Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
T asks: After the Lion Air 737 MAX crash, we were assured that Boeing’s new plane was safe and the pilots were all properly trained. So the smart money was on these things falling from the sky. Again we hear of a record-breaking event where a new 737 MAX went down, again killing everyone on board. I was hoping you could pen some prose on this. There is no Libertarian plane anything.
My reply: I am not a pilot and don’t know much beyond general layman stuff about commercial aviation. It is my understanding that – as with cars – commercial aircraft are being designed to rely more and more on technology, on software and programming – with less emphasis on active control by the human pilot/driver.
I personally would much rather fly on an old 707 or (even better) the Concorde than any of the new busses of the air. For the same reason that I would rather drive a car without automated emergency anything.
It takes longer in 2019 to fly from NY to LA than it did in 1970 – and is far less pleasant.
I suspect that, if we did live in a Libertarian world we’d have routine supersonic travel in extremely safe “next-generation” SSTs piloted by extremely skilled pilots who handled everything from backing up from the gate to deploying the speed brakes after touchdown.
I am hoping someone with more knowledge of commercial aviation will join this discussion.
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