Boeing 737 Max what happened?

Amazon SQtd68
May 9 274 Comments

What are your thoughts on what’s going on? Was it really an engineering issue? Can anyone shed some 💡? Also what’s Boeing’s TC? Are engineers in Seattle?

TC: 115

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TOP 274 Comments
  • It was 100% engineering issue caused by greed of Boeing to compete with Airbus. They didn’t care if people could and did die
    May 9 21
    • Compass 905
      Any Industrial or Human-Factors Eng. worth their salt would not have left that plane fly.

      Greed was the pure factor in why those lives were lost.
      May 9
    • Amazon eldorodo
      Boeing engineers are crazy good and very safety conscious. They might be slow but greedy isn’t their thing. They work at a discount compared to most engineering companies. Their leadership however is famous for political oriented architecture that often leads to bad things.
      May 9
    • Oracle Poas871285
      That’s exactly what Tesla is trying to do - you need to spend few grans for software update. I’ll never buy Tesla just because of that.
      May 9
    • VMware / Eng randomizer
      Mr Oracle. The WHOLE industry works like that. You apply a serial number and feature X is enabled. Software development has costs to companies and they need their money back for their investment. Tesla is betting that you will buy the upgrade after your purchase and decides to swallow the hw cost of the feature and fit all models with it in advance.
      May 9
    • Google xkvpspecmg
      Yeah, it's entirely different when you charge for enabling additional features vs basic safety features.

      It's not like Tesla is selling the cars with brakes and charging extra for the software that enables them.
      May 9
  • Amazon GibHut
    "Are engineers in Seattle?" Implying did they outsource critical engineering work to India? (Spoiler: they did)
    May 9 22
    • Boeing / Eng
      AXV9083

      Boeing Eng

      PRE
      Boeing
      AXV9083more
      That’s correct, they only accept american citizens to work with Boeing proprietary information.
      May 9
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      I highly doubt that considering Boeing has bought foreign Aircraft companies. Handling proprietary information for US citizens only is completely unfeasible. Maybe on the their defence division only
      May 9
    • eBay costume
      Why is the Americans management so dumb to outsource to india or China?
      May 9
    • Nvidia lDxR18
      The software work for that plane was not done in India at all! All mission critical stuff, and software is done in the US itself!
      May 13
    • Nvidia lDxR18
      If it’s related to creating fuselages or some body part, or some IT related stuff, or supporting products being sold in India. That’s the whole scope of work there as of now. Some R&D stuff is there but nothing like in production or affecting any existing project.
      Everything else is ITAR controlled, and done in the US, by US citizens. They do hire and offshore the work for Jeppesen, which is what you should google!
      May 13
  • Tesla dhfjedofks
    It’s poor system design and greed. The MCAS module took a decision based on input from only one angle of attack sensor. Any engineer worth their salt would know that you can’t take such a system critical decision based on only one input.

    The greed is though that they had the software which would take inputs from both the angle of attack sensors on either side of the plane and would corroborate their readings before taking a decision, but the airlines had to pay extra for this.

    Seriously fuck you to the people who designed this system and took these decisions. It cost more than 500 peoples lives. Fuck you.
    May 9 12
    • Riot Games
      ifbx7474

      Riot Games

      PRE
      Riot Games
      ifbx7474more
      I understand the righteous frustration about the outcomes. But to blame the outcome on the people that did the design (like the engineers) vs. the organization that allows and perhaps pressures what is shipped based on financial incentives is not always fair. Granted no aerospace or mechanical engineering experience here, but from what I know usually decisions that end up going badly are made by non engineers about 10 levels up with no actual context. All that said, JFC what a disaster.
      May 10
    • Amazon !JeffBezos
      Lidar is great anywhere not outside the valley. Still waiting for a single video of lidar in rain or any other weather.
      May 10
    • Cisco
      ()()

      Cisco

      PRE
      AMD
      ()()more
      Where it’s going guys
      Why you target different companies which is not related to the main post,
      Tesla : driver has a decision to take control, all the accidents happened because they believed too much and slept and not concentrating on windshield warning.
      Boeing: no passenger/pilot has control on this shit, and you get that features if you pay extra money. This is shit.
      May 10
    • Adobe / Eng uNMM82
      @Cisco: That's wrong, pilots do have the ability to both override and turn off the MCAS feature. So it's much closer to the Tesla "autopilot" than you're acknowledging
      May 10
    • Intel Act2016
      Sorry the model of assuring the computer is so fkn broken it is absurd. If something happens that is an emergent the driver will not be engaged enough to make a difference.
      May 10
  • Amazon / Eng n0v
    100% management issue.
    May 9 3
    • Intuitive Surgical HfMg53
      This always
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      The fish stinks from the head first
      May 9
    • Salesforce omgWhut
      It sounds like PM pressure
      May 11
  • Amazon QUfT36
    just wanted to point out that airbus uses same sensor to my knowledge
    May 9 5
    • Capital One Blervin
      Airbus has three angle-of-attack sensors, so if one of them fails, there are still two sensors to go by. Boeing planes have two, but despite that, the MAX's MCAS system was designed to take input from just one of them, causing a single point of failure. The alert for when the AOA sensors were in disagreement was agreed to be an optional add-on by Boeing and the FAA. Ridiculous design.
      May 9
    • Microsoft BlueScreen
      It’s called redundancy. Airbus has it. Boeing made it an optional safety feature. That was a BUSINESS DECISION. Business always screws Engineers.
      May 9
    • Amazon PotatoSale
      This is how MBAs kill engineering companies.
      May 9
    • Asurion obtlun
      A safety sensor is never an option/upgrade in aviation. FAA messed up by allowing “self grading”, corners were cut in the boardroom.
      May 10
    • Amazon PotatoSale
      It's like letting a wolf guard a sheep pen.
      May 10
  • Boeing / Eng
    AXV9083

    Boeing Eng

    PRE
    Boeing
    AXV9083more
    Engineers can only give recommendations, its ultimately upper management/LT who makes the final decision. People are forgetting that engineers don’t have authority to override management decisions.
    I don’t even work on this program (I work on 777 and 777X) but to blame all the fault on engineers is grossly incorrect.
    May 9 12
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Compass, probably after you left, even the healthcare industry got fucked up. We just haven't discovered it yet, because it looks like net progress.
      May 9
    • Command Alkon cydf26
      I'll say it again..."nobody wants to pay for software"... We gotta change that... Nobody wants to pay for it.... Nobody wants to take the time to do it right ... They just want $ $$$$$$$
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      Look up FDA 510(k) testing...that’s probably the future of what aviation has to go through. It’s a pain, but it does work (mostly).
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      Fair, cydf26. It’s sad, because the women and men building these systems almost always care about these things and would like (and are capable) of doing this testing.
      May 9
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Agreed. Passionate people who are in it to do it right will never have a problem with delays. Adverse event reporting in drugs or holding off shipping software for months for even 1 bug - should be a matter of pride in quality of work!
      May 9
  • Microsoft / Eng notagamer
    Well, airbus A320 had enough space under the wing to start a new line with more efficient larger engine (A320 neo) with minimal redesign. The 737 didn’t have the space to do the same thing so a good engineering decision would have been to design a plane from scratch with bigger engine.
    Unfortunately, they decided to force through and to put larger engines on the existing 737 (roughly). But to do that, they had to move the engine forward which basically change the Cg. The Cg is supposed to be in the middle of the wing but instead it’s shifted forward which makes the plane unstable. It would have been a massive red flag to have this kind of thing on a early design.

    Tbh, i was working for Airbus when they made this decision and at the time we thought it was a mistake. It was 8 or 10 years ago. I guarantee you plenty of people know!
    May 9 1
    • Amazon Jеff Bezоs
      It sounds almost like they were following Amazon’s leadership principles.
      May 9
  • Microsoft BlueScreen
    Certification (QA) was taken on by Boeing instead of the FAA, at the approval of the FAA. Oversight was lax.

    Hey, at least they have QA. Those days at Microsoft are gone. Why do you think we have Windows recalls and QFEs with critical fixes more than ever?

    Now, back to Boeing. As a result of larger more powerful engines, and charges to placement on the wings, MCAS was developed. Only a 737 MAX issue. MCAS had a single point of failure because they were only taking a reading from a single AOA sensor. Boeing customers had to pay to get the extra software feature that would take measurements from both AOA sensors, and alert the pilots if there was a discrepancy between the two. That feature will now be standard equipment with the MCAS software update, plus it won’t activate repeatedly...like it did in two crashes.

    Having MCAS only use a single AOA sensor, so it had a single point of failure, was not a missed feature. No way that it was missed. There are so many redundant systems on an airplane. This had no redundancy, unless you paid for that extra feature. No way that was an oversight.

    How do I know this? Friends on different sections of the 737 flight line.
    May 9 3
    • Yahoo / Eng
      eanN64

      Yahoo Eng

      BIO
      getting to know things
      eanN64more
      At least one redundancy Must be a mandatory feature.
      May 10
    • Microsoft gGpp32
      Boeing believed that the cockpit warning light was standard. The engineers realized later that it would only work when customers purchased a different optional indicator which you mentioned. Boeing sat on this internal report for a year till 700 souls were lost. They then again lied to FAA. This is all over the news since 5th May.
      Also, Boeing is now telling the pilots that the same "premium" system will not alert the pilots of sensor disagreement till about 400 feet above ground, contrary to previous belief that the system will prevent a take off under this circumstance.
      May 10
    • Google Methane
      This has been my understanding. Great answer.
      May 10
  • Southwest Airlines ajskdlflsm
    Interesting to see all the non-airline/non-aviation industry employees give "credible" statements on what happened 🍿 shout-out to the one Boeing employee on this thread lol
    May 9 9
    • Oracle alwzangry
      🙏 Hang in there, friend. We need conscientious people to stay there, for the good of the people!
      May 9
    • Boeing / Eng
      AXV9083

      Boeing Eng

      PRE
      Boeing
      AXV9083more
      Thanks guys! Much appreciated. Glad to know not everyone sees us as employees with no morals.
      May 9
    • Google xkvpspecmg
      I think you meant "morale" is pretty low.
      The "moral" was low and may still be at the executive levels of the company. Not any different at any other company mind you.
      May 9
    • Boeing / Eng
      AXV9083

      Boeing Eng

      PRE
      Boeing
      AXV9083more
      Thank you, yes that’s what I meant. I’ve updated my comment.
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      Wish I could send y’all a pizza or something...maybe cookies? 🍪
      May 9
  • Cisco / IT bigreddog
    Why did you mention your TC for this Boeing question ?
    May 9 7
    • Cisco / IT bigreddog
      What is tgfo ?
      May 9
    • Amazon betsman
      The get fck off
      May 9
    • TGFO: Takeoff Go-around, First Officer. It's standard operating procedure in case of a missed approach.
      May 10
    • Apple the
      It is GTFO not TGFO 🙂.
      May 10
    • So what's tgfi?
      May 10
  • Google jdjdjsj
    Boeing execs should be jailed if its bc of greed
    May 9 11
    • Cruise Automation ggghhh
      Do people not take ethics courses for engineering anymore?
      May 9
    • Boeing / Eng
      AXV9083

      Boeing Eng

      PRE
      Boeing
      AXV9083more
      I certainly did. I don’t work on this program, but I wouldn’t turn a blind eye on my program (777, 777X).
      If you read sources, the engineering team involved with this did bring up the issue but management still went along with their decision. Not sure if the eng. team knew that they would.
      Maybe they should place more emphasis on business ethics.
      May 9
    • Engineers are like ICs. They don’t make high level decisions in such companies. Things are different at bottoms up companies like FB where engineers have more say
      May 9
    • Microsoft / Other
      Negan

      Microsoft Other

      PRE
      Blackbaud
      BIO
      I like bats
      Neganmore
      You know. Someone had to go along by writing the code. If they really truly believed than they wouldn’t write the code.
      May 11
    • Cruise Automation iugfruo
      All the holier than though people. Everybody says “I would obviously be the person who does the right thing”, but statistically it ain’t so. And i’m not really trying to say people are so horrible, and they always make the wrong choice. It might just be that it’s only this clear in the hindsight
      May 12
  • Microsoft Teslanos
    They used Tesla autopilot.
    May 9 7
    • Amazon PotatoSale
      Are they also going to ditch radar and rely on some cheap cameras? I mean if a human can fly a plane visually who needs radar?
      May 9
    • Tesla lesscode
      K
      May 9
    • Oracle / Eng
      Hillary

      Oracle Eng

      PRE
      Amazon, Microsoft, Apple
      Hillarymore
      maybe they forgot their OTA update to prevent the plane from catching fire before they look off?
      May 9
    • Microsoft wtf_nfc
      I thought it was another DNS issue.
      May 9
    • Tesla 100thieves
      This.
      May 9
  • eBay abababbb
    I don’t ever want to get on one of those planes. Any idea how can u make sure you’re not on one of those (once they are allowed to fly again)when booking a flight?
    May 9 9
    • Asurion obtlun
      Check your seat back pocket when you get on the plane. Or your boarding pass should say the type of aircraft.
      May 10
    • eBay / Eng
      mDBW53

      eBay Eng

      PRE
      NVIDIA
      mDBW53more
      If you are looking at the seat back pocket it is already too late. Even if you somehow manage to get off the plane you’ll die in some weird way over the next week.
      May 10
    • American Express / Eng wuali
      You can see the plane type before you book. Especially if you're booking from the airline website. If the airline changes plane type, they'll update the booking and you can request for a full refund or change without penalty.
      If you made the booking on an OTA website, you can lookup the PNR on the airline website to see the plane type.
      May 17
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      On what grounds can one cancel the flight if the plane type changes?
      May 17
    • New iLmS64
      Assuming you’re flying United (bc SF cmon)...
      Open United app.
      Home >
      Trip Details >
      Scroll to bottom >
      “Where is my plane coming from?” section lists aircraft type.

      Any status above Silver has free same-day flight changes. Good luck!👍🏻🍀
      May 19
  • Zulily amie
    There’s time and place for cutting corners. When people’s life depends on your product, I think that’s the line.
    May 9 3
    • Nvidia
      420_Blaze

      Nvidia

      BIO
      BlazeMaster 10K
      420_Blazemore
      + Theranos as well
      May 9
    • Tableau YwcI06
      I told them not to build their angle of attack system on top of Magento.
      May 9
    • Amazon mUwn3e
      Theranos was just a flat out scam. They purposefully lied to make money, didnt even have a product
      May 9
  • Uber kundokkku
    Worst part is no media coverage or anything of that sort! They would have been happy to cover self driving car accidents or some Tesla stuffs! Meanwhile 700 families have lost their loved ones and their life will be broken and different after this incident ! It’s just not taken very seriously because it happened in Africa and other continents?
    May 9 1
    • Intel Hunting
      Its because Boeing provides jobs to lot of different states. If it goes belly up it would mean an economic crisis.
      May 9
  • Amazon fHsj42
    Boeing was still in denial after the second crash —- “complete confidence in the safety” of the 737 Max, and suggested remedy of software upgrades and increased training for pilots. Of course now we know the airplane is flawed and the MCAS software is a buggy hack to cover up real airplane engine related issue. It’s amazing BA stock is still in 350s.
    May 9 7
    • Command Alkon cydf26
      Do a simple linear regression... The R value drops after 1995.
      May 9
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      Fork()

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Fork()more
      When anybody says "more training" or "more human processes" 5o address a systematic problem, I stop listening.
      May 9
    • Spotify smrtrchild
      Boeing is a lot more than their passenger jets, they're a government aerospace contractor, and their former executive is the acting and soon to-be Secretary of Defense. They and Lockheed Martin and others basically have an aerospace oligarchy (see the United Launch Alliance), and get billions in overpriced Federal contracts. So long as the Military Industrial Complex thrives, so too will Boeing, even as people die...
      May 9
    • Oracle alwzangry
      That's one reason why economy seems to be fine despite people not feeling it - because we haven't started a new war or have sold new weapons lately.
      May 9
    • American Express / Eng wuali
      The stock is just a reflection of the impact to the company. Everyone knows this is not going to affect Boeing financially. They're big enough that they won't be held accountable for the misdirection.
      May 17
  • Oracle alwzangry
    They threw out the traditional values and brought in more "modern mindset and methodology".
    May 9 3
    • JCPenney Pano
      Agile? It's fine, they'll fix it in the next sprint.
      May 9
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Shh
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      Omg
      May 9
  • To make it worse, MCAS kept on reactivating and pushing the angle down. Did some SWE forget to close the for loop ?
    May 9 0
  • Compass 905
    The idiot eng. team who worked on this project are going to be the reason the industry is going to be forced to get licenses to practice.
    May 9 4
    • Command Alkon cydf26
      You're right. Here come the regulators...
      May 9
    • Boeing / Eng
      AXV9083

      Boeing Eng

      PRE
      Boeing
      AXV9083more
      Ha, because all final decisions are made by an engineering team. If you actually read sources you would know engineers did bring up this issue to management. I don’t work on this program but I can assure you it wasn’t the engineering teams fault.
      May 9
    • Compass 905
      Someone is going to take the fall...and it’s never the fat cats. It’s us minions down the ladder who have to deal with the blow.
      May 9
    • Spotify rhduejdb
      No. The root cause of the problem is that the new engines are too heavy for the airframe, changing its center of gravity.

      The airplane therefore has to be flown differently, at a different angle of attack. This makes the aircraft more susceptible to stalls.

      The sensors are an important dimension here, in terms of stall detection, but the reason the aircraft is more likely to stall is the heavy weight of the engines.

      This is on Boeing senior management. Boeing needed a new airframe design to compete with Airbus, but instead rushed out a product that is structurally unsound
      May 10