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Thread: Lion Air Flight 610 Crash

  1. #301
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    Boeing should have offered to pay for the training. Smaller profits are better than no profits and a scarred reputation. It's pure greed, coupled with wishful thinking. A mindset reaching epidemic proportions these days. When has that combination ever caused problems?

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    Saudis cancel order for 30 planes

    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/bus...who-s-n1027441

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    from that link: “If this plane doesn’t start flying again before Christmas, it could start to get very ugly for Boeing in terms of order cancellations.”

    Boeing is learning the hard way what happens when "safety is our highest priority" becomes just a bunch of words, instead of an actual commitment that rules policy over wishful thinking and the short-term bottom line. Why didn't they just train the pilots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    from that link: “If this plane doesn’t start flying again before Christmas, it could start to get very ugly for Boeing in terms of order cancellations.”

    Boeing is learning the hard way what happens when "safety is our highest priority" becomes just a bunch of words, instead of an actual commitment that rules policy over wishful thinking and the short-term bottom line. Why didn't they just train the pilots?
    Responsibility probably won't kick in until their military sales suffer. Not much chance of that at present.

  5. #305
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    But MCAS was designed for their commercial planes, so if they weren't worried about profits in that sector, why did all those people have to die?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But MCAS was designed for their commercial planes, so if they weren't worried about profits in that sector, why did all those people have to die?
    Simple greed.
    Their bean counters are always looking to save a penny here and there. MCAS was a no brainer to those of an accounting persuasion I suspect. We know that in the absence of MCAS, correctly trained pilots probably would not have crashed. So it would be interesting to find out how much the whole R&D phase for MCAS cost compared to the extra pilot training.
    It (R&D) surely won't have been more expensive? Especially since it wasn't tested properly.

  7. #307
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    It is easy to be cynical about greed but it might be other corporate sins like complacency and rank and role structures. There was a program about Apollo and the dreadful Oxygen fire. The response was a shake up, NASA had to be "tough and competent" The view was that the new tougher mental attitude saved the whole moon program. It was not bean counters but too much time with knowing Oxygen was dangerous but not really thinking through the risks. Those deaths were a tragedy and a lesson. But I am not convinced yet that Boeing has learned and changed. I really hope they do, I fly on Boeing planes!
    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

  8. #308
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    I've been on the look out for reports on the following, almost since I first read of the Lion Air crash; so far I've seen none. Anyone?

    What did those who worked on MACS, or who knew about it in detail, think once some details of the Lion Air crash became public? Did any of them have suspicions that MACS might be involved? Did they make any such concerns known to the higher-ups? In hindsight, the Boeing (and FAA) initial response to the crash seems woefully inadequate.

    As I understand it, new planes - like the MAX - are tested by Boeing, both by test pilots and in simulations. The tests deliberately include scenarios that "stretch the envelope" but seek to test unusual events. Did any of those tests involve a faulty sensor AND a fully deployed MACS? If so, how come the we-now-know-to-be-deadly combo was not noticed? If not, why not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    I've been on the look out for reports on the following, almost since I first read of the Lion Air crash; so far I've seen none. Anyone?

    What did those who worked on MACS, or who knew about it in detail, think once some details of the Lion Air crash became public? Did any of them have suspicions that MACS might be involved? Did they make any such concerns known to the higher-ups? In hindsight, the Boeing (and FAA) initial response to the crash seems woefully inadequate.

    As I understand it, new planes - like the MAX - are tested by Boeing, both by test pilots and in simulations. The tests deliberately include scenarios that "stretch the envelope" but seek to test unusual events. Did any of those tests involve a faulty sensor AND a fully deployed MACS? If so, how come the we-now-know-to-be-deadly combo was not noticed? If not, why not?
    My educated guess is that they rushed the process and among other things did not allow for the startle factor suffered by a flight crew when a fault comes out of nowhere. In rushing the process it appears that there was poor communication among people working on various components of the system. Perhaps a case of "the hand didn't know what the foot was doing."

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    At Boeing, Quality is King.
    But the Schedule is God.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #311
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    It never rains but it pours..part two
    https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/18/...e-boeing-jets/

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    It never rains but it pours..part two
    https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/18/...e-boeing-jets/
    Well, yeah but this has nothing to do with MCAS. That said, it also seems like a fairly small set of aircraft and even then the chances of interference are very, very low.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2019-Jul-19 at 03:57 PM. Reason: expanded comment

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Well, yeah but this has nothing to do with MCAS. That said, it also seems like a fairly small set of aircraft and even then the chances of interference are very, very low.
    Yeah. It's the kind of story we'd never have seen if not for the MCAS problem.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    It is easy to be cynical about greed but it might be other corporate sins like complacency and rank and role structures.
    You certainly make a valid point, and I think it would be extremely important for Boeing to figure out which was the culprit. We know the corporate bottom line is the dominant motivator for every decision the executives make (I'd say there is ample evidence for this, no corporate exec of Boeing or British Petroleum or any other major corporation would last long if they ever said something like "yes it will reduce the return to our stockholders but think of all the lives it will save"-- that argument only works if it is followed by "who would otherwise reduce our profits by suing us or hurting our brand.") It's just their job, they serve stockholders and as a rule they are certainly not known for their compassion (an understatement given history). So if they thought it would reduce profits to train MAX pilots, they could easily have made the decision on that basis alone (and if so, it obviously backfired-- https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKCN1UJ1G9).

    Alternatively, perhaps the profit-minded executives were not to blame, and would have given the engineers and test pilots enough leeway to build a safe system had they chosen to do so. If that's the truth here, then it could have been error and miscommunication that led to the tragedy, and to the monetary losses for Boeing.

    So which of those is what actually happened provides the guide for where the corrections need to be applied. The problem is, the corrections need to be applied by the executives, so if the problem is the first scenario, guess who isn't going to do anything about it?

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    I would say that such behavior justifies giving our courts the power to impose punitive damages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I would say that such behavior justifies giving our courts the power to impose punitive damages.
    Punitive damages already exist in the civil tort system which is why juries sometimes award what seem to be outrageous amounts (and which are later revised drastically downward on appeal).

  17. #317
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    I heard that the recent write down for the last quarter was like twice the development costs. So this debacle has already tripled the cost to Boeing of the programme and it's going to get bigger by the quarter. Southwest Airlines have now cancelled their MAX flights beyond the New Year.

    It won't be long before the direct costs of compensation alone will exceed the cost of a clean sheet development programme, not even counting the long term brand damage and the costs of the FAA no longer being a vassal organisation.

  18. #318
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    Perhaps this will end the idea of just tacking new engines on things and glomming it over with software "fixes."

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    Apparently bit flipping has become a worry too.
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/AMP/20...flipping_test/

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Apparently bit flipping has become a worry too.
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/AMP/20...flipping_test/
    No active standby function in operation until now? Yikes! That makes it appear that general purpose business managers and bean counters who were not first and foremost aviators had the upper hand in some critical decision making. In my fantasy world I would exile them to our worst enemy, and turn bulldozers loose on the business schools that trained them.

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    The bit flipping failure is mainly a criticism of the FAA although you would hope it had been considered in house. This will have been a wake up call for the FAA and its international reputation will take years to pull back. I guess there will a boost in all the simulations that should have been done and that will extend to other questions about other models. How many unlikely but deadly bugs are hidden away? How many recorded, non fatal errors have been logged and pushed under the carpet with the FAA in complacent mode?
    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

  22. #322
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    I see American Airlines have scheduled new routes for the max in November, showing a confidence I cannot share with the news that a second flight computer will now be added and the likelihood that the FAA Will not roll over and let Boeing effectively self certify. Would this latest technical change involve recalling all the grounded aircraft? Apparently the 737s have been running on one flight computer for decades but the proposed fixes for the MCAS problem did not satisfy the FAA pilots who said the response was now too slow. It seems this technical nightmare is just getting worse and in my opinion putting in such a level of new software now will take more than 10 weeks even to reach the point where it can be tested by the FAA and all the other international regulators.
    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

  23. #323
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    I may be mis-remembering, were there reports that, in the aftermath of the Lion crash, Boeing expected that trained pilots should be able to recover from the sort of problem MCAS created, even if they had no MCAS training, or even if they didn’t even know of its existence?

    In both crashes, there was surely confusion in the cockpit, with several alarms going off. The pilots would have to have been very adept at quickly ignoring the less relevant and focusing on the critical issues. Is this sort of thing part of standard training? Has it become more challenging as the numbers of systems and level of automation has increased?

    Somewhat unrelated: has either crash investigation produced a report yet?

  24. #324
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    The entire idea of MCAS was to preclude special training.

    Douglas never really recovered from the Paris crash of the DC-10 due to a faulty door latching system, of which they were formally apprised by Vought, the sub-contractor making that part. Boe's management probably gave Airbus the biggest boost to its business possible.
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    All because of a kind of institutional rot that allows decisions to be made by executives instead of engineers and test pilots. Yet the executives just move on to other companies where they also make the decisions, as if decision-making was some form of entitlement of their caste rather than something that should be earned from prudence and expertise. All corporations should take note of this lesson.

  26. #326
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    I recall again the NASA response after the fatal oxygen fire that exposed a well known risk and complacency. “We have to be tough and competent” . I hope that gets written on every wall inside the FAA.

    I learned early in my training that there is no theory of reliability. There is only testing. Any new feature in aircraft must be tested, and tested more
    Last edited by profloater; 2019-Aug-10 at 05:56 PM.
    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

  27. #327
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    “We have to be tough and competent” - flight director Gene Kranz.

  28. #328
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    Actually the full context:

    “From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough and Competent.’ Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for.

    Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect.

    “When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write ‘Tough and Competent’ on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.”

    Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

  29. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    All because of a kind of institutional rot that allows decisions to be made by executives instead of engineers and test pilots. Yet the executives just move on to other companies where they also make the decisions, as if decision-making was some form of entitlement of their caste rather than something that should be earned from prudence and expertise. All corporations should take note of this lesson.
    Well, that's a rather broad assertion but in the case of Boeing it doesn't seem to hold:

    Dennis A. Muilenburg (born 1964) is an American businessman who is the president, chairman and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company since July 1, 2015. Muilenburg grew up on a farm in Iowa.[2]

    He graduated in 1982 from Sioux Center High School in Sioux Center, Iowa.[3] He received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University, followed by a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington.[1]

    Muilenburg started work at Boeing as an intern in 1985.[4][5]

    Muilenburg held numerous management and engineering positions on various Boeing programs, including the X-32 (Boeing’s entry in the Joint Strike Fighter competition); Boeing’s participation in the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter; the YAL-1 747 Airborne Laser; the High Speed Civil Transport; and the Condor unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. He later served as vice president of the Boeing Combat Systems division. Muilenburg served as president and chief executive officer of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (later renamed Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) from Sept 2009 till 2015.
    So in some ways that makes the situation worse; the CEO was deeply entrenched in aerospace design and engineering for a number of years and perhaps should have been aware of the decisions around MCAS. But I'd also wager that because of that experience there are a number of flaming red posteriors in the Boeing chain of command. We shall see.

  30. #330
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    There is a term I've heard recently: the thermocline of truth.

    I heard it from London Reconnections for the Crossrail predicament. How did a project that was supposedly on time and on budget up to six months before the planned opening suddenly become two years behind a two billion pounds over budget?

    The thermocline of truth. The bad news rises from the worksite to a middle level of management who then stop it from rising further, hoping to resolve it without panicking the higher levels of management. Hence all the scandal about what did the mayor know.

    Maybe, the situation is similar here. Maybe Muilenberg could have recognised the technical issues, but those issues were kept down by the thermocline of truth.

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