Following an Ethiopian Airlines crash which claimed the lives of 157 people on Sunday, March 10th, 2019, reports have surfaced citing American pilots voiced their concerns to officials about the perceived safety problems with the Boeing 737 Max 8 in the months prior to the accident. March 10th’s crash was the second deadly crash in only a matter of months, following an October crash in Indonesia that claimed the lives of 189 people.
Many pilots repeatedly voiced their concerns with the Boeing 737 8 Max to federal authorities for months with one captain professing the flight manual as “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” well before the second crash. The reports come from complaints about the Boeing model sent into a federal database that allows pilots to voluntarily report any aviation incidents without punishment coming from their words. Many of the disclosures report issues with the aircraft’s autopilot system mainly during ascent after takeoff. These reports noted the plane suddenly nosing down, forcing pilots to turn off autopilot and manually correct the plane.
Flight data recovered from the Indonesia crash showed that the pilots were forced to try to get the plane’s nose up prior to impact. Officials from Boeing released a statement following this accident warning pilots of erroneous data being put into the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) could make the aircraft dive. However, following the most recent crash in Ethiopia, the company has provided no advice.
Having been the second deadly accident involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 Jetliner, the European Union, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all grounded the aircraft over these concerns. Many more countries are following suit. The United States is still investigating the issue with Boeing’s planes and has not grounded these planes just yet.
On the evening of March 11th, the acting Administrator of the FAA Daniel K. Elwell issued a statement explaining that the agency “continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX.”
“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action,” the statement said. The FAA feels confident in the efficiency and safety of their planes.
One captain who flies a Max 8 complained back in November that it is “unconscionable” that Boeing and federal authorities continue to allow pilots to fly these aircrafts without giving them the appropriate training or fully explaining how the systems for this model differ from their previous 737s. He feels that they present a safety liability for all on board.
However, Boeing themselves released a statement on March 11th claiming that no grounding is necessary. “Based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” the company said.
With nearly 400 of the airliners sold and orders for thousands more, Boeing and the FAA have the safety of millions on their mind and intend on investigating the matter further and feel that grounding their planes is not necessary at the moment. Popular airlines in American and Southwest both operate Max 8’s, owning 24 and 34 respectively. If you do feel worried about flying on one of these planes, to find out whether or not your flight is one of Boeing’s planes, check your ticket for booking information. It will have all the information you need.
If you or a loved one do find yourself involved in a plane accident like the two mentioned, compensation and legal action should be taken. Rad Law Firm is here to fight the fight for you.