737 MAX

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bammer, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Detroitgator

    Detroitgator General Factotum
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    I blame Apple... there's gotta be an iPhone somewhere in Taco's chain of events! ;)
     
    • Zambo

      Zambo Poo Flinger
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      All the guy did was point out the normal process for designing, well, really any piece of advanced technology. Its not like other planes don't have software routines to help stabilize the plane in different flight regimes, nor is it like other planes like the airbus haven't crashed because of malfunctions with computers and software.

      Heck, the F18, which is so old they are retiring it, isn't even controllable at all without computers running. Using computers to augment the flight controls is neither new or a design flaw.
       
      #62 Zambo, Mar 17, 2019
      Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
      • gator1946

        gator1946 Senior Member
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        Keep in mind Zambo the biggest baddest things I've "piloted" personally are a kite and a Cessna 150 (unless you count a P-3 driver letting me fly five minutes straight and level). Isn't it true that at the end of the day the software guys need to deliver something to the user (the pilot) something that adheres to the KISS principle. Otherwise they f'd up.
         
      • Zambo

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        Simple can mean many things. For a pilot, simple means transparent. If I pull back on the stick, the nose comes up. Simple. It doesn't mean the process to actually make that happen is simple. Otherwise we'd still be flying DC-3s around. And believe me, I'm a big fan of keeping it simple.

        As a matter of fact, keeping it simple is what has driven a lot of decision to make the Max instead of a new plane. At SWA, the entire operation is built on simplicity. Unlike other airlines with up to a dozen different types of airplanes, when you have only one type then every pilot can fly every plane, every FA and mechanic is familiar with every plane, the ground equipment, tools, jetways, etc all work with every plane, the dispatching and planning software works with every plane, etc. It is a huge cost advantage, which lets the company sell cheaper tickets and still make a profit.

        This is the real world of trying to run a business. Trying to make passengers understand the constraints is frustrating. Every time a flight is delayed or canceled, its the same old questions. Why don't they have a spare aircraft? Why aren't their spare crew available? Why don't we have more runways or more de-ice trucks or more baggage handlers or mechanics or spare parts? The answer is we could have all that stuff but the price of your ticket would double, and then no one would fly and there would be no airline.

        Now of course that being said, the trick to running a reliable and profitable operation is balancing those factors with the inevitable breakdowns, weather events, etc that occur every day. You can't plan an operation with the idea that every plane will be used, every seat will be full, no one will call in sick, etc. Because of course the first time any of those things happen the whole house of cards comes down. Frankly I find it amazing that after a big event like the blizzard they just had in Denver, just how quickly an airline can get its operation back to some sense of normalcy. Its a massive undertaking to move that many pieces of a puzzle around on a daily basis, really mind-blowing if you think about it.

        I know I've strayed from the topic of the Max but yes they could have refused to build a new model 737 and started from scratch with a completely new design, but I just wanted to point out that its not a simple from an execution standpoint as some might be led to believe. There is a massive cost for such a decision. I don't know how long SWA will be an entirely 737 fleet but it'll probably be at least until I retire in 14 years.
         
        • Detroitgator

          Detroitgator General Factotum
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          Did you know that original DC-3/C-47 airframes have been modernized and turbo propped in the form of the Basler BT-67? I flew on one in Afghanistan and it’s still a phenomenal aircraft in those environments.

          Edit: to be clear, original airframe (no life limit), modified and modernized
           
        • gator1946

          gator1946 Senior Member
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          Agree totally. I'll just add that keeping it simple (when software and control systems are involved) is often what is the hardest and most expensive thing to develop. KISS often means that what's under the hood is not simple at all.
           
        • no1g8r

          no1g8r Bringing Reason to the Masses
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          In a software shop I worked in not to long ago was a sign that read:

          Hard is simple.
          Simple is hard.
           
          • AugustaGator

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            Nothing worse than trying to modify elegant code. Takes forever with all kinds of unforeseen implications/undocumented features.
             
            • Zambo

              Zambo Poo Flinger
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              • Like Like x 2
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              • Zambo

                Zambo Poo Flinger
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                I dislike your facepalm.
                 
                • Swamp Donkey

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                  Keep him there.
                   
                • Swamp Donkey

                  Swamp Donkey Moral Victory Champs!
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                  Colombia too.
                   
                  • gator1946

                    gator1946 Senior Member
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                    I gave you a like for your dislike of my facepalm. (Figure that one out) The facepalm was directed at the possible findings. If true its exactly what I feared. Jesus that's just classic IF TRUE.

                    Now Ox will come in an ban me for all caps. I can't win. :headslap:
                     
                  • Detroitgator

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                    Same people. ;)
                     
                  • LagoonGator68

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                    • AugustaGator

                      AugustaGator Junior Member
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                      Boeing’s Pinto?
                       
                      • gator1946

                        gator1946 Senior Member
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                        Zambo and other commercial pilots. Any additional thoughts on the accidents now that more but not all information is in. I'll hold my thoughts. As I mentioned way back when this started I'm an ex aero engineer and currently run a software company. My initial guesses haven't changed much but I don't fly planes. I sit around making sure software works.
                         
                        • ChiefGator

                          ChiefGator A Chief and a Gator, Master of the Ignore list!!!!

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                          Perhaps they needed you working for them. I am not a pilot but the plane was to meet competition and was sold somewhat inappropriately. They will get it fixed and eventually it will be forgotten.
                           
                        • itsgr82bag8r

                          itsgr82bag8r Political Forum Fire Starter
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                        • Zambo

                          Zambo Poo Flinger
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                          After reading some of the preliminary reports from the FDR and CVR data, there is a lot more going on in that Ethiopian crash than just MCAS trimming nose down due to faulty AOA probe. The captain's instruments seem to all be going haywire, causing all sorts of confusion as well as inputs from MCAS. At first glance it looks like the way to save the plane was to realize that he had unreliable airspeed and attitude and given control to the first officer, whose instruments seemed to be working correctly. As it was, they left the power all the way up and got going extremely fast while flailing around trying to make sense of his own instruments. Once they got going so fast it was too difficult to manually trim the stabilizer due to air loads, yet they never realized this and slowed down, they just kept accelerating all the way into the dirt. For reference, our normal climb airspeed is anywhere from 280-320 knots. At anything over 300 knots, you really start to hear it in the plane with the increased wind noise around the fuselage and especially in the cockpit. Anything other than perfectly smooth air, and all the small bumps are magnified. Yet these guys were doing 380 knots in level flight and 450 knots on the way down after they couldn't pull the nose up any more. I can't even imagine what that must have felt and sounded like in the cockpit.

                          Just so y'all know, we do sim training on unreliable instruments, which basically requires us to set the power at a known setting and put the nose at a known attitude so we are right in the middle of the controllability envelope until we can analyze everything and decide what's working and what's not working. The other thing that is confusing to me is why they didn't keep trimming nose up while the electric trim was still turned on. For a pilot, trimming is like breathing. You don't even think about it. If the nose is heavy you just reflexively trim back so the nose comes up. For instance, we calculate a takeoff trim setting on the ground for our takeoff weight and power setting, but if the plane isn't full and a lot of people are sitting up front, its completely normal for the yoke to require extra effort to pull back when you rotate on takeoff. Any pilot out there feels this instantly and starts trimming the nose up so the control forces are in the normal range. Again, you don't even think about it. Yet, in the report, it says a couple times that they would use the electric (normal) trim for nose up but then they stopped trimming when they got to about 2.1-2.5 units. Well normal trim range for this plane is around 5-6 units for most flight regimes, so the nose must still have been heavy as hell when they stopped trimming. And of course after they stopped trimming, the MCAS was kicking in and trimming nose down, so the whole time they are exerting a bunch of effort to keep the nose up without trimming, which is weird, and the speed keeps building up due to a combination of high power setting (which is also weird) and the nose coming down and creating a descent.

                          When this is all over its going to be very interesting reading. At this point it seems to be a combination of Boeing making a very bad decision on how to implement this MCAS system, and how that system contributed to making what should have been a recoverable malfunction into a mishap. But even more than that, I think what we're going to have to come to grips with is how the increasing demand for air travel is on a completely opposite curve that graphs the availability of well trained pilots. Even people who go through a complete course of approved training today are flying airplanes that do so much stuff automatically I find myself wondering how they are able to handle things when they have to take over manually. Even some of the primary training aircraft such as the Cirrus have nice autopilots and trim themselves, and people who think they are learning how to "fly" are just learning how to push buttons. Its a self-licking ice cream cone because when we have a crash, the natural inclination is to make the planes even more safe by adding more automation, but then that just contributes more to the cycle of creating pilots that don't actually fly the airplane. Not sure where it will all end, but I'm pretty sure that guys who have good flying skills are going to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. The one thing you can't buy with all the money in the world is experience. I don't want to knock those Ethiopian pilots but I'm pretty sure if they would have hit the geese out of LGA they wouldn't have ditched it safely in the Hudson like Sully.
                           

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