When the stick shakes

An alert reader who shares my skepticism about the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft (which is being renamed 737-8 and 737-9, so maybe you won't notice) sends along a link to this article, which does not increase our confidence levels.

As far as I can tell, the "fix" to the problem of malfunctioning safety systems is to give the pilot greater ability to turn off those systems so that they don't cause the jet to crash. But then the plane is flying without the safety systems. What if the malfunction occurs during dangerous weather, or while the plane is negotiating challenging terrain?

I'm still not buying it. Or flying it. As our current public health predicament clearly indicates, our federal government often considers other people's money to be more important than your life. If that rule is in play here, I don't want to find out the hard way.


  1. The picture of the plane looks nice 'till you realize it's flying backwards.

    I know I spend too much time bragging about the past, but this is a case of when the freelance comedy writers of America actually did some good. There was a second tier airline back in the day - I remember it as U.S. Airways but I could be wrong. Let's just go with that name for now.

    Anyway, the airline was turning in a terrible safety record with crashes and close-calls on a regular bases for quite sometime. In short, they sucked. Even their maintenance department was high maintenance.

    The thing about this kind of corporate behavior is that they often get away with it unless they find themselves trending in the court of public opinion. And that's what comedy writers can do for them. You start ridiculing them and you don't let up, and they deserved it. People were dying here.

    So the jokes started. My joke was, "When the Pope lands somewhere he'll kneel down and kiss the ground. It's a tradition he started after flying U.S. Airways."

    The topic was now in play with several insults about U.S. Airways every night for maybe a week to ten days. You could just imagine the directors in their corporate boardroom saying, "We've got to do something here. Leno's killing us."

    At the end of this stretch of comedic pummeling U.S. Airways announced that they had hired a retired Air Force General who would be completely revamping their maintenance program. Now I don't normally try and take credit for what could just be a coincidence but this time I felt like we had caused this. We forced them to do better.

    Maybe today's late night hosts could do 2 or 3 less Trump jokes a night and get on this. The Boeing board still hasn't paid the price for this disaster. You ask me the corporate types who run Boeing should take their vibrating stick and shove it up their ass.


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