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Boeing submissions for 737 MAX certification are incomplete, need reassesment, FAA says

Submitted
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has informed Boeing that several important documents provided as part of the agency's continuing certification process of the 737 MAX 7 jet are not complete, and that other materials require a reevaluation by the American aircraft manufacturer. (www.airlinerwatch.com) More...

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n914wa
Mike Boote 15
What the heck is wrong with Boeing?
marcblaquiere
Marc Blaquiere 5
Boeing should really resume it’s engineering culture as soon as possible. They don’t seem to be there yet!
av8tiongeek
John Orman 6
Same players. Same game. Boeing has learned nothing.
A6SEA
Bill Butler 1
This is the problem with any ego. "Don't tell me how to run my business".
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
Do you really think Congress has the competence to tell Boeing how to design an airplane so as to improve flight safety?!
sparkie624
sparkie624 6
Boeing Engineers should know better!
EtienneDaniels
Etienne Daniels 19
From what I understand, Boeing is not run by Engineers anymore like in the past. Now it is ceo's and accountants. We all can see the mess they created.
GreggB57
Gregg Bender 5
The old joke about the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas merger was that Boeing got McDonnell Douglas' management and Boeing's engineers. They promptly kicked the engineers out of upper management. Now we can see the results of that and the demands for higher and higher dividends for the stockholders.
kwm2979
Kerry Moore 1
Boeing has not paid a dividend in about 2 years!!
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
CEOs and Accountants don't do engineering. Also, don't forget that what "we all can see" is limited to what the media chooses to reveal to us and is possibly affected by omission, fabrication, distortion, error, etc.

Those who report the technicalities about the 737 MAX and the two crashes usually have little to no competence in aeronautical engineering and use "common sense" to understand, explain and analyze complex concepts and issues; whereas it typically takes many years of specialized education in numerous supporting fields of science and technology and years of experience for professionals to do so. The resulting explanations, analyses, etc. are likely to be flawed, but being written in common sense, they appear sensible to those who only have common sense—and nothing more advanced. And what is sensible is often presumed to be valid and true. And that's how the vast amount of "sensible rubbish" about the 737 MAX originated and proliferated, with the vast majority of us not competent enough to realize that our understanding of the airplane and the accidents as gleaned from the media is almost entirely false.
PunctilioPilot
Doug Palmquist 7
What drives so many to infallible trust in the bureaucrats within the FAA? Have sheeple learned nothing from the last couple of years of blind trust in gubment! I’m not saying Boeing is clean on this but be wary of placing your verdict, you are really only getting the “facts” of the writers volition.
1skate1
David Purtz 5
Somehow, not being an aviation expert, I trust Boeing over the FAA, an agency of the Transportation Department that is lead by an incompetent bureaucrat that believes men can birth babies (or at least has questions about birthing). We all know this administration is anti business as they are doing all they can to destroy the USA economy.
TiredTom
Tom Bruce 3
tend to agree with perception of Fed Gov...but in this case Boeing brought all this down on themselves... I don't trust Boeing al all anymore...the FAA??
woodchicago
J Woo 1
Steady on cowboy. If you knew how many good people Boeing have killed on their planes over the years you would moderate your views. Check out USAir 427 when you have moment and see how they did nothing wrong... for 10 years until where found negligent.
Perhaps you'd rather take you chances on an unregulated Russian plane.
Crack on fella. Good luck with life.
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
They were found liable, not negligent. Although it may not matter to you, there IS a difference in meaning. In fact, Boeing found the cause after an occurrence that didn't end fatally and the pilot was able to recall in detail what he experienced and the servo actuator wasn't destroyed. They found that an in-rush of very hot hydraulic fluid with gritty contamination of a certain size into an extremely cold servo valve could cause the valve to jam and/or reverse. The failure was not initially observed on the test rig, but predicted by an engineer who happened to look at a printout of the hydraulic fluid flow of the valve under test and noticed an anomaly in the flow values that seemed to indicate that the valve would malfunction if the numbers got worse. So he exaggerated the test conditions on the test rig… and triggered a reversal. The NTSB was about to report that the cause was a servo valve malfunction that could not be verified, but held off while Boeing analyzed the details of the valve operation to validate the failure mode. Then they amended the previous accident reports to include the servo valve abnormal operation as the cause.

To believe that engineers would try to hide a known deficiency in design when that deficiency will become apparent in service and possibly cause loss of life is to believe that engineers are idiots who can't project what will happen in the near future or immoral wretches who don't care—a daft notion, but apparently one held by many news reporters and commenters. I suspect it is an unwitting projection of their own paucity of integrity and apathy for what they produce—a substitute for factual knowledge while speculating without basis.
DonKrupicka
Don Krupicka 2
Boeing needs to put aviation experienced executives back in at the top. A product flying at 30+K feet, needs to ensure all safety aspects are completely covered and there are no shortcuts in the certification process. Not knowing the details behind the submissions, Boeing needs to get back to the Total Quality Commitment program from the 80s/90s and stop trying to cut costs. They needs the best tooling people, engineer, aviation craftsman, and stop the line if something aint right! I as a former Boeing employee, am extremely frustrated with the way executive management has driven this company so far off course as a company of the gold standard of aerospace quality. EXTREMLY DISAPPOINTING!
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
And yet you accept Congress forcing airplane design decisions by way of law?! Is there even one aeronautical engineer in the House or Senate subcommittee on Aviation?
KC3CDU
Timothy Clark 2
And their back flying again. And people wonder why I've lost respect for Boeing and why I no longer like them. The FAA is to blame here though as well. They never should allow any airline to certify their own aircraft as that's just a ridiculous move and safety hazard.
Greg77FA
Greg77FA 3
Fools they are. How many lessons does it take to bankrupt an airline manufacturer. Wake up, there are other players out there who are doing a better job.
TiredTom
Tom Bruce 2
Boeing is going....down
martint18
Unfortunately this could be a symptom of an overall lack of exceptionalism in the corporate USA. Our people do not strive for perfection anymore and we have taken our eye off the high bar and settled for equity.
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 2
Why would corporate USA strive for perfection when consuming America settles for the cheapest price junk made abroad?
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 2
Therein lies the problem. People used to demand quality, now they are willing to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks.
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
I doubt they can even recognize quality anymore. They have grown so lazy that they can't even think for themselves. It wouldn't have taken much scrutiny to realize that the news media's narrative of the MAX crashes was grossly contradictory to what the voice and flight data recorders had recorded. But a willingness to let Pulitzer Prize-seeking media reporters delude them with a fictional tale that would put Pinocchio to shame plus a mindless penchant for mob action helped to ground an airplane that didn't have anything wrong with it. Then a spineless FAA playing politics kept it grounded for 20 months, with nothing of substance to show at the end, at least nothing that truly improved safety. And the true cause of the crashes, which the data recordings make obvious to those competent in aviation, remains unaddressed.
MarcusGiddens
Marcus Giddens 2
The plane will never be airworthy IMO. Boeing should stop going down that route and do all they can to save the company.
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
It’s sad to see a once great company tear itself apart.
woodchicago
J Woo 1
Steady on cowboy. If you knew how many good people Boeing have killed on their planes over the years you would moderate your views. Check out USAir 427 when you have moment and see how they did nothing wrong... for 10 years until where found negligent.
Perhaps you'd rather take you chances on an unregulated Russian plane.
Crack on fella. Good luck with life.!
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
Did the FAA indicate exactly what Human Factors considerations were not taken into account in the safety analyses or is that detail being suppressed by the media? Human Factors generally don't figure in safety analyses because physiological factors such as strength, reach, size, visual acuity, hearing threshold, G-force tolerance, etc. which are statistically quantifiable are designed in with some acceptable range (typically 5th to 95th percentile) and are not a "failure probability" during system operation. Psychological factors like memory recall, recall accuracy, distraction, fatigue, spatial disorientation, selection error, etc. have poor repeatability and the underlying triggering and progression mechanisms are not well understood, making statistical predictability meaningless.

More than a decade ago I asked a reliability expert how he factored human error into a fault tree diagram that calculated the probability of an adverse event occurring. His response was we don't, a human is unpredictable in terms of what type of error will be made and when, so to be on the conservative side we would have consider the probability to be 1, and all safety analyses would be of no use for assessing or assuring safety because they would show that failure was guaranteed.

Besides, I don't know what system exists on a -7 or -10 with failures that could potentially have catastrophic effects that aren't on the already twice-certified -8 and -9. Sounds like political games to me.
nasdisco
Chris B 1
The 8, while approved, is a bit of a slug in its performance. Boeing caved to airline pressures and built it, rather than develop a replacement aircraft. Now it's stuck with it, and these additional variants.
Skip737
steven iltz 6
What airliner at max weight is not a slug? Your either wing limited, or thrust limited.
Mikedryden
Mike Dryden 7
Airline pressure or pressure to deliver a return to shareholders to bump the share price and the bonuses attached to them?
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 8
Do you have a link to the report that evaluated the -8 as "a bit of a slug?"

Why would Boeing design an airplane from scratch when the competition was merely upgrading the engine on an existing model to bring it up to state-if-the-art and Boeing could do the same with its existing model that competed equally (at least) before the upgrade and would continue to do so after the upgrade? Your belief that a manufacturer should design something other than what the market has a need for is baffling, unless you know of secret customers that wanted a "new" model, were willing to wait for it and accept the risks that such an endeavor carries, and would pay a higher price for it. In which case, do tell, because no one else seems to know of their existence. And what would they be getting with this new airplane model that would justify the delay, the risk and the expense?
tpmorrow
tpmorrow 6
Dude, chill out. This is just a news forum for people interested in aviation, not the Pentagon War Planning Room.
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 1
Thank you! That would explain the paucity of intelligent commenters: Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.
TiredTom
Tom Bruce -3
737 a 1960s designed... A320 1980s... 737 MAX? lipstick on a pig
DonKrupicka
Don Krupicka 3
They brought in a bunch of execs over the years that had background in computer manufacturing and other non aerospace background. One cannot take the same shortcuts for manufacturing computers and apply them to manufacturing airframes. People lose lives when that approach happens.
pwpereira
Pete Pereira 2
Yes, imagine that! The platform design was done so well that 60 years later it is still suitable for transporting passengers and cargo—thar is, if the pilots somehow aren't deprived the training that was specified as mandatory 60 years ago. The automobile industry endures recall after recall, year after year, on simple items like brake pads because it is driven to change the design and fix what ain't broken every single year, driven by stupid customers who will not buy a new car if it is not THIS YEAR's model, because, you know, they don't want to miss out on the quantum leaps that technology made in the past 12 months. Commercial aviation is headed in that direction thanks to legislators, because little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

n914wa
Mike Boote 3

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