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Could the 737 and 777 crashes have be caused by reprogramming from the ground?


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#61 LFC

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 10:12 AM

Capt. Sully ain't impressed by Boeing or the safety approval process right now.

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One of the nation's best known airline pilots is speaking out on the problems with Boeing's 737 Max jetliner. Retired Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday that an automated flight control system on the 737 Max "was fatally flawed and should never have been approved."

Sullenberger, who safely landed a damaged US Airways jet on the Hudson River in New York in 2009 after a bird strike disabled the engines, says he understands how the pilots of two 737 Max planes that recently crashed would have been confused as they struggled to maintain control of the aircraft, as an automated system erroneously began forcing the planes into nosedives.

"I can tell you firsthand that the startle factor is real and it's huge. It absolutely interferes with one's ability to quickly analyze the crisis and take corrective action," he said.


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"These crashes are demonstrable evidence that our current system of aircraft design and certification failed us," Sullenberger told lawmakers. "The accidents should never have happened."


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Sullenberger says he recently experienced scenarios similar to those facing the pilots of the doomed Ethiopian and Lion Air jetliners in a simulator and says he understands the difficulties they had trying to maintain control of the planes. "Even knowing what was going to happen, I could see how crews could have run out of time and altitude before they could have solved the problems," he said.

"We should all want pilots to experience these challenging situations for the first time in a simulator, not in flight with passengers and crew on board," Sullenberger told lawmakers, adding that "reading about it on an iPad is not even close to sufficient. Pilots must experience it physically, firsthand."

But there are few 737 Max simulators in existence, and providing such training for thousands of pilots around the world would be costly and logistically problematic.

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