Another Boeing 737 Max 8 flies into the ground

Another brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 airliner has flown into the ground, shortly after take-off.

More than 150 people died early this morning (Sunday, March 10) local time, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

There were no survivors.

Pray for the families, friends and co-workers of those killed.

From The New York Times, as re-posted by MSN News –

Boeing has retro-fitted the 737 Max 8 with new computer software designed to override the pilot’s control of the plane, and send it into a steep dive in order to recover from what the onboard computer interprets as an impending stall.

Is there a fatal flaw in this software?

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In the final analysis, whether it is automated cars or aeroplanes, or anything else, the question needs answering: Is automation intended to be the servant of the human race or its master…

It is (another) terrible tragedy and the human damage touches (as always) many more than just those that happened to be on the plane.

I saw this and become immediately interested in the lesser detail which was why do they say “en route” and not “on route” - took about 30 mins of my day up.

A profound question - in California a gentleman called Ernest Quintana was given the terrible news that he had little time left on this earth by a robot. His granddaughter was the only person with him in the hospital ward when the robot rolled up to the door.

The robot’s screen showed a doctor who relayed this information, the poor gentleman couldn’t hear so well on one side and the robot couldn’t make it over to his other side - so the granddaughter had to relay the news.

The hospital have defended the use of the robot - this is key, if the software is faulty then admit it - we are human and make mistakes.

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The problem is that mistakes have consequences - and these lead to demands for compensation - and this leads to a requirement to determine who/what is responsible.

Is it the designer? the programmer? the company that sells the product? the party that buys the product? the employees who use the product? all in all, a nightmare for insurance companies, a dream gift for the lawyers, and an agonising wait for the injured parties!

Can one sue a robot?

Considering there was a deliberate decision to not train the pilots on the new software adjustments then I don’t see the legal procedure being that complex.

Good luck Boeing…I’m guienually shocked the share price didn’t take a hammering today

Probably not if that is the only issue. But we were actually referring to situations concerning faulty software and not human issues.

I don’t think the issue will come down to faulty software, more so faulty training. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Time will tell. Still a terrible outcome from something could have been avoided.

Software and human training go hand in hand, break the link and all of a sudden it won’t work.

Aye, that’s the difficulty with automation, we tend to take the intelligence out.

There was a recent ‘close call’ with an aircraft on take off - as it became airborne the landing gear clipped some runway lights, those at the end of the runway on raised stilts.

The subsequent investigation found that the pilots had told the on-board computer of the 737 an incorrect outside air temperature.

185 people sitting happily thinking that all was well.

Perhaps not so much taking the intelligence out as an increasingly complex assessment as to whose intelligence is ultimately to blame - especially when AI is involved.

Shares down -9% today… who would have known

BBC news:

"Following the Lion Air crash last October, investigators said the pilots had appeared to struggle with an automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling - a new feature of the Boeing 737 Max.
The anti-stall system repeatedly forced the plane’s nose down, despite efforts by pilots to correct this, preliminary findings suggest. The crash killed 189 people.
_The Lion Air plane was also new and the accident happened soon after take-off. _
_“It’s highly suspicious,” Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General of the US Transportation Department, told CNN. _
"Here we have a brand-new aircraft that’s gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells in the aviation industry, because that just doesn’t happen."
After last October’s crash, Boeing sent an emergency notice to airlines warning them of a problem with the anti-stall system.
Boeing is expected to release a software patch to the system to deal with this issue, according to Reuters. "

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My condolences to the families and friends that have lost a loved one. I think that this is then end for Boeing 737 Max 8. There are so many incidents involving this aircraft. There should be a thorough investigation of why the crash happened and should be revealed to the public.

I don’t see that the investigation will lead to a permanent ban on 737 MAX 8 production or use. It will probably mean a “recall” and update to its control systems before it can be re-approved for airline use.

But politically and commercially, this might not be enough. Scrapping it altogether might be the best answer for Boeing (and the FAA).