Gregory Travis: I have been a pilot and aircraft owner for thirty years. I have been a software developer for
over forty years. PDF – long
If I have not been clear, so far, let me say it succinctly. Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 MAX. That is big strike #1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system, similar to the systems used in dynamically unstable fighter jets (though those jets are fitted with ejection seats). Big strike #2. Finally, the software system relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle of attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross check the outputs of the angle of attack sensor against other sensors, including the other angle of attack sensor. Big strike #3. …
The point is that the 737 MAX saga teaches us not only about the limits of technology and the risks of complexity, it teaches us about our real priorities. Safety is never first, no matter what the market campaigns would like us to believe. Money is first and safety’s only utility in that regard is in helping keep the money coming.