President Donald Trump on Tuesday complained that modern planes are becoming too complicated for pilots, as countries around the world ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 after a deadly crash in Ethiopia.
“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
He continued: “Split second decisions are….needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. 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 tweet comes shortly after the governments of China, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia and other countries grounded 737 Max 8’s in their airspace in response to the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight last weekend. The European Union grounded the planes shortly after on Tuesday.
Another 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia in October, raising concerns about the plane’s safety. The 737 family is one of Boeing’s most popular planes with a strong safety record, but the Max 8 has raised concerns for possibly barring pilots from overpowering automated functions.
Several U.S. carriers have maintained the plane is safe and continue to use it on hundreds of flights a day without incident. But that hasn’t stopped lawmakers including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) from calling for a grounding.
“Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness,”Romney tweeted Tuesday.
Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) shared a similar sentiment. “While we do not know the causes of these crashes, serious questions have been raised about whether these planes were pressed into service without additional pilot training in order to save money,” Warren said in a statement.