Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Is It Now "If It's a Boeing, I'm Not Going"? (Updated)

After a Boeing 737 crashed near Amsterdam more than a decade ago, the Dutch investigators focused blame on the pilots for failing to react properly when an automated system malfunctioned and caused the plane to plummet into a field, killing nine people.

The fault was hardly the crew’s alone, however. Decisions by Boeing, including risky design choices and faulty safety assessments, also contributed to the accident on the Turkish Airlines flight. But the Dutch Safety Board either excluded or played down criticisms of the manufacturer in its final report after pushback from a team of Americans that included Boeing and federal safety officials, documents and interviews show.
In the 2009 and Max accidents, for example, the failure of a single sensor caused systems to misfire, with catastrophic results, and Boeing had not provided pilots with information that could have helped them react to the malfunction. The earlier accident “represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously,” said Sidney Dekker, an aviation safety expert who was commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board to analyze the crash.

Dr. Dekker’s study accused Boeing of trying to deflect attention from its own “design shortcomings” and other mistakes with “hardly credible” statements that admonished pilots to be more vigilant, according to a copy reviewed by The Times.
One of the longest-running gripes of pilots is that, when there is an accident investigation, it seems that the easiest thing to do is blame the pilots. They're usually dead and they can't speak as to what happened. Manufacturer's reps on an investigation are almost always going to be biased, ever overtly on unconsciously, toward deflecting the blame away from their company.

As a result, design lessons were not learned that could have prevented the 737 Max crashes.

Air travel remains the safest way to go. But still, when booking a trip or boarding a flight, one shouldn't have to wonder whether or not the airplane has some badly-engineered system that the aircraft manufacturer knows about, the pilots don't know about and which can kill everyone.

UPDATE: Boeing's press release about "ungrounding" the 737 Max. "Ungrounding"... heh. If there's any further proof needed that Boeing's been taken over by MBAs and idiots, it's the use of the word "ungrounding".

UPDATE II: Everything sucks for Boeing.


dinthebeast said...

"Design shortcomings"? Like the hand crank the pilot or FO has to know to crank on to correct a runaway trim situation before the plane has lost too much altitude to manually correct it in time?

-Doug in Oakland

Stewart Dean said...

The times we live in are getting too interesting

Joe said...

it's always human fault and sometimes that means the pilot, sometimes it's the MBA telling engineers to make it cheaper

Bob Broughton said...

Good luck with the "I'm not going", Misfit, but... I swore a few years ago that I would never fly on Delta again. I still try to avoid Delta like the plague, but I've ended up on their flights a couple of times anyway. The reality is, if you're going to Atlanta or any place that requires a connection in Atlanta, you're flying on Delta.
I have, however, stuck to my guns on Spirit. Never.

seafury said...

i think the tag line should read "If it ain't Gulfstream I ain't going" at least for the BOD and CEO.

Ten Bears said...

Twenty years ago Michael Crichton published a book - Airframe- that was more about the industry than the airplane. Of course, he was mocked, made object of condescending, denigrating, finger-wagging mewling by those who wouldn't know a yoke from the choke.

Like so many of the stories he published ...

Unknown said...

I recently read "Airframe" (just before the Max's dropped). A very good book, especially in light of the Boeing clown show response to the disasters.