Very well said on both counts. It's the planes that are grounded. Not airlines or pilots. And the software patch Boeing promised to fix the glitch within 2 weeks (that they had already been working on since Lion air) never materialised did it?
The Software patch is there, it's only the certification that takes longer then Boeing expected.
I think that the technical issues of the MAX and the issues surrounding the certification are 2 different processes. The fix for the software is there, and will probably be working as it should making the MAX safe to fly again. Remember that it was not the instability caused by the engine placement that caused the crashes, it was the botched MCAS software. And we will only see more and more software in future planes, so the fact that software is needed should not be seen as the core problem as long as the software is properly designed. But now there are doubts about the initial certification process the handbrakes are pulled on a quick certification on the MCAS fix. This is what Ed Bastian means with the industry being in shock, it's much more then just Boeing messing up the software. It's much more important to know how this was not caught by the industry before the crashes even happened.
And when it comes to this discussion in this thread I would say that the main issue is that it's too reactive. The pilot error talk is fueled by claims that the MAX is completely unsafe, which is already a reaction to claims that nothing is wrong. So it just goes round in circles, only resulting in more insinuations and personal attacks every time this circle is completed. This makes it pretty much impossible to follow this thread for people who just want to read new information and proper insights surrounding on the grounding of the MAX.
Of course the plane isnt "completely unsafe"
Aren't we faced though with a very unusual situation where we have a grandfathered plane that was initially (at least) far less safe than the plane it grandfathered? That's why we have two disasters and a grounding on our hands.
I'm sure it's accepted that the grandfathering system on planes is there (in a very large part) to build on safety of the previous plane and hopefully improve on it?
I can't see how even with the very best software, communication, manuals and/or training from now on that this plane can ever be as safe as the plane it grandfathered? The are inherent extra risks and things that can go wrong that just weren't there before.
So the question surely has to be - how those new risks can be minimised to the nth degree and once they are is the extra risk acceptable?
I think the problem is magnified as there will be at least 5,000 of these planes flying 25,000 times plus per day if all goes to plan. So far we've had 2 crashes with less than 400 of these planes even built and flying.
So even minimal increase in risk can become a significant number in terms of potential disasters
What actually is an acceptable increase in risk from needing MCAS and all that comes with it to allow this plane in the air ?
0.000001 per cent more chance of a crash compared to NG after all the extra software work, training and communication is done etc - at first glance to me would seem brilliant figures and a great result from where we are now IMO
But I multiply that out over 25,000 flights per day around the world in the future and that's still 9 extra crashes per year! Nobody would accept those stats of course.
We know there are extra risks involved with MCAS. We all surely have to accept that if the plane is to fly again - but realistically what's the lowest that those extra risks can be reduced to compared to the NG plane without MCAS?
0.0000001 per cent extra risk of a crash compared to NG due to MCAS still gives 1 MCAS crash per year in the future with 5,000 max 737 planes in the air. Still clearly unacceptable by modern aviation expectations.
The numbers scare me.
Isn't that a real tough ask that Boeing and co are up against?
How do they get the inherent extra risks from having MCAS on the plane below those what seem tiny extra risk levels to me above?
The CEO has promised Max 737 will be one of the safest planes in the air in the future. How can it possibly be as safe as NG? And if not what extra risk level is acceptable?
As an outsider looking in this seems a very tough question to answer.
Is my maths right?
Have I missed anything?