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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 22nd Dec 2019, 08:59
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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If MCAS was ‘just’ to get a common type certificate Boeing would have bit that bullet by now and the Max would be flying. No one goes $9 billion in the hole to avoid a training bill.

The only plausible explanation for the time it has taken to fix this is that the aerodynamics without MCAS are fundamentally flawed, likely because the engines are to far forward and to high on the wing.

The JATR and EASA both want to see the unaugmented aerodynamics. If after a year they have not seen them, or have seen them and won’t accept them, the Max is likely not certifiable. The Canadians have pretty much publically called Boeing bluff (‘if it’s OK without MCAS, certify it without MCAS’).

The political pressure to certify the Max is immense. The technical case not to must be compelling.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 09:16
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLF3 View Post
If MCAS was ‘just’ to get a common type certificate Boeing would have bit that bullet by now and the Max would be flying. No one goes $9 billion in the hole to avoid a training bill.

The only plausible explanation for the time it has taken to fix this is that the aerodynamics without MCAS are fundamentally flawed, likely because the engines are to far forward and to high on the wing.

The JATR and EASA both want to see the unaugmented aerodynamics. If after a year they have not seen them, or have seen them and won’t accept them, the Max is likely not certifiable. The Canadians have pretty much publically called Boeing bluff (‘if it’s OK without MCAS, certify it without MCAS’).

The political pressure to certify the Max is immense. The technical case not to must be compelling.
Fully agree, SLF3. And I guess thats also why FAA did not comply with the request to forward the re-certification documents: because they have nothing that comes even close to it.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 09:44
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Declaration: I am not a pilot! I have to ask a question that has been bothering me since this issue first arose: Why does the only indication of AoA have to be from a fallible instrument stuck outside on the airflow?
Because that is how to measure AoA.

Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Declaration: I am not a pilot! Outside of aviation, there are many devices that can perform the same function, such as inclinometers etc, either working from a bubble indication or an object floating in a liquid.
Because that would measure acceleration, whether gravity or acceleration of the aircraft, not AoA as required.

Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Declaration: I am not a pilot! Why can a pilot not have an instrument, mounted inside the cockpit, that will give him an indication of AoA, regardless of what the airflow over an outside instrument tells him.,.
You appear to be confusing the instrument (display) inside the fight deck, and the sensor from which the indication is derived. These are usually located outside of the flightdeck for most instruments.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 10:56
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Nomad2 View Post
You know, Boeing clearly have the expertise and experience to build the best passenger jet in this sector of the market, so why have they persisted all this time with ever more modified 737s?
The MCAS debacle and other issues with quality clearly show a lack of expertise, as is the way B management handles the crisis.
Understandably it may be hard to envisage it, but there is a possibility that Boeing no longer has the expertise and experience to build acceptable passenger jets.
Those who designed the last successful Boeing jets are now retired, and there have been reports that Boeing clearly laid off senior engineers years ago.
If that is true, where would the new engineers get their experience and expertise from ?


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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 11:38
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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You can see how hard it would be to add another AoA vane.
They could add a common pitot/AoA vane where the current pitot is?


I was right, and then left seat, for Transport Canada Aircraft Certification flight testing yesterday. The test pilot and flight test engineer, were extremely thorough. The FTE explained to me after the day's test flying that because of the concern that some compliance was not truly demonstrated for the MAX certification, Transport Canada was not going to allow themselves to be caught out not having thoroughly flying tested one of their programs, if another authority later inquired.
​​​​​​​Nice! Are you testing the 'rollercoaster" technique? The previous BOE1 appeared to be...
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 11:44
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Declaration: I am not a pilot! (Have flown gliders only)
... Why does the only indication of AoA have to be from a fallible instrument stuck outside on the airflow? ...
A recurrent question, not least because of the ready availability of both GPS and high-quality inertial-frame-of-reference devices.

But the AoA is defined as the angle between the wing and the mass of air in which the plane is flying. Here are pictures of 4 planes
just about to stall (from https://www.apstraining.com/resource/whats-the-big-deal-about-angle-of-attack/)


... and the velocity shown here is relative to the local air-mass, not something you could measure with GPS.

Smoke-tails at acrobatic displays confirm that AoA and attitude may have startlingly little relationship to each other, as in this eye-candy AOA versus pitch

PS In clear air it might be possible to measure the the relative velocity of the air to the plane by some [email protected] optical device. However
in cloud, fog, heavy rain, icing-conditions, ... no way. (After AF447 they considered this avenue for airspeed measurement.)
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 12:16
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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The MAX has a modern wing and the latest fuel efficient engines, it's a pity Boeing didn't bolt them onto a new fuselage instead of a relic from the 1950s first generation of jet transports.

If the MAX can't be recertified then the supply chain may have a hope with the C919 which has a large amount of US sourced content. If the Chinese ramp up production to fill the void then there will be considerable demand for engines, APUs, FMS etc to be filled, keeping American workers in jobs. Limiting the contagion from spreading much beyond Boeing itself and the factory towns which produce the MAX would be preferable to the ripple through effect where shops are forced to close because workers lose their jobs at factories which supply components to larger manufacturers in different states which in turn supply Boeing.

Even if some authorities accept a fix, the Chinese may demand substantial trade concessions in other areas in exchange for approving the aircraft. If these aren't forthcoming they could make any acceptance conditional on impossible terms such as a completely new flight control system or ban the aircraft all together.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 13:36
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Pilots, Not the Plane, Keep the Boeing MAX Grounded

After the tragedies, pilots will be expected to know less and religiously follow checklists more.

By
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Dec. 20, 2019 5:18 pm ET
A Boeing 737 MAX in Renton, Wash., April 13, 2017. Photo: Ted S. Warren/Associated Press
Ghosts and goblins are keeping the troubled new Boeing 737 MAX out of the air now. So much so that the company this week announced it will stop an assembly line that was producing dozens of planes a month to be stored in parking lots.

After the first MAX crash took place in Indonesia in late 2018, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration decided to keep the plane flying. Consternation followed a Journal report last week showing that at the time the agency anticipated a MAX crash rate three times that of comparable airplanes. In the FAA’s defense, it also presumed that Boeing would fix the MAX’s faulty flight-control software well before another crash occurred. In the meantime, impressed upon pilots would be that any glitch could be quickly neutralized by throwing a couple of prominent switches.
Which makes all the more urgent understanding why the next crash, involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, happened just months later. For the last three minutes of what was a six-minute flight, the offending software system, as per Boeing’s instructions after the Indonesia crash, was disabled. Yet the pilots never cut takeoff thrust despite a loud clacker warning that their airspeed was exceeding the plane’s design limit. With so much force acting on the plane’s control surfaces, they were unable, as Boeing’s new checklist also specified, to move the trim wheel manually to correct the nose-down trim imposed by the faulty software.

They didn’t use the three minutes to heed the clacker and reduce their speed or briefly to relax pressure on the control yoke, which also would have helped free up the trim wheel. Instead, against all advice, they turned the software back on, which promptly put the plane into an unrecoverable dive. How much the Ethiopian crash even belongs in the same category as the Indonesia crash is debatable when all the facts are considered, albeit depending on whether you are more interested in focusing on aircraft design or on crew training.

To pilots who came up with lots of hand-flying through the military or even the way hobbyist pilots do, it seems possible that understanding the impact of excessive aerodynamic forces on the trim wheel would have been second nature. Perhaps not so with the tens of thousands of classroom- and simulator-trained pilots who staff today’s fast-growing airlines in the developing world.A misplaced sensitivity has been working overtime to suppress discussion of this issue. The goal is not to excuse Boeing’s appalling original software implementation or rush the 737 MAX back into service.

The discussion is unwelcome in aviation circles partly because the corollaries are unwelcome. If airplanes today must be designed so mass-produced, classroom-trained pilots can’t crash them, planes tomorrow will be designed to eliminate the pilot completely. In the meantime, better crew training could always be required, but the benefit might not be worth the cost given today’s already low accident rate thanks to the advance of automation.

All this explains the bitterness that has crept into the debate, with a U.S. pilot union accusing Boeing of “blaming dead pilots for its mistakes” and Ethiopian Airlines threatening never to fly the 737 MAX again.

For its part, the FAA knows it can’t guarantee against another Boeing crash any more than it can guarantee against another Airbus crash like the 2009 Air France disaster in the South Atlantic or 2013’s Asiana Airlines mishap at San Francisco’s airport. In all three cases, and in almost all crashes nowadays, flyable planes are flown into the ground by pilots either accidentally or intentionally (as with the 2015 Germanwings pilot-suicide crash).

Boeing decided this week to curtail production of the grounded MAX for cash-flow reasons. The company knows the plane will fly again (as it should) partly because the global economy’s demand for air travel can’t be met without the MAX.

Meanwhile, regulators have been throwing requirements at Boeing less related specifically to the MAX and very definitely related to new doubts about pilot readiness to deal with unexpected situations. Afoot in global regulatory circles already was a tendency, now accelerated, to reduce expectations about what pilots must know and do from memory. The goal will increasingly be to give them detailed checklists for every occasion. This will likely include, in any failure related to the automatic trim system, an explicit reminder not to overspeed.Whether or not this has much to do with the MAX anymore, it certainly has to do with the future of flying until robots finally push the pilot out of the cockpit altogether.

Edited to improve paragraph formatting

Last edited by Lake1952; 22nd Dec 2019 at 16:49.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 13:51
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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Is this another blame the pilots propaganda run? IIRC FAA and EASA and others have grounded the airplane for a reason or two.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 13:57
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lake1952 View Post

Pilots, Not the Plane, Keep the Boeing MAX Grounded

After the tragedies, pilots will be expected to know less and religiously follow checklists more.

Basically, another pilot-blaming opinion piece, this one by a WSJ columnist who knows even less about the relevant issues than the average of others who weighed in before him.

(Difficult to read, too. The forum software often collapses paragraph and other formatting, but, if you check the preview before posting, you can manually insert the appropriate breaks,)

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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 14:49
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Because that is how to measure AoA.


Because that would measure acceleration, whether gravity or acceleration of the aircraft, not AoA as required.


You appear to be confusing the instrument (display) inside the fight deck, and the sensor from which the indication is derived. These are usually located outside of the flightdeck for most instruments.

787 does use inertial system for synthetic airspeed, etc

https://www.isasi.org/Documents/libr...ducing-787.pdf

Introducing the 787 - Effect on Major Investigations - And Interesting Tidbits

Tom Dodt Chief Engineer – Air Safety Investigation ISASI September, 2011

see pages 39 thru 42
And possibly on 777-??

And boeing has a detailed document on ' Operational use of Angle of Attack

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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 15:34
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lake1952 View Post

Perhaps not so with the tens of thousands of classroom- and simulator-trained pilots who staff today’s fast-growing airlines in the developing world.A misplaced sensitivity has been working overtime to suppress discussion of this issue. The goal is not to excuse Boeing’s appalling original software implementation or rush the 737 MAX back into service.The discussion is unwelcome in aviation circles partly because the corollaries are unwelcome. If airplanes today must be designed so mass-produced, classroom-trained pilots can’t crash them, planes tomorrow will be designed to eliminate the pilot completely. In the meantime, better crew training could always be required, but the benefit might not be worth the cost given today’s already low accident rate thanks to the advance of automation.

What a sick article!
1. It is not "misplaced sensitivity to discuss today's appalling pilot skills"! It's pure and simple greedy, cynical economics who wants to silence the messengers. Name and shame it or shut up if you don't want to be outed as collaborateur.
2. The preposterous assumption that today's low accident is "given" thanks to the advance of automation is outrageous. Automation has its part in improvement, just as it has in many contributions of accidents. Nothing in safety is given.


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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 16:45
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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The hits just keep on coming. The full text may be behind the paywall for some readers. If folks get blocked, those of us with access can pull it out.

At Boeing, CEO's Stumbles Deepen a Crisis


In a tense, private meeting last week in Washington, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration reprimanded Boeing’s chief executive for putting pressure on the agency to move faster in approving the return of the company’s 737 Max jet.

This was the first face-to-face encounter between the F.A.A. chief, Stephen Dickson, and the executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, and Mr. Dickson told him not to ask for any favors during the discussion. He said Boeing should focus on providing all the documents needed to fully describe the plane’s software changes according to two people briefed on the meeting.

It was a rare dressing-down for the leader of one of the world’s biggest companies, and a sign of the deteriorating relationship between Mr. Muilenburg and the regulator that will determine when Boeing’s most important plane will fly again.

The global grounding of the 737 Max has entered its 10th month, after two crashes that killed 346 people, and the most significant crisis in Boeing’s history has no end in sight. Mr. Muilenburg is under immense pressure to achieve two distinct goals. He wants to return the Max to service as soon as possible, relieving the pressure on Boeing, airlines and suppliers. Yet the company and regulators must fix an automated system known as MCAS found to have played a role in both crashes, ensuring the Max is certified safely and transparently. Caught in the middle, Mr. Muilenburg has found himself promising more than he can deliver.

More
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 17:14
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Sounds like a trailer for a made-for-TV movie!

I am paywalled, but no real need to read more....
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 17:28
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Originally Posted by Takwis View Post
Sounds like a trailer for a made-for-TV movie!

I am paywalled, but no real need to read more....
Well, here's a bit more, from near the end of the article:

The challenges facing Mr. Muilenburg extend beyond returning the Max to service and the botched space capsule launch on Friday. The F.A.A. is aware of more potentially damaging messages from Boeing employees that the company has not turned over to the agency.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 17:35
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Thank You, that was worth reading. I'd sure like to hear what some employees are saying.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 17:42
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
The hits just keep on coming. The full text may be behind the paywall for some readers. If folks get blocked, those of us with access can pull it out.
There's nothing new in this article. The Dickson-Muilenberg meeting happened on 12 December, and it was extensively discussed in the media at that time. Must be a slow news day at the Times.

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/manu...lds-boeing-ceo
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 18:04
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by slacktide View Post
There's nothing new in this article. The Dickson-Muilenberg meeting happened on 12 December, and it was extensively discussed in the media at that time. Must be a slow news day at the Times.

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/manu...lds-boeing-ceo
I don't think you understand, slacktide.

Yes, most of us read the earlier coverage and are aware of many of the details related in the Times story. It is not true, however, that "[t]here's nothing new" in the Times coverage and, more importantly, it's a long-form summary and analysis in the Sunday edition of the widely-acknowledged US "newspaper of record." Coverage like this has real impacts on the public and the markets.

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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 18:11
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It's a good wrap up, but there are also some new puzzle pieces in there - at least new to me:
“If it was my call to make, Muilenburg would’ve been fired long ago,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon and the chairman of the House Transportation Committee investigating Boeing, said in an email. “Boeing could send a strong signal that it is truly serious about safety by holding its top decision-maker accountable.”
With delays mounting, Mr. Muilenburg missed a chance to smooth things over with key customers. In September, he attended a gathering of a club of aviation executives called Conquistadores del Cielo at a ranch in Wyoming, according to two people familiar with the trip. As the group bonded while throwing knives and drinking beers, Mr. Muilenburg took long bike rides by himself. It was typical behavior for Mr. Muilenburg, an introverted engineer who prefers Diet Mountain Dew to alcohol, but it left other executives baffled.
Nice anecdote without further insight.

Re Forkner messages:
Mr. Muilenburg said Boeing hadn’t told the F.A.A. about the messages out of concern that doing so would interfere with a criminal investigation being conducted by the Justice Department, according to two people briefed on the call.
Mr. Dickson said the lack of transparency would only increase the regulator’s scrutiny of the company.

Mr. Muilenburg continued to press the F.A.A. In early November, he called Mr. Dickson to ask whether he would consider allowing the company to begin delivering airplanes before they were cleared to fly. The administrator said he would look into it but made no commitments, according to an F.A.A. spokesman.In an apparent misunderstanding, Mr. Muilenburg took the call as a green light. The next Monday, the company put out a statement saying it could have the plane to customers by the end of the year.Mr. Dickson told colleagues that he had not agreed to that timeline and felt as though he was being manipulated, according to a person familiar with the matter.
That must have been in the time frame when FAA revoked the authority to issue the Certificate of airworthyness on their behalf.

Preceeding M's walk to Cannossa:
In calls with F.A.A. officials, Boeing engineers began to float an idea for speeding the process: Perhaps the company should ask the agency to break with its foreign counterparts and approve the Max alone?The suggestion alarmed some F.A.A. officials, who worried that approving the Max without agreement from other regulators would be untenable, according to two people familiar with the matter. When they called Mr. Dickson to tell him of Boeing’s plans, he balked at the suggestion and eventually the company backed down.
It seems it's not only some us who are pxxxed
​​​​

Last edited by BDAttitude; 22nd Dec 2019 at 18:24.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 18:20
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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I think he biggest piece of new information in the article is about more messages between Boeing staff about faults with the plane. That’s very new.

I think the FAA should come out with a public statement of immunity and job security for any Boeing employee who was aware and/or participated in company communications regarding concerns about the MAX no matter how insignificant. There might have to be cooperation with law enforcement but that would help flush out the real story of who knew what and when they knew it.

PLEASE QUIT THE PILOT BLAMING. I’m still seeing posts that are clearly veiled with insinuations. I’m also glad nobody took the bait on that post a few pages back claiming not to be a B vs A post.

BTW..I’m not clear if my Canadian brother was actually talking about the MAX in his test flight post. If he was there was no mention of his findings. He might have been testing another plane.

Carry on...
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