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Author Topic: The MAX Dilemma
Gilbert B Norman
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This topic is adapted from a posting made at the Amtrak forum, at which continued discussion of the MAX would have been off-topic.

While there were evidently flaws in the 737MAX aircraft's design, this long Times article places far more blame on insufficiently trained overseas flight crews, than have other reports. So far as I'm concerned, just pick a plane from any of the three US flagged carriers that have them, round up a certified flight crew, gas 'er up, and let's go for a spin.

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
While there were evidently flaws in the 737MAX aircraft's design, this long Times article places far more blame on insufficiently trained overseas flight crews, than have other reports. So far as I'm concerned, just pick a plane from any of the three US flagged carriers that have them, round up a certified flight crew, gas 'er up, and let's go for a spin.

Agree with you completely. As to the two airlines that had the crashes: I would not fly on either one of those carriers, and there are a few others as well, regardless of what plane was used.
This is not being xenophobic. There are a few foreign flag airlines I have ridden. Mostly but not all on the following two. I was a fequent passenger on Eva my last several years in Taiwan for the simple reason that they were part of the Client and it was in the work contract. Never any reason to hesitate. Was also a regular patron of China Airlines (also a Taiwan company)

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Gilbert B Norman
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Indicative of Mr. Harris' questioning the level of training provided to pilots within the "emerging airlines", the following narrative from The Times' article clearly supports such:
  • The captain informed the co-pilot and said that he himself would do the flying. They would have a hitchhiker in the cockpit, sitting on the jump seat just behind them. He was an off-duty pilot and, according to one Indonesian pilot I spoke to, a 737 Max captain for a Lion Air subsidiary. For mysterious reasons, this man was not mentioned in subsequent Indonesian accounts. When I asked a senior investigator about the omission, he explained that it was because the investigators had been busy. Only recently and reluctantly have the Indonesians acknowledged the third pilot’s presence, though, as it happened, he played an important role........Finally the ghost in the jump seat intervened. It is impossible to know if he was a better airman than the pilots in the front or simply had the advantage of an overview. Either way, he recommended the obvious — shutting off the electric trim by flipping the cutout switches. The captain flipped the switches, the trim stopped running away and the MCAS was disabled. It was that easy.
No question whatever Boeing is hardly faultless in this whole sorry matter. They "pitched" the MAX to these "emerging airlines" on the strength of little or no "sim" time to certify aircrews, when in fact they added a major flight control system without properly disclosing such to either their customers or the regulators.

Finally, allow me to note I became so "into" this article that I was late to a party my Sister was "throwing" (I was "out" in Greenwich visiting). At the party, there was a retired AF "full bird" and his wife, retired senior enlisted. He had flown B-2's during OIF (GWB's war). They both have post-retirement careers. She made a most interesting comment to me. She prefers Southwest Airlines because they largely recruit their pilots from the military where they're trained to be just that, and not simply "flight managers".

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
At the party, there was a retired AF "full bird" and his wife, retired senior enlisted. He had flown B-2's during OIF (GWB's war). They both have post-retirement careers. She made a most interesting comment to me. She prefers Southwest Airlines because they largely recruit their pilots from the military where they're trained to be just that, and not simply "flight managers".

Up through the 50's at least the overwhelming majority of airline pilots had been pilots in the military, with a preference toward bomber and transport pilots as they had ingrained in them the primary mission was deliver the load, regardless of what got in the way.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Hate to get morbid around here, but there have been other commercial jet aircraft with greater design attributable fatalities than the 346 to the MAX. To my knowledge, the DC-10 holds the dubious title of "champ".

As The Times reporter notes, pilot error could be a greater factor than design, but at present, Boeing is the most convenient scapegoat.

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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