My take on the recent May 9 news re: FAA preserves Boeing's role in certification:https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... wn-planes/
In a statement, the FAA said those recommendations confirmed that its existing safety protocols are “sound,” though there are “areas where we have opportunities to improve.”
Interesting they never want to allude to something being broken that needs fixing. Otherwise they would have to admit there’s a problem, and that someone’s to blame. No accountability.
Drawing on the lessons taken from the MAX crashes, the agency said, it will give more scrutiny to potential pilot errors associated with the increased automation of airliner flight controls.
Back to pilot errors and fictional workload. If you don’t tell pilots about a new system, how can you blame it on workload? Geez.
In January, both DeFazio and Cantwell, as well as family members of those who died in the accidents, had criticized the advisory committee’s recommendations, saying it was defending the FAA’s current system of aircraft certification while playing down shortcomings that missed the flaws in the MAX flight control system that led to the two crashes.
I would’ve added “and propagated flaws”, since Boeing took deliberate action to conceal design flaws, overlook them, and push a program forward despite them.
In Tuesday’s response, the FAA welcomed this “endorsement of delegation as an effective and efficient method to enhance safety.”
What about “ensuring” safety? Isn’t that the responsibility here? What do they mean by “efficient”? Are they accepting Boeing’s answer that it wasn’t efficient for them to put more money into the plane in terms of a redesign of the FCCs (with more modern and robust chips and architecture) because their customers weren’t willing to pay for that (because Boeing promised them a certain level of capability compared to the competitor Airbus)? What happened to a company being held accountable to how they behave in the commercial market? Lying to the customer with promises you know you can’t keep should be way up on the list there.
Boeing engineers working to certify the MAX on behalf of the FAA faced “undue pressure” from their managers to limit safety analysis and testing so the company could meet its schedule and keep down costs.
In response, the FAA said Tuesday it will work to educate Boeing managers about the need to avoid exerting “undue pressure” on engineers overseeing the certification work.
That’s incredible. They want us to believe that their engineers were under so much pressure, that they either didn’t see the single point of failure to begin with, or they saw it but didn’t want anyone to know about it for fear of retribution. I’m curious what action they consider these “Boeing managers” partook of that forced undue pressure on engineers workload. There’s a big difference in that kind of pressure and what’s more likely to have occurred in the Max case - program compartmentalization created by upper management so that issues could me mitigated on a compressed schedule with little blowback from critical engineering input.
(The recommendations refer only generally to any airplane manufacturer applying to certify any new plane. However, the report explicitly discusses the MAX crashes, so it’s very clear Boeing and its certification processes are the main subject of the report.)
This is not the issue. Designing airplanes is not efficient if you prioritize catching problems during the later certification phase. Engineering folks know this. Not pilots. Not congressmen. You have an efficient design process when you catch problems early in that process, long before the certification phase - (a) It’s cheaper to fix. (b) there’s a tremendous amount of pressure you put on the FAA people to look the other way near the end of the process, when deadlines loom.
In a statement, Boeing said “we are reviewing these actions closely and remain committed to working with government and industry stakeholders to enhance safety and the certification process.”
Wait. When were they committed to begin with? When they concealed critical information from regulators, customers and pilots? Amazing! I guess the only hope now for those of us in the industry is we either have another crash, or we don’t buy the Max, thereby forcing Boeing to scrap it and do things right with a clean sheet design. And of course it wouldn’t hurt to see the top management being prosecuted and seeing jail time.