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(The Atlantic)   An actual no-panic, no-snark review of confidential trouble reports with the 737-MAX   (theatlantic.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Boeing 787, Flight, Aircraft, Stall, Airline, Air safety, Aviation accidents and incidents, Max flights  
•       •       •

1334 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Mar 2019 at 10:56 AM (6 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
6 days ago  
Looked to me like the worm gear stripped, at first.

But after reading the reports it sounds like software. There is sensor redundancy and sensors of different types don't fail the same way.

But if software is incorrectly taking in the data from various sensors, it can make bad decisions.
 
6 days ago  
Bullshiat check: does the article contain the irrelevant comparison with automobile/train/bicycle safety? Yep.

Stop reading right there.
 
6 days ago  
The story that has been going around is that pilots for the major carriers are well aware of this problem and have discussed how to compensate for it and what precautions to take, which is why the crashes happened where they did - those pilots were not trained on this issue.

of course that also means that Boeing, the carriers, and the FAA were too slow to address this issues and do something to correct the problem.  However, I suppose the FAA could say that they took action if the pilots were retrained to deal with the issue while the softare was being corrected.  If not, then IMO heads should roll at the FAA from the top down, regardless of shutdowns and Boeings ultimate responsibility.
 
6 days ago  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
6 days ago  
I love ASRS and this is a good article, however there are only two entries about an actual pitch-down incident, and even though the article didn't say so, I'm willing to bet those two entries are referring to the same incident (one from the capt, one from the FO, as they often are).
 
6 days ago  
Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?
 
6 days ago  

pup.socket: Bullshiat check: does the article contain the irrelevant comparison with automobile/train/bicycle safety? Yep.

Stop reading right there.


It's worth reading the pilot reports.  Or maybe the 'summaries'.
 
6 days ago  

Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?


From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.
 
6 days ago  

Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.


Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/0​3​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/wh​i​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets
 
6 days ago  

Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?


Sometimes one should not ask "can we do this?," but rather one ought to ask "should we do this?"
 
6 days ago  
Simple to figure out, failure of the internal ball bearing system, It's all ball bearings these days.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
6 days ago  

mrsleep: Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.

Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/whi​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets


Trump had an enormous amount of political pressure to do so, both internally and externally. What troubles me is that he has basically opened the door for competing states to seriously fark with our processes and, by extension, our economy. I said this would happen before he even took office because he is perfectly suited to be manipulated. That this has
become political rather than procedural is a big problem and is a direct result of his vulnerabilities.

So, in essence, I don't want to make this a political argument, but goddamnit if it didn't become one.
 
6 days ago  

Stibium: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

Sometimes one should not ask "can we do this?," but rather one ought to ask "should we do this?"


In terms of saving it? Are you kidding?You're damned right we should try to save it, or you can wave goodbye to a chunk of our economy. That said, it should be a scientific process, not political.

Unfortunately, due to globalization, our vulnerability, and the time it usually takes to re-engineer these problems, it's going to be political and it's going to hurt our economy. We're damned if we do, damned if we don't.
 
6 days ago  

Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?


Yes. It's a software goof. One of three things is going to happen:

1) The powers that be conclude that the system was it isn't working as designed and they remove the part of a auto-pilot that we triggering this nose-down condition. (Probably with a software patch)

2) The powers that be figure out how to make the system work as designed and issue a software patch. As well as a modified flight manual describing how to actually operate that feature appropriately. And some additional crew training.

3) The powers that be conclude it was working, but that crew training didn't address how to use (or not be surprised) by the feature. Modify the documentation, and add crew training.

Every plane has its quirks. Which is why pilots are only certified to fly on specific aircraft that they have training and flight time on.
 
6 days ago  

Animatronik: The story that has been going around is that pilots for the major carriers are well aware of this problem


From the first report listed around November:

"I mentioned I would engage autopilot sooner than usual (I generally hand fly to at least above 10,000 ft.) to remove the possible MCAS threat. "

Of course they're aware and of course they're working around it. You can bet the pilot unions pushed out all the info they had as soon as they had it. That's how it works. The company will eventually decide something and the FAA will issue stuff but for pilots who fly everyday, they're going to do what they have to do now, not later.

But the solution to engage the autopilot rather than hand fly seems at odds with reports of pilots disengaging the autopilot to regain control just goes to show we are not getting the correct story through the news. It's not a simple issue obviously.

They'll get it fixed. It's a software problem, not an airplane problem.
 
6 days ago  

Charlie Freak: mrsleep: Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.

Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/whi​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets

Trump had an enormous amount of political pressure to do so, both internally and externally. What troubles me is that he has basically opened the door for competing states to seriously fark with our processes and, by extension, our economy. I said this would happen before he even took office because he is perfectly suited to be manipulated. That this has
become political rather than procedural is a big problem and is a direct result of his vulnerabilities.

So, in essence, I don't want to make this a political argument, but goddamnit if it didn't become one.


What about the FAA halting work on the approval of the software upgrade during the 5 week government shutdown?  That is directly and politically on Trump.
 
6 days ago  

BizarreMan: Charlie Freak: mrsleep: Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.

Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/whi​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets

Trump had an enormous amount of political pressure to do so, both internally and externally. What troubles me is that he has basically opened the door for competing states to seriously fark with our processes and, by extension, our economy. I said this would happen before he even took office because he is perfectly suited to be manipulated. That this has
become political rather than procedural is a big problem and is a direct result of his vulnerabilities.

So, in essence, I don't want to make this a political argument, but goddamnit if it didn't become one.

What about the FAA halting work on the approval of the software upgrade during the 5 week government shutdown?  That is directly and politically on Trump.


Sure. His lack of awareness of the interconnectedness of the world and, well, pretty much everything is his and, by extension, our prime vulnerability.

I'm trying not to get bogged down in the political part of this and approaching it from a QA standpoint - what do we do going forward?
 
6 days ago  

Evil Twin Skippy: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

Yes. It's a software goof. One of three things is going to happen:

1) The powers that be conclude that the system was it isn't working as designed and they remove the part of a auto-pilot that we triggering this nose-down condition. (Probably with a software patch)

2) The powers that be figure out how to make the system work as designed and issue a software patch. As well as a modified flight manual describing how to actually operate that feature appropriately. And some additional crew training.

3) The powers that be conclude it was working, but that crew training didn't address how to use (or not be surprised) by the feature. Modify the documentation, and add crew training.

Every plane has its quirks. Which is why pilots are only certified to fly on specific aircraft that they have training and flight time on.


Yet per one of the reports the pilot noted he wasn't familiar with the MAX-8 display. Is the certification simply for, say, 737's, regardless of the variant?  I suspect the avionics of a MAX-8 are quite different from one built in the 70's.
 
6 days ago  
Boeing says the transition from the 737 to the MAX is supposed to be seamless.  This re-engining was in the works before Trump became president because Boeing was forced into it - they were losing too much business to Airbus.  Trump has nothing to do with pilot complaints of woefully inadequate pilot documentation on especially the MCAS system, that falls to Boeing. That supposed "seamless transition" has caused carriers to assign flight crews to a MAX plane with no preparation.
 
6 days ago  
Several of the pilots referenced their "scan", similar to what a car driver is supposed to do, but I'd guess much more complex. And their scan was slow because the display layout is very different then from other planes (I'm guessing other 737s).

Pilots are doing those scans most of the flight and in an emergency would need to immediately reference critical displays. If the VSI is in a different spot then what the pilot is used to and the pilot needs to look at it NOW, that doesn't sound good to me. It sounds like the flight crews aren't given enough exposure to the new, different plane prior to their first flight.

/not a real world pilot
//so what do I know?
 
6 days ago  

Evil Twin Skippy: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

Yes. It's a software goof. One of three things is going to happen:

1) The powers that be conclude that the system was it isn't working as designed and they remove the part of a auto-pilot that we triggering this nose-down condition. (Probably with a software patch)

2) The powers that be figure out how to make the system work as designed and issue a software patch. As well as a modified flight manual describing how to actually operate that feature appropriately. And some additional crew training.

3) The powers that be conclude it was working, but that crew training didn't address how to use (or not be surprised) by the feature. Modify the documentation, and add crew training.

Every plane has its quirks. Which is why pilots are only certified to fly on specific aircraft that they have training and flight time on.


I would prefer it if you would curse and use your angry voice.
 
6 days ago  

edmo: Animatronik: The story that has been going around is that pilots for the major carriers are well aware of this problem

From the first report listed around November:

"I mentioned I would engage autopilot sooner than usual (I generally hand fly to at least above 10,000 ft.) to remove the possible MCAS threat. "

Of course they're aware and of course they're working around it. You can bet the pilot unions pushed out all the info they had as soon as they had it. That's how it works. The company will eventually decide something and the FAA will issue stuff but for pilots who fly everyday, they're going to do what they have to do now, not later.

But the solution to engage the autopilot rather than hand fly seems at odds with reports of pilots disengaging the autopilot to regain control just goes to show we are not getting the correct story through the news. It's not a simple issue obviously.

They'll get it fixed. It's a software problem, not an airplane problem.



it could be that the pilots noticed that engaging the autopilot earlier fixed a glitch with its use of the angle-of-attack data that happened if it was engaged during the initial ascent. Both crashes happened during initial ascent.
If that is the case, people need to get sacked at Boeing and FAA, because it seems like it wasn't adequately investigated and acted upon.
 
6 days ago  

JZDave: Evil Twin Skippy: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

Yes. It's a software goof. One of three things is going to happen:

1) The powers that be conclude that the system was it isn't working as designed and they remove the part of a auto-pilot that we triggering this nose-down condition. (Probably with a software patch)

2) The powers that be figure out how to make the system work as designed and issue a software patch. As well as a modified flight manual describing how to actually operate that feature appropriately. And some additional crew training.

3) The powers that be conclude it was working, but that crew training didn't address how to use (or not be surprised) by the feature. Modify the documentation, and add crew training.

Every plane has its quirks. Which is why pilots are only certified to fly on specific aircraft that they have training and flight time on.

Yet per one of the reports the pilot noted he wasn't familiar with the MAX-8 display. Is the certification simply for, say, 737's, regardless of the variant?  I suspect the avionics of a MAX-8 are quite different from one built in the 70's.


That's what happens when marketing and engineering don't communicate. The marketing people pushed the idea that buying these new planes was just like buying one of the old planes, but with all the advantages of the old technology. (Read that: and none of the expenses of training your air crews.)

On paper, the aircraft itself is pretty similar to the 737s built until now. The bulk of the changes are aerodynamic tweaks, new engines, and the cockpit.

But those changes in the cockpit are a bit dramatic. I liken it to my experience with Subarus. I drive an outback from 2012 (though I bought it in 2011.) When it is in for service, I get a loaner car. Same model as my car, same engine, same vehicle performance. But it's the 2019 model, and it has all of that I-sight safety gear.

I take country roads to work, and let's just say I-sight doesn't work well in those conditions. Most of my experiences were annoyance, but I could see it escalate into an accident. And the first time I had to drive one, it had never occurred to me a) there was an I-sight system installed, b) it wasn't suited to the type of driving I was doing and c) where was the off switch so I could turn the damn thing off and drive this thing like I already know how to drive a similar car.

Needless to say, now I crack open the manual whenever I get into a new car. From the sounds of those reports, even the pilots who did crack the manual were confused by the controls.

I'm not sure if that helps or not.
 
6 days ago  
JZDave:

Also, 737s have been continually built and upgraded throughout its service history. Most of the planes the pilots would have been familiar with were built in the 90s and 2000s, and were second or third generation 737s.
 
6 days ago  
The airlines didn't want to pay ti retrain their pilots for the changes to the new version of the aircraft, so Boeing claimed that pilots didn't even need to be retrained even though changes to the aircraft certainly warranted retraining?
 
6 days ago  

mrsleep: Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.

Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/whi​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets


You're right, they didn't need to do that.  Trump excels at making himself look bad without any help from anyone.
 
6 days ago  

Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?


The engines are too far forward, which can result in a nose up, stall situation. An additional control system (MCAS) was designed in to prvent this--and that takea over automatically--but this is not taught, nor mentioned, to many pilots (because Boeing thinks the pilots are too dumb). Reading the narratives show that, with auto-pilot engaged, the nose may dip down  due to some erroneous AOA information or SW glitch. Pilots that know about the MCAS know to disengage the autopilot.
Will be interesting to see the results of the latest crash.
 
6 days ago  

Teufelaffe: mrsleep: Charlie Freak: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

From an engineering/design standpoint? Absolutely. From a political/public opinion standpoint? Not sure yet. And remember that other state actors are going to be playing this up to their benefit, regardless of Boeing's and the FAA's culpability. Such is globalization in the era of social media.

Yup, you know the democrats are going to use this to try and make Trump look bad cause he didn't ground them fast enough.
Like this article
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03​/13/trump-grounding-boeings-plane-1269​729

Even though there are some 100+ countries that haven't grounded the plane...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/whi​ch-countries-have-grounded-the-boeing-​737-max-jets

You're right, they didn't need to do that.  Trump excels at making himself look bad without any help from anyone.


A year ago, Trump took it upon himself to claim credit for a specific and fortunate air travel safety statistic where no passengers died as a result of jet crashes internationally over a one year period. Not only a stupid egotistical thing to say, but that means he better accept responsibility for any future airline crashes or he's just a big old hypocrite. Which he obviously is.
 
6 days ago  

fastfxr: Marine1: Hey aviation geeks: can the 737 MAX be saved, or not?

The engines are too far forward, which can result in a nose up, stall situation. An additional control system (MCAS) was designed in to prvent this--and that takea over automatically--but this is not taught, nor mentioned, to many pilots (because Boeing thinks the pilots are too dumb). Reading the narratives show that, with auto-pilot engaged, the nose may dip down  due to some erroneous AOA information or SW glitch. Pilots that know about the MCAS know to disengage the autopilot.
Will be interesting to see the results of the latest crash.


There's a lot of conflicting information being thrown around vis-a-vis whether the autopilot is a cause or a remedy of the MCAS situation, as it seems to be designed to operate as a piggyback to the pitch trim system, independently of the autopilot. The pitch trim disconnect switches and circuit breakers seem to be the only true remedy, and even after disabling the auto trim, a pilot would still have to wrestle the controls until they can manually trim the aircraft.
 
6 days ago  
FAA spelled it out in November of last year with an AD
Reiterated it 3 days ago in and updated AD
Now the airframe is grounded.

The crews were alerted. Whether or not they absorbed is up for debate.
 
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