Ethiopian 737 Max 8 crash and Fallout

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Posts
7,001
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
I just read a report saying the pilot had requested a return to Addis Ababa due to technical difficulties...so there goes the theory about a sudden explosion a la a bomb that some were speculating. Does it remind you of another crash? I will not be flying a 737 Max till the reports of this and the Lion Air crash are released even if it means forfeiting the fare!
 

juddles

Suspended
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Posts
5,437
Qantas
Platinum 1
I would have considered, in general, that Ethiopian is a decent airline. I doubt from this that the issue is maintenance, etc. The scant data shows an aircraft with ample speed and ability to climb. If there was a request to return, something was not right that was not a bomb or similar catastrophic event.

It would be very good at this stage for aviatorinsight to help interpret that basic data.
 

bpeteb

Established Member
Joined
May 24, 2011
Posts
1,950
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Sad to switch on the news this morning to see 157 lives lost due to the crash of another 737 Max. This time in Ethiopia. If it had been an ancient 737-200, or 727, or Russian anything we wouldn't be surprised, but another brand new 737? (Sorry for typo in title. It should say has)
 
We've Increased Our Flying to 30 Destinations Across Australia. Book With Us Today. Change Your Flight, Fee-Free and As Often As You Like for Travel up to 30 Apr 22*. Contactless Check-in. Special Safety Protocols. New Cleaning Practices. Online Check-in.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

PineappleSkip

Established Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2007
Posts
2,592
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Sad and spooky reading about this accident. Had a couple of ET flights Jan and Feb between ADD and EBB in brand new 737 Max 8s, not the one that crashed though. New aircraft in excellent condition, doubt if it’s a mantenance issue, I quite like ET, especially the cheap plusgrade upgrades. A nice airline only let down by ADD airport.

My thoughts with the passengers’ families.

A couple of comments about the FR24 track; it appears to have ended 3 minutes before ATC lost contact with them; also the track ends NE of ADD, whereas the crash site, if near Bishoftu as reported, would be SE of ADD. It suggests ET302 tried to circle back to land at ADD from the west, but that part of the track doesn’t appear.

Skip
 
Last edited:

Ansett

Established Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Posts
3,714
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Red
Our thoughts are with those that have lost there lives along with the families and friends of the deceased. May they rest in peace.

I am not normally a nervous flyer however I think that if I had flights booked on a Max I too would be revisiting my plans.

If you were to cancel or change flights would the airline cover the cost of any change or would insurance pay out or are you out of pocket?

Given that Boeing have pushed the design envelope of the Max series have they gone too far and should this series have been a completely new aircraft or is this purely a training issue given that there has been thousands of flights around the world and just 2 major incidents?

The main issues seems to be around the positioning of the much larger engines on the Max series causing a loss of stability at times hence the need for a software fix, given that the A320 NEO is more powerful does this equate to larger and if so what is the effect on this series of aircraft could AB be in for some potential issues too?
 

calmelb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Posts
577
Our thoughts are with those that have lost there lives along with the families and friends of the deceased. May they rest in peace.

I am not normally a nervous flyer however I think that if I had flights booked on a Max I too would be revisiting my plans.

If you were to cancel or change flights would the airline cover the cost of any change or would insurance pay out or are you out of pocket?

Given that Boeing have pushed the design envelope of the Max series have they gone too far and should this series have been a completely new aircraft or is this purely a training issue given that there has been thousands of flights around the world and just 2 major incidents?

The main issues seems to be around the positioning of the much larger engines on the Max series causing a loss of stability at times hence the need for a software fix, given that the A320 NEO is more powerful does this equate to larger and if so what is the effect on this series of aircraft could AB be in for some potential issues too?

Change of flight would not be allowed I would say, not until a report finds the 737Max dangerous, and if the plane was grounded.

Also Airbus has experience with the stall protection on their aircraft and so the pilots should hopefully be trained. The issue was that Boeing introduced it without really telling the pilots
 

flyer89

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Posts
316
The MCAS system is only supposed to activate when certain conditions are met. One is when the autopilot is off and another is when flaps are UP. It's fairly likely at that stage of flight AP was engaged and Flaps were still out. It can also be overridden with pilot inputs. All of this is in theory though. So perhaps when the system drops its lollies it has unforeseen consequences.
 

Pushka

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Posts
28,853
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
How does one know whether the plane is a MAX or not? Is it listed as part of the flight details?

RIP to those souls lost and those families now dealing with immense pain.
 

jb747

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Posts
11,130
If in the due course of time this turns out to be a Lion Air equivalent, it is my opinion that a great deal of blame lies with Boeing. To implement software that will crash perfectly flyable aircraft (unless that software is overridden correctly by skilled pilots), and NOT even tell pilots about it until it became an issue, just seems to me to be "bad practice".
It’s worse than that. It uses a part of the control system (the trimming tail) which has much more authority than the elevators. Full nose down, or nose up, trim cannot be controlled by the pilots pushing or pulling. You must retrim to gain any sort of control.

And if this problem is kicking in at only 7000 feet, I suspect even well trained pilots may have a struggle saving the plane.

It won’t be at 7,000’. From my reading MCAS becomes active as soon as the flaps are retracted, which will be 3,000 plus or minus a bit. If you are trimmed nose down, but still within the limit of elevator control, you could be looking at loads in the order of 40kgs, applied through both control columns, to maintain any control at all... And once you get just a little bit more nose down trim, no matter how much force you apply, you’ll still lose.

I am usually all for waiting for a full and comprehensive investigation, but this 737 MAX issue may be so urgent that groundings are warranted.

It will be interesting to see, and I suspect the outcome will vary around the world. Personally, I find the entire concept of MCAS to be illogical, and I would probably be choosy about the aircraft I fly on until this is resolved.

heard Ethiopian are an OK airline with new planes

they have a bunch of 787 planes too

New aircraft mean nothing. They have a record that is quite spotty at best.

Change of flight would not be allowed I would say, not until a report finds the 737Max dangerous, and if the plane was grounded.

Also Airbus has experience with the stall protection on their aircraft and so the pilots should hopefully be trained. The issue was that Boeing introduced it without really telling the pilots

Airbus did not have any issue will stall protection. Air France had an issue with a pilot who could not fly. In normal law, an Airbus won’t stall at all. Sadly, the pilot doing the flying in AF447 did not recognise that the aircraft had changed laws, and that the stall protection had reverted to a stall warning. He then proceeded to do something that made ZERO aviation sense, no matter what law you’re in. When it reverts to laws other than normal, it simply behaves like any classic aircraft. It was called Boeing mode by some.

There are a number of issues for Boeing here. Firstly this system is being activated by ONE angle of attack probe. There is an immediate single point of failure issue. When Lion was being discussed I was very surprised to find, in this day and age, that any aircraft was being certified with only a dual, and not triplicated, AoA system. Secondly, it’s using a very powerful control surface, which has more control than the pilots, to initiate a change. It’s supposedly for stall recovery, but I’d just about defy anyone to be able to recover from a stall with full nose down trim....it’s actually quite stupid. Thirdly, they didn’t tell anyone.

The 737 is an aircraft designed in the ‘50s, and first brought into service in the ‘60s. It’s had mod after mod, and kludge after kludge, added over the years. Realistically, I think Boeing intended for it to be replaced by the 757, but that didn’t happen. It really doesn’t compare at all well with the AB equivalent.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,503
Previous ET302 flights appear to track on a heading 180deg and FL150 (calibrated FL on FR24) and climbing 6 minutes after takeoff. The terrain around that region has an elevation about 2000m (6500feet) . ADD is a little higher. So roughly based on previous flightpaths, the usual altitude above ground level at 6 min after take off would be around 8000 or so feet above ground.

This one hardly got off the ground based on the above assumptions because the altitude as reported by FR24 is about roughly 6000feet lower than usual
 
Last edited:

Melburnian1

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Posts
21,680
If in time transport safety investigation reports point the finger at Boeing, that must be at the very least grounds for an airline that has ordered these planes to cancel an order, and to demand a full refund of any monies paid to date.

That then creates difficulties for an airline in fleet planning and replacement of older aircraft, but do VA and others want to be stuck with an aircraft type that in its early years has a reputation for crashing?
 

AviatorInsight

Active Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Posts
995
I would have considered, in general, that Ethiopian is a decent airline. I doubt from this that the issue is maintenance, etc. The scant data shows an aircraft with ample speed and ability to climb. If there was a request to return, something was not right that was not a bomb or similar catastrophic event.

It would be very good at this stage for aviatorinsight to help interpret that basic data.

Everyone has basically beat me to it. I was working the weekend so this is the first chance I could really sit down and look at the data. First up it doesn't look to be another MCAS event. As others have mentioned the flaps need to be retracted in order to activate. We'll start flap retraction around 1000' AGL (above ground level), and be clean by 3000' and accelerate to full climb speed. If there's terrain around or a noise abatement procedure applies then this flap retraction will only be delayed.

Secondly MCAS is nothing new...it's just an "enhancement" of what is already on the aircraft. For Boeing to start to meddle with such a system that works perfectly fine makes no sense to me. I must say I'm glad that this is the last aircraft that a common type rating is being applied to.

So something else has gone on and is way too early to say what it could have been.
 

Melburnian1

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Posts
21,680
China has now grounded all 737 MAX's.

Is this a knee jerk reaction, or justified?

Would it, ever so slightly, have something to do with the communist mainland Chinese annoyance (and economic problems from) the USA's stance on tariffs?

If it had been the Airbus A321neo, is there a perception the mainland Chinese would have taken identical action after a second crash?
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Posts
11,503
Is this a knee jerk reaction, or justified?

Would it, ever so slightly, have something to do with the communist mainland Chinese annoyance (and economic problems from) the USA's stance on tariffs?

If it had been the Airbus A321neo, is there a perception the mainland Chinese would have taken identical action after a second crash?

depending on one's POV all of above

Dont forget that China is developing its aircraft manufacturing industry as well
 

calmelb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Posts
577
Airbus did not have any issue will stall protection. Air France had an issue with a pilot who could not fly. In normal law, an Airbus won’t stall at all. Sadly, the pilot doing the flying in AF447 did not recognise that the aircraft had changed laws, and that the stall protection had reverted to a stall warning. He then proceeded to do something that made ZERO aviation sense, no matter what law you’re in. When it reverts to laws other than normal, it simply behaves like any classic aircraft. It was called Boeing mode by some.

There are a number of issues for Boeing here. Firstly this system is being activated by ONE angle of attack probe. There is an immediate single point of failure issue. When Lion was being discussed I was very surprised to find, in this day and age, that any aircraft was being certified with only a dual, and not triplicated, AoA system. Secondly, it’s using a very powerful control surface, which has more control than the pilots, to initiate a change. It’s supposedly for stall recovery, but I’d just about defy anyone to be able to recover from a stall with full nose down trim....it’s actually quite stupid. Thirdly, they didn’t tell anyone.

The 737 is an aircraft designed in the ‘50s, and first brought into service in the ‘60s. It’s had mod after mod, and kludge after kludge, added over the years. Realistically, I think Boeing intended for it to be replaced by the 757, but that didn’t happen. It really doesn’t compare at all well with the AB equivalent.

Yes I was aware of AF447, why they kept pulling up when in a stall is beyond me (I am a student pilot but have done stall training).

I did not realise that there was only one AoA probe which determines whether to activate or not, nor did I realise that it used the trim which I find even more disturbing. Even if this ET crash isn't related to the MCAS the fact (as you point out) that there is not a second point of comparison for something so powerful does not sit right with me. Unsure if I am 100% correct but I'm pretty sure the computers on a plane will alert the pilots if the Static ports/ Pitot tubes do not match up on either side, so the fact that one AoA could malfunction and cause a dive is crazy in modern aviation
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Top