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Boeing's Top Pilot Indicted for Role in 737 Max Debacle

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  • Boeing's Top Pilot Indicted for Role in 737 Max Debacle

    Justice or scapegoating?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/b...sultPosition=1

  • #2
    Originally posted by Evan View Post
    Yes. The guy is not innocent, so justice. But I don't buy it that he lied to the FAA and all airlines and nobody else knew, specially people above him in the company. So scapegoat.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
    --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Gabriel View Post

      Yes. The guy is not innocent, so justice. But I don't buy it that he lied to the FAA and all airlines and nobody else knew, specially people above him in the company. So scapegoat.
      I think it was the culture of the company and the relationship between the company and the FAA that led him to lie to the FAA. The investigations revealed what a toxic environment that was. So why are they now trying to pin this on one cog in the broken machine? To let the other cogs wash their hands of it?

      He has to live with this. Some pilots make fatal errors but survive and have to live with that. The chief pilot of UA 232 went through a very rough time, and he was lauded as a hero for his performance under impossible conditions. Now consider a pilot who is indirectly responsible for TWO entirely fatal crashes without the impossible conditions or usual human factors. That might be punishment enough...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Evan View Post

        I think it was the culture of the company and the relationship between the company and the FAA that led him to lie to the FAA. The investigations revealed what a toxic environment that was. So why are they now trying to pin this on one cog in the broken machine? To let the other cogs wash their hands of it?

        He has to live with this. Some pilots make fatal errors but survive and have to live with that. The chief pilot of UA 232 went through a very rough time, and he was lauded as a hero for his performance under impossible conditions. Now consider a pilot who is indirectly responsible for TWO entirely fatal crashes without the impossible conditions or usual human factors. That might be punishment enough...
        Two switches! They would have all walked away!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

          Two switches! They would have all walked away!
          Or one flap lever. But everything rides on situational awareness, which you of all people should know, is a tenous thing. Boeing greenlighted a plane that could throw that into the hazard (pardon my Shakespeare).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Evan View Post

            I think it was the culture of the company and the relationship between the company and the FAA that led him to lie to the FAA. The investigations revealed what a toxic environment that was. So why are they now trying to pin this on one cog in the broken machine? To let the other cogs wash their hands of it?

            He has to live with this. Some pilots make fatal errors but survive and have to live with that. The chief pilot of UA 232 went through a very rough time, and he was lauded as a hero for his performance under impossible conditions. Now consider a pilot who is indirectly responsible for TWO entirely fatal crashes without the impossible conditions or usual human factors. That might be punishment enough...
            does it really surprise you? this is america today. 30 people take part in what is really a criminal conspiracy and the powers that be decide to go after so dumb schmuck. he will be convicted with much fan fare and the prosecution will be proud that they protected us all from the evil pilot. the end.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

              Two switches! They would have all walked away!
              Bobbie, that is a horrible simplification. I was the first to say that not all fault was on Boeing and point to the bad performance of the 2 crews involved (and was criticized for that).
              There were many errors and horrors in the actions and omissions of the crews in both flights. However, take into account a cupule of things as examples:

              - The first crew (Lion Air) was not aware of the existence of the MCAS and, while they could and should have used the trip cutout switches as their peers in the previous flight successfully did, the behavior of the MCAS was not that of the typical runaway trim trained in the sim. It is not so easy to identify if you don't know about it.

              - The second crew, who knew about the existence of the MCAS and was at least partially aware of the previous Lion Air crash and the Boeing's service bulletins, did use the trim cutout switches quite early in the sequence of events. Due to OTHER mistakes, the situation deteriorated and eventually they still couldn't manage to control the plane (even with the electric trim turned off) and crashed.

              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TeeVee View Post

                does it really surprise you? this is america today. 30 people take part in what is really a criminal conspiracy and the powers that be decide to go after so dumb schmuck. he will be convicted with much fan fare and the prosecution will be proud that they protected us all from the evil pilot. the end.
                ... because the powers that be is part of the conspiracy (sort of).

                --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gabriel View Post

                  Bobbie, that is a horrible simplification. I was the first to say that not all fault was on Boeing and point to the bad performance of the 2 crews involved (and was criticized for that).
                  There were many errors and horrors in the actions and omissions of the crews in both flights. However, take into account a cupule of things as examples:

                  - The first crew (Lion Air) was not aware of the existence of the MCAS and, while they could and should have used the trip cutout switches as their peers in the previous flight successfully did, the behavior of the MCAS was not that of the typical runaway trim trained in the sim. It is not so easy to identify if you don't know about it.

                  - The second crew, who knew about the existence of the MCAS and was at least partially aware of the previous Lion Air crash and the Boeing's service bulletins, did use the trim cutout switches quite early in the sequence of events. Due to OTHER mistakes, the situation deteriorated and eventually they still couldn't manage to control the plane (even with the electric trim turned off) and crashed.
                  Because they turned them back on to try and get the automation backup instead of flying the damn airplane!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

                    Because they turned them back on to try and get the automation backup instead of flying the damn airplane!
                    They turned them back on because it was physically impossible to operate the trim wheel. Their critical mistake was not monitoring airspeed and power setting, which is perfectly understandable if you know anything about human factors under stressful, confusing, time-compressed upset situations. How is it that you, of all people, don’t seem to understand that?

                    Boeing’s crime-in which their chief pilot is complicit-is that they green lighted an aircraft that could, in a fairly inevitable single-point failure scenario, DISORIENT the flight crew at a very critical phase of flight. That can’t ever be allowed, regardless of how many switches are there to save the day.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

                      Because they turned them back on to try and get the automation backup instead of flying the damn airplane!
                      Wrong, they turned it back on because they were losing the battle with the yoke and they could not move the manual trim wheel because it was mechanically stuck (too much friction to be turned by hand) due to the aerodynamic forces caused by the highly out-of-trim conditions, the pilots trying to pull back like hell, and the high speed. This is another detail that was not well explained in the manuals, Boing had replaced the description of how the trim wheel gets stuck and how to alleviate it with the roller coaster maneuver for which a full description existed in older versions of the manual and replaced it by a sugar-coated "Accelerate or decelerate towards the in-trim speed while attempting to trim manually."

                      Turning the trim back on was a desperate last-second attempt. They were losing the fight, the could not hold it anymore, they were going to die if they didn't turn the electric trim back on at that point, and in fact it could have saved them since it gave them the power to operate the trim electrically instead of manually (remember that the thumb switch trim inputs cancelled the MCAS and kept it of for 5 seconds after the thumb switch was released). They could connect the electric trim, trim the plane with the thumb switch without MCAS ever activating, and then disconnect it again. Instead, what they did was re-connect the electric trim, give 2 split-second clicks on the thumb switch which just moved the trim a tiny bit, and then stopped making inputs on the thumb switch. Why they did that? No idea. As per design, 5 seconds after the last click on the thumb switch the MCAS kicked and, at that that huge speed, with the plane already horribly out of trim, and with the pilots physically exhausted to fight back, it put the plane under several negative Gs into the final dive.

                      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        and so, blame and bury one guy. the lowest man on the totem pole. the poor sunovabitch pilot that shouldve blown a whistle or 44 but collected a nice check instead.

                        ah the beauty of corporate amurikuh!

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                        • #13
                          The trial will consist of a jury who likely know next to nothing about computer software on aircraft.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Highkeas View Post
                            The trial will consist of a jury who likely know next to nothing about computer software on aircraft.
                            Which is ok because this isn't about the nuances of the software, this is about being untruthful to the FAA about the presence of a potential risk factor that would elevate the risk assessment of the MCAS system and thus require more type-specific transition training (and hopefully added design redundancies)—and thus defeat Boeing's desperately strategic sales pitch against the A320NEO. The pilot lied because he knew it was not in the best interests of the company to tell the truth. That was the culture. That probably still is the culture, but hopefully the FAA is no longer going along with it.

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                            • #15
                              Nobody can touch Boeing, they had to find someone to hit and a single person is more simple to hit than a corporation or a long list of managers

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