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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

Old 11th Sep 2019, 11:26
  #2301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Smooth Airperator View Post
Sorry, late to the conversation...at this time is there any suggestion we are going to get a third AoA wired up?
No.
Just a mention as to work is still to be done concerning the AOA signal integrity.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 12:01
  #2302 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound View Post


You have got it wrong.

There is no way in a million years that the MAX will be cleared to fly in North America and still be grounded in the rest of the world.

The recruitment of technicians was something Boeing had to do in advance of their stated aim of getting the Max back in the air in September/October. These technicians will most likely be kept on hold until a more realistic date for return to service.
Would you care to elaborate what makes you so sure that the FAA wouldn't precede other airworthiness authorities in clearing the 737 again. Clearly they have shown independence when they grounded them later than their peers.

For airlines like Southwest an FAA clearance is all that's needed. Norwegian not so much.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 12:13
  #2303 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fruitflyer View Post
Would you care to elaborate what makes you so sure that the FAA wouldn't precede other airworthiness authorities in clearing the 737 again. Clearly they have shown independence when they grounded them later than their peers.
The difference is that the FAA has made it clear that it is working closely with other certification authorities to coordinate the lifting of the grounding when deemed appropriate.

To then clear the aircraft for a return to service while EASA, etc still had outstanding issues would leave the FAA in a potentially very vulnerable position. It's not going to happen.

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Old 11th Sep 2019, 12:18
  #2304 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fruitflyer View Post
Clearly they have shown independence when they grounded them later than their peers.
I wouldn't say that being the last of agencies to ground the plane was a clear sign of independence. More probably an indication of their dependence on Boeing and the US Government.

That said, they are free to clear the aircraft whenever they see fit, but going alone would not help them regain credibility...

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Old 11th Sep 2019, 14:54
  #2305 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fruitflyer View Post

For airlines like Southwest an FAA clearance is all that's needed. Norwegian not so much.
Don’t be so sure about that. I read something recently which suggested that ALPA members at Southwest would be very uneasy about flying a ‘partially cleared’ aircraft. Southwest's insurers would also be put in a difficult position.

Politically it would be very difficult for the FAA if the last authority to ground the MAX was the first authority to clear it to fly again. That kind of attention is something that the FAA really doesn’t need right now.

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Old 11th Sep 2019, 15:07
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound View Post

Politically it would be very difficult for the FAA if the last authority to ground the MAX was the first authority to clear it to fly again. That kind of attention is something that the FAA really doesn’t need right now.


Now that the EASA conditions are public, it would mean that some of those conditions are not fulfilled.
Independent design review not conducted ?
Lion Air and Ethiopian accident not sufficiently understood ?
EASA required training not performed ?

Not sure the flying public would accept to board this aircraft...
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 15:31
  #2307 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fruitflyer View Post
For airlines like Southwest an FAA clearance is all that's needed.
As a regulatory matter, FAA clearance is sufficient. But I think Southwest might have a difficult time explaining to pax why it is flying aircraft that other major CAAs are not willing to allow in their airspace. It doesn't take much imagination to visualize the headlines.

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Old 11th Sep 2019, 15:45
  #2308 (permalink)  
 
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I think even with clearance from ALL the CAAs, the initial roll-out will be tricky.

Whichever carrier is first to fly the newly certified Max, it's going to be in the news (carrier & route?) and bring the public's attention once again to the previous 2 crashes and fatalities

I'm not sure how those booked would feel about being on the maiden voyage.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 16:05
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Originally Posted by Cafe john View Post
I think even with clearance from ALL the CAAs, the initial roll-out will be tricky.

Whichever carrier is first to fly the newly certified Max, it's going to be in the news (carrier & route?) and bring the public's attention once again to the previous 2 crashes and fatalities

I'm not sure how those booked would feel about being on the maiden voyage.
Presumably, Boeing and FAA top executive will be on board with their families.
Also Senator Graves, and some members of the US Government.
If not, well...
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 17:29
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Interesting explanation of pitch up problem for all those not familiar with swept wing aerodynamics - like me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch-up

MCAS seems to be a mitigation ala Fred Flintstone. If the Max is prone to it in some of its flight regimes, it's not likely to get recertification without aerodynamic changes and/or full FBW compliant FCS.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 17:58
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt View Post
...with their families.
As a general principle, please do keep families out of this. They didn't made the decisions, so shouldn't be held hostage to another family member's actions.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 18:05
  #2312 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by clearedtocross View Post
Interesting explanation of pitch up problem for all those not familiar with swept wing aerodynamics - like me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch-up
It might be worth a read of this thread, and the related ones, to understand the aerodynamic issues that are specific to the Max.

They are more complex than the generic swept-wing pitch-up effect described in that Wikipedia article, which dates from about 10 years before the Max first flew.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 18:30
  #2313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by boaclhryul View Post
As a general principle, please do keep families out of this. They didn't made the decisions, so shouldn't be held hostage to another family member's actions.
Although I generally agree with the first sentence in your post, in this case I agree with Fly Aiprt. No one is saying that a decision maker's family is at fault, and certainly no one should ever threaten a decision maker's family. But... every "accountable executive" would do well, when considering SMS and the balance between safety and profit, to ask themselves the question, "Am I satisfied that I am NOT putting profit or share price above safety". One way to personalise such safety concepts -- and one's own commitment to them -- is to "gut-check" whether you would do anything differently knowing your own close friends or family were the recipients of your decisions.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 19:15
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Originally Posted by grizzled View Post
Although I generally agree with the first sentence in your post, in this case I agree with Fly Aiprt. No one is saying that a decision maker's family is at fault, and certainly no one should ever threaten a decision maker's family. But... every "accountable executive" would do well, when considering SMS and the balance between safety and profit, to ask themselves the question, "Am I satisfied that I am NOT putting profit or share price above safety". One way to personalise such safety concepts -- and one's own commitment to them -- is to "gut-check" whether you would do anything differently knowing your own close friends or family were the recipients of your decisions.
Thanks for that, grizzled.
I would add that the decisions of Boeing and the FAA dearly impacted hundreds of innocent families whose only fault was to trust the planemaker and regulators.
What did they do for those families after the crashes ? Incriminate the pilots, and move their cases to Indonesia in order to compensate less.

They would keep their own families "out of this", but the flying public is invited to put their own families on board...
I for one wouldn't board any of those 737 MAX unless I have witnessed Boeing and the FAA's top brass flying around the world with their best beloved...
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 19:22
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
It might be worth a read of this thread, and the related ones, to understand the aerodynamic issues that are specific to the Max.

They are more complex than the generic swept-wing pitch-up effect described in that Wikipedia article, which dates from about 10 years before the Max first flew.
Thanks for the enlightenment, I was not aware that aerodynamics laws change so much within 10 years. I thought that pitch stability or the lack thereof was an issue even for the Wright brothers. And an big engine cowling might be considered as a wing too, at least at a pronounced AoA.....
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 20:26
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Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
As a regulatory matter, FAA clearance is sufficient. But I think Southwest might have a difficult time explaining to pax why it is flying aircraft that other major CAAs are not willing to allow in their airspace. It doesn't take much imagination to visualize the headlines.
What would lawyers do to Boeing then if there was another accident between the time the the FAA approved entry back into service and the other authorities were still waiting. Would be the end of Boeing or are they to big to fail.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 21:32
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Originally Posted by boaclhryul View Post

As a general principle, please do keep families out of this.
Some of us on this side of the pond may remember British agriculture minister, John Selwyn Gummer feeding a burger to his four year old daughter during the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis, to prove that British beef was safe to eat.

Not his finest moment!
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 22:19
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The difference is that the FAA has made it clear that it is working closely with other certification authorities to coordinate the lifting of the grounding when deemed appropriate.

To then clear the aircraft for a return to service while EASA, etc still had outstanding issues would leave the FAA in a potentially very vulnerable position. It's not going to happen.
The latest article from Dominic Gates is a bit surprising.

www seattletimes com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-ceo-expects-737-max-to-resume-flying-around-november-but-possibly-not-in-all-countries/
(can't post links yet, sorry)


Boeing CEO expects 737 MAX to resume flying around November, but possibly not in all countries

By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Boeing chairman and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday reiterated his projection that, despite concerns publicly expressed by Europe’s air safety regulator, the 737 MAX should begin to return to service around November.

However, he conceded that lack of alignment among international regulatory bodies could mean that the grounded jet may first resume flying in the United States, with other major countries following later.

“We’re making good, solid progress on a return to service,” Muilenburg said, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. He later added that “a phased ungrounding of the airplane among regulators around the world is a possibility.”

A week ago, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) publicly criticized the certification process of the 737 MAX. And the agency said that it would favor a redesign of the airplane’s systems to take readings from three independent Angle of Attack sensors rather than the two-sensor system in Boeing’s proposed upgrade to the MAX.

Muilenburg played down the possibility that this could mean potentially expensive hardware changes to the airplane in addition to the planned software upgrade.

Referring to the fact that the Airbus A320 — the direct competitor to the 737 — has three Angle of Attack sensors, Muilenburg said that “our architecture on Boeing airplanes is different than Airbus airplanes,” and added “that doesn’t necessarily mean hardware changes.”

He said the concern over the level of redundancy in the Angle of Attack system could also in some cases be addressed “with simulation work, software updates or process updates.”

Muilenburg said the lack of alignment among air safety regulators internationally “creates timeline uncertainty.”

But he assured his audience that the FAA will go forward with its own decision on the MAX, free of any political motives and based on its own assessment of the plane’s safety.

“When the FAA is confident that the certification steps have been completed, that the airplane is safe, that we’ve answered all the questions, then they intend to proceed,” he said.

Muilenburg said the software update to the flight control system that went wrong on the two MAX crash flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia — called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) — was completely wrapped up midyear and has been tested.

To satisfy regulators, he said, Boeing then went beyond that and is completing “a holistic, systemwide evaluation and update to the MAX.” That’s what turned up a different potential vulnerability in the flight control computer discovered in June that spurred a major change to the MAX’s overall systems architecture: It will now compare data inputs on both of the jet’s flight computers rather than using only one on each flight, as had been the case until now.

“That’s the work we are wrapping up,” Muilenburg said.

He also said that Boeing has developed “an enhanced computer-based training module” to update pilots on all the changes before they fly the MAX again. Boeing has resisted calls for pilots to be required to train in a full flight simulator before they can fly the plane again, though that remains a possibility overseas if foreign regulators demand it.

Muilenburg said the FAA’s Joint Operations Evaluation Board will make the final determination on pilot training requirements and will bring in flight crews from around the world to fly a MAX simulator with the newest software and to evaluate Boeing’s proposed training package before the jet’s return to service is authorized.

Touching briefly on other matters, Muilenburg dismissed the importance of last week’s accident during a ground test of the forthcoming 777X, when a cargo door blew out as the plane was being stress tested.

During what’s called the static test of an airplane that is intended for ground test only, the wings of the plane were bent upward and the passenger cabin was overpressurized. For an airframe design to be approved for certification, the plane has to hold together without the wings breaking or other structural damage until the loads on it are at least 150% of what could be experienced in the most extreme conditions of normal flight.

Last Thursday, during the final minutes of the test inside the Everett factory, at approximately 99% of the final test loads, a cargo door exploded outward.

“That’s not unusual for a static test. This is testing the airplane well beyond anything you’d ever see in operation, to test it to its very limits,” Muilenburg said. “There’s nothing there that will significantly affect the airplane’s design.”

He also addressed the current tensions in world trade and their impact on Boeing.

Muilenburg said that the lack of a trade deal between the U.S. and China is creating a risk to Boeing’s widebody jet production schedule.

“We have reserved slots in the 787 and 777 production for Chinese orders,” he said. “There is a dependency there on Chinese orders coming through.”

He said the current production rate of the 787 Dreamliner at 14 jets per month can only be maintained if China orders more.

“We are assuming Chinese orders” in that production schedule, he said.

Still, it was the 737 MAX crisis and its potential impact on the company’s future that dominated Muilenburg’s appearance. Muilenburg repeated his view that he sees it as “a real defining moment for Boeing.”
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 22:24
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The Press would have a field day if the FAA let the MAX start flying and EASA did not. The claims of collusion, already out there, would be substantiated.

So lets say its allowed to fly by the FA..20% of those delivered can fly...the aircraft racked up that go to US carriers can be released. (and somehow meandered through all of the parked ac racked up in storage...)

Interesting today how Boeing was careful to word the news of 777X blowing up on final ground test into a non-issue, and the stock soars...

Reality will be quite the slap down to those who bought today.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 22:40
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Originally Posted by Smooth Airperator View Post

...at this time is there any suggestion we are going to get a third AoA wired up?
I think the proposed solution is that both existing vanes will be used simultaneously rather than consecutively to provide a dual channel input to to the system which requires only a software change. Adding a third vane to existing aircraft is a whole different ball game and will delay things even further.

Even with three AoA inputs and polling software, there is no guarantee that MCAS would be sensor error free. Depending on where this extra vane is located, there are still certain situations such as uncoordinated flight, where all three vanes are outputting a different value to the FCC.
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