Complaints of Boeing 737 Max 8s Come in From U.S. Pilots

Photo by AP Photo/David Koenig via Newscred

At least five pilots from the U.S. have registered complaints about about the way the Boeing 737 Max 8 has performed in flight, according to a federal database and reported by CNN.

Similar to the two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, pilots from American Airlines and Southwest reported "a brief nose-dive situation" during the flights. In one of the reports, a fire officer reported that the aircraft pitched nose-down after the autopilot was engaged during departure. Both Lion Air's and Ethiopian Airlines' 737 Max 8s suffered a nosedive roughly six minutes after departure. According to The New York Times, "an investigation by Indonesian authorities determined that the Lion Air plane’s abrupt nose‐dive may have been caused by updated Boeing software that is meant to prevent a stall but that can send the plane into a fatal descent if the altitude and angle information being fed into the computer system is incorrect."

The flight data and cockpit voice recorder from the Ethiopian Airlines flight has not yet been analyzed.

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Several countries, including Canada, China and Indonesia, as well as the European Union and such airlines as Norwegian and Aeromexico have already banned or grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8. 

In the U.S., both American and Southwest have stood by the aircraft, maintaining that they have full confidence in the aircraft and their crew members.

Additional complaints, according to CNN, include the flight manual being "inadequate and almost criminally insufficient," with the pilot adding it's "unconscionable" that Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) and the pilot's unnamed airline would have them flying the aircraft under these circumstances.

The reports bring into question the motives of the F.A.A. and U.S. government, which, unlike most other foreign governing bodies, has not condemned the aircraft. In a statement, the F.A.A. says, "Thus far, our review shows no systematic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action." 

Both CNN and The New York Times report potential political ties as to why the Boeing is still being flown in the U.S.

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