Boeing Faces Safety Questions After Second 737 Crash In Five Months

8 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

To understand the lack of knowledge of the public and the reaction of regulators and the public, I refer you to the crash of US Air #1549, the Chesley Sullenberger splash into the Hudson River in New York.  You will recall that the aircraft hit s large flight of geese at 3,000 feet over Westchester County, knocking out both engines.  In that event, the FO  (Jeffrey Stiles) was "flying."  Jeffrey is a highly skilled pilot, but on this day he was in my view not really flying the airplane.  That machine has a "flight director" computer that is controlled by dial-in input settings, connected to GPS systems and airway electronic ground beacons, and you dial in the altitude and heading and the auto-pilot flies it if you do not want to hand-fly.  Even if hand-flying, there is this tendency to rely on instruments and nobody is looking out the window.   Each engine ingested at least two large geese, a literally one in a billion chance, given that the engines are so widely spaced on the Airbus.  OK, so if you are going to eat geese, that has to be a very large flock, and at 3,000 ft AGL you are going to see that flock as a huge black cluster on the horizon - if you are looking out the window.  Nobody was looking, so in reality nobody was really flying the airplane. 

Now meanwhile that aircraft is on a take-off yet is being held at a low altitude by ATC.  Why are the controllers doing that?  If you are going to direct an aircraft away from the field, beyond glide range, then it had better have good altitude first.  1549 got held to 3,000 because ATC has these departure paths to avoid having a straight-out departure to altitude, say to 16,000 feet.  That is to have inbounds be able to land without going over the land with all the houses, and the attendant noise. So non-aviation decisions are being made due to public pressure over the flight paths.  Everybody gets complacent and assumes nothing goes wrong, and when it does, there is no margin for error and you cannot get back to the field.  Even if they could get back to Runway 14 at LaGuardia, there is no guarantee it would be cleared for their imminent arrival, lots of planes scattered about on that busy field. And if they did manage to land it, there are no thrust reversers, no flaps, a high landing speed, and a good chance of over-run back into Flushing Bay.  Hard to drop into Teterboro unless you had lots of altitude to work with.  But if they had altitude, then they could glide over to Kennedy International and then have a 12,000 foot runway to work with, big enough to handle the Concorde and the A-380, could have dead-sticked into there easily enough.  So the denial of altitude by ATC is a huge factor in forcing that planed into the drink.  Nobody wants to admit to that, however.   Bureaucrats.

Is it possible that the nose was up and therefore the horizon wasn't visible through the window?

I recall another crash from the Mayday show where two planes collided midair and the investigation concluded that the other (very small) plane just wasn't visible.

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5 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

Is it possible that the nose was up and therefore the horizon wasn't visible through the window?

I recall another crash from the Mayday show where two planes collided midair and the investigation concluded that the other (very small) plane just wasn't visible.

I do not recall that 1549 was in climb at that point, they were being sent over to some waypoint in NJ, then once clear of NYC they get auth to climb up either direct to cruise, possibly 34,000 ft, or in stages, first to say 22,000 and so forth.  Even if climbing, these guys are not flying Sukhoi S-27 fighters or F-16s, they don't go straight up.  Typical cruise climb might be 1500 fpm or 2000 fpm, just to keep the passengers comfortable, who knows?  At cruise climb you should be able to see just fine. 

Also, those jets typically have TCAS collision warning systems,independent nose radar  that advise of targets that the Departure radar operator cannot see.  That includes lots of small aircraft, incidentally.  I have been spotted by TCAS and heard the aircraft on opposite heading call the tower to ask who I was, and the tower reply "I don't have anyone in front of you," etc.  The Tower literally cannot pick me up, and that is with a squawk (encoded transponder) that is supposed to send a nice clear transmit of my location and altitude.  Will TCAS pick up a geese flock?  Obviously not.  Yet it was likely engaged. 

Finally, in the NYC airspace the small guys know better than to get in the way, and stay below an altitude where you can expect vectoring commercial traffic.  And if you don't know better, you will soon enough! Cheers.

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6 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

 these guys are not flying Sukhoi S-27 fighters or F-16s, they don't go straight up. 

I had very little clue at the scale of the US air and/or navy forces until I vacationed in Tuscon.  I was having coffee by the pool one morning and saw this thing go straight up in the sky as some practice thing and it shocked me.

Then I drove around in my rental car and saw all the fields of old parked planes at an unimaginable scale.

I love the USA for the way it was

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(edited)

23 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

apparent culprit  (and I feel confident that this component is the culprit) is that MCAS.  There are only two sensors for the MCAS, so the software has NO algorithm to pinpoint a sensor failure  (either pitot tube or static port);

SNIP

So the interim solution is simple enough:  Just fly the airplane without the MCAS operational and it will fly exactly the same as the thousands built previously, it will not be there to cause grief to the pilot.  OK, it means a little workload to keep the plane properly flying as to airspeed, center-of-gravity loading, trim, and angle of attack, but hey those guys do that all day long in all the other 737's out there, so what is the big deal?  Pull the breaker

Downvote: Your assuming MCAS is the fault.  MCAS uses MULTIPLE different sensors for pitch, just like all of the computer systems.  Trying to claim that a single sensor failure or partial failure sends the airplane into the dirt is beyond absurd and would never get off an engineers drawing board let alone past the FAA 40 years ago.  Why?  Sensors when they fail give a distinct signal.  They are designed to fail safe.  Safe as in give distinct voltage etc.  Now there are a few rare failure cases where the computer cannot detect the failure and in that case a TFT test is required. 

Unless one claims it was planned but was SANFU'd during implementation which is possible as FAA does not look at code(they couldn't do so anyways), but rather architecture. You are also assuming said sensor which has been on thousands of airplanes is all of a sudden failing in unprecedented numbers....

Uh, that requires 3 MASSIVE screw-ups of epic proportions.  1) Boeing(architecture), 2) Two different Boeing suppliers(sensor and code) and 3) FAA not checking sensor architecture and sensor failure states which is their BIG BIG BIG beef anytime you talk with them..

Possible?  Yes.  Likely?  Not exactly. 

PS: Yes, press and politicians are ignorant prattling arsehats.  That is why they are always talking...

PPS: Ex Boeing systems integration employee working with suppliers, doing some design work on sensor failure + mechanisms, and working with the FAA.  Did leading and trailing edge sensor architecture, design, and testing of main flight controls(ailerons) and secondary flight controls slats/flaps on both 777 and 787 before moving on. 

Edited by Wastral

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On 3/12/2019 at 11:52 PM, Illurion said:

I have a very good friend who is not only a Commercial Pilot in Europe,  but used to be a pilot trainer,  and is also a PILOT RECRUITER in the middle east.........

 

He says that "outside of the United States",  pilots are NOT PAID very much..........

He says that overseas pilots go from airline to airline building up hours, and slowly getting small pay increases until they reach the flight-hours threshold for a USA Airline to hire them....

ONLY USA Airlines pay good money he says.......

But he says the USA Airlines do not want foreign pilots,  and prefer to hire "ex-American-Military-Pilots" instead.........

He also says that for some reason,  VERY FEW AMERICANS are seeking these jobs......

He says the Americans say the job isn't worth the trouble......

He says the Americans that he has talked to about it say that the money is too low,  and the hours worked are too long,  and they do not want to be away from their home and family......

Airline pilot pay in the USA is some of the worst pay in the western world. New pilots can even be eligible for foodstamps. You'll find many reputablle airlines pay their pilots very well outside the USA. Qantas has never had a fatal plane crash so keep that in mind. The pilots are worlds best.

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7 hours ago, Wastral said:

Downvote: Your assuming MCAS is the fault.  MCAS uses MULTIPLE different sensors for pitch, just like all of the computer systems.  Trying to claim that a single sensor failure or partial failure sends the airplane into the dirt is beyond absurd and would never get off an engineers drawing board let alone past the FAA 40 years ago.  Why?  Sensors when they fail give a distinct signal.  They are designed to fail safe.  Safe as in give distinct voltage etc.  Now there are a few rare failure cases where the computer cannot detect the failure and in that case a TFT test is required. 

 

Sorry, chum, your post does not fly.  That MCAS system is the new system on the plane, and the other planes previous never had this bizarre phenomenon. Perfectly logical that MCAS, which is specifically designed to lower the nose, in actual fact did lower the nose.  You can see that from the readouts now made public, plus the pilots' transmissions to tower describing their control issues. 

Second, MCAS has two sets of pitot tubes and static ports to draw from. If any component fails, the system MUST cause MCAS to action and lower the nose; it cannot ignore a failed sensor since that sensor might not be in fail mode, it could be sending an accurate signal of imminent stall and it was the "other sensor" giving a good reading that is actually in failure mode.  As there is no way to tell, absent a third system in parallel (which Boeing did not do), the system ends up giving an imminent-stall output and the nose lowers. 

Were there three systems reading airspeed and angle of attack, then if a component fails the computer-code algorithm can compare the three, see that one is showing an imminent stall and the other two are not, and the code algorithm discards the failed signal by comparing two against one. 

What Boeing did was perfectly reasonable: they looked to the pilots to be able to interpret data and be the final arbiter of the system.  If MCAS were defective, the drill would be for the astute pilots to interpret that, and to act on that by toggling off.  Where that goes wrong is the chaos in the cockpit when horns go off and the nose starts to magically drop uncommanded by the pilots.  Their reaction is to fight the yoke, perfectly understandable when low to the ground (and you don't really have any time to sit back and attempt to decipher what is happening).  Since the failure is rare, nobody has seen it before in actuality, and nobody is drilled on the phenomenon.  It is a bit like USAir flying into Pittsburgh where the rudder actuator overrode the oil intake ports and went to full-left, causing the aircraft to do a complete roll-over and then nose-down into terrain.  That fault was due to a mechanical failure inside the hydraulic actuator, where the spool that controls the high-pressure oil broke and overrode the position, allowing full oil flow to the actuator and pushing it over to the full-deflect stop.  I recall (vaguely) that the fault lay in the machining of the valve spool, plus metal fragments or shavings in the spool port.  Mechanical failures additional to computer failures do occur. 

Boeing, and all aircraft manufacturers, presume that the pilot is paying attention and is the "third redundancy," the final reader of the algorithm, so to speak.  And that is perfectly reasonable, aircraft have been built that way since inception.   But the public demands complete full-on automation of everything with no possible failure that is not automatically compensated for. That is an unreasonable expectation. Obviously, that reliance was misplaced. Boeing was trying to upgrade the sales offering by adding this little extra, a safeguard and workload reducer, except it did not quite work out that way.  And that happens. It happened with the lithium battery fiasco.  It happened with the cargo door latch on the DC-10 fiasco.  Airplanes are complex, and complex machines do fail.  Look at the maintenance history of the sea stallion helicopter (for example). 

USAir could have solved their rudder problem by letting the aircraft roll and then stabilizing after it did the full 360, instead of fighting the roll.  Ethiopian could have gotten out from underneath by turning on the autopilot of toggling the OFF switch on the control column, or pulling the breaker.  But when chaos hits, the pilots lose focus. Down she goes. Is some very simple aircraft, i.e. the DeHavilland Otter, a safer aircraft?  Arguably, yes, as it has no systems; it is an airplane with an engine or two bolted on. And that is why the Otter is widely used in bush flying, and the fancy machines are not. 

As to your "downvote" crap, guess what, I really don't care.  You can be as unpleasant as you like, just go do it over at "Yahoo!.com."  This is an intellectual forum and your tantrums are not appreciated.  I shall not respond further to you and urge others to take the same approach. 

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9 hours ago, Enthalpic said:

I had very little clue at the scale of the US air and/or navy forces until I vacationed in Tuscon.  I was having coffee by the pool one morning and saw this thing go straight up in the sky as some practice thing and it shocked me.

Yup, whole new way of flying.  Just add kerosine.   And that is why the US military can push the Wagner Mercenaries out of the Donbass and Crimea any day they want to, with impunity.  Nobody else has the muscle that $450 billion a year, spent for decades, can buy you.  Oo-rah!

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4 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Boeing, and all aircraft manufacturers, presume that the pilot is paying attention and is the "third redundancy," the final reader of the algorithm, so to speak.  And that is perfectly reasonable, aircraft have been built that way since inception.   But the public demands complete full-on automation of everything with no possible failure that is not automatically compensated for. That is an unreasonable expectation. Obviously, that reliance was misplaced. Boeing was trying to upgrade the sales offering by adding this little extra, a safeguard and workload reducer, except it did not quite work out that way.  And that happens. It happened with the lithium battery fiasco.  It happened with the cargo door latch on the DC-10 fiasco.  Airplanes are complex, and complex machines do fail.  Look at the maintenance history of the sea stallion helicopter (for example).

With this paragraph alone you prove you don't know anything about how a flight controls are designed.  There is no such thing as a 2 sensor input ANYWHERE on ANY aircraft EVER produced.  You can have a single sensor or 3 or 5.  Never 2, Never 4. 

To equate anything to a battery or a door is absurd.  Each is its own issue.

Since it appears you do not know anything about basic engineering, here let me help you out.  I purposefully left this reasoning out of my reply before so that it would allow you to show if you knew anything about aircraft.design and allowing you to hang yourself out of sheer hubris and ignorance.  Thanks...  Nothing quite like letting someone hang themselves. 

Here is the only valid reasoning for MCAS to be the culprit:

Only way MCAS could have truly failed is if the software was never run through sensor failure scenario.  Since MCAS is NOT primary flight control, and can be turned off with a single switch, It does not need triple redundancy for TFT.  It is theoretically possible the full range of failure scenarios was never run through and checked by Boeing/FAA. 

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1 minute ago, Wastral said:

With this paragraph alone you prove you don't know anything about how a flight controls are designed.  There is no such thing as a 2 sensor input ANYWHERE on ANY aircraft EVER produced.  You can have a single sensor or 3 or 5.  Never 2, Never 4. 

 

More of your rubbish.  My aircraft has two sensors to the airspeed indicator.  One is the pitot tube.  The other is the static port.  Either one of the two fails, and the airspeed indicator shows an incorrect speed.   Every single light aircraft  has only those two sensor inputs.  Period.  That is over 100,000 aircraft, right there.  What is the manufacturer's backup?  The backup is the pilot himself (OK, herself).  That is how aircraft are designed.  It relies on the pilot's judgment.  As far as that goes, he has to be able to fly the beast with NO gauges working. I can.  Can you? Obviously not.

January 13, 1982:  Air Florida flight 90 took off from Washington National airport in ice conditions.  The pitot tube was plugged, froze up.   The airspeed indicator showed a higher speed than the plane was achieving, plus there was ice accumulation both on the fuselage and the wing surfaces.  The pilot did not add thrust  (error caused by the reliance on the indicator) Plane had insufficient lift and hit the 12th street bridge over the Potomac, then into the drink.  Two sensors.  Shows what you know.  Nothing. 

 

Air France 455 running Northbound over the Equator got into heavy thunderstorm conditions at altitude, the two pitot tubes both froze up.  They got themselves into a stall without realizing it, at 500 mph. The aircraft fell downward in a flat pancake, and trashed itself into the Atlantic, no survivors. Again, no triple redundancy on the gauges, the design relied on pilots to be the ultimate final arbiter of how to fly the airplane. So much for your 3-sensor ideas. 

When you can fly an airplane and can put it down on the numbers with an engine out in a 25-kt crosswind in snow, and do it perfectly a hundred times in a row, then you can command some respect.  Until then, go away. 

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46 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

More of your rubbish.  My aircraft has two sensors to the airspeed indicator.  One is the pitot tube.  The other is the static port.  Either one of the two fails, and the airspeed indicator shows an incorrect speed.   Every single light aircraft  has only those two sensor inputs.  Period.  That is over 100,000 aircraft, right there. 

<< Crys >> .... You think a light civilian aircraft is a commercial aircraft...  😆

<< Crys >> .... You think a plane that does not have an augmented flight control computer requires triple redundant sensors...

PS: And a 737 has 5 pitot tubes actually.  Though 2 are on the tail for rudder control and not available to the pilot. 

Enjoy your delusions. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Wastral said:

PS: There is a reason 737 Pitot tube covers are sold in a group of 5... https://www.aircraftcovers.com/B737

Sure, chum.  It is a small little cover.  It is late Fall or Winter, cold and stormy, you go out to the flight line and have gloves on, you pull the cover, it slips out of your hands, a gust takes it and it is gone.  Or you stuff it in your pocket and continue the walk-around, it falls out unnoticed, the gust takes it and Gone.  Nice to have a few spares, don't you think?  If you were a pilot you would know this, it would have already happened to you.  No spare?  What are you going to do at your destination up in Whitehorse, the Yukon? Tie your mitten over that pitot tube?  Hold it in place with some duct tape, that roll you keep behind the seat to band-aid everything together? What do you think,huh? 

No more answers for you, chum.  Time for you to take up flight school. 

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4 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Sure, chum.  It is a small little cover.  It is late Fall or Winter, cold and stormy, you go out to the flight line and have gloves on, you pull the cover, it slips out of your hands, a gust takes it and it is gone.  Or you stuff it in your pocket and continue the walk-around, it falls out unnoticed, the gust takes it and Gone.  Nice to have a few spares, don't you think?  If you were a pilot you would know this, it would have already happened to you.  No spare?  What are you going to do at your destination up in Whitehorse, the Yukon? Tie your mitten over that pitot tube?  Hold it in place with some duct tape, that roll you keep behind the seat to band-aid everything together? What do you think,huh? 

No more answers for you, chum.  Time for you to take up flight school. 

Dear God.... proving you are no pilot.  Putting those pitot covers on requires a manlift...

Gotta love the internet.  Any lying sack of crap can type and post. 

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Check it out, folks:   

Quote

Any lying sack of crap can type and post.

The abusive troll is back yet again.   Ignore this jerk. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 9:52 AM, Illurion said:

I have a very good friend who is not only a Commercial Pilot in Europe,  but used to be a pilot trainer,  and is also a PILOT RECRUITER in the middle east.........

 

He says that "outside of the United States",  pilots are NOT PAID very much..........

He says that overseas pilots go from airline to airline building up hours, and slowly getting small pay increases until they reach the flight-hours threshold for a USA Airline to hire them....

ONLY USA Airlines pay good money he says.......

But he says the USA Airlines do not want foreign pilots,  and prefer to hire "ex-American-Military-Pilots" instead.........

He also says that for some reason,  VERY FEW AMERICANS are seeking these jobs......

He says the Americans say the job isn't worth the trouble......

He says the Americans that he has talked to about it say that the money is too low,  and the hours worked are too long,  and they do not want to be away from their home and family......

So, the answer is simple. Higher pay and higher priced tickets. We drive everywhere now because we are retired and hate the whole airport process. 

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Well, it seems the FAA told Boeing to certify its own planes. Here. And yeah, it also seems it was the MCAS that was at fault.

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