B737 MAX – Will You Fly on One ?

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  • Travel Manager UK

    Flying is the safest form of travel, so having 2 new airliners crash within months killing 346 people is deeply worrying?

    Having read a lot of the articles including comments from former Boeing engineers and others with lots of relevant experience .It paints a deeply disturbing picture of an organisation desperate not to lose sales to Airbus , an alledged culture deliver on time and under very tight budgets no matter what and those who raise awkward questions are moved on. To cut cost many items are outsourced and the software suspected of causing the crashes was produced by an outsourcer.

    Pilots have been furious at not being told about the MCAS system. Boeing has been desperate to ensure the 4th upgrade of what is a 1960s design is seen as a minor upgrade hence the 2 hours on ipad to fly it. Training (especially on simulators cost $$$) Airlines do not like that and Boeing does not because it makes the product less attractive

    Then if you look at Boeing’s response, “Circle the Wagons” , loads of denials , a string of cardfully scripted and slickly produced presentations . Then there has been a steady drip feed of damning news about what Boeing knew and when. The FBI enquiry will deal with that.

    Boeing has made efforts to engage with pilots to get their views, better late than never. The FAA has also brought in other global regulators and NASA experts to try and build a consensus.

    Boeing and the airlines have a PR nightmare. Previous experience suggests passengers have short memories a few frequent flyer points and discount fares and people will fly. A Barclays survey suggests passengers will boycott the plane for at least 12 months, something I agree with.
    Boeing is thought to be considering wheeling out celebs to smooth talk punters on board. They also want pilots to front PR campaigns, some are less than happy about that.

    I am not an engineer but I did work for British Midland and we had a 737 400 crash on the M1 motorway in the UK in 1989. I see similarities between that and the 2 MAX crashes.

    In the 1989 accident the cockpit on the 400 was more high tech than previous models.
    The crew had problems with an engine and got confused and shut down the wrong engine.

    Modern cockpits with their complexity can easily lead to pilot overload in a crisis. Pilots fly very little due to autimation.

    In the US a First Officer on a mainstream airline must have a minimum of 1500 flying hours. Coupled with highly experienced Captains and decades of operating 737s this increases safety.

    Compare this to many low cost airlines who First Officers can have a little as a couple of hundred hours and fairly new Captains.

    A couple of hours on a ipad may be ok for veteren crews, but for less experienced crew, i would question this.

    If Boeing continues to push for no simulator training maybe the answer is to put an hour restriction on First Officers , min 1500 hours with at least 500 on 737. I suspect there be a massive shortage of pilots and a lot of 737 MAX orders cancelled. Those that were flying would be a lot safer.

    As Frequent Flyers you have an important voice. Your lives matter and everytime you get on a plane you put your life in the airlines hands.

    What do you think?

    7 users thanked author for this post.


    That is a very good question.

    My answer is that I will not fly on one until we have a full and comprehensive explanation from Boeing as to what went wrong and why and what they have done to fix it so that it will never happen again? That is the very least that they owe to the victims and their families.

    It is all very well talking about safety being the first priority but it seems to be different when it comes to putting it into practice.

    I would be very interested to understand why Boeing thought it was OK to have iPad only training with no time in the simulators especially when there is new software and an MCAS system, also new if I understood correctly, which appears to have been the cause or part of the cause of both recent tragic accidents. It also concerns me that so little appears to have been done between the first and second accidents.

    So no I will not fly on one and no would I let any of my nearest and dearest fly on one.

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    I well remember the DC-10 saga in the 1970s. At that time many people said they would never fly on a DC-10.

    But Douglas changed the aircraft code to MD-11 and airlines continued to stay loyal to Douglas. Delta, Lufthansa and Laker are just three examples. Gradually the public forgot.

    They certainly forgot in the case of Laker as its Skytrain was the first to bring low-cost scheduled transatlantic flying to the UK-US market.

    In the 737’s case it’s a more serious situation.

    But can anyone see Boeing scrapping many hundreds of newish/brand new 737 Max aircraft ? Indeed these are still being manufactured only to be stored.

    Airlines cannot simply turn to Airbus if they want to meet future schedule requirements. Airbus hasn’t the production capacity. Its waiting list for A320 aircraft is long.

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    I’d fly on one.

    I’m flying on an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet in a couple of weeks!

    Many new aircraft types have had issues on entering service. Fortunately few result in the loss of lives.

    The dreamliner seemed pretty cursed. Problems with the fuselage spontaneously combusting. And now still ongoing engine issues.

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    My SSJ flights of last year (2018, Interjet). Love it: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&ar=2&video_id=w1FDh6nxU5c and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_Dm_RkvT90
    Boeing’s reputation is a huge problem for US and I watched an AlJazeera’s DocuFilm very worrying about 787’s production, but nobody speaks about it.
    I will try to avoid 737Max as much as possible.

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    Simple answer…..No

    I wasn’t happy about flying on the 320 back in the early days.
    And for the same basic reason

    Airbus created new technology taking control from the pilots. To protect Airbus, the BEA aligned most of the blame on the crew

    My gut instinct tells me that recent tragic events have a similar pattern developing.

    However,with the passing of time I’m absolutely comfortable flying the Airbus.


    I would only fly on one when airlines I consider safe and reliable start operating them. For the foreseeable future, I think that means I won’t be flying one.

    3 users thanked author for this post.


    I have been on one (Oman air MCT/DXB), but until they are back with a solid update and explanation, as well as positive feedback from flight crews then no, and have banned the family from using them as well.

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    I well remember the DC-10 saga in the 1970s. At that time many people said they would never fly on a DC-10. But Douglas changed the aircraft code to MD-11….

    Yes, there were DC-10 crashes, but two of the best-known and most serious crashes (Turkish Airlines near Paris in 1974, and American Airlines at Chicago in 1979) were caused by [1] not closing the cargo door properly, and [2] faulty maintenance practices (please correct me if I am wrong), not by any fault in DC-10 design. Is it correct to say these problems were removed by moving to correct maintenance and loading procedures, not by changing “the aircraft code to MD-11”? I personally regard the DC-10 as safe, and a good airplane. Thank you.


    Supposed to be on several 737Max flights with S7 Airlines in Eastern Russia if they are flying again by September.
    Fairly fatalistic in my old age, if your numbers up etc, and if that’s the plane that takes me to where I need to get to, so be it!

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    Is it correct to say these problems were removed by moving to correct maintenance and loading procedures, not by changing “the aircraft code to MD-11”?

    You may well be correct. It is a long time ago. Certainly it wasn’t as serious as with the MAX. But at that time there were people who refused to fly the DC-10 after the incidents you mentioned.


    When you compare the programme Jet Jockeys (for those old enough to remember) in the early 90’s to Easy Jet Cockpit (2019) you see a completely different style of cockpit and pilot. Gone are the ex RAF pilots, in favour of the Xbox/PS4 generation, with zero hours flying or life experience.

    Is it possible for 24 year old graduate to have the flying skills and experience of a former military pilot, absolutely not… but times change and the modern airliners (especially Airbus) fly more by computers with human input than humans flying, using computers as support.

    Would I fly a 737 Max? Honestly, I usually notice the aircraft once I check the safety card, once on board. I take the view, especially with the 737 Max, the aircraft won’t fly again until its SAFE… I remember a similar thread when the 787 had the start of the engine problems… a similar question was asked.

    More to the point, would anybody board a 737 – then get off when realising it was a MAX???

    It’s just another airplane….

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    I would not fly on the B737 MAX and I doubt that I will ever have a chance to do so as in my opinion this aircraft will never in its present form fly commertialy again.
    The problems with the aircraft are systemic and without major surgery it will never be a safe aircraft.
    It seems to me that the root cause is that the 737 is a 50+ year old design that has over the years been pushed and pulled to its maximum.
    The B737 Max with it huge engines and power is just one step too far for this small 1964 designed airframe.
    Boeing made a huge error of judgement in taking the cheap,fast easy route its quest for dominant market share by not designing a new aircraft.
    The 737 max needs major airframe surgery or smaller engines (and a name change) if it is ever to be a safe certifiable aircraft.
    Just an interested layman’s point of view.

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    when it is re-certified, yes i would. However, i would be very wary of flying on any new type from any manufacturer in the future until its had time to proove itself after the mess that was the 787 and now this


    I would. Many unacceptable mistakes were made, by the manufacturer and the certification body. At this stage though, the latter will far more demanding, as the others will. Once re-certified, it will be a safe aircraft.

    On a side note, I remember when I flew to Cairo from Larnaca in 1997, after the Luxor attack, I was told by the ground staff I was courageous. My reply was I could die missing a step and falling on my head. This is still my philosophy today…

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