Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

What your instructor never taught you. Continuing your education and learning from others. Flight safety topics and accident/incident discussions.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
danie.e
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3583
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:13 pm
Closest Airfield: Henley
Location: Vereeniging
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 34 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by danie.e » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:14 am

Wow, 90 pages full of speculation and both the Manufacturer and Pilots are getting their fair share of blame. As a passenger, reading all this, I am getting more and more worried about boarding a large commercial airliner again.

My concern does not only stem from the corners being cut by the manufacturer but by the large portion of "pilots" blaming their own for letting the aircraft crash and yet, none of them has been in the same situation as their colleagues.

To date I have not read of a single other instance where the airspeed indicator failed except on the two fatal aircraft. On the one, there was a failure the day before and it was "supposedly" fixed only to do a repeat performance the next day killing a large number of people. The fact that there was a third highly skilled person that helped the crew has no real significance as in both the crash instances, it was only the crew in the cockpit and they had therefore less time to recognize and react to all that went wrong in the aircraft.

Had they been aware of the MCAS system, and had they received the proper training before, the outcome MAY have been different to the actual outcome, and we as human beings will never know.

To my mind, those pilots and hundreds of others were exposed to an inherently unsafe aircraft and the manufacturer wiped it under the table as they knew their product was flawed. The fact that they did not even "inform" people of the MCAS system and then not even ensured that proper training be given to pilots that operate the aircraft, smacks of smugness and arrogance towards pilots and passengers.

Yes, one will be able to find procedures "that were not followed" or reactions that was not quick enough or throttles that were left alone and many other things ad nauseam, but at the end of the day all these "pilot errors" were "discovered" AFTER THE FACT as no-one has the experience or knowledge to foretell those dead pilots what they should have done with a completely unknown problem in their aircraft.

Trim wheels, throttles and goodness what else are bandied around that stem from KNOWN problems and that are documented. In the MAx, the problem was UNKNOWN, the pilots were UNAWARE of the system that could cause the problem and to cap it all, received no training in case of failure, and the manufacturer elected NOT to inform them about it. They were fighting a UNIQUE set of circumstances UNKNOWN to ALL commercial pilots and fought for their lives as well as their passengers until the built in flaw of the aircraft got the better of them.

Yet there are those that blame their own, hence my concern growing daily of getting onto a modern airliner again.
These users liked the author danie.e for the post (total 2):
MadMacsVirge
Danie.e
Don't just stik it, Drastik it
S.A. Agent for ASP Engines, CY Models, King Max servos and Amass servo leads. Reseller of RCGF Petrol engines, Smartfly powerboxes, SkyRC Chargers and Power Supplies - http://www.aspaviation.co.za
User avatar
tansg
Reaching GFA
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Closest Airfield: OMAA
Has liked: 41 times
Been liked: 43 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by tansg » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:12 am

heisan wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:40 pm
Perhaps you can provide some specific information that indicates the switches may not have operated correctly?
Check your PM 8)
User avatar
richard C
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8880
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:02 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGM
Location: Joeys
Has liked: 159 times
Been liked: 148 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by richard C » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:27 am

From memory (without reading the whole thread):

They used the cut-outs, which stopped the MCAS forward pressure, but the aircraft was heavily out-of-trim in a nose down situation. In order to expedite recovery of the out-of-trim, they reset the cut-out switches, and used the electric trim to successfully start bringing the nose up again, completely unaware, that after 5 seconds, the unknown MCAS system would reactivate, and override their efforts.

The effects of the MCAS would have been mysterious and inexplicable - they did not know of its existence. In a dangerously nose-down attitude, with speed warning going off - would you want to be trying to trim out of a looming ground-rush in long-hand, using the wheels ? The confusing element is that the electric trim DID work effectively, they had no possible way of understanding its intermittent and inexplicably countermanding behavior.
Grant all equity and dignity.
Monzeglio Cook + Gibson Architects
User avatar
GL
Niner Tousand
Niner Tousand
Posts: 9270
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:08 am
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Lost for words
Has liked: 49 times
Been liked: 120 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by GL » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:24 am

richard C wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:27 am
From memory (without reading the whole thread):

They used the cut-outs, which stopped the MCAS forward pressure, but the aircraft was heavily out-of-trim in a nose down situation. In order to expedite recovery of the out-of-trim, they reset the cut-out switches, and used the electric trim to successfully start bringing the nose up again, completely unaware, that after 5 seconds, the unknown MCAS system would reactivate, and override their efforts.

The effects of the MCAS would have been mysterious and inexplicable - they did not know of its existence. In a dangerously nose-down attitude, with speed warning going off - would you want to be trying to trim out of a looming ground-rush in long-hand, using the wheels ? The confusing element is that the electric trim DID work effectively, they had no possible way of understanding its intermittent and inexplicably countermanding behavior.
That pretty much agrees with my understanding - except that the Ethiopian crew had been trained on the MCAS.
Our body is made to move, and our mind is made to connect with other people.
– Sjur Nesheim, Norwegian mountaineer

The essentials to happiness:
• someone to love,
• something to do,
• something to hope for

Guy Leitch
User avatar
Antman
Drinking Cooldrink at clubhouse
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:25 am
Closest Airfield: FARA
Location: Glen Erasmia JNB
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 30 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by Antman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:44 pm

That pretty much agrees with my understanding - except that the Ethiopian crew had been trained on the MCAS
Not true according to Reuters. Capt has not yet been to the simulator for training.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethi ... SKCN1R20WD
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight did not get a chance to practice on his airline’s new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said. Captain Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received one of the first such simulators being distributed
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16062
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 373 times
Been liked: 437 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:26 pm

Antman wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:44 pm
That pretty much agrees with my understanding - except that the Ethiopian crew had been trained on the MCAS
Not true according to Reuters. Capt has not yet been to the simulator for training.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethi ... SKCN1R20WD
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight did not get a chance to practice on his airline’s new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said. Captain Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received one of the first such simulators being distributed
Anters, confirm that there was a requirement for sim training. I understood they had to be informed about the MCAS and watch a short video. Do you know whether this is correct? And whether this crew had conformed to this?

jim
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
User avatar
Antman
Drinking Cooldrink at clubhouse
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:25 am
Closest Airfield: FARA
Location: Glen Erasmia JNB
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 30 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by Antman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:31 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:26 pm
Antman wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:44 pm
That pretty much agrees with my understanding - except that the Ethiopian crew had been trained on the MCAS
Not true according to Reuters. Capt has not yet been to the simulator for training.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethi ... SKCN1R20WD
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight did not get a chance to practice on his airline’s new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said. Captain Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received one of the first such simulators being distributed
Anters, confirm that there was a requirement for sim training. I understood they had to be informed about the MCAS and watch a short video. Do you know whether this is correct? And whether this crew had conformed to this?

jim
Hi Jim, after the Lion Air crash, I actually don’t think there was any mandated training from Boeing, it seems it was left up to each individual airline.
Boeing however did release a bulletin explaining the system.
https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safe ... air-crash/
Also there where very few MAX simulators available at the time.

Best to maybe ask a Comair pilot if anything changed from the iPad differences after the Lion Air Crash.


This whole episode is a Can of Worms from beginning to end.

One thing I think we can be sure of, is if/when the MAX flies again, it should be a very safe aircraft.

They should have never gotten rid of the mechanical Stab brake that was fitted to the original B737-100/200 series
these accidents would not have happened. Irony is, that is what the MAX certification is based on!!!!!!!!

Ant
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16062
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 373 times
Been liked: 437 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks Anters. Here is Boeing's bulletin put out after the first crash and before the second one. It is pretty clear about switching off the stab trim:
Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 17.45.12.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
User avatar
Antman
Drinking Cooldrink at clubhouse
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:25 am
Closest Airfield: FARA
Location: Glen Erasmia JNB
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 30 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by Antman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:11 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:51 pm
Thanks Anters. Here is Boeing's bulletin put out after the first crash and before the second one. It is pretty clear about switching off the stab trim:
Jim

Yes it is, however you have too ask yourself, if it was that simple, why is the aircraft still grounded with no end in sight?

Ant
These users liked the author Antman for the post:
MadMacs
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16062
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 373 times
Been liked: 437 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm

Antman wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:11 pm
jimdavis wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:51 pm
Thanks Anters. Here is Boeing's bulletin put out after the first crash and before the second one. It is pretty clear about switching off the stab trim:
Jim

Yes it is, however you have too ask yourself, if it was that simple, why is the aircraft still grounded with no end in sight?

Ant
Yep, I am with you Anters. That was just the start of a whole can of worms with everyone trying to cover their asses.

jim
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
User avatar
Antman
Drinking Cooldrink at clubhouse
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:25 am
Closest Airfield: FARA
Location: Glen Erasmia JNB
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 30 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by Antman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:28 pm

From a human factors point of view that is a huge amount of information to work through to correctly Diagnose the problem, and follow the correct course of action particularly if you’re close too the ground and being subjected varying degrees of unusual G forces.

They where clearly overloaded as a crew hence no thrust reduction.

Also they come from an autopilot operator environment. The crash out of Beirut bears this out.

Could the ET crew have done a better job? Maybe! But none of us where there.

I’m also not arrogant enough to definitively say that I would have dealt with the situation no problem.

Ant
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16062
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 373 times
Been liked: 437 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:53 pm

One has to wonder how many times the problem had occurred before and the crew/maintenance guys brushed it under the carpet. I know that seems unlikely, but did it not happen on this particular aircraft on the previous leg?

jim
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
User avatar
StressMerchant
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:57 am
Closest Airfield: Cab
Location: The Matrix
Has liked: 13 times
Been liked: 102 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by StressMerchant » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:17 pm

Antman wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:31 pm
[They should have never gotten rid of the mechanical Stab brake that was fitted to the original B737-100/200 series
these accidents would not have happened. Irony is, that is what the MAX certification is based on!!!!!!!!
Could you elaborate on the role of the stab brake? Thanks
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.
- Douglas Adams
Romeo E.T.
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8874
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:49 pm
Closest Airfield: FAJS
Location: JHB INTL/Kpt Park/Rand Apt
Has liked: 24 times
Been liked: 137 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by Romeo E.T. » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:33 pm

StressMerchant wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:17 pm
Antman wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:31 pm
[They should have never gotten rid of the mechanical Stab brake that was fitted to the original B737-100/200 series
these accidents would not have happened. Irony is, that is what the MAX certification is based on!!!!!!!!
Could you elaborate on the role of the stab brake? Thanks
B727 also had a stab brake
a big mechanical handle, connected to a strong cable, from the flight deck to the stab brake
Stab brake would engage via "Pawls" (if my memory serves me correctly) at the main Stab trim nut on the actuator,
Anytime the trim was "MOVING" and an opposite mechanical control input (manual elevator input from the yoke) was applied, the "Pawls" would engage
sometimes we suffer a bit from C.R.A.F.T. sickness..Can't Remember A F@#%ing Thing

https://www.facebook.com/ralf.t.schulz
User avatar
richard C
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8880
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:02 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGM
Location: Joeys
Has liked: 159 times
Been liked: 148 times

Re: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Nairobi

Unread post by richard C » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:25 am

"Electric stabilizer trim can be used to neutralize control column pitch forces before moving the STAB TRIM CUTOUT switches to CUTOUT."

That is what they did. What the instruction does not seem to take cognizance of is what if the MCAS has already lowered the nose significantly whilst very close to the ground. If you have resorted to the electric trim to try and rectify this, should your action take more than 5 seconds to sort itself out, the MCAS is going to start spooling the trim down again. Now what ?

Remember, nowhere does it mention the existence of the MCAS system, what its function is, and how it integrates into the system.
These users liked the author richard C for the post:
MadMacs
Grant all equity and dignity.
Monzeglio Cook + Gibson Architects

Return to “Academy & Flight Safety”