'Too complex' - Donald Trump tweets about Boeing 737 MAX 8 safety

US president Donald Trump has weighed into the debate over the safety of Boeing's 737 MAX 8 aircraft, claiming modern aircraft are too complicated.

Over the weekend, an Ethiopian Airlines flight operated using one of the aircraft crashed near Addis Ababa, marking the second fatal crash involving a MAX 8 in five months.

On Twitter, Trump said "airplanes were becoming far too complex to fly".

"Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," the former Celebrity Apprentice host stated.

"I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better."

In a message that spread over two tweets, Trump said he doesn't want scientists piloting his planes.

"Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don't know about you, but I don't want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!"

It's not the first time Trump has exhibited what appears to be a lack of knowledge about the aviation industry.

In July 2018, Trump claimed a US air force aircraft was able to become completely invisible.

"It's stealth, you can't see it. So when I talk to even people from the other side, they're trying to order our plane. They like the fact that you can't see it. I said, 'How would it do in battle with your plane?' They say, 'Well we have one problem - we can't see your plane'. That's a big problem," he told war veterans at an event in Kansas.

Trump also used to own an airline, Trump Shuttle. It lasted just three years and built a reputation for terrible customer service.

As his own airline began to obviously fail, Trump began attacking his main rival - the iconic Pan Am. In early 1989, he said their flights were unsafe and dangerous, a claim that would come back to bite.

Just a few months later, a Trump Shuttle aircraft performed an emergency landing when one of its wheels wouldn't deploy. News footage captured the landing and vision went around the world.

It shows the plane scraping along the ground with sparks flying as the metal was sliding across the tarmac.

Following the fatal Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes involving 737 MAX 8 aircraft, many countries including New Zealand have suspended their use.

Investigators have made no suggestions that the aircraft's complexity is a safety issue.