The General Aviation Thread


Here’s more about that meeting in November about pilots angry about being kept in the dark about MCAS.

The NYT has a chart that shows the similarities in climb/descend of both Lion Air and Ethiopia Air. They’re mirror-images.


Is it confirmed yet that the crashes are due to the MCAS stuff? At least the first one? I mean it sure seems highly likely, but has any sort of confirmation come out?


The final report hasn’t been issued for Lion Air, but the fact that Boeing began a redesign of the software/manuals/training regarding MCAS after the crash indicates that there’s an issue. Especially as even American pilots complained they were not informed about how to disable MCAS prior to the Lion Air crash.


Thanks. That’s pretty much where I thought things were, at least before the newest crash.


What happens to Boeing if it is the fault of build or software? I’ve always wondered how aircraft manufacturers prevent going bankrupt from lawsuits.


I’m sure they have insurance that covers liability lawsuits and settlements.


Yep, most likely self-insured up to a certain amount with excess liability insurance above that.


I guess they’re going to miss out on the ‘no claim bonus’ next year.


In a thread someone was talking about how Boeing used to be known for over-engineering for safety, and one of the videos they posted showing it was this incredible 787-9 demonstration


Boeing is fucked, and deservedly so. The Seattle Times was working on a story on MCAS after Lion Air, and they sent questions to Boeing and the FAA the week before Ethiopia Air crashed.

Boeing engineers deemed an MCAS failure at just below catastrophic. The system relies on a single sensor. The pilots weren’t told about how to disable it. And Boeing told the FAA that MCAS would limit the horizontal stabilizer to 0.6-degrees of movement (out of a maximum of 5 degrees), but ended up increasing it to 2.5-degrees without informing the FAA. The FAA only found out about the increase after Lion Air crashed.

Here’s the kicker. If the pilots temporarily disabled MCAS, it would reactivate and increase the movement on the stabilizer up to another 2.5-degrees. So the dive gets steeper and steeper each time it kicks back in.


The real question is: who at Boeing was responsible for all of these decisions? My guess is some flavor of executive. The other real question is: who will suffer any real consequences for these decisions which have cost hundreds of lives? My guess is: nobody who should.


I don’t know why you expect these poor executives to know anything about airplanes. They’re hired to to run a business for chrissake! Talk about inflated expectations.


I want the people involved in those oversights and terrible decisions jailed. This time coropration are no longer totally shielded of their gross negligent behavior. Not the engineers, but the executives and managers who failed to do their job.


So, NPR is reporting that FAA, due to underfunding, is tasked with delegating a lot of inspections to the private company, instead of doing it themselves.

I guess this is a win for small government?


It’s even worse than that, as illustrated in the excellent Seattle Times article Woolen_Horde linked. They are not just delegating it to private companies, but to the actual manufactuers who are then tasked with partially certifying their own products. Not conflict of interest there.



That was great! I truly did LOL!


Some recent fallout:

—Transport Canada and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency have announced that they will no longer rely on FAA certifications for aircraft, but will conduct their own certification processes.

— The DOT has launched an investigation into Boeing and the FAA regarding their certification process.

—The DOJ has followed suit and launched a criminal probe about Boeing. I think that this might be unprecedented.

So that leaves me wondering if foreign entities will accept any fix actions from Boeing regarding the MAX, or if they’ll want to re-certify the aircraft entirely/have their own agencies bypass the US certification to examine any changes before allowing it to fly. Could be costly.


So my colleague’s husband the 737 Max pilot? He was recently told to go fly one of them back from the US to Canada to its home base. He had to get all kinds of permits and approvals etc. When he got back the company sent him a letter thanking him for volunteering to do so :).


Yeah, the FAA allowed those kinds of flights. They couldn’t have any passengers, and there was probably a shit-ton of paperwork.

He’s probably fine as long as he knows how to permanently disable MCAS. I heard on the news this morning that the cockpit records indicate the Ethiopian pilots were scrambling through the manual.