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Thread: The lion air accident

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    The lion air accident

    My Son sent me this report, I don't have all details but here is a summary with the critical point. Boeing came out with a new version of the proven 737 to compete with Airbus, with large engines mounted higher which affected the handling at slow speeds. . The critical change is they made a small change in the way the automatic system computer dealt with an emergency of stall or near stall. Not fatal in itself ,but then they made the decision, likely driven by profit margin , that the pilots of the new airplanes could just sit right down and fly, and didn't have to go through and real training for the new systems, certainly not time consuming and expensive simulator training. And guess what, Murphy never sleeps and he's always looking for anyone to make a mistake, even one that seems not likely.
    Boeing has been such a good company, but they needed to err on the side of safety and extra training in this case.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 02-06-2019 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    My Son sent me this report, I don't have all details ….
    Too early to speculate. No good can from it for most of us on this forum even it the report you received is correct (which in my experience preliminary reports are 10% factual at best.

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    this might give you further info. IMHO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glroNHUZD28

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    Thanks Skyfixer, and as you give the report it is from NBC Today show and based on the data from the Black Box recovered from the ocean floor which factually shows the attitude and speed, altitude of the plane, and shows that it repeatedly pitched up and down before the final dive. It fits a struggle between the pilots and the computer autopilot in the plane, pilots trying to pull up and computer pushing nose down. Could the pilots have turned off the system and why didn't they. Of course the would be very busy, in a almost panic emergency, but maybe they didn't realize that turning it off was the key to regaining control.. The other box which gives cockpit voice recordings has not been found.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 02-06-2019 at 07:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Thanks Skyfixer, and as you give the report it is from NBC Today show and based on the data from the Black Box recovered from the ocean floor which factually shows the attitude and speed, altitude of the plane, and shows that it repeatedly pitched up and down before the final dive. It fits a struggle between the pilots and the computer autopilot in the plane, pilots trying to pull up and computer pushing nose down. Could the pilots have turned off the system and why didn't they. Of course the would be very busy, in a almost panic emergency, but maybe they didn't realize that turning it off was the key to regaining control..
    I think the key questions are:

    1. How was the previous crew able to maintain control of the aircraft with the suspected anomaly, and
    2. Why wasn't the problem fixed between flights?

    One would assume the previous crew had received the same training, and should have had the same understanding of the flight modes and the aircraft's response to anomalies. One would *like* to believe that the airline truly believed the problem had been fixed prior to dispatch for the accident flight.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    DRGT if you think the report is "incorrect" then what is not factual about it? By the way, I have no connection to Boeing, financial or personal, nor of course to that airline
    Do you have any?
    I do own stock in Southwest which of course uses the basic model of 737, not part of this story.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 02-07-2019 at 10:26 AM.

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    DRGT if you think the report is "incorrect" then what is not factual about it? By the way, I have no connection to Boeing, financial or personal, nor of course to that airline
    Do you have any?
    *I* do... 35 year's employment, and they send me a nice retirement check every month and pay most of my health care. Doesn't affect my opinion any. Maybe being a union member helps. :-)

    But I do tend to side with DRGT on this. It's ludicrous to put much stock into news media reports on technical issues, especially on this stage. The media doesn't do very well in General Aviation issues...why would they be more believable in commercial aviation ones?

    I think it's quite possible that Boeing didn't advertise some of the failure modes in-depth in their training. But from what I've read elsewhere, the software included a blanket "turn off the automation" mode that would have allowed the crew to hand-fly the airplane normally... like the previous crew did.

    Part of the problem in the investigation will be political. The Indonesian government will not want to be blamed for insufficient oversight of Lion Air; the obvious target is then that big bad American airplane company.

    Lion Air *has* a bad history. It was initially denied entry into IATA due to safety concerns, a number of pilots were busted due to meth use, and the European Union actually banned Lion Air from flying into its air space (ban lifted ~3 years ago).

    But I suspect the Indonesian authorities will not want too bright of light shined on their oversight of the airline.

    Lion Air is a low-cost airline, like Southwest. Yet Southwest does not seem to have problems Lion Air has. Similar airplanes, same low-cost goals. Ironic as it might be to us GA pilots, the difference might be an independent, aggressive, and enforced regulatory environment.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 02-07-2019 at 12:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Lion Air is a low-cost airline, like Southwest. Yet Southwest does not seem to have problems Lion Air has. Similar airplanes, same low-cost goals. Ironic as it might be to us GA pilots, the difference might be an independent, aggressive, and enforced regulatory environment.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Ron, I agree with the comments of your entire post. I would also like to add that "the difference might be" the degree to which there is compliance with said regulations.

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    Ron , I receive a check from Exxon so when the media reported that Exxon had spilled a lot of oil in the water in Alaska, the explanation must be that he media is lying? Couldn't be true. Kind of like when some rabble rousers stirred up trouble against that nice Mr. Madoff, it couldn't be any fault of his organization of the SEC? Must be more media lies.
    The weak spot in you analysis , is while Indonesia and their version of NTSB may be incompetent and even corrupt like lots of other 3rd world countries, their board did not cause the crash. If there was no defect in the airplane there would have not been an emergency, and he pilots would not have had to try to overcome the out of control pitching. How do we know about the pitch fluctuations? It is reported from the data from the black box recovered. but then again maybe the media, NBC news just made all this up and is lying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Ron , I receive a check from Exxon so when the media reported that Exxon had spilled a lot of oil in the water in Alaska, the explanation must be that he media is lying? Couldn't be true. Kind of like when some rabble rousers stirred up trouble against that nice Mr. Madoff, it couldn't be any fault of his organization of the SEC? Must be more media lies.
    The weak spot in you analysis , is while Indonesia and their version of NTSB may be incompetent and even corrupt like lots of other 3rd world countries, their board did not cause the crash. If there was no defect in the airplane there would have not been an emergency, and he pilots would not have had to try to overcome the out of control pitching. How do we know about the pitch fluctuations? It is reported from the data from the black box recovered. but then again maybe the media, NBC news just made all this up and is lying.
    What about turning off the automation if it isn't working right.? Alternately, report and fix the issues experienced by the crew on the previous flight before another passenger carrying flight. The man is in the loop because we know automation works extremely well *most* of the time, not all of the time.

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