Emergency Order: Trump Grounds Boeing MAX Airplanes


Following 2 recent crashes of Boeing's newest aircraft, countries started banning flights. Today, the US followed.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10, 2019, killing all 157 on board. Lion Air Flight 610 from Indonesia crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018 killing 189 people. Both planes crashed shortly after takeoff.

Following the March 10 crash, Boeing 737 MAX 8 Groundings Spread Around the World.

The EU, UK, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Ethiopia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Norway, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, and a number of smaller countries all banned 737 MAX 9 and/or 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Not only did those countries ban their use, most of them will not even allow flyovers.

Trump Grounds all Boeing 737 MAX Planes

As I was typing this article, I had to start over.

Moments ago, the Wall Street Journal reported FAA to Ground All U.S. Flights of Boeing 737 MAX Planes

In remarks at the White House, Mr. Trump called Boeing an “incredible company” and said it is that is working hard to find the cause of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight. Mr. Trump said until the cause is determined, “the planes are grounded” He added: “All of those planes are grounded effective immediately.”

Earlier, Canada’s transport minister said Wednesday that satellite-tracking data indicated “a possible, although unproven, similarity” between the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed last weekend and an October crash involving the same type of Boeing Co. 737 MAX aircraft, the first time a regulator has cited data suggesting a potential link between the problems that doomed the two jetliners.

The pilot of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed Sunday reported that he was having flight-control problems and wanted to return to the airport, but didn’t indicate any other technical faults or other difficulties during the jet’s short ascent, according to the carrier’s chief executive.

The general similarities between the two crashes—both involved brand new MAX 8s that went down shortly after takeoff—have prompted increased scrutiny of the jet. Mr. Gebremariam, the Ethiopian Airlines CEO, said those black boxes would be sent to Europe for analysis, although a final determination as to which country hasn’t been made.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, one of the biggest 737 MAX customers, with 110 on order, said Wednesday it expects Boeing to compensate it for the financial impact of the suspension. Norwegian Air has had to cancel 19 flights, including trans-Atlantic services to the U.S. that use the 737 MAX 8. Norwegian grounded its 18 737 MAX 8 aircraft Tuesday.

While bigger airlines, with large fleets, have more flexibility to swap out aircraft, smaller carriers are more limited. Compensation from equipment makers for such service disruptions are common in the industry.

Bernstein Research analyst Daniel Roeska said Norwegian may lose as much as $46,000 per 737 MAX a day because of the groundings.

New Software Controversy

At the heart of the controversy is new software.

MarketWatch asks Should U.S. Passengers be Concerned?

Following the Lion Air crash, observers and pilots suggested that new software may be to blame, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a directive requiring American air carriers to update their flight manuals accordingly so pilots would be made aware of the issue. Questions regarding the aircraft and its software were raised again following Sunday’s crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

The consumer advocacy organization FlyersRights.org called on the Federal Aviation Administration to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, arguing that the FAA should re-certify the plane as airworthy before it flies again.

"The FAA’s ‘wait and see’ attitude risks lives as well as the safety reputation of the U.S. aviation industry," said Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org

Former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board Peter Goelz meanwhile told CNN that he wasn’t sure if he would let his family fly on a 737 Max aircraft. “

Emergency Order

Boeing Asked Trump to Not Ground the Planes

Profits First!

Too Complex To Fly

Yesterday, Trump made a pair on incredibly silly Tweets.

Automation Improves Safety

Trump's Tweets are obviously silly, so lets look for supporting data.

Trump may not want “Einstein” to be his pilot, but the data indicates he should, says Vox in its article Two charts refute Trump’s claim that “airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly”

According to Boeing, close to 80 percent of commercial airline accidents are caused by pilot error. Automation of airplanes has correlated with more safety, not less

According to data compiled each year by the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), the number of international commercial airline accidents has been steadily declining for the past 45 years, down to 18 last year from 73 in 1972.


Commercial Airline Deaths

Zero Deaths

In 2017, there were zero accident deaths on commercial passenger jets anywhere in the world, not just in the US.

While we may not want Einstein himself flying planes, it's clear that software designed by airline Einsteins has been a huge boon to safety.

Ego First

Trump will bend, to the point of absurdity, any bit of news that fosters his ego or goals.

I'm not sure which of those comes first.

That said, I believe grounding the planes was justified. But note the US followed, it did not lead this effort.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Trump will bend, to the point of absurdity, any bit of news that fosters his ego or goals. I'm not sure which of those comes first. That said, I believe grounding the planes was justified. But note the US followed, it did not lead this effort.

What are you saying, Mish? Orange man good or bad? I can't tell.


The thousands of 737s in service have an outstanding safety record, except for the 500 or so 737 Maxs which now have a crash rate 33 times higher than the rest. Given that both crashes appear similar in cause, no way would I put foot on one without answers, starting with: 1.Is it pilot, or plane error, or both and why? The Boeing service bulletin on this issue scares the hell out of me. It explicitly warns that the implicated auto pilot software involved in both cases will re-engage itself after 5 seconds if not prevented by further pilot actions. 2.How many training hours, simulated failure recovery practice scenarios, etc. did Boeing recommend pilots and co-pilots receive in order to demonstrate understanding and mastery of the required pitot failure emergency recovery procedure(s)? 3. Had the four pilots in these two planes received this training? 4.What, if anything, has changed in the single-point-of-failure pitot sub-assembly's design, materials, assembly, and testing process train? 5. who has looked at the 500 other 737 Max's pitots and what do the data say? 6.What's the ETA of a mandatory retrofit of every 737 Max with at least a triplexed pitot input to the software which purports to out-guess an on-board flight crew locked in a life and death struggle with a 100 ton beast gone berserk?


There was an Emirates Boeing 777 that crashed in 2016, where the comment was this:

"Engine throttle settings appear to have remained unchanged during this period due to the flight crew not understanding the auto throttle system and a faulty reliance on automation."


"According to Boeing, close to 80 percent of commercial airline accidents are caused by pilot error."

What else would we expect a manufacturer to say? As for the pilots side of it,,,,well, dead men tell no tales.



"What are you saying, Mish? Orange man good or bad? I can't tell."

Abend237-04 gave a very good response. I believe Trump acted responsibly today, poorly yesterday.


The Boeing CEO dropped the ball on this one. Trump saved what little credibility was left in Boeing. Boeing has a large backlog, and that means jobs for Americans. If the CEO kept refusing to issue a stand-down order, customers could cancel and talk to Airbus.


I don't think its a certainty what caused the problem but with two crashes discretion is the better part of valor can't apply more. The optics are terrible for both Boeing and the Gov't. For Boeing they never got ahead of this crisis or owned it. It's shocking how poorly they performed. They seemed more intent on lobbying to keep the planes up than to create an image of confidence. For the government its even worse, the shutdown delayed by five weeks a software update for the 737, the FAA only has an acting head and the acting head has lacks pilot or engineering training(he's a poly sci major), the secretary of defense is a former boeing salesman and boeing both threw money at mar-a-lago and has donated handsomely to trump's inauguration committee. everything about this suggests that boeing bought off the proper gov't response and/or the gov't lacked the ability to make a quick rational decision.


Mish, The Boeing issue is most likely a software problem. Does the FAA even have the resources and know how to back-test and determine if Boeing has figured it out. Do they have the ability to analyze historic flights , do the regressions, back-test and simulate the issue to determine if the proposed fixes work?


Not grounding the planes immediately given the obviously plausibility that there is a connection between the two crashes shows the non-objectivity of the regulatory state. If the FAA was data driven, as Elwell claims in interviews, then it makes no sense to keep those planes in the air until more data came in to be able to make some sort of informed decision.

Think of all the private dealing and political-pull going on between the FAA, Boeing, the President, the airlines, etc, before Elwell finally grounds the planes and claims the FAA entirely focused on data and safety.


What I have heard is a common problem with the pilots and modern planes is that they are becoming so autonomous that the pilots lack the experience to act correctly when the flight requires manual intervention at the same time that you have a major malfunction or invalid assessment by the computer systems of what the problem actually is. Pilots take-off and land. The rest of the time it's auto-pilot and there's precious little opportunity to do much else outside of the simulators. It's all for the best of intentions, but pilots are losing their ability to make those snap judgments correctly because that is not their agenda in a simulator.


this was settled 30yrs ago when the airline industry spent some millions on an extraordinary study of airline safety. The question asked: "investigate how each country in the world handles flying/mechanics/machinery". The study involved every country w/substantial flight mileage. When, after a year, the world airlines asked for the results, they got the result of the study, OK; and promptly fell out of their ergonomically correct executive chairs. The immediate airline response: "we spent millions for this and you xxyyzzzmorons tell us that RELIGION is the answer"!!!!!! Well, yeah....and here's why: yadda yadda; and the airlines acknowledged the investigators were 100% correct and promptly revised every pilot manual in the entire world. It helped a lot, but its still pretty difficult to change people's beliefs.