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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

Old 19th Oct 2020, 14:27
  #421 (permalink)  
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Less Hair

Yes, and yes (although there is more to say in order properly to contextualize the lawsuit as such).

Sully is indeed one of the five experts in the independent group assembled by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are Flyers Rights Education Fund, Inc. (usually just "FlyersRights"), and Paul Hudson. Quoting from the legal brief filed in late December at the start of the lawsuit (p. 4):

"FlyersRights is the largest nonprofit airline passenger organization in the U.S., with over 50,000 members nationwide. A main activity of FlyersRights is disseminating information to airline passengers about developments in commercial aviation affecting them and about their rights. The organization’s website provides extensive information about passenger rights; it operates a toll-free hotline for airline passengers; and it has published extensive reports and information about regulatory issues affecting airline passengers including, recently, a white paper on the 737 MAX situation. FlyersRights also advocates for the rights and interests of airline passengers. FlyersRights’ president, Plaintiff Paul Hudson, sits on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee." (p4 citations omitted)

The purpose of the lawsuit is, according to the same legal brief (filed in support of the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, sought to force FAA to disclose documents far more rapidly than would ordinarily be the case):

"The protection of millions of airline passengers and tens of thousands of crew members requires that independent experts, the media and the public be able to assess the proposals made and information submitted to the FAA by Boeing and any factual analysis undertaken by the FAA. As detailed below, it would be impossible for independent technical experts to evaluate any FAA decision to unground the 737 MAX unless they can obtain access to the technical submissions made by Boeing. FlyersRights itself, whose president, Plaintiff Paul Hudson, sits on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, also needs this information urgently in order properly to perform his responsibilities as a member of that Committee and in order for FlyersRights to perform its mission of educating and informing the flying public." (p. 2)

In addition to the esteemed Sully, the other four experts are (again, from the opening legal brief), Javier de Luis, Michael Goldfarb, Gregory Travis, and Michael Neely. (No other descriptive information is included here out of an excess of caution, inasmuch as these experts' respective credentials and qualifications speak for themselves.)

As noted by this SLF/attorney in some previous post IIRC, the lawyers representing the plaintiffs happen to be heavy D.C. hitters on the Democratic Party side, and whether that affects how the litigation has been conducted to date, and further how in the future it might be conducted more favorably to the interests sought to be advanced by the lawsuit, is a non-forum drifter's inquiry mindset. Probably.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 12:47
  #422 (permalink)  
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The Midas Touch or the Monkeys Paw

The public has had access and opportunity to comment on the proposals enabling the Max to return to service.
Even with full disclosure, what more could a public review contribute; the quest to examine the underlying Boeing / FAA data and judgements could have a significant detrimental effects on the industry.

Many of the certification aspects would have been based on 'expert judgement', where the expertise includes design, testing, and certification, and the process and history behind these, used to maintain an acceptable level of safety.
Recall that the Max accidents were as much a failure of process as that of technology - failures of judgement and checking, human weaknesses.
An alternative judgement by public operational experts might not be able to fully comprehend the overall process; if not and if legal resolution is sought, then the industry risks a legal takeover of safety and operation. If we think that SOPs and rules are constraining, try flying with a legal advisor.

The underlying issue is trust. Trust is difficult to regain in a short time scale, and more so in a culture of 'fake news' and 'post truth', where those involved appeared to have engaged in that culture (public perception).
Furthermore, 'US expertise' or legal views would not be acceptable world wide, further slowing the recovery of trust, unlikely to benefit Boeing, FAA, or the US standing in aviation.

There would be more benefit if public organisations explained the complex processes in certification and the extent to which we have achieved a very safe industry; build trust, don't rock the boat.
Beware of what you ask for - the Midas Touch or the Monkeys Paw - neither will improve aviation safety.

Last edited by safetypee; 20th Oct 2020 at 12:57.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 16:22
  #423 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY
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.
Exactly. And, given the poor performance of the original MCAS design, a theory proven more than once by US-based pilots.

Looking at the NPRM:

To address the unsafe condition, the FAA proposes to require four design changes:

(1) installing updated flight control software (with new control laws) for the FCC operational program software (OPS)
(2) installing updated MDS display processing computer (DPC) software to generate an AOA disagree alert
(3) revising certain AFM flightcrew operating procedures, and
(4) changing the routing of horizontal stabilizer trim wires.
Clearly (4) would not have made any difference in the two accidents. Of the remaining three changes, how much difference would they really have made? (1) might have forestalled the inevitable, because ultimately the system still will fail from time to time. (2) is a nice to have. They already had AFM procedures that worked, so how much value is there in (3)?

Bottom line: where are the updated training requirements? That's the only thing that's going to work.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 17:59
  #424 (permalink)  
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points (1) and (2), are designed so that the trim will not continue to run with a false AoA input, thus a crew will not have to manage an extreme uncontrollable situation.

The crew can still suffer a trim runaway, as with all 737s. Your previous training would have demonstrated this situation, but given recent events and knowledge of simulator deficiencies there could be doubt if the procedure will work. Thus the changed emphasis to inhibit trim quickly - and clarification of 'continuous' the drills.

The draft checklist changes and training, point (3), are @ https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/draft_d...v_17_Draft.pdf and https://www.faa.gov/news/media/attac...-R3-8-3-20.pdf
checklist changes page 24 -

Several of the new drills are debatable - Speed Disagree, no reference to cross checking Std By ASI, only go to Unreliable Airspeed.

Or 'if Unreliable Airspeed is suspected' - drills for pitch power; but how would crews form their suspicion. A non English speaker could have difficulty with this, what would a third party sim instructor recommend. Compare this scenario with AF447 - pitch-power action without first establishing the situation.

Training; why demonstrate the MCAS function which is supposed to be in background, not noticed by the crew, making the aircraft the same as the NG - thus why differences training.

Why demonstrate MCAS near and during a stall, as above the Max apparently stalls the same as the NG, MCAS resets itself; focus on this during a stall demo has significant risk of negative stall training.

Speed Trim Fail alert requires no action; the alert can mean the system is or is not working (MCAS or STS fail, but which one), or these could still work depending on the hidden logic of single AoA computation (when is an alert not an alert - when it annunciates the system status except when it doesn't).
re-reading the scant FAA description suggests that assumptions in this are incorrect. Hence the need for clear explanation from the manufacturer, particularly what is expected of the crew if an alert is shown.

A Cross-FCC Trim Monitor activation demonstration - fly with the AP engaged, AP disengages check STAB OUT OF TRIM is annunciated, the condition has to be 'terminated in a landing' …… what else could be expected.

Last edited by PEI_3721; 23rd Oct 2020 at 07:32. Reason: Line through
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 21:47
  #425 (permalink)  
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Thanks, PEI, most appreciated.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 22:40
  #426 (permalink)  
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I couldn't agree more. Having had more than my fair share of dealings with lawyers, they are the very last people you want involved in aircraft certification. It was bad enough when we needed to run some of our communications with the operators past the legal types. Did you know that throttle cables don't 'break' or 'fail' - they 'separate'? Engines don't catch fire, they experience "rapid oxidation"? I could go on, but you should get the idea - lawyers can be the antithesis of clear communication.
Also, when you start taking airframer proprietary designer information that's been submitted - in confidence - to the regulators and releasing it to the public, you've just given a massive negative incentive to the airframer making them less likely to freely share information with the regulators.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 02:52
  #427 (permalink)  
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Without offering a general defense or justification for the presence of attorneys in civil aviation affairs, still it is possible to disagree with some of the prior statements. And also, without disregarding the legitimate concerns for proprietary information disclosed in the certification process.

At the same time, after what went wrong in the design and approval of the 737 MAX, the extent of respect for nominally proprietary information submitted to FAA by Boeing regarding the particular modifications of the aircraft initiated in order to qualify it for FAA approval to return to service should be a debatable question. The Freedom of Information Act request by the plaintiffs in the federal court lawsuit is focused on the changes Boeing proposed to be made. And the entire lawsuit has been focused on a public advocacy role for the plaintiffs and their independent group of experts (one of which is Mr. Sullenberger) - specifically and expressly in light of the FAA's missteps previously - in order to gain assurance that this time around, the aircraft actually is compliant with the certification standards and safe for airline service. (As I said previously, the independent experts and Mr. Hudson can and do speak for themselves with regard to their credentials and qualifications, and more generally also for the bona fides of their public interest advocacy role.)

Besides, the FAA and the plaintiffs quite recently agreed that certain categories of Boeing documents ostensibly responsive to the FOIA demand are no longer being sought. In their joint status report filed with the federal district court last week, the parties set out a schedule for legal briefs on "the application of Exemption 4 [for proprietary information] to documents on the Vaughn Index relating to Boeing’s certification plans, testing methods; test criteria; approaches and methodologies used in product certification, means of compliance, certification plans, means of compliance with regulations and product certification methodologies and safety analyses[.] . . . Plaintiff will not be challenging application of Exemption 4 to technical design details of the aircraft or particular aircraft components, or source and object code for software or description of software architecture or functionality not needed to understand the foregoing items." (Jt. Status Rept, emphasis added). (I'm not going even to credit any implied contention that FOIA lawsuits don't serve a legitimate public interest purpose - and as it happens, this FOIA case is assigned to a veteran district court judge who doesn't tolerate any lawyer shenanigans, no matter how clever.)

Insofar as actual proprietary interests of Boeing are implicated in any of the documentary record upon which FAA is basing its decisions, and further to the degree that Boeing's interests have not been mitigated or even erased by its negligence and malfeasance in the processes by which the 737 MAX gained certification, then certainly a protective order of confidentiality would stand as a valid means of keeping Boeing's secrets out of public circulation. The independent experts all have had long and evidently illustrious careers and would not fit a stereotype of hired junk-science types who would disregard and violate a court order of confidentiality and non-disclosure.

Without taking the bait of an argument about lawyers in general in their involvement in civil aviation affairs, notice that the U.S. Congress is going to rewrite the certification statute (a pretty large piece of legislation already cleared the House Committee with both parties' endorsement and will move forward in the next Congress, next year, without question). If it is to be contended that legislation should be done without competent legal counsel involved, concerns about regaining public trust, and respect for U.S. aviation system process and content, can be left behind. And beyond that, many posts in a number of threads have wailed upon Boeing senior management for its gross misdeeds over several years - including all but seducing the Congress in the previous FAA reauthorization bill (with regard to granting the company materially greater independence in certification processes). So the answer is to shun competent and knowledgeable legal counsel in trying to redress the situation?

Again, the plaintiffs in the FOIA document disclosure case against FAA can and do speak for themselves. And at the same time, after reading the JATR, the Complaint by SWAPA, the Dept of Transportation Inspector General Report, and the investigation report by the House Committee, if it is contended that the proprietary interests of Boeing hold the same standing in light of these findings as they would hold absent all of these reports and allegations, post this SLF as respectfully disagreeing.

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Old 21st Oct 2020, 15:57
  #428 (permalink)  
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I think that last post is written certainly from a legal background, paragraphs starting with adverbs like 'Insofar' being a bit of a giveaway. So possibly I can ask, who is actually paying for all this, and who the self-styled (and, looking at their website, self-congratulatory) "Flyers Rights Education Fund" actually are; they seem to be a group of lawyers behind a veneer of experts. Now law cases in the USA are stratospherically expensive, so where does the money come from, not only for themselves but for every other aspect involved as well.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 16:10
  #429 (permalink)  
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I've made no secret at all that, in addition to being just SLF, I'm an attorney.

And also I've been clear that I have no role in the FOIA lawsuit, no affiliation with either the group or its principal who are the parties suing FAA, and in fact I've taken a few cheap shots at the case. Not that it matters, but the cost of accessing court documents on the federal courts website is minimal - and no one pays this SLF/atty even one copper cent for participating in threads here.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 04:14
  #430 (permalink)  
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I, for one, would like to fly the plane near the stall without MCAS and with MCAS.
Does the nose get light on the MAX compared to the previous models?
Jez wondering, as the MCAS always seemed to me to be a harsh "help" unless the jet had some poor longitudinal characteristics.

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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 06:56
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Several of the new drills are debatable - Speed Disagree, no reference to cross checking Std By ASI, only go to Unreliable Airspeed.
Makes sense to me. The memory items for unreliable airspeed guarantee the aircraft is in a safe state for the short-to-medium term. Then the troubleshooting involves reference to to standby speeds etc, and the decision making is cognitive instead of instinctive.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 13:00
  #432 (permalink)  
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@WillowRun 6-3; no offence intended, and perhaps I am being dense, but I stopped wading through your last long post and long sentences around the second paragraph. Your input about legal aspects is interesting but would you be able to give us the gist in a much shorter, plain English form, without the legalese?

Non pilots sometimes ask us how aircraft work, and hopefully we try to explain. Maybe you could 'translate' the legalese into a more simple form that non-legal types* could more easily follow?

*(e.g., me)
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 14:15
  #433 (permalink)  
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@Uplinker....Certainly. Not every day an objectionable lawyer's post is invited to restate its intended communication.
(I'll leave a few responding comments for the end.)

1. The subject of whether Sullenberger's comments in the press recently are worthy of any special note or should be taken as especially authoritative came up, in response to a post simply noting that Sully had spoken to a reporter. His interview in itself was more than passing interesting because Sully is the most prominent among a group of experts involved in a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. against the FAA. Which meant that his interview with the press appeared to be somewhat like free-lancing separate from that lawsuit.

2. The lawsuit is about two basic issues. The first is that the FAA should not be trusted to make a decision about returning the 737 MAX to service without some independent group of experts having a look at its decision-making and its reasoning. And in order to do that, the independent group needs to have all of the documents Boeing gave to FAA about the return to service - so the lawsuit says, anyway.

3. This kind of lawsuit is known as a FOIA action, which stands for Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. federal government and most if not all of the 50 states have FOIA statutes on the books. There are exemptions to the requirement of disclosing documents in a FOIA lawsuit, the most important one here being an exemption for a company's proprietary and confidential information. ("Exemption" is perhaps a lawyer word but then, everyone knows about exemptions from their tax returns, probably.)

4. The parties bringing the lawsuit in Washington are led by a group known as FlyersRights which, as the name implies, is about advocating for the rights of flyers (sorry for this amazing bit of legal reasoning). The prime mover of the group is a gentleman named Paul Hudson. I have made and will make no judgment call about whether the group and/or its lawsuit is more about publicity and currying influence in Washington than about actually providing the public with a trustworthy independent review of FAA decisions and actions in the return to service situation. It can and does speak for itself, and I have, and will continue, neither to criticize it nor advocate for it.

5. However with respect to the panel of experts, I have pointed out that the four individuals other than Mr. Sullenberger have illustrious and long careers to their credit. They too can speak for themselves. At the same time, if someone has several decades of professional engineering experience and an affiliation with, for instance, MIT, then nothing more can - or should - be said. Maybe they're outstanding and stratospherically exceptional, or maybe guys like them are more like the proverbial dime-a-dozen - I don't know and will maintain pure respect for their credentials and qualifications as filed in publicly available court papers.

6. Sullenberger is a different story though. Yes, some aviators have commented that any highly experienced, veteran pilot would have made the same or very similar decisions. But then, such a level of experience, judgment, and grace under pressure isn't a given in every flight deck in every pointy end of every airliner, is it? And Sully has extended his career into consulting. Beyond these observations, again, his credentials and qualifications speak for themselves.

7. Where the lawsuit stands at present is that FAA has completed its disclosure of the requested documents. The parties (FAA, and FlyersRights and Mr. Hudson) have met and conferred and narrowed down their dispute over the FAA's contention that some documents are just too confidential, as far as Boeing is concerned, to be disclosed. Legal briefs about these confidentiality issues are now on a calendar and the court is kind of kicking the lawyers' backsides to get on with things. (Trust me when I say, a federal court judge's kick in the seat of the pants is not something to be desired.)

8. In my posts, I have said, or tried to say anyway, that given the gross failures of Boeing as well as the FAA in the events that led to the two crashes, the ordinary respect for confidentiality issues given to the manufacturer should be reduced. I do not know if the parties suing FAA will argue this in their briefs or not. I also have said that, just as in many other kinds of cases, documents carrying confidentiality interests can be protected by a court order requiring that the lawyers and litigants who see them cannot disclose their contents anywhere to anybody on pain of contempt of court. It's called a Protective Order and they work.

9. The litigation has significance for several other very important developments still in progress. Key among these is the FAA reform legislation pending in the House of Representatives, It has been widely reported that in the previous FAA-related legislation just a few years ago, Boeing succeeded in obtaining yet more independence in the certification process, and many have observed it had become almost self-certification without meaningful FAA oversight. So rebalancing the certification process is going to be important - I don't think this is a controversial observation whatsoever.

(9(A)) The FOIA lawsuit also holds significance for the liability lawsuits against Boeing, and for the reportedly ongoing criminal inquiries, but since I have accepted being admonished for legalese, these are noted without further expansion.)

10. It takes a lot more to offend this SLF/atty.....a lot, lot more. Let's just say that my legal career resulted from getting through the Lawyer School of Hard Knocks. I think that is a phrase in language terms every pro pilot will understand. But even so, Uplinker, believe me, no offense taken whatsoever!!

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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 16:35
  #434 (permalink)  
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Thank you for translating legal speak into plain English. In my time, I have had to read a number of legal texts, and for a non-lawyer, they are not easy, there are all sorts of little ticking time-bombs embeded that need explanation for the layman who will not understand or grasp the nuances contained therein!

It would most certainly help us non-legal aviators if you could give some more plain-speaking accounts like this.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 18:25
  #435 (permalink)  
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Thanks SO much for your participation -- and your patience. I enjoy your thoughtful contributions to this and other threads, but your most recent post goes above and beyond in terms of clearly explaining this important aspect of the ongoing Max saga.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 19:16
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When I was on the first TWA 800 ARAC, I learned that the CWT didn't explode, it experienced an overpressure event. That being said, I have experienced one or two certification issues that came close to involving lawyers, but careful research and quoting of the regulatory history along with an appeal from the ACO to the Directorate (who I believe consulted their lawyer) resolved the issue.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 09:37
  #437 (permalink)  
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Many thanks, WillowRun, for taking the time to re-post and explain. I get it now.

I am beginning to realise why court cases last so long ! Even the plain English version uses a huge number of words.

I hope Boeing come to their senses. I don't respect any company that makes shoddy products and then hides behind legal loopholes or shenanigans, instead of fixing them properly. What ever happened to innovation and quality with them?

Airbus took the innovation and quality route and their airliners to the next level with the A320 family, by producing an extremely good cockpit and fly by wire system, which has reaped huge benefits. Boeing is still producing the 737 as a mechanical 1950's aircraft - with extra electronic modules bolted on and cobbled together as the need arose. Had they innovated and developed FBW of their own - even just in pitch - it would have given them many advantages, such as only needing to modify the software to change the control to AoA curve with the longer engines, instead of having to quickly bolt on a poorly thought out bodge box.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 14:15
  #438 (permalink)  
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The legal system set up over the course of many years - decades, really - for responding to the losses experienced when an air carrier airplane crashes has some complexities just built right into it. So, as a result, any attorney who has even just a little background and education in this subject area but who then tries to pass things off as just straightforward common sense does a disservice to the civil aviation sector itself. And also to the professionals who operate civil aviation, and the many people who participate in more workaday capacities and many more who benefit from it.

At the same time, practicing law does involve deploying language in the service of one's clients, no matter which side of a dispute or negotiation one is on. Also, no matter if the client is something high-sounding like "the public interest" which is supposed to be above relatively mundane court disputes. Regrettably this can and often does lead to a lot more words being used (as noted . . .) and even sometimes a pedantic tone . . .

But since it has become relevant, some of the legal steps Boeing has taken in the aftermath of the two accidents could add to the overall sense of indictment against lawyers in general and the profession too. One move they've made is to try to get the court cases filed in Chicago arising from the crash in Ethiopia transferred to Ethiopia. This move follows a recognized legal doctrine, one that is used in civil aviation lawsuits pretty commonly. It depends on a list of about eight different factors (and so nothing more will be said here about how it does or does not apply).

Still, a neutral observer, aware of all the misdeeds or worse by Boeing in this particular situation could justifiably assess the legal maneuver as little more than a continuation of corporate greed which led to the 737 MAX debacle in the first place. As well as a greedy exercise of raking up billable hours (but, oh, is my cynicism about "the large law firm" showing?).

And there's more in Chicago, too. About 2500 pilots from airlines around the world are claiming, in a proposed class action lawsuit, that Boeing is liable to them after they gained type ratings on the 737 MAX only to find, after the grounding, a highly negative impact on their careers. The essence of Boeing's defense at this point? Never mind the negligence, or worse, in the design and interactions with FAA....and never mind too the misleading if not deliberately lying statements Boeing made about training requirements and other aspects of the aircraft. Complexities of some legal doctrines prevent the pilots, Boeing claims, from having any legal rights even if all the alleged wrongdoing took place exactly as alleged. Boeing's legal brief is very polished! very strongly argued!...and highly troubling.

In fact, Boeing argued (IIRC) that pilots whose careers were derailed and harmed by the 737 MAX debacle and Boeing's wrongful conduct are no more entitled to their day in court than cafe baristas employed at airports whose jobs also might be negatively impacted by the grounding. Interesting, that the once great and proud airframer now argues, in the United States District Court in Chicago, that flying an airplane made by Boeing for an air carrier in any of many countries around the world carries no legal obligations owed by Boeing any greater than a variation of "coffee, latte or me?"

I'm not representing the pilots in the proposed class action lawsuit and I have never talked to any of them, and so I cannot and don't claim certainty that the above accurately summarizes how they view the situation. But I have to wonder, given how Boeing has argued that even if it did quite a lot of things very, very wrongfully with regard to the 737 MAX, and even if something like 2500 pilots worldwide had their careers damaged because Boeing's wrongful acts caused the airplane to be grounded, that's just the way the ....just the way the MCAS misfires?
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 09:55
  #439 (permalink)  
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Hear, hear! I'm no fan of "legal beagles" after various dealings (property sales, wills, divorces (yes, plural that last one too!)) where I have had to correct my legal teams on many occasions. I've even had, while doing my own conveyancing, one solicitor metaphorically crying on my shoulder she was so annoyed by the shoddy behaviour of her fellow professionals she was trying to deal with.

WillowRun 6-3's Post #433 (and #438) are a model of common sense and clarity - totally different to the usual legal-beagle mumbo-jumbo .......... to such an extent that one really has to ask if WR 6-3 is, indeed, a Lawyer? Such clarity is just so "out of the norm" for that profession!! There WR 6-3, you have your chance to "fess up"! Most of us will have witnessed "legal games" - par for the course. Where such "games" lead to a fairer outcome I'd support them; too often it seems more a case of "legal nest feathering" which we all pay for eventually!

Seriously, one hopes that the legal exposure regarding these two tragic crashes not only restores what appears to have been an "unhealthy" relationship which has developed between the FAA and Boeing, but will ripple out and be taken on board by Regulators and Manufacturers internationally - right down to the most junior staff.

To this day I have a few e-mails I've stashed away from various Contracting jobs where I have raised safety issues with my Clients but had those concerns swept away. While aviation will forever be a compromise between affordability and safety (tis just the nature of the life), the sad fact is that those who make such decisions will not be on the aircraft when it ploughs in.

Sadly, many people "talk safety" but actually have a poor grasp on how what they are doing each day may "impact safety" - hence my e-mails where I feel unwise decisions have been taken! And I'm sure I have fallen into such traps myself at times. If nothing else, by hitting the bean-counters where it hurts, it may help restore the balance for those in their "safety crusades" right down to the most junior of "hangar rats" who sees something odd/wrong.

What's that saying? "You think Safety is expensive? Wait till you have a crash!".

Last edited by Hot 'n' High; 26th Oct 2020 at 10:12.
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 18:11
  #440 (permalink)  
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Though it's not the most famous sports broadcasting phrase from t.v. in the U.S. in the 1960s, something Howard Cosell once said during a broadcast is the one to which I think I need to resort. Cosell, who had completed a law degree earlier in his somewhat storied career, commented on some legal point that had come up during the play-by-play, about "the drag chain of the law," and in a tone of derision.

Indeed -- Hot 'n' High -- I carry around that chain, nowadays trying to buck its tendency to resist common sense as well as plain speaking. And also, where I can, to decry its incentives to turn young people into mere accounts, collections of client revenue, and rungs on ladders of professional status. It took me a good many years compared to peers who went straight through college and then law school in the standard seven years, actually to complete a law degree and get licensed to practice. But that doesn't stop me from speaking with disdain about the many, and deep, corruptions of the soul which the practice in the U.S. nowadays encourages if not requires in way too many instances.

The most famous sports broadcasting phrase is, of course, at the start of Wide World of Sports: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. In the background, a skier tumbling out of control. Whether that can be compared to the sense many pro pilots and safety advocates have when seeing the out-of-control debacle which the 737 MAX became, well that's not a legal question.

There are a good many connections between the pathway I traversed eventually to take the oath of the "bureau petit" which is a license to practice law in the U.S., and the way in which flying machines have captivated my imagination. But this is an anonymous posting board, I guess.
WillowRun 6-3 is offline  

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