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Thread: Lion Air Flight 610 Crash

  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    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
    Rather timely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Rather timely.
    The NTSB used to hold onto any results or findings for quite some time but policy changes have led to a faster information release, especially when some factors are firmly established if only through common sense (impact with terrain, mid air collision, runway incursion, etc.) The root cause analysis and producing a final report still takes quite a bit of time.

    NTSB policy is to publish information as soon as it can be released to the public, so there is no more specific schedule for content release. As new information becomes available that is important to the public, we are committed to putting it on our website in a timely manner.

    The National Transportation Safety Board developed this inventory of its public website content as required by Section 207(f)(2) of the E-Government Act of 2002 (enacted as Pub. L. No. 107-347 (2002)). The purpose of Section 207(f)(2) is to improve the methods by which Government information, including information on the Internet, is organized, preserved, and made accessible to the public. More information on this requirement can be found on the National Archives and Records Administration Web site.
    I imagine that even if the NTSB is ready to publish content related to the two flights it may be holding back pending the final reports from the respective investigating agencies in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Right now there is no information on either flight in the NTSB aviation database.

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    I am continually cheesed off (thanks, BigDon, for that euphemism) at how the news media are persisting in referring to MCAS as an anti-stall system and sometimes writing in a way that could make a reader think that is all it does in normal operation. This CNBC report https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/21/boei...max-crash.html is an example. Yes indeed it will assist the pilot in recovering from an impending stall if everything is working properly, but once again my understanding is that it functions anytime that the plane is in a normal high angle of attack with the flaps retracted and the autopilot off. This is from pilots to whom I have linked in previous posts.

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    I'm not sure I understand your objection, the MCAS is an anti-stall system. It has only one purpose, and that is to prevent stalls caused by pilots who are used to flying the normal 737, which is harder to stall. It only activates when the AoA is higher than optimal, a pilot used to the MAX would never have MCAS activate because they wouldn't need it.

    Indeed, the Boeing execs thought it would be all right if the pilots didn't even know it was there (as was exactly the case for the first crash, the Lion Air). This is what veep Sinnett said: "I don’t know that understanding this system would’ve changed the outcome on this. In a million miles, you’re going to maybe fly this airplane, maybe once you’re going to see this, ever. So we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important.”

    Yes, the system that killed the Lion Air flight was not revealed to its pilots, because it was thought they wouldn't need to know. I can't think of a more obvious example of the principle of acceptable risk being decided by the people who maximize profits, rather than by the experts who design and/or fly planes. We don't have the engineers saying the pilots don't need to know, we don't have the pilots saying they are fine to not know, we have the corporate execs explaining why they are freeing the pilots of bothersome knowledge that could only save their lives at most once in a million miles.

    So the big question here is, why was the communication on this so poor? We now know, because Sinnet told us, that the communication was poor on purpose. So the only issue that remains is, what was the purpose? Was it, as Sinnett claimed, simply to assist the pilots who have enough on their minds? Or was it a willfull withholding of information because there was a fear that the rather obvious flaws in the system (one sensor, no retraining, no override without reduced control of the stabilizer) would have raised objections that would not have allowed the system to be initiated so cheaply?
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-May-23 at 12:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    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.
    True, but that was mostly for the oil spill damages (which were much much higher than the fines). The criminal actions against the company amounted to throwing lower level managers under the bus, as usual. And even they didn't get much punishment, the Wiki says "None of the charges against individuals resulted in any prison time, and no charges were levied against upper level executives." It was considered a manslaughter case, but the manslaughter was regarded as committed by the decisionmakers on the scene who acted to protect the company profits-- now why would anyone on the scene make a decision about profits they themselves would see none of? Obviously there was pressure coming from the boardroom, which is also why the operators of the drill rigs around Piper alpha kept pumping out oil even when it was feeding the catastrophic flames on Piper alpha-- again a decision no one who didn't see the profits would make unless they felt (as they did) that they had no authority to make the safety-based decision.

    As for Tony Hayward, he's now the CEO of Glencore, the largest company in Switzerland. Poor guy, he really landed hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    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.
    I agree, and the irony is, better decisions would be made if experts on the scene felt empowered to do the right things, rather than cover for someone higher up the food chain. So often, a terrible decision can be traced to a desire to do what will allow a person to keep their job, rather than what will allow for better functioning of the operation. No doubt it is that they understand this that motivates Toyota to allow anyone to stop the production line. You can't possibly imagine any situation more opposite to that than what happened with the destruction of Piper alpha, where oil in connected nearby rigs was still pumping into the flames of Piper alpha because no one thought they had the authority to simply turn it off. Not empowering those low-level managers with the authority to use their common sense was a costly policy mistake, and Boeing is discovering the same thing now. But heads are not going to roll, at most the execs involved will get severance bonuses and move on to be executives of some other large corporations that engage in similar attitudes. I don't know if Boeing won't end up making more money in the long run by handling the MCAS exactly the way they did, but I'd like to think that better decisions along the way could have saved both money and lives, as well as the corporation's reputation.

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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.
    While in no way downplaying these "workplace accidents", I think the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air crashes differ in one crucial way: no Boeing employees or contractors died. Perhaps a better similar case might be Grenfell Tower (WP). Heads have yet to roll for that (very avoidable) disaster.

    ETA: Also, no employees or contractors of any aviation authority which certified the 737MAX died (in either crash).
    Last edited by Jean Tate; 2019-May-23 at 03:10 PM.

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your objection, the MCAS is an anti-stall system. It has only one purpose, and that is to prevent stalls caused by pilots who are used to flying the normal 737, which is harder to stall. It only activates when the AoA is higher than optimal, a pilot used to the MAX would never have MCAS activate because they wouldn't need it.

    Indeed, the Boeing execs thought it would be all right if the pilots didn't even know it was there (as was exactly the case for the first crash, the Lion Air). This is what veep Sinnett said: "I don’t know that understanding this system would’ve changed the outcome on this. In a million miles, you’re going to maybe fly this airplane, maybe once you’re going to see this, ever. So we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important.”

    Yes, the system that killed the Lion Air flight was not revealed to its pilots, because it was thought they wouldn't need to know. I can't think of a more obvious example of the principle of acceptable risk being decided by the people who maximize profits, rather than by the experts who design and/or fly planes. We don't have the engineers saying the pilots don't need to know, we don't have the pilots saying they are fine to not know, we have the corporate execs explaining why they are freeing the pilots of bothersome knowledge that could only save their lives at most once in a million miles.

    So the big question here is, why was the communication on this so poor? We now know, because Sinnet told us, that the communication was poor on purpose. So the only issue that remains is, what was the purpose? Was it, as Sinnett claimed, simply to assist the pilots who have enough on their minds? Or was it a willfull withholding of information because there was a fear that the rather obvious flaws in the system (one sensor, no retraining, no override without reduced control of the stabilizer) would have raised objections that would not have allowed the system to be initiated so cheaply?
    I was working from my sense that these pilots were more reliable sources than the mainstream news media, but I could be mistaken on that point, and perhaps I misunderstood them as well.

    One thing is certain in my opinion. Suppose a bad AOA detector gives a false stall warning. Without a misprogrammed computer system the pilots could check the airspeed indicator, altimeter, rate of climb/descent indicator, and artificial horizon in a few seconds and quickly rule out the possibility an impending stall. That's just basic flying skill for any airplane. I would expect it to be straightforward in principle to have the computer do a similar sanity check in less time than it takes the pilots to do it. Of course it takes several weeks to make the changes because we have a zillion lines of code and need to check for the possibility of adverse unintended consequences.

    We can technically say in hindsight that the pilots missed opportunities to recover. It appears to me that the actual inappropriate MCAS actions confused them because the pattern of action did not look like any runaway electric stab trim they would have seen in training. In light of this I side with the pilot's union in criticizing Boeing for apparently blaming the pilots.

  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I was working from my sense that these pilots were more reliable sources than the mainstream news media, but I could be mistaken on that point, and perhaps I misunderstood them as well.

    One thing is certain in my opinion. Suppose a bad AOA detector gives a false stall warning. Without a misprogrammed computer system the pilots could check the airspeed indicator, altimeter, rate of climb/descent indicator, and artificial horizon in a few seconds and quickly rule out the possibility an impending stall. That's just basic flying skill for any airplane. I would expect it to be straightforward in principle to have the computer do a similar sanity check in less time than it takes the pilots to do it. Of course it takes several weeks to make the changes because we have a zillion lines of code and need to check for the possibility of adverse unintended consequences.

    We can technically say in hindsight that the pilots missed opportunities to recover. It appears to me that the actual inappropriate MCAS actions confused them because the pattern of action did not look like any runaway electric stab trim they would have seen in training. In light of this I side with the pilot's union in criticizing Boeing for apparently blaming the pilots.
    I think they did not even know there was the MCAS modification so it is not surprising that they did not react to it. I heard today that the usual respect internationally for the FAA may have been broken by this debacle so the grounded planes may not be flying for a while yet and indeed the FAA will be very sure to do its due diligence now having lost for the while its reputation. No more cosy relationship.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I was working from my sense that these pilots were more reliable sources than the mainstream news media, but I could be mistaken on that point, and perhaps I misunderstood them as well.

    One thing is certain in my opinion. Suppose a bad AOA detector gives a false stall warning. Without a misprogrammed computer system the pilots could check the airspeed indicator, altimeter, rate of climb/descent indicator, and artificial horizon in a few seconds and quickly rule out the possibility an impending stall. That's just basic flying skill for any airplane. I would expect it to be straightforward in principle to have the computer do a similar sanity check in less time than it takes the pilots to do it. Of course it takes several weeks to make the changes because we have a zillion lines of code and need to check for the possibility of adverse unintended consequences.

    We can technically say in hindsight that the pilots missed opportunities to recover. It appears to me that the actual inappropriate MCAS actions confused them because the pattern of action did not look like any runaway electric stab trim they would have seen in training. In light of this I side with the pilot's union in criticizing Boeing for apparently blaming the pilots.
    Last night I picked the brain of a recently retired systems engineer who has worked on software projects of similar magnitude and complexity. I asked him about having the computer doing the cross check I described above. He said yes indeed, but reminded me that it is complex and must not be rushed into production. He said it is entirely possible that there are other bugs lurking there that have not caused trouble so far, but could turn around and bite you if you do not do exhaustive testing after making the revision. If that takes six months or more, so be it. He agreed that it was unfair to blame the pilots for the missed opportunities under the circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I was working from my sense that these pilots were more reliable sources than the mainstream news media, but I could be mistaken on that point, and perhaps I misunderstood them as well.
    I'm sure the pilots are reliable sources, but did any of them say MCAS is not an anti-stall system? You only reported them as saying it is active when the flaps are down and autopilot is off, and that's certainly true, but there may be some confusion in the term "active." It just means it can activate under those conditions, but it still only activates when the AoA sensor is reporting a potential stall. That shouldn't happen for a pilot who already knows how to not stall a MAX, so that's why it is an anti-stall measure.

    What seems to be the overarching fact here is that Boeing wanted to put the MAX into operation at minimum cost, and the way to do that is to take regular 737 pilots and let them fly the MAX without additional training. In effect, therefore, the system is designed to trick pilots into thinking they are flying a regular 737 when they are actually flying a MAX, under the assumption that a regular 737 NG pilot will sometimes unwittingly put a MAX in a position where there is elevated danger of stalling, and the MCAS will ease them out of that situation, almost without their even knowing it. (Indeed, very much without them even knowing it, in the case of the Lion Air flight.) I understand that any manufacturer is going to try to minimize costs, and some safety compromises are inevitable, but in this case we have the additional issue of intentional lack of communication. We've all swept an uncomfortable fact under the rug from time to time, and corporations are well known to do this all the time, even (especially?) in situations when safety is at issue. But in the current climate, this has become something of a national epidemic.

    What is so appalling about the idea of tricking a pilot into flying a plane correctly is that you can also kill them when they are flying it perfectly fine, if the system being used to trick them is using incomplete or erroneous information. It's not that MCAS failed to save those people, it's that it killed them. The engineers who built it must feel horrible about it, and I'll bet they have a great deal of anger about how the system was invoked. But they are probably also worried about getting thrown under the bus as the culprits, so whistleblowing is probably not a very attractive option.

    One thing is certain in my opinion. Suppose a bad AOA detector gives a false stall warning. Without a misprogrammed computer system the pilots could check the airspeed indicator, altimeter, rate of climb/descent indicator, and artificial horizon in a few seconds and quickly rule out the possibility an impending stall.
    The problem is not that the pilots thought they were about to stall-- they knew perfectly well they were not about to stall. Maybe not right away, perhaps at first they thought the stall warning was correct and they needed to get their speed up or some such thing. But after awhile, they knew they were not in danger of stalling, they were in danger of flying into the ground. It may have taken them awhile to figure out that the MCAS was trying to fly them into the ground, perhaps because they simply couldn't believe that Boeing would put a system on their plane that would fly them into the ground, without giving them ample warning. (Indeed, it was in Boeing's interest to suppress the cause of the Lion Air crash from pilots of MAX planes, for fear they would object.) So none of this is about the software misleading the pilots, it's about the software flying the plane into the ground. I would imagine that a very clear and general principle should be that no single sensor failure should ever be able to make perfectly working software fly an airplane into the ground, that is more or less the definition of poor design.

    The worst if it is, and we shouldn't forget this point, the Ethiopian Air flight could probably have been saved if not for two quite unfortunate elements of the software design:
    1) turning off MCAS dangerously compromises the ability to control the stabilizers when the plane is at low altitude and high speed, and
    2) when the MCAS is switched back on in a situation where it gets wrong data from the AoA, it will immediately pitch the plane downward, it won't wait its usual 9 minutes to do that.
    These two facts are what killed the plane, and since the communication from Boeing about the MCAS was so scant, it's very possible that the pilots didn't know one or both of these things. Had the communication been better, and the pilots knew both these things, they would have been better prepared and could possibly have found a better way out. They certainly would never have turned the MCAS back on, that was a fateful error but they were probably completely desperate at that point.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-May-24 at 02:39 PM.

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    More cancellations of plane orders.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/24/unit...ly-august.html

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    From that link:
    "The move comes a day after the Federal Aviation Administration’s acting head said airlines didn’t need to extend flight cancellations for Max flights. The FAA hasn’t said when it thinks the Max will return to flight."
    It would seem the FAA is still living in denial over this. How can they ask airlines not to cancel flights, yet not even be able to give a timetable for recertification? Do they really expect the airlines to sell tickets on grounded planes with no timetable to change that?

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    The FAA may have a timetable.

    “U.S. regulator sees approval of Boeing 737 MAX to fly as soon as late June: sources “
    https://reut.rs/30Ccfaw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G;2484280[B
    ]I'm sure the pilots are reliable sources, but did any of them say MCAS is not an anti-stall system?[/B] You only reported them as saying it is active when the flaps are down and autopilot is off, and that's certainly true, but there may be some confusion in the term "active." It just means it can activate under those conditions, but it still only activates when the AoA sensor is reporting a potential stall. That shouldn't happen for a pilot who already knows how to not stall a MAX, so that's why it is an anti-stall measure. ...snip...
    My bold. Yes, this one said exactly that from the beginning of his presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGM0...youtu.be&t=149 I interpreted this as meaning any normal operations position with positive AoA, which I am thinking could include initial climb and approach just before extending the flaps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    My bold. Yes, this one said exactly that from the beginning of his presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGM0...youtu.be&t=149 I interpreted this as meaning any normal operations position with positive AoA, which I am thinking could include initial climb and approach just before extending the flaps.
    Positive AoA would include all flight regimes except entry to a dive or a downward vertical gust.
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    Addendum to my post above. The FAA may have a plan for returning to flight that results in a late June date. But the FAA has been adamant that there is no target; they'll issue approval once all steps are compete. Still, they are trying to set expectations with the airlines as to when the MAX aircraft can fly again.

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    Once again I am outraged by a technical blunder in an otherwise good article, this time in USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ty/1219147001/
    The writer asserted that the greater tendency to nose up is because of heavier engines farther forward. If that was the only factor the nose would tend to go down. That is physics 101. It is aerodynamic differences, not the weight, that causes the nose up tendency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I agree, and the irony is, better decisions would be made if experts on the scene felt empowered to do the right things, rather than cover for someone higher up the food chain. So often, a terrible decision can be traced to a desire to do what will allow a person to keep their job, rather than what will allow for better functioning of the operation. No doubt it is that they understand this that motivates Toyota to allow anyone to stop the production line. You can't possibly imagine any situation more opposite to that than what happened with the destruction of Piper alpha, where oil in connected nearby rigs was still pumping into the flames of Piper alpha because no one thought they had the authority to simply turn it off. Not empowering those low-level managers with the authority to use their common sense was a costly policy mistake, and Boeing is discovering the same thing now. But heads are not going to roll, at most the execs involved will get severance bonuses and move on to be executives of some other large corporations that engage in similar attitudes. I don't know if Boeing won't end up making more money in the long run by handling the MCAS exactly the way they did, but I'd like to think that better decisions along the way could have saved both money and lives, as well as the corporation's reputation.
    The place I used to work said they ran the Toyota plan where regular employees made decisions, but it was basically corporate deciding what we were supposed to do, get a committee, and make it look like it came from the ground up. Also there was never an accountant, an engineer, or quality person involved to do the math to see if the assertions made, were accurate. It was always shoot from the hip mentality. Buying decisions were made without engineering specifications, by the purchasing managers, who must have received bonuses for reducing materials costs. I am appalled at the low esteem for engineers now. I work as a nurse now. Why would a nurse, coming out of school with an associate degree, make the equivalent of an engineer coming out of school. Its like managers can't handle the knowledge of engineers, so corporations have designed them out of so many decision processes. It seems like engineers, who could prevent these problems, because frankly, engineers are mostly geniuses and sticklers for the truth through measurement, aren't in the equation. It seems that managers, that aren't super bright, are put in a position of authority, and because they are vulnerable, because they aren't super bright, or able, do whatever the managers above them dictate. And I am saying this as a person that is not a crank and not difficult to work with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    The place I used to work said they ran the Toyota plan where regular employees made decisions, but it was basically corporate deciding what we were supposed to do, get a committee, and make it look like it came from the ground up.
    That's exactly what it was like my last few years at, ya know, Boeing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    That's exactly what it was like my last few years at, ya know, Boeing.
    Yikes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    My bold. Yes, this one said exactly that from the beginning of his presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGM0...youtu.be&t=149 I interpreted this as meaning any normal operations position with positive AoA, which I am thinking could include initial climb and approach just before extending the flaps.
    Yet from the rest of what he says, it's clear that what he means is that the MAX is not inherently unstable with MCAS off. So his point is that we should not interpret the MAX as a plane that stalls if you don't have MCAS, a seasoned MAX flyer wouldn't need MCAS. But that's what I said also, it actually is still quite clearly an anti-stall system-- it is just an anti-stall system for someone used to the NG instead of the MAX. It exists to prevent stalls and for no other reason, that's the very definition of an anti-stall system, that's why it is so tragically resolute in its actions even when the pilots are trying to circumvent it. The pilot in the video is simply saying we should not interpret the words "anti-stall" as meaning that the MAX will stall without MCAS. But the problem is not that the MAX inherently stalls without MCAS, it is that Boeing tried to save money by not training pilots to fly the MAX, they went for a kluge that essentially tricks NG pilots into being MAX pilots by changing the "feel" of the plane. Unfortunately, we cannot ask the Lion Air or Ethiopian Air pilots what it "felt" like to be in a plane that is trying to fly into the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    It seems like engineers, who could prevent these problems, because frankly, engineers are mostly geniuses and sticklers for the truth through measurement, aren't in the equation. It seems that managers, that aren't super bright, are put in a position of authority, and because they are vulnerable, because they aren't super bright, or able, do whatever the managers above them dictate.
    Yes, that would seem to be the issue right there. How often do we see this? It's pretty much right out of the book Catch-22, which is all about what happens in wartime when important decisions get made by people with personal priorities rather than the ones that people who know what they are doing would have. Or the TV show "The Office"-- that's no way to run an airline. I'll admit that the airline industry has been amazingly good at flying safely, so no doubt they have not always had the kind of attitude that is emerging with the MAX crisis. We can hope that they get themselves back on the right track where important decisions about how to keep the planes safe involve empowering the people who have the expertise, not made by people who just want to "keep corporate happy."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, that would seem to be the issue right there. How often do we see this? It's pretty much right out of the book Catch-22, which is all about what happens in wartime when important decisions get made by people with personal priorities rather than the ones that people who know what they are doing would have. Or the TV show "The Office"-- that's no way to run an airline. I'll admit that the airline industry has been amazingly good at flying safely, so no doubt they have not always had the kind of attitude that is emerging with the MAX crisis. We can hope that they get themselves back on the right track where important decisions about how to keep the planes safe involve empowering the people who have the expertise, not made by people who just want to "keep corporate happy."
    I want to mention that I work in healthcare now, and the quality standards in healthcare are magnitudes lower than manufacturing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I want to mention that I work in healthcare now, and the quality standards in healthcare are magnitudes lower than manufacturing.
    I am not sure that is a sustainable position! And while at it, I think that reference to the Toyota method is a bit off the mark although I don't know how your company borrowed the name. There is more than one Toyota "method" used in management in engineering but none of them put "managers" over "engineers", quite the reverse although many managers have engineering qualifications, of course. We have seen discussion on this forum of engineering lessons vs. medical lessons in large organisations. My take on the current discussion is now after the events, the Boeing company is making a bad situation worse. I believe the 737 is central to their forward planning, so delay is serious commercially, but the kind of old fashioned idea that a big company can just keep saying "no big problem here" is still in the wind. I imagine the FAA is under a lot of pressure to show it can be independent and an effective regulator, like we thought it was. Boeing is trying to stop Airbus picking up business from the hiatus and is still not eating humble pie after this apparently blatant technical mistake which apparently would have been prevented by well established protocols for introducing changes.
    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

  26. #236
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    Juan Brown has published a new video on the 737MAX and the ungrounding process. A couple of points he raises:
    - MCAS was developed NOT as an anti-stall system but to keep the 737 type rating
    - The manual stabilizer trim is almost impossible at high speeds
    - The ET 302 pilots probably could not have executed the "roller coaster" maneuver to apply manual trim
    - Manual stab trim training has grown lax to non-existent
    - The physical trim wheels have shrunk which means the pilot to has exert more force on a smaller radius.

    https://youtu.be/n4qDLR4s45U

  27. #237
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    What doesn't make sense to me is this artificial distinction between keeping the 737 type rating and creating an anti-stall system. They are one and the same thing, because the fact is we are dealing with NG pilots. The only reason an NG pilot might have trouble flying a MAX is because of its different "feel"-- a difference which can lead to stalling the aircraft. That's the whole point, that's what they are worried about. What Juan Brown apparently means when he says it's "not an anti-stall system" is simply that the MAX is not inherently unstable, so doesn't necessarily need an anti-stall system. That's perfectly true, a pilot who never flew an NG and was experienced on the MAX would not need any anti-stall system. But that's simply not what is meant by calling the MAX an anti-stall system-- what is presumed in calling it that is you are dealing with an NG pilot, and you don't want to retrain them for the MAX. What is your concern when you don't retrain? The higher chance of stalling the plane, what else. So when you take an NG pilot, put them in a MAX, and give them MCAS so you don't need to actually train them to fly the MAX, you can preserve the NG rating-- by insuring the pilot won't stall the plane. That's an anti-stall system, when dealing with NG pilots while keeping the type rating.

    I think all Brown is objecting to is the insinuation that the MAX is unstable by itself so needs an anti-stall system, but I never thought the MAX was inherently unstable, that would be a terrible way to design a commercial plane. The problem was, and is, that the MAX is being flown by NG pilots, and that's why it needs an anti-stall system, not because there's something wrong with the plane-- it's being flown by people who might tend to stall it, and that's why MCAS was invented in the first place. It would be like if you put a regular driver into a formula 1 racecar, you could expect they would overaccelerate and crash the car, so you'd have to put in software that reduces the depression of the gas pedal-- and you'd call that an anti-overacceleration system, even though there's nothing fundamental about the formula 1 racecar that makes it crash when driven by someone who knows how to drive formula 1.

    Those other points are consistent with the issue that the Ethiopian Air pilots were basically doomed as soon as they got the airspeed up and the MCAS put them in a nose-down situation. There was no saving it from that, they were caught between dying by not being able to get the nose up manually, and dying by turning the MCAS back on so they could get powered control of the stabilizer-- by turning that control over to MCAS, which summarily flew the plane into the ground because it was getting bogus data. I'm glad to hear they are finally planning on using redundant AoA information in the MCAS, one would really have expected them to do that the first time around.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-May-31 at 06:26 PM.

  28. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Juan Brown has published a new video on the 737MAX and the ungrounding process. A couple of points he raises:
    - MCAS was developed NOT as an anti-stall system but to keep the 737 type rating
    - The manual stabilizer trim is almost impossible at high speeds
    - The ET 302 pilots probably could not have executed the "roller coaster" maneuver to apply manual trim
    - Manual stab trim training has grown lax to non-existent
    - The physical trim wheels have shrunk which means the pilot to has exert more force on a smaller radius.

    https://youtu.be/n4qDLR4s45U
    Just watched that. Very good, other than his annoying editing.

    I'm the guy that shrunk the wheels. Damn.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  29. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Just watched that. Very good, other than his annoying editing.

    I'm the guy that shrunk the wheels. Damn.
    Yeah, he definitely needs a TelePrompTer.

  30. #240
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    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm the guy that shrunk the wheels. Damn.
    Seriously? I bet you never envisioned the MCAS though.

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