When the marketing department makes safety decisions


Click to enlargeMichael Tewelde/AFP

❝ The Boeing 737 and the Airbus 320 types are single aisle planes with some 150 seats. Both are bread and butter planes sold by the hundreds with a good profit. In 2010 Airbus decided to offer its A-320 with a New Engine Option (NEO) which uses less fuel. To counter the Airbus move Boeing had to follow up. The 737 would also get new engines for a more efficient flight and longer range. The new engines on the 737 MAX are bigger and needed to be placed a bit different than on the older version. That again changed the flight characteristics of the plane by giving it a nose up attitude.

❝ The new flight characteristic of the 737 MAX would have require a retraining of the pilots. But Boeing’s marketing people had told their customers all along that the 737 MAX would not require extensive new training. Instead of expensive simulator training for the new type experienced 737 pilots would only have to read some documentation about the changes between the old and the new versions.

That was a really sensible way to save on training costs, eh?

Thanks, Tom

3 thoughts on “When the marketing department makes safety decisions

  1. 4theRecord says:

    🁢 “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training On It” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/world/africa/ethiopian-airlines-boeing.html
    🁢 Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia lacked two safety features in their cockpits because the company charged extra to install them. The features could have helped pilots detect erroneous readings, which some experts believe might be connected to the planes’ failures https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/business/boeing-safety-features-charge.html
    🁢 Years Before Crash, Ethiopian Pilots Had Raised Concerns Over Training https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/years-before-crash-ethiopian-pilots-had-raised-concerns-over-training-2011066
    🁢 Several pilots warned of problems with the autopilot features on Boeing 737 Max aircraft months before this weekend’s Ethiopian Airlines crash. https://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/aviation/article227481979.html The pilots noted their concerns on a database known as the Aviation Safety Reporting System, which offers pilots a place to describe their experiences without repercussions. The database contributors aren’t identified by name or airline. https://titan-server.arc.nasa.gov/ASRSPublicQueryWizard/QueryWizard_Filter.aspx One pilot reported in November [2018] on the that shortly after a normal takeoff, as he engaged the aircraft’s autopilot feature, the plane began quickly descending and the ground proximity warning system called out “Don’t sink! Don’t sink!”
    🁢 2008 Qantas Flight 72 inflight accident: two sudden uncommanded pitch-down maneuvers and resulting nose dives severely injured many of the passengers and crew. “The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation found a fault with one of the aircraft’s three air data inertial reference units and a previously unknown software design limitation of the Airbus A330’s fly-by-wire flight control primary computer (FCPC).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qantas_Flight_72
    🁢 Mention of jackscrew in Boeing 737 MAX crash evokes memories of Alaska Flight 261, but key differences exist https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2019/03/16/mention-of-jackscrew-in-boeing-737-max-crash-evokes-memories-of-alaska-flight-261-but-key-differences-exist/ In the Ethiopian crash there’s no suggestion that the jackscrew on the Boeing plane failed. …when the jackscrew was found on the ground among the wreckage, its position indicated that the jet’s movable horizontal tail, also known as the stabilizer, was deflected in an unusual position. Reportedly the deflection of the tail, combined with the high speed the jet was traveling at according to satellite-based data, would have made it uncontrollable …there are several systems that in the course of normal flying could malfunction and deflect the tail. But because the preliminary investigation into the October crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX pointed to a new flight-control system on the MAX called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), that system is now a prime suspect as potentially the cause of both tragedies.
    🁢 “Boeing 737 Max approval documents subpoenaed by fraud unit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=silputJuniI
    🁢 Indonesia’s Garuda is canceling its $4.9 billion order for the Boeing 737 Max https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/22/business/boeing-737-max-garuda-cancel/index.html

  2. Controlled flight into terrain says:

    The White House says President Trump will nominate Stephen Dickson, a former executive and pilot at Delta Air Lines, to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. https://www.npr.org/2019/03/19/704900992/trump-to-nominate-former-delta-airlines-executive-to-lead-faa The FAA has come under criticism for failing to quickly ground the Boeing 737 Max after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet this month, the second fatal crash of the Boeing plane in recent months. The FAA grounded the planes only after other nations did so.
    Dickson was also Trump’s former personal – private – corporate pilot.

  3. Boing-Boing says:

    Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane – but didn’t want to hurt America’s biggest exporter either https://phys.org/news/2019-03-boeing-max-faa-safe-plane.html
    Boeing has lost $40 billion-plus in market value since Ethiopia crash / Reportedly the FBI and the Justice Department’s criminal division are spearheading an investigation into the 737 Max’s certification and marketing / Separately, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, is the target of an ethics probe that questions his ties to the company / Norwegian Air last week became the first airline to say publicly that it will demand Boeing pay for lost flight time. It is expected other airlines will follow suit / On Friday the Indonesian airline, Garuda, became the first airline to cancel a batch of orders for the 737 Max. The carrier ordered 50 of the planes in 2014 for $4.9 billion / Meanwhile the U.S. Air Force stopped accepting new KC-46 air refueling tanker aircraft from Boeing after trash and industrial tools were found in some planes after they were delivered. https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/23/investing/boeing-737-max-market-cap/index.html
    Boeing reportedly provided $4,551,078 in political contributions and spent $15,120,000 on lobbying during the 2018 election cycle https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000100
    “Boeing 737 Stall Escape maneuver, why MAX needs MCAS” (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlinocVHpzk

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