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.

There’s an interesting link on Reuters about the effect of the 737 grounding on the supply chain and possible repercussions on Airbus.
A snippet:

Damage to Boeing’s supply chain gives Airbus little to celebrate. Not only does it share some suppliers with Boeing, it would also feel the ripple effect of any significant industry damage, especially if exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, experts say.

Joe Marcheschi, Airbus’ head of procurement for North America, said the biggest worries were less diversified companies lower down the supply chain, such as castings and forgings.

Is the worry that a small supplier to both Boeing and Airbus may go under due to the Boeing slowdown and leave Airbus in the lurch?

If it doesn’t rain, it pours…


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The exodus has started.
Amid MAX Grounding, Loyal Boeing Customer Defects To Airbus: Xiamen Airlines To Lease A321neos

Saudi Arabian budget airline Flyadeal will operate an all-Airbus fleet after canceling its $5.9 billion provisional order with Boeing for its troubled 737 Max jets.

Boeing had more cancellations than orders in 2019 as 737 Max crisis deepens

Boeing Co. said it has lost orders for about 200 of its 737 MAX jets this year because of airline bankruptcies and customers swapping out for other models from the U.S. plane maker.

A Russian company is suing Boeing for hundreds of millions of dollars over its 737 Max order

I imagine that airlines that are far down the order list may be thinking about changing a place on Boeing’s wait list for a place on the Airbus wait list.

More bad news for Boeing Systems (BS)
Did Boeing Just Pay American Airlines More Than $500 Million To Settle 2019 MAX Claims?

I hadn’t seen this before:
Apperently this report came out after the first crash but before the second crash.
FAA had predicted Boeing 737 Max would have 15 more fatal crashes over lifetime

Some cracks in the relationship with SouthWest

I wonder if this report from October is real or if it a negotiating ploy for the settlement reached later in the year? Either way, after 48 years of faithful togetherness it’s a kick in the jewels.

Show me the money!
Southwest Airlines reaches settlement with Boeing over damages from 737 Max grounding. The airline did not release terms of the confidential agreement but said it will contribute approximately $125 million to its employee profit sharing plan as a result.

Todays news:
On 11 February 2020, Air Italy ceased all own operations and went into liquidation.

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max plane has added to pressure on the industry. Air Italy had three Boeing (BA) 737 Max jets in its fleet, with added pressure from the coronavirus.