Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

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Raymond Hall
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Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Raymond Hall » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:47 am

Since the prior Boeing thread was moved to a different section of this Forum, those of us AC (and former AC) types who generally view only this thread have little knowledge of recent developments in getting the 737 MAX back in the air, and of other developments at Boeing. I am starting this thread to fill that void...


Boeing’s next step in testing 737 Max: Operating it like an airline


KEY POINTS

• Boeing pilots are flying the 737 Max as part of the company’s latest step in testing new software in the aircraft.

• The flights are the latest indication Boeing may be getting close to a recertification flight.

When a Boeing 737 Max flew into Kansas City’s airport on Monday, it definitely drew some attention.

After all, the plane has been grounded since last March and while Max planes have been seen flying in a few places around the country as airlines repositioned their grounded fleet, this was different. This time, it was Boeing pilots flying the Max as part of the company’s latest step in testing new software in the aircraft.

Boeing said it has begun flying a 737 Max plane with new software as a test to see how the plane functions when it is operated as a Max would be in an airline fleet. In a statement explaining the flights, the company said: “These non-commercial test flights with a small test team on board will exercise short and long-haul flights, seeking out weather and altitude conditions that will help satisfy specific test conditions for the updated software. These are not certification flights.”

The flights are the latest indication Boeing may be getting close to a re-certification flight, a critical hurdle in convincing the FAA and other regulators to unground the Max. The airplane was grounded in March of last year after the second of two Max crashes that killed 346 people. Investigations later determined flight-control software known as MCAS, which was designed to keep the Max from stalling, was a primary factor in both planes crashing.

Since then, Boeing engineers have been working on fixing the MCAS software and on modifying pilot training and procedures so flight crews are prepared to fly the 737 Max. While modifications to the 737 Max software are being tested by Boeing, changes to pilot training have yet to be finalized and approved by regulators.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said at the Singapore air show that he believes the 737 Max certification flight could happen in the coming weeks.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/11/boeings ... line.html
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altiplano
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by altiplano » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:47 am

Boeing said it has begun flying a 737 Max plane with new software as a test to see how the plane functions when it is operated as a Max would be in an airline fleet.
I hope they have catering trucks and baggage trains whacking into it randomly.
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lownslow
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by lownslow » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:15 am

I thought the Max flew fine but sucked at being broken. Do these flights even prove anything we don’t already know?
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Duke Point
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Duke Point » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:19 am

Seems a very odd comment for a pilot.

Can you clarify?

DP.
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derateNO
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by derateNO » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:07 pm

Duke Point wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:19 am
Seems a very odd comment for a pilot.

Can you clarify?

DP.
He's 100% correct.

In normal flight conditions there was nothing wrong with the plane.

If an AOA failed AKA "broken airplane", then things got interesting.
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Raymond Hall
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Raymond Hall » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:21 pm

From The Air Current, Wednesday, February 12th:

FAA Administrator outlines final gauntlet to return 737 Max to service

Singapore –

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration are not yet in the final stretch of the 737 Max grounding, but the path toward the end of the nearly year-long global moratorium on flying the jet has been laid out by the U.S. aviation regulator's top official. In a round table with a small group of media, including The Air Current, here on the first day of the Singapore Airshow, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson reiterated the agency's unwillingness to put a timeline to the conclusion of the most serious safety crisis to face modern commercial aviation.

"It's important that we stay focused on the process and not on a timeline," said Dickson. Given how unpredictable the process of recertifying the Max has been since its March 2019 grounding, "we don't know what issues may arise."

Related: FAA pushes back on 'pressure' to return Boeing 737 Max to service

Boeing earlier in January pushed its anticipated return of the jet to mid-2020 in an effort to reset industry expectations and calm an increasingly tense relationship with the U.S. aviation regulator. Dickson in November had pushed back on perceived "pressure" to unground the􀁯 by the end of 2019 and was privately frustrated, according to U.S. officials, the with the documents Boeing was providing for formal evaluation. Dickson said he was more satisfied with the information now coming from the plane maker. "I would say in recent weeks, what we are seeing, is that the submissions are complete and more integrated," he said.

Narrowing the issues

Before the FAA makes its official certification flight, kicking off the last phase of the recertification, Boeing still has outstanding items to fix before the final aerial evaluation. "We still have a few issues to resolve, but continue to narrow the issues."

A stabilizer trim indicator light that "tends to flicker" when the trim is running very quickly in normal operation, said Dickson, is "coming on at inappropriate times and it's essentially getting overloaded with data, we think. And so [Boeing] will have to buffer that a little bit."

Additionally, concerns over the jet's wiring and the potential for short circuits of the trim system need to be addressed. "Boeing has not yet given us a proposal on that," Dickson said.

He added that it wasn't yet clear if the wiring issues are common to the 737 Next Generation and if the aircraft's early service history will assuage any concerns.

"There are a number of ways Boeing can approach this, but again, until we see what their proposal is, it's difficult to say where that will go."

Certification flight

The certification flight with Boeing's 737 Max 7 test aircraft and its subsequent evaluation is "the next major milestone," said Dickson. That flight, flown by FAA pilots will evaluate "the compliance of the final software to FAA transport category aircraft regulations." Dickson said an analysis will follow and be completed "within a few days." The flight will not be scheduled until other issues with the jet's software and wiring are satisfactorily resolved.

While Dickson provided estimated durations for many of the major outstanding tasks, there was still uncertainty in how long the remaining process might take. "We've got to have a completed certification flight first before a lot of these other things can happen. So if you look at it as a stream of work, it starts to break into parallel streams once you get to that point."

JOEB & FSB

With the FAA flight and its analysis completed, the process will then move to the final Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) to determine the final minimum training requirements for re-certifying pilots to fly the 737 Max.

"That can't happen until the certification flight" is completed, said Dickson.

The JOEB process includes conducting simulator profiles to evaluate the human factors elements of the revised training. Dickson said that's expected to take nine to 10 days to complete. Dickson said both he and Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell will both complete the training as well, but added: "We don't want to have our thumb on the scale. We've got international crews and U.S. crews coming in to evaluate those proposals and we'll have to see how they perform and whether any modification to the Boeing proposal is made."

The result will be an addendum to the Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report defining the minimum training requirements for crews, which include Boeing's pending recommendation to require simulator training for all pilots prior to flying again. "Unless there are some surprises, it's a few days after that to get the report written."

That will be followed by 15 days for public comment. "From beginning to end, the JOEB and the FSB report process is roughly probably 30 days," said Dickson.

Documentation and advisory boards

With the certification flight complete, Boeing will provide the final design documentation to the FAA. Dickson said a report is also forthcoming from the Technical Advisory Board which acts as an "independent crosscheck" of the regulator's work. The FAA will also finalize the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL), which has been out for comment since December 5.

CANIC & Ungrounding Order

With all that complete, the FAA will issue the continued Airworthiness Notification to the International community (CANIC), the "notice of pending safety actions" as a heads-up to global regulators and international airlines.

Dickson said the final Airworthiness Directive, the official order that will rescind the grounding, will follow one to two days after the CANIC. The AD will spell out all the changes required for the Max and the new minimum pilot training requirements for U.S. crews.

When the ungrounding is officially over, the FAA will issue a certificate of airworthiness one airplane at a time. And for the U.S. airlines, each will have to get their individual training programs approved.

Once the FSB report is finalized, airlines will begin to develop curricula for their respective flight training departments, but each will have to come back to the FAA to propose how they'll accomplish their training after the final FAA ungrounding order is given.

https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safe ... o-service/
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Raymond Hall
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Raymond Hall » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:28 pm

From today's Wall Street Journal:

Boeing Fired Midlevel Executive Following Embarrassing Emails

The manager oversaw pilots whose messages have embarrassed the aerospace giant as it struggles to get the 737 MAX flying again


Boeing Co. BA 0.88% has fired a midlevel executive in charge of pilots who exchanged internal emails that have embarrassed the aerospace company as it struggles to get the 737 MAX jetliner flying again, according to people familiar with the matter.

The ouster of the executive, Keith Cooper, follows the disclosures of the messages between two Boeing pilots that prompted concerns among federal lawmakers and regulators that some of the company’s employees took a cavalier attitude toward safety and honest communication with airline customers.
-----
Mr. Cooper didn’t send or receive the messages, the latest batch of which Boeing disclosed to lawmakers and the news media in January, this person said. Those messages show Boeing employees mocking airline officials, aviation regulators and even their own colleagues. In one, an employee said the 737 MAX had been “designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun, who has called the messages “totally appalling,” has said he aimed to stamp out such behavior and hold managers accountable. “Awareness in the leadership ranks around whether that’s happening or not is not an excuse if it’s happening,” Mr. Calhoun said in a call with reporters in January, shortly after taking over as CEO. “Disciplinary actions have to be taken.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/boeing-fir ... _lead_pos6
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yycflyguy
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by yycflyguy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:25 am

Won't be flying at AC any time soon. Equipment bid has been cancelled due to the ongoing MAX grounding. They know something about further delays and want to protect their summer flying season with an alternate plan. I wouldn't be surprised to see reductions off the MAX to have guys trained on other equipment for the summer.
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rudder
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by rudder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:28 am

Hindsight being 20/20 - wouldn’t it have made more sense last year to force the grounded MAX pilots to bid on to another active aircraft or was AC unwilling to run a reduction bid?
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mel gibson
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by mel gibson » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am

Yes :lol:
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rudder
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by rudder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:04 am

Paying the MAX pilots for 12-18 months for sitting looks great for the damages claim against Boeing but these bodies could have been used to staff vacancies. Perhaps that is the realization that AC just came to by cancelling the bid.
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Transition9er2 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 am

If the recent bid has been cancelled, will they put a new one out right away or will it likely be in 2 months as per the normal equipment bid schedule?

T
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Raymond Hall » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:59 am

From today's New York Times...

What Needs to Happen to Get Boeing’s 737 Max Flying Again?

The plane could be back in the air relatively soon, but the company, regulators and airlines must do several things first.

Boeing’s 737 Max could be flying again before too long.

The plane has been grounded since last March, after two crashes in five months killed 346 people. The crisis has cost Boeing billions of dollars and led to the ouster of its chief executive, who repeatedly offered overly optimistic assessments of when the Max would be back in the air.

Now there are signs that the Max may return to service relatively soon. On Thursday, Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said a crucial test flight could occur in the coming weeks, setting in motion the complex process of ungrounding the plane.

He also revealed that there was yet another problem with the Max: an indicator light that erroneously activated because of an issue with the flight control computer. Boeing is working to resolve the issue, which the company said it did not believe would cause further delays.

Given the approaching test flight, and barring significant new problems, airlines like Southwest, American and United may be able to stick to their plans to use the Max this summer. Here’s what has to happen first.

[Article continues, see original for text to accompany the following headings…]

Outstanding issues on the Max must be addressed.

The F.A.A. will fly the plane.

Training for pilots must be decided.

The grounding would formally end.

Get the planes ready to fly.

Convince passengers the plane is safe.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/busi ... again.html
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by yycflyguy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:28 pm

rudder wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:04 am
Paying the MAX pilots for 12-18 months for sitting looks great for the damages claim against Boeing but these bodies could have been used to staff vacancies. Perhaps that is the realization that AC just came to by cancelling the bid.
I think it has more to do with the realization that the plane will not be available for the summer season so they need to train guys on different equipment now to be ready for July 1.... I doubt this plane will RTS before October
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Duke Point
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Duke Point » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:55 am

derateNO wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:07 pm
Duke Point wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:19 am
Seems a very odd comment for a pilot.

Can you clarify?

DP.
He's 100% correct.

In normal flight conditions there was nothing wrong with the plane.

If an AOA failed AKA "broken airplane", then things got interesting.

I was referring to the comment on hoping baggage carts and service vehicles impact the aircraft.
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by altiplano » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:38 pm

Duke Point wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:55 am
derateNO wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:07 pm
Duke Point wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:19 am
Seems a very odd comment for a pilot.

Can you clarify?

DP.
He's 100% correct.

In normal flight conditions there was nothing wrong with the plane.

If an AOA failed AKA "broken airplane", then things got interesting.

I was referring to the comment on hoping baggage carts and service vehicles impact the aircraft.
They did say normal airline operations... seems like that's part of it.
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Fanblade » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:13 am

Transition9er2 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 am
If the recent bid has been cancelled, will they put a new one out right away or will it likely be in 2 months as per the normal equipment bid schedule?

T
Probably as soon as Crew Planning has a final plan for summer.

AC crew planning is always planning for July 01. It doesn’t matter what bid it is. Obviously the plan changed. Clearly the Max is out. Could also be that they are scrambling for, or have secured used 320’s. Could be just moving pilots off the 737 for summer. Who knows maybe enough delay has taken place that AC can now cancel the Max order and has secured something with Airbus.

AC’s Q4 is in two days. Probably a better idea of what’s up then.
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rudder
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by rudder » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:26 am

Fanblade wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:13 am

Probably as soon as Crew Planning has a final plan for summer.

AC crew planning is always planning for July 01. It doesn’t matter what bid it is. Obviously the plan changed. Clearly the Max is out. Could also be that they are scrambling for, or have secured used 320’s. Could be just moving pilots off the 737 for summer. Who knows maybe enough delay has taken place that AC can now cancel the Max order and has secured something with Airbus.

AC’s Q4 is in two days. Probably a better idea of what’s up then.
And China......
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Transition9er2
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by Transition9er2 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:10 pm

If the equipment bid is being completely re-jigged, a high likelihood that Max pilots will be re-introduced to flying on other equipment in the system, is it safe to say there could be a slowdown with new hires?

Considering the high class sizes already this year, and now the Max pilot group all needing training events. I can’t see it makes much sense to continue hiring 35-45 every 2-3 weeks.

Obviously no one will know for certain until the information comes out from AC, but just taking a shot in the dark of what the coming weeks might look like.

Thoughts?
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derateNO
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by derateNO » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:06 pm

They've waited a year. They'll wait a few more months for the Max.

The Max pilots wont be reduced. Unless the plane is being removed from the fleet, or they have information that it will be another 6+ months.

Considering it just successfully finished it's flight tests a few days ago I don't expect it's the latter.
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rudder
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by rudder » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:46 pm

Several airlines have pulled the MAX off the schedule until September. And these are US carriers relying on FAA recertification of the MAX.

How much longer do you think TC will take? One thing is for certain, it will not be coincident.

I’ll bet AC is evaluating a 2020 without the MAX.
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Re: Boeing Update, for Air Canada Pilots — News and Views

Post by altiplano » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:10 am

The MOA says they will start to reduce eventually if this keeps going on.

I think they are predicting that this will keep going on and are going to get ahead on reducing a handful of Captains.
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