Boeing: Profits 1st, Safety 2nd? (Part 3)

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Message 2135552 - Posted: 6 May 2024, 10:15:07 UTC

More on that ripple effect.

Commercial jet maker Airbus is staying humble even as Boeing flounders. There's a reason for that.

In the latest round of their decades-long battle for dominance in commercial aircraft, Europe’s Airbus established a clear sales lead over Boeing even before the American company encountered more fallout from manufacturing problems and ongoing safety concerns.

Airbus has outpaced Boeing for five straight years in plane orders and deliveries, and just reported a 28% quarterly increase in net profit. It was already winning market share by beating Boeing to develop a line of fuel-efficient, mid-sized aircraft that are cheaper for airlines to fly.

And now Boeing is facing a government-mandated production cap on its best-selling plane.

Yet the European company is unlikely to extend its advantage in the Airbus-Boeing duopoly much further despite having customers clamoring for more commercial aircraft, according to aviation analysts. The reason: Airbus already is making planes as fast as it can and has a backlog of more than 8,600 orders to fill.

Its ability to leverage Boeing’s troubles therefore is “very limited,” according to Jonathan Berger, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy. Between strained supply chains and the long lead times for a hugely complex and highly regulated product, a jetliner ordered from Airbus today may not arrive until the end of the decade......
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Message 2135569 - Posted: 7 May 2024, 0:44:23 UTC

Who's next to mysteriously fall severely ill and/or die?

Thing are not going to get better for Boeing as the various US Federal agencies keep digging and finding things like this:

US FAA opens probe into Boeing 787 inspections
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday it has opened an investigation into the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after the planemaker said some employees had committed "misconduct" by claiming some tests had been completed.

The FAA said it is investigating whether Boeing completed the inspections to confirm adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes "and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records."

The agency said "at the same time, Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet."
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Message 2135694 - Posted: 10 May 2024, 15:33:38 UTC

Boeing is still very much in the wrong and unhealthy type of news:


Boeing's Rough Landing...



Fly safe?...
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Message 2135700 - Posted: 10 May 2024, 16:06:18 UTC

Has luck run out for Boeing? Hmmm...
Boeing Troubles Just Got Worse
The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into Boeing over concerns it may have misled investors, reported Bloomberg.

The investigation pertains specifically to comments made to investors about safety practices following an incident in January in which a panel flew off an Alaska Airlines-run 737 Max 9 plane midair because of a poorly installed door plug.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for Boeing told Newsweek: "We don't have anything to add."
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Message 2135853 - Posted: 15 May 2024, 5:31:35 UTC

Justice Department says Boeing violated deal that avoided prosecution after 737 Max crashes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Boeing has violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft more than five years ago, the Justice Department told a federal judge on Tuesday.

It is now up to the Justice Department to decide whether to file charges against Boeing. Prosecutors will tell the court no later than July 7 how they plan to proceed, department said.

New 737 Max jets crashed in 2018 in Indonesia and 2019 in Ethiopia, killing 346 people. Boeing reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department in January 2021 to avoid prosecution on a single charge of fraud — misleading federal regulators who approved the plane. Boeing blamed the deception on two relatively low-level employees.

In a letter filed Tuesday in federal court in Texas, Glenn Leon, head of the Justice Department criminal division’s fraud section, said Boeing violated terms of the settlement by failing to make promised changes to detect and prevent violations of federal anti-fraud laws.
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Message 2136773 - Posted: 6 Jun 2024, 7:52:35 UTC

More come forward with bad news.

Two more Boeing whistleblowers have gone public over what they allege are dangerous practices at the once-great but now-scandal-scarred manufacturer.

They say they just want to make sure the planes don’t crash.

Two former employees of Boeing and its key contractor have told the New York Post that — despite the deaths of two whistleblowers within two months this year — they are more determined than ever to tell the truth about what they allege are dangerous practices at the once-great but now-scandal-scarred manufacturer.

Roy Irvin, a veteran of Boeing, and Santiago Paredes, who worked at Spirit AeroSystems (not to be confused with Spirit Airlines), are just two of at least 20 whistleblowers in the process of making their concerns about safety and quality issues at the aerospace giant public........
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Message 2136857 - Posted: 8 Jun 2024, 2:14:53 UTC
Last modified: 8 Jun 2024, 2:15:52 UTC

Boeing 737 took off from Bristol ‘with just three seconds of runway left’
The Tui jet carrying 163 passengers passed over a nearby main road with only 100ft to spare, investigators say

A Boeing 737 took off from Bristol Airport with just three seconds of runway remaining after a technical glitch, a report has revealed.
The airliner, carrying 163 passengers and crew, cleared the end of the airport’s runway with just over three seconds to spare, an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said.
The 15-year-old Boeing took off with just 260 metres (853 feet) of runway in front of it, much less room than usual.
The jet was slower than it should have been while taking off because of a fault with its autothrottle, investigators said.
“Neither pilot noticed that the thrust was set incorrectly, and it was not picked up through the standard operating procedures,” warned the AAIB in a special bulletin to airlines.
The plane cleared the end of the runway at a height of just 10 feet, instead of the normal 50 feet.
The Tui flight then passed over the nearby A38 main road, which borders Bristol Airport, at less than 100 feet.

The AAIB later publishing a special warning to airlines about using the Boeing 737-800’s autothrottle.
Autothrottle controls the aeroplane’s speed, and is closely related to – but not part of – the autopilot, which controls which direction the aircraft flies in.
Boeing told the AAIB that the autothrottle system fitted to the 737-800 had “a long history of nuisance disconnects during takeoff mode engagements”.
“Usually, subsequent functionality checks on the system find no faults,” the aircraft manufacturer said.
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Message 2136865 - Posted: 8 Jun 2024, 4:57:41 UTC - in response to Message 2136857.  

https://simpleflying.com/aaib-report-boeing-737-800-autothrottle-failure-bristol-flight-overflight-end-of-runway-10ft/
The aircraft's autothrottle system failed, with the pilots also entering the incorrect thrust setting, which resulted in the aircraft taking off from the runway at a height of around 10 feet (3 meters).
The investigators noted that the manually set thrust – 84.5% N1 – was below the required takeoff thrust – 92.8% N1 – and was not noticed by the pilots and not picked up through the standard operating procedures (SOP).
The control of the aircraft was handed over to the aircraft commander, who was the pilot flying (PF) for the flight to LPA. The PF proceeded to advance the thrust levels to 40% N1 and wait for the engines to stabilize before pressing the Takeoff/Go-Around switch (TOGA).
Per the AAIB, the TOGA switch engages both the autothrottle in N1 mode and the autopilot/flight director system (AFDS) in takeoff mode. However, the investigators stated that at this point, the autothrottle disengaged with an associated warning.
The PF responded by arming the autothrottle again, and at the same time, the pilot advanced the thrust levers manually toward the required takeoff setting. The AAIB highlighted that per TUI Airways’ SOP, the pilot monitoring (PM) had to take over the controls of the thrust lever, as they did so during this flight.
However, when the PM re-armed the autothrottle, the system did not control the thrust lever servos, something that the pilots did not expect to happen. Instead, the autothrottle entered into armed mode <note not active> and, thus, did not advance to the required thrust settings. The pilots did not move the thrust levers, which had remained at the level to which the PF had moved them.
Boeing’s Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) notes reasons pilots might reject a takeoff at 80 knots, including a system failure(s). According to the investigators, the disconnection of the autothrottle when the TOGA switch was pressed was one such reason, yet the flight crew continued with their takeoff roll with a thrust setting below what was calculated for their takeoff performance.
According to the investigators, the TUI Airways Boeing 737-800 was equipped with older ASMs. In October 2021, Boeing issued a Fleet Team Digest to airlines operating the 737 NG, detailing the problem and the service bulletin to replace the ASMs and apply the required flight control computer software.


Quite a different narrative than the click bait press report.
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Message 2136891 - Posted: 9 Jun 2024, 16:56:24 UTC - in response to Message 2136865.  
Last modified: 9 Jun 2024, 17:38:59 UTC

Thanks for that article.

Reading the full article makes for very disappointing reading...

My personal reading suggests that this is a long known series of recurring faults for which Boeing offers no reliable fix.

That then adds to a lot of distraction and extra workload for the pilots rather than them being able to remain concentrating on safely flying.

To me, this suggests this is another "Boeing feature" that is going to cause another unnecessary crash and loss of life...


Fly safe??
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Message 2136909 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 5:13:41 UTC - in response to Message 2136891.  

My personal reading suggests that this is a long known series of recurring faults for which Boeing offers no reliable fix.
The fix is reject the takeoff. Or do you think that sane well trained pilots should take off with known faulty equipment? [or has this become normalized deviance from SOP?}

Until the part fails on a test bench, you can't have a fix. As it does not fail when tested after the fact, the KISS answer is operator error*. So many possibilities. Fix thing that aren't broken? How does that usually go. Break lots more things.

*One thing may be actual OE. The pilot after hitting the TOGA switch might not relax his grip enough and a sensor picks this up and correctly disengages the system assuming he is putting in manual input. This would also explain why it tests good after a reported fail.

**Additional note Airbus throttle levers do not move when the when the autothrottle is active. Boeing's do so the pilot has a visual reference for the called for amount of thrust.
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Message 2136910 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 5:39:15 UTC - in response to Message 2136909.  

The fix is reject the takeoff. Or do you think that sane well trained pilots should take off with known faulty equipment? [or has this become normalized deviance from SOP?}

Yes and no - every aircraft type has a list of equipment that are essential for flight, and a list a of equipment that is not essential; additionally each operator may add equipment to the essential list. Before each flight (or each change of crew, or day's operation) these lists are compared with the operational equipment list (this has various names) for the aircraft convened. Obviously if there is an item on the essential list that is shown as "not operational" then that aircraft needs to be repaired before flight, while items on the "non-essential" list do not affect the flight (this ignores the fact that sometimes there are limits on the number of non-essential items not working, and that there may be time limits on items that can be non-operational before they are promoted to the "essential" list).
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Message 2136921 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 15:26:14 UTC - in response to Message 2136909.  
Last modified: 10 Jun 2024, 15:31:11 UTC

My personal reading suggests that this is a long known series of recurring faults for which Boeing offers no reliable fix.
The fix is reject the takeoff. Or do you think that sane well trained pilots should take off with known faulty equipment? [or has this become normalized deviance from SOP?} ...

... Far worse than that...

How is it that well trained well experienced pilots make a take off with deadly dangerously wrong settings, and were unable to make corrective actions until far far late past a very lucky escape?

... How can that be?...


My personal (uneducated, add disclaimers here,) reading of that article highlights:

  • Boeing 737-800 Autothrottle Failure
  • the manually set thrust – 84.5% N1 – was below the required takeoff thrust – 92.8% N1
  • not noticed by the pilots
  • not picked up through the standard operating procedures (SOP)
  • the autothrottle disengaged when pilots selected takeoff mode at the beginning of the roll
  • TOGA switch engages both the autothrottle in N1 mode and the autopilot/flight director system (AFDS) in takeoff mode. However ... at this point, the autothrottle disengaged with an associated warning
  • [Pilot Flying] responded by arming the autothrottle again
  • However, when the PM re-armed the autothrottle, the system did not control the thrust lever servos, something that the pilots did not expect to happen
  • The pilots did not move the thrust levers
  • While the remainder of the flight ... was uneventful, the investigators did note that the pilots had attempted to engage the autothrottle several times
  • the required thrust was not attained ... resulting in the aircraft overflying a road adjacent to [the airport] at less than 100 ft (30.4 m)
  • showed 11 faults on the flight
  • Five of the 11 faults were related to the uncommanded autothrottle disengagements
  • Boeing has said that the autothrottle system on the 737 NG has had a long history of “nuisance disconnects” during takeoff engagements.
  • In this instance, the flight crew realized that the thrust was too low [not until] after they took off ... even if they had noticed how close the aircraft was to the end of the runway.



The real faults are in that list...

To my mind, unless something reliably changes, that deadly dangerous scenario will happen again...


Safe flying?
Martin


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Message 2136922 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 15:29:36 UTC - in response to Message 2136910.  

The fix is reject the takeoff. Or do you think that sane well trained pilots should take off with known faulty equipment? [or has this become normalized deviance from SOP?}

Yes and no - every aircraft type has a list of equipment that are essential for flight, and a list a of equipment that is not essential; additionally each operator may add equipment to the essential list. Before each flight (or each change of crew, or day's operation) these lists are compared with the operational equipment list (this has various names) for the aircraft convened. Obviously if there is an item on the essential list that is shown as "not operational" then that aircraft needs to be repaired before flight, while items on the "non-essential" list do not affect the flight (this ignores the fact that sometimes there are limits on the number of non-essential items not working, and that there may be time limits on items that can be non-operational before they are promoted to the "essential" list).
Yes, but reject is there in the SOP. It isn't rearm and try try again. Vacate the runway, mark inop in the t/log and realize that also changes what approaches are available (no autoland) and perhaps other limits, need another briefing. As I asked, normalization of deviance? Doesn't mean that you can't manually set the thrust for the flight.
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Message 2136923 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 15:33:36 UTC - in response to Message 2136921.  

... How can that be?...
Normalization of deviance.
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Message 2136924 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 15:35:12 UTC - in response to Message 2136923.  

... How can that be?...
Normalization of deviance.

... And so for this example, why has that so dangerously happened?


Fly safe?
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Message 2136928 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 15:45:21 UTC - in response to Message 2136924.  

... How can that be?...
Normalization of deviance.

... And so for this example, why has that so dangerously happened?
Safety costs money and greedy airline owners. Or is it governments that penalize flights with delays?
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Message 2136942 - Posted: 10 Jun 2024, 20:40:05 UTC - in response to Message 2136928.  
Last modified: 10 Jun 2024, 20:41:22 UTC

... How can that be?...
Normalization of deviance.

... And so for this example, why has that so dangerously happened?
Safety costs money and greedy airline owners. Or is it governments that penalize flights with delays?

?...

That last comment confirms the thesis of the thread title...


Looking more at the mechanism of this particular failure, my own personal thoughts are that of:

  • Autothrottle operation that is unexpected/counter-intuitive
  • Ineffective cockpit warnings
  • Ineffective status indication
  • Pilots innured to repeated failures and ad-hoc operation
  • Huge disruption/overhead to follow Boeing procedures for a repeated nuisance intermittent operation
  • Significant higher pilot workload without the autothrottle
  • Casual disregard due to a mal-operation that is not fixed and is not going to be fixed



To my mind, that really is a stark recipe for an ensuing disaster...

Humans are not machines and are not perfect and they are adverse to being dumped upon for failings outside their control... Literally!

So why is Boeing leaving a marginal design feature in place that I personally see here as having oh so nearly killed another Boeing 737 plane full of passengers?...


Fly safe?
Martin


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Message 2136947 - Posted: 11 Jun 2024, 1:10:50 UTC - in response to Message 2136942.  

Pilots innured to repeated failures and ad-hoc operation
translation: Normalization of deviance.
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Message 2136951 - Posted: 11 Jun 2024, 7:25:18 UTC

Why do they use auto-throttle on takeoff? I thought that pilots usually set takeoff power manually. The second pilot (pilot monitoring) checks and confirms: "takeoff power set". The aircraft takes off and at a certain altitude the pilot engages the autopilot (and auto throttle). Why use auto throttle at takeoff? What is the point? To utilize the maximum length of available runway, go easy on engines and save fuel? A malfunctioning auto throttle at takeoff is clearly dangerous. It is not at a certain flight altitude, because there's time to detect and handle the problem.
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Message 2136953 - Posted: 11 Jun 2024, 7:38:03 UTC

As of July 2018, 6,343 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft were in commercial service
... further hundreds military and business variants....

The 737 NG is a work horse for most major airlines around the globe for more than 25 years now. Why are serious problems with the auto-throttle occurring now? Have the deficits always been there, only pilots were more experienced in the past, bypassing faulty automatic systems manually and safely (off the records)?
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Message boards : Politics : Boeing: Profits 1st, Safety 2nd? (Part 3)


 
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