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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 5th Jul 2019, 18:52
  #1081 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wonkazoo
737 Driver's last post before his account was suspended was on May 11th.

Yoko1 joined PPRuNe on May 20th.

Unless 737 Driver has posts I cannot see, or Yoko1 posted before he joined their functional existence here did not overlap.

Cheers-
dce
You are correct, I made a big mistake, appologies to all.

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 19:10
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Out of interest, are you inferring that he is banned simply because he hasn't posted since then, or is there some other indication ?

One would expect to see the usual flag on his profile and posts if he were:

I have another indication. His account still exists but he cannot post from it. I would offer more in the way of explanation but I am between a rock and a hard place and don't want to rock anyone's boat. Suffice it to say I have information from as reliable a source as can be had in this instance that his account was disabled for purposes of posting in threads.

Cheers-
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 19:16
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Out of interest, are you inferring that he is banned simply because he hasn't posted since then, or is there some other indication ?

One would expect to see the usual flag on his profile and posts if he were:
You might expect it- but you would be wrong- deletions and shutdowns happen without such notice being posted. Check on some posters who dissappeaed to be replaced by "new here 1 post " but a close look will reveal they made many posts before - or for some reason any other than 1 post never shows up ..))
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 19:28
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt
Actually, as I suspected it, the e-cab is not a full motion flight simulator, nor an "iron bird" with all the hardware, rods and cables attached.
It is a fixed simulator with video screens in front of the windows.

Makes you think when pilots tell they had a hard time recovering the aircraft when replicating the MAX accidents. What with a full flight sim, or pulling g's in a real airplane.
The e-cab is a real source of intrigue for me. What is it plugged in to to model the physics in real time? I'm surprised there are no academic papers or patents on it. Well, maybe there are (I haven't looked).

Really looking forward to the Boeing YouTube video of it in full swing showing how manoeuvrable and safe the aircraft is. Hint hint Boeing.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 19:53
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The sim is fixed, but the pictures on the screen do move, so they hopefully introduced some digital model of the physical aircraft.
I read somewhere that they use it to plug in the real boxes, so they can see how the automation works.

As it is only a shell mimicking the upper half of the 737 nose, how do they replicate the efforts, cable lag and springiness of the manual trim linkage ? Chances are that these are as unrealistic as in an ordinary simulator.

Of course, crew sitting comfortably in a fixed cabin will easily run the upset check-lists. And yet, there are those rumors of "having a hard time".

As for seeing a video...unless it is sneaked out, well...
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 20:30
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The Economist: Boeing’s boss wins a reprieve, not redemption

"Boeing's army of lawyers still appear to vet every word that emerges from Mr Muilenburg's mouth. That has made a bad situation worse… After the Ethiopian tragedy, Mr Muilenburg called President Donald Trump to try to stop the FAA from grounding the plane. That set the tone for his tin-eared handling of the crisis.
[...]
What if the aeroplane gets back into the air and no one wants to fly it for 12 or 24 months?
[...]
It would be a grave mistake to imagine that Boeing's main task is to get the 737 Max back in the sky fast. Instead it has to deal with the aura of incompetence and evasion surrounding the firm. To do that Boeing's board should strip Mr Muilenburg of his dual chairman / chief executive role and appoint an independent chairman, who sets three tests. First, Boeing must publish an independent investigation into what went wrong. Second, it has to rebuild relations with foreign regulators who now matter more than the discredited FAA. Last, it has to establish that flyers believe the 737 Max is safe. If Boeing cannot pass those tests by the end of the year, its board should ask Mr Muilenburg to leave."
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 20:34
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
I imagine they will continue to be as rare as ever ...
I got it Dave!
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 20:48
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt
The sim is fixed, but the pictures on the screen do move, so they hopefully introduced some digital model of the physical aircraft.
I read somewhere that they use it to plug in the real boxes, so they can see how the automation works.

As it is only a shell mimicking the upper half of the 737 nose, how do they replicate the efforts, cable lag and springiness of the manual trim linkage ? Chances are that these are as unrealistic as in an ordinary simulator.

Of course, crew sitting comfortably in a fixed cabin will easily run the upset check-lists. And yet, there are those rumors of "having a hard time".

As for seeing a video...unless it is sneaked out, well...
Well to be fair, All simulators these days have screen displays.
And out of interest, The HP Victor sim which we trained in had only white opaque screens and fixed base but we still sweated in it in some of the scenarios.
Realistic feel for flight controls is a big challenge for any sim manufacturer and that includes the trim wheel. There just isnít room for cables and pulleys.

Trouble is that sims will have to be modded to be able to match the Max expected mods in this respect, but one should be kept and checked for conformity with the original Max config for any required inquiry testing.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 21:34
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For the record: This recent post from yoko1 as of 4th July 2019 13:05 (whatever timezone) was really cynical: "For the record, the <b>airlines</b> clearly communicated that pilot training costs would be part of the purchasing decision." Which airlines is yoko1 talking about? And is it the airlines, that are requesting these facts, or is it a Boing's selling point!?!?!? And are there any ohter airlines than Souhtwest Airlines, that brought this demand/offer to the bargaining table?
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 21:59
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Originally Posted by bill fly


Well to be fair, All simulators these days have screen displays.
And out of interest, The HP Victor sim which we trained in had only white opaque screens and fixed base but we still sweated in it in some of the scenarios.


Agreed. What is "different" here, is the cab has real windows and the screen is 10 ft away, like in a movie theater.


Trouble is that sims will have to be modded to be able to match the Max expected mods in this respect, but one should be kept and checked for conformity with the original Max config for any required inquiry testing.

Since no simulator to date replicates the MCAS behavior, that means doing twice the job, once for the "future" MCAS, and once for the "original" MCAS never to be flown again...

Last edited by Fly Aiprt; 5th Jul 2019 at 22:00. Reason: Typo
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 22:20
  #1091 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt
I'll take the liberty of returning a question :
The percentage of foreign crews that failed when confronted with a MAX incident is 67%.
What is the percentage of US crews that failed when confronted with a MAX incident ?
Problem here is that, to the best of my knowledge, there are only three crews that have faced this MCAS issue with failed AOA. We actually have no idea if the 'western gods' would have handled it better. They may have but who knows. All passenger planes should be able to be safely flown, in foreseeable emergencies, by pilots qualified on them with the minimum skill we accept, not just by the exceptional such as Scully.
What I believe we do know is that the standard of training appears to be falling worldwide due to rush to get more pilots and also cost squeeze from airlines. Given this apparent fact we cannot also have aircraft harder to deal with in emergencies.
The big issue here is the 300 killed seem to just be collateral damage in the fight to cut costs. This is totally unacceptable. Had this happened in US or Europe the outrage would be ballistic.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 22:33
  #1092 (permalink)  
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Max Autopilot Has a Problem?

I don't think this has been posted, yet. From Bloomberg, today:

Boeing 737 Max's Autopilot Has Problem, European Regulators Find

"Europeís aviation regulator has outlined five major requirements it wants Boeing Co. to address before it will allow the planemakerís 737 Max to return to service, according to a person familiar with the matter. One of them, about the jetís autopilot function, hasnít surfaced previously as an area of concern.
[. . .]
"The European regulator has found that the autopilot doesnít always properly disengage, which could mean that pilots wouldnít have the time to intervene before the plane begins to stall. "
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 23:27
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Originally Posted by yoko1
Obvious answer to a non-question, but let me throw back a more relevant one.

Three out of four Lion Air pilots who were the flying pilot with an active MCAS malfunction were able to maintain aircraft control.

Zero out of one Ethiopian pilot who was the flying pilot during an active MCAS malfunction did not.

What were the key differences in how the first three pilots (Capt & FO of the penultimate JT610 flight and Capt of the JT610 accident flight) versus the next two pilots (JT610 First Officer and ET302 Captain) managed the aircraft to keep the blue side up? What were the difference in the training, experience, or recent history of all these pilots that made the difference?
Did an extra well qualified pilot who happened to be on the flight deck happen to be a factor in first incident? Hopefully not conveniently overlooking this factor to suit an argument. QF32 similar result with extra crew and extra minds to maybe lower 'brain overload' maybe. We will actually never know but no 2 situations are ever identical.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 01:57
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Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
I don't think this has been posted, yet. From Bloomberg, today:

Boeing 737 Max's Autopilot Has Problem, European Regulators Find
"EASAís checklist includes a number of issues that have been disclosed: the potential difficulty pilots have in turning the jetís manual trim wheel, the unreliability of the Maxís angle of attack sensors, inadequate training procedures, and a software issue flagged just last week by the FAA pertaining to a lagging microprocessor. But the agency also listed a previously unreported concern: the autopilot failing to disengage in certain emergencies. "

Perhaps the first time the trim wheel problem we all know about seems to be "officially" acknowledged.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 02:34
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Originally Posted by sadtraveller
1. Are you an interested party in this matter? (i.e. do you suffer from a conflict of interest with respect to the success of the 737 Max?)
2. Specifically, as I asked before, do you now work for a consulting firm that has a financial interest in a recent large sale of Max aircraft to a foreign state-owned airline?
1. No financial interest or conflict. I've already made my coin, looking at retirement in the not too distant future, and whether Boeing or any other airline or related party survives or fails is immaterial to my future interests.
2. Corollary to answer 2, not at all.

That being said, I think it would be a really good idea if some folks here open up a big bottle of "Reality Check" and take a nice, long swallow. The fortunes of Boeing, the FAA, Lion Air, Ethiopian, or any other party tied up in this debacle will not rise or fall based on anything said here. This forum is basically a combination of information sharing and entertainment among a group of interested, albeit anonymous, parties. No lawyer, for the defense or the plaintiff, is going to be lifting their arguments or facts from PPruNe - sorry to burst your bubble if anyone was thinking otherwise.

The really powerful folks who will get to make all the decisions, hand down all the judgements, levy all the fines, rewrite all the rules, and determine the fates of guilty and victim alike really couldn't give a hoot what I or anyone else here says. Among these "deciders," any statement that starts, "Well, I read on PPruNe...." will be immediately treated with derision. You think I'm kidding? I've actually seen conversations like this go down. So please, everyone, get a grip. There are no great conspiracies afoot here regardless of what any of the sock puppets are saying.

Last edited by yoko1; 6th Jul 2019 at 02:51.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 02:35
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Originally Posted by maxter
Did an extra well qualified pilot who happened to be on the flight deck happen to be a factor in first incident? Hopefully not conveniently overlooking this factor to suit an argument. QF32 similar result with extra crew and extra minds to maybe lower 'brain overload' maybe. We will actually never know but no 2 situations are ever identical.
​​​​​​Well, this wasn’t the thrust of my original question, but it is a worthy point to elaborate on.

I think the crew of the penultimate Lion Air 610 flight did a great job handling this emergency, particularly since at this point no one outside of Boeing had ever heard of MCAS. They dealt with the immediate stick shaker, recognize the plane was flying and not stalling, and identified the IAS DISAGREE problem early on. They were rightfully taken surprise by the MCAS event, but they kept the plane flying, both the Captain and FO in turn, while they tried to sort out the problem. They used the resources available to get the malfunction contained and eventually landed safely. Good job all round.

We can look at their performance and see it follows a pretty standard three-step approach to dealing with any aircraft emergency. Different airlines/flying organizations may express this process in different ways, but the version I prefer goes like this:

1. Maintain aircraft control
2. Evaluate the the situation and take appropriate action
3. Land as soon as conditions permit


While each step is critical in its own right, it is important to note that you can’t get to Steps 2 or 3 without first getting through the critical Step 1. You can actually make mistakes or fail to complete Step 2 and still get through the situation. Step 3 is, of course, mandatory for successful completion.

The intent of my original query was to point out that three of the five pilots who actually operated the flight controls during this malfunction broke the code on Step 1. MCAS was misbehaving, and they kept the blue side up. However, the next two didn’t. Personally, I think it is worth asking why that was the case? What was the difference in the training, experience, and environment that allowed the first three pilots to succeed where the others did not? I don’t really think it was just a matter of luck.

Taking care of Step 1 is critical to handling any emergency because this step then buys time. Specifically to the MCAS malfunction, once the pilots figure out how to counter it, they have effectively to the end of their fuel supply to take care of the rest. Given time, the crew has access to all manner of resources to include onboard manuals, deadheading crew members, and even systems experts on the ground via direct radio or phone patch.

Your question above applies to Step 2, and this is where the jumpseater was of valuable assistance. It is often the case that this extra person will pick up on things that the primary crew doesn’t, and he absolutely helped the crew in getting to some resolution of Step 2 quicker. However, it does not mean the crew would not have gotten there by themselves given more time.

In order to arrive at the conclusion that, absent the jumpseater, this would have been the first MAX accident a person would actually have to make a few very rather unflattering assumptions about the primary crew. For example, a person would have to assume that after quite a few cycles of using the Main Electric Trim to offset MCAS (20? 50? 100? 200?!) that it would not dawn on them to give the stab trim cutout switches a try. You would have to assume that failing to find an answer themselves they would not try to contact help on the ground. You would have to assume that if they ran into a complete dead end with all such attempts (remember, they literally had hours of fuel onboard), they would just give up and let the aircraft spiral into the sea. Finally, you would have to assume that they would never attempt to land even with the active MCAS malfunction.

That last point about a landing attempt is particularly important. If the crew had continued to struggle with the aircraft and made the decision to land anyway, one of the first steps would have been to slow down and extend the flaps. We all now know what would have happened next. MCAS doesn’t work with flaps extended, so the malfunction would have gone away, and the landing should have been uneventful.

Anybody here want to make the case that this crew was really so poorly trained or experienced that they would not have attempted any of the above and would have just given up the ship? I think they would be rightfully insulted if someone did.​​​​​​

So this is why I keep asking what made the difference between the first three pilots and the last two when it came to the first critical step. Yes, none of us would wish any of them to be placed in this situation, but once they were, the training and experience they brought to the cockpit was absolutely critical to what happened next.

Last edited by yoko1; 6th Jul 2019 at 02:57.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 02:49
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt

Perhaps the first time the trim wheel problem we all know about seems to be "officially" acknowledged.
Specifically, what "trim wheel problem" are you talking about? The reported problem was with disconnecting the autopilot in certain situations. Obviously, if correct, this issue ought to be fixed.

If you think this is related to the accident scenarios, I should remind you that MCAS is not active when the autopilot is engaged.

However, did you notice that in the discussion of other things that needed to be resolved there was no mention of anything having to do with the Main Electric Trim system (switches, relays, motors, etc)? Conspicuously absent, and another one of those non-barking dogs.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 03:16
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Originally Posted by yoko1
​​​​​​

So this is why I keep asking what made the difference between the first three pilots and the last two when it came to the first critical step. Yes, none of us would wish any of them to be placed in this situation, but once they were, the training and experience they brought to the cockpit was absolutely critical to what happened next.
Perhaps training did apply, but your posit about three out of the five is completely flawed and your claim that it was absolutely critical to what happened is simply unsupported in any way by your words or argument.

IIRC each of the pilots flying initially gave up more ground to MCAS ANU stab movement than did the pilots who followed them. Thus each of those pilots upon taking control started in a deep hole that much closer to a literal vertical plummet if they let the trim run for too long, and the starting position of the trim when they took control was not basically neutral, but roughly halfway to the stops, meaning they were fighting far heavier control column forces from the first moment of control.

The answer to your question is simple: They all acted with similar but non-knowable approaches, inputs and reasoning. The reason only two pilots ended up flying the airplanes into the ground was simply that they were the unlucky seconds who came after their counterparts had already dug them halfway to China and the margins were that much steeper. (Use of steeper intended to convey multiple meanings there, from the learning curve to the rate of descent...) If you are a baseball fan: The first guy started with a clean count, and when he handed off control the second guy came into the game with an 0-2 count. Debating about why the second guy failed at the plate and the first guy succeeded is ridiculous..

This is a straw-man argument and I have no idea why we are even speaking about this. Trying to parse which crew member was better trained or just better or luckier is cruel and unfair. Which is the only reason I have once again reluctantly re-engaged here.

dce
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 05:37
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The third person in the scenario really is key, that is why real captains () never touch the wheel or throttles of the ship that they command. Although a well trained person does a lot of their job unconsciously, that unconscious effort of keeping the wings level, fighting the stick shaker, scanning the gauges, etc. takes a lot of processing power that would otherwise be devoted to reasoning. You have much more ability to control things if you stand back and let others do the grunt work, which is also why admirals aren't up on the bridge directing the captain how to maneuver his ship to conform to the general battle plan.

One would have to be very bright indeed to reason that the nose is sinking because of a malfunctioning computer system (yes it was a malfunction even if it didn't throw an exception) who's existence violated every bit of knowledge that you have about how your plane works, and the first crew did not in fact figure that out.

On a more prosaic level, my wife who does not have much knowledge of things mechanical or electrical has often been the key to solving a difficult mechanical or electrial problem. "Don't you usually connect both wires of your voltmeter when you are testing a circuit?" When you are hanging upside-down covered in diesel and barking completely up the wrong tree electrically that extra pair of eyes, even if nontechnical, can spot the "obvious". Even a pax may have been able to note that there was a pattern to when the wheels started spinning down, something that many here seem to assume would have been easy to notice while sirens are going off, pax are screaming, and you are pulling with all your might on the control stick. Of course, it is highly unlikely that airlines are going back to having an engineer, although this particular failure is one in which an engineer would have most valuable.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 05:51
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That last point about a landing attempt is particularly important. If the crew had continued to struggle with the aircraft and made the decision to land anyway, one of the first steps would have been to slow down and extend the flaps. We all now know what would have happened next. MCAS doesn’t work with flaps extended, so the malfunction would have gone away, and the landing should have been uneventful.
This really illustrates a lot of what is wrong with second guessing the pilots, and which (respectfully) reads to me as a desperate attempt to pin more blame on the pilots for a mechanical error.

The pilots had a situation where the plane was pitching its nose down for unknown reasons at arbitrary times. Based on that information alone, would it have been a safe decision to land the plane without resolving the problem?
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