FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Wednesday, KCTV5 learned pilots have complained about the 737 plane before. In one complaint, a captain said the auto-pilot function caused the plane to briefly nose dive.
Matt Miller has been a flight instructor for 40 years, and uses a simulator geared for smaller planes.
The key take away from him is that, “All sized planes have automation nowadays.”
“Pilots get a lot of training on the use of the auto pilot but also to disconnect the autopilot when they need to,” Matt Miller, who works at Little Blue Aviation, said.
In the case of the two 737 Max crashes, though, it all went wrong just after takeoff, at very low altitude.
“It takes a couple seconds for the pilots to figure out what’s wrong. It takes them a couple seconds for them to figure out what to do about. A couple more seconds to do it. So you’re burning up valuable altitude,” Dan Stratman, who is a retired Delta pilot, said.
Stratman flew seven years in the Air Force and 14 with Northwest and Delta. He since wrote a fictional thriller.
“It’s based on a real fear that the FAA has on automation on high-tech airplanes,” Stratman said.
Boeing was previously ordered to update the flight manual for what to do when the anti-stall system engages in error and points the nose down and was working for a software fix by April.
Miller says the NTSB will use a simulator to better understand what went wrong with the two 737 Max 8’s that crashed.
“They will use a 737 simulator much much larger than this one, but they do pretty much the same thing,” Miller said.
In the meantime, Stratman said, grounding 74 planes will cost the airlines massive amounts of money and travelers a whole lot of hassle, but it is the right decision until more is known.
“In aviation, taking the most conservative route or making the most conservative decision is usually the best idea until you know for certain it’s safe to fly an airplane, it’s probably best not to fly it,” Stratman said.