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Boeing 737 Max 8 Killed another 157 People. WTH?

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Boeing 737 Max 8 Killed another 157 People. WTH?

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Old 03-19-19, 08:14 PM
  #101  
79pmooney
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Bloomberg: Pilot Who Hitched a Ride Saved Lion Air 737 Day Before Deadly Crash

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-19/how-an-extra-man-in-cockpit-saved-a-737-max-that-later-crashed
As the newscaster on that link says, "creepy". Yes. That the only reason that same plane didn't crash the day before of the exact same failure was because an off-duty pilot in the cockpit jump seat recognized what wa happening, turned off the autopilot and instructed the pilot to reduce the engine throttle. Wow! So this was known and Boeing didn't make it a point to bring it to the attention of all airlines and flight crews?

I have respected Boeing (and always felt creeped out flying DC-10s knowing what caused the Iowa City crash with my best friend's wife and two kids aboard), but sorry, Boeing, you just lost me. This doesn't even qualify as an accident, just and event waiting to happen.

Ben

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Old 03-19-19, 11:20 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
That the only reason that same plane didn't crash the day before of the exact same failure was because an off-duty pilot in the cockpit jump seat recognized what wa happening, turned off the autopilot and instructed the pilot to reduce the engine throttle. Wow! So this was known and Boeing didn't make it a point to bring it to the attention of all airlines and flight crews?
The problem has nothing to do with the autopilot, in fact, the suspect system (MCAS) is disabled if the autopilot is engaged. As we have been discussing, the problem appears to be that the flight crews are not correctly diagnosing a trim system issue (driven by the MCAS receiving faulty angle-of-attack data). All pilots are trained to recognize a trim system malfunction but the MCAS system appears to be complicating the diagnosis by virtue of the way it intervenes sporadically as the crew tries to figure things out. Note the highlighted text below in the article you referenced.

"The so-called dead-head pilot on the earlier flight from Bali to Jakarta told the crew to cut power to the motor driving the nose down, according to the people familiar, part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorize."

These things are often more subtle than they appear on the surface.

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Old 03-20-19, 08:16 AM
  #103  
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The "memorize" thing are called Red Box items because those things are in the checklist enclosed in a red box and are things that, if not done correctly and quickly (i.e. not enough time to pull out the book with all the malfunction checklists, find the problem item checklist, and run the checklist), could lead to loss of the aircraft. Runaway Stabilizer is one of those red box checklists.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:45 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
What's your thought process behind this?
This is a thread regarding an aviation disaster caused by a malfunctioning computer due to a single sensor failure yet you seem to be turning this around and claiming that we should do away with human pilots. Is this correct?
It's like every airliner needs a Sullenberger on board. But that would be too expensive. So we are taking the risk.

Instead, why can't they design it safer: If one sensor failed and plane crash, then why not have a system with 3 sensors. If one sensor gives different reading than other 2, then you know that one is failed and ignore that one...then no drama...and you repair the one faulty sensor as soon as you land. That way you don't need a Sullenberger on board.

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Old 03-20-19, 12:08 PM
  #105  
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On most aircraft systems there are levels of redundancy. A Left system and a Right System usually and sometimes even a Center system. I'm surprised the FAA let this single point of failure get by.

The FAA usually has a very high level of safety required. When we started trading 30 pounds of paper charts and operating manuals in our kitbags for iPads, the FAA required the iPad survive a 9 G force in a bracket in the cockpit and a 60,000 foot cabin decompression. If I ever encounter 9Gs in an airliner or a decompression at 60,000 in a jet that even lightweight might get to 41,000 feet, I've got a lot more pressing issues to deal with than a non-functioning iPad.

Regarding drones or automated flight, I'm not sure you would want to ride on something with such a high accident rate.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:45 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
As the newscaster on that link says, "creepy". Yes. That the only reason that same plane didn't crash the day before of the exact same failure was because an off-duty pilot in the cockpit jump seat recognized what wa happening, turned off the autopilot and instructed the pilot to reduce the engine throttle. Wow! So this was known and Boeing didn't make it a point to bring it to the attention of all airlines and flight crews?

I have respected Boeing (and always felt creeped out flying DC-10s knowing what caused the Iowa City crash with my best friend's wife and two kids aboard), but sorry, Boeing, you just lost me. This doesn't even qualify as an accident, just and event waiting to happen.

Ben
I read the article linked quite differently.

That extra pilot, who was seated in the cockpit jumpseat, correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane, according to two people familiar with Indonesiaís investigation.
...
The so-called dead-head pilot on the flight from Bali to Jakarta told the crew to cut power to the motor in the trim system that was driving the nose down, according to the people familiar, part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorize.
...
However, the pilots on the harrowing Oct. 28 flight from Bali to Jakarta didnít mention key issues with the flight after they landed, according to the report.

Their request for maintenance didnít mention they had been getting a stall warning since about 400 feet after takeoff as a result of the faulty angle-of-attack sensor. It was still giving false readings the next morning on the flight that crashed, according to flight data.
So, the MCAS isn't exactly the "autopilot".

And they didn't cut power to the main engine, but rather cut power to the servo motor that was disrupting the flight controls, I think.

And, there was poor communication with the maintenance staff.

It is a little surprising that maintenance crews don't conduct test flights when they're struggling to diagnose sensor failures, although I could imagine the complexities of extra takeoff/landing attempts.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:18 PM
  #107  
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I think it is also important to realize that despite these two recent accidents, commercial aviation on major airlines is extremely safe. In fact, in 2017 there were ZERO fatalities in commercial jets in over 37 MILLION flights. Think about that for a second before you think we're in some kind of crisis situation with respect to commercial aviation safety. They are certainly flaws in airplanes and crews, but in general, the system, with all the checks and balances, has produced truly extraordinary levels of safety.

The MAX and its training system will be fixed in a few weeks (or few months), and with the intense scrutiny, it will likely be one of the safest airplanes in the sky.

- Mark

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Old 03-20-19, 01:49 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And they didn't cut power to the main engine, but rather cut power to the servo motor that was disrupting the flight controls, I think.
I think they did both which is standard procedure in runaway trim malfunctions. When you point the nose of an airplane towards the ground, it gains speed dramatically and can quickly exceed safe structural limits. So if any kind of uncommanded descent situation, you immediately chop power to reduce speed buildup while you sort the problem. But as Will has mentioned, things can get pretty confusing as they crew was likely getting faulty indications (via the bad sensor) that the airplane was stalling and increasing power is what you need in this situation.

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Old 03-20-19, 03:36 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by Revoltingest View Post
Actually, a trained human brain is also fallible. Investigations of numerous crashes show the plane warning the pilot that he's in trouble, yet the pilot ignores the warnings, eg, flying into terrain. The real trick in a flight control system is to have both elements (human & computer) interact to maximize safety. It's a difficult dynamic balance to optimize, but they're still better together, as evidenced by a continually improving safety record overall.
Yeah, as an aircraft mechanic, I dealt with the results of fallible pilots, and am aware.
However, I also know how "dumb" even the best automation can be. I do agree that the best solution is going to be a mix.
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Old 03-20-19, 05:26 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by velojym View Post
Yeah, as an aircraft mechanic, I dealt with the results of fallible pilots, and am aware.
However, I also know how "dumb" even the best automation can be. I do agree that the best solution is going to be a mix.
Time will illuminate, as automation becomes more sophisticated, capable & robust.
Human beings aren't so upgradable.
Note also that the F-16 is aerodynamically unstable, so the pilot actually provides only
inputs to a computer, which does the flying. (A human cannot react quickly enuf.)
Yet it's a very reliable system.

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Old 03-20-19, 05:55 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Revoltingest View Post
Note also that the F-16 is aerodynamically unstable, so the pilot actually provides only
inputs to a computer, which does the flying. (A human cannot react quickly enuf.)
Yet it's a very reliable system.
You don't want to start comparing military airplanes to civilian ones for reliability. About 14% of the F-16's ever made have been crashed.
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Old 03-20-19, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
You don't want to start comparing military airplanes to civilian ones for reliability. About 14% of the F-16's ever made have been crashed.
Single engine, low level, single pilot, and the extremely dynamic environment of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons delivery....not even in the same ball park or comparable to commercial aviation.
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Old 03-20-19, 06:20 PM
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Absolutely, they lead different lives.
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Old 03-20-19, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
You don't want to start comparing military airplanes to civilian ones for reliability. About 14% of the F-16's ever made have been crashed.
Given the kind of function they perform, they're quite reliable.
Total fly-by-wire control systems do well.
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Old 03-20-19, 08:24 PM
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You don’t need to lecture me. My dad worked for Sperry which became Honeywell ATS, and I did two internships there before deciding it wasn’t my thing. I worked on matching the MD-11 pin outs from the flight computer to the DC-10 so it could be upgraded to a glass cockpit “MD-10,” and before that on manuals for the A319 (which had side sticks not yokes iirc). This is all ancient history, I was just a kid, and I would absolutely defer to the pilots about flying. But the company culture, at least at Honeywell, was fantastic. We had HITL systems running constantly and everything was tested every which way. Something smells about this news story, which is why I’m interested.
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Old 03-21-19, 03:49 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Something smells about this news story, which is why I’m interested.
It stinks of single point failure. The FAA is equally culpable as anyone else in the chain of this disaster.

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Old 03-21-19, 08:35 AM
  #117  
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NYT: Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/b...es-charge.html

Boeing’s optional safety features, in part, could have helped the pilots detect any erroneous readings.
One of the optional upgrades, the angle of attack indicator, displays the readings of the two sensors.
The other, called a disagree light, is activated if those sensors are at odds with one another.​​​​​​​
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Old 03-21-19, 08:40 AM
  #118  
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Ethiopia crash captain did not train on airline's MAX simulator: source

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-airplane-simulator-exclusive/exclusive-ethiopian-crash-captain-untrained-on-737-max-simulator-idUSKCN1R20WD

“Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,” the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.
“Actually we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.”
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Old 03-21-19, 04:16 PM
  #119  
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Another perspective:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...pilot-training

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Old 03-24-19, 08:11 PM
  #120  
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Well, some about time and too late news in that Boeing finally made the warning equipment and lights that tell you when MCAS is reacting badly were finally made standard...they were optional before???
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Old 03-24-19, 09:42 PM
  #121  
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Old 03-25-19, 06:39 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Well, some about time and too late news in that Boeing finally made the warning equipment and lights that tell you when MCAS is reacting badly were finally made standard...they were optional before???
Hey man, I got this minivan for $5. It has no airbags, seatbelts, or doors, buuut... $5!
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