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You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found

Peter2 Silver badge

From the article a couple of comments above your post (

Boeing published a bulletin in which it described the effects of an MCAS malfunction, and instructed pilots to follow a particular “non-normal checklist” designed to help them cope with uncontrolled stabiliser movements.

This checklist - which is meant to be memorised by flight crew - instructed them to flip switches on the centre console, to turn off the stabiliser electronics, then balance the aircraft using manual trim wheels beside the pilots’ knees.

The Ethiopian crew tried to follow this procedure. They turned off the electronics and attempted to “trim” the aircraft - to bring it back into level, balanced flight - using the hand controls. But the preliminary report suggests that they were physically unable to do so.

It appears the aircraft was simply going too fast, and the aerodynamic forces building up on the stabilisers were too strong for the pilots to overcome with muscle power.

So that's pilot error? Oh wait, you say that they should have slowed down too. They covered that in the article too.

In other words, the pilots were faced with a situation where they couldn’t control the aircraft unless they tried to slow down - but doing so could push it into a catastrophic dive.

It’s possible, then, that the crew didn’t reduce thrust because they simply didn’t dare to do so.

Capt Chris Brady, himself a pilot and the author of a technical website devoted to the Boeing 737, endorses this theory.

“In these circumstances, you’re really caught between a rock and a hard place,” he says. “They may have wanted to reduce thrust, but when the aircraft is already very low and nose down as well, you’d have to have balls of steel to do so.”

Yep, totally pilot error. Of course it had absolutely nothing to do with the plane being unsafe and that's why thousands of 737 max flights take place everyda... What, the FAA demanded that they all be grounded since the plane as it stands is a deathtrap? This comment is on an article explaining the FAA has discovered another fatal control bug that would probably have killed another few hundred people and been blamed on the poor sap flying it?

Nah, definitely pilot error caused by non American pilots. Especially if Ethopian Airlines actually had a very good standard of training, had bought simulators from Boeing (which many American airlines haven't done, and they had the only 737 max simulator in Africa)

Yet one thing the simulator cannot yet do is replicate the circumstances of that accident or the previous crash off Indonesia. In late May, Boeing admitted that software provided to simulator operators was flawed, and incapable of reproducing some flight conditions, including the failures experienced by ET302.

But come on, all together now, "IT'S TEH PILOTS FAWLT!!11111!11"

Boeing is at least 90% responsible, with the 10% responsibility going to the pilots who didn't manage to figure out an undocumented way of preventing a plane ignoring the input from the pilots controls and flying itself into the ground.

Actually, scratch that. I'm giving the pilots a 10% discount on the responsibility based on the fact that the plane was unstable, the control software was dangerously defective and documented process for recovering the plane from this situation doesn't work IRL, so i'm calling it 100% Boeing's fault. Which is of course why the 737Max is grounded, and probably will be until it's actually safe to fly.

To go from the fact that this fix obviously wasn't particularly well tested by Boeing would suggest that the 737Max won't be flying anytime soon.

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