Regulatory And Political Missteps Could Have Led To The Boeing 737’s Downfall

Clay Curtis
March 21, 2019

Canada is re-examining the validation it gave Boeing's 737 MAX jets, following reports of a US probe into the aircraft's certification by the FAA, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Monday.

Last Wednesday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau grounded MAX 8 and 9 jets as a precautionary move, three days after the Ethiopian Airlines disaster that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

India and European union have recently banned the Boeing 737 Max and now it can't fly over the airspace of theirs to make sure that the passengers remain safer.

As regulators across the globe deliberate on the fatal crashes that occurred within months apart, investigators are now looking at the probe initiated shortly after the Lion Air crash in October.

While investigations into the latest plane crash continue, questions have since been raised about the safety of the 737 MAX aircraft, and the entire fleet has been grounded across the world.

Calgary family stranded in Palm Springs forced to catch plane in LA after 737 MAX 8 flight cancelled
Calgary family stranded in Palm Springs forced to catch plane in LA after 737 MAX 8 flight cancelled

The US, which is ratcheting up pressure on Germany and several other governments in the West to not allow China's Huawei to provide 5G mobile-internet infrastructure because of alleged security concerns, is now facing a global backlash against the American commercial airplanes major following two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the past six months.

But the Lion Air accident showed the system can erroneously correct for a stall when the plane is taking off, based on one bad sensor, and continuously fight the pilot for control.

Both happened moments after take-off, with pilots apparently unable to rectify problems with a new manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system.

Did any element of the design or certification process for the 737 Max introduce a risk factor? A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., last week issued at least one subpoena to an entity involved in the plane's development, one of the sources said. The goal is to save on costs related to retraining pilots about the systems used in new models. On Monday, the company's shares dropped by 1.8 percent in NY.

Boeing and the FAA declined to comment on the reports. But the agency was not able to describe any changes in the plane implemented by Boeing after the Lion Air accident.

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