FAA allowed Boeing to carry out its own flawed safety analysis of the 737 MAX – report

Ed. note: Again we see a corrupted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), something Abel Danger has pointed out over and over again, yet nothing remains to be done within the Department of Justice (DoJ) to begin criminal investigations into the FAA for incompetence and what could be criminal negligence. Here we have yet one more example of corruption and criminal negligence in America possibly being responsible for getting 346 people killed including crews on both Lion Air Flight 610 and the more recent Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Source: RT News

March 17, 2019

An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight lands at Reagan National Airport in Washington © Reuters / Joshua Roberts

A troublesome autopilot feature believed to be behind two crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 airplane met all FAA requirements, the manufacturer claims. However, Boeing’s own safety analysis was riddled with flaws, engineers say.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 nosedived into a field shortly after takeoff last Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. Last October, a similar fate befell Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which plunged into the sea, killing all 189 passengers and crew. In both cases, the 737 Max 8’s MCAS monitoring system is believed to have pushed the plane’s nose down automatically, throwing the aircraft into a dive.

There are “clear similarities” between the two accidents, Ethiopia’s transport minister told reporters on Sunday.

With the 737 Max 8 grounded worldwide, the MCAS system is now under scrutiny. A Boeing spokesman said on Sunday that the system met all of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification requirements, but a group of anonymous Boeing and FAA engineers told the Seattle Times that the FAA delegated much of the safety analysis to the company itself, which cut corners to deliver the plane on time.

Due to the plane’s relatively forward engine placement, its nose was liable to drift upwards during flight, a characteristic that could lead to engine stalls. The MCAS system was designed to make micro-adjustments to the tail’s angle to push the nose back down and counteract this.

Boeing’s analysis, the engineers said, understated the power of this system. By the time the planes entered service, the MCAS system was able to move the tail more than four times further than the initial analysis stated. Furthermore, the analysis failed to account for how the system would reset itself every time a pilot responded, allowing it to repeatedly push the plane’s nose down.

Please go to RT News to read the entire article.

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Heavier and more fuel efficient engines made all Boeing 737MAX aircraft inherently more unstable.

Source: The Unz Review

Boeing 737 Max: The Upgrade

by James Thompson • March 18, 2019 • 114 Comments

I may be too trusting, but I generally accept upgrades. Several months ago, I willingly accepted an iPhone operating system upgrade, and lost all the Notes I had stored on my phone. These notes contained bank and credit card details, passport details, and other useful things which I have to consult from time to time, mostly when travelling. The real eye-opener is that I had stored these notes on my phone rather than the cloud, assuming they were more secure and more private because they were restricted to the hardware in my pocket, mine and mine alone. Not so. I was taught a lesson: Apple has the keys to what is in effect my portable office, and can destroy my arrangements at will, or by mere insouciance. They can decide what is best for me.

We are now in the public discovery phase of examining why two new planes have fallen out of the sky, with pilots struggling to stop them diving into the ground. US pilots reported the problem anonymously (as shown above), and the inadequacy of the manual and training was already known. The crashes have happened to foreign airlines, but an unknown risk has been revealed for all passengers to see.

Thank you for the comments on my previous post, particularly those which have found additional material from other aviation sources, and gone into the history of the development of the 737 series. Thanks also for the videos on the general principles of flight. General principles are the foundations of understanding.

I think I was probably looking at aviation websites in November, just after the Lion Air crash on 29 October, and formed the opinion that there was something wrong with the anti-stall system, and told people about it. I might have told anyone willing to listen in November, but I know I discussed this with a test pilot on 22 December 2018. We both recall the discussion, and family members who were present remember the basic points being made. Philip Tetlock ( http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-tetlock-forecast/ ) will tell you, absolutely correctly, that predictions have to be as specific as possible before they can even be assessed. So, further disclosure: I think I argued the case solely on air-speed indicators, not angle of attack indicators, and did not know or did not include anything about the design change history of the 737 Max series, simply that the Lion Air crash suggested an anti-stall system problem.

This story has it all: the complexities of operator/machine interfaces (mostly a cognitive issue), the intricacies of modern aircraft (mostly a scientific issue with some cognitive aspects) and the compromises involved in the aircraft industry, concerning safety, operating and training costs, and competition between manufacturers (economic and political issues).

My focus is on the cognitive task of flying a plane, and forming an understanding of how systems work and how they must be managed in emergencies. I am also interested in the cognitive aspects of maintaining a plane, fault reporting and correcting. Psychology has a part to play in the discussion of cognitive tasks. For example, what is the natural thing to do when, shortly after take-off, a plane starts diving into the ground? Read a manual? Recall from memory, as the plane lurches ever downwards, what needs to be done? Call to mind the checklist of tasks required to disengage a system which unknown to you has been fooled by an unreliable angle-of-attack indicator? My view is that a cockpit is no place for badly designed IQ test items. Systems have to be adapted to human information processing limitations, and must fit in with startle responses and standard pilot reactions and conventions.

Please go to The Unz Review to red the entire article.

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Related news:

President Trump Taps Retired Delta Executive to Head the Federal Aviation Administration

March 29, 2019 update from Moon of Alabama on Boeing 737 MAX:

Regulators Knew Of 737 MAX Trim Problems – Certification Demanded Training That Boeing Failed To Deliver

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