John_Cillis

Ethiopia crash

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Thanks for the clarification, Kevin. That’s actually a very reasonable position and I don’t disagree.

James

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19 hours ago, w6kd said:

From what I've seen of the trim wheel, pulley/cable interconnect, and the stab jackscrew assemblies, I don't think that turning the trim wheel in either direction would be without heavy resistance at high air loads.  There's a tremendous amount of force being applied to the threads on the jackscrew.  That said, I'll have to leave that to the engineers and flight test folks to say definitively.  I'd surmise that there will soon be some additional FM data on trim wheel operation, forces etc as a result of all this.

Regards

Bob, I watched a video several weeks ago where use of the manual trim wheel was being demonstrated under high-loading conditions. Neither the PIC or FO were able turn the wheel even using the fold-out hand crank, nor could they turn the thing with both of them attempting to crank together! :blush:

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Posted (edited)

No I still don't think you understand what people have been saying. And playing the victim/vitriol card is pretty silly. You are just as rude as others have been.

Anyway I do like that you are now starting to change your tune and admit that there design error was the largest factor.

But to reiterate nobody ever said that different pilots couldn't have saved the plane. 

I will try to explain it one more time because well god loves a trier... as myself and other pilots over on pprune have tried to explain to the 'would have happened to me crowd' is that without hindsight the number of conflicting factors facing them was not acceptable. The confusing and startling situation with undertrained pilots was an accident waiting to happen, the "errors" they made were exacerbated by Boeing failures

Boeing Failures

  • confusing and missing warnings 
  • unnecessary stick shaker
  • 1 input design for a system that can override pilot
  • ridiculous design of MCAS 2.5 degrees faster than switch trim can move
  • no memory items for AoA failure (new training)
  • no change to unreliable airspeed checklist (new training)
  • incorrect warnings (new training)
  • inability for 1 pilot to manually trim when out of trim at near VMax 
  • design of switches changed but insufficient training
  • 1hr iPad type conversion training 
  • 80k for the correct warning 
  • no way to cancel cacophony of stick shaker and klaxons 

All of these factors led to the pilot mistakes.

No they are not completely mutually exclusive.

Pilot

  • pilot not correcting trim switch fully during critical 1min period instead pulling back
    lets wait for the audio on this to hear what was happening, but as many have noted the pilot was probably cognitively saturated and in normal flight is not used to heavy re trimming like this (noted by several 737 pilots)
  • didnt instantly recall the full text of the 8 Nov MCAS Bulletin which stated not to re-engage the CUTOUT switches for remainder of flight
    Actually if you look at the data log, they did retrim quite a bit BEFORE flicking the CUTOUTs, this is impressive to recall that Note in the bulletin (2nd page small note about retrim before cutout) so perhaps he was focused on this action and again with all the noise and terror didnt see the part about re-engage.
  • used autopilot/autothrottle
    perhaps he thought this might be a way to disable MCAS, or because he wanted to read the checklist/bulletin again and didnt trust the junior pilot he used it.. or perhaps he thought I am happy to keep the power on to ensure that the plane climbed from a very hot and high airfield with 10k peaks near the plane.. a mistake in hindsight. 
  • failed to fully understand how he would be screwed if the plane got fast and they had flicked the CUTOUTS.
    So this is the new factor in the Ethiopia crash, we didn't really appreciate after Lion air even reading every page of pprune how much of a problem this was.
     

As I said nobody denies that these pilot actions were contributing factors. What I object to is the arrogant tone that oh if they just followed their training it all would have been fine. These pilots passed their training, this inadequate min training level was specified by Boeing.

I find it really scary that there are pilots who have no sympathy for such a confusing situation. I also find it really heartening that older pilots like old man with nearly 15000 737 hours (he once flew a 200/300/700 all in one day having never done a single type conversion course!) and pprune legends like gums (who flew some of the trickiest fighter aircraft) have loads of empathy and understanding of how Boeing let all these pilots and pax down so badly. I think the best pilots know it could happen to them.

The rebuttal made several times here seems to be they didn't follow checklists or bulletins. Firstly see all the points above but also I don't think the checklists or memory items cover the observed situation at all either directly or clearly, some parts of all of them would have been in hindsight the right action.

The bulletin is pretty long and the single sentence that says do not re-engage is a very small piece near the end. But even then as you known the training is do not follow checklists blindly, make decisions and adapt at all times, he may have even considered that but thought MCAS triggers again we have enough height to fight it or turn it off again.. but not having the comfy couch enabled power of internet hindsight nor having waded through 1000 pages of detail on MCAS/Jackscrews/ADIRU/AoA wiring/MCAS trim rotation speed vs trim switch speed didn't realise that at the speed they were going (too fast) it would be unrecoverable.

I find it so hard to fathom a fellow pilot even considering that the levels of culpability are even in the same galaxy let alone ball park. 

Boeing's years of cost cutting and poor designs while sitting in a comfy air-conditioned office in Seattle vs the pilots 3 mins of terror trying to keep everyone alive with inadequate tools and against the direct wishes of Hal.

Edited by DellyPilot
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Posted (edited)

Dellypilot, my sympathies lie with the passengers. They count on us two guys up front to do what we were trained to do. If those two did their abnormals drill, they would probably all be alive. Or at least they would not be having people saying they didn’t follow procedures afterwards. What’s scary is that I haven’t seen you mention the word ‘passengers’ once in any of your posts. Those were the first people I thought about. Not the pilots and trying to make rationalizations about why the pilots didn’t do this or that. I thought what a shame that they never pulled out their training, those poor passengers could all still be alive. Pilots owe it to their passengers to remember their training, use their qrhs, exercise some crm, and stay calm, especially when the plane is trying to kill them. If that is not a time to remember your training, when is it ever?

You’ve been and continue insinuating that I am a dangerous pilot because I am saying that this accident should be a reminder that we need to remember our abnormals drill when we are faced with an emergency. While at the same time you are lauding somebody on pprune for flying passengers around in different versions of a plane without any proper training. No wonder we disagree......

Edited by KevinAu

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1 hour ago, KevinAu said:

While at the same time you are lauding somebody on pprune for flying passengers around in different versions of a plane without any proper training. No wonder we disagree

No Kevin, apologies I wasn't clear, I was talking about 'my' old man, (my father) not some guy on pprune. He flew many 737 variants for nearly 30 years.

In no way does he or I laud this! The opposite, it is a direct criticism of Boeing's grandfathering policy that contributed to this crash. It allows pilots to fly any variant (back then with no training at all) with as little as a 1 hour session and zero sim time. 

On one flight he had to ask the captain where buttons were, can you imagine!  He complained to management (at significant risk to his career progression) but nothing was done as this was normal and 'legal'.

At least today Boeing require the 1 hour type conversion session. From now on I guess sim time will be required to practice key differences, such as MCAS malfunctions and new memory items.  

So no, I don't think this is why I (and many pilots like my father) disagree with you. 

I don't want to argue anymore, believe it or not I respect your opinion (especially as a current pilot on the brilliant E170, which by the way Boeing tried hard to kill off!).

I really do see where you are coming from and you make valid points but I think they are massively outweighed. Let's agree to disagree (very strongly 🙂)!

What we can agree on is that lessons will be learned on certification, training and grandfathering of 50 year old designs. I will always feel though that both crashes could have been avoided.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, DellyPilot said:

From now on I guess sim time will be required to practice key differences, such as MCAS malfunctions and new memory items.

There is an updated, longer training course which now includes MCAS but Boeing's stance still is that actual sim training is not required. With the fix MCAS can't get anywhere near crashing the plane which is the argument against sim training. We'll see what regulators say about that.

Edited by threegreen

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, DellyPilot said:

I will always feel though that both crashes could have been avoided.

Isn't that precisely  why Boeing is introducing a redesigned MCAS system, along with updated pilot training, so that future crashes will be avoided?  :wink:

Edited by Bert Pieke

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3 hours ago, Bert Pieke said:

Isn't that precisely  why Boeing is introducing a redesigned MCAS system, along with updated pilot training, so that future crashes will be avoided?  :wink:

I guess there alternative would be to ignore the crashes, not fix the problem, and let the crashes continue...???????

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Amazing the extent of the delusion. 

From the New York Times article:

"

At a tense meeting with the pilots’ union at American Airlines in November, Boeing executives dismissed concerns. “It’s been reported that it’s a single point failure, but it is not considered by design or certification a single point,” said Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, according to a recording of the meeting.

His reasoning? The pilots were the backup.

“Because the function and the trained pilot work side by side and are part of the system,” he said.

Four months later, a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia. Within days, the Max was grounded around the world.

"

So much for the backup.

Unbelievably hubris.

Cheers.

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Engineers working on MCAS didn't even have a clue the system was being changed and, ultimately, turned into a safety risk? Talk about Boeing being transparent to rebuild trust when they don't even seem to be transparent within the company itself.

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17 hours ago, threegreen said:

Engineers working on MCAS didn't even have a clue the system was being changed and, ultimately, turned into a safety risk? Talk about Boeing being transparent to rebuild trust when they don't even seem to be transparent within the company itself.

This goes back to what I said initially; to fix the Max, you need more that to fix the Max - you need to fix and replace management. 

And some of the attitude seems to be “so what if the MCAS system and its implementation was fundamentally flawed, no matter, properly trained pilots should be able to handle the resulting failures, so hey, there’s blame to go around.” Errrr, no...

The article above is really a must read.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IUBrian said:

This goes back to what I said initially; to fix the Max, you need more that to fix the Max - you need to fix and replace management. 

And some of the attitude seems to be “so what if the MCAS system and its implementation was fundamentally flawed, no matter, properly trained pilots should be able to handle the resulting failures, so hey, there’s blame to go around.” Errrr, no...

The article above is really a must read.

That’s hardly the ‘attitude’. My point is the ethiopean minister lied when she said all procedures were followed by the pilots. They were not. Whether they would have crashed or not is not the issue. From the perspective of a fellow pilot, my issue is that they made no sign of following their emergency training. It could have made a difference in the outcome. Or it may not. The outcome is not the issue, the process is the issue. Because when you are in an emergency situation, or more importantly, if your loved one was riding as a passenger of an aircraft in an emergency situation, wouldn’t you want to see that their emergency training and protocols kicked in? Wouldn’t you want to know that all proper and required actions were taken? Wouldn’t you want to rest knowing that everything that could have been done to save the plane was done? Instead of being left wondering if those people could have been saved if they did what they were trained to do? Would you not agree that the best chance of a good outcome would be if the pilots actually followed their training and procedures? That is my ‘attitude’.

Edited by KevinAu
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Posted (edited)

I saw a handful of TUI 737 MAX 8 planes parked to one side at Manchester Airport today when I went to pick up a friend.......right before the clutch totally failed on my car, and I had to be towed a hundred miles back home :dry:

Edited by Christopher Low

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5 hours ago, KevinAu said:

That’s hardly the ‘attitude’. My point is the ethiopean minister lied when she said all procedures were followed by the pilots. 

Sorry, I can see that it would appear I was singling you out; that wasn’t my intent. I was referring to Boeing generally. 

By way of imperfect analogy, say Boeing, due to design failures, produces a plane with engines that fail at, say, 100 times the rate than should be expected. Obviously there are engine out procedures such that a properly trained crew could deal with the problem. If in a handful of failures the crew reacted improperly, resulting in fatal crashes, yes in hindsight we could say if the pilots had followed procedure the crashes wouldn’t have happened. But I think blame in that scenario would appropriately be assessed to the aircraft manufacturer. That’s really my point - Boeing’s flawed implementation of MCAS is where blame lies. In particular, while runaway trim is a known potential problem, its characteristics with a MCAS fault seem to be if not unique,  exceedingly rare. 

But again, my reference to “attitude” wasn’t to you; it’s towards Boeing generally, who has been the consistent subject of my complaints in this thread. I appreciate your perspective on pilots; it creates a fuller picture of the tragedy and I was not dismissing it. 

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33 minutes ago, IUBrian said:

But I think blame in that scenario would appropriately be assessed to the aircraft manufacturer. That’s really my point - Boeing’s flawed implementation of MCAS is where blame lies. In particular, while runaway trim is a known potential problem, its characteristics with a MCAS fault seem to be if not unique,  exceedingly rare. 

I don’t think anybody on earth would argue with that. Not even boeing at this point. Prior to the ethiopean crash, boeing’s response to the lionair mcas issue was still conventionally rooted to liability mitigation. Their initial response to the lionair crash that merely applying trim runaway procedures was all that was necessary was obviously crafted by lawyers only. By now, the failures in the design, management and oversight process are clear and undeniable to all. Though the ethiopean pilots also had failures during the fatal flight, at most that can do for boeing is bring ethiopean airlines in to share in some of the liability. 

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Let's remember that the Lion Air crash may have been averted had the crew previous to the accident crew been more descriptive and conclusive in logging their problems on the previous flight. The accident crew took over an airplane that should have been grounded for equipment fault.

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5 hours ago, mabe54 said:

Meh.  More like "when it sprinkles, the media piles on."  These sorts of ADs happen just about on a daily basis...the fact that the manufacturers and the regulators analyze failures fleet-wide and check the rest of the fleet when there's a statistical bump that looks aberrant is one reason why failure and accident rates are at historical lows. 

But...preface it with a typical air of gloom and doom intended to sensationalize the mundane..."more bad news for Boeing"...and it becomes fodder for the fomentation of public hysteria over the facts of everyday life in the aviation world.  This is actually a good news story--how aviation safety systems and oversight work to solve issues early, before they become a problem.

 

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