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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:00
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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The Boeing statement seems to be particularly peculiar, as if the management are still living in a cloud.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:32
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets
But WHY?! Just what drove him to say that? Re the 1-11. We had a week's differences course just between two very similar marks. The MAX possibly didn't need a full type rating course, but 90 on an iPad? What was in the minds of people that though that was a good idea?

It just keeps coming.
Unless something specific to an AoA sensor failure leading to a crash was being specifically discussed as a training item, MCAS-specific training is unlikely to have made any difference to the accident flights. There was no difference in concept for the behavior of trim runaway and no inkling about the potential adverse effect of MCAS on trim.

That seems to be the only significant difference to the handling of the plane and, if it wasn't discovered or appropriately evaluated before shipping the planes to customers, it would never be added to training.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:37
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fgrieu
Here are the 117 pages of Boeing internal communications, in their public (redacted) form, with OCR to facilitate search.
There are more gems beyond the now famous one (on page 27)

I count 8 references to Jedi mind trick. Lucasfilm should sue!
I have worked with a management structure just like that; enough that it is an insult to both clowns and monkeys.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:43
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
Unless something specific to an AoA sensor failure leading to a crash was being specifically discussed as a training item, MCAS-specific training is unlikely to have made any difference to the accident flights. There was no difference in concept for the behavior of trim runaway and no inkling about the potential adverse effect of MCAS on trim.

That seems to be the only significant difference to the handling of the plane and, if it wasn't discovered or appropriately evaluated before shipping the planes to customers, it would never be added to training.
Is that because the simulator did not (still does not?) accurately reflect how the plane flies?

It's sounding like there's a culture of "make it work nicely in the sims", that the sims didn't need to know about MCAS.
(software engineer)
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 14:29
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot
Wasn't the British Midland crash at Kegworth a then new B737 model (the -400) where the crew had only had an OHP session to get to know the differences between the new -400 vs the -300, and it was the failure of this assumption that was one of the holes which drove the decision to shut down the wrong (working) engine? There's way less difference between a -300 and a -400 than between an NG and a MAX surely?
Hi Skipness
I flew both the B Midland display EIS and the newer display around the time of the BD Kegworth - for another airline. The differences were very small. The reason that the BD crashed was similar to what happened recently. Complete failure of crew CRM and standard procedures. The dead engine was not identified and the wrong one shut down, not because of display issues, nor has been quoted due to the design of the air conditioning system giving rise to fumes, but because there was a rush to identify the failed engine and the correct procedures were not followed. There was no double check by both pilots of the failed engine 1 or 2 . Left or Right.
The FO said when asked by P1 which engine was in trouble "Its the left.....its the right" from memory. The response was "shut it down". Not direct quotes but that was the sort or CRM at work that evening.
Just found actual CVR.....AAIB report
"From the CVR it was apparent that the first indication of any problem with the aircraft was as it approached its cleared flight level, when for a brief period, sounds of `vibration' or `rattling' could be heard on the flight deck. There was an exclamation and the first officer commented that they had 'GOT A FIRE', the autopilot disconnect audio warning was then heard, and the first officer stated 'ITS A FIRE COMING THROUGH'. The commander then asked 'WHIXH ONE IS IT?', to which the first officer replied, 'ITS THE LE..ITS THE RIGHT ONE'. The commander then said 'OKAY, THROTTLE >> IT << BACK'.


After that it was game over except that there were numerous further chances to save the day right up to short final when the mistake became apparent.
That's what I remember, but then I am an old timer retired guy.
R Guy

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Old 10th Jan 2020, 14:35
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Originally Posted by blind pew
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51058929
From previously redacted Boeing internal comms.
Would you put your family on a Max.......NO.
Designed by clowns overseen by monkeys...bit harsh.
A very emotional response it seems. Its a slam on the many many engineers whose efforts got it into the sky in the first place. To me blame falls squarely on Boeing management. They failed in so many ways.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 14:47
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FAA OVERSIGHT
On this issue or lack of FAA oversight, it is important to remember that in general the manufacturer and good airlines have generally had higher standards than the regulator. Now I agree that there seems to be evidence that Boeing have dropped the ball here and moving HQ to Chicago was a defining moment.
But when I flew test flights at Boeing over many years on 737-400/ 757. / 767. /744 The Boeing company showed nothing but the highest regard for errors we would pick up and they would be fixed right away and the production line amended if necessary.
That was then - 1988 -2003 and yes, things seem to have changed , which if so, is massively regrettable.
In UK the CAA was our regulator and generally the company I flew for knew far more about the job of flying safely than the regulator for the obvious reason that we were all active training managers/pilots flying hundreds of hours per annum and setting the bar really high, while the regulators were generally retired pilots from a variety of airlines and different former types, with little recency (a few times per year was common). We also took the CAA requirements as a minimum standard and aimed far higher than that. As the man said "if you think safety is expensive, try having an accident or two!" So true as we now see with Boeing and two MAX down.
Now that only works of course if the company is setting standards way higher than those actually required as a minimum. If you become a rogue company or just simply, like some start-ups, completely ignorant of how to operate safely, then the regulator becomes your fallback. And that is very bad indeed because it assumes that the regulator is right up there with the best. And we see where our financial regulators got us in 2007-1010.
The worst case then is a poor airline being regulated by a poor regulator.
So the idea of the FAA delegating certain roles to the manufacture is not intrinsically flawed because it has always been there and worked. I have to agree with those here who say that the standards we are seeing do not appear to support a continuation of that sort of relationship and a lot has to change.
The regulator needs to get regulating and the company has to raise its own bar. Between the two, we achieve the best possible outcome.
R Guy
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 15:09
  #28 (permalink)  
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it is important to remember that in general the manufacturer and good airlines have generally had higher standards than the regulator.
This is key. Indeed to quote the regulatory material of a regulator:

Through Delegation the [authority] has access to both a broader range and increased number of qualified certification personnel.
So yes, it is likely, and indeed intended, that the FAA delegates employed by Boeing (or any other delegate) could be more familiar with the details of design compliance within their specialty than the FAA oversight individuals. This is as it should be, as long as the delegate is free to exercise their delegation free of undue commercial influence or pressure. It would be common for the delegate to present the details of compliance to the FAA staff, through their normal interaction.

The taxpayer simply could not afford to employ enough FAA staff to carry out all of these duties, in the same way that the taxpayer or pilot community could not afford for the FAA to employ enough pilot examiners to examine every pilot candidate, the FAA delegates that to pilot examiners, whom they trust to exercise that delegation diligently. As in some many things in aviation, it's about trust.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 15:17
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot
Wasn't the British Midland crash at Kegworth a then new B737 model (the -400) where the crew had only had an OHP session to get to know the differences between the new -400 vs the -300, and it was the failure of this assumption that was one of the holes which drove the decision to shut down the wrong (working) engine? There's way less difference between a -300 and a -400 than between an NG and a MAX surely?
IIRC the vibration gauges were placed one above the other instead of side by side. The side by side placement made it obvious which engine was vibrating the vertical placement not so.

AAIB Report on Kegworth Crash
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 15:22
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I noted in those exchanges between Boeing employees that two of the authors names were not obscured.
I hope that because those documents have been published and are now publicly viewable that the two concerned do not suffer as a result, e.g. present or any future employment?
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 15:35
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 15:59
  #32 (permalink)  

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Prior to 1972 certification in the UK was delegated to the Air Registration Board that was independent of the Civil Aviation Authority. It could be the case that such a board needs to be set up again in the UK and probably in the USA as well.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 16:05
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Originally Posted by yoganmahew
Is that because the simulator did not (still does not?) accurately reflect how the plane flies?

It's sounding like there's a culture of "make it work nicely in the sims", that the sims didn't need to know about MCAS.
(software engineer)
The simulator would do whatever it was programmed to do. If no one thought it should do this it won't be programmed to do this.
There was some suggestion that the NG simulator cannot simulate an AoA sensor reporting an incorrect value. I expect it can simulate a case where it no longer provides any reading, but that wasn't the Max failure mode problem.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 21:41
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, but this pretty well informed SLF thinks that if you read only the exchange that starts on page 51 of the messages, about jammed elevator without DLC, ("you will crash 3-4 times until you kinda get the hang of it")- paraphrase-
Boeing people said this!!! And then go do all they can to prevent having FAA do any flight tests of the Level B training, so stuff like that would not get found out.

this is exactly why I came here in the first place, to find out, How bad is it (the MAX in general, not just MCAS). This is bad.

The plane should never fly again. Full stop. And a whole bunch of people should be in jail; this seems worse than VW.

Like I said, sorry, but I'm just quoting Boeing, and pointing out their own descriptions of their own actions.

Last edited by DieselOx; 10th Jan 2020 at 21:59.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 22:52
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR


The FAA has delegated some of this service to specified employees of Boeing, who, in that role, act on behalf of the FAA.
Not sure that is correct (now), I believe that the FAA have delegated to Boeing that then nominated employee/s that report back to Boeing management, that then report to the FAA.

The previous method was FAA selected Boeing employees that reported directly to the FAA (an unfiltered system).
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 23:37
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by retired guy
FAA OVERSIGHT
On this issue or lack of FAA oversight, it is important to remember that in general the manufacturer and good airlines have generally had higher standards than the regulator. Now I agree that there seems to be evidence that Boeing have dropped the ball here and moving HQ to Chicago was a defining moment.
But when I flew test flights at Boeing over many years on 737-400/ 757. / 767. /744 The Boeing company showed nothing but the highest regard for errors we would pick up and they would be fixed right away and the production line amended if necessary.
That was then - 1988 -2003 and yes, things seem to have changed , which if so, is massively regrettable.
In UK the CAA was our regulator and generally the company I flew for knew far more about the job of flying safely than the regulator for the obvious reason that we were all active training managers/pilots flying hundreds of hours per annum and setting the bar really high, while the regulators were generally retired pilots from a variety of airlines and different former types, with little recency (a few times per year was common). We also took the CAA requirements as a minimum standard and aimed far higher than that. As the man said "if you think safety is expensive, try having an accident or two!" So true as we now see with Boeing and two MAX down.
Now that only works of course if the company is setting standards way higher than those actually required as a minimum. If you become a rogue company or just simply, like some start-ups, completely ignorant of how to operate safely, then the regulator becomes your fallback. And that is very bad indeed because it assumes that the regulator is right up there with the best. And we see where our financial regulators got us in 2007-1010.
The worst case then is a poor airline being regulated by a poor regulator.
So the idea of the FAA delegating certain roles to the manufacture is not intrinsically flawed because it has always been there and worked. I have to agree with those here who say that the standards we are seeing do not appear to support a continuation of that sort of relationship and a lot has to change.
The regulator needs to get regulating and the company has to raise its own bar. Between the two, we achieve the best possible outcome.
R Guy
The infrastructure and processes for FAA oversight of manufacturers with organization designation authorization (ODA) is terribly flawed. Looks ok on paper, but the reality is much different. The evolution of delegated authority by rule and by legislation has stripped the FAA of effective independent technical oversight. The FAA at the engineering level does not have low standards, but is being held at arm’s length from performing the degree and nature of oversight activity it should be exercising. Furthermore, the prevailing philosophy of “stay out of the applicant’s way and let them do their business” has to be corrected. Properly done, effective regulation and independent oversight is good for safety and for business. We can readily see from current events how the lack of it has threatened irreparable harm to both. Boeing behaved as badly as they did for lack of being held accountable throughout the development and certification phases. The premise that their own ODA organization, Boeing employees and managers would hold them accountable is foolishness. First step should be to return to processes for delegation that existed in the 1990’s, and if that can be streamlined, over time, with improved processes that do not compromise independence and competent technical oversight, fine.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 00:09
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I remember discussions in one or more of the closed MAX threads, about Synthetic Airspeed, and how it could be used to supply a third airspeed reference for comparison. Well right here on the first page of the emails, we find that the technical pilots had a problem with that:

As I pointed out in the telecom today, an introduction of synthetic airspeed to the MAX would drastically alter this Critical Action Memory Item Non-Normal Checklist, If synthetic airspeed is standard as opposed to an option, it would likely jeopardize the Program directive to maintain Level B training for our customers.
The second page shows that they are actually skirting FAA oversight, by planning to hide things from them.

The doc marked Boeing Only has questions that we plan to ask the no-RCAS group about their expectations for any alerting that they felt might have helped in the events. It is Boeing Only because the answers they provide might show a significant deviation from the current RCAS design, and we don't want to indicate to the FAA that our design conflicts with pilot expectations.
How can the FAA provide oversight if Boeing is deliberately hiding things from them?
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 01:32
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The FAA's type certification process is fundamentally dependent on the applicant not lying and not misleading the FAA's technical staff. It is not designed to, and is largely incapable of, dealing with a dishonest applicant. Trust once destroyed is not easily regained. Fool me once ...


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Old 11th Jan 2020, 02:24
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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This is going to have very far reaching repercussions in the industry.

It's things like this that mean I have no interest in signing any document other than as the author.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 04:03
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Well, here it is, 04.50 AM and I've read through the interchange of messages. Oh, MY!


I sensed, frustration, downright anger, bewilderment, logic at a brick wall and not least of all, tiredness. (goodness knows what he did to himself while off with family. )

Will big corporations never learn about tiredness? It cost American companies $117.000.000.000 in IIRC 2017 Big university studies. A lot of men denying themselves sleep WILL produce substandard results. I have the publication ISP. Fear and overwork will produce . . . well, a MAX? and a lot of other tidying up to do.

Treat tiredness with the mos routinely sold seeping aid in North America, and you'll start to kill people. It'll be hard to stop as the money involved is right up there in the big league. A different subject, but the death toll is stunning. I'll look up the data on the morrow. Not so dramatic as an aircrash, but a lot more consistent.
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