Boeing Emails Handed over to Congress in January 2020

37 points by hggh on 2024-05-15 | 12 comments

Automated Summary

The article discusses the handover of Boeing emails to Congress in January 2020. The emails were related to the 737 MAX jet, which was grounded after two crashes that resulted in a total of 346 fatalities. The emails reveal that Boeing employees had raised concerns about the jet's safety, including its flight control system, before the crashes. However, the company decided to proceed with production and certification. These concerns were also reportedly not shared with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the time. The FAA has been criticized for its role in the certification of the 737 MAX. The revelation of these emails has led to further scrutiny of Boeing and the FAA.

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belter on 2024-05-15

Look at the email on page 34 of the PDF, from Tuesday, June 6, 2017 11:01:40 AM, and amaze yourself how come there are no criminal indictments for at least, the 737 Chief Technical Pilot...

richbell on 2024-05-15

> There is absolutely no reason to require your pilots to require a MAX simulator to begin flying the MAX. Once the engines are started, there is only one difference between NG and MAX procedurally, and that is that there is no OFF position of the gear handle. Boeing does not understand what is to be gained by a 3 hour simulator session, when the procedures are essentially the same.

> Perhaps we should discuss at your earliest opportunity. The FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, China, Malaysia, and Argentinia authorities have all accepted the CBT requirement as the only training needed to begin flying the MAX. I’d be happy to share the operational differences presentation with you, to help you understand that a MAX simulator is both impractical and unnecessary for your pilots.

alistairSH on 2024-05-15

Was he aware of the MCAS system? And would he know what an MCAS failure would do to the controls?

belter on 2024-05-15

Acquitted of all charges under the argument Boeing lied to him...Engineers who lied to 737 Chief Technical Pilot...? It's like a game of chairs, CEO's are not responsible because it was lower level employees who did not follow "procedures". Employees say...they were lied to...At the end is just convenient fog....

But NYT and others argued the story is different

"Eight months before the messages were exchanged, Mr. Forkner had asked the F.A.A. if it would be O.K. to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot’s manual. The F.A.A., which at the time believed the system would activate only in rare cases and wasn’t dangerous, approved Mr. Forkner’s request."

alistairSH on 2024-05-15

Sadly, yeah. In this case, it really sounds like there’s blame enough for everybody.

Test pilot didn’t ask enough or the right questions of the engineere.

Engineers almost certainly downplayed the system.

C-suite for being profit-seeking sociopaths.

noahtallen on 2024-05-15

Root cause is probably still C-suite for creating such a terrible culture and adverse incentives. If the test pilot and engineers are under a LOT of pressure (maybe even financial with some bonus structure) to make sure the plane gets the same type certification, and if the consequences aren’t that bad (e.g. they didn’t expect the buggy nose down behavior when one altimeter was broken), pretty easy to see how they did this. It’s so easy to become complacent and for things at your workplace to feel normal. Like, it’s not really absurd for engineers working on the same plane body and general design to try to keep the same type rating.

It takes a strong culture of safety, people willing to ask hard questions, and people willing to respond well to those hard questions. You don’t get that result when C-suite pressures everyone to cut corners for profit

euroderf on 2024-05-15

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Wings of Death Edition

Hock88sdx on 2024-05-16


pyrale on 2024-05-15

The reason he was acquitted [1] :

> So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)


belter on 2024-05-15

And after that keep quiet...unknowingly ?

willcipriano on 2024-05-15

I wonder if Boeing has any dirt on US military action from the past few decades.

sambull on 2024-05-15

How do you fix something you've deemed to big to fail?

toomuchtodo on 2024-05-15

Will to deconstruct and reconstitute regardless of cost and pain.