Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who was widely celebrated for his 2009 landing of a US Airways flight in the Hudson River, argued this week that Boeing should do more to increase the safety of its 737 Max fleet. The fleet was grounded by nations around the globe after two high-profile crashes that claimed the lives of all passengers and flight crew on board.
According to a report by the Seattle Times, famed airline pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger says that he is not satisfied with the recent safety upgrades to Boeing’s embattled 737 Max fleet. The fleet was involved in two fatal crashes that occurred after a safety feature malfunctioned on board.
“I’m not going to say, ‘We’re done, good enough, move on,’” Sullenberger said. “People are going to fly on it and I will probably be one of them,” he added. “The updated MAX will probably be as safe as the (previous model) 737 NG when they are done with it. But it’s not as good as it should be.”
Sullenberger said that Boeing’s safety remedies do not go far enough. He encouraged safety engineers to install an additional angle-of-attack sensor. This is best achieved through a software calculation that determines the angle of attack from other data, such as the plane’s speed, weight, and inertial position.
“It’s really important that a third angle of attack input, or synthetic airspeed, be available on this airplane,” Sullenberger argued. “I would hope for a rapid adoption of that technology, and the sooner the better.”
Breitbart News reported in August that the Boeing 747-400 line, which was introduced in 1988, still receives critical updates via 3.5 inch floppy disks, a popular form of portable media that was used on computers in the 1980s and 1990s.
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, this article errantly printed Sullenberger’s first name as “Chelsea.” It has been corrected to “Chesley.” We regret the error.