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Boeing 737 MAX returns to commercial service

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.
Gawd, you've gone and drawn me into an exceptionally interesting and informative topic of which I, as a mere interested and occasional participant realise I'm more than over 'my head'( I got the uk disasters right though, Sis was on A&E as a student in Mcr. at the time, she wouldn't fly out in daylight afterwards with that fire training fuselage on display)
However there are two observations I offer, to your excellent posts....
Firstly, The BSE fiasco;
Having more than a vested interest in the events, and being younger and less cynical,
I dared to ask questions of both the Broadcast Media, and on one occasion a direct and awkward question to the most senior Sir Humphrey at the Min of Ag. in a crowded room of my elders and betters, Sir Richard Packer, he even acknowledged it in his book, (after his Knighthood and Retirement of course)

Only Brig. Birtwhistle was able to give a straight answer, the rest was pure Bullsh# of which the MSM lapped up then put their colour of spin on it, the whole Bse farrago was only reported at about 60% accuracy (probably overgenerous)
No reason to believe owt else is otherwise.

Secondly.
I can only offer a very limited snapshot of several friends and family who regularly commute to their Southern European second homes, these folk are successful Business folk/ Medico's etc.
I've heard more than once they'll look to travel Easy rather than Ryan because
"At least with Airbus, they're built in an 'overregulated' EU rather than the 'Wild West'of the States....(the great majority being Brexiteers too)
They'll take some winning round, twenty quid extra saved to spend on the weeks' p#ss up won't sway their views( although a copy of your explanation would)

ETA.
I would still no more buy a Burger from anywhere other than Maccy D's , not that I do, than buy a packet of bloody Quorn.
 
Gawd, you've gone and drawn me into an exceptionally interesting and informative topic of which I, as a mere interested and occasional participant realise I'm more than over 'my head'( I got the uk disasters right though, Sis was on A&E as a student in Mcr. at the time, she wouldn't fly out in daylight afterwards with that fire training fuselage on display)
However there are two observations I offer, to your excellent posts....
Firstly, The BSE fiasco;
Having more than a vested interest in the events, and being younger and less cynical,
I dared to ask questions of both the Broadcast Media, and on one occasion a direct and awkward question to the most senior Sir Humphrey at the Min of Ag. in a crowded room of my elders and betters, Sir Richard Packer, he even acknowledged it in his book, (after his Knighthood and Retirement of course)

Only Brig. Birtwhistle was able to give a straight answer, the rest was pure Bullsh# of which the MSM lapped up then put their colour of spin on it, the whole Bse farrago was only reported at about 60% accuracy (probably overgenerous)
No reason to believe owt else is otherwise.

Secondly.
I can only offer a very limited snapshot of several friends and family who regularly commute to their Southern European second homes, these folk are successful Business folk/ Medico's etc.
I've heard more than once they'll look to travel Easy rather than Ryan because
"At least with Airbus, they're built in an 'overregulated' EU rather than the 'Wild West'of the States....(the great majority being Brexiteers too)
They'll take some winning round, twenty quid extra saved to spend on the weeks' p#ss up won't sway their views( although a copy of your explanation would)

ETA.
I would still no more buy a Burger from anywhere other than Maccy D's , not that I do, than buy a packet of bloody Quorn.
Which precisely illustrates my point.

There’s a huge difference between “over regulation” and “effective regulation”. Having seen the practical impact of EU Aviation regulation as opposed to bureaucratic posturing, IMHO they are approaching the point of being actively dangerous. There are any number of examples of Airbus aircraft design falling short, some of which I’ve highlighted previously. The difference is that all the shiny regulatiin actually achieves nothing in practice, especially if the uncomfortable truth threatens to tarnish anything to do with European cooperation of which Airbus is arguably the jewel in the crown.

Except of course, it isn’t. It’s riven with trans national rivalry and is a business, one that has spent much of the last 20 years having its collective arse handed to it comprehensively by the Americans and increasingly by Bombardier in Canada and Embraer in Brazil. Two White Elephants in the form of the A340 and A380, both spectacular failures to read the market, have hardly helped.

It is this kind of misinformation that leads your friends to draw wholly incorrect conclusions. Next time you speak to them, ask them why they think there hasn’t been a peep of gloating or publicity selling Airbus as safer than Boeing coming out of Airbus HQ off the back of the MAX saga? Answer, they (Airbus) know damned well there are numerous skeletons lurking and imho, more to come.
 
Yes, you’d think so (“you” generic rather than “you“personally). But again history shows otherwise:

But forever known within industry as the DCDeath
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.


Pedantic moment - the design flaw wasnt with the door not closing properly but with the poor indicating mechanism a - as such it wasnt that the door didnt close properly but rather it was possible for you to make a mistake closing it and it to indicate it was closed.

However in the case of the Turkish crash - the several shims soldered onto the door frame - meant the door closed switch showed closed even if it was half open. They never got to the bottom of that one of why where when or who.

Pedantry aside the point im trying to make is that the DC10 was somewhat maligned and wasnt the badly designed disaster it was often portrayed as . The Max however could be argued to be so and worse DC10 was a cock up - Max was a cover up.

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
Is there a prize for guessing what it was
that caused the loss of a Swissair aircraft that suffered an uncontrollable in flight fire that originated in the cockpit overhead panel.

To be fair though pretty much everything flew with it at one time

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.


I have to disagree here -
The wiring involved for the Fuel indicating system has to be inside the tank - So its not a design flaw , clearly it sustained damage possibly as a result of poor installation or maintenance - but i dont think Boeing design office are culpable here.

For those concerned a D Checks sees that wiring thouroughly inspected by some unlucky sod
 
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.

That was a school boy error and should never have been allowed to pass CDR on either single system and active fail.
 

Union Jack

Old-Salt
** The most serious loss of life was a British Airtours Boeing 737-200 Jurassic at Manchester in 1985 where a combustion chamber in an engine ruptured causing a devastating fire. 56 of the 137 on board died, mainly from smoke inhalation caused by burning cabin materials that had been designed in (by Boeing) because they were light, cheap and easily maintained. That accident is known as The Manchester Air Disaster, not the British Airtours Boeing 737 disaster at Manchester.

I can keep this up all day.
Appreciating that I have just looked at this thread for the first time, and in order to help you ensure that you have your facts right as you "keep this up all day", I'm sure that you won't mind me pointing out that the most serious loss of life as a result of an aircraft accident in the United Kingdom was the BEA Trident accident near Staines on 18 June 1972, which resulted in the sad loss of 118 passengers and crew.

Jack
 
Appreciating that I have just looked at this thread for the first time, and in order to help you ensure that you have your facts right as you "keep this up all day", I'm sure that you won't mind me pointing out that the most serious loss of life as a result of an aircraft accident in the United Kingdom was the BEA Trident accident near Staines on 18 June 1972, which resulted in the sad loss of 118 passengers and crew.

Jack
Yes, you are correct and I don’t mind at all, my error of omission. There was a sizeable chunk of Human Factors in that but also, in the context of this thread, an element of design failure too in that the slats could be retracted in an unsafe part of the flight envelope.

Both were addressed. After the event. Plus ca change.
 
Yes, you are correct and I don’t mind at all, my error of omission. There was a sizeable chunk of Human Factors in that but also, in the context of this thread, an element of design failure too in that the slats could be retracted in an unsafe part of the flight envelope.

Both were addressed. After the event. Plus ca change.
Except that Boeing and the FAA were complicit in a failing of regulatory authority. Also that that Boeing's head honchos put profit over safety in not warning operators of the type, and trying to get the planes of that type flying again too soon.

It's the perception of a 'profit over safety culture' in the head office of Boeing and ineffectual regulatory oversight that worries me more. What else are they covering up in other airframes?

Whether there is such a lack or not, you can't deny the perception that Boeing management didn't behave with integrity. Which director(s) accepted the responsibility and resigned over the deaths of several hundreds of passengers and crews? These were the victims of coprporate greed.

This is an extract from the US Senate House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure report from Sept 2020. It is scathing of both Boeing and the FAA.

-FINAL COMMITTEE REPORT: BOEING 737 MAX-
6. AOA Disagree Alert


Culture of Omission

Boeing, the FAA, and other aviation experts do not believe the AOA Disagree alert is a safety critical component. However, the tale of how Boeing dealt with the AOA Disagree alert issue is extremely important and deeply disturbing. While Boeing has said its senior leadership was unaware of the AOA Disagree alert issue at the time, it is clear multiple Boeing employees at multiple levels in the company were fully aware the AOA Disagree alerts were not functioning on the majority of the 737 MAX fleet. Some even initiated the process of informing Boeing’s customers of this fact. For whatever reason that information never made its way out the door at Boeing and to Boeing’s customers. Worse, Boeing continued to knowingly manufacture and deliver dozens of MAX aircraft with a defective component to its customers, violating their approved type design.

Boeing made a decision to simply omit the fact that the AOA Disagree alert on the majority of its 737 MAX fleet were inoperative not only from airlines, but from MAX pilots and the FAA as well. This paints a troubling picture of the corporate and cultural challenges Boeing must squarely face to regain the trust of Federal regulators, its customers, and the flying public. Boeing’s actions may not have directly jeopardized the safety of any aircraft, but the way Boeing handled this issue endangered the reputation of the company.

For its part, the FAA has failed to hold Boeing accountable for its actions on this issue. This is despite the fact the then-Acting FAA Administrator made it clear to the Committee that once Boeing decided to include the AOA Disagree alert as a standard feature on its MAX aircraft, it “was required to be installed and functional on all 737 MAX airplanes Boeing produced,” per its approved type design. The AOA Disagree alert issue also highlights the fact that the FAA simply does not have enough insight into Boeing’s activities in order to provide the robust oversight that is necessary and expected of this Federal regulatory agency.


Cherry picking various comments from the final section of the report:

Unfortunately, serious questions remain as to whether Boeing and the FAA have fully and correctly learned the lessons from the MAX failures.



This report’s main investigative findings point to a company culture that is in serious need of a safety reset. Boeing has gone from being a great engineering company to being a big business focused on financial success.



However, the Committee’s investigation leaves open the question of Boeing’s willingness to admit to and learn from the company’s mistakes.



Several weeks before this report was finalized, multiple news stories suggested that Boeing was endeavoring to change the name of the 737 MAX to the 737-8 in an effort to combat the indelible image problems now surrounding the aircraft. If the Committee’s investigation offers any lessons for Boeing, it is that a name change and a public relations effort will not address the cultural issues at Boeing that hampered the safety of the 737 MAX in the first place and ultimately led to two fatal accidents and the death of 346 people. A name change may help confront a public relations problem, but only a genuine, holistic, and assertive commitment to changing the cultural issues unearthed in the Committee’s investigation at both Boeing and the FAA can enhance aviation safety and truly help both Boeing and the FAA learn from the dire lessons of the 737 MAX tragedies.
 
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.
Have you ever read "Dirk gentleys directive agency"? Great story with a twist. Technology is there to serve not to sooth worries or doubts. We are supposed to do that and make the call. Perhaps Boeing should have a look at it.
Douglas Adams really did see the future.
 
* How many of you correctly identified “The Kegworth Accident”? Except you didn’t correctly identify anything other than the location, it was The British Midland Boeing 737 Accident which happened to occur at Kegworth (47 people died btw, the second most serious loss of life in a U.K. air accident**). By some very clever PR, the airline, the aircraft type and the manufacturer have been essentially expunged from the record.
Dunno whether it's of anyone's interest, but there's a prog just started on Quest
( new) .. Disasters Engineered , starting with the Kegworth crash.
Passenger testimony as well as expert opinion from investigators, just to put a bit more flesh on the bones of @Toastie's description.


ETA.
Probably realised it's not the best phraseology in the circumstances, apologies.
 
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