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  Reply # 2199325 16-Mar-2019 08:37
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Technofreak:

 

amiga500:

 

The mighty $$$ always exerts too much influence over safety.  For example the De Havilland Comet was not grounded as soon as it should have been.   Boeing was desperate to get FAA approval for the B777 ETOPs approval over the line in the 1990's and exerted a lot of pressure on the regulator.  Air NZ deciding that sight seeing over the Antarctica would be so much better at a low altitude totally forgetting that they were relying on limited navigation aids.    Air NZ sending out the 2nd B787, after the first aircraft had suffered a total engine failure.  It is more than just luck that Qantas has had such an excellent record...

 

Now, it's the FAA dragging its feet on the B737 Max.

 

 

I'm not sure where you got your facts from. Very little of what you say is very relevant to the recent 737 crashes.

 

The Comet was grounded immediately after both inflight break ups. After the first investigation it was thought an in flight fire was responsible and the aircraft was cleared to fly after several modification were made around fire protection and other systems etc, after the second one they discovered the fatigue issue and the current model was withdrawn from service.

 

As for the ETOPS approval, there's always a lot of pressure/convincing of the regulator required. Was there ever any lives lost? Didn't ETOPS prove to be very safe?

 

The Air New Zealand crash in Antarctica had nothing to to do with limited navigation aids. That aircraft had a state of the art INS navigation system. It could very accurately transit the Pacific where there are very few navigation aids. The navigation system very accurately took the aircraft to where it crashed. Only problem was where the aircraft was programmed to go and where the crew though it was programmed to go were two different places.

 

I'd be willing to bet Air New Zealand's decision to keep operating the 787 after the first engine failure was done only after consultation with Rolls Royce who would have had real time data on the engines. 

 

Excellent record of Qantas? I guess you are overlooking the likes of QF1 the 747 that went golfing in Thailand. It cost more to rebuild than it was worth, but allowed Qantas to boast they had never lost a hull.

 

 

 

 

 

You are correct about the $$$$$, but not in that way you seem to be suggesting. Airlines are looking to cut costs, and training is a big cost. How is it other crews have had similar problems and successfully landed the aircraft? I'd suggest training has made the difference and in one case case perhaps ability may have been a contributing factor.

 

I'm not saying any fault (assuming there is one) is acceptable. However with proper training and following the emergency procedures correctly, emergencies can almost always be managed to a successful outcome as has been shown already with this problem on the 737 Max. That's why the pilots are sitting in the best window seats in the aircraft. It will be interesting to see the full reports when they come out. I rather suspect a lack of training or incorrect procedure will feature in the causal factors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re. the Comet, I found this on the Wiki article which does point to pressure to get the aircraft back into service too quickly:

 

'The prestigious nature of the Comet project, particularly for the British aerospace industry, and the financial impact of the aircraft's grounding on BOAC's operations, both served to pressure the inquiry to end without further investigation.[102] Comet flights resumed on 23 March 1954.'

 

And this about the Erebus disaster:

 

'The airline initially alleged that the flights did not descend below 16,000 feet that would give 3000 feet clearance between the aircraft and any high ground in the area including Mount Erebus'  This of course was the practice for the first flights and an extremely prudent and good idea.  However, the wish to make the flights more commercially viable led to descent to lower altitudes being allowed. 

 

And about the Air NZ B787 engine incidents.  Even if Rolls Royce did tell Air NZ it would be perfectly fine to send out the second aircraft, if Air NZ had used an abundance of caution about the advice being given by RR & the commercial context in which that advice had been given, they might have reached a different conclusion. Of course Air NZ were desperate to keep those planes flying just as RR was.   Another reason for an abundance of caution would have been the routes Air NZ fly, including the routes to South America.   It's not like the route flown by airlines from Singapore to Europe where there a multiple alternate airports for most of the journey.   If a B787 engine decides to shred itself while flying over Bulgaria or Hungary it's an entirely better situation, than having it happen halfway to Argentina!


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  Reply # 2199735 16-Mar-2019 19:09
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Amiga500

In your quote regarding the Comet you overlook the fact that the court of enquiry could find no fault. It's only natural in those circumstances pressure would be bought to bear to end the grounding.

You initially attributed the Erebus crash to the flight relying on limited navigation aids. Navigation aids weren't the problem.

You're making assumptions about Air New Zealand being desperate to fly the 787. Having an accident /incident in the airline business is absolutely the worst advertising any airline can have, just ask Malaysian Airlines. I think it's pretty safe to assume Air New Zealand and Rolls Royce used appropriate caution in making their decision.





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  Reply # 2199764 16-Mar-2019 20:15
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Technofreak: Amiga500

In your quote regarding the Comet you overlook the fact that the court of enquiry could find no fault. It's only natural in those circumstances pressure would be bought to bear to end the grounding.

 


You initially attributed the Erebus crash to the flight relying on limited navigation aids. Navigation aids weren't the problem.

You're making assumptions about Air New Zealand being desperate to fly the 787. Having an accident /incident in the airline business is absolutely the worst advertising any airline can have, just ask Malaysian Airlines. I think it's pretty safe to assume Air New Zealand and Rolls Royce used appropriate caution in making their decision.

 

The author(s) of the Wiki article make a clear assertion that the commercial pressures saw the Comet returned to service in haste.

 

While it may have been acceptable in 1979 to place so much reliance on the INS system it proved to be a tragic decision.  For what other reason than filling seats did Air NZ abandon the cautious protocol of not descending below 16000 feet on those flights?   Of course now we have RNP procedures which I believe use up to 14 satellites for precise navigation. 

 

Re. the B787 decision to fly.  I wonder how many of the Rolls Royce and the Air NZ engineers slept well that night after the decision to keep flying the B787s after the first engine failure?  Although we will likely never find out, I bet that the pilots of the 2nd Air NZ B787 had doubts about the flight - how could they not?  It's a long long way over empty ocean to Argentina!

 

Although airlines assert that it's safety first at all times this is not always the case.  Look at the Q300 and Q400 planes operated by Air NZ Link and Jetstar in Australia and NZ.   Many other airlines have abandoned this plane because of its well known dodgy landing gear but not Air NZ and Jetstar. 


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  Reply # 2199818 16-Mar-2019 21:44
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amiga500:

While it may have been acceptable in 1979 to place so much reliance on the INS system it proved to be a tragic decision.  For what other reason than filling seats did Air NZ abandon the cautious protocol of not descending below 16000 feet on those flights?   Of course now we have RNP procedures which I believe use up to 14 satellites for precise navigation. 



Although airlines assert that it's safety first at all times this is not always the case.  Look at the Q300 and Q400 planes operated by Air NZ Link and Jetstar in Australia and NZ.   Many other airlines have abandoned this plane because of its well known dodgy landing gear but not Air NZ and Jetstar. 



I don't like saying this as I don't want to be seen as a smart arse, but you don't know what you're talking about.

I'll say it for the third time, the standard of navigation equipment has nothing what so ever to do with the Erebus crash. The two big factors were, one, the programmed flight path for that particular flight being different to that which the crew were briefed for, and, two, descending below 16,000 ft.

Your statement about RNP also indicates you don't know much about that either. If you understand what I wrote in the above paragraph you will see the use of RNP would not have made one blind bit of difference at Erebus. Also the main advantages of RNP is for departure, arrival and approach procedures not en-route which was the phase of flight for the Erebus crash.

There is nothing wrong with the Q300 and Q400 aircraft. Your comments are completely out of line and will give rise to unwarranted concern about these aircraft. They are a very good and reliable aircraft.

Scandanavian Airlines are the only airline that I'm aware of that stopped using the Q400 after a series of undercarriage collapses. The interesting fact was they were the only airline that had multiple problems and it was subsequently discovered they had not performed the correct maintenance on these aircraft.

The Q300 and Q400 landing gear incidents were on higher hour aircraft and as is the case when life cycle problems occur the manufacturer introduces new maintenance/replacement requirements to ensure continued safe and reliable operation. The Q300 and Q400 aircraft will continue to provide safe air travel well into the future.




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  Reply # 2199911 17-Mar-2019 05:44
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I'd fly on a (North American or European) MAX today.

 

The reason they're grounded isn't because they're inherently unsafe to fly.. It's because, though the chance of another similar accident is extremely remote, if an accident - of any sort - was to happen now the cost - to Boeing - the operator - the regulators - would be so catastrophic that it's not worth that tiny risk.

 

The world's turned on it's head in that the FAA is no longer trusted as the arbiter of that decision. Maybe it's a sign of loss of trust in the whole US establishment, or just that organisation's top three positions are unfilled and acting Administrator Dan Elwell - who would make the decision - was once a lobbyist for airplane manufacturers.

 

The Lion Air crash appears to have been caused by a serious lack of communication, between the manufacturer, the airline, and it's pilots, magnified by bad engineering/design decisions, that allowed a faulty Angle of Attack sensor to cascade into the loss of an aircraft and deaths of 189 people.

 

A similar disagreement between the AoA sensors had caused the same issue on a previous flight, the crew (apparently recognising it as runaway trim) flipped a switch and turned the system off. The fact that the return flight, with a different crew, was then lost to the same fault points to both human and design error.

 

How could the AoA sensors not have been fixed? How were the new crew not warned that stick shaking and the trim indicator physically moving to a nose-down position would result? The aircraft took off with a 20 degree mismatch between the two sensors.  Seriously, how could both Angle of Attack instrumentation and an AoA disagreement warning light be 'extra cost options' on MAX's supplied to low-cost airlines? and most importantly how could an AI system be allowed to physically overpower (25 times!) the human crew's input?

 

With those questions unresolved, the loss of the Ethiopian flight so soon afterwards has led to public perception that the aircraft has a dangerous, unstable design.
I find that hard to believe. It may possibly be a combination of the same systems errors combined with inexperienced crew caused the second crash (I believe the co-pilot had only 200 hours) or it could be something completely different - the results of the investigation will tell what happened - and likely drive future safety and engineering decisions.

 

What it's sure to touch on is increasing reliance on AI rather than old fashioned human decision making and rote pilot training. It's one of the reasons I'm never going to be sitting in an autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel..

 

A friend came by for help with his 1998 Subaru the other day. The check engine light was flashing, there was a burning smell, smoking exhaust, and it stalled on him - first at a red light and then on the freeway offramp to our place (where he lost power assistance for his brakes and steering). The problem turned out to be a failure of one of the two engine temperature sensors, when the mismatch became large enough the ECU chose a richer mixture - injecting more and more fuel until the engine started stalling.

Maybe his self-driving 2028 Subaru, confronted with the same problem, will decide to swerve off the freeway - and into the concrete noise barrier - to save him from the risk of an engine stall. At least if it has a steering wheel - and he has enough strength - he'll have a chance to take control..




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  Reply # 2199927 17-Mar-2019 07:50
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Ok yes you would but I thought no one's flying them?





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  Reply # 2199999 17-Mar-2019 08:31
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Batman:

 

Sidestep:

 

I'd fly on a (North American or European) MAX today.

 

 

Ok yes you would but I thought no one's flying them?

 

 

I happily flew on a (Westjet) 737 MAX flight shortly before they were grounded.

I'd *I would* happily fly on one today (if they weren't grounded).

Westjet (along with American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, SilkAir and Flydubai etc) do have the optional AOA DISAGREE alert installed on their aircraft.

 

I trust that the 737 MAX 8's overall a safe aircraft, and they'll likely be back in the air before long.


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  Reply # 2200015 17-Mar-2019 09:15
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Technofreak:
amiga500:

 

While it may have been acceptable in 1979 to place so much reliance on the INS system it proved to be a tragic decision.  For what other reason than filling seats did Air NZ abandon the cautious protocol of not descending below 16000 feet on those flights?   Of course now we have RNP procedures which I believe use up to 14 satellites for precise navigation. 

 



 

Although airlines assert that it's safety first at all times this is not always the case.  Look at the Q300 and Q400 planes operated by Air NZ Link and Jetstar in Australia and NZ.   Many other airlines have abandoned this plane because of its well known dodgy landing gear but not Air NZ and Jetstar. 

 



I don't like saying this as I don't want to be seen as a smart arse, but you don't know what you're talking about.

I'll say it for the third time, the standard of navigation equipment has nothing what so ever to do with the Erebus crash. The two big factors were, one, the programmed flight path for that particular flight being different to that which the crew were briefed for, and, two, descending below 16,000 ft.

Your statement about RNP also indicates you don't know much about that either. If you understand what I wrote in the above paragraph you will see the use of RNP would not have made one blind bit of difference at Erebus. Also the main advantages of RNP is for departure, arrival and approach procedures not en-route which was the phase of flight for the Erebus crash.

There is nothing wrong with the Q300 and Q400 aircraft. Your comments are completely out of line and will give rise to unwarranted concern about these aircraft. They are a very good and reliable aircraft.

Scandanavian Airlines are the only airline that I'm aware of that stopped using the Q400 after a series of undercarriage collapses. The interesting fact was they were the only airline that had multiple problems and it was subsequently discovered they had not performed the correct maintenance on these aircraft.

The Q300 and Q400 landing gear incidents were on higher hour aircraft and as is the case when life cycle problems occur the manufacturer introduces new maintenance/replacement requirements to ensure continued safe and reliable operation. The Q300 and Q400 aircraft will continue to provide safe air travel well into the future.

 

While I hesitate to quote a Fox news story, they got it right this time:

 

https://www.foxnews.com/story/aircraft-model-has-history-of-landing-gear-problems

 

The problems with the landing gear affected many airlines including Air NZ.   The crash near Palmerston North in 1995 was attributed to pilot distraction while the pilots were trying to deal with the landing gear, the nose gear incident landing at Blenheim more recently.  The problems with landing gear probably helped the ATR-72 become even more popular with the airlines.  Why buy the Q400 when from time to time there will be stories in the news about landing gear incidents?  

 

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier has a firm backlog of 67 Q400 turboprops. ATR has a backlog of 256 through Oct. 20, according to the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker.

 

About RNP.  I wasn't making a direct comparison with the INS but pointing out that with RNP a big part of the system is the use of multiple satellites, I believe up to 14.   And if fewer satellites are available this means changes to how approaches are allowed to be conducted.   Too much reliance was placed on the INS system on the Erebus flight.    In fact I have read opinions saying it was a reckless decision by Air NZ and McMurdo to even allow flights under 16000 feet.


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  Reply # 2200036 17-Mar-2019 09:58
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Sidestep:

 

[snip] 
Seriously, how could both Angle of Attack instrumentation and an AoA disagreement warning light be 'extra cost options' on MAX's supplied to low-cost airlines?
[snip]

 

 

I suspect the answer is depressingly bean-counter led:

 

  • Airlines were sold on the concept of one type rating for all 737s, so the fewer differences there are between the -8 / -9 / -7 / -10 'MAX' models and the earlier  -700 / -800 / -900 / -900ER 'NG' models (and maybe even -300/-400 / -500 / -600 'Classic' models), the better for commonality. And the more commonality, the easier and cheaper it is to switch pilots seamlessly between one model and another.
  • If you fit your MAX cockpits with an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator, suddenly they are not the same as all the older models, so you need more training for flying the MAX aircraft and have less flexibility in pilot deployment. $$$ 'wasted', eh
    Alternatively, you would have to retrofit an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator to your 'NG' airframes to bring them into line with the shiny shiny new kit. $$$$$$$ frittered away on an 'uneccessary gold plating'
  • Hence, the easiest and cheapest course of action is for Boeing to make this an optional extra, and for customer airlines to not order it

Sigh


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  Reply # 2200037 17-Mar-2019 10:03
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amiga500:

The problems with the landing gear affected many airlines including Air NZ.   The crash near Palmerston North in 1995 was attributed to pilot distraction while the pilots were trying to deal with the landing gear, the nose gear incident landing at Blenheim more recently.  The problems with landing gear probably helped the ATR-72 become even more popular with the airlines.  Why buy the Q400 when from time to time there will be stories in the news about landing gear incidents?  



Just to confirm that the Palmerston North crash was an Ansett New Zealand Dash 8 (your paragraph subject appears to be Air New Zealand).

As far as the popularity of the ATR goes, it had its own problems at one stage with inflight icing.




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  Reply # 2200040 17-Mar-2019 10:05
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PolicyGuy:

 

Sidestep:

 

[snip] 
Seriously, how could both Angle of Attack instrumentation and an AoA disagreement warning light be 'extra cost options' on MAX's supplied to low-cost airlines?
[snip]

 

 

I suspect the answer is depressingly bean-counter led:

 

  • Airlines were sold on the concept of one type rating for all 737s, so the fewer differences there are between the -8 / -9 / -7 / -10 'MAX' models and the earlier  -700 / -800 / -900 / -900ER 'NG' models (and maybe even -300/-400 / -500 / -600 'Classic' models), the better for commonality. And the more commonality, the easier and cheaper it is to switch pilots seamlessly between one model and another.
  • If you fit your MAX cockpits with an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator, suddenly they are not the same as all the older models, so you need more training for flying the MAX aircraft and have less flexibility in pilot deployment. $$$ 'wasted', eh
    Alternatively, you would have to retrofit an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator to your 'NG' airframes to bring them into line with the shiny shiny new kit. $$$$$$$ frittered away on an 'uneccessary gold plating'
  • Hence, the easiest and cheapest course of action is for Boeing to make this an optional extra, and for customer airlines to not order it

Sigh

 

 

It is all a very sorry affair for Boeing because had it not been for the two tragic crashes, just the new engine nacelles and new type of winglets would have made it a hit with passengers.  Everyone would have been saying 'Wow, first time I've been on one of the new ones' but not now..


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  Reply # 2200044 17-Mar-2019 10:09
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amiga500:

 

 

 

And about the Air NZ B787 engine incidents.  Even if Rolls Royce did tell Air NZ it would be perfectly fine to send out the second aircraft, if Air NZ had used an abundance of caution about the advice being given by RR & the commercial context in which that advice had been given, they might have reached a different conclusion. Of course Air NZ were desperate to keep those planes flying just as RR was.   Another reason for an abundance of caution would have been the routes Air NZ fly, including the routes to South America.   It's not like the route flown by airlines from Singapore to Europe where there a multiple alternate airports for most of the journey.   If a B787 engine decides to shred itself while flying over Bulgaria or Hungary it's an entirely better situation, than having it happen halfway to Argentina!

 

 

I'm curious if you're ever actually read the TAIC reports? Because based on your comments and it would seem you haven't.

 

RR had built a model based on the 6 previous Trent 1000 failures before the 2 Air NZ ones. Both engines were well under the predicted failure points of this model, even allowing for reserve margins.

 

When the plane left for EZE the following day there was no cause for concern or alarm because the NZ99 failure cause wasn't even determined. It was only after this IPT blade failed as well that it became very clear that the RR modelling was clearly flawed.

 

Air NZ were not "desperate" to keep the planes flying, they were the ones who then voluntarily reduced their ETDO times which immediately limited 787 operations.

 

As for Q300/Q400's being bad planes I have to disagree entirely. If you'd read any incident reports you'll know their undercarriage issues have stemmed from multiple different issues, with one Air NZ one simply being because the pilots failed to actually pull hard enough on the alternate nose gear extension handle. 


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  Reply # 2200047 17-Mar-2019 10:16
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Dingbatt:
amiga500:

 

The problems with the landing gear affected many airlines including Air NZ.   The crash near Palmerston North in 1995 was attributed to pilot distraction while the pilots were trying to deal with the landing gear, the nose gear incident landing at Blenheim more recently.  The problems with landing gear probably helped the ATR-72 become even more popular with the airlines.  Why buy the Q400 when from time to time there will be stories in the news about landing gear incidents?  

 



Just to confirm that the Palmerston North crash was an Ansett New Zealand Dash 8 (your paragraph subject appears to be Air New Zealand).

As far as the popularity of the ATR goes, it had its own problems at one stage with inflight icing.

 

Yes, I had forgotten it was an Ansett Dash 8.  

 

Another reason for the higher sales of the ATR is that the plane actually costs less to buy and operate, & most operators of the Q400 fly that plane at lower cruising speeds to keep their fuel bills down!   On shorter sectors the speed difference between the Q400 and ATR is minimal.  This is so true of course.   In December I went on a day trip to Queenstown flew there on an A320 and back on a near brand new ATR 72-600.  The difference in flight time was a non issue.


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  Reply # 2200054 17-Mar-2019 10:26
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amiga500:

 

Another reason for the higher sales of the ATR is that the plane actually costs less to buy and operate, & most operators of the Q400 fly that plane at lower cruising speeds to keep their fuel bills down!   On shorter sectors the speed difference between the Q400 and ATR is minimal.  This is so true of course.   In December I went on a day trip to Queenstown flew there on an A320 and back on a near brand new ATR 72-600.  The difference in flight time was a non issue.

 

 

Maybe not from CHC but it's a big issue from WLG. I avoid direct ATR76 flights WLG-ZQN at all costs if possible - it's roughly 1hr - 1hr10 flight time down on an A320 vs typical ATR flight times when I've been on them of around 1hr50 (scheduled is 1hr55). Losing almost a whole hour out of a day (or two hours if it's a day trip) is a big deal.

 

 


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  Reply # 2200059 17-Mar-2019 10:33
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PolicyGuy:

Sidestep:


[snip] 
Seriously, how could both Angle of Attack instrumentation and an AoA disagreement warning light be 'extra cost options' on MAX's supplied to low-cost airlines?
[snip]



I suspect the answer is depressingly bean-counter led:



  • Airlines were sold on the concept of one type rating for all 737s, so the fewer differences there are between the -8 / -9 / -7 / -10 'MAX' models and the earlier  -700 / -800 / -900 / -900ER 'NG' models (and maybe even -300/-400 / -500 / -600 'Classic' models), the better for commonality. And the more commonality, the easier and cheaper it is to switch pilots seamlessly between one model and another.

  • If you fit your MAX cockpits with an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator, suddenly they are not the same as all the older models, so you need more training for flying the MAX aircraft and have less flexibility in pilot deployment. $$$ 'wasted', eh
    Alternatively, you would have to retrofit an AoA display and an 'AoA disagree' indicator to your 'NG' airframes to bring them into line with the shiny shiny new kit. $$$$$$$ frittered away on an 'uneccessary gold plating'

  • Hence, the easiest and cheapest course of action is for Boeing to make this an optional extra, and for customer airlines to not order it


Sigh



Airlines cover fleet differences by running a ‘differences’ course. Normally classroom work and then possibly simulator training if it’s something really complicated. In the past AirNZ has operated 737-300s with four different navigation/radio fits in a fleet of 14. And now the first A320 Neo has arrived, it is operating five sub variants of the same aircraft. I am told they have put extra checks and procedures in place to ensure pilots are aware of what sub variant they are flying before every sector.

However, it is pretty hard to provide a differences course if the OEM doesn’t tell you about a new ‘feature’.
I wonder after 5 new handles and four new heads if it is no longer ‘Grandfather’s Axe’




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