All Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Grounded

220 posts in this topic

maybe, but system engineers need to understand both sides, whether they are predominantly on the hardware or software side.  It comes with the territory (or should)

 

the point being, the idea that NO ONE on the technical end had any inkling how disastrous this could be is troubling.  I don't really buy that.

 

yes ultimately it was management who made this call - I don't doubt that for one minute.  But put yourself in the shoes of someone who implemented that crap, and think about how you sleep at night knowing how it panned out...do you really think NO ONE had a clue at the implementation level?  

 

if that's the case I think that is perhaps more troubling.  Just from a testing perspective...did they even freaking test it?!

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12 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 Just from a testing perspective...did they even freaking test it?!

But that's the point and to what depth was it tested. Who signed off the testing schedule and then signed off the test results? Testing in a Lab is no where near as good as testing in flight. This is why the FAA need to be in the dock as well.

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49 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

 

the point being, the idea that NO ONE on the technical end had any inkling how disastrous this could be is troubling.  I don't really buy that.

 

yes ultimately it was management who made this call - I don't doubt that for one minute.  But put yourself in the shoes of someone who implemented that crap, and think about how you sleep at night knowing how it panned out...do you really think NO ONE had a clue at the implementation level?  

 

if that's the case I think that is perhaps more troubling.  Just from a testing perspective...did they even freaking test it?!

What if... this is daily routine? They see shit like this every day and by luck only a few airplanes crash?

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1 hour ago, lisa13 said:

yes!  your point is? :)

 

My point is that many more crappy decisions are probably done every year, to the point where engineers don't know when to react.

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15 hours ago, French bean said:

But that's the point and to what depth was it tested. Who signed off the testing schedule and then signed off the test results?

 

What I've read is that on this plane, Boeing did a lot of its own testing which should have been done by the FAA. They got permission to do so. The FAA was short handed due to many cuts that were made by a certain administration. 

 

Crazy.

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I'm sure Boeing will self-investigate the self-certification of these systems and then ensure us that everything was totally on the up and up.

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I read today in the NYTimes that one of the employees who was responsible for certifying FAA requirements was improperly "pressured" by Boeing (I didn't quite understand the relationship - he was a Boeing employee but was supposed to be reporting first and foremost to the FAA?).  He did report the meddling but obviously that didn't change the net result prior to the release of the plane and the crashes.  

 

As I understand it lots of Boeing employees and third parties (eg American Airlines inspectors) in various roles have filed reports about manufacturing faults at Boeing.  Really egregious stuff eg a ladder was left in the tail section of a plane, known defective parts installed, metal shavings and even a wrench were left in housings for gears/hydraulics, a big wad of bubble wrap behind one of the freaking foot pedals - just crazy

 

but I'm still curious about formal complaints or filings from engineering - I found this, which might explain the testing gap:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers  One thing I didn't mention:  in flight testing is NOT necessarily better than pure software based systems testing in a case like this because you can't (or shouldn't) simulate a damaged or defective sensor in flight.  That is precisely where software based testing shines:  you can throw all kinds of potential "extreme" corner cases at it, and it will reveal any problems that exist.  

 

eta:  That design violated basic principles of redundancy for generations of Boeing engineers, and the company apparently never tested to see how the software would respond, Lemme said. “It was a stunning fail,” he said. “A lot of people should have thought of this problem – not one person – and asked about it.” 

 

Boeing also has disclosed that it learned soon after Max deliveries began in 2017 that a warning light that might have alerted crews to the issue with the sensor wasn’t installed correctly in the flight-display software. A Boeing statement in May, explaining why the company didn’t inform regulators at the time, said engineers had determined it wasn’t a safety issue.

“Senior company leadership,” the statement added, “was not involved in the review.”

at least I'm not alone in questioning the extent to which engineering was culpable ;)  But of course Boeing says senior leadership "wasn't involved".  sigh.

 

the article claims the MCAS was not outsourced but when you have issues like trying to convince a russian team that the smoke detectors had to be connected to a power supply...good lord

 

 

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5 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

I'm sure Boeing will self-investigate the self-certification of these systems and then ensure us that everything was totally on the up and up.

 

afaik the FAA and the justice department are investigating.  No reason to think that will help much but it's something.

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A little story about Boeing concerning Chinook helicopters. In the mid 80's, Boeing delivered 2 new Chinooks to the RAF to replace losses. One went for its first ever Minor service after 400 flying hours. The cover was taken off the front Jesus nut - The effing big nut torqued to a great value to ensure the Rotorhead didn't fall off in flight taking the rotor blades with it. What the techie found was the three pieces of locking wire that stops the Jesus nut from undoing had snapped. This can only happen if the torque nut was not correctly torqued up. This wire locking is not the standard locking wire something like a 16th inch thick, this stuff is the thickness of electrical copper wire with the insulation on it. Very thick and very hard to twist. So, the RAF decided to check the other aircraft delivered from Boeing. That had NO locking wire and the Jesus nut was only hand tight. The resonance of the vibration in the airframe had undone the nut. Of course Boeing denied culpability and I don't know how far it had gone but Boeing as a company did not show itself to have good quality workmanship or quality systems. There were also problems with the acceptance of the batch of the Chinook Mk 4 or 5's. Boeing were supposed to be part of the handover process for these aircraft to be accepted into RAF service, I read somewhere that Boeing refused to be part of that process, have to look and see if I can call up that article again. So problems with the Max seems par for the course.

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The complexity of modern aircraft, the pressures of the market and the limitations of men will always ride on the edge of some sort of failure regardless of testing.  You test what you know and what you think you know.  Unfortunately, Boeing is in an industry where lives are at stake.  Fixing blame is an emotional response; finding the root cause of failure and adding it the testing program is critical, but it does not ensure its correction might cause another tangential failure or that there are other, yet unrevealed failures in the future (eg self-driving vehicles).

With global competition, all industries ride on the edge.  It's where the cutting takes place.

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1 hour ago, catjones said:

and then, there's India...my I.T. experiences as well.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/boeings-737-max-software-outsourced-204657048.html

 

The best consultants are the cheapest; but the cheapest consultants are not the best.

I thought the best consultants are the ones that can achieve the brief without any comeback, low cost and value for money are 2 different things.

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yeah, that was the same article I linked, just wrapped in yahoo.

 

it said the MCAS software itself was not outsourced.

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4 hours ago, catjones said:

and then, there's India...my I.T. experiences as well.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/boeings-737-max-software-outsourced-204657048.html

 

The best consultants are the cheapest; but the cheapest consultants are not the best.

Looks bad, but keeps distracting from the main issue. SW was not to blame, top administration unwilling to redesign the plane are to blame.

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Now Boeing is taking a financial hit for trying to cut corners.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48899588

 

Airbus must be loving this apart from the headache of how to deal with all these extra orders. Of course there's Bombardier/ Airbus and the latest Chinese short /medium haul aircraft that might now have a chance of securing orders.

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