Criticism of FAA mounts as other nations ground Boeing jets

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.

  • Idaho_Boy Aberdeen, ID
    March 13, 2019 6:36 p.m.

    Looks like the auto pilot code has a bug in it, that is giving way too much power to one sensor that is giving bogus information. Disabling the auto pilot and everything is good. But I noticed that at least on the last crash, the first officer had almost no experience in that plane. Not a good combination. The computer thinks the plane is in a stall so it tips the nose down to pick up speed, but the engines are at full throttle for take off to climb and now all that power is driving the plane into the ground.

    You can say pilot error for not taking it off auto pilot, but the airplane is working against you and you aren't at full altitude so reaction time is very small in a high pressure situation. If that is what is happening, it should not be just be tipping the nose down based on the one sensor if all other indications are the air plane is climbing. And it should pull out of that feature if the plane drops below 2000 feet or some number that makes sense. I am not a pilot, but I have written enough computer code and worked with modern engines and sensors to know that sensors don't usually just completely fail, but they will give false data. Garbage in, garbage out.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 13, 2019 5:31 p.m.

    @2 bits,

    The Egypt crash wasn't the second incident. There had been reports of several incidents (even here in the US) of the same plane model having problems. Most pilots were able to keep the plane from crashing by turning off the autopilot software and flying the bird themselves ... THAT was the evidence that suggested the problem was with the planes, and that was weeks ago; even before the second crash.

    By the second crash; the problems were already well documented. And, it was total greed that kept the FAA and Boeing flying those planes. Now they say "out of abundance of caution" they will halt the planes. Pressure from enough people knowing about the problems increased, where before it was kept "hush hush."

    So, it isn't abundance of caution; the grounding it should have been done much sooner, as soon as the third or fourth pilot noticed a problem and had to disable the autopilot software. Just like Toyota and Toccata; Boeing is pretending they don't know anything, when in fact that they are aware the problem is with their system; and have been for some time.

    It wasn't until both enough "politicians" and "consumers" started hounding them, that they grounded the planes.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 13, 2019 3:19 p.m.

    Your taking cover analogy makes sense. But the rest of it doesn't.

    You said, "Grounding the planes should have been done after the third for fourth incident with this specific model"...
    This is the 2nd incident with this model that I know of.

    You said, "Obviously something is wrong with these planes"...
    How do you know that... sans evidence?

    Once there's any evidence the plane is the problem (not weather, maintenance, or human factors)... then I agree with you.

    Now there is info indicating the plane is the problem. So I agree with the decision to ground them.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 13, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    @2 bits - "They need to figure out the target before they fire/act. You don't just fire at random now, hoping later you guessed right and accidentally hit the target."

    Right, but if you heard gunshots being fired; would you not first take cover; and then determine who is firing before firing your shots?

    Grounding the planes until the investigation has determined the cause; is the same as taking cover in an active shooter situation. Once you have taken cover (grounded the planes) for safety, then you can assess the situation (investigate the cause) and identify the target to shoot at (determine the fix to the problem).

    Grounding the planes should have been done after the third for fourth incident with this specific model. Instead many incidents have already occurred and two major crashes with major fatalities.

    Obviously something is wrong with these planes. Boeing doesn't want to admit it, the same reason Toccata refused for a long time to admit that every single air-bag they made was faulty; or Toyota admitting the computer was speeding up their cars (not stuck gas pedals on carpets).

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 13, 2019 1:26 p.m.

    Sounds like they were just grounded in the USA. Based on "new information that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into incident".

    Sounds like there is preliminary info indicating a problem that needs to be fixed with the plane.

    If there are indications the plane is the problem... it's the right thing to do. But not just because Feinstien said so.

    I think the FAA should drive these type of decisions... not politicians.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 13, 2019 11:43 a.m.

    Need to know the cause before you take action

    This seems like a case of ready, fire, aim, minded people trying to run a process that should be fact-based, not political at all.

    Politics have nothing to do with it UtahBlueDevil. The FAA is not political. They know how to do accident investigations (Feinstien doesn't). They are the best in the world at figuring out what caused the accident. Feinstein isn't. She's political.

    They need to figure out the target before they fire/act. You don't just fire at random now, hoping later you guessed right and accidentally hit the target.

    There will be appropriate actions taken based on the conclusions of the two investigations. You don't act now, and then hope you picked the right action to take when later the conclusions come in.

    Other manufacturers of airplanes have had their planes crash. Democrats didn't call for them to be grounded before the cause of the accident was known.

    Democrats just seem to hate Boeing today. Don't know why. They contribute to Democrat's campaigns just as much as they do to Republican's campaigns. They are major sponsors of Meet The Press (Democrat's attack dog)

  • BYU NATION Bountiful, UT
    March 13, 2019 11:38 a.m.

    A recent news article reports American pilots reporting random nose dives by the 737 MAX 8 after switching the airplane to autopilot.

    I would rather not get on a plane that has built in software that tilts the nose of the plane to the ground.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    March 13, 2019 11:16 a.m.

    I can't recall a time when the FAA has remained simply stood by while serious questions have arisen about flight safety, while the vast majority of the world has called a time out.

    Perhaps now is a good time to point out that the FAA Administrator position has been vacant for the past 14 months. The policy-making paralysis of leaderless government agencies has been a consistent self-inflicted wound for this administration, no matter how much it insists it has it all under control.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    March 13, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    Why not wait for a scintilla of evidence before acting? Chances are good this is pilot error instead of a plane problem. As Vermonter accurately points out, many foreign countries are anxious to blame Boeing instead of their pilots for mostly government owned airlines.

    As for those who want to ground the plane, logic would suggest that all aircraft be grounded until the reasons(s) are discovered.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 13, 2019 10:02 a.m.

    On a more serious note, I’m quite sure the FAA already has a good idea of the actual cause of the Lion Air crash last year, and already knows a lot about the Ethiopia crash.

    Politics and diplomacy are likely preventing the FAA from saying everything they know.

    Foreign governments are quite anxious to blame Boeing rather than, what are in many cases, government-owned airline management and employees.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 13, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    You’re thinking of the Clintons, Obamas, Bushes, McCain and even Mitt Romney who need to take care of donors to run a successful presidential campaign.

    Trump doesn’t really need donations to finance his political campaigns.

    On a more s

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    March 13, 2019 9:19 a.m.

    You've got to start charging Trump rent for living in your brain.

    Politics and Boeing go way back. Boeing took one for the Clinton team over TWA 800. But Uncle Sam is one of their best customers.

    Summary: It's not a Trump thing. It's the military-industrial complex in action.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 13, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    Having lived overseas, many foreigners bristle at the suggestion that Non-American professionals might be less qualified or knowledgeable than their American counterparts.

    They also bristle at the suggestion that American organizations might have more expertise than they do.

    Now there may be a problem with this aircraft. But, the reaction of overseas airlines and governments appears to be a knee-jerk, bandwagon approach.

    In terms of professionalism and high quality work, the FAA is right up there with the US military.

    I think I’ll wait for more info from the FAA. In the meantime, I would have no problem flying on one of these aircraft in the United States.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 13, 2019 6:54 a.m.

    You've got to wonder if Boeing's $1,000,000 donation made to the President inauguration fund. Just about every other nation have grounded these jets until answers are found. There are now five reports of like incidents on US flights. Perhaps over cautions is warranted here. Yes, daily hundreds of flights with the Max flights happen daily with no incident... and that should warrant confidence of some level. But since the root cause is still not determined.... just maybe the lives of passengers and crew should be paramount.