Civil Aviation Ministry of Information thread


So, I was wrong in thinking the 737 MAX was a proper new aircraft, being all convinced it now too was FBW as the rest of Boeings modern offerings. I came across this article in my search:

That doesn’t read like a comfy flight to be honest. I am a short fella and even for me the 737 is a bit tight.


Last time a plane seat was comfortable for me was in 1990. Part of it is my size and the other is the downsizing of seat space.



The only thing FBW in the Max are the spoilers. I really wish I could walk you all along on this wild ride Beoing is orchestrating since the Lion Air crash. Boeing, our company and our union have been scolding us pilots about how we have been properly trained on a system we didn’t even know existed officially until yesterday. Oh wait! That’s another thread. Sorry. Yeah, airlines are going to continue to squeaze you until government aviation authorities cry foul. So far, free market rules alone (outside the middle east and Norway, anyway) apply


I am with you on all of that. I have been taken for a ride by Boeings marketing machine, I figured the MAX would be the all new path to the future but it’s just same old ■■■■ with a stupendous single point of failure build in…


You and I will probably always be in disagreement about the general qualities of the 737 line. I do happen to love it more than any other airliner I have flown. Easy to learn. Best dispatch reliability in our fleet. The Max is actually a very upgraded version in the areas that matter for a little workhorse: aerodynamics and engines. Where Boeing dropped the ball is in failing to tell customers about the existence of a major system. Here’s the new stuff we were taught in the 1 hour CBT and 12 page “QRG”:

“LAM” Landing Attitude Modifier (very minor change)
“MLA” Maneuver Load Alleviation (minor, sensible change)
“EDS” Emergency Descent Speedbrakes
Removed PSEU (nice but minor)
“RAAS” Runway Awareness Advisory System. (We were taught it but its not installed.)
“BRM” Bowed Rotor Motoring (a risk with the tight tolerances of the LEAP engine. (no biggy)
“THRUST” and “FUEL FLOW” alerting.
“CSPI” Control Surface Position Indicator (For 2 generations a feature in every plane EXCEPT the 737 (now standard!))
Incredible new radar

Plus a few other items. None are as big a change as the one that was never mentioned: “MCAS” Maneuver Something Something System. This is a system that commands the biggest flight control on any jet—the stabilizer—to start dialing for the dirt during a stall. Perhaps this is a perfectly sensible system that’s needed given the aerodynamic changes on the plane. The controversy is that nobody was told about it. This is akin to keeping secret “ALPHA FLOOR” to an Airbus pilot. That’s the rub as I see it. No matter, I am moving on baby!


Unlikely, I love the 737! I just expected more from this generation given Boeings marketing machine. I shouldn’t be surprised because it’s an old airframe that can’t be radically changed but I honestly figured they would do that this time around because the new generation of single aisle Boeing aircraft sort of disappeared from their radar.

From what I read the MCAS is needed, but the implementation seems a bit worrysome with a single point of failure. I’d expect a redesign on that one.

Fun fact, first shop visits of the LEAP engines are starting to come around. Mostly SB on a certain liner material in the LPT last i heard, it’s letting loose faster then expected thus loosing tolerances and dropping performance.


I can’t speak about the mechanical aspect of MCAS because we are still being told so little about it. The failure, the tradgedy, was in not informing pilots of the system. With no knowledge even of the mere presence of such a thing on their doomed jet, those poor pilots were left with too little information to correct a plane that was working against them. This was not Air France, a perfectly good machine that suffered a perctly manageable failure. The crew totally failed in that accident. The Lion Air crew doesn’t appear to have failed. They were blindsided by a machine working against them because they were not properly trained. That’s on Boeing.

Now to the mechanical or design aspect of the system. I would really like to know what you know about it. Because I’ve heard nothing but “mum” on this side of the Atlantic.

And as to your expectations for something better with the Max. You are entirely correct. But that’s a decision I sorta get. Boeing needed to sell a common type-rating. Just as with the dumbed down NG 20 years ago, so went the Max. Boeing “maxed” out the aerodynamic changes while keeping the flying qualities in line with older 737s in a combined fleet. It’s a sales philosophy which works ‘til it doesn’t.


Really?! Those engines have been flying less than a year. It’s like we are going backwards. I am starting to believe that the moon landing was a hoax.


Ah, mostly mechanics hear say, which is about as useful as any rumour you’d hear although from time to time the whispers through the grapevine are scarily accurate.

It’s just a little worrysome that the system kept overriding the pilots inputs and had no obvious way to determine it’s own failure or faulty inputs, right? Makes no sense to me since Boeing knows how to design this type of sensor by now!

Haha yeah well, the LEAP is the hot now thing in engines these days, all the competitors are off worse. Pratt and Whitney have a lot of trouble with the geared turbofan design and Rolls Royce is off even worse. GE is leading the pack!

It’s mostly the fact that we are skirting up against material and tolerance limits when building these engines and new materials are being tested. Which might work fine on a test bench but give way quicker in real life conditions. The GenX engines also have quicker then expected shop visits but it’s all calculated in and for now falls under GE warranty.


Yep. The crew could have very easily overriden MCAS. They only needed to either hold the electric trim or engage to satbilizer cutout. (The only reason I know this is because the Seattle Times taught it to me last week. Airlines and Boeing have since been more open). …edited the rest.



For some twisted reason that video brings this scene from Airplane to mind.




“…each engine produces about 77,109 horsepower to drive the fan during take-off! To give you an idea, a Formula 1 engine produces around 800 horsepower…”



Yeah, that’s like, atleast 10 times more then you can produce on your bike you know? :wink:


Boys and their toys…


When did Ken Block get his pilots licence?


Insert initial-D music.



“Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign…”


Ask, and the internet provides.