As for Airbus, Boeing had guaranteed that no additional training would have been necessary, other than two hours of tablet training. Biofuels are already viable for regular and private jets, Pegasus VBJ, the first vertical take-off (VTOL) private jet. The only way to retrim the airplane at these speeds would be to use the much more powerful electric mechanism associated with the thumb switches, which, however, would require the pilots first to flip the cutout switches back to “normal,” exposing the airplane to further attacks from the MCAS. The Max 7 and 10 models, not yet delivered, are due for roll-out in the next few years. It has not changed much aerodynamically. No reference has been made to Harvino’s initial flight training. A race to the bottom comes to mind. Such questions were overshadowed by the subsequent failures of the accident crew on Flight 610. Getachew instructed Mohammod to advise air-traffic control that they were having flight-control problems, even though until then the only problem they had experienced was with instruments and their indications. They were the deciding factor here — not the MCAS, not the Max. They saw a runaway trim. The best pilots do not sit in cockpits so much as strap them on. It gave a nine-second nose-down burst that stopped the climb and forced the airplane into a slight descent. Deregulation had transformed Indonesia into a complicated Wild East of flying, inhabited by consumers who were immune to prestige, just as Lion Air’s Kirana had predicted. In other words, when it comes to predicting the competence of its pilots, Lion Air has achieved the clairvoyance that has long eluded Boeing and Airbus, both of which have spent decades in that pursuit without finding good answers. He was an off-duty pilot and, according to one Indonesian pilot I spoke to, a 737 Max captain for a Lion Air subsidiary. If you were to choose a location in the developing world in which to witness the challenges facing airline safety — the ossification of regulations and in many places their creeping irrelevance to operations; the corruption of government inspectors; the corruption of political leaders and the press; the pressure on mechanics, dispatchers and flight crews to keep unsafe airplanes in the air; the discouragement, fatigue and low wages of many airline employees; the willingness of bankers and insurers to underwrite bare-bones operations at whatever risk to the public; the cynicism of investors who insist on treating air travel as just another business opportunity; and finally the eagerness of the manufacturers to sell their airplanes to any airline without restraint — you would be hard pressed to find a more significant place than Indonesia. When Harvino mentioned a “flight-control problem,” he was wrong. were allowed to listen to recordings Important leads, meanwhile, are not being pursued, entire angles are being overlooked and the release of information to the public has been unusually restricted. There were many contributing factors, mostly among the budget carriers but affecting Garuda as well: an onrush of inexperienced pilots willing to work long hours for low pay; discouragement among mechanics, ramp workers and dispatchers; pressure to keep airplanes flying despite component failures that should have grounded them; the falsification of cargo and passenger manifests; dual maintenance and flight logs; and corruption permeating the entire system, including even air-traffic control. Finally the ghost in the jump seat intervened. was forced to retreat from its initial defense of the airplane, Boeing had to accept a public onslaught. The facts speak for themselves. Boeing test pilots discovered that the Max had unusual stall characteristics when the wing flaps were up and the engines were thrusting. Immediately, Boeing responded that it would have also improved the competitor of the Airbus A320, the Boeing 737, by increasing the power of its engines, while decreasing its consumption. Boeing would soon report that they had solved the problem. This sort of arrangement helps to explain why flying a Boeing is not normally an intellectual challenge. “Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in … Investigators later determined that the Air France flight — a heavy jet stalling at absurdly high angles of attack — passed the point of possible recovery as it mushed down through 12,000 feet. Yet if they flew from Beijing to Guangzhou, it was 1,550 steps. He said: “They didn’t finish, whatever the log says. Falsified maintenance records? Eyewitnesses who saw a flash, that was probably the landing lights coming out of the bottom of the clouds. Your email address will not be published. Lion Air 610 was not immediately among them. Airplanes are living things. Privately, it would start working on a fix for the MCAS. No one I spoke to from Boeing, Airbus or the N.T.S.B. and the Lebanese. Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. The second accident occurred when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 Max bound for Nairobi with 157 people aboard, hit the ground near Addis Ababa in a screaming dive. Mohammod said: “Stab trim cutout! The public flocked to him even while reviling his airline for its poor on-time performance and, soon enough, for its safety record. Such failures are easily countered by the pilot — first by using the control column to give opposing elevator, then by flipping a couple of switches to shut off the electrics before reverting to a perfectly capable parallel system of manual trim. But his efforts led to the smartest airplane ever built, a single-aisle medium-range “fly-by-wire” masterpiece called the A320 that entered the global market in 1988, led the way to all other Airbus models since and has been locked into a seesaw battle with Boeing’s relatively conventional 737s for the past 30 years. In the Oct. 29 crash of a Lion Air 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia, a malfunctioning angle-of-attack sensor that had just been installed sent erroneous signals indicating the … I remember flying with a captain who would never divert no matter how many problems I gave him. But there was a big problem: The pilots had still not throttled back from takeoff thrust, and the airplane now in level flight was going extremely fast, at least 25 knots faster than the maximum operating speed of 340 knots, and was rapidly accelerating into realms beyond the flight-testing range. The omission meant that the possibility of a false positive in cruising flight — a pushover occurring where it naturally would not — would likewise not be addressed. To achieve that, he would have to use his own airplanes and control every aspect of the operation. Boeing is to pay $2.5b to settle a criminal conspiracy charge for misleading regulators about the safety of its 737 Max aircraft, which suffered two deadly crashes shortly after entering service. The excessive speed was amply clear in the cockpit, where an overspeed clacker was sounding off, but neither pilot thought to reduce the thrust and slow. Getachew pulled the nose up. I was not the only one with questions. could explain the reasoning here. Because rescue vehicles could not cross the ditch, firefighters could not get their equipment close enough to suppress the flames effectively, and the fire burned for more than two hours. This time he was ready when the MCAS engaged, and he managed to avoid a dive by counter-trimming and hanging tight. Flightglobal.com. One winter night, one of our pilots died. He was speaking specifically about Malaysia’s investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Flight 370, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 lost in 2014, a case to which he was assigned. When I mentioned this to Larry Rockliff, a former Canadian military and Airbus test pilot, he shrugged me off. An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max jet made an unscheduled — but safe — landing Friday because of engine trouble. This spring, I drove an hour west of the Jakarta airport to a compound known as Lion City. You need to get them to change the findings. Soon it was out over open water. Critics have since loudly blamed it for the difficulty in countering the MCAS when the system receives false indications of a stall. There was no Israeli missile, no explosion, no lightning strike. Unless they make extraordinary efforts — for instance, going out to fly aerobatics, fly sailplanes or wander among the airstrips of backcountry Idaho — they may never develop true airmanship no matter the length of their careers. Foremost were their epic interventions in China that gathered speed in the late 1980s and endured for years. The United States Embassy in Jakarta advised Americans to avoid travel on Indonesian airlines, though within Indonesia that was practically impossible to do. then by flipping a couple of switches to shut off the electrics. One reason for them is that no one expects a pilot to go out and crash the next day. Shortly before the report was to be released in 2012, Carbaugh stopped by Addis Ababa to demonstrate a new 787 Dreamliner, four of which the airline had ordered. A few months earlier, another Boeing-737 Max crashed in Indonesia, still a few minutes after take-off, killing the 189 people aboard the 610 Lion Air flight. This is unlikely and has never been explained. He did not know their altitude, he told the controller, because all their altitude indicators were showing different values. None of the Bali crew have been named, and access to them has been blocked. Mohammod flipped the switches. Its solution was to create synthetic control forces by cooking up a new automated system known as the MCAS to roll in a burst of double-speed nose-down stabilizer trim at just the right moment, calculated largely by angle of attack. Private jets and airliners, an ecological hydrogen future? The onslaught has included congressional hearings, federal investigations, calls for the criminal prosecution of Boeing executives, revelations by whistle-blowers, attacks in the news media, the exploitation of personal tragedy and the construction of a whole new economic sector built around perceptions of the company’s liability. House committee final report says Boeing, FAA failures to blame for deadly 737 MAX crashes The report marks an end to the committee's 18-month-long investigation. Getachew asked for help with the nose-up trim, a request that did not make sense because the dual use of electric thumb switches is no more powerful than a single use. That’s a sure sign right there.” About the Bali crew, he said: “They pull up to the gate. This got Boeing’s attention. At the forefront of the boom was a streetwise Jakarta local named Rusdi Kirana, then 36, who came from a humble background, once sold typewriters for a living and became an airport freelancer hustling for scraps of opportunity among the passengers moving through the terminal buildings. Its disregard of safety ran the gamut and resulted in the dispatch of shabby airplanes in the hands of beleaguered pilots. No direct mention has been made of this, but he must have immediately identified the replacement angle-of-attack vane on his side as the likely culprit. Firstly, the two accidents demonstrated that this software, having to correct the trajectory of the aircraft on the basis of the indications provided by sensors, can force the aircraft to nose down, for example when the indications of the sensors are at fault. Getachew had neglected to throttle back from the full takeoff thrust setting. The problem exists for many American and European pilots, too. This was done for reasons of safety. That’s my best guess. What had been an information failure suddenly turned into a flight-control one. Conversely, the slower an airplane flies, the greater the angle of attack needs to be. Although Boeing’s designers were aware of timetables and competitive pressures, the mistakes they made were honest ones, or stupid ones, or maybe careless ones, but not a result of an intentional sacrifice of safety for gain. That story actually starts three days before the accident, when the same airplane — under different flight numbers and Lion Air crews — experienced errors in airspeed and altitude indications on the captain’s (left side) flight display that weren’t properly addressed. They are as common as they are difficult to discern. These broader implications, however, have been lost in the noise. Or did they discuss the issues involved? In broad daylight, these pilots couldn’t decipher a variant of a simple runaway trim, and they ended up flying too fast at low altitude, neglecting to throttle back and leading their passengers over an aerodynamic edge into oblivion. The pattern repeated and would have kept repeating to the limits of nose-down trim, an extreme imbalance never approached in regular flight. On the coming run, it would be his turn to do the flying. Boeing has grown largely silent, perhaps as much at the request of its sales force as of its lawyers. The logic of those conditions is clear, but not worth the digression here. They were just hellbent to release that airplane.”, According to the written record, the mechanics responded to the captain’s reports by flushing out a couple of air-data units, cleaning an electrical plug and declaring success after running some ground tests. The solution: to advance the location of the new engine under the wings, so that it would be positioned higher. The slope becomes slippery toward the end. “Look,” he said, “we know as a fact that half of airline pilots graduated in the bottom half of their class.”. To point fingers at important clients would risk alienating not only those airlines but others who have been conditioned to buy its airplanes, no matter how incompetent their pilots may be. The report was passed around for comment before publication. Kirana and his brother stepped in as middlemen, acquiring tickets by the fistful from airline clerks and scalping them to the crowds. But hardly any of that matters in the story of the 737 Max. Pilots like Suneja who come from the outside typically sign on in the hope of building hours and moving on to a better job. Last week, American flew the first Boeing 737 MAX with paying passengers in almost two years. They saw where and how it was handled in the curriculum — always on Sim Ride No. He may have made that choice because the airplane was flying at aerodynamic speeds in excess of 300 knots, which is not only fast for that altitude but also at least 50 knots faster than the maximum flap speed and enough to generate a loud overspeed clacker in the cockpit. repeated the same information in the form of an “Emergency Airworthiness Directive,” a regulatory mandate to change the airplane’s flight manual. No one complained. The captain got the airplane going so fast that when he called for flaps to configure for landing, the co-pilot did not dare extend them for fear of structural damage and did not communicate his doubts to the captain. Suneja could have disabled it at any time with the flip of the two trim cutout switches, but this apparently never came to mind, and he had no ghost in the jump seat to offer the advice. The country began deregulating its airline industry in the late 1990s in the hope of providing for the sort of fast, low-cost travel that might help bind its islands together. But it seemed that for some reason, the Lion Air crew might not have resorted to the simple solution. What caused the Boeing 737 Max to crash? During intervals on the ground, the airline’s technicians ran built-in tests, got coded responses and did plug-out plug-in reboot attempts of the mindless sort performed at automotive service centers. Kirana’s travel agency did not make him rich, but it apparently convinced him that a large, unexploited market existed in Indonesia for cheap flights, and that someday, because of the country’s island geography, air travel might be seen as routine by ordinary people. But there were two differences that may have confused them. At that altitude, it was nearing the 737’s maximum engineered aerodynamic airspeed of approximately 340 knots. 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