tirsdag 19. mars 2019

Sertifiseringsprosessen hadde grunnleggende svakheter - AVweb

MCAS Certification Flawed: Report
 
Russ Niles
 
 
The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation (MCAS) system at the center of investigations into two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was misunderstood and mischaracterized in a flawed certification process as Boeing and the FAA rushed to bring the new jet to market, a Seattle Times investigation published Sunday alleges.

Citing named and unnamed sources, the Times’ Dominic Gates says the final certification of the system, which was intended to give pilots a control feel on the aerodynamically different MAX similar to that of previous iterations of the 737, not only gave “unlimited authority” to the stabilizer for nose-down trim, it literally fought the pilots’ attempts to correct the condition possibly to the point where they were physically unable to fight the stabilizer down force any longer.

“It had full authority to move the stabilizer the full amount,” Peter Lemme, former Boeing flight controls engineer, told the Times. “There was no need for that. Nobody should have agreed to giving it unlimited authority.”

The Times story said the profound ability of the system to take over a key flight control action should have resulted in close scrutiny in the certification process.

But the original specifications of the system called for MCAS to limit its ability to move the horizontal stabilizer .6 degrees at a time. By the time deliveries began, it could pitch the stabilizer 2.5 degrees, about half its total travel, in one movement, the result of flight testing tweaks aimed at finessing the flight control feel.

The system would also pivot the stabilizer that much repeatedly as long as data inputs indicated the aircraft was about to stall, regardless of the pilots’ strenuous efforts to overpower the system. In the October Lion Air crash, which killed 189 people, the flight data recorder counted the captain countering the system 21 times with the first officer taking over for few tries before the captain’s final futile efforts to arrest a 500-MPH dive. The data indicated the nose-down yoke forces peaked at a little more than 100 pounds.

The newspaper’s investigation said that engineers involved in the safety assessment of MCAS were not aware the system could move the tail five times more than the original specs called for. The certification documents should have been amended to reflect the final configuration but they apparently were not, according to the Times report. If they had been, the seriousness of a potential failure of the system would have required it to receive data from at least two sources.

MCAS gets data from only one of two angle of attack indicators on the MAX and the flight data recorder on the Lion Air airplane showed the AOA feeding MCAS was malfunctioning. “A hazardous failure mode depending on a single sensor, I don’t think passes muster,” said Lemme.

The newspaper is reporting that Boeing’s software fix will wire MCAS to both AOAs and only allow the system to move the tail feathers once, instead of repeatedly battling manual control inputs. It will also require additional pilot training and operating manual changes, both of which were called for by pilots unions following the Lion Air crash.

Boeing’s position, endorsed by the FAA, has been that because MCAS is only supposed to trigger in extreme circumstances—high angles of attack and accelerated stalls—that additional pilot training was not necessary. The company has also said that it assumed that based on their existing training on earlier models pilots would recognize the erroneous nose-down commands and hit cutoff switches that would disable the system. This is a standard runaway trim scenario for all aircraft.

“The assumptions in here are incorrect. The human factors were not properly evaluated,” the Times quoted an unnamed FAA safety engineer as saying.

The story also suggests that due to budget cuts the FAA’s certification managers were under increasing pressure to delegate more and more of the safety assessments to Boeing itself. The unprecedented levels of self-certification in the MAX were compounded by the urgency to get the airplane into service because of competitive pressure from Airbus’s new A320neo series. “There wasn’t a complete and proper review of the documents,” the former FAA engineer is quoted as saying. “Review was rushed to reach certain certification dates.” 

DOT går FFAs sertifiseringsprosess nærmere etter i sømmene - AW&ST

DOT investigating FAA certification of 737 MAX


The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is investigating FAA’s certification process for Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft, adding to mounting pressure on the agency and the manufacturer following the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302.
The DOT inspector general inquiry, first reported March 17 by the Wall Street Journal, is centered on a Seattle-area FAA office responsible for certifying new aircraft, as well as a second Seattle-area office that sets training requirements and approves fleetwide training programs.
FAA employees in those offices have reportedly been instructed to preserve all emails, reports and internal messages related to the 737 MAX certification process, as well as FAA’s decision to forego additional flight-simulator training requirements for pilots transitioning from older models of the aircraft.
An FAA representative directed requests for comment about the probe to the DOT. A DOT spokesperson declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that a grand jury in Washington, DC, issued a subpoena the day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash to at least one person involved in the development of the MAX. That subpoena reportedly lists as a contact a prosecutor with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) criminal division. The DOJ did not respond to a request from ATW for comment.
US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) has said he intends to hold hearings to answer questions about how the aircraft were certified as safe, as well as why additional pilot training for the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) was deemed unnecessary by Boeing and FAA. MCAS, which automatically trims the MAX’s horizontal stabilizers nose-down when it detects the angle of attack is too high, is the focus of the investigation into Lion Air flight JT610, a 737 MAX 8 that crashed in the Java Sea Oct. 29, 2018.
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri), the committee’s ranking member, is focused on training standards for foreign pilots, telling ATW that “the airplane is very safe” and he is “comfortable with the FAA’s certification process.” Graves said he believes the pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines Lion Air flights lacked sufficient training to disable the MCAS and operate the plane manually.

Lion Air og Ethiopian ulykkene forklart av AW&ST

Flight recorder data links Ethiopian, Lion Air MAX 8 crashes


BEA







A preliminary analysis of data from Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders provides the strongest evidence yet linking the accident sequence to the October 2018 crash of Lion Air flight JT610.
“Our experts and US experts have proven the accuracy of the information,” Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said in a statement March 17. “The Ethiopian government has absorbed the information. The cause of the crash was similar to that of Indonesia’s flight 610.” 
A detailed analysis will be made public “in a month,” she added. ICAO protocol calls for an initial accident investigation update within 30 days.
While no specifics were provided on the data or voice recorder contents, downloaded by France’s Bureau d'Enquêtes & d'Analyses (BEA) over the last few days, Moges’s statement suggests that the two nearly new Boeing 737 MAX 8 accidents are linked to a flight control issue. Investigation into the JT610 accident is focused on the MAX’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight-control law that assists pilots in certain manual, flaps-up flying scenarios, especially at slow airspeeds and high angles of attack (AOA). It automatically trims the horizontal stabilizers nose-down when it detects the AOA is too high.
Investigators believe faulty data from an AOA vane triggered MCAS during JT610’s flight, even though the aircraft’s nose was not too high. The flight crew responded with opposite nose-up commands, but MCAS is programmed to continue trimming nose-down based on the data it receives. With the AOA vane feeding erroneous data, MCAS kept attempting to push the 737 MAX 8’s nose down, and the pilots responded with nose-up commands. This back-and-forth continued for several minutes, causing the aircraft to lose and gain altitude, before it dove into the Java Sea, killing all 189 onboard.A profile of ET302’s 6-min. flight based on satellite data provided to investigators by space-based ADS-B provider Aireon suggested similar flight control problems before it, too, dove to the ground. The transport minister’s statement solidifies the theory that the accidents are related.
Regulators and operators around the world grounded the MAX fleet in the days following ET302’s March 10 crash, which killed all 157 onboard. Canadian and US authorities were the last to issue MAX flight bans, on March 13. Both cited the Aireon data, provided hours before the grounding decisions, as the deciding factor.
Boeing is testing modifications to the MAX flight control system that will change how MCAS operates. FAA plans to mandate the upgrade as soon as it is validated. 
“As part of our standard practice following any accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety,” Boeing president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said following Moges’s update on the recorder data. “While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law's behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.”
Investigators’ ability to link MCAS to both accident sequences would further implicate the controversial system, which most pilots did not know existed prior to the JT610 accident and subsequent probe. But it also may expedite lifting the global MAX operations bans.
Boeing has been working on the flight control modifications for months, based on the early JT610 findings. If regulators determine the fixes and related training go far enough to reduce MCAS’s risk and improve pilots’ understanding, the ban could be lifted without awaiting further progress in the ET302 probe. 
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines issued a statement clarifying that ET302’s first officer had 350 total flying hrs., not 200 as the airline reported in a bulletin issued the day of the accident. The pilot-in-command had 8,100 hrs. and has been a 737 captain since November 2017. Ethiopian said the ET302 crew mix reflects its “effort to enhance safety” by ensuring its less-experienced first officers are paired with “highly experienced” captains. 

Boeingsjefen snakker til deg i tre minutter her - Boeing

News Release Issued: Mar 18, 2019 (8:21pm EDT)

Letter from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to Airlines, Passengers and the Aviation Community


CHICAGO, March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

mandag 18. mars 2019

Siste Prowler flys til National Air and Space Museum - The Aviationist

MCAS Cherry Point – Dulles International Airport was the last-ever flight of an EA-6B Prowler before retirement


The crew of the last ever EA-6B flight from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Dulles airport, Washington DC. The aircraft will be on display at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

EA-6B 162230/CY-02 will be on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC.

Last week, the last U.S. Marine Corps Prowler squadron, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2), was formally deactivated.
On Mar. 8, 2019, the last two EA-6B aircraft (162230/CY-02 and 162228/CY-04) took part in Sundown Ceremony that also included flying in formation over Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, with other Marine tactical aircraft: an F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II, an AV-8B Harrier II and an F/A-18C Hornet.
However, that mission, that marked the end of operations of VMAQ-2 and celebrated the retirement of the Prowler after more than four decades of service, was not the last-ever EA-6B flight. This came some days later, on Mar. 14, when the Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2’s “CAG” bird, 162230/CY-02, launched from MCAS Cherry Point for the last time, and headed to Dulles International Airport. Indeed, the aircraft will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
From left to right, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Andrew Rundle, Lt. Col. Julian Flores, Maj. Judson Riordon and Maj. Christopher Larson pose for a photo next to an EA-6B Prowler at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, March 14, 2019. The aircraft is the last Prowler to leave Cherry Point and will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Rundle is the former commanding officer of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2. Flores is the former executive officer of VMAQ-2. Riordon is the former operations officer of VMAQ-2. Larson is the former aircraft maintenance officer of VMAQ-2. The aircraft was assigned to VMAQ-2. VMAQ was a subordinate unit of Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cody Rowe)
The aircraft was flown on the last historic sortie by U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Andrew Rundle, Lt. Col. Julian Flores, Maj. Judson Riordon and Maj. Christopher Larson. Rundle is the former commanding officer of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2. Flores is the former executive officer of VMAQ-2. Riordon is the former operations officer of VMAQ-2. Larson is the former aircraft maintenance officer of VMAQ-2. The aircraft was assigned to VMAQ-2. VMAQ was a subordinate unit of Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The last Prowler leaves Cherry Point to be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The aircraft was assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damaris Arias)
As already explained in a previous article Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) was the last to fly the Prowler in combat, supporting troops who were taking on Islamic State group terrorists in the Middle East late last year.
The EA-6B was born out of military requirements during the Vietnam War. It entered service in 1971 and 170 aircraft were built before the production was terminated in 1991. For more than four decades, the Prowler has been “at the forefront of military electronic warfare allowing high-profile air combat missions.”
VMAQ-2 completed its last deployment in support of Operation Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan as well as Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria in October 2018.
Three Prowler squadrons were deactivated ahead of VMAQ-2. VMAQ-1, in May 2016, VMAQ-4 in June 2017 and VMAQ-3 in May 2018.

Flom skaper problemer for USAF og befolkningen forøvrig - Warzone

STRATCOM hovedkvarteret Offutt AFB, Nebraska, flommes over av Missouri River.
Sjekk Warzone her: http://tinyurl.com/y6fb6hk6

søndag 17. mars 2019

Boeing toer sine hender - Boeing

News Release Issued: Mar 17, 2019 (4:19pm EDT)

Boeing CEO Muilenburg Issues Statement on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Accident Investigation

CHICAGO, March 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued the following statement regarding the report from Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges today.
First and foremost, our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Boeing continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available. Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.  As part of our standard practice following any accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety.  While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law's behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.  We also continue to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Accredited Representative working with Ethiopian investigators.
In accordance with international protocol, all inquiries about the ongoing accident investigation must be directed to the investigating authorities.

SOURCE Boeing