America and Canada Ground All Boeing 737 MAX Planes

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    President Trump has issued an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 including planes associated with that line after new evidence came to light. “'The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern,' Trump said, adding that the grounding would take effect as soon as the planes landed and would continue until further notice." The Canadian Minister of Transport announced a similar ban on the Boeing planes based on "a result of new data that we received this morning, and had the chance to analyze." CNN is reporting that satellite company Aireon provided the data showing the Ethiopian plane's flight position data. Aireon doesn't analyze the information captured by its satellites. Jessie Hillenbrand, director of Public Relations at Aireon said, "'aircraft transmits its position twice a second, our satellites catch it. We have caught that data in real time and provided that to authorities.'"

    Boeing announced support of the action to temporarily ground 737 MAX operations "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft's safety." The company expressed full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX as it "recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft." Other countries had banned the planes earlier this week after the second Boeing 737 MAX accident in 4 months.

    "On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents," said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company. "We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again." Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.
     
  2. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Please leave the "politics" out of the discussion. Thanks!
     
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  3. Dekar12

    Dekar12 Gawd

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    Have they even started reviewing the blackbox data?

    I feel like we should know what happened already since the boxes were recovered within hours of the crash.
     
  4. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    It sounds like its the same problem as Lion Air, from what's being reported.

    Fact is, the 737-Max has a nasty tendency to pitch up due to it's larger wing/engine combination. The plane will automatically pitch down to counteract this; this is done outside the normal autopilot (EG: Disabling the autopilot does not disable this behavior). Throw in a bad sensor and an inadequate amount of training, and this is the result.

    I blame this on Boeing updating the 737 rather then building a new airplane that is actually capable of stable flight outside of automatic software.,
     
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  5. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Self driving planes, what could go wrong?
     
  6. IndyColtsFan

    IndyColtsFan Limp Gawd

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    I read earlier today that there were several incidents of control issues reported by American pilots over time as well, but fortunately, they were able to work around them. I just got back from a business trip to NYC and I flew on a 737 MAX 8.
     
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  7. purple_monster

    purple_monster Limp Gawd

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    the software is messed up, and when the pilots input goes against what the plane thinks it should be doing, the software wins. so it better have great data to think it can veto the pilots own experience... and it might not.
     
  8. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    What I heard this morning is that yes, Ethiopia has the boxes but no, they haven't read them yet. Talk is they will turn them over to another country to be read. Guessing Ethiopia doesn't have a well equipped aircraft crash forensics lab complete with trained folks. Why they are waiting wasn't discussed.

    Also heard reports that folks on the ground that are under the normal flight path for the airport hear strange noises from the aircraft and some reports of smoke and papers trailing the plane. Don't know if those reports have been verified or are from some folks that wanted their few minutes of fame.
     
  9. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    it'll either go to the FAA or europes team or both. but usually takes a while before anything is released unless it's blatantly obvious what happened.

    the mistake was that Boeing allowed the airline companies to dictate what they wanted so they could save money and still get what they wanted.. it should of been a requirement that any pilot flying the plane was re-trained and the software should of been implemented properly instead of trying to make it fly as close as possible to the normal plane so that re-training wasn't required.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  10. Nausicaa

    Nausicaa [H]Lite

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    How much testing do they go through to get approved? Could it just be coincidence?
     
  11. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thats good. Need to find out what is happening to these planes. There is too much automation in aircraft these days. New Pilots don't know how to physically fly an aircraft properly in an emergency situation because of it.
     
  12. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Good move. Glad they are being proactive. If Boeing finds a problem I'm hoping it's just a software fix so the planes can get back in operations soon.
     
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  13. ecuador

    ecuador Limp Gawd

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    It's kind of crazy if you think about it.
    Normally, plane manufacturers have to estimate demand and market trends many years before, in order to design planes that will become popular when released. Airbus famously miscalculated with the Airbus A380 which was ready exactly when demand for huge aircraft waned. Boeing was going to design a replacement for the 737 as there seemed to be demand for that, but as demand further increased they decided for a quick retrofit of the old 737 (first flown in 1967!) with new bigger engines. The frame was not designed for such engines (and had some other unfavorable design considerations like short landing gear for 60's era airports), so it messed up its flight characteristics, it can stall much easier than before.

    So, apparently, to fix that aircraft design flaw, they decided to add a software system (MCAS) that automatically dips your nose to gain speed when it thinks you are lifting your nose too much and you might stall. Already, as a software engineer, well aware of where software is a solution and where it is not, I am in cold sweat thinking about this. Furthermore, they decided not to put it in the pilot training manual, as it could "confuse" pilots if they are aware of it!

    Aaand, that's how the first accident happened. The software sort of worked as designed, however it was getting wrong info from a sensor (oh, yeah, who needs triple redundancy in aviation), so it was trying to lower the nose (kill everyone), while the pilots were struggling to pull up against it, having no idea WTH is going on with the plane behaving like that on - presumably - the manual flight settings.

    After that first accident, the "solution" was that they should just train the pilots so that when the plane tries to kill them, they can disable MCAS. So, the solution to the safety issue, is to disable the safety system which is there to address the airframe design problem! To recap: the aircraft is safe, despite bad stall characteristics, because we added MCAS, but of course when MCAS malfunctions you have to turn it off which... will make the flight... safer... but not that safe because you no longer have MCAS... !?!?

    Now, I am reading that the MCAS malfunctions are not that rare, pilots have complained about it, specifically that after takeoff they struggle with maintaining a steady rate of climb which is what happened to the first accident. A satellite company provided data for the Ethiopian flight to the FAA on Monday, showing a similar flight behavior, and the FAA said all is fine (surely not because Boeing is like best palls with every government sector), but when Canada got the same data on Tuesday they immediately announced the findings and banned 737 Max flights like everybody else, so the FAA had to, begrudgingly I suspect, follow suit.

    I am not related to aviation (well, OK, I played MS Flight Simulator in my youth), so I may get get some things wrong, but my reading comprehension skills are usually good and I read a few articles by aviation people, so this is what I understood. And what Boeing tried to do seems bonkers to me, after having been practically forever in the aviation industry, with all that experience. I suspect the money incentive is too great so they'll push some software fix + some sensor redundancy, but they managed to make a plane with a 70x (!) the accident rate of their 52 year old 737! Sure, it is expected to make 1/3rd of their entire revenue for the next 5 years so it made sense from a purely business perspective, but the aviation industry is special in that you have to make some extra considerations!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  14. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

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    Does anyone know if Boeing made the avionics for the 737 MAXs in house or was it outsourced? I know 2 years ago Boeing announced that that they would start doing this in house but I don't know if it got implemented in (any of) the 737 MAXs or not.
     
  15. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    Sometimes you need the right person to fix things it if does.
    1 F7PMRYWq3PbI6h7D22yA2Q.jpeg
     
  16. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Upstream firmware upgrade available. Download and install? [yN]
     
  17. Nausicaa

    Nausicaa [H]Lite

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    Can't believe how bad Boeing messed up, I wonder who will be responsible.
     
  18. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    what you are describing is most aircraft in the air for years. This actually caused issues with landing strips. With computers controlling the landing every aircraft would hit the exact same spot based on GPS. That started to put dents into the run way and they had to start to randomize the location a little to prevent the exact same spot for every landing.

    yeah. Even if you can simulate some things in training they won't recall that when it counts nor can you test for everything. One of these days planes will be like the trams at airports with nobody in the cockpit.
     
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  19. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Just blame it on pilot error. Isn't that the standard now for failure of automatic systems?
     
  20. Nausicaa

    Nausicaa [H]Lite

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    It should be, but they had software that overcorrected and didn't tell pilots.
     
  21. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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  22. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

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    Can someone explain if plane stalling was a common issue? I don’t ever recall hearing about commercial aircrafts stalling so frequently that there was a need to develop such an aggressive system that overrode pilot controls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  23. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Undercarriage was too short for the new engines. Engines moved closer and more forward of the wings. Apparently this makes it easier for stall conditions to occur. How likely, probably not very much, someone who is familiar with the MAX can comment on it. But more than the NG, hence why the MCAS exists.

    Sounds like software fixes, some extra sensor redundancy for newer planes coming off the factory and better training for these airlines is in order. Lion Air alone has had about a dozen crashes in under two decades of operation. Since the MAX 8 went town they had one ground collision and another plane that went off a runway. Can't imagine the pilots were that skilled...
     
  24. stormy1

    stormy1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Airline pilots do everything they can to avoid stalls so they are not common.
    However every pilot needs to know how to get out of one. Because well stuff happens.
    The 737-max is a modification of an older 737 model not a new design.
    A lot of times that is a good thing but in this case at least in the 800 variant they messed up the stall characteristics(maybe the others also) and since the carriers did not want to retrain all their 737 pilots they added the software to handle it coupled with existing sensors.
    That made the training to the new plane a few hours on the simulator and a check ride rather than a 3 month course.
     
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  25. stormy1

    stormy1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    It seems to be happening at the point that the pilot basically changes which software program has control of the plane. I wonder if its not an issue of the hand off going wrong between the different software under certain conditions.
    But that's just me thinking out loud because I have ran into that issue with industrial equipment
     
  26. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    How the hell you have 1 sensor for something and not 10 in redundancy? How about 1 with the 99.9999 accuracy and 9 other with 99.99 accuracy for cheap.
     
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  27. Stimpy88

    Stimpy88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    A shame that the first one of these going down and killing 178 people didn't have this response, especially as now all the reports from many pilots over the last year complaining about the nosedive "issue" are now leaking to the press...

    Money over lives every time with these kind of people, that's until the media get on it, and the public outrage kicks in... Oh well, that's an extra year worth of orders fulfilled, and an extra years worth of happy and rich shareholders. Pass the champagne... I hope the 346 lives were worth it, not that these types of people even think about such mundane things.

    Personally, I hope they go bust (they are already morally bankrupt), and their CEO and responsible management put in real prison. But in the real world, they are too big to fail, and also being propped up by government kind of stops any real consequences from kicking in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  28. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Gawd

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    I understand the reason for the new system (new characteristics because of new engines), but they should make turning off that system REALLY easy and apparent when the pilots can easily tell the plane is heading straight for the ground.

    Why are there no redundant sensors for that critical safety system? It's like installing 6 inch knives on your car airbags that have a tendency to deploy when you go over a bump on the road.
     
  29. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Some times even a few more sensors won't help. Just look up 2008 Andersen Air Force Base B-2 accident. $1.4 billion loss due them having 3 sensors, all 3 getting moisture in them and thus all 3 reporting incorrect data back causing the plan to over correct itself and crash.
     
  30. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    I suppose, redundancy of same and redundancy of different types of sensors for the same measurement?
    I imagine that one true value, precise and very expensive sensor would be the guidance, but others cheaper, different kinds can be quality control while flying.. it could serve as a decision point for the pilot.
    Of course, we want pilots to be paid 7.25$ at some point in the future (that is what its all about long term), so really, analizing 'sensors' and 'making decisions' might be too much for what we REALLY want pilots to be (the airlines I mean by we)
     
  31. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    This is what you get when the software is coded out of a boiler room offshore and tested on a 6AM to 8AM time zone overlap with the US engineers who haven't even had a coffee and Palash, Ajay, and Rakesh sound like they are on the other end of a black hole thanks to skype on a good day and on a bad day they struggle to coordinate mute in the same room to avoid feedback while someone scubs pots or jackhammers concrete nearby. But hey you save some precious dollars for the shareholders.
     
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  32. jh24

    jh24 Limp Gawd

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    I'm glad they grounded these planes. You should never, ever gamble with the lives of pilots, passengers and the people on the ground.
     
  33. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Heh. :)
     
  34. Lizard Testes

    Lizard Testes Gawd

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    This is ignorant and not the issue.
     
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  35. Marees

    Marees n00b

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    I read thru the Atlantic article

    One thing that is left out is that Pilots who got trained in recent decade stopped receiving critical training to disable auto mode , as explained by a comment below this New York Times article

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/03/world/asia/lion-air-plane-crash-pilots.html

    Capt737
    SeattleFeb. 4
    This was a very good article about the 737MAX M.C.A.S.. There are 2 types of emergency checklist airlines employ. The first most dire checklist is the Memory Items Checklist, also can be called Boxed Items or Immediate Action Items, the name varies among airline's procedures or regulative overseeing agency. These item are on a QRC, Quick Reference Card. Then there is the QRH for Quick Reference Guide, this is a thick book with many procedures and performance tables. If pilots are encountering a problem and it's not a Memory Item or on the QRC, then you reference the QRH. In the last 5-6 years, airlines have gone back to the Boeing Checkilists, for legal reasons. You don't want to have an accident and use the airline procedure that didn't fully follow the Boeing Procedure. Back to the first level of emergency checklists, Memory Items, as the name implies these are committed to memory. Stab Trim Runaway was a Memory Item up to 5-6 years ago and was removed from the Memory Item Checklist. If you had a runaway stabilizer, one of the steps was to turn off the Stab Trim Cut-Off Switches on the forward pedestal. This procedure now in the QRH. Long time 737 pilots have memorized this procedure and new pilots are not aware of it. Experience is everything in this profession.
     
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  36. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    Let's talk sensors and redundant algorithms.

    We have 1 sensor, A. There is no way to tell if its input is valid. Bad design.

    Add a second sensor, B. Now, if A and B agree, all is good. That's probably correct. (There are exceptions.) Now, if A =/= B, which is right? Toss a coin? Eliminate both?

    Okay...now we have 3 sensors, A, B, and C. This is generally agreed to be the minimum. All 3 agree...that's easy. If any 2 agree, then the third one is assumed invalid and tossed out.

    3 sensors are the minimum to have a rational check. However, there is NO redundancy. If one sensor is "bad", then the system reverts to a 2 sensor system...which is incapable of providing validated input if there is any disagreement.
     
  37. extide

    extide 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, a neat case-study on that sort of redundant design is the Space Shuttle GPC's. They had 5 identical machines, 4 of which ran the primary flight software and used a voting system, and the fifth ran the backup flight software, an entirely different codebase. The first 4 computers would protect you from a hardware failure, and then the fifth machine could be used if there was a bug inherent in the software of the first 4.
     
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  38. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Then by all means, let us know what the issue is. Please, educate us! Be sure to let the FAA & Boeing know afterwards so we can get these planes fixed.
     
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  39. Stimpy88

    Stimpy88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    You are wrong. This was exactly the reason these two 737 MAX 8 planes went down. It has been said that the training guide is vague, with critical, updated information pertinent to this issue hidden in the middle of the book, so that only the best or most dedicated pilots read it and understand what to do. Not all pilots are created equally... Not only that, but there may be language issues at play too.

    The procedure in the case of this nose-down behaviour, is to deactivate the autopilot, however there are many (8) steps to take to achieve that goal, and if you don't understand what is happening to your plane, then you have about 20 seconds to figure it out and recover it before your dog food on the floor. Some pilots have done this successfully in the past year, and have filed anonymous reports with NASA, critical of the planes, the over-complex procedures and of Boeing's handling of the matter, for fear of their jobs.

    Boeing have tried to embrace what makes AirBus so good, and the lack the expertise with complex automated software/hardware systems, as well as perhaps lacking morals, to see it through the right way have led to this issue being buried for a year, at least. Boeing, by hoping this matter would go away on its own, made this literally an accident waiting to happen.
     
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  40. Todd Walter

    Todd Walter Gawd

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    That's not true either; there are two possible steps: hit the big red button that tells the computer to stop it and a guarded circuit breaker that kills the power if the button didn't work. Flip the guard, stab the button and get back to work.

    Source: An Air Canada pilot that flies these planes.
     
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