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Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

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    #51
    Condolences to VT. It's just horrible and arbitrary.

    From what I understand, it seems to be an inherent problem with the aerodynamics of the plane. It's so unbalanced that Boeing had to build in the MCAS software. In other words, there are actual situations where MCAS needs to supplement the pilots to keep the plane in the sky, so Boeing leave it on all the time, which obviously is problematic when the system malfunctions.

    Is this not true of Airbus planes from the off? Or is their being designed with this sort of thing in mind from the beginning a less problematic approach?

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      #52
      Interesting stuff, thanks ap. From the same article:
      According to Boeing, MCAS does not control the plane during normal flight but "improves the behavior of the airplane" during "non-normal" situations.

      These could be steep turns or after takeoff when a plane is climbing with flaps up at speeds that are close to stall speed.
      How the hell can climbing after take-off be described as a non-normal situation. That aside, nothing's changed: a well-designed system that has faulty data to work on is useless, possibly even dangerous, and must be disabled. If the plane cannot be flown safely in this circumstance then it cannot be airworthy.

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        #53
        Originally posted by Muukalainen View Post
        Interesting stuff, thanks ap. From the same article:

        How the hell can climbing after take-off be described as a non-normal situation. That aside, nothing's changed: a well-designed system that has faulty data to work on is useless, possibly even dangerous, and must be disabled. If the plane cannot be flown safely in this circumstance then it cannot be airworthy.
        Planes are designed to be stable and efficient at cruising speed.
        take off and landing constitute about 5% of flight time and that's when all the fancy electronics are employed as this is the most dangerous time of the flight.

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          #54
          Originally posted by steveeeeeeeee View Post
          Just checked facebook for the first time in a while and found out about Anne-Katrin being on the flight. I knew her vaguely in Egypt, she arrive about the time I was leaving, but she was very good friends with my very good friends.
          It's all very sad.

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            #55
            Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
            Is this not true of Airbus planes from the off? Or is their being designed with this sort of thing in mind from the beginning a less problematic approach?
            Yes and yes.

            The ultimate arbiter on an Airbus is the onboard computer(s) which will prevent the aeroplane from doing something outside its feasible design parameters. However, the pilot still has a very large degree of control. To extend the car analogy, a Boeing car allows you to put the manual gear into reverse at 100mph on a motorway, the Airbus will not.

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              #56
              Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
              Is this not true of Airbus planes from the off? Or is their being designed with this sort of thing in mind from the beginning a less problematic approach?
              Yeah, the Airbus fly-by-wire planes are designed so that the pilot can't intentionally stall the plane, even if the pilot tries their hardest to do so. Unless some sensors fail, at which point Airbus planes automatically disengage the automation and hand over to the pilot. And at that point, you'd better hope that you are not a passenger on Air France.

              My understanding, though, is that protections will only kick in on Airbus in very extreme circumstances, when you actually want it to, because the Airbus A320 airframe was designed in the 1980s to have sufficient space for bigger engines, and they already planned back then to release various stretched sizes, so that was taken into account as well at the time. So it can fly in standard situations even without automation, because it is well proportioned.

              So I'm guessing the key difference between A320 and 737 MAX is that the latter sometimes needs the computer to intervene just to fly in normal situations, because it is a sub-optimal airframe design.

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                #57
                https://twitter.com/davidshepardson/status/1105899336930656256

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                  #58
                  Trump does something good.

                  Are the FAA in the the pocket of Boeing? On Today this morning their expert basically said this and said that Boeing were effectively signing their own safety certificates. Hence why Trump has had to intervene.

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                    #59
                    Well, the MAX was also approved by he EU authorities...

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                      #60
                      Fair dues to the US govt, they've managed to make themselves look dodgy as fuck, made boeing look dodgy as fuck, all over delaying the grounding of a relative handful of planes for a single day. This was always going to happen, so boeing should have done it themselves before anyone else did it and salvaged something from this situation. Building a plane is incredibly hard and complicated, and all people can realistically want is that you are doing your best to handle this side of things.

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                        #61
                        All because Boeing have been cultivating the guy in the Oval Office since he was elected, including donating USD 1 million to the inauguration and frequent visits and calls between their CEO and 45 (as recently as Monday).

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                          #62
                          Surely they're afraid of him, because he's managed to negotiate such a great deal for the new Airforce 1

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                            #63
                            You have to ask yourself why it wasn't grounded after the Lion Air incident.

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                              #64
                              Boeing have really massively fucked this up. They're increasingly looking like a company who knew their plane was dodgy but were just hoping for the best. The airline industry works on the basis that everyone is really really hot on safety and that consideration outweighs all others. But, Boeing have blown that out of the water. Fuck, a car manufacturer would have (rightly) done a global recall after Lion Air and nobody trusts car manufacturers

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                                #65
                                Originally posted by anton pulisov View Post
                                Well, the MAX was also approved by he EU authorities...
                                Presumably by rubber stamping the US certification rather than through any conformance testing of their own?

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                                  #66
                                  The Ethiopians, in their wisdom, sent the black boxes to France instead of Trump's America. Not sure how much he managed to fuck up the NTSB (which is one of the more heroic organisations in the US), but apparently there are still a load of vacancies at the FAA that he has failed to fill.

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                                    #67
                                    For one thing, both agencies were operating with skeleton staffs during the government shutdown.

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                                      #68
                                      Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
                                      I have a friend who's recently moved to Addis He travels a fair bit. I'm now very much hoping that he or his wife (who also travels a lot) were not on the plane. Condolences VT.
                                      Just heard from this friend. His wife was due to be on the plane - she had meetings in Nairobi and Dar, and then things got shifted around late on and she went to Dar first, thereby cancelling this flight.

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                                        #69
                                        She is one very lucky person!

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                                          #70
                                          Apppointing an industry lobbyist to be the temporary chair of the FAA would be a good start.

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                                            #71
                                            Originally posted by ad hoc View Post

                                            Just heard from this friend. His wife was due to be on the plane - she had meetings in Nairobi and Dar, and then things got shifted around late on and she went to Dar first, thereby cancelling this flight.
                                            Bloody hell. Just to add to the other well-wishes aimed at other people on this thread, I hope she's all right. If I had to cancel a flight which subsequently crashed I think I'd feel incredibly jumpy at the prospect of flying in the future.

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                                              #72
                                              She did the trip anyway (after making sure that none of the legs involved a 737Max)

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                                                #73
                                                Distressing piece on the FAA process.

                                                In fact, the FAA report suggested pilots would experience nothing surprising in the cockpit of the new Max 8. In a section where FAA test pilots are supposed to list “unique handling or performance characteristics” of new planes, they remarked that there were none: “no specific flight characteristics,” the report read.
                                                Last edited by ursus arctos; 16-03-2019, 14:58.

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                                                  #74
                                                  Bloody hell. That is strongly suggestive of an absolutely outrageous level of negligence.

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                                                    #75
                                                    I wish it it was just negligence. It's regulatory capture that kills people.

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