This one in particular.

It was originally closed as "unclear what you are asking". Got edited, but failed to be reopened.

Got edited again to include an answer that was given via email, purportedly by the author of the article from which the question stemmed.

At that point I decided to help it being reopened (there where 3 votes already), and I added:

ok, I'll reopen it. please post that as an answer and remove it from the question

Now there is another answer posted, and the email answer is still in the body of the question. The new answer was accepted, meaning that the asker has accessed the site and seen all comments and notifications.

What should we do? Revert the edit? Re-close? Delete? Why?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Even worse, the answer which is pure speculation is marked as accepted! $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec please read the article. Which bit do you find speculative? $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 5:48
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Koyovis The part where its written by a journalist, and not an accident investigator! $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


It is my opinion that this whole question, and speculative answer, should be deleted.

It is accident speculation of the worst kind.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Agreed. Accident speculation is explicitly off-topic here. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 21:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Absolutely, yes. Allowing speculation here is all kinds of bad. Delete it! $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The answer is based on the excellent information in Dominic Gates' article. One of the original commentators was confused by the mention of high speed stall, which is not the flight condition in which the Lion Air crash occurred, as mentioned in the preliminary report. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ Parallels were found between the flight paths of the Lion Air and the Ethiopian plane. All of this is public information, available to anyone who cares to look it up before mentioning Speculation. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 7:21

The article mentioned in the question is a most excellent article and does not deserve to be classified as Speculative.

What should be done with this question is to make it available for all users to reference, therefore to leave it open/re-open.

My answer was added because of the original mention of high speed stall - one of the original commentators on the question found the article poorly written because of this. My answer attempts to further explain the article, why there is mention of high speed stall, for which circumstance MCAS was designed, and where the malfunction seemed to occur outside the design envelope. All based on the information in the article, on the preliminary Lion Air crash report, and on the parallels found between Lion Air and Ethiopian, cited by the media as reason for grounding the plane.

If anyone who understands the article cares to point out which bit of my answer does not pass muster, I'd be happy to amend it. Meanwhile, many people still visit the Aviation Stack Exchange site for finding exactly the sort of information in Dominic Gates' article.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Hi Koyovis. You mention the Lion Air preliminary report here and in the answer, even though that 78-page report does not even mention MCAS. The topic may fit various message boards, but any question about any accident before the final report is out is off-topic for this site, regardless of how excellent a news article may be. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ The BBC re-interpreting what the preliminary report tells us. Notice the mention of the anti-stall system pushing the nose down. But they are of course stating speculations of the worst kind. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ Koyovis, I thought your contributions to this issue are solid and high quality. Not sure why your response has even been downvoted. There's a lot of controversy over these two crashes, but some statements can be made pre Boeing/FAA/NTSB findings. $\endgroup$
    – Pete855217
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Pete855217 Thanks. But we all now know of course that my contribution is Speculation! Of the worst kind! $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 "...but any question about any accident before the final report is out is off-topic for this site," Sorry, but I disagree. Speculation about the cause of accidents is off-topic. Not every mention of a system on board of a type of plane that had an accident can be classified as speculation. A pineapple is a piece of fruit, but not every piece of fruit is a pineapple. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ 1) you deleted your initial response, not cool 2) you already used "the email" in another answer 3) if you wish to discuss the site's scope, start a new post 4) i said accidents, not systems 5) the way you chose to answer, wasn't an answer to the question, and given what I said about the prelim report, was speculative 6) the asker did not move the email as asked by Federico $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 Yeah I had another look at your comment (of which I still appreciate the phrasing) and compared what you said with what is specifically off-topic: *speculation * about cause of accident. I don't want to dig in though, and relations are spoiled enough as they are.. Also, the final report is out now, confirming the role of MCAS. How does that change the situation? $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 8:53

The question and answer are not accident speculation. The question is about an article on MCAS, and what it is designed for.

  • The article is of interest because it clarifies why MCAS activation was not incorporated in the training curriculum.
  • The question was about the high speed stall mentioned in the article. Not a mistake: this was what MCAS was designed for, a high speed stall in a wind-up turn. For nothing else.

Stepping into this with strong accusations and exclamation marks demonstrates a thorough lack of capability of actually understanding what the matters are all about. Moderator, indeed. What's in a name.

Update Feb 2020

The team at Seattle times have won a journalism award for their articles on what went wrong on the B737MAX. From the linked site:

A series of Seattle Times stories revealing crucial flaws in the process that led to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification of Boeing’s 737 MAX was honored Wednesday with the George Polk Award for Business Reporting.

Of course, we won't be informing them that their articles were speculations of the worst kind. That would make this site look silly.

  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 I've edited the answer the other question should not be deleted either. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 4:36

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