification. If we were not living in times of massive commercial global rivalry (US, Europe, China) I would have expected the FAA and subsequently EASA coming under enormous public and political pressure how they ever had accepted the MCAS certification proposal by Boeing. But it had become a political and commercial case where no country wants to damage its industry and protects its agencies. This is too sad as it damages the culture of aviation safety in lieu of local interests.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:02
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It's really strange that the relevant certifying authorities like FAA and EASA are so far behind the operators and many nations this time and seem to come to different conclusions. Has this ever happened before on this level?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:02
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound
THOUGHTS ON A POSSIBLE FIX

On the subject of a 'software fix', as well as possibly feeding data from both AoA sensors to the microprocessor concurrently rather than consecutively, would adding another precondition to MCAS operation affect certification?

What I am suggesting is a >minimum altitude to be achieved before operation of the system.

The stabiliser is a very powerful control surface and having a system which can repeatedly trim the nose down at an altitude where time to recover is limited has the potential to cause more harm than it can prevent. A system which can require both pilots to simultaneously apply greater than normal elevator control added to the need for either the system to be disabled (one hand off the control column to operate two guarded switches or selection of flaps), opposing the MCAS trim by repeated manual trim control, or all three is quite frankly an ergonomic mess!

Despite the 'it wouldn't happen in a Western/white airline' nonsense we keep hearing, as many people on here have said, MCAS operates normally most of the time and even the best forewarned crew would (and should) not immediately respond to every upset as though it was an MCAS problem. Even a very quick and efficient diagnosis of the problem could still take the same length of time as it takes for the automatics to put your aircraft in a potentially fatal nose down trim. This is not primarily a training issue, it is a systems issue which Boeing now seems to be accepting despite the 'making a very safe aircraft even safer' statement.

This is a general observation, regardless of the cause of this particular incident. As mentioned above, the best time to have an AoA sensor failure is just after take off (even at night) when there are still some visual references to help you decide whether to believe either what your instruments are telling you or what you are seeing outside the cockpit.

So if we don't get a rethink of the whole system, would putting a minimum altitude requirement for its operation pass existing certification or is MCAS protection required for all phases of clean flight? As MCAS is intended to provide protection in low energy situations a great deal of thought would need to be given to how the minimum operating altitude would be determined.
Well, you wouldn't want to stall low as well. And MCAS is there bc MAX couldn't be certifed w/o it. To put it harshly, with MCAS one* dives, w/o it one* stalls.
*Applicable to some, not all pilots.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:06
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Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger


Iím not sure theyíll be with Boeing!
According to the BBC news site:

What happens next?

The investigation will be led by Ethiopian authorities in co-ordination with teams of experts from Boeing and the US National Transportation Safety Board.
Does this mean the boxes are being processed in the US?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:07
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Lion Air FDR has been found on Nov 2nd and read on Nov 4h - 2 days. ET recorders were found yesterday, but LOTS of parties are VERY interested in what data they have. Is it technically possible they have been read?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:07
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@22/04 ... Question is if Ethiopia will take the lead or delegate the whole or part of the investigation. There was a photo with Ethiopian CAA and other investigators going aboard a plane to the location. But their labs and technical backup will probably not be sufficient to lead this one (with all due respect).
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:09
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Originally Posted by Brake Fan
It's looking like we are witnessing the first aircraft to be killed by social media since the Hindenburg.
Not quite - the EC225 suffered that fate, albeit one with the offshore industry lobby factor. Similar parallels with the UKCAA (and Norwegians) acting fairly promptly and EASA dragging its heels. The Eurocopter/Airbus strategy on dealing with that one would be a salutary lesson for Boeing.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:09
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Originally Posted by PaxBritannica
Does this mean the boxes are being processed in the US?
Why don't you ask the Ethiopians?
It's their investigation.
They'll either want to do it in house, or somewhere else, based on their view on what gets the best results.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:13
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Originally Posted by PaxBritannica
According to the BBC news site:[h2]

Does this mean the boxes are being processed in the US?
i read in an article yesterday that a lab in Israel may me used. Sorry I canít recall where I read that.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:13
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:13
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Holland has joined in.

https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/buit...adar-omdraaien

Is the European regulator doing this? There is also news that Turkish Airlines are grounding them (not yet confirmed).

Now confirmed: https://www.apnews.com/94c19abef66d4a0e977a1286d779ba22
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:14
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Originally Posted by loob
RE: Comments that the pilots don't know how to fly. If this was true the issue would not be concentrated on this aircraft.

RE: Comments that flights should continue until the problem is identified. This is backwards and people who believe this obviously don't understand basic risk management. The fact that you may be a pilot is irrelevant, pilots are not trained in data analysis and risk and a lot of you seem to be allowing your personal politics and biases come into your opinions.

The correct approach is to ground the craft until faults are identified, the idea that the craft should continue flying until we discover the fault is backwards and seems to be a common line of thought nowadays amongst people who like to think that they are scientific but do not understand data analysis.
Your actually outlining the real issue at hand here perfectly. The "issue" is not specific to one aircraft or one aircraft type...not even one manufacturer. It's a systemic issue based on the ever increasing demand for air travel globally and the real cost involved in properly training pilots. The current reality is that the focus is on increasingly complex automation instead of pilot training. The primary fault lies in the cockpit not in the plane itself. I've seen multiple comments on defending the FO, that's nonsensical. The issue isn't the FO it's the system that allowed him in the cockpit that is at fault.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:17
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
The CAA's statement is perfectly clear. It only fails to make sense if a poster arbitrarily removes part of it:

"however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace."
I could be cynical and observe that a problem that seems to manifest during the take off phase with the flaps up is now deemed to pose a risk in the landing phase with the flaps down but that is not necessarily a clear distinction in terms of do operators know what does and doesn't lead to odd inputs?
I thus appreciate that their remit has to do with public due care, etc. and thus the abundance of caution approach is understood.

(Plus, it has to take off again, doesn't it?)

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 12th Mar 2019 at 18:09.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:18
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“However, the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom announced in the afternoon of March 12, 2019, that as they “do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder”, a precautionary ban of the aircraft within the UK’s airspace was ordered.”

https://www.aerotime.aero/clement.ch...m_medium=email

So why isn’t every aircraft type banned after an accident until there is any idea of cause?
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