This is already on the list in the headlined article at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19365108 . Lengthier news coverage can be found at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19367871 .
What's your premise starting from to claim that the FAA isn't making a better decision, from vastly more first-hand knowledge, than for example the UK or other nations?
Well, that worked great... until another 737 Max 8 slammed into the ground.
 Apparently I’m incorrect about their safety records - my bad, the one time I trusted a friend and didn’t look into it myself, haha. I still maintain that it isn’t clear yet that it was the plane’s design, but I retract my comments on the safety record. Carry on and please quit the downvoting heh. :)
> But both the airline, and the nation as a whole, have a history of excellent safety on a continent where aviation practices can sometimes be dicey. The US Federal Aviation Administration gives Ethiopia a Category 1 safety rating, the organization’s highest, which means it can operate flights to the US, which it does. The nation also passes muster with the EU’s European Aviation Safety Agency regulations.
> Ethiopian has been regarded as a standard bearer among African airlines, on a continent where aviation safety has lagged behind the rest of the world.
"Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."
Can you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and take the spirit of this site more to heart? We're trying to prevent discussion from degenerating here.
Politics aside, they wised up and finally decided to ground the 737 Max like dozens of other nations.
Eight hours in a narrow body; uggghhh!
"Just ship it we will fix the bugs in the next iteration!"
From 1970 to today, air travel has increased tenfold, while fatalities have deccreased by the same factor of 10.
Combined, your risk of dying on any given flight is only 1% of what it was in the hay day of stick-and-rudder pilot bros.
But agreed, Norwegian can't be happy with Boeing at the moment.
How do you balance the small chance of a catastrophe against the guaranteed disruption and inconvenience to huge numbers of people? As a base rate, I understand that there are hundreds of these aircraft safely making thousands of trips, so the probability of a crash seems quite low, though, higher than it should be.
Everyone seems very quick to say the planes should be grounded (I saw a headline on CNN yesterday "FAA still allows Boeing planes to fly despite crashes" or something to that effect), but it seems like a tricky decision to make. It also seems like a technical one probably with a lot more data available and a history of precedent to those who actually have to make it. Frankly, I'm a little surprised at the vigor with which the general media and social media have taken to this situation, with their opinions on the matter.
The three examples I see are some variation on:
a) Don't think about it
b) Proclaim that "better safe than sorry" is the only answer.
c) Keep your mouth shut because you don't fall into either of the former categories and realize that there's no upside to getting involved.
I agree that it is a tricky decision to make. Considering that the data recorders of the most recent crash are in hand and not at the bottom of the ocean somewhere unknown I think that we should probably wait a few days for some preliminary analysis. If they were lost in the ocean somewhere I'd be more supportive of the calls to ground the aircraft.
The temptation is to assume that the most recent crash was caused by the "new MCAS failure mode" that doomed the previous flight. That issue was caused by a lack of training and pilot understanding of the potential for that failure mode (because Boeing didn't want to force airlines to re-train pilots). What's the chance that a 3rd plane will crash now that every pilot not living under a rock is aware of the new failure mode? If the new MCAS behavior is what's causing the crashes then the chances should be very low. Maybe not as low as with proper retraining but still tons lower than before the first crash.
If I were smart I'd have picked option C.
If they give up now just because of pressure, everyone will panic.
If they don't give up, but something happens, everyone will blame them.
If they don't give up and nothing happens, they still blame them because unlike others they've accepted the risk.
It would be no harm for Boeing considering their safety records and reputation to accept and admit there might be a very low chance of a technical issue. I don't get why don't want to play safe.
I'll be genuinely curious to see what results from the investigation -- if this turns out to be a knee-jerk reactions from politicians wanting to look good (when it really is a coincidence), or if this will turn out to truly have been a failure of the FAA's safety processes, and the US will appear negligent for not also banning.
> For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer. This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority.
That they're pushing a software patch for this would seem to indicate there's something in the actual plane worth fixing.
It does seem to be partly operator error, and that operator error is Boeing's fault because they did things in a way that maximized the chance of it occurring.
If it turns out that the pilots actually need some training to reliably fly the 737 MAX, there could be some nasty consequences for Boeing.
> At an airshow in 1952, a supersonic fighter disintegrated in the air causing
the death of both crew and 29 spectators (Staff, 1952). Over 100,000 people
witnessed the accident. A public appeal was put out for witness accounts and
photographs to help solve the mystery, resulting in several thousand letters being
collected. Rivas and Bullen (2008) found “many of the accounts are touchingly
detailed and well intentioned, but the whole of the vast mail was of little use” (p.
186). The vital clue that led to determination of probable cause was supplied by a
cine film. The in-flight breakup happened in less than a second, and almost all the
eyewitnesses, including experienced pilots, gave grossly inaccurate accounts
when compared to the film record.
I'm not 100% certain however, if someone can say if I'm wrong or not, he is welcome ^^.