‘Sully’ Said He Would Have Struggled to Land Malfunctioning 737 MAXes
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
During a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Chesley Sullenberger III said he had difficulty landing a Boeing 737 MAX simulator that was programmed to replicate failures similar to those that occurred on fatal flights in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
“I recently experienced all these warnings in a 737 MAX flight simulator during recreations of the accident flights. Even knowing what was going to happen, I could see how crews could have run out of time before they could have solved the problems,” Sullenberger said to the panel. “Prior to these accidents, I think it is unlikely that any US airline pilots were confronted with this scenario in simulator training.”
“Sully” is best known for landing a crippled Airbus A320 in the Hudson River off New York City, saving all onboard after the plane’s engines were disabled by a double bird strike. That 2009 incident eventually came to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
His testimony on Wednesday came during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee hearing that focused on two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes in which 346 passengers died. Those accidents have been blamed on an automated flight control system known as MCAS, which was originally designed to prevent Boeing’s latest 737 from stalling during some maneuvers.
The system was ultimately given greater control authority than its original design called for, and 737 MAXes are now grounded globally as Boeing works with regulators and other stakeholders to develop a fix to the software and new training guidelines.
During the hearing, Boeing’s manufacturing standards and the Federal Aviation Administration regulatory processes were repeatedly called into question, as were pilot training practices.
Dan Carey, an American Airlines captain and president of the Allied Pilots Association, criticized Boeing for inviting former regulators and retired pilots like Sullenberger and Randy Babbitt, a former FAA administrator who was also on the panel, to test the 737 MAX updates before pilots who are still in the workforce were given the same opportunity. He said members of his union had been invited to test the simulators earlier this month, but that invitation was rescinded before APA pilots were able to do so.
“It’s curious to me while Boeing is working on this fix they don’t want the people who fly it to actually see it,” Carey said.
Featured image by Stephen Brashear, Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees