The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Corruption]
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2021-01-10 09:32 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 691 references
[Comments enabled]  

It does not matter how you feel about AWS booting Parler off its infrastructure.

You just saw a demonstration of why any business that has anything important on "cloud" just became uninvestable and, in fact, the firm is valueless.

Oh no, you say, that's not what this means.

Oh yes it is.

Remember that AWS has a specific terms of service.  Nothing Parler did or was doing broke the law.

What business would you operate where some other firm's employees can "revolt" and force you closed?  On what planet is that risk exposure permitted by the law or your board of directors?

By the law?  Yep.  Do you run a medical, communications or other "critical" firm that is bound by law to remain operational in some form or fashion along with its data?

As of yesterday you can no longer have it on any commercial cloud provider because said providers just declared that their employees can demand your operation be thrown off with 24 hours notice and be forced closed.

Where else does this extend?   That's the bad news: Everywhere other than in your own building.

This is how dirty civil wars become inevitable folks.  That Amazon did not fire every single employee organizing such immediately and make very clear that this will never, ever be raised even in discussion among staff members again tells you exactly how far "Woketopis" has gone and where we, as a nation, are headed.

This started with Daily Stormer as I noted at the time.

I see exactly one way to stop the progress of this toward the inevitable -- Amazon must be destroyed to a degree that they are never again able to do this sort of thing, since the question of being "willing" has now been answered.

Will that happen?  Nope, because you won't make it happen and it's not just AWS -- it's also Google and Apple.

What do they all share?  They're monopolists.  All of them.  All of which has been illegal for more than 100 years and violations of said law carry a 10 year "up your ass" penalty in federal prison.  Our refusal to enforce said law both against them and the medical establishment is on us -- we, the people have permitted this.

Is this is just about Parler?  Nope.

Who conspired to keep out of the public view what, it appears, is on Hunter's laptop?  Dozens of organizations including the monopolist social and "legacy" media.

It's pretty conclusive that law enforcement knew for over a year that credible evidence of serious felony acts involving children existed on that laptop, they had physical possession of the evidence and did nothing about it on purpose because it was in the family of a man running for President.  Further, the entire Democrat and Republican leadership knew about it too and also did nothing.

That's how far we've descended, and that sort of rot is exactly why "Woketopia" just destroyed the ability of any firm to operate on so-called cloud infrastructure as it presents an outrageously unacceptable business risk.  If you think your firm being "woke" insulates you you're dead wrong -- the definition of "sufficiently woke" will change and when it does you will find out that you're targeted -- exactly as were black businesses burnt in Minneapolis by people who claimed "Black Lives Matter."

Those businesses were destroyed and the people who committed those arsons and organized the riots were bailed out at the behest and through campaigning for donations by our current Vice-President Elect.

The perpetrators did not go to prison.

This sort of rot -- where even direct credible evidence of felony abuse of children is ignored if you're the "right" person and if you're the "wrong" person no crime is required for you to be effectively thrown out of both business and society is exactly how you get a dirty civil war.  This is direct Communism; mere improper thought leads to sanction while the protected can literally do anything with impunity.

Every firm and individual involved in this or who works for such a firm is and should be held directly and personally responsible when, not if, it happens.

It is going to happen because of their actions.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

There's stupid and then there's really stupid, corrupt or both.

This morning at 6:30 AM we had a vivid demonstration of both.

And a warning on several levels.

Someone apparently drove an RV into downtown Nashville, a rather non-descript area of honkytonks (bars) and restaurants early this morning, started a recorded message playing on loudspeakers that said there was bomb inside that was about go off, a "shots fired" call was put into the cops (maybe there were, maybe there were not) and indeed there was a bomb.

A pretty decent-sized bomb.

Not Tim McVeigh sized, but decent.

It collapsed one building, damaged perhaps 20 more, some severely, injured a few people and made a hell of a mess.

The cops had responded to the shots fired call, immediately recognized the "this RV is going to blow up" message as a reasonably-coherent threat (which did not require much brainpower when it's being announced over a loudspeaker!) and evacuated people, which undoubtedly saved lives.  But unlike most bomb threats (which are false) this one came with no warning until a few minutes before it blew up so there was no way to try defusing it.  By the time the bomb squad could get there it had blown up.

And more importantly the "RV" appears to have been strategically placed.

You see, you don't put an audio warning "This is a bomb and is about to explode!" on the bomb if you want to kill people.  You just park it somewhere and blow it up, preferably at a really busy time and place.  At its core terrorism as the name implies is about terrorizing.  Yes, this was terrorizing but the only reason to put out a warning is to decrease the number of humans you destroy, which strongly suggests the intended target of destruction was physical -- that is, infrastructure -- rather than human.

And boy, did we get a demonstration of that.

No, not that 20 buildings were damaged, including a few bars, restaurants and apartments.  No, this thing went off right near a hardened communications facility.  But not really very well hardened -- although it was apparently a hell of a lot more important than it appeared.


911 and some cell service is still down in both parts of Nashville and impacts are occurring all over the area including into both Kentucky and Alabama -- and as far east as Knoxville!

How about MDTs in cop cars?  No idea.  Encrypted trunking (that runs over mobile IP networks) for tactical use by police and similar?  No idea.  There was a ground stop at the Nashville airport for a while -- apparently communications related.  Indeed there have been multiple tweets saying "if you can't get through on 911 here are ordinary numbers that are still working" which implies that the infrastructure damage is a hell of a lot worse than you think it is.  As these apparently came some time after the blast we can reasonably assume they were power infrastructure related rather than direct physical damage which would have led to immediate loss of service.

But think about this for a minute folks: All that came from one bomb.

There's something very odd about this attack.  It was clearly not intended to kill lots of people, because the bomber gave warning to run first.  Therefore it was intended to destroy material.  It was quite precisely placed to destroy specific material, not at random, because just blowing up an RV in the middle of butt**** nowhere doesn't do anything, and yet where it was placed wasn't where you'd think someone would make a political statement (e.g. in front of a courthouse, the State Legislature, etc.)  Nor was it driven into a chemical plant, oil refinery or similar.

This looked like an ordinary commercial street except..... it isn't quite that.

There's a communications center there.  Which, having run an ISP, having had gear in a colo and worked in similar places come in a few different shapes, sizes, and redundancies.  The "extension" ones are really not all that big of a deal and in just a building as there's nothing important there except some end terminations and concentrators (e.g. fiber down to individual DS3s, DS1s, a cable head end, fiber concentrator and amplifier/repeaters, etc.)  But where switches and routers are located on the core of a metropolitan or regional network is another matter.  They're quite well-hardened against this sort of insult whether due to act of God, accident or otherwise.  MFS Datanet's was in Prudential Plaza for a while (one of the reasons I put MCSNet's offices there) and I've worked in both there and the various other locations all around the nation a number of times over the years.

You're supposed to, for critical infrastructure like 911, have redundancy in that regard too.  More than one path for fiber over redundant entries and exits so a single break does not hose you, more than one means of power and more than one switch each of which are geographically diverse and can cover the requirements if one of them goes down for some reason -- like a fire, natural disaster -- or bomb.

I've done this sort of design work in the private sector before and have caught things like supposedly "redundant" fiber feeds into a building that in fact came into the building in the same ****ing conduit!  One poorly-placed jackhammer or backhoe (or a bomb) and.... oops.

That work clearly wasn't done here or someone just didn't give a crap.  Cell service, which these days is considered more reliable and essential than landlines apparently all ran through or were dependent on something that got cut off in that building.  911 for the area, similar.  And the impacts weren't just downtown; they extended 100 miles to the south into Alabama, another 100 north into Kentucky and all the way east into Knoxville!

All this out of one little bomb, which leads to an immediate presumption that ought to raise your eyebrows: Whoever set it off knew that in advance which is why they set it off where they did.

So much for our government and it's allegedly "hardened" and "redundant" infrastructure for such things which were supposed to be paid attention to and remedied after 9/11.  Everyone remembers that, right?  I sure do.

Obviously, 20 years later, it was not only not done it's worse now than it was then.

This doesn't smell random to me folks.

No, it smells like a warning, and a very effectively-delivered one too.

Whoever did it was either the luckiest SOB alive to hit that specific place or whoever did this had inside knowledge along with intent and knew to hit that specific place.  And the loudspeaker warning is about as solid of evidence that you're going to ever see that whoever did this knew damn well what they were doing and what impact it would have.

If you want my opinion this was either a warning or a declaration of irregular warfare.

Now maybe I'm wrong about that and it's just one smart ******* with a beef.  Might be. One very disgruntled and smart former employee who got ****-canned for some jackass in India, for example.  Could be, but I'll take the under on that until proved otherwise, because the alternative -- that we have flat-out criminally incompetent corporate folks who can't design and run a commercial, say much less high-security government data network that will survive one building having its power cut off whether by natural disaster or criminal act is more than a bit concerning, don't you think?

So if that's correct and there was coordination and planning the question is which was it, and if a first shot who's it aimed at?  Social media and communications companies?  The police?  A precursor to something far more-ugly?

I have no clue but this much I'm sure of -- you can't expect a straight answer from the so-called investigators when they work for the same agency that couldn't be bothered to have redundancy in their 911 system to start with.

I hope I'm wrong and this was just one pissed-off dude.

I don't want to have to fly the "Told 'Ya So" flag again on this one.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2020-06-25 21:44 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1477 references
[Comments enabled]  

There is zero science that the use of masks by the ordinary, unskilled and inattentive public does anything to protect anyone, and there is plenty of evidence that their abusive misuse, which is what an unskilled or inattentive person will do, increases rather than decreases risk because they, whether a "formal mask" or a bandana, concentrates everything that passes through or around it and if you make contact with your hands, which you do any time you "adjust" it, don or doff it, then touch any other person or thing, you transfer dozens or even hundreds of times as much concentrated contamination, including whatever virus particles are included, to that other person or thing.

Yes, you can avoid this through assiduous compliance with protocols for use of masks.  But you won't, I won't, and in fact nobody outside of a formally-trained medical environment does, especially when wearing such a mask for hours at a time or when reusing the same mask.

Everyone with any sort of scientific background knows this.  They know it's fact.  The Surgeon General stated so at the beginning of this pandemic before every single cocksucking virtue signalling bucket of human excrement turned every bit of science on its ear for political gain, exactly as was done with ventilators, contaminated testing materials and willful disregard of the known capacity to differentiate between serious and non-serious cases of this virus within the first WEEKS at a cost of under $20 -- a capability STILL not part of the standard of care published by the NIH and CDC and which, to my knowledge, is not being used anywhere in the United States.  Never mind the nursing home "order" outrage, especially but not limited to the states of New York and Michigan. Every one of these rat bastards, including President Trump, is in part responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Americans and as God is my witness, this nation's people should make damn sure they pay for every one of those deaths.

In addition there is not one scientific study showing masks are effective at actually preventing flu-like viral transmission.  Not one.  There is decades of hard science on respiratory viral transmission.  It is settled.

To this exact point, in addition every single one of these so-called "experts" knew damn well that masks were and are worthless on ordinary people and so do all the governors and mayors.  How do we know this?  Because every single one of them sat back and let thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of individuals take to the streets for a month straight to "protest" the death of a man, including rioting, looting, committing arson and even taking over six city blocks in Seattle, yet none of them sent in a single police officer, "code enforcement" person or anyone else to issue tickets and lock-up violators who did not wear said masks and keep their 6' distances.

In fact many of them including Fauci himself made PUBLIC statements that such "protests" were ok and "important enough" that their "mandate" did not apply and some of them, specifically DC's Mayor, explicitly joined them by giving permission to paint the streets with their protest banners!

That crap started a month ago.  It continued in the "CHOP", where the very same dickhead Inslee who refused to cite even one of the people there who did not maintain that protocol thinks he can issue said orders for everyone else.

Likewise an Oregon County issued a mask order that exempted blacks, proof positive on its face that compliance with said order is nothing more than an act of fealty to a pustule-ridden body of emperors who have been parading around naked while asserting that they are in fact clothed in the finest of silk.

Now the claim is made that "even more" orders are required.  Let me be clear: Either the cause of said increases in cases are from the protests and other actions of millions who ignored said orders without consequence and thus are a punishment leveled upon others for the unlawful acts of those who so-protested, or the protests did not cause the spikes and thus proved that masks do exactly nothing as there was no community spread from the writ-large lack of their use.

In either case the bottom line remains the same; NO American should accept punishment for the acts of others, nor should they accept orders that have no basis in science and fact.  One of these two facts must be true for all mask orders as a matter of simple logic.

Therefore let me make my response, and assert that this should be every American's response to any such order, having been proved by the actions of the very people issuing them that they have exactly nothing to do with public health: NO.

And may I further assert that if you claim to be American, if you claim that a single word of the Constitution has any meaning whatsoever then you must not only also state in a loud, clear voice NO you must also be willing to enforce said reply by any means that may become necessary.

Incidentally, this does not and must not extend only to masks.  Think about it.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2020-06-04 18:13 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 405 references
[Comments enabled]  

I've been following this one, as have a number of physicians I correspond with, including a fairly well-known cardiologist.  

Statement from The Lancet
Today, three of the authors of the paper, "Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis", have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they "can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources." The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study. Following guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), institutional reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations are urgently needed.

The retraction notice is published today, June 4, 2020.

If you recall this original paper was allegedly a very large retrospective analysis of Hydroxychloroquine (and Chloroquine) for the treatment of Covid-19.  It found that the treatment was not only worthless but dangerous.

There were serious and obvious problems with the data set and reported incident rate.  The Lancet published the paper anyway, believing that its "review" was in fact appropriate and factually-based.  Whether that was willful blindness or just simple laziness doesn't matter.

The fact of the matter is that there is no rational explanation that does not include some kind of intentional misconduct; who committed the misconduct simply is a function of figuring out who to ruin to ash and scatter, given the avoidable mortality that was incurred.  It is simply beyond reasonable belief that the sort of data discontinuities that I and others noted were in the realm of honest error, and in any event honest error is supposed to be discovered by the review process before publication.

When called on the obvious issues the data sourcing organization refused to provide the original data, the contacts from which the data was collected and could be verified through, and also their alleged original audit report.

They claimed this was due to "client confidentiality" agreements.

Oh really?  So what was the intention of the clients?

Who were they?  Name them.

And why wasn't the data source integrity verified prior to the original publication?

This isn't over and it is not a matter of simply "retracting" this alleged study.  There is very strong evidence of intentional misconduct here that spans far more than one organization.  It it appears at first blush to be both multi-party and intentionally organized.  Given the amount of money involved in managing to obtain "on-patent" drug approvals which would be instantly torpedoed by literal dime-a-pill alternatives that work at least as well or better, and I remind you that Ivermectin, an extremely common and very cheap anti-parasitic drug used in both humans and veterinary practice appears to also have activity as a coronavirus treatment, with early results coming from places where they don't have a lot of money, such as India, with words such as "astonishing" being used to describe effectiveness.

In short between the CDC data, which certainly appears to show that Covid-19 may not have killed many if any who were not weeks to a couple of months from death anyway (we shall know this with certainty around the end of the year, but the pattern sure looks that way right now) and the repeated apparent evidence of intentional false results being published this, along with the "ventilator" nonsense and pre-ordering vaccines that haven't been proved to work yet needs to be run down as a potential medical and pharmaceutical system-wide Racketeering enterprise.  After all who wants or needs a vaccine if you can take a dozen 10 cent pills if you get sick with the same odds of preventing any serious outcome as getting jabbed in the arm with something that is unlikely to provide permanent immunity anyway.  The entirety of that process, including the US Government's and Donald Trump's personal involvement, appears to be an out-and-out fraud.

Incidentally the NEJM just retracted a study with the same data source firm implicated, also related to Covid-19.  This one attempted to "clear" the use of drugs targeting ACE and ARB, widely used for high blood pressure among other things.  There was plenty of reason to believe these drugs might worsen a Covid-19 infection due to how Covid-19 attacks cells and as such, along with the extremely wide use of these drugs, makes such findings of extremely high importance.  Being wrong about this is likely to kill people.  Again, there are plenty of people and firms who wanted a finding of "no harm" and had both professional and financial reasons for that outcome, and they got it.  Now that "finding" has been withdrawn as well.

The number of false claims made about this disease thus far literally boggles the mind and they appear to be made for both political and economic purposes.  In short it appears that while the bug is certainly real and for some people quite dangerous when looked at analytically, including intentional obstruction of functional, inexpensive medications we allowed our economy to be ruined by a scam that has now been turned into a looting operation far greater than the Floyd riots -- in fact, a looting operation that is still ongoing and which counts the damage, including the Fed and Congressional "handout" jubilee to the favored few, in the trillions.

Why isn't Bill Barr looking into the command and control structure of these looters and locking them up?

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2019-04-17 10:46 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 738 references
[Comments enabled]  

I'll make a prediction: There will be more crashes.  The next one, post "retrofit", will end the company.

(Reuters) - A review by a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration panel into Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX aircraft found a planned software update and training revisions to be “operationally suitable,” the agency said Tuesday, an important milestone in getting the planes back in the air.

You can't fix the problems the 737Max has with software alone.

First, the limits of authority for the MCAS system are entirely inappropriate.  An aircraft that needs an "anti-stall" feature that can consume half of the stabilizer trim authority with one actuation is horribly unbalanced.  The design is dangerous.

The 0.6 degree original design is reasonable; the revision to 2.5 degrees is not.  Rather than find the reason(s) for the requirement to quadruple that authority and correct them in the design so the 0.6 degree authority is sufficient Boeing intentionally concealed that authority change from the FAA.

This is the root of the issue.

When you're off by 400% in your engineering predictions, as disclosed by testing, you have a dangerous situation.  The correct thing to do in such a circumstance is to go back, figure out why that happened and change whatever you need to so it doesn't happen anymore.  That would have meant a redesign of material components of the 737MAX (likely involving flight surfaces such as the wing geometry itself, where it's attached to the aircraft, etc) which Boeing was unwilling to do for time and cost reasons; today it would likely mean literal scrapping of all the existing hulls and starting over.  That's not going to happen either as today it might well bankrupt the company.

The reason for this set of facts is quite simple -- there is a set of both probabilities and outcomes that either fall into or outside of the window of acceptability for a transport aircraft.  A failure will lead to discomfort but not death (of anyone) is one you can accept occurring, since nobody dies and at worst it causes inconvenience.

One that could kill some number of people (but not crash the airplane) is much more-severe.

One that can crash the airplane is the most-severe.

The problem with all of these as the FAA defines them is that there is also a probability table associated with them.  This is a fundamental ****-up in the FAA's legal mandate and it must be changed.

Let me give you an example of the complete horse**** that MTBF and "error rate" figures present to people:

Furthermore, Deskstar NAS hard drives incorporate a rotational vibration sensor and achieve reliability of 1M hours MTBF.

One millions hours MTBF (that is, the mean time between failures) is the common specification for computer hard drives.

There are 8,760 hours in a year.  This means that if you have one such disk you should expect it to last, on average, 114 years, far longer than you will.

This abuse of statistics is utter and complete horse****.  First, a disk drive is a mechanical thing.  Like all mechanical things that have moving parts in it the parts wear when used.  Specifically, the mechanism that positions the heads has moving parts that can wear (get "sloppy") and so does the motor that drives the platters (the "disks" inside.)  Neither will last 114 years while operating under any rational set of conditions, ever, period.

So let's say you have 100 of these drives.  Well now, see, the probability isn't that each will likely last 114 years.  No, and no.  It's that the manufacturer predicts that if you have 100 of them you'll lose about 1.1 of them every year.  And guess what -- most of these fail at somewhere around, or perhaps a bit better, than those numbers. Nobody seriously expects the one disk you buy to last 114 years, and it won't.  You can count on that.

1 in a million is 1 x 10^-6.  This sounds very improbable but in fact as you can see it really isn't at all.

There's a lot of engineering judgement that goes into these analysis and the severity that will follow.  The original MCAS design was permitted because with only 0.6 degree of authority it was judged that if it failed it would not crash the plane.  Quadrupling the authority without re-analyzing the outcome was intentional -- even if by omissions -- because under the rules any modification that may impact severity must be re-analyzed.

Making the system less-likely to make a mistake (e.g. by forcing the use of both AOA sensors, for example) does not solve the problem in the general sense -- because it can't.

This is the comment I have just transmitted to the FAA on their coddling of both Boeing and willful dereliction of duty and disregard of the FARs governing transport aircraft by proposing to "accept" Boeing's changes:


The 737MAX "software revision" is, as has been described in publicly-available documents, insufficient as a fix for the root cause of the two crashes and loss of more than 300 lives that occurred.

During the original design of the MAX it has been disclosed that the MCAS system was implemented into the flight control "law" software to alleviate a materially-larger "pitch up" moment that could arise as a result of the larger, higher-bypass engines fitted to the MAX series of aircraft.  The original specifically called for this software to have 0.6 degrees of stabilizer trim authority and the failure consequences and probabilities were analyzed on that basis.

Flight testing before certification disclosed that 2.5 degrees, or approximately half of the total range from neutral to the stop in either direction for the stabilizer trim jackscrew, was actually required for MCAS to perform the desired function.  In addition the data recorder graphs from the Ethiopian crash appear to show that MCAS is capable of, and does, drive the jackscrew at roughly double the rate of a yoke command from the pilots, making its application of negative ("nose down") trim extremely violent on a comparative basis with that applied by the pilots.

This change was not reflected back into the design documents and failure analysis, including both probability and outcomes from failures, was thus not performed with this 400% increase in automated command authority.

Had that analysis been re-run it would have disclosed, as we now know from the two hull losses, that an unrecoverable aircraft attitude at moderate altitudes (< 10,000 AGL) could occur due to erroneous activation of the system.  Two such failures did occur and in at least one, it has been disclosed that the checklist was run for that failure by the pilot and first officer and failed to restore the aircraft to controllable flight.

Patching the software, assuming the 2.5 degree limit of authority remains as it is required for the MCAS system to function, cannot resolve the root issue.  While improving the reliability of sensor input (e.g. by requiring both sensors to be "always hot" and, if there is a disagreement, not engaging MCAS) at first blush appears to be sufficient to remove the failure mode, it is not and accepting same as a sufficient remedy must not be allowed.

The 737NG, from the published manual pages and block diagrams I have been sent copies of, appears to show that all flight computer access to the stabilizer trim runs through only the right side disconnect switch for stabilizer trim.  The 737MAX emergency procedure that the pilots in the Ethiopian Air crash used, however, specifies that both switches are to be pulled in the event of a runaway and remain off for the remainder of the flight.  This strongly implies that on the MAX aircraft computer trim authority can be exerted if even only the left-side, or "master", stabilizer trim power switch is on.

Since we have had demonstrated twice that loss of ability to operate stabilizer trim can and will result in the loss of the hull and significant or all life onboard it is not acceptable for there to be any operational part of the flight envelope, where the aircraft remains intact and controllable, that leaves the pilots with no means of adjusting stabilizer trim without an outside direction, in this case an insane computer irrespective of the root cause of the machine's insanity, overriding their input.

Ethiopian's crash documented by the CVR that the checklist procedure, which called for the handwheel operation of the trim in the event of a runaway, was inoperative due to aerodynamic forces the pilots could not manually crank against.

This is not acceptable and software fixes cannot resolve a hardware problem.

Assuming MCAS or any other part of the flight computer complex requires sufficient stabilizer trim authority to place the airframe in jeopardy should it malfunction it must be able to be disconnected from said system.  Since functional stabilizer trim adjustment is required for the aircraft to be airworthy under all conditions of the flight envelope there must always be two operational means of changing same.  MCAS is by no means the only possible failure in said flight control system; not only is that software highly-complex and has other stabilizer-trim functionality (e.g. mach variation, autotrim related to flap position, etc) it has both sensor input and physical output (e.g. power FETs to drive the output circuits, contractors, etc) which can fail as well, some of which are single-path failure points.

Therefore, at minimum the following is required:

1. The flight control computer, including but not limited to MCAS, must be able to be disconnected from the stabilizer trim electrical drive circuit without impacting the electrical trim switches on the command yokes.  The NG block diagram appears to show that this is the case, while the MAX emergency procedure strongly implies otherwise.  Either the MAX procedure is wrong and must be corrected or the physical wiring in the MAX must be modified so that the flight control computer can be positively severed from stabilizer electrical trim control by disconnecting the right-side switch, leaving the master enabled and the yoke switches available.

2. Due to the fact that stabilizer trim must always be able to be modified at all times in the flight envelope under pilot command for the aircraft to remain controllable a condition where the manual trim wheels are inoperative due to aerodynamic loads is unacceptable.  Therefore a second minimum change is for the gearing ratio to be modified such that under any set of flight conditions where catastrophic hull damage has not yet occurred the hand cranks must be able to be actually operated by any person of sufficient physical capacity to have either a pilot or first officer flight certificate.

To return the 737MAX to certified status before both of these changes are implemented is, in my opinion as a person who has been writing software for approximately 30 years, including embedded software that controls potentially dangerous machinery, unwise and appears to be in violation of the FARs governing transport aircraft.  Such a decision is, in my opinion, likely to result in additional lost hulls and loss of life.

I have no faith that the FAA will in fact insist on the above two changes, as both cost money and involve physical, not software modifications.  However, absent both the 737MAX will remain 100% reliant on its flight control computer never suffering insanity irrespective of cause, failure of which has a high probability of killing everyone on board.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)