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Old 03-12-2019, 01:48 PM   #41
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I think refusing to fly on a Max 8 might be overkill (pun intended). But I do agree a runaway trim situation wasn't my favorite emergency maneuver in the simulator.



https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...mn/3140139002/
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Perhaps, like the Lion Air crew before them, they were simply overwhelmed by a cascade of warnings, fault messages and unstable aircraft movements.

But disconnecting the system is, or should be, pretty straightforward, and passengers can take some comfort in knowing that MAX pilots everywhere, together with the various airline training departments, are acutely aware of the issue and how to deal with it.
Yes, a cascade of problems...that is what normally happens to cause a good crew to lose an aircraft. Pretty straight forward...there is no such thing when there are a multitude of issues that happen in a very short order, close to the ground during a critical phase of flight. It should also be noted that Ethiopian pilots are regarded as some of the best trained pilots out there.

An issue that I think is overlooked by many is that today's pilots fly very automated airplanes. This is all fine and dandy...until something happens that they are not aware of. It's difficult to program simulator scenarios that address/present some of these anomalies since there can be so many variables that makes them hard to replicate.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:49 PM   #42
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The airport they were flying out of is at 7600 feet MSL, so performance would be degraded...how much, I don't know. Also, although I haven't flown a 737 simulator so I don't know how it handles, but on the large simulators I've flown a trim runaway was about the worst thing we dealt with in the sim. Pretty much the only thing where I thought "wow, I hope that never happens in real life." Frantically stabbing for the disconnect switches while holding the yoke with all your might, and hoping you don't have to fly it for the next 20 minutes with the trim full nose down isn't a run of the mill procedure.
The plane was quite a distance from the airport and radioed that they were coming back, so field elevation shouldn't be a factor.

Runaway trim does get your attention, especially when it is a surprise. The Lion Air crew apparently never lost the ability to trim the plane using electric trim, they did it many, many times before they inexplicably stopped. At any point they could have simply turned off the electric trim and used the very effective manual trim wheel. Some aircraft types don't have this option, and runaway trim is a more dangerous situation.
We don't yet know that the crash in Ethiopia had anything to do with the MCAS. The eyewitness statements ("trailing white smoke") are not consistent an MCAS problem, but eyewitness reports at a crash scene are often inaccurate. We'll know more very soon.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:51 PM   #43
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I'm not too interested in speculation on causes yet. I read several stories saying that people on the ground reported unusual noise, fire and stuff coming out of the rear of the airplane. This kind of report is not the most reliable but these were people under the approach/departure path that saw and heard airplanes every day.

It may (ungrounded speculation here) be that an explosion in a baggage compartment damaged the elevator controls somehow. A malfunctioning elevator could easily make controlled flight impossible.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:52 PM   #44
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An issue that I think is overlooked by many is that today's pilots fly very automated airplanes. This is all fine and dandy...until something happens that they are not aware of. It's difficult to program simulator scenarios that address/present some of these anomalies since there can be so many variables that makes them hard to replicate.
Good point. A far cry from the aircraft I flew back in the 70's...
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:19 AM   #45
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Still looks a little expensive to me.

In addition to valuation concerns, I am not sure if I can quantify the effect of the short term financial damage this will cause or the longer term brand damage (if any). In particular, I have no idea how long it will be before the planes are cleared to fly again in a number of countries, whether Boeing will have to compensate affected airlines and whether this could end up being politicised in the current trade-war environment (which is a very hot topic in my part of the world at the moment).

Will pass.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:27 AM   #46
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:39 AM   #47
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I'm not too interested in speculation on causes yet. I read several stories saying that people on the ground reported unusual noise, fire and stuff coming out of the rear of the airplane. This kind of report is not the most reliable but these were people under the approach/departure path that saw and heard airplanes every day.

It may (ungrounded speculation here) be that an explosion in a baggage compartment damaged the elevator controls somehow. A malfunctioning elevator could easily make controlled flight impossible.
Yes. The observed smoke trail/fire could mean any number of things, including terrorism. That too is ungrounded speculation but no one knows with certainty at this point.

The black boxes are apparently being sent to another country for analysis. Those recordings (if they are usable) should answer the main questions.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:56 PM   #48
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NY Times: "President Trump announced that the United States was grounding Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, reversing an earlier decision by American regulators to keep the jets flying in the wake of a second deadly crash involving one of the jets in Ethiopia."
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #49
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Boeing just came out themselves and recommended global grounding, out of "an abundance of caution."
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:28 PM   #50
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And the FAA ordered immediate grounding.

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"Investigation of the crash...developed new information from the wreckage concerning the aircraft's configuration after takeoff that, taken together with newly refined data from satellite-base tracking of the flight path, indicates some similarities between 'this accident and the Lion Air accident' that warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed."
https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/med...ency_Order.pdf
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:48 PM   #51
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Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau explains what they saw in this new satellite tracking data that prompted Canada to ground the aircraft followed by the FAA.

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1457597507920

Lion Air stated that they are proceeding with the cancellation of their order with Boeing and switching to Airbus primarily due to the CEO being angered by Boeing blaming the crash on Lion Air. However, if there is a design defect in the aircraft, the liability will increase significantly for Boeing. Don't be surprise if Lion Air forces Boeing to take back the grounded aircraft. At a time when airlines are cancelling orders for planes that they don't need, any design defect, will give them airlines an excuse to get our of their contracts with minimum financial impact. I would avoid Boeing stock at these levels. It has already made a parabolic ascent over the past two months. If more airlines start canceling orders, look out below.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:28 PM   #52
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Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau explains what they saw in this new satellite tracking data that prompted Canada to ground the aircraft followed by the FAA.

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1457597507920

Lion Air stated that they are proceeding with the cancellation of their order with Boeing and switching to Airbus primarily due to the CEO being angered by Boeing blaming the crash on Lion Air. However, if there is a design defect in the aircraft, the liability will increase significantly for Boeing. Don't be surprise if Lion Air forces Boeing to take back the grounded aircraft. At a time when airlines are cancelling orders for planes that they don't need, any design defect, will give them airlines an excuse to get our of their contracts with minimum financial impact. I would avoid Boeing stock at these levels. It has already made a parabolic ascent over the past two months. If more airlines start canceling orders, look out below.
And Lion air will crash those Airbus in the future. This is an airline that was blacklisted from flying in European airspace (lifted in 2016).

Here's a list of all incidents Lion Air has been involved in (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Air):
  • On 14 January 2002, Lion Air Flight 386, a Boeing 737-200 crashed after trying to take-off with an incorrect flap configuration at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport. Everyone on board survived but the aircraft was written off.[31]
  • On 30 November 2004, Lion Air Flight 583, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed in Surakarta with registration PK-LMN (c/n 49189); 25 people died.[32]
  • On 4 March 2006, Lion Air Flight 8987, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed after landing at Juanda International Airport.[33] Reverse thrust was used during landing, although the left thrust reverser was stated to be out of service.[33] This caused the aircraft to veer to the right and skid off the runway, coming to rest about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the approach end of the runway.[33] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was badly damaged[33] and later written off.[34]
  • On 24 December 2006, Lion Air Flight 792, a Boeing 737-400, landed with an incorrect flap configuration and was not aligned with the runway.[35] The plane landed hard and skidded along the runway causing the right main landing gear to detach, the left gear to protrude through the wing and some of the aircraft fuselage to be wrinkled.[35] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was written off.[35]
  • On 23 February 2009, Lion Air Flight 972, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 landed without the nose gear at Hang Nadim International Airport, Batam.
  • On 9 March 2009, Lion Air Flight 793, a McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 (registration PK-LIL) ran off the runway at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. No-one was injured.[36]
  • On 2 November 2010, Lion Air Flight 712, a Boeing 737-400 (registration PK-LIQ) overran the runway on landing at Supadio Airport, Pontianak, coming to rest on its belly and sustaining damage to its nose gear. All 174 passengers and crew evacuated by the emergency slides, with few injuries.[37]
  • On 13 April 2013, Lion Air Flight 904, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKS; c/n 38728) from Bandung to Denpasar with 108 people on board, crashed into the water near Denpasar/Bali while attempting to land. The aircraft's fuselage broke into two parts.[38] While Indonesian officials reported the aircraft crashed short of the runway,[38] reporters and photographers from Reuters and the Associated Press indicated that the plane overshot the runway.[39][40] All passengers and crew were evacuated from the aircraft and there were no fatalities.[38]
  • On 6 August 2013, Lion Air Flight 892, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKH; c/n 37297) from Makassar to Gorontalo with 117 passengers and crew on board, hit a cow while landing at Jalaluddin Airport and veered off the runway. There were no injuries.[41]
  • On 1 February 2014, Lion Air Flight 361, a Boeing 737-900ER (registration PK-LFH; c/n 35710), from Balikpapan Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar/Bali via Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, with 222 passengers and crew on board, landed hard and bounced four times on the runway, causing a tail strike and substantial damage to the plane. There were no fatalities, but two passengers were seriously injured and three others had minor injuries.[42]
  • On 20 February 2016, Lion Air Flight 263 from Balikpapan Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Juanda International Airport in Surabaya overran the runway on landing, with no injuries.[43] The National Transportation Safety Committee investigation into the incident found that failures in crew resource management led to improper landing procedures, and recommended that Indonesian airlines improve pilot training.[44]
  • On 2 April 2017, about 300 litres[45] of fuel spilled on the apron at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. Pictures taken by passengers on board showed fuel pouring out of one of the aircraft's wings.[46] Shortly after, all passengers were evacuated and the plane was grounded for further investigation. No casualties were reported. That same day a representative from Lion Air was summoned by the Indonesian Transport Ministry to clarify the incident. An early statement by a Lion Air representative said that the leak was caused by a non-functioning safety valve and overflow detector.[47]
  • On 29 April 2018, Lion Air Flight 892, a 737-800 (registration PK-LOO), made a runway excursion at Jalaluddin Airport after landing under heavy rain conditions, resulting in the main nose gear to collapse. There were no fatalities.
  • On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed in the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.[48]
  • On 8 November 2018, Lion Air Flight 633, a Boeing 737-900ER was taxiing for departure at Fatmawati Soekarno Airport when its left wing struck a light pole, severely damaging the leading edge.[49]
  • On 16 February 2019, Lion Air Flight 714, a Boeing 737-800 (PK-LPS) suffered a runway excursion while landing at Supadio International Airport in wet and windy weather. No injuries were reported. [50]

Note the incidents that occurred after the Oct 2018 crash, you would think the pilots would be a little more careful. At Lion Air, flying is a contact sport.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #53
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I have been guesstimating an up to 20% total hit on BA price from this, followed by a recovery of uncertain duration Company is just too well run and products are generally too good, while what competition there is just are not,for it to be any more than that, IMHO.

So far, down 5% first day, another 6% the next, actually up 0.5% percent today, and up another 0.5% in after hours trading..

So, looks like market is even more optimistic than I am.

Of course, as I said, I'm playing BA with house money now.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:48 PM   #54
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And Lion air will crash those Airbus in the future. This is an airline that was blacklisted from flying in European airspace (lifted in 2016).

Here's a list of all incidents Lion Air has been involved in (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Air):


Note the incidents that occurred after the Oct 2018 crash, you would think the pilots would be a little more careful. At Lion Air, flying is a contact sport.
I don't think you fully understand the business ramifications of a grounding of 370 Max 8 aircraft. The airlines are going seek compensation for lost revenue. This is from the WSJ today:

"Deposits from 737 MAX orders helped lift Boeing’s revenue above $100 billion for the first time last year. That drove the Chicago-based company’s market cap over $250 billion this month."

What happens if airlines start canceling orders and requesting refunds of their deposits? The 3 month 787 grounding left Boeing with accumulated losses of $30B per the WSJ. This can be much worse.

Revenues and cash from the 737 MAX, which are significant, will come to a complete halt. They can't deliver aircraft's collect payments from their customers. Many may use this as an excuse to cancel their contracts.

Buying Boeing stock at these levels is like walking through a minefield blindfolded.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:35 PM   #55
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I don't think you fully understand the business ramifications of a grounding of 370 Max 8 aircraft. The airlines are going seek compensation for lost revenue. This is from the WSJ today:

"Deposits from 737 MAX orders helped lift Boeing’s revenue above $100 billion for the first time last year. That drove the Chicago-based company’s market cap over $250 billion this month."

What happens if airlines start canceling orders and requesting refunds of their deposits? The 3 month 787 grounding left Boeing with accumulated losses of $30B per the WSJ. This can be much worse.

Revenues and cash from the 737 MAX, which are significant, will come to a complete halt. They can't deliver aircraft's collect payments from their customers. Many may use this as an excuse to cancel their contracts.

Buying Boeing stock at these levels is like walking through a minefield blindfolded.
Actually I said nothing about Boeing and it's potential liabilities in my post, please go back and read it again.

Since you are making your case with Lion Air and that is your casus belli against Boeing - I pointed out that Lion air is basket case of an airline. Some customers you want to keep and others you should fire - Lion Air falls in the latter category and Boeing should be happy to lose this customer.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:03 PM   #56
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:48 PM   #57
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Actually I said nothing about Boeing and it's potential liabilities in my post, please go back and read it again.

Since you are making your case with Lion Air and that is your casus belli against Boeing - I pointed out that Lion air is basket case of an airline. Some customers you want to keep and others you should fire - Lion Air falls in the latter category and Boeing should be happy to lose this customer.
Lion Air placed the 3rd largest order for 737 MAX jets. A cancellation of their order will inflict some financial damage and even more, if others follow suit. If they are able to prove that the FAA and Boeing were aware of issues with the MCAS prior to the Lion Air crash, then damages from civil litigation can be significant.

I worked 20 years in the aerospace industry with the last 5 years at the VP level and having gone through flight safety crisis with multiple customers when your systems are grounded is not a financially pleasant experience.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:56 PM   #58
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I would not be buying BA until the dust settles.

Two days ago, I overheard my BIL telling my wife he sold all of his BA stocks, and it was more than 8,000 shares. Perhaps he got in early enough to have a decent gain to give back with the recent drop.

I am more interested in hearing how the accidents happened. People seem to suspect the MCAS which uses the angle-of-attack sensors, and is susceptible to the sensor failures. However, a jet liner typically uses 2 alpha vanes, and there are some aircraft having 3.

In the past, a fatal accident involving an A320 was found to be caused by 2 out of 3 alpha vanes failing, but the failed sensors were in agreement. The 3rd operational sensor was voted out by the flight computer. Aye aye aye!
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:51 PM   #59
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I am more interested in hearing how the accidents happened. People seem to suspect the MCAS which uses the angle-of-attack sensors, and is susceptible to the sensor failures. However, a jet liner typically uses 2 alpha vanes, and there are some aircraft having 3.

In the past, a fatal accident involving an A320 was found to be caused by 2 out of 3 alpha vanes failing, but being in agreement. The 3rd operational sensor was voted out by the flight computer. Aye aye aye!
Sorry, more than you wanted to know follows.

The 737 MAX 800 and 900 series has (at least) 2 AoA sensors (one on the left, one on the right). As it is presently designed, the MCAS system uses only one of these (and I've read it actually alternates between the left and right one each flight, but that seems hokey). IMO, the rationale for using a single AoA sensor is that the MCAS is not critical to flight, and as we've seen many times (you correctly point out the Airbus example), introducing a "voting" system and/or the complex programming needed to discern which sensor is correct introduces complexities that detract from safety rather than enhance it (esp when a crew is trying to troubleshoot a problem in flight).

The MCAS only adds nose-down trim in certain situations. If it gets bad AoA information, it can move the horizontal stabilizer to a "nose down" trim position because it "believes" the plane's nose is dangerously high (relative to the airstream, not the horizon). The crew can use the normal trim switch to bring the nose back up, no problem. After 10 seconds (if the faulty AoA sensor still reads "nose too high!"), the MCAS will again trim the nose down, and the crew can (again) bring it up. The Lion Air crew (and the crew which flew the plane before) did this many, many times. At any time, the crew can turn off the automatic/electric trim and the cycle will stop. The crew would then use the manual trim wheel to adjust the pitch, the plane can be flown this way without a problem.
We don't know exactly what happened in the case of Lion Air, but it appears that the captain was handling the situation using the trim switch, and did so for many cycles (for minutes of flying time). It appears that he handed control over to the copilot/first officer, and for whatever reason he apparently handled the situation differently and stopped cycling the nose up. It don't think it is known whether he/they ever disconnected the electric trim and used the manual wheel. Little has been publicized about the state of the investigation in Ethiopia, but it is reported that the stabilizer jack screw found at the crash site was set for nose-down trim, which is consistent with (but does not prove) a situation similar to the one in the the case of Lion Air. The airspeed and altitude data that has been made public from Ethiopia is quite unusual (very high airspeed, very little climb), but more detailed data is in the hands of investigators.
The MCAS system simply augments the normal pitch trim system. A failure or "uncommanded pitch down" from the MCAS is handled like "runaway trim" on the 737, an emergency that (in the US at least) >every< crew member must see and master in the sim before being certified to fly the aircraft. In retrospect, most people now believe that crews should have been explicitly told about the MCAS system and trained in its functions. But, fundamentally, uncommanded nose-down trim caused by the MCAS "looks" the same as the same situation that can be caused for several other reasons, and corrective actions are the same.
Boeing is modifying the system, maybe it will compare the AoA data or use some other tricks. IMO, it would be much better to leave it slaved to a single AoA sensor and then alert the crew if there is a difference between the AoA sensors and let them solve it (select the other AoA sensor, disconnect the MCAS, etc). Automation is great, but Boeing's philosophy has always been to provide the crew the information and means to fly the plane if automation fails. I hope they'll continue doing that.
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Old 03-16-2019, 05:11 PM   #60
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Boeing is modifying the system, maybe it will compare the AoA data or use some other tricks.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...g-twin-crashes

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...The revised MCAS will use inputs from a second sensor to ensure such failures are more rare.

The system also won’t act repeatedly if pilots overcome it, according to the company. The Indonesian pilots counteracted MCAS at least two dozen times before the crash. And the revised MCAS won’t make such aggressive nose-down movements, according to the company.

In addition, Boeing and the FAA plan to mandate changes in airline flight manuals and to give pilots additional training in how to overcome a malfunction.
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