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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

Old 10th Oct 2020, 13:06
  #401 (permalink)  
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Capt. Sullenberger speaks out on MAX return to service

Capt. Sully, interviewed by the Seattle Times, has spoken out on the 737 MAX return to service requirements as iterated by FAA. In particular, "Sully" identified concerns primarily about the crew alerting system, and the lack of a third AoA sensor input.

Link to article, which also includes input from other sources:
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/celebrated-pilot-sully-urges-further-updates-to-boeings-737-max-and-to-older-737s/?utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TSA _101020032254+%27Capt.+Sully%27+says+he%27s+not+satisfied+wi th+Boeing+737+MAX+yet_10_9_2020&utm_term=Registered%20User

Perhaps of interest just to SLF and attorney types, there is no mention whatsoever in the interview as reported by the Seattle Times journalist about the FOIA lawsuit against the FAA, in which Mr. Sullenberger is prominent as a participant in the plaintiffs' expert-and-authoritative group of independent reviewers of the FAA documentary record sought to be disclosed by the lawsuit. Whether the lawsuit has become a less than fully relevant exercise is, to this observer, indeterminant at this time.

Quite possibly, the lawsuit might yet produce results, meaning that the independent reviewers might still have an adequate opportunity and predicate from which to develop and issue recommendations for safety-related steps beyond those being proposed by FAA. Indeed, Sullenberger's assessment reportedly contemplates expressly further improvements to the MAX to be implemented later, in accord evidently with EASA. Interesting.
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Old 13th Oct 2020, 22:28
  #402 (permalink)  
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737 MAX: FAA publishes proposed Pilot Training

"The FAA posted the draft Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report on the proposed pilot training for the Boeing 737 MAX"


see i.e. page 11 and 12 section 9.2 with trim, runaway stab NNC, unreliable airspeed in flight training (also recurrent).
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 01:29
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Freedom of Information Act lawsuit progress (?)

Recent developments in the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, brought under the Freedom of Information Act against the FAA. Purpose of the suit is to obtain from FAA its full documentary record upon which it is basing its decision to return the 737 MAX to service. The case progression to date has not borne any resemblance to so-called "rocket docket" cases in some federal district courts. But there is recent progress...

A Joint Status Report was filed in late July; the case docket appears to have been without material activity since early May prior to that filing. Based on the Report the District Court judge issued an order requiring FAA to provide a Vaughn index by October 9, which the agency did timely provide. Evidently the index covers the documents, responsive to the plaintiffs' FOIA claims, but withheld by the agency on one or more statutory exemption grounds - proprietary information of Boeing being the most predominant, reportedly. (A Vaughn index is a somewhat detailed listing of what the defendant in a FOIA lawsuit has withheld, and upon what legal basis.) Another joint status report is due October 16, according to the court docket today.

In its August 3 order following the late July Joint Status Report, the court noted that its case management orders were directed, in material part, to "expedite the brieing and resolution" of the case (which might include a motion for summary judgment, if the parties' conferring on disputed issues fails to resolve such issues).

So, Chesley Sullenberger's recent public statements are even more noteworthy than a reader would discern based on their content alone -- Sully pretty obviously is the most prominent expert/authoritative professional among the group of independent reviewers to whom the plaintiffs intend to provide the FAA's documentary record and who would then assess and evaluate the FAA's decision-making. But FAA's action with regard to returning the aircraft to service, such as the recent draft Flight Standardization Board "rev. 17" document as well as completion of the JOEB process, suggest that the FAA decision process will occur prior to completion of the FOIA disclosure process.

Still all is not pointless, not at all, with the FOIA lawsuit. Sullenberger stated that more should be done with the 737 MAX to improve it further, and if the FOIA case provides material assistance and leverage for that process to occur, even some time down the road, it certainly will prove to have been worthwhile. And then there's the legislative measure cleared recently by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and reaching a sensible litigated result in the FOIA case promises to be very beneficial in a context of getting that measure moved toward passage, at some time down the road too.

Last edited by WillowRun 6-3; 14th Oct 2020 at 01:34. Reason: FSB report is a draft; noted.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 15:22
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Sully's views on a third AoA should not affect the return to service - cf EASA position.
If the effects AoA error/failure are fully contained by the modifications, then an additional AoA may not improve safety beyond that of the NG. i.e. if Max requires three AoAs then why not previous variants.

The concerns about the alerting could be more persuasive, not just the indications, but the underlying logic and operation of the modified systems. e.g. the Speed Trim Fail annunciation appears to have two meanings; it could alert that MCAS has failed (and / or STS?), or as information that MCAS is using single source AoA and is still available.

The descriptions of the modifications given so far (FAA Summary) do not suggest that issues of workload and confusion resulting from multiple alerts (e.g. stick-shake) due to AoA failure have been improved. This may also be put aside as it is not an MCAS issue in isolation; as the Max / NG debate above.

There could be additional confusion from the changed drills and training; the Speed Disagree alert has no drill and refers to the Unreliable Airspeed Drill implying that speed is unreliable - where the definition in that drill is subjective - what is unreliable or not.
'Disagree' relates to DADC/ EFIS comparison; if this is due to AoA input, then is the low speed awareness similarly in affected, or would the new AoA logic change that - but to what.
See training thread; how can training be effective without information.

Is the FAAs reluctance to disclose background reasoning for approving the changes restricting the level of system knowledge which crews can achieve.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 16:14
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At the risk of repeating myself over the last couple of years, the BAC1-11 had 4 AOA vanes, 2 for the stick shake and 2 for the stick push.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 17:12
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Boeing 737 Max is safe to fly again, Europe's aviation regulator says
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/boeing-737-max-safe-fly-again-europe-s-aviation-regulator-n1243714?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_nw&fbclid=IwAR1TQ7gZTHvJh7hjRMgRI3 _xoffkb6K4HFiJwptSqZGDG7I5S6PUTmHsxKA

Link to Bloomberg video on the subject:


Last edited by Longtimer; 17th Oct 2020 at 20:33.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:40
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Brave man who signs the cert. Hope that there is not another unfortunate "incident" in the next year or so after re-introduction.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:58
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It looks more and more like just the non normal training before had not been enough. The aircraft remains essentially the same aside from the separated MCAS actions.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:10
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I would have said that an MCAS problem is now the LEAST likely problem to catch a crew out. The known known problems (to paraphrase Rumsfeld) rarely gotcha!
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 18:28
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Sully’s achievements on the Hudson were incredible. However I am bewildered how he has become the fount of all wisdom with matters aeronautical. I would imagine his knowledge of Boeing machinery would be fairly minimal. A highly experienced colleague was quite vituperative in his views on the sainted Sully and I was quite surprised. However I do get the point that due to a one off event albeit brilliantly handled he is now the supreme aviation oracle. I believe that the Max barring unbelievable acts of God will be safe and will now go on to commercial success. Nevertheless this has been a shocking and tragic episode for Boeing and much humility is called for. The regulators both side of the pond can take their share of responsibility as well. I won’t hold my breath.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 18:33
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Why does Sulley’s experience in the. Hudson in an Airbus qualify him as an expert on the 737 , Max or otherwise ?

I still believe both of the crashes would, could have been avoided by a reasonably trained crew, aware of the function of the stab. trim cutout switches. covered at Seattle on my 737 course on about sortie 4 .

Is he experienced, ever qualified, on the 737?

Just curious.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 19:41
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Easy to look him up, quoting from the accident report (my bold):
The captain, age 57, was hired by Pacific Southwest Airlines on February 25, 1980. Before this, he flew McDonnell Douglas F-4 airplanes for the U.S. Air Force. At the time of the accident, he held a single- and multi-engine airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate, issued August 7, 2002, with type ratings in A320, Boeing 737, McDonnell Douglas DC-9, Learjet, and British Aerospace AVR-146 airplanes.

Might also want to look up the rest of his career too, including the military record, accident-investigator bits, safety consultant and ALPA positions, too damn long to cut and paste into a post, wikipedia has a lot on him.

He is, (or was in 2009) in short exactly the kind of pilot I'd want at the pointy end when the excrement (or at least that end of the bird) hits the fan - a hands-on pilot vastly experienced across a wide range of aircraft and a bona fide aviation accident and safety expert as well.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 20:31
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And Yes.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 00:14
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In the current context, Sullenberger's command of a certain amount of press and public attention with regard to developments about the 737 MAX safety issues and the aircraft's return to service, reflects his pre-existing prominence in the minds of the public. For example, in the FOIA litigation against the FAA, among the affidavits filed by the plaintiffs intended to show that their panel of independent reviewers all are highly qualified, Sully's stands out for expertise as well as authoritativeness, even among a good number of very knowledgeable and experienced people. Though the others on the panel are indeed highly qualified (near as an SLF/atty can discern) none of those individuals hold the same more or less instant name recognition.

It begs the question as to what degree of ultimate deference is owed to an assessment offered by a prominent person, but it should be recalled that the return to service process does involve a significant component of the perception of the traveling public, and it will continue to do so.

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Old 19th Oct 2020, 07:14
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Isn't Sully part of a group that went to court to get all the flight test data made public to better understand what was happening?
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 09:34
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All very well for the testing/back in to service, hope it does. As has been mentioned previously, who is going to pay for a seat on its return to service? That will be the big problem, convincing the paying customers to fly on it.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 10:36
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I'm afraid paying customers rarely look past the ticket price, let alone the aircraft type they'll be on.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 10:50
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The average Ryanair/Southwest passengers can't even tell the difference between a Cessna and a Boeing.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 12:10
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Though Ryanair aren't taking any chances with passengers who remember the MAX name.



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Old 19th Oct 2020, 14:14
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I tend to agree with RetiredBA/BY

MCAS or not Airmanship was sadly lacking in these accidents.
On the last accident ET out of Addis. Short trip, light aircraft, erroneous Stick Shaker on take off. This appears to have distracted the crew so much they forgot the basics. Airspeed, pitch attitude etc.etc. So much so, they forgot to reduce power from TOGA, the aircraft remained with full power set, for the whole short time airborne.
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