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MAXís Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

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MAXís Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures

Old 22nd Oct 2019, 20:55
  #3341 (permalink)  
 
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Top Boeing Executive to Leave as 737 Max Crisis Swells
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 21:15
  #3342 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by keesje View Post
I'm a shocked.
The 3 yr old mail transcripts of that half drunk pilot Fockner let to a sharp stock price fall,
while the expert JATR report 2 weeks ago did not.

https://www.google.com/search?q=boei...=1571729237234

Something is wrong there.
I think the distressingly simple answer to that it is the folk who are moving money around in stock markets are of an age and disposition where they can assimilate a short exchange of eMails or texts but they have no interest in reading and understanding a 51 page technical report, despite it being written in clear and comprehensible language.

What I have found hard to fathom is that no one seems to have latched on to the report's Recommendation R3.4: "The FAA should review the natural (bare airframe) stalling characteristics of the B737 MAX to determine if unsafe characteristics exist. If unsafe characteristics exist, the design of the speed trim system (STS)/MCAS/elevator feel shift (EFS) should be reviewed for acceptability."

MCAS was introduced to solve a high speed problem; it then was extended to solve a low speed problem. It's advertised (to those who had a manual where it did appear in the small print), as an augmentation system... so it's adding something to the existing system to make the manoeuvring characteristics better. I have a MCAS on my car; it's called power steering. The difference is that if the power steering on my car fails, the car doesn't suddenly take an unpredictable dive for the nearest ditch, the steering goes a bit heavy, particularly at lower speeds and I develop body-builder shoulder muscles if I have to parallel park in a small gap. But my car remains intrinsically safe.

Will the FAA and the other airworthiness authorities insist on flight tests that demonstrate the stalling and handling characteristic of the bare aeroplane? Or will it be shown that the aircraft design is essentially unstable, in which case it seems to me that it needs a full authority computerised system as is designed and developed for many modern military aircraft (e.g. the Typhoon), with all its built in redundancies and extensive flight testing and evaluation. And then grandfathering the certification of the 737 MAX looks more than a little suspect.
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 21:32
  #3343 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=gearlever;10600931] re top boeing execs to leave . . .

Jeeze McAllister was buddy of GE Calhound and joined in 2016 After MAX was pretty much done
And Stan deal a long time ago was another GE alum

Its the game of Musical Chairs ( lifeboats ) being rearranged on The Boeing MAXtanic.

GE alums all seem to carry the NeutronJack virus-

or the MDC flu

From the Boeing site re executive bios

McAllister joined GE Aviation from Howmet Corporation in 1989 and held various materials engineering leadership roles supporting product design, manufacturing, component repair and technology development. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, earning a bachelor's degree in materials engineering.
Since joining Boeing in 1986, Deal’s broad range of leadership positions includes leading integrated product teams for propulsion systems and structures on the 717 program, and serving as program manager for the for the MD-11 Japan Airlines program.
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 22:05
  #3344 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GemDeveloper View Post

Will the FAA and the other airworthiness authorities insist on flight tests that demonstrate the stalling and handling characteristic of the bare aeroplane?
I'm pretty sure that flight testing was done as part of the original certification process, and it was the results of these tests that determined the need for something like MCAS. I believe I also read that MCAS inop testing was part of the recertification protocol since the new protections put in place may create a situation where MCAS is deactivated when it might actually be needed (i.e. a single AOA vane failure, but this time the aircraft is actually approaching a stall).
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 22:25
  #3345 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tomaski View Post
I'm pretty sure that flight testing was done as part of the original certification process, and it was the results of these tests that determined the need for something like MCAS.
Yes, and participants in PPRuNe are not the only people concerned that the aerodynamics of the bare airframe may not be as well understood as would be desirable. Once again, from the JATR report:

Recommendation R3.4: The FAA should review the natural (bare airframe) stalling characteristics of the B737 MAX to determine if unsafe characteristics exist. If unsafe characteristics exist, the design of the speed trim system (STS)/MCAS/elevator feel shift (EFS) should be reviewed for acceptability.

Observation O3.4-A: The original implementation of MCAS was driven primarily by its ability to provide the B737 MAX with FAA-compliant flight characteristics at high speed. An unaugmented design would have been at risk of not meeting 14 CFR part 25 maneuvering characteristics requirements due to aerodynamics.

Observation O3.4-B: Extension of MCAS to the low-speed and 1g environment during the flight program was due to unacceptable stall characteristics with STS only. The possibility of a pitch-up tendency during approach to stall was identified for the flaps-up configuration prior to the implementation of MCAS.

Finding F3.4-A: The acceptability of the natural stalling characteristics of the aircraft should form the basis for the design and certification of augmentation functions such as EFS and STS (including MCAS) that are used in support of meeting 14 CFR part 25, subpart B requirements.
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 22:46
  #3346 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GemDeveloper View Post
I think the distressingly simple answer to that it is the folk who are moving money around in stock markets are of an age and disposition where they can assimilate a short exchange of eMails or texts but they have no interest in reading and understanding a 51 page technical report, despite it being written in clear and comprehensible language.
I think there is more to it than that. Most of the stuff in the JATR report was confirming what was already known or widely suspected, and therefore already priced in. The "test without MCAS" recommendation is probably being done anyway (as others have said) because with the new dual-sensor MCAS sensor failure will result in non-availability.

The chat logs on the other hand were new and potentially very damaging (in the lawsuits...) information, and then there was the spectacularly terse letter from the FAA in response. If the FAA thinks (with good reason IMO) Boeing is still not being straight with it then we could be looking at further delay in return to flight, and hence substantially more costs all round - and none of that previously priced in.

Will the FAA and the other airworthiness authorities insist on flight tests that demonstrate the stalling and handling characteristic of the bare aeroplane? Or will it be shown that the aircraft design is essentially unstable, in which case it seems to me that it needs a full authority computerised system as is designed and developed for many modern military aircraft (e.g. the Typhoon), with all its built in redundancies and extensive flight testing and evaluation. And then grandfathering the certification of the 737 MAX looks more than a little suspect.
An "essentially unstable" civilian transport aircraft would (should) never get certified, fighter jets are a completely different ball game. Airbuses are not aerodynamically unstable, and the MAX almost certainly isn't either. The issue is almost certainly in meeting the stick force gradient requirements, how bad it is we still don't (and may never) know. I think it is also possible that the MAX control feel could be simply adjusted so that the stick force requirements could all be met without MCAS, but then the MAX wouldn't feel anything like a (previous) 737 and therefore no common type rating so no way were they doing that.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 00:47
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Of relevance: Forkner was a technical pilot, his job was fly sim and write manuals and procedures.
He’s a glorified secretary with a pilot’s license.
There’s no indication he was senior in any sense, either as a pilot or as a manager.
The test pilots are the ones who saw the plane, not the sim. They know how it flies with and without MCAS,
They have company seniority and outstanding piloting skills.
The test pilots mut have understood the implications of MCAS, and could pull the emergency brake at Boeing or the FAA.
And everybody seems in a hurry to forget they exist.

The Chief Test Pilot for the Max is the crucial witness.
Edmund
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 01:02
  #3348 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by edmundronald View Post
Of relevance: Forkner was a technical pilot, his job was fly sim and write manuals and procedures.
He’s a glorified secretary with a pilot’s license.
There’s no indication he was senior in any sense, either as a pilot or as a manager.
The test pilots are the ones who saw the plane, not the sim. They know how it flies with and without MCAS,
They have company seniority and outstanding piloting skills.
The test pilots mut have understood the implications of MCAS, and could pull the emergency brake at Boeing or the FAA.
And everybody seems in a hurry to forget they exist.

Edmund
I don't understand what point you're trying to make here, Edmund. That Forkner's messages should be disregarded because he wasn't a test pilot? That the test pilots must have understood the implications of MCAS and didn't pull the emergency brake, so that means . . . what?

Certainly the test pilots are crucial witnesses, but neither the chief nor anyone else is "the" crucial witness. This mess is way too complex.

Please spell it out for us.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 01:15
  #3349 (permalink)  
 
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and the changes at Boeing continue:

Boeing has named Stan Deal as new head of commercial airplanes

2 Hours AgoCNBC's Phil LeBeau on Boeing's new head of commercial airplanes, Stan Deal, who's a 33-year veteran with the company. With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Steve Grasso, Karen Finerman, Dan Nathan and Guy Adami.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/10/2...airplanes.html
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 03:31
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JATR and unstated item at least implied

On a pedestrian level, the JATR can be seen as pouring high-octane gasoline on an already intensely hot conflagration. At a legal conference last week, in response to a question, one of the most significant and prominent plaintiff attorneys retained in the Ethiopian crash lawsuits said that discovery directed to the JATR as constituted in this country, and probably (through foreign discovery processes) to the other national CAAs, was in process. (This, if reports of the conference dialogues are accurate.)
But for all the JATR document does say, isn't there a critical element left out but unmistakably implied? Namely, who is going to oversee, in an integrated and cohesive manner, all the divergent entities now involved?
After Air Canada 759 in San Francisco narrowly missed what surely would have been a real-life runway conflagration, the Chairman of NTSB, at a public appearance, replied to a question about moving safety recommendations from and out of reports, into implementation. Specifically regarding the possible role fatigue had played in the misalignment on approach in the AC 759 incident, the Chairman indicated that pertinent regs had resulted, from the aftermath of Colgan Air.
Sounded straightforward enough (leaving alone questions as to lingering fatigue problems, especially for aviators commuting to bases). But in the unraveling of the tangled mess of the 737 MAX, who is going to QB, quarterback what needs to be changed?
No player seems properly or sufficiently situated: not the fed criminal investigators; not the DOT advisory panel Sec'y Chao convened; not the Boeing executives nor its Board (pardon tbe gross understatement); not the Congressional committees despite the strong reputations of their professional staffs; not the FAA - right, I had to include it, even though...; and not NTSB, because among other reasons its work and mission are too crucial to ask it to "stand here and move the earth."
Are we moving toward a group of unquestionably high integrity pros, akin to the Columbia Space Shuttle Orbiter accident investigation panel? And maybe that's the best hope for a coordinating and full-authority "in charge" group to lead, control and direct the U.S. effort at overhauling the certification process and most likely some other things as well. In fact, the official in charge of liaison between the chairman of the Columbia investigation board and the rest of official Washington now is the U.S. Permanent Representative, with Ambassador rank, to ICAO and the ICAO Council.
It's maybe not as much fun as the usual "forum" dialogues, but heck, this has turned into quite a big old mess.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 04:11
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Willow, pity the likes of Joe Sutter or Kelly Johnson were not still around to sort the engineering issues.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 06:31
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"Willow, pity the likes of Joe Sutter or Kelly Johnson were not still around to sort the engineering issues."

Apparently they were around, but were blackballed from the industry for making "waves". Where is 'our' Richard Feynman?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 08:24
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Originally Posted by xetroV View Post
The flight pattern of the accident flights did not remotely fit an activation of MCAS either. The cause of the accidents may be very different than the simulator-experience from the chat (erroneous AoA instead of erroneous simulator coding), but the consequence was similar: an unexpected MCAS activation that clearly startled and surprised Mr. Forkner. And this was a Boeing technical pilot who definitely knew about the existence of MCAS beforehand and did not have to cope with other simultaneous failures and warning modes, such as erroneous airspeed, continuous stickshaker and ultimately GPWS telling him he is flying into the ground.
This was my thoughts on reading that too. I am surprised if this has not create more thought/attention. If it was MCAS operating when it shouldn't in the Sim then classic example of what those who crashed were dealing with, plus unfortunately so much more in incorrect warnings. Cannot see how it truly exonerates Boeing and testing MCAS. Should have been a big re flag
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 09:15
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Originally Posted by edmundronald View Post
Of relevance: Forkner was a technical pilot, his job was fly sim and write manuals and procedures.
Heís a glorified secretary with a pilotís license.
Thereís no indication he was senior in any sense, either as a pilot or as a manager.
The test pilots are the ones who saw the plane, not the sim. They know how it flies with and without MCAS,
They have company seniority and outstanding piloting skills.
The test pilots mut have understood the implications of MCAS, and could pull the emergency brake at Boeing or the FAA.
And everybody seems in a hurry to forget they exist.

The Chief Test Pilot for the Max is the crucial witness.
Edmund
We fully expect the actual Test Pilots to maintain radio silence, but have ANY statements or comment attributed to them found their way into the public domain?

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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 10:36
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Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
<snip>
(Like taller gear to reposition the engine)
I got the impression from way back in this thread that the physical constraints of the airframe mean the gear is already as long as can be accommodated.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 10:40
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Originally Posted by unworry View Post
We fully expect the actual Test Pilots to maintain radio silence, but have ANY statements or comment attributed to them found their way into the public domain?
It was reported months ago that the actual test pilots were kept out of the loop on the MCAS changes and had no idea the production version was all hanging off a single sensor. Whether this was by accident (due to rushing everything to meet target date), or by design (because they would have spoken out) isn't clear, it's also all from anon sources and no official verification is public, that I have seen.

WSJ reported it, but that is paywalled, but MarketWatch has most of it free to view: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bo...sts-2019-05-03
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 11:05
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From the Boeing site re executive bios

Since joining Boeing in 1986, Deal’s broad range of leadership positions includes leading integrated product teams for propulsion systems and structures on the 717 program, and serving as program manager for the for the MD-11 Japan Airlines program.
This doesn't sound quite right. The Japan Air Lines MD-11 were delivered (only 10 of them) in a trickle 1993-97, before McDD merged with Boeing. I presume therefore he actually worked for McDonnell Douglas before the merger.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 11:20
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Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
I don't understand what point you're trying to make here, Edmund. That Forkner's messages should be disregarded because he wasn't a test pilot? That the test pilots must have understood the implications of MCAS and didn't pull the emergency brake, so that means . . . what?

Certainly the test pilots are crucial witnesses, but neither the chief nor anyone else is "the" crucial witness. This mess is way too complex.

Please spell it out for us.
We have it on record the the test pilots reported the stick gradient issue and recommended an aerodynamic solution, but were overruled. They were then in the loop on every change and evolution in MCAS as MCAS was a SOLUTION to flight behavior issues. In their role as testers they certainly considered stab trim failure modes. These guys know exactly what the state of play and knowledge was within Boeing at the time of certification. This they are ideal witnesses.

Also, my intuition is they knew things werent quite right eg, stab trim failure could easily become terminal because of the great authority of the stabiliser, and with one quiet word to their FAA contacts over an evening drink, they could have prevented this fiasco.

Edmund
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 11:28
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Similar to what have been discussed and argued to death [no pun intended] here for quite a while...
.
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Lion Air Families Told 737 MAX Design Flaws Linked To Deadly Crash
Mechanical and design issues contributed to the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX jet last October, Indonesian investigators told victims’ families in a briefing on Wednesday ahead of the release of a final report.

Contributing factors to the crash of the new Boeing (BA.N) jet, which killed all 189 on board, included incorrect assumptions on how an anti-stall device called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) functioned and how pilots would react, slides in the presentation showed.

The briefing slides showed that a lack of documentation about how systems would behave in a crash scenario, including the activation of a “stick shaker” device that warned pilots of a dangerous loss of lift, also contributed.

“Deficiencies” in the flight crew’s communication and manual control of the aircraft contributed as well, the slides showed, as did alerts and distractions in the cockpit.

The deficiencies had been “identified during training,” the slides said, without elaborating.

Reliance on a single angle-of-attack sensor made MCAS more vulnerable to failure, while the sensor on the plane that crashed had been miscalibrated during an earlier repair, according to the slides.

The final report will be released on Friday...

- https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...-idUSKBN1X20EJ
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 12:35
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Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
I got the impression from way back in this thread that the physical constraints of the airframe mean the gear is already as long as can be accommodated.
If the gear was made taller then this may have been an issue with the front air stairs not being long enough to reach the ground.
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