Don Hudson

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Everything posted by Don Hudson

  1. Your "2c" very much appreciated, XXX because it provides some insight into the thinking that may contribute to longer airborne distances, particularly if one knows in the back of the mind that one has 10,000ft in front of one. In general, the accuracy with which Vref+5 plus corrections is flown is much better on the Airbus than the B737, so I think your comments make good sense. Re "...in the last 50 feet...", couldn't agree more. In fact, (as all are probably aware by now), actual "hands-on, manual flight" for a year's flying might amount to a couple of hours depending upon type.
  2. Re FICON & transmitted contaminated landing distance data, that's very cool.
  3. DSB Final Report FROM: THE BOEING COMPANY TO: MOM [MESSAGE NUMBER:MOM-MOM-09-0063-01B] 04-Mar-2009 05:29:01 AM US PACIFIC TIME Multi Operator Message This message is sent to all 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-500,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ customers and to respective Boeing Field Service bases, Regional Directors, the Air Transport Association, International Air Transport Association, and Airline Resident Representatives. SERVICE REQUEST ID: 1-1228079803 ACCOUNT: Boeing Correspondence (MOM) DUE DATE: 10-Mar-2009 PRODUCT TYPE: Airplane PRODUCT LINE: 737 PRODUCT: 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-500,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ ATA: 3400-00 SUBJECT: 737-800 TC-JGE Accident at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam - 25 February 2009 REFERENCES: /A/ 1-1222489391 Dated 25 February 2009 Reference /A/ provides Boeing's previous fleet communication on the subject event. The US NTSB, FAA, Boeing, the Turkish DGCA, the operator, the UK AAIB, and the French BEA continue to actively support the Dutch Safety Board's (DSB) investigation of this accident. The DSB has released a statement on the progress of the investigation and has approved the release of the following information. While the complex investigation is just beginning, certain facts have emerged from work completed thus far: - To date, no evidence has been found of bird strike, engine or airframe icing, wake turbulence or windshear. - There was adequate fuel on board the airplane during the entire flight. - Both engines responded normally to throttle inputs during the entire flight. - The airplane responded normally to flight control inputs throughout the flight. The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) data indicates that the crew was using autopilot B and the autothrottle for an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to runway 18R at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. During the approach, the right Low Range Radio Altimeter (LRRA) was providing accurate data and the left LRRA was providing an erroneous reading of -7 to -8 feet. When descending through approximately 2000 feet the autothrottle, which uses the left radio altimeter data, transitioned to landing flare mode and retarded the throttles to the idle stop. The throttles remained at the idle stop for approximately 100 seconds during which time the airspeed decreased to approximately 40 knots below the selected approach speed. The two LRRA systems provide height above ground readings to several aircraft systems including the instrument displays, autothrottle, autopilots and configuration/ground proximity warning. If one LRRA provides erroneous altitude readings, typical flight deck effects, which require flight crew intervention whether or not accompanied by an LRRA fault flag, include: - Large differences between displayed radio altitudes, including radio altitude readings of -8 feet in flight. - Inability to engage both autopilots in dual channel APP (Approach) mode - Unexpected removal of the Flight Director Command Bars during approach - Unexpected Configuration Warnings during approach, go-around and initial climb after takeoff - Premature FMA (Flight Mode Annunciation) indicating autothrottle RETARD mode during approach phase with the airplane above 27 feet AGL. There will also be corresponding throttle movement towards the idle stop. Additionally, the FMA will continue to indicate RETARD after the throttles have reached the idle stop Boeing Recommended Action - Boeing recommends operators inform flight crews of the above investigation details and the DSB interim report when it is released. In addition, crews should be reminded to carefully monitor primary flight instruments (airspeed, attitude etc.) and the FMA for autoflight modes. More information can be found in the Boeing 737 Flight Crew Training Manual and Flight Crew Operations Manual. Operators who experience any of the flight deck effects described above should consult the troubleshooting instructions contained in the 737 Airplane Maintenance Manual. Further, 737-NG operators may wish to review 737NG-FTD-34-09001 which provides information specific for the 737-NG installation. Initial investigations suggest that a similar sequence of events and flight deck indications are theoretically possible on the 737-100/-200/-300/-400/-500. Consequently the above recommendations also apply to earlier 737 models. FROM: THE BOEING COMPANY TO: MOM [MESSAGE NUMBER:MOM-MOM-09-0063-01B<WBR></WBR>] 04-Mar-2009 05:29:01 AM US PACIFIC TIME Multi Operator Message This message is sent to all 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-50<WBR></WBR>0,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ<WBR></WBR> customers and to respective Boeing Field Service bases, Regional Directors, the Air Transport Association, International Air Transport Association, and Airline Resident Representatives. SERVICE REQUEST ID: 1-1228079803 ACCOUNT: Boeing Correspondence (MOM) DUE DATE: 10-Mar-2009 PRODUCT TYPE: Airplane PRODUCT LINE: 737 PRODUCT: 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-50<WBR></WBR>0,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ<WBR></WBR> ATA: 3400-00 SUBJECT: 737-800 TC-JGE Accident at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam - 25 February 2009 REFERENCES: /A/ 1-1222489391 Dated 25 February 2009 Reference /A/ provides Boeing's previous fleet communication on the subject event. The US NTSB, FAA, Boeing, the Turkish DGCA, the operator, the UK AAIB, and the French BEA continue to actively support the Dutch Safety Board's (DSB) investigation of this accident. The DSB has released a statement on the progress of the investigation and has approved the release of the following information. While the complex investigation is just beginning, certain facts have emerged from work completed thus far: - To date, no evidence has been found of bird strike, engine or airframe icing, wake turbulence or windshear. - There was adequate fuel on board the airplane during the entire flight. - Both engines responded normally to throttle inputs during the entire flight. - The airplane responded normally to flight control inputs throughout the flight. The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) data indicates that the crew was using autopilot B and the autothrottle for an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to runway 18R at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. During the approach, the right Low Range Radio Altimeter (LRRA) was providing accurate data and the left LRRA was providing an erroneous reading of -7 to -8 feet. When descending through approximately 2000 feet the autothrottle, which uses the left radio altimeter data, transitioned to landing flare mode and retarded the throttles to the idle stop. The throttles remained at the idle stop for approximately 100 seconds during which time the airspeed decreased to approximately 40 knots below the selected approach speed. The two LRRA systems provide height above ground readings to several aircraft systems including the instrument displays, autothrottle, autopilots and configuration/ground proximity warning. If one LRRA provides erroneous altitude readings, typical flight deck effects, which require flight crew intervention whether or not accompanied by an LRRA fault flag, include: - Large differences between displayed radio altitudes, including radio altitude readings of -8 feet in flight. - Inability to engage both autopilots in dual channel APP (Approach) mode - Unexpected removal of the Flight Director Command Bars during approach - Unexpected Configuration Warnings during approach, go-around and initial climb after takeoff - Premature FMA (Flight Mode Annunciation) indicating autothrottle RETARD mode during approach phase with the airplane above 27 feet AGL. There will also be corresponding throttle movement towards the idle stop. Additionally, the FMA will continue to indicate RETARD after the throttles have reached the idle stop Boeing Recommended Action - Boeing recommends operators inform flight crews of the above investigation details and the DSB interim report when it is released. In addition, crews should be reminded to carefully monitor primary flight instruments (airspeed, attitude etc.) and the FMA for autoflight modes. More information can be found in the Boeing 737 Flight Crew Training Manual and Flight Crew Operations Manual. Operators who experience any of the flight deck effects described above should consult the troubleshooting instructions contained in the 737 Airplane Maintenance Manual. Further, 737-NG operators may wish to review 737NG-FTD-34-09001 which provides information specific for the 737-NG installation. Initial investigations suggest that a similar sequence of events and flight deck indications are theoretically possible on the 737-100/-200/-300/-400/-50<WBR></WBR>0. Consequently the above recommendations also apply to earlier 737 models.
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/20/business/boeing-737-accidents.html How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’ Duplication - please view this topic here:
  5. Thanks for the response, Turbofan. Good to know that this aspect of the -800 is being emphasized; it deserves to be. One question, -does AC require that the landing distance be calculated and recorded for all landings? On brake / wheel size, understand the point being made regarding reduced margins compared with other types; - reduced brake energy absorption capability, smaller wheel footprint. The question and the point being made is, given all things equal, the correctly-calculated performance data provides sufficient (but reduced?) margin for the landing when compared to other B737 types and the Airbus. Aside from sudden windshear conditions and hot runways, both of which can cause "float", the other variable in otherwise normal landings may be handling techniques of the flare and touchdown, (note: some Classics and the 800 & 900 are certified for a 15kt tailwind landing. If the numbers are critical, one wonders why this is so?) To test the notion, I'm wondering if there is an -800 overrun event in which the airplane touchdown was within 3000ft of the threshold? Interesting question from Marshall! I've been long-wondering why some airborne distances are still a few hundred feet over the 3000ft point. Most of the time, the touchdown point is within the pilots' control give or take ~400ft or about 2 seconds. One other point is, any data analysis must be sampled often enough to examine certain parameters every one-eighth or even one-sixteenth of a second. Determining touchdown point is not at all straightforward as looking at the "air-ground" switch - not at 220ft to 250ft per second, anyway.
  6. We haven't seen anything further from the TSB on the YHZ14 overrun so we don't know what the circumstances were other than what the METARS provides, (I'm not a fan of using ADS-B/Flightradar24 data because the sample rates, data sources, data validity, etc., are not defined so don't have standards which would permit use in a serious investigation). By recollection only, the overrun accidents which have final reports associated, appear to indicate that the touchdown point is beyond the normal TDZ of between 500ft & 3000ft/first-third-of-runway, (see FAA doc below).* For example, the 2018 Sochi overrun accident report which has just been issued by the MAK. Two causal factors are listed in the Report as: 3. Conclusion The aircraft overrun, destroying and damage by fire were caused by the following factors - repeated disregarding of the windshear warnings which when entered a horizontal windshear (changing from the head wind to tail one) at low altitude resulted in landing at distance of 1285m from the RWY threshold (overrunning the landing zone by 385m) with the increased IAS and tail wind; - landing to the runway, when its normative friction coefficient was less than 0.3 that according to the regulations in force, did not allow to land. The full report is available at https://mak-iac.org/upload/iblock/f4b/report_vq-bji_en.pdf In general, for airborne distances longer than 3000ft there have been several factors involved, not just one single cause. The most common one appears to be "float time" - flying just above the runway surface waiting for touchdown rather than "planting" the airplane under one's control. Long, dry runways can invite "finessing" the landing I suppose, holding the aircraft for a smooth landing instead of following the Boeing SOPs which requires a flare duration of 8" or less from the 50ft/threshold point to the touchdown point, but that builds operational habits including cognitive and "muscle-memory" habits that can get one into trouble when landing on a short, contaminated runway. Boeing's landing data tables for normal landings, (vice non-normal procedures), provide for a touchdown at 1500ft past the threshold. Approach speeds for the 800 appear to be roughly the same as the Classic (400) B737, perhaps a few knots higher but not significantly so. Regardless of type, approach speeds are in the neighbourhood of 220fps to 250fps, sp the margins built into the certification data for published landing distances get swallowed up very quickly. It's been a while since I flew the A320 but i have the impression that the approach speeds are somewhat lower for that type. (I haven't flown the B737 at all, just the B727). I don't sense that brake size has much to do with overruns. I think the causes lie in those decision-making, energy-management and SOP areas of an operation. Where needed, I think -800 brake performance in a rejected takeoff is impressive. Runway excursions, (off either side) are a different kettle of fish, involving loss-of-control during crosswinds, assymetric thrust, contaminated runways... *https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-79A.pdf
  7. Good. We'll find out if the recorders continued to work after the loss of transponder signal.
  8. Link to the Report: Administration’sAircraft Certification Process, January 16, 2020
  9. Panel Clears 737 MAX’s Safety-Approval Process at FAA Boeing’s 737 MAX was certified as a derivative rather than an all-new plane Boeing 737 MAX Photo: Ted S. Warren/Associated Press By Andy Pasztor and Doug Cameron Jan. 16, 2020 10:21 am ET The Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX was effective and the plane wouldn’t have been safer if it had been scrutinized as an all-new aircraft, according to an independent panel set up last year to evaluate the troubled jet. The special committee created by the U.S. Department of Transportation to review the FAA’s safety-approval process backed the continued delegation of some work to aircraft makers, though the committee also called for the agency’s staffing to be expanded to improve its oversight. The panel—headed by retired Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, former head of the U.S. Transportation Command, and Lee Moak, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association—provided its initial report on Thursday. Share Your Thoughts What should the FAA do to boost public confidence in safety oversight of new planes? Join the conversation below. The six-month study called for a range of improvements including stepped-up analysis of human factors that could lead pilots to act differently in the cockpit versus existing assumptions. The FAA took five years to certify the 737 MAX 8, the first version of the plane and the one involved in two fatal crashes. That time period is at the lower end of scrutiny of new aircraft types or derivatives. The MAX was certified as a derivative rather than an all-new plane, the 13th time the FAA has updated an approval first issued in 1967. The panel said evaluating the MAX as an all-new plane wouldn’t have produced “more rigorous scrutiny” or “a safer airplane.” It said the FAA retained design approval of the flight-control system that has been linked to two fatal MAX crashes. The plane remains grounded world-wide. “We will study these recommendations closely as we continue to work with government and industry stakeholders to enhance the certification process,” Boeing said in a statement. The panel is one of various probes already under way delving into how rigorously FAA officials followed and enforced mandatory standards in endorsing the safety of the planes, which entered service in May 2017. Justice Department prosecutors, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOT inspector general’s office, are looking into whether the plane maker provided incomplete or misleading information to regulators regarding the aircraft. The FAA has launched a separate inquiry to determine whether certification rules and procedures were properly followed. And the DOT inspector general has launched still another effort, by conducting an audit of FAA decisions regarding 737 MAX certification. In addition, House and Senate committees embarked on hearings and inquiries looking into certification of the 737 MAX.
  10. Hi Kip; Yes, the point is moot, sadly. Last Tuesday, before there was solid evidence of missiles and people were speculating, I was hoping against hope that it was a turbine section that had gone thru the wing and compromised the fuel tank much like was seen in QF32, which was leaving a large trail of fuel as it returned to land. Knowing the nationalities of the passengers, I just couldn't see what was in it for the Iranian government.
  11. Bloomberg News business Boeing Mocked Lion Air Calls for More 737 Max Training Before Crash By Ryan Beene and Harry Suhartono 13 January 2020, 18:55 GMT-8 Updated on 14 January 2020, 08:36 GMT-8 • House panel confirms Indonesia carrier asked about simulators • Unclear if added training would have averted 737 Max crashes Boeing Persuaded Lion to Drop Simulator Training for 737 Max Indonesia’s Lion Air considered putting its pilots through simulator training before flying the Boeing Co. 737 Max but abandoned the idea after the planemaker convinced them in 2017 it was unnecessary, according to people familiar with the matter and internal company communications. The next year, 189 people died when a Lion Air 737 Max plunged into the Java Sea, a disaster blamed in part on inadequate training and the crew’s unfamiliarity with a new flight-control feature on the Max that malfunctioned. Boeing employees had expressed alarm among themselves over the possibility that one of the company’s largest customers might require its pilots to undergo costly simulator training before flying the new 737 model, according to internal messages that have been released to the media. Those messages, included in the more than 100 pages of internal Boeing communications that the company provided to lawmakers and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and released widely on Thursday, had Lion Air’s name redacted. But the the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee provided excerpts of those messages to Bloomberg News that un-redacted the Indonesian carrier’s name. “Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots,” one Boeing employee wrote in June 2017 text messages obtained by the company and released by the House committee. In response, a Boeing colleague replied: “WHAT THE F%$&!!!! But their sister airline is already flying it!” That was an apparent reference to Malindo Air, the Malaysian-based carrier that was the first to fly the Max commercially. Doing simulator training would have undercut a critical selling point of the jet: that airlines would be able to allow crews trained on an older 737 version to fly the Max after just a brief computer course. In a report on the Oct. 29, 2018 accident, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee cited a failure by Boeing to tell pilots about the new flight-control feature on the jet, called MCAS, and the need to provide training on it so that pilots would be able to better respond to malfunctions. The report also cited shortfalls in the crew’s ability to perform emergency check lists, fly the plane manually and communicate about the emergency. The copilot, who took nearly four minutes to look up an emergency procedure he was supposed to have memorized, was singled out for repeated failures during training. The 737 Max was grounded worldwide last March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed following a similar MCAS malfunction. To be sure, simulator training that didn’t address a malfunction of the system like the one crews in both disasters encountered might not have saved the jets. Separate decisions had been made not to inform pilots about MCAS, something that has drawn sharp criticism from pilots’ unions in the U.S. But the prospect of simulator training for Max pilots -- and opposition to it within Boeing -- were major themes in the latest batch of embarrassing internal company messages released last week. U.S. Representative Pete DeFazio, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that is investigating the 737 Max, said the probe has found “more and more evidence of how far Boeing was willing to go in order to essentially cloak MCAS in secrecy from MAX pilots while also downplaying the information it shared about MCAS with federal regulators. That’s incredibly damning, and is opposite of Boeing’s repeated insistence that safety drives its decisions.” Lion Air has declined to comment whether it was the carrier discussed in the messages released last week by Boeing but people familiar with the exchanges, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter, said Lion Air had initially raised concerns about the need for simulator training on the Max but ultimately accepted Boeing’s recommendation that it was unnecessary. Some of the messages revealed the pressure on employees -- and customers -- to avoid the additional training. Boeing’s resistance to simulator training for Lion Air pilots was reported earlier by Forbes. Boeing didn’t respond to a request for comment but said last week that “any potential safety deficiencies identified in the documents have been addressed.” “These documents do not represent the best of Boeing,” Greg Smith, the company’s interim CEO, said in a message to employees Friday. “The tone and language of the messages are inappropriate, particularly when used in discussion of such important matters, and they do not reflect who we are as a company or the culture we’ve created.” Technical Pilot The communications include a 2017 email from Boeing’s chief technical pilot on the 737 in which he crowed to colleagues: “Looks like my jedi mind trick worked again!” The email was sent two days after the earlier messages expressing alarm about Lion Air potentially demanding simulator training. Attached was a forwarded email exchange in which the person warned an unnamed recipient against offering simulator training for Max pilots, pushing instead for the computer-based course that regulators had already approved for flight crews transitioning to the Max from earlier 737 models. “I am concerned that if [redacted] chooses to require a Max simulator for its pilots beyond what all other regulators are requiring that it will be creating a difficult and unnecessary training burden for your airline, as well as potentially establish a precedent in your region for other Max customers,” the Boeing pilot wrote in the forwarded message. While Lion Air was not identified in the redacted emails, the discussions are consistent with those Boeing held with Lion Air at the time, according to people familiar with the matter. “The story always comes back to the same thing: that Boeing was advancing the sale of this plane to capture market share, to capture the profits and cash flow that goes with it, and safety was treated as something that would occur without a great deal of focus,” said Robert Clifford, a Chicago lawyer who has sued Boeing on behalf of victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash. “That’s just never the case in engineering.” — With assistance by Alan Levin, Julie Johnsson, and Peter Robison (Updates with lawmaker comments in the 13th paragraph, crash-victims’ lawyers in last paragraph.)
  12. Hi Specs, yeah - the article struck me as someone trying to put an academic blush on the writing and got a well-known notion wrong. Also, the author says: Even retired twelve years, I think I can say this statement is out of date. IIRC, we stopped going to STBY decades ago as the "7700" issue was dealt with. Also, I think many a/c, (don't know about the B737-800 specifically), use the air-ground state to activate/de-activate the transponder. Also, we just don't "change squwaks at FIR boundarys or waypoints without specific ATC requests. The article struck me as a bit presumptuous and "puffed-up". That said, the "accidental" theory is one that demands examination if only because, so far, there is no reasoned/reasonable theory with evidence yet that supports intentional shoot-down.
  13. Ultimately, "on-purpose / by accident" must be settled on evidence both physical and circumstantial. The Forbes OpEd argues that the shoot-down was accidental. We'll see how the TSB investigation says when it comes out.
  14. The notion of an accidental shoot-down may be gaining credibility not only because of heightened tensions but because the flight path of the aircraft was in a right turn towards the airport, (could be mistaken for towards Tehran), likely descending and on fire. Missile crews would not have access to ATC transmissions, (none here anyway - just silence) and so may have appeared as "hostile incoming". Also, after the loss of ADS-B signal when the a/c was still heading north and just starting the right turn about 10nm from the airport, unless the wiring has changed recently for the B737, the recorders may have stopped functioning. In one image, the vertical stabilizer has been turned over to reveal a deeply soot-blackened surface, indicating a large & sustained fire on the left side and likely close in to the fuselage.
  15. Understand both recorders have been recovered. The Iranian government is responsible for the investigation. The manufacturer and the countries directly affected have the right to be involved in the investigation.
  16. There are no signs of a missile in the video but there are two bright spots falling away, trailing the aircraft which are likely parts of the structure. Aircraft viewed in darkness this far away are barely distinguishable except for the nav & anti-collision lights. Here, the image is large and very bright, indicating what is likely a very significant in-flight fire. The video shows a large explosion about 2 to 3 seconds prior to impact: In the link to the video vanishing point posted there appears to be an exit-hole in the turbine section. Here are two other images: The wreckage is widely distributed without impact craters likely indicating pre-impact break-up and showing signs of in-flight fire: There are single "entry" holes as seen above, but so far there does not appear to be a pattern of small entry holes as seen with MH17.
  17. Hi Marshall - yes, that's correct, AC has two MAX simulators, in Toronto I believe. I don't believe WJ has a MAX sim. According to the Seattle-Times article there are only 34 MAX simulators around the world. Thanks, T9! So there are three separate endorsements on one's licence for these 3 types or just a differences course, I wonder? When I joined AC in 1973 they had five types of DC8 and added the re-engined type around 1980, but only one type rating endorsement. The differences were handled in a chapter in the aircraft manuals. The Airbus A320 endorsement permitted crews to fly the A319 & A321. The transition to the A330 / A340 was a full course, with sim work & line-indoc. In Europe, there were cross-crew qualifications that permitted A320 type-rated crews to fly the A330 & A340, if I recall correctly.
  18. So, the MAX is still a single type-rating to the B737-100 as per Southwest's wishes? . . .
  19. Boeing, reversing itself, says all 737 MAX pilots will need costly flight simulator training Jan. 7, 2020 at 11:09 am Updated Jan. 7, 2020 at 5:04 pm Scores of 737 MAX jets are parked at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake. Boeing said Tuesday it will recommend that once the FAA lifts... (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times) More By Dominic Gates Seattle Times aerospace reporter Boeing on Tuesday reversed its long-held position that pilots would not need full flight simulator training before flying the 737 MAX after the jet is cleared to return to service. “Boeing has decided to recommend MAX simulator training combined with computer-based training for all pilots prior to returning the MAX safely to service,” interim Boeing CEO Greg Smith said in a statement. He added that the change in approach was spurred because “public, customer and stakeholder confidence in the 737 MAX is critically important to us.” The prospect of extensive simulator training now adds another big logistical hurdle before the MAX can resume commercial flights. There are only 34 full-motion MAX simulators in the world, eight of them in the U.S., and tens of thousands of pilots who will need time on one. 737 MAX CRISIS COMPLETE COVERAGE » · New snags add to uncertainty over Boeing 737 MAX’s return to service · Boeing training pilots ask to decertify union · Boeing redeploys workers as 737 MAX production in Renton prepares to shut down More Boeing’s change in direction was spurred by the results of four days of testing in Seattle last month, when Boeing ran pilots from American Airlines, Southwest, United and Aeromexico through a series of emergency flight scenarios in MAX flight simulators, a person familiar with the matter said. The purpose was to test the “human factors” elements of the updated flight control system, including the crew workload. All of the pilots managed to eventually maintain control when confronted with various emergencies, including the type of system failure that occurred in the two fatal MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. However, about half of the pilots in the testing failed to follow the correct emergency procedures. “They were using the wrong checklists,” said one person with knowledge of the tests. In developing the MAX, Boeing sought to avoid the need for simulator training because it’s expensive for airlines. For U.S. airlines to run all their pilots through the limited number of available flight simulators will take thousands of hours — hours when the companies earn no revenue from ticket-buying passengers. Dennis Tajer, a captain with American Airlines and spokesman for that airline’s union, the Allied Pilots Association, said that when American runs its pilots through their regular training updates, it consists of a two-hour pre-brief in a classroom followed by four hours in the simulator. He said airlines have been given no information yet as to whether the MAX training would require a full four-hour simulator session or may be more limited. American has about 4,200 pilots who fly the 737 and would need the MAX simulator training. United has about 4,400 and Southwest has more than 9,000. As it pitched the MAX to airlines in 2011, Boeing promised the MAX would handle so much like the previous 737 NG model, and its cockpit would be so similar, that minimal training consisting of a short course on an iPad would be all that was needed for a pilot to transition from the earlier 737 to the MAX. The expected savings from that were so important to airlines that in December 2011, when MAX launch customer Southwest Airlines placed the first order for 150 of the jets, Boeing included in the contract a clause guaranteeing a $1 million per airplane refund if simulator training were required. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D- Ore., chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that’s investigating the cause of the MAX crashes, in a statement Tuesday lamented that “it took two deadly crashes, numerous investigations and untold public pressure before Boeing arrived at this decision.” “From its inception, Boeing’s business model for the 737 MAX was premised on Boeing’s unreasonable, cost-saving assurance to airlines that pilots qualified to fly …(the earlier 737 model) should not undergo simulator training to fly the 737 MAX.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will set the regulatory requirement regarding what pilot training is required in the U.S., is likely to follow Boeing’s recommendation. Later this month, a key part of the process for returning the MAX to commercial service will be the convening of the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB), a body of about 14 U.S. and foreign air carrier flight crews with diverse training that will evaluate the new systems on the MAX in full-motion simulator tests and come up with recommendations on what pilot training is required. The FAA will use the data from the JOEB tests to develop official recommendations for pilot training. “The FAA is following a thorough process, not a set timeline, to ensure that any design modifications to the 737 MAX are integrated with appropriate training and procedures,” the agency said Tuesday, adding that it will consider Boeing’s recommendation during the JOEB process. Once the training regimen is firmed up and the MAX cleared to fly again, the shortage of MAX flight simulators will pose a problem for airlines. Airlines operate 26 MAX simulators worldwide while Boeing has another eight at its pilot training sites in Miami, London, Shanghai and Singapore. In the U.S., Boeing has three in Miami; American has one in Fort Worth, Texas; United has one in Denver; and Southwest has three in Dallas. “MAX simulators are like unicorns,” said the APA’s Tajer. It’s unclear if Boeing could add software to the more than 200 simulators designed for the prior 737 NG model so they could be upgraded to simulate the MAX systems. The limited availability of simulators will likely lead American and Southwest to reassess previous plans to have all their 737 pilots complete the MAX training before they introduce the MAX to passenger service. When the expected MAX training was to be done on an iPad at any location during the pilot’s downtime, all the pilots could be asked to accomplish the training requirement in matter of a few weeks. Now it will take much longer. United spokesman Frank Benenati said Tuesday the Chicago-based carrier plans to train its pilots “on a rolling basis,” so the MAX can be introduced with a core group of pilots before all the 737 pilots finishing the training. American and Southwest are now likely to do the same. That means splitting off the MAXs into a sub-fleet of the 737s and assigning them to fly specific routes with MAX-trained crews assigned for those routes only. But doing this makes the airline’s aircraft scheduling much less flexible. If an earlier model 737 has a maintenance problem and can’t take off, the airline won’t be able to switch in a MAX from another location to take its place unless the crew happen to be qualified for the MAX. Neither the airlines nor the pilot unions had any prior knowledge of Boeing’s decision. Captain Tajer of the APA and Captain Jon Weaks, who heads the Southwest Airlines Pilots Union, both complained that they had heard no details about what training is contemplated directly from Boeing or the FAA and were not asked for their input regarding Boeing’s decision. “As the representative of the largest single group of 737NG and MAX pilots, it is vital we are involved in the process, as was promised by both Boeing and the FAA months ago,” Weaks said. Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @dominicgates.
  20. Hi Marshall; Thanks for the correction/addition - I should have quoted your full post - my apologies, and also, I may have misunderstood your point? What I'm attempting to point to (and not very clearly at times, much to my frustration), using a couple of suitable resources, is the changing character of American business practices as it affects those who do the work and making a connection between such changes and the reasons Boeing finds itself in deep difficulties today. The circumstances that resulted in two preventable, fatal, common-cause accidents have their seeds in the early '90's at Boeing. Boeing employees have clearly shown in studies*, beginning in 1996 and which I believe are continuing, that they wanted to be part of a solution to the problems they saw with their company but were rebuffed by a successive CEOs and Boards. As FOIA documents show, during this same period, this was also occurring at the FAA. What Boeing has revealed for all to see and for all to come to terms with is the dishonesty that justifies and protects the shift from engineering & testing to a "faster-better-cheaper" model of production. Edit to add: This kind of statement does need a nuanced approach because "faster, better, cheaper" isn't necessarily worse. In fact the books by Greenberg etc., emphasize that both Airbus and Boeing copied one another's manufacturing and management approaches. It would be naive to expect and say that Airbus did not have many of the same challenges. Airbus was not without its problems in listening and its own scent of arrogance during the introduction of the A320. I know this aspect because I experienced it. And there were the "what's it doing now?" moments and "automation" accidents. The FAA voiced the view that there would be more B737 MAX accidents over the years; Why? It could be fairly asked, What would Boeing be today without the second MAX accident? This is why I think this issue needs the kind of examination that Vaughan brought to the Challenger accident. Whether Boeing survives or not is independant of these underlying forces which were always and already at work more than twenty years ago. Whether Boeing survives or not depends upon whether the present and future leaders take the lesson they have been handed in the B787 and MAX troubles or lose it in the all-out fight to just survive. The reason I posted the Linked-in page above is to point directly to the problem with which Boeing must come to terms, or, like NASA repeating history with the loss of Columbia, "the MAX problem" will occur again. *From Greenberg, Edward S.; Grunberg, Leon; Sarah Moore; Patricia B. Sikora. Turbulence (Kindle Locations 418-424). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition:
  21. The lesson is an old one - "normalizing deviance" for the purposes of short-term, quarterly-report thinking. I regret that I don't agree. As Dylan wrote, money doesn't talk, it swears. It has already happened because lessons like this in the past have not been put into practise, as illustrated in the article on the Challenger accident above. This is the way American business practices work and there does not appear a disaster yet that gives them pause much longer than the daily news cycle. This one has staying power but in the face of power and wealth, not teaching power. Given stuff that has already happened like the Deep Water Horizon accident, Challenger and Columbia, the DC10 just by itself, the Opiod crisis promulgated by the healthcare industry including pharmaceuticals, etc., things have not changed. Given the possible profits and the best national & state governments money can buy, even a change in the Australian weather is dismissed as a temporarily hot day. Let's look at the learning opportunities. The following isn't hindsight bias: - a lot of people knew about these problems at Boeing as long ago as 2012 for the MAX and earlier for the B787 battery problem. They voiced concerns over the compromises within Boeing and the FAA a long time before these two disastrous and deadly "interventions" from their MAX design. Both Boeing and the FAA hid stuff and were dishonest with their technical people and the pilots who would fly their new aircraft. The CEO clearly lived in a different business ecology, the one being described here, and couldn't see what was actually wrong and no one could break through the thinking because it would be too expensive to stop production and re-assess the airplane. In discussions about this corporate disaster, I have heard comments from people who do design & engineering or who did this work at one time, and who led design teams, all at another manufacturer; - they quietly expressed the notion that they're glad they didn't or don't work in the American business environment with it's production pressures and growing scent of corruption between government agencies and corporate interests. They also observed that Boeing has seriously harmed the industry in terms of loss of trust and integrity, emphasizing that they derive no joy whatsoever in their competitor's troubles; the problems are far too serious to do so. To J.O.'s well-taken point, if we think about it, it's actually profitable and even fair to the shareholders to not cheat, not cut corners, to welcome healthy, informed dissent and to not ignore as inconvenient the valuable input from employees who really do know their stuff*, and cultivating too close a relationship with the regulator for the purpose of saving nickels and maintaining share prices. Long term profit is created simply by doing things right and holding oneself to account long before an accident or before the FBI, Congress and the flying public come into the picture to hold the entire lot to account. This will likely cost Boeing an unplanned-for $10B or more before the MAX is flying again and the shareholders have lost over 20% so far. Despite all the "reminders" and input made out of a sincere loyalty to their employer and their customers by employees and FAA staff alike, Boeing and the FAA forgot who they were, who they really worked for and what they did for a living. It seems so trite these days to say it, but they did so because they could, with impunity. * Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers, Greenberg, Grunberg, Moore, Sikora
  22. Yes, it seems that way doesn't it, conehead? But it's canonical for all organizations: For better or worse, sooner or later no matter what the organization, the government, the NGO, or "tribe", when the layers of the onion get peeled back, the principles and primary focus, that core being built by those in charge of an organization or a government or..., is eventually laid bare. Déjà vu - Boeing 737 Max accidents worthy of a deep probe https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/déjà-vu-boeing-737-max-accidents-worthy-deep-probe-bryce-fisher Published on March 27, 2019 For those of us of a certain age, the picture above is a grim reminder of what can go wrong with risky technologies. In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff killing all seven on board. Why I am bringing up the Challenger disaster up in relation to the Boeing 737 Max accidents? A first blush, the recent Boeing 737 Max accidents seem to have the potential for similar historical significance. Like the space shuttle Challenger accident, emerging information about the design, manufacture, certification and operation of the Boeing 737 Max suggests a deep probe is necessary. While some may dismiss the Challenger disaster as an aerospace rather than aviation accident, it may be instructive to refresh our collective memories of the lessons learned from it. The immediate suspect in both the Challenger and Max disasters is technological. In the case of the former it is the O-rings and, in the latter, the Maneuvering Augmentation System (MCAS). Also, organizations are involved: NASA and Boeing respectively. While proven at NASA, we will likely learn that economic and production pressures at Boeing contributed to managerial short-circuiting of safety processes, or that management either did not fully understand the scientific or technical safety issues, or, if it did, it discounted or dismissed them. In the case of the Max, there is the role of the regulator. As the authority responsible for the safety certification of the B737 Max series, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States is involved in the causal story. As of this writing, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Transport will examine what role the FAA played. Surely, the apparent conflict of the FAA’s dual mandate to promote the civil aviation industry and regulate it on behalf of the public will be raised once again. As an aside, the FBI is now involved, therefore, criminal acts and/or malfeasance is in now scope. Like NASA, the Boeing and FAA “brands” have suffered severely. The public’s faith in them to manage safety on their behalf has been shaken to its core. Only after all the investigations have been completed and credible and observable changes made will Boeing and the FAA be able to restore their reputations and the public’s trust. Finally, unlike the Challenger where a Presidential Commission (Rogers Commission) was convened, no decision has been made to hold one for the B737 Max, though calls for one have already been voiced. As the title of this article suggests, we have seen the B737 Max story unfold before in the space shuttle Challenger accident. It should follow to ask whether the lessons learned have been wasted or not. The Rogers Commission made nine sets of recommendations. These ranged in scope from broad to narrow, from addressing larger managerial to more specific technical issues. NASA developed a corrective action plan to address each set of recommendations. These, it seems, did not have the desired effect. Seventeen years later, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry killing all seven crew members on board. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) examined NASA’s safety management practices and said: “…the causes of the institutional failure responsible for Challenger have not been fixed.” In piecing together the information emerging from the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accident investigations and news reports, I am reminded of Diane Vaughan’s ethnographic study of the launch decision of the space shuttle Challenger. In The Challenger Launch Decision – Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Professor Vaughan suggests her study shows “how mistake, mishap, and disaster are socially organized and systematically produced by social structures…The cause of the disaster was a mistake embedded in the banality of organizational life and facilitated by an environment of scarcity and competition, elite bargaining, uncertain technology, incrementalism, patterns of information, routinization, organizational and interorganizational structures in a complex culture.” In September of this year, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) will be holding its annual conference in The Hague. The theme of this year’s offering asks: “Future safety: Has the past become irrelevant?” On this, I will defer to Professor Ms. Vaughan: “No one has forgotten the astronauts, the incident, or the shape of those billowing clouds that recorded the final seconds of the Challenger’s flight. Nonetheless, the loss of the Challenger, has receded into history, as the unfolding present, urgently demanding attention, replaces the past.” I think ISASI has its answer. Bryce Fisher
  23. From Ogimet.com. Overrun occurred off the end of 14 at 1607Z METAR/SPECI from CYHZ, Halifax International Airport (Canada). SP 05/01/2020 17:35-> SPECI CYHZ 051735Z 36022G33KT 3/4SM R14/5000VP6000FT/U -SN DRSN OVC004 M01/M01 A2910 RMK ST8 /S10/ SLP860= SA 05/01/2020 17:00-> METAR CYHZ 051700Z 36020G29KT 3/4SM R14/5500VP6000FT/N -SN DRSN OVC002 M01/M01 A2911 RMK ST8 /S09/ SLP864= SP 05/01/2020 16:18-> SPECI CYHZ 051618Z 36018G25KT 1/2SM R14/4000FT/N SN OVC003 M01/M01 A2912 RMK ST8 SLP869= SA 05/01/2020 16:00-> METAR CYHZ 051600Z 36015G23KT 1/2SM R14/4000V5500FT/D SN OVC002 M00/M00 A2912 RMK ST8 /S07/ SLP869= SP 05/01/2020 15:49-> SPECI CYHZ 051549Z 01016G27KT 1/2SM R14/5000FT/N SN OVC002 M00/M00 A2912 RMK ST8 SLP869= SP 05/01/2020 15:30-> SPECI CYHZ 051530Z 01016G23KT 5/8SM R14/P6000FT/D -SN OVC002 M00/M00 A2914 RMK ST8 /S05/ SLP874= SA 05/01/2020 15:00-> METAR CYHZ 051500Z 01016G24KT 1 1/4SM -SN OVC003 M00/M00 A2915 RMK ST8 SLP879=
  24. This is a very big chew for a company that must yet prove that its design capabilities are equal to such a goal. Mr. Calhoun's statement regarding "...make planes fly on their own," sounds almost naïve in terms of what modern airliners including Boeing's own B787, are capable of. They have been able to "fly on their own" since Airbus designed and built the A320 in the mid-eighties. The Boeing Chief Executive should reveal that he possesses at least a little knowledge of his product and use terms that really do describe what he's talking about, which is "autonomous flight". What Mr. Calhoun is proposing is an entirely different, very ambitious kettle of automated fish than what he appears to believe is the solution to increasing levels of inexperience, bread-and-butter training and keeping "complexity" out of airplane manuals because pilots can't/won't comprehend it. Autonomous flight may or may not come, but there is no reason to believe such a system will be safer or less safe than the present commercial aviation system in place in both the western and eastern worlds. I think the corrupted design and oversight process that led to the MCAS debacle among other failures at Boeing can actually be fixed quite readily. What will take longer and harder is the recharging of employees including reasons-to-believe-again, a change in expectations on the part of shareholders and their carrot-and-stick approach to investing, and for Boeing, the formation of new habits and ways of working that demand more robust focus on engineering and testing, testing, testing, just like they said they used to do in the years leading up to 1997.
  25. From the WSJ, 2020.01.02 Boeing’s Commitment To Automation Grows BY ANDY PASZTOR AND ANDREW TANGEL Boeing Co. is increasingly committed to transferring more control of aircraft from pilots to computers after two crashes exposed flaws in an automated system on its 737 MAX that overpowered aviators in the disasters. Executives at Boeing and other makers of planes and cockpit-automation systems for some time have believed more-sophisticated systems are necessary to serve as backstops for pilots, help them assimilate information and, in some cases, provide immediate responses to imminent hazards. Now, such changes seek to address the fact that pilots might not react to problems— including those tied to automation— as quickly or proficiently as designers assumed, according to former and current Boeing officials and industry exec- utives. The view took hold after a flight-control system known as MCAS put two MAX jets into fatal nosedives within the past 14 months that together killed 346 people. “We are going to have to ultimately almost—almost— make these planes fly on their own,” then-Boeing Chairman Dave Calhoun said in a CNBC interview in November. Mr. Calhoun is to become the plane maker’s chief executive Jan. 13. While the MAX’s problems stemmed from a misguided design of automation, many engineers and airline executives remain confident that properly devised computerized features have proven extremely reliable and will prevent accidents. They cite the safety benefits of everything from automated engine adjustments to computer-controlled landing maneuvers that are more precise and predictable than any pilot commands. Over the years, Boeing rival Airbus SE has tended to devise systems in which pilots are trained to let automated systems handle emergencies, and company executives have said that approach will continue. Executives at Boeing and Airbus have said they are also designing flight-control systems tailored for younger pilots, who generally have less flying time in their logbooks and a more innate familiarity with technology than aviators of years past. Airbus recently unveiled touch screens designed by France’s Thales SA for its A350 wide-body aircraft. Airbus is pursuing additional automation for single-pilot aircraft and enhanced computer-controlled responses to midair collision warnings, according to officials at the company and in the industry. Boeing also plans to tailor its design and training to better serve the more globally diverse group of pilots now flying its planes, said former and current company officials familiar with the plans. Engineers predict an expansion of automated safeguards including, possibly, artificial intelligence to assist pilots. “Such features are certainly going to have a greater role in air carrier cockpits,” said Alan Diehl, a former military and civilian accident investigator who was one of the first automation specialists for the Federal Aviation Administration. Some of the new systems Boeing and other companies are working on are designed to maintain stable flight while pilots troubleshoot in moments— like those during both MAX crashes—when crews face cascades of emergency alerts and warnings that can be confusing or contradictory. “Automation can help by verifying that pilots are doing the right things, and then helping them all the way through” an incident, said Kevin Hiatt, a former airline captain and industry safety executive. While manufacturers said automation fosters safety, some aviation experts harbor concerns. Studies have shown that undue reliance on automation can degrade manual flying skills, or make pilots less decisive in emergencies. The MAX tragedies also show how automated features can backfire if they malfunction, said Mica Endsley, an industry consultant and former chief scientist for the Air Force. “Engineers get very enamored with their automation,” Ms. Endsley said. “When we assume it’s perfect, then we don’t design” necessary defenses for pilots. Under most circumstances, she added, it is essential for pilots to recognize when specific automation kicks in and to have some training dealing with it. Boeing and Airbus have been automating some aspects of flight for decades, innovations that have helped make aviation the safest mode of transportation. From early versions of autopilots to the introduction of automated landing systems and cockpit layouts dominated by video screens, computers have steadily gained control of commercial flight. Beginning in the 1980s, Airbus devised what is called flyby- wire automation to prevent accidents. No matter what commands pilots give, under normal circumstances, computers on board won’t let them turn a plane too sharply or raise the nose to too steep an angle. Boeing, by contrast, traditionally designed automated systems that could be overruled by crew commands. That distinction started blurring long before automation- gone-haywire overpowered two MAX crews. Boeing has crafted extensive fly-by-wire applications, some beyond the control of pilots. Now Boeing is rethinking how to tailor more-sophisticated automation without forsaking its pilot-centric design approach, said the current and former company officials. “We’re also going to take a look at the pilot-machine interface on our airplanes in designing that for the next generation, as technology is rapidly evolving,” then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg told a congressional hearing in October. Boeing’s automation projects include an electrically powered cargo plane that would fly without any aviators on board. Before the second MAX crashed in March, it said it had completed the initial test flight of a totally autonomous prototype vehicle that can take off and land vertically.