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Ethiopians Say Flight Data From Doomed Jet Shows Similarities to Indonesian Flight That Crashed
Information from the data and voice recorders from an Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed last weekend show similarities to an earlier crash of the same type of Boeing plane used by an Indonesian airline, Ethiopia’s transport ministry said.

A spokesman for the ministry would not say what the similarities were but added that details of the investigation would be revealed later.

Although the investigation of the latest crash is still in its early stages, there have already been indications that the Boeing 737 Max 8 used by Ethiopian Airlines may have had problems similar to those of the Indonesian plane, a Lion Air flight that crashed in October.

A malfunctioning software program aboard the Max 8 planes is a central focus of investigators. The software program, called M.C.A.S., was installed in the new Max 8 planes as a way of preventing stalls and worked by forcing the nose of the plane down.

In the Indonesian flight, there are indications that the system acted in error and that the pilots had trouble overriding the software’s actions. They ultimately lost their battle before the plane plunged into the sea.
ethiopia  business  boeing  airline  airplane  safety  boeing737  faa  regulation 
march 2019 by jtyost2
Flawed analysis, failed oversight: how Boeing, FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system • The Seattle Times
Dominic Gates:
<p>That flight control system, called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), is now under scrutiny after two crashes of the jet in less than five months resulted in Wednesday’s FAA order to ground the plane.

Current and former engineers directly involved with the evaluations or familiar with the document shared details of Boeing’s “System Safety Analysis” of MCAS, which The Seattle Times confirmed.

The safety analysis:

• Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document.<br />• Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward.<br />• Assessed a failure of the system as one level below “catastrophic.” But even that “hazardous” danger level should have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single sensor — and yet that’s how it was designed.

The people who spoke to The Seattle Times and shared details of the safety analysis all spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their jobs at the FAA and other aviation organizations.

Both Boeing and the FAA were informed of the specifics of this story and were asked for responses 11 days ago, before the second crash of a 737 MAX last Sunday.</p>

<em>Eleven days.</em> If the FAA had acted more quickly, scores of peoples' lives could have been saved. (Thanks David Smith for the link.)
faa  boeing  autopilot 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Ethiopian Airlines crash: American leadership on air safety under question across the globe - The Washington Post
Anthony Faiola:
<p>“The Americans may feel, and not without justification, that they have the greatest insight into the Boeing aircraft,” said Sandy Morris, an aerospace analyst with the Jefferies financial group in London. “But this is a case when others in the world decided that they wanted to bring the risk of another accident down to zero. What you’ve seen here is a rebellion.”

Perhaps nowhere was US leadership on aviation safety being questioned more than in China, the first country to ground the 737 Max — an unprecedented move for a government that long followed cues from American authorities.

A top Chinese regulator said his agency made its decision because the [US] FAA [Federal Aviation Authority] and Boeing had not provided China with satisfactory answers about the airplane’s software and safety issues after the first 737 Max crash — of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia that killed all 189 passengers and crew.

Li Jian, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, suggested that the FAA was reluctant to take strong measures against the 737 Max.

“They have had difficulty making a decision, so we took the lead,” Li told reporters on Monday…

Chinese officials probably welcomed the opportunity to establish their leadership credentials at an inflection point in the country’s aviation history, analysts said. China’s civil aviation market is expected to eclipse that of the United States in three years, while its first homegrown passenger jet, the C919 narrow-body model that is designed to compete with the 737 Max, is also expected to take to the skies by the mid-2020s, at least in China.</p>

Not mentioned in this story, but mentioned by John Gruber (who <a href="https://daringfireball.net/linked/2019/03/15/american-leadership-on-air-safety">linked to it on Friday</a>) is that the FAA has been without a commissioner for over a year. Trump <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/02/25/trumps-personal-pilot-in-the-mix-to-lead-the-federal-aviation-administration/">nominated his personal private jet pilot</a>. Congress laughed.
trump  faa  aviation 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounded 'until May at least' - BBC News
All Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft will remain grounded at least until May after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said.

The aircraft will not fly until a software update can be tested and installed, the US regulator said.

Sunday's crash, shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killed 157 people from 35 nations.

It was the second crash involving a 737 Max in six months.

Some people have pointed to similarities between the incidents, with some experts citing satellite data and evidence from the crash scene as showing links between Sunday's disaster and October's crash in Indonesia of the Lion Air jet that killed 189 people.

US Representative Rick Larsen said the software upgrade would take a few weeks to complete, and installing it on all the aircraft would take "at least through April".

The FAA said on Wednesday that a software fix for the 737 Max that Boeing had been working on since the Lion Air crash would take months to complete.
boeing  business  Boeing737  airplane  airline  safety  regulation  faa 
march 2019 by jtyost2
The world pulls the Andon cord on the 737 Max
The 737 Max was born in the Admirals Club Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. On July 20, 2011, American Airlines was announcing it was buying…
airline  airplane  boeing  business  safety  regulation  faa  Boeing737  meh  from instapaper
march 2019 by jtyost2
Why America cannot fly alone
March 13, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

The US does not have a head of the Federal Aviation Administration.

It took about 72 hours for reality to close in on Donald Trump. One by one, the world’s regulators — led by China, swiftly followed by the EU — grounded Boeing’s 737 Max planes following two disastrous crashes. Under pressure from Mr Trump, America’s FAA held out. When Canada joined, America’s isolation was almost complete. Mr Trump’s stance offers a unique example of the world spurning America’s lead on airline safety. His reversal is a “teachable moment”.... on the realities of a fast-changing world. Why? The biggest factor is falling global trust in US institutional probity. Mr Trump’s budget this week proposed a cut to the FAA in spite of the fact that its air traffic control system remains years behind many of its counterparts. Moreover, the FAA lacks a chief.......The FAA has been flying without a pilot, so to speak, for more than a year. Little surprise America’s partners have lost trust in its direction.......More than halfway through Mr Trump’s term, one in seven US ambassadorships are still unfilled, including South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The same applies to key state department vacancies at home. Such is the level of demoralisation that William Burns, the former deputy secretary of state, talks of America’s “unilateral diplomatic disarmament”. US diplomats increasingly lack the resources — and trust — to do the patient work of persuading other countries to fall in with America...Recent examples of America failing to co-opt a single ally include its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, pulling out of the Paris climate change accord and asking others to fill America’s soon to be empty shoes in Syria....many countries, including Britain and Germany, have rejected Mr Trump’s strictures on Huawei........Trump appears to be signalling that US courts are no longer independent of political whim. ....the most teachable aspect of the Boeing 737 controversy is the reality of the global economy. When China and the EU agree to the same regulatory standard, the US has little choice but to fall in line.......Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which previous US administrations negotiated, the US and its allies aimed to set the global standards for China. .....By the yardstick of might, the US is still the world’s heavyweight. But it works well only when combined with right. US regulatory leadership on drugs approval, technology, environmental standards and much else besides is falling behind. In spite of the US having the world’s leading technology companies, Europe is setting internet privacy standards.
aviation_safety  airline_safety  Boeing  budget_cuts  Canada  China  cutbacks  Edward_Luce  FAA  fast-changing  institutional_integrity  regulators  regulatory_standards  TPP  unilateralism  Donald_Trump  EU  airline_crashes  teachable_moments 
march 2019 by jerryking
Trump Announces Ban of Boeing 737 Max Flights - The New York Times
President Trump announced that the United States was grounding Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, reversing an earlier decision by American regulators to keep the jets flying in the wake of a second deadly crash involving one of the jets in Ethiopia.

The Federal Aviation Administration had for days resisted calls to ground the plane even as safety regulators in some 42 countries had banned flights by the jets. As recently as Tuesday, the agency said it had seen “no systemic performance issues” that would prompt it to halt flights of the jet.

“The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern,” Mr. Trump said.

The order came hours after Canada’s transport minister said that newly available satellite-tracking data suggested similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and another accident last October.

The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 killed all 157 people on board, and took place just minutes after takeoff. In October, a 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air, an Indonesian carrier, crashed in similar circumstance and 189 people were killed.
DonaldTrump  politics  government  faa  boeing  Boeing737  airline  airplane  safety  regulation  usa 
march 2019 by jtyost2
Boeing’s 737 Max jet found a sweet spot for the company’s growing base of customers around the world: It’s a best-selling workhorse with low costs, minimal upkeep and an ability to cram in more passengers. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  airline  boeing  case-study  faa  high-risk-scenario 
march 2019 by MelissaAgnes
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has grounded the Boeing jet involved in two crashes that have killed more than 300 people. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  airline  case-study  faa  high-risk-scenario  plane-crash 
march 2019 by MelissaAgnes
Ethiopian Airlines crash: FAA says Boeing 737 Max 8 is airworthy
The US Federal Aviation Administration has told airlines it believes Boeing's 737 Max 8 model to be airworthy, after two fatal crashes inside six months.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed six minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

The incident followed Lion Air 737 Max 8 crash in October that killed 189.

Some in the aviation community have called for the aircraft to be grounded pending a full investigation.

But late on Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a "continued airworthiness notification" saying the plane was safe to fly.
faa  airline  safety  airplane  boeing  Boeing737 
march 2019 by jtyost2

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