737 MAX 8 and 9: Grounded

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
I think it's pretty scary that the CEO of Boeing calls Trump the day before the US and Canada grounded the plane, asking Trump not to do it. I'd personally like to see an FAA that is truly independent, and a president not so cozy with big business interests.

To his credit, Trump eventually did the right thing when they discovered the stabilizer jackscrew issue and the satellite data showing a very similar flight path with the Lion Air plane.

Nobody is mentioning the fact that the Ethiopian FO had 200 hours TOTAL time. That's total time, not time in type. That's also a big problem. Somebody that inexperienced should be towing banners with a Cessna, not flying a commercial aircraft. The Captain had adequate time (8,000 hours) but how can any airline be "safe" when they stick an incredibly inexperienced person in the cockpit of a very complex aircraft?

Boeing builds incredible planes, and I think the 737 MAX 8 and 9 will eventually be mostly cleared. It's pretty clear they need to modify the MCAS software so that it is easier to disconnect and/or have at least two sources for angle of attack readings instead of one.

It's very sad that so many people had to perish to get it all figured out. I think these 2 crashes will get a lot of people thinking twice about autonomous vehicles and AI taking the place of so many human functions.
 

bacha29

Well-Known Member
The often mentioned time line for the grounding is 6-8 months. You can just about imagine the phone calls going around......"Anybody got any Mad Dog 80's they can spare for a few months''? The answer: "Nah, but I got a couple of old Super Constellations out in the back end of the field you can use and my bud has a Convair 580 and a Coronado 990 he was going to part out. Would that help ya"?
 

rickyb

Well-Known Member
I think it's pretty scary that the CEO of Boeing calls Trump the day before the US and Canada grounded the plane, asking Trump not to do it. I'd personally like to see an FAA that is truly independent, and a president not so cozy with big business interests.

To his credit, Trump eventually did the right thing when they discovered the stabilizer jackscrew issue and the satellite data showing a very similar flight path with the Lion Air plane.

Nobody is mentioning the fact that the Ethiopian FO had 200 hours TOTAL time. That's total time, not time in type. That's also a big problem. Somebody that inexperienced should be towing banners with a Cessna, not flying a commercial aircraft. The Captain had adequate time (8,000 hours) but how can any airline be "safe" when they stick an incredibly inexperienced person in the cockpit of a very complex aircraft?

Boeing builds incredible planes, and I think the 737 MAX 8 and 9 will eventually be mostly cleared. It's pretty clear they need to modify the MCAS software so that it is easier to disconnect and/or have at least two sources for angle of attack readings instead of one.

It's very sad that so many people had to perish to get it all figured out. I think these 2 crashes will get a lot of people thinking twice about autonomous vehicles and AI taking the place of so many human functions.
canada and america were the last countries to ban them from flying.

we are more corrupt here.
 

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
AI=Attempted Intelligence.

Its source is human; well documented for fallibility.

Agreed. And if these 2 planes when down because of MCAS (read AI), then AI is dead in the water in terms of commercial aviation, personal and commercial vehicles, and many other applications where lots of people can be killed or injured when autonomous vehicles don't work correctly. All new commercial jets are essentially capable of self takeoff and landing, which isn't commonly known. Yes, the pilots take it off and land it, but they aren't absolutely necessary. In fact, it appears the problems started on both of these flights when the pilots switched over to the autopilot. Self-landing technology has been around since the 80's, and an Airbus A320 prototype famously self-landed into the trees when it was first introduced, promptly exploding, and killing 3 of the people on board.

So, you aren't going to see autonomous anything related to anything but the military in the near future IMO. FM is exactly right in that AI has a human source, and is therefore fully capable of catastrophic error.
 

Redtag

Part on order, ok to drive
Agreed. And if these 2 planes when down because of MCAS (read AI), then AI is dead in the water in terms of commercial aviation, personal and commercial vehicles, and many other applications where lots of people can be killed or injured when autonomous vehicles don't work correctly. All new commercial jets are essentially capable of self takeoff and landing, which isn't commonly known. Yes, the pilots take it off and land it, but they aren't absolutely necessary. In fact, it appears the problems started on both of these flights when the pilots switched over to the autopilot. Self-landing technology has been around since the 80's, and an Airbus A320 prototype famously self-landed into the trees when it was first introduced, promptly exploding, and killing 3 of the people on board.

So, you aren't going to see autonomous anything related to anything but the military in the near future IMO. FM is exactly right in that AI has a human source, and is therefore fully capable of catastrophic error.

I am not an expert on airliners just a lowly rusty weekend warrior with a interest in airliners

MCAS is not really AI or intended to replace pilots, the system was needed because of the tendency of this plane to pitch nose up when power is applied quickly. That problem is caused by the 737 being designed in the 1960s was not designed for modern large diameter turbofan engines. So in order to fit these engines they had to mounted much more forward and higher on the wing than ideal.

Boeing had a problem, the 737 with LEAP engines now known as the max would not pass certification as is since control forces to keep the nose down in high power high AOA situations was beyond certification limits. Their solution was MCAS..


Boeing should have stuck with their initial plan and went with a new 737 replacement designed from the ground up but they succumbed to pressure from a few key customers, Southwest being the most vocal, that wanted a competitor to the a320NEO now and wanted one that would operate under the same type rating as the 737NGs.


Oh, one last thing the A320 that flew into the trees was not attempting an auto land. That was Air France 296 a special flight meant to show off the capabilities of their newest plane. It was supposed to do a low pass at 100ft and the pilots dropped to 30ft saw the tree line went full power but the plane was in Alpha floor protection intended to keep the plane from stalling and limited the ability of the pilots to climb.

Lots of debate over that accident at the time.. sure a conventional airliner probably would have cleared the initial tree line but then may have dropped a wing and spun in as it stalled trying to climb away.
 

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
I am not an expert on airliners just a lowly rusty weekend warrior with a interest in airliners

MCAS is not really AI or intended to replace pilots, the system was needed because of the tendency of this plane to pitch nose up when power is applied quickly. That problem is caused by the 737 being designed in the 1960s was not designed for modern large diameter turbofan engines. So in order to fit these engines they had to mounted much more forward and higher on the wing than ideal.

Boeing had a problem, the 737 with LEAP engines now known as the max would not pass certification as is since control forces to keep the nose down in high power high AOA situations was beyond certification limits. Their solution was MCAS..


Boeing should have stuck with their initial plan and went with a new 737 replacement designed from the ground up but they succumbed to pressure from a few key customers, Southwest being the most vocal, that wanted a competitor to the a320NEO now and wanted one that would operate under the same type rating as the 737NGs.


Oh, one last thing the A320 that flew into the trees was not attempting an auto land. That was Air France 296 a special flight meant to show off the capabilities of their newest plane. It was supposed to do a low pass at 100ft and the pilots dropped to 30ft saw the tree line went full power but the plane was in Alpha floor protection intended to keep the plane from stalling and limited the ability of the pilots to climb.

Lots of debate over that accident at the time.. sure a conventional airliner probably would have cleared the initial tree line but then may have dropped a wing and spun in as it stalled trying to climb away.


MCAS is AI, and AI went awry in this case. If one is to believe the latest out there, disabling the MCAS actually made the horizontal stabilizer deflection more acute. In other words, each time the pilots switched it off, it came back on and attempted (successfully) to push the nose down further, eventually resulting in an unrecoverable dive. This would explain the porpoising flight profiles of both jets. Nobody except the investigators know if the pilots on either flight used the proper procedure (2 switches flipped off) to disable MCAS, OR if they used the incorrect method used to disconnect "runaway trim" on previous 737 versions by pulling sharply back on the control yoke. Boeing says it's in the flight manual, but many say it isn't.

The proposal the FAA signed off on showed a maximum MCAS deflection 4 times lower than the actual capability of the system to avert a "stall" (by diving the plane to increase airspeed) that was falsely detected by the MCAS sensor. They never would have signed off on a system powerful enough to essentially crash the aircraft if it was faulty. MCAS relied on a single sensor, when redundancy for every system is a basic design principle and requirement for commercial aircraft.

A grand jury has indicted a so far unnamed designer of the MAX 8, presumably someone who came up with MCAS, so this is getting pretty serious for Boeing, especially since they were claiming the airplane was safe up until the day it was grounded.

This grand jury was empaneled after the Lion Air crash, but well before the Ethiopian Airlines crash. According to the article I read, all of the information listed above was available to both the FAA and Boeing well before the second crash.

I'm looking forward to finding out the entire truth.
 

Box Ox

Well-Known Member
This is :censored2:ing horrifying stuff. Hope indictments land on everyone responsible for this :censored2: at Boeing.


Exclusive: Lion Air pilots scoured handbook in minutes before crash - sources | Reuters

"Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a “flight control problem” to air traffic control and said the pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the November report said.

The captain asked the first officer to check the quick reference handbook, which contains checklists for abnormal events, the first source said.

For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A stall is when the airflow over a plane’s wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying.

The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the plane’s trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft’s control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.

The pilots of JT610 remained calm for most of the flight, the three sources said. Near the end, the captain asked the first officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.

About one minute before the plane disappeared from radar, the captain asked air traffic control to clear other traffic below 3,000 feet and requested an altitude of “five thou”, or 5,000 feet, which was approved, the preliminary report said.

As the 31-year-old captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, the 41-year-old first officer was unable to control the plane, two of the sources said.

The flight data recorder shows the final control column inputs from the first officer were weaker than the ones made earlier by the captain.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75,” the third source said. “So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

The Indian-born captain was silent at the end, all three sources said, while the Indonesian first officer said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”, a common Arabic phrase in the majority-Muslim country that can be used to express excitement, shock, praise or distress.

The plane then hit the water, killing everyone on board."

Boeing 737 Max 8: Extra pilot averted disaster on previous flight - report - CNN

"The system pulled the plane's nose down more than two dozen times"
 

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
This is :censored2:ing horrifying stuff. Hope indictments land on everyone responsible for this :censored2: at Boeing.


Exclusive: Lion Air pilots scoured handbook in minutes before crash - sources | Reuters

"Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a “flight control problem” to air traffic control and said the pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the November report said.

The captain asked the first officer to check the quick reference handbook, which contains checklists for abnormal events, the first source said.

For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A stall is when the airflow over a plane’s wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying.

The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the plane’s trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft’s control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.

The pilots of JT610 remained calm for most of the flight, the three sources said. Near the end, the captain asked the first officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.

About one minute before the plane disappeared from radar, the captain asked air traffic control to clear other traffic below 3,000 feet and requested an altitude of “five thou”, or 5,000 feet, which was approved, the preliminary report said.

As the 31-year-old captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, the 41-year-old first officer was unable to control the plane, two of the sources said.

The flight data recorder shows the final control column inputs from the first officer were weaker than the ones made earlier by the captain.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75,” the third source said. “So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

The Indian-born captain was silent at the end, all three sources said, while the Indonesian first officer said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”, a common Arabic phrase in the majority-Muslim country that can be used to express excitement, shock, praise or distress.

The plane then hit the water, killing everyone on board."

Boeing 737 Max 8: Extra pilot averted disaster on previous flight - report - CNN

"The system pulled the plane's nose down more than two dozen times"

What just came out today changes this whole equation. The day before, on the exact same aircraft that crashed, the crew had the same MCAS problem, and did NOT know how to disconnect it (2 switches on the pilot's controls). A jumpseating pilot DID know the proper procedure, and the proper switches were flipped. Problem solved. This was NOT reported by the pilots.

So, it's highly likely that the second crew (who crashed) did not know the proper procedure and that the MCAS sensor may have not been replaced. The Indonesian authorities aren't commenting on this, for obvious reasons.
 

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
What just came out today changes this whole equation. The day before, on the exact same aircraft that crashed, the crew had the same MCAS problem, and did NOT know how to disconnect it (2 switches on the pilot's controls). A jumpseating pilot DID know the proper procedure, and the proper switches were flipped. Problem solved. This was NOT reported by the pilots.

So, it's highly likely that the second crew (who crashed) did not know the proper procedure and that the MCAS sensor may have not been replaced. The Indonesian authorities aren't commenting on this, for obvious reasons.

I'm going to add that the Ethiopian crew probably didn't know the proper procedure either, although that is just conjecture. "Runaway trim" is something every competent airline pilot instantly knows how to handle, just like an engine out, or a decompression. It would be swiftly and properly handled. The failure of an MCAS sensor would result in essentially a Runaway Trim scenario. Also, the claim that the MCAS sensor was replaced seems suspect. After having been around planes for a very long time, I know these aren't probably in the spare parts area of most of the smaller airlines, especially on a new model.

This would be a common simulator training situation, except the additional training on MCAS was apparently a 56 minute iPad session. Even so, a competent crew would know what to do, and not be flipping through a manual looking for answers they should already know.

I think you're going to see pilot error as the main cause, with inadequate training on a new system as a major contributing factor.

Just guessing, but things are starting to add -up.
 

Baba gounj

Strength through joy

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
Boeing 737 Max: Garuda is canceling its $4.9 billion order for the planes - CNN

"Our passengers have lost confidence to fly with the Max 8," Garuda spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan told CNN.
The Indonesian carrier ordered 50 of the planes in 2014 for $4.9 billion. It has taken delivery of one of them but has now sent a letter to Boeing (BA) saying it no longer wants to receive the remaining jets on order, Ikhsan said. It's the first airline to say it's canceling a 737 Max 8 order.

This could also be a bargaining tactic by Garuda to save some money. Even if every airline cancelled it's MAX 8 orders, Airbus couldn't fill the demand. The commercial aircraft market is a duopoly. You either deal with Boeing or you deal with Airbus.

The latest is that the MCAS problem will be rectified by dialing back it's power, and by adding a second sensor for redundancy, which surprisingly wasn't installed in the first place.

Boeing will also provide the full safety package instead of making it optional. Neither Lion Air or Ethiopian Airlines ordered the optional enhancements. Buying an airplane is like buying a car, because the list of options is long, and very expensive, especially avionics. Many low-cost carriers don't opt for safety enhancements.

All said, MCAS was poorly designed and executed, and this will probably go down as a case of combined pilot error, and a poorly designed system. All the pilots needed to do was turn it off, which apparently didn't happen. This is all preliminary and has to be confirmed by the final reports, but a lot of highly experienced airline pilots see it this way. I suggest Juan Brown on YouTube. Excellent analysis.
 

Baba gounj

Strength through joy
Basically it's an old frame with more powerful engines with flat bottoms, not the usual round ones. And they raised the front wheel up 8 inches. I'm surprised that given the amount of flights so far hasn't resulted in more incidents. That would mean that some airlines given more training to their flight crews than others. On the last crash the captain hasn't had any training with this type of airplane. Sounds a lot like UPS, many times I was told to get into a vehicle and drive it, when I haven't never been in it before.
 

oldngray

nowhere special
Basically it's an old frame with more powerful engines with flat bottoms, not the usual round ones. And they raised the front wheel up 8 inches. I'm surprised that given the amount of flights so far hasn't resulted in more incidents. That would mean that some airlines given more training to their flight crews than others. On the last crash the captain hasn't had any training with this type of airplane. Sounds a lot like UPS, many times I was told to get into a vehicle and drive it, when I haven't never been in it before.
Enough changes its almost a new plane but if Boeing called it a new plane it would have to be recertified. Much easier for them to just call it a newer 737.
 

MrFedEx

Engorged Member
Enough changes its almost a new plane but if Boeing called it a new plane it would have to be recertified. Much easier for them to just call it a newer 737.

Boeing was going to design a new plane, and then Airbus came out with the A320Neo. This changed the equation, and in order to have a competitive aircraft in a timely manner, the 737 MAX was designed. Same airframe, slightly different wings, and new, more powerful engines. Keeping it a 737 was key so training and maintenance wouldn't be drastically changed. A new design would have taken at least 5 years to bring to market.

Big mistake...so far.
 
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