Friday, September 25, 2020

More Boeing 737 MAX problems

 The British Airline Pilot's Association does not like Boeing's proposed fix to the MCAS system, and I don't blame them:

The NPRM, published here, proposes various fixes to the 737 Max design, its software and procedures for pilots to follow in the event of a problem. One of those procedures includes disabling the airliner's automatic trim system, operated by MCAS when the software kicks in, and having the two pilots use a manual backup trim wheel instead of the aircraft's powerful electric motors.

BALPA said: "Requiring both crew members to turn the trim wheel simultaneously in a non-normal scenario is extremely undesirable and goes against all philosophies of having one pilot fly and one run the QRH[quick reference handbook: reading out the emergency checklist]. No flight control system should require both pilots to operate it at any stage, let alone in an emergency."

Holy cow, Boeing looks like they're trying to get an automated system as confusing and likely-to-kill-everybody-on-board as Airbus.  Making both pilots do an emergency synchronized swim to keep from crashing sure seems suboptimal to me.  And if you click through and read the whole article, it looks like the pilots tried something a lot like that in one of the crashes that did kill everyone.

Damn, I'm starting to think that I never want to fly on one of the damn things.


libertyman said...

Don't these people think these things through? Time for new management.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Man, that's an expensive airframe to throw away.

Beans said...

Part of this, which isn't being reported, is that many nations are requiring increased automation in their nation's carriers. So as to allow an increased number of that nations' personnel to become pilots.


Yes, Boeing screwed up. But what American pilots found to be 'quirky' but recoverable and not an issue was a killer (literally) issue in a less trained and educated pilot.

Boeing went a tad too far, but they were trying to give the buyers what the buyers required and what the buyers' countries required.

And the whole '1 million coding monkeys in a third-world nation' and not checking the software was stupid. But again, many nations required part of the planes to be made from their countries. That right there caused the issue. Unchecked and uncontrolled software.

But... Boeing... Why? Why did you move your corporate headquarters from your production facilities to a pampered palace?

The Neon Madman said...

The 737MAX will never fly again. Even if the FAA clears the plane eventually, no passenger will want to fly in one. No airline will want to buy them. Boeing would be better off scrapping them now and starting over.

Will said...

libertyman: Boeing HAS a new management. Boeing originally bought a competitor, and their management did an undercover takeover of the resulting company. That other company managed to kill several aircraft builders with takeovers. THIS one looks like an "unrecoverable error" on their part. Boeing will probably go away due to this fiasco. Hope these people get blacklisted for future companies, as they seem to be rather toxic (and clueless).

Kid said...

Some thoughts:
Boeing's (BA) stock price was up 6.83% or $9.98 on Friday. Hmmm.

Boeing relying on pilots when pilots are increasingly relying on airplanes is a recipe for disaster in general. Many in the know say pilots don't fly planes anymore and rely too much on software controls.

Airbus sucks.

If I never fly again it will be too soon.

AOC should put them all out of business and rely on farting cows to get us across the oceans.

Ted said...

" ... stock price up 7% " ..... big deal !!

but still trading at 160 +- when in 2018 and 19 it was in the mid 300'5. I unloaded part of my Boeing Holdings in Jan before the drop, but not enough.

Kid said...

Big deal. True. But why up at all on this kind of news. Rising tide, all boats I guess.