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Boeing 737 Max: The beginning of Boeing demise?

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Boeing might represent the greatest indictment of 21st-century capitalism


A veteran commercial pilot and software engineer with over three decades of experience has just written the most damning account of the recent Boeing 737 fiasco. At one level, author Gregory Travis has provided us with the most detailed account of why a particular plane model once synonymous with reliability became a techno-death trap. But ultimately, his story is a parable of all that is wrong with 21st-century capitalism; Boeing has become a company that embodies all of its worst pathologies. It has a totally unsustainable business model—one that has persistently ignored the risks of excessive offshoring, the pitfalls of divorcing engineering from the basic R&D function, the perils of “demodularization,” and the perverse incentives of “shareholder capitalism,” whereby basic safety concerns have repeatedly been sacrificed at the altar of greed. It’s also a devastating takedown of a company that once represented the apex of civilian aviation, whose dominance has been steadily eroded as it has increased its toxic ties to the U.S. military. In that sense it mirrors the decline of America as a manufacturing superpower. And finally, it shows a company displaying a complete loss of human perspective in the “man vs. machine” debate.
Here’s the crux of Travis’s analysis: “Design shortcuts” led to safety hazards. The newest version of Boeing’s 737 plane, previously known for its reliability and ease of use, became a high-tech disaster. Machines overwhelmed man. And worst of all, the aviation industry regulatory overseer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), subcontracted the safety/certification functions to Boeing itself, so there was no early warning system in place to avert the resultant tragedy.
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Travis largely restricts his analysis to the 737. But his article illustrates pathologies long evident at Boeing and the FAA.
Let’s look at the last problem first: The FAA suffers from reduced funding from Congress (the Daily Beast reported that “the agency’s 2019 budget actually cut funding for the Aviation Safety Office by 1.7 percent”), and a corresponding loss of aviation expertise, as many of its top personnel have migrated to the private sector. Of course, that’s nothing new for the FAA, which has a sad history of hemorrhaging personnel since the days of the air traffic controllers’ strike/collective dismissal under Reagan (a cost control measure), as well as embracing neoliberal, supposedly market-based performance incentives that are thoroughly inappropriate for a regulatory body first and foremost responsible for flight safety.
Becoming more “industry-friendly” and starved of adequate personnel and fiscal resources to do its job properly, the FAA has therefore been forced to delegate much of its regulatory oversight and certification functions to the airline industry itself (“self-certification”) and has therefore become a case study in “regulatory capture.”

Boeing’s failures resonate with the public in a way that no complicated financial fraud possibly could. It takes a certain level of technical expertise to understand how the toxicity of a financial derivative poses dangers to an economic system; but everybody instinctively understands the tragic impact of a plane crash, like the doomed Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737-related accidents.
The seeds of Boeing’s destruction arguably were planted well before the 737-related mishaps. The warning signs were already evident in the 787 Dreamliner program a decade ago, which even today continues to be characterized by repeated engine design flaws and cost overruns. In a Harvard Business Review article, Professors Gary Pisano and Willy Shih first highlighted the perils of Boeing’s embrace of “demodularization”: “[T]he shift from aluminum alloys to carbon-fiber-composite materials changed things. The old modular design rules could not fully account for stress transmission and loading at the system level—something that Boeing did not get right initially.”
Boeing couldn’t get it right because the company had shifted large chunks of its design and manufacturing facilities to disparate parts around the globe—too far apart geographically, in fact, to monitor everything properly: “As a result it encountered problems assembling the pieces (such as the horizontal stabilizer from Alenia Aeronautica in Italy and the wing box from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan). Significant redesign and rework were required, and the program suffered major delays,” write Pisano and Shih.
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With one part of the plane being manufactured in Italy, and another in Japan, management was unable to assess quickly the resultant design and engineering flaws before launch. Even after the initial launch delays were addressed, Dreamliner’s history has been characterized by repeated recalls and cost overruns.
Offshoring, of course, is nothing new. In our brave new world of globalized capitalism, multinational corporations like Boeing are constantly on the lookout for global labor arbitrage possibilities, which have the happy effect of curbing unit labor costs, fattening profit margins, and thereby juicing the company stock price (an increasingly important part of management compensation, irrespective of the underlying performance of the company itself in the real world). These are all part and parcel of the pathologies inherent in America’s increasingly financialized “shareholder capitalism” (see here for more details).


But Boeing’s problems extend beyond that. It is a company that has historically been very successful in the highly competitive civil aviation market since the 747 jumbo jet (“the Queen of the skies”) first dominated some 50 years ago. The 21st century has been less kind to the company, however, as its failures have been increasingly exacerbated by its growing, and increasingly toxic, ties to the U.S. defense industry.
These links began in the late 1990s when the U.S. Department of Defense helped to engineer a merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, the latter an important supplier of combat aircraft to the United States. Far from being the “largest, strongest, broadest, most admired aerospace corporation in the world,” as promised at the time of the merger by John McDonnell, chairman of McDonnell Douglas, the corrupting practices of the Pentagon soon began to infect the newly combined entity. In particular, the 787’s outsourcing strategy turned out to be a fiasco, which even then-Boeing CEO Jim Albaugh was forced to concede in a Seattle Times report.
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But the Seattle Times also exposed that the rot took hold well before the 787 debacle, citing an internal Boeing Report, written in 2001 by Dr. L.J. Hart-Smith, a mere five years after the merger was consummated. Hart-Smith described the disastrous economic effects of excessive outsourcing that began to afflict Boeing almost immediately, especially as its ties to the military expanded. These problems are elaborated here by longtime defense analysts Franklin “Chuck” Spinney and Pierre Sprey:
“The so-called spin-offs offs from Defense spending can transmit the corrupting effects of the politically motivated, cost-plus economics of the Military - Industrial - Congressional Complex (MICC) into the larger economy[.] The MICC not only subsidizes wasteful cost growth in the Pentagon, its activities infect the overall economy by soaking up scarce investment and human capital; corrupting the practices of science and engineering; distorting research content on a huge scale; while providing incentives for inefficient production and management practices, (e.g. excessive outsourcing for political reasons - aka the political engineering practices explained here and here), not to mention the politicizing of industrial management.”
Contact with the Pentagon often signals death for a civilian company because of the incentives inherent in its “cost-plus” contracts, along with the geographic disbursement of manufacturing facilities to as many parts of the country as possible in order to maximize congressional political support for increasingly expensive military boondoggles—what Spinney and Sprey term “political engineering.” These two factors bias corporate practices toward inflating costs and therefore foster waste and diminish safety. By contrast, in a traditional civilian model, profit margins are best secured by reducing costs as much as possible in order to maximize the bottom line.
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As Boeing’s ties to the military increased, so too did its shoddy corporate practices. The 787 Dreamliner is still plagued with production problems, and there is little sign that Boeing has rectified them. The company has failed to reintegrate basic manufacturing and R&D to correct the original problems highlighted by Shih and Pisano (quite the contrary, as the company is increasingly shifting production to China in order to safeguard its market share there). Just this month, the New York Times has reported that “the [Charleston, South Carolina-based] factory, which makes the 787 Dreamliner, has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.” A former quality manager, John Barnett, a whistleblower who worked at Boeing for nearly three decades, damningly suggested to the New York Times: “I haven’t seen a plane out of Charleston yet that I’d put my name on saying it’s safe and airworthy.” Recall that Boeing originally moved some of its operations to the “right to work” state of South Carolina to undermine the strength of its unionized workforce in the state of Washington, which has had an adverse effect on the overall quality of its products.
That’s on top of the recent 737 debacle, where Boeing evidently missed safety risks in the design of the newer model, “like an anti-stall system that played a role in both crashes,” as the same New York Times article noted. But the genesis of the problem of the 737, a plane Gregory Travis (a pilot of 30 years’ standing and a software engineer of 40 years’ experience) writes was once known for its “reliability” and relative technological “simplicity,” lay in the fact that “market and technological forces pushed the 737 into ever-larger versions with increasing electronic and mechanical complexity.”
The main problem, notes Travis, was the engine redesign. The engine’s size was increased to enhance the 737’s overall energy efficiency, but it became too large to be accommodated in its traditional spot on the plane. The expansion ultimately necessitated extending the engine up and well in front of the wing. That changed the relationship between engine’s “thrust” and its center of gravity, which, in the words of Travis, caused the 737 “to ‘pitch up,’ or raise its nose… a bit too much for comfort on power application as well as at already-high angles of attack. It violated that most ancient of aviation canons and probably violated the certification criteria of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.”
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“Angle of attack,” as Travis defines, refers to the angle between the wing and the relative wind blowing over it. The more a pilot lifts the nose of the airplane, the higher the angle of attack and the more the lift of the wing increases—until you reach the stall limit angle of attack, when suddenly the wing stops lifting entirely (because the relative wind’s smooth airflow over the wing has separated catastrophically from the wing surface). That’s why an airplane that adds extra “pitch up” force to the nose when the pilot commands just a slight increase in angle of attack (that is, in nose up angle) is so dangerously unstable—because it can lead to a fatal stall situation that likely was the cause of the two crashes.
Egregious violations to basic aerodynamic principles should have induced the FAA to step in and force a redesign of the Boeing’s latest incarnation of the 737 (the so-called “Max 8”) in order to minimize the safety risk. But there were two problems:
  1. Making the required hardware modifications would have been hugely expensive (to the point where Boeing would have had to build an entirely new aircraft, rather than merely modifying a popular, hitherto safe and easy-to-fly airplane)
  2. As noted above, the FAA was already overwhelmed, and consequently was beginning to allow Boeing to “self-certify” its own planes.
Rather than design a whole new plane the “solution” to point 1 was the installation of yet more software, in this case the “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System,” or MCAS, for short. The goal, writes Travis, was to enable the computers to push “the nose of the plane down when the system thinks the plane might exceed its angle-of-attack limits; it does so to avoid an aerodynamic stall. Boeing put MCAS into the 737 Max because the larger engines and their placement make a stall more likely in a 737 Max than in previous 737 models.” Unfortunately, the MCAS software “solution” was a totally incompetent, unsafe Band-Aid that used the computer to counter (or perhaps more correctly, to mask) the airplane’s dangerous tendency to lift the nose too much and get the stall situation where the computer takes over from the pilot to resolve a problem that initially stemmed from a hardware issue.
As far as point 2 goes, as Travis describes it:
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“As airplanes became more complex and the gulf between what the FAA could pay and what an aircraft manufacturer could pay grew larger, more and more of those engineers migrated from the public to the private sector. Soon the FAA had no in-house ability to determine if a particular airplane’s design and manufacture were safe. So the FAA said to the airplane manufacturers, ‘Why don’t you just have your people tell us if your designs are safe?’”
You can immediately spot the parallels between the 2008 global financial crisis and the Boeing crashes. Much like the FAA with Boeing, in 2008, our global monetary authorities, regulators and ratings agencies were starved of adequate resources and expertise to properly scrutinize the activities of Wall Street’s financial engineers. They were forced to accept at face value the banks’ mathematically unsound “value at risk” models to justify the soundness and fundamental safety of their newly created derivatives on the lines that the underlying asset pricing followed a “normal” distribution pattern. Of course, these derivatives did no such thing, because the price history was inadequate to establish a truly normal pattern; therefore, the math on which risk management was predicated turned out to be flawed with catastrophic consequences, as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan ultimately acknowledged.
Similarly, the MCAS software “solution” that was supposed to “fix” the engineering problem of the new 737 failed, because it was based on a flawed paradigm: no computer software can fundamentally repudiate the principles of aerodynamics. And in both cases, the regulatory capture and inadequate financial resources accorded to the authority precluded it from stepping in before disaster struck. Hence, the FAA did not once highlight the risks of the new anti-stall system when it certified the “new and improved” 737 Max 8 as airworthy some two years ago, according to the Washington Post. This is because Boeing had already attested to the plane’s fundamental fly-worthiness (much as Wall Street’s models minimized the possibility of a “black swan” discontinuity in the financial markets, which induced the relevant compliance bodies to green light them).
Consequently, both Boeing and a multitude of financial institutions post-2008 suffered “crashes.” Note as well in each case how increasing complexity becomes the enemy of effective regulation and, ultimately, safety considerations themselves. In both cases, they ignored what Travis and others call the KISS principle: “Keep it simple, stupid.”
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There’s another interesting dimension to this Boeing calamity, which points to the perpetual “man vs. machine” debate that has been the story of capitalism since the days of the Luddites. Contrary to popular characterization, the Luddites were not simply technophobes, beating back the forces of progress. They were highly skilled artisans, protesting the fact that their livelihood was being displaced by automation, imposed on and displacing them like expendable commodities with virtually no consultation from the business owners themselves.
Likewise, in the new Max 8 plane, the new MCAS software was introduced without letting the pilots know about its main features. The key characteristic of MCAS is that it is activated without the pilots’ input. Worse still, according to the Verge, “both jets that crashed lacked safety features that could have provided crucial information to the crew because they were sold as options by Boeing, according to the New York Times.”
A huge failing of MCAS is that it effectively eliminates the human “feel” dimension to flying, as Travis illustrates:
“In the old days, when cables connected the pilot’s controls to the flying surfaces, you had to pull up, hard, if the airplane was trimmed to descend. You had to push, hard, if the airplane was trimmed to ascend. With computer oversight there is a loss of natural sense in the controls. In the 737 Max, there is no real ‘natural feel’…
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“There is only an artificial feel, a feeling that the computer wants the pilots to feel. And sometimes, it doesn’t feel so great.
“When the flight computer trims the airplane to descend, because the MCAS system thinks it’s about to stall, a set of motors and jacks push the pilot’s control columns forward. It turns out that the flight management computer can put a lot of force into that column—indeed, so much force that a human pilot can quickly become exhausted trying to pull the column back, trying to tell the computer that this really, really should not be happening.
The MCAS computer software taxes a pilot beyond his physical capacities. And while it is true that in modern long haul commercial flying, computers do most of the actual flying, redundancy is normally built into the system to enable human beings to override the software if the pilot spots a problem. What distinguishes the newly incorporated MCAS system is that it denies the pilot’s ultimate sovereignty or, as the author starkly puts it: “It denies the pilots the ability to respond to what’s before their own eyes.”
Travis ultimately evokes Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” to indicate something of the scale of the technological dysfunction created here by Boeing: “Raise the nose, HAL.” “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
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The key difference between the two situations is that in Kubrick’s masterpiece, HAL, the computer, was finally overridden by human action when circumstances necessitated and was therefore deactivated before more disaster could strike. The issue implicit in Travis’ imagery in regard to the Max 8 is that we may have taken this technophilia too far in the direction of computers to the point where today’s modern day “HAL” cannot be controlled by the pilot.
Boeing’s pathologies therefore illustrate the perils of innovation for innovation’s sake. But the company is symptomatic of a much bigger problem: We lionize the “progress” of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs, even as they produce self-driving cars (which cause fatal accidents), multifunctional smart phones (that threaten our privacy), high-tech drones (that bring airports to a standstill), or any kind of extreme automation in the workplace that degrades the role of human beings.
The crashes of the Boeing 737 jets ultimately reflect a hubristic faith in the power of the machine, a factor that is creating its own kind of dystopian 21st-century nightmare worthy of a Philip K. **** novel. We view technology not as a man-made invention designed to help us, but as an autonomously fixed condition that bears little relation to human behavior. This lack of integration means that complexity overwhelms us, rather than enhances our quality of life. It commodifies us. Labor is just a cost input to be replaced, if possible, by a robot; it is no longer viewed as a source of demand. The same unthinking mentality that sees regulators as a dispensable encumbrance who clutter the operations of “the free market”; or safety is an optional feature that mustn’t be allowed to interfere with the bottom line; where the needs of employees are subsidiary to the profits of shareholders and management; and the military is prioritized over the needs of the civilian economy.
Boeing sadly embodies so much of our current economic and social dysfunction with predictably deadly consequences. But it is not alone or unique by any stretch of the imagination.
 
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    Boeing’s Enduring Puzzle: Why Certain Safety Features on 737 MAX Jets Were Turned Off
    Some midlevel FAA officials contemplated, but then quickly dropped, idea of grounding Boeing 737 MAX jets last year
     
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    Southwest and FAA officials never knew Boeing turned off a safety feature on its 737 Max jets, and dismissed ideas about grounding them

    Boeing 737 MAX


    FAA officials contemplated grounding Southwest's fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets, but the discussions were dismissed


    Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials who monitor the carrier were unaware that a standard safety feature, designed to warn pilots about malfunctioning sensors, on Boeing 737 Max jets was turned off when Southwest began flying the model in 2017, reported Andy Pastzor of the Wall Street Journal.
    In earlier 737 models, the safety feature alerted pilots when a sensor called the "angle-of-attack vane" incorrectly conveyed the pitch of the plane's nose, according to Pastzor. In the Max, it functions as such while also signaling when the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) — a new automated system linked to both October's Lion Air crash and March's Ethiopian Airlines crash — could misfire; but these alerts were only enabled if carriers purchased additional safety features, Pastzor wrote.
    Like other airlines flying the Max, Southwest didn't learn about the change until the aftermath of the Lion Air crash, Pastzor reported.
    According to WSJ's investigation, which reviewed documents, the carrier then asked Boeing to reactivate the alerts on its Max fleet, causing FAA inspectors to contemplate grounding the Max fleet until it was determined whether or not pilots needed additional training — but the idea was quickly dropped.
    Once the feature was reactivated, some FAA officials again considered grounding Southwest's 737 Max fleet to determine whether pilots needed new training — and again, the discussions, which happened via email, were dismissed after a few days, Pastkor reporter.
    Boeing has yet to specifically address why the feature was turned off, but in March, it unveiled a software fix and updated training procedures for the 737 Max, reported Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang.
    Most of the updates will be to the MCAS, which will "provide additional layers of protection if the AOA sensors provide erroneous data," Boeing said in a release. The updates are also geared toward reducing the workload on pilots during emergency situations, Zhang reported.
    "Boeing will also change the training process for pilots to add increased focus on the understanding of the 737 Max control system, MCAS functionality and related crew procedures, and the associated software changes," Zhang wrote, adding that the training will also highlight differences between the previous generation 737 NG and the new 737 Max.
    As of March, Boeing was still working with regulators to complete the certification of the software and training updates.
     
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    Boeing whistleblower reports new issue with 737 Max Jets – report

    Boeing whistleblower reports new issue with 737 Max Jets – report


    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly considering an entirely new angle on its investigation into Boeing’s 737 Max line of jets after a company insider called a hotline to report a new issue with the aircraft.
    All 737 Max planes across the world were grounded by regulators after two of the aircraft crashed in separate incidents that claimed 346 lives.
    At least four current or former Boeing employees called the FAA hotline to make complaints about the 737 Max line after Ethiopia’s transport minister released a preliminary report on the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that killed 157 people, CNN is reporting.
    The whistleblower complaints mainly focused on widely known issues with the planes’ angle of attack sensor, a piece of equipment which measures the plane’s angle in the air, and its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which is responsible for adjusting the plane’s angle to prevent stalling.
    However one of the complaints highlighted a previously unreported issue which involves a “foreign object” damaging the wiring of the angle of attack sensor. An FAA source reportedly said that it is considering a new approach to the probe because of the report.
    Boeing has yet to respond to RT.com’s request for comment on the whistleblower reports.
    Boeing shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit against the aircraft maker, accusing it of withholding information on safety deficiencies in the 737 Max planes. The company’s Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and Chief Financial Officer Gregory Smith are reportedly named among the defendants.
     
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    U.S. Probes Whistleblower Complaints About Boeing 737 Max

    U.S. Probes Whistleblower Complaints About Boeing 737 Max: WSJ

    (Bloomberg) — U.S. aviation and congressional officials are investigating allegations by about a dozen whistleblowers that there are safety issues with Boeing Co.’s 737 Max aircraft, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified government employees familiar with the matter.
    Some of the claims relate to the design of a suspect flight-control feature or operation of specific sensors that are key to fatal crashes of two 737 Max jets, according to the report.
    The allegations were made by Federal Aviation Administration staff and current and former Boeing employees, whose identities are confidential, the officials told the Journal. No details of the allegations have been made public, the Journal said.
    Two phone calls to Boeing media relations team from Bloomberg outside the regular business hours went unanswered.
     
    opium

    opium

    Well-Known Member
    Boeing will still be Boeing. They will share 90 percent of the market with Airbus for at least another 20 to 30 years from now.
    737 max is overdue, nothing will bring the trust back before it can be redesigned to correct its design flaw.
    Meanwhile the A320 neo will be banking a lot of orders.
     
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    Law suits are piling up and whistleblowers are showing up...
     
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    Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet
    Workers at a 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina have complained of defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations.
     
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    ]
    Boeing Mismanagers Forfeit Your Pay and Resign: An Open Letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

    Dennis A. Muilenburg
    Chairman, President, and
    Chief Executive Officer
    The Boeing Company
    100 North Riverside
    Chicago, IL 60606

    Dear Mr. Muilenburg:
    On April 4, 2019 you somewhat belatedly released a statement that “We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents.” You added that a preliminary investigation made it “apparent that in both flights” the MCAS “activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information.”
    Your acknowledgement of the problems with the 737 MAX somehow escaped inclusion in your messages to shareholders, the capital markets, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is now stunningly clear that your overly optimistic outlook on January 20, 2019 – after the Indonesian Lion Air crash – was misleading. Whatever the public learns, day after day about the troubles of your company, it is still far less than what Boeing knows will come out day by day, and not just about the deadly design of the 737 MAX.
    Your narrow-body passenger aircraft – namely, the long series of 737’s that began in the nineteen sixties was past its prime. How long could Boeing avoid making the investment needed to produce a “clean-sheet” aircraft and, instead, in the words of Bloomberg Businessweek “push an aging design beyond its limits?” Answer: As long as Boeing could get away with it and keep necessary pilot training and other costs low for the airlines as a sales incentive.
    To compete with the Airbus A320neo, Boeing equipped the 737 MAX with larger engines tilted more forward and upward on the wings than prior 737’s. Thus began the trail of criminal negligence that will implicate the company and its executives. The larger engines changed the center of gravity and the plane’s aerodynamics. Boeing management was on a fast track and ignored warnings by its own engineers, not to mention scores of other technical aerospace people outside the company.
    The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software fix or patch with all its glitches and miscues is now a historic example of a grave failure of Boeing management. Yet, you insist the 737 MAX is still safe and some alteration of the MCAS and other pilot advisories will make the aircraft airworthy. Aircrafts should be stall-proof, not stall-prone. Trying to shift the burden onto the pilots for any vast numbers of failure modes beyond the software’s predictability is scurrilous. The Boeing 737 MAX must never be permitted to fly again – it has an inherent aerodynamic design defect. Sell your Boeing 737NG instead.
    No matter your previous safety record of the 737 series, Boeing doesn’t get one, two, or more crashes that are preventable by adopting long-established aeronautical knowledge and practices. You are on the highest level of notice not to add to your already extraordinary record of criminally negligent decisions and inactions. Result – 346 innocent people lost their lives.
    Boeing management’s behavior must be seen in the context of Boeing’s use of its earned capital. Did you use the $30 billion surplus from 2009 to 2017 to reinvest in R&D, in new narrow-body passenger aircraft? Or did you, instead, essentially burn this surplus with self-serving stock buybacks of $30 billion in that period? Boeing is one of the companies that MarketWatch labelled as “Five companies that spent lavishly on stock buybacks while pension funding lagged.”
    Incredibly, your buybacks of $9.24 billion in 2017 comprised 109% of annual earnings. As you know, stock buybacks do not create any jobs. They improve the metrics for the executive compensation packages of top Boeing bosses.
    To make your management recklessly worse, in December 2018 you arranged for your rubberstamp Board of Directors to approve $20 billion more in buybacks now placed on pause.
    Then, after the Indonesian crash, came the second software-bomb that took away control from the pilots and brought down Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, taking the lives of 156 passengers and crew. At the time, you were way overdue with your new software allegedly addressing the avoidable risks associated with the notorious 737 MAX.
    Don’t you see some inverted priorities here? Don’t you see how you should have invested in producing better aircraft? Instead, your top management was inebriated with the prospect of higher stock values, and higher profits by keeping your costs lower with that “aging design” of the Boeing 737s. You guessed wrong – big time for your passengers as well as for your company.
    Boeing is in additional trouble that reflects poor management. On March 22, 2019, the Washington Post reported that NASA’s Administrator, Jim Bridenstine said “the agency is considering sidelining the massive rocket Boeing is building because of how far behind schedule it is.”
    And now, the agency is about to announce another major delay in the high-profile spacecraft Boeing is building to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.
    Then on April 21, 2019, the New York Times in a lengthy front-page story, based on “internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees,” reported that your South Carolina factory, which produces the 787 Dreamliner, “has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.”
    It is not as if you are receiving anything but top dollar payments for these military (the Air Force tanker) and government contracts. You overpay yourself at over $23 million in 2018, which comes to about $12,000 an hour!
    In the midst of these accusations, whistleblower lawsuits, alleged retaliations by management, the Times reports your pace of production “has quickened” and that you are eliminating “about a hundred quality control positions in North Charleston [South Carolina].” Why?
    Big corporations are run like top-down dictatorships where the hired hands determine their own pay and strip their shareholder owners of necessary powers of governance. Your Board of Directors should disclose what you told them about the 737 MAX and when they knew it.
    Already, corporate crime specialists are making the case for you and other top Boeing managers, having refused to listen to the warnings of your conscientious engineers, regarding the redesign of the 737 MAX, to face criminal prosecution. Note BP pleading guilty in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to eleven counts of manslaughter in 2013.
    Glass Lewis urges removal of Boeing audit committee head Lawrence Kellner for “failing to foresee safety risks with the 737 MAX aircraft,” reported the Financial Times, on April 16, 2019.
    Consider, in addition, the statement of two Harvard scholars—Leonard J. Marcus and Eric J. McNulty, (authors of the forthcoming book, You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most).
    “Of course, if Boeing did not act in good faith in deploying the 737 Max and the Justice Department’s investigation discovers Boeing cut corners or attempted to avoid proper regulatory reviews of the modifications to the aircraft, Muilenburg and any other executives involved should resign immediately. Too many families, indeed communities, depend on the continued viability of Boeing.”
    These preconditions have already been disclosed and are evidentially based. Your mismanagement is replete with documentation. Management was criminally negligent, 346 lives of passengers and crew were lost. You and your team should forfeit your compensation and should resign forthwith.
    All concerned with aviation safety should have your public response.
    Sincerely,

    Ralph Nader

    Ralph Nader
     
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    Boeing faces at least 35 lawsuits over its 737 Max 8 aircraft crashes
     
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    DeHavilland Comet crashes what put the British Aviation Industry in the back seat...


     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    beoing needs to get back to making the bets planes and get out from social correctness, as they have been on for the past decade or so

    yes, Boeing management ere busy focusing on social engineering and forgot the real engineering task they have to perform

    at the end, Americans are known to refocus and fast, or the company will tank and someone else takes over its business
     
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    Boeing should stick to making bombers. They do better job killing people than transporting them.
     
    Iron Maiden

    Iron Maiden

    Paragon of Bacon
    Orange Room Supporter
    Boeing should stick to making bombers. They do better job killing people than transporting them.
    They do make good bombers, dont they!

    Look at these beauties

     
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