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Boeing 737 MAX returns to commercial service

Now read the corrected post and my acknowledgment of your proof reading skills.

I noticed you’ve noticed my edit.

I can keep this up all day too.

Your move :love:
I deleted the post as soon as i saw your acknowledgement old boy. You are quick on trigger today.
 
I deleted the post as soon as i saw your acknowledgement old boy. You are quick on trigger today.
Natch.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out though. Will history repeat itself and the MAX fade from public consciousness and press interest or will there be lasting implications?

The airlines seem to be betting on the former.
 
Natch.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out though. Will history repeat itself and the MAX fade from public consciousness and press interest or will there be lasting implications?

The airlines seem to be betting on the former.

The lasting implication is going to be that any future incidents involving whatever ‘Max’ is called always going be gleefully flagged by the world wide Daily Mail equivalents as being the 'ill fated aeroplane formerly known as 'Max'.

Like all things, It will only be news while there is a story to be had.
 
The lasting implication is going to be that any future incidents involving whatever ‘Max’ is called always going be gleefully flagged by the world wide Daily Mail equivalents as being the 'ill fated aeroplane formerly known as 'Max'.

Like all things, It will only be news while there is a story to be had.
Yes, you’d think so (“you” generic rather than “you“personally). But again history shows otherwise:

The DC10 had a fatal flaw in its design, a rear cargo door that didn’t close properly, opened in flight causing the floor to collapse and severing controls to the tail plane.


It went on to have a very successful career (as far as fuel thirsty Tri Jets ever could). Its later reincarnation, the MD11 had a fatal flaw in its use of a particular type of wiring that caused the loss of a Swissair aircraft that suffered an uncontrollable in flight fire that originated in the cockpit overhead panel.


Ditto

The 747 had a design flaw in the routing of electrics in fuel tanks that caused the explosive ignition of fuel vapour in the centre body tank.


Ditto

In perhaps the closest parallel to the MAX issue, the A320 / 330 / 340 family had a highly automated Flight Control System, the birth of Fly By Wire where essentially the aircraft was designed to know best and to a variable degree, overrode inputs from the pilots. This was such a radical departure from previous concepts that there have been any number of cases where confusion as to what the aircraft was doing -v- what the crew were trying to achieve arose resulting in loss of airframes and life.


The above was the first ever Air France passenger flight!


And the above was caused by a poorly designed component in the air data sensing system (as were the MAX crashes) and poor response from poorly trained crews who were outwitted and overridden by aircraft systems (as were the MAX crashes).

You don’t need me to tell you how successful the Airbus family has been and how many people routinely get on these aircraft without a second thought.
 
Sorry, in my above post I neglected to mention one critical point that is common to all the above events.

The failings were all redesigned, as has the system in question on the MAX.
 
The standout exception that proves the rule is the Comet.

The Comet never recovered from a series of crashes resulting from in flight break up of the airframe. The cause was eventually identified as metal fatigue around the square cut corners of cabin windows which is why all cabin windows now have radius cut corners. Aviation is tragically littered, figuratively and literally with bits of broken aircraft that have led to a better understanding of an essentially extremely hostile operating environment.

The Comet didn’t recover not because it was a damaged brand, it didn’t recover because the Americans, who’d been roundly defeated in the race to develop truly ground breaking aviation technology in passenger transport to that point, came up with something genuinely better in the form of the 707.

That was despite the staggering naivety of successive post war British governments who’d signed up to a deal to share technology with the yanks and couldn’t figure out why the Americans were getting it cracked whilst no information on how seemed to be flowing East from the US. In the supreme irony, this frankly criminal state of affairs was finally ended largely at the instigation of the left winger Tony Benn in the 60s. The rest as they say, is history.
 
...And that is something Boeing have brought upon themselves.

Just after WW2, air travel boomed. The aircraft used were mainly based on mil designs used during the war with a few upgrades and new ideas. That said, there are very few crews alive today who would be able to cope with the inherent idiosyncracies and flaws in those designs. Not too much talk around though of how dangerous things were back then. Crews just got on with the job and dealt with things as best they could, sometimes with fatal results.

Point is, things will always improve if we're lucky. Trying to remove the pilot from things using automation is probably not the best way to do that, but I admit to having a vested interest, as does @Toastie with whom I agree as to the naming of air crash incidents. Hopefully things will get better with more insight into error trapping, but bean counters will always look for a cheaper route, be that hiring less experienced and younger crews, or fast tracking training with MPL holders who are not prepared for curve balls. In my opinion, it's too late to go back and dig around for experienced types who know how to fly without automation. That ship has sailed and the infestation of tech dependent youngsters now inhabiting flight decks will require careful monitoring and mentoring if future mishaps are to be avoided.

Manufacturers try to do away with defects in their systems, but those curve balls lurk in the shadows and unforeseen shit has a habit of happening. Dealing with it is where it gets tricky.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
The standout exception that proves the rule is the Comet.

The Comet never recovered from a series of crashes resulting from in flight break up of the airframe. The cause was eventually identified as metal fatigue around the square cut corners of cabin windows which is why all cabin windows now have radius cut corners. Aviation is tragically littered, figuratively and literally with bits of broken aircraft that have led to a better understanding of an essentially extremely hostile operating environment.

The Comet didn’t recover not because it was a damaged brand, it didn’t recover because the Americans, who’d been roundly defeated in the race to develop truly ground breaking aviation technology in passenger transport to that point, came up with something genuinely better in the form of the 707.

That was despite the staggering naivety of successive post war British governments who’d signed up to a deal to share technology with the yanks and couldn’t figure out why the Americans were getting it cracked whilst no information on how seemed to be flowing East from the US. In the supreme irony, this frankly criminal state of affairs was finally ended largely at the instigation of the left winger Tony Benn in the 60s. The rest as they say, is history.

If you've never read it, I would recommend a book called Empire of the Skies. The hubris of successive British governments towards aviation, and within the aviation industry itself post-war was astounding.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
Kegworth.


I thought it was a few years later than that though.

I distinctly remember that crash on a Sunday afternoon. 30+ forces blokes killed in it, IIRC.
 
Just after WW2, air travel boomed. The aircraft used were mainly based on mil designs used during the war with a few upgrades and new ideas. That said, there are very few crews alive today who would be able to cope with the inherent idiosyncracies and flaws in those designs. Not too much talk around though of how dangerous things were back then. Crews just got on with the job and dealt with things as best they could, sometimes with fatal results.

Point is, things will always improve if we're lucky. Trying to remove the pilot from things using automation is probably not the best way to do that, but I admit to having a vested interest, as does @Toastie with whom I agree as to the naming of air crash incidents. Hopefully things will get better with more insight into error trapping, but bean counters will always look for a cheaper route, be that hiring less experienced and younger crews, or fast tracking training with MPL holders who are not prepared for curve balls. In my opinion, it's too late to go back and dig around for experienced types who know how to fly without automation. That ship has sailed and the infestation of tech dependent youngsters now inhabiting flight decks will require careful monitoring and mentoring if future mishaps are to be avoided.

Manufacturers try to do away with defects in their systems, but those curve balls lurk in the shadows and unforeseen shit has a habit of happening. Dealing with it is where it gets tricky.

This.

It’s not all gloom though as a conversation this week would indicate.

I‘m in the process of writing a 2 day classroom course that gets guys from completing the pure technical / handling aspects of the Type Rating Course to the point where they’re ready to start Line Training i.e. operating rather than just flying the jet, in North Atlantic airspace under ETOPS and in the badlands of the Middle and Far East.

One slide I included covered some items regarding Take Off Performance that is automatically done by the On Board Performance Tool. My supervising manager asked me why I‘d done this as the system is designed to do it for us. I replied that I was concerned that knowledge of what the system was doing was important so they could spot errors and then dug out an obscure little trap question that he duly got wrong. To his great credit he immediately suggested I not only not remove the slide in question, I add more on that theme.

To be fair, all my Training Management are decent people who are pushing this increasingly which has upset some who‘ve been found out and the money men because the course has gone from 1 day to 2.
 
If you've never read it, I would recommend a book called Empire of the Skies. The hubris of successive British governments towards aviation, and within the aviation industry itself post-war was astounding.
Read.

Excellent.
 
I distinctly remember that crash on a Sunday afternoon. 30+ forces blokes killed in it, IIRC.
IIRC it was inbound Belfast so that’s entirely plausible.

ETA, checked, yes, it was.
 
This.

It’s not all gloom though as a conversation this week would indicate.

I‘m in the process of writing a 2 day classroom course that gets guys from completing the pure technical / handling aspects of the Type Rating Course to the point where they’re ready to start Line Training i.e. operating rather than just flying the jet, in North Atlantic airspace under ETOPS and in the badlands of the Middle and Far East.

One slide I included covered some items regarding Take Off Performance that is automatically done by the On Board Performance Tool. My supervising manager asked me why I‘d done this as the system is designed to do it for us. I replied that I was concerned that knowledge of what the system was doing was important so they could spot errors and then dug out an obscure little trap question that he duly got wrong. To his great credit he immediately suggested I not only not remove the slide in question, I add more on that theme.

To be fair, all my Training Management are decent people who are pushing this increasingly which has upset some who‘ve been found out and the money men because the course has gone from 1 day to 2.

Bean counters should be savagely beaten by real humans every Monday morning as a matter of principle, just to remind them who actually flies on their aircraft and pays their salaries.
 
Bean counters should be savagely beaten by real humans every Monday morning as a matter of principle, just to remind them who actually flies on their aircraft and pays their salaries.
Nope. Those with large share holdings should be forced to sign a register. Once a year there’d be a lottery and two of the handful of pilots who die prematurely annually following terminal illness should be offered the opportunity to crash an old, poorly maintained airframe loaded with the lottery winners.
 
...While the bean counters continue to receive their Monday morning beatings.
 
I had a briefing this week on the return of the MAX in light of its clearance to fly by both EASA and the UK CAA. It will be running revenue flights as soon as there’s work for it and deliveries will recommence next week.

As ever, @Lardbeast, makes some very pertinent comments, in particular regarding levels of automation and the crews’ interactions with it. I’ve done a bit of digging and one of our engineers explained it nice and simply and it transpires that even the best would have struggled because as we now know, it was essentially 3 aspects of a system design that failed. There was a fourth even before that in that the overall design, eking out yet another iteration of a 65 year old airframe, required the MCAS system at all.

The 3 issues and there solution were / are:

1. The system originally used data from either one of two sensors on board but not both. If the one sensor gave dud info there was no comparison with the other and it was therefore unable to spot discrepancies. Worse still, it failed in a Fail Active mode in other words it insisted it was right and kept saying so. A revision of the software now cross references both systems and fails in a Fail Passive mode.

2. Once the system had activated it input control forces that could not be physicslly overridden by the pilots in terms of brute strength even if they tried. That has now been changed so that input by pilots will “break out” of the control system authority and leave them in control.

3. The system as designed meant that it continued to operate even in receipt of dud info and even overriding pilot input. Even if it momentarily stopped operating it would reset and repeat the cycle. This was one of the features that apparently confused the crews in question and lead them into assuming it was a runaway Stabiliser. The system will now operate only once then shut down.

Summary: it can’t now get dud info and if it does and activates, the crew can override it and it won’t keep fighting them.

Crew Training has now been enhanced with a specific training module including sim time to raise awareness and teach recovery. Previously knowledge of MCAS was confined to a short section in the systems manual. All crew are required to complete the training and pass an assessment before operating and this will be recurrent.

As previously stated, I’d get on it and I’d put my family on it too.
 
A career in politics awaits
Bit of a problem there, I don’t need a dictionary to find out the definitions of integrity or common sense and bothering to get some facts before pontificating.

There’s a world of difference between feeding my kids burgers during a time when the providence of said burgers was suspect at best (John Gummer, CJD scandal IIRC) and endorsing a product that was but is now demonstrably no longer suspect.

I will however freely admit that there is an element of self interest here; the ill informed speculation around the safety of this aircraft has considerable potential to harm the commercial viability of my employer. I’m not prepared to let that go unchallenged.
 
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