Skip to comments.Prosecutors, Transportation Department Scrutinize Development of Boeing’s 737 MAX
Posted on 03/18/2019 3:57:48 AM PDT by Magnatron
Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.s BA 1.52% 737 MAX jetliners, according to people familiar with the matter, unusual inquiries that come amid probes of regulators safety approvals of the new plane.
A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAXs development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages, one of these people said. The subpoena, with a prosecutor from the Justice Departments criminal division listed as a contact, sought documents to be handed over later this month.
It wasnt immediately clear whether the Justice Departments probe is related to scrutiny of the Federal Aviation Administration by the DOT inspector generals office, reported earlier Sunday by The Wall Street Journal and that focuses on a safety system that has been implicated in the Oct. 29 Lion Air crash that killed 189 people, according to a government official briefed on its status. Aviation authorities are looking into whether the anti-stall system may have played a role in last weeks Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 people on board.
The subpoena was sent a day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash a week ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...
I hate to be this cynical, but I wonder about industrial espionage and purposeful design flaws.
China and/or India?
They will probably find a way to blame this on Trump. This model started selling in May 2016. If Trump had replaced all the Clinton/Bush/Obama FAA people an early 2016 they would have said that caused the design problems.
nevernevergiveup...total control of an AC during TO and Landing to the Auto pilot and allow the human to intervene at the flip of 1 switch not 2 or 3.
Never been a big fan of Auto P during landing and take off, but that just me.
A Horizontal Jack Screw out of control will kill ya.
“A Horizontal Jack Screw out of control will kill ya.”
Wow. As if I didn’t hate flying enough already.
Seems like training was a big problem too. Pilots overseas didn’t know the MCAS system was there whereas domestic pilots knew to turn it off.
I am not really a pilot but did play one on FreeRepublic
Here’s my latest explanation of the 737 MAX:
An important way to increase the miles-per-gallon of a plane is to reduce the size of the wing. A wing needs to be large enough for takeoffs and landings. They have flaps to increase the size during those periods.
In normal flight the wings don’t need to be as large as they need to be during takeoff and landing.
So Boeing puts a small wing on the 737 MAX and makes up for it by putting on more powerful engines requiring a greater angle of attack to make the small wings have the necessary lift at low speeds.
This combination of things gets the plane off the ground but the smaller wings operating at higher angle of attack make it harder to control during the slow-speed climb. Not impossible but tricky. Computer help is very useful if it works properly.
I’d fly a 778 MAX in America with no hesitation. Our pilots by now know fully how to handle it.
First was the pressure that Boeing was getting from various airlines to provide more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Second was the pressure from Airbus with the upcoming release of their competitive new SE plane.
Third was an archaic web of regulation that permitted Boeing to not need to undergo a full certification of the MAX to get it out of the door quickly.
Fourth was the configuration of the aircraft from a stability standpoint (a result of Boeing taking a shortcut via the first three above and patching the instability with a software program). You cannot change the wing, loading, and power configuration of the engines without taking into account the body profile itself.
Fifth was the programming of the MCAS system to rely on a single sensor -- the Angle of Attack sensor -- which according to aerospace engineers I spoke to can have an error factor of 10-20%.
Lastly is the somewhat secretive way they rolled this out, keeping the instability of the airframe quiet and not performing full training on the new system to affected pilots.
This aircraft should have never been certified. Boeing needs to pull it and go back to the drawing board to design the way they should have in the first place.
I don’t believe the MAX was ever submitted for a new type certificate.
There apparently is a “minor modification” process which is less stringent (and less costly) than being certified as what amounts to a new aircraft.
The questions will be 1) Were the modifications to the 737 sufficient to require a lengthy certification process such as would be needed for a new aircraft, and 2) If yes, was this avoided by bribery or some other form of corruption (since none of the new forms of incentive for bureaucrats or congress folk seem to qualify as bribery).
No, just safety checks effectively falsified from managements desire to cut costs and get this to market under a super-abbreviated review when it actually needed much more review and less inspection falsification.
Here is a similar article from the Seattle times
The FAA, citing lack of funding and resources, has over the years delegated increasing authority to Boeing to take on more of the work of certifying the safety of its own airplanes.
Obamas fault. This design and certification occurred under his oversight of the FAA
Which is as ridiculous as it sounds, legalease mumbo jumbo for why not sneak an easy fix in to save us time and money.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the concept of the MCAS, most aircraft today are fly by wire. It's the idea of putting a new system in and keeping it a secret.
I made essentially the same comment a few days ago.
The plane could never have passed certification with a “hands-on” software glitch of this magnitude...unless allegations underscoring this story have merit. In such a case, it would seem that someone or group of people within Boeing (at a minimum) conspired to hide a serious stability problem with the addition of the new engines to an old airframe design.
If the latter is the case, sell your Boeing stock now.
Well done. All threads should refer back to your comment on this matter.
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