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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 Jun 17, 19, 6:57 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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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

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 Jun 19, 19, 3:29 pm
  #616  
 
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The whole Boeing attitude seems to continue to be that of cost cutting, save money, sweep everything under the rug, and do the very minimum required to get the plane re-certified. Which does not inspire any confidence.
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Old Jun 19, 19, 5:18 pm
  #617  
 
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
The whole Boeing attitude seems to continue to be that of cost cutting, save money, sweep everything under the rug, and do the very minimum required to get the plane re-certified. Which does not inspire any confidence.
That's an interesting comment! What I see is a systematic failure to communicate major safety issues within the company. It seems like a fairly major problem was identified during testing. Rather than having a "chief safety officer" to whom these types of problems are reported, documented, and tracked, a small isolated team came up with the decision to "extend" the reach of the MCAS system. It appears that many within Boeing and the FAA were totally unaware of the issue and the resulting solution. As a result, a "less than safe" system with inadequate backup was allowed to "solve" the issue. Frankly, at this point, the FAA, airlines, pilots, and Boeing should takes their time and make sure the plane is totally safe before letting it back in the air.

That said, I do agree that Boeing strategically engaged in relentless cost-cutting by relying on the 3rd major redesign/update of a 1960's aircraft. I could have totally seen a redesign/update of the 1980's-designed 757/767 line.
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Old Jun 19, 19, 5:38 pm
  #618  
 
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At this point, given that they know that they have an inherently unsafe airframe, they should at least stop production and start redesigning a new plane. That will be the logical thing to do. But of course, if they do this, they realize that they are admitting guilt and an inherently unsafe aircraft. So, they are doubling down on the Max and hope that there will never be another MCAS crash. It is a "damn if you do, damn if you don't" scenario, after having made the original error...

I am guessing it may be a bankruptcy now or bankruptcy later scenario for them (if there is another MCAS-related crash in the future), so they are taking their chances on the later scenario, hoping it will never happen...I am not sure about their finances and the impact of the Max debacle on them, but I am assuming this would be a serious loss either way.
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Last edited by nk15; Jun 19, 19 at 5:54 pm
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Old Jun 19, 19, 7:40 pm
  #619  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
To be fair, I think JDiver's point is that some of the planes in the 1950s were actual "flying death traps." The 7M8 is not one of those. So I actually don't think it really says anything about the safety of the 7M8 to say that they are not the flying death traps of the 1950s.

I do share your general discomfort with the 7M8, however, and I am not confident that it is as safe as other planes out there today, despite what Boeing and AA pilots say. While that might not be completely rational, I'm probably going to go out of my way to avoid it, at least for a while.
By 1950s standards those aircraft were death traps at the time. By today's standards the MAX is basically a death trap now.

Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
That said, I do agree that Boeing strategically engaged in relentless cost-cutting by relying on the 3rd major redesign/update of a 1960's aircraft. I could have totally seen a redesign/update of the 1980's-designed 757/767 line.
Exactly. But Boeing was too worried a re-engined 767 would hurt sales of the 787. An updated 757 would have been exactly what Boeing needs to be offering at this point. The current 737 line isn't even really competitive with the A320 products anymore. Really it never was.
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Old Jun 19, 19, 9:10 pm
  #620  
 
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Why MCAS - train the pilots to fly the aircraft with its characteristics. If he can easily go into a stall, then train pilots to recover from an unexpected stall. Put 3 pilots in the aircraft since autopilot for take off can't be used, and train them how to avoid a stall on takeoff. The MAX requires more full time pilot monitoring.
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Old Jun 19, 19, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
Why MCAS - train the pilots to fly the aircraft with its characteristics. If he can easily go into a stall, then train pilots to recover from an unexpected stall. Put 3 pilots in the aircraft since autopilot for take off can't be used, and train them how to avoid a stall on takeoff. The MAX requires more full time pilot monitoring.
They need 3 pilots, a priest, and a therapist on every flight...
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Old Jun 20, 19, 1:23 am
  #622  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
They need 3 pilots, a priest, and a therapist on every flight...
Not to mention a specific 737MAX "Type Rating" for the pilots.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 7:26 am
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Every plane over 50,000 kilos needs a flight engineer.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 7:43 am
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any word if we can no fee change off of these?
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Old Jun 20, 19, 8:47 am
  #625  
 
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deleted (misread post I was quoting)
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Old Jun 20, 19, 10:32 am
  #626  
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
any word if we can no fee change off of these?
For now, generally yes. The question is whether AA is savvy enough to extend the free change option beyond the date the MAX will be back on reliable schedule again - after they’re recertified to fly, the parked MAXes updated as necessary.

For AA that’s mostly a software update, as these birds already have the AoA sensor indicator and disagree warning (but UA and those airlines who decided they didn’t need those will have to have them installed gratis under Boeing’s changes), prepped for service from their preserved status, operating manuals updated, pilots retrained, etc.

Further, the pilots seem quite assertive about wanting simulator time (vs iPad time) and simulators are scarce. (Ironically, AA has an operating A350 simulator at the DFW AA Flight Academy, about as useless as giving a fish a jackhammer, but iirc the sole MAX simulator is at MIA.)

BTW, some of the pilot concerns - and their concerns over Boeing’s original delivery and FAA certification of what many have called out as a defectuous MCAS product that was half-baked when released - can be read in this NPR article (including aviation safety expert Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger).
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Old Jun 20, 19, 11:31 am
  #627  
 
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One thing I wonder - AA purchased all the options - UA and others didn't. As part of the re-certification process, will all airlines be required to update to the full safety package - and if so, does this help with simulator availability as AA pilots with planes ready to fly would take priority over UA pilots that are still waiting on modifications. Perhaps the simulator concern isn't as big of a deal as some are making it out to be.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 11:48 am
  #628  
 
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I am wondering if AA will try and claim a refund for the AoA option since it paid for it, when other competitors will now get it for free. In addition to the already exorbitant grounding compensation that is.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen View Post
I am wondering if AA will try and claim a refund for the AoA option since it paid for it, when other competitors will now get it for free. In addition to the already exorbitant grounding compensation that is.
Are we sure AA "paid" for the AoA options (additional sensor and disagree light)? Although those options were offered as supplemental options to other airlines, as the airline that essentially forced the MAX into existence, could AA have received certain perks that other airlines didn't?

I'm wondering what AA maybe knew about the MAX that other airlines didn't.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
Not to mention a specific 737MAX "Type Rating" for the pilots.
That may eventually happen. I might add that Boeing has done a terrible job of managing the public's fears and expectations of this aircraft.
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