WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump weighed in Tuesday on the crashes of a new Boeing jet model by claiming that “airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly” and may be too susceptible to crashes.
In a tweet two days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet made by Boeing, the second such accident in five months, Trump tweeted that “pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT,” and manufacturers are “always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better.”
While not proposing any alternatives, Trump claimed that “complexity creates danger,” and added: “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”
The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 passengers on Sunday has yet to be determined.
More than two dozen airlines around the world have grounded planes.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, tweeted Tuesday that technology has made aviation safer through collaboration between manufacturers and crews. Nelson added that “mindless blurbs” from “someone who should know better don’t help.”
Crash investigators in Ethiopia and Indonesia are studying two fatal crashes in five months involving a new version of Boeing’s 737 called the Max 8.
The design of the engines prompted Boeing to change software for how the plane behaves, which risks exacerbating a dive if pilots aren’t familiar with the change.