While investigating the Turkish Airlines plane crash near Schiphol in 2009, the Dutch Safety Board was pressured by Americans to downplay the role design errors in the Boeing 737 NG played in the crash, the New York Times reports based on its own research.
According to the newspaper, there are many parallels between the 2009 crash and the recent crashes with Boeing 737 MAX planes, the successor of the Boeing 737 NG.
The crash in a field near the Polderbaan at Schiphol left nine people dead, including the three pilots. The Dutch Safety Board report mainly blamed the pilots for the crash, saying they realized too late that the plane was automatically reacting to incorrect information from a broken altimeter. And once the pilots did realize that the plane lost a lot of speed just before landing at Schiphol, they did not respond adequately, resulting in the crash, the report said.
According to the New York Times, comments from American parties - including Boeing and the American aviation authority FAA - resulted in the Dutch Safety Board largely omitting a study by professor Sidney Dekker from the official report. Dekker, a specialist in human actions in disasters and previously a part-time pilot on the Boeing 737, was asked by the Safety Board to investigate the human factors in the crash.
Dekker's study emphasized the design errors of the Boeing 737 NG and their catastrophic consequences. According to Dekker, the 2009 accident "represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously."
In his study, Dekker accused Boeing of deflecting attention from its own "design shortcomings" and other mistakes with "hardly credible" statements that admonished pilots to be more vigilant, according to the newspaper. Only around one page of Dekker's 90-page long final report made it into the Dutch Safety Board's report. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the NL Times website.
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