did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Monday Longread Guest Post - Boeing 757 Max

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 5:53 AM
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Without having read anything on this, my reflexive sympathies were with the manufacturers and regulators, because there's no way they could have generally bad cultures and still have the astoundingly good safety records they do. If this is the first of many from Boeing, we'll know their culture has changed.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:02 AM
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I'm flying on two 737s tomorrow. I find the topic unsettling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:08 AM
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This is the same management team that, like, 10 years ago decided building airplanes was boring old economy stuff and instead they would just contract out all the parts and assemble the finished product.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:10 AM
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Also, is the title wrong or did another plane have issues?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:14 AM
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5. Title is wrong.

OP: I have read this passionate screed about how the 737 MAX fiasco can be laid at the feet of changes in Boeing's corporate culture associated their merger with McDonnell-Douglas. First and foremost, a move from being engineering-centric to typical managerial-centric (focus on increments of profit, stock price, etc.). Second, an infection with defense-contractor-itis, which produces less attention to engineering detail and more to imposed time-frames and cost-plus development.

Very interesting article which is clearly an adaptation of some interviews with disgruntled Boeing engineers, and as such could be taken with a grain of salt or two. Good counter to the long-read, though. Fundamentally, the idea of blaming the pilots is pretty horrible, since as a practical matter, the pilots are in a broad sense the customers, in spite of other middlemen who think they are (managers, bean-counters, etc.).


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:30 AM
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3. 737s in general are awesome airplanes. The actual base problem with the MAX is that they wanted to attach bigger engines to 737s without redesigning the basic airframe. They stuck them on in a way that compromised their air-worthiness.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:33 AM
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This in The New Republic provides a really different and IMO pretty persuasive take - Boeing has outsourced most of its engineering and coding, has been getting shittier and shittier planes as a result and has had to do some really dodgy stuff in terms of documentation to keep its grandfathered safety certifications from the FAA.

Per the article, they wanted to design a plane with much bigger engines, but the engines couldn't just be dropped into the old plane design because there wasn't room, and if they redesigned the plane they'd need new safety certifications, and their planes were pretty shitty and also certification was expensive, so even though the huge engines made the plane unwieldy they tried to compensate with, among other things, the sensor/rudder thing that caused the crashes.

There appears to be lots of other bad practices lurking in the background, all designed to juice the stock price. Incredibly, several bigwigs at Boeing have talked about how they need to stop "thinking about the box", by which they mean, you know, the actual planes that people fly in.

While I do not have the skills to design a fantastic new economic system that will solve all human ills, it seems obvious that when people are making or doing a thing they need to be making or doing the thing for itself - the purpose of making planes needs to be making good planes, not juicing the stock price.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:37 AM
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It's a popular article, I see.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:38 AM
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Also, is the title wrong or did another plane have issues?

Why do you ask? how many planes are there?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:43 AM
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I mean, how many anywhere. More than 737?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:44 AM
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Yes, the NY Times article I think is probably right on the details for the most part, but misses the main point.

An airplane is a complicated enough beast to begin with, with many failure modes. If you're attaching new, much bigger engines onto an airframe in a way that seriously compromises it's handling under certain circumstances, it's insane to try to fix that with a (clumsily implemented) software fix. That multiplies the possible failure modes, and introduces more complexity onto an already complex system. Early on in the redesign of the 737 MAX, they were planning on introducing it as a new plane, and it was a huge failure of management that they ended up trying to squeeze it into the 737 box.


Posted by: errg | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 6:53 AM
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Errg is a good pseud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:01 AM
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Moby Hick is good to!

(errg is jamming together the starts of my first, middle, and last names)


Posted by: errg | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:25 AM
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"Wry Cooter" is still available


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:34 AM
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Ernestine Ruth Grimsby, is that you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:35 AM
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12. Boeing has historically had exactly one airframe, originally developed during WW2 as a cargo plane IIRC. All their planes after that just make it bigger or smaller or have different airworthiness-compatible engines. Same form factor, though. They could have made the MAX be a slightly larger 737 but the ramifications of that would go direct to the bottom line. So the suits fought back against it. The ramifications of a couple of crashes have of course dwarfed the percent or whatever they saved on the flying camel they ended up with.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:36 AM
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well it is "ER" + "R" + "G" anyway...


Posted by: errg | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:41 AM
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Christ, that New Republic article made me so angry I had to take a break when I got to the Congressional hearing part. People need to go to jail, starting with some of those fuckheads in Congress.

I'm going to cope by nitpicking. GE is in the shitter now, and it's not clear to me if it was because of Welch or despite him. Harry Markopolis (who was the guy who notified the SEC of Madoff) accused GE of cooking its books, and thinks it might go bankrupt. It even got kicked out of the Dow in favor of Walgreens. It would be interesting to see if you follow the careers of people who were at GE what happened to the companies they moved to.

Boeing really is a cash-cow business, like the account professor said. Some of the financial maneuvers -- like stock buybacks or outsourcing -- can make sense. Companies don't need to keep every penny they make -- the companies that do, like Microsoft and Apple, are basically running their own hedge funds -- so a stock buyback isn't necessar ly bad. Outsourcing can work because the supplier can compete for other business, and the customer can have suppliers compete. AMD outsourced their chip production, and it was wildly successful because they could switch their chip production to TMSC. At the same time, TMSC is not reliant on AMD alone, and has been able to produce the most advanced chip production line. Intel, which does everything in house, has struggled to keep up.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:45 AM
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15 was me


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:53 AM
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That first, ostensibly exculpatory, excerpt is actually totally damning. If a plane maker has honest or stupid or careless mistakes creeping into their products, that's a failure of management. When you're making commercial planes, all your mistakes have to be somewhere between "very hard to foresee" and "unforeseeable." Otherwise, you fucked up.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:54 AM
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Echoing 6,7,12:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/how-the-boeing-737-max-disaster-looks-to-a-software-developer

Is the MAX different enough with the larger engines to justify the engineers' alarm? I'm not an aerospace guy, I don't know. Shitty management and alarmist engineers?

Both sides!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:59 AM
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Evidently this is going to be the first of many from Boeing. Thanks for saving me all that reading, folks! And hello eeerg, if you're new.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:59 AM
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I would strongly recommend reading both pieces, not least because Langewiesche and Moe Tkacik [Moe Tkacik! from first-generation Jezebel and the Washington City Paper! not the person you'd expect to find on this story!] are like the opposite poles of modern English prose style - suave old-school long form vs chemically pure Internet Snark. Oddly, Langewiesche dodges the issue, which Tkacik covers, that it turned out to be very much on the cards that you physically couldn't shift the manual trim against the airload, and previous generations of 737s actually had a recommended (if frankly adventurous, and demanding the kind of stick-and-rudder chops Langewiesche mourns) manoeuvre for this contingency which disappeared from the MAX manual.

However, they're both right, just Langewiesche focuses on the people and the customer while Tkacik focuses on the machine and the manufacturer.

[yes, by the way, the title is wrong and illuminatingly so, as the 737 MAX is essentially an effort to make something that's colourably a 737 do the work of a 757]


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:02 AM
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I feel like this article is a great example of everything that's wrong with "good journalism." It's a very well-told story with a strong point of view, but it completely relies on you trusting the journalist to have somehow worked out which side is right. And frankly a single person who has significant experience flying, but no expertise in aerospace engineering or software engineering, just doesn't have enough knowledge to make that call.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:30 AM
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I found the paragraph beginning "One of Boeing's bewildering failures..." rather weird in the context of the article, because it goes against the main thesis so strongly and basically seems to give away the game. But it's buried way in the middle of the article and doesn't influence the author's thoughts more broadly.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:32 AM
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6 gets at one of what I think is the biggest problems in modern capitalism, which is that due to the ease of gathering data companies can now "optimize" everything from a short-sighted financial viewpoint and this has made everything terrible. That is, it used to be that it was difficult to figure out what was going to maximize profits, and so the vast majority of people working at a company had making a good product that worked well and was liked by customers as their goal. So at an engineering company, most people would be focused on engineering. Yes there'd be some parts of the company thinking just about money, but they're small parts and they have limited ability to really get involved in the details of the process since they wouldn't know exactly what would increase short-term profits. But now everything is getting optimized-optimized-optimized, and you end up with products like Facebook that are terrible products that no one likes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:40 AM
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"Gosh, the internet of things is going to be a blast!"

(For those who are not in the software industry, the "Internet of Things" is the push to have computers in everything in your home (for starters, anyway), all monitoring or running lots of hardware, literally including your toothbrush. So far, what we find is most of such "things" have buggy, insecure code running on them but nonetheless are given control your furnace, your refrigerator, your TV, etc. Naturally, the main purpose of all this is actually to hoover up even more personal information for marketing purposes, at least for now: China is a good "fire bell" in the night concerning what a great idea this is.)

Back on the OP topic, the linked article in 22 should be required reading for every software engineer. Doubly or triply so for software engineers who are enamored of "release new software updates every week" models of development.

There is a difference between software that's put in airplanes and software that's put in your car or your house: bugs in the latter can kill more people more quickly. Think of the woman who was killed by a self-driving car when crossing a street in AZ(?). The software saw her but a setting had been changed to have "fewer driver interruptions." (It is claimed the driver was already distracted by her phone and could have benefited from an interruption.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 9:31 AM
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Internet of things? Internet of things. https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/8/14/20802774/june-smart-oven-remote-preheat-update-user-error


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 9:46 AM
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William Langewieshe has long been one of my very favourite long-form journalists. I get the sense that I probably don't share many of his politics, but he can tell a story in an understated and compelling way that also explains complex systems and processes, from flight to desert ecosystems. But this piece was really disappointing. Boeing behaved very badly, and an earlier version of Langewieshe would have definitely called them out on it much more forcefully.


Posted by: MattD | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 9:52 AM
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But now everything is getting optimized-optimized-optimized, and you end up with products like Facebook that are terrible products that no one likes.

Actually, Facebook has the most likes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:03 AM
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30: he's on a journey, having been a very forceful voice for the pro-Airbus/technophile side of aviation's culture war. This peaked with his book on Sully's landing on the Hudson River. Since the AF447 crash and the rash of automation-related accidents, he's having to trim (boomtish) that commitment and it leaves him in an awkward position.

On his personal politics, one of my favourite ever Langewiesche-isms is his remark to the effect that one of the biggest divides in the world is between societies that investigate accidents well and ones that don't, and this is something nobody really understands as being political although it is. That I completely agree with, and it worries me that the UK - having invented air crash investigations and become really globally excellent at them - is moving towards the line.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:04 AM
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I feel like this article is a great example of everything that's wrong with "good journalism." It's a very well-told story with a strong point of view, but it completely relies on you trusting the journalist to have somehow worked out which side is right. And frankly a single person who has significant experience flying, but no expertise in aerospace engineering or software engineering, just doesn't have enough knowledge to make that call.

Yes, this is precisely what I was trying to get at! Langewiesche is an author whose work I seem to recall enjoying previously, so I was predisposed to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his damning account of the pilots, in particular, was so different from what I had seen elsewhere that I realized I had no idea whether this reporting was trustworthy.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:27 AM
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"Boeing has historically had exactly one airframe, originally developed during WW2 as a cargo plane IIRC. All their planes after that just make it bigger or smaller or have different airworthiness-compatible engines."

Please, please, don't say things like that. It makes me react like heebie (I think it was heebie?) reacts when someone says "women's fashion basically hasn't changed since 1985".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:28 AM
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That was men's fashion since 1995. Based on my closet, she was right when she said it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:32 AM
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That said, I'm still wearing suits from 1996. Nobody says anything about them looking dated. They are still in good shape because I don't wear suits often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:34 AM
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I can't read the article but if Alex's description of it is accurate then this is a very bad article. Boeing's MCAS fundamentally changed the philosophy of the 737 MAX series, and then it changed the limit to which MCAS could trim the aircraft. Then they put the MCAS under the control of a computer that has only one AOA sensor; the backup computer is connected to the other AOA sensor, rather than both sensors being cross-connected to both computers - this meant that a failure of just one AOA sensor would cause uncommanded pitch. And then they did something different to their other jets like the 757 - they deprived the pilot of the ability to override a trim run intuitively by moving the yoke. (Daily Kos commenter and trash hauler Major Kong has two good posts on this. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/21/1813971/-Lion-Air-Crash)


Langewiesche has a rather unpleasant tendency to express in fairly sweeping terms his disdain for the inferior races, especially when they start doing white men's jobs like "airline pilot", and it sounds like this is another unfortunate example - his Egyptair 990 piece was mostly very good but this is one area in which it was not very good. I read as far as his description of Lion Air; does he mention the fact that Ethiopian Airlines actually has a very good safety record, dusky of skin though its pilots may be?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:40 AM
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35: I stand corrected. My own wardrobe reflects that men's fashion has changed since 1995 in the sense that men are now wearing trousers that are slightly wider at the waist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 10:42 AM
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34. I have learned I was somewhat incorrect in my post. It's true that the inside of the airframe has changed enormously, but the aerodynamics are much the same, at least until the MAX. In spite of the various airframes being all similar, each new airframe version (707, 737, 757, 747, etc.) has to be certified by the FAA. The IEEE Spectrum article goes into the real issue, which is that the 737s had already been certified airworthy, and "the MAX is just a 737," if accepted, could save them a whole new airframe recertification, and those are hugely expensive in time and money. In fact the larger engine nacelles made the 737 a whole new airframe vis a vis lift, and the MCAS software was supposed to fix that, but no one was supposed to notice.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 11:57 AM
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Alex is right in his reading recommendations, and that both the NYT and TNR pieces are correct. And both sides of the problem presumably will get worse, as Boeing's generation of bad management works down the pipeline and all the old pilots die.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:05 PM
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No, you're still confused. The FAA did have to certify the 737 Max. The point of the "it is just another 737" argument was not to save Boeing the cost of certificating the _aircraft_ but to save Boeing's customers the cost of recertifying their _pilots_ - who would have needed costly new type certification including simulators and check flights for a new type, but could be trained on the MAX with just a few hours of classroom work.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:08 PM
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The aerodynamics of each Boeing jet class are also different. Look at the 747 for example; it has a completely different wing. It emphatically is not just a scaled up 707.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:14 PM
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(Just thinking out loud.) From TNR:

Southwest reliably swooped in with big orders and/or accelerated payments after accidents, stock price plunges, or both; the same lawsuit claims that, after September 11, the airline formed an off-balance-sheet slush fund to bail out Boeing during unanticipated shortfalls, and lent other airlines its own planes when Boeing production fell behind, all while it waited patiently for its order deliveries to be filled at a time when it was convenient for Boeing. As the carriers became more profitable in the twenty-first century, more of them followed Southwest's lead and helped Boeing make its numbers, with United Airlines and Alaska Airlines pitching in during fourth-quarter 2015, alongside Southwest, to make payments not due until 2016. Those partnerships were but one numbers-smoothing mechanism in a diversified tool kit Boeing had assembled over the previous generation for making its complex and volatile business more palatable to Wall Street, and while not entirely kosher and not at all sustainable, they were by far the least destructive tool in the kit
Not kosher (though don't see why in principle unsustainable) but that just makes me think that companies like Boeing (extremely high technology, small production runs) aren't really sustainable in a pure market economy. Similarly, IIRC the WTO litigation found both Boeing and Airbus dependent on various state subsidies. And this I think is consistent with the overall point of the article (and the NYT piece too), that management to financial targets tends to be irreconcilable with technical excellence.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:23 PM
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I'm mostly a big fan of Southwest. They are less stressful to fly and they don't serve Nebraska with regional partners who hire pilots for minimum wage and fly 50 seat planes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:37 PM
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You need to make a mental adjustment before you can put your life in the hands of somebody with a Texas accent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:39 PM
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I wonder if I'll see people stranded by Thomas Cook when I go to the Omaha airport tomorrow?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:51 PM
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Being glassed by a stranded Yorkshireian would be at least a change.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 12:59 PM
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I'm not sure it's possible to drink all night at the Omaha airport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 1:16 PM
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41. "Everything about the design and manufacture of the Max was done to preserve the myth that 'it's just a 737.' Recertifying it as a new aircraft would have taken years and millions of dollars. In fact, the pilot licensed to fly the 737 in 1967 is still licensed to fly all subsequent versions of the 737."

MCAS is certainly much less expensive than extensively modifying the airframe to accommodate the larger engines. Such an airframe modification would have meant things like longer landing gear (which might not then fit in the fuselage when retracted), more wing dihedral (upward bend), and so forth. All of those hardware changes would be horribly expensive.
What's worse, those changes could be extensive enough to require not only that the FAA recertify the 737 but that Boeing build an entirely new aircraft. Now we're talking real money, both for the manufacturer as well as the manufacturer's customers.

The article goes on to discuss the marketing problem that saving training costs and the desire to have a homogeneous fleet make airlines wary of new designs. No argument that that's a part of why Boeing chose to screw up.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 1:28 PM
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49: exactly. Training costs for recertifying pilots, like I said. It's not the case that the FAA simply nodded the 737MAX through on the grounds that it was "just another 737".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 1:46 PM
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If the pilots had the Right Stuff then the planes wouldn't have crashed, is not a great argument. It wasn't at Edwards and it sure isn't for commercial aviation.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 3:18 PM
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That TNR article is really good in a lot of ways, not least of which are how Moe Tkacik picks up how Wall Street culture affects how companies do business. In addition to the quote in 43 above, here's another one referencing number-smoothing:


But until anything really, really catastrophic happens, investors seem ready to buy all of Boeing's dips--rather like MCAS in reverse. That's in no small part because they know the company has developed fail-safe systems for smoothing earnings, beating expectations and jacking up demand for its shares with a precision that rivals any jet that rolled off the assembly line in Boeing's heyday.

Investors want to invest in companies that show smooth growth in quarterly earnings even if the underlying business is flopping around like crazy. That way the investors don't need to know a lot about how the underlying business works, they can just plug those smooth quarterly earning announcements into their spreadsheets. So they train CEOs to manage earning expectations and play all kinds of financial games to smooth out earning fluctuations that have nothing to do with running the actual business effectively.

I used to work for a public software company where anywhere from 65-75% of the quarterly orders typically came in in the last week of each quarter, most of that in the very last day as salespeople and purchasing agents tried to hit their quarterly numbers. That made predicting the actual quarterly numbers in advance a fool's errand, but one the investors demanded. So management took advantage of an accounting quirk. You only book revenue when the product actually ships, not when the order is signed. For our software, "shipped" meant when the activation code was emailed to the customer. So on the last day of every quarter, management would be tightly watching to see how many codes they needed to ship that day to meet their quarterly target, and how many they could save and ship the following day/week in order to push the backlog into the following quarter. As long as they had enough backlog to play with, everything was cool. If the email system had ever crashed on that last day of the quarter, the earnings (and the stock price) would have whipsawed like crazy, for what would in effect be a short outage with almost no effect on the actual operations of the company. This is the management skill that Wall Street values, as opposed to a management that just says "Fuck it, we're in a volatile business, here are however the numbers fell out this quarter, you guys should hire someone who knows enough about our actual business to interpret them while we concentrate on meeting our customers' needs."


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 5:12 PM
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SAS is privately held.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 7:37 PM
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I, too, found the article condescending towards those uppity developing nation pilots who dared to sit in the cockpit of a big passenger jet without having previously served in the US military. and despite an initial claim that the article wouldn't be a blanket defense of boeing, it devolved into one almost immediately. I mean, how are we supposed to believe that crass monetary concerns and regulatory capture played no role among the high-minded engineers? in general, however, the article makes me want to fly the more expensive silk air rather than garuda every single time I go to indonesia (it helps that there are more direct flights while garuda almost always stops over in jakarta). lion air seems ok, per ajay, for that unforeseen trip to addis ababa.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:09 PM
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53 to 52, lest it look like I'm talking about an airline.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-19 8:12 PM
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Tkachik's piece is really pretty good, though someone who understood the airline business would have known that Southwest wanting to fly only 737s was not a "quixotic desire" by one eccentric airline, but a really intelligent business decision that has since been copied by almost every other low-cost airline in the world. One type means your fleet is entirely interchangeable; if one aircraft goes tech, you can take any other one as a replacement. All your maintainers and cabin crew can work on all your aircraft. If one pilot goes sick, any other pilot can step in. Tkachik seems to think it was just Herb Kelleher being weird. And while it's true that being a 737-only airline does make you a huge Boeing customer, and thus give you a lot of influence, that goes both ways. When it comes to buying some more aircraft, you can't really say to Boeing "you should give us a good price this time because we're looking at the A320neo as well" because Boeing will know that is bullshit.

The claim by Kit Darby, whoever Kit Darby is, that level-D simulator training would cost about $2000 per pilot should have rung alarm bells as well.
A level D simulator is the full works; it is a complete cockpit mockup mounted on hydraulic rams so that it can bank and pitch. It's what you think of when you hear the words "flight simulator". It costs anything up to $1000 an hour to run. And then you have: cost of taking the pilot off the flight line; instructor and staff cost; non-sim training... that's why getting a commercial type rating can cost $30,000 or more.
Purely in direct costs, therefore, if the 737MAX had required a separate type rating, Southwest would have been up for a bill of $270 million if it wanted to keep its one-type fleet strategy by type rating all 9000 of its pilots for the 737MAX; and that's just for retraining the pilots, never mind retraining the maintainers and so forth. Or it would have had to ditch its strategy, with costs that while difficult to calculate would have been pretty high. Asking Boeing for a rebate of $1 million per airframe doesn't seem like an unusually large amount.

But the 787 development process was indeed a complete fiasco, although it's weird that Tkachik sets it up against the magnificent 777, which was (at the time) also the most outsourced airliner in history.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 12:15 AM
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54 and 37 are right and Langewiesche doesn't do himself any favors there, but I think that shouldn't be allowed to obscure his basic point: eventually automation will fail, and when it does a rote-trained pilot is dangerous. MCAS was an egregious failure, and he skates over how bad it was; but the Indonesian safety record really is bad, as he details, and that shouldn't be forgotten (and no, he doesn't do the same for Ethiopian, which reflects badly on him). I think the broader point both articles make is essentially that safety is expensive, to the manufacturers and operators and regulators all, and in particular demands pools of highly-trained, highly-experienced, highly-paid staff. I'd like to know how a big a role Cold War air forces played in maintaining those pools, not through breeding the Right Stuff but through subsidies of one kind or another.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 12:17 AM
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57.last is an interesting question. Yes, SAC trained a lot of multi-engine-rated pilots, many of them flying aircraft like the KC-135 which is very similar to the 707 (because they are sisters).
But I am not sure to what extent that made civil aviation safer. SAC did not, I would argue, have a great safety culture, because it was run by bomber pilots for whom the measure of success was putting warheads on foreheads, not by nuclear warriors for whom the measure of success was not accidentally incinerating Leningrad because you saw a goose that looked a bit ICBMish. (See the excellent "Command and Control" for how this affected the US missile fleet.)
It is, for example, a subject of some debate among historians of the field how many thermonuclear weapons SAC actually managed to lose during the Cold War. They not only lost quite a few; their records of how many they had lost are not reliable.
And military pilots in general aren't necessarily the best people to be airline pilots; here we get into the whole CRM debate and 'deference to cockpit hierarchy' which Langewiesche types put down to the naturally submissive nature of the Asian or Middle Eastern man when talking to someone of higher social standing, but which is really just a phenomenon of working for a long time in a hierarchical organisation where lives depend on prompt obedience to orders and a clear command chain, and which can lead to you accidentally flying into a mountain or something ("Hey, chief..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me_qte-oSDE)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 12:55 AM
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Customer Relationship Management?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 1:02 AM
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Crew Resource Management. Basically stopping the pilots from arguing and letting the aircraft crash.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 1:10 AM
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Points taken (though in 57 I wasn't thinking just of pilots, but people throughout the air industry). And I think Langewiesche isn't arguing for pilots imbued with safety culture but for pilots who can handle extremity.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 1:27 AM
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The annoying part of Southwest's business model is when they announce the flight out of Omaha is full and if you pay $30 extra, you can board first and thus get a window.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 3:05 AM
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It costs $40 to board early on the flight to Las Vegas. I guess because it's a longer flight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 3:36 AM
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50. It's not the case that the FAA simply nodded the 737MAX through on the grounds that it was "just another 737".

The certification process for a variation on an existing plane, which is how they treated the MAX, is less onerous than certifying a new airframe. It is claimed that the MAX was certified before it had ever flown.

56. Southwest wanting to fly only 737s was not a "quixotic desire" by one eccentric airline, but a really intelligent business decision that has since been copied by almost every other low-cost airline in the world.

It's a good business plan if you can swing it, not "quixotic" at all. The author is definitely more than a bit snarky here and there.

We flew to and from the UK on a low-cost airline (Norwegian Air) with a uniform trans-Atlantic fleet, entirely 787s IIRC. It was a small fleet. Really nice plane, nice flight over. When we arrived at Gatwick for the return flight, there was no plane for our flight. They had exactly as many 787s they had distinct flight routes, and one of the planes had come up lame the night before, and they had no replacement. They ended up chartering a plane from a Spanish airline to get the increasingly annoyed passengers back to the US. Thanks to EU flight delay rules we actually got some money back. This was a few years ago, and judging from the internet, their fleet is larger now and not homogeneous (it umm, has 737 MAXes among other things: oops); maybe they even have spares!


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 5:12 AM
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The new bars in the middle of the concourses at Midway do a very good job at publicly displaying just how many people drink before 8:00am.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 5:58 AM
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They may be drinking for other time zones.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 6:32 AM
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The 787 for all its manufacturing woes really is a lovely aircraft to fly on. Quiet and comfortable.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 7:25 AM
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If you've been following the investigations, the Ethiopian pilots did everything right. It was just that, by design, it was impossible to disable MCAS, and the force necessary to compensate on the controls was greater than could be mustered by two men in good physical shape. This was known before either crash. On top of it all, the details of the system were, by design, not part of the pilot training and the system was incredibly poorly designed. I've worked on aviation software, and the general rule is to provide the pilot an out, even when things can't be turned off. If a system overrides a pilot decision, it should do it at most once, then assume the pilot knows better than the software designer. The MAX software violated this principle. Let's not even start on the lack of redundancy and error correction in the air speed detection system.

Airbus pioneered fly-by-wire to make all of its aircraft appear to behave similarly to cut training costs and allow pilots to cross qualify. Airbus took a very cautious approach with its flight envelopes. The system was designed to limit what could be done in normal operations, and each new plane was designed tot support fly-by-wire. It's one thing to design a series of planes to have compatible envelopes. It's another thing to try and use fly-by-wire to try and emulate an aircraft with a radically different envelope.

Boeing got out of the aircraft business 20 years ago when they moved their corporate HQ to Chicago to get away from the engineers. I suspect the US government will be able to prop them up for another decade, perhaps, but Airbus will be the big winner. I expect the Chinese to try and capitalize on this, but if you think Boeing can't design aircraft, I assure you the Chinese will be worse.


Posted by: Kaleberg | Link to this comment | 09-24-19 9:47 PM
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Yeah, the Boeings* engineers left in Seattle have been increasingly unhappy since the last not-engineered-here fiasco.

* An affectation at this point, but I hold by the Sanitary Market.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-25-19 6:57 PM
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One more data point in favor of taxing financial transactions. I can't remember if that was Warren or Sanders or both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-19 7:16 PM
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I finally read the Tkacik article. Maybe I missed it, but what's the deal with the stock buybacks? Besides being an indicator of financialization.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-19 7:50 PM
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I think it's meant to be a example of how finiancialization is harmful -- the company spends money on stock buybacks instead of saving up to properly invent and engineer things it will need to sell later.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-25-19 8:57 PM
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Yeah, Norwegian recently announced it's cutting routes because of the lack of 737 Max planes.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49337337


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-25-19 9:44 PM
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||

So, it's about quarter to 4, and I'm waiting up til the wife wakes up to tell her some news. At 1:30 am the police where my sweet loving 24 year old son lives were hoping to get some insight to talk him down from the 4 story building he was on the edge of. And trying to figure out how to reach his gf, but the only number they had was the phone he had with him. I did what I could (explaining that he is sometimes tormented by voices some times, usually in the form of police interrogating him) and then called the gf -- who was wondering where he was, but didn't think anything had triggered this. Then the police stopped answering my calls. The protocol, apparently, is to get an officer in my town to saddle up and come talk to me in person. This took about an hour all in, so about 3. Saw the car pull up and went out. Barefoot in jammies. It's kind of cold, that must be why I was physically shaking so much.

Come in, quick little break down. Then the officer from the distant city calls to apologize for not calling me back. Totally baffled about what went wrong in those last few minutes. Battery ran out on my son's phone, so they were shouting up to him to try and talk him down. It was working and then it wasn't. He'd sent the gf his passwords, so I suppose he spent an hour or so working up to ending the torment. We'll never really know. He certainly knew we loved him.

Obviously, first call after the wife wakes up is my daughter. My mom, brothers, sister. They may have had suspicions that something was wrong, but I've not told my mom and siblings about his mental illness, so this will really be out of the blue. I have a couple of appointments at work to cancel, but really have to wait until after 7 or 8 to send those emails. What friends to call? No one is going to have a nice day after this news. Guess I have time to make a list. Disable my Facebook page? Delete this comment?

Ok, 20 minutes down, only an eternity to go. Think I'll probably be scarce for a while. Take care, friends.

|>


Posted by: CC | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:14 AM
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Oh no Charley, how awful, my heart is breaking to hear this, I'm so sorry


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:31 AM
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Oh God! I'm crying for you. Charley I am so so sorry.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:40 AM
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I'm so very sorry, Charley. How awful.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:48 AM
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Oh Charley, no. I'm so sorry. Anything I can do, anything at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:52 AM
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All my condolences, CC.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 3:53 AM
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Charley I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:09 AM
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My sympathies. I'm so sorry for you and your family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:11 AM
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Thinking of you and yours. What terrible news.


Posted by: BLume | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:13 AM
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Oh, so sorry, Charlie. How horrible.


Posted by: chill | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:30 AM
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Heartbreaking. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:44 AM
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That is terrible. So sorry for everyone, not least your son.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:53 AM
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My God. I am so sorry.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:03 AM
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OH, Charley, how dreadful.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:04 AM
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I am so sorry.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:12 AM
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Thinking of you and your whole family, Charley.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:20 AM
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I'm so sorry, Charley.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:45 AM
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Oh Charley I'm so sorry.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:45 AM
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Oh my gosh I'm so sorry Charlie. Thinking of you.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:19 AM
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So sorry, Charley.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:20 AM
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I'm so sorry. That's heartbreaking.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, then go in” (9) | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:40 AM
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Oh, CC, I'm so so sorry.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:41 AM
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Oh shit. Heartbreaking. Thinking of you.


Posted by: BA | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 7:51 AM
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Really sorry, Charley. Take care of yourself.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 8:15 AM
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Oh Charley, I am so incredibly saddened by this news. I am so sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 8:16 AM
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Jesus, I am so sorry.

Peace, Charley. Take care of yourself and stay connected.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 8:33 AM
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Wow, sorry, Charley, that's horrible.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 8:53 AM
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Oh God, Charley, so sorry.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 8:57 AM
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Oh man Charley I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 9:04 AM
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Weeping at the news. I am so sorry to hear this. Your beautiful boy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 10:13 AM
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I'm so very sorry, Charley. There are no words.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 10:43 AM
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Oh no, I am so terribly sorry, Charley. Love to you and your poor family. Please take care of yourself.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 10:54 AM
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Oh, my, Charley that's heartbreaking. I will be thinking about you and your wife.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 11:33 AM
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I'm so sorry, Charley. That's such a shock.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 11:45 AM
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That's terrible Charlie; I'm so sad to hear that.

If you haven't already started calling, one of the best things you can do is delegate. Short Answer Q10 is a process you can use.

Enlist the connectors/planners/hosts/organizers in your social and professional groups to spread the word for you. The kind of people who take it upon themselves to organize a book club or a college reunion or networking event often see keeping up with everyone's news as part of the role, you can absolutely message them or call them up and ask for their help spreading the word. Maybe something like:

"Hi [Nice Person], I hope you're well. Can I ask for your help with an awkward task?

You may or may not have heard the news, but I lost my sister in an accident last year. As I emerge from just being with my family, I'm realizing that a lot of people don't know, and I have this recurring problem of having to break the news again and again. I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you at [upcoming event], so would you be willing to quietly spread the news of what happened for me before we all get together?

Then tell people what you want them to do/not do about your news. For example:

"I'm looking forward to [discussing the book][rehearsing the play][building the marketing plan for the North East region][registering new voters] and hearing what everyone's been up to, and it would really ease my mind if I know every "so what's new with you" conversation won't be a rehash of events and that people won't be surprised if I'm a little down or easily flustered. Thank you."

I hope today has involved a lot of sleep and recuperation.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 12:00 PM
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Charley, my god, what a horror. Sorry beyond words.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 12:12 PM
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Oh God, Charley, how awful. Will be thinking of you and yours. Deep breaths.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 12:14 PM
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Charley, I'm so very sorry.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 12:35 PM
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Also, we are willing to be present for your grief. You don't have to hide it from us, nor be cheerful in conversation here. You will not overwhelm us with your sorrow.

People from here were tremendously kind to me in my bad years. We are ready to be here for you in your loss.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 1:53 PM
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Oh my God, Charley. So terribly sorry. Thinking of you and your family.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 4:25 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:02 PM
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Oh wow. Terribly sorry to hear this. Seconding Megan's 112; this place has its ups and downs but it can be a tremendously helpful support group when it counts.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 5:48 PM
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Charley, I'm sending you and your family all of my love. We are here for you if you need us, and will welcome you back at any time if you need to take a break. Please message me at the Other Place if I can be of help.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:20 PM
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Damn, Charley. I am so sorry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:32 PM
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Ah Charley, I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:35 PM
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Oh Christ, Charley, I'm so so sorry. I wish you and your family all the peace you can get and all the strength you can muster.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:38 PM
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I am so sorry Charley.


Posted by: Saheli | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:43 PM
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This is beyond sad. Best wishes for all of you.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:43 PM
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I'm so sorry, Charley.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:43 PM
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Charley, I am so, so sorry. My deepest condolences. Sending love and strength to you and yours.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:45 PM
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So sorry, Charley. Big hugs.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 6:47 PM
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Charley, I'm so very sorry. There are no words for this. I will be keeping you and yours in my thoughts.


Posted by: Tedra | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 7:05 PM
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My deepest condolences, Charley.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 7:12 PM
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Christ Charley, I'm sorry.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 7:51 PM
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So sorry to hear that. I cant imagine what it must be like.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 10:14 PM
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I'm so very sorry, Charley. Echoing what Megan said in 112.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-26-19 10:21 PM
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Deepest condolences to you, Charley.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 1:31 AM
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All our love, Charley.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 4:27 AM
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Charley, my heart goes out to you and your family. My deepest condolences and love to you.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 5:29 AM
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I'm so sorry. Such a terrible thing. I wish you and your family whatever rest and solace are possible.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 5:41 AM
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CC - how devastating. What everyone else has said. I'm so very sorry. But I especially want to reiterate what Megan (along with Teo) said in 112. You won't overwhelm us with your grief. Take care.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 5:42 AM
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I just saw this, Charley. My deepest sympathies.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 5:49 AM
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That's tragic, Charlie.

I went through something similar. One thing that I really struggled with is that everyone subtly discourages you from being mad at the person. It took me years to admit to myself that I was mad at what they had done.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 6:29 AM
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I am so sorry, Charley.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 6:53 AM
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I am so sorry, Charlie. Love to you and yours.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 7:29 AM
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Charlie, that is heartbreaking. Deepest condolences.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 8:11 AM
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Charley, I am heartbroken for you and your family. Please know that I am holding you all in my thoughts and am very glad to do anything I possibly can, now or in the future, to be of service.

May the love and support you have shown to others come back to you a thousandfold in this awful time. May you find tiny pockets of safety and peace amidst the grief.

You know how to reach me via e-mail if need be.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 8:17 AM
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Oh my god. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 9:17 AM
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So sorry, Charlie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 10:17 AM
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oh charley i am so deeply sorry you've lost your sweet boy.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 10:22 AM
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So, so sorry to hear. All the best to your family.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 10:38 AM
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This oft-lurker is very sorry to hear this dreadful news.


Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 10:53 AM
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So sorry Charley. Lots of love to your family.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 2:43 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss, Charley. Please take care.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 6:41 PM
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I am so sorry, Charley. My deepest condolences to you and your family.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-27-19 7:10 PM
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I'm just finally checking back. Thanks so much -- this outpouring is overwhelming. But not surprising, because I know you people. Here's an update -- please feel free to skip the rest of this comment if you don't feel up to walking step by step through this thing.

Obviously, still in shock. But, as you'd expect, there is also a ton of stuff to do. It started pretty early -- before the wife was awake, even, when the organ donation people called me. They have an incredibly comprehensive questionnaire that runs about 40 minutes: sex, drugs, and, mostly, any illness he might have had or been around. I'm pretty sure he hasn't been in contact with ebola, but whether or not he's ever had sex with someone who had hep A B or C? Then, finally, the day got going, and I had to tell the wife, and my family. Telling is worse than hearing, in my experience, and for both the wife and I, Thursday was a day of reliving over and over. I'm still not sorry not to have taken the family along through the ups and downs of my son's illness -- it did mean that we had to tell a much bigger story, every time. He was well-loved and we're well loved, so it was hard but not hard. Yesterday, it was mostly our friends and his friends, way more email than phone. Cut and paste is a great invention. I cry when I write the words, but cutting and pasting not so much. I included some personal notes with many people, people I know had touched him.

One consequence of his gf's isolating tendencies is that even his closest friends hadn't known he was sick. On the one hand it's a shock. On the other, all their memories of him are from before. He really was as sweet and giving as everyone remembers. Funny and popular. As the day went on, both my daughter and the gf wanted to post something on FB, for different reasons. So, after everyone had had time to talk or reach out to people who really needed to hear it directly, I reactivated my account and all 4 of us (me, wife, daughter, gf) posted something, in our different styles. Another outpouring, including from many of you -- welcome and moving.

Then there's also the physical part. I've never dealt with any of that. There are professionals who have, but they're really all 'well, what do you want to do?' So we figured it out: cremation with just the four of us (me, wife, gf, gf's daughter) in Oregon next week, then something here my daughter will lead for friends of ours and his, maybe next month. So, we're driving out to Oregon tomorrow. Or maybe today, if it starts looking like the big historically early winter storm they've been talking about really is going to materialize, and we want to get over the mountain passes today. Need to pick out a coffin and flowers. I suppose there's going to be a probate proceeding of some sort. He didn't have much -- there's apparently a small estate provision he'll qualify for -- but I'll be administrator. He has a modest mutual fund my parents set up -- I suppose Medicaid will end up with the money, but I'm not sure how that all is going to work.

Lots of offers of help -- a brother and an uncle each checked flight schedules -- but at this point, it's really stuff we just have to do.

I'll probably end up talking to a therapist some day about my anger at the gf. She's totally broken by this, but was pretty much broken already, and, while it's impossible to know what the alternate timelines look like, her malign influence is pretty easy to see. At every fucking turn.

Anyway, that's where it is. And now a new day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 7:29 AM
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Much love and strength to you and yours Charley


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 9:25 AM
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Drive safe Charley.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 9:47 AM
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We did have a bit of a laugh yesterday. One friend skimmed my wife's email, and from her condolence message, it was clear she thought it was about the dog. What's the gentlest way to say 'no, it's the boy who dated your daughter for two and a half years'?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 10:24 AM
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Look after each other, Charley.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 10:49 AM
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I appreciate you sharing an update, you and your family have been in my thoughts. Have a safe trip. As someone who went to a therapist first the first time this past year about things I really should have talked about many many years ago, I just want to echo your own thoughts to say that you'd be doing the right thing to talk to a therapist about this. In addition to your anger, families I know that have experienced loss have also had a lot of feelings to navigate about how people who are close to each other can still grieve in such different ways. Of course there's lots of time sensitive stuff right now, but I hope for your sake that down the road means a few weeks and not a few months, though I trust that you know better than we can what you need and when.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the update, Charley. All my love. Drive safe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 11:54 AM
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things I really should have talked about many many years ago, I just want to echo your own thoughts
This.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 12:35 PM
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154: My own recent experience with a therapist was extraordinarily useful.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-19 2:58 PM
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OMG, you guys! This is truly overwhelming.

I was thinking I'd do a last update, but I'll spare you all the details.* The outpouring of support from friends and family has been amazing. We are so blessed to have such people in our lives.

I had my first foray 'out in public' yesterday, walking with the Democrats in the homecoming parade. Lot of hugs, some tears, but then the parade itself overflows with joy, especially from kids hoping to overfill their bags with candy.

The wife is having a harder time; it's easier to go forward one step in front of the other when you have stuff you have to do.

Thanks for everything, friends.

* Except to note that you have to sign a form acknowledging that they've told you that cremation is irreversible.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 1:01 PM
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Thank you for the update CCArp. Hang in there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 4:47 PM
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You should definitely hit the French Laundry.

Seriously, I'm grateful for the update and hope each day is a little easier for you and yours.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 4:51 PM
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158.* is absolutely worth sharing. I'm glad we're still hearing from you, Charley.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 6:27 PM
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2nd 161.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 7:26 PM
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Thanks for the update CC. I missed this thread originally but caught up in the following one. You all have been on my mind since, I hope the days are starting to feel less strained a bit, and easier to navigate.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 6-19 11:31 PM
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Grateful for the update, Charley. Been thinking of you.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10- 7-19 12:45 AM
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Thank you for the update, Charley. Candles are lit for you and yours.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 10- 7-19 1:49 AM
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Much love for the long road ahead Charley..


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-11-19 8:44 AM
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Continued best wishes and I laughed at the footnote and then felt guilty.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-11-19 11:33 AM
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