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Where is the Outrage over Boeing 737-MAX?

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As far as I am concerned, Boeing' poorly documented and designed planes just killled two planes full of people. This is murder at worst, and manslaughter at best.

To me, this is an engineering disaster worse than NASA with Challenger given the loss of life -- astronauts understand the risk of space travel. And its not like the FAA wasn't part of it either, although I don't know how much in their knickers the FAA gets (there's probably not government technical representatives within Boeing decision loops).

Certainly the issue with MCAS was a known known when then the plane started to be delivered and I wonder how far the coverup goes...



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It really should be a bigger deal than it is.  Boeing wanted to put more fuel efficient engines into play for its 737. The problem is those new engines were too big.  They should have designed a new airframe to accommodate them.  But that is VERY expensive compared to just stuffing them onto the already approved 737.  So once they added those engines it made the 737 unstable.  In level flight, with trimmed controls, and steady speed, the aircrafts nose would rise because of the angel of the thrust from the engines.  So they just did a fly by wire software fix.  We have seen the results.  NO passenger aircraft should be approved if there is an inherent instability in the design.  That's just crazy.   

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The FAA also has a too-cozy relationship with Boeing.  

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-and-boeing-have-long-had-a-special-relationship/2019/03/16/abcebe8a-475a-11e9-aaf8-4512a6fe3439_story.html?utm_term=.e516f71d673d

 

Quote

As a top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, Dorothy Robyn was charged with advancing America’s aerospace industry.

Part of the job was not choosing sides between companies. But there was one exception: Boeing.

“It was the one company for which I could be an out-and-out advocate,” Robyn said Thursday. In competitions between American companies, the administration as a rule remained neutral. But Boeing’s commercial airplane division employed tens of thousands of Americans and its prime competition, Airbus, was in Europe.

“In the engines business, you can’t choose between GE and Pratt & Whitney. With Boeing, that’s it. They’re ours. It is the only sector where we have a de facto national champion and you can be an out-and-out advocate for it.”

 

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Posted (edited)

I think it's still too early to tell where the fault lies within Boeing. Planes have gotten considerably safer since automation software was introduced so I think some restraint should be exercised before worse solutions are proposed. Like Trump saying that we should go back to the good ol days of pilots having more control, which is pure nonsense.

 

Plus, Boeing is a bipartisan darling in DC. No one really wants to **** with them. Even if they are found to be grossly at fault here, you can bet nothing meaningful will happen.

Edited by No Excuses
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21 minutes ago, No Excuses said:

I think it's still too early to tell where the fault lies within Boeing. 

 

Boeing designed an unstable plane that needed software to keep it from entering dangerous stalls.  For a passenger plane this is just not acceptable.  

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35 minutes ago, HOF44 said:

Boeing designed an unstable plane that needed software to keep it from entering dangerous stalls.  For a passenger plane this is just not acceptable.  

As an aircraft mechanic, I will say this isn't fair.  Do you have any clue how many aircraft wouldnt fly without software assisted flight controls?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

As an aircraft mechanic, I will say this isn't fair.  Do you have any clue how many aircraft wouldnt fly without software assisted flight controls?

I'm aware there are many military aircraft that require computer assist.  Lack of stability creates maneuverability and stealth design can lead to instabilities, which for a military aircraft is definitely worth the trade offs.  

 

How many commercial aircrafts are designed requiring fly by wire computer translation to stay airborne?  You would think a passenger airliner would be required to be designed with a stable air frame.  Whats the reason not to, other than cost savings?

Edited by HOF44

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3 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

As an aircraft mechanic, I will say this isn't fair.  Do you have any clue how many aircraft wouldnt fly without software assisted flight controls?

It's just too dam complicated though.  We would need to resurrect Einstein to fly them.  Better if they're simple and steam powered only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

😉

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I will say this though, the blame will go around on this one for sure.

There was obviously one pilot who knew how to recover from the stall system take-over, he did it the day before the India crash. It seems as though American pilots knew about it as well. So why didn't these other pilots know, and why didn't they have updated training on their equipment and have updated checklists?

That said, Boeing was obviously aware that there was an issue with the stall system, and that it was taking over at the wrong times, they also knew that pilots weren't being informed about the system, the issue, and the fix.

So from what we know now it looks to me like Boeing AND the airlines are going to bear the burden of the blame for this.

Not the pilots for "being asleep at the wheel" as some have speculated.

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18 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

As an aircraft mechanic, I will say this isn't fair.  Do you have any clue how many aircraft wouldnt fly without software assisted flight controls?

 

How many of these aircraft are commercial airliners or cargo planes?

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Just now, BenningRoadSkin said:

Americans love big corporations, so we will blame something smaller and less the criminal to mask who should rightly be held accountable.

Well, that's why those big corporations hire a lot of really expensive lawyers.

2 minutes ago, MartinC said:

 

How many of these aircraft are commercial airliners or cargo planes?

My guess is very few.

Fighter jets are designed to be unstable because that makes them more agile and responsive, not exactly traits you want in a bus.

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1 hour ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

 

My guess is very few.

Fighter jets are designed to be unstable because that makes them more agile and responsive, not exactly traits you want in a bus.

 

Preciscely.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HOF44 said:

I'm aware there are many military aircraft that require computer assist.  Lack of stability creates maneuverability and stealth design can lead to instabilities, which for a military aircraft is definitely worth the trade offs.  

 

How many commercial aircrafts are designed requiring fly by wire computer translation to stay airborne?  You would think a passenger airliner would be required to be designed with a stable air frame.  Whats the reason not to, other than cost savings?

 

2 hours ago, MartinC said:

 

How many of these aircraft are commercial airliners or cargo planes?

 

2 hours ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

Fighter jets are designed to be unstable because that makes them more agile and responsive, not exactly traits you want in a bus.

 

1 hour ago, MartinC said:

 

Preciscely.

 

You all realize the military has more than just fighters and stealth planes, right?  Many military aircraft are extremely similar to their civilian counterpart.  One reason is it keeps the costs down and availability up on replacement parts.  P-8 vs 737 being the best example.  Also the C-9 that was retired a bit ago was basically just a DC-9 will military paint.

 

Edit:  So it is hard to find statistics for aircraft with things like SAS because everything is about the current 737 issues.  But here is a link that at least explains some of the systems.  SAS is about halfway down.

Edited by TheGreatBuzz
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11 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

 

 

 

 

You all realize the military has more than just fighters and stealth planes, right?  Many military aircraft are extremely similar to their civilian counterpart.  One reason is it keeps the costs down and availability up on replacement parts.  P-8 vs 737 being the best example.  Also the C-9 that was retired a bit ago was basically just a DC-9 will military paint.

 

Edit:  So it is hard to find statistics for aircraft with things like SAS because everything is about the current 737 issues.  But here is a link that at least explains some of the systems.  SAS is about halfway down.

 

I actually do. My son in law is in the RAF and is in flight maintenance. There was no link - do you have it? I'd be interested.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, MartinC said:

 

I actually do. My son in law is in the RAF and is in flight maintenance. There was no link - do you have it? I'd be interested.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopilot

 

Sorry.

 

I don't know enough about what RAF flies.  A quick look at their wikipedia page for their aircraft has a few familiar names that I imagine have very similar systems to their civilian counterparts, Airbus Voyager being one.

 

EDIT:  So if you use this link and sort by retirement date high to low, you can see a good number of aircraft that are very similar to their civilian counterparts.  If someone wants to research the difference in the software on each, go for it.  I don't.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_of_the_Royal_Air_Force#Regular_service_with_the_RAF

Edited by TheGreatBuzz
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I don’t have any problem with automated systems to assist a pilot.  But any passenger aircraft should be of a design that most normal pilots could fly by stick and rudder without computer assistance.  

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12 minutes ago, HOF44 said:

I don’t have any problem with automated systems to assist a pilot.  But any passenger aircraft should be of a design that most normal pilots could fly by stick and rudder without computer assistance.  

 

those can be; just some countries have pilots unfamiliar with that system and far lower training standards than pilots here.

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21 minutes ago, HOF44 said:

I don’t have any problem with automated systems to assist a pilot.  But any passenger aircraft should be of a design that most normal pilots could fly by stick and rudder without computer assistance.  

Define computer assist.  Do you consider boost to be a computer assist?

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4 minutes ago, twa said:

 

those can be; just some countries have pilots unfamiliar with that system and far lower training standards than pilots here.

When the Auto pilot assist overrules completely logical and appropriate inputs that’s a problem.  There shouldn’t be a 15 point procedure to get back pilot control. That’s insane. 

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2 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

Define computer assist.  Do you consider boost to be a computer assist?

The difference for me is computer assistance required to keep the aircraft flying safely versus does the computer assistance aid the pilot in unexpected conditions or configurations.  This 737 max wants to go nose up because of the new engines they put onto it. 

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5 minutes ago, HOF44 said:

When the Auto pilot assist overrules completely logical and appropriate inputs that’s a problem.  There shouldn’t be a 15 point procedure to get back pilot control. That’s insane. 

 

it is not logical or appropriate to the computer though (which is getting feedback telling it the AOA is too steep and approaching stall).

 

Is it a 15 point procedure if the pilot recognizes the problem??

 

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I’m not sure outrage is warranted. Or, at least that Boeing deserves the outrage.

 

 

 The crashes seem to be related pilot over reliance on on automated systems on the plane.

 

The MCAS bug is likely a contributing factor, not the factor. Previous pilots on the plane involved in the lion air crash reported similar uncommanded pitch down aboard the air crafts but were competent enough to avoid a crash. Then the plane wasn’t taken out of service.

 

I would be outraged in Boeing hid something, or cut corners, but accidents happen.

 

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30 minutes ago, HOF44 said:

The difference for me is computer assistance required to keep the aircraft flying safely versus does the computer assistance aid the pilot in unexpected conditions or configurations.  

I dont get how those two things can be described as "versus".  They go hand and hand.

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