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GDR last won the day on May 20 2017

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  1. Another take on it. It looks like the functionality of the stab switches was altered with the Max. Boeing Altered Critical MCAS Toggle Switches On 737 MAX Before Deadly Crashes When Boeing transitioned from the 737 NG model to the 737 MAX, designers altered a toggle switch panel that could have prevented both of the deadly crashes over the last year in Ethiopia and Indonesia, killing a combined 346 people, according to an investigation by the Seattle Times. On the 737 NG, the right switch was labeled "AUTO PILOT" - and allowed pilots to deactivate the plane's automated stabilizer controls, such as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), suspected to be the culprit in both crashes. The left toggle switch on the NG would deactivate the buttons on the yoke which pilots regularly use to control the horizontal stabilizer. On the 737 MAX, however, the two switches were altered to perform the same function, according to internal documents reviewed by the Times, so that they would disable all electronic stabilizer controls - including the MCAS and the thumb buttons on the yoke used to control the stabilizer. (Dimas Ardian / Bloomberg) Former Boeing flight-controls engineer Peter Lemme, a harsh critic of the MAX design, first raised questions over the switch alteration on his blog, and says he doesn't understand why Boeing made the change. Boeing told the Times that they had historically called for pilots to flip both switches to disable a problematic or "runaway" stabilizer, so the button change matched that procedure, adding that the two switches "were retained for commonality of the crew interface." "Boeing strongly disagrees with any speculation or suggestion that pilots should deviate from these long-established and trained safety procedures," the company added. During the October Lion Air flight, pilots were reportedly unaware of the MCAS system - while the day before, an off-duty pilot with knowledge of the stabilizer controls helped pilots disable the system on the same plane. Data from the flight revealed that the repeated commands from the MCAS system sent the flight from Bali to Jakarta plummeting into the sea. After they were able to manually control the stabilizer, the Ethiopian Airlines pilots appear to have flipped the cutoff switches back on, reactivating the MCAS system. Shortly after, it entered a fatal nosedive which killed all 157 people aboard. "When you’re pulling on the column with 80-100 pounds of force trying to save your life, your troubleshooting techniques are very weak," said aviation consultant Doug Moss. "You need some gut-level instinctive things to do to solve the problem." Notably, the FAA did not notify pilots that the functionality of the switches had been altered, simply noting in its documentation the labeling change "Stab Trim cutout switches panel nomenclature."
  2. I'm not so sure in this case Don. Everybody who I run into and knows that I flew ask me about the 737 Max. (Thanks to what you and others have posted on this forum I can fool them into thinking that I know what I'm talking about.) I don't know if there has ever been as much wide spread negativity about a specific aircraft before. I think it's going to take a while before the flying public forgets about this.
  3. Thanks Don I sure admire how you have kept up with the technical aspects of our profession. I did kinda wonder about a soft ware designer,s acumen in all of this. I sure wish we had stuck with, what I understand to be the original plan, the Neo. I guess Boeing made an offer we couldn't refuse. I'm heading over today to your neck of the woods to spend Easter with my son and his family including two new great grand-kids. I'm no longer a relative but an ancestor. Thanks again Don Greg
  4. The things that I found interesting was that, assuming he is correct, I hadn't realized thrust line had changed that much. Also I also thought that some of his comments on Boeing's philosophy were interesting.
  5. Came across this article and found it informative and interesting.
  6. Can someone tell me if the the cut out switches are only on the Max or did previous generations of 737's have something similar.
  7. Speaking from a position of ignorance on this subject, (a position in which I have a great deal of experience), is it correct that if this occurs and the pilot knocks off a couple of switches, disarming the MCAS and the problem goes away?
  8. I don't think this has been posted before. Enjoy Greg
  9. A New York Times investigation of the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crash suggests marketing considerations were at least partly behind Boeing’s and the FAA's joint decision to not specifically train pilots in the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) that may have played a role in the crash. The Times story quotes various named sources as saying that Boeing wanted to maintain the cross compatibility between the new aircraft and earlier versions of the 737, thus simplifying conversion training and reducing costs for airlines buying the MAX. The difficulty was that the physically larger engines that accomplish the plane’s main selling point—better fuel economy—had to be mounted higher and farther forward than on its predecessors and that significantly changed low-speed flight characteristics. MCAS was designed to compensate for the MAX’s increased tendency to stall in a low-speed turn by adjusting the angle of the horizonal stabilizer. The system takes data from one of two angle of attack indicators (there’s no redundancy or agreement requirement) and was designed to automatically push the nose down if an incipient stall was detected. Boeing convinced the FAA that because the system maintained the basic flight characteristics of earlier versions that pilots did not need specific training on MCAS even though its inclusion was considered necessary for certification of the aircraft. The Times story also notes that other regulators at least initially determined that pilots should be made aware of MCAS. European regulators wanted pilots to be trained on it but eventually accepted the FAA’s and Boeing’s position. Brazil, however, stuck to its guns and required specific training for pilots on MCAS. Boeing didn’t hide the addition of MCAS. It’s described in operation and maintenance manuals and was explained in technical briefings with prospective customers. It also included an emergency checklist covering disabling the system. But because they were not specifically trained in its use, most pilots didn’t know it was there and that it operated fundamentally differently from the speed trim system that operated the stabilizer setting on earlier 737s. Notably, pulling back on the yoke on older aircraft disables the automatic trim. Pulling back does not deactivate MCAS on the MAX. Something the Times couldn’t determine was whether MCAS was tested in a failure mode, either in the simulator or on the aircraft itself. The predominant theory on the root cause of the crash was that faulty AOA data resulted in an erroneous and extreme reaction from the MCAS, pushing the aircraft into a high-speed dive that the pilots could not recover from. Boeing and the FAA are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and Indonesian authorities to determine if the decision to skip pilot training in the new system played a role in what became the worst air crash of 2018.
  10. They have the voice recorder.
  11. Just a foot note to that, and just a reminder to Kip, 435 was always first.
  12. By Tim Hepher PARIS, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Airbus narrowed a sales gap against U.S. rival Boeing by finalising orders for 120 of the former Bombardier CSeries jet, but shares in Europe's top planemaker fell as doubts surfaced over a target for overall 2018 deliveries. Airbus, which took over the loss-making CSeries last July and rebranded it the A220, said on Thursday it had finalised deals to sell 60 each of the jets to U.S.-based JetBlue and to Moxy, a U.S. start-up backed by JetBlue founder David Neeleman. But shares in the European company fell as Airbus prepared a keenly awaited delivery tally for overall deliveries in 2018. In late trading they were down 3.6 percent. Reuters earlier reported growing doubts over whether Airbus had achieved a 2018 target of 800 deliveries, or 782 without counting the Canadian A220 jets. An industry source familiar with the matter said it was "more than likely" Airbus had missed the target by a handful of jets, marking the first time it has done so since it was reshaped through European mergers in 2000. An Airbus spokesman declined to comment. Deliveries are closely watched by investors since they mark the point at which most cash and operating profit are generated. Planemakers worldwide have been struggling with supplier problems in the past 12 months and Airbus has faced some production snags and quality problems, though any shortfall in deliveries is not expected to have a significant profit impact. Thursday's U.S. deals mark the first formal orders for the 110-130-seat A220 since Airbus took majority control of the Montreal-based programme with Bombardier and Quebec as partners. That realignment sets the stage for a broader confrontation with Boeing, which last month closed a deal to take over 80 percent of the commercial unit of Bombardier’s competitor Embraer, subject to Brazilian government approval. For 2018, most attention is on the core sales battle between the transatlantic plane giants, with Boeing so far in the lead. Airbus ended November with 35 percent of net sales in the main jetliner market against its U.S. rival after 11 months overshadowed by management changes and delivery delays. Since then it has picked up speed with formal deals for 220 aircraft, including a 100-plane order from Irish lessor Avolon, leaving it 90 short of Boeing's end-November total of 690 jets. On a like-for-like basis, excluding the former CSeries model, Airbus has reached a total of 480 net sales for the year against Boeing's most recent tally of 690 for a market share of 41 percent, based on orders announced since November. Airbus plans to give full-year figures on Jan. 11. Both companies often pull in last-minute deals to lift annual totals, with announcements delayed until early the following year. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Mark Potter)
  13. Hi Kip It was an interesting experience flying into Alert. Our navigators were really accurate with our radar getting us lined up with the barrels at the end of the runway. Some even worked out a system where they could give us a verbal glide slope. Of course you could always get down low over the ice and fly straight in but you sure had to trust the nav you were with. I have pictures on my den wall of the Herc (321) that crashed up there as it was the airplane I was promoted to aircraft commander on. Thule was fun and they sure had a great PX. I brought back what was then a great stereo system from there. I remember the ropes between buildings to keep from from getting lost in the 20 feet or so that you had to traverse when one of the frequent storms hit. I also remember getting a few pretty rough rides going in there when the wind was coming from the direction of the flat top island to the left of the approach. Ah to be 24 again eh. Happy 2019 Greg
  14. This makes a little brighter end to a tragic event. Happy 2019 to all AEFers Greg
  15. This is a great story and it would be nice to find the answer.