737 Max Updates and Cancellations


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On 10/17/2019 at 10:12 AM, rudder said:

FAA will re-certify first. Likely somewhere very early in 2020.

Other Regulatory bodies will follow shortly thereafter but it is possible they will impose additional certification criteria (i.e. TC will likely mandate hands on 737 MAX simulator training for MCAS related scenario).

The ‘loss of service’ financial damages liability accruing to Boeing for MAX groundings and delayed deliveries will be staggering. Boeing will be faced with either writing several very large cheque’s or giving away airplanes for free to settle the debt.

With US tariffs going on imports of Airbus aircraft - A319 and larger - I wonder if that would induce a US carrier to take some of those Canadian-destined MAX fins in exchange for some NEOs. Just a wild idea. I assume US carriers aren't thrilled over having to pay more for Airbus planes and likely expect Airbus to make good somehow.

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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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21 minutes ago, dagger said:

With US tariffs going on imports of Airbus aircraft - A319 and larger - I wonder if that would induce a US carrier to take some of those Canadian-destined MAX fins in exchange for some NEOs. Just a wild idea. I assume US carriers aren't thrilled over having to pay more for Airbus planes and likely expect Airbus to make good somehow.

And also with the US putting more tariffs on Airbus and other goods from the UK, maybe that will slow down any EU approvals for for the MAX? 

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Boeing staff messaged about 737 Max issue in 2016

Image copyright AFP

Boeing employees exchanged instant messages about issues with the automated safety system on the 737 Max as it was being certified in 2016.

In documents provided by Boeing to lawmakers, a pilot wrote that he had run into unexpected trouble during tests.

In documents provided by Boeing to lawmakers, a pilot wrote that he had run into unexpected trouble during tests.

He said he had "basically lied to the regulators [unknowingly]".

The safety system has been tied to two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called the document "concerning" and said it was asking Boeing for an "immediate" explanation for the delay in turning over the documents, which Boeing provided to lawmakers ahead of hearings this month.

Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg is due to testify. He was recently stripped of the title of chairman of the company, though he remains chief executive.

Boeing said it is cooperating with the investigation of the 737 Max, which has been grounded globally since March following the crashes.

"We will continue to follow the direction of the FAA and other global regulators, as we work to safely return the 737 MAX to service," Boeing said.

Reviews since the crashes have found fault with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates flight safety, for inadequate review of the risks associated with a new anti-stall software control system known as Mcas.

Boeing reportedly uncovered the messages, which date to 2016, "some months ago". The pilot no longer works for the company.

In response to the pilot's message, the other Boeing employee wrote: "It wasn't (sic) a lie, no one told us that was the case".

Shares in the company dropped more than 5% on Friday following the reports.

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And the mud gets deeper.

Boeing asked FAA in 2017 to strip MCAS from Max training report

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  • 19 October, 2019
  • SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com
  • BY: Jon Hemmerdinger
  • Boston

Former Boeing chief 737 technical pilot Mark Forkner asked the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2017 to remove mention of the 737 Max's MCAS system from a report used to develop training standards for 737 Max pilots, according to newly-disclosed emails.

The emails, released by the House Transportation Committee, suggest MCAS was initially mentioned in a draft of a Flight Standardisation Board (FSB) report.

That report, part of the 737 Max's 2017 certification, laid out training requirements for pilots transitioning from the earlier-generation 737NG to the new 737 Max.

The report ultimately did not mention MCAS, the FAA confirms.

"We're starting to work on the reverse differences DT, and I noticed a few things that should be changed… that are in the draft FSB," Forkner wrote to an unknown FAA employee in a 17 January 2017 email.

"Delete MCAS," Forkner writes. "Recall, we decided we weren't going to cover it in the FCOM or the CBT, since it's way outside the normal operating envelope."

"DT" likely refers to the "differences table" contained in the FSB report. That table specifies differences between aircraft and explains corresponding training requirements, says an aircraft technical expert.

FCOM likely refers to the flightcrew operations manual, and CBT is likely shorthand for computer-based training, the expert says.

The House Transportation Committee released 10 pages of Forkner's emails to and from the FAA the same day it released a series of 2017 text messages in which Forkner said he unknowingly lied about the Max's systems to regulators.

The emails include those from the FAA's "Seattle Aircraft Evaluation Group", but names other than Forkner's are redacted.

Information in the tweets sent Boeing's stock sliding and led to questions about how the news might affect the FAA's schedule for clearing the still-grounded 737 Max to fly.

Boeing has said certification will come in the fourth quarter.

The company has been criticised both for its design of MCAS – the software that played a role in two 737 Max crashes – and for not telling airlines or pilots that the system existed.

Boeing has maintained MCAS is designed to operate in extreme flight conditions, such as when the aircraft is an unusual angle-of-attack. It has said an MCAS failure would resemble a "runaway stabiliser" event, which pilots could counter by following established procedures.

Forkner was Boeing's chief 737 technical pilot from October 2011 to July 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile, and now works at Southwest Airlines.

His attorney, David Gerger of Houston law firm Gerger Khalil & Hennessy, did not respond to a request for comment from FlightGlobal.

In another email, on 3 November 2016 to an FAA staffer, Forkner describes his effort to convince overseas regulators to certify the Max as "Jedi mind tricking".

"I'm doing a bunch of travelling… simulator validations, Jedi-mind tricking regulators into accepting the training that I got accepted by the FAA.," Forkner writes.

Boeing's stock slipped nearly 7% on 18 October following news of the instant messages.

In those messages, Forkner and another employee, Patrik Gustavsson, talk about MCAS. Forkner says the system was "running rampant in the sim", calling it "egregious".

He adds, "So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)".

Boeing says it is fully co-operating with investigations.

"Over the past several months, Boeing has been voluntarily co-operating with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s investigation into the 737 Max. As part of that co-operation, today we brought to the committee’s attention a document containing statements by a former Boeing employee," the airframer says of the instant messages. "We will continue to co-operate with the committee as it continues its investigation. And we will continue to follow the direction of the FAA and other global regulators."

The FAA issued a statement calling the "substance of the" instant messages "concerning", and it fired off a letter to Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg, asking for explanation.

"Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg called FAA Administrator Dickson to respond to the concerns raised in his letter. In addition, Mr. Muilenburg assured the administrator that we are taking every step possible to safely return the Max to service," Boeing says.

How the newly-released information will impact the FAA's certification of the Max remains unknown.

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35 minutes ago, FA@AC said:

Will this latest revelation of Boeing's negligence further delay the MAX's recertification or is it likely only to put Boeing in further legal trouble?

I guess only time will tell.  Next I guess we will hear about Boeing laying off workers who would normally be making more Max aircraft. Then of course it will cascade down the supply line.  The main question is "Will the US allow Boeing to go under"?

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On 10/18/2019 at 11:46 AM, dagger said:

With US tariffs going on imports of Airbus aircraft - A319 and larger - I wonder if that would induce a US carrier to take some of those Canadian-destined MAX fins in exchange for some NEOs. Just a wild idea. I assume US carriers aren't thrilled over having to pay more for Airbus planes and likely expect Airbus to make good somehow.

I’m sure AC wouldn’t be opposed to returning to Airbus NB. CR is going to up Boeing’s #*% on this fiasco and will be coming home with some free shiny new 787s and suitcases of money. 

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1 hour ago, Rich Pulman said:

Yabut... after this fiasco is Boeing a company anybody really wants to do business with, let alone get free stuff from?

And of course the 787s are interesting also. problem wise. 

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I believe what Super 80 is referring to is covered here:

 

Although the complete extent of the 787 investigation is not yet understood it was published recently that Boeing staff falsified records for a 787 built for Air Canada, which 10 months after entering service, developed a major fuel leak.

 

https://samchui.com/2019/06/30/boeing-737-max-investigations-broaden-to-787-dreamliner/

 

Edited by jump seat
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Boeing may face billions more in losses as Max crisis deepens

Boeing may have to book billions of dollars in additional charges, two brokerages said on Monday, following latest developments around the planemaker's grounded 737 Max jet that calls into question the timing of the aircraft's return to service.

Messages between two Boeing employees reveal 737 Max test pilot experienced simulator flaws before service

Thomson Reuters · Posted: Oct 21, 2019 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 3 hours ago
 
ethiopia-airline-boeing.jpg
An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, September 16, 2019. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Boeing may have to book billions of dollars in additional charges, two brokerages said on Monday, following latest developments around the planemaker's grounded 737 Max jet that calls into question the timing of the aircraft's return to service.

Credit Suisse and UBS downgraded the stock after reports on Friday showed internal messages between two Boeing employees stating that the plane's anti-stall system behaved erratically during testing before the aircraft entered service.

In newly released instant messages from 2016, a top Boeing Co 737 Max test pilot tells a colleague that the jet's MCAS flight control system - the same one linked to two fatal crashes - was "running rampant in the (simulator) on me."

 

The new revelations pose fresh challenges for Boeing, which is reeling under pressure after two fatal crashes forced the company to ground the planes and book billions of dollars in losses.

Boeing's shares fell 2 per cent to $337.20 US in premarket trading on Monday, adding to their 18 per cent decline since the second deadly crash of the popular single-aisle jet in Ethiopia.

Although Boeing continued producing the planes, albeit at a lower rate, the brokerages said there is an increasing possibility that the company may have to halt production altogether.

"We see increasing risk that the Federal Aviation Administration won't follow through with a certification flight in November and lift the emergency grounding order in December," UBS analyst Myles Walton said, downgrading the stock to "neutral" from "buy."

Walton cut his target price on Boeing's shares by $95 to $375, citing an increase in "likelihood of a pause on the 737 Max production system" due to a delay in the jet's return.

Company expresses regret over messages

Boeing's shares fell nearly 7 per cent on Friday after Reuters first reported the news, which prompted a demand by U.S. regulators for an immediate explanation and a new call in Congress for the company to shake up its management.

 

The company on Sunday expressed regret over the messages, and said it was still investigating what they meant.

Credit Suisse, which had stuck to its "outperform" rating since July 2017, downgraded the stock to "neutral" and cut its target price by $93 to $323, 6 per cent below Boeing's Friday closing price of $344.

With the likely delay in Max's return to service until February 2020 and the stoppage of production, the American planemaker could record $3.2 billion in charges over four months on top of a $5.6 billion charge taken so far, analyst Robert Spingarn said.

"BA could be forced to furlough or fire a portion of its Max workforce. This could result in lost labour force productivity when (and) if the MAX does return to service. We have seen the consequences of such events in shipbuilding: it can be ugly," said Spingarn.

UBS also downgraded Boeing's biggest supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, to "neutral" from "buy" and cut its target price on the stock to $88 from $92, citing possible production cuts.

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10 hours ago, moeman said:

Links?

 

The US investigation and the fabricated pre-delivery records of an Air Canada 787 were both disclosed on June 28th 2019.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/boeing-air-canada-jet-fuel-leak-1.5193550

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/federal-prosecutors-issue-subpoena-for-boeing-787-dreamliner-records/

The 787 incident had previously been reported to be the result of a manufacturing deficiency but I don't believe the dishonesty was previously reported.

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Boeing makes progress on 737 MAX, but FAA needs weeks for review

Boeing hopes to resume 737 MAX flights later this year despite major airlines cancelling service until January-February.

an hour ago
 
Boeing and the FAA are grappling to contain a crisis in the wake of two 737 MAX crashes that have left 346 people dead, forced airlines to ground more than 300 aircraft, and put on hold Boeing deliveries worth more than $500bn [File: Gary He/Reuters]

The Boeing Company is making progress towards getting its 737 MAX aircraft in the air again, but the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will need at least several more weeks for review, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said on Tuesday.

Boeing and the FAA are grappling to contain a crisis in the wake of two 737 MAX crashes that have left 346 people dead, forced airlines to ground more than 300 aircraft, and put on hold Boeing deliveries worth more than $500bn.

Boeing has said it hopes to resume 737 MAX flights later this year, although major US and Canadian airlines have cancelled MAX flights until January or February.

Dickson said at a conference of air traffic controllers in Washington that the agency had received the "final software load" and "complete system description" of revisions to the plane, which was grounded in March.

The FAA is currently using "aircraft production software" in the engineering simulator. The next step is to complete pilot workload management testing and have US and international pilots conduct scenarios to determine training requirements before a key certification test flight.

"It is going to be several more weeks before we go through all of that part of the process," Dickson said. "We've got considerable work to do."

Separately, Boeing said that last week that it successfully conducted a dry run of a certification flight test. Dickson told Reuters news agency last month the FAA would need about 30 days from the time of the certification test flight before the plane could resume flights.

The system description is a "500-ish page document that has the architecture of the flight control system and the changes that they have made," Dickson told Reuters last month.

Significant progress

Boeing shares rose on Tuesday after two sharp days of declines following the Friday release of instant messages from a former Boeing pilot. The company had withheld the messages from the FAA - and they raised questions about what Boeing may have known about a key safety fixture: the 737 MAX's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) anti-stall software.

The release of the messages prompted an immediate demand for an explanation from the FAA about why they were not turned over sooner.

Boeing said on Tuesday it had "made significant progress over the past several months" in its work to return the MAX to service.

The changes include an MCAS software update with new safeguards for the anti-stall system, which was at the heart of the two fatal crashes.

Dickson said once the steps were completed ahead of the certification test flight "it is a fairly straightforward process to unground the airplane". He reiterated he would not let the 737 MAX fly again until he was "satisfied it is the safest thing out there".

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg will appear before the US Congress for two days of testimony next week. He was stripped of his title as board chairman earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Indonesia plans to share with victims' families a final report on Lion Air flight 610, which crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 people on board. The report on the 737 MAX crash is expected to be made public later this week.

The MAX was grounded after a second crash on March 10 that involved Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and that killed 157 people

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The complete final report can be viewed / downloaded at: http://knkt.dephub.go.id/knkt/ntsc_aviation/baru/2018 - 035 - PK-LQP Final Report.pdf

OCTOBER 24, 2019 / 6:27 PM / UPDATED 42 MINUTES AGO

Indonesia report on 737 MAX crash faults Boeing design, says Lion Air made mistakes

Bernadette Christina Munthe, Jessica Damiana

6 MIN READ

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Boeing, acting without adequate oversight from U.S. regulators, failed to grasp risks in the design of cockpit software on its 737 MAX airliner, sowing the seeds for a Lion Air crash that also involved errors by airline workers and crew, Indonesian investigators found.

The fatal crash, followed within five months by another at Ethiopian Airlines, led to a global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and a crisis for the world’s biggest planemaker, which this week ousted its commercial airplanes chief.

In its final report into the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash that killed all 189 people on board, Indonesia made recommendations to Boeing, the airline, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other agencies.

A copy was seen by Reuters and it is due to be released publicly later on Friday or on Saturday, an investigator said.

RELATED COVERAGE

Factbox: 'Fly up' co-pilot urges in final moments of fatal Lion Air crash

Boeing says it is addressing Indonesia's safety guidance on Lion Air crash

Indonesian regulators criticized the design of the anti-stall system known as MCAS, which automatically pushed the plane’s nose down, leaving pilots fighting for control.

“The design and certification of the MCAS did not adequately consider the likelihood of loss of control of the aircraft,” the report said.

Boeing has been working on a redesign of MCAS although it has yet to certified by the FAA.

The report also said “deficiencies” in the flight crew’s communication and manual control of the aircraft contributed to the crash, as did alerts and distractions in the cockpit.

The accident had been caused by a complex chain of events, Indonesian air accident investigator Nurcahyo Utomo told reporters at a news conference, repeatedly declining to be drawn on providing a single dominant cause.

“From what we know, there are nine things that contributed to this accident,” he said. “If one of the nine hadn’t occurred, maybe the accident wouldn’t have occurred.”

During the flight, the first officer was unable to quickly identify a checklist in a handbook or perform tasks he should have had memorized, it said, adding that he had also performed poorly in training exercises.

The captain did not properly brief the first officer when handing over control just before the plane entered a fatal dive, it also said.

The report noted that according to the cockpit voice recorder, the first officer told the captain the flight was not in his initial schedule and he had been called at 4 a.m. to be informed of the revision, while the captain said he had the flu.

FILE PHOTO: Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane is parked on the tarmac of Soekarno Hatta International airport near Jakarta, Indonesia, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

A critical angle of attack (AOA) sensor providing data to the MCAS anti-stall system had been miscalibrated by Florida-based Xtra Aerospace without the recommended equipment, the report said, and there were strong indications that it was not tested during installation by Lion Air maintenance staff.

The FAA, also faulted by the report for its oversight of Xtra, formally revoked the maintenance firm’s repair station certificate following the report’s publication.

Lion Air should have grounded the jet following faults on earlier flights, the investigators also found, adding that 31 pages were missing from the airline’s October maintenance logs.

A Lion Air spokesman said the crash was an “unthinkable tragedy” and it was essential to take immediate corrective actions to ensure a similar accident never occurred again.

Boeing said in a statement that it was addressing Indonesia’s safety recommendations and taking actions to enhance the safety of the 737 MAX.

The FAA said it welcomed the report’s recommendations and would carefully consider them and all others as it continued to review Boeing’s proposed changes to the 737 MAX.

Indonesia may require pilots receive simulator training before the plane returns to service as earlier computer-based training covering differences between the 737 MAX and prior 737 NG model was insufficient, Director General of Civil Aviation Polana Pramesti said on Friday.

INVESTIGATIONS

Boeing faces a slew of investigations by regulators, U.S. Congress, and the Department of Justice over its development of the 737 MAX, its previously best-selling workhorse for short-haul travel.

Boeing last month settled the first claims stemming from the Lion Air crash, a U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyer said.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Three other sources told Reuters that families of those killed would receive at least $1.2 million each.

The manufacturer is facing nearly 100 lawsuits over the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 which killed all 157 people on board the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

Indonesia has offered to aid Ethiopian authorities in their investigation into that crash but to date there has been no response, said Soerjanto, the head of Indonesia’s accident investigator.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said this week the company was making “daily” progress on testing the final software fix for the 737 MAX and developing related training materials. The FAA has said it would need at least several more weeks for review.

The Indonesia report said that Boeing’s safety assessment assumed pilots would respond within three seconds of a system malfunction but on the accident flight and one that experienced the same problem the previous evening, it took both crews about eight seconds to respond.

It called for the systems to be designed not just for highly skilled test pilots but also for regular commercial airline pilots.

The FAA had delegated increasing authority to Boeing to certify the safety of its own aircraft, Indonesian investigators said in the report, recommending that all certification processes received adequate oversight.

A panel of international air safety regulators this month also faulted Boeing for assumptions it made in designing the 737 MAX and found areas where Boeing could improve processes.

Reporting by Jamie Freed in Singa

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And the glue gets thicker:

FAA pulls licence of shop that repaired crashed 737 Max's sensor

  • 25 October, 2019
  • SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com
  • BY: Jon Hemmerdinger
  • Boston

The US Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the aircraft repair station licence held by Xtra Aerospace, the Florida shop that repaired the angle-of-attack (AOA) indicator investigators say contributed to the 2018 crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max.

The FAA ordered that the shop's licence be pulled on 25 October, the same day Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee issued a report concluding that Xtra likely calibrated the AOA sensor incorrectly.

"Xtra failed to comply with requirements to repair only aircraft parts on its list of parts acceptable to the FAA that it was capable of repairing," says the FAA. "The company also failed to comply with procedures in its repair station manual for implementing a capability list in accordance with… regulations."

Xtra declined to comment to FlightGlobal, referring questions to its corporate attorney William Morris – retained by its parent company Wencor Group, which is based near Atlanta. Morris did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NTSC says the AOA sensor was misaligned by about 21 degrees, an error which led the aircraft's maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) to activate, pushing the aircraft nose down. The pilots were unable to recover.

"This immediate 21-degree delta indicated that the AOA sensor was most likely improperly calibrated at Xtra Aerospace," says the NTSC's report.

The sensor on the Lion Air 737 Max had previously been installed on the right side of a 737-900ER operated by Malaysia's Malindo Air. It was removed from that aircraft in August 2017 following "maintenance write-ups" related to speed and altitude warnings appearing on the co-pilot's display, says the report.

Having been sent to Xtra for repair in October 2017, the sensor failed an operational test. "The preliminary result stated that the eroded vane caused erroneous readings," says the NTSC.

Repair records show that Xtra replaced the eroded vane, and calibrated and tested the sensor. "The work order stated that the results for the required tests were satisfactory," says the report.

Xtra sent the AOA sensor back to Malindo in November 2017, and in October 2018 it was sent to Denpasar, Indonesia, where technicians installed it on the crashed Lion Air 737 Max 8. The NTSC could not determine if an AOA test was completed properly when the part was installed.

The FAA says it started investigating Xtra in November 2018, looking "specifically at the company's compliance with regulatory requirements… and records and work orders for aircraft parts it approved for return to service".

"From November 2009 until May 2019, Xtra failed to complete and retain records in accordance with procedures in its repair-station manual to support parts on its capability list," says the FAA. "The company also did not substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publications and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list."

The FAA says the order revoking Xtra's certificate is part of a settlement agreement under which the company waives its right to appeal the decision.

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Boeing contemplated system redesign before fatal crashes: U.S. investigators

By Jamie Freed Reuters
Posted October 25, 2019 10:41 am

Boeing engineers and test pilots considered before two fatal 737 MAX crashes whether an anti-stall system should be redesigned after discussing how flawed data from a single sensor could trigger it repeatedly, U.S. investigators have found.

The so-called MCAS system, which relied on one sensor, has been linked in part to crashes of 737 MAX jets flown by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, which triggered a worldwide grounding and a corporate crisis at the world’s largest planemaker.

The potential redesign discussed during 737 MAX development was ultimately ruled out, based in part on the assumption pilots would react in time to any malfunction, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report to Indonesian investigators.

Although not formally part of the required analysis, the Boeing staff discussed the scenario of repeated activation of MCAS due to erroneously high Angle-of-Attack data and considered whether a redesign was necessary, the NTSB report said, citing a 2019 presentation by Boeing to the agency.

 

“As part of this discussion they discussed the combined flight deck effects … but determined that no redesign was necessary,” the NTSB said of the Boeing discussion, referring to alerts that could be potentially distracting to pilots.

Later, in a review after the Lion Air 737 MAX crash last October which killed all 189 people on board, Boeing also found that presenting the scenario to regulators would not have led it to classify the anti-stall system as a bigger hazard at the time.

Boeing has redesigned the system to rely on more than one sensor and help reduce pilot workload as it strives to return the model to the air.

The fresh details of the design of the MCAS system from the NTSB are included in a final report by Indonesian officials into the Lion Air crash. The NTSB has been supporting the Indonesian-led probe.

Reuters obtained a copy of the overall report, due to be released publicly later on Friday or on Saturday.

In a statement on Friday, Boeing said it had redesigned the system so MCAS would in future compare information from both Angle-of-Attack sensors before activating and would be easier for pilots to over-ride.

“These software changes will prevent the flight control conditions that occurred in this accident from ever happening again,” it said, declining further comment.

RELATIVELY SIMPLE

Boeing had assumed pilots would recognize the plane’s uncommanded nose-down movement within the three seconds required by regulators, making it relatively simple to restore the aircraft to a normal position, according to the final report.

The manufacturer did not consider what would happen if a pilot reacted more slowly, leaving MCAS able to move the nose down by the system’s maximum allowable amount. In the Lion Air crash, it took the pilot 11 seconds to respond to the first movement, during which the system reached the maximum authority.

Indonesian authorities recommended Boeing make more allowance in the design of its jets for the reactions of normal pilots, rather than its exceptionally skilled test pilots.

Boeing, which did not describe the MCAS system in pilot manuals, thought pilots would quickly perform a checklist to deal with a problem called “runaway stabilizer”, for which they were already trained and which resembled the impact of MCAS.

‘I don’t want her death to be in vain’: Families plead for Boeing 737 Max to remain grounded

However, the report found that MCAS did not behave in the same manner as a typical runaway, as the movement was not continuous and pilots were able to counter it multiple times by pulling back on their control columns.

 

At the same time as the aircraft was moving nose-down, making it difficult to control, the pilots were faced with a cascade of alerts as they tried to diagnose the situation.

“The flight crew were running out of time to find a solution before the repetitive MCAS activations placed the aircraft in an extreme nose-down attitude that they were unable to recover from,” the report said.

© 2019 Reuters
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Not surprising to a lot of people in Aviation:

Lion Air probe advises rethink of pilot skill assumptions

  • 26 October, 2019
  • SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com
  • BY: David Kaminski-Morrow

Commercial aircraft designers need to rethink fundamental assumptions that pilots have sufficient knowledge, training and skill to cope with failures, the inquiry into the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max accident has concluded.

The investigation into the fatal October 2018 accident has revealed that the crew did not respond as Boeing had expected when the aircraft's Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System repeatedly pushed the aircraft into a nose-down attitude, as a result of false angle-of-attack sensor data.

While the inquiry has criticised short-sightedness in Boeing's thought processes and analyses during the development of the 737 Max, and its MCAS in particular, it has also highlighted a discrepancy between the presumed and actual abilities of pilots.

Boeing had used flight-test pilots to demonstrate regulatory compliance during the certification of the 737 Max.

But Indonesian investigation authority KNKT says such pilots "normally have exceptional skill and experience", and more knowledge of design characteristics than regular line pilots.

"This level of competence usually cannot be translated to most pilots," it adds.

Test pilots are trained to replicate average crews, says the inquiry, and line pilots participate in standardisation processes to help ensure that requirements are operationally representative.

But the investigators believe a rethink by commercial aircraft designers, as well as regulators, is necessary to revise suppositions on the likely competence of airline customers' crews.

KNKT says the US FAA and manufacturers should "re-evaluate their assumptions" as to what constitutes an "average flight crew's basic skill" as well as the presumed level of knowledge that a "properly-trained average flight crew" possesses when confronted with system failures.

The inquiry heard that Boeing engineers and test pilots informally discussed the possibility of erroneous angle-of-attack data repeatedly triggering MCAS, but assumed that pilots would take immediate action to correct the attitude and trim out the resulting control forces.

This led to the conclusion that "no redesign was necessary", says KNKT.

But following its analysis of the 737 Max and MCAS development process, the inquiry states that Boeing should include a "larger tolerance" in designs in order to "allow operability by a larger population" of pilots.

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The compensation claims from both large Canadian carriers will be something to behold. Westjet wants comp to include what amounts to alienation of affection between passengers and the MAX. A rebuilding trust exercise that will be hard to cost out. 

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OCTOBER 30, 2019 / 1:10 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO

U.S. lawmakers question Boeing's $1 mln rebate clause for Southwest 737 MAX orders

(Reuters) - To convince Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) to buy the Boeing 737 MAX, the plane maker reassured the airline that pilots would not need expensive simulator training and backed up the promise with a $1 million per plane rebate if training was needed, U.S. lawmakers said on Wednesday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-airplane-southwest/u-s-lawmakers-question-boeings-1-mln-rebate-clause-for-southwest-737-max-orders-idUSKBN1X92D4

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