Within the past five months, Boeing has had two 737 Air Max 8’s crash.
Most recently, the Ethiopian airline crash that killed all 157 members on board caused a worldwide grounding of the Boeing model.
Carlos Obregon, a junior majoring in aeronautical science with flight, has been discussing the components of flight failure in the classroom and relating them to the crashes of the Boeing 737’s and how they are relevant to his field of study.
“In my advanced aircraft systems class we talked about how flight systems and controls can cause malfunctions and enroute flight problems,” Obregon said. “We debated on how the software stalling function and overriding features on the model and learned that this could have been the potential reasoning for the planes to crash.”
Pat Spangler, a junior in aeronautical science with an associates degree in air traffic control, was concerned about the safety dilemma that these crashes have drawn attention to and how aviation management is handling it.
In Spangler’s opinion, the Federal Aviation Administration and President Trump could have handled the situation better, but the aviation industry is still the safest mode of transportation and he stands by it.
“Safety is obviously one of the top priorities in the aviation industry, as it should be,” Spangler said. “One protocol put into place by the FAA that I think is essential to the job is a computer test every air traffic controller is required to take on a recurring two-month basis to remain updated on safety and eligible for the job.”
The FAA is responsible for regulating aviation and promoting safety.
However, in recent light of the situation the administration has been criticized by many as the United States was one of the last nations to decide not to fly the 737’s.
Aviation safety regulators in the European Union, China, Australia and the U.K. made the call to not fly the planes ahead of the U.S.
According to prior reports from The New York Times, the delay in the call for Trump to ground the Boeing models was deemed as “a bit too late” by many passengers and pilots.
It’s not just current aviation students that are especially affected by the grounding of the 737’s but also alumni that have entered the industry.
Jared Goodlaw graduated from Florida Tech in 2017 with a degree in aviation management with flight.
He has worked for a regional airliner in the past but is currently flying private jetliners.
Goodlaw stated that the FAA has released no private statements or reports to any licensed pilots in regards to how the situation is being handled nor any other investigative details.
Goodlaw had expectations of announcements directly to all private and commercial licensed pilots from Boeing or the FAA in wake of both incidents.
However, both organizations have failed to communicate if there are any plans underway requiring pilots to complete more training and/or simulations before anymore 737’s are cleared to take off again.
The consensus amongst Spangler, Obregon and Goodlaw is that they all feel their training and studies regarding flight emergencies and preparation is well documented in the Florida Tech aviation curriculum.
All three stated that they still feel safe to work in the industry as it is a very reactive field.
Incidents like this are thoroughly investigated, responsibility is held accountable for and updates and corrections are made as soon as possible.
Pilots are not the only people concerned about the Boeing 737’s.
CBS News reported that approximately 8,600 flights use the Boeing 737 Max 8 in a typical week of travel.
Furthermore, Boeing released an announcement saying that models will be grounded for at least three months.
Travelers may experience more travel and flight difficulties than they expected.
Charles Bryant, a business professor and the manager in charge of Florida Tech’s study abroad program to Spain, is one example of these worried travelers.
“With the Boeing 737’s being grounded, myself and those participating in the Spain study abroad program are having to look at different airport destinations within Spain,” Bryant said. “For example, instead of flying out of a smaller airport in the country like Malaga as we had originally planned, we are looking at other options that have more flight availability in bigger airports like Barcelona. Yet, this adds more planning and financial stress as the travel date in early June arrives closer and closer.”
Bryant draws attention to another issue: If he is having troubles finding flights for a group of roughly 20 or so people, it will likely be hard for the immense number of international students on campus to find flights home at the end of the semester in early May.
The Boeing 737 investigations are still underway and officials have stated they are doing their best to remain honest with the general public as they are well aware of the pressing matters and concerns at hand.