This next blog is just a rant about what I had posted on Facebook a few weeks ago. How corporate ethics and money can silence the biggest of the governments in lieu of people’s lives and safety. It’s an elaboration of the cover up from Boeing about their upgraded 737 Max 300 aircrafts. However interestingly I watched another documentary today about another Boeing story, about an air crash of Egypt Air F990 in the Oct 1999. NTSB covered it up saying it was a deliberate act from the first officer, when the reality what seemed to be was actually a mechanical fault that Boeing didn’t want to accept. An Al Jazeera investigation 15 years later reveals some hidden truth.
Being an extensive air traveller and also an aviation enthusiast, to get over any fear of flying, I’ve watched every single episode of Air Crash Investigation, May Day and Seconds from Disaster. All of those episodes have always fascinated me with how amazingly they reverse engineer a disaster and find the root cause of the problem. However none of those episodes had touched my heart until I watched this episode “60 Minutes Australia” that covered the intricacies of Boeing 737 Max 300. None of the air disasters I’ve watched so far, had baffled me more than the recent incidents of the aircrafts Boeing 737 Max 300 and the 2 crashes in the last 7-8 months. Human greed, corporate rivalry and extremely unprofessional ethics costing nearly 350 lives and yet the executives back themselves without really admitting the actual faults.
If you haven’t watched or heard about this, do watch the episode in the link till the end. I don’t want to create a aviophobic havoc out there amongst my friends but this one needs to be seen to understand how really selfish humans are and how greed takes precedence over lives !!
However to summarise those episodes, what really happened was that Airbus launched a slightly modified version of their A320 aircrafts which became a super duper hit with the industry. Boeing, in order to compete with Airbus’s new model, tweaked their best seller the B737 and launched a slightly improved version called B737 Max 300. They made this update and sold to the airline companies saying that the pilots don’t have to go through any additional training (which obviously costs the airlines a lot of extra money). While this definitely was appealing to the airlines and they readily ordered 100s of aircrafts, what the pilots from these airlines weren’t aware of, was the new system installed called MCAS that stood for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.
What it basically was was a software update to the plane’s autopilot, to control the planes up and down movement. With the new design of 737 Max 300, the engines were placed slightly forward on the wings. This meant that when the plane took off, due to this new design the nose of plane would continue to rise and the software realising this was happening would make some adjustments to the autopilot and bring the nose pitching down so as to maintain a balance between rise and fall. This was not mentioned in any of the training manuals nor were the pilots or airlines mentioned about the new MCAS system when it was sold to them.
In layman’s terms this translates into something like – You buy a brand new car of a dealer and one day when you are driving down the road, without you doing anything the car just suddenly turns right and crashes into the nearest wall. When you ask the dealer why it happened, the dealer tells you “oh it’s an automatic sensor drive system. When you are driving above 75kmph and if your window is half open and it starts to drizzle, the car automatically tries to park itself next to a wall. But yeah we didn’t mention it to you cuz we felt you didn’t need to know.”
How could such a simple error be made in this day and age. When investigators found out about this in the case of Ethiopian Air and Lion Air crashes in the recent months, Boeing would not accept this as their fault. They feel they still have done the right thing by not fully disclosing about MCAS, before or even after selling these planes. Ah well, some corporate thug at the top would have wanted this to be covered up and definitely a lot of money has exchanged hands during the process. In the end it was nearly 350 lives that were lost due to this fault and if NTSB hadn’t uncovered the truth, no one would’ve ever know. At the end of the day, all of us are just guinea pigs of sorts in the world of corporate domination. Irrespective of that, we won’t stop flying anyway and no matter the rant, the life just continues eh !!
This year has been my most travelled one yet. I’ve already flown 42 times between different destinations and I have at least another 20 flights lined up before the year ends. Thankfully Air New Zealand doesn’t have the B737 Max in their fleet and even if they do, does it stop me from flying?
Watch the Documentary Video from 60 Minutes Australia – HERE. Feel free to comment below your thoughts & opinions, after you’ve watched the video. Would be nice to know what you think..