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Boeing's 'arrogance' caused crashes - aviation expert

Newshub logoNewshub 13/03/2019 Daniel Rutledge, Ryan Bridge

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An Australian aviation expert claims Boeing has blood on its hands over the recent fatal air accidents of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines.

Strategic Aviation Solutions Chairman Neil Hansford is speaking with Ryan Bridge on Magic Talk and says he definitely will not board a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which was involved in both crashes.

Hansford says Boeing's "arrogance" led to the deaths of hundreds of people, as the company didn't respond appropriately to safety concerns over the aircraft's anti-stall device, known as the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

"I think the enquires will find the Ethiopian Airlines situation will be the exact same as with Lion Air - the MCAS has taken over the aircraft and the pilot hasn't been able to turn the system off and has lost control," he says.

Following the Lion Air crash, Boeing issued a directive to all operators of the MAX 8 to say there was an error with it - but Hansford says it was done too quietly.

"They tried to introduce this discretely and tell nobody about it. Even the big, sophisticated pilot unions in the US didn't know about this MCAS... they had no training in what to do if the sensors caused the system to come into play," he says.

"Boeing, due to their engineering arrogance, tried to slip it in - and then you've got 180 people unnecessarily dead. They didn't want to admit the aircraft has a design flaw in that it is prone to nose-up and create a stall situation."

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky © Photo - Reuters; Video - Magic Talk / Getty Asked directly if Boeing has 'blood on its hands', Hansford says: "I think they have 350 lives on their hands."

Although the MAX 8 aircraft hasn't been grounded in the US, its use has been suspended throughout much of the rest of the world, including New Zealand.

Hansford says Boeing is already suffering consequences from the fatal crashes and will continue to do so.

"Their credibility has been shot to bits and they're being absolutely hammered in the financial markets."

Hansford's Linkedin page says he's been the chairman of Strategic Aviation Solutions since 1996 and has over 35 years of experience in the airline/aviation/express industry and airport sector.

New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority suspended Boeing 737 MAX jets from flying to or from Aotearoa on Wednesday.

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