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billvon

Boeing 737 MAX problems

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Something amusing this morning:

NPR News talked a bit about it, and played a brief clip of pilots in a simulator struggling with it.  They did not identify where they got it, but I immediately recognized the voice of "Mentour Pilot", so it must have been from the video he took down.  Audio here: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/12/712631724/faa-officials-to-meet-with-airlines-and-pilots-to-discuss-boeing-737-max

 

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It appears that despite the basic design flaw in the MAX it will eventually be approved to fly again with software and some hardware upgrades. I've come to understand that a clean sheet re-design is not going to happen. The airlines are not going to cancel orders because they have no real alternative. The Airbus product already has an eight year order backlog and the Boeing customers are not going to be willing to wait for more efficient engines. Especially if some of their competitors have them.

Interesting is the emerging story that the FAA wants to proceed without requiring any simulator time for pilot training. Canada's Transport Minister  is saying they will not fly in Canada without simulator training for the pilots. I'm guessing the rest of the world will also thumb their noses at the FAA on this. The FAA has lost much of it's credibility in the world and is now seen as just an arm of US trade policy.

 

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/canada-transport-minister-says-simulator-needed-737-max-161209317--sector.html

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Mentour Pilot seems to have redone his video about 737 trim, (including 737ng simulator), and carefully avoided talking about Max, MCAS, or the crashes. It is just about the mechanics of 737 trim, and how airspeed affects the ability to use manual trim. Relevant section is 2:20 - 16:40.

 

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That was a really good article. I used to be involved in ancillary software to flight control (I was in on-orbit, not ascent and descent). Our software was developed in the most expensive way possible (by hand, and verified by hand, line-by-line, both for requirements and for software). The big difference was that we did not have a lot of pressure to cut costs; flight safety was number one, and schedule was a distant two, with cost being a "well, don't do anything just to pad the company books." 

I'd have to agree that the attempt to make this classifiable as the same aircraft as the 737 is key. The 777, developed by the same company, has a stellar reputation, and it uses a ton of fly-by-wire software as well. However, they didn't have artificial marketing constraints. 

Wendy P.

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On 4/23/2019 at 12:27 PM, wmw999 said:

I'd have to agree that the attempt to make this classifiable as the same aircraft as the 737 is key. The 777, developed by the same company, has a stellar reputation, and it uses a ton of fly-by-wire software as well. However, they didn't have artificial marketing constraints. 

Agreed.  They also decided to make it fly by wire up front, and designed for that from the get-go - and they definitely didn't present it as "just like" another aircraft.

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An interesting story about a somewhat similar problem in the Airbus A330 from 10 years ago. A brutal experience, although fortunately they were able to land intact. But a case where the computer controls overrode the commands of the pilot.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-ve-become-very-isolated-the-aftermath-of-near-doomed-qf72-20190514-p51n7q.html

 

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Apparently, the American Airlines Pilot's Union had a meeting with a VP from Boeing a bit after the Lion Air crash.

They seem a 'bit perturbed' that there was a control system on the plane that they had been told nothing about. 

A recording of that meeting has been released to the press.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/05/15/boeing-737-max-audio-american-airlines-pilot-union-meeting/

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