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Kascadia
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Kascadia
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PostTue Jan 09, 2024 6:02 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
Though in writing this I did learn that the word "fluke" is usually reserved for lucky accidents.
In that context, the fluke here would be that it happened at 16,000 feet, not 35,000 feet...............

It is as though I had read a divine text, written into the world itself, not with letters but rather with essential objects, saying: Man, stretch thy reason hither, so thou mayest comprehend these things. Johannes Kepler

Anne Elk  zimmertr
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Riverside Laker
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PostTue Jan 09, 2024 6:06 pm 
Schroder, that's an interesting drawing of a 737. The drawing has a four wheel truck, twice as many as the airplane. But the same number of wings, whew.

Chief Joseph
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cascade curmudgeon



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PostWed Jan 10, 2024 10:49 am 
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/09/opinion/alaska-airlines-safety.html

First your legs go, then you lose your reflexes, then you lose your friends. Willy Pep
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 12:14 pm 
I agree that the proximal cause was Alaska's failure to inspect the plane when the previous pressure warning lights went off. Alaska's solution? Don't fly these planes over the ocean. WTF??? This, from the airline that was responsible for all the loss of life in that one crash in 2000 because they changed the jackscrew inspection/maintenance schedule and the last mechanic did what's normally a 3-4 hr job in 1. There's an interesting thread in the reader comments to that NY Times article cited above where the author elaborates in the reader comments on what caused the two crashes that grounded those planes for such a long time. Scary stuff there. Just go to the "Reader Picks" ordering to see the full discussion near the top.
Zeynep Tufekci wrote:
Here is what happened to Boeing Max that caused the crashes: To avoid pilot retraining costs with a new airplane that had a different frame, Boeing had added software to the new Max line to have it handle like the old 737 but did not inform the pilots of what this software did, or even its existence. The company pressured the FAA to avoid mentioning this new software ówhich pitched the nose down under certain conditionsó in the training manuals, to help ďavoid costly retraining on simulatorsĒ and thus make it more marketable. Worse, the automated system took key readings from a single sensor (even though two existed on a plane): a major violation of airplane design rules which emphasize redundancy to avoid single points of failure. So if it got an incorrect reading from a single sensor, it overrode pilots and pitched the nose down. In two instances, the automated system pitched the nose down shortly after takeoff, and kept taking over the plane as the pilots desperately tried to regain control. The pilots had no idea what was happening, and the plane quickly went down. It was this combination that led to these two crashes. 346 people died. Boeing did not immediately sound the alarm after the first crashóin my view, they should have understood what had happened. Here is a succinct explanation from our news reporter. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html
An even scarier elaboaration from one of the commenters in that thread:
David H. from Rockville, MD wrote:
Your reply does not mention why the MCAS was needed in the first place. It's needed because the high-efficiency engines that Boeing needed to put on the MAX don't fit under the wings of a plane designed when Lyndon Johnson was President. The engines were placed forward and higher, which destabilizes the flight of the 737MAX. The MCAS is designed to fix that instability when it judges that pilots can't. That is, Boeing used software to paper over the fact that the 737MAX can't fly all the time. There is no fix for the flight instability, just a way to control it better. This isn't an example of the FAA working flawlessly to ensure safety. The FAA did not have the expertise (or maybe political clout) to determine that the MAX should not be certified to fly.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Chief Joseph
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 12:20 pm 
The Boeing/Alaska collaborative fix: the handyman's secret weapon

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Kascadia, Chief Joseph
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Bosterson
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 12:48 pm 
Anne Elk wrote:
An even scarier elaboaration from one of the commenters in that thread:
David H. from Rockville, MD wrote:
Your reply does not mention why the MCAS was needed in the first place. It's needed because the high-efficiency engines that Boeing needed to put on the MAX don't fit under the wings of a plane designed when Lyndon Johnson was President....
My understanding, from reading about it back during the MCAS fiasco, is that it is very expensive - in a time consuming, regulatory sense - to get a completely new plane design certified by the FAA. It is much quicker (ie, cheaper) to recertify an older plane as an upgraded model, since the underlying airframe hasn't changed. So rather than create an entirely new small twin engine plane to replace the 737, they took the 737 design and tweaked it to make a "new" plane (the 737 MAX). Boeing was getting increased competition from Airbus so they needed to get a new model out the door ASAP and didn't want to wait for a whole new plane to be certified. In a way, it's kind of like pharmaceutical companies "revising" the formula of a drug right before the patent is set to expire so they can file a new patent and keep their monopoly - not perfectly analogous, but in both cases the regulations are being exploited for profit reasons. Fun times.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)

Chief Joseph, Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 1:50 pm 
Bosterson wrote:
not perfectly analogous, but in both cases the regulations are being exploited for profit reasons. Fun times.
Yeah. Lives are cheap in tort settlements compared to saving billions for not having to do things the way they really ought to be done to put out a well-made, safe product. What really irks is that even with the "speed" modifications and workarounds to beat the competition, they still want to do as little as possible to make ensure proper assembly, function, pilot training, etc. will work properly.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 2:37 pm 
Just another case of technology gone wrong and humans thinking that they are smarter than they are and/or as the article mentioned, the cost of retraining and doing it correctly is more than the price of human lives, that is sad. The old 737 seemed to be just fine, why change something that works and make something that might not?

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Riverside Laker
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 7:13 pm 
This thread reminds me of the armchair quarterbacking after a mountain rescue.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 8:04 pm 
Kinda, except that people that lose their lives due to the negligence of the airlines or the manufacturer are putting their lives in those individuals hands, wheres with hikers and climbers, they know the risks, or at least should and they don't usually have to worry about loose bolts killing them. Ice Screws, yes, but then that would be an accident or their own negligence. The worst part is that they knew that there were issues but chose not to do anything about it. It would be like the leader of a climbing party knowing that the protection was questionable and yet proceeding on the route anyway...maybe because they had spent a lot of money on the expedition so didn't want to lose the chance. I know, kind of a weird analogy, makes sense to me though. dizzy.gif

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

MtnManic
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Bowregard
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PostThu Jan 11, 2024 11:32 pm 
IMHO this thread is quickly going off the rails. Are we really going to pull MCAS into this discussion? MCAS involved major flight control systems applicable to the every aircraft in the type. Mistakes were made at many levels and tragically lives were lost. The only connection between this incident and MCAS so far is the same "family" of aircraft (737 MAX). The media is trying to link this to anything they can tease out of their so-called experts. I have my own suspicions of what most likely happened but in hindsight I spoke too soon. The investigators should have enough pieces to determine what happened. Time will tell.

Riverside Laker, Chief Joseph
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 12:30 am 
Bowregard wrote:
IMHO this thread is quickly going off the rails. Are we really going to pull MCAS into this discussion? MCAS involved major flight control systems applicable to the every aircraft in the type. Mistakes were made at many levels and tragically lives were lost. The only connection between this incident and MCAS so far is the same "family" of aircraft (373 MAX).
On one level, yes, since in this incident it appears to be a manufacturing flaw as opposed to a design/engineering flaw. But in each case there were the same failures to test, inspect, and etc. to cut costs. This latest opinion piece discusses the fact that the fuselage is manufactured by a subcontractor, which has its own problems with undertrained staff. The scariest part about the Boeing 737 Max blowout Boeing abandoned a lot of its manufacturing brain trust here in the NW for non-unionized, less skilled labor, and from what I've read in the past, the FAA has abrogated a lot of its inspection responsibilities and delegated them to the manufacturer. What could go wrong? As with the previous NYTimes article, this one also has interesting comments in the "reader picks" comments from various engineer types and those with insider Boeing knowledge. Like this guy:
Robert from Houston wrote:
My favorite part about the Boeing fiasco is the safety exemption they requested from the FAA for the Max 7 just weeks before the Alaska airlines incident. Running the anti-ice system for more than 5 minutes risks damage to the engine. Rather than engineer a solution, they wanted to get a free pass and just put a footnote in the instruction manual. Imagine if running the defroster for more than 5 minutes in a car risked engine damage. It would be a fiasco, but Boeing expected our regulators to give them a free pass. I'm sure if an incident occured, they would've gladly blamed the pilots yet again. The way this company is being run they deserve to be wiped out. If it weren't for the hefty defense contracts, I imagine that would be a real possibility. Makes you wonder how they're gaming the taxpayer's defense dollars with the way the commercial side works.
What I find discouraging is the clear downward trajectory of quality American manufacturing and engineering, thanks to (apparently) the rise of corporate bean counters. Member Idoru put up a post in the Saloon's movie reviews thread recently: a YouTube cc of 'For All Mankind", an homage of sorts to NASA's Apollo moon landing project. I watched it and thought about how much trust those astronauts had to have in the NASA designers, builders and mission control to climb aboard those giant tanks of rocket fuel and go to the moon, land, and come back. Yes, there were big mistakes that ended in fatalities before a launch, and the equally famous Apollo 13 in-flight near-disaster ("Houston, we have a problem!). And decades later, the space shuttle fatalities. But it was amazing what we could do; I still remember my folks letting us stay up late on the east coast to watch the live broadcast of the first landing on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. And now we're having trouble with commercial aircraft manufacturing/maintenance? Maybe that's hyperbole, but it all feels connected somehow, like the "can-do" American zeitgeist is crumbling.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Waterman, MtnManic
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Stefan
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 1:31 pm 
Anne Elk wrote:
What I find discouraging is the clear downward trajectory of quality American manufacturing and engineering, thanks to (apparently) the rise of corporate bean counters.
The main cost....is wages. If a company does not make a profit....what do you think happens? Some basic principles: More cash goes out for peoples wages. Less cash would come in for sales. If that balance becomes too negative...then the company goes bankrupt. When the company goes bankrupt....well, most people will lose their jobs. Even the bolts Boeing pays for is basically people's wages at ANOTHER company. The bean counters are really telling you the story of how much its costs in people's wages.

Art is an adventure.
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zephyr
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 2:38 pm 
Here's a great article in the Anchorage Daily News that tells more of the story from the boy's mother's point of view. The woman sitting beside her also jumped into action to hang on to the boy and keep him in the plane. ~z

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Bowregard
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 2:43 pm 
Stefan, This argument would be a lot more convincing if the justification for the changes was not "5-7% profits are not enough shareholder value, we need to double-digit profit margins". The pendulum swings both ways. before the stock price peak the company decided to switch from creating new designs to iterating on existing designs, cutting costs, and offloading much more responsibility to cheaper workforces. The results of that plan are now well documented. At some point the bad news will taper off, new designs will emerge, and the bottom line will reverse course. If not at Boeing it will be another company.

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