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>at least one of the pilots who flew the scenario in a simulator found it difficult to respond

And I'm guessing their not using pilots of average skill here...

According to [0] the FAA was looking for numerous candidates to get a good range of experience, so I would think that you might’ve had at least a few average pilots.

[0]: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-airplane-faa-boe...

Yeah there is a push for using more avg pilots.

...but on mission critical testing with billion dollar implications. You want to tell me they're pulling that name out of a hat?

FAA, right. Trump's pick for FAA head was confirmed only because the majority in the senate (you guess which party) decided to look the other way about allegations that while at Delta, he mistreated a whistleblower who raised safety concerns to him. Oh, and he's a lawyer. I wouldn't trust the current administration's FAA on this. Yes, politics does come into it whether we like it or not.

Correct, I’d wager the best pilots in the world are safety and test pilots.

Maybe. I don't know the intricacies of testing flight control software but I imagine Boeing will have a bunch of professional 'test pilots' augmented with regular pilots they 'borrowed'.

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