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Thread: Lion Air Flight 610 Crash

  1. #181
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    Does anyone have any insights into when the official crash investigations' findings/conclusions (both Lion and Ethiopian) will likely be released?

    One would hope that Boeing has zero chance of getting the 737MAX re-certified (except, perhaps, without anything like a MCAS) - by any competence aviation authority (especially the FAA) - until the official findings become public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    Does anyone have any insights into when the official crash investigations' findings/conclusions (both Lion and Ethiopian) will likely be released?

    One would hope that Boeing has zero chance of getting the 737MAX re-certified (except, perhaps, without anything like a MCAS) - by any competence aviation authority (especially the FAA) - until the official findings become public.
    What the public sees (official reports) isn't necessarily what the vested parties are seeing, so Boeing and the FAA may have enough information to push forward; that certainly seems to be the case. Re-certification will probably move forward quickly, perhaps by the end of May.

    There is a lot of vested interest in Boeing, the FAA, and the military for this to wrap up; a multi-billion dollar program cannot be idled for very long, especially with the MCAS corrections already in train. From Boeing:

    MCAS is designed to activate in manual flight, with the airplane’s flaps up, at an elevated Angle of Attack (AOA).

    Boeing has developed an MCAS software update to provide additional layers of protection if the AOA sensors provide erroneous data. The software was put through hundreds of hours of analysis, laboratory testing, verification in a simulator and two test flights, including an in-flight certification test with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives on board as observers.

    The additional layers of protection include:

    • Flight control system will now compare inputs from both AOA sensors. If the sensors disagree by 5.5 degrees or more with the flaps retracted, MCAS will not activate. An indicator on the flight deck display will alert the pilots.
    • If MCAS is activated in non-normal conditions, it will only provide one input for each elevated AOA event. There are no known or envisioned failure conditions where MCAS will provide multiple inputs.
    • MCAS can never command more stabilizer input than can be counteracted by the flight crew pulling back on the column. The pilots will continue to always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane.


    These updates reduce the crew’s workload in non-normal flight situations and prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation.

  3. #183
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    Thanks schlaugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    What the public sees (official reports) isn't necessarily what the vested parties are seeing, so Boeing and the FAA may have enough information to push forward; that certainly seems to be the case. Re-certification will probably move forward quickly, perhaps by the end of May.

    There is a lot of vested interest in Boeing, the FAA, and the military for this to wrap up; a multi-billion dollar program cannot be idled for very long, especially with the MCAS corrections already in train. From Boeing:
    Reading this fills me with a sense of dread.

    I wonder what the relevant aviation authorities in Indonesia and Ethiopia think of this? Or, perhaps more pertinent, those in Canada and Mexico?

    Will the FAA insist that pilots get more-than-adequate simulator training, before they are allowed to fly 737MAX+new MCAS planes? Or be handed an iPad and given 10 minutes to do some quick reading?

  4. #184
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    The new software also applies to the simulators that Boeing support (but do not build). In the case of the trim wheel sim I guess they will replicate an overspeed condition as they found in the ETA flight.

    Boeing says it has corrected simulator software of 737 MAX jets https://reut.rs/2LRYXDm

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    Boeing says 737 Max...is fixed
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ne/3697037002/

    That's what a mechanic told me just before giving me a whopping bill.
    I didn't even get a mile before my car quit again. Just far enough to keep me from walking back and punching him

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Boeing says 737 Max...is fixed
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ne/3697037002/

    That's what a mechanic told me just before giving me a whopping bill.
    I didn't even get a mile before my car quit again. Just far enough to keep me from walking back and punching him
    I'm a little confused, I understood that MCAS could not be function if the autopilot was disengaged.
    Boeing has said it is redesigning the software so that pilots can more easily shut off the system
    Seems along with this fix more/better pilot education would go a long way to prevent accidents.
    Last edited by bknight; 2019-May-18 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Corrected bolding

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    Is it the case that without this MCAS, the max version of-the 737 is unstable in that progressive stall from the tips of the wings pitches the nose up instead of down as in many stable aircraft? That behaviour could make a take off stall unrecoverable within the height available. I am not saying that is the case but it would mean the MCAS is not about stick feel as claimed, but is essential to prevent catastrophic stall at take off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I'm a little confused, I understood that MCAS could not be function if the autopilot was disengaged.
    I think that the MCAS works when the autopilot is disengaged, but I could be wrong.


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  9. #189
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    Since the MCAS is basically intended to fool a pilot into thinking he/she is flying a normal 737, there would be no point to it when the autopilot is engaged, so it only functions when the autopilot is disengaged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Is it the case that without this MCAS, the max version of-the 737 is unstable in that progressive stall from the tips of the wings pitches the nose up instead of down as in many stable aircraft? That behaviour could make a take off stall unrecoverable within the height available. I am not saying that is the case but it would mean the MCAS is not about stick feel as claimed, but is essential to prevent catastrophic stall at take off.
    I don't think that's correct. Where did you see it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I don't think that's correct. Where did you see it.
    I saw the note in this thread about swept wings tending to stall from the tips first. That would tend to push the nose up as has been reported as a characteristic of the Max versions. Any swept wing can be designed to stall from the root first (pushing the nose down) by choice of camber but that makes the tips give less lift so it is a lower effectiveness wing. If the max versions do have a tendency to stall from the tips, the nose up effect rapidly increases the stall. I do not know if that is the case but if it is the MCAS would have the effect to stop that happening, as I said. If so that is a way to prevent take off stall.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    I think the point is, the pilot has to fly the plane during takeoff. That means any plane can stall if the pilot doesn't know how to control the nose properly, which we could say means if the pilot doesn't have the right "feel" for flying the plane. If pilots already had a "feel" for the 737 MAX, then there would be no need for MCAS, it would never engage for such a pilot (unless the AoA sensor was broken). But the assumption is, they don't have the feel for the MAX, they have the feel for the normal 737. Then the point of MCAS is to take a pilot who knows how to control the nose of a normal 737 and turn them into a pilot who knows how to control the nose of the MAX, without doing anything to the pilot-- no additional flight training, no recertification, etc. So basically, yes, the point of MCAS is to keep the MAX from stalling given that it is being flown by a pilot who only really knows how to fly a normal 737. It's a bizarre approach, that you don't need to train pilots to fly your plane properly, you need pilots who already know how to fly a different plane and trick them into proper flying of your plane. But that's what you have to do if you want to save money on training.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-May-19 at 02:43 PM.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I think the point is, the pilot has to fly the plane during takeoff. That means any plane can stall if the pilot doesn't know how to control the nose properly, which we could say means if the pilot doesn't have the right "feel" for flying the plane. If pilots already had a "feel" for the 737 MAX, then there would be no need for MCAS, it would never engage for such a pilot (unless the AoA sensor was broken). But the assumption is, they don't have the feel for the MAX, they have the feel for the normal 737. Then the point of MCAS is to take a pilot who knows how to control the nose of a normal 737 and turn them into a pilot who knows how to control the nose of the MAX, without doing anything to the pilot-- no additional flight training, no recertification, etc. So basically, yes, the point of MCAS is to keep the MAX from stalling given that it is being flown by a pilot who only really knows how to fly a normal 737. It's a bizarre approach, that you don't need to train pilots to fly your plane properly, you need pilots who already know how to fly a different plane and trick them into proper flying of your plane. But that's what you have to do if you want to save money on training.
    I think some of what you say, if I understand it, is correct: MCAS was designed to give the 737Max the same stick feel as the 737NG; had the 737Max come first, the 737NG would have had something like MCAS with inverted logic so the stick feel would match the 737Max. Pilot training is a big deal, and type endorsements are also a big deal: an airline that has a mixed fleet would want to minimize the number of type endorsements, especially for aircraft operating on the same sort of routes, as would the different variants of the 737.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I think some of what you say, if I understand it, is correct: MCAS was designed to give the 737Max the same stick feel as the 737NG; had the 737Max come first, the 737NG would have had something like MCAS with inverted logic so the stick feel would match the 737Max. Pilot training is a big deal, and type endorsements are also a big deal: an airline that has a mixed fleet would want to minimize the number of type endorsements, especially for aircraft operating on the same sort of routes, as would the different variants of the 737.
    Understood, so I would like to ask, if I were examining this new version, is the plane safe to fly if the MCAS is turned off or broken, (let alone whether the MCAS will accept a broken sensor and force the planes down). This explanation of adjusting the stick feel sounds like a small matter but it is actually preventing 737 pilots with no retraining from pushing the envelope at take off and suffering a progressive stall from the extra engine thrust and the tip first stall of the wings. Obviously pilot training would enable pilots to avoid that situation. To then have the MCAS warning as an optional extra sounds irresponsible. Now Boeing say the revised software is fixed, so I still would like to know if it is regarded as safe if the MCAS is not available for some reason, and the pilots are not retrained.?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Lion Air Flight 610 Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Understood, so I would like to ask, if I were examining this new version, is the plane safe to fly if the MCAS is turned off or broken, (let alone whether the MCAS will accept a broken sensor and force the planes down). This explanation of adjusting the stick feel sounds like a small matter but it is actually preventing 737 pilots with no retraining from pushing the envelope at take off and suffering a progressive stall from the extra engine thrust and the tip first stall of the wings. Obviously pilot training would enable pilots to avoid that situation. To then have the MCAS warning as an optional extra sounds irresponsible. Now Boeing say the revised software is fixed, so I still would like to know if it is regarded as safe if the MCAS is not available for some reason, and the pilots are not retrained.?
    The new engine configuration and power can lead to a stall condition by inducing a sharper than expected pitch up. If anything, that would seem to be the key aspect for retraining for when MCAS is not active.

    But if a pilot can not recognize a stall then he or she has no business flying a Cessna 150 let alone a Boeing 737. It’s among the first flight conditions taught and reinforced.

    With the corrected software (and all this scrutiny) I’d say the 737 Max might now be one of the safest commercial aircraft flying. (Yeah, I know, I just jinxed it.)

    I’m also of the opinion that the AOS disagree light is not that useful vs a variety of other inputs that take priority - pitch, airspeed, attitude, shaking sticks, stall warning, etc.

    In general aviation AoA sensors are used as inputs for approach and landing.

    ETA: The term “general aviation” above refers to non-commercial aviation and typically in small aircraft.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2019-May-19 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    The new engine configuration and power can lead to a stall condition by inducing a sharper than expected pitch up. If anything, that would seem to be the key aspect for retraining for when MCAS is not active.

    But if a pilot can not recognize a stall then he or she has no business flying a Cessna 150 let alone a Boeing 737. It’s among the first flight conditions taught and reinforced.

    With the corrected software (and all this scrutiny) I’d say the 737 Max might now be one of the safest commercial aircraft flying. (Yeah, I know, I just jinxed it.)

    I’m also of the opinion that the AOS disagree light is not that useful vs a variety of other inputs that take priority - pitch, airspeed, attitude, shaking sticks, stall warning, etc.

    In general aviation AoA sensors are used as inputs for approach and landing.

    ETA: The term “general aviation” above refers to non-commercial aviation and typically in small aircraft.
    Accepted that all pilots know about stall, but the MCAS was introduced anyway. Someone thought a pilot could get into trouble with the increased nose up tendency. That's surely what "stick feel" means. I really hope it will now be safe with lessons learned that should have been simulated before the crashes.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Has the final crash investigation report been filed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Has the final crash investigation report been filed?
    No. Lion Air results may be released in July or August. EA 302 “within a year. “

    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se...-safety-agency

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile..../idUSKCN1RG0R4

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Understood, so I would like to ask, if I were examining this new version, is the plane safe to fly if the MCAS is turned off or broken, (let alone whether the MCAS will accept a broken sensor and force the planes down). This explanation of adjusting the stick feel sounds like a small matter but it is actually preventing 737 pilots with no retraining from pushing the envelope at take off and suffering a progressive stall from the extra engine thrust and the tip first stall of the wings. Obviously pilot training would enable pilots to avoid that situation. To then have the MCAS warning as an optional extra sounds irresponsible. Now Boeing say the revised software is fixed, so I still would like to know if it is regarded as safe if the MCAS is not available for some reason, and the pilots are not retrained.?
    First, I'm not a DER, and I don't have any access to the billion or so gigabytes of regulatory case law.

    I suspect that the 737Max doesn't become unstable, that is that the slope of stick force vs AoA or acceleration doesn't become 0 or negative, so it would be considered safe to fly if MCAS isn't operative.
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    It seems to me that if the MAX is safe without MCAS and no retraining, then there was never any need for MCAS. The point is, there is no working concept of "more safe" for an aircraft company, there is only "safe enough" or "not safe enough." In any industry trying to make money in an environment where safety is both costly and a serious concern, "more safe" means "more safe than necessary" and therefore "costly and inefficient." So it is clear that MCAS was created because without it the MAX was deemed "not safe enough" without pilot training, and MCAS was then supposed to cross over into "safe enough" without spending the money on retraining. The facts are clear enough: the goal was to create a "safe enough" airplane at minimum cost, and that equalled MCAS over pilot training (but certainly not, no MCAS and no retraining, that was not safe enough or that's just what they would have done, safe enough is always the sweet spot). The problem was that MCAS was built with a significant oversight that put planes at great risk when the one AoA sensor used fails during takeoff, so it actually wasn't safe enough after all.

    So to me, the question is not, is the MAX safe enough without MCAS and without retraining, it's what parts of the software fixes that they have put in place were not completely obvious from the start? I'm seriously asking. They are including a way for a pilot to know the AoA sensors disagree instead of simply choosing one over the other for no reason and without informing the pilot of the disagreement, and they are making it easier to turn off in case the pilots feel it is trying to kill them. I realize that hindsight is 20-20, but what is hindsight for people with nothing but common sense to work with ought to be foresight for expert aircraft engineers and capable executives. I only hope that all these fixes cost Boeing more than it would have cost to do it the safe way from the start, so that they learn a valuable lesson from those needlessly lost lives-- safe enough is not the place for wishful thinking and winks at the FAA, it is the place for careful analysis and good communication between engineers, executives, and pilots.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-May-20 at 12:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Accepted that all pilots know about stall, but the MCAS was introduced anyway. Someone thought a pilot could get into trouble with the increased nose up tendency. That's surely what "stick feel" means. I really hope it will now be safe with lessons learned that should have been simulated before the crashes.
    Not so much that, as to make it handle the same as the previous model so a common type rating could be maintained. They didn't think it would be unsafe, just different enough to require more training and a special rating. That's a huge deal financially.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post

    In general aviation AoA sensors are used as inputs for approach and landing.

    ETA: The term “general aviation” above refers to non-commercial aviation and typically in small aircraft.
    What aircraft have you been flying? I've never flown an aircraft with an AoA indicator, unless the stall warner counts as one. Speed and attitude for us bumpkin pilots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Not so much that, as to make it handle the same as the previous model so a common type rating could be maintained. They didn't think it would be unsafe, just different enough to require more training and a special rating. That's a huge deal financially.
    (my bold)

    This. "they" were wrong, and over 300 people are dead as a result.

    And it now appears that the FAA was complicit (maybe not the right word) in their deaths. And, to a lesser extent, the aviation authorities in other countries, to the extent that they either accepted the FAA's certification or did not do enough due diligence on their own, independent certifications.

    Why have no Boeing or FAA heads rolled?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    Why have no Boeing or FAA heads rolled?
    Why didn't any heads roll when Deepwater Horizon blew? Or Piper alpha? There are many examples of horrendous safety oversights costing lives, and always for the sake of increased profit of huge corporations with many layers of insulation for the executives. It is not at all unusual for executives to escape any consequences. In industries that involve danger to workers and consumers, loss of life is part of the cost of doing business. Of course we all know that our cars and planes could be safer, but they would cost more and we'd choose the cheapest one that is "safe enough" for us. But we depend on other agencies to determine what is safe enough, we can't rely on the executives because of that insulation problem. That's why there needs to be open communication between engineers, pilots, and the FAA that goes outside the corporate executives, or we'll have more Lion Air's and more Piper Alpha's.

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    Lion Air Flight 610 Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    What aircraft have you been flying? I've never flown an aircraft with an AoA indicator, unless the stall warner counts as one. Speed and attitude for us bumpkin pilots.
    To be clear I ain’t a pilot although I have had some ground instruction and been allowed to handle controls in flight.

    AOA sensors apparently aren’t very common in GA but they seem to be gaining use.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...que-aoa-for-ga
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2019-May-21 at 03:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    (my bold)

    This. "they" were wrong, and over 300 people are dead as a result.

    And it now appears that the FAA was complicit (maybe not the right word) in their deaths. And, to a lesser extent, the aviation authorities in other countries, to the extent that they either accepted the FAA's certification or did not do enough due diligence on their own, independent certifications.

    Why have no Boeing or FAA heads rolled?
    My "They didn't think it would be unsafe" referred to the pitch-up condition. And it most likely wasn't. The solution they chose in order to maintain type rating clearly was.
    Heads should indeed roll.
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    maybe heads should roll but I hope procedures change, the faults are properly aired and responsibilities reallocated. Rolling heads can be a way to make a public sacrifice while quietly leaving the organisation to roll on as before. In this case the "what if" thinking was an FAA duty and it was left to Boeing internals where, I guess, there were arguments , memos and maybe resignations, I wait to see what happens. Meanwhile the PR machine says the software is fixed at great expense.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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    In the case of Deepwater Horizon, Tony Hayward did resign over it and BP as a company did get slapped with a record criminal fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    Thanks schlaugh.


    Reading this fills me with a sense of dread.

    I wonder what the relevant aviation authorities in Indonesia and Ethiopia think of this? Or, perhaps more pertinent, those in Canada and Mexico?

    Will the FAA insist that pilots get more-than-adequate simulator training, before they are allowed to fly 737MAX+new MCAS planes? Or be handed an iPad and given 10 minutes to do some quick reading?
    The regulatory agencies in both Indonesia and Ethiopia are involved, as the crashes were a) in their countries and b) of aircraft registered in their countries. The US NTSB is involved in all crashes of US-built or registered non-military aircraft, anywhere, and any non-military crashes in the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Why didn't any heads roll when Deepwater Horizon blew? Or Piper alpha? There are many examples of horrendous safety oversights costing lives, and always for the sake of increased profit of huge corporations with many layers of insulation for the executives. It is not at all unusual for executives to escape any consequences. In industries that involve danger to workers and consumers, loss of life is part of the cost of doing business. Of course we all know that our cars and planes could be safer, but they would cost more and we'd choose the cheapest one that is "safe enough" for us. But we depend on other agencies to determine what is safe enough, we can't rely on the executives because of that insulation problem. That's why there needs to be open communication between engineers, pilots, and the FAA that goes outside the corporate executives, or we'll have more Lion Air's and more Piper Alpha's.
    My opinion is to protect speech against one's boss or company. Right now, if someone says something against one's boss or company, it is likely that your livelihood will be terminated. Go all out with protecting free speech and many safety issues, or other corporate sins, will be brought out in the open.
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