Why did the FAA predict 15 more 737 Max crashes at the Hearing?

B737 Airline Pilot Perspective

According to the FAA hearing on the 737 Max held on December 11, there could have been another 15 more 737 Max crashes. But this FAA conclusion to a 737 Max prediction offered no real specifics as to how that conclusion was obtained!

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Stephen Dickson’s hearing was held before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The conclusion of the hearing raised genuine questions among many 737 Max pilots.

The Dallas Morning News reported: “According to FAA report predicted there could be 15 more 737 Max crashes“. The headline stirs up requests for specific answers on the minds of many 737 pilots and airline professionals.

FAA Official 737 Max investigation conclusion report is still pending

The hearing did not give answers to what led to the FAA’s conclusion of why the FAA predicted 15 more possible 737 Max crashes.

What was the interpolation of the FAA predictions based on? The hearing did not answer if the conclusion was based on MCAS and/or other issues. Rather, this “media drama” of a hearing seemed not to answer much of the substantial facts needed to clarify issues at all.

However, the FAA may have more factual information. But they have the right to withold information until the investigation is complete with a final report. Remember, the Federal 737 Max investigation is still ongoing and considered inconclusive at this time!

Video recording of the FAA 737 Max Hearing

737 Max Hearing, December 11, 2019: Here’s a complete recording of the entire FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson’s hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Video: YouTube.

Boeing 737 Max pilots

As a Boeing 737 airline pilot myself, I flew the Max many times before it was grounded. Fortunately, I never had any indication of a trim runaway.

Should that ever happen the recovery procedure is a mandatory “memory item” for all the 737 models at my airline. And, we train for that situation every time we go in for our annual simulator recurrence check ride.

Does the 737 Max runaway stab trim pilot procedure guarantee recovery?

Now, that’s still the million-dollar question for a Max pilot. Lacking the official final FAA report and conclusion to the cause of the Max crashes we still don’t know that answer.

How a pilot is trained to handle an emergency

Any competent pilot should be able to successfully recover from any non-normal or emergency situation with the airplane. That is provided the airplane systems, design, or the integrity of the airplane function as intended!

However, should other factors come to play, then a pilot can only do so much before things become uncontrollable. I am referring to the many Max-questions surrounding the crashes. How about the MCAS? How about other possible adverse factors involving the redesigned wing/engine construction of the Max?

Just a couple of pilot-questions raised about this perhaps over-tweaked 1960’s-designed airplane. The B737 has been a great, reliable workhorse for years. But, the Boeing 737 is indeed overdue to be replaced with a brand new type, rather than stretching an old design and technology to its limits.

Will the Boeing 737 Max be returned to service?

Only time will tell. Only one thing is certain: If it returns to service it will only happen if the FAA is convinced it’s safe to do so.

FAA Boeing 737 Emergency Airworthiness Directive

FAA hearing on 737 Max, FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive on the Boeing 737.
The first page of the FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive on the Boeing 737. source: FAA.


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Captain Jimmy.

Featured Image: Boeing.

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