I understand 104%. I have always believed that when Engineers design things, there must be a service tech as part of the team to prevent the Engineers from doing stupid shit. In cases like this, a pilot is also a requirement.
To engage my diagnostics, I have a USB flash drive dongle to certify I am an an authorized technician. On one model, the USB port I have available to me means I have to stick my head and both of arms up to the shoulder into the machine. One hand has the dongle, one has the flashlight to see what I am doing and my head so I can see where I'm inserting the dongle. a relocation of 18" to put that USB port where it's easy to access would have made every technicians life easier.
Yesterday the LA Times published a story that was sourced from Bloomberg that's a good one-stop news article that really spells out the situation.
As the Lion Air crew fought to control their diving BoeingCo. 737 Max 8, they got help from an unexpected source: an off-duty pilot who happened to be riding in the cockpit.
That extra pilot, who was seated in the cockpit jumpseat, correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane, according to two people familiar with Indonesia’s investigation.
The next day, under command of a different crew facing what investigators said was an identical malfunction, the jetliner crashed into the Java Sea killing all 189 aboard.
Flight data shows the sensor, called the “angle of attack” vane, which measures whether air is flowing parallel to the length of the fuselage or at an angle, was providing inaccurate readings after that.
However, the pilots on the harrowing Oct. 28 flight from Bali to Jakarta didn’t mention key issues with the flight after they landed, according to the report.
Their request for maintenance didn’t mention they had been getting a stall warning since about 400 feet after takeoff as a result of the faulty angle-of-attack sensor. It was still giving false readings the next morning on the flight that crashed, according to flight data. (Emphasis added.)
The safety system, designed to keep planes from climbing too steeply and stalling, has come under scrutiny by investigators of the crash as well as a subsequent one less than five months later in Ethiopia. A malfunctioning sensor is believed to have tricked the Lion Air plane’s computers into thinking it needed to automatically bring the nose down to avoid a stall.
The FAA last week said it planned to mandate changes in the system to make it less likely to activate when there is no emergency. The agency and Boeing said they are also going to require additional training and references to it in flight manuals.
After the Lion Air crash, two U.S. pilots’ unions said the potential risks of the system, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, hadn’t been sufficiently spelled out in their manuals or training. None of the documentation for the Max aircraft included an explanation, the union leaders said.
Following the Lion Air crash, the FAA required Boeing to notify airlines about the system and Boeing sent a bulletin to all customers flying the Max reminding them how to disable it in an emergency.
If the same issue is also found to have helped bring down Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, one of the most vexing questions crash investigators and aviation safety consultants are asking is why the pilots on that flight didn’t perform the checklist that disables the system.
“After this horrific Lion Air accident, you’d think that everyone flying this airplane would know that’s how you turn this off,” said Steve Wallace, the former director of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s accident investigation branch.
The combination of factors required to bring down a plane in these circumstances suggests other issues may also have occurred in the Ethiopia crash, said Jeffrey Guzzetti, who also directed accident investigations at FAA and is now a consultant.
“It’s simply implausible that this MCAS deficiency by itself can down a modern jetliner with a trained crew,” Guzzetti said.
Here in its entirety is the whole article with all the rest of the details, (and there are a lot), about Boeing's culpability and other factors.
"Why the pilots on that flight didn’t perform the checklist that disables the system."
One thing that was a common denominator is that the airlines crashing are from 3rd world countries. How are the pilots tested?
It happens worldwide but Third-Word countries and econo-prop shuttle type airlines are the worst. By the way, I've never mentioned it but airline crashes or near crashes and their causes have been a mini-hobby of mine most of my life.