Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

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fountainhall
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#51 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:39 am

I'm sorry that I disagree with Bob and gera on this issue. There are two key facts that neither seems to be taking into account.

When Boeing sold the aircraft it offered back-up systems for the new MCAS - but only as an optional extra and at a price. A critical and new flight system with little or no information about it in the pilots' manual had absolutely no back-up on the basic planes sold to airlines - unless the airlines paid extra for it, rather as we would a hi falutin' stereo system in a new car. A vital back-up as an optional extra? An aircraft put into the air with absolutely no back-up or double back up of a critical system? That is almost unheard of.
When initially rolled out, the MCAS only relied on data from a single AOA sensor . . . Boeing sells two MCAS upgrades that weren’t installed on either the Lion Air jet or the Ethiopian Airlines craft, according to the New York Times. The first is the ability to compare data from more than one AOA sensor via a display that would have shown readings from both at the same time. The second was a ‘disagree light’ that would have activated when contradictory data was being received from both sensors. Either might have alerted the pilots that something was wrong with the MCAS system specifically.

Boeing now states it will make the disagree light standard on all 737 Max 8 aircraft, in addition to the planned software updates it will roll out next month.
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/288 ... -as-extras

Putting an aircraft on to the market with no back-up on a vital system and then not one but two of these aircraft plunge to the ground is tantamount to murder in my non-legal book. If both those systems were important to making the plane fly normally and Boeing realised they were vital, why offer them only as an optional extra? Not doing so is tantamount to murder in my book.

As the above article makes clear, Boeing makes about an additional 5% of the total cost of an aircraft by selling optional extras.
Boeing is known to charge extra for an additional fire extinguisher system in the hold. Japanese regulators require such systems; the FAA does not, despite evidence that a single extinguisher may not be enough to put out fires.
Secondly, several pilots had reported to the US confidential website in advance of the Lion Air crash that they had experienced similar problems with the MCAS and automatic nose down effects for no reason. Then Lion Air crashes and it emerges that the single Angle of Attack sensor feeding the MCAS system more than likely was the cause. Did Boeing alert airlines of problems? I believe so. Was the pilot flight manual significantly altered? I believe no. Did Boeing consider mandating the use of the two Angle of Attack indicators rather than just one? No. Did Boeing offer to provide the back-up system to operators as a safety issue at no cost? I believe no. Did the Ethiopian pilots have all the recent knowledge about Being updates. I believe yes.

As that article concludes -
It isn’t unusual to see vehicle manufacturers add safety features as extras, either, but the fact that Boeing has lost two brand-new aircraft — and the radically different safety standards used in the airline industry as opposed to the automotive market — are going to shine a harsh light on the company’s practices in this area.

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#52 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:31 am

Let's put one more fact on the table - another lie from Boeing. This is according to the lengthy Seattle Times expose that I have quoted before.

When seeking FAA certification, Boeing's documents informed the FAA that the MCAS could move the horizontal stabilizer by a maximum of only 0.6 degrees. Had that been the case, then it is likely that neither of the fatal accidents would have occurred.
However, after the Lion Air crash, it told airlines that MCAS could actually push the controls 2.5 degrees, or half the physical maximum. Boeing reportedly increased the limit because flight tests showed that a more powerful movement was needed to counteract an impending stall.

Because of that, it could have pushed the nose down a lot more than the FAA thought possible. "The FAA believed the airplane was designed to the 0.6 limit, and that's what the foreign regulatory authorities thought, too," an unnamed engineer told the Seattle Times. "It makes a difference in your assessment of the hazard involved."

Compounding the problem, Boeing reportedly failed to account for the fact that the system could reset itself after pilots intervened. That means that it could continuously push the nose down, causing a catastrophic loss in attitude.
Boeing's entire reasoning behind the 737 Max series was a plane that would compete, albeit slightly late, with Airbus A320 Neo series. The Max was designed to fly further and so that pilots could adapt to it with a minimum of training because it was so similar to earlier models. It therefore withheld - I would submit on the basis of evidence that has so far one to light and from Boeing's own admission overnight - deliberately withheld, information about major changes in the plane's handling characteristics not only from its customers but also the world's regulatory bodies.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/18/boe ... ion-flaws/

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#53 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:47 am

Now a second software fault has been discovered by Boeing and ordered fixed by the FAA.
That additional problem pertains to software affecting flaps and other flight-control hardware and is therefore classified as critical to flight safety, said two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the probe.

The realization of a second software problem explains why the timeline that Boeing projected publicly last week for getting hundreds of the aircraft airborne again has slipped, the officials said . . .

“Obviously, we ended up at a situation that in hindsight was not supposed to happen,” one of the officials familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post. “Now, you don’t want to be in a situation where there was one contributing factor to an accident, and then three weeks later you find another one.

In a statement, Boeing called the additional problem “relatively minor” but did not offer details of how it affects the plane’s flight-control system. “We are taking steps to thoroughly address this relatively minor issue and already have the solution in work to do that.”
https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/619 ... a-162.html - see post 3235

As another poster writing on the same page (post 3236) states
Boeing is in for some serious pain for years to come, over this
And just to make matters worse, Boeing engineers have admitted that throughout the entire planning and manufacture of the aircraft, it was official company policy to ensure that no simulator training would be required by pilots. Southwest Airlines was even offered a rebate of $1 million per plane if simulator training became necessary, So a very strong case will be made that essential safety was compromised for financial reasons.

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#54 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by Jun » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:38 am

Bob wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:05 am
I see no reason at this point to conclude that anybody at Boeing did anything intentional to cause this problem. The MCAS software supposedly was intended to prevent a problem whereas it would appear that unintentionally it caused one that led to the unfortunate deaths of a lot of people.
I don't think any one is concluding Boeing intentionally caused a problem.

However it seems their engineering process and decision making fell far below accepted safety standards. Which is about as bad as it can get these days.

1 Having one sensor controlling this system with nothing to plausibility check the output and AUTOMATICALLY switch of the system is inexcusable. I don't think this would get out of the door in the automotive industry, never mind aerospace. Road vehicles have electronic control of braking and steering. For example, if a vehicle skids, the ECU can brake any of the 4 wheels independently to correct the trajectory. A lot of engineering goes into ensuring signals are plausibility checked, which is why the systems don't throw you off the road backwards.

2 Doing their FMEA, or whatever other process they used to review & justify the system based on 0.6degrees max actuation, when it is over 4x that is astonishing. If the story is true, it would be severe malpractice. And the answer should already be known and documented.

3 Someone referred to testing the software. You don't complete testing of safety critical software revisions in 1 day.

4 To have one accident like this is bad. However, considering the reports from the first incident and the way the system is supposed to work, surely they should have concluded that the entire fleet should have been grounded much much earlier ?

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#55 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:14 am

Bob wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:05 am
. . . the word "murder" is not within that parameter in my opinion . . .
I see no reason at this point to conclude that anybody at Boeing did anything intentional to cause this problem. The MCAS software supposedly was intended to prevent a problem whereas it would appear that unintentionally it caused one that led to the unfortunate deaths of a lot of people.
As I understand it, the law in most countries defines various types of murder - from first degree to manslaughter and others. I do not mean that Boeing is responsible for deliberate acts of murder. However, in my book, its acts when planning and producing the Max8 series particularly those insisting that the plane had to be flyable without pilot simulator training, in paying no urgent attention to the comments of US pilots who had suffered from MCAS failures but were able to right their aircraft, in tackling the issues which arose from the Lion Air crash with an extraordinary tardiness when, as is now generally acknowledged, that aircraft model should have been taken out of service at that time, and licensing on behalf of the FAA an aircraft that had absolutely no back-up for a new and vital safety system show evidence of criminality.

Indeed, we now know that there is a second software problem with the plane which Boeing has called "minor". Yet pilots and other experts interviewed on the media have been scathing at Boeing's description of this issue as "minor" as it is a crucial system in flying the plane.

I fully agree. I do not believe Boeing or any of its workers deliberately put a plane that was in danger of crashing onto the market. But in my view it is guilty of more than gross negligence for not adequately testing new systems that it all but snuck into a new aircraft without informing its customers of the full detail of what it had done, why it had done it and how to solve any problems that might arise with it. Worse, it deliberately and knowingly lied to the FAA and other licensing authorities around the world.

We also know that in putting the 787 Dreamliner on to the market, Boeing had not sufficiently tested the lithium ion batteries with the result that serious fires broke out on at least five airliners operated by JAL, ANA, United and Ethiopian. Mercifully these aircraft had either just landed or were about to take off.

In the case of the 787s, once again the FAA did nothing to ground the aircraft model. It was only after JAL and ANA announced they were grounding their fleets that the FAA sprang into action and issued a mandatory grounding.

It is surely obvious to anyone paying attention to what has come out in the last few days that, knowingly, Boeing put profits before being absolutely certain of the safety of its product. As a result it is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. In 2007 the UK passed a corporate homicide law. I do not know the details but I have a feeling that the 737 Max crashes would fall under this law. In the USA, I think there is no similar law and that it is a matter for the Department of Justice. Since that Department has already issued subpoenas in connection with a criminal investigation against Boeing, alleging murder seems to me a not unreasonable description of what Boeing has done.

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#56 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by firecat69 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:26 pm

Gotta agree with Bob.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/murder

Certainly a lot of blame to go around for these tragedies but definitely no malicious intent!

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#57 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by Jun » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:29 am

Agreed. Manslaughter perhaps, but not murder.

Also looks like possible negligence in engineering processes.

Also a failure to act swiftly after the first crash. Considering Boeing and the FAA would have known the plane had this new system and the circumstances of the crash.

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#58 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:54 pm

There is an excellent article on the regulatory problems of the Boeing 737 Max plane. It is scathing of the US regulatory system and in particular Republicans' constant budget cutting which meant that Boeing has to certify its own aircraft and that this policy has “backfired spectacularly”.
The story begins in 2011. Europe’s new Airbus 320neo, with its superb fuel efficiency and low operating costs, had picked up 667 orders at the Paris air show, a record for a commercial aircraft. Worse, American Airlines had done the unthinkable: it had ordered 130 of the new Airbus and 130 of the older one. Boeing’s relationship with American was foundational: it could always rely on the airline for its bedrock business, an insider, all-American affair. Now American had dared to buy European in unprecedented volumes: it was a competitive necessity to match rival airlines. Boeing had to respond. But instead of developing a whole new plane that could carry heavier, fuel-efficient engines, it made the fateful decision to bolt them on to a variant of its 737 series. Since the days of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the key to safe flying has been to organise the pitch of the plane so that its aerodynamics work to prevent stalling, a complex interrelationship between the angle and shape of wings, the distribution of weight and the power of the engines. If you intend to use a heavier, more fuel-efficient engine, it will throw everything out of kilter. Essentially, you have to design a new plane.

Boeing’s initial and correct reaction had been to commit to just that, but the process is enormously expensive and takes up to 10 years. The company had to react faster and keep its share price up, so the Max 8 was born, going into service in 2017. The technical problem was obvious. With heavier engines, the pitch of a plane with wholly different dynamics could be disturbed in some flying conditions. Hence the sensor in the front of the plane that would recognise changes in pitch and automatically adjust the wings to keep the plane stable, not in principle a bad idea, but one that requires hyper-reliability and a way for pilots to override the system when necessary.

In the world of aerospace, such judgment calls should have required an entire recertification process and verification by a third party. That did not happen . . .

Boeing decided that the Max 8 did not need recertification and this decision was not challenged by the FAA. Moreover, Boeing undertook much of the safety work itself without any independent review, although as yet the outside world does not know to what degree. What we do know is that 1,000 Boeing employees are seconded to the FAA. Boeing then decided to market the Max 8 as part of the 737 family rather than as a plane with wholly different flight characteristics and a new automated software system that, crucially, did not allow pilots to override in an emergency using standard, practised techniques. Instead, they would need special training, which was not offered or provided.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... te-america

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#59 Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:36 am

Boeing had for long been saying the 'fix' for its grounded 737Max aircraft was almost ready and planes could be back in the air after a few weeks. This was allegedly a software glitch for which a patch was nearing completion. Yet the planes are still not flying.

Major carriers had announced re-introductions of the aircraft in early June. Last week two of the largest put the date off for another couple of months. Southwest will not fly its 737Max aircraft till 5 August. American Airlines have delayed the restart till August 19.
Airlines are being forced to ground their planes longer than expected after Boeing and the FAA said the company needs more time to complete changes to a flight-control system suspected of playing a role in the crashes.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... mid-august

Will this be the last delay? I will not put money on it!

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