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Everything posted by Vsplat

  1. Thanks Don. Yes, that 20 deg value keeps coming up and while I've seen it associated with full scale deflection in a couple of other places, your AMM reference is definitive. The damage may ultimately hide the true state of that sensor and any installation-induced issues from us, but hopefully the investigators will be able to identify whether a bad ground, perhaps static discharge during installation or some other issue crept into the mix. All the best Vs
  2. Don, when you way the AOA sensor cannot be incorrectly installed, it gives me pause. I've seen so many foolproof systems defeated, I have to think this would be just one more. That said, I know nothing about this particular part number or what connections have to be made (correctly) for it to work. We have a rich history of trouble from bent pins, excessive solder, a pin hole puncture, kink, overtorque, and a couple of dozen I know you could easily add - and all that is assuming that the correct part went into the correct spot - is there a left and right to these things, does the NG take the same part number, etc etc. Vs
  3. No. The computers will only work out what fits their model. If a condition is outside the range of assumptions of the programmer, as the MCAS failure demonstrates, the computers may generate inappropriate solutions or diagnose the situation as something else. When the aircraft is approaching an upset, there is no substitute for raw data and direct control. It may be comforting to suggest that this all goes away when the AP is engaged, but we have to remember that there are limitations on AP engagement. If the aircraft is this far out of trim, is it certain the AP would function? All IMO. Vs
  4. Regarding AOA and who has what feature. I find the press coverage interesting. Air Canada has a more comprehensive installation, yet the press articles start with 'Air Canada and Westjet' and downplay the role of the AOA indication. I have to wonder, if the situation was reversed, would we see, 'Air Canada lacks important safety component'? And nothing from Sunwing. Hmm. IMO the AOA indication's value depends a bit on the aircraft envelope. The Citation I flew a million years ago had it, and it was a straight wing aircraft. Far from being a distraction, I found it provided a great immediate reference in a number of situations. For the MAX, the AOA location just becomes one more scan item. The pilots I have spoken with about it have no issues and are generally happy it's there. Given what we now know about the link between AOA and unexpected aircraft behaviour, just having an 'AOA disagree' without an immediate visual indication of which AOA is saying what, that creates a period of confusion as to whether the failure is on the low side or the high. Finally, the AOA indication is not going to be a distraction during an MCAS firing. What it IS going to do is warn the pilots of an impending problem while they are still configured (flaps not yet retracted) so they can decide on a mitigation up front (leave the flaps out for a bit perhaps, so delay acceleration, get some altitude or stay configured and return, etc). AOA indications are a good thing. The customers who shelled out on their own to install them should get a credit from Boeing when the rest of the world gets them for free. Finally, as soon as Boeing and the regulators start rolling out the fix, the grounding should shift from total airspace bans to unmodified aircraft and crew. If we don't recognise investment in additional layers of safety, that investment will not continue, human nature being what it is. The reasons for this grounding are ample proof of that sad fact. All just my opinion. Vs
  5. I'm guessing the R&D delta would be relatively low. The remote drive by wire is already proven in settings like de-icing trucks, the navigation would actually be far easier than for city streets as the airport is defined, confined and controlled. You might need a LIDAR for surprises like wildlife but you might not need stuff like agile collision avoidance or pedestrian handling. Then there is the concept of 'driverless'. I'm thinking the thing is monitored with remote takeover possible 100% of the time. Vs
  6. I can see an application as a member of a 'snowpack', where the lead is live but they control an echelon of drones. Vs
  7. I think the public hysteria will die down once there is a fix. The alternative, not to go where they want, when they want, at the price they want, will be too unpalatable to serve as a long term option for the bulk of passengers. Regarding the conflict of interest of delegation and the predictable knot that the FAA common type rating game tied here, this hum has been growing louder decade after decade. But when judging the FAA, we should be careful of our own complacency. SMS is hardly a shining example of oversight north of the border. We may be seeing the worst case scenario in the B737MAX accidents. That said, La Megantic was every bit as catastrophic and we largely just carried on. A few regulatory changes but did our attitude toward delegation really get checked? Properly done, the worldwide grounding and eventual return to service of this fleet should be the start of several sweeping enquiries into how regulators meet their mandate, or fail to, along with how often the delegates give into the pressure of those who pay their salaries while they are supposedly acting on behalf of the regulator. There will either be a major restoration of focus, division of duty and competency in oversight, or we are going to be right back here, talking about something similar, before much longer. To say that would be sad would be insulting in its insufficiency. Vs
  8. Two thoughts: 1) I have not heard any official story disputing that the FO TOTAL time was 200 hours. Like so many I wonder if there is a correction coming to that figure. In the absence of same, Sully's perspective is more articulate than anything I can add; 2) To Blues' point, the cadet program has been running for some time. That said, I consider how long it takes in this business for bad policy to make it to an accident scene. I wonder if the intrinsic safety of this industry has resulted in new cadets having the benefit of low aircraft malfunction rates (and relatively minor events when they do occur) while they get their feet under them. This accident may be one of the few cases where a low time cadet had the misfortune of encountering a severe problem near the very beginning of their time on the line. So much that we don't yet know. Vs
  9. No, it's just considered the minimum acceleration altitude in general practice. It's also associated with one engine inoperative third segment climb (net takeoff flight path (NTFP)). In general, operators increase the altitudes associated with underlying obstacles by an amount that raises this segment above 400', but in theory that margin can be taken as acceleration. Not normally done unless there is a severe obstacle limitation a ways down range that necessitates getting clean ASAP and accelerating for an optimised final segment climb. Vs
  10. 1700 AAE would not be low for an acceleration/flap retraction altitude. The minimum altitude can be as low as 400' but I am not aware of anyone who does that. Normally the primary restriction driving that acceleration altitude is terrain clearance and minimum all engines obstacle clearance planes. Most of the time, on all engines, a twin will handily outclimb that gradient once the gear is up, but the acceleration to get the flaps up, especially from a high hot airport, can involve an extended and relatively flat flight path which may punch through that gradient. So basically the aircraft has to climb high enough, early enough, to buy room for that acceleration phase. Vs
  11. Regarding the FAA and Boeing role in this. I agree with the comment that this all has a tie to the fixation on the common type rating. Unlike Canada, AFAIK a pilot operating for a US Part 121 carrier can only be qualified on one type at a time. So this is a big deal for a carrier like Southwest. The FAA came up with the Flight Standardization Board (FSB) to deal with these variants and the 737 was, if I recall, one of the very first types to go through that process, one that has been revisited many times over its development life. The FAA process is supposed to identify any differences in systems or procedures that a pilot familiar with one variant might stumble with or misapply when flying another. Autopilot differences, handling differences, landing perspective, primary flight instrument display, etc. I have looked but cannot find a mention of MCAS or the different way it affects stab trim runaway procedures anywhere. I don't fly this type, but I seem to recall that the Lion Air pilots applied a procedure that might have worked on a non-MCAS variant. If it is true that Boeing did not declare, and the FAA did not reference, MCAS in their differences, then there might be grounds for a discussion of negligence. All just my opinion Vs
  12. Nice of ACPA to take a photo op right now. I am sure their public support will be helpful when the company tries to invoke the force majeur contract provision and stops paying the affected pilots. Vs
  13. Agree all. I think the onset of this issue, if indeed it is MCAS in both cases, seems to be flap retraction with the autopilot off. So low altitude at relatively low speed, severely limiting how long the crew has, irrespective of the control forces, there may simply have not been enough time or distance to recover the flight path away from terrain. As this is a computer, removing one critical criterion can sometimes be enough to completely disrupt the problem. For example, would either accident have happened if the crew had engaged autopilot before flap retraction? Vs
  14. I dunno. I think this is spin feeding spin and finally political fear of being offside. As far as I can tell, nothing a satellite would see could differentiate between an MCAS event, stab trim runway, or even crew incapacitation for that matter. The unfortunate history with the Altas 767 is a case in point. The cynic in me says that the only new development this morning is that the pressure reached Garneau's, or his advisors' pain threshold. Vs
  15. The problem now is that all of these politicians will have egg on their face if it turns out that the grounding was unnecessary. My concern now is that there will be pressure to synthesize a politically saleable story. There are real problems caused by the grounding of a fleet this size. People will be stranded, some may well not have accommodation and health concerns will arise. What a mess. Was this really about public interest? Vs
  16. Wow. Done their own investigation, have they? What says that Air Canada or WestJet is NOT putting safety first? Maybe CUPE should take a page from the Westjet staff and get into contact, and perhaps stay that way, rather than head off in this direction. Vs
  17. This whole thing smacks of hysteria. Not to take anything away from the suffering due to either Lion Air or Ethiopian but the reaction is immense. What are we not seeing? Vs
  18. Hmmm. Doesn't MCAS require autopilot to be off? I'm wondering if these reports were about a different condition Vs
  19. Well they certainly don't have Einstein for a president.
  20. Speculating is natural here but best avoided methinks. Especially once we start in the possibilities of intentional destruction. Perhaps OT: While not (I hope) relevant to this flight - In general, when it comes to suicidal intent, what makes an impending action so hard to stop is the absence of visible warning signs, or indeed the presence of reassuring outward indications that the person is well or that things are improving. Far too often, families of high performing individuals in particular struggle with guilt after a suicide, burdened with the (often) false belief that they should have seen something or that they failed to understand and should have. The evidence seems to suggest that the logic of a suicidal individual is often impenetrable to others, no matter how close. So what may appear to be odd timing to anyone else, might make perfect sense to the individual contemplating their own end. That individual may arrive at a place where they assign only positive effects to their upcoming action and are unable to process any thought of what it truly means to others - co workers, loved ones left behind, even their own children who will be forever harmed. Along with ending their pain, the individual may form an unshakeable belief that the world will be better of without them in it. The shock when a loved one goes this way is just the beginning of the tragedy. FWIW Vs
  21. Looking at the mismatched panel colours makes me wonder, if one were selling used aircraft to a country with a penchant for buying played out used equipment (submarines) and maybe a bit slow on the buyer beware front, how tempting would it be to swap out low time components and swap in high time stuff? Maybe just a cynical moment but I am standing by for the 'unexpected maintenance and repair' expense with this latest purchase. Vs
  22. I wonder what a hard landing or hard de-rotation is going to do to that fuselage. Vs
  23. Agreed. The scale of abuse and harassment in the workplace is almost too large to define, which is why cases like this are so often met with disbelief and reframing as entirely part of some other agenda. IMO, there is importance here that affects nearly everyone, whether employed or not, regardless of gender, race, age or creed. The common root is the misuse of power and abject entitlement to abuse someone who is vulnerable. Whether that abuse is sexual harassment, isolating someone so their concerns are not taken seriously, racial profiling, you name it - it's wrong and inflicts, sometimes life long or life ending harm. It gets further complicated when someone who has a secondary agenda also happens to have a valid point. It is all too easy to see the agenda and dismiss everything. That has been the path of least resistance for too long. Perhaps times are changing. Let's hope. Vs
  24. Wow. Thanks for posting that Kip. Vs
  25. Movements like this remind me how safe commercial aviation has become. Many here have had a hand in moving that needle a bit. So there's that. Things are so safe now that, in fact, some think that the definition of a reportable aviation incident has to do with seat selection, meal choice or whether their special interest is adequately represented on a ticket stub or record. This is just the latest one. We've recently seen furor over how a passenger is ID'ed at check in or the gate. For every legitimate reason to remove a positive source of identification or categorization for weight reference, there is at least one legitimate reason why the existing system was created. I can already picture the opportunities for ticket swapping and no-fly-list individuals slipping through. But, at the end of the day, biology and physics simply do not care. They are what they are. If a passenger will not reveal their current biological gender, then there will have to be an alternative means in place to assure that their identity and mass are known. So if a passenger want's to submit to a weigh in before check in and provide other reliable proof that they are who they say they are, all without delaying other passengers (who still have all of their rights, last I checked, but this part is often lost in the debate), then I'm listening. To be clear - my opinions regarding aviation safety and identification are not a value judgement on the gender issue in society. As bewildering as I sometimes find it, I am also keenly aware why it must be discussed. A lot of harm, up to and including life ending events, has needlessly come because someone or a group 'did not fit in'. Even a crusty old curmudgeon like me is sickened at the thought of all of those who have been excluded, suppressed, attacked, heck, even kidnapped and forced to live as if they were born in another culture. Gender recognition is only part of what is going on. We are in a time where these things can be discussed in relative safety, so the floodgates for that discussion have opened. Or maybe a better way to say it is the dam has finally burst. If our current times are an over reaction to what has come before, then to me the issue is not the reaction, it is about what came before. Vs