BUT NATIONALLY-KNOWN AVIATION ATTORNEY SAYS, "IT'S TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE."
-- January 15, 1997 -- What is perhaps the most appalling irony yet in the Boeing 737 air crash investigation debacle, is the announcement today by Al Gore that Boeing has agreed to modify their 737 rudder control to prevent rudder hardovers and the resulting complete lack of control of the aircraft. Nationally-known aviation attorney, Arthur Wolk, made the recommendations being discussed today five years ago.
Says Wolk, "While pronouncing an airplane that has taken hundreds of lives from this defect known to Boeing and Parker Hannifin (the rudder control system maker) for 25 years as safe, the government has made it look as though Boeing, in an interest solely motivated by public safety, has decided to make changes which are unnecessary." "In fact," continues Wolk, "without these changes, the Boeing 737 is a time bomb, with every flight holding the potential for a rudder hardover, a loss of control, and a crash killing all aboard."
"It is sickening that Boeing, which has taken the position in the litigation that has arisen from the crashes of United 585 in Colorado Springs and USAir 427 in Pittsburgh that the rudder had nothing to do with either of these accidents, is now being lauded for taking steps which should have been taken when the airplane was certified in the late 1960s to prevent these accidents from happening," says Wolk.
"Knowing of the hundreds of warnings of accidents waiting to happen in Boeing 737s over the years, Boeing and Parker Hannifin allowed two planes to crash, killing all aboard, and possibly a third, while denying that the rudder could ever cause such a calamity," says Wolk.
Wolk concludes, "What the NTSB, the FAA and Boeing are conceding now is that the airplane's rudder control is unsafe. What makes this announcement so appalling is that the airplane still flies every minute of every day while the government and the manufacturers know that an accident can happen at anytime. This is unprecedented in aviation history."