Boeing’s Incompetence May Have Led To Hundreds Of Dead Passengers, According To Bloomberg Businessweek Investigation

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Taylor Giles Contributor
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Boeing has been accused of cutting costs and regulations related to the company’s 737 MAX rollout in 2017, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Emails handed over to congressional investigators show a Boeing pilot claiming to use “Jedi mind tricks” to convince key players that 737 MAX pilots did not need specialized training if they flew the previous 737 aircraft, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

Boeing allegedly turned down requests from Lion Air for additional training on the 737 MAX.

After the Lion Air flight 610 crash off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018 that killed 189 people, Boeing looked for other explanations, Businessweek reported. Boeing quickly identified the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as the likely cause of the crash. (RELATED: Former Boeing Chief Technical Pilot Indicted For Fraud, Lying To FAA)

Some employees at Boeing had even tried to blame the Lion Air pilots for being too dumb to fly the 737 MAX, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. However, a Lion Air engineer was also on board and was unable to fix the issue with the MCAS that ultimately crashed the plane.

Boeing’s internal Safety Review Board found that 737 MAX pilots should be directed to the Quick Reference Handbook during an MCAS problem, Businessweek reported. However, one pilot called the 737 MAX flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” in a complaint to the Aviation Safety Reporting System.

Boeing also met with the American Airlines pilots union Nov. 27, 2018, and the pilots kept raising concerns about the new systems they were not trained to use, Businessweek reported. One pilot asked why he only had 40 minutes of training on the entirely new MAX cockpit.

Boeing officials told pilots at the meeting that a fix to the MCAS system would be coming in “six weeks-ish,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service ultimately found in a December 2018 investigation that there could be 15 more 737 MAX crashes without a fix to the MCAS system, Businessweek reported. Boeing ignored the investigation and kept 737 MAX’s in the air for months without a fix to the MCAS system.

Just three months later in March, another 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia killed all 157 passengers.

Former President Donald Trump grounded all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft just three days after the crash in Ethiopia. The FAA finally approved the 737 MAX for flight Nov. 16, 2020, almost two years after Boeing officials told pilots it would take “six weeks-ish” to fix the system.

Boeing settled a lawsuit Nov. 5 with the New York State Comptroller and the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado for $237.5 million over the company’s safety oversight related to the 737 MAX, Reuters reported.