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

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

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Old Apr 30, 19, 7:34 am   -   Wikipost
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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 19 August 2019.

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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.

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.

Currently, AA has removed the 737 MAX 8 aircraft from scheduling through 19 August 2019. The FAA must clear the MAX before it can fly again. AA has 24 MAX 8s grounded and has canceled 115 daily flights as a result. 30 April 2019

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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:25 am
  #151  
 
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Just one more reason to fly B6 SFO-FLL instead of AA SFO-MIA. Besides the 7M8 falling out of the sky and generally being a sardine can even up front, MInt is readily available for $599 each way - just booked solo-seat lie-flat round trip for under $1200
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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:33 am
  #152  
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Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides View Post
Besides the 7M8 falling out of the sky and generally being a sardine can even up front,
Oh you're going to get a lot of love here with some posters.....

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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by mnhusker View Post
Remember that the MCAS auto-trim system depends on a single source of information of angle of attack to determine its input to the flight controls.
Are you positive that the MCAS uses a single pitot probe? I’m no aircraft designer, but at the pricetag of a 737 I’d expect 2 or even better 3 redundant voting inputs.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by mnhusker View Post
In third world operating conditions that pitot tube maybe more likely to become contaminated with particulate matter that would obstruct it and lead to it not performing appropriately.
Just a technical FYI - the pitot tube has nothing to do with measuring AoA. The pitot tube measures air pressure in the forward direction, which when coupled with the static pressure, indicates air speed. The AoA is measured by airfoil vanes that rotate based on the AoA. I'm not sure of the exact configuration on a 737 MAX, but this is what they look like on an A330: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8
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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by SouthernCross View Post


Are you positive that the MCAS uses a single pitot probe? I’m no aircraft designer, but at the pricetag of a 737 I’d expect 2 or even better 3 redundant voting inputs.
My understanding is that while there are multiple AoA sensors (not pitot tubes), the MCAS system will initiate a stall avoidance maneuver (by trimming the nose down) if any of the sensors indicate an excessive AoA. I assume the logic behind this is that one of the scenarios where the plane could be flown into a stall condition is when there is an AoA sensor disagreement, in which case the plane will need to be flown manually with conflicting, and hence confusing, data. However, the logic doesn't allow for the case where the plane is flying perfectly well, at a normal AoA, but one AoA sensor has failed in a mode giving an excessive reading.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:50 am
  #156  
 
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Originally Posted by SouthernCross View Post


Are you positive that the MCAS uses a single pitot probe? I’m no aircraft designer, but at the pricetag of a 737 I’d expect 2 or even better 3 redundant voting inputs.


I am being corrected that its not a pitot tube but rather a vein system that detects angle of attack.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 11:54 am
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[QUOTE=SouthernCross;30873653]




I am being corrected that its not a pitot tube but rather a vein system that detects angle of attack.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:03 pm
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Some AOA systems use pitot, some use vane. But regardless redundant sensors is still good design. I’m curious how many sensors the 737 MAX MCAS has.

Also, nowadays an AOA indicator should be be a standard instrument on all aircraft.

Last edited by SouthernCross; Mar 11, 19 at 12:15 pm
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:12 pm
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dmsdfw:
Thank you for your insight!!

That is the correct information about how the software handles the input from the left and right angle of attack sensors.

I found this information about the Lion Air crash:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-crash-453455/

ON the flight prior to the crash, there had been anomalies in airspeed between captain and first officers instruments as well as AOA indicators. AOA sensors were replaced prior to crash.

As dmsdfw points out, with two inputs to the software, it appears that at present the software defaults to the "bad" reading and commands a response of avoidance of stall.

I stand by the need to validate the intact status of these sensors prior to every flight, disconnect the software, or you are going to have to ground the 737 Max fleet pending some other fix.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
All ex-MIA, yes. Save the LAX-DCA flight that was recently changed to a 7M8 (AA163).
And, the occasional AC swap... I ended up on 7M8's ex-SJC in the last couple of weeks (one to DFW, and another to ORD), which both were originally scheduled to be 738 config. My seat # changed both times as a result. So, you never know...

Cheers.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:25 pm
  #161  
 
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And now the Ethiopian Crash looks nothing like a 737Max problem:

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-e...-idUKKBN1QS1LH

plane on fire, trailing smoke before it crashed.......
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by mnhusker View Post
And now the Ethiopian Crash looks nothing like a 737Max problem:

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-e...-idUKKBN1QS1LH

plane on fire, trailing smoke before it crashed.......
As much as memories can warp in the mind for witnesses to a tragedy, I would say there is not much there to go by.

"Rattling" noises, trailing smoke (and clothes and paper!?), all sounds like fuzzy post-witness memory jumble to me.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mnhusker View Post
And now the Ethiopian Crash looks nothing like a 737Max problem:

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-e...-idUKKBN1QS1LH

plane on fire, trailing smoke before it crashed.......
Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. Yes there is smoke and fire involved, but the timelines get all sorts of jumbled. The human brain just isn’t good at this sort of thing.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:43 pm
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The CVR and FDR have both been found, so readouts will be critical. Photos of one of the recorders show a muddy and dirty case but one that does not look fire damaged or compromised. I'm going to assume the memory module inside survived.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 2:09 pm
  #165  
 
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Out running errands with my son and that space gave me more time to think about this.

Boeing with the 737Max, and this software is thinking like Airbus: "Let's not trust the pilots, we will make the plane fly the way it needs to fly".

This is way out of line with their past corporate history.

What to do now?

1. Disable the software.

2. Train all 737Max pilots a set number of hours in simulator to deal of the characteristics of AOA issues that the software was meant to deal with.

3. Mandate quarterly simulator hours ("CME: continuing medical education, that's what I do in my job ) of the same training to make sure pilots stay familiar with the 737Max's foibles.

4. Boeing to work on long term fix for issues (if there can be one).

It is much better to train pilots to fly the plane as it is than to train them to fly the plane when it is trying to kill them!
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