Last week the FAA cleared Boeing’s 737 Max to fly again. The last time the 737 MAX was in the air two crashes killed 346 people. The MAX was grounded.
Boeing’s 737 MAX, Safe Or Not Safe?
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we may not be flying in the near future, but I hope we will all be flying again in the medium future. Why bring this up now? Because when we can travel again, our lives depend on the safety of the aircraft.
The 737 MAX has been forced out of service for 20 months although Boeing maintained it was safe. But it was not. Not only was the 737 MAX defective but Boeing may have known about the problems all along.
I’m worried! Worried enough to not even consider taking a flight on the 737 MAX. Corporations and government are so interwoven in the United States one questions if they are separate any longer.
Americans seem to be ok with this. I say this because corporations have been increasingly involved in government operations for decades and continue to expand their influence. American voters continue to vote officials into office who support this corporate-government hybrid.
Separation Of Company And State
Really does it matter if corporations give hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political party for the express purpose of being awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts? Some company is going to get that contract so why not the company that helped elect the administration?
It’s a bit dicier where public services are concerned. Again, Americans seem ok with this. Health care, prisons, education, and other services are operated more and more by corporations. Corporations contribute to political parties. When in power, those parties modify laws and assign contracts.
But what happens when the government allows corporations to make their own safety regulations? People die – 346 in the case of Boeing’s 737 MAX. According to the Seattle Times, the “FAA managers pushed the agency’s safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself, and to speedily approve the resulting analysis.”
According To Boeing: The Boeing 737 MAX Is Safe
Boeing verifying that Boeing planes are safe may be acceptable in the U.S. but Boeing is an international company. It is more than just American lives at risk. Airlines worldwide have orders for the 737 MAX. These countries and their airlines are trusting Boeing to risk profit and place shareholder interest second to safety.
Americans might believe corporations operate in the best interests of the people and will sacrifice profit in order to do what’s right. However, most of the rest of the world knows this simply is not true.
As long as corporations have control over government operations in the area of safety, especially airplanes, I do not plan to fly on the 737 MAX or other American airplanes which have been certified ‘safe’ in this era of self-regulation.
This might seem extreme, particularly coming from someone who is a big risk-taker. But it comes down to risk/reward. If the risk is death and the reward is a cheaper ticket, I’ll opt for safety and a more expensive ticket on an older U.S. plane, Airbus, or Comac aircraft.
The New Gold Standard In Aircraft
In the past, U.S. aircraft manufacturers were the gold standard, trusted throughout the world. Much of this trust came from the separation of company and state. U.S. corporations built aircraft and an independent government agency made sure they were safe. Corporate profits and shareholder interest were not on the safety checklist. Now they are.
The new gold standard of trust for large commercial aircraft now lies with France’s Airbus. China’s Comac is also looking like a trusted and safe manufacturer but it has been in business for only a few years.
Before the two 737 MAX crashes and 346 deaths I routinely booked flights on Airbus rather than Boeing. I found Airbus products were roomier and more comfortable. Perhaps debatable.
Has Anything Changed Within The Boeing 737 MAX?
In March 2017, with assurance from Boeing, the FAA cleared the 737 MAX for flight.
346 people died on 737 MAX’s
In November 2020, with assurance from Boeing, the FAA again cleared the 737 MAX for flight.
What’s the difference between the 2017 and 2020 assurances from Boeing? I don’t know. Boeing didn’t fundamentally change the 737 MAX and the same agencies that certified the plane the first time are doing it again.
So do we really believe that THIS time Boeing is making safety its priority over profit? Are you willing to risk your life on Boeing’s promise? That’s a risk I will not take.
I’ll wait to see if any 737 MAX’s crash in the next few years before deciding if it’s safe to fly on one. I sincerely hope you are not onboard one of those flights.