Issues, News and Views
DON'T BLAME BOEING
2019/04/04 - So can we stop with the mass media feeding frenzy already?
The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are safe. The aircraft are totally safe to fly. And controversy currently swirling around the aircraft is another carnival created by media misreporting whether through ignorance or agenda.
Controversy drives viewership; more controversy means more cable news viewership – more fame for the reporters, more revenue for their employers. And, sadly, the more it gets misreported, the more controversial it becomes.
A reliance on science, logic, facts and common sense by definition doesn’t drive emotions. It does the opposite, it cools emotions, diminishes controversy, and reduces viewership. Now, we can’t have that, can we?
Take Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. It never happened, but it was a great story line and a huge career-maker for reporters and money-maker for cable news, and it drove the 24-7 all-Russia-all-the-time. And it was a total fantasy. And it’s now been exposed as a fraud.
So what’s the next fraud the media perpetrates on us? Looks like its going to be the Boeing 737 MAX for the next while. Expect the media to mesmerize us with the 737 accidents for the next while.
The public has a fascination with accidents. Take highway accidents – the ensuing traffic jam is not caused by the accident itself, but by the rubberneckers who just can’t not stare at the damage. People don’t go to car races or watch fights because they are interested in the technical aspects of racing or fighting, they want to see damage.
Same thing with aircraft accidents. Approximately 110 Americans die in traffic-related accidents every day, but you probably couldn’t remember 2 deadly car accidents this year, notwithstanding that probably between 10,000 and 11,000 Americans have already died in car accidents this year.
Think about that. One thousand American deaths - give or take – is merely a rounding error, we don’t care. Because the media doesn’t care. How much time does CNN spending talking about last night’s 110 traffic deaths? Or MSNBC? Or CNBC? Or FNC? Nobody. Not a single news outlet dwells on it, so we don’t either.
And that’s lesson number one. Lesson #1: the media controls what it is that we talk about. They control what the conversation is about, and they control how it is talked about. In this particular case, the reporters know nothing about aviation or heavier-than-air flight, and yet they will decide what it is that we should “understand” about the Boeing Max accidents.
Okay, fine you say, so what are the facts, what is the truth about the Boeing 737 MAX?
Well, quite simply, the Boeing 737 in a number of variations has been around for over fifty years. The original 737-100 was put into service by Lufthansa in 1968, and since then it has gone through a series of improvements – the 200 series through the 900 series, and, since they ran out of numbers, the MAX.
The MAX incorporates many improvements over the Next Generation series (600/700/800/900) including changes to its wing tips, and the larger, more powerful CFM LEAP-1B engine. Just like everything – phones, cars, TVs, you name it – as time goes by, they get better.
The bottom line for the MAX is that is the best flying of all the 737 series, but with changes to its weight, balance, power and aerodynamics, it flies differently from the previous NextGen 737’s. Similar, but not identical.
It is important for pilots to keep the plane in a proper pitch and bank when flying, or attitude as pilots call it. For example, if the plane is pointing up too steeply it will lose speed, and the reduced airflow over the wings will reduce the lifting force created by the wings, and if not enough lift is created to support the weight of the plane, it will fall out of the sky.
Unfortunately the Wright brothers used the same term “stall” to describing a wing not producing lift, as is used to describe an engine not producing power. Same word, totally different situations. A wing can stall even when an engine is at full power, and a wing can provide lift even when an engine has stalled.
It is very important to understand the difference between a wing stall and an engine stall, but it doesn’t seem any reporter understands, nor, not surprisingly, do they have any ability to make the public understanding.
But that’s human nature – facts, logic and science are not that interesting to most people watching the news, they want to see crashes, and crash sights. And human interest stories about family members of the crash victims. People watching on TV want a visual emotional experience, not a dry cold logical one, and the media delivers the goods.
Anyhow, back to the MAX. The newest 737 flies better than the previous variants which also means it flies differently. First world airlines based in G-20 / OECD nations will go through the nuances, test the planes, update their procedures and manuals, train their pilots, and just generally go through a rigorous onboarding process to ensure that they thoroughly understand the plane they are buying and flying.
All successful companies do this. An insurance company buying a new accounting software system will thoroughly study the documentation, do extensive testing, train their staff, run in parallel, and generally proceed through an extensive – and expensive – implementation plan to ensure that the system comes on-line in a seamless process that is minimally intrusive to staff, and invisible to customers.
And airlines bringing a new aircraft into their lineup will do the same thing. Or they will if they care about safety and are willing to spend the money. And if they don’t have the money – like low cost 2nd world airlines and even lower cost 3rd world airlines – they are more likely just to toss the keys to the pilots and tell ‘em “bon voyage”.
And that’s where the problem lies. Without an adequate onboarding process the pilots were unlikely to be aware of the plane’s nuances, thus creating the potential for a deadly crash. So initially the crashes may have seemed like pilot error, but that is not the case. And now the media seems hell-bent on blaming the manufacturer, but that is also incorrect. The blame for these crashes lie with the operators, who went cheap on basic safety procedures like testing, documentation, procedures, and training.
The 737 MAX flies better but differently. With more power, better aerodynamics, more weight and a different weight distribution, if flies differently, but that can also change in different, dynamically changing flight conditions, including load, weather, altitude, speed and so forth. This isn’t simple. Flying a plane is a multi-variable three-dimensional exercise in a dynamic environment. You don’t bring new aircraft in a casual, cavalier matter-of-fact way. Especially when people’s lives are at stake.
So what happened? Why did the planes crash?
Well, due its power and aerodynamic advantages the MAX generally tends to fly a bit more “nose-up” than its predecessors, which, with the auto-pilot is turned off and the flight controls not manually attended, might have the tendency to cause the plane - the wings - to stall. With no one at the controls the plane will slowly, nearly imperceptibly, point higher and higher, with a resulting loss of airspeed, until the wings cease to produce sufficient lift, followed by a sudden loss of control as the plane begins to irrecoverably hurtle to the ground.
In order to avoid the potential for such a stall when the auto-pilot is disengaged, the Boeing flight guidance software tends to want to push the nose back down again in certain situations in order to maintain sufficient airspeed. If the plane begins to descend, the increase in airspeed will tend to increase the lift of the wings, thus provide some countering the nose-down attitude.
Are you starting to see it? Can you picture how the tragedy unfolded yet?
You have undertrained pilots working for low-cost airlines from underdeveloped countries. They are flying state of the art aircraft with neither a thorough understanding of the plane’s systems, nor its flight tendencies. They are flying with the auto-pilot disengaged, and not paying attention to the aircraft attitude or flight controls. Nobody is flying the plane. It crashes.
In this situation of dereliction, the older 737’s would probably have tended towards a stall and crash, and possibly the pilots, at least subconsciously, were expecting some kind of stall warning, and in the absence of which they probably thought everything was fine. But the MAX is programmed to avoid stalls, so there will be no stall. Instead, we end up with a descending aircraft, a controlled flight into terrain.
Perhaps we should capitalize Controlled Flight Into Terrain, because CFIT actually is a thing. It happens quite frequently in aviation, usually with amateur private pilots and low cost third world operators.
But rarely with first world commercial scheduled airlines, because they have learned from the past that crew malcoordination and mismanagement - human failure - was causing too many accidents. Let’s consider just a few CFIT crashes over the decades. Probably the landmark case of mismanagement, the accident most responsible for triggering the “Crew Resource Management” movement (yup, that’s a thing too) was the tragic flight of Eastern Airlines 401 in December 1972.
As the Lockheed L1011 began its final approach into Miami the crew hit the landing gear switch but a green dummy light on the panel intended to confirm wheels down did not come on. The entire crew proceeded to obsess about whether the landing gear was down – it was, down and locked - and if not, how to get it down. It didn’t occur to anyone that the problem might have been the light bulb, nor, for that matter, did it occur to anyone to fly the plane. It crashed into the Everglades in the dark, killing most on board. Because of a light bulb. And human error. The plane was completely fine, at least until its left wing tip hit the swamp.
Another example of CFIT involved a maintenance issue on an Aeroperu 757 in 1996. The plane had just been cleaned and polished, but the maintenance crew had neglected to remove the protective tape they had placed over air pressure sensors on the plane’s fuselage during their cleaning. Once in flight, those still-covered sensors began providing the crew and flight systems with erratic and contradictory data that confused both the crew, and the auto-pilot. Neither were able to reconcile discrepancies, and the plane crashed into the Pacific killing all on board.
These two crashes indicate how a competent crew can crash a totally capable aircraft in perfectly fine weather. Sure, in hindsight, the manufactures could have made some tiny adjustments that might have prevented those specific accidents, but the fact is the real solutions were better training of both maintenance crews and flight crews.
The most recent indications from the first 737 Max crash – Lion Air flight 610 – are that an Angle of Attack sensor was providing faulty readings, reminiscent of the crash of Aeroperu 603. Angle of attack – AofA – measures the angle of the wing relative to the surrounding air. If the angle is too great, the wing will not create sufficient lift to overcome the weight and gravitational pull of the aircraft, resulting in the plane falling out of the sky. Just basic heavier-than-air flight physics.
Lyon 610 is not the first crash of an aircraft blamed on faulty AofA readings. In 2008 a German carrier (XL) had been leasing an Airbus A320 from Air New Zealand and was in the process of transferring possesion back to the Kiwki’s. It had been sent to France for repainting in ANZ trim but as part of the cleaning process high pressure water spray entered into two of the plane’s three AofA sensors. On an acceptance test flight (XL888T) a few days later, the water in the two AofA sensors froze and locked them, providing contradictory data to the one functional AofA sensor. Both the flight systems and the human crew accepted the incorrect data from the two frozen sensors, and rejected the data from the lone functioning instrument. The plane crashed killing all seven aviation experts aboard the plane.
So back to Lion 610. The 737 has two AofA sensors aboard, and the flight management system takes over if either of the sensors detects anomalous circumstances. In hindsight the argument is being made that the flight management system should only take over if both sensors detect anomalies. See the problem here? In retrospect relying on two sensors might have prevented the crash of Lion 610, while relying on two sensors is precisely what caused the crash of XL888T.
And what do all of these accidents have in common? Minor maintenance: a lightbulb, a cleaning, a painting, an angle of attack instrument. In all four cases, you have a faulty electronic component providing false information to the crew, in the four cases relied on the faulty data to make incorrect choices.
COUP ATTEMPT FAILS
2019/03/25 - In the first of many coincidences, last week just happened to be Purim, a Jewish holiday celebrating God's deliverance of Mordecai from his enemy Haman, the prime minister in the royal court, and more broadly God's deliverance of the Jewish people from their enemies within the Persian Empire of King Xerxes I.
So, though coincidental, how fitting then, that at this time, our President himself should find deliverance from his enemies and from the intrigue within the royal court - the deep state - and more broadly, that the American people should find deliverance from the enemies of America who have been seeking to undermine our democracy and overthrow our legitimately and democratically elected President.
Was it not just a few weeks ago we were being told that in May of 2017 Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe met with other top personnel within the Department of Justice and the FBI? That they were developing a conspiracy to have our President declared unfit for office and removed? Toppled, in other words, overthrown.
President Obama and his inner circle purged the Department of Justice, the FBI, the IRS, the military and other governmental departments and agencies, and packed them with hand-picked political operatives driven by a hard-core leftist agenda rather than any notion of civil service.
President Obama weaponized the Federal Government, and aimed it directly at anyone opposed to his radical agenda.
But, as in Mordecai's day, the tables have been turned, after two years of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, no evidence could be uncovered in any way linking the president or his campaign with Russian attempts to influence our election. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zed.
And the President now has the upper hand on his enemies.
And All The President's Enemies are left eating crow. Enjoy! Former CIA Director John Brennan. Former FBI Director James Comey, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Not to mention McCabe and so many more underlings churning within the bowels of the Deep State. What can you say about these vermin?
How dare we, you say - how dare we accuse these people of treason, these public servants who (supposedly) have worked for the betterment of our country, and not (supposedly) for their own betterment or the furtherance of their own agenda. Well, we say, so was Benedict Arnold, the archetype of the American traitor.
Yes, Benedict Arnold, the archetype of the American War Hero, until he wasn't. Until focus on his personal betterment took hold, until he didn't get it his way. Then he mutated into the archetype of the American Traitor.
What can you say about this former CIA Director John Brennan? You would think if anyone would have evidence of collusion, it should have been him? So when he was using MSNBC - or MSNBC was using him - to delude millions into believing our President was guilty, surely it was because Brennan knew, because Brennan ran the CIA, and the CIA knows everything?
Yet it turns out Brennan had no evidence at all! Why wasn't Brennan, or for that matter, the rest of the CIA, testifying to Mueller about collusion? Because they had none.
And yet Brennan and his cabal, his co-conspirators including the likes Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) kept telling us that indictments and imprisonment were inevitable because the evidence was there. Except they were flat out lying, there is no evidence, because it never happened.
No one is denying that the Russians and for that matter the Chinese did, and still do, engage in nefarious activity intended to weaken us. But the notion that their election meddling was done in conjunction with, and to the benefit of, the Trump campaign is and always was a fairy tale, concocted on no evidence.
The notion of Trump-Russia collusion was a lie, a hoax, perpetrated on the United States for the purpose of toppling the President. It is treason. And the people who advanced it, and many of whom are still agitating for it, are traitors. They are dupes of the Russians.
Remember, it was these guys - and President Obama - who were the ones occupying the corridors of power when the Russians were meddling in our elections. And what did they do about it?? Nothing. And when Trump won, they blamed Trump? - and not Obama? - for the interference? Wha-a-a-a-at???
So how wonderful to see egg on the faces of all these traitors who have been attempting to engineer a take-down of our President - all of them, in the Deep State, in the media, in Hollywood, on CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post... my, this is fun to see!
Oh, and the Democrat politicos - the Pelosi's, the Nadler's, the Schiff's, the Schumer's, and the cast of clowns who have declared their desire to get crushed by President Trump in 2020.
Oooops, sorry for gloating just a little!
Oh yes, the cast of clowns who want a piece of Trump in 2020... there are about fifteen announced candidates so far, none of whom seem particularly serious. Some candidates might have appeal to the far left like octogenarian Bernie Sanders, some might have appeal for their cool factor or pretty face like Robert O'Rourke or Pete Buttegieg, or some candidatges like the not-yet declared octogenarian Joe Biden may appeal to those who harbor nostalgia for the days when Democrats were semi-normal... but really?
Now, coincidentally, speaking of Mordecai, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just happened to be visiting America, and President Trump today, and Israel just happened to be attacked by its latter day enemy Hamas, which is of course backed by the Persian nation of Iran, the land of Haman who stalked the Jews in days of old. Some things never change.
Adding to the coincidences, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was also having its annual meeting at this time, and, nine Democrat 2020 candidates boycotted the event: Peter Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Robert O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
So now where do the Democrats go from here? There's that saying to be careful what you ask for, because you might just get it. Well, the Democrats demanded the Mueller investigation, and now they are stuck with the verdict.
The Democrats are left to explain to the American people why so much time and money was wasted on the investigation that turned up nothing.
It is time for the Democrats to step up and present to the American people the evidence they have against the President, his Campaign, and his Administration. And if they do not have any, then they should apologize to the American people, they should resign in disgrace, and they should promise never to run for public office again, not even dog-catcher. And never appear on a news program again, at all, ever. Ever. Or be tried for treason.
America has been divided and weakened by these bogus conspiracy theories that have occupied the national spotlight and turned our attention away from more pressing issues like real Russian meddling and real Chinese meddling.
If the Democrats were real, loyal, patriotic Americans they would have worked with the President against our enemies; instead, they have shown their true colors by acting as useful idiots in the service of Russia and China against our President.
But the Democrat leadership is maniacally opposed to the President, and most certainly will not work with him to advance the interests of the American people. Instead, the useful idiots will continue to labor in the service of America's enemies, advancing Socialist causes, and fighting the President's pro-American agenda every step of the way.
The Democrat Party is sinister, a disaster for America. Why do people vote Democrat at all?
But back to the President -
In the historical account of Mordecai that we have been paralleling, Mordecai didn't win it all in one fell swoop; rather, he achieved a sequence of victories over his nemesis, each successive victory putting Mordecai in a better strategic position, and increasing the peril that Haman found himself in. Just when you thought it wouldn't get better for Mordecai (and worse for Haman), it got even better for Mordecai (and even worse for Haman) until the ultimate outcome unfolded.
And just when you thought the President's day could get no better, it got way better.
A smarmy attorney named Michael Avenatti, a sort of Haman like character in the President's life, was able to coax a woman of ill repute to file a lawsuit against the President. Ultimately the lawsuit was thrown out, but while it was out there the President's enemies throughout the land milked it for all it was worth.
Avenatti, for his part, used the newfound fame as a true hero of the left to continue to harass the President. Which, of course, just endeared him all the more to the leftist media who could not resist publicizing every anti-Trump concoction that Avenatti could conjure up.
Well, today, this latter-day spawn of Haman (of which there are many) was charged on both coasts with various misdeeds - here in New York, federal prosecutors accused him of attempting to extort, $20 million from Nike; while in Los Angeles, prosecutors accused him of misappropriating funds from a client lawsuit settlement.
So it seems that at least this one of many latter-day Haman's is on his way, if not to the gallows, then at least to jail for a long, long time, and the soap box provided by the lib-left media will be withdrawn as another of their scoundrels crashes in flames.
It was Haman who famously tweeted to the President's son, Donald Jr. "Bif: If I were you, the last thing I would be doing is referencing other people getting out of federal prison. Because after you are indicted, you will likely be passing them on your way in." Dohhh!!!! Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.
So now we ask: Where are the sensible Democrats who say, "We were wrong. We advanced false accusations against our sitting President, based upon no evidence. It was wrong, we were wrong. It is now time to work with the President, for America, and for Americans."
Where are those sensible Democrats? Are there any? Is there even one?
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