Boeing responds to FAA recertification of the 737 MAX

  • Coverage of recertification of the Boeing 737 MAX continues with the next post.

Nov. 18, 2020: Boeing issued the following statements in response to the US Federal Aviation Administration recertifying the 737 MAX.

Boeing Responds to FAA Approval to Resume 737 MAX Operations

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today rescinded the order that halted commercial operations of Boeing 737-8s and 737-9s. The move will allow airlines that are under the FAA’s jurisdiction including those in the U.S. to take the steps necessary to resume service and Boeing to begin making deliveries.

“We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. “These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.”

Throughout the past 20 months, Boeing has worked closely with airlines, providing them with detailed recommendations regarding long-term storage and ensuring their input was part of the effort to safely return the airplanes to service.

An Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA spells out the requirements that must be met before U.S. carriers can resume service including: installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training and accomplishing thorough de-preservation activities that will ensure the airplanes are ready for service.

“The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”

In addition to changes made to the airplane and pilot training, Boeing has taken three important steps to strengthen its focus on safety and quality.

  1. Organizational Alignment: More than 50,000 engineers have been brought together in a single organization that includes a new Product & Services Safety unit, unifying safety responsibilities across the company.
  2. Cultural Focus: Engineers have been further empowered to improve safety and quality. The company is identifying, diagnosing and resolving issues with a higher level of transparency and immediacy.
  3. Process Enhancements: By adopting next-generation design processes the company is enabling greater levels of first-time quality.

This message was sent to all Boeing employees by Boeing President & CEO, Dave Calhoun.


Today, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted the order that suspended operation of 737-8s and 737-9s. The FAA validated that once new software is loaded and other defined steps are completed, the airplanes are safe and ready to fly again. This announcement comes after a comprehensive, robust and transparent certification process over the past 20 months.

We will never forget the 346 victims of the Li​on Air Fli​ght 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents. We will honor them by holding close the hard lessons learned from this chapter in our history to ensure accidents like these never happen again.

We have implemented a series of meaningful changes to strengthen the safety practices and culture of our company. These include strengthening the Engineering function, establishing a Product & Services Safety organization, and implementing an enterprise-wide Safety Management System, among others.

We have also undertaken a thorough assessment to ensure that our systems meet all regulatory standards, reflect industry best practices, and also incorporate learnings from independent reviews. As we have throughout our history, we will keep learning and evolving, because lives depend on the work we do.

Our values define us and guide our every action. In simple terms, we live them. We will always step up and do what is right — holding ourselves to the highest standards of safety, quality and integrity, and speaking up when we see behavior that goes against these values.

We are on the right path, thanks to your tireless effort and dedication. We have more work ahead of us as we begin to again deliver 737s and return the airplane to service worldwide, which will continue to be paced by the timing of other global regulators.

Every next plane we deliver is an opportunity to rebuild our brand and regain trust. Let’s continue moving forward, focusing on one detail at a time.

Dave Calhoun, CEO


141 Comments on “Boeing responds to FAA recertification of the 737 MAX

  1. “We will never forget the 346 victims of the Li​on Air Fli​ght 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents. ”

    When Boeing continues to call what happened to those flights “accidents” they are not honouring the 346 victims and are not exhibiting the safety culture they claim to espouse.

    • Accident is the appropriate word for what happened. It is used for legal reasons, as to imply otherwise is to imply deliberate intent. If you have proof of that, Bruce, please provide it, as it would be critical information for the world to know.

      If you don’t have proof, them you may want to measure your words more carefully. If you imply deliberate intent, that has legal consequences that are not confined to an Internet forum. You could be referred as a witness to the DOJ investigation that is ongoing. Then you can explain your allegations to them, and to Boeing, in a forum where you are held responsible for your statements.

      I suspect if that happened, then like Mark Forkner, you would say that you were exaggerating and only expressing an opinion. All of which is fine in an Internet context, so long as not provided as a statement of known fact.

      • This is also generally a good summation.

        I have a couple of disagreements on phrasing, but I was also an engineer (no letters) writting various reports and I realized that those phrases crept in.

        I worked hard to remove nonsense terms like It Seems.

        In our day to day conversations we shift to a less forthright language set as part of the social interaction.

        In a tech document, such language has no place.

        Like Bjorn, Dominick does a very good job of it overall and has done a very good job here.

      • I don’t agree. I am not au fait with US legal matters but an accident suggests that no one is to blame. Criminal intent is not the issue, rather it is one of culpability and negligence. Given the manner in which this whole sad and sorry tale has played out it is clear that Boeing must answer to this level of wrongdoing. The way in which the design, documentation and certification was dealt with is one clear issue. A further concern must be the response, or lack of it to the first crash and the subsequent conduct of Boeing. Where this goes is dependent on so many factors, compensation and the attitude of the regulator being key but there must be a significant legal risk facing Boeing going forward.

        • Accidents have causes, they do not suggest that no one is to blame. That’s why we have accident investigations. The word accident only implies no deliberate intent.

          Negligence and fault is something the civil courts can decide, and have decided. Boeing will be responsible for those claims, and has been responsible.

          You and other here want to push it a lot further than that, into the criminal realm. If you have evidence for those allegations, then by all means, bring it forward.

          In the meantime, for those that still believe in the burden of proof, there is an investigation underway to decide criminal aspects as well. But notably there is still not an assumption of guilt, unless and until proven otherwise.

          • ‘You and other here want to push it a lot further than that, into the criminal realm. If you have evidence for those allegations, then by all means, bring it forward.’

            This does you a disservice, I said nothing of the sort. I said there was a considerable legal risk. Would you argue otherwise? The obfuscation and spreading of blame to other parties after the event does not mean that Boeing does not have a case to answer.

            Personally I believe that with sufficient levels of compensation to injured parties and due deference to regulators they could avoid this but the risk remains.

            Do you think Boeing is blameless and more critically could it reasonably have been foreseen that the second aircraft could crash? It would be rather difficult to argue against that. That would suggest negligence.

          • Rob/Sowerbob – Yes, accidents have causes: hence investigators (who generally do not apportion blame) seek to identify the prevailing factors and circumstances from which an accident is the unintended consequence.

          • They were not accidents (rarely true, see the end of the post)

            Software did exactly what it was deigned to do.

            The design was deliberate in all its respects. The process failed, we can disagree on why it failed, but the process itself was a total failure and the end result was negligent at best, possibly criminal (its in the course and keeping in mind that Justice and Legal are two different aspects)

            Clearly it was ND (Negligent Design)

            All independent review (yes Rob that means Boeing and the FAA have no standing) says that is exactly what occurred. ND.

            We can add in NT (Negligent Testing).

            A number of intentional action involved as well that may or may not see legal ramifications for the Boeing.

            GP7000 Failure Over Greenland: This was a rare case of failure that was not negligent in any way. It was a form of metal failure that no one had see, tested for, knew to test for.
            It had the same possibility of taking down an A380 as RR did with their failure. Which was in fact a failure of quality control.

          • Sowerbob, I did not mistake your meaning or those of others here, there is a sentiment that Boeing needs to be punished beyond the current impacts, But that is not for you or I or others to decide. We have legal processes to follow and those are working.

            Pundit, I agree completely, blame is not apportioned by accident investigators, and for good reason. It would impede their ability to discover the truth, as they would create their own bias, as well as reluctance for parties to cooperate. It’s a good lesson for everyone.

          • Again, where did I raise a sentiment that Boeing needs to be punished? Again you are putting words in my mouth. Why would I have a sentiment against a corporation? Please read more carefully what is written and don’t suppose, infer or create.

          • Sowerbob, your own words:

            “it is clear that Boeing must answer to this level of wrongdoing”

            “there must be a significant legal risk facing Boeing going forward.”

            There is no doubt of your intent here, that the ongoing repercussions have not been sufficient. Nor any doubt of your defense of Bruce, who openly said that these were not accidents.

            If you don’t agree with me on this issue, that’s fine, but please don’t try to twist it around as a misunderstanding. There is plenty of evidence in your many other comments on Boeing, as well.

          • Oh come on. Again you are so keen to suggest I want this. I gave no sentiment. There is clearly a case to answer hence the considerable amount of investigation that has gone far further than just the root cause, simply the regulators were not convinced by what initially at least they were told. A case to answer simply suggests that the actions of Boeing staff at all levels needs to be considered, beyond that I agree with a single thing that you say and that, if it does go to court, then they will decide. And yes there is a legal risk, if you don’t believe that you are delusional. A risk is just that, something that may or may not happen.

            I also said that Boeing can probably avoid this but it requires a clear resolution of compensation for those affected, both airlines and passengers and crew who died and squaring things with all regulatory bodies. I would sincerely hope this all happens as legal sanction tends to only benefit the lawyers. Calhoun has to convince the world that the culture of Boeing has changed, that is a tough thing to do.

            Regarding the word accident, to me that suggests something unforeseeable. Given the first crash and what was uncovered at the time was it unreasonable to suggest that this could happen again? The answer to that must certainly be something that Boeing would have some difficulty defending.

            I appreciate you allegiance but continuously inferring and parsing single comments out of a wider point does you no favours..

          • I stand 100% by my comments. With every word you write, you prove my point. Bruce’s meaning was clear, and your defense was just as clear. I validly called you on it, and would do so again.

            The legal process of holding Boeing responsible is unfolding as it should, including a criminal investigation. The regulators have reported factually on their results after a very long investigation, as they should.

            If you don’t like or agree with those results, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. But it’s not up to you or Bruce to jump ahead and proclaim guilt or innocence, unless you have the evidence to back it up.

            If you do, we’re all ears. If you don’t, then please don’t make unfounded allegations.

          • Isn’t that what I said? .. you are slightly unhinged. Do you have arguments in an empty room? You are even confirming what I have just said. Please go back in the sea

          • Like I said, prove my point. Derision is the last resort of the incorrect, and a sure sign of intent.

          • Rob:

            Self appointed is an interesting position.

            Others disagree.

            In fact, you are a voice of one and only one and your presentations basically boil down to.

            If a Corporation Says its not guilt, its not.

            You are aware people lie? Actually you are, you ignore it to support a position that is more unbalanced than a 3 leg stool with one leg.

            note: As a surveyor I have ooodles and I mean oodles of experience with the Tripod world and how unbalanced it can be. That makes me an expert.

          • @Pundit

            “to identify the prevailing factors and circumstances from which an accident is the unintended consequence.”

            The problem is that the distinction between consequence, liability and intention is being erased

            This is more obvious in common speech already than enshrined in legal, but the trend is inevitable

            Consequence is held to be of significance, less intention, and less former notions of liability

            What is called a hate crime is the expression of what is taken by another to be denigrating, and no intention has to be shown to prove liability

            This principle is enshrined in laws that predicate outcome as paramount, no matter intention no matter liability – for the moment this language and these laws apply, in the main, to social affairs, but will spread

          • I think negligence is actually criminal. There is your intent… They knew what they were doing, and this group of men did not care, or cared more for bonus, profits, streamlining, cutting corners. They intentionally created an environment to foster this.

          • @ Rob
            “Like I said, prove my point. Derision is the last resort of the incorrect, and a sure sign of intent.”

            Hilarious. You’re well able to deride others when you get into one of your tantrums…plenty of name-calling on those occasions.
            You engaged in wholesale derision the other day because you didn’t like a link discussing Dr. Fauci’s misgivings about vaccines.
            A perfect example of the omnipresent “Holier than Thou” attitude.

            @ Sowerbob
            “unhinged” is indeed the correct term here.
            And yes, there is a severe impediment to picking up undertones, suggestions and hints.

          • Bryce’s ability to comment is suspended until Nov. 30, for repeated violation of Reader Comment rules.


          • Bryce, it’s normal for people like you to project your own behavior onto others. It’s one of the things that defines you. Without derision (as you’ve engaged in again here), your posts would be far fewer. You’ve been admonished by Scott for it many times. I’ll leave it at that.

            Sam, negligence very specifically does not imply intent, the two are separate concepts under the law. Negligence says you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, intent says that you didn’t do it willfully with knowledge that it could or would cause harm to others.

            Therefore you cannot say negligence implies intent. It may be your justification for the way you think and feel about Boeing, but it’s not a rational or legal basis.

            Negligence is a finding of fact, intent is a finding of law, as it goes to state of mind. You would need to show you know what was in the minds of the people involved, at the time of the negligence, beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s a much higher burden of proof.

            I get that you don’t like Boeing, as most don’t here, so are willing to make that leap. But in fairness under the law, the burden must be met by evidence.

        • Sowe4rob:

          That is why there are degrees of homicide.

          While it varies per State, 3rd degree (as an example) would be Manslaughter. You killed someone by your actions, but it was not an intent to kill them.

          I would put this as 2nd, unintentional homicide that carries with it the fact that you knew your actions were dangerous (co-opting regulator authority and cutting safety, rushing the design process etc)

          I would put this in the category of Vehicular Homicide, aka DWI. You drink, you know alcohol impairs you, you know its illegal but you do it anyway.

          And in fact there is a grand jury hearing the very issue.

          • TW

            There are many angles that this could arise from. When you have such a situation and try to weasel and/or bully your way out of it then it is not surprising if the other party seeks legal redress.

          • TW, criminal homicide charges require direct action, culpable involvement, or duty of care by the defendant, so would apply to the airline and pilots rather than Boeing.

            The passengers had a contract with the airline, and so were owed the duty of care that is a requirement for corporate manslaughter or homicide. Also from the pilots who were employed by the airline, and act as its agents.

            In the absence of a contract, the law allows for negligence claims to be brought as a civil case against manufacturers, as a matter of product defect and liability. That is ongoing now. But generally not as a criminal offense, thus criminal charges are very rare in liability cases where redress is available from civil courts.

            Deepwater Horizon was an exception as the vessel was considered a ship under the command of BP while drilling. The law provides for manslaughter under naval statutes, thus BP was charged and convicted.

            Boeing could still be charged with criminal offenses by the government, based on their investigation, if wrongdoing is found. For example if Boeing falsified or withheld information during certification, or otherwise violated regulatory law.

            The grand jury is considering those issues, not homicide or manslaughter.

          • Rob:

            First, there is a grand jury that has been put in place to deal with the Boeing situation.

            Second, Boeing management knows that when you take that drink of booze (cut safety) you have impaired your organization safety. They literately committed vehicular homicide.
            As noted, their is a chasm between justice and the law, they may well get away with it. But there is no question Boeing management is culpable in their many actions as is the FAA.

            You contend its not ours to decide and like your corporate genuflecting , you are flat out wrong.

            This is our country. It is a Representative democracy, we set the laws and frame who does businesses and under what conditions.

            Boeing has no inherent right to exist, we can legislate them out of existence if we so choose.

            We can give ANY input we want to our representative to correct the Boeing management criminality.

            YOU cannot take our rights away, nor assign them nor tell us what they are.

            We can allow Boeing to operate and we can put any restrictions we want on their operation. Boeing serves us, we do not exist to serve them nor to kowtow to them.

            And in fact, we do set how Boeing operates. The US adheres to a set of Aviation standards (the same ones that were violated). Failure to apply them is not the same as having changed them.

            Currently, two bills have been passed by our representatives . Both change to varying degrees the FAA and Boeing relationship.

            You have every right to your opinion, not matter how totally unsupported or silly it is – you can drink the Purple Corporate Skydrol to your hearts content.

            You do not have a right to tell the rest of us what we think or how we should think.

          • Sowerbob:

            I have no issue with the victims taking Boeing to the cleaners, in fact I applaud it.

            Boeing continues to file court papers denying that they were responsible and it was the pilots.

            While I wish the victims the best, history says it will not change Boeing behaviour.

            Prison time for the management that created the two crashes would.

            As many have noted, Boeing needs to do a housecleaning and start over again.

          • TW, I was reciting the legal standards regarding the corporate homicide issue you raised. You’re free to look it up yourself.

            You’re also free to think whatever you wish. I never expect you to agree, that’s really not the point. It’s just important to establish a truthful basis for the discussion.

            You’re also free to write the legislation that will govern Boeing and the FAA, and submit it to Congress. If approved and signed by the President, it will become the law of the land. Every American has that right, as you pointed out.

          • Rob:

            When your basis to fruitful discussion is based on the lies of a Corporation or a government entity, then indeed it is not fruitful.

            People that deny reality are unhinged, ie, definition of not connected to reality. Trump for instance is unhinged.

            All you do is deny anything other than what supports your view.

            Sometimes known as a bubble.

            I came from a tech world where if you denied reality you failed.

            Machinery is remorseless. You can talk all you want, you can deny all you want, it still does not work until you fix whats is broke.

          • @ TW
            You’d understand things a lot better, and would save yourself a lot of wasted time and effort, by doing just a little Googling on OCD/ASF.
            It’s gone so far in this particular case that whole parallel realities are created. If you push it far enough, you’ll provoke a mixture of a vexed tantrum and an evangelical soliloquy.

          • Unfortunately for the rest of us, the US law has no specific concept of corporate manslaughter, which is reserved in UK law for exactly this situation: No direct and “specific” intent to kill 346 people, but a severe dereliction to the point it might as well have been intentional. That would be the course I would recommend – if someone is seeking justice – Corporate Manslaughter, works very well in UK courts.

          • Bryce, your purpose here is to agitate an existing conflict, and take a shot at someone who has held you accountable. Notably, under the cover of someone else’s argument. Agitating is something you appear to enjoy, with others here as well as myself. So I’ll leave you to it.

          • A Jones,

            “Unlike Rob, I worked in the PD/737 program the entire time MAX was being designed/tested and know the truth from first hand dealing with the swindle and the actors involved.”

            So, you have first hand knowledge of what you are now saying is “severe dereliction to the point it might as well have been intentional” that led to the deaths of 346 people? Did you provide any testimony in any of the investigations or the grand jury? What did you do to bring the “swindle’ to light when it was happening?

            So you think it was corporate manslaughter? Perhaps you should be more careful of what you wish for.

          • @ Mike Bohnet
            Thank you for your concern and advice – it is much appreciated.

          • Mike, it’s not clear that Boeing could be prosecuted even with the differences in UK laws for corporate manslaughter. It still comes down to the two issues I mentioned, the duty of care and the standard of practice, for which a gross breach is required.

            The bar is purposely set high and so it’s mostly been used for worker fatality cases. The closest similar case was a Nimrod crash in Afghanistan that killed 14 service members. The accident investigation found gross negligence on the part of BAE.

            At the time, corporate manslaughter had just replaced the gross negligence statutes in the UK. So the families sought a finding of law to apply corporate manslaughter, and it was granted.

            However the military then stepped in and settled with families, possibly to protect BAE. So the case was not tested in the courts.

            For the MAX crashes, as I mentioned the contractual duty of care was from the airlines. Boeing also has a duty as a manufacturer, so the courts would have to sort that out, as there is no prior case law. Boeing would be able to point to airline/pilot actions as contributing factors.

            Then with regard to the gross breach, the culpable action has to be “far below” what is the reasonable standard of practice. So that is a subjective call that again the court would need to decide. Boeing would be able to point to the FAA certification and the subsequent IG report, which found no intent or gross negligence.

            The court can also consider other corporate actions that either encouraged or tolerated the culpable action, or created a mindset of tolerance in the company. Boeing would have some vulnerability there based on other product flaws.

            So we can’t know. The anti-Boeing people would say the bar was met, and the pro-Boeing people would say it wasn’t. It’s a thorny issue so it’s clear why the courts prefer to route these cases into civil liability, where the bar is lower and criminality is not at issue.

          • @ A Jones
            There are other criminal charges that could be levied under US law, such as Reckless Endangerment, Negligent Homicide and/or Contributory Homicide…perhaps embellished using a Depraved Indifference argument. The opera isn’t over yet.

          • Bryce, these charges all entail deliberate intent. There is no proof of that (the discussion we just had above).

            None of the investigations or reports or agencies involved have found or alleged deliberate intent. So those charges will not be brought against Boeing, and these comments can be numbered alongside your many other false statements here.

          • @Rob
            More OCD boxing.
            The (FBI) criminal probe into Boeing hasn’t been completed yet, so it’s a mystery how you can pontificate that “those charges will not be brought against Boeing”.
            Always fascinating is your difficulty in interpreting the future conditional tense (“could”), and your consistent inability to distinguish that from the future perfect tense (“will”).
            There are courses to help adults improve their comprehensive reading skills…you urgently need to enroll in one.

          • Bryce, this is part of the constant conspiratorial refrain that Boeing has acted deliberately and with intent to harm others.

            That has a high burden of proof, and as of now, there is zero evidence, and zero indication that any such evidence exists. No investigation or report has claimed even a hint of that. So this is the basis of my comments.

            Reporting on the criminal investigation thus far, and from witnesses they have interviewed, centers on the MAX safety analysis and the presentation of such to the FAA. Did Boeing follow the lawful regulatory requirements, and did they report truthfully to the FAA? If they failed at any of these things, those are criminal acts.

            Anything beyond that is conspiracy theory and has no place here, unless as I’ve said, you can provide evidence for your statements. You have not thus far.

            Ironically, the people who constantly repeat these theories, are the ones who do have deliberate intent, to harm Boeing. And they do so from a position of cowardice, in an Internet forum.

            As Mike said, if you truly believe any of this, stand up, take your claims and your proof to the authorities, and do the right thing. Have the courage of your convictions. Act like a responsible adult, not a hit and run vandal or a juvenile delinquent.

            But none of you will, because you have nothing. Instead you will continue to snipe from a safe distance, and fill these pages with nastiness that has no benefit to anyone here, or to the world in general. There is no truth or fact or understanding in any of it, only derision and hatred of Boeing and any positive outcome.

      • I point you to the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary of Accident:
        1. an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
        2. an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.

        You might argue that the first crash would fit under definition 1, but if Boeing hadn’t spent their time and energy blaming the pilots (which was intentional), the second crash would not have been unexpected – certainly from what we know today. In terms of the second version of the definition, there was an apparent cause.

        I understand that by using “accident” Boeing may be trying to avoid legal claims (and my derision of the use of the term has nothing to do with any legal opinion). All I am pointing out is that in using this inaccurate and misleading word they are decidedly not living up to their claims of finding religion on the safety front. Safety professionals rarely use the term “accident” because they realise that few incidents truly are.

        I’m not expecting Boeing to come out and say, “oops sorry for our negligent homicide of 346 souls, we have learned from it”, but they could at least use neutral terminology like “crash”.

        • Bruce, there is a reason why FAA, NTSB, EASA, TCCA, JATR, JOEB and all other agencies use the term accident in general, and specifically in reference to the MAX incidents. If you ask them why that is, they will give you the same answer I gave.

          You decided that wasn’t good enough for you, and Boeing needs to be accused of something beyond that. Not satisfied that no other responsible agency has elected to do so, and believing yourself to be the better judge. And now you are trying to justify that action, but it has no justification other than you wanted to make that accusation.

          As I told Sowerbob, your meaning and intent was perfectly clear. So either back it up, or let it go. Either choice would be honorable. Show us the conclusive evidence you have that justifies that accusation. Or use the term accident like the rest of the civilized world does.

          • Rob:

            All those letters you just listed are not Dictators. They answer to US.

            note: when I say US, I do not mean me. Collectively the people of the United States are US. Mine is only my view. Collectively WE have a view.

            The term accident is as out of date as your view that Boeing can do no wrong.

            In this case there are varying degrees of homicide involved.

            Any time you have a deliberate action and people die, its homicide.

            Specifically the Aviation world has been given an out in the supposed interests of safety. Clearly that is a huge mistake.

            France in fact is prosecuting pilots and organization who kill people in Aviation. So despite all your letter throwing , accident does not exist in that country.

            And You do not get to set the terms, WE do. And if you do not like it, then paradise awaits you, Belarus , North Korea, Russia, China. Just remember, the dictator positions are already filled there.

            Boeing and the FAA took actions and created two fatal crashes.

            Its called having all the bennies but none of the responsibility and WE decide that not you.

          • Funny, when I Google “Lionair flight 610” it is consistently referred to as the “crash” rather than as the “accident”. Even when I put in “Lionair flight 610 accident” most searches come up with results that refer to “crash”.

            Feel free to hide behind semantics – the industry (including regulators) prefer the term accident because it sounds better – not because what happens meets the definition of being an accident.

          • TW, I quoted the law as it exists in the US. I’m aware that other countries, such as France and the UK, have different laws and viewpoints.

            As far as the reference to dictatorships, that is an attempt at role reversal. I am the one saying that Boeing has equal protections under the law, same as everyone else. Including the right to the presumption of innocence. And to have the law applied fairly and objectively.

            You are the one saying this is unfair and the law should be changed to be tougher on Boeing. You’ve said earlier that Boeing should be made to give up proprietary data, but that too is a protection that we all enjoy, Boeing included.

            Again if you think those protections are in error or unfair, you can campaign to change the law, or write and submit your own law for approval.

          • Bruce, crash is an acceptably neutral substitute term for accident. The two can be used interchangeably. Neither implies deliberate intent. Thank you for clarifying your own intent.

    • Once again I will note that shooting world came to realize that there were no accidental shootings, it was negligence.

      The term now used, is Negligent Discharge (abbreviated as ND often)

      Much like the Space Shuttle (horribly twice) Normalizing Deviation is another term that was needed to describe the practice of a violation safety standards and like the MAX, descending into crashes.

      Mothers against drunk driving long ago realized we needed to change the perspective of drinking and driving. The act of taking a drink is deliberate and you are impaired to an increasing degree per each ounce.

      Boeing Management and the FAA took the first drink and kept on going. Its called efficiency, which nothing more than cutting costs until there is no safety net left.

      A bit of Corporate and Bureaucratic shuffling does not change that.

    • I don’t believe Boeing nor the FAA really gives a darn. They practice just what they are, deception and disgrace! Cannot be trusted.

  2. I would expect a kind of “sorry, won’t do so again” for the FAA Streamlining efforts, pressured by Boeing and Congress since 2012.

    On the next FAA- reauthorization I expect GAMA, AIA, Boeing and congress to demonstrate understanding of what happened, what were the results and their own significant roles in this drama. So being humble, quiet and cooperative with the “bureaucrats” they actively sidelined for the past 8 years. And hope everybody forgets.

      • “Looking forward to a presidential order for the aircraft to be un-grounded.” And six days later, I’m surprised not yet to have heard a presidential claim to have ordered the aircraft back into the air ‘in time for Thanksgiving…’

  3. Reuters is listing some re-certification comments from various sources.
    Interesting is the comment from CITI ANALYST JONATHAN RAVIV:

    “The 737 MAX is now a demand problem where Boeing has to find airlines willing to take airplanes.”
    “Before COVID-19, it was a supply problem where airlines were desperate to take as many airplanes as possible. So we don’t see the inventories clearing or production rates normalizing until 2023.”

  4. I would like to see more detail about what this means:
    “These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company …” What were the key lessons? What about the company’s shape is different, now?

    Also, I’m a little unclear about 50,000 engineers in the new Product & Services Safety organization, since that is many times more than the total number of engineers in the Commercial division.

    • Granted its Corporate shuffling, but I believe Boeing has (had as of yesterday) something like 130,000 employees total.

      Per those wondrous organization charts, employees can come under more than one entity.

    • The P&SS organization is part of a larger entity of 50,000 engineers: I suspect that implementing “a series of meaningful changes” including an “enterprise-wide” safety management “system” qualifies as changing the company’s shae…

    • @Stan Sorscher

      The key lesson Boeing management has learned is to not get caught once again so ‘stupidly’ : hence

      relocation of workforce (with complete de unionisation, bullet proof non disclosure contracts and probably a form of uberisation, further off shoring of such as already achieved with maintenance)

      to keep the FAA in it’s pocket, and to take advantage of this crisis quietly to wind down the company, US side, dispose of assets, release any remaining cash for shareholders, before passing on the defence rump to the Feds at a very good price indeed

      That’s a hell of a lesson – but one American Industry & Wall Street knows off by heart and has been pursuing for some long time

  5. Did they fix the hookey trim wheels that are non-usable when the plane is at high speed?

    • Didn’t that get swept under the carpet? Possibly they have mandated extra dexterity and strength training to all pilots..

    • Mark:

      That is terribly non technical language and not up to the standards of this blog!

      But no, nothing has been done to address the trim wheels. In this case, if MCAS continues to fire, you are supposed to counter trim until neutral and then turn off the trim motor.

      That of course does not address the two issues with the trim wheel.

      Trim runaway where the motor keeps driving.

      Trim Motor Failure where you have to break out the mechanism from the clutch (listed as impossible or close to it by even two pilots)

      • You of all people talk about blog standards? As an interested a/c enthusiast, I come here for the professional approach related to aviation, you should be aware of your own phrasing on various issues.

        • RK:

          That was said tongue in cheek.

          You don’t always find in a blog what you seek, though I believe I am very knowledgeable concerning aviation even if you don’t agree with me.

          You could present some examples and I can agree or disagree on merit.

          An example would be Bjorn. He his highly qualified in so far as technical knowledge as well as presentation goes.

          I don’t alwyas agree with his conclusion (Hydrogen fuel for aircraft, nor his statements that Boeing “Got It”.

          That does not mean I do not respect him.

      • My apologies I meant hoaky. The entire premise of this plane was hoaky to start with. Maybe they will put a hex head on the trim wheel and include a breaker bar as standard equipment lol. (yes I know I could be a star in Boeings engineering dept)

    • The trim wheels were evaluated by the regulators and found to be compliant and not a safety issue. The accident scenario was found to be extreme, with the aircraft being well above the safe operating speed.

      Pilots will receive training on managing flight with manual trim, as part of the return to service. So they will all understand the operation, and the increase in force that occurs with speed and mistrim.

      • The Trim Wheel system was compliant, in this case it was Grandmothered in.

        In fact it no long would be allowed nor is complaint with current regs

        MCAS was also an extreme envelope issue and we found out how lethal that was.

        In the US the FAA is tasked with an economic assessment as well as safety.

        EASA and other regulators will go along with it as the NG and all prior 737 have that same system (thousands in service).

        That does not mean its not a safety issue.

        EASA and Canada are disagreeing with the FAA on other issue and are using their positions to get further changes such as the synthetic AOA. This is known as arm twisting.

        There is also work to be mandated on controls (stick shaker shutoff) that are not addressed by the FAA.

        Bringing the cockpit alarm issues literally into the 21st century is also on the table.

        Not addressed at all by anyone is a seized trim motor breakout force.

        • TW, as usual you have your own take on things, I was quoting the FAA official report and findings. That is the reality which governs the present circumstances.

        • We will just have to wait, and see what EASA, and the other regulators will do regarding certification.

          The synthetic AOA appears to be tied to the certification of the 737-10 in (perhaps) a few years.

          My take is that synthetic AOA on the MAX won’t happen. Boeing will point to (hopefully) no issues once the MAX has been flying for a few years, and say that further changes are not necessary !

          Of course I could be absolutely incorrect, we’ll see in a few years.

          I still can’t find Patrick Ky’s press conference where he appeared to say that Boeing, and the FAA were only going to deal with MCAS, and that it was pressure from the other regulators that made them look at the other issues. Reading through the AD, that would seem to make sense.

          Regarding the trim wheel issue, message to pilots … DO NOT get out of trim … problem solved.

          “With MCAS inoperative after a failure, the 737 MAX is capable of continued safe flight and landing, as required by 14 CFR 25.671 and 25.1309.” so if that’s the case why is MCAS there at all ? Just train pilots to deal with the “feel” of the yoke at high AOA.

          Simplify, simplify, simplify. Do not add systems that could introduce potential points of failure.

          • The position of the FAA is that MCAS is required on the MAX by the regulations for column force gradients. That was the purpose of MCAS from the beginning.

            The regulations also provide for conditions where equipment becomes unavailable during flight. In that case, the aircraft must be capable of continued safe fight and landing. Thus the MAX is also compliant if MCAS is deactivated. No different than any other equipment loss.

            I doubt you will find any evidence for the allegation that other regulators had to force the FAA to do things. If there was disagreement, I’m sure it was handled in a professional manner, through discussion and concurrence.

            With regard to the trim wheels, they were found to be operational in all modes within the flight envelope, without excessive strength. Which is consistent with the last 50 years of operational experience.

            The third AoA sensor is required for certification of the MAX-10, so will be added in some form. However it appears that it will become part of the reference instruments, and not implemented as a voting system in software. The FAA refuted the need for that in the response to comments.

          • Rob,

            I don’t think the FAA were forced to look at the other issues at all. I do expect that it was entirely professional, but the comments that were made indicate a discussion where the FAA had an opinion, and after discussion (pressure) with the other regulators the FAA looked at issues other than MCAS.

            I think it’s pretty clear the FAA don’t think that any more AOA sensors are needed, EASA appears to disagree, they have reached an understanding.*

            As to the trim wheels, I understand the logic, the FAA certify the aircraft within a specified envelope, as such they have found the trim wheels to be satisfactory within that envelope. My comment is just that pilots need to remain within that envelope, simple as that.

            We hope that no other conditions occur that will get the aircraft out of trim to the degree that it is technically outside of the certified envelope. With the changes to MCAS, and the amount of coverage of the entire saga, all 737 MAX pilots should be very aware of their trim/airspeed, so this should not be an issue, hence “problem solved”. Sorry TW.

            To split hairs for a minute, I don’t know that you can say 50 years experience, as the trim wheels changed size during that time (less than 25 years ago ?), so it’s possible we’re comparing one variety of apple with another. At least we’re comparing apples, not apples to pears 🙂

            *A little more on the third AOA sensor, if the -10 takes a number of years to be certified, I think the FAA or Boeing may have a case to say that it is unnecessary. It may turn out to be optics that allow the other regulators to have a difference of opinion, but punt it down the road a ways so that when the time comes they can point to the data, and say they no longer feel it’s necessary. – Just my take.

            You don’t happen to know if Boeing have actually started working on a third AOA sensor of some description do you ?

            I think some of the comments on the Internet don’t take into account that the FAA are certifying the MAX according to a set of regulations. There is no reason for the FAA to go above, and beyond the regulations, indeed they may face legal challenges were they to do so.

            “The 737 MAX crew alerting system is not substantially changed from the 737 NG crew alerting system, which has been shown through service history to be reliable and safe.” The FAA is following the regulations. They don’t seem to have any reason to mandate any changes. Again sorry TW.

            Disabling an erroneous stick shaker could still happen though ?

          • Jakdak, I was unable to find any reference at all to the statements you attributed to Patrick Ky. I searched for several days, as the derogatory implications for the FAA would be severe if it were true. I also think it would be headline news, so easily findable.

            It also seems very out of character for Ky to say such a thing, as both he and Dickson have strived to create harmony between the agencies. So my conclusion is that it’s “vapornews”, possibly a rumor or personal opinion someone has expressed and attributed to Ky.

            On the third AoA sensor, the FAA position is that it’s not required under US regulations. EASA has requested it and Boeing and the FAA have agreed, beginning with the MAX-10 certification.

            The way they will merge this inconsistency, is it will be part of the reference instruments, which are specified as a minimum requirement but can include additional equipment. If Boeing tried to remove it, then I think the FAA would create a special condition for the MAX. Or they may do that anyway, just to formalize it.

            But these are early days, and the above may change. I’ve read that Boeing is working on this and also the disable for the stick-shaker. The FAA appeared to rule out the interim use of circuit breaker, saying that would be non-compliant.

            On the trim wheels, I think the training will provide crews with experience at different conditions, and they will understand the buildup of forces, and how to avoid them, or deal with them. The FAA said this went to basic airmanship, to maintain aircraft control at all times. The fact that NG simulators are allowed means the wheel diameter difference is not found to be significant.

            There are always situations outside the flight envelope which become uncontrollable. Control surfaces can break or blow down or become ineffective. So the focus of the regulations is on maintaining control and staying within the envelope, so those situations don’t develop.

          • Sorry guys but yes the FAA was forced.

            The synthetic AOA will come on with the -10 but it WILL be retrofitted to the other MAX aircraft.


            You have a refreshing naive attitude how things work. Sadly I was on the end of the world where it all gets handed down and the poor slob in the trenches has to make it work.

            When I want to avoid real thought and the effort that goes with it your posts are like one of those cute little sayings on the Yoga matts.

            “Beam and the world beams with you. ” in fine print it says, Made in China with Coal and sorry about that last hurricane.

    • Although it appears that the required retrofits will be relatively inexpensive to apply, Boeing still has to deal with the fact that the 737 Max’s image was severely tarnished. As a result, I figure Boeing’s ability to charge a premium price for the 737 Max will forever diminished – and I figure this will cost Boeing Billions of Dollars.

      Additionally there will be extra FAA oversite and scrutiny, and other problems resulting from the near stoppage of production for so long: and all of them will cost money fix. And…there could very well be some certification issues with the upcoming 737-9/10….we just don’t know yet. Meanwhile, Airbus has already ramped up A320 production to 40+/month.

      So, Boeing did not get off as lightly as your comment seems to suggest (or as least to me it did). I think there is still one hell of a price to be paid.

      Last, watching Boeing develop and deliver the 787, the Air force Tanker, the 737 Max and the 777x (what a wing test!) has convinced me that Boeing’s constant screw-ups are not anomalies: they are Business as Usual. And I believe that this Tragic Business is such a deep part of current Boeing Culture, that to admonish Boeing Management is futile – for they are so ignorant they can’t process the truth.

      Seriously, I come to believe that trying to reform Boeing Management by scolding (or even financially penalizing them) them is like trying to house-break a dog by beating it: the poor dog ends up confused and in pain, and still poos on the floor. So how do we get Boeing Management from pooing on the floor? I don’t know, I just know that 20-years of scolding hasn’t worked, the financial pain of the 787 Program hasn’t worked, and the situation keeps getting worse.

      Meanwhile, enjoy this Ultimate Load Test of an A350 wing where the fuselage is greatly over-pressurized. Unlike the 777x test, there are no explosions and no excuses – just Success:

      • Notably Airbus conducted the ultimate load tests on the A350 wing and fuselage separately. This video is the wing stress test, proceeding up to limit load, and then ultimate load.

        Boeing conducted an aircraft ultimate load test on the entire 777x, testing both wings and the fuselage at the same time. The fuselage was expected to fail before the wing, and it did, the wings remained intact with over 9 meters of deflection (double that of the A350, since 777z is a much larger aircraft).

        And since the 777x fuselage failed at 99% of ultimate load while pressurized, there was an explosive decompression event at failure. That too is expected and was not grounds for criticism or to declare the test a failure. FAA was there observing and accepted the result.

        Either testing method is valid for certification, the FAA does not require the aircraft to be tested as a unit. So while it’s a great video, it does not imply a superior result. Both aircraft passed their respective tests.

        The remainder of the post is the usual bleak prediction of Boeing’s doom, which is routine in the commentary here. Well see if it comes to pass.

      • @Jimmy
        Great points.
        As regards the 777X: Ultimately, the failed wing test probably won’t matter because it appears that the program is on the road to the scrapyard anyway, due to lack of hard orders.
        As regards the MAX: Let’s see how the public reacts down the line. Apart from “fear” of getting onboard, there’s also the concept of boycott. Of course, the usual reaction is to say that people don’t know or care what type of plane they’re on, but that argument may be illusory in the age of social media. And as pointed out in an article on CNN the other day, the slightest mishap — a precautionary landing, strange smell in the cabin, unusual noise, etc. — will be magnified wholesale in the press and on social media. Not to mention cell phone videos of what happens in the event of an equipment change, with passengers arguing with ground staff at the gate and demanding a different flight, etc. Many members of the flying public *do* have preferences for the type of plane they’re on, as evidenced by the fact that many people will make an active effort to get onto an A380 or to avoid a 787, for example, or to avoid longhaul flights on a narrowbody (such as the unpopular Aer Lingus transatlantic flights on jaded 757s).
        Interesting months ahead 😉

    • It has to be passed by the Senate, and/or merged with the similar existing Senate bill, and passed. Then signed by the President. Neither is likely in a lame duck session. But when the new administration comes in, both bills have a better chance and it’s likely we’ll something passed and signed next year.

      As I mentioned, both bills strengthen the FAA role in ODA, and I would support them both, or any combination thereof.

  6. @Bryce

    On a related topic as per recent discussion : how to get airtravel back up

    United used to fly, daily, 50 Apple execs business class between SF and Shanghai

    This may have been reduced, slightly, or perhaps even increased, but it is likely that Apple gets special treatment from China as to unencumbering these important company men from the usual restrictions

    And the other businessmen as well ? It was reported that United flights were doubled to 4 a week, and Chinese carriers operate 8 a week

    This is a lot of businessmen, can they all be quarantining both ends ?

    • @Bryce

      Oops : for businessmen read business people, the mistake was ‘accidental’

    • Good question!
      All that quarantining strikes me as being a very big price to pay for a couple of face-to-face meetings.

      • @Bryce

        Do you not think that, at least as far as Apple is concerned, both US and China have such a great amount riding on making sure their business is conducted under the best of conditions

        So that waivers exemptions or perhaps sophisticated and guaranteed tests or whatever make sure that a minimum of disruption is incurred

        Platinum Class

      • @Bryce

        A muted result from this study regarding mask wearing

        It is interesting that –

        “The Danish researchers apparently experienced difficulty in finding a journal to publish their results. Their study had reportedly been rejected by The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.”

        Another indication of how politicised is any Covid discussion, from the’ science’ right on down

        • Very interesting.
          The government in The Netherlands freely admits that mask wearing probably falls into the category of “even if it only helps a little bit, every bit is nevertheless welcome”. Even though mask wearing is only “strongly advised” here (becoming mandatory on December 1st), there is still broad adherence to mask wearing in indoor public spaces, which I find very civilized. As I said in other posts here, a problem with evaluating the usefulness of mask wearing is that many (if not most) people use their masks incorrectly.
          In the context of aviation I have no doubt that, if cabin crew were to make secret videos as they moved along the aisle, there would be widespread evidence of improper mask use by passengers. I certainly think that masks should be mandatory in planes and airports, but it’s doubtful that they help greatly. Just look at Italy’s second wave, despite consistent mask wearing.

          There is indeed a good chance that an article like this is too politically sensitive in the USA to be acceptable for publication in one of the big journals. I suspect that a similar fate will befall any article that criticises any aspect of vaccination in the coming weeks/months.

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for this information – I am unfamiliar with mask use but I know enough to understand that correct and constant usage is probably very difficult/impossible to maintain

            Mask wearing is only fought over in the US, as far as I know, although everywhere they may be pockets of resistance, and even places like Sweden which are neither for nor against, yet most usage is ‘sensible’

            The reason why mask wearing has jumped into the frontline as the test and the cure, plus the good citizen’s duty can only be explained by class, as the expression of perfect manners and high education ‘it’s quite the science don’t you know’, and on the other hand by a certain tradition and association in Anglo American culture concerning outlaw behaviour

            I am sure that you are right and that most people get the wearing not quite correct, or like Governor Newsom in Napa, pay only lip service


            The vaccine is going to be a very much nastier conflict – the Brits are already talking mandatory, not yet quite shoot on sight, but the zombie apocalypse can be glimpsed


    This appears to be a standard and clear eyed Wall Street take on Boeing stock price and prospects

    The emphasis is not so much forward to recession and vaccine problems but an assessment that the recent market 2015-2019 was a travel bubble of easy money and foolish expansion, the secure advantages of Airbus over BA for the years to come, and the price of going from –yes- from zero net debt to $34B

    « « The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects global air travel to recover to 2019 levels by 2024. Perhaps the IATA estimate is too gloomy in light of recent vaccine progress. Still, given the length of time it will take to immunize the global population, the macroeconomic impact of COVID-19, and the damage to airlines’ balance sheets, it’s unrealistic to expect a full recovery before 2023.

    Yet, a full recovery in air travel demand doesn’t imply anything close to a full recovery in production » »

    • Sounds like good advice to me 😉
      That having been said, with essentially zero return on bonds and deposits at the moment, retail investors and professionals alike are looking for opportunities in beaten-down stocks. The professionals may be wary of Boeing (they carefully look at balance sheets and annual reports), but there are plenty of retail investors that might be tempted to jump at the stock. Investment analysts like to classify companies into broad categories, and anything associated with travel and leisure is seen as a “re-opening stock”, expected to pick up momentum if/when things start to normalize. But millennials (a large part of the retail investor group) tend to prefer trendy tech names rather than an “old world” name like Boeing.
      Poor Boeing shot itself in both feet and just has to watch the blood flowing.

      • @Bryce

        Your point about desperate need for speculation in order to get any return on any investment is valid, and BA have a good track record of paying out shareholders

        Yet BA is now rated only just above junk status, and can no longer afford to return any cash to shareholders

        WS is bathing in a happy face vaccine glow at this time ; reality will sink in of a considerable delay in airtravel pick up and BA diminished market share vis-à-vis Airbus

  8. Gerrard – further to your reply yesterday (which has no provision for a reply): since, then, consequence “is held to be of significance, less intention, and less former notions of liability” perhaps I should have said that accident investigators seek to identify the prevailing factors and circumstances from which an accident is the unintended SUBsequence.
    (Your keyboard seems to have lost its period/full-stop key.)

    • @Pundit

      Subsequence is a neutral word, without the heavy overtones of ‘the consequences’

      And the objective investigators may be able to use it, and correctly

      But the word lacks currency, in the vernacular and increasingly in the language of the lawyers, and once the investigators’ report is in what then will be assigned and assessed are the consequences

  9. Reuters: Udvar-Hazy says the next generation airplanes are powered by “hybrid” engines

  10. Scott, sorry to post about vaccines, but wanted to clear up some statements that had been made by Bryce & Gerrard, that have since been refuted by the release of the Pfizer Phase 3 trial data.

    1. Efficacy overall was 95%
    2. Efficacy in groups over 65 was 94%
    3. Efficacy was uniform over the ethnic groups in the trial
    4. No serious adverse effects were observed
    – 2% reported headache
    – 4% reported fatigue
    – nearly 100% reported injection site soreness
    – 8 of 170 COVID cases within vaccine group
    – 1 of 10 severe COVID cases within the vaccine group
    5. All members were at least 60 days beyond the 2nd shot
    6. All the criteria for the EUA application have been met
    – efficacy, safety, manufacturing, transport, control

    This is obviously a good result. It reinforces the principles of not biasing the debate against a positive outcome, or criticizing the results before they are known, or making assumptions that are almost entirely negative in nature and intention.

    Also reinforces the need to always put forward the positive and balanced message, in the face of, and in refutation of, those actions.

    • Just a matter of clarification on effective.

      Its common to sue round numbers, ala 90%.

      You can get data that says 94.7 % and its, crunch think and no its 93.4 % over 65 and …….

      So, they simply said over 90% which really is more than good enough to indicate its very very effective and well above the minimum thresholds.

      With the second vaccine reports similar data that adds in some reinforcement to both effectiveness but equally no side affect.

      Still need some number crunch and its headed to emergency release

      The Chinese vaccine is still not fully open as the trials not done though a huge number vaccinated and given Chinese emergency release (though there are few Covd cases in China right now.

      Its immune response is less than having Covd unlike the two Western Vaccines.

      But if faced with no vaccine and Coved risk likely better than nothing if you are not in a developed country .

      • @TW

        The China and the Russia vaccines, the latter seems to gaining some purchase in India and especially in South Korea, will likely find success in Africa

        It must be noted that sub sahara Africa has extremely low case and death rate, so low as in very nearly all countries, apart from South Africa, to be negligeable : for example Nigeria Pop 200 M, deaths just over one thousand

        So that both China and Russia will able to PR milk donations and distributions as popular benevolent initiatives, while knowing that any requirements and effects are very incidental, and any mistakes or errors consequently of statistic insignificance

        Cuban medical teams are very present in many countries in Africa and have received widespread praise and grateful thanks, and such countries have been criticised by the US for accepting this aid, a sure sign that China and Russia will attempt to outshine in their efforts to refocus such

  11. Gerrard – “Subsequence is a neutral word, without the heavy overtones of ‘the consequences’.” Quite, and hopefully not subjective. Hence ’tis not inappropriate that – as you say – “investigators may be able to use it, and correctly,” since their reports do not apportion blame.
    It is also to be hoped that all other parties will likewise be objective, not excluding in the later assignment and assessment of responsibility for events. Whatever the validity of considerations of legal linguistic fashion, the investigators (at least) should plead guilty to the charge made 50 years ago against the British parliamentarian Enoch Powell: that he “used words to mean what they actually do mean…”. Funny, that.
    On a different topic: re your Seeking Alpha quote from Adam L-W, perhaps a more valid comparison in measuring any alleged airline-industry recovery will be with 2018, since overall traffic flows last year likely will have been affected by the loss of Max capacity in related markets.

    • @Pundit

      Well consequence was a neutral word at the origin as well – over the centuries it’s use has shifted away from what once were accepted as facts or as inevitable sequences and did not require or demand secular explanation or involve concepts of causality then liability

      Secular causation is a fraught subject, many scientists say this is very hard or in fact impossible to display, following the old essentially Brit school of practical philosophy

      But to accept mere correlation in human affairs requires a religious and not a secular mindset, which looks for attributions and benefits and liability

      Investigators can be objective, or at least are paid to give evidence and proof of such when compiling their report

      But the law has shifted from regarding such neutral pursuit of objective truth as a paradigm, and increasingly lawyers and judges seek to assign and arbitrate the consequences or outcome as the golden rule by which to measure the application of justice

      As far as Enoch – there was a story of of the Professor of Linguistics coaching his college 8 at Oxford who mis spoke an instruction while cycling the towpath – corrected it by saying ‘Do not do as I say do as I mean’

      This was in the time of Wittgenstein who had convinced many of the fragilities of meaning once taken for granted

      I think the Alpha report was primarily concerned with OEM’s market and sales not with airlines pax numbers, although I did not check his figures – the effect of no Max capacity was, as far as I know, not more than slightly incidental, if I can use that word here, although it was of course of some consequence

  12. Rob – thank you for that, especially the call for balance (accompanied by, it is to be hoped, accuracy). And to avoid/reduce soreness: very soon after injection windmill your arm quickly six or eight times; I believe the theory is that by centrifugal force the vaccine is dispersed more readily, but it works.

    • Thanks Pundit. I saw today another of the criticisms has fallen, Pfizer has now enrolled children down to age 12, based on the safety of the trials thus far.

      • Rob – while we continue this deviation into medicine, I expect more and more positive/optimistic statements/statistics to come from Pharma, whether or not all of the “me, too” variety. It should not escape notice that speculative suggestions of the timing of initial availability seem to depend upon use of emergency approval procedures/powers (all in the name of compassion, you understand) that, in turn, make me be wonder if there is a danger of corners being cut in the race to be first, if not also greatest. But then timing and circumstances of a different sort approval is where we came in…

        • Pundit:

          Yes there is a risk. Pharma of course is going to come down on the side of the happy face (we have seen a number of areas such as the recent Alzheimer drug that in fact failed miserably)

          But like the MAX, there is a lot to be said for scrutiny and in the spotlight.

          They can’t in fact get their emergency authoritarian until the data is review.

          That of course then means we have to hope the review process is not corrupted.

          That in turn means we also look at independent assessment of the reviewed data.

          And then we get to make a decision.

          So far, when 70% is considered good, 94% (more or less) is heartening.

          Then we have to sort out side affects and long term of course, how long it lasts and what to do about it.

        • Pundit, I agree that is a valid concern that is shared by many. But I also think that because so many people are watching, it’s unlikely to come about.

          For sure there will be balancing of the immediate benefit vs assuring certainty about future possible consequences. And that will doubtless cause a prioritization that would not otherwise occur. But as long as there is scrutiny and balance, that is what matters.

          We know that Trump tried to apply pressure before the election and was rebuffed. We also know that Dr. Fauci has said he is watching carefully to make sure protocols are followed. He doesn’t want any grounds for conspiracy theories to get started, because they are very difficult to undo, and the vaccine is useless if people won’t accept it.

          I would encourage you and everyone else to keep an eye on the process and the data, which are all public in the approval request. And to ask questions, and form informed opinions. There will be a public comment period on the final approval (not sure about the EUA). But people can make use of this process to express concerns and ask questions.

          As we saw in the MAX final AD, the FAA devoted about 90 pages to answering concerns raised by commenters. I think we’ll see something similar from FDA, so we should have good answers.

        • @Pundit

          There is also conflict of interest in the FDA, the non declaration of outside interests, and very widely in the Pharma industry, who’s payments to doctors are notorious

          The example of the FAA and the Max is a lesson – there too everyone was in a rush – should this happen with a vaccine ?

          Every other measure taken so far by the authorities in US and EU has proved of very low effectiveness, been poorly thought worserly administered

          Why is this vaccine measure guaranteed to be so effective ? History, common sense, Logic, reason and liability argue against this

          In US/EU vaccine uptake is opinion polled to be too low adequately to contain much less eradicate the virus, although of course many people will have some protection and it may lower transmission

          There are other measures along with vaccination to be taken, there are always better measures than ‘emergency authorisations’

          • Gerrard, you’re venturing into anti-vaxxer territory here again. These are not valid or truthful positions.

            The FDA uses independent medical review boards, just as the FAA used separate review boards, to avoid conflicts of interest.

            The efficacy for the first vaccine is now established. Second will be similar.

            About half the population is ready for the vaccine now, but it will take until well into next year for that much vaccine to be available. So there is likely to be high demand. Also there will be time for experience with the EUA recipients before general approval is given.

            The MAX was definitely not a rush, 18 months, the longest grounding in history. And the outcome was exceptionally rigorous, as evidenced by the FAA proposed and final rulings.

            A far as other measures, those are still valid and will need to be in place for some time. Every source that advocates the vaccine has said this. So vaccines and other measures are not mutually exclusive, they are concurrent.

          • @Rob

            The original Max certification was rushed, of course, and it was this one I was referring to, very obviously

            Please refer or reply to the text with precision

            I was ostensibly not referring to the very careful and prolonged re cert, which took place with the newly acquired awareness that the rest of the world, or at least their regulators, had to be aligned, very largely performing in cautious slow motion the process which had taken place at negligent high speed – a considerable part of this lengthiness was necessary political theatre to persuade/convince wary politicians and public

            Look how much that cost in lives and cash, in wasted time and in public contempt, for Boeing and FAA both

            The same process should apply and for the same reasons to the vaccine certification

            Everybody is in a rush, until…..ooops

            Vaccine Efficacy hitherto is only asserted, not yet certified not much less proven – trials are not real life, that is why vaccines have always taken a long time to develop and test before distribution wide

            As for the ‘independence’ of the outside advisors to the FDA, please read



            The important point is to consider not only the reality of conflict of interest, but above all the very poor perception the public has of pharma in general, their practices and specifically their products

            If the public does not trust pharma, CoI eradication must take priority – many sometimes most of the people of the US as well apparently in most of EU do not wish to take a vaccine – this is, probably, mostly a mistrust of the regulatory authority to being hand in hand with the hugely distrusted industry, and only on the periphery this anti vaxxer subset you so frequently refer to

            To argue for prudence and caution in a certification process is not to argue against the product under review, is not to display antipathy or disbelief in the product – this can only be done by stating disbelief or antipathy in the product itself – it is to require that the product is shown to be well conceived and produced and above all correctly cautiously and certainly certified

            Only by this manner will the product work in obtaining the near universal uptake requisite

            This is after all a matter of life and death

          • Gerrard, the truth is that the efficacy has been positively established. There is no reason to believe it will be significantly different in the wider population.

            The trials are designed to be statistically representative, by people with extensive knowledge & experience in such trials. And with 44,000 people forming a representative sample, voluntarily enrolled. That’s just one trial, the other is 30,000 more people. And more trials underway around the world.

            There is also no evidence or indication of impropriety in the US trials or the FDA approval process, which is just now beginning, and will be public and heavily reviewed.

            You say it’s a matter of life and death, as if the people who have worked tirelessly on this do not know that, the people who volunteered to take the vaccine do not know that. And are not far more devoted to the welfare of others than you, who are still working here to discredit their contribution, regardless of the cost in lives, even after the facts are known.

            You claim to know better than all these highly skilled and dedicated people, because they are nerds and technocrats, while you are wiser and know better than to follow the science.

            But that’s ok, the people who understand the science, will work just as tirelessly to get the truth and the facts out. They will offer their positive message, while you will offer negative unsubstantiated criticism. The positive truth will beat the negative lie, every time, and will be successful in the end.

          • @Rob

            You, or rather the rest of us, can not take Pfizer Press Releases to be the established truth, nor even, perhaps, subsequent to the doubts as to regulatory capture expressed in the links I quoted, FDA certification, but only – consequent on the overhasty speed of planned ‘emergency’ introduction – the efficacity as proven by wide scale distribution and uptake

            This same argument you repeat, or the same public PR, Boeing made when first the Max was warped certified, despite internal company doubts, and confirmed by the FAA, despite their doubts

            Both BA and FAA were proved wrong in the field

            It is incumbent on all people, especially those companies who work for profit, especially the Regulatory Authority to be cautious in the predictions, very especially in these very early predictions

            It is the even more necessary task – I’d use the word duty, even – of the people to regard and to review these finding and these products for themselves

            As well as to make sure that necessary oversight of both industry and regulation is operated

            I must caution you against the repetitive use of religious language which is entirely in appropriate in the context of these discussions which deal with the practical applications and administration of scientific products

          • Gerrard, none of this is based on established fact or evidence. It’s all a conspiracy theory that you have convinced yourself is true.

            No one has remotely, ever, said that the vaccine data will not be peer-reviewed or that the public will not have access to them. The vaccine has already undergone review by independent medical panels, with other reviews yet to come. You would know that if you read the trial protocols and the FDA approval documents. Or even if you listened to what has been written here.

            Your objections are all variations on a theme. No one who speaks authoritatively can be trusted (FAA, FDA), and anyone who says they are truthful, is actually corrupt and lying (Boeing, Pfizer, Moderna). That is what’s required, for your statements to be true. Also required is the complicity of all participants, at every level, being equally untruthful. Only your fellow conspiracy theorists are going to believe that.

            The claims about Boeing and FAA are moot, the matter has been settled in their favor. The claims about Pfizer, Moderna, FDA have no supporting evidence but are yet to be settled, although it appears now will be settled in their favor.

            You can post this stuff here if you choose, but if it’s anti-vaxxer propaganda, that’s going to be refuted at every turn, without exception.

          • @Rob, TW, Bryce, Pundit

            Please moderate your language

            The evidence of MSM and authoritative confirmation of some of the views I have expressed : The links to the NYT and to Health Affairs

            I am surprised that you can treat the NYT or Health Affairs as ‘antivaxxer’ and a ‘conspiracy theory’

            It is also strange, and incorrect, to describe the grounding of the Max consequent to the certification (not re cert) by the FAA and the subsequent inquiries as having settled ‘the matter in their favor’, as if both have been vindicated by the accidents and deaths

            If the Max is a successful exercise of product manufacture and distribution and of the regulatory control of an industry let us hope that it does not occur with any iteration of this vaccine, the failure of which, the grounding of which, the possible numbers of deaths or damage caused by which, will be a major disaster

            To believe and to castigate those opposed to your point of view as in deadly conspiration against you is yet another aspect of a religious mind set, to proclaim a blasphemy is entirely in appropriate

            There is conflict between a religious way of looking at the world and a secular, the two should be kept separate – Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

          • Gerrard, just briefly, I did read your articles and found again that they are overall positively oriented toward the vaccine. They raise and clarify some points about effectiveness vs efficacy, but do not express doubt that either is possible. The doubt comes from you.

            So there is a difference between their intent and yours. You read the negativity into them because that is your starting position. It’s a form of confirmation bias.

            I know I am not going to change your mind, and I know you are not going to stop, so the purpose now is really damage control, to present a balanced and factual view.

            I’ve had this same discussion with anti-vaxxers in other forums, they too are hell-bent on undermining the vaccine results, and go though their list of reasons just as you have.

            As results come forth and they exhaust the list, they circle back around and question the veracity of the results, again for each point on the list. The pattern is very familiar.

          • @Rob

            I have broadcast neither much more nor much less than the two links, NYT and Health Affairs, discuss as to reservations concerning the Pfizer vaccine and speedy vaccine certification in general, along with distribution problems

            No one yet can express doubt (your word) that this or that outcome, undefined of course as yet, is or may/may not be possible, by definition outcome is currently uncertain

            Both articles express reservations, not doubts, as to the ability already to predict/be certain of effective outcome, and point out-

            « « “Vaccines don’t save lives,” said A. David Paltiel, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health. “Vaccination programs save lives.” » »

            This is in line with the WHO link I provided the other day – which had exactly the same message, the vaccine was base camp the effective distribution was Everest

            But – be my guest – you may also treat the WHO as antivaxxer

            In addition – Do you write to or debate with the WHO, or the NYT, or State authorities, or do you organise distribution schedules protocols or programs…or…any others: it would be interesting if you gave an general overview of such MSM or expert or even state administration views (protocols etc)

            An article or a series of articles from the frontline would be a welcome initiative and a positive change from negative views

          • Gerrard, the fallacy here is that you have aligned yourself with the WHO, and are working as they are, to provide and distribute an efficacious and effective vaccine to the world.

            In fact from your many posts here to the contrary, you have argued the exact opposite. If you were truly aligned with the WHO, there would be no need to refute your statements, as there is no need to refute the WHO’s statements.

            The difference as I mentioned, is that the WHO and your other sources raise questions out of concern for honest presentation, and for the vaccine to be as successful as possible. Not to sow doubt on that success, or show that it can’t or won’t work. Huge difference in intent.

            You probably cannot see the difference between those positions, but others do.

          • @Rob

            It is now your contention that although I (very largely) agree with and report the statements of the WHO, NYT, and so on, and say (largely) what they do, and what is said or asserted is correct and MSM, yet – you are able to distinguish that my intent is distinct

            Whereas WHO etc intent is benign, my intent is malign, even though the message is the same

            It is wonderful that such supposed difference of intent does not give rise to difference of language nor outcome

            This is remarkable perception indeed, a step up from conspiracy theory to yet another religious paradigm, this time more specifically Puritan, even Calvinistic, in which out come is irrelevant, salvation (you use the word redemption) impossible and the believer is castigated for the miserable sinner he is

            Please concentrate on the facts, this is of practical use, attempted divination of intent leads you to poor language, insults, undignified sloganeering, all this unworthy of this site and contrary to the intentions, I’m sorry, expressed wishes of site owners

            Get back to the basics – this is where value lies : practical issues re airtravel, what measures may be instituted, how may airports airlines states TSA OEMs FAA FDA CDC or a new Fed overall Health acronym co operate to produce programs and protocols and standards, how to foster international collaboration

          • @Rob
            This is practical-please take this as a modest example of how to re centre around discussion around airtravel, plus infra protocols of how to conceive

            Ed Bastian interview FT


            (Basically he agrees with us)

            A Worthy Project – In co operation with those of avowed intent

            Phase One :
            Abstract, Protocols Data Study, Declarations of CoI

            Piece together industry wide facts reports and attitudes, synthesis with facts/protocols/programs on US and EU (for a start) administrative plus health authority, and gvmt collaboration

            Phase Two : Discuss International US/EU collaboration protocols, gvmt level, Pharma level, testing standards for universal roll out

            Phase Three : Discuss international air logistics with special attention to supply chains

            Phase Four : Expand to bring in India China and Asia – especially with regard to synthesis with distinct vaccines supply chains and peoples

            Phase Five : The Curious Example of African Exceptionalism

  13. @Gerard: Whether or not we can agree that the Alpha quote re IATA references to global air travel relates more obviously to trends in traffic (ie year-on-year changes in revenue passenger-kilometres/miles rather than numbers of bums on seats) than to those in OEMs’ new-aircraft deliveries, because airlines did adjust capacity and/or schedules to accommodate reduced Max shipments (an effect that you suggest was “not more than slightly incidental, … although it was of course of some consequence”) speculative predictions about timing of any recovery still should consider 2018 as a more realistic baseline against which to measure any perceived return to previous levels of global air travel.

    • @Pundit

      I think the basic problem is the use of the phrase, thought, that there is or will or should be measured a return to previous levels, whether high or low, of either aircraft production or pax numbers

      This way of thinking seems to precognise a return to /continuation of the old way of thinking and operating, back to ‘the normal’, at the expense of realising the changes either directly attributable to covid or revealed by covid or – above all – those changes demanded as the result of an analysis/recognition of what covid is why it emerged & what it has wrought

      I might say that the human is everywhere reluctant to give up old meaning or habit even when the hurricane is blowing down his house, as now is happening, or merely shape shifting language by the use of pet phrases like ‘the new normal’ which is nothing more or less than the old but in fancy dress

      There was already a growing climate change inflection bearing on airtravel, this will be absorbed into an even more influential covid consequence – part willing, but mostly obliged by the vastly superior so far logistics of the virus

      As an aside – a Chinese reseacher recently discovered viruses in oil in oil wells, not just one or but many and in concentrations ‘400 million per milli-litre »

      To me this is evidence that covid, viruses, should be taken as a very serious wake up call

  14. @Gerard: While I continue to struggle to understand your first three sentences (for which this is hardly the right platform for discussion), regarding Enoch, the Oxford college rowing coach, and meanings of words, I’m reminded of something that Queen Elizabeth II said when thanking her City of London Corporation hosts at a banquest in 1972 to mark the 25th anniversary of her marriage to Prince Philip: “We, and by that I mean both of us…”

    • @Pundit

      What is now The Queens’s English, in history, used to be The King’s English

      Another instance of change – the others instances Enoch and Wittgenstein, referred to were language games, semi serious mocking or exploiting of the notion of stable or common meaning

      The basic point remains valid – the basic premise of The Law, or Justice, is evolving away from one set of principles, Objective Truth, The Reasonable Man, Lack of bias, Equality, towards another, the meaning of which is not yet clear, and is not yet neatly defined

      But – importance of outcome, redressing of equality in favour of equity, disinterest in intention, un objective analysis of liability now predicated on social context not causation (i.e. bias)

  15. It’s important to distinguish the difference between efficacy of preventing disease and preventing transmission.

    From the Guardian (Nov 15): The scientist behind the first potential covid vaccine says he is “very confident” the jab will reduce transmission of the disease *perhaps by 50%* resulting in “dramatic” reduction in cases.

    And it won’t be known until next year!

    The companies hope to deliver more than 300m doses around the world by *April* next year!

    • Pedro, it’s true that not enough vaccine will be available until early spring. Warp Speed has said they are on track to have 700 million doses in the US, of various vaccines, by April. Allowing for slippages, let’s say June instead. Then there is inoculation, which will require several more months at least, so possibly September.

      All of that has been discussed here before, is well known, and is built into the vaccine planning.

      Further, when Sahin and Fauci talk about the transmission rate, they are referring to the doses that will be available for EUA. Those are limited in number and will be dispensed to vulnerable populations. Thus the primary benefit will be reduction in disease, and severity of disease, in those populations. There won’t be a major impact in transmission rates. This is why other precautions will be needed until the vaccine is fully rolled out.

      However as the distribution in the general population increases, reduction in transmission rates will become more apparent. As we approach fuller distribution, there will be a dramatic reduction in transmission rate.

      With regard to vaccine effectiveness, as Gerrard pointed out above, that is a function both of vaccine efficacy and distribution efficiency. We know now that we have efficacy. So the remaining element is distribution efficiency. Extensive planning and investment has gone into that already.

      We can look at the measles vaccine as an example. Efficacy is similar at 94%. Effectiveness has ranged from 85% to 95%, depending on the distribution facilities and the uptake rate in the country’s population.

      Then there is immunity. We know now, natural immunity is 6 to 8 months at least. The developers are saying they expect at least a year for the vaccine. New studies coming out show possibly longer than a year, based on T-cell retention rather than antibody retention.

      Another factor is that vaccines with very high efficacy (measles or rubella) tend to have longer immunity, on the order of years, whereas vaccines with low efficacy (flu) tend to have lower immunity, on the order of months. That analogy is not a guarantee for the COVID vaccine immunity, but it bodes well. It’s at least a positive sign.

      Some point to COVID as being a coronavirus from the same family as the common cold, and vaccine efficacy for that branch is effectively zero. By the analogy above, we would expect (and find) that the immunity is very short-lived. However the high efficacy of the COVID vaccine, would suggest that will not be the case.

      Another viewpoint is that high-efficacy vaccines result for viruses that are one-trick ponies. The vaccine is able to train the body to deny cell entry for that specific virus. Whereas the flu and the common cold have enough variations that a vaccine cannot target a single entry method, so are not efficacious. The body must develop a variety of immune responses, which it can do naturally, but cannot be induced by a vaccine.

      A last observation is that the one-trick pony viruses also tend to have more severe outcomes, because they are binary, either the immune system knocks them down or they really get going and a serious illness results.

      On the other hand, the more varied viruses tend to be less severe, because the immune system is more likely to block at least some of the entry methods. COVID seems to match up as a binary, as many people are mildly or not affected, whereas others have serious illness or death.

      • For the most part I think that is a good rundown.

        Preliminary data says 94% (fairly close) effective in immune response. That is indeed very good.

        Keep in mind, cold and the flu are a long time span well developed human infection. They tend not to be fatal (killing the host) and have a totally different pattern (the Spanish flu was an exception though also a case of WWI and inter world travel allowing it to spread). Interesting China may have escaped its worst as they (this is all iffy data supported as good records did not exist) developed resistance to previous or similar strain.

        Ok, that said, Covd is a species jumper. Like Ebola (not as fatal) its not designed to infiltrate humans and live on (by selection) it has a one entry method that can be (currently) countered.

        The caveat is it could mutate (and has in a minor manner) but if we are fortunate it will have a very short time span and be snuffed and or its not in its DNA set to do so and we get through it.

        All we know right now is the short term situation, and only time will tell us how it plays out (no fun but the reality of our current world).

        I do disagree with the following statement:

        “Those are limited in number and will be dispensed to vulnerable populations. ”

        Yes on the limited number, the rich and powerful will get it first if they want it, then first responders followed by older people. By humanity, the poor communities of color should get it next but won’t, people like me will (and yes I will take it, I can’t change the power structure and no matter who, immunity helps all indirectly and gets it into those communities sooner)

        I fully agree on first responders, they are the glue holding this at bay as best they can and they desperately need all the help they are not getting from the US Government currently.

        You will note that this is supported by the Regen (?) drug that Trump, Christie and one other political figure got on the monoclonal anti body drug on a “Compassionate Use”. That would be for someone whose death would impact their family severely and not the case of those people (good riddance would be my take) .

        So once again, power takes precedent and we can hope there is more than enough for us poor smucks at the lower end.

      • Rob — “…not enough vaccine will be available until early spring…” Continuing these very much off-the-topic exchanges, do you suppose that enough will be available by the middle or even end of next year?
        The world surely needs 20 times that volume of vaccine — two doses for each of 7,000 million living breathing people — and that’s just for a first round of shots, whether or not it/they are effective in countering the virus (and any emerging variant strains). Let us not be taken in too readily by those whose greatest interest is in us believing what they say to be true (in so far as ‘truth’ continues to be a valid consideration in human discourse).

        • Pundit, I was speaking only in relation to the US, as that is the source of my information and my personal concern, for myself and my family.

          Each country has an obligation to look after its own citizens as a first priority. Then beyond this, they have an obligation to participate in worldwide efforts, such as implemented by WHO, to assist those countries that lack the capacity to do this.

          Currently we have a leader who has withdrawn from these efforts, much to the shame and embarrassment of the US. He has channeled that funding into providing assets and resources to other countries, in his own way. While that is a good thing in itself, it diminishes overall the global coordinated effort. But we have a new leader coming in that is committed to the global effort, and will rejoin the WHO and reallocate resources accordingly.

          As things are playing out, each nation that can produce a vaccine, will introduce it in their own populations until COVID is moderated, then will turn that manufacturing capability outward. As more and more vaccines come out of trials and receive approval, they will add to the total production capacity. So this will grow rapidly with time, and the excess capacity will be pushed outwards.

          If the other vaccines also have good results, say 75% efficacy or higher, and also have lower costs, with less restrictive transport and storage needs, those can be prioritized almost immediately to the global effort. The wealthy nations will have no trouble utilizing the more expensive and fragile current vaccines, that are less suited to global distribution.

          So bottom line, I agree with your assessment but also believe this is something the world can achieve by the end of next year, if there is a global cooperative effort. Certainly I don’t know anyone who thinks that COVID only needs to be controlled locally, but not globally. As long as it has a reservoir somewhere, it will be a threat,

        • @ Pundit, Rob, TW, Bryce

          This is encouraging news along the lines of what role the aviation and airlogistics industries can usefully play in vaccine distribution

          The press release is short on details but these, surely, could be uncovered in the days to come UNICEF being perhaps the only major international organisation with long experience of vaccine distribution

          This report lends support to solutions Ed Bastian was requiring in his interview with the FT and corroborates with what Rob has been posting about the WHO’s distribution plans, as well as the encouraging reports about other airlogistics distribution, and the need for global co operation

      • Serious Question: Is there any evidence that the vaccine can prevent people who show no or only very mild symptoms of COVID-19 from spreading the coronavirus?

        • Pedro, the answer is complicated.

          Asymptomatic infections have less viral shedding than symptomatic, but not zero, so they must be considered in the propagation chain. However the transmission risk is less for asymptomatic, and can be contained with protective measures. Which is why those remain important even with a vaccine.

          The primary mechanism of the vaccine to prevent transmission is to prevent infection. The efficacy results tell us the vaccine does reduce symptomatic infections by 95%. Also severe infections by 90%.

          The secondary method is by lessening symptoms and shedding, to make protective measures more effective. This effect is valid for asymptomatic.

          So if we project the 95% symptomatic reduction rates onto asymptomatic infections, together with the lessened impact of asymptomatic, there should be an overall reduction in transmission

          But we don’t actually have data for asymptomatic infections. I thought the trials would do a final test of the enrollees to measure that, perhaps they will at some point. So we cannot say this projection is certain. But it seems a reasonable inference.

          Now let’s consider how transmission might be sustained in the presence of immunity, either natural or acquired. It depends on the initial progression of the disease. If the infection gets established before the body responds, there can be a period of shedding before it is knocked down. That would be the transmission vector.

          If the body shuts it down rapidly, so the virus is not established, that reduces the risk. We don’t have data on this right now either. It would depend on the balance between the immediate T-cell response, which kills infected cells, and the delayed antibody response, which stops cells from becoming infected.

          However if we take the worst case, that transmission is only marginally reduced with the vaccine, then the absence of severity renders it similar to the flu in impact. There will not be waves of hospitalizations or deaths, as we have now. But still a need for protective measures.

          If we take the best case, that it does significantly reduce transmission, then that means we’d have not only reduced impact, but lesser reliance on the protective measures which accomplish the same task.

          Either way, we have to keep monitoring and testing the population, as well as protective measures. My personal view is that, due to the unexpectedly high vaccine efficacy, the outcome will weight more toward the best case than the worst. But we don’t know yet and will have to keep observing.

  16. @ Rob.
    I do not have a strong understanding of the intricacies of the law. That’s why from time-to-time I’ve posted this whole MAX tragedy will be studied in law and business schools for years to come. I also honestly know Boeing is a great company that was hijacked by a group of people that had a different philosophy of how to run a business then what was historically found at the company. Hence, innovation and engineering took a back seat to bonuses and stock price. It is all up from here for Boeing going forward.

    • Sam:

      No one can be everything at the same time, ergo we have governments and representatives to convey the desires of the people.

      Ideally that is what occurs, reality is that money is power and the system gets corrupted like Boeing decades long goal to undermine the FAA (very successfully)

      What we have to do is not let someone define the peoples desire by quoting the law. That is spent folded and mutilated by the power centers for their benefit not ours.

      The long term consequence of that is rebellion per 1776.

      But, the core is, that this is our country, our government, our democracy and not Boeing Management or the FAA in this case.

      We do still have Freedom of Speech and no one can take that away short of a coup and that has not happened yet.

      The enablers do not get to set the terms of discussion.

    • Thanks Sam. I agree Boeing has numerous problems and a long road back to where they once were/should be. There’s certainly a wealth of things to criticize. But that’s also why I look for constructive criticism, I want to see them change and move forward, not backward.

      When the discussion gets focused on past mistakes, or an insistence that they can’t/won’t change, there’s really nowhere for that to go, unless it’s the destruction of the company. I don’t see that as being a good outcome for anyone, it would hurt many people as well as a large community in Washington and elsewhere. So would rather focus on what they need to do to improve. Obviously that’s a large topical area for them right now, no shortage of subject matter.

      As soon as the conversation turns to improvement, there are grounds for agreement instead of disagreement. Plus I feel like there is a wealth of expertise and knowledge here, there’d be a lot to offer in terms of potential solutions.

    • sam – “…Boeing is a great company that was hijacked by a group of people that had a different philosophy of how to run a business…”. I remain surprised not to have seen (or have missed) any reports of analysts/investors/speculators who, having followed the stock closely, saw which way the wind was blowing and blew a whistle. Of course, I suppose the temptation arising from seeing ever-rising share price and/or dividend is to supress honest reservations, take the money, and (perhaps) run – a human-nature tendency that would not have discouraged that “group of people” from yielding to their own temptations. Funny, that.

      • Of course. I bought Boeing at 25. Must have peaked over 400… It was/is one of the mostly widely held stocks in the country. I would guess most people that read these pages own it in ETFs, MFs, or directly. But as an aerospace worker for many years, again like most here, or followers of aerospace, we have direct knowledge of what was taking place at Boeing with Airbus looming on the rise. But as noted above, management spent decades setting in place policies to circumvent good business practices. That, and as you note, human nature, well then it evolved to what we got today.

        • Sam – my point re the way of the wind really related to board of directors’ strategy/philosophy rather than to any aerospace-industry competition developments (as possibly you might perhaps have read it…). I remain surprised, no doubt naively, not to have come across analysts’ reports/investors’ comments calling out management for having “spent decades setting in place policies to circumvent good business practices.” Isn’t 20/20 (and 2020) hindsight wonderful?

  17. AstraZeneca vaccine interim results today, but conflicting.

    1. With two full doses, 62% efficacy.
    2. With one half and one full dose, 90% efficacy.
    3. Overall 70% efficacy.

    They now want to more fully explore the half-dose regimen. Will be interesting to see how that works out. With the method they use, there is risk of immunity to the second dose developing, so the half-dose regimen may avoid or lessen that.

    The huge advantage is that this vaccine is easily transported and stored.

  18. Pundit, another vaccine criticism falling by the wayside today. Americans willing to take the initial vaccine now back up to 60%. Another 25% say they will if no problems are found in the first rollout of the vaccine. About 15% said they have no plans to get vaccinated.

    I suspect the 60% number will grow over time, from the 25% group. In some ways it’s moot, as there wont be enough vaccine initially anyway.

    The 15% may be hard-liners. But as soon as the vaccine is available in large quantities, the pro-vaccine public relations campaign will begin, and should help to grow acceptance.

  19. Gerrard – reading “To argue for prudence and caution in a certification process is not to argue against the product under review […] it is to require that the product is shown to be […] above all correctly cautiously and certainly certified…” — in your comment beginning “The original Max certification was rushed…”, I considered application of the principle to 737 Max re-approval. I hope the many BA cheerleaders among weblog commenters on all things Boeing (here and elsewhere) will recognise the validity of your statement.

    • The IG and other reports did not find “rushing” as a causal factor in the MAX certification problems. The true problems have been well-documented, so the speculative causes offered before the results were known, should be winding down now.

  20. Gerrard – re your November 22 comment (above) — “…Pundit Please moderate your language…” — in turn, please identify the “language” to which you refer so that (as is said in aerospace) I may “simplicate, and add more lightness.” Thank you very much.

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