Pontifications: Mandate sim time for MAX return to the skies

By Scott HamiltonMay 20, 2019, © Leeham News: “Safety is our top priority.”

So says Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of The Boeing Co.

As stories drip, drip, drip out in The Seattle Times, New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other media about Boeing’s development process of the 737 MAX, one can’t help but wonder otherwise.

Pilots weren’t told of MCAS. Switch functions were changed. Warning lights were inoperative, but the pilot manuals indicated otherwise. Boeing discovered one problem but didn’t tell the FAA for a year. A single point of failure. The absence of information about the MCAS in the pilot manual. A second software glitch is found in the flight control system. Boeing said it didn’t want to “inundate” pilots with information. Blaming the pilots for the accidents.

But nothing is Boeing’s fault. There was no failure, no gap, no technical problem. Or so says Muilenburg.

Yet within one week of the Lion Air accident, in which Boeing pointed the finger at the pilots, Boeing was diving into the MCAS design.

It goes on and on.

If “safety is our top priority,” it’s time for Boeing to man up and do the right thing, regardless of the legal liabilities.

It’s time to back simulator training on MCAS before pilots can fly the MAX.

Credibility in tatters

The drip, drip, drip of damning stories as well as Boeing’s own communications bungling (which I attribute more to corporate lawyering than to corporate communications) has left Boeing’s credibility in tatters.

“Boeing” and “safety” used to be synonymous. Now it’s “Boeing” and “corporate greed trumps safety.”

This is an unfair characterization, but the foundation is certainly there to argue when the process of the MAX development is viewed. And, for all we know, there is more to come, either through investigative reporting or through the several investigations underway.

It’s been disastrous for Boeing.

Muilenburg’s own statements haven’t helped.

In what seemed to be a refreshing break from Boeing’s finger-pointing, he declared Boeing “owns it” and will correct it, referring to the single-point of failure of MCAS’ link to the one Angle of Attack sensor.

This didn’t last long. By the time the annual shareholders meeting at the end of April, Muilenburg was back to implying the crashes wouldn’t have happened but for pilots who didn’t follow procedure—Boeing’s MCAS wasn’t at fault.

Insider committee appointed

Muilenburg announced April 5 he asked the Board of Directors to appoint a committee of four of its members to look into the Boeing processes.

“The committee will confirm the effectiveness of our policies and processes for assuring the highest level of safety on the 737-MAX program, as well as our other airplane programs, and recommend improvements to our policies and procedures,” the CEO said.

Not to determine whether there is a problem—but to “confirm” the processes. This is an insider committee. No mention was made whether outside experts, such as former NTSB investigators or other independent experts, will assist this committee.

Perhaps it was just a poor choice of words, but appointing a bunch of insiders to “confirm” the process taints the credibility before work begins.

To sim or not to sim, that is the question

As Boeing prepares to send its MCAS software upgrade to the FAA for review and, it hopes, approval, there is debate over whether simulator training should be required.

Boeing wants training to be confined to the iPad, or similar computer-based review.

The FAA’s Flight Safety Standards Board already concluded it’s not necessary, although it continues to accept comments through May 15 on this matter.

Transport Canada wants simulator training. So, apparently, American Airlines pilots. Those at Southwest Airlines seem fine with the iPad, while United Airlines pilots haven’t said much. The US Air Line Pilots Assn, of which United’s pilots are a member, says sim training isn’t needed.

But an unidentified US airline used a 737NG simulator to replicate the Ethiopian Airlines accident events, but starting at 10,000 ft. (ET302’s event started at 8500 ft.) The pilots were barely able to avoid a simulated crash.

With conflicting desires and simulations, one thing now seems abundantly clear: Boeing should support sim training worldwide before MAX pilots are qualified to return to the air or NG pilots transition to the MAX.

The FAA should mandate this for US pilots.

Why doesn’t Boeing and the FAA mandate training? This is a good question. But here’s something I learned over the weekend (and which I am adding at the last minute to this article): the NG and MAX simulators are not the same. There are differences between them.

Given what we now now of Boeing’s series of failures, this doesn’t surprise me. The regulators need to sort this one out.

“Safety is our responsibility, and we own it,” Muilenburg said in an April 5 statement. “When the MAX returns to the skies, we’ve promised our airline customers and their passengers and crews that it will be as safe as any airplane ever to fly.”

It’s time to stop pussy-footing around on sim requirements. It’s time for Boeing to support it. This is taking responsibility for and owning safety, liabilities be damned.


58 Comments on “Pontifications: Mandate sim time for MAX return to the skies

  1. Although I’m not an airline pilot and so not as qualified to comment I find it shocking that there could even be any hesitation about the need for sim training pre-operation, especially as the time taken is trivial compared with the hours spent actually flying or being otherwise employed.

    I would, perhaps incorrectly, have less confidence in flying Southwest while their pilots claim they don’t need training.

  2. If the simulator could not provide a rescue for the situation the Max found itself in,I firmly believe this aircraft requires more than software to overcome its deficiencies.
    It appears to have entered into an envelope of extreme peril where most airline pilots are not going to be able to cope, as has been tragically demonstrated twice.

    • You miss the aspects.

      MCAS is no longer the monster it was, it has been limited – checks and balances and a cutout.

      The test was run with MCAS Ver 1.0 – 2.0 corrects its issues.

  3. All true

    There comes a time when the individual is the problem.we are well past that. Mr Muilenburg is not managing the company’s risk instead he is fighting for his own survival. He has lost the trust of all stakeholders and was treated with something between incredulity and derision in the recent press conference. Simply he needs to go along with his senior team and be replaced by a team untainted by the poor judgement, lies and deceit that have befallen Boeing at this time.

  4. One hypotesis why Boeing is resisting sim training;

    Sim training experiencing the normal function of the MCAS v.2 is no problem.

    Sim training experiencing inoperative MCAS v.2 would reveal a stick force gradient going negative above say 10 degrees AoA. This might be a problem for Boeing. If FAA accepts such an aircraft behaviour, the question remain if the pilots will accept such an aircraft behaviour?

    Sim training of a runaway trim putting the trim to say 2 to 2.5 units out of trim ND on a sim correctly mimicking the manual trim wheel forces would reveal the pilots inability to get the aircraft back in trim using the afforementioned manual trim wheel. This would make it clear for everybody that the non normal check list regarding runaway trim are completely inadequate and would open a whole can of worms as to which check list would need to be rewritten and the extent of additional pilot training, not to mention the possibility of significant hardware changes to the aircraft. This would be completely unacceptable for Boeing as this would make any timeframe for reentering service for the Max in less than one or two years unrealistic.

    • I agree that this might be the reason ( there has to be a reason for such top level resistance to a clearly sensible idea/recommendation).
      As stated it would be a huge problem if the aircaft cannot fly ( in certain circumstances and without computer intervention)within excepted peramiters for commercial pilots.

      However there may be a different ( or second) reason.
      Contractually this ‘MAX’ aircraft was sold on the basis that it only required minimal additional training from an NG with no ( as I have read) additional ‘Sim’ training.
      If it is now required it would invalidate the purchase contract thus allowing the airline to ‘escape’ or revise their purchase.
      This would be a disaster for Boeing .

      • If the sales people at BA was aware of the situation and they didn’t tell prospective clients the details I can see food for lawyers. And if the sales people were not informed about these technical details the same applies.

        Can see a lot of smooth talking from BA at Paris?

    • Acid test: Is Mr Muilenburg willing to fly on one of his “fixed” 737 MAX’s that suddenly after takeoff simulates an AOA vane going rogue? Said 737 being flown by pilots who have just recently gone through the NG to MAX conversion iPad presentation, with this being their first flight commanding the MAX.

  5. Simulator training is essential when transitioning from one aircraft to another aircraft with major changes to its design and handling characteristics. No amount of ipad/computer training that Boeing and the FAA are insisting will do. All crew should train or retrain to gain experience and knowledge of the aircraft. Furthermore the close link between Boeing and the FAA has to stop. In other words self certification must end and the FAA do their job as an independent authority to oversea and ensure that all air crafts meet the safety operational standard that is laid down. From what is known up to now, the two MAX crashes highlight two issues: 1) MCAS design was flawed 2) Operators and crews were not informed of MCAS and 3) The FAA failed badly in certifying the flawed MCAS system without detail scrutiny of its operations and effects.

  6. Most of the major airlines and the largest LCCs own their own full motion Level D simulators, while smaller airlines typically contract for such services from someone else (i.e. another airline or a company that provides simulators etc.).

    After pilots complete an approved training program that includes Level D simulation, they are qualified to fly revenue service without ever stepping foot in the real thing.

    Level D simulators are extremely sophisticated machines as the simulator has to have the exact same performance characteristics as the real aircraft. They also require skilled maintenance personnel to keep them running. Also, Level D simulators have to be certified by the FAA, EASA (etc.). Therefore, Level D simulators are not only expensive to acquire, but they are also costly to operate.

    Whereas A32X-ceo/neo operators can qualify their neo pilots using existing A32X simulators, 737-NG/-MAX operators would now have to train their pilots on two distinctly different simulators. That’s why Boeing — helped by the FAA — is now fighting tooth and nail against mandating level D simulator time for MAX pilots. They know that such a requirement is going to result in a further competitive disadvantage for the 737 MAX vs. the A32Xneo, going forward.

    • But “Safety is our top priority.” it can’t just be about the bottom line, and the share price …

  7. “The committee will confirm…” With such a description of the task, his disciples would fail big time if they came back with any other conclusion. If he already knows the result, why bother starting the committee in the first place?

    And I can only assume, but mandatory Sim training will certainly delay the re-entry into service. Are there even enough MAX simulators that have the updated MCAS behaviour plus all the other newly discovered characteristics to train all the pilots? I can assume it would require a couple more weeks at least to get that done. How fast can they build simulators?

  8. Concerning the issue of the NG and the MAX simulators being different, it is my understanding that the cockpit layout for the two variants are different. There is the first problem. Then you have to update all the different flight dynamics/aerodynamic/handling/performance/instrument etc. differences to get the MAX simulation behaviour. That may not be quite so difficult. Who knows?

    Another question is just how accurate is the simulator behaviour compared to the real aircraft? Can/could/has there been anything “missed out”?

    I wonder if Boeing did actual flight tests with a faulty AOA “reading” at or shortly after take off. My guess they will either say it is not necessary or, more interesting, it would be too dangerous.

    • AN:

      A level 4 (full motion) Simulator is mandated to be exact to the Aircraft it simulates. That includes the interior. Motion is simulated so what you see outside vs what they feel inside is totally different, but it emulates it (very tricky and impressive)

      If a Simulator goes off track, you have a short period to fix it and if not its de-certified for Level 4 work (which stops things in its tracks)

      MAX has a different instrument layout and the lie is/was that its the same so you can use the NG sims . I don’t know how they got away with the interior differences.

      FedEx was able to cross their DC-10 (MD-10) to the MD-11 Sim for some work as they in affect turned it into an identical MD-11 cockpit (I don’t think they could do full training on them due to the handling differences but they may have re-programed it to do so at some point)

      Almost all tests are done at altitude for safety reason (crosswinds aside) but you can simulate a takeoff up at 10k as well as off a runway.

      You can also do the same in a Simulator but the missing ingredient would have been trim wheel lockup.

  9. when does Boeing intend to own this? What was a technical failing is fast becoming a complete shambles. The ‘sleight of hand’ technique has clearly not worked as based on the information now becoming public other regulatory bodies will presumably flatly refuse to recertify the aircraft and that will damn the FAA into a very difficult decision.

    If I was Elwell I would concede my position on the MAX before it becomes completely untenable but perhaps that precludes a sinecure at Boeing when this is all over. What a ridiculously opaque system of regulation it has become.

    The longer the current situation goes on the more likely a complete fracture of the current system is likely and then we fall into the miasma of no reciprocity between regulatory bodies.

    • When will politicians stop lying when their lips are moving

      All we can do is deal with Boeing will like (short of a revolt on the board and a CEO that gets it)

      Stuff like no pay/bonus if you loose an aircraft.

      No pay if you have a grounding.

      Highly unlikely to happen (hell will freeze over first) but …..

  10. What I have read there are only one MAX simulator at Gatwick and one in Singapore outside the US.
    Does anyone know where there are MAX simulators in the U.S. ?

    • Air Canada do have one in operation.
      They ordered one since their Maxes are their
      First 737

  11. I don’t think sim training is enough. The AviationWeek article says it all. The starting point for the simulation could not have been kinder, straight and level at 10,000 ft and 250 knots. This means the airplane was not in climb out, which slso means the engines were not powered up. But the pilots still lost 8000 ft and had to use a yo-yo procedure to bring the airplane out of a dive. Are we really saying that pilots will have to learn a yo-yo procedure? Military pilots, yes, commercial pilots, NO.

    Pitch stability must be addressed by hardware changes. Elevator inoperability must be addressed by hardware changes. Manual trim inoperability must be addressed by hardware changes. Nothing less is acceptable!

    • Again, that is MCAS 1.0

      Its not been run with 2.0 as its not out yet.

      It does not excuse Boeing’s involvement in 1.0 and the rest of the on going debacle but to be harping on 1.0 and then conflating it to what comes next when it no longer is at issue is wasted band width.

      • Hello TransWorld, is this meant to be a reply to the post of Philip? Do you misunderstand him deliberately or do you just not read properly?

        MCAS 2.0 can’t give the MAX the necessary pitch stability, nor will it fix the elevator or the trim inoperability.

        All MCAS 2.0 can achieve is turn a very dangerous plane into a dangerous plane.

        • I read it but you both mistake stability as an issue that it is not. Quit harping on the 737 being unstable. Its not. 100 to MAX, they are fine aircraft unless some clown puts in a crap program which they did.

          MCAS on a 737 NG would have done the same thing.

          How often have you been in an aircraft that stalled?

          I have done it dozens of times in training.

          It had to be done deliberately .

          We did not ever stall it in normal flight modes as all our training was to stay away from a stall.

          A pitch up is technical not allowed, but its not a safety issue unless you make it one with MCAS 1.0

          2.0 stops the killer moves of 1.0 and that is all that is needed.

          Far worse is the Manual Trim and its lockup. That I have yet to see an answer for.

          • I have not only trained stalled, but spins. So I guess that makes me more competent than you. 🙂

            But did you fly a MAX without MCAS active, heavily loaded, from a high airport,…

            You should quite harping on the MAX offering sufficient stability. If you look at it with the eyes of an engineer who understands aerodynamics (which you apparently don’t) and ad to that the logic that MCAS would not exist if there was no stability issue.

            (You have to be either paid by Boeing or just an ignorant fanboy to copy their twist of “MCAS is only there for the comfort of the pilot and to give him the fantastic feel of the NG”).

            By the way. MCAS 2.0 is dead since March, when Boeing pulled that first fix after it did not pass the first tests. So maybe you want to use 3.0 in the future. But maybe they are already trying 4.0 or 5.0 in all their despair.

  12. The fact that two real-world and catastrophic accidents have occurred, with real-world data that can be used to ‘simulate’ occurrences and train pilot ‘remedy and responses’ with the old vs. new system showcases how behind the curve Boeing is. You simply use all things available to you to ensure events like MCAS don’t happen again. Dithering whether or not you need simulator training is just dragging-the-arse out of a story they should be trying to close out.

    Delaying and naysaying at a time when your company’s reputation is being decimated by a very tuned in media and market (and passengers) is just another example of the stupidity at Boeing.

    Stop talking… Get it DONE!!!

  13. I might add, it will take quite along time for Level D simulators to be upgraded to address 737 MAX flying characteristics with MCAS switched off. Early next year at best!

    • It took quite some time to program simulator to do stalls (AF447) as that was not done then either.

      The better question is, with MCAS 2.0, is there a need?

  14. Hmmm….

    If it is not a vital system, why not just turn off MACS? After all, it is highly unlikely that that part of the flight envelope, where it becomes essential, will ever be reached. Fly without MACS until the sims are built to replicate Max and its MACS. Perhaps Bjorn could address this question?

    • Kant, the answer lies in the question… If MCAS would not be vital it just wouldn’t exist. And it wouldn’t be hidden. It was hidden to cover up the fact that the normal flight envelope is compromised. From all I have learned it would mean significantly lower MTOW.

    • MCAS is for max aft c.g. and a light aircraft that does not give the expected and FAA required stick forces as alfa increases. So what is safest a MCAS 2.0 that can go wrong with 2 broken alfa probes and some software bugs or train pilots for the varying stick forces and have FAA adjust certification requirements and remove MCAS maybe in combination of a longer chord elevator?

      • Unfortunate with software, you can’t just turn a portion of it off.

        You would have to wipe that part out, then ensure the code for speed trim executed correctly.

        Could you use NG software instead? Maybe.

        Could you use the software they had before they were told to put in a fix to the pitch up? Probably.

        But that software is not approved for MAX (nor is NG)

        MCAS is programed into the same computer that does speed trim.

        Would the FAA even allow it? I doubt it, they started this mess and then did not see it through.

        No question Boeing made it a killer.

  15. My bad. I meant MCAS. Should not have hit return without proofing!

  16. As we no longer hve MCAS 1.0, hwo about looking at 2.0 and then decide?

    This breask into two aspect,

    1. Pliticail (undetanlab ly so)
    2. Reality (which is not the same)

    Harping is being done on 1.0 when 2.0 has such major changes as to negate 1.0 into obsucirty.

    Unless there is a stall, it won’t even be a factor, stalls are rare and 100% to loss of situational awareness (they don’t fly the insurment and turn themsle upsidd down)

    With the limitations and safeties in MCAS 2.0, I don’t see the need for sim training .

    Clearly we need Sim Training on Manual Trim and when you need to unload the aircraft to get it to work (or power boost it so you can use it)

    A runaway Stabilizer is still a possibility, while its not MCAS it can cause the same issue.

    Boeing’s continuing provocations on the whole debacle they created is both ongoing and should be prosecuted (I would be shocked, White Collar murder on this scale is usually given a pass)

  17. This article tries to examine whether or not Boeing has a safety culture problem:

    To evaluate Boeing’s culture, we searched their 2018 annual report to see how many times the word “safe” and its derivations – “safety,” “safest,” “safer” and “safely,” etc. – were used in this public document. Then we did the same search in Airbus’ 2018 annual report, the other global airplane manufacturer.

    We compared these search results and found that Boeing’s 154-page annual report had only 17 words related to “safe”. In contrast, Airbus’ 324-page annual report had 155 words related to “safe”.

    We found the same trend when we searched for these words in company annual reports over the past five years. Boeing used “safe” words a total of 76 times and Airbus used them a total of 397 times.

    We also calculated the ratio of the number of times words about “profits” were found in each annual report compared to words about safety. In its 2018 annual report, Boeing used two profit words for every safety word, while Airbus’ ratio was one profit word for every safety word.

    Linguistically, Airbus appears to have a more balanced and stronger safety focus than does Boeing. But why do linguistics matter? Because words lead to actions that create the future. As Peter Drucker famously said, “The way to predict the future is to create it.” And how do we create the future? Through our words that lead to intended and unintended actions.

    What can we as investors, customers or employees take away from this analysis? Consider this core principle of governance and performance: the tone at the top of a company is revealed in executive vocabulary. This forms a moral and ethical climate that will inspire actions that create trustworthy or mistrustful behaviors.


    • I think its indicative.

      But some years back I had a Honeywell Exec send me a memo (I was not supposed to be on the distribution)

      He was telling his sale team, you guys know we really mean we are faster and better its not just words?

      Safe only means safe if there is management behind it and pushing it, not just words repeated.

      Programs have to be assessed as to if its actually being implemented.

      We have a safety course each week. The manager then goes out and violates the policy and intent. You know what that means of course.

      Its not just words or even the time logged, do they really mean it and how is that reflected?

  18. I think it is better to say there are no 737 MAX simulators at present. Those with a badge saying 737 MAX simulator are infact 737 NG simulators with a new badge.

    If the regulators do require simulator training with MCAS turned off then it will take a lot of time for true Level D simulator to appear for the 737 MAX.

  19. Kind of ironic to have added training to train for an MCAS failure which was a feature to avoid added training. Go figure.

  20. The reason for Boeing’s resistance to Simulator Training as a pre-condition for return-to-flight is very easy to understand. Mandated simulator training will result in a slow return to flight and cuts to the heart of the MAX business case. Mandated simulator training will cost Boeing money and possibly sales.

    The MAX was sold on the promise that no simulator training would be required. If this changes “single type” airlines such as Ryan Air and Southwest will have a problem. Aircraft and crew scheduling at those airlines assumes any crew can fly any aircraft. If the MAX requires simulator training then those airlines either first train all crew on the simulator, which will take time and be expensive. Or they give up on “any crew, any aircraft” which will increase the number of times no crew can be found for a flight. Either option will cost the airlines money and they will look to recover those costs from Boeing.

    Future sales may be impacted because the argument for sticking with the MAX becomes weaker.

    Firm orders may be impacted because any airline wanting to get out of their MAX contract can then argue the MAX they are getting is not the MAX they contracted for.

  21. There are undoubtedly a cadre of dedicated Boeing employees who know exactly what is required to fix the Max.
    Unfortunately they face a Boeing management that demonstrates the tendencies of oligarchs.
    The salaried people who know how to fix this mess are human. They have mortgages., all the expenses of normal lives.
    What is required is a safe haven where such people could offer their suggestions and solutions without fear of recrimination..
    Virtually all current solutions suggest band aids and get out of jail free cards. Let us hear what the real engineers have to say!!!.

  22. How hard would it be to have different type certificate?What would be the effect of a year long grounding?Leeham and transworld don’t want to think about it, but it’s not impossible.

  23. Shouldn’t the FAA fly one flight from takeoff to landing with MCAS completely OFF and see what happens?

    Is the MAX really aerodynamically unstable and requires MCAS to be safe or can it fly safely with no MCAS?

  24. As soon as I read about the manual trim wheel problem I knew they were thinking more about money than safety. The should have redesigned all the tail actuators to bring them up to modern standards. This system in a modern design would be laughed at.

  25. Anyone else notice how the Scott has moved over the past weeks from a position of guarded optimism to one where he’s basically saying “the plane must never fly again” (if Boeing stick with their currently publicised plan)?

    When someone of Scott’s experience has moved that far, you know that the situation is truly dire.

    I’m wondering how long it’ll be before Scott starts questioning the whole Boeing fleet. My point is that the things that have been reported to have gone wrong inside Boeing are entirely attributable to a cost cutting corporate culture. Corporate cultures are not restricted to individual programmes within a company, they’re company-wide.

    So, do we actually know for sure that this has had no impact on 787, 747-800, 777x? How do we know that their safety has been properly thought through? Well, we don’t, not now it turns out the FAA has been doing almost nothing of value all these years. So perhaps Scott may find himself questioning that too one day

    The reason I think he might is because modest piles of BS, which is what MCAS is, are often found on top of very large mountains of the stuff if no one has been clearing it away for 20+ years. It’s possible that it’s been accumulating simply because the aviation industry is *supposed* to be BS-free, so why would anyone go looking for such odoriferous unpleasantness never mind clear it up? I’m thinking NG bear straps, 787 batteries, 777x electrical system (there’s a court case), etc.

    The advantage of being out side the industry is that one’s BS sensors are probably better honed. Being good at spotting BS can be a life saver…

  26. Offering “simulator training on MCAS” will be difficult.

    Simulator training would involve simulating a malfunction. Namely, a simulator instructor can insert/activate a malfunction in a simulator which then models a malfunctioning aircraft. Since the MCAS system had not been acknowledged outside of Boeing, it seems unlikely that simulator manufacturers and their airline customers would have specified the addition of a MCAS (sensor) malfunction.

    …until now. Providing the simulator manufacturers with system data to more completely model the MCAS and associated sensors would provide “outsiders” a look at the MCAS design process documentation or lack thereof. The lawyers (both corporate and personal) would probably urge caution.

  27. Has anyone heard anything regarding the new Upset / Recovery training that has been mandated by the FAA for all air carrier pilots? It’s supposedly been in effect since March.
    I assume any return to service of the 737-MAX will mean all 737-MAX pilots will have to undergo this? Or will the training be done in current 737 simulators that will cover the them for flying the 737-MAX? What I”m referring to is
    I haven’t seen or heard anything about this, in any aviation magazines etc?
    How will Boeing handle this FAA mandate for the 737-MAX? Or will they just say a 737 is a 737 and MCAS isn’t in the mix?

    • Av Week has covered it extensively.

      FedEx acualy was ahead of the game in doing so after their issues with the MD-11 (4 or 5 crashes) – one fatal to the crew.

      Seattle times did an art56icle on AK Airlines a while back.

      Unload, unload unload was the mantra. Reminds me of my training, nose too high, get it down, get airspeed back, recover. Worked perfectly.

  28. What does sim training help if the sim is not acting as the plane in that given scenario?

    #boeing is reallyreally @ iot to fix and is in charge for financial….äh, saftey

    That’s exactly why they took responsibility for both the crashes and the other flaws found, and also FAA seems to be really questioning their own position about Boeing…
    oh wait

    P.s. you can keep the sarcasm

  29. How is the software update installed and given a thumbs up to go?

    Was just wondering in the techno world we living in and various radical groups out there what is the possibility that this software could be “hacked”?

    • No.

      Two differetn software teasm and their are secuity protocls.

      Can you do it? Sure.

      Could you get away with it. Highly unlikely.

      Are you going to walk up to an airprot gage with a machine gun and hi jack and aircraft? Well you can walk up but actually hi jacking it is tougher.

      Sure a 30 man assault team could get to the bird, then what.

      There are layers in the way and same with software.

      787 is more prone as I believe its blue tooth type.

      737 is the old fashioned load the disk. Hell they may even be using tape still.

  30. To add to my comments on the Aviation Week article. The simulator was a 737 NG simulator configured to simulate trim stabiliser runaway using stabiliser deflections in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
    This suggests that no 737 NG has ever witnessed/used stabiliser deflections of that magnitude otherwise there would have been 737 NG crashes by now.

    Interpretation. The 737 MAX is very different to the 737 NG and Boeing have always known it, remembering that the 737 NG is already known to have poor pitch stability. If simulator training is enough – I don’t think so – then the control laws will need to be re-written for the 737 MAX because the control laws for the 737 NG are not viable.

    • Ahhh the 737 does not have control laws.

      That is a FBW concept not a mechanical operated system with some computer assist in the trim area.

      The Trim Wheel issue goes back to the 707 actually, the reality is they programed the Simulator wrong for how it works.

      Garbage in, simulator garbage out.

  31. Eight responses on May 21, and all by Transworld.
    It seems like he desperately wants to have the last word.
    Scott, is it possible to implement an anti-Transworld button so that his postings are automatically hidden? Methinks that he is not who he pretends to be.

    • Bernardo, we don’t censor or edit people as long as Reader Comment rules are not violated.


    • As TW mostly articulates against me, can I offer my opinion. TW is TW!

  32. If Both AOA’s freeze over .. and the FCC starts to read high AOA .. what will happen in the 737 MAX with the new MCAS 2.0? Assuming they are under the 5.5 degree mismatch? One shot of down stabilizer? I noticed that AIRBUS had this problem a few years ago, but, only issued an AD to inform pilots?
    Did AIRBUS do anything else?

  33. Well, sounds like what is needed is to ensure:
    – pilots are trained on how the new design actually works (which may or may not need time on an accurate sim (not the 767 one that fooled Niki Lauda),

    – pilots are trained in techniques for recovery from severe flight problems (which probably does not need a MAX-configured sim, as long as Boeing has not degraded things like ability to stop trim by pulling hard back on column if that is standard).

  34. Is the difference in displays a fundamental concern?
    Didn’t the NG have similar display technology just in smaller chunks?
    I think the question is ability of pilots to find information in a hurry. Larger displays might make it easier, but if location of essential information was changed or presentation made more cluttered the task may be more difficult. Some of the presentations shown in discussing the 737MAX and NG seem cluttered to me, some clearer. (Location of the small AOA display looks obscure, but apparently that is to remain an option rather than standard with MCAS v2.) But I have not thought through modern displays like the 767 introduced to airliners, when I sat behind them I was focused on testing specific parameters on the ground.

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