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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

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Ethiopian airliner down in Africa

Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:10
  #1001 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LookingForAJob View Post
Not correct - you need to look at the directives that have been issued by each specific State or bloc, relating both to the aircraft type and to use of the States' airspace by those types.
The EASA directive bans the type from taking off landing or Entering EU airspace with or without passengers.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:12
  #1002 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by artee View Post
I think I remember forgetting this before... but as it appears that some of the problems with the 737 Max 8 seem to stem from overextending/overevolving an old-ish plane with short legs, why didn't Boeing develop the 757 instead. More modern plane, longer legs (taller u/c) etc?
Genuine question.
The 757 would not be cost competitive. It was built with performance in mind. To this day there is nothing available with the same runway and range ability. Need to takeoff on a 30C day with 5700 foot runway an fly 2000 miles with a full load of 199 people the 757 is the only game in town. That performance comes at a substantial cost. If the runway is 8000 feet long newer aircraft can do the mission for ⅔ the seat mile cost.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:16
  #1003 (permalink)  
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They could have derated the 757 as per the 777X, and made up the lost thrust with aero tweaks; there have been a lot of developments since 1980. Also the blueprints for the shorter 757-100 should still be in a locker in Renton.

But that wouldn't have addressed the KPI of the 737 Max: commonality and type rating with the 737NG. That's what drove the whole program and which led to hack upon hack. Southwest would not have bought a 757 Max unless Boeing could price it well under the 737NG, to compensate for the additional operational costs. Southwest wouldn't even consider a clean-sheet design!

Back in the day we used to shake our heads at British manufacturers tying their specs to the whims of BEA and BOAC, but Boeing seem to be falling into that trap with the Max and the 777X ( Emirates-pleaser ).

Anyone writing a history of Boeing in the future will be able to conclude the first section with the 777 and 737NG.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:16
  #1004 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FlightCosting View Post
The EASA directive bans the type from taking off landing or Entering EU airspace with or without passengers.
No, it allows for up to three non-commercial flight cycles
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:18
  #1005 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ozaub View Post
In long ago days of “excessive government red-tape” new airliners were assessed and certificated by aviation authorities in each country where they flew. For Boeing aircraft we all now rely on certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration and in turn FAA delegates most analysis and testing to Boeing.

Until recently senior company engineers called ''Designated Engineering Representatives'' assessed compliance on behalf of FAA. Delegation went further on the Boeing 787. It was first airliner approved under a new ''Organisation Designation Authorisation'' (ODA) arrangement, specifically intended to reduce FAA involvement.

Somehow hazardous lithium ion batteries slipped undetected through the new procedures. Several batteries caught fire and the 787 was grounded. Independent National Transportation Safety Board investigators found:
  • “Boeing’s electrical power system safety assessment did not consider the most severe effects of a cell internal short circuit and include requirements to mitigate related risks, and the review of the assessment by Boeing authorized representatives and Federal Aviation Administration certification engineers did not reveal this deficiency."
  • ”Boeing failed to incorporate design requirements in the 787 main and auxiliary power unit battery specification control drawing to mitigate the most severe effects of a cell internal short circuit, and the Federal Aviation Administration failed to uncover this design vulnerability as part of its review and approval of Boeing’s electrical power system certification plan and proposed methods of compliance."
  • "Unclear traceability among the individual special conditions, safety assessment assumptions and rationale, requirements, and proposed methods of compliance for the 787 main and auxiliary power unit battery likely contributed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to identify the need for a thermal runaway certification test.”

737 Max is second aircraft to be certificated under ODA. After two fatal accidents FAA and Boeing claim the aircraft is safe but admit that mandatory design changes are needed to a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which is unique to the MAX.

In a “Continued Airworthiness Notice to the International Community” FAA says its “oversight activities” include:
  • Boeing’s completion of the flight control system enhancements, which provide reduced reliance on procedures associated with required pilot memory items. The FAA anticipates mandating these design changes by AD no later than April 2019.
  • Design changes include:
  1. · MCAS Activation Enhancements
  2. · MCAS AOA Signal Enhancements
  3. · MCAS Maximum Command Limit

Which confirms Boeing is running the show and almost invites foreign authorities to play safe and ground the Max.

Who’s ever heard of a “CANIC”? Surely a Notice of Proposed Rule Making is required?

Boeing and FAA swept Lionair accident under the carpet but cannot do same with Ethiopian because it’s more reputable and real people (US and UN) were killed; not just Indonesians on an LCC.
I appreciate the manner in which you've outlined the fact that more activity/responsibility has been delegated to the OEMs by the most significant international airworthiness regulator. I also find merit in the way you've explained the design/certification shortfalls around the application of lithium ion batteries in the 787. I remember following those issues in the media and publicly available materiel and being astonished at how a system safety program could have missed some of the crucial issues that resulted in fires on aircraft due to elements of the aircraft's own systems (not cargo).

Like you, I found myself perplexed by what a 'Continued Airworthiness Notice to the International Community' (CANIC) was supposed to be. I'd never heard of them before and there's not a register of them that I was able to find on the FAA website. I think it was rather telling that when I read about the 737 MAX CANIC in the media and tried to find a copy of it for myself, an FAA Twitter 'tweet' provided a link to the document. It hardly looks likes it's a legal airworthiness document (like an AD, NPRM, etc.). It sounds more like a 'child of the social media age' being promulgated by 'tweet' and being crafted by the 'brand managers' of the organisation whose product is found to be wanting in a crisis.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:21
  #1006 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FlightCosting View Post
The EASA directive bans the type from taking off landing or Entering EU airspace with or without passengers.
Yes, though there is provision for a positioning (non-revenue) flight to get an aircraft back to base.

There have been a few of those in the last 12 hours since the restriction went live.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:21
  #1007 (permalink)  
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I saw an eye witness on BBC who was sure there was NO fire before the plane crashed. Eye witnesses are not always reliable.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:27
  #1008 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 22/04 View Post
To restore confidence in the aircraft - what?
Although I am not a pilot, I have some experiencing in testing (non aviation) automated systems and have seen some poorly written code before. I think Silverstrata summed up a simple fix that might be a step in the right direction.

Originally Posted by silverstrata View Post
It did not even bother checking with the other AoA sensor. All you need is one line of code that says: “if AoA1 not equal to AoA2, deactivate system”. I mean, how hard was that? Ok, it would be nice to have three sensors, but even two can resolve that there is an error somewhere, so the system should not start trimming.

And while we are at it, why was there not a line of code that says: “if ASI greater than 210 kts, deactivate system”. I mean, how hard was that? Please don’t say that high speed stalls are a real problem with the Max, because I will not buy that one.


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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:30
  #1009 (permalink)  
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I hadn't heard of a CANIC before either. I suspect it's one category short of a full PANIC.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:30
  #1010 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by abdunbar View Post
Information is slow in coming. Eye witness statements of articles and debris falling from the aircraft before final impact should have been confirmed, if true, by recovery of such material. Important question for news media covering the accident; did the aircraft strike anything between takeoff and final resting place? Where was the first item belonging to the aircraft found? If there is any validity to the ads-b data, there was a lot of vertical oscillation close to the ground. It would be possible, admittedly unlikely, that the aircraft struck something prior to the final crash. It's is also possible for the witnesses to be wrong. In any case, there is already more information available to those that know what question to ask. For example, the photo circulating of one of the engines. Looks to have been turning at high speed when it hit the ground. Experts have already no doubt, a rough idea of the speed it was turning when it stopped.

Pressure is building over this accident. Information is not flowing and individuals and groups that are lobbying and withholding are going to suffer consequences.
Agree. And this is about as high profile as it gets. Witness accounts need to be impeccably interpreted. Surprised to see witness accounts publicity released so fast.

Last edited by davionics; 13th Mar 2019 at 13:43.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:31
  #1011 (permalink)  
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ICAO Annex 13 ? The number of important (based on their fleets) countries clearly not or hardly reporting is now more than a handful. In the philosophy of Annex 13 and general safety experience we know that this is deterimental to safety. Appears we are going back in time and ... there is no international discussion about this ... One thing that might help is that people dont fly with airlines from countries that dont report.

Last edited by A0283; 13th Mar 2019 at 14:00.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:33
  #1012 (permalink)  
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Regarding normal clean up altitude

FWIW. Clean up altitude is based upon two primary considerations, safety and noise abatement and secondarily, economy. 800 to 1000 foot clean up altitudes have been traditionally, the selected safety compromise. The best configuration for an aircraft with a failed engine, airborne, is clean. So, we want to get to clean as soon as it is safely possible. Noise abatement considerations can raise the cleanup altitude and because we are gaining altitude instead of speed, it is not much of a safety concession. Instrument departure procedures may also influence configuration because turn radius, at a max 30 degree bank angle, is a function of speed. So, slower leading edge out turn, is a tighter turn.

all that said, in an emergency, especially day, vmc, no obstacles, you do what you have to do. Cleanup may be 500 to 600 feet agl.

sorry for the pedantry but there are clearly many here who do not understand these matters.

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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:45
  #1013 (permalink)  
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Does anyone have any information on instances of irregular MCAS activation that have been successfully handled?
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:51
  #1014 (permalink)  
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CVR abnd DFDR sent to Europe?

According to French media FranceInfo, CVR abd DFDR will be sent to Europe for analysis. Country hasn't been decided yet
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:52
  #1015 (permalink)  
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"Does anyone have any information on instances of irregular MCAS activation that have been successfully handled?"

The day prior to the Lion Air crash the accident aircraft suffered from MCAS activation due to the faulty AOA. The Captain of that flight ran the runaway stabilizer procedure and cutout the stab trim and then was able to complete the flight normally. As far as I know no MAX aircraft has had a MCAS activation since the Lion Air crash until (potentially, there is only tenuous circumstantial evidence at this point) the Ethiopian accident.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:52
  #1016 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Debris, personal items, BEFORE impact. This would surely change everything? Unless violent stresses on the airframe were so great the structural integrity had been compromised.
Just a thought RE: eye witness accounts of smoke, debris, strange noises etc.

The last FR24 data point has the A/C at 383kts GS. At 8000' that's 339kts EAS (assuming still air) which is perilously close to Vmo (Not sure exactly for the MAX but I believe 340kts for the -800)
They apparently flew for a good 3 mins or so after this, so could well have exceeded Vmo, at which point you're liable to start having parts falling off your A/C, particularly given the unusual loading state with fluctuations in the Vertical speed.

This could account for the eye witness accounts and potentially the eventual complete loss of control and crash, whatever it was that caused them to get in this sorry position in the first place (I know what my money's on).
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:54
  #1017 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bauble View Post
Does anyone have any information on instances of irregular MCAS activation that have been successfully handled?
I think in the case of the Lion Air flight, the preceeding crew had little problem dealing with abnormal MCAS trim intervention.

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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:56
  #1018 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bauble View Post
Does anyone have any information on instances of irregular MCAS activation that have been successfully handled?
We only have two confirmed instances of MCAS activation ever. JT 610 (not handled) and the flight immediately preceding it (handled).

MCAS is only supposed to operate well outside the normal flight envelope.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 13:57
  #1019 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bill fly View Post
So the AoA Sensor is usually a pretty rugged piece of kit.
What could cause it to fail?
Either the output has an anomaly (electrical/electronic side) or there is a mechanical problem (vane stuck).
What could cause a vane to stick?
Fine sand? Volcanic ash?
Where did this happen?
We had a stuck vane happen on one of our NGs just a few weeks ago due to a birdstrike.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 14:08
  #1020 (permalink)  
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Thank you, I knew about the flight preceding JT610. Would other instances be widely known of? Operator tech log reports and incident reports would follow and probably local regulator incident reports. None of this would be publicly available though.
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