Day: November 21, 2018

Funny, they didn’t mention that the runaway stabilizer was not annunciated to the crew, the failed AOA sensor was not annunciated to the crew, the operation and existence of the system was not disclosed to the crew and the fact that once in motion, the means to disable it were not provided to the crew. Add to this that in violation of the certifying regulations the crew couldn’t overcome its downward force using their combined strength and the excuses ring hollow, likely written by the company lawyers rather than the company pilots.

United Airlines did pretty much the same thing when its Flight 585 rolled into the ground in Colorado Springs in the early 90’s instead of admitting that the Boeing 737 had a rudder actuator problem. Boeing then told the FAA that a rudder hard over was impossible which began a nine year legal sojourn I led to solve the problem and get compensation for the victims. In the meantime several more crashes from the same cause occurred killing 600 more people while the FAA and the NTSB embraced the Boeing line.

United should have stayed out of this controversy but its knee jerk reaction was not to frighten its customers away from flying an airplane it had invested heavily in. What it should have done in consort with its other airlines cohorts with whom it likely speaks about pricing and service, is taken a united stance against Boeing so the problem is fixed, and Boeing is admonished never to pull a reckless stunt like this again. It wouldn’t work, but it would have been a safer and higher road to take…safer for the passengers and flight deck crews.

This is what happens when you take a great design (the Boeing 737 is derived from the original Boeing 707 aircraft) and you stretch it, add huge new engines and wonder why it doesn’t fly without adding a bunch of band aids. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System MCAS is just such a band aid that no other B737 has or needs to have. The crash had nothing to do with the crew, it had to do with Boeing and the FAA’s utter failure to properly certify the 737 MAX.

Arthur Alan Wolk