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Hard Lessons: What the World of Health AI Can Learn from Aviation

Boeing 737 plane in flight

“When fixing an aircraft you don’t want to design in the next crash”

The morning of October 29, 2018, was a balmy 80 degrees in Jakarta, Indonesia, with a 5-knot wind blowing out of the southwest. Under clear skies, Lion Air Flight 610 pushed back from the gate at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, bound for Depati Amir Airport on Bangka Island. On board were 188 souls: two pilots, five flight attendants, and 181 passengers.

During takeoff, as the Boeing 737 Max 8 accelerated to rotation speed and the pilots pulled back on the control column to lift the nose of the plane to the sky, the left control column “stick shaker” activated and continued shaking for most of the few remaining minutes of the flight—a warning sign that the plane was at risk of stalling, or losing lift.

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