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Ethiopian 737 Max 8 crash and Fallout

AviatorInsight

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So a question for the pilots ..... what changes would make YOU willing to fly the MAX?
Well I kind of don't have a choice. I don't fly the MAX, I'm out of a job. However, VA are going about it the right way. Firstly, they've delayed introduction of it. I realise they couldn't afford it anyway, blessing in disguise?

Secondly, we are obtaining a MAX sim in the next year well before the first aircraft arrives, giving the pilot group plenty of time so work out differences. It's not even mandatory to have a MAX sim in order to fly it, yet the company is investing heavily in training and not relying on just a powerpoint presentation, so the sim will come with all the updated software from Boeing. VA will be just a handful of operators out there with a MAX sim.

So my message to Boeing? Personally, I'd just love to know that there are no hidden surprises in ANY aircraft I operate. Give me all the information so I can do my job properly and not become a test pilot with paying passengers on board.
 

jb747

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So a question for the pilots ..... what changes would make YOU willing to fly the MAX?
Well, I'm in the lucky situation of not ever having to fly it.

The vast majority of pilots will have no choice, irrespective of what they think of the aircraft, or the fixes that are applied. Fly it, or your family doesn't eat.

But...

I would not allow it to be on the same endorsement as earlier 737s. That does not mean that you need a different pilot group, but it does require substantial training. I'd apply that to all 737s, and even though probably not relevant now, especially classics and glass versions.

This actually applies equally to Boeing and Airbus. I want a single large red button on the MCP, that disables EVERY automatic function, and reverts the aircraft to whatever passes for direct law. In other words, a way of removing the computer protections from the system. This still allows FBW, but does not allow control inputs to be modified or overridden.

As the regulator, I would want to ensure that no airline has any rules that force excessive use of the autopilot. Having pilots who can't actually fly (a very long list) isn't very helpful.

If I were an airline CEO, I would not buy it.
 
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defurax

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This could mean more trouble for the MAX...

“The only way I see moving forward at this point, is that MCAS has to go,” the official, Jim Marko, the manager in aircraft integration and safety assessment at Transport Canada Civil Aviation, wrote in the email. He sent the email on Tuesday to officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency.
At least one F.A.A. manager shares his concerns, according to a separate email reviewed by The Times.

 

jb747

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This could mean more trouble for the MAX...

“The only way I see moving forward at this point, is that MCAS has to go,” the official, Jim Marko, the manager in aircraft integration and safety assessment at Transport Canada Civil Aviation, wrote in the email. He sent the email on Tuesday to officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency.
At least one F.A.A. manager shares his concerns, according to a separate email reviewed by The Times.

Paywall. It's potentially more than a little problem.
 

defurax

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Paywall. It's potentially more than a little problem.
Here's the relevant part of the article

A manager at Canada’s aviation regulator believes that Boeing should remove software that played a role in two deadly crashes of its 737 Max before the plane is cleared to fly again, according to emails between global aviation regulators this week that were reviewed by The New York Times.
The Max has been grounded since March, days after a crash in Ethiopia. Together, the two accidents killed 346 people and have sent Boeing into a crisis. The company is working furiously to get the Max back in service with a fix to the software system, known as MCAS.
“The only way I see moving forward at this point, is that MCAS has to go,” the official, Jim Marko, the manager in aircraft integration and safety assessment at Transport Canada Civil Aviation, wrote in the email. He sent the email on Tuesday to officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency.
At least one F.A.A. manager shares his concerns, according to a separate email reviewed by The Times.
Linh Le, a system safety manager at the F.A.A., shared Mr. Marko’s message with others at the agency. He noted that the Canadian official believed that “MCAS introduces catastrophic hazards that weren’t there before,” that “it and the fix add too much complexity,” that “there have been many revisions to the software” and that “each was a band-aid.”
Mr. Le said he had similar misgivings about Boeing’s proposed fix for the Max. “I have held similar perspective (questioning the need for MCAS, at least from the system safety standpoint),” he said in the email to colleagues. It is unclear whether international regulators will take any action in response to Mr. Marko’s concerns.
In his email, Mr. Marko said he was writing the other regulators because he wanted “to get some confidence back to us all that we as Authorities can sleep at night when that day comes when the MAX returns to service.”
He expressed concern that regulators might accept the update to MCAS even as issues with the fix kept cropping up. “This leaves me with a level of uneasiness that I cannot sit idly by and watch it pass by,” Mr. Marko wrote.
Mr. Marko’s email included a PowerPoint presentation expanding on his argument and outlining how Boeing might remove MCAS from the Max. He noted that public confidence in the Max was “LOW.”
In a statement on Friday, Boeing said, “We continue to work with the F.A.A. and global regulators to provide them the information they are requesting to certify the Max for safe return to service.”
Transport Canada said Friday that Mr. Marko’s position had not been subject to systematic review by the agency.
“The email reflects working-level discussions between highly trained aircraft certification experts of key aviation authorities who have been given wide latitude for assessing all issues and looking at all alternatives for the safe return to service of the aircraft,” Nicholas Robinson, director general of Transport Canada, said in a statement.
An F.A.A. spokesman, Lynn Lunsford, said in a statement: “The F.A.A. and its international partners have engaged in robust discussions at various stages in this process as part of the thorough scrutiny of Boeing’s work. This email is an example of those exchanges.”
The National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil said it had “received the email and will consider the content along with the studies being conducted on the subject.”
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
International regulators have given no indication that they will require Boeing to remove MCAS from the Max, and Boeing has not proposed that as a potential solution to problems with the plane. Removing MCAS, as Mr. Marko suggests, would further delay the plane’s return.
The 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling plane. But less than 18 months after it began commercial service, a Max crashed off the coast of Indonesia when MCAS activated because of erroneous data, repeatedly pushing the nose of the plane down. Less than five months later, another Max crashed in Ethiopia under similar circumstances.
After the first crash, Boeing announced that it would update MCAS to make it less powerful and reliant on multiple sensors, instead of just one. But that fix was not completed before the second crash.
Over the past eight months, Boeing has encountered numerous delays as it has worked with the F.A.A. and other global regulators to complete the update to MCAS. The company has been signaling that the F.A.A. could approve the new software as soon as December. But engineers at the agency’s Seattle office have been frustrated in recent months by pressure from the company and their own managers to speed the process along.
Last week, Stephen Dickson, the F.A.A. administrator, acknowledged that some agency employees were feeling pressure to get the Max flying again. He released a video directing employees to “take the time you need” to conduct a methodical review of the plane.
 

jb747

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MCAS exists to remove a 'stick force per g' issue that the aircraft was experiencing at higher angles of attack. The anti stall functionality is a side effect.

Having a lower stick force is not really an issue for pilots trained with it, although I think it's below a threshold for FAA certification.

So, without MCAS, you firstly need to train the pilots properly, and you may actually need a separate endorsement. This will trigger the $1 million deal that the have with Southwest, and will affect all others looking at adding the aircraft to their fleets. It still should not be a major issue though, and is unlikely to add to the training that will already be required to get the aircraft back into service.

But, secondly, without MCAS, if it's below the FAA (stick force) threshold, then the aircraft is not certifiable. The FAA could give relief from that, but in the circumstances, that's unlikely. So, I can't really see how they can get rid of it, no matter how deeply flawed.
 

esseeeayeenn

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Here’s a slightly odd point of view......

That's about what you'd expect from Miranda Devine.
The reason for the bigger engines is fuel efficiency.
This is cost-driven. Emissions are an after thought.
 

juddles

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That's about what you'd expect from Miranda Devine.
The reason for the bigger engines is fuel efficiency.
This is cost-driven. Emissions are an after thought.
esseeeayeenn, NEVER EVER let facts interfere with anything to do with Climate Change. Blooming heretic..... :)
 

Moody

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In review :- Eco-madness and eco-pessimist ..... two new non-words from an eco-moron.

But if there are media awards for the stupidest article of the year, Miranda has it locked in!
 

jenib

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Program on channel 9 now “Boeing’s killer plane. What went wrong?” Should be available on catch up tv as well.
 

jenib

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Not sure but It seems to be a different doco - arrow media and channel 4. Also it is an hour long not 30 minutes. Checked and It is available on 9 Now catchup.
 

oz_mark

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Not sure but It seems to be a different doco - arrow media and channel 4. Also it is an hour long not 30 minutes. Checked and It is available on 9 Now catchup.
Was a different doco,but covered much of the same ground,
 

Bundy Bear

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The show was interesting but focused on the families of the passengers that died, good explanation of what happened to the Lion Air plane but didn’t explain as much regarding the Ethiopian aircraft, especially about the part about slowing down the plane.
Interesting enough to watch if you missed it.
 

jb747

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I can’t watch this sort of show, as the lack of integrity normally bugs me too much. How was MCAS described....what was it’s purpose?

As for slowing the aircraft....nice idea, but pulling the power back would give a strong nose down pitch change. Speed brakes would give nose up, but not of the same magnitude, so overall it would simply add to the problems.
 

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