Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” several months before Sunday’s Ethiopian Air crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found.
The News found at least five complaints about the Boeing model in a federal database where pilots can voluntarily report about aviation incidents without fear of repercussions.
The disclosures found by The News reference problems during Boeing 737 Max 8 flights with an autopilot system, and they all occurred while trying to gain altitude during takeoff — many mentioned the plane turning nose down suddenly. While records show these flights occurred during October and November, the information about which airlines the pilots were flying for is redacted from the database.
Records show a captain who flies the Max 8 complained in November that it was “unconscionable” that the company and federal authorities allowed pilots to fly the planes without adequate training or fully disclosing information about how its systems were different from other planes.