Boeing 737 Max pilots didn't have flight simulators, and trained on iPads instead

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 54
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,062member
    I'm currently booked on a return flight on a 737-8 in July, and I really hope by that point the decision's been made that they all need to be scrapped and start again.
    You hope that a plane is "scrapped" rather than "fixed"?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 22 of 54
    Didn't have or chose not to pay for flight simulators? Rampant speculation on the cause of the crash thus far based on zero facts. Most plane crashes are caused by pilot error.
  • Reply 23 of 54
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Apart from the mention of iPads, I'm unclear why this has appeared here, but I'm utterly astonished if this is the case (it seems to exist as news currently only also on flightaware and a few other non-mainstream news sites).

    It seems the more we learn about this fiasco the more it would appear that there should be prosecutions brought against people who made these decisions at Boeing, quite possibly charges of manslaughter. I'm currently booked on a return flight on a 737-8 in July, and I really hope by that point the decision's been made that they all need to be scrapped and start again.
    There have been no instances of crashes in the US, so all signs point to pilots with a severe lack of training and experience so far.
  • Reply 24 of 54
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,402member
    sflocal said:
    wood1208 said:
    Don't believe what you read. Pilots are trained in many ways including flight simulators,cockpit practical flying,etc. Than, they fly for thousands of hours call on job perfecting skills.
    I don't think the suggestion is that just anyone off the street was put in the 737-8 cockpit after a few hours on an iPad, that's obviously ridiculous.

    AppleInsider said:
    It was determined that, at least in the case of the Max, pilots with prior 737 experience [my emphasis] learned about the new plane using an iPad for two hours, as well as a 13-page handbook of differences between the Max and earlier models.
    That's just about plausible, but still criminal - quite possibly literally.
    Why?  The 737-8 is pretty much identical physically as the prior planes, sans more elaborate software.  Same controls, etc.  It's not like there's a physical defect that caused the planes to crash.  If a 737 pilot with thousands of flight-hours starts on a 737-8, why re-learn everything that hasn't changed?  If all it is is software about this anti-stalling feature, I really don't have a problem with training on something as humble as an iPad if it's for information-use only.  Sure, simulators would be much better in any situation.

    What I have a problem with is Boeing's lack of transparency here.  if all it takes is a software fix, great.  The problem I have is testing/training on the updated software.  Buggy software on my PC could cause it to lock up, requiring a reboot and life moves on until a fix is made.  Buggy software in the 737's flightOS could cause the plane to literally fall down from the sky, killing hundreds of people.  That kind of unreliability is inexcusable.  Boeing really needs to step up here, which to me seems like they're asleep at the wheel.
    I'll wait for the root cause failure analysis to be completed by aviation safety and aeronautical experts prior to jumping to any conclusions. Correlation without causation and uninformed speculation is leading to bogus reasoning and infantile logic, e.g., "these planes are too complex to fly." Let's see where the evidence leads and see what corrective actions are issued. These are complex engineered systems whose flight characteristics, ability to fly, and reasons for not flying under certain circumstances are fully deterministic.

    It's nonsensical to compare the product quality practices, reliability engineering, availability engineering, safety engineering, and overall design scrutiny that goes into military and commercial aviation products compared to "PC grade" or most any consumer-oriented product. There are a plethora of poser product development organizations out there who blow around a lot of hot air about being "lean six sigma" organizations. The problem is that almost none of them were ever proven six sigma organizations before they tried to become both lean and six sigma. They might be doing pretty good on the "lean" part, but both lean and six sigma, that's a very high bar to jump over for the first time and all at once, especially if you never got the six sigma part nailed. Boeing has the six sigma part nailed and an impressive safety record across their entire product line. So yeah, they've been "stepping it up" for many decades and will absolutely get to the bottom of why these two aircraft crashed. 
  • Reply 25 of 54
    mystigomystigo Posts: 151member
    A bad angle of attack sensor, a physical device, would seem like an obvious point of failure. Even if the software were perfect, a bad sensor could basically plunge the plane into the ground. Pilots were not universally trained on disabling MCAS, but when one is plunging into the ground, it may not be the thing at the front of your mind even if you are familiar with it.

    A less obvious but I think more likely scenario is that there is a software bug in MCAS. This may manifest itself when pilots start to fight what MCAS was doing. They would pull up, MCAS would pull down even more trying to prevent a stall. It has been discovered recently that MCAS will push the nose down by a significantly larger margin than was admitted to the FAA (Boeing changed the spec after reporting it), and there is speculation that if it resets as pilots fight it, it could get even worse.

    Even pilots with extensive experience may be put in a no win scenario if either of the above occur.

    poisednoisedysamoriacgWerks
  • Reply 26 of 54
    Apart from the mention of iPads, I'm unclear why this has appeared here, but I'm utterly astonished if this is the case (it seems to exist as news currently only also on flightaware and a few other non-mainstream news sites).

    It seems the more we learn about this fiasco the more it would appear that there should be prosecutions brought against people who made these decisions at Boeing, quite possibly charges of manslaughter. I'm currently booked on a return flight on a 737-8 in July, and I really hope by that point the decision's been made that they all need to be scrapped and start again.
    There have been no instances of crashes in the US, so all signs point to pilots with a severe lack of training and experience so far.
    A specious conclusion. The aircraft experienced a false input into he MCAS which caused an control surface deflection the was not overridable.  Pilots here have submitted reports reports of anomalies with the system that, luckily, weren’t as catastrophic as the other two. 
    dysamoriacgWerksfastasleep
  • Reply 27 of 54
    dewme said:
    sflocal said:
    wood1208 said:
    Don't believe what you read. Pilots are trained in many ways including flight simulators,cockpit practical flying,etc. Than, they fly for thousands of hours call on job perfecting skills.
    I don't think the suggestion is that just anyone off the street was put in the 737-8 cockpit after a few hours on an iPad, that's obviously ridiculous.

    AppleInsider said:
    It was determined that, at least in the case of the Max, pilots with prior 737 experience [my emphasis] learned about the new plane using an iPad for two hours, as well as a 13-page handbook of differences between the Max and earlier models.
    That's just about plausible, but still criminal - quite possibly literally.
    Why?  The 737-8 is pretty much identical physically as the prior planes, sans more elaborate software.  Same controls, etc.  It's not like there's a physical defect that caused the planes to crash.  If a 737 pilot with thousands of flight-hours starts on a 737-8, why re-learn everything that hasn't changed?  If all it is is software about this anti-stalling feature, I really don't have a problem with training on something as humble as an iPad if it's for information-use only.  Sure, simulators would be much better in any situation.

    What I have a problem with is Boeing's lack of transparency here.  if all it takes is a software fix, great.  The problem I have is testing/training on the updated software.  Buggy software on my PC could cause it to lock up, requiring a reboot and life moves on until a fix is made.  Buggy software in the 737's flightOS could cause the plane to literally fall down from the sky, killing hundreds of people.  That kind of unreliability is inexcusable.  Boeing really needs to step up here, which to me seems like they're asleep at the wheel.
    I'll wait for the root cause failure analysis to be completed by aviation safety and aeronautical experts prior to jumping to any conclusions. Correlation without causation and uninformed speculation is leading to bogus reasoning and infantile logic, e.g., "these planes are too complex to fly." Let's see where the evidence leads and see what corrective actions are issued. These are complex engineered systems whose flight characteristics, ability to fly, and reasons for not flying under certain circumstances are fully deterministic.

    It's nonsensical to compare the product quality practices, reliability engineering, availability engineering, safety engineering, and overall design scrutiny that goes into military and commercial aviation products compared to "PC grade" or most any consumer-oriented product. There are a plethora of poser product development organizations out there who blow around a lot of hot air about being "lean six sigma" organizations. The problem is that almost none of them were ever proven six sigma organizations before they tried to become both lean and six sigma. They might be doing pretty good on the "lean" part, but both lean and six sigma, that's a very high bar to jump over for the first time and all at once, especially if you never got the six sigma part nailed. Boeing has the six sigma part nailed and an impressive safety record across their entire product line. So yeah, they've been "stepping it up" for many decades and will absolutely get to the bottom of why these two aircraft crashed. 
    They’re beyond the speciation and the focus is on the MCAS for good reason. The position of the screw jacks in both accidents and the near identical flight profile in the same phase of flight is plenty of evidence.  
    cgWerks
  • Reply 28 of 54
    An excellent explanation of the potential problems with this design here: https://youtu.be/8h5hniSM7LQ.


    I'm currently booked on a return flight on a 737-8 in July, and I really hope by that point the decision's been made that they all need to be scrapped and start again.
    You hope that a plane is "scrapped" rather than "fixed"?
    Obviously I’d prefer it to be fixed, however I dont want to fly on a plane that is inherently unstable by design, as this one is, and requires software to ensure it remains in the air. Given the fundamental issues with the design, short of putting new smaller engines on the plane (basically turning it into one of the earliers generations of 737) I’m not sure what can be done, and even that fix might not be feasible.

    MCAS is a system that’s common on fighter aircraft where unstable designs can lead to greater manoeuvrability: I believe however that it doesn’t have any place on a passenger aircraft, where safety should surely come before any other consideration. If you’re needing to design software just to keep your plane in the air, then hiding its existence from the pilots (it wasn’t mentioned in the original manual apparently) and additonally changing its specs radically after FAA approval, without telling the FAA (they approved a system which could move the tail fin by 0.6 degres maximum, whereas the system as installed can move it by 2.5 degrees) something is seriously wrong. 
    dysamoriacgWerks
  • Reply 30 of 54
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    eLearning for people responsible for hundreds of lives. Excellent >:(

    And by the way, Australian pilots are safer than American ones. 
  • Reply 31 of 54
    maestro64 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Don't believe what you read. Pilots are trained in many ways including flight simulators,cockpit practical flying,etc. Than, they fly for thousands of hours call on job perfecting skills.
    Yes, all pilots are trained, but most have not idea why a plane flies (lack the engineering and technical skills). If you do not think this is important, just think about the two crashes.

    I am assuming you don't mean this literally... When I learned to fly (as a private pilot in Cessnas and Pipers) one of my earliest lessons was in the aerodynamics of what makes an airplane fly - how lift is generated and how factors (such as air density, temperature, and icing) affects the airplane's ability to generate lift. This led to hours and hours of stall training - both in how to recognize the impending stall and how to recover from it.

    We also learned the importance of understanding every system in the plane and how to use them before leaving the ground.

    It's unconscionable that these pilots were not educated on the existence of this new stall avoidance system: how to recognize that it's been triggered, and how to disable it.
    dysamoriaavon b7
  • Reply 32 of 54
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Am I reading this correctly? A software flaw was pushed into use in commercial airlines because the plane’s builder didn’t want to delay sales of the plane?

    People think I’m overly critical of the computer industry, and think I’m unreasonable in demanding less bugs being pushed out in product. I know there are no consumer electronics involved here, in these planes, but the pathological capitalism issues appear to be the same.
  • Reply 33 of 54
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    dysamoria said:
    Am I reading this correctly? A software flaw was pushed into use in commercial airlines because the plane’s builder didn’t want to delay sales of the plane?
    More or less, it seems. And, they didn't think pilots needed training on it because... computer. And, it's people like these making decisions about AI vehicles driving around on our roads, too. :(

    (Unfortunately... some of us have been anticipating this for months. They've been talking about it on the No Agenda podcast. It's just sad hundreds of people had to die before the stupidity was reigned in.)
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 34 of 54
    mobiusmobius Posts: 379member

    The relatively new aircraft, the Boeing 737 Max 8, has suffered issues early in its lifecycle due to its problems, which has so far led to two crashes in a matter of months. The issues have led to many airlines operating the aircraft to have suspended services as a safety concern, while governments are responding by banning the jet from being used for flights.


    Ouch, that wording is unnecessarily long.

    How about this:

    The relatively new aircraft has suffered problems early in its lifecycle, causing two crashes in a matter of months. Many airlines have suspended services as a safety concern, while governments are banning the jet from flying.

  • Reply 35 of 54
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,073member
    67nickel said:
    Hard to put much faith in an article with so many grammatical errors:

    "...pilots were given two hours of TUITION on an iPad "    I'm guessing this should be INSTRUCTION

    "The safety issues HAS prompted many to investigate.."    HAVE

    "...including TUITION for an automated system to avoid stalling. "  Must really like the word tuition.

    There are more, but that's enough for now.   And even when there aren't grammatical errors, it's just very poorly written.
    You started your reply with an error by omitting “It is...”.
    kingofsomewherehotdjames4242
  • Reply 36 of 54
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 758member
    klink172 said:
    Apart from the mention of iPads, I'm unclear why this has appeared here, but I'm utterly astonished if this is the case (it seems to exist as news currently only also on flightaware and a few other non-mainstream news sites).

    It seems the more we learn about this fiasco the more it would appear that there should be prosecutions brought against people who made these decisions at Boeing, quite possibly charges of manslaughter. I'm currently booked on a return flight on a 737-8 in July, and I really hope by that point the decision's been made that they all need to be scrapped and start again.
    There have been no instances of crashes in the US, so all signs point to pilots with a severe lack of training and experience so far.
    A specious conclusion. The aircraft experienced a false input into he MCAS which caused an control surface deflection the was not overridable.  Pilots here have submitted reports reports of anomalies with the system that, luckily, weren’t as catastrophic as the other two. 
    Not “lucky”. The pilots knew how to turn off the system. 
    SpamSandwichcgWerks
  • Reply 37 of 54
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 758member
    viclauyyc said:
    All 737-max 8 pilots are train on different varieties of 737 simulator before, just not specifically on Max8. The problematic MCAS is completely automatic, not even the pilots can turn it off. So I guess Boeing not even bother to educate the pilots how to handle the “features” when it goes nuts. 
    The MCAS can be turned off. The problem are pilots not trained in how to do that. At least twice in the U. S. pilots encountered this issue, turned off the system and had no further problem. 
    SpamSandwichcgWerks
  • Reply 38 of 54
    737 pilots get lots of simulator training just not simulator training for differences between the old 737 model and the newer 737 Max models. I suspect that will change for reasons such as pilot unions, other national regulatory agencies, even customer airlines themselves demanding proper simulator training.
  • Reply 39 of 54
    creek0512creek0512 Posts: 107member
    wood1208 said:
    Don't believe what you read. Pilots are trained in many ways including flight simulators,cockpit practical flying,etc. Than, they fly for thousands of hours call on job perfecting skills.
    You should actually read what you read. It doesn't say they pulled people off the street, gave them an iPad, and then dropped them in the cockpit.

    It says they took current Boeing 737 NG pilots and gave them 2 hours of training on an iPad and a 13 page manual to train them to fly the 737 MAX.

    This is 100% completely believable because Boeing sold the 737 MAX to airlines by promising that there would be minimal training requirements for their existing 737 pilots.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 40 of 54
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 144member
    2 hours on an iPad? No wonder why pilots are crashing planes. Come on! A big complex jet like the Max needs real simulator training and a lot more than just 2 hours. That's just ridiculous! They should not be even aloud to fly with that little time on such a new Aircraft.
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