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Boeing 737 MAX is stupidly designed

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Boeing 737 MAX is stupidly designed

Old 03-20-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
Look - People can say what they want but at the end of the day it's Boeing's fault. They either manufactured a plane with crappy flight systems, sensors, software etc... or they made the software and manuals too difficult for their customers to understand.

We often write simple software scripts at work. Before my team writes anything we meet with our intended users to understand their technical capabilities. If they just want to push a button that's what we do. If they want more flexibility we make sure they understand the logic behind the scrips and write simple manuals for them. We don't want them to bother us when it doesn't work. We want it to work for the customer.
I know this is an oversimplification. But it's Boeing fault either way, it's bad business to blame your customers. Don't give them that opportunity....
Complete BullSh!t.

The planes cannot fly themselves (yet) and need a trained, experienced crew to run them and correct maintenance to keep them flying. Proof of that was in the previous LionAir flight where they identified the issue on the previous flight - which landed fine - but then DIDN'T address the reported issue and sent the plane back in the air again!!

You could also blame Boeing, the airlines and the FAA for eliminating the Flight Engineers in the cockpit. Those guys were responsible for keeping an eye on all the airframes' systems and identifying if there was a problem with how they are operating., and help the pilot and copilot work around the issue.
Old 03-20-2019, 11:37 AM
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While I recognize that the data is preliminary, when you get to the route of the issue, IMO, both of these incidents were avoidable...A debate can be had as to the blame, it's likely going to be a plane (systems) fighting with the flight crew over control. Tragically, whether you want to fault logged hours / training / experience / situational awareness / stress, they will all be contributing factors....Though, one has to ask themselves, why would, in 2019, with all the advancements in UI understanding and design, would you create a system to function without alerting the flight crew to it's control and function...Further, an audible / visual display of how to disable.... Perhaps I will be proven wrong, but until then, I believe these and any potential future incident with this aircraft is avoidable... One thought would be to rename the MCAS to the Auto Stall Avoidance System, or ASAS, so flight crew can get a triggered response to how the aircraft is responding....Blue Skies
Old 03-20-2019, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboJoe View Post
How do we know Boeing decided to use 1 AOA sensor arbitrarily? How do we know they decided not to alert the crew?
I too am curious about these questions. I have flown quite a few part 25 planes and while I don't know part 25 all that well, I was a little surprised when it is reported that there was one AOA.
Old 03-20-2019, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ndb8fxe View Post
I too am curious about these questions. I have flown quite a few part 25 planes and while I don't know part 25 all that well, I was a little surprised when it is reported that there was one AOA.
From a redundancy standpoint, 2 sensors is no better than 1, and perhaps actually worse. If you have 2 sensors providing redundant data, then you also have to decide what happens when the two redundant sensors don't agree. Presumably one sensor has gone bad, but how to determine which one? Whether you use only one sensor or two, it still requires the operator to intervene and if you have two, then it's an extra step for the operator to have to take to resolve which one is still good. The operator then also has to have a way to exclude the bad sensor. If you only have one, it's simple - the only one is the bad one and you shut it down. Once you get to three redundant sensors you can implement rules in the system to exclude data from the erroneous sensor without operator intervention (other than a warning to the operator).

Also a question for the commercial pilots on here. I'm just a lowly self-grounded SEL VFR pilot, so I don't know how this translates to the big twins and multis. Is it generally fair to assume (turbulence etc notwithstanding) that if you set power to something reasonable and maintain altitude and airspeed that AOA will take care of itself?
Old 03-20-2019, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverGraphite View Post
From a redundancy standpoint, 2 sensors is no better than 1, and perhaps actually worse. If you have 2 sensors providing redundant data, then you also have to decide what happens when the two redundant sensors don't agree. Presumably one sensor has gone bad, but how to determine which one? Whether you use only one sensor or two, it still requires the operator to intervene and if you have two, then it's an extra step for the operator to have to take to resolve which one is still good. The operator then also has to have a way to exclude the bad sensor. If you only have one, it's simple - the only one is the bad one and you shut it down. Once you get to three redundant sensors you can implement rules in the system to exclude data from the erroneous sensor without operator intervention (other than a warning to the operator).

Also a question for the commercial pilots on here. I'm just a lowly self-grounded SEL VFR pilot, so I don't know how this translates to the big twins and multis. Is it generally fair to assume (turbulence etc notwithstanding) that if you set power to something reasonable and maintain altitude and airspeed that AOA will take care of itself?
I have to disagree there. Redundant air data sensors are always better. I'm sure there are more than one pitot, static, and other redundant ADC sensors. Its not bad to have more than one, sure there might be a case where you have to interpret what you have and figure out which one failed, but it is better than having one fail and have 1 bogus indication.

In previous equipment I have flown, The pusher would not activate with only one AOA indicating. If there was a disagreement between the two AOA's the you were on you own for stall protection as far as the pusher is concerned. Actually the vane with the false high aoa, you would get the shaker on that side only, but no pusher. Big deal, how many times has an professional pilot had to rely on the pusher in order to avoid a stall? I will assume that it is a very rare event. Other than maybe a wind shear event If you fly through the shaker and get into the pusher you should probably be doing something else.

To me having two makes a lot of sense if you are going to get push from a false high AOA.

I know nothing about the max and don't know how similar this supposed event is to it, but it sure would suck to get the pusher unexpectedly at low altitude at normal climb speed especially with the AP on and hands off the yoke.

Last edited by ndb8fxe; 03-20-2019 at 05:55 PM.
Old 03-21-2019, 03:55 AM
  #166  
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It's being reported that the pilot of the Ethiopian flight that crashed, didn't do any updated simulator training for the Max 8, with the airline, even though they had the technology available. And the co-pilot never did any simulator training for the Max 8, at all.
Old 03-21-2019, 05:48 AM
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If there's anything I can see that's "criminal" so far, it's that someone let that LionAir aircraft go on another flight before the reported symptoms from the previous flight were addressed. Somehow all that info got left out of the preliminary report they released. Can't imagine that was unintentional either.
Old 03-21-2019, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
Complete BullSh!t.

The planes cannot fly themselves (yet) and need a trained, experienced crew to run them and correct maintenance to keep them flying. Proof of that was in the previous LionAir flight where they identified the issue on the previous flight - which landed fine - but then DIDN'T address the reported issue and sent the plane back in the air again!!

You could also blame Boeing, the airlines and the FAA for eliminating the Flight Engineers in the cockpit. Those guys were responsible for keeping an eye on all the airframes' systems and identifying if there was a problem with how they are operating., and help the pilot and copilot work around the issue.
So you proved my point. The pilots don't understand it, the maintenance crews don't understand it. Maybe Boeing should make an airplane that's understandable to their users instead of pushing the envelope. We are talking about mothers, fathers, and children dying. You think LionAir hasn't sent other planes (Airbus) into air with previous reported issues. If the did it with the Boeing, they did it with other planes. How come AirBus's aren't falling out of the sky?
Old 03-21-2019, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
So you proved my point. The pilots don't understand it, the maintenance crews don't understand it. Maybe Boeing should make an airplane that's understandable to their users instead of pushing the envelope. We are talking about mothers, fathers, and children dying. You think LionAir hasn't sent other planes (Airbus) into air with previous reported issues. If the did it with the Boeing, they did it with other planes. How come AirBus's aren't falling out of the sky?
As has been pointed out **numerous** times before, "runaway trim" IS a condition that pilots have to periodically deal with, for a number of reasons. There IS a procedure to do this and it appears neither of these flights followed that (although we don't have all the facts in yet).
Old 03-21-2019, 06:28 AM
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Another question for the pilots.... are the aircraft manuals and printed aids (quick reference guides, etc) written in English and all the native languages of the airlines that use them? I know English is the primary/required ATC language, but could there be issues with translations in the printed documentation that might make it more difficult for non-native-English folks to find information in the documentation?

I'm just curious. I don't think that's a Boeing problem but could be an airline or country or required training/prerequisites problem.
Old 03-21-2019, 07:15 AM
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A great overview of what we currently know, from a pilot and a reporter that is pretty good at just going over facts. He has some opinions in there also.

Old 03-21-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverGraphite View Post
From a redundancy standpoint, 2 sensors is no better than 1, and perhaps actually worse. If you have 2 sensors providing redundant data, then you also have to decide what happens when the two redundant sensors don't agree. Presumably one sensor has gone bad, but how to determine which one? Whether you use only one sensor or two, it still requires the operator to intervene and if you have two, then it's an extra step for the operator to have to take to resolve which one is still good. The operator then also has to have a way to exclude the bad sensor. If you only have one, it's simple - the only one is the bad one and you shut it down. Once you get to three redundant sensors you can implement rules in the system to exclude data from the erroneous sensor without operator intervention (other than a warning to the operator).

Also a question for the commercial pilots on here. I'm just a lowly self-grounded SEL VFR pilot, so I don't know how this translates to the big twins and multis. Is it generally fair to assume (turbulence etc notwithstanding) that if you set power to something reasonable and maintain altitude and airspeed that AOA will take care of itself?
not quite how it works, but you're on the right track. If you set power and altitude, then airspeed falls out..... If you set power and airspeed then climb rate falls out. If you set airspeed and altitude, then it takes a specific power to hold those two. Yes alpha takes care of itself in normal conditions within the flight envelope, but a pilot may wonder if he's getting erroneous readings from any of those variables. Also, ice on the wing can wreak havoc on these equations.
Old 03-21-2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboJoe View Post
A great overview of what we currently know, from a pilot and a reporter that is pretty good at just going over facts. He has some opinions in there also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ts_AjU89Qk
This was very good. Thanks for posting.
Old 03-21-2019, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboJoe View Post
I For the pilots out there, can you be type rated on two types for commercial flying? (besides 767/757).
Yes, you can have many, many Type Ratings but in order to fly more than one plane regularly, the pilot must be 'current' in both Types. That means that his Sim Checks are current and that he's made 3 T/Os and landings within the past 90 days, etc. That might be more common in the Corporate World.

But keep in mind that many US airline guys also fly in the Reserves. So a guy might get home from flying his 1960s vintage C-5 Galaxy and the next day get into his small Regional Jet.

I have been trained and qualified to fly E-110 (turboprop), DC-9, MD-80 Series, Fokker 100 and B-737, but I only hold an FAA Type Rating in a 737. That is 'typed' onto my Airline Transport Pilot License.

When an airline gets a new 'model' of say the 737, they don't have to re-do all 737 Training again, but will normally be issued a "Differences" package. Nowadays, that's either an online thing or for his iPad to learn from at home. Maybe the pilot has one day of Ground School. Going from the -700 to the Max, I'd bet that there might have been some Sim time too.

In the late 80s at Midway, we flew the -200 Advanced Series of the 737. I was lucky enough to have picked up a new one right from Boeing Field! I made the fifth landing in that jet after we ferried it back to Miami! That was one fun three-day weekend!

Back at Midway around 1990, we leased an older -100 series 737 for a short period. We all got a Differences sheet on the plane. It had the same basic engines but a less powerful version. That might have meant that for that engine, the Max Start EGT might have been 550C degrees where our regular engines might have had a Max EGT of 575C degrees. That and probably a lower Max Fuel Quantity (smaller tanks) and a few other 'Differences' and we were now 'trained' and 'legal' to fly that one 737.

But the FAA said WAIT! All pilots MUST also be 'trained' and demonstrate knowledge and experience in the deployment and retraction of the additional set of Aft Air Stairs located near the tail on an Aft Entry Door of this one particular aircraft!

We had a plane swap at Midway one morning and 30 minutes before departure I'm in the back of that goofy plane with a F/A showing me how to work the big handle to the air stairs! I pull the handle down and out plops the stairs, right in front of the big window at the gate! I retract them and I'm now 'trained'! I then have to call the Company from the cockpit on our VHF Company Freq (131.32........ can't believe I still remember!) and tell them that F/O Gary M is now 'trained' on N709ML! And then we started boarding the passengers! But I was Legal for the FAA......................

Last edited by Gary M; 03-21-2019 at 09:40 AM.
Old 03-21-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kendall View Post
MCAS is activated causing the plane to nose down AND YET the pilots are not even aware of it, no visual or audio warning!
Ever heard of the old saying of "Flying by the seat of their pants"?

My ASS was always one of the best 'warning' and/or 'sensors' in the cockpit! Even today, sitting in the back, I can still 'feel' every turn and almost every gentle change in the flight. Right in my ass........
Old 03-21-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
Ever heard of the old saying of "Flying by the seat of their pants"?

My ASS was always one of the best 'warning' and/or 'sensors' in the cockpit! Even today, sitting in the back, I can still 'feel' every turn and almost every gentle change in the flight. Right in my ass........
While I mostly agree with you, In my experience, as planes get bigger, faster, and more automated and especially once you get to hydraulic controls(artificial or little to no control feedback) reliance on the instruments is far more crucial than that of seat of pants stuff. This and seat of pants has proven to work really poorly in IMC.

Just my opinion.
Old 03-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ndb8fxe View Post
While I mostly agree with you, In my experience, as planes get bigger, faster, and more automated and especially once you get to hydraulic controls(artificial or little to no control feedback) reliance on the instruments is far more crucial than that of seat of pants stuff. This and seat of pants has proven to work really poorly in IMC.

Just my opinion.
I think the "seat of your pants" just gets your attention, which then causes you to use the instruments or anything else you have available (hearing, eyesight, etc) to determine what's going on and what to do about it. It's a bit easier VFR though.
Old 03-21-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
As has been pointed out **numerous** times before, "runaway trim" IS a condition that pilots have to periodically deal with, for a number of reasons. There IS a procedure to do this and it appears neither of these flights followed that (although we don't have all the facts in yet).

I'm just shocked that it couldnt be disabled in an easier way!
Old 03-21-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MUHSFINK07 View Post
I'm just shocked that it couldnt be disabled in an easier way!
It is EASY to disable, two switches, right there by the throttle. Then a circuit breaker is for some reason the switches were to have welded closed.
Old 03-21-2019, 01:14 PM
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A question for those knowledgeable about MCAS. This is mostly in reference to ProppedUp's post #114 on the Lion Air crash.

It appears MCAS is only active once the flaps are up. The pilot retracts the flaps, starts to experience runaway trim, and puts the flaps back down which briefly corrects the issue by disabling MCAS. Then they raise the flaps again and go through 6 minutes of battling runaway trim. Even if they didn't realize MCAS was the issue or know how to disable it, which given the previous flight's reliance on the jump seat pilot seems possible, why didn't they just put flaps down and return to the airport? Basically if they pulled the flaps up, things started going to crap for unknown reasons, then they put the flaps back down which solved things, why wasn't this tried again rather than battling runaway trim until the crash.

And the fact the plane was flying again after the previous flight experienced that issue with passengers aboard is mind boggling.

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