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Thread: irrational fear of flying

  1. #1461
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    A few thoughts:

    - That door design is common to several of the larger and higher-density seating versions of the 737, including the MAX 9 and the 900ER. There are hundreds of these aircraft in service.

    - It's likely that this was a production or maintenance issue rather than a design issue. There will undoubtedly be widespread inspections to ensure this isn’t a common problem. Regardless of the root cause, this is very concerning to the industry and traveling public.

    - Since this incident occurred over land, in an area with significant population, the investigating authorities will search for (and likely find) the missing door. That will be a key to the investigation. I’ve supported past aviation investigations where military radars detected debris falling from aircraft and localized the ground impact points.

    - ALWAYS wear your seatbelt when at your seat! Make sure it’s tight enough that you can’t move from beneath the belt, either up or down. You never know when turbulence or other incidents might occur.

    - Copied from another forum I frequent, written by a Boeing retiree:

    "The part that opened and fell off is called a mid exit door (Boeing calls it a MED for short). The door is hinged at the bottom, and opens from top to bottom. The door appears as a plug, and since it is intended to be an "open only" door or hatch, and when installed looks like just another part of the interior sidewall of the airplane, nobody would guess its a door except for the small lever that is covered by a small cover to open said door/hatch.

    This mid exit door is installed on all 737-900ER and 737-9 Max airplanes, along with the high density version of the airplane for RyanAir and others for the model 737-8200 Max. The door is installed by Spirit on the fuselage prior to being shipped to Boeing. Typically this door is only opened only for maintenance or an emergency. I won't speculate on why this one opened, however prior to delivery these doors are checked by Boeing and the airline before delivery."

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    From an article on The Guardian on the same incident.

    a boy sitting in a row with his mother had his shirt sucked off him and out of the plane. “His mother was holding on to him,” he said. “You heard a big loud bang to the left rear. A whooshing sound and all the oxygen masks deployed instantly and everyone got those on.”

    Thank goodness that was the worst of it for the passengers. Recall that a passenger was partially evacuated from a blown out window on the SW flight from 4-5 years ago and later passed away.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Yeah, I think loose bolts on that model is not new. I seem to recall someone mentioning previously about Boeing's assembly operation in North Carolina being a bit.. shit? Do they churn out these 737 Max thingies over there?
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post
    Yeah, I think loose bolts on that model is not new. I seem to recall someone mentioning previously about Boeing's assembly operation in North Carolina being a bit.. shit? Do they churn out these 737 Max thingies over there?
    All 737s are assembled in the Seattle area. The fuselages are manufactured in Wichita and travel by rail to Renton for assembly. 787s are assembled in Charleston, SC.

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Back to the Haneda incident, a heart-warming episode, loosely translated from an article:

    There were about 10 ANA ground staff nearby who normally handle cargo and aircraft marshalling. They rushed to the burning JAL aircraft to assist in getting the passengers to safety even though they work for a rival airline. Several passengers said that they need to use the loo. A small ANA aircraft happened to be parked nearby with a boarding bridge attached to it. One of the ANA staff, a mechanic, went up, entered the plane, switched on the power and led those passengers onto the aircraft so they can use the loo.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Just saw this and thought that I'd post it here.

    https://www.instagram.com/culver_props/

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post
    Back to the Haneda incident, a heart-warming episode, loosely translated from an article:

    There were about 10 ANA ground staff nearby who normally handle cargo and aircraft marshalling. They rushed to the burning JAL aircraft to assist in getting the passengers to safety even though they work for a rival airline. Several passengers said that they need to use the loo. A small ANA aircraft happened to be parked nearby with a boarding bridge attached to it. One of the ANA staff, a mechanic, went up, entered the plane, switched on the power and led those passengers onto the aircraft so they can use the loo.
    The few times I've been in Japan, mostly airports, I have done my best to show deference to locals. A humble but strong nation of people who understand they're all in it together, so don't put yourself first.
    Retired Sailor, Marine dad, semi-professional cyclist, fly fisherman, and Indian School STEM teacher.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    In addition to Alaska Airline grounding its own fleet of 737, the FAA has grounded more Max9 aircrafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post
    Nice. I'm completely ignorant and uninterested in aeroplane models, but that 737 Max has been getting consistently bad rep over the years. Perhaps I should start paying attention to what equipment is being used for the intended itinerary...
    And here are some bad reps from just the past few months alone.

    From December 2023, via CNN


    Boeing has asked airlines to inspect all of their 737 Max jets for a potential loose bolt in the rudder system after an airline discovered a potential problem with a key part on two aircraft.

    An unnamed international airline found a bolt with a missing nut in a rudder-control linkage mechanism while conducting routine maintenance – and it found a similar bolt that wasn’t properly tightened in a yet-to-be delivered plane. An airplane’s rudder is used to control and stabilize the aircraft while in flight.
    And then there's this de-icing system that could lead to some serious unintended consequences if left on for too long, from the Seattle Times. Emphasis mine.


    Little noticed, the Federal Aviation Administration in December published a Boeing request for an exemption from key safety standards on the 737 MAX 7 — the still-uncertified smallest member of Boeing’s newest jet family.

    Since August, earlier models of the MAX currently flying passengers in the U.S. have had to limit use of the jet’s engine anti-ice system after Boeing discovered a defect in the system with potentially catastrophic consequences.

    The flaw could cause the inlet at the front end of the pod surrounding the engine — known as a nacelle — to break and fall off.

    In an August Airworthiness Directive, the FAA stated that debris from such a breakup could penetrate the fuselage, putting passengers seated at windows behind the wings in danger, and could damage the wing or tail of the plane, “which could result in loss of control of the airplane.”

    ...
    Boeing would have until mid-2026 to design, test and certify a permanent fix for the engine anti-ice system defect that would then be retrofitted to all MAXs.

    By then, there could be nearly 2,000 MAXs in service, meaning more than 4,000 engines needing the retrofit.

    Until then, pilots would have to adhere to the limitation currently applied on the MAX 8 and MAX 9 models. After emerging from icy conditions into drier air they have to make sure they turn off the engine anti-ice system, which heats the inner barrel of the engine pod so that ice doesn’t build up.

    If they fail to do so, the system can quickly overheat the carbon composite material and damage the structural integrity of the engine pod.

    The problem is there’s no alert or indication to the crew that the system needs to be turned off. They just have to remember to do it.

    If they forget, or are distracted by other tasks, the overheating can begin to damage the structure after just five minutes.


    Tajer said it’s “not uncommon” for pilots on other aircraft to inadvertently leave the anti-ice system on when it is no longer needed.

    On older 737s, for example, this would waste energy but not do any damage. The defect affects only the MAX, with engine inlets made from carbon composite rather than the metal used on older models.
    I'm certainly not flying on any 737MAX planes.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    In addition to Alaska Airline grounding its own fleet of 737, the FAA has grounded more Max9 aircrafts.



    And here are some bad reps from just the past few months alone.

    From December 2023, via CNN



    And then there's this de-icing system that could lead to some serious unintended consequences if left on for too long, from the Seattle Times. Emphasis mine.



    I'm certainly not flying on any 737MAX planes.
    Hucking fell
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    A few thoughts:

    - It's likely that this was a production or maintenance issue rather than a design issue. There will undoubtedly be widespread inspections to ensure this isn’t a common problem. Regardless of the root cause, this is very concerning to the industry and traveling public.

    Copied from another forum I frequent, written by a Boeing retiree:

    "The part that opened and fell off is called a mid exit door (Boeing calls it a MED for short). The door is hinged at the bottom, and opens from top to bottom. The door appears as a plug, and since it is intended to be an "open only" door or hatch, and when installed looks like just another part of the interior sidewall of the airplane, nobody would guess its a door except for the small lever that is covered by a small cover to open said door/hatch.

    This mid exit door is installed on all 737-900ER and 737-9 Max airplanes, along with the high density version of the airplane for RyanAir and others for the model 737-8200 Max. The door is installed by Spirit on the fuselage prior to being shipped to Boeing. Typically this door is only opened only for maintenance or an emergency. I won't speculate on why this one opened, however prior to delivery these doors are checked by Boeing and the airline before delivery."

    Greg
    I have said this before but I will say it again…having worked with a bunch of the guys running the company who got personally fabulously wealthy while they ran another formerly iconic American company into the ground…you can’t cost cut/ save your way to success/ it ain’t just about financial games to better a stock price. And, perhaps I am being too personally careful but for the last several years I have reversed that old pilots’ saying…if it’s Boeing I am not going.
    « If I knew what I was doing, I’d be doing it right now »

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    As someone who operates the 737MAX airplane, I feel safe. It is clearly under a microscope and so gets a lot of media attention. I’d be very willing to bet that this door incident is either a factory installation error or a maintenance error. I’m confident it’s not a design issue, though obviously we’ll have to wait for the door to be found and the root cause definitely determined. Let’s wait for the facts.

    As to the engine anti-ice issue, a procedural change has been implanted before a more permanent engine modification can be made. Also of note, this engine is installed on some Airbus A320 series airplanes. The other engine on the Airbus is the Pratt and Whitney geared turbo fan. Look that up. It hasn’t demonstrated a great reliability record yet either but somehow gets less hysterical press than the Boeing MAX series. If we refused to board airplanes that have had issues we would never fly. They’ve all had issues of some sort, even the mighty Airbuses that aren’t Boeings.

    The variant I operate doesn’t have this aft cabin emergency exit door.

    Finally, the comment about greed is spot on. Boeing does indeed seem to have a lot of egg on their face as they have had these MAX issues and have been less than forthright about them and aren’t leading with communication. The next gen 777X is years behind schedule in its development and they have no replacement planned for the 757/767 market segment and those two are no longer in production as passenger aircraft. And they have had some serious quality control issues from their South Carolina facility.

    Boeing was for years the leader of the industry and today they’re not. Not even close.

    That said, I feel safe boarding any of the Boeing models.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    As to the engine anti-ice issue, a procedural change has been implanted before a more permanent engine modification can be made. Also of note, this engine is installed on some Airbus A320 series airplanes. The other engine on the Airbus is the Pratt and Whitney geared turbo fan. Look that up. It hasn’t demonstrated a great reliability record yet either but somehow gets less hysterical press than the Boeing MAX series. If we refused to board airplanes that have had issues we would never fly. They’ve all had issues of some sort, even the mighty Airbuses that aren’t Boeings.
    As a layperson, I'm liable of getting the terms mixed without knowing, so a potential mea culpa preface.

    With that out of the way, where is the location of the "carbon composite" material mentioned in the Seattle Times article? And by carbon composite, does that mean CFRP that's really familiar to cyclists (sheets of prepregs stacked, shaped, and consolidated), or did the article err by calling SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composite (silicon carbide fibers in silicon carbide matrix) a carbon composite?

    If there are indeed CFRP material in the engine area (nacelle, cowl, etc.), which exact part is it, and is the corresponding part on an Airbus (say 320 NEO) also made of CFRP?

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    As a layperson, I'm liable of getting the terms mixed without knowing, so a potential mea culpa preface.

    With that out of the way, where is the location of the "carbon composite" material mentioned in the Seattle Times article? And by carbon composite, does that mean CFRP that's really familiar to cyclists (sheets of prepregs stacked, shaped, and consolidated), or did the article err by calling SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composite (silicon carbide fibers in silicon carbide matrix) a carbon composite?

    If there are indeed CFRP material in the engine area (nacelle, cowl, etc.), which exact part is it, and is the corresponding part on an Airbus (say 320 NEO) also made of CFRP?
    No apologies necessary! And to your question I must apologize. I am not an engineer of any sort, let alone a composite engineer. I only know how to make this thing do its intended job.

    I would advise a deep search of this subject on your favorite search engine. The older version of the airplane I fly likely had very little CFRP and the new one likely a bit more. We are trained on the systems and how they work with one another but we are trained on the structure in a truly minimal manner. Most pilots know the dimensions of their airplane and that’s usually as close as it gets to the structure.

    Why, you may ask? Because the operators/pilots of the airplane can’t do anything with that knowledge. There are no checklist items beyond the rare “Is Structural Damage Suspected” link in an engine failure or rapid/explosive decompression event. But we’re not engineers. We are trained people good at repetition of procedure, reading checklists and understanding their intent and flying the airplane from A to B (Appleton to Beloit or Albany to Baltimore or Allentown to Bethlehem). In truth, most flights are longer than Allentown to Bethlehem, PA. There are likely some composite engineers in our ranks, but they are few and far between and my college majors were as far from aviation as it is possible to get.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Aeronautical engineer and former pilot here. Older versions of the 737 used aluminum for the engine inlet inner barrels. The engine inlet inner barrels on the 737 MAX are made of a composite material. I couldn’t find a reference as to what specific type of composite is used. The concern is that using the engine inlet anti-ice system for more than five minutes in dry air could overheat the composite material, causing it to fail and be ingested into the engine, risking a catastrophic, uncontained engine failure. The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR 25) governing large aircraft design do not permit an implementation that could enable this type of failure.

    Boeing has asked the FAA for an exemption to this specific item in FAR 25 so that the 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 can be certified and delivered to airline customers. Boeing stated that operational restrictions for use of the engine anti-ice (five minute limit in dry air) and disallowing deferral of failed anti-ice bleed air valves (via the approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL)) will provide sufficient safety until redesigned hardware is available for retrofit. Multiple pilots’ organizations are protesting Boeing’s plan, stating it’s entirely possible for crews to inadvertently leave the anti-ice on longer than five minutes during busy periods on the flight deck.

    I do not know what type of materials are used in the engine inlet barrels of comparable Airbus (320 and 321 NEO models) aircraft. I have a cousin who is an American Airlines A319/320/321 captain and a good friend flying A320/321s at Frontier. I’ll ask them if they can provide insight on the Airbuses.

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Saab - you say that your plane doesn’t have the aft door. If my reading of the circumstances of the damaged plane are accurate, this plane didn’t have the aft door either. Instead it had a “plug” that fit into the door opening in the framework, effectively removing the door function with an inoperable “plug.” The plug’s internal paneling is no different from windows in front of and behind its location.

    So you are saying your Max variant has neither aft door nor plug?

    I am just wondering if this plug design is on all Max designs or just the Max 9.

    These things are starting to sound like iPhone names.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    My version of this airplane has neither that door nor that plug. It is on the MAX9 and will be on the MAX10 whenever that will be released, which may be a few years out yet.

    There is, I believe one MAX sub variant that has this door and that’s high density version sold to Ryanair. I don’t believe any will be sold to US operators because the ultra low cost carriers in the US (Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant) only operate Airbus airplanes.

    As mentioned up the thread, I’m confident that this will be determined to have been incorrectly installed or something along those lines and won’t be found to be a design flaw. But that’s just personal speculation. We must wait for the facts from the FAA and NTSB, which could be a while.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    My version of this airplane has neither that door nor that plug. It is on the MAX9 and will be on the MAX10 whenever that will be released, which may be a few years out yet.

    There is, I believe one MAX sub variant that has this door and that’s high density version sold to Ryanair. I don’t believe any will be sold to US operators because the ultra low cost carriers in the US (Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant) only operate Airbus airplanes.

    As mentioned up the thread, I’m confident that this will be determined to have been incorrectly installed or something along those lines and won’t be found to be a design flaw. But that’s just personal speculation. We must wait for the facts from the FAA and NTSB, which could be a while.
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    Boeing has asked the FAA for an exemption to this specific item in FAR 25 so that the 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 can be certified and delivered to airline customers. Boeing stated that operational restrictions for use of the engine anti-ice (five minute limit in dry air) and disallowing deferral of failed anti-ice bleed air valves (via the approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL)) will provide sufficient safety until redesigned hardware is available for retrofit. Multiple pilots’ organizations are protesting Boeing’s plan, stating it’s entirely possible for crews to inadvertently leave the anti-ice on longer than five minutes during busy periods on the flight deck.

    Greg
    This is the type of thinking that killed GE, then the company I worked with these guys at, and now Boeing.

    It is, to this layperson, a disastrous rephrasing of what one of you flyboys here called a “safety culture” turning into a “money first” culture ATMO.
    « If I knew what I was doing, I’d be doing it right now »

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by htwoopup View Post
    This is the type of thinking that killed GE, then the company I worked with these guys at, and now Boeing.

    It is, to this layperson, a disastrous rephrasing of what one of you flyboys here called a “safety culture” turning into a “money first” culture ATMO.
    To connect the dots.

    This goes back to the Legacy of James McNerny who was hired by Boeing in 2005 from GE to head Boeing. He is a steeped into the Jack Welch cost cutting mindset and while it may deliver short term profits, there is a strong sting in the tail. We all saw when the wheels came off of GE because in reality Jack Welch was just goosing profits with financial leverage. McNerny made the decision to upgrade the 737 to the 737 MAX instead of developing a new model to compete with Airbus. (cost cutting mindset)

    Dennis Mullenberg was CEO when the 737 MAX Lion and Ethiopia jets crashed. He was fired and blamed, but in reality, he was just caught holding the bag.

    The new CEO Dave Calhoun is a Blackstone guy.. SO again you have a money guy running the show. It appears Culturally boeing is unable to return to their engineering roots. More importantly, AIRBUS 320Neo has about 60% of this market so boeing is in a full blown panic to make up the gap..... Lots of places for management to justify short term decisions with longterm consequences.

    Just ATMO. YMMV

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Further backstory….Calhoun (and the CFO who were the CEO’s and CFO at a company they brought me into and they then milked until it was dry) were at GE Aircraft Engine before Blackstone brought them into a PE group buyout company. They are now the CEO and CFO at the airplane company.

    Calhoun was the lead director of Boeing (he was brought in by the CEO and previous CEO so that they would have a “friendly” director as the lead). Calhoun who graduated from Virginia Tech and was at Aircraft Engines before said when those two 737’s fell out of the sky (I am paraphrasing bc I can’t source the exact quote at the moment) “I don’t know anything about engineering. I am just a businessman and have to take whatever the engineers say at face value”. In my book they are all thick as thieves, take credit yet place all blame elsewhere, and have the wrong focus.

    Oh, and BTW, Mullenberg and Calhoun were on the board of Caterpillar together so there is a whole other thing there. But at least bulldozers don’t fall from the sky.

    Again ATMO/YMMV
    « If I knew what I was doing, I’d be doing it right now »

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