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Could the 737 and 777 crashes have be caus...

LFC's Photo LFC 24 June 2019 - 10:12 AM

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


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.


"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."


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.

LFC's Photo LFC 02 October 2019 - 10:22 AM

A whistleblower is saying that Boeing knew about the 737 problems and failed to act due to profit motives.


A senior Boeing engineer filed an internal ethics complaint accusing the company of rejecting a safety system on the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to save money that might have helped avoid two fatal crashes. The New York Times reviewed the complaint, which was handed to the Department of Justice as part of a criminal investigation into the design of the aircraft, which is still grounded worldwide. The Times reports that federal investigators have already questioned at least one former Being employee about the allegations. A number of current and former Boeing employees have come forward with complaints about managers dismissing engineers’ recommendations in lieu of profits.

golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 30 October 2019 - 06:15 PM

In all the lathered up media coverage on impeachment, no one seemed to notice that the Boeing CEO faced questions by Congress yesterday and today.


In another stirring moment during Wednesday’s hearing, Representative Albio Sires, Democrat of New Jersey, read from an email sent to the head of the 737 program in 2018 from a Boeing employee complaining of fatigue and safety concerns on the production line.

“Our work force is exhausted,” the employee wrote. “Fatigued employees make mistakes.”

Shortly after the second crash, The New York Times reported on the intense pressure to produce the Max.
“Frankly right now all my internal warning bells are going off,” the employee wrote. “And for the first time in my life, I’m sorry to say that I’m hesitant about putting my family on a Boeing airplane.

What about regulation? The below happened just before the planes fell from the sky, but might be a sign of more to come.


With a few short paragraphs tucked into 463 pages of legislation last year, Boeing scored one of its biggest lobbying wins: a law that undercuts the government’s role in approving the design of new airplanes.

For years, the government had been handing over more responsibility to manufacturers as a way to reduce bureaucracy. But those paragraphs cemented the industry’s power, allowing manufacturers to challenge regulators over safety disputes and making it difficult for the government to usurp companies’ authority.


In a stark warning as the bill was being written, the Federal Aviation Administration said that it would “not be in the best interest of safety.”

A labor group representing agency inspectors raised concerns that the rules would turn the F.A.A. into a “rubber stamp” that would only be able to intervene after a plane crashed “and people are killed,” according to internal union documents reviewed by The Times.