Pontifications will return July 18

Scott Hamilton is taking some time off. Pontifications will return July 18.

71 Comments on “Pontifications will return July 18

  1. Have a nice break! Time for some (non aero) literature & white wine!

  2. It’s important to rest well to come back inspired.
    Have a nice break…

  3. Out of respect to and for Scott I am going to tread cautiously here, I am not trying to start any argument. This was interesting from Air Astana and the thinking going into larger aircraft.


    Of particular note was “we can fly into a destination and price it accordingly”.
    The clear intent was price it the way a regional would cost and do it with an A320 vs their current small fleet (5) of E-190-E2.

    Having seen some 200 mile hops with 737/A320 it confirms my thinking its all about averages. Delta seems big enough that it can run the A220 fleet but a smaller operation you can see it as a cost factor that the economics are a lot better for an E-190 type but the overall cost to maintain a sub fleet offsets that (pilots, training, maint).

    sub note: I am assuming Scott left this open for other comments, if not it can be closed or a note from Leeham to that affect will be more than enough for me to cease.

    • And hopping this does not get into any realm other than simply enjoying seeing new aircraft built, not commercial in this case but the T-7A has a big impact on Boeing going forward with its digital model and its good to see the first pre-production aircraft flying


      I don’t know what if any actions others have taken in regards to smaller stature people for ejection. Its a tough area to deal in.

      I am not staking anything other than a new aircraft and flying and no idea if its enough improvement over other options to make it worth it or if others would have the same issues meeting the current build specs.

      Canopy removal system would seem to be well trod territory and I am always curious about the tech issue and why that is an issue on the T-7A.

      • This is an interesting lesson in economics and again, no intent to enter into a debate other than its a good example of the shift in marketing decisions going on.


        Its not that companies are leaving China in droves, its that they are building outside of China to diversify exposure.

        It makes for a major change in investing in stable areas and avoiding those that have potential future conflicts (and clearly any area can get caught up in it).

        One I follow closely is Ural Motorcycles and their move into Kazakhstan. Ural is about as small dime as it gets and I suspect its been looking at that for some time (or at least plans made). The owner or head of Ural is a Russian national though he now lives in Washington State (as is where the HQ is located).

        Covid may well have played its role in how business looks at things with the supply shortages and various economic impacts such as the Evergiven Grounding in the Suez Canal.

        What and where is desirable from many angles of economics. Something I try to keep in mind, things tend to circle back on themselves and economics and business policy is not exempt.

        As has been discussed, Spirit has had its issues and longer term Boeing (and Airbus) has to be looking at all of it, supply sources and if you can’t have duplicate production (airplanes are a tough go for that) then you have to ensure your suppliers are ok.

        As someone else noted (Av Week I believe) if you have 95% of your aircraft its just a total drag with 5% missing and even that can be wrong for a widget in a critical area that takes a long time to gear up for.

        I have followed the Titanic Submersible as well as some down the rabbit hole aspects and that the Caladan Oceanics submersible (the round bell part for people) was forged in Wisconsin I believe them and then machine in California.

        I did not know we had that kind of Titanium forging capability and surprised we have the machining for it as well. Probably due to the defense industry.

        • And, on a related note:

          “Navy set to lose out on jets due to row with Boeing:
          Dispute over data rights has bogged down contract negotiations for Super Hornets.”

          “Boeing and the Navy aren’t getting along, and it’s costing the military essential jets needed to phase out aging aircraft and be prepared for potential conflict with China.”

          “But the Navy did negotiate data rights with Boeing for the Super Hornet in 2019, and in the service’s view, the company is not honoring that contract, according to a person familiar with the Navy’s thinking who was granted anonymity to discuss ongoing contract negotiations.

          “Instead, Boeing is citing a carveout in the contract that does not require the company to provide data rights that fall under a certain category, the person said.”



          Not a good idea to p#ss off Uncle Sugar when he’s putting bread on your platter…

        • Yeah I know mother Airbus never has any issues and its all blue skies for them *cough* a400m. While I wished they would have gotten things correct the first time through it is a development program and well thats why you test. The seat is designed by Collins and obviously it didn’t perform as expected but really some of that is to be expected since to quote this article – https://www.airandspaceforces.com/new-t-7-trainer-wont-start-production-2-more-years/
          “The T-7 is the first USAF aircraft to be designed from the outset to accommodate pilots in a wide variety of physical sizes. Ejection systems on previous trainers and fighter aircraft could accommodate only a narrow range of physiques and excluded too many potential student pilots, particularly small women.” Being first sometimes can be more difficult and with ejection seats its more of an art than science. While they have been over budget I think they are done pretty well with this project and hopefully will continue to get better…but I know all things Boeing cloud your judgement.

          • My comment was purely directed at the fact that — at a time when BA is on its knees and in desperate need of revenue — it has yet another (cash eating and reputation eroding) problem child among its programs.

            If you want to ignore finances and instead see the whole thing as some sort of team sport, then by all means go ahead.

          • Tom:

            I care little about Airbus or Boeing – but from the purely military viewpoint the issue that needs to be addressed is in your words == The T7 is the first USAF aircraft to be designed etc etc ===. And that is the problem since other major air-forces have for many decades combined restrictions on the maximum and minimum physical sizes of pilots designated for ejection seat equipped aircraft while at the same time ensuring that their seats then fit all that fall within those dimensions.

            An unkind pilot (of a non-US service) once said to me in a mess dinner that the US problem was that its ejection seat providers were required to satisfy above all ex-West Point football team officers who were assigned to fighters! Almost certainly untrue but it would confirm that with restricted weight range in some US seats that would disqualify a substantial number of lighter prospective pilots. A pity since war experience has shown that pilot size has nothing to do with capability!

          • David H:

            No question size is not a driver. My dad was as skinny and so short he even stood out in a WWII photo. I knew anything would have to go through him and over his dead body to get to his family.

            My uncle was in the Paratroops as was one acquaintance, both mild mannered school teachers. Men amongst brave men. An Uncle in law was the same (one friend was a Giant and served equally as well).

            On a side note, I had hoped the tone would elevate certain replies and sadly I was mistaken.

            Bryce: You are welcome for the sacrifice those who did and those I knew who served in the European Theater made and risked, most were volunteers by the way. They did not have to, they felt it was the right thing and volunteered for the worst job, combat infantry no matter what the outfit. Most came home with wounds, one very close to lethal fighting in your area.

          • TW: You’re welcome for the (opportunistic) boom in the US economy which both world wars produced.

            Absolutely no need to discuss ancient family history — we’re talking now about aviation matters in 2023.

  4. On the Boeing-Navy F-18 dispute, it’s notable that the Navy doesn’t want the aircraft, they were ordered by Congress. Also, it’s the last of the Super Hornets, so the Navy wants all the proprietary data for them, but doesn’t want to spend any more on them than they are already forced to do.

    They will work it out, as they always do. Congress is worried about Lockheed being the sole US fighter vendor, so they are looking for ways to keep the Boeing lines open.

    As always, context is important.

    • As always, bad PR is important.

      Particularly when it comes in the form of an incessant stream.

    • Honestly I feel it makes sense to prioritize Boeing to keep a dual source fighter capability, strategically.

      More over I could understand if there was some pressure to strive for dual source in civilian aircraft production too.

      Boeing could misbehave 2010-2018 because they noticed they were to big to fail, could get away with anything.

      So they started doing buy backs, bullying FAA, bypassing certification requirements, pushing out investment, trying to kill Bombardier, misinforming the public, suing Airbus, threatening unions, paying record bonusses, etc. while in big debts.

      Having healthy competition from e.g. a NG/Spirit/Collins consortium building a super efficient, quiet 150 seater wouldn’t hurt.

      • -> Loiselle argued that investing in Service Life Modification upgrades for aircraft already in service provides the capability and flight hours the Navy needs, noting the service can pay for three upgrades for the same amount of money it would cost to buy one new fighter. If the Navy does need more Super Hornets in the future, Loiselle said he can add more aircraft into the SLM update program. The number of aircraft is not the highest priority for the Navy, which is more concerned with readiness and lethality, he said.

        Loiselle was expanding on comments made by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, who on Monday *criticized defense lobbyists for pushing Congress to purchase Navy platforms that the service does not want to buy*.


  5. On the Boeing T-7a, its notable that Boeing did not select the ACES-5 ejection seat, the USAF ran a separate competition for that, which Collins won. The specifications for that seat are broader than any previous seat, and further it has to work in several airframes besides the T-7.

    In sled testing of the ACES-5 last year, prior to integration with the T-7, the tests did not include all the cases of body height and weight now required by USAF for certification. Further it was found that the T-7 canopy det cord was too close to the pilot’s head, for the tallest pilots.

    Since then, the seat has been fully sled tested, and the canopy design altered to change the position of the det cord to eliminate the hazard.

    This is part of certifying a new ejection seat, with the broadest ever requirement for body weight and size. The T-7 is the first to get the seat, so has been the test platform. But the USAF intends to use it across the platforms, except for the F-35 which already has a dedicated seat that meets the requirements.

    Again, context is important.

    • Again, delays are important.
      Particulatly when multiple programs are concurrently delayed, as a result of a variety of ongoing issues.

      Always a hallmark of the BA Back Office to try to shift the blame onto someone else 🙈

  6. “British Coroner Says Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX Crash Passengers Were Unlawfully Killed”

    “A UK coroner has ruled that three British victims of the Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia were unlawfully killed. The coroner noted the failure of the plane’s MCAS system, along with Boeing’s failure to properly disclose the system to relevant authorities or in flight manuals.”

    “This finding will automatically bring the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the UK’s principal prosecution authority. Boeing was granted immunity from prosecution after striking a deal with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2021 in exchange for a $2.5 billion fine – while Boeing is outside the UK’s jurisdiction for criminal prosecution, a CPS ruling could still have a major impact on decisions made by judicial bodies elsewhere.”

    “Boeing’s immunity from prosecution will be challenged in Louisiana later this month, and this will be the first of many cases against the planemaker. A US judge is expected to set a November trial date for families pursuing damages against Boeing – according to 7News, there are so many families suing the company that courts will have to hold multiple trials by separating the families into groups of four to six.”

    “In May, US Federal Judge Jorge Alonso rejected Boeing’s claim that it shouldn’t have to pay compensation for the victims’ pain and suffering. Arguing against Boeing’s belief that the victims did not suffer as they “died upon impact,” Alonso said the evidence shows passengers “perceived that they were going to crash, horrifically, to their certain death.””


    • @Byrce
      You’ll be pleased to know The Riyadh787 order was finalized last month..
      Plenty of links ,to provide your answer..
      Sorry to disappoint you!!

      • Oh, that’s wonderful news — though not particularly clear what it has to do with the Coroner’s Inquest in the UK… 😏

        Just in time for the order deposits to partially offset cash burn in Q2…though nowhere near enough for that purpose.

        Ah well.

    • There will always be some officials who sympathize with the MAX accident families claims of criminality. But as of yet, no court or judicial office has sustained that view under the law. There’s just no evidence of it.

      Even the one Texas judge who agreed, had to back down in his final ruling, or risk being in violation of the law, and being overturned.

      As far as the civil claims, those will play out in court or though settlement, as is standard practice. If the families claim pain and suffering, that will have to be demonstrated with evidence in court. The judge’s ruling was only that the claims could be raised at trial.

      Lastly the immunity challenges being raised in Louisiana, may be a misunderstanding. There are no such cases that I could find in the federal court docket in Louisiana, nor any reporting of them.

      • Also for the record, as of June 30th, the ET302 cases had been reduced from 157 to 68, through settlement. Another group will settle together in the coming months.

        The cases that will assuredly go to trial, are the 6 that are claiming pain and suffering.

        The judge praised both sides for cooperation in resolving cases. He asked that the schedule be filed by tomorrow. But of course settlement can occur at any time.

        As of April 30th, Boeing had settled 187 of the 189 JT610 cases. I’ve not found any further updates, but it’s unlikely those would go to trial.


        • Always amusing to see Rob’s efforts at damage control 🙂
          Fascinating that he continues to present opinion as fact (or, more accurately: blind hope as reality).

          Back in the real world: very bad day for BA when a coroner in another G7 country rules that BA is guilty of unlawful killing, gross negligence and manslaughter. And not just any G7 country: it’s a G7 country with a sophisticated judiciary and well-developed case law.
          Next up: various so-called “harmonization treaties” here in Europe mean that this ruling will likely be adopted by other European countries whose citizens were killed in the MAX crashes.

          As the Simple Flying article clearly explains, there’s lots of litigation action coming up in the US — including a federal ruling as to whether the sweatheart DPA should be binned. One can be sure that the plaintiffs will point out the details of yesterday’s coroner ruling in the UK.

        • “There are no such cases that I could find in the federal court docket in Louisiana, nor any reporting of them.”

          You need to do better research, Robbie.

          In February, the crash families appealed Judge O’Connor’s decision not to bin the DPA, and the matter is now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (in Louisiana).

          “U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled he did not have legal authority to grant the relatives’ requests despite what he called “Boeing’s egregious criminal conduct.””

          “The families now come to this court to see that justice is done,” they said in a filing with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing the Justice Department “misled the families as to whether a criminal investigation existed and then secretly cut a deferred prosecution deal without informing the families at all.”

          So, can you find the link from which I’m citing? 😉

          • If this is really only an appeal, that’s not a new case nor an immunity challenge. It’s just a review of the law that the Texas judge upheld in his ruling. It likely will go nowhere, as the judge overrode his own opinion in that case, to avoid being overturned on appeal.

            I’m surprised the family attorneys would pursue an appeal, but it is their right.

            Again I would point to the fact that there is no evidence of criminality, as established by the DoJ and by the Texas court.

            As far as a coroner’s finding, that also carries no legal weight, as the coroner is neither investigator nor a member of the judiciary. It will force the matter to be considered by the UK court, which I presume was the goal, but it’s likely to be rejected.

            As I mentioned, there will always be officials sympathetic to the families, but that doesn’t mean there is any evidence or substance.

          • As far as the court docket, I admittedly was looking in the wrong place, believing that the Simple Flying references were new or untried cases. That would make no sense, as the case was already tried and adjudicated.

            The appellate court is a different docket. It didn’t occur to me that there would be an appeal, as there are no grounds to do so, from the original case.

          • Wrong again, Robbie.
            The Texas judge didn’t “uphold a law” in his ruling: he merely ruled that his court didn’t have authority to rule on that particular question, thus opening an avenue for the plaintiffs to seek a ruling from a different (appellate) court. A refusal to rule on a motion is an appealable action.

            Perhaps you should stick to engineering, and leave legal (and financial) matters to others? You demonstrated before that you haven’t got a clue how patent law works — and you’re showing similar shortcomings now with regard to criminal law (both in the US and outside it).

            Once again: there is no avenue to appeal a UK coroner’s ruling.
            The coroner determines the facts of the case, and rules as to the cause of death – the matter is then passed to the CPS for a sentencing ruling. It’s a standard bifurcation. Even in the US, it’s common to first hold a culpability/liability trial, and then hold a separate sentencing hearing.

            The subject seems to agitate you.
            It must be difficult for you to learn that a gremlin that you had believed to be buried, is actually very much alive and kicking…

          • No, Bryce, these are either inept misconstruances, or more likely given your long history here, willful misrepresentations.

            The Texas court correctly ruled that a judge does not have the authority to overturn the Boeing DPA, in the absence of evidence of misconduct or unlawfulness. That is the basic principle of law that he rightfully upheld.

            The families had the opportunity to air their grievances in open court, but they did not present evidence of wrongdoing in the establishment of the DPA. That left the judge no choice but to reject the motion.

            The appellate court will address whether the Texas judge acted within the framework of the law, in adjudicating the case. Given that there is still no evidence against the DPA, that outcome is pretty certain.

            With regard to a coroner, they have authority to determine the manner and circumstances of death, which can be the starting point of an investigation, if the death is considered unlawful.

            In this case, the investigations are complete and the evidence is already at hand. There has been no assertion of criminality by any of the investigating agencies, with the sole exception of the fraud charge against Boeing and their two employees, by the DoJ. That was the basis of the DPA, which has been upheld by the court, and soon will be upheld on appeal.

            For the coroner’s ruling to
            be advanced by the UK court, there would need to be evidence of criminality. It’s possible they could latch onto the fraud charge, but they have no jurisdiction to prosecute Boeing. And there is no other evidence, as established by the DoJ and the US Courts.

            That is the simple reality of the present situation. The families have civil recourse against Boeing, which they have pursued. Under the civil standard, Boeing need only have contributed to the accidents, which they clearly did. The criminal standard is much higher, Boeing wouid need to have shown either intent to harm, or willful and reckless disregard for harm.

            Given that crew contributions were essential to the accidents, as established by FAA, NTSB, and BEA, there is no evidence for either criminal standard, under the law. Nor has there ever been.

          • Yes, Rob, we already know about your reading challenges — especially when the material in question doesn’t suit your narrative 😉

            It’s hilarious to see you lecture us on legal matters! Let’s see:
            – You didn’t even know that the US appeal existed — until I told you.
            – You didn’t know where to look for the docket — until I told you.
            – You didn’t (and still don’t) understand the referral mechanism — despite it being explained to you.

            Just because you’re still trying to hide behind the jaded pilot blaming narrative doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is — as evidenced by the UK Coroner’s Inquest ruling, and also by Judge O’Conner’s ruling that the crash casualties were “victims of a crime”. You keep forgetting, for example, that BA has explicitly and formally declared that the pilots are blameless; just because you don’t attach any weight to that doesn’t mean that the judiciary doesn’t.

            More hilarity:
            “…they have no jurisdiction to prosecute Boeing…”
            Any entity with a place of business in the UK is subject to UK law, UK prosecution, and damages claims by aggrieved parties. Do you need me to provide you with a list of BA offices in the UK?
            Come on, Robbie: this is basic law 1.01…

            Sleepless nights ahead…

          • Bryce, you again have failed to answer the facts I gave, and have instead engaged in a personal attack. Both of which are typical of your commentary here.

            Therefore I will presume as always, that you have no truthful or factual response to make.

            We will see if the appellate court overturns the Texas ruling on the DPA. I predict you will be wrong about that, as always.

            We will see if the UK coroner is able to overturn all of the authoritative investigative & legal results presented thus far. I predict you will be wrong about that, as always.

            The FAA, NTSB, and BEA have endorsed the role of the crews in the accidents, and provided supporting evidence. You were wrong about that, as always.

            The Boeing agreement to consolidate the Ethiopian Airlines lawsuits with its own, in US courts, under a common trial and insurer, is a normal outcome for shared liability. You were wrong about that, as always.

            In the interests of brevity, I’ll omit the many other issues regarding the 737 MAX, where you also have been proven wrong. But the list grows steadily longer, with each new comment you make.

            It now borders on the comedic, or perhaps the hysterical. But will be familiar to other commenters here who have similarly pointed out your false representations.

          • Robbie, it’s 3 am there in California — you should be sleeping 🙈

            “…you again have failed to answer the facts I gave…”

            You haven’t given any “facts” — you’ve only presented fantasies which you’ve tried to elevate to the status of facts as part of your desperate damage control narrative.

            Same old MO every time, Robbie 😏

          • ET302 court docket shows 3 more cases settled thus far in July. Remaining cases now at 65.

            Also for JT610, court docket shows Boeing filed a motion for bench trial of the 2 remaining cases, on the basis of inability to settle. Plaintiffs have moved for a rule exception, to have a jury trial instead. Motions now pending before the court.

          • With regard to the UK coroner declaration of unlawful killing, that is only a civil standard, not a criminal standard.

            Thus as I explained, the unlawful killing verdict must be reported, but needn’t result in a criminal investigation. Prosecutors need only make a determination that the criminal standard is not met.

            “The Supreme Court clarified that the standard of proof for suicide and unlawful killing in an inquest is the civil standard of the balance of probabilities and not the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

            The decision of the Supreme Court means that the ordinary expectation that a prosecution should follow a verdict of unlawful killing no longer applies.

            This is because an unlawful killing verdict can now be reached on the balance of probabilities. However, where a decision is taken not to proceed with a prosecution following a verdict of an unlawful killing prosecutors should continue to provide a clear explanation for that decision.”


            Further with regard to the jurisdiction issue, the Simple Flying article, as well as the BBC, acknowledge that the UK does not have criminal jurisdiction in this case.

          • Robbie, you’re just embarrassing yourself every time you post on this subject.

            You’re now conflating US and UK law, in an increasing show of confusion and despair.

            You’re also misrepresenting the range of application of the various legal standards of proof.

            From your link:
            “The conclusion of unlawful killing is restricted to the *criminal* offences of murder, manslaughter (including corporate manslaughter), and infanticide.”

            Get some sleep for yourself 🙈

          • @Bryce, you’ve been suspended before. You’ve gone way overboard with your reply to @Rob. One more and you’re banned.


          • Bryce, you truly are a piece of work. I don’t believe you could truthfully represent an issue to save your soul.

            But I’m glad you made this quote, because it brilliantly illustrates how you search for a phrase in an Internet link, and then willfully present it completely out of context, in order to misrepresent the issue and misinform the reader.

            In the paragraph immediately following your quote, is my quote, along with an explanation that a 2020 case clarified that the standard for unlawful killing is civil, and not criminal. Not only that, but this was already cited above.

            So either you are a complete idiot, or you are intentionally distorting the truth. Given the thousands of similar examples you have provided here over the years, there can be no doubt as to which it is.

          • @Rob, you have gone way, way overboard with this reply to @Bryce. One more and you’re done.


          • Scott, I’ll voluntarily withdraw, as before. The reality is that Bryce is never going to stop, and you are never going to stop him.

            The issue is not just with me, he is in conflict with every person here who tries to have a reasoned discussion, or expresses any positive statements whatsoever about Boeing.

            I stepped out for a period of years, but nothing changed in that time. So I am clearly not the root, or the source. But I have stood up to his misrepresentations of the facts, and identified them as such. I neither regret that nor consider it improper.

            Further his method is not one of simple difference of opinion, or advocacy. There is certainly plenty of that here between commenters, without evoking the behavior he exhibits. He is in a league of his own, in that regard.

            Even for Frank, with whom I universally disagree, I have never witnessed a willful distortion of the facts, in the manner that Bryce employs. Frank simply has a viewpoint that is diametrically opposed to mine.

            It’s difficult to conclude that Bryce’s purpose here is anything but to disrupt whatever he disagrees with, including special attention to issues regarding Boeing. That is not a legitimate form of discussion or argument, and never has been.

            But if that is what you want here, then you have that right, it’s your forum. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bryce will be right back in the groove again, as soon as I am gone.

          • Ron, you must have missed my warning to Bryce that he will be banned with one more infraction.

            I don’t/can’t monitor 24/7 and I’ve been out of the country the last three weeks. The proper action with a complaint is to email me directly to bring the infractions to my attention. It’s not to engage in the gutter with the other guy.


          • @Scott
            Most unfortunate that you’ve had to intervene in this manner during your travels.

            Enjoy the rest of your break.

  7. Interesting tidbit in today’s BA delivery/order figures.

    There were 16 cancellations (8 times more than over at AB — continuing a monthly trend), BUT:

    “Cancellations involved 777X for Emirates that were rebooked as sales last month after the original contracts were renegotiated, Boeing said.”

    In other words: Emirates has used its right to cancel without penalty, and has deployed it to get a better price on earlier orders. It may have gotten wind of the pricing offered to Air India, and decided that it wanted some of the same cake.


    Looks like the BA sales team may need a refresher course on the contractual concept of “most favored nations”…

  8. You do know they had cancellation rights without penalties from the onset for all the 777X orders .. Maybe they got wind from your “Reliable” sources team !!! The ones who insist every Boeing order is tainted with Mega-Discounts…Yeah .that team!!
    Way to rehash old news !!!

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