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Tags airplane incidents , government shutdown

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Old 7th August 2019, 12:26 PM   #321
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
that is kinda hilarious.

Boeing might be better of giving them away for free - maybe Trump can afford his airline after all!
Why would any airline accept delivery of a grounded airliner? Until they are allowed to fly again they are not going to be delivering any of them.

It does sound a lot like the sort of business move Trump would be attracted to.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:49 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Quote:
Boeing might be better of giving them away for free - maybe Trump can afford his airline after all!
Why would any airline accept delivery of a grounded airliner? Until they are allowed to fly again they are not going to be delivering any of them.
He was joking about Trump.

Trump would probably fly the planes anyways (even if they were grounded), and then complain to the FAA if they crashed.
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Old 7th August 2019, 01:06 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Why would any airline accept delivery of a grounded airliner? Until they are allowed to fly again they are not going to be delivering any of them.
Indeed, as the photo shows, there's a cost of ownership - just in the storage space if nothing else.
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Old 7th August 2019, 01:33 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Indeed, as the photo shows, there's a cost of ownership - just in the storage space if nothing else.
The referenced article points out that storage costs are $2000/month per plane.
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:14 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post


"FAA representatives were present during a test flight when an MCAS problem occurred, according to a regulatory source, but approved the MAX without independently studying or testing the flight system. "




JESUS H TAP-DANCING CHRIST!!!! REALLY?
It's interesting. The story had been pulled.

Option A) Story was a beat up so it was pulled
Option B) Story was shut down by Boeing lawyers.
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:57 PM   #326
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Here is another video about the 737 max.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


It explains what made Boeing produce this aircraft.
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Old 11th August 2019, 11:34 AM   #327
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I have been very surprised over the past month as I've learned more and more about the increasing computerization of commercial aircraft. It is, of course, not just the Boeing 737. Many planes are programmed not only to sense and correct for conditions outside of the normal flight envelop (i.e in an emergency) but are also designed to sense the different stages of a typical flight and automatically make the "correct" control settings for that stage. Throttles in particular appear to often be automated to automatically respond to particular situations as the plane's computer perceives them. This can include automatic reductions in the throttle settings if the computer senses the plane is landing or about to land, or automatic increases in throttle setting if the computer senses the plane is taking off. These often operate outside of the auto-pilot per se and often without the explicit knowledge of the human pilots. Indeed the human pilots are often not well informed as to the existence of these programs nor are they very familiar or practiced in turning them off, leading to a variety of accidents (some fatal) as the humans wrestle with the mysterious and unexpected actions of the computer. The 737 situation is just a highly visible peak of the iceberg.

BTW: in reading about these accidents it appears to me that the inputs from the angle of attack sensors are particularly critical for the computer programs to function; it is amazing to me that Boeing felt okay eliminating any redundancy for this critical component in the 737 max redesign.

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Old 11th August 2019, 12:10 PM   #328
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I do wonder if modern distributed sensors could measure lift more directly by looking at the strain on the top surface of wings.
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Old 11th August 2019, 04:35 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I have been very surprised over the past month as I've learned more and more about the increasing computerization of commercial aircraft. It is, of course, not just the Boeing 737. Many planes are programmed not only to sense and correct for conditions outside of the normal flight envelop (i.e in an emergency) but are also designed to sense the different stages of a typical flight and automatically make the "correct" control settings for that stage. Throttles in particular appear to often be automated to automatically respond to particular situations as the plane's computer perceives them. This can include automatic reductions in the throttle settings if the computer senses the plane is landing or about to land, or automatic increases in throttle setting if the computer senses the plane is taking off. These often operate outside of the auto-pilot per se and often without the explicit knowledge of the human pilots. Indeed the human pilots are often not well informed as to the existence of these programs nor are they very familiar or practiced in turning them off, leading to a variety of accidents (some fatal) as the humans wrestle with the mysterious and unexpected actions of the computer. The 737 situation is just a highly visible peak of the iceberg.

BTW: in reading about these accidents it appears to me that the inputs from the angle of attack sensors are particularly critical for the computer programs to function; it is amazing to me that Boeing felt okay eliminating any redundancy for this critical component in the 737 max redesign.
The problem with the Max is that it is so old it hasn't been computerised enough. The fact is pilot error is a cause of many crashes, not computer error.

The Max crashes were caused by a half baked solution to a problem that was created when large, hi- tech engines were added to a 1960's frame.

There is a joke that in the future the crew of a passenger plane will be a pilot and a dog. The pilots job will be to watch the computer fly the plane and the dogs job will be to make sure the pilot doesn't touch anything.
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Old 11th August 2019, 06:13 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I do wonder if modern distributed sensors could measure lift more directly by looking at the strain on the top surface of wings.
A system as vital as MCAS should certainly be relying on more than one sensor to determine the aircraft's AoA. Wing strain is one way, multiple AoA sensors on the fuselage, and stall warning tabs on the wing leading edges would be another.
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Old 11th August 2019, 06:57 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The problem with the Max is that it is so old it hasn't been computerised enough. The fact is pilot error is a cause of many crashes, not computer error.

The Max crashes were caused by a half baked solution to a problem that was created when large, hi- tech engines were added to a 1960's frame.

<snip>

Yes. If that solution had not been "half baked" then the crashes may well have been avoided.

This is not necessarily an indictment of the airframe itself, or of the effort to refit it with larger engines. Just that it wasn't done very well, with due consideration for process and review.

I'm not saying that it wasn't a completely misguided idea to begin with. I don't know enough to make that evaluation.

I do think that what we have learned about the cause of these crashes is not proof that the effort was misguided from the start.
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Old 11th August 2019, 09:22 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I do think that what we have learned about the cause of these crashes is not proof that the effort was misguided from the start.
The effort or the idea was not misguided, but the execution of that idea was abysmal.

Using a single sensor to detect AoA (and therefore stall) and delivering the resulting information to the pilot via a warning buzzer would be a bad enough idea as it was, although in a conventional aircraft, any pilot worth the name would pick up faulty indication quickly. The problem comes when you use such a risky system, and then feed the resulting information directly into the flight computer and allow it to autonomously control the aircraft.

I am still old school when it comes to flying. I believe that there ought to be a "manual override" that allows the pilots to completely bypass the flight computer and put the control stick/yoke in direct connection with the control surfaces. Had the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airways pilots had such a system available to them, they could simply have switched out the computer and flown the aircraft themselves until they got past the danger point. Pilots should never, ever have to fight the computer for control of their aircraft.
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Old 11th August 2019, 10:15 PM   #333
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A better solution would have been to design a new narrowbody. Boeing was due for one anyway. In the long run it would have worked out cheaper and safer.
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Old 12th August 2019, 02:09 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
A better solution would have been to design a new narrowbody. Boeing was due for one anyway. In the long run it would have worked out cheaper and safer.
Agreed. Though this would have meant that many pilots would need extensive training on the new aircraft. This is what the 737 max avoided.

I hope the next aircraft from Boeing is the sort of plane where there is one pilot whose main job it is to communicate with the ground and look out for emergencies.
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Old 12th August 2019, 10:20 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The problem with the Max is that it is so old it hasn't been computerised enough. The fact is pilot error is a cause of many crashes, not computer error.

The Max crashes were caused by a half baked solution to a problem that was created when large, hi- tech engines were added to a 1960's frame.

There is a joke that in the future the crew of a passenger plane will be a pilot and a dog. The pilots job will be to watch the computer fly the plane and the dogs job will be to make sure the pilot doesn't touch anything.
I respectfully, but strongly disagree with this statement. In most of the cases I have read, the pilots were actually implementing the correct procedures and the automated systems were fighting them and creating the danger, often invisibly to the pilots. In many of these cases the plots were not told of the existence of the automated intervention, they ran outside of the envelop of the situations that any automation was expected by the pilots, and they activated without clear signals that they were activated. In other cases the pilots received very minimal or obscure, hand-waving information of the existence of the automation and very brief information as to how to turn them off, which in some cases were inaccurate or, on turning off the system, did not adequately inform the pilots as to the additional procedures needed for a recovery i.e. taking into account the aerodynamic forces now present on hand-off by the computer. Amazingly even when successfully turned off by the pilots the automated systems often repeatedly turned themselves back on! As with the 737 max, the manufacturers often attempted to minimize the need for any new training for the pilots to keep expenses to the airlines down.

I think that increasing automation for aircraft is great, indeed necessary. But there entire fields of study on how to write critical code, and how to create interfaces between computers and people in these life and death situations, yet not implemented adequately by the plane manufacturers. And for now one still needs human pilots in many emergency situations and it must be obvious, easy, and definitive how the pilots can turn off an automation that is clearly endangering the plane, such as making strong nose down commands as with the 737 stretch.

Perhaps the dog should be trained to bite the appropriate computer module instead of the pilot?
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Old 24th October 2019, 02:42 AM   #336
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The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee report on the Lion Air crash is out, and they place most of the blame on Boeing

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/w...ss&partner=rss

No surprises there!

And now its come out that at last one or two Boeing pilots were complaining about MCAS as long ago as 2016!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/b...&module=inline
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Old 25th October 2019, 12:35 AM   #337
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What do you guys think of the impact of this whole affair on Boeing's stock price?

I'm a little shocked by how little impact it has.

Are large companies really this insulated from their mistakes by their size and market share? Or am I overestimating the importance of commercial aircraft for Boeing?
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Old 25th October 2019, 02:34 AM   #338
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The commercial aircraft have been a massive source of profits for Boeing, particularly the 737. They have been building 52 a month.


The stock market just doesn't seem to believe they can fail. The MCAS screw up was due to a bloody minded management that was purely focussed on keeping the share price high. They still like that management mindset, apparently. The fix has been done and has to be approved by the global aviation authorites.



I can see Boeing facing massive fines though, similar to the fines that were levelled at VW.
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Old 25th October 2019, 04:37 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The commercial aircraft have been a massive source of profits for Boeing, particularly the 737. They have been building 52 a month.


The stock market just doesn't seem to believe they can fail. The MCAS screw up was due to a bloody minded management that was purely focussed on keeping the share price high. They still like that management mindset, apparently. The fix has been done and has to be approved by the global aviation authorites.



I can see Boeing facing massive fines though, similar to the fines that were levelled at VW.
VW tanked, though.

I know someone who literally sold his apartment to invest it all plus his savings in VW at the bottom. He's a millionaire now.

The word 'diversify' is not in this dude's vocabulary.
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Old 28th October 2019, 05:51 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
VW tanked, though.

I know someone who literally sold his apartment to invest it all plus his savings in VW at the bottom. He's a millionaire now.

The word 'diversify' is not in this dude's vocabulary.
There is competition in the auto market, there is a duopoly in large commercial aircraft. VW could be allowed to fail, especially in some markets. Boeing is simply to fundamental a part of infrastructure to fail.
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Old 28th October 2019, 01:44 PM   #341
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That is partly due due to the vigorous anti-competitive legal efforts on the part of Boeing. They didn't just get their market share based on merit alone.
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Old 28th October 2019, 02:23 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
That is partly due due to the vigorous anti-competitive legal efforts on the part of Boeing. They didn't just get their market share based on merit alone.
There is also a limited market for large commercial aircraft. A big company can produce cheaper aircraft than a smaller one. Then consider the pilots.If there was a small manufacturer of big aircraft then there would be very hard to recruit trained pilots as their would be so few of them. And it would be expensive to re-train an experienced pilot to fly this type of aircraft. This is why the 737 max was so popular. Pilots knew how to fly such an aircraft without heaps of training which would be necessary if Boeing had produced a completely new aircraft.
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Old 28th October 2019, 03:15 PM   #343
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The culture at Boeing: Never admit a mistake.
Quote:
Boeing employees are trained to avoid discussing safety in ways that may open the company up to liability, former employees said. New workers are given a one-day seminar from Perkins Coie, Boeing’s outside law firm, on how to “watch your language” when discussing and documenting anything involving safety, said one former employee who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal company matters.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...mments-wrapper
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Old 28th October 2019, 04:01 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There is also a limited market for large commercial aircraft. A big company can produce cheaper aircraft than a smaller one. Then consider the pilots.If there was a small manufacturer of big aircraft then there would be very hard to recruit trained pilots as their would be so few of them. And it would be expensive to re-train an experienced pilot to fly this type of aircraft. This is why the 737 max was so popular. Pilots knew how to fly such an aircraft without heaps of training which would be necessary if Boeing had produced a completely new aircraft.
Well clearly they didn't, as evidenced, not just by the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes, but by the numerous instances of pilots having to fight for control with their Max 8 aircraft (including the flight crew on the same plane on a flight the night before the Lion Air crash, who were damned lucky there happened to be an off-duty pilot riding in the jump seat, and he was able to help them).

The Lion Air & Ethiopian flight crew fought MCAS all the way to the ground - had they been properly trained about MCAS, they might have avoided those crashes.
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:56 PM   #345
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A very good article on the woes of Boeing.



https://newrepublic.com/article/1549...ial-revolution


It turns out skilled engineers don't just appear magically after you have sacked them all.
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Old 29th October 2019, 12:14 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Well clearly they didn't, as evidenced, not just by the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes, but by the numerous instances of pilots having to fight for control with their Max 8 aircraft (including the flight crew on the same plane on a flight the night before the Lion Air crash, who were damned lucky there happened to be an off-duty pilot riding in the jump seat, and he was able to help them).

The Lion Air & Ethiopian flight crew fought MCAS all the way to the ground - had they been properly trained about MCAS, they might have avoided those crashes.
I agree. But that would involve Boeing admitting that the 737 and 737 max were not similar aircraft and that the pilots needed extra training. This they could not do.
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Old 29th October 2019, 03:00 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
What do you guys think of the impact of this whole affair on Boeing's stock price?

I'm a little shocked by how little impact it has.

Are large companies really this insulated from their mistakes by their size and market share? Or am I overestimating the importance of commercial aircraft for Boeing?
What has been the impact? I seem to recall it being hammered in the wake of the bad news stories, but perhaps it has recovered somewhat.

Could liability insurance explain it? Maybe it's also because the duopoly situation means that it won't really hurt them in the long run. There will be some costs in the short term obviously, but once the fixes have been made, it's back to business because buyers don't have many other options.
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Old 29th October 2019, 03:07 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There is also a limited market for large commercial aircraft. A big company can produce cheaper aircraft than a smaller one. Then consider the pilots.If there was a small manufacturer of big aircraft then there would be very hard to recruit trained pilots as their would be so few of them. And it would be expensive to re-train an experienced pilot to fly this type of aircraft. This is why the 737 max was so popular. Pilots knew how to fly such an aircraft without heaps of training which would be necessary if Boeing had produced a completely new aircraft.
And pilots are only allowed to fly one type of aircraft at a time legally irregardless of training. So until you could build of a fleet of them you would have serious issues with pilots.
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Old 29th October 2019, 04:51 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And pilots are only allowed to fly one type of aircraft at a time legally irregardless of training.
That’s not a true statement for pilots in general, including Commercial pilots. Stipulated airlines may have different rules.

What’s your source on that?
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Old 30th October 2019, 01:21 AM   #350
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Congress Clears Boeing Of All Wrongdoing After Being Appointed Very Special Junior Pilots
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Old 30th October 2019, 01:27 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
This is from the onion. In other words a joke.
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Old 30th October 2019, 03:30 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And pilots are only allowed to fly one type of aircraft at a time legally irregardless of training.
This is simply not true.

While it is not recommended that pilots swap between different aircraft at short intervals, there is nothing in the regulations to prevent a pilot from obtaining a type rating for a different aircraft to that which he is currently flying, and to fly both types commercially. I know of a number of Air NZ domestic pilots who are rated on both the ATR-72 and the Bombardier Q300, and who fly both.
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Old 30th October 2019, 08:28 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is simply not true.

While it is not recommended that pilots swap between different aircraft at short intervals, there is nothing in the regulations to prevent a pilot from obtaining a type rating for a different aircraft to that which he is currently flying, and to fly both types commercially. I know of a number of Air NZ domestic pilots who are rated on both the ATR-72 and the Bombardier Q300, and who fly both.
I don't recall where I read this, but apparently Boeing was facing a dilemma:
Either start a new series of modern planes or upgrade the old ones. Again.

Large airlines weren't exactly jumping for joy at the idea of having to retrain hundreds of pilots, so they offered Boeing a huge order if they chose the latter route.
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Old 30th October 2019, 08:32 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
What has been the impact? I seem to recall it being hammered in the wake of the bad news stories, but perhaps it has recovered somewhat.

Could liability insurance explain it? Maybe it's also because the duopoly situation means that it won't really hurt them in the long run. There will be some costs in the short term obviously, but once the fixes have been made, it's back to business because buyers don't have many other options.
I've been immersed in penny stocks recently so my view of this is likely skewed.

In penny stocks:
Bad news: stock loses 70% of its value.
Good news: you get to live the best scenes from the Wolf of Wallstreet for a weekend.

Blue-chip companies are just much less volatile.
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Old 30th October 2019, 10:42 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
A very good article on the woes of Boeing.



https://newrepublic.com/article/1549...ial-revolution


It turns out skilled engineers don't just appear magically after you have sacked them all.
Recommended reading. I lived through the McDonnell-Douglas takeover of Boeing's soul. It was saddening and maddening.
The 2000 SPEEA strike was briefly mentioned. The exodus of high quality younger engineers afterwards was devastating.
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Old 30th October 2019, 11:22 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
I don't recall where I read this, but apparently Boeing was facing a dilemma:
Either start a new series of modern planes or upgrade the old ones. Again.

Large airlines weren't exactly jumping for joy at the idea of having to retrain hundreds of pilots, so they offered Boeing a huge order if they chose the latter route.

True, but that doesn't mean that it was illegal for pilots to fly two different types.

It was the cost of the retraining, not the fact of the retraining that airlines didn't like, and caused Boeing to go the path they did.

The simple fact here is that the introduction of the CFM LEAP-1B engines, and their forced positioning forwards and upwards of where the engines used to be, made the 737 Max behave significantly differently from previous 737s, especially during take-off & climb out. In order to allow the aircraft to be flown by pilots without needing a new type rating, a software quick fix was introduced that was supposed to be a workaround that, from a flight characteristics standpoint, made the flying the 737 Max look and feel like flying previous 737s models...... and then they didn't tell the pilots about it.

AIUI, technically, what was supposed to happen is, as the aircraft would pitch up due to the flight dynamics of the new engine position, MCAS would command the nose to pitch down in such a way that the pilots would not notice. The aircraft would feel, from their perspective, just like a bog-standard 737. The problem came when one of the inputs to the system failed - in this case, the angle of attack (AoA) transmitter; an input that is absolutely vital for the correct operation of MCAS. For some inexplicable reason, Boeing chose to connect MCAS to only one of the two AoA transmitters on the aircraft (heaven only knows what possessed them to do it this way) and when it failed, it started sending information that the aircraft in level flight was actually approaching "alpha max" (α max) the critical angle of attack, or the highest nose-up attitude at speed before stalling. When that happened, MCAS pitched the nose down.

Now, had the pilots been told about MCAS, what it does and why, and how it operated, and how to disable it,. they may have been able to determine the problem and save their aircraft. The simple act of setting the flaps to any down position disables MCAS, but in order take that step, the pilots would need to have known about it. In the normal course of take-off and climb-out, setting flaps to any down position after having retracted them during climb-out is not a procedure that a pilot would ever need to do.
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Old 30th October 2019, 05:04 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
(snip for brevity)

AIUI, technically, what was supposed to happen is, as the aircraft would pitch up due to the flight dynamics of the new engine position, MCAS would command the nose to pitch down in such a way that the pilots would not notice. The aircraft would feel, from their perspective, just like a bog-standard 737. The problem came when one of the inputs to the system failed - in this case, the angle of attack (AoA) transmitter; an input that is absolutely vital for the correct operation of MCAS. For some inexplicable reason, Boeing chose to connect MCAS to only one of the two AoA transmitters on the aircraft (heaven only knows what possessed them to do it this way) and when it failed, it started sending information that the aircraft in level flight was actually approaching "alpha max" (α max) the critical angle of attack, or the highest nose-up attitude at speed before stalling. When that happened, MCAS pitched the nose down.
That's a very succinct explanation of MCAS. It's useful to note that the software actually worked for its intended purpose—making the takeoff (and possibly landing) characteristics of the MAX feel like any other 737.

Unfortunately they don't appear to have investigated possible failure modes. It looks like nobody asked "What if this thing kicks in during normal flight? What do you mean, 'It can't happen'? Forget that—just assume a totally unexpected series of events and this software starts interfering with otherwise normal operation. How can we reduce that possibility? Can we add code to MCAS to disable itself when it's obvious we're not in climb-out? And can that code fail and turn off MCAS during climb-out and cause a stall?"

I've been writing software for nearly forty years. Nothing as critical as this stuff, yet I find myself asking questions like this whenever I put systems together.
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Old 30th October 2019, 11:02 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
This is from the onion. In other words a joke.
Thank you Captain Obvious!
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Old 31st October 2019, 09:00 AM   #359
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How about "The U.S. Congress, While it Didn't Actually Accept Special Junior Pilot Pins in Return for Exonerating Boeing, Does Routinely Solicit and Accept Political Bribes, is Unconcerned with the Public Interest, and is Completely in the Pocket of Large Corporations"?

I think that clarifies the meaning, without all the attendant risks of tragic misunderstanding that plague comedy headlines.
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Old 31st October 2019, 03:48 PM   #360
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Today’s “The Daily” podcast was a look into Boeing’s president’s appearance before Congress and a brief history of Boeing’s problems.
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