He had the courage to say that if Boeing does not recognize they were at fault, he would fly a plane himself in conditions similar to the crash and see if he could reproduce the issue.
This after he almost burned alive in a F1 crash. The Boeing crash deeply affected him and he felt responsible for it.
I’m not a sports fan, and I learned who Lauda is by seeing the words "Fly Niki" plastered all over Air Berlin cabins, as Lauda’s airline established a partnership with Air Berlin. (Of course, Air Berlin itself is now defunct.) "Niki" seemed an odd name for an airline, which led me to Wikipedia the company and thus discover that there was a Formula 1 star behind it.
The real reason I'll check HN comments first.
> He really must be more widely known for that now.
No, here in Europe F1 is a household thing. Everybody nows about the race car driver. He worked as a F1 pundit in German TV and there is even the movie about him and James Hunt, "normal" people know about that. They don't care about aircraft technology.
There was genuinely a technical failing with the 767 but he had to do something headline-ish to emphasise that and to shift suspicion away from his management style.
To his credit, his later airline ventures were more sensibly planned and paced and didn't involve him flying routes to fill staffing gaps. He does seem to have been open to learning.
"The official investigation, lead by Thailand's Aircraft Accident investigation Committee, took about eight months, and was released with the "probable cause" stating: "The Accident Investigation Committee of the Government of Thailand determines the probable cause of this accident to be [an] uncommanded in-flight deployment of the left engine thrust reverser, which resulted in loss of flight path control. The specific cause of the thrust reverser deployment has not been positively identified." Different possibilities were investigated, including a short circuit in the system. Due in part to the destruction of much of the wiring, no definitive reason for the activation of the thrust reverser could be found.
As evidence started to point towards the thrust reversers as the cause of the accident, Lauda made simulator flights at Gatwick Airport which appeared to show that deployment of a thrust reverser was a survivable incident. Lauda said that the thrust reverser could not be the sole cause of the crash. However the accident report states that the "flightcrew training simulators yielded erroneous results" and stated that recovery from the loss of lift from the reverser deployment "was uncontrollable for an unexpecting flight crew".
The incident led Boeing to modify the thrust reverser system to prevent similar occurrences by adding sync-locks, which prevent the thrust reversers from deploying when the main landing gear truck tilt angle is not at the ground position. The aviation writer Macarthur Job has said that "had that Boeing 767 been of an earlier version of the type, fitted with engines that were controlled mechanically rather than electronically, then that accident could not have happened"."
I know people don't read the article, but at least read the comment lol
How much similarity does this have to the current Boeing 737 Max woes?
Also, I just tried to see if I could find if Lauda had commented on the whole 737 Max disaster - it led me to finding this 20 year old documentary:
He hopped into one of his A320 and flew through the ash clouds to prove that it was safe and wouldn't damage the engines.
That doesn’t prove it was safe, it showed it wasn’t 100% lethal.
If this had a 1:1000 chance of going wrong, how long would it be before the first plane making an emergency landing or worse? Probably a few days, at most. Who would be blamed for not grounding planes?
This is the government story.
However, further investigations imply the failure could have been the fault of a fuel pump and Boeing tried to cover it.
The best insights of races always came from Lauda, he was always very much to the point.
His comeback after the nearly fatal crash was arguable the biggest comeback in sports ever.
Statistically, MS trounces AS, but statistics aren't everything, of course. Senna's tragic death stole a real comparison between the two. And also, if Schumacher had to share Ferrari with someone like Hakkinen instead of Barichello, he'd obviously not have won as many races as he did.
In any case, it's almost impossible to actually determine who was better.
Idk, just passing time while brewing coffee. I always love an F1 discussion.
Some survive, some die.
George Harrison (of Beatles fame) later dedicated his song "Faster" to the memory of Ronnie Peterson.
Statistically, Prost outscored Senna in their time as teammates.
Alonso, for example, will never have the stats to represent his immense talent (Unless you use a method like f1metrics). Hamilton, however, is extremely good and has had the car to allow him to fully reach his potential
[Most of the Grand Tour is the silliest kind of entertainment - but they have done a few exceptional factual segments and that is one of them].
Today it seems most overlapping happens between mid-range teams, where car performance is comparable and the driver makes a difference; this is exactly what is shown in the documentary. But they managed to show that with great editing mixed with some backstage tension and politics that made the whole thing fun.
Niki Lauda eulogized his friend at Hunt's funeral:
He said Hunt was one of the very few people he liked, a smaller number he respected and the only one he had envied.
Lauda and Hunt rivalry and lifes is like a story about Stoicism vs. Epicureanism
I was going to see a F1 race this year (Austin) and hoped to have met the man. It was amazing that he was still out there with his team.
Anyway, here's my favorite scene from the movie.
"Niki Lauda meets his wife"
BTW everytime I heard his name I yell out "Niki Lauda Niki Lauda" like the men in the clip.
As an F1 fan, I will also miss his candid commentary on the F1 circus.
What's so inspiring about him?
I don't mean any disrespect.
His grit, came back from a near-death burn injury in _six_ weeks to finish off the F1 season. The movie Rush (2013) made it more known in the popular culture.
And then of course he did this so often and so well that he was world champion 3 times and came close a couple more times.
How many airlines have you founded...?
s/arguably/is F1 drivers are the absolute bests of the their generation, and Lauda was one of the best of all of them
I didn't know anything about him, so I asked.
I never met him personally, but he did play my company's formula 1 browser game on live tv in the middle of the night and minutes later our servers were bursting from the onslaught of people wanting to play the game. Taught me about the power of tv advertising.
Ironically he crashed and the rest of the story is well-known.
One of the greats
This rivalry was also depicted in the film Rush (2013) which Lauda stated he was fairly pleased with.
> Niki Lauda was given up for dead and administered the last rites by a priest. 
What Niki said to the priest at this point is a matter for debate....
Ferrari, on the other hand, could be having to fight with Haas at this rate. However, the only projections I've seen used S3 data from before the testing day and Ferrari apparently have new suspension (Which is very important around monaco)
No one is perfect, but let's celebrate his life for now, shall we?
If you have a bone to pick, come back later?