Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Max 8 Once More

Last year a Max 8 crashed in Indonesia.

Boeing and the FAA looked at each other, shrugged and – I think this might be true – suggested pilot error.

As time went on there might have been some small mention of software, but I’m not sure and I’m way too lazy to try to do any research.

Early this year another Max 8 crashed.

I do remember that Boeing and the FAA resisted grounding the plane at that time because they needed “more data”.

I couldn’t help wondering how many more crashes would be needed for a complete data set.

At that time the FAA did acknowledge that the Max 8 might have a proclivity for coming into contact with the terrain.

Also the software issue became an issue.

Boeing said that they had made some software tweaks and everything was good to go.

By this time the rest of the world had gotten pretty nervous and had grounded all Max 8s.

Finally US airlines began grounding them and finally Boeing and the FAA agreed that that was probably prudent.

I assume in various backrooms there was a lot of discontent about not getting any more data.

Since then Boeing has been feverishly working on “the software”.

That has been quite a long time now.

And, last I heard, they are still working on it.

There must have been more than a tweak involved.

So why would anyone want to fly in a plane that needs some massive, and therefore of questionable reliability, form of software – think the old blue screen of death days – to keep it from making contact with the terrain?

I guess the Max 8 pre-takeoff safety briefing will continue to contain the advice to “clasp your hands behind your head, put your head in your lap and kiss your ass goodbye”.

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