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Volume 26, Number 16a
April 15, 2019
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International Committee To Review MAX
Russ Niles

The Wall Street Journal is reporting (subscription) that the safety certification of the Boeing 737 MAX will be reviewed by an international committee, a large group of representatives from most of the major aviation regulators in the world. The panel, which is led by former NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart and includes delegates from Canada, China, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union and Brazil, will also do a detailed examination of the software fix proposed by Boeing and the FAA to address issues with the MCAS automatic stall prevention system that is implicated in two fatal crashes. The group’s first meeting is planned for later this month.

The international involvement is unprecedented. Normally, the FAA would have sole control over the process and the resulting certification would be accepted by other jurisdictions under bilateral agreements between the U.S. and those entities. The Journal says the FAA hasn’t given the other agencies veto power but agreed with Boeing that the process needs buy-in from all of them if public confidence is to be restored in Boeing and the FAA’s certification system. “We both invite and welcome scrutiny as a necessary element of continuous improvement,” an FAA spokesman said. “Our recent and planned outreach efforts are a demonstration of this commitment to enhance the safety of the flying public.”

What’s not clear is whether the committee approach will speed up or slow down the return to service of the MAX. All of the regulatory agency reps will come with an army of tech experts who will do the analysis of the mountains of data that will be generated. The FAA and Boeing seem to have accepted the inevitability of consensus as part of the return to service and if they didn’t the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reminded them. It has said it will end its grounding “only once there is complete reassurance that it is safe.”

Elixir's Molded Carbon Fiber Airplane
Paul Bertorelli

At Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, a French company called Elixir was showing a unique two-seat airplane built of molded carbon fiber using technology to build racing boats. The idea is the airplane is both cheaper to manufacture and much cheaper to maintain because it has vastly fewer parts. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli shot this video summary of the project.

Aero Blog: Daher On A Roll And Are Electrics Real?
Paul Bertorelli

By about the fifth day of the big U.S. air/trade shows—AirVenture and Sun ‘n Fun—a certain hollow-eyed exhaustion sets in. Vendors at the show can be heard to wonder if the thing will ever end and for us pixel-addled wretches covering the spectacle, we feel as run down as the batteries in our cameras and recorders. I’d have tried for a dried-up ink metaphor, but we don’t use pens anymore.

At Aero, it’s the reverse. It’s a four-day show—Wednesday to Saturday. This creates an odd kind of catch-up for both vendors and multi-day attendees. If you haven’t seen it all by Saturday mid-morning, you’d better get busy because at 3:45 p.m., the 15-minute warning sounds.

I didn’t see or do it all either and I went wall to wall for all four days. When I was shooting a video round-up on electric airplanes, I kept running into stuff I hadn’t seen. It will have to wait until next year because I’m pretty sure none of this stuff is gonna show at AirVenture or Sun ‘n Fun. If the mark of success for a show is to leave them wanting more, Aero is a smash hit.

The TBM March

Although they announced it at Sun ‘n Fun, Daher waited until Aero to show off the new TBM 940. Daher’s U.K. sales rep, David Fabry, kindly gave me a tour. Well, sure, I’m impressed with the airplane, the autothrottles, the new interior and the ice detection system. Who wouldn’t be?

But I’m more impressed with the clip Daher maintains in incremental introduction of new products, which I’ve always thought is the secret to business success in any field, but especially aviation. Too bad it’s not so easy as that. A clean-sheet Part 23 airplane costs multiple millions to develop and certify and no matter how slick and sophisticated it is, even us nimrods in the press can pull up the GAMA figures and predict how many units an airplane of a particular ilk might sell.

If you do the back-of-napkin math on a $25 million cert project—and that’s probably cheap—you’ll have to sell the hell out of it to return the investment, much less eke out profits. That’s why you see so few entirely new airframe introductions. And it’s also why Piper’s idea to essentially market on price with the new Pilot 100 trainer may seem uninspired. But if it meets demand and makes a few bucks, I’d take that over soaring eye candy that fails disastrously in the market and rattles the entire industry.

Mooney dodged that bullet when it shelved the M10 trainer project. It was a great idea, a good-looking airplane and was truly a fresh design. But it was never going to carve a market that didn’t already exist and would have simply competed with Piper and Cessna in the already cutthroat trainer business. Mooney’s smart decision wasn’t proposing the airplane in the first place, but killing it after the fact. That’s the airplane biz for ya.

By the way, people sometimes ask me what airplane I’d buy if money were no object. I believe they do this out of conversational curiosity for given my chosen profession, I clearly have questionable judgment at the least and a warped value system at worst. But good judgment and good taste aren’t the same thing. If you must know, I’d buy a TBM. It’s a thrill how that big-ass prop drags that thing through the air.

Are Electrics Finally Real?

Real compared to what? To a busy flight school relying on Skyhawks or Cherokees to train students eight to 10 hours a day? No. We haven’t turned that corner yet and even though Pipistrel will announce the second generation of its Alpha Electro and Bye Aerospace announced a 60-airplane order from a Norwegian flight training group, I’m not willing to step off the train in Valhalla, if I may coin a cheap Norse metaphor while simultaneously mixing transportation modes.

I have coming a video roundup of some of the electric airplanes on display at Aero and another video on the Bye Aerospace eFlyer. So what’s the problem? It’s not the certification basis. The revised CS23 and ASTM consensus standards are in place to certify these airplanes. The electric motors are there, the batteries are getting there—maybe.

What I want to see is actual flight and economic data from the schools proposing to use these airplanes in real training. For me personally, gauzy green intentions are laudable, but I want to see them working in the real world. Pipistrel got out there early with commercial sales of electric airplanes, but even it admits the 50 it has sold are mostly technology demonstrators.

Battery energy density is still iffy, in my view. I polled some of the experts on this at Aero by asking what they’re using for typical what-if scenarios. These ranged from 150 Wh/kg to a little under 200. George Bye told me the batteries in the eFlyer are about 250 Wh/kg effective, not cell level.

You can see why I’m noncommittal.

Is Unleaded Fuel Real?

Real compared to what? As in about to emerge fully market ready, heralding the bright, shiny environmental Valhalla (sorry) of the future. No.

I had a real Rolaids moment at the Aero fuels briefing when Lycoming’s Mike Kraft and Tim Shea of Shell conceded that regulatory forces are no longer driving the replacement of TEL in avgas. That’s because the current administration’s environmental policies are unlikely to encourage EPA to issue a finding of endangerment. No endangerment, no regulatory pressure.

Just to jolly things along here without pissing off either tribe too much, let’s assume the current administration remains in play until 2025. Let’s further pretend that a new president makes lead a hot campaign issue. It could easily be 2026 or even 2027 before this imaginary president gets anything done.

Meanwhile, the companies investing in this new fuel will … well, hell, I don’t know what they’ll do. That’s a long time to defer return on an investment. Kraft said the industry will have to sell pilots and owners on the benefits of unleaded fuel, but I’m not sure enough of them will resonate with that to justify refiners making the leap. And if they don’t do that somewhat in unison, the specter of a balkanized piston aviation fuel market becomes more than just a talking point.

I’m sure there are other industries who have suffered through such a comic opera. I just can’t think of any.

Lycoming 'When can an engine give you 200 extra flying hours?'
Stratolaunch Flies
Russ Niles

The world’s largest airplane took its first flight early Saturday. The Stratolaunch, a six-engine, twin-fuselage behemoth with a 385-foot wingspan, took off from Mojave after years in development. The aircraft was conceived by Paul Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan as an aerial launch platform for low Earth orbit satellites that will reduce launch costs substantially. The aircraft is designed to take rockets weighing as much as 400,000 pounds to 35,000 feet for launch and will tap into the burgeoning market for communications, reconnaissance and broadband satellites being put between 300 and 1,200 miles in altitude. It’s hoping for a first launch in 2020.

As Stratolaunch embarks on the long and costly certification process for the aircraft, Virgin Orbit is preparing to launch a competitive service using the long-established Boeing 747-400 as its platform. Although the jumbo jet won’t carry as much as the Stratolaunch, it’s still able to serve a significant slice of the market for small satellite launches and it expects to be in business by the middle of this year. "We are well on our way towards providing new launch opportunities for small satellites that have waited too long for their ride to space," Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said Wednesday in a statement.

Boeing Demonstrating Updated MAX Software
Kate O'Connor

Boeing has begun demonstrating software updates for the 737 MAX, according to remarks made by CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Thursday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas. Muilenburg said the company has made 96 flights totaling a little over 159 hours with the updated software, which aims to prevent “erroneous angle of attack sensor readings from triggering the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.” MCAS activation in response to faulty angle of attack sensors has been spotlighted in the fatal accidents of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 last March and Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018.

“I joined our Boeing test pilots last week aboard a 737 MAX flight for a demonstration of this updated software,” said Muilenburg. “During the flight, the crew performed different scenarios that exercised the software changes in multiple flight conditions. The software update functioned as designed.” He also stated that 67 percent of MAX operators worldwide have now participated simulator sessions that included the software update.

A date has not yet been given for when the new software will be approved and rolled out. The FAA met with three U.S. airlines that operate MAXs on Friday in Washington, D.C., to review the “anticipated software enhancements” along with the preliminary findings of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accident investigations and MAX pilot training. According to FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell, he “wanted to know what operators and pilots of the 737 MAX think as the agency evaluates what needs to be done before the FAA makes a decision to return the aircraft to service.”

SpaceX Lands Falcon Heavy
Kate O'Connor

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket successfully completed its second launch and first operational mission on Thursday. After a 24-hour delay due to weather, the rocket launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 6:35 p.m. local time. The Falcon Heavy’s payload was the Arabsat-6A, a telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, internet and mobile communications to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The satellite was deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.

As shown in the video below, the rocket’s two side boosters landed successfully at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Falcon Heavy’s center core landed on the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, an improvement on the first launch in February 2018, in which the rocket’s center core missed the droneship and crashed into the ocean. That flight deployed a Tesla Roadster manned by a spacesuit-clad dummy called “Starman.”

The Falcon Heavy generates more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and is capable of carrying payloads of approximately 141,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. The price tag on a Falcon Heavy launch is around $90 million.

Another win for SpaceX on Thursday came when NASA announced that it had chosen the company as the launch provider for its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. DART seeks to “demonstrate the capability to deflect an asteroid by colliding a spacecraft with it at high speed.” The mission is currently scheduled to launch in June 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket.

Aero: U.K. Pilots Like FIS-B Weather, But Not If They Have To Pay
Paul Bertorelli

As the 2020 ADS-B mandate pumpkin looms on the horizon, say this is about the system: Once you’ve ponied up for the installation cost, it does provide free weather and traffic. But in Europe and the UK, no deal. And a recent experiment to see if pilots across the pond would pay for these services produced an unsurprising result. They won’t.

At its own expense, ADS-B maker uAvionix set up a small seven-station ADS-B network in southern England broadcasting FIS-B, the weather side of the data stream. In this podcast recorded at Aero, Mike Tetlow, uAvionix’s representative in the U.K., said the experiment was successful in getting real-time weather into GA cockpits, but is not likely to continue much longer. “The broad-brush assessment is that people liked to have the weather information, they did use it. The majority like it, but didn’t want to pay for it,” Tetlow said.

In the U.S., ADS-B is both mandated and part of the FAA’s NextGen air traffic system, so TIS-B and FIS-B are required components and free to users who equip. TIS-B doesn’t exist in the U.K., although FIS-B data is available. “The CAA have looked into putting in something similar as used in the states, but always, finances are an issue. At the moment, it’s up to pilots to carry in their own aircraft some form of traffic receiver and of course, not everyone carries a traffic transmitter. It’s not a requirement in the U.K. at the moment,” Tetlow added. He’s not sure how much longer uAvionix will maintain the ground stations now that the survey is complete.

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Aero: Cirrus Expands Training Initiatives
Paul Bertorelli

While Cirrus’ sales success with the SR line and now the VisionJet is obvious, less well known is that the company is becoming a force in the aviation training market. At Aero this week, Cirrus revealed that it’s staffed up and is investing in significant in-house training resources and video and that all of this information is available to all comers, not just Cirrus owners.

“Cirrus Approach encompasses all the training that Cirrus aircraft does. It’s everything from our VisionJet type rating program, which has a level D simulator, all the way through to, which has over 25 individual courses and hours and hours of content that anyone can access, both Cirrus owners and operators or anyone in aviation,” Kowalski said in this podcast recorded this week at the Aero exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

In the two decades since Cirrus delivered the first customer SR20, the company has had training in-house, contracted it out and brought back in again and Kowalski says with Cirrus’ new customer service center in Knoxville, Tennessee, it’s likely to remain in-house for the foreseeable future. “We’ve got a media production team in-house … and we’re doubling the size of that team this year,” Kowalski said.

Cirrus continues to expand the Knoxville Vision Center and opened a fourth building this summer, a factory service center with nine bays for servicing the entire line, including the VisionJet. The Knoxville center also serves as Cirrus’ main delivery center for customers accepting new aircraft.

Unique in general aviation, Cirrus announced in 2017 a free training program for buyers of used Cirrus aircraft called Embark. The training is conducted by Cirrus’ 500 Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot instructors and consists of transition or initial training. Embark requires from one to three days. Kowalski says Cirrus has completed more than 730 Embark training sessions. About 90 percent of those are transition training for pilots coming out of another model aircraft.

Podcast: Cirrus Expands Training Efforts
Paul Bertorelli

While Cirrus’ sales success with the SR line and now the VisionJet is obvious, less well known is that the company is becoming a force in the aviation training market. At Aero this week, Cirrus revealed that it’s staffed up and is investing in significant in-house training resources and video and that all of this information is available to all comers, not just Cirrus owners. In this podcast, Ben Kowalski explains the programs.

Aero: Electric Airplane Racing Starts Next Year

Formula 1 racing is a popular event at the Reno Air Races, among other sites, and beginning late next year, it will evolve into something new: electric airplane racing. As AVweb covers Aero this year, Jeff Zaltman, CEO of AirRaceE, says airplanes are being designed and constructed for the first scheduled air race late next year. No venue has been selected yet, but Zaltman says discussions are underway with several countries—all warm-weather climes—to host the first race.

In this podcast recorded at Aero this week, Zaltman told us electric airplanes will be constructed along similar lines as Formula 1 aircraft, meaning a 66-square foot wing area, 500-pound minimum weight and fixed gear. But while piston Formula 1 aircraft are restricted to the Continental O-200 engine, e-racers will be opened up to all manufacturers. “It’s very much geared toward accelerating innovation and accelerating the technology that will eventually find its way into the airplanes we fly as passengers 30 years from now,” Zaltman said.

Power will be supplied by a 150-KW motor which, as electric airplanes go, is quite powerful, about the equivalent of 230 to 240 HP race ready, but with neck-snapping torque delivery. While batteries still limit electric aircraft endurance. Zaltman said the races will last about five minutes, compared to eight minutes for piston F1 races. “Right now in Formula 1, they get about 250 MPH. We expect it to go above that, but I’m hesitant to give a number,” Zaltman said.

But is it going to be any fun watching airplanes quietly whir around a closed course? Zaltman says much of the noise airplanes make is from props and electric airplanes will have those. “The noise is going to be there in terms of the spectator understanding the racing, but it will be quieter,” he said. For more, see AirRaceE site here.

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Podcast: Jeff Zaltman Talks About Electric Airplane Racing
Paul Bertorelli

Formula 1 racing is a popular event at the Reno Air Races, among other sites, and beginning late next year, it will evolve into something new: electric airplane racing. As AVweb covers Aero this year, Jeff Zaltman, CEO of AirRaceE, says in this podcast that airplanes are being designed and constructed for the first scheduled air race late next year.

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Aero: George Jetson, Meet P-38
AVweb Staff

The Aero exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany has always been fertile ground for new aircraft ideas and with electric aircraft surging, 2019 is no exception. One of the more unusual aircraft on display this week is the AutoFlightX, an exotic VTOL design that looks like a cross between a P-38 and George Jetson’s daily ride to work.

The AutoFlightX was unveiled, literally, by removing the fabric barrier, without much fanfare and with even less explanation. Marco Hade, who oversees the company’s test and integration, told AVweb that the aircraft, which may be a two-seater, will ultimately be aimed at the thus-far aspirational urban mobility market. As an electric-only VTOL, it has both vertical thrust—four propellers—and horizontal propulsion in the form of a single pusher prop. Hade declined to say how many motors it has, but knowing that electric aircraft designers aren’t fond of adding weighty drives shafts, we’re going to guess one prop equals one motor. The aircraft hasn’t flown yet, but is expected to within the next few months, adding yet another design choice to the burgeoning urban mobility field.

Aero: Boeing MAX Fallout May Have Benefits
Paul Bertorelli


Multiple investigations into two accidents of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will inevitably focus on a much misunderstood FAA program called ODA for organization designation authorization. And Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, says that may ultimately be a good thing for both the aerospace industry and general aviation manufacturing specifically.

"We were concerned that the political apparatus would react before they have the facts," Bunce said in this exclusive podcast recorded at the Aero exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, this week. "What I'm sensing, at least over the last week, is that everyone is calming down. We've had preliminary accident investigations and we're going to get more data in and let Secretary Chao's process work," Bunce added. (Elaine Chao is U.S. Secretary of Transportation.)

ODA is under scrutiny because some political leaders and even aerospace industry veterans are asking if Boeing's use of the program allowed flaws in the MAX 8's design to slip through the certification process. ODA allows manufacturers to designate in-house staff to serve as FAA oversight. In GA, designated engineering and airworthiness representatives are common, given that the FAA is short-staffed, both on expertise and budget.

"The expertise for modern aerospace resides with the industry primarily. We use designees for operations all the time. I had my folks do the numbers. Last year, 48,000 certifications were given on the ops side; the FAA did 2700 of those. Government has to rely on that expertise, otherwise the industry would stop," Bunce said. With electric propulsion and air mobility on the horizon, the FAA will rely on designees more than ever, Bunce said.

Although no major delays have been reported, we learned at the Aircraft Electronics Association show last month that at least one manufacturer, TruTrak, experienced a minor hitch in a certification review apparently sparked by the Boeing certification mess. The FAA wanted to review the paperwork before issuing approvals.

Podcast: GAMA President Pete Bunce On The Boeing 737 MAX
Paul Bertorelli

GAMA President Pete Bunce discusses the potential industry-wide impacts of the questions that have arisen regarding the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX including how to balance safety, regulation and providing a pathway for innovation and new certifications. In this podcast from Aero 2019 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, he also talks the economics of sustainable aviation fuel.

Industry Round-up, April 12, 2019
AVweb Staff

This week, AVweb’s news roundup uncovered reports on a message from the National Agricultural Aviation Association to drone operators, a training infrastructure expansion for Lufthansa Aviation Training, a new partnership for The DAES Group, an upcoming flight simulation expo and a convention attendance announcement from Click Aviation Network. As the growing season gets underway, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is asking Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators to look out for agricultural aircraft. The association would like UAS operators to be aware that agricultural operations peak during the summer months and agricultural pilots may fly as low as 10 feet off the ground when making an application.

Lufthansa Aviation Training is investing approximately €89 million (about $101 million) to purchase simulators and expand infrastructure in its training locations. The company will be adding a total of six new simulators and expanding facilities in Munich and Vienna. Aerospace service provider The DAES Group has announced a strategic partnership with Czech Republic engineering company ATG. The DAES Group will now act as a representative and distributor for ATG, which specializes in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) solutions.

The second-annual FlightSimExpo Aviation and Simulation Conference will take place June 7-9 in Orlando, Florida. Exhibitors include EAA, Prepar3D, X-Plane, PilotEdge and Redbird. Registration costs $70 and includes two-day trade show floor access, panels and seminars, drinks and appetizers, and a six-month EAA membership. Also on the expo scene, aviation service provider Click Aviation Network will be exhibiting at the Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE) for the first time this year. The company also announced the opening of its newest office in China.

Top Letters And Comments, April 12, 2019

Boeing 737 MAX Accidents

Another facet of this preliminary report that the media is missing – and I don’t fault most them as they are often not aviation experts nor qualified B737 pilots – is that from the moment the aircraft lifted off it had an unreliable airspeed emergency. Disparity between the Captain and FO airspeed indicators, the stall warning (stick shaker), etc. The crew of that Ethiopian flight did not do the recall (memory drill) for that emergency which would later come back to haunt them.

The first thing you do is set the attitude appropriate for the phase of flight (in this case 10 degrees on the attitude indicator) and an appropriate power setting (for the Max I think it is 85%). They did not do this and as we will see later, with the thrust at 100% the aircraft goes really, really fast and is nay impossible to trim.

The other questionable action is not leaving the aircraft in the same configuration (flaps extended) and return to Addis Abba (a maintenance base) to get the unreliable airspeed fixed. Why one would want to continue on a 1 hour flight in stick shaker is beyond me.

Nevertheless, the flaps were selected up and the MCAS failure appeared (which might have been associated with the unreliable airspeed). As the preliminary report states, the airspeed reached between 305 and 340 kts on the RH airspeed indicator and 20-25 kts more on the LH airspeed indicator; meanwhile the engines are at 100% N1 thrust.

As any aviator would know, trim forces increase with airspeed at roughly the square of the velocity; twice the airspeed, four times the aerodymanic force, all things being equal.

Rather than flying the aircraft which includes managing the speed, the aircraft was racing around at Vmo (velocity max operating) with the overspeed clacker going. In addition to not dealing with the thrust right after take-off and the unreliable airspeed indication and setting 85%, 100% N1 caused the speed to increase, making manual trim difficult if not impossible.

As a general observation, I think the media will have to be on the lookout for national bias in this accident as well as the Lion Air one too. Both accidents point directly at professional pilots not being able to handle irregularities that should be easily handled.


I think your piece “MAX and the Press” does go some distance but many of your fellow press got it way off.

Two weeks to release the data from the FDR is way off. There are probably many parameters that could have correlated any suppositions early on.

We have not seen the Ethiopian Aviation Authority documents that were conveyed to Ethiopian Air. The FAA CANIC goes to the government NOT the carrier.

What OPS SPECs if any were modified by the Ethiopian authority to the carrier.

The documentation from carrier to the pilots, QRH, etc.

What data is there on maintenance of the aircraft?

What airport data is there reference what they purportedly hit? Is there a wildlife management plan as required by ICAO (Annex 14) for the airport?

And not to remove any blame from Boeing, what did they know about the System Safety Assessment hazard classification?

As a GA guy, you likely have flown aircraft with significant power to pitch coupling, this is not a new issue. However, I question pilot qualification in this case. A copilot with 200 hours.

And, similar systems exist on Airbus and other part 25 aircraft.

David Downey

Paul Bertorelli’s pieces on the Max issues to me illustrate why we don't want software engineers flying us in autonomous aircraft. I think we have confirmation where the ill-fated Indonesian aircraft's crew from the previous flight successfully headed off a disaster. Unfortunately, the second crew wasn't as adept at resolving the issue. The point being we need well trained humans in the loop.

Robert Mahoney

Boeing has pushed some of the detailed operation of the later 737s under the rug and come around to a KISS style that seems to now have bitten them. Old hands on another forum seem to think that of course the manual trim wheel gets stuck when airspeed as well as trim runs away. In that case a “roller coaster recovery” procedure used to be in the manuals for several early Boeing models — ease off yoke pressure, crank furiously, recover, ease off the yoke again, trim furiously, recover, etc., until neutral trim is regained. But item #1 on the memory check list is to reduce power to 85% or 80% of N1. POWER BACK is step one on the memory checklist for PPL training in any aircraft when the emergency has you nose down with speed increasing, and both accidents seem to have happened in clear air. So the attitude could be determined by looking out of the window. While stick shaker, spoken alarms, airspeed disagreements, a trim runaway that comes and goes, and all that would be pretty terrifying for anyone, Boeing did not apparently take the possibility of pilot/crew confusion into their failure scenarios, but assumed that the pilots would do the sensible thing. That may no longer be an acceptable model for certification.

Scott Kirkpatrick

Great work on Max articles. Aviation and investigations can be harsh on pilots. Here are just two examples of "scary as shit" moments where pilots were judged harshly. In the 2nd one, fatally. Perhaps it helps inform the Max conundrum.




Bill Tuccio

Certification Nomenclature

My day job consists of getting jet engines FAA certified. I note that folks (AvWeb and many others) are still using terms such as "FAR 23" to describe small airplane cert, or "FAR 91" for pilot stuff. It hasn't been "FAR" for more than a decade, since the regulations were moved under the Code of Federal Regulations umbrella. So while they remain federal regulations pertaining to aviation, they aren't "FARs."

"14 CFR part 23", or "14 CFR 23" would be acceptable (the FAA has a PowerPoint on it, of course!) but you can punt and say "Part 23" to keep the word count down (unless you are paid by the word, then use "Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 33"!)

And that has painted me as a pedant, I'm sure!

R. K. Phillips

Short Final: Send The Bill

Recently during the government shutdown, Atlanta Center had a hard time communicating with a Citation who seemed to be out of range. They asked me to call up the Citation and tell him that he needed to go to another frequency. We reached the Citation and relayed the message. We reported this back to the Center controller who was grateful for the help. I replied, “Happy to help. We’ll send you a bill.”

Without missing a beat, the controller came back and said, “Can’t send us a bill. Government is shut down.”

J. P. Engelbrecht
Evansville, IN
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