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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures Mk II

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MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures Mk II

Old 19th Dec 2019, 19:01
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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For the -800 AP engage was min 400', but most SOP was higher. Is this the same for the MAX?
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 19:42
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PEI_3721 View Post
OldnGrounded,
Certification approval is a mixture of theory, design, engineering, documentation, proof of concept, assessment, and testing. It does not depend on being inservice for some time.
Of course. I was responding to an assertion that theory and long service had "confirmed" satisfactory operation excep in the case of AoA failure. That, rather obviously, is not accurate.

Normal stability throughout the flight envelope had to be demonstrated in certification. No abnormalities were identified (excluding the MCAS flight envelope). Indeed the Max ‘had to be the same’ as previous series.
Yes, and concern about possible, not-previously-identified issues are rather widespread, which is what I said.

Anyway, I think you may be responding to an interpretation of what I wrote rather than to the plain language. I'll take a close look and stand corrected if I "spoke" in error.




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Old 19th Dec 2019, 19:44
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by phylosocopter View Post
Is it possible for Boeing to somehow support its own stock price?
Sure, Boeing is a master at that. Dividends and buybacks have been key parts of the effort for quite some time, and the list of other possible tactics is long.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 23:26
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Many old aircraft wouldn't meet today's certification requirements and that's is what the B737 basically is, an old generation jet tarted up. Imagine trying to get the B707 certified against modern regulations concerning handling, performance and safety. It would be a nightmare, easier to make a clean start with a new aircraft designed with today's regs in mind, incorporating modern systems in the design process, rather than trying to bolt them on afterwards.

Boeing have some of the best brains in the industry working for them, state of the art production facilities and are capable of making a class leading narrowbody replacement for the B737. Everything was going well until the B787 came along at which point it was apparent that the things were going off the rails. The "old" Boeing Company produced some excellent aircraft such as the current generation B777 which dominates its section of the market and has an enviable safety record.

Hard decisions need to be made in the next few weeks:

1. Bite the bullet and pull the plug on the MAX, scrap 400+ airframes, nearly 100 fuselages and pay everyone compensation. Back to the drawing board for a new type designed by engineers, not accountants and properly certified by the FAA. Whilst this would be the best solution, the amount of money involved would be colossal given the 5 - 10 year lead time, expense of developing a new type and greatly reduced income during this time. Government support along the lines of that given to the auto industry would be necessary on the "too big to fail basis". Also all the rhetoric about EU support for Airbus would seem rather hypocritical.

2. Persevere with getting the MAX flying again at whatever cost whilst hoping the band aid solution is acceptable to aviation authorities in the rest of the world, particularly the Chinese. Develop a replacement as quickly as possible alongside changing the company culture back to quality and safety instead of cost cutting and share price.

If the MAX solution isn't unanimously accepted by the world's aviation authorities, which is quite possible, and the type is only approved to fly in certain regions, then Boeing will be practically giving them away in order to maintain market share and customers. Complaints about dumping would undoubtedly be forthcoming to the WTO, sound familiar ? Airlines will be offering seats for free to those willing to fly on an aircraft which is banned on safety grounds in other countries.

After years of accusations of state support for Airbus, it will be interesting to hear the American explanation if they are forced to step in and prop up Boeing, which is becoming a real possibility given the contribution it makes to the US economy and knock on effects of a failure.

At one time Britain dominated the aircraft industry and was a major car producer, that all changed. Unless Boeing get their act together quickly, we could be watching a "sea change" in the world aerospace industry with Airbus dominating, the Chinese taking second place and Boeing coming third.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 23:34
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post


2. Persevere with getting the MAX flying again at whatever cost whilst hoping the band aid solution is acceptable to aviation authorities in the rest of the world, particularly the Chinese. Develop a replacement as quickly as possible alongside changing the company culture back to quality and safety instead of cost cutting and share price.
These two solutions appear to me to be mutually exclusive.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 00:12
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Any fix to the MAX in its present form would be a band aid solution to a fundamentally flawed design, this may or may not be acceptable depending on the quality and strength of the bandage. If not, see solution #1.

Whatever happens, cost cutting and share price need to take a backseat to the ethos of safety and quality.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 01:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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Develop a replacement as quickly as possible alongside changing the company culture back to quality and safety instead of cost cutting and share price.
As I'm sure I've mentioned, I don't think customers world-wide would be very happy about the value of their MAX acquisitions.

A middle road? Possibly an agreed loss making price based on ten years use of the aircraft. Airlines win and there's some revenue to buffer the losses. However, my heart sank when I saw the lawsuit filed by the Dublin firm. Could it be that's why Dennis ordered the suspension of production?
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 02:25
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If Boeing were to give up on the MAX - not getting the grounding lifted, buying back and scrapping the previously delivered MAX aircraft plus over 400 more built but undelivered MAX - the resultant total loss would be well in excess of $100 billion (USD). Even if Boeing survived such a hit (not to mention the impacted suppliers), coming with a clean sheet replacement and putting it into production would take a decade. Just financing such a new aircraft program is going to be a challenge after taking a $100+ billion hit. Boeing might even decide to concede the narrow body market and focus on wide bodies.
I doubt even the biggest Airbus fans would see granting them a virtual monopoly on the narrow body market for at least the next decade as desirable for the long term health of commercial aviation.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 03:36
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Any fix to the MAX in its present form would be a band aid solution to a fundamentally flawed design
I think that this is a massive overstatement of the situation. Fundamentally flawed? Really?

The reality is the aircraft flew for nearly two years before the first incident. Both crashes related to the AoA vane and crew responses to an "unknown" system, at least the first crash.

The defect is reliance on a single input to a system with a great deal of authority to put the aircraft out of trim. This is significant in an industry where many pilots are apprehensive about hand flying and may have lost the trim response reaction that may have once had, or never did.

The MCAS is fixable. What remains in question is whether regulatory agencies will approve the fix and whether politics will play a large part in the answer to that.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 04:11
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At one time Britain dominated the aircraft industry and was a major car producer, that all changed. Unless Boeing get their act together quickly, we could be watching a "sea change" in the world aerospace industry with Airbus dominating, the Chinese taking second place and Boeing coming third.
With the investments that they are doing into aerospace, China is not going to be second place unless we in the west get our act together pronto...
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 05:35
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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This is significant in an industry where many pilots are apprehensive about hand flying and may have lost the trim response reaction that may have once had, or never did.
The skills available and the skills required must match, a state of the art supersonic fighter requires a thoroughly trained and highly skilled pilot which the operating airforce supplies through careful selection and lengthy instruction. Boeing must have known about the deterioration in flying skills and training levels and should have accounted for this by making the aircraft easier to fly, and building in safety systems like Airbus did with its ECAM and flight envelope protections. Basically, Airbus dumbed down it's entry level product to suit the new generation of pilots who would be flying it whereas Boeing didn't.

The MAX is fundamentally flawed because it took the basic B737 design way past the point where it was supposed to go. It was never meant to have a fuselage of that length or engines of that size. It should have been put to bed with the last 200 series in the 1980s and a clean sheet design produced. Even the 300 series wasn't meant for high bypass engines and had to have the bottom of the cowlings flattened out, the 700 series was an improvement but by that stage the systems should have been brought up to modern standards rather than trying to ride along on the original type certificate. The MAX shouldn't have been produced if it lacked modern safety systems and required MCAS to alleviate an aerodynamic problem.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 06:07
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by phylosocopter View Post
Is it possible for Boeing to somehow support its own stock price?
yes, through buyback

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft....c-bc9acae3b654
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 09:15
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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The reality is the aircraft flew for nearly two years

How long did the Space Shuttle fly before the first disaster ?
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 10:35
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Originally Posted by phylosocopter View Post
Is it possible for Boeing to somehow support its own stock price?
Yes. They have a Public Relations smoke and mirrors department.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 10:45
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Originally Posted by esa-aardvark View Post
The reality is the aircraft flew for nearly two years

How long did the Space Shuttle fly before the first disaster ?
Has any other passenger transport aircraft achieved a death rate of 137 per annum ?
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 11:11
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MCAS seems so deeply rooted in the 737 MAX's flight control systems it seems pretty obvious to most of us here that Boeing still cannot fathom out, nor procure a safe fixable software rewrite/redesign/patch solution, (whatever you want to name it) to gain back the aircraft's stability thus to get it back in line with it's 1967 737-100/200 type approval Grandfather rights certificate,

Thus the current 737 MAX air frame is unstable (as is) in certain flight envelopes, thus un-certifiable on that old type ticket approval.(and likely should never have been approved)
Which is we we are at right now with all new production halted after months of soothing noises, and lots of hand wringing, but NO fix.

To now start a re-design of the air frame, or part of it (Thus to remove the need for MCAS) will surely mean a new type approval needed and 737NG crews will not be able to fly such a
reincarnation on the same licence. (which was not part of the MAX deal to airlines as we know)
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 11:34
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To now start a re-design of the air frame, or part of it (Thus to remove the need for MCAS) will surely mean a new type approval needed and 737NG crews will not be able to fly such a
reincarnation on the same licence. (which was not part of the MAX deal to airlines as we know)
Doesn’t matter, that ship has sailed; a long time ago. Boeing no longer has the luxury to bow to commercial forces that originally demanded a ‘same type’ certificate. This has been a long story that can be traced as far back to the development of the NG and the demands Southwest Airlines, for one, maybe even further and possibly with others? Was the 800/900 NG not considered longitudinally unstable hence the requirement for the huge tail surface/rudder? Someone already mentioned that the fuselage of the 737 was never intended to be the length that it eventually became.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 12:39
  #38 (permalink)  
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Has any other passenger transport aircraft achieved a death rate of 137 per annum ?
This is utterly meaningless. Statistics based on two incidents . . . well, just isn't.

The following is based on years of strong feelings about ETOPS and indeed, very inexperienced P2's.

I coined the phrase years ago, randomness comes in lumps. Also, given the two AoA sensor failures were of a disparate nature, having two failures so close together was bizarre bad luck. Yes, I know the fact that one item failing and causing such chaos is the prime issue, but that core failure in each case was because of a third-party manufacturer's design (or refurb company's quality control) in the first accident, and perhaps an 'Act of God' in the second. However, I'm not so sure about that. The unit is mechanically complex and at first glance, robust. But as we've seen, it has frailties; certain vulnerabilities that make the continued use of it very questionable. Use the output of two? Still open to a statistical lump, but so is flying over water with one engine out.

And that would bring me to having one experienced pilot and a kid out of school as the total means of controlling all this wondrous technology. What is incredible is the historic wellbeing of the only really competent soul on board - specifically where the P2 is very inexperienced. I suppose having the captain out of the loop leaves a situation much like the worst ETOPS scenario. The numbers favour success but really don't make much allowance for the lumpiness of statistics.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 13:01
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
This is utterly meaningless. Statistics based on two incidents . . . well, just isn't.

The following is based on years of strong feelings about ETOPS and indeed, very inexperienced P2's.

I coined the phrase years ago, randomness comes in lumps. Also, given the two AoA sensor failures were of a disparate nature, having two failures so close together was bizarre bad luck. Yes, I know the fact that one item failing and causing such chaos is the prime issue, but that core failure in each case was because of a third-party manufacturer's design (or refurb company's quality control) in the first accident, and perhaps an 'Act of God' in the second. However, I'm not so sure about that. The unit is mechanically complex and at first glance, robust. But as we've seen, it has frailties; certain vulnerabilities that make the continued use of it very questionable. Use the output of two? Still open to a statistical lump, but so is flying over water with one engine out.

And that would bring me to having one experienced pilot and a kid out of school as the total means of controlling all this wondrous technology. What is incredible is the historic wellbeing of the only really competent soul on board - specifically where the P2 is very inexperienced. I suppose having the captain out of the loop leaves a situation much like the worst ETOPS scenario. The numbers favour success but really don't make much allowance for the lumpiness of statistics.
Yes of course it was meaningless. It was a response to the equally meaningless point that the MAX hadn't crashed for nearly two years.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 13:47
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
The MCAS is fixable. What remains in question is whether regulatory agencies will approve the fix . . .
If we're talking about whether the MAX returns to service with MCAS or not, it's only fixable if regulators approve the fix. Absent approval, a "fix" is just a proposal.

. . . and whether politics will play a large part in the answer to that.
Politics is the way people govern themselves and each other. It plays a large part in every collective process and decision.

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