John_Cillis

Ethiopia crash

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31 minutes ago, HighBypass said:

My emphasis. Surely the ethos behind designing new airframes, or in this case "improving" an existing design (737), should not introduce deficiencies? A deficiency is definitely not an improvement IMO. If an airframe cannot comply with current environmental requirements then one should not fudge bigger, more efficient, less polluting engines on to it. Especially when the engines cannot be located in the same position as what was originally designed, thus upsetting weight and balance so that a software "fix" has to be introduced to mitigate the aforesaid engine fudging.(MCAS). No, one should retire the airframe and design a new one fully capable of integrating massive, clean fuel-efficient powerplants.

An aircraft, especially a civilian transport should be built right so that it flies right... leave the unflyable-without-a-computer-relaxed-stability craft for air superiority.

This is exactly what I think. She should be designed to fly in theory without the help of computer corrections and after, only after add all kinds of protection. Just my opinion.

Edited by DrumsArt
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Obviously some are forgetting the failures Airbus had when they brought out their famous FBW systems in the A320 series including a crash because of a computer at its' debut.

Sometimes things happen with extremely complex machines. We don't want it to but it does.  Men are fallible and probably will always be.

But the overwhelming data so far suggests poor training of the crew but until all the data is in what we might think is moot at this point.

Southwest has been flying the Max * for a good deal of time without mishap.  I believe this speaks volumes about their maintenance and training.

 

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True & wise words Rick, and I for one have not forgotten Airbus' FBW issues, but the A320's airframe was designed from inception with high bypass ratio turbofans in mind whereas the 737 airframe was not meant for those type of engines. I suppose the added cost of giving the baby Boeing a "lift kit" in off-roader parlance :cool: (taller landing gear) to maintain engine position would have been prohibitive at the very least.

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6 hours ago, HighBypass said:

True & wise words Rick, and I for one have not forgotten Airbus' FBW issues, but the A320's airframe was designed from inception with high bypass ratio turbofans in mind whereas the 737 airframe was not meant for those type of engines. I suppose the added cost of giving the baby Boeing a "lift kit" in off-roader parlance :cool: (taller landing gear) to maintain engine position would have been prohibitive at the very least.

I always used to laugh to myself seeing the design of the 737-300's engine cowling, which was not circular but flattened on the bottom given the low stance of the landing gear that you mention.  But the 737 has been a hard worker and of single aisle aircraft, the longest flight I ever was on was on a 737-700, SWA, from Baltimore, my fav DC hub airport, to Phoenix.  We were warned of heavy headwinds, of a six hour flight, and that the aircraft was almost 100 pct. full.  So we were told to take a seat and not be shy about it, we would be three across.  So as I walked the gauntlet, as I liked to call it, I spied pretty young ladies but I was married, so no go there.  Elderly couples, too talkative, I like to rock out on flights.  Who to sit by?  Saw a young dark male wearing a hoodie, the stereotype we put in our heads of a gangbanger.  Whether he was or was not, I felt everyone else would sum him up that way and sit next to him last.  To his astonishment I asked him if I could sit by the window where I love to sit and he winked and said dryly "OK", and I just slid past his legs.  So when I sat down, I pulled up my jacket and took on his appearance, kind of like that sleeping teacher whose name I cannot remember in a Harry Potter movie who saved Harry and his seatmates from dementors....

The two of us had no one between us, the only "first class seats" for the seven hours, including the gate hold, that we were onboard that hop from BWI to Phoenix.  People grumbled at us during the flight, what made us so special?

Simply that we accepted our understood inside joke about the way people judge us based on not knowing us, but appearance.  Remember this if you ever fly an airline with unassigned seats or remember the opposite if you do not need the rest and want a chatty seatmate.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles, as a biz traveler it is without a doubt the story of my life before I quit being a biz traveler, how a seatmate brought me home to my wife that night, but he went on his way, he just saw I needed his comfort so I could rest from a hard trip.   Whether he was a hooligan or a priest I do not care, for me he was that teacher that saved me from those dementors, IOTW the intrinsic goodness we all hate to admit we were given somehow by our personal points of view.  We feel afraid to admit it because sometimes we just want our peace and do not want to attract others to us, which I fully understand.  That is what I find in flight, flyers, and those who love it in simulated or real form, always a small remembrance of peace and the benevolence we feel when we fly over a world so small, yet so needing of our gaze...

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11 hours ago, 188AHC said:

Obviously some are forgetting the failures Airbus had when they brought out their famous FBW systems in the A320 series including a crash because of a computer at its' debut.

Sometimes things happen with extremely complex machines. We don't want it to but it does.  Men are fallible and probably will always be.

But the overwhelming data so far suggests poor training of the crew but until all the data is in what we might think is moot at this point.

Southwest has been flying the Max * for a good deal of time without mishap.  I believe this speaks volumes about their maintenance and training.

 

I find this type of post a bit problematic. Why would there be any difference between "African" training and maintenance? Southwest have been flying "without mishap"? Does that mean they have had issues but were able to recover? How can African maintenance be an issue in a 4 month old aircraft? I'm seeing a lot of this African pessimism im Avsim lately and it's normally from people who do not have much insight outside of their own area. Google "Southwest incidents". Uncontained engine failures, etc, etc?? Unheard of in our "African" airline.

Edited by Peter Webber
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11 minutes ago, Paul Golding said:

Interesting reading here

Great article. But let's blame the African pilots rather...🙄

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Well after reading all of the posts I have come to one conclusion that apart from our thoughts on the endless speculation as to cause or causes why dont we spare a thought for all of the victims of this crash.

Just sit on our hands and await the outcome of the official reports.Only then can you all sound off!

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3 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

Maybe the 737 design has been pushed further than it should have been....

It is not about the 737.  Aircraft crashes happen, and they have become so rare that when they happen, it gives some the opportunity to pedal there wares, but those aircraft crash too and if one does not admit that, then those pedaling those wares are frauds.

The goal is to make Aviation bigger, better, safer and cheaper.  So there are four balls to juggle just right there, regardless of the competition.  The 737 has parts from China and all over the world.  Heck, maybe someone forgot to turn off their cell and it somehow fitzed with the aircraft's electronics.   Or so they say.  The Airbusess have crashed, and eventually a 787 might, or an A350, especially since we are experimenting with new materials within the engines, airframe, even hydraulic lines and electrical lines.  Chinese aircraft have crashed, and God Forbid the old Russian aircraft, hardy as they are, are far from perfect.  And anyone who does not admit this is just an Ostrich burying our heads in their sand.

Flame away

My note to the mods, I started this thread, I feel it has run its course, everyone has opined...

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2 hours ago, John_Cillis said:

It is not about the 737.  Aircraft crashes happen, and they have become so rare that when they happen, it gives some the opportunity to pedal there wares, but those aircraft crash too and if one does not admit that, then those pedaling those wares are frauds.

The goal is to make Aviation bigger, better, safer and cheaper.  So there are four balls to juggle just right there, regardless of the competition.  The 737 has parts from China and all over the world.  Heck, maybe someone forgot to turn off their cell and it somehow fitzed with the aircraft's electronics.   Or so they say.  The Airbusess have crashed, and eventually a 787 might, or an A350, especially since we are experimenting with new materials within the engines, airframe, even hydraulic lines and electrical lines.  Chinese aircraft have crashed, and God Forbid the old Russian aircraft, hardy as they are, are far from perfect.  And anyone who does not admit this is just an Ostrich burying our heads in their sand.

Flame away

My note to the mods, I started this thread, I feel it has run its course, everyone has opined...

No flaming needed, it's just a chat after all and in the right forum for such, so why the thread should be closed, I.m not sure.

Of course aircraft will crash John, and usually because the common fault is the person(s) up front.

The point here (and it is about the 737) is that aside from 2 MAX's crashing in somewhat similar circumstances in the space of a few months, there have been 376 737 MAX built (and 2 crashed, catastrophically) and 781 787's.

Imagine if after 376 787's had been built, 2 of them had catastrophically nose dived into the ground/ocean...….would that've become a cause for concern?

To me at least, the difference is that one of these is a newly developed, tested and certified aircraft, and the other seems to be yet another incarnation of a 50 year old aircraft that appears to need magic to help it fly.  Worse than that, according to some forums, the magicians haven't actually explained the magic to the pilots so that when the magic stops working, the pilots have no memory items to work from to deal with the problem.

Would the testing and certification have been different if this were a newly designed aircraft?  Would anyone design an aircraft that intentionally left it so low to the ground that the engine placement messed things up to the point of needing software to help fly the plane?

And it's not exclusively a foreign problem either, as a number of incidents have apparently been reported in the US, that thankfully did avoid catastrophe...….wish I could find where I read that.  No doubt investigators will be looking at why the problem for some is recoverable, yet not for others.  Differences in training maybe 

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What I have thought all along, is that Boeing and the FAA were not 100% positive that there is a design flaw in the Max, and they tried to cover it up, afraid that it would affect sales  and the US economy if the US grounded the Max until it was checked out. Boeing even contacted the President regarding this situation, begging him to hold off. When everyone else grounded the plane, The President had to buckle because now the US was looking like they had their head in the sand. 

As far as pilot training, if I am flying an aircraft that is rapidly climbing and descending at 1500 FPM and I can't control it, the plane is an accident waiting to happen. I think that Boeing, and the FAA wound up with egg on their face over this misstep. I also believe that sending the black boxes to the US, was not done because frankly people felt that a cover up of the problem might occur, so the boxes were sent to France. 

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I see no reason to close the topic.  We all have our opinions and as long they are respectfully discussed between members I think we can continue to voice them.  That's what Hangar Chat is for. 

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I find it depressing that absolutely every product no matter how sublime or perfected has to be altered as time goes by. This is done regardless of said existing quality and is called 'progress' just so the next version can be called NEW, IMPROVED or MAX. The 737 NG series IMO has got to be the perfect pilots plane. Despite looking 'ancient' compared to 777, 787 and even 747 models these days, every system is clearly accessible from hardware panels and FMC. Need to quickly divert to landing strip not in FMC database ? Turn that knob to set new landing altitude. Need to switch from LNAV approach to ILS? You already tuned in the NAV radio earlier manually so it's already on the ND. 

Perfection itself is a moving target. Once we have reliability, safety and performance nailed down we have to now alter the engines for better fuel consumption for example. 

I fear this episode has permanently wrecked the 737's fantastic reputation of being the safe workhorse of the industry, as well as even worse, indirectly shortened multiple lives. Put simply I believe if all those passengers had been flying in 737-800 they would still be alive. THAT is the only fact that matters. 

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27 minutes ago, Paul Golding said:

No flaming needed, it's just a chat after all and in the right forum for such, so why the thread should be closed, I.m not sure.

Of course aircraft will crash John, and usually because the common fault is the person(s) up front.

The point here (and it is about the 737) is that aside from 2 MAX's crashing in somewhat similar circumstances in the space of a few months, there have been 376 737 MAX built (and 2 crashed, catastrophically) and 781 787's.

Imagine if after 376 787's had been built, 2 of them had catastrophically nose dived into the ground/ocean...….would that've become a cause for concern?

To me at least, the difference is that one of these is a newly developed, tested and certified aircraft, and the other seems to be yet another incarnation of a 50 year old aircraft that appears to need magic to help it fly.  Worse than that, according to some forums, the magicians haven't actually explained the magic to the pilots so that when the magic stops working, the pilots have no memory items to work from to deal with the problem.

Would the testing and certification have been different if this were a newly designed aircraft?  Would anyone design an aircraft that intentionally left it so low to the ground that the engine placement messed things up to the point of needing software to help fly the plane?

And it's not exclusively a foreign problem either, as a number of incidents have apparently been reported in the US, that thankfully did avoid catastrophe...….wish I could find where I read that.  No doubt investigators will be looking at why the problem for some is recoverable, yet not for others.  Differences in training maybe 

That is precisely I am not a big fan of automation in the cockpit, it is good to augment the workload, i.e. radio calls, navigation, etc but there seems to be something changed in the MAX vs. the rest of the 737 fleet, especially when you look at the round the clock 700/800/900 flights SWA flies all over the US.  What that is, I do not know, but Boeing suspects something specific to the MAX, otherwise they would have grounded the whole fleet.  Differences in training might be part of it, I guess it would depend on whether the 2 airlines were previous gen 737 airlines before flying the MAX.  If they were I'd say they would be just as skilled as any seasoned '37 pilot.

John

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1 hour ago, John_Cillis said:

....but there seems to be something changed in the MAX vs. the rest of the 737 fleet, especially when you look at the round the clock 700/800/900 flights SWA flies all over the US.  What that is, I do not know, .....

John

You're kidding us, right?  When you find the time you may want to read the thread, that you started. The difference of the Max vs the NG have been clearly articulated.

The reason for the MCAS is because the new engines (placement) make the craft inherently unstable due to the engine placement that makes the craft want to pitch up making trim duties a crapshoot, especially right after the flaps are up.

Edited by FunknNasty
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56 minutes ago, FunknNasty said:

You're kidding us, right?  When you find the time you may want to read the thread, that you started. The difference of the Max vs the NG have been clearly articulated.

The reason for the MCAS is because the new engines (placement) make the craft inherently unstable due to the engine placement that makes the craft want to pitch up making trim duties a crapshoot, especially right after the flaps are up.

I started a thread about a tragedy, not about my expertise in the 737 or yours.  I am glad the pundits here can show off their technical prowess and their positions in the aviation industry.  I helped develop flight crew scheduling software, I was not a motorhead, my bad....

John

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1 hour ago, lownslo said:

One former airline captain's perspective of the week since the Ethiopian Airlines crash: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/should-faa-have-grounded-737-max-sooner-former-airline-captain-n983396

Clearly, Mr. Cox is far more level-headed and logical than some folks.

Greg

For me, clearly, Mr.Cox did not convince me with the arguments and comparisons (car accidents) it puts forward.

Btw, 3 articles below there is also a very interesting one:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-pilots-complained-about-boeing-737-max-8-months-n982651

 

 

Edited by DrumsArt
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1 hour ago, DrumsArt said:

In case anyone is interested, you can find the actual reports on the ASRS here:

https://titan-server.arc.nasa.gov/ASRSPublicQueryWizard/QueryWizard_Display.aspx?server=ASRSO

(Use Ctrl+F to search for MAX.)

Edited by threegreen

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On 3/14/2019 at 12:03 AM, sloppysmusic said:

https://www.aviation24.be/manufacturers/boeing/boeing-737-max-automatic-stall-prevention-system-mcas-not-in-flight-crew-operations-manual-fcom/

I'd like to discount all the conspiracy theories for a moment and get back to aircraft unintended behavior vs intended behavior depending on the pilots' training and available documentation. 

What do we know for sure regarding similarities between the 2 flights? 

Was the autopilot on or off? 

Same with auto throttle, as the 2 often work in sync in the Boeings.

Did the pilots involved have access to the latest fcoms and info on updates to the software? 

Is the MCAS fully detailed in the manual? I have yet to find info online someone must be releasing it soon surely? 

IF the plane was being flown manually AND auto throttle as off, does the MAX have a system in place that interprets pilot input and make ALTERNATIVE decisions depending on logic? 

Is it possible to direct elevators up via yoke whilst the plane commands down elevator in MANUAL mode? 

Can you turn MCAS on or off via the CDU or hardware switch or even circuit breaker, easily and reversibly? 

Is MCAS standard in all planes so buyers do not decide if they wish it installed? 

Are any other Boeing planes equipped with MCAS when assembled new or retrofitted with the system during maintenance or service? 

If the above is true then there it is not manual mode at all IMO. 

Would welcome as many facts as possible which are NOT dependent on results of inquiries about the plane, current system logic and available documentation. 

These are all the questions I asked myself! Especially the question of turning off MCAS manually? If it's not an option to turn it off, then I can imagine why the poor chap trying to fly the plane had a panicky radio voice when asking for a return.

I thought that if the engine reposition is producing a pitch up moment, in take off thrust or climb thrust that will be more evident. Unless you can lower the pitch, you may be loosing airspeed. If the MCAS gets a low airspeed indication, perhaps it will initiate a pitch down command? If MCAS has taken over pitch control from the pilot, we can only imagine, in our nightmares, what comes next? If you come out of Take off power or Climb Thrust in a slow speed, with the automatics in command of your pitch.......? Or go from Climb Thrust back to Take Off thrust if you see your speed low and either the automatics or your stick input can't correct it?

Just my two penneth. Let's hope the black boxes get a thorough and revealing analysis.

Regards.

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The excessive airspeed suggests to me that the nose was pitched over whilst the engines were still providing climb power.

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I always thought the adage was a well designed plane would fly stably in pitch and roll when trimmed. As in a plane loves to fly?

Doesnt surprise me in the modern age that pure arrogance is responsible for messing up perfection with a new adage : we can make any design change we want we will just write some code to make an unstable aircraft stable and place it in between the pilot and the aircraft so the pilots don't even notice its there.

If I'm mistaken please correct me. I really hope I'm mistaken.... 

Talking about arrogance vs human safety in the modern age:

Self driving cars (programmed to avoid humans) 

Drones everywhere (built in incursion protection my ***). 

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17 minutes ago, sloppysmusic said:

I always thought the adage was a well designed plane would fly stably in pitch and roll when trimmed. As in a plane loves to fly?

Doesnt surprise me in the modern age that pure arrogance is responsible for messing up perfection with a new adage : we can make any design change we want we will just write some code to make an unstable aircraft stable and place it in between the pilot and the aircraft so the pilots don't even notice its there.

If I'm mistaken please correct me. I really hope I'm mistaken.... 

Talking about arrogance vs human safety in the modern age:

Self driving cars (programmed to avoid humans) 

Drones everywhere (built in incursion protection my ***). 

Airbus has been doing that for many years, and no real issues with their aircraft. 

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