Boeing 737 MAX family NEWS ONLY

Grey Havoc

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From the Daily Telegraph:
Boeing executive defend safety decisions on 737 Max development

Two senior Boeing executives who oversaw the development of the 737 MAX defended the company's decisions on a key cockpit system later tied to two fatal crashes, according to testimony before congressional investigators seen by Reuters.

Michael Teal, then 737 MAX chief product engineer, and Keith Leverkuhn, who was vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, were questioned separately by investigators for the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in May.

The House panel is to release a final report next week on its investigation into the development of the plane, grounded since March 2019 after two crashes killed 346 people.
 

DWG

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"The committee’s chair, the Democratic representative Peter DeFazio, said Boeing and the regulator “gambled with public safety in the critical time period between the two crashes”.

DeFazio said the committee found a “broken safety culture at Boeing” and “gaps in the regulatory system at the FAA that allowed this fatally flawed plane into service”.
"

 
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steelpillow

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Interesting. The AoA issue has some odd details; "EASA is considering mandating introduction of a third AOA sensor, but it is not expected to be a prerequisite to allowing the MAX back into service." Surely EASA and BALPA know that there is a synthetic AoA reading used by another onboard system. I wonder why they are not suggesting to simply include that one in the poll. Meanwhile, how can a plane be safe to reintroduce just because the mandate for a missing safety feature is running a bit late? Is the failure mode not going to exist until it is officially recognised?

The force issues with the manual trim wheel come with more history than I realised. I sympathise with BALPA's unhappiness at Boeing and the FAA's idea of two rather slight pilots both wrestling with the darn thing for sixty (!) full turns while the plane is doing its best to play the one-way yo-yo.
 

TomcatViP

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It's a trim. The idea of a trim is to fine-tune attitude holding force.
The 60 turns comes from a full elevator trimdown failure. You would have other options to deal with automatic trim failure that would be shutting off the failed automated actuation. How crazy that sounds (transpose that to you expresso machine that would still poor water after you switch the button back to standby... Don't know? Check for the power button)!?
The arguments revolves around having a bigger trim wheel that might have even been sized down because of some pilots inputs...

Notice that some pilots comments are about experiencing too oftenly a false nosedown input from the system...
 
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DWG

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Flight version of the AvLeak story, with significantly more detail in a couple of areas.
 

steelpillow

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"In addition to MCAS, the Max’s manual trim system has come under scrutiny due to reports that pilots can struggle to turn the Max’s manual trim wheel in certain flight conditions.
"Dickson said he has no concerns about manual trim.
"“If you maintain control of the aircraft, you are not going to have any problems in the normal flight envelope with the manual trim system,” he says."

Interesting contrast to the BALPA position. I guess BALPA are concerned that the pilot might not necessarily be in a position to "maintain control of the aircraft ... in the normal flight envelope".
 

steelpillow

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Can't find much comment on this, but Flight also has a piece on US bill details certification and training upheaval in 737 Max’s wake. "US legislators have unveiled a proposed overhaul of aircraft certification intended to reform and reinforce the process in the aftermath of the fatal accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max." (Shame I can't access it until next month, now.)

Here is the actual proposed bill: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s3969/text

Having skimmed the proposed bill I see several obligations laid on the FAA to:
  • Review its approach to human factors.
  • "Develop a Center of Excellence focused on flight automation and human factors".
  • Require new types to be evaluated by foreign pilots as well.
  • Establish an Office of Continuing Education for FAA staffers, on "current and new aircraft technologies".
  • Institute a "non-punitive and anonymous" safety reporting program for incidents during certification, and to thoroughly review and act on those reports.
  • Review its own competence in certificating design and production methods.
It also amends existing laws to:
  • Ban the application of time pressure at the expense of safety: "No employee of the [Federal Aviation] Administration shall be given an award, financial incentive, other compensation, or recognition as a result of actions to meet performance goals related to meeting schedules or quotas for certificates issued under section 44704."
  • Protect whistleblowers in the industry.
  • Change the allocation of responsibilities for certificating design and production methods, but the context for the detailed text changes is not spelled out.
(just a couple of reminders; the bill is as yet only a proposal, no opinion discussion in this thread please)
 
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TomcatViP

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“It’s really important that a third angle of attack input, or synthetic airspeed, be available on this airplane,” Sullenberger said. “I would hope for a rapid adoption of that technology, and the sooner the better.”

EASA has said Boeing has agreed to develop a third angle of attack input after the MAX returns to service and to retrofit it to the MAX by the time the largest member of the family, the 737 MAX 10, is ready — likely one or two years away.

Sullenberger’s other main concern is that Boeing do something about the cacophony of false alerts that were triggered erroneously on the crash flights by one failed sensor.
 

Foo Fighter

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What about the rest of the world?
 

steelpillow

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Grey Havoc

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Sorry, seems the Telegraph is getting ever more penny pinching. :(
 

Grey Havoc

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The basic text without photos, tables, etc.

Boeing’s 737 Max can safely return to the skies with an extensive package of fixes, US regulators ruled, after the plane was grounded for close to two years following two fatal crashes that killed almost 350 people.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said Boeing can fly its 737 Max jet again after the crashes - in Indonesia, 2018 and Ethiopia, 2019 - triggered regulatory scrutiny and corporate upheaval.
It marks the end to the longest grounding of a commercial jet in US history, of 20 months, and set the stage for airlines and other regulators around the world to put the plane back in the skies.
The crisis that has engulfed the company and cost former chief executive Dennis Muilenburg his job.
The decision sent Boeing shares up almost 3pc in New York, but the stock is still down more than a third this year.
Boeing posted revenues of $14.1bn (£10.9bn) for the three months to September, down 29pc on the same period last year. It has announced some 26,000 redundancies.
Just 28 jets were handed over to customers during the quarter, down from 62 in the same period last year, as it tried to get the 737 Max certified as safe to fly.

Steve Dickson, head of the FAA, had previously said the 737 Max would not be cleared to fly again until he flies the plane himself with his wife and children on board.
The decision on Wednesday marks a turning point for Boeing after more than two years of bad news surrounding its best-selling model.
However, returning the Max to the skies will not mean an immediate end to the controversy or help Boeing's financial woes.
A criminal investigation by the US Justice Department continues. Frayed relations with the FAA threaten to result in fines or other penalties and the Securities and Exchange Commission also has an open investigation.
Airlines have cancelled orders for the Max as the pandemic crushed the airline industry, thwarting Boeing’s plans to stem its losses.

“It’s Boeing’s most important program and the United States’ most important manufactured product, but you couldn’t ask for a worse market right now,” said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with Teal Group.
“It’s not a question of opening the floodgates and watching the cash pour in the way it would’ve been a year ago.”
 

steelpillow

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TomcatViP

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Technically unfounded. There is above as an attached file the original FAA document where nothing stipulates that MAX failed to comply with safety requirements. Improvements are implemented to augment safety, such as better computing hardware and mandatory double pitot input; that is true. But the litany of scandalous rumors is just that.
 

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“This thorough evaluation of the flight control system is an unprecedented milestone in the history of aviation,” said ANAC superintendent of airworthiness Roberto Honorato. “The revised modifications and procedures provided offer total confidence for the resumption of operations of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil.”
 

Grey Havoc

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TomcatViP

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Boeing Co is hiring up to 160 pilots to be embedded at airlines in its latest bid to ensure its 737 MAX has a smooth comeback after a 20-month safety ban, according to a recruitment document seen by Reuters and people familiar with the move.


The new "Global Engagement Pilots" will act as instructors or cockpit observers on 35-day assignments at an equivalent annual salary that could reach $200,000, for a total potential cost of $32 million, one of the people said.


The unusual hiring spree is part of a Boeing campaign to protect the re-launch of its redesigned 737 MAX

 

steelpillow

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The US Senate report on Aviation Safety Oversight (PDF) has been published.

Among the final conclusions is stated that "In many cases FAA management appears to be aware, and in some cases complicit in thwarting the very oversight they are charged with directing and supervising."

Executive summary findings are (note especially the last two):
  • FAA senior managers have not been held accountable for failure to develop and deliver adequate training in Flight Standards despite repeated findings of deficiencies over several decades.
  • The FAA continues to retaliate against whistleblowers instead of welcoming their disclosures in the interest of safety.
  • The Department of Transportation Office of General Counsel (DOT OGC) failed to produce relevant documents requested by Chairman Wicker as required by the U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 1.
  • The FAA repeatedly permitted Southwest Airlines to continue operating dozens of aircraft in an unknown airworthiness condition for several years. These flights put millions of passengers at potential risk.
  • During 737 MAX recertification testing, Boeing inappropriately influenced FAA human factor simulator testing of pilot reaction times involving a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) failure.
  • FAA senior leaders may have obstructed a Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG) review of the 737 MAX crashes.
I note also that "The scope and breadth of the investigation quickly expanded beyond the first allegations inspired by the 737 MAX tragedies. Information received from fifty-seven whistleblowers revealed common themes ... The committee is in receipt of many more examples and continues to receive new information from new whistleblowers regularly. ... A significant number of the whistleblowers worked in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and some had made well-known protected disclosures in the past and even testified before Congress."

A fuller list of detailed findings is supported by almost 100 pages of material.

Some further comment is offered by a BBC piece on 737 Max: Boeing 'inappropriately coached' pilots in test after crashes
 
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TomcatViP

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How do you give context without comparison? Don't be ridiculous.
The Boeing offer is generous (even if that is not the proper term). Their effort is substantial and top by far the standard in the industry.
 

Grey Havoc

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This could damage hopes for a revival, even though it was a -500 series.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...oeing-737-jet-indonesia-flight-sj182-jakarta/

 

TomcatViP

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Transport Canada said Monday the planes will be permitted to fly as long as they meet conditions specified by Transport Canada in December, including allowing pilots to disable a faulty warning system that was found to be central to two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.

 
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This could damage hopes for a revival, even though it was a -500 series.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...oeing-737-jet-indonesia-flight-sj182-jakarta/

Yeah, sadly most media outlets make little distinction between specific models of aircraft. Though its worth noting that this airline has a very poor safety record, they've lost several 737's in recent years.
 

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