“ill-fated” 737 Max crew left ‘unaware’ of prior flight’s problems

[Ref 5-11 Nov 2019 Flight International Magazine] Pilots of the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max which crashed shortly after departing Jakarta in 2019 had been unaware of the control problems experienced by the crew of the same aircraft on the inbound service (from Denpasar) Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) investigation authority says this awareness […]

Boeing’s MCAS design based on flawed assumptions

[Ref 5-11 Nov 2019 Flight International Magazine] Indonesia’s NTSC investigation authority says Boeing’s preliminary hazard assessment of MCAS, carried out on a full-flight simulator in 2012, examined crew responses to uncommanded MCAS activation “regardless of underlying cause” – a failure such as erroneous angle-of-attack sensor data, leading to unreliable airspeed alerts, stick-shaker activation, and other alarms […]

Lion Air crash report reveals multiple failings

[Ref 5-11 Nov 2019 Flight International Magazine] Indonesian accident investigators have uncovered numerous failings relating to the design and operation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) on the Boeing 737 Max, as well as operational deficiencies at Lion Air. Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) found that: Boeing’s testing and development of MCAS was […]

Electric propulsion for large commercial aircraft seems to be a very distant pros-pect

[Flight International | 10-16 September 2019 p.32-34] To reduce CO2 emissions, manufacturers have turned their attention to electrifying functions other than propulsion. For instance, Liebherr Aerospace announced that they are working to optimise two main electrical systems for the environmental control system and the wing ice protection of the leading edge. The goal is to “reduce the weight […]

“flygskam” – a “flight shame” campaign

[Ref Flight International | 10-16 September 2019 p.28-31, Forbes] “flygskam”, the Swedish word for shame of flying, coined by Greta Thunburg, a 16-year-old teenage climate change activist who seems able to wrong-foot entire governments and the entire aviation industry as well. The “flight shame” campaign make people think twice about travelling by air because of concerns about […]

Boeing counts cost of Max grounding

[Ref 30 April-6 May 2019 | Flight International] The worldwide grounding of the 737 Max has so far cost Boeing $1 billion (as of 31 March); This has placed pressure on the manufacturer to conserve cash amid uncertainty on how long the Max will remain grounded At the end of 31 March, aside from the growing inventory […]

How Airbus fought own pitch battle against rogue air data

[Ref 30 April-6 May 2019 | Flight International] Airbus types have experienced serious issues that appear superficially similar to those affecting the Max- both have affected by consequences of spurious sensor readings, but unexpected incidents illustrate the difficulties designers and regulators face in predicting and avoiding unintended aircraft behaviour. An Eva Air A330’s departure in 2012 it suffered […]

Diamond switches to Continental power for DA50

[Ref Flight International 23-29 April 2019] Diamond Aircraft is planning to bring its DA50 piston-single to market in the third quarter of 2020, powered by a Continental CD-300 engine. The Continental CD-300 engine replaces the Safran/SMA diesel engine – the decision to switch powerplants followed a period of “re-evaluation of all ongoing projects” by the company’s […]