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Scotron12
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Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:39 am

https://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/ ... xecutives/

Interesting piece on the successful outcome for Boeing management not facing any charges in the two crashes of the B737MAX.

Artical is calling for the Justice Dept. to reopen and reinvestigate the case which basically let Boeing off the hook.

Guess it pays to have "connections"??.
 
Scotron12
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:51 am

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/08/02 ... forcement/

Artical by Ralph Nader giving a little more insight
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:43 am

Scotron12 wrote:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/08/02/collapsing-federal-corporate-crime-enforcement/

Artical by Ralph Nader giving a little more insight


The Executives didn't write bad code. The engineers wrote bad code. I feel for Nader and his family, but Nader can only see conspiracy when it is in fact incompetence. Sometimes incompetence can look like conspiracy.

One thing is true though is that the lawyers are keeping the facts of the case hidden which makes is very difficult to determine the circumstances for such poorly written code. Was it the fault of Boeing in writing the requirements? Or was it the fault of Collins in interpreting the requirements incorrectly? We just won't know unless the courts try this case.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:54 am

Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code.

But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.


Pythagoras wrote:
The engineers wrote bad code.

Off topic: but would they be engineers, or programmers? Are programmers engineers?
Be interested if someone with frontline experience could chime in regarding how either is classified.
 
astuteman
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:58 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code.

But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.


Pythagoras wrote:
The engineers wrote bad code.

Off topic: but would they be engineers, or programmers? Are programmers engineers?
Be interested if someone with frontline experience could chime in regarding how either is classified.


I'm going to say that the programmers would likely be classified under the generic "Systems Engineers".
Either way, any programmer writing a code that is part of the functional performance of a system, and would be considered during the DFMEA process for that system, would be governed by the system owner for that system who is DEFINITELY an Engineer.

Rgds
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:20 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code.

But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.


Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

There was a technical mistake made by a small group of engineers at either Boeing or at Collins or both which caused MCAS to be particularly deadly.

The specific error was to not include a conditional statement that confirmed the airplane was in a trimmed condition before firing MCAS a second time. The pilot's were perfectly able to control the airplane with a single MCAS firing. It was the repeat firing of MCAS which caused the crashes. I'd expect that the software update from Boeing pending before the Ethiopia accident would have implemented this fix.
 
djpearman
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:50 am

Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code. The engineers wrote bad code.


The problem with MCAS is not code, whether good or bad. The problem is using a single sensor and not letting regulators and pilots know about it. That's a system level issue that ultimately stems from the requirement to keep the type rating and avoid pilot training. Engineers don't decide that - executives do.
 
Scotron12
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:29 am

Most interesting for me was the reference to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. In 2012, in a settlement with the Justice Dept, BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter and over $4B in fines.

In 2014, a District Court judge ruled against BP, imposing over $20B in fines.

William Barr, of course, is a long time associate of Kirkland & Ellis. So, conspiracy or not, the whole affair doesn't smell right!!
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:26 pm

Engineers, programmers, or whatever you call them, are human. So are executives. All humans make mistakes. In this case the main mistake was not thinking through the full consequences of a failure. As an engineer and pilot myself, I could not initially understand why these two crashes occurred, especially the second one. I attributed it to poor training. As a pilot, to me it is obvious that if you have uncommanded trim inputs the first thing to do is to disable whatever mechanism it is that is making them, in this case the vertical trim. Certainly all pilots should be trained to handle runaway trim. What I did not realize was that the intermittent operation of the MCAS system made it much more confusing. But I fly low tech, manually controlled GA planes, not highly automated airliners where the pilot is more of a systems manager than a pilot. I strongly suspect that too many pilots, especially in countries where GA is extremely limited or nonexistent, are trained only on highly automated planes and never learn true stick-and-rudder skills. But that is reality, and we are not going to change it. And with that in mind, it is important to learn from this rather than to find scapegoats. Airline safety has become as safe as it is precisely because we have managed to create a system for finding the true cause of crashes while avoiding political and financial interests, and acting to prevent the resulting findings to cause another crash. And this one must be handled the same way. Yes, there was excessive coziness between Boeing and the FAA, and that was a factor leading to the crashes. But it was not the only one. Let’s learn from it and move on. Punishing Boeing at this point really serves no purpose, they have been extensively punished in the marketplace. They are also being extensively punished in their effort to certify the 779. But let us not lose sight of the fact that we need airliners, and having only one source of them serves nobody well. There is nobody in the wings to pick it up if Boeing fails. And if we make the process too difficult both Boeing and Airbus will cease. And then we will be stuck. The idea has to be to find a way for Boeing and the FAA to work together to prevent a similar oversight in the future.
 
Scotron12
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:52 pm

This has nothing to do with aircraft safety. It's about corporate responsibility and accountability.

No one has examined who played what role in the MAX saga which claimed 346 lives.

I prey that they do reinvestigate and find the real reason. Was it cost? If so, who decided to play down MCAS as if it had no impact on the MAX.

I'd love to learn the decisions made, and who and why they made them. Punishing Boeing? Well, they seem to have a lot to hide, judging by their actions.
 
mig17
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:08 pm

SEPilot wrote:
Engineers, programmers, or whatever you call them, are human. So are executives. All humans make mistakes. In this case the main mistake was not thinking through the full consequences of a failure. As an engineer and pilot myself, I could not initially understand why these two crashes occurred, especially the second one. I attributed it to poor training. As a pilot, to me it is obvious that if you have uncommanded trim inputs the first thing to do is to disable whatever mechanism it is that is making them, in this case the vertical trim. Certainly all pilots should be trained to handle runaway trim. What I did not realize was that the intermittent operation of the MCAS system made it much more confusing. But I fly low tech, manually controlled GA planes, not highly automated airliners where the pilot is more of a systems manager than a pilot. I strongly suspect that too many pilots, especially in countries where GA is extremely limited or nonexistent, are trained only on highly automated planes and never learn true stick-and-rudder skills. But that is reality, and we are not going to change it. And with that in mind, it is important to learn from this rather than to find scapegoats. Airline safety has become as safe as it is precisely because we have managed to create a system for finding the true cause of crashes while avoiding political and financial interests, and acting to prevent the resulting findings to cause another crash. And this one must be handled the same way. Yes, there was excessive coziness between Boeing and the FAA, and that was a factor leading to the crashes. But it was not the only one. Let’s learn from it and move on. Punishing Boeing at this point really serves no purpose, they have been extensively punished in the marketplace. They are also being extensively punished in their effort to certify the 779. But let us not lose sight of the fact that we need airliners, and having only one source of them serves nobody well. There is nobody in the wings to pick it up if Boeing fails. And if we make the process too difficult both Boeing and Airbus will cease. And then we will be stuck. The idea has to be to find a way for Boeing and the FAA to work together to prevent a similar oversight in the future.

Mistakes can be made, ok. For exemple, Boeing knowing about a system failure in their design and covering it thinking "crews will handle". It is already a very big mistake, but ok.
But keeping it covered after the first crash isn't, it is a delibarate fault. The second crash is entirely their doing and even after Boeing calling the MAX "safe" is juste unbelivable.

That is why I don't understand all "aviation enthousiaste" cheering for the 737MAX. To me, it is the symbol of a corrupt system from start to finish and even if the US justice does nothing for political reason, every pax can with their wallet. I will never fly a MAX by principles.

To answer your fear about one manufacturer trusting the market, it will not happen, even if Boeing as a financial entity goes down, Boeing as a plane manufacturer will remain, juste with new owners after goeing bankrupt.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:24 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code.

But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.

Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

All that tells me is that you don't understand how legal liability works.......



SEPilot wrote:
In this case the main mistake was not thinking through the full consequences of a failure.

The pass that you automatically seem to be giving to human malice, is astonishing to me.

If you actually believe that nobody in those boardrooms (1) knew that this was a problem, (2) that was going to eventually result in significant loss of life, and (3) did a cost/benefit analysis that drove them to roll the dice--- then I honestly don't know what to call THAT level of naivete. :(

Whether all of the above can be prove to a BARD evidentiary standard, is however, another story.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:33 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Off topic: but would they be engineers, or programmers? Are programmers engineers?
Be interested if someone with frontline experience could chime in regarding how either is classified.

Being a software engineer with my experience I can say we just different group of engineers. We are given requirements and need to code within those requirements. Just because we write code does not mean software engineers sometimes question the requirements or the design. Some software engineers look outside of the code and question is this reasonable? To answer your question, we use a bunch of general engineering practices and principals for developing code. I would consider software engineers as engineers.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:24 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Off topic: but would they be engineers, or programmers? Are programmers engineers?
Be interested if someone with frontline experience could chime in regarding how either is classified.

Being a software engineer with my experience I can say we just different group of engineers. We are given requirements and need to code within those requirements. Just because we write code does not mean software engineers sometimes question the requirements or the design. Some software engineers look outside of the code and question is this reasonable? To answer your question, we use a bunch of general engineering practices and principals for developing code. I would consider software engineers as engineers.

Thanks!
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:47 pm

SEPilot wrote:
As a pilot, to me it is obvious that if you have uncommanded trim inputs the first thing to do is to disable whatever mechanism it is that is making them,


Makes the assumption that they knew precisely what was happening. Bear in mind they were at relatively low altitude and did not have a MCAS warning msg. As well, the front office of a 737 is fairly noisy as aircraft go and if you are look looking specifically at your trim wheel —why would you be?— when you pull flaps, and all that happens, this is not a reasonable supposition.

Remember, when investigating and later training for these things, a 30 second period of time loss is typically included. By which time recovery was impossible in both cases. This was absolutely not a pilotage issue.




SEPilot wrote:
But I fly low tech, manually controlled GA planes, not highly automated airliners where the pilot is more of a systems manager than a pilot. I strongly suspect that too many pilots, especially in countries where GA is extremely limited or nonexistent, are trained only on highly automated planes and never learn true stick-and-rudder skills.


That has not been my experience in such locations to date. But, the world is a big place and I am sure there are locals where these things are as you describe. All that tells me is that it is even more important that OEMs do not screw up very basic things like this.


mig17 wrote:
Mistakes can be made, ok. For exemple, Boeing knowing about a system failure in their design and covering it thinking "crews will handle". It is already a very big mistake, but ok.
But keeping it covered after the first crash isn't, it is a delibarate fault. The second crash is entirely their doing and even after Boeing calling the MAX "safe" is juste unbelivable.

That is why I don't understand all "aviation enthousiaste" cheering for the 737MAX. To me, it is the symbol of a corrupt system from start to finish and even if the US justice does nothing for political reason, every pax can with their wallet. I will never fly a MAX by principles.

To answer your fear about one manufacturer trusting the market, it will not happen, even if Boeing as a financial entity goes down, Boeing as a plane manufacturer will remain, juste with new owners after goeing bankrupt.


Not only that, but the other issues that have come up since then. I understand fully what they are now, and I do believe they are being resolved in a safe and timely manner. But BCA had —I cannot emphasize this enough— two years of time on the ground to check out every last mm of that plane, and still missed some fairly obvious things out. I know enough engineers from BCA to know they are not fools. What that leaves is a company that is either far too easily distracted or simply does not care at the upper levels about the quality of their delivered products.

This is why my standard for the MAX is five years of utterly flawless service before I will even consider stepping foot aboard one. It is a deliberately unreasonable standard, but there are simply too many other travel options to take chances with something that may or may not have been addressed. I lose nothing by taking that attitude.

In any case, I agree with you when you state that it is difficult to see how so many aviation enthusiasts are ok with this. I like attainably beautiful women as much as the next guy. But I'm not about to break Jodi Arias out of jail, no matter how innocent she says she is. . .
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:56 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
We are given requirements and need to code within those requirements. Just because we write code does not mean software engineers sometimes question the requirements or the design.


MCAS is a failure at level but that is not a valid excuse. If there is a code to pitch down 2.5?? degrees indefinitely at some point it is not recoverable. Just commonsense. In old days a programmer would have said "Dude this is going to crash", but new generation of software engineers, not my problem, I am just converting use case to programming language.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:09 pm

I'll start by saying that the MAX blame game has lots of participants, but the reality remains that LionAir crew and Ethiopian crew made critical errors. Boeing made enough errors for the aviation community to (rightfully) blame Boeing, but also allow less scathing indictments of LionAIr maintenance or Ethiopian training.

The systems operator vs. pilot argument is a trope. At the end of the day, pilots exist precisely due to systems failures, which humans tend to be better than computers at diagnosing and working around. If you are in an aircraft with responsive controls, it is incumbent, however difficult to look though unreliable airspeed inputs and fly away from the ground, stabilize the situation, and return to the field for landing. Doubly so for day VMC conditions. Pilots fly aircraft, and once any organization assumes the "systems operator" mantra, these accidents will occur, albeit rarely.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:13 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.

Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

All that tells me is that you don't understand how legal liability works.......



SEPilot wrote:
In this case the main mistake was not thinking through the full consequences of a failure.

The pass that you automatically seem to be giving to human malice, is astonishing to me.

If you actually believe that nobody in those boardrooms (1) knew that this was a problem, (2) that was going to eventually result in significant loss of life, and (3) did a cost/benefit analysis that drove them to roll the dice--- then I honestly don't know what to call THAT level of naivete. :(

Whether all of the above can be prove to a BARD evidentiary standard, is however, another story.

The assumption you make about human malice is astonishing to me. I completely understand the thinking that led to the implementation, and I very much doubt that any executives got deep enough into the details to see the hidden danger. The thinking was that if the system misbehaves it will act like a trim runaway, which pilots are all trained to handle. The problem is it was an INTERMITTENT trim runaway, which is much harder to diagnose.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:16 pm

djpearman wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code. The engineers wrote bad code.


The problem with MCAS is not code, whether good or bad. The problem is using a single sensor and not letting regulators and pilots know about it. That's a system level issue that ultimately stems from the requirement to keep the type rating and avoid pilot training. Engineers don't decide that - executives do.


You are correct that the regulators in the AEG group were not informed. This is the basis for the criminal finding in the DPA. But note that this occurs in November 2016 once the Chief Technical pilot realizes that he had not been fully informed of the changes to the configuration in flight test. He is at that point obligated to inform the FAA AEG of the changes. The DPA finds no fault in the Type Certification process, that is the process by which the configuration is shown to meet the regulations.

The FAA delegated to Boeing the compliance finding for MCAS based upon the initial two sensor configuration--Angle-of-Attack and g-sensor. When the configuration was changed to one sensor during flight test, this agreement should have been revisited. One would need to review the guidance that the FAA provides Boeing to see whether it directs Boeing to do so.

It was agreed upon by FAA and Boeing that the pilots did not need to know about MCAS when it operated only at high-speed and high-g using two sensors. The argument here is that this is an extremely remote portion of the flight envelope and that the pilot is not going to do anything different whether MCAS is working or not.
 
Jetport
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:17 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
The pass that you automatically seem to be giving to human malice, is astonishing to me.

If you actually believe that nobody in those boardrooms (1) knew that this was a problem, (2) that was going to eventually result in significant loss of life, and (3) did a cost/benefit analysis that drove them to roll the dice--- then I honestly don't know what to call THAT level of naivete. :(

Whether all of the above can be prove to a BARD evidentiary standard, is however, another story.


So you are saying at least one person on Boeing's BOD knew about the MCAS issues, thought it would probably cause a crash someday, and then decided to ignore it? :shock: :confused: That is an insane and libelous statement. If anyone knew the issue was this dangerous all they had to do was fix the code so that MCAS could only fire once, risk gone with no delay! If anyone was aware of this risk they would have fixed it, because the fix would have had no impact on cost or schedule. There was no cost/benefit analysis to do, because fixing this would have been all benefit and no cost, even without 20/20 hindsight. I am simply stunned by your post, this is a truly crazy accusation.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:20 pm

SEPilot wrote:
The assumption you make about human malice is astonishing to me.

Yeah, I know. THAT'S what makes you naive.


SEPilot wrote:
I very much doubt that any executives got deep enough into the details to see the hidden danger.

...they wouldn't have to, in order to reach the aforementioned conclusion and course of action; which is the grander issue with corporate malfeasance of this nature in the first place.



Jetport wrote:
So you are saying at least one person on Boeing's BOD knew about the MCAS issues, thought it would probably cause a crash someday, and then decided to ignore it? :shock:

That is an insane and libelous statement.

If anyone was aware of this risk they would have fixed it, because the fix would have had no impact on cost or schedule. There was no cost/benefit analysis to do, because fixing this would have been all benefit and no cost, even without 20/20 hindsight. I am simply stunned by your post, this is a truly crazy accusation.

:lol: :lol: :lol: Spoken by someone who has very Very VERY clearly never sued corporations for this very type of thing...


I mean, it's not like Boeing isn't currently having the living daylights sued out of it, on those very allegations as we speak, or anything :roll:

And to be honest, those claims are calm, compared to some of the more fanciful ones in the courts right now:
https://www.businessinsider.com/737-max ... ing-2019-7
https://www.npr.org/2019/05/06/72055374 ... -indonesia


As stated, PROVING the above to an evidentiary standard, would be quite the difficult task, no question.
But being so Pollyanna-ish as to not realize that's exactly how these corps work? Dunno what to tell ya.
Last edited by LAX772LR on Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:26 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
We are given requirements and need to code within those requirements. Just because we write code does not mean software engineers sometimes question the requirements or the design.


MCAS is a failure at level but that is not a valid excuse. If there is a code to pitch down 2.5?? degrees indefinitely at some point it is not recoverable. Just commonsense. In old days a programmer would have said "Dude this is going to crash", but new generation of software engineers, not my problem, I am just converting use case to programming language.

I'm not saying we are perfect. Software engineers are not suppose to be the only ones responsible to catch flaws like this. Today's system is complex and involves people only specializing in one area. "Not my problem" mentality occurs in all groups in today's work environment. Especially in goverment work
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:29 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.

Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

All that tells me is that you don't understand how legal liability works.......


I took the Boeing product liability course twice in my career. I understand product liability.

We are talking here about criminal liability, which is a different topic. Criminal liability occurs when the regulations were not followed and it doesn't matter whether there is intent or not. If you make an error on your taxes and underpay, it does you no good to say that you made an honest error. It is still a crime that you did not pay your taxes.

The DPA finds that Boeing was criminally negligent only by failing to tell the AEG of the change in the MCAS operations. Boeing followed all the regulations otherwise. Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:29 pm

mig17 wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
Engineers, programmers, or whatever you call them, are human. So are executives. All humans make mistakes. In this case the main mistake was not thinking through the full consequences of a failure. As an engineer and pilot myself, I could not initially understand why these two crashes occurred, especially the second one. I attributed it to poor training. As a pilot, to me it is obvious that if you have uncommanded trim inputs the first thing to do is to disable whatever mechanism it is that is making them, in this case the vertical trim. Certainly all pilots should be trained to handle runaway trim. What I did not realize was that the intermittent operation of the MCAS system made it much more confusing. But I fly low tech, manually controlled GA planes, not highly automated airliners where the pilot is more of a systems manager than a pilot. I strongly suspect that too many pilots, especially in countries where GA is extremely limited or nonexistent, are trained only on highly automated planes and never learn true stick-and-rudder skills. But that is reality, and we are not going to change it. And with that in mind, it is important to learn from this rather than to find scapegoats. Airline safety has become as safe as it is precisely because we have managed to create a system for finding the true cause of crashes while avoiding political and financial interests, and acting to prevent the resulting findings to cause another crash. And this one must be handled the same way. Yes, there was excessive coziness between Boeing and the FAA, and that was a factor leading to the crashes. But it was not the only one. Let’s learn from it and move on. Punishing Boeing at this point really serves no purpose, they have been extensively punished in the marketplace. They are also being extensively punished in their effort to certify the 779. But let us not lose sight of the fact that we need airliners, and having only one source of them serves nobody well. There is nobody in the wings to pick it up if Boeing fails. And if we make the process too difficult both Boeing and Airbus will cease. And then we will be stuck. The idea has to be to find a way for Boeing and the FAA to work together to prevent a similar oversight in the future.

Mistakes can be made, ok. For exemple, Boeing knowing about a system failure in their design and covering it thinking "crews will handle". It is already a very big mistake, but ok.
But keeping it covered after the first crash isn't, it is a delibarate fault. The second crash is entirely their doing and even after Boeing calling the MAX "safe" is juste unbelivable.

That is why I don't understand all "aviation enthousiaste" cheering for the 737MAX. To me, it is the symbol of a corrupt system from start to finish and even if the US justice does nothing for political reason, every pax can with their wallet. I will never fly a MAX by principles.

To answer your fear about one manufacturer trusting the market, it will not happen, even if Boeing as a financial entity goes down, Boeing as a plane manufacturer will remain, juste with new owners after goeing bankrupt.

They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.

Who is going to take over BCA if it goes bankrupt? I do not see anyone who would take on the enormous risk that would entail. With the litideous climate that exists today I cannot see it happening. One high profile crash could wipe them out completely after all the bad publicity that a bankruptcy would entail. And you can’t just fire everybody and start over; the only current repository of skills necessary to design, build, and support airliners in the US is Boeing. And look at the problems they are having getting South Carolina up and running. Restructuring after bankruptcy with new management will be much harder.
 
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:29 pm

The way that a "slam dunk" case like that of the negligence of Boeing in the development of MCAS and the fraudulent effort to dupe the regulators into certifying it can just be made to go away with a fine, shows how morally corrupt the system is (includingthe DOJ). The article makes a good point of how if a regular person was negligent in causing an individual death, they'd almost certainly be prosecuted for manslaughter. There is no good reason why Boeing executives shouldn't be.

Economics 101 tells us that people respond to incentives. If executives know that even in the 'worst case scenario' (killing ~350 people), the results of their bad decisions - either explicitly or in terms of the company culture that they foster - isn't going to result in them being locked up, they'll respond accordingly. If that means gutting the engineering department (and saving lots of cash) then so be it.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:34 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

All that tells me is that you don't understand how legal liability works.......


I took the Boeing product liability course twice in my career. I understand product liability.

Unfortunately, you just made my point.

Product liability (a tort) isn't what I was referring to. I'm referring to doctrinal liability, in this case, a "master/slave" relationship, in which no "captain bears full responsibility" in a legal sense, vis-a-vis the entity or the officer/executive.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:34 pm

zkojq wrote:
The way that a "slam dunk" case like that of the negligence of Boeing in the development of MCAS and the fraudulent effort to dupe the regulators into certifying it can just be made to go away with a fine, shows how morally corrupt the system is (includingthe DOJ). The article makes a good point of how if a regular person was negligent in causing an individual death, they'd almost certainly be prosecuted for manslaughter. There is no good reason why Boeing executives shouldn't be.

Economics 101 tells us that people respond to incentives. If executives know that even in the 'worst case scenario' (killing ~350 people), the results of their bad decisions - either explicitly or in terms of the company culture that they foster - isn't going to result in them being locked up, they'll respond accordingly. If that means gutting the engineering department (and saving lots of cash) then so be it.


But did the Boeing execs REALLY kill those people? I mean, they are culpable for a variety of sins, and I'm personally no fan of Boeing, But, words matter.

At what point, if we are talking about jail time, does the culpability of the crew come into play, or LionAir's maintenance practices, or Ethiopian's training curricula? Loss of AOA accidents/low altitude control accidents have been a significant known problem since AF443 and the 737 rudder hard overs. Most pilots in the 121 world were getting trained on prior to the MCAS fiasco.
 
Jetport
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:41 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
The assumption you make about human malice is astonishing to me.

Yeah, I know. THAT'S what makes you naive.


SEPilot wrote:
I very much doubt that any executives got deep enough into the details to see the hidden danger.

...they wouldn't have to, in order to reach the aforementioned conclusion and course of action; which is the grander issue with corporate malfeasance of this nature in the first place.



Jetport wrote:
So you are saying at least one person on Boeing's BOD knew about the MCAS issues, thought it would probably cause a crash someday, and then decided to ignore it? :shock:

That is an insane and libelous statement.

If anyone was aware of this risk they would have fixed it, because the fix would have had no impact on cost or schedule. There was no cost/benefit analysis to do, because fixing this would have been all benefit and no cost, even without 20/20 hindsight. I am simply stunned by your post, this is a truly crazy accusation.

:lol: :lol: :lol: Spoken by someone who has very Very VERY clearly never sued corporations for this very type of thing...


I mean, it's not like Boeing isn't currently having the living daylights sued out of it, on those very allegations as we speak, or anything :roll:

And to be honest, those claims are calm, compared to some of the more fanciful ones in the courts right now:
https://www.businessinsider.com/737-max ... ing-2019-7
https://www.npr.org/2019/05/06/72055374 ... -indonesia


As stated, PROVING the above to an evidentiary standard, would be quite the difficult task, no question.
But being so Pollyanna-ish as to not realize that's exactly how these corps work? Dunno what to tell ya.


Really simple question, why take this huge risk (or any risk) when there is no benefit? The fix is simple and costs no time or money. You have no argument/motive here because there is no incentive/benefit to take a risk like you are accusing Boeing of taking if there is no benefit.
 
chimborazo
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:41 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Off topic: but would they be engineers, or programmers? Are programmers engineers?
Be interested if someone with frontline experience could chime in regarding how either is classified.

Being a software engineer with my experience I can say we just different group of engineers. We are given requirements and need to code within those requirements. Just because we write code does not mean software engineers sometimes question the requirements or the design. Some software engineers look outside of the code and question is this reasonable? To answer your question, we use a bunch of general engineering practices and principals for developing code. I would consider software engineers as engineers.



Software Engineers. This is the term we use in my industry (food production lines). So, yes, engineers.

I write a URS (user requirement specification) of what I want a system to achieve, the controls/software company then write an FDS (functional design specification) of how the control system will work to meet the URS. The software engineers then write the code to do just that.

In an absolute sense the software engineers then do exactly what is required by the URS. However they also understand “ the bigger picture” of what happens when that code is used by an operator. If there are safety or operational issues they highlight them. The FDS is then reworked to suit.

Finally an FAT (functional/factory acceptance test) is conducted to verify it meets the FDS requirements.

If the FDs is still not suitable at this point, this isn’t fault of the software engineers: it’s to those who approve the FDS.

Pinning the described accidents on the software folks is harsh, they do what they are required to. They will raise safety issues they see but if it’s outside their “silo” of work it’s not on them to determine if the overall result is safe.

(Poster knows this of course, just explaining the procedure for others)

Would imagine the aviation code procedure is the same but with more safety oversight. That is what appears to have failed - with redundancy/repeat situation as noted above not being considered/determined not to be a problem.

I think it comes down to type rating: Airbus are fully FBW so the software can code the behaviour to be acceptable as one type/training required across a platform of aircraft type. With the MAX, the characteristics needed an automation intervention to maintain the same characteristics/type rating/training required amd this was pushed beyond the limits with the system ultimately delivered.
 
Jetport
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:51 pm

SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.


The Ethiopian crash is still inexplicable to me. It seems impossible that all three of the below happened:
    1. The pilots didn't get the MCAS bulletin
    2. The pilots were unaware of the MCAS issue just by being alive and participating members of society
    3. The pilots were unable to turn off all automation in perfect weather and just fly the aircraft manually
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:53 pm

SEPilot wrote:

Who is going to take over BCA if it goes bankrupt? I do not see anyone who would take on the enormous risk that would entail.


You are. Well, your tax dollars, anyway.

No way the US just lets Boeing slide away to nothing. But it is entirely possible to see the government allow BCA to be spun off. AB have shown they are not afraid to build FALs abroad. I do not believe this to be the most likely scenario, but it is not impossible that in 30 years, A350NEOs —whatever iteration they are up to by then— would be rolling off the line at Everett. Assets like that will likely always be what they are, no matter who owns them. States like WA, SC, & KS will not care if it is AB or BCA building planes there. Just that there are jobs. And there would be, as the need for airliners is probably static for the time being, no matter what happens here.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:27 pm

Jetport wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.


The Ethiopian crash is still inexplicable to me. It seems impossible that all three of the below happened:
    1. The pilots didn't get the MCAS bulletin
    2. The pilots were unaware of the MCAS issue just by being alive and participating members of society
    3. The pilots were unable to turn off all automation in perfect weather and just fly the aircraft manually

I seem to recall that the Ethiopian crew had been given the bulletin. Perhaps they didn’t read it. But the action to disable MCAS was not to disable all automation, it was to pull the breaker on the electric trim. Electric trim is not considered part of the automation, and it can run away. The procedure in that case is to pull the breaker. And that is why Boeing thought they could get away with not teaching pilots about MCAS. But the problem is runaway trim operates continually, while MCAS malfunction operates intermittently. Without knowing about MCAS it is understandable in hindsight that the pilots might be confused.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:34 pm

SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.


I agree. I do not understand why the emails from the Ethiopia Airlines training pilot Berndt Kai von Hoesslin haven't been more widely discussed. He knew that the capability of the pilots were not sufficient to handle the complex and dynamic situation should MCAS actuate. Sadly those warnings were ignored. Anyone who has spent time in Africa knows that Africa has its own set of rules. Something that is also not discussed widely.

"In his email dated December 13, [Berndt Kai] von Hoesslin told his superiors that in order to avoid a terrible accident like what happened on Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, more training and better communication to crew members was needed.

'It will be a crash for sure,' von Hoesslin wrote, foreseeing the possibility that Ethiopian Airlines pilots might encounter the malfunction of Boeing’s flight-control system coupled with a cockpit warning that the plane was flying too low."

--DailyMail, 29 May 2019
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:58 pm

Jetport wrote:
Really simple question, why take this huge risk (or any risk) when there is no benefit? The fix is simple and costs no time or money. You have no argument/motive here because there is no incentive/benefit to take a risk like you are accusing Boeing of taking if there is no benefit.

Why do you speak so confidently on concepts/processes you demonstrably know so little about? Do you have ANY idea how common that very thing is?



chimborazo wrote:
Software Engineers. This is the term we use in my industry (food production lines). So, yes, engineers.

:checkmark: thanks
Last edited by LAX772LR on Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:00 pm

SEPilot wrote:
I seem to recall that the Ethiopian crew had been given the bulletin. Perhaps they didn’t read it. But the action to disable MCAS was not to disable all automation, it was to pull the breaker on the electric trim. Electric trim is not considered part of the automation, and it can run away. The procedure in that case is to pull the breaker. And that is why Boeing thought they could get away with not teaching pilots about MCAS. But the problem is runaway trim operates continually, while MCAS malfunction operates intermittently. Without knowing about MCAS it is understandable in hindsight that the pilots might be confused.


We are both sitting here at ground speed zero.

Startle is real, and there is a real moment of confusion as you start to diagnose the problem, even when you're sitting in a sim and you KNOW its coming.

Confusion is going to be the minimal word for it.

Ultimately, its the sudden stop that leaves a mark. So, you've got to maneuver to known safe pitch and power settings, climb and then determine your known goods to start to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. At night or IMC, you've got double on your plate as you don't have visual references to aid you in pitch.
 
Astronage
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:03 pm

Jetport wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.


The Ethiopian crash is still inexplicable to me. It seems impossible that all three of the below happened:
    1. The pilots didn't get the MCAS bulletin
    2. The pilots were unaware of the MCAS issue just by being alive and participating members of society
    3. The pilots were unable to turn off all automation in perfect weather and just fly the aircraft manually


They did catch it and did turn off the electric trim. They were unable to manually retrim with the trim wheel handle so they turned it back on which made a bad situation unrecoverable with the altitude and speed and they had. The transcript of that flight is publicly available.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:03 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Sadly those warnings were ignored. Anyone who has spent time in Africa knows that Africa has its own set of rules. Something that is also not discussed widely.



In the Ethiopian case, the level of national pride wrapped up in that airline is difficult to overstate, and oversights of Boeing (which were utterly undeniable and indicative of the lazy organization BCAG is) make placing all blame on the wealthy foreign entity an easy decision.
 
9252fly
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:40 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, I was under the impression that a lot software engineering coding was contracted out?
 
mig17
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:40 pm

SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.

Who is going to take over BCA if it goes bankrupt? I do not see anyone who would take on the enormous risk that would entail. With the litideous climate that exists today I cannot see it happening. One high profile crash could wipe them out completely after all the bad publicity that a bankruptcy would entail. And you can’t just fire everybody and start over; the only current repository of skills necessary to design, build, and support airliners in the US is Boeing. And look at the problems they are having getting South Carolina up and running. Restructuring after bankruptcy with new management will be much harder.

They did not cover it up? Your right they didn't, they stated, there is a faulty deadly system onboard our plane, we know it, we are working on it, crew deal with it until the fix ... Basicaly, why they did not fix it in the first place. I am sure, crew and pax of ET flight are very happy the way Boeing handled that.

Who is going to take back Boeing? A lot of people. I am sure the military branch will find some investor easely. Same for the 787 line. But yes, the 737 would have been done ...
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:50 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
I took the Boeing product liability course twice in my career. I understand product liability.

We are talking here about criminal liability, which is a different topic. Criminal liability occurs when the regulations were not followed and it doesn't matter whether there is intent or not. If you make an error on your taxes and underpay, it does you no good to say that you made an honest error. It is still a crime that you did not pay your taxes.

The DPA finds that Boeing was criminally negligent only by failing to tell the AEG of the change in the MCAS operations. Boeing followed all the regulations otherwise. Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks.


In the Product Liability workshop, the internal and external legal staff cautions that any statement in an email or otherwise that has safety implications needs to be resolved. It is acceptable to state that there are safety concerns but one needs to make sure that one does not leave an issue hanging.

It appears that the DPA findings are based upon the instant message (IM) conversation between Mark Forkner, the Chief Technical Pilot, and Patrick Gustavsson on Wednesday November 16, 2016, where Forkner states after a simulator session where MCAS appears to be initiating: "so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)."

Forkner likely does not realize that IM messages are retained and are similar to emails in this regard. I'd guess that most of those on this thread would agree that one says things in IM that they wouldn't write in an email. Secondly, the evidence here is that Forkner knows that he has allowed the FAA to make conclusions based upon erroneous information. He is obligated at this point to take action to resolve this issue.
 
Jetport
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:14 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Jetport wrote:
Really simple question, why take this huge risk (or any risk) when there is no benefit? The fix is simple and costs no time or money. You have no argument/motive here because there is no incentive/benefit to take a risk like you are accusing Boeing of taking if there is no benefit.

Why do you speak so confidently on concepts/processes you demonstrably know so little about? Do you have ANY idea how common that very thing is?



I have worked in quality in manufacturing industries my entire career. I have made the decision to risk sending questionable quality products many times, but only if there were some upside in cost, on time delivery, etc. If there was no benefit to shipping something of questionable quality, I would never send the product and have never heard of anyone else doing it. You are saying it is very common to knowingly risk lives for no upside or benefit, just for fun? That is insane.

The dripping condescension in this reply and many of your replies is not constructive. I have had several posts removed from ANET that were far less personal/mean spirited than this and many of yours. You and some others on this board are obviously given far more leeway to engage in personal/mean spirited attacks than others. I understand why some (not all) of my posts have been removed, I don’t understand why some of yours never get removed or even get a warning.
 
Exeiowa
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:26 pm

I do not like the idea of corporate its not me talk. If no one is responsible for the thing that happen under their supervision then they also should not be compensated accordingly. What aboutism is no way to operate companies. Leadership set a tone and expectation and put the programs in place to ensure that these are complied with. if they have failed to do this through negligence or deliberate choice should make no difference as the outcome was the same either way. This is the main reason I do not like the idea of "corporations are people too" because unlike humans they cannot be imprisoned or in other ways effected the way we would to people who transgress, so the next best thing will be to hold those in charge in there place instead. If you do not have the stomach for that kind of responsibility to others I suggest this might not be the appropriate job for you and if you instead have reckless disregard that will eventually catch up with you.,
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:25 pm

Jetport wrote:
I have worked in quality in manufacturing industries my entire career. I have made the decision to risk sending questionable quality products many times, but only if there were some upside in cost, on time delivery, etc. If there was no benefit to shipping something of questionable quality, I would never send the product and have never heard of anyone else doing it. You are saying it is very common to knowingly risk lives for no upside or benefit, just for fun? That is insane..

But what you don't seem willing and/or able to comprehend is:
regardless of all of that ...it ...still ...happens. *O*F*T*E*N*

If it didn't, people like me wouldn't have a job. And I've got all the job security in the world. :(

There are a million cases where a corporation could've taken the logical path, and it would've cost them ($N).

      But instead, they rolled the dice, maliciously covered/distorted/deceived/etc, and upon getting caught: it ended up costing them ($N x 1,000).
      But they also know, that many times, they won't BE caught; which is one of the big reasons they do it in the first place.

Pharma companies lead the way in this. Manufacturers, aren't that far behind.
 
LDRA
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:46 am

Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

All that tells me is that you don't understand how legal liability works.......


I took the Boeing product liability course twice in my career. I understand product liability.

We are talking here about criminal liability, which is a different topic. Criminal liability occurs when the regulations were not followed and it doesn't matter whether there is intent or not. If you make an error on your taxes and underpay, it does you no good to say that you made an honest error. It is still a crime that you did not pay your taxes.

The DPA finds that Boeing was criminally negligent only by failing to tell the AEG of the change in the MCAS operations. Boeing followed all the regulations otherwise. Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks.


"Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks." - And that, my definition, is a company culture problem leadership team as a whole should be responsible.

But realistically, there is no objective way to evaluate individual person in leadership team on this. It is a problem currently has no solution...
 
LDRA
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:53 am

Pythagoras wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The Executives didn't write bad code.

But they ultimately approved the processes (or lack thereof) that allowed said bad code to go unaddressed and ultimately undetected both by regulators and (especially by) operators, with lethal consequences.


Let me restate your argument "Regardless of who is at fault, the captain always bears full responsibility."

I think you are grasping at straws with that argument.

There was a technical mistake made by a small group of engineers at either Boeing or at Collins or both which caused MCAS to be particularly deadly.

The specific error was to not include a conditional statement that confirmed the airplane was in a trimmed condition before firing MCAS a second time. The pilot's were perfectly able to control the airplane with a single MCAS firing. It was the repeat firing of MCAS which caused the crashes. I'd expect that the software update from Boeing pending before the Ethiopia accident would have implemented this fix.

Yes MCAS logic is poorly designed. But Boeing process should have caught this. Everyone can make mistakes, just like AOA sensors are expected to fail at some point of time. The point of safety process is to catch individual failures, so that single point failure of some body screwing up does not slip through
 
LDRA
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:06 am

Pythagoras wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
I took the Boeing product liability course twice in my career. I understand product liability.

We are talking here about criminal liability, which is a different topic. Criminal liability occurs when the regulations were not followed and it doesn't matter whether there is intent or not. If you make an error on your taxes and underpay, it does you no good to say that you made an honest error. It is still a crime that you did not pay your taxes.

The DPA finds that Boeing was criminally negligent only by failing to tell the AEG of the change in the MCAS operations. Boeing followed all the regulations otherwise. Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks.


In the Product Liability workshop, the internal and external legal staff cautions that any statement in an email or otherwise that has safety implications needs to be resolved. It is acceptable to state that there are safety concerns but one needs to make sure that one does not leave an issue hanging.

It appears that the DPA findings are based upon the instant message (IM) conversation between Mark Forkner, the Chief Technical Pilot, and Patrick Gustavsson on Wednesday November 16, 2016, where Forkner states after a simulator session where MCAS appears to be initiating: "so I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)."

Forkner likely does not realize that IM messages are retained and are similar to emails in this regard. I'd guess that most of those on this thread would agree that one says things in IM that they wouldn't write in an email. Secondly, the evidence here is that Forkner knows that he has allowed the FAA to make conclusions based upon erroneous information. He is obligated at this point to take action to resolve this issue.

He is obligated to take action, but whether he can be effective resolving the issue is another story. When the corp culture is toxic, it is questionable whether an individual can get the message through. There are just too many ways for others to "not hear" a problem.

The same Skype log from Forkner shows corp culture is pretty toxic.

In a way I feel like Forkner actually knew Skype is being logged. He was ranting about broken Boeing safety system in general to protect himself. He just didn't know it was MCAS in particular that would cause major issue...
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:44 am

LDRA wrote:

"Having worked in the company for over three decades I can tell you why MCAS slipped through the cracks." - And that, my definition, is a company culture problem leadership team as a whole should be responsible.

But realistically, there is no objective way to evaluate individual person in leadership team on this. It is a problem currently has no solution...


It is not a company culture problem. It is how derivative airplanes are certified.

When one certifies a derivative airplane, one presumes that the unchanged components are outside the statement of work and therefore the prior certification remains valid. One only needs to certify new components or re-certify the components that are affected by the change in the airplane design. There are prior certification documents, for example, the static strength structural analysis, often called the formal analysis, where an appendix will be added to an existing document that describes the critical margins-of-safety and failure modes for the derivative aircraft. As an example, the 747-100 had an initial MTOW of 735,000 lbs, which increased for 747-200, 747-300, and eventually the 747-400, which had an MTOW of 875,00 lbs when certified. There would have been an appendix added as MTOW increase for every derivative.

For MCAS, the description of the system and its effect on airplane safety was parsed among the many different existing certification documents which were being amended. This is why the Joint Authorities Technical Review made the specific recommendation as follows:
Recommendation R4.2: The FAA should consider developing policy or standards to be followed by applicants on proper visibility, clarity, and consistency of key design and
compliance information that is submitted for certification, particularly with new design features.
o Finding F4.2-A: As an amended type certificate under the Changed Product Rule (§ 21.101), many B737 MAX certification deliverables consisted of revisions to B737 NG certification documents. As a result, the MCAS description, including architecture, interfaces, logics, etc., is fragmented among several documents.
o Finding F4.2-B: Although MCAS may have been briefed to some FAA personnel, key aspects of the MCAS function such as intended function description, its interfaces, and architecture, were not directly visible to the FAA in a straightforward manner through the certification deliverable documents.


Recommendation R4.4: The FAA should refuse to accept function descriptions that are fragmented among several documents.
o This recommendation is based on Finding F4.2-A, above.


It was reported by one of the regulators that had a complete description of MCAS been provided that the regulators would have reviewed the system in more detail rather than delegating finding of compliance to Boeing.
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:41 pm

I find it hard to believe that at any point for the 737 since the 737-100 was certified and onwards that the Angle of attack vane could be assumed to be perfect like it was by many personnel and/or someone at Boeing for the MAX. Someone was either trying to cover it up since it now fed data into MCAS and/or is a sad example of an engineer, inspector and/or manager. If anything, they should not/never be allowed to have anything to do with an aircraft again given the cover-up or incompetent assumption that they made and should be criminally charged. One can make up all the derivative aircraft excuses that they want but that does not make it a non-criminal offense. Why should the courts and/or the regulators accept the excuse that it was outside the statement of work like was stated? Who produces the statement of work?
 
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:04 pm

Astronage wrote:
Jetport wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
They did not cover it up after the first crash, they issued a bulletin to all operators outlining the problem and said they were working on a fix. They issued precise instructions on how to deal with a failure. The Ethiopian crew had this bulletin; why they crashed anyway is something I do not understand.


The Ethiopian crash is still inexplicable to me. It seems impossible that all three of the below happened:
    1. The pilots didn't get the MCAS bulletin
    2. The pilots were unaware of the MCAS issue just by being alive and participating members of society
    3. The pilots were unable to turn off all automation in perfect weather and just fly the aircraft manually


They did catch it and did turn off the electric trim. They were unable to manually retrim with the trim wheel handle so they turned it back on which made a bad situation unrecoverable with the altitude and speed and they had. The transcript of that flight is publicly available.

I'm only passingly familiar with the 737 MAX, but my read of everything I can find from the preliminary and interim reports since that crash, they did the best they possibly could with a weird situation that their airplane just should not be doing.

Use the example of the 737 Classic rudder hardovers from the 1990s, another famous Boeing contribution to society, and you will see incredibly skilled and competent US crews, in the safest aviation system in the world, flying airplanes into the ground. I firmly believe if this exact MCAS situation had happened on a Southwest, United, or American MAX at the same phase of flight, that airplane would have gone into the ground too. And then we'd be having an entirely different conversation about this, because instead of being able to pin it on 3rd world airlines that crash perfectly good airplanes all the time, we'd be looking at pieces of an airplane strewn across suburban Dallas.

The suddenness, the violence of the fault, the altitude and phase of flight in which it happened, all contributed to what was probably an impossible situation. Just like the hardovers in Pittsburgh and Colorado Springs, they just ran out of time and space from the ground.

There is just absolutely no reason that a system installed on your aircraft should be making control or trim inputs without being trained on it. In the name of getting WN a single type certificate, so they didn't have to send all their pilots to a transitions class, Boeing deliberately shoehorned in a piece of software relying on a single point of failure and then barely even included it in the FOM and FCTM. Put out all the bulletins and changes to the FCTM you want, it's absolutely unthinkable. Throw the book at them.
 
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Re: Call to cancel DPA with Boeing on 737MAX Crashes

Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:04 pm

LDRA wrote:
Yes MCAS logic is poorly designed. But Boeing process should have caught this. Everyone can make mistakes, just like AOA sensors are expected to fail at some point of time. The point of safety process is to catch individual failures, so that single point failure of some body screwing up does not slip through

Pythagoras wrote:
It was reported by one of the regulators that had a complete description of MCAS been provided that the regulators would have reviewed the system in more detail rather than delegating finding of compliance to Boeing.

This is quite common in the commercial world as well. Often we find ourselves doing version 3 of a software module, which depends on versions 2 and 1, and version 1 depended on the interfaces to other modules at the time it was written. If one wants to understand version 3, one must go back and understand what was written for version 2 and 1, and for all the interfaces that existed when version 1 was written, and then all the enhancements to all those modules that have been incorporated since the time version 1 was written. Ideally "someone" would document the complete system state at the time version 3 is written, but then you get into the whole "scope of work" issue. The team doing version 3 is presumably under schedule pressure and will presumably do the minimal amount of documentation needed to gain some comfort level that their task is achievable but not much more than that.

It's a very good bet that no such "complete description of MCAS" in terms of cause and effect ever existed. MCAS at its heart is just a few changes to the flight laws in the flight control computer, ones that took little effort to describe or implement. The resulting system level impacts presumably were not deeply investigated so not documented, since the famous "3 second guy" decided the pilot would recognize whatever ill effects MCAS created within three seconds as a runaway stabilizer and deal with it. Without the "three second guy" and his "contribution" to the system safety analysis, MCAS would have gotten deeper scrutiny. Who he was and what led him to his decision and what pressure he was under to avoid deeper scrutiny is still something Boeing has not revealed, nor is something that Congress or DoJ forced Boeing to reveal, at least not to the general public.

As you pointed out earlier, the later changes to operation at slow speed as well as high was also done without any additional analysis being made available and quite possibly not done, nor any additional communication with FAA. There was a quip from a Boeing engineer saying "we only have to show our answers not our work" in the Seattle Times at one point. Seems Boeing felt itself to be the senior partner in the relationship, with disastrous results.

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