The company Boeing is going through a difficult moment: in less than 5 months its historical legacy of security has been put into question after its new model B737 MAX was involved in two accidents that claimed the lives of hundreds of people.
While several countries and airlines banned the use of the aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) argued that the aircraft model was safe, until Wednesday March 13, when the institution explained in a tweet that new tests from the site of the accident in Ethiopia ” with satellite data” led to the decision to leave these aircraft on the ground. The decision will remain until the investigations will be completed.
The case of the Boeing 737 MAX has raised concern regarding aeronautical safety because it shows that the industry is focusing primarily on automation and efficiency, and is not considering adequate training for pilots when incorporating new technologies.
I read in an article in the newspaper El País, that an American Airlines captain, named Denni Tajer, who is also a spokesman for the American organization Allied Pilots Association, admitted that the training he did to familiarize himself with the cockpit of the new B737 MAX model aircraft consisted of a session of just over an hour on an iPad. Tajer noticed that the systems were similar to the original Boeing 737, so he assumed that the differences would be cosmetic.
As the spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association says, it was assumed that the aircraft was an improved model of the B737 without relevant changes. That’s why in an article that I shared on my network, I emphasized that the B737 MAX model has significant differences that put into question if it is really the same B737. The B737 MAX has larger engines than the original B737, to make it 14% cheaper than the previous generation. Additionally, it has an automatic system to maintain its stability.
It is worth mentioning the comment of the president of the United States, Donald Trump: ” Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane! ”
But it is not only the pilots, but also the regulators face a difficult challenge to issue a certificate of airworthiness, in itself it is extremely complex to understand an aircraft, but with the incorporation of new technologies, these become even more sophisticated.
We know that air transport has one of the highest levels of security precisely because of its automation, but the authorities and regulatory institutions must consider the correct training and generate the conditions so that the crews are able to respond to the demands of the new reality operational.