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My Thoughts on the Safety of the Boeing 737 Max 8

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by MULTIZ321, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. mdurette

    mdurette Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I haven’t been in touch with news for a few days, but when I went to check an upcoming southwest flight I noticed a red banner that said I could change flight. Didn’t know why, so I started to research. Appears SW is allowing system wide no fee changes through the end of the month. Even on non max 8 flights.

    If you have a SW flight in the upcoming weeks that you want to change, maybe a good time to look into it. Nice deal for people that may have taken the option for cheaper layover flights and may now be able to pick up a non stop for no extra cost.
     
  2. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    SW has never had change fees.
     
  3. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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  4. WVBaker

    WVBaker TUG Member

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    {removed quoted deleted political post}

    I don't know if I would place the decision to ground these planes by Daniel Elwell a political action of any sort. This is a serious problem that needs to be investigated so the cause can be determined and grounding all of the Boeing 737's is the safest way to do it.
     
  5. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    I received this email today from Southwest:

    A message from our CEO

    Since Sunday, we have been continually working with the FAA, Boeing, and others within the U.S. government, regarding the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft type that was involved in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident on March 10. This afternoon, the FAA issued its order to ground the MAX, with our knowledge and support. We have removed the 34 MAX aircraft from service; they will remain out of service until the FAA rescinds this order. With more than 750 aircraft in our fleet, more than 95 percent of our aircraft are unaffected by this order.

    Safety is our top priority. It always has been. It always must be. Our commitment to the Safety of our Employees and our Customers is unwavering and uncompromising. U.S. airlines operate within the most advanced, regulated aviation system in the world and nothing is more sacred to all of our Southwest Family Members than the trust our Customers place in our airline every day, on every flight. You have our commitment to minimize the disruptions to our Customers' travel plans, while adhering to the FAA's requirements and ensuring the Safety of our fleet.

    Southwest® has a long history with the 737 and a stellar safety record. Our experience with the MAX, along with the other U.S. operators, has been phenomenal. We've operated over 40,000 flights covering almost 90,000 hours. There is a ton of data collected, which we continuously monitor. In all of our analysis since our first flight in 2017, or that by our U.S. counterparts or the FAA; nothing has presented any flight safety concerns. It is also important to add that all Pilots at Southwest are deeply experienced and highly trained, as are our Mechanics who are highly experienced and trained to safely maintain every airplane in our fleet.

    I realize this disruption may inconvenience our Customers during this busy spring travel season, and we will do everything in our power to mitigate the impact to our operation. For that, I offer my sincere apologies. To support our Customers, we are offering flexible rebooking policies for any Customer booked on a cancelled flight.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will provide frequent updates to you as this story develops.

    [​IMG]

    Richard
     
  6. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I would trust those words more if they settled their labor issues with the mechanics.


    .
     
  7. mdurette

    mdurette Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Correct. But for this you can change your flight for a different higher cost flight and not pay the difference in fare cost. Like when they allow you to change to whatever for upcoming weather.
     
  8. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Agree...

    George
     
  9. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Listening to a Senior Captain today on the News - he said it is mainly a training issue between Boeing and the airlines (including pilots). Apparently the documentation from Boeing was not the best and clearly written about the new Anti-stall program. Then the airlines need to emphasis this new program in their training. Due to these problems some pilots are not even aware of the new anti-stall program. The Captain said he is an easy issue/problem to recognise and correct with the proper/clearly written documentation and training.
     
  10. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Gotcha.
     
  11. Fredward

    Fredward TUG Member

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    CanuckTravlr and VacationForever like this.
  12. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    I am not really surprised in this instance...and not just because France has a very competent investigative agency. Since the aircraft was manufactured in the USA, normally the FAA would expect to be involved, but ultimately it is up to the Ethiopian government to decide who they wish to head up the investigation.

    I think the denials by Boeing and the slowness of the FAA to join most of the rest of the world in at least temporarily grounding Max 8s, lead to some suspicion that Boeing's relationship with and ability to influence the FAA is perhaps a bit too close. There have been similar concerns expressed in the past, and similar comments made concerning some of the European agencies and Airbus.

    A seemingly more independent inquiry by the French agency may help to allay some of those concerns. I assume at some point the FAA will also have access to the information to be able to do their own investigation and come to their own conclusions.
     
  13. davidvel

    davidvel TUG Member

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    More details on this: Through 3/31 you can change flights or even dates, so long as between original cities. Dates must be with 14 days of original travel. Anyone booked on Southwest should see if this benefits them. You could get a much more desirable flight that costs much more than your booking at no additional fee.

    Note: Not sure what the 3/31 refers to, whether its the last day you can request a change, or if your original flight had to be before this, but I presume it's the former.
     
  14. davidvel

    davidvel TUG Member

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    And similarly, France just might have such similar relationships with (or even own a large chunk of) Airbus that it could have incentive to make Boeing look bad to the direct benefit of Airbus. But my understanding s they are just doing the technical job of parsing out the box data, not reaching investigative conclusions.
     
  15. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    I don't necessarily disagree. However, having another national agency also look at the original data should give additional credence to any subsequent investigation by whoever does it, particularly if they agree.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 6:59 PM
  16. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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  17. WVBaker

    WVBaker TUG Member

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    I don't know if this is the avenue I would have chosen to express my opinion but, to each his or her own.
     
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  18. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    On sober second reading, I agree and have removed the second sentence in my original post. However valid an observation it may or may not be, it probably moves the comment too much into the political realm.
     
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  19. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Further research apparently reveals that rather than disengaging the autopilot was not the “answer” to stopping the pitch down as I had thought, but another switch to disengage the stabilizer auto trimming. This article is well written to explain the the Indonesian 737 Max accident. I’ve yet to find any similar well written item on the Ethiopian accident but what I have read about that accident, it may be another example of sensor malfunction and pilot error.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/sout...oomed-lion-air-flight-may-have-been-befuddled

    The article also says that the Indonesian Airline failed to notify the “system” that a failed sensor caused two similar incidents, both of which were correctly handled by the pilots and avoided any crash.

    Additionally, the co-pilot in the Ethiopian Air crash had only 200 hours of flying time which according to Capt. Sully Sullenberger should have not ever been in the cockpit, I view I certainly agree with and thank him for voicing such a strong opinion.

    https://m.facebook.com/sully/posts/10157074728667236

    Since one of my posts was deleted in its entirety as “political”, I will avoid reposting it but restate a hopefully “non political” part from that post that a technical and training solution appears to me to be very straightforward and relatively easy to implement. I would expect there is little technical reason to expect a long delay in the 737 MAX resuming flight.

    (Edited to give a direct link to Capt Sully Sullenberger’s Facebook post)

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 1:35 AM
  20. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    I stand by my first post. (not sure if it's on this thread or not).

    The Boeing 737 Max series aircraft may have flaws, failures or require software modifications for it's continued, safe employment worldwide. BUT
    With all due respect to the families and friends of those lost in the recent accidents....I firmly believe that primary cause of the accidents was insufficient training and pilot error.
    Choose carefully when you fly.

    I believe you'll find that the airlines listed below operate the 737 Max aircraft more frequently on a single route than the fleet totals (Max) for Lion Air and Ethiopian.
    If your airline is flying with pilots (any) that have only 200 hours.....I suggest you rebook.



    Below, the statements of the major US 737-Max Airline Pilots as summarized on a recent INC. article:

    Jon Weaks, president of Southwest Airlines Pilots Association issued a strident statement, which read in part:

    I have been in numerous conversations today with Southwest Vice President of Flight Operations Captain Alan Kasher, who informed me that the MAX aircraft has 17,000 recordable parameters and Southwest has compiled and analyzed a tremendous amount of data from more than 41,000 flights operated by the 34 MAX aircraft on property, and the data supports Southwest's continued confidence in the airworthiness and safety of the MAX. He added: I will continue to put my family, friends, and loved ones on any Southwest flight and the main reason is you, the Pilots of SWAPA. We have lobbied hard for our training to continue to evolve and improve, and due to having the finest union Training and Standards Committee in the industry, that is occurring.

    Some will fear that all training should have been done before the plane ever took flight.

    However, his counterparts at American Airlines agree. Their union, the Allied Pilots Association, said it was entirely confident in the MAX and issued this statement:

    The pilots for the world's largest airline have the necessary training and experience to troubleshoot problems and take decisive actions on the flight deck to protect our passengers and crew.

    If anything, the United Airlines pilots union, the ALPA, was most bullish in its words. United flies the slightly larger 737 MAX 9.

    The master chairman of the United chapter of the union, Todd Insler, told Forbes:

    We have a pretty robust flight safety data reporting system here at United. We have flown 23,000 hours in the MAX 9 and not one of those thousands of data points shows [a problem] related to aircraft performance or mechanical deficiency. He added: We're trying not to be emotional about this. The facts, the data points at United, show why we are confident in our ability to fly this airplane.

    Many will be heartened that, as the MAX continues to fly around America, those piloting the plane are confident that it's safe.
    Some passengers, however, will react emotionally. It's called being human.
    *************************************************************************************************

    Gary Kelly's internal memo to SWA employees:
    According to news reports, the memo to employees read in part: Our experience with the MAX, along with the other U.S. operators, has been phenomenal. We've operated over 40,000 flights covering almost 90,000 hours. There is a ton of data collected, which we continuously monitor. In all our analysis since our first flight in 2017, nothing has presented any flight safety concerns. It has been a superb addition to our fleet.

    American Airlines statement on it's 737 Max operations:

    American regularly monitors aircraft performance and safety parameters across our entire fleet, including extensive flight data collection. This data, along with our analysis, gives us confidence in the safe operation of all of our aircraft, and contributes to American’s exemplary safety record. American has flown more than 2.5 million passengers — during 46,400 operating hours encompassing nearly 18,000 flights — safely on our MAX 8 fleet since the first one was delivered Sept. 2017 and began commercial service later that November.
     
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  21. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    With all due respect to the many pilots who are confident in their ability to fly this plane...

    All it takes is ~15 minutes of flight with one pilot w/o enuff training in this type of emergency to ditch the plan in the dirt. That is an unnecessary part of the equation in determining the flight safety of this aircraft, and until it is not, the assurance of safety rings hollow.
    .
     
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  22. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Is there a site which makes available this information to all of us? I book flights on many different airlines, especially when in other regions, and I often have no knowledge of their pilot experience or training.

    For instance, I recently purchased a flight on FlyDubai, and I know next to nothing about them (other than they are a government owned airline). Yet, even the majors have issues...the affiliated American Eagle and other domestic airlines have been known to have low wage, sleep deprived pilots operating in the US. I suspect training should be one of several key criteria to consider when choosing an airline. Is there a site that lists this info? If not, well, hmm...we should start one.

    Update: I forgot about this site... https://www.airlineratings.com/safety-rating-tool/

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 3:34 PM
  23. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Frankly, I’m more worried about the guy driving the car in the next lane on the freeway.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  24. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I’m not sure what you are saying here. If a pilot has not had the proper training in the aircraft, how is that the fault of the aircraft? I am a pilot but have never been trained to fly a commercial airliner so if I took command of the aircraft and crashed it, the design is faulty? If you’re saying that the training required was insufficient, it seems to have been sufficient to allow several pilots, including two flight crews from Indonesian Air, to recover the aircraft when what appears to be a similar situation that resulted in the crash.

    Anything can happen in a flight and if the US professionals flying the aircraft have the confidence to put themselves aboard a flight, I have the same confidence in the design and their ability to successfully fly the plane and handle emergencies. As I have stated before, I do not have the same confidence in some other airlines and their aircrew.

    Cheers
     
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  25. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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