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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 12th Jan 2020, 09:53
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I very much doubt anyone believes any "brown envelopes" were actually passed to the FAA.

I expect that to be an exaggeration of excessive allowance expenditure for FAA visitors allowed by Boeing, and the secondary envelope being lucrative jobs post FAA employment at Boeing.

Many favours would still be owed to the regulators staff, if that is the case.

Could the FAA step aside and authorise EASA to re-certify the MAX? - to prove complete transparency.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 11:02
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Originally Posted by retired guy
--- snipped---
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?
...
The first B38M [aka Boeing 737 Max-8] had only entered commercial service in May 1997.

From Wikipedia...
The new series was publicly announced on August 30, 2011.[10] The first 737 MAX performed its first flight on January 29, 2016.[1] The series gained FAA certification in March 2017.[11][9] The first delivery was a MAX 8 in May 2017, to Malindo Air,[12] which placed the aircraft into service on May 22, 2017...
When it crashed in Indonesia, the MAX-8 had only been in service commercially for LESS THAN 18 months, and the second crash had happened before the MAX-8 even reached its second year of service. With almost 350 souls being taken away, it's quite an accomplishment- I would say.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 11:40
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Originally Posted by patplan
The first B38M [aka Boeing 737 Max-8] had only entered commercial service in May 1997.



When it crashed in Indonesia, the MAX-8 had only been in service commercially for LESS THAN 18 months, and the second crash had happened before the MAX-8 even reached its second year of service. With almost 350 souls being taken away, it's quite an accomplishment- I would say.
The MAX has set many records - and many more to follow.

The MAX has set new standards Worldwide for Regulators.

RTS for the MAX now in March is nothing but a dream - too many secrets and no trust for that.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 12:00
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
I very much doubt anyone believes any "brown envelopes" were actually passed to the FAA.

I expect that to be an exaggeration of excessive allowance expenditure for FAA visitors allowed by Boeing, and the secondary envelope being lucrative jobs post FAA employment at Boeing.

Many favours would still be owed to the regulators staff, if that is the case.

Could the FAA step aside and authorise EASA to re-certify the MAX? - to prove complete transparency.
Why should EASA want to do this? The entire proceedings would either take so long that they would be accused of hindering BA or they would have to rely on questionable pre assessments from previous work by „brown baged“ FAA and dishonest Boeing. It would be a loose loose situation for them.

I don‘t think there were actually brown bags either. They were properly wined and dined and may be there were not so brown bags with merchandise well below the appropriate value limits for corruption. What is a courtesy in a symmetric relationship can look very different when the relationship becomes asymmetrical. True for private life as well.

Regarding email: Porbably anyone learned during their first two weeks at work that people are lazy and will hit forward even though a mail was supposed to be internal to the team/department/company. That‘s why you have to expect them becoming public.
What‘s new is that a lot of these mails are actually instant messages that we autosaved by Lync or Skype ... which is a deceitful feature many are not aware of causing seemingly private message exchanges being documented and company assets.
My company does offer Threema now to us .... but keys are pregenerated and I am not sure if messages could be duplicated in the infrastructure.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 12:52
  #85 (permalink)  
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EASA to re-certify the MAX?
Re-certify would be excessive. However, it is reasonable to expect that EASA, and other authorities, will exercise the terms of the bilateral certification agreements which allow them to "familiarize" whichever elements of the certification process they wish. This won't be complete re-certification, but it will be a detailed review of aspects of the certification which could be in question.

For an initial certification program, it is common for agreements to be reached before a lot of testing is done, so that authorities may join together to witness critical testing, rather than repeating tests for each authority. Re-certification, or certification of derivative products may be a little different - more purposeful co-ordination will be require. . It could appear in the case of the MAX and the MCAS rework, that Boeing and the FAA are eager to declare the problem resolved, yet other authorities are advancing more cautiously. It would appear a serious disconnect for the FAA to issue certification for the changed MAX, without the world's authorities obviously being in harmony. So, the natural world market for the MAX, and the need for acceptance by multiple authorities more or less at the same time, will result in some assurance that it's not just the FAA declaring certification of the changed MAX, EASA will factor prominently in this.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 15:21
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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"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."

"They are going to tweak the elevator effectiveness a little. Yeah, we talked about using a reasonable cg to make it doable without dlc"
Originally Posted by DieselOx
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.
Unbelievable indeed. It seems clear that just ticking the certification box was considered more important than actually ensuring that the pitch control degrades gracefully in case of an elevator jam, or providing crews with appropriate training on this issue.

This begs the question if that is an exclusive MAX problem or perhaps also a threat for the 737 NG’s. The NG doesn’t have direct lift control (if that’s what DLC refers to). Knowing that Boeing pilots crashed the plane in this scenario is not confidence-enhancing, to say the least. One more item to try out in the sim, next time I’m in it.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 16:05
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Up in the post you quote, xetroV, I pointed out that the Landing Attitude Modifier was added to reduce the likelihood of a nosegear first (or tailstrike) landing. We all know why they included MCAS. But for this third hybrid FBW system, I left the reason why at "?" It raises questions, all right. Since 1968, the 737 has had a solution to a jammed elevator that has been accepted ever since. What happened that prompted a change? Was it just a new opportunity? "Hey, we've got these new FBW spoilers, what else can we do with them?" Something changed in the legacy jammed elevator system? Or just to add a new system to the list that is going to require engineering, testing, and certification? I sure don't know. The next question is, will they continue to be controlled via one set of sensors, and one FMC, or will they get the same input upgrade that MCAS is anticipated to get?
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 16:47
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Can someone confirm that there is still no manual disconnect to mechanically separate the control columns in the event of jam ?
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 16:54
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Credibility and the unbelievable

It's a safe bet that no serious participant or observer quarrels over the imperative for FAA's anticipated decisions to lift its grounding order to have strong, consistent credibility with EASA and everywhere else in the regulatory and certification world. Though, isn't the path from where things stand now, to a credible - sufficiently credible - outcome ill-defined at present? It doesn't appear that either FAA or Boeing really have a valid game-plan. For FAA, with the various inquiries still pending, with JATR one-and-done, with Congressional committees and legislative proposals breathing down its neck, being able to draw the line from the present point A to a point B of real credibility seems quite not to be the case. And as for Boeing and getting to credibility, well.
Maybe the looming disclosures from the Flyers' Rights FOIA lawsuit against FAA will wreak yet further havoc. I seriously doubt it will restore much credibility, on the other hand (for FAA and Boeing, that is - FR is doing a great public service here).
A suggestion......what *should have* the total interactions between Boeing and FAA regarding the Max have covered? - and "all included"? All the systems, flight characteristics, development or testing simulator results, everything.
How can a lifting of the grounding possibly make sense, and how could it hold real credibility, unless what should have been communicated, and what should have been done, in the place first, have been identified? It's simplistically comparable to realizing you're lost in the forest, no app and no map - don't you want to retrace your steps before starting out again?
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 17:01
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever
Can someone confirm that there is still no manual disconnect to mechanically separate the control columns in the event of jam ?
There is no mechanical lever or disconnect switch like there is in some aircraft. However, there is an Elevator Control Column Override mechanism. When enough force is applied it will separate the control columns in the event of a column jam. If a elevator jam occurs there isn’t much to do about that.

However, since the Max spoilers were changed to fly by wire, there is the elevator jam landing assist, which will be switched on as part of the QRH. This will “float” the spoilers part way up and increase or decrease deflection based on the FORCE Applied to the column. It works the same as the DLC described earlier.

And trim is available in the above circumstances.

What a mess they have put themselves in.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 17:18
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Originally Posted by ARealTimTuffy
There is no mechanical lever or disconnect switch like there is in some aircraft. However, there is an Elevator Control Column Override mechanism. When enough force is applied it will separate the control columns in the event of a column jam. If a elevator jam occurs there isn’t much to do about that.
The idea is that if one elevator jams, the forced separation of the columns lets the pilot with an un-jammed elevator fly the airplane with a single elevator. Hold on, let me find the exact wording...

In the event of a control column jam, an override mechanism allows the control columns to be physically separated. Applying force against the jam will breakout either the Captain's or First Officer's control column. Whichever column moves freely after the breakout can provide adequate elevator control. Although total available travel is significantly reduced, there is sufficient elevator travel available for the landing flare. Control column forces are higher and exceed those experienced during manual reversion (!)

So, there is a system, but it sounds rather minimal. Maybe Boeing, out of the goodness of their heart, came up with the new EJLA system to make this situation better, even though the older system was certified.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 17:26
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Originally Posted by Takwis
The idea is that if one elevator jams, the forced separation of the columns lets the pilot with an un-jammed elevator fly the airplane with a single elevator. Hold on, let me find the exact wording...
Wording from manual.

If a jam occurs in the aft elevator control mechanism, both control columns have a limited range of
motion.
it differentiates between a column jam and a elevator jam in the aft elevator control mechanism.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 17:35
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Originally Posted by ARealTimTuffy
Wording from manual.



it differentiates between a column jam and a elevator jam in the aft elevator control mechanism.
My quote is from the original system, still in place. Yours is from the new EJLA system wording. Both deal with jammed control column (jammed somewhere in the entire cable run from Control Column to Elevator), at least as I have always understood the original system. I was told, at some point (probably 1986) that the breakout mechanism was under the cockpit floor, and that there were two separate controls runs from there to each elevator...that the Captain's control column worked the left elevator, and so on. If the elevator jams, you will feel it in the control column. Hopefully, I haven't been mistaken all this time...but, other than in a sim, it has never come up.

Here we go:



And just a few more inches down the page, a diagram of the breakout mechanism:

(Both from satcom guru, here: https://www.satcom.guru/2018/11/stabilizer-trim.html

But since the final part of my quote continues... If the jam exists during the landing phase, higher forces are required to generate sufficient elevator control to flare during landing. Stabilizer trim is available to counteract the sustained control column force; maybe Boeing thought it was just a good idea to improve it with the addition of a DLC type system. My guess, though, is that it (so far) takes input from only one pitot tube.

Last edited by Takwis; 12th Jan 2020 at 18:35.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 18:05
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Is there any other mainline jet airline in production that doesn't have proper redundancy to deal with control jams ?

It seems to me this is another just good enough kludge fix by Boeing allowing them to smoke it by the regulator for a grandfathered system that would be un-certifiable in if it had to conform to current certification requirements.......
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 18:59
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Apologies if this has already been cited (I looked but didn't find it in the thread.) From the Seattle Times story:

When Indonesian carrier Lion Air in 2017 asked for simulator training for its pilots, apparently at the suggestion of the country’s regulator, known as DGCA, Forkner scrambled to convince the airline that it shouldn’t do so.

He approached DGCA and argued that other regulators didn’t require sim training, so why should Indonesia.

This manipulation by Boeing of both its airline customer and a foreign regulator looks damning in hindsight, especially when the first crash was a Lion Air jet.
I find this rather mind-boggling. Not content to assure customers who didn't want training requirements, Boeing apparently felt it necessary to discourage those who did.

Last edited by OldnGrounded; 12th Jan 2020 at 18:59. Reason: Close parentheses.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 19:08
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Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
Apologies if this has already been cited (I looked but didn't find it in the thread.) From the Seattle Times story:



I find this rather mind-boggling. Not content to assure customers who didn't want training requirements, Boeing apparently felt it necessary to discourage those who did.
Jedi mind tricking...
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 19:38
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Originally Posted by CurtainTwitcher
Jedi mind tricking...
Yeah. For a lot of us, Star Wars will never again be the first association that comes to mind when we hear or read that expression. Pretty sad.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 20:32
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Let's keep the discussion to certification issues, rather than restarting all of the detailed discussion about the MAX, okay? It's just too much work to moderate the MAX thread all over again. If in doubt, posters are welcome to review that thread for detailed information on the MAX flight control system. This thread is for Boeing, the FAA, some EASA, and certification in general.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 20:46
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While there is some (much) discussion of the MAX flight controls in the closed threads, they center on the stab trim system. No mention is made of the "Landing Attitude Modifier", nor the "Elevator Jammed Landing Assist", two new systems that came with the MAX. The discussion was started here because of new information recently released in the latest email trove, some of it touching on the EJLA system and it's demonstration in the simulator, for certification purposes. Naturally, some discussion of the legacy system is necessary to understand what the new system does, and how it was certified.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 23:54
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As this thread is about FAA oversight, based on the in-house communication of Boeing employees, the language used indicates great frustration at the working level about decision made of higher management level, and the hope that the FAA would put an end to it, which it did not. The major missteps already identified, which FAA was not fully informed of - or has inexplicably allowed, in simple language are:
1. MCAS was decided as not necessary to be known to pilots.
2. The expansion of power of MCAS after the initial design of a more "benign" form
3. One sensor suffices for MCAS purposes
4. No simulator time needed.
The employees having those conversations should be immediately protected from their (former?) employer and given whistleblower status to be able to identify who their higher ups were for those fatal decision....
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