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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 Mar 15, 19, 11:21 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. The order is expected to persist through April.

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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 April, 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 Mar 15, 19, 5:37 pm
  #421  
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
I will. Nothing wrong with the airplane in that incident. But you knew that.
Yes I knew that was pilot error.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:04 pm
  #422  
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Early today,

All Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft will remain grounded at least until May after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said. - BBC, 15 March 2019 - link
but,
Shares of Boeing rebounded Friday after a report that the plane manufacturer plans to roll out a software upgrade for its 737 Max aircraft in 10 days.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to sign off on Boeing’s planned changes to its anti-stall software on March 25, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. Lawmakers have been informed of the timeline, the person said. link to CNBC story
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:10 pm
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Isn't it remarkable that what they haven't done in months they can now do it in 10 days..
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:23 pm
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Here's a video of older 737 simulator with runaway stabilizer - starts just before 3 minutes in -


Think for a minute (no you don't have that long...) - how fast can the automation incorrectly trim and put you in a nose-down/high speed position. What's the best reaction time one could expect from a pilot to recognize what is happening and take the appropriate action?
Then, think - now you've got to manually crank the trim back, while still flying the plane manually and taking care of everything else at low altitude --- I'd sure like to see a simulator video of this situation with the Lion or Ethiopian situation and see how reasonable it is to expect a flight crew to deal with this situation....
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:30 pm
  #425  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Isn't it remarkable that what they haven't done in months they can now do it in 10 days..
Actually, they’ve been working on this since early November. An update Bulletin supplementing the crew operations manual was issued November 7, as was an FAA AD Note regarding the AOA indicator. There has been some conflict regarding the necessaries between Boeing and the FAA, and articles (WSJ et al) indicate one delaying factor was the temporary US government shutdown December 22 , 2018 until January 25, 2019 (35 days).

Link to Wall Street Journal: Software fix to Boeing 737 Max 8 planes delayed in part by government shutdown. CNN, Veronica Stracqualursi
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Old Mar 15, 19, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
Not exactly a big surprise. I think everybody though it was always highly likely that the automated controls had pushed the stabalizer trim down. The real question is how and why the pilot reacted. One article notes this:

AFAIK, this is wrong. The trim switches on the yoke will override the autopilot pushing the stabalizer on other 737s, but will not override the MAX's MCAS system. The pilot has to completely shutdown electronic control via a switch then use a hand crank to adjust it.

Presumably the pilot did not mechanically override the system (else the jackscrew would have been screwed back "up" via the cable he would have cranked).

So why?

The bigger question is this. The MCAS system was added because the MAX is not stable w/o it. If the system can not be relied on, is the plane safe?

As far as the software fix, call me a skeptic until and unless it is proved out. If it is no more that basically an emergency shutoff of the system, then you are back to the issue of potential stalls it was designed to avoid.

I think reactions to crashes are generally way oevrblown. But this one could be really bad for Boeing consider how large the order book is for the MAX .
I agree with you 100%. MCAS was added to work around a design flaw. I am not going to fly the aircraft - no matter. Boeing needs to work on a new design. Start from the 757.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 9:45 am
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I guess I have a question for Boeing - was MCAS part of the original design for the MAX or was it added later once they started testing the aircraft. I bet Boeing has a lot of confidential documents on the MAX's development and testing, which they would not want revealed.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
I guess I have a question for Boeing - was MCAS part of the original design for the MAX or was it added later once they started testing the aircraft. I bet Boeing has a lot of confidential documents on the MAX's development and testing, which they would not want revealed.
This was shared with me by a guy I know who's a former USAF pilot and likes this writer's stuff and that the dude knows of what he speaks; YMMV of course. (I don't read aviation journals normally...)

https://airfactsjournal.com/2019/03/...-trust-pilots/
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Old Mar 16, 19, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by dp4m View Post
This was shared with me by a guy I know who's a former USAF pilot and likes this writer's stuff and that the dude knows of what he speaks; YMMV of course. (I don't read aviation journals normally...)

https://airfactsjournal.com/2019/03/...-trust-pilots/
Very interesting points.

What I find more interesting is the idea of statistical significance. Many stated that just 2 crashes means nothing. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't (this was days ago, now it seems it DOES mean something). But at that time, with limited data, people weren't certain.

That is the future though. As we demand more and more safety, we have to rely on less and less information. In the past maybe it was acceptable for some people to die before we got it right (whatever field that is). Nowadays the expectation is that nobody dies. Or, at least fewer than prior.
But as things get safer and safer, fewer and fewer incidents happen. So the magnifying glass is put on the incidents that did happen.

Do all of them mean something? Maybe, maybe not. But it doesn't matter anymore. They HAVE to mean something. Because we feel we have to change something to prevent anything from happening in the future. Even if it were, so to speak, "unpreventable".
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Old Mar 16, 19, 4:17 pm
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Just returned from a travel show at convention center in DC. Peter Greenberg was a speaker. He believes it will be months before they are able to fully analyze what happened with the two crashes and the MAX will be grounded for months. He was pretty stern on Boeing - "What did they know, and when did the know it".

What we have is an airplane that is stretching the limits in its design, and one that tends to pitch up in flight. What causes it to pitch up? Could it be more susceptible to weight distribution. Maybe Boeing knows.

I would prefer if AA would cancel its future 7M8 deliveries and order more A321s. Permanently ground the current 24 Maxs. If needed bring back some 757s or 767s for very heavy domestic routes - like DFW/ORD to LAX, etc. AA used to fly those aircraft on these routes.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 5:39 pm
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very interesting to see how this has evolved.

All of a sudden, Boeing's been working on the issue for months, and the federal government shutdown added to the delay. Much as that may be true, seems like Boeing is heading for a big piece of the blame pie, if not the whole pie.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by beachfan View Post
very interesting to see how this has evolved.

All of a sudden, Boeing's been working on the issue for months, and the federal government shutdown added to the delay. Much as that may be true, seems like Boeing is heading for a big piece of the blame pie, if not the whole pie.
Boeing is in deep dodo on this one. But the fact they’ve been working on the software fix isn’t anything new, given the Bulletin release November 7. IMO, they ought to have paid attention to how McNeil handled the Tylenol issue back in 1982. Transparency, forthrightness, hard work on the fix would gphsve bolstered customer and consumer confidence. But it seems they felt siftshoeing it while they worked on the remediation would work - unless another incident occurred in the interim.

The investigations will be the beginning of the end of this issue, and those take significant time. IMO Boeing will rue the day they chose the direction they did. I’d not be surprised to see some big changes there, including the Muilenburg era over.
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Old Mar 17, 19, 1:47 pm
  #433  
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I came across this article.

Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing and FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system

If it is to be believed, here's some main points mentioned in relation to the safety analysis:


  • Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document.
  • Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward.
  • Assessed a failure of the system as one level below “catastrophic.” But even that “hazardous” danger level should have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single sensor — and yet that’s how it was designed.

Issues with certification and other facets can be found in the article.
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Last edited by serfty; Mar 17, 19 at 1:59 pm
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Old Mar 17, 19, 1:51 pm
  #434  
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
I cam across this article.

Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing and FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system

If it is to be believed, here's some main points from the safety analysis:
  • Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document.
  • Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward.
  • Assessed a failure of the system as one level below “catastrophic.” But even that “hazardous” danger level should have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single sensor — and yet that’s how it was designed.


Issues with certification and other facets can be found in the article.
Apparently, the AA order included additional safety measures that weren’t included as standard with other orders, to boot.

Here’s an interesting take by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, retired US Airways pilot (who landed his Airbus on the Hudson River) and aviation safety consultant:
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Old Mar 17, 19, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
I agree with you 100%. MCAS was added to work around a design flaw. I am not going to fly the aircraft - no matter. Boeing needs to work on a new design. Start from the 757.
Forget about that...it'll never happen. Boeing had to choose between redesigning the 737 using 787 technology or simply re-engining the 737 around 15 years ago. Airbus had the same choice to make, and Airbus went with re-engining the A320, which became the A320neo. That forced Boeing's hand...a new plane was out of the question because Airbus would have picked Boeing clean in the 15 years it would have taken to bring a new design to market.

The 737-MAX is here to stay and you can expect it to be in the skies for the next 25-40 years.
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