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Thread: Breaking news: Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed on way to Nairobi

  1. #21
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obmot View Post
    Thx Evan.

    I hesitate to ask what to most here will be a 'duh' type question - and self-spotlight my ignorance in asking - but in a 'typical' commercial flight, when would a flight crew 'typically' (ballparkish) activate the autopilot systems (I'm assuming autoflight in your comment is akin to autopilot/autothrust etc. but - again my ignorance might be at play again lol)?

    I mean would it 'typically' be like 30secs after wheels up? Or 5 minutes after? Etc.

    [edited for spelling typo]
    At 400 ft above the runway. Not even 30 seconds in the air.

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  2. #22
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    boeing share dropping 10% in premarket trading, think its connected to this accident.

  3. #23
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    Ethiopian airline and china has grounded all 737-max 8 fleet due to safety concerns.

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    My thoughts with the families of those on board.
    First thing in mind was, that Boeing, FAA, and NTSB should and will chech the loadsheet entries. 737MAX vs. 737-800 are very different in fuselage design and engins structure are built a bit forward on the MAX.
    Wrong entries could stall the engines on missed AOA on T/O, a chain rection thereafter...

    Sincerely,
    Ike

  5. #25
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    If there is any 737-MAX pilot that can be caught by surprise by the MCAS and not know how to handle it, after all the exposure that the Lion Air case had, such a person doesn't deserve to be a pilot.
    Logical. Now, consider instinct. How do you feel about an aircraft that can contradict veteran pilot instinct for that type and then requires special procedural knowledge to regain control, yet remains airworthy?

    I could make the similar statement: after Lion Air 610, any manufacturer that hasn't issued a required emergency software upgrade ensuring that the system cannot operate with a sensor disagreement doesn't deserve to be an airframer. Has Boeing done that?

    There is no evidence yet to conclude that this was another case of MCAS error. One witness reported that the plane turned back and was trailing smoke (for what that's worth).

  6. #26
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default Flight Recorders Found

    Considering the fallout, the groundings and the Wall Street reaction, if the cause is pilot error or non-design related, Boeing needs to get these read out asap and issue an immediate news release about the findings. Unless, of course, the findings confirm their worst fears. Meanwhile, Ethiopian will want to blame the aircraft. So this will be interesting.

  7. #27
    Junior Member birdguts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    if the cause is pilot error or non-design related, Boeing needs...
    Evan, I would steer away from "pilot error" as an excuse. The modern planes are expected to fly themselves. No offense to commercial pilots, but I don't see the hubris in their profession anymore.

    Boeing needs to ground this model. It will give the planet a chance to breathe anyway.

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    Senior Member B757300's Avatar
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    And here I thought only A.net had people joining to tell everyone the cause and what should be done about it.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Logical. Now, consider instinct. How do you feel about an aircraft that can contradict veteran pilot instinct for that type and then requires special procedural knowledge to regain control, yet remains airworthy?
    I don't think that any pilot has any instinct developed for trim runaway, let alone disconnecting the trim by pulling hard on the column.

    As I understand (and I can be wrong), that feature had been designed to avoid that the AP keep applying nose-down trim if the pilot fights the AP by pulling up. There were a couple of accidents in the 80's (IIRC) where the pilots stated a go around but did not disconnect the AP so as they pulled up the AP was pushing down trying to keep the plane on the glide slope. Now, a pilot can quite easily override the normal AP stick force, but the AP is designed to make this force zero on average by using the trim, so as the pilots pulled up and the AP felt the need to apply a constant nose-down force, it started applying nose-don trim.

    The procedure for a trim runaway and the closest that we should have to an instinct should be electric trim switch to stop the motion immediately, cutout switches to stop them permanently, and grab that spinning wheel if all else fails.

    BTW, I agree with your other 2 statements.

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  10. #30
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I don't think that any pilot has any instinct developed for trim runaway
    The pilot comments I've read seem to involve a consistent sequence. First, the NG is designed to cut the electric pitch trim if the column is pulled back against the trim movement, so the first instinctive thing to do is to stabilize the upset by doing that. The first procedural, remedial thing to do is to use the cutout switches.

    The real danger MCAS presents is that this instinctive reaction yields a different, and confusing, outcome. The pitch is cut for a few seconds, then resumes the movement. The combination of altering the response to an instinctive command, the delayed re-engagement and the fact that none of this was revealed to pilots in transitioning is, collectively, inherently dangerous.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdguts View Post
    Evan, I would steer away from "pilot error" as an excuse. The modern planes are expected to fly themselves. No offense to commercial pilots, but I don't see the hubris in their profession anymore.
    Pilots are still expected to fly the plane at all times. When using autopilot, they use the autopilot to fly the plane. Autopilot is a workload reducing tool for pilots.

    When using autoflight, the pilot is there to monitor and to immediately step in if something is malfunctioning. Autopilots do occasionally malfunction, usually when sensor data is missing or inconsistent, or when interdependent systems needed by the autopilot fail in some way.

    It appears that this flight either remained in manual control from liftoff or transitioned back to manual flight around the time of the level-off. If the latter is true, it is likely that something caused the autopilot to fail. In either case, the strong possibility of pilot error exists (Lion Air 601 crashed due to pilot error). If neither is true, and the autopilot remained engaged from 400', it is likely that something caused the autopilot to behave erratically. If this is the case, and the pilots failed to disconnect autopilot and stabilize the plane manually, that is also pilot error.

    Usually, these things are a combination of systemic failures on the aircraft and pilot error in dealing with them.

  12. #32
    Junior Member birdguts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Pilots are still expected to fly the plane at all times. When using autopilot, they use the autopilot to fly the plane. Autopilot is a workload reducing tool for pilots.

    When using autoflight, the pilot is there to monitor and to immediately step in if something is malfunctioning. Autopilots do occasionally malfunction, usually when sensor data is missing or inconsistent, or when interdependent systems needed by the autopilot fail in some way.

    It appears that this flight either remained in manual control from liftoff or transitioned back to manual flight around the time of the level-off. If the latter is true, it is likely that something caused the autopilot to fail. In either case, the strong possibility of pilot error exists (Lion Air 601 crashed due to pilot error). If neither is true, and the autopilot remained engaged from 400', it is likely that something caused the autopilot to behave erratically. If this is the case, and the pilots failed to disconnect autopilot and stabilize the plane manually, that is also pilot error.

    Usually, these things are a combination of systemic failures on the aircraft and pilot error in dealing with them.
    we should have driverless planes in that case. Like Tesla are doing with cars.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdguts View Post
    we should have driverless planes in that case. Like Tesla are doing with cars.
    Did you get this part?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    When using autoflight, the pilot is there to monitor and to immediately step in if something is malfunctioning. Autopilots do occasionally malfunction, usually when sensor data is missing or inconsistent, or when interdependent systems needed by the autopilot fail in some way.
    The self-driving car death toll awaits us.

  14. #34
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    The same incident is quite similar to the Lyon Air crash.

    Is there a defect in this particular plane

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by obmot View Post
    Thx Evan.

    I hesitate to ask what to most here will be a 'duh' type question - and self-spotlight my ignorance in asking - but in a 'typical' commercial flight, when would a flight crew 'typically' (ballparkish) activate the autopilot systems (I'm assuming autoflight in your comment is akin to autopilot/autothrust etc. but - again my ignorance might be at play again lol)?

    I mean would it 'typically' be like 30secs after wheels up? Or 5 minutes after? Etc.

    [edited for spelling typo]
    This from a B777 pilot says it all.

    I am a B777 pilot. On departure, we generally hand fly until about 10,000' to keep up our skills. If the departure procedure is complicated, we will ask for the AP on at 200' so there is no chance of messing up the departure procedure.

    On approach I typically disconnect the Autopilot at about 1500' AGL once visual contact is assured and I am inside the Final Approach fix.

    If there is any chance of a possible missed approach due to weather, or other conflicting aircraft, on the runway or elsewhere, I will leave the AP on until there is virtually no chance of a missed approach.

    Most of the pilots I fly with tend to do the same.

  16. #36
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I don't think that any pilot has any instinct developed for trim runaway
    ???

    1. This phenomena is not unheard of- I think I know an MD-8x forumite that faced it.

    2. I would think that it would be reasonably easy to recognize- MY THOUGHT is that pilots use trim almost non-stop (my J-31 observations, numerous Youtubez, 172 actual time, and MSFS time supports this)...If you feel pressure or want to adjust pitch, you will "automatically, mindlessly apply trim"...and if the control pressure or trim doesn't fix itself PDQ, the mindlessness then ends...

    Throw in whatever twists you want- autopilot acting up...control column over ride, and trim to adjust pressures towards zero...if the control pressure doesn't let up, I think most type specific memory checklists will point you towards a trim problem...

    ...hell, you might be inspired to pull a CB.

    (PS, that word you use twice..."any"...it's kind of absolute; however I also disagree even if you meant "very few/very little").
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Peter Kesternich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdguts View Post
    we should have driverless planes in that case. Like Tesla are doing with cars.
    Selling trips on pilotless aircraft will prove extremely difficult... and personally, I would never travel on a pilotless plane.

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    Math (or maths where I'm from) is a reason why Boeing should be worried.

    Remember the Comet - new airliner (I know, it was a paradigm shift, not an 'upgrade'), same aircraft, similar accidents, same cause
    How about the 737 (!) and the uncommanded rudder deflection, same aircraft, similar accidents, same cause

    The PROBABILITY of the two MAX-8's crashing in similar circumstances, at similar points in their flight, while 'possible', is very 'improbabble' to be unrelated

    If I was a betting man I'd be dumping my Boeing shares too.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaztr View Post
    If I was a betting man I'd be dumping my Boeing shares too.
    The Wall Street Data Recorder plot shows us the approximate time that something malfunctioned.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    FAA Issues Continued Airworthiness Notification (CAN) 2019-03

    https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/CAN_2019_03.pdf

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