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Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashes killing 157

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The airframe has gone through one too many redesigns.

4755217.jpg?600

This is on the beancounters.

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38 minutes ago, Wally Fairway said:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-737max-southwest-cancellations-idUSKBN1ZF1W2

Southwest extends 737Max cancellations into June.
Who will be the first Surly passenger to fly 737 Max after recertification? (and should we have the wreath fund available to their family & friends?)

 

What a goddamned clusterfuck.

Boeing is a very important company to American commerce on every level.

And what we have to consider here is the possibility that it has made a mistake that truly jeopardizes its ability to be a going concern.  It will probably survive, but this extended 1) shutdown of flights on already-sold aircraft and 2) cessation of production and sales of its biggest product.....fuck, that's a big damned hit.

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On 1/10/2020 at 5:25 PM, DaysOff said:

Still the smoothest airplane I've ever flown.

It handled like a dream, even until we smashed into the ground. Beauty!

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17 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-737max-southwest-cancellations-idUSKBN1ZF1W2

Southwest extends 737Max cancellations into June.
Who will be the first Surly passenger to fly 737 Max after recertification? (and should we have the wreath fund available to their family & friends?)

 

I flew on a Max several times between KC and Boston when Southwest was using them for that non-stop route. I travel that way 4-5 times a year so if SWA puts them back on, I will. I suppose @immamac can figure out where to send the wreath but I doubt that he would need to.

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2 hours ago, Shoxthemonkey said:

I flew on a Max several times between KC and Boston when Southwest was using them for that non-stop route. I travel that way 4-5 times a year so if SWA puts them back on, I will. I suppose @immamac can figure out where to send the wreath but I doubt that he would need to.

Thoughts and prayers, in advance, for the Shoxthemonkey family and friends 

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Having grown up in a Boeing town, I suppose I have a bit more trust than many folks do but I won't hesitate to board a Max flight if that's the horse they give me to ride. This in no way means that I don't think Boeing fucked this up royally. I also believe they weren't the only player to blame.

The first time I flew in a Max was to attend my niece's wedding. My brother was the CTO for the NH company that makes the fan blades for the LEAP engines so all members of the team that designed those were there. They were all jealous that I had flown on a Max and they hadn't yet. Careful what you wish for, I guess.

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FWIW - I would totally fly a Max.
Of course I would peek into the cockpit and hope that I got a thumbs up when I asked if Bobby Batronic was up there today.

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42 minutes ago, Wally Fairway said:

FWIW - I would totally fly a Max.
Of course I would peek into the cockpit and hope that I got a thumbs up when I asked if Bobby Batronic was up there today.

You’d be disappointed. I’m too busy enjoying the roomy simplicity of the Airbus flightdeck. 

On a serious note the Max is too big too fail. They’ll certify it, go through political theater and passenger angst, and then it’ll be in mass use. 

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I think you are right, BB. It can't get back in the air soon enough for folks around here. The recent layoffs at Spirit Aerosystems are going to really hurt the Wichita economy if it drags out to mid summer. I deal with several of the small shops that make piece parts for the Max and Spirit and it's certainly going to be a hardship for them.

ETA, but don't cut any corners getting there.

 

Edited by Shoxthemonkey

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I’m wondering if this means the NMA concept is dead for now, was doubtful we’d ever see a mini widebody to spot between 737-787...but it was intriguing.  Gotta wonder if once the MAX is cleaned up and the 777X is on its merry way, if they go back to working on the NSA full time using 787 tech instead of the NMA...but the MAX/NEO has that saturated nicely for now.  
 

Again the A320XLR is showing the 757-sized market is ripe for an optimized airframe that has legs, can haul cargo and be economical for P2P across the pond.  787 wont shrink well, the XLR probably weight limited at the extremes and not fully proven operationally, and although customers vote with their wallet I still don’t like the idea of single aisle for 8 hours.  Might be more sales for Boeing there until there’s another leap in engine efficiency...scaled down, geared GEnX?

The ebb and flow of AvB fascinates me.  The 737 is dead after this, that’s for sure.  Maybe an all composite big fan follow up will beat the NEO, but Airbus has been cleaning up with it and the ‘220’.  

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The problem is that Airbus will have had the 321XLR in production for almost a decade, teething problems fixed and shortcomings largely identified/addressed by the time Boeing can produce the next 757. It's basically going to be the 757-300 with better fuel economy, and hopefully better 321 field performance with a modified wing attached.

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More bad news for Boeing

797/NMA Is Going Back To The Drawing Boards

Boeing has shelved all of its plans for the ‘797 NMA’ and has been asked to return to the drawing board by its new CEO. This is surprising as the Boeing 797 was rumored to be on the verge of announcement only a year ago, to now a concept that needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

The Boeing 797 was designed as an aircraft to solve the ‘middle of the market’ problem.

Thus Boeing envisioned a cheap aircraft, that could carry 220-270 passengers in a wide-body twin-aisle configuration to fill this market niche.The aircraft would have been cheap enough (around $100 million USD at list prices) that it would be a good workhorse for any fleet.

The rumored specs of the two Boeing 797 models were:

797-6 – able to seat 228 passengers and fly a range of 4,500nm (8,300km)
797-7- seating 267 passengers and fly a range of 4,200nm range (7,700km)
The aircraft would have also been a replacement for both the Boeing 757 (Although the 737 MAX 10 was also a good 757 replacement) and the Boeing 767.

Many airlines appeared interested in the type, such as Delta Air Lines and Qantas, but they had been unable to make an order at this time.

In fact, up till this week, a ‘major supplier’ to Boeing for the NMA 797 program still had a meeting with the aerospace builder, when it was abruptly canceled.

Why has Boeing restarted the project? Essentially, the market has changed.

The first is the Boeing 737 MAX disaster. The problems with the Boeing 737 MAX go far beyond the MCAS problem and lie in the actual engineering of the aircraft. 

Another issue is that of a new rival aircraft that does what the Boeing 797 intended to do. Airbus launched the Airbus A321XLR aircraft back at the Paris Air Show and it has snapped up orders from many different airlines. This aircraft can fly an incredible range and seats up to 220 passengers.

Airbus also offered the A330-800neo for airlines needing an aircraft for the 270-300 seat range, but it has so far not been very popular.

With this news, Boeing will be looking at around five years to bring a new aircraft design to market (just the design, then they have to build and test it). But with the airframe builder asking for $10 billion USD in loans, do they have an appetite to design a whole new expensive aircraft?

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The problem is that Airbus will have had the 321XLR in production for almost a decade, teething problems fixed and shortcomings largely identified/addressed by the time Boeing can produce the next 757. It's basically going to be the 757-300 with better fuel economy, and hopefully better 321 field performance with a modified wing attached.

We're planning on the MAX10 as the 757 replacement (dumb), but UAL also put in a 50 plane order for a 321XLR. Who knows? Fleet plans are bullshit anyway until your pilots are actually sitting in them.

 

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Boeing will be fine, it ebbs and flows.  There were a ton of bad people, processes and decisions but they’ll come out better for it...like most things in aviation.  It’ll take awhile though that’s for sure.  
 

No one wanted the original A350 concept, the A380 was a hugely expensive product for what turned out to be a relatively small market and the A330NEO didn’t really take.  
 

I’d fly a MAX no problem like any other aircraft, but on a trusted carrier like I would anyways.  

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1 hour ago, DaysOff said:

We're planning on the MAX10 as the 757 replacement (dumb), but UAL also put in a 50 plane order for a 321XLR. Who knows? Fleet plans are bullshit anyway until your pilots are actually sitting in them.

 

Sounds like UAL is hedging their bets. 321XLR if the 10 is a dud, or option down/trade those slots if the XLR is a weak performer. I’m curious to see what they can do with the XLR wing. Supposedly they are reworking the slats/flaps to yield better field performance, but the 321 is usually pretty unhappy above FL330 with anything approaching a full cabin without glassy smooth air. I can’t imagine the XLR will do better with the same span and a good deal more weight. 

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Posted (edited)

Boeing still fucking around:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/9/21197162/boeing-737-max-software-hardware-computer-fcc-crash

Quote
In June 2019, Boeing submitted a software fix to the FAA for approval, but subsequent stress-testing of the Max’s computers revealed more flaws than just bad code. They are vulnerable to single-bit errors that could disable entire control systems or throw the airplane into an uncommanded dive. They fail to boot up properly. They may even “freeze” in autopilot mode even when the airplane is in a stall, which could hamper recovery efforts in the middle of an in-flight emergency.

Despite all of this, Boeing insists that it can fix everything with software. Boeing has elected not to go with a new, more powerful computer or to add more of them to the two already there, in order to better distribute the workload. For comparison, Airbus’ A320neo has computers of similar vintage — but it has seven of them.

 

something i did not previously read:

Quote

Unless the pilots can, in under four seconds, correctly diagnose the error, throw a specific emergency switch, and start recovery maneuvers, they will lose control of the airplane and crash —

four seconds?  i wonder if that 1 hour ipad training included a module where, unless the correct action were identified and taken in 4 seconds, an M80 embedded in the ipad exploded?
 

Edited by elfenix

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On 1/23/2020 at 8:47 AM, Bobby_Batronic said:

Sounds like UAL is hedging their bets. 321XLR if the 10 is a dud, or option down/trade those slots if the XLR is a weak performer. I’m curious to see what they can do with the XLR wing. Supposedly they are reworking the slats/flaps to yield better field performance, but the 321 is usually pretty unhappy above FL330 with anything approaching a full cabin without glassy smooth air. I can’t imagine the XLR will do better with the same span and a good deal more weight. 

Can you explain?  I'm generally not an aviation nerd and do little reading outside of what SWA requires me to do.

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I just started reading about air france 447.  can any of you pilot-types explain that one?  I don’t know much about aviation but reading about that crash I don’t understand why a trained pilot kept going nose-up when they were stalling. 

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57 minutes ago, futureman said:

I just started reading about air france 447.  can any of you pilot-types explain that one?  I don’t know much about aviation but reading about that crash I don’t understand why a trained pilot kept going nose-up when they were stalling. 

I'm no aviation expert but if I recall the airspeed indicators (pitot tubes) were giving incorrect information due to icing. I also think they in the middle of a big thunderstorm. That crash is nightmare fuel.

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3 hours ago, Assman said:

Can you explain?  I'm generally not an aviation nerd and do little reading outside of what SWA requires me to do.

The 321 has the same basic wing as the 319/320, but can takeoff 20-30,000 lbs heavier than a 320 depending on variant. So it’ll never be a performer with regard to altitude, and any burble in the air could upset things in the coffin corner a lot easier. 

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24 minutes ago, C-Man said:

I'm no aviation expert but if I recall the airspeed indicators (pitot tubes) were giving incorrect information due to icing. I also think they in the middle of a big thunderstorm. That crash is nightmare fuel.

The short version is that they were getting unreliable indications leading to a stall situation, two FO’s were manning the flight deck, and one of them held full nose up inputs nearly all the way to the water. 

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5 hours ago, Bobby_Batronic said:

and one of them held full nose up inputs nearly all the way to the water

yeah that’s the part I didn’t get.  I thought I read the other FO was trying to get the nose back down, and the Captain came in and told them to go back to nose down, and this guy just continued to pull the nose up.  why would he do that?

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yeah that’s the part I didn’t get.  I thought I read the other FO was trying to get the nose back down, and the Captain came in and told them to go back to nose down, and this guy just continued to pull the nose up.  why would he do that?

Fear. Panic.

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11 minutes ago, Chad Fuck said:


Fear. Panic.

yeah but if I’m experiencing fear and panic I don’t steer my truck into a tree.  I’ve never flown an airplane and never took a flight class but I know (as much as a guy on the street can know) that nose-up can induce a stall and that nose-down can increase speed and increase air through the engines and stabilize the plane.  I know there’s more to it but I think that’s basically true? that guy was a trained pilot for a major airline.  there has to be some reason he continued to pull back on his stick even as the stall warnings continued to beep.  or maybe there’s not, I don’t know.  this isn’t a conscious effort to hijack the max thread; I’ll go watch some air france videos on youtube...
 

can’t imagine the horror of being a passenger on that plane.  basically free-falling 38,000 feet and hitting the water belly-down. 

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AF447 was mind boggling. I mean, that crash seems sooo preventable. So they go through a severe storm and the pitot tube(s) freeze, so now there is no air speed and the computer says “sorry, I can’t fly this plane anymore”. The guy who was flying the plane at the time, I believe he was the #3 pilot, could have in that scenario given a certain throttle and certain pitch (or whatever the angle of the nose is called), and they have tables that tell you what throttle and pitch to set in order to maintain speed and altitude, and 5 minutes later the pitot tubes would have be unfrozen and the plane would have landed in Paris and nobody would have even noticed anything. Instead the #3 guy started climbing (why?) and presumably stalled the plane. The weirdest thing is that when they woke the captain up and he showed up at the cockpit, the word “stall” was never uttered by anybody all the way down. It seems like they were all completely bewildered. The plane was dropping fast and the nose was pointing up, and yet, amazingly, nobody ever said “stall”. At some point the #2 guy was trying to point the nose down while #3 was trying to go up. How does such a breakdown happen? Why didn’t #2 (who was a lot more experienced than #3) say “GTFO, I’m taking over”? I seem to remember reading that none of the pilots had actually ever practiced stalling that big mammoth of a plane. Like, nobody does that. Surly pilots please correct me if I’m wrong on this. It seems that pilots practice stall recovery on their little Cessna or whatever plane they are learning on, but not on the big commercial planes. Another thing I thought was chilling and creepy is that the plane went down pretty steadily, like probably none of the passengers noticed anything until the crash.

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1 hour ago, futureman said:

yeah that’s the part I didn’t get.  I thought I read the other FO was trying to get the nose back down, and the Captain came in and told them to go back to nose down, and this guy just continued to pull the nose up.  why would he do that?

Fear, panic and training. I’ve frozen up plenty of times and not reacted when the fecal fan interaction was in progress. 

Also, because of angle of attack protections in the Airbus, you can hold full aft stick and the aircraft will supposedly not  exceed the critical angle of attack in normal law. Below thrust reduction altitude, usually 1000 feet, the procedure for Unreliable Speed/ADR Check procedures is to select TOGA power and 15 degrees nose up. At altitude it’s 5 degrees and climb power. 

Also, and I haven’t read the whole thing in a while, but the plane was probably not in Normal law meaning the angle of attack protection was inoperative. In fact, it was likely in abnormal attitude law meaning the flight controls were responding to direct pilot inputs with no protections. 

Lastly, the other FO and CA were unaware that the flying FO was holding full aft stick until he mentioned it very late into the situation. There is no visual or tactile indication of that fact with the other stick unless both are moved simultaneously. 

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Yeah, it was in alternate law. To me the fact that both pilots were moving the joystick at the same time speaks of a total breakdown of communication. They were in “limbic” mode.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, XYZ said:

Yeah, it was in alternate law. To me the fact that both pilots were moving the joystick at the same time speaks of a total breakdown of communication. They were in “limbic” mode.

If it was in Alternate Law then the only protection they had was load factor. They would have high and low speed stability trying to drop the nose, but stabilities can be overcome whereas protections cannot without turning off systems. 

The plane should have been screaming “Dual Input!” at them if thy were both using the stick at the same time accompanied by panel annunciations, and the summer input of both stocks would be sent to the flight controls. 

Edited by Bobby_Batronic

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Posted (edited)

The plane also screamed “stall” many times at them. They were dropping at 10,000 ft/minute with the nose pointed 15 degrees up and the thrust at TO/GA. Crazy.

Edited by XYZ

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The POTUS (no CR) claimed in his news conference today that someone st Boing told him the updated 737 was "the safest plane in the world".

 

Doesn't seem consistent with the news from elfenix in post # 1417 above.

 

 

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Boeing, FAA failures to blame for 737 MAX crashes: U.S. House report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed all 346 passengers and crew aboard were the “horrific culmination” of failures by the planemaker and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a U.S. House panel concluded after an 18-month investigation.

The crashes “were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event,” the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Democratic majority said in its highly critical report released on Wednesday.

“They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”

The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 near Addis Ababa which killed all 157 aboard.

In October 2018, a Lion Air 737 MAX had crashed in Indonesia killing all 189 on board.

“Boeing failed in its design and development of the MAX, and the FAA failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft,” the report said, detailing a series of problems in the plane’s design and the FAA’s approval of it.

...

The report said Boeing made “faulty design and performance assumptions” especially regarding a key safety system, called MCAS, which was linked to both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.

MCAS, which was designed to help counter a tendency of the MAX to pitch up, could be activated after data from only a single sensor.

The FAA is requiring new safeguards to MCAS, including requiring it receive data from two sensors, before it allows the 737 MAX to return to service.

The report criticized Boeing for withholding “crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 MAX pilots” including “concealing the very existence of MCASfrom 737 MAX pilots.”

Edited by Captainant

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I was assured the plane was perfectly safe and the incompetent pilots were to blame.

mememe_60b85ebea18f9d3953099954bee5ecfe-

Edited by RPM

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18 minutes ago, RPM said:

I was assured the plane was perfectly safe and the incompetent pilots were to blame.

mememe_60b85ebea18f9d3953099954bee5ecfe-

All but Bobby B. of course, he'd have seen right thru all that computer override control BS, and landed those planes no problem...

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On 4/10/2020 at 12:04 AM, futureman said:

I just started reading about air france 447.  can any of you pilot-types explain that one?  I don’t know much about aviation but reading about that crash I don’t understand why a trained pilot kept going nose-up when they were stalling. 

They were French. Nose up. That’s what they do.

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15 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

All but Bobby B. of course, he'd have seen right thru all that computer override control BS, and landed those planes no problem...

Life’s short. Being a bitch is optional. 

Both crews responded poorly on top of the sins of Boeing and the FAA. Responding in a manner consistent with uncommanded pitch procedures in the 737 fixes both situations whether they knew about the new system or not.  Sorry that’s hard for some to understand. 

Edited by Bobby_Batronic

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I was assured the plane was perfectly safe and the incompetent pilots were to blame.
mememe_60b85ebea18f9d3953099954bee5ecfe-1.jpg
No that wasn't wrong. What I learned on my last trip through the simulator about these accidents is more of a face palm from these pilots. Much of the return to service has been a political boondoggle, but that doesn't change the mistakes Boeing and the Feds made. Both can be true.

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1 minute ago, Bobby_Batronic said:

Life’s short. Being a bitch is optional. 

Both crews responded poorly on top of the sins of Boeing and the FAA. Responding in a manner consistent with uncommanded pitch procedures in the 737 fixes both situations whether they knew about the new system or not.  Sorry that’s hard for some to understand. 

Shit, even the lead engineers didn't know about the actual behavior of their system. Stop covering up for these negligent fuckers. The planes were behaving aberrant and non-aerodynamically due to the unmentioned MCAS system continuously inputting nose down - and Boeing engineers assumed that these pilots who were't made aware of the new MCAS would magically just handle it perfectly.

Quote

“I had no knowledge that MCAS had a repeat function in it during the development,” Teal told investigators. “The technical leaders well below my level would have gone into that level of detail.”

Likewise, only “when it showed up in the press” later, did Teal learn that a warning light that was supposed to tell pilots if two angle of attack sensors disagreed wasn’t working on most MAXs, including the two that crashed — even though Boeing engineers had discovered this glitch in August 2017, more than a year before the first accident.

And Teal, who said he “signed off on the configuration of the airplane to include the MCAS function,” couldn’t recall any discussion of the decision to remove all mention of MCAS from the pilot flight manuals.

Leverkuhn also said he knew nothing of these key details about the flawed flight control system and said there was minimal focus on MCAS at his level.

“MCAS is a revision of a software in the flight control computers,” Leverkuhn said. “It really wasn’t considered, to my understanding, new or novel.”

Keep on blaming the deaths of hundreds on a """lack of basic airmanship""" and not negligent engineering. Shit, I'd bet you'd blame the astronauts and not Morton Thiokol too, huh?

This is basic engineering ethics 101. Fuck Boeing, and fuck anyone who carries their water on this issue. Blood is on their shareholders hands.

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28 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Shit, even the lead engineers didn't know about the actual behavior of their system. Stop covering up for these negligent fuckers. The planes were behaving aberrant and non-aerodynamically due to the unmentioned MCAS system continuously inputting nose down - and Boeing engineers assumed that these pilots who were't made aware of the new MCAS would magically just handle it perfectly.

Keep on blaming the deaths of hundreds on a """lack of basic airmanship""" and not negligent engineering. Shit, I'd bet you'd blame the astronauts and not Morton Thiokol too, huh?

This is basic engineering ethics 101. Fuck Boeing, and fuck anyone who carries their water on this issue. Blood is on their shareholders hands.

You have trouble carrying two thoughts at once. Boeing and the FAA are criminally negligent. The pilots responded poorly. The Lion Air crash, in particular, was very recoverable. 

I’m not arguing this again, because it’s clear that you’re incapable of reconciling the two ideas above. 

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Sure the pilots didn't have their A game. They should not have needed to have their A game. Boeing caused this. The fact that Chuck Yeager was not on the stick is not an intervening cause, legally speaking.

I believe disregarding a known and substantial risk and proceeding is recklessness, not criminal negligence, and in most states, a form of criminal homicide called manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. That is what Boeing officials should be charged with.

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