CAA bans Boeing 737 max 8

Lot of focus on automation here, along with the bean counters' edicts leading to dependance on the little electric security blanket in the guts of the ship by half trained crews who got there cheaply on the MPL cadet route, bypassing the hard yards where they learned to fly the thing and spot shit approaching while still a ways off on the horizon.

Douala KQ lob in a case in point. Rotate - autopilot on - sit back fat, dumb and happy without properly monitoring and making sure it's all working then when it goes wahoonie shaped, throw in the wrong control inputs.

AF bounce another one - no one knew what the basics were when it all turned to shit. Power off and stick back until impact where a hoof of the throttle would have likely flown it out of the stall.

Call me a curmudgeonly, grumpy old has been but the blokes I train can revert to raw data and turn it into a workable solution when it all goes pear shaped without chasing a set of batwings all over the shop and fixating on shit.

I reckon airlines are beginning to feel the loss of the old hands who are able to actually fly the thing and stay ahead of it, rather than manage a collection of blinking lights and shiny switches while merely reacting to shit that has already happened.

Bah!

Humbug!
 
Lot of focus on automation here, along with the bean counters' edicts leading to dependance on the little electric security blanket in the guts of the ship by half trained crews who got there cheaply on the MPL cadet route, bypassing the hard yards where they learned to fly the thing and spot shit approaching while still a ways off on the horizon.

Douala KQ lob in a case in point. Rotate - autopilot on - sit back fat, dumb and happy without properly monitoring and making sure it's all working then when it goes wahoonie shaped, throw in the wrong control inputs.

AF bounce another one - no one knew what the basics were when it all turned to shit. Power off and stick back until impact where a hoof of the throttle would have likely flown it out of the stall.

Call me a curmudgeonly, grumpy old has been but the blokes I train can revert to raw data and turn it into a workable solution when it all goes pear shaped without chasing a set of batwings all over the shop and fixating on shit.

I reckon airlines are beginning to feel the loss of the old hands who are able to actually fly the thing and stay ahead of it, rather than manage a collection of blinking lights and shiny switches while merely reacting to shit that has already happened.

Bah!

Humbug!
The specific electrickery bits in this case are to nudge the nose back up if the plane noses down unnoticed because of the change in cg of the Max 8 due to the bigger engines being moved slightly forward and tilted to fit. Noticing the issue of your horizon pointing the wrong direction and setting manual trim turns it off. You have to flip down the metal stop, and flip the two switches it blocks to turn off auto (or turn on manual, if you prefer), then dial in the trim on both sidewheels as required.
 
No. More like buying a Mustang with traction control, but not the light to tell you that it is taking over when you choose to not familiarize yourself with the operating characteristics before you try that awesome burnout in front of all your friends and uTube.
Not quite. Given that the accidents happened when MCAS was misbehaving (rather than when it was working as intended) I'd suggest a better analogy:

No. More like buying a Mustang with anti-lock brakes that has brake problems, so Ford added a shiny new software-driven "brakes are locked" sensor as standard, but an "anti-lock brake software is broken" light and second sensor as an optional safety extra.

Anyway, six months after purchase, the sensor fails silently. As you're approaching a bend / junction, the new software decides that the brakes have locked up, when of course they haven't. As you try to apply the brakes nothing happens, you only get fractional results when you completely release the brakes and reapply, until the software releases them again a fraction of a second later, and as you're trying to slow the card down through the well-understood mechanism of "push on the brake pedal", you hit a wall.

After two such accidents, it's discovered that Ford knew all about the brake flaw. However, the townspeople of the Ford factory state that it's you're fault because you should of course have bought the optional extras, that there is nothing wrong with the car, that you should just have followed the "switch off software-driven anti-lock brakes" menu described on page 169 of the manual and unique to this year's Mustang, and (whisper) imply that it's really because your skin colour is too dark to operate vehicles correctly, and you're too ignorant to operate a high-powered vehicle.

Meanwhile, a bunch of go-kart track instructors insist that if they'd taught you like a proper driver from the days before starter motors, synchromesh gearboxes, and automatic chokes, you wouldn't have left it too late to brake.
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
Has the ban been lifted? I am reasonably sure we saw some on the taxiway at Gatwick last week.
 
Has the ban been lifted? I am reasonably sure we saw some on the taxiway at Gatwick last week.
Possibly positioning flights allowed in order to get the aircraft back to base* - Gatwick would be expensive (and crowded) to be stuck at - no sense in completely crippling the airlines.

Or if your aircraft recognitions like mine you were possibly confusing anything from a 767 to a hercules


*MCAS disabled A to B that's your lot.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There was quite a mix of them, I would have thought flying out in the dark a better option!
 
Not quite. Given that the accidents happened when MCAS was misbehaving (rather than when it was working as intended) it's more like this:

More like buying a Mustang with anti-lock brakes that has brake problems, so Ford added a shiny new software-driven "brakes are locked" sensor as standard, but an "anti-lock brake software is broken" light and second sensor as an optional safety extra.

Anyway, as you're approaching a bend / junction, the new software decides that the brakes have locked up, when of course they haven't. As you try to apply the brakes nothing happens, you only get results when you completely release the brakes and reapply, until the software releases them again a fraction of a second later, and as you're trying to slow the card down through the well-understood mechanism of "push on the brake pedal", you hit a wall.

Meanwhile, the townspeople of the Ford factory state that it's you're fault because you should of course have bought the optional extras, that there is nothing wrong with the car, that you should just have implemented the "switch off software-driven anti-lock brakes" menu described on page 169 of the manual, and (whisper) imply that it's really because your skin colour is too dark to operate vehicles correctly, and you're too ignorant to operate a high-powered vehicle.
No.

And you've ignored the fact that Lion Air put a plane back up the next day that they knew had an issue, didn't bother to repair or even investigate, and failed at even letting the next, inexperienced crew know that the plane had a demonstrated problem.

Had the pilots any meaningful experience, and taken the time for basic familiarization with the new plane they were flying, the simple, normal act of manually setting trim when the plane started slowly nosing up on it's own would have disabled the assist system.

Had the airline followed normal, responsible, operating procedures by taking the aircraft out of service for exhibiting operational issues in flight, then the plane would have been placed out of service until the malfunctioning AoA sensor was discovered, replaced, and proper function verified.
 
There was quite a mix of them, I would have thought flying out in the dark a better option!
It's easier for crash crews to find you in daylight.
 
The specific electrickery bits in this case are to nudge the nose back up if the plane noses down unnoticed because of the change in cg of the Max 8 due to the bigger engines being moved slightly forward and tilted to fit. Noticing the issue of your horizon pointing the wrong direction and setting manual trim turns it off. You have to flip down the metal stop, and flip the two switches it blocks to turn off auto (or turn on manual, if you prefer), then dial in the trim on both sidewheels as required.
Not rocket science then. Quite intuitive, in fact.
 
Meanwhile, a bunch of go-kart track instructors insist that if they'd taught you like a proper driver from the days before starter motors, synchromesh gearboxes, and automatic chokes, you wouldn't have left it too late to brake.
ROFL!! ;)
 
There was quite a mix of them, I would have thought flying out in the dark a better option!
VFR may be a better (safer?) option under the circumstances - allowing external visual cues rather than relying (completely) on sensors and instruments.
We know the really strong (evidence based) suspicion is its the MCAS and sensor - but I doubt anyone is 100%willing to hang their hat on that and conclude theres no other sensor / Inst issues - and so blue skys clear weather only.
 
Had the airline followed normal, responsible, operating procedures by taking the aircraft out of service for exhibiting operational issues in flight, then the plane would have been placed out of service until the malfunctioning AoA sensor was discovered, replaced, and proper function verified.
So; is a malfunctioning AoA sensor a reason to ground a quarter-billion-dollar investment? Because insisting that absolutely zero faults are allowed on any part of the aircraft, no shades of gray allowed, seems... interesting.

Would a malfunctioning AoA sensor be regarded as a potential cause of a crash, for an older 737? Was the significance of the sensor made clear in conversion training for the type? Because AFAICT, the answer is no...

This is the root of the problem - if you're selling an aircraft as "it's just the same as the previous version, no expensive retraining required" (for maintainers, not just pilots), should you maybe consider adding something in BIG SCARY CAPITALS that says "Actually, it's REALLY important to realise that if the AoA sensor fails, ground the aircraft, or MCAS will crash it and kill you".
 
VFR may be a better (safer?) option under the circumstances - allowing external visual cues rather than relying (completely) on sensors and instruments.
We know the really strong (evidence based) suspicion is its the MCAS and sensor - but I doubt anyone is 100%willing to hang their hat on that and conclude theres no other sensor / Inst issues - and so blue skys clear weather only.
There may be regulatory and insurance limits on when and where they can fly a plane which has been officially "grounded" due to safety issues. I would not be surprised if the planes were being relocated to a few centres where the proposed safety upgrades and fixes will be conducted.
 
I would expect that Boeing are going to feel pretty sore in the pocket when the lawyers kick off as I can see law suits for 300 or so deaths being brought. Even if they get a bare say $2M per fatality then they are in for over half a billion $ in damages, never mind what any judge adds on for what the US courts call "punitive" damages.

That is going to sting, especially when you add on lawyers' fees and the loss of reputation that Airbus will be quoting to all their potential customers for the A320NG.
 
There may be regulatory and insurance limits on when and where they can fly a plane which has been officially "grounded" due to safety issues. I would not be surprised if the planes were being relocated to a few centres where the proposed safety upgrades and fixes will be conducted.
That's pretty much my thoughts on it
 
So; is a malfunctioning AoA sensor a reason to ground a quarter-billion-dollar investment? Because insisting that absolutely zero faults are allowed on any part of the aircraft, no shades of gray allowed, seems... interesting.

Would a malfunctioning AoA sensor be regarded as a potential cause of a crash, for an older 737? Was the significance of the sensor made clear in conversion training for the type? Because AFAICT, the answer is no...

This is the root of the problem - if you're selling an aircraft as "it's just the same as the previous version, no expensive retraining required" (for maintainers, not just pilots), should you maybe consider adding something in BIG SCARY CAPITALS that says "Actually, it's REALLY important to realise that if the AoA sensor fails, ground the aircraft, or MCAS will crash it and kill you".
News reports have said that manufacturer recommended pilot training for the new model consisted of giving the pilot a tablet with course software on it which he could complete before being assigned to one of the new planes. There was no simulator training required.

Plenty of experienced American pilots flying the new model were quoted in the press saying that they were shocked to learn through the press how the MCAS worked and the problems which it might cause, as Boeing had told them nothing about this.

The big question which is being asked about all this has been whether Boeing deliberately understated the amount of retraining and re-qualification required in order to help sell a warmed-over design by saying that retraining of personnel qualified on older models would be minimal.
 
2 out of 90 in-service airframes have crashed killing all aboard. Only the space shuttle is worse from recollection
Somewhere around 378 737 MAXs in service, or there were, IIRC. Still a high loss rate.
Has the ban been lifted? I am reasonably sure we saw some on the taxiway at Gatwick last week.
Nope. They are being flown off into storage. So you may have seen one of these positioning flights departing.
 
News reports have said that manufacturer recommended pilot training for the new model consisted of giving the pilot a tablet with course software on it which he could complete before being assigned to one of the new planes. There was no simulator training required.

Plenty of experienced American pilots flying the new model were quoted in the press saying that they were shocked to learn through the press how the MCAS worked and the problems which it might cause, as Boeing had told them nothing about this.

The big question which is being asked about all this has been whether Boeing deliberately understated the amount of retraining and re-qualification required in order to help sell a warmed-over design by saying that retraining of personnel qualified on older models would be minimal.
I refer my learned colleague to one of my posts a few pages back.

However, it's not a "warmed over" design, it's an "extensively modified" design.

To save you looking back, the cost saving was a keystone of the Boeing sales pitch based on certification as a minor modification to an existing design.

In practice, it's about 30% different from the previous model including the "minor" parts of wings and engines, plus a different centre of gravity / lift, oh, and some "minor" modifications to the control system.

[sarcasm mode off]
 
I would expect that Boeing are going to feel pretty sore in the pocket when the lawyers kick off as I can see law suits for 300 or so deaths being brought. Even if they get a bare say $2M per fatality then they are in for over half a billion $ in damages, never mind what any judge adds on for what the US courts call "punitive" damages.

That is going to sting, especially when you add on lawyers' fees and the loss of reputation that Airbus will be quoting to all their potential customers for the A320NG.
A320NG production being sold out for the next 4 years may be a problem, here. There is some speculation the Chinese may get a chance with some of their offerings on the horizon.

A320s are also being built in China (and the USA), so production may be able to be ramped up, but the European plants are already on a 6 day week.
 
Not rocket science then. Quite intuitive, in fact.
Exactly.

The second hard rocket surgery part of the problem is "what to do when a plane displays a mechanical/electrical problem during a flight and manages to get safely back to the ground..."

Obviously, someone's answer is "put it back in the air with a different crew and don't tell them anything."
 
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