Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

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fountainhall

Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:09 pm

Let's be clear about one thing. The return to the air concerns certification flights ONLY. As has been widely reported, Boeing has still to work out the training schedule for pilots. Then airlines have to get their parked aircraft out of mothballs. Given the length of time required for each, any realistic return to passenger service is not going to happen until 2020.

But s detailed reading of that article makes it very clear there is still no certainty that the certification flights will actually take place in October. It is merely a possibility.
There are still numerous tasks to be accomplished before Boeing can complete its submission to recertify the plane, said another person familiar with the process. The person wasn’t aware of a specific projection that the FAA test flight would occur in October, but said it was a possibility.
One promising sign from Boeing is that it is inviting 737 Max pilots from worldwide airlines to test the aircraft's new systems in flight simulators before going to the FAA for certification. Since that information was made public only last week and there are very few Max simulators anywhere in the world, that process alone is likely to take some weeks.
The FAA said Thursday it’s inviting “a cross-section of line pilots from carriers that operate the aircraft around the world” to participate in simulator testing “as part of the overall testing and validating of new procedures on the Boeing 737 MAX.”
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... to-flight/

Then there is another issue that few have been commenting on anywhere. With the current extremely bad state of trade relations between the USA and China, does anyone believe that the Chinese aviation regulator will do anything other than maintain its grounding ban until Trump changes his trade tune? And if just if one regulator withholds approval, where does that leave the grounded aircraft! Still grounded? According to Forbes, all regulators have to agree before the plane can fly passengers again.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesasqui ... 0da9313528

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Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by Jun » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:34 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:09 pm
With the current extremely bad state of trade relations between the USA and China, does anyone believe that the Chinese aviation regulator will do anything other than maintain its grounding ban until Trump changes his trade tune?
Also the Chinese have the Comac C919 due to go into service in 2021. Considering that, plus US-China relations and the fact that Boeing and the FAA screwed up first time, it's certainly possible that China will be in no hurry to sign off the 737 max.

fountainhall

Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:09 pm

United Airlines has once again put back the reintroduction of its Max fleet from November 3 until December 19. Southwest has already stated it is looking to early in 2020 for reintroducing its fleet. Expect American Airlines to follow United.

Meanwhile the FAA has announced that the Joint Authorities Technical Review Panel which includes nine safety regulators from around the world requires at least two more weeks to complete its review and then a few more after that before the findings are published. But this is just one of many reports the FAA will consider before it comes to a final decision on when the 737 Max can be recertified.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/30/united- ... ec-19.html

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Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by gera » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:46 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:09 pm

Then there is another issue that few have been commenting on anywhere. With the current extremely bad state of trade relations between the USA and China, does anyone believe that the Chinese aviation regulator will do anything other than maintain its grounding ban until Trump changes his trade tune? And if just if one regulator withholds approval, where does that leave the grounded aircraft! Still grounded? According to Forbes, all regulators have to agree before the plane can fly passengers again.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesasqui ... 0da9313528
Do you seriously believe that (biased as you indicate yourself) opinion of Chinese regulator would prevent restart operations in USA? I do pay attention to this story. And my major interest is as investor. Therefore, when it comes to opinions, I take into consideration the articles published in Bloomberg,
since it is a publication which has no skin in the game beyond the goal of providing objective information for investors. The rest is personal judgement.
Based on that, I made my bet and bought shares of Boeing couple of days ago. My bet is the plane will be certified by the end of October. If I am right, I will make good money. If I am wrong, well, currently shares are traded within rather narrow band.

fountainhall

Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:18 am

gera wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:46 pm
I made my bet and bought shares of Boeing couple of days ago. My bet is the plane will be certified by the end of October. If I am right, I will make good money. If I am wrong, well, currently shares are traded within rather narrow band.
At my stage in life I cannot be as adventurous as younger guys but I would never wish any investor anything other then the best of luck in making a decent profit.

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Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by windwalker » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:30 pm

For those aerophiles among us here is an extensive article in the NY Times regarding the crash of the 737 Max 8.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/maga ... e=Homepage

fountainhall

Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:27 pm

I do not subscribe to the New York Times and can not read the article. I have checked google for reprints, but there seem to be none. Is there any way of copying it into the thread?
Many thanks

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Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by windwalker » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:53 pm

I just assumed by clicking on the link you would be able to read the article.
Otherwise I don't know how to copy it since it is very long.
The bottom line was the real cause of the two crashes was lack of experience and training of the pilots flying the aircraft. Of course there were other factors involved.

fountainhall

Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by fountainhall » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:33 am

Thanks windwalker. I have now registered and believe I will get a certain number of free articles each month.

Frankly, I cannot agree with the author's assertion in the article that the "real cause” of the two fatal crashes was "lack of experience and training of the pilots flying the aircraft." I do not absolve them of blame - contrary to assertions I have made in the past - but the crucial fact is neither crew should have been put in the position they found themselves in. They just happened to be at the sharp end of a series of fatal errors that no one at the time seemed to fully understand.

The very long and extremely detailed NYT article is utterly fascinating - and horrifying at the same time. Generally, having years before been fully aware of the awful problems at another Indonesian start-up, Adam Air, I was not surprised at the author's comments about Lion Air. I was more surprised about the comments on Ethiopian Airlines which has, certainly in recent years, had a very good reputation.
[Adam Air's] disregard of safety ran the gamut and resulted in the dispatch of shabby airplanes in the hands of beleaguered pilots . . . I know how it feels, because as a young man I flew for fly-by-night cargo operators in the United States and suffered most of the survivable failures known to pilot-kind — engine failure, engine fire, electrical failure, electrical fire, radio failure, radar failure, pressurization failure, wing-flap failure, landing-gear failure, gyroscopic failure, airspeed-indication failure, altimeter failure, anti-ice failure, personal (girlfriend) failure, tail-tin-canning lightning-strike failure and trim failures at least four times. By trim failures, I mean runaway trims. Our mechanics laughed about “pencil whipping” the airplanes into the air, and we agreed that the paperwork was a joke. The F.A.A. inspected it and never caught on. But we carried only freight. One winter night, one of our pilots died. He was taken down by a de-icing failure over high terrain inbound to Los Angeles, and none of us were surprised.
From the above, it is perfectly obvious that the author was (and perhaps still is) a highly proficient and hugely experienced pilot used to all manner of emergencies in an age when automation in the cockpit was a fraction of what it is today. You can feel from the way he writes that he puts himself into the position of all the Lion Air and Ethiopian pilots. And he makes the procedure for correcting the problems which arose seem relatively simple. That is one of his first errors.

Early on he makes a very salient point.
Airplanes are living things. The best pilots do not sit in cockpits so much as strap them on. The United States Navy manages to instil a sense of this in its fledgling fighter pilots by ramming them through rigorous classroom instruction and then requiring them to fly at bank angles without limits, including upside down. The same cannot be expected of airline pilots who never fly solo and whose entire experience consists of catering to passengers who flinch in mild turbulence, refer to “air pockets” in cocktail conversation and think they are near death if bank angles exceed 30 degrees. The problem exists for many American and European pilots, too. Unless they make extraordinary efforts — for instance, going out to fly aerobatics, fly sailplanes or wander among the airstrips of backcountry Idaho — they may never develop true airmanship no matter the length of their careers.
So, as he himself points out, many pilots today do not have anything like his earlier level of hands-on experience. That is not just a result of tremendous technological advances. It is partly due to the massive rise in the number of passengers and the consequent need for vast numbers of pilots and engineers, many of whom have been inadequately trained. He cites China as the first example of a country where air travel expanded rapidly and pilots were basically taught by rote and where, if something like a landing approach veered from the ingrained training pilots had received, accidents more than likely occurred.
That changed over time. With the support of the Chinese government, which went so far as to delegate some regulatory functions to foreigners, the manufacturers were able to instil a rigorous approach to safety in a small cadre of pilots and managers, who in turn were able to instil it in others. The effort was made not out of the goodness of the manufacturers’ hearts, but out of calculations related to risk and self-preservation. It is widely seen to have been a success. Today the Chinese airlines are some of the safest in the world.
He goes on. Boeing realised it had a similar problem with Lion Air. Boeing was aware of the widespread culture of corruption within the airline and accepted it could do little to change this. But as Lion Air was one of its largest customers worldwide, it felt it had to do something. So, it decided to intervene and attempt to raise standards.
10 years ago, Boeing spent a “shitpot full of money” in doing the same exercise to raise the standards at Lion Air, but without similar success. Lion Air continued to crash airplanes around runways as it had before. The Indonesian authorities lacked the political will to rein that in.
He continues by comparing the approaches of Boeing and the new upstart Airbus.
[Whereas Airbus addressed the] accelerating decline in airmanship [by designing an aircraft that would] require minimal piloting skills largely by using digital flight controls to reduce pilot workload . . . and build in pilot-proof protections against errors like aerodynamic stalls, etc. . . . [Airbus] efforts led to the smartest airplane ever built, a single-aisle medium-range ‘fly-by-wire’ masterpiece called the A320 that entered the global market in 1988, led the way to all other Airbus models since . . . Boeing, on the other hand, continued with its different design philosophy that relied on pilots’ airmanship as the last line of defense. It made sense in an era when airplanes were vulnerable to weather and prone to failures and pilots intervened regularly to keep airplanes from crashing.
Rather ominously, he then adds that by the 1980s however,
it became apparent that because of engineering improvements, very few accidents were caused by airplanes anymore, and almost all resulted from pilot error . . . In the face of these changes, Boeing clung resolutely to its pilot-centric designs. [The Airbus] approach was diametrically opposed to Boeing’s.
Of Boeing’s decision not to re-engineer the basic 737 hull which had been in existence for almost 60 years, the author says virtually nothing. Of the new engines having to be placed further forward and partly above the surface of the wing, he also says little. After Boeing came up with the MCAS system, he does add that
Boeing believed the system to be so innocuous, even if it malfunctioned, that the company did not inform pilots of its existence or include a description of it in the airplane’s flight manuals.
And that surly is the basic root cause of the two fatal crashes – not any possible incompetence of the airlines nor any failure of the pilots. At least in the case of Lion Air, Boeing was perfectly well aware of the type of operation run by the airline. It was aware of the youth of its pilots and the training systems, such as they were, that it had in place. After all, it had worked with the airline to improve that training. Yet it totally failed to provide any information to airline and pilots of the new MCAS system and how it would operate. It was not in the training iPad programmes and it was not in the pilots’ flight manuals. Yet even given that gross error of judgement, the author absolves Boeing of much of the blame, seeming to suggest the MCAS system was an honest mistake. That beggars belief, considering the reports from more than a few Boeing insiders on how it was vital and further reports from pilots on US airlines having reported problems with sudden unexplained nose-down actions long before the Lion Air crash.

Even so, he remains critical of Boeing as a company.
On the corporate level, the company is the worst sort of player — a corrosive agent that spreads money around Washington, pushes exotic weapons on Congress, toys with nuclear annihilation, sells all sorts of lesser instruments of death to oppressive regimes around the world and dangerously distorts American society in the ways that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his prescient 1961 farewell address.
In the penultimate paragraph, the author goes back to the comparison between the basic Boeing and Airbus approach to aircraft design. Boeing’s -
traditional pilot-centric views needs to change, and someday it probably will; in the end Boeing will have no choice but to swallow its pride and follow the Airbus lead.

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Re: Boeing 737 Max8 Crashes

Post by gera » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:42 pm

The article confirms what I said from the very beginning. The plane was always airworthy and actually should not have been grounded in USA
(updates in software could have been done along the way). Airbus approach promotes dummies without training in cockpit. Hardly reassuring.
FH: stop pretending you are an aviation expert. You are not. And it shows. New head of FAA (former pilot with Delta certified to fly 737) is about to travel to Seattle where he is personally check software updates on simulator. He actually even wants to fly the plane himself. After that certification flight and hopefully all this bullshit will be over. At least I hope so.

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