Ethiopian Airlines Crash; Another 737 Max

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Anymouse, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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  2. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Parallels to the Lion Air disaster are inevitable.
     
  3. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yup, love quotes that mean almost nothing without additional info. Unstable meaning non constant, unstable meaning erratic?
     
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  4. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I'd guess "erratic", coming from FR24.
     
  5. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I don’t doubt it given the source, but the comment language is just too vague to be meaningful without further information. Then, every news outlet starts parroting that statement and drawing conclusions from it.
     
  6. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Yeah, but they're not parallel.

    This one was an abrupt cessation of all inflight signals, which means something catastrophic. My read is either an (unlikely) instantaneous failure of an aircraft system in such a way that it destroyed the entire aircraft or some external factor, like a terrorist attack. I have been reading in the news where the terrorist groups are getting reorganized again in eastern Africa. They attempted a hijacking a month or two ago for the first time over 15 years. A bomb would seem to be a logical next try.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  7. Lachlan

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  8. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Ethiopia is in east Africa. And it's a really huge continent.
     
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  9. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    My mistake, I did mean eastern Africa.

    I have been in California recently and every time I go there, I get east and west mixed up. Being from NC, I think of East = toward the ocean.
     
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  10. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pre-takeoff checklist

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  11. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    For the additional info, click the image in the twitter post, to expand that image so you can read it, and you'll see how the vertical speed reversed a couple of times during the three minutes of data.

    https://twitter.com/flightradar24/status/1104676048317362177/
     
  12. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    :eek::eek::eek:

    :(
     
  13. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I hope they left off a zed.
     
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  14. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I have 600 hours and don’t think anyone wants me flying a 737.
     
  15. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The 200 hour time has to be a misprint.
     
  16. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    It wasn’t too long ago that we didn’t have the 1500 hour rule.
     
  17. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, technically one could have 300 hours with a commercial ticket. In any case, Ethiopia isn't the USA, so I've no clue about their rules.
     
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  18. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    If this is another control command issue with the MCAS system, I have to ask why in the h#ll the crew didn't immediately switch off the autopilot.

    I would hope the apparent cause of the Lion Air crash wlsh should be well known to MAX flight crews and that they would react immediately to any uncommanded pitch excursion.

    In the larger picture, it appears the airlines must address the over reliance on automated systems and focus on hand flying skills.

    The issue seems to be concentrated on Asian and African operations.
     
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  19. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    My understanding is that Ethiopian is well regarded as a professional operation.

    I don’t know if they have the MCL nonsense though.
     
  20. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flight24 has also stated they have incomplete coverage in that area. So this data, with its subsequent conjecture, would be off. The 24 data also stops a considerable distance from the actual accident site.

    But keep in mind that when looking at the altitude values shown on the 24 data, especially initial climb altitude of approx. 8000ft, you need to take into account that Addis Ababa airport sits at 7726ft. So it appears the aircraft never got more that 750-1000' AGL through the whole sequence. If the low altitude readings are true, this would keep the aircraft configured with flaps per the AFM, which in turn would have kept the MCAS system deactivated--which was the issue with Lion Air.

    Or it could mean he has 200hrs in type.
     
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  21. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As I understand it, the MCAS is active even without the autopilot.




    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  22. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I thought that but when mentioning the pilot they talked about 8000 hours total flight time. At this point not sure that it matters either way however.
     
  23. Tj1376

    Tj1376 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yup- stab trim to cutout. System will attempt to nose over the airplane even with autopilot disengaged. Although I had thought Boeing had released an update to modify this behavior.

    http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...25833e0070a070/$FILE/2018-23-51_Emergency.pdf

    TJ


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  24. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Local eye-witness reports now have the aircraft tail area on fire prior to impact.....
     
  25. Anymouse

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    I flew on Ethiopian a couple times years ago when I was hanging my hat in Africa. Initially I was skeptical, but they actually impressed me.
     
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  26. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not saying maintenance but......

    In October, another Boeing 737-8 MAX plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, killing all 189 people on board the Lion Air flight. In that crash, the cockpit data recorder showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, though Lion Air initially claimed that problems with the aircraft had been fixed
     
  27. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    I misspoke. The action to defeat MCAS control of pitch is disabling the elevator electric trim. This action should be pretty much automatic for MAX crews.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  28. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It used to be a memory item, but they switched it to a QRC now. I suspect it will be switched back to a memory item shortly.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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  29. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    The MCAS only functions when the autopilot is disengaged. Switching off the autopilot would have been the incorrect thing to do. In fact, with the autopilot engaged, you would never even have an MCAS problem.

    I'm not even going to say that this latest accident was MCAS. Too early to speculate.

    I know to all the armchair NTSB investigators on this site (and others, even the professional pilot boards), it's cut and dried. But, I think there are several issues at play here that unless you've flown large, complex aircraft may slip through the cracks.

    Disclaimer: Although I'm typed in several Boeing airframes, I'm not typed nor do I fly any variant of the 737.

    Like a lot of other problems that can creep up in any aircraft, this MCAS thing doesn't happen in a bubble. It's the result of another failure. Namely, an AOA/airspeed failure. So, this problem (probably) manifests itself first as Unreliable Airspeed. That's a pretty involved checklist to run. Possibly the stick shaker is going off because of the loss of the AOA probe. So now you're silencing alarms, hand flying the airplane, running checklists for Unreliable Airspeed, trying to figure out what airspeed indicator is giving you good information, trying to ignore the stickshaker, and now the MCAS is kicking in. There is a lot to process, and figure out. It's not just as simple as just "why didn't the crew just..."

    And that brings me to my second point. Training. There are times that our training is just inadequate. The simulator can't replicate everything, and when it can, it may replicate it wrong.

    Again, not a 737 guy, but I've trained for Runaway Trim in every airplane I've flown. It has ALWAYS been presented at the trim continuously runs away in one direction (nose up or down) with an associated aural/visual alert (either EICAS or a big trim wheel spinning near your knee). Most aircraft the first natural step to to move the yoke against the trimming force. There is a stab trim brake that engages when you push/pull against the trim and stops the trim from further travel. That doesn't happen with MCAS. Next, like I said before, the runaway has always been presented as the motor continuously running the trim towards the stop. The MCAS gives you an input of trim for 10 seconds, then stops for 5 seconds, then 10 more seconds, then a 5 second rest, and on and on. So, right when you think you may have a problem, it stops, then it starts again. That is unlike any other "runaway stab trim" I've even flown in the sim, and I bet these crews didn't either, because until Lion Air, they dodn't even know the MCAS existed.

    The same thing happened in the KC-135 community. There was a crash back in 2013 which was attributed to an unscheduled rudder deflection. That was a Boldface (Memory Item) in the KC-135. RUDDER POWER-OFF. It was a red guarded switch on the center console. The briefing was always, if we have an Unscheduled Rudder Deflection, I'll race you for the switch and whoever gets there first, turn it off. We always trained for it in the sim. Always. It was a big deal. Well, why didn't this crew do the Boldface and turn the switch off? Because it presented itself in a way that we never trained for. Everytime in the sim, the rudder goes full-travel hard-over to one side. Violent yaw and roll. That's how we always thought a rudder hardover was going to go. Until Shell 77. Their rudder started hunting and through mis-diagnosis never were able to correct the problem and eventually overstressed the vertical fin and the airplane came apart midair.

    I guess my point is, that it's really easy to sit here at 0 knots and 1 G and "I would'a..." these scenarios, but it's not that easy when you're in a midst of a problem that you've never seen before and don't really have a checklist for.

    True, and there's some of that here in the US, as well. I can say my airline has made it a priority to ensure that our hand-flying skills don't diminish (at least in the sim). We are certainly allowed to hand fly the jet as much as we'd like, except for the few cases where we absolutely must use the autoflight. In the sims, we have a block of time that we are required to handfly (autopilot/autothrottles/flight director off) takeoffs, visual approaches, and landings.
     
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  30. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    you sound like such a good pilot.....a pilot's pilot. o_O
     
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  31. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well, the captain/crew stated they needed to return due to a problem? That points to a possible flight control problem over terrorism. I can’t put a lot of faith into a witness report that ‘the tail was on fire’ prior to the crash.

    With the accident there on land, flight & data recorders will be analyzed very soon. Any ‘emergency’ directives will be telling.

    Since the airport is at 76xx msl, they may not of climbed very high after takeoff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  32. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Dude, I have over 8 years driving Foreflight, which, last I checked, is a Boeing!
     
  33. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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  34. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    I corrected my earlier post above, I had forgotten the proper response to the MCAS pitch commands was disabling the electric elevator trim.

    I certainly don't have the qualifications to speak in depth on the subject. I have never flown an airliner. My post was made in frustration at the terrible loss of life, and I assumed that the MCAS system was involved because of the reported "vertical speed problems".

    Since I often criticize overly broad speculation in incidents like this one, I suppose I should take my own advice and shut up until more is known.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
  35. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    I agree. I'm sorry if my post seemed like it was directed at you. I didn't mean for it to seem that way. It was just that your post brought up some issues that I though maybe needed addressing, so I quoted it.

    It's a good way to get information and ideas flowing.

    Keep posting, friend!
     
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  36. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Really appreciate your post, @Sluggo63 .

    I fly the MAX-8 a few times per month and have tried to sort out my thoughts on all this, but you did a much better job than I ever could have.
     
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  37. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Only a few times per month? Sorry, but this thread isn't open for weekend warriors. Only professionals may chime in.
     
  38. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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  39. NoHeat

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    If those multiple witness reports are reliable, with noises and smoke before the crash, it doesn’t sound like just a flight control problem.

    Excerpt:

    Half a dozen witnesses interviewed by Reuters in the farmland where the plane came down reported smoke billowing out behind, while four of them also described a loud sound.
     
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  40. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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