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The Boeing MAX 8 Accidents

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MARC Rider

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Interesting that the US House report didn't add they, too, have a major responsibility since Congress controls the FAA, its budget, and its available resources.
First of all, do we really want Congress routinely micromanaging aircraft certification? The point about Congress's role in what is presumably a declining (relative to inflation) FAA appropriation) is probably valid, but this has been a fact of political life since 1980 when the electorate decided that they wanted less government. It's probably up to other major players in public life to point this out and work to change the overall climate regarding spending for regulatory agencies.
 

jis

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First of all, do we really want Congress routinely micromanaging aircraft certification? The point about Congress's role in what is presumably a declining (relative to inflation) FAA appropriation) is probably valid, but this has been a fact of political life since 1980 when the electorate decided that they wanted less government. It's probably up to other major players in public life to point this out and work to change the overall climate regarding spending for regulatory agencies.
Congress is supposed to make informed decisions about stuff and make it happen (Remember? The greatest deliberative body in the workd and what not? Phrases used when they wish to pat themselves on the back?). They have failed in their duty as far as managing many of the regulatory bodies go, not just the FAA. The FRA is another example of a royal mess. The entire setup where a single body is supposed to regulate the same entities whose businesses they are supposed to help grow has a built in conflict of interest within it. Who set that up?

Of course, specific instruction to the FAA to contract out some critical functions was lunacy of the first order and not giving any push back to it was baffling to start with. Now that the inevitable happened everybody is acting dumbfounded. Now Congress (and the executive branch) are busy trying to figure out how to deflect responsibility onto everyone except themselves, who enabled the development of this mess.

If you study the development of the illegal immigration mess, most of it can also be traced back to irresponsible and incompetent handling of it by the Legislative and Executive Branch in collusion starting with the Reagan Administration. Now of course it is everyone else's fault, not theirs.
 
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Dakota 400

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Where's Harry Truman when we need him? Anymore, "The Buck Never Stops Anywhere."

I place the blame on the leadership of the FAA and Boeing. There is "rot" at the FAA as well as at Boeing that needs to be excised. Is Congress responsible? In part, yes, because part of their job is Oversight of the work of the Federal government. I have opinions as to why this particular function is not being done as well as it might. But, because some might consider my thoughts to be somewhat political and not related to this thread, I won't post them.
 

saxman

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The FAA just approved the 737MAX to fly again. Or perhaps is it the 737-8 and -9 now? 🤣 Not to be confused with the 737-800 and -900.
 

jis

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The FAA just approved the 737MAX to fly again. Or perhaps is it the 737-8 and -9 now? 🤣 Not to be confused with the 737-800 and -900.
I suppose it is more than likely that they would be referred to as -8, -0 and -10. It would be hard to come up with a 3 alphameric code like 738 for the -800. I guess they could throw in a distinguishing second character, which probably won't be M anymore :) - some like 7N8, 7N9 and 7NJ (N for New). Idle speculation. Too much time on hand. :D
 

jiml

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I suppose it is more than likely that they would be referred to as -8, -0 and -10. It would be hard to come up with a 3 alphameric code like 738 for the -800. I guess they could throw in a distinguishing second character, which probably won't be M anymore :) - some like 7N8, 7N9 and 7NJ (N for New). Idle speculation. Too much time on hand. :D
I'm not sure if all airlines do what AA does, calling the -800 "738" in the schedules, but I wouldn't bet against them lumping them all together under this in the future. It will be like a lottery that has some passengers looking for Airbus models when making reservations. (I still remember the days of "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.".) :(
 

Bob Dylan

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I'm not sure if all airlines do what AA does, calling the -800 "738" in the schedules, but I wouldn't bet against them lumping them all together under this in the future. It will be like a lottery that has some passengers looking for Airbus models when making reservations. (I still remember the days of "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.".) :(
Ditto for the DC-10 after the Chicago Disaster!
 

jis

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I'm not sure if all airlines do what AA does, calling the -800 "738" in the schedules, but I wouldn't bet against them lumping them all together under this in the future. It will be like a lottery that has some passengers looking for Airbus models when making reservations. (I still remember the days of "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.".) :(
738 is an IATA Code for 737-800. It is nothing specific to AA.

The IATA Codes for Maxes are 7M?, where ? is 7, 8, 9 or J.

The ICAO Code also uses the "M" moniker for the MAX. The ICAO Codes are B3?M, where ? is 7,8,9,or X.

I was merely suggesting tongue in the cheek that maybe they will replace the M by N, but actually I don't think the IATA or ICAO Code will change.

At least United has publicly stated that they will continue to identify all aircraft types in their schedule using the IATA Code. That is what they did with the MAXs before the grounding.

Wikipedia has a relatively complete and upto date list: List of aircraft type designators - Wikipedia
 

jis

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China not ungrounding, and has no time line for doing so. Considering that a significant proportion of the the MAX market is China, this could prove to be a problem for Boeing.


Questions still persist even after FAA's action.


Many US airlines said it will be 2CQ21 before Max's start flying in regular service again. There is modifications to be made in each aircraft and pilots to undergo separate training for flying the MAX, something that Boeing tried to avoid, which caused the creation of this mess in the first place and the loss of 300+ lives.

US Pilots are satisfied with the changes put in place for the MAX.


FAA's Dixon is hoping that Canada, Europe and Brazil will unground the MAX in their respective jurisdictions soon. In the past FAA action used to be pretty much automatically and immediately adopted by other agencies. Apparently no more...

 
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Devil's Advocate

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738 is an IATA Code for 737-800. It is nothing specific to AA. [...] At least United has publicly stated that they will continue to identify all aircraft types in their schedule using the IATA Code. That is what they did with the MAXs before the grounding.
I think the point was that airlines would use industry jargon that means little or nothing to a typical traveler. Where the codes came from or who used them before the MAX started crashing is kind of irrelevant in that context. I enjoy using codes myself but I would prefer the DOT release a transparency directive to ensure passengers are informed of their choices and can avoid the MAX without penalty or having to decipher industry codes if they are so inclined.

US Pilots are satisfied with the changes put in place for the MAX.
They were satisfied with the original MAX too. I guess they're even more satisfied now.
 
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tgstubbs1

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[URL ]

FAA's Dixon is hoping that Canada, Europe and Brazil will unground the MAX in their respective jurisdictions soon. In the past FAA action used to be pretty much automatically and immediately adopted by other agencies. Apparently no more...


I would guess they might be concerned because the FAA failed them the first time. They don't want to look to eager.

Some of the airlines probably want to get the MAX up asap. They have nice interiors and can save $$$ on fuel burn.
 

Dakota 400

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I would prefer the DOT release a transparency directive to ensure passengers are informed of their choices and can avoid the MAX without penalty or having to decipher industry codes if they are so inclined.
I agree with your statement. Clarity as to exactly what type of plane on which one is flying would also help a prospective passenger in the area of seat selection if a site like Seat Guru is used.
 

anumberone

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All kinds of issues lead to aircraft accidents. Some leave an indelible mark in your brain. These particular incidents ere going to be hard to overcome.
 

WWW

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Problem is letting a computer fly the airplane - - -
When push comes to shove -
All hell breaks loose -
DISENGAGE THE COMPUTER (Completely) - AND FLY THE DARN AIRPLANE MANUALLY - the ole fashion way !

Trust the computer - nothing can go wrong - nothing can go wrong - nothing - - - ah crap we are flying inverted with an artificial horizon .....

About the 737 family it all started with a very short stubby model 100 and quickly became a 200 - add a couple more rows of seats and
bigger engines the 300 - I don't know if there ever was 400 - there was the 500 600 700 800 900 each subsequent model stretching the
cabin a few more rows of seats and refining the engines for more economy power and boost to handle the weight and load.
As the 707 727 747 757 767 777 air frames have been retired or repurposed to air cargo the 737 is now the replacement competing with the Airbus
family of A3xx. Just Airbus and Boeing - Lockheed Douglas Martin are all history. Oh of course you still have the smaller "Barbie" jets the CRjs
servicing the puddle jump outback airports and the prop DeHavilland critters in the remote areas.

But give me Private Varnish and I am in 7th heaven without leaving the ground !
 

PVD

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Yes, there was a 400, USAir had them, not sure who else in the US( maybe Alaska?) but almost 400 were built. 500/600 were not stretches, they were in the same size range as the 200 100/200 (orig) 300/400/500 (classic) 600/700/800/900 (next gen) and now max very few 100 built before the 200 took over, very few 600 also
 

tgstubbs1

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I read Alaska still uses some of the 200s because they can use a gravel strip.

I remember flying on one around 1966. It was parked next to some other behemoth jet and we just walked right up to the stair way. It was very short, almost 'cute'.
 

caravanman

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So the problems are sorted, which is great news. Does anyone actually know why it took so long?

Any idea what has been altered or is it just a new computer programme?
 

jis

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Yes, there was a 400, USAir had them, not sure who else in the US( maybe Alaska?) but almost 400 were built. 500/600 were not stretches, they were in the same size range as the 200 100/200 (orig) 300/400/500 (classic) 600/700/800/900 (next gen) and now max very few 100 built before the 200 took over, very few 600 also
A total of 486 734s were delivered.
So the problems are sorted, which is great news. Does anyone actually know why it took so long?

Any idea what has been altered or is it just a new computer programme?
Here is the new Airworthiness Directive (AD) from the FAA. It describes everything that needs to be done before each aircraft and each crew is allowed to fly one of these. It is a PDF document.


Here is the blurb from FAA that went with the overall release of the modified setup:


It took time first to figure out exactly what to change to reduce the risks to acceptable levels, and then to incorporate them and test them. Also there was some time involved in doing the Flight Simulator incorporating the actual expected behavior of the plane and make sufficient numbers available so that airlines could train their pilots for the MAX, something that was not required previously, but is required now.

One very major change is that MCAS does not have unlimited authority to override the pilot any more. It is allowed to intervene once and then take itself off line. So no more positive MCAS directed flights into terrain, which happened to be a feature before the fix, if the pilots failed their test to determine the exact cause of the problem and pull the select circuit breakers in a timely manner.

The other major change is that the MCAS now uses input from both attitude detectors and if they don;t agree, raises an alarm instead of blindly believing whatever its gets from a single detector.

So there has been changes in both hardware and software and in training and certification of crew requirements.

Speaking of using automation to enhance stability of aircraft, Yaw Dampers have been used in swept wing aircraft since the early days of the jet age since several of the jet aircraft, specially those with T-tails were unstable and susceptible to go into dutch rolls unless spontaneous yaw motion was countered in a timely manner. The aircraft were flyable without the yaw damper, but it was a dicey exercise even for extremely proficient pilots. But the problem was severe enough on T-tailed aircraft that they required a fail safe Yaw Damper system to operate commercially. So to claim that a pilot can do better than automation in all cases just shows a certain level of lack of knowledge on part of the one claiming so.
 
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Trogdor

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I read Alaska still uses some of the 200s because they can use a gravel strip.
Alaska Airlines hasn’t flown the 737-200 for 13 years. There are a (very small) number of 737-200s flying in northern Canada, but from what I can tell, nothing in the state of Alaska.
 

tgstubbs1

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Alaska Airlines hasn’t flown the 737-200 for 13 years. There are a (very small) number of 737-200s flying in northern Canada, but from what I can tell, nothing in the state of Alaska.
Maybe those are the ones I meant.
 

tgstubbs1

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One very major change is that MCAS does not have unlimited authority to override the pilot any more. It is allowed to intervene once and then take itself off line.

Speaking of using automation to enhance stability of aircraft, Yaw Dampers have been used in swept wing aircraft since the early days of the jet . The aircraft were flyable without the yaw damper, but it was a dicey exercise even for extremely proficient pilots. But the problem was severe enough on T-tailed aircraft that they required a fail safe Yaw Damper system to operate commercially.
I have never understood how they could have approved a system that repeatedly overrode the pilots when the amount of instability caused by the engine remount upgrade was a finite amount, about 10% I think I read.

Kind of like one of those elevators with doors that won't take a hint and stay open despite someone repeatedly forcing the door open.

And as for flying without automation I bet a number of flight issues could result while flying with a defective attitude indicator. Especially modern jets with the ultra thin and efficient wing shapes.

In my opinion that pilot that flew the MAX into the ocean should have landed immediately because of the failure of that indicator, MCAS or not he could have had problems.
 

Brian Battuello

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Speaking as a (retired) CFII, instrumentation failures are a fact of life in flying. We train from the very beginning to never trust a single indication. "Observe, Verify, Correct". But sometimes a single point of failure, such as an angle of attack sensor, can cause an amazing series of inexplicable events.

There are a zillion air crash investigations out there, but for an instrumentation induced accident, this is a classic. Well worth the 20 minutes on YouTube.


In retrospect, the pilots would have been fine if they had stayed in visual contact with the lights of Lima, Peru and "just flown the plane" but watching the video, you can see how the cascading series of events overwhelmed the pilots and finally doomed the flight.
 
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