The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJames Thompson Archive
Boeing 737 Max: An Artificial Intelligence Event?
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Conventional wisdom is that it is too early to speculate why in the past six months two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have gone down shortly after take off, so if all that follows is wrong you will know it very quickly. Last night I predicted that the first withdrawals of the plane would happen within two days, and this morning China withdrew it. So far, so good. (Indonesia followed a few hours ago).

Why should I stick my neck out with further predictions? First, because we must speculate the moment something goes wrong. It is natural, right and proper to note errors and try to correct them.(The authorities are always against “wild” speculation, and I would be in agreement with that if they had an a prior definition of wildness). Second, because putting forward hypotheses may help others test them (if they are not already doing so). Third, because if the hypotheses turn out to be wrong, it will indicate an error in reasoning, and will be an example worth studying in psychology, so often dourly drawn to human fallibility. Charmingly, an error in my reasoning might even illuminate an error that a pilot might make, if poorly trained, sleep-deprived and inattentive.

I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.

By the way of full disclosure, I have held my opinion since the first Lion Air crash in October, and ran it past a test pilot who, while not responsible for a single word here, did not argue against it. He suggested that MCAS characteristics should have been in a special directive and drawn to the attention of pilots.

I am normally a fan of Boeing. I have flown Boeing more than any other plane, and that might make me loyal to the brand. Even more powerfully, I thought they were correct to carry on with the joystick yoke, and that AirBus was wrong to drop it, simply because the position of the joystick is something visible to pilot and co-pilot, whereas the Airbus side stick does not show you at a glance how high the nose of the plane is pointing.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/fear-of-flying-and-safety-of-gruyere/

Pilots are bright people, but they must never be set a badly configured test item with tight time limits and potentially fatal outcomes.

The Air France 447 crash had several ingredients, but one was that the pilots of the Airbus A330-203 took too long to work out they were in a stall. In fact, that realization only hit them very shortly before they hit the ocean. Whatever the limitations of the crew (sleep deprived captain, uncertain co-pilot) they were blinded by a frozen Pitot air speed indicator, and an inability to set the right angle of attack for their airspeed.

For the industry, the first step was to fit better air speed indicators which were less likely to ice up. However, it was clear that better stall warning and protection was required.

Boeing had a problem with fitting larger and heavier engines to their tried and trusted 737 configuration, meaning that the engines had to be higher on the wing and a little forwards, and that made the 737 Max have different performance characteristics, which in turn led to the need for an anti-stall patch to be put into the control systems.

It is said that generals always fight the last war. Safety officials correct the last problem, as they must. However, sometimes a safety system has unintended consequences.

The key of the matter is that pilots fly normal 737s every day, and have internalized a mental model of how that plane operates. Pilots probably actually read manuals, and safety directives, and practice for rare events. However, I bet that what they know best is how a plane actually operates most of the time. (I am adjusting to a new car, same manufacturer and model as the last one, but the 9 years of habit are still often stronger than the manual-led actions required by the new configuration). When they fly a 737 Max there is a bit of software in the system which detects stall conditions and corrects them automatically. The pilots should know that, they should adjust to that, they should know that they must switch off that system if it seems to be getting in the way, but all that may be steps too far, when something so important is so opaque.

What is interesting is that in emergencies people rely on their most validated mental models: residents fleeing a burning building tend to go out their usual exits, not even the nearest or safest exit. Pilots are used to pulling the nose up and pushing it down, to adding power and to easing back on it, and when a system takes over some of those decisions, they need to know about it.

After Lion Air I believed that pilots had been warned about the system, but had not paid sufficient attention to its admittedly complicated characteristics, but now it is claimed that the system was not in the training manual anyway. It was deemed a safety system that pilots did not need to know about.

This farrago has an unintended consequence, in that it may be a warning about artificial intelligence. Boeing may have rated the correction factor as too simple to merit human attention, something required mainly to correct a small difference in pitch characteristics unlikely to be encountered in most commercial flying, which is kept as smooth as possible for passenger comfort.

It would be terrible if an apparently small change in automated safety systems designed to avoid a stall turned out have given us a rogue plane, killing us to make us safe.

 
• Category: Economics, Science • Tags: AI, Airlines, Boeing 
Hide 578 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Pilots are used to pulling the nose up and pushing it down, to adding power and to easing back on it, and when a system takes over some of those decisions, they need to know about it.

    I have read that Boeing kept MCAS out of the limelight as otherwise the 737 MAX would need to be certified as a new plane and airlines would need to do $$$ pilot retraining, making their product less competitive.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  2. @Anatoly Karlin

    Interesting. It is certainly hard to understand why MCAS was shrouded in secrecy, when it was potentially lethal.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  3. The machines have finally decided that the humans are unnecessary.

    • Replies: @Charles Carroll
  4. Interesting response from a “by-stander”, who compares a sophisticated aircraft with a new model car !!!

    As an experienced captain on 737s (not the MAX) …… I say, let the investigation begin; and let us not have by-standers giving their penny worth. A normal 737 ………. is there also an abnormal 747 or 777 or 787, or a 737 ??

    Pilots carry the can ………. but, are the most respected profession in the world. What ever happened, let the investigation decide the outcome, and not the “un-trained” (is there such a term !!!!).

    If one takes a look at the (released to date) information about the Lion Air crash – “unreliable airspeeds” (the airspeed indicator is providing erroneous information during a critical phase of flight (like climb out after take-off)) could have been the cause of that aircraft crash – not AI.

    A simple explanation – the airspeed indicator is “unreliable”, as one moment the indication is under-speed, then overspeed, followed by under-speed, and so it goes; like a yoyo going up and down; the indicated speed is erroneous and the pilots cannot rely on what is presented on the airspeed indicator. Pilots, according to the Boeing Training Manual, are trained to handle unreliable airspeeds – the key is to fly the plane based solely on pitch attitude and thrust (there are memory items for unreliable airspeed occurrences, along with the reference items in aircraft’s Quick Reference Handbook – the QRH (Boeing term) is the pilots “bible” for any issues and problems when the aircraft is in the air !! ).

    The point of the above paragraph is to enlighten the ‘un-trained’ as to not speculate too soon with ideas and a “hypothesis” of what may have happened, until the knowledgeable ones – the aircraft manufacturer (probably being the most knowledgable), the country’s aviation authority, the engine manufacturer, and (dear I say) the FAA (the Yanks just cannot help themselves delving into other countries’ affairs; when for 9/11 not one minutes was spent by anyone (FAA, Boeing, no one) investigating the so-called crashes of four aircraft – on one day, within one and a half hours of each other, and in the most protected airspace in the world (got the hint !!) – I have digressed, though for reason ………….. have completed their investigations.

    I can assure you that no pilot wants to crash a plane ………… we (pilots) all want to live to 100, and beyond.

    Humans make mistakes, but technology needs humans to correct technology’s mistakes. Boeing build reliable and trustworthy aircraft; pilots undertake their duties in a safe and controlled manner (according to training and aircraft manufacturer stipulated standards); but errors happen – and the investigator is there to establish what happened, so that these do not happen again. Unfortunately, it is just possible that the cause of the first MAX accident is the same as the second. But, let the knowledgable ones determine that fact – and let me, and us, not speculate.

    AI in the MAX ………… hhmmmmm – let Boeing release that information, before we start speculating again (on AI – is an auto pilot AI; the B737 I fly has two auto pilots; is that double AI ??).

    To the rest of the travelling public – airline travel remains, and has been, the safest form of transport for decades. I am confident that the status quo will remain.

    Time will reveal the answers to these two accidents, when the time is right – when the investigators (for both) have concluded their deliberations.

    My guess is, the majority of people will have forgotten these two MAX events (but, for those who have lost loved ones), as some other crisis/event will have occurred in their lives and/or in the world.

  5. @Anatoly Karlin

    737 MAX would need to be certified as a new plane and airlines would need to do $$$ pilot retraining, making their product less competitive.

    Short sighted businessmen – Nothing lasts for long

    Joni Mitchell – – – Chinese Cafè on Wild Things Run Fast

    • Replies: @bike-anarkist
  6. I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.

    I think that’s the case with a lot of current technology. Human factors and tactileness don’t seem to get much weight in current engineering.

    • Replies: @iffen
  7. @Captain 737

    MCAS in the Boing 357 Max 8 plane is not always working the way it should. The German daily Die weLT explains today:

    https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article190130091/Absturz-von-737-Max-8-Turbine-wird-zu-Boeings-Achillesferse.html

    Die weLT argues pretty much like James Thompson in his article above. Strange coincidence.

    • Replies: @Anon
  8. fish says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I have read that Boeing kept MCAS out of the limelight as otherwise the 737 MAX would need to be certified as a new plane and airlines would need to do $$$ pilot retraining, making their product less competitive.

    How much less competitive is the aircraft going to be if your theory turns out to be correct and the legal settlements and bad PR crushes Boeing?

    • Replies: @Fabian Forge
  9. Cortes says:
    @Captain 737

    “I can assure you that no pilot wants to crash a plane ………… we (pilots) all want to live to 100, and beyond.”

    Hmmm? How true is that, really?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanwings_Flight_9525

    And wasn’t there speculation about the officers flying the MH370?

  10. @Captain 737

    I respect your analysis especially coming from a seasoned 737 captain. I have over 5,000 flying hours in single and twin-engine, conventional and jet, all military. I have not flown since 1974 so the advances in auto-pilot technology are beyond my comprehension. My question to you is simple–I think. If the aircraft took off in VFR conditions I assume the pilots knew the pitch attitude all during the takeoff phase. Is there no way to manually overpower the auto-pilot once the pilots knew the pitch attitude was dangerously high or low?

  11. Well…yes….perhaps Boeing’s programmers should have used a language with polymorphic type safety……..What will be their excuse?……”I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!!!!”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. AaronB says:

    Actually, the Air France crash happened because the co-pilot acted in a consistently idiotic manner throughout.

    The Captain, awoken from a sleep and brought into the cockpit, realized what was wrong in time to save the plane. He then instructed the co-pilot to take the correct actions. The co-pilot, incomprehensibly, acknowledged the Captains instructions and indicated he was following them, only to continue to do the wrong thing he had been doing the entire time.

    Moments before the crash, the Captain realized that the co-pilot was actually doing the wrong thing still, against his instructions, and ordered him to immediately relinquish control of the plane. But by then it was too late.

    The co-pilot crashed the plane. Officially, the report says he was frozen in confusion and panic, but from reading the report, it’s impossible to rule out that he did it on purpose, as other pilots have been known to do.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  13. No offense, but who gives a shit?

    • Replies: @Dave Bowman
  14. kauchai says:

    If this is a made in china airplane, the empire would mobilize the whole world to ground the entire fleet. The diatribes, lies, cruel sick jokes, lawsuits, etc, etc, would fly to the heavens.

    But NO, this is an empire plane. Designed, built and (tested?) in the heart of the empire. And despite the fact that more than 300 people had died, IT IS STILL SAFE to fly!

    LOL! LOL!

  15. Anonymous[414] • Disclaimer says:

    Quite a short and to-the-point article, although the link to “artificial intelligence” is tenuous at best.

    What is sold as Artificial Intelligence nowadays is massive statistical processing in a black box (aka as “Neural Network Processing”), it’s not intelligent. The most surprising fact is that it works so well.

    Neural Networks won’t be in high-assurance software soon. No-one knows what they really do once configured (although there are efforts underway to attack that problem). They are impossible to really test or design to specification. Will someone underwrite that a system incorporating them does work? Hardly. You may find them in consumer electronics, research, “self driving cars” that never really self-drive without surprises and possibly bleeding edge military gear looking for customers or meant to explode messily anyway.

    But not in cockpits. (At least I hope).

    Check out this slideshow about the ACAS-X Next Generation Collision Airborne Collision Avoidance System. It has no neural network in sight, in fact if I understand correctly it doesn’t even have complex decision software in-cockpit: it’s all decision tables precomputed from a high-level, understandable description (aka. code, apparently in Julia) to assure safe outcome in a fully testable and simulatable approach.

    In this accident, we may have a problem with the system, as opposed to with the software. While the software may work correctly and to specification (and completely unintelligently) the system composed of software + human + physical machinery will interact in interesting, unforeseen, untested ways, leading to disaster. In fact the (unintelligent software + human) part may disturbingly behave like those Neural Networks that are being sold as AI.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @utu
  16. Anonymous[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    polymorphic type safety

    Polymorphism doesn’t sound safe at any speed, except if by speed you mean “need to get that product out tomorrow”.

    You mean “a polymorphic type system”, right?

    These are assuredly no-no in High-Assurance Software.

    At best, you will see Ada and a certified compiler toolchain.

    More likely a fragment C (like a C following MISRA C guidelines). Bletch!

    Does avionics development use languages like Standard ML? Would be cool.

    Could be you will have special design tools and languages (e.g. Harel Statecharts direct to C code; note that Harel Statecharts were developed for the Israeli Lavi). Possibly theorem provers to prove that the code follows the spec and doesn’t go bonkers because you forgot to increment by 1 in a loop. That’s getting bigger.

    “I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!!!!”

    That’s what “programmers” do. The implementation of viable and manageable design, development, verification and validation process is up to, well, management.

    Read this: Mettle Fatigue:VW’s Single Point of Failure Ethics. There is also a longer paper floating around with the same title.

  17. Anonymous[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Captain 737

    But, let the knowledgable ones determine that fact – and let me, and us, not speculate.

    Why not?

    This is a politicial platitude that should not be used. It is generally emitted by the politician as something is embiggening the back pocket.

    Speculate away – unless someone is being personally jeopardized by “speculation”.

  18. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I’m guessing that it would require a change in the TCDS and possibly a different type rating, which would be anathema for sales.

    I’m a little airplane person, not a big airplane person (and the 737 is a Big Airplane even in its smallest configuration) but I know there have been several instances where aircraft had changes that required that pilots of the type have a whole different type rating, even though the changes seemed minor. I’m guessing airlines are training averse and don’t want to take crews off revenue service beyond what is statutorily required. The margins in airline flying are apparently much leaner now than in the glory days.

    I never approved of allowing fly by wire in commercial airliners, I never even really liked the idea of FADEC engine control (supervisory DEC was fine) because a classical advantage of gas turbines (and diesels) was that they could run in an absolutely electrically dead environment once lit. Indeed, the J-58 (JT11-D in P&W parlance) had no electrical system to speak of beyond the instrumentation: it started by mechanical shaft drive and ignited by triethyl borane chemical injection. The Sled could make it home on needle-ball and alcohol compass, and at least once it did. Total electrical failure in any FBW aircraft means losing the airplane. Is the slight gain in efficiency worth it? I’m told the cables, pulleys, fairleads and turnbuckles add 200 pounds to a medium size airliner, the FBW stuff weighs 80 or so.

    The jet transports we studied in A&P school had a pitot head and static port on either side of the flight deck and the captain and F/O had inputs from different ones, though IIRC the altimeter and airspeed were electrically driven from sensors at the pitot head or inboard of it. I have a 727 drum-pointer (why are three pointer altimeters even legal anymore??) altimeter and it has no aneroids, just a couple of PCBs full of TTL logic and op amps and a DB style connector on the back. Do crews not cross check airspeed and altitude or is there no indicator to flag them when the two show something different?

    Also, not being a jet pilot myself, my understanding is that anyone with T-38 experience is forever after thinking in terms of AOA and not airspeed per se, because that airplane has to be flown by AOA in the pattern, and classically a lot of airline pilots had flown Talons. Is there no AOA indicator in the 737? Flying in the pattern/ILS would make airspeed pretty dependent on aircraft weight, and on a transport that can change a lot with fuel burn, do they precisely calculate current weight from a totalizer and notate speeds needed? (I presume airliners don’t vary weight other than fuel burn, not being customarily in the business of throwing stuff out of the airplane, although they used to fly jumpers out of a chartered 727 at the parachute meet in Quincy)

  19. Dungo.jay says:

    Why
    all the blather about a simple problem of keeping the nose of the plane up.in a stall!?Was,there a.manual over ride available to the pilot? Did the the pilot(s) know how to use it. Lets write something in a few intelligent lines instead fourteen hundred paragraphs.

  20. @James Thompson

    Because it is risky to compensate with software for a dubious construction. – The public would get nervous if it knew, wouldn’t it?

    I just read a post of a – eh – German engineer, who said, that he would never ever board a plane, designed like this one. Another one wrote: This machine is a flying tractor. – You can make tractors fly – but by and large, it’s better to design a useful airplane.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  21. fenestol says:

    An Artificial Intelligence Event?

    No, a lesson in the perils of kludge engineering. The 737-MAX is the equivalent of a 1990 Mexican VW Beetle retrofitted with a modern V8 and electronic stability control.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @James Thompson
  22. dearieme says:
    @Captain 737

    Why are you pretending to be a pilot, and a pompous one at that?

    • Replies: @iffen
  23. dearieme says:

    Many problems in the world arise because many computing people reckon themselves very clever when they are merely rather clever. And often they combine what cleverness they have with a blindness about humans and their ways. I shouldn’t be at all surprised if programmers at Boeing decided that they always knew better than pilots and doomed the planes accordingly.

    I saw recently an expression that made me grin: “midwits”. It describes rather well many IT types of my acquaintance.

    • Replies: @Fabian Forge
    , @Skeptikal
  24. This happened today:

    Ethiopia, Brasil, GB, India, Malaysia, Singapur, South Korea, Germany, Cayman Islands, and Mexico all have banned the Boing 757 MAX 8.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  25. @Dieter Kief

    Yes, my prediction amply confirmed, which makes a welcome change.

  26. @fish

    And that’s the problem, as Mr. Kief also points out. The individuals at the decision making level (let’s call them “executives”) don’t or can’t think that far ahead, at least when the corporation they run is concerneed.

    It really is a time-preference problem.

  27. @dearieme

    One corollary is that the Midwits take such joy in their cleverness that they assume their wit has value in and of itself. This is most evident when they design clever solutions to invented problems. Billions of dollars of venture capital have been set on fire in that way, when technical and financial midwittery combine.

  28. @kauchai

    Mr. Kauchai, see Mr. Keif’s comment #26. The Provinces are revolting!

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  29. @Anonymous

    I have no idea what almost any of those acronyms mean but I agree because you seem to know what you’re talking about.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @reiner Tor
  30. @Fabian Forge

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 18:36 – The Boing 757 MAX 8 is banned in all of Europe.

  31. Neue Zürcher Zeitung***, 18:36 – The Boing 737 MAX 8 is banned in all of Europe.

    *** Close your eyes and smell the chunk of Swiss Emmental cheese shown above James Thompson’s article! – Delicious, see?! It smells like life itself, doesn’t it?

  32. Eagle Eye says:
    @Captain 737

    I say, let the investigation begin; and let us not have by-standers giving their penny worth.

    In other words, SHUT UP if you are not in the pay of an interested party: air frame manufacturers, the government (FAA) or the airlines.

    WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF?

    The history of aviation is the history of discovering NEW and unexpected failure mechanisms. Look up the history of the Comet in the 1950s which led to the discovery of the phenomenon of metal fatigue, hitherto unknown to the self-same establishment specialists.

    Here it seems fairly clear that the problem concerns the function of the computerized control systems. Neither Boeing nor Airbus started out as computer companies, and one wonders to what extent either company has really absorbed the peculiarities of computer systems design into its corporate culture.

  33. AWM says:

    “I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.”

    Yep, this sounds like a cluster, with the expected results.
    How does something like this “slip through the cracks” anyway?

    You know, a lot of things are non-intuitive in use, nothing more so than the multifunction programable back for my old Minolta X-700 SLR.

  34. An Artificial Intelligence Event?

    An Artificial Lack of Intelligence Event. (fixed). Just in case, there is a serious math analysis (and calculus) proof of 2+2=4–it requires good university level math to understand it. Is it smart? I don’t think so. If it is confirmed that it was anti-stall “thingy” which did it again–in the foundation of these tragedies will be a code.

  35. @Andrei Martyanov

    It’s almost nitpicking. But – James Thompson says it above: The MCAS in this Boing model 737 MAX 8 is used to cover up a basic construction flaw. This has undoubtedly worked for quite some time – but it came with a risk. And this risk might turn out to have caused numerous deaths. In this case, if it will turn out, that the MACS system didn’t do what it was supposed to do and thus caused numerous deaths – will this then be looked upon as a problem of the application of artificial intelligence? Yes, but not only. It was a combination of a poorly built (constructed) airliner and software, which might not have been able to compensate for this flawed construction under all conditions.

    It’s cheaper to compensate via software – and this might (might) turn out to be a rather irresponsible way to save money. But as I said: Even in this case, the technical problem would have to be looked upon as twofold: Poor construction plus insufficient software compensation. I’d even tend to say, that poor construction would then be the main (=basic) fault. With the zeitgeisty (and cheap!) software-“solution” for this poor construction a close second.

  36. Eagle Eye says:
    @Captain 737

    Curiously, this is “Captain 737″‘s first and only comment here.

    It’s almost as if Boeing hired a high-priced PR firm whose offerings include pseudonymous online “messaging” to “shape opposition perceptions” etc. Note the over-obvious handle. (Just like globalist shills like to pretend to be regular blue-collar guys in small fly-over towns.)

    By their words shalt ye know them.

    PREDICTION: In 3-4 years, we will “discover” a long paper trail of engineers warning early on about the risk of hastily kludging a half-assed anti-stall patch MCAS onto a system that had undergone years of testing and refinement WITHOUT the patch.

    Only somebody PAID not to see the problem could fail to perceive that this means that as so altered, the ENTIRE SYSTEM goes back to being technically immature.

    • Agree: Fabian Forge, republic
    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
  37. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    What “basic construction flaw” are we discussing here? The 737 airframe is pretty well established and has a good record-there have been incidents but most have been well dealt with.

  38. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Like I said, I’m a little airplane person. Aviation is full of acronyms and they are all well documented on line. I am curious as to the real issue here-I don’t know the answers, am listening to anyone who has real experience with the phenomenon.

  39. @Anonymous

    I’ve read today, that in the aviation world there is a consensus, that what James Thompson says in his article is right:
    “Boeing had a problem with fitting larger and heavier engines to their tried and trusted 737 configuration, meaning that the engines had to be higher on the wing and a little forwards, and that made the 737 Max have different performance characteristics, which in turn led to the need for an anti-stall patch to be put into the control systems.”

    – A German engineer wrote in a comment in the Berlin daily Die weLT, this construction flaw makes the 737 MAX 8 something like a flying traktor. He concluded, that Boing proved, that you can make a tractor fly, alright. But proper engineering would have looked otherwise – and would for sure had come at a higher cost.
    (The different performance charactersitics mentioned by James Thompson is an extraordinarily nice way to express, that the 737 MAX 8 is a tad more likely to stall, just because of the very design-changes, the bigger turbines made necessary. And this is a rather nasty thing to say about an airplane, that a new design made it more likely to stall!).

    • Replies: @James Forrestal
  40. @kauchai

    That’s a lot of bullcrap there. I know China, and if a made-in-China A/C crashed in remote territory, it’s likely a big pit would be dug and the whole A/C and anyone not alive would be pushed into it, with the simple news of the crash and names of the dead. It’s happened with one of the fast trains already.

    Listen, I’m no China basher, as I have a lot of good to say about the place. I’m not a blind America basher either like lots of the Commies on the unz site. It’s the Feral Government, neocons, and ctrl-left neo-Bolsheviks that I don’t like here.

    Boeing could have indeed made the same mistake Airbus has been making for years, letting software determine what’s going on when things go wrong, and letting the pilots have no say in how they will get out of a jam. Did Boeing just not spend the effort to train pilots on memory items differently than with the other 73’s (most likely due to the software types, NOT the engineers, thinking there was no need)? That’s likely, but I don’t know any more details than the author here has read.

    I will say this, and it’s nothing to do with this or any crash: the newer 737’s are trying to do the job that the 757-200 could do with ease. Major US Airlines begged Boeing to open up the line again, with the fuel having been cheap for quite a while*, but Boeing did not want to do it. (I’d speculate that they may not have felt it worth the risk to set up those lines with all that tooling – no easy feat!) Anyway, the 737-900 is a PIG on take-off compared to the 757-200, taking over 1,000 feet (we were loaded for going transcontinental) from start of rotation to those wheels finally escaping the surly bonds of that long-ass runway.

    .

    * The 757 is not as fuel efficient as these new 73’s with its big old honking engines. It climbs fully loaded like a bat out of hell.

  41. Sparkon says:
    @Anonymous

    What “basic construction flaw” are we discussing here? The 737 airframe is pretty well established and has a good record.

    I‘m not so sure about the good record, and I too suspect the underlying problem is the 737 itself – the entire 737 airframe and avionics.

    Worst crash record

    LET 410 – 20
    Ilyushin 72 – 17
    Antonov AN-1 – 17
    Twin Otter – 18
    CASA 212 – 11
    DC-9/MD80 – 10
    B737-100 / 700 – 10
    Antonov 28 – 8
    Antonov 32- 7
    Tupolev 154- 7

    [a/o 2013 – my bold]

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Least-safe-aircraft-models-revealed/

    The 737 family is the best selling commercial airliner series in history with more than 10,000 units produced. However, this airplane in its various configurations has had many crashes since it first entered service in 1968.

    Augered in:

    United Airlines Flight 585 was a scheduled passenger flight on March 3, 1991 from Denver to Colorado Springs, Colorado, carrying 20 passengers and 5 crew members on board. The plane experienced a rudder hardover while on final approach to runway 35 at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, causing the plane to roll over and enter an uncontrolled dive. There were no survivors.

    The NTSB was initially unable to resolve the cause of the crash, but after similar accidents and incidents involving Boeing 737 aircraft, the crash was determined to be caused by a defect in the design of the 737’s rudder power control unit (PCU)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_585

    After that crash, I determined to avoid the 737.

    Big mystery too about the recent crash of Amazon’s Atlas Air 767 freighter during final approach to Houston, which represents just the third fatal crash of a 767 — including the mysterious crash of Egypt Air 990 — with about 1,200 of the type in service and still being produced, and about 1,000 of the narrow-body counterpart 757 – production having ceased in 2004 in favor of the 737. Contrast the 757/767 safety record with the long list of 737 crashes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_incidents_involving_the_Boeing_737

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  42. @Anonymous

    Good comment, #427, but as to the last paragraph, not nearly as much a chunk of the commercial pilots in the US are ex-military, compared to 20 years back, let alone former T-38 pilots.

    Speeds based on the weight upon landing are calculated in myriad ways, down to the knot.

    I’m told the cables, pulleys, fairleads and turnbuckles add 200 pounds to a medium size airliner, the FBW stuff weighs 80 or so.

    I don’t think that’s the main point of it. Fly-by-wire allows for a cleaner design inside, less maintenance on pulleys in odd spots, etc, and GREATER reliability, PROVIDED there is always electrical power from some source – there are multiple sources, of course.

    I do agree with you on the beauty of devices that don’t depend on electricity to keep running. Since you are a small-airplane guy, you must appreciate dual magnetos that’ll keep you going if the alternator belts pops off and you’d jumpstarted your engine due to a sorry-assed battery back at the hangar!

    Actually that reminds me of skydive airplanes. The great thing about the sport is nobody asks you to jump out of a perfectly-good airplane. About Quincy, I’ve seen pictures of the jumpers bailing out of the D.B.Cooper door out of the back of that 727, 100 at a time. One told me that the engine blast blows you about a mile away from your spot!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Clyde
  43. @Sparkon

    That list is not based on mileage or cycles even. Also, where are the AirBuses on it? Any useful list would separate out any crashes with known causes that were NOT due to problems with the airplane. Otherwise you may as well just be the Rain Man:

    “Flying’s very dangerous …”

    Ha! Check out the airlines on that beautiful new hanging monochrome CRT – TWA, Pan Am, and the old Piedmont.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @James Forrestal
  44. kauchai says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The 2011 wenzhou HSR incident was caused by faulty signalling equipment. This fault was discovered by a maintenance personnel but he did not file a report on it. Immediately following this, the chinese government suspended all HSR operation and construction. Operations and construction only resumed after the fault was identified, fixed and tested. Even then, the speed of the HSR was curtailed to below 300 km/h until last year when it was allowed to reach 350km/h, its designated top speed. Investigations pointed to poor management practices and 54 railway ministry top level officials were sacked and indicted and sentenced for corruption. The railway minister in question is now serving a life sentence.

    The wenzhou HSR incident cost 40 lives. The Boeing 737 MAX caused more than 300 deaths (Lion Air and now Ethiopia Airlines). Yet we are being told IT IS STILL SAFE to fly. If the fault really lies with the plane, will anyone within NTSB and Boeing be sent to jail for life? Will those who are responsible for the 300+ lives be at least sentence to serve some time in prison? BUT CHINA DID!

    Listen I am not a china wumao much as the other empire ass lickers like to call me. When something went wrong in china, investigations were carried out and the guilty parties were given their just punishment. This included the highest politburo standing committee members. In other parts of the world such incidents were whitewash with highly paid lawyers in tow to prevent the guilty ones from incarceration.

    Why wasn’t anyone sent to jail for the 2008 financial disaster? Why is Roundup (with glyphosate as a cancer causing agent) still being widely sold to farmers throughout the whole world? Why didn’t Bubba Clinton go to jail for the Monica Lewinsky thingy? Who dare to prosecute Bush Jr and Tony Blair for invading Iraq on false evidence?

    BUT IF THESE GUYS WERE TO OPERATE IN CHINA, THEY WILL ROT IN JAIL! Talk about social justice!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @pontius
  45. Sparkon says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    “Flying’s very dangerous …”

    No, that’s not what I was saying, but go ahead and build your strawman and try to put words in my mouth. I was praising the safety record of the 757 and 767, but I guess you missed that.

    757 debut at Farnborough, 1982

    I don’t have the interest or bandwidth either one to watch videos, especially not that schmuck.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  46. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Actually, they never tell you about the disadvantages of magnetoes in flight or maintenance training. Mags are heavy and take a lot of engine power to turn, and produce poor voltage at low speeds. Many engines have retard breakers that snap the mag to give a hot pulse on initial crank, but low speed operation and starting would be much easier if the engines had one mag and one modern electronic system instead of two mags. Also, on many engines such as certain Continentals, both mags are driven by a common gear that has failed in the past.

    Magnetoes were common on race cars and gasoline farm tractors, but few racing classes still run mags because of weight and lack of programmability and they don’t make gasoline or LP gas farm tractors of any size anymore.

    The Lycoming and Continental air cooled flat engines were marvels of modernity before and immediately after WWII and haven’t been modernized since. They are oil burning, smoke and raw fuel belching museum pieces requiring, in their more advanced configurations, the skills of a flight engineer to operate them with manual mixture, prop throttle, cowl flaps, EGT and CHT gauges, greatly challenging owner-pilots whose workload in IFR operations is already maxed out. They are also prone to shock cooling, which is an unrecognized factor in situations like the huge number of Beech Bonanza accidents.

    Typically the owner pilot would get the nose down, and the Bonanza being aerodynamically very clean and having no speed brakes, would head for VNE pretty fast. The pilot’s natural first reaction-pull engine power back to idle-was delayed or stopped because as an owner having to pay the bills, he didn’t want to crack a cylinder or two. Also, he could have dropped the gear, but that would take off the gear doors and replacements were in the four to five figures. So by the time the owner pilot DID anything he as way over the redline, typically pulled bck hard on the yoke, and often activated a flutter mode in the V-tail or over-G failed either the wig or the tail. Beech knew of and understood the phenomenon by about 1965, and never changed anything because the lawyers told them that to do so was to admit fault. So they bought more and more pwoduct wiability insurance at ever-higher premiums, until a financial change around ’84 meant the insurors would not write the anymore, and they had the so called “pwoduct wiability crisis” we all remember. Eventually Congress passed the General Aviation Revitalization Act,

    https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1234&context=jaaer

    which got Cessna and Beech making a few airplanes for GA sales, but they really did not have that much interest in it. Beech got the ridiculous contract for the JPATS “T-6 Texan II” and decided that that was far more profitable use of floor space than making Bonanzas even at the insane price they were demanding. In essence, the GA manufacturers in Wichita are “spoiled contractors”: they don’t want to pursue civilian business that might mean work when the military pays them so much, and they have invested a lot into the byzantine military procurement process and bought off the right pols and hired former military people for no-show jobs (ex post facto bribery) , just like the big boys like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

    My flying days, alas, are long past. The only magneto ignition air cooled engine I have to deal with now is my vintage T-head Gravely lawn tractor. I run it on avgas to keep from having to rebuild the carb every season. I like the smell.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  47. @Captain 737

    Wow, what an arrogantly blase comment. If you actually are a pilot tell us with which airline you are with so we can avoid it like the plague.

    When two aircraft crash in such similar and improbable conditions, and in such a short time period, it should immediately be assumed that there is a pattern. You don’t wait until the ratio of crashes to takeoffs reaches a minimum ratio before realising ‘oh something might be wrong’. When speed is of the essence making an immediate safety decision based on a suspected cause is likelier to save lives.

    If the MCAS was a suspected cause in the first incident then it should have addressed as a precaution immediately, even if the investigation continued. Perhaps if more ‘by-standers’ had expressed outrage over the apparent role of a latent defect in the Indonesian crash Boeing would not have waited till this week to issue emergency rectifications (very quick – apparently the problem was not so unknown to them).

    But no, let wait till the experts release their final report and until then just cross your fingers if you fly a 737-MAX.

    Experts have value, but experts who are careless and arrogant should never be trusted.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  48. Gordo says:

    I am normally a fan of Boeing. I have flown Boeing more than any other plane,

    Boeing with Rolls Royce engines.

  49. Biff says:
    @kauchai

    If this is a made in china airplane, the empire would mobilize the whole world to ground the entire fleet. The diatribes, lies, cruel sick jokes, lawsuits, etc, etc, would fly to the heavens.

    It doesn’t even need to be an airplane. Baby formula will do.

    • Replies: @Lazarus
  50. @Dieter Kief

    737 in general has a decent safety record, especially against the background of a gigantic volume of this plane produced in decades. It may not be the best (or contemporary) design but it proved itself over the years.

    MACS system

    I could be wrong but the talk is about MCAS (not MACS) which is Midair Collision Avoidance System. This system might be involved, or speed sensors, or something else altogether, or all of it combined but the issue is a design of “interface” or the protocol of pilot interaction with controls. Any system in which operator cannot override it in the most efficient and easily register-able way is dangerous. But we still do not know what’s the deal with the latest crash. It may turn out to be something else altogether, not anti-stall system.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @James Thompson
  51. @Sparkon

    You kinda took it wrong, man, or else I should have been more clear. By “you”, in “…you may as well just be the Rain Man”, I didn’t mean you personally. The 2nd half of the post was to be humorous. The first part was a correction to that list, as without including a major manufacturer whose planes have crashed multiple times, and without presenting the numbers as ratios to either flying miles or cycles (legs)* than that data is crap.

    I was praising the safety record of the 757 and 767, but I guess you missed that.

    Nope, I didn’t miss anything. I try to read the whole of the comments, especially if I’m going to respond. You may have missed another comment of mine, though, in which I think the 757 is the greatest jetliner ever built (long as the Jet-A stays reasonable.).

    .

    * Possibly that doesn’t sound like the way to do it to most people, but it’d be “crashes per 1 million trips” vs “per 1 billion miles”, both of which can be seen to be valid stats by the public.

  52. @Anonymous

    Yep, pilots that don’t fly enough or know their airplane enough to think well ahead have problems switching to a speedy plane like a Bonanza or Mooney after a fixed-gear Cessna.

    The Lycoming and Continental air cooled flat engines were marvels of modernity before and immediately after WWII and haven’t been modernized since.

    Yes indeed, it is very old tech, but very reliable too. That is very specifically related to the rule of lawyers in the US.

    They are oil burning, smoke and raw fuel belching museum pieces requiring, in their more advanced configurations, the skills of a flight engineer to operate them with manual mixture, prop throttle, cowl flaps, EGT and CHT gauges, greatly challenging owner-pilots whose workload in IFR operations is already maxed out.

    These are not the oil-consuming radials, mind you, for which you carry quantities of oil measured in GALLONS with you. Most of these engines use up ~ a quart every 4 to 6 hours, not a whole lot in the scheme of things. It’s not that hard, and if pilots can’t handle playing with the throttle, prop control, and mixture, they should go back to a Champ. This is why those Bonanzas were called the “Doctor killers”, as there were people who weren’t really up for the concentration required during some portions of flight.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  53. @Andrei Martyanov

    Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)

    However, there are too many acronyms, another problem for the safety conscious.

  54. @James Thompson

    Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)

    Thank you, didn’t know about this one.

  55. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    “another problem for the safety conscious”: we call those APSCs.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  56. @dearieme

    “another problem for the safety conscious”: we call those APSCs.

    Good one, LOL!

  57. @AaronB

    The captain at the AF 447 should’ve taken control of the plane during the emergency. It’s incomprehensible why he didn’t take the pilot’s seat. During any emergency or turbulence, the captain should be flying the plane, with the senior first officer in the second pilot’s seat. The junior first officer shouldn’t have been sitting in the second pilot’s seat. So that was a big mistake already.

    The junior first officer told the captain twice what he was doing. It’s pretty unlikely he would’ve done so, if he wanted to kill himself and the rest of the crew and passengers – Andreas Lubitz had the good sense not to tell others about his plan as long as he was not alone in the cockpit.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @AaronB
  58. @Anatoly Karlin

    I didn’t know most, I only deemed AOA important enough to think about, and after some 5 seconds I realized it’s angle of attack.

  59. Steve2 says:
    @kauchai

    The Empire has abandoned the United States and its native born core Americans. Going overseas for software from newbie development groups and insourcing via H1-B and other visa groups is destroying the capabilities of the United States. Who does the work and where the work was done actually matters. Competence matters more than diversity. The United States is disassembling itself right in front of us, for no good reason that I can see. To know who/whom, you need to know who/where.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  60. @Steve2

    • Replies: @Steve2
  61. @kauchai

    Listen I am not a china wumao much as the other empire ass lickers like to call me.

    See, now there’s another one. It’s not a lie exactly, just bullshit. You can check Peak Stupidity’s blog posts on China to see that I try to be fair – I have been there, seen a lot, and heard the real story from Chinese people I trust. As for America, the other 900-odd blog posts focus there, and I’ll write plenty about the bad along with the good. It is a ratio that is heavily weighted toward the bad (and stupid, of course) at this point, though even just 25 years back, it’d have been the inverse.

    China is corrupt on all levels. America has got its problems, but it was the most prosperous and trusting society the world has ever scene before the Feral Gov’t was allowed to metathesize, and hordes of immigrants in unassimilable numbers were allowed in.

    In the meantime, in China, cooking oil is recovered directly out of the sewers, and fake eggs are sold that are made out of concrete dust*.

    Most Americans were not in favor of Big Banking’s bailout of taxpayer money 11 years back, just like, now I’m guessing here, most Chinamen were not in favor of their children being taught to “struggle against” them and put them on a stage with posters hung around their neck to be pelted by (probably fake) eggs by the Red Guards, either.

    This comment is getting so totally off topic, so let me bring it back – as much animosity as I feel toward our Feral Gov’t, the NTSB is one organization, with some technical/engineering types, that I’d be most comfortable talking to – and I have. I hope they get to the bottom of it, but speculation on unz by people that don’t know squat about airplanes (just like with the RFK article**) is not that helpful.

    .

    * I never really got that one. How much more trouble is it to fake an egg than to get another coupla’ chickens? Then again, I’m no Chinaman.

    ** I don’t dispute that writer’s knowledge of the political scene and his suspicions of foul play. It’s just that he should have spent 1 hour getting a pilot of any sort to review the article and correct stupidity therein before publication.

    • Replies: @Bill
    , @kauchai
  62. Matra says:

    Trump – note: not the FAA – has ordered the grounding of the 737 MAX. This makes Boeing (and the FAA) look pretty bad.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Pericles
    , @iffen
  63. anon[107] • Disclaimer says:

    Lion Air (budget Indonesian) and Ethiopian Air crash 737s, and nobody thinks of the dumb shitskins flying both of them? Just a coincidence? LOL

    “Studies find that darker pigmented people average … lower IQ.”
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886912000840

    You don’t put a complex jet in the hands of a dummy.

    But nobody can say that, except an anon.

  64. Steve2 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Respectfully, please note that US hegemony ended when the Empire and its corporate beneficiaries abandoned the US. It is not certain or perhaps even probable that the latest disasters were generated in the US or even by people born in the US. Corporations in the US have two main goals: move development offshore and replace the native born with foreign workers. The Empire itself is global. Corporations are global. There is no core US workforce or effort anymore. If you want understand tech/engineering disasters emanating from nominal US corporations, you need to clearly understand the extent to which geographic distribution and hiring practices have influenced results.

  65. @Matra

    Trump – note: not the FAA – has ordered the grounding of the 737 MAX. This makes Boeing (and the FAA) look pretty bad.

    Astonishing.

  66. @Andrei Martyanov

    That’s a interesting point. Bertrand Russell wrote a massive tome to prove 1+1=2…..and in the process created type theory…….over a hundred years later type theory is now deeply embedded in programming languages in the form of static type safety……..

    As Anon pointed out in his post that Boeing uses the Ada programming language in its aircraftembedded systems…Ada….I hope I’m right about this……was the first computer language to use static type safety….before languages such as Haskell….ML….and OCAML…..and Rust…….

    I raised the issue of type safety with regard to crash of the Boeing passenger jet because of software type safety issues in medical devices where it is an issue because of the the use C programming Language in medical devices….

    Also, if the Boeing passenger jet crashed because of an AI issue…..well, I think every one here should start googling about the Frame issue in AI….I don’t believe Frame issue has ever been resolved in AI….

    Or…perhaps there are undecidability issues in the static testing of software(which is the reason why computer viruses…polymorphic variety…..always have the upper hand against anti-viral software)…I don’t know…….I’m just throwing this shit out there on a heavy dose of Columbian Organic…………..Coffee……..SCOUTS HONOR!!!!

  67. Perhaps it was the fabrication of just enough bad transistors at the foundry…..how many bad transistors does it take to crash a large Boeing passenger jet?……Was Byron The Bulb responsible for this?

  68. pontius says:
    @kauchai

    We had an inspector from the local boiler safety organization tell us that an investigation into a fatality caused by a badly designed and manufactured pipe flange from China resulted in the execution of those involved in its design and manufacture.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  69. Pericles says:
    @Matra

    Clearly the time has come for a Hawaiian judge to step in and overturn that order.

    • LOL: reiner Tor
  70. @anon

    This is a powerful contribution, and seems to confirm the general line of argument I was putting forward after the Lion Air crash, not on the basis of these details, but on the general principle that no important control issue should be opaque to pilots, who should have a plane which conforms to their aerodynamics-based mental model of how the controls in their hands operate.

  71. Hibernian says:
    @pontius

    “a fatality”? Of a family member of a high Party official?

    • Replies: @pontius
  72. Take us back to the good ol’ days of flying on passenger aircraft.

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrCmnQ4rYlcqn8AxLwPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=lufthansa+ju+52+flights&type=1102&hspart=avast&hsimp=yhs-securebrowser&param1=ee3f0445c28d491f867a0701e97a80e8&param2=20180515&param3=Avast+Secure+Browser%7C72.0.1174.121&param4=11%7CUS%7C1.16.20.343%7C1.16.20.343&ei=UTF-8&fr=yhs-avast-securebrowser#id=61&vid=1b2c673fe9181509ddacc054ffdfae38&action=view

  73. pontius says:
    @Hibernian

    No, the fatality was in Canada.

    The paper trail led back to the manufacturer, which led back to the batch, which I presume led back to an engineer who had his name on a blueprint. It seems the design involved bringing a piece of flat bar stock back around on itself and then welded to make the ring. The flange failed under pressure at the welded joint. All pressure fittings have a well documented paper trail.

    This is second hand knowledge given to me by the local provincial inspector who came through our plant once a year to inspect our facility. He was retired from the Royal Navy and an interesting fellow to chat with.

  74. By-tor says:
    @anon

    Pilots from ‘white’ European countries fly most of these planes Einstein.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Hibernian
  75. anon[107] • Disclaimer says:
    @By-tor

    Please make a note of it:

    On 18 November, the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Bangkok, Thailand had something different to it…
    https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2015/11/25/comment-meet-female-pilots-taking-over-african-skies

    • Replies: @By-tor
  76. Biff says:
    @anon

    Bonified bus drivers at 35,000 feet.

    • Replies: @anon
  77. utu says:
    @Anonymous

    it’s not intelligent. The most surprising fact is that it works so well.

    Same with humans.

  78. Has anyone in the EUNATO media yet accused Russia of hacking the plane’s software in order to destroy consumer confidence in Boeing? If not, why not? Someone at the CIA isn’t earning his, her, or hir’s pay!

  79. I think the speculation is coming too soon.

  80. By-tor says:
    @anon

    Were these the two flying the 737-800 plane? The initial report said the pilots on the crashed flight were veterans with thousands of hours of flying the 737 series: That would not be these two females. The number of female airline pilots worldwide is still relatively low. In the US, females flying for the major airlines is still making the ‘news’.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Rohirrimborn
  81. The way design is today it is even possible that the body of the aircraft and location and angle of the wings are not properly balanced, No aircraft should suddenly nosedive under any control error or lack of power.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  82. 25 years (and beyond) ago Boeing was run by “old White men” who were conservative and cherished Boeing’s safety record. During those times, quality (first class) engineering was emphasized. If a VP didn’t perform – they were taken to the woodshed for a beating. If engineers didn’t perform, they were simply laid off or re-assigned to positions where they couldn’t do any harm.

    Since that time, “Diversity” is the first priority of Boeing – secondary to producing first-class products. When the choice of who is put into an important position (that’s in a critical path – whether executive management or engineering) is decided by minority status as opposed to demonstrated merit and experience … the result is airplanes falling out of the sky “for no apparent reason”.

  83. @anon

    The same pilots wouldn’t have crashed an older 737, which hasn’t had an accident for ages, despite actually flying in much higher numbers.

    Yes, it’s possible that a first world maintenance and a first world pilot would’ve saved the planes, but even first world pilots have bad days. Like the AF447 junior first officer, who flew the plane to the ocean.

  84. Planes may not be cars, but when thinking of Boeing’s conduct I keep thinking back to Fight Club:

    “My job was to apply the formula…should we initiate a recall?
    Take the number of vehicles in the field (A), multiply by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply by the average out of court settlement (C):

    A x B x C = X

    If X is less than the cost of a recall we don’t do one”

    I wonder how the actual accounts will settle for Boeing in the end.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  85. Boeing had a problem with fitting larger and heavier engines to their tried and trusted 737 configuration, meaning that the engines had to be higher on the wing

    Have you seen a photo of the 737 Max on the tarmac? The engine does not fit between the wing and the bitumen.

    and a little forwards,

    No, a lot forwards, the engine is essentially in front of the wing instead of below it.

    and that made the 737 Max have different performance characteristics,

    YES.

    which in turn led to the need for an anti-stall patch to be put into the control systems.

    “Need” is a matter of interpretation 🙂 But the patch is indeed the route they chose to take, and is the beginning of the problem. Boeing themselves say that the aircraft had “unique handling characteristics” – yes, it was in some ways an entirely different plane. Their error was to decide that the differences could be resolved with a “patch”, they should have done something more fundamental and comprehensive. And now people are dead.

  86. @anon

    A favourite travel tip of mine is to avoid the airlines of nations where sewerage smells can be detected while walking the streets.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  87. onebornfree says: • Website

    Trump Orders Grounding Of All 737 Max Planes
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-13/faa-alone-world-canada-orders-grounding-boeing-737-max-8s

    Velcome to fascist America!

    Researcher/author Jim Marrs was right : Hitlers fascist 3rd Reich survived after all, it simply moved to the US :

    Book: “The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America” by Jim Marrs

    You want it, you got it!

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @Anon
  88. anon[293] • Disclaimer says:
    @Biff

    Ohhh yeeeeah…

  89. Anon[293] • Disclaimer says:
    @By-tor

    We’ll see who was flying, won’t we? Actually, if it was blacks and/or females, we probably won’t, it will be carefully covered up like the several navy ship crashes caused by diversity. If folks can speculate about the technology, I can speculate about Ethiopians flying it.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  90. @Dieter Kief

    With respect to the tractor analogy, it appears to me that the 737 airplane has been “stretched” (lengthened to increase its passenger capacity) beyond recognition.

    I signed up to receive e-mails from Boeing because I supported the US Air Force using an American-made aerial tanker. Ironically, I recently received a glowing testimonial to the 737 MAX series in my electronic inbox — maybe not so ironically because after the Lion Air disaster, Boeing needed to more aggressively market these planes?

    In the promotional videos, the engineers who designed a complicated linkage to further extend the landing wheels were praised. This is needed on the upcoming MAX 10 which is the most-stretched 737 yet so the tail doesn’t strike the runway as the plane “rotates” (pivots up for takeoff).

    What ever became of the 757, which was designed from the beginning with much longer landing gear struts to accomodate much more powerful engines, and had a much bigger wing to allow it to fly much higher and carry enough fuel to fly much farther? It seems that the 737 has been grown into the 757 using every trick in the book to put a bigger bird on top of the scrawny 737 bird feet?

    Is there some cost/fuel saving/operational advantage to the flying tractor (737) over the flying motorcoach bus (757)? Did Boeing cancel the 757 too soon because it lacked market demand “back then” and now they regret it, or is a stretched 737 somehow more efficient than its counterpart 757 model?

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  91. I don’t know, but after closer inspection one has to wonder if this was just another psyop. This crash site looks an awful lot like Shanksville. Check the crash site in the video vs the following image of United Airlines 585 at Denver crash site.
    https://153news.net/watch_video.php?v=DOAMGGK4MH98

    United Airlines 737 flight 585 Denver crash:

    • Replies: @Anon
  92. @Captain 737

    I would have thought there might be quite a lot of value that psychologists- and economists! – could add to the efforts of engineers and retired pilots to achieve air safety. Or are the latter, like you, exempt from the problem of not knowing about what you don’t know?

  93. Anon[293] • Disclaimer says:
    @onebornfree

    Daddy issues ?

  94. @By-tor

    Back in the day the idea of a female pilot was truly radical. Remember this Candid Camera episode?

  95. Since about 1995 Boeing planes had a backdoor configuration in the computers that allowed a ground control to take over the plane in case of a highjacking or so they said, and this allowed the planes controls to be taken away from the pilots completely and flown without the pilots being to do anything, I am not saying that this is the case with this plane, but am just saying, that such was probably the case with MH370.

  96. APilgrim says:

    Defective 3rd World maintenance & flight crews.

    Complex aircraft/pilot interface.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Replies: @Clapping Monkey
  97. Anon[293] • Disclaimer says:
    @Johnny Walker Read

    It’s definitely a conspiracy that a jet smacking into the ground in one place resembles the chaotic mess of a jet smacking into the ground at another place. Oh look, the fellow on the left is giving the Mason’s secret hand sign! Cover-up!

    • Replies: @Johnny Walker Read
  98. @NoseytheDuke

    No, they can be very careful. Note

    Guaranteed Arrival Rescheduled Until Delayed Again

    I think I would be most concerned the learn of
    (a) financial problems
    (b) very rapid expansion

    Add in your criterion and you should double your life insurance.

  99. @kauchai

    I would trust Boeing engineering a lot more than the Third World pilots of dubious qualifications… and the only way the plane was going to be made in China was if they either they stole the technology or it was given to it by the corrupt fifth columns in the West like everything else!

  100. nickels says:

    The test pilots I worked with got furious when a system ‘did something I didn’t tell it to do’.
    Control systems should help the pilot accomplish what he is commanding, never more.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  101. @Anon

    I know huh, I hate those “conspiracy nuts”.

  102. @APilgrim

    And flight training.

    I’ll tell you how flight training goes for turd world companies like Ethiopian Airlines. They send their pilots to the US to be trained. Because they are foreign, the pilots do not have to train to FAA requirements. The training company takes their money, trains them, and gives them a “CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION.”

    As you might guess, any monkey who remains warm in the simulator until training is complete can get a “CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION.” No FAA checkride is given, no FAA documentation signed off by a check airman.

    Pilots return to turd world country, and the Certificate of Completion is laundered by their pretend monkey-see-monkey-do-FAA-like ministry of turd world safety into meeting their very strict training requirements.

    It’s hilarious. Anybody can confirm what I’ve told you. Call one or several of the pilot training companies in the US, put on an appropriate fake accent, and ask just how difficult it is to get a “Certificate of Completion” for your turd world airline pilot trainees.

    Fact is, your golden retriever could get a Certificate of Completion if he maintained cockpit discipline and didn’t slobber all over the simulator’s flight controls. $$-TADA-$$!

  103. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Do you know if something similar happened to the military Airbus A-400 that crashed in Seville a couple of years ago ?

  104. iffen says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Nerds, computer or otherwise design these widgets. By definition they are not normal so their creations do not “fit” normal people. I can’t wait until AI starts designing the widgets, then the nerds will know what it’s like.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  105. iffen says:
    @dearieme

    Why are you pretending to be a pilot, and a pompous one at that?

    What other kind is there?

    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
  106. @Jim Hansen

    Congratulations. I was waiting for an Unz cesspit dweller to bring race into the issue and I was not disappointed. Of course, the same white racist Unz cesspit denizens claim we non whites are too stupid to do any kind of engineering in our own, so it’s up to them (that’s you) to explain how white engineers managed to wreck the aerodynamics of the 737 with their new engine, and then screw up the software as well.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Bill
    , @Steve2
  107. Every sane person knew that AI is overhyped. Yes, most humans are far from being intelligent, but so-called AI is no better.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  108. @Clapping Monkey

    Are you aware that the “turd world country” of Ethiopia is the fastest growing economy in the African continent, despite being landlocked and just emerging from decades of war and famine? The exact opposite of the way the Imperialist States of Amerikastan is headed, by the way.

    I love how desperate you racists get as your worldview collapses around your ears.

  109. iffen says:
    @Matra

    and the FAA) look pretty bad

    I’m sure that the FAA will ultimately be held responsible. Just like the FDA is finally being held responsible for allowing Big Pharma to explode and cash in on the opioid addiction problem, oh, wait …

  110. @rickblaine

    AI may keep a few of us around as an amusing menagerie.

  111. Bill says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    America has got its problems, but it was the most prosperous and trusting society

    Trusting and trustworthy are not the same. American whites are disturbingly gullible creatures. This has been a major asset for American elites, and one could even argue that it has been a good thing, overall. On the other hand, it is more difficult to root out conspiracies when the population is devoted to the delusional notion that conspiracies are rare and/or implausible.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  112. @nickels

    That doesn’t seem to leave much role for automatic pilots….

  113. @Clapping Monkey

    Interesting theory. Too bad the facts do not support it. It does not explain how thousands of flights in the third world take off and land safely every day. Or are you a “true believer”: if the facts do not fit the theory, damn the facts?

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Hibernian
  114. anonymous[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Why would anybody claim non-whites are too stupid to do any kind of engineering?

    “the mean IQ of sub-Saharan black Africans is about 70 – at the borderline of mental retardation”

    African IQ and Mental Retardation
    South African Journal of Psychology
    Volume: 36 issue: 1, page(s): 1-9
    Issue published: March 1, 2006
    Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
    https://doi.org/10.1177/008124630603600101

    The sciences don’t know nuthin. Anybody has the kawanda-given right to design aircraft. And all aircraft designs are equally vibrant.

    I stand with the Terrorist against inequality!

  115. anonymous[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    I too have heard of Ethiopia’s development, with modern public transportation and wide boulevards. It’s almost as vibrant as Southeast D.C.

  116. Bill says:
    @anon

    That is amazing. It the account accurate? Is there a similarly lucid description in the MSM? Here is the key bit:

    One of the angle of attack sensors on the Indonesian flight was faulty. Unfortunately it was the one connected to the computer that ran the MCAS on that flight. Shortly after take off the sensor signaled a too high angle of attack even as the plane was flying in a normal climb. The MCAS engaged and put the planes nose down. The pilots reacted by disabling the autopilot and pulling the control stick back. The MCAS engaged again pitching the plane further down. The pilots again pulled the stick. This happened some 12 times in a row before the plane crashed into the sea . . .

    Neither the airlines that bought the planes nor the pilots who flew it were told about MCAS.

    WTF? How do you save the airplane if you have not been told about the “feature” which is indefatigably trying to kill you?

    How do you code something so that, 12 times in a row, it tries to crash the plane? Shouldn’t the programmers have thought about the possibility that, like, for whatever reason, the pilots are right and the MCAS is wrong? Maybe after the tenth time the pilots try to override it, the MCAS initiates some kind of discussion with the pilots. Like, “hey, d00ds, MCAS here. i think the plane is stalling. perhaps you disagree. could you check and deactivate me (by pressing here) if it’s not? thanks, and have a good day!”

    Furthermore, this isn’t some goofy edge case (at least as presented). MCAS is there for the exact purpose of taking input from an angle of attack sensor, processing, and pitching the nose down if it looks wrong. The question “if sensor fucked, wat do” had to have come up when the software was being written, right?

  117. Bill says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Did whites write the software? Link?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  118. Bill says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    I love how desperate you racists get as your worldview collapses around your ears.

    Oh, another parody account.

  119. anonymous[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Facts, huh? Like 7 out of 10 of the world’s deadliest aviation accidents were flown by turd worlders.

    1. Mar. 27, 1977, Tenerife, Spain, Pan Am, KLM, 583
    2. Aug. 12, 1985, Yokota AFB, Japan, JAL, 520
    3. Nov. 12, 1996, New Delhi, India, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kazakhstan Airlines, 349
    4. Mar. 3, 1974, Ermenonville, France, Turkish Airlines, 346
    5. Jun. 23, 1985, Atlantic Ocean, Air India, 329
    6. Aug. 19, 1980, Jedda, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, 301
    7. Jul. 17, 2014, Grabovo, Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines, 298
    8. Jul. 3, 1988, Persian Gulf, Iran Air, 290
    9. Feb. 19, 2003, Kerman, Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, 275
    10. May 25, 1979, Chicago, U.S., American Airlines, 273

    2016 U.S. accident rate 0.15 per 100,000 hrs.
    2016 world accident rate 0.39 per 100,000 hrs.

    But everybody’s equal!

  120. Sparkon says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    What ever became of the 757, which was designed from the beginning with much longer landing gear struts to accomodate much more powerful engines, and had a much bigger wing to allow it to fly much higher and carry enough fuel to fly much farther? It seems that the 737 has been grown into the 757 using every trick in the book to put a bigger bird on top of the scrawny 737 bird feet?

    Amen. Look at the two pictures I posted above in my #s 44 & 48. The 757 had the big honking engines and longer, more massive landing gear struts from the beginning, while the 737…well, judge for yourself. Appearances may be deceiving, but if looks could kill…

    The 737 is what I’d call a bean counters airplane, and not necessarily the bean-counters at Boeing, but rather the bean counters at the airlines.

    I don’t know what the difference was in unit cost between the 757 and 737, but I’d guess it was in the 10s of millions of dollars per airplane. I can’t find comparative and contemporaneous unit cost figures for the two airplanes, but trimmed and pasted these numbers from the two Wikipedia articles:

    757-200: $65 million (2002)
    757-300: $80 million (2002)

    737-100: $3.7M (1968). $26.7M today
    737-200: $4.0M (1968), $28.8M today
    737-200: $5.2M (1972), $31.1M today

    737-700: $89.1 milion; 737-800: $106.1 million; 737-900ER: $112.6 million (2019)

    Indeed, the airlines are trying to make the 737 do what the 757 could have done with ease. That said:

    On average, 1,250 Boeing 737s are in the air at any time and two land or leave somewhere every five seconds. (Wiki)

    So the 737 has proven to be an effective workhorse for the airlines, or maybe I should say workpony.

    Can anyone find the comparative numbers for fatal crashes per cycles or miles flown to compare the 737’s overall safety record with other modern airliners?

  121. anonymous[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill

    Well, yes! Aviation software coders like Jim “Patel” Miller and Peter “Apu” Smith. Much diverse. Very vibrancy. Commenting to the “help desk” on the quality of their work is like rayciss. Everybody’s equal.

  122. AaronB says:

    Its definitely significant that both of these accidents were in Third World countries.

    However, I want Boeing to design planes that have a high threshold for pilot error. There should be multiple layers of safety.

    Its surprising to me that after the Lion Air crash, the Ethiopian Air pilot did not do the correct thing to turn off the autopilot. But Third People people, while very good at rote procedures, are not very good at handling complex novel situations.

    Apparently, the “startle” response to a nosedive is to pull back on the yoke, whereas the correct response is to disconnect the automated system. Its remarkable that the Ethiopian Air pilot repeatedly pulled back on the yoke over the course of several minutes, failing to do the right thing for an extended period of time, even though he was presumably very aware of the Lion Air crash.

    However, Boeing should design planes that are “intuitive”, and can be handled well by reasonably competent Third World pilots.

    Eventually, its highly likely that a Western pilot would also have crashed a 737 Max, at some point, as Reiner Tor mentions above.

    Boeing probably figured that with good instrument maintenance and reasonable pilot competence, the likelihood of a crash was miniscule. It was wrong.

    Still, worth remembering this plane model completed nearly a million flights over the last few years, ferrying roughly two hundred million passengers, and only 2 flights and 300 people died, none in the more competent countries.

    Still too much, but puts things in perspective.

    • LOL: Fabian Forge
  123. AaronB says:
    @reiner Tor

    I agree with you. Still, clearly a case of pilot error.

  124. @Bill

    Quite right.

    AI does have indeed enormous potential but it is still nothing more than a souped up calculator.

    In an unexpected (out of parameters) situation, the human judgement will remain superior to whatever the chinese room of AI can come up with.

  125. @iffen

    Yeah. We’re painting ourselves into quite the technological corner.

    Piloting is routine until it isn’t. Then it involves extremely compressed timeframes for decisions and a lot of counterintuitive processes. The training is very expensive which is why airlines prefer the military and taxpayers fund it. The demand for more and cheaper pilots drives design for an airplane that can “fly itself” (until it doesn’t) and that more people (Diversity!) are qualified to fly. Tragically, in this case it appears the pilots really were competently flying, only to have their competence overridden by a team of nerds.

  126. “residents fleeing a burning building tend to go out their usual exits, not even the nearest or safest exit”

    Restoring an old barn on our farm, I flipped over a sheet of plywood that had lain on the dirt floor for years. A blur of activity as mice scurried away. I’d shined light on a veritable printed circuit board of tunnels, revealed now as channels that were flat on top as though I were looking at them through a pane of glass.

    What fascinated me was that though the mice were free to travel in three dimensions by just hopping up out of the maze and striking out directly for the safety of the rough on the edge of where the ply had lain, they didn’t do this. Rather, they steadfastly stuck to what they knew, the tried and true path that they had used so often, even though this was a long, circuitous route to safety which, had I been a predator, would have exposed them to danger for a longer period of time.

  127. Skeptikal says:
    @dearieme

    Re “I shouldn’t be at all surprised if programmers at Boeing decided that they always knew better than pilots and doomed the planes accordingly.”

    Just sub Microsoft and word processing —or just about anything else—and it is still true.

    “I shouldn’t be at all surprised if programmers at Microsoft decided that they always knew better than writers and editors and doomed the word-processing software accordingly.”

  128. Bill says:
    @AaronB

    Its surprising to me that after the Lion Air crash, the Ethiopian Air pilot did not do the correct thing to turn off the autopilot.

    According to the Moon of Alabama poster, turning off the autopilot does not do the trick. In the Lion Air crash, he claims they did turn off the autopilot.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  129. @Bill

    How do you code something so that, 12 times in a row, it tries to crash the plane? Shouldn’t the programmers have thought about the possibility that, like, for whatever reason, the pilots are right and the MCAS is wrong? Maybe after the tenth time the pilots try to override it, the MCAS initiates some kind of discussion with the pilots. Like, “hey, d00ds, MCAS here. i think the plane is stalling. perhaps you disagree. could you check and deactivate me (by pressing here) if it’s not? thanks, and have a good day!”

    It’s even worse than that. The plane has two angle of attack sensors — yet they deliberately chose to use input from only one at a time for the MCAS system. How hard is it to plan for the possibility of a hardware failure? Monitor the data from both sensors, use the average of the two for assessing stall risk — and if they differ by more than a certain pre-specified amount, deactivate the system and generate an alert to the pilot.

    Does the system rely on data from only a single airspeed sensor as well?

  130. AaronB says:
    @Bill

    Right, its more complicated than just shutting off autopilot. There are a series of steps one must take to disengage MCAS, that are not as intuitive and simple as shutting off autopilot and pulling back on the yoke, but considering he was flying the same model aircraft as the Lion Air crash, it’s still remarkable that he didn’t do it for a rather extended period.

    I can understand “fighting” the MCAS system for maybe 30 seconds and a few nosedive and recoveries, but after like the third sequence, it should have dawned on him that he was in the same situation as the recent highly publicised crash, and reacted appropriately. But it seems he remained “stuck” in startle mode.

    However, as the Air France crash shows, Western pilots do also make freakish mistakes – although in that case, the Captain and junior officer knew exactly what to – and it was also counterintuitive (pushing the nose down to come out of the dive, rather than pulling up, going against instinct) – but for some baffling reason the junior officer didn’t do it over the course of several minutes. I still suspect it may have been deliberate.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @anonymous
  131. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    However, Boeing really should design planes where corrective action is simple and intuitive. That’s just common sense.

  132. @Bill

    Trusting and trustworthy are not the same.

    Agreed, but I meant BOTH before, Bill. You are right that too much of the former could make people more gullible, but really trust in authority has not been a big American thing in the early days. I think it went way up after FDR, WWII, and the the Cold War, with very unfortunate consequences.

  133. @anonymous

    I am not talking about equality. Nobody’s equal. The intelligence of white people ranges from Newton to clinically low.

    Sure, 0.39 is more than twice 0.15. However, you have to explain 100,000 hrs. If the theory about inept third world pilots were correct, you’d have something like 50,000 per 100,000 hrs, not 0.39.

  134. Matra says:
    @anonymous

    Facts, huh? Like 7 out of 10 of the world’s deadliest aviation accidents were flown by turd worlders.

    7. Jul. 17, 2014, Grabovo, Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines, 298
    8. Jul. 3, 1988, Persian Gulf, Iran Air, 290

    Not sure you want to include those two.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @anonymous
  135. Steve2 says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    It’s easy to verify that avionics software development has moved to India, either fully or in part. That said, there is no certainty that avionics software is to blame for any particular event. Your remarks against white engineers are certainly off base, however, especially as white engineers may have been excluded from these activities for business logic and diversity reasons. Peace be upon all of us in these troubling times.

  136. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    James, you should stick to measuring peoples heads with a tape measure, and leave the crash investigation to the experts.

    Moon of Alabama has what at this stage seems an entirely plausible explanation as to why the 737MAX is dangerous. As summarized here:

    1. A suboptimal design
    2. A Deceptive marketing drive
    3. A poorly designed system to deal with the plane’ inherent instability, with no mechanism to warn the pilot if the two angle-of-attack sensors fail to agree
    4. What appears to be a criminally insane failure to inform pilots of how the “solution” to the plane’s tendency to stall worked, or might fail to work, or if necessary, might be shut off to allow the aircraft to be flown manually.

    All causes being symptoms of the general decline of the West as manifest in declining intelligence, honesty, and technical competence, combined with an obsession with short-term profit maximization.

  137. @anonymous

    8. Jul. 3, 1988, Persian Gulf, Iran Air, 290

    That was shot down by a US Navy missile. Pretty disingenuous to include it among the “turd world” accidents.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @anonymous
  138. @AaronB

    Apologies. That absurd LOL was supposed to be an AGREE. I blame my fat fingers

  139. @reiner Tor

    Another issue:

    7. Jul. 17, 2014, Grabovo, Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines, 298

    That was shot down by Ukies, with the intent to blame Donbass freedom fighters and Russia.

    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @anonymous
  140. @AnonFromTN

    but so-called AI is no better.

    It is same good ol’ reasoning (behind this AI thingy) which was born in the deep recesses of the white board “academics” from computer and software world who slept through lectures on physics that coding something is all fad. Steve Wozniak was in Moscow couple of years ago and he talked to packed audience about computers and then he started expressing himself on the issue of space travel and energy and that is when Runet started to go into the double face palm mode–the guy turned out to be a complete moron. In the end, all this AI is distilled to a sequence of if () {} else{}.

  141. @CanSpeccy

    All causes being symptoms of the general decline of the West as manifest in declining intelligence, honesty, and technical competence, combined with an obsession with short-term profit maximization.

    Kudos to you for pointing this factor out. One word–F-35.

    • Replies: @iffen
  142. However, Boeing really should design planes where corrective action is simple and intuitive. That’s just common sense.

    I think that’s what the software-side*** of this controversy is now about.

    (It’s like this quite often: As soon as something otherwise quite obvious becomes the subject of controversy, then something important has gone wrong.)

    ***
    But there is the design problem of the Boing 737 MAX, too – and there is the problem, how these two problems correlate.

    In the end, they can’t be properly disentangled by pilots, because part of Boings solution for both problems was, to not only solve them via software – but also to keep this software-dominated solution secret.

    PS
    That something like this can happen at all is a communication problem, which lets me ask for the 21st century Benjamin Lee Whorf and his hint at the deadly difference between flammable and inflammable.

  143. iffen says:
    @CanSpeccy

    All causes being symptoms of the general decline of the West as manifest in declining intelligence, honesty, and technical competence, combined with an obsession with short-term profit maximization.

    Oh, yeah. Well, it’s not like major utilities are burning down towns or poisoning the water supply with lead.

  144. @CanSpeccy

    I agree mostly.

    I’d be a bit hesitant with regard to the decline of the west.
    I do see a big (!) communications problem – and I tend to think, that it is in parts motivated by profit-seeking. But – the proper understanding of this communications-problem would have (for sure) generated a whole lot more profit for Boing than is the case now.

    So: The role of communications as a means of problem-solving (and making profit) might be underestimated indeed. Boing is suffering from this mistake now – and maybe a few hundred people lost their lives because of this underestimation of the role of proper communication.

    (As so often these days, I refer to the philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ big and (nonethless) very insightful book The Theory of Communicative Action.
    In it, Habermas makes a distinction, which could be useful to understand this Boing fault, too: That a) communication in order to rule over (or: lead) people and b) communication in order to understand a certain problem are two things, that follow different rules and different dynamics and have to be kept very precisely apart from one another: Know, when you try to solve a real-world (physical, lets say) problem – and know, when you try to reign so to speak, over people – make them do what you say.

    A CEO at Boing thus would (following Habermas) always be judged by the understanding of the different characteristics of both of those communicative actions: Whether he would properly understand when to listen (to engineers, let’s say) – and when to lead. (That’s Habermas here in a nutshell).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  145. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Why not 0.39? Don’t forget, the US and Western nations figures into the 0.39 “world” statistic, so the turd world accident rate is much higher than 0.39/10^5. See, you don’t even have your thinking cap on yet.

  146. I would say that chance of the accident here was caused by pilots error is zero.
    I was under the idea that autopilot is engaged only at cruising height. (30 000 feet)

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  147. @AaronB

    Regarding the third world airlines, I agree it’s significant, but I’d primarily allocate the responsibility to Boeing. This is a very new type of aircraft, first delivered to any airline just two years ago, and in meaningful numbers probably just a year ago. How many more older types of 737s, or A320s are in service with third world airlines, and we just happened to have two hull losses with this still very rare and new 737 Max. So clearly the Max is way way way more dangerous than any other airliner model.

    The difference is probably subtle – something like the second pilot being inexperienced and not well trained (and so has zero ideas regarding what to do, so it’s the captain alone), or slightly worse pilot reaction or maintenance.

    E.g. it could be that if the pilot pulls back a bit, the MCAS system will assume that maybe all is well and the pilot knows what he’s doing. However, if the pilot pulls it back too violently, then the MCAS will assume that they’re stalling uncontrollably and will react very strongly and will persist until either it’s deactivated or they crash into the ground. Even the maintenance difference could be subtle, like with first world airlines the crew self-evidently wipes something with a piece of cloth (unmentioned in the manual), whereas in the third world they let it (slightly) dirty, which then leads to a slightly higher chance of some error in the instrument.

    Air France (…) may have been deliberate.

    One case which just occurred to me: the guy got so ashamed of himself when he realized what he did, that he unconsciously kept doing it to avoid the shame of having nearly crashed the airplane. So he crashed it fully. It sounds extremely stupid, because it is. But people are often stupid in extremely stressful situations. However, see what I write below.

    for some baffling reason the junior officer didn’t do it over the course of several minutes

    I work in an extremely stressful environment in finance, where often seconds mean thousands or tens of thousands of $. It’s incredible how much stupid someone like me can do under stress for several minutes, often half an hour, how one can forget the obvious. Even two guys together can keep doing a stupid thing and forgetting the obvious solution which theoretically both should know.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  148. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The ratio of turd world to western world accidents remains WAY higher, especially considering the hours flown in western nations is much higher, but you don’t want to address that, you just want to be an ankle-biter.

    Address the ratio.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  149. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    Pretty disingenuous not to recognize the turd world to western world accident rate is WAY higher, no matter what ankle-biting you can do.

  150. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @Matra

    No, probably not, but the ratio of turd world to western world accidents remains WAY higher.

  151. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Who do you really want flying your family?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  152. By-tor says:
    @Anon

    It appears that it was a male flying the plane who requested to return to the Addis Abba airfield, and the plane’s first officer only had 200 hours of training flying the 737-800 model. I agree, if the pilots were minorities, it will be largely omitted from ‘western news’.

  153. iffen says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    One word–F-35

    Still skeered you commies can’t handle it, huh?

    Why don’t we see more of your articles on the UR? Did you refuse to put in a f*** ‘dem Jews paragraph?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Thorfinnsson
  154. @CoffeeCommando

    Fine. But this is a high-IQ forum, so as you’re not equipped, why don’t you fuck off out of the Unz Review ?

    No time here for cretins.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  155. @anonymous

    Flying should be constantly moving to the left (or down the intellectual ladder), since it’s growing at breakneck speed, which means we need to increase the number of pilots way faster than population growth.

    So it’s obvious that pilots a fifty years ago were way better pilots than pilots today. But pilots in another fifty years will probably be just like truck drivers.

    IQ plays a role in maintenance, or corporate governance in general. So, third world airlines will always be worse. But it’s obvious that here it was mainly Boeing which screwed up. How would it be possible that third world airlines didn’t crash any of the many thousands of 737s and A320s and other older planes they were operating, but they managed to crash two of the few dozens or hundreds of 737 Max planes within a year or starting to operate them in meaningful numbers?

    • Replies: @anon
  156. @iffen

    The F-35 is a fine plane. Could’ve been better for less money (probably), but it’s still very good.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  157. anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:
    @By-tor

    I didn’t say the pilots in the crash were a female. To counter the claim that it’s all white males flying the turd world airlines (perhaps that used to be), I found an article that showed blacks, who happen to be females too, are flying to prove it isn’t all white males flying for Ethiopian airlines. The crew may well be both paleface male Harvard graduates. But with all the other speculation about the equipment, I figured I’d speculate about the turd-world airline crew. Remember, There Are No Successful Black Nations. (Foreign Policy, 2016) Maybe that somehow affects African airlines’ safety record, and it isn’t all Whitey’s fault.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  158. @Anonymous

    Yes, the 737 airframe was “pretty well established.” The problem is that Boeing needed a more fuel efficient plane to compete with Airbus and chose to create it cheaply by adding larger and heavier engines to an airframe that was not originally designed to carry them. This resulted in flight characteristics which were, at least in some situations, unstable. They compensated for the inherent instability in the design with an automated system. That is not a sound approach. That is the underlying cause of accidents. The goal of the Boeing corporation is to maximize shareholder value, not produce safe airplanes.

  159. @By-tor

    Who passively “requests” to return in an emergency? “Pretty please, massah, may I, your humble servant, if thy brow does not furrow in consternation, turn this broken machine around before we crash and burn?”

    No permission from ATC is necessary in an emergency. Rather, be assertive! Turn the aircraft, get on the downwind pattern, do your checklist, squawk 7700, and DECLARE an emergency while informing controllers of your intentions.

    And if the butch dyke in ATC isn’t eagerly helpful, then squawk 7600. 🙂

    Maybe Air Traffic Control needs renamed to Air Traffic Coordinators. ATC is not in Command; the Pilot is in Command. And they wouldn’t even have to change the acronym.

  160. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    Thanks, I trust your opinion FWIW. I am not competent to judge. John McCain was always whining about it so that made me think it was likely okay, but I know that that’s not any way to evaluate something.

    Surprisingly, one has to work really hard at being informed these days.

  161. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    A good steak, fries, and two whiskies delivered by room service at a top Addis hotel is $8 including tax and tip. If they add a dollar to that price they have just achieved the spectacular growth you mention but do not comprehend.

    It is indeed turd. The airline (from the perspective of a customer, me) is a total disorganized disaster, as is the country.

  162. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    We need? Who’s this “we?” White population is in decline, deaths exceed births. Whitey needs fewer pilots. No need for Whitey to lower IQ and safety standards as you suggest.

    And do look up the crash record of the Airbus. I’ll get on a Boeing any day. Even a Max 8, even if the design is a bit cobbled. They are far from the only aircraft out there with unusual flight characteristics from manufacturers stretching the envelope. (Not that you don’t have a point about Boeing stretching the envelope, and maybe a bit too far for the Equalists’ lower IQ crew.)

    But I wouldn’t board with a female or dark skinned pilot. And since you can’t really choose that and they’re so prevalent today, I just don’t fly. But I can refuse, still, to talk to incompetent sheboons and hindus with customer service. I just hang up, and keep calling until I get a nice white person who talks standard english, not ebonics or hinglish. Sometimes it takes 8 tries. LOL I will maintain my own modicum of IQ and comfort standards, even if the Equalist Empire demands I must not ever have free association with my own kind.

    • Replies: @iffen
  163. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    It gets pretty boring for the rest of us when an article addresses a technical subject such as these Boeing crashes and a bunch of people who are “experts” in the field try to outdo each other in showing how much technical jargon they know. Examples “FADEC engine control (supervisory DEC was fine), J-58 (JT11-D in P&W parlance), Is there no AOA indicator in the 737? Flying in the pattern/ILS would make….

    If you don’t explain what these things are or give references or links so that we can investigate ourselves, we will simply bypass anything you write in future. If you are trying to impress us with your knowledge, you have failed, because anyone can dig technical sounding words out of any subject and run them together.

  164. iffen says:
    @anon

    have free association with my own kind.

    Welcome aboard. You will find many associates here.

  165. @anonymous

    Not to pile on like the anti-Western dipshits, but in # 1, the aircraft that caused the collision (though lots of confusion with controllers too) was no 3rd-worlder but a top Captain at KLM. It was the worst aircraft disaster ever in terms of loss of life at one time – 2 places involved.

    That does not change your world vs. America numbers though. Yes, it is still quite a safer flying environment here, very much due to the huge experience level of American pilots, going back to when one needed a thousand hours of multi-engine time, and maybe some of that turbine, and multiple thousands of hours to be competitive to get on a major airline in the right seat. That’s changing some now, mostly just due to the big slowdown in General Aviation, a world that most countries never knew to the extent America did.

  166. dearieme says:

    We flew Ethiopian Airlines many decades ago. Golly, some of those girls were good-looking. Also, we liked the goats.

  167. @Achmed E. Newman

    Sorry, should have been “… was piloted by no 3rd-worlder … “

  168. @reiner Tor

    The F-35 is a fine plane. Could’ve been better for less money (probably), but it’s still very good.

    You obviously are not well acquainted with combat aviation.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Johnny Rico
  169. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    But – the proper understanding of this communications-problem would have (for sure) generated a whole lot more profit for Boing than is the case now.

    True. But today corporate execs are thinking of their next bonus cheque, their share options. Some are undoubtedly psychopaths who’d put the company at risk if the risk to their own gain is only moderate, say less than one in ten.

  170. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Address the ratio.

    Ethiopian Airlines was formerly associated with TWA. It has a high reputation for both service and technical competence. That it is an African airline does not mean the pilot must have been to blame.

    Now try addressing the facts of the case and building an argument based on those facts, not some prejudice you may have about Africans.

    • Replies: @anon
  171. AaronB says:
    @reiner Tor

    All good points. I agree.

    I am not convinced that the Air France pilot crashed the plane deliberately. Just that it’s a possibility I wouldn’t rule out at all.

    As for Boeing’s culpability, I agree they were taking a chance here. Planes should be designed to be as idiot proof as possible. If the sensor in question is so crucial, and occasionally malfunctions, its absurd to link it to software that requires presence of mind to deactivate, to avoid a crash.

    As far as possible, counterintuitive multi-step actions to avoid catastrophe are not good engineering solutions, if avoidable. In the Air France case, the counterintuitive corrective action was a feature of the laws of physics, not engineered in.

    Boeing seemed to have grown complacent because of recent dramatically improved aviation safety, and gambled on skilled pilots with presence of mind to handle an unlikely event, and high quality maintenance reducing the likelihood of one.

    But this is exactly the opposite of good engineering thinking, which should anticipate worst case scenarios, and build in redundancy.

  172. iffen says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    You obviously are not well acquainted with combat aviation.

    Who is?

  173. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    It’s not “prejudice,” it’s science. Dare you address it? http://doi.org/10.1177/008124630603600101

    “All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really.” -James Watson

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  174. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Achmed, I had excluded the KLM flight when I wrote “7 out of 10 of the world’s deadliest aviation accidents were flown by turd worlders.” Even excluding 2 more shoot-downs, the ratio remains heavily weighed towards third world accidents, especially considering flight hours are much higher in Western nations. I say my point still stands that Western pilots are more capable than third world pilots, and I highly suspect it’s because of genetics.

    And what the hell, Unz is turning into Huffpo with the anti-West SJWs screeching racism. I guess it’s open to all commenters here, but convergence is everywhere.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  175. By-tor says:
    @anonymous

    I only posted that the captain on that 737-800 was a male, because of a Zero Hedge article mentioning the EA pilot’s cockpit transmission request to turn around. Unknown if the other officers were male or not. Yes, the minority aircrew would be suspected of incompetence, because who knows what criteria placed them in the cockpit. In the US, the vehicle would be .gov-corporate mandated Affirmative Action, no doubt.

    Sputnik Int’l stated that one 28-year old male Russian national was in a video visibly uneasy about boarding that EA 737-800 plane. Perhaps, he saw something in the cockpit that made him want to abort that flight. It was his beautiful model girlfriend who was taking video of their pre-flight activities to post on Instagram. Both died. I would not voluntarily fly on Alaska Airlines nor any African airline.

  176. Pontius says:
    @anonymous

    “..June 23, 1985, Atlantic Ocean, Air India, 329

    Sikh terrorist attack. Another bomb went off in Japan n the same day, planted by the same terrorists.

    Due to law enforcement ineptitude, the perps walked or got off with a light sentence.

  177. @Andrei Martyanov

    When has the F-35 been in combat?

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  178. Hibernian says:
    @By-tor

    The two accidents were on planes operated by third world airlines, Newton.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  179. Hibernian says:
    @The real John Smith

    Those who use this logic may well find they have underestimated C, not to mention the legal costs of settling and especially the legal costs and runaway jury awards when cases go to court.

  180. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    That article is behind a paywall and I’m certainly not paying for IQ-ist drivel that defines intelligence as IQ, and then compares IQ scores between groups with vastly differing cultures, and who differ vastly in health, wealth and education on the assumption that they are comparing hereditary differences in intellectual capacity.

    Call that science do you? LOL.

    As for your original remark, you have totally failed to substantiate the implication that the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed because of the incompetence of the airline crew. But you have no evidence of that and airline’s track record is among the best in Africa.

    And incidentally, did you know that China is part of the Third World, or Turd World as you call it. Do you really consider China a “turd” country?.

    But I know it is a waste of time arguing with Anonymous idiots at Unz’s racist blog.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Thorfinnsson
    , @FB
  181. Hibernian says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Two points:

    You’re comparing Ethiopia to other African countries only.

    Rate of improvement depends on how low the baseline was that you started from as well as how high the goal is that you reach at the end of the time period used to make the calculation.

  182. Hibernian says:
    @AnonFromTN

    To base your argument on the number of successful flights while ignoring the number of unsuccessful flights is junior high school logic at best.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  183. Pft says:

    There are a couple of issues here.

    First, pilots and airlines were uninformed about the safety system that led to the first crash. Thats inexcusable and perhaps criminal. Airlines were told in order to make sales that its basically the same plane but better so no pilot training or certification was required. Thats false and a violation of the False Claims Act

    After the first crash pilots and airlines in some of the bigger countries which are well networked likely figured out what steps needed to be followed. Ethiopian pilots probably out of the loop.

    Second, a critical safety system relying on one sensor with no redundancy is a bad idea, expecially without any transparency. If you dont think pilots should know about it it has to be perfectly designed and should never fail or need to be deactivated.

    A number of heads should roll at Boeing to help restore confidence in the brand. Somethings gone wrong there and with the bad decisions being made you have to start at the top and work down. Start with the CEO.

    • Replies: @Matra
  184. By-tor says:
    @Hibernian

    That’s quite obvious, and I never said otherwise, Einstein. Alaska Airlines had a criminally dishonest corporate maintenance division that signed off on tasks improperly performed by its staff that led to at least one time consuming fatal crash that killed all aboard. That is why I mentioned them above- because of their past climate of management dishonesty. Boeing is going to suffer a loss of trust on an immense scale.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  185. anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Ah, the “rayciss” card. As if that is an argument. But thanks for playing, science-denier, even if you’re bankrupt, intellectually and otherwise. Needing a free handout?

    “Studies find that darker pigmented people average higher levels of aggression and sexual activity (and also lower IQ).”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886912000840

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @CanSpeccy
  186. APilgrim says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Marine Corps F-35 flies first combat mission in Afghanistan, By: Tara Copp and Valerie Insinna, Military Times, Your Military, September 27, 2018,

    The strikes, carried out by F-35Bs assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, occurred Thursday morning against a fixed target “in support of ground clearance operations,” and were deemed a success by the ground force commander, according to a statement put out by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command on Thursday afternoon.

    Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 made history earlier this month as they became the first squadron with F-35Bs to deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of operations aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Essex. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/09/27/f-35-flies-first-combat-mission-in-afghanistan/

    Sounds like a ‘Milk-Run’, but they are now in the ‘arsenal of democracy’.

  187. @anon

    Dang, sorry Anon, you are quite right. I didn’t look at it closely and had thought you were showing the foreign crashes (yes, I do know Chicago is not a foreign country ;-} ). About the commenters, I believe many of them come from the Commie blogs that Mr. Unz hosts. You can’t say Mr. Unz is not open-minded, haha.

    Western pilots have a more relaxed and better mentality for flying, I can tell you. I don’t know if it’s all from genetics, though. Having a whole lot of experience flying POS’s around has got to be part of it.

    • Replies: @Biff
  188. RobinG says:
    @Dave Bowman

    ….this is a high-IQ forum…

    …. so those in the forum love to say.. ….lolol

  189. Hibernian says:
    @By-tor

    You twisted the point made by the commenter you were replying to, and couldn’t resist a personal insult. Typical leftist behavior. And here you go again citing one fatal crash of a plane of a relatively minor American airline to condemn an entire culture.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  190. @Hibernian

    The important number is the ratio of crashed flights to the total flown. Everything else is not junior high, but pre-kindergarten logic.

  191. Matra says:
    @Pft

    You twisted the point made by the commenter you were replying to, and couldn’t resist a personal insult. Typical leftist behavior

    Perhaps. Or perhaps he just got his back up because the guy he’s responding to referred to “shitskins” and “Turd Worlders”.

    A number of heads should roll at Boeing to help restore confidence in the brand. Somethings gone wrong there and with the bad decisions being made you have to start at the top and work down. Start with the CEO.

    The CEO was telling Trump everything is fine just a day before Trump announced the ban. A lot of foreigners – many of them with white skin – think the relationship between Boeing and US regulators and politicians has been a little too cosy for some time. The US’s trusted position in world aviation will rightly come under more scrutiny after this week’s events.

    BTW what is it with American defensiveness regarding Boeing? I see this all the time. Patriotards are so easily manipulated.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Thorfinnsson
  192. @Dieter Kief

    To review some of the details behind Dieter’s claim:

    1. Boeing considered replacing the 737 series in the mid-2000s, but put off making a decision.

    2. In 2010, Airbus came out with the A320neo, which was 15% more fuel-efficient than then-current narrow body airliners — including the 737.

    3. Boeing decided they needed to catch up quickly, so they went with tweaking the existing 737 line rather than a designing an entirely new plane. Modifications included winglets, increased passenger capacity, a reshaped tailcone, and [most critically] newer, more fuel-efficient engines.

    4. Modifying the existing type was a faster and cheaper solution than redesigning a new plane from scratch — not just because of less time and money spent on R&D, but because it made FAA certification easier and faster.

    5. The newer engines had larger fans — thus a larger overall diameter — so they didn’t fit under the existing 737 wing configuration.

    6. Solution — move the new engines up and forward, and lengthen front landing gear strut.

    7. But this “solution” created a new problem:

    “The thrust line has changed from the NG because the engines had to be moved forward and up to accomodate the larger fan diameter. Any handling differences as a result of this have been tuned out by Boeing in the flight control system to make the types feel the same to crew. This was necessary for certification under the same type certificate.”

    http://www.b737.org.uk/737maxdiffs.htm#diffs

    8. So moving the engines forward and upward altered the relationship between thrust and center of gravity, creating the potential for a positive feedback loop in conditions of high thrust/ high angle of attack — like initial climb after takeoff — that would tend to push the plane into a stall under what would be “safe” parameters for the previous generation of the 737 class. But in order to certify the plane under the same type certificate, Boeing was “forced” to hide this issue from pilots. If they had been more open about the different handling characteristics of the 737 MAX vs. the older generations:

    – they would have faced significantly more complicated, lengthy, and costly FAA certification

    – airlines buying the planes would have to pay for retraining pilots

    8. Solution:

    “MCAS was introduced to counteract the pitch up effect of the LEAP-1B engines at high AoA. The engines were both larger and relocated slightly up and forward from the previous NG CFM56-7 engines to accomodate their larger diameter. This new location and size of the nacelle causes it to produce lift at high AoA; as the nacelle is ahead of the CofG this causes a pitch-up effect which could in turn further increase the AoA and send the aircraft closer towards the stall. MCAS was therefore introduced to give an automatic nose down stabilizer input during steep turns with elevated load factors (high AoA) and during flaps up flight at airspeeds approaching stall.”

    http://www.b737.org.uk/mcas.htm

    So they added a semi-secret software “solution” to compensate for the aeronautical/ hardware problem. And this software “solution” was not only largely hidden from the pilots, but poorly implemented as well.

    Sure — as anon[107] pointed out in a rather crass fashion — the crashes that resulted may have been partly due to Third World pilots… but that’s largely irrelevant to the underlying problem. The weakest link will break first.

    I’m neither a pilot nor an aeronautical engineer, but this seems like a non-trivial issue — modifying a plane so that it becomes less stable in certain routinely-encountered situations, implementing a poorly designed software solution to compensate for the underlying hardware problem… and keeping the whole issue largely hidden from the guys who actually fly the planes.

  193. Biff says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Western pilots have a more relaxed and better mentality for flying,

    Pfft. Is that why they invented LSD?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  194. Biff says:
    @Clapping Monkey

    Anybody can confirm what I’ve told you.

    I just asked Alex Trebek, and he you’re wrong and a jeopardy loser.

  195. @Biff

    Hey, whaddya’ know? There’s one now.

  196. Biff says:

    I’ve been trying to get the gist of the commentators here and so far I got:

    “Airplanes only crash, because white people are not flying them”

  197. @Captain 737

    There are other comments on this issue that are well past this one in detail, analysis and conclusions. I recommend you check the comments in https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/03/boeing-the-faa-and-why-two-737-max-planes-crashed.html

    In simple terms it was a software “fix” for a hardware short-cut.

  198. @AnonFromTN

    Hey, AnonFromTN, I know you’re smarter than that. If there were a crash every 2 hours of flying, there’d be no planes in the air. Why would you argue against the denominator being 100,000 or anything else? Anonymous was comparing apples to apples. You did tell me you are a research scientist, so act like one.

    If your point was just that 39 accidents per 10 million flying hours is just perfectly fine, and no sign of ineptness, then why would you be on here reading about the 2 737 crashes? I’m sure they have a damn good number compared to a crash every 2 flight hours! The point is to keep increasing the safety record. As I wrote earlier in this thread, the NTSB is one US Gov’t agency that I don’t have any problem with and even respect. They’ve got a much higher engineer/stupid-gov’t-bullshitter ratio than your average bureaucracy in Washington, FS.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  199. @CanSpeccy

    Yes…and Yes….obsession with short-term profit maximization is the root cause of the upcoming death of America……..global-homo-torn-sphyllitic rectums is the parallel cultural sensibility that goes along this economic paradigm….anti-nuclear Family to the core…..

  200. @APilgrim

    Who were they successfull against? The Gieco Commercial Metrosexual Cave Men?

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  201. @Achmed E. Newman

    That list is not based on mileage or cycles even.

    Or even total aircraft sold/ in use. Kinda like:

    “Ferraris are safer than Toyotas! Just look at the total number of accidents/ fatalities for each!”

    Uh huh.

    Not even worth responding to, really.

    Lacking specific expertise in the field, I would assume that the most accurate measure would lie somewhere between mileage and cycles — mileage is an independent factor, but the highest risk is during takeoff/ initial climb and descent/ landing, with cruise at a considerably lower risk per mile traveled. Thought experiment: take the same plane, run it through many 200 mile trips vs. 2000 mile trips — which is at higher risk per mile traveled?

    Or — more simply — just generate the “crashes per million trips” and “per billion miles traveled” for the aircraft types under consideration… as you noted below.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  202. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    Ah, the “rayciss” card.

    I don’t use ebonics, or whatever the language is you have adopted. I think I called you an idiot. I’ll stick with that. As for science, your competence in the area is seems to be nil, judging by the foolish way you argue.

    • Replies: @anon
  203. kauchai says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    And you still have your head buried deep in the empire’s fake news media cesspool. Please don’t lift it up, you will stink up the whole world.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  204. APilgrim says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    Any time Muhammadans die, it is a good day.

    The more, the merrier.

    The F-35 is now on patrol.

  205. @Achmed E. Newman

    I was responding to a totally nonsensical claim by that “anon” that is not supported by stats. If that “anon” were right, there would be no overpopulation problem: all excess third world population would have been eliminated via airplane crashes. As to two new/old 737 crashes under suspiciously similar circumstances, I think comment #198 explained it in great detail. I am sure Boeing would love to blame the pilots, but the evidence points in another direction. Hence, even the US belatedly grounded these planes.

    It’s not about NTSB, it’s about naked greed.

    • Agree: Biff
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  206. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    Ah, the “rayciss” card.

    I don’t use ebonics, or whatever the language you speak. I think I called you an idiot. I’ll stick with that. As for science, your competence in the area is seems to be nil, judging by the foolish way you argue.

    You say, in quotes:

    “Studies find that darker pigmented people average higher levels of aggression and sexual activity (and also lower IQ).”

    Why do you offer that quote? What’s your argument, scientific or otherwise?

    We know that Africans have low IQ’s. That wasn’t the issue I raised. The question that you cannot sensibly answer is what trans-national IQ tests tell about trans-national differences in intelligence? Given often vast differences in health, diet, culture and duration of education, I would say they tell very little, and probably nothing at all.

    But in any case, however dumb the average Ethiopian may be, Ethiopian AirLines is very large operation that has a very good safety record. The only fatal accidents involved a plane that caught fire in the air, which is unlikely to have been due to pilot error, a plane that ran into a flock of pigeons, and plane that was hijacked and ran out of fuel. The implication is clear: Ethiopian Airlines has competent pilots, whatever may be their race.

    What you set out to imply was that Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737MAX crash was because it was flown by a dumb darkie. But you haven’t the slightest evidence of that and as I’ve indicated, it is a claim inconsistent with that airline’s actual track record.

    So as I said, your’re an idiot.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  207. anon[174] • Disclaimer says:
    @Matra

    So, you would have got on board with a kinky-haired jabber-talker because Leftoid virtue signaling, and I would not, because I don’t override my evolutionary sense with ideological claptrap. I would be an alive rayciss, and you’d be dead most holy one, with a Darwin Award for participation. Racism is a survival mechanism. /wiki/Prejudice_from_an_evolutionary_perspective 🙂

    Sure, the “chain of events” (there is hardly ever a single problem in an aviation accident) may well include Boeing stretching the envelope, requiring a higher skill level, but one link in the chain is that African pilot.

  208. anon[174] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Your comment is void of any discussion of the two peer-reviewed scientific journal articles proffered. But, you do have juvenile insults down pat. Bet you have a Master’s Degree in some “study.” LOL

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  209. anon[174] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I looked up hyperbole in the dictionary, and saw your picture.

    > suspiciously similar circumstances

    Indeed. Pilots from shithole countries. Remember why they want to immigrate here, and why Leftoids think there should be no borders: Better Pilots in the USA who can handle a curve ball from a tricky airplane. Everybody has a right to that. LOL

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  210. @James Forrestal

    What about the yaw damper?

    The introduction of the swept wing introduced a type of instability called Dutch roll https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_roll, which was countered by a form of control augmentation called a yaw damper?

    Rear engined jet planes with a T-tail introduced a hazard known as “deep stall”, which is countered on those planes with a device called a “stick pusher” connected to the stall warning system?

    Were we to rule out all forms of control or stability augmentation, would we not have to revert to straight-winged turboprops?

  211. By-tor says:
    @Hibernian

    Well, you called me Newton, so I called you Einstein. You think I am a leftist? That’s far-fetched.

    I did not condemn a culture. I stated that I do not trust Alaska Airlines nor would I voluntarily fly on any airlines in Africa ( which is nothing unusual ). What are you reading?

  212. @anon

    This silly outburst does not even deserve an answer.

    Those interested in the subject matter should read comment #198.

    • Replies: @Anon
  213. Alfred says:

    These two crashes remind me of how Pan Am went bust shortly after the Iranians blew up their plane over Lockerbie – as payback for the US Navy shooting down one of their planes over Dubai.

    I think Boeing is finished. Of course, it will take a few years before the lawyers get their way – and their clients get nothing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_American_World_Airways

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

    • Replies: @The real John Smith
  214. Alfred says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    taking over 1,000 feet

    Correction please. Do you mean metres? Or do you mean further distance?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  215. Mike-SMO says:

    I read, at some point, that Boeing aircraft, unlike Airbus, had a switch on the yoke that meant “MINE!”. All the weird and wonderful was turned off so the pilot could do what was needed to survive. Any “new and improved” that violates normal operator patterns of behavior is lethal.

    I still get a laugh about my snow-mobile experience. I’ve ridden motorcycles for decades. I visited family somewhere cold and took off on a snow-mobile. Some fur ball darted out in my path. I leaned and turned.

    Both motorcycles and snow-mobiles have handlebars. The two macvhines handle very differently; fortunately, I was tied to the kill switch. I must have scared the crap out of whatever furry thing had jumped out as I flew past.

    The best-est, most wonderful-est new thing is a death trap if it counters normal operator reactions. If the MAX climbs much faster, sound a horn and let the people looking out the front window deal with the problem. Even the Wright Brothers had a stall indicator on their flying bicycle. Installing an un-needed, insistent gizmo that can’t easily be turned off and that will put the nose of the aircraft into the dirt is worth a firing squad for management and nerd-ment.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  216. @AnonFromTN

    To get into this would require writing what Steve Sailer has been writing about for years, and I’m not up for that. (Think Bell curves for IQ distribution, etc.). That doesn’t justify making such an exaggeration though. All the numbers for commerical aircraft accidents are small, or most of us here wouldn’t even be reading this because we wouldn’t be travelling this way so would not care.

    Yes, Forestall comment indeed expained the way things work in the world of commerical A/C manufacturing, but it’s not some big conspiracy theory. It’s the way things work. I’ll write him back separately.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  217. @kauchai

    A well thought-out and cogent argument using the facts on hand. I stand here edified.

  218. @Inquiring Mind

    Were we to rule out all forms of control or stability augmentation, would we not have to revert to straight-winged turboprops?

    Agreed, “Little Herbie” was designed for the Boeing 707, as the very-capable test pilots at the time knew that the Dutch Roll characteristics of the swept wing could not be dealt easily by average commerical pilots throughout the flight envelope. Little Herbie, now called the Yaw Damper, was nothing but an RLC circuit of some sort with sensing and input to the rudder. I’m sure it’s a piece of software now. No jet airliner (except those rare straight-wing ones – maybe that Dornier 328-Jet) would be dispatched without both channels working.

    You make a good point about the use of electronics and software to enable the operational improvements we’ve seen.

  219. @James Forrestal

    Or — more simply — just generate the “crashes per million trips” and “per billion miles traveled” for the aircraft types under consideration… as you noted below.

    Sure. That’s what IS done. I use the term cycles, only because that’s the term used in that business due to the number of pressurization cycles of the fuselage AND the number of high-power (T/O and Go-around) runs of the engines must be kept track of (yeah, the go-rounds make the engine cycles not match the number of legs, i.e. trips)

    For some freight airliners, perhaps the number of cycles will end up being a more important number than hours flown, but for heavies (freight or passenger-carrying) that go across the ocean daily with 8- 15 hour legs, the total hours will be the important or more critical number. BTW, I shoudn’t have said per mile, but per hour, as that’s how the airplane world sees it. Per-mile would mean as much, or more, to a customer and also have the benefit of being easily compared to driving those Toyotas and Ferraris.

  220. Alfred says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Most modern planes are technically unstable. They need computers to constantly make corrections – many times per second – or they would leave their assigned track. The reason for this is the search for ever more fuel-economical designs.

    In this particular model, the engine was not optimally located anyway – because it was retrofitted to an old design.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  221. @James Forrestal

    That’s all a good summary, Mr. Forrestal. As tragic as the two accidents were, that does not make this into some massive failure of Boeing as the article would make one think.

    Number 1 worked out pretty good for Boeing, as the 737 far surpassed the 727 as the most sold commerical airliner build. Numbers 3/4 are the way business is done, at least over the last 30 years, just as the way Airbus came out with the 321s instead of starting from scratch.

    Numbers 5 through 8 are part of the normal world of aero engineering (on the large scale, not the huge work of the detail design guys).

    The software solution is what the fuss right now is about, and I won’t comment on the details I don’t know about. I do remember after the 1st crash, the word was that the training for this new version did not include the appropriate information on dealing either with the proper or improper operation of this additional software system.

    Usually, problems like this get seen early on from Flight Data Recorder data without any crash being involved nowadays, as this data is analyzed mostly for generalized metrics of how pilots have been flying. It’s too bad it’s went this far, but, as of yet, it shouldn’t garner this Boeing hatred from the world. Some of it on Unz is very obviously the pure Hate-everything-America types, who should direct their hatred to the where it belongs, other areas of the US Feral Gov’t.

    • Replies: @Biff
  222. Biff says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I won’t comment on the details I don’t know about.

    Nobody believes this.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  223. Anon[214] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Always Blame Whitey! Black Lives Matter! lol

  224. @Mike-SMO

    Sad subject, but anyhow – – Your last paragraph caused one big laugh – after another! Nerd-ment was at play here for sure.

  225. @Biff

    Another comment, another Commie heard from …

  226. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    What does it mean for a country (China, Indonesia) to withdraw a type? The aircraft didn’t originate in China or Indonesia, so neither country could “take it back.”

    Have they banned it from their airspaces? Their airports? Other verbs (banning, even grounding) would seem clearer, but anyone desiring clarity might wonder. Unless I’m just not familiar with the technical term.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  227. @Alfred

    … taking over 1,000 feet (we were loaded for going transcontinental) from start of rotation to those wheels finally escaping the surly bonds

    No, I meant feet. The take-off roll could have been > 7,000 ft. Don’t feel bad, cause I miss lots myself by reading too fast, but I meant here just from the nosewheel getting unloaded to the main wheels finally leaving the ground (in a semi-poetic manner ;-} ). Hell, it could have been near 1,500 ft. Of course, that was going by quick as the speed is up to what 150 kt or so by then.

    On a 757, that would be quicker and we’d have been at 500 ft above the ground over the numbers at the far end! It’s a hell of a machine.

  228. @Achmed E. Newman

    If you ever were a scientist, as you claim, you must be aware that statistics have zero predictive value in individual cases. Bell curves have no minima or maxima, they only show you where the more likely values are. Not to mention that there is no reason to equate IQ with intelligence.

  229. AaronB says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    I did not know this. Puts things in a new perspective.

    It seemed like Boeing was being reckless in designing a plane that was unstable without correction, like many were saying, but if this is standard practice and has been ongoing for many years, that changes things.

    I guess it makes sense. Engineering requires tradeoffs and compromises. There is no one best solution.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  230. @Alfred

    The catastrophic threat from this situation to Boeing is very real.

    It’s not just some unexpected fault, but seems to be gross negligence and potentially criminal culpability by Boeing regarding a systemic problem (it seems very unlikely at this point that Boeing didn’t realise there was a serious problem from the Indonesian crash, and even from previous incidents in the US). Even then they seem have colluded rather unsubtly with the FAA to try and cover the whole thing up and pretend everything was fine.

    The reputational damage is incalculable, the potential lawsuits massive, and they stand to have the product line driving their bottom line crushed over night. This is happening right as China and Russia are marketing new narrow body airliners to international customers, in addition to the old competition from Airbus.

    While there are other possible outcomes, Chapter 11 should not be seen as inconceivable as a worst case.

    At the very least this will probably be the turning point in American domination of the world aerospace industry.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  231. anonymous[841] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There is no reason to equate IQ with intelligence? Welp…

    “IQ” stands for “Intelligence Quotient.” So, like um there kinda is a reason.

    An intelligence quotient ( IQ ) is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient

    Those blasted Bell Curving racist MAGA white nationalist fascists at wikipedia have done it again!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  232. @Inquiring Mind

    What about the yaw damper?

    The introduction of the swept wing introduced a type of instability called Dutch roll https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_roll, which was countered by a form of control augmentation called a yaw damper?

    Not really a parallel analogy:

    1. Swept wings are an essential feature of high speed aircraft for performance reasons (less drag/ delayed onset of supersonic airflow over the wings). Moving the engines on the 737 MAX forward of the center of gravity is a shortcut — a hack. In other words — yaw damping is a solution to a problem that is intrinsic to a necessary design feature of modern aircraft, while MCAS is a “solution” to an unnecessary problem that Boeing created.

    2. Did any pilot ever get into the cockpit of a swept-wing jet under the impression that they were flying a straight-winged turboprop, without any training on the differences between the two?

    3. Yaw dampers work.

    Rear engined jet planes with a T-tail introduced a hazard known as “deep stall”, which is countered on those planes with a device called a “stick pusher” connected to the stall warning system?

    And is the “stick pusher” function deliberately kept secret by the manufacturer? Or are pilots trained on its operation — and how to deal with inappropriate/ unwanted activation of this feature?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stick_pusher

    “Aircraft designers who install stick pushers recognise that there is the risk that a stick pusher may activate erroneously when not required to do so. The designer must make provision for the flight crew to deal with unwanted activation of a stick pusher. In some aircraft equipped with stick pushers, the stick pusher can be overpowered by the pilot. In other aircraft, the stick pusher system can be manually disabled by the pilot.”

    Huh.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  233. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    But, you do have juvenile insults down pat.

    “Rayciss” was your juvenile ternm not mine.

    Bet you have a Master’s Degree in some “study.”

    A doctorate in molecular biology, actually, and my last paper — published probably before you were born — cited more than 400 times, according to Google scholar.

    As for your academic qualifications, don’t tell me, since whatever they may be you are clearly an idiot.

    • Replies: @anon
  234. wayfarer says:

    “Piece Found at Ethiopian Airlines Crash Site Shows Jet Was Set to Dive …”
    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/piece-found-at-ethiopian-airlines-crash-site-shows-jet-was-set-to-dive-2008100

    “Doomed Boeing Swung Up and Down Hundreds of Feet …”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-14/something-was-extraordinarily-wrong-doomed-boeing-swung-and-down-hundreds-feet

    “Flashback: U.S. Charges Chinese Intelligence Officers for Boeing Data Hack …”
    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2491302/chinese-man-indicted-over-theft-of-boeing-c-17-secrets.html

    • Replies: @denk
    , @James Forrestal
  235. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Forrestal

    2. In 2010, Airbus came out with the A320neo, which was 15% more fuel-efficient than then-current narrow body airliners — including the 737.

    I have read that it was the development of Bombardier’s C series, single-aisle, highly fuel-efficient jet, that prompted Airbus to modify the A320 by the use of larger engines (i.e., larger diameter fan) to produce the A320neo. Boeing then followed suit by modifying the 737, but there was the complication that the 737 is low slung, thus requiring the larger engine to be mounted forward of the wing and slightly higher. It is the lift generated by the nacelle of the larger engine, which is located ahead of the aircraft’s center of gravity, that tends to tilt the nose up with the consequent risk of a stall.

    Auto adjustment to correct the tendency to stall may be a valid solution, but reliance on only one angle of attack sensor seems crazy, especially as the plane has two sensors. There should be a mechanism to alert the pilot if the sensors disagree. Furthermore, pilots should have been fully aware of how to shut the system off and fly the plane manually in the event of a malfunction.

    This disaster looks to have been the consequence of management incompetence, cover-up, and hoping for the best. Evidently, the deficiency of the trim control system was understood in the immediate aftermath of the Lion Air crash if not earlier, hence the FAA requirement for a software update. But given that the cause of the Lion Air crash was known months ago, the planes should have been grounded before the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, pending that software update and adequate pilot instruction. That is the reason I say not only should Boeing’s entire board of directors get the chop, but also the top guys at the FAA, the agency that certified the plane and were the last people on earth to order the plane grounded after the second disaster.

    Most of what led up to these disasters was foreshadowed in the 1948 Nevil Shute Novel, “No Highway.” Shute was a Cambridge University engineering grad. (third class) who became an aircraft designer with the British company, deHavilland, that built the ill-fated Comet, the world’s first commercial jet airliner, launched in 1952 and taken out of service in 1953 after three crashes.

    Shute’s novel concerned a British airliner, the Reindeer (Comet is the name of one of Santa’s reindeer), which had a known technical problem that caused it to crash. The novel, which deals with the conflict over how to respond to the risks associated with an aircraft’s known defect, has been used as a text for engineering students. Not, unfortunately, the engineering students who went on to run the Boeing company and the FAA.

  236. denk says:
    @kauchai

    If this is a made in china airplane, the empire would mobilize the whole world to ground the entire fleet. The diatribes, lies, cruel sick jokes, lawsuits, etc, etc, would fly to the heavens.

    Agreed,
    Now thats a given.

    Better dONT give CIA/MI6 any ideas.
    Those gents are very pro-active, they wouldnt sit on their ass waiting for an opportunity, they’ve a long track record of creating their own opportunity.
    I shudder to think what’ll they do to China’s C919 if it ever manage to get into full operation. !

    This is no CT or idle speculation.
    Just look at the way they’r sabotaging Chinese BRI proj and how they are bent on killing off the flagship of Chinese high tech, Huawei.

    Prez keep changing but the script remains…
    The George Kennan doctrine,
    We brook no peer competitors !

    For track record, remember how they shot down prez Lamunba’s plane, how about TWA800, …Senator Paul Wellstone,….AF447 ?

    Tip of an iceberg.

    dONT forget MAL lost THREE airliners, another near miss, a copter in less than six months !!!

    Some say its to punish KL hosting that tribunal which indicted Bush/Blair as war criminals, also for its reluctance to join Washington’s new eight nations alliance against China.

    CIA/MI6/FBI have been on the case since 2014 and we aint any wiser until this day, talk about having the
    fox guarding the chicken coop !

  237. denk says:
    @wayfarer

    “Flashback: U.S. Charges Chinese Intelligence Officers for Boeing Data Hack …”
    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2491302/chinese-man-indicted-over-theft-of-boeing-c-17-secrets.html

    Honey,
    What’r you suggesting ?

    The US also accused Chinese hackers probing for weakness in murkka’s electrical grid network, prolly
    prepping for a future attack.

    But hey honey,
    The only known attacks are from the accuser itself,
    Stuxnet which attack Iran’s nuclear plant and….
    the current cyber attack on Venezuela’s power grid.

    Tip of an iceberg.

    YOu ought to join the DC cesspool, cuz you’r full of it.

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  238. @wayfarer

    From your ZeroHedge link:

    The impact of this goes well beyond Boeing. From the ndtv link:

    “The plane’s crash-proof recorders have been sent to France to be analyzed.”

    • Replies: @denk
  239. anon[841] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You’re a scientist who summarily rejects science (comment #118 and #191) because ideology. You’re projecting your own idiocy. That’s sad.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  240. @CanSpeccy

    I have read that it was the development of Bombardier’s C series, single-aisle, highly fuel-efficient jet, that prompted Airbus to modify the A320 by the use of larger engines (i.e., larger diameter fan) to produce the A320neo.

    Didn’t know that. Makes sense.

    Boeing then followed suit by modifying the 737, but there was the complication that the 737 is low slung, thus requiring the larger engine to be mounted forward of the wing and slightly higher. It is the lift generated by the nacelle of the larger engine, which is located ahead of the aircraft’s center of gravity, that tends to tilt the nose up with the consequent risk of a stall.

    Yeah — I misinterpreted that as the thrust of the engine itself, rather than the lift generated by the nacelle. Realized it after I read back through the comment, but it was already finalized. Thanks for the correction.

    Auto adjustment to correct the tendency to stall may be a valid solution, but reliance on only one angle of attack sensor seems crazy, especially as the plane has two sensors. There should be a mechanism to alert the pilot if the sensors disagree.

    Crazy, idiotic, lazy, incredibly negligent — or some combination of all of the above. Should probably deactivate the system as well as alerting the pilot in the event of conflicting sensor readings. See also:

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/boeing-737-max-an-artificial-intelligence-event/#comment-3092457
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/boeing-737-max-an-artificial-intelligence-event/#comment-3092578

  241. denk says:
    @James Forrestal

    sending it to any Euro, aka US vassal, is as good as sending it to UKUS, cue mh17 verdict under the Dutch.

  242. @CanSpeccy

    This disaster looks to have been the consequence of management incompetence, cover-up, and hoping for the best.

    That is the reason I say not only should Boeing’s entire board of directors get the chop, but also the top guys at the FAA, the agency that certified the plane and were the last people on earth to order the plane grounded after the second disaster.

    Great comment! – This is the bone-chilling core of the whole affair.

    (One detail in it being, that Donald Trump ordered the US grounding – against the FAAs “expertise” – if I got this one right, at least that’s what I read in Europe).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  243. @AnonFromTN

    Nope, not a scientist, but you’re getting warm, and I did take one Stats course. Yes, it’s been a while. Who is trying to predict individual cases here? That’s not what the anon guy* was doing – he waw relating 0.30 accidents (or was it crashes, as an accident can be a small matter with $10,000 damage, which is chump change anymore?) to the 0.15 accidents, per 100,000 hours.

    IQ is the best measurement of intelligence there is to be had, though not a measure of every KIND of intelligence, if you’re gonna break it down. Of course Bell Curves have maxima – there is that 1 maximum at the 50 percentile point, BY DEFINITION! Excuse me?

    .

    * Please, people, if you have good stuff to say and are writing back-and-forth, could you pick a handle?

  244. @anonymous

    “IQ” stands for “Intelligence Quotient.”

    Are you serious? It must be so just because it claims to be so? What kind of logic is that? There are people in lunatic asylums all over the world claiming that they are Caesars, Napoleons, etc. They must be what they claim to be, right?

    • Replies: @anon
  245. anon[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    IQ deniers are like natural selection deniers, they believe in magic over evolutionary biology.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @AnonFromTN
  246. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    Donald Trump ordered the US grounding – against the FAAs – if I got this one right.

    Certainly, it says here that Trump announced the grounding. He is then reported to have made the bizarre statement that the decision to ground the aircraft:

    didn’t have to be made, but we thought it was the right decision.

    If it was the “right decision” how was it a decision they didn’t have to make?

    I mean, did they feel that waiting to see if there would be another crash would have been quite OK, despite the high probability of killing another 150 or so people?

    Was this foot in mouth itis? Probably not. Rather sounds like PR to distract attention from the fact that the decision to ground the planes should have been made by the FAA immediately after the evidence on the cause of the first crash became available.

    Trump should demonstrate that he knows what taking responsibility is about by firing the FAA bosses now. But he won’t because he’s basically a wishy-washy opportunist with no fixed principles.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  247. wayfarer says:
    @denk

    There’s not a single Rothschild controlled “government” on the face of this planet, that I trust, farther than I can spit.

    Banks Governments controlled by the Rothschild family.
    http://humansarefree.com/2013/11/complete-list-of-banks-ownedcontrolled.html

    • Replies: @denk
  248. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    Why all this IQ-ist rubbish on a thread about the cause and response to the Boeing737MAX crash?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  249. anonymous[928] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Comment #118:

    IQ nonsense. Wish people would stop wasting their time with this stuff.

    comment #191:

    “Studies find that darker pigmented people average higher levels of aggression and sexual activity (and also lower IQ).”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886912000840

    This is complete horseshit. If you even bothered to read the paper, you’ll see that the authors actually completely disproved their own hypothesis and conclusion. East Asians are darker pigmented than Whites. They have darker skin, dark hair, dark eyes, etc. That means, if the authors conclusion is correct, then East Asians should be more aggressive and have more sex than Whites. Yet this is literally the exact opposite of what we see in EVERY single comparison the authors make. In their own words:

    [MORE]

    In Canada, a government commission found that Blacks were five times more likely to be in jail than Whites and 10 times more likely than Asians (Ontario, 1996).

    In violent crimes per 100,000 people, the rate for African countries was 149; for European, 42; and for Asian, 35.

    The World Health Organization found the average intercourse per week for married couples in their twenties was, for American Blacks, 5; for American Whites, 4; and for the Japanese and Chinese in Asia, 2.5 (see Rushton, 2000, for a review of these studies). National surveys from Britain and the United States produce similar findings.

    A Los Angeles study found that the age of first sexual activity in high school students was 14.4 years for Blacks, 16.4 years for East Asians, with Whites in the middle. The percentage of students who were sexually active was 32% for East Asians and 81% for Blacks, with Whites again between the other two.

    Race differences are found on the r–K continuum. Africans average toward the r end, devoting resources to mating effort and producing more children but providing less parental care. East Asians average toward the K end, producing fewer offspring but investing more resources in them. Europeans average intermediately.

    Another three-way race difference is two-egg twinning, which is more numerous in Africans than in Europeans or East Asians (i.e., 16, 8, and 4 per 1000 twin births, respectively).

    Testosterone controls muscle mass and the deepening of the voice in the teenage years. It also explains why Black women have the most premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and East Asians the least.

  250. @anon

    Evolution actually keeps working, except its deniers probably did not evolve from monkeys yet (that was a joke about Bush Jr: “Why doesn’t he believe in evolution? Because he did not evolve!”

    No need to deny IQ, there is need to question what it really measures. That question was never answered satisfactorily from scientific point of view.

    FYI, science often uses statistics, where the default “null” hypothesis is that there is no effect. So, scientifically speaking, the null hypothesis about IQ is that it does not measure intelligence. The opposite needs to be proven, and it was not. Simply claiming that IQ measures intelligence is about as scientifically sound as claiming that your height, or weight, or something else that can be measured easily reflects your intelligence. There are plenty of tests, and scant evidence what each of them actually measures. IQ test is no exception.

  251. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Thank you for the “No Highway” recommendation (and also, indirectly through your link, “Slide Rule”).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  252. FB says: • Website
    @Captain 737

    …SAYS A BOEING SHILL WHO GOT A DOZEN RESPONSES TO THIS ASSHAT POST AND BOTHERED TO REBUT NOT A SINGLE ONE…

    I have been meaning to write an entry to my blog on this subject, but have not had the time…here is the bottom line on the problem…

    The 737 MAX is an inherently unstable aircraft…and the MCAS system was slapped on as BANDAID fix for that inherent flight instability problem, caused by the new, bigger engines…

    Here is what is going on…those new engines have a bigger fan diameter which makes them more fuel efficient [due to increased propulsive efficiency which says it is more efficient to move a large mass of air with a big fan, than to move a small mass of air to a higher speed as with the smaller turbojet engine…]

    That bigger fan diameter is where the problem starts…because Boeing couldn’t fit that new engine underneath the wing in the ‘normal’ location…so they had to move the engine forward and up…here’s why this is a problem…at high angles of attack [ie in a turn for example where the wing has to make more lift and therefore the angle between the wing and the oncoming airflow opens to a wider angle] those big engine nacelles begin making lift too…this additional lift wants to pitch the wing up to an ever greater AOA…which could lead to an aerodynamic stall and loss of control…

    Now it is nothing new that engine nacelles make lift at high angles of attack…some basic aerodynamics here…a cylinder, like that engine nacelle, or even a barn door, will make lift if it is propelled through the air at an angle of attack…you can see this for yourself by sticking your hand out the window on the highway…by laying your hand flat with the horizontal plane your hand will cut through the air with little force generated…but as you begin tilting your hand up [increasing angle of attack] you will feel both a lift force wanting to pull your hand up, and a drag force pushing your hand back…

    So why is the 737 MAX unstable when previous 737s were not…well this gets slightly more involved from an aerodynamic perspective…it’s because those engines are farther forward of the wing…the lift that those nacelles generate at high alpha [another word for angle of attack] is not a problem if the nacelles are underneath the wing, or at least not too far forward…the reason is quite simple…the wing itself is making lift…so if you have engine nacelles that are making lift right underneath that wing, then there is no problem…

    But those new MAX engines are so big that they had to really go outside the design envelope so to speak and mount them so far forward that they became a problem to the aircraft stability…in short having the nacelles making that lift that far forward of the wing is counteracting the wing’s natural ‘righting’ tendency…ie every airplane wing has a natural tendency to pitch down, the more its angle of attack and lift increases…

    That’s called positive stability and is what makes an airplane safe and flyable by pilots, just like a boat wants to naturally right itself instead of just flopping over…here is how stability is often explained to the student…think of a wooden bowl with a marble inside it…as you tilt the bowl to and fro the marble returns right back to the bottom of the bowl…this is natural stability…in the same way a wing that is increasingly pitched up builds up more and more force in the opposite direction [called a pitching moment] …if the wing wanted to do the opposite, ie wanting to pitch up as alpha is increased, then that airplane would be very dangerous and possibly unflyable by a human pilot…in terms of the wooden bowl and the marble, it’s like turning that bowl upside down and then placing the marble on it…the slightest movement of the bowl will send the marble tumbling off…

    This is exactly what the situation is with those new engines…the MAX is simply pitch unstable at least in a particular portion of its flight envelope…ie when at high angles of attack [alpha]…now it should be noted that those angles of attack might not need to be all that high…it has come to light now that MAX pilots in the last number of months, even before the Lion Air crash in Indonesia reported flight control issues to NASA’s voluntary pilot reporting system [this system is used not only to report problems with aircraft, but also a self-reporting system for pilots who have made some kind of mistake that could result in FAA punitive action…it’s kind of a get out of jail free card because if you report it yourself then the FAA can’t use that info against you…so this is a great place to go to ‘confess’ anything without any consequences, either about the airplane you are paid to fly, or about something you may have done wrong]

    Anyway the point is that Boeing has put this MCAS software in there for the sole purpose of papering over a serious instability issue with the airplane…before computers an airplane with such an issue would not be allowed to fly…simple as that…it would go back to the drawing board and be redesigned in such a way that the airplane is naturally stable again…

    But we are now in the flight computer era…military aircraft like fighter jets are routinely designed to be intentionally unstable, because this natural twitchiness makes them more maneuverable…and then a flight computer is inserted between the pilot controls and the airplane which makes hundreds of inputs a second to make the plane fly nice and smooth…but a passenger carrying commercial jet does not have ejection seats and has no need for instability of any kind…

    This is the real problem…that 737 MAX should have been redesigned for those bigger engines…so they could go underneath the wings where they belong…not jutting up and in front like they do…here is sideview of the MAX showing how far forward of the wing and how high the big new engine sits…

    And here is an A320 engine…

    Notice how much lower and tucked under the wing the Airbus engine is…now the fact of the matter is that the 737 is an airplane that is more than 50 years old…when it first came out in 1967 there was no such thing as a high bypass turbofan engine and the 737s engines were not even half the diameter they are now…

    So Boeing wanted to just keep fixing up that original design because that is the cheapest way to go, since a new airplane costs a lot of money to design and certify for safety…but these modifications now with the MAX are obviously so extreme as to be completely nonsensical…obviously it was time for a new clean sheet airplane…because you just can’t keep putting on bigger and bigger engines on an airplane designed with a wing that is low to the ground…

    So instead of redesigning the airplane, Boeing put on this computer bandaid called MCAS, which automatically takes control of the airplane and starts nosing the airplane over if it reaches a high alpha…and what is really incredible is that Boeing and the FAA decided that the very existence of this new flight computer system that takes control of the airplane from the human pilot…does not even need to be mentioned in the pilot flight manual or training documentation…this is on top of the questionable decision to even have such a thing as MCAS to begin with…

    Now there are some additional details here also that the general public may not know…for one thing, Boeing’s line is that the new MCAS is not really a problem because pilots are trained to deal with runaway trim by just shutting off electrical power to the trim system that noses the plane down…for instance, the MCAS receives its information about the plane’s angle of attack from vane sensors on the airplane’s nose…one on the captian’s side and another on the first officer’s side…the problem is that if one of the sensors is bad and there is no agreement between the two, what happens…?

    Well here is one more detail about Boeing’s greed…there is an OPTIONAL warning light that comes on if those sensors are not in agreement…ie the airline buying the plane needs to pay extra for this…the Lion Air airplane didn’t have this option…there is also an option for an angle of attack indicator on the pilot display panel…pictured here…

    So we have a situation here, where the airplane is modified with big engines to the point that it becomes dangerously unstable in normal flight…a computer bandaid is then applied, but this radical new departure is deemed to be not even worthy of pilot training…on top of that, instruments that are vital to monitoring this dangerous computer system are made available to airlines at optional cost…

    Bottom line is this…corporate greed has won again…the FAA never should have gone along with this…and in fact the EASA, the European air regulatory body did not want to go along with Boeing and the FAA about not documenting the MCAS system for pilots, but eventually they caved in…the Brazilian authorities held their ground however and made sure that pilots were given information about this system and the required training…

    But we are way beyond the issue of simply disclosing the existence of this very powerful flight computer, and properly training pilots to handle it…we now know that the Lion Air crew fought the MCAS computer for more than 10 minutes, as the airplane went up and down like a roller coaster…before the computer finally won and plunged the airplane into the sea…now we have been told that satellite tracking data on the Ethiopian flight also followed the same rollercoaster pattern…which finally prompted President Trump to put his foot down and ground the MAX…

    As for this so-called ‘737 captain’…an obvious faker, and not a very good one at that…I can tell you as a professional pilot of many decades that the entire pilot community is extremely upset and concerned…for this guy to come on here and make stupid noises that no professional pilot would agree with, and then just disappear is simply an example of trolling on this website…and obviously an insult to the normal folks here who come here in good faith to discuss issues…

  253. @AnonFromTN

    Ah, the long-debunked “IQ doesn’t really measure intelligence — and besides what is intelligence?” canard.

    Muh (((deconstruction))).

  254. @FB

    Good post. Picture’s worth a thousand words, and that side view of the MAX says it all. Surprised it can even get off the ground.

  255. @CanSpeccy

    In the Real Clear Politics article you quote, Boing lets the world know that this company:

    “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.” The company added that it had decided “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.”

    Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company was “supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution.”

    So – this sounds like Boing finally supported Trump’s grounding.

    The reasons they give are of a truly lunatic quality of the perfectly otherworldly type – this babble looks like the farthest out you can get without leaving our solar system altogether: Proactive steps out of an abundance of cautionproactive what? abundance of what – caution – which caution are they talking about, I mean: Which hitherto unknown type of caution is it they are talking about to the “flying public” (!) here, in their proactive manner?!!

    PS

    As this story unfolds, I think of the court scene, in which a TopTop lawyer claims that Dennis Muilenburg can’t be held responsible, because his statements after the event made absolutely clear already, that he was quite obviously under so much psychological pressure, that a severe burnout… etc. pp.

    In a way, the whole affair is the end of Hollywood as we know it, too, because: Just what would you want to make a movie about if even the most incredible and weird plot turns one could think of are happening right here: In the worldwide public sphere, open for everybody who wants to have a look at? – There’s little room left for the screenwriters to surprise the moviegoer – since he who cares at all simply knows too much.

    As for the novelist – he would have to write a book, resonating with a lighthearted version of Kafka’s The Castle, situated at an Avenue of the Americas – where an idiot savant hangs out, who pretends to be a reincarnation of Chesterton and Dostojevskys Idiot at the same time and is actually telling the story to Niklas Luhmann and Cyril Northcote Parkinson who meet on a weekly basis to play Monopoly in a heavenly asylum with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers…in this mood, kinda… the whole scene overseen by Charles Bukowski for proper continuity.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  256. @FB

    Lots of info – thanks! – Especially the marble part about the wings is marvelous.

    it has come to light now that MAX pilots in the last number of months, even before the Lion Air crash in Indonesia reported flight control issues to NASA’s voluntary pilot reporting system

    This is another horrible thing. Incredible.

    To sum up:

    1) The MAX-construction is – as a commenter over at Steve Sailer had it: A kludge.
    Result – as a German engineer put it: a flying tractor, at best.

    2) Boing’s consequence: To correct via software.

    3) Software poorly designed and implemented and communicated.

    4) Resulting problems with the MAX reported by numerous pilots worldwide.

    5) A deadly crash.

    6) Numerous severe concerns about the safety of the plane articulated by numerous experts worldwide.

    7) Another deadly crash.

    8) Boing and the FAA are still claiming, the aircraft is safe and there are no safety concerns whatsoever.

    9) Trump announces the grounding of the MAXes.

    10) Boing declares that they agree with the grounding because they felt by now*** they had to make proactive steps out of an abundance of caution.

    (Holy (Flying) Cow – what Luciferian safety cult are they worshipping in Seattle?)

    *** this is no quote – this is me, speaking from the inside of their heads

    • LOL: CanSpeccy
  257. DB Cooper says:
    @FB

    Thanks for the explanation.

  258. Some people here have realised what is going on.. Damage control.. 1 is from trying to scuttle the sales of the MC21 which had almost a decade of advancement ahead andis still cheaper and more efficient and safer.. Both boeing and airbus are kludges and just another accident waiting to happen. 2 is to blame the indian pilot as they are not upto par compared to whites with their higher IQ and intelligence and decision making capacity.. This is where the air france crash comes into play but no one talks about that one. One arrogant know it all co pilot lacking experience over rides his more experienced copilot as well as his captain.

    Now we come to a conflict of interest between undermechen gerbils running high tech equipment and competition with an undermechen designed more advanced device the MC21.. Both cant work at the same time.. Either the undermechen cant handle the advanced technology.. or the undermechen cant design the more advanced and safer alternative.. Basically comping down to competition.. as the west always destroy competition.. Like they destroyed the technological export sector in india to take over world trade.. But then how to sell this to everyone if they are not capable??? Now that is a conundrum.. so lets wait for the investigation and find some indian to blame.. Oh wait..

    This is basically a money grabbing business decision.. To make sure the Russians did not sell any of their bottom up designed MC21 the west jimmied and duct taped an old design. Then when it dont work blame some indian for not have enough training or even being capable of handling the job.. But as we found out with the air france crash.. What has being less intelligent and less training got to do with it? You going to get einsteins to be pilots in the west and then develop clones to sell to the rest of the planet???? Because you are not going to sell anything to the rest of the planet if they are not capable of using it unlike selling them whisky and opium.

    It will be interesting how the high priced PR firms who are out in force handle this.. We know empire will twist your arm sockets off if you buy the MC21 which is much cheaper and more efficient instead.. I mean considering most of the sales are to under mechen who cant handle it.. The MC21 would be the logical choice.. Even from a business perspective the MC21 would be ideal as again it saves 10% more fuel and is much cheaper than the death traps from prices I seen of 90Mil to 150mil…. Whats there to think about?? Sanctions, blackmail and sabotage will only delay the inevitable..

  259. Factorize says:
    @FB

    The 737 MAX doesn’t look right even from a casual glance. Simply slide the engines under the wings and then just jack up the plane with longer legs. Why go through all these convolutions and then wind up with potential for aerodynamic instability? My guess would be that longer legs would not introduce comparable safety issues. Staying true to the 737 brand would be the wisest choice for the consumers and the company.

    • Replies: @FB
  260. wayfarer says:
    @FB

    Thanks for an expert’s analysis, that was extremely interesting.

    In some powerful storms, the scariest thing I’d encounter at the helm of a USCGC, was trying to keep the ship’s natural-frequency from matching nature’s forcing-frequency. At times though we’d briefly get locked into a spooky resonance-frequency. One particular night we hit resonance, took a 60-degree roll, and almost capsized.

    Description of Resonance

    • Replies: @FB
  261. @Dieter Kief

    Short sighted businessmen – Nothing lasts for long

    Too many dimes, playing the same tune over and over again… but they received a different, unexpected ending.

  262. FB says: • Website
    @wayfarer

    Funny you should mention resonance…it is a very big issue in flight testing aircraft during the safety certification process…in aeronautics this is called ‘flutter’…more formally aeroelasticity…an extremely dangerous thing that happens in basically the same way as you describe…ie a flight surface [anything from a wing to an aileron, or a tailplane] is set into a vibration that then matches its natural resonant frequency…the result is pieces falling off the airplane…not an issue here with the MAX, but thanks for the nautical info on this…many parallels, after all it’s all physics…PS hope your furry friends are doing great…

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  263. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Originally, many Bonanza buyers were farmers who flew them day VFR and had few problems. Fatal crashes with these guys were rare. Doctors and lawyers became the primary customers and they had an instrument rating and a full IFR panel. They were usually not very current, but they were the customer.. Beech knew that and people in Beech saw the issues, but they were squelched on advice of the attorneys.

    The same customers who had draggier and less elegant airframes had many less of these types of crashes.

    What is OK in an airplane intended for elite aircrews-the U-2 comes to mind-is not OK for a GA airplane marketed to affluent but busy customers.

    Statistically the Bonanza eventually really stood out, and everyone knew it. Eventually Beech pressured the FAA into ordering a big AD, because attorneys told them that fixing the problem voluntarily would be admitting guilt. Of course, such attorneys can not be held criminally liable for giving advice resulting in continuing deaths.

    The Bonanza needed a good set of speed brakes and a single lever power controlled engine needing no pilot management-or the type certificate amended to require a second pilot or F/E in the right seat to run the powerplant in IFR conditions.

    Making a gasoline burning piston engine with a controllable pitch prop a single lever, pilot management not needed, powerplant is doable but Lycoming and Continental are not going to do it. Until general aviation becomes “a thing” again (not including homebuilts, which have mushroomed to become the tail wagging the dog) it’s not going to happen.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  264. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FB

    there is an OPTIONAL warning light that comes on if those sensors are not in agreement…

    LOL. Well not funny actually. But it’s not just greed. Not corporate greed anyhow. More like rogue management betting the future of the company for the sake of their bonuses and share options. Thy must have figured the fix would see their time out. That, or extraordinary bone-headedness. Either way, can’t see Boeing having any future under present management. Shareholders should boot the entire board of directors.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @NoseytheDuke
  265. CanSpeccy says:
    @Dieter Kief

    In the Real Clear Politics article you quote, Boing lets the world know that this company:

    “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.” The company added that it had decided “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.”

    Wow. I must admit, I didn’t read that far. As you say, it has indeed “a truly lunatic quality.”

    In a way, the whole affair is the end of Hollywood as we know it, too, because: Just what would you want to make a movie about if even the most incredible and weird plot turns one could think of are happening right here: In the worldwide public sphere, open for everybody who wants to have a look at?

    Yes, reminds one of the late Malcolm Muggeridge’s complaint when editor of Britain’s now defunct humor magazine Punch, that there is nothing you can invent nearly so absurd as what is to be observed on a daily basis in the real world.

    I like your idea for a novel. I am sure Northcote Parkinson would provide entertaining enlightenment on the process whereby the world’s greatest aircraft manufacturing company became transformed into an organization worthy of immortalizing in a novel by Kafka.

  266. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jett Rucker

    The aviation authority of a nation may revoke a type certificate, which means that that type can no longer operate (except under a experimental or restricted type certificate, if they deign to issue, which would prohibit any commercial passenger or cargo use, and they may not issue even then) in that country. Most aircraft are internationally marketed and type certificated reciprocally, so that, as in the cases of the VC-10 and Viscount, all operators worldwide had to stop flying them when the British CAA pulled the type certificate.

    In modern times this is usually caused by the manufacturer or its successor requesting this be done so they can “get rid of the type” and not have to support it, or allegedly pay pwoduct wiability premiums on it.

    The first known example of this was when Cessna decided to get into the helicopter business and then decided to exit it when the helos started crashing. They had the TC pulled and then were able to buy them all back and destroy them.

    This is a serious issue for operators of some antique types as the ownership of the type certificate has fallen into the hands of faceless conglomerates, for whom they are “a liability”.

    Countries may choose to ignore the revocation of a TC-the only reason there is one surviving Cessna helo in a museum is because it was being flown in South America well after Cessna thought they were all destroyed. But those countries are usually the places yoou don’t want to fly out of.

  267. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfred

    My understanding is that airliners are not permitted to be aerodynamically unstable, as most fighter aircraft are now, even though they are FBW.

  268. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Pilots do not need to have an IQ much over 100. In fact very high IQ people tend to have the most problems learning to fly. Any flight instructor of much experience will tell you housewives and truck drivers are their easiest students, surgeons and trial lawyers the worst.

    • Replies: @res
  269. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    That does not change your world vs. America numbers though. Yes, it is still quite a safer flying environment here, very much due to the huge experience level of American pilots, going back to when one needed a thousand hours of multi-engine time, and maybe some of that turbine, and multiple thousands of hours to be competitive to get on a major airline in the right seat. That’s changing some now, mostly just due to the big slowdown in General Aviation, a world that most countries never knew to the extent America did.

    The death of GA has been a disaster, and one mostly related to the demise of the middle class and the spoiled contractor status of the major GA manufacturers and their suppliers. Pwoduct wiability was a problem but one mostly brought on by the manufacturers themselves. Look at boating-marine parts prices have skyrocketed and there is no FAA and no pwoduct wiability problem to speak of. The Mercruiser version of a GM alternator is three or four hundred dollars, aviation price, the auto version is eighty or so. Hot rodders used to always be on the lookout for SBC core engines out of boats-they had the forged cranks, the four bolt mains, the cast finned aluminum oil pans-now they are just the same as any other crate motor with no good guy parts, but twice the price.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  270. FB says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    Agreed…not really funny…and speaking of ‘bonehadedness’ here is another tidbit about those sensors…remember the part I mentiond about how the airplane’s angle of attack [ie it’s nose up or nose down ‘attitude’] is sensed by those vane sensors, one on each side of the airplane nose…here is what those look like…

    It’s basically a little flipper as you can see, and as the air flows by, it orients itself with the airflow by rotating on its little axle…that rotation tells the angle of attack instrumentation in the cockpit just what this very important angle of attack is…the MCAS system uses these to kick into action…if the angle of attack sensor is saying the airplane is pitched up nose-high, then the MCAS system immediately starts pitching the nose down by means of the trim system that works by adjusting the tailplane [the horizontal tail controls the airplane’s pitch attitude…which is why birds also have tail fathers]

    It’s this AUTOMATIC nose down pitching by the MCAS system that can be dangerous, if it kicks in at the wrong time…like when the airplane has just taken off the runway and is climbing out…the last thing you want is the airplane computer to take control and put the airplane into a NOSEDIVE…

    But this is exactly what can happen when one of those little AOA ‘flippers’ is malfunctioning…the airplane could be in a perfect attitude as the pilot is manually flying it right after takeoff, but all of a sudden that malfunctioning little flipper tells the airplane computer that the airplane nose is much higher than it actually is, and that the airplane is about to stall [ie lose lift from its wing, due to an excessive angle of attack]…

    The computer takes over the airplane and puts it into a nosedive…having just taken off, you are not high enough to have much room for error…the Lion Air crew had ocean beneath them and they fought the airplane for a number of up and down rollercoaster rides…they would pull back on the control yoke to bring the plane out of the dive, but that computer would just nose the airplane over again…

    It’s worth noting that in previous versions of 737s the automatic trim would disengage as soon as you pulled or pushed on the yoke…but since that would defeat the function of MCAS, it doesn’t work that way on the MAX…one can see how the human factors chain is now starting to get very dicey…the Ethiopian crew had mountains all around [airport elevation over 7,000 ft and they never go5t more than 1,000 ft above terrain]…it’s easy to see how such a system nosediving the plane at this very moment could be something that no crew could possibly recover from in time…an airliner is not a kite that it can turn on a dime…once it is headed nose down it could be all over very quickly…

    So back to those little flippers that sense the airplane’s angle of attack…it would seem that since there are two of them, that if one is not worming, the computer would switch to the other one…well guess what…the geniuses that designed this system DID NOT DO THIS…apparently the system was never designed to switch from a malfunctioning AOA sensor, to the second backup one…that is quite incredible folks…[I still need to confirm this bit of information which is why I didn’t include it in my original comment…but the indications are that this is the ‘software ‘fix’ that has been ordered by the FAA]

    So this is the bang-up job that Boeing has done with the MAX…I expect that in due time we will hear from Boeing engineers and test pilots that they had qualms or even full blown objections to many of these design decisions…but time will tell if those people have the guts to step forward…

    So just to sum up, it is pretty incredible that the computer system that has been applied as a duct tape fix for an unstable airplane is not even designed to use a backup sensor in case of a malfunction…even folks that design crock pots are able to deliver a product that does not blow up in your face…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Dieter Kief
  271. FB says: • Website
    @Factorize

    ‘The 737 MAX doesn’t look right even from a casual glance. Simply slide the engines under the wings and then just jack up the plane with longer legs.’

    Well…basically this is true…however when you get into the nitty gritty, putting a bigger landing gear on the airplane requires all kinds of other changes…so you are basically redesigning the airplane…might as well start with a clean sheet…

    Here’s what I mean…that bigger landing gear is going to weigh more which is always a bad thing…but also it will need to be attached to a stronger structure…since the longer gear now has a longer moment arm and will produce more torque loads at the point where it attaches…so that beefed up structure now adds even more weight…

    At some point you might think about another approach…such as designing the wing in a kind of gull-wing profile, where it first sweeps up to a high point where you attach the engines…and then it curves back down toward the tips…you can see on the A350 how that looks…

    So with that new wing the 737 could really be brought up to date and made even more efficient, but of course we have long since passed into clean sheet territory…Boeing obviously didn’t want to bother with earning money the honest way…it’s so much easier to slap lipstick on a pig and call it a day…

  272. Lazarus says:
    @Biff

    “It doesn’t even need to be an airplane. Baby formula will do.”

    Stupid comment from another “America is great” ignoramus.

    The China milk scandal happened over 10 years ago, around the same time as the 2008 financial crisis. Remember that? Where not a single American involved in the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression was charged, jailed or fined. As for the China milk scandal, here is a summary (Wikipedia) of what happened in China to those responsible for putting $$ ahead of safety:

    Sanlu GM Tian was charged under Articles 144 and 150 of the criminal code.[65] A spokesman for the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department said police had arrested 12 milk dealers and suppliers who allegedly sold contaminated milk to Sanlu, and six people were charged with selling melamine. Three hundred kg of suspicious chemicals, including 223 kg of melamine, were confiscated.[66] Among those arrested were two brothers who ran a milk collection centre in Hebei for allegedly supplying three tonnes of adulterated milk daily to the dairy;[67] the owner of another collection centre which resold seven tons of milk a day to Sanlu, was arrested, and his operation was shut down.[17]
    Zhang Yujun (alias Zhang Haitao), a former dairy farmer from Hebei, produced more than 600 tons of a “protein powder” mixture of melamine and maltodextrin from September 2007 to August 2008. He and eight other traders, dairy farm owners and milk purchasers who bought the powder from him were arrested in early October, bringing the total to 36.[68]
    During the week of 22 December 2008, 17 people involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine in raw milk went on trial. Tian Wenhua, former Sanlu general manager, and three other company executives appeared in court in Shijiazhuang, charged with producing and selling milk contaminated with melamine. According to Xinhua, Tian pleaded guilty, and told the court she learned about the tainted milk complaints from consumers in mid-May. She then apparently headed a working team to handle the case, but did not report to the Shijiazhuang city government until 2 August.[69]
    The Intermediate People’s Court in Shijiazhuang sentenced Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping to death, and Tian Wenhua to life in prison, on 22 January 2009.[70] Zhang was convicted for producing 800 tons of the contaminated powder, Geng for producing and selling toxic food. Geng Jinping managed a milk production center which supplied milk to Sanlu Group and other dairies.[71] The China Daily reported Geng had knelt on the courtroom floor and begged the victim’s families for forgiveness during the trial. The court also sentenced Sanlu deputy general managers Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi to fifteen years and eight years in jail, respectively, and former manager Wu Jusheng to five years.[72] Several defendants have appealed.[73]
    Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping were executed on 24 November 2009.[74]

    • Replies: @Biff
  273. Looking at the engine from the perspective in this photo makes it obvious that the crucial laminar airflow along the top wing surface could more easily become locally disrupted in certain situations during flight (steep ascent at take-off, tight turning, or strong turbulence); the resulting perturbations would tend to propagate to surrounding surface regions, inducing potential stalling characteristics.

    When one considers that such a design was actually proposed and pursued by Boeing, then approved by the FAA and other authorities, and the aircraft then ordered and delivered hundreds of times, it is truly astonishing that the charade continued for so long up to this point.

    This emerging scandal is another lesson in the continued validity of the emperor without clothes fairy tale by Andersen. Once the public realizes this elementary design flaw, almost nobody will ever want to fly in this jet. The existing models can then be scrapped and sold for their spare parts.

  274. @James Forrestal

    Just one problem with that. If the keeping quiet about the significance of the changes , not being “more open” was primarily to facilitate prompt certification what was to stop them warning pilots and their employers once certification was obtained?

    Was it just that they would have to tell airlines that their pilots would have to be retrained? If it wasn’t actually the case that the Max would have to be treated as if it was a completely new aircraft (and that seems unlikely unless the cockpit layout and instruments had been significantly changed) why couldn’t Boeing have relied on pilots’ sense of self-preservation and targeted them with the specific idea that they should spend a few hours acquainting themselves with and learning to handle the changes?

    • Replies: @James Forrestal
  275. @AnonFromTN

    “zero predictive value”
    Let’s get our not picking right. If you know that the population of a country is 95 per cent Muslim and you advertise a run of the mill jib it would be reasonable of you to predict that the applicant whose letter you are about to open is Muslim.
    Und so writer…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  276. @Been_there_done_that

    Yes. The rot goes very far up (but that shouldn’t be surprising at this stage).

  277. res says:
    @Anonymous

    Pilots do not need to have an IQ much over 100.

    Perhaps they do not “need” to, but the US Air Force seems to find differently.
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.849.6304&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    The tendency of pilots to have superior general intelligence is well documented. Studies of UPT students find the average IQ to be around 120, more than one standard deviation above average and in the high average range (King & Flynn, 1995; Retzlaff & Gibertini, 1988). Similarly, a study of Air National Guard F16 pilots’ Multi-dimensional Aptitude Battery (MAB) scores demonstrated superior intellectual functioning (Flynn, Sipes, Grosenbach, & Ellsworth, 1994).

    Nevertheless, specific cognitive measures have been found to provide little additional predictive ability beyond general intelligence measures. Olea and Ree’s (1994) pilot training study found little difference between the predictive efficiency of specific ability or job knowledge (s) and general cognitive abilities (psychometric g). These researchers conclude that general cognitive ability is the best overall predictor of job and training performance (Olea & Ree, 1994). Another study comparing the results from a multiple aptitude cognitive test and psychomotor battery found high average multiple correlations implying that psychomotor tests could provide only small additions in validity to cognitive measures (Ree & Carretta, 1994).

    Any evidence for the following as relates to IQ? I think you are more observing a correlation with arrogance.

    In fact very high IQ people tend to have the most problems learning to fly. Any flight instructor of much experience will tell you housewives and truck drivers are their easiest students, surgeons and trial lawyers the worst.

  278. FB says: • Website
    @Been_there_done_that

    Thanks for that picture…yes on that engine sitting in that position disturbing the airflow over the wing…just imagine what is happening with the airflow as that airplane is pitched up in a nose-high angle…that big engine sitting up high like that is going to be BLOCKING THE AIRFLOW from even going over that wing…

    A similar phenomenon occurred decades ago with twinjet aircraft that had their engines mounted in the back of the fuselage and used a T-tail to get the tailplane out of the way of the jet blast…only problem was that at high angles of attack, those engine nacelles blocked nearly all airflow over the tail, which made it impossible to recover the airplane, since the tail had no authority with no air flowing over it…this was called a deep stall and could be unrecoverable…

    This affected the DC9 which had the aft engines and T-tail…of course that was before flight computers so the Douglas Aircraft Company was required by the FAA to make sure that the airplane could recover from a stall…at this point in time we have ‘progressed’ to a situation where the iphone mentality prevails…software can simply be used as a quick fix for aerodynamic problems…I don’t expect things to actually get better…btw Airbus is no better, but I don’t have time to get into that now…

    • Replies: @Been_there_done_that
  279. @FB

    Excellent readable explanation there. I was talking to a Boeing 737 pilot today – he went over some of this. He did not know about the optional indication that will warn when this extra down trim movement due to software (even with the autopilot off) is in progress, as he does not fly this MAX variant.

    The Lion Air crash pilots worked to overpower the down-trim, or just manually (well, it’s electric but with the usual switch) trim up against it, as the MCAS was working against erroneous data. There were some circuit breakers that the pilots should have memorized to be pulled in this situation, or or any stabilizer trim runaway. However, it’s one thing to remain calm and collected even with an engine fire or something very bad, but if you are in the middle of working to stop this thing from diving toward the ground, then it’s not easy to get your brain in the mode of “what exactly is happening, and what was I taught about this.” An indicator to show that this MCAS is in operation could have saved them.

  280. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    In discussing this it is interesting to read Wolfgang Langewiesche’s 1944 book , Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying

    Unfortunately it’s impossible to copy the essential pictures and text, but it talks about “the instrument that isn’t there”, essentially a “pitch string” that worked like a yaw string on a sailplane, or a jet with unobstructed overcanopy airflow. (The Army always used a yaw string in its early and short time operating the T-37, and the U-2 crews still do as well. ) To make such a thing work, the illustrations showed a long pole mounted like a modern test probe boom, but more awkwardly, so to be out of the propeller’s disturbed airflow. That was a predecessor of the modern AOA system and it’s interesting that he figured this out in 1944.

    The book is well worth reading as literature even by people who have no interest in flying, much like the John Muir book on VW maintenance for people who will never work on or drive an air cooled VW.

    (ISBN 978-0-07-036240-6) is a book written in 1944 by Wolfgang Langewiesche, describing how airplanes fly and how they should be flown by pilots. It has become a standard reference text for aviators. Written well before the proliferation of cockpit electronics, navigational aids, and air traffic control radio, the book focuses primarily on fundamental skills specific to flying the aircraft in its stripped down basic form.

    An interesting synopsis:

    In 1944 aviation writer and test pilot Wolfgang Langewiesche wrote Stick and Rudder, a primer about flying that was destined to become a classic of aviation literature.

    His book has never been out of print since that time, and for good reason; it is a “how to” manual that provides clear explanations from a pilot’s viewpoint of, as Langewiesche calls it, the art of flying. Stick and Rudder is reportedly in its 70th printing.
    My first reading of Langewiesche’s book was an eye-opener; I wished I had read Stick and Rudder before, rather than after, my primary flight training. Doing so would no doubt have expedited my journey up the learning curve.

    It is no secret that aircraft were built and flown well before the theoretical underpinnings of flight were fully understood. Of course, by 1944 subsonic flight was well understood, but the misconceptions, falsehoods and bromides from an earlier time were still prevalent in civil aviation. And those things were killing people.

    Stick and Rudder set things straight—it conveyed aeronautical knowledge in a way that pilots could use on a day-to-day basis, and it did so at a time when a large percentage of aviation accidents resulted from fundamental misunderstandings of the why and how of flying.

    Today’s conventional aircraft fly just as they did 60 years ago, and the concepts that Stick and Rudder so successfully conveys are as applicable today as they were then. As the author put it, his book is “an attempt to refocus ‘theory of flight’ away from things that the pilot does not need to know about, and upon the things that actually puzzle him while he flies.”

    The German-born Langewiesche— who while living in the Chicago area during the 1930s became fascinated by aviation and sold his car to pay for flying lessons—employed his considerable skills as a writer and also an academic (he had formerly been enrolled at the London School of Economics) to distill the bare essence of aerodynamic theory and aircraft handling in this innovative manual.

    Look at how he handles the frequent hangar-flying debate about how a wing produces lift:

    Perhaps you also remember the rather highbrow concept of circulation— how (in a manner of speaking, at least) the air flows around the wing, forward under the wing’s bottom surface, and back over its top surface; and how in doing so, creates lift. Forget that, too. It, too, is no doubt true, though of course an abstraction; and it is no doubt useful knowledge for engineers. For a pilot it, too, is useless knowledge: it, too, can be actually harmful if it is allowed to obscure the simpler fundamental fact of flight. The main fact of all heavier-than-air flight is this: the wing keeps the airplane up by pushing air down.

    Langewiesche continues this approach in describing all phases of flight, acknowledging its complexities but providing actionable explanations for pilots—and in the process making a profound contribution to safer aviation.

    To be sure, the physics of flight are complicated, and the study of its intricacies is fascinating. There are, of course, many more recent works that ably cover the subject in formidable detail.

    But that’s not what Stick and Rudder is about. Instead, it’s about how to fly an airplane. And it is arguably the best book of its kind.

    Originally published in the March 2008 issue of Aviation History.

  281. Biff says:
    @Lazarus

    I was agreeing with the premise that if China had produced the planes the media would treat the issue completely different. Ron Unz has a great article on exactly that dichotomy:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-mass-deaths-and-morning-newspapers/

  282. @CanSpeccy

    But it’s not just greed. Not corporate greed anyhow. More like rogue management betting the future of the company for the sake of their bonuses and share options.

    How is that not just greed? Corporate greed, personal greed, both would seem to be, um… greed?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  283. @FB

    “…btw Airbus is no better…”

    By comparison, the corresponding Airbus A320-neo design for this particular engine looks acceptable.

    Many airlines that had ordered the 737-MAX will be switching to this model, or maybe the Bombardier / Airbus A220 model, with reliable PW1000G (geared turbofan) engine, which is also fuel efficient and more quiet due to reduced fan speed.

    • Replies: @FB
  284. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @NoseytheDuke

    How is that not just greed?

    I was trying to make a distinction between corporations that gouge their clientele, e.g., by monopolistic practices or by substituting and inferior product in place of what the customer bargained for, versus the greed of individual corporate executives who aim to maximize their personal remuneration, over the relatively short period of time during which they will remain in the service of the company, without regard for the long-term well-being of the company.

    The latter can be highly destructive of a company’s value, as for example, when engineers or managers take a chance on a dodgy product that, if it fails, will destroy the company, but if it works for the time being, will earn the execs responsible their bonuses and share options without providing the responsible service they owe to he company.

    The distinction may seem subtle, but it is not unimportant. Corporate executives can, for their own short-term gain, readily undermine the value of the company they work for. For example, the deficiencies of the 737MAX were presumably obvious to Boeing’s top management. But they appear to have decided that this poorly designed update of an old plane would maximize short-term profits and hence executive remuneration, and the Hell with the long-term health of the company.

    Certainly, that appears to have been the thinking on the seemingly totally inadquate MCAS solution to the instability of the design. And if luck had been with those responsible, they’d have got away with the gamble. Only another month and the new improved and perhaps reliable MCAS system would have been in place and no one would have been any the wiser as to the cause of the Lion Air crash or the hazards to which Boeing had, for months, exposed air crews and passengers alike.

    But the Ethiopian Airlines crash almost certainly means a very heavy penalty for the company, as the result the fundamentally irresponsible and unethical behavior of management.

    • Replies: @Biff
  285. @Wizard of Oz

    Having reading comprehension problems? I said that Bell curve has zero predictive value in INDIVIDUAL cases. So, in your example with a 95% Muslim country one out of 20 would be non-Muslim, and your “prediction” in that INDIVIDUAL case would fail. Or, based an average white person IQ (no matter what it measures), your predictions would fail in case of every individual with high or low IQ. If that isn’t clear, I can’t help.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  286. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Yes Shute’s autobio. “Slide Rule” is surely worth a read. Must look for a used copy on Amazon.

    Shute was with a subsidiary of Vickers Armstrong during the 1920’s when they built the R100 airship, designed by Barnes Wallis, with Shute as the the senior stress engineer.

    The ship was taken out of service after the R101 crashed and burned (because Lord Thompson, UK Secretary of State for Air, insisted on taking about ten tons of personal effects for a voyage to India, thereby overloading the ship), which was driven into the terrain by wind and the weight of water absorbed by the envelope during a storm over France.

  287. By-tor says:

    After the Indonesian Lion Air crash following takeoff on Oct. 29, 2018, the FAA was evaluating the same MCAS sensor default override that FB described above:

    ” Three former Boeing flight control experts were startled by the FAA’s description last week of the new MAX system. In an airworthiness directive, the FAA cited an analysis by Boeing that “if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands” that will swivel the plane’s horizontal tail to pitch the nose downward.”

    ” The fact that the plane’s nose could be automatically and repeatedly pushed down due to one false signal shocked Peter Lemme, a former Boeing flight controls engineer, who said it looks like a design flaw.”

    “To contemplate commanding the (horizontal tail to pitch the jet) nose down clearly is a major concern. For it to have been triggered by something as small as a sensor error is staggering,” Lemme said. “It means somebody didn’t do their job. There’s going to be hell to pay for that.”

    “Likewise, Dwight Schaeffer, a former Boeing electronics engineer and senior manager who oversaw development of systems, including the 737’s stall management computer, said the brief description in the FAA’s airworthiness directive “blows me away.”

    “Usually you never have a single fault that can put you in danger,” said Schaeffer. “I’ve never seen any such system.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/faa-evaluates-a-potential-design-flaw-on-boeings-737-max-after-lion-air-crash/

    No airline with its future in mind is going to keep these things. Another body shot to neo-liberal transgender Uncle Scamantha.

  288. Biff says:
    @CanSpeccy

    But the Ethiopian Airlines crash almost certainly means a very heavy penalty for the company,

    Maybe, or maybe not? A related topic of how different governments, and it’s media minions treat corporate malfeasance is discussed in this Ron Unz article:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-mass-deaths-and-morning-newspapers/

    It will be interesting how it plays out in the near future, if there will be any punitive actions at all against a corporation that produced a flawed design on the cheap that resulted in deaths of hundreds.

  289. @FB

    Thanks – James Thompson’s blog beats all other information sources I know of in this case. He sparked it off!

    It’s a sad subject, but maybe this is a sane reason to try to get the facts straight. It’s really a pleasure to see this act of collective enlightenment unfolding here.

    And it is extremely interesting. Creepy at times, bone-chilling at others.

    (I pity the poor journalists, who – if they did their best, would just sit down and copy this stuff, pinned down here – and at other blogs, where something alike might have happened, too).

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  290. @Been_there_done_that

    Previously I wrote:

    “…the aircraft then ordered and delivered hundreds of times, it is truly astonishing that the charade continued for so long…”

    Following up on this thought, the implication is that any airline that has already taken delivery or even ordered this specific model must truly be a sucker airline, also intent on cutting corners, as was Boeing, or whose buyers lacked technical sophistication or a sense of responsibility and foresight.

    Luckily, there happens to be a list of these airlines on Wikipedia, which I had not yet checked when I submitted my earlier comment. One might consider it a list of sucker airlines to avoid flying with in the future. Check it out before it gets heavily edited:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boeing_737_MAX_orders_and_deliveries

    Of the five remaining U.S. legacy air carriers, only Delta and Hawaiian do not appear on this list. Serious European airlines are also absent from the list, such as IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling), Air France KLM Group (including Transavia), Lufthansa Group (including Swiss, Austrian, Eurowings, Brussels, Air Dolomiti), Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Alitalia, TAP Air Portugal, Aegean Airlines, Finnair, Air Baltic, Air Malta, Croatia Airlines. Popular Asian airlines, such as Emirates, Japan Airlines, ANA, Thai Airways, and others, are also missing, to their credit.

    Since the European airlines who avoided the 737 MAX do not like competition from their cheap European low-cost sucker competitors on this list (Ryanair, Icelandair, Norwegian, TUI, LOT), it is reasonable to presume that this jet type may be permanently banned from European airspace, no matter what software upgrade Boeing may want to introduce. Under such a scenario, those MAX jets now on the ground in Europe would become subject to careful dismantling (cannibalization) for their useful parts, foremost the LEAP engines.

  291. @res

    Thanks for your helpful references. Good to have you as a commentator.

  292. @Dieter Kief

    Thank you for your kind words. There have been excellent comments on my post, which I have enjoyed reading. I will try to write a note about all this.

    Last night dining with family I learned I was in fact arguing most of this immediately after the Lion Air crash. I had forgotten that, and will check my diary and any written notes made at the time.

    To be very clear, I have not argued that it was pilot error, but Boeing error. Pilots vary in ability, and may vary in ability between airlines. I am sure that intelligence it part of it, but cockpits are no place for badly designed intelligence test items. You should not have a plane which repeatedly dives because of one faulty indicator. That is criminal.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  293. @James Thompson

    I

    Yes, a criminal Boing error.

    II

    Last night dining with family I learned I was in fact arguing most of this immediately after the Lion Air crash. I had forgotten that, and will check my diary and any written notes made at the time.

    Some thoughts in no special order

    Questions of life and death affect us – you said you are “normally a fan of Boing” – that shows, just how many emotions were around for you. Now – emotions and clear thinking are not the closest allies. – That’s one reason, why we forget things – as it happened to you.*****

    I just mentioned Hans Magnus Enzensergers (brilliant!) essay Civil Wars this morning here on unz.com. In it, Enzensberger says, that we, whenever we talk about matters of life and death neighboring our daily lives, such as civil wars, we are in a state of mind already, which affects us deeply and threatens (stresses) our thoughts (propels them beyond our means, here and there, even).

    – This is one good reason, why this kind of existential problems needs both: Sober and focused intellectuals, who are willing to – as objectively as possible – tackle the subject. And (and!) public forums to help us overcome our individual restrictions in a fair debate.
    There is no other way than a fair (and mostly unrestricted) debate to get out of the idiosyncrasies of our private selves (that’s the Habermas part in here, explained in all possible clarity in Truth and Justification).

    Bob Dylan knew interesting things to say about this territory too (a question in your nerves is lit … uh – – – I love this phrase) – and Dylan makes family references in this context – just as you do…

    You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice, unclear
    Startles your sleeping ears to hear
    That somebody thinks they really found you
    A question in your nerves is lit
    Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
    Insure you not to quit
    To keep it in your mind and not fergit
    That it is not he or she or them or it
    That you belong to

    *****
    with this remark, I do not intend to explain something to you, but rather make my argument clear for all kinds of readers

  294. denk says:
    @wayfarer

    Really ?

    yet you have faith in uncle sham, the no1 serial lying scumbag, of all people ??

  295. FB says: • Website
    @Been_there_done_that

    When I said Airbus is no better, I meant in their approach to computerization…up until MCAS I much preferred the Boeing philosophy towards automation that was a more measured approach…ie you could always tell what the computer was doing because the flight controls would move in the same way as if commanded by the pilot…

    With Airbus, you have sidesticks that aren’t cross-linked…if the copilot moves stick back the captain’s stick doesn’t move in synchrony as it should…in the AF447 crash the copilot flying the plane was holding stick all the way back [according to the official story at least], but the captain didn’t even realize that since the stick gave him no cues as to what the other guy was doing with it…of course he was distracted too since the pitot tubes that sense airspeed had somehow iced over…in an Airbus you always hear ‘what’s it doing it now…?’ in reference to the computer…

    Also they have been just as bad for blaming pilots for problems with the airplane…the most blatant case being AF296 the very first flight of the very first all digital fly by wire aircraft in 1988 the new [at the time] A320…it was a demo flight with a low pass over an airfield in France…Capt Asseline applied power to go around but the computer refused to spool the engine due to being programmed to not allow engine power if the airplane was in ‘descent mode’ close to the ground…there was of course video of that low pass and it is crystal clear that the engines had plenty of time to spool…but the French aviation authorities, in obvious cahoots with Airbus, blamed Capt. Asseline for supposedly not pushing the throttles forward soon enough…a complete lie…they ruined Capt Asseline’s life [he survived but was pilloried] and the conspirators even doctored the flight data recorder…

    So no, it’s the same story with Airbus…just different actors…corruption due to big money is the culprit and people should not have illusions about that…

  296. FB says: • Website
    @res

    Yeah what ‘anonymous’ said is pure bullshit…not that I put much stock in the pseudoscience of IQ testing [it’s mostly a corporate business]…but being a good aviator requires intelligence and hand-eye coordination…most important it requires good judgement…something that I don’t believe there is any kind of multiple choice test for…

  297. @iffen

    Why don’t we see more of your articles on the UR? Did you refuse to put in a f*** ‘dem Jews paragraph?

    First we had Putin Derangement Syndrome.

    Then we had Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    Now we have Unz Derangement Syndrome.

    Congrats Ron.

  298. @CanSpeccy

    You’re using “racist” as a negative term as far as I can tell. Especially given that you preceded this with a dubious anti-IQ rant.

    Racism is objectively correct and should not be a pejorative.

    Appropriate usage: “The Unz Review provides an unmatched forum for gifted racist thinkers to enlighten a world consumed by equalist darkness.

  299. @Matra

    BTW what is it with American defensiveness regarding Boeing? I see this all the time. Patriotards are so easily manipulated.

    Boeing is one of our most important enterprises and one of few remaining areas in manufacturing where we are globally competitive. It also has a storied history.

    Defensiveness is to be expected.

  300. wayfarer says:
    @FB

    Again thanks FB, for sharing your knowledge.

    Some may find the following of interest, as it relates to the 737 MAX design flaws.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_MAX

    Aerodynamics of Flying Wings

    • Replies: @FB
    , @James Thompson
  301. @Anonymous

    Yes, I and I do know where most light-GA airplane mechanics would tell you to get an alternator from! It almost rhymes with NASA, haha

    .The death of GA has been a disaster, and one mostly related to the demise of the middle class and the spoiled contractor status of the major GA manufacturers and their suppliers.

    I was just writing almost the exact same thing just yesterday
    under iSteve (Steve Sailer’s) blog here on unz. What really started the demise of G/A in earnest was the high Avgas (and all fuel, for that matter) prices by the mid 00’s. I saw it all first hand. By the time fuel came down, the economy of late ’08 and beyond was just too weak, and exactly, the evisceration of the middle class.

    Many would not understand that the upper middle class to even lower middle-class (had a flight instructor who lived off of rice and Top (not regular!) Ramen noodles, and he wasn’t a young guy either – the money had to go into the 150, as it was his baby) was the bulk of G/A flyers. People may just think of guys like JFK Jr. and such.

  302. @CanSpeccy

    Three reasons:

    1 – Desire by American commenters to shift the blame from Boeing to the airlines in question

    2 – Inappropriate generalizations (note–I am not saying that generalization is inappropriate in general) about the expected intelligence of the populations in question applying to the airlines in question. To this I’d add underestimation of Ethiopian and Indonesian intelligence.

    3 – Blank slatist and IQ denialist rubbish from commenters like yourself who incorrectly believe racism is wrong (it is in fact objectively correct). In fairness to you and other commenters pursuing this incorrect angle (e.g. AnonFromTN) it’s in response to nonsense from other commenters about Boeing’s culpability. It’s still not acceptable as shown by Reiner Tor, who is able to push back against these commenters without resorting to equalist nonsense.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  303. @AnonFromTN

    Arthur Jensen gave a pretty good answer more than 20 years ago.

    There are also some things that can be measured easily which reflect intelligence. Visual acuity, reaction time, and brain size all come to mind.

    The WORDSUM variable in the GSS of course is confounded by “culture”, but it’s something very easily measured and obviously reflective of intelligence.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  304. There’s no question that there are differences in intelligence between different national/racial groups and that IQ is a reasonable metric (necessarily limited as all metrics are). Claims otherwise are just ideological head-burying. Having said that, it has little to do with what happened here, which is just as clearly Boeing’s (and the FAA’s) culpability.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  305. FB says: • Website
    @wayfarer

    This is the problem with wikipedia…it attracts basic morons as ‘editors’ and more often than not the info is totally bogus…your link provides an example…here is what the wikipedia article says in regard to MCAS…

    ‘The system is deactivated when a pilot trims the aircraft using a switch on the yoke.’

    That is ABSOLUTELY FALSE… the MCAS CANNOT be disengaged by either pulling back on the yoke, or by commanding thumb button trim…both of these actions worked to disengage the conventional auto-trim that is present in previous 737s [and in almost all transport category aircraft and is not a problem in itself]…

    But the MCAS doesn’t work that way as I already explained in my original post because disengaging it with basic pilot control input would defeat its purpose…

    THE ONLY WAY TO SHUT THIS FRANKENSTEIN SYSTEM OFF IS TO CUT ELECTRICAL POWER TO IT USING THE TRIM CUTOUT SWITCHES…

    Here is the Boeing Bulletin that was added to the Flight Crew Operations Manual…

    This was ordered by the FAA to be inserted into the pilot manual AFTER the Indonesian crash last November…notice what it says…

    The nose down stabilizer trim movement can be stopped and reversed with the use of the electric stabilizer trim switches but may restart 5 seconds after the switches are released. Repetitive cycles of uncommanded nose down stabilizer continue to occur unless the stabilizer trim system is deactivated through use of both STAB TRIM CUTOUT switches…

    Here is where those two switches are located…notice that BOTH have to be turned off, not just one…this cuts the electrical power to the entire trim system and is the only way to shut off MCAS in an emergency situation…

    Notice also that those switches are ‘guarded’ meaning they have little guard housings on top of them that must be manually lifted up before the switch can be flipped…this is to prevent accidentally flipping a switch…

    I am drawing attention to this because this is a big part of the problem and is key to understanding the Ethiopian crash…where w have a lot of people saying that the pilots should have known to flip those switches, since Boeing made that clear after the Indonesia crash [before which pilots did not even know about the existence of MCAS, never mind how to shut it off].

    I have mentioned already that HAAB is at an elevation of over 7,000 ft above sea level…and the airplane never got 1,000 feet above terrain…an airliner diving nose down 1,000 feet happens in the blink of an eye…put yourself in the shoes of those two young pilots…you first wrestle the airplane back from its nosedive…then you are supposed unguard those TWO SWITCHES and flip them…all the while making sure the airplane does not nosedive again, because now you may be very close to the ground already…

    This is pure Boeing misinformation…this is one of the most powerful companies in the known universe…as a certain dummy here has approvingly pointed out already…they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on information management…

    But despite all this full on press in the information sphere, the common sense of ordinary folks is prevailing…I have often said that the so-called elite underestimate the intelligence of ordinary folks and think they can just keep bullshitting forever…that’s not going to work…

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  306. O.K.
    Conclusion of the laik.
    (Very long time ago I have also designed the mechanical links of controls to simulators.)
    Title of the article is correct.
    So what it is all about?
    There were some accident where overconfident pilots fully engaged flaps too soon, nose lifted up too much and tale hit the ground and damaged the aircraft also runway.
    (Flaps are those narrow pivoting plates alongside the back of the wings.) If the flaps go down nose go up. If the flaps go up nose go down.) This is done by old fashioned linkage from pilots lever to the flaps. ( I do not know the design on this particular aircraft But already at those days mechanical linkage was being replaced by hydraulic movement or transducers (electric cylinders )
    So if some device was introduced to limit the angle of flaps going down that device should automatically disable itself at certain height

    I did not have a time to read previous comments so please excuse me if somebody did mention this before

  307. @Thorfinnsson

    The main problem with measuring intelligence is that there are different kinds of it, so we end up comparing apples and oranges. Say, some people are outstanding chess players, but have little to no creativity and are total morons in many things requiring intelligence. Others are bad at chess, but good at creative thinking. I am not even talking about artistic ability (as I have none myself), which is a whole different ball game.

    Other than IQ measures are just as problematic. E.g., computers beat any human in reaction speed, but their creativity is as close to zero as makes no difference. Some genetic idiots had huge brains, whereas some pretty intelligent people had fairly small ones (e.g., Russian writer Turgenev). I am pretty sure that TN drivers have brains anatomically, but their behavior on the road suggests that their brains aren’t functional.

    Having served for several years on the Admission Committee of our grad program, I know from experience that GPA and GRE scores are poor predictors of grad student success in science (I mean biochemistry and cell biology, where the speed of reaction matters a lot less than real understanding and genuine creativity). These problems are not even related to cultural issues, which add another layer of inadequacy to standardized tests. Say, in Russian culture multiple choice tests are considered good for idiots, whereas in the US most tests people rely on are multiple choice. Go figure.

    Basically, I have no doubt that IQ test measures something, but we don’t know what exactly. The same goes for all other tests. You also have to keep in mind that correlation of 0.3-0.4 can be statistically significant on large data sets, but even correlation of 0.9 does not mean predictive value in individual cases.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  308. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Blank slatist and IQ denialist rubbish from commenters like yourself who incorrectly believe racism is wrong (it is in fact objectively correct).

    You don’t quote me on that do you — because you can’t.

    I have a good grounding in evolutionary theory (see my correction of Fred Reed’s Unz Review brainfart about evolution), which means, obviously, that I clearly recognize the existence of human racial variation, including at least potentially, variation in intellectual and personality traits. Furthermore, I am a strong advocate for diversity, which is to say the preservation of racial diversity, as opposed to the mongrelization of humanity through mass migration (to the West) and multiculturalism. Hence my blog piece: Virtuous Racism, which begins with a quote from Rudyard Kipling:

    A man should, whatever happens, keep to his own caste, race and breed.
    Let the White go to the White and the Black to the Black.

    Rudyard Kipling (Beyond the Pale, in Plain Tales From the Hills)

    Clearly, by using the term virtuous racism, I believe that racism can be reprehensible. I find particularly reprehensible the kind of KuKluxish racism of some commenters at Unz.com who, for example, idiotically suppose that a person’s intelligence can be assessed based on the color of their skin.

    So, in future, try not to insult people on the basis of your own purely imagined and generally misconceived ideas concerning their beliefs.

    • Replies: @James Forrestal
  309. @Beefcake the Mighty

    Good point. This is not about the intelligence (or lack thereof) of pilots, this is about greed of Boeing and its greed-driven deception, as well as collusion between Boeing and FAA.

  310. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    Good comment, but if I may make a minor correction:

    Some genetic idiots had huge brains, whereas some pretty intelligent people had fairly small ones (e.g., Russian writer Turgenev).

    In fact, Turgenev’s brain was found at autopsy to be remarkably large, weighing about two kilograms, or about 60% larger than Einstein’s brain.

    However, in Turgenev’s field of endeavor, the Nobel Prize winning novelist, Anatole France, is reported to have had a quite small brain, about one kilogram, which nevertheless evidently worked well at spinning words.

    And then there’s the interesting case of the man with practically no brain at all, who was the subject of an article in Science. This indivudual had suffered from hydrocephaly with the result that his cerebral cortex was crushed to a layer only a millimeter or so in depth, yet he had an IQ of 120, was quite normal socially, and graduated with a degree in mathematics. hence the title of the article:

    Is Your Brain Really Necessary.

    And you mention that:

    in Russian culture multiple choice tests are considered good for idiots

    which reminds one that IQ testing started out precisely for the purpose of assessing the mentally challenged. Specifically, Binet’s intelligence test was created to detect mental deficiency, not measure intelligence.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  311. @CanSpeccy

    Thanks for correction! I might have named wrong individual, but the point stands: the size of the brain does not predict its functionality. Neither does any test.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  312. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    the point stands: the size of the brain does not predict its functionality. Neither does any test.

    Absolutely.

    And we can also agree that Turgenev was pretty good, as was Einstein, despite the mediocre size of his cranium!

  313. wayfarer says:

    “Boeing 737 MAX Stall Escape Maneuver.”

    “Boeing 737 MAX, LionAir Update.”

  314. @AaronB

    Not quite. See #239

    • Replies: @AaronB
  315. Clyde says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    100 or so DB Coopers bailing from a 727. I’ll bet this skydiving is illegal today.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  316. O. K experts!
    CNN just quoted French investigators.
    ” In both crashed airplanes the jack screw was set to nose down.”
    Everybody knows what jack screw is, but what is its function on aircraft?

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  317. wayfarer says:
    @FB

    “Keep It Simple, Stupid”

    A design principle which states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. Therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. The phrase has been associated with Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk_Works

    Just wondering, which fighter-aircraft engineering philosophy would you choose?

    American Fighter Jets vs Russian Fighter Jets

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  318. AaronB says:
    @reiner Tor

    After reading all the comments here, I have to agree Boeing has been irresponsible.

    However, according to comment #314, shutting down MCAS is as simple as flipping two switches (I had read that it was a complicated multi-step procedure).

    I read that the EA plane had its nose forced down 75 times before it crashed – I do not understand how the pilot, aware of the LA crash a few months before, could have not flipped those switches.

    It reminds of the AF flight going down over the Atlantic. It seems many pilots are not able to retain minimal presence of mind under stress. Airlines should hire only ex-military pilots, who are selected on the basis of ability to remain calm under stress, like El Al.

    Of course, this doesn’t exculpate Boeing, which should design planes that don’t need pilots reacting well under stress, as much as possible.

    Incidentally, the scariest near crash I read about recently was China Airlines flight that plunged 30,000 feet until the pilot was able to regain control. It was a free fall, subjecting everyone on board to as much as 5g, and permanently bending the wings. It happened in the 1980s, after a single engine failure, and the pilot not reacting correctly. (Planes can fly with one engine).

    I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be on that flight. After recovering control, the pilot flew the plane normally and landed.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Erebus
    , @reiner Tor
  319. @wayfarer

    Thanks for these. Good explanations.

    • Replies: @wayfarer
  320. @wayfarer

    I must presume that action of Jack screw is automatic. So the failure looks like Jack screw got jammed in upper position, Square thread is susceptible to jamming if not properly lubricated.
    And also probably the motor that is driving it could be undersized.

  321. AaronB says:

    Anybody here have an explanation for why the plane was going at dangerously high speed, 500 mph?

    • Replies: @FB
  322. wayfarer says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    I’m thinking make it a redundant system, including a backup hand-crank, along with replacing one of the flight attendants, with a grease monkey.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_maintenance_technician

    Have to wonder how the lubricants are functioning at low temperatures?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_(lubricant)

    Grease Freezes Under Low Temperature

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  323. wayfarer says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank-you sir, for all of your interesting literary works.

  324. @wayfarer

    I do not like to criticize but it seems to me that choosing square thread for this application is kind of unfortunate Engineering decision.
    Square threads are used in machine tools where location on moving parts must be bellow one Tau.
    Here should be used trapezoid thread. That is like a square thread but root width is slightly wider that top width of the thread.

    • Replies: @wayfarer
    , @James Thompson
  325. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    ‘However, according to comment #314, shutting down MCAS is as simple as flipping two switches..’

    Un-fucking-believable…

    You just completely mischaracterized the information I presented in #314…I DID NOT say that disconnecting MCAS in an emergency situation was ‘simple’…in fact I went to great lengths to try to convey the EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE…

    Simple would be simply pulling back on the yoke and the MCAS disconnecting, as the auto-trim system does on EVERY OTHER FUCKING AIRPLANE IN THE SKIES…

    Or disconnecting when you use the yoke-mounted trim button [thumb button] to reverse the nose down…THAT WOULD BE FUCKING SIMPLE…

    Trying to regain control of a 100 ton airliner that is 130 feet long and just 1,000 feet off the ground [mountainous terrain surrounding HAAB] that has just gone into a dive would be a WALK IN THE FUCKING PARK FOR YOU I GUESS…?

    The man flying this airplane first has to bring it under control…that’s the first thing you are taught…FLY THE AIRPLANE…TROUBLESHOOT LATER…

    That is a really really stupid comment…unbelievably fucking stupid…really makes me wonder what has to be done to make comments on this board stupid-proof…

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  326. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    ‘Anybody here have an explanation for why the plane was going at dangerously high speed, 500 mph?’

    Because the brilliant Boeing computer nosedived the airplane into the ground…airplanes tend to pick up speed while in an uncontrollable dive…

    • Replies: @AaronB
  327. @Clyde

    Thank you very much for the video, Clyde! I’d only seen stills a long time ago. Your comment was a nice change from some of the anti-American Commie tards on the thread here.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  328. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Please, you seem to know a little bit about power screws, but the engineers had been through all of this with intense thinking probably long before you were born. The speculation on here, and know-it-all-ness is ridiculous.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @wayfarer
    , @Ilyana_Rozumova
  329. Erebus says:
    @AaronB

    After reading all the comments here, I have to agree Boeing has been irresponsible.

    Not just irresponsible, the words “criminally negligent” come to mind. The 737 Max looks now to be a textbook case of corporate marketing objectives over-riding safety engineering imperatives.

    The 737 Max is a series of kluge-jobs, each one hiding behind the next, and each with a marketing objective, as opposed to a safety engineering objective in mind.
    Oversized engines were kluged onto an airframe designed for a different engine. The avionic repercussions of that were then masked by an inadequately engineered, automatic system driven by opaque software whose operation, indeed its very existence was hidden from the operators. The kluges continued through Boeing’s claims that extra training wasn’t necessary, on into the final kluge that hid the whole lot behind the FAA’s stamp of approval as a “derivative” aircraft.

    The reality is that a malfunction in a single component turns the MCAS into a killer. Boeing’s in-house system failure modelling had to have shown that. If it did, or if they didn’t do the work, the decision to forego redundancy and/or embedding error trapping sub-routines in the software looks bad. Very bad.

    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
    • Replies: @AaronB
  330. FB says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Thank you…the commenter you have responded to is squirting her usual diarrhea with complete abandon…there is no reason to think the screw itself malfunctioned…and nobody has actually said anything remotely resembling that…

    The notable thing about the screw that alarmed investigators is that they found it it in the fully-nose down position as far as it could go…which simply tells us that the computer put the airplane into a death dive, again, as everybody suspected…

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  331. wayfarer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster

    Richard Feynman: Challenger Crash O-Ring

    Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster: Ethics Case Study

  332. AaronB says:
    @FB

    No, it was going 500 mph well before it nosedived into the ground, so something else was causing that.

    Does anyone have any ideas about that?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Factorize
  333. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Here’s an idea…you’re profoundly retarded…here is the radar tracking data…notice that the speed keeps going up and peaks as the airplane disappears from radar just before impact…

    Also the groundspeed of the aircraft reaches a maximum of under 400 knots as you can plainly see…

    https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/flightradar24-data-regarding-the-crash-of-ethiopian-airlines-flight-302/

  334. Factorize says:
    @AaronB

    I do not think I have seen this mentioned on the thread: Did they do the bird test with the MCAS? You know toss a bird traveling 200 or more mph at a 737 Max8 (or more correctly for those with animal rights sensitivities a bird-like object) in a wind tunnel and see what would happen to that arm thingy controlling the AOA.

    It says right on the photo in one of the posts above:

    “Caution
    Critical Airflow monitor
    handle with extreme care”

    Think a bird could read and understand that caution while the plane approached it at possibly a few hundred mph? My guess is NO.

    Isn’t this perhaps the most alarming of all possibilities? The MCAS arm could have been working perfectly before take-off, but then if it hit a bird on takeoff (which would not seem that far fetched), the AOA arm could easily become jammed. This has that eerie feeling that it could actually explain what happened. It would be one of those considerations that could be easily overlooked when running simulations on a super-computer.

  335. @wayfarer

    You are comparing apples and oranges. US military aircraft is designed to maximize the profits of the manufacturer. Russian military aircraft is designed to maximize the bang for your buck. Different objectives, different designs.

    Otherwise, how could Russia with a military budget that is less than 10% of the US military budget be repeatedly cited as a threat by American politicians and strategists?

    • Replies: @wayfarer
    , @reiner Tor
  336. FB says: • Website
    @Factorize

    A bird strike right underneath the pilots at 300 mph would be a major event…so no that did not happen…

    Also that angle of attack vane pictured in my comment measures the wing’s angle relative to the airflow…not the aircraft airspeed…there are two of those AOA sensors for redundancy although the bizarre MCAS system has apparently been programmed to only utilize one…but both could be knocked out and the aircraft’s multiple redundant pitot sensors for airspeed would continue to function normally…

    Please note that the moron ‘AaronB’ is spreading false information here… the airplane did not reach 500 mph while climbing out…no passenger jet first of all is capable of that performance…climb is done at a much slower speed than that…this is not a UFO…

    I have shown the speed data for the airplane as recorded by radar tracking in my above comment…this data is broadcast by each aircraft continuously…it is transmitted continuously by radio signal from every aircraft’s ADS-B transponder…this information contains the aircraft’s speed and instantaneous position fix, both of which are computed with the aid of satnav [ie GPS and GLONASS]…

    That is how these radar tracking sites pick up flight data…the radio transmissions that each airplane must make according to regulations contain all that information…the speed data clearly shows that the airplane sped up as it was losing altitude in its dive…

    Here is another plot showing vertical speed in green…

    You can see how the airplane is going up and down like a rollercoaster in terms of vertical speed…note that vertical speed [ie rate of climb or descent] is not the same as altitude…but we see at one point the aircraft descending at a rate of about 2,000 feet per minute…before then pulling back up and climbing again for the last time before disappearing from radar…

  337. AaronB says:
    @Erebus

    It does look bad, but I’d want to learn more.

    So far I learned two things that changed my perspective.

    1) Its easy to shut off MCAS. All you have to do is flip two switches. The aircraft nose went down literally dozens of times, yet the pilots didn’t shut it off.

    2) Its routine to design unstable planes that compensate for that in other ways.

    Now, it does sound crazy that Boeing would link this system to a single sensor, that clearly malfunctions every now and again. But I’d like to understand their reasoning better, because on the face of it it sounds crazy.

    There’s an old saying that remarkable events need remarkable proof to be believable. That a reputable company like Boeing would act with reckless disregard, with the involvement of many people, from engineers to management to CEOs, who all presumably fly, as well as their families, and without anyone in this long chain objecting to this recklessness, needs a decent level of proof to be believable.

    It might be the case, but I’d like to hear more. Its remarkable if it’s the case – so good logic requires I be more cautious.

    Also, the mystery of why the plane was going much faster than was safe before it nosedived has not been addressed.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
    , @Erebus
  338. AaronB says:
    @Factorize

    Good point, but Boeing engineers should factor that possibility in.

    Lion Air however has an extremely low safety rating and poor maintenance record. It does not seem accidental.

    Ethiopian Airlines actually have a good safety record. I flew with them once, from Addis to Cairo.

  339. @Factorize

    “This has that eerie feeling that it could actually explain what happened. “

    If that were the case it would reinforce the need for three such devices (double redundancy), so that the avionics system could “vote” in case of an anomalous signal coming from one of them and respond accordingly. This is standard deign practice for mission critical processes in the field of space technology, even when not a single human life is at stake in case of failure.

    However, we do not even know if that crucial sensor has even been retrieved from the wreckage site.

    Aside from what the (cascading) causes of the crash were, which will be determined months from now, a more practical consideration that also needs to be addressed in the meantime is how best to deal with all the 737 MAX aircraft now grounded at numerous airports, identified in the following link:

    https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/where-the-grounded-737-max-are-stored/

    Note that the biggest sucker is Southwest Airlines, with approximately 35 dysfunctional jets in various locations.

    It is quite likely that these jets will not be allowed to fly with passengers on board if the current engines remain mounted on the wings.

    In light of all the physical design modifications that were made to the prior model in order to compensate for the larger LEAP engines (i.e. different rear cone, front landing gear, etc.), Boeing engineers will have to determine the extent of all the changes that need to be implemented for certifiably safe flight operations if these jets are to be retrofitted with smaller engines, from the previous fuel efficiency generation, that would allow sufficient clearance below the leading edges of the wings.

  340. @FB

    You are spewing again your idiotic nonsense. If it would be as you say (All computers are totally identical and tested.) Then all aircraft must have had nosedived.
    I already know you. You are getting of by violent arguments, and you are never right.
    There is no grain of logic in any of your arguments.
    So go and wipe your nose.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  341. @Achmed E. Newman

    Price of square thread is less than trapezoid thread.
    ……………………….
    Of course I am speculating, but isn’t everybody?
    Who gave you right to decide who is allowed to speculate and who doesn’t.
    French investigators made a statement about position of jack screws that makes the statements of author of the article and all previous speculations invalid. But it looks that you are not even intelligent enough to catch it.

  342. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    ‘Its easy to shut off MCAS. All you have to do is flip two switches. The aircraft nose went down literally dozens of times, yet the pilots didn’t shut it off.’

    It’s easy it it…?…how many times have you done it then while piloting an airliner…what a preposterous fucking clown…

  343. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Btw Einstein…when you are done lecturing professional pilots on how to fly an airplane, maybe you can try your hand at brain surgery…?

    There’s really nothing to it…you simply use a sawzall to cut through the skull…I’m sure that would be quite ‘easy’ for a dork of your talents…

  344. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Your claim is so retarded that is unbelievable. You claim that black pilots are so stupid that they forgot to push two buttons is simply out of this world. BTW at take up The captain is pushing the buttons while the other pilot has open the manual and is verifying the captains every action.
    There ia absolutely no room for error there.

  345. wayfarer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Didn’t consider the budget disparity, thanks for pointing that out.

    One must admit though, operating on a shoestring, does have certain advantages.

    Even the state of destitute poverty, has its silver lining.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  346. Erebus says:
    @AaronB

    It does look bad, but I’d want to learn more.

    Of course. My guess is that the reasons behind the crashes are likely to involve interactions between systems that Boeing had no obvious reason, or even ability to test for.

    Nevertheless, what I find astonishing is that Boeing engineers specified, designed, tested, and then implemented a system (MCAS) that overrides all other controls and systems, including the pilot’s, but is itself so fault intolerant that in case of malfunction in a single component it would fly the airplane into the ground unless disabled. How is that possible in a company as engineering intense as Boeing?

    That Boeing then compounded the mis-engineering by keeping it secret moves it beyond astonishing and into criminal territory.

    That the FAA then certified it amounts to dereliction of its duty to the public. Head’s should roll all ’round.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @FB
  347. @FB

    I agree with you that disconnecting MCAS was neither simple nor intuitive. Two not very conspicuous switches have to be held down together for some time, and each switch is protected by a cover which has to be lifted up first. Not easy in an emergency.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @CanSpeccy
    , @FB
  348. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Not a relevant issue in the 737 Max 8 case. This was about another crash, though I agree that the arrangement could have been improved considerably.

  349. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    This thread is so long that I’m losing track. The fact that the pilots could have switched off MCAS wasn’t helpful to them if they didn’t know of the existence of MCAS or of the switches. Did they?

    If they did, had they been trained to know when to use those switches?

  350. @AnonFromTN

    Otherwise, how could Russia with a military budget that is less than 10% of the US military budget be repeatedly cited as a threat by American politicians and strategists?

    Well, the politicians could be lying.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  351. @AaronB

    I read that the EA plane had its nose forced down 75 times before it crashed – I do not understand how the pilot, aware of the LA crash a few months before, could have not flipped those switches.

    They were constantly in the middle of emergencies with only a minute or less left to save the plane. At one point the plane was descending at 2000 feet per minute while it was at merely 1000 feet, so they had only 30 seconds (and given reaction times of such a jet airliner, probably way less) to save the plane. With that kind of emergencies, it’s pretty likely that they had no time to start looking for the two switches. (It probably takes half a minute just to locate them – remember they never actually use them. Then making sure these are the right switches – you don’t want to disable some other life saving system, do you? For example they might accidentally disable the oxygen supply or something, and after they go a little higher, they lose consciousness and crash the plane…)

    Also in a stressful situation you will do what you are well drilled into doing. Especially with life threatening 30 second emergencies.

    I now tend to think that it happened to third world airlines mostly because they didn’t do proper maintenance, and so had the sensor faulty more often. It’s very likely that most malfunctions weren’t that bad – like the plane didn’t try to crash them into the ground, just made the ascent erratic and slower, or something like that.

    But it’s possible (likely, even) that pilot inexperience or bad (read: anything worse than perfect) judgement played a role, too.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  352. @AnonFromTN

    I leave it to an appropriate adjudicator – say a recent graduate in English and Philosophy to decide who is having a comprehension problem. If I got 95 per cent of my predictions “in individual cases” right I would be pretty happy with whatever method helped me to do it.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  353. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    French investigators made a statement about position of jack screws that makes the statements of author of the article and all previous speculations invalid.

    Why? The position of the jackscrews is totally consistent with the speculation that the MCAS steered both planes to the ground.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  354. @dearieme

    The plane at one point was descending at a rate of 2000 feet per minute, while being just 1000 feet above ground. Under such an emergency the pilots had to locate not one but two switches (remember that they didn’t want to deactivate something else by pushing the wrong switches), then hold them down for some time. And then they have to get the plane out of descent. Unless the plane has already crashed at that point.

  355. @dearieme

    My commiserations. If you are losing track, you illustrate the main point, which is that pilots have to hold many things in mind, and can lose the track of what they ought to do when the system is not well known to them. The system can be switched off, once you know that it exists, and that it can be switched off. This is explained in the various youtube segments, but I think it required both switches to be held down for a period of time to really close it down. Some pilots know how to do this, but it is hardly very clear to them. By the way, all the other more natural responses only stop the MCAS on a temporary basis, and then it starts acting again. Confusing, and lethal.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  356. @The real John Smith

    As I write the up to date picture that I glean from the (mostly) MSM appears to be that, despite a blow to its reputation and a hit to profits from delay in delivery, some cancellations of orders and, possibly, damages, the problem that greed or shortsightedness created can be solved by ensuring all pilots have a few hours in the simulator learning how to handle the MAX’s Boeing created stall problem. Less danger of Chapter 11 than of a buying opportunity I suggest without intending to test that guess.

    • Replies: @The real John Smith
  357. @James Thompson

    They also have to make sure that they found the correct switches. These switches are basically never supposed to be used, so they might take some time just to double check that they really did locate the correct switches. Or else they risk turning off some other vital system.

    Meanwhile, at one point the plane was descending at a rate of 2000 feet per minute, while just 1000 feet above ground. They didn’t even really have time for this, even if they recognized the problem.

    • Replies: @FB
  358. @reiner Tor

    You all are claiming religiously that failure is in the programming.
    I do only claim that failure could be mechanical.
    That’s all!!!!

    • Replies: @wayfarer
    , @James Thompson
  359. Clyde says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    the anti-American Commie tards on the thread here.

    My guess is 75% are not Americans. We see our open borders and decline while foreigners resent our high standard of living and Hollywood movies and television blasting into their native cultures. Laughably, this doesn’t stop them wanting to immigrate.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  360. FB says: • Website
    @dearieme

    Look…you armchair pilots need to understand that you first have no possible conception of what it is like to fly a 100 ton aircraft with 200 souls on board…

    And when that aircraft noses into a dive you need to fight to bring that airplane back to level flight before anything else…because if you get into a full blown dive, then it’s all over…

    It takes a lot of altitude to recover from a dive in an airliner…thousands of feet…if this loss of control occurs at cruise altitude of 30,000 feet then you have a chance…but if this occurs in the climbout phase of flight then you are doomed unless you right that airplane very quickly…

    An airliner is not a kite that can turn on a dime…a nose-down dive is called a DEATH SPIRAL FOR A REASON…

    You nonpilots also do not understand that it may in fact be physically impossible to right an airplane that has gone full nose down…no matter how much altitude you have underneath you

    For the reason that there may not be enough tail ‘authority’ to nose the airplane back up…this is a physical fact…even if you have both pilots pulling back on the yoke it may be physically impossible to pull the nose up…the tail is simply not capable of creating enough nose up force to right the airplane…

    Every pilot who flies or has flown a transport category aircraft [ie a big damn plane] got shivers down his or her spine when we saw the announcements from investigators that the jackscrew that controls the up and down movement of the tailplane, was in the fully nose down position…

    That is as good as a death sentence in almost any situation…never mind when you have mountains just 1,000 feet underneath you…

    Flipping a couple of switches sounds very easy…not so much when you are trying to get a 100 ton Boeing under control after it has just nosed into a dive…

    I may go into this in more detail a little later and bring in some illustrations to show how all of that works…but it is incredibly stupid and rude and disrespectful to goddamn common sense to sit here and squirt diarrhea like some people here insist on doing, when they have absolutely not the slightest conception of what is actually involved…that’s just plain retarded…

    • Replies: @res
    , @dearieme
  361. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Two not very conspicuous switches have to be held down together for some time, and each switch is protected by a cover which has to be lifted up first.

    Wow. That’s amazing. I’d surely flunk a test like that even with all the time in the world and seated in a comfy leather arm chair in the safety of my own home — and my IQ is probably up there with that of most Africans.

  362. wayfarer says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    MAX Crash Evokes Memories of Alaska Flight 261

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/mention-of-jackscrew-in-ethiopian-737-crash-evokes-memories-of-alaska-flight-261-but-key-differences-exist/

    In the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in January 2000, federal investigators found that the jackscrew failed from excessive wear. In the Ethiopian crash, there’s no suggestion that the jackscrew on the Boeing plane failed.

    In the crash of Flight 261 off the Southern California coast in January 2000, which killed all 88 people on board — 47 from the Puget Sound area — the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the jackscrew on the MD-83 failed because it had not been adequately lubricated, causing the part to fail and send the plane into a dive. The mechanism moves the plane’s horizontal tail, a winglike structure on the tail that helps the plane climb and descend.

  363. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    If you read the accident reports you will find that there was no mechanical failure in the trim setting. The mechanism was intact, and carrying out instructions. Wrong instructions, but the mechanism carried them out as instructed.

  364. FB says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    ‘Meanwhile, at one point the plane was descending at a rate of 2000 feet per minute, while just 1000 feet above ground. They didn’t even really have time for this, even if they recognized the problem.

    BINGO…I’m glad somebody gets it…folks you have to understand that the takeoff phase of flight is the most demanding by far [other than landing]…

    There is literally ZERO ROOM for things to go wrong…the airplane’s nose pitching down while on the takeoff climb is bloody unthinkable…when that big airplane starts nosing over you know, as a guy who has thousands of hours in that airplane, that you may never get it back upright…

    YOU FIRST HAVE TO HAVE CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE BEFORE YOU CAN THINK ABOUT FLIPPING SWITCHES…

    I have mentioned this already several times but Addis Ababa airport [HAAB] is at an elevtaion fo 7,600 ft…with mountainous terrain all around…this is an extremely dangerous environment…

    Also…here is the second major point…

    WE DO NOT KNOW THAT THE PILOTS DID OR DID NOT THROW THOSE DAMNED SWITCHES…

    I would not be in the least surprised to learn that they did throw the trim cutout switches…and turned off that damned MCAS…but by then it was too late…

    The horizontal tailplane is what causes the airplane to go nose up or down…on the aft portion of that little ‘wing’ out back is a movable ‘flipper’ called the elevator…the pilot pulling back on the control column [yoke] tilts that little flipper up which causes the tail to go down and the nose to go up…pushing in on the yoke does the opposite…elevator tilts down, which causes the tail to go up and the airplane nose to go down…

    Here is how that looks…

    But there is an additional piece to this that is very important…that is the ‘TRIM’ system which rotates the entire tailplane…as you can see here…

    This is done by the trim system of the airplane which turns a jackscrew in the nose of that tailplane [it’s buried in the fuselage]…

    Now rotating the entire tailplane is necessary because the elevator by itself IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO GET THE AIRPLANE IN THE STRAIGHT AND LEVEL ATTITUDE UNDER ALL FLYING CONDITIONS…

    So as that entire tailplane rotates, the airplane will pitch nose up or down…so you have TWO systems that pitch the nose up and down…

    The important point here is that if that tailplane [ie horizontal stabilizer] is moved to a fully nose down position [the tailplane nose itself would be fully nose up] there is NOT ENOUGH AUTHORITY IN THAT LITTLE ELEVATOR TO PULL TH AIRPLANE OUT OF A DIVE…

    What needs to be done is that the pilots, after cutting out the electrical power to the MCAS with those two switches…they now need to use the hand cranks on those two trim wheels and spin those around, maybe a couple of dozen turns, to get that stabilizer back so the airplane can be controlled with the yoke [which in turn moves the elevator ‘flipper’…

    Here is what the trim wheel looks like with the little crank handle extended…

    This is the big issue here…that is why yahoos coming on here and saying ‘oh well, it’s jut a matter of flipping a couple of switches’ how hard can that be…’

    That is completely retarded…First of all it’s assuming that a pilot who has 8,000 hours and has made literally several thousand takeoffs and landings doesn’t even have the intelligence of a houseplant…

    It may well be that they flipped those switches, but then they have to CRANK THAT TRIM WHEEL MANUALLY IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO WHICH THE MCAS PUT IT…

    Again…look at the terrain and the height that this airplane got to above that terrain…it’s literally nothing…3,000 feet in a dive, even in a small Cessna trainer just goes by in the blink of an eye…never mind 1,000 ft in a 737…the airplane itself is 130 ft long…so less than ten airplane lengths…think about 10 car lengths ahead of you on the highway if you are doing 100 mph…

    I really cannot believe how bloody retarded some people are…

    • Replies: @res
    , @Erebus
  365. res says:
    @FB

    Thanks for the big plane pilot perspective.

    Regarding

    they have absolutely not the slightest conception of what is actually involved

    I think many of us (and I include myself in this category) are so well cocooned by our technological society that we lose sight of how hard it is to deal with the nasty edges of reality. Two that particularly come to mind are weather extremes and the difficulty of decision making under extreme (and I am talking life or death, or crippling injury, both to oneself and others, adrenaline rushes, not “my boss is being an *sshole today”) stress.

    So a particular shoutout here for those who smooth those rough edges. The pilots who take responsibility for the lives of hundreds of others in the face of the worst Mother Nature has to offer. The linesmen who keep the lights (and internet ; ) on though those same extremes. The people who plow those treacherous mountain passes so many use so they can have a fun day skiing (and more practically, so the trucks can get through). Fire and police. And so on through the less dangerous but every bit as important jobs like maintaining a clean and plentiful water supply.

    The men (and less frequently, women) who do all of this deserve a huge amount of respect and thanks. IMHO anyone who disagrees should spend a day during a major storm out working on tasks like that instead of cocooning in one’s comfy house or workplace.

    One of the reasons for this long digression is it provides a good context to emphasize why I care so much about topics like ability testing, group differences, affirmative action, and disparate impact. I think anything which lessens the ability to select and retain the best people for jobs like those endangers not only our technological cocoon, but also everyone working those jobs. Mistakes can kill. This is not the place for favoring someone less able because of the color of their skin or the type of genitals they possess.

    P.S. This book is an interesting look at weather and the impact it can have on people:
    https://www.amazon.com/California-Legacy-George-Rippey-Stewart/dp/1890771740
    And a great story to boot, IMHO.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  366. FB says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    It’s not actually necessary to HOLD those two stab cutout switches in order to turn them off…but the problem is much bigger, as I have pointed out in my #376…even if you cut those witches out…it may be too late to save the airplane…simple as that…thanks for writing about this in a reasonable way…

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  367. res says:
    @FB

    YOU FIRST HAVE TO HAVE CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE BEFORE YOU CAN THINK ABOUT FLIPPING SWITCHES…

    I have mentioned this already several times but Addis Ababa airport [HAAB] is at an elevtaion fo 7,600 ft…with mountainous terrain all around…this is an extremely dangerous environment…

    Any idea if there is any special training for pilots who fly in/out of places like that? One of my more exciting moments in life was being in a light plane blown sideways by a crosswind during a landing attempt at a small high altitude airport in a mountainous area. The pilot aborted the landing and went somewhere else. In hindsight I think he was in a bit over his head, but dealt with it effectively.

    Also…here is the second major point…

    WE DO NOT KNOW THAT THE PILOTS DID OR DID NOT THROW THOSE DAMNED SWITCHES…

    I would not be in the least surprised to learn that they did throw the trim cutout switches…and turned off that damned MCAS…but by then it was too late…

    Will this be recorded by the black box?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @reiner Tor
  368. FB says: • Website
    @res

    Yes…the flight data recorder [FDR] will have a record of everything, including whether or not the stab trim cutout witches were deactivated…

    As for the challenging terrain, each airline will have its own training curriculum so those Ethiopian pilots would have almost certainly trained in simulators for that specific airport [along with a lot of others]…incidentally pilots must have recurring training in the simulator every six months…

    • Replies: @res
  369. @res

    Will this be recorded by the black box?

    I guess it will be.

  370. @reiner Tor

    Well, the politicians could be lying.

    The politicians are always lying. I don’t recall a single American politician saying a true word in decades. If you mean that Russian politicians may be reporting lower military expenses than they really are, it is also possible. However, there is no way Russia could have thrown into insatiable maw of MIC as much as the US: its whole budget is smaller than the official Pentagon budget (not to mention other US war expenses: funding a profusion of intelligence agencies, funding nukes via Department of Energy, etc).

  371. @wayfarer

    One must admit though, operating on a shoestring, does have certain advantages.

    Yea, it has two obvious advantages:
    1. Curbs the greed of your MIC.
    2. Makes you creative.

  372. Anyway we slice it, Boeing will be hit with so many lawsuits that without Government help it will go bancrupt.

  373. @Wizard of Oz

    I’ve seen this phenotype. I knew a guy who never understood thermodynamics because his linear cause-and-effect mentality could not grasp the meaning of stats. He is not working in science now, which is a good thing both for him and for science.

    • Replies: @res
  374. @AnonFromTN

    Yes. Ultimately the issue isn’t whether the Russian government lies (of course it does), it’s whether it lies as much as the American government, and on this point it’s not even remotely close.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  375. And what about all those airlines who will want to return all those patched up planes will Boeing ask for recites??????????????????????????

  376. By-tor says:
    @reiner Tor

    The FAA allowed Boeing to market the plane to airlines claiming that pilots’ previous 737 flying experience was sufficient, despite Southwest and American Airlines pilots’ unions repeatedly calling for simulators. Learning about the 737-800’s operation from Boeing’s i-pad training module was part of Boeing’s marketing strategy to sell planes.

    “They were building the airplane and still designing it,” Bowen said. “The data to build a simulator didn’t become available until about when the plane was ready to fly,” said Greg Bowen of the Southwest pilots association.

    ” According to the NYT, a group of pilots who studied the new model without actually flying it compiled a 13-page guide on differences between the 737 MAX and its predecessor, but it did not mention the new anti-stall software — the one that is in the focus of the ongoing investigations into recent crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.”

    ” The training also included a two-hour iPad course from Boeing.”

    “After the Lion Air crash in late October, Boeing officials promised to fix software within several weeks, but doubled down on their claims that pilots did not need additional training.”

    https://sputniknews.com/us/201903171073319355-pilots-were-given-ipad-course-to-learn-about-boeing-max-jets-reports/

  377. res says:
    @FB

    Yes…the flight data recorder [FDR] will have a record of everything, including whether or not the stab trim cutout witches were deactivated…

    Thanks. I guess one of the big benefits of having everything be electronic (and especially if computerized) is it makes logging easier. So they will have enough control input (and plane status) timing information to reconstruct what happened quite closely, right?

    Any thoughts on FDR limitations which might be relevant?

  378. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It is interesting (to say the least) to see someone who asserts

    I said that Bell curve has zero predictive value in INDIVIDUAL cases.

    invoke the statistical nature of thermodynamics to support his case. It sounds to me like you are using the quoted statement above to mean the equivalent of “exceptions exist.” (hint: that is not the same thing as “zero predictive value”)

    A major point of statistics is to make clear what is likely (and in particular how likely those exceptions are). Thermodynamics conveys much useful information using statistics (even if it can’t predict the status of an individual molecule infallibly). Are you asserting that the Bell curves for a trait like the IQs of different groups fail to do the same?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  379. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    One of the reasons for this long digression is it provides a good context to emphasize why I care so much about topics like ability testing, group differences, affirmative action, and disparate impact.

    Yes, let’s have more ability testing by all means.

    True that would mean lots of people getting fired, but it would save lives in many sectors of the economy, and overall it would surely boost annual GDP growth by a few percentage points.

    But if you want good pilots, violinists, coffee servers or whatever, give them relevant tests, not for God’s sake some silly paper and pencil test of a few verbal, numerical, and pattern matching tests yielding an overall “intelligence quotient.” That is simply not going to tell you who has the judgement to be CEO of Boeing Corp., the musical sense to conduct the symphony, or the wit and coordination to safely drive a bus. At best, it will tell you who might be too mentally limited to master the basic rules of the job.

    • Replies: @res
  380. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    I don’t recall a single American politician saying a true word in decades.

    You mean you’ve seen them when their lips were moving.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  381. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Beefcake the Mighty

    Ultimately the issue isn’t whether the Russian government lies (of course it does), it’s whether it lies as much as the American government, and on this point it’s not even remotely close.

    The difference is the result of a basic difference in political system. Although nominally democratic, the Russian system is, it seems, still quite authoritarian. For example, they used horse whips on Pussy Riot at the Sochi Olympics.

    But America is a free country, which means people have to be induced to act as required by the suitable manipulation of beliefs. Hence the vital importance, in America, of non-stop propaganda, both commercial and political. Such mind-control is largely dependent on tweeted memes, advertising jingles, and essentially meaningless soundbites rather than logical arguments. The result is a nation of morons, or at least of declining IQ, where people mostly do of their own deluded volition what the state and the corporate interests require of them.

    In the long term, of course, the death of reason may have unfortunate consequences for aircraft safety and military effectiveness.

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
  382. @CanSpeccy

    I know you’re joking, but Pussy Riot would have deserved such treatment, anyway.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  383. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Hi FB, good points all ’round.

    I was reading the Indonesian Preliminary Report, and a couple of interesting points popped out.

    The first is that the aircraft in question exhibited similarly bizarre behaviour on its flight into Jakarta the day before. Its AoA sensor had been replaced immediately prior to the flight, but the report doesn’t talk about what prompted its replacement. The incident included wildly varying sensor (Air Speed, Altitude, etc) readouts.

    Luckily, it occurred at altitude on approach to Jakarta, and after some cockpit drama the pilot flipped the 2 switches. An excerpt, from Pg 22:

    The PIC noticed that as soon the SIC stopped trim input, the aircraft was automatically trimming aircraft nose down (AND). After three automatic AND trim occurrences, the SIC commented that the control column was too heavy to hold back. The PIC moved the STAB TRIM switches to CUT OUT.

    (PIC=Person/Pilot In Charge, SIC=Second in Command)
    IOW, they had time to fix the problem and went about it methodically, including running 3 NNCs (Non-Normal Checklists). The pilot requested and received an uninterrupted approach from ATC Jakarta, and continued manually to a safe landing on runway 25L. He made out a report concerning the sensor readouts. Engineers tended to the listed sensors. The aircraft was assumed to be fixed.

    The PIC next day had little idea of the previous day’s events, reviewed work performed overnight, assumed that the engineers had fixed all faults, and wound up in the ocean. He again reported wildly varying readouts of altitude and airspeed and flight control problems but the pilots were in constant contact with ATC, had received permission to return, and apparently were flying the plane back to Jakarta. At 23:31:35 UTC the PIC asked Jakarta to be given 5,000′ which was acknowledged, and then suddenly disappeared ~40 sec later. During those 40 sec, ATC tried 2x to make contact, but got no response. IOW, the flight control problems appeared to be manageable, until suddenly they weren’t.

    The PIC & SIC had >9,400 hrs of B737 experience between them, so they weren’t newbies, and there was no panic evident in their communication. According to the ATC recording, they were dealing with it, though there is no indication that they threw the 2 switches.

    Your photo of the trim wheel reminded me of another oddity I found in the Preliminary Report. The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive on Nov 7, 2018 to revise Operating Procedures in operators’ flight manuals. It included Boeing’s now familiar list of symptoms and events culminating in flipping the 2 switches, but then continued to say (Pg 57):

    “If the runaway continues, hold the stabilizer trim wheel against rotation and trim the airplane manually.”

    That struck me as odd, as it seems to indicate that the airplane can be thrown into a state where it will exacerbate a dive even with the system disconnected.

    The Preliminary Report is here: https://reports.aviation-safety.net/2018/20181029-0_B38M_PK-LQP_PRELIMINARY.pdf

    I’d appreciate it if you’d read the report and comment.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @FB
  384. @Erebus

    “If the runaway continues, hold the stabilizer trim wheel against rotation and trim the airplane manually.”

    Wow. That is incredible.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  385. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Beefcake the Mighty

    I know you’re joking, but Pussy Riot would have deserved such treatment, anyway.

    As a matter of fact, I am not joking. And here’s the video!

  386. @res

    That’s my point exactly. Stats predict the probability (correctly), but cannot predict individual values (be it a molecule or a person). Bell curves for IQ (or height, or weight, or whatever) predict the probability, but not the characteristics of an individual. If only probable events happened, nobody would ever win a lottery, and there would never be a Bach or an Einstein. I know I am spoiled by science and constant use of stats, but is this such a hard concept to grasp?

    • Replies: @res
  387. @CanSpeccy

    Yep. That’s why I don’t watch TV for 10+ years: I know already that everything there is a lie, sometimes subtle, sometimes (like State Department propaganda) not subtle at all. So, why waste your time?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  388. @James Thompson

    That’s pretty easy. I have manually ground my specialty coffee several times. Okay, I didn’t have to keep a 50 ton plane in the air in the meantime, but I guess that’s just a minor detail.

    I have a lot of sympathy for AaronB’s position here. It cannot be that incredibly stupid and irresponsible.

  389. FB says: • Website
    @Erebus

    Just a very quick reply for now about holding that trim wheel with your hand…yes that is part of the runaway trim procedure…and yes, conceivably the trim could continue to work even after you flip the cutout switches…although it’s not supposed to…but that’s why grabbing the wheel with your hand and overpowering the electric motor that turns the wheels is part of the procedure…

    Now here is the most important point that I mentioned above [I think #376[…just because you flip the switches does not magically right the airplane…you now have to crank those trim wheel to raise the nose BECAUSE PULLING BACK ON THE YOKE IS NOT GOING TO RAISE THE NOSE

    As I tried to explain, once that stabilizer has been put into the full nose down position, you cannot pull the airplane out with just pulling on the yoke…you are going in unless you start cranking those wheels by hand and getting that stabilizer back in the normal range again…

    So the question is how much time after flipping the switches do you have to pull that diving airplane out of a dive before you impact terrain that is 1,000 beet below you…

    People need to understand these things…that’s the thing that really bugs me about the morons commenting here and on other places about ‘yeah you just flip those switches’…that is just absolute garbage and this is part of Beoing’s misinfo campaign…

    Notice that the Ethipioan government REFUSED TO HAND OVER THE BLACK BOXES TO THE US…

    There is a reason for this…will have more later…

  390. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    See comment 285.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  391. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Perhaps I misunderstood your comment 387. Especially regarding how it applied to the comment you were responding to. I would expect the linear thinker (who takes the statistical approximations at face value) to do better with thermo as opposed to the person who gets caught up in thinking about individual molecules. But then again, it’s been a long time since I took thermo.

    If you think predicting 95 out of 100 individuals correctly and missing 5 is “zero predictive value in INDIVIDUAL cases” then so be it. But I think you are torturing the words to try to make those two things equivalent.

    It is much clearer just to say “exceptions exist.” And with statistics you can even give error estimates.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  392. @res

    Well, maybe it’s just linguistic equilibristics, but in my job it’s an important distinction. I hire individuals as post-docs, and take individuals as grad students in the lab. So, if I went by averages and prejudices based on those averages, I’d be shooting myself in the foot big time. However, if you hire 20 people to dig ditches, you are better off going by averages.

    • Replies: @res
  393. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    See comment 285.

    and see Comment #304!

    In fact, a long time ago, H.J. Eysenck pointed out that evaluation of candidates for specific jobs requires specific tests, and as illustration he referred to a test that was devised for hiring Cape Town bus drivers that slashed the accident rate. What the test was, I don’t recall, but it sure wasn’t an IQ test.

    • Replies: @res
  394. @res

    Haisenko, the German ex-Captain, whose article you recommand, is quite a character. On his site anderwelten he claims to have developed a political system, which would enable us to solve all problems – worldwide. So. Not everything he says is wrong, and he lists a number of interesting details, but just how correct they all are – hm?

    • Replies: @res
  395. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Here’s another pilot report on the MAX. Seems pretty much in line with FB’s analysis:

    737 Max: Finally the scrap from Seattle has to stay on the ground

  396. @Beefcake the Mighty

    This is a decent and dense analysis. Thanks.
    What’s new here is: Both MAXes that crashed lacked Boings “option package”, which gives necessary pieces of information about the stall and nose-dive phenomenon.

    I copied the core tweets:

    Trevor Sumner
    @trevorsumner
    Replying to @trevorsumner
    The easiest way to do this was to add some features to the existing Elevator Feel Shift system. Like the #EFS system, the #MCAS relies on non-redundant sensors to decide how much trim to add. Unlike the EFS system, MCAS can make huge nose down trim changes.

    On both ill-fated flights, there was a:
    * Sensor problem. The AoA vane on the 737MAX appears to not be very reliable and gave wildly wrong readings. On #LionAir, this was compounded by a

    * Maintenance practices problem. The previous crew had experienced the same problem and didn’t record the problem in the maintenance logbook. This was compounded by a:
    * Pilot training problem. On LionAir, pilots were never even told about the MCAS, and by the time of the Ethiopian flight, there was an emergency AD issued, but no one had done sim training on this failure. This was compounded by an:
    * Economic problem. Boeing sells an option package that includes an extra AoA vane, and an AoA disagree light, which lets pilots know that this problem was happening. Both 737MAXes that crashed were delivered without this option. No 737MAX with this option has ever crashed.

  397. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    The speculation by people not in the field is the worst part of it. I understand the criticality of that single-point-of-failure stab-trim jack-screw that is in most airliners. Your problem is you think that by reading just a little bit about power-screws, then you know about what the engineers who’ve been working with this mechanism for 50 years (not all the same guys) know. They’ve been through all kinds of thinking on it.

    Of course, problems can crop up anywhere, but if you think somebody on this thread has some kind of solution, well, you don’t know what engineering is all about.

    (The point of its mention here is just to discuss what the last position of the stabilizer trim was and why.)

  398. @AnonFromTN

    That’s why I don’t watch TV for 10+ years: I know already that everything there is a lie, sometimes subtle, sometimes (like State Department propaganda) not subtle at all.

    I’m glad to hear that about your TV (non) viewing – it’s been 20 years for me. It’s not just the news. Lots of the shows have had subtle agendas built in since the 1970’s, no, not on the MIC, of course, but on cultural ideas. It’s been very destructive, and I can say the same for Hollywood.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  399. Obviously the stabilizer is not capable to work. The Pivoting axis is too far back. So there is no other solution than move the wings with engines forward. It will be costly but it is still more economical than to scrap the planes as some are suggesting.

  400. @Achmed E. Newman

    I used to build lots of airplanes from paper in first grade in school, and I used to fly them into teachers when they did turn around, so I am an expert.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  401. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ah. I see. So you hire individuals who have been pre-screened by IQ (or similar) multiple times in the past then complain because tests can’t further resolve between them better than the body of evidence accumulated during their post initial screening(s) performance. Since you are familiar with statistics, perhaps you know about the effect of restriction of range on correlations? We have talked about that here before.

    How exactly do you go about screening them while avoiding “averages” and “prejudices”? IMHO tests are rather better at that task than most other employment metrics. When you look at coursework performance (e.g. grades) and research quality do you adjust for the (average) qualities of each at their former institutions? When does that sort of thing start becoming science and stop becoming prejudice?

    P.S. I would be interested in real research showing test results are not predictive of results for graduate students and post-docs. Because the evidence with which I am familiar seems to say otherwise. The SMPY being the best example showing IQ appears to benefit STEM performance far into the right tail. I also seem to recall something called the GRE which some seem to find useful for doing the type of selection you describe? Though there are ceiling issues there. Not to mention the previously mentioned issue with restriction of range.

  402. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    See comment 285.

    and see Comment #304!

    If we keep commenting on Dr. Thompson’s blog long enough we will be able to do a version of the old joke about comics (does anyone have a good reference for this joke? I am bad with jokes) who eventually start saying things like “joke 57” followed by uproarious laughter.

    FWIW I think the research data in comment 285 is >> than the musings in comment 304 (even if there is a valid point in there somewhere, which I think there is).

    In fact, a long time ago, H.J. Eysenck pointed out that evaluation of candidates for specific jobs requires specific tests, and as illustration he referred to a test that was devised for hiring Cape Town bus drivers that slashed the accident rate. What the test was, I don’t recall, but it sure wasn’t an IQ test.

    Do you have a source for Eysenck on the merit of specific tests? I would be interested to see the exact statement he made and how he supported it. As I have noted here before, I think highly of him (RIP) and his work.

    I agree specific tests have merit. In particular when you want to make an efficient allocation of scarce (both general and specific) abilities.

    I think the US Army approach is surprisingly sensible in having a suite of tests and using different combinations to select for various positions.

    But what is surprising is how strongly IQ shows up as a correlation with so many things (here pilot ability, see comment 285). It is always interesting to check how strongly IQ correlates (especially over a broad ability range) with specific tests.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  403. res says:
    @Dieter Kief

    It is always good to keep things like that in mind. But he spent thirty years piloting planes so I am much more likely to trust him on that topic than on political systems.

    The other important thing to ask is whether he has an agenda other than truth. Any idea if that is so here?

    • Replies: @Factorize
    , @Dieter Kief
  404. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Well, there ya’ go!

    I guess I was way behind. We did that in high school, but we did set them on fire before flying them out the window. See, now this is why the Soviets got Yuri Gagarin into orbit while our rockets were still just blowing up on the pads.

  405. @res

    Sorry to disappoint, but the people I hire are not pre-screened by any tests. They are pre-screened by their life history. In my experience, the success in bench research is proportional to the intelligence (real one, not IQ score) multiplied by the drive to the power of 3-4. So, strong drive can compensate for less than stellar intelligence, but no intelligence can compensate for weak drive. We are not digging ditches, slave-drivers won’t help. As a practical guide (who to invite for an interview) for post-docs, my threshold is one first-author paper in a decent journal (with impact above 2) per year, plus some non-first-author papers. Naturally, a first-author paper in a journal with high impact (above 10) counts as 2-3, as it usually involves a lot more work. As to grad students, they do 2-month rotations. I supervise them personally and observe their level of real intelligence and drive in the lab. No test scores affect my impressions. I trust real performance and don’t give a hoot about any test scores. So, when you work with individuals and want to maintain high standards in your lab, you’d be an idiot to go by any tests, IQ, GRE, MCAT, etc. Of course, you make mistakes, but a lot fewer than you’d make based on scores, applicants’ gender, skin color, religion, or other irrelevant things.

    BTW, here is the link to research showing that GRE fails to predict outcomes in biomedical science:
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/373225v1

    In contrast to pursuits that require high quality people, if you want a big bunch of workers to do something undemanding (like strawberry picking, work at meat-packing plant, or something else on these lines), you are probably better off going by their scores, color, or whatever metric your experience suggests.

    • Replies: @res
  406. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yep, those subtle insidious lies are the worst. Most people accept them uncritically.

  407. @res

    The tendency of pilots to have superior general intelligence is well documented. Studies of UPT students find the average IQ to be around 120, more than one standard deviation above average and in the high average range

    In addition to the cognitive load involved in both mastering the theoretical background for aviation and the decision making involved in high-speed flight — there’s also a moderate positive correlation between IQ and reaction time.

  408. @CanSpeccy

    … suppose that a person’s intelligence can be assessed based on the color of their skin.

    Not the long-discredited semitic canard “Race = Just Skin Color!” again.
    Oy vey.

    Very problematic in the current year.

  409. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, I think your point has been greatly underutilized on the blog. Appeal to authority does have bearing when someone is an authority on a subject and speaks on this topic; not so much when appeal to authority occurs with an authority speaking on a topic outside of their expertise.

    We have had a charmingly convincing malacologist (aka gastropodian or possibly entomologist) express anti-psychometric sentiments. Of course, there are also a whole host of other highly qualified eminents in various disciplines with similarly vehement objections to intelligent intelligence research– some of whom post to the blog. Yet, a highly conspicuous omission from this list for the prosecution is anyone who has actually had any formal training in psychometric science. Is there any psychometrician that could lead for the prosecution side while staying roughly within the bounds of honest scientific discussion?

  410. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Do you have a source for Eysenck on the merit of specific tests? I would be interested to see the exact statement he made and how he supported it. As I have noted here before, I think highly of him (RIP) and his work.

    Yes, it’s in

    The Uses and Abuses of Psychology, (1953).

    As I recall (from reading the book around 1956 when I was aged 13) the point about specific tests was in relation to the uselessness of interviews for selecting people for particular jobs, although it could be my recollection is a little muddled. I think, in any case, that it is in that book he talks of the reduction in Cape Town bus accidents upon introduction of a some driving-related test of competence, although I don’t recall whether he said what kind of a test that was.

    But what is surprising is how strongly IQ shows up as a correlation with so many things (here pilot ability, see comment 285). It is always interesting to check how strongly IQ correlates (especially over a broad ability range) with specific tests.

    I don’t think that is tremendously surprising. Our whole civilization depends very largely on reading, writing and quantification, which are central to IQ tests. So yes, IQ tests are bound to reveal, if not intelligence, at least whether an individual is mentally competent to perform certain types of work.

    Where I think they are more or less useless is in predicting the higher abilities of judgement, creativity, etc. Hence, rejects from the Terman study who won Nobel prizes, whereas none of the selected “high IQ geniuses” managed to do anything so amazingly clever.

    And then there’s Richard Feynman, clearly a genius, but in a relatively narrow field, with obvious literary limitations (his popular books were ghosted) consistent with his reported IQ in the 120’s, i.e., he probably scored very high on the numerical portion of the test and rather modestly on the verbal portion of the test.

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  411. @Wizard of Oz

    Just one problem with that. If the keeping quiet about the significance of the changes , not being “more open” was primarily to facilitate prompt certification what was to stop them warning pilots and their employers once certification was obtained?

    Good question.
    Overconfidence/ arrogance?
    They knew at some level that it was a sketchy way to deal with the issue, so didn’t want to think about it, and just mentally filed it away as “solved?”
    Or perhaps they thought that being too open about the issue might affect sales?

    Who knows?
    There’s probably some internal Boeing documentation and/ or communications between Boeing and the FAA that might make that part clearer… if it ever sees the light of day.

  412. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    but if you think somebody on this thread has some kind of solution, well, you don’t know what engineering is all about.

    Well, I certainly have no solution. However, there are one or two people here evidently know quite a lot about aircraft design and performance, and maybe someone even knows something about aircraft manufacture. In fact I once helped build an aircraft, admittedly, only a plywood sailplane.

    In any case, it is surely reasonable to raise the question of whether there is a solution. In particular, what alterations in the structure of the aircraft would restore inherent stability. My only idea would be to add lead weights to the nose cone, or maybe shorten the fuselage between wings and tail. Hopeless ideas, probably, but since the prospect of making America great again may hinge on the outcome, no idea, however implausible, should be rejected out of hand.

    Of course the engineers at Boeing surely know all the options. However, since management will likely try to force a revised MCAS on the world whether it is totally reliable or not, some independent thought seems desirable.

  413. The Wall Street Journal has just released a story about the 737 MAX topic but somehow avoids mentioning the inherent physical design flaw of its awkward engine placement as the root cause of the problem. This essentially amounts to damage control through misdirection, though even the information that they provide is damning.

    Prosecutors, Transportation Department Scrutinize Development of Boeing’s 737 MAX
    A grand jury’s subpoena seeks broad documents related to the jetliner

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/faas-737-max-approval-is-probed-11552868400

    During some of the discussions with the FAA, according to people familiar with the matter, Boeing’s team persuaded the agency that the system shouldn’t be considered so essential that its failure could result in a catastrophic accident. As a result, it would be acceptable for the system to rely on a single sensor. In the Lion Air crash, investigators believe, faulty data sent by a single sensor led the MCAS system to erroneously push the plane’s nose down steeply, triggering a fatal plunge into the ocean.

  414. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Sorry to disappoint, but the people I hire are not pre-screened by any tests.

    Oh. So they did not attend college in the US? Interesting. And for your post-docs, they never took the GRE for graduate program applications?

    Your selection process sounds very sensible. Thanks for elaborating on that. Just don’t pretend that you aren’t selecting from an already pre-selected by tests population.

    Are you familiar with the implications of restriction of range in statistics? Especially when in addition to the threshold issues there are issues with the best candidates often going to “better” programs.

    P.S. Are you familiar with the SMPY research? If not, you might educate yourself on that. Here is one starting point: http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2016/09/smpy-in-nature.html
    But there is a large body of research from the 30+ years of the study. And the number of subjects is much larger than 29 ; )

    P.P.S. Thanks for linking a study. One caution, when interacting with me it is best to be sure the papers you link withstand scrutiny. I think it makes someone’s argument (as well as them) look bad when subpar evidence is given. And there is a great deal of agenda driven subpar evidence out there in the Current Year.

    The study you linked has an N=29. Here is the abstract:

    The association between GRE scores and academic success in graduate programs is currently of national interest. GRE scores are often assumed to be predictive of student success in graduate school. However, we found no such association in admission data from Vanderbilt’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), which recruited historically underrepresented students for graduate study in the biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University spanning a wide range of GRE scores. This study avoids the typical biases of most GRE investigations of performance where only high-achievers on the GRE are admitted. GRE scores, while collected at admission, were not used or consulted for admissions decisions and comprise the full range of percentiles from 1% to 91%. We report on the 29 students recruited to the Vanderbilt IMSD from 2007-2011 who have completed the program as of summer 2017. While the data set is not large, the predictive trends between GRE and long-term graduate outcomes (publications, first author publications, time to degree, predoctoral fellowship awards, and faculty evaluations) are remarkably null and there is sufficient precision to rule out even mild relationships between GRE and these outcomes. Career outcomes are encouraging; many students are in postdocs, and the rest are in stage-appropriate career environments for such a cohort, including tenure track faculty, biotech and entrepreneurship careers.

    There is a copy of the full text at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/07/20/373225.full.pdf

    I think focusing exclusively on URMs is questionable given how much impact affirmative action can have (e.g. on future post-doc opportunities). In addition, given the type of program this is does anyone think the administration failed to make exceptional efforts to ensure these students achieved as much success as possible?

    One problem with focusing on a single school (and I think Vanderbilt is at least one tier down from the elite) is that there is self-selection of applicants. Presumably the best URMs with the best GREs are trying for the golden ticket at Harvard or similar.

    Nonetheless, it is impressive they got successful results with such low scorers on the GRE. It will be interesting to see how the rest of their careers play out and whether this success can be extended beyond a single intensive program.

    An interesting excerpt for those who think wildly divergent subtest scores are common:

    Of the 25 students, only four had a percentile spread between their two scores of greater than 30. In other words, they were generally either poor test takers or strong ones. Furthermore, only six of the students who completed PhDs had both GRE-Q and GRE-V scores above the 50th percentile, making it questionable whether the other 19 would have gained admittance to a graduate program that adhered to higher expectations for GRE performance.

    My interpretation of the study is that it is possible to find “diamonds in the rough” among the presumably large number of URMs who score poorly on the GRE. It sounds like this is worth doing (and it would have been interesting to hear more about how they accomplished that). Just don’t use the results from those highly selected individuals to imply that anyone with those scores could achieve similar results. (remember our discussion about the existence of exceptions and statistics?)

    I did not see any effort to extend that analysis to the rest of the Vanderbilt admittees. I wonder what it might look like if they did that.

    Any better examples with larger sample sizes?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  415. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Thanks. I have about 10 of Eysenck’s books including that one. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

    Turns out there is a copy online and the only bus excerpt I see is on page 114: https://archive.org/details/usesabusesofpsyc01eyse/page/114
    The Paris bus example only mentions “psychological tests” without further details. There is a different discussion on page 113 about a more driving focused test.

    I do not see any discussion of how the specific tests compare to an IQ test for predictive validity.

    And then there’s Richard Feynman, clearly a genius, but in a relatively narrow field, with obvious literary limitations (his popular books were ghosted) consistent with his reported IQ in the 120’s, i.e., he probably scored very high on the numerical portion of the test and rather modestly on the verbal portion of the test.

    The test in question was a school assessment if I understand correctly. My guess is the numerical ceiling was low (especially for Feynman!) and your assessment is correct. IQ is fairly stable from that age, but as noted above in another context. Exceptions exist. I would be much more inclined to trust Feynman’s college admission test results or similar. Good data seems to be lacking though.

    I have trouble understanding your definition of intelligence as used in this excerpt:

    I don’t think that is tremendously surprising. Our whole civilization depends very largely on reading, writing and quantification, which are central to IQ tests. So yes, IQ tests are bound to reveal, if not intelligence, at least whether an individual is mentally competent to perform certain types of work.

    Could you elaborate on how what you are calling “intelligence” differs from the things central to IQ tests? Leaving aside those things, do you think the residual of intelligence correlates with the tests? Care to take a stab at a number?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @CanSpeccy
  416. @res

    I didn’t know about Feynman’s popular books being “ghosted” and I’m still a bit unsure what it means and implies. He seems to have been a witty fun guy – and one whose verbal ability was up to learning Japanese well enough to lecture in that language in Japan – so I wonder if it wasn’t just a case of a friend persuading him to let his marvellous flow of words be turned into book form by a professional. As to the IQ my impression has always been that it was one of his jokes, or that letting the idea stand was.

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  417. @res

    I think he is a bit too much into Boing bashing – and delighted really to fantasize (or, if you want: speculate) about how this company needs to go down now entirely. Truth is: We don’t know what will happen to Boing.
    Following this doomsayer twist of his story, he is inclined to overlook elements that make it less dramatic.
    And I posted the counter-example to Haisenko’s completely dark picture of the Boing decision making process in my post 411 – the tweets of Trevor Sumner. Sumner does make a difference in that he finds, that a) the way the MCAS was implemented was wrong (technically and with regard to the irresponsible way in which it was communicated) b) no machine with Boing’s Option Package crashed so far.
    Sumners conclusion is, therefore – for the time being – a less doomed outlook for Boing (and it’s customers) than Haisenko’s.

    I don’t know who is right, but just from what I’ve read so far, I would not exclude Sumner’s analysis on the basis of Haisenko’s.

  418. @CanSpeccy

    I’ve commented on Trevor Sumners razor sharp tweets in #432.

  419. @CanSpeccy

    Simply curious, but why do you keep quoting criticisms of the Terman studies but don’t look at the current work of Lubinski and Benbow?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  420. dearieme says:
    @FB

    I doubt that this hysterical rant will persuade anyone that you are a pilot.

    • Replies: @res
  421. @Wizard of Oz

    Possibly, possibly.

    However, GE has shown that the fall can come fast even for the mighty.

  422. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I didn’t know about Feynman’s popular books being “ghosted” and I’m still a bit unsure what it means and implies.

    Probably referring to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Leighton
    Which sounds a lot like your ” so I wonder if it wasn’t just a case of a friend persuading him to let his marvellous flow of words be turned into book form by a professional. ”

    He seems to have been a witty fun guy – and one whose verbal ability was up to learning Japanese well enough to lecture in that language in Japan

    Feynman makes an interesting contrast when talking about verbal ability. IIRC he was a bit rough with things like grammar and spelling, but clearly a terrific communicator. My sense is a large part was just “smart guy who can’t be bothered with trivial details”, but he was probably below average on test-style verbal among his peers. BTW, have you read Anne Roe’s book? She has much to say about the abilities of top tier scientists.

    Do you have a source for him lecturing in Japanese? I did a quick search and saw this indicating he was not that accomplished at it: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/1fpmc6/feynman_on_japanese/
    But with Feynman it can be hard to tell what is self deprecating humor and what is reality.

    As to the IQ my impression has always been that it was one of his jokes, or that letting the idea stand was.

    This is my impression. I’d say a combination of both. He seems to have actively encouraged it as well as being fine with others going on about it.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  423. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks! Have Kuncel and Sackett made any recent publications on their work? I looked and the only recent thing I see is a 2018 WSJ essay (paywalled, but see below): https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-truth-about-the-sat-and-act-1520521861

    There is a discussion of that article (which begins with the full text of it) at https://www.reddit.com/r/Professors/comments/83n46l/wsj_the_truth_about_the_sat_and_act/

    P.S. Thank you for your kind words earlier.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  424. res says:
    @dearieme

    I doubt that this hysterical rant will persuade anyone that you are a pilot.

    I don’t know. It rings true to me as the response of an expert frustrated by non-experts pontificating about areas where they have little knowledge.

    Perhaps not the best way to respond if one is trying to convince people (at least that has been my experience ; ), but I do think it rings true.

    And I think FB backed it up in other comments.

  425. wayfarer says:

    Flight Crash Investigation: Alaska Airlines Flight 261 (SlideShare)

  426. @res

    Don’t know of any others, but haven’t kept up with them and the personnel selection literature.

  427. @res

    It is truly amazing how many Americans do not know (or do not want to know) a simple fact that if the US basic research had to rely exclusively on domestic workforce, it would be dead. Right now at least half of the faculty in good research universities are foreign-born, as are >80% of post-docs. FYI, among American Nobel prize winners in sciences at least half are foreign-born, even though official propaganda would never tell you this.

    So, the great majority of my post-docs never attended any US university. As the US is the only country in the world obsessed with tests, none of them ever took GRE or other standardized tests. I have and had post-docs from various countries, including China, Russia, India, Korea, Venezuela, and Germany. In 25 years of running my lab I only had two American-born post-docs. One was really good, but she only did a 1-year mini-post-doc after grad school to finish numerous things she started, whereas the other is mediocre at best. About half of my grad students were American-born (as >80% of our grad students have to be training-grant eligible), so these people had GRE scores (which I never knew and don’t want to know). All of them graduated from no-name colleges, the names of two of which I only learned because they graduated from them.

    BTW, Harvard may sound good for the uninitiated, but it is not a good place for grad school. Many Harvard grad students take courses at MIT, which actually teaches, not at Harvard, which treats everyone, faculty and students alike, as disposable. A lot of people accept faculty positions at Harvard to tick that box in their CV, and then move to other places that treat you as a human being.

    You are right that the author of the study I gave a link to narrowly focused on URMs and had a lower n that I’d have if I were to conduct that study. The whole URM thing is a scam: my best tech ever was a black girl from Cameroon (had three papers in less than two years), but when she applied to grad school, I was told that she is “diverse”, but not a minority, as she was not a US citizen. I guess according to libtards Cameroonians, as well as Chinese, Indians, Russians, Koreans, etc., are the majority. I am not surprised: libtards can believe at least three impossible things before breakfast, otherwise they won’t be libtards.

    However, I know from personal experience that GRE does not predict success in research even statistically. That is why I am not interested in it, or in any other scores, like 95% of the world.

  428. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    I would be much more inclined to trust Feynman’s college admission test results or similar.

    His peformance on admission to Princeton was abysmal except in math and physics.

    The reality is that the IQ test was designed by Binet to detect mental deficiency. In Binet’s case it was to detect incapacity to benefit from regular grade school. Today the test is used much more widely and can be usefully indicative in many circumstances. For instance, in general, though with exceptions as we have discussed in the past, an IQ of at least 100 seems to be required to benefit much from higher ed. Probably something like 120 is indicative of good prospects of achieving competence in a profession, although here there is variation, depending on a career. Probably not much over 100 to achieve success in social services, whereas well above 12o is indicative of better prospects at, say, rocket science.

    The weakness of the approach is that an IQ test merely sums scores achieved on different types of operations at which individuals differ greatly in relative performance. Thus, whereas a modest IQ score for someone like Feynman is entirely consistent with his limited verbal facility, it entirely fails to capture the extent his mathematical genius, or whatever it was that provided the basis of his deep insight into physical problems. Equally, it would be farcical to attempt to assess the genius of a person like Shakespeare with an IQ test. At math, our Will was probably a complete moron. And as for verbiage, he’d probably have seen things in the questions the test designer never thought of.

    Could you elaborate on how what you are calling “intelligence” differs from the things central to IQ tests?

    Well I can’t write an essay on the subject right now, but where’s the component of the test that measures the ability to write the entire score of Allegri’s Miserere after a single hearing.

    You say:

    I have trouble understanding your definition of intelligence as used in this excerpt:

    I don’t think that is tremendously surprising. Our whole civilization depends very largely on reading, writing and quantification, which are central to IQ tests. So yes, IQ tests are bound to reveal, if not intelligence, at least whether an individual is mentally competent to perform certain types of work.

    I wasn’t defining intelligence. If you need a definition, I suggest Webster’s dictionary. But bear in mind that the manifestations of intelligence will vary greatly according to education and culture. An illiterate with the intelligence of Einstein will still score zero on an IQ test. And an African peasant with an IQ of 60 will likely outwit any Harvard scholar at feeding his family from a small plot of ground with nothing but crude hand tools to work with, avoiding snakes, and gathering fire wood.

    • Replies: @res
  429. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    I didn’t know about Feynman’s popular books being “ghosted”

    By Ralph Leighton. The book he did on his own write is barely readable. But when he talked physics, then he was truly brilliant.

  430. CanSpeccy says:
    @James Thompson

    Simply curious, but why do you keep quoting criticisms of the Terman studies but don’t look at the current work of Lubinski and Benbow?

    James, that’s easy to answer. I’m not a psychologist and I never heard of Lubinski and Benbow!

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  431. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Thanks for elaborating.

    How do the schools you recruit your postdocs (both undergrad and grad) from do student selection? No testing at all? Subject tests correlate reasonably well with things like the SAT.

    I thought foreign born students generally took the GRE for admission into US graduate programs. Is that not the case?
    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/21/ets-releases-data-gre-averages-country

    I understand graduates of non-US colleges may not have taken the US tests. How do your people break down between foreign born both undergrad and grad in the US, foreign born grad only in US, and completely foreign educated? The first two categories seem likely to have taken the SAT and/or GRE. And if the third category applied to US schools they may have as well.

    As far as foreign students not taking ANY standardized tests:
    https://www.thisisinsider.com/standardized-tests-around-the-world-2018-9
    I think you are ill informed there.

    However, I know from personal experience that GRE does not predict success in research even statistically.

    Within the population you are selecting from. A caveat which makes all of the difference. It would be interesting to know if there is any correlation of GRE results with success (as the SMPY seems to indicate for their testing) even if it is not useful for prediction.

    If you know otherwise statistically, can you present evidence?

    That is why I am not interested in it, or in any other scores, like 95% of the world.

    I am baffled that you fail to see (or acknowledge) how much those scores underpin the system you work in (for good or bad).

    P.S. Not sure if you mentioned it, but I have been assuming you are in STEM. Please correct me if I am wrong. Things are different in the humanities.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  432. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Here is a reference for your initial statement. Might be of interest to people here. Full text at libgen.
    https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.881189

    Abstract:

    “This chap from MIT: Look at his aptitude test ratings in mathematics and physics. Fantastic! Nobody else who’s applying here at Princeton comes anywhere near so close to the absolute peak.” Someone else on the Graduate Admissions Committee broke in, “He must be a diamond in the rough. We’ve never let in anyone with scores so low in history and English. But look at the practical experience he’s had in chemistry and in working with friction.”

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  433. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    Of course the engineers at Boeing surely know all the options. However, since management will likely try to force a revised MCAS on the world whether it is totally reliable or not, some independent thought seems desirable.

    And apparently, ” Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing 737 MAX jetliners.” While we must await the outcome, the implication is that Boeing has gone bad, from engineering-led to marketing-bullshit-led, with fatal consequences.

  434. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Ha! Thanks. That’s as I remember it, which is encouraging.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  435. @AnonFromTN

    … a simple fact that if the US basic research had to rely exclusively on domestic workforce, it would be dead. Right now at least half of the faculty in good research universities are foreign-born, as are >80% of post-docs. FYI, among American Nobel prize winners in sciences at least half are foreign-born, even though official propaganda would never tell you this.

    There’s a large piece of bullcrap that I already corrected you on a year back or so. Of course, YOU are the guy that came to the US in 1992, while I’ve been here my whole life. The US University research programs were FULL OF AMERICANS as recently as the early 1990’s. It was at that point a privilege for someone from China (especially) but even many Western Euro. countries to be able to be visiting scholars, etc.

    It’s all changed because the University world, as flush with money as it already is from the guaranteed student loan scam, or bubble, wants MORE, MORE, MORE, and cheaper labor is the way they do it. There are still plenty of foreigners like yourself who came for the Green Card, and are quite beholden to the schools until they get it – therefore they can operate under stipends that are too low for smart white American young people with families.

    Of course, right now, it’d be hard to drum up enough Americans to fill all positions, because they’ve been discouraged right out of this field, just like computer programming, roofing, and even working at the big amusement parks (full of white foreigners due to some odd visa-deal to screw over the working people). The last 3 jobs are nothing like research, in case you’re about to argue that, but the point is that the replacements for working Americans are in all realms.

    Truthfully, the US Universities have lost so much of their advantages that I don’t know why the Chinese and Indians think that piece of paper will mean that much in the future (once the reputation catches up with reality). Those are the ones planning on going home though. The ones like you aren’t, and just want to get in a position in which to bitch out their adoptive countrymen. I have not heard of your plans to actually be FROM Tennessee and go back to Russia. Why not?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  436. @AnonFromTN

    You really have a lot of damn gall to come to a welcoming country, take a job that would have been an American’s job before, and then tell us that Americans cannot do the work. I was there, Einstein, we were 95% Americans.

    Oh, and you want to tell Tennesseans that they should vote in a state income tax, because politicians would never, ever screw them over, because you know better, being a biological researcher and all.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  437. @CanSpeccy

    Not sure how to put this, but you make very confident statements about a range of psychometric matters, and I obviously haven’t been able to tempt you to read my brief, and I hope reasonably clear accounts of the research literature. I can only hope that something I write catches your eye!

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  438. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    Which means, of course, that the IQ test totally failed to reveal the genius of America’s greatest 20th century theoretical physicist.

  439. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I can only hope that something I write catches your eye!

    Maybe your hope will be fulfilled. Who knows!

  440. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…what I find astonishing is that Boeing engineers specified, designed, tested, and then implemented a system (MCAS) that overrides all other controls and systems, including the pilot’s, but is itself so fault intolerant that in case of malfunction in a single component it would fly the airplane into the ground unless disabled. How is that possible in a company as engineering intense as Boeing?

    That Boeing then compounded the mis-engineering by keeping it secret moves it beyond astonishing and into criminal territory.

    That the FAA then certified it amounts to dereliction of its duty to the public. Head’s should roll all ’round.’…

    These questions are the crux of the matter…and answers are emerging…

    Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing, FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system

    This is a tremendous piece of journalism published yesterday in the Seattle Times and reveals that concerned Boeing engineers and FAA officials spoke to the Times BEFORE the Ethiopian crash occurred…and what they revealed pulls back the curtain on a truly astonishing level of what can only be called corruption…

    Here are the main points…

    1. Boeing effectively browbeat the FAA into the letting the company sign off on crucial safety issues, instead of FAA officials

    2. The extent to which the MCAS system is able to control the airplane is four times as much as what the FAA and airline customers were led to believe

    3. The FAA allowed Boeing to sign off on using only a single AOA sensor to feed the MCAS system, based on faulty and unrealistic risk assumptions of something going wrong

    So we have both Boeing and FAA insiders now stepping forward to whistle-blow…in fact this Seattle Times story was in the works long before the Ethiopian crash, and both the Boeing and the FAA were provided with copies of the story and the opportunity to respond before publication…in the meantime the second 737 MAX crashed…

    Let’s get into the technical details of what went on…everybody knows by now that the root of the problem is that Boeing decided to go against all established aircraft design principles and simply hang large diameter engines on a 50 year-old airframe that simply could not handle that, as I explained in my earlier comment above…

    Here is how the LA Times describes that…How a 50-year-old design came back to haunt Boeing with its troubled 737 Max jet

    First introduced in West Germany as a short-hop commuter jet in the early Cold War, the Boeing 737-100 had folding metal stairs attached to the fuselage that passengers climbed to board before airports had jetways. Ground crews hand-lifted heavy luggage into the cargo holds in those days, long before motorized belt loaders were widely available.

    That low-to-the-ground design was a plus in 1968, but it has proved to be a constraint that engineers modernizing the 737 have had to work around ever since. The compromises required to push forward a more fuel-efficient version of the plane — with larger engines and altered aerodynamics — led to the complex flight control software system that is now under investigation in two fatal crashes over the last five months.

    Many commenters here on this thread reacted to the pictures I posted showing the awkward position of the MAX’s engines…it’s clear just from looking at it that this airplane does not look right…legendary pilot and aircraft designer Marcel Dassault famously quipped that in order for an airplane to fly well ‘it must be beautiful’…nobody could accuse the MAX of being beautiful…

    Boeing has to sit down and ask itself how long they can keep updating this airplane…We are getting to the point where legacy features are such a drag on the airplane that we have to go to a clean-sheet airplane.

    –Douglas Moss, instructor at USC’s Viterbi Aviation Safety and Security Program, a former United Airlines captain, an attorney and a former Air Force test pilot, as quoted by the LA Times…

    Here is an illustration from that piece showing the severity of that wing-engine marriage and the bandaid fix of that MCAS system…

    Now it is clear that Boeing simply decided to cut corners…designing an airplane from scratch costs money and takes time…so they simply decided to take a shortcut and slap on a computer duct tape fix for the very real aerodynamic problems that resulted…

    Now here in the details uncovered by the Seattle Times and provided by Boeing engineers and FAA officials we see the full extent of how a process of certificating a new aircraft to long established airworthiness standards has become completely subservient to corporate interests…in other words, hopelessly corrupted…

    Before diving into the details brought to light by aerospace correspondent Dominic Gates in that Seattle Times report from yesterday, let’s review some of the basics of how the airplane’s control system works…here again is an illustration of the airplane tail…

    As noted previously the horizontal stabilizer, also called the tailplane, has on its aft end a set of movable ‘flippers’ called the ‘elevator’…pulling or pushing on the pilot control column [ie the yoke] moves those elevators up and down, which causes the airplane nose to pitch up or down…

    The trim system is separate from the elevators and moves the entire tailplane as shown by the up and down arrows…the obvious thing to note is that moving the entire tailplane is a lot more powerful than just moving the little elevator surfaces in the back…

    The trim system is controlled by turning the handwheels in the center pedestal of the cockpit…both the captain in the left seat and the first officer have one…as shown here…

    You can also see the control column on each side that controls the elevator…now the important thing is that there is also an electric motor that spins those trim wheels…this can be commanded by the pilot with a thumb-operated button on the yoke handle…it can also be commanded by the autopilot in order to ‘trim out’ control forces in the yoke…

    Here’s how that works…let’s say the pilot is pulling back on the yoke in order to nose the plane up and hold a particular airspeed [the airspeed of the airplane is mostly a function of the aircraft attitude, or nose-up or nose-down angle in relation to the oncoming airflow]…rather than hold that yoke pressure for an extended time which is tiring and not a good idea, he will just command the electric trim with that thumb button to spin the trim wheels and that tailplane out back will move up or down [by means of a jackscrew in the tailplane nose] until it’s not necessary to deflect the elevator anymore and the pilot can simply let go of the yoke and the airplane will continue flying ‘hands off’ in the ‘trimmed’ attitude and airspeed…

    The autopilot does the same thing…and the autopilot is engaged for most of the flight, so the autopilot will be commanding the electric motor that spins those trim wheels to either spin nose up or nose down attitude…now this is perfectly normal and is called auto-trim…it means the autopilot has simply done what the human pilot would do and commanded the tailplane up or down so that the elevators are level and no yoke pressure needs to be exerted…either by the pilot or the autopilot…

    Now MCAS is very different from this…and that is where the trouble starts…MCAS is programmed to kick in and start spinning the trim wheels if the flight computer thinks the airplane is at a high nose up angle…ie a high angle of attack…and heading toward a stall…again, this is because those awkwardly mounted big engines can cause the airplane to tip nose-up, instead of wanting to nose back down, as is the natural tendency of a wing at high angle of attack…

    In other words, in a normal, pitch-stable airplane the pilot pulling back on the yoke and nosing the airplane up will require more and more pull force on that yoke, the farther the nose tilts up since the natural stability of the wing is to resist being nosed up ever higher…in a stable airplane, when the pilot has brought the nose up to the very edge of the stall, letting go of the yoke will cause the plane to nose down right away and get out of danger all by itself…ie the airplane doesn’t want to keep nosing up…the force behind this is called the pitching moment, and is inherent in every good wing design…[in fact it is a fortunate coincidence of physics that it is actually quite difficult to design a wing that doesn’t have this ‘self-righting’ tendency…]

    Unfortunately those big engines mounted that far forward completely destroy this natural stability…and hence, a bandaid fix like MCAS is needed…now using a computer to fix an aerodynamic problem with an airplane may not be a terrible thing in and of itself provided the computer fix is done in a really terrific way that leaves no possibilities for a catastrophic snafu…

    Unfortunately, such a perfect computer system does not exist…James Thompson, the author of this article put it very neatly…

    ‘I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.

    President Trump likewise expressed a lot of common sense when he tweeted that technology is getting too complicated and too intrusive…But the whole issue of complexity and human machine interface and even using computers to control an airplane is a very very big subject for another day…for now, let us drill down into the particular revelations of just how astonishingly the process of regulatory oversight for aviation safety has gone off the rails…

    Let’s get back to the technical details of how that stabilizer trim works…the total range of trim travel is 5 degrees, from full up to full down…that is a lot…any wing will typically have an angular range of about 15 degrees from zero lift to full lift, which is followed by stall, a sharply decreasing lift over the wing as the airflow starts becoming turbulent over the top of the wing surface…

    The horizontal stabilizer on the airplane also creates lift, either up or down…and that lift force is multiplied by the distance from the tail to the wing…ie this is a moment arm, like a lever or a crowbar…so that small amount of either up or down lift generated by the tail translates into a lot of ability to turn the airplane nose up or nose down…in normal flight the lift of the wing is balanced by a downforce created by the tail…that is why birds also have tails…

    So what happens if that stabilizer is commanded into the fully nose down position…?…in very simple terms it means there may not be any way to pull the aircraft nose back up, by simply pulling on the yoke…remember the yoke only controls the relatively small elevator surface in the back portion of th stabilizer…what needs to happen in order to get the nose back up is that the stabilizer must be trimmed back to the nose down position before the yoke can start to pull the nose up…

    This is especially true at high speeds…the amount of airflow increases with speed and so does the force on that stabilizer…in fact this force increases exponentially…ie by the square…if the airplane is flying at 400 mph, the force generated by the stabilizer will be FOUR TIMES HIGHER than at 200 mph…at 600 mph it would be nine times higher…[ie 2^2 = 4…and 3^2 = 9]…this is known in aerodynamics as ‘dynamic pressure, and it is basically the force of flowing air against any object…ie putting your hand out the car window…what you feel is dynamic pressure…

    This concept is crucial to understand if you want to know what’s going on in an airplane in flight…for instance, let’s say the airplane is flying at just 200 mph and your copilot puts in full nose down trim…that stabilizer out back is now extended to the full airplane nose down position [the stabilizer itself is actually full nose up] and your copilot now asks you to take control of the airplane…you take the yoke and suddenly feel that it takes a lot of effort pulling back on the yoke to keep the airplane from nosediving…this is actually a common way that a flight instructor will introduce a student to the power of the trim wheel…

    Now if you increase the airplane speed to 400 mph…you will find that even with both pilots pulling back on the yoke, it is impossible to bring the plane out of its nosedive…remember the above math…that stabilizer is now making four times as much force due to the higher speed…

    Now just imagine that instead of a copilot or flight instructor playing games with you with the trim…it is the MCAS computer that is doing this…and now here is where it gets interesting…let’s walk through this scenario…the MCAS noses the plane down, which results in the aircraft immediately picking up speed…you counteract this by commanding trim from the thumb button or by pulling back on the yoke, but before you even get the plane nose back up, the MCAS is again putting the nose down…again the sped builds up…before long you are going much faster than your typical climb speed of 250 knots…

    At this point that stabilizer may be in the fully nose-down position [as we have already seen from the recovered jackscrew] and the only way we can save the airplane now is to MANUALLY SPIN THOSE TRIM WHEELS TO GET THE NOSE BACK UP…

    ‘In the final seconds [Lion Air flight], the black box data shows the captain resumed control and pulled back up with high force. But it was too late. The plane dived into the sea at more than 500 miles per hour.’

    That is the reality of how that works…now the Seattle Times investigation gives us all the details as to how this sorry state of affairs came about…

    The MCAS can move the stabilizer by up to 2.5 degrees, which is half of the total amount of travel in the stabilizer…however, it is programmed to go to a maximum of 2.5 degrees each time…so if the pilot reverses it and it kicks in again, it will go another 2.5 degrees…which adds up to the full travel of the stabilizer…

    ‘Peter Lemme, a former Boeing flight controls engineer who is now an avionics and satellite-communications consultant, said that because MCAS reset each time it was used, “it effectively has unlimited authority.”

    “It had full authority to move the stabilizer the full amount,” Lemme said. “There was no need for that. Nobody should have agreed to giving it unlimited authority.”

    If that isn’t bad enough, the airplane was actually certified with the MCAS maximum being only 0.6 degrees, not 2.5 degrees which is four times greater…and certainly not the full 5 degrees, which it effectively has…

    ‘After the Lion Air Flight 610 crash, Boeing for the first time provided to airlines details about MCAS. Boeing’s bulletin to the airlines stated that the limit of MCAS’s command was 2.5 degrees.

    That number was new to FAA engineers who had seen 0.6 degrees in the safety assessment.

    “The FAA believed the airplane was designed to the 0.6 limit, and that’s what the foreign regulatory authorities thought, too,” said an FAA engineer. “It makes a difference in your assessment of the hazard involved.”

    To make matters even worse…[if things could even get any worse]…this Frankenstein system that could effectively size control of the airplane and put it beyond the reach of pilots to recover…was allowed to be made dependent on just one AOA sensor even though the airplane has two such sensors…[I had posted a picture of that sensor with one of my previous comments above…]

    So those are just some of the astounding details that are emerging now…I have tried to give a little bit of aerodynamic and piloting background here to further the understanding of the layman on some of these points…

    • Replies: @FB
  441. FB says:
    @FB

    Forgot to include that illustration of the aircraft tail…

  442. @res

    Yes, I work in real science (biochemistry and cell biology), not humanities (thank goodness).

    Many grad programs now do not require GRE, as it was found to be useless. Even when we did require GRE (when I served on the admissions committee some years back), we did not put much emphasis on it, for the stated reason. The decision to invite for an interview was based on experience (we did not consider people with zero research experience, as research is not a job, it’s a lifestyle and a worldview) and recommendation letters from research supervisors. You had to read between the lines, though. The decision to make an offer was mostly based on the interview results (applicants talked to four people during the day, and then with some more during the dinner in the evening). I am sure foreign students who got PhD in the US had their GREs, but I don’t think these scores contributed much to the decision of the admissions committees. I never asked anyone for their GRE scores. The majority of my post-docs got their PhD elsewhere, so they never had those tests.

    Within the population you are selecting from.

    That’s a valid point. Those interested in careers in basic sciences are not your random people. First, they must have creativity and strong intellectual curiosity. Second, they must have a specific type of ambition: pitting your wits against nature, not fooling the fools (the latter is business and finance; in my book, there is no glory in it). Third, the greater part of our reward is enjoying the process, not the money – research does not pay much, even at the professor level. With the education I have and the effort I put in, I’d be making 10 times more in medicine or law, or 50-100 times more in business/finance. As they say, there is nothing easier than getting rich: you just have to devote your whole life to it.

    In many countries, colleges conduct entrance exams for admissions, do not use test scores. This costs a lot more, but yields real info, not the illusion of info that test scores give.

    Anyway, what I say applies to research in natural sciences, which does require intelligence, willingness to work hard, and creativity. Where either or all of these things don’t matter, test scores are a cheap substitute.

    • Replies: @res
  443. @Achmed E. Newman

    welcoming country

    I like that. The country that is welcoming you to exploit your abilities, acquired at no expense to it. Do you have any more pearls up your sleeve?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  444. @FB

    Thanks for your comments. That Seattle Times report is extraordinary, and I now fear for Boeing. Joe Sutter would be ashamed of what Boeing has become. I think he said “If you are going to get a problem, it will be in the wing”. In this case, under the wing, his 737 wing.

    • Replies: @FB
  445. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yea, when I came in 1991 more than 90% of faculty were American-born, although about half of the post-docs were already foreign-born. Since then the research funding (in real $) went down (“flush with money”, my foot), the competition for research grants became a lot fiercer, and requirements for a publication in all reputable scientific became a lot more stringent. So, natural selection intensified, only those who really like doing research for relatively low (compared to medicine, law, business, finance) pay remained, while money-grabbing crowd moved to greener pastures.

    FYI, more than 80% of American-born graduate students after PhD defense do not go into basic research (some explicitly say “I don’t want a life like yours”), but move to industry (higher pay), government (less work and guaranteed employment), teaching or publishing (a lot less work and pressure), etc. Much greater percentage of foreign-born PhDs actually look for a post-doc positions and pursue an academic career. Even among undergrad volunteers (work 8-12 h per week in the lab for free to gain an experience) ~80% are foreign-born, even though they constitute ~10% of total undergrad population.

    Despite sustained efforts of the US Congress to ruin American science, the US is still one of the best places in the world to do basic research. This is changing. Singapore, Taiwan, and big China are becoming more and more competitive. Ten-fifteen more years of current policies (just an increase in the Pentagon budget this year was greater than NIH and NSF budgets put together) and in science the US will sink to the level of Burkina Faso. Then foreign-born scientists would go elsewhere. That would be a great achievement, don’t you think, something to be proud of, no?

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  446. AaronB says:

    Boeing has pointed out that the pilots flying the same plane on the day before the crash experienced similar behavior to Flight 610 and did exactly that: They threw the stabilizer cutoff switches, regained control and continued with the rest of the flight.

    Boeing’s safety analysis of the system assumed that “the pilots would recognize what was happening as a runaway and cut off the switches,” said the engineer. “The assumptions in here are incorrect. The human factors were not properly evaluated.”

    This strikes me as the takeaway message. Don’t create a situation where human pilots can make catastrophic mistakes if they don’t understand what’s going on.

    Layers of redundancy should be built in.

    Since MCAS was supposed to activate only in extreme circumstances far outside the normal flight envelope, Boeing decided that 737 pilots needed no extra training on the system — and indeed that they didn’t even need to know about it. It was not mentioned in their flight manuals

    Understandable, but hubris.

    Boeing has clearly grown overly complacent, and clearly messed up. Now that a clearer picture is emerging, for me at least, this seems like a more reasonable case of human error, overconfidence, complacency, overestimation, and the like – not the absolute reckless disregard some were describing this at first.

    Heads should roll. But its not as bad as I first thought. Its not like Chinese companies knowingly using false milk to kill babies, for instance.

    Still, for an American company, its very bad – and someone should be held accountable.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Godfree Roberts
  447. @FB

    Its good. Its educational. But it has nothing to do with this crash.
    By the way it does not push the nose much. it only lifts the tail up or pushes the tail down.
    For pilot it is only a little adjustment.
    ……………………………………………………..
    The main adjustment of the angle of aircraft is done by jack screw that is pushing the weight forward or backward. French investigators did find out that the weight was pushed all the way forward that caused the aircraft to nosedive. System driving the jack screw is complicated,
    In horizontal flight the screw rotationaly oscillate mowing the weight forward or backward.
    Now the additional function to this screw was assigned by anti stalling function That means when the thrust of the engines is not enough to support angle of clime this screw will correct the angle.
    (for come reason they call it attack angle.)
    So what did happen that this system did commit the error that instead of correcting the angle pushed the angle into minus all the way down. Whatever caused the dysfunction of this feature can be easily corrected. Could be also made incremental, and also could be made positive stop when aircraft is in horizontal position. Also more drives with coupling can be used for screw. (servomotors.)
    To correct this error should be no problem for Boeing at all.

  448. What is most interesting that all those terrorists, who flew all those aircraft at 911 into all those buildings had not a little bit of problem to do it. And they did learn all those pilot skill in one week practicing on Cessna.

    (My cousin Vinny)

    They must have had I.Q at least 300

  449. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    ‘This strikes me as the takeaway message. Don’t create a situation where human pilots can make catastrophic mistakes if they don’t understand what’s going on.

    Layers of redundancy should be built in.

    The aviation world thanks you for promptly solving this problem, Peanut…we’ll certainly try to ‘understand what’s going on’ from here on in…

    Btw…could we hear from Cousin Cashew also…?…I’m sure his insights would be just as brilliant…

    PS…how’s the crash course on brain surgery coming along…remember the golden rule…measure twice, cut once…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  450. FB says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    ‘Joe Sutter would be ashamed of what Boeing has become.’

    Indeed…how times have changed…here’s a comment I came across that paints a pretty good picture…

    …for decades Boeing did not need regulatory capture because it built superb aircraft with double and triple redundancy mechanisms on all key systems. The 747 is still flying fifty years later and has had remarkably few accidents.

    What few people seem to understand…is that a revolution occurred when investment banking took over industry and almost everything else in the 1980s and 1990s. After 1997 Wall Street began to run Boeing, not the engineers that had always run the company… Rather than regulatory capture Boeing’s problem has been Wall Street capture under the guise of creating shareholder value.

    In 1987 Wall Street first came banging on Boeing’s door in the considerable shape of takeover artist and Texan mafia redneck T. Boone Pickens. Though his attempt was rebuffed Boeing felt forced into accepting the Wall Street shock doctrine to avoid another more powerful takeover attempt (GE under Jack Welch). Plans for new planes were frozen, R&D spending was slashed and 50,000 workers were laid off. Management consultants and MBAs flooded the place and so many new systems were in operation that staff could hardly remember what the acronyms stood for – WCC, the five S’s. JIT, DBT’s and AIWs to name just a few – all with the aim of cutting costs and employee numbers. So great was the employee cull that the whole place came to a juddering halt and no planes were built for several weeks in 1997 at a cost of $2.6 billion.

    Wall Street loves what it calls M&As (Mergers and Acquisitions) because it makes a hefty profit off each deal and it is a good way to achieve rapid earnings growth. So on Wall Street orders Boeing bought the ailing McDonnell Douglas (makers of the ill-fated DC10) in 1997 to gain income from MDD’s military contracts. MDD boss Harry Stonecipher, who effectively took over Boeing, had been a Jack Welch (Mr Shareholder Value ) disciple for twenty years and had helped Jack eviscerate employee numbers and turn GE from an engineering company to a vast conglomerate with its own massive financial services arm. Just check out the parlous state of GE now! [incidentally GE Aviation is the world’s biggest aircraft engine manufacturer–FB]

    But Boeing’s commercial aircraft division was still not producing the expected results for the Street. Wall Street advisors decided that there was something unique in Boeing’s culture that resisted the imposition of the new culture, and that the ties between management and staff were so deep and ingrained that only a physical separation could offer the distance and the anonymity necessary to “shake the company up”. So it was decided to move HQ to Chicago, which boasted a well-developed financial sector where Condit and Stonecipher might find the sort of contacts befitting a company that was fast becoming a finance-driven business (Muellerleile, 2009). Employees in Seattle were stunned and morale sank to an all-time low.

    Whereas previous CEOS had lived in modest middle class homes and traveled on Boeing commercial planes, Stonecipher and Condit treated themselves to luxury houses and corporate jets. The separation was complete. Now, twenty years up the line, the results of such greed and criminality are plain for all to see.

    —a commenter who goes buy ‘Lochearn,’ posted on the Moon of Alabama blog…

    • Replies: @Factorize
  451. @AnonFromTN

    This goes for pretty much any country, but I wish people’d get it straight that the people the government.

    American people WERE* welcoming to individuals (I know I’ve been), but that doesn’t mean they wanted to welcome millions.

    The GOVERNMENT is down with exploiting foreigners and screwing over Americans in order to keep labor costs down and not have a middle class anymore. Middle class people have enough money to spend on political action, form associations, and get uppity, including, gasp!, running for public office to fix things. Elites don’t take too kindly to that.

    Do you have any more pearls up your sleeve?

    No pearl there, just common sense from the experience of 40-odd years watching traditional America get flushed down the toilet.

    .

    * Some still are, but I’d say until this immigration invasion got out of hand 10 to 15 years ago for most of us.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  452. res says:
    @AnonFromTN

    That’s a valid point. Those interested in careers in basic sciences are not your random people. First, they must have creativity and strong intellectual curiosity. Second, they must have a specific type of ambition: pitting your wits against nature, not fooling the fools (the latter is business and finance; in my book, there is no glory in it). Third, the greater part of our reward is enjoying the process, not the money – research does not pay much, even at the professor level. With the education I have and the effort I put in, I’d be making 10 times more in medicine or law, or 50-100 times more in business/finance.

    Well put. Probably should have all undergrads considering a research career read that.

    To your list I would add the intellectual chops to succeed in a science undergrad program to a sufficient degree to be accepted into a PhD program. We can argue about how well tests can screen for that ability, but I think it is hard to dispute the basic point that we are not talking about your average intellectual ability person here.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  453. Factorize says:
    @FB

    FB, thank you for all your helpful comments. There are more levels of dysfunction involved than I would have at first imagined (or believed). For example, your explanation of how the MCAS system interacted with several features of the tail plane which then amplified the problem through time is extremely revealing.

    The initial suggestions on thread that the incidents were related to IQ do not appear valid. The Lion Air pilot went through 21 cycles of trying to regain control of his aircraft and then handed it over to his co-pilot. The flight crew rapidly understood the nature of the problem and introduced moderately successful counter-measures. Reports speak of a hundred pounds of pressure not being sufficient to control the aircraft. While the flight crew appeared to know exactly what they needed to do to temporarily re-establish an upward trajectory, the MCAS apparently counter-acted their efforts. Is there anything that they could have done that would have helped? This is not clear to me. The MCAS did not want to stop driving the plane downwards.

    It is surprising to me that there was so little redundancy built into the systems and that the sensors were so removed from personal contact. For this, I am thinking about rear view mirrors on cars. If you need to adjust the rear view mirror, then this can be done quite readily. The intuitively obvious thing would be for the AoA sensor to be accessible by crew and if necessary could be manually unjammed. However, the sensor(s) was(were) placed beyond reach.

    How is it that even when the plane was on a collision course with the ground that the MCAS did not disengage? Would not an override of the MCAS by a simple level in the cockpit be sensible? One of those levels that you can buy in a hardware store with the bubbles in them. I would guess that planes would be equipped with them. Yet, why would the MCAS system be allowed to remain engaged even once the plane had returned to a “level” orientation? Such a sensor could be right in the cockpit and would not be exposed to the same vagaries of an external sensor. (I suppose that a stall might conceivably happen even with the plane “level”, depending on wind direction, though I am unclear whether this is truly plausibly).

    Another redundancy that seems strangely missing is an anti-MCAS system. Stalling is obvious a substantial flight risk, though one also should appreciate how anti-stalling (i.e., diving) would be dangerous. Why wouldn’t they have coupled such systems?

    With the jack screw, why there would not be more redundancy. Are they serious that if one screw is not properly lubricated that an entire airplane could (and has) failed? Am I the only one who is now seeing the benefits of walking? An idea that I thought of was to put the jack screw into possibly two or three other jack screw compartments. The MCAS could do a maximal push down with the first jack screw but then another screw mechanism could lift up the tail plane and MCAS would be physically overridden. Such an approach would create redundancy for any situation in which the first jack screw might jam, be driven by incorrect sensor readings (e.g. MCAS) etc.

    Would cutting thrusters when the plane was in a dive have helped? The scenario that I have imagined is the pilots might have cut thrusters once they had reached one of the tops of their roller coaster ride and then dead sticked a glide, while they tried to figure things out. {I realize that gliding a plane with the tail plane at the wrong angle might make such an idea completely non-applicable). However, if the thrusters were on full during nose down, then the thrusters would then seem to be acting to drive the plane into the ground.

    Comments would be greatly welcome.

    • Replies: @wayfarer
    , @James Thompson
    , @FB
  454. @Achmed E. Newman

    What makes you think that “foreigners” (Brits would say “bloody foreigners”) don’t want the US to be a decent reasonably well organized country, same as American-born people? I don’t mean strawberry pickers or ditch diggers, I mean educated people who came to the US looking for things that aren’t here any more. Don’t you think that it’s a huge disappointment watching this country being run into the ground by greedy elites? Don’t you think that people who witnessed the collapse of one Empire aren’t eager to watch the collapse of yet another one? The US was a decent country, but it’s becoming a shithole even as we speak. While the greedy globohomos lacking any ethical scruples laugh at us, regardless where we were born.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  455. @res

    As a matter of fact, I tell this the applicants to our grad school I interview (5-10 every year). I just try to weed out those who like money more than intellectual satisfaction. In my book, otherwise they should be practicing medicine, law, or sell used cars. I don’t know whether it helps, but I try to do my bit.

    And yes, in addition to all that you need a strong fighting spirit to survive. However, fighting spirit can only be tested in a real fight, so it’s up to them. I also tell them that grad school is the last time when someone else is interested in their success. After that, it’s a jungle out there.

  456. wayfarer says:
    @Factorize

    A-10 Thunderbolt II

    Durability and Redundant Engineering Features: In case enemy fire does get through, the A-10 Thunderbolt lives up to its reputation as a true flying tank. The pilot sits in a titanium-armored bucket, rated to stop up to 23mm ground fire, plus every other vital component of the aircraft is protected by several layers of Kevlar and steel plating. As a final fail safe, all hydraulic and electric flight controls have backup manual systems to keep the plane airborne even after a catastrophic hit.

    https://militarymachine.com/10-thunderbolt-ii/

    “How the A-10 Became the Most Survivable Plane Ever Built”

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  457. CanSpeccy says:
    @FB

    Thanks for the exposition. What happened is truly staggering. I mean, this fiasco concerned not some piddly detail to do with the seat-back video display or the arrangement for heating croissants in the first-class galley. This concerned the solution to a serious issue upon which depended the viability of a $600 billion-dollar business and the safety of millions of passengers. And the solution they came up with was so micky mouse, that even an idiot such as Peanut, here, or myself can see there was something crazy about it.

    And then, when the “fix” killed 189 people, they just kept quiet, warned no one of the hazard they had created, waiting to see, I suppose, whether they could roll out a software update before killing another 157 people. And they think me and Peanut want to fly on this damn plane? Well they got another think coming.

    This was so big, it had to be under the purview of the top guys at Boeing, or if it was not, what the frack is it the top guys at Boeing do keep their eyes on while a $600 billion sales backlog maybe going down the tubes? These are people earning millions a year, probably tens of millions some of them, and they’re so totally out to lunch, apparently, that far from it being silly as Achmed thinks for people here to talk of solutions, the reality is the folks here would have done better than the whole management board at Boeing. Sheesh.

    And this suddenly has me scared. I mean if a company the size and with the technical reputation of Boeing can’t be relied on to produce inherently safe airplanes, what about the rest of the system: You know, the military with their thousand and one nukes, all on a hair-trigger; the banks who’ve got all my money; the food supply chains. Have we just about outrun our capacity to manage things? Are not all the signs pointing to a civilizational collapse, implosion or explosion soon?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @FB
  458. @CanSpeccy

    Are not all the signs pointing to a civilizational collapse, implosion or explosion soon?

    What if?

    Luther’s answer was: To plant an apple tree – in a n y case = – to keep going (Jack Kerouac -The DharmaBums).

    Another way to put it: Don’t underestimate the public in a democratic society. And the importance of public reasoning – and free speech, for that matter (this is communications-philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ most important point – that this is the way, to keep reason alive (and kickin’!) in complex societies).

    I. a. words: Don’t underestimate unz.com. And especially: Don’t you underestimate James Thompson (and res), hehe! – See: Dr. Thompson is the one who sparked this all of, isn’t he?

    And wouldn’t you think that the differences you have with him and res are minor quibbles compared just to the heavy load of good arguments and contemporariness in these two MAX-comment threads (this is a word in German, at least – I know of no better one in English, unfortunately), which was enabled here?

  459. @Factorize

    Angle of attack and air speed indicators are outside the plane. As to the switch off procedure, look at the previous comments, and the videos.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @Sam McGowan
  460. FB says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    ‘What happened is truly staggering.’

    Indeed…in a properly balanced society people would go to jail for this…in China, they would literally hang…I mean what’s the difference between tainted milk that kills people, or a willfully flawed passenger jet that kills people…?

    I have a feeling the 737 MAX is toast…people will simply vote with their feet and refuse to fly on these kluges…here’s a comment from ‘Biff’ on Mr. Thompson’s follow up article thread here…

    ‘…it’s not an airplane, for the same reason a boat that rolls over and sinks to the bottom is not a boat – it may have a stern, and starboard/port side, but if it don’t float, it’s not a boat. The 737 max8 will eventually nose up; stall, and then fall to the ground. It may have wings, but it ain’t an airplane, and I will not climb aboard – please cancel my ticket.’

    And yes, I agree with you about all the other so-called ‘responsible’ players you mentioned…military, banks, and even food supply…this is simply what happens when a society keeps going down the wrong path…we’re probably past the point of no return here in the west…I started realizing this some years ago, just by the barometer of general dumbness that’s becoming more and more prevalent in the populace…I remember the Great Blackout in the northeast back in 2003…my town had no electricity for several days…so gas pumps weren’t working…grocery stores threw out 90 percent of the of the food because it was no good without refrigeration…some opened their doors for a few hours and let in people one by one, but not into the aisles sections, which were blocked off…just into the checkout section where they would hand you a box of cereal and some bottle water and no charge…since their cash registers weren’t’ working…

    Yeah I trust the geniuses that run our system about as far as I can throw them…

  461. FB says: • Website
    @Factorize

    *taken

    ‘Is there anything that they could have done that would have helped? This is not clear to me. The MCAS did not want to stop driving the plane downwards.’

    Right now, it sounds to me like those airplanes could not have been saved no matter what the pilots did…we’ll have to see what the investigators conclude…although non-pilots need to realize that right after takeoff the worst possible thing that could possibly happen is for the airplane to suddenly pitch nose down…you are simply too close to the ground you have just taken off from…an airliner is a big and slowly maneuvering aircraft…it is not a fighter jet…it takes thousands of feet to recover from a dive…so how are you going to save the airplane when you are not high enough…?

    Even if you do everything right, a computer that noses the plane into a dive right after takeoff is almost guaranteed to kill you…

    I will say also that after years in the industry and having seen deceased pilots blamed conveniently for problems with airplanes, I do not have full faith in the accident investigation system…

    Folks you have to realize that even the NTSB [US National Transportation Safety Board] which is responsible for investigating crashes and determining cause has certain limits as to how far they can go…the last thing they want to do is to spook the flying public by declaring that passenger jets are unsafe…so the finding is almost always ‘pilot error’…yes pilot error is often a factor, but a lot of times we see that aircraft design is not up to snuff either…

    A specific example is Air France 296…a demonstration flight and PR event for the very first A320 back in 1988…the world’s first fly-by wire aircraft…ie flown by computer…if you look up the particulars you will find that Capt Asseline, a former test pilot with literally top of the heap credentials, was blamed for this crash…in which most people survived including Capt Asseline…they ruined this man’s life and career based on an obvious lie…he made a planned low pass over the runway, which was lined with thousands of spectators for this event…but when he applied power to start climbing away again, the airplane engines simply refused to spool…the video clearly shows there was lots of time for those engines to spool up [in jet engines there is a bit of a delay of several seconds until power builds up]…the reason is that the computer refused to let the engines spool because the airplane was low to the ground and the computer had gone into landing mode…

    The airplane impacted trees at the end of the runway after not being able to climb away…the French authorities actually doctored the flight data recorder to frame Capt Asseline…the authorities claimed farcically that he didn’t apply power soon enough…a lie clearly proved by the spectator video fo the flyby…

    You have to realize the balance of power involved here…pilots are simply employees…all we have is our union…and often this union [for instance the American Airlines union] is not trustworthy…their union rep is now going on national TV and peddling Boeing PR bullshit…I bet a lot of pilots in his own airline want to beat the snot out of this guy…

    So that’s the basic equation…the people who fly the airplanes are nothing compared to the hugely powerful corporations like Boeing…America’s most powerful corporation…even if the NTSB wanted to be brutally honest about the 737 MAX, they still need to think about not scaring the flying public into believing airplanes can be so bad…that could have huge repercussions for the entire air travel industry…I expect we will see some level of blame assigned to the pilots, whether objectively warranted or not…

    As for your question about the jackscrew…this is not a problem at all so there is no need to worry about it…we have one commenter here who knows absolutely zilch about airplanes, or aeronautical design who is just squirting preposterous diarrhea about jackscrews…there was one failure in the history of air travel with a stabilizer jackscrew…that was on an MD83 aircraft…Alaska Airlines flight 261…the reason was improper maintenance…they simply weren’t lubricating the jackscrew at the required intervals…

    Some components are just inherently single points of failure…for example the wing spar, which carries all the flight loads of the airplane, which can exceed the aircraft’s weight by up to four times in a high g turn or pullup…it’s simply not practical to have a redundant backup in these cases…however, there is strict regulatory guidance for these single point of failure components…specifically it must prove that it won’t fail in one billion flight hours

    So those are miniscule odds…in the case of Alaskan 261 the jackscrew actually broke right in half, which caused the tailplane to go way out of its normal range…so Nasa eventually came out with a way that still constrained the movement of the tailplane even if the jackscrew were to break…ie there is nothing to worry about on that front…here is some info on that failsafe design…

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Factorize
  462. dearieme says:

    “It was not mentioned in their flight manuals”: that should be a hanging offence.

    Almost all the discussion, learned or faux-learned, misses the point. If the ruddy pilots aren’t told about the system then the rest is just details.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  463. @wayfarer

    Impressive planning for eventualities, and a clear focus on the mission.

  464. wayfarer says:
    @James Thompson

    When Failure is an Option:
    Redundancy, Reliability, and Regulation in Complex Technical Systems

    source: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36537/1/Disspaper53.pdf

    Abstract: This paper argues that redundancy in engineering, should be understood as a ‘design paradigm’ that frames regulatory assessments and interpretations of all complex technical systems, profoundly shaping decisions and judgements about modern technologies. It will further argue that the ‘redundancy paradigm’ used by regulators contains epistemic ambiguities that lead to imperfect predictions about the effects of redundancy in practice. By deconstructing the logic of redundancy in relation to aviation regulation, this paper illuminates much wider issues about technology governance.

    Introduction: On 24 June 1982, 37,000 feet above the Indian Ocean, a British Airways Boeing 747 began losing power from its four engines. Passengers and crew noticed a numinous blue glow around the engine housings and smoke creeping into the flight deck. Minutes later, one engine shut down completely. Before the crew could fully respond, a second failed, then a third and then, upsettingly, the fourth. The pilots found themselves gliding a powerless Jumbo-Jet, 80 nautical miles from land and 180 from a viable runway.

  465. AaronB says:
    @dearieme

    Even that is not as bad as it sounds at first.

    Apparently you do not need to know specifically about MCAS to correctly conclude there is a runaway trim problem and to throw the cutoff switches. That is exactly what the Lion Air pilots did on the flight before the crash flight – also without knowing about MCAS – and recovered control.

    If the nose is repeatedly being pushed down mysteriously, then it’s hard to understand why any pilot would fail to conclude there is a runaway trim problem, even without fully understanding precisely what the problem is, and to throw the cutoff switches.

    That was what Boeing was counting on, and it worked in at least one case. The problem is that in a high stress situation not everyone retains presence of mind, even if the solution is extremely simple to implement.

    With so any flights these days, and so many Third World carriers, the potential for human error is much greater.

    Boeing should have better evaluated the human factor – the propensity for people to freeze up in crisis situations even when a tiny and obvious movement would save them. Passenger aircraft are not designed to be flown by highly selected military aviators trained in crisis, but by lowest common denominator but still competent pilots.

    Boeing did indeed mess up, and heads should roll. But the error chain is far more human and understandable than I had feared. This is well in line with occasional catastrophic human screw ups, and not deliberate malice or disregard as I had feared it was.

    • Replies: @FB
  466. Biff says:
    @FB

    Folks you have to realize that even the NTSB [US National Transportation Safety Board] which is responsible for investigating crashes and determining cause has certain limits as to how far they can go…

    In more ways than one. In regards to the investigation of Pan am flight 800 some resigned in protest for having to cover up the obvious, but that’s another can of worms, but it does back up the fact that politics trumps the truth.

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-film-feeds-conspiracy-theories-crash-twa-flight-800-article-1.1376580

  467. Sparkon says:
    @James Thompson

    The sensors are on the exterior of the airplane, but the AOA and airspeed indicators are on the instrument panel directly in front of the pilot. I realize you know that, but chose the wrong term.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  468. @Sparkon

    Thanks. Yes, I assumed that it was known that the displays are in the cockpit otherwise, er, they would not be seen, but wished to correct the misunderstanding that you could reset the actual angle of attack sensors from within the cabin. So, wrong term. This is the sort of ambiguity in language which might bring down a plane.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  469. Sparkon says:
    @James Thompson

    Yes, the words can get in the way.

    I should add, I think many airplanes do have external markings or calibrations painted, stamped or embossed on the airplane’s skin adjacent to the horizontal stabilizers, or stabs, so that the angle/position of these critical control surfaces can be ascertained from outside the airplane.

    I think it would be an excellent idea to equip modern jetliners with flush-mounted 4K external cameras including full coverage of all control surfaces so that these could be monitored by pilots, and transmitted live to ground controllers and technicians if necessary.

  470. @Sparkon

    A useful additional indicator.

  471. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    ‘Apparently you do not need to know specifically about MCAS to correctly conclude there is a runaway trim problem and to throw the cutoff switches. That is exactly what the Lion Air pilots did on the flight before the crash flight – also without knowing about MCAS – and recovered control.”

    That flight was in CRUISE WITH THOUSANDS OF FEET OF ALTITUDE when the MCAS problem happened…’

    There’s a big difference between cruise and takeoff, but an armchair pilot and amateur brain surgeon like you would certainly not understand that…an airplane in cruise can be recovered from a dive, an aircraft that has just taken off cannot…

    Also there is a huge difference between runaway trim and a malfunctioning MCAS…and btw the runaway trim procedure means getting an NNC [non-normal checklist] out and going through it…how do you do that when the airplane is 1,000 feet above mountains…?

    With so any flights these days, and so many Third World carriers, the potential for human error is much greater.

    Those pilots of third-world countries receive their training in first-world countries…sitting in the same classes and flying the same simulators as pilots from Europe and elsewhere…much has been made of the 200 hour first office WHO WAS NOT FLYING THE AIRPLANE but that exact same thing happens in Britain and the EU…go on British Airways and you are just as likely to have a 200 hour FO…pilot training is now an immersive course from ab initio [zero flight hours] to a first officer position at a regional airline…there is nothing inherently wrong with this…a similar immersive training regiment occurs in military aviation, and cadets similarly progress rather quickly from first flight to flying a fighter jet…

    You have to be a massive fucking ignoramus to pontificate on subjects about which you know absolute zero…

    Fortunately you are dumber than 90 percent of people out there…which means that the MAX, an inherently unstable airplane with a first-of its kind computer system to fix an inherent instability problem, will likely not survive…

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Factorize
  472. Factorize says:
    @FB

    The idea about introducing the ability to control the AoA sensor from inside the airplane is brilliant! It would be somewhat absurd, though we have all seen what happens when the indicator is simply allowed to nose plant the plane. It would be right up there with whacking the pinball machine.

    Sparkon’s photo clearly shows the ridiculousness. The AoA sensor only seems to be displayed from outside of the aircraft. Also, it should be noted that the sensorin that photo is in a completely different location than in the 737 MAX. If you can put this sensor almost anywhere why not simply put it right on the sides by the cockpit? The idea is that with the sensor nice and handy, one could simply manually “adjust” the value from the sensor. Let’s say the sensor reads a stall angle of 40 degrees. You could first try an unjamming crank. If that were not successful then you could go to fine tuning adjustment knob that was independent of the actual sensor and move it down 40 degrees. Giving the flight crew the ability to manually correct the faulty sensor would restore their ability to control the aircraft.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  473. Sbaker says:

    I know a little bit about air travel since I log about 100k miles annually, but here is a note from a retired Navy Pilot suggesting not all pilots have equivalent background and knowledge. Far as I know this man does not have a blog.

    “737 MAX… THE REST OF THE STORY…

    For those interested in the recent spate of accidents involving Boeing’s newest 737 variant, the real story of what is going on behind the scenes is largely not being reported.

    [MORE]

    It was interesting to note that President Trump alluded to the problem in a round about way, but unless you are a pilot you probably missed the point. In essence, President Trump was saying that technology is a poor substitute for a qualified pilot in command.

    One of the most basic skills a pilot learns from day one is energy management of the airplane. If the plane is too slow, it will literally drop from the sky. Too fast and the wings/airframe can come apart with disastrous consequences.

    In the history of commercial aviation in the US and western countries, the first crop of pilots to enter commercial service were the post world war two pilots. Those guys were the real deal and not only hand flew almost all of their hours but also in some of the most demanding conditions. The second wave were the airport kids who just fell in love with the idea of being a pilot and scrimped and saved to take lessons. Both categories of pilots were skilled in the art of aviation.

    With the explosion of second and third world travel, there were not even close to the number of skilled pilots to fly the thousands of new generation planes coming out of airbus and boeing. Unline Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong airline that was almost exclusively piloted by british pilots, the new asian airlines wanted asian pilots to man the cockpits…often with disasterous results. Asiana flight 214 crashed in SFO in 2014 because the pilots did not know how to hand fly the plane when the ground-based approach ILS was out of service.

    Boeing, the FAA and worldwide aviation agencies track not only accidents, but also INCIDENTS…crap that was going sideways but didnt result in a crash. The number of unqualified pilots from asia and africa was plain to see in the number of errors being committed on a daily basis.

    To make a long story short, airbus saw this eventuality decades ago and implemented automatic safety systems in anticipation of unqualified aircrews. Boeing resisted for a lot of very good reasons…but after the Asiana crash, the chinese government basically told Boeing to “idiot-proof” the 737 as china would end up being the biggest purchaser of that model. Since Boeing had opted not to add automated control systems (which often override pilot’s inputs) they were forced to apply a band-aid solution which, unfortunately was not done well. Only one sensor was driving some very complicated algos which worked against the pilot’s decision-making inputs.

    The fact that the asian and african pilots were essentially unqualified is highly embarrassing to the respective governments and boeing kept it quiet. When ALPA, the pilot’s union reps found the system was added without informing the pilots, they went insane…

    However, what they DON’T know, is that the MCAS system can be enabled or disabled per plane, and can be done remotely on a real time basis via uplink. The US airlines management, due to the superior training and piloting skills opted NOT to activate MCAR…but the asian/african carriers DID. That is why most of the “ crappy” airlines self grounded while all the major US airlines are still flying without a problem.

    Its a very PC issue, but basically comes down to 30-40% of the global pilot population are really not qualified to be pilots, but more just data input managers.”

    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @Factorize
    , @CanSpeccy
    , @Biff
  474. AaronB says:
    @FB

    which means that the MAX, an inherently unstable airplane with a first-of its kind computer system to fix an inherent instability problem, will likely not survive…

    I actually agree. These computer fixes are non-redundant systems and are a bad move. This avenue of progressing should be shut down.

    I am merely pointing out that the error chain here is quite human and understandable once all the facts are known, and the level of irresponsibility, while culpable, far below reckless disregard.

    As for Third World pilots, I don’t believe in the IQ nonsense. Its proven bad science. But I am well acquainted with the mentality of these countries, and I am quite convinced that a lifetime spent learning to only follow rote instructions, to avoid unusual or novel situations and to fear them, and to be punished for independent thinking will take its toll on a persons ability to respond well in a crisis.

    I have personally witnessed astounding levels of incompetence in these countries that I attribute to these personality traits (not IQ).

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @CanSpeccy
  475. Factorize says:
    @Sbaker

    Is this correct? American airlines never even turned the MCAS on? That completely changes the conversation! What are we talking about then? How was this highly relevant piece of information overlooked until now?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  476. @Factorize

    The angle of attack sensing device shows the angle at which the air is rushing over the wings. Three pressure sensors in the tube send electronic signals to the cockpit.

    Both AOA configurations consist of a heated wing probe that looks similar to a standard pitot tube. Both AoA versions also require an air-data computer and a visual cockpit indicator. The AOA tube is constructed with two tiny machined holes to create differential pressure sources. One hole is bore-sighted at the front of the AOA tube along the longitudinal axis, while the second, located at the bottom of the AOA probe, is pointed downward at a 45-degree angle to act as a reference source.
    </blockquote

    You do not crank it or meddle with it. It has to be free to be set by the passing air, and correctly transmit that information to the pilots.

  477. @AaronB

    Well, I constantly encounter “astounding levels of incompetence” right here in the US. This includes the Congress and the Presidency. What do you suggest?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  478. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Sbaker

    … the MCAS system can be enabled or disabled per plane, and can be done remotely on a real time basis via uplink. The US airlines management, due to the superior training and piloting skills opted NOT to activate MCAR…but the asian/african carriers DID. That is why most of the “ crappy” airlines self grounded while all the major US airlines are still flying without a problem.

    Dumb niggers again. Jeeze, Boeing gave them an automated system allegedly to prevent the plane from crashing, but in fact designed to ensure lethal results on a regular basis, and the silly buggers used it and everyone died as a result. Obviously, only white people should be allowed to fly planes.

    Oh, but sorry, I see now your comment was satire.

    • Replies: @Sbaker
  479. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB

    I am merely pointing out that the error chain here is quite human and understandable once all the facts are known, and the level of irresponsibility, while culpable, far below reckless disregard.

    Absolutely. I mean, if they’d sat back and waited for another six or eight planes to crash, then yes, that would have been reckless disregard. Oh, but actually that’s what they wanted to do, wasn’t it — until the mostly very white Air Canada flight crews said they no longer wanted to fly on those planes despite the mostly very white Canadian pilots.

  480. AaronB says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Lol, I agree. Maybe we can create a software patch for them.

  481. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    But wasn’t the very essence of the tragedies that the AoA sensor was giving faulty information and there was no way to meddle with it? Didn’t the sensor on one of the flights give a value of 20 degrees even when the plane was still on the ground? What did the Lion Air data recorder report for this sensor value even when it plunged to the ground. From my understanding, the reported AoA would have been a stall angle such as plus 70 degrees. In this instance would it not be helpful to “adjust” the faulty reading?

  482. @Sparkon

    Nah, that’s not that helpful. Whether the inscribed protractor matches the actual angle of that vane is one, thing, but the potentiometer or encoder inside is sending out the right signal is what’s important.

    It’s the same story with the flight controls – the cameras could be somewhat helpful, but the controls all have sensors (again, potentiometers or digital optical encoders, whatever) to send indication to the inside where they are displayed on the screens of the EICAS. If you remember the Charlotte Beech-1900-D crash, the lack of attention to the position and travel of the elevators was 1/2 of the cause of the crash – the other was just plain being loaded way too far aft.

    All this stuff is or should be during maintenance at the hangar. The AOA sensors are kinda hard to calibrate “on the fly”, as I wrote before. Taxi speed is not fast enough. By the time the speed is high enough on take-off to check them, it’s not the best time to abort. Perhaps for this specific plane, it wouldn’t be a bad idea!

    I will mention that some light aircraft with retractable gear have mirrors (if it’s possible) to check the mains, nose gear, or both, as a sanity check, but seeing those gear down does NOT mean that they are down and locked. It’s just a good way to be reminded for one thing, and a very inexpensive thing.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  483. @James Thompson

    I guarantee you that the engineers involved in building and interfacing with these sensors know 10 X more than anyone on here about it. The major factors in this crash were at higher levels than this. Was it a good idea to use special anti-stall protection in this manner? What important information on this new system and the disabling of such should have been provided to training departments of anyone buying the airplane?

    I wonder whether the high-angle–of-attack characteristics due to the engine mounting and forward placement of the nacelles was known before flight test phase. I’d have thought so, from the aero guys, but I don’t know the answer.

  484. In the Lion air case the sensor was known to be faulty, and despite being reported, was not properly fixed. “Adjusting” is the wrong concept. It must be accurate. Anyway, the system should have monitored the two sensors available, and flagged up any discrepancies. Also, it should not have had precedence in adjusting the trim so that the nose kept pointing downwards. The pilot should have command. (That was the old Boeing standard).

  485. @Achmed E. Newman

    Sorry, Sparkon, that wasn’t very clear (the 1st paragraph). A basic sanity check would be a good thing, but relying on cameras for calibration is only good for so much. A calibration should be over a whole range, anyway, not just one point. Anyway, if bad info. is coming out of the sensor, one should know about it (fail-safe). Looking at a camera of the gauge sounds like 1950’s-style flying, where there was no other way.

  486. @AnonFromTN

    What makes you think that “foreigners” (Brits would say “bloody foreigners”) don’t want the US to be a decent reasonably well organized country, same as American-born people?

    Nothing makes me think that, Anon. I never wrote that. My problem is with people that badmouth the Americans in their new country, with absolutely no sense of history. You say you were glad to come here to get away from the Socialism or greedy elites (hate to break it to some of these commenters, but yes, Socialists are greedy AND lazy, as they want to live off of others’ labor), so don’t you think lots of Americans feel the same way? You say that Americans could not fill up the ranks of the post-docs and Professors at the Universities, but they damn sure did, and that’s not ancient history. You think you know what Tennesseans should vote for, an additional TYPE of tax, but don’t know the history of small government.

    I don’t mind any comments about US military interventionism, the huge welfare state and irresponsible people that are a result of that, this corrupt beast of a Feral Government, and all that. It’s the comments that “oh, America has always been this way.” about everything that piss me off. If it had always been this way,

    a) Why’d you come? (not “you” personally, AnonFromTN)
    b) You know Jack Squat about our history, and maybe you should pull out a few books before you spout off on the internet. (also, the general “you”)

    The thing is, I’d like people to know, remember, or learn about, the glorious past of the American Republic NOT for bragging rights. It’s so they may have a damn clue how a country can get like that. Now I read all the Commies and Socialists on Unz explaining that that’s what America needs. People who know no history may believe their bullshit, but I sure don’t. I do know that it’s about that time of the century when the Commies will come crawling out of the woodwork again. We’re gonna need a bigger can of Raid than last time.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  487. @Factorize

    Something like this shone through in the tweetes of the pilot and software-engineer Trevor Sumner, which I posted and/or referred to in my comments #411 and #433.

    I guess, James Thomson doesn’t like Sumner’s approach, because with it comes the claim, that there was no software-problem whatsoever in the MCAS configuration. But what Sumner actually says is not, that the MCAS software as it is in the third world configuration of this plane (I have now to add) would be faulty in a technical sense. Sumner said: The software in the MCAS most likely does exactly what it was designed for. – – – So: No software problem from Sumners perspective as a software expert, but a design- and an implementation- and a communication-problem – which all three add up and make the MCAS the deadly feature we now all think, that it is.

    The confusion about this topic here on this blog rests not least on the difference between a general argument against third world pilots based on IQ – and the fact, that Boing reacted in an (irresponsible no doubt) but all the same specific way to the special needs of 3rd world airlines.

    Bet that how it may ever be, it – in my understanding too – makes definitely a crucial difference, that there exist two kinds of configurations of the 737 MAXes, which are obviously very different as far as the deadly danger is concerned, which they up to today caused.

    Trevor sumners tweets, therefore, should be part of a definitive version of this catastrophic Boing story.

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  488. Factorize says:
    @FB

    FB, you are a pilot. Does my idea make any sense? A pilot in a 737 MAX 8 encounters a problem with the MCAS. One of the flight crew reaches over to the relocated AoA sensor on the side of the cockpit. The reading that they can see right on this redesigned instrument indicates that the plane is stalling. It is not! It is nose diving! The flight crew manipulates the sensor from inside the cockpit. Now the sensor indicates the plane is not stalling. The sensor is then locked in the not stalling state. Captain then flies back to the airport with the nose in a level or below level orientation. Would this actually correct the problem? Does the AoA sensor feed into other flight systems which would then cause additional problems with landing? If so, then how would the faulty Lion Air craft have been able to land when it’s AOA was faulty?

    The AoA was so faulty that it was worse than useless. It was like having an alarm clock that was stuck at the time set for the alarm to go off. ANY other time would be better! Same with the AoA in the crashes. It is stuck at a setting that can cause a crash. If it truly was stuck at a reading of plus 20 when it was plunging to the earth at -40, then fixing the sensor at 0 would not be a bad deal. If the pilot could limp back to the airport nose mostly down, then I do not see a great risk for a stall.

    • Replies: @FB
  489. @Achmed E. Newman

    Do you have a time machine to return to this glorious past? If not, what’s the point?

    Another question: so, the top 1%, those shameless greedy globalist elites robbing us all blind, are commies? Would be news to them. They would have a good laugh (and keep getting richer, while the sheeple blame non-existent commies).

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  490. res says:
    @Dieter Kief

    So: No software problem from Sumners perspective as a software expert, but a design- and an implementation- and a communication-problem – which all three add up and make the MCAS the deadly feature we now all think, that it is.

    That attitude actually makes me lose some respect for him as a “software expert.” If he means “no coding problem” then fine, but “software” includes the functionality. A bad design results in bad software regardless of coding proficiency. And IMHO a software engineer who fails to push back on a bad design/spec (e.g. are we really relying on a single sensor which we don’t check for correct functioning?!) is not doing his (or her) job.

    Though perhaps I am reading his tweets (I find tweet streams like that hard to read, and I tried. I would much rather see a long-form presentation.) too much through the lens of your interpretation.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  491. Erebus says:
    @FB

    PS…how’s the crash course on brain surgery coming along…remember the golden rule…measure twice, cut once…

    “But boss, I cut it twice and it was still too short!”

    • LOL: FB
  492. @res

    He seems to argue from experience and his experience seems to be: Software engineers are told to make a software for a certain purpose, and what he says is simply: This was the case here too.

    So – don’t blame the software in this strictly technical sense. – And don’t overestimate the role (= the power) of a software engineer in the whole process – he is just a servant and has no voice as far as design – or functionality questions are concerned. I don’t know what was the case here with the 737’s MCAS. But I would not be the least bit surprised if, in the end, it turned out, that yes: No software engineer was asked, whether the MCAS would really help to make the 737 MAXes safer.

    I think Sumners tweets shows clearly, that he thinks what the MCAS actually did was deadly – no doubt about this. So – I’d hold he makes a distinction and says: a) the software engineers did most likely what they were told to do, and they did this well. But, Sumners says at the same time: The functionality of what was build on this premise = the functionality of the MCAS – was beyond anything that could be looked upon as rational, let alone reasonable or according to the usual standards in airplane safety. – So I think, Sumners verdict is the same as James Thompsons: What Boing did is criminal.

  493. FB says: • Website
    @Factorize

    Ok…a bit of basics to cover here…there is nothing wrong with having those two angle of attack sensors where they are…the big problem is that the MCAS system relies on only one of those two sensors…the ability for MCAS to compare data output from those two AOA sensors is an EXTRA COST OPTION…and it includes a pilot display warning light if the two are not in agreement…

    Also optional is an AOA indicator on the pilot display…seen here circled in red…

    Now here is the thing…those AOA indicators are a fairly recent addition to passenger jets…for years they did not have them…but military jets have used them for decades…

    The AOA indicator is a good instrument to have, but it’s not essential ,b>provided the airplane has good natural stability and flying characteristics… ie the airplane is not apt to do something unnatural like pitch the nose up when the nose is already quite high…a normal airplane does not do that…only the 737 MAX does that…

    Now if you look at that instrument you see what’s called the artificial horizon…that’s the white line that separates the blue sky part on top from the brown ground part on the bottom…just like the real horizon when you look out the window in front of you…

    That little bar that looks like two sideways ‘Ls’ is the airplane’s nose in relation to that horizon line…in this photo we can see the nose is raised up by about 8 degrees [you can see the degree graduations on the artificial horizon…]

    Now that is enough information to know that the airplane is in a safe attitude the nose being about that high above the horizon indicates a pull up to climb, such as the rotation at takeoff…

    So why would you need the AOA indicator one might ask…well the funny thing is that an airplane can stall at any speed and at any attitude…even if that artificial horizon instrument [also called an attitude indicator] is showing the nose right on the horizon, it tells us nothing about the angle of the air which is coming at the airplane…

    Now of course in a normal situation this does not happen…but consider this…the airplane has gone into a dive and the pilot pulls back on the yoke to pull it out of the dive…as the airplane level with the horizon, that attitude indicator will be showing the airplane right on the horizon…but since you are in an upward turn, the air is coming at the airplane from the bottom…so the angle of attack may be quite high…

    Of course this kind of thing only happens in these unusual situations which are very few and far between…but it is still a good idea to have an AOA indicator…for instance if you are flying through a large thunderstorm cloud that has very energetic updrafts and downdrafts [these can move at speeds over 100 mph] then the airflow is not coming at your airplane nose from a horizontal direction…and even though your airplane might be nice and horizontal, the angle between the airflow and the airplane might be quite high…

    This is not something that can be so easily grasped by just a few words…these things regarding angle of attack and airflow and aircraft attitude and stalling and such…well this is a big subject that every cadet or civilian student pilot must learn by means of a lot of instructional materials…

    But the bottom line is this…the MAX is a FAULTY AIRPLANE THAT EXHIBITS DANGEROUS INSTABILITY AT HIGH ANGLES OF ATTACK… therefore these AOA indicators are a very good idea, even though they are extra cost options…also the sensors themselves…as pictured here…well they provide the data to the MCAS computer…

    The best place for them to be is right where they…one on each side of the airplane nose…the air flowing by will cause the little vane to align itself with the wind and will therefore allow the computer to calculate the angle of the aircraft, relative to the airflow…which is the angle of attack…

    Now just one important thing…A lot of Boeing pilots have disliked the Airbus approach which is fully computerized…ie the computer basically flies the airplane even when the pilot is handling the controls…because the pilot’s controls don’t go directly to the control surfaces like the elevator or ailerons…they first go to the computer, and then the computer decides if it will do what the pilot wants, or if it will ‘tone down’ the input so as to not make sudden moves…so the computer is really a kind of babysitter and it’s actually not clear to the pilots what is going on…because the small sidestick controls used by Airbus do not actually move as the computer or autopilot is directing the aircraft…here is what those sidesticks look like…