Sully Says MAX Needs More Fixes


Flight 1549 Capt. Chesley Sullenberger says he’ll fly on the recertified Boeing 737 MAX but he wants to see improvements to the aircraft and its ancestors for flaws laid bare in the investigation of the MAX flight control system. “People are going to fly on it and I will probably be one of them,” he told the Seattle Times. “I’m going to keep on pushing for future improvements to this airplane even if it flies in the meantime,” he said. 

The FAA is likely weeks away from clearing the MAX for revenue service after Boeing spent the last year rewriting a major portion of the flight control software to change the way the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) behaves. Bad data from single-source angle of attack indicators on a Lion Air MAX and an Ethiopian Airlines MAX started a catastrophic chain of events that led to both aircraft entering high-speed dives that killed a total of 346 people in late 2018 and early 2019. Sullenberger says the MCAS fix is fine but the process of achieving it showed the MAX and its predecessor, the NG series, need upgrades in other systems.

Part of the MCAS revision was making it require agreement from both angle of attack indicators. Sullenberger agrees with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that there should be a third AOA and not necessarily a conventional aerodynamic type. Boeing 787s have a digital AOA that calculates attitude based on various sensor inputs and it acts as a check on the other two so pilots know which of those is acting up. Boeing considered adding the digital AOA to the MAX but it was rejected because of the cost.

Sullenberger also says something must be done about the cacophony of alarms and flashing lights that assault pilots when something goes wrong with the MAX. He said the noise and resulting confusion in the Lion Air and Ethiopian cockpits likely played a role in the outcome as they tried to isolate the source of the problems. “It was clear to me how the accident crews could have run out of time and altitude,” he said. He said he also agrees with Transport Canada that there should be a switch to turn off the stick shaker when pilots are sure it was triggered erroneously. With the flaws now revealed, Sullenberger says the FAA and Boeing have a duty to address them and not just leave it at the MCAS fix. “I’m not going to say, ‘We’re done, good enough, move on,'” said Sullenberger.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I had enormous respect for this man. Until he said Biden is what the country needs. So how do we know that he knows what the MAX needs??

    • So you would have retained your respect for this man if he would have said we should stay the course, and everything’s great?

      • To my knowledge he had no input into the course that was taken to resolve the problem? My respect for him as a pilot still stands but I wish he had not come out publicly to denounce the President.

        • Lots of people denounce the President. Even if he did everything I wanted him to, I not particularly pleased with his behavior. Are you?

      • Sully lives in the bay area, mostly liberals. He’s married to that TV news anchor, whom as a group, are over 90% left wing. So him being a Biden supporter is no surprise. But coming out publicly announcing his support for Biden is an abuse of his fame from the flt 1549 publicity he received. Also the airline pilot group does have some democrats, since most of them were union members during their careers.

    • Apart, very apart from Who said that, what he said was 100% correct: Redundancy requires to be solid. The best way it to have something called “TMR” or Triple Modular Redundancy. Your ignorant posture based on stoopid politically based opinion about candidates has nothing to do here. Learn some technical education before emitting dumb comments please.

    • Laughable Steve if your logic wasn’t so pathetic. I wouldn’t trust your judgement were you sitting to the right of me in a cockpit for fear you’d choose to pull out a checklist based on politics rather than phase of flight or indicated anomalies.

  2. “He said he also agrees with Transport Canada that there should be a switch to turn off the stick shaker when pilots are sure it was triggered erroneously.“
    Am I missing something here? While I agree with a switch or anything for that matter to turn off a stick shaker, isn’t the above statement kind of like completely missing the point of trying to fix the Max. If pilots are sure the stick shaker has been activated erroneously, isn’t that in and of itself confirmation a problem still exists? And, isn’t the installation of a switch to turn off the stick shaker an acknowledgment that pilots are still flying the Max with a known defect that has yet to be discovered by them?
    To me, it sounds like the authorities are willing to return the plane to service knowing there are still undiscovered problems with no known solutions, however, just in case pilots happen to stumble across one of those unknown problems, here’s a button you can push, or, switch you can flip to turn off the stick shaker just in case that happens to be a solution to the problem at hand.
    Maybe I’m just getting to old, but, something doesn’t seem right here. I’m starting to think the “machine’s” are really starting to take over the world, or, at least airplanes anyway.

    • Think about why they invented – and required – stick shakers/pushers in the first place. Pilots. Inept pilots. Ibid MCAS.

  3. The AOA is already derived from vane position and then combined with flap, slat, gear positions and ground affects inputs.

    The discussion was synthetic airspeed from the 787, not ‘digital AOA’

    The crews couldn’t follow a checklist and perform stab cutout. They raised flaps with the stick shaker going off enabling MCAS. How will providing a switch to turn off stick shaker help?

  4. When Sully speaks, he speaks truth. And Congress should listen, as they did (reluctantly) when he
    testified before them last year about the 737-MAX. All of his points are valid and highly important,
    and should be acted upon now, not later–or after another fatal accident has occurred. As for what
    others say, (1) the first comment [about Biden] is both fatuous and a non sequitur. (2) the second
    comment [about stick shakers] is simply absurd. If the pilot is certain that the stick shaker has been
    turned on by mistake, it is imperative to turn it off immediately, before it interferes with everything
    else the flight crew is doing, and wreaks havoc with their ability to control the aircraft or land safely.
    It is also one less nuisance, like the flashing lights that distract pilots and thus impair concentration.
    It does not mean that they are ignoring the plane’s multiple defects–on the contrary, they are well
    aware of them, or they wouldn’t be trying to cope with so many of them, simultaneously. Machines
    don’t control the world, but they will if we let them–and if we ruin it for ourselves by giving them a
    chance to prove just how illogical, incompetent and insipid we humans are. They won’t die; we will.

    • A non-sequitor? “A non sequitur is a conversational literary device, often used for comedic purposes. It is something said that, because of its apparent lack of meaning relative to what preceded it, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing. This use of the term is distinct from the non sequitur in logic, where it is a fallacy.” He meant what he said, and not for comedic purpose. And certainly isn’t absurd nor lack meaning.

  5. “something must be done about the cacophony of alarms and flashing lights that assault pilots when something goes wrong with the MAX.”

    That’s not a situation unique to the MAX. As I recall, wasn’t there a a “cacophony of alarms and flashing lights” on US1549? And on Quantas 32?

  6. Why do people keep holding this guy out as possessing special insight and knowledge? He was a line pilot. Lots of those around.

    • Maybe people hold him out as possessing special insight and knowledge because he does have special insight and knowledge. Just a guess.

      From his wikipedia entry, which is heavily sourced, it appears that in addition to having been a line pilot, he was

      – founder and CEO of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. (SRM), a firm providing strategic and tactical guidance to enhance organizational safety, performance, and reliability.

      -involved in a number of accident investigations conducted by the USAF and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

      – an Air Line Pilots Association local air safety chairman, accident investigator, and national technical committee member. His safety work for ALPA led to the development of a Federal Aviation Administration advisory circular. He was instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course that is used by US Airways, and he has taught the course to hundreds of airline crew members.

      -Working with NASA scientists, he coauthored a paper on error-inducing contexts in aviation.

      -He was an air accident investigator for an NTSB inquiry into a major accident at Los Angeles International Airport, which “led to improved airline procedures and training for emergency evacuations of aircraft.”

    • You are completely ignoring his credentials as an Aviation Safety Consultant with a deep knowledge about many well researched accidents. Learn before posting wrong assumptions.

  7. No one can question the abilities and experience of Capt. Sully. However, he spent the last few years of his career flying the Airbus. I have a lot of respect for him and the crew that assisted him. All of this notwithstanding, has anyone ever answered the question as to why there were never any incidents with US carriers on the 737MAX? Southwest, American, etc. etc. aircrews flew the MAX in varied conditions, and yet not one incident that I am aware of. (Correct me if I am wrong) Makes one ask the question, what about aircrew training, and what role did that play?

    • Perhaps US aircrews are the best trained in the world. Does that mean that Boeing should be building airplanes that are safe only in their hands? You can bet that Boeing has a very good idea of the level of training of their customers around the world – if they didn’t, why would they have created the MCAS in the first place? To make the MAX feel just like a “normal” 737? Who needs that if every pilot and crew flying it are the best trained in the world? The failure of the MCAS is firmly on Boeing’s shoulders, but with an assist from the FAA for letting them self-regulate as much as they did.

      • They created MCAS because of a certification REQUIREMENT for linearity of stick force vs. rate-of-change-of pitch. Period.
        Dumb requirements + insipid engineering = bad airplanes.

    • Training definitely was a problem — in that Boeing pushed out this model as a “minor” update to the 737 in order to not have to require expensive re-training of 737 pilots. If that were done these accidents likely wouldn’t have happened. Lots of reporting on AvWeb about this, search for 737 MAX. Here’s one excerpt:

      In defending Ethiopian Air and its crew, [Sullenberger] says, “I can tell you that the members of APA are offended by remarks made by those who seem to blame the pilots killed in those two crashes. Some negative aspersions have appeared in the press relating to the quality of pilots trained in Africa. I am here to tell you that I worked in Africa and trained African pilots to fly large aircraft. I am very familiar with Ethiopian Air’s pilot training program and facilities, and I can tell you that they are world-class. In fact, while not one U.S. airline has a MAX simulator, one non-U.S. airline does—Ethiopian Air. To make the claim that these accidents would not happen to U.S.-trained pilots is presumptuous and not supported by fact.”

    • The Indonesian NTSB blamed pilots, mechanics and Boeing equally. My opinion is that they were being overly-generous to Boeing.

      I think the Indonesian accident root cause was an AoA sensor that was damaged and not noticed by the mechanics. Boeing’s vague documentation on MCAS was the next link in the accident chain.

      Indonesia is literally at the end of the earth from the USA geographically, so also at the end of the earth for training and parts. Boeing needs to ship working planes to buyers who are already at an operational disadvantage compared to the West.

    • OWEN K. : The fact that there were no accidents on other B737MAX airplanes was ONLY because no Angle of Attack sensors failed on them. But the DESIGN was indeed FAILED. It was just a matter of time, and that failed design would fail again in ANY country. Possibly, SOME highly trained and quick reacting crew COULD react on time and save those planes, but either it could not. One thing is for sure and is today 100% clear: the design was failed and required a complete fix, that we are still waiting for. Not only did Boeing perform badly, they were quick to try to conceal it, and there are clear indications of their corporate culture went south together with unacceptable FAA lack of supervision.

  8. So an A320 Captain makes a split-second decision in an emergency and it turns out great, which now makes him a leading expert in Boeing 737 engineering? Give me a break! I’ve got 10,000 plus hours in 737 NGs with a major US Airline and any of our highly trained crews would have brought both of those accident airplanes back safely. But we live in a world driven by politics!

    • This seems to be a suggestion that Boeing should only sell 737 Maxes to airlines that train to at least the standard of your major US airline employer. I’m not arguing against that – more and better training seems like a great idea. But, I don’t know that Boeing can survive just selling to a handful of US carriers. I guess it’s one business model; other people seem to be suggesting it, so maybe it’s viable. Or, I guess Boeing could sell to airlines that have put their pilots through additional training that meet some Boeing standard. I’m just a dumb old Pitts pilot who flies with almost no systems at all, and so I probably can’t think straight, but I thought that avoiding additional training was one of the reasons Boeing went down the MCAS path to begin with.
      I agree we live in a world driven by politics, but in what era haven’t we?

      • Exactly right. A big part of the airline market is to airlines based in second- and third-world countries where some (and perhaps many or most) of the pilots are not trained to U.S. standards. Boeing has successfully sold planes into those markets for years, and until the Max, those planes weren’t often brought down by pilot error. That changed with the Max; it was too easy to get into a situation requiring systems knowledge, airmanship, or just steely resolve that was clearly not possessed by every crew.

        My recollection is that there were multiple instances where U.S. crews ran into the same problem which took down the two foreign planes, and the crews successfully dealt with it. That’s a testament to our high training standards, but it doesn’t mean the Max is fine as-is. The plane needs to be safe in the hands of the lowest-common-denominator crew.

  9. No one can deny that Captain Sullenberger and his crew (and it was, afterall, a crew effort) did amazing work on the Hudson years ago. But that does not suddenly give him license to be an aviation safety expert in all fields, particularly as it relates to Boeing aircraft.
    Captain Sullenberger, following the Colgan Air accident in Buffalo took a high profile stand with regard to pilot training and experience, which is rightfully a domain he has an expertise. But why, with that expertise, does he not advocate for what is really the cause of this accident – incompetent pilots.
    As the Indonesian report clearly showed, the accident MAX aircraft was flown flown for over 90 minutes from its point of departure to its intended destination (even that is questionable airmanship) but nevertheless the aircraft was perfectly flyable once someone recognized a trim stab runaway, did the drill and turned it off. Similarly, the accident aircraft the next day was flown for 11 minutes by the Captain despite not recognizing and performing the runaway stabilizer drill and the aircraft was lost after he passed control to the first officer who had no clue how to hand fly an aircraft and use this thing called “trim”.
    The Ethiopian final accident report has not been released and is overdue; I have serious doubts if it will be a legitimate report if their preliminary report is any indication however that accident reeks of pilot incompetence too, particularly since Boeing had issued an Airworthiness Directive following the Indonesian accident.
    If Captain Sullenberger was really interested in furthering aviation safety, he should stick to what he knows best – training and human factors – and render an opinion that its not the beautiful, modern safe aircraft made by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and others are the problem but “puppy mill” pilot training schemes, poor regulatory oversight and the low-cost mentality of some of the air carriers.

    • EDWARD MC DONALD: You are conveniently forgetting one critical thing: the stupid design team at Boeing implemented a wrong design practice: the active SINGLE Angle of Attack Sensor IS ALTERNATED from one side to the other at every following flight!. Now, the stupid thing with that design is that it is only advantageous in those cases where a more distributed wear is desired to extend the time between required maintenance or replacement of a component, like for example, alternating the use of an Spare Pump with the normally used pump to distribute wear… That makes the wear to be distributed among the two pieces of equipment. BUT, that engineering practice is NOT PROPER on critical systems, where there is the RISK OF HIDING an INCIPIENT FAULT being developed, as it tends to occult the failure by using the other side, still good component.

      What is more, that WRONGLY APPLIED practice accumulates the components wear, so that it increases the probability of having a SIMULTANEOUS Failure At BOTH SIDES, at the same time.

      Thus, the engineering team that designed that critical system at Boeing should be sent to both Engineering School (to UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DID A WRONG DESIGN), and to Jail, because you don’t play with others lives in an unprofessional way. Why and How it was so badly designed tell a lot about the state of matters at Boeing nowadays.

  10. Sully should have quit while he was ahead. Triple redundancy and safety system overrides are opposite ends of the spectrum and he calls for both in the same sentence. He was very fortunate to be in an Airbus on 1549 and now to speak on what Boeing needs is too big of stretch. Neither of the accident crews even gave a thought tp pulling the power levers back which would have helped significantly if not solved their dilemmas. What they really need are PILOTS and not the 90 day wonders these third world countries are putting in the cockpit.

    • Bill B. : And you sorely need to learn a little more about DESIGN and PROPER ENGINEERING before commenting on this matters. The thing is: The MAX design had a terribly wrong lack of redundancy ( Single Point of Failure), complicated by wrongl use of side to side alternation of that single AoA sensor, a compromised Aerodynamic Stability (caused by incomplete assessment of aerodynamic behaviour), and a completely wrong computer conducted flight assisting stability system (MCAS) with too aggresive response, done by “engineers” and dumb software programmers with an amazing lack of undestanding, that was occulted from pilots to reduce expenses and certification completeness. No amount of critique to Sullenberger (imagined) lack of undestanding about the 737 can cover the MULTIPLE design errors from Boeing, never.

  11. It seems to me Sully is making a case for proper training, combined with improved design and integration of existing technology (purposefully left out by Boeing) to take into account excellent US airline performance and “puppy mill” training that seems more and more prevalent both in the US and overseas carriers. MAX was supposed to meet certain design certification criteria for aircraft stick loads and make the case for no additional transition training to MAX from 737 rated pilots at the same time. Boeing was so confident of MCAS, they didn’t even bother to tell the purchasing airlines it was aboard…until one crashed.

    Sully has a boatload of safety/advocacy/training/CRM/NTSB investigator credentials in addition to being a glider pilot. He and Skiles validated excellent CRM skills, understanding and execution of procedures, proper evaluation of systems under great stress, and then performed…not in theory…a dead stick landing of that Airbus on the Hudson.

    He is quite qualified to critique MCAS from design, engineering, training, and implementation. The airline industry would not be using the full potential of CRM they advocate in the cockpit ignoring his suggestions about MCAS, proper training, and best practices for safe integration as these airplanes return to the skies. C

    He and Skiles cannot walk on water but has demonstrated they can land on it well enough for the airplane to float for evacuation and eventually be recovered. He walks his talk. And he has done that his entire flying career, just as many Avweb professional pilot commentators. Dismissing that experience would be a terrible thing to waste, considering Boeing’s penchant for cost cutting.

  12. How come no one mentions an Airbus that has no override for engines that go to idle if a bird takes out the first PT probe? Sullly was happy with this engineering over sight. I read his book. In my Navy Squadron Sully might have even been almost average and did not think his units F4 were safe….and got out. Not a job for everyone, I guess. Of course I was unimpressed by his support for Bidden. Did he not learn anything in the Air Force about Democrats affect on a combat pilot’s survive-ability? Yep, the Max MCAS was not good, but I do not thing American Boeing pilots would ever be caught up in it. Maybe I am just too old.
    A combat aviator with 727, 737,747,777 types from my airline.

    • “How come no one mentions an Airbus that has no override for engines that go to idle if a bird takes out the first PT probe?”

      I heard this one way back right after it happened, amidst all the other ragging on the automation in the Airbus. Believe me, I’m no fan of the Airbus design philosophy, but this argument is complete BS. I attended a talk given by Jeff Skiles on the accident, and I asked him, face to face, about the condition of the engines. He told me he had a look at the engines after the airplane was pulled from the river. Both engines were completely destroyed. In one, all the compressor blades were simply gone, and the other wasn’t far behind.

      Maybe at another time, in another world, the presence of a sensor override would have allowed an engine to keep running, but not in this one.

    • Forgot to say your evident lack of what is a proper understanding of which is good versus which is bad design, sir. With due respect, you said nothing that contributes anything useful to the discussion

  13. Agree with you, watched that video, and was very disappointed. Not one person anywhere in the world got this right. Sully needs to go back to “can we get serious now?”.
    I get people don’t like Trump, that’s fine; but don’t hold him to unrealistic expectations. All the data changed a thousand times, we can’t go back and pick and choose what fits our bias to castigate or reward the man.

  14. Ah, the blessed arrogance of pilots. Such sweet liquor to quaff.

    A low hanging fruit of course is, how many commentators have landed an Airbus on the Hudson river and are then such qualified to comment on his skills in that moment or any other. Most likely some have had emergencies less public and surely dealt well with them, but till you put your bonifieds next to his publicly, tread lightly thinking his is “average”. His political positions not withstanding, any pilot here, sitting in that plane on that day would not give a SHIT if he loved Kim Jung Un as long as he landed the plane without killing you.

    As to MCAS, Boeing shoved a pile of Shit on to the airline industry. Oh, by the way, consider their Starliner, another POS they screwed up and could have killed astronauts, so let’s not defend a company that is quite happy to not give a shit about you ATPs for the bottom line. They fucked up. They should have required training on MCAS and they did not. They should have sold MCAS with redundancy, they did not yet many so casually toss fellow commercial pilots under the bus to sooth American ego’s, “Not one US pilot had this accident”..please, anyone consider that the same situation had not yet occurred in the US before grounding.

    Whether Sully believes in Biden, Trump, God, or the devil does not matter when it comes to what he understands about aviation. Sully didn’t have a Boeing that day, he had an Airbus so please STFU unless someone here wants to recreate the Hudson Miracle with a 737 and see how it goes.

    No human wants to die, no pilot wants to die, and while yes, there are not great pilots and great pilots, the next time y’all feel comfortable about saying “sha’ right man, those dudes were totally incompetent because…like…Africa”…pray you are not sitting front seat in a 767 coming into Houston and your FO knocks you into a dive and later folks say “what was the Captain thinking”…or your in the cabin of a L1011 with all US pilots that fly into the everglades staring at a light or you’re dead tired trying to do a ILS approach into Buffalo and stall out on final or … Pilots are pilots and they may make a mistake, but never for one moment think that a company like Boeing will not give a damn if you auger in because they gave you a broken plane. They *will* blame you first and always.

    • Justin, it’s not necessary to use corrosive language to get your point across. It’s easily done without it and actually more effective. We have to much of it in our society today. It’s not useful anywhere much less here.

      • Tom Cooke : The way Boeing conducted the design and did the many mistakes they did, deserve much more punishment that a few hard words. They deserve jail, at least!

  15. Fixing the Max is like sprucing up a turd.
    I too fly the NG’s for a major. After having read only a small portion of Congress’ investigative report here on Avweb so far, I hope I never have to see the thing. With so much shady crap going on at Boeing to push it to market, who knows what else is wrong with the airplane??!! And how will the public react flying on it to go somewhere? Will the airlines just paint over the word MAX and just pretend no one will know the difference, or do we need to make a PA:
    ” Err, folks, em’, by the way we are flying the Max to Orlando today…thanks for flying with us.” Those passengers would deplane that thing in record time.
    Don’t like it. Don’t want to fly it. I’ll take a 321 Neo any day. Just wish my airline would see the light, cancel the Max orders, sue Boeing for delivering a shit product, a grounded one at that costing the airline millions in schedule cancellations, and order the Airbus Neos, a far superior product. Dang, too bad I cannot take the early out! Any one remember the cargo door that blew off of a 747 out of Honolulu? Another faulty design. They knew it. The FAA knew it. The airlines knew it. Ah well, it only killed nine people. Could have been hundreds more. So what…it’s the cost of doing business. Old Mr. Boeing is surely turning over in his grave. The greed is disgusting.

    • Oh yes… and please add to your collection of Boeing’s wrongs, the bad design of the rear attachment points of the main Landing Gear of the B777… discovered by the English AAIB when reviewing the British Airways B777 Crash that landed short at London. And not only did the British AAIB performed that good job, they also identified that “the Fire estinguisher handles also have the effect of cutting off power to the fuel switches, meaning that the fuel may continue to flow – a potentially dangerous situation.” The report restated a previous Boeing Service Bulletin giving procedural advice that fuel switches should be operated before fire handles. It went on: “This was not causal to the accident but could have had serious consequences in the event of a fire during the evacuation.” Indeed another example of lack of engineering supervision at Boeing, and that accident happened back in 2009, which reveals that the quality of design and engineering at Boeing has gone bad since that era… it is not only the B737MAX which is wrong. Add to thst the risky selection of hhe Lithium.batteries on the B787 and the recently discovered wiring and composote construction faults… too much going bad for too long.

      That is ANOTHER bad design in the latest Boeing cost cutting and penny saving practices!

  16. After reading all of the comments that were posted after I made mine, I feel compelled to add the following:
    1. Ad hominem attacks on Capt. Sullenberger are fallacious and irrelevant. They are also rather childish.
    2. Pilot error is all too common. So is using pilots as scapegoats, to evade responsibility for faulty design.
    3. Boeing has a long and unenviable record of cutting corners, sacrificing safety to expediency and profit,
    and of “wining and dining” Congress to curry favor, gain lucrative contracts, and escape penalties for
    failure to comply with federal aviation regulations. I cited the literature on this topic earlier. Thus
    there is prima-facie reason to suspect Boeing of doing more of the same, which in fact they did with
    regard to the 737-MAX, in at least a dozen ways. Further details are in my essay, also cited above.
    4. The chief causes of pilot error are (a) fatigue (b) distraction. Fatigue did not play a role in either of
    the fatal crashes that occured in 2018, Distraction did. Even the most competent, experienced,
    and level-headed pilots are susceptible to that. In both cases (Lion Air, Ethiopian Airways), not just
    the pilot but the entire crew was distracted (and upset) by a series of flashing lights that were both
    startling and wholly unexpected. The more they reacted to these “false alarms,” the more that they
    inadvertently created the actual conditions that made them stall, then spin out of control, and crash.
    That was not their fault. It was Boeing’s fault, for not telling them that the computer systems were
    federated, not integrated, and for not giving them any prior warning, let alone a (new) manual for
    the aircraft, to prepare them for that. They received no training, either on the ground or in the air,
    and thus were left in the dark, in ignorance that was far from blissful, when the moment of truth
    confronted them. Puzzled by the mystery, they acted on assumptions that were false and thus
    proved fatal. Their actions were entirely reasonable; they were flying blind, as it were, and the
    passengers and crew on both flights paid the ultimate price for what can only be described as
    criminal negligence by the Boeing corporation, its subsidiaries and subcontractors, and its high-
    level executives. That is all there is to it–that and the ongoing corruption in the entire industry.
    5. One further point. If Boeing fixed everything properly, there would be no need for a device to
    override or turn off the stick shaker. That much is true. But since (as Sullenberger observed)
    they aren’t about to do that, but will in all likelihood release planes for commercial use in the
    near future that are only partially rather than completely airworthy, pilots will have to cope
    with a succession of “minor” flaws and defects, of which that annoying stick shaker is one.
    Sully’s point is that it’s better to have one less distraction in the cockpit, so that the crew
    can concentrate on everything else they have to do, and do quickly, especially in case of
    an emergency. There is nothing illogical about that. Rather, it is Boeing that persists,
    both in begging the question and in refusing to do anything more than patch work, while
    risking the lives of everyone on board for the sake of cutting their losses (sic), satisfying
    their shareholders, and engaging in big business as usual–callous, indifferent, obscene.
    To put it bluntly, you can’t expect pilots to compensate for a “half-assed” repair job by
    performing miracles, be it on the Hudson, the Nile, the Amazon, or the Mississippi river.
    Yet that is exactly what Boeing is doing–and, with the complicity of the government,
    they will get away with it, and laugh all the way to the federal bank to collect their
    insurance for “acts of God” that were written off as unforeseen and unpreventable.
    When (alas) it happens again, ask not for whom Boeing tolls. Surely not for thee.