You'd have a better argument if you didn't go down the straw man road (no one is saying there wasn't a bad design), state factual errors such as "mere seconds", try to shut down dissenters, and the in end contradict your own argument. Was there a bad design. Yes. Was their bad piloting. Yes. Were there other mistakes. Yes. It's the facts of the case. Saying that people are "pushing blame onto the pilots" is contradicted by "looking into why they failed to prevent an airplane...". You're saying that it's wrong to push blame, but then acknowledge there's potential blame to levy. You can't have it both ways, so what statement are you retracting?
I think you need to know more pilots.
I will not retract anything.
The only 'blame' to be levied will be done so in courts of law when plaintiffs will claim that Boeing, by exerting pressure on their project managers and engineers to push the design out in tight budgetary and time constraints, owns (possibly criminal) responsibility in these tragedies. I can't and won't pronounce myself on this.
Regardless of what caused it to be this way, it can be said with no uncertainty that the design was flawed: through a single external sensor failure, it would directly, and to a large extent, act on the most powerful control surface of the airplane to point it downwards, unbeknownst to the crew. This does not pass muster with any aerospace engineer worth his title (leading me to believe that no sane engineer at Boeing would have signed on this without any sort of pressure from above, but again, investigations will determine this, not me). It is, inarguably, a BAD design, and I think we all agree on this.
But then you also decide, with no less certainty, that 'bad piloting' was involved and the problem with that is that it is much less easy to conclude. To say that with any level of certainty, you'd have to prove that these crews performed well below what would have been expected of them and what most of their peers would have achieved. It is easy to blame pilots because hindsight will always provide us with a solution to save the airplane. Except this is a useless metric. You cannot expect pilots to be hyperintelligent superhumans. Pilots are trained to a standard, and their performance can only be evaluated against an average performance. This is not for me, and much less you, to decide on. Only their peers with training experience and intimate knowledge of the failure mode could possibly determine whether an average crew would have performed any better.
Statistically, some would have, some would not. The problem comes with trying to determine what percentage of crews would have saved the day, and then what an acceptable percentage would be for this particular failure, taking into consideration its rate of occurrence.
I'm guessing a few people have a good idea at the moment, and they sure are keeping quiet.
And the problem here is that occurrence rate seemed to be quite high, and relatively high occurrence rate events in aviation should be handled appropriately by 99+% of pilots (engine failure on takeoff, TCAS resolution advisory, low energy recovery, terrain warning, etc.). Something obviously doesn't add up in this case study, and, once again, the complexity of the failure, its direct effect on a primary flight controls, the lack of specific training regarding it, the limited timeframe for identification, evaluation and action would not suggest that an average crew could reliably figure it out (at the time of the events), quite the contrary.
BAD design? Yes.
BAD piloting? You and I cannot tell. All I know is that I wouldn't have wanted to be in that cockpit that day, and I don't know anyone who would.
I give up. I have not spent months trying to blame the pilots. I have spent months saying that I could understand how the engineers made the assumptions they did at the time and saying that the pilots could have saved the aircraft. I have repeatedly said that it was a bad design and that Boeing should be (and is being) blamed for creating a frequency of runaway stabilizer that it far beyond what is acceptable. I have stated that I expect pilots to be trained well enough and skilled enough to the point that they are able to save a plane if it is possible to save it and that I hope that every time I board a flight, the pilots have that training and skill.
The fact that you have experience flying newer Boeing aircraft that either sense a runaway stabilizer and provide warnings (757/767) or sense and automatically respond to a runaway stabilizer (747/777/787) isn't relevant to what should be recognized by a 737 pilot as a runaway stabilizer. The 737 does not have a common cockpit or type rating to any Boeing aircraft that came after it.
If you have followed my posts so closely, you would know that I have stated my "credentials." several times. I have stated that I'm not a pilot but that I have had time in a full motion 737-800 simulator and that during that time, it became instinctive almost immediately to trim out control column forces. That experience has led me to question why, when flying straight, it wasn't just instinct to counteract MCAS. It seems like it may have been for the captain of Lion Air 610 but not for the FO that he gave control to.
If the final report on the ET crash determines that the trim motor had enough power to move the stabilizer back into trim, then I will place some percentage of "blame" on the crew. They were given information about MCAS as well as the simultaneous warnings/alarms that could occur and the recovery procedures in the form of the EAD. If performing the runaway stabilizer NNC properly would have saved the aircraft, there is no reason that they shouldn't have been capable of performing the procedure correctly.
Go ahead and attack way based on that last paragraph. Ignore the fact that I qualified it with saying "IF the final report on the ET crash determines..."
Engineers don't work on assumptions, hopes or prayers. No engineer at Boeing would ever produce a design thinking "it should be good enough for the pilots to handle it, or if they did, they would document it at length. If there are any assumptions, they should be regarding the reasonably expected performance of a crew given adequate training (see examples above). These events fell well outside of these parameters. This is why so many accusations are flying at Boeing's face at the moment.
You say that you expect the crew to be capable of saving the aircraft if it is possible to save, meaning that you expect them to be able to handle any failure mode, even one that is unfamiliar, complex, untrained for, time critical and lethal if not handled correctly. That is unfortunately not the case. As I said above, pilots are only human, and the industry, for better or worse, has moved away from requiring extremely competent pilots in cockpits.
As for your stint in a sim trimming a perfectly good airplane, I'm afraid it bears little relevance to what happened. Part of the confusion for the crew came for the fact that they had to repeatedly trim up an airplane that wasn't losing speed, quite the contrary, and which was even giving stall warnings. This was as counter-intuitive for a pilot as it comes, and as far removed from your 'piloting 101' experience in a sim as could be. It might have led to thinking 'stab', but again, it was still responding to commands (so once again not 'running away' which is the very name of the checklist) and, unless they knew exactly what the problem was, they risked losing their only working pitch actuator. Barring any indication of a stab issue, what could have eliminated the possibility of an elevator actuator misbehavior/hardover? Shutting off the stab would, in that case, have doomed them as well. Remember that pilots are used to trimming through short 'blips' of the trim switches, not prolonged actuations to retrim from an agressive pitch down movement of the stab, all the way to full AND stop.Then there's the spurious stall warning, the fact that one pilot was fully absorbed at the control and unable to spare the mental capacity to troubleshoot, the panic of seeing the planet grow larger in your windshield...
As I said above, the performance of the crews on these tragic days can only be compared to what could have reasonably been expected of their peers.
I'm sorry if you want balls-of-steel test pilots at the control of your commercial airliner. The reality is, you get a fresh out of flightschool F/O on the right seat and a captain who might not be that far ahead of him on the seniority list.
The industry and regulators have decided that this was the best way to avoid a pilot shortage and ensure you get a cheap ticket. I deplore it as much as anyone, but the fact is, airplane manufacturers are now the ones we all rely on for reliability and safety. Boeing forgot that and dropped the ball... big time.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.