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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 19th Oct 2019, 03:04
  #3161 (permalink)  
 
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This is Forkner’s “text” conversation.
https://graphics.reuters.com/BOEING-...20Document.pdf

extract:

Wow just Wow!!

These guys had in depth knowledge of MCAS and it seemed to scare them, in just a sim - I tend to think that the accident crews ability/training have even less to do in contributing to the accident. than I did 24 hours ago.

A sub-system of the STS running in the back ground seems a play with words.

I wonder what other "conversations" between these two guys are around, does not seem like the first time they have had this method of communication about work. Vince will be interesting to hear from.


“Mark Forkner 6:50 PM:
Oh shocker alerT!
MCAS is now active down to M .2
It's running rampant in the sim on me
at least that's what Vince thinks is happening

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
Oh great, that means we have to update the speed trim descritption in vol 2

Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
it wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case

Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
I'm levelling off at like 4000 ft, 230 knots and the plane is trimming itself like craxy
I'm like, WHAT?

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:52 PM:
that's what i saw on sim one, but on approach”
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 04:03
  #3162 (permalink)  
 
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This incident makes me reconsider American style capitalism. The pressure to cut corners is always there, but I thought that in any large reputable corporation there would be enough people with integrity to ensure that the really bad stuff wouldn't make it to test, and most certainly would not make it out of test. In my early postings on this issue I refused to believe some of the reporting (which now appears to be accurate) because some of it was just too abhorrent. If you knowingly put an airplane in the air with a potentially fatal flaw you are no better than a terrorist, and it doesn't matter how many millions of dollars per plane you saved for the stockholders (who are in a large part the upper management anyway.)

Even after the crashes, Boeing's behavior has been abhorrent -- blaming everybody other than Boeing for the crash. They even (apparently) placed an article in the New York Times that trashed not only the poor pilots, but the owner of the airline, all Asians, the country that the airline operated in, the airport operations, and even the customers for wanting cheap flights. I decided to stop posting for awhile because that article got me too hot under the collar to be coherent, but it is just one example of the unlimited depths to which they are willing to go in order to save the stock price for a day. I probably should stop now...
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 06:52
  #3163 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
This is Forkner’s “text” conversation.
https://graphics.reuters.com/BOEING-...20Document.pdf

extract:

Wow just Wow!!

These guys had in depth knowledge of MCAS and it seemed to scare them, in just a sim - I tend to think that the accident crews ability/training have even less to do in contributing to the accident. than I did 24 hours ago.

A sub-system of the STS running in the back ground seems a play with words.

I wonder what other "conversations" between these two guys are around, does not seem like the first time they have had this method of communication about work. Vince will be interesting to hear from.


“Mark Forkner 6:50 PM:
Oh shocker alerT!
MCAS is now active down to M .2
It's running rampant in the sim on me
at least that's what Vince thinks is happening

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
Oh great, that means we have to update the speed trim descritption in vol 2

Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
it wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case

Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
I'm levelling off at like 4000 ft, 230 knots and the plane is trimming itself like craxy
I'm like, WHAT?

Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:52 PM:
that's what i saw on sim one, but on approach”
Boeing better starts preparing billions for damages. And I hope the management likes to wear orange!

If this doesn't end in some serious consequences, the golden era of flying is over, and flying will never be safe again.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 07:25
  #3164 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gums
I do not wish Boeing to fail, but I have lost a lotta respect and trust. Anyone else here feel that way?
Regardless of what deal they stitch up with the regulators, they'll have to earn back the trust of the punters if those things aren't going to fly empty.

I, for one, an never going to get into one.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 07:39
  #3165 (permalink)  
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About this mail exchange:

1. What was ist that the first pilot had observed presumably in climb and the other in decent? Wasn't MCAS not supposed to activate within the regular flight envelope unless there was a faulty AoA sensor? If they had simulated a faulty sensor, he would have been told right after the sim session the latest. So what was going on?
2. How did Boeing get hold of this? Probably by sifting through archives after a criminal investigation was started. This is appears to be far less damning than a formal complaint to superiors.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:08
  #3166 (permalink)  
 
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I am not sure this exchange is as damaging for Boeing as some are making out.
I say this because I suspect it may be explained away as a sim fault.
He said he was levelling at 4000 and 230 kts which is nowhere near the AOA that would activate MCAS.
So either A) the exercise didn’t involve MCAS and there was a simple sim fault ( no big deal for Boeing)
or
B) the exercise involved simulating an aircraft fault and MCAS came into play ( big deal for Boeing to have this exchange take place).
That’s how I read it.

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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:18
  #3167 (permalink)  
 
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Good luck with that
if it quacks like a duck...
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:20
  #3168 (permalink)  
 
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2. How did Boeing get hold of this? Probably by sifting through archives after a criminal investigation was started. This is appears to be far less damning than a formal complaint to superiors.
Depends on whether there was pressure from above to just get it through certification, or a culture of cutting corners.

Reuters are reporting today that the FAA are super-unimpressed that Boeing knew about these texts etc some months ago but failed to disclose them. Makes a mockery of Boeing's intention to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Finally on an unrelated point, it's intriguing to see how certain sections of the aviation press continue to report this story - they're obviously keen not to upset one of their major advertisers. Thankfully no such issues in the mainstream press.
​​​
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:26
  #3169 (permalink)  
 
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The two test pilots seem to describe a scenario in aspects similar to the later accident flights. Sim failure or not, it is getting very difficult to argue: oops, we didn't anticipate the erroneous MCAS activation or oops, the pilots should have easily dealt with this using some memory items within 3 s.
Rather, it looks like management must have known about the disastrous potential of MCAS, and must have decided to criminally push it on the market anyway and illegally hide it from FAA and pilots.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:37
  #3170 (permalink)  
 
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Why would they be talking about a re write for Vol 2 for a Sim fault?
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:38
  #3171 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 73qanda
I am not sure this exchange is as damaging for Boeing as some are making out.
I say this because I suspect it may be explained away as a sim fault.
He said he was levelling at 4000 and 230 kts which is nowhere near the AOA that would activate MCAS.
So either A) the exercise didn’t involve MCAS and there was a simple sim fault ( no big deal for Boeing)
or
B) the exercise involved simulating an aircraft fault and MCAS came into play ( big deal for Boeing to have this exchange take place).
That’s how I read it.


Two guys have rampant MCAS operations - when it should not operate!

Not a big deal?

That alone should have rang massive alarm bells - they were not having an arvo out in a toy, they were testing and evaluating a aircraft (to be sure it was safe).

We know the simulators were faulty (now) as they do not correctly simulate the manual trim wheel forces required.

Testing seems to be the "Tick n Flick" option and if you do not get the result in the sim, the sim is to blame or get an exclusion.

Why was the "Shocker Alert" - MCAS now active down to M.2 said.

I read that as is it - is not a good thing, regardless of if there were a simulator fault or not.

The comments about the regulator indicate we are missing some important details in that text exchange -
Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
it wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case

Was a strange reply to -
Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 08:52
  #3172 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by edmundronald
Gums,

... hoping the FAA and even EASA get a good kick in the rear parts to keep them honest. ....
Don't blame EASA and the other certification authorities too much. There was a system which worked ... till now. Boeing and the FAA have killed the goose that lays golden eggs, it's going to be a lot harder (and more expensive) to get international certification for any airplane from now on.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 09:07
  #3173 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 73qanda
I am not sure this exchange is as damaging for Boeing as some are making out.
I say this because I suspect it may be explained away as a sim fault.
He said he was levelling at 4000 and 230 kts which is nowhere near the AOA that would activate MCAS.
So either A) the exercise didn’t involve MCAS and there was a simple sim fault ( no big deal for Boeing)
or
B) the exercise involved simulating an aircraft fault and MCAS came into play ( big deal for Boeing to have this exchange take place).
That’s how I read it.
When and before the Max was announced, serious doubts about the decision were raised in forums like this about the wisdom of not completely redesigning the 737 to to these engines. This was the number one issue to deal with and Boeing have completely cocked it up. Their solution was dubious to start with and their implementation of it a disaster.
I hope Boeing have a fall back plan of designing a 737 replacement.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 09:13
  #3174 (permalink)  
 
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Good luck with that
if it quacks like a duck...
No luck required as I’m not in to bat for Boeing.
Just saying that I think there may be more to this than we naturally infer from the snippets we have seen.
Two guys have rampant MCAS operations - when it should not operate!

Not a big deal?
What I was trying to say is that it may not have been ‘rampant MCAS operations when it should not operate’.
There is a lot unsaid in this exchange and it may have been an ongoing problem with sim programming that they didn’t have to explain to each other because they have both been dealing with it for a while.
Anyway, I’ll try not to look at things from different angles in the future.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 09:40
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If this was about a mere sim software issue, why worry about "having lied to the regulators"?
Nov 2016 they were less than half a year away from certification in March 2017...
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 10:07
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Yip, fair point. I’m completely happy to be wrong on this message exchange issue. It just wouldn’t surprise me if,when we know more, it is not quite as it seems. Potentially he had told the regulator that MCAS only kicks in at the higher Mach numbers ( because he thought it did) and he was worried because he had told them something that wasn’t accurate. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the MCAS was firing up at 4000 feet level and 230 kts.......that would be truely concerning I agree.
It may be the case that I simply can’t imagine so many individuals staying silent as the plane goes through final certification so I’m scrambling for alternatives, or, that we have been presented with half a story and the full story will look different.
I’ll be interested to find out which it is.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 10:26
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Originally Posted by BRE
About this mail exchange:
2. How did Boeing get hold of this? Probably by sifting through archives after a criminal investigation was started. This is appears to be far less damning than a formal complaint to superiors.

I believe this is a chat exchange. E.g. SMS/iChat, Whatsapp, Slack or the like. It was still stored on somebody's device or server, so it's a "record".
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 10:34
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
T
Why was the "Shocker Alert" - MCAS now active down to M.2 said.

I read that as is it - is not a good thing, regardless of if there were a simulator fault or not.

The comments about the regulator indicate we are missing some important details in that text exchange -
Gustavsson, Patrik H 6:51 PM:
it wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case

Was a strange reply to -
Mark Forkner 6:51 PM:
so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)
This might be the smoking gun. They clearly knew about MCAS as they were discussing it's operation. It also indicates that the previous version did not operate below M.2 and that was what Mark (in good faith) reported to the regulators.

What's more, it seems to indicate that parameters were changed POST regulatory review. We don't know if the regulator was updated on the change later on or not.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 11:10
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Originally Posted by 73qanda
A) the exercise didn’t involve MCAS and there was a simple sim fault ( no big deal for Boeing)
or
B) the exercise involved simulating an aircraft fault and MCAS came into play ( big deal for Boeing to have this exchange take place).
That’s how I read it.
Think about it. These are the technical pilots who liaise with the FAA and write the manuals, and they seem to have no idea how MCAS works. As you say, they are conflating MCAS with Speed Trim, and they think MCAS should be active at 230 kt. Later on in this exchange, they then say that the test pilots are not telling them anything - except for ‘Christine’, but even Christine is too busy to talk to them.

All of this sounds bad enough, but....

Later on, these same technical pilots then ‘forget’ to mention anything about MCAS in the manuals they were writing. How did that happen? Where did the pressure come from, for two professional technical pilots to completely miss out a safety system from the FCOM - the pilot’s manual?

Silver



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Old 19th Oct 2019, 11:17
  #3180 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bend alot

Two guys have rampant MCAS operations - when it should not operate!
That alone should have rang massive alarm bells - they were not having an arvo out in a toy, they were testing and evaluating a aircraft (to be sure it was safe).
These were not the test pilots, these were the technical pilots who were trying to write up the systems for regulators and operators. Later on, these two complain that the test pilots were not telling them anything.

It will be much more interesting to see messaging exchanges between the test pilots...

Silver

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