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Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes and effects on AA 737 MAX 8s (NOT reaccommodation)

Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes and effects on AA 737 MAX 8s (NOT reaccommodation)

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This thread is dedicated to the effect on AA from the October 29, 2018 and March 10, 2019 crashes if two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia, respectively.

To discuss reaccommodation by AA subsequent to the grounding of all Boeing MAX 8s and 9s by the US Federal Aviation Administration on 13 March 2019, please refer to 737 MAX grounded 13 Mar 2019. What to do if you were supposed to fly on one?


13 March 2019: All US airline Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft are grounded by US Federal Aviation Administration emergency order. AA has removed all 737 MAX 8 from scheduling through...
“Based on the latest guidance, the airline anticipates that the resumption of scheduled commercial service on American’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will occur Aug. 18, 2020.”14 Feb 2020

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The thread regarding the 10 March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines ET 302 737 MAX 8 crash out of Adis Ababa is Ethiopian Airlines: Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes on way to Kenya [ET302 ADD-NBO 10MAR19]. Link.

The thread regarding the 29 October 2018 Lion Air JT 610 737 MAX 8 crash out of Jakarta is Lion Air flight from Jakarta has crashed
. Link.

The best narrative and information available is probably the Aviation Herald’s Crash: Lion B38M near Jakarta on Oct 29th 2018, aircraft lost height and crashed into Java Sea, wrong AoA data, by Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Oct 25th 2019 13:35Z, last updated Friday, Oct 25th 2019 16:05Z. Link.

American Airlines ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 (7M8) with options for 60 more. The first 737 MAX -8 flew at the assembly facility in Renton, WAshington, USA on 29 Jan 2016. Deliveries to AA commenced in late in 2017, with four delivered in 2017,16 more during 2018, with 20 more to be delivered during 2019. IATA code B38M; AA code "7M8".

Link to the story of how 737 MAX’ birth in the DFW Admirals Club and the forces that shaped it.

29 October 2018: Indonesian carrier Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29 crashed into the sea soon after takeoff with the loss of all aboard, apparently due to the erroneous data from a faulty Angle of Attack sensor, which caused the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) to assume the plane was about to stall, which activated the downward force on the Stabilizer Trim to get the nose down. Link to BBC article.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

Link to FlyerTalk airline forum thread regarding this incident.

“Instead of switching off the Stabilizer Trim the pilots appear to have battled the system.” Link

This aircraft had been written up as having a faulty AOA indicator for the previous three flights it had taken. It is unclear if Lion Air had performed adequate maintenance procedures after the reports or withdraw the aircraft from service until the fault could be completely cleared.

7 November 2018: The US Federal Aviation Administration / FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD note) covering the AOA within a few days, giving US airlines 30 days to comply with the AD.

7 November 2018: Boeing issued revised operating instructions covering the revised MCAS used in the MAX 8, updating the MAX operations manual. See the manual update and the switches referenced in this post.

See “What is the Boeing 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System?”, updated November 17 to explain the MCAS and electric trim override operation, here: link.

10 March 10, 2019: An Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 departing Addis Ababa to Nairobi turned back to the airport soon after takeoff, but crashed with the loss of all aboard.

Link to BBC article.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

Link to FlyerTalk airline forum thread regarding this incident.

10 March 10, 2019: The US National Transportation Board / NTSB has dispatched an investigation team, as have Boeing, to Addis Ababa to assist the Ethiopian investigators in determining the cause(s) of the crash. The “black boxes” (cockpit voice and the flight data recorder have been recovered.

A revised MCAS is in the works, and the FAA is expected to issue an AD note when the MCAS update is done. This is expected to occur in May, 2019.

11 March 2019: China grounded its 737 MAX 8 (not MAX 9) fleet.

11 March 2019: the US FAA stated it would not ground US (AA, AS, UA, WN) 737 MAX aircraft at this time.

Link to FAA Airworthiness Notification for USA registered B38M aircraft PDF.

Link to Wall Street Journal article.

11 March 2019: AA APFA Flight Attendant union spokesperson asked AA to ground the MAX 8s. (TPG)

11 March 2019: AA pilots through their APA union have requested passengers allow the investigators do their work and refrain from jumping to conclusions. “We caution against speculation about what may have caused this tragic accident,” the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement. (TPG)

12 March 2019: The nation members of the European Union, the United Kingdom and several other nations ban their airlines’ operation, and other airlines’ overflight or flights, of the B38M aircraft. Link to New York Times article.

12 March 2019: Other USA airlines operating 737 MAX aircraft (of all types) are United (UA), Southwest (WN). AS has ordered the MAX 9, but deliveries have not yet been made.

Link to The Points Guy “how to tell if you’re flying a 737 MAX 8” article

13 March 2019: American Airlines pilots’ union APA issues statement in support of the AA B38M: “The AA APA spokesman says AA's MAX 8s have additional indicators on the planes, which others do not have. He says they're the only ones equipped with TWO AOA displays - one for each pilot. This, I guess, is why AA feels they can keep flying the MAX 8. The spokesman said he felt UA and SW (WN) were getting these added to their MAX planes. “ - Econometrics

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/03/1...ilot-says.html

13 March 2019: Canada grounds Canadian B38M aircraft. The US is the sole remaining nation to allow operation of the 737 MAX 8. Link to USA Today article.

13 March 2019: US Federal Aviation Administration issues emergency order for immediate grounding all USA airline operated Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, effectively immediately. Link NYT story.

13 March 2019: American Airlines issues announcement of 7M8 grounding. Link to PDF. According to AA:

On average, American operates 85 flights per day on the MAX 8, out of 6,700 departures throughout the American Airlines system. Our operations center is working to re-route aircraft throughout the system to cover as much of our schedule as we can.
13 March 2019: AA issues policy allowing those scheduled for 7M8 flights through April 4 to refund or change without fees for cancellations, or to make free changes to their flight plans. See the thread linked to at the top of this Wiki for a link.

14 March 2019: It is announced the French BEA will retrieve the data from the Ethiopian Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder.

Link to Eight things you might not know about black boxes
By Cristen Tilley, ABC Australia

15 March 2019: BBC article states FAA says the MAX will not be cleared for flight at least until May. Link to story.

15 March 2019: On the other hand, CNBC states Boeing will have the anti-stall software update for the MAX ready in ten days, and that the FAA is expected to sign off on the modification on March 25, 2019.

NOTE: Thus Wikipost is locked. Please contact JDiver by PM, or use the report post to moderator button , to request changes or correct errors, etc.




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Old May 1, 19, 12:28 pm
  #541  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Why? I just bought a new car and there were lots of optional safety features.
When you crash your car ordinarily it doesn't kill 150 people at a time.
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Old May 1, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
When you crash your car ordinarily it doesn't kill 150 people at a time.
No, but it can certainly kill me, my passengers, and whomever may be in another vehicle.
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Old May 1, 19, 12:57 pm
  #543  
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet View Post
I admittedly know nothing about how aircraft are built and equipped, but as a lay person, I find it quite odd that something like what JDiver describes above (or any safety feature) would be an optional piece of equipment.
I get to choose a number of comfort and safety features I want in my automobile, though I know it will come with certain safety features standard. My automobile is cheaper and if there’s an accident there are fewer lives at risk. I’d hope commercial aircraft manufacturers would choose a higher level of duty of care.

Personally, I feel this has been a parsimonious approach that can easily be (and has been, from all indications) deleterious to passenger safety, but in this case both the manufacturer and airlines that declined to pay for those “extras” are at fault. (I’ve got to give AA a shout out for putting lives over pennies.) The price to pay is much too high, since we’re talking about passenger and crew lives. I believe my perspective is supported by the fact Boeing is now including significant MCAS, manuals, training updates and the safety “options” in the new MAXs awaiting delivery and retrofitted to existing aircraft.

I think it’s a short term mind set that chooses to make safety features many would assess as critical in a commercial airliner capable of transporting 200 people optional to keep the unit or fleet price point down to appear more competitive, as well as support the idea that this was “just another 737” requiring minimal transition training for crew. Unconscious bias? Reflective of a corporate culture that may be more sales driven and less obsessed with safety and quality? Reflective of what some perceive as a widespread tendency to stress shorter term profits, quarterly reports and enhancing sales by unbundling? I don’t know, but perhaps it’s a combination of these.

I hope this has been a wake up call to the industry and Boeing, and that the Board and management will reassess the direction implied by the MAX affair and allegations being made about quality control in the Boeing South Carolina plant. If not, I could see a diminishing future for Boeing (which has more current and nascent competitors) and a sector of the economy that’s vital to the US economy.
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Old May 1, 19, 1:15 pm
  #544  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
... (I’ve got to give AA a shout out for putting lives over pennies.) ...
I don't pretend to know all the details, but I am less optimistic about AA's motivations here. It appears that what drove the development of the 737 MAX in the first place (as opposed to a complete redesign) was AA basically strong-arming Boeing—and that apparently was a purely motivated by money. Who's to say AA actually decided to spend money on these additional "add-ons" (as opposed to getting them for free)? I'm not saying that AA doesn't value lives over pennies, but I am unconvinced that AA puts lives over pennies more so than other airlines, just because their 737 MAXs have additional add-on features.
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Old May 1, 19, 1:40 pm
  #545  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
No, but it can certainly kill me, my passengers, and whomever may be in another vehicle.
So, at most about half a dozen people. Your car is a private vehicle fitted with features which you choose. It is not a commercial vehicle owned by a multi billion dollar company used for mass transportation on a global scale.
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Old May 1, 19, 1:57 pm
  #546  
 
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
So, at most about half a dozen people. Your car is a private vehicle fitted with features which you choose. It is not a commercial vehicle owned by a multi billion dollar company used for mass transportation on a global scale.
How many safety features are there on buses (are there even seat belts)? When are we going to have positive train control on all passengers trains in this country? How many people who say they will never set foot on a max, don't spend for extra safety features on their automobile, which would be much more likely to affect their safety? The fact is, we sacrifice safety due to money all the time in the transportation sector.
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Old May 1, 19, 4:07 pm
  #547  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
How many safety features are there on buses (are there even seat belts)? When are we going to have positive train control on all passengers trains in this country? How many people who say they will never set foot on a max, don't spend for extra safety features on their automobile, which would be much more likely to affect their safety? The fact is, we sacrifice safety due to money all the time in the transportation sector.
Well, the next time you see a bus crash and kill a few hundred people you'll probably see an advance in required safety features. Aviation is an entirely different animal, using a highly complex piece of machinery operating in a highly dynamic three dimensional environment, where if even a small issue arises, it can be catastrophic. I'll take my chances on a bus without seatbelts long before I'll step on a plane which has the potential to fly itself into the ground.
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Old May 1, 19, 4:15 pm
  #548  
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
How many safety features are there on buses (are there even seat belts)?
Um, yes. 3-point seat belts on the Greyhound fleet, for instance. And those might actually save a life because an accident might be at 60 mph instead of 600 mph. @:-)
When are we going to have positive train control on all passengers trains in this country?
Why would we mandate that we have positive train control on all passenger trains before we add safety to airliners? And when was the last train crash in the US that killed 150 people? (Answer: Never.)

How many people who say they will never set foot on a max, don't spend for extra safety features on their automobile, which would be much more likely to affect their safety? The fact is, we sacrifice safety due to money all the time in the transportation sector.
It's always risk/reward. Automobile travel is higher risk with great reward and a much greater chance of coming through an accident alive.

Airliner travel is extremely safe - except in the "win the reverse lottery" instance where it's not. Then you have virtually zero chance of coming through the accident alive.
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Old May 1, 19, 4:16 pm
  #549  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
How many safety features are there on buses (are there even seat belts)? When are we going to have positive train control on all passengers trains in this country? How many people who say they will never set foot on a max, don't spend for extra safety features on their automobile, which would be much more likely to affect their safety? The fact is, we sacrifice safety due to money all the time in the transportation sector.
No matter what you do to a car, it will always be less safe than a plane. That's not really the point.

I have to say that Boeing has done some masterful PR here. They have shifted the discussion to the MCAS. The MCAS is not the problem. It's an attempt to fix the problem. The problem is that the engines are too big and in the wrong place, making the plane inherently unstable. This can't be fixed with software because its not a software problem, and no one is discussing the real problem.

This plane will never be safe, and I won't fly in it.
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Old May 1, 19, 5:55 pm
  #550  
 
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet View Post
I admittedly know nothing about how aircraft are built and equipped, but as a lay person, I find it quite odd that something like what JDiver describes above (or any safety feature) would be an optional piece of equipment.
You say odd, they say criminal... potatoes, potatos…

The problem is that Boeing sold critical (as it turns out) safety features as optional add ons, that actually cost very little, just to make some more money. So this looks like a mix of ignorance/miscalculation/negligence and greed. Which should amount to significant criminal and civil liability.
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Old May 1, 19, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Um, yes. 3-point seat belts on the Greyhound fleet, for instance. And those might actually save a life because an accident might be at 60 mph instead of 600 mph. @:-)
Why would we mandate that we have positive train control on all passenger trains before we add safety to airliners? And when was the last train crash in the US that killed 150 people? (Answer: Never.)

It's always risk/reward. Automobile travel is higher risk with great reward and a much greater chance of coming through an accident alive.

Airliner travel is extremely safe - except in the "win the reverse lottery" instance where it's not. Then you have virtually zero chance of coming through the accident alive.
Why would we add safety to airliners before we make our roads safer? And when was the last time over 30,000 people died on planes in the US in a year? (Answer: Never). We can walk and chew and gum at the same time. We choose not to make things safer because we don’t want to spend the money all the time. And what makes 150 the magic number?
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Old May 1, 19, 6:32 pm
  #552  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Why would we add safety to airliners before we make our roads safer? And when was the last time over 30,000 people died on planes in the US in a year? (Answer: Never). We can walk and chew and gum at the same time. We choose not to make things safer because we don’t want to spend the money all the time. And what makes 150 the magic number?
I mean, I guess with this logic (or lack thereof) why spend any money on safety features at all? Strip out the life vests, oxygen masks, slides, etc. That'll save a ton of money...
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Old May 1, 19, 7:07 pm
  #553  
 
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The issues with road deaths in the US has precious little to do with safety features of automobiles and whether they are extra or not (the fact many are mandated seems to be overlooked) and all to do with the woeful standard of driving, driven by a complete lack of meaningful driver training and total lack of enforcement of standards which would make roads safer.

The same can’t be said for the aviation industry, which treats safety as a priority, based on the amount of training required and the enforcement of standards associated with that.
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Old May 1, 19, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
I mean, I guess with this logic (or lack thereof) why spend any money on safety features at all? Strip out the life vests, oxygen masks, slides, etc. That'll save a ton of money...
Agreed. Of course, the 737 has no overwing slides because it saves weight and money.
Edit: I’m not saying this is my logic or I agree with it. Quite the opposite, actually.
Originally Posted by thedeeg View Post
The issues with road deaths in the US has precious little to do with safety features of automobiles and whether they are extra or not (the fact many are mandated seems to be overlooked) and all to do with the woeful standard of driving, driven by a complete lack of meaningful driver training and total lack of enforcement of standards which would make roads safer.

The same can’t be said for the aviation industry, which treats safety as a priority, based on the amount of training required and the enforcement of standards associated with that.
You need to look at the long term trend of traffic deaths in the US despite rising traffic and tell me that it has nothing to do with safety features on cars. And unfortunately, I’m not sure the aviation industry is still treating safety as the priority it once was, hence our current predicament.

Last edited by Cledaybuck; May 1, 19 at 7:51 pm
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Old May 1, 19, 10:52 pm
  #555  
 
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet View Post
I admittedly know nothing about how aircraft are built and equipped, but as a lay person, I find it quite odd that something like what JDiver describes above (or any safety feature) would be an optional piece of equipment.
I get they cannot include every feature standard but It does seem since Suicide Mode (MCAS) was standard, the safety features related to that non-optional "feature", should also be standard.
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