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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 10th Jan 2020, 08:37
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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 08:41
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I saw that BBC report too but thought it too risky to post because of........


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Old 10th Jan 2020, 08:48
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Much the same on the FlightGlobal website, what a shame for such a great company:-
https://www.flightglobal.com/airfram...136078.article
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 08:54
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Anyone who flew in the 1960's and 70's was very much aware of the efforts made on the BAC 1-11 to avoid stalls with its doubled up stick shake and aggressive stick push. As someone who flew many thousands of hours on that aircraft and the 737-200 it was obvious there was a difference in philosophy between the CAA and the FAA when it came to certification in the area of stalls. For years the ARB wouldn't certify the B727 because of that issue.

DP Davis' book Handling the Big Jets second edition published in 1968 by the British ARB explained what he referred to as a typical stick pusher installation on page 136 then went on to describe the BAC1-11 system with it 4 "stall warning sensors" (angle of attack indicators) that was fitted to the aircraft after its deep stall crashes during certification.

The best thing the FAA could do is get out their copy of the book read it then tell Boeing take out MCAS and fit an updated version of the BAC1-11 system on the Max.

On a personal note there was a major difference in handling pitch on the BAC1-11 and the B737. On the 1-11 pilots used the elevators to control pitch then trimmed out with the stabiliser trim. The 737 has a far larger stabiliser compared to its elevators and all pilots I ever flew with learned to fly the aircraft by blipping on the trim switch effectively using elevators almost exclusively only during take off approach and landing.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 09:33
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I've had a quick search but can't find the original messages, just the same Reuters story syndicated everywhere. Is is published anywhere?
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 09:57
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Originally Posted by switch_on_lofty View Post
I've had a quick search but can't find the original messages, just the same Reuters story syndicated everywhere. Is is published anywhere?
Here's NYT's take on that same subject...

Boeing Employees Mocked F.A.A. and ‘Clowns’ Who Designed 737 Max

The company expressed regret at the embarrassing communications it sent to investigators on Thursday, which included a comment that “this airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys.”

Boeing employees mocked federal rules, talked about deceiving regulators and joked about potential flaws in the 737 Max as it was being developed, according to over a hundred pages of internal messages delivered Thursday to congressional investigators.

“I still haven’t been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year,” one of the employees said in messages from 2018, apparently in reference to interactions with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The most damaging messages included conversations among Boeing pilots and other employees about software issues and other problems with flight simulators for the Max, a plane later involved in two accidents, in late 2018 and early 2019, that killed 346 people and threw the company into chaos.

The employees appear to discuss instances in which the company concealed such problems from the F.A.A. during the regulator’s certification of the simulators, which were used in the development of the Max, as well as in training for pilots who had not previously flown a 737.


“Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t,” one employee said to a colleague in another exchange from 2018, before the first crash. “No,” the colleague responded.

In another set of messages, employees questioned the design of the Max and even denigrated their own colleagues. “This airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys,” an employee wrote in an exchange from 2017.....

============

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/b...-messages.html



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Old 10th Jan 2020, 10:10
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Have a look at this site where I found links to the Boeing employee messages:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/9/21...imulator-crash
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 10:41
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Originally Posted by Avionista View Post
Have a look at this site where I found links to the Boeing employee messages:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/9/21...imulator-crash
Thanks very much. I've scanned the first 2 source documents. Pretty damning tone; repeatedly discussing how to deceive regulators, referring to them as stupid, some good people seeing the problems but no-one's listening.
Not really surprising given what's come out so far but this will be very damaging.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:13
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"I want to stress the importance of holding firm that there will not be any type of simulator training required to transition from NG to Max," Boeing's 737 chief technical pilot at the time, Mark Forkner, said in a March 2017 email.

"Boeing will not allow that to happen. We'll go face to face with any regulator who tries to make that a requirement."
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?

On Tuesday this week, Boeing reversed its position by recommending 737 Max simulator training for all pilots.
It just keeps coming.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:14
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Having worked on a project involving the FAA - it all rings true. Management effort goes into "messaging" rather than fixing underlying problems. Business (i.e. profit) is the overriding concern. Employees know what is going on, and are not impressed with the approach. The line between normal, aggressive profit seeking tactics and unethical behavior gets quite blurred.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:22
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Originally Posted by Avionista View Post
Have a look at this site where I found links to the Boeing employee messages:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/9/21...imulator-crash
Just wow. Go/No Go meeting turning into a Go/Go meeting. Nine Project Managers involved in the sim process in Miami declare they are under budget and go sailing. Meeting the schedule had higher priority over meeting minimum quality. 777X suffering from the same "leadership" fate.

Typical corporate flunkies produced by the so called modern school of business.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:30
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Originally Posted by switch_on_lofty View Post
Thanks very much. I've scanned the first 2 source documents. Pretty damning tone; repeatedly discussing how to deceive regulators, referring to them as stupid, some good people seeing the problems but no-one's listening.
Not really surprising given what's come out so far but this will be very damaging.
Wait till you get to the third document.

"Amazing what a brown envelope can achieve... FAA were neither thorough nor demanding..."
"Sometimes you just have to let things fail big so that everyone can identify a problem..."
"Best part is we are re-starting this whole thing with the 777X with the same supplier."

Oh dear.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:42
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Certainly does not bode well for the future, whether it is 737 NOT Max or 777X. The top of the slippery slope, the only way is downhill. That's what happens when "beancounters" who think they know better and overrule engineers and good management.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:45
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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)
this airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys
I count 8 references to Jedi mind trick. Lucasfilm should sue!

Last edited by fgrieu; 10th Jan 2020 at 13:14.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:52
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Originally Posted by infrequentflyer789 View Post
Wait till you get to the third document.

"Amazing what a brown envelope can achieve... FAA were neither thorough nor demanding...".
I saw that and am still stunned by the implication.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 12:03
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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?
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 12:15
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I saw that BBC report too but thought it too risky to post because of........
The topic caught my eye because of.....

However, I see there is a distinct important discussion point here, and have changed the thread title accordingly (I hope Blind Pew is okay with that!). So this topic is the certification relationship, between Boeing and the FAA, we're not going to drift off and repeat all the discussion about the MAX and MCAS.

The FAA acts on behalf of the US citizens, and because of reciprocal agreements, much of the world's aviation consumers. As such, all of those people have a right to expect an effective certification service. The FAA has delegated some of this service to specified employees of Boeing, who, in that role, act on behalf of the FAA. That topic merits discussion, as it is the basis of public confidence in an airplane which is compliant with the design standards.

Let's keep on topic please.....
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 12:22
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Well, I think this just delayed RTS a bit more and delayed the 777X entry.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:08
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Certainly worth reading the whole of the internal Boeing email logs linked to above. Hard to shake the impression that the "unacceptable communications" were generally a direct result of technical staff blowing off steam in a situation where to keep their positions in a toxic management environment to get the MAX through, incremental and continuous indefensible compromises and short cuts were required. It's hard to accept the Boeing implied line that these guys are the problem.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 13:09
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The FAA acts on behalf of the US citizens, and because of reciprocal agreements, much of the world's aviation consumers. As such, all of those people have a right to expect an effective certification service. The FAA has delegated some of this service to specified employees of Boeing, who, in that role, act on behalf of the FAA. That topic merits discussion, as it is the basis of public confidence in an airplane which is compliant with the design standards.
This is the heart of it all. Governments establish regulators to ensure that their citizens have no more exposure to risk than is absolutely necessary. Companies buy aircraft on the basis that it will give them an economic advantage, and safety is central to that (or should be). Crews have every right to expect their company will give them a safe system of work within which to operate, and passengers expect to survive their travel experience.

We have certification, airworthiness and operating processes for good reasons, and there is inevitably an element of trust that runs throughout - trust that people will comply, for the benefit of all. The moment individuals or entities try to circumvent hurdles rather than clearing them, we are in trouble. And it is not just manufacturing in the frame here. How many times have we seen disasters where the investigation uncovers pilot training and qualifications that have been sharp-pencilled? People lie through laziness or self-interest but proper oversight should be a strong barrier against this. You could argue that the system failed to protect Lubitz and his Germanwings victims because there was inadequate oversight of his fitness to operate.

Add to this the global move towards Performance-Based Regulation and Oversight, with PBR/PBO being heralded as avoiding un-necessary costs to industry. The question is whether we have the balance right. If you subscribe to the argument that better oversight would have prevented the MAX scenario and the Germanwings event, it follows that you also agree the balance is not quite correct. I am not suggesting we should revert to the old compliance routine, but I think it is high time the aviation system took another look at PBO to ensure that 'Oversight' means appropriate 'Overwatch' rather than inappropriate 'Omission'.
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