What is FAA doing using AIREON to track B-737 Max 8s?

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AERION LLC. announces it’s “tracking” B-737 Max 8s for FAA

For what purpose?

Monitoring MCAS post airworthiness determination

 

The  announcement  by Aireon, LLC  its contract with the FAA to follow all Boeing 737 Max 8s has led to number of imprecise statements about what is really involved:

  •  FAA giving the agency broad access to Aireon’s real-time air traffic surveillance Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data.
  • …will flag deviations from certain parameters during all phases of flight and alert the FAA’s aviation safety division. Safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident…
  • FAA is using the data to keep a close eye on the performance of the MAXs and to try to detect any issues early. The agency has never before conducted such real-time scrutiny of a single model of airplane…
  • ADS-B is a more precise tracking system than radar and also transmits more data.
  • ADS-B transmitter that continually broadcasts the identity of each individual airplane, its accurate GPS position, its trajectory, its ground speed, its altitude, and its vertical rate of climb or descent, as well as any indication from the airplane systems of an emergency event — such as a code flagging a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) automatic warning.
  • Aireon will provide daily health reports on the flights that took off the previous day.
  • “This is allowing them to specifically look at the ICAO codes for just that population of aircraft,
  • For each individual MAX jet, it will report how many times it took off, the duration of the flights and any anomalies detected.
  • tracking Max flights for unusual events, such as rapid descents

One writer was more specific in his description of the new service:Sean Broderick

  • Aireon is using two products launched in fall 2020 to meet the FAA’s need. The data is delivered via AireonSTREAM, an API that can be tailored to pull subsets of data based on specific parameters, such as a sub-fleet or section of airspace, the company said. Alerting and reporting is done through AireonINSIGHTS. 

AERION STREAM AND INSIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 


  • Was the AERION data  tracking the  FAA’S reissued MCAS’s performance ?

Mr. Broderick’s expert description  ADDRESSES this  hypothetical floated in response to the nebulous wording of the press release—of the AMAC. Erratic flight patterns could be identified through the information captured. These data might demonstrate how the MCAS was functioning post its retrofit.

QUERY: Doesn’t FOQA provide this data?

 

  • One might wonder why this tracking was necessary after the FAA’s long extensive software testing.

MCAS

The Biden Administration might want such a belt and suspenders approach. The FAA Administrator is a Trump appointee and the career civil servant who was the manager of the Max 8 ODA and then was a senior executive during the Ethiopian and Lion Air crashes.

  • A second possible use could be to compare how the B-737 Max 8 pilot training programs have prepared each airlines’ pilots for the new MCAS.

This is a very plausible rational for tracking the Max 8s. While the FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, ANAC and most of the world’s CAAs vetted the course requirements, the actual training sometimes is less effective than planned. Countries and airlines have had tremendous pressures to reinstate these planes; some teachers were motivated to complete the curriculum.

 

Max 8 pilots

 

All of this is unsubstantiated explanations. Perhaps the FAA will act based on the Aerion data.

 

 

 

 


U.S. FAA tracking all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes via satellite data

Aerion and ads-b

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Friday it is tracking all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes using satellite data under an agreement with air traffic surveillance firm Aireon LLC

.aireon logo

Aireon and L3Harris Technologies LHX.N announced in November a new partnership with the FAA giving the agency broad access to Aireon’s real-time air traffic surveillance Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data.

The FAA said on Friday that “Aireon is providing the agency with ADS-B flight data for all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”

“Aireon’s system will flag deviations from certain parameters during all phases of flight and alert the FAA’s aviation safety division. Safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident,” the agency said.

Boeing did not immediately comment.

The FAA 737 MAX monitoring began on Jan. 29, Aireon Chief Technology Officer Vinny Capezzuto said during a Feb. 12 web event hosted by Aviation Week.Vincent Capezzuto

“You can literally monitor it on a situational awareness display and it has event detection tied into it,” Capezzuto said, adding the FAA can look for emergency codes and track other data.

The system emails FAA “when events are detected and every day you get a report card on” data from flights from the previous day,” he said.

The FAA used Aireon data in its decision to ground the entire 737 MAX fleet in March 2019 days after the second fatal 737 MAX crash in five months.

The FAA lifted the 20-month grounding of the 737 MAX in November after Boeing made a series of software safety enhancements and training changes.

The FAA controls 17% of the world’s airspace.

(Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Bill Berkrot)

aerion flow stream and insights

((David.Shepardson@thomsonreuters.com; 2028988324;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



 

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1 Comment on "What is FAA doing using AIREON to track B-737 Max 8s?"

  1. Interesting post, Sandy. If the FAA eventually plans to use Aireon’s monitoring services across the air carrier fleet, or for newly certificated aircraft and engines, or for newly returned to service aircraft, it would be helpful for the agency to announce this plan. To do this only for the Max without explanation beyond what is reported in these articles suggests the FAA requires more data on the aircraft to supplement what it already knows. That, in turn, shakes faith in the FAA’s decision to let the aircraft fly again. If, as you surmise, Sandy, the monitoring is aimed at pilot performance to gather data on the effectiveness of training, say for future regulations or international standards aimed at aircraft automation and pilot interface, then one would think the FAA also would want to monitor other aircraft makes and models. The FAA must be painfully aware it is a long road to rebuilding faith in the regulator. It should err on the side of explaining its reasoning here to the public.

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