Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 8
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:29 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
This is why the recommendations from JTAR concerning human factors is so important. If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an "actual end-to-end test" scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable. The fact that eight non-normal procedures are being revised for the 737NG is evidence that the industry--OEM, regulators, and airlines--did not fully understand the situation that pilots were facing in the flight deck. Ethiopia Airlines' Bernd von Hoesslin understood the issue when he recommended more training for his fellow pilots. But in the absence of supporting data validating those assertions, Ethiopian Airlines management proceeded with business as usual, which included placing a very green first officer in the right seat.

IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:51 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
This is why the recommendations from JTAR concerning human factors is so important. If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an "actual end-to-end test" scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable. The fact that eight non-normal procedures are being revised for the 737NG is evidence that the industry--OEM, regulators, and airlines--did not fully understand the situation that pilots were facing in the flight deck. Ethiopia Airlines' Bernd von Hoesslin understood the issue when he recommended more training for his fellow pilots. But in the absence of supporting data validating those assertions, Ethiopian Airlines management proceeded with business as usual, which included placing a very green first officer in the right seat.

IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.
 
jjbiv
Posts: 1325
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:58 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:51 pm

kalvado wrote:
I would say a perfect storm, rooted in the fact that 737 became a Ruby Goldberg machine, and nobody at Boeing fully understands what is going on in the plane. And that loss of institutional knowledge is poking out in multiple places.
That is the scary part.


Rube (short for Reuben) Goldberg is the cartoonist/inventor/engineer's name you were thinking of.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:57 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
This is why the recommendations from JTAR concerning human factors is so important. If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an "actual end-to-end test" scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable. The fact that eight non-normal procedures are being revised for the 737NG is evidence that the industry--OEM, regulators, and airlines--did not fully understand the situation that pilots were facing in the flight deck. Ethiopia Airlines' Bernd von Hoesslin understood the issue when he recommended more training for his fellow pilots. But in the absence of supporting data validating those assertions, Ethiopian Airlines management proceeded with business as usual, which included placing a very green first officer in the right seat.

IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.


The work that is coming in-house to Boeing is the finding of compliance to the regulations. It was not issuing guidance or promulgating new regulation. Do not confuse the two. Remember as well that the FAA always has the right to retain finding of compliance. For the MCAS system, the FAA delegated finding of compliance to the Boeing ARs when the system was operational solely within a corner-point of the flight envelope and utilized two dissimilar sensors. A fault in the process was that this delegation was not re-considered after changing to a single-sensor system which operated throughout the flight envelope.

The industry operates under the presumption that existing rules and regulations are sufficient until new data or new technology requires a re-evaluation. You cannot make a unsubstantiated assertion that Boeing and the FAA were negligent in their behavior unless you can point to prior events which suggest that both had data in-hand to indicate that there was a problem. Typically such new rules and regulations are the outcome of NTSB recommendations from accidents and severe incidents, which provide the evidence required for rule making.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:10 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
This is why the recommendations from JTAR concerning human factors is so important. If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an "actual end-to-end test" scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable. The fact that eight non-normal procedures are being revised for the 737NG is evidence that the industry--OEM, regulators, and airlines--did not fully understand the situation that pilots were facing in the flight deck. Ethiopia Airlines' Bernd von Hoesslin understood the issue when he recommended more training for his fellow pilots. But in the absence of supporting data validating those assertions, Ethiopian Airlines management proceeded with business as usual, which included placing a very green first officer in the right seat.

IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.


The work that is coming in-house to Boeing is the finding of compliance to the regulations. It was not issuing guidance or promulgating new regulation. Do not confuse the two. Remember as well that the FAA always has the right to retain finding of compliance. For the MCAS system, the FAA delegated finding of compliance to the Boeing ARs when the system was operational solely within a corner-point of the flight envelope and utilized two dissimilar sensors. A fault in the process was that this delegation was not re-considered after changing to a single-sensor system which operated throughout the flight envelope.

The industry operates under the presumption that existing rules and regulations are sufficient until new data or new technology requires a re-evaluation. You cannot make a unsubstantiated assertion that Boeing and the FAA were negligent in their behavior unless you can point to prior events which suggest that both had data in-hand to indicate that there was a problem. Typically such new rules and regulations are the outcome of NTSB recommendations from accidents and severe incidents, which provide the evidence required for rule making.

If I remember correctly, Boeing was the main contributor for certification standard of folding wingtips for 777X. Which makes perfect sense as few people outside of design team have deep enough understanding of how those should work. Another situation where Boeing very reasonably spoke up is A321XLR new tank. No NTSB reports involved in either case!
There is an overarching requirement linking severity and frequency of any problem. A lot of other stuff is about applying those key rules.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:53 pm

kalvado wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
This is why the recommendations from JTAR concerning human factors is so important. If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an "actual end-to-end test" scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable. The fact that eight non-normal procedures are being revised for the 737NG is evidence that the industry--OEM, regulators, and airlines--did not fully understand the situation that pilots were facing in the flight deck. Ethiopia Airlines' Bernd von Hoesslin understood the issue when he recommended more training for his fellow pilots. But in the absence of supporting data validating those assertions, Ethiopian Airlines management proceeded with business as usual, which included placing a very green first officer in the right seat.

IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.

I'm having a hard time triangulating between your statements "If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an 'actual end-to-end test' scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable" and "I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight". Seems then we are destined to live in a world were we don't advance past the 737NG because FAA isn't strong enough to provide guidance and industry won't do anything beyond FAA's guidance.

Boeing indeed has a vested interest in creating a good product, but IMO the way the company is being run it doesn't focus on creating good products it focuses on hitting financial targets, and deals with quality shortcomings only after they become unavoidable and much more expensive to address than if they had dealt with them earlier in the process.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:23 pm

Revelation wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Revelation wrote:
IMO it's hard to expect such regulatory guidance from the FAA when for decades Boeing's policy was to weaken the FAA's mandates and take more work and more authority in house while watching FAA's budget dwindle.

The deferral to past practice in the absence of regulatory guidance just means things don't get challenged or scrutinized very much, which conveniently means less work for Boeing thus more profit, at least in the short term.

Seems Boeing should have been more careful for what it wished for.

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.

I'm having a hard time triangulating between your statements "If the regulatory guidance from the FAA does not require an 'actual end-to-end test' scenario than it is left to prior practice to approve the system as acceptable" and "I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight". Seems then we are destined to live in a world were we don't advance past the 737NG because FAA isn't strong enough to provide guidance and industry won't do anything beyond FAA's guidance.

Boeing indeed has a vested interest in creating a good product, but IMO the way the company is being run it doesn't focus on creating good products it focuses on hitting financial targets, and deals with quality shortcomings only after they become unavoidable and much more expensive to address than if they had dealt with them earlier in the process.

You are confusing two different people. I never argued for "end to end"
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:04 am

Revelation wrote:
Gremlinzzzz wrote:
Here are some things that do not sit down well with many.

1. The effect of cosmic rays when it comes to aviation has been known for decades. It is not something new that should have been uncovered after accidents. This is one area that is so well known, so well understood that getting it right first time of asking should be the norm. It was not a priority for Boeing, neither was it for the FAA.

Their presence is well known, some measures were taken to deal with it such as software scrubbing, but the decision to rely on the pilots to handle MCAS as an instance of runaway stab keeping MCAS out of the catastrophic category is why the ultimate fix, active-active flight control computers, wasn't taken till after the crash.

From the ST article, even as the issue was being unwound it is not being portrayed as being highly significant:

What the FAA was testing when it discovered this new vulnerability was esoteric and remote. According to the person familiar with the details, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigations, the specific fault that showed up has “never happened in 200 million flight hours on this same flight-control computer in [older model] 737 NGs.”
...
“We were deliberately emulating some aspects of MCAS in a theoretical failure mode,” the person familiar with the tests said.

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.”
Dwight Schaeffer, a former senior manager at Boeing Commercial Electronics, the company’s one-time in-house avionics division, agreed. “Five independent bit flips is really an extremely improbable event,” he said.
...
“There are active means of protecting against bit flips,” said retired Boeing electronics manager Schaeffer. “We always built it into our own software.”

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

Gremlinzzzz wrote:
2. Boeing wrote aviation code that relied on one angle of attack sensor; a part that can fail for all manner of reasons and gave that code the ability to crash a plane. When they expanded its mandate, no proper fault matrix was in place to analyze what had been done and how it could play out. When test pilots found out, they chose to keep it in house as opposed to telling the FAA.

Again, it goes back to the improper categorization of MCAS, something Boeing has managed to keep a tight lid on. We know next to nothing about the what/when/why of all of that. Crucially for Boeing, it allows them to say it's all simple human error rather than a side effect of a management push for profits over safety. Luckily for them, Congress spent their time throwing Muilenberg under the bus for his pay package and of course Forkner's drunken text messages were easy to lock in on.
If the FAA had done their job first time round, the 737MAX would not have released early. If Boeing actually cared about their product, some elementary errors (and they are exactly that), would have been avoided. The plane would have also come in late.

There is a reason why they were charged with fraud, although the fine was a palm on the hand. There is a reason as to why we may see criminal proceedings against Forkner, and a shame that not any in the C suite.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:58 pm

kalvado wrote:
You are confusing two different people. I never argued for "end to end"

My mistake.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:38 pm

kalvado wrote:

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.


While you are likely correct that the FAA won't be a potentially strong counterweight, the reality is that in a litigation based society, there has to be some standard for what is "due diligence" or there is no standard at all. In this case, if an aircraft can be shown, however marginally to within regulatory compliance, then the legal burden shifts to the regulator, not the manufacturer. There has to legally speaking be some backstop.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:31 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
kalvado wrote:

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.

While you are likely correct that the FAA won't be a potentially strong counterweight, the reality is that in a litigation based society, there has to be some standard for what is "due diligence" or there is no standard at all. In this case, if an aircraft can be shown, however marginally to within regulatory compliance, then the legal burden shifts to the regulator, not the manufacturer. There has to legally speaking be some backstop.

I think the dicey part is in this case Boeing itself was responsible for certifying MCAS via delegation. We know that FAA approved this delegation, but then we get back to how Boeing didn't communicate key changes back to FAA that may have caused the delegation relationship to change, Boeing arguing that MCAS was the same on 737 as it was on the 767 when it wasn't, etc.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:40 pm

Revelation wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
kalvado wrote:

And again, honestly speaking I don't buy FAA as a potentially strong counterweight. It probably can be strong, but cannot really be that helpful as it is a government bureaucratic agency, not an engineering consulting organization.
Boeing itself has a vested interest in creating a good product, and when they failed - the price is high. Certification is not a magic pill which makes product safe, this is verification of compliance to certain rules and a limited third party review. It can be unneeded burden (compare CE rules in EU vs US NRTL approach, for example)
So it is not weaker FAA, it is not listening to external reviewers that created problem. Certification documents are icing on the cake, if that.

While you are likely correct that the FAA won't be a potentially strong counterweight, the reality is that in a litigation based society, there has to be some standard for what is "due diligence" or there is no standard at all. In this case, if an aircraft can be shown, however marginally to within regulatory compliance, then the legal burden shifts to the regulator, not the manufacturer. There has to legally speaking be some backstop.

I think the dicey part is in this case Boeing itself was responsible for certifying MCAS via delegation. We know that FAA approved this delegation, but then we get back to how Boeing didn't communicate key changes back to FAA that may have caused the delegation relationship to change, Boeing arguing that MCAS was the same on 737 as it was on the 767 when it wasn't, etc.

Which keeps me wondering what would happen if Boeing engineers didn't have to go through all those hoops and could do some actual work instead?
I certainly had cases when I had to order a certified product over much better - and cheaper! - competitor without proper certification stamp, so the question isn't that simple.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:02 pm

Confession here. I am pretty left-leaning politically. So I'm paying attention to not just the mainstream media reporting--New York Times, CNN, etc--but also alternative media--The Guardian, Alternet.

Many may not be aware of the radio program DemocracyNow! hosted by Amy Goodman, which is run out of a small office in New York City. It is carried primarily by public radio stations.

On March 13, shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 accident which occurred on the 10th, Goodman hosted Ralph Nader whose grandniece was on the flight. Here is a link to the broadcast, which contains a transcript:
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/13/ralph_naders_grandniece_died_in_ethiopian

As I was listening to this, I had to feel a real sense of empathy for Nader who is grieving for the death of his niece. The immense degree of sadness is evident.

As one with a technical background on the subject, the call from Nader to immediately ground the airplane or passengers to boycott without having a causal link struck me a being ill informed of the process and perhaps even reckless. Importantly, the FAA did ground the airplane that day and according to the news reports was due to factual data from the crash sight and satellite data.

This transcript does indicate that Nader was already speculating on the "profit over safety" narrative before any of the facts of either accident had become known. I have to wonder whether in the eagerness to understand the cause of these accidents that many of us have grabbed onto this narrative instead of looking critically at the chain of decisions that unfolded.

Here is what Nader said:
"The focus has got to be on inaccurate or nonexisting information in Boeing’s training manuals and inadequate flight training requirements. They sold this plane on the basis, among other things, of having larger engines. It’s supposed to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient. But they sold it on the grounds that “You don’t have to really train your pilots, airlines. This is really just a small modification of the reliable 737 that’s all over the world.” The question really comes down to cost cutting. They tantalize the airlines by saying, “This isn’t really a new plane. It’s very easy to fly, if you can fly a 737.” And that turned out to be quite false. They had to translate these training manuals into 30 languages—for example, into Amharic in Ethiopia. They had no control over the degree of training for this plane, on the part of the pilots, by the airlines. They took their leisurely time."


Later in the summer as the Congressional hearings unfolded, it appeared to me that there was more to the hearing than just trying to understand the cause of the accidents. Goodman and Nader's conversation hints at that.

Goodman in her questioning highlights how the Trump Administration has failed to nominate a head of the FAA and so critical decisions fall to the deputy administrator.
"President Trump hasn’t managed to actually nominate someone so that they would be approved by the Senate. He wanted to nominate his own pilot, and now wants to—apparently, in the last days, it’s been reported that he was going to nominate a Delta executive to be the head of it, but that hasn’t been done, so it’s an acting head of the FAA."


This questioning prompts Nader to comment on Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation:
"She’s [Chao] in charge of the FAA. But she’s a notorious non-regulator in her government career, both as secretary of transportation and prior offices. So, she’s not going to be looking out for the airline passengers."


Nader is quite critical of President Trump as it appears that he was personally involved in the his administration's decision making:
"Donald Trump is directly involved here. When the government shutdown occurred, I made a comment that this is going to cost lives. They were shutting down lifesaving federal regulatory agencies, health agencies. Trump wanted to cut the FAA budget over a year ago. So he shuts down the government for five weeks, and this relation of software upgrades between Boeing and the FAA was put on hold. Donald Trump is directly involved in this. He should be called to a congressional hearing and required to testify under oath. Morally required—it’s hard to make him go to Capitol Hill. But he’s got to grow up. He’s a person who has no sense of consequence. He’s more than just a bigot and ignorant and narcissistic, but he has no sense of consequence whatsoever. In that sense, he doesn’t have anywhere near the maturity of the post that he was selected for by the Electoral College. So I think we need to go right to the top. The head of Boeing has got to testify."


My view is that there is much more going on here than just an accident investigation looking to find causes of these accidents.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:06 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Confession here. I am pretty left-leaning politically. So I'm paying attention to not just the mainstream media reporting--New York Times, CNN, etc--but also alternative media--The Guardian, Alternet.

Many may not be aware of the radio program DemocracyNow! hosted by Amy Goodman, which is run out of a small office in New York City. It is carried primarily by public radio stations.

On March 13, shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 accident which occurred on the 10th, Goodman hosted Ralph Nader whose grandniece was on the flight. Here is a link to the broadcast, which contains a transcript:
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/13/ralph_naders_grandniece_died_in_ethiopian

As I was listening to this, I had to feel a real sense of empathy for Nader who is grieving for the death of his niece. The immense degree of sadness is evident.

As one with a technical background on the subject, the call from Nader to immediately ground the airplane or passengers to boycott without having a causal link struck me a being ill informed of the process and perhaps even reckless. Importantly, the FAA did ground the airplane that day and according to the news reports was due to factual data from the crash sight and satellite data.

This transcript does indicate that Nader was already speculating on the "profit over safety" narrative before any of the facts of either accident had become known. I have to wonder whether in the eagerness to understand the cause of these accidents that many of us have grabbed onto this narrative instead of looking critically at the chain of decisions that unfolded.

Here is what Nader said:
"The focus has got to be on inaccurate or nonexisting information in Boeing’s training manuals and inadequate flight training requirements. They sold this plane on the basis, among other things, of having larger engines. It’s supposed to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient. But they sold it on the grounds that “You don’t have to really train your pilots, airlines. This is really just a small modification of the reliable 737 that’s all over the world.” The question really comes down to cost cutting. They tantalize the airlines by saying, “This isn’t really a new plane. It’s very easy to fly, if you can fly a 737.” And that turned out to be quite false. They had to translate these training manuals into 30 languages—for example, into Amharic in Ethiopia. They had no control over the degree of training for this plane, on the part of the pilots, by the airlines. They took their leisurely time."


Later in the summer as the Congressional hearings unfolded, it appeared to me that there was more to the hearing than just trying to understand the cause of the accidents. Goodman and Nader's conversation hints at that.

Goodman in her questioning highlights how the Trump Administration has failed to nominate a head of the FAA and so critical decisions fall to the deputy administrator.
"President Trump hasn’t managed to actually nominate someone so that they would be approved by the Senate. He wanted to nominate his own pilot, and now wants to—apparently, in the last days, it’s been reported that he was going to nominate a Delta executive to be the head of it, but that hasn’t been done, so it’s an acting head of the FAA."


This questioning prompts Nader to comment on Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation:
"She’s [Chao] in charge of the FAA. But she’s a notorious non-regulator in her government career, both as secretary of transportation and prior offices. So, she’s not going to be looking out for the airline passengers."


Nader is quite critical of President Trump as it appears that he was personally involved in the his administration's decision making:
"Donald Trump is directly involved here. When the government shutdown occurred, I made a comment that this is going to cost lives. They were shutting down lifesaving federal regulatory agencies, health agencies. Trump wanted to cut the FAA budget over a year ago. So he shuts down the government for five weeks, and this relation of software upgrades between Boeing and the FAA was put on hold. Donald Trump is directly involved in this. He should be called to a congressional hearing and required to testify under oath. Morally required—it’s hard to make him go to Capitol Hill. But he’s got to grow up. He’s a person who has no sense of consequence. He’s more than just a bigot and ignorant and narcissistic, but he has no sense of consequence whatsoever. In that sense, he doesn’t have anywhere near the maturity of the post that he was selected for by the Electoral College. So I think we need to go right to the top. The head of Boeing has got to testify."


My view is that there is much more going on here than just an accident investigation looking to find causes of these accidents.

Yes, there is a serious effort behind the scene to save Boeing from trouble. A lot of noise, but no action.
Remembering VW scenario, if this happened to a non-US built plane and US authorities were dealing with it - a couple tens billions dollars in fines and a buyback of the fleet would be on the table.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:30 pm

kalvado wrote:
Which keeps me wondering what would happen if Boeing engineers didn't have to go through all those hoops and could do some actual work instead?
I certainly had cases when I had to order a certified product over much better - and cheaper! - competitor without proper certification stamp, so the question isn't that simple.

Pretty clearly there are many people within industry and the regulatory community who felt the right solution to the problem MCAS was trying to solve was to just give Boeing an exemption to the stick force requirement. Then we'd get into the whole issue of Boeing being granted too many breaks already, yada yada. There is also a slippery slope argument: grant them this exemption and they'll push for ten more, all in more crucial areas than this one.

kalvado wrote:
Yes, there is a serious effort behind the scene to save Boeing from trouble. A lot of noise, but no action.
Remembering VW scenario, if this happened to a non-US built plane and US authorities were dealing with it - a couple tens billions dollars in fines and a buyback of the fleet would be on the table.

That's why this all goes back to the four second guy. Boeing is saying this one guy (or gal, we don't know) made the decision that pilots could recognize MCAS as runaway stab and deal with it in four seconds so MCAS didn't fall into the catastrophic category thus no need for redundancy or deeper analysis.

VW situation is totally different. Executive was required to sign that the car had no 'defeat device' yet it did. It was an device whose only purpose was to cheat, he said none was present but one was. Go directly to jail, do not collect $200.

Boeing is still going with the "human error" defense, and nothing has been able to undermine that.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:55 pm

Revelation wrote:
Boeing is still going with the "human error" defense, and nothing has been able to undermine that.

One thing @Pythagorean essentially says is that there is a lot of noise an verbal blame, but little proper investigation which would be needed to get to the root of things, beyond 4-second guy claim, and possibly involve massive liability for Boeing.
From my perspective, this is is about events between the crashes, where 4-second guy and Forkner are not in the game. That period doesn't have even a proper scapegoats assigned.
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:02 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Confession here. I am pretty left-leaning politically. So I'm paying attention to not just the mainstream media reporting--New York Times, CNN, etc--but also alternative media--The Guardian, Alternet.

Many may not be aware of the radio program DemocracyNow! hosted by Amy Goodman, which is run out of a small office in New York City. It is carried primarily by public radio stations.

On March 13, shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 accident which occurred on the 10th, Goodman hosted Ralph Nader whose grandniece was on the flight. Here is a link to the broadcast, which contains a transcript:
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/13/ralph_naders_grandniece_died_in_ethiopian

As I was listening to this, I had to feel a real sense of empathy for Nader who is grieving for the death of his niece. The immense degree of sadness is evident.

As one with a technical background on the subject, the call from Nader to immediately ground the airplane or passengers to boycott without having a causal link struck me a being ill informed of the process and perhaps even reckless. Importantly, the FAA did ground the airplane that day and according to the news reports was due to factual data from the crash sight and satellite data.

This transcript does indicate that Nader was already speculating on the "profit over safety" narrative before any of the facts of either accident had become known. I have to wonder whether in the eagerness to understand the cause of these accidents that many of us have grabbed onto this narrative instead of looking critically at the chain of decisions that unfolded.

Here is what Nader said:
"The focus has got to be on inaccurate or nonexisting information in Boeing’s training manuals and inadequate flight training requirements. They sold this plane on the basis, among other things, of having larger engines. It’s supposed to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient. But they sold it on the grounds that “You don’t have to really train your pilots, airlines. This is really just a small modification of the reliable 737 that’s all over the world.” The question really comes down to cost cutting. They tantalize the airlines by saying, “This isn’t really a new plane. It’s very easy to fly, if you can fly a 737.” And that turned out to be quite false. They had to translate these training manuals into 30 languages—for example, into Amharic in Ethiopia. They had no control over the degree of training for this plane, on the part of the pilots, by the airlines. They took their leisurely time."


Later in the summer as the Congressional hearings unfolded, it appeared to me that there was more to the hearing than just trying to understand the cause of the accidents. Goodman and Nader's conversation hints at that.

Goodman in her questioning highlights how the Trump Administration has failed to nominate a head of the FAA and so critical decisions fall to the deputy administrator.
"President Trump hasn’t managed to actually nominate someone so that they would be approved by the Senate. He wanted to nominate his own pilot, and now wants to—apparently, in the last days, it’s been reported that he was going to nominate a Delta executive to be the head of it, but that hasn’t been done, so it’s an acting head of the FAA."


This questioning prompts Nader to comment on Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation:
"She’s [Chao] in charge of the FAA. But she’s a notorious non-regulator in her government career, both as secretary of transportation and prior offices. So, she’s not going to be looking out for the airline passengers."


Nader is quite critical of President Trump as it appears that he was personally involved in the his administration's decision making:
"Donald Trump is directly involved here. When the government shutdown occurred, I made a comment that this is going to cost lives. They were shutting down lifesaving federal regulatory agencies, health agencies. Trump wanted to cut the FAA budget over a year ago. So he shuts down the government for five weeks, and this relation of software upgrades between Boeing and the FAA was put on hold. Donald Trump is directly involved in this. He should be called to a congressional hearing and required to testify under oath. Morally required—it’s hard to make him go to Capitol Hill. But he’s got to grow up. He’s a person who has no sense of consequence. He’s more than just a bigot and ignorant and narcissistic, but he has no sense of consequence whatsoever. In that sense, he doesn’t have anywhere near the maturity of the post that he was selected for by the Electoral College. So I think we need to go right to the top. The head of Boeing has got to testify."


My view is that there is much more going on here than just an accident investigation looking to find causes of these accidents.
The right time to ground the plane was never after the second crash. The right time to ground the jet was when the FAA came to the conclusion that there would be 15 more crashes over the life of the aircraft if there was no software change.

The moment they allowed Boeing to lobby for more time to make the relevant changes, they were essentially allowing Boeing to put profits ahead of people. The right time to make sweeping changes, and order an audit of what happened was not after the second crash.

I work in science, and a lot of what we do is centered around data but sometimes, we are told to just use common sense. Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification. Boeing knew had messed up after that first crash, and the FAA knew that they did not fully understand what was going on either.

That was the time to reset. However, Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up and Lion Air having poor maintenance allowed for that. The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available. They said they know the code is horrible, that it needs changes and rather urgently but grounding the jet was not priority, this is what they said when they allowed it to continue operating.

Everyone else with a functioning brain said, forget the data, ground this jet and let us find out what is wrong with it before we lose more lives.

The guys who made silly decisions when developing the jet kept lobbying for it to continue flying. The guys who certified the jet were busy stating they are data driven. The former would have to put hundreds of thousands of man hours, and over a thousand test flights on repeat work, agreed to fraud. The latter would be the case of an investigation with a task force formed to see where it is they actually failed.

Better safe than sorry.
 
Chemist
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:43 pm

Gremlinzzzz wrote:
Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification....Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up.... The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available.


VERY well stated. Boeing f'd up and gambled, and the FAA checks and balances failed because the FAA failed.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:15 pm

Gremlinzzzz wrote:
The right time to ground the plane was never after the second crash. The right time to ground the jet was when the FAA came to the conclusion that there would be 15 more crashes over the life of the aircraft if there was no software change.

The moment they allowed Boeing to lobby for more time to make the relevant changes, they were essentially allowing Boeing to put profits ahead of people. The right time to make sweeping changes, and order an audit of what happened was not after the second crash.

I work in science, and a lot of what we do is centered around data but sometimes, we are told to just use common sense. Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification. Boeing knew had messed up after that first crash, and the FAA knew that they did not fully understand what was going on either.

That was the time to reset. However, Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up and Lion Air having poor maintenance allowed for that. The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available. They said they know the code is horrible, that it needs changes and rather urgently but grounding the jet was not priority, this is what they said when they allowed it to continue operating.

Everyone else with a functioning brain said, forget the data, ground this jet and let us find out what is wrong with it before we lose more lives.

The guys who made silly decisions when developing the jet kept lobbying for it to continue flying. The guys who certified the jet were busy stating they are data driven. The former would have to put hundreds of thousands of man hours, and over a thousand test flights on repeat work, agreed to fraud. The latter would be the case of an investigation with a task force formed to see where it is they actually failed.

Better safe than sorry.


The conclusions that you are reaching are incompatible with the timeline of events.

The risk assessment was conducted immediately after the Lion Air accident. Boeing and the FAA were still operating under the assumption that the memory items and the workload in the flight deck were acceptable. The issues which came out later surrounding human factors and whether training was sufficient for understanding the effect of airspeed on manual trim had not been evaluated. This was a major error in hind sight. However, remember as well that at the time all involved were operating under FAA guidance on human factors that was not up to date.

I am in full agreement that we do not know enough about how the risk assessment was conducted. Frontline/NYT should have looked at this issue in more detail rather than using inflammatory and emotionally-charged language of "gambling with lives". That is one area of reporting where I'd say the documentary failed. Poor reporting in my view.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:50 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Gremlinzzzz wrote:
The right time to ground the plane was never after the second crash. The right time to ground the jet was when the FAA came to the conclusion that there would be 15 more crashes over the life of the aircraft if there was no software change.

The moment they allowed Boeing to lobby for more time to make the relevant changes, they were essentially allowing Boeing to put profits ahead of people. The right time to make sweeping changes, and order an audit of what happened was not after the second crash.

I work in science, and a lot of what we do is centered around data but sometimes, we are told to just use common sense. Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification. Boeing knew had messed up after that first crash, and the FAA knew that they did not fully understand what was going on either.

That was the time to reset. However, Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up and Lion Air having poor maintenance allowed for that. The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available. They said they know the code is horrible, that it needs changes and rather urgently but grounding the jet was not priority, this is what they said when they allowed it to continue operating.

Everyone else with a functioning brain said, forget the data, ground this jet and let us find out what is wrong with it before we lose more lives.

The guys who made silly decisions when developing the jet kept lobbying for it to continue flying. The guys who certified the jet were busy stating they are data driven. The former would have to put hundreds of thousands of man hours, and over a thousand test flights on repeat work, agreed to fraud. The latter would be the case of an investigation with a task force formed to see where it is they actually failed.

Better safe than sorry.


The conclusions that you are reaching are incompatible with the timeline of events.

The risk assessment was conducted immediately after the Lion Air accident. Boeing and the FAA were still operating under the assumption that the memory items and the workload in the flight deck were acceptable. The issues which came out later surrounding human factors and whether training was sufficient for understanding the effect of airspeed on manual trim had not been evaluated. This was a major error in hind sight. However, remember as well that at the time all involved were operating under FAA guidance on human factors that was not up to date.

I am in full agreement that we do not know enough about how the risk assessment was conducted. Frontline/NYT should have looked at this issue in more detail rather than using inflammatory and emotionally-charged language of "gambling with lives". That is one area of reporting where I'd say the documentary failed. Poor reporting in my view.

Poor reporting, likely, stems from the fact that Boeing very successfully firewalled internal affairs from general public, and employees who would know are under gag orders and/or afraid of being sued by everyone around. There are too many inconvenient questions to ask - and very few answers available.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:05 am

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Gremlinzzzz wrote:
The right time to ground the plane was never after the second crash. The right time to ground the jet was when the FAA came to the conclusion that there would be 15 more crashes over the life of the aircraft if there was no software change.

The moment they allowed Boeing to lobby for more time to make the relevant changes, they were essentially allowing Boeing to put profits ahead of people. The right time to make sweeping changes, and order an audit of what happened was not after the second crash.

I work in science, and a lot of what we do is centered around data but sometimes, we are told to just use common sense. Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification. Boeing knew had messed up after that first crash, and the FAA knew that they did not fully understand what was going on either.

That was the time to reset. However, Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up and Lion Air having poor maintenance allowed for that. The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available. They said they know the code is horrible, that it needs changes and rather urgently but grounding the jet was not priority, this is what they said when they allowed it to continue operating.

Everyone else with a functioning brain said, forget the data, ground this jet and let us find out what is wrong with it before we lose more lives.

The guys who made silly decisions when developing the jet kept lobbying for it to continue flying. The guys who certified the jet were busy stating they are data driven. The former would have to put hundreds of thousands of man hours, and over a thousand test flights on repeat work, agreed to fraud. The latter would be the case of an investigation with a task force formed to see where it is they actually failed.

Better safe than sorry.


The conclusions that you are reaching are incompatible with the timeline of events.

The risk assessment was conducted immediately after the Lion Air accident. Boeing and the FAA were still operating under the assumption that the memory items and the workload in the flight deck were acceptable. The issues which came out later surrounding human factors and whether training was sufficient for understanding the effect of airspeed on manual trim had not been evaluated. This was a major error in hind sight. However, remember as well that at the time all involved were operating under FAA guidance on human factors that was not up to date.

I am in full agreement that we do not know enough about how the risk assessment was conducted. Frontline/NYT should have looked at this issue in more detail rather than using inflammatory and emotionally-charged language of "gambling with lives". That is one area of reporting where I'd say the documentary failed. Poor reporting in my view.

Poor reporting, likely, stems from the fact that Boeing very successfully firewalled internal affairs from general public, and employees who would know are under gag orders and/or afraid of being sued by everyone around. There are too many inconvenient questions to ask - and very few answers available.


The probability analysis should be available as it needed to be concurred to by the FAA. The FAA is not going to accept this analysis without a detailed review. There most certainly is a documentation trail. I have had to go through this process before with an engineering error resulting in an uncertifiable condition that was found well after the airplane was certified.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:10 am

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:

The conclusions that you are reaching are incompatible with the timeline of events.

The risk assessment was conducted immediately after the Lion Air accident. Boeing and the FAA were still operating under the assumption that the memory items and the workload in the flight deck were acceptable. The issues which came out later surrounding human factors and whether training was sufficient for understanding the effect of airspeed on manual trim had not been evaluated. This was a major error in hind sight. However, remember as well that at the time all involved were operating under FAA guidance on human factors that was not up to date.

I am in full agreement that we do not know enough about how the risk assessment was conducted. Frontline/NYT should have looked at this issue in more detail rather than using inflammatory and emotionally-charged language of "gambling with lives". That is one area of reporting where I'd say the documentary failed. Poor reporting in my view.

Poor reporting, likely, stems from the fact that Boeing very successfully firewalled internal affairs from general public, and employees who would know are under gag orders and/or afraid of being sued by everyone around. There are too many inconvenient questions to ask - and very few answers available.


The probability analysis should be available as it needed to be concurred to by the FAA. The FAA is not going to accept this analysis without a detailed review. There most certainly is a documentation trail. I have had to go through this process before with an engineering error resulting in an uncertifiable condition that was found well after the airplane was certified.

As far as I understand, these documents would be labeled as "Boeing proprietary" and never see the light of day.
Remember - Boeing was the company which redacted the list of "hot and high" US airports from legal documents before public release. Talk about transparency...
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:19 am

Pythagoras wrote:
Gremlinzzzz wrote:
The right time to ground the plane was never after the second crash. The right time to ground the jet was when the FAA came to the conclusion that there would be 15 more crashes over the life of the aircraft if there was no software change.

The moment they allowed Boeing to lobby for more time to make the relevant changes, they were essentially allowing Boeing to put profits ahead of people. The right time to make sweeping changes, and order an audit of what happened was not after the second crash.

I work in science, and a lot of what we do is centered around data but sometimes, we are told to just use common sense. Boeing absolutely botched the design and development of this jet. The FAA was a total failure when it came to certification. Boeing knew had messed up after that first crash, and the FAA knew that they did not fully understand what was going on either.

That was the time to reset. However, Boeing wanted to sell and deliver, keep the planes up and Lion Air having poor maintenance allowed for that. The FAA was not willing to look at themselves and state they failed. Their huge bet was that no crash would happen before an update to the software was available. They said they know the code is horrible, that it needs changes and rather urgently but grounding the jet was not priority, this is what they said when they allowed it to continue operating.

Everyone else with a functioning brain said, forget the data, ground this jet and let us find out what is wrong with it before we lose more lives.

The guys who made silly decisions when developing the jet kept lobbying for it to continue flying. The guys who certified the jet were busy stating they are data driven. The former would have to put hundreds of thousands of man hours, and over a thousand test flights on repeat work, agreed to fraud. The latter would be the case of an investigation with a task force formed to see where it is they actually failed.

Better safe than sorry.


The conclusions that you are reaching are incompatible with the timeline of events.

The risk assessment was conducted immediately after the Lion Air accident. Boeing and the FAA were still operating under the assumption that the memory items and the workload in the flight deck were acceptable. The issues which came out later surrounding human factors and whether training was sufficient for understanding the effect of airspeed on manual trim had not been evaluated. This was a major error in hind sight. However, remember as well that at the time all involved were operating under FAA guidance on human factors that was not up to date.

I am in full agreement that we do not know enough about how the risk assessment was conducted. Frontline/NYT should have looked at this issue in more detail rather than using inflammatory and emotionally-charged language of "gambling with lives". That is one area of reporting where I'd say the documentary failed. Poor reporting in my view.
Do you remember the Concorde crash? An aircraft that has been flying for 24 years was grounded because of a single crash. This was an accident that was so freakish in nature that the events that led to it would hardly ever be replicated. Before the facts had been established, people with common sense thought it wise to ground the plane before more lives were lost.

When the DC-10 had issues with cargo doors, the FAA and McDonnell Douglas cut a deal, no airworthiness directive was given. One would have thought that such a design flaw would have warranted such a directive. It was not until a Turkish Airlines crash that showed that the issues were far greater, and then as now, there was an investigation by the House of Representatives to see what happened at original certification. At this time, mandatory changes kicked in. The FAA actually did what they were supposed to do first time round, but only after more lives had been needlessly lost.

When there was AA191 crash related that was later linked to poor maintenance practices, the FAA grounded the US fleet before they could determine. 737 rudder hardover issues were allowed to persist for close to a decade before Boeing was forced to make changes over the next five years to the in service fleet.

When the FAA found out of the MCAS changes, that was when to ground. When they did a risk assessment and found that there would be more accidents, even with their faulty assumptions, that was great reason to ground and just say they would rather be safe than sorry. Even with the little they knew, they would not ground, and the only conclusion one can come to is that the FAA did not want to answer as to what went wrong first time. So they gambled that with the AD out, pilots would be able to counter erroneous MCAS activation and that Boeing would come through before the second accident happened.

It was gambling with lives. When they eventually looked at the jet again, they found out that Boeing came to flawed conclusions and that even the famed US pilots would not meet the criteria Boeing set initially. They found even more issues with the plane, which is what they were supposed to get first time of asking. They went and looked at other programs and found that the key wide body does not meet spec, hasn't met spec for years despite it being in the air in what is today going to a decade in service.

The FAA looked and said pilots will be able to save the jet instead of recognizing that there was a fatal flaw in the design of the jet. The very fact that MCAS relied on one sensor, just that should have led to grounding. Weak regulatory leaders and business heads that do not care about their reputation allow madness to continue.

The FAA came out as impotent, a regulatory body not fit for purpose. So bad was it that there was a joint task force to see what these guys were doing wrong. They then grew some gonads.

Boeing just got the MAX back in the air, the 787 is still not being delivered and the 777X has been further delayed. This is a company that today has issues getting the basics right.

Sometimes, simple questions have the simplest answers and they are avoided for convenience. Not grounding the jet first time of asking was convenient because the FAA would not have to face up to not doing their work. It was great for Boeing who could continue to deliver a what was clearly a defective product. The people in danger, those who needed taking care of i.e. crew and passengers, were simply collateral. It took a second crash for these to see the light, and even then, Boeing was still lobbying to have the jet in the skies.
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:50 am

I think that at times we miss the forest from the trees. The regulatory environment is such that only one body certifies a jet and all other agencies defer to that agency.

When the FAA certified the MAX, they were telling other countries that the jet is airworthy. That these countries and by extension airlines that operate in these countries can put crew and passengers in this jet, and that the airframe would hold up just fine.

It was the FAA putting their reputation on the line.

When delegated authority was given to Boeing, the expectation was that they would be responsible. This was them being trusted to do the right thing to deliver a product of the highest standard. Their obligation was to also get a jet to their customers that functioned great from the start, and not one that could leave them compensating passengers or their families.

What we got was an airframe that was not fit for purpose from an OEM that had been straying from its manufacturing roots. We also got a regulator that had been dropping the ball continuing to drop the ball.

When that first crash happened, they should have been some soul searching and honest debate leading to a just outcome. What Boeing said was 'flick those two switches' and the FAA allowed them to continue deliveries of the flawed jet as was.

The riposte by most countries when the second crash happened was that they did not believe the jet was airworthy. They did not want to endanger lives in the sky or on the ground, and they were willing to see to it that whatever was ailing this plane was fixed before it took to the skies.

The people who birthed this problem were singing different tunes. One was singing a chorus as to how they werw data driven, and the other was stating that the jet was safe and lobbying to keep it flying when they knew otherwise.

The OEM was also singing how pilot error was a factor; not recognizing that their flawed assumptions were an issue. For some time, we heard of how US pilots would have handled the situation better, until an assessment was carried out and this found out to be false.

MCAS may have brought down this jet, but the amount of issues uncovered after that leave one wondering as to what work was done, and whether the people involved cared about quality. We know that quality was not top of Boeing's requirements. The 737 MAX, 787, 767 Tanker show us just that.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:11 pm

kalvado wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Boeing is still going with the "human error" defense, and nothing has been able to undermine that.

One thing @Pythagorean essentially says is that there is a lot of noise an verbal blame, but little proper investigation which would be needed to get to the root of things, beyond 4-second guy claim, and possibly involve massive liability for Boeing.
From my perspective, this is is about events between the crashes, where 4-second guy and Forkner are not in the game. That period doesn't have even a proper scapegoats assigned.

I disagree, Forkner acts as a scapegoat for the four second guy and for pretty much everything else. A few other less significant scapegoats thrown in are JT pilots, JT training, and JT maintenance. Boeing was willing to use them as scapegoats long before it even considered its own software was at fault. Heck, I'm not even sure they've ever admitted the software was at fault, it still boils down to them saying they trusted the evaluation that the pilots would recognize MCAS as runaway stab in four seconds regardless of what their software was doing.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:59 pm

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Poor reporting, likely, stems from the fact that Boeing very successfully firewalled internal affairs from general public, and employees who would know are under gag orders and/or afraid of being sued by everyone around. There are too many inconvenient questions to ask - and very few answers available.


The probability analysis should be available as it needed to be concurred to by the FAA. The FAA is not going to accept this analysis without a detailed review. There most certainly is a documentation trail. I have had to go through this process before with an engineering error resulting in an uncertifiable condition that was found well after the airplane was certified.

As far as I understand, these documents would be labeled as "Boeing proprietary" and never see the light of day.
Remember - Boeing was the company which redacted the list of "hot and high" US airports from legal documents before public release. Talk about transparency...


Frontline/NYT could easily have reported that they were not able to access to the documents to review the basis for these calculations. They could have at least described the process by which the FAA makes safety decisions. But they chose to go with "gambling with people's lives" instead.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:30 am

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:

The probability analysis should be available as it needed to be concurred to by the FAA. The FAA is not going to accept this analysis without a detailed review. There most certainly is a documentation trail. I have had to go through this process before with an engineering error resulting in an uncertifiable condition that was found well after the airplane was certified.

As far as I understand, these documents would be labeled as "Boeing proprietary" and never see the light of day.
Remember - Boeing was the company which redacted the list of "hot and high" US airports from legal documents before public release. Talk about transparency...


Frontline/NYT could easily have reported that they were not able to access to the documents to review the basis for these calculations. They could have at least described the process by which the FAA makes safety decisions. But they chose to go with "gambling with people's lives" instead.


You see, this is exactly what I call harsh wording with little effect.
"Gamble with people life" is harsh, but most exonerating explanation of what happened.
Let me bring one more fact into the picture:
Once MAX was grounded everywhere outside US, Boeing CEO Mullenberg called President Trump trying to convince him there is no need to ground. How can we explain that?
1. CEO was taking a personal decision to call, disregarding internal advice. I am sure a person or two at Boeing were looking at MAX somewhat carefully at that point. Gamble.
2. This was the decision taken after situation review at Boeing. Engineering didn't realize what was going on and wanted to brush the problem off. Unqualified engineering workforce

WHich one is more damaging for Boeing? Which one is more likely?
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:16 am

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
As far as I understand, these documents would be labeled as "Boeing proprietary" and never see the light of day.
Remember - Boeing was the company which redacted the list of "hot and high" US airports from legal documents before public release. Talk about transparency...


Frontline/NYT could easily have reported that they were not able to access to the documents to review the basis for these calculations. They could have at least described the process by which the FAA makes safety decisions. But they chose to go with "gambling with people's lives" instead.


You see, this is exactly what I call harsh wording with little effect.
"Gamble with people life" is harsh, but most exonerating explanation of what happened.
Let me bring one more fact into the picture:
Once MAX was grounded everywhere outside US, Boeing CEO Mullenberg called President Trump trying to convince him there is no need to ground. How can we explain that?
1. CEO was taking a personal decision to call, disregarding internal advice. I am sure a person or two at Boeing were looking at MAX somewhat carefully at that point. Gamble.
2. This was the decision taken after situation review at Boeing. Engineering didn't realize what was going on and wanted to brush the problem off. Unqualified engineering workforce

WHich one is more damaging for Boeing? Which one is more likely?


Thank you for bringing this up.

One of the criticisms from those of us on the political left concerning the Trump administration was that the President did not rely upon the independence and expertise of an agency's department head. Throughout his administration, he was consistent in not bringing forward names for Senate confirmation for important executive positions. The reason has been put forward that once someone is confirmed that there is a degree of independence that occurs from the White House. It was not unusual then within the Trump Administration for the FAA to have had Daniel Elwell serving as an acting administrator. Elwell prior to his time as deputy administrator had served during the Bush administration from 2006 to 2008 in the FAA, had served as industry lobbyist for Airlines for America (A4A), and then as an advisor to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. At the time of the Lion Air accident, it had been almost 10 months since Michael Huerta's term as FAA administrator had expired on January 6, 2018. At the time of the Ethiopia Airlines accident, it had been 14 months since Huerta's term had expired. Remember also that the FAA administrator's term is for 5 years, which is intended to make the position more stable and less political. It is no means a stretch to conclude that the situation at the FAA was directly as the White House wanted with a political operative being at the helm.

Let's not also forget that three Trump executives died in a 1989 helicopter accident due to a scratch originating in the helicopter blade when adhesive flashing from the cure was incorrectly removed. Trump had a personal interest in aviation accidents.

We also know that Trump personally took credit for negotiations with Dennis Muilenburg on the price and delivery for Air Force One, as follows:
“He wants to fly on that new plane,” a person familiar with the meeting said. For months, the President has been fixated on a new plane and has repeatedly told his aides that he wants the plane to be completed for his second term. It’s an open question whether that can happen – given a lengthy Air Force testing time."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/27/politics/boeing-air-force-one-donald-trump/index.html

And we know that Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman is a close confidant of Trump, having donated $3 million to the campaign. David Calhoun at the time of both accidents was Blackstone's CEO. Furthermore, Boeing as of February 26, 2019, days before the Ethiopian airlines accident had named Nikki Haley to the Boeing Board of Directors, which is an obvious means to gain political favor as she preps for a certain White House bid.

Let's not forget either that the media reported this as President Trump grounding the 737Max [1] when past events, like the 787 battery, the media had reported that the FAA had grounded the airplane [2].

So yeah, Muilenburg called Trump because that is the way Trump operates. Trump gets in the details that he shouldn't. He politicizes agencies. His interactions are always transactional in what he can get out of it. It is sleezy in my view and bad government.

That being said I just don't see how such insider politics would affect the FAA's day to day work after the Lion Air accident. The people responsible for the technical work should be beyond the reach of politicians.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 152157002/
[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... g/1837943/
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:25 am

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:

Frontline/NYT could easily have reported that they were not able to access to the documents to review the basis for these calculations. They could have at least described the process by which the FAA makes safety decisions. But they chose to go with "gambling with people's lives" instead.


You see, this is exactly what I call harsh wording with little effect.
"Gamble with people life" is harsh, but most exonerating explanation of what happened.
Let me bring one more fact into the picture:
Once MAX was grounded everywhere outside US, Boeing CEO Mullenberg called President Trump trying to convince him there is no need to ground. How can we explain that?
1. CEO was taking a personal decision to call, disregarding internal advice. I am sure a person or two at Boeing were looking at MAX somewhat carefully at that point. Gamble.
2. This was the decision taken after situation review at Boeing. Engineering didn't realize what was going on and wanted to brush the problem off. Unqualified engineering workforce

WHich one is more damaging for Boeing? Which one is more likely?


Thank you for bringing this up.

One of the criticisms from those of us on the political left concerning the Trump administration was that the President did not rely upon the independence and expertise of an agency's department head. Throughout his administration, he was consistent in not bringing forward names for Senate confirmation for important executive positions. The reason has been put forward that once someone is confirmed that there is a degree of independence that occurs from the White House. It was not unusual then within the Trump Administration for the FAA to have had Daniel Elwell serving as an acting administrator. Elwell prior to his time as deputy administrator had served during the Bush administration from 2006 to 2008 in the FAA, had served as industry lobbyist for Airlines for America (A4A), and then as an advisor to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. At the time of the Lion Air accident, it had been almost 10 months since Michael Huerta's term as FAA administrator had expired on January 6, 2018. At the time of the Ethiopia Airlines accident, it had been 14 months since Huerta's term had expired. Remember also that the FAA administrator's term is for 5 years, which is intended to make the position more stable and less political. It is no means a stretch to conclude that the situation at the FAA was directly as the White House wanted with a political operative being at the helm.

Let's not also forget that three Trump executives died in a 1989 helicopter accident due to a scratch originating in the helicopter blade when adhesive flashing from the cure was incorrectly removed. Trump had a personal interest in aviation accidents.

We also know that Trump personally took credit for negotiations with Dennis Muilenburg on the price and delivery for Air Force One, as follows:
“He wants to fly on that new plane,” a person familiar with the meeting said. For months, the President has been fixated on a new plane and has repeatedly told his aides that he wants the plane to be completed for his second term. It’s an open question whether that can happen – given a lengthy Air Force testing time."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/27/politics/boeing-air-force-one-donald-trump/index.html

And we know that Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman is a close confidant of Trump, having donated $3 million to the campaign. David Calhoun at the time of both accidents was Blackstone's CEO. Furthermore, Boeing as of February 26, 2019, days before the Ethiopian airlines accident had named Nikki Haley to the Boeing Board of Directors, which is an obvious means to gain political favor as she preps for a certain White House bid.

Let's not forget either that the media reported this as President Trump grounding the 737Max [1] when past events, like the 787 battery, the media had reported that the FAA had grounded the airplane [2].

So yeah, Muilenburg called Trump because that is the way Trump operates. Trump gets in the details that he shouldn't. He politicizes agencies. His interactions are always transactional in what he can get out of it. It is sleezy in my view and bad government.

That being said I just don't see how such insider politics would affect the FAA's day to day work after the Lion Air accident. The people responsible for the technical work should be beyond the reach of politicians.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 152157002/
[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... g/1837943/

TL;dr. You basically agree that Boeing demonstrated lack of engineering qualifications on property; and want to switch it all to political domain to avoid the hot topic, right?
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:05 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
So yeah, Muilenburg called Trump because that is the way Trump operates.

With respect, that doesn't seem to address the question.

NYT reported:

Early Tuesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/201a9/03/12/bus ... g-faa.html

The question is, did he make the call with or without consulting Engineering first?

The article doesn't make it clear, but does say:

The Boeing chief, Mr. Muilenburg, in his conversation with the president reiterated that the plane was safe, outlining the company’s position. He also updated Mr. Trump on the status of the 737 Max models. The call came after the Mr. Trump’s tweets, but was in the works the night before, according to one of the people.

For context, this article was written on March 12 after China had already grounded the MAX and Canada was considering it. FAA grounded the plane on March 13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... groundings gives a list of the groundings.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:05 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
So yeah, Muilenburg called Trump because that is the way Trump operates.

With respect, that doesn't seem to address the question.

NYT reported:

Early Tuesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/201a9/03/12/bus ... g-faa.html

The question is, did he make the call with or without consulting Engineering first?

The article doesn't make it clear, but does say:

The Boeing chief, Mr. Muilenburg, in his conversation with the president reiterated that the plane was safe, outlining the company’s position. He also updated Mr. Trump on the status of the 737 Max models. The call came after the Mr. Trump’s tweets, but was in the works the night before, according to one of the people.

For context, this article was written on March 12 after China had already grounded the MAX and Canada was considering it. FAA grounded the plane on March 13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... groundings gives a list of the groundings.


My take is that Boeing Communications and the Washington DC office knew that they had to get to Trump before he tweeted something really reckless and damaging to the company's reputation. And with Trump, he doesn't understand nuance. The message needs to be short and simple. I have already asserted that since he puts political operatives as agency heads that he really doesn't expect them to actually take responsibility for their agency. He really doesn't trust them. He trusts his friends who he calls on the phone more than he trusts those who report to him. This is consistent with someone who views everything as transactional. They are always looking at the person they are talking to as someone that is only looking out for their own self-interest. Ask yourself what other US President would make public statements while there was an ongoing investigation? The answer is none.

The messaging worked by the way because Trump put out a harmless tweet on March 12, 2019.

Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

....needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/12/18261985/trump-boeing-737-max-8-automation-tweet-debunked

This is not normal folks. But it is all part of the fiasco that Boeing found itself in. An inept White House. A politicized regulator. A company playing favoritism to the Republican Party. Special backdoor relations between the Boeing Board of Directors and the President. Worthy of a Frontline/NYT documentary all by itself.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:39 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
So yeah, Muilenburg called Trump because that is the way Trump operates.

With respect, that doesn't seem to address the question.

NYT reported:

Early Tuesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/201a9/03/12/bus ... g-faa.html

The question is, did he make the call with or without consulting Engineering first?

The article doesn't make it clear, but does say:

The Boeing chief, Mr. Muilenburg, in his conversation with the president reiterated that the plane was safe, outlining the company’s position. He also updated Mr. Trump on the status of the 737 Max models. The call came after the Mr. Trump’s tweets, but was in the works the night before, according to one of the people.

For context, this article was written on March 12 after China had already grounded the MAX and Canada was considering it. FAA grounded the plane on March 13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... groundings gives a list of the groundings.


My take is that Boeing Communications and the Washington DC office knew that they had to get to Trump before he tweeted something really reckless and damaging to the company's reputation. And with Trump, he doesn't understand nuance. The message needs to be short and simple. I have already asserted that since he puts political operatives as agency heads that he really doesn't expect them to actually take responsibility for their agency. He really doesn't trust them. He trusts his friends who he calls on the phone more than he trusts those who report to him. This is consistent with someone who views everything as transactional. They are always looking at the person they are talking to as someone that is only looking out for their own self-interest. Ask yourself what other US President would make public statements while there was an ongoing investigation? The answer is none.

The messaging worked by the way because Trump put out a harmless tweet on March 12, 2019.

Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

....needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/12/18261985/trump-boeing-737-max-8-automation-tweet-debunked

This is not normal folks. But it is all part of the fiasco that Boeing found itself in. An inept White House. A politicized regulator. A company playing favoritism to the Republican Party. Special backdoor relations between the Boeing Board of Directors and the President. Worthy of a Frontline/NYT documentary all by itself.



Still, with the message being simple - why it wasn't "ground the thing ASAP"? Why not bypass Trump and ask FAA for a stop-flight AD?
No, the message was "it is safe".
And, given two lost frames, you can choose between unqualified engineers or willingness to commit mass murder on behalf of Boeing. Benefit of doubt doesn't apply after two crashes AND jackscrew found.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:05 pm

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
With respect, that doesn't seem to address the question.

NYT reported:


Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/201a9/03/12/bus ... g-faa.html

The question is, did he make the call with or without consulting Engineering first?

The article doesn't make it clear, but does say:


For context, this article was written on March 12 after China had already grounded the MAX and Canada was considering it. FAA grounded the plane on March 13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... groundings gives a list of the groundings.


My take is that Boeing Communications and the Washington DC office knew that they had to get to Trump before he tweeted something really reckless and damaging to the company's reputation. And with Trump, he doesn't understand nuance. The message needs to be short and simple. I have already asserted that since he puts political operatives as agency heads that he really doesn't expect them to actually take responsibility for their agency. He really doesn't trust them. He trusts his friends who he calls on the phone more than he trusts those who report to him. This is consistent with someone who views everything as transactional. They are always looking at the person they are talking to as someone that is only looking out for their own self-interest. Ask yourself what other US President would make public statements while there was an ongoing investigation? The answer is none.

The messaging worked by the way because Trump put out a harmless tweet on March 12, 2019.

Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

....needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/12/18261985/trump-boeing-737-max-8-automation-tweet-debunked

This is not normal folks. But it is all part of the fiasco that Boeing found itself in. An inept White House. A politicized regulator. A company playing favoritism to the Republican Party. Special backdoor relations between the Boeing Board of Directors and the President. Worthy of a Frontline/NYT documentary all by itself.



Still, with the message being simple - why it wasn't "ground the thing ASAP"? Why not bypass Trump and ask FAA for a stop-flight AD?
No, the message was "it is safe".
And, given two lost frames, you can choose between unqualified engineers or willingness to commit mass murder on behalf of Boeing. Benefit of doubt doesn't apply after two crashes AND jackscrew found.


The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th, some waited until March 13th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

Your argument doesn't stand up to the facts of the timeline.
Last edited by Pythagoras on Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:13 pm

I think the implication is that Boeing's C-Suite and communications team wanted to get out ahead of events and didn't consult Engineering.

I think this is consistent with other high-level C-Suite high level communications along the lines that the plane is safe, don't worry, yada yada.

Boeing would not need the FAA to step in, all it would have to do is issue a Service Bulletin recommending grounding till things were sorted out and pretty much every airline would do so automatically, and if not their insurers would force them to do so.

Again, clearly someone within Boeing knew MCAS needed to be fixed, they were working on a fix before the 2nd crash that was being tested after the 2nd crash when the "line pilot" showed he could recover the plane and the four-second rule no longer held and MCAS became "catastrophic". Once it became "catastrophic" then bit-flip testing was required which led to the even bigger fix for active-active systems to become required.

So, clearly the C-Suite and the engineers really were not talking, or maybe we are seeing some "plausible deniability" going on so the C-Suite could claim things were safe when clearly others knew a fix was needed. Or it could just be a case where middle level managers didn't want to be the bearers of bad news so the "hive mind" cooked up the story that pilots could still be relied upon to save the day even though they did no actual tests to see if that was the case or not.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:32 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th, some waited until March 13th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

NYT described China's rationale:

Pilots in the rapidly expanding aviation markets of East Asia and in developing countries tend to be much less experienced than their counterparts in the West. Li Jian, the deputy director of China’s Civil Aviation Administration, said the agency — the first to ground the 737 Max after the accident Sunday — worried about the challenges that could face pilots if an aircraft had unexpected difficulties.

The biggest worry involves possibly inaccurate signals from key flight instruments, Mr. Li said on Monday. Many pilots with less experience depend heavily on automatic systems to help them fly planes, and such systems in turn need reliable data.

“We are facing uncertainties about whether pilots have the courage or the capability to fly” if an aircraft has difficulties, Mr. Li said.

“When a pilot is operating manually, if he receives inaccurate signals, which has happened multiple times, it will bring trouble,” Mr. Li said. “As a government supervision department, we should make sure all problem are solved before we allow aircraft to be used.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/busi ... g-faa.html

So I would not say China grounded the plane "speculatively", they had genuine concerns about the similarity of the two accidents and genuine concerns that whatever guidance was issued after the first crash was not enough to guarantee safe flight, and it turns out they were proven right.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:37 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:

My take is that Boeing Communications and the Washington DC office knew that they had to get to Trump before he tweeted something really reckless and damaging to the company's reputation. And with Trump, he doesn't understand nuance. The message needs to be short and simple. I have already asserted that since he puts political operatives as agency heads that he really doesn't expect them to actually take responsibility for their agency. He really doesn't trust them. He trusts his friends who he calls on the phone more than he trusts those who report to him. This is consistent with someone who views everything as transactional. They are always looking at the person they are talking to as someone that is only looking out for their own self-interest. Ask yourself what other US President would make public statements while there was an ongoing investigation? The answer is none.

The messaging worked by the way because Trump put out a harmless tweet on March 12, 2019.


https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/12/18261985/trump-boeing-737-max-8-automation-tweet-debunked

This is not normal folks. But it is all part of the fiasco that Boeing found itself in. An inept White House. A politicized regulator. A company playing favoritism to the Republican Party. Special backdoor relations between the Boeing Board of Directors and the President. Worthy of a Frontline/NYT documentary all by itself.



Still, with the message being simple - why it wasn't "ground the thing ASAP"? Why not bypass Trump and ask FAA for a stop-flight AD?
No, the message was "it is safe".
And, given two lost frames, you can choose between unqualified engineers or willingness to commit mass murder on behalf of Boeing. Benefit of doubt doesn't apply after two crashes AND jackscrew found.


The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

Your argument doesn't stand up to the facts of the timeline.

You may argue that evidence at the time of Muilenburg call was good enough for EU, but Boeing was gambling - and that wording is giving lots of benefit of doubt - and saying "it is safe"
Statistics is another way to look at it besides forensic. Statistically, MAX was with a high probability unsafe at that point
My assumption is that manufacturer, who by definition should know best of their product, should spearhead safety effort - and not reluctantly follow the suit. Safety first a-la Boing at its best - or, well, inability to evaluate the product even after problems started escalating.


As for Japan - you may take into account that Japan didn't have any MAXes at that point if I remember correctly. They could get some flights from Chinese companies - but China acted before then. So groundings by Japan (and Iran for that matter) were pretty much symbolic.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th, some waited until March 13th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

NYT described China's rationale:

Pilots in the rapidly expanding aviation markets of East Asia and in developing countries tend to be much less experienced than their counterparts in the West. Li Jian, the deputy director of China’s Civil Aviation Administration, said the agency — the first to ground the 737 Max after the accident Sunday — worried about the challenges that could face pilots if an aircraft had unexpected difficulties.

The biggest worry involves possibly inaccurate signals from key flight instruments, Mr. Li said on Monday. Many pilots with less experience depend heavily on automatic systems to help them fly planes, and such systems in turn need reliable data.

“We are facing uncertainties about whether pilots have the courage or the capability to fly” if an aircraft has difficulties, Mr. Li said.

“When a pilot is operating manually, if he receives inaccurate signals, which has happened multiple times, it will bring trouble,” Mr. Li said. “As a government supervision department, we should make sure all problem are solved before we allow aircraft to be used.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/busi ... g-faa.html

So I would not say China grounded the plane "speculatively", they had genuine concerns about the similarity of the two accidents and genuine concerns that whatever guidance was issued after the first crash was not enough to guarantee safe flight, and it turns out they were proven right.


Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:20 pm

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:


Still, with the message being simple - why it wasn't "ground the thing ASAP"? Why not bypass Trump and ask FAA for a stop-flight AD?
No, the message was "it is safe".
And, given two lost frames, you can choose between unqualified engineers or willingness to commit mass murder on behalf of Boeing. Benefit of doubt doesn't apply after two crashes AND jackscrew found.


The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

Your argument doesn't stand up to the facts of the timeline.

You may argue that evidence at the time of Muilenburg call was good enough for EU, but Boeing was gambling - and that wording is giving lots of benefit of doubt - and saying "it is safe"
Statistics is another way to look at it besides forensic. Statistically, MAX was with a high probability unsafe at that point
My assumption is that manufacturer, who by definition should know best of their product, should spearhead safety effort - and not reluctantly follow the suit. Safety first a-la Boing at its best - or, well, inability to evaluate the product even after problems started escalating.


As for Japan - you may take into account that Japan didn't have any MAXes at that point if I remember correctly. They could get some flights from Chinese companies - but China acted before then. So groundings by Japan (and Iran for that matter) were pretty much symbolic.


Revelation has been supporting his arguments with some links to substantiate. I am willing to respond to your comments should you provide links to support your statements and analysis and synthesis in support of your statements. It appears that you have a lot of historical knowledge on aviation accidents. In order to engage in constructive dialogue though there needs to be some basis for how these incidents are applicable to the current situation. As it is, I am interpreting your comments as a restatement of the media framed narrative.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:26 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.

As mentioned, Boeing didn't need FAA to ground the plane, one service bulletin or press release recommending grounding would have done the job.

There's no law saying Boeing can't be proactive when it comes to things such as decisions to ground the airplanes they make or evaluate if a pilot really can detect MCAS as runaway stab within 4 seconds.

Personally, ADS-B traces of both accidents that were immediately available showed what we now know of as multiple MCAS activations, surely someone in Boeing could see that if I could, especially if they were already working on a fix to eliminate multiple activations.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:18 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.

As mentioned, Boeing didn't need FAA to ground the plane, one service bulletin or press release recommending grounding would have done the job.

There's no law saying Boeing can't be proactive when it comes to things such as decisions to ground the airplanes they make or evaluate if a pilot really can detect MCAS as runaway stab within 4 seconds.

Personally, ADS-B traces of both accidents that were immediately available showed what we now know of as multiple MCAS activations, surely someone in Boeing could see that if I could, especially if they were already working on a fix to eliminate multiple activations.


I concur that the ADS-B data was a factor in prompting the grounding. As to what the phrase "immediate" means, I would say that your perception of what that entails and someone who actual has to conducts the forensic analysis using that data might differ.

The timeline has Transport Canada receiving the ADS-B data on Tuesday, March 12 and subsequently grounding the airplane in the morning of Wednesday, March 13.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau noted that “It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018.” At the same time, however, Garneau cited “new data” acquired by the agency that showed sufficient similarities in the flight profiles of the two accidents to justify the move.

While Garneau did not name the data supplier PaxEx.Aero confirms that the new information was provided by space-based aircraft tracking service Aireon. The Aireon solution rides along on the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, collecting data from ADS-B out transmitters across the globe. Aireon CEO Don Thoma notes that the company is tracking thousands of aircraft at any time, even as the solution is not yet fully live. The final satellites launched just two months ago and are in the final stages of payload testing. Still, the company collects billions of data points monthly and can quickly respond to requests for such data following incidents such as the ET302 incident.

Transport Canada requested the data from Aireon late Tuesday and it was delivered overnight, allowing for the review this morning and the decision that followed.

https://paxex.aero/aireon-ads-b-data-transport-canada-737-max-grounding/

The same article goes on to report that the FAA received the ADS-B data on Monday, March 11. We do not know what time of the business day that this data was provided. As of Tuesday, March 12 at 3pm, the FAA had not concluded from the data that there might be a causal link. By noon the next day Wednesday, March 13, the FAA had reached the conclusion to ground the airplane. A logical chain of events would have the FAA analyzing the ADS-B data throughout Tuesday March 12 and receiving on-ground reports from accident investigators overnight Wednesday March 13th which provided confirmation.

These are the reported facts. Now as to what is actually happening at the FAA is conjecture by all of us.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:02 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:

The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

Your argument doesn't stand up to the facts of the timeline.

You may argue that evidence at the time of Muilenburg call was good enough for EU, but Boeing was gambling - and that wording is giving lots of benefit of doubt - and saying "it is safe"
Statistics is another way to look at it besides forensic. Statistically, MAX was with a high probability unsafe at that point
My assumption is that manufacturer, who by definition should know best of their product, should spearhead safety effort - and not reluctantly follow the suit. Safety first a-la Boing at its best - or, well, inability to evaluate the product even after problems started escalating.


As for Japan - you may take into account that Japan didn't have any MAXes at that point if I remember correctly. They could get some flights from Chinese companies - but China acted before then. So groundings by Japan (and Iran for that matter) were pretty much symbolic.


Revelation has been supporting his arguments with some links to substantiate. I am willing to respond to your comments should you provide links to support your statements and analysis and synthesis in support of your statements. It appears that you have a lot of historical knowledge on aviation accidents. In order to engage in constructive dialogue though there needs to be some basis for how these incidents are applicable to the current situation. As it is, I am interpreting your comments as a restatement of the media framed narrative.

I am not sure which exact part needs supporting references.
As for ADS-B data, it was posted on this very site on 10 Mar 2019 05:35 EST, 4 minutes after being posted on Twitter and 2 hours after the crash, if I understand things correctly:
https://twitter.com/flightradar24/statu ... 8317362177
I don't see "what time of business day" coming into the question. Wild variations of vertical speed are obvious...
 
Vicenza
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:46 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.


So, you're more concerned with playing with words and needing 'hard evidence' of something before caring about the strong possibility of innocent people losing their lives? That says it all to me, and all I need to know. Pity your 'argument' falls down by you not seeming to realise the fact that Boeing were quite capable of grounding the aircraft on their own without any need for FAA instruction. They chose not to so pretty evident they had no care about serious concerns either. A pity you also didn't mention that Boeing also should have known the capabilities of their aircraft, considering they covered enough of them up from scrutiny.
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:31 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The airplane was grounded only after there was evidence that the accidents might be linked. The time between the accident which occurred on March 10th and the grounding int the United State on March 13th is consistent with the time it takes to conduct basic forensic analysis. Countries that took action on March 11th, notably China and Indonesia, did so speculatively. The majority of EU countries took action to ground on March 12th, some waited until March 13th. Remember too that Canada also grounded the airplane on March 13th. Japan didn't ground until March 14th.

NYT described China's rationale:

Pilots in the rapidly expanding aviation markets of East Asia and in developing countries tend to be much less experienced than their counterparts in the West. Li Jian, the deputy director of China’s Civil Aviation Administration, said the agency — the first to ground the 737 Max after the accident Sunday — worried about the challenges that could face pilots if an aircraft had unexpected difficulties.

The biggest worry involves possibly inaccurate signals from key flight instruments, Mr. Li said on Monday. Many pilots with less experience depend heavily on automatic systems to help them fly planes, and such systems in turn need reliable data.

“We are facing uncertainties about whether pilots have the courage or the capability to fly” if an aircraft has difficulties, Mr. Li said.

“When a pilot is operating manually, if he receives inaccurate signals, which has happened multiple times, it will bring trouble,” Mr. Li said. “As a government supervision department, we should make sure all problem are solved before we allow aircraft to be used.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/busi ... g-faa.html

So I would not say China grounded the plane "speculatively", they had genuine concerns about the similarity of the two accidents and genuine concerns that whatever guidance was issued after the first crash was not enough to guarantee safe flight, and it turns out they were proven right.


Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.
You are really muddying the waters with this type of debate. Boeing is not selling a product that can be flown only by the best of the best pilots, they are selling a jet worldwide that should be flown by pilots of differing capabilities.

To this extent, Captain Dan Carey made this statement

To make the claim that these accidents would not happen to U.S.-trained pilots is presumptuous and not supported by fact. Vilifying non-U.S. pilots is disrespectful and not solution-based, nor is it in line with a sorely needed global safety culture that delivers one standard of safety and training. Simply put, Boeing does not produce aircraft for U.S. pilots vs. pilots from the rest of the world.


Chelsey Sullenberger had this comment to make on the same:

These crashes are demonstrable evidence that our current system of aircraft design and certification has failed us... It is obvious that grave errors were made that have had grave consequences, claiming 346 lives... Accidents are the end result of a causal chain of events, and in the case of the Boeing 737 MAX, the chain began with decisions that had been made years before, to update a half-century-old design. We owe it to everyone who flies, passengers and crews alike, to do much better than to design aircraft with inherent flaws that we intend pilots will have to compensate for and overcome. Pilots must be able to handle an unexpected emergency and still keep their passengers and crew safe, but we should first design aircraft for them to fly that do not have inadvertent traps set for them.

https://transportation.house.gov/committee-activity/boeing-737-max-investigation

The Chinese, after the second accident doubted that the plane was reliable, and they were right. It took a second event for the world to wake up and not pay attention to they guys that couldn't design a plane yet kept singing it was safe. In hindsight, they were thoroughly wise to also not wait for the party that could not certify one that kept singing how they were data driven.

The famed US regulatory framework failed. It failed so bad that they set up a committee consisting of aviation authorities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and UAE and NASA. It was so bad that the house, Senate, the JATR all investigated. Everyone wanted to know how on Earth did this thing ever get certified........the conclusion was it should never have.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:49 pm

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
You may argue that evidence at the time of Muilenburg call was good enough for EU, but Boeing was gambling - and that wording is giving lots of benefit of doubt - and saying "it is safe"
Statistics is another way to look at it besides forensic. Statistically, MAX was with a high probability unsafe at that point
My assumption is that manufacturer, who by definition should know best of their product, should spearhead safety effort - and not reluctantly follow the suit. Safety first a-la Boing at its best - or, well, inability to evaluate the product even after problems started escalating.


As for Japan - you may take into account that Japan didn't have any MAXes at that point if I remember correctly. They could get some flights from Chinese companies - but China acted before then. So groundings by Japan (and Iran for that matter) were pretty much symbolic.


Revelation has been supporting his arguments with some links to substantiate. I am willing to respond to your comments should you provide links to support your statements and analysis and synthesis in support of your statements. It appears that you have a lot of historical knowledge on aviation accidents. In order to engage in constructive dialogue though there needs to be some basis for how these incidents are applicable to the current situation. As it is, I am interpreting your comments as a restatement of the media framed narrative.

I am not sure which exact part needs supporting references.
As for ADS-B data, it was posted on this very site on 10 Mar 2019 05:35 EST, 4 minutes after being posted on Twitter and 2 hours after the crash, if I understand things correctly:
https://twitter.com/flightradar24/statu ... 8317362177
I don't see "what time of business day" coming into the question. Wild variations of vertical speed are obvious...


As I envision the forensic analysis, the data would have been provided to the Flight Controls and Stability and Control engineering staff at the FAA and Boeing. The engineering teams would then conduct simulations to evaluate whether they could replicate the ADS-B traces with an MCAS failure and consider other failure scenarios. That is not a trivial proocess. The wrinkle that makes this accident unusual is that the pilots never touched the throttles, and that opens up other failure modes to consider.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:08 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Concerns about the accidents being linked is not the same as evidence that the accidents are linked. The United States' regulatory and legal framework instills a higher bar of evidence prior to taking action. The Chinese government lacks that framework and thus its administrators would have more leeway to take action.

I will give the Chinese regulators credit for understanding the capability of their pilots. It was something that Ethiopian Airlines should have known.

As mentioned, Boeing didn't need FAA to ground the plane, one service bulletin or press release recommending grounding would have done the job.

There's no law saying Boeing can't be proactive when it comes to things such as decisions to ground the airplanes they make or evaluate if a pilot really can detect MCAS as runaway stab within 4 seconds.

Personally, ADS-B traces of both accidents that were immediately available showed what we now know of as multiple MCAS activations, surely someone in Boeing could see that if I could, especially if they were already working on a fix to eliminate multiple activations.


I concur that the ADS-B data was a factor in prompting the grounding. As to what the phrase "immediate" means, I would say that your perception of what that entails and someone who actual has to conducts the forensic analysis using that data might differ.

The timeline has Transport Canada receiving the ADS-B data on Tuesday, March 12 and subsequently grounding the airplane in the morning of Wednesday, March 13.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau noted that “It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018.” At the same time, however, Garneau cited “new data” acquired by the agency that showed sufficient similarities in the flight profiles of the two accidents to justify the move.

While Garneau did not name the data supplier PaxEx.Aero confirms that the new information was provided by space-based aircraft tracking service Aireon. The Aireon solution rides along on the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, collecting data from ADS-B out transmitters across the globe. Aireon CEO Don Thoma notes that the company is tracking thousands of aircraft at any time, even as the solution is not yet fully live. The final satellites launched just two months ago and are in the final stages of payload testing. Still, the company collects billions of data points monthly and can quickly respond to requests for such data following incidents such as the ET302 incident.

Transport Canada requested the data from Aireon late Tuesday and it was delivered overnight, allowing for the review this morning and the decision that followed.

https://paxex.aero/aireon-ads-b-data-transport-canada-737-max-grounding/

The same article goes on to report that the FAA received the ADS-B data on Monday, March 11. We do not know what time of the business day that this data was provided. As of Tuesday, March 12 at 3pm, the FAA had not concluded from the data that there might be a causal link. By noon the next day Wednesday, March 13, the FAA had reached the conclusion to ground the airplane. A logical chain of events would have the FAA analyzing the ADS-B data throughout Tuesday March 12 and receiving on-ground reports from accident investigators overnight Wednesday March 13th which provided confirmation.

These are the reported facts. Now as to what is actually happening at the FAA is conjecture by all of us.


The cynical side of me has the FAA ready to ground the airplane on Tuesday March 12, but the Trump White House wants to control the messaging. So they defer taking action until the next day so that Trump can take the credit. A news release at 12 noon on Wednesday March 13 certainly fits this pattern because it is timed to support the nightly broadcast. Entirely conjecture though, but consistent with past actions. As I said before, it is not normal for the President to place himself in the middle of an accident investigation.

I am still leaning to theory that the FAA waited until they had data from the accident scene as to where the stab trim was set before grounding the airplane.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Topic Author
Posts: 26981
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:39 pm

kalvado wrote:
As for ADS-B data, it was posted on this very site on 10 Mar 2019 05:35 EST, 4 minutes after being posted on Twitter and 2 hours after the crash, if I understand things correctly:
https://twitter.com/flightradar24/statu ... 8317362177
I don't see "what time of business day" coming into the question. Wild variations of vertical speed are obvious...

Yes, this is what I was referring to. ADS-B data is transmitted unencrypted, sites like FR24 had the data online within two hours of the accident. Presumably someone in Boeing has the FR24 app and/or subscribes to their Twitter channel, one would think they would have sent a 'heads up' signal that very day to warn senior management that they were on shaky ground.

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
As for ADS-B data, it was posted on this very site on 10 Mar 2019 05:35 EST, 4 minutes after being posted on Twitter and 2 hours after the crash, if I understand things correctly:
https://twitter.com/flightradar24/statu ... 8317362177
I don't see "what time of business day" coming into the question. Wild variations of vertical speed are obvious...

As I envision the forensic analysis, the data would have been provided to the Flight Controls and Stability and Control engineering staff at the FAA and Boeing. The engineering teams would then conduct simulations to evaluate whether they could replicate the ADS-B traces with an MCAS failure and consider other failure scenarios. That is not a trivial proocess. The wrinkle that makes this accident unusual is that the pilots never touched the throttles, and that opens up other failure modes to consider.

Sure, for the final conclusion it's a non-trivial process, but clearly someone internally should have told the CEO "Before you call Trump, you should know there's a strong correlation with what we're seeing from the ADS-B data from Ethiopia to what we saw in Indonesia. This isn't 1969 any more, things move at Internet speed now. I'm sure whomever was working on the MCAS fixes could have took one look at the ADS-B data and been very confident that the common element was multiple activations from MCAS.

Pythagoras wrote:
I am still leaning to theory that the FAA waited until they had data from the accident scene as to where the stab trim was set before grounding the airplane.

The end result is they grounded the plane a day after a long list of countries ( ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... groundings ) and two days after China, so FAA looks like they were protecting Boeing, and Boeing looks like they don't understand how their own product works, or in this case, fails in a catastrophic way.
 
User avatar
Pythagoras
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:33 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:31 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
As for ADS-B data, it was posted on this very site on 10 Mar 2019 05:35 EST, 4 minutes after being posted on Twitter and 2 hours after the crash, if I understand things correctly:
https://twitter.com/flightradar24/statu ... 8317362177
I don't see "what time of business day" coming into the question. Wild variations of vertical speed are obvious...

As I envision the forensic analysis, the data would have been provided to the Flight Controls and Stability and Control engineering staff at the FAA and Boeing. The engineering teams would then conduct simulations to evaluate whether they could replicate the ADS-B traces with an MCAS failure and consider other failure scenarios. That is not a trivial proocess. The wrinkle that makes this accident unusual is that the pilots never touched the throttles, and that opens up other failure modes to consider.

Sure, for the final conclusion it's a non-trivial process, but clearly someone internally should have told the CEO "Before you call Trump, you should know there's a strong correlation with what we're seeing from the ADS-B data from Ethiopia to what we saw in Indonesia. This isn't 1969 any more, things move at Internet speed now. I'm sure whomever was working on the MCAS fixes could have took one look at the ADS-B data and been very confident that the common element was multiple activations from MCAS.


All of this is just hearsay and speculation. Muilenburg certainly knew much more than what he decided to tell Trump. Remember this behavior is all highly unusual. Why is a CEO calling the President of the United States during an on-going accident investigation when the FAA is the responsible government entity to be communicating with and to be making any public statement?

Remember as well that both Boeing and the FAA are bureaucratic organizations and decisions must be reviewed and vetted by appropriate layers of management. It isn't quite as easy as you believe for the engineering team reach a conclusion and then have the organizations instantaneously act upon that recommendation.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3381
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:58 am

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
As I envision the forensic analysis, the data would have been provided to the Flight Controls and Stability and Control engineering staff at the FAA and Boeing. The engineering teams would then conduct simulations to evaluate whether they could replicate the ADS-B traces with an MCAS failure and consider other failure scenarios. That is not a trivial proocess. The wrinkle that makes this accident unusual is that the pilots never touched the throttles, and that opens up other failure modes to consider.

Sure, for the final conclusion it's a non-trivial process, but clearly someone internally should have told the CEO "Before you call Trump, you should know there's a strong correlation with what we're seeing from the ADS-B data from Ethiopia to what we saw in Indonesia. This isn't 1969 any more, things move at Internet speed now. I'm sure whomever was working on the MCAS fixes could have took one look at the ADS-B data and been very confident that the common element was multiple activations from MCAS.


All of this is just hearsay and speculation. Muilenburg certainly knew much more than what he decided to tell Trump. Remember this behavior is all highly unusual. Why is a CEO calling the President of the United States during an on-going accident investigation when the FAA is the responsible government entity to be communicating with and to be making any public statement?

Remember as well that both Boeing and the FAA are bureaucratic organizations and decisions must be reviewed and vetted by appropriate layers of management. It isn't quite as easy as you believe for the engineering team reach a conclusion and then have the organizations instantaneously act upon that recommendation.

This is all hearsay and speculation.
Hard facts: bureaucratic agencies all over the world came to certain conclusions, apparently seeing enough evidence and data. Meanwhile someone in position to know better than anyone else in the world claims safety, only to be proven disasterously out of touch with reality.
 
oldJoe
Posts: 686
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:04 pm

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:09 am

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:

Sure, for the final conclusion it's a non-trivial process, but clearly someone internally should have told the CEO "Before you call Trump, you should know there's a strong correlation with what we're seeing from the ADS-B data from Ethiopia to what we saw in Indonesia. This isn't 1969 any more, things move at Internet speed now. I'm sure whomever was working on the MCAS fixes could have took one look at the ADS-B data and been very confident that the common element was multiple activations from MCAS.


All of this is just hearsay and speculation. Muilenburg certainly knew much more than what he decided to tell Trump. Remember this behavior is all highly unusual. Why is a CEO calling the President of the United States during an on-going accident investigation when the FAA is the responsible government entity to be communicating with and to be making any public statement?

Remember as well that both Boeing and the FAA are bureaucratic organizations and decisions must be reviewed and vetted by appropriate layers of management. It isn't quite as easy as you believe for the engineering team reach a conclusion and then have the organizations instantaneously act upon that recommendation.

This is all hearsay and speculation.
Hard facts: bureaucratic agencies all over the world came to certain conclusions, apparently seeing enough evil and data. Meanwhile someone in position to know better than anyone else in the world claims safety, only to be proven disasterously out of touch with reality.


I actually wanted to stay out of this discussion as I did at Max grounding, but your contribution hits the nail on the head! Thanks :checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:
 
Gremlinzzzz
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:28 am

Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:02 am

kalvado wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:

Sure, for the final conclusion it's a non-trivial process, but clearly someone internally should have told the CEO "Before you call Trump, you should know there's a strong correlation with what we're seeing from the ADS-B data from Ethiopia to what we saw in Indonesia. This isn't 1969 any more, things move at Internet speed now. I'm sure whomever was working on the MCAS fixes could have took one look at the ADS-B data and been very confident that the common element was multiple activations from MCAS.


All of this is just hearsay and speculation. Muilenburg certainly knew much more than what he decided to tell Trump. Remember this behavior is all highly unusual. Why is a CEO calling the President of the United States during an on-going accident investigation when the FAA is the responsible government entity to be communicating with and to be making any public statement?

Remember as well that both Boeing and the FAA are bureaucratic organizations and decisions must be reviewed and vetted by appropriate layers of management. It isn't quite as easy as you believe for the engineering team reach a conclusion and then have the organizations instantaneously act upon that recommendation.

This is all hearsay and speculation.
Hard facts: bureaucratic agencies all over the world came to certain conclusions, apparently seeing enough evidence and data. Meanwhile someone in position to know better than anyone else in the world claims safety, only to be proven disasterously out of touch with reality.


This was an excellent article by The Air Current. https://theaircurrent.com/historical-context/searching-for-40-year-old-lessons-for-boeing-in-the-grounding-of-the-dc-10/

The last two paragraphs though capture how this was so similar to what happened 40 years earlier.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 8

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos