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IUBrian

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About IUBrian

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  • Birthday 05/14/1968

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    iubrian@sbcgobal.net

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Very disappointed in Boeing. But I would reiterate the point I made weeks ago - this forum, and specifically this topic in this forum, has been ahead of the curve in terms of discussing this incident. Just a ton of information, intelligent and respectful dialogue and debate. For an word not allowed such as myself it’s been illuminating, but beyond that, the ability of people in this forum to disagree, even heatedly (and with sarcasm) but without personal insult is a credit to everyone involved and sadly a rarity in the anonymity of the internet.
  4. I agree that appears to be the case, but in the course of the investigation there could be an additional basis for criminal liability. My point was that negligence or 20/20 hindsight isn’t going to be the basis for a criminal indictment (but as an attorney, the threat of getting the word not allowed sued out of you as a a deterrent to being negligent is actually a credit to my much maligned profession).
  5. I believe there was actually an attempt to pursue criminal charges against Ford for the Pinto. Not the same situation, but Ford was aware of a defect that would cause the Pinto to burst into flames in certain circumstances when rear-ended. They figured the cost of making the necessary modifications was more than they would likely pay from lawsuits, which from a purely economic standpoint could be considered a rational business decision (though that economic decision likely didn’t factor in the consequences of the economic impact when that decision was publicly exposed). I’m not saying that is what this criminal probe is about, but I would say there would be little basis for criminal liability for a design that is shown to be negligent. If, however, there was reckless disregard for a known defect that someone knew would result in deaths, or an attempt to cover up a defect as part of regulatory approval, then a criminal case would be viable.
  6. Thank you for pointing that out; I missed that. I looked at the price difference, about 15 million a plane. So maybe it is a legitimate complaint about the Max. Or maybe it is a legal ploy. As a lawyer, the argument would be, we are not trying to get out of buying 737’s, just your “faulty” Max planes. The NG’s are back ordered too, so Boeing can’t fulfill their “request” for an NG. As an attorney, it’s all about negotiating leverage.
  7. Another interesting article, not so much on the technical side, but the business side, specifically the arrogance of Boeing management. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/business/boeing-737-max-crash.html
  8. This may have nothing to do with the Max, per se. A story I read said there are some smaller airlines with financial issues that may be looking for an excuse to get out their orders. This provides them a potential excuse that avoids the financial implications of being sued for breach of contract.
  9. I haven’t seen anything that convinces me the Max is itself fatally flawed or inherently unsafe, just that its flight characteristics are different than the previous generation. And people saying they’ve stretched a 50 year old design too far, I haven’t seen compelling evidence that a clean sheet design would be significantly different than the existing plane - yes, maybe the wings would be shaped and placed differently, maybe the land gear would be longer, for example, but I don’t know that would necessarily make it a better plane, or even a safer plane, in particular because with the Max you incorporate a large number of known components with known reliability. A clean sheet design may be more fuel efficient, and would certainly (without software adjustments) fly differently than existing 737’s, but would it necessarily be a safer plane? If anything, the implementation of MCAS demonstrates the fallibility of humans in contemplating all of the consequences of their design decisions - think MCAS was a disaster - what happens when instead of one change you introduce tens of thousands of changes? Obviously we can look at the 777 and 787 as examples of safe aircraft (although not without their own issues), but simply saying “50 years is too old, need to start from scratch” is no guarantee of a better plane, nor does the fact that the Max is based upon a 50 year-old design mean it’s not capable of being a great plane. That said, I do think Boeing has become complacent, and there needs to be significant management changes and more than a software fix to restore faith in the Max and the company. Like I said earlier, while I think there has been some discussion of Airbus versus Boeing, I don’t get the impression that the comments of those who are most critical of Boeing are coming from Airbus fans, it’s the opposite - it’s the fans of Boeing who are being critical.
  10. I haven’t had much of substance to add to this topic but there are a couple of points I would be remiss if I didn’t make. One, immediately after the crash, as I think i mentioned near the beginning, I told my daughter I’ll hop over to Avsim and pretty quickly get a pretty fair assessment of what likely went wrong because there are a lot of really really smart people there. And I have not been disappointed - as a non-pilot the wealth of knowledge, even from differing opinions, has been incredible. The second point is that in this day and age it seems unfortunately rare that people can disagree without the disagreement devolving into personal attacks. I think it’s a credit to this forum generally and the moderators that we can express opinions and even strongly disagree without the conversation disintegrating into personal attacks. I feel with everyone, regardless of where we fall on this topic, if we met in person we’d all quaff a few beers together.
  11. I posted several pages ago what I think Boeing needs to do from a business perspective, I won’t rewrite it. I don’t know you but I have no doubt you’re not only extremely intelligent but highly successful at your job. And I am sure when you make a mistake (we all do) you own it and make sure it won’t happen again. Where people lose trust is when someone screws up and they pretend everyone else is too dumb to know you made a mistake. Boeing can screw up in the short term ONLY because there is no one else currently who can fulfill existing needs. That’s not a long term strategy for success. I want Boeing to succeed. Pretending they don’t have issues doesn’t facilitate that goal.
  12. The fact that Boeing is charging for that feature as an extra says something about Boeing. Even if it’s buried in the price of the aircraft, charging extra for features designed to help prevent pilots not crash the plane seems...a poor choice. Especially with a system that literally drove the plane into the ground. That knife cuts both ways
  13. I think he expresses a sentiment shared by a lot of people, such as myself, who are actually Boeing fans. In fact, I think those of us in Boeing’s corner are the ones most upset with Boeing. We don’t expect them to be as good as Airbus, we expect them to be the best. With the caveat that we don’t know the results of an investigation, but it doesn’t matter. Assume, for the sake of argument that Boeing is completely exonerated - pure pilot error. There has still been enough that’s been brought to our attention that shows us that Boeing isn’t trying to be the best, it’s trying to sell planes, even if it’s not the best. It reminds me of another story. Henry Kissinger was a notorious task manager. Story is one of his deputy secretaries was to prepare a report. He does, gives it to him. A couple of hours later Kissinger calls him in and says, “is this the best you can do?” The Deputy knows he kind of mailed it in, so says no, and Kissinger gives him another week. Same thing happens. Deputy thinks “well I cut some corners,” and Kissinger gives him 48 hours. Same thing happens. Deputy is furious. He explains everything he’s done, all of the research...”YES! This is the best I can do!” Kissinger says “Good, I’ll read it now.” That’s the thing. We fans of Boeing don’t want good enough to pass certification. We want the best. No investigation is going to change the fact that we know they aren’t giving it.
  14. I can’t say I say I feel safer on Airbus, but what I do think is Boeing has become content with “good enough” as opposed to being the best. It’s also why I said earlier that I think a software patch is insufficient, a major management shakeup is in order. As others alluded to earlier, I think it’s the plague of beancounters. They have as many orders and they can fill in the narrow body segment, so how do you make more money? Raise prices, or cut costs...but the last thing beancounters want is the expense of a clean sheet design. Why bother...
  15. Well the placement of the Max’s engines, or the NG’s for that matter, don’t look significantly different than the Neo’s. I have issues with Boeing after this incident, but I think the implication that the Max is fatally flawed or fundamentally flawed by virtue of the placement and size of the engines is hyperbolic. I’m not picking on you, it’s just a theme I’ve scene in a lot of articles and comments.
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