Disaster Boeing Charges $800k-$2 Mil For 'Optional' Safety Light That Could've Prevented Crashes - Give Us More Shekels or Fuck Off And Die In Our Plane.

JosephTX

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The Boeing 737 Max jet that has been linked to two deadly crashes failed to include two safety functions in its standard model, features that cost extra for airlines that bought the planes.

An angle of attack indicator, or two exterior sensors that tell pilots the angle of their plane, was one of the two safety features that came at an additional cost to airlines. The other, a disagreement alert, would then warn those in the cockpit whether the sensors were providing conflicting information.


The standard-issue Boeing 737 Max jet featured only one sensor.

Tom Anthony, a former Federal Aviation Administration inspector, told NBC News that the sensors may have saved the 189 people killed in theLion Air flight that crashed in Indonesia in October.

Investigators believe the Lion Air flight had a single, faulty, sensor that provided bad data to the plane's computer and put it into a nose dive.

"Had the pilots had the AOA disagreement sensor and the training as to how to respond to a light on that sensor, they would have been able to manipulate their way out of this situation," Anthony told NBC News.


Boeing's practice of selling these safety features at extra cost was first reported by The New York Times.

The aircraft manufacturer said the safety features will become standard on the planes and included in a software update that is expected to correct issues with the 737 Max jets.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that its review of a possible software fix for the grounded airplanes is "an agency priority."

The FAA grounded all Boeing 737 Max and 737 Max 9 jets days after the planes were linked to a second deadly crash on March 10. A doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight went down shortly after takeoff in Addis Ababa, killing all 157 passengers.


French investigators who have extracted data from the Ethiopian Airlines jet's black boxes said they detected "clear similarities" between it and the doomed Lion Air flight.

The NTSB confirmed Thursday that it will join international inspectors in analyzing the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder on the Ethiopia Airlines flight. The U.S. agency will join a team of experts from Ethiopia's Ministry of Transport, France's Air Accident Investigation Agency (BEA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

France's BEA said in a statement on Thursday that it was sending three experts to Ethiopia to work "in coordination with all stakeholders" in the crash investigation.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

May contain nuts.
True & Honest Fan
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This is going to be a nightmare for Boeing, and rightfully so. The whole thing seems like a major clusterfuck and in order to keep the profits rolling in, they made some seriously shitty decisions it seems. To make a plane that tends to nosedive out of the blue is bad enough, but to charge extra for an indicator that could alert the pilot and prevent casualties is simply unacceptable.
They might not have known that these two things are linked in this precise manner, but someone decided to cut corners and this is the result.

The De Havilland company went out of business over the Comet, Boeing is much larger, but this is going to fuck up their finances.
 
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KiwiLedian

One annoyed ladybug
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The FAA is going to slap Boeing around this for sure if the lawsuits don't empty their pockets first, and then they likely mandate that all new planes are going to require these sensors.
Boeing isn't going to be looking to hot financially in the coming year, that's for sure.
 

knux

True & Honest Fan
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This reminds me of QANTAS Flight 72 heading from Singapore to Perth just over 10 years ago. They still don't know what the cause is. But long story short, while at cruise. The autopilot was fed incorrect data from sensors and started to complain and alarm. So the pilots disengaged it and flew it on manual. Then all of a sudden, the autopilot decided to drop the nose 8+ degrees and the plane descended 650ft in 20 seconds before the pilots restored things. Not even a couple of minutes later, it did it again.

Passengers and crew were tossed around the plane like toys. Smashing their heads into the overhead compartments, luggage crashing down onto everyone. The photos on the news showed all this blood on the ceiling of the plane.
I read a long investigation into it only a year ago and one of the flight attendants cracked his head and back on various things as he flew into the air, then into all the cabinets where they have the food etc. He is in constant pain and will never work again.
The pilots had to do all these emergency manoeuvres to keep control of the plane in case it decided to go mad again while they were attempting to land. Even parked and stationary on the tarmac, the alarms of overspeed and stall were still blaring when the techs arrived to see what was wrong with the plane.

The scariest thing about all of this was that the autopilot sits above the pilots in the chain of command. They couldn't override it and tell it to stop everything. Even when disengaged, it would still control the plane. For people with less experience, this could well mean a death sentence. From the sounds of these reports about the Max 8, the pilots seem to be fighting with the autopilot as it decides to do something and then keeps working against them as they hopelessly try to correct it. More warning lights and better sensors might reduce the risk, but in the end. If the computer decides to be exceptional, you turning the stupid thing off and fly without it. But that isn't an option.

Cold comfort from Boeing they found a software bug they'll fix with a patch and that redundant sensors are an "optional feature". Tell that to the families of the 100s of people who were killed by their flight computer.
 

Belligerent Monk

Lives for Macabre Humor
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The airlines shouldn't have cheaped out and bought the sensor, huh. Especially if they were going to use inexperienced pilots.

Wasn't it the last crash where they corrected it then engaged the autopilot again?
FFS that's the most exceptional hot take I've ever heard.
We're talking about a metal tube thousands of feet above the earth carrying a hundred or more souls. If it's a friggin safety feature it should just be fucking standard.
It's not fancy lighting or a disco ball or an extra wide monitor for the in-flight movie. It's a fucking sensor which could save your life.
 

a feel

Die Gedanken sind frei.
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FFS that's the most exceptional hot take I've ever heard.
We're talking about a metal tube thousands of feet above the earth carrying a hundred or more souls. If it's a friggin safety feature it should just be fucking standard.
It's not fancy lighting or a disco ball or an extra wide monitor for the in-flight movie. It's a fucking sensor which could save your life.
There are sensors and cameras that prevent nearly 100% of pedestrian/cyclist/other deaths that easily occur when a heavy truck turns right and idiot people fail to realize the danger of the situation and that the driver can't actually see them. Sometimes, truck drivers will even manage to not see CARS on a lane as they turn. These systems cost a bit of money but are still fairly cheap compared to the overall cost of a truck. They're optional. People die because of this.
That's the world we live in, it doesn't only apply to airplanes.

Edit: Here's a link to some reading. I watched a documentary about the issue, so I don't know how valuable the article is, but if you want to do further research you only need to know it's made by Volvo.
 
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Belligerent Monk

Lives for Macabre Humor
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There are sensors and cameras that prevent nearly 100% of pedestrian/cyclist/other deaths that easily occur when a heavy truck turns right and idiot people fail to realize the danger of the situation and that the driver can't actually see them. Sometimes, truck drivers will even manage to not see CARS on a lane as they turn. These systems cost a bit of money but are still fairly cheap compared to the overall cost of a truck. They're optional. People die because of this.
That's the world we live in, it doesn't only apply to airplanes.
That's fucking dumb.
I mean I get it; the world ain't fair and a buck has got to be made somewhere but still that's fucking dumb.
The rule, at least in so-called civilized societies, should be that if it carries X amount of people or, better yet, is a large commercial vehicle... especially if it fucking flies that shit should be standard.
 
Really, so the manufacturer sells these planes, and there's optional sensors they sell as optional, right?

If there's a law or regulation saying that sensor MUST be installed, then boing fucked up. If not, the regulations are fucked up, OR people are just trying to place blame retroactively.

There's a reason airlines don't just buy airplanes from any random idiot, right? There's got to be some standards they have to meet. If they met those standards, it doesn't really matter that an optional sensor might have prevented something.

This feels a bit like someone crashing their car, dying, then the relatives suing the car company because the auto-braking system is optional, but if it had been mandatory they would have had it and not died. That's how we end up with cars costing even more than they already do, because you can always spend more money and throw in more safety features.

So to me this feels reactive. I mean, shit happens, and it sucks, but the correct reaction isn't always sue someone and make new laws.
 

Questionable Ceviche

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Really, so the manufacturer sells these planes, and there's optional sensors they sell as optional, right?

If there's a law or regulation saying that sensor MUST be installed, then boing fucked up. If not, the regulations are fucked up, OR people are just trying to place blame retroactively.

There's a reason airlines don't just buy airplanes from any random idiot, right? There's got to be some standards they have to meet. If they met those standards, it doesn't really matter that an optional sensor might have prevented something.

This feels a bit like someone crashing their car, dying, then the relatives suing the car company because the auto-braking system is optional, but if it had been mandatory they would have had it and not died. That's how we end up with cars costing even more than they already do, because you can always spend more money and throw in more safety features.

So to me this feels reactive. I mean, shit happens, and it sucks, but the correct reaction isn't always sue someone and make new laws.
The regulators did fuck up, and Boeing also fucked up.


The FAA said nah, we cool, go ahead and do this shit yourself. They let the company they were supposed to be watching do it themselves.
 

Cat Menagerie

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I can't find a newer thread about the crash so I'll put this here. It's more informative than pretty much any article you'll read in the media.

 

moocow

Moo.
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So am I good to go with my new "only fly on Airbus planes" strategy, or will that kill me too?

What I've seen so far in my limited searches tells me Airbuses don't spontaneously fall out of the sky unless the pilots screw up (and that's a risk no airliner can prevent).

Maybe I should just travel by train...
 
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JosephTX

Texas Penal Code Section 9.42(b) Enthusiast
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So am I good to go with my new "only fly on Airbus planes" strategy, or will that kill me too?

What I've seen so far in my limited searches tells me Airbuses don't spontaneously fall out of the sky unless the pilots screw up (and that's a risk no airliner can prevent).

Maybe I should just travel by train...
Airbus has the same system except theirs actually have 3 separate sensors whereas Boeing only has a single one so as soon as the single sensor fails on the Boeing you're fucked, and if the pilot manually turns off the system to stop the plane from kamakazing Boeing planned for this and programmed the system to automatically turn back on, overriding the pilot to ensure everyone dies.
 
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