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Pitch up, pitch up.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47759966

Looks like MCAS can be a liability, as already speculated. It is a bit late to attempt to “enhance understanding” of how the system works. Boeing prides itself on giving pilots control, but seems to have designed something which denies them authority. Yes, it depends on a chain of mishaps and misunderstandings, but that is why systems ought to be designed with safety in depth, and not at the mercy of a single indicator, which may be fallible.

 
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  1. Biff says:

    System update
    Boeing has redesigned the software so that it will disable MCAS if it receives conflicting data from its sensors.
    As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install an extra warning system on all 737 Max aircraft, which was previously an optional safety feature.

    Customer update
    No fucking way am I getting on that airplane.

  2. Boeing, an American manufacturer, follows the lead of Airbus, a European manufacturer with all the baggage that entails, including a distrust of the lowly human operators to properly manage the machine, rather than a healthy distrust of the machine the human elite designers have cobbled together, and they get predictable results. So goes the globalist world.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  3. Like there is ethnocentrism, so too is there speciescentrism.
    An accident caused by car-driving AI activates emotional responses of the dimensions ten or fifty accidents caused by human drivers would.

    It goes that “We can’t cede the control of automotive vehicles to AI, see, it still causes accidents!”, no matter whether the AI-caused accidents are more or less numerous and serious than human-caused ones.

    • Replies: @atlantis_dweller
  4. @atlantis_dweller

    That is not much disconnected from the attitude of people as discussed in Folie à Deux.

  5. that is why systems ought to be designed with safety in depth, and not at the mercy of a single indicator, which may be fallible.

    Indeed, that struck me as I went through your series of articles.

    There are certainly opportunities for cross-checks between sensor readings even without redundant AoA sensors.  For instance, a high AoA at a high airspeed would require a high lift condition and thus high upward acceleration relative to the airframe.  If the acceleration is closer to 1 G (steady climb condition) then one or another of the sensors is producing erroneous data.  The inertial navigation system has a full suite of sensors which can confirm speed, attitude and acceleration largely independent of AoA (granted that e.g. wind shear can change AoA while the aircraft maintains speed and attitude).  If the AoA sensor reading is out of whack with the rest, the MCAS could certainly be programmed to advise the pilots but not take command with the disastrous results seen.

    This smells like a failure to apply brainpower to explore the consequences of faults.  I wonder if this terrible oversight is a result of hiring spec writers and “software engineers” who are barely more than code monkeys because they are “cheap”.  Having an entire fleet grounded and the future of the line and perhaps the company in doubt is certainly penny wise, pound foolish.

    If these deaths result in the end of the H-1B visa, India and China will suffer but America and the rest of the world will benefit.

    • Agree: atlantis_dweller
  6. Advanced technology will be the death of many of us and perhaps ultimately the untimely death of all of us.

  7. Erebus says:
    @Mr. Rational

    The inertial navigation system has a full suite of sensors which can confirm speed, attitude and acceleration largely independent of AoA… If the AoA sensor reading is out of whack with the rest, the MCAS could certainly be programmed to advise the pilots but not take command with the disastrous results seen.

    It is quite clear now that MCAS was a quick patch job that was never properly integrated into the Max’s flight control systems, much less fully vetted for both its performance and its impact on other systems and controls under various operational conditions.

    This smells like a failure to apply brainpower to explore the consequences of faults.

    Much worse than that, it looks like the failure to implement standard engineering test protocols for critical systems that are common across many industries including medical eqpt, nuclear power, pharmaceutical & chemical prdn as well as civil aviation. These protocols (there are several types) are mandated by ISO Standards, and engineers can’t normally treat them as optional if they wish to keep their Engineer’s Ticket.

    If these deaths result in the end of the H-1B visa, India and China will suffer but America and the rest of the world will benefit.

    Whether the code was generated by “hi-IQ whites”, or H1Bs in Seattle, or some contract code house in Bangalore, Boeing is responsible for subjecting both the stand-alone system and its implementation, including its interaction with other systems, to those standard tests and to submit the certified results to the FAA for Agency Certification.

    Given the wholesale changes Boeing is proposing, it would appear that either [a] the original tests weren’t done (in whole or in part), [b] the test results were falsified, or [c] the FAA failed to examine the results with due diligence and rubber stamped their approval, or [d] some combination of the above.

    That is what the whole fuss is all about, and why agencies such as EASM & CAAC are demanding full re-certification. If they stand fast, that will cost Boeing $Bs and years. In fact, it may kill the B737Max altogether, leaving Boeing without their #1 best selling aircraft.

    So, no, it ain’t likely to be India and China that suffer but Boeing, and by extension America’s civil aviation industry.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  8. @Erebus

    it ain’t likely to be India and China that suffer but Boeing

    On the contrary, if the fault traces back to the employment of “cheap” H-1B code monkeys in lieu of more costly but competent Americans, the sufferers will include ALL OF India, China and Boeing.  Boeing might recover, but nobody who didn’t want to share Boeing’s pains would hire from Chindia ever again.  AAMOF shareholders might be able to win suits against management and directors who even allowed hiring such.  That would effectively prohibit such hires.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Erebus
  9. David H says:
    @Mr. Rational

    I agree with your comment and suspect you’re on to something with the underexploration of the consequences of faults. But one thing you said strikes me as weird. I would evaluate any reduction of the H1-B program as exactly the opposite of what you said. I’m even prepared to say that overall, brain drains always hurt the countries of emigration and benefit the places that receive the workers. Why would this be different? There might be individuals in the US that are hurt by H1-Bs, but I find it far fetched that receiving educated people from overseas could hurt the US overall.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  10. @Mr. Rational

    Erebus said it already: ISO-Standards have been hurt. Responsible is Boing. There are millions of engineers all over the world, who know how to handle those ISO-Standards. Your hope will turn out to be vain.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  11. @David H

    But one thing you said strikes me as weird. I would evaluate any reduction of the H1-B program as exactly the opposite of what you said. I’m even prepared to say that overall, brain drains always hurt the countries of emigration and benefit the places that receive the workers.

    You’re assuming that actual brains are being drained; Dilbert’s Asok character is fictional.  The average IQ of India is roughly 82; far from being programming whizzes, less than 5% of the graduates of Indian software engineering programs can write the correct logic for a program.  The other 95+% have to be considered incompetent.  Sadly, this does not prevent them from being hired here.

    Even if you weed out the incompetents you are still left with language and culture barriers, and the caste orientation of Indians and nepotistic tendencies of Indian managers are deadweight losses.

    There might be individuals in the US that are hurt by H1-Bs, but I find it far fetched that receiving educated people from overseas could hurt the US overall.

    If you push out experienced, competent people even for immigrants who are equally experienced and competent, you have damaged US society by disemploying citizens in favor of foreigners.  If those immigrants are less competent, less experienced and do not even perform at their full potential due to language and cultural friction, there has been an absolute loss overall.

    This phenomenon corrodes the social and human capital of organizations and puts them on a path to collapse.  Doing this so some manager can boost his quarterly bonus should be a crime; instead, it has become standard practice.

  12. @Dieter Kief

    You beg the question:  who treated those standards as optional?  Was it some Patel from Bangalore who signed off on the changes because his boss demanded it?  Worse, was some guy named Jones fired from the same job because he declared that the effort did not meet ISO standards and couldn’t and shouldn’t be certified for flight?

    It will be very, very interesting if something like that comes out in discovery.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  13. @Mr. Rational

    For instance, a high AoA at a high airspeed would require a high lift condition and thus high upward acceleration relative to the airframe. If the acceleration is closer to 1 G (steady climb condition) then one or another of the sensors is producing erroneous data.

    High AoA at high airspeed can also mean stall territory, in which case a ~1G indication could mean sensor balls accurate (using the term loosely, as fuselage-mounted AoA sensors are not measuring wing AoA, which varies throughout the wing). Also, aircraft—even airliners—have been known to fly inverted or even straight toward the ground, in which case how would your new MCAS fare?

    Inevitably, Boeing will move to a robust crosscheck system, under which it may even be preferable to remove all external AoA sensors. Given the apparent failure rate, it may be better to derive probable/relevant AoA from other data, and possibly shift to shear-specific sensors in line with your statement on the subject.

    Regardless, Boeing’s reliance upon a sole monitored AoA sensor for MCAS was manslaughter and worse. The repeated restarting of the trim-monkeying after pausing for 5 seconds perhaps sinks to the stupidest programming decision of the era. No sound aviator was consulted on that one. I argue that the pausing was enough to discourage harried crewmen from calling it runaway stabilizer trim and thus reaching for the cutout switches they likely knew by feel alone, given their prominent placement.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  14. @Mr. Rational

    The ISO-Standards are Boings responsibility, no matter what, because their aircraft are sold under their name. You can outsource coding or any other brainy work, as long as you control the implementation into your system.

    Or – to express it perfektly in minute detail, as Erebus in #7 has done above:

    “Whether the code was generated by “hi-IQ whites”, or H1Bs in Seattle, or some contract code house in Bangalore, Boeing is responsible for subjecting both the stand-alone system and its implementation, including its interaction with other systems, to those standard tests and to submit the certified results to the FAA for Agency Certification.”

    And this a) implies clearly that ISO-Standards are adhered to. The job of the FAA is, to secure this result. – And b) even more than that: To secure that an US-American airplane is properly build even if a technical problem would not have been under ISO regulations yet, as soon as the FAA comes to the conclusion, that those technical problems would be relevant nonetheless.

    My point “b” would be one for reasonable public debates. – If the FAA would do its job, it should be interested to hear what experts in the public think about those new technical problems.

    Since this is not the case, “a” is on the table. – And with “a” over three hundred dead Boing passengers.

  15. Goatweed says:

    If Ethiopian purchased a simulator and didn’t schedule pilot training in a timely manner, failure belongs to Ethiopian.

    Southwest Maxs aren’t falling out of the skies.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  16. @schnellandine

    Here is a textbook example of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”:

    High AoA at high airspeed can also mean stall territory, in which case a ~1G indication could mean sensor balls accurate

    Wrong.  High AoA at high IAS* means a high-lift condition; you can even have more than 1 G of lift while IN a stall.  (That’s pretty much what happens in a snap roll, which is a one-turn spin done in more or less forward flight.)  If you are approaching a stall AoA and IAS is at least 1.4 Vs1**, the vertical accelerometer should be registering 2 G or more.  If it’s not, either the AoA or airspeed sensor is reading wrong.

    Also, aircraft—even airliners—have been known to fly inverted or even straight toward the ground, in which case how would your new MCAS fare?

    You’d register that through the absolute attitude reading from the gyro platform of the INS, through roll-rate sensors, the turn and bank indicator, the vertical accelerometer and a host of other things.  Obviously if you are in an inverted dive toward the ground you have bigger problems than a faulty AoA sensor.

    What the MCAS obviously lacks (lacked?) is a plain old physics model of the aircraft.  Given the redundancy of sensor inputs it is possible to feed several models with subsets of those readings and then vet some or all of the others for accuracy.  If you have, say, 5 versions of the model running and 4 of them say that the AoA sensor is wonky because it’s the only one looking out of range compared to the rest, it’s almost certainly wonky.

    Boeing could have done this, but most likely the people able to think this far ahead were either forced out of the company (into retirement or simply fired) or silenced by management who didn’t want to spend the money to verify the software or just didn’t want to look stupid to their superiors***.  Given the shame culture of China and the caste culture of India, the likelihood is that a White engineer who raised such issues would be pressured to shut up or fired out of hand.  And THAT is the nub of the problem:  the people with both the knowledge to catch the problem and the safety culture to make certain it was dealt with were silenced or kept out of the loop completely.

    Boeing’s reliance upon a sole monitored AoA sensor for MCAS was manslaughter and worse.

    Absolutely.  But I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the proximate cause was penny-pinching management who hired a bunch of incompetent yes-men from overseas because they were cheap.  Hiring incompetents for safety-critical jobs or ignoring the warnings of the competent results in things like the Flint water crisis.

    * Indicated Air Speed, meaning high dynamic pressure.  At high altitudes TAS (True Air Speed) can be very high while IAS drops toward stall; this was the typical operating regime of the U-2 spyplane where pilots would have to fly in the “coffin corner” at the edge of Mmo (Mach maximum operating) while barely above a stall due to the low air density and dynamic pressure.  Needless to say there is no risk of diving right into the ground under such conditions.

    ** Vs1 = stall speed in the clean configuration.

    *** I am nigh-certain that this problem arose in the past few years, because my personal experience with Boeing safety culture was that it was rigorous and thorough.  This was also before software development became an almost exclusively Asian immigrant affair, though that was on the horizon even then.  What probably happened (this is for you, Dieter Kief @14) is that those Asians worked their way up into management and inserted corner-cutting into the corporate culture.  Fixing the problem begins with firing all of them en masse.

    • Replies: @Biff
  17. By-tor says:

    The Boeing simulators and training software were not rolled out in advance. A two hour I-pad module and an 11-page pilot review text were given out instead. Part of the sales pitch was that the 737 Max did not require pilot retraining.

  18. you can even have more than 1 G of lift while IN a stall. (That’s pretty much what happens in a snap roll, which is a one-turn spin done in more or less forward flight.)

    Care to estimate, in Gs, the net lift of the left wing during a left snap roll? Not the fuselage G. The left wing.

    High AoA is nearly a synonym for a stall, unless word games deployed. The subject is aviation software programming. Meant increasing or above-average AoA?
    Forget I said anything.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  19. There was an exhibition of commercial aircraft (I Russia I think) One of western manufactured aircraft piloted by western pilot took off and he was changing AoA until he went straight up as an rocket (With (90degree angle.) eventually pilot did straightened the plane and he safely landed.
    He was followed by Russian pilot with his Tupolev. He wanted to do the same stunt as previous pilot.
    Nearing the 90 degree angle plane did stall and the plane fell down. Pilot was dead and the plane was destroyed. Obviously Russian pilot attempted the stunt without checking if he can do it.
    So he was not really smart.
    This did happen several decades ago long before oil prices spike.
    In order to save on oil consumption Engine sizes were continually decreased.
    As the engine sizes were decreased so the limit of angle of attack was decreasing also.
    So the fact is that Boeing did try even smaller engine, but eventually it was not sufficient.
    So the present engine is on the border. That is the proof that the angle of attack limit, although we do not know the precise value must be very low maybe even as low as 20degree.
    At this kind of low angle if instruments are faulty or not precise pilot cannot distinguish By feel if he is over the angle of attack.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  20. @schnellandine

    Care to estimate, in Gs, the net lift of the left wing during a left snap roll? Not the fuselage G. The left wing.

    Depends on the airspeed, doesn’t it?

    Wait.  DID YOU JUST ASSUME THE ENGINE’S ROTATION?!  TORQUE YOU, DIRECTIONIST!

    High AoA is nearly a synonym for a stall, unless word games deployed.

    Well, duh.  This whole thread has been about indications and contra-indications that said state of AoA is actually in effect, relevant to the malfunction of an AoA sensor.

    The subject is aviation software programming. Meant increasing or above-average AoA?

    Er, wha?

    Forget I said anything.

    I can’t believe that, but I do believe I’ll have another drink.

  21. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Sorry…………By feel if he is over limit of the angle of attack.

    So the pilot has a very narrow space to maneuver his aircraft.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  22. Biff says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Asians worked their way up into management and inserted corner-cutting into the corporate culture. Fixing the problem begins with firing all of them en masse.

    Bwaaahh! Now there’s a Chrystal ball for the ages.

    Boeing:
    “We fired all the Asians and now our planes are safe to fly.”

  23. SafeNow says:

    “corner-cutting”

    As an attentive, long-time California resident, I have observed how “proficient, conscientious, fastidious” has been replaced by a more relaxed culture of “get it basically right.” Boeing got it basically right. PG&E got it basically right. The Boeing corner-cutting is a metaphor for the nation’s future. I would proofread this, but what the heck, good enough.

    • Agree: Iris
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  24. FB says: • Website

    That’s not entirely correct…many pilots, including myself have preferred Boeing’s philosophy of keeping automation at a second tier to the human operator, and also keeping the workings of that automation entirely visible, with controls visibly moving [and in unison] when directed by the flight computer…

    Airbus’s philosophy has been much more radical and opaque, but also ultimately lets the pilot override the computer [although the process is somewhat convoluted and confusing]…

    However what Boeing has done here is just way over the top…there is so much wrong here on so many levels that these sins far outdistance anything Airbus has ever done…and that’s saying something…

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @Erebus
  25. Erebus says:
    @Mr. Rational

    On the contrary, if the fault traces back to the employment of “cheap” H-1B code monkeys in lieu of more costly but competent Americans, the sufferers will include ALL OF India, China and Boeing.

    Suggest you have a look at:
    https://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/
    … before commenting excessively on who’s got the best programmers.

    That article indicates there’s not much to choose between Indian and American code , and no reason to choose either of them over a couple dozen other countries’ programmers.
    BTW, at least at the very top end, the Coding Olympics results generally corroborate Hackerrank’s findings.

    Be that as it may, Boeing’s problem isn’t the code writers. They doubtless wrote code to the spec they were given, and that spec was written by aeronautical engineers who were being jammed by their managers to, above all, not write anything into the spec that would trigger a requirement for simulator training. They, in turn were being jammed by their higher-ups to keep their engineers “in line”. Some may have balked, some may even have been fired, but at the end of the day the spec got written as the managers wanted, the FAA concurred, leading to the inevitable train wreck we see today.

    Behind all that, is the highjacking that has brought Boeing to this point…
    An alien culture got its foot in the door when Boeing bought the carcass of the late great MacDonnell-Douglas. God knows how/why Boeing got talked into it, but M-D’s MBA/Wall St. culture wound up infiltrating and eventually permeating Boeing. Boeing’s indigenous engineering-oriented culture didn’t stand a chance against the same sort of alien culture that consumed GE, HP and Westinghouse, and other American industrial juggernauts.
    The culture wars inside Boeing culminated in Boeing’s HQ moving to Chicago and the company moving from an engineering driven company making the best product they could, to a financialized concern that happened to make airplanes the top management had little interest in.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @Iris
  26. @FB

    what Boeing has done here is just way over the top…there is so much wrong here on so many levels that these sins far outdistance anything Airbus has ever done…

    Such a radical change in direction indicates a radical change in culture, which could not come about without a radical change in personnel.

    That’s why I’m sure it’s due to the Indians.  It was India, after all, who forbade Union Carbide from clearing squatters from the safety zone around its Bhopal plant.  It was India, after all, who forced Union Carbide to employ an Indian as the plant manager.  It was India, after all, who prevented Union Carbide from disciplining or firing employees who failed to maintain essential safety equipment… like the flare stack which would have burned off the methyl isocyanate harmlessly, had it been lit as standards required it to be.

    Where you have Indians, there you have India.  Entirely too predictable, unless you forbid people from Noticing.

    • Replies: @Biff
  27. @SafeNow

    As of 2015, California was estimated to be only 38% non-Hispanic White.

    Personnel are policy.

  28. @Erebus

    Suggest you have a look at:
    https://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/
    … before commenting excessively on who’s got the best programmers.

    We’re not talking about the best.  We’re talking about the ones who get hired on H-1B visas to make their managers’ personnel cost figures look good.

    Boeing’s problem isn’t the code writers. They doubtless wrote code to the spec they were given, and that spec was written by aeronautical engineers who were being jammed by their managers to, above all, not write anything into the spec that would trigger a requirement for simulator training. They, in turn were being jammed by their higher-ups to keep their engineers “in line”.

    The physics models and sensor cross-checks I wrote about above could have been hidden just as easily as the MCAS was.  Either nobody had the breadth of knowledge to infer the need, or whoever did was silenced.  A company full of H-1B “engineers” (I’ve seen more than a few of them) is almost certain to lack that breadth, IME.

    Some may have balked, some may even have been fired

    All too likely that that poor guy named Jones is already being blamed for the whole thing, despite having had to take a job as a greeter at WalMart after being let go from Boeing for warning his management about this exact problem.

    We can hope that the entire management chain goes to prison for reckless manslaughter.

  29. By-tor says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova

    Jen, you are still the semi-literate Nazi Ukropian maggot.

  30. Biff says:
    @Mr. Rational

    That’s why I’m sure it’s due to the Indians.

    Yea, I’m sure Boeing will throw that against the wall and see if it’ll stick – without embarrassment to boot. All you have to do is look dumb and you can get away with anything.

  31. Erebus says:
    @FB

    However what Boeing has done here is just way over the top…there is so much wrong here on so many levels that these sins far outdistance anything Airbus has ever done…and that’s saying something…

    You may remember my notion that there was a lot more wrong with LN610 & ET302 than met the eye, and that in fact the MCAS system may be able to override the STAB CUTOUT switches under certain conditions. If you do, this little bomb from Reuters seems to corroborate that…

    SEATTLE/PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing anti-stall software on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet re-engaged as many as four times after the crew initially turned it off due to suspect data from an airflow sensor, two people familiar with the matter said…

    The investigation has now turned toward how MCAS was initially disabled by pilots following an emergency checklist procedure but then appeared to repeatedly start working again before the jet plunged to the ground, the people said…

    However, initial flight data indicates the aircraft was not in a “neutral” attitude when pilots hit the stabilizer cutout switches to disable the MCAS system, the person added, making the situation harder to manage.

    That seems to say that sometimes the magic switches work, and sometimes they don’t. There’s a lot more at the link below, which also makes it clear that the pilots were trying everything to keep the plane in the air while the system fought them every step of the way. Any claim that it was “poorly trained, lo-IQ, 3rd world pilots” should join those who voiced it in the gutter.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-airplane-software/exclusive-boeing-software-engaged-repeatedly-before-crash-sources-idUSKCN1RF0YU

    Now, I know we ain’t quite got smoking gun evidence that the 2 magic switches were flipped, but things are surely getting curiouser and curiouser. I’m thinking Boeing may have jumped the shark on this one.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  32. AaronB says:
    @Erebus

    Ah, I am proud of you Erebus. If this is true, then you had the best theory. I agreed at the time that it was the only possibility that rescues the pilots from charges of rank incompetence.

    Now, can we all agree that FBs absurd argument that the pilots simply couldn’t, just couldn’t, have flipped the cutout switch because reasons is definitively disproven? Or that the plane was in an unrecoverable dive even if switches were flipped (although we already knew that want so since MCAS was deactivated more than 24 times) Assuming these new revelations are proven correct.

    The problem with you Erebus was that you were pursuing two incompatible lines of inquiry – you were both agreeing with the above mentioned absurd argument and suggesting MCAS might not have responded to being shut down. This made you lose credibility and seem to have a primary agenda of exculpating the pilots by throwing out incompatible theories.

    However, I suspect that these reports are misinterpreting the facts, and the cutout switches were NOT activated.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @acementhead
  33. Erebus says:

    Now, can we all agree that FBs absurd argument that the pilots simply couldn’t, just couldn’t, have flipped the cutout switch because reasons is definitively disproven?

    That would be an absurd argument indeed, but I don’t recall FB making it. I certainly didn’t understand him to be making that argument. Why do you think so?

    Or that the plane was in an unrecoverable dive even if switches were flipped (although we already knew that want so since MCAS was deactivated more than 24 times)

    The report suggests the MCAS kicked in 4x. I can’t understand where you’re getting the 24x you keep coming up with, but if you’re getting that from the altitude track, I’m guessing you were mistaking each vertical movement for an MCAS event. That is clearly a complete misunderstanding of what was, or even could have been, going on.

    There is no question that FB is right when he says that the switches won’t help if the plane is in a sufficiently steep dive as the aerodynamic forces make it impossible to trim. There’s leaks now coming out of Boeing’s simulator tests that corroborate this. Those tests in fact indicate that the only way out is the “yo-yo” manoeuver FB mentioned. Needless to say, that isn’t on the checklist or in any manual.

    Boeing’s own factory test pilots lost 2-3,000′ in getting the plane back under control. IOW, in ET302’s case, the factory test pilots would have crashed as well.

    The problem with you Erebus was that you were pursuing two incompatible lines of inquiry…

    Leaving aside the fact that “pursuing two (or more) incompatible lines of inquiry” is standard fast-track troubleshooting practice, in fact, in this case I wasn’t. I took FB’s operational information at face value as [a] it made good mechanical sense, and [b] I don’t know airplanes, and added my hunch that “there was more going on here than meets the eye”. As I have some experience with complex systems going haywire, I know symptoms when I see them. Both crash timelines showed signs of such symptoms.
    My “more” included the possibility that Boeing placed MCAS at the top of the command hierarchy. You may remember acementhead saying “no way”. If the reports now coming out are right, he was wrong. The standard checklist that the ET302 pilots executed after the 2nd MCAS event didn’t save them because MCAS came back like a zombie 2 more times after they threw the switches.

    Now, this info is coming from leaks by “persons familiar with the investigation”, so may be erroneous, or misunderstood by the article’s authors. The official report comes out in a few days. It’s interesting that we’ll soon know more about what happened to ET302 which had a badly damaged flt recorder, than we do about LN610 whose flt recorder was in good condition and which happened 4+ mos earlier. Somebody’s dragging their heels…

    In summary, you seem to have misunderstood FB and his explications of how airplanes work, myself and above all, how complex systems are modelled and constructed. Ergo, you saw conflicts where there were none, and jumped to conclusions based on a couple of misunderstood, if not irrelevant data points.

  34. FB says: • Website
    @AaronB

    However, I suspect that these reports are misinterpreting the facts, and the cutout switches were NOT activated.

    HEY DORK…read this…

    ET302 used the Cut-Out switches to stop MCAS

    Then read my comment here…

    Bjorn confirms EVERYTHING I have been saying all along…including the yo yo maneuver to unstick an aerodynamically stuck tailplane…

    At a miss-trimmed Stabilator, you either have to re-engage Electric trim or off-load the Stabilator jackscrew by stick forward, creating a nose-down bunt maneuver, followed by trim.

    Stick forward to trim was not an option for ET302, they were at 1,000ft above ground. According to The Wall Street Journal, the ET302 crew re-engaged electrical trim to save the situation, to get the nose up. It was their only chance. But too late. The aggressive MCAS kicked in and worsened the situation before they could counter it.

    Nowhere is it described [by Boeing and the FAA] the trim could be impossible to move if the Cut-Out switches were cut at the slightest miss-trim at the speeds flown. And there is no warning on when to move the Cut-Out switches, the checklist says “Cut, then trim manually.” This is not the whole truth.

    Today we know the crowing from Western pilots, “Typical third world crews,” was not called for.

    Here is who Bjorn is…

    He has a background as an aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot from the Swedish Air Force where he flew the Draken and worked on the Viggen and Gripen programs. After leaving the Air Force, he worked at SAAB with the Gripen program in the area of counter-measures.

    Fehrm holds four worldwide patents in Aeronautics/High technology.

    And here is who AaronB is …a piss poor excuse for a human being who used to get the snot kicked out of him at school…and now hates the world as a result…

    I think it’s time for you to go back to your little hole DORK…

    • Replies: @acementhead
  35. As you will have read by now, the preliminary report on Ethiopian Airways ET302, which does not contain detail, says that “The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly [that were] provided by the manufacturer but were not able to control the aircraft.”

    This does not make it clear whether it refers to temporary disablement or permanent cutoff of MCAS, but seems to suggest the latter. This does not bode well for Boeing.

    • Replies: @Biff
  36. Biff says:
    @James Thompson

    This does not bode well for Boeing.

    I read somewhere that there was some 5000 of B737 MAX planes on order per mid March. I also read a good number of airlines have since canceled their orders, but I don’t know any hard numbers. I would assume the assembly line workers are still showing up everyday, but I wonder what they are wondering?

    • Replies: @Biff
  37. dearieme says:

    One argument that doesn’t hold water is the rather coarse one that says “crashes happen to aircraft crewed by brown or black men from shithole countries and therefore are not Boeing’s fault”.

    Suppose it is true that such crews are likely to be incompetent by the standards of developed countries. Then if Boeing wanted to protect its reputation – and even its existence – it had to design its planes to be safely operable by the denizens of Shitholia. This it patently failed to do.

    In a better ordered world the guilty men at Boeing, and the people who manage them, would end up in the soup, and that coarse argument would be rejected as being too bone-headed to be useful.

  38. bluedog says:
    @Goatweed

    Strange I was just reading that Boeing has admitted it part in the two crashes and the failure of its new system and it seems that Boeing is still working on their so called patch…

  39. AaronB says:

    So the full report just published in the NYT.

    Acementhead was right – as he said on the other thread, the pilots reactivated electrical, MCAS did not reactivate on its own or refuse to turn off. They did so because they were having trouble manually adjusting trim.

    Why were they having trouble using the manual controls?

  40. Erebus says:

    Acementhead was right

    and

    Why were they having trouble using the manual controls?

    I can’t believe I’m reading that from an interlocutor.
    Did you read or understand anything on the other thread? Or in the preliminary report?

    Acementhead was as wrong as somebody imagining himself a pilot could be.
    The ET302 case turned out almost exactly as FB modelled, and the very opposite of what you and Ahmed and that lump of cement were propounding.

    • Replies: @FB
  41. FB says: • Website
    @Erebus

    The ET302 case turned out almost exactly as FB modelled, and the very opposite of what you and Ahmed and that lump of cement were propounding.

    E…there is no point in attempting to reach this dork…he cannot be reached…let’s recap here…

    I explained aerodynamic runaway trim more than a week ago…and how it may be physically impossible to move those trim wheels at a certain flight condition…I said very clearly that those switches are not MAGIC…if the airplane is already going fast and out of trim, it may be impossible to bring back with anything other than an unconventional maneuver…ie unloading the tailplane by diving the airplane…

    Here is my post from March 26…

    various know-nothings have been spouting the Boeing propaganda that flipping trim cutout is a magical cure to an airplane that is now out of control and heading for the ground nose down…

    As you will see no professional pilot would ever agree with this nonsense…here’s the thing to remember about aerodynamic runaway trim…

    IT MEANS THAT AFTER YOU HAVE CUT THOSE MAGIC SWITCHES… YOU THE PILOT AND COPILOT TOGETHER ARE COMPLETELY HELPLESS TO MOVE THAT STABILIZER BY EVEN ONE MILLIMETER BECAUSE THE AIRLOADS WILL NOT LET YOU NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY TO TURN THOSE TRIM WHEELS…EVEN IF YOU ARE FUCKING SUPERMAN…

    Today in fact, even the NYT is confirming that…

    Ethiopian Airlines Pilots Followed Boeing’s Safety Procedures Before Crash, Report Shows

    …Then, the report says, they followed the emergency checklist and disabled the entire stabilizer electrical system using the so-called stabilizer trim cutout…

    Although that move disabled MCAS, it also forced the crew to control the stabilizers manually with wheels at their feet — a physically difficult task on a plane moving at high speed…

    For those that didn’t take my word for it, I pointed to the exact same explanation by Bjorn Fehrm, a respected aviation expert, former fighter pilot and aeronautical engineer…in this piece published April 3…

    ET302 used the Cut-Out switches to stop MCAS

    The crew of Ethiopian Airlines ET302, which crashed with 157 people on board, used the prescribed Stabilator Trim Cut-Out switches to stop MCAS, according to an article by Wall Street Journal today. Yet still, they crashed….

    So why didn’t it work, if the crew indeed followed this AD? Here’s why:

    Two weeks ago I wrote: the flying with a full nose down Horizontal Stabilator trim was possible on a 737. The pilot could control the aircraft with his elevator control via the Yoke, even against a full nose down MCAS trim. This was verified in a 737 simulator by a US airline. At the time, I asked what the flown speed was? The answer I got was; the typical speeds after Taking Off.

    In subsequent discussions with MentourPilot, a YouTube channel with millions of viewers, I was informed this would probably not be true for higher speeds. MentourPilot’s experience when examining hundreds of pilots as Type Rating Examiner for the 737 was the elevator got exceedingly heavy at higher speeds and manual trimming at the slightest miss-trim of the Stabilator from neutral Yoke forces was very difficult.

    The excessive manual trim forces have been confirmed by an airline pilot which has done 737 test flights after elevator maintenance, where manual trimming needs to be checked. At a miss-trimmed Stabilator, you either have to re-engage Electric trim or off-load the Stabilator jackscrew by stick forward, creating a nose-down bunt maneuver, followed by trim.

    Now I have covered all of this in some detail an it is there for the record to how…from that same March 26 post…

    Here is what happens…let’s say you have stopped the runaway trim by cutting those switches… [I’m not necessarily talking about MAX and the MCAS now…but just a generic runaway speed trim…I will explain what the speed trim system is later and why it can run away…and how it is FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT FROM MCAS]

    Here is what you may be facing when you now try to turn those trim wheels manually…THEY CAN’T BE BUDGED BECAUSE OF THE AERODYNAMIC FORCES ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER [ALSO CALLED THE ‘TAILPLANE’]…

    There is only way to get out of this and free up the trim wheels so you can bring that tailplane back and recover the airplane…you have to apply elevator control in the SAME DIRECTION as the trim is stuck in…

    So if you are in a dive, you have to push stick forward to dive even more…that is going to relieve the air load on the tailplane and free up those trim wheels…

    I mentioned previously that the 727 has the same basic trim system as the 737 and there was a famous incident back in the day in I believe Montreal, where a 727 shortly after takeoff had this situation…and he basically did what came to be known as the ‘yo-yo maneuver’…because he first went dive, then pull up…it was quite a feat and was talked about in professional pilot circles for years…

    Here is Bjorn again…

    Nowhere is it described [by the FAA an Boeing airorthiness irective that as uppoe to fix the problem] the trim could be impossible to move if the Cut-Out switches were cut at the slightest miss-trim at the speeds flown. And there is no warning on when to move the Cut-Out switches, the checklist says “Cut, then trim manually.” This is not the whole truth.

    No I don’t know ho much more clearly this could be spelled out…this dishonesty by ‘AaronB’ is really something to behold…it speaks of a very troubled individual…

    For some reason I no recall vividly a kid from middle school name Simon…he had a very unfortunate and quite visible nervous tic, and also stuttered…naturally he a beaten mercilessly every single day…[he actually became a pretty good runner over time an was able to elude hi tormentors a good deal of the time…Darwin in action…LOL]

    Long story short, me and a couple of the other kids often took pity on these cruel beatings an often intervened to let Simon get away on hi fleet feet…I eventually went to his house a couple of times an it was really creepy…his mom an sister and Simon were like scared silly…I later figured out it was the old man, who was apparently keeping a reign of terror in that house…

    Years later in university, Simon was as dorky as ever, but also with major attitude…he turned out to be a real asshole…those are the emotional scar from childhood I figured…

  42. Erebus says:

    You’re preachin’ to choir here, FB. I got it, and at least some of the implications.

    Have a look at the other thread. More safety critical software issues have been found.

  43. Erebus says:

    A must read explication of what happened to ET302.

    Bjorn Fehrm’s devastating blow-by-blow description of what the pilots were facing, and how they faced it. In a nutshell, the airplane killed them and their passengers. It put them in trouble early, and then it thwarted every attempt they made to get out of it.

    During the great cockpit fight…

    The Pilots are thrown off their seats, hitting the cockpit roof. Look at the Pitch Attitude Disp trace and the Accel Vert trace. These are on the way to Zero G and we can see how PF loses stick pull in the process (Ctrl Column Pos L). He can barely hold on to the Yoke, let alone pull or trim against.

    https://leehamnews.com/2019/04/05/bjorns-corner-et302-crash-report-the-first-analysis/#more-29839

    H/T FB for originally pointing to the leehamnews.com site.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  44. Iris says:
    @Erebus

    Boeing’s indigenous engineering-oriented culture didn’t stand a chance against the same sort of alien culture that consumed GE, HP and Westinghouse, and other American industrial juggernauts

    Indeed. Engineering in the West is being destroyed by parasitic financialisation. Its future belongs to China.

  45. This is extraordinary. A detailed account of a terrible event.

    My view on 11 March was:

    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.

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

    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.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @AaronB
  46. @James Thompson

    Very illuminating, thanks.

    This appears to back my notion that a physics model of the aircraft would have been sufficient to pinpoint the erroneous AoA sensor and determine that MCAS should either not have activated, or should have stayed deactivated after the pilots overrode it.  340 kts IAS with a high true AoA would have created a high-G condition.  On the graph at 05:38:45 you see the AoA sensor reading diverge upward with only a very small change in vertical acceleration, quickly reversed.  This was sufficient information for software to determine that the AoA sensor was faulty and to have downgraded the priority of the MCAS system or shut it off entirely.

  47. AaronB says:
    @James Thompson

    Knowing about MCAS is not the issue. It appears the pilots dealt with MCAS just fine and flipped the electrical cutout switches, even without knowing about it.

    It seems that Boeing was probably correct in assuming any competent pilot would be able shut down runaway trim without knowing about MCAS, contra FB and other silly people.

    The problem is the pilots were not able to manually adjust trim and had to restore powers to MCAS. They were going too fast for manual to work, and made no attempt to slow down. This is still a mystery. Why were they going way too fast to begin with, and why no attempt to slow down.

    A related problem is that MCAS activated at so low a height, giving less time.

    Either way, knowing about MCAS probably wouldn’t have helped.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  48. @AaronB

    Why were they going way too fast to begin with

    Power was set for climb to cruising altitude, but the aircraft was not climbing due to the MCAS malfunction so the thrust went into kinetic energy.

    why no attempt to slow down.

    The situation developed too fast for them to realize that it would help.

    That said, dropping 10° of flaps might have helped with both the trim problem and the speed problem.  340 kts is way above flap deployment speed but it’s better than crashing.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  49. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Rational

    When they found it difficult to use manual trim, they should have realized they needed to reduce thrust.

    They were going doubt the speed safe for that altitude. That’s not minor.

    Its increasingly looking like in both cases its poor piloting. To be fair to the EA pilots, they weren’t the rank incompetents that would be the case if they didn’t even flip the cutout switches.

    This should worry all of us because even in the absence of MCAS, it is obvious that the EA and LA pilots would likely not have been able to handle an emergency if any serious kind even in a differently designed plane.

    In other words, let’s say these pilots encountered runaway trim for some other reason like a different kind if malfunction – it is evident they would not really be able to deal with it using existing procedures that can save the plane.

    Or what about other kinds of emergencies.

  50. AaronB says:

    Reposting acememthead comment from other thread which seems to sum up the situation –

    So, the EA pilot followed the correct procedures, but the manual trim control could not be used due to the air speed.

    No the EA pilot did not AVIATE correctly. Aviating is not a matter of just following checklists.

    I’ve had a brief look at the interm accident report issued by the Ethiopian authority and it appears that no thrust reduction at all was made at any point, maximu speed below 10,000′ should be 250 KIAS. If at any time one is going too fast then one should reduce thrust. Thrust should have been reduced afterT/O to climb thrust once the aircraft is clean and preferably earlier.

    Didn’t need to use manual trim. Use electric.

    Select ANU trim on C/W switches(either side).

    Select Stab trim cutout switches(on control pedestal RHS rear) to normal. Trim will run ANU.

    When trim at desired point select Stab trim cut-out swiches to cut-out. Trim will stop running and MCAS is prevented from trimming AND.

    Contact Flight Despatch on company frequency and adivise of slight defect. Ask if return or continue to destination. If engineering available at destination they likely say continue.

    Continue to destination. Once Flap 1 is selected on arrival cut-out switches can be left in normal position as MCAS is not active.

    On arrival write-up defect in maintenance log(actually can do this enroute). Go to hotel. Drink beer.

  51. @AaronB

    The problem with you Erebus was that you were pursuing two incompatible lines of inquiry – you were both agreeing with the above mentioned absurd argument and suggesting MCAS might not have responded to being shut down.

    Yes Erebus, several times, suggested that the MCAS spurious trimming was not prevented by the cut-out switches. I explained that this is not physically possible UNLESS there is another, extremely unlikely(physically impossible really). fault. I explained why that is the case but he is either too agenda-driven to accept the facts or too dense to be able to understand. I think the former because it is very simple and all the information to confirm it is easily available on the ‘net.

    This made you lose credibility and seem to have a primary agenda of exculpating the pilots by throwing out incompatible theories.

    Yes I have no doubt that E’s agenda is to hold the incompetent pilots blameless. My opinion is that the captain bears full responsibility but is not culpable of any wrongdoing. Through no fault of his own he just was not up to what was required of him that day. Much as the crew of Ansett 703 in the crash on approach to 25 at Palmerston North were not guilty of any wrongdoing; they just weren’t up to the task that day.

    The link below is a very good account of the event. That the captain was put on trial for manslaughter was unprecedented and a disgrace. Fortunately he was acquitted.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=192796

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Erebus
    , @FB
  52. AaronB says:
    @acementhead

    My opinion is that the captain bears full responsibility but is not culpable of any wrongdoing. Through no fault of his own he just was not up to what was required of him that day.

    I think that’s really fair and honest. I also don’t want to come down too hard on the pilot, it’s a tough situation to be in. But at the end if the day his aviation skills were not up to par.

  53. @Erebus

    During the great cockpit fight…

    The Pilots are thrown off their seats, hitting the cockpit roof.

    When we see an article, about an aircraft accident, that begins like this there is no need to read further. The language is pure yellow journalism. The pilots were not thrown from their seats(they have a five point harness). They did not “hit(ting) the flight-deck(an airliner does not have a “cockpit”) roof.

    In a dozen or so words Bjorn Fehrm has completely destroyed his own credibility.

    • Replies: @FB
  54. FB says: • Website
    @acementhead

    Fuck off you ridiculous, flatulent pretend-pilot…

    Bjorn is an aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot…you’re a fucking retarded old goat with continence problems… who thinks a wing pitches up and the tail pushes up to counter that.

    Get some fucking dignity in your old age…

    • Replies: @acementhead
  55. Erebus says:
    @acementhead

    Yes Erebus, several times, suggested that the MCAS spurious trimming was not prevented by the cut-out switches.

    No. If I suggested anything, it was that there existed the possibility that the switches were in the signals hierarchy as opposed to the power circuits. Furthermore, I asked, rather than claimed anything concerning these.

    One of the reasons I asked is that the labelling/naming of those switches differed in the Max version from all previous versions of the B737.
    In the Max, they’re labelled PRI and B/U. Presumably abbreviations for PRIMARY and BACK UP respectively, vs the B737’s MAIN ELECT and AUTO PILOT.

    In machine design, one doesn’t normally rename standard controls unless there’s a significant change in functionality. One certainly NEVER does it without making explicit the name change and any operational implications in the documentation.
    From what I could find, Boeing’s documentation didn’t note, never mind make explicit the name change. I was simply asking what else they may have been hiding, and speculating about one of the changes that may have taken place.

    I explained that this is not physically possible UNLESS there is another, extremely unlikely(physically impossible really) fault.

    Sorry mate, that is patent nonsense. It is neither physically nor schematically impossible to have those switches acting in whatever circuit the system’s designers chose to have them operate in.

    It would be trivial, never mind “physically (im)possible”, to move their function from the power to the signal circuits in the overall stabilizer control regime, and to program the MCAS to override their signal under certain conditions. By that I mean physically trivial, not operationally trivial, of course.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  56. FB says: • Website
    @acementhead

    Yes Erebus, several times, suggested that the MCAS spurious trimming was not prevented by the cut-out switches. I explained that this is not physically possible …

    So you are claiming here that runaway trim [whether MCAS or not] cannot continue after hitting the cutout switches…?

    So the entire notion of aerodynamic runaway trim does not exist…it’s all just a figment of every 737 and 727 pilot’s imagination…hmm…?

    Why does this not surprise me…coming from a Cement ‘Captain’ who thinks the airplane wing pitches up and the horizontal stabilizer creates an upward lift to balance the airplane…

    Yes I have no doubt that E’s agenda is to hold the incompetent pilots blameless.

    Let’s rewind the tape here…how many times in this discussion did you declare that the pilots could have saved the airplane by flipping those switches…was it a dozen times…a hundred perhaps…?

    But of course now that it has been proved that they did cut those Magic Switches …they are still ‘incompetent’…

    You know how I know that you were never a professional pilot…because no one would ever fly with an asshole like you…you attacked another pilot on PPRuNe ten years ago and even if you ever did make it into a crewed aircraft, your career would have been extremely short because nobody wants to fly with a nutcase that first of all doesn’t even know basic groundschool…and second…who is not a team player nor someone you can bet your life on in that cockpit…

    Erebus a non-pilot himself, but an accomplished engineer and person of extremely sound common sense said it best…you simply do not have the pilot DNA…you even call yourself an ‘ace’…ie a dangerously deluded nutcase…ask any airman with a military background…nobody wants to fly with the ‘ace of the base’…because we pilots value judgement above all…

    Every single guy and gal I have ever flown with has had coolness under pressure…no real pilot is lacking that…so your tall tale about the soft-minded pilots folding under pressure is just instantly recognized as complete fucking bullshit by any real aviator…why don’t you do yourself a favor and take a good look in the mirror ‘ace’…?

  57. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Yes Erebus, several times, suggested that the MCAS spurious trimming was not prevented by the cut-out switches. I explained that this is not physically possible …

    So you are claiming here that runaway trim [whether MCAS or not] cannot continue after hitting the cutout switches…?

    FB, I think he’s commenting on my notion that the switches on MCAS equipped planes may have been implemented in the control circuits rather than the power circuits. Of course, he’s turned my hypothetical into a claim, but that’s part of the straw man strategy we’ve seen exercised often here.

    At any rate, I retracted that notion when it became clear that the ET302 pilots themselves flipped the switches back in their attempt to utilize the electric trim motors. Cement Head’s error is that he thinks my notion was physically impossible, even though he hadn’t seen the schematics, which is of course absurd. They look like pretty ordinary switches to me.

    Parenthetically, the more I read, and the more I think about it, the more I believe that Boeing’s renaming of the switches holds a key to the other devils hiding in the details. I just can’t imagine any engineer doing that without compelling operational reasons to do so, especially as the meanings of the labels are so radically different. Was it just MCAS, or was it more?
    Have you heard anything from any private sources that might throw some light on this?

    • Replies: @acementhead
  58. @Erebus

    It would be trivial, never mind “physically (im)possible”, to move their function from the power to the signal circuits in the overall stabilizer control regime, and to program the MCAS to override their signal under certain conditions. By that I mean physically trivial, not operationally trivial, of course.

    Yes I agree that Boeing could have built the Max8 differently from what they show in their diagrams but it would make no sense at all. The purpose of the cut-out switches is to stop the electrical trim motor working no matter where the signal to operate came from. It’s a last line of defence against unwanted movement of the stab and to be so it needs not only to be in the power supply but the physical location should be as near the motor as possible. I’m sure that you can understand why(clue for others, not E; short circuits do happen. They shouldn’t but they do. TWA Flight 800 for example.).

    No. If I suggested anything, it was that there existed the possibility that the switches were in the signals hierarchy as opposed to the power circuits. Furthermore, I asked, rather than claimed anything concerning these.

    Well I must have misunderstood. I’m a terrible poker player. I’m utterly artless. Before I write anything I try to understand that to which I’m responding. So to that end I look not just at the particular words at that point in the conversation but all that has gone before. Context matters. It seemed to me, obviously erroneously, that from what you’d written before, that your question wasn’t really a question. If you were just seeking information you could have easily found it for yourself very quickly. Lawyers do statements in the form of questions. I don’t like lawyers.

    I think, but I’m not sure(was looking at something else related and noticed a bit about the new names of the switches) that the newly named switches now have different functions. I think that the newly named override switch now overrides the cutout so that control can be returned to the pilots’ control wheel switches. That makes sense to me. I like the pilot to be in charge.

    E previously, on the earlier board, I responded to you on what I thought was an honest question. You subsequently commented to someone else that I’d fallen for your trap. I don’t do trickery and I don’t like it. It seems to me that it is counterproductive to finding the truth and improving air safety.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Erebus
  59. @FB

    So you are claiming here that runaway trim [whether MCAS or not] cannot continue after hitting the cutout switches…?

    Yes precisely, IFF the aircraft is constructed as shown in the block circuit diagrams. Unless there is a short circuit between the cutout relay and the motor. I believe, without evidence but it is logically sensible, that Boeing would put the last line of defence as near as possible to the trim motor.

    Control forces: The control forces with which the pilots have to contend are entirely artificial. The elevators are hydraulically operated and there is no natural feedback. It could be, and in my view should be, that q-feel does not keep increasing in proportion to aerodynamic load, and if that is the case then pilot will be able to handle control forces even though IAS is grossly excessive. It is not possible to make an aeroplane idiot proof(eg L188 22 whenuapai, DC8 23 Mangere, DC10 Erebus, F27 Manukau harbour, Westwind ysnf(all first-world pilots)).

  60. @FB

    You know how I know that you were never a professional pilot…because no one would ever fly with an asshole like you…you attacked another pilot on PPRuNe ten years ago and even if you ever did make it into a crewed aircraft, your career would have been extremely short because nobody wants to fly with a nutcase that first of all doesn’t even know basic groundschool…and second…who is not a team player nor someone you can bet your life on in that cockpit…

    FB you’re getting funnier and funnier.

    I’m a phlegmatic. I flew a 100 series B737 into Palmerston North on one engine, one night, after having been told by Wellington Operations that “Brian Dxxxx(the Wn DSP at the time) says the 100 won’t fit into PM on one engine.” The first officer later said “Are you sure it will fit Bxxxx” I said “no problem at all.” The F/O was Roy Hxxxxxx. Was because he subsequently died in a helio which he was trying to get airborne. He was a good guy. I’ve written a bit more about this previously. Not going to repeat.

    Erebus a non-pilot himself,

    That is obvious from his comments. He obviously has an agenda as do you. I’m just interested, in this matter, in truth and air safety I actually don’t care if Boeing goes bankrupt and that the US destroys itself, as I despise what the US has become since the criminal Reagan.

    so your tall tale about the soft-minded pilots folding under pressure

    Nowhere did I say they were soft-minded or that they folded under pressure. They were not competent that is all I said. Third world airlines have more incompetent pilots than first, that is all. See my list nearby of a few aircraft flown by incompetent First world pilots

    PS I don’t call myself “ace” it is “a cementhead” as I know that you’ve noticed

  61. @Erebus

    FB, I think he’s commenting on my notion that the switches on MCAS equipped planes may have been implemented in the control circuits rather than the power circuits. Of course, he’s turned my hypothetical into a claim,

    It is absurd to speculate about things that are known for certain. The block diagrams show that your “speculation” is just wrong. Of course Boeing could have built the B737 differently from that which they claimed(in the block diagrams) but it would make no sense at all. They could even have put a dried pineapple where they showed the cutout switch; but they didn’t.

  62. @FB

    So the entire notion of aerodynamic runaway trim does not exist…it’s all just a figment of every 737 and 727 pilot’s imagination

    “aerodynamic runaway trim” does not occur in B737. The Air Alaska B727 accident was caused by faulty maintenance not “aerodynamic runaway trim”; the thread on the jackscrew was ruined. No it isn’t a figment of B737 pilots’ imaginations they just don’t imagine it at all. Can’t say for B727 as don’t know any B727 pilots.

    I believe that either B707 or DC8 or maybe both had some problems with stab jamming(but not running away) due aerodynamic loads under certain conditions. It must have been rare as AirNZ operated DC8 for over 15 years and I haven’t heard of a jammed stab event. Probably just early models and was fixed prior 1965. Yeah no way that that would be allowed to continue for long.

  63. @FB

    Get some fucking dignity in your old age…

    You’re such a charmer I bet the ladies love you.

    As I’ve said over and over, the value of any statement doesn’t depend on who said it but inheres in the words themselves. Any pilot who writes BS such as

    During the great cockpit fight…

    The Pilots are thrown off their seats, hitting the cockpit roof.

    should be ashamed of himself.

  64. Erebus says:

    It is absurd to speculate about things that are known for certain. The block diagrams show that your “speculation” is just wrong.

    Huh? Where are those block diagrams?

    I asked you previously if you had access to the Max’s electrical schematics. You answered that you had for the old B737, but hadn’t seen any since.

    Are you now saying that you have access for the Max’s schematics? Block diagrams are not as desirable, but assuming they’re electrical block diagrams could be helpful. Where does one find them?

    BTW, creating hypothesis and testing them is part of troubleshooting, and I immediately rescind any hypothesis that proves false.

    Regarding my agenda you are so wildly off the mark that I’m not sure you can find New Zealand again.
    What is clear and getting clearer is that Boeing went off the rails and into criminally negligent territory. Such agenda as I would have beyond my natural delight in solving technical whodunnits, is to make as clear as possible Boeing’s criminality.

    I believe FB’s agenda is either similar or convergent.

    People like you claim to have no agenda, but it’s evident from your statements that you ignore your interlocutor’s most salient points and while lying about your authority argue by assertion in defence of Boeing. Even our resident crazy bag lady had the integrity to change her stance, but you carry on as only a deaf & blind man, or a shill, can.

    The summary is…
    Black, white, brown, or yellow, the pilots were clearly not “incompetent” in any normal sense of the word for the simple reason that “incompetent” pilots don’t stay alive through 1,000s of take-offs and landings. Besides, the factory test pilots proved themselves equally “incompetent”.

    The plane entered an operational mode we are just starting to understand, that killed almost 400 people. In the absence of extraordinary evidence, such an operational mode is possible only if Boeing failed to perform ISO mandated tests for critical systems, or falsified the results. That is criminal negligence.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  65. @FB

    Bjorn confirms EVERYTHING I have been saying all along…including the yo yo maneuver to unstick an aerodynamically stuck tailplane…

    At a miss-trimmed Stabilator, you either have to re-engage Electric trim or off-load the Stabilator jackscrew by stick forward, creating a nose-down bunt maneuver,

    What Bjorn has confirmed is that he knows nothing about B737. How embarrassing. B737 does not have a Stabilator. He must be thinking about a fighter, maybe an F35, that might have a Stabilator, not sure as I’m not much interested in military aircraft,

  66. Biff says:
    @acementhead

    E; short circuits do happen. They shouldn’t but they do. TWA Flight 800 for example.).

    That’s all we need to know about your dumb ass. Jet fuel doesn’t just explode(or even simply catch on fire) from a short circuit, but we are hoping your head will.

  67. Erebus says:
    @acementhead

    Yes I agree that Boeing could have built the Max8 differently from what they show in their diagrams…

    I thought you said you have no access to the Max’s schematic diagrams. Are you now saying you do?

  68. @Erebus

    The plane entered an operational mode we are just starting to understand, that killed almost 400 people. In the absence of extraordinary evidence, such an operational mode is possible only if Boeing failed to perform ISO mandated tests for critical systems, or falsified the results.

    You understate things.  The problem was certainly possible to anticipate just from the characteristics of the system.  Nobody in authority either had the chops to perform this anticipation, or paid attention to any underling who brought it to their attention.  This is a positive dereliction of duty.

    That is criminal negligence.

    That is the most charitable interpretation of things, probably too charitable.  I’d go with “reckless” and up from there.

    If Boeing’s “diversity” hiring had anything to do with the lack of competence in foreseeing this issue before it resulted in two fatal crashes, it must be held up to examination as well and every last diversicrat and diversity hire let go from the company and replaced by selection for pure competence.

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