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All Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Grounded

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They reckon the software which controls the angle of attack (AoA) of an aircraft was the cause - at least of the Boeing accident in Indonesia. The "angle of attack" as HEM knows, is the angle the aircraft is at when you are flying. Too shallow and you go too fast, too steep and the air becomes "choppy" and you drop outta the sky, or a stall. This applies to space shuttles, airliners or human craft like paragliders (I used to do that). 

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/boeing-warns-pilots-over-737-max-sensors-after-lion-air-n933376?cid=par-aff-gray

 

Hmmmm, so who wrote the software of the AoA? Moreover which operating system was it based? That's critical. FYI, Boeing is based in Seattle. Who else is HQ'd in Seattle? Too early to say though.

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The advancements in computer technology over the past few decades has been astounding. What gets me is blu tooth, wireless/wifi etc....

 

I know it is just a conspiracy theory but... hacking and over riding automated systems has been known for awhile now...:wacko: Is it not possible that this can happen with computer systems on airplanes? Cars as well?

 

A bit like this....

 

 

It will be interesting what the black box has to say...

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The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which prevents the plane from stalling by lowering the nose if the software judges that the plane is climbing too steeply seems to be a solution looking for a problem.

 

How many planes went down because the the pilot climbed too fast stalling the plane? While I'm not a pilot I'm pretty sure a pilot could tell blindfolded if the plane was climbing too steeply. Just from engine noise, and his/her inner ear.

 

So the MCAS software had brought down two planes. I speculate the problem it is trying to solve has not brought down any planes.

 

Now the software itself is probably not buggy. It's the "angle of attack" sensors that are unreliable. A human pilot would tap the "angle of attack" gauge, say bugger the sensor is faulty and ignore it, because his eyes can tell him what's really going on.

 

It seems that disengaging the autopilot doesn't disengage the MCAS. It can be disengaged, but probably not through a single switch flick. And when pilot and co pilot are fighting the plane which keeps trying to nose dive it's pretty tough to be cool about going through the MCAS disengagement procedure.

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We humans are becoming far too reliant on computers. Sure technology is a good thing, but is it? At the end of the day it is only as good as the person who programmed it. Our laziness as a species will be our downfall.

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19 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

...

How many planes went down because the the pilot climbed too fast stalling the plane? While I'm not a pilot I'm pretty sure a pilot could tell blindfolded if the plane was climbing too steeply. Just from engine noise, and his/her inner ear.

 


 

Spatial disorientation is actually a known problem and yes it has caused crashes!

The pilots inner ear "lies" to the brain and causes the pilot to think that the plane is doing one thing when actually it is doing another, so the inputs by the pilot are wrong.

 

According to this source, it has been the cause of 44 crashes!

https://aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Event=FCV

 

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22 hours ago, razorsandroses said:

My contention is why risk human lives trying to enhance the aircraft by adding all kinds of new unused software prototypes that seasoned veteran airline pilots are clearly unfamiliar and inexperienced with, and it's done already knowing how software bugs have caused catastrophes such as space shuttle explosions? Why not manufacture a plane with the basic ability to get the damn passengers from point A to point B? You wanna play with software and new age equipment, that's fine...so long as it's YOUR asses in the aircraft spending the minimum 5000 hours testing the prototypes rigorously through enough to confidently say that all bugs have been worked out.

 

That way, when there is an "oopsie" like there has already been twice, they can simply consider all the involved engineers and software developers on board automatically fired by default (hahaha :D I crack myself up) and they can find someone more qualified to design and build a more reliable aircraft.

 

They really need to quit experimenting with technology, and just stick to building an aircraft that gets you where you need to be. Period.

 

</antisocial>

 

It is happening with cars as well. Automated breaking system, parking assist... etc etc...

 

Self driving cars...

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.html

 

Soon we humans will no longer need to think at all.

 

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4 minutes ago, Anna66 said:

We humans are becoming far too reliant on computers. Sure technology is a good thing, but is it? At the end of the day it is only as good as the person who programmed it. Our laziness as a species will be our downfall.

 

Sorry, but that is like saying that the quality of a car is as good as the quality of the guy who installed the engine.

 

No system is programmed by a single person.  The quality of the software is much more complex and depends on the technology, design, architecture, programming, testing,  project management, regulators, etc. etc.

 

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11 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Spatial disorientation is actually a known problem and yes it has caused crashes!

The pilots inner ear "lies" to the brain and causes the pilot to think that the plane is doing one thing when actually it is doing another, so the inputs by the pilot are wrong.

 

Hmm seems I stand corrected. 

 

However it would still make more sense to me to speak a voice alarm telling the pilot the nose is too high rather than taking over control from the pilot.

 

Likewise with self braking cars. Imagine oil catches fire just in front of you. The last thing you want to do is brake to a stop in the patch of burning oil. Better to accelerate through the fire if you can't stop before it.

 

A good human driver can make that kind of decision in a fraction of a second. It would be rather frustrating if the Augmentation System decided it knew better. And that's rather an exotic situation. There are many situations driving on icy roads where you need acceleration to maintain control, and braking is the worst thing you can do. 

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16 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

Sorry, but that is like saying that the quality of a car is as good as the quality of the guy who installed the engine.

 

No system is programmed by a single person.  The quality of the software is much more complex and depends on the technology, design, architecture, programming, testing,  project management, regulators, etc. etc.

 

 

Maybe. However, not all of these planes have had this fault. I guess we should wait and see what the black box tells us.

 

And not really. Programming and installation are two different things. If I install windows on my computer, as a layman who has no idea of programming maybe I make a mistake and it does not work as well as someone with experience. (e.g a computer specialist, programmer) Programming and installing are two different kettles of fish  (Just disagreeing with the example you used).

 

Just saying ;)

 

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15 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

However it would still make more sense to me to speak a voice alarm telling the pilot the nose is too high rather than taking over control from the pilot.

 

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47553787

 

This report says there is a warning.

 

Quoted from article above

 

"Documents reveal that pilots reported engaging autopilot only for the aircraft's nose to pitch lower, prompting the warning system to exclaim: "Don't sink! Don't sink!"

 

Many other countries are now grounding the planes. Will be interesting to see what the black box has to say.

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36 minutes ago, Anna66 said:

 

It is happening with cars as well. Automated breaking system, parking assist... etc etc...

 

Self driving cars...

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.html

 

Soon we humans will no longer need to think at all.

 

 

It's what I've been trying to say. Quit immersing means of transportation in newer technology to enhance vehicle performance, and just leave it to HUMAN SKILL! I'm sure those pilots knew exactly how to maneuver the aircraft out of the dangerous situation much better than the software AI of the plane did.

 

Anna gave a perfect example with that self driving car that killed a pedestrian. Human lives are not expendable enough to play with newly developed software and programming that no one has ever tried before! You should have enough skill to drive a car by yourself--why put lives on the line by throwing new technology in the mix and automating everything?

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20 minutes ago, Anna66 said:

Programming and installation are two different things. If I install windows on my computer, as a layman who has no idea of programming maybe I make a mistake and it does not work as well as someone with experience.

 

Actually the biggest mistake is installing the world's biggest computer virus:

 

Microsoft.

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26 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

 

 

Hmm seems I stand corrected. 

 

However it would still make more sense to me to speak a voice alarm telling the pilot the nose is too high rather than taking over control from the pilot.

...

 

Well there also kind of is.  Normally, before the aircraft stalls it activates a "stick shaker".  This will vibrate/shack the "stick" to warn the pilot, which helps but if the pilot does not know the exact problem they might not adjust.

A recent example I watched on Air Crash Investigation was that the pilot(s) had not realised that they had too little power as they came into land, and so when the stick shook they still did not point it down because they were too close to the ground.  

The software knows what the problem is and can adjust to a much more accurate level than a pilot can, and quicker.

 

BTW:  Planes have had this feature for a long time.  I think it is just new in the 737, and/or a new version/type.  

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Anna66 said:

 

Maybe. However, not all of these planes have had this fault. I guess we should wait and see what the black box tells us.

 

And not really. Programming and installation are two different things. If I install windows on my computer, as a layman who has no idea of programming maybe I make a mistake and it does not work as well as someone with experience. (e.g a computer specialist, programmer) Programming and installing are two different kettles of fish  (Just disagreeing with the example you used).

 

Just saying ;)

 

 

Rather simplified.  You can't install the software incorrectly on such systems, as they are locked down and not open systems such as Windows. 

 

Of course indications are that it was a software problem, but normally in such cases it is a problem caused by a very specific set of circumstances (that is why it has only resulted in 2 crashes out of 10'000s tests and 1000's of flights).  So these exact circumstances need to be found.

 

Boeing have been trying to apply a software fix for the Lion Air problem for a few months, but it has been delayed for various reasons.  Of course, it will be interesting to see if this is exactly the same problem (and hence the fix if applied sooner would have fixed it) or if the circumstances are very slightly different.

 

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28 minutes ago, razorsandroses said:

 

It's what I've been trying to say. Quit immersing means of transportation in newer technology to enhance vehicle performance, and just leave it to HUMAN SKILL! I'm sure those pilots knew exactly how to maneuver the aircraft out of the dangerous situation much better than the software AI of the plane did.

 

Anna gave a perfect example with that self driving car that killed a pedestrian. Human lives are not expendable enough to play with newly developed software and programming that no one has ever tried before! You should have enough skill to drive a car by yourself--why put lives on the line by throwing new technology in the mix and automating everything?

 

10 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

Rather simplified.  You can't install the software incorrectly on such systems, as they are locked down and not open systems such as Windows. 

 

Of course indications are that it was a software problem, but normally in such cases it is a problem caused by a very specific set of circumstances (that is why it has only resulted in 2 crashes out of 10'000s tests and 1000's of flights).  So these exact circumstances need to be found.

 

Boeing have been trying to apply a software fix for the Lion Air problem for a few months, but it has been delayed for various reasons.  Of course, it will be interesting to see if this is exactly the same problem (and hence the fix if applied sooner would have fixed it) or if the circumstances are very slightly different.

 

 

I agree here with razorsandroses.

 

How many people have died now because of this? We are putting peoples lives in the hands of computers,

 

I watched a recent documentary on the robotic surgery, and read this report.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33609495

 

Sure technology makes our lives easier. We become lazier, but is it worth risking human lives? Many drivers have also been lead to their deaths by GPS...

 

Is it worth it?

 

I am really interested in seeing what the black box has to say.

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2 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

How many planes went down because the the pilot climbed too fast stalling the plane? While I'm not a pilot I'm pretty sure a pilot could tell blindfolded if the plane was climbing too steeply. Just from engine noise, and his/her inner ear.

Read up on what happened to that air france flight that went down between Rio and Paris. It is worrisome how little some pilots apparently know about aerodynamics.

 

From what I heard from the Lion Air crash it is not really a software bug. The software is doing precisely what it is designed for. The problems are faulty data readings such as aoa.

 

I also don't unterstand the people that claim it is an old design and problems occur only because of new software additions. Is the root cause of the problem not that Boeing put new and bigger engines on a plane that was not designed for them? So they had to move the engines closer to the front making it more unstable and Boeing tried to fix that by adding or modifying the Software.

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23 minutes ago, vronchen said:

The software is doing precisely what it is designed for. The problems are faulty data readings such as aoa.

 

exactly this.  The problem with software is you have to be careful about what you direct it to do as sometimes it does its job too well.  Garbage in, garbage (and sadly, multiple deaths in this case) out.  

 

The missile system that armed itself because it mistook the moon for an "aggressor" is a perfect case in point.  The system should be able to detect and deal with faulty data.  My opinion is that this is the most likely shortfall.  That and the fact that it blocks a human who does understand what is going on from taking over.

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3 hours ago, jeremytwo said:

The "angle of attack" as HEM knows, is the angle the aircraft is at when you are flying.

Its actually the angle that the slipstream is "meeting" the airfoil, which is not necessarily the same.

 

For example gliders on a winch launch have a rather steep angle to the horizon but the angle of attack is not all that high.

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1 hour ago, vronchen said:

It is worrisome how little some pilots apparently know about aerodynamics.

 

The AF447 crew didn't have a clue what was happening until seconds before impact (together with several club members we had a briefing at the BFU in Braunschweig where an ex-member is an investigator).

 

Its worrying how little real flying ability some have.  Very few have flying experience outside their airline training nowadays.

I recently asked a fellow glider pilot who is an B747 captain with LH how often his cockpit crews were active glider pilots etc.  He said very rarely nowadays although he had recently a crew where one was a hang glider pilot & the other flew cessnas.

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4 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

The first autopilot components where flown in 1912, just 9 years after the first powered flight!  Although of course it took until the 50s until these were what we would consider to be computer controlled.

 

Some years ago I had a cockpit ride on a LH flight from Dusseldorf to Manchester.  B737 (probably -300 or -400).

 

At some stage after passing Hull the captain asked me if I'd expereinced a fully automatic landing.  When I answered in the negative the Captain asked his FO is he was agreeable to do so & then proceeded to explain how they set it up.  As we came out of the clouds 12 miles short of the runway he pressed the buttons & sat with his right fist behind the power levers & left hand around (but not touching) the yoke.  The plane touched down perfectly.

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