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Another 737 MAX down.

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From FlightGlobal

'No basis' to ground 737 Max: FAA

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  • 12 MARCH, 2019
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  • SOURCE: FLIGHT DASHBOARD
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  • BY: GHIM-LAY YEO
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  • WASHINGTON DC

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reiterates it has seen "no basis" to order a grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, as the USA remains the prominent outlier among a handful of countries that have not suspended operations with the aircraft after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash on 10 March.

"The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 Max," says acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell. "Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft."

Despite civil aviation authorities in several countries ordering their airlines to ground the 737 Max in the last two days – and, in some cases, prohibit flights operated with the aircraft in their airspace – Elwell says: "Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action."

US carriers had operated the second largest fleet of 737 Max aircraft in the world after Chinese airlines, before China's aviation regulator grounded the type on 11 March. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines operate a combined 72 737 Max aircraft, Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows.

Alongside the FAA, a small number of countries with 737 Max operators have yet to order a grounding of the aircraft, including Canada, Panama, Russia and Thailand. Among these, Canadian airlines had operated the world's third largest fleet of 737 Max aircraft with 40 jets, Fleets Analyzer shows.

"In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," says Elwell.

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dagger;

Thank you for digging out those reports. Each of these 10 reports certainly are data points that have to be accounted for. 

 

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11 minutes ago, dagger said:

Here's another overview of the entire 737 MAX controversy, a little heavier on useful detail

 

Sorry, couldn't cut and paste. But it's worth reading

 

https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safety/the-world-pulls-the-andon-cord-on-the-737-max/

Interesting read. Thanks dagger. 👍

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The world pulls the Andon Cord on the 737 Max

Tue Mar 12, 2019 - The Air Current -Jon Ostrower

The 737 Max was born in the Admirals Club Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. On July 20, 2011, American Airlines was announcing it was buying 460 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to renew its fleet. One hundred were for a yet-to-be launched and yet-to-be named version of the 737 with new engines. American had purchased Boeing jets nearly exclusively for decades and Airbus had worked on American unceasingly to break Boeing’s hold at what would eventually become the world’s largest airline. It pulled out all the stops. Just 10 days before, top Airbus executives waited to meet American’s then-CFO Tom Horton in the sweltering Texas heat at the finish line of the Texas Too Hot 15K footrace to make the final hard sell. It worked.

The deal had set off a chain of events that lead to today — a global safety crisis facing Boeing’s most important airplane.

Boeing wanted to replace the 737. The plan had even earned the endorsement of its now-retired chief executive. “We’re gonna do a new airplane,” Jim McNerney said in February of that same year. “We’re not done evaluating this whole situation yet, but our current bias is to not re-engine, is to move to an all-new airplane at the end of the decade.” History went in a different direction. Airbus, riding its same decades-long incremental strategy and chipping away at Boeing’s market supremacy, had made no secret of its plans to put new engines on the A320. But its own re-engined jet somehow managed to take Boeing by surprise. Airbus and American forced Boeing’s hand. It had to put new engines on the 737 to stay even with its rival.

Boeing justified the decision thusly: There were huge and excruciatingly painful near-term obstacles on its way to a new single-aisle airplane. In the summer of 2011, the 787 Dreamliner wasn’t yet done after billions invested and years of delays. More than 800 airplanes later here in 2019, each airplane costs less to build than sell, but it’s still running a $23 billion production cost deficit. A new single-aisle jet risked unlocking all its stalwart operators who banked on the continuity between 737 generations.

An all-new jet meant leaving the past behind, along with its established infrastructure. With a lower-cost alternative in the A320neo not hamstrung by having to pay for a fresh $15 billion development, a new Boeing jet risked giving Airbus dominant market share. In the wake of a record oil run-up in 2008, airlines wanted fuel efficiency at a current-technology price.

The 737 Max was Boeing’s ticket to holding the line on its position – both market and financial – in the near term. Abandoning the 737 would’ve meant walking away from its golden goose that helped finance the astronomical costs of the 787 and the development of the 777X.

The 737 Max is a product of that environment where short-term decision-making can drive big and often painful pushes for product improvement. It’s one that I’ve written about extensively over the years, and born from the work of academics like Dr. Theodore Piepenbrock and his work on the Evolution of Business Ecosystems.

Every airplane development is a series of compromises, but to deliver the 737 Max with its promised fuel efficiency, Boeing had to fit 12 gallons into a 10 gallon jug. Its bigger engines made for creative solutions as it found a way to mount the larger CFM International engines under the notoriously low-slung jetliner. It lengthened the nose landing gear by eight inches, cleaned up the aerodynamics of the tail cone, added new winglets, fly-by-wire spoilers and big displays for the next generation of pilots. It pushed technology, as it had done time and time again with ever-increasing cost, to deliver a product that made its jets more efficient and less costly to fly.

In the case of the 737 Max, with its nose pointed high in the air, the larger engines – generating their own lift – nudged it even higher. The risk Boeing found through analysis and later flight testing that under certain high-speed conditions both in wind-up turns and wings-level flight, that upward nudge created a greater risk of stalling. Its solution was MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System control law that would allow for both generations of 737 to behave the same way, by automatically trimming the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down and activated with Angle of Attack data. It’s now at the center of the Lion Air investigation and stalking the periphery of the Ethiopian crash.

The point, made awkwardly by the President of the United States Tuesday morning on Twitter without naming Boeing directly, was that the complexity of aviation technology was being pushed too hard and at too great a cost to safety, in the name of economics.

“Split second decisions are needed, and then complexity creates danger,” Trump wrote. “All of this for great cost yet very little gain.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg reportedly spoke with President Trump earlier Tuesday, urging him not to ground the jet.

Lion Air 610 should never have been allowed to get airborne on October 29, a conclusion shared by those familiar with the inquiry. The plane simply wasn’t airworthy. According to the preliminary investigation, PK-LQP’s Angle of Attack sensors were disagreeing by 20-degrees as the aircraft taxied for takeoff. A warning light that would’ve alerted the crew to the disagreement wasn’t part of the added-cost optional package of equipment on Lion Air’s 737 Max aircraft. A guardrail wasn’t in place. Once the aircraft was airborne, the erroneous data Angle of Attack collided with an apparently unprepared crew with tragic consequences as the MCAS system repeatedly activated, driving the jet’s nose into a fatal dive.

We do not yet know what befell Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. The broad circumstances are similar to those in Indonesia. An apparent loss of control shortly after takeoff on a brand new airplane. The isolated event data, the information that lives on the damaged flight data recorder, may establish or disprove a direct technical link between the two crashes. But the macro-data – the broader context – is an airplane whose design has been repeatedly pushed and pulled under cost pressures and grandfathered certification requirements over decades, finds itself in the middle of two catastrophic aberrations in an era of unprecedented aviation safety.

If it was Southwest Airlines and American Airlines and not Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines five months apart, the 737 Max fleet would’ve been grounded by Sunday evening, according to senior U.S. industry officials and aviation safety experts. In aviation universe that requires stakeholders to be aligned, the events of the last 48 hours are a stark divergence. From China to Europe, regulators and airlines have said it was time to stand down the 737 Max fleet “as a precautionary measure,” according to European Aviation Safety Agency.

Boeing in a statement Tuesday said, “We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday in a statement that “our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding of the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action…If any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action.”

The 737 assembly line in Renton, Wash. is a marvel of lean manufacturing. The line inches forward little-by-little as assembly proceeds. Born from Toyota’s production methods, the process is one of continual improvement. It’s what made the 737 the lifeblood of Boeing in the first place and why this crisis, taken to its most extreme, could threaten the company’s very existence. But the assembly line also comes with a tool called an Andon cord. The cord empowers all employees to pull the it and stop the line if something is amiss or requires investigation and needs fixing. The rest of the world has already pulled it.

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Lots of information / guesses re what happened and what can be fixed, lacking on this forum is any input from those who actually operate the Max for our Canadian Carriers.  No one of course expects them to identify themselves or who they fly for but I am sure we would all be interested to get their POV.  Thanks in advance and regards from a retired airline employee who was not a pilot but who was raised by one. cheers Malcolm

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One group has spoken.

 

Air Canada employees raise concerns around the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

 
‎Today, ‎March ‎12, ‎2019, ‏‎2 hours ago | News Staff

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — In the wake of the devastating plane crash in Ethiopia, a union representing Air Canada employees says some flight attendants are concerned.

In a statement from the Air Canada component of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) they ask the airline to put the safety of passengers and crew first.

The union adds Air Canada should respect the wishes of crew members who do not want to be forced to fly on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, by re-assigning them to a different plane.

The CUPE union representing WestJet employees also released a statement, saying they are in constant contact with that airline, but believe it is still safe to work on those planes.

The union adds that “WestJet is in round-the-clock contact with Boeing, as well as frequent contact with TC, the FAA and other North American operators including Southwest, Air Canada and Sunwing. All North American operators of the Max-8 continue to operate the model confidently, based on the guidance of Boeing and regulators.”

They go on to say they will continue to work to ensure the safety of the workplace is always at the forefront.

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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

Edited by Vsplat

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48 minutes ago, Vsplat said:

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.

I'm not sure why the CUPE leadership at AC felt the need to remind AC to put the safety of its pax and crew first as if AC didn't already do that.

I believe a protocol has been put in place for FAs who do not wish to operate on the MAX 8 to be assigned to alternate flying.  Perhaps the press release was drafted before agreement on the protocol was reached.  

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LOL...yes, realized that and corrected it to PRIMs on a later post. On memory...spot on, the first symptom of grandbabies racing about, asking why, why, why...

Not sure that nature of the Learmont incident doesn't apply to the MAX and its FCCs but that is for others to determine.

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The 737 MAx is referred to as a state of the art modern aircraft that is less than 2 years old in many articles I have read.  This always makes me chuckle since it is far from the actual truth.

While I have only sat in on a few systems seminars on the aircraft, the information I took away from those is that the MAX is simply makeup on a pig.

The systems integration on the aircraft is, simply put, patches on a raft.  They had a system and then "integrated" (I would call it interfacing) another system on top of it.  Plug a glass cockpit in there and it sure looks whiz bank but behind the scenes the steam engine is still driving the ship.

This addition of system over system actually over complicates the systems integration on the aircraft.  Had they taken the time (and money) to completely redesign the systems on the aircraft to a more modern standard (Think FBW) with actual digital electronics running the show then these issues would not exist.   The MCAS System was added to the aircraft in order to get the MAX certified.  They changed the design (engine size, weight, location) and needed to compensate. So they added a "patch".  As we all know patches are never as strong as the original material.  I would say that in this case the patch has a flaw.  The problem is the flaw, when it shows itself, needs to be identified and dealt with.  Actually a simple task with just 2 switches involved.

IMHO the MAX is not the aircraft Boeing should have built, it was just the easiest to compete with Airbus and, then,  Bombardier.  They could have kept the basic design but built a better aircraft.  Sometimes the shortcut is the longer route.

 

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The amazing thing about this industry is that no matter how long you are here, the unexpected never stops happening. I thought I had seen it all when Pacific Western bought C.P. Air. 

 

 This whole 737 Max thing is just completely unbelievable. For something like this to happen to a company like Boeing is unfathomable. It just never ends.

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Its not Boeings first blunder and wont be their last.

 

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March 12, 2019 9:50 pm

Updated: March 12, 2019 9:57 pm

Sunwing, a Canadian carrier, suspends operation of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

271837_10100672125736641_1074734122_o.jp By Jesse Ferreras Online Journalist  Global News
 

With the list of countries grounding Boeing's 737 Max 8 growing by the day, pressure is mounting on the Canadian government to do the same. Tanya Beja reports.

A Canadian air carrier has decided to ground its small fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, following the lead of other countries. So far, though, it’s alone in doing so in the Great White North.

Sunwing Vacations announced on Tuesday night it was grounding its four MAX 8 planes — but it’s not for reasons of safety, said a company statement.

 

READ MORE: Boeing 737 MAX 8 bans — what Canadian travellers should know

“For evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety, including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of our partner destinations, Sunwing Airlines has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the operations of our four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft,” the statement said.

“We are in the process of revising our flying schedule to accommodate the temporary removal of our MAX aircraft from service and we appreciate the patience of our retail partners and customers while we work to communicate these

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Gabor weighs in....

Quote

Gabor Lukacs, founder of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group, said it’s wrong of airlines not to let worried passengers change planes at no cost. Although there is no conclusive evidence that the 737 Max is unsafe, he said, other countries’ decisions to bar the planes means passengers’ fears “are grounded in real fact.”

“I would say the risk at this point is such that forcing passengers to fly on that (model of aircraft) is unethical,” Lukacs said.

Lukacs said that the government deciding to ground all Max 8s would be the “nuclear option,” but recommended Canadian officials do so unless airlines make it easier for worried customers to change flights.

“She’s just not in the mood to get on that plane going home,”

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Aviation journalist Dan Reed chips in his view on grounding of MAX - takes a view most here would endorse

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2019/03/13/to-ground-or-not-to-ground-the-max-8-that-is-the-impatient-andpremature-question/#f0c9dae26b27

 

To Ground, Or Not To Ground The MAX 8? That Is The (Impatient And Premature) Question

 

American Airlines grounded 14 Boeing 737-800s last week because of problems with the installation of new, larger overhead storage bins in the planes’ cabins. Very few people noticed. Fewer still cared.

Yet the nation’s – and the world’s – largest airline won’t ground 24 MAX 8 versions of the 737-800 aircraft now operating in its fleet following the second deadly crash Sunday in Ethiopia of a MAX 8 in less than five months. And now the question of grounding every MAX 8 in the nation – or even in the world – dominates the national discussion.

For that matter, neither United, which has around a dozen MAX 8s in its active fleet, nor Southwest, which is flying nearly three-dozen MAX 8s right now is grounding their copies of the latest and largest version yet of the world’s best-selling jet airliner, the 737. Both Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration also are standing behind the MAX 8 (at least they were as of Tuesday afternoon), refusing to bow to the growing pressure from around the globe to put the global MAX 8 fleet on the ground. Some – but not all - individual airlines and/or aviation regulators and safety authorities around the world already have issued grounding orders for the MAX 8.

So what gives? Why won’t U.S. carriers, Boeing and the FAA follow the crowd, if for no other reason than, as they say, “out of an abundance of caution?”

Yes, grounding all the MAX 8s, even if only for a few days, would create travel problems for thousands of travelers a day, and cost carriers millions of dollars a day in foregone revenue – plus lost face and marketing momentum for Boeing. But the MAX 8 has been in service for only 22 months. There are only a little over 100 in service around the world so far – and just 72 operating in this nation. So grounding them now would be a lot less costly than it would be in a few more years when 1,000 or more MAX 8s are dominating airline fleets globally.

Besides, if everybody and their dog already is talking about the MAX 8’s reliability and safety performance, how could a brief grounding and safety check do any more harm to Boeing’s reputation that what’s already being done to it

Those are all valid questions. And lots supposed “experts” - ranging from authentic technical aircraft design/operational/experts to “No, but I played one on TV” kind of experts (i.e., frequent fliers, people holding private pilots licenses, respected aviation journalists and, especially, politicians and the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.) have weighed in on the “to ground, or not to ground” question. And so far the only result is widespread confusion and wild illogic.

That’s because what’s both known and unknown about the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 gives us very little from which either real experts or the armchair variety can make valid decisions.

So let’s try to think our way through the issues together in order to arrive – hopefully – at some sort of consensus decision:

How similar is the crash of Ethiopian 302 to the crash of Lion Air 610 on Oct. 29 in the Java Sea? 

Yes, it is eerily similar that both planes were the same type, happened within 10 minutes of takeoff, and exhibited somewhat (but not entirely) similar flight behaviors just prior to crashing. But there remains a ton of information we don’t yet know because investigators don’t yet have a readout and analysis of the two black boxes (the flight data recorder which captures several dozen aircraft systems data streams, and the cockpit voice recorder, which captures the pilots conversations plus all the alarms, bells, switch clicks and other noises in the cockpit during the harrowing event).

Foreign investigators examine wreckage at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. (Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press)

In historical terms, even in crashes involving similar aircraft and technical problems there always are key differences in both the actual flow of events and in the peripheral considerations including training, pilot experience, weather conditions, maintenance prior to the flights and more. Certainly the similarities need to be understood quite well. But so do the dissimilarities, of which inevitably there will be very many.

To what degree is public angst and lack of understanding - and political pressure - playing a role in the debate over whether to ground or not ground the MAX 8? 

Putting some sort of number on that is impossible, but obviously public angst and politicians’ instincts to “do something” even before they understand the situation well enough to make an informed decision are playing a huge role in the current debate. So does culture. China, for example, has a well-earned reputation for conservative response to situations that hold the potential for cause politicians to “lose face,” as certainly would happen should a Chinese airline suffer a MAX 8 crash any time soon. So it’s not surprising that China would be the first country other than Ethiopia itself to ground MAX 8s.

France, too, is reputationally-sensitive, so its grounding of MAX 8s isn’t surprising. Nor is the similar decision Tuesday by the European Union, which to a large degree is French-led on such matters. Smaller countries lacking great technical aviation acumen also are more likely to act quickly to ground planes in such circumstances while they wait for the real experts from larger, more advanced and wealthier nations to sort out the cause of the crashes. Small countries also have little to lose, especially with brand-new aircraft like the MAX 8 that occupy a very slim sliver of their aviation market.

But that doesn’t fully explain why the United Kingdom, where the aviation safety environment is both sophisticated and technically quite capable joined in on the MAX 8 grounds very quickly. Then again, Britain’s aviation safety regulation and monitoring institutions are in an odd predicament right now. Much of their expertise and capability in recent years had been transferred to the E.U. But with Brexit scheduled to happen in just over two weeks, aviation safety responsibilities within the U.K. will return to British agencies. So those agencies currently are scrambling to gear up to resume those responsibilities, assuming Brexit happens on schedule. Chances are they’re overwhelmed right now and have neither the staff nor the resources to do their own analysis of the MAX 8 question.

Do the real “experts” actually know what they’re talking about, and if so, are they unbiased?

The real experts do, in fact, know what they’re doing. That’s why they aren’t talking much about the MAX 8 ground question just yet. They know enough to know that they don’t yet know enough - about the Ethiopian 302 crash’s specifics to support or oppose the grounding of MAX 8s. They simply don’t have enough information to make an informed decision.

However, some real aviation safety experts currently argue that in the absence of clear evidence that the MAX 8 is somehow flawed, there is no valid reason to ground it – at least not yet. They reason from the absence of other safety-related issues with the MAX 8 and, especially from the absence of issues with the MAX 8 among airlines from advanced, mature aviation markets like the U.S., Japan and Europe that a grounding is not warranted. Rather, they note that the two MAX 8 crashes in the last five months both involve carriers (one well-regarded but small, Ethiopian, the other not-so-well-regarded and even smaller, Lion Air based in Indonesia) from less sophisticated and/or smaller markets. That, in turn points to potential problems with training and/or maintenance capabilities at such carriers that are highly unlikely to exist with top-tier airlines like the three U.S. operators of MAX 8s.

As for the question of experts’ bias, with the possible exception of Boeing experts concerned about their company’s reputation, the real experts largely are unbiased. Essentially they are forensic scientists who will go where the evidence takes them – once they have that evidence in hand and analyzed.

But what about the pseudo-experts (including this writer)?

Well, the truth is that our “expertise” and $1.69 will buy you a 20 oz. soda at the corner convenience store. We don’t really know. Now, we can make reasonably educated guesses better than most other people. But they’re still guesses as to whether there’s really anything to be concerned about with the MAX 8.  Good P.R. and legal practice tells us that it’s better to be safe than sorry. So from those perspectives grounding the MAX 8s makes sense, especially since there are relatively few of them in service so far.  But many of us, especially those coming from the world of journalism, should know from experiences covering crime and trials or doing investigative work on many different subjects that while we often start an investigation because similarities between two or more events those events quite often turn out to be loaded with many important differences in facts and contributing factors. Those investigative experiences would argue against grounding the MAX 8s based on the paucity of hard facts known thus far about the crash of Ethiopian 302.

Do politicians know what they’re talking about in these cases?

In nearly every case, no.

Politicians are hair-triggered to “do something” in response to citizens’ expressed concerns. Being accused - even without conviction - of inaction or indifference in the face of a problem that has captured the public’s attention is almost certain political death. So it’s quite predictable that they would call for grounding the MAX 8s in response to citizens’ comments in news stories that they’re worried.

Of course, it is theoretically possible for politicians to actually know a little something about the subjects on which they express opinions. But in this case, it just ain’t so. Whether it’s Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein or Republican Senator Mitt Romney addressing the issue, both of who have said publicly they support grounding the MAX 8, there’s no one in elected federal office who knows diddly about aviation safety. There have been over the years a number of members of Congress who are themselves private pilots, and more than a few who flew in the military. But that doesn’t make any of them aviation safety experts or omniscient about the facts of the Ethiopian 302 crash. Several even were astronauts (former Senators John Glenn, Jake Garn, Harrison Schmitt and Bill Nelson, plus Apollo 13 survivor Jack Swigert, who was elected to the Senate from Colorado but died before taking office). Yet even they wouldn’t qualify as real aviation safety experts.

Beyond that, President Donald Trump, who once owned his own eponymous airline, exposed his lack of aviation safety expertise on Tuesday when he Tweeted about the “problem” of modern airliners having become too complex for pilots to fly without an MIT-trained engineer’s help.

True, modern airlines are very complex, and their technology can be overwhelming in crisis situations. But that’s been the case since at least the early 1980s. And it’s why commercial pilots receive training worth several millions dollars over their careers. Plus, since at least the mid-1990s much of the training that pilots at U.S. airlines receive emphasizes that the first thing a pilot must do when encountering an issue is to turn the technology off and “fly the plane”  by hand rather than getting distracted troubleshooting the technology issues. They’re also trained to work as teams, with one pilot flying the plane manually while the other works on the technology issues, when and if time allows.

Furthermore, the data show rather conclusively that while adding technology to modern commercial aircraft has added lots of complexity to pilots’ jobs, U.S. airlines have shown amazing improvement in their safety performance since all that technology began appearing in cockpits. U.S. carriers did not have a single fatal crash 2010 and 2018. Excluding the 500 or so  killed aboard the four planes high jacked by terrorists on 9-11, fewer than 300 people have died in crashes of U.S. commercial planes in the entire 21st century.

Thus, flying continues to be, by awide margin, the safest way to travel for Americans, and pretty much everyone else in the world.

To be sure, no one wants to discount the real concerns raised by the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 crashes involving MAX 8 aircraft. But within just a few days we should know whether there’s anything so wrong with the MAX 8, the world’s newest and most advance aircraft with nearly two years of otherwise non-eventful service, that it warrants immediate grounding. That evidence will be obtained and adequately analyzed over the next day or two, after which a well-informed decision about the MAX 8’s short-term airworthiness can be made.

In the meantime, travelers – and politicians - in this country should take some degree of comfort from the fact that the three U.S. carriers that fly the MAX 8 currently – American, United and Southwest – all have strong reputations for hiring and training excellent pilots, for aircraft maintenance and for safe operations.

 

Edited by dagger

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My brain is foggy.  did they ground the ENTIRE fleet of 737s when they found an actual flaw in the rudder system of the aircraft causing the loss of two airframes (possibly 3)?

We are still not 100% sure these two accidents share a common root cause and yet we were back then.

 

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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? 

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2 minutes ago, GDR said:

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? 

Yes. Critical to do so BEFORE the MCAS system has positioned the stab trim to an extreme ND position.

 

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Garneau needs to say why the action was taken. What is known today that wasn't known yesterday? It can't be just airspace that's closed to the type because, (except perhaps for the UK), there is no restricted airspace in N.A.

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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

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