In the aftermath of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crash in Indonesia in October, much of the American aviation industry—the plane maker, the FAA, U.S. airlines and their pilots—closed ranks to reassure the public the model was safe to fly.

Even after evidence emerged implicating a new automated flight-control system in the Indonesia disaster, the industry message was that pilots would be able to overcome glitches by following common emergency steps.

“Our pilots are trained to deal with any of these issues,” United Continental Holdings Inc.Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said at a March 7 aviation event in Washington. “Just fly the darn airplane—that’s what they’re taught.”

Three days later, a 737 MAX flown by United code-share partner Ethiopian Airlines nose-dived into the ground after six minutes aloft, an eerie replay of Indonesia’s Lion Air crash.


Excerpt from the WSJ
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