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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:32
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Discorde View Post
^^^^^ DLC could be Direct Lift Control. The Lockheed 1011 used this system (variable spolier deployment) to stablise approach flight path without change of attitude or thrust.
Good answer...it makes sense.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:43
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Discorde View Post
^^^^^ DLC could be Direct Lift Control. The Lockheed 1011 used this system (variable spolier deployment) to stablise approach flight path without change of attitude or thrust.
Thanks Takwis for the info on additional systems on the MAX.
DLC
Direct Lift Control
Indeed it did Discorde. The 1011 was a delight to fly and took some getting used to since DLC was active below, I think 2000 feet. Once you got below the trigger height of around 2000 feet, the spoilers partially deployed.
What it did was, say you were on GP and slightly high flying manually, you would push the stick slightly forward, yes, as usual.

But the spoilers would further deploy and increase ROD to get you back on GP without any noticeable change in attitude. If you got a little low, you would pull and the spoilers would partially retract.
​​​​​​​So it acted like a "smoother " to pilot inputs and make flying a 3 degree GP very easy. If you deviated significantly then of course you would push/pull harder and the attitude would change as per any other aircraft. If this is on the MAX then like MCAS it should be part of the course if it changes the handling technique.
That said, I have listened to many AA and SW pilots talking esp after Lionair and before ET, and none of them mention anything odd about the MAX at all. 300 of them flying for three years and as far as I know zero adverse comment from the largely very experienced pilots flying them.
I have asked elsewhere in Prune if anyone knows of any reports of adverse handling prior to ET and I haven't seen anything here. Does anyone know of any reports that were lodged?
It would be interesting if there were!
Cheers
R Guy
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:52
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Beware of Emails

While it all sounds very bad you to consider context.
If someone went through the thousands of emails you sent what would they find? Would you be happy with owning everything you had written? What about emails taken from threads with no context of the previous emails?
I'm not saying there are not problems at Boeing - clearly a major house cleaning/reset is in order, but I would wary about judging a huge organization based on a few emails plucked out of the haystack.
Just saying
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:54
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Landing Attitude Modifier

The LAM does two things:
  1. At flap 15-30 if the thrust is near idle it will slightly raise the flight spoilers to increase drag to increase thrust above idle.
    [That seems to be a bit like the Embrair where residual thrust is high with the big engines. It needs more explanation than that though? Why would the engines be at idle unless very light in a tailwind. ]
  2. At flap 30 or 40, the flight spoilers will raise slightly to reduce lift necessitating a higher AoA and hence nose attitude to give an "acceptable nose gear contact margin
    That seems to be to counteract the longer nose wheel which if you landed at zero pitch F40, or 1 deg NU Flap 30, as per any other 737 the longer nose gear might touch down first?. Cant see that the pilot would notice that too much? But it is a change that needs to be acknowledged and not "hidden". I don't think these two were hidden, like the MCAS was.}

    It seems to me from all of this that an hour on an IPAD was more than a bit optimistic.

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Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:58
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 20driver View Post
While it all sounds very bad you to consider context.
If someone went through the thousands of emails you sent what would they find? Would you be happy with owning everything you had written? What about emails taken from threads with no context of the previous emails?
I'm not saying there are not problems at Boeing - clearly a major house cleaning/reset is in order, but I would wary about judging a huge organization based on a few emails plucked out of the haystack.
Just saying
Hi there 20 Driver
Thats where I am coming from earlier. These emails taken as short comments can sound very damning, or could be almost friendly banter. Or even nasty stuff from a disillusioned employee. It is not proof of the MAX being badly designed as a plane. MCAS was badly designed without a doubt, but there are people out there trying to ground the MAX forever based on these emails and that is simply a total over reaction.
Ta
R Guy
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 18:59
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Takwis View Post

The other is the "Elevator Jammed Landing Assist System", added because...?
"If a jam occurs in the aft elevator control mechanism, both control columns have a limited range of motion. During approach and landing, the Elevator Jam Landing Assist System uses the flight spoilers for small changes to the flight path."

In an email exchange on 5/29/2015, our favorite Jedi Master is talking with his sidekick about the "jammed elevator/DLC" (I don't know what DLC stands for.)

"I suck at flying jammed elevator without DLC"

"It's tough, huh?"

"I crashed big time my first few times, that's what scares me about showing this to any of them. You can get decent at it after 3-4 tries, but the first few are ugly."

"

I found the next bit particularly interesting. They discuss the need for training for this situation, but don't want to spoil the commonality with the NG. Someone suggests incorporating the training on the NG as well - "if you can do it on the NG, you can do it on the MAX". However the problem with that is that "that would be admitting the difficulty of flying it on a model that has already been certified"

All perfectly legal and above board (at least according to some), and I'm sure it gives all 737 drivers a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

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Old 11th Jan 2020, 22:32
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 20driver View Post
While it all sounds very bad you to consider context.
If someone went through the thousands of emails you sent what would they find? Would you be happy with owning everything you had written? What about emails taken from threads with no context of the previous emails?
I'm not saying there are not problems at Boeing - clearly a major house cleaning/reset is in order, but I would wary about judging a huge organization based on a few emails plucked out of the haystack.
Just saying
I think this is a very important point. While I'm not in any way condoning efforts to deceive or hide things from the FAA/EASA, I shudder at the thought of every work email I ever wrote being made public.
We all use email for private communications, and we consider private to be exactly that. We say things in private that we'd never dream of saying in public - it's human nature. Most of the FAA people I dealt with during my nearly 30 years as a cert delegate (DER/AR) were very good - and some I considered to be good friends. I had no problem openly discussing cert issues with them - if fact one of my major complaints when Boeing became an ODA is that it sharply reduced that open communication with my FAA counterparts.
BUT, as is the case in nearly any large organization, a few FAA people were a waste of space. And in private emails (usually between myself and other cert delegates) we were not afraid to say as much. There was one FAA person that the knowledge that he'd retired resulted in a small celebration, another was so irrational that their last name became a sort of swear word - as in if you found out he was responsible for your project, it was said you'd been 'Smithed' (his name wasn't Smith, but you get the idea).
I once got into trouble due to an email. A certain operator, which had two hull loss accidents and a few major incidents in the preceding few years - had just picked up a couple new 747-400s, and had some questions which were forwarded to me by a customer engineer. Well, in my response to the Boeing customer engineer, I made a rather disparaging joke about that operator before answering the questions. Unfortunately the customer engineer didn't bother to edit out my bad joke before forwarding the answers to the operator . The operator wasn't amused - and I had to profusely apologize.

Last edited by tdracer; 12th Jan 2020 at 00:01.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 22:42
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Whilst accepting VW's apparent attempt to deceive and cheat for profit, there is a more generous way to interpret their actions.

Car manufacturers were obliged to produce cars which could pass the emissions standards tests. And they achieved that. - cars that passed emissions tests. Car manufacturers also need to have their fuel economy tested by very specific (non-real world) tests. It is no secret that cars / engines are tuned to perform particularly well in such tests, where it is well known that the real-world performance is a whole lot worse than the official figures show after some very inventive tweaking. What happened in the emissions scandal was pretty much exactly the same as that; some devious manipulation by some clever engineers, to achieve a pass for certification - it just went a step further than the economy 'tuning for the tests'. It is all a matter of degree, of optimising a car to pass tests.

An interesting analogy to Boeing 'optimising' systems to keep within the 'not different enough to need re-certifying or additional sim training'. The devil is in the detail.
Re VW (Thread drift...) Not quite true.

Short history, every other manufacturer went common rail diesel. VW stuck with their cheap & cheerful PD system. Similar to Boeing with the MAX vs the 320 NEO they were left last at the races.

Eventually, 10 years later they adopted the CR system and played the catch up game by cheating.

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Old 11th Jan 2020, 22:46
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
I think this is a very important point. While I'm not in any way condoning efforts to deceive or hide things from the FAA/EASA, I shudder at the thought of every work email I ever wrote being made public.
We all use email for private communications, and we consider private to be exactly that. We say things in private that we'd never dream of saying in public - it's human nature. Most of the FAA people I dealt with during my nearly 30 years as a cert delegate (DER/AR) were very good - and some I considered to be good friends. I had no problem having openly discussing cert issues with them - if fact one of my major complaints when Boeing became an ODA is that it sharply reduced that open communication with my FAA counterparts.
BUT, as is the case in nearly any large organization, a few FAA people were a waste of space. And in private emails (usually between myself and other cert delegates) we were not afraid to say as much. There was one FAA person that the knowledge that he'd retired resulted in a small celebration, another was so irrational that their last name became a sort of swear word - as in if you found out he was responsible for your project, it was said you'd been 'Smithed' (his name wasn't Smith, but you get the idea).
I once got into trouble due to an email. A certain operator, which had two hull loss accidents and a few major incidents in the preceding few years - had just picked up a couple new 747-400s, and had some questions which were forwarded to me by a customer engineer. Well, in my response to the Boeing customer engineer, I made a rather disparaging joke about that operator before answering the questions. Unfortunately the customer engineer didn't bother to edit out my bad joke before forwarding the answers to the operator . The operator wasn't amused - and I had to profusely apologize.
+1 We've all been there
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 22:51
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by retired guy View Post
Thanks Takwis for the info on additional systems on the MAX...

That said, I have listened to many AA and SW pilots talking esp after Lionair and before ET, and none of them mention anything odd about the MAX at all. 300 of them flying for three years and as far as I know zero adverse comment from the largely very experienced pilots flying them.
Right up until there is an AOA malfunction. Then the handling suffers a bit. That might affect both of these other systems adversely, as well.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 22:57
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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"I crashed big time my first few times, that's what scares me about showing this to any of them. You can get decent at it after 3-4 tries, but the first few are ugly."


"They are going to tweak the elevator effectiveness a little. Yeah, we talked about using a reasonable cg to make it doable without dlc"
So, in an effort to not require sim training, they are talking about setting up ideal conditions for elevator jammed demo. Then, they are content to send pilots out on the MAX, knowing full well that if the holes in the cheese line up, and the not ideal conditions occur, the plane will likely crash.

Unbelievable.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 23:22
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DieselOx View Post
So, in an effort to not require sim training, they are talking about setting up ideal conditions for elevator jammed demo. Then, they are content to send pilots out on the MAX, knowing full well that if the holes in the cheese line up, and the not ideal conditions occur, the plane will likely crash.

Unbelievable.
Yeah, this is way beyond the "we've all been less than careful in casual email" situation. This is evidence of very bad behavior.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 23:36
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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The emails certainly need to be looked into.

Many of them seem to be between two guys, and it is hard to tell if they are talking simulator issues or aircraft issues.

At one point one of the guys is reaching out to the other, appearing to have concern about his mental health and offering support. They were clearly friends.

At one point one of the friends asked the other a serious question - the answer was NO!

I find it hard for that question & answer to be taken in more than one way between friends.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 23:53
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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There are many of those messages that can be waved away as people popping off, talking casually and maybe not really meaning what they wrote, or joking, but not all of them.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 00:21
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Two main types of situations in which masses, and I do mean hundreds or more, of emails have been given to me as legal counsel to review: adversary in litigation responds to discovery request, and the other is, client provides "universe" of emails for decisions about what needs to be produced in discovery, and about possible confidentiality grounds for withholding.
Sometimes, as an employment law practitioner a third review type occurs - an employee is in a "job in jeopardy" jam, or even getting fired, and his or her entire computer(s)' worth of emails (and everything else) gets examined, sometimes microscopically.
And time and again, especially in that third situation type, impressions would filter into the tasks of understanding the communications and integrating them into the factual narrative of who did what to whom. That is, where context was lacking, the reviewer would end up....filling it in. Sometimes based on experience, sometimes just guessing, sometimes magical or wishful thinking.
For this batch of emails released by Boeing, context for much of which seems quite lacking, I'd want to see ALL of the communications on the pertinent subject areas. Maybe the federal authorities did receive a lot more than what Boeing has made public. And maybe when the Flyers' Rights FOIA lawsuit against FAA moves ahead (court stuff was scheduled for early this coming week), more impetus for more public disclosure will result. Regardless, the process of reconfiguring the certification process, not to mention resolving the grounding, demands a comprehensive disclosure.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 00:41
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3 View Post
Regardless, the process of reconfiguring the certification process, not to mention resolving the grounding, demands a comprehensive disclosure.
Absolutely.

I would offer one more observation: if any functional exculpatory narrative that would moot the disclosed emails existed, Boeing would surely have either made a huge public case around it, or counsel would not have seen the need to disclose the messages in the first place.

IOW, the fact that they disclosed them, and quickly came out in support of sim training, says it all: the concerns expressed in the messages are valid, and have not been adequately dealt with so far. Hell, the CEO lost his job over this.

And what about the dead-stick zone on rotation mentioned in the messages? Seems to me to be related to the need for MCAS and maybe issues with the pitch flutter on flaps retraction: too much power too far forward for the old bird.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 01:21
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DieselOx View Post
Absolutely.

And what about the dead-stick zone on rotation mentioned in the messages? Seems to me to be related to the need for MCAS and maybe issues with the pitch flutter on flaps retraction: too much power too far forward for the old bird.
I have only flown the Max not the NG.. It would have been nice to be in the FCTM, and I did brief it when training new people. The aircraft has a pause in rotation at around 6 degrees that you need to pull through and then decrease back pressure once through it. Not a big deal to manage. I don’t have evidence but had always figured the elevator just lost some effectiveness when it is shadowed by the wing on rotation.


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Old 12th Jan 2020, 03:11
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
I think this is a very important point. While I'm not in any way condoning efforts to deceive or hide things from the FAA/EASA, I shudder at the thought of every work email I ever wrote being made public.
We all use email for private communications, and we consider private to be exactly that. We say things in private that we'd never dream of saying in public - it's human nature. Most of the FAA people I dealt with during my nearly 30 years as a cert delegate (DER/AR) were very good - and some I considered to be good friends. I had no problem openly discussing cert issues with them - if fact one of my major complaints when Boeing became an ODA is that it sharply reduced that open communication with my FAA counterparts.
BUT, as is the case in nearly any large organization, a few FAA people were a waste of space. And in private emails (usually between myself and other cert delegates) we were not afraid to say as much.
The point is well made. But, though we might exaggerate in such emails, we are normally telling the truth, in a way that would be unpalatable to Management, because their job is profit, not truth. The only doubt is whether such emails represent temporary frustration, or a deeper concern.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 03:29
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightlessParrot View Post
The point is well made. But, though we might exaggerate in such emails, we are normally telling the truth, in a way that would be unpalatable to Management, because their job is profit, not truth. The only doubt is whether such emails represent temporary frustration, or a deeper concern.
Suggest the deeper concern has been well described nearly a decade ago

When I say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so it’s run like a business rather than a great engineering firm. It is a great engineering firm, but people invest in a company because they want to make money.
Harry Stonecipher, 2004, former CEO of The Boeing Company, reflecting on the late 1990s


They have changed my attitude to be “why should I care” and to look out for myself as management won’t. Also, Boeing is no longer a premium company to work for.

If I can find something—anything—somewhere else, I’m gone.

They got no loyalty to me, why should I have any to them?
Technical employee, twenty-three years at Boeing,

Grunberg, Leon,Moore, Sarah. Emerging from Turbulence:
Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today
And the prior book by the same team "Turbulence re Boeing . ..

Both books were the result of a major survey of employees- managers, etc with the permission and help of Boeing

Summation-

Three most important things at Boeing are PROFIT.

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Old 12th Jan 2020, 05:50
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
I think this is a very important point. While I'm not in any way condoning efforts to deceive or hide things from the FAA/EASA, I shudder at the thought of every work email I ever wrote being made public.
We all use email for private communications, and we consider private to be exactly that. We say things in private that we'd never dream of saying in public - it's human nature. Most of the FAA people I dealt with during my nearly 30 years as a cert delegate (DER/AR) were very good - and some I considered to be good friends. I had no problem openly discussing cert issues with them - if fact one of my major complaints when Boeing became an ODA is that it sharply reduced that open communication with my FAA counterparts.
BUT, as is the case in nearly any large organization, a few FAA people were a waste of space. And in private emails (usually between myself and other cert delegates) we were not afraid to say as much. There was one FAA person that the knowledge that he'd retired resulted in a small celebration, another was so irrational that their last name became a sort of swear word - as in if you found out he was responsible for your project, it was said you'd been 'Smithed' (his name wasn't Smith, but you get the idea).
I once got into trouble due to an email. A certain operator, which had two hull loss accidents and a few major incidents in the preceding few years - had just picked up a couple new 747-400s, and had some questions which were forwarded to me by a customer engineer. Well, in my response to the Boeing customer engineer, I made a rather disparaging joke about that operator before answering the questions. Unfortunately the customer engineer didn't bother to edit out my bad joke before forwarding the answers to the operator . The operator wasn't amused - and I had to profusely apologize.
We once got a rather dumb HR e-mail sent to every salaried employee. A colleague of mine came up with a snarky comment and instead of sending it to the person he intended to, he hit "Reply all."
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