How much longer to fix the 737 Max

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

  1. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Drake the Outlaw
    Not once you let the Genie out of the bottle. But I hold Wally World responsible for uncorking that >figurative< bottle.

    There was a time when US companies acted as if they gave a poop about the country and its citizens. Wally World (and others) tossed that practice out the window.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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  2. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In my opinion, the culture of "Good Corporate Citizenry" started to die once the culture of the "MBA" started its rise. When the top 10 execs' salaries and stock options are tied to the Stock Price... nothing, but nothing will get in the way of the big payday. Not even their Grandmother in the road is safe... assuming Grandma was drinking free cafeteria coffee and extending her bathroom breaks .
    I wish just once, a Professor in an MBA program would study the effects of a positive people culture has on a Company's stock price. A positive culture can move mountains. Saving pennies kills initiative.
    One exception however... and this is Aviation related, the Whelen (light) company, who own the airport I am based in... is an outstanding corporate citizen. Low turnover, tons of local engagement with the volunteer fire department, tractor pulls, exercise track outside, etc. Make damn good lights too, I love mine.
     
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  3. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When Sam Walton was alive, Walmart did indeed try to always sell American made products. I think it went downhill after he died and his money grubbing spawn took hold of the company.
     
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  4. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Thanks @Tantalum for posting the early 737 vs the Max.
     
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  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Non-issue. Regionals cover those airports now. Or always did.

    Plus stairs or jetways are incredibly cheap in the grand scheme of things. Nobody had any trouble switching from walking directly into aircraft like ATRs and Dashs to little jetways for RJs. Etc. Hell the skies were full of Beech 1900s not THAT long ago.

    Airports easily buy whatever they needed for boarding anything. They’d install a trebuchet to launch passengers at the airplane, in some small towns, if it meant keeping airline service. LOL.

    But it doesn’t matter. Boeing went cheap and isn’t turning back. Pressure from RJs and Airbus made them feel they had no choice.

    Whatever happened to them, whether it’s the MD leadership folks have mentioned here or whatever, they’re getting really good at figuring out how to park hundreds of grounded aircraft. LOL.

    I was last out there when the first 748 was about to be rolled outside and piles of 787s were parked grounded outside in the rain without doors on them. Heh. It was a bit more excusable with a brand new aircraft...

    Having to shutter the 737 Max line today, that’s just pitiful they let it get that out of control.

    Still wouldn’t bet against the stock for the long term with all the military contracts and such, but they’ve got cultural issues to deal with.
     
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  6. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    It was a soft split - 3/5/7/8 was a group, but then it became 3/5 and 7/8/Max. The max is the reason older models are not used by a certain airline anymore.
     
  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Those are much, much harder to fix than the technical issues.

    A recommendation has been made for engineering to have a separate reporting path that doesn't go through the money managers, and that's a start (in fact, it's a sine qua non), but the bigger challenge will be to get people to think about their jobs and their responsibilities differently. Engineers must have professional autonomy in technical decisions, and making that work will entail changing how Boeing engineers perceive themselves and their roles. It's a difficult balance within the constraints of a corporation and requires strong engineering management to work.

    That will be a very tough job. As an outside observer, I suspect (don't really know) that they have had weak technical leadership at the top who allowed the situation to degrade to its present state.
     
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  8. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    That right there is hilarious.
     
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  9. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does this mean there is no light at the end of the tunnel.??
     
  10. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My gut; The MCAS fix is done, has been for a while. Training is coming along, and who on earth in the 737 driving business over the last six months isn't trained on how to manage the Max's situational analysis emergencies purely from articles in USA Today?

    The Max is totally fine. The primary issue (in my opinion) is how Boeing "managed" (manipulated) the FAA approvals, and probably the European, and for that matter the Asian certification authorities as well. And, Boeing is probably pushing hard bargains with the Airlines who are seeking $$$... can't blame the Airlines.

    I believe the Plant shutdown is a scortched-earth strategic Boeing move and it won't stick. The world's airlines need the planes badly, yet the airlines' posture in the press (rightfully) holding Boeing accountable appeasing their Unions & Customers while seeking maximum Boeing penalty payments. And, the certification authorities are punishing Boeing with delay after delay. Not good for the USA Balance of Payments, Supplier payments, basically not good for a huge chunk of our economy. One can only hope the GE Chairman, at the helm of a company that is probably 6 months from bankruptcy unless they sell fat assets quickly and pay down mountains of debt, doesn't have an office building more than 30 feet up. The bad luck in this debacle keeps piling up.

    Boeing's only move left is to shut the plant down and sober up the Barbarians at their gate. Too much $$$ at stake. Trump, the guy who actually got the Fed to keep lowering rates, will call the FAA and get the approvals in gear... and then take credit for the Plant opening. All will be well in Maxville. A year from now, this too shall pass.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  11. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I think it comes down to the FAA and other government bureaucracies being CYA organizations. Saying "No." rarely costs you your job. "Yes" on the other hand, can get you in a world of hurt. Ultimately, I think Congress will lean on the FAA to bring the issue to resolution in order to project jobs.
     
  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Me, me, me! Pick me! Can I ride? Please? Yeeee-ha!!!!
     
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  13. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Precisely. I don't think there was any "money curruption" behind Boeing's relationship with the FAA, but, there was certainly cultural corruption. The FAA took the power back and every "t" and "i" will be crossed and dotted... keep in mind, the Military is ****ed at Boeing too. The quality practices on new planes delivered have been D-. Boeing doesn't have a friend left in the Federal Government/Military. If I were the Board, I would have sacrificed the CEO last Spring, and certainly before the dog and pony in Washington. Boeing needs to demonstrate top to bottom cultural changes in a very real way, not a "gee we will do better, and, we will produce a tear jerking video to prove it".
    The Max could have been a terrible single product tragedy, fixed quickly. Instead, because of their strained relations with the Government, the Airlines, the Press, the Military, their Employees... and so on... it has become their Stalingrad.
     
  14. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    I agree, but I would also toss the chief engineer into the same volcano. He failed to fulfill his ethical and professional obligations as an engineer.

    One of my favorite quotes:

    "At that time [1909] the chief engineer was almost always the chief test pilot as well. That had the fortunate result of eliminating poor engineering early in aviation."
    -- Igor Sikorsky
     
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  15. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know you were. Just now they also has a “software problem” with their aerospace unit as well with a “rocket” that didn’t activate a timer at a critical point (I haven’t read through the whole thread to see if this is mentioned now, it was reported as I saw it today)...

    I have a suspicion that a lot of their problems are from software, and also in trying to fudge. They had such a great rep before, but managers always start looking to cutting corners, and sales gets in the picture and that often ends up in very bad decisions.

    I think there is enough blame to go around, but still their practices to me seem to have become profit oriented at the expense of common sense safety. With he introduction of software, and the current state of software management, testing, and the methodology of the day, software is a weak point in my experience. I’ve seen it myself in a less critical but very complex system. I don’t know if they did this, but the trend is as Kurt Vonnegut explained so well many years ago “nobody wants to pay for maintenance”.

    I sincerely hope they haven’t fallen victim to the same practices I see in the software community in general, but it involves managers that are not technically proficient (not technically a problem, unless they get the idea that they know better than the systems developers) and who constantly cut costs, in testing especially, but also in coding review, system planning, etc. what I see in my world and work is cost cutting that is totally negligent as to reality. In complex systems there are often routines, that since they are called by other systems, any change must be tested thoroughly. It’s costly. Testing itself is an art.
    Just my opinion that where software programming used to be both an art and a higher call. I’ve seen it go from respect for he difficulty and need for teamwork, to managers thinking software engineers are like LEGO pieces, interchangeable, and don’t have an understanding of the technical.

    it’s bottom line BS and I see it all the time now. We had a huge, important system that is critical (not like an airliner critical, but still, banking system that was pretty important) where they farmed out porting it from Unix to Linux and the foreign team that ported it made huge mistakes and introduced bugs, and rewrote code without much understanding of the actual purpose and issues. We have to live with the bugs, and try to fix them but the overall code was changed enough that they locked us in. Meanwhile amazingly the company paid them off as if they had done the job when there was a ton of work left (this because of managers wanting to appear to be competent when they weren’t) and the onus was put on the site engineers to actually do the porting and fix the bad code. They really had no understanding of the application, and didn’t care, and what amazed me more was the customer who could have made a fuss ALSO had managers whose reputation was tied up in this, who wanted it to just be “over and done with” even though it was buggy and crap.


    This. Same as I write above. There seems to me to be a trend where everybody is an “expert”, managers who think in “units” and don’t have a love of or capacity to understand what they are trying to manage. For them it may as well be dishwashers, or soap, it’s all the same thing and they have no understanding for the actual technical decisions and thought process, they really don’t have a clue, and they don’t listen to the actual experts. This is the crux of it all to me. Short sighted, bottom liners that want to command and bend reality to their whims. It’s totally disgusting to me.
     
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  16. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    For years I have boarded almost any U S airline, any brand of plane without much of a fear of safety except maybe a passing thought if weather is really bad or we need a lot of deice. I m thinking mostly of what nasty thugs TSA is or how the stews are older than the plane or wishing they still have real food, and "no mam, I would not like pretzels, do you have any shrimp or chocolate chip cookies like you used to?"
    But with the 737 max no more. I am not sure how many error free flights it would take if and when they resume for me to feel safe, but I know if is going to be a lot, probably a few years. And that may be rational, or not but is what I feel, and I don't like feeling that way.
     
  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    It is not irrational at all, Boeing's response to this has been absolutely incompetent.. even if the original design had a flaw, it should not take this long to resolve

    When the Douglas DC-10 was grounded it was fixed and brought back to service 5 weeks later!

    What happened to this company?!

    You're not alone, I'll be avoiding Max jets for years to come when booking flights
     
  18. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Unlike with government entities, for private companies there is a very simple remedy for all of that and currently is being applied to Boeing - they will fix their problems, change their processes or they will go broke.
     
  19. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Our instincts are not always right, I went with my Son to Mexico City for his fiancé to run the marathon, and I dreaded to even look at the food served at many places. They ate every kind of dog or coon or possum or whatever was served on the street and didn't get sick.
    And by the way she finished , 26 miles in about 4 hours. That 26 miles is 40 kilometers. Hey, I m not young and I did 40 kilometers. Not all at once in one race, but four separate days, does that count?
    Ive done 3 Boulder to Boulder 10ks and loved it, as well as one here. I wouldn't exactly call what we did "running" but we were not last out of 50,000 people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  20. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    My opinion:
    There is no fix, other than shredding them all.
    That’s because its design is fundamentally unstable. Software is not a bandaid for an unstable passenger airplane.
     
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  21. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    The aircraft is fine. The software was designed so that pilots with existing 737 type ratings could fly the MAX as well. It was not needed for stability; that was built into the design. It was not a "nose heavy" or "tail heavy" airplane. The software essentially made the new MAX feel like an older 737. Not a bad idea, but a rather lousy implementation (as the system had grossly more control than as originally designed).
    Many were flying before the crashes; I predict that many will be flying by the next equinox.
     
  22. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    IMHO, which is not worth much. It was a lousy choice to make a plane feel like something other than what it is. It opens up to many unknown variables. Make my Sport feel and perform like a Cub, LOL.

    A bad choice by engineering and Boeing management. How many millions of dollars have been lost now and in the future by this mistake? How many tens of thousands of lives have been affected by this design decision?

    Bring back the 757/767.. Scrap the MAX
     
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  23. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    But the MAX is easily fixed; in fact, it IS fixed. It's already cost billions, not millions, and if they scrapped the MAX, Boeing would likely be history.
    The whole "common type rating" thing is ludicrous; the differences between an early model and a late model of a given plane can be dramatic. But the pressure came from airlines, not wanting to spend the money to re-type pilots. And the customer is always right.
    I'd insist on a separate MAX type rating at this point; that won't likely happen, but I know that differential training will be required.
     
  24. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    no....you're wrong. It's more than a software fix.:rolleyes: I'm sure there's gonna be more. Has EASA and JATRs spoken up yet?

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/26/politics/boeing-737-max-flaw/index.html
     
  25. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    It’s not rational but you are welcome to feel that way if you like. Feelings don’t have to be rational and frankly are often not.
     
  26. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW: I wouldn't be so concerned on which airframe you board as compared to the level of training and competence of the crew up front. While the MAX is not perfect, as some other types flying, it did not fall apart in flight and crash. The crews, but primarily the airlines themselves, subjectively contributed to crash and in my opinion could have prevented the crashes as exhibited by the actions Lion PIC and previous day's jumpseater. So instead of looking at the aircraft data tag perhaps you might want to check and see if there is a 365 TT FO in the right seat which was the case in the Ethiopia flight. For me, I'll be the 1st to jump on any MAX once the final dog and pony show is over.
     
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  27. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Me too if they put a kill switch on every arm rest, wired like a string of Christmas tree lights.
     
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  28. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Bell 206 you have a popular theme of putting the blame on the crew rather than Boeing. I strongly disagree. The crew did not create the problem while the 737 was flying safely and normally along. Nor did the foreign crews seem to have any problems with other models or brands of airliners. As for the first office having a few hundred hours, how many hundred hours of training do you think he would need to become adept at flying the 737, IF BOEING AND HIS AIRLINE HAD TOLD THEM OF THE POSSIBLE, EVEN LIKLEY PROBLEM WITH THE PLANE AND WHAT TO DO TO RECOVER CONTROL IF IT HAPPENED. It shouldn't take Bob Hoover to safely fly an airliner, AND TO REGAIN CONTROL IF IT LOSES NORMAL FLIGHT.
     
  29. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    And you're entitled to your opinion. I base mine on close to 40 years in aviation. You?
    And neither did any 1st world or 2nd world airlines have any problems with the MAX. So what's your point?
    No need to shout, but the simple fact that the pilots flying did not follow the established procedure to stop the MCAS activations speaks for itself. When they did perform the correct actions as the Lion jumper seater did and the Lion PIC did through 21 MCAS activations, both established facts, the aircraft flew and did not crash. When the Lion PIC handed control to the SIC, the SIC didn't follow suit and for whatever reason allowed the aircraft to get out of coordinated flight at speed in less than 5 MCAS activations. Another fact. But please, don't let facts get in the way of your opinions.
    More than a total of 365 total hours for sure especially since 70 hours was in type. So when he got his Commercial 3 months prior he must of had 290 hours? How many total hours do you have? Do you think you could act as a competent SIC in any 2 pilot certified high performance aircraft after say passing a complete type class at Flight Safety with only 290 total hours under your belt?

    Bottom-line, yes... Boeing produced a flawed product. But this happens to all OEMs to include Airbus. Just look at the bi-weekly AD listings. However, in my experience, that flaw was not a direct cause in either crash as shown by the current reports. Rather the direct cause was a combination of airline politics, training, and pilot abilities. And when those parts of the big picture fail it doesn't matter where the aircraft is flying. Just read the Atlas accident thread.
     
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  30. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Trying to make a personal attack on me "how many hours do I have or do I think I could be competent SIC" in no way changes the fault If Boeing is at fault. And how does the fo know the established procedures if neither Boeing or the airlines told the pilots that it was a dangerous flaw that required an unusual procedure? Yeah if you are right, none of the fault is with the plane or just Boeing then the cure is just to mandate that only WASP first world crews can fly them. Should solve all the problems.
     
  31. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    It's plainly obvious you lack any knowledge or experience in any professional aviation field by this part of your reply. FYI: the procedure to stop a runaway horizontal stabilizer trim, i.e., MCAS activation, has been in the 737 AFM for years prior to the MAX. But don't worry, I won't assault your ignorance any further.
     
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  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That would have been an excellent post if the first and last sentences had been left out.
     
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  33. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Let's drill down to the real root cause. They put this engine on an air frame not originally designed for it, and then fixed the resulting mismatch with software. AYFSM? Then blame the pilots for not being trained enough to deal with the inevitable software screw up.

    No thank you. You want more fuel efficiency? Go back to the drawing board and design a whole new plane. I'll gladly pay higher ticket prices. Especially if you bring back real food and reasonable personal space.

    And I like the idea of making the lead engineer fly the test flight.

    [​IMG]
     
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  34. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    Not exactly. The aircraft works just fine without the MCAS system installed. The issue was it did not meet one aspect of the Part 25 certification requirement that requires the pilot's control feedback to be linear to the angle of attack. i.e., the control get "heavier" the more the nose raises. This was the only reason for the MCAS installation. It was not installed because the new engines caused the aircraft to be uncontrollable.

    Because the MAX's engines are located higher and more inline with the wing leading edge, once the angle of attack gets very extreme at the edge of the aircraft operating envelope, the pilot's control forces would become lighter vs heavier as the aircraft went into rocket mode. The MCAS system was added to provide an artificially heavier pilot control feedback via trimming the horizontal stabilizer up thus satisfying the Part 25 certification requirement. When functioning properly, the MCAS would only engage in extreme flight attitudes within specific configurations. And since there was an existing emergency procedure for a runaway horizontal stabilizer in the AFM, it was thought that a properly trained crew could handle a MCAS system failure.
     
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  35. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Plane is fixed and fine. The FAA and the world’s Certification Agencies are still reeling from being duped ergo the delays. Boeing was and still is flat footed in their PR approach to all involved. Boeing’s culture, which is now exposed, was short term stock appreciation over Total Cost of Quality. That’s the lesson here.
     
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  36. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    no....it's a bigger problem than just the MCAS....it's a production quality issue too.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/marisa...ns-linger-on-boeing-737-max-fix/#58f178258888

    "The Federal Aviation Administration is taking back the sole authority to issue airworthiness certificates for new 737 MAX aircraft for an indefinite period"

    "As Reuters has reported, the FAA issued a letter to Boeing on Tuesday notifying them of the decision.

    Citing the large number of 737 MAX planes that will need vetting that have piled up in storage as Boeing has continued production despite the global grounding of the plane, the FAA said it will “retain authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates of airworthiness for all 737 MAX airplanes” for an indefinite period, until the Administration is satisfied that Boeing has “fully functional quality control and verification processes.”

    This move follows critical findings by the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) into the Boeing 737 MAX certification process which, among various critical technical observations, raised questions on whether there was undue pressure on the Boeing-based quality control and certification teams to clear the aircraft for service. It also follows repeated statements by the FAA that it would do a thorough review of the aircraft before approving its re-launch and not be limited by a pre-set timeline for approval."

    "Transport Canada Civil Aviation, questioning whether the Boeing 737 MAX’s MCAS system should simply be eliminated rather than relying on Boeing’s software fix."
     
  37. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Bell 206, no I don't have the procedure for overriding a defective version of autopilot that is taking over an airliner. Not too amazing since I don't fly that or any other airliner. You write how easy and standard it is, should have been a snap, was all due to the 3rd world FO not having thousands of hours. It's is too bad you were not on that crew to save them and all the passengers.
    Now, the step up thing for you to do it volunteer to be on the crew or even a passenger for the first test flights when and if Boeing does them in the future. They probably need someone to show them how easy it is.
     
  38. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    dtuuri
    I wonder if they have sole authority to issue Cessna CitationJet airworthiness certificates. They have had about three times as many mysterious nose-dives into the ground or water after takeoff than the B-737 Max, if not more. The first one was ditched in the ocean, recovered intact and a PCB redesigned. Maybe more rethinking is needed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  39. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
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    Bill Greenwood
    One way to not cure a problem is to ignore or deny the real root cause of the problem. I know a highly educated man who spent years and a $million restoring a piston fighter, Proudly and excitedly he set out on the 800 mile flight to Oshkosh. Trouble is he only had enough fuel for an 799 mile flight. He bellied in on short final to Fon du Lac runway 36. He tore the heck out of this plane, had some minor injuries and was very mad at the world. He blamed the accident on the tower controller who made him go around to clear a Lear in front of him. The fact that he overflew perhaps 50 airports on the way up that had fuel was not foremost in his mind.

    A few days later he admitted to himself and me what the real cause was and was embarrassed that he could have been so shortsighted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
    Stephen Poole likes this.
  40. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
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    10,065
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    Maryland
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    Check_my_Six
    ya but....not as many souls and soles lost in those. ;)