Profits 1st, Safety 2nd?

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Message 2010964 - Posted: 6 Sep 2019, 15:44:03 UTC

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/09/06/us/florida-american-airlines-mechanic-faces-sabotage-charge/index.html

A mechanic for American Airlines was arrested Thursday and accused of trying to sabotage a commercial airliner shortly before it was set to take off from Miami International Airport for the Bahamas with 150 people on board.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has been charged with "willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Alani allegedly tried to damage or disable the aircraft's air data module (ADM) system, which reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical data, on July 17.
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Message 2010967 - Posted: 6 Sep 2019, 15:53:36 UTC - in response to Message 2010964.  

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/09/06/us/florida-american-airlines-mechanic-faces-sabotage-charge/index.html

A mechanic for American Airlines was arrested Thursday and accused of trying to sabotage a commercial airliner shortly before it was set to take off from Miami International Airport for the Bahamas with 150 people on board.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has been charged with "willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Alani allegedly tried to damage or disable the aircraft's air data module (ADM) system, which reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical data, on July 17.
BBC version of this story

An American Airlines mechanic has been charged with damaging an aircraft in July as he was allegedly "upset" over stalled union contract negotiations.

The plane, with 150 people on board, was scheduled to fly from Miami to Nassau in the Bahamas on 17 July.

But it aborted take-off after the pilots received an error message about the flight computer.

Upon inspection, a piece of foam was found glued inside a navigation system part which stopped it from functioning.

...

The mechanics' union has been trying to secure a new contract with the airline as the company outsources more maintenance jobs in a bid to curb costs.
So, profit again comes into the equation. But at least the sequence 'error message - aborted take-off' means no lives were lost. This time.
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Message 2011016 - Posted: 6 Sep 2019, 23:07:29 UTC - in response to Message 2010967.  

So, profit again comes into the equation. But at least the sequence 'error message - aborted take-off' means no lives were lost. This time.

Better hackers, no message.
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Message 2011246 - Posted: 8 Sep 2019, 15:39:56 UTC

The Boeing Pinto 737.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USAir_Flight_427
USAir Flight 427 was a scheduled flight from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport, with a final destination of West Palm Beach, Florida. On Thursday, September 8, 1994, the Boeing 737 flying this route crashed while approaching runway 28R of Pittsburgh International Airport, located in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which at the time was the largest hub for the airline.

After the longest investigation in the history of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it was determined that the probable cause was that the aircraft's rudder malfunctioned and went hard-over in a direction opposite to that commanded by the pilots, causing the plane to enter an aerodynamic stall from which the pilots were unable to recover. All 132 people on board the aircraft were killed.

Investigators later discovered that the recovered accident rudder power control unit was much more sensitive to bench-tests than other new such units. The exact mechanism of the failure involved the servo valve, which remains dormant and cold for much of the flight at high altitude, seizing after being injected with hot hydraulic fluid that has been in continuous action throughout the plane. This specific condition occurred in fewer than 1% of the lab tests, but explained the rudder malfunction that caused Flight 427 to crash. The jam left no trace of evidence after it occurred and a Boeing engineer later found that a jam under this controlled condition could also lead to the slide moving in the opposite direction than that commanded. In light of this, Boeing felt that the test results were not real-world and not applicable due to the extremes under which the valve was tested. Boeing stated that the rudder reversal was more likely psychological, likening it to examples when a human panics and intends to step on the brake during an automotive accident, but accidentally presses on the gas pedal instead while under duress. The FAA's official position was that there was not enough evidence for probable cause of rudder system failure.

After the longest accident investigation in NTSB history — lasting more than four and a half years — the NTSB released its final report on March 24, 1999. The NTSB concluded that the accident was due to mechanical failure:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the USAir Flight 427 accident was a loss of control of the airplane resulting from the movement of the rudder surface to its blowdown limit. The rudder surface most likely deflected in a direction opposite to that commanded by the pilots as a result of a jam of the main rudder power control unit servo valve secondary slide to the servo valve housing offset from its neutral position and overtravel of the primary slide.

The FAA disagreed with the NTSB's probable cause verdict and Tom McSweeney, the FAA director of aircraft certification, issued a statement on the same day it was issued which read: "We believe, as much as we have studied this aircraft and this rudder system, that the actions we have taken assure a level of safety that is commensurate with any aircraft."

However the FAA changed its attitude after a special task force, the Engineering Test and Evaluation Board, reported in July 2000 that it had detected 46 potential failures and jams in the 737 rudder system that could have catastrophic effects. In September 2000 the FAA announced that it wanted Boeing to redesign the rudder for all iterations of the 737, of which there were then more than 3,400 in the USA alone.

Boeing maintained that the most likely cause of the crash was that the co-pilot inadvertently deflected the rudder hard-over in the wrong direction while in a panic and for unknown reasons maintained this input until impact with the ground. ... In 2016, former investigator John Cox stated that time so far has proven the NTSB correct in their findings due to the absence of a rudder reversal incident since Boeing's redesign.
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Message 2011496 - Posted: 10 Sep 2019, 19:50:50 UTC

I think that Boeing's middle & senior management should sit down & watch this video...
The truck that invented an industry
...they might learn something.
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Message 2012549 - Posted: 19 Sep 2019, 18:16:59 UTC

Worth reading, but with a warning, it is very long.

What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?
Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
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Message 2012554 - Posted: 19 Sep 2019, 19:54:03 UTC - in response to Message 2012549.  

Good read. Brings to mind that well mentioned quote: Pay peanuts, get monkeys...
...can monkeys fly?

Hmm...
...Banned from entering US & European air space as it's designated as an unsafe airline, Obama assists Boeing.
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Message 2012561 - Posted: 19 Sep 2019, 21:59:39 UTC - in response to Message 2012554.  

Banned from entering US & European air space as it's designated as an unsafe airline, Obama assists Boeing.
Left hand, Right Hand, Pilot, Co-Pilot. Missing politics disagree light, missing instruments disagree light.

However the report is 100% correct. Pilot error, caused by airline greed.
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Message 2012562 - Posted: 19 Sep 2019, 22:10:17 UTC - in response to Message 2012561.  

However the report is 100% correct. Pilot error, caused by airline greed.
And passenger selfishness.

Airbus forecasts that number of planes in sky will double in 20 years
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Message 2012613 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 14:13:26 UTC - in response to Message 2012549.  
Last modified: 20 Sep 2019, 14:19:25 UTC

Worth reading, but with a warning, it is very long.

What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?
Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

A goodly detailed read thanks.

The stark notes are the deadly compromises:

... Boeing’s reticence allowed a narrative to emerge: that the company had developed the system to elude regulators; that it was all about shortcuts and greed; that it had cynically gambled with the lives of the flying public; that the Lion Air pilots were overwhelmed by the failures of a hidden system they could not reasonably have been expected to resist; and that the design of the MCAS was unquestionably the cause of the accident.

But none of this was quite true. The rush to lay blame was based in part on a poor understanding not just of the technicalities but also of Boeing’s commercial aviation culture...

... The answer was that all of Lion Air’s accidents happened during takeoffs and landings and therefore at relatively low speed, either on runways or in their immediate obstacle-free vicinities...

... The rush took five years to complete. Boeing called the result the Max. To keep costs down, as with all previous iterations, the redesign had to lie within the original 1968 F.A.A. certification of the type and not be treated officially as a new airplane... Equally important was that it had to have the same flying characteristics. This was a regulatory necessity if the Max was to escape onerous reclassification as a new airplane. And there was a problem. Boeing test pilots discovered that the Max had unusual stall characteristics when the wing flaps were up and the engines were thrusting...

... Some at Boeing argued for an aerodynamic fix, but the modifications would have been slow and expensive, and Boeing was in a hurry. Its solution was to create synthetic control forces by cooking up a new automated system known as the MCAS to roll in a burst of double-speed nose-down stabilizer trim...

... And the Lion Air mechanics? He said: “They didn’t finish, whatever the log says. They didn’t do an adequate check of the systems.” If they had, in Goglia’s view, they would have seen that the unit was faulty. According to the official narrative, which — discounting its omissions — seems to be mostly true, when a fresh crew arrived to take the next run, a night flight 600 miles west to Jakarta, a technician showed the new captain the maintenance log and explained that the angle-of-attack sensor on the left side had been replaced...

... One of Boeing’s bewildering failures in the MCAS design is that despite the existence of two independent angle-of-attack sensors, the system did not require agreement between them to conclude that a stall had occurred. Inside the cockpit, none of the pilots knew any of this or had ever heard of the MCAS. To them the event must have looked like a runaway trim, much as Boeing had expected. But there were two differences that may have confused them. The first was the severity of the pitch-down trim...

... The captain formally declared a condition of urgency by making a “pan-pan” call to air-traffic control. He reported an instrument failure and asked to continue flying straight ahead... Finally the ghost in the jump seat intervened. It is impossible to know if he was a better airman than the pilots in the front or simply had the advantage of an overview. Either way, he recommended the obvious — shutting off the electric trim by flipping the cutout switches... Investigators do not seem to have explored why the pilots required nearly five minutes to handle what normally might have been a 30-second adventure, or why they required a cockpit guest to provide the solution...

... If true, it was hard to conclude anything other than that this was severe and grotesque negligence... They just checked the fault messages and cleared them and called it a day. That’s my best guess. They were just hellbent to release that airplane.”...

... It is hard to believe that any pilot entering that cockpit could have been so sloppy. But one thing is obvious: Throughout the subsequent fatal flight, neither member of the accident crew gave those [cutout] switches a thought...

... The Lion Air 610 accident crew — ... Instead, they thought they had a healthy airplane, and a nice new one, too...

... Suneja knew they had experienced some kind of runaway trim, but now with the flaps extended (and therefore with the unknown MCAS neutralized) it did not happen again. This would have been a good time to quit and go home. Instead, Suneja leveled at 5,000 and 30 seconds later ordered the flaps retracted...

... The MCAS was fast and relentless. Suneja could have disabled it at any time with the flip of the two trim cutout switches, but this apparently never came to mind, and he had no ghost in the jump seat to offer the advice. The fight continued for the next five minutes, during which time the MCAS mounted more than 20 attacks and began to prevail...

... so long as the pilots stayed in the fight. But panic was growing in the cockpit. What little the Indonesian investigators have said about the voice recordings, they have described that much. The air-traffic control record shows the same. Suddenly it was the captain, Suneja, who was on the radio, and his transmissions made little sense...

... The nose dropped farther as the stabilizer prevailed. The crew of an offshore oil platform saw the airplane in a nearly vertical dive before it hit the water...

... The MCAS as it was designed and implemented was a big mistake. It remains unclear exactly what went wrong at Boeing — who decided what, and why...

... The second accident occurred when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 Max bound for Nairobi with 157 people aboard, hit the ground near Addis Ababa in a screaming dive...

... to activate the autopilot as a way of disabling the MCAS. The record shows four attempts in rapid succession to engage the autopilot, all of which were refused because autopilots are not recovery devices and will not engage if they sense pressures on the control column — meaning that an airplane is being flown out of trim... in apparent desperation to persuade the autopilot to engage, Getachew did the unthinkable and released his pressure on the control column. The column snapped forward, and the airplane responded by violently pitching down, 20 degrees below the horizon. Just then, with the stick shaker still rattling, the MCAS kicked in and achieved full nose-down trim, doubling the angle of the dive... the airplane hit the ground doing approximately 600 miles an hour. It buried itself into a 30-foot-deep crater in farmland...

... All signs are that the reintroduction of the 737 Max will be exceedingly difficult because of political and bureaucratic obstacles that are formidable and widespread. Who in a position of authority will say to the public that the airplane is safe?

I would if I were in such a position. What we had in the two downed airplanes was a textbook failure of airmanship. In broad daylight, these pilots couldn’t decipher a variant of a ... runaway trim, and they ended up flying too fast at low altitude...

... Furthermore, it is certain that thousands of similar crews are at work around the world, enduring as rote pilots and apparently safe, but only so long as conditions are routine ... Boeing has grown largely silent, perhaps as much at the request of its sales force as of its lawyers. To point fingers at important clients would risk alienating not only those airlines but others who have been conditioned to buy its airplanes, no matter how incompetent their pilots may be.




Phew! Quite a read and quite a depressing description of corrupt politics and business greed killing safety and safe flying. More of a question is what next?

An important part of that story is that the pilots were overwhelmed by the unexpected circumstances so much so as to start to panic. Also, they seem to have been trained (or pressured?) to 'press on regardless' rather than to turn back or divert...


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Message 2012629 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 17:08:21 UTC - in response to Message 2012613.  

An important part of that story is that the pilots were overwhelmed by the unexpected circumstances so much so as to start to panic. Also, they seem to have been trained (or pressured?) to 'press on regardless' rather than to turn back or divert...
The pilots weren't trained at all! That's the first point you should have come away with. Training is not standing in the back of the simulator knowing in advance what "emergency" is going to be simulated and watching others go through the checklist, the correct one already in their lap because they also know which "emergency" is going to be simulated. This is not training this is rote memorization. If anything isn't exactly like what was memorized they have no clue and everyone dies. Training is getting something you don't expect tossed at you and having to figure it out, time and time again. If you can't do that you don't belong in the cockpit.

The key comments, which only a pilot might pick up on, were where airmanship was discussed. Things like sailplanes and aerobatics. The flight realm you will find yourself in when things break. Being there intentionally as part of your training is a must. That is the only way you can learn what it feels like and how to get back to straight and level. If you have done it before you will stay calm cool and collected and no panic. I think it is time to require some sailplane and aerobatic training before you can get an ATP. Does wonders for basic airmanship.

[interjection] both crews made the same idiot mistake of leaving the throttles firewalled with the overspeed warning screaming at them. They hadn't rote memorized it, so panic and ignore everything else. They did exactly what they memorized, which was nothing. Result crash. 100% predictable.

Maybe Boeing needs to placard their aircraft "Only REAL pilots permitted to operate."

Flying: Hours of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.
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Message 2012630 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 17:20:06 UTC

Microsoft president: Don't move fast and break things

Some US tech firms have gained a reputation for being willing to launch products before it is clear whether they could be damaging to society.

But Microsoft's president, Brad Smith, says that it is not good enough for such companies to absolve themselves of responsibility and say that it is solely up to lawmakers to decide what is right and wrong.

Mr Smith's book - Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age - aims to serve as a wake-up call to the industry.
Maybe he could send a copy to his friends at Boeing. Or a truckload.
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Message 2012635 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 17:50:30 UTC - in response to Message 2012629.  

An important part of that story is that the pilots were overwhelmed by the unexpected circumstances so much so as to start to panic. Also, they seem to have been trained (or pressured?) to 'press on regardless' rather than to turn back or divert...
The pilots weren't trained at all! That's the first point you should have come away with. Training is not standing in the back of the simulator knowing in advance what "emergency" is going to be simulated and watching others go through the checklist, the correct one already in their lap because they also know which "emergency" is going to be simulated. This is not training this is rote memorization. If anything isn't exactly like what was memorized they have no clue and everyone dies. Training is getting something you don't expect tossed at you and having to figure it out, time and time again. If you can't do that you don't belong in the cockpit.

The key comments, which only a pilot might pick up on, were where airmanship was discussed. Things like sailplanes and aerobatics. The flight realm you will find yourself in when things break. Being there intentionally as part of your training is a must. That is the only way you can learn what it feels like and how to get back to straight and level. If you have done it before you will stay calm cool and collected and no panic. I think it is time to require some sailplane and aerobatic training before you can get an ATP. Does wonders for basic airmanship.

[interjection] both crews made the same idiot mistake of leaving the throttles firewalled with the overspeed warning screaming at them. They hadn't rote memorized it, so panic and ignore everything else. They did exactly what they memorized, which was nothing. Result crash. 100% predictable.

Maybe Boeing needs to placard their aircraft "Only REAL pilots permitted to operate."

Flying: Hours of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

Good post, I agree with that 100%.
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Message 2012640 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 18:15:00 UTC - in response to Message 2012629.  
Last modified: 20 Sep 2019, 18:21:28 UTC

The pilots weren't trained at all!
They were but the MCAS was not a memory item. Just an app to the pilot's iPhone.
Memory Items Boeing 737 NG/MAX
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjWtt7C56I0
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Message 2012643 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 18:26:23 UTC - in response to Message 2012640.  

The pilots weren't trained at all!
They were but the MCAS was not a memory item. Just an app to the pilots iPhone.
Memory Items Boeing 737 NG/MAX
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjWtt7C56I0

Define "Pilot". I don't think that many of those that fly commercial aircraft have the "Airmanship" skills to be defined as a pilot.

“Airmanship” is an anachronistic word, but it is applied without prejudice to women as well as men. Its full meaning is difficult to convey. It includes a visceral sense of navigation, an operational understanding of weather and weather information, the ability to form mental maps of traffic flows, fluency in the nuance of radio communications and, especially, a deep appreciation for the interplay between energy, inertia and wings. Airplanes are living things. The best pilots do not sit in cockpits so much as strap them on. The United States Navy manages to instill a sense of this in its fledgling fighter pilots by ramming them through rigorous classroom instruction and then requiring them to fly at bank angles without limits, including upside down. The same cannot be expected of airline pilots who never fly solo and whose entire experience consists of catering to passengers who flinch in mild turbulence, refer to “air pockets” in cocktail conversation and think they are near death if bank angles exceed 30 degrees. The problem exists for many American and European pilots, too. Unless they make extraordinary efforts — for instance, going out to fly aerobatics, fly sailplanes or wander among the airstrips of backcountry Idaho — they may never develop true airmanship no matter the length of their careers. The worst of them are intimidated by their airplanes and remain so until they retire or die. It is unfortunate that those who die in cockpits tend to take their passengers with them.
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Message 2012649 - Posted: 20 Sep 2019, 19:02:31 UTC - in response to Message 2012643.  
Last modified: 20 Sep 2019, 19:04:32 UTC

Well most pilots are trained and qualified and have airmanship.
Can Mentour Pilot, Petter Hörnfeldt, Airline training captain, simulator instructor and training manager in a major European airline and have more than 15 years of experience within the airline industry, Boeing 737-800 still fly?!
Lets find out:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzXMyEaz4j4
However shit happens sometimes unfortunately...
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Message 2012695 - Posted: 21 Sep 2019, 1:42:24 UTC - in response to Message 2012649.  

Well most pilots are trained and qualified and have airmanship.
Can Mentour Pilot, Petter Hörnfeldt, Airline training captain, simulator instructor and training manager in a major European airline and have more than 15 years of experience within the airline industry, Boeing 737-800 still fly?!
Lets find out:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzXMyEaz4j4
However shit happens sometimes unfortunately...

Assembly line to make pilots. Predictable result, plane crashes.
This spring, I drove an hour west of the Jakarta airport to a compound known as Lion City. There, 2,500 flight attendants live in dormitories and batches of pilot recruits sit through up to six months of initial ground school before moving on to four to five months of flight training in Cessna 172s, followed by guaranteed jobs as co-pilots for the Lion Air Group. The pedagogical approach is that of a production line, with no accommodation for creativity or the unexpected. The tuition is $60,000. About 150 to 200 students pass through every year. The completion rate for the flight training is an astonishing 95 percent. When I asked how the completion rate could be so high, the head of training explained that it is because of aptitude testing at the start. For instance, applicants must have graduated from high school. In other words, when it comes to predicting the competence of its pilots, Lion Air has achieved the clairvoyance that has long eluded Boeing and Airbus, both of which have spent decades in that pursuit without finding good answers.
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Message 2012766 - Posted: 21 Sep 2019, 20:10:25 UTC

This report, if true is rather worrying. Things to note: this is a US airline, not one based in Africa or the Far East, the pilot had a long career history as a pilot, he was not comfortable with the training he had received, he was denied additional training, he was reprimanded for asking for additional training.
https://qz.com/1584233/boeing-737-max-what-happened-when-one-us-pilot-asked-for-more-training/

The reported responses to the simple question posed by the reporter "Did any of your pilots ask for more training than the (mandatory) video/ipod?" is very enlightening, and evasive - none actually appear to have answered that question, but appear to have responded to very different questions.

(It is also worth noting that the report repeats the claim that MCAS is an "anti-stall" system, whereas Boeing cal it a "pilot aid" - subtle but critical difference in terminology)
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Message 2012786 - Posted: 21 Sep 2019, 22:29:47 UTC

Airmanship. I think that relates to the philosophic basis of education in the different geographical regions, or in the different business models. A difference between 'memorising' and 'understanding'.

I think I'm seeing something similar in the technical areas of these message boards. There's a lot of 'use this app', 'use this command line', 'use this TLA'. I've just written this: it feels qualitatively different.
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Message 2013104 - Posted: 24 Sep 2019, 9:23:15 UTC

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Message boards : Politics : Profits 1st, Safety 2nd?


 
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