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Trump Suggests Airplanes Are Too Complex: He's Not Alone, But Flying Is Much Safer Than Before

Trump Suggests Airplanes Are Too Complex: He's Not Alone, But Flying Is Much Safer Than Before

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that increasing technological complexity in airplanes is making them more dangerous, but that’s at odds with what air safety data show — at least in the United States.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that “airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” as aviation agencies moved to ground flights of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA)'s 737 Max aircraft following the Sunday crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed everyone aboard.

“The complexity creates danger,” Trump said on Twitter.

The Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t grounded the new Boeing 737 Max in the United States, and investigators have only just begun trying to sort out what caused the crash.

It’s true a Boeing 737 Max crash last year in Indonesia could be said to have involved the plane’s computerized operating system. Preliminary findings on the Lion Air crash last October found computerized sensors may have wrongly indicated a stall and been a factor in the crash. Boeing responded by instructing pilots on how to react to erroneous sensor readings.

The Lion Air crash and Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia are both extreme outliers.

In the United States, there hasn’t been a fatal commercial crash in a decade. Since a February 2009 crash in Buffalo, New York killed 49 passengers, about 8 billion people have flown and arrived alive. And that 2009 crash wasn’t blamed on complexity, but pilot error.

In the United States, as planes have become more technologically advanced and the number of people flying has increased, accidents have become more rare.

Trump isn’t completely alone in his belief: there have been suggestions that aircraft automation has made pilots less able to react to problems. The crash of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 is seen as one case in which pilots failed to understand what the aircraft was doing because they’d overrelied on instruments.

Related Links:

Boeing Investors Pull Back As More Countries Ground 737 Max

Everything We Know About The Boeing 737 MAX Crash

Posted-In: airlinesGovernment News Travel Tech General Best of Benzinga


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