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Boeing 737 Max 8 Killed another 157 People. WTH?

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Boeing 737 Max 8 Killed another 157 People. WTH?

Old 03-15-19, 12:30 PM
  #51  
Steve B.
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
They did that because Boeing is a US company.
Usually it would go to the NTSB, whose not typically in any companies pocket. The NTSB frequently blames it's sister agency the FAA for lapses in safety procedures.

Of course the Ethiopians have the right to send it to whomever for analysis and the French are likely as good as the NTSB at this.
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Old 03-15-19, 12:34 PM
  #52  
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Here is an interview with Ralph Nader, who had a relative killed in the Ethiopian crash:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/...d_in_ethiopian

Interesting that the government shutdown may have delayed implementing a software fix for the problem.

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Old 03-15-19, 01:40 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Here is an interview with Ralph Nader, who had a relative killed in the Ethiopian crash:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/...d_in_ethiopian

Interesting that the government shutdown may have delayed implementing a software fix for the problem.
That is interesting. At first I thought you meant Trump's shutdown of flying the 737max8, but I see in the article how the gov't shutdown hobbled the FAA and postponed potential FAA approval of software updates
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Old 03-15-19, 02:21 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Usually it would go to the NTSB, whose not typically in any companies pocket. The NTSB frequently blames it's sister agency the FAA for lapses in safety procedures.

Of course the Ethiopians have the right to send it to whomever for analysis and the French are likely as good as the NTSB at this.
I heard or read it on the news that the Ethiopians wanted a neutral party to look at it, and since the choices were in the US or France they picked the French.
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Old 03-15-19, 02:27 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Usually it would go to the NTSB, whose not typically in any companies pocket. The NTSB frequently blames it's sister agency the FAA for lapses in safety procedures.

Of course the Ethiopians have the right to send it to whomever for analysis and the French are likely as good as the NTSB at this.
The NTSB has no authority outside of the USA.
It will assist foreign governments if requested.
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Old 03-15-19, 03:57 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Man...if the plane needed software fix to be safe...then they should have grounded the plane long long time ago. Instead, they trying to blame the problem on gov't shutdown. Lame. Imagine heads will be rolling in Boeing.
Yeah, that's an ethical fail. Presumably the software update was because the first crash triggered troubleshooting that uncovered the software bug. When the bug that caused a plane full of dead people was fixed, the patch should have been raised to red-alert critical emergency level, get the remainder of the partially-shutdown FAA to fast-track it.
Or if the FAA doesn't respond, bypass them by having a press release announcing "We have a software patch; it hasn't been approved by the FAA because of the shutdown, but any airline that wants to install it just call us and we'll put an engineer on a 737 max 8 within an hour to install it for you"

Also "here's a 5-minute training video on youtube that every pilot should be required to watch before flying a 737max8, about what kinds of problems to watch out for due to this bug, and how to deactivate the faulty automatic system if they encounter it"

And yes, "really, people, just don't fly those planes until you get the patch. If that costs you money, call the FAA"

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Old 03-15-19, 04:00 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
we'll put an engineer on a 737 max 8 within an hour to install it for you"
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Old 03-15-19, 04:14 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
The NTSB has no authority outside of the USA.
It will assist foreign governments if requested.
Yes, that's what this means "Of course the Ethiopians have the right to send it to whomever for analysis and the French are likely as good as the NTSB at this."
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Old 03-17-19, 10:06 AM
  #59  
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I'll throw my .02 cents in from the following perspective: I have type ratings is 5 Boeing jets including the 737 (I've flown the -800 only) and the 767 (-200, -200ER, and -300ER). I've been a military aircraft crash investigator as well.

The 737 is a very old design and has been stretched, stretched again, up engined, stretched, and more new engines. To get the big engines on the MAX, they had to extend the pylons forward and up and this altered the aerodynamics of the aircraft. To keep the same type rating requirement, Boeing had to compensate for the change in lift so Boeing added the MCAS system to trim the nose down in the event of a slow speed stall event.That system is triggered off a single Angle of Attack indicator and only works if the jet is being flown manually and not by the autopilot. The MCAS system was completely unknown to the pilots until the Lion Air crash.

The solution to trim problems (Runaway Stabilizer) in all the Boeing jets I've flown is to turn the stabilizer trim system OFF using two switches just to the left and slightly aft of the throttles. Flip up the red guards, move both switches aft. This turns off the stabilizer trim system. Runaway trim is usually noticed by the flying pilot as control forces start increasing in one direction of the other. If the pilot continues to fight the system and says nothing, the trim system gets further and further out of whack and the jet becomes more and more difficult to fly. Early recognition and reaction is very important to solving this problem with a minimum of difficulty.

The jet is a real handful while the trim runaway event is happening and requires both pilots to deal with the problem. The jet is difficult to fly plus you have a variety of warnings (overspeed, underspeed, stall), buzzers (possible ground collision, terrain warnings), plus the stick shaker (the yoke literally has a shaker which causes significant noise and the yoke to vibrate dramatically to get your attention) are all happening at the same time. Experience and flying skills along with a clear understanding of the aircraft systems is vital when battling the problem in all this chaos of warning lights, audible warnings, and the shaking yoke.

The Lion Air jet crashed after 4 or 5 write-ups for a mechanical discrepancy in the trim system and their mechanics failed to properly analyze and fix the problem. The flight prior to the mishap, the crew turned off the stab system and flew the jet manually. The AOA system was not repaired and the jet flew the next morning. The mishap crew did not turn off the stab system.

Haven't heard a lot about the Ethiopian Airlines crash yet other than it appears similar. The First Officer had only 200 hours total time, IIRC. With no problems, you can fly a big jet all by yourself. But, with problems, it is a team sport and I highly doubt some dude/dudette with 200 hours has the ability to deal with this problem with all the chaos and was of no help to the Captain.

I'm a big believer in letting the investigation run it's course and not speculating but if I was the one kicking through the wreckage, I would be looking real hard at the maintenance procedures, training procedures of the crew, qualifications of the crew, and reliability and redundancy of the MCAS system.
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Old 03-17-19, 10:10 PM
  #60  
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Will, thanks for your first-hand perspective. I'm also a pilot with 2K+ flying hours, commercial ratings, instrument, etc. but I don't fly professionally nor have I ever flown anything larger than a piston twin.

As I said earlier, I doubt the airplane will be found to be blameless - certainly relying on a single sensor for a system which can dramatically aircraft controllability seems, on the surface, to be a flawed design. Yet if this plays out to be a MCAS malfunction, I'm still perplexed why the pilots in either or both accidents couldn't recognize the problem for what it basically is - an electric trim malfunction - and turned the offending trim system off (which is quite simple to do). Trim system malfunctions are something that have been happening to aircraft ever since electric trim systems first appeared and are something that all trained pilots should be able to recognize and easily correct. MCAS may be a new system but when it malfunctions, it behaves essentially the same as any trim system malfunction - this is the reason Boeing felt there was no need to explicitly tell pilots about it. Perhaps the number of warnings occurring simultaneously did overwhelm the crew such that they couldn't be bothered to look down and see the trim wheel spinning away.

In many recent accidents the MO is the same - pilots are so used to flying ultra-reliable and highly-automated airplanes that essentially fly themselves, that they just can't muster very basic stick/rudder skills when these systems malfunction. But as you say, I'd really like to see how this plays out before deciding whether it was the airplane's fault or the pilot's. It will probably be some of both.

I'm with you on the 200-hr comment. While I suppose you can argue that intense/highly-directed training for 200-hrs can be equivalent to the 1500-hrs of flying puddle-jumpers that US-carrier right-seat pilots have under their belts, I'm a big believer that it takes long-term exposure to lots of different situations to develop the ability to handle the unexpected.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 03-17-19 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 03-18-19, 08:09 AM
  #61  
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The experience thing is scary. Look up MPL flight training. The shortage of pilots in a lot of smaller countries is resulting in creative ways of calling someone qualified to fly commercial airliners. Sully Sullivan, of landing in the Hudson fame, had a some really good comments about this and referred to the program as an apprenticeship which is a really, really bad idea when malfunctions occur. In China, they are putting Chinese copilots in the right seat with Western trained Captains in the left seat and a translator in the jumpseat to clear up any misunderstandings. I fly into China on occasion and "English is the international language of aviation" has to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

I'll also throw in my opinion on flying skills vs automation (this also encompasses the previous comment). Automation is being used as a crutch. Reliance on a computer system to save you works fine as long as the computer system is operating. If the computer quits operating as expected, the pilot has to make the transition from computer programmer to pilot after FIRST recognizing the need to do so. Failing to recognize the failure and transition to "do that pilot thing" results in Air France 447 which is only one example. So, like markjenn said, basic flying skills are absolutely critical.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:05 AM
  #62  
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If you want to read something to scare you out of ever flying on an Asian airline, here it is: Doug Ross @ Journal: The Ominous Facts Regarding Korean Airline Pilots by a Former Instructor
This was written a few days after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 flew into a seawall in San Francisco in perfectly clear weather on a routine landing.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:54 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Wow...this sound scarey. I've flow Air China and EVA due to cheap fares. Maybe I should stick with United next time eventhough they're more expensive (and service suck).

And I don't remember seeing any Westerner in pilot uniform when I departed the plane.
I haven't seen any, either. But I hear them, Americans, Brits, Aussies, or Kiwis, on the radio in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong flying for Chinese carriers.
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Old 03-18-19, 10:16 AM
  #64  
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Part of the problem is the cost of flight school. I'm not going to say that a pilots license is strictly the province of the rich, but to say it is affordable for the majority of Americans would not be a true statement. At the time I went through flight school the whole she-bang for IFR single engine was about $5k including 80 hours of seat time. Now it's $5k for ground school & $200+ /hr for seat time. So figure about $21k for an average Joe just to start. Then there's the cost of staying current. Then the cost of various ratings, and the flight time associated just to meet employer minimums...

Add to that what the airlines did to the Pilots Union, (no, thanks) & being treated like a bus driver, and generally regarded as an unappreciated, unnecessary cost by the airlines, in really one of the most boring & unfulfilling jobs in the world... it's no wonder the mystique of Maverick & Goose the GlobeTrotters image has worn thin & nobody wants the job.

I really should finish my ticket, but trading in a 6 digit income for a 5 digit income just doesn't make sense; Even if I could afford it.

It sucks about the crash, but really? It's not like the result is unexpected. The airline industry has been trying hard at this path for a long time.
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Old 03-18-19, 02:51 PM
  #65  
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The real problem today is that at least one You Tuber has posted a flight simulation of the crash without the data to back it up. Ethiopia just got the data a day or so back.

To me that is a bit low.
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Old 03-18-19, 03:13 PM
  #66  
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This is interesting. I just finished reading about Amelia Earhart. She was both a very good pilot, a very thorough pilot and very quick thinker in action. (Took lessons and quickly mastered basic flying, then had a top stunt pilot teach her stunts so in a real jam, she would know how to fly the plane.)

The other thought I had was relative to my experience sailing. I grew up racing small, easy to capsize racing dinghies. Went on to sail San Francisco Bay and outside on a fast 24'er. Then joined my Dad and two others to sail the North Atlantic. I kept getting reminded that the biggest gift I got in terms of sailing skills, especially when the weather blew up, was my leaning in very small boats. In a tippy, fast 12' sailboat, you do not have time to think things out when, for example, a puff you didn't see coming hits. You react on instinct or you swim. Now step the scale up to a boat three times longer, one thousand times heavier and the big ocean. When the puff of 60 mph hits, things happen just as fast as they do on the 12'er and the wind is19 mph. But learn on the 12'er and your instincts are all there and your reflexes, right. Put the sailor who learned on big boats in that same situation and bad things happen.

The pilots I want in the cockpit have military fly experience (and not just the big stuff) or a thousand hours or more flying really small planes. Crop dusters and the like. Racing planes. Old WW2 fighters.

Ben
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Old 03-18-19, 04:27 PM
  #67  
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Boring and unfulfilling? I've been doing the commercial thing and flown fighters in the military. I'll admit flying upside down and blowing stuff up is both exciting and demanding but I definitely would not call commercial flying boring and/or unfulfilling. If I can take people halfway around the world over some of the most harsh terrain on the planet and the passengers major complaint is the long flight, I've made the difficult look easy.
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Old 03-18-19, 04:28 PM
  #68  
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A single sensor failure, which is a completely foreseeable event leads to a crash of an airliner and the loss of all lives onboard.

Its like this is Boeing's first day of making aircraft, its like its the FAA's first day of regulating commercial aircraft. Add in the very Macho, very hierarchal nature of the job where co-pilots have no authority/are reluctant to intervene even though there are thousands of hours of cockpit recordings from fatal crashes that demonstrate that the Captain was overwhelmed and should have listened to the co-pilot and you wonder how there aren't more crashes than there are.
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Old 03-18-19, 04:36 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Will G View Post
Boring and unfulfilling? I've been doing the commercial thing and flown fighters in the military. I'll admit flying upside down and blowing stuff up is both exciting and demanding but I definitely would not call commercial flying boring and/or unfulfilling. If I can take people halfway around the world over some of the most harsh terrain on the planet and the passengers major complaint is the long flight, I've made the difficult look easy.
Different strokes for different folks. Different people have a different aptitudes. There's nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it's what makes the world go-round.

I knew as soon as I posted based on my experience in flight school and as intimated by my instructors & other commercial pilots I've met, some one would chime in. I never meant to demean a profession. I should've added "for me" in parenthesis. If you found the job more exciting than I, then you have found your niche. Stay there, we need good pilots. I found mine as a turbine mechanic, then later as an aviation mechanic.
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Old 03-18-19, 04:59 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I am not sure why they need such highly trained pilot nowadays. When you have autonomous drones flying everywhere, without human interaction!

They ought to be able to design planes that can handle any situation automously nowadays. Human make mistakes, get tired, get confused or panicky, cheat on flight test (Asiana)! Computers don't!

What's your thought process behind this?
This is a thread regarding an aviation disaster caused by a malfunctioning computer due to a single sensor failure yet you seem to be turning this around and claiming that we should do away with human pilots. Is this correct?
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Old 03-18-19, 05:07 PM
  #71  
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I bumped into this a few days ago.

https://www.latimes.com/local/califo...315-story.html

It suggests that the 737 is basically a 1968 design that has been added to and modified a number of times, but apparently the low overall design to deal with 1968 constraints is now obsolete and causing problems with modernizing the plane.

Time to scrap some of the old designs and start new?
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Old 03-18-19, 05:16 PM
  #72  
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I still think the elephant in the room is the single sensor failure that led to a major loss of aircraft and all passengers.
Seriously. How can this get off the drawing board and passed as safe by the FAA?

In no small way this is why the black boxes got sent to France.
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Old 03-18-19, 06:14 PM
  #73  
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I work in the theatrical lighting business, which is heavily automated and computerized. Way back in the 70's (1970's) when computer lighting systems were introduced on Broadway (where it's all big bucks) a producer was asking "Why am I paying a guy $70,000 to press GO", go being the big button that activated the cue. One response at the time was "You're not paying him $70,000 to press GO, you're paying him $70,000 to know what to do when the GO button doesn't work".

In spades with pilots when there are 200 people in the back.

Boeing has backed themselves into a corner with the MCAS and should have both done extensive flight testing of the MAX as well as FAA certification as essentially a new airplane. They chose the cheap route, right down to really poor communication with the pilots about the very existence of MCAS. You first need to know that it exists in order to know you might need to turn it off.

I suspect that this might be the last of the upgrades to the 737, seems it's a design that has control issues that a pilot cannot deal with when the computers can't figure out how to fly the plane.

Which makes me wonder why they didn't keep upgrading the 757 ?.
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Old 03-18-19, 06:20 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Maybe they should let the pilots fly the plane below 10,000 feet.
Same BS happened when the first A320 plane landed in the forest at the Paris airshow. Computer said he was too low and had to land.
The pilot actually was too low. He was performing a dangerous
maneuver, & hadn't properly prepared for his flight plan.
Ref....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_296
Ideally, pilots should avoid doing things outside of safe flight.
Then they wouldn't discover shortcomings in the software the hard way.

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Old 03-18-19, 06:31 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I bumped into this a few days ago.

https://www.latimes.com/local/califo...315-story.html

It suggests that the 737 is basically a 1968 design that has been added to and modified a number of times, but apparently the low overall design to deal with 1968 constraints is now obsolete and causing problems with modernizing the plane.

Time to scrap some of the old designs and start new?
I can't read your article because I've reached my limit of free ones.
It would be more properly called a new design based upon an earlier airframe.
Note also that the crash appears to be a failure involving modern controls,
avionics, hydraulics & sensors. The older portion of the design appears unrelated.
A totally brand new plane would have the same risks, eg, the Airbus 330 (which is
still in the air despite unsolved problems with diving due to AOA (angle of attack)
errors....with no crashes yet, but several incidents involving severe injuries.
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