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Thread: General aviation thread

  1. #31
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Another 737 MAX has crashed, this time in Ethiopia.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.d8a9fd1bd1d5

  2. #32
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    This particular plane is less than four months old. Worrying tstl.

    EDIT: And at first glance, a lot about this crash feels far too familiar. Brand new planes of a type in service only very recently should not be crashing like this.
    Last edited by Spark; 10-03-2019 at 03:27 AM.

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    tell me more about it
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  4. #34
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    Ethiopian Airlines is the most reputable African airline too


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    Sounds like another one that lost vertical control too eh. You’ve got a chance when a lot of other things go but that, all over in most cases.

  6. #36
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    China is apparently grounding all Max 8s
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  7. #37
    Cricketer Of The Year StephenZA's Avatar
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    So how much trouble would Boeing be in if they have installed software that is causing these crashes? I mean we are talking over 300 dead that is a pretty massive ****up.
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  8. #38
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenZA View Post
    So how much trouble would Boeing be in if they have installed software that is causing these crashes? I mean we are talking over 300 dead that is a pretty massive ****up.
    Speculation and scuttlebutt etc etc but the stuff I've heard has focussed on two lines of inquiry, neither of which are good for Boeing:

    - They've brought the operation of the plane more into line with state-of-the-art jets like the 787 etc in terms of automation and software running things, but decided not to really tell people about it (at least fully). The 737 MAX only exists because Airbus surprised them with their own A320neo update, so they decided to throw a new engine on the pre-existing 737 design and push it out ASAP. So a big part of the business case for this plane that they push to airlines is that it doesn't need much in the way of expensive retraining etc etc for existing 737 operators... which, as the article in the OP suggests, is perhaps not true. There's precedent for this so it should get better over time, but IMO Boeing has much less excuse than Airbus did in the 1980s and 1990s.
    - Even more concerning, them putting that ****off-big new engine on the 737 may have screwed up its aerodynamics a bit (I believe they've had to position them further forward compared to previous generation 737s), which is why all these new and hidden software fixes are needed in the first place. And if you follow that line of logic...

    But this really is all just speculation, it's way too early to say
    Last edited by Spark; 11-03-2019 at 12:18 AM.
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  9. #39
    Cricketer Of The Year StephenZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    But this really is all just speculation, it's way too early to say
    Yeah I get that. But after the Indonesian crash there appeared to be real culpability on the side of Boeing due to software or design (or combination thereof) problems on the plane (not to sure if that is the right language but you get my meaning). And normally these accidents are due to a cascade of errors. But if this was as serious a problem as it appears and Boeing did not handle it properly for business reasons that has cost 150 extra lives. I mean that goes from corporate stupidity to criminal culpability.

    This is all speculation etc.... but it really does not look good when I think of these aviation companies as some of the pinnacle of engineering.

  10. #40
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    The big thing is that now in the 21st century, brand new planes - this type has barely been around a year - simply do not crash like this. Sure, there are teething problems, but two catastrophic accidents with brand new planes of a brand new type in the space of a few months? That just isn’t meant to happen, full stop.

    And yeah in the aviation industry, a series of accidents are rarely due to one thing, there’s often a whole cascade of minor failures all the way to the corporate level that leads to things like this happening. I note that the 777X test flight has now been delayed; one hopes they did their due diligence on that program at least. I think there’s a public acceptance that smaller jets can be a bit of mixed bag when it comes to reliability/safety, especially given the sort of outfits which often fly them, but anything untoward on the big long-haul widebodies is a definite no-no.
    Last edited by Spark; 11-03-2019 at 12:43 AM.

  11. #41
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    Yeah and that’s why whilst the plane might have done something unusual, the debate will centre around how well the drivers handled it, automation and how these pilots not brought up in the era of hairy-chested test pilots can’t handle anything without a checklist.

    And for Boeing this will be just fine.

    What’ll change that, one feels, is if they find that a real software fault. Something like, given conditions, other systems are now receiving incorrect data and now the plane will crash. Very unlikely. And on the engine thing, again, one feels that Boeing will only get into trouble there if it’s proven that makes the plane do something that completely reverses pilot logic for how a plane should handle. Like, in a stall, power off/stick forward/aeilerons and rudders neutral no longer applies or something of that level. Otherwise, it’ll be a ‘lessons learned’ thing.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 11-03-2019 at 01:37 AM.

  12. #42
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Yeah and that’s why whilst the plane might have done something unusual, the debate will centre around how well the drivers handled it, automation and how these pilots not brought up in the era of hairy-chested test pilots can’t handle anything without a checklist.

    And for Boeing this will be just fine.

    What’ll change that, one feels, is if they find that a real software fault. Something like, given conditions, other systems are now receiving incorrect data and now the plane will crash. Very unlikely. And on the engine thing, again, one feels that Boeing will only get into trouble there if it’s proven that makes the plane do something that completely reverses pilot logic for how a plane should handle. Like, in a stall, power off/stick forward/aeilerons and rudders neutral no longer applies or something of that level. Otherwise, it’ll be a ‘lessons learned’ thing.
    Isn't this exactly what people are accusing MCAS of doing?

  13. #43
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    Don’t know, haven’t read much of the commentary. Last I read, the initial movement of the MCAS was to force the stick forward, what else happens after I dunno.

  14. #44
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    IIRC the grumbling is that on older 737 (and I think most Boeings), pulling the stick kills the electronic stabilisation with no further action required to do so. But with MCAS, you can pull the stick all you like, it won't shut off until you actually physically turn it off using a switch. So it's possible that the Lion Air pilots thought they were turning off whatever electronic system was making their plane go haywire, but in reality they weren't.

  15. #45
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    That's why it's too early to say, tbh. Was the system malfunctioning or working as intended?

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