Accidents - Overseas

Can you imagine if the 737 Max had been designed and built in Australia?? Nah, neither can I. CAsA would never allow the aircraft to be certified by Boeing or in fact even reach test flight mode. In fact, if it was up to CAsA the Wright Brothers would still be trying to get their ‘aeroplane’ concept certified!!

Safe skies are empty skies

Nail on the head GD -  Wink
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Latest on 737 MAX imbroglio -  Rolleyes


(03-18-2019, 06:23 PM)Gobbledock Wrote:  Can you imagine if the 737 Max had been designed and built in Australia?? Nah, neither can I. CAsA would never allow the aircraft to be certified by Boeing or in fact even reach test flight mode. In fact, if it was up to CAsA the Wright Brothers would still be trying to get their ‘aeroplane’ concept certified!!

Safe skies are empty skies

Nail on the head GD -  Wink

Via Reuters:

Quote:Exclusive: FAA to overhaul air safety oversight by July - U.S. inspector general

David ShepardsonTracy Rucinski


WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration will significantly change its oversight approach to air safety by July 2019, U.S. Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel said in written testimony reviewed by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate panel hearing.

[Image: ?m=02&d=20190326&t=2&i=1370348374&r=LYNX...1GF&w=1280]
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

At the same hearing, the FAA’s acting administrator, Dan Elwell, will tell a Senate Commerce Committee panel the agency’s oversight approach must “evolve” after two fatal crashes involving Boeing Co 737 MAX passenger jets since October.


The accidents, which killed nearly 350 people, triggered the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s flagship aircraft and ignited a debate over the proper balance between man and machine in piloting the latest version of the 50-year-old 737.
Scovel’s testimony for the hearing, set for Wednesday, says that in response to a 2015 inspector general report, the FAA agreed to improve its oversight of organizations performing certifications on its behalf.

By July the “FAA plans to introduce a new process that represents a significant change in its oversight approach,” Scovel says in his prepared remarks.


“While revamping FAA’s oversight process will be an important step, continued management attention will be key to ensure the agency identifies and monitors the highest-risk areas of aircraft certification,” he wrote, adding that some issues including how pilots get training to respond when automated flight systems require the FAA’s “urgent attention.”


Elwell will also say the 737 MAX will return to service “only when the FAA’s analysis of the facts and technical data indicate that it is appropriate.”

Elwell’s testimony discloses that Boeing first submitted its proposed anti-stall software upgrade to the FAA for certification on Jan. 21 of this year and that the FAA has tested “this enhancement to the 737 MAX flight control system in both the simulator and the aircraft.”

Boeing is expected as early as Wednesday to unveil more details of the software upgrade. The company said Tuesday it would carefully monitor the hearing.


Separately, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt will tell the panel in written testimony that the board is “examining the U.S. design certification process to ensure any deficiencies are captured and addressed, potentially up to and including NTSB safety recommendations.”


Elwell will tell the panel that the FAA “will go wherever the facts lead us, in the interest of safety.” He defended the FAA’s aircraft certification system, but acknowledged it faces challenges.


The 737 MAX is Boeing’s best-selling plane, with orders worth more than $500 billion at list prices.

The software fix will prevent repeated operation of the anti-stall system and will deactivate it if it receives widely conflicting sensor information, Reuters reported. Boeing will also make standard a previously optional warning light.

“The testing, which was conducted by FAA flight test engineers and flight test pilots, included aerodynamic stall

situations and recovery procedures,” Elwell’s testimony says.

In addition to Scovel’s office, federal prosecutors are also investigating the 737 MAX certification.

“As the aerospace system and its components become increasingly more complex, we know that our oversight approach needs to evolve to ensure that the FAA remains the global leader in achieving aviation safety,” Elwell’s testimony will say.


[Image: ?m=02&d=20190326&t=2&i=1370348378&w=640&...XNPEF2P1GB]

FILE PHOTO: A wing of the Boeing 737 MAX is pictured during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 7, 2015. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight/File Photo



Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Monday she was naming a blue-ribbon panel to review the FAA’s aircraft certification program.


Elwell’s testimony defends the certification process that allows Boeing or other companies to act as a representative for FAA.

But Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said Friday the program “effectively left the fox guarding the hen house.” Elwell’s testimony says the program “is not self-certification; the FAA retains strict oversight authority.”
Unlike here in Australia, I get the impression that no matter what heads will roll and reform will happen, with any identified FAA oversight deficiencies of Boeing being sorted ASAP -  Wink 

MTF...P2  Cool
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737 MAX - Update.

From NY Times, via the Oz:


Quote:Boeing 737 pilots had 40 seconds to avert plane crash
MARCH 28, 2019

[Image: ed2adc296f89f2e72a070b2d29f322da?width=320][img=188x0]https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/a3ccd731f9992d355bf2664fe58e86d3?width=320[/img]
All pilots of Boeing 737 MAX planes will need extra training before they can fly it again, as part of a remedy package.

By ROBYN IRONSIDE


Unwary pilots flying a Boeing 737 Max would have had only 40 seconds to stop a rogue control system sending the plane crashing to the ground, tests on a simulator have suggested.

The tests have given a clearer picture of the last moments of Lion Air flight 610 in October last year, and probably also of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, which crashed on March 10 near Addis Ababa, with a total of 346 people killed. The second of the two crashes prompted the grounding of all 737 Max jets and plunged Boeing into crisis.

The company has invited 200 pilots, airline managers and regulators to Renton, Washington, today where it will unveil software changes that it says fix shortcomings evident when used by less experienced pilots. Crews will have more control over the 737 Max stabiliser system, which Boeing insists is not flawed. Federal prosecutors and congressional investigators are scrutinising the way the system was developed.

On Saturday pilots from five airlines, including American, United and Southwest, visited Renton, where the 737 is built, to test how the aircraft would have responded to the Indonesian situation and to evaluate how it performs with the updated version of the software.

They confirmed that the pilots would have been overwhelmed by the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, when it kicked in as a result of faulty data from an airflow sensor, The New York Times reported.

The Indonesian pilots were unaware of the existence of MCAS, designed to prevent stalls, because Boeing had not told its customers about it. Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, has confirmed that the MCAS was operating on the company’s plane when it crashed. After that crash all Boeing pilots were briefed on the system. The US pilots who simulated the MCAS malfunction were surprised by the force with which the electrically powered stabiliser trim system overruled the crew and relentlessly pushed the aircraft’s nose down, The New York Times said.

The system is designed to pitch down when it detects an imminent stall. It operates only when pilots are flying manually with wing flaps retracted, just after take-off.

With no pilot action a rogue MCAS will send the aircraft out of control within 40 seconds, the tests found. Pilots can win a few minutes by counteracting the system with trim switches. The Indonesian pilots did that, the recorders showed, but the system wins by ratcheting the nose down further.

The remedy, which is standard for all stabiliser problems, is to flick two switches that cut power to the stabiliser. The Indonesian crew did not get as far as that as they leafed through a paper manual to troubleshoot their problem. Even with the stabiliser cut, pilots must briskly crank cockpit trim wheels to save the aircraft.

John Cox, a safety consultant and a former 737 pilot, said pilots had little time to understand the emergency. ‘‘There is a limited window to solve this problem, and this crew didn’t even know that this system existed,” he said.

Boeing said that its revised software “incorporates additional limits and safeguards to the system and reduces crew workload’‘. The fix will stop repeated operation of the MCAS and deactivate it if two sensors which measure the angle of oncoming air disagree. A new warning light is to be installed in cockpits to warn of angle-of-attack problems.

The software will take only an hour to install but Boeing, which has 5,000 737 Max aircraft worth $500bn on order, must convince US, European, Canadian and Chinese regulators that the aircraft is airworthy. Airlines have begun cancelling orders for what is Boeing’s best-selling aircraft.

The Times
 

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Boeing MAX update: Congressional hearings. 

First via Christine Negroni:

Quote:NTSB Chairman Says He Might Have Done as Pilots in Fatal 737 Max Crashes Did


March 28, 2019

[Image: Robert_L._Sumwalt_official_photo-768x960.jpg]

America’s top transportation safety official, and a former 737 captain told U.S. senators on Wednesday what he might have done if he was in the cockpit of one of the Boeing 737 Maxs that inexplicably and repeatedly went nose down before crashing in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, Robert Sumwalt replied to that hypothetical question saying, “Well, I flew the 737 for 10 years, and I do believe there is a procedure on the Flintstone version of the 737 I flew, a very old 737, but I do believe the first thing I would do is oppose that motion by pulling the yoke back.” At that point, Massachusetts Senator Roger Wicker interrupted Sumwalt and moved on to someone else.

With the world of aviation divided over whether the problem with the 737 Max lies with the airplane or the people flying it, this reply by a former airline pilot steeped in safety and human factors deserves more attention than it got.

Sumwalt is clear that the 737 he flew back when US Airways was still a thing, is notably less sophisticated than the spanking new Max that is all the rage with airlines. But his reply echoes what many pilots, even those flying the Max say they would have done; pulling back on the yoke to bring the airplane’s nose back up. While the investigations are preliminary, it appears that’s exactly what the pilots of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302 did. But without achieving the intended effect.


[Image: pilots-through-open-cockpit-door-768x553.jpg]

There’s a tendency among pilots in first world countries to default to the idea that in other parts of the world, pilots just aren’t as proficient. To accept that isn’t just racist, it is unsafe.  What else could it mean that FAA acting administrator Daniel Elwell told senators that while the rest of the world was grounding the 737 Max fleet, American pilots were insisting they could safely fly it. And even if that were true, what good does that do travelers in a global industry like air travel?  No, the widely accepted standard is that no procedure should rely on only the very best pilots accomplishing it correctly.

Even as the hearings in Washington D.C. were getting underway, Boeing presented to reporters the fixes for the Maneuvering Augmentation Control System on its 737 Max based on what it is learning from the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines investigations.
  • The MCAS will now compare readings from both of the airplane’s AOA sensors rather than just one which was the case previously. MCAS will not operate if the sensors disagree by 5.5 degrees or more with the flaps retracted. Pilots will also be alerted by a display.
  • Even if MCAS is activated it will only push the nose down one time. In the Lion Air accident investigators determined that each time the pilots successfully wrestled control, the MCAS triggered again 10 seconds later. Now, there are no failure conditions that will trigger repeated dives.
  • Finally, the stabilizer input will never be so strong as to hinder the pilot’s ability to counter-act it. In Lion Air, it is estimated that the pilots had to exert 100 pounds of pressure on the stick. Pilots will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane, according to Boeing.
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[Image: Lion-Air-wreckage.jpg]

It is too soon to tell if these two accidents, which together killed 346 people, is the result of poor pilot training or a new software system that hid a catastrophic flaw or both or other factors not yet reported. What we do know is that this software was installed on the Max without being disclosed to the pilots who would fly it. That it operated in such a way as to create an unsafe condition that could lead to a crash according to the FAA.

And now the members of the Senate who claim they want to get to the bottom of the 737 Max’s troubles know that the experienced airman who also happens to be the nation’s top dog on safety, understands from his own experience how the pilots on these two airliners might have been undone by the baffling behavior of their brand new airplanes.

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& a Robert J Boser reply off the Flying Lessons Group FB page:

Quote:Robert J. Boser Another interesting but also controversial article, Christine. I agree with this statement in your article:

1) "'...I flew, a very old 737, but I do believe the first thing I would do is oppose that motion by pulling the yoke back.' At that point, Massachusetts Senator Roger Wicker interrupted Sumwalt and moved on to someone else."

I AGREE: Sumwalt should have been allowed to continue his explanation, because there is MUCH MORE to that story. Here are the required memory items for the "runaway stabilizer" on the -300 version of the 737, and for ALL versions of the 737, prior to the MAX airplanes:

I. Runaway Stabilizer

CONTROL COLUMN - HOLD FIRMLY

AUTOPILOT (if engaged) - DISENGAGE

Do not re-engage the autopilot. Control airplane pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed

If the Runaway Continues

STAB TRIM CUTOUT SWITCHES (both) - CUTOUT

If the Runaway Continues

STABILIZER TRIM WHEEL - GRASP and HOLD 

---------

Sumwalt was correct in saying he would have pulled back on the yoke, as the FIRST ACTION response to an apparent runaway stabilizer situation, namely because that was the FIRST memory item that all 737 pilots have always been trained to know. 

IF, and I repeat "IF," the AP was the cause of the stab trimming ND when it shouldn't have, then pulling back on the yoke would stop the AP from continuing to command HS ND trimming. And, that is the reason for the #2 step of that emergency memory item: "AUTOPILOT (if engaged) - DISENGAGE."

Problem solved (Again, IF it happened because the AP had malfunctioned). No more of that emergency procedure need be carried out, other than to hand fly the plane while using the electric trim switches on the pilot's yoke, to adjust the HS trim as needed, thereafter.

However, if the HS stab trim continued to runaway after the AP was turned off, then the NEXT MEMORY step was to turn off BOTH of the stab trim switches, located on the center pedestal. That would have made it impossible for ANY software of any kind to continue to command improper movement of the HS.

And, that is precisely what the LION AIR 610 Captain FAILED TO DO: He did NOT turn off both of the pedestal electric switches as he should have been trained to do. And, apparently the Ethiopian 302 Captain ALSO failed to carry out that EMERGENCY step too. THAT is why BOTH airplanes crashed, because both of those "Third World" Captains failed to turn off those two pedestal switches. 

Stating that amounts to a legitimate FACTUAL OBSERVATION and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH "Racism" of any kind. 

No more than it being racist statements when pointing out why these flights crashed:

-- AVIANCA, JFK, Jan 25, 1990,
-- Indian Airlines, Bangalore, Feb 14, 1990,
-- KAL, Daegu, June 13, 1991, 
-- China Air, HKG, Nov 4, 1993, 
-- China Airlines, Nagoya April 26, 1994,
-- The ALMOST CRASH of a KAL 747, Zurich, Sept 22, 1994,
-- Garuda Indonesia, Jakarta, June 13, 1996,
-- KAL, Guam, Aug 6, 1997,
-- China Airlines, Taipei, Taiwan, Feb 16, 1998, 
-- KAL 747 freighter, London Stanstead, Dec 22, 1999, 
-- Turkish Air, Schiphol Polderbaan, Feb 25, 2009, 
-- Asiana 214, SFO on July 6, 2013, 
-- Tatarstan Airlines, Russia, Nov 17, 2013,
-- Indonesia Air Asia, Java Sea, Dec 28. 2014,
-- Flydubai , Russia, March 19, 2016. 

They all crashed because incompetent (improperly and/or inadequately trained) pilots were at the controls. I could list hordes more of those types of accidents which occurred when incompetent pilots, that were trained with "third world" standards, caused those crashes. 

I can also list quite a few accidents, from the olden days, caused by American (USA) pilots acting improperly in the cockpit, and I have done so many times in other articles I have written. But, no one ever gets accused of being "racist" for daring to blame those crashes on incompetent pilots. That kind of allegation seems to only happen if the pilots are not WASPS... 

If ANY pilots have not had adequate and proper training and that was a causal factor in any crash, then it is ALWAYS PROPER to point that out, regardless of the ethnicity or gender of the incompetent pilots.

And from CBS News:

Quote:Congress holds fiery hearings on Boeing 737 Max 8 approval
UPDATED ON: MARCH 28, 2019 / 1:04 PM / CBS NEWS

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/faa-acting...x-crashes/

Congress held two combative hearings on Wednesday on the FAA's oversight and approval process of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The Max 8 was the type of plane involved in the deadly crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 in October and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 earlier this month.

Senate embers specifically pressed FAA, NTSB, Transportation Department chiefs for answers about the FAA's approval of Boeing's MCAS anti-stall safety system. Scroll below to read the running update CBS News kept of the hearings held yesterday by two different Senate committees.

Sen. Markey has fiery exchange with FAA head
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, had a fiery exchange with Daniel Elwell, the Acting Administrator of the FAA.

Senator Markey asked him, "Do you believe Boeing's practice of selling the Angle of Attack Indicator and warming lights as separate optional features may have contributed to the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes? Yes or no."

Elwell said, "The AOA is not an optional piece on the airplane. We look at a certification process that we've using for decades, that we've refined over 130 times, is geared toward one thing, the safest possible aircraft --"

"Should all of these safety features been mandatory that could've alerted pilots and mechanics to issues with the sensors? Yes or no," Markey interrupted.

"Senator, safety critical pieces on an aircraft are mandatory, that's what certification does."

"So you don't think they should've been mandatory? Is that what you just said? They should not have been mandatory?"

"Sir, I'm saying that any safety..."

"Yes or no? Should they have been mandatory? Yes or no?"

"Sir, the distinction between what goes in a flight deck and what stays out is a discussion, and whether or not a display is safety critical or not, is a distinction FAA is qualified to make."

FAA head on "duty to warn" about software update after Lion Air crash

Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, asked the FAA's Daniel Elwell if pilots and airlines around the world should have been warned that Boeing was updating the MCAS software on 737 Max planes following the Lion Air Crash in October.

"Is there a corresponding duty to warn either on the part of Boeing corporation or the FAA, either pilots or airlines, a duty to warn that there may be something wrong and a fix is on its way?" Moran asked.

Elwell said nine days after the Lion Air accident, the FAA put out an emergency airworthiness directive to all flying authorities around the world, calling it "a reminder" for pilots of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to follow standard procedures if experiencing a problem with the anti-stall system. But when asked specifically about the software update, he said:

"The software update that you're referring to -- Boeing came to us with this and we talked with them about it, we accepted their applications and began work -- but we determined the issues that this software update was making, the things that it was improving upon for MCAS, did not warrant anything more than the announcement that this was in progress."


FAA, NTSB heads asked what they would have done at the controls

In an exchange with Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, neither Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of National Transportation Safety Board, nor Daniel Elwell, the FAA acting administrator, could answer how they would have taken control of Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 Max 8, when the nose of the plane dipped down 21 times before crashing. Both men are certified airline pilots with decades of flying experience between them.

After recounting how the pilots of Lion Air Flight 610 experienced the MCAS system kicking in, pushing the nose down some 21 times, Senator Wicker asked, "What should the pilots have done there?"

NTSB chair Sumwalt answered, "Well, I flew the 737 for 10 years, and I do believe there is a procedure on the Flintstone version of the 737 I flew, a very old 737, but I do believe the first thing you would do is oppose that motion by pulling the yoke back. That should engage the stab break. Now, apparently that feature was not on the Max."

Senator Wicker heard enough and asked, "Mr. Elwell, what should the pilots have done based on 21 times of the system kicking in and pushing the nose down?

"Well, Mr. Chairman I did not fly the 737, so I can only speak to all the different airplanes I flew," Elwell said.

"But I'm actually asking about this aircraft," Senator Wicker said. "Do you know? If you don't know that's fine."

"Sir, I'd have to get back to you on the specific, there is a non-normal checklist," the FAA head said.

Questions about training for faulty sensor readings

FAA Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said he did not believe the certification process of the Boeing 737 Max 8 included training for an angle of attack sensor malfunctioning or the reporting of faulty data in any of the simulated pilot training scenarios.

Senator Ted Cruz, R- Texas, asked, "Mr. Elwell you told Senator Sinema that part of certification was based on pilots flying simulators in multiple different scenarios: did any of those scenarios include Angle of Attack (AOA) sensors malfunctioning and reporting the wrong data?"

Elwell answered, "Sir, I can get an answer for you on that but I don't believe so."

FAA head: "Flight training was not needed"

Senator Krysten Sinema, D-Arizona, asked why information about the MCAS system was not required in pilot training materials for the Boeing 737 Max 8.

The FAA's Elwell began by answering that during new certification there is a Flight Standardization Board of experts, pilots and engineers whose responsibility is to determine if the handling characteristics of a new aircraft require flight training. Elwell said, "What the MCAS did was correct for some very slight modification that the Max had. The Max has slightly larger diameter engines," compared to earlier Boeing 737 models.

The FAA "put pilots in these simulators and fly the aircraft that's being amended and the new aircraft and after many scenarios, flights in all regimes of these pilots, there was a consensus opinion from the pilots, European, American and Canadian pilots, that there was no market difference in the handling characteristics of these two aircraft," he said.

"That is what we need to determine what kind of flight training was not or needed. And there was by the recommendation of the Flight Standardization Board -- understand this is a board that has been used dozens and dozens of times -- their unanimous opinion was flight training was not needed, and they didn't flight test the MCAS per say because the MCAS is a device that is supplement to another system."


FAA head: "I am confident in the MCAS system"

In response to questions from Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell said pilots did not have specific instruction on the MCAS system in the online course they were required to take before flying the Boeing 737 Max 8. Elwell also said he was confident in the controversial MCAS system.

Cruz asked, "Was there any information on the MCAS that was included in the short, self-administered online course that pilots were required to go through?"

Elwell replied, "There was not specific instruction on the MCAS, to my knowledge, specifically because it was not a system that went directly to what the pilots flew on the Max, the difference between the Max and the NG," referring to Boeing's Next Generation, the previous models of 737s.

Cruz asked, "How did FAA come to the conclusion that it was appropriate to certify an anti-stall software system, the MCAS, that drew data from a sensor that had a history of problems but also didn't have redundancy?" The sensor he referred to is the angle of attack sensor, or AOA, which is supposed to detect the plane's angle in the sky.

Elwell answered by noting that angle of attack is an input to the MCAS system and that the MCAS is not an anti-stall system, but a supplement to the speed-trim system. When pressed on question, Elwell said, "Sir, it is still yet to be determined if the malfunctioning of the AOA (angle of attack) caused the crash. We actually don't yet know what caused the crash."

He added, "I am confident in the AOA veins that are produced and put on airplanes and I am confident in the MCAS system."

FAA head: "Safety is at the core of the FAA"

FAA Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell extended his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of the two recent plane crashes and said, "safety is at the core of the FAA."

"Safety is not just a set of programs that can be established or implemented," he said. "It is a way of living and working."

In his opening statement, Elwell said the FAA was "fully involved" in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8, including "133 of the 297 flight tests."

"The FAA continues to seek and evaluate any additional data that might help us understand the underlying factors that led to the recent 737 Max accidents. We will take immediate and appropriate action based on the facts," adding that airline operators are "relying on the FAA get it right."

"The 737 Max will return to service for U.S. carriers only when the FAA's analysis of the facts and technical data indicate that it is appropriate to do so."

Secretary Chao: "I'm concerned about allegations of coziness"

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/transporta...-with-faa/

When asked by Senator Susan Collins at the morning hearing about the cooperative relationship between FAA and Boeing regarding safety certification, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said that while the relationship is necessary, she was "concerned about any allegations of coziness."

"The FAA is the one that certifies," Chao said. "The FAA does not build planes. They certify. But this method of having the manufacturer also be involved in looking at these standards is really necessary because once again the FAA cannot do it on their own."

"Having said that, I am of course concerned about any allegations of coziness," she added.

Elaine Chao takes questions from Congress

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/transporta...stigation/

In her opening remarks Wednesday morning, Secretary Chao said, "Let me emphasize that safety is always number one at the Department of Transportation."

Chao said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has taken two actions to help determine what went wrong with Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

"First, I've asked the Department's Inspector General to initiate an audit to compile a detailed factual history of the activities that resulted in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8 involved in the accident. Second, on Monday I announced the formation of a special advisory committee to provide independent, impartial advice on ways to improve the FAA safety oversight and certification process."

Office of the Inspector General announces Boeing 737 Max audit

The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it will be conducting an audit of the FAA's certification process of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

"The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for overseeing the safety and certification of all civilian aircraft manufactured and operated in the United States," the statement said. "While FAA has maintained an excellent safety record, two recent accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft have raised significant safety concerns."

It continues, "Our audit objective will be to determine and evaluate FAA's overall process for certifying the Boeing 737 MAX series of aircraft. In addition, we will identify and undertake future areas of work related to FAA's actions in response to the crashes as needed."

Senators ask Boeing's CEO about safety features

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, and a number of colleagues drafted a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg asking him to respond to several questions concerning the 737 Max aircraft, including some extra safety features the company provided for an additional fee.

"One feature -- the angle of attack indicator -- displays the readings of the system's sensors in the cockpit. The other feature -- a disagree light -- alerts the pilots if the plane's sensors are providing different readings, which could help pilots and mechanics detect a sensor malfunction," the letter reads. "The FAA and other aviation regulators did not require these features to come standard on the 737 Max 8 and 9 ... We write to request answers about Boeing's ongoing practice of charging airlines extra for safety-critical systems important to the operation of an aircraft."

The letter requests the Boeing CEO respond by April 16.

"Safety must be a standard part of our fleets, engrained in every bolt, sensor, and line of code on an aircraft," the letter urges. "Boeing should include all safety-critical systems instrumental to the safe operation of an aircraft as part of the standard cost to the airlines of purchasing their aircraft. Safety features on jets that fly hundreds of passengers should never be sold as a la carte add-ons."

House Transportation Chair writes letter to FAA head

In a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Oregon, the Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, requested an independent, third-party take control of the review of any technical modifications being proposed for the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

DeFazio's letter comes as the public has become increasingly concerned about the airworthiness of the 737 Max 8 aircraft. The plane has been grounded worldwide.

"In order to provide this level of assurance, we urge you to engage an independent, third-party review composed of individuals with technical skills and expertise to objectively advise on any measures being considered requiring the safety certification of new and novel technology, as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board," DeFazio wrote. "To be clear, we believe this proposed third-party review should be separate from the recently established Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee, which Congress required in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018."

Boeing 737 Max-8 grounding causing canceled flights

[Image: boeing-737-max-southwest.jpg]

A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft sits at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 13, 2019.
REUTERS


Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are canceling dozens of flights per day and will continue to do so as the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max-8 affects air travel.

Southwest is canceling up to 130 flights a day due to the grounding of its 34 Boeing 737 Max-8 airliners. Affected passengers are being contacted five days before their flight to be rebooked or refunded. The Dallas-based airline had been flying about 180 Max flights per day prior to the grounding. Southwest keeps up to 20 planes in reserve to serve as backups so does not have enough reserve aircraft to cover the flights.

American Airlines is canceling about 90 flights a day due to the grounding. The world's largest airline, American has 24 Boeing 737 Max-8 planes. The airline is planning for the grounding to last until at least late April.

It is estimated that the cost to airlines is $150,000 a day per plane that's grounded. Factoring in the costs to own and lease the planes along with the lost revenue from cancelled flights, the cost is easily in the many millions a month for each carrier.

Kris Van Cleave contributed to this report

First published on March 27, 2019 / 1:30 PM
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Rum + inations.

I was brought up in ‘old school’ GA; served my time in wrecks and relics – most of which had ‘Auto Pilots’ which, mostly, failed to perform design function. We went through the CASA flip-flop of ‘must’ work and not required until we all just accepted that some worked sometimes and some did not. About a 100 years ago, I flew a brand new Aerostar (Ted Smith version) which had not only a factory fitted unit – but it worked. In time I learned to partially rely on the beast: in cruise. Aircraft trimmed and set fair – then began the process of regaining my trim speed and getting the AP to understand what I wanted. This often resulted in a prolonged battle for two or even five knots; needless to say, rather than loose my speed, I’d turn the bloody thing off and ‘pole’ the aircraft. Never, not once, not in about 10.000 hours of IFR operations did I allow an AP to do anything other than cruise – as said – old school. However – I did pick up a wrinkle or two; for example:-

The AP decided it needed to go ‘down’ – Nope. So did I pull UP? Nope. A little weight in the ‘down’ direction seemed to persuade the AP that ‘UP” was a good thing. Brainless, the rotten thing would come back to my pre set selection. Many a boring hour happily spent confounding the AP. Such was life – way back.

If the AP elects to go down surely the wrong thing to do is pull ‘Up’. I’ll say no more, except if a thing like a BAC1-11 decided ‘nose down’ was the thing – a judicious assist in the same direction corrected this assumption pretty quickly.

Just saying…………

Actually – that’s a fib. I was really saying set ‘em up here barkeep, same as last time: the BRB is in full session and 737’s are on the menu. Not that any of us would have the first idea of how to fly one; nope, nary a one.
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Investigation number: AE-2019-016 (ATSB accredited representative) 

Via the ATCB website:
Quote:The ATSB has been nominated as an accredited representative to the Japan Transport Safety Board’s investigation of an abnormal engine behaviour occurrence involving Boeing 787-8 VH-VKJ on 29 March 2019.

At approximately 15,000 feet during descent into Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan, the flight crew received an engine thrust warning on the number 2 engine, which subsequently started to surge. The crew then received an engine fail indication on the number 1 engine, without any shift in parameters indicating any engine power loss.

That warning was followed by an engine fail warning on the number 2 engine. The number 2 engine auto relight activated and the engine continued to surge during the descent.

Via SMH:
Quote:Jetstar pilots faced 'engine fail' warnings minutes before landing

By Matt O'Sullivan
April 3, 2019 — 4.51pm

The pilots of a Jetstar 787 passenger jet received "engine fail" and "engine thrust" warnings during their approach to land at Osaka's main international airport on Friday.

The details about the problems faced by the pilots with both of the Boeing 787's engines in the crucial minutes before they landed the plane at Kansai International Airport come as Japan's air-safety officials rated the incident as "serious".

Japan's Transport Safety Board has taken the lead in the investigation into Jetstar Flight JQ15's "abnormal engine behaviour" and will be supported by Australian investigators.

[Image: 6efa8752ecab3b8cd70711322fa989d1597b44af]

A Jetstar 787, similar to the one pictured, suffered engine problems while on descent into Osaka on Friday.

The Jetstar 787-8 Dreamliner, which is powered by two General Electric GEnx engines, was flying from Cairns to Japan's third largest city.

When the plane reached about 15,000 feet on the approach to Kansai Airport, the pilots received an "engine-thrust warning" on the 787's number-two engine, which subsequently began to surge, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The pilots then received an "engine fail indication" on the number-one engine "without any shift in parameters indicating any engine power loss".

[Image: 19cfd20f0d2bff15ad51df2373f7d1d6e8924877]

The Jetstar 787 remains grounded at Kansai International Airport.CREDIT:KANJI HIWATASHI

That warning was followed by an "engine fail warning" on the number-two engine, and its "engine auto re-light activated". The engine continued to surge during the descent into Kansai Airport, which is located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay.

A spokeswoman for Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau confirmed on Wednesday that the mid-air incident had been classified as "serious".

"Japan Transport Safety Bureau ... is investigating the cause of the serious incident," she said.

The fact the engine problems occurred during the final approach to Kansai is a concern because the final minutes of any flight are the riskiest.

The Jetstar aircraft, which is registered VH-VKJ and can carry as many as 335 passengers in economy and business class, has been grounded at Kansai since Friday. Engineers from Jetstar, General Electric and Boeing have been inspecting the 787 to determine the cause.

A line of inquiry has been the possibility of a microbiological contaminant entering the plane's fuel, which could have become congealed in filters and disrupted the flow of fuel to the engines.

The aircraft was fuelled in New Zealand before it was flown to Cairns to pick up passengers for the onward journey to Osaka on Friday.

A fuel sample has been sent for testing at a laboratory in Japan to determine whether it was contaminated. It is likely to be the end of the week before the results are completed.

However, it has been suggested that inspectors are already starting to discount fuel contamination as a cause of the mid-air incident.

A report by investigators is not expected to be completed until about mid next year.
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#ET302 #JT610 Boeing 737 MAX update: 

From the WSJ, via the Oz:

Quote:Ethiopian Airlines crash pilots’ actions questioned

By ANDY PASZTOR
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
11:01AM APRIL 9, 2019

[Image: ffc65f82980e4ed15e640859ed72675b?width=650]

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits grounded in Addis Ababa. Puic: AP

Crash investigators believe an automated flight-control system that went haywire led to last month’s fatal crash of a Boeing 737 MAX in Ethiopia.


But some pilots, industry officials and air-safety experts are also raising questions about the actions of the cockpit crew as detailed in last week’s preliminary accident report.

Ethiopian aviation officials and executives at the plane’s operator, Ethiopian Airlines, have said the pilot and co-pilot followed all the steps that Boeing laid out to cope with a misfire of the plane’s MCAS stall-prevention system. The system is suspected in another fatal nosedive of a 737 MAX aircraft in Indonesia last October.

Both events have also put the spotlight on pilot actions to counter the MCAS’s faulty activation. In the case of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed March 10, killing all 157 aboard, the plane maintained an unusually high speed during part of its short flight. The pilots also reactivated the suspect anti-stall system after manually overriding it -- raising questions about why.

The system, called MCAS for Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, is designed to automatically push the plane’s nose down when it is at risk of stalling. In both 737 MAX crashes the system misfired, and pilots, battling repeated “nose-down” commands from the system, lost control of the plane.

Indonesian investigators probing last year’s Lion Air 737 MAX crash highlighted piloting and maintenance issues that required safety scrutiny, in addition to calling attention to the MCAS issue.

The Ethiopian airliner’s high speed would have made it harder for pilots to manually pull the jetliner out of its dive, according to pilots and others participating in or closely tracking the probe. These experts also question why the pilots -- contrary to Boeing’s emergency checklist -- would have re-engaged a system that they had identified as causing the plane to pitch downward in the first place.

Such questions don’t change or undercut the crux of the findings in preliminary reports issued in both crashes pointing to errant MCAS activation due to faulty data from a single sensor. Boeing has said it is working on changes to the system’s software to prevent such misfirings and to make it easier for pilots to identify and respond to a problem with the system. Regulators around the world have grounded the 737 MAX pending safety certification of that fix.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg last week said “it’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk,” adding “we own it and we know how to do it.”

The Federal Aviation Administration last week said “as we learn more about the accident and findings become available, we will take appropriate action.”

The questions over pilot actions in the Ethiopian flight comes amid simmering tensions between Ethiopian investigators and their American counterparts -- friction that came to the surface shortly after the crash when the two sides disagreed over where to have the plane’s so-called black boxes sent for analysis.

Neither Boeing nor FAA officials, who are formally participating in the probe, reviewed the final version of the 33-page preliminary accident report by Ethiopian investigators prior to its release, according to people in the U.S. briefed on the details. The Ethiopian transport ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story.

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines said “the preliminary report confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that the crew followed the right procedures as per the recommendation of the manufacturer and the approval of the regulator.” He added that “the investigation is still in its starting point, and there are a lot of questions which need further analysis.”

Taken together, the plane’s high speed and the re-engagement of MCAS appear to have further complicated the pilots’ cockpit challenges and, according to pilots and safety experts, likely made it harder for them to get out of their predicament. Many of the same people added that with the cascade of warning sounds, alerts and other emergency messages, the crew likely was inundated with sometimes conflicting information that would have been extremely difficult to sort out.

Robert Graves, a pilot who has flown the MAX for a major US carrier, said the high speed was tantamount to a driver experiencing a sudden blowout on the highway and not lifting the foot off the accelerator.

The report, made public last Thursday, found the pilots didn’t reduce engine thrust during the short flight. Data extracted from the black box recorders indicated the plane instead sped along at takeoff power, despite the problems with the flight control system, and eventually reached a speed well beyond its normal operating range.

Pilots who have read the report say that is unusual. A pilot would normally moderate speed if encountering problems like the ones faced during Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, they said. The accident report said the crew didn’t change thrust settings once the plane had become airborne. The plane, within about three minutes, reached its design speed limit and continued to accelerate, according to the accident report.

“The excessive speed is a huge issue” since it made it more difficult for manual commands to move flight-control surfaces on the tail, according to John Cox, a retired 737 pilot, ex-crash investigator and former senior union safety official in the U.S. “I don’t think I have ever seen a 737 that far over maximum speed” envisioned by the manufacturer, he said.

The pilot of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, Yared Getachew, was young but had racked up 8000 hours in the carrier’s cockpits, ranking him as an experienced flyer -- though only 103 of his hours were in 737 MAX jets. Colleagues said he was a respected captain. His co-pilot, Ahmed Nur Mohammed, was a newcomer, having completed roughly 360 hours flying Ethiopian aircraft, with 56 hours behind the controls of a MAX.

The Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said “the crew are our heroes.”

Ethiopian officials didn’t address the aircraft’s high speed at a press conference last week disclosing the initial report and didn’t raise pilot actions as an issue requiring more scrutiny. The Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said the high rate of speed can be attributed to the crew’s intention to continue the plane’s climb, not to level off. He said there was no indication of excessive speed at the start of the flight, before problems started.

The report said that after experiencing flight-control difficulties, the pilot disengaged the MCAS system. Before hitting the cutout switches, the crew electrically trimmed the plane, to push the nose back up, following Boeing’s procedure. But safety experts and pilots who read the report said the crew didn’t appear to follow the procedure fully, failing to sufficiently push the nose up and bring the aircraft into a stable configuration before turning off power to the electric system.

In the wake of the Ethiopian crash, some pilots have said Boeing’s instructions on how to handle the problem were confusing.

When the crew apparently tried to use a manual wheel to pull up the nose, they were unable to do so. Barely seconds before the fatal plunge -- with the pilots seemingly unable to raise the nose -- they reactivated the errant MCAS system.

The pilot also clicked on the plane’s autopilot when a separate stall-warning system was vibrating the control column -- a warning about a loss of lift called “the stick shaker.” Typically in such a situation, a pilot would keep the plane in manual mode. It isn’t clear why the crew followed such a step, and investigators haven’t released cockpit-voice recordings potentially capable of shedding more light on the events.

Wall Street Journal
And from Ironsider & co, via the Oz:
Quote:Apology ‘signals settlement’

By NIVELL RAYDA and ROBYN IRONSIDE
9:31PM APRIL 8, 2019

[Image: 4da3fc67ed1381afc7668ee357ddf1da?width=650]
In this file photo taken on March 11, 2019 people stand near collected debris at the crash site of Ethiopia Airlines which killed 157 people. Picture: AFP


An apology from the Boeing CEO for the lives lost in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes has boosted hopes of a significant out of court settlement for the families of the 346 people killed.

In his response to the preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines’ crash, Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg said he was “sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents”.

Lawyer Michael Indrayana who is representing 60 Indonesian families, said he took Mr Muilenburg’s apology very positively because it signalled Boeing was committed to settling the matter “hopefully out of court”.

“It is unprecedented for a company the size of Boeing to make such statements,” Mr Indrayana said.

“This is a big case, perhaps the biggest in world aviation history.

“I hope families who were earlier hesitant will now be more confident in suing.”

Mother of three Mediana Agustin, who lost husband Eka Suganda in the Lion Air crash, said the last six months had been hard for herself and her three children.

She said Lion Air had provided no compensation to date, instead insisting next of kin sign a release and discharge statement.

“The document would waive all rights to sue anyone who might be responsible which includes Lion Air, Boeing and 200 other companies which may have direct or indirect links to the crash,” Ms Agustin said.

“I am offended that they demand that I sign the document if I want to be compensated. I lost a husband. But the airline is treating this case as if I have lost a luggage and keep making excuses not to compensate us.”

Lawyer Harry Pontoh said as well as the lawsuit against Boeing, Lion Air was being pursued for appropriate compensation for next of kin.

He said the law stated that families of victims must be compensated by the airline, and that each family was entitled to the equivalent of $130,000.

“The law also clearly states that receiving compensation does not waive the next of kin’s right to sue whoever they feel is responsible for the death of their loved ones,” Mr Pontoh said.

“By requiring next of kin’s to sign the document, Lion Air is actually breaking the law. We have sent a letter to Lion Air threatening them with a lawsuit if they keep stalling the compensation.”

Preliminary reports released for both crashes revealed the role of the “manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system” activated by erroneous information from an angle of attack sensor.

Boeing is now working on a software update to address issues with the MCAS, including making it reliant on information from both AOA sensors.

The aircraft manufacturer will also provide an extra feature at no extra cost, alerting pilots to a disagreement between the sensors.

Neither Lion Air nor Ethiopian Airlines took up the “optional extra” believed to cost about $80,000.

A revised training package for pilots of 737 MAX aircraft is also being prepared.

All 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft were grounded after the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 and Boeing has slowed its rate of production for the planes to 42 a month, instead of 52.

The company has more than 4600 orders for the aircraft.
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Flawed to the MAX - Part II

For Easter long weekend reading an excellent ABC online article on how the Boeing 737 MAX imbroglio came to be... Wink 


Quote:Boeing's billion-dollar bungle has tainted American aviation prestige — how will it recover?

By Alan Weedon
Updated about 2 hours ago

[Image: 10953540-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Boeing's aircraft, particularly its 747, have been a familiar sight for generations of travellers. (Flickr: Doug Bull)


If air travel has been a part of your life, chances are one of the planes you've flown on has been made by American manufacturer Boeing.

Key points:
  • Boeing's 737 MAX series was involved in two fatal crashes killing over 300 people
  • The issue appears to stem from an automated system that pilots were unable to override
  • Boeing is testing a software patch, but questions are being raised about certification

From the world's best-selling commercial jet, the 737, to the world's first jumbo jet, the 747, Boeing's aircraft have defined the modern aviation era and international travel for many around the globe.

But in recent months, the company has hit unprecedented turbulence after two separate air crashes involving its 737 MAX jets killed over 300 people within five months, which resulted in global suspensions of the fleet.

Each month the fleet continues to be suspended it's estimated that Boeing will lose between $US1.8 billion and $US2.5 billion in revenue (roughly $2.5–3.5 billion), according to analyst estimates, though it could recoup those amounts once the plane is back in the air.

The preliminary investigation reports into the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines disasters both noted that the pilots fought repeatedly against automated plane controls that pushed the plane down.
More on Boeing's 737 MAX:

"This is quite spectacular given that it involves Boeing's most popular aircraft [series] in history," said Dr Chrystal Zhang, a senior lecturer and research director in aviation at Swinburne University.

Boeing's clipped bird

[Image: new-boeing-737-max-aircraft-parked-at-se...y-data.jpg]

The 737 MAX has been banned from flying in most countries after the Ethiopian Airlines crash. What will the company do when airplanes start cluttering up its Seattle factory?


Quote:"No one is immune from brand and reputation damage, especially after these fatal crashes … bad memories always last much longer."

She explained that the MAX series only makes up 2 per cent of the global fleet of narrow-body aircraft — the ones that fly between Australia's capital cities on a regular basis — but it may grow to 5 per cent.

It's unclear if the MAX will still reach that estimated market share, as some carriers are reviewing their orders while Garuda Indonesia has cancelled its order of 49 jets altogether, citing passenger fears.

But how did the MAX 737 slip through regulators? Who is to blame? And what lies ahead for the aviation giant?

From the start: Competitors spark race for better planes

[Image: 10954084-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Boeing's direct competitor, Airbus, spurred Boeing into action by announcing an efficient update to its A320 short-haul fleet. (Flickr: Kevin Hackert)


To understand how Boeing has found itself in this predicament, it pays to get familiar with the story of the 737's direct competitor, the Airbus A320.

In 2010, the European manufacturer announced plans to create a new version of the aircraft, the A320neo (short for "new engine option"), which promised airlines greater fuel efficiency at a time when the Boeing 737 models in service — the Next Generation series launched in 1993 — could not compete.

[Image: 10954118-3x2-340x227.jpg]

PHOTO:
 Advanced manufacturers such as Boeing add to the US's industrial prestige. (Flickr: US State Department)


So, a race quickly ensued after Airbus fired the starting gun.

At this point, Boeing found itself at a crossroads: make a new version of the 737 from scratch or retrofit the existing Next Generation series with newer technologies?

What we know about the 737 MAX

[Image: boeing-737-max-data.jpg]

Boeing's newest version of its most popular plane, the 737 MAX, is again in the spotlight after another deadly crash minutes after take-off.


Boeing went with the latter, which meant that an existing 737 frame was fitted with larger, more fuel-efficient engines that altered its aerodynamics in a way that made it prone to tilt up during flight.

Boeing engineer and cockpit designer Rick Ludtke told the New York Times that the 737 MAX's designers were told they "could not drive any new training that required a simulator".

Quote:"They wanted the minimum change to simplify the training differences, minimum change to reduce costs, and to get it done quickly," he told the paper.

When contacted by the ABC about Mr Ludtke's claims, a Boeing representative said they "followed a [design] process that was absolutely consistent with introducing previous new airplanes and derivatives".

'High angle of attack': The suspected MCAS fault


YOUTUBE:
 CBC's 'The National' revealed that the 737 MAX's MCAS system was only listed in the pilot manual's glossary.


In the weeks after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Boeing has come under fire from pilots who alleged that they were not told about an automated system, known as the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), when the plane was introduced.

This system was designed to automatically tilt the plane down to prevent a stall if it detected that the plane was climbing at too steep of an angle, known as an angle of attack.

A report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) found that the system was only mentioned once in the aircraft manual, which was in the glossary, explaining the MCAS acronym — an omission Boeing did not deny to the CBC.

A Boeing spokesperson told the ABC that MCAS's function was referenced in the MAX's flight crew operations manual, where it outlined what the plane would do "in the rare event that the airplane reaches a high angle of attack".

They added that they had discussed MCAS's functionality with more than 60 airline operators since 2016.

'Weaknesses' in the certification process: Who's to blame?

VIDEO: The acting US FAA chief explains why the 737 MAX fleet was grounded. (ABC News)

Subsequent reports have found that the US Federal Aviation Authority's (FAA) safety approvals of the 737 MAX were done by Boeing staff, and this proximity has given cause for concern about who is doing the regulating.
"It's not just the product that has caused the [reputational] damage at this stage, because people are now questioning the relationship between Boeing and the FAA," Dr Zhang said.

As part of the fallout, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Canada's Transport Safety Board announced they would no longer heed the advice of the FAA, while China has set up a task force to review any further Boeing changes to the 737 MAX.

Quote:[Image: iBFo9Lyc_normal.jpg]
[/url]Sully Sullenberger
@Captsully
Yet more evidence that
@FAANews has delegated way too much aircraft certification oversight to manufacturers, which makes me wonder what other safety problems do we not know about. https://bit.ly/2UfsMg5  @dominicgates @SeaTimesAero @seattletimes
9:21 AM - Apr 17, 2019

[Image: Sm3gWPNz?format=jpg&name=600x314]
With close industry ties, FAA safety chief pushed more delegation of oversight to Boeing
Two fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX have brought new scrutiny to the close-knit relations between the regulatory agency and the industry, to the FAA’s practice of delegating most safety analysis...
seattletimes.com


At a [url=https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=9943D207-2819-446F-9470-8CE154C700F9]US Senate hearing into the 737 MAX crisis, Calvin Scovel, the inspector-general of the US Department of Transportation, acknowledged that the FAA had "weaknesses" in the oversight of manufacturers.

Quote:"Clearly, confidence in the FAA as the gold standard for aviation has been shaken," Mr Scovel said.

In response, the FAA has built an international coalition to review the 737's MCAS system.

However, Dr Geoffrey Dell, a safety scientist and associate professor at Central Queensland University, said the close relationship between Boeing and the FAA is to be expected.

"There are no regulators on the planet who get the funding to have [a level of] expertise that is greater than [Boeing's]," he said.

"The regulators do not have the capability to have someone who can second-guess the entire design, or sit around to wait for another plane to be produced."

When asked by the ABC if Boeing believed it was reasonable for the company to review the 737 MAX's safety on behalf of the FAA, it said:

"The long-standing collaborative engagement between the FAA, Boeing, its customers and industry partners has created the safest transportation system in the world.

Quote:"The regulatory requirements defined by the FAA provide the requirements, policies and procedures which ensure that Boeing employees serving in this capacity act independently on behalf of the FAA when performing in this role."

Last month, acting administrator of the FAA Daniel Elwell told US senators that parts of the 737 MAX's safety approval was delegated to Boeing representatives.


The FAA echoed Boeing's sentiments when asked by the ABC about whether it was appropriate to delegate safety checks to an aircraft manufacturer.

"The FAA's aircraft certification processes are well-established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs," a statement read.

Quote:"FAA has never allowed companies to police themselves or self-certify their aircraft.

"With strict FAA oversight, delegation extends the rigor of the FAA certification process to other recognised professionals, thereby multiplying the technical expertise focused on assuring an aircraft meets FAA standards."

Software fix: Temporary solution or permanent resolution?

[Image: 10953940-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO:
 Boeing's Seattle factory has been a home for modern aviation, with its first production lines making the 747. (Flickr: Jetstar Airways)


At the time of writing, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said the company had tested a software fix for the 737 MAX across 120 flights, and added that 85 per cent of carriers using the plane had tested the update in simulator sessions.

It remains unclear when the 737 MAX suspension will be lifted, but Boeing told the ABC that it was "confident in the safety of the 737 MAX and is continuing to take the necessary actions to ensure that going forward".

While questions will continue to be asked about why a manufacturer known for its admirable safety record let a crucial flaw through its design process, Dr Dell said more questions needed to be asked about how automated systems are tested.

Quote:"On the face of it, you could say that [Boeing] did not test [the 737 MAX] long enough, but then you get into a situation where you ask, 'How long is a piece of string'?," he told the ABC.

"It raises a question of how do you effectively test software to ensure there is not a rogue code or a programming anomaly that will only reveal itself under specific circumstances.

"So you could theoretically test for an infinite amount of time and still not have those [MCAS] circumstances pop up."

[Image: 11030398-3x2-700x467.jpg]
PHOTO: Boeing's global 737 MAX fleet has been suspended since March. (AP: Elaine Thompson, file)
  

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Air disaster Beechcraft B60 Duke crash in Fullerton Municipal Airport - 18 April 2019.

Very disturbing CCTV footage of a Beech Duke accident at Fullerton Municipal Airport, California USA:




Short summary via the LA Times:

Quote:Pilot killed in small-plane crash at Fullerton Municipal Airport
By JACLYN COSGROVE
APR 18, 2019 | 10:25 PM

[Image: la-1555687931-pc7fo1em8u-snap-image]
 
A small plane crashed Thursday evening at Fullerton Municipal Airport, killing the pilot. (OnScene.TV)

The pilot of the small plane that crashed Thursday evening at Fullerton Municipal Airport died in the accident, authorities said.

The pilot was the only person on board, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration said. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

[Image: 2000]
(Los Angeles Times)

The twin-engine, six-seat Beechcraft Duke crashed under unknown circumstances while departing from Runway 24.

The plane was traveling about 80 mph and had just left the ground when it veered left, crashed and exploded, Fullerton Fire Department Division Chief Kathy Schaeffer said at a news conference.

& via the Kathryn's report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2019/04/be...al_20.html

RIP -  Angel

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Flawed to the MAX - Update.

Via Oz Aviation:

Quote:FAA to host briefing of civil aviation officials on Boeing 737 MAX

written by australianaviation.com.au April 26, 2019

[Image: MAL6937_ngf16.jpg]A file image of the Boeing 737 MAX tail and winglets. (Boeing)

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has invited leading civil aviation officials from around the world to a meeting on May 23 to discuss the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after two fatal crashes, media reports say.

The meeting was “intended to provide participants the FAA’s safety analysis that will inform its decision to return the 737 MAX fleet to service in the US when it is made”, the Reuters news agency reported on Thursday (US time).

Meanwhile, the FAA told Agence France-Presse the session would “discuss the agency’s activities toward ensuring the safe return of Boeing 737 MAX to service”.

The FAA said the meeting would be for regulators only, with no participation from industry.

This May 23 gathering in Washington DC was in addition to international authorities and experts from aviation regulatory bodies in nine countries – Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) included – starting a 90-day review of aircraft safety on April 29 following the crashes of two 737 MAX aircraft operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively, killing 346 passengers and crew.

Officials from China, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will take part in that 90-day review chaired by former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart. They will focus on the certification of the 737 MAX’s automated flight control system.

Given that 90-day timeframe, the grounding of the aircraft globally is unlikely to be lifted until late July. However, the FAA has previously said a decision on whether to lift that grounding was separate to the review.

[Image: 737MAXFD_1170.jpg]A file image of a Boeing 737 MAX flight deck. (Boeing)

Boeing has been working on a software update to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) following the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 in October 2018. It has still to submit that software to the FAA for approval.

The airframer said recently it had completed the final test flight with the updated software. There is still a certification flightwith the FAA to come.

[Image: Demo_Flight_1_1170.jpg]Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on a 737 MAX 7 test flight for the MCAS software update. (Boeing)

[Image: Photo2_1170.jpg]A supplied picture of a Boeing 737 MAX 7 landing on April 17, 2019 after a technical demonstration flight for the MCAS software update. (Boeing)

Norwegian delay

Meanwhile, low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA has arranged with Boeing to delay the purchase of 14 737 MAX aircraft due for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

It presently has 18 737 MAX aircraft lying idle because of the grounding. Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos told media this week the impact of the grounding could cost the airline US$60 million (A$85.5 million).

[Image: norwegian1-737-MAX-Boeing_1170.jpg]

& via CBS News:

Quote:At least 4 potential whistleblower calls made to FAA about Boeing 737 Max

BY KRIS VAN CLEAVE
APRIL 29, 2019 / 4:15 AM / CBS NEWS

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/4-potentia...-max-jets/

The Federal Aviation Administration has received at least four calls from potential Boeing employee whistleblowers about issues with the company's new 737 Max jetliner, CBS News has confirmed.



The calls began coming in within hours of Ethiopian investigators releasing a preliminary report on the second of those crashes, that of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 last month.


A source familiar with them confirms the April 5 calls were from current and former Boeing employees alleging possible issues related to the angle of attack (AOA) sensor and the MCAS anti-stall system that relies on data from the sensor.


Both have been linked to the two deadly 737Max crashes that killed nearly 350 people and lead to the grounding of the aircraft worldwide.


One of the claims deals with damage to the wiring of an AOA sensor from a foreign object.


Boeing said it could not verify the report but in a statement tolds CBS News, "Safety and quality are absolutely at the core of Boeing's values. Speaking up is a cornerstone of that safety culture and we look into all issues that are raised."


A Boeing source was skeptical of that particular whistleblower allegation, saying that as far as he knows, there have been "no reported issues...at all" with foreign object debris damage to AOA sensors or their wiring.


But, as CBS News confirmed last week, Boeing has had issues with foreign object debris (FOD) being found in the company's 787 Dreamliner assembled at its South Carolina plant, including metal shavings discovered by the FAA in aircraft Boeing certified as debris-free as recently as 2017.


Twice this year, the U.S. Air Force stopped accepting delivery of the 767-based KC-46 aerial refueler because FOD was found inside the newly delivered aircraft. The KC-46 is built in Everett, Washington.

Another of the potential whistleblower calls dealt with concerns over the shutoff switches for MCAS.

The four calls were made to call came in through a special hotline setup by the FAA for employees or the public to report problems. They are being evaluated by FAA investigators as part of ongoing probes into the 737 Max and its certification.

If true, it's possible the allegations could lead to additional investigations.


The hotline submissions were first reported by CNN and confirmed to CBS News. 


Earlier this month, the Senate Commerce Committee launched an investigation into the FAA certification process, citing whistleblower claims of improperly trained FAA inspectors working on the Max.


House Transportation and Infastructure Committee investigators have reportedly been speaking with potential whistleblowers. The committee has not responded to a CBS News request for comment.


It's unclear if any of these whistleblowers overlap.

Boeing's CEO was expected to attend the company's annual shareholder meeting Monday and participate in his first media availability since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines crash. He was expected to take reporters' questions. 

& via ABC News:

Quote:Virgin defers 737 MAX orders, hours after Boeing CEO survives battle to keep job

By business reporter David Chau, wires

Updated about 10 hours agoTue 30 Apr 2019, 10:38am

[Image: 5471018-3x2-340x227.jpg]
Photo:
Virgin will delay taking delivery of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft by at least 1.5 years. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin, file photo)

Related Story: Ethiopian Airlines flight repeatedly nose-dived before crash, but pilots not to blame
Related Story: Lion Air pilots were scouring handbook and praying when plane crashed

Virgin Australia has confirmed it will defer taking delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, from November 2019 to July 2021, due to safety concerns.

Key points:
  • Aside from deferring the first delivery, Virgin is shifting its order to more 737 MAX 10s and less MAX 8s
  • Virgin says, "We will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety"
  • Boeing's dual CEO and chairman Dennis Muilenburg held on to both roles despite backlash at a fiery shareholder meeting
It follows last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash in October 2018 — which involved Boeing's 737 MAX planes crashing shortly after take-off and killing hundreds of people on both flights.

"Safety is always the number one priority for Virgin Australia," said the company's chief executive Paul Scurrah.

Quote:"We will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety.

"We are confident in Boeing's commitment to returning the 737 MAX to service safely and as a long-term partner of Boeing, we will be working with them through this process."

The company has ordered 48 of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

Its first MAX 8 was meant to be delivered in November 2019 — but has now been delayed to February 2025.

But it has brought forward the delivery of the first MAX 10 to July 2021, which was originally slated for a January 2022 delivery.

Virgin also shifted its order towards the larger MAX 10 (of which it now plans to buy 25, instead of 10), while cutting its order of the MAX 8 (from 38, down to 23).

In a statement to the ASX, the company said there would be financial benefits from deferring its Boeing aircraft order.

"This includes a significant deferral of capital expenditure by extending the use of existing aircraft given the relatively young age of our fleet," it said.

Boeing CEO keeps his job

Virgin's decision was announced hours after Boeing's chief executive and chairman Dennis Muilenburg survived a shareholder motion to split his two roles.

He later told reporters he would continue to lead the company through a crisis that has triggered the grounding of Boeing's fastest-selling plane, lawsuits, investigations and lingering concerns over the 737 MAX's safety.

"I am very focused on safety going forward," he said after the meeting when reporters asked if he had considered resigning.

Quote:"I am strongly vested in that. My clear intent is to continue to lead on the front of safety, quality and integrity."

However, Boeing will need to win back the trust of customers, passengers and regulators following the crashes.

The aviation giant, worth $US214 billion, has experienced a 10 per cent slump in its share price since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March.

What we know about the 737 MAX

[Image: boeing-737-max-data.jpg]

Boeing's newest version of its most popular plane, the 737 MAX, is again in the spotlight after another deadly crash minutes after take-off.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver a software fix to prevent erroneous data from triggering the plane's anti-stall system MCAS (the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System).

The company has acknowledged that the accidental firing of the software based on bad sensor data was a common link in the chain of events leading to the two accidents.

Last week, Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said lowered production due to the 737 MAX grounding had cost it at least $US1 billion so far.

Shareholders have filed a lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding them by concealing safety deficiencies in the planes.

The model is also the target of investigations by US transportation authorities and the Department of Justice.
ABC/Reuters


MTF...P2  Cool
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Flawed to the MAX - Nader to Muilenberg 

Very damning letter from Ralph Nader to the Boeing CEO... Undecided :

Quote:Letter to Dennis A. Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing

By Ralph Nader
April 25, 2019

Dennis A. Muilenburg
Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer
The Boeing Company
100 North Riverside
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Muilenburg:

On April 4, 2019 you somewhat belatedly released a statement that “We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents. These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds….” You added that a preliminary investigation made it “apparent that in both flights” the MCAS “activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information.”

These and other remarks reflect years of mismanagement by Boeing executives, now tragically bearing bitter fruit. Your acknowledgement of the problems with the 737 MAX somehow escaped inclusion in your messages to shareholders, the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is now stunningly clear that your overly optimistic outlook on January 20, 2019 – after the Indonesian Lion Air crash – was misleading. Whatever the public learns, day after day about the troubles of your company, it is still far less than what Boeing knows will come out day by day, and not just about the deadly design of the 737 MAX.

Your narrow-body passenger aircraft – namely, the long series of 737’s that began in the nineteen sixties was past its prime. How long could Boeing avoid making the investment needed to produce a “clean-sheet” aircraft and, instead, in the words of Bloomberg Businessweek “push an aging design beyond its limits?” Answer: As long as Boeing could get away with it and keep necessary pilot training and other costs low for the airlines as a sales incentive.

Boeing kept on this track until the competition from its only competitor, Airbus, came along with its A320neo. The year 2011 was a crucial period for the company. Top management was into preliminary work on a new aircraft and then panicked over Airbus’s success. To compete with Airbus, Boeing equipped the 737 MAX with larger engines tilted more forward and upward on the wings than prior 737’s. Thus began the trail of criminal negligence that will implicate the company and its executives. The larger engines changed the center of gravity and the plane’s aerodynamics. Boeing management was on a fast track and ignored warnings by its own engineers, not to mention scores of other technical aerospace people outside the company. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software fix or patch with all its glitches and miscues is now a historic example of a grave failure of Boeing management. Yet, you insist the 737 MAX is still safe and some alteration of the MCAS and other pilot advisories will make the aircraft airworthy. Aircraft should be stall-proof, not stall-prone. Trying to shift the burden onto the pilots for any vast numbers of failure modes beyond the software’s predictability is scurrilous. Deplorably you are still pushing to end the grounding for the 737 MAX and resume delivery of nearly 5000 orders worldwide. The Boeing 737 MAX must never be permitted to fly again – it has an inherent aerodynamic design defect.

No matter your previous safety record of the 737 series, Boeing doesn’t get one, two or more crashes that are preventable by adopting long-established aeronautical knowledge and practices. You are on the highest level of notice not to add to your already extraordinary record of criminally negligent decisions and inactions. Result – 346 innocent people lost their lives.

A reckless salesman, driving dangerously to reach a customer and close a deal, causing a collision and death of a family in another motor vehicle, does not get to be exonerated from a manslaughter prosecution by saying he has a 25 year good driving record.

Boeing management’s behavior must be seen in the context of Boeing’s use of its earned capital. Did you use the $30 billion surplus from 2009 to 2017 to reinvest in R&D, in new narrow-body passenger aircraft?  Or did you, instead, essentially burn this surplus with self-serving stock buybacks of $30 billion in that period? Boeing is one of the companies that MarketWatch labelled as “Five companies that spent lavishly on stock buybacks while pension funding lagged.”

Incredibly, your buybacks of $9.24 billion in 2017 comprised 109% of annual earnings. As you well know, stock buybacks do not create any jobs. They improve the metrics for the executive compensation packages of top Boeing bosses. Undeterred, in 2018, buybacks of $9 billion constituted 86% of annual earnings.
To make your management recklessly worse, in December 2018, you arranged for your rubberstamp Board of Directors to approve $20 billion more in buybacks. Apparently, you had amortized the cost of the Indonesian Lion Air crash victims as not providing any significant impact on your future guidance to the investor world.
Then came the second software-bomb that took away control from the pilots and brought down Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, taking the lives of 156 passengers and crew. At the time, you were way overdue with your new software allegedly addressing the avoidable risks associated with the notorious 737 MAX.

Don’t you see some inverted priorities here? Don’t you see how you should have invested in producing better aircraft, if you wished to compete with Airbus, whose engineers were allowed to do their job and avoid design instabilities? Instead, your top management was inebriated with the prospect of higher stock values, through stock buybacks and higher profits by keeping your costs lower with that “aging design” of the Boeing 737s. It now is apparent that you guessed wrong – big time for your passengers as well as for your company and its shareholders.

Boeing is in additional trouble that reflects poor management. On March 22, 2019, the Washington Post reported that NASA’s Administrator, Jim Bridenstine said “the agency is considering sidelining the massive rocket Boeing is building because of how far behind schedule it is.”

According to a second Washington Post, March 22, 2019 article, the delay in the “scheduled maiden launch in June 2020” and the “billions of dollars over budget” had NASA’s leaders in a fury. Last year, NASA’s inspector general excoriated your company, revealing it has already spent over $5 billion and is “expected to burn through the remaining money by early this year (2019), three years too soon, without delivering a single rocket stage,” wrote the Post.

On March 13, 2019, Bridenstine said “although NASA still steadfastly supports the massive rocket, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), the agency would consider sidelining it and instead using commercially available rockets for the mission known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).” This announcement before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee “set off shock waves… a major blow to NASA’s flagship rocket program and its main contractor, Boeing.”

And now, the agency is about to announce another major delay in the high-profile spacecraft Boeing is building to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

On March 28, 2019, the World Trade Organization (WTO) after 14 years, issued a final ruling that Boeing received an illegal U.S. tax break from the state of Washington in prohibited subsidies under international trade rules. Boeing has long been a recipient of various kinds of extensive corporate welfare before and after it became a U.S. monopoly.

Then on April 21, 2019, the New York Times in a lengthy front-page story, based on “internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees,” reported that your South Carolina factory, which produces the 787 Dreamliner, “has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.” These problems have persisted notwithstanding two documentaries, commencing in 2013, produced by Al-Jazeera investigators reported similar problems. The Air Force last month temporarily stopped deliveries of the KC-48 tanker after finding random objects inside the new planes, causing Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force to exclaim “To say it bluntly, this is unacceptable.”

It is not as if you are receiving anything but top dollar payments for these civilian and military aircraft. Or, you are underpaid at over $23 million in 2018 which comes to over $12,000 an hour.

In the midst of these accusations, whistleblower lawsuits, alleged retaliations by management, the Times reports your pace of production “has quickened” and that you are eliminating “about a hundred quality control positions in North Charleston [South Carolina].”

Boeing shareholders and your compliant Board of Directors should be advising you that the scheduled one hour annual shareholder meeting is not nearly enough time for you to explain these matters to shareholders in Chicago on April 29, 2019. Big corporations are run like top-down dictatorships where the hired hands determine their own pay and strip their shareholder owners of necessary powers of governance. Do not push this envelope, further. Your Board of Directors should disclose what you told them about the 737 MAX and when they knew it.

Already, corporate crime specialists are making the case for you and other top Boeing managers, having refused to listen to the warnings of your conscientious engineers, regarding the redesign of the 737 MAX, to face criminal prosecution. Note BP pleading guilty in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to eleven counts of manslaughter in 2013.

Already, the kindly corporate crisis specialists are issuing warnings, along with the mild ones by the shareholder service firms such as Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which urges separation of the roles of the Chairman of the Board and CEO, both of which you hold. Further, Glass Lewis urges removal of Boeing audit committee head Lawrence Kellner for “failing to foresee safety risks with the 737 MAX aircraft,” reported the Financial Times, on April 16, 2019.

Consider, in addition, the statement of two Harvard scholars—Leonard J. Marcus and Eric J. McNulty, authors of the forthcoming book, You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most. These gentlemen did not achieve their positions by using strong language. That is why, the concluding statement in their CNN article on March 27, 2019, merits your closer attention:

“Of course, if Boeing did not act in good faith in deploying the 737 Max and the Justice Department’s investigation discovers Boeing cut corners or attempted to avoid proper regulatory reviews of the modifications to the aircraft, Muilenburg and any other executives involved should resign immediately. Too many families, indeed communities, depend on the continued viability of Boeing.”

These preconditions have already been disclosed and are evidentially based. Your mismanagement is replete with documentation, including your obsession with shareholder value and executive compensation. There is no need to wait for some long-drawn out, redundant inquiry. Management was criminally negligent, 346 lives of passengers and crew were lost. You and your team should forfeit your compensation and should resign forthwith.

All concerned with aviation safety should have your public response.

Sincerely,

Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036


(04-30-2019, 06:45 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  Via Oz Aviation:

Quote:FAA to host briefing of civil aviation officials on Boeing 737 MAX

written by australianaviation.com.au April 26, 2019

[Image: MAL6937_ngf16.jpg]A file image of the Boeing 737 MAX tail and winglets. (Boeing)

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has invited leading civil aviation officials from around the world to a meeting on May 23 to discuss the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after two fatal crashes, media reports say.

The meeting was “intended to provide participants the FAA’s safety analysis that will inform its decision to return the 737 MAX fleet to service in the US when it is made”, the Reuters news agency reported on Thursday (US time).

Meanwhile, the FAA told Agence France-Presse the session would “discuss the agency’s activities toward ensuring the safe return of Boeing 737 MAX to service”.

The FAA said the meeting would be for regulators only, with no participation from industry.

This May 23 gathering in Washington DC was in addition to international authorities and experts from aviation regulatory bodies in nine countries – Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) included – starting a 90-day review of aircraft safety on April 29 following the crashes of two 737 MAX aircraft operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively, killing 346 passengers and crew.

Officials from China, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will take part in that 90-day review chaired by former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart. They will focus on the certification of the 737 MAX’s automated flight control system.

Given that 90-day timeframe, the grounding of the aircraft globally is unlikely to be lifted until late July. However, the FAA has previously said a decision on whether to lift that grounding was separate to the review.

[Image: 737MAXFD_1170.jpg]A file image of a Boeing 737 MAX flight deck. (Boeing)

Boeing has been working on a software update to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) following the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 in October 2018. It has still to submit that software to the FAA for approval.

The airframer said recently it had completed the final test flight with the updated software. There is still a certification flightwith the FAA to come.

[Image: Demo_Flight_1_1170.jpg]Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on a 737 MAX 7 test flight for the MCAS software update. (Boeing)

[Image: Photo2_1170.jpg]A supplied picture of a Boeing 737 MAX 7 landing on April 17, 2019 after a technical demonstration flight for the MCAS software update. (Boeing)

Norwegian delay

Meanwhile, low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA has arranged with Boeing to delay the purchase of 14 737 MAX aircraft due for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

It presently has 18 737 MAX aircraft lying idle because of the grounding. Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos told media this week the impact of the grounding could cost the airline US$60 million (A$85.5 million).

[Image: norwegian1-737-MAX-Boeing_1170.jpg]

& via CBS News:

Quote:At least 4 potential whistleblower calls made to FAA about Boeing 737 Max

BY KRIS VAN CLEAVE
APRIL 29, 2019 / 4:15 AM / CBS NEWS

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/4-potentia...-max-jets/

The Federal Aviation Administration has received at least four calls from potential Boeing employee whistleblowers about issues with the company's new 737 Max jetliner, CBS News has confirmed.



The calls began coming in within hours of Ethiopian investigators releasing a preliminary report on the second of those crashes, that of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 last month.


A source familiar with them confirms the April 5 calls were from current and former Boeing employees alleging possible issues related to the angle of attack (AOA) sensor and the MCAS anti-stall system that relies on data from the sensor.


Both have been linked to the two deadly 737Max crashes that killed nearly 350 people and lead to the grounding of the aircraft worldwide.


One of the claims deals with damage to the wiring of an AOA sensor from a foreign object.


Boeing said it could not verify the report but in a statement tolds CBS News, "Safety and quality are absolutely at the core of Boeing's values. Speaking up is a cornerstone of that safety culture and we look into all issues that are raised."


A Boeing source was skeptical of that particular whistleblower allegation, saying that as far as he knows, there have been "no reported issues...at all" with foreign object debris damage to AOA sensors or their wiring.


But, as CBS News confirmed last week, Boeing has had issues with foreign object debris (FOD) being found in the company's 787 Dreamliner assembled at its South Carolina plant, including metal shavings discovered by the FAA in aircraft Boeing certified as debris-free as recently as 2017.


Twice this year, the U.S. Air Force stopped accepting delivery of the 767-based KC-46 aerial refueler because FOD was found inside the newly delivered aircraft. The KC-46 is built in Everett, Washington.

Another of the potential whistleblower calls dealt with concerns over the shutoff switches for MCAS.

The four calls were made to call came in through a special hotline setup by the FAA for employees or the public to report problems. They are being evaluated by FAA investigators as part of ongoing probes into the 737 Max and its certification.

If true, it's possible the allegations could lead to additional investigations.


The hotline submissions were first reported by CNN and confirmed to CBS News. 


Earlier this month, the Senate Commerce Committee launched an investigation into the FAA certification process, citing whistleblower claims of improperly trained FAA inspectors working on the Max.


House Transportation and Infastructure Committee investigators have reportedly been speaking with potential whistleblowers. The committee has not responded to a CBS News request for comment.


It's unclear if any of these whistleblowers overlap.

Boeing's CEO was expected to attend the company's annual shareholder meeting Monday and participate in his first media availability since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines crash. He was expected to take reporters' questions. 

& via ABC News:

Quote:Virgin defers 737 MAX orders, hours after Boeing CEO survives battle to keep job

By business reporter David Chau, wires

Updated about 10 hours agoTue 30 Apr 2019, 10:38am

[Image: 5471018-3x2-340x227.jpg]
Photo:
Virgin will delay taking delivery of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft by at least 1.5 years. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin, file photo)

Related Story: Ethiopian Airlines flight repeatedly nose-dived before crash, but pilots not to blame
Related Story: Lion Air pilots were scouring handbook and praying when plane crashed

Virgin Australia has confirmed it will defer taking delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, from November 2019 to July 2021, due to safety concerns.

Key points:
  • Aside from deferring the first delivery, Virgin is shifting its order to more 737 MAX 10s and less MAX 8s
  • Virgin says, "We will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety"
  • Boeing's dual CEO and chairman Dennis Muilenburg held on to both roles despite backlash at a fiery shareholder meeting
It follows last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash in October 2018 — which involved Boeing's 737 MAX planes crashing shortly after take-off and killing hundreds of people on both flights.

"Safety is always the number one priority for Virgin Australia," said the company's chief executive Paul Scurrah.

Quote:"We will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety.

"We are confident in Boeing's commitment to returning the 737 MAX to service safely and as a long-term partner of Boeing, we will be working with them through this process."

The company has ordered 48 of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

Its first MAX 8 was meant to be delivered in November 2019 — but has now been delayed to February 2025.

But it has brought forward the delivery of the first MAX 10 to July 2021, which was originally slated for a January 2022 delivery.

Virgin also shifted its order towards the larger MAX 10 (of which it now plans to buy 25, instead of 10), while cutting its order of the MAX 8 (from 38, down to 23).

In a statement to the ASX, the company said there would be financial benefits from deferring its Boeing aircraft order.

"This includes a significant deferral of capital expenditure by extending the use of existing aircraft given the relatively young age of our fleet," it said.

Boeing CEO keeps his job

Virgin's decision was announced hours after Boeing's chief executive and chairman Dennis Muilenburg survived a shareholder motion to split his two roles.

He later told reporters he would continue to lead the company through a crisis that has triggered the grounding of Boeing's fastest-selling plane, lawsuits, investigations and lingering concerns over the 737 MAX's safety.

"I am very focused on safety going forward," he said after the meeting when reporters asked if he had considered resigning.

Quote:"I am strongly vested in that. My clear intent is to continue to lead on the front of safety, quality and integrity."

However, Boeing will need to win back the trust of customers, passengers and regulators following the crashes.

The aviation giant, worth $US214 billion, has experienced a 10 per cent slump in its share price since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March.

What we know about the 737 MAX

[Image: boeing-737-max-data.jpg]

Boeing's newest version of its most popular plane, the 737 MAX, is again in the spotlight after another deadly crash minutes after take-off.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver a software fix to prevent erroneous data from triggering the plane's anti-stall system MCAS (the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System).

The company has acknowledged that the accidental firing of the software based on bad sensor data was a common link in the chain of events leading to the two accidents.

Last week, Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said lowered production due to the 737 MAX grounding had cost it at least $US1 billion so far.

Shareholders have filed a lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding them by concealing safety deficiencies in the planes.

The model is also the target of investigations by US transportation authorities and the Department of Justice.
ABC/Reuters

MTF...P2  Cool
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“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” - Thomas Jefferson - a long while ago.....................Ban KPI.
Reply

Sukhoi Superjet on fire emergency landing Moscow - RIP  Angel

Well this is kind of topical on the AP forum ATM -  Huh

Ref: news.com.au - https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-up...340073f97a

 

Quote:‘Carry-on bags drove death toll’

[Image: c42e48fb9d2d055b5e170fd5dc997052?width=650]

[Image: d8d5a59cacf5471810faa67ee3bf3b02?width=650]


[Image: 77c446934a33cad22a74dcc07db5dd65?width=650]
A slow-moving fire service and passengers retrieving carry-on bags are thought to have pushed the death toll higher following the fiery landing of an Aeroflot flight at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Forty-one of the 78 people on board the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100 died when Flight SU-1492 to Mumansk returned to Sheremetyevo minutes after takeoff on Sunday at 6.02pm (1.02am yesterday AEST) and landed heavily, bouncing twice. 

As a result, the main landing gear collapsed and the fuel tanks ruptured, leaving the aeroplane to careen off the runway on its nose gear and engines, resulting in a massive fire. With the flames spreading along the fuselage, two emergency slides were deployed from the front exits and passengers began fleeing the aircraft, many with bags in tow.

The scenes horrified aviation experts including Australian cabin safety consultant Susan Rice, who said there was no question in her mind that passengers grabbing bags would’ve cost others their life.

“For people to be standing in the aisle retrieving their bags from the overhead lockers, that could mean seconds between their own life and death,” Ms Rice said.

“That’s a conscious decision to hold up other people and I can’t comprehend it.”

Concerns were also raised about the length of time taken for fire crews to appear on the scene, with experts describing the response at Moscow’s largest airport as “extraordinarily poor”.

[font=Helvetica, Roboto,]

Quote:

[Image: lrmr3612_normal.jpg]
[/url]Breaking Mash@BreakingMash




Видео из салона самолета Москва-Мурманск, сгоревшего при посадке в Шереметьево.

Люди в панике, огонь охватывает почти все за бортом.

[url=https://twitter.com/intent/like?tweet_id=1125122866150871040]166
5:39 AM - May 6, 2019


Veteran aviation commentator Neil Hansford said once a mayday was called, as in this instance, firefighters should have been mobilised. “It looks like they hadn’t even left the fire station when the plane touched down,” he said.

It took 45-minutes for the fire to be extinguished, not helped by the large amount of fuel on board for the 2½ hour-flight to Murmansk.

Exactly what caused the initial problems was unclear, although some Russian reports blamed a lightning strike for disabling radio communications and prompting the return to Sheremetyevo.

US aviation safety consultant John Cox said modern airliners were generally built to withstand lightning strikes. “I have had several, all with minimal damage,” Captain Cox said.

“If they did take a strike and had a problem with the aeroplane, it would be very unusual. The ­European Aviation Safety Agency standards are strict and effective.”

A statement from Aeroflot said malfunctions occurred shortly after departure prompting the flight to urgently return to Moscow and make an emergency landing, during which the plane’s engines caught fire on the runway.

The five crew did everything to save the passengers, who were evacuated in 55 seconds, it said.

One crew member was among the victims but the captain and first officer escaped unhurt. “The aircraft commander left the burning car last,” Aeroflot said.

The airline operates about 50 Sukhoi Superjets, which have a reputation for poor reliability, partly due to US sanctions that have forced US-made parts to be replaced with Russian equivalents.

Previous incidents involving the aircraft include a crash in Indonesia during a demonstration flight in 2012 that killed everyone on board, and more recently a runway excursion at Yakutsk Airport, Russia, in which the main landing gear collapsed but there was no fire.

Ms Rice said she hoped the latest incident would be a catalyst for change in the way passengers behaved in an emergency.

“I do think we’re coming to a point where education of passengers needs to become more of a priority for our regulatory authorities as well as the airlines,” she said.

“I’ve been in the industry for well over 40 years and in years gone by people didn’t take cabin baggage with them. Is it a mark of today’s society that it’s just ‘me, me, me’?”

Apart from the potential delays in an emergency, Ms Rice said taking luggage on to the emergency slide could cause injuries or even damage the inflatable slide.

“Now there’s talk of having the ability to lock the overhead lockers but if people are that determined to get their bag, they might hold up others even more, trying to get them open,” she said.

Mr Hansford said perhaps it was time for a marketing campaign asking: “Is your cabin bag more important than your life?”

Moscow’s Inter-regional Transport Prosecution Office announced an investigation into the Aeroflot incident. President Vladimir Putin reportedly offered his condolences to the victims’ families, to whom compensation of 1 million roubles ($22,000) was to be paid.


Meanwhile on the other side of the Arctic cap the Boeing MAX imbroglio just gets worse -  Confused

Via Oz 60 Minutes:



Reference story here: https://www.9news.com.au/national/60-min...c47ddfe293




MTF...P2
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Hobby horse or Nightmare?

Occasionally, both my very own pet Hobby horse and regular travelling nightmare – cabin baggage makes the headlines. Bit like Odysseus, since childhood, doomed to wander this earth; either as a passenger or pilot – one could say I’ve done a few miles and seen many strange, wonderful and scary things during these journeys. But as a passenger, to me the sheer size and volume of ‘cabin baggage’ dragged into the aircraft and stuffed into the overhead lockers these days is, truly alarming.

“The scenes horrified aviation experts including Australian cabin safety consultant Susan Rice, who said there was no question in her mind that passengers grabbing bags would’ve cost others their life.”

Ms. Rice has that small element correct, but it is not the whole ‘survival’ story. Recently I passengered my way through four domestic sectors in the USA – (United). Two sectors miserably stuck in the middle seat of the middle row. I watched as the huge amounts of cabin baggage came inboard – there were some ‘big’ bags and cases lugged on board; then the back-packs (personal hate) etc. There I sat with my nose about 18 inches from the seat ahead hemmed in on both sides by two people either side and a clutter of bags and straps stuffed under the ‘seat ahead’. Trapped – and a veritable host of people between me and the escape hatch. How, in the seven hells is one supposed to evacuate within the certified time limit, even if 60% of ‘em leave the kitchen sink in the overhead locker?

Disembarking at the end of the journey is a painful experience; the endless wait while all and sundry mill about, with their bloody backpacks on, hauling down large suitcases and shuffling down the aisles dragging the kitchen sink behind them. I wondered why the bulky baggage was not checked in. I tried it – it took half an hour to get my bag checked in – and it cost me USD $30 to do so. It then took the best part of 90 minutes, from when the seat belt sign went off, to actually get off the aircraft, walk to the carousels, wait for my modest bag, and find my way to an exit. My bag travelled as cabin baggage from that time onward.

“For people to be standing in the aisle retrieving their bags from the overhead lockers, that could mean seconds between their own life and death,” Ms Rice said.

Here, Ms. Rice is a little short on reality. If ‘cabin baggage’ was kept to small, light articles and only allowed to be stored in the locker allocated to the seat row, then it would be a simple matter to grab the bag and head for the slide.

I’d want my brief case – passport, licences and paperwork etc; simple, stand up, reach in, grab bag, exeunt : nearest portal, away from the fire. Now, THIS is an important safety matter which is never, not ever mentioned – what if the fire is only on one side? What then? How are all these folk and their bags to be evacuated when half the exits are surrounded by fire? With or without their kitchen sink? We should all offer a silent prayer of thanks to the engineering excellence, training and skill of aircrew that make the worst case scenario such a tiny number as we hardly need worry about it. However, the worst case becomes a nightmare if there is a load of baggage strewn about the narrow aisles.  

“That’s a conscious decision to hold up other people and I can’t comprehend it.”

Not true; the decision to lug two or three suitcases on board is purely selfish – in a crash situation, those same folk will be in a state of shock and disbelief; the urge to restore sanity and normality will lead them to clutch at anything belonging to their old life – the baggage. They do not want to believe that the unthinkable has happened – not to them. Nope, they’ll just grab the bags and toddle off home. If you think Karma is a bitch – wait until you meet her sister – Reality.

There, rant over, but ‘cabin baggage’ is a personal, pet hobby horse. Particularly when one has seen some of the ‘stuff’ lugged onto the aircraft as cabin baggage. But why people with ‘back packs cant ‘carry’ them in front of them when in a confined space I’ll never know – but being thumped by a back pack is a personal hate – the pure definition of mindless, selfish, stupid behaviour.  No matter, the cockpit door is closed and what the eye don’t see, the heart can’t grieve over.

Toot – steam off – toot.
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Whimsy.

Way, way back; when the earth was soft and the skies were misty; we kids were taught lessons – enforced when necessary, which ‘kept the peace’ and anger levels down to a dull roar. On the bus for instance – always give up your seat to anyone ‘ancient’ or infirm. Move aside for someone carrying something, hold the door open for a lady, and etc. Common everyday courtesies – good manners and so on. ‘We’ all favoured ex RAF haversacks – to lug books and stuff around - cheap as chips from the Army Navy store, which you decorated with a felt pen – or not – as you chose. Later – climbing, as part of the DoE medal we all carried ‘rucksacks’ the old type with frames. We carried all – ALL – the equipment and gear we needed to complete the climb – the lot. We often travelled by bus and train – i.e. public transport into the wilds – across continents to reach the climb camp. I can honestly say that I and my mates would have been appalled to actually bump someone with a ‘pack’ – we would also be last to board and have our fare ready – so as not to hold up proceedings. Common courtesy and sense. I would not, ordinarily, discuss a bus ride I took recently into the city; I was dismayed by the lack of simple common courtesy I saw. Point old fool they bellow; so I will. Duck ‘em.

It is a little abstract – but, if I had to ‘evacuate’ that bus in hurry – I reckon there would be a significant percentage who did not get out in time – simply for a lack of what used to be common courtesy and sense. I got a cab back to the pub afterwards – no way known I’d ever travel on the bus again. For example – the one fellah, obese, youngish fellah who had one seat for his gear the rest for him, sat and ate fried chicken stinking out the cabin, while passengers close could hardly breathe for the stench; or not throw up for watching the greasy fingers tapping away at the I-phone messages.

It’s not so bad inboard an aircraft – but with the attitudes I saw displayed that day – it’s small wonder anyone could survive a crash – without pausing to take a ‘selfie’ and posting it before hitting the slide – with the back-pack on.

Serious question: what are these creatures and what have they done with human kind?

“Yes Charlie, I’m showing my age, I expect old folk have been shaking their heads about the younger generation since the cave – however: not to worry – I’ll have two of the usual, the lad is due and the IOS is waiting – Cheers.

[Image: D05ZtSnWoAAfBWZ.jpg]
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Interesting article on the 737 Max problems.

Ethiopian MAX Crash Simulator Scenario Stuns Pilots
May 10, 2019
Sean Broderick | Aviation Daily

WASHINGTON—A simulator session flown by a U.S.-based Boeing 737 MAX crew that mimicked a key portion of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302) accident sequence suggests that the Ethiopian crew faced a near-impossible task of getting their 737 MAX 8 back under control, and underscores the importance of pilots understanding severe runaway trim recovery procedures.

Details of the session, shared with Aviation Week, were flown voluntarily as part of routine, recurrent training. Its purpose: practice recovering from a scenario in which the aircraft was out of trim and wanting to descend while flying at a high rate of speed. This is what the ET302 crew faced when it toggled cutout switches to de-power the MAX’s automatic stabilizer trim motor, disabling the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) that was erroneously trimming the horizontal stabilizer nose-down.

In such a scenario, once the trim motor is de-powered, the pilots must use the hand-operated manual trim wheels to adjust the stabilizers. But they also must keep the aircraft from descending by pulling back on the control columns to deflect the elevator portions of the stabilizer upward. Aerodynamic forces from the nose-up elevator deflection make the entire stabilizer more difficult to move, and higher airspeed exacerbates the issue.
The U.S. crew tested this by setting up a 737-Next Generation simulator at 10,000 ft., 250 kt. and 2 deg. nose up stabilizer trim. This is slightly higher altitude but otherwise similar to what the ET302 crew faced as it de-powered the trim motors 3 min. into the 6 min. flight, and about 1 min. after the first uncommanded MCAS input. Leading up to the scenario, the Ethiopian crew used column-mounted manual electric trim to counter some of the MCAS inputs, but did not get the aircraft back to level trim, as the 737 manual instructs before de-powering the stabilizer trim motor. The crew also did not reduce their unusually high speed.

What the U.S. crew found was eye-opening. Keeping the aircraft level required significant aft-column pressure by the captain, and aerodynamic forces prevented the first officer from moving the trim wheel a full turn. They resorted to a little-known procedure to regain control.

The crew repeatedly executed a three-step process known as the roller coaster. First, let the aircraft’s nose drop, removing elevator nose-down force.  Second, crank the trim wheel, inputting nose-up stabilizer, as the aircraft descends. Third, pull back on the yokes to raise the nose and slow the descent. The excessive descent rates during the first two steps meant the crew got as low as 2,000 ft. during the recovery.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Transport preliminary report on the Mar. 10 ET302 accident suggests the crew attempted to use manual trim after de-powering the stabilizer motors, but determined it “was not working,” the report said. A constant trust setting at 94% N1 meant ET302’s airspeed increased to the 737 MAX’s maximum (Vmo), 340 kt., soon after the stabilizer trim motors were cut off, and did not drop below that level for the remainder of the flight. The pilots, struggling to keep the aircraft from descending, also maintained steady to strong aft control-column inputs from the time MCAS first fired through the end of the flight.

The U.S. crew’s session and a video posted recently by YouTube’s Mentour Pilot that shows a similar scenario inside a simulator suggest that the resulting forces on ET302’s stabilizer would have made it nearly impossible to move by hand.

Neither the current 737 flight manual nor any MCAS-related guidance issued by Boeing in the wake of the October 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 (JT610), when MCAS first came to light for most pilots, discuss the roller-coaster procedure for recovering from severe out-of-trim conditions. The 737 manual explains that “effort required to manually rotate the stabilizer trim wheels may be higher under certain flight conditions,” but does not provide details.
The pilot who shared the scenario said he learned the roller coaster procedure from excerpts of a 737-200 manual posted in an online pilot forum in the wake of the MAX accidents. It is not taught at his airline.

Boeing’s assumption was that erroneous stabilizer nose-down inputs by MCAS, such as those experienced by both the JT610 and ET302 crews, would be diagnosed as runaway stabilizer. The checklist to counter runaway stabilizer includes using the cutout switches to de-power the stabilizer trim motor. The ET302 crew followed this, but not until the aircraft was severely out of trim following the MCAS inputs triggered by faulty angle-of-attack (AOA) data that told the system the aircraft’s nose was too high.

Unable to move the stabilizer manually, the ET302 crew moved the cutout switches to power the stabilizer trim motors—something the runaway stabilizer checklist states should not be done. While this enabled their column-mounted electric trim input switches, it also re-activated MCAS, which again received the faulty AOA data and trimmed the stabilizer nose down, leading to a fatal dive.

The simulator session underscored the importance of reacting quickly to uncommanded stabilizer movements and avoiding a severe out-of-trim condition, one of the pilots involved said. “I don’t think the situation would be survivable at 350 kt. and below 5,000 ft,” this pilot noted.

The ET302 crew climbed through 5,000 ft. shortly after de-powering the trim motors, and got to about 8,000 ft.—the same amount of altitude the U.S. crew used up during the roller-coaster maneuvers—before the final dive. A second pilot not involved in the session but who reviewed the scenario’s details said it highlighted several training opportunities.

“This is the sort of simulator experience airline crews need to gain an understanding of how runaway trim can make the aircraft very difficult to control, and how important it is to rehearse use of manual trim inputs,” this pilot said.

While Boeing’s runaway stabilizer checklist does not specify it, the second pilot recommended a maximum thrust of 75% N1 and a 4 deg. nose-up pitch to keep airspeed under control.

Boeing is developing modifications to MCAS, as well as additional training. Simulator sessions are expected to be integrated into recurrent training, and may be required by some regulators, and opted for by some airlines, before pilots are cleared to fly MAXs again. The MAX fleet has been grounded since mid-March, a direct result of the two accidents.
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It is a couple of days old now  but worth the read. From 'Flight Global' on the Moscow accident.

P9 - addendum. While you've got the reading glasses on - read - THIS - it is of interest to flight crew.
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Further to last on Sukhoi Superjet Moscow prang -  Undecided

Via Oz Aviation... Wink

Quote:FLIGHT DATA RECORDER REVEALS FATE OF CRASHED SUPERJET

written by Australianaviation.Com.Au May 21, 2019

[Image: aeroflot_su95_ra-89098_moscow_190505_1.jpg]

The flight data recorder on board Aeroflot flight SU 1492 has revealed key information about the final minutes of the ill-fated Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed and burned at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on May 5.

Forty-one people died in the crash, with a further 10 taken to hospital.

The aircraft, with 73 passengers and five crew on board the flight from Sheremetyevo to Murmansk, was forced to return to Moscow after 30 minutes.

The Superjet had reached FL100 when the crew reported a lightning strike and loss of radio communication. They declared an emergency via their transponder and set course for an emergency landing.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the aircraft hit the runway hard before bouncing into the air, hit the runway again and burst into flames.

The reports were later borne out by ground observer footage.



Moscow’s Inter-regional Transport Prosecution Office opened an investigation into the accident which will include an assessment of the actions of the crew.

Meanwhile the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) has completed work on the contents of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage which show multiple issues during the emergency landing procedure.

According to The Aviation Herald the data was revealed by Rosaviatsia (the Russian equivalent of CASA).

It reported that the flightdeck crew on SU-1492 consisted of the captain (43, ATPL, 6,844 hours total, 1,570 hours on type) assisted by a first officer (36, CPL, 773 hours total, 623 hours on type).


[Image: Aeroflot_RA-89098_Sukhoi_Superjet_100-95...2_1170.jpg]


“About 30-40km (16-21nm) west of Sheremetyevo Airport there was rain in clouds, the clouds extended to a height of 8,000 to 9,000 meters (FL262-295) and contained a thunderstorm. The aircraft was climbing through 7,900 feet at 15:08Z when an electrical failure occurred, the flight control system (FCS) degraded to “DIRECT MODE”, the autopilot automatically disconnected; the aircraft was in the middle of thunderstorm activity.

“The captain assumed manual control of the aircraft until the end of the flight. Radio communication, that had taken place on VHF #1 radio so far, became unavailable, the crew was able to partially restore communication via VHF #2 on the emergency frequency only. The crew set the squawk for loss of communication.

“The crew decided to return to Sheremetyevo and performed a manual ILS approach to runway 24L. At the time the aircraft intercepted the glideslope the aircraft’s mass was 42,600kg, which was 1,600kg above the maximum landing weight. The crew deployed the flaps to 25 degrees in accordance with the flight crew operating manual for flight with minimum mode (DIRECT MODE) of the FCS as well as landing above MLW.

“At 15:26Z the crew set the emergency transponder code. Vapp was determined to be 155 KIAS, the descent on the glideslope was stabilised and without any deviation from Vapp.

“Winds during the approach came from 190 degrees at 30 knots. Descending between 1,100 and 900 feet the crew received 5 cycles of predictive windshear warnings ‘Wind Shear ahead, go around!’ Descending through 260 feet AGL the aircraft began to deviate below the glide slope, a ‘GLIDESLOPE’ warning occurred.

“Descending between 180 to 40 feet the engine thrust was increased causing the aircraft to accelerate to 164 knots. At 16 feet AGL the speed was 170 KIAS. A Terrain Awareness Warning System aural signal ‘Retard’ occurred, the engine thrust was reduced to idle.

“At that point the captain began to apply oscillating pitch inputs with increasing amplitude which changed the pitch angle up to +6 and -2 degrees. The aircraft made a “three point” touchdown 900 meters past the runway threshold at 158 KIAS and a vertical load of +2.55G and bounced up to 6 feet AGL. The spoilers did not deploy. In DIRECT MODE they are not permitted to operate automatically and need to be extended manually, however the spoilers were not manually extended by the crew.

Two seconds after the first touchdown the aircraft touched down a second time with the nose gear first at 155 KIAS and +5.85G. The aircraft bounced off again to 18 feet AGL.

“A third touchdown occurred at 140 KIAS in excess of +5G resulting in the destruction of the construction, a fuel spill and fire. While the aircraft was skidding along the runway at 100 KIAS a first fire alarm triggered in the aft cargo compartment, 16 seconds later in the tail section of the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop 20 seconds after the first fire alarm. Forty seconds after the first fire alarm the fire extinguisher in the tail section was activated. The engines continued to run until end (at 15:31:04Z) of the FDR recording 47 seconds after the first fire alarm.”

A passenger recorded a video of the final approach and landing up to the point of the first bounce.



“The MAK is conducting the investigation which focuses also on the predictive wind shear alerts and the reaction to them.”


(Report with The Aviation Herald).

Extracts from Avherald article:

"..Radio communication, that had taken place on VHF #1 radio so far, became unavailable, the crew was able to partially restore communication via VHF #2 on the emergency frequency only. The crew set the squawk for loss of communication.....At 15:26Z the crew set the emergency transponder code....The engines continued to run until end (at 15:31:04Z) of the FDR recording 47 seconds after the first fire alarm..."

P2 obs: So far there is no indication that the crew actually made either a PAN or MAYDAY call. However sometime after the lightning strike (between 15:08 and 15:26) the crew changed their transponder to squawk 7600 and conducted one aborted approach before changing the transponder to 7700 (emergency squawk) five minutes before the end of the accident landing sequence. Reviewing all of the video footage/phots available it would appear that the first responder fire tanker did not start applying fire retardant (foam) till at least a minute after the evacuation had been initiated.        

Even if we could excuse the fact that emergency services were not put on high alert once the aircraft had suffered a lightning strike which had resulted in multiple aircraft system failures, including a partial comms failure. The Sukhoi Superjet then conducts an aborted approach after which the flightcrew squawk 7700 five minutes prior to the end of the tragic accident sequence. 

Hmm...what's the ICAO Annex 14 required response time again? ref - PDF pg 226/ 9-8 https://www.bazl.admin.ch/dam/bazl/de/do...1_cons.pdf  

Quote:9.2.27 The operational objective of the rescue and firefighting service shall be to achieve a response time not
exceeding three minutes to any point of each operational runway, in optimum visibility and surface conditions.

Now consider that recently YMEN was given approval to operate aircraft up to a MTOW of 50 tonne - see HERE :
Quote:If you ever wanted a better example of why it is the miniscule McDo'Naught will not even entertain the thought that his aviation safety bureaucracy is taking the Mickey Bliss out of both him and the ICAO muppets, while the slices of Swiss cheese are 'thinned to the absolute minimum required by law' and serious identified aviation safety issues continue to be effectively ignored, then go no further than the following article in the Oz... [Image: dodgy.gif]  

[Image: DkXCAfRU8AAcZqH.jpg]

Ironically this is around about the MTOW for a Sukhoi Superjet 100 which, along with the Bombardier’s Global 7500 I believe meets the ICAO aerodrome Cat 6 requirements for an RFF service. But that is irrelevant in Australia because Essendon Fields airport does not meet the Australian standard for a Cat 6 RFFS i.e. > 350k pax per year -  Dodgy 
 However just for shits, giggles and to highlight the bizarre disconnection here in Dunceunda land let's overlay in our mind the Sukhoi accident sequence on RW17 at YMEN:
Quote:..The aircraft made a "three point" touchdown 900 meters past the runway threshold at 158 KIAS and a vertical load of +2.55G and bounced up to 6 feet AGL. The spoilers did not deploy, in DIRECT MODE they are not permitted to operate automatically and need to be extended manually, however, the spoilers were not manually extended by the crew. 2 seconds after the first touch down the aircraft touched down a second time with the nose gear first at 155 KIAS and +5.85G, the aircraft bounced off again to 18 feet AGL. A third touchdown occurred at 140 KIAS in excess of +5G resulting in the destruction of the construction, a fuel spill and fire. While the aircraft was skidding along the runway at 100 KIAS a first fire alarm triggered in the aft cargo compartment, 16 seconds later in the tail section of the aircraft, the aircraft came to a stop 20 seconds after the first fire alarm...

From my estimation that puts the touchdown point at YMEN just short of the crossing runway 08/26 (ironically this is about the same position that the B200 VH-ZCR DFO crash aircraft got airborne) which takes the crash landing sequence easily into the middle of the Tullamarine freeway. Now lets replace the B200 that crashed into the DFO with either a Sukhoi Superjet 100 or a fully fueled Global 7500 and think on the bigger fire ball that would have ensued - hmm what was the metro fire service response time again? 
   
Quote:...Following the sustained left sideslip, the aircraft began to descend and at 0858:48 the pilot transmitted on the Essendon Tower frequency repeating the word ‘MAYDAY’ seven times in rapid succession. Approximately 10 seconds after the aircraft became airborne, and 2 seconds after the transmission was completed, the aircraft collided with the roof of a building in the Essendon Airport Bulla Road Precinct -Retail Outlet Centre (outlet centre), coming to rest in a loading area at the rear of the building...CCTV footage from a camera positioned at the rear of the building showed the final part of the accident sequence with post-impact fire evident; about 2 minutes later, first responders arrived onsite. At about 0905 and 0908 respectively, Victoria Police and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade arrived... 
MTF...P2  Cool
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