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March 9, 2019
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March 23, 2019
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Grounded! Behind Boeing’s 737 Max 8

Ralph talks to aviation expert, William McGee, about the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and pays tribute to his grandniece, who was one of the fatalities. Plus, Colman McCarthy returns to update us on the progress his Center For Teaching Peace has made in getting the study of peace into the curriculums of America’s schools.

“Samya Stumo was all of 24 years old, a coming leader from the young generation. Her mission was global health – not just diagnosis and treatment. Her mission was prevention. And she’d already had a lot of experience. She graduated the University of Massachusetts, then the University of Copenhagen where she spent time in Africa conducting her studies to get a Master’s in Global Health. She also spent time in Peru. And she had peer-reviewed studies published in professional journals. She was multi-lingual. At just 24, people who worked with her saw enormous leadership emanating from her sparkling personality. She had a way with people, a way to motivate them. She had enormous compassion coupled with intellectual rigor. She knew how to cut right through a bureaucracy. She was very direct. It’s a terrible loss not just to us and the family, but it’s a loss to humanity. Think of the people whose lives she would have saved.” Ralph Nader on the loss of his grandniece, Samya Stumo, in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302

William McGee is an award-winning travel journalist and the aviation advisor for Consumer Reports, who also writes a monthly travel column for USA Today. Mr. McGee also spent nearly seven years in airline flight operations management. He has also written an exposé of the airline industry entitled, Attention All Passengers: The Airlines’ Dangerous Descent and What You Can Do to Reclaim Our Skies.”

Colman McCarthy is a journalist, teacher, lecturer, pacifist, progressive, and long-time peace activist who directs the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C. Washingtonian magazine has called him “the liberal conscience of The Washington Post.”  Mr. McCarthy’s books include “I’d Rather Teach Peace”  and All of One Peace.”


  1. karl anglin says:

    Deep condolences to all the Boeing crash victims.

  2. bruce k. says:

    Software is not something any of us should be risking out lives over unless it is absolutely necessary. My heartfelt condolences to Ralph and his family on the death of his grandniece , Samya Stumo, as well as the other passengers and victims of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

  3. Will T says:

    The excerpt lends evidential creedence to the M. Knight Shyamalan Unbreakable style theory of real life heroes hidden in plain sight all around us is true. That she would be a superheroine cannot be surprising however. Rather it can only be “the apple does not fall far from the tree”. i started listening to Pacifica in late 80s & i must say that one of the greatest & stirring speeches i’ve ever heard in my life was the 2 to 3 hour Green Party nomination acceptance speech in 96′. In my heart it felt like the speech was thundering across the sky. Stupendously astonishing to me that what parts of it i can remember now are EVEN MORE relevant. i cannot understand how the Pacifica archives hasn’t targeted that one for standardised preservation instead of custom only given it’s historical significance. i feel ashamed to be twice as old yet i have done 20 times less when right now the world so desperately needed her & 10,000 more superheroines. i am sorry for coming off offensive b/c i’m not so good w/ words but i just want to pay respectful condolence: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

  4. christian jorgensen says:

    In the program you mention software problems. But is it not true that the 737 MAX has a hardware problem as well? The balance point in the construction has been moved forward as the bigger and heavier, engiens needed space to be fittet, leaving the plane unstable. The software installed in the control of pitch comes out of neccesity for stabilising. Software can be updatet, hardware is not so easy.

    • Roger Mallison says:

      Boeing say they can fix the problem with a software upgrade, a few days a go I attempted to shut down my computer, it restarted and told me that this was an unauthorized shutdown. This appears to be a computer that is learning. So who gets to test this new software on the 737 Max 8. When the design engineers at Boeing told the executives that there was a instability in the design of the 737 Max 8 what was their reaction, Boeing had spent Millions upon Millions of dollars at the design stage and the engineers said the design was flawed because the advertising department wanted to install a lower fuel burning engine it was a good sales point and it was going to take longer to redesign a plane to match the motor. Did they say Ok ? or did they say, “Make the Plane Fly and pass the FAA Airworthy Test.” ? ……. So now we have an MCAS anti stall device to fix a design fault. And Boeing are going to install some new software in the MCAS computer to fix the problem. So what do you think the truth to this story is ?

  5. Marc Hudgens says:

    Ralph, I just wanted to say I am so sorry for the loss of your grand niece. I recall many years ago the phenomenon of the “drunk airline pilot“. Today, AI. Not sure what’s worse.

  6. Jeff Brown says:

    I’m Passing on my most deepest sorryfulness about the loss of Samya Stumo. Hearing of the many great positve contributions she gave to the world and humanity and Its just not fair this tragedy would have had to affect someone who made the greatest difference to humanity. Which is ironic that she was taken from humanity of the world to whom she was giving to so much of in her tireless effort. The sudden. and horrifying event as this one to have stolen her not only of a precious life to whom great, great respects is owed, and the most nicest, lady- It was bearily an early start in her youth, yet accomplished so much and in many great ways, but to lose her is so unfair. I never knew her except hearing about Samya in the news. It reminds me after hearing about a lady with so much accomplished in many positive ways for the greater good of society, I think of the same loss when Kennedy was assasinated and taken from the world, to which he also made the most difference to in his short life and on the same level as Samya

  7. Jeff Brown says:

    Appologies for commenting twice, but forgot to add another point I beiieve is worth noting in the interest of public safety and recognizing how increasing technology over time has lost sight with respect to humanity. Another observation to this point, is computer software technology is a Dime–A–Dozen, but lives are not. Lives are priceless, and I am not a doctor, but I assume a doctor when they are trained to save a terminal illness at all costs. I believe this is analogous to utmost plane safety, because there is no room for error in plane maintenance and manufacturing of them, whereas in a car you have choices if there is malfunction. In a plane you cannot leave the plane if it malfunctions in any way while in transit.

  8. Rena says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Ralph’s great niece. Condolences to him and his family.

  9. Miriam MacCarthy says:

    There are no words to express the grief felt with the loss of any of these passengers, but, for one so young and with so much possibility for helping the world , there is no end to the tears. Thank you, Ralph, for all you do to remember and memorialize her potential, infinite worth. You have always been my hero! I’m sure she felt that way about you also.

  10. Carl Bruun says:

    I just listened to one hour of factual, interesting and extremely relevant information on this podcast. It’s all out there if people want to know the truth.

  11. Charles says:

    This is known as “Un-Announced Fuel Exhaustion ” within specific areas of the Aircraft through the CONSERVANCY FOR FUEL from within the Auto Throttle System and Navigational Computers which produce the ‘Un-Orthodox’ Movrements of The Stabilizer.

  12. Charles says:

    I ask that you reveiw the Testiimony I submitted ( Through Lead Counsel Hooward Spector of SPECTOR &SPECTOR)during the Legal Proceedings of USAir Filght 427 in Pittsburgh Pa. It is here through Lead Counel HowarSpector that I submitted under the Signing of NON-Diclosure Doccument my Technology named “THE AIR TRAFFRIC CONTROL FUEL WARNING SYSTEM” for FAA Enforcement through the Boeing Co. Upon Testing it was ptroven that this Air Tragedy occurred through “Dirty Hudraulics via The Power Contol Units of The Rudder System. This came about through the failure of the Hdrauliic Heat Exchangers which are located within both of the 737’s Main Fuel Tanks. “Dirty Hydraulics” are Tiny Metallic Particles which appeared from the METALURGIC BREAKDOWN of The Piston of the Power Control Unit which diappeared upon the cooling of the Hydraulics. It is here that under most importance that I emphasiize the that the 3 MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF FUEL IS # 1 Ignition of Engine Ignition which allocated these 737 Disaters alongside the Disaster of Air Avianca Flight 52 . # 2 Fuel is the source of Coolant throughout the Airctraft’s Flight Control System which was found to be the cause of USAir Flight 427 in Pittsburgh Pa. It was here that this Testimony overruled the Testimony of Boeing, The NTSB and others. #3 TWA Flight 800’s Air Disater was caused by the Center Fuel Tank’s Explosion soley due the ABSENCE OF FUEL to provide Coolant to the High Torque Direct Current Motor whose purpose to the prevention of Fuel Sludge from inducted into the Engine Powerplants. A Review of the recent Documentary on the Smithsonian Channel reveals by the NTSB that the Fuel Tank Temperature execeeded temperature of more than 3,000 Degrees. As if today by LAW, it this Technology was on these ” MAX8″‘s earlier, there would have ben on loss of life whereas, it could detected the early stages of ‘Un-Announced Fuel Exhaustion many Flights earlier than the last 2 Air Tragedies.
    One of the Lead Counsels was Howard Spector of Spector & Spector.
    In final, there is Federal Law which states that if there the presence of any Technology that can prevent the Re-occurance of Air Disaters such as “Un-Announced Fuel Exhastion…:THAT IS MUST BE ENFORCED TO PREVENT THE RE-OCCURANCES OF THESE SELFSAME DAMAGES WITHIN THE SELFSAME MANNER”. ……As of today, I have never heard from Boeing who is avoiding to prevent the continautiion of the lose of such PRECIOUS LIFE that is curently in existance.

  13. Charles says:

    Mr. Nader, on behalf of the loss of your Family member I ask that you explore the reason of these Air Tragedies came about from THE EARLY DISMISSAL OF FUEL from the Combustion Chambers of the #1 &#2 Engine Powerplants due to the INTERFACE of The AUTO-THROTTLE SYSTEM and the Navigtional Systems for the sole purpose of FUEL CONSERVATION. It here the loss of immediate Engine Power allocated Nose Dives after the Aircrafts early stage of “PORPOISING” from the Pitch Axis upon climb. as of now I cannot see the MCAS as the cause of the Air Tragedies as being the sole cause of DEATH. I would like submitt Written Testimony to the Legal Proceedings of these Air Disasters on the behalf of the Victims. I have contacted Attorney Wisner’s Office in Chicago and his Assistant did not have any information of the Location and address of the Legal Proceedings. Laslty, Boeing Aircraft has too many Redundant Systems for the Stablizer itself to create these Nose Dives in the early stages of Flight. Any help for proviing the name of the The Presiding Justice and Address will be greatly appreciiated. In Light, Charles

  14. Jim Brasile says:

    The best way I think we can honor Mr Naders great niece is to work for what Mr McCarthy was talking about in the second part of this show and dumb UP our public school curriculum that has one that includes subjects on Peace!!