Arthur Dent wrote:I don’t see anyone disagreeing that they screwed up the software. The point is that is only a small piece of the larger picture.
And that’s important given that they are trying to get he issue closed by again doing just a software patch up without addressing the other problems this thing has brought up. Seems to be repeating the same bad logic that already got hundreds killed. The economic pressure to get these expensive assets in service overrides a careful safety review.
Correcting the software makes the problem less acute, but, at minimum, a few other changes are needed:
-Most importantly, same type rating on the MAX should be revoked. The grant was based on always dodgy and now disproven analysis. This is a different plane than the prior neo, and pilots need simulator training to fly it.
-Redo the full safety review. We now know the documentation it was based on contains serious errors. What other errors were allowed in the rush?
-What’s causing these AoA sensor failures? Do they need to be changed? Better failure detection/safe remediation procedures needed?
-Just trim manually with the wheel doesn’t seem to be acceptable. If badly out of trim, too much force is needed on the wheel to fix. If trained, this can be compensated with exciting maneuvers with names like “roller coaster”, but pilots are not taught these anymore.
-Relatedly, they changed the electric trim cutoff switches without adequately explaining the difference (again a part of the mandate to paper over the fact that this is actually a new plane that pilots must operate differently). Should consider reverting to the prior switch design where the pilot can deactivate auto trim function but keep manual electric trim.
-Auto trim should cut out on column pull back (aft column cutoff switch) as has been a standard safety feature only inactive for MCAS again because they needed this to paper over a real difference. Removing this safety mechanism turned out to be deadly.
Plenty of other recommendations I’m sure should come out of a thorough review as us the standard for such investigations.
The guy in that twitter thread specifically said there isn't a software problem, then followed it up by saying he was a software engineer. And, that's what I disagree with. The IEEE code of ethics is very similar to the NCEES, both of which cite public safety/interest first. In that regard, it's unethical to write a program that endangers the public and if the software engineers didn't know what they did was dangerous then that's borderline incompetence.
Regarding Ludke's statement, it's obviously damning. But, it's also in line with other reports that Boeing wanted minimal changes to ensure the same type rating with no training required. Whatever the threshold was that triggered those requirements, I think it is safe to say the threshold was incorrect. And, while I don't know what it was/is, I think we're all on the same page here that a very thorough review is required and a new standard is put in place moving forward, including getting the 737 max back in the air. If there are changes other than the MCAS, include that in the training. If not, well, a review should determine that.
That said, if it's just a few modifications, I don't know how I feel about requiring a new type rating. It basically kills the aircraft.
I also don't know that I'd use this as a justification that capitalism is lacking. Commercial aviation is still incredibly safe though the point is well taken.
Lastly, regarding Boeing's stock price. It's odd the drop has been so minor. But, that's not to say Boeing is in the clear. If they don't handle this well, and they try to pass off some slap dick patch instead of a real fix, and if they lose credibility, they have serious problems going forward. McDonnell Douglas's DC-10 has a great many similarities to the 737 max thus far. There are also many things going for Boeing that MD didn't have: more demand than a single supplier can produce in the global market, namely. And, the dreamliner series, an actual upgraded plane, is being well received compared to the MD-11 which was just a bad idea. Still, Boeing has competition from Airbus and if they continue to push the max and the max continues to crash, they won't be around forever.