How much longer to fix the 737 Max

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  2. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    To fix the Boeing 737 Max, one must first fix Boeing. That will take some time.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/15/boe...ctural-changes-after-737-max-crashes-nyt.html

    Engineers currently report mostly to Boeing’s business leaders. The committee will recommend that they report first and foremost to the company’s chief engineer in the future. There’s concern that engineers who identify safety issues might face pushback from business leaders who don’t want production to slow down.

    Also
    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/...ommittee-may-recommend-organizational-changes

    Currently, Boeing's top engineers report primarily to the business leaders for each airplane model, and secondarily to the company's chief engineer. "Under this model, engineers who identify problems that might slow a jet's development could face resistance from executives whose jobs revolve around meeting production deadlines," reports the New York Times. "The committee recommends flipping the reporting lines, so that top engineers report primarily to Boeing's chief engineer, and secondarily to business unit leaders.


    It's easy in a large business bureaucracy for engineers to lose their necessary professional autonomy unless they, and engineering management, are diligent and insist upon it. If the situation described in the article is accurate, I lay the problem at the feet of the company's chief engineer. He should never have let this situation happen.
     
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  3. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Define "fixed". I'm not taking any bets on when the MAX returns to service.
     
  4. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sadly, "It's gotta ship" often trumps "It's not quite right yet."
     
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  5. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Sometimes, perhaps. And it likely depends on the product. It's one thing to ship out a questionable cell phone. It's quite another thing when it comes to airplanes.

    Over the years I've stopped several shipments when I wasn't satisfied with a test report or with the hardware pedigree. I've never once had someone try to override me.
     
  6. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I recall raising an issue that resulted in shipment of product halting until the products in manufacturing were fixed. No attempt by management to override me, either. Amazing what you can do when you have all the proof in the world showing the problem, and the fix.
     
  7. Kurt Zierhut

    Kurt Zierhut Filing Flight Plan

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    I wonder how many of you have started reading the published LionAir report. The portion where they review all of the events sequentially is scary. It gives the impression of a seriously mismanaged cockpit. CRM does not seem to be trained there. These guys were calling for checklists and getting no reply. Then calling for actions that didn't happen. What happened to "one guy is flying and one guy is dealing with the problem"? What happened to "if automation fails, fall back to the basics and fly it ALL by hand."?
     
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  8. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I grant that Boeing is not free of sin here, but I'm right there with you.. it seems these guys aren't trained as PILOTS in the classical sense of the term
     
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  9. Kurt Zierhut

    Kurt Zierhut Filing Flight Plan

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    There was a case of an Air-France Airbus some years ago flying from Brazil to France. Somewhere over the ocean, it encountered an (unexpected!) thunderstorm. A combination of weather and flying decisions lead to a full stall of the wing and a full stall of the tail. At the point, the plane was entirely uncontrollable. Only a sailplane trick of using rudder to push into a rollover would have saved them. One truth applies to all of these conditions and would have saved Lion-Air and the Air-France. "Level the wings; put the nose 3 to 5 deg above the horizon; set max cont. power." Almost any plane ever made will then recover.
     
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  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Pitch and power.. my first instructor had always taught me that if everything should go bad and you're about to panic just level the wings and fly pitch and power

    that would have worked for Air France, the case of the 737 they let the trim get too far out of whack to a point where they did not have enough altitude to manually correct it by relieving the pressure from the elevator and being able to manually trim

    I still don't understand how if you see the trim wheel going away from you you don't instinctively grab it or hit the disconnect button. You should not need a checklist for that or a full training seminar.. the fact that Boeing designed a system with one major weak area is in my opinion still a fault but secondary to the more egregious error from the pilots

    But again, many guys are trained primarily as rote button pushers and rule-followers, not as autonomous flying individuals who stay ahead of the aircraft
     
  11. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    BuBuBut airlines and public transportation MUST be risk-free. Like everything else.

    :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  12. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thing is, auto trim works all the time. You see movement all the time. Even hand flying. It might take several cycles of the trim before you realize there is a problem.

    So no. It’s not that instinctive.
     
  13. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Doing a bit of investigation...the CTO did not make the decision. The previous CEO of Boeing, McEnery, made the decision. Infact, it was surprising to many in the industry that the board hired someone with zero engineering background. From wikipedia:
    “As Boeing's first CEO without a background in aviation he took the decision to upgrade the 737 series to 737 MAX instead of developing a new model“

    So Muilenburg is dealing with a problem not of his making.
     
  14. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Anyone in the FAA get canned for this?

    Or is everyone’s pension and dental still sleeping safe at night?
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Interesting, I thought when hand flying it doesn't move. I know Airbus is constantly trimming. Thanks
     
  16. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The amount of flagellation Boeing has been subjected to is disgusting. Remember the problems with Airbus and their fly by wire system? One of their most senior pilots planted one because he thought he was doing a gear and flaps down low flyby and the airplane decided to land itself. There have been numerous accidents due to their technology but no one ever demanded grounding them.

    The training of aircrew is usually a reflection of their technical training and societal values. Unfortunately many countries do not place appropriate emphasis on understanding and using technology. Also their social constructs do not support individual action and initiative especially by subordinates. Having worked with air crew from sophisticated countries and non-sophisticated there are huge differences between the average crew member. The best are almost identical in capacity and ability. In routine events the crew's ability is seldom a factor. During abnormal events everything matters. When a crew member either does not understand the problem and most importantly how to fix the problem people are injured or killed. Same thing if that crew member could have solved the problem but does not due to behavioral constraints due to societal issues.

    The bottom line is:
    1-Boeing delivered a safe product which can be, and should be, improved upon.
    2-Given crews who experienced the same failure and survived with no injuries or deaths the public should demand airlines (especially from less advanced countries) improve training and crew resource management.
    3-Be very careful when choosing airlines for travel outside of the US.

    Have a great tomorrow!
     
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  17. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Boeing does not normally trim with the autopilot off. Seeing the trim wheels move in that situation would be unusual. There is a speed trim system but you would not expect it at that stage of flight.
     
  18. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It encountered a forecast line of weather they had been watching for quite some time on radar. The fuel trim system had transferred 10,000 lbs of fuel to the tail. They were near the aft CG limit at high altitude. The flight controls degraded to direct law because of pitot tubes iced over. No airline airbus pilot had been trained or flown the aircraft in that configuration. The AB intro copilot with probably under 200 hours of stick time if not less allowed the aircraft to stall while focusing on bank angles. The aircraft was fully recoverable at this point with forward stick. No wild rudder use required. The left seat pilot in fact applied full forward stick however the right seat pilot held full aft stick. Airbus went with a cheap fly by wire system where there is no feedback or interconnect between the sticks so neither knew what the other was doing. Speech was difficult because of the multiple alerts, horns and sirens going off. With one stick full forward and one stick full aft the system summed the two inputs and provided neutral elevator position. This combined with the airbus auto trim system which had trimmed the stabilizer full nose up unknown to the pilots prevented recovery. Full power on the engines also hindered recovery.
     
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  19. Kurt Zierhut

    Kurt Zierhut Filing Flight Plan

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    That's a summary description. An FAAsafety.gov event about 2 years ago spent 2 hours describing all that went wrong with that Air France flight. It started because the pilots left weather radar in "TEST". They flew into a thunderstorm. Then, slow and at high AOA, they flew into a serious updraft. wing and tail both transitioned from "flying" to "fully stalled". At that point they had zero pitch control.
     
  20. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The A330 radar does not have a test position. it’s a dual system radar and your options are 1, off or 2.
     
  21. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I'm not sure what you mean by pilots "in the classical sense of the term". Most of these pilots are proficient flying the airplane and dealing with its systems...

    ...But recognize this is an Asian culture. Hierarchical societies, respect for, and deference to authority, avoiding loss of face, and a host of more subtle things that factor into the outcome. This is how a 777 can land short on a VFR day in San Francisco, as an example.

    Layer on that a historical education system that rewards rote learning over critical thinking skills, and it's not difficult to understand poor deductive reasoning and problem solving abilities.

    I don't wish to sound demeaning, but I got to observe this first hand, up close living abroad for a decade in the Middle East, North Africa and later Central Asia.
     
  22. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I just saw a tv show about an Airbus, think 320?, bout 10 years ago in Australia that had runaay autopilot/trim system and pitched down so hard that passengers and cabin crew hit the ceiling so hard as to bust through plastic. The top pilot, ex F-18, I think, just could not fly it, and finalyjst let go of the controls at which time the autopilot quit fighting him, he had to do that another time and was able to land and a AF base, but with lots of injured. This show didn't go into trying to disconnect the autopilot, that wasn't covered.
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    basically exactly what you said in the second part of your post in response to someone else. I feel like they have skills when it comes to something that is the result of rote memorization and learning. But as far as having an intuitive fuel for the airplane and stick and rudder skills I feel like that's lacking

    Take Sully, Gimli Glider, the Sioux City DC10.. these people handled emergencies by falling back on their innate judgment and skill set.. I feel like a different training style may have resulted in Sully fruitlessly attempting to restart the engines while drilling into buildings and not flying the plane, while arguing with his first officer about where to land and what to do
     
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  24. Kurt Zierhut

    Kurt Zierhut Filing Flight Plan

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    Well... We can read the reports. The cockpit voice recorder included the unexpected sound of hail on the windscreen. Subsequently a pilot said "weather radar not operating".
     
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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    And they had the audacity to try and blame everyone else.. like an ILS system that was out of service, for example. It's honestly comical. If you can't land a plane on a VFR CAVU day how can we expect them to know how to fall back to basics when a trim runs away? I don't think it's a coincidence that both accidents were not US / European carriers. And keeping race out of it, this says more about training and cultural differences.. so let's put the card back in the deck and focus on *training*
     
  26. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I seem to recall that a LH747 (I think) had flown through the same area a few minutes prior and reported only light to moderate turbulence. Granted, weather can change *a lot* in a short amount of time.. but I wonder if the sound of hail was later on once they'd already developed the stall and were at a lower altitude
     
  27. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is it possible the max will never fly again with the engines and placement without major modification, or will the FAA buy off on the software fix. How long can all those 737max sit on the ramp, when does Boeing stop the production line.
     
  28. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    With the scrutiny the FAA has received over this ordeal they will not be buying off or settling on anything! I suspect the effort and price to correct the issues are tremendous which is probably why it's taking so long to make a fix. I wouldn't be totally surprised if Boeing doesn't buy back the 737's and dismantle them to use the components on new ones to offer back to the customer.
     
  29. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Between Boeing and the FAA this is dragging out - a lot due to the politics (and that includes the fact that the FAA was embarrassed in the whole shebang). The FAA has said that it's staff must individually approve each airliner before it goes into service - and given FAA staffing, that's going to make it an awfully slow process. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the FAA were contracting out for software experts and going through the computer code line by line.
     
  30. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    The accidents the Max suffered are tragic. It appears to me as someone who has no knowledge of the systems on this aircraft that training was a big issue.

    Not only training but cultural differences and the ability to effectively work as an efficient flight crew when problems arise

    It seems Boeing fell short on training and how to react to the problem that caused these accidents. Boeing also fell short in selling a commercial aircraft to a company that allows the crew to have roughly 1/7th the required flight time (that is required in the US) to pilot the aircraft.

    I don't think I would board a commercial aircraft (such as the Max) knowing the FO had 200 hours flight time.

    Boeing fell short on many accounts, greed for dollars/sales is one. Controlling who used the aircraft, the amount of flight hours for a pilot and documented training material for emergence procedures can be added to the list.

    Boeing was negligent in many ways IMHO, but the air carriers are as much to blame if not more than Boeing.
     
  31. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Actually, Indonesian Airlines are horrible. The Indonesians put up with it because, despite how dangerous the airlines are they don't crash THAT often, so the chances of the passengers to make ti to where they're going are good, and the tickets are cheap.

    One thing I really don't get out of all this. I can put a solid state AOA sensor in my airplane for cheap. It depends on internal sensors and doesn't need a vane of aluminum that can break. Why can't Boeing do likewise?
     
  32. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No you can’t. You can put in a solid state gadget that estimates AOA, and is still reliant on external sensors, just not a vane.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
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  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    How would something like this work? The solid state can figure out your attitude but how does it know the wings' angle relative to airflow? You need a physical sensor for that. I imagine you could estimate it by knowing the aircraft's profile and airspeed, but that would be just an estimate, like Salty said
     
  34. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    An estimate that works beats the hell out of a sensor that doesn't.
     
  35. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That's a hell of an assumption that may well be very wrong.
     
  36. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Honestly.. if you read my posts here about this I was ardently supporting Boeing through all of this and putting a majority of the blame on pilots/training culture.. and while I still hold that those planes did not NEED to crash, I feel like Boeing is losing its way post 777 success

    They were historically very good at building planes, they launched the 757/767 together and the 777 was very successfully rolled out, and was a real game changer when it did so.. biggest engines, longest ETOPS time, etc., a TON of firsts.. yet the development was crazy fast... launched in 1990 and flying by 1995.. the 747 was crazy fast development as well, with many firsts that really, were topped (the A380 is bigger and more efficient, but it's a commercial failure)

    so what happened? How did Boeing go from quickly building groundbreaking, good, successful airplanes.. to rolling out what now appears to be very late, and from what we've heard by QA whislteblowers on the 787, 737, and Air Force tanker 767, sloppy construction? How did they lose their way? I recently read that the 777X fuselage spectacularly failed well below the design limit.. I get that's why we test, but it seems like some core component of the company has changed and the Boeing of the 2000s is not the Boeing of the 1990s and prior
     
  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I would trust that little gadget about as far as I could throw it...

    You remember the little telescope thingy with the line in it and a bubble level that was supposed to determine whether or not you would fly through a cloud ? A solid state aoa gauge with no physical data collection regarding airflow on the aircraft is just about as useful.
     
  38. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Isn’t it actually MD upper management running Boeing now post merger?
     
  39. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Well that explains it! We're getting MD-11 quality planes.. not classic 747/757/767/777 quality
     
  40. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Those things are called Abney levels, and are in fact very useful.