There, for reasons unknown, French accident investigators agreed to download its contents in private onto a drive for an immediate return to Addis Ababa, where the information remains mostly locked away today and has been withheld in full form from any outside observers. No-frills newcomers who cared nothing for prestige rushed in to compete for the business of bargain-conscious passengers and undercut the flagship national airline, Garuda, in a booming domestic market that started growing at a rate second only to China’s. Indeed, on initial impulse the artificial forces were so realistic that Boeing convinced itself (and the F.A.A.) Ziegler told me he received death threats and lived under police protection for a while. Some at Boeing argued for an aerodynamic fix, but the modifications would have been slow and expensive, and Boeing was in a hurry. If true, it was hard to conclude anything other than that this was severe and grotesque negligence. Boeing test pilots discovered that the Max had unusual stall characteristics when the wing flaps were up and the engines were thrusting. Residents of Europe and the United States generally did not know or care, but many of the ordinary Indonesians who had grown to hate their airlines were in favor of the ban simply as a form of punishment. Suneja hauled his control column all the way back, giving full up elevator to no avail. 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. He did not know their altitude, he told the controller, because all their altitude indicators were showing different values. The cockpit voice recorder from Lion Air Flight 610 was recovered in January 2019, 11 weeks after the crash. The Boeing 737 Max is, in essence, an upgrade to the most popular plane in the sky, the Boeing 737. Accompanying the drastic expansion in traffic was a disproportionate rise in accidents. Last week, American flew the first Boeing 737 MAX with paying passengers in almost two years. This was a mistake, because Harvino was in no condition to fend off the MCAS attacks. Twenty-five seconds later (a long interlude in flight), Harvino requested a clearance to “some holding point” where the airplane could linger in the sky. Understanding the Boeing 737 Max Accident Cause. That’s a sure sign right there.” About the Bali crew, he said: “They pull up to the gate. The Boeing 737 Max began flying commercially in May 2017 but has been grounded for over a year and a half following two crashes within five months. Cockroach Corner is the source of tons of suspected unapproved parts. The idea was that it would no longer be necessary to protect the public from airplanes if Airbus could get airplanes to protect themselves from pilots. Boeing 737 Max completes first U.S. commercial flight almost 2 years after worldwide grounding The controversial jet was grounded in 2019 after two crashes that killed everybody on board. I left Lion City struck that Boeing has not reacted with greater urgency to the larger problems now faced. Here's the inside scoop on exactly what caused the crashes. “Look,” he said, “we know as a fact that half of airline pilots graduated in the bottom half of their class.”. As the airplane climbed through 2,150 feet, Harvino retracted the wing flaps, and the MCAS kicked in for the first time, ambushing Suneja with its 10 seconds of double-fast nose-down trim and resulting in the 700-foot plunge seen on radar by the controller. It is hard to believe that any pilot entering that cockpit could have been so sloppy. Adam Suherman faded from view. Kirana has become a major Airbus customer — but for other airlines he now controls. The 737 Max was grounded March 13, three days after the crash in Ethiopia, costing Boeing $9.2 billion and counting. Everything seemed fine during the takeoff roll, but as soon as he hauled back on his control column and the airplane lifted off, the angle-of-attack sensor went haywire, the stick shaker began to rattle the left-side controls and Suneja lost reliable indications of airspeed and altitude on his flight display. Relatives of Yared Getachew, a 29-year-old pilot who was the captain of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, at the crash site in March. No one complained. It includes a visceral sense of navigation, an operational understanding of weather and weather information, the ability to form mental maps of traffic flows, fluency in the nuance of radio communications and, especially, a deep appreciation for the interplay between energy, inertia and wings. The facts speak for themselves. Additionally, in response to an error message indicating possible failures in angle-of-attack information, they replaced the angle-of-attack vane on the nose of the airplane on the captain’s side. on a technical basis. The tuition is $60,000. The implicit insult won him the enmity of some French airline pilots, who then as now thought highly of themselves. 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. This is another of Boeing’s bewildering failures — the implementation of an automated nose-down input meant to make for an authentic control feel but allowed to keep at it again and again while throwing the airplane wildly out of trim. This turned out to be an obsolete assumption. Harvino did not declare an emergency. Both Boeing and Airbus had taken larger such actions before. Here’s what it says. One Indonesian newcomer was a low-cost airline called Adam Air, which was a Lion Air competitor for several years. I would if I were in such a position. That year, it placed a new order for 40 additional 737s, and Boeing happily agreed to fill it. The logic of those conditions is clear, but not worth the digression here. In 2011, Lion Air returned to the table with what at the time was the largest commercial order in aviation history, a $22 billion deal for 230 units of the 737, including 201 units of the coming 737 Max. The handoff was well done. One of its 737s — an airplane that had been around the block for 18 years and was leased from Wells Fargo — was written up by pilots for recurring defects 154 times over the final three months of 2006. The mood in the cockpit was calm. What sent an expensive new Boeing into the ocean on that beautiful, bright morning in Indonesia? 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. Boeing called the result the Max. That was it. This sort of arrangement helps to explain why flying a Boeing is not normally an intellectual challenge. 3), but they had never heard of the MCAS and had no way of guessing from the maintenance log that none of the airplane’s recent failures had been resolved, that some of the entries might have been fraudulent, that serious failures had occurred on the previous flight that had not been recorded or addressed or that the angle-of-attack sensor on the captain’s side was a slapped-on unit from Cockroach Corner that was 20 degrees out of whack. 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. More important, within the buffet zone as the airplane approached the stall, the control forces — the necessary backpressure on the control column — did not increase in a conventional linear manner as they had in previous 737s and as certification standards required. We could only do so much, but we knew we had to try. It should have been obvious to air-traffic control that the pilots were struggling, but maybe because they had not declared an emergency, the controller continued to treat them routinely, repeatedly instructing them to maintain their chosen altitude of 5,000 feet and issuing multiple new compass headings to steer. Privately, it would start working on a fix for the MCAS.  =  Boeing is aware of the decline, but until now — even after these two accidents — it has been reluctant to break with its traditional pilot-centric views. 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. It was just a rote exercise. investigator with a long career of international experience, suggested to me diplomatically that Annex 13 is a typical United Nations construct that does not necessarily accommodate national and political variations in intent to get at the truth no matter where it may lie. No passengers were seriously injured, but the airplane had to be written off. and the Lebanese. What’s not known is who did that. When I mentioned this to Larry Rockliff, a former Canadian military and Airbus test pilot, he shrugged me off. The captain informed the co-pilot and said that he himself would do the flying. The reason crashes never happened during other stages of flight is most likely that the autopilots were engaged. The controller, who had just heard Suneja say he did not know his altitude, asked him what altitude he wanted. The report was passed around for comment before publication. The captain formally declared a condition of urgency by making a “pan-pan” call to air-traffic control. That’s a runaway trim. 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. The situation was obvious enough for almost any pilot. The number was high because the defects were not fixed. When Harvino mentioned a “flight-control problem,” he was wrong. 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. No reference has been made to Harvino’s initial flight training. About 150 to 200 students pass through every year. The 737 features two prominent toggle switches on the center pedestal whose sole purpose is to deal with such an event — a pilot simply switches them off to disengage the electric trim. It made sense in an era when airplanes were vulnerable to weather and prone to failures and pilots intervened regularly to keep airplanes from crashing. Many of those repair stations in Miami are junk peddlers.” And the Lion Air mechanics? But then there was a change. That’s why the responsibility of the aircraft manufacturer seems to be engaged. The crew of an offshore oil platform saw the airplane in a nearly vertical dive before it hit the water. Airbus had similar requirements for the Neo. Instead, Suneja leveled at 5,000 and 30 seconds later ordered the flaps retracted. This was another unusual question, given that multiple independent indications of speed should have been available in the cockpit. inspected it and never caught on. Twelve minutes into the flight, Lion Air 610 disappeared from radar. 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. Trim refers to an aerodynamic condition related to pitch — the nose-up-or-down attitude of an airplane in flight. Recently he made it clear that he also resented Boeing as being presumptuous and typically condescending. worse, wanting to encourage airlines to buy a plane that, like its competitor Neo Airbus A320, does not require any additional training, Boeing had not even mentioned the existence of this software. Carbaugh mentioned to me that he was serving as Boeing’s chief pilot of safety in 2010 when an Ethiopian crew lost control of a 737 NG, the predecessor of the Max, killing all 90 people aboard. The 737-500 does not share the same antistall system as the 737 Max, which was triggered in the 2018 crash of another Indonesian flight, Lion Air Flight 610, killing all 189 people aboard. “They treat us as third-world.”. Adding to the workload, the controller chose this moment to issue the first needless turn and to formally clear the flight to 5,000 feet. The change was a result of an error somewhere in the bowels of Boeing. He may have been right, except that this approach reduces pilots to journeymen and ignores the role of airmanship in safety. In the case of the Ethiopian investigation, we have an airline and an investigative body that historically have not been able to isolate themselves from the country’s dysfunctional political life. Michael Tewelde/Agence France-Press/Getty Images. [Read highlights from The Times’s coverage of the 737 Max crashes and the fallout.]. It remains unclear exactly what went wrong at Boeing — who decided what, and why — but a small collective breakdown had obviously occurred, and the F.A.A. A third standby system provides additional independent backup and allows for intuitive troubleshooting when any one of the three systems fails: If two indications agree and the third one does not, the odd one out is obviously the one to ignore. Biofuels are already viable for regular and private jets, Pegasus VBJ, the first vertical take-off (VTOL) private jet. A small number of Boeing's Max 9s are also operating. The fight continued for the next five minutes, during which time the MCAS mounted more than 20 attacks and began to prevail. then by flipping a couple of switches to shut off the electrics. Simulators, shop equipment, stocks of spare parts and training curriculums have to change. Mohammod did, and five seconds later the autopilot disengaged, perhaps because the captain’s indications became even more erratic than before. Led by an outspoken former military test pilot turned chief engineer named Bernard Ziegler, Airbus decided to take on Boeing by creating a robotic new airplane that would address the accelerating decline in airmanship and require minimal piloting skills largely by using digital flight controls to reduce pilot workload, iron out undesirable handling characteristics and build in pilot-proof protections against errors like aerodynamic stalls, excessive banks and spiral dives. A few seconds later, air-traffic control cleared the flight to 34,000 feet. The ban put Boeing and Airbus into a delicate position. Harvino dutifully responded. 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. It began flying in December 2003. The effort was made not out of the goodness of the manufacturers’ hearts, but out of calculations related to risk and self-preservation. Nonetheless, Boeing’s reticence allowed a narrative to emerge: that the company had developed the system to elude regulators; that it was all about shortcuts and greed; that it had cynically gambled with the lives of the flying public; that the Lion Air pilots were overwhelmed by the failures of a hidden system they could not reasonably have been expected to resist; and that the design of the MCAS was unquestionably the cause of the accident. What had been an information failure suddenly turned into a flight-control one. He said: “The pilots passed the check ride! They leave the airplane. This got Boeing’s attention. Those two switches are still off? Each is led by government officials of the countries where the airplanes crashed — Indonesia and Ethiopia — and joined, respectively, by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, by Boeing as the airplane’s builder and by the N.T.S.B. So they replaced one problem with another — a dubious unit from Cockroach Corner in Miami. The 900 is a 220-passenger airplane. But one thing is obvious: Throughout the subsequent fatal flight, neither member of the accident crew gave those switches a thought. The nose drop can be drastic, typically about 30 degrees in a classic 737. That’s my best guess. Private jets and airliners, an ecological hydrogen future? 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