The real reason Boeing’s new plane crashed twice

The real reason Boeing’s new plane crashed twice


This is an airplane engine. It’s sitting in a field in Bishoftu, Ethiopia—
part of the wreckage of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed on March 10, 2019. 157 people died. This was just a few months after another flight,
Lion Air 610, crashed in Indonesia and killed 189 people. These two flights were operating the same
plane: The Boeing 737 MAX 8. And its engine is the key to understanding
why this particular plane has caused so many problems. But there’s nothing actually wrong with this
engine. In fact, airplane manufacturers raced to put
them on their new planes. That’s where the problem started. The two biggest airplane manufacturers in
the world are Airbus and Boeing. And they have a fierce rivalry. If one of them can offer a better plane, the
other could lose a lot of money. That’s exactly what was about to happen in
2010. Airbus announced that they would update their
most popular model, the A320, a single-aisle airplane that services many domestic flights. You’ve probably been on one. For this new plane, Airbus had a big update. It would have a new kind of engine. It was much larger than the previous engine, but it would make the plane 15 percent
more fuel efficient. And just as importantly, this upgrade wouldn’t
change the plane that much. A pilot could walk into the new model, with
little additional training, and be on their way. It was called the A320 NEO, and it would save
airlines a lot of money. This was a problem for Boeing. To compete with Airbus, Boeing’s obvious move
was to upgrade the engine on their single-aisle plane, the 737. But there was one issue. Here’s a sketch of the 737 next to the Airbus
A320. Notice how the 737 is lower to the ground
than the A320. This meant Airbus could slide a new engine
under the wing of their A320. But there wasn’t enough room under the wing
of the Boeing 737. But a few months later, Boeing’s product development
head had big news. He said: “We figured out a way to get a big
enough engine under the wing.” Their solution was to move up the engine on
the wing, so that it would be slightly higher and it would fit on their 737s. Here’s a promotional video of that updated
737 in the air. You can actually see that the top of the engine
is above the wing. Boeing called this model the 737 MAX. And just like Airbus with the A320, Boeing
said their new plane was so similar to its predecessor that pilots would only need minimal
additional training. The 737 MAX became the hottest selling plane
on the market. And it helped Boeing keep up with AirBus. Except, moving the engine up on the 737
had a side effect. When the 737 MAX was in full thrust, like
during takeoff, the nose tended to point too far upward, which could lead to a stall. This was a problem, because these planes were
supposed to behave exactly like the old ones. So Boeing came up with a workaround. Instead of re-engineering the plane, they
installed software that automatically pushed the nose downward if the pilot flew the plane
at too high of an angle. They called it the Maneuvering Characteristics
Augmentation System, or MCAS. But because Boeing was selling the 737 MAX
as pretty much the same plane as the 737, they didn’t highlight the new MCAS system. Many pilots only got a two-hour iPad course
before entering the cockpit for the first time. And the “training material did not mention”
the MCAS software. In 2018, several American pilots complained
to the federal government that the 737 MAX was “suddenly nosing down.” On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 took
off from Jakarta. In the flight report, which shows the plane’s
altitude over time, you can see that the plane was in full thrust during takeoff. But at a certain point, the nose of the plane
kept lurching downward. The pilots couldn’t figure out why this was
happening. The captain “asked the first officer to check
the quick reference handbook.” They couldn’t find the solution. The pilots continued to fight with the MCAS. The plane struggled to gain altitude. Reports show it was likely because the computer
was getting incorrect sensor data, pushing the plane toward the earth below. 12 minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed
into the Java Sea. In the Ethiopia crash, the report shows that
the pilots were actually able to disable the MCAS, but it was too late to overcome the
malfunctioning MCAS sensors. For now, nearly every 737 MAX 8 in service
has been grounded. And the Federal Aviation Administration is
facing scrutiny over how they rushed this plane through certification. Boeing’s response has been to apply a software
update and make the MCAS “less aggressive,” while also saying they’ll increase pilot training
on how to turn it off. This problem started with a company’s race
to compete with its rival. It pushed them to pretend like their new plane
behaved exactly like their old one. Even when it didn’t.


100 thoughts on “The real reason Boeing’s new plane crashed twice

  1. Boeing CEO's should be in JAIL. The FAA people who let Boeing "self regulate" should be in jail. Boeing should be broken up, the company is moribund and way past its funeral date.

  2. I was on this exact model leaving NY to go to Ireland (Dec 18). It had a problem a few mins after takeoff. An alarm was going off in the cockpit and the pilots couldn't knock it off. They said something like the sensors on the plane thought it was on the ground ?? Anyways we had to turn back. Jesus, that was a closer call then I had realised !

  3. Even if they were to teach the pilots how to turn off NCAS, they're still not addressing the issue that set it off to begin with, which is "the plane stalls because the engines are placed too high on the wings". You can make NCAS less aggressive, you can even turn it off altogether but if you're not addressing the "real problem" you're not fixing anything. Which is evidenced by the senseless crashes and deaths of all these people. This entire "fix" is totally flawed and should be scrapped from moving forward in any way, shape or form. Period.

  4. This is a crime for Boeing, ignoring potential threat in aviation industry is unforgivable, regardless of the reason

  5. MCAS should completely be removed. It is flawed software that can't be fixed. Boeing should be made to completely restructure the plane fitted with new engines.

  6. We all know the reasons behind this, its all about money. If Boeing didnt want to make as much money as possible, they would rush into something like this. I think when it comes to lives, its important to forget about making profit and instead think about security. I hope the Americans give death penalty to these people who took the decisions.

  7. The 2 pitch trim cuttoff switches are on that center overhead panel. Runaway pitchtrim anyone? Dont fly on a muslim or african airline!

  8. remember USA is bankrupt… Asia especially China is the new economic power. Boeing is one of USA's last great businesses lose this and United States may not recover.USA does not have much time as it is. It's not an economic power at all anymore and produces little as everything comes from offshore China Malaysia etc. USA through greed lost their industrial power long ago in favor of the cheap Chinese goods. China became powerful United States lost. Truthfully it's already over. So back to Boeing nothings going to happen it will be business as usual but Time is running out. Now you know the rest of the story.

  9. To all of you hating on Boeing: Do realize that Boeing, in a way, revolutionized air travel, and opened it to the middle class with the 747. Most of us probably wouldn’t even fly if it weren’t for Boeing. And as much as I think this shouldn’t have happened, there’s no way Boeing is going into the ground. America needs them to much.

  10. The US Congress sub committee on aviation safety in June, received testimony from stakeholders that the aviation community does not compete on safety. Aircraft manufacturers maintain proprietary control of design for competitive business reasons. I propose that a certification requirement be that life-critical software require open source exposure and peer review of all such designs as a condition to fly in the United States.

  11. When a person by negligence causes the death of another person, it's called something like "involuntary manslaughter". If that person is not a member of the rich slice of society and cannot afford the best lawyers, a prison sentence is all but assured. Corporations, lest we forget, have succeeded in convincing governments and most people that they are "persons" (which, among other perks, allows them to inject large amounts of money into the electoral process in favor of their friends). Do you think Boeing, or some of their executives, will ever stand accused of "involuntary manslaughter" for more than 300 deaths? And if they are, do you really believe they will ever spend one night in prison?

  12. All because of a race for air supremacy, a heck loads of lives were lost. That's really bad, and I only hope that there are legal consequences after all of these.

  13. All of these people hating on Boeing 😂 y'all would have pitchforks out for Airbus if they had messed up. And don't any of you act like y'all even check to see what airframe you are on when you buy cheap flights.

  14. At first, i love the 737 Max. But because of this, i like the new A320neo. Boeing wants to beat Airbus, but best selling doesn’t mean that its safe.

  15. I hope this is a lesson for all those companies around the world make better products and you will earn money automatically and make products to earn money you loose everything….. Passion is important not success…

  16. This is about right for how American companies do business as they don't care about lives. Not only Boeing just look at American cars like how Ford decided to pay out death claims instead of fixing a $2 problem on the Pinto or how GM hid the ignition switch issue! American way of doing business

  17. If my memory serves me correctly, Boeing has a history of producing faulty planes. I vaguely remember the empennage of one of the models would not allow the plane to descend due to a faulty design.

  18. When you have a plane that the engineers don't want to make and the pilots don't want to fly, you shouldn't be mass producing it.

  19. The best explanation given. Boeing has played with the lives of innocent people in their greed for Business and must be punished. Also it's a grave lapse from the FAA

  20. That was not an explanation. The interaction of trim and stabilizer was not explained. MCAS has over-adjusted the stabilizer. Even after disabling MCAS, the pilots could no longer manually trim back. The air resistance was too strong.

  21. Dude this guys my bestfriends dad died on this plane accident in Ethiopia it destroyed her life they were in debt and there house was about to be taken

  22. Good to see Boeing taking precautions now… But I as a customer also take a precaution, I just make sure before every flight booking, that it's not a boeing… always travel by airbus

  23. This isn't the first time Boeing has had legal troubles. A year ago Boeing attempted to put a 300% tariff on a new Canadian plane to stop it from competing with them. After Airbus intervened, they removed it, but it's still bad how they attempted to destroy their company for their own benefit.

  24. I just realised. if you are watching this on a computer and laptop, you have better equipment than many 737 max pilots got when training.

  25. So my question is, u won't be flying a boeing right. The airliner has both of them… when the airbus break down and they put in a boeing….. what will be your next move? Oh jeah u won't fly them again right? Just stay home or buy some wings stupidoss

  26. These major carriers operate on such slim margins, even subbing out a lot of their flights to smaller airlines with poor maintenance records, hey, it all boils down to might $$. The lives lost are considered collateral damage, The end game is to keep the planes in the air with the minimum of cost or investment in upkeep. I used to fly everywhere, now, I haven't flown in years and years. I'll drive, thank you. Sure it takes longer…first you have to simplify your life so that you don't 'need' to be anywhere so fast. No one is as important as they think. 😉

  27. The plane flies like a dream Ethiopian pilots just don’t get enough training never happened to our American train pilot. Our pilot training is second to none.

  28. An app, basically … they used an app. This is not a RC plane, these are lives … hundreds of lives. Let's just see if anyone at all goes to jail.

  29. panorama BBC (best broadcaster in the world!) did a great documentary on this but I don't live UK so I can't upload it ? anyone able to do that ?

  30. Yeah when i heard the news of lion air (because i live in jakarta) i thought it was good and its show crash to the sea and thats why i fear of lion air when using Boeing

  31. So now the business, the money is more important than human lives. Shame on you Boeing. Just to compete with your rival, you rolled out an unstable technology that resulted in tremendous human loss. Disgusting!!

  32. Lets do the math oh how capitalist thinks, keep in mind that this is in no way shape or form factual, this is just satire.

    AirPlane sells at 121milj dollars, with ofc discount, so lets round up the plain cost to 100milj for sake of ease.
    Manufacturing costs should be around 50% of the price so we end up of profit of 50milj per plane
    Development costs lets say 5000milj or 5bilj.
    Plane sold +350 unites

    50milj * 350 = 17500milj or 17,5bilj of profits
    17,5bilj – 5bilj = 12,5bilj in profits

    victims 350, each family gaining +800k which will be 280milj in loses

    Airplane being grounded on airports estimated cost 6bilj in total to various companies (local newspaper count).

    12,5bilj – 280milj – 6bilj = 6,22bilj in profits

    So after all the s**t storm Boeing made a killing, pun intended.

  33. It is sheer folley to keep producing an aircraft with known (and unknown) faults. If the max needs hardware changes (which I suspect it might, given that we are fast approaching September and the "software fix" updates have gone very quiet), boeing would have alot of work to do retro fitting all the parked up planes. It may not even be financially viable or physically possible to re-engineer the max, what would boeing do then? It's a little late to start designing a new plane. Would they approach Airbus and build the Neo under licence in a new era of "collaboration"?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *