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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 20th Aug 2019, 12:45
  #1941 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound


I suspect that the recent silence is because Boeing is now locked in negotiations with the FAA about what is the minimum they have to do to get the fleet ungrounded, and the FAA is talking to other international regulators as to what they see as the minimum acceptable solution to allow a global ungrounding.
These FAA negotiations are likely thorny, especially with the Chinese, who were the first to ground the MAX.
Given the trade issues and the Huawei disputes, China has no reason to do the US any favors just now.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 15:04
  #1942 (permalink)  
 
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With those giant engines located where they are, and with all the other changes, maybe a completely new Certification process is required. Set a timetable, flood it with the best resources and go for it.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 15:20
  #1943 (permalink)  
 
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Absolutely spot on Tomaski!

Your last two posts should be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to understand the state of play on today's airliner flight decks.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 15:35
  #1944 (permalink)  
 
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@Tomaski,
Very well said, I couldn't agree more.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 15:46
  #1945 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer

With those giant engines located where they are, and with all the other changes, maybe a completely new Certification process is required. Set a timetable, flood it with the best resources and go for it.
That would take years and would still kill off the MAX as it would make much more sense for Boeing to use the time and money to certify an all-new model to take on any successor to the Airbus A320 neo family. To certify the existing MAX as a new aircraft would cost millions, take at least two years so in 2021 Boeing would be right back where they were in March 2017 when it was first certified. And how many customers are going to want buy a brand new plane designed 6 years previously, especially when all their pilots will need to be trained on it?

Re-certification is not an option.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 15:58
  #1946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound


To certify the existing MAX as a new aircraft would cost millions, take at least two years so in 2021 Boeing would be right back where they were in March 2017 when it was first certified


So they are in a real fix...

Originally Posted by Speed of Sound
Re-certification is not an option.
Do they have a choice ?
While we are not sure they are able to sort the airplane out, are they not in the hands of the certification agencies ?

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Old 20th Aug 2019, 16:09
  #1947 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Turb
It's not true that half of all pilots will be below average because that assumes a normal bell curve of competence where competence is plotted on the x axis. In practice I suspect the curve is an "S" with more pilots above the average which is dragged down by the worst pilots on the left hand side of the curve.
There was a similar debate on an earlier thread.

The conclusion was that competence vs frequency is indeed more-or-less a bell curve (i.e. tending towards zero frequency at both extremes), though possibly skewed a bit in the middle. That's only common sense - there will be (hopefully) very, very few pilots at the absolute minimum level of competence and a similarly small number at the upper extreme, with the numbers rising towards the mean/median.

You would only get an S-curve (or reverse S) if you plotted a cumulative frequency distribution i.e. competence vs the number of pilots who achieved (or failed to achieve) a given level of competence.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 16:56
  #1948 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt

Do they have a choice ?
They do.

If they can’t get the MAX certified in its current iteration they will have to sack it off altogether and concentrate on the next generation (pardon the expression) of narrow bodies. It would make no sense whatsoever to throw money and time into certifying a four year old design. (6 years by the time it is ready for its first revenue flight)

The FAA are stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I am sure that they would love to unground the MAX but know that they can’t sell anything that isn’t as safe as it can be, to other regulators worldwide. Has anyone considered an outcome where the MAX returns to service in the US only so that existing stocks can be sold to offset some of the losses, leaving Boeing to concentrate on a new model?

Or is that just too crazy to contemplate?

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Old 20th Aug 2019, 19:22
  #1949 (permalink)  
 
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It's notable that, early in this thread, when one or two suggested that the Max was finished and would never be certified again, they were dismissed as ludicrous buffoons.

Now, looking at the above discussion, it seems the same concept is being discussed very soberly by significant contributors.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 19:39
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https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...rn-to-service/

Boeing will hire hundreds of temporary employees at Moses Lake as it prepares for 737 MAX’s return to service
Aug. 20, 2019 at 12:06 pm Updated Aug. 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm

By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Boeing said Tuesday it will begin hiring a few hundred temporary employees at Moses Lake to work on the grounded 737 MAX fleet and prepare the planes for return to service once regulators give clearance for the jets to fly again.

For the new temporary hires, Boeing is looking for avionics technicians, aircraft mechanics, airframe and powerplant mechanics, and aircraft electricians. The company will provide paid housing and a meal allowance.

When regulators finally clear the 737 MAX to return to service, all the grounded airplanes worldwide will need to have installed a new software package designed to fix the MAX’s flawed flight control system — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). That’s the system that was implicated in the crashes of the Lion Air MAX in Indonesia last October and the Ethiopian Airlines MAX in March, killing a total of 346 people.

In addition, because all the jets will have been parked for at least six months by the time final clearance is given, each will require extensive maintenance work on the engines and other systems, followed by a couple of check flights to make sure everything is working well.

Boeing said Tuesday the current plan for handling this maintenance work is that all MAX airplanes that have been stored outside the Puget Sound region, either by Boeing itself or by airlines, will be flown to Seattle and Everett for delivery. Moses Lake will serve as a nearby staging ground to do some of the maintenance work ahead of the Puget Sound-area deliveries to airline customers.

Boeing is not providing details on total airplanes or capacity at each of those locations.

The company reiterated that it plans to submit a final certification package to the FAA “once we have satisfied all of their requirements, which we currently estimate will occur on a timeframe to support an early fourth quarter return to service.”

The finalized submission to the FAA is expected next month, and clearance to fly again could come within a month or so of that. Some MAXs could return to service within weeks of that clearance.

However, for the three U.S. airlines that have MAXs in their fleets, all the maintenance work and pilot training that will follow will take a couple of months. All three, American, Southwest and United, have already pushed out MAX flights in their schedules until January.

Boeing said it will post the temporary job openings at https://jobs.boeing.com, searchable by the Moses Lake location. These new hires will supplement Boeing permanent employees at the site.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or [email protected]; on Twitter: @dominicgates.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 22:42
  #1951 (permalink)  
 
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It looks as though the wishful thinking continues:

"we currently estimate will occur on a timeframe to support an early fourth quarter return to service.”
"The finalized submission to the FAA is expected next month, and clearance to fly again could come within a month or so of that. Some MAXs could return to service within weeks of that clearance."

My math says that even believing these optimistic timescales, the earliest possible return to service would be December, which isn't really "early fourth quarter".

And to be realistic... China in particular has no really strong interest in being nice to the US, as an earlier post points out. EASA also needs to show clearly that it is not falling for the FAA's BS again. US only certification? It's clearly possible, but would the airlines really want to be associated with an aircraft that has been implicitly declared too dangerous to fly by every other country?
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 22:44
  #1952 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Zeffy
When regulators finally clear the 737 MAX to return to service, all the grounded airplanes worldwide will need to have installed a new software package designed to fix the MAX’s flawed flight control system — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
So it's just a software fix? That's all? Same plane, same pilot training, just some new code?

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Old 20th Aug 2019, 23:12
  #1953 (permalink)  
 
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The return to service will not be a quick process. I've heard estimates of up to two months from the word "go" until the planes are brought out of storage and worked back into the schedule. Aircraft generally do not do well sitting idle for long periods of time.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 23:58
  #1954 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing said Tuesday it will begin hiring a few hundred temporary employees at Moses Lake to work on the grounded 737 MAX fleet and prepare the planes for return to service once regulators give clearance for the jets to fly again.
Did Boeing prepare the 787’s for return to service in 2013?

I would assume that this would be done by the airline’s own maintenance staff.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:19
  #1955 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Speed of Sound


Did Boeing prepare the 787’s for return to service in 2013?

I would assume that this would be done by the airline’s own maintenance staff.
There are hundreds of undelivered MAX aircraft sitting at airports all around the Puget Sound, as well as Moses Lake and a few other places.
By regulation, those aircraft have to be in the certified, airworthy configuration prior to delivery - so Boeing has to perform whatever work needs to be done prior to delivery.
Depending on the nature of the changes, it's not uncommon for Boeing to provide assistance to the operators in modifying the aircraft that have previously been delivered.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:47
  #1956 (permalink)  
 
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"Boeing said Tuesday the current plan for handling this maintenance work is that all MAX airplanes that have been stored outside the Puget Sound region, either by Boeing itself or by airlines, will be flown to Seattle and Everett for delivery. Moses Lake will serve as a nearby staging ground to do some of the maintenance work ahead of the Puget Sound-area deliveries to airline customers."

So no forward teams. ALL MAX ac must return to Seattle for the fix......
]
for a software fix????
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 01:24
  #1957 (permalink)  
 
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Specialised equipment would likely need to be used in the testing and verification process which might no be available elsewhere. Also last minute work may need to be carried out if the aircraft wasn't in delivery spec when it went away.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 01:32
  #1958 (permalink)  
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SoS #1936
I suspect that the recent silence is because Boeing is now locked in negotiations with the FAA about what is the minimum they have to do to get the fleet ungrounded, and the FAA is talking to other international regulators as to what they see as the minimum acceptable solution to allow a global ungrounding.
I imagine some of those conversation contain some very detailed plans for covering certain parts of their collective anatomy.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 05:12
  #1959 (permalink)  
 
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Strange move ... smells more like investor relations than a real job offering to me.
Are MX engineers so desperate in the US that they would go for this temporary jobs?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 05:13
  #1960 (permalink)  
 
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USA-only certification

Originally Posted by Speed of Sound
Has anyone considered an outcome where the MAX returns to service in the US only so that existing stocks can be sold to offset some of the losses, leaving Boeing to concentrate on a new model?

Or is that just too crazy to contemplate?
Waaaaay too crazy.
The absolute minimum would have to be USA, Canada and Mexico, otherwise US airlines for example would have a subfleet they couldn't fly to Mexico or to Canada, and if they wanted to fly to or from Alaska, would have to be routed outside Canadian airspace.

And even then, if I was a pilot, would I be happy to fly an aircraft that EASA and CAAC say is unsafe to fly? Ah, no thanks.
Or as SLF, would I fly in an aircraft that the FAA says is "Yeah, sure, safe as can be. No, really, you can trust us" but other major world players say "No. Just NO. No certification"
And probably most important of all, would any insurance company be prepared to cover an aircraft type that other non-USA safety agencies say is uncertifiable? Not a chance, I'd say

"Mr Boeing, I know you've already met Rock, may I introduce you to Hard Place?"
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