Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

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

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

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

Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:32
  #3241 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: VA
Posts: 210
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
It's hard to see how a system, the existence of which pilots were initially unaware of, could appear in the MEL/CDL.
Point of clarification needed here.

MEL = Minimum Equipment List
CDL = Configuration Deviation List

Both of these documents provide the operator the authority to dispatch an aircraft with certain systems or components that are inoperative, degraded or missing. There are usually some maintenance actions and operational limitations associated with a particular inoperative component. If a system is not listed in either of these two documents, then that system must be fully operational for dispatch. There are many aircraft systems and components that are not in the MEL or CDL.

That said, Boeing considered MCAS to be a sub-function of the Speed Trim System (STS). In the original design, Speed Trim (and hence MCAS) used two independent controllers that alternated every flight. The MEL allows dispatch with one STS controller inoperative as long as the other was verified as operative. I assume this MEL item will be removed or substantially altered before the MAX returns to service.
Tomaski is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:36
  #3242 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Edinburgh
Age: 60
Posts: 39
I think this has been posted before, but this is all we were told about MCAS on the NG to Max B1 conversion. Obviously this was before the accidents. The course was 11 classroom days and 3 days practical training.

Maneuvering Characteristic Augmentation System
The maneuvering characteristic augmentation system (MCAS) allows the stabilizer to move in the nose down direction when approaching high angles of attack at high speeds. This requires the stabilizer to move in the opposite direction in which the pilot is pulling the column for nose up pitch. The MCAS only operates at extreme high speed pitch up conditions that are outside the normal operating envelope.

Only the F/Os column cutout switch module is affected because it is the only module that interfaces with the FCCs

27
clarkieboy is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:40
  #3243 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: US
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
So, Mark Forner, had issues in the SIM with MCAS, but later convinced the FAA not to include MCAS in the manual, because it could confuse pilots(like it confused him in the SIM). When asked for info he plead the fifth, to prevent these texts coming out. Currently, he is a line pilot for SWA, whose pilots are suing Boeing for lost wages due to the MAX debacle. I would love to be on the JS when he is flying!
You hit all the points I was hoping to make. The employment of Forkner at Southwest is dubious at best. Just another cozy relationship Southwest has gotten themselves into. Then the pilots union suing for lost wages due to the grounding is ridiculous. How do they know they would not have faced some other type of calamity industry wide or personal that would have precluded their advancement and growth opportunities. When if anything is ever guaranteed in this industry in career advancement? It appears that Southwest and its pilots suffer from imagination.

Having Forkner on their payroll only increases the sleaziness of this whole MAX meltdown.

Boeing has produced two airplanes in the past 10+ years for commercial purposes and both have been grounded. Add in the 767 Tanker and Boeing is stacking some terrible statistics to their reputation.

lambourne is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:42
  #3244 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: VA
Posts: 210
Originally Posted by clarkieboy View Post
I think this has been posted before, but this is all we were told about MCAS on the NG to Max B1 conversion. Obviously this was before the accidents. The course was 11 classroom days and 3 days practical training.
Are you referring to training for the maintenance side?
Tomaski is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:47
  #3245 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Edinburgh
Age: 60
Posts: 39
Sorry, yes, I should have made the phrase B1 clearer, that was for the maintenance side.
clarkieboy is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 13:58
  #3246 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,894
Originally Posted by Tomaski View Post
Both of these documents provide the operator the authority to dispatch an aircraft with certain systems or components that are inoperative, degraded or missing. There are usually some maintenance actions and operational limitations associated with a particular inoperative component. If a system is not listed in either of these two documents, then that system must be fully operational for dispatch. There are many aircraft systems and components that are not in the MEL or CDL.
Yes, no argument there.

My point in response to the previous poster's question was simply that, given that crews were initially unaware of the existence of something called MCAS, then by definition it could not have been an item in the MEL/CDL.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 14:08
  #3247 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,530
[QUOTE=Big Pistons Forever;10598824Boeing returned over 90 BILLION dollars to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks in the last 10 years. That money came from a company top to bottom emphasis on cheap and fast, instead of spending the money and taking the time to do things right.

Like Exxon and BP the Boeing C suite executives got their fat bonus cheque’s as the stock price soared oblivious to fact they were destroying the company......[/QUOTE]

Not just the C-suite. If you're eligible for a bonus, the size of the total bonus pot is linked to financial performance and some of your bonus may well be in deferred stock, so the cheap and fast mentality can be stamped on most of management. And while stock price is an indicator of a company's perceived performance and value, focusing solely on stock price, and boosting it with dividends and buybacks, can end up like "teaching to the test". IMHO the tanker mess was another example of an emphasis on cheap and fast.

A major fall in Boeing stock in 2020 - and we can't rule out that happening - will not only act as a drag on the Dow, but will be a pitch-perfect parable of Bad Capitalism for Warren or whoever in November.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 14:09
  #3248 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 458
The dumbing down for pilots has evolved over time. Ask any 737 pilot what the WTRIS is and you are unlikely to get a coherent rely. Not their fault. Yet another sub system that exists under the surface. The only reference in our EASA manuals is the MEL. Go figure.
olster is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 14:30
  #3249 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: VA
Posts: 210
Originally Posted by olster View Post
The dumbing down for pilots has evolved over time. Ask any 737 pilot what the WTRIS is and you are unlikely to get a coherent rely. Not their fault. Yet another sub system that exists under the surface. The only reference in our EASA manuals is the MEL. Go figure.
It's actually worse than that. Despite the removal of a bunch of system information over the years, there is plenty of information still in the manuals that is no longer required knowledge. Pilots are still human, and they are not likely to expend brain cells learning something that their employers do not care if they know. For example, there are still lots of 737 pilots who do not know why that "FEEL DIFF PRESS" light comes on when the AOA sensor goes south.
Tomaski is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 15:16
  #3250 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post
Then the pilots union suing for lost wages due to the grounding is ridiculous. How do they know they would not have faced some other type of calamity industry wide or personal that would have precluded their advancement and growth opportunities. When if anything is ever guaranteed in this industry in career advancement? It appears that Southwest and its pilots suffer from imagination.
Liability questions in civil litigation are considered on the basis of what actually happens, no on what might have happened. If you sue a driver who injured you in a collision in a crosswalk/zebra crossing, the driver can't argue that your lawsuit is ridiculous because you could have been injured by debris from a deorbiting satellite -- or anything else.

There's nothing at all "ridiculous" about the basis of the SWA pilots' suit, although we can't know, now, whether the specific details of the case will permit it to eventually go to trial.

OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 16:30
  #3251 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: US
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
Liability questions in civil litigation are considered on the basis of what actually happens, no on what might have happened. If you sue a driver who injured you in a collision in a crosswalk/zebra crossing, the driver can't argue that your lawsuit is ridiculous because you could have been injured by debris from a deorbiting satellite -- or anything else.

There's nothing at all "ridiculous" about the basis of the SWA pilots' suit, although we can't know, now, whether the specific details of the case will permit it to eventually go to trial.
How can they prove they were harmed? How do they know what would have happen using your legal logic. Nothing is guaranteed. They are basing they harm on what might have happened to them in a positive circumstance. The same could be made in a negative circumstance.

it is a frivolous lawsuit by a pilot group that has limboed under most every Reg and rule. What about all the FAA fines levied against southwest for their improper maintenance procedures. It is a short cut company and mentality. I hope they get the case thrown out.
lambourne is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 16:49
  #3252 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta
Age: 52
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post


How can they prove they were harmed? How do they know what would have happen using your legal logic. Nothing is guaranteed. They are basing they harm on what might have happened to them in a positive circumstance. The same could be made in a negative circumstance.

it is a frivolous lawsuit by a pilot group that has limboed under most every Reg and rule. What about all the FAA fines levied against southwest for their improper maintenance procedures. It is a short cut company and mentality. I hope they get the case thrown out.
Not saying I agree with the lawsuit, but you are totally wrong. There are direct numbers published by the company about the amount of flights cancelled, hiring and upgrades delayed, and hours flown per pilot reduced, backed up by around 5% (and increasing...) of the the fleet grounded. This is not some "might have happened", it happened, and is still going on.
As far as you bad-mouthing their maintenance, the mechanics are fighting the company to stop those practices, and the pilots support those efforts. Please show me an example of the pilots "limboed (?)" under every rule.....
No, I am not a SWA pilot, or even fan of SWA
hans brinker is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 16:59
  #3253 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post


How can they prove they were harmed? How do they know what would have happen using your legal logic. Nothing is guaranteed. They are basing they harm on what might have happened to them in a positive circumstance. The same could be made in a negative circumstance.

it is a frivolous lawsuit by a pilot group that has limboed under most every Reg and rule. What about all the FAA fines levied against southwest for their improper maintenance procedures. It is a short cut company and mentality. I hope they get the case thrown out.
I don't know how to respond except to say, with respect, that you don't seem to understand how civil litigation works in the US.

Absolutely nothing in our legal system prevents the SWA union from bringing this case. Whether or not they can prove they were harmed is a question that will be decided by the trier of fact -- either a judge or jury, depending upon choices by the parties we can't predict. The legal standard in a case like this is "preponderance of evidence," a standard that leaves things wide open to interpretation by the trier of fact.

Remember, also, that the defendant -- here, Boeing -- will have to decide whether settling the case before trial will be less expensive and otherwise damaging than going the distance.

I think we can be pretty sure that the pilots didn't initiate this lawsuit without advice from skilled and experienced litigation attorneys, who will have evaluated the claim and advised as to its strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of plaintiffs and attorneys who are willing to take a shot at frivolous cases, but this isn't an example of that -- not even close.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 18:58
  #3254 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: US
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
I don't know how to respond except to say, with respect, that you don't seem to understand how civil litigation works in the US.

Absolutely nothing in our legal system prevents the SWA union from bringing this case. Whether or not they can prove they were harmed is a question that will be decided by the trier of fact -- either a judge or jury, depending upon choices by the parties we can't predict. The legal standard in a case like this is "preponderance of evidence," a standard that leaves things wide open to interpretation by the trier of fact.

Remember, also, that the defendant -- here, Boeing -- will have to decide whether settling the case before trial will be less expensive and otherwise damaging than going the distance.

I think we can be pretty sure that the pilots didn't initiate this lawsuit without advice from skilled and experienced litigation attorneys, who will have evaluated the claim and advised as to its strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of plaintiffs and attorneys who are willing to take a shot at frivolous cases, but this isn't an example of that -- not even close.
Of course anyone can sue for anything in the USA. They do it all the time and as a result there are frivolous lawsuits. I would not grant that SWAPA hired the finest litigation attorneys to prosecute this case. You obviously don’t know how labor unions work in the USA. They will sell their membership the belief and hope of a payoff for just about anything. Doesn’t take away the fact that the Southwest pilots have a thin argument in front of a jury that they have been harmed. A jury hearing how pilots who make 250K missed out on making 300K are generally not very sympathetic.

I am no fan of Boeing but the fact that Southwest hired the chief test pilot who pled the 5th is alarming. Way too much cross pollination to have a leg to stand on in court.
lambourne is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:05
  #3255 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: US
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Not saying I agree with the lawsuit, but you are totally wrong. There are direct numbers published by the company about the amount of flights cancelled, hiring and upgrades delayed, and hours flown per pilot reduced, backed up by around 5% (and increasing...) of the the fleet grounded. This is not some "might have happened", it happened, and is still going on.
As far as you bad-mouthing their maintenance, the mechanics are fighting the company to stop those practices, and the pilots support those efforts. Please show me an example of the pilots "limboed (?)" under every rule.....
No, I am not a SWA pilot, or even fan of SWA
You have probably never met a Southwest pilot or seen one taxi or fly. It is eye opening in how they abuse those planes. I have crawled up the Jumpseat more than once as they cross the fence at Ref+30 after a completely unstable approach as they attempt to shave a minute off a flight. They use the FAR’s as a guideline. Had an FAA inspector in the Jumpseat recounting how he was in the cockpit of a Southwest 737. In descent with the clacker going off the Captain turned to the fed and said “that’s the Southwest victory song”. That was followed by a very long debrief at the gate upon arrival.

Just watch them land on 24R at LAX and use max braking to make the reverse high speed. I have ridden in the back and it is as if the earth has personally harmed them in the way they assault the runway.
lambourne is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:49
  #3256 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta
Age: 52
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post
You have probably never met a Southwest pilot or seen one taxi or fly. It is eye opening in how they abuse those planes. I have crawled up the Jumpseat more than once as they cross the fence at Ref+30 after a completely unstable approach as they attempt to shave a minute off a flight. They use the FAR’s as a guideline. Had an FAA inspector in the Jumpseat recounting how he was in the cockpit of a Southwest 737. In descent with the clacker going off the Captain turned to the fed and said “that’s the Southwest victory song”. That was followed by a very long debrief at the gate upon arrival.

Just watch them land on 24R at LAX and use max braking to make the reverse high speed. I have ridden in the back and it is as if the earth has personally harmed them in the way they assault the runway.
So nothing is all you have I see. I JS on SWA at least once a week, often in the cockpit, have never see this. Ref+30 is over max flap speed..... Third hand story from someone else. Last time I checked using max braking and full reverse to make an exit: not illegal. Yes, they taxi fast. Yes, in the past they had a well deserved reputation, haven't seen it in years.
Also zero reply to my main point: You are wrong about the lawsuit.
hans brinker is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:52
  #3257 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post
I would not grant that SWAPA hired the finest litigation attorneys to prosecute this case.
Perhaps you'll be more willing to grant that point after you've learned a bit more about Condon & Forsyth, the firm SWAPA has retained to work with its in-house attorneys and local outside counsel on the case. It might also be a good idea to read and understand the complaint.

You obviously don’t know how labor unions work in the USA. They will sell their membership the belief and hope of a payoff for just about anything. Doesn’t take away the fact that the Southwest pilots have a thin argument in front of a jury that they have been harmed. A jury hearing how pilots who make 250K missed out on making 300K are generally not very sympathetic.
I won't argue with you over your opinion of "how labor unions work in the USA." I do suggest that you try to understand the case and the process of civil litigation before deciding that SWAPA has a "thin argument." As for the possible balance of sympathies, I wouldn't want to rely upon that if I were Boeing, in this case (or most any case related to the MAX that is tried in the next few years).

I am no fan of Boeing but the fact that Southwest hired the chief test pilot who pled the 5th is alarming. Way too much cross pollination to have a leg to stand on in court.
The situation with Forkner may not be particularly important in SWAPA's case. We are already aware of a great deal of evidence that indicates that the grounding of the MAX is largely the result of recklessness and misbehavior by its manufacturer, and we don't have the advantage of the very thorough discovery process that will likely bring much more such evidence to light -- unless Boeing short-circuits the case with a quick settlement before discovery. If SWAPA's attorneys don't think Forkner's testimony is essential, they may well not call him as a witness, and Boeing would certainly be taking a risk by doing so. I doubt that Forkner will be a major factor in the union litigation.

Last edited by OldnGrounded; 20th Oct 2019 at 20:09. Reason: Missed a word.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:54
  #3258 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by lambourne View Post
You have probably never met a Southwest pilot or seen one taxi or fly. It is eye opening in how they abuse those planes. I have crawled up the Jumpseat more than once as they cross the fence at Ref+30 after a completely unstable approach as they attempt to shave a minute off a flight. They use the FAR’s as a guideline. Had an FAA inspector in the Jumpseat recounting how he was in the cockpit of a Southwest 737. In descent with the clacker going off the Captain turned to the fed and said “that’s the Southwest victory song”. That was followed by a very long debrief at the gate upon arrival.

Just watch them land on 24R at LAX and use max braking to make the reverse high speed. I have ridden in the back and it is as if the earth has personally harmed them in the way they assault the runway.
I see. We're arguing with someone whose view of the issue at hand is twisted by what appears to be real animosity toward SWA. I think we can stop this exchange now.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 21:08
  #3259 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,540
I think the biggest danger to Boeing is not paying out Southwest pilots it is the damaging information that will come out in discovery.

My 02 cents, This will be quietly settled out of court with a bullet proof NDA

One of the ironic parts of this sad story is Southwest Airlines is an outlier in the airline world because

1) It has been consistently profitable, and

2) It has had a history of stable long term senior leadership with a operational focus and a long term view, something Boeing used to have until the MBA bean counters took over and ruined the company

If Boeing were an airline it would United
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 21:23
  #3260 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Florida
Posts: 86
A settlement with SW pilots means that every other carrier's pilot union/association brings a similar suit. Likely already being planned...
Lake1952 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.