Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash couldn't be prevented by physical strength, retired pilot says

The latest fears over the Boeing 737 Max jet relates to whether pilots have enough physical strength to turn the manual crank during an emergency. However, one retired airline pilot believes “it’s been made a concern [and] shouldn’t have to be.”

“In the past, it certainly hasn’t been,” said Mark Weiss in response to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney asking whether physical strength is a “really big concern.” “You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to have the skill sets to fly an airplane once you’re trained properly.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still investigating whether the Boeing 737 Max fleet was involved in two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia and whether additional pilot training is needed. But Weiss said muscle wouldn't have prevented the Ethiopia crash.

“When the airline crashed, particularly, I believe it was the Ethiopian aircraft that went down, their speed was excessive - they were over 400 knots - I don’t think anybody, no matter how strong or how much body - upper body - strength they had, would’ve been able to change that flight path with that speed and that angle and the amount of time that they had to do it,” he explained.

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Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, the retired airline captain who landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in New York City in 2009, criticized the FAA on Wednesday, saying the 737 Max was “fatally flawed.”

“These crashes are demonstrable evidence that our current system of aircraft design and certification has failed us. These accidents should never have happened,” he said during a testimony on Capitol Hill. “These two recent crashes happened in foreign countries but if we do not address all the important issues and factors, they can and will happen here.”


Although Weiss believes that the FAA has “absolutely” lost credibility, more oversight of the manufacturer is needed.

“I think it’s also the fact that the way aircraft in the United States have been certificated and the relationship that the FAA has with The Boeing Company - I think that’s what needs to be really addressed here,” he said.