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#4470093 - 04/12/19 03:24 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Ethiopian Crash Data Analysis Points To Vane Detachment

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LOS ANGELES—As the investigation continues into the causes of the Mar. 10 Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX accident, sources close to the probe say flight data recorder (FDR) data firmly supports the supposition that the aircraft’s left angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor vane detached seconds after take-off and that, contrary to statements from the airline, suggests the crew did not follow all the steps for the correct procedure for a runaway stabilizer.

Detailed analysis of the FDR trace data shows that approximately six seconds after liftoff was signaled by the weight-on-wheels switch data, the data indicate the divergence in angle-of-attack (AOA) and the onset of the captain’s stick-shaker, or stall warning. Almost simultaneously, data shows the AOA sensor vane pivoted to an extreme nose-high position.

This, says one source, is a clear indication that the AOA’s external vane was sheared off—most likely by a bird impact. The vane is counter-balanced by a weight located inside the AOA sensor mounting unit, and without aerodynamic forces acting on the vane, the counterweight drops down. The AOA sensor, however, interpreted the position of the alpha vane balance as being at an extreme nose-high angle-of-attack.

With the stick shaker active, the trace indicates the crew pushed forward on the column to counteract what they believed were indications of potential approach to stall. The aircraft, now in level flight, also accelerated rapidly as its power setting remained at 94% N1 thrust used for take-off. This was followed by some manual trim inputs using the thumb switches on the control column.

Seconds after speed advisories were heard, the crew raised the flaps. With the autopilot turned off, flaps up and erroneous AOA data being fed to the flight control computer (FCC), the stage was set for the MAX’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) to activate. This is indicated by approximately 8-sec of nose-down stabilizer movement, which was followed by the use of manual trim on the control column. However, with the MCAS having moved the stabilizer trim by 2.5 units, the amount of manual nose-up trim applied to counteract the movement was around 0.5 units, or roughly only 20% of the amount required to correctly re-trim the aircraft.

Because of the way the aircraft’s flight control computer P11.1 software worked, the use of manual trim also reset the MCAS timer, and 5 sec. later, its logic having not sensed any correction to an appropriate AOA, the MCAS activated again. The second input was enough to put in the full nose-down trim amount. The crew again manually counteracted with nose-up trim, this time offsetting the full amount of mis-trim applied by the latest MCAS activation.

By then, some 80% of the initial MCAS-applied nose down trim was still in place, leaving the aircraft incorrectly trimmed. The crew then activated the stabilizer trim cutoff switches, a fact the flight data recorder indicates by showing that, despite the MCAS issuing a further command, there was no corresponding stabilizer motion. The aircraft was flying at about 2,000 ft. above ground level, and climbing.

The crew apparently attempted to manually trim the aircraft, using the center-console mounted control trim wheels, but could not. The cut-out switches were then turned back on, and manual trim briefly applied twice in quick succession. This reset the MCAS and resulted in the triggering of a third nose-down trim activation lasting around 6 sec.

The source says the residual forces from the mis-trim would be locked into the control system when the stabilizer cut-off switches were thrown. This would have resulted in column forces of up to around 50 lb. when the system was switched back on.

Although this could have been reduced by manually trimming the aircraft, this did not occur, and the third MCAS activation placed the aircraft in a steep nose-down attitude. This occurred with the aircraft near its peak altitude on the flight—about 6,000 ft. The engines remained at full take-off power throughout the flight, imposing high aerodynamic loads on the elevators as the crew attempted to pull back on the columns.

Vertical acceleration data also indicates momentary negative g during which the AOA sensor on the left side unwinds. This is seen as further validation of the theory that the external part of the alpha vane was detached as the apparent change in angle indication could only be explained by the effect of negative g on the counterbalance weight, forcing it to float up inside the sensor housing. In addition, the captain’s stick shaker also comes off twice in this final phase, further reinforcing the severed vane notion.

The source indicates the crew appeared to be overwhelmed and, in a high workload environment, may not have followed the recommended procedures for re-trimming. Boeing’s stabilizer runaway checklist’s second step directs pilots to “control aircraft pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed,” according to one U.S. airline’s manual reviewed by Aviation Week. If the runaway condition persists, the cut-out switches should be toggled, the checklist says.


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#4470095 - 04/12/19 03:42 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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oh sure,now software indicate it was possibly a bird crash......too bad you cant check this out as the plane was totaled ....seems fishy and scape goat to me.

#4470122 - 04/12/19 10:58 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Blade_RJ]  
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Originally Posted by Blade_RJ
oh sure,now software indicate it was possibly a bird crash......too bad you cant check this out as the plane was totaled ....seems fishy and scape goat to me.


Read, comprehend, then comment.


“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost comes in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.” - Milton Friedman
#4470126 - 04/12/19 11:42 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Thinking about the topic (and before F4U posted the article above), I yesterday considered to post about the topic of AoA vane reliability, as it seems in both fatal crashes (and actually already in flights before the first crash) those were the root cause of the problems.
I actually started to calculate a rough failure rate based on the number of planes shipped (393 by 03/19) and an assumed flying time. Then again, that assumed FIT rate would not take service and replacement cycles into cosiderations anyway, so I decided against posting....
The point about that consideration could have been that even "normal" redundancy with a second sensor might not be sufficient if the failure rate is so high.
I just picked me up a certificate on automotive(!) functional safety, so I can somewhat relate to this kind of stuff. Then again, I would assume that Boeing and the FAA have done that job beforehand... pilot

Last edited by WhoCares; 04/12/19 12:56 PM.
#4470161 - 04/12/19 04:52 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: F4UDash4]  
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A robot pilot far above the capability of "auto pilot" could make split second optimal decisions to keep the plane flying. AI could do this completely without emotion or hesitation being able to diagnose flight issues and their solutions in a matter of seconds. The pilot would assume the role of co-pilot, and take a decrease in pay thereby paying for the continued research and upgrade of AI pilots.


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#4470166 - 04/12/19 05:17 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Originally Posted by Haggart
A robot pilot far above the capability of "auto pilot" could make split second optimal decisions to keep the plane flying. AI could do this completely without emotion or hesitation being able to diagnose flight issues and their solutions in a matter of seconds. The pilot would assume the role of co-pilot, and take a decrease in pay thereby paying for the continued research and upgrade of AI pilots.

Except that in this specific case it is speculated (but not proven) that after ~33secs of its activation the autopilot gave up and handed the plane back to the pilot because it couldn't make sense out of the sensor readings. They actually activated the autopilot after the AoA vane broke and the stick shaker activated. And they raised the flaps before the autopilot disengaged.
The guy from the videos posted earlier, also posted a nice link explaining a lot about the stab trimming, emergency procedures, and changes in the mechanisms over the 737 evolution. Like that in the past it was possible to cutout autopilottrim, but maintain electric supported amnual trim. That's no longer like that in the MAX.

He also posted a new video on stab trim procedures.

Last edited by WhoCares; 04/12/19 05:24 PM.
#4472209 - 04/29/19 02:22 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/b...rned-off-2019-04-28?mod=mw_theo_homepage

new details about the info (or lack of ) given to the airlines

"Plane maker Boeing Co. didn’t tell Southwest Airlines Co. when the carrier began flying 737 Max jets in 2017 that a standard safety feature, found on earlier models and designed to warn pilots about malfunctioning sensors, had been deactivated. Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors and supervisors responsible for monitoring Southwest LUV, -0.69% , the largest Max customer, were also unaware of the change, according to government and industry officials."


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#4472211 - 04/29/19 02:55 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Bad decision by Boeing but not likely to have affected the outcomes of the two crashes which did occur. Knowing the AoA sensors disagree only tells you that fact - the sensors disagree. That knowledge will not prevent the aircraft from a trim runaway alone, only warn an alert crew that something is wrong with the sensor data reaching the displays. Without the AoA indicator option installed (Which very few airlines have) it does not help much. If you have two AoA indicators a competent crew can quickly determine which AoA is bogus but the steps to ensure MCAS is disabled must still be followed.

Most US carriers do not even have AoA indicators equipped on their aircraft (Which I also think is a bad decision by air carriers, they should all have AoA indicators).

777 display for reference, the AoA indicator's on the right side in the red box. If they disagree the fo's will indicate a different AoA and if it's a bad failure it will be a ridiculous, impossible number if flying at a normal speed.
[Linked Image]

I still think it is ridiculous that they programmed the MCAS to push the nose down based purely on the AoA reading of a single sensor when at the very least it should have used both sensors, or better, it should have used AoA data from both sensors, as well as vertical speed, altitude and pitch attitude to verify if what it thought was happening really was happening. The team that designed this and the inspectors who let it through have a lot of questions to answer. This kind of logic has been built into so many Boeing aircraft before the MAX, I cannot understand what they were thinking. They should have known better. Anyone who's seen a NO AUTOLAND or NO CAT3 annunciation has seen this logic at work when the aircraft detects a problem with the compared data. This stuff was on 747's in the early 90's, why on earth would they leave it out now.

#4472349 - 04/29/19 11:42 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Boeing's CEO just went on record blaming the pilots for the crash.... so first he apologized and accepts blame. Now, pulls a 180... investors and lawyers getting to him? To blame the pilots for not being able to react properly to a malfunctioning flawed system that, in the first accident, nobody knew anything about and that they had never had sim training in is beyond arrogant. That just shows you how deeply flawed the entire culture is at Boeing.

Thanks. I'll stick to my Brazilian station wagon the E175.



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#4473858 - 05/12/19 08:18 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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We saw this guy before

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGM0V7zEKEQ

First he blamed it on the pilots, now..
First iteration of the MCAS was much too strong, and could not be overcome in certain situations
Only one control vane per side feeds info in the computer during a flight, next flight it switches to the other one. So no redundancy.

Last edited by Catfish; 05/12/19 08:25 PM.
#4473859 - 05/12/19 08:39 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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I think you misunderstood what he said. He has been consistent with his criticism of the pilots - that they didn't respond well to failures that Boeing and FAA shouldn't have allowed to happen.

You've also misunderstood what the MCAS does and how it works. It is not an issue of it being too strong. The issue is that it is able to, albeit slowly, push the nose down too far to maintain altitude. The MCAS itself does not cause stiffness in the trim, that was a result of cutting the stab trim out and resorting to manual control. Stiff manual controls and trim are not unique to the 737. It has been an issue aircraft designers have struggled with since before WW2. Look at the A6M Zero or the P-38 Lightning and the steps the designers had to take to deal with those problems. I won't blame the pilots entirely for not knowing how stiff the trim would be while flying at that speed as it may have been the first time they'd experienced it for real, but many airlines teach a procedure specifically for dealing with stuck manual trim during simulator training (Unloading the aircraft and reducing speed). Pilots who fly recreationally in relatively fast aircraft have all experienced this.

The MCAS does not put in nose down trim particularly quickly. The biggest criticism of the pilots appears to be that they allowed the trim to run away for so long without taking any steps to stop it. In the first incident, they never attempted to stop the trim physically. In fact they never took any steps to stop it at all. This is in stark contrast with the crew who on the previous day, had flown the same airplane and disabled the system immediately once they recognized a trim runaway. In the second crash, the response to the trim running away was slow, though it did occur, but then the system was re-enabled and the trim movement was STILL not stopped. It was the final re-enabling of the MCAS which sent the aircraft into the ground. If they had left it cut out the first time they probably would have had enough time to figure out a better solution.

It does not absolve Boeing of the bad design at all, but it's becoming more clear that certain elements within Boeing made it known that they felt the lack of redundancy with the MCAS was dangerous. They were silenced by management in order to ensure the MAX could be certified for flight without requiring a new type rating or additional training for pilots coming in from other 737's. FAA must have known about this and let it slide.

It's clear Boeing made a very bad decision with this. But it is a demonstrable fact that alert crews recognized MCAS / Trim runaway and responded quickly and appropriately to prevent the situation from escalating BEFORE the first crash happened. What I would like to see the media grab onto, instead of just the poor design decision, is WHY pilot training at airlines operating the type has not been consistent, and WHY pilots are flying on passenger jets without knowing how to handle runaway trim scenarios - one of the most dangerous but preventable technical failures that can occur on any aircraft. Why is it that some crews from the same airline were able to deal with it but not others? It seems to me that regulatory bodies and airline management have more to answer for than just allowing Boeing's bad design choice to make it into service. Lowest common denominator aircraft design does not cut it. Things can and will go wrong with airplanes. The crews need to be competent enough to handle problems when they crop up. One crew from the same airline on the same aircraft literally one day previous was able to handle the emergency, but not the next crew. This speaks volumes about the inconsistency of the training going on there and at other airlines.

My suggestion for airlines in developing nations is to post a third flight crew member with high flight time (In the type being flown) in the cockpit to monitor at all times if the captain has been paired with a low flight time first officer.


#4473864 - 05/12/19 09:27 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Originally Posted by VF9_Longbow
What I would like to see the media grab onto, instead of just the poor design decision, is WHY pilot training at airlines operating the type has not been consistent, and WHY pilots are flying on passenger jets without knowing how to handle runaway trim scenarios - one of the most dangerous but preventable technical failures that can occur on any aircraft. Why is it that some crews from the same airline were able to deal with it but not others? It seems to me that regulatory bodies and airline management have more to answer for than just allowing Boeing's bad design choice to make it into service.

At the risk of getting this moved to PWEC (and moderators, please feel free to edit my remarks or delete the post entirely to prevent that), that won't happen. It better fits the media's self-aggrandizing attitude to make worst case scenarios like this out to be the fault of greedy corporate and/or corrupt government types even if, as you pointed out, the evidence indicates that others have successfully dealt with the same problems. That is, "Defective Airliner Caused Crash" sounds better and will sell more papers than "Pilots Failed to Take Corrective Action in Time".


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#4473889 - 05/13/19 04:19 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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It was Boeing management that wanted MCAS, and wanted it exactly like it was originally designed, so that the Max 8 could operate on the same type certification without additional pilot training or simulator time. As a result we have 350 dead. If the original iteration of the user manual obfuscates MCAS and its role, and the pilots don't receive specific training to deal with it, I just can't see how it's justified to pin those accidents on the pilots. So, it was "corporate executives", motivated by financial considerations (AKA "greed") that made the call which lead to two preventable disasters. That some air crews managed to identify the issue cannot absolve Boeing upper management from their responsibility. That the FAA permitted the manufacturer to self-certify only adds to Boeing management's responsibility.

#4473894 - 05/13/19 08:49 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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@Longbow,

since this is the public forum and i mean in no way to take this to PWEC, let me explain a few things. I am not into a which is better contest. Airbus has similar problems with its automation systems

Airbus Quantas

and the 737 is still a very good plane. I am aware that the pilots involved in the two 737max incidents did not handle the situation well, and that others might have acted more successfully in keeping the plane from a crash. Also automation for basic tasks is a good thing and lets pilots have their head free for complicated other decisions. In this case with automatics running haywire the pilots seem to have been overstrained.

It seems though that Boeing did not communicate differences well enough to airlines and pilots. The new 737max engines changed the flight physics considerably, and since no one wanted an expensive pilot training the new Max was intended to feel and fly like the usual 737.

The new plane had different engines that caused the plane to rotate due to a shifted center under full thrust, which was intended to be counterbalanced by the MCAS.

Too 'sensational' but well explained

It is stated that a 56 minute iPad "Course" was what pilots of the 737 got to fly the 'Max', and this would have been enough under normal circumstances - which a damaged aoa vane and a runaway stabilizer is not.
The two Aoa vanes are not both used by the MCAS during one flight, but are "cycled" instead. So if one vane feeds data to the computer on one flight, it switches to the other vane in the next flight. So if the one vane fails that feeds the data this flight, there is no redundancy for the automatic system.

The elevators were set to rotate the plane back to normal ascent in case of a too high angle of attack. The MCAS oversteered because of a faulty Aoa vane indicating a too high aoa (again, the other vane may have worked alright, but the data feed came from the damaged one).

So the engines generated full thrust and the aoa was perfectly ok. But the MCAS being fed with wrong data from a damaged vane 'thought' that the Aoa was too steep, so it actuated the elevators to lower the nose. Which lead to the plane lowering the nose and thus getting faster under still full thrust. When the pilots realized that something was wrong they switched off the MCAS and tried to manually trim the elevator back to normal - alright so far.

As tests have shown the manual trimming was probably too slow (switch to manual at 18:50, and see what happens) to get the plane back into horizontal flight path (?). The MCAS trimming the elevator is much faster than you could do it manually, and the latter also needs a lot of strength to turn the trimming wheels, which can only be done by one pilot since the other flies the plane pulling hard. If you see how fast those wheels turn when actuated by automatic and electric engine you can see that time is crucial, and turning the trim wheel against the pressure of the forces, especially when going faster than the usual ascending speed, is almost impossible.

If the pilots had cut the thrust, the plane would have lowered the nose even more because of the trim set prior to switching to manual, while keeping up high speed for a while in then level flight. It looks like the pilots let the 'tilting up' engines run to keep the plane horizontal and counterfight the dropping nose. When this did not work they set the MCAS to on again because they could not actuate the trim fast enough and hoped for the MCAS to assist. They were not able to cope with the force acting on the elevator at that speed. Lowering the flaps to slow down was also impossible due to speed and automatics forbidding it (because of the speed).

Automation, psychology I think this is a very good video:

Quote
"It does not absolve Boeing of the bad design at all, but it's becoming more clear that certain elements within Boeing made it known that they felt the lack of redundancy with the MCAS was dangerous. They were silenced by management in order to ensure the MAX could be certified for flight without requiring a new type rating or additional training for pilots coming in from other 737's. FAA must have known about this and let it slide.


True. I still wonder what Airbus did or does after the crash in the Atlantic to prevent happening this again.

Quote
What I would like to see the media grab onto, instead of just the poor design decision, is WHY pilot training at airlines operating the type has not been consistent, and WHY pilots are flying on passenger jets without knowing how to handle runaway trim scenarios - one of the most dangerous but preventable technical failures that can occur on any aircraft. Why is it that some crews from the same airline were able to deal with it but not others? It seems to me that regulatory bodies and airline management have more to answer for than just allowing Boeing's bad design choice to make it into service. Lowest common denominator aircraft design does not cut it. Things can and will go wrong with airplanes. The crews need to be competent enough to handle problems when they crop up. One crew from the same airline on the same aircraft literally one day previous was able to handle the emergency, but not the next crew. This speaks volumes about the inconsistency of the training going on there and at other airlines.
My suggestion for airlines in developing nations is to post a third flight crew member with high flight time (In the type being flown) in the cockpit to monitor at all times if the captain has been paired with a low flight time first officer.


Amen to that!
But the media are seldomly specialists... same as politicians.

Last edited by Catfish; 05/13/19 09:42 AM.
#4474226 - 05/15/19 07:01 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Audio reveals pilots angrily confronting Boeing about 737 Max feature before second deadly crash
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/us/boeing-737-max-audio-meeting-with-pilots/index.html

or from youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMzc1GEBdcc


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#4474278 - 05/16/19 10:04 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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#4474293 - 05/16/19 01:23 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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Originally Posted by Haggart
Audio reveals pilots angrily confronting Boeing about 737 Max feature before second deadly crash
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/us/boeing-737-max-audio-meeting-with-pilots/index.html

or from youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMzc1GEBdcc


[Linked Image]

This goes back to my previous post. We can banter back and forth for 16 pages on a forum on woulda shoulda coulda..... but none of us were in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flight decks. When the sh!t hits the fan, flight controls don't act as advertised, lights, bells and whistles are going off like a Christmas tree on steroids, line pilots are just that: line pilots, not test pilots. Boeing's safety culture is the root cause. They installed a faulty system (without telling anyone) and 300+ people are dead because of it. Their families wants answers, justice, and some closure. The B737 is the only aircraft in history where sales has driven innovation (or lack there of) rather than innovation driving sales. The common type rating at all costs has been the name of the game all along and the mighty guppy might just have finally been stretched in too many directions.
Shall we discuss the faulty rudder system of the 737 that caused 2 hard overs and 100+ lives (not including the handful of other suspected incidents)? How about Lauda Air 004 uncommanded thrust reverser deployment (B767) resulting in a in-flight breakup and 224 lives lost ?



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#4474305 - 05/16/19 02:51 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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From the Boeing + pilots discussion posted by Haggart, the Boeing rep made one "dangerous" statement: (0:37)
Quote
In a million miles, you're going to fly this airplane, maybe once you're going to see this ever.

I guess he thought that was a rare occurrence?
Let's say a plane cruises at 300kts, that's approx. every ~3000 hours, you would run into this problem. With >300 737MAX already delivered, that would be an incident every ~10 hours.
Okay, he said "may" - assume it was a 1% chance in a million miles, that's then ~1000 hours. If the planes flew an average 10h a day, that would be an incident about every 3-4 month.
Still rare?!?!
He might want to check with his safety and quality experts before talking such numbers - that is, I hope he didn't!


#4474450 - 05/17/19 11:10 AM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
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You guys probably know about the issues related to the crashes. I have been hearing snippets on the news, but have been too busy to read or hear anything in detail about cause of the crashes. The Beeb put out an article about the crashes, Boeing, FAA, pilot training, future direction.

What Went Wrong Inside Boeing's Cockpit (BBC)



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#4474460 - 05/17/19 12:22 PM Re: Another Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight Goes Down [Re: Haggart]  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,684
RedToo Offline
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RedToo  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,684
Bolton UK
That BBC piece is a good summary.


My 'Waiting for Clod' thread: http://tinyurl.com/bqxc9ee

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell, 1872 - 1970.
Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. C.S. Lewis, 1898 - 1963.
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