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This past October, a new Lion Air ( Indonesia ) Boeing 737 MAX crashed under mysterious circumstances shortly after takeoff.

On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same type also crashed, six minutes after takeoff.

Both airlines are from ” third world ” nations. Lion Air doesn’t have the best record, Ethiopian is highly regarded.

There is a lot of speculation that the two crashes are the result of problems in the 737 MAX’s new, autopilot flight control system. And there’s comment from US pilots that the pilot ( re ) training recommended by Boeing was inadequate, that the pilot manual was very inadequate.

After two such similar incidents, so soon apart, you’d think that all parties would agree to ground the planes until they figured out what the exact problem was.

I think that it was China that led the way in grounding this plane, followed quickly by most other countries and the EU, followed by Canada, followed, only agonizing days later, by the American FAA.

The Ethiopian authorities sent their plane’s black box to Europe for analysis. That’s unusual when you’re speaking of an American made plane. The thought is that the slow to react FAA might be a little too buddy buddy with Boeing.

Boeing makes the most wonderful planes. This problem will be fixed, with updated flight control software, etc. Flying is safe. I’d board a Boeing today if you asked me.

But-the US should have grounded these craft before China and the others had any chance to.

Bad show, Boeing, bad show FAA, bad show US government.

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50 thoughts on “FAA Regulatory Failure on Boeing 737 MAX

  1. The FAA were quick to ground Concorde after it’s one and only crash, so they can react quickly when it suits them.

  2. -fixed-

    The Concorde crash was I believe caused by a tire which exploded due to metal debris on the runway.

    The only real problem with that plane is that it gulped aviation fuel too fast.

  3. Phantom,


    The only real problem with that plane is that it gulped aviation fuel too fast.

    It was also bloody expensive to keep in the air. Both of UK, and the French operators received financial help from their respective taxpayers to keep it running.

  4. The world wide fleet was supposed to be grounded the first day Southwest Airlines was the Problem. They did NOT want the whole fleet grounded because it is flying 34 of the planes and grounding them basically shuts southwest down.

    They had to be forced.

  5. “It was also bloody expensive to keep in the air”.

    Unsurprisingly the two are not unrelated.

  6. Dave

    The Concorde was a national pride project for the British and French. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I may have mentioned this once before. Years back, I was at a golf driving range in Marine Park Brooklyn, not far from JFK Airport. There was this really loud engine noise. We, everyone there, looked to the east to see the Concorde in all it’s majesty taking off for Europe. Will never forget that sight.

    Long live the Concorde.

  7. Phantom.

    Just in case my post gives the wrong impression, I’d like to clarify that I’m actually a big Concorde fan. As you know I love my science and engineering projects like Concorde really get me excited.
    My criticism is this, what Concorde ended up just being for the most part what’s amazing transport for people who could afford it which was also subsidised buy the rest of the UK. This I disagreed with.

    On a related note I just like to say well done to everybody over in the US involved with the SpaceX program, as well as the private sector space programme in general.
    You guys are accomplishing some really amazing stuff at the moment. I still can’t get over how amazing it is to watch those booster rockets landing by themselves.

  8. CONFIRMED: Obama’s CIA, DOJ and FBI Started Targeting the Trump Campaign in 2015 – Long Before What Comey Claimed (July 2016)!

    The pieces of the coup to undermine the Constitution of the United States of America are coming undone. Evidence from various sources now confirms that Obama’s CIA, DOJ and FBI illegally spied on the Trump team starting in 2015 and then built a coup to prevent him from winning the election and later remove him from office!

  9. In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing – in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed.

    It Wasn’t Comey’s Decision to Exonerate Hillary – It Was Obama’s

  10. The real conspiracy is finally being put out in the public.

    Release the Mueller report so we can start prosecuting the real Law Breakers.

  11. Phantom, on March 14th, 2019 at 2:40 PM Said:
    This above matter is worthy of its own post.

    true not in a position at the moment, didn’t mean to take over your thread.

  12. According to an op-ed in the NYT by the former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, airline manufacturers like Boeing self regulate their planes safety. That is just wrong and should be changed immediately. Self regulation is an obvious conflict of interest.

    The US was very slow to ban this plane. It should have been banned days before. Boeing really messed up by releasing a plane without thoroughly checking its safety. Maybe there was too much pressure to sell and safety check steps were hurried or overlooked. It looks like Boeing is responsible for hundreds of deaths.

  13. Self regulation in general is a horrible idea.

    You need a tough but fair third party regulator in aviation, construction, fire safety, etc for a thousand and one reasons.

  14. Comment from the Irish Savant’s site:

    White-built planes never fell apart, even after 50 years of service.


    They belong to these associations, which surely isn’t enough but is a start. Boeing’s values are our values.

    Advancing the Finance and Accounting Professions in the Asian and Pacific Islanders (ASCEND)
    American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES)
    Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY)
    Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA)
    Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE)
    Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA)
    Great Minds in STEM (GMiS)
    Minorities in Research Science (MiRS)
    National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
    National Institute for Leadership Advancement (NILA)
    National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
    Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE)
    Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
    Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
    UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)
    U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN)
    Women in Aviation (WAI)
    Women of Color in STEM (WOC)

    Note the La Raza entry. Is that the same La Raza (The Race) that has explicit and complete white genocide in its charter? Boeing should go out of business. Maybe that’s the aim, so we all take the train like Ocasio Calculatortez [is told to say she] wants.

  15. And on that last point……..

    Sour Grapes
    1 day ago (edited)
    AOC is a plant….well, at least she is almost as smart as a plant. Who am I kidding? AOC is no where near as smart as a plant.

    This is the way it is – God help white Americans

  16. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is just a light version of the UK’s Dianne Abbot.

    The only thing they have in common, they are both as thick as two short planks.

  17. AOC is a good talker but she’s as dumb as a box of rocks.

    She’s a looker though, so you’ll keep seeing more of her.

  18. There are reasons why aircraft are built in first-world countries by first-world people. Now that the third-world is invading, and ‘diversity’ is being imposed upon aircraft manufacture, we shall have diversity of performance: some will fly, and some won’t.

    That video showing the origin of the AOC phenomenon is indicative of the way the US is going – a tail-spin, and they won’t be able to vote themselves out of this one.

  19. Phantom, on March 14th, 2019 at 5:25 PM Said:

    AOC is a good talker but she’s as dumb as a box of rocks.

    She’s a looker though, so you’ll keep seeing more of her.

    She’s no more of a good talker than Obama – and she’s even more of a puppet

  20. Obama, was a wonderful orator to fool the gullible.

    Until his teleprompter went on the blink that is.

  21. She’s no more of a good talker than Obama –

    Until that is, she actually has the power to put words into action.

    Then it will all fall to shit.

    And the circus continues.

  22. She’s not a puppet

    She believes that chasing away 40,000 good jobs is good for the economy and that it will help fund more schoolteachers. Yes she does believe all of that.

    She doesn’t know math, or how the economy works.

    Apart from that, she’s great

  23. She doesn’t know math, or how the economy works.

    Apart from that, she’s great


    She’s a light version of Dianne Abbot.

    Who really is a thick as two short planks.

    Think yourself lucky.

  24. Doesn’t AOC want to ban planes, vehicles, and all combustion engine travel?…or something?

    A liberal progressive who wants us all to revert back to caves and rubbing sticks together to make fire.

    The same utopia just doesn’t apply to them of course.

    As long as us little people, and general plebs keep paying astronomical amounts of tax to fund it all.

  25. If I made an omelette, amd it had 1% shit in it, would you eat it? Now Boeing’s new planes contain more than 1% diversity: would you fly in them?

  26. Allan

    How do you propose to do your air travel in the future?

    Every topic should not lead to a racial conversation. There is zero evidence that diversity had anything to do with the recent incidents.

    If you know of a better aerospace company than Boeing, please tell me about it.

  27. New Yorker,

    Self regulation is an obvious conflict of interest.

    I totally agree. The idea of self regulation is ridiculous in the extreme.

  28. Allan@Aberdeen,

    White-built planes never fell apart, even after 50 years of service.

    If I made an omelette, amd it had 1% shit in it, would you eat it? Now Boeing’s new planes contain more than 1% diversity: would you fly in them?

    If I hadn’t known you, (on ATW), for as long as I have Allen, I swear to God you were trolling.

  29. The newer carbon fiber planes will last even longer than the old aluminum planes did.

  30. Charles in Texas,

    Allen, I believe the Titanic was built solely by whites.

    Yes, but they were mostly Protestant whites Charles. I’ll say no more. 😁

  31. The [FAA’S] diminished clout was partly reflected in its unsuccessful, behind-the-scenes push in recent days to have black box recorders recovered from the wreckage of Flight 302 shipped to the U.S. to be downloaded.

    That would be normal procedure because the aircraft was built in the U.S. and the NTSB is participating in the probe. But according to people familiar with the details, the FAA’s leadership failed to persuade Ethiopian government officials that the U.S. would be an impartial arbiter of facts. The recorders are being sent to France for analysis.

    Before the grounding decision, an FAA spokesman said “the U.S. is the recognized gold standard of aviation safety based on constant oversight and the scrupulous examination of data. The FAA will continue this leadership and apply the same proven approach that has led to the safest period in U.S. aviation history.”

    Briefing reporters on the decision Wednesday, acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell reiterated the agency had waited for authoritative information. “That data coalesced today” he said, “and we made the call.”

    Mr. Elwell, who served previous stints at the agency and as a senior adviser to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, has been running the FAA since early 2017, because the White House hasn’t nominated a permanent chief

    ( WSJ)

  32. Yes, but they were mostly Protestant whites Charles. I’ll say no more.

    It worked perfectly well when it left Ireland.

  33. Only on ATW could a conversation about the American FAA grounding planes because of a suspected / potential design fault work Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Diane Abbott into it.

  34. She’s a rookie congresswoman who knows nothing but the left and right are both obsessed with her.

  35. Phantom, on March 14th, 2019 at 8:09 PM Said:

    She’s a rookie congresswoman who knows nothing but the left and right are both obsessed with her.

    Phantom – she has been selected for political stardom, and you know it too. And yet, she didn’t just come from nowhere but was entered by her brother for an audition as candidate for Congress when she was working in a restaurant. Nothing wrong with working in a restaurant – but to then become the ‘leader’ of the Dems???

  36. Let’s see where this goes……


    The new flight characteristic of the 737 MAX would have require a retraining of the pilots. But Boeing’s marketing people had told their customers all along that the 737 MAX would not require extensive new training. Instead of expensive simulator training for the new type experienced 737 pilots would only have to read some documentation about the changes between the old and the new versions.

    To make that viable Boeing’s engineers had to use a little trick. They added a ‘maneuver characteristics augmentation system’ (MCAS) that pitches the nose of the plane down if a sensor detects a too high angle of attack (AoA) that might lead to a stall. That made the flight characteristic of the new 737 version similar to the old one.

    But the engineers screwed up.

    Which ‘engineers’?


    Diversity Councils are integrated groups of site leaders, managers and employees, who work to improve employee engagement, provide learning and leadership opportunities, increase communication, and facilitate implementation of organizational diversity plans. Diversity councils are supported by a local executive champion. Boeing has more than 40 Diversity Councils.

    Business Resource Groups are employee-led associations designed to further personal and professional development, promote diversity within the company and strengthen networking. The members share a common interest, such as race, gender or cultural identity. The nine groups collectively have more than 130 chapters around the world. Membership is open to all employees.

    Boeing Business Resource Groups include:

    Boeing Asian Professional Association (formerly Boeing Asian American Professional Association)
    Boeing Black Employees Association
    Boeing Employee Ability Awareness Association
    Boeing Employees Pride Alliance (formerly BEAGLES)
    Boeing Veteran Engagement Team
    Boeing Generation to Generation
    Boeing Hispanic Employees Network
    Boeing Native American Network (formerly Boeing American Indian Society)
    Boeing Women in Leadership

    I don’t see a Boeing White Engineers Association – or anything ‘white’ at all

    Boeing should focus on getting its planes to work and leave the ‘diversity’ to Starbucks

  37. This plane should have been grounded after the first crash in November. The relatives of the victims of the second crash will be able to sue the airline and Boeing and whoever else.

    It reminds me of the sad story of the Comet, the world’s first jetliner in the 1950s:

    “The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world’s first commercial jet airliner. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at its Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, the Comet 1 prototype first flew in 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wing roots, a pressurised cabin, and large square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and was commercially promising at its debut in 1952.

    However, within a year of entering airline service, problems started to emerge, with three Comets lost within twelve months in highly publicised accidents, after suffering catastrophic in-flight break-ups. Two of these were found to be caused by structural failure resulting from metal fatigue in the airframe, a phenomenon not fully understood at the time. The other one was due to overstressing of the airframe during flight through severe weather. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested. Design and construction flaws, including improper riveting and dangerous concentrations of stress around some of the square windows, were ultimately identified. As a result, the Comet was extensively redesigned, with oval windows, structural reinforcements and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft…”


  38. O/T

    It seems ‘extremist right-wing violent terrorist(s)’ have shot dead 40 people in two Mosque attacks in New Zealand.

  39. In public and in private, Trump presented himself as a key arbiter in deciding whether the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes would be able to keep flying, according to White House and administration officials interviewed for this report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss internal deliberations.

    Rather than simply being briefed on the FAA’s findings in the days after the crash, Trump played an active role, participating in phone calls with Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg and other stakeholders, and offering his thoughts about the aviation industry. Asked by reporters about the decision to ground the plane, Trump left the impression that he had taken the lead, saying it was a “very tough decision.”

    But in the days that followed, as Trump faced criticism about whether his administration acted too slowly and whether he should have been so involved, the White House sought to direct attention back to the aviation agency.

    Washington Post

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