Ethiopian Crash


The jumpseater had just been hired by our airline. Young wife. Infant at home. I’ve heard some disturbing speculation about this one but I cannot repeat them here. I want to believe it was BS anyway.

MCAS. I got the name wrong. Funny how quickly new planes make us dump the old. All Boeings have two red guarded switches next to the throttles that remove all electric power from the trim. But if you ever jumpseat in a Boeing you will note that those two switches will show zero signs of use. For good reason as they are never touched. So unless pilots make a habit of restoring them into muscle memory, it is easy to understand why they might be overlooked when things go nuts in the cockpit.


It’s the core problem of Boeing not designing a replacement for the 737, it’s a weird evolved beast, and those LEAP engines put out a lot more power a lot further forward then the old CFMi engines used to do. Everything I’ve heard about the MCAS system feels like a hackjob to fix a aerodynamic problem that has not been properly vetted for errors and redundancy.

Anyway, it looks like a slew of groundings around the world is happening, I wonder what the FAA is up too, has anyone heard anything from them?


Nope. Move along. Nothing to see here.


It’s weird that EASA beats the FAA on a US plane when it comes to grounding. They love to run in lock step on these things.


Apparently they have the CVR but have not released what is on it.


I don’t think EASA were involved, I think it is only the UK CAA that have grounded the aircraft. It’s business as usual in the rest of the EU. If I were feeling cynical I might suspect there are a few civil servants here giving a bit of payback to Boeing for the c-series debacle. I might be wrong …


Nop, the EASA has released an Emergency AD grounding the MAX 737-8 in EU airspace.


Ok, my bad. Hadn’t seen that.


NYTimes quoting a filled NASA report (a place pilots go to admit errors to perhaps avoid violation. NASA uses this data to maintain a huge safety database.):

“I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the F.A.A., and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models,” the pilot wrote.

The pilot continued: “I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient.”

As for the US response, we cannot discuss it without digging deap into American politics. Let’s just start by saying 1) Boeing’s CEO knows how to play, and 2) The FAA has lacked a real administrator for two years. (Somebody wanted his personal corporate pilot to hold the job and when that was denide him, well, no administrator.)


Sunwing has grounded their 4, MAX8’s due to “commercial reasons” such as other nations closing airspace. Not that it really affects their routes, but ok.


I was reading this morning that the Boeing CEO personally called the President to re-affirm his confidence in the airplane. As the number of countries around the world who are grounding the aircraft or barring it from their airspace increases, you have to wonder if the FAA’s decision not to ground it is based on political pressure from the top.


I recall the 787 got grounded pretty fast after the 2nd Li battery fire, didn’t it?


Yes, but that was 2013, IIRC. Very different climate, if you get my meaning.


Canada just banned MAX8’s including airspace restrictions, like the UK etc.



Hope the CDR data reveals something of use. I understand they found one intact, but the other smashed to bits.


It seems President Trump has decreed that the MAX 8 should be grounded in the US too. I guess I was wrong in my previous post (maybe).


That’s more of a civil aviation authority’s job… Like the FAA. What a weird thing to go outside of the process for. I suppose the lack of administrators explains that bit.


You weren’t wrong. That decision was late given how quickly the rest of the world acted. He’s left the FAA in shambles so it was up to him to act slightly out of lock-step with everyone else.


I suspect you are right.


Or, he has seen the strength of opinion in the rest of the world, and seen various Democrats making it a political point, and decided to use it to his advantage and take the wind out of their sails?