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737 Max

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Love Southwest and want to keep flying with you. Boeing is still claiming in court there was never any problem with these planes--crashes were pilots' fault (per PBS Newshour Nov. 18, 2020). How can Boeing correct the defect if it says there's no defect in the first place? I won't fly on a 737 Max. Please add a very prominent note on each 737 Max flight on the reservations pages so I can avoid them. Thanks.

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Re: 737 Max

Top Contributor

The plane was evaluated by the FAA, the european version of the FAA, and similar organizations around the world. It makes no difference what Boeing says, those organizations

made recommendations about changing the plane. Those recommendations were MANDATED by those organizations. Before any plane is allowed to fly, the required modifications will be made to that plane.

 

The head of the FAA, who acted as test pilot at least some of the time, said he believes the plane is totally safe and will not hesitate to fly his family on it. 

 

There will be others like you that don't want to fly on a MAX. As SW roles out the plane in 2Q21, I suspect the airline will allow nervous passengers to move to other planes.

 

Southwest already allows every passenger to know the type of plane they will be flying on. Just click on the flight number during the booking process to get that information. Be aware that every airline switches planes. So you might be booked n a MAX, and end up on something else. Likewise, you could start on something else and end up on a MAX. Planes break, planes get delayed by weather, arriving flights get diverted -- all of which could require the airline to substitute  different planes. 

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Re: 737 Max

Active Member

I would fly the 737 Super Max as soon as it comes out of "Lock Down".

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Re: 737 Max

Active Member

@shelbyusn wrote:

I would fly the 737 Super Max as soon as it comes out of "Lock Down".


I don't think they'll have that model out any time soon.  It's still overweight from all the extra steel and concrete.  They did take the windows out, though...so it's got a smooth look to it.

 

Someone's been watching too many prison documentaries....

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Re: 737 Max

Active Member

Given all the scrutiny, do you honestly think that plane is any less safe than any other plane in the air?  (Which collectively, are safer than driving to the airport?).

 

Seriously, you need to rationally think through the risk level here.  Don't think you know more than the experts.  Don't let your emotions take over.

 

If you are afraid to fly the Max, you need to be afraid to drive.  You should honestly stay home.  No insult intended.  You just aren't accepting the reality.  You can argue the semantics of the two crashes, but all that aside, the planes WERE perfectly flyable by a properly trained pilot.  Now they are being flown by more properly trained pilots, with more understanding of the issue, less likelihood of it happening, or  more indication if it does.

 

Beyond that, venting here about how you feel about it isn't going to make any difference.

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737 Max

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@gsking @fhknapp @shelbyusn @dfwskier For what it's worth, I agree with all of you.  I've never been a "check what kind of plane" I'm getting type of person.  So I guess I'm going to take the middle road and do that for the first 6 months or more to find out what I already suspect, no crashes.  I have enough anxiety when I fly to add more.  Just will have to suck it up and take a different flight even if it is a 1 stopper.   Just like it took 2 months of not flying until I seen that SWA was talking all the precautions and we got data before I booked a flight during COVID.

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Re: 737 Max

Top Contributor

In a few years it will be very hard to avoid the MAX, especially on Southwest, as it's literally the only plane type they currently have confirmed plans to purchase. Eventually, it will represent most of their fleet.

 

Assuming there isn't another catastrophic event.

 

The argument that the plane type will be among the most thoroughly vetted aircraft flying is seemingly valid, but conveniently sidesteps the primary objection that the airframe isn't inherently airworthy without software intervention. For many, that's a deal breaker.

 

There are also continuing concerns with Boeing and the FAA's relationship -- and with the process that allowed the initial certification in the first place -- that call into question their abilities to confidently rectify the MAX situation. Southwest also shares some of the scrutiny in that regard, as their requirement to limit pilot training helped pressure Boeing to force this essentially new aircraft type into an existing category, which never should have been the case to begin with. Despite the deaths of 346 people, all organizations involved appear to be getting off relatively unscathed, and while there's not much we as consumers can do about that it still leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, trust issues, and lingering questions regarding oversight.

 

Personally, I won't be flying on a MAX anytime soon. I remain skeptical that the proposed software and computer fixes sufficiently mitigate the MAX's inherent flaws. I'll be moving my flights away from the aircraft until I see what specific measures are made to address these concerns. I'll also be following closely the independent re-certifications by the EASA and Transport Canada. If an international regulatory body requires additional modifications beyond what the FAA proposes, for example an additional angle of attack sensor, that will be particularly concerning.

 

Time will tell.

 

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Re: 737 Max

Active Member

"airframe isn't inherently airworthy without software intervention. "

 

Plenty of planes are much less airworthy without a computer flying them.   Most modern planes.   Of course they have more redundancy. 

 

Most of the reason they put in the MCAS is for flyability/ similarity to older models,  and for avoiding a small portion of the stall envelope.  

 

The plane is perfectly flyable without software.  It just takes a smarter pilot to avoid stalling.  Just like the smarter pilots who disabled MCAS when it malfunctioned.   

 

Much like traveling under Covid, it's a risk analysis.   Just BETWEEN the two crashes, there were over 150,000 Max flights.  That's pretty good odds... about 10x better than a healthy person dying of Covid.  

 

So if you're that worried about the Max, you're best staying home. 

 

 

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Re: 737 Max

Top Contributor

@gsking wrote:

"airframe isn't inherently airworthy without software intervention. "

 

 

Most of the reason they put in the MCAS is for flyability/ similarity to older models,  and for avoiding a small portion of the stall envelope.  

 

The plane is perfectly flyable without software.  It just takes a smarter pilot to avoid stalling.  Just like the smarter pilots who disabled MCAS when it malfunctioned.   

 

Much like traveling under Covid, it's a risk analysis.   Just BETWEEN the two crashes, there were over 150,000 Max flights.  That's pretty good odds... about 10x better than a healthy person dying of Covid.  

 

So if you're that worried about the Max, you're best staying home. 

 

 


Correct. MCAS was put in so MAX's would "fly like" 700s and 800s. Therrefor, no additional training would be required.

 

Boeing was wrong. Although it was a simple matter to hit the  MCAS "off switch" and pilots did know there is an off switch, when things started heading south pilots were overworked

and did not think of the switch. Why? No training. Also MCAS was activating in situations that Boeing did not forsee, so use of the switch was more frequent than anticipated.

 

Some pilots were smart enough to figure it out. An Ethiopian  pilot (the day before    the Ethiopian plane   crashed  ) experienced the situation and did hit the off switch on the very plane that crashed the next day. Unfortunately, it seems he did not report the incident.

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Re: 737 Max

Top Contributor

@gsking wrote:

"airframe isn't inherently airworthy without software intervention. "

 

Plenty of planes are much less airworthy without a computer flying them.   Most modern planes.   Of course they have more redundancy. 

 

Most of the reason they put in the MCAS is for flyability/ similarity to older models,  and for avoiding a small portion of the stall envelope.  

 

The plane is perfectly flyable without software.  It just takes a smarter pilot to avoid stalling.  Just like the smarter pilots who disabled MCAS when it malfunctioned.   

 

Much like traveling under Covid, it's a risk analysis.   Just BETWEEN the two crashes, there were over 150,000 Max flights.  That's pretty good odds... about 10x better than a healthy person dying of Covid.  

 

So if you're that worried about the Max, you're best staying home. 

 

 


Unfortunately, the plane is not perfectly flyable without MCAS. If it was, then the simple solution would be to remove MCAS. They're not removing MCAS.

 

More accurate would be to say that, without MCAS it's flyable in an emergency, if the pilots have the correct training, and also the strength needed to physically operate the trim wheel.

 

Please don't mistake my concern for "worry," I'm well aware of the odds involved. I'll wait until I've learned more before deciding if, with regards to the MAX, they're acceptable to me.

 

Luckily, I'll have other options available, at least for a while, that will negate any misperceived need to "stay home." 😉