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Boeing expresses regret over ex-pilot's messages on 737 MAX

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Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Sunday that it regrets and understands concerns raised by the release of a former Boeing test pilot’s internal instant messages noting erratic software behaviour two years before deadly crashes of its 737 MAX jet. (uk.reuters.com) Mais...

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bbabis
Bill Babis 8
A plane flys. Sims don't. No matter what Hollywood shows, a simulator only does what it is programed to do. There is a huge difference. They get it pretty close but something may show up in the real airplane that causes them to go back and reprogram the sim to show that behavior. Rarely does it work the other way around. Clearly, Mr. Forkner was only talking about an issue with the sim since he did not fly the airplane.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 4
Plus he wasn't testing anything anyway, he was documenting the system and writing the flight manuals.

Boeing screwed up, but this guy is getting screwed.
cvs62
F Minook 1
Have you thought about the crash of the two planes? Maybe the simulator programs were correct because the flight pattern followed the simulator pattern. They may have changed the simulator program to minimize problem to pass the FAA testing.You also have to remember that the simulator was to qualify the plane to fly. The air crafts were not air worthy at the time.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
If they altered pertinent data to massage the Sim, that is a conspiracy to break Federal Law. If they allowed the A/C to be certified knowing a system was duff and people died, well, in America that is a very serious crime. “Airworthy” does not qualify for commercial carriage, it must have a certificate of Airworthiness.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
What flight pattern followed the simulator pattern?
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Of course, this pilot was so scared that he went to southwest where he flew the 737 MAX!
skylane777
John Nichols 2
MCAS is not a good reason to avoid the MAX. It is a reasonable design, meant to ameliorate over control in Pitch by pilots unfamiliar with the engines much higher thrust, and a tendency to raise the Nose on their own.
n9341c
n9341c 1
Fake news. Totally, 100%, first class, complete fake BS.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
JMartinson. You asked a question about MCAS which showed some ignorance of flight systems. If you believe Boeing made clear to all flight crews the function of the Stall recovery system, you should be incensed at Boeing’s admitting guilt that they did not. Similarly, have you some idea why the type is grounded, save a few tail numbers? Clean slate, then? Enlighten us.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Yes, I do have some questions, however I did not (and would not) ask those questions here. Why would I? If I asked you right now point blank if Boeing hid mcas from pilots by leaving it out of the flight manuals, I'm pretty sure your answer would be yes. Your answer would probably be yes, and I would be misinformed. MCAS absolutely and without a doubt is in the manual. There is nothing you or Muilenburg or anyone else can say that can change this. It is a fact.

"Similarly, have you some idea why the type is grounded, save a few tail numbers?"

What? Is this even a question? Honestly, conversing with you is like playing darts with spaghetti.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
The two flight crews experienced a systems failure. They saw the results, but not the cause. Until they ran out of trim to correct a persistent Nose Down, they thought (sic) the solution was working. Even had they known that MCAS had failed, they had no training how to correct the condition, which we can call “runaway trim”, because we see the results of MCAS Fail. “Automatic Stall Prevention” was not necessary, but it activated, and continued to function until impact, The sensor supplying critical Angle of Attack data to MCAS was reading ten degrees high.

It is a dumb machine, it cannot fly “seat of the pants”. The uproar is that crews were not fully in the know regarding MCAS, and it was not trained. Turns out the solution is a simple one, but needs to happen without delay. The cause of this systems failure is not acceptable, and until Boeing changes the system, it will not fly again. imo.

My conclusion is that something was missing from the syllabus upon which a transitioning pilot must rely, to fly this aircraft safely.

Good luck with your darts game. Were you not trained in spaghetti darts?
serdyfsx12
JOE SERDYNSKI 1
Guess they were proved correct, in both cases; a condition showed up in a sim and they did nothing and apparently the safety concerns were just as lax for the 767 as the 737 Max . . .
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Why would this guy Forkner discover a fatal flaw in an airliner and do nothing, then turn around and take a job flying that exact same airliner for Southwest Airlines? How do you explain this? Does he have a death wish? Does he just want to see the world burn?

This. Does. Not. Make. Sense.

Please help me understand.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -1
This guy only flew simulators, not real airplanes. He was talking about software running on a simulator.

Somebody ask that idiot DeFazio why Forkner would later take a job flying the exact airliner he supposedly knew was defective and very likely crash (because that's what he did). Durrrrrrr, profits over lives, durrrrrr!

Minor details.
skylane777
John Nichols 0
Forkner was a Boeing test pilot. As such, why would he not fly the MAX? MCAS is not a big deal to a crew that understand it, and how easy it is to cage. Sole source AoA is no problem, flip the trim motors off.

I’ll let the “idiot” comment stand.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
I don't understand the question. Are you asking why Forkner didn't drive a real airplane instead of a sim? Or are you asking why a real pilot like Forkner would be documenting the system and creating flight manuals rather than a technical writer who isn't a pilot?

I didn't mention anything about the aoa sensors in my comment.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -3
At least three people disagree with me enough to click a little arrow, but none disagree strongly enough to say why.

Those arrows aren't pointing up and down, they are pointing to lazy and stupid.
BluSTi
James Willich 2
Is up lazy and down stupid?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 3
Up is lazy and stupid, down is stupid and lazy.
BluSTi
James Willich 1
Phew! Thanks for the clarification.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
Always glad to help.
timhaight
Tim Haight -1
As a former Manager, employee of Boeing on their 787 line, the concerns are well founded for undue pressure placed upon employees to meet company goals and deadlines.
This is common in every part of the production process. Because of pressure from upper management, safety becomes a back seat issue to almost everything.
Employees are often asked to just "make it happen" and if they fail to produce, demoted or placed doing other menial functions as incentive to never fail a company goal or deadline.
Once an employee is placed into the category of being a liability instead of an asset, their career and reputation within the company are doomed.
The asset/liability issue at Boeing is so rampant the company spends thousands if not millions on elimination of the liability, this unspoken rule covers every aspect of how the company operates, from production, testing,and even as far as injured employees.
skylane777
John Nichols 5
I had a lot to say about the flaming LiIon batteries, and the P1 electrical issues back in the day. The 737 MAX is a terrific airplane.

1. Instead of a heads up from the Company, pilots unfamiliar were screwed by not knowing about MCAS.

2. MCAS is a perfectly fine system, given data that is reliable.

3. The 737 MAX is nothing at all like the early classic. Big engines, gear architecture changes, and new pylons make it a brand new beast.

4. The FAA is remiss In not requiring a new type certificate for the MAX.

5, The arrogant bastards at Boeing who approved leaving out critical information from the manual and syllabus should be indicted for aggravated manslaughter.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
MCAS was in the January 2017 system differences manual on page 748.

How is this not a heads up?
skylane777
John Nichols 1
That introduces an interesting topic for discussion. Re: flight test generated some squelched comments about systems performance that Boeing did not acknowledge. Familiar?
skylane777
John Nichols 1
“.....A Southwest spokeswoman said “pilots are aware of and trained on stall identification and associated aircraft systems, including EFS.....” “ but, not MCAS?
skylane777
John Nichols 2
Transition training syllabus? Detailed schematics re MCAS? What next? AMCAS? Anti Maneuvering Augmentation Recovery? For “less competent pilots?”
skylane777
John Nichols 1
By the way. As I read it, bad data kept MCAS alive, read “functional”. Failure to activate defeat of its motor after the system “failed” was another error, a lack of training. Strictly speaking, MCAS worked as designed. But for (sole source fail) and inept training standards, the system was satisfactory within its design consideration. Agreed?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
I really don't know how to answer that. I don't understand why MCAS or any other kind of auto trim system with that much authority would ever be active at low altitude, but then again I don't design or fly airliners. I would like to know the answer to that and several other basic and common sense type questions however, but nobody in the media is doing their goddamn job. They are inaccurate to the point of being nonsensical, and we just eat it up. Read, don't think, repeat, repeat, repeat. If you're going to call for someone to go to jail, could you at least spend 10 minutes to be sure you know what the hell you're talking about, or is that too much to ask?

Here how it SHOULD work:

Forbes Reporter:

Mr. SWA Pilots Association Mouthpiece, do you have a comment on Boeing?

Mr. SWA Pilots Association Mouthpiece:

Yes, of course I do, thanks for asking. Every Boeing employee should get the electric chair. They purposely and maliciously hid MCAS from all 737 max pilots and caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. And our training was four minutes on ipads with a broken screens. And every Airbus employee should get a raise.

Forbes Reporter:

Well in that case how would you explain the following comments from your counterpart at United last November?

“We do not believe in speculation or media grandstanding as some have irresponsibly chosen to do,” said Sisk, a captain on the Boeing 767. “We will continue to allow the facts of the accident to speak for themselves.

“If the accident findings require changes in systems or pilot training, we will be fully engaged,” he said. “Until then, our training will see us through any scenario related to an MCAS failure or a failure of another system that causes the MCAS to work in a method that is not intended.”

Sisk said the United 737 MAX differences bulletin already referred to situations where nose-down trim is automatically applied as airspeed decreases toward a stall. For such a situation, he said, the bulletin advises that “If MCAS were to fault, forcing an undesirable nose down attitude or continuing inappropriate nose down trim, using the cutout switches on the pedestal will stop the trim runaway.”

In an MCAS malfunction, “You will do exactly as you have been trained – you will fly the airplane, stop the runaway trim, and then continue to fly the airplane until you have landed safely,”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2018/11/16/united-pilots-say-they-were-already-trained-to-override-boeing-737max-automatic-stall-recovery/#21e111b67d5e


Mr. SWA Pilots Association Mouthpiece:

I can't explain. I didn't think you or your readers could think, so I could just say whatever I want.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
The discussion is, and should be, focused on MCAS and the fallout from its lack of exposure to flight crews. Why wouldn’t an automatic Stall prevention system be on board? Especially at low altitude, flaps out, and dirty?

Airbus has it in Normal Law: Alpha Prot.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
You lost me. Why should or would we be "focused on MCAS and the fallout from its lack of exposure" when there was no lack of exposure? It's in the manual. United pilots knew about it before the first crash and everyone knew about it after. What lack of exposure are you referring to?

To answer your two questions, like I said... I don't know. I would like to know, but I don't.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
You say: “....I really don't know how to answer that. I don't understand why MCAS or any other kind of auto trim system with that much authority would ever be active at low altitude, but then again I don't design or fly airliners...”

The answer is in my reply, above. My question: Can you read your own posts?

Find “Alpha Prot.” Alpha is Greek for AoA. (Angle of Attack).

The THS (Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer) has “That much authority” because it trims the airplane without using high tail down force (nose up). Likewise it trims for Nose Down by lowering its trailing edge, again, slightly. The control surface moves slowly, and with annunciation on the flight deck. Letting the horizontal get too powerful is dangerous, as we see in both these crashes.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
two separate issues, so how about one at a time.

You said "the arrogant bastards at Boeing who approved leaving out critical information from the manual and syllabus should be indicted for aggravated manslaughter"

I said "MCAS was in the January 2017 system differences manual on page 748" and provided a example that shows United pilots were well aware of the MCAS system.

So my two part question to you would be a) what was left out of the manual and b) who should go to jail?
skylane777
John Nichols 1
Show the pertinent contents of the “service manual”. Which is not the “operators manual.” United pilots still fly some MAX today. The issue is not for the shop, but for the Pilots, and the QRH. Both third world A/C were absent the pertinent entry. AFAIK.

The CEO is testifying before Congress as I write, accepting all blame. BTW, Boeing represents the issue as a “software glitch”, which is another discussion. They volunteered that for what I take as several “explanations.”

Jail? Whomever is responsible for lack of required data. Violation of Federal Aviation Law can certainly be charged as a felony.

If non compliance was willful, and attorneys can link certain individuals to motive, Manslaughter comes to mind.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Service manual? Well, ok, it looks like the one thing at a time idea might still be a bit much, so I guess we'll have to break it down even further.

It's System (S-Y-S-T-E-M) Differences (D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-C-E-S) Manual. Not Service Manual.

I would be glad to "show the pertinent contents" but FA doesn't allow posting of documents or images here. If you search for what I said you should look for (which is not the "service manual"), you shouldn't have much trouble finding it.
skylane777
John Nichols 1
Are you a pilot?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Yes, I fly for Don't Change The Subject Airlines.
VFRMAN
G Aldridge -4
And the anti-Boeing agenda from MH370 keeps rolling...............

What else is new?

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