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sharpley
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:08 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
If Boeing is able to satisfy all established FAA requirements then the FAA will have no choice but to put it back on the air. What you or anyone else thinks is immaterial.


Hmmm... I believe the EASA, CAAC, CASA, et. al. will very much have a material opinion. I'm pretty certain that the FAA will not clear the MAX until all other agencies are happy with it too. The optics of an FAA-only clearance would be interesting, to say the least, in light of the loss of trust.

Not to mention that without a Worldwide thumbs up, no airline would take delivery and no one would insure it.


Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.

Those agencies were quite rightly grounding the aircraft whilst the FAA was saying its a safe plane. Other agencies will have every right to not just unground the Max just on the say so of the FAA / Boeing without doing their own due diligence. The FAA would be very foolish to get into some tit-for-tat retaliation without good reason as well.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:31 pm

PW100 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
The operation was a success, but the patient died.

If we're going by what the FAA officials are saying to the Senate, one of the surgeries was a failure but the patient will live.

The problem is, the aviation world outside USA don't seem to be particular comfortable anymore that other surgeries by Boeing on the MAX were successful. And that the FAA is in as deep pooh as Boeing in terms of trust that they performed their supervision role to the those surgeries.

Since the fine FAA processes missed an obvious gaping wound like MCAS, how can the world be comfortable that they did not miss anything else? It's not a good position for a trauma patient to be in.

Doesn't the idea that FAA just insisted Boeing change its software to deal with a condition that has never occurred in flight give you a sense that FAA is doing a thorough examination?

PW100 wrote:
One of the problems is that the international aviation world is losing trust in FAA ability to properly oversee the MAX program. FAA going it alone approving the MAX, not paying any attention to " . . What you or anyone else thinks . . . " is probably the worst line of action FAA can take. But if they want to make sure the MAX doesn't sell outside the USA, by all means that would be the way to go.

Where is this narrative coming from?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethi ... SKCN1UP2BB posted just this week says:

Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said in letters to Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed that the agency “hopes to achieve near simultaneous approval from the major civil aviation authorities around the world” but added that every regulator will make its own determination.

We are working with our colleagues from the European Union, Canada and Brazil to address their concerns,” he wrote.

A far cry from "FAA going it alone / What you or anyone else thinks", no?
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par13del
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:33 pm

StTim wrote:
It is also a dangerous game for the FAA to certify if the other agencies are not ready to also certify. I do not think (at least from EASA) that there will be pettiness but I also do not think they will be bullied into certification.

We are an internet site and we speculate, but where is the idea coming from that the FAA is trying to bully other nations?
The FAA has been working with other regulators, the FAA not EASA when testing the MCAS fix deliberately crippled a computer to test a fault scenario which when failed became a critical item to be fixed, the FAA accepted the EASA list and added them to the critical must fix and or address before approval to fly. In all of that, have we seen or heard anyone at the FAA, Boeing, EASA or other regulators leaking any information that the FAA or US Congress are pressuring anyone to short cut the process and approve the a/c for flight? Based on the number of whistle blowers coming out of the woodwork from Boeing should be no shortage coming from the FAA.
 
XRAYretired
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:38 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
"fundamental software redesign of 737 MAX flight controls"
I don't get it. They are talking about fundamental s/w redesign, and at the same time insist on completion is September. Are they nuts?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

Knocks the MCAS change into a cocked hat!!!!!!!!

Take a while to get the brain around this one. Would assume they've been working on it for 6 to 8 weeks though already.

Ray
 
MrBretz
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:07 pm

These words in the article concern me: "And in response to finding that new glitch, Boeing has developed a plan to fundamentally change the software architecture of the MAX flight-control system so that it will take input from both flight-control computers at once instead of using only one on a flight."

This may a big deal but it depends on how they are going to handle it or exactly what they are going to do. I can only suppose all the hardware is already in place or it would be a really big deal. I would like to hear more details. But since none of actually know all the logic in the software, it's hard to make an intelligent guess. All I can say if it is only going to take a few weeks to do and test, it must be something pretty simple.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:08 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
"fundamental software redesign of 737 MAX flight controls"
I don't get it. They are talking about fundamental s/w redesign, and at the same time insist on completion is September. Are they nuts?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

You are missing the point raised in this thread when the "microprocessor problem" first popped that this type of "architecture change" was started months ago.

If I recall correctly it was said to have started development some time last year.

TFA says:

Lemme said the proposed software architecture switch to a “fail-safe,” two-channel system, with each of the computers operating from an independent set of sensors, will not only address the new microprocessor issue but will also make the flawed Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that went haywire on the two crash flights more reliable and safe.

“I’m overjoyed to hear Boeing is doing this,” Lemme said. “It’s absolutely the right thing to do.”

So the infamous Peter Lemme is "overjoyed" that Boeing is doing this change.

The fault occurs when bits inside the microprocessor are randomly flipped from 0 to 1 or vice versa. This is a known phenomenon that can happen due to cosmic rays striking the circuitry. Electronics inside aircraft are particularly vulnerable to such radiation because they fly at high altitudes and high geographic latitudes where the rays are more intense.
...
This person emphasized how extremely improbable it is that five single bits on the microprocessor would flip at once and that the random bits would make these specific critical changes to the aircraft’s systems.

“While it’s a theoretical failure mode that has never been known to occur, we cannot prove it can’t happen,” he said. “So we have to account for it in the design.”

The fault they are simulating involves cosmic rays that flip random bits, but they simulated it by several different instances of five chosen bits flipping.

One flip was to the bit that tells the system that MCAS is on, when it wasn't on.

This is the case that failed, and it's the reason why the change isn't required by 737NGs which don't have MCAS.

He added that early published accounts of the fault suggesting that the microprocessor had been overwhelmed and its data-processing speed slowed, causing the pilot-control column thumb switches that move the stabilizer to respond slowly, were inaccurate.

Like I said, the earlier media reports were really garbled when being read by someone who understands how computers work, and the simple overload scenario did not fit in with the rest of those early reports.

This report is far better written and makes sense to me, and I have decades of experience working on embedded computer design and development.
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ArgentoSystems
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:10 pm

XRAYretired wrote:
Would assume they've been working on it for 6 to 8 weeks though already.

Ray


I don't think so. I mean, they indeed has been working on it for 8 months now, but the scope of work has never been identified as "fundamental redesign". Up until June it was "quick fix for the MCAS and back into air". And mind that they could not finish the quick fix in the time between Lion and ET. You want to believe they can do complete rewrite in shorter time than that? I don't buy it.

I don't mind complete rewrite, but come on, be realistic about your time frames.
 
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:15 pm

Revelation wrote:
You are missing the point raised in this thread when the "microprocessor problem" first popped that this type of "architecture change" was started months ago.

I'm not missing anything. Full rewrite might be in order, but I'm not buying the timeframe. I don't think that radical redesign was in the works until June.
Last edited by ArgentoSystems on Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:16 pm

sharpley wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Francoflier wrote:

Hmmm... I believe the EASA, CAAC, CASA, et. al. will very much have a material opinion. I'm pretty certain that the FAA will not clear the MAX until all other agencies are happy with it too. The optics of an FAA-only clearance would be interesting, to say the least, in light of the loss of trust.

Not to mention that without a Worldwide thumbs up, no airline would take delivery and no one would insure it.


Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.

Those agencies were quite rightly grounding the aircraft whilst the FAA was saying its a safe plane. Other agencies will have every right to not just unground the Max just on the say so of the FAA / Boeing without doing their own due diligence. The FAA would be very foolish to get into some tit-for-tat retaliation without good reason as well.


Why would I trust the EASA when they didn't ground the ATR after the American Eagle crash and its aileron reversal issue was discovered? Aerospatiale even refused to fix the problem and the US had to ban them from operating in cold weather here. So you can get off your high horse. The EASA only cares when it's a product of another country apparently.
 
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:19 pm

MrBretz wrote:
These words in the article concern me: "And in response to finding that new glitch, Boeing has developed a plan to fundamentally change the software architecture of the MAX flight-control system so that it will take input from both flight-control computers at once instead of using only one on a flight."

This may a big deal but it depends on how they are going to handle it or exactly what they are going to do. I can only suppose all the hardware is already in place or it would be a really big deal. I would like to hear more details. But since none of actually know all the logic in the software, it's hard to make an intelligent guess. All I can say if it is only going to take a few weeks to do and test, it must be something pretty simple.

Exactly?

TFA says:

The 737 has two flight-control computers, but in the architecture that has been in place for decades, only one computer is used at a time on a flight, with systems switching to use the other computer on the next flight.

Lemme said the proposed software architecture switch to a “fail-safe,” two-channel system, with each of the computers operating from an independent set of sensors, will not only address the new microprocessor issue but will also make the flawed Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that went haywire on the two crash flights more reliable and safe.

You're not going to get more info than this from a media report.

It describes the architectural change pretty well, IMO.

TFA also says:

According to a third person familiar with the details, Boeing expects to have this new software architecture ready for testing toward the end of September. Meanwhile, it will continue certification activities in parallel so that it can stick to its announced schedule and hope for clearance from the FAA and other regulators in October.

The fact that AvWeek and ST are both dropping articles on the same day on the same topic strongly suggests to me that this info is being leaked off the record with management approval from within Boeing.

It suggests to me at least a high degree of confidence that the proposed fix addresses the concerns.
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XRAYretired
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:49 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
XRAYretired wrote:
Would assume they've been working on it for 6 to 8 weeks though already.

Ray


I don't think so. I mean, they indeed has been working on it for 8 months now, but the scope of work has never been identified as "fundamental redesign". Up until June it was "quick fix for the MCAS and back into air". And mind that they could not finish the quick fix in the time between Lion and ET. You want to believe they can do complete rewrite in shorter time than that? I don't buy it.

I don't mind complete rewrite, but come on, be realistic about your time frames.

Found in June. 6 to 8 weeks ago. What's the beef?

I said nowt about how long it will take, but it is a fundamental change to the architecture, not a complete re-write, so its any ones guess at this stage as to exactly what that means in regards to timescales. Suffice to say, it could be as simple as comparing the two FCC outputs and kicking out the automation if they don't match.

Ray
 
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PW100
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:52 pm

XRAYretired wrote:
PW100 wrote:
B777LRF wrote:

And, right there, your arguments fell completely to the floor. MCAS is integral to all Max versions and any restrictions placed on CG would have sod all effect, as an AoA vane malfunctioning high would activate MCAS at full steam, forcing the nose down regardless of where the CG was. You see the problem wasn't not so much MCAS working as intended, in a limited portion of the flight envelope. It was the inherent risk of it malfunctioning due to several issues, not least relying on a single sensor, that's the issue.

Your additional points are equally flawed.


It was my understanding too, that the MCAS flight envelope was not applicable to the -10, mainly since the aerodynamic balance has changed due to the fuselage plugs.

Further, I think you missed or misread the message of mmo. He was suggesting that if a CoG limit would have been applied to the MAX 8 in the first place (ignoring how feasable/practical such would be), there would not be any need for MCAS. If there is no MCAS, then a faulty AoA would not steer the plane into the ground. And we would not be having this discussion.

The issue leading to the introduction of MCAS was the lift produced by the nacelles rather than the CoG specifically according to reports. So it would seem not.

Ray


I'm well aware of the nacelle thing. Not sure if we were on the same page. I'll try again:
With the CoG limit applied (as part of -8 Type Certificate) then no MCAS. It was suggested (rightfully or not) that the part of flight envelope where MCAS was needed was very small, and only at extreme CoG. It was questioned by the poster if MCAS could be removed, and in turn limit the CoG range to make sure that the airplane would/could not experience the flight conditions where MCAS would be needed. MCAS could then have been removed. No MCAS, no accidents (despite erroneous AoA).

The (by now) $7B question is how much of the flight envelope is affected, and how much would limiting the CoG affect commercial operations.
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:53 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
Revelation wrote:
You are missing the point raised in this thread when the "microprocessor problem" first popped that this type of "architecture change" was started months ago.

I'm not missing anything. Full rewrite might be in order, but I'm not buying the timeframe. I don't think that radical redesign was in the works until June.

You are missing something.

A change in software architecture is not a full rewrite.

A radical change in design is also not a full rewrite.

Architecture/design changes are quite often done to avoid full rewrites!

Think of jacking a house up on blocks, replacing the foundation with one of a different design, and lowering the house back down on the new foundation.

A pretty radical change, but one that preserves the core functionality.

One that has been done many different times in many different environments.

I've been a part of two similar efforts in my career.

Challenging, but there's lots of prior art to look at.
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PW100
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:56 pm

7BOEING7 wrote:
XRAYretired wrote:
seahawk wrote:

You are right. I did overlook this. Clear cut case of crew incompetence indeed.

#3 occurs every 9.26 seconds maximum, or if interrupted by use of thumb switch, in AOA fault condition, as I read it. So please yourselves, but you can reasonably never get to #4 even if you've concluded it is a runaway.

Runaway Stabilizer <>
Condition:
Uncommanded stabilizer trim movement occurs continuously.
1 Control column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hold firmly
2 Autopilot (if engaged). . . . . . . . . . . . .Disengage
Do not re-engage the autopilot. Control airplane pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed.
3 If the runaway stops:    end
--------------------------------- 
4 If the runaway continues: STAB TRIM CUTOUT switches (both) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CUTOUT
If the runaway continues: Stabilizer trim wheel . . . . . . . . . . Grasp and hold - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 Stabilizer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trim manually
6 Anticipate trim requirements.
7 Checklist Complete Except Deferred Items


Ray


The minute the "runaway/MCAS" starts up again, #4 should be accomplished -- that simple. Pilots are paid to follow checklists and use their heads. The two are not mutually exclusive.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Einstein (maybe)


Totally ignoring the word continuously.

Like others wrote, thousands of posts have already been spent on this. Why repeating all of that again? Why would you expect a different outcome this time?
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ArgentoSystems
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
A change in software architecture is not a full rewrite.

A radical change in design is also not a full rewrite.

Architecture/design changes are quite often done to avoid full rewrites!

Think of jacking a house up on blocks, replacing the foundation with one of a different design, and lowering the house back down on the new foundation.

Pot[ai]to - Pot[a:]to.

I don't need ridculous irrelevant analogies when talking about s/w.

Are you going to nitpick again about definition of word "full"? Fine, "A change in software architecture" is not a 100% rewrite. Shall we say 70%?
 
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:03 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
If Boeing is able to satisfy all established FAA requirements then the FAA will have no choice but to put it back on the air. What you or anyone else thinks is immaterial.


Hmmm... I believe the EASA, CAAC, CASA, et. al. will very much have a material opinion. I'm pretty certain that the FAA will not clear the MAX until all other agencies are happy with it too. The optics of an FAA-only clearance would be interesting, to say the least, in light of the loss of trust.

Not to mention that without a Worldwide thumbs up, no airline would take delivery and no one would insure it.


Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.


If the FAA feels that such action would be to the benefit of safety of the flying public, by all means, let them have a go at the A320neo.

But if they (by their own admission) are not sufficiently staffed (not to mention insufficiently paid) to do all of the oversight themselves on the MAX (delegating *a lot* of that to Boeing), then surely they would not be able to do that on the A320 in parallel. Or would you perhaps suggest they delegate that to Boeing as well? Now that would definitely stir things up . . . :-)

PS. Since no 320neo's have crashed (let alone in in short succession), there does not seem to be any pressing reasons to ground it awaiting such review.
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par13del
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:06 pm

So who were the whistle blowers who provided fake news, obviously they were close enough to be dangerous.
 
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PW100
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
PW100 wrote:
One of the problems is that the international aviation world is losing trust in FAA ability to properly oversee the MAX program. FAA going it alone approving the MAX, not paying any attention to " . . What you or anyone else thinks . . . " is probably the worst line of action FAA can take. But if they want to make sure the MAX doesn't sell outside the USA, by all means that would be the way to go.

Where is this narrative coming from?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethi ... SKCN1UP2BB posted just this week says:

Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said in letters to Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed that the agency “hopes to achieve near simultaneous approval from the major civil aviation authorities around the world” but added that every regulator will make its own determination.

We are working with our colleagues from the European Union, Canada and Brazil to address their concerns,” he wrote.

A far cry from "FAA going it alone / What you or anyone else thinks", no?


Just as a point of order, I'm fully on your page of FAA not going alone. Those words ("What you or anyone else thinks") were not my words; they were from the poster I reacted to. I merely quoted his/her words, hence my italics and quotation marks.

Referencing post 1448:
TTailedTiger wrote:
SelseyBill wrote:
. . .

The court of public opinion will have no bearing on whether the 73M returns to service. Just as they have no voice on any other civil or criminal proceeding. I don't know how you do things in your country but in the US do not allow kangaroo courts or mob rule. If Boeing is able to satisfy all established FAA requirements then the FAA will have no choice but to put it back on the air. What you or anyone else thinks is immaterial.
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PW100
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
PW100 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
If we're going by what the FAA officials are saying to the Senate, one of the surgeries was a failure but the patient will live.

The problem is, the aviation world outside USA don't seem to be particular comfortable anymore that other surgeries by Boeing on the MAX were successful. And that the FAA is in as deep pooh as Boeing in terms of trust that they performed their supervision role to the those surgeries.

Since the fine FAA processes missed an obvious gaping wound like MCAS, how can the world be comfortable that they did not miss anything else? It's not a good position for a trauma patient to be in.

Doesn't the idea that FAA just insisted Boeing change its software to deal with a condition that has never occurred in flight give you a sense that FAA is doing a thorough examination?


It's a start. But FAA was not particularly forth coming, initially.

Like a saying in my country: trust leaves by horse, returns by foot. The horse had ran a quite some way before being stopped . . .
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:21 pm

par13del wrote:
StTim wrote:
It is also a dangerous game for the FAA to certify if the other agencies are not ready to also certify. I do not think (at least from EASA) that there will be pettiness but I also do not think they will be bullied into certification.

We are an internet site and we speculate, but where is the idea coming from that the FAA is trying to bully other nations?


Some posters seem to suggest that, or that such should be their line of action. See post #1448.
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Revelation wrote:
ArgentoSystems wrote:
"fundamental software redesign of 737 MAX flight controls"
I don't get it. They are talking about fundamental s/w redesign, and at the same time insist on completion is September. Are they nuts?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

. . . .


Sorry for removing your quoted text (adds to thread readability.
But I agree with all what you wrote. My initial though was also that the "[i]fundamental s/w redesign[\i]" was referring to the "microprocessor problem". It would help to redistribute tasks and take advantage of both units working together.
This does open up new issues, especially in terms of system redundancy, self-test and cross checking. Doesn't seem like a simple and straight forward thing. But I'm not a software guy, so I'm not any position to be the judge on that.
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:34 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
sharpley wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.

Those agencies were quite rightly grounding the aircraft whilst the FAA was saying its a safe plane. Other agencies will have every right to not just unground the Max just on the say so of the FAA / Boeing without doing their own due diligence. The FAA would be very foolish to get into some tit-for-tat retaliation without good reason as well.


Why would I trust the EASA when they didn't ground the ATR after the American Eagle crash and its aileron reversal issue was discovered? Aerospatiale even refused to fix the problem and the US had to ban them from operating in cold weather here. So you can get off your high horse. The EASA only cares when it's a product of another country apparently.


EASA did not exist at the time . . .

It has been 25 years since. EASA is a totally different body from what was in order at the time. Don't think such comparison would be valid in today's world. But if it helps you get over this, by all means keep on doing what's helping you . . .
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:53 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
"A change in software architecture" is not a 100% rewrite. Shall we say 70%?

Without seeing the code or documentation, my educated guess is 10-20% code addition/modification worst case.

Again, in many cases architecture changes are made to preserve the core logic, and this is almost certainly one of those cases.

From the ST link:

One standard way to fix such a problem is to have the second independent microprocessor inside the same flight-control computer check the output of the first. If the second processor output disagrees with that of the first processor for some specific function, then that function is shut down.

“Now it takes two processors to fail to get the bad result,” the person familiar with the tests said. “You are no longer in the realm of a single point failure.”

And:

This change means the flight-control system will take input from both of the airplane’s flight computers and compare their outputs. This goes beyond what Boeing had previously decided to do, which is to adjust the MCAS software so that it took input from two angle of attack sensors instead of one.

The problem with that earlier approach is that if something serious goes wrong with the single flight computer receiving this input — whether it’s the bit flipping issue, or a memory corruption or a chip failure of any kind — then the computer output to the flight controls could be wrong even if both angle of attack sensors are working correctly.

But with the dual channel configuration, each of the computers will take input from a whole independent set of sensors (air speed, angle of attack, altitude, and so on) and compare outputs. If the outputs disagree, indicating a computer fault, no action that could produce a bad outcome will be initiated.

In other words, the new system will detect not only any disagreement between the sensors but also check for any processing error in interpreting the information from the sensors.

Basically you are adding the comparisons in the data i/o paths, and the code to shut things down when there are disagreements.

I can't say for sure, but given this is flight control software, it is likely most of the key modules will have shutdown paths already.

There may be some things that need to be hardened to deal with the shut down scenarios, but again, you aren't rewriting core logic such as autopilot, CATIII landing, etc.

You will be doing a lot of testing, but given we are seeing all these controlled leaks showing up, the code must be written, the core tests must be passing and now they're doing hardening and cleaning up the edge conditions.

I doubt we'd be getting such a deep dive on the problem and the fix, and even an estimated completion date, if they were in the early days of brainstorming the solution.

PW100 wrote:
Just as a point of order, I'm fully on your page of FAA not going alone. Those words ("What you or anyone else thinks") were not my words; they were from the poster I reacted to. I merely quoted his/her words, hence my italics and quotation marks.

Sorry for any misquoting. I did write I could not figure out where the narrative was coming from. I'm glad I could quote a reference saying FAA is already coordinating with other agencies and is hoping for a coordinated release.
Last edited by Revelation on Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MrBretz
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:58 pm

Revelation wrote:
ArgentoSystems wrote:
Revelation wrote:
You are missing the point raised in this thread when the "microprocessor problem" first popped that this type of "architecture change" was started months ago.

I'm not missing anything. Full rewrite might be in order, but I'm not buying the timeframe. I don't think that radical redesign was in the works until June.

You are missing something.

A change in software architecture is not a full rewrite.

A radical change in design is also not a full rewrite.

Architecture/design changes are quite often done to avoid full rewrites!

Think of jacking a house up on blocks, replacing the foundation with one of a different design, and lowering the house back down on the new foundation.

A pretty radical change, but one that preserves the core functionality.

One that has been done many different times in many different environments.

I've been a part of two similar efforts in my career.

Challenging, but there's lots of prior art to look at.


Revelation, we really don’t know what the article means and the writer is probably clueless. I was giving it a little more thought and it could be something as “simple” as both computers using different AoA sensors(I am assuming they will now use 2) and someway comparing calculations. If one recommends a radical change and the other does not, then ignore the radical change or something like that. Also, using both machines might let them share calculations so there is no overload. Once again, if it can be implemented quickly and tested, it might be architectural in the writer mind but not mine.

P.S. I just read your last post. I think we are thinking along the same lines. And I am guessing if you look at LOC changed, I bet it is <<<5%.

P.P.S. Whoever said rewrite, you know that makes little sense. The reason is the flight computers code is mostly calculations controlling navigation, doing trig. and geometry to paint displays, etc. I bet equations are about 95% of what's there. You don't rewrite that. The control logic is where they will be doing most of the rewrite or adding new things, i.e, a less fancy words, but architecture none the less. So they will most likely be adding few LOCs. But the logic that brings everything together will be different in places.
 
sharpley
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:03 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
sharpley wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.

Those agencies were quite rightly grounding the aircraft whilst the FAA was saying its a safe plane. Other agencies will have every right to not just unground the Max just on the say so of the FAA / Boeing without doing their own due diligence. The FAA would be very foolish to get into some tit-for-tat retaliation without good reason as well.


Why would I trust the EASA when they didn't ground the ATR after the American Eagle crash and its aileron reversal issue was discovered? Aerospatiale even refused to fix the problem and the US had to ban them from operating in cold weather here. So you can get off your high horse. The EASA only cares when it's a product of another country apparently.

Thats quite a sweeping statement considering you've used a 25 year old example. The FAA has lost a lot of respect with this Max debacle, its not just technical things that need to be fixed with the worldwide aviation authorities.
 
mmo
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:44 pm

seahawk wrote:
mmo wrote:
Since people have questioned my use of the manual trim and uncommanded MCAS. Have a look at http://www.b737.org.uk/mcas.htm

Obviously, Boeing doesn't know about the experts on here and have also recommended using the Runaway Stabilizer Trim checklist to handle an MCAS uncommanded input.

Let's see how many people will admit they were mistaken!!!!


Before you declare victory, you might want to read up on the evolution of the runaway trim checklist on the 737

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

Especially on the 2013 edition and the use of the word "continuously".


And your point is? I can show you the evolution of 100's of NNP which as the aircraft is flown more and more is learned about the aircraft. In the military, there are notes, warnings and cautions. The saying is those were printed in blood. They are the results of mistakes by the pilots, more experience in the aircraft and so on.

I wasn't declaring victory all. I was just pointing out people on this forum have selective reading. I was upfront in stating I had not flown the 737 and my last flight in the 727 was in 86. I have been medically retired and now normal retirement for a few years. I teach part-time when I want to on the 777/787. The rule of thumb about runaway trim that I grew up with, is if it moves and you didn't command it and you're hand-flying it, the first place you go is the red guarded switches and you never reset them. "Troubleshooting" went out in the mid-'80s. I also posted a link to AWST about the problems Airbus is having with their NEO aircraft and the 350 and not a word has been mentioned about that. This must be a really great place for Non-Boeing fans. The 320,321 NEO and 350 now have new loading advice, read restrictions which must be adheared to. Boeing should have done the same thing and this thread wouldn't exist.
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klkla
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:58 pm

ArgentoSystems wrote:
"fundamental software redesign of 737 MAX flight controls"
I don't get it. They are talking about fundamental s/w redesign, and at the same time insist on completion is September. Are they nuts?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/


That's a very thorough article and gives me a lot better understanding of the ongoing problem. It seems that the issue with microprocessor being overwhelmed wasn't 100% accurate.

"He added that early published accounts of the fault suggesting that the microprocessor had been overwhelmed and its data-processing speed slowed, causing the pilot-control column thumb switches that move the stabilizer to respond slowly, were inaccurate.
Lemme said he was happy to learn this because those accounts hadn’t made sense technically. And he said that the description of the fault and the chosen combination of random bit flips represent “a terribly worst-case condition that I cannot imagine happening in reality.”
 
asdf
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:42 pm

would this redesign needed to be certified or is it a grandfathering thing?
would pilots need additional training for that?
 
oOfredOo
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:25 am

I’ve read the article and as another embedded software engineer I find it plausible as well. I also think that the probability of this specific combination of bit flips occurring is very low. 1Kbit of memory already puts this in 10^-14 territory. 5 bit flips due to cosmic rays is in itself already extremely remote. (10^-10 for a single bit to flip per day!)

So we are rewriting 20% of the code of the FCC for something that will never ever occur in reality. The probability that some major new bugs are introduced approaches 100%. Oh boy, I really hope they put this bird through full flight tests and system tests again.
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:37 am

Ever thought we could be grateful the 737 was not full FBW, this would be it, imagine rewriting that much code for deployment and testing in 3 months.
 
ArgentoSystems
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:43 am

oOfredOo wrote:
I’ve read the article and as another embedded software engineer I find it plausible as well. I also think that the probability of this specific combination of bit flips occurring is very low


Cosmic rays is nonsense. It should be obvious that whatever problem the FAA identified and Boeing is fixing has nothing at all to do with cosmic rays. For starters, this kind of events are exceptionally rare. Second, it is not very hard to write software in a way that makes it immune to random bit flips.
Last edited by ArgentoSystems on Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:44 am

And in general airframe manufacturers and the regulatory agencies should have a moderately adversarial relationship. And such should exist between EASA, FAA and other agencies.
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hivue
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:10 am

par13del wrote:
Ever thought we could be grateful the 737 was not full FBW, this would be it, imagine rewriting that much code for deployment and testing in 3 months.


The 737 isn't even a little bit FBW.

And if the MAX was FBW we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
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cledaybuck
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:27 am

ArgentoSystems wrote:
oOfredOo wrote:
I’ve read the article and as another embedded software engineer I find it plausible as well. I also think that the probability of this specific combination of bit flips occurring is very low


Cosmic rays is nonsense. It should be obvious that whatever problem the FAA identified and Boeing is fixing has nothing at all to do with cosmic rays. For starters, this kind of events are exceptionally rare. Second, it is not very hard to write software in a way that makes it immune to random bit flips.

So I should believe you over one of the best and most knowledgeable aviation reporters with some of the best access to Boeing in the world ?
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cledaybuck
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:28 am

hivue wrote:
par13del wrote:
Ever thought we could be grateful the 737 was not full FBW, this would be it, imagine rewriting that much code for deployment and testing in 3 months.


The 737 isn't even a little bit FBW.

And if the MAX was FBW we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Actually, the MAX had a little FWB wire added.
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ArgentoSystems
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:39 am

cledaybuck wrote:
ArgentoSystems wrote:
oOfredOo wrote:
I’ve read the article and as another embedded software engineer I find it plausible as well. I also think that the probability of this specific combination of bit flips occurring is very low


Cosmic rays is nonsense. It should be obvious that whatever problem the FAA identified and Boeing is fixing has nothing at all to do with cosmic rays. For starters, this kind of events are exceptionally rare. Second, it is not very hard to write software in a way that makes it immune to random bit flips.

So I should believe you over one of the best and most knowledgeable aviation reporters with some of the best access to Boeing in the world ?

You can do whatever you want. But you should know appeal to authority is a logical fallacy.
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:35 am

cledaybuck wrote:
hivue wrote:
par13del wrote:
Ever thought we could be grateful the 737 was not full FBW, this would be it, imagine rewriting that much code for deployment and testing in 3 months.


The 737 isn't even a little bit FBW.

And if the MAX was FBW we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Actually, the MAX had a little FWB wire added.

There is a tendency that some OEMs call it FBW when for instance they change spoiler actuation into electric signaling.

When Fly By Wire and the FBW acronym was first used in writing, then the meaning was that the pilot commands a flight path, and a computer generates the optimal control surface actuation based on various sensor inputs and within aerodynamic and structural limits. When elevator, ailerons, rudder are manipulated directly in accordance with yoke / stick / pedal input, then it is non-FBW according to this definition.

If we begin to call the 737 MAX "partial FBW", then where do we end? The Wright Flyer by the Wright Brothers in 1903 certainly had FBW ailerons. Not electric wires, but certainly wires.

But the confusion is out there, nothing we can do about that. I can only say that you will never observe me using the FBW acronym to describe direct electric control actuations as present on the 737 MAX.
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RickNRoll
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:32 am

PW100 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
ArgentoSystems wrote:
"fundamental software redesign of 737 MAX flight controls"
I don't get it. They are talking about fundamental s/w redesign, and at the same time insist on completion is September. Are they nuts?

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

. . . .


Sorry for removing your quoted text (adds to thread readability.
But I agree with all what you wrote. My initial though was also that the "[i]fundamental s/w redesign[\i]" was referring to the "microprocessor problem". It would help to redistribute tasks and take advantage of both units working together.
This does open up new issues, especially in terms of system redundancy, self-test and cross checking. Doesn't seem like a simple and straight forward thing. But I'm not a software guy, so I'm not any position to be the judge on that.


A fundamental software redesign is the equivalent of changing the foundations of a building. That would surely require some intensive testing.
 
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qf789
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:56 am

There are currently around 35 737MAX fuselage in storage at Wichita by Spirit

Image

https://twitter.com/ICTBiz_dmccoy/statu ... 98784?s=20
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Virtual737
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:08 am

qf789 wrote:
There are currently around 35 737MAX fuselage in storage at Wichita by Spirit

Image

https://twitter.com/ICTBiz_dmccoy/statu ... 98784?s=20


Very interesting. I wonder if they had to manufacture a job lot more of those yellow cradles. I can't imagine they had them just hanging around.
 
oOfredOo
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:44 am

ArgentoSystems wrote:
oOfredOo wrote:
I’ve read the article and as another embedded software engineer I find it plausible as well. I also think that the probability of this specific combination of bit flips occurring is very low
h

Cosmic rays is nonsense. It should be obvious that whatever problem the FAA identified and Boeing is fixing has nothing at all to do with cosmic rays. For starters, this kind of events are exceptionally rare. Second, it is not very hard to write software in a way that makes it immune to random bit flips.


No it is not. With large amounts of memory, it approaches 100%. At 10km chances are 10^2 higher than at sea level. However, this is old tech with very limited amounts of memory. And you fix it in HW first with ECC. As there are more locations where bit flips can occur, e.g. buses or caches, and more types of failures, you checksum in SW as well. Only then you compare between CPUs
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:02 am

Happy to hear Boeing is confident it can address the software "problems" by using dual input. One question arising from the Seattle Times article (https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/newly-stringent-faa-tests-spur-a-fundamental-software-redesign-of-737-max-flight-controls/)

According to a third person familiar with the details, Boeing expects to have this new software architecture ready for testing toward the end of September. Meanwhile, it will continue certification activities in parallel so that it can stick to its announced schedule and hope for clearance from the FAA and other regulators in October.


It is a rather big change to have a new software architecture for the flight controls. Can this really be tested and approved withing 4 weeks (End of September till End of October)?

It is a completely new architecture never seen on a 737 before and to be safe everything that was ever tested and certified on the single FCC design should be retested and re-certified on the double FCC input design and I can not believe that the FAA nor the EASA or CAAC would be able to do this within 4 weeks.
 
Andy33
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:15 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
If Boeing is able to satisfy all established FAA requirements then the FAA will have no choice but to put it back on the air. What you or anyone else thinks is immaterial.


Hmmm... I believe the EASA, CAAC, CASA, et. al. will very much have a material opinion. I'm pretty certain that the FAA will not clear the MAX until all other agencies are happy with it too. The optics of an FAA-only clearance would be interesting, to say the least, in light of the loss of trust.

Not to mention that without a Worldwide thumbs up, no airline would take delivery and no one would insure it.


Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.


Bullying EASA is likely to prove counter-productive, and of course bullying China, or India, or Australia etc would have no effect since nobody is asking the FAA to allow planes built in these countries into US airspace.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:24 am

par13del wrote:
Ever thought we could be grateful the 737 was not full FBW, this would be it, imagine rewriting that much code for deployment and testing in 3 months.


A full FBW design would never get away with MCAS 1.0.
 
Virtual737
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:28 am

seahawk wrote:
A full FBW design would never get away with MCAS 1.0.


It wouldn't need it. MCAS is a "feel" system for pilots while hand flying. FBW feel is artificial and there is no need to move control surfaces to create it.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:34 am

Andy33 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Francoflier wrote:

Hmmm... I believe the EASA, CAAC, CASA, et. al. will very much have a material opinion. I'm pretty certain that the FAA will not clear the MAX until all other agencies are happy with it too. The optics of an FAA-only clearance would be interesting, to say the least, in light of the loss of trust.

Not to mention that without a Worldwide thumbs up, no airline would take delivery and no one would insure it.


Those agencies would be very foolish to withhold certification if Boeing fixes all issues. The FAA could turn around and do the same thing. Maybe the FAA would decide they need to go over the A320neo again since they missed things on the 73M. What you are suggesting is a dangerous game.


Bullying EASA is likely to prove counter-productive, and of course bullying China, or India, or Australia etc would have no effect since nobody is asking the FAA to allow planes built in these countries into US airspace.


The scope of the FAA is limited to the criteria they have set for the 73M. If Boeing satisfies them then the FAA will have no legal authority to keep it grounded. "But the other countries are still pouting" won't be a valid reason. An injunction or executive order would hit the FAA so fast it would make their heads spin. And if the agencies of other countries keep it grounded after Boeing has made all required fixes then you can bet those airlines will take them to court.
 
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SQ32
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:44 am

Right now, Boeing and FAA are going to war against one another. FAA got herself totally discredited by prior conniving with Boeing, and now Boeing yet demand "business as usual" to FAA's approval process. FAA is one more 737 Max crash away from disbandment.

That explains the huge recent amount of leaks against Boeing, which keep pushing back Boeing's plan of a rapid return to sky.
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:30 am

From the last Dominic Gates article https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

It has specifically rejected Boeing’s assumption that the plane’s pilots can be relied upon as the backstop safeguard in scenarios such as the uncommanded movement of the horizontal tail involved in both the Indonesian and Ethiopian crashes. That notion was ruled out by FAA pilots in June when, during testing of the effect of a glitch in the computer hardware, one out of three pilots in a simulation failed to save the aircraft.


One of the FAA pilots crashed the simulator while trying to recover, I think that this is new information? We assume that they would consider themselves above "average" pilots so you can imagine how pissed the FAA were with Boeing throwing this mess at line pilots.
BV
 
Scotron12
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:45 am

BoeingVista wrote:
From the last Dominic Gates article https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -controls/

It has specifically rejected Boeing’s assumption that the plane’s pilots can be relied upon as the backstop safeguard in scenarios such as the uncommanded movement of the horizontal tail involved in both the Indonesian and Ethiopian crashes. That notion was ruled out by FAA pilots in June when, during testing of the effect of a glitch in the computer hardware, one out of three pilots in a simulation failed to save the aircraft.


One of the FAA pilots crashed the simulator while trying to recover, I think that this is new information? We assume that they would consider themselves above "average" pilots so you can imagine how pissed the FAA were with Boeing throwing this mess at line pilots.


My understanding is that of the three test pilots, two were FAA and one was an airline pilot. The airline pilot was the one that lost the frame.
 
SEU
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Re: Boeing 737MAX Grounded Worldwide Q3 2019

Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:51 am

This is so bad now, 1 in 3 test pilots couldnt save the plane. How did Boeing get away with this? I dont buy that they didnt know there was flaws. They did, they just thought "what are the chances of it actually crashing?" and saw $$$

Seriously, the only way I see the MAX flying pax again, is a complete re-do of the software which will take months, re-certification which will take months, meaning training for pilots like a brand new aircraft, which will take months, then to get round to every max currently built and install the software which will take months, then clear the backlog of undelivered planes back to airlines , which boeing has admitted might take nearly a year.

I can actually see Boeing scrapping the max now, bite the the bullet, deliver NGs and work on a NSA.

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