U.S. Pilots Were Raising Red Flags About Boeing 737 MAX 8 Months Before Crashes

[In the wake of a devastating plane crash that killed everyone on board, reports are now revealing that pilots here in the United States have been using an anonymous federal database to complain about problems they have experienced with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

[This is a federal database that allows pilots to submit anonymous reports about aviation incidents. And now that the focus is on the Boeing 737 MAX 8, we are learning that there are a number of pilots here in the United States who have submitted anonymous complaints about their experience with the airplanes.

A report from one captain said that shortly after take-off said, “I looked at and engaged A Autopilot. As I was returning to my primary flight display, pilot monitoring called ‘DESCENDING’ followed by an almost immediate: ‘DON’T SINK! DON’T SINK!’ I immediately disconnected autopilot and resumed climb.”

In another case, a copilot had a similar story, saying, “The aircraft accelerated normally and the captain engaged the ‘A’ autopilot after reaching set speed. Within two to three seconds the aircraft pitched nose down… I called ‘descending’ just prior to the ground proximity warning system sounding ‘Don’t sink, don’t sink.’ The captain immediately disconnected the autopilot and pitched into a climb.”

In yet another case, a captain issued a sharp rebuke of Boeing, the airlines and the FAA, writing, “I think it unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training or ever providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models… The flight manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient.”

The entries in the database do not identify who these pilots are, or what airlines they work for. But we know that the only two airlines that fly the Boeing 737 MAX 8 here in the United States, and those are Southwest and American Airlines.

The main thing that both the two recent crashes and these reports have in common is that the complications appear to occur within minutes of take-off, and they deal with the aircrafts acting erratically and in some cases, suddenly diving nose-down while on autopilot. And it is only when the pilots turn off the autopilot settings that they are then able to manually regain control—if they have the time and are able to do so.

It has been less than a week since the tragic plane crash in Ethiopia that killed everyone on board, and already we have seen more than 40 countries ban the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9, but the FAA has continued to stand by the safety of the aircrafts. And it was not until today that President Trump issued an emergency order to ground these models here in the United States.

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Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

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