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kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:08 pm

TaromA380 wrote:
I see that people are forgetting about Forkner's “Jedi mind tricks” that he performed with the airlines which were requesting retraining.

His chat messages about the MCAS changes and lies to the FAA can be interpreted in many ways, as he was not the only one responsible for the certification. However, these Jedi mind tricks reveal an alleged willingness to cheat on anything, on his own responsibility.

I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:16 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Even if one uses a probability based assessment (which is how the military certifies as I understand it), one still has to decide how much risk is an acceptable risk. And once you decide what that threshold value should be, you then revert to the binary definition of safety, i.e. either the airplane is "safe" or the airplane is "unsafe".

This conundrum is why it was so difficult for Boeing to implement synthetic airspeed. It was not required by the regulations, which means it is not required for designing a "safe" airplane. However, everyone--Boeing, FAA/EASA, airlines--would agree that adding synthetic airspeed would have an incremental improvement in safety. This sets up a dichotomy that the functionality is required for designing a "safe" airplane and at the same time not required for designing a "safe" airplane.
 
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zeke
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:28 pm

kalvado wrote:
Certification requirements are ultimately aimed at being safety requirements - possibly via reducing workload, ensuring integrity of the airframe, or making operation more intuitive.
There are situation where certification process is a nuisance by itself, but the underlying requirements appear generally sound. And as many safety requirements, they are not written in ink, but in blood.


STS was installed as it was JARs view at the time that the 737 would be out of control within 3 seconds as stipulated in the JAA design requirements at the time (25.255 A three-second movement of the longitudinal trim system at its normal rate for the particular flight condition with no aerodynamic load (or an equivalent degree of trim for airplanes that do not have a power-operated trim system), except as limited by stops in the trim system, including those required by § 25.655(b) for adjustable stabilizers). The 4 seconds comes from 1 second to recognize (which is what is used for engine failure on takeoff etc) and then the 3 seconds in the design rules.

Not sure how that correlates to "certification process is a nuisance by itself".
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:33 pm

kalvado wrote:
TaromA380 wrote:
I see that people are forgetting about Forkner's “Jedi mind tricks” that he performed with the airlines which were requesting retraining.

His chat messages about the MCAS changes and lies to the FAA can be interpreted in many ways, as he was not the only one responsible for the certification. However, these Jedi mind tricks reveal an alleged willingness to cheat on anything, on his own responsibility.

I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!


What Forkner did with his "Jedi Mind Tricks" was to simply assuage the regulators' and airlines' concerns about training by reminding them that the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada had already approved 737Max training curriculum without simulator time, and that if there were concerns that there were other means which did not require sim time to address them. The correspondence between Forkner and these individuals was businesslike and respectful. Furthermore, there is nothing in the correspondence which would indicate any false statements or misrepresentation leading another to reach a false conclusion.

For me personally, I have no problem with an engineer being passionate about his work. Forkner's comments about certifying the simulators suggest someone positively engaged to fix the problems. Like the saying goes about grunts in the military, if they aren't complaining then you have a problem.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:56 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
TaromA380 wrote:
I see that people are forgetting about Forkner's “Jedi mind tricks” that he performed with the airlines which were requesting retraining.

His chat messages about the MCAS changes and lies to the FAA can be interpreted in many ways, as he was not the only one responsible for the certification. However, these Jedi mind tricks reveal an alleged willingness to cheat on anything, on his own responsibility.

I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!


What Forkner did with his "Jedi Mind Tricks" was to simply assuage the regulators' and airlines' concerns about training by reminding them that the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada had already approved 737Max training curriculum without simulator time, and that if there were concerns that there were other means which did not require sim time to address them. The correspondence between Forkner and these individuals was businesslike and respectful. Furthermore, there is nothing in the correspondence which would indicate any false statements or misrepresentation leading another to reach a false conclusion.

For me personally, I have no problem with an engineer being passionate about his work. Forkner's comments about certifying the simulators suggest someone positively engaged to fix the problems. Like the saying goes about grunts in the military, if they aren't complaining then you have a problem.

Well, you have to be very positive explaining things to the customer even if you have reservations yourself, nothing new here.
And that is part of the problem - while everyone was doing nothing wrong per se, things didn't add up. And chief engineer is just a business manager? Oh well...
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:59 pm

zeke wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Certification requirements are ultimately aimed at being safety requirements - possibly via reducing workload, ensuring integrity of the airframe, or making operation more intuitive.
There are situation where certification process is a nuisance by itself, but the underlying requirements appear generally sound. And as many safety requirements, they are not written in ink, but in blood.


STS was installed as it was JARs view at the time that the 737 would be out of control within 3 seconds as stipulated in the JAA design requirements at the time (25.255 A three-second movement of the longitudinal trim system at its normal rate for the particular flight condition with no aerodynamic load (or an equivalent degree of trim for airplanes that do not have a power-operated trim system), except as limited by stops in the trim system, including those required by § 25.655(b) for adjustable stabilizers). The 4 seconds comes from 1 second to recognize (which is what is used for engine failure on takeoff etc) and then the 3 seconds in the design rules.

Not sure how that correlates to "certification process is a nuisance by itself".

I am not specifically talking FAA certifications. It is well off-topic (as most of this thread anyway), but I am thinking US certification requirements with NRTL certification vs European CE.
US approach is a huge money grab and tremendous nuisance with a small dose of safety mixed in. Some quick (and not too good) overview: https://iaeimagazine.org/features/is-a- ... nrtl-mark/
 
subramak1
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Re: Yet Another Dreary Boeing Scolding

Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:06 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
The Chinese are not going to do jack to either players.

Keep thinking that.

That opening sentence was written for that exact mentality.


Well said.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:52 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Even if one uses a probability based assessment (which is how the military certifies as I understand it), one still has to decide how much risk is an acceptable risk. And once you decide what that threshold value should be, you then revert to the binary definition of safety, i.e. either the airplane is "safe" or the airplane is "unsafe".

This conundrum is why it was so difficult for Boeing to implement synthetic airspeed. It was not required by the regulations, which means it is not required for designing a "safe" airplane. However, everyone--Boeing, FAA/EASA, airlines--would agree that adding synthetic airspeed would have an incremental improvement in safety. This sets up a dichotomy that the functionality is required for designing a "safe" airplane and at the same time not required for designing a "safe" airplane.


The 787 and 777-9 do have a synthetic backup airspeed (they also have a synthetic backup altitude based on GPS). It’s based on AOA and Inertial data. It’s not going to be accurate if your AOA readings are in error though. Not sure if it would have helped LionAir or Ethiopian, but it’s an excellent safety enhancement in the event of overwhelming icing events or plugged probes. It would have helped the Birginair 757 event.

I don’t know enough about the 737 to know if the current system architecture would support the addition of AOA speed though.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:20 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Even if one uses a probability based assessment (which is how the military certifies as I understand it), one still has to decide how much risk is an acceptable risk. And once you decide what that threshold value should be, you then revert to the binary definition of safety, i.e. either the airplane is "safe" or the airplane is "unsafe".

This conundrum is why it was so difficult for Boeing to implement synthetic airspeed. It was not required by the regulations, which means it is not required for designing a "safe" airplane. However, everyone--Boeing, FAA/EASA, airlines--would agree that adding synthetic airspeed would have an incremental improvement in safety. This sets up a dichotomy that the functionality is required for designing a "safe" airplane and at the same time not required for designing a "safe" airplane.

Amount of risk is explicitly a part of regulations to which airplane is certified.
No more than 1 crash in 1 billion flights for foreseeable reasons, no more than 1 serious accident in 10 million flights
The other side of equations is what is feasible and how things involved. Actual crash rate is about 100 times higher that that
For the condition at hand, synthetic airspeed wasn't feasible with first two generations of 737, nor those had automation with a lot of overriding power depending on those values.
 
TaromA380
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:41 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
TaromA380 wrote:
I see that people are forgetting about Forkner's “Jedi mind tricks” that he performed with the airlines which were requesting retraining.

His chat messages about the MCAS changes and lies to the FAA can be interpreted in many ways, as he was not the only one responsible for the certification. However, these Jedi mind tricks reveal an alleged willingness to cheat on anything, on his own responsibility.

I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!


What Forkner did with his "Jedi Mind Tricks" was to simply assuage the regulators' and airlines' concerns about training by reminding them that the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada had already approved 737Max training curriculum without simulator time, and that if there were concerns that there were other means which did not require sim time to address them. The correspondence between Forkner and these individuals was businesslike and respectful. Furthermore, there is nothing in the correspondence which would indicate any false statements or misrepresentation leading another to reach a false conclusion.

For me personally, I have no problem with an engineer being passionate about his work. Forkner's comments about certifying the simulators suggest someone positively engaged to fix the problems. Like the saying goes about grunts in the military, if they aren't complaining then you have a problem.

While I understand your point of view, imagine that you get two versions of chat messages.

Version A
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did some Jedi mind tricks to persuade the airlines to shut their mouths up regarding retraining due to the final MCAS implementation. They were right to ask about it, but hey, I’m so skillful

Version B
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did my best to properly inform everyone about the final MCAS implementation and additional requirements for training, despite enormous pressure from my hierarchy. However, the hierarchy has overridden me. Crap!

I guess in the B version, the author would not be indicted today.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:28 pm

TaromA380 wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!


What Forkner did with his "Jedi Mind Tricks" was to simply assuage the regulators' and airlines' concerns about training by reminding them that the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada had already approved 737Max training curriculum without simulator time, and that if there were concerns that there were other means which did not require sim time to address them. The correspondence between Forkner and these individuals was businesslike and respectful. Furthermore, there is nothing in the correspondence which would indicate any false statements or misrepresentation leading another to reach a false conclusion.

For me personally, I have no problem with an engineer being passionate about his work. Forkner's comments about certifying the simulators suggest someone positively engaged to fix the problems. Like the saying goes about grunts in the military, if they aren't complaining then you have a problem.

While I understand your point of view, imagine that you get two versions of chat messages.

Version A
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did some Jedi mind tricks to persuade the airlines to shut their mouths up regarding retraining due to the final MCAS implementation. They were right to ask about it, but hey, I’m so skillful

Version B
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did my best to properly inform everyone about the final MCAS implementation and additional requirements for training, despite enormous pressure from my hierarchy. However, the hierarchy has overridden me. Crap!

I guess in the B version, the author would not be indicted today.

In the B version author wouldn't be employed at Boeing for much longer. Not enough to really follow up on the issue
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:48 pm

What seems to have been overlooked in this discussion is that the simulator has to have been approved by the FAA before the training requirements can be assessed by the FAA AEG or any foreign equivalent CAA. I have seen aircraft certification programs held up because the simulator did not get approved just before the training requirements were to be assessed and as a result it had to be delayed.
If you have ever been involved with a simulator certification you will know that the simulator must be flown and the resulting plots must match Flight Test Data from the aircraft or if it is early in the aircraft's life some of the data may be from an Engineering simulator until actual aircraft flight test data can be obtained.
The items that have to match are things like Control force applied on the flight controls, matching of the flight model from the aircraft for things like performance, stability and control, etc.. The item that requires very accurate data from Flight Test to match the aircraft is the Flight Simulator. In many cases the simulator data required needs to be better and more accurate then the flight test aircraft needs to obtain for the aircraft certification itself. The simulator would likely have been certified just before the the training assessment in a program that has been accelerated like the MAX items happen on a very tight schedule. The FAA or it's delegates would have done this approval so there should be records in an simulator approval guide which has to be kept to obtain and maintain simulator approval and the Test Conditions that were done have to be redone at certain intervals and/or if newly obtained flight test data is put into the flight models used on the Simulators. This data would clearly indicate whether the latest version of MCAS was simulated or whether the items Captain Forkner talked about in his IMs, emails, etc. were Snags on that particular 737 Max Flight Simulator. It is not really his job to certify the Flight Simulator. He probably was of the understanding that the simulator had been recently approved by the FAA and that the FAA or it's delegates approved it with better methods then his subjective assessment would so he may have been very reluctant to write a Snag. Now I cannot totally defend his actions so he is in a small part to blame for not writing a Snag if he thought that the simulator was misbehaving, his comments to customers about required simulator training and his knowledge if the MCAS had been modified as he may not have realized what flight configuration was being simulated but there were a log of other personnel involved with this both at the FAA and Boeing. It is not really his role as a Technical pilot to try and fix a recently approved simulator although he would probably try to make an effort. If I were his lawyers I would sure be asking for the plots that were used to approve the simulator that he was working on, documents that state the models for flight controls, aircraft stability and control, aircraft performance, etc. on that simulator to determine what the exact configuration of the simulator was when he was on it. There should be a long paper trail at Boeing, the Training Center (probably Boeing) where the simulator was and the National Simulator Program office of the FAA in Atlanta. That's why I stated that the DOJ, the FAA and the FBI were likely in over their heads in this situation as they do not seem to have checked into much of the information that was out there. Now there may be the possibility that the FAA has not gone out of their way to help with this as they do not always do a very through approval test of particular simulators and do not want to get exposed for not doing their job properly. They only test them for a day or two and depend mostly on the plots obtained in the documentation by the simulator sponser (probably Boeing in this case) for many of the checks. Given that the simulator was likely the first simulator for the Max one would think that they would test everything as the following simulators manufactured will be using the 737 Max Flight Model from Boeing used in this case to gain approval.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:03 am

TaromA380 wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I still have to see those tricks clearly demonstrated. Until then, my take of it is that a drunk guy confessed that he explained FAA that the glass is half full, not half empty. Maybe even 51% full!


What Forkner did with his "Jedi Mind Tricks" was to simply assuage the regulators' and airlines' concerns about training by reminding them that the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada had already approved 737Max training curriculum without simulator time, and that if there were concerns that there were other means which did not require sim time to address them. The correspondence between Forkner and these individuals was businesslike and respectful. Furthermore, there is nothing in the correspondence which would indicate any false statements or misrepresentation leading another to reach a false conclusion.

For me personally, I have no problem with an engineer being passionate about his work. Forkner's comments about certifying the simulators suggest someone positively engaged to fix the problems. Like the saying goes about grunts in the military, if they aren't complaining then you have a problem.

While I understand your point of view, imagine that you get two versions of chat messages.

Version A
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did some Jedi mind tricks to persuade the airlines to shut their mouths up regarding retraining due to the final MCAS implementation. They were right to ask about it, but hey, I’m so skillful

Version B
I noticed that something was wrong with the MCAS, Oh and the FAA was not kept informed. Nevermind, we're only in development stage.
Then
I did my best to properly inform everyone about the final MCAS implementation and additional requirements for training, despite enormous pressure from my hierarchy. However, the hierarchy has overridden me. Crap!

I guess in the B version, the author would not be indicted today.


The discussion that Forkner had with airlines and regulators had nothing to do with MCAS.

It was primarily with regards to Roll Command Alerting System (RCAS) and Runway Situation Awareness Tool (RSAT). Since RSAT was being introduced first on the 737NG, one approach to avoid simulator time was to become familiar with the tool on the 737NG before transitioning to the 737Max.
 
LDRA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:15 am

zeke wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Certification requirements are ultimately aimed at being safety requirements - possibly via reducing workload, ensuring integrity of the airframe, or making operation more intuitive.
There are situation where certification process is a nuisance by itself, but the underlying requirements appear generally sound. And as many safety requirements, they are not written in ink, but in blood.


STS was installed as it was JARs view at the time that the 737 would be out of control within 3 seconds as stipulated in the JAA design requirements at the time (25.255 A three-second movement of the longitudinal trim system at its normal rate for the particular flight condition with no aerodynamic load (or an equivalent degree of trim for airplanes that do not have a power-operated trim system), except as limited by stops in the trim system, including those required by § 25.655(b) for adjustable stabilizers). The 4 seconds comes from 1 second to recognize (which is what is used for engine failure on takeoff etc) and then the 3 seconds in the design rules.

Not sure how that correlates to "certification process is a nuisance by itself".


The primary function of STS is to meet Part 25.173(c) for speed stability. It does so by adding trim input as a function of airspeed.
JAA required an additional modification to STS on top of the normal speed stability augmentation. It is in high AoA region for stall protection I believe
 
Canuck600
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:58 am

FLYBY72 wrote:
News Flash!!! Nothing was hidden from the FAA. The FAA knows this. Boeing handed over all documents, the FAA did not. The FAA has also refused to make certain employees açaí me for questioning, and those that were some refused to talk. It is all in the a congressional report

It is the FAA that needs to be held accountable.


How do you know they handed over all the documents? Purely speculation, but you do have to wonder if some stuff "accidentally" fell into a shredder that just happened to be running at the time.
 
Canuck600
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 3:33 am

I couldn't edit the above, but I realise documents disappearing is less likely but documents "disappearing" is within the realm of possibilities.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:17 pm

an editing note: short paragraphs, no more than 3 or 4 lines per, are a lot easier to read.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1959
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:15 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Me too. It's actually frightening that Pythagoras believes in safe/not-safe like that!

A couple of things:

1) there's no such thing as 100% safe

2) safety as defined in the regulations is a matter of statistical probabilities - it's a fuzzy topic and a certain amount of "unsafety" is acceptable

2) regulation is only there to provide an indication that something is *probably* safer than the arbitrary minima, not a guarantee - not everything can be checked, not everything can be predicted

3) passing regulation does not mean everything has been designed to rule and checked by the authorities - there's a certain amount of trust in the processes of the manufacturer (backed up by checks and audits, of course)
 
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SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1959
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:27 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Even if one uses a probability based assessment (which is how the military certifies as I understand it), one still has to decide how much risk is an acceptable risk. And once you decide what that threshold value should be, you then revert to the binary definition of safety, i.e. either the airplane is "safe" or the airplane is "unsafe".


All engineering regulation is statistically derived (variations on being allowed to have X failures killing Y people every Z years).

Each of those chances then applies to *hundreds of thousands of* materials, components made from materials, systems of components, systems controlling systems, human/system interfaces, complete aircraft, aircraft interacting with other systems, maintenance of all the above, processes defining it all, monitoring of the processes defining it all...

Now tell me how all those MILLIONS of interconnected statistics - which are themselves subject to error and interpretation and change over time - lead you to an easy binary "safe or unsafe" result.
 
DenverTed
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 3:37 pm

LDRA wrote:
zeke wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Certification requirements are ultimately aimed at being safety requirements - possibly via reducing workload, ensuring integrity of the airframe, or making operation more intuitive.
There are situation where certification process is a nuisance by itself, but the underlying requirements appear generally sound. And as many safety requirements, they are not written in ink, but in blood.


STS was installed as it was JARs view at the time that the 737 would be out of control within 3 seconds as stipulated in the JAA design requirements at the time (25.255 A three-second movement of the longitudinal trim system at its normal rate for the particular flight condition with no aerodynamic load (or an equivalent degree of trim for airplanes that do not have a power-operated trim system), except as limited by stops in the trim system, including those required by § 25.655(b) for adjustable stabilizers). The 4 seconds comes from 1 second to recognize (which is what is used for engine failure on takeoff etc) and then the 3 seconds in the design rules.

Not sure how that correlates to "certification process is a nuisance by itself".


The primary function of STS is to meet Part 25.173(c) for speed stability. It does so by adding trim input as a function of airspeed.
JAA required an additional modification to STS on top of the normal speed stability augmentation. It is in high AoA region for stall protection I believe

High AOA stall protection? Isn't MCAS similar? I wonder what AOA failures looked like on that system. I guess the pilots always caught it.
 
LDRA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:21 pm

DenverTed wrote:
LDRA wrote:
zeke wrote:

STS was installed as it was JARs view at the time that the 737 would be out of control within 3 seconds as stipulated in the JAA design requirements at the time (25.255 A three-second movement of the longitudinal trim system at its normal rate for the particular flight condition with no aerodynamic load (or an equivalent degree of trim for airplanes that do not have a power-operated trim system), except as limited by stops in the trim system, including those required by § 25.655(b) for adjustable stabilizers). The 4 seconds comes from 1 second to recognize (which is what is used for engine failure on takeoff etc) and then the 3 seconds in the design rules.

Not sure how that correlates to "certification process is a nuisance by itself".


The primary function of STS is to meet Part 25.173(c) for speed stability. It does so by adding trim input as a function of airspeed.
JAA required an additional modification to STS on top of the normal speed stability augmentation. It is in high AoA region for stall protection I believe

High AOA stall protection? Isn't MCAS similar? I wonder what AOA failures looked like on that system. I guess the pilots always caught it.


MCAS is werely a high AoA longitudal control quality augmentation system, nothing to do with stall itself
 
Noshow
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:24 pm

Entirely independent for sure. It is just violently preventing the nose from raising into stall AoA territory.
 
DenverTed
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:27 pm

LDRA wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
LDRA wrote:

The primary function of STS is to meet Part 25.173(c) for speed stability. It does so by adding trim input as a function of airspeed.
JAA required an additional modification to STS on top of the normal speed stability augmentation. It is in high AoA region for stall protection I believe

High AOA stall protection? Isn't MCAS similar? I wonder what AOA failures looked like on that system. I guess the pilots always caught it.


MCAS is werely a high AoA longitudal control quality augmentation system, nothing to do with stall itself

But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?
How does the stall protection work? High AOA reading causes a stab down input? If that's the case, sounds pretty similar to MCAS to me. Although MCAS was to pass a stick force requirement versus avoiding stall.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 5:36 pm

DenverTed wrote:
But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?

The four second undocumented rule was used to cover all the failure modes. Convenient, eh? No need for all that costly analysis and testing, one guy says we're cool, everyone else says if he's cool we're cool.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:20 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-to-avoid-repeating-the-debacle-that-was-the-space-shuttle

This is a somewhat similar sort of disaster. There may be a better NYT article but it is behind a more formidable paywall. You likely could get it through any major library system.

I as disturbed by a statement that a plane is safe/not safe and that it is binary. Much prefer a statistical/probability although that can be compatible with 'binary'.


Me too. It's actually frightening that Pythagoras believes in safe/not-safe like that!

Let me give you an examples of what I mean.

In 1962, a United Airlines Vickers Viscount N7430 struck a flock of whistling swans at an altitude of 6000 feet. One of the swans impacted the horizontal stabilizer which penetrated the leading edge and subsequently damaged the elevator which led to a loss of control of the airplane. See summary here: https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19621123-1.

As a result of this accident, the regulations were amended in 1970 as follows:
§ 25.631 Bird strike damage.
The empennage structure must be designed to assure capability of continued safe flight and landing of the airplane after impact with an 8-pound bird when the velocity of the airplane (relative to the bird along the airplane's flight path) is equal to VC at sea level, selected under § 25.335(a). Compliance with this section by provision of redundant structure and protected location of control system elements or protective devices such as splitter plates or energy absorbing material is acceptable. Where compliance is shown by analysis, tests, or both, use of data on airplanes having similar structural design is acceptable.
[Amdt. 25-23, 35 FR 5674, Apr. 8, 1970]


Forensic investigation revealed that the whistling swan that struck the Viscount had a weight of 12 lbs. Canada geese typically have a weight between 8 and 12 lbs. For the most part, Canada geese migrate at low altitudes, below 3000 feet, but have been reported at altitudes as high as 29,000 ft. On 29 November 1973, a Riippell’s Griffon, which can weigh between 14 to 20 lbs, collided with a commercial aircraft at 37,000 ft over Abijan, Ivory Coast. The altitude is that recorded by the pilot shortly after the impact, which damaged one of the aircraft’s engines and caused it to be shut down. Another example is the Andean condor which has a weight of over 30 lbs and the ability to fly up to altitudes of 16000 ft.

FAA and EASA (JAA) regulations, under which airplanes are certified, were developed using analysis completed specific for airline operations within North America and Europe, which presume a threat environment and exposure subject to these locales. Yet, we would still say that an airplane designed to an 8 lb bird impact would be safe considering the increased weights and behavioral characteristics of birds in South America, Africa and the Asian sub-continent.

From a statistical basis, it is a mathematical impossibility to develop probability curves from observational data to characterize what a 10E-9 per flight hour event is for birdstrike . There just have not been enough flights, especially if one were to expand the analysis to Africa and Asian sub-continent.

If one actually reviews the record of how the 8 lb rule was developed, it becomes one of sausage-making as the FAA essentially just picked 8 lbs as a number that was good enough.

Furthermore, there are inconsistencies as FAR 25.571 prescribes a 4 lb bird for other structure and 25.775 prescribes a 4 lb bird for windshield panes. Recognizing these inconsistencies, the FAA in 1993 undertook an action to update and harmonize the regulations for birdstrike:
Task 1-Bird Strike Damage: Develop new or revised requirements for the evaluation of transport category airplane structure for in-flight colilision with a bird, including the size of the bird and the location of the impact on the airplane (FAR 25.571, 25.631, 25.775 and other conforming changes).
[Federal Register Vol.58, No. 48, Monday March 15,1993, pg 13817]


After 10 years of study, the FAA and EASA concluded that it was not possible to reconcile the differences and left the regulations unchanged.

I could point to other examples, like 16g seats and 90 seconds for emergency evacuation. A seat designed to 16g is a "safe" seat. An airplane that can be evacuated in 90 seconds is a "safe" airplane. The point here though is that the industry--OEM, operators and regulators--came to a consensus as to what an acceptable level of safety is. And the airplane manufacturer is obligated to meet that requirement and nothing more to provide a safe airplane.

The level of consensus though is subject to change over time as new information and new technology is developed. Furthermore, I would acknowledge that the regulations are not all encompassing and a manufacturer cannot put his head in the sand and hide behind regulations to avoid taking action. That of course is a given.

I don't want you to go away with the impression that I absolve Boeing of designing a flawed MCAS system. Far from it. My point is that the process of certification is what makes an airplane safe and in the case of the 737Max the process was woefully flawed.
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?

The four second undocumented rule was used to cover all the failure modes. Convenient, eh? No need for all that costly analysis and testing, one guy says we're cool, everyone else says if he's cool we're cool.

Frankly speaking, you cannot go all the way to basics every time. If a bolt has a rated strength of 100 N, you cannot go all the way to testing that bolt for the particular set of conditions (assuming those conditions are within the range) . If alloy density is given as 2.77 you have to believe it.
It is important to understand when and how those assumptions are made; sometimes they just don't work. But I cannot really blame anyone for using 4 second rule (and not 5 second or 7 second rule) - I have to go one step up and talk about multiple failures from the same source to actually think about a problem.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:27 am

DenverTed wrote:
LDRA wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
High AOA stall protection? Isn't MCAS similar? I wonder what AOA failures looked like on that system. I guess the pilots always caught it.


MCAS is werely a high AoA longitudal control quality augmentation system, nothing to do with stall itself

But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?
How does the stall protection work? High AOA reading causes a stab down input? If that's the case, sounds pretty similar to MCAS to me. Although MCAS was to pass a stick force requirement versus avoiding stall.

2.5deg output limiter ensures plane is controlable in case of AoA input failure, therefore its perfectly safe
 
DenverTed
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:14 am

LDRA wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
LDRA wrote:

MCAS is werely a high AoA longitudal control quality augmentation system, nothing to do with stall itself

But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?
How does the stall protection work? High AOA reading causes a stab down input? If that's the case, sounds pretty similar to MCAS to me. Although MCAS was to pass a stick force requirement versus avoiding stall.

2.5deg output limiter ensures plane is controlable in case of AoA input failure, therefore its perfectly safe

So you're saying over 20 years, there were a lot of AOA sensor failures, which set off the stall protection, but it only moved the stab 2.5 deg once, so it was handled by many crews successfully, unlike MCAS?
 
LDRA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:02 am

DenverTed wrote:
LDRA wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
But everything to do with an AOA failure I would think. So what's the story? Nobody kept track of AOA failure rate and what happened over 20 years?
How does the stall protection work? High AOA reading causes a stab down input? If that's the case, sounds pretty similar to MCAS to me. Although MCAS was to pass a stick force requirement versus avoiding stall.

2.5deg output limiter ensures plane is controlable in case of AoA input failure, therefore its perfectly safe

So you're saying over 20 years, there were a lot of AOA sensor failures, which set off the stall protection, but it only moved the stab 2.5 deg once, so it was handled by many crews successfully, unlike MCAS?


Pretty much. I don't know if 2.5deg is the exact STS saturation limit number, but concept same

Also there are other critical differences between STS and MCAS. One of them is column pull switch cuts off STS I think
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:01 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
I don't want you to go away with the impression that I absolve Boeing of designing a flawed MCAS system. Far from it. My point is that the process of certification is what makes an airplane safe and in the case of the 737Max the process was woefully flawed.


All of your post seems to illustrate the same thing I was trying to point out - that safety is not a binary thing which an airctraft either does or doesn't possess.

As you say; *for the purposes of certification* an aircraft which passes regulation is "safe"... but of course that's the case... I don't think that was what was being discussed.
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:26 pm

Looks like the Senate is not satisfied with Boeing, GE and the FAA:

The Aviation Safety Whistleblower Report to be released Monday concludes that Boeing and its suppliers put undue pressure on and retaliated against engineers conducting safety inspections and assessments on behalf of the FAA and that warnings about safety issues from senior engineers with advanced technical expertise have been ignored.

And the report states that “systemic problems continue to exist” within the FAA oversight system
, including too much delegation of work to the manufacturers, policies that allow older-design airplanes that don’t meet the latest safety standards to be certified, and a shortage of technical engineering staff at key FAA offices.

One of the Boeing employees quoted is a very senior engineer and somehow is still a Boeing employee:

Bickeboeller, a Boeing Technical Fellow, alleges in his FAA complaint that Boeing’s oversight of manufacturing work at its suppliers remains inadequate — though he had flagged the issue for years internally and in a prior complaint to the FAA.

The new 99-page complaint details Bickeboeller’s yearslong internal battle with Boeing’s ethics and legal departments and his engagement with senior executives about his concerns.

Seems Boeing deals poorly with whistle blowers:

When Bickeboeller’s warnings to managers failed to spur action, he filed internal ethics complaints and then, in 2014, a formal FAA complaint.

Boeing managers removed him from the 787 program and lowered his performance review scores. At one point, company investigators interrogated him about whether he was raising fake concerns so that he would have to travel to Italy and could visit his mother in Germany.

In 2016, the FAA substantiated Bickeboeller’s allegations about the Italian supplier and Boeing agreed to implement corrective actions. That FAA investigation did not scrutinize the other suppliers.

Not sure how it works at Boeing, but where I used to work the performance review score was a key input to the bonus calculation, so lowering it would have been money out of his pocket.

Ref: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... suppliers/
 
Opus99
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:38 pm

Revelation wrote:
Looks like the Senate is not satisfied with Boeing, GE and the FAA:

The Aviation Safety Whistleblower Report to be released Monday concludes that Boeing and its suppliers put undue pressure on and retaliated against engineers conducting safety inspections and assessments on behalf of the FAA and that warnings about safety issues from senior engineers with advanced technical expertise have been ignored.

And the report states that “systemic problems continue to exist” within the FAA oversight system
, including too much delegation of work to the manufacturers, policies that allow older-design airplanes that don’t meet the latest safety standards to be certified, and a shortage of technical engineering staff at key FAA offices.

One of the Boeing employees quoted is a very senior engineer and somehow is still a Boeing employee:

Bickeboeller, a Boeing Technical Fellow, alleges in his FAA complaint that Boeing’s oversight of manufacturing work at its suppliers remains inadequate — though he had flagged the issue for years internally and in a prior complaint to the FAA.

The new 99-page complaint details Bickeboeller’s yearslong internal battle with Boeing’s ethics and legal departments and his engagement with senior executives about his concerns.

Seems Boeing deals poorly with whistle blowers:

When Bickeboeller’s warnings to managers failed to spur action, he filed internal ethics complaints and then, in 2014, a formal FAA complaint.

Boeing managers removed him from the 787 program and lowered his performance review scores. At one point, company investigators interrogated him about whether he was raising fake concerns so that he would have to travel to Italy and could visit his mother in Germany.

In 2016, the FAA substantiated Bickeboeller’s allegations about the Italian supplier and Boeing agreed to implement corrective actions. That FAA investigation did not scrutinize the other suppliers.

Not sure how it works at Boeing, but where I used to work the performance review score was a key input to the bonus calculation, so lowering it would have been money out of his pocket.

Ref: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... suppliers/

So is Boeing going to be legally required to do anything or is this part of name and shame. We need them to actually act so Boeing can make meaningful change but like some have said. Hell might freeze over before that happens
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 1:34 pm

A brief article on this:

"Boeing insiders continue to complain about tight deadlines at the expense of safety. Three years after the first crash of a 737 MAX, whistleblowers are again making serious allegations against Boeing - and against central suppliers. In addition to the 787, they also affect the 777X program."

https://www.aero.de/news-41486/Boeing-W ... ower-.html
 
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enzo011
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:47 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
A brief article on this:

"Boeing insiders continue to complain about tight deadlines at the expense of safety. Three years after the first crash of a 737 MAX, whistleblowers are again making serious allegations against Boeing - and against central suppliers. In addition to the 787, they also affect the 777X program."

https://www.aero.de/news-41486/Boeing-W ... ower-.html


Did anyone expect anything to change when they hired Calhoun as CEO and President? If you wanted change you hire someone from outside the company, not someone that was on the Board for ages when the foundations for their troubles were being laid.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:09 pm

enzo011 wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
A brief article on this:

"Boeing insiders continue to complain about tight deadlines at the expense of safety. Three years after the first crash of a 737 MAX, whistleblowers are again making serious allegations against Boeing - and against central suppliers. In addition to the 787, they also affect the 777X program."

https://www.aero.de/news-41486/Boeing-W ... ower-.html


Did anyone expect anything to change when they hired Calhoun as CEO and President? If you wanted change you hire someone from outside the company, not someone that was on the Board for ages when the foundations for their troubles were being laid.


Agreed. Calhoun is a hedge fund manager. He also brought in one of his GE cronies as the new CFO. It’s just more of the same.
 
Opus99
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:38 pm

Bloomberg reporting that FAA employees have come out to say that Forkner is being used as a scapegoat and he should not be indicted. Failure is in the engineering process.

My thing is. Is the board does not see management still does not cut it? Probably not they have Calhoun another five years. God knows why
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:56 pm

Opus99 wrote:
Probably not they have Calhoun another five years. God knows why


stock price recovery. full pay 'til the last day.
 
Opus99
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Tue Dec 14, 2021 9:04 pm

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
Probably not they have Calhoun another five years. God knows why


stock price recovery. full pay 'til the last day.

He’s doing a bad job at that too
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:59 pm

The defense stratagie that Captain Forkner is going to use in his court case is starting to leak out in the news. For details go to:
https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigatio ... 021-12-14/
 
kalvado
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 3:00 pm

CanukinUSA wrote:
The defense stratagie that Captain Forkner is going to use in his court case is starting to leak out in the news. For details go to:
https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigatio ... 021-12-14/

Well, this is something we were hoping for - things coming out when pressure to one person is applied. Overall it still sucks to be in that situation, no question about that
 
FLYBY72
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 4:13 pm

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/compani ... d=msedgntp

Told you. FAA does not want him prosecuted because they will have to testify!!

"In a PowerPoint presentation by FAA officials, with the agency’s logo prominently attached to each page, they say alleged “smoking gun” evidence wasn’t relevant to the case, and Forkner’s role in developing pilot-training for the Max played no role in the FAA’s decision to certify the plane or the design errors that led to the crashes."

Ok, so what are you hiding FAA? Notice they don't give them anyone else to blame?

"The problem “concerned an engineering issue that Mr. Forkner was neither qualified, expected, nor responsible for,” the PowerPoint said. “Any fault lies with personnel involved in the engineering certification.”
The motion doesn’t make clear whether the officials believe other Boeing employees committed crimes."

Yeah, an engineering decision that meets standards and later turns out to be a mistake is not a crime.

Funny how some of you read this as "things coming out when pressure to one person is applied" More like FAA is in damage control mode.

"The FAA has so far refused to allow any current or former employees to become involved in the case. Forkner’s legal team filed the motion in an attempt to gain access to them.
The Justice Department turned over information about the officials’ claims, including the PowerPoint, according to the motion. Forkner’s lawyers included some pages of the presentation, but not the full document."

What's in the rest?
 
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 4:40 pm

FLYBY72 wrote:
Ok, so what are you hiding FAA? Notice they don't give them anyone else to blame? Funny how some of you read this as "things coming out when pressure to one person is applied" More like FAA is in damage control mode.

The Reuters article linked above says:

The filing also included parts of a PowerPoint from an unnamed FAA employee that defense lawyers said contain new disclosures about a key system known as MCAS that should have been disclosed by Boeing’s engineering team.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is a software feature designed to automatically push the airplane’s nose down in certain conditions. It was tied to two crashes of the 737 MAX in Indonesia and Ethiopia over a five-month period in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people and led to the FAA's grounding the plane for 20 months, an action lifted in November 2020.

The filing said Boeing engineers did not disclose key details of MCAS to Forkner or the FAA - including that MCAS could activate when it was not intended after a single faulty sensor.

The PowerPoint said the 737 MAX crashes "were caused by a failure of the engineering processes" and argued the focus on training and the Forkner criminal charges "is not only incorrect and misguided, it is detracting from the real lessons."

Clearly the finger is being pointed at Boeing and the "failure of the engineering processes".

Unfortunately, this line of approach will fail given that Boeing has managed to keep all of its engineers away from scrutiny.

One of the the first things Boeing did after the grounding was to appoint its "chairmans commission" to bless and sanctify its own engineering processes.

It's been a major Boeing damage control objective all along to not expose its engineers or their processes to scrutiny.

Fortunately for them, Forkner's potty-mouthed drunken texts set him up to be the ideal fall guy, the guy even has a title that over-states his importance and relevance.

Unfortunately for the FAA employees with last minute pains of conscience, short of explosive new evidence such as coercion of the infamous "four second guy", it's too late to change the trajectory of this story.

There might have been a time where the right evidence dropped at the right moment would change the course of events, but now it's off everyone's radar screen. Too bad their conscience didn't kick in earlier. Seems now to be just an attempt to be able to say "at least I tried".

Regardless of how noble their goals are, pointing out that others should also be blamed does not exonerate Forkner.

If they want the argument that Boeing is the guilty party to stick, they need to provide "smoking gun" level evidence.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:45 pm

CanukinUSA wrote:
What seems to have been overlooked in this discussion is that the simulator has to have been approved by the FAA before the training requirements can be assessed by the FAA AEG or any foreign equivalent CAA. I have seen aircraft certification programs held up because the simulator did not get approved just before the training requirements were to be assessed and as a result it had to be delayed.
If you have ever been involved with a simulator certification you will know that the simulator must be flown and the resulting plots must match Flight Test Data from the aircraft or if it is early in the aircraft's life some of the data may be from an Engineering simulator until actual aircraft flight test data can be obtained.
The items that have to match are things like Control force applied on the flight controls, matching of the flight model from the aircraft for things like performance, stability and control, etc.. The item that requires very accurate data from Flight Test to match the aircraft is the Flight Simulator. In many cases the simulator data required needs to be better and more accurate then the flight test aircraft needs to obtain for the aircraft certification itself. The simulator would likely have been certified just before the the training assessment in a program that has been accelerated like the MAX items happen on a very tight schedule. The FAA or it's delegates would have done this approval so there should be records in an simulator approval guide which has to be kept to obtain and maintain simulator approval and the Test Conditions that were done have to be redone at certain intervals and/or if newly obtained flight test data is put into the flight models used on the Simulators. This data would clearly indicate whether the latest version of MCAS was simulated or whether the items Captain Forkner talked about in his IMs, emails, etc. were Snags on that particular 737 Max Flight Simulator. It is not really his job to certify the Flight Simulator. He probably was of the understanding that the simulator had been recently approved by the FAA and that the FAA or it's delegates approved it with better methods then his subjective assessment would so he may have been very reluctant to write a Snag. Now I cannot totally defend his actions so he is in a small part to blame for not writing a Snag if he thought that the simulator was misbehaving, his comments to customers about required simulator training and his knowledge if the MCAS had been modified as he may not have realized what flight configuration was being simulated but there were a log of other personnel involved with this both at the FAA and Boeing. It is not really his role as a Technical pilot to try and fix a recently approved simulator although he would probably try to make an effort. If I were his lawyers I would sure be asking for the plots that were used to approve the simulator that he was working on, documents that state the models for flight controls, aircraft stability and control, aircraft performance, etc. on that simulator to determine what the exact configuration of the simulator was when he was on it. There should be a long paper trail at Boeing, the Training Center (probably Boeing) where the simulator was and the National Simulator Program office of the FAA in Atlanta. That's why I stated that the DOJ, the FAA and the FBI were likely in over their heads in this situation as they do not seem to have checked into much of the information that was out there. Now there may be the possibility that the FAA has not gone out of their way to help with this as they do not always do a very through approval test of particular simulators and do not want to get exposed for not doing their job properly. They only test them for a day or two and depend mostly on the plots obtained in the documentation by the simulator sponser (probably Boeing in this case) for many of the checks. Given that the simulator was likely the first simulator for the Max one would think that they would test everything as the following simulators manufactured will be using the 737 Max Flight Model from Boeing used in this case to gain approval.


Painful to read. Add a line break between paragraphs in this long of a comment. As we have no way to add an indent at each paragraph.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
FLYBY72 wrote:
Ok, so what are you hiding FAA? Notice they don't give them anyone else to blame? Funny how some of you read this as "things coming out when pressure to one person is applied" More like FAA is in damage control mode.

The Reuters article linked above says:

The filing also included parts of a PowerPoint from an unnamed FAA employee that defense lawyers said contain new disclosures about a key system known as MCAS that should have been disclosed by Boeing’s engineering team.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is a software feature designed to automatically push the airplane’s nose down in certain conditions. It was tied to two crashes of the 737 MAX in Indonesia and Ethiopia over a five-month period in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people and led to the FAA's grounding the plane for 20 months, an action lifted in November 2020.

The filing said Boeing engineers did not disclose key details of MCAS to Forkner or the FAA - including that MCAS could activate when it was not intended after a single faulty sensor.

The PowerPoint said the 737 MAX crashes "were caused by a failure of the engineering processes" and argued the focus on training and the Forkner criminal charges "is not only incorrect and misguided, it is detracting from the real lessons."

Clearly the finger is being pointed at Boeing and the "failure of the engineering processes".

Unfortunately, this line of approach will fail given that Boeing has managed to keep all of its engineers away from scrutiny.

One of the the first things Boeing did after the grounding was to appoint its "chairmans commission" to bless and sanctify its own engineering processes.

It's been a major Boeing damage control objective all along to not expose its engineers or their processes to scrutiny.

Fortunately for them, Forkner's potty-mouthed drunken texts set him up to be the ideal fall guy, the guy even has a title that over-states his importance and relevance.

Unfortunately for the FAA employees with last minute pains of conscience, short of explosive new evidence such as coercion of the infamous "four second guy", it's too late to change the trajectory of this story.

There might have been a time where the right evidence dropped at the right moment would change the course of events, but now it's off everyone's radar screen. Too bad their conscience didn't kick in earlier. Seems now to be just an attempt to be able to say "at least I tried".

Regardless of how noble their goals are, pointing out that others should also be blamed does not exonerate Forkner.

If they want the argument that Boeing is the guilty party to stick, they need to provide "smoking gun" level evidence.


I have been reading Peter Robison's book "Flying Blind" which primarily discusses the cultural changes that happened at Boeing with a focus on the time post-merger.

With regards to the root cause of the Max, Robison reports the following:
"Ludtke's group, called Flight Crew Operations, was supposed to represent the pilots sitting in the cockpit. He estimated that the group's head count fell by half, from thirty to fifteen or so, during the MAX's development. Some were laid off or took buyout offers, while others grabbed better opportunities. His young colleague Ewbank quit in 2015, despairing of the shortcuts that managers kept pushing for."
- Peter Robison, Flying Blind,Chapter 8.


Rick Ludtke on his LinkedIn profile says:
"Designed and developed the Roll Command Alerting System (RCAS), a novel feature that provides flight crew awareness of when the autopilot system becomes saturated and/or upset on the roll axis."

The RCAS system was one of two new features on the 737Max that was the subject of whether simulator training was required.

Ewbank, is Curtis Ewbank, who was making the argument for incorporation of synthetic airspeed on 737Max.

Later in Chapter 9, Robison lays out the 737Max timeline:
"By this time, many of the engineers who had worked on the MAX early in its design had moved on to other projects. Ewbank and others with expertise in human factors were gone. Many of those who remained (the pilots thought of them as interchangeable units from the University of Washington, making $90,000 a year) lacked the clout to make a "blood on the seat covers" declaration, had they wanted to."
- Peter Robison, Flying Blind,Chapter 9.


The "blood on the seat covers" reference is to a meeting recalled in the book where Boeing's executive for safety, Paul Reynolds, made an argument for a design change to the fuel system on the 737-600.

To someone who has worked many development projects but not the 737Max, one can see the chain of events that would have permitted the final version of MCAS to slip through the cracks in the design and certification process. Robison provides additional information that the organizations responsible for evaluating MCAS had lost critical skills.

Just to reiterate, Boeing lost configuration control of the MCAS system in March 2016. Forkner was not told of the change to the functionality of the system, and thus is being made the fall guy for Boeing's poor management. If there is one thing that we are seeing again and again in the reporting, it is that Boeing management is not holding itself to a sufficiently high standard.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:11 pm

Canuck600 wrote:
FLYBY72 wrote:
News Flash!!! Nothing was hidden from the FAA. The FAA knows this. Boeing handed over all documents, the FAA did not. The FAA has also refused to make certain employees açaí me for questioning, and those that were some refused to talk. It is all in the a congressional report

It is the FAA that needs to be held accountable.


How do you know they handed over all the documents? Purely speculation, but you do have to wonder if some stuff "accidentally" fell into a shredder that just happened to be running at the time.


He noted it was in the congressional record. So that would be how he knows.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:18 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Just to reiterate, Boeing lost configuration control of the MCAS system in March 2016. Forkner was not told of the change to the functionality of the system, and thus is being made the fall guy for Boeing's poor management. If there is one thing that we are seeing again and again in the reporting, it is that Boeing management is not holding itself to a sufficiently high standard.

Thanks for the quotes, the book sounds interesting.

It seems that the only thing Boeing management is good at is damage control. Unfortunately their other decisions mean they get plenty of opportunity to develop and exercise their damage control skills.
 
CanukinUSA
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:22 am

I guess that depends on what your definition of good damage control is. They are good at the superficial damage control but they have completely failed at the important damage control items. They have lost billions, lost market share, destroyed their reputation and are losing many of their customers even though their main competitor cannot deliver aircraft for a long time period (i.e. like Qantas a few minutes ago). So much for damage control. Sadly I think we are just seeing the start of many issues right now as the court cases get fired up. I hope I am wrong!
 
sxf24
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:44 am

How could Forkner be a fall guy when the government investigated Boeing extensively? This would require prosecutors to be stupid or Boeing to withhold evidence.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Dec 16, 2021 3:51 am

Pythagoras wrote:
Revelation wrote:
FLYBY72 wrote:
Ok, so what are you hiding FAA? Notice they don't give them anyone else to blame? Funny how some of you read this as "things coming out when pressure to one person is applied" More like FAA is in damage control mode.

The Reuters article linked above says:

The filing also included parts of a PowerPoint from an unnamed FAA employee that defense lawyers said contain new disclosures about a key system known as MCAS that should have been disclosed by Boeing’s engineering team.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is a software feature designed to automatically push the airplane’s nose down in certain conditions. It was tied to two crashes of the 737 MAX in Indonesia and Ethiopia over a five-month period in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people and led to the FAA's grounding the plane for 20 months, an action lifted in November 2020.

The filing said Boeing engineers did not disclose key details of MCAS to Forkner or the FAA - including that MCAS could activate when it was not intended after a single faulty sensor.

The PowerPoint said the 737 MAX crashes "were caused by a failure of the engineering processes" and argued the focus on training and the Forkner criminal charges "is not only incorrect and misguided, it is detracting from the real lessons."

Clearly the finger is being pointed at Boeing and the "failure of the engineering processes".

Unfortunately, this line of approach will fail given that Boeing has managed to keep all of its engineers away from scrutiny.

One of the the first things Boeing did after the grounding was to appoint its "chairmans commission" to bless and sanctify its own engineering processes.

It's been a major Boeing damage control objective all along to not expose its engineers or their processes to scrutiny.

Fortunately for them, Forkner's potty-mouthed drunken texts set him up to be the ideal fall guy, the guy even has a title that over-states his importance and relevance.

Unfortunately for the FAA employees with last minute pains of conscience, short of explosive new evidence such as coercion of the infamous "four second guy", it's too late to change the trajectory of this story.

There might have been a time where the right evidence dropped at the right moment would change the course of events, but now it's off everyone's radar screen. Too bad their conscience didn't kick in earlier. Seems now to be just an attempt to be able to say "at least I tried".

Regardless of how noble their goals are, pointing out that others should also be blamed does not exonerate Forkner.

If they want the argument that Boeing is the guilty party to stick, they need to provide "smoking gun" level evidence.


I have been reading Peter Robison's book "Flying Blind" which primarily discusses the cultural changes that happened at Boeing with a focus on the time post-merger.

With regards to the root cause of the Max, Robison reports the following:
"Ludtke's group, called Flight Crew Operations, was supposed to represent the pilots sitting in the cockpit. He estimated that the group's head count fell by half, from thirty to fifteen or so, during the MAX's development. Some were laid off or took buyout offers, while others grabbed better opportunities. His young colleague Ewbank quit in 2015, despairing of the shortcuts that managers kept pushing for."
- Peter Robison, Flying Blind,Chapter 8.


Rick Ludtke on his LinkedIn profile says:
"Designed and developed the Roll Command Alerting System (RCAS), a novel feature that provides flight crew awareness of when the autopilot system becomes saturated and/or upset on the roll axis."

The RCAS system was one of two new features on the 737Max that was the subject of whether simulator training was required.

Ewbank, is Curtis Ewbank, who was making the argument for incorporation of synthetic airspeed on 737Max.

Later in Chapter 9, Robison lays out the 737Max timeline:
"By this time, many of the engineers who had worked on the MAX early in its design had moved on to other projects. Ewbank and others with expertise in human factors were gone. Many of those who remained (the pilots thought of them as interchangeable units from the University of Washington, making $90,000 a year) lacked the clout to make a "blood on the seat covers" declaration, had they wanted to."
- Peter Robison, Flying Blind,Chapter 9.


The "blood on the seat covers" reference is to a meeting recalled in the book where Boeing's executive for safety, Paul Reynolds, made an argument for a design change to the fuel system on the 737-600.

To someone who has worked many development projects but not the 737Max, one can see the chain of events that would have permitted the final version of MCAS to slip through the cracks in the design and certification process. Robison provides additional information that the organizations responsible for evaluating MCAS had lost critical skills.

Just to reiterate, Boeing lost configuration control of the MCAS system in March 2016. Forkner was not told of the change to the functionality of the system, and thus is being made the fall guy for Boeing's poor management. If there is one thing that we are seeing again and again in the reporting, it is that Boeing management is not holding itself to a sufficiently high standard.


A correction is required.

The "blood on the seat covers" reference is to a meeting recalled in the book where Boeing's executive for safety, Paul Russell, made an argument for a design change to the fuel system on the 737-600.


Paul Russell was part of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team that was awarded the Collier Trophy in 2009 for improvements in aviation safety.
https://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2009/july/i_ca01.pdf
 
Scotron12
Posts: 668
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Re: Updated: Boeing's Fatal Flaw, former Chief Technical Pilot indicted

Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:32 am

sxf24 wrote:
How could Forkner be a fall guy when the government investigated Boeing extensively? This would require prosecutors to be stupid or Boeing to withhold evidence.


Well, Forkner certainly did not do anything for personal gain. If you read the charges, he is accused of fraud. The only benefactor, if true, was Boeing.

Seperately, Boeing has a DPA currently in effect. The whole thing stinks IMO. The Justice Department lawyer on the DPA, is now with Kirkland & Ellis, longtime Boeing counsel.

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