WASHINGTON, D.C. (KBTX) - Greta Van Susteren, Gray Television's Chief Political Analyst, weighs in on the series of crashes involving Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. Van Susteren has covered numerous plane crashes in her storied career and is a former litigator on cases involving large plane crashes. She sat down to discuss what happens in the wake of two deadly commercial airline crashes.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashes minutes after takeoff / Photo: Boeing / (MGN)
KBTX D.C. Bureau: So Flight 302 from Ethiopia crashed shortly after 8:44 a.m. on Sunday. Right now, what information do we know? What have they come forth with in the investigation?
Greta Van Susteren: Well they've gone to the crash scene, so they have the recorders. So we're going to have more information on that. The recordings will be taken and will be analyzed. There's some observations. There was one person who said he thought he heard a loud noise, thought he saw smoke, and that it was flying erratically. Obviously it crashed, so it did ... But eyewitness testimony is, oftentimes, very, very incorrect in a situation like this. The other thing that's caught everybody's attention is the fact that about five months ago there was another 737 MAX 8, which this flight was, that crashed in Indonesia. So naturally, everyone's curious about that. Just like this flight, it was within a short time after takeoff. Accidents usually occur on takeoff, that's the most often time accidents occur on airplanes. That's unusual. That's when it's making its ascent. So very similar... That crash is also still under investigation, but because of the similarity between the Lion Air and this, people are suspicious that it's the same software in the cockpit. But, it's a huge mistake to jump to conclusions. It could be mechanical, it could be pilot error, it could be terrorism, it could be some sort of product defect ... Not likely would it be weather, from what we know. So we are very on in the investigation, but there's good reason to be suspicious that it was similar to what happened with the Lion Air flight.
D.C. Bureau: Do you think it's a mistake for us not to ground them here in the US?
Van Susteren: It isn't a mistake. If we ground the planes, and if they're safe planes, and if there's a remedy, it is gonna probably cripple our transportation industry. And that's not just passengers, but we have a lot of cargo going on these planes. I suspected that you were gonna ask me whether we should ground them, and I will do the quick dodge and say I'm not a pilot. We don't know what happened to the Lion Air. We're suspicious of that one pretty strongly, and we certainly don't know what happened to the Ethiopian plane. But to be quite honest, if I were boarding a plane today in the United States, I'd look at the card and see what kind of plane it is. It would make me uneasy, but I know intellectually that there are remedies, and that the air industry is very safe, and that all eyes are on these planes. Believe me, if any pilots are gonna be alert flying airplanes in the next week or two weeks, it's gonna be pilots of those particular planes. They themselves want to live, they've got families, and they're on notice of this particular problem. So they're gonna be extra vigilant. So if Boeing says no, and if American Airlines and Southwest Airlines and everybody else says no, I think we ought to defer to their judgment, because they don't want their planes to go down. They don't want to kill people.