Is The Boeing 737 MAX Safe? Here’s What We Know

Filed Under: Advice

Update: The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide, pending investigation. Boeing released a software update on May 17, 2019, but it’s unclear what the exact recertification processes will look like.

This morning an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, while enroute to Nairobi. This is incredibly tragic, as nearly 160 lives were lost.

This has raised a lot of questions, given that this is the second Boeing 737 MAX crash in a matter of months (last October a Lion Air 737 MAX crashed, killing 189 people). The point of this post isn’t to speculate, but rather to answer some of the questions that a lot of people have been asking following this alarming news.

A lot of people have been left wondering if it’s safe to fly the 737 MAX, and have also wondered if Boeing may ground the 737 MAX following this incident.

As much as I’ve seen every episode of “Air Crash Investigation,” I’m not a commercial pilot, and I’m not an aircraft investigator. So my commentary is simply limited to the facts of what happened, and answering some of the most common questions I’ve seen.

What is the 737 MAX?

The Boeing 737 is the most popular commercial plane in the sky, and over 10,000 of them have been produced. Over time aircraft technology evolves, and the 737 MAX is also supposed to be the most advanced.

The 737 MAX entered commercial service in 2017. So far there are about 350 of them flying for various airlines, with over 5,000 additional 737 MAX aircraft on order.

What makes this plane better than past versions is that it’s more fuel efficient. That means the plane has lower fuel burn and can operate longer flights than previous versions of the plane. On the surface this is a win-win, since it allows airlines to operate flights are longer and less expensive.

How can you tell if you’re booked on a 737 MAX?

There are a few variants of the 737 MAX, the most common of which are the 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 (the -8 and -9 indicate the size of the plane).

When you’re booking a 737, you should see that it mentions the word “MAX” somewhere on the booking page. Alternatively, if you see an “M” in the aircraft code, chances are that the flight is operated by a 737 MAX.

For example, American designates these planes as “7M8” (with the “7” standing for 737, “M” standing for Max, and “8” standing for the variant of the plane).

If you’re at an airport and are trying to spot the 737 MAX, the easiest way to tell it apart from other planes is by looking at the engines. Notice how the back of the engines has a “zig-zag” pattern. That’s something you’ll only notice on the 737 MAX, and not on other 737 variants (the 787 and 747-8 have similar style engines).

You’ll notice that the 737 MAX also has the distinctive split winglets. However, note that other 737s are also being retrofitted with these in the meantime. So if the plane doesn’t have these then it’s definitely not a 737 MAX, though the inverse isn’t true.

What’s alarming about the two 737 MAX crashes?

We’ve now seen two 737 MAX aircraft crash just months apart. While the full investigation hasn’t been completed on the first accident, and the investigation on today’s accident is just started and will likely take months (if not years), what we know is that in both cases the planes crashed on the climb out and had unstable vertical speed (suggesting that the pilots lost control of the aircraft). The focus of the investigation is figuring out why that happened.

Note that after the first 737 MAX crash, Boeing issued an update to their pilot procedure for the plane.

Rather alarmingly, Boeing made changes to the flight control system of the 737 MAX, where the plane automatically pushes the nose of the aircraft down when a sensor indicates that the plane is nearing a stall. This is different than the system on previous 737s, and many pilots said they were left in the dark with this (including American and Southwest pilots, as those airlines also fly these planes).

As the head of Southwest’s pilot union explained a few months ago, pilots were “kept in the dark” regarding this:

“We do not like the fact that a new system was put on the aircraft and wasn’t disclosed to anyone or put in the manuals.

Is there anything else on the MAX Boeing has not told the operators? If there is, we need to be informed.”

Is the 737 MAX safe?

I don’t think anyone can definitively answer that question. There are lots of questions that everyone is asking (including investigators):

  • Does the plane have a design flaw that hasn’t been properly addressed?
  • Have pilots not properly been trained on the 737 MAX, given the differences between it and other 737 variants?
  • Are these just two unrelated incidents, and the double 737 MAX crash is a very bad coincidence?

However, at this point I don’t think anyone can say with 100% certainty that there’s nothing at all wrong with the design and/or pilot training on the 737 MAX in comparison to other planes. In other words, I’d be surprised if anyone could claim that there’s not a possibility that another 737 MAX could have a similar accident (after all, it has happened twice now).

One of the reasons aviation is so safe is because airlines and authorities learn from every single incident. We now have one of the most modern planes in the world having had two accidents months apart, and there’s no doubt lessons haven’t fully been learned yet, since the investigations aren’t yet complete.

Is that sufficient reason to ground the fleet? We’ll see.

Are airlines letting you rebook if you’re on a 737 MAX?

As of now, no airline has issued a travel waiver for flying the 737 MAX. Furthermore, no airline has made the decision to ground all of their 737 MAX aircraft yet.

If you’re extremely uncomfortable about flying the 737 MAX, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to call the airline and ask to be rebooked on another flight. Even without an official waiver, this seems like a situation in which a supervisor could make an accommodation.

Until there’s more information, I wouldn’t consider it paranoia to be concerned about flying the plane.

Would I fly the 737 MAX?

Would I be willing to fly a 737 MAX at this point? Yes, probably. That’s simply because I think even the least safe way of flying is safer than other forms of transportation. It’s also why I don’t choose airlines based on their safety records.

That being said, would I feel as comfortable on it as other planes? No, probably not, because we’ve had two major incidents and don’t have a full sense of what happened.

It will be interesting to see if travel waivers are issued, or if airlines ground these planes.

Bottom line

Commercial aviation is incredibly safe, and that’s because the aviation community learns from every single accident. A horrible accident happened today, and that’s heartbreaking.

With another 737 MAX having crashed just months prior, hopefully Boeing and the relevant authorities can quickly complete an investigation and figure out if something is fundamentally wrong with the plane and/or pilot training, or if this is largely a very bad coincidence.

It will be interesting to see if in the meantime these planes are grounded.

Would you feel comfortable flying a 737 MAX at this point?

  1. It’s hard to know if it’s just dumb pilots with crap*y airlines or if the there is something legitimately wrong with the plane.

  2. @Abe: “It’s hard to know if it’s just dumb pilots with crap*y airlines or if the there is something legitimately wrong with the plane.”

    Because obviously, only crappy airlines with dumb pilots have plane crashes.

  3. I would ground the entire fleet immediately. Something is wrong.

    Boeing stock is going to tank tomorrow.

  4. My answer is a clear “no.” While the odds of course are slim of any mishap if I fly on a MAX – I think at this point unless the airlines see that consumers are not accepting this aircraft until there are answers will actually put pressure on agencies and inspectors (and Boeing) to stop dragging their heels on what is an obvious flaw in the design of the MCAS.

    These planes need to be grounded at once.

    My opinion is not just casual observation and a knee jerk reaction. On many pilot and aviation forums there has been a consensus that Boeing messed up huge with this system (even before today). Pilots were not informed initially about how the MCAS can react and the “fix” is a clunky set of three steps that is highly difficult under emergency situations and for which they have had little or no simulator training.

    Nope. No way.

  5. If other types of planes are flying the same route I have to take, then I’ll go with those planes rather than 737MAX for now.

  6. Hey Ben — my husband is a Navy test pilot and has flown many hours in 737s. With respect to Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) (i.e. new stall protection logic), you’ve kind of mischaracterized what and why Boeing did what it did. Shoot me an email and he’d be happy to chat.

  7. I don’t like these coincidences. Until some resolution following the Lion Air crash has been implemented, even more so now that a similar crash might have occurred, I prefer not to fly the 737 MAX. For the time being I will avoid it.

  8. Should’ve used generic MAX photo on the cover…sounds like southwest is not safe,and it’s not fair to them

  9. I just found out that my daughter is flying from DCA to MIA next Saturday and the aircraft assigned is a B737Max.
    I am taking no chances, so I just went on line and bought her a new ticket flying the A319.
    I just flew MIA/DEN this past week on a B737Max, however until these 2 crashes are explained, we will be avoiding this aircraft at all costs.

  10. Would I fly a 737 MAX? Absolutely not.

    And that has little to do with the two unfortunate crashes, but more with the fact that AA has outfitted the interior to be a torture tube.

  11. @Mike

    Ethiopian may be one of Africa’s best airlines, but yes both of the 737 Max incidents have occurred outside the “first world,” which absolutely is a worthwhile footnote.

    My suspicion is this is some type of new design + pilot unfamiliarity/interaction issue. If something unexpected happens, do you want a pilot with the bare minimum number of hours of flight time (from a private airline academy which has pilot staffing goals to meet) or somebody who came up through the military, regional airliners and then finally mainline jets and has tens of thousands of hours? Because the experience level that gets you flying 200-400 person jets in Africa – or even Emirates – would barely qualify you to apply for a CR2 right seat on a regional carrier in the US. One of the few upsides of our military industrial complex.

  12. Ethiopian is a very solid airline. I very much doubt that this is a pilot or maintenance issue, particularly after a trouble free inbound flight the very same morning. The vertical speed instability suggests another MCAS problem which makes this very concerning to everyone. A safety enhancing system like MCAS claims to be is usually publicized widely, if for no other reason than that it is good marketing. The fact that it was deployed on these planes without initially letting the operators and pilots in on it suggests that it’s there for a reason Boeing doesn’t want known widely.

    It seems callous to say this but a similar incident it North America or Europe would cause a major crisis in commercial aviation. The fact that these two incidents were in Africa and South East Asia probably makes this less likely to be taken as seriously as it should. The 737 MAX program is literally too big to fail. There are too many airlines reliant to too many deliveries to make a lengthy redesign and rectification viable and Airbus doesn’t have the slack in the 320neo lines to on take all those orders at short notice. Boeing needs to be proactive and get out ahead of this with full transparency, even if the share price takes a short term hit.

  13. I would be less worried about a risk of crashing than a risk of operational difficulties with Southwest in the next week if they have to pull those planes out of operation to inspect or retrain or whatever.

    Southwest is already having operational challenges and high cancelations. Yesterday was a particularly bad day.

    While I probably wouldn’t avoid this plane, I might plan for a lot of disruptions this week on Southwest (more so than others) if they have to pull this plane from operation for any reason.

    I am sensing a buy opportunity on Boeing stock later this week…..

  14. Sorry but two crashes of same model brand new planes in a very similar way is not a coincidence. There is no way I would fly on this plane until they find the reason for the crashes. This is not a safe plane and something is messed up on the design or on the training of the pilots.

  15. @justin is right. There is a quality of pilot question. The hours and training requirements of American pilots far exceeds those Africa and Middle East. I have a friend getting his commerical license now. His choices are training other pilots then go regional….or fly mainline jets in Middle East or Asia. A serious problem in some countries might be a minor issue with well trained American pilots. Still a lot of questions awaiting answers.

  16. All 787-8 were grounded for a while due to the battery issues at launch. No major accidents were involved there. It would seem preposterous to not ground all MAX until the problem is conclusively addressed. I think any airline with them on order should make a statement to Boeing by suspending those orders too.

  17. @Justin. It surprises many today but the majority of pilots coming up the ranks are no longer military. The majority are from schools like Embry Riddle. I do agree that the regional jet system allows for more flight hours and experience before taking the controls of a larger jet like the 737MAX – in comparison to other regions of the world. But most of these regional jet pilots who are advancing to become the future of mainline operations never saw military flying.

  18. This is the deadliest commercial jet ever flow per 100,000 hours of flight time. It should be grounded immediately.

  19. NO! I fly Southwest regularly and will not get on this plane. All 737 MAXs need to be grounded immediately.

  20. Justin is 100% correct. Most accidents are due to human error. I avoid third world airlines unless I have no choice. I had a terrible experience on EK due to a maintenance issue and would never fly them again.

  21. Sorry to be the one breaking the news here to the idealistic folks thinking the fleet should be grounded, but this is trump’s America.

    This is nothing that a good bribery from Boeing of the corrupt transportation secretary elaine chao can’t fix.

    Her husband mitch macconnell and her mafia boss “don the con” trump will also be happy to get their cuts.

  22. If I were booked on a 737max, I’d call and change my booking. As for now, there’s too much uncertainty. That being said, I’m a Delta flyer so my chances of every flying on this plane are slim.

  23. @ Dom — This isn’t a farce, this is something a lot of people are wondering. Heck, I just got texted by a non-aviation friend who said he’s flying a 737 MAX soon and if he should be concerned.

  24. Boeing is covering their design error and has no regret to do this.
    Cost of lives to Boeing is much cheaper than grounding planes and orders cancelled.
    I will pay all costs to avoid MAX.
    My life is more precious than rebooking fees!!!

  25. Pending at least an initial response for aid investigators, right now I wouldn’t fly the 737MAX if it was reasonably possible to avoid it.

  26. The amount of people onboard the flight of Ethiopian Airlines was 157 (not over 160 like the article says). Regardless of that this is a very tragic incident and my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the people onboard.

  27. People these days are too uppity about safety when flying. I have not seen anything saying that the MAX is unsafe. Hundreds of daily flights are operated by a MAX, and only two have crashed. Yes, that is a lot of fatalities, but the A320 also had a large number of crashes right when it was introduced as well, and no one is calling it unsafe. The thing is, the MAX is a very safe plane, possibly with one flaw that will be fixed. Until then, stop worrying about which plane you’re flying on and enjoy the flight. The MAX is a technological wonder of a new aircraft, and I’d hate to see people avoid it over ridiculous concerns.

  28. @Abe: “with this plane type, yes. That’s my point.”

    @Justin: “Ethiopian may be one of Africa’s best airlines, but yes both of the 737 Max incidents have occurred outside the “first world,” which absolutely is a worthwhile footnote.”

    Correlation does not equal causation.

  29. @Boraxo Emirates is far from a third world airline and your opinion is very discriminatory. Ethiopian is the most successful carrier on the continent and is incredibly safe and reliable. So is the MAX.

  30. Is it safe? Based on two unexplained accidents in months with similar characteristics – I’d say no. My confidence in the MAX aircraft has seriously diminished. I’ll be booking on non-MAX aircraft for the time being. Thoughts with those affected.

  31. @Zortan: “Hundreds of daily flights are operated by a MAX, and only two have crashed. Yes, that is a lot of fatalities, but the A320 also had a large number of crashes right when it was introduced as well, and no one is calling it unsafe.”

    While the safety of the MAX is, indeed, inconclusive right now, it probably doesn’t help your argument to make things up about the initial safety of the A320.

  32. The pilot had over 8,000 hours flight time, he wasn’t some rube from a backwater. I wish people would stop making assumptions.

    It would seem to be something of concern since both crashes have been so tragic, with no survivors. If there is a problem, regardless of whether it is solely mechanical, or a combination of mechanical/system and pilot confusion/error, there is cause for concern. Just because it is a widely used aircraft and would impact airlines, it would be smart to ground these planes. My guess is that there will be a significant number of people unwilling to fly them anyway.

  33. I hate how automated they are making planes. More proof the world needs pilots. I’m a trained Commercial pilot. Good old stuck and rudder skills plus some automation (auto pilot ) is all that’s needed. All this new automation is very dangerous. I wouldn’t step foot on the 737MAX. Both incidents seem identical. These pilots must have sat there and watched with no ability to stop it. Automatically correcting from a stall that wasn’t occurring. Wow. Dangerous. Pilots should resolve constant training on stall and low airspeed recovery, planes will never be able to be designed to save a bad pilot. But a good pilot can make the best of a bad situation , unless the plane is over automated and takes over completely with no way out.

  34. No I would not fly on those. I read that the models of B737 MAX delivered are about 350 at the moment. And they have been released since 2017. It is difficult to believe that 2 major crashes like these are due to coincidences. Maybe it is also due to pilots being unprepared, but still something is wrong with these model (I think). In addition, the accidents of Lionair and Ethiopian Airlines are pretty similar, both crashed after the take off.. I’m not saying that the cause is the same, but it makes even harder to believe this is a coincidence. So, I would never fly on one of those because i would feel very unconfortable.

  35. Researching this more there appears to be another issue that correlates with the issue of the MCAS. That is that only 4 specific 737MAX simulators have been delivered around the world thus far. Southwest has one. American has none. In American’s case they use the 737NG simulator which can not replicate the MCAS issue. The only training most pilots are getting on this directive is a briefing of what to do vs. actual simulator time.

    Coincidentally, it was Southwest that announced recently that it is retrofitting all of its Max’s with a new angle of attack indicator as a result of these discoveries. I would imagine due to being one of the few carriers that can currently replicate the scenario in a simulator.

  36. I have 10 flights on 5 different airlines the next few weeks and if some of those flights was on a 737 Max, I would try to change it. It’s a huge coincidence. Not only the same plane but 2 brand new planes. Sure, you can find cases with similar planes in the past….but with 2 brand new planes?

    Also…to people talking about 3rd world country’s airlines and lack of training….many of the pilots on these airlines come from other reputable airlines in Europe and all over the world simply because they’re better paid.

  37. Thanks Lucky, your post is very helpful (especially about how to tell if you’re booked on 737MAX).
    I certainly will avoid 737MAX for now, but I know that many people actually only pick which airline they’re flying and they don’t care what plane brand/type they would be on.
    As these 2 accidents happen outside first world countries, I don’t think Boeing will take it seriously and they will put profit above anything else. Pilot training in Africa/SE Asia maybe not as rigorous as in the US, but the fact that other airplane types don’t have accidents like this tell you that either something is not right with the plane or maybe pilots need extra training with 737MAX.
    Boeing markets 737MAX to be fully compatible with 737 and they said that pilots don’t need extra training. So if those airlines outside first world countries don’t have any safety issues with 737 all this time, then why suddenly now they have serious accidents with brand new 737MAX ?

  38. The cause of the Lion Air Crash is very clear.
    Problem 1) The 737 Max is unstable as the engines are much bigger than what the airframe was designed for
    Problem 2) Boeing marketed the Max as a plane which will need no retraining from the 737-NG so Being engineers were forbidden to make changes to planes physical design to make it stable
    Problem 3) Boeing Engineers changed the flight control software to include MCAS which through fly by wire makes the Max fly the same as the NG
    Problem 4) Boeing designed MCAS to take inputs from only one AoA sensor instead of both.
    Problem 5) Boeing AoA sensors fail at a worryingly high rate
    Problem 6) To accomodate MCAS Boeing removed a function from the NG. In the NG if the Trim system is misbehaving the pilots can pull back on the yoke and the Trim System disengages. In the Max this feature is no longer there and instead pilots have to push 2 trim disengage switches (this system was also there on NG as a backup)
    Problem 7) Boeing did not tell the pilots that pulling back the yoke does not work anymore

    So Boeing made a design decision for commerical reasons, than did not tell the pilots about it for marketing reasons, then designed that component MCAS without redundancy and dependent on one component (single point of failure) ,then manufactured that component to poor quality standards, then removed one of the main recovery modes for this failure and then did not tell the pilots that this recovery mode was no longer available.

    At this point this looks like a criminal case not just a civil lawsuit as these grossly negligient decisions have led to the deaths of over 300 people.

    For comparison Boeing 737 Max has now killed more Air travellers than 9/11

  39. @Ryan why don’t you do the world a favor and get off the Internet. I cannot believe you actually get PAID to fly airplanes with the level of ignorance displayed in your post. It’s clear that you don’t have even the most basic understanding of how automatic flight control systems work. May I introduce you to the very friendly autopilot disconnect switch found in—oh, I don’t know—EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL AIRLINER EVER? Maybe you should stop letting your airplane fly you and fly the airplane yourself like your flight instructor probably had to tell you on every one of your clearly ineffective training flights. Stop spewing your nonsense on here.

  40. “You’ll notice that the 737 MAX also has the distinctive split winglets.”

    The Advanced Technology Winglet is also offered as a retrofit kit to 737 NG, and some airlines have been very fast at installing them. I’d wager that the overwhelming majority of 737s with the ATW are actually NG, not MAX.

  41. @Matthew Not sure why you are upset at Ryan. In fact it seems it’s you who are not correct in that it is “just a simple disconnect of the auto-pilot” when referencing the MAX. There are three steps needed with the MAX in this situation that are all counter-intuitive and unlike previous variants. It would be similar if this were a car to tell the owner that this new model has an issue that, if the brakes fail you should 1. Stop trying to apply the brakes. 2. Remove your cigarette lighter. 3. Roll down your windows. The very issue at hand with the MCAS is that it is completely counter intuitive AND Boeing never bothered to tell anyone. And, as I pointed out earlier, with only 4 MAX simulators in the world currently delivered only a few pilots have actually been able to train for this scenario as most use the NG Simulator (American for example).

  42. @Matthew, from what I’ve been reading it seems like the autopilot disconnect switch does NOT disable MCAS. Instead, there is a certain sequence of steps that must be taken to disable it. So, it would appear that Ryan is correct here.

  43. The FAA should immediately ground all Boeing 737 Max’s immediately. Boeing should pay for their errors and all these innocent lives. I have no doubt it is some sort of design failure. Horrible.

  44. Yes there might be circumstances where a lack of experience leads a pilot to react badly to adverse situations but if the adverse situation is itself being created by a poorly designed flight control system then that’s on Boeing, not the airline. The 737 is a mass market, volume aircraft designed to fly in their thousands around the world. It needs to be easy and predictable to fly for a wide variety of pilot types because that’s it’s market. Making something as basic as an anti stall feature so complicated that it needs a super experienced captain or an ex airforce hot shot is poor design and execution. Boeing rushed a half baked 737 redesign to market over a completely new single aisle jet because Airbus was eating their lunch in that market. It’s not impossible to think they made choices here that were commercial in nature.

    Another thing to point out that “first world” pilot training is vastly overhyped these days. There was a time maybe 20 years back where most pilots flying mainline US aircraft had material military and/or regional jet hours but that time is long past. A lot of pilots now come out of the same training programs feeding the higher paying international carriers certified to fly 737s and even larger jets. Ethiopian has consistently rated just as highly as any US carrier (sometimes better) or many metrics and there’s no reason to point to their pilot selection policies as the culprit here.

  45. @Peter The split scimitar retrofit for the NG is pretty different from the ATW on the MAX. The joint of the upper and lower parts as well the tips are easily distinguishable IMO

  46. SM is absolutely correct.

    If this was a Southwest, American or United flight going down and the victims were all United States citizens, there would be continuous news coverage today and televised Congressional oversight hearings into the 737 Max program with a temporary grounding order.

  47. It appears that there are 114 max 8 aircraft in the air at this very moment. It would seem to be safe to say that at least 115 fly per day. If each aircraft flies only once per day that’s 21,000 rotations over a 6 month period. Some airlines, like SWA, would have two or three take-offs and landings per day and bump that number even higher. Two crashes are alarming, but it would appear that the Max 8 is still pretty damn safe.

  48. Consider this: the aircraft may not have been properly maintained, and the pilots not trained well. There is no need to ground the fleet, it is perfectly safe. Boeing is doing their part, it’s up to airlines to maintain their fleets and train their crew properly.

  49. A rumour going around is that Boeing fitted advanced engines on a 1960’s frame.

    There is definitely a major flaw here. One cannot blame the pilots lack of training just because these incidents have occurred outside of US/EU. ET flies latest aircraft like the A350/B787 there have been no incidents as those planes have no issues unlike the 737MAX 8.

    I am booked to fly on the MAX 8 next month. I m really concerned now and have written to the airline checking if there will be an equipment change.

    Thanks Lucky for the addressing this issue.

    Very helpful.

    It would be nice if you would also put up an article in lay man words about how the MCAS systems work in the MAX and other technical details for engaging/disengaging auto pilot etc.

  50. Not a chance in hell I will fly the 737-MAX at all until they are fully investigated. Currently live in the UK, moving to Seattle area.

    This is insane.

  51. Taking a look at 737 MAX deliveries on Wikipedia (, of the 350 delivered, a large number have gone to non-US, non-Europe airlines. If Lion and Ethiopian were the only two non-1st world airlines to fly these, I’d possibly think pilot error was the cause. However, FlyDubai has seven, various Chinese airlines have ~40 collectively, etc. Pilot familiarity might certainly be a contributing factor, but it does seem like there’s something with the aircraft itself.

    Large Western carriers (American, Southwest, Air Canada, Norwegian, etc.) only have about 89 of the 350 deliveries depending on how you count (there’s a few leasing companies who have taken deliveries) and if my quick scan is correct. If US/Western Europe carriers haven’t had an issue with these planes yet, it may just be that they don’t have enough in the air (i.e. sample size not yet big enough).

  52. @Stuart @Aztec Ryan was venting about automation in general and referenced MCAS as a specific example of that. In general the way to get rid of automation is to disconnect the autopilot. You are correct that this action would not disconnect MCAS. The MCAS disconnect procedure is named “Runaway Stab Trim.” This happens to be in of the very few memory-item non-normal procedure that the supposedly well-trained professionals responsible for the 100+ lives sitting behind them should have memorized and should be able to perform without assistance. While it is not a one-step procedure, for you pass that off as anything other than a very simple and easy procedure to perform is quite disingenuous.

  53. Taking a look at 737 MAX deliveries on Wikipedia (link blocked), of the 350 delivered, a large number have gone to non-US, non-Europe airlines.

    Large Western carriers (American, Southwest, Air Canada, Norwegian, etc.) only have about 89 of the 350 deliveries depending on how you count (there’s a few leasing companies who have taken deliveries) and if my quick scan is correct. If Western carriers haven’t had an issue with these planes yet, it may just be that they don’t have enough in the air (i.e. sample size not yet big enough), and the crashes happened at non-Western operators just because there are more 737 Max’s abroad than at home, rather than because non-Western pilots are less-trained, less familiar, less etc.

  54. I am flying to MEX on Friday and I was relieved to find that the two legs that are on a 737 are on a 737-800. If they had been on a MAX I would have made every effort to rebook.

    So, no to the MAX. As for Ethiopian, it’s a good airline that I have flown confidently in the past and I wouldn’t hesitate to do so again. Disappointing to read the uninformed comments here about “third world airlines.” They just bought a brand new plane, for crying out loud.

  55. @Matthew. If you are a pilot (I am assuming you are) why are most pilots then calling the three step system completely archaic and difficult under this kind of pressure situation and, in both cases, at a low enough altitude that there is little time for recovery?

    And while it may be true that when properly “learned” in that it will become intuitive – the fact remains that Boeing never initially explained it, no one was trained for it, and only 4 simulators exist in the world that can replicate it. Given this I fail to see how it’s as easy as you say.

    As one pilot said today elsewhere: “The autopilot is not only malfunctioning, the new procedure to disable it is strangely complex. On most airplanes including the one I fly, a nudge to the control yoke disables the autopilot. One simple motion. On this one, it’s a three-step process is scattered across the instrument panel and down near the thrust levers. In an emergency this ludicrous process is demonstrably and ultimately treacherous. Boeing has failed humanity by not stressing the critical necessity of specific training on the procedure. It’s a 1,2,3 procedure, itself blindingly stupid and deadly ESPECIALLY under emergency demands.”

  56. Firstly my sympathy to everyone affected by the recent crashes.

    I would still fly in one, with a decent airline, due to the overall safety of flying. Driving to the airport will be the riskiest part of the trip.

    As a kid I flew in DC10s when they had a bad reputation and never felt at risk

  57. Make that 348 planes in the sky. 2 down and unless the cause is known, simple mathematics tells me not to fly on them.

  58. I can’t believe the number of posts chalking this accident and other 737 max crashes to pilot quality. Its highly racially biased to suggest this. Even the worst pilot in the world would not nose dive 6000 feet into an explosion. This is a definite equipment issue.

    The question is not whether or not you would fly a 736 max. Some pax have no other alternative. The question is if you would now knowingly fly a 737 max if you had another option available.

    I vote for the alternative 300%. There is something definitely wrong with the plane

  59. @Stuart if pilots are calling this arduous three-step process completely archaic and difficult, they’re simply perpetuating the hype about this. In a 737NG or 737MAX, if the stabilizer trim is doing anything objectionable (i.e., continuing to trim nose down when you don’t want it to) then you stop it by following the very easy procedure of holding the control column, disconnecting the autopilot (the switch is on the control column that you’re now holding), and flipping the two electric trim disconnect switches (only one really needs to be switched, but do both for redundancy) that are right by the thrust levers and engine fire switches. If doing something like that would be hard for a person, then that person has no business in the cockpit of any airplane. If that person cannot do that procedure in her or his sleep, they are the worst risk their passengers are facing — not the airplane automation.

    The problem is not MCAS. MCAS is merely another software input into the electric trim system. There are lots of things that make inputs into the electric trim system; however, the procedure remains the same regardless of which specific input is causing the objectionable electric trim system behavior. The problem here is that pilots are not doing what they are supposed to be doing to stop runaway trim.

  60. It always appeared to me as a way of tying to cut corners, by trying to cheaply replace the 757 with an extended version of the 50+ year old 737. Instead of getting on with developing the 797.

  61. This is what we know two brand new jets crashed flown by non western airlines. They are mostly identical to the older versions, except for engines and software changes. Determine what is different from the ng and the max, and see if it affects safety. The root cause needs to be determined. Lets not forget that the 777 had a stellar record and had a few crashes and hard landings.

  62. Until it happens to an American carrier nothing will happen. Typical white American racist and superiority comments reflected in the comments on this issue are not surprising.

  63. @Matthew The point is not that the Trim disconnect switches still work. The point is that in the NG there were 2 ways of disconnecting runaway trim – the trim disconnect switch as well as pulling back on the yoke. On the Max pulling back on the Yoke does not work. And Boeing ha told all pilots everything that worked on the NG still works on the Max. Even after the Lion Air accident they did not make it widely known that pulling back on the yoke does not work anymore. And now the Ethiopian plane has gone down. At some point the focus has to move from preventing Boeing’s bankruptcy (I think its too late to save Boeing now) to preventing more deaths

  64. Condolences to families of the deceased on ET302.

    I have avoided Max for the small lav’s and bad seating on AA and UA so have not considered the safety aspect.

  65. @Matthew I appreciate your offering this perspective and at least for me it makes sense initially in the context of how you present it. And while it may be that there is a “hype” attached, in the end, like most every accident, I imagine it will really be a compounding series of issues that took place all at once. But that can’t negate what seems to be the obvious: something in the “wheel” is broken when two perfectly good and newly delivered 737MAX’s crash at low(ish) altitude, in good weather, and in seemingly similar patterns just a few months apart. As well, given that many in the field, long before today, have been vocal of the issues on the MAX and the lack of training for runaway trim on this variant lead me to believe that there is more at play here. That is, as should always be, were the systems designed for the lowest common denominator and the training as such?

  66. IF it is software/computer taking over the cockpit, then we are back to the fundamental shortcoming of the Airbus family of planes. Computers crashing Airbuses goes back as far as the 1980’s when they were first introduced and has resulted in multiple crashes over the years, including an Airbus at the Paris (Orly) Airshow on a flyby with an Airbus company crew in the cockpit…
    No, I won’t fly a MAX until the dust settles, nor will my wife who is a FA.

  67. The original article was well written and appreciated.

    I think the posts to GROUND all of them is premature.

    BUT – if tomorrow they find enough similar circumstances to the other flight and no immediate correction, then yes.

  68. If i’ll fly 737 MAX? no!
    But not for this reason, because their are 350 737 flying now twice a day at least, and in a few month time two of them crashed is not a reason to book another ticket and pay twice.
    But in my opinion as i flew B737 on Lot and on UIA and i flew Easy Jet, Wizz Air on A320 i think that the Airbus 320 seats are whay better seats then Boeing 737 that’s why i’ll rather fly A320

  69. I think the problem is that other than AVGeeks or very paranoid people, the average person has no idea of what type of aircraft they’re flying on. Simply from a safety perspective, you should have some idea. I asked a colleague recently that flew LH transatlantic if they were on a 747 or A350 knowing they both fly the route. Their response was, “i don’t know, it was a big plane”. Similarly I had a friend that ecstatically reported their first flight on the “Dreamliner.” When I probed a little further and they talked about the huge size and two full decks, I said “you mean the A380?” Their response, “yes that’s it, the Dreamliner.” FFS

  70. Along with the “grounding demands” by others, I expect many will demand the President/CEO of Boeing and the airlines involved to be fired.

    (I do not agree)

  71. It’s very well known that many overseas pilots are not the best at manually flying the plan. Not to say they can’t, they just don’t grow up flying the way pilots do in the USA…. many pilots will immediately jump to pilot error and that well might be the case. 2 plans in a month, with situations that seem very similar, is strange….

  72. What’s with all these people saying Ethiopian is such a solid and good airline?

    They’ve had their fair share of safety issues in the past, including a crash before that was never fully explained. It was a 737 outside Beirut.

    Then they also had one copilot who hijacked the plane and flew it to Geneva a few years ago.

    I’m not sure there’s something wrong with the plane, but I would suspect that there’s some kind of system on the plane that bad pilots are not accustomed to. There’s got to be a reason these planes happened outside first world countries with bad pilots.

  73. I flew the Max last year for the first time with a very well-reputed airline. During the initial climb, I noticed that the plane seemed to be moving unusually compared to any other flight I’ve been on. At first I thought it was making a few small turns but then it continued and I thought that it must’ve been some kind of computerised move of this new aircraft. It felt as if it was automatically dipping one wing then the other. It also felt like there potentially was a loss of control/balance and it was trying to correct itself. This went on for some time which really started to freak me out. I am a very frequent flyer and used to all sorts of aircraft types, moves and noises but this was different, something I’d never encountered. Finally it stopped doing it and completed the climb without any more of those moves.

    Has anyone else experienced this on the Max? I was terrified and sure something bad was going to happen.

  74. This reminds me of the DC-10s and the flaws the plane had when it came out. Perhaps the merger with McDonnell Douglas is showing its colours?

  75. Some real “first world” “make America great again” C.U.N.Ts here… imagine if it’s an Airbus, a SU or a Chinese AJ or C what kinda of comments would you get?!

    Ground the whole damn thing, clearly American engineering isn’t that great anymore.

  76. @Abe

    Do you consider American and European airlines safe? Well, guess what…many of them have had crashes in the past. So what’s your point?

    Ethiopian has changed a lot in the last few years. They have a very new fleet and there’s no reasons to think that their pilots are not qualified.

  77. I decided to avoid the 737 max last November when I learned Boeing had secretly implemented a new computer system called MCAS to prevent stalls without telling anyone. The 737 was designed before jetways so it sits close to the ground. To accommodate the larger diameter engines on the 737 Max Boeing had to move the engines forward. This shifted the center of gravity for the plane. During the testing of the 737 Max Boeing discovered that the jet was stalling. They created MCAS to angle the nose down automatically to prevent stalls.

    Last August Boeing introduced the 737 Max 10 which will start flying in 2020. They are lengthening the landing gear by 9.5″. This will allow them to move the engines back to the original location and correct the stall problem – which means they no longer will need the MCAS system. It also means that at least 2 months before the first 737 Max crash they knew they had a problem and did not ground the jets.

  78. @Abe: “I’m not sure there’s something wrong with the plane, but I would suspect that there’s some kind of system on the plane that bad pilots are not accustomed to. There’s got to be a reason these planes happened outside first world countries with bad pilots.”

    Again, correlation and causation are not the same thing.

  79. Yep, B737-800 aircraft should be grounded until further notice. (retired airworthiness inspector).

  80. What I found interesting in reading through multiple sites is that the Pilots’ Unions at Southwest and American went themselves to Boeing and demanded to know what was happening, and that their planes were fitted with extra instrumentation to detect angle of attack issues. The Unions stated that the Pilots would not fly the planes if they felt they were unsafe. It is unfortunate the same courtesies were not given to other carriers/pilots, especially those in smaller countries. Boeing has a lot of explaining to do.

  81. Glad to see most everybody ignoring Matt Clancy’s idiotic post. This has nothing to do with Trump Matt. Go elsewhere with your political drivel. My condolences to the family’s who lost loved ones. I think that Boeing needs to look carefully and quickly at both of these accidents and if they are in any way found to be related ie pilot training issues, software design flaws then ground the entire Max fleet. I would still fly on a Max but honestly would choose a different aircraft if given the choice.

  82. You can find causation through correlation. So yes it is relevant.

    Yeah, Ethiopian pilots are great. It is perfectly standard for F/O’s to hijack their own planes and seek refuge in Switzerland. Sort of like that time the captain of that American flight hijacked his own plane to fly to Toronto… oh wait.

  83. I had an outbound flight to Denver on Southwest scheduled for early next month that I learned was supposed to be on a Max. I called and spoke to customer service and it was clear they have been fielding calls like this all day. The employee, who was lovely, was obviously following a script; “Southwest has been in touch with Boeing…we stand by the safety of our aircraft…etc.” She mentioned a price difference, however after a brief hold said that it would be waived as a one time gesture of goodwill. Relatively impressed with how swiftly and professionally they dealt with it. That being said, and as Lucky mentioned, might be worth a call to your carrier if you’re concerned.

  84. Yes I would continue to fly the MAX but only in first class. If it’s crashes I want to die doing what I loved most.

  85. @Prabuddha you are completely wrong. I sincerely hope that you’re a troll because you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Pilot force on the control yoke disconnects the electric trim on the MAX just like it does on the NG. Before you chime in on thread like this why don’t you do yourself a favor and make sure you’re actually right. You spreading factually incorrect statements is entirely unhelpful to those of us in this community who don’t have the expertise to actually see your ignorance for what it actually is. What you’re doing is dangerous and you have no business posting on here. Do us all a favor and just get off the Internet.

  86. Making up for design flaws because Boeing slapped larger engines (placed further forward on wings) with a software “fix” is a lousy way to hold a commercial aircraft. Will I fly one? No. Even before this crash, after reading details of the plane design following Lion Air tragedy I decided to avoid this particular plane. Boeing lobbyists hard at work to make sure this poorly designed airplane received its certification. Profits over people—not a good look.

  87. Nope! Unfortunately, American Airlines flies only Max on the direct route I take frequently. Guess I’ll switch to another Delta until AA stops flying these planes until the investigation is complete. 2 aircraft out of 350? I don’t like those odds.

  88. Urgh…booked on Sunwings new MAX8 from YVR to Cuba this coming Wednesday. Hope they ground the aircraft…and replace it with the 800


  90. 18 Canadians died on this flight so this has been getting great coverage in Canada. For further info the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported this morning that the captain had 8000 hours which is a lot but the copilot had only 200. Which is almost nothing. I don’t know if this matters but there it is.

  91. lol @Abe, by that logic, we should doubt the mental state of all German pilots after the Germanwings 9525 incident.

  92. Guess not #inshanghai latest news from China is that all 737Max are grounded…back to Antanovs for you…

  93. Is it safe comparing to the cars ? – Yes
    Is it safe comparing to other modern aircraft? – I don’t think so anymore

  94. the max needs to be grounded until they figure out what happened.

    very few people would want to fly on the max anyways.

  95. Thanks Dr Howard for the link (before 2nd crash link I have to say)
    This absolutely astonishing that problem was already researched and root cause was found, yet boeing/faa/whoever didn’t do a damn thing

  96. I will be calling Southwest in the morning and changing my three upcoming flights if they are on a 737 Max 8.

  97. As usual after such tragic incidents, there are far too many armchair experts who, within hours of the event, claim to know definitively what the cause was, even before the black box has been retrieved and analysed. These so-called experts demand the grounding of entire fleets, the jailing of company management, the suing of the manufacturer/airline, and promote various conspiracy theories.
    In the fullness of time, there may indeed turn out to be an inherent design fault with the Max, but equally, there also may not be and the two events are no more than a sad coincidence. So why not just leave the analysis to the true experts and wait until the professionals carry out their work? Have you own theories, but please don’t present them to the world as facts….

  98. @Abe , Ethiopian Airlines is neither a “crappy” airline nor does it have “dumb”pilots. if you did your research and bothered to learn more about the world beyond whatever provincial US town you’re commenting from you’d know that it 1) Is one of the best run airlines in the world 2) It has amazing, highly qualified pilots , both male and female, with unblemished records 3) It has a great safety record

  99. The only answer must be NO. A new plane, less than a year old, should not fall out of the sky irrespective of the level of pilot training (assuming they have reached the minimum standard to fly type commercial). If the design of the plane or its systems is such that pilot error is not urgently alarmed and automatic corrective action not taken, then this plane is not fit for purpose. The reports so far suggest that the MCAS is actually operating counter intuitively, significantly reducing the pilot’s ability to reduce the consequences. Until fully investigated, all planes with MCAS should be grounded – what happens if the same situation occurs on a 747-Max or 787-Max? Its unthinkable.

  100. I think the most unsettling fact from both of these crashes is the fact that both airplanes were only months old.

  101. I’m an Ethiopian based here in Addis, heart broken by the sad news. I have an extensive airline travel experience internationally as well as regionally in the US. I love flying even though I hate turbulence. Most of all am always amazed by human ingenuity whenever I see military or commercial aircraft. Ethiopians are proud of our national carrier both in terms of the rigorous training the pilots have and the flight hours one must have to qualify for a specific aircraft. I have friends and relatives who are pilots and all they tell you is that it’s not easy to fly for Ethiopian. I agree it’s thistle world out here but not all companies are run third world. Same as I’ve seen seen third world companies in first world countries. Captain Yared has an excellent record with 8k flight hours and that is a big number.

    Frankly, I don’t trust big companies like boieng because it’s mostly about the shareholders and/or the stocks they worry than disclosing the truth or taking necessary actions. I understand like Ethiopian, boing is also a national brand that most American people and government are proud of. That could bring politics to the table. But when the Chinese said they have grounded their BMax fleet, I say the aircraft must have issues. Also has anyone seen the documentary by Aljezzera about the Dreamliner where even the designers believe it has flaws? This also scary. Don’t fly until they publicly tell us what exactly happened. I know I ain’t.

    Updates: They have found the black box this afternoon hope it gives us some glimpse.

  102. “We do not like the fact that a new system was put on the aircraft and wasn’t disclosed to anyone or put in the manuals.”

    OK. I have seen many claims that Boeing did NOT reveal their anti-stall computer system when the aircraft was released. You can see page 27-41 of the Boeing 737-7/-8 system differences Manual – Volume 1. Here; and the complete differences listed at;

  103. An old aviation saying- “it aint the odds its the consequences”. I am 40 year pilot and last flew an A320. I believe that Boeing was trying to imitate the some of the safety software that Airbus has implemented, for instance, you can’t really stall a 320- throttles come up, and nose down. But we know it is totally fly by wire, and the systems behavior is well documented and instructed.

    While the pilot may have had 8,000 hours, that does not tell us what type of experience. To me it is TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE that the co-pilot had only 200 hours. That tells me that Ethiopian is literally CRAZY. I have flown them a number of times, but never in an emergency! They do a good job, but it is Ethiopia.

    Based on the Lion Air crash I would think that EVERY pilot would know where the MCAS switches are and also the circuit breaker to disable the system. That was why I was comfortable still flying on the type.

    Many pilots prefer Boeing to Airbus, as Boeing was a ‘stick and rudder’ airplane not computer driven like Airbus. Seems like Boeing has tried to integrate some of Airbus’ protection of flight envelopes, but has done a bad job of implementing it (depends on one Angle of Attack sensor- no ‘tie breaker’ setup) explaining it (was not in the flight manuals!), and not being in the training. Shame on Boeing!

    IMHO, the stall prevention system should be rendered INOP and placarded. It is trying to fix a problem that does not exist!

  104. Southwest refused to change my flight on the 737 MAX 8 and waive the fare difference. When I asked to speak with a supervisor, they told me I would receive a call back in 24-48 hours.

    This is quite unacceptable and makes me to not want to give Southwest future business.

  105. I’ll not fly on this plane, honestly. 2 crashes in few months for a new plane is kind of suspicious, it looks like there is a hidden fatal flaw somewhere in the plane that is unknown.

  106. American Airlines is refusing to waive the change fees for a flight in two weeks, are airlines likely to make an accommodation here at some point?

  107. My thoughts which are shared with many is that the new leap engines on the max series are larger in diameter therefore were required to be plus further forward on the pylons and wing causing a further forward c of g but the same fuselage design as before. They would cause a natural pitching motion and lack of accurate stabilator control. Boeing created this ‘Hidden’ always on autopilot feature to counteract the aircraft’s natural pitching motion without pilots noticing any difference in handling or there grave design error.. subsequently the software is buggy as hell and prone to the odd failure seemingly during critical phase of flight and forcing the aircraft into a higher nose attitude stall and lack of sufficient altitude and confusion in the flight deck leads to a really tragic disaster. (Take a look at the side by side view of the NG series and Max series to see the difference)
    Just my two cents theory

  108. Seems like Kevin Capozzi and Prabuddha offer good knowledge. Hopefully, we will know soon and have the cause and effect. What terrible AVOIDABLE tragedies.

  109. They designed the 737Max to make money first and to fly second. Always a bad pecking order.

  110. The problem with the Loin Air plane crash is believed to be the same as this crash; the automatic trim. One of the main problems was that the flying manual was written in english only, the pilots from non English speaking countries couldn’t understand the manual. There was a button they could’ve pushed that would of disengaged the trim, but since Boeing only provided directions in English I would hold them responsible.

    Is the 737-800 MAX safe? yes, the problem isn’t the plane, but the pilot that doesn’t understand it.

  111. @Prabuddha Althuth I did not understand everything in your post it seems that you have engineering knowledge. Are you also a pilot? This is going to be a major issue for Boeing. The FAA will be heavily involved

  112. If you read the Seattle Times regarding problems with the 737 MAX production delays and attempts to speed production, it should give everyone pause. “He see a lot of rejection tags on writing modules. We are ripping apart some of the electronic racks already assembled to replace wire bundles that aren’t right,” he said [high-grade mechanic]. “… the one that build only the new MAX version, are rolled out onto the field without power turned on. That’s a milestone in the build process that requires multiple checks, which are now often performed by workers from the Air Force tankers or 777 program who are unfamiliar with the 737 systems. On a similar note, “…mechanics can close up areas of the airplane without an inspector taking a final look, they [Boeing] intend to cut nearly 1.000 quality inspecting jobs over the next two years.

  113. I flew on a Norwegian Airlines 737 max 8 2 years ago and the pilot said it had just been delivered from the factory. After leaving the gate the pilot couldn’t start one of the engines and it took 5 hours of reading the manual and trying different things before they got it going. I posted on Tripadvisor thst the plane was a piece of junk and I would never fly on one again. After the Lion Air crash I tried to post that the 737 max was a death trap, but Tripadvisor refused to post the comment. I guess that Boeing’s profits are more inportant than lives.

  114. Would i fly the 737 Max then the answer is YES if it had a design flaw then every other 737 Max would fall out of the sky. And its to early to justify that this plane is unsafe let the investigators to do their job first. And also if this was an Airbus crash everybody will jump to conclusion on blaming the pilot while if it is Boeing then everybody will jump to blame the plane.

  115. Renato says ” if it had a design flaw then every other 737 Max would fall out of the sky” that’s not a accurate statement. Automobiles are recalled for safety issues but that doesn’t mean every single one will experience the issue. In some case’s manufactures issue do not drive warnings because the issue is significant enough to warrant such. I think any time you have a new aircraft that has had two similar crashes in cases where weather appears no issue or pilot inexperience. That you need to be concerned the plane has a inherent problem that needs addressing. To say this is not a design flaw is very premature and I personally would not fly on this aircraft until a definitive cause is determined.

  116. Ok, there is one point no one is talking about. Are there any reports from other 737 MAX pilots regarding a failure on this MCAS system and disabling it, taking control again of the aircraft?

    If so, yes, there is real safety issue with that plane.

  117. Further to this, note that pilots have not been trained in this particular type of emergency. My understanding is there is only one simulator in the US for this particular plane, and no info on whether pilots are trained for this exact instance. Judging from the fact that Boeing did not inform pilots of this feature, I would expect not. Hence, most pilots would not even know, much less be able to perform – the non intuitive steps needed to override the MCAS.

  118. The 737Max is making over 8500 flights per month with the various airlines that have purchased it. It has been in service for a couple of years. Even being stingy, we are looking at a million flight aircraft type. There have been two accidents involving type and, the biggest question seems to be more pilot training and familiarity and less equipment directed. I think many people are kicking the horse emotionally than they are using logic. Yes, I’d fly on a 737Max.

  119. I flew a brand new 737 max 8 on it’s first flight (Norwegian) in 2017 and I posted on Tripadvisor after the flight was delayed 3 hours because the pilot couldn’t start one of the engines. My impression was the plane was a cheap piece of junk then and vowed I would never fly on one again. Modern planes are a network of computers with millions of lines of software. The industry standard is that there are probably 15+ bugs in 1000 lines of delivered code and if you have a plane you better nake sure that any bug isn’t life threatening.

  120. The Transport Minister of Canada (a former astronaut no less) just banned 737 Max operations in Canada.

    My question, is what, if any additional training did the ET crew receive on the MCAS issue? Would really like to know that.

    The Transport Minister indicated that the Canadian pilots had received extensive additional training on this issue.

    Shame on Boeing for killing over 300 people, they knew what was going on with their flawed design.

  121. It’s just the crazy American Government that will never ban the 737MAX just because it’s their money and their company.
    And you need to bring jobs back to America, and make America great again…………..

  122. The extensive additional training is good, but I suspect it was after Lion Air….which may indicate that Boeing expected a malfunction could be anticipated – which is a grave concern. And was this additional training in an actual simulator to replicate the condition, to see how the pilots would truly react? I wonder.

  123. Sue Boeing in a class-action suit for $500 Billion dollars for putting out an unsafe plane that killed 337 people in both crashes. Distribute the money to the relatives of the people that were killed.

  124. Whatever happened to “Pilot In Command”? The Pilot and Co-pilot must be the final authority in decision making when it comes to being in control of any Aircraft, regardless of what computers are indicating or telling the Pilot. If anyone cares to remembers the L1011 had accidents and incidences related to faulty inputs for stall warning system that was a poorly designed engineering nightmare. Simplicity in design is still the best system for critical data. There should be instruments onboard to the “Pilots in Command” to evaluate if those indications are actually providing false or valuable information to maintain control of the aircraft. Stall warning does not actually mean the aircraft is stalling. It is there for information only. The pilot in command must analyze and be trained to adapt to evolving conditions to assure the pilot is still in command of the aircraft.
    Has the FAA lost its mission of “Safety of Flight” or its attention to “Flight Safety”? Did the737 max 8 have to crash? “Cockpit Requirements For Safety of Flight”, are they missing from the cockpit?
    In the interest of “Flight Safety” and with more and more dependence on computers and what the industry calls the new concept of the “Glass Cockpit” does the FAA “Federal Aviation Administration”, or CAA “civil Aviation Authority”, ICAO “International Civil Aviation Organization” still require “Mechanical Standby Backup Instruments” in the Cockpit of all civilian and Commercial Aircraft as a function of “Flight Safety” in the event of Electrical failure? Basic mechanical flight instruments use to be required on all Aircraft. A standby backup mechanical artificial horizon, a mechanical turn and bank indicator, a mechanical compass, and through a pitot static system an airspeed and altitude indicator were once a standard backup system required by the FAA.
    Pilots need to know several things to maintain control over their aircraft, air speed, pitch attitude, roll attitude and yaw attitude, and altitude. Take any one of these inputs away from the pilot and you are flirting with disaster. Cut the pilot out of the loop by employing computers and you end up with disaster. Stall warning systems have resulted in several accidents because the pilot in command did not pay attention to the basics of flight, thrust, weight, lift, and drag. That was the reason for the “Backup Standby instruments” in the first place.
    Traditionally the Pitot Static system has been the mechanical system to physically connect the outside environment to the pilot in order to maintain control of the aircraft providing airspeed, vertical speed, and altitude. While a mechanical turn and bank indicators have always been a standard mechanical system that rely on physics to indicate how the aircraft is responding to the environment of the atmosphere and the mechanical compass to also respond to the environment to the position in the physical world. These are all basic very simple, very reliable, mechanical instruments that have been a part of aviation since its beginning. The Standby Artificial Horizon is the only instrument that requires either air pressure or Battery power to drive the gyro to erect to provide reference information to the horizon. If these, “Safety of Flight”, standby backup systems have been removed from the cockpit then we will continue to have fatal crashes.

  125. The plane will automatically nose down to prevent stalling, but won’t automatically nose up to prevent becoming a lawn dart. Nice work Boeing.

    So add a line to 737 max preflight.

    “MCAS disabled”


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