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Boeing delayed fix of defective 737 MAX warning light for three years

Boeing Co learned that a cockpit warning light on its 737 MAX jetliner was defective in 2017 but decided to defer fixing it until 2020, U.S. lawmakers said on Friday. ( Altro...

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sharon bias 16
The saddest part of this whole mess is that there were highly trained pilots who could have probably prevented the crashes "if" they had received adequate training. Boeing trying to skirt a potential requirement for additional hands on training is the real crime here

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Matt Kladder 21
I believe you can say Boeing is responsible and here is why.

Yes, the airlines pressured manufacturers to create an aircraft that could be flown with the same type rating, to save money on training costs. Boeing then sold them aircraft that could be flown with the same type rating, but in the process of doing so they withheld information from them to ensure that the training requirement would be minimal.

If Boeing said "this is the same type rating, but you need to make sure you train this, this and this..." and the airlines chose not to, then we'd be having a different discussion, but that wasn't the case.

I will agree with you when you said "the feds have to sign off on everything" they got into Boeing's back pocket and failed to provide oversight. The FAA failed to do it's job.
Cansojr 6
Please stay silent Bob.
Cansojr 13
If it took Boeing 3 years to reveal serious problems with the auto pilot and air data computer. How long is it going to take customers to receive their "safe" 737s. How long will airlines put up with Boeing's antics.

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Falconus 26
We know from Boeing's own admission that the planes had serious design flaws. I'm sorry, but modern airliners should not be crashing after less than 6 months in the air due to a combination of a failure of a single non-redundant sensor, inappropriate software, and a lack of transparency on the part of the manufacturer about systems on board the aircraft.

I've been a Boeing fan, but the fact is that they screwed up bad this time.
Jeffrey Bue 3
Yes they did... so did the FAA.
rapidwolve 6
T took 2 different crashes to see how Boeing dropped the ball, not just with other countries, but its ow too. Mind telling me about "how poorly AC sere maintained by the operators" WTH has the Ethiopian crash got to do with maintenance? How can you train pilots properly if material, AND safety systems are missing??
1 more question to ask yourself. Boeing stated "in a legal document that the larger, upgraded 737MAX “cannot be used at what are referred to as ‘high/hot’ airports." Then WTH did Boeing sell to Ethiopian the MAX 8???
When the lawmakers (now involved) get enough lobby dollars, from the manufacture, the issues will fly away. How did the plane pass federal muster? A lot of grease no doubt.
Jim Welch 3
It’s going to be a hell of a long time before I can trust anything Boeing is manufacturing now.
Between the constant internal FOD situations, and wing spar defects just released to the public, I’ve lost my faith in their current manufacturing practices.
This whole thing smells like the Takata air bag coverup, and that ain’t good for Boeing’s reputation or stock value.
john Gargiulo 3
Corporate greed, the CEO, COO and Board of directors should all face criminal prosecution. We can not tolerate this these kinds of mis management in our world today.
cowboybob 4
Damage Control on ALL sides my friends. Don't get blinded by the red-rage in your eyes at any party in this fiasco. Point in fact....SFO crash, perfectly good airplane...lousy crew interaction combined with a lack of intimate knowledge of the autopilot functions (which are way too complicated in moments of crisis). Airbus into the Atlantic....lousy crew interaction combined with some funky logic in the ADS with it iced up if I recall...which confounded the crew to the point they flew a perfectly good airplane in a well controlled stall some 30000 feet(not certain on their cruise alt) into the ocean.

My point in all this is:
-Airlines want cheaper airplanes that are "easier" to fly. Ostensibly requiring less training. Throw beginning pilots in a simulator for a few hundred hours....good to go...bad idea in case the sarcasm didn't come through.
-Aircraft builders want to sell them these airplanes and seem bound and determined to put every available technology they can think of in them while increasing automation as a reliability and safety factor...even when/if it doesn't make sense. AOA was never meant to be a primary flight instrument...and is Not required to fly an airplane. So there are options to disable things when other things go wrong...and oh by the way, many things that you might think come with every aircraft sold are options...hard to believe...but true...AOA being one in many aircraft. Much of the aircraft design is accomplished by builders talking with operators to see what they it's a 2-way street on a lot of these things. So a point here is that operators have a substantial amount of control over how to configure their aircraft and operate them.
-Many airlines around the world are government owned. I won't get into all the headaches surrounding that "business" model with the exception of protecting their bureaucracy by immediately jumping into the fray and blaming the manufacturer before they could even have the flight data to try and take the heat off their operators....Politics is the third and most unsavory leg of this infernal triangle.

What all should be examining is the continuing automation dependence problem identified as a no-kidding real issue over 20 years ago at American Airlines in particular. Watch videos by Warren Vanderburgh, AA's chief pilot back in the 90's...I'd guess there are others out there but he is the most well known in my world. In my view, there are still major issues with "pilots" forgetting (or worse not really knowing) to fly the damn airplane. As far as I know, every FBW aircraft has a direct mode feature which allows the pilot to cut the flight computer out of the loop and takes the control inputs directly to the appropriate location with the bare minimum of computer logic. This allows the pilot to fly the aircraft sans a bunch of confounding information. Mr. Vanderburgh has a line I love most in one of his videos, it goes something like, "What's the most often heard phrase in the cockpit when the autopilot does something? 'What's it doing now?' " He then instructs his pilots to "click-click-click, I've got the aircraft"...that means turn OFF the automation, fly the airplane, THEN you have time to figure out what is going on.

It's funny to me that Southwest and American were perfectly happy to keep their Max's flying...they must be confident that they and their pilots understand the issue and think it's perfectly safe to keep flying while things are improved. And don't kid yourself folks, this goes on all the time. Every fleet out there has known issues that are continually getting fixed or upgraded.

Boeing will fix everything related to this on these airplanes, but just wait...similar things will happen again and the media/intelligentsia/internet blog experts will go full-goose bozo...once again missing the real point.

Group think is dangerous...think critically. Over and Out.
Rico van Dijk 1
AoA might not be a requirement, but a stall warning sysyem is, and on a 737, that system is the AoA system connected to the stick shaker, making it a requirement on all Boeing 737 aircraft. however the ‘option’ is to have an actual display in the cockpit. We don’t have that option, yet we can still see its information from the FPV and the pitch PLI.
Pete Schecter 2
A lot of very intelligient, smart people consciuously made a decision based on short term profits versus a long term stable and safe airframe with redundant systems. They wagered, and lost and now we all lose also. Hopefullyleaders will once again lead and reverse this trend.
Andrew Bunker 1
At the end of the day will the paying customer be happy to fly in the MAX or will they head to other aircraft?
Thomas Clark 1
I have to agree with "cowboy bob" This guy has been around the block more than just a time or two. comments here are full of statements from the "Hanging around the end of the runways bunch". I worked in the aviation world for almost fifty years, most as a airline A&P mechanic, I would like to add that the airlines and the FAA are bed buddies. It is no coincidence that almost 100 or so Max 8/9"s, flown by American, Southwest And United have not had problems like these two overseas outfits have. I do not know about overseas pilot training and expertise. But I have seen some of the heavy maintenance, these so called off shore maintenance outfits that is preforming maintenance to this day, overseas. It's a dam shame. "This Ole Fart X Mechanic"
rapidwolve 5
I must say that I myself resent your "Hanging around the end of the runways bunch" remark. Just because you worked as a mechanic, makes your opinion no better than many others here. Again comparing US airlines and making it seem the aircraft was perfect for them. It was and is not. Pilots from AA and Southwest complained about issues with the craft, but worked through them. Their craft do not fly into high altitude airports such as Bole International, or hot sandy airports such as Jakarta. When the craft were "grounded", by the FAA, and more "news" came from Boeing about the craft, pilots of these, and other airlines, were furious. Safety features left out as an "option", manuals ill fitted with no information on the new systems and less information than previous manuals, yet the same flight controls, some idiot at Boeing and their idea to use 1 sensor to tell the aircraft what to do. I could go on.
Steve Cutchen 3
"It is no coincidence that almost 100 or so Max 8/9"s, flown by American, Southwest And United have not had problems like these two overseas outfits have."

Your premise is flawed. What you need to compare is not all MAX flights, but all of the MAX flights that had AoA sensor failures at takeoff with the failed sensor being the one that MCAS was looking at. I'll bet a Dr Pepper that two crashes is within 1oo1000, probably 1oo100, which is quite unacceptable for a flaw that causes LOA.
Allan Main 1
An old saying that requires repeating.

"Human Error is never the cause"

It may well be lack of training, financial pressure, customer pressure, and the list goes on but if the holes in cheese had not been able to line up then there would have been no human error to commit.
Steve Cutchen 2
Yup. People generally do what makes sense at the time unless they are purposely violating. The key in investigation is to determine why. And the answer is not based on outcome bias as the cause or hindsight bias to assign blame, but making the job easy to do right and hard to do wrong.
Stefan Sobol 1
Aircraft manufacturers have to build the planes customers will buy. There are lots of discussions with potential purchasers about the aircraft design and operations before the manufacturing process begins. Aircraft manufacturers who build planes using their own ideas about what makes a great plane usually don't stay in business that long.

For example, BAe and Lockheed used to make great planes. Where are they now?

"Build it and they will come" doesn't usually work with transport category airplanes.
rapidwolve 2
Both Lockheed and BAE Systems knew when and where to draw a both are multi billion dollar aircraft parts and manufactures Look at Lockheed now... C-130, SR-71, C-5M F-22 Raptor, F-35
And to be honest, the L-1011 was a good craft, just late to market.
cowboybob -9
uhhhhh, they weren't all "highly trained". Maybe in someone's mind/theory, but a 2nd in command with less than a 500 hrs total and about 50 hrs in-type(think that's about right)...hardly a grizzled veteran who has seen it all. I wouldn't let him fly my Cessna....So with the caveat as always that Boeing is not clean in this whole deal (before the Blame Boeing crowd gets their shorts all bunched up), there are many factors involved here and plenty of blame to spread around. I certainly get All the airlines involved having a vested interest in laying this at the feet of Boeing 100%. It's an easier sell to their flying public to savage a "greedy American corporation" than to call into question Any of the training their pilots receive (or more importantly don't). The extent of training in many countries is pitiful. Simulator pilots are the rule of the and cheap. And let's don't even start down the rabbit-hole of the the maintenance end of this whole situation in many countries...once the airplane leaves the Boeing factory, it's up to the individual airline to keep things maintained...and there seem to be plenty of question about that from what I've read.
siriusloon 16
That's why he was 2IC and not the captain. Of course, there's no way that the fact the crews were Asian and African, respectively, has anything at all to do with your contempt. Right?

Third world countries don't have a monopoly on inexperienced pilots. They also have some very experienced pilots. Just like the U.S. on both counts.
Randy Brown -9
Sad situation where a fairly innocuous flaw has grounded the whole fleet. International Politics are working hard to help Europe’s Airbus manufacturer and damage America’s Boeing company. A similar failure crashed an A330 into the Atlantic on Air France flight 447 but did not get the notoriety.
Training issues caused a easily overcome failure to become fatal on both planes.
The 737 that was carrying passengers had the same failure on the flight that preceded the fatal flight. The pilots handled the minor issue properly but Ethiopian Airlines dismissed the problem and did not do anything about it. They failed to inform the pilots on the very next flight of the issue nor did they fix it.
A sensor gave a bad indication. A auto pilot began to runaway. The pilots failed to switch it off. People died.
I’ve had a runaway auto pilot in a small plane. I recognized the problem and turned it off I lived.
Simple training issue.
Jim Welch 4
A&P’s checked the AOA sensor as operating properly, & cleared her for her next scheduled flight.
As far as the pilots PERSONALLY informing the next flight crew is concerned, I doubt very much that they had somehow intentionally withheld that info from them.
Randy Brown 0
Problem was not fixed at all. It was swept under the rug.
If they were really interested in repairing the plane and not just returning it to service the outcome might have been different.
rapidwolve 2
It was NOT a similar failure, it was iced over Pitot tubes on the AF Flight, and when it was finally discovered what the issue was , ALL A330's were looked at. Boeing's screw ups were not an innocuous flaw at all! YOU NEVER RELY ON INPUT FROM 1 SINGLE DEVICE! REDUNDANCY REDUNDANCY REDUNDANCY!! Not only were the AoA signals incorrect, but airspeed and altitude were deviated on both displays.
In case you CANNOT do research, a pair of fully trained US pilots plugged in the prelim data from the Ethiopian flight into a simulator. GUESS WHAT Einstein?? They failed!
And you best get facts straight. The crew that reported a problem, and overcame it thanks to a third set of hands, was Lion Air. According to that crew, it was NOT a minor issue. As Jim pointed out the sensors were inspected and cleared. Again REDUNDANCY did not kick in as both AoA sensors reported different data, and the system SHOULD NOT HAVE ENGAGED!
BTW, when autopilot is on, MCAS is suppose to be disengaged!!
SorenTwin 3
An "innocuous flaw" that killed hundreds of people. Sad indeed.
Edward Bardes 0
This has happened many times in the past with a variety of aircraft types by every manufacturer. Future historians will find nothing extraordinary about the 737 MAX with regard to its flying history.
Jim Welch 6
As it turns out, that AOA sensor had been flagged OVER 200 TIMES as a serious area of concern during development & manufacturing.
Boeing continually swept it under the rug despite the warnings of it’s own people.
Profit over safety was the reason for these souls lost, and no other reason.
Steve Cutchen 2
AND they modified the software to allow MCAS to take much more drastic and cumulative actions than the actions that had elicited the concern.

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