Boeing 737 Max 8 discussions and news

If you are an actual engineer working in the aircraft industry, does it even make sense to read news stories about the Boeing 737 Max 8, or discuss the technical issues in a public forum?

Do the non-engineer types, or the misinformed engineering types take things into the weeds?

Is it worth your TIME to participate and attempt to bring Internet discussions back on track?

What is a fully informed engineer to do?

Fortunately, most of the victims were not engineers… I would suggest they have a vested interest…


What is a fully informed engineer to do? Go do something else with ones spare time.

I only hang out on engineering or aviation forums, the discussions of the Max accidents on those forums seems to have spent most of the time in the weeds. One can point the finger at just about anyone involved and be to some extent technically correct.
A rough partial list of failings looks like this
The Pilots stuff up and didn’t follow procedure.
The system engineer offered a flight control system designed to trim system standards.
The FAA nominee approved said system but FAA nominee had reduced independence because of FAA’s & NTSB funding issues has gutted it of capacity, expertise and independence.
The management culture of Boeing doesn’t promote technical expertise in managers, so there was little appreciation of the risks of getting to many complicit engineers in a row.
Somebody installed a replacement AOA indicator with a 21 deg alignment error and didn’t pickup it up (Lion air crash).

This seems more like a meta-discussion, so I’ll leave my comments about the accidents and the investigations where they are already.

The goal I have when I start the discussion is to create a place for facts to be collected, if I myself and other feel motivated to go digging and share what we find. As a result of starting the Max8 crash thread on another forum, I’ve been given more facts, more background info, and more opinions that I would otherwise have encountered if I’d just relied on the media, or sat back and plugged my ears until the final investigation report came out.

In the Max8 case, it’s even more complicated because three nations are directly involved in two similar accidents. There are additional investigations adding up to at least 5 or 6 going on simultaneously, aside from whatever Boeing is doing internally. That’s difficult to keep track of, so I appreciate how other members of the forum have notified me when some of the other investigations make a significant announcement (the Joint Task Force, for example).

It does take a bit of give on my part, firstly to make worthwhile contributions of my own (posing questions, relevant background information, analysis of results, things I think I can offer). Secondly you have to curate some of the information, and comment on it if you thing it’s misleading or wrong. Then there’s the herding of cats that comes on any forum.

That’s a small price to pay for the insight I gain from the majority of the discussion.