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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 29th Jun 2019, 13:16
  #821 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 73qanda View Post
Fergusd can you give some brief ( easily understood) examples of how high quality code is different from most code? Or how the process of writing/developing it is different? I have never been involved in computing at all so have little understanding of what the differences might be.
Cheers
what i would offer here Sir is that in many ways its the same principle all through commerce . how do you get quality when you outsource ? providers will have a contract that defines exactly what there obligations to the client are , and now more . otherwise they would be giving them services for free . yes you can of course get tailored / adhoc services but very often that is where the sting in contracts are , they become expensive and also this translates to delay and further cost on the buyer . the impossible challenge that is outsourcing .

agree with this by @GordonR_Cape- it is the vital everyday approach that can help deliver quality .

"This helped because even if they were badly specified, I was involved in an iterative process of clarifying the specifications."
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 13:38
  #822 (permalink)  
 
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That only depends on the next available engine generations.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 13:40
  #823 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The scope for grandfathering was beginning to run out, anyway.

Once the 777X is certificated, it's hard to see what other candidates there might be - Airbus have already applied the Neo treatment to all of their legacy narrow- and wide-body family, there clearly aren't going to be any further 747 deelopments, so what does that leave ?
S269 thru the S269D inc some death.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 14:08
  #824 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PerPurumTonantes View Post
A thorn in their side to the point where it was suspected (by user wonkazoo) that Boeing had got someone to flood this forum with posts blaming the pilots.
The intersection of a bad design and a poorly prepared crew are not mutually exclusive concepts. Despite Boeing's obvious series of blunders with the MAX design, some of the posters here, including myself, are rightfully concerned with the decline in crew training and certification standards worldwide. There have been a string of accidents/incidents that have nothing to do with the MAX that provide worrisome indications that airlines, abetted by manufacturers, continue to push for the minimal (and in theory less costly) levels of pilot training and experience. Ironically, one of the recurring complaints about the MAX development was how Boeing and their airline customers intentionally tried to minimize the differences training. Would it be too obvious to point out that insufficient training would show up as an inadequate crew response to a malfunction?

There is strong evidence of issues with crew performance in the Ethiopian accident, and some lessor but still problematic issues at Lion Air, likely a result of the training and operations culture at these airlines. This concern is largely getting a pass because of the overwhelming focus on Boeing. It is not a case of "blaming the pilots" when someone points out that these pilots were set up to fail by airlines that did not give them the training or tools to manage a serious, yet recoverable, malfunction.

So at the end of the day, the MAX will either be fixed or grounded, but the issues with crew training and certification will remain unless they are addressed as well. I don't really see how ignoring the problem makes for safer flight operations.

Last edited by yoko1; 29th Jun 2019 at 17:35.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 14:23
  #825 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 73qanda View Post
Fergusd can you give some brief ( easily understood) examples of how high quality code is different from most code? Or how the process of writing/developing it is different? I have never been involved in computing at all so have little understanding of what the differences might be.
Cheers
There needs to be a very detailed process beginning from the earliest design specs, going through ever more detailed design documents right down to the coding of the separate routines involved. Strict rules must be set regarding the tools and methodologies to be used. The customer must agree and sign off on these. Separately, a test plan must be created. This must involve developers - in their tests, software always works. Testers try to break, rather than fix.

Again, the customer signs off on this. User acceptance testing is best performed by the customer. At all stages, testing must be documented. All flaws must be documented. A tool set for orthogonal defect classification to detect underlying design defects, or even possibly individual programmer defects. The test plan will allow for some functional testing of programme logic at the desktop level, but eventually the code must be tested in an environment which simulates the environment on which it will run. Again, customer sign-off will be needed and that environment must be provided and managed by the customer.

Then testing begins along the lines of the agreed plan. All successes and failures are logged. Remember, the job of the test team is to break it, so the more extreme the conditions under which the software is expected to operate, the better. Invalid inputs, strange dates, the whole lot. If fixes are required, or an invalid assumption had crept into the design then this must be rigorously documented and signed off by the customer.

After testing, then you proceed to user acceptance testing. This is the role of the customer, and the last step before code goes into production. At this stage, there then are the layers of change management and change control.

How do we release our software into the wild? Obviously, in aviation, there are additional considerations.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 15:00
  #826 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Kerosene Kraut View Post
That only depends on the next available engine generations.
Does it ?

What existing airframes are you going to hang new-generation engines on ?
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 15:32
  #827 (permalink)  
 
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Could be anything between A320, 787, A350 and whatever. There might be a lot new engine technology coming. It's not like progress is ending today.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 16:02
  #828 (permalink)  
 
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Last chance to see?
Norwegian are having a shot at getting SE-RTC home from Malaga, just coasted out into the Bay of Biscay, 20,000 ft,330kts.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 16:14
  #829 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Redredrobin View Post
Last chance to see?
Norwegian are having a shot at getting SE-RTC home from Malaga, just coasted out into the Bay of Biscay, 20,000 ft,330kts.
Flying at 20,000 ft which is the maximum altitude for flaps extension, just in case MCAS kicks in?
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 16:35
  #830 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BDAttitude View Post
This is correct. Everything happening within the assembly of the Eaton motor will not be in the wiring diagrams. One would have to look in the technical customer manual of that device.
this opens another can of worms..
If and I say if, some logic is performed on the controller of the motor it will not comply with certifications. The motor controller should only regulate torque, current, etc... DO NOT have any logic on the input signals should be a must.
said so, it seems that the FCC is in charge of disabling the auto (AP, STS, MCAS), and would explain the problem that has just surfaced... a failure onnthe micro on the FCC could send conflicting signals to the controller...
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:07
  #831 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Kerosene Kraut View Post
Could be anything between A320, 787, A350 and whatever. There might be a lot new engine technology coming. It's not like progress is ending today.
Well yes, granted the last two perhaps, though I don't see the A320 family getting re-engined for a second time.

But putting new powerplants on 5-10 year old designs hardly qualifies as "grandfathering" when compared to certificating 4 distinct generations of an aircraft over a 50-year period on the same TC.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:14
  #832 (permalink)  
 
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Let's say Boeing comes up with the NMA one day, wouldn't those engines become available to Airbus as well? Like for heavier versions of the A320-family?
Actually Airbus does a lot of neo-detail optimization like adding winglets, cabin redesign, tank redesign, door reconfiguration and such all the time, future proofing their single aisle family for more to come.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:18
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KC135s have been re-powered twice.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:56
  #834 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by yoko1 View Post
The intersection of a bad design and a poorly prepared crew are not mutually exclusive concepts. Despite Boeing's obvious series of blunders with the MAX design, some of the posters here, including myself, are rightfully concerned with the decline in crew training and certification standards worldwide. There have been a string of accidents/incidents that have nothing to do with the MAX that provide worrisome indications that airlines, abetted by manufacturers, continue to push for the minimal (and in theory less costly) levels of pilot training and experience. Ironically, one of the recurring complaints about the MAX development was how Boeing and their airline customers intentionally tried to minimize the differences training. Would it be too obvious to point out that insufficient training would show up as an inadequate crew response to a malfunction?

There is strong evidence of issues with crew performance in the Ethiopian accident, and some lessor but still problematic issues at Lion Air, likely a result of the training and operations culture at these airlines. This concern is largely getting a pass because of the overwhelming focus on Boeing. It is not a case of "blaming the pilots" when someone points out that these pilots were set up to fail by airlines that did not give them the training or tools to manage a serious, yet recoverable, malfunction.

So at the end of the day, the MAX will either be fixed or grounded, but the issues with crew training and certification will remain unless they are addressed as well. I don't really see how ignoring the problem makes for safer flight operations.
Yoko, the matter of flight crew training and standards is a general matter of concern, across nationalities, ™all are punished™, as Escalus said. The fix attempted by the FAA following the embarrassment of Colgan is anaemic at best and detracting resources from.efective training at worst. The industry has issues. Nevertheless, the JT and ET crews were placed in positions that were unreasonable as first disclosed, and each revelation deepens that concern. The crew competency necessary to reliably survive the events with the knowledge the crews had at that time is not that trained by airlines, selected by HR, a standard obliged by the national regulators, ICAO or Iata, nor is it evident that passengers are prepared to pay to assure such standards
The rules require unexceptionalism.... And the planes issues definitely exceeded any reasonable level of that criteria.

Those cockpits were difficult environments in order to cope with what amounts to compound critical failures. It remains unreasonable to blame the messenger of the systemic failings that deregulation naturally result in

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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:57
  #835 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hunbet View Post
KC135s have been re-powered twice.
Unsurprisingly, as they're even older than the 737.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 18:00
  #836 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hunbet View Post
KC135s have been re-powered twice.
And 747 twice, at least.
And the 777 is getting its second reengine I think it is fair to say

If the frame lives long enough it will be reengined every 15 years or so.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 22:40
  #837 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing did an all-new 787. That didn't work out particularly smoothly either.

Regarding grandfathering of certificates and qualifications, we've discussed the PowerPoint training and penalties for additional training needs, but a comment by a US 737 crew on, having done the computer review, they were unexpectedly presented with a Max for the first time, both of them, due to a rescheduling, was revealing. They said they both felt quite unprepared for all the differences, and although they completed the flight straightforwardly, said it would have been a different matter if anything had gone wrong. THis really comes down to commonsense not just at the manufacturer or the FAA, but the airline as well, with not even thinking of this as an issue. As well as Boeing engineers being sidelined, it's aviation pros in the airline management structure as well. Did nobody think to give their captains a hundred hours or so on the Max before putting them with an FO doing a first run ?

I don't seriously expext the Max back in the air before 2020, at least. I'm wondering when the Boeing stock price "Emperor has no Clothes" situation will finally get recognised. Because only then will some management changes swiftly follow. I think the balloon will burst when the production line has to be stopped.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 23:05
  #838 (permalink)  
 
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It will be much easier to re-engine current types as they were designed for modern high bypass engines, unlike the B737 which was built for low bypass JT8D motors. Installing unducted fan engines could prove problematic given the differing aerodynamics, and would probably be best on a clean sheet design drawn up with UDFs specifically in mind.

The USAF is going to re-engine it’s B52s and was originally going to use 4 high bypass turbofans but decided to continue with the original 8 engine configuration to reduce the amount of structural modifications required.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n.../new-life-b-52
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 23:34
  #839 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PerPurumTonantes View Post
A thorn in their side to the point where it was suspected (by user wonkazoo) that Boeing had got someone to flood this forum with posts blaming the pilots ("JUST FLY THE PLANE").
RIP 737 Driver??

Born (Joined) April 6, 2019
First post April 9, 2019
Died (Disappeared) May 11, 2019
Total Posts: 209
Posts per day: 5.91

To be clear: I'm not suggesting that Mr. Driver was a shill for Boeing or anything else. Purely noting that his/her posts were immensely voluminous in a very short period of time, were very very well informed and were almost exclusively focused on blaming the pilots and exculpating Boeing. For someone who appeared to be somewhat obsessed by the topic (737 MAX incidents) it is odd that he/she lost any interest after May 11.

If Driver was working or advocating on behalf of Boeing either directly or indirectly I would offer that he is probably not the only one.

Warm regards,
dce
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 01:08
  #840 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
tency necessary to reliably survive the events with the knowledge the crews had at that time is not that trained by airlines, selected by HR, a standard obliged by the national regulators, ICAO or Iata, nor is it evident that passengers are prepared to pay to assure such standards
The rules require unexceptionalism.... And the planes issues definitely exceeded any reasonable level of that criteria.

Those cockpits were difficult environments in order to cope with what amounts to compound critical failures. It remains unreasonable to blame the messenger of the systemic failings that deregulation naturally result in
The gods of aviation have never assured pilots fair skies or flawless equipment, yet we are still commanded to keep the blue side up if humanly possible. The penultimate Lion Air crew (both Captain and FO in turn) without even an iota of information about MCAS demonstrated that the tools were available to keep the aircraft under control until the malfunction itself could be contained. The Captain of the Lion Air accident flight performed the same feat, again with no knowledge of MCAS (though the previous day's write-ups provided clues). Apparently the Captain thought his FO would have a similar level of skill at the controls, but sadly he failed to adequately monitor. Thus three out of four Lion Air pilots pretty much lay to rest the contention that this was a malfunction that rendered the aircraft uncontrollable. Challenging maybe, but not impossible.

Ethiopian 302 was another case entirely. By this time, information regarding MCAS had been disseminated. Granted Boeing published this information in a rather lawyerly, mealy-mouthed way that was far from sufficient. However, there was enough there to read between the lines that the pilots at my airline understood a few key pieces of information: if operating a MAX, an erroneous stick shaker should be considered a serious event; the unreliable airspeed and runaway trim NNC were the go-to procedures; if encountered on liftoff, do not under any circumstances retract the flaps. This knowledge was, in theory, available to the Ethiopian pilots as well.

If one were paying attention, there have been a number of troubling reports regarding Ethiopian's pilot training and certification standards and overall operating culture. The Ethiopian 409 crash into the Mediterranean back in 2010 should had been a harbinger. The accident investigation concluded, in part: "the probable causes of the accident were the flight crew's mismanagement of the aircraft's speed, altitude, headings and attitude through inconsistent flight control inputs resulting in a loss of control and their failure to abide by CRM principles of mutual support and calling deviations"

It would be comforting to think that Ethiopian took this report to heart and poured resources into improved crew training. Instead, they blasted the findings and attempted to blame the crash on either sabotage, a shoot-down by unknown party, or a lightening strike. Not surprisingly, then we have this (largely ignored) piece from the Washington Post last April:

Ethiopian pilots raised safety concerns years before fatal crash, records show

These reports date back to 2015 (a mere five years after the ET409 accident). Quoting from the article:

One pilot said the airline didn’t “have the infrastructure” to support the fleet of Boeing and Airbus jets it ordered, and alleged the airline had a “fear-based” management culture in which “safety is being sacrificed for expansion and profit margin.” The pilot also accused the airline of failing to update pilot manuals and leaving out certain checklists designed to help pilots respond to “non-normal” situations. Another pilot criticized Ethiopian regulators for maintaining lax standards with respect to crew flight and rest time.

​​​​​​One pilot accused the airline of employing flight simulator trainers that are not knowledgeable about “aircraft systems, Boeing procedures, or company procedures,” and failing to follow a syllabus for a pilot training course.

The pilot also noted that “non-normal checklists in the cockpit are not kept current, including complete omission of certain checklists,” referring to documents that instruct pilots on how to respond to “non-normal” equipment behaviors that can become dangerous.
Fast forward to a time period after Lion Air but prior to the ET302 accident, we have this item published by Bloomberg, also largely ignored:

Long Before Boeing 737 Max Crash, Ethiopian Air Pilot Warned of Dangers

Quoting from the article:

An Ethiopian Airlines pilot told senior managers at the carrier months before one of its Boeing Co. 737 Max jets crashed that more training and better communication to crew members was needed to avert a repeat of a similar disaster involving a Lion Air flight.

According to emails and documents reviewed by Bloomberg News, the pilot in December urged his superiors to bolster training on a 737 Max flight-control feature so crews would be better prepared for what the Lion Air pilots encountered in October before plunging into the Java Sea, killing all aboard.

“It will be a crash for sure” if pilots struggling with a malfunction of Boeing’s flight-control system on the 737 Max also encountered, for example, a cockpit warning that they were flying too close to the ground, the pilot, Bernd Kai von Hoesslin, wrote in a Dec. 13 email.

​​​​​​In the December email, von Hoesslin reminded managers that flight crews could be overwhelmed by multiple warnings and cockpit alerts that can sound during an errant activation of MCAS.

In a separate email in November, von Hoesslin asked airline managers to provide more detail about MCAS to “those Max pilots who are not fully or even aware of how the Max MCAS” system functions. The request came after a flight operations manager at the airline circulated Boeing’s November 6 service bulletin that described, without naming MCAS, how erroneous sensor data could cause the jet to pitch toward the ground automatically, and how pilots should respond.

In a statement released on Twitter Wednesday, the airline said it “strictly complies with all global safety standards and regulatory requirements.” It also said that allegations it didn’t specify “are false and factually incorrect,” and called the pilot a “disgruntled former employee” who was fired.

Darryl Levitt, an attorney for von Hoesslin, said the pilot was not fired. Rather, he resigned from the airline after he had “previously raised concerns with Ethiopian Airlines that in Capt. von Hoesslin’s opinion were not adequately addressed, and his concerns related to very serious matters of aircraft safety,” Levitt said.
Gotta like that "disgruntled former employee" line. Sounds like something Boeing would have said before their world came crashing down.

Next, we have this from an April 16th update in the Aviation Herald:

On Apr 11th 2019 The Aviation Herald received a full copy of the Flight Operations Manual (FOM), Revision 18B released on Nov 30th 2018, which is currently being used by Ethiopian Airlines (verified in April 2019 to be current). Although Boeing had issued an operator's bulletin on Nov 6th 2018, which was put into Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2018-23-51 dated Nov 7th 2018 requiring the stab trim runaway procedure to be incorporated into the FOM ahead of the sign off of this version of the FOM (the entire document is on file but not available for publishing), there is no trace of such an addition in the entire 699 pages of the FOM.

Quite the opposite, in section 2.6 of the FOM "Operational Irregularities" the last revision is provided as Revision 18 dated "Nov 1st 2017".

According to information The Aviation Herald had received in March 2019, the Airline Management needed to be reminded to distribute the Boeing Operator's Bulletin as well as the EAD to their pilots, eventually the documents were distributed to the flight crew. However, it was never verified, whether those documents had arrived, were read or had been understood. No deeper explanation of the MCAS, mentioned but not explained in both documents, was offered.

It turned out, that only very cursory knowledge about the stab trim runaway procedure exists amongst the flight crew of Ethiopian Airlines even 5 months after the EAD was distributed. In particular, none of the conditions suggesting an MCAS related stab trim runaway was known with any degree of certainty. In that context the recommendation by the accident flight's first officer to use the TRIM CUTOUT switches suggests, that he was partially aware of the contents of the EAD and reproduced some but not all of the provisions and not all of the procedure, which may or may not explain some of the obvious omissions in following the procedure in full.​​​​​​
Finally, we have the knowledge that Ethiopian Airlines, backed by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, thought it was perfectly acceptable to put a pilot into the right seat of a 737 after a mere 160 hours of total flight time. As a point of reference, 160 hours equates to about two months of experience at my airline.

Taken in full, these reports draw a fairly convincing picture that Ethiopian Airlines was an accident waiting to happen.

However, Boeing's cock-up with the MAX has been so huge, so amazingly stupendously perplexingly attention-grabbing, that it has literally sucked all the oxygen away from any discussion other than BOEING BOEING BOEING, with perhaps a smidgen of FAA regulatory capture.

So when I say Ethiopian Airlines is getting a pass, I do mean they are getting a pass.




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Last edited by yoko1; 30th Jun 2019 at 01:45.
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