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Old 10th Apr 2024, 15:12
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Do you also have intimate knowledge of the assembly conditions the whistle blower alleges? The performance of the existing fleet (whilst impressive) does not speak to the conditions that new planes are being manufactured under, you could have a very safe existing fleet and terribly manufactured new airframes.
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Old 10th Apr 2024, 15:13
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Preliminary Assessment

Many pertinent factual items are reported in the Reuters article linked above. Considering the intense attention focused on Boeing and its manufacturing problems in particular, this SLF/attorney offers some things to keep in mind, based on a very early assessment of what is known or reported publicly.

1. The whistleblower (Mr Salehpour) filed some type of complaint or report with FAA, according to every published item. I found this odd, because we recently saw much discussion of the whistleblower claims being litigated by the now-deceased John Barnett - claims that were filed with the U.S. Department of Labor under the AIR21 Whistleblower Protection Program. FAA does have a Hotline for reporting safety concerns. Perhaps FAA has a complaint resolution (or adjudication) process parallel or similar to the DOL - if it does, it isn't promiment on the agency website.

Not saying FAA isn't going to investigate and also not saying anything against Mr Salehpour's claims or anything else. Maybe going to FAA first, and then having DOL as a later option, is seen as creating pressure for a settlement - it plainly has created publicity.

2. The press reports mention both 787 and 777. On the former, after the shims issue and "skin-flatness specifications" issues which were subjects of intense attention previously, presumably FAA has a thorough background on the manufacturing process problems and at least much of what to look for.

3. The whistleblower and legal counsel have provided documents to the FAA and a letter dated January19 to FAA chief Whitaker, according to Reuters. If and when these are placed on the public record at the hearing before a Senate Subcommittee, things are quite likely to get very interesting. My guess is that the early January door plug incident could have motivated an actual filing to FAA, as pressure on Boeing had just spiked rather higher. (Boeing reportedly has offered to provide documents, testimony and technical briefings to Senate staff - perhaps showing some insight after delays and omissions in disclosing information about the door plug handling in the shop.)

4. Last and not at all least, there very likely is more to Mr Salehpour's "retaliation story" than the one-word claim of "threats"' combined with "exclusion from meetings" - as to which press reports do not add any detail about either claim. I've seen retaliation claims predicated on perceived exclusion or shunning but then management comes forward and shows pretty extensively that the aggrieved party did not have an assigned or routine role in a group or unit meeting, rather the person wanted to join and participate, but it wasn't part of their job in fact. If the reason the person was not allowed to join or participate was retaliatory - i.e., we don't need no stinking safety concerns - that's one thing. But arbitrary exclusions from some among a large volume of groups and meetings within a large manufacturing facility? I'm shocked.

[Unnumbered] Participation on this forum . . . I try to take it seriously. Thanks very much for all encouragement.

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Old 11th Apr 2024, 08:00
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BoeingDriver99
And of course to balance the blood sucking lawyers viewpoint above… the 737 Max has smashed to pieces 346 people.

346 people are dead and unrecognisable due to Boeing mismanagement and failings. And that’s only until the next disaster.
There are a few facts left out.
On the preceding Lion Air flight, the crew experienced the MCAS, however they followed Boeing checklist procedure, turned off the stab trim switches and returned for a safe landing.

The crew on the next flight Lion Air flight did not follow the checklist for an uncontrollable stab trim, left the stab trim switches in normal and crashed.

Ethiopian Airlines stated the crew had been trained on the MCAS after the Lion Air crash. However, the crew did not follow proper procedures to place the stab trim switches in cutout. Manual trim was unusable because they left the power levers at TO power and exceeded VNE. The high speed caused high aerodynamic loads on the stabilizer, making manual trim impossible.

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Old 11th Apr 2024, 08:03
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Originally Posted by warbirdfinder
There are a few facts left out.
On the preceding Lion Air flight, the crew experienced the MCAS, however they followed Boeing checklist procedure, turned off the stab trim switches and returned for a safe landing.

The crew on the next flight Lion Air flight did not follow the checklist for an uncontrollable stab trim, left the stab trim switches in normal and crashed.

Ethiopian Airlines stated the crew had been trained on the MCAS after the Lion Air crash. However, the crew did not follow proper procedures to place the stab trim switches in cutout. Manual trim was unusable because they left the power levers at TO power and exceeded VNE. The high speed caused high aerodynamic loads on the stabilizer, making manual trim impossible.
Here we go again. It was the plane/it was the pilots, ad infinitum.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 08:58
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Hear we go again; not necessarily so.

Consider the mindset, the thinking, which should precede activity.

The thinking required in evaluation, design, testing, production, and the assumptions made about human performance.

The responsibilities which the higher levels of management should have held which were systematically past down through the organisation, apparently without considering the local capabilities and effects; effects which would rebound back up to the highest level of management.

Instead of looking at outcome, consider the process of safety management and the responsibilities which should be inherent.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 10:38
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Originally Posted by warbirdfinder
There are a few facts left out.
On the preceding Lion Air flight, the crew experienced the MCAS, however they followed Boeing checklist procedure, turned off the stab trim switches and returned for a safe landing.

The crew on the next flight Lion Air flight did not follow the checklist for an uncontrollable stab trim, left the stab trim switches in normal and crashed.

Ethiopian Airlines stated the crew had been trained on the MCAS after the Lion Air crash. However, the crew did not follow proper procedures to place the stab trim switches in cutout. Manual trim was unusable because they left the power levers at TO power and exceeded VNE. The high speed caused high aerodynamic loads on the stabilizer, making manual trim impossible.
So the FAA grounded the Max to protect the public from incompetent third world pilots? And the American pilots who tried to manage MCAS failure in the sim after the accident were carefully chosen to be representative of third world pilots?
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 10:48
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Problem for Boeing is that now when the next 787 or 777 crashes it is going to lead to a massive reputational damage due to this whistleblower.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 11:02
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion
Problem for Boeing is that now when the next 787 or 777 crashes it is going to lead to a massive reputational damage due to this whistleblower.
True. Perhaps, to limit such damage in the future, Boeing should try harder to produce fewer whistleblowers.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 11:07
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I must say that if the Ethiopian crew failed to follow laid down procedures in which they were trained and operated the aircraft outside the flight envelope they deserve harsh criticism.
It's not Boeing's fault if crews refuse to operate the aircraft within the flight envelope and fail to apply procedures within their training to mitigate a problem.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 12:32
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Originally Posted by mustafagander
I must say that if the Ethiopian crew failed to follow laid down procedures in which they were trained and operated the aircraft outside the flight envelope they deserve harsh criticism.
It's not Boeing's fault if crews refuse to operate the aircraft within the flight envelope and fail to apply procedures within their training to mitigate a problem.
Indeed. But then they shouldn't have been flying an aircraft that should never have been certified. Paint it on the crew as much as people want, the reality is, the aircraft should never have been allowed to take off.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 14:10
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Originally Posted by Ben_S
But then they shouldn't have been flying an aircraft that should never have been certified.
Are you correct to say it should never have been certified? Maybe the problem at certification was that not all of the functionality was declared and properly managed. If you accept that, perhaps you should be questioning whether Boeing should have Design Approval (or whatever it's called in the US).
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 19:41
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The comments on here post accident highlighted the fact that a great many "informed" individuals were unable to differentiate between main trim and manual trim and therein lies the problem. The main trim will not work if the cutout switches are positioned to off. If you think you are using manual trim when flicking the trim switch after the cutout switch has been selected then you will be somewhat disappointed.
In manual flight, main trim is the usual option not manual trim.
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Old 11th Apr 2024, 20:12
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If one does not know the difference between main trim (the pickles switches) with the trim switches in normal and manual trim, when the trim switches are off, the handle on the trim wheel is extended and moving the trim wheel manually by muscle force, then that person should not be in the cockpit.

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Old 12th Apr 2024, 11:12
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Hard to believe that there are still people out there, that claim that the whole MCAS debacle is down to badly trained 3rd world pilots.
Even more unbelievable that the FAA and other bodies of airworthiness around the world would ground a whole fleet for nearly 2 years for no reason.

I guess many years from now the US history books will say that Boeing fell due to inkompetent behaviour of pilots from other nations and that all of that was instigated by the European countries that wanted to push Airbus ahead - despite being the inferior solution.

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Old 12th Apr 2024, 11:18
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I think most pilots who have flown the 707 would have known how to cope. But this doesn't absolve the gradual erosion of pilot training and the defects in Boeing's design of the Max.

Last edited by Bergerie1; 12th Apr 2024 at 19:37. Reason: spelling
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Old 12th Apr 2024, 14:31
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MAX Crashes

When it comes to the 2 crashes, I think the emphasis needs to be on the design because:
Regardless of the quality of pilot training and procedures, MCAS went against the basic principles of redundancy and ‘failing safe’ and this potential threat could have been minimised with minimal effort. That is the real black mark for Boeing IMO, that and trying to conceal as much information about MCAS as they thought they could get away with.
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Old 12th Apr 2024, 17:40
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion
Problem for Boeing is that now when the next 787 or 777 crashes it is going to lead to a massive reputational damage due to this whistleblower.
It depends on the nature of the crash. For example, I doubt many people find the A350 crash that happened a few months ago reflects badly on Airbus.
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Old 12th Apr 2024, 18:16
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Originally Posted by phantomsphorever
Hard to believe that there are still people out there, that claim that the whole MCAS debacle is down to badly trained 3rd world pilots.
Even more unbelievable that the FAA and other bodies of airworthiness around the world would ground a whole fleet for nearly 2 years for no reason.

I guess many years from now the US history books will say that Boeing fell due to inkompetent behaviour of pilots from other nations and that all of that was instigated by the European countries that wanted to push Airbus ahead - despite being the inferior solution.

They failed to follow any portion of the stall warning procedure prior to completing all the triggers for MCAS. How badly trained must pilots be to be considered a part of the problem? The airline had tripled in size in a decade. This isn't a 3rd world problem - it appears to be a corporate greed problem of not spending sufficient time building a safety culture in order to build the size of the airline as rapidly as possible, but with the added twist that the CAA, the airline, and the training, was all done by the government. They chose to sell tickets rather than exhaustively train their pilots.

The 2 years was trying to figure out what to do about pilots performing the opposite to every required step.
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Old 12th Apr 2024, 23:30
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During the long threads about the accidents, I suggested that MCAS was a device - in the form of software - that operated when commanded. Such functions are incredibly common and often not presented to the users, and so it doesn't surprise me that much that it wasn't part of the technical course. I'm not judging, I'm just not surprised. It would be interesting to know what else we don't know about that inputs into that 47' 1" of flying surface.

I also mentioned that I'd found one airline with it covered in the Pilot's Handbook. By covered, I mean about three lines in a page segmented by lines into three or four paragraphs. Sorry, I can only remember it was a south American country.

Further, I suggested that the Ethiopian captain may have been adversely affected by news of what cause the previous crash. A vague image of systems in his mind, with the end result burning into his brain.

I'm still bewildered by the world's indifference, or even admiration, for the continuation of the first flight. 'They got it right.' Really? Making a flight with a very sick aircraft, and then minimalistic write up? Is it just me?
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Old 13th Apr 2024, 08:46
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When the Boeing 707 was introduced every pilot was trained and made very well aware of the possibility of a trim runaway. The procedure for dealing with this was trained on the simulator and even in the aircraft itself during training flights. On some 707 variants there was also a tendency in some configurations for a slight pitch up at high angles of attack (incidence) when approaching the stall. This was of concern to D.P. Davies who required the fitting of a stick nudger on UK registered 707 aircraft.

I quote below from a Leeham News article which you can access in this link:-
https://leehamnews.com/2019/11/01/a-...-in-the-1960s/

It seems to me that this basic knowledge and associated training became "diluted" over time in some countries and airlines. Had the proper emphasis and training been applied by all operators perhaps the 737Max accidents could have been avoided.

See also this link to listen to DPD talking about certificating the 707 and other early jet types:-
D P Davies interviews on certificating aircraft

QUOTE
Additional Certification Requirements to the 707 by the UK CAA
Prior to the introduction of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) each country, should it elect to, was responsible for approving each model and variant destined to be operated by their own domiciled carriers. As a result of its own aircraft manufacturing industry the United Kingdom (UK) was in reality the only other country in the world that could effectively complete an independent airworthiness review of an aircraft. Each foreign aircraft that was to be registered with the UK authorities underwent a review of its design and, equally important, was also subject to rigorous flight tests.

In his book Handling the Big Jets (first published in 1967) D. P. Davies, formally head of the flight test department of the UK Air Registration Board (ARB), now the CAA, describes at length the different stalling characteristics exhibited by aircraft with different wing and tail configurations. He personally test-flew every new jet aircraft model that was destined to fly with UK operators, such as BOAC and BEA. Davies also describes the various control systems that were incorporated on both British and American aircraft that reduced the possibility of a line pilot entering a stall. Details of flying characteristics and the use of automated control systems at high angles of attack are also included.

Davies is best known for mandating the fin of the Boeing 707 be lengthened by approximately 36 inches in order to achieve published Vmcg speeds (minimum control speed on the ground). Boeing ultimately accepted Davies recommendation and, we understand, halted production of the 707 for 10-11 months, whilst a new fin was designed and installed. All existing 707s were then retrospectively modified. A ventral fin was also installed on some variants to prevent ‘fully stalled take-offs’ which the Comet was also susceptible to.

Whilst test flying the 707-400 series at Renton, Davies noted that with the first stage of flap selected, the aircraft had a tendency to pitch up just prior to entering the stall. This was determined to be caused by the inboard leading edge devices, peculiar only to the 707-3/400 series which, when extended, effectively retained lift to higher angles of attack, and moved the Center of Pressure forwards, causing the nose to pitch up. Davies was not comfortable with this pitch up tendency and insisted that all UK certified 707 series aircraft were modified with the installation of a ‘stick nudger’ system.

In his book Davies stated that “The stick nudger introduces a small force into the elevator circuit which imposes positive stick free stability and removed the otherwise self-stalling tendency”. He goes onto to say that “as its input is so small all the runaway cases are completely innocuous.”

The ‘stick nudger’ should not be confused with a ‘stick pusher’, which is an entirely different system with a different objective. The stick pusher is typically installed on aircraft with T tail configurations which are susceptible to “super deep” stalls, such as the Bae 146 and Bac 1-11. All those Boeing 727s on the UK register were also modified with a stick pusher.
END QUOTE
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