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U.S. judge dismisses two charges against former Boeing 737 MAX technical pilot

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed two charges against a former chief technical pilot for Boeing Co (BA.N) accused of deceiving federal regulators evaluating the company's 737 MAX jet, but rejected a request to dismiss the other four counts. ( More...

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Stephen Donnelly 15
This pilot is a scapegoat!
John Nichols 3
No, you cannot "switch off" MCAS. To recover requires disabling Pitch Trim. Rather a drastic step, and not in any way intuitive, imo.

Once a "correction" is accomplished with elevator, the fatal dance is begun. Picking a trim fight with the HS is end of....
if both the problem and the fix are the same as it is for a runaway stabilizer, how is following the runaway stabilizer procedure not intuitive?
John Nichols 1
It should be intuitive,but the way it presents is as a pusher without the shaker first.... it is in that way that an unaware pilot is MISLED...
The shaker on the side with the bad aoa sensor was going nuts for the duration of both crash flights. As a matter of fact, in Lion Air's case it was going nuts for the duration of the flight before as well.

John Nichols 1
By the way, the Autotrim (MCAS) is interrmittent, disguising itself as a transient "problem" to the MCAS unaware pilots....
MCAS might be intermittent, but whatever is causing it to activate is not (whether based on valid data or not). It's a symptom, not a cause.

And I know we've managed to allow this notion of the "unaware pilot" to become normalized over the past couple years, but repetition isn't the same thing as reality.
Ben Eige 3
He's totally a scapegoat, although not completely innocent as he should have made a bigger stink about the problems with MCAS. "Flying Blind" is a great book that shows a long decline, from a cultural standpoint, at Boeing that led to issues with MCAS and its lack of being highlighted to buyers and pilots of the MAX. My 2 cents.
Terry Briggs 3
Did everyone commenting here read the Reuter's article? I doubt it.

The judge's ruling is nonsense. The ruling states that the judge decided (somehow?) that MCAS was not an aircraft part. If the aircraft couldn't fly without its functioning properly (as the 2 crashes demonstrated) how can it not be an aircraft part? DOJ should appeal that.
boughbw 3
Software isn't hardware. Parts are hardware and, in theory, any software could be designed to make it function.
By your "logic," nothing was wrong with the MCAS as it had flown by this point tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of times without crashing. Moreover, you could disable the MCAS software and the plane would fly just fine--this is documented to have happened on several occasions, including on the Lion Air plane that would crash the day before it crashed.
Why it is that the chief technical pilot should be prosecuted for this remains to be seen. The judge has it correct.
Stefan Sobol 1
Actually recent Boeing aircraft can contain LSAPs. These are "loadable software airplane parts". It's pretty much how the 787 works. I'm not sure how many LSAPs the Max has, but there are probably some in the newer aircraft systems.
boughbw 1
It sounds like it may be a question of legal definitions rather than aircraft enginneering practice.
You have it backwards. MCAS was on when it should have been off.
George Wilhelmsen 3
Good. It is clear that 2 foreign air crews had a malfunction and crashed.

It is also clear that 2 US air crews had the SAME MALFUNCTION and had no crash, no deaths, nothing.

It's the TRAINING people. The pilots in those crashes forgot to disconnect the MCAS by opening the two circuit breakers at the back right side of throttle pedestal.

I don't fly the 737. My plane has an autopilot. The "kill" switches are right in front of me - for a reason. If I get an autopilot malfunction - click, click, I'm back in charge.

These charges were specious to begin with. Thanks to the judge for seeing through this snipe hunt.
boughbw 10
I agree. But I would add that Boeing should not be left off the hook. Boeing should have disclosed the new MCAS system to airlines, pilots, and the FAA, and discussed it in training. Boeing should have tested MCAS against failures of various components (such as the Angle of Attack indicator). Boeing should have insisted airlines require their pilots to take very specific, rigorous training courses on the plane and pass an exam prior to flying it. Boeing should have insisted on quality standards for maintenance and care of their planes.

What does that level of accountability look like? I do not know. But this trial is not it.

These charges against the chief technical pilot smell of a desperate attempt to look like the Justice Department is doing something to hold Boeing accountable. But in their inevitable and deserved failure in this trial (this prosecution is misguided), they are losing time that is more productively spent ensuring such disasters never occur again.
wiregold 5
On all previous Boeing jets pulling back on the yoke disengaged AP but not the 737MAX and that little detail wasn't in the training to save money. Plenty more wrong with the MAX but blaming 'foreigners' is just stupid.
So what happens when you pull back with ap on? Nothing?
Dan Chiasson 6
Although you use the term "SAME MALFUNCTION" I would suggest "SAME DESIGN FAULT". IMHO, that is where the crux of the matter is. Poor design. Sure some pilots had the ability to work-around a poorly designed piece of technology - great - others not so but please don't overlook the fact that it was poorly designed.
John Nichols 1
Instead of admitting the MAX should probably require a new type certificate, Boeing,as always, sistered the new ship on a fifty year old TC.
New gear architecture, big new motors, and a tendency to climb rather robustly, it wasn't just a new manual and Bob's yer uncle.

"Nothing really novel here boys...."

A charade in plain sight... Don't give a firecracker to a four year old.....

It is a very different aircraft, and too many people died in the farce...
Do you want to change the rules, or do you just want to complain?
John Nichols 1
Just setting the table Captain....

Boeing put an untrained stick pusher (AoA driven Auto Trim)into the Max because the plane is way hot, and wants to climb in a big way.

The shaker and pusher aren't enough? Fair enough. But let's
at least add MCAS into the syllabus, and the Sim....
You set the table, but you didn't answer the question.
Ric Wernicke -6
The Biden Bozo's (Justice Dept.) are throwing the book at the wrong individual. Some of the blame goes to the penny-pinching executives at the airlines who were clamoring for certification that did not require simulator time for pilots. I believe firmly that properly briefed and trained pilots could have slapped off that MCAS, landed the plane and called it a day.

If anyone should be facing justice it is the code writers that turned out software with bugs larger than those found in the Amazon rainforest.
Dan Chiasson 11
Agree in part but "code writers" are no different than welders or other assembly line workers. THE problem, IMHO, was a corporate culture that put shareholder profits ahead of safety. Executives and the board of directors should be in the target zone of this investigation.
mike moseley 3
In all due respect, developing and deploying software can be orders of magnitude more complex than welding and assembling and requires rigorous, imaginative, time consuming testing looking for all the "edge cases" such as malfunctioning pitot static tubes.
Dr Stephen Vadas 1
I agree. It is the corporate culture, not this individual. So sad for us all.
Randy Marco 2
WRONG "this individual" LIED; hence the criminal charges against him.

I know most all the 'tards on this site buy into Lies; but Lies are destroying thus country and need to be prosecuted including the king liar trumpf!
Coders are not aeronautical engineers, thank god.
Randy Marco 0
FACT: You are a clueless Bozo!
Dr Stephen Vadas 2
I've seen this happen numerous times and was personally involved in one case. The Justice Dept always has difficulty trying to convict the major players in a big corporation because the corporation has big bucks and great lawyers which make the Justice dept lawyers look like fools and then the Justice Dept loses the case. So in order to "win" a case, they pick on the little guy that cannot afford the expensive high profile lawyers and then they hope they can win one. That's the only way the incompetent Justice Dept can win anything.
Ric Wernicke 1
Many times they lose cases because they don't have one to start with. To label them incompetent is too polite.
Ric Wernicke 0
And, of course you are not, but why the red nose and the big shoes?
Forkner and Muilenburg would make great cell mates!!!

DM: "Hey, Mark... I've seemed to have dropped the soap again..."
MF: "Oh Dennis, Not again... I thought it was my turn, you promised!"



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