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sxf24
Posts: 1480
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
spinotter wrote:
Interesting! I don't see how it would be possible to convict the chief test pilot and leave all his supervisors and upper management free of any consequences, as if the test pilot concocted the strategy and put it into execution on his own, without anyone else knowing, but that seems to be how these things often work.

I guess we'll find out more based on how these charges proceed. If it ends in a plea bargain, he apparently doesn't have any evidence he can use against anyone else further up the ladder from him. If it goes to trial, I think we'll hear more about others who may have shaped his thoughts and actions.


If evidence exists against others, it would have come out during the investigation or grand jury process. Withholding evidence to use in a defense is a good way to loose and receive other consequences.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:06 pm

sxf24 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I guess we'll find out more based on how these charges proceed. If it ends in a plea bargain, he apparently doesn't have any evidence he can use against anyone else further up the ladder from him. If it goes to trial, I think we'll hear more about others who may have shaped his thoughts and actions.

If evidence exists against others, it would have come out during the investigation or grand jury process. Withholding evidence to use in a defense is a good way to loose and receive other consequences.

I'm a bit confused. We don't have to incriminate ourselves under the US legal system.

Also:

Forkner, who left before the two deadly crashes, refused to cooperate with Boeing and prosecutors during the investigation.

Ref: https://www.travelmole.com/news_feature ... id=2048608

Now that he's been personally indicted, his strategy might change.
 
oldJoe
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:35 pm

Revelation wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I guess we'll find out more based on how these charges proceed. If it ends in a plea bargain, he apparently doesn't have any evidence he can use against anyone else further up the ladder from him. If it goes to trial, I think we'll hear more about others who may have shaped his thoughts and actions.

If evidence exists against others, it would have come out during the investigation or grand jury process. Withholding evidence to use in a defense is a good way to loose and receive other consequences.

I'm a bit confused. We don't have to incriminate ourselves under the US legal system.

Also:

Forkner, who left before the two deadly crashes, refused to cooperate with Boeing and prosecutors during the investigation.

Ref: https://www.travelmole.com/news_feature ... id=2048608

Now that he's been personally indicted, his strategy might change.


I don't know how it is in the USA, but in my country the prosecutor is making such high charges to bring him to court and then to boil him soft so that he understands what punishment awaits him. This does not always lead to the desired result, but often.
Forkner was just a small link in a huge chain with larger links and whoever thinks that the smaller link is solely responsible for this disaster denies the truth in my opinion
 
sphealey
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:39 pm

sxf24 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
spinotter wrote:
Interesting! I don't see how it would be possible to convict the chief test pilot and leave all his supervisors and upper management free of any consequences, as if the test pilot concocted the strategy and put it into execution on his own, without anyone else knowing, but that seems to be how these things often work.

I guess we'll find out more based on how these charges proceed. If it ends in a plea bargain, he apparently doesn't have any evidence he can use against anyone else further up the ladder from him. If it goes to trial, I think we'll hear more about others who may have shaped his thoughts and actions.


If evidence exists against others, it would have come out during the investigation or grand jury process. Withholding evidence to use in a defense is a good way to loose and receive other consequences.

That's the theory in the US. In practice it requires clear and irrefutable evidence of withholding of critical documents for a judge to take any action on behalf of the defendent. And that action is usually an order that the prosecution turn over exactly that one document, that they double-extra promise not to do it again, but if they break that promise 200 or 300 more times the judge might consider a motion for sanctions.
 
sxf24
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:37 pm

sphealey wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I guess we'll find out more based on how these charges proceed. If it ends in a plea bargain, he apparently doesn't have any evidence he can use against anyone else further up the ladder from him. If it goes to trial, I think we'll hear more about others who may have shaped his thoughts and actions.


If evidence exists against others, it would have come out during the investigation or grand jury process. Withholding evidence to use in a defense is a good way to loose and receive other consequences.

That's the theory in the US. In practice it requires clear and irrefutable evidence of withholding of critical documents for a judge to take any action on behalf of the defendent. And that action is usually an order that the prosecution turn over exactly that one document, that they double-extra promise not to do it again, but if they break that promise 200 or 300 more times the judge might consider a motion for sanctions.


Considering the DOJ investigated Boeing, followed by a grand jury, it seems unlikely that the strategy is to squeeze and then flip one party to get to others.

I know it’s appealing and exciting, but looking at the fact pattern is important.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:56 pm

oldJoe wrote:
I don't know how it is in the USA, but in my country the prosecutor is making such high charges to bring him to court and then to boil him soft so that he understands what punishment awaits him. This does not always lead to the desired result, but often.

It's pretty clear given my earlier post about Forkner not cooperating with Boeing or the various investigations that he has been getting good legal advice. In the US we do not have to incriminate ourselves. Very often people unfortunately get convicted on evidence they themselves provided to the prosecution due to poor or no legal advice. A good lawyer would say fine, let the prosecutor make what charges they are going to make, we'll get a good idea of what they know or what they suspect they know. Then we'll know exactly what we're working against.

I'm not saying it's looking good for Forkner (there are those pesky text messages to deal with) but at least it seems to me (who is not a lawyer) at least he's getting decent legal advice.

oldJoe wrote:
Forkner was just a small link in a huge chain with larger links and whoever thinks that the smaller link is solely responsible for this disaster denies the truth in my opinion

I'm glad you wrote "in my opinion", because "in my opinion" none of us knows for sure exactly why Forkner pushed so hard to work to keep MCAS under wraps and to talk customers out of providing sim time for their pilots. I know I have my suspicions, but that's all they are, and unless he's willing to "spill the beans" then we'll probably be left with our suspicions for all time.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:07 pm

sxf24 wrote:

Considering the DOJ investigated Boeing, followed by a grand jury, it seems unlikely that the strategy is to squeeze and then flip one party to get to others.

I know it’s appealing and exciting, but looking at the fact pattern is important.


The Deferred Prosecution Agreement has been signed. About $200 Million the government feels it was made whole.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/criminal-indictment-imminent-for-former-boeing-737-max-chief-technical-pilot-report-says/#:~:text=Seattle%20Times%20aerospace%20reporter%20Federal%20prosecutors%20plan%20to,737%20MAX%2C%20the%20Wall%20Street%20Journal%20reported%20Friday.

The case was brought by the then U.S. Attorney in the northern district of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox.

Cox left the Department of Justice after the agreement and in June joined Kirkland & Ellis, Boeing’s lead corporate criminal defense law firm. On Kirkland’s website, she was welcomed to the firm as a partner by Mark Filip, who had signed the Deferred Prosecution Agreement on behalf of Boeing.


No, it looks even worse. Forkner is going to be the sacrificial lamb. The lawyers have spoken...
Last edited by FlapOperator on Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Revelation
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Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:08 pm

FLYBY72 wrote:
Who is on the other end of the lever? He hasn’t worked for Boeing since 2018 and the DOJ found no evidence executives pressuring him to do what he did. They were very specific about that in the report.
The department ultimately determined that an independent compliance monitor was unnecessary based on the following factors, among others: (i) the misconduct was neither pervasive across the organization, nor undertaken by a large number of employees, nor facilitated by senior management; (ii) although two of Boeing’s 737 MAX Flight Technical Pilots deceived the FAA AEG about MCAS by way of misleading statements, half-truths, and omissions, others in Boeing disclosed MCAS’s expanded operational scope to different FAA personnel who were responsible for determining whether the 737 MAX met U.S. federal airworthiness standards; (iii) the state of Boeing’s remedial improvements to its compliance program and internal controls; and (iv) Boeing’s agreement to enhanced compliance program reporting requirements, as described above.

Given these words were constructed by lawyers, I don't find them to be very specific. Like I said, I'm not a lawyer, but I've been in rooms with them before, and they chose each and every word with a lot of care.

They said "nor undertaken by a large number of employees", they could have said "not undertaken by more than two employees", now that would be very specific.

They said "nor facilitated by senior management", but how do you define "senior management"? Boeing Corporate? Boeing Commercial Airplanes? The executive in charge at the 737 program level? The next rung below that person?

In my opinion, this still leaves room for Forkner to point fingers at one or more of his immediate supervisors. I have no idea if he has a basis for doing so, but IMO the DoJ statement above doesn't rule that out as being a possibility.
 
LDRA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, test pilot indicted.

Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:58 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

Considering the DOJ investigated Boeing, followed by a grand jury, it seems unlikely that the strategy is to squeeze and then flip one party to get to others.

I know it’s appealing and exciting, but looking at the fact pattern is important.


The Deferred Prosecution Agreement has been signed. About $200 Million the government feels it was made whole.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/criminal-indictment-imminent-for-former-boeing-737-max-chief-technical-pilot-report-says/#:~:text=Seattle%20Times%20aerospace%20reporter%20Federal%20prosecutors%20plan%20to,737%20MAX%2C%20the%20Wall%20Street%20Journal%20reported%20Friday.

The case was brought by the then U.S. Attorney in the northern district of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox.

Cox left the Department of Justice after the agreement and in June joined Kirkland & Ellis, Boeing’s lead corporate criminal defense law firm. On Kirkland’s website, she was welcomed to the firm as a partner by Mark Filip, who had signed the Deferred Prosecution Agreement on behalf of Boeing.


No, it looks even worse. Forkner is going to be the sacrificial lamb. The lawyers have spoken...


Wow

Boeing is going to suffer from this action long term. I would not be surprised if working level people, people who make technical decisions, are going to be consulting their personal lawyers before making any design decisions... Going forward noone will want to be responsible. They now know Boeing willl spend heavy corporate resources to ensure they're scapegoated
 
Cdydatzigs
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Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:24 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
As I said before, it is not normal for the President to place himself in the middle of an accident investigation.


For a normal president who follows normal protocol and procedure, sure. But all bets were off from 2017-2021.
 
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seahawk
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Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:16 am

Revelation wrote:
FLYBY72 wrote:
Who is on the other end of the lever? He hasn’t worked for Boeing since 2018 and the DOJ found no evidence executives pressuring him to do what he did. They were very specific about that in the report.
The department ultimately determined that an independent compliance monitor was unnecessary based on the following factors, among others: (i) the misconduct was neither pervasive across the organization, nor undertaken by a large number of employees, nor facilitated by senior management; (ii) although two of Boeing’s 737 MAX Flight Technical Pilots deceived the FAA AEG about MCAS by way of misleading statements, half-truths, and omissions, others in Boeing disclosed MCAS’s expanded operational scope to different FAA personnel who were responsible for determining whether the 737 MAX met U.S. federal airworthiness standards; (iii) the state of Boeing’s remedial improvements to its compliance program and internal controls; and (iv) Boeing’s agreement to enhanced compliance program reporting requirements, as described above.

Given these words were constructed by lawyers, I don't find them to be very specific. Like I said, I'm not a lawyer, but I've been in rooms with them before, and they chose each and every word with a lot of care.

They said "nor undertaken by a large number of employees", they could have said "not undertaken by more than two employees", now that would be very specific.

They said "nor facilitated by senior management", but how do you define "senior management"? Boeing Corporate? Boeing Commercial Airplanes? The executive in charge at the 737 program level? The next rung below that person?

In my opinion, this still leaves room for Forkner to point fingers at one or more of his immediate supervisors. I have no idea if he has a basis for doing so, but IMO the DoJ statement above doesn't rule that out as being a possibility.


And they mean senior management as a group, which does not mean that single members could not be involved.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:32 pm

The charges in the indictment state that fraud (two counts) occurred when Forkner transmitted the 737Max FSB Report on July 7, 2017 to two airlines located in the Northern District of Texas, which occurred after he requested removal of mention of MCAS knowing that the flight envelope had been expanded. Effectively these two charges would reflect the complaints stated by pilots that they were never told that MCAS existed. The charges essentially place the entire blame for this on Forkner.

30. On or about January 17, 2017, FORKNER again proposed that the FAA AEG
delete any reference to MCAS from the forthcoming 737 MAX FSB Report. FORKNER
wrote, "[d]elete MCAS, recall we decided we weren't going to cover it[ ... ] since it's way
outside the normal operating envelope." Again, this representation was materially false
because FORKNER knew that the FAA AEG had "decided [they] weren't going to cover"
MCAS based on outdated and incorrect information that MCAS was designed to operate
during high-speed, wind-up turns. At the same time that he proposed that the FAA AEG
delete MCAS from the 737 MAX FSB Report, FORKNER again withheld the true,
accurate, and complete information about MCAS's low-speed expansion froni the FAA
AEG.


There are also charges of interstate wire fraud (four counts) based upon correspondence by Forkner to these two airlines between August 28, 2017 and June 19, 2018. To commit wire fraud, the action must be shown (language taken from the indictment):
"...to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises,..."


Two questions come to mind:
1) Can Forkner be held criminally accountable if the 737Max Program never formally communicated the expanded MCAS flight envelope to the Tech Pilots? The fact that Forkner only found out about the existence of the expanded envelope of MCAS by accident may be a way to support the argument that the 737Max Program was negligent in how it managed airplane configuration and certification.
2) Is it possible to charge Forkner with fraud when he personally did not benefit materially from the false statements?

I will return to my original premise that the 737Max accidents were the result of loss-of-configuration control by the 737Max Program office. Determination of safety should not be based upon happenstance and luck. And yet this is what happens when Forkner stumbles upon the expanded flight envelope during his simulator sessions. It is an indication that configuration changes were made without proper coordination. It does not seem entirely fair that Forkner is the sole individual to be held accountable when it appears that he was kept uninformed by the changes to MCAS.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:49 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Two questions come to mind:
1) Can Forkner be held criminally accountable if the 737Max Program never formally communicated the expanded MCAS flight envelope to the Tech Pilots? The fact that Forkner only found out about the existence of the expanded envelope of MCAS by accident may be a way to support the argument that the 737Max Program was negligent in how it managed airplane configuration and certification.
2) Is it possible to charge Forkner with fraud when he personally did not benefit materially from the false statements?

I will return to my original premise that the 737Max accidents were the result of loss-of-configuration control by the 737Max Program office. Determination of safety should not be based upon happenstance and luck. And yet this is what happens when Forkner stumbles upon the expanded flight envelope during his simulator sessions. It is an indication that configuration changes were made without proper coordination. It does not seem entirely fair that Forkner is the sole individual to be held accountable when it appears that he was kept uninformed by the changes to MCAS.

Thanks for the details on the charges. Yes, they seem unfair. As above, they seem to be designed to get him to implicate others.

I don't think the formal communications aspect matters. Unfortunately for Forkner they have the text where he admits to Gustaffson that he (accidentally) lied to the FAA. It'll be interesting to see how his defense tries to work their way around that.
 
11C
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:13 pm

I know we are well into legal minutiae at this point, but if you take a step back and look at the whole picture, it seems inconceivable that Boeing can duck accountability at the highest levels for something as egregious as this. Aren’t the executive level people compensated at such absurd levels because they are accountable? Recent experience seems to indicate that they really are not accountable at all. This sort of system will continue to create bad outcomes.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:38 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
I will return to my original premise that the 737Max accidents were the result of loss-of-configuration control by the 737Max Program office. Determination of safety should not be based upon happenstance and luck. And yet this is what happens when Forkner stumbles upon the expanded flight envelope during his simulator sessions. It is an indication that configuration changes were made without proper coordination. It does not seem entirely fair that Forkner is the sole individual to be held accountable when it appears that he was kept uninformed by the changes to MCAS.


I think its completely unfair as well, especially since the FAA was allowing Boeing to functionally stand in loco parentis to what to a educated layman could be reasonable regulatory oversight.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:39 pm

Revelation wrote:

I don't think the formal communications aspect matters. Unfortunately for Forkner they have the text where he admits to Gustaffson that he (accidentally) lied to the FAA. It'll be interesting to see how his defense tries to work their way around that.


It will be interesting to see if a jury sees that text as rising to the level of criminal fraud.
 
ubeema
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:29 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Two questions come to mind:
1) Can Forkner be held criminally accountable if the 737Max Program never formally communicated the expanded MCAS flight envelope to the Tech Pilots? The fact that Forkner only found out about the existence of the expanded envelope of MCAS by accident may be a way to support the argument that the 737Max Program was negligent in how it managed airplane configuration and certification.
2) Is it possible to charge Forkner with fraud when he personally did not benefit materially from the false statements?

Thanks for simplifying and clarifying the charges in layman’s terms. I would add a third questions to your points:
3) Can Forkner defense demonstrate Boeing Commercial directly benefited from the actions of Forkner. If I recall correctly omission of MCAS had the direct effect of preventing training requirements for pilots thus reducing acquisition costs for airlines?
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:59 pm

ubeema wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Two questions come to mind:
1) Can Forkner be held criminally accountable if the 737Max Program never formally communicated the expanded MCAS flight envelope to the Tech Pilots? The fact that Forkner only found out about the existence of the expanded envelope of MCAS by accident may be a way to support the argument that the 737Max Program was negligent in how it managed airplane configuration and certification.
2) Is it possible to charge Forkner with fraud when he personally did not benefit materially from the false statements?

Thanks for simplifying and clarifying the charges in layman’s terms. I would add a third questions to your points:
3) Can Forkner defense demonstrate Boeing Commercial directly benefited from the actions of Forkner. If I recall correctly omission of MCAS had the direct effect of preventing training requirements for pilots thus reducing acquisition costs for airlines?


We don't know whether omission of MCAS had any direct or substantial effects on pilot training requirements. That is a supposition that has not been thoroughly discussed in my opinion.

I have thought about this exact issue because I think it is germane to Forkner's actions with regards to how he responds to the accidental finding of MCAS operating in the low speed regime in November 2016. Forkner has already discussed operation of MCAS with FAA at high speed and has confirmed with the FAA that the behavior of MCAS is sufficiently benign that it does not require special training in the simulator. In fact, the behavior is so benign that the FAA agrees that it does not even need to inform pilots of the existence of this function. So when MCAS is introduced in the low speed regime, Forkner may have made the assumption that this logic would also apply here as well. In other words, the only difference between a 737NG and a 737Max would be that the stab trim wheel will rotate under a stall condition. Pilot action doesn't change due to the presence of MCAS. And if pilot action doesn't change, it doesn't materially affect the pilot training requirements. Note that these assumptions would apply to normal operations.

For the non-normal operations, Forkner has not been told of any special training requirements. As others have mentioned, individuals who operated outside of the 737Max engineering Flight Controls organization thought that the system was redundant in which case there would have been no additional pilot training. Or perhaps Forkner did discuss the non-normal procedures with Flight Controls who told him that the existing runaway stab trim procedure already covered the change, which would also mean that there was no additional training. And also consider how Forkner would have responded if he knew that Flight Controls had already coordinated the change with the FAA.
 
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keesje
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:31 pm

I see a worrying development of settlements solving criminal, regulatory, strategic, legal irregularities.

Worrying, because usually settlements are a win-win. Victims need to get on with their lives and use the financial compensation to invest in their future.

The defendants, often large companies, write off the settlement deal in their multi billion yearly budgets to resolve and avoid a (public) convictions.

The risk is breaking the law becomes a calculated, financial risk. If you're a big company, your above the law, you can $ettle. Even with the government, who loves your jobs.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/n ... 596977.htm

What's the incentive to stop breaking the law, improve, change if you budget a few hundred million a year for evolving settlements?

It seems hard to avoid, because as I said, often victims are better helped with a good settlement than a convicted offender too...

Justice & accountability for sale?
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:02 pm

keesje wrote:
What's the incentive to stop breaking the law, improve, change if you budget a few hundred million a year for evolving settlements?

It seems hard to avoid, because as I said, often victims are better helped with a good settlement than a convicted offender too...

Justice & accountability for sale?

It's a good question.

Here in the US, doctors routinely carry medical malpractice insurance, it's just accepted that "problems" will arise and will have to be dealt with. At the end of the day if the doctor causes enough "problems" the insurer will drop coverage then the doctor has the difficult challenge of convincing the next insurer that he/she is worthy of coverage.

Corporate spending to cover settlements is in essence self-insurance and I presume the internal penalty for needing this too often would be career damage if not career destruction. Of course, figuring out who to blame can lead to in-house political witch hunts. Some people have amazing survival skills and/or coverage from above. Corporate politics is not for the weak of heart.
 
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par13del
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:16 am

keesje wrote:
I see a worrying development of settlements solving criminal, regulatory, strategic, legal irregularities.

Worrying, because usually settlements are a win-win. Victims need to get on with their lives and use the financial compensation to invest in their future.

The defendants, often large companies, write off the settlement deal in their multi billion yearly budgets to resolve and avoid a (public) convictions.

The risk is breaking the law becomes a calculated, financial risk. If you're a big company, your above the law, you can $ettle. Even with the government, who loves your jobs.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/n ... 596977.htm

What's the incentive to stop breaking the law, improve, change if you budget a few hundred million a year for evolving settlements?

It seems hard to avoid, because as I said, often victims are better helped with a good settlement than a convicted offender too...

Justice & accountability for sale?

You talking about civil settlements only or suggesting that criminal charges can be dropped if settlements are reached with the victims?
Prosecutions for criminal offenses can end in a financial settlement to victims but that is usually done when the criminal case is weak on being convincing to the jury and both sides agree.
In the case of the MAX debacle, not much is hidden, Boeing has not gotten off, unless you fall in the camp that the only valid penalty is liquidation of Boeing.
 
dstblj52
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:00 am

par13del wrote:
keesje wrote:
I see a worrying development of settlements solving criminal, regulatory, strategic, legal irregularities.

Worrying, because usually settlements are a win-win. Victims need to get on with their lives and use the financial compensation to invest in their future.

The defendants, often large companies, write off the settlement deal in their multi billion yearly budgets to resolve and avoid a (public) convictions.

The risk is breaking the law becomes a calculated, financial risk. If you're a big company, your above the law, you can $ettle. Even with the government, who loves your jobs.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/n ... 596977.htm

What's the incentive to stop breaking the law, improve, change if you budget a few hundred million a year for evolving settlements?

It seems hard to avoid, because as I said, often victims are better helped with a good settlement than a convicted offender too...

Justice & accountability for sale?

You talking about civil settlements only or suggesting that criminal charges can be dropped if settlements are reached with the victims?
Prosecutions for criminal offenses can end in a financial settlement to victims but that is usually done when the criminal case is weak on being convincing to the jury and both sides agree.
In the case of the MAX debacle, not much is hidden, Boeing has not gotten off, unless you fall in the camp that the only valid penalty is liquidation of Boeing.

I mean they basically have the entire leadership team should have be dismissed and sent to jail, they should have lost the right to do any self certifying of anything, and had to disclose anything else they had ever failed to report ever and face penalties for that
 
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par13del
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:00 pm

dstblj52 wrote:
par13del wrote:
keesje wrote:
I see a worrying development of settlements solving criminal, regulatory, strategic, legal irregularities.

Worrying, because usually settlements are a win-win. Victims need to get on with their lives and use the financial compensation to invest in their future.

The defendants, often large companies, write off the settlement deal in their multi billion yearly budgets to resolve and avoid a (public) convictions.

The risk is breaking the law becomes a calculated, financial risk. If you're a big company, your above the law, you can $ettle. Even with the government, who loves your jobs.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/n ... 596977.htm

What's the incentive to stop breaking the law, improve, change if you budget a few hundred million a year for evolving settlements?

It seems hard to avoid, because as I said, often victims are better helped with a good settlement than a convicted offender too...

Justice & accountability for sale?

You talking about civil settlements only or suggesting that criminal charges can be dropped if settlements are reached with the victims?
Prosecutions for criminal offenses can end in a financial settlement to victims but that is usually done when the criminal case is weak on being convincing to the jury and both sides agree.
In the case of the MAX debacle, not much is hidden, Boeing has not gotten off, unless you fall in the camp that the only valid penalty is liquidation of Boeing.

I mean they basically have the entire leadership team should have be dismissed and sent to jail, they should have lost the right to do any self certifying of anything, and had to disclose anything else they had ever failed to report ever and face penalties for that

By leadership team I assume you are including the entire board who set the tone and culture?
As for the self certifying, if we are dealing with Boeing then the entire FAA team who supported and the congressmen and women who implemented self certifying must also be included, if not, how do you remove the look of playing favorites and not getting to the root of the problem? Certification was transferred to Boeing by the government, obviously the "guy" who advised congress that Boeing was competent should at least be held accountable along with the 4 second guy who we have yet to find, maybe they are one and the same, who knows.
 
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keesje
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:45 pm

That's me be one of the issues. Congress, FAA, Boeing and their supply chain are all complicit. That will ensure things will get worked out.. but definite solutions? Questionable. The 2012-2018 knights of FAA modernization act, delegation and streamlining, the determined defenders of the industry have become ultra quiet.

delegation: https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-17-508t.pdf, accountability: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/busi ... rance.html
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:28 pm

keesje wrote:
That's me be one of the issues. Congress, FAA, Boeing and their supply chain are all complicit. That will ensure things will get worked out.. but definite solutions? Questionable. The 2012-2018 knights of FAA modernization act, delegation and streamlining, the determined defenders of the industry have become ultra quiet.

delegation: https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-17-508t.pdf, accountability: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/busi ... rance.html

The idea that regulation was nothing but governmental interference on the free market and if left alone capitalism would solve all the problems is still in the hearts and minds of many. On the flip side we've also seen what can happen with excessive red tape, and/or when corporations see regulation as a burden as opposed to an opportunity to spend time evaluating your products. Some unfortunately see it as a system that needs to be gamed rather than just going with the spirit/intent of the rules and use the process to help find potential weaknesses in your products.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:46 pm

Revelation wrote:
keesje wrote:
That's me be one of the issues. Congress, FAA, Boeing and their supply chain are all complicit. That will ensure things will get worked out.. but definite solutions? Questionable. The 2012-2018 knights of FAA modernization act, delegation and streamlining, the determined defenders of the industry have become ultra quiet.

delegation: https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-17-508t.pdf, accountability: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/busi ... rance.html

The idea that regulation was nothing but governmental interference on the free market and if left alone capitalism would solve all the problems is still in the hearts and minds of many. On the flip side we've also seen what can happen with excessive red tape, and/or when corporations see regulation as a burden as opposed to an opportunity to spend time evaluating your products. Some unfortunately see it as a system that needs to be gamed rather than just going with the spirit/intent of the rules and use the process to help find potential weaknesses in your products.

One of big issues with that is that in the land of lawyers the spirit and intent of the regulation are a distant second to the proper placement of commas in documents.
 
DenverTed
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:03 pm

What is a "chief technical pilot" in the responsibility tree?
From my perspective, there was the person who put MCAS on a single sensor, and increased the pitch down rates as flight test data came in. The team they worked with, the team leader, the person responsible for MAX flight systems, the person responsible for the entire MAX program, the commercial airlines chief, the CEO, the board.
How does a mistake slip through so many layers of responsibility? All these people should have had skin in the game and all of them should have been let go after such a rookie mistake for an engineering company with a heritage of years of excellence.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:18 pm

kalvado wrote:
One of big issues with that is that in the land of lawyers the spirit and intent of the regulation are a distant second to the proper placement of commas in documents.

True, but I like to think there is room for both style and substance, one should not preclude the others. I can definitely say in my life in the commercial word a lot of pressure was applied to me to just meet the letter of the law in our own internal design documents rather than going with the full intent of what the design document template suggested what was needed to meet the intent of the design process. I still don't see why there wasn't a commitment to do both the letter of the law along with the full intent. In the end it saves money, but unfortunately the money saved is later in the process and management always wants to save money up front. It almost always bit the company in the arse much later on when future engineers were trying to figure out what problems the designers were attempting to solve and which ones they knew they were not attempting to solve.

DenverTed wrote:
What is a "chief technical pilot" in the responsibility tree?

From what has been relayed to us here in this forum and via the media, he's a mid level manager responsible for producing pilot training materials and provides feedback to the team developing training devices such as simulators.

DenverTed wrote:
From my perspective, there was the person who put MCAS on a single sensor, and increased the pitch down rates as flight test data came in. The team they worked with, the team leader, the person responsible for MAX flight systems, the person responsible for the entire MAX program, the commercial airlines chief, the CEO, the board.
How does a mistake slip through so many layers of responsibility? All these people should have had skin in the game and all of them should have been let go after such a rookie mistake for an engineering company with a heritage of years of excellence.

The problem with that is if you let everyone who made a mistake go, then you have to ask who decided to hire all of them and/or put them into positions of authority, so then you have to fire the next layer of management up the tree, and so on.

Everyone inside benefits from finding a fall guy and pinning it all on him rather then letting a witch hunt happen.

In this case they have Forkner and Gustaffson already seperated from the company. I also read their boss was let go. I haven't heard of anyone else let go, but IIRC a few people may have put in retirement papers and/or were transferred before the axe was swung.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:29 pm

Revelation wrote:
kalvado wrote:
One of big issues with that is that in the land of lawyers the spirit and intent of the regulation are a distant second to the proper placement of commas in documents.

True, but I like to think there is room for both style and substance, one should not preclude the others. I can definitely say in my life in the commercial word a lot of pressure was applied to me to just meet the letter of the law in our own internal design documents rather than going with the full intent of what the design document template suggested what was needed to meet the intent of the design process. I still don't see why there wasn't a commitment to do both the letter of the law along with the full intent. In the end it saves money, but unfortunately the money saved is later in the process and management always wants to save money up front. It almost always bit the company in the arse much later on when future engineers were trying to figure out what problems the designers were attempting to solve and which ones they knew they were not attempting to solve.

My experience is that spirit of the law is a dirty word in legal world. Nobody in regulatory world is actually interested in that.
There cannot be commitment to intent of the law as that would be a perversion going against the essence of regulatory work. Sometimes following the spirit may save some money, but pretty often letter of the law goes straight against the spirit.
 
DenverTed
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:37 pm

Revelation wrote:
kalvado wrote:
One of big issues with that is that in the land of lawyers the spirit and intent of the regulation are a distant second to the proper placement of commas in documents.

True, but I like to think there is room for both style and substance, one should not preclude the others. I can definitely say in my life in the commercial word a lot of pressure was applied to me to just meet the letter of the law in our own internal design documents rather than going with the full intent of what the design document template suggested what was needed to meet the intent of the design process. I still don't see why there wasn't a commitment to do both the letter of the law along with the full intent. In the end it saves money, but unfortunately the money saved is later in the process and management always wants to save money up front. It almost always bit the company in the arse much later on when future engineers were trying to figure out what problems the designers were attempting to solve and which ones they knew they were not attempting to solve.

DenverTed wrote:
What is a "chief technical pilot" in the responsibility tree?

From what has been relayed to us here in this forum and via the media, he's a mid level manager responsible for producing pilot training materials and provides feedback to the team developing training devices such as simulators.

DenverTed wrote:
From my perspective, there was the person who put MCAS on a single sensor, and increased the pitch down rates as flight test data came in. The team they worked with, the team leader, the person responsible for MAX flight systems, the person responsible for the entire MAX program, the commercial airlines chief, the CEO, the board.
How does a mistake slip through so many layers of responsibility? All these people should have had skin in the game and all of them should have been let go after such a rookie mistake for an engineering company with a heritage of years of excellence.

The problem with that is if you let everyone who made a mistake go, then you have to ask who decided to hire all of them and/or put them into positions of authority, so then you have to fire the next layer of management up the tree, and so on.
Yes, I see your point about the witch hunt and how that is not productive. But, considering that the main change of the MAX was putting larger engines on the 737, one would hope that the people in charge of the MAX program would have been paying attention to that critical area. I guess the story is that they were not paying attention, trusting the process to work itself out with the changes and the FAA, and the chief pilot short circuited that process. I'd still posit that Boeing should be 1/2 responsible for catching it's own mistakes and not be entirely reliant on the FAA to review and backstop every single thing.
Everyone inside benefits from finding a fall guy and pinning it all on him rather then letting a witch hunt happen.

In this case they have Forkner and Gustaffson already seperated from the company. I also read their boss was let go. I haven't heard of anyone else let go, but IIRC a few people may have put in retirement papers and/or were transferred before the axe was swung.

Yes, I can see how the witch hunt thing would not be productive.
 
FLYBY72
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:54 pm

Missing from all of this discussion is the FAA and their role in this. I am very much looking forward to this trial (Moved to December BTW). The FAA can no longer hide, if they do Mark is lucky, and walks. They have a lot of questions to answer and so far have refused to answer them.

I can see many of you have not read the entire US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation report on aviation oversight. I contains some really interesting information that many either don't understand or are willfully ignoring.

From the Executive summary:

In support of the committee’s investigation, Chairman Wicker sent seven letters, which included
thirty specific requests for information to the FAA. To date more than half of the requested information
remains unanswered or incomplete.
Committee staff have reviewed approximately 13,000 pages of
documents over the course of the investigation. Some of the correspondence in response to the
Chairman’s letters appeared to be contradictory and misleading.
As a result of the slow response to
document requests, Chairman Wicker requested twenty-one FAA employees be made available for
interview by committee staff. Over the twenty month investigation, committee staff were permitted to
interview less than half of the employees requested.
The documents received and the FAA employee
interviews conducted produced inconsistencies, contradictions, and in one case possible lack of candor.


What are they hiding?

Then there is this in section VII, page 44:

The whistleblower alleges Boeing officials were present for the testing and
encouraged the test pilots to “remember, get right on that pickle switch” immediately prior to the
exercise, which they acknowledged. “Pickle switch” refers to the stabilizer trim control
switches, which adjust the horizontal stabilizer via electrical controls, enabling the pilot to
quickly counter the MCAS action. According to the whistleblower, the FAA ACO test pilot
reacted in approximately four seconds in accordance with the assumed reaction time. The AEG
pilot reacted in approximately sixteen seconds, or four times longer than the accepted assumption
of four seconds.


First of all, there is not a single pilot at Boeing that refers to the pitch trim switch as the "pickle switch". NONE. So, whoever was saying that was not Boeing, seems the whistle blower doesn't know who is who. Why do I say that? Because everyone knows that there is a certain individual that uses that term all the time, and that individual does not work for Boeing.

Now the Senate committee did interview the the FAA ACO and AEG pilots talked about above.... anyone know what they said? I do, it's on the next page.

The account of this test and its results were corroborated during an FAA staff interview
as part of the Committee’s investigation. The FAA employee interviewed was aware of the
whistleblower’s ad hoc testing and the official testing event. During the interview, the employee
added he/she knew the whistleblower, and while the test was ad hoc, he/she respected the
whistleblower and believed his/her claims were credible. The employee also independently
confirmed the details and result of the test involving the ACO and AEG test pilots. When
Committee investigators asked a second FAA employee about the official test and disparate
results in a subsequent staff interview, DOT General Counsel objected and would not allow the
employee to answer,
citing the link to ongoing 737 MAX recertification efforts. Committee staff
appealed and articulated the importance of oversight and the apparent misconduct the
investigation had revealed. DOT counsel did not permit the employee to answer. It was the
Committee’s understanding that this second employee being interviewed was, in fact, the AEG
test pilot who participated in the official test. DOT OGC provided no additional explanation as
to why the second employee was not permitted to answer the same questions as the first
employee. The time difference between interviewing the two employees was only a few weeks.


Ok, so why is the AEG pilot (the same AEG that the media is telling us Mark Forkner lied to) refusing to talk?

Lot of people want to know the answer to that very question.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:34 pm

FLYBY72 wrote:
Missing from all of this discussion is the FAA and their role in this. I am very much looking forward to this trial (Moved to December BTW). The FAA can no longer hide, if they do Mark is lucky, and walks. They have a lot of questions to answer and so far have refused to answer them.

How would showing FAA was not impartial with regard to testing exonerate what Forkner did? Two wrongs don't make a right. I don't see how a judge would allow that issue into the trial, it'd have to be part of a different trial. OTOH if Forkner had evidence on a different criminal matter I could see a plea bargain happen.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:33 pm

FLYBY72 wrote:
Missing from all of this discussion is the FAA and their role in this. I am very much looking forward to this trial (Moved to December BTW). The FAA can no longer hide, if they do Mark is lucky, and walks. They have a lot of questions to answer and so far have refused to answer them.

I can see many of you have not read the entire US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation report on aviation oversight. I contains some really interesting information that many either don't understand or are willfully ignoring.

From the Executive summary:

In support of the committee’s investigation, Chairman Wicker sent seven letters, which included
thirty specific requests for information to the FAA. To date more than half of the requested information
remains unanswered or incomplete.
Committee staff have reviewed approximately 13,000 pages of
documents over the course of the investigation. Some of the correspondence in response to the
Chairman’s letters appeared to be contradictory and misleading.
As a result of the slow response to
document requests, Chairman Wicker requested twenty-one FAA employees be made available for
interview by committee staff. Over the twenty month investigation, committee staff were permitted to
interview less than half of the employees requested.
The documents received and the FAA employee
interviews conducted produced inconsistencies, contradictions, and in one case possible lack of candor.


What are they hiding?

Then there is this in section VII, page 44:

The whistleblower alleges Boeing officials were present for the testing and
encouraged the test pilots to “remember, get right on that pickle switch” immediately prior to the
exercise, which they acknowledged. “Pickle switch” refers to the stabilizer trim control
switches, which adjust the horizontal stabilizer via electrical controls, enabling the pilot to
quickly counter the MCAS action. According to the whistleblower, the FAA ACO test pilot
reacted in approximately four seconds in accordance with the assumed reaction time. The AEG
pilot reacted in approximately sixteen seconds, or four times longer than the accepted assumption
of four seconds.


First of all, there is not a single pilot at Boeing that refers to the pitch trim switch as the "pickle switch". NONE. So, whoever was saying that was not Boeing, seems the whistle blower doesn't know who is who. Why do I say that? Because everyone knows that there is a certain individual that uses that term all the time, and that individual does not work for Boeing.

Now the Senate committee did interview the the FAA ACO and AEG pilots talked about above.... anyone know what they said? I do, it's on the next page.

The account of this test and its results were corroborated during an FAA staff interview
as part of the Committee’s investigation. The FAA employee interviewed was aware of the
whistleblower’s ad hoc testing and the official testing event. During the interview, the employee
added he/she knew the whistleblower, and while the test was ad hoc, he/she respected the
whistleblower and believed his/her claims were credible. The employee also independently
confirmed the details and result of the test involving the ACO and AEG test pilots. When
Committee investigators asked a second FAA employee about the official test and disparate
results in a subsequent staff interview, DOT General Counsel objected and would not allow the
employee to answer,
citing the link to ongoing 737 MAX recertification efforts. Committee staff
appealed and articulated the importance of oversight and the apparent misconduct the
investigation had revealed. DOT counsel did not permit the employee to answer. It was the
Committee’s understanding that this second employee being interviewed was, in fact, the AEG
test pilot who participated in the official test. DOT OGC provided no additional explanation as
to why the second employee was not permitted to answer the same questions as the first
employee. The time difference between interviewing the two employees was only a few weeks.


Ok, so why is the AEG pilot (the same AEG that the media is telling us Mark Forkner lied to) refusing to talk?

Lot of people want to know the answer to that very question.


It is important when bringing forward points for discussion that you make note of the timeline when these events occurred.

The email that you reference is dated August 7, 2019, which is well outside the time period where Mark Forkner was involved in the discussion.

The point of this email regarding the simulator testing is specific to Southwest Airlines, where they use a Quick Reference Checklist (QRC) for stabilizer runaway trim as compared to Boeing's recommendation to treat runaway stabilizer trim as a memory item.

Here is the conclusions from the email:
Conclusion:
Acknowledging these testing limitations I believe that this test is adequate to warrant further investigation by AEG regarding the wisdom of current FAA guidance which permits Air Carriers to replace manufacturer memory items on Non Normal Checklists with a QRC. At the AEG level and for the Scientific Advisors to the Administrator I included on this email I request that this issue be considered for a priority review prior to the MAX return to service. I am aware that the certification assumptions are a part of the MAX MCAS overall review process, however, I believe this sample test points to a substantial and important disconnect between certification assumptions and line pilot execution when using a QRC.

My intent is conducting these tests and providing this email is to facilitate further discussion on the QRC vs Memory Item NNC response as a follow on to our preliminary discussion during the recent MAX MCAS briefing in Dallas. I was surprised by the SWA line crew recognition times I reported above. The QRC is far more clumsy and cumbersome for responding to NNC’s than I realized or had anticipated. In light of the two fatal MAX accidents I believe that this is the appropriate time for a thorough evaluation of the FAA’s approval to use QRC’s as an alternate means of compliance to Boeings memory item guidance in their source document (FCOM).

Finally, I suspect the QRC can still be a valuable tool for the crew, however, it may be a safer option for the memory item steps in the Boeing FCOM to remain memory items on the QRC. In this concept the PF would execute the memory items while the PM would pull the QRC and verify proper checklist completion by the PF. The crew would then pick up the QRC at the step after the memory items or if there were none proceed to the QRH as required to complete the full NNC. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this email.


Please also take into consideration that an FAA Flight Test pilot is only going to finding compliance to existing requirements and regulations. It is not the job of the FAA Flight Test pilot to interrogate the validity of those regulations. I believe that you and many others are reading more into this so-called "coaching" event than is factually warranted.
 
AndoAv8R
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:15 pm

I am going to be very curious as to what other names come out of this investigation since Im sure they will deal if he gives names; i dont think the blame relies solely on him and it'll be interesting to see what this exposes even moreso.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:42 am

Seems to be inline with the theme of this thread, so:

ST: Boeing set to settle with families in Ethiopian 737 MAX crash, avoiding punitive damages says:

Boeing and lawyers for the families of nearly all the 157 people who died in the 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia are poised to announce an agreement that will effectively end almost all the civil suits against the planemaker, according to multiple people familiar with the details.

For families spread across the world, the deal will provide compensation determined in the U.S. rather than leaving African families to scramble in their home countries for likely much lower payouts.

For Boeing, it will limit the scope of the damages and the amount of further investigation into the causes of the accident.


Victims sued to have the cases heard in the US, but Boeing successfully blocked that move. That gave Boeing the leverage to offer a deal where the cases can be heard in the US, so long as punitive damage claims are not raised.

TFA says:

The stipulation firmly closes the door on legal efforts that seek to uncover wrongdoing beyond that of the two Boeing pilots that was identified in the criminal case brought by the Department of Justice.

“No evidence or argument about punitive damages will properly be the subject of discovery or be admitted,” the stipulation states.

A successful punitive damages trial would typically result in a much larger financial award and would also entail a legal discovery process that could demand internal Boeing documents and depositions of executives and other employees to explore the full extent of the company’s liability.

Basically, Boeing has used the threat of forcing cases into relatively haphazard legal systems in various African countries where the victims lived to close the door on any exploration of its actual liability in the case.

Note that most of the JT cases are also already settled, also with no admission of guilt.

Lots more stuff in the article, especially about the options open to the few victim's relatives who have chosen to not go along with this settlement.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:22 am

Boeing routinely sends its employees through an all day session with its Legal team--in house and external representation. The message that is given is that it is imperative for everyone to make sure that all your concerns with regards to safety are fully resolved. In other words, it is acceptable to send an email to colleagues raising a concern that a technical issue might have safety implications. What the lawyers want to happen though is for any potential safety issue to have documented acknowledgement that the issue has been resolved. There should be no unresolved loose ends.

The Legal team communicates to the employees that United States law mandates compensatory damages regardless of fault. In other words, the manufacturer is always liable for damages should the product result in injury. Thus, it is the norm within the United States for Boeing to pay compensatory damages.

In the course then what Legal is trying to address is the prospect of punitive damages which would be due should the behavior of the employees be construed as reckless. Hence the focus on making sure safety issues are fully documented.

The Legal team also cautions employees about using language in emails which might be misconstrued or otherwise difficult to defend in a court of law. Forkner and Gustafsson were likely not thinking of how IM messages might fall into that category. Most of us likely would have thought the same before this case.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 1:30 pm

Punitive damages should be paid to some sort of generalized victims fund administered by a special judge. They should not go to specific persons, nor be a 'we hit the jackpot'. The victims receive compensatory monies. And the generalized funds going to compensate the thousands of uncompensated victims and their families. Limited payouts to attorneys involved.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:21 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Punitive damages should be paid to some sort of generalized victims fund administered by a special judge. They should not go to specific persons, nor be a 'we hit the jackpot'. The victims receive compensatory monies. And the generalized funds going to compensate the thousands of uncompensated victims and their families. Limited payouts to attorneys involved.

I acknowledge what you are saying is a problem deserving attention, but this ST article shows the problems are far more basic, even victims really can't get justice.

Boeing can and just did use the idea that a victim gets compensated for damages due to Boeing's products based on their country of origin, not Boeing's country of origin, to force victims to give up the right to sue for punitive damages.

In turn, Boeing gets to shield itself from the related discovery process that could help the rest of the world learn more about how/why MCAS was so FUBAR'd in the first place.

Meanwhile the only person who seems to be facing any form of personal jeopardy is Mark Forkner.
 
sxf24
Posts: 1480
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:28 pm

Revelation wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
Punitive damages should be paid to some sort of generalized victims fund administered by a special judge. They should not go to specific persons, nor be a 'we hit the jackpot'. The victims receive compensatory monies. And the generalized funds going to compensate the thousands of uncompensated victims and their families. Limited payouts to attorneys involved.

I acknowledge what you are saying is a problem deserving attention, but this ST article shows the problems are far more basic, even victims really can't get justice.

Boeing can and just did use the idea that a victim gets compensated for damages due to Boeing's products based on their country of origin, not Boeing's country of origin, to force victims to give up the right to sue for punitive damages.

In turn, Boeing gets to shield itself from the related discovery process that could help the rest of the world learn more about how/why MCAS was so FUBAR'd in the first place.

Meanwhile the only person who seems to be facing any form of personal jeopardy is Mark Forkner.


That's a very twisted conclusion of the article. I read it as the victims agreed to settle in exchange for compensatory damages determined by a US mediator or jury. The victims are giving up their right to seek punitive damages, which are not allowed under Illinois or Washington law in wrongful death lawsuits.

While anger and deep hurts from victims' families is understandable, I'm not sure it's their role to get "justice." Various parts of the US government have and continue to investigate Boeing. This is the appropriate way to pursue evidence and obtain justice.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:50 pm

Thanks for your comments. I acknowledge my reading of events may be over simplified, but IMO in the end it is clear Boeing is using cash and legal muscle protect itself from a close scrutiny of exactly how/why MCAS was so FUBAR'd. The article is quite clear on that.

sxf24 wrote:
Various parts of the US government have and continue to investigate Boeing. This is the appropriate way to pursue evidence and obtain justice.

Appropriate, perhaps, but ineffective. Clearly Boeing has its own ways to protect their own interests, many of which are morally reprehensible. Basically they are using cash to buy their way out of facing deep disclosure in the civil suites, just like they did with the fine they paid in the DoJ action that included no admission of guilt.

Congress had its investigation, that's over. DoJ had its investigation, Boeing is off the hook on that too. I'm not sure why you can say investigations are continuing, there's no evidence that this is the case any longer. Maybe they'll find more ways to scapegoat Forkner, but the lead lawyer on the DoJ's case now works for Boeing's law firm instead.

Here we are years later and Boeing's human error defense, that the entire MCAS fiasco comes down to one person deciding the pilots would respond to MCAS as a runaway stabilizer trim event in four seconds, is still intact. IMO this is largely because Boeing has been able to shield that "four second guy". No one knows that person's name, how much effort went into that decision, what influences they may or may not have been under, etc. All we have is Boeing saying it's human error, and throwing legal road blocks at any attempt to find out anything more than that.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 4:31 pm

Revelation wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
Punitive damages should be paid to some sort of generalized victims fund administered by a special judge. They should not go to specific persons, nor be a 'we hit the jackpot'. The victims receive compensatory monies. And the generalized funds going to compensate the thousands of uncompensated victims and their families. Limited payouts to attorneys involved.

I acknowledge what you are saying is a problem deserving attention, but this ST article shows the problems are far more basic, even victims really can't get justice.

Boeing can and just did use the idea that a victim gets compensated for damages due to Boeing's products based on their country of origin, not Boeing's country of origin, to force victims to give up the right to sue for punitive damages.

In turn, Boeing gets to shield itself from the related discovery process that could help the rest of the world learn more about how/why MCAS was so FUBAR'd in the first place.

Meanwhile the only person who seems to be facing any form of personal jeopardy is Mark Forkner.


No disagreement here.
 
highflier92660
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Re: PBS Frontline: Boeing's Fatal Flaw

Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:06 pm

LAXintl wrote:
And DOJ indicted Mark Forkner the former Boeing pilot for fraud.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/fo ... cted-fraud


A universal constant: always go for the low-hanging fruit. Culpability extends as far back as no more moonshots ex-CEO Jim McNerney.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:50 pm

Interesting tweet stream from Dominick Gates on the language in the ET settlement:

Any trial in this matter between Boeing and any Plaintiff that is party to the Stipulation shall be limited to the issue of compensatory damages.

The Parties to this Stipulation shall take no further discovery on the issue of liability stemming from the ET302 accident

"The defendant, Boeing, has admitted that it produced an airplane that had an unsafe condition that was a proximate cause of Plaintiff's compensatory damages caused by the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident."

"The jury shall not hear evidence on issues of liability.

The parties further agree that no evidence or argument about punitive damages will properly be the subject of discovery or be admitted."


Ref: https://twitter.com/dominicgates/status ... 0859607043

So they've "boxed out" both liability and punitive damage issues, in particular any discovery related to these, while accepting claims for compensation.

As above, punitive damages would have off the table anyways.

It's strange to be in a situation where they admit they made an aircraft with an unsafe condition, yet liability cannot be explored, just compensation.

They admit the victims are entitled to compensation for the unsafe condition yet they use their legal muscle to avoid saying they are liable for creating the unsafe condition, yet they did create the unsafe condition.

Glad I'm not a lawyer, this stuff would drive me mad.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:56 pm

Revelation wrote:
Here we are years later and Boeing's human error defense, that the entire MCAS fiasco comes down to one person deciding the pilots would respond to MCAS as a runaway stabilizer trim event in four seconds, is still intact. IMO this is largely because Boeing has been able to shield that "four second guy". No one knows that person's name, how much effort went into that decision, what influences they may or may not have been under, etc. All we have is Boeing saying it's human error, and throwing legal road blocks at any attempt to find out anything more than that.


It is an indication of a problem of the process when one has to rely upon the actions of a single individual to assure safety. The design and certification system needs to be robust to errors, and it is set up so that one individual does not have the ability to compromise safety through their action alone.

I understand the desire to find fault with a single individual so as to assign blame, and perhaps to impose retribution. But that is the entire wrong way to look at the situation as it played out on the 737Max.

We've discussed the 4-second rule and its origins previously in this post. It is a red-herring in my view because it was not germane to the decisions for why the FAA was not engaged in the human factors elements of MCAS. There were two errors in the certification process that permitted the MCAS functionality to escape FAA review. The first error was the FAA stated to Boeing that they only needed to document in the safety assessment how events characterized as catastrophic were found to comply with regulations. This decision took the FAA entirely out of the discussion as to whether a fault of erroneous function of MCAS was judged hazardous or catastrophic.

The second error of the certification process was that Boeing changed the functionality of MCAS late in the the certification process from a high-speed only system relying upon two dissimilar sensors (angle-of-attack, G-sensor) to a low-speed system relying exclusively on one sensor (angle-of-attack), but the certification process did not mandate that this type of change required a re-assessment of appropriate delegation of finding compliance. Finding compliance remained with Boeing. The significant change in functionality of MCAS in March 2016 should have warranted a re-evaluation of the certification agreements between Boeing and the FAA, and that did not happen.

And so when the FAA does not know what the system is doing and the Tech Pilots don't know what the system is doing, well that is a loss of configuration control. It is a fault in a process that is supposed to be robust.

There are certainly other lessons to be learned as an outcome of the MCAS events. For me personally, I believe that Ethiopia Airlines management has escaped scrutiny for its contribution to the ET302 accident. From what I've read, the management of that airline had warnings placed before them but took absolutely no action as a result of the Airworthiness Directive.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Nov 10, 2021 9:57 pm

From Dominic Gates via Twitter:

With the possibility of further revelations of wrongdoing in court proceedings now remote, Boeing’s leadership can leave it to the lawyers to work out the precise compensation amounts while they move on.

Ref: https://twitter.com/dominicgates/status ... 7286522884

My commentary is that from a Boeing executive's point of view, the heavy lifting phase of the damage control exercise that started the day of the JT crash (29 October 2018) is now over. In the great scheme of things, having to admit to having created an "unsafe condition" and paying out at least $2.5B ( https://www.npr.org/2021/01/08/95478251 ... ax-crashes ) is actually not a bad deal from their point of view, and as DG says, they can now "move on".
 
frmrCapCadet
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Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:29 pm

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... ification/

This seems to say that Boeing does not in fact put safety as a priority, let alone first priority. My suspicion is that the Boeing upper management including the board is, insofar as personality types can be applied to companies, (Boeing is) psychopathic. The sooner courts are allowed to intervene the better. But then again Boeing really has great attorneys as well as a board and management who seem to know what they want (not what the FAA and customers want).
 
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Re: Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:06 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/faa-says-boeing-is-appointing-people-lacking-expertise-to-oversee-airplane-certification/

This seems to say that Boeing does not in fact put safety as a priority, let alone first priority. My suspicion is that the Boeing upper management including the board is, insofar as personality types can be applied to companies, (Boeing is) psychopathic. The sooner courts are allowed to intervene the better. But then again Boeing really has great attorneys as well as a board and management who seem to know what they want (not what the FAA and customers want).

I don't think the scolding is dreary. The situation is unacceptable, and FAA is pointing that out as forcefully as it can.

If one reads the whole article, one finds that Boeing gave generous early retirement packages, many senior safety-related engineers took the packages, and FAA is finding their replacements to be unacceptable.

That's what happens when you replace an expensive senior engineer with decades of experience with a newbie who has no experience. Yet one set of managers had some short term headcount/budget goals so they paid people to leave. Headcount drops, retirement payouts come from someone else's budget, problem solved. Chances are high the same people will now be paid even more to come back as consultants.

It's hard to see how this doesn't result in the 77X program taking a hit, presumable MAX7 and MAX10 too.

Contrast this article to:

The FAA is telling Boeing to “get your house in order before we run this test—‘Boeing do this before we do that,’” Calhoun says. “And we have stuck to that discipline, and that was all part of the original plan and the timing for [first delivery in the] fourth quarter of 2023. We’re still on that plan. Nothing at this moment in time has suggested that the plan isn’t still workable.” In flight tests, he adds that results so far support the proposed timeline, and no showstoppers have cropped up to date. “If ever there was going to be a ‘gotcha,’ that’s where it would be,” he remarks.

Ref: https://aviationweek.com/shownews/dubai ... ai-airshow

Seems to be a total disconnect between senior management and line management, IMO.
 
Opus99
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Re: Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:14 pm

I mean, are we going to act like we are surprised?

Nothing particularly new here especially with the way Boeing is being run as of late. But like I say, we will still see lots of these kinds of articles.

In the end boeing will be fine
Last edited by Opus99 on Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:16 pm

I simply cannot imagine how Boeing can continue. Nor can I imagine what any viable path might be. My fantasy a couple years ago was that Buffet would buy the commercial division, about as unrealistic as Elon Musk being interested. But what or who else is there? The question is not rhetorical, what are some viable paths?
 
Opus99
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Re: Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:18 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I simply cannot imagine how Boeing can continue. Nor can I imagine what any viable path might be. My fantasy a couple years ago was that Buffet would buy the commercial division, about as unrealistic as Elon Musk being interested. But what or who else is there? The question is not rhetorical, what are some viable paths?

Watch them continue. It’s extremely sad but it’s what is going to happen
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