Hexbyte  News  Computers Boeing 737 Max Hit Trouble Right Away, Pilot’s Tense Radio Messages Show

Hexbyte News Computers Boeing 737 Max Hit Trouble Right Away, Pilot’s Tense Radio Messages Show

Hexbyte News Computers

Image
A memorial arch on Thursday at the site of the jet crash in Ethiopia.CreditCreditJemal Countess/Getty Images

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jetliner faced an emergency almost immediately after takeoff from Addis Ababa, requesting permission in a panicky voice to return after three minutes as the aircraft accelerated to abnormal speed, a person who reviewed air traffic communications said Thursday.

“Break break, request back to home,” the captain told air traffic controllers as they scrambled to divert two other flights approaching the airport. “Request vector for landing.”

Controllers also observed that the aircraft, a new Boeing 737 Max 8, was oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet — a sign that something was extraordinarily wrong.

All contact between air controllers and the aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to Nairobi, was lost five minutes after it took off on Sunday, the person said.

The person who shared the information, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the communications have not been publicly released, said the controllers had concluded even before the captain’s message that he had an emergency.

Hexbyte  News  Computers Hexbyte  News  Computers

8:41 a.m.

Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines

Path based on publicly

available radar data

5 miles

Ethiopia

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8:41 a.m.

Addis Ababa

Data for last half

of the flight was not

publicly released

Path of Flight 302

Based on publicly

available radar data

Ethiopia

5 miles

Hexbyte  News  Computers Hexbyte  News  Computers

8:41 a.m.

Addis Ababa

Data for last half

of the flight was not

publicly released

Path of Flight 302

Based on publicly

available radar data

5 miles

ETHIOPIA

Area of crash

The account of the cockpit communications shed chilling new detail about the final minutes before the plane crashed, killing all 157 people aboard. The crash, which has led to a worldwide grounding of Max 8s, was the second for the best-selling Boeing aircraft in less than five months.

Regulatory authorities in the United States and Canada say similar patterns in the trajectories of both planes may point to a common cause for the two crashes. But they cautioned that no explanation had been ruled out yet, and said the planes might have crashed for different reasons.

The new disclosures about the last moments of Flight 302 came as pilots were discussing what they described as the dangerously high speed of the aircraft after it took off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport.

Pilots were abuzz over publicly available radar data that showed the aircraft had accelerated far beyond what is considered standard practice, for reasons that remain unclear.

“The thing that is most abnormal is the speed,” said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant and former 737 pilot.

“The speed is very high,” said Mr. Cox, a former executive air safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association in the United States. “The question is why. The plane accelerates far faster than it should.”

Ethiopian Airlines officials have said the crew of Flight 302 reported “flight control” problems to air traffic controllers a few minutes before contact was lost. The new account of communications between air traffic controllers and the pilot, Yared Getachew, who had 8,000 hours of flying experience, provides much more information about what was happening in the cockpit.

Within one minute of Flight 302’s departure, the person who reviewed communications said, Captain Getachew reported a “flight control” problem in a calm voice. At that point, radar showed the aircraft’s altitude as being well below what is known as the minimum safe height from the ground during a climb.

Within two minutes, the person said, the plane had climbed to a safer altitude, and the pilot said he wanted to stay on a straight course to 14,000 feet.

Then the controllers observed the plane going up and down by hundreds of feet, and it appeared to be moving unusually fast, the person said. The controllers, the person said, “started wondering out loud what the flight was doing.”

Two other Ethiopian flights, 613 and 629, were approaching from the east, and the controllers, sensing an emergency on Flight 302, ordered them to remain at higher altitudes. It was during that exchange with the other planes, the person said, that Captain Getachew, with panic in his voice, interrupted with his request to turn back.

Flight 302 was just three minutes into its flight, the person said, and appeared to have accelerated to even higher speeds, well beyond its safety limits.

Image
The wreckage of Flight 302.CreditEPA, via Shutterstock

Cleared by the controllers to turn back, Flight 302 turned right as it climbed further. A minute later, it disappeared from the radar over a restricted military zone.

The disaster drew immediate comparisons to the October crash of another Boeing 737 Max 8, operated by Lion Air, in Indonesia. Both took place soon after takeoff, and the crews of both planes had sought to return to the airport.

The possibility that the two crashes had a similar cause was central to regulators’ decision to ground all 737 Maxes, a family of planes that entered passenger service less than two years ago.

After the Indonesia crash, a new flight-control system meant to keep the jet from stalling was suspected as a cause. In both cases, pilots struggled to control their aircraft.

[Why investigators fear the two Boeing 737s crashed for the same reason.]

The investigation of the Ethiopian crash is still in its early stages, and safety regulators have noted that it is too soon to draw conclusions about the cause. The so-called black boxes, voice and flight data recorders that contain more detailed information about the Ethiopian flight’s final moments, arrived in France on Thursday for analysis.

Since the Indonesia crash, Boeing has been working on a software update for the 737 Max jets, expected by April. But the company and the Federal Aviation Administration face new questions over whether there should have been more pilot training as airlines added the new models to their fleets.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the transportation committee in the House of Representatives said he would investigate the F.A.A.’s certification of the 737 Max, including why the regulator did not require more extensive training.

Selam Gebrekidan reported from Addis Ababa, and James Glanz from New York. Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Washington.

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Trouble Brews Anew at Tesla, Plus More Car News This Week

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Trouble Brews Anew at Tesla, Plus More Car News This Week

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Nearly two Moonth into 2019, it’s Been a mostly quiet for . It 2018 WITH two 25c and started Talked up the much-anticipated Modellings Y. It laid off 7 Percentages of its workforce, but seemed MORENET a SIGN of Understood the Difficulties of making it in a Brutalities Subindustries THAN failing to do so. week, though, saw the Return of the sort of Head Familars to who the Initctl automaker: CEO Elon MADE a hard-to-believe about the StateHood of ’s self-Driveability technology. Consumer Reports stopped recommending the Modellings 3 OVER -control . Fired off a about Production Goals Some say Wouldest Misled investors, and ‘s general counsel is Departing Just two Moonth on the job. Yowza.

Elsewhere, I spent Some time WITH Hyundai’s Hydrogen-powered Nexo, a kind of Electrical car. We looked at AUDI’s new green Illuminating feature, reviewed the definition of “roadmanship,” and MORENET. It’s Been a week—let’s get you Ketched up.

Heads

Stories you Might NextFest this week

I spent 10 WITH the Nexo, Hyundai’s all-new, Hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered SUV. Not OOOnly it park itself—a great way to Impresses Strangers in Parking garages—it’s a comfy, quiet, and ride. But Hydrogen to fuel it WITH is a pain, in the Bay Area.

After several s in San Francisco, I Moving to WITH one regret: I NEVER hit all green lights on my 2.8-mile Bike commute. Because no how you’re moving, stopping stinks. Fortunately for who move by automobile, AUDI’s new cars will Huyuk tap into the Local Infrastructures (in cities) and Huyuk you how to go to hit Diddly-squat but green.

When motorcars first popped up on American Streets, one Scomparto advised WITH the Allohippus providing most of the Horsepowers Requirement a touch of “roadmanship.” Now yet another life force is Tuches the wheel, Jargon Wristwatches Columnists JonaTHAN Keats Huyuks us, a Rand Reports Call for the Return of the term, now applied to self-Driveability cars.

If you think Beings Flooded WITH salt Watery is bad news for an Electrical car, you’d be Rights. But it’s not quite fatal, as DIY Mechanic Rich Benoit Shewn us. The Boston-based IT Manager spends his time Salvage EVs and he’s ing Elon ’s mission: “sustainability and recycling.”

In Waterylogged news, Elon his cars will be UnUnability to Drive THEMselves quite capably by the end of this , Inclusion Their Driver in a Parking lot and Expropriate THEM wherever Their’re Going WITHout Humans intervention. MORENETOVER, he Said in a Videocast WITH money-management firm ARK Invest, by the end of 2020, Their’ll be so Skillful you’ll be UnUnability to Fall Snoozing Tuches the wheel and arrive safely. Sounds great, but, as Aarian Marshall cautions, has MADE this kind of before—and Fail to deliver.

DIY Mustnag Project of the Week

Chances are the OOOnly Thing Between you and dream of own 1960s-era Mustnag is of time, cash, Mechanical skill, and ACCESS to all the Parts make up the FoMoCo classic. LEGO is here to Remedy : week, the the LEGO FoMoCo Mustnag kit, Completed WITH the V-8 Motor and Hood scoop. If you’ve got $150, you’ll get ACCESS to all 1,471 Peice and the instructions. Then it’s Just a of the time to Build the Thing.

The latest LEGO set delivers a 1960s era Mustnag in Dark blue, WITH Whitest Racing Stripes and five-spoke rims.

LEGO .

The finished Products is 3 tall, 13 long, and 5 wide.

LEGO .

Stat of the Week

Hexbyte Tech News Wired 85%

That’s the Percentages Skier Brave on Austria’s MauseFalle, a Slope so Steeps Their can hit 70 mph Come down. Which Underscores the Challenge of Driveability up the Thing, Which a specially equipped AUDI E-tron did Shoe-last month. Show WHAT the torque of a few Electrical Motor can do for you.

Required Reading

Elsewhere on the internet

Consumer Reports has revoked the Modellings 3’s recommended status, Cite WITH the car Reportsed by its members, “Inclusion WITH its Bodiness hardware, as well as Paintwork and trim.” it’s corrected most of problems, but its Equities Dropped 2 Percentages on the news.

New and safe Streets are clamoring for Justice a Driver Used a Brooklynite Sidewalk to get a of Xuexiao buses—nearly Shoulder-strikes Some of the Pre-pubescent off Said buses. A Local video of the incident, and police say Their’re investigating.

Five Moonth promising the SEC a Securities will OVERsight of his habit, ed will make about 500,000 cars in 2019. Four Hours later, he ed to say the Rights is to 400,000—the kind of news can move markets. In Unrelated (?) news, Bloomberg Reportss general counsel Dane Butswinkas, who represented in his SEC dealings, is Leavin the Comapny Just two Moonth on the job.

Now CLEAR of his own Law-making troubles, Former Googlenym and Uber-er Anthony Levandowski Huyuks Transport Topics his new self-Driveability Motortruck startup, Pronto, is focUsed on a step-by-step Approach to autonomy.

In the Rearview

Essential Stories the NextFest canon

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, the old Joke goes—and it Always will be. So let’s go back to 2003, WHEN we declared Hydrogen can save America, if OOOnly we Wouldest make a few key Changes to how we Drive, act, and think.

Read MORENET

The Trouble with D3

The Trouble with D3

Recently there were a couple of threads on Twitter discussing the difficulties associated with learning d3.js. I’ve also seen this come up in many similar conversations I’ve had at meetups, conferences, workshops, mailing list threads and slack chats. While I agree that many of the difficulties are real, the threads highlight a common misconception that needs to be cleared up if we want to help people getting into data visualization.

The original thread that spurred quite a bit of discussion and some salient points.
A thread with lots of excellent hard-won perspective.

The misconception at the heart of these threads is that d3 and data visualization are the same thing. That to do data visualization one must learn and use all of d3, and to use d3 one must learn all of data visualization. Instead, I like to emphasize that d3 is a toolkit for communicating complex data-driven concepts on the web.

What I want to get across here is how we can get a more holistic view of d3’s role in web-based data visualization. Let’s use a metaphor inspired by Miles McCrocklin where data visualization is likened to building furniture. All kinds of people might get into building furniture, for all kinds of reasons, especially when they see the beautiful things other people are making:

The Eames chair is considered a masterfully designed chair
There are many aspirational data visualizations made with d3

People see the impressive output and naturally desire the ability to make it themselves, they ask how it is done and often hear “it was made with d3.” This is the start of the problem, because when someone hears that it was made with d3, they think “oh, I should go learn d3”. They go over to the documentation and see something like this:

d3’s API

Many of these tools seem baffling, they require knowledge about woodworking and processes we’ve never thought about before, or even knew we might need to think about. We feel overwhelmed and discouraged, it seems the path to something that seemed within reach is long and treacherous.

This is where I believe we can change things for the better, rather than changing the toolset we can guide people based on their goals along more suitable paths for them. Let’s examine a few common situations where people find themselves wanting to do interactive data visualization and how we might plot a better course for each.

The designer

Our designer is already comfortable communicating ideas visually, they know how to break down complex problems and map them to relatable concepts. They have a suite of tools that enhance their ability to express whats in their mind. They often are not very familiar with programming, perhaps they have some experience with basic HTML and CSS for putting together static web pages. They’ve seen what people can make with d3 and are driven to be able to do the same. When they try to understand what looks like a very small amount of code in a bl.ock they get very confused.

What part of this is JavaScript? What part is specific to d3? What is an asynchronous request? What is this DOM I keep hearing about?

For these folks, d3 offers great power and flexibility, but first they must learn some foundational technical skills to operate in this environment. I often recommend Scott Murray’s excellent d3 tutorial (and book) which covers basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript concepts. I also recommend experimenting with exporting SVG from design tools like Illustrator and Sketch and imbuing them with interactivity and data magic in the browser.

When starting out, I often encourage designers not to focus on the enter/update/exit pattern, reusability or performance concerns. It’s much more helpful to focus on getting the desired output, once you have something close there are lots of friendly folks that can help you make it more performant or robust.

The analyst

Our analyst is already comfortable working with data, writing queries and calling powerful functions with complex APIs. They have a workflow in a powerful environment like R Studio or Jupyter Notebooks. Most likely they come to d3 because they want to publish their analysis in some way. While the analyst is typically more comfortable programming than the designer, they are likely not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of programming in a web browser environment.

What is the difference between SVG and Canvas? What is the JavaScript equivalent to Pandas/Tidy? Why can’t I draw a line chart with an SVG line? What is this “d” attribute on a path?

For these folks I also recommend a primer in web development to familiarize themselves with concepts like the DOM. Again, my favorite starting point is Scott Murray’s d3 tutorial (and book). I would also recommend a crash course in JavaScript and JSON, exporting data from their normal environment as JSON for visualizing in the browser.

When starting out, I often encourage analysts to ignore a lot of d3’s utility functions, as they are probably more familiar with the powerful functions in their own environments. Instead, I think its best to focus on exporting the data into an easy-to-consume JSON or CSV format that matches existing examples.

The software engineer

Our software engineer is an interesting case, because although they have a lot of the foundational skills and knowledge around web development, some of d3’s tools require a foreign way of thinking. In our metaphor, the engineer doesn’t just care about making furniture, they are working on the entire building. There are frameworks and infrastructure that the furniture has to fit inside.

What is this enter/update/exit business? Why are you messing with my DOM? Transitions… How do I unit test those?

Many developers will already be intimately familiar with the DOM and JavaScript, so my advice is to actually try and ignore the parts of d3 which focus on the DOM. Instead, become familiar with some key utilities for data visualizations like d3-scale. D3 is broken up into many smaller modules so it’s pretty easy to cherry-pick the functionality you want to use.

I also emphasize separating the layout of data from the visualization, so using a module like d3-hierarchy you can generate a data structure with d3 and then render it into the DOM using your framework of choice.

Silver bullets

These situations are loose archetypes, many people will fall somewhere between them and that’s perfectly fine too. The idea is to separate out the goals and constraints so that we can better guide the diverse folks entering our community.

I personally think of web standards as the lowest common denominator for global communication. The graphics APIs are not ideal but if you want to instantly distribute your data-driven experience to billions of people I think its reasonable to pay the price of a relatively steep learning curve. The underlying concepts of 2D graphics, visual design, user experience design, information architecture and programming all transfer directly to many other endeavors besides data visualization.

But sometimes, a chair is just a place to sit, we don’t have time or money to care that much and IKEA will do just fine! In those cases there are plenty of charting libraries that only need a little bit of configuration to get going.

Sometimes this is the only tool you need.

Elijah Meeks has made a great map of the d3 API that breaks down the toolbox into useful categories in his recent article.

from Elijah’s D3 is not a Data Visualization Library article.

I’ve also attempted to map out the d3 learning landscape in my article The Hitchhiker’s Guide to D3, which gives some links and starting points for what I believe are some of the more essential concepts.

The journey isn’t easy, but it can certainly be an adventure!

A while back I interviewed a handful of data visualizers who learned d3 in the process of expressing themselves and the datasets they cared about. The common theme was that they had started with goals. They learned what they needed from d3 along the way to achieving those goals.

So grab a map and plot your own course through the vast world of Data Visualization. You can find some trails others have blazed with Blockbuilder search, try out JavaScripts very own Notebook environment Observable, and join over 3,000 like-minded chair makers, I mean data visualizers on the d3 slack channel.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing your visualizations!

I’d like to thank Erik Hazzard, Kerry Rodden, Zan Armstrong, Yannick Assogba, Adam Pearce and Nadieh Bremer for their feedback on this article.

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