Donald Trump laments complexity of modern airlines in wake of crash

Updated: Mar 13, 2019, 10:01 IST | AP

Data released by Indonesian investigators indicates that pilots struggled unsuccessfully to counter the system, which repeatedly pointed the plane's nose down and may have sent it into a death spiral

Donald Trump laments complexity of modern airlines in wake of crash

Washington: President Donald Trump lamented the complexity of modern airplanes on Tuesday in the wake of two deadly crashes in the past five months, appearing to speculate on the cause of the disasters before aviation experts from the United States and elsewhere complete their investigations. The president commented as several countries announced that they were grounding their fleets of the Boeing 737 Max 8 model involved in both crashes, or closing their airspace to the planes.

Trump tweeted that "airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly." He did not specifically mention the crashes, but his comments come just two days after an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people aboard and as a cascade of countries worldwide began suspending use of the plane. "Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger," Trump tweeted.

"All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don't know about you, but I don't want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!" The president's tweet came as lawmakers were examining the future of the aviation industry during a congressional hearing Tuesday morning. "I have a hard time interpreting anything the president says," Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said after reading the tweet aloud. "I don't know if this is a knock at Boeing, or if it's a knock at pilots or if it's a knock at Einstein, or just that he's a Luddite and it's a knock at technology in general. But it doesn't seem to be the right attitude at this moment."

Pilot Patrick Smith, who flies a Boeing 767 aircraft and writes a column called "Ask the Pilot," said Trump's tweet reinforces the false notion that computers are flying the plane while pilots are there as a backup. "People have a vastly exaggerated understanding of what cockpit automation actually does, and how pilots interact with that automation," Smith said. "... The pilots are still flying the plane. They're not flying it in the strictly hands-on way they would have in the 1930s, but you're still commanding, you're still controlling, the aircraft. You have to tell the automation what to do, how to do it and when to do it."

Smith said that even with the most sophisticated airplanes, "there's always a way to just fall back on raw pilot skills if you need to." White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Fox News that "we have to review and see what actually took place. We know that a lot of the people in the industry have started to voice concerns about the amount of technology and taking the power out of the hands of the pilot. You saw the president talk about that in his tweets earlier today." Trump did speak by telephone Tuesday with Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg, said a person familiar with the call who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

That person did not have details of what issues Trump and Muilenburg discussed. Anti-stall technology is suspected of playing a role in the Lion Air crash in October that killed all 189 aboard. Data released by Indonesian investigators indicates that pilots struggled unsuccessfully to counter the system, which repeatedly pointed the plane's nose down and may have sent it into a death spiral.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Lesser known facts about the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK
The Guide Restaurant Awards 2019
Vote for your fave Bombay Adda from 6 nominees

Vote for your fave Bombay Adda from 6 nominees