It hasn’t been a good year for Boeing. Although landing a killer order at the Paris Airshow from IAG makes things appear like the company is turning a corner, the aircraft manufacturing giant has a long way to go to restoring public confidence in their latest iteration of their iconic 737 jet. It has been grounded worldwide after crashing twice, killing hundreds.
The original fatal flaw found in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) based on the faulty reading of an Angle of Attack sensor was enough to get me to leave off flying the jet. But things may be worse, as the 737MAX appears to have a second fatal flaw.
Boeing has been on track to produce the software patch they promise will fix the MCAS issue. However, a new software problem has been found, one that appears to result in the exact same deadly automatic nose-down trim that the MCAS can produce. Government test pilots in Boeing’s simulator exposed this new flaw last week. The issue has to do with the pilots procedures in responding to the MCAS issue. They haven’t been able to quickly fix the problem.
I wish I was making this up. Yet I am glad they uncovered the issue, rather than putting the jets back into service with another potentially deadly problem. Boeing will be further delayed as they roll out a fix for this issue as well. This new fix could add one to three months to the timeline, which will likely push us to the end of the year as the soonest we may see the MAX flying again.
Nope. Still Not for Me.
The jury is still out whether I’ll ever set foot on a 737MAX jet. At this point, it is going to take a huge effort from Boeing to restore my confidence, not to mention an extended period of operation before I’ll trust it again. Larger engines, the underlying issue that required the development of the MCAS system, resulted is a destabilization of the aerodynamics of the jet during climb and banking. You don’t easily fix such a thing with software. Boeing rushed their 737MAX design.
Long story short: I will not be putting myself or my family on a 737MAX anytime soon.
Featured image courtesy of Aka the Beav via Flickr under CC-BY-2.0 license.
Yeah, I think it will be fine. Lets not forget that the A320 similarly had a lot of crashes when it started flying. The difference remains that there was no internet at the time which reduced the unnecesary panic, IMO.
I have seen this pointed out. The advent of modern communication certainly isn’t helping Boeing, but after losing two planes in short succession on what should be a tried-and-true model and with the sort of attention they pointed to the new MCAS (i.e. none) in pilot manuals, it’s a bad situation.