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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.

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Old Jun 29, 19, 11:13 am
  #661  
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Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
Boeing also said the MAX8 was safe. Maybe that portion was in-house, maybe not. Would be bad PR for Boeing to try and scapegoat a thirdparty contractor at this point, IMO. So who knows for 100% fact now.
Who knows? Well, the one paying and the one getting paid know for sure. Now, if you have information that shows otherwise please don’t be shy.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 11:01 pm
  #662  
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Originally Posted by QtownDave View Post
Fun headline about the $9 per hour outsource workers but within the article is this gem:

Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers.
Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
Boeing also said the MAX8 was safe. Maybe that portion was in-house, maybe not. Would be bad PR for Boeing to try and scapegoat a thirdparty contractor at this point, IMO. So who knows for 100% fact now.
Regardless of who performed the coding, the issue was with whoever wrote the parameters and established the specifications. That was certainly Boeing senior employees.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 8:35 am
  #663  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Regardless of who performed the coding, the issue was with whoever wrote the parameters and established the specifications. That was certainly Boeing senior employees.
I don't want to be disagreeable on this, but it's more complex than that. I'm pretty sure that the "happy path" criteria was met (meaning, everyday scenarios, some outliers were covered), but edge cases were probably missed with less qualified coding staff. There is a reason why companies still, and will continue to pay, top dollar for highly skilled software engineers, especially for mission critical applications. These "coders" have the propensity to work with their product management counterparts to fully understand their project end-to-end, and often raise areas of concern in a continuous, collaborative effort, to address them.

This does not mean they are necessarily US, European based as some might falsely presume, just that they are senior, experienced professionals in their field that ask appropriate questions, and are not just "order takers". I've have had the pleasure to work with such individuals from all parts of the world.

Last edited by teemuflyer; Jun 30, 19 at 2:05 pm
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Old Jun 30, 19, 8:35 am
  #664  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Regardless of who performed the coding, the issue was with whoever wrote the parameters and established the specifications. That was certainly Boeing senior employees.
Right. I don’t think there is anything to suggest MCAS wasn’t working as designed.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 11:05 am
  #665  
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Juan Browne, an AA pilot certified on A320 and B737 aircraft and known for his “blancolirio” Youtube videos and Facebook page, has a very good (IMO) video explaining the entire MAX issue. The video is not a studio-based one, so it isn’t as polished as it might be, and it’s a longer one because it is extensive in its coverage. Juan, as a professional airman, explains the origins of MAX, the purpose of MCAS, destroys the shibboleths including the “unstable aircraft” and “requires computers to fly stably” tropes and brings us up to date through the end of August.

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Old Sep 22, 19, 11:13 am
  #666  
 
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And a book length article on the crashes by the NYT:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=spartanntp
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:13 pm
  #667  
 
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I find it hard to see any good reason to believe any of these stories – they seem very designed to point blame in any direction other than one where there are deep pockets. The NYT article seems especially dodgy to me since blaming airmanship is an unhelpful analysis and suggests to me (always) a rug corner being lifted up to sweep something under.

Even if airmanship was a contributing factor, the appropriate analysis should be looking at what could be done to avoid further cases of stunningly poor airmanship.

The Kegworth crash, over 30 years ago, is very instructive here as the pilots survived and lost their jobs, due to being blamed for poor airmanship (they turned off the good engine, not the faulty one). But when it turned out that they had had no training in some key differences between the 737-300 and the 737-400, it became clear that the crash was a failure of design, not of poor pilots. (For those not familiar with the story, they had almost no data in the cockpit to identify the faulty engine and turning off the good engine also turned off other systems that made the fault in the other engine go away - so it seemed like they had done the right thing - but when they needed extra thrust to land the faulty engine failed completely. This is the crash where passengers knew which engine was faulty but said nothing when the pilots announced which engine they had shut down.)
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:31 pm
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I have read the full NYT article too and found it a very insulting exercise in pointing blame to the deceased.

The crews may not have had perfect airmanship indeed but - as a passenger - I do not want to fly in airplanes that only exceptional airmen can fly. I want to fly in airplanes that are safe to fly by any average pilot.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 5:08 pm
  #669  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Juan Browne, an AA pilot certified on A320 and B737 aircraft and known for his “blancolirio” Youtube videos and Facebook page, has a very good (IMO) video explaining the entire MAX issue. The video is not a studio-based one, so it isn’t as polished as it might be, and it’s a longer one because it is extensive in its coverage. Juan, as a professional airman, explains the origins of MAX, the purpose of MCAS, destroys the shibboleths including the “unstable aircraft” and “requires computers to fly stably” tropes and brings us up to date through the end of August.
I actually learned a lot so thanks for posting that ...but damn, I hope he’s a much better pilot than YouTube Yapper because he’s almost unwatchable and could have edited it down to about 5 minutes.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 6:05 pm
  #670  
 
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Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen View Post
I have read the full NYT article too and found it a very insulting exercise in pointing blame to the deceased.

The crews may not have had perfect airmanship indeed but - as a passenger - I do not want to fly in airplanes that only exceptional airmen can fly. I want to fly in airplanes that are safe to fly by any average pilot.
Indeed this article seems to blame mostly everybody else and make excuses for Boeing...Even though he explains many of the shortcomings and problems with MCAS and Boeing, he is not firm enough and he keeps getting back to blaming the victims...The whole contextualization of the article is biased that way...
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Old Sep 23, 19, 12:54 am
  #671  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Indeed this article seems to blame mostly everybody else and make excuses for Boeing...Even though he explains many of the shortcomings and problems with MCAS and Boeing, he is not firm enough and he keeps getting back to blaming the victims...The whole contextualization of the article is biased that way...
You could tell the ending before halfway through.

Yes, the way the pilots reacted and ground crew handled did contribute to the "holes lining up in the swiss cheese", but one of the first couple of holes was caused by MCAS.

Indeed, without MCAS, this thread would not exist.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:27 am
  #672  
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Originally Posted by QtownDave View Post
I actually learned a lot so thanks for posting that ...but damn, I hope he’s a much better pilot than YouTube Yapper because he’s almost unwatchable and could have edited it down to about 5 minutes.
Undoubtedly. He’s a pilot, not a presenter.

Originally Posted by serfty View Post
You could tell the ending before halfway through.

Yes, the way the pilots reacted and ground crew handled did contribute to the "holes lining up in the swiss cheese", but one of the first couple of holes was caused by MCAS.

Indeed, without MCAS, this thread would not exist.
IMO, it’s not the imperfectly designed MCAS but rather Boeing’s decision to soft-soap MCAS by not disclosing it to any extent to regulators, airlines or airmen. And Boeing’s false costing of the aircraft by offering two fairly important safety features as extra paid options.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Undoubtedly. He’s a pilot, not a presenter.



IMO, it’s not the imperfectly designed MCAS but rather Boeing’s decision to soft-soap MCAS by not disclosing it to any extent to regulators, airlines or airmen. And Boeing’s false costing of the aircraft by offering two fairly important safety features as extra paid options.
Senor JDiver, no, I cannot agree. Primero de todo the MCAS system is a flawed and risky solution to a perceived marketing/sales problem and not a good engineering or flight envelope maintenance system.

Proximo... I think the expression "soft-soap" is not adequate to describe Boeing's wilful lack of disclosure of the existence, characteristics and effects of this MCAS system. I am most concerned when manufacturers deliberately occlude the system to the degree that Boeing has clearly done. I am disturbed when knowledgeable people such as you use such terminology to downplay the deep obscuring of this system from operators and pilots.

Also for me a most disturbing part of this sorry story was Boeing's CEO fails to acknowledge risk or danger following the Lionair crash in Octubre 2018. It took another terrible fatal crash to prompt the self-examination and internal product scrutiny that should happen instantly in a professional airframe manufacturing company following a fatal crash.

It is very sad to me that Boeing's management has decayed ethically after the previous engineers and managers for many decades designed such great planes as the 727, 747 and 777. I have misgivings about the MAX series. I have flown several million millas and much on 737s and all safely and confidently. Pero no mas.

Boeing are wrong if it believes this problem is "business as usual" and that this will "go away." There was customer aversion to the DC10 in the early 1980s but I think, this is worse.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by ReinaDeLaSelva View Post
Boeing are wrong if it believes this problem is "business as usual" and that this will "go away." There was customer aversion to the DC10 in the early 1980s but I think, this is worse.
No doubt the tragedies will take some time to overcome but with just two truly global players for plane types of that size and larger it's not going to sink Boeing.

The flying public has a short memory and even shallower pocketbooks. Now flygskam, that's another story...
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Old Oct 29, 19, 5:28 am
  #675  
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Boeing's CEO is on Capitol Hill today and tomorrow fielding questions from Congress about the Max.
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