I wouldn't put faith in the FAA to be beyond political influence and crack down on an American manufacturer quickly.
Lauda Air flight 004  crashed in 1991 after inadvertent thrust reverser deployment mid-flight, which were not secured with positive locks since Boeing deemed this to be impossible. The FAA accepted Boeing's tests at face value. Regardless, Boeing insisted this would be a survivable event - it wasn't until Niki Lauda (airline's founder) insisted Boeing issue a statement to the contrary or to perform a test flight with him and two pilots attempting a deliberate reverse thrust deployment mid-flight. Boeing relented and acknowledged the defect.
The more groups looking at aviation safety, the better.
The doctors said he still had more operations to undergo to complete his recovery, but when pressed, admitted that the additional operations were for cosmetic reasons and would not affect his ability to drive.
He raced in F1 races with open wounds weeping into his balaclava.
To this day he's known for having only half an ear on one side and very little hair on his head, but until last year when he had a severe lung problem (likely as a consequence of his aforementioned accident)he happily appeared in public at F1 races.
He retired from F1 to focus on his airline, but un-retired and won another F1 championship.
He ran his airline for a while but now is more of a public figure for one of the F1 teams.
The Ron Howard movie Rush is a great treatment of his time in F1.
Agree, probably one of the best racing movies in general.
Categorically FALSE. Let's get the facts straight.
1. The initial mandate was only to temporarily ground all 737MAX series for one(1) day (March 11th) not indefinitely. The CAAC (equiv. of FAA in the US) will determine the further action upon an initial report result is released.  It also mentioned that CAAC takes zero tolerance to air safety issues, which is consistent in the past 40 years.
2. Out of 350 Boeing's 737MAX series delivered since 2017, about one thirds (96 according to the Chinese news) went to China. To speed up delivery and reduce cost, Boeing actually opened and operated a brand new factory in Zhoushan, China for all deliveries to Chinese market.
So Chinese airliners are one biggest early adopters and Boeing's biggest market. The Zhoushan Boeing factory is joint venture with CMAC (a State owned aircraft manufacturer). So a politically move to ban 737Max that may cause significant economical impact for their own state-owned enterprise, which made no sense.
I would. The FAA grounded the Boeing 787 after some widely publicized battery fires: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787_Dreamliner_battery_.... I would assume that they would do the same thing here, if this also turned out to be a widespread issue not related to aircraft maintenance or pilot training.
The same FAA who is in bed with Boeing I might say.
Where in the world can you self-certify anything? What's the point of getting certified if you can do it yourself? Reminds me of self-grading in school. That was only in classes noone ever cared about.
In the US. Self-certification is pervasive in the aviation industry. For ex., an A&P self-certifies her own work. A pilot self-certifies night landing and instrument currency.
TEPCO certifies their Japanese nuclear plants.
Works great, doesn't it?
Ex: “Today in Tokyo, Nissan joined the increasing list of automakers who have admitted to falsifying emissions and/or fuel economy figures. The company said it had uncovered falsified data from car exhaust emissions tests at most of its plants based in Japan.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlyon/2018/07/09/nissan-adm...
Trust but verify is common worldwide for this stuff. Otherwise governments would need to install and operate a lot of equipment at every factory worldwide.
I am not, however, going to take any position on whether Boeing has done anything wrong until the accident analysis is complete.
What happened to better safe than sorry? Obviously this type of plane needs to be grounded until issues are resolved or the two crashes can be definitely be dismissed as a freak coincedence.
If not, then the Chinese system would appear to be superior as safety can trump commercial considerations then.
It would be a very suspect thing.
Two brand new 737 Max from two different types of airlines crashed in 6 months, what else you need to establish the fact that 737 Max worth to be grounded for a full investigation? How "widespread" it need to be? Maybe a few more crashes are required for FAA to make a move?
FAA's refusal to immediately ground all 737 Max is a pure political move to defend a faulty design that have already killed hundreds of people.
the black box should be relatively easy to find (assuming it survived), so investigators should have a better idea about the cause soon.
that is the exact reason why all 737 Max should be immediately grounded for a full investigation.
or are you suggesting to further risk lives just to protect the interests of a company which had two of its brand new jets crashed in 6 months? Will you defend a Russian/Chinese manufacturer posing similar obvious fatal risks to the public when FAA orders all of them to be grounded in the US?
The person you are replying to made no reference to the countries/governments involved. Please do not assume someone's argument is politically charged if they have said nothing to imply that it is. It assumes the worst of people with no impetus.
With all my respect, this is an opinion, not a fact. A fact has to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Here it's just "likely to be true" at best.
However, citing single a 1991 crash as evidence of something 30 years later is a bit extreme - that isn't even in the same century any more. If it was geopolitics or community attitudes, sure. But extrapolating present attitudes from a technical decisions about a thrust reverser is too far.
I couldn't find a milder way to say that while capturing the point. I'm more amused at attitudes to airline safety than anything else.
So the question becomes - assuming this dynamic is still valid today: what independent mechanism exists to ensure Boeing's standards are sufficient?
So, there is some regulatory independence.
Do you have some examples to give?
The Brazilians required that Boeing document MCAS and include it in the required differences training. MCAS was considered a fairly small difference (if memory serves — "B") by the Brazilians and the MAX is still operating on the same type certificate. The big question in my mind is: why did the FAA not do the same?
2001 and 2000 aren't the same century, doesn't mean there was much change.
If MCAS is getting some kind of erroneous AOA signal and inputting an unwanted nose down pitch, guess what? Those procedures will stop it. If pilots at airline X get to step 2 and think they're good and MCAS starts another input after it's initial 10 second trim, then they go to step 3.
If you want to speculate about something, why not start with what position investigators in both of these crashes are going to find the stab cutout switches. If they're not "off", why? MCAS or poor procedures?
> 3 - If that doesn't work, then you turn off the stab trim cutout switches.
And.. If this doesn't work either? What if it seems to make things worse? Is that switch implemented in hardware or software? I don't mean the switch itself: does it just pull a pin high/low for some controller or does it fully disconnect/shut down the offending part?
Especially for the case of "it actually makes things worse" finding that the switch was ultimately left in the "on" position doesn't really help; quite the opposite I'd say (but I'd assume any change to the switch would be logged by the black box to be able to identify this case).
Actually when I saw the altitude log of the first crash I wondered why there was such a steep descend the first time, while the following cycles were much less extreme. So that's my buildup for tomorrow's conspiracy theory, someone else do the flesh out. ;-)
Previously anti-stall just signaled a warning, now it automatically turns the nose down, fighting the pilots attempt to ascend the machine after a start.
This is a serious security defect.
#1 anti-stall being fooled by some strong AOA sensor signal on initial ascend. This is not a stall, this a normal start procedure.
#2 anti-stall turned on by default automatically.
This already caused two major crashes with zero survivors. The attempt to blame the pilots not reading the updated documentation is also criminal behavior. Boeing might go bankrupt over this. I hope so.
Has that been confirmed or are you just assuming it was the cause of the second crash?
Even without a single confirmed crash it's a strong SW security problem.
Reminds me of the scene in "Battleship" when Liam Neesons character tells the gov big-wig he will fly into the barrier-like thing as soon as he would come down to strap himself into the co-pilot's seat.
And it saddens me to see my comment being downvoted so rapidly. Has it become too hard in this corporate America to not buy into this bs? Has it not been obvious from history lessons that companies can only be held up to the moral standards that the law could effectively demand? A thorough investigation means potentially losing hundreds of billions of dollars. I would not expect Boeing to jump into this without some iron-fisted slaps. In the current trade circumstances, doubly not so. It is FAA's job to be doubtful and strict, not Boeing's. And it disappoints when FAA is testing reasonable doubts with human lives, not Boeing's profits.
If you are so inclined to downvote this, fly 737 max8 whenever you can probably help your corporate daddies more. Put your life on it where you mean it.
I mean, even from a financial perspective: If a third one crashes, Boeing can deliver its 737 max8 to the graveyard. Not to mention the lost trust by ignoring the obvious signs.
It is possible that these two crashes are unrelated and that it's simply bad luck that it hit the 737 max8 two times. But that's are serious gamble with the reputation, not even considering possible fines and lawsuits.
What is the basis for this statement? And are you trying to say something about airline maintenance policy, or manufacturing, or training, or record-keeping?
Your figure is also for a single year.
However, and to play a bit devil's advocate, China has a reputation as being a place that does not care about the value of human life, and the current climate is charged with USA advising people to ban Huawei's hardware, so this could have ulterior motives. If it was France banning them, nobody would bat an eye.
Political or not, in my eyes it is definitely the right move.
I will certainly not fly in one of these planes anytime soon.
It doesn't befuddle me. China has a bit of a history of using safety regulations as a pretext for political and trade retaliation. China and the US are currently in a tariff war, and Boeing airplanes happen to be one of the US's biggest exports to China. While the FAA might not be perfectly independent, I'm pretty sure it's more politically independent than most Chinese government institutions. I'm actually surprised they didn't take an action like this sooner.
Here's a recent article that outlines some other examples of China using safety regulations to retaliate:
> China said Wednesday that it is blocking some imports of the agricultural product canola from Canada because of fears of insect infestation.
> The move, which comes amid heightened tensions over Canada's arrest of a Chinese tech executive, is seen by some as a new tactic to seek leverage over Ottawa....
> [The foreign ministry spokesman] cited "harmful organisms" that he did not identify further, and said China's government "needs to protect the health and safety of its own people."...
> Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducted investigations after China issued notices of non-compliance on canola seed imports, including nine since January. She said the agency had not identified any pests or bacteria of concern....
> China, whose rapid growth has made it an important market for many countries, has a history of using commercial retaliation against those at odds with Beijing.
> The most recent high-profile target was South Korean retailer Lotte, which sold land to the Seoul government for a U.S. anti-missile system opposed by Beijing. Authorities closed most of the company's 99 supermarkets and other outlets — often alleging safety violations — and a theme park project.
> China suspended a trade deal with Norway and restricted imports of Norwegian salmon after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese political prisoner Liu Xiaobo in 2010. It stopped buying fruit from the Philippines during a dispute over territory in the South China Sea. Britain and other countries also faced retaliation over meetings with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, considered a dangerous separatist by Beijing.
Whatever else you think about this topic, it’s utter nonsense to say only Boeings crash.
Ultimately though there are over 5000 orders for the 737MAX. The list price is $121 million. That makes the total value of the order book $600 Billion at list prices. That's roughly the market cap of Google or Apple, and the 737MAX is extremely important to the U.S. balance of trade. There is obviously going to be a political component to any big regulatory action on it.
The FAA needs to make a major course correction here, because what's even more important long-term than a single, very popular airplane to the U.S. economy is FAA's credibility as a regulator. In most countries, FAA certification means rubber-stamp certification from the local authority. As long as it is, it's a huge advantage to the U.S. aviation industry, because the FAA can write regs that are favorable to U.S. interests. This is only true though as long as the FAA is seen to have integrity.
In this case, when it comes to that, by my reading (and I'm not a lawyer or an expert), the MCAS is in violation of FAR part 25.672, and the 737MAX is not airworthy.
Like the adage about owing a billion to the bank being their problem, a crash is an airlines problem, but 3 crashes of the same plane for the same reason is the air industries problem.
Right now I think they still have a good reputation.
Jokes aside, if it’s that difficult I’d be weary of all the rest of the codebase...
> On a commercial level, China’s aviation sector could actually benefit from the tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia. A government-owned company in Shanghai has begun doing flight tests of a Chinese-made alternative to the Boeing 737, called the Comac C919. The C919 is the cornerstone of China’s effort to build a commercial aviation competitor to Boeing and Airbus.
It's worth noting that a) the C919 program has been severely troubled, and b) this hasn't stopped the Chinese government from arm-twisting Chinese airlines into over 1000 (!) orders. The original plan was for entry into service by 2014; as of now, they're still refining prototypes for test flights and the current goal of 2021 looks optimistic.
Comac's other airliner, the ARJ21 regional jet, is (barely) in service but is not faring much better: "Initial operational feedback of aircraft was rather poor. The biggest issue was inability of the aircraft to land on wet runways."
...and per FlightRadar24, sole customer Chengdu Airlines is no longer flying its ARJ21s:
After a bit of googling, I found this article from November 2018: https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safety/southwest-airlines... Apparently, Southwest has been updating glass cockpits in its 737 MAX fleet to include extra indicators to mitigate factors that led to the 2018 Lion Air crash, like an on-screen AOA indicator and a warning light to indicate when AOA sensors don't agree. (I do wish they had gone far enough to disable the MCAS system when one AOA sensor indicates high AOA and the two sensors disagree by more than 2x their individual tolerance.)
That mitigates our risk in the chance that the crash was caused by the same factors that led to the 2018 Lion Air crash, but I'm still nervous as the cause of this morning's crash is unknown.
And hey, Southwest gives full credit for cancellations, right?
The Lion Air crash was world news. If any 737 pilot heard about it, presumably went through extra training in its aftermath, and yet was unable to avoid the exact same takeoff->unreliable airspeed->stall pattern, then it's simply not possible to rely on piloting to avoid stalling the plane. As far as I know this Ethiopia crash was in visual conditions: the pilots could see the ground, which means they weren't confused about what their AoA was. I'm not an expert, but I think control failure of the airliner under these conditions is basically unprecedented.
There's a planned MCAS software update that's been delayed for months: after that actually ships seems like the right time for people to start flying the plane again.
> A software update intended to fix the problem identified in the Lion Air crash still hasn’t been rolled out. The fact that the crew on Flight 610 are likely to have been aware of the known issues with the aircraft, too, raises the more worrying possibility that there’s an unknown complication.
> The relocated engines and their refined nacelle shape caused an upward pitching moment -- in essence, the Max's nose was getting nudged skyward... putting the aircraft at risk of stalling, according to a series of questions and answers provided to pilots at Southwest Airlines. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System(MCAS) was designed to address this.
(fortunately, the flights between DAL and LGA seem to be mostly 700s, at least during the time of year I want to travel)
In last 6 months, to be more factual.
2 brand new aircraft of the latest model went down shortly after take off in less than 6 months. That is not normal and a proper investigation needs to take place. Until the investigation is done and it is proven that both of these crashes where just freak incidents and not caused by design flaw of the plane the planes should be grounded.
Flying is safe because we had the time to learn from past accidents and create safeguards around their failures, this could be a new kind of failure we haven't been prepared for and if so there is a potential for risks higher than the usual.
Because 2 brand new 737s went down in the past 6 months and at least one of them was at least partially due to software.
Especially when it's a new aircraft, perhaps pilots need time to adjust, same as when you and I get in to a new car, it may have different response when you hit the gas, different mirrors, different sounds, different steering wheel sensitivity, etc.
This again pushes the blame back onto Boeing who insisted pilots didn't need to be retrained / trained up against this model aircraft as it would've meant extra expenditure by the airlines.
There's also been quite a few of these type of stalls documented in the past (eg. where the pitot tubes failed).
Also, pilots should be prepared to experience faulty sensors as they could fail at any time, no matter what model aircraft they are flying, no?
MCAS is not autopilot, and is not affected by autopilot system status. Indeed it is only enabled when the autopilot is off. And typical things you'd do to override autopilot, like applying stick input, do not override MCAS. The pilots did literally what you suggested their first reaction would be, and it wasn't sufficient to prevent fatal crashes.
if it works, don't change it - sadly nowadays that's not true anymore for tech industry, they change things for the sake of change.
Idling cars at stoplights doesn't work. It adds unneeded pollution and wastes fuel. If there were an efficient way to avoid that, it would be stupid not to. That's why they changed it.
What shocks me is that this is the first you've heard of it. You've never heard the car next to you shut off when they pull up to a light?
Compare the 737 to the Embrarer 175 - the Embrarer is a much smaller plane but it has an elliptical fuselage so that you can stand up comfortably in it and also not get a crick
in your neck from being inside a too-small circle.
Many words have been written on the flying experience getting worse, but not enough have been written on the 737. Not too long ago you could find a decent plane like a 757 on a major route in the U.S. (say JFK to LAX) but now you have to squeeze yourself into a 737 sardine can, breathe toxic fumes, etc. It's just awful. But you only hear about it when they are hell-bent on re-engining a plane which isn't tall enough to fit a high-bypass engine and then they have to do all kinds of crazy things to make it fit.
Boeing had a chance to do a clean-sheet design of the 737 but they didn't and now Embrarer is going to eat their lunch.
I agree with you about the re-engining though. Seems Boeing might have pushed the 737 airframe one generation too far.
The 737 MAX 8 has 184. I don't think they are competing that much.
If any pilot had any serious reservations about the safety of the aircraft, I can't imagine them flying.
Well everything has some risk. There should be some small tolerance, or else we wouldn't do anything.
The facts are that the Indonesia crash just 5 months ago killed 189 people; this latest Ethiopia crash just killed 157 people. That's way too many dead people for a plane that has only been shipping since 2017, with less than 350 aircraft in service.
Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe the Ethiopian carrier has a bad rep for pushing pilots beyond prudent flying limits. But maybe there's something wrong with the plane!
The first crash was IMO almost 100% on Boeing. They significantly changed the operating behavior of the aircraft and didn't prominently publicize that.
I hope there won't be a third crash anytime soon. Right now if I were Boeing I'd be 100% in emergency design review mode. How would you like to be an engineer at Boeing right now? 346 people are dead. Is it something you did or failed to do? Did you fuck up what was a relatively minor re-design of a plane that started flying 52 years ago?
It has 11 hull losses with 1447 built. That's a rate of 2.67 per 350 built by the way -- higher than the MAX
Those A330 hull losses are over more than 25 years. The Max went into production in 2017. The correct metric to use here is hull losses per hour of flight. I can see some total number of flights data, but not total hours. The Max has probably made fewer than 100k flights total, the A330 has made at least 7 million flights.
Therefore, multiply the two Max hull losses by 70 to get your first ballpark guess at a comparable number. It is as if the Max was an A330 with 140 hull losses instead of 11.
Of course, given the small numbers of 737 MAXes, this may be s statistical fluke. But grounding it til the investigation is complete doesn’t seem crazy to me.
How many of those hull loses resulted in fatalities? How many of the hull loses were due to pilot error (e.g. AF 447)? How many flights have those A330s flown? So far Boeing's lost two MAX8s that were quite new with many signs pointing to a design flaw rather than pilot error. That's a worse record than the A330.
He is counting 11 hull losses, which is the correct number of hull loss ( http://aviation-safety.net/database/types/Airbus-A330/losses ), but he didn't bother to look for anything more than that. Out of these 11 losses, four were due to ground attack by armed groups (Two in Sri Lanka in 2001, two in Libya in 2014. These are the one marked "C1" in the page)
Pretty sure that these should not count when assessing the security of a airplane (at least a civilian airplane)
The only accident investigation I've ever read (I read a lot of these) that actually had no broader recommendations for safety, was one where two fishermen used enough heroin to render themselves incapable of operating their boat safely and they drowned. The investors concluded that yup, taking so much heroin that you can't operate the boat is a bad idea, don't do that. Heroin is, of course, already a class A drug and you're not supposed to use it at all while operating a boat. No new recommendations.
Back in software, it's theoretically possible to do PKCS #1 v1.5 decryption safely but you're going to keep seeing Bleichenbacher Oracles until we stop using it in online protocols, because doing it correctly is hard. So we should just stop doing it altogether.
The 737 MAX crashed twice in the past six months, I supposed based on this track record we should just close Boeing down altogether?
Mustard — The DC-10 Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-085TjhUPo
Aviation Regulation Agencies will ideally put safety first, and it is a shame that the 737 MAX is either unlucky to be involved in 2 deadly incidents or it does have a design flaw that should be revised.
If you're interested in wading into the arguments of whether or not this plane is safer or more dangerous than others this is a useful resource: http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/rate_mod.htm
Stretched versions of the MD11 cargo also mad many stability problems.
> Boeing decided to feed M.C.A.S. with data from only one of the two angle of attack sensors at a time, depending on which of two, redundant flight control computers — one on the captain’s side, one on the first officer’s side — happened to be active on that flight.
Obviously, the Lion Air flight did crash, so this no longer seems like such a wise design.
Does anyone know if this is the first such example?
They've come a long way from the scandal of having melamine in the milk.
current trade discussions w/r/t fentanyl regulation in PRC would suggest otherwise
I can't check anymore because their site seems to be blocked for users outside of the US, or at least from the two countries from which I've tried.
Rest in peace to the 157 deceased.
My point is if your mind is closed to looking at their actions at an objective level, there is no point arguing against your position, since it is that China is inherently evil, and is incapable of good actions.
Question is, what if you’re wrong? What if one party is better than two, or four, or 8? And if you can’t consider that possibility, are you any more open than China’s politically oppressive one-party system?
I'm not saying that China is evil, I'm just saying that there is a reason why the international community doesn't take anything they do at face value. The US can be wrong about things, and China can be right (for example, it would be naive to believe that the FAA is completely free from Boeing's influence), but the US's institutions are definitely more transparent and trustworthy than China's.
US are a multi-party state with two dominant parties. There are many unrepresented legal political parties.
The US federal government is a two-party system with some non-party representation; not only is a multi-party system is defined by having multiple represented parties, but the US has a number of government systems set up whose structure is fundamentally predicated on their only being two parties that matter, and both the major parties observe that structure even when they have the political opportunity to gain immediate advantage by exploiting the huge loopholes that this opens in theory; e.g., a party could pack the so-called “independent” government commissions whose members are Presidentially appointed with a limit of a bare majority (3 on 5-member commissions) from a single party by appointing friendly independents or members of ideologically-aligned minor parties, but even when the President’s party controls the Senate and so shutting the opposing party out completely would not provoke confirmation battles that might be lost, the form of duopoly is strictly adhered to.
It's clear that functionally, everything outside or the major parties is decorative and non-functional; even the independents in office functionally are tied to one or the other of the major parties (whichever they caucus with).
Are you implying that before this "signalling" the FAA was a "world aviation safety authority" and furthermore the only one?
If China was our major supplier for Aircraft with a good record for reliability, but their latest model went down twice in six months in similar circumstances, would we ground that model?
Perhaps. I don't know, but I don't think your comparison is the correct one.
Competitor is a bit strong given that even the Chinese airlines don't want to fly the domestically designed planes.
Edit: Yes it is good that 737s are being suspended and investigated but still, statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving. The media just likes fear-mongering headlines (not this article, but others in general).
The 737 Max 8 is what is in question.
It's also shining a spotlight on why the FAA allowed the Max to be certificated it on the same cert as the original 100-seat 737-100 from 50 years ago. About the only element still shared are the cockpit windows.
The new Max is having issues. Whether it need combo of inexperienced pilots and specific chain of sensor errors to be presented simultaneously is to be seen.