737 Max Updates and Cancellations


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5 hours ago, dagger said:

Air Canada cancelled some Max orders

That may be related to the A321 Neos coming from Transat.

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Who cares how Southwest  feels.  They got what they demanded,  they get what they deserve. 

14,000 Words Of "Blame The Pilots" That Whitewash Boeing Of 737 MAX Failure The New York Times Magazine just published a 14,000 words piece about the Boeing 737 MAX accidents. It is headlined:

On a humourous note, maybe Boeing just wants to be more.....'environmentally friendly'???  

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Transport Canada test pilots raised questions about the Boeing 737 Max as far back as 2016, but the government decided to approve the plane first and address those issues later amid pressure from the manufacturer, according to internal government documents.

The revelations were contained in documents made public Thursday at federal hearings probing Canada’s endorsement of the deadly plane. Flawed software that forced the 737 Max into fatal nosedives has been blamed for two crashes, including one off the coast of Indonesia, which killed 189 people in late 2018, and another in Ethiopia that killed 157 people last March, including 18 Canadians.

But when Transport Canada test pilots flew the 737 Max in 2016, they found the plane’s automated anti-stall system unusual and raised questions about how it operated, the documents show. They didn’t realize at the time that they were looking at the MCAS, or the manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system – the software behind the two disasters.

However, when Transport Canada began asking for clarifications on how the new system worked, and why the 737 Max didn’t require a new operating certificate because it flew differently than previous models, Boeing sidestepped the issue.

“I think that we have all learned in the last year some very important lessons,“ Mr. Garneau said.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It just doesn't end.

This from last night...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-08/boeing-finds-new-software-flaws-on-max-stands-by-midyear-return

Boeing Finds New Software Flaws on 737 Max

Boeing Co. has identified two new software problems with the grounded 737 Max that must be fixed before the jetliner can carry passengers again.

 
 

The issues involve the flight-control computer and don’t affect the plane’s estimated return to service in mid-2020, Boeing said in an email Tuesday. The Max’s software has been undergoing a redesign after being linked to two fatal crashes that prompted a worldwide flying ban more than a year ago.

he new flaws deepen the engineering challenge for Boeing as it tries to return its best-selling jet to the skies. One of the problems involves “hypothetical faults” in the computer’s microprocessor, which could lead the plane to climb or dive on its own, Boeing said. A safety system on the Max caused the jet to dive automatically in both accidents, but the problems aren’t related, Boeing said.

 
 

The other newly revealed fault could potentially cause the autopilot to disengage as the aircraft prepares to land. Neither problem has been observed in flight, but the software changes will eliminate the possibility that they could occur, the company said. The modifications can be incorporated into the plane at the same time.

 
 

In a separate statement, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it has been in contact with the company about the issues.

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I don’t think it will ever fly again. Really. If coved-19 hadn’t happened, then sure, it would have come back to life. But now, with the reduced demand for the next few years, I don’t think it will be resurrected.

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If Boeing cancelled the MAX program, it would have to file for CH11. Too much future revenue based on deliveries of that aircraft.

Eventually, it will be the aircraft that it should have been when it was originally certified.

However, there are individual operators that are not as dependant on the 737 platform that should seriously evaluate exiting the MAX.

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7 minutes ago, rudder said:

If Boeing cancelled the MAX program, it would have to file for CH11.

I believe they will file, and get bailed out by the US government.  Oh well, crystal balls eh?

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4 minutes ago, conehead said:

I believe they will file, and get bailed out by the US government.  Oh well, crystal balls eh?

Boeing is eligible for the Federal crisis loans. However, they have said publicly not willing to accept offered terms.

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26 minutes ago, rudder said:

Boeing is eligible for the Federal crisis loans. However, they have said publicly not willing to accept offered terms.

They'll end up taking it, kicking and screaming. They are pretty much shutting down the Charleston operation. With order cancellations and stretch outs, they may have to decide which of the two main sites - South Carolina or Washington - they will favour in the long term. The Washington workers are unionized and more expensive, but product quality coming of Everett tends to be better (not surprisingly). Airbus has stopped manufacturing at Alabama and two locations in Germany. This looks more like a reaction to economic conditions than to a concern about their workers, although I am not suggesting they don't care.

As for the MAX, it's getting additional software changes for some additional less significant handling issues that have been discovered, the wiring bundle issue is being fixed, and the MAX is going to come out of this as the plane it should have been all along had Boeing not cut so many corners to "max" its profits.

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33 minutes ago, dagger said:

They'll end up taking it, kicking and screaming. They are pretty much shutting down the Charleston operation. With order cancellations and stretch outs, they may have to decide which of the two main sites - South Carolina or Washington - they will favour in the long term. The Washington workers are unionized and more expensive, but product quality coming of Everett tends to be better (not surprisingly). Airbus has stopped manufacturing at Alabama and two locations in Germany. This looks more like a reaction to economic conditions than to a concern about their workers, although I am not suggesting they don't care.

As for the MAX, it's getting additional software changes for some additional less significant handling issues that have been discovered, the wiring bundle issue is being fixed, and the MAX is going to come out of this as the plane it should have been all along had Boeing not cut so many corners to "max" its profits.

Boeing is thus far operating under the impression that they will either get a ‘targeted grant’ or relief from onerous loan conditions as both a Federal Defense contractor and significant employer. The protection they seek seems to be on behalf of the Boeing shareholder.

Good luck with that.

There is so much more bad economic news coming down the path for Boeing (cancelled orders) that it seems inconceivable that there is a path to survival outside of CH11 or surrendering significant ownership to the Federal government.

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New MAX Autopilot Requirement Addresses Emergency-Checklist Conflict 

AW&ST

Sean Broderick April 14, 2020

The latest version of the Boeing 737 MAX master minimum equipment list (MMEL) corrects a conflict between the original MMEL’s allowances and pilot troubleshooting steps that allowed flights with no functioning autopilot, even as a checklist calls for autopilot engagement to correct flight-control issue. 

Changes proposed in a draft version, posted in December 2019 for public comment, targeted issues related to updated flight control computer (FCC) software in the wake of two fatal MAX accidents and software changes mandated by regulators. Among them: having both control wheel-mounted electric horizontal stabilizer trim switches as well as the Speed Trim Fail light operable for dispatch. 

The most notable addition to the new MMEL is that MAXs will now require at least one working autopilot. The change, which was not included in draft versions, has nothing to do with the MAX accidents and subsequent FCC changes. Rather, one of the MAX’s non-normal checklists requires pilots to engage the autopilot to troubleshoot the issue. 

The scenario is linked to the MAX’s fly-by-wire spoiler system, one of the changes Boeing made to the 737 Next Generation design. When the MAX’s elevator-jam landing assist system is active and spoilers are extended, pilots are told to use the “ASSIST ON” non-normal checklist. One of the steps: engage one autopilot system to retract the spoilers, and then use autopilot “as needed.” 

The original MAX MMEL, approved in 2018, allowed dispatch without either autopilot functioning so long as the planned route times were not too long, routes and approaches avoid airspace that require an autopilot, and the pilots, which face higher workloads when hand-flying, did not object. All other 737s, which are covered under a different MMEL, have similar conditions.  

But the MAX’s new spoiler system and associated checklist created a conflict—use of an autopilot even though one was not always required to be functioning—that went unnoticed until operators began reviewing the proposed MMEL revision. MAX operator FlyDubai pointed out the change, according to a summary of the comments the FAA received on the draft. 

“As a result of considerations related to this comment and recommendation, MMEL dispatch option 22-10-01B”—the no-autopilot provision—“has been removed,” the FAA said. 

Requiring a functioning autopilot meant mandating several related functions that were previously not required for dispatch. They include having a working autopilot engage command switch, indicator light, aural disengage warning system, disengage light, and control wheel disengage switch. 

The agency added that the autopilot restrictions could be revised if Boeing modifies the elevator-jam assist procedures and updates the checklist. The FAA said a subsequent update to the MAX MMEL is in the works and will be released after the model returns to service. 
 

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office. 

BOEING 737 MAX

Edited by Don Hudson
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GE now cutting it's 737 order...

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/ge-cuts-737-max-order-in-new-blow-to-boeing-s-best-selling-jet-1.1422993

General Electric Co.’s aircraft-leasing division scrapped orders for 69 undelivered 737 Max jets, dealing another blow to Boeing Co. amid a severe downturn in jetliner demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellations stem from an agreement with Boeing to “rebalance” the order book, GE Capital Aviation Services said in a statement Friday. Gecas already has 29 Max planes in its fleet and will maintain orders for 82 more of Boeing’s best-selling plane, which has been grounded for more than a year after two deadly crashes.

The decision by one of the Max’s biggest customers deepens the pain for Boeing, which recently said it lost 150 orders for the beleaguered jet last month. Both Boeing and GE have announced cost cuts and curtailed operations amid the virus outbreak, which has upended economies and nearly eliminated demand for commercial air travel. Boeing said Thursday it would reopen its Seattle-area factories next week.

The Gecas announcement didn’t specify the models of the Max, which range in list price from US$99.7 million to US$134.9 million. That means the canceled order is worth at least US$6.9 billion before typical customer discounts.

 

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  • 1 month later...
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

Boeing aims for 737 Max recertification flight by the end of June

PUBLISHED WED, JUN 10 20201:01 PM EDTUPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
  • Boeing expects to make its 737 Max recertification flight by the end of June, multiple people have told CNBC.
  • The people familiar with Boeing’s plans said the recertification flight may actually be more than one flight over the course of a couple days.
  • They said the company has drawn up a flight plan that will demonstrate that the plane’s updated flight-control software allows the Max to safely operate in various scenarios.
  • Boeing and the FAA declined to comment. Boeing aims for 737 Max recertification flight by end of June
 

Boeing expects to do its 737 Max recertification flight by the end of June, multiple people have told CNBC.

The people familiar with Boeing’s plans said the recertification flight may actually be more than one flight over the course of a couple of days. They said the company has drawn up a flight plan that will demonstrate that the plane’s updated flight-control software allows the Max to safely operate in various scenarios.

The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly because the plans are confidential.

Boeing declined to comment.

Boeing resumed production of the 737 Max planes in May, although the jet has been grounded since March 2019 after the second of two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The manufacturer halted production of the jetliners in January. Getting the 737 Max back in the air has taken longer than the company anticipated it would.

The Federal Aviation Administration also declined to comment on the timing of a 737 Max recertification flight, but a spokesperson said: “The FAA is in regular contact with Boeing as the company continues its work on the 737 Max. The manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards. The aircraft will be cleared for return to passenger service only after the FAA is satisfied that all safety-related issues are addressed.”

Boeing, not the FAA, determines when the plane is ready for this critical step in getting it approved to fly. That said, the company has been in constant communication with the FAA and would not propose a recertification flight if it were not certain it would pass.

 

Shares of Boeing were recently down about 3.4%. The stock has fallen more than 40% over the past year, weighed down by troubles with the 737 Max as well as the collapse of travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Boeing has been looking to cut costs as it has seen a surge in order cancellations this year.

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Interestingly, it looks like Boeing has had to concede to additional upgrades - including some rejected during the development of the MAX. 

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-whistleblowers-complaint-says-737-max-safety-upgrades-were-rejected-over-cost/

A version of the proposed system, called synthetic airspeed, was already installed on the 787 Dreamliner.

It was not directly related to the flight-control system — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) — that contributed to both crashes. But it would have detected the false angle of attack signal that initiated events in both accidents, and so potentially could have stopped MCAS from activating and repeatedly pushing down the nose of each jet.

But installing it in the MAX would likely have meant 737 pilots needed extra training in flight simulators. Running thousands of pilots through simulator sessions would have delayed the jet’s entry into service and added substantial costs for Boeing’s airline customers, damaging the MAX’s competitive edge against the rival Airbus A320neo.

Edited by dagger
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Before anyone rushes to blame this on greedy airlines putting money ahead of safety, ask yourself this. If Boeing had called Flight Ops management and told them the MAX flight control system contained a single point of failure that could cause an unrecoverable loss of control, do you believe they'd have signed off on that?

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Rumour that AC think MAX will have CDN recertification by August. With re-qualification training and line indoc/line checks it could be back in service at a reasonable flying level by late October/early November.

AC has a leg up with 2 dedicated MAX sims and 1 other also available (SWG has priority).

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and it has been operating flight on the MAX back and forth to MZJ for some time shuttling pilots home from parking 767s and the like.

 

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12 minutes ago, boestar said:

and it has been operating flight on the MAX back and forth to MZJ for some time shuttling pilots home from parking 767s and the like.

 

How can they do that on an aircraft without a valid C of A?

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2 hours ago, boestar said:

and it has been operating flight on the MAX back and forth to MZJ for some time shuttling pilots home from parking 767s and the like.

 

Sorry Boestar, Not True.

There have been a few moving around from time to time, but not for that purpose.

I think the EMJ was used to move crews around that were positioning aircraft, MAX was maintenance related I believe.

Edited by AIP
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I believe the C of A for the Max is still in force.  It is prohibited from commercial operations by Ministerial Order, but there are ferry and maintenance test flights happening worldwide.  As for carrying airline personnel on a positioning, maintenance or training/currency flight, it may or may not be a prohibited operation depending on the regulator. 

I haven't checked, but are there any bizjet variants of the Max around?  It would be interesting to know if they are operating.

Vs

Edited by Vsplat
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