B737 MAX: Issues of Boeing and the FAA


In my opinion, the issue is not that the flight crew received “aircraft differences training” (systems, limits and operating procedures differences between the B737-800 and B737-900, and the B737 MAX) on an iPad. Don’t shoot the messenger. The use of an iPad as a syllabus media is not invalid and may be likened to reading a book on a computer tablet.


From the point of safety management, the real first issue is that the Maneuver Control Augmentation System (MCAS) may not have been included in the aircraft differences training syllabus. The differences training syllabus may have been created by Boeing as an FAA certification requirement. The MCAS had been engineered, tested, installed and delivered on the new B737 MAX by Boeing, as a flight control system on the B737 MAX, a system different from the flight controls on B737 -800 and -900.


The second issue is that the FAA signed off on both the B737 MAX aircraft as certified safe for flight and signed off on Boeing’s B737 MAX “aircraft differneces training syllabus” as sufficient for flight crew training for passenger airline flight crew members certified to operate the B737-800 and B737-900 passenger aircraft.


The third issue is that neither Boeing nor the FAA informed passenger carrier airlines about this different, new and additional B737 MAX flight control system.


The fourth issue is that, after airline pilots reportedly submitted flight hazard incidents of apparent uncommanded pitch trim movements to their airlines, and the airlines reported these flight hazard incidents to Boeing and the FAA, that neither the manufacturer Boeing nor the regulator the FAA apparently took any actions to resolve the flight hazard or inform other airlines of the occurrence of the reported flight hazards.. This allowed a known flight hazard to exist unresolved amongst airline operators of the B737 MAX, which then apparently and eventually resulted in two fatal passenger airline disaster mishaps, when the hazard reoccurred.

As with many airline disasters, both the hazard and the failure to rapidly respond to the known and reported hazard has resulted in what could be considered two totally preventable fatal mishap disasters.


Effective commercial flight safety programs of Safety Forecasts and Plans should not only have both the ability to detect and report flight hazards, but also have the ability to rapidly respond with an immediate hazard procedural response, an interim hazard policy remediation and a long term hazard resolution.

Contact SafetyForecast Director of Safety Policy Captain Paul Miller today for further consult and assistance. Our goal is to save your operation from fatal mishaps, costly material losses and the diversion of time, talent and resources away from the main goals of safe and profitable flight operations. PaulMiller@safetyforecast.com

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