Boeing: Taking it to the MAX

Thursday, 4 April, 2019

The recent company statement: “Boeing continues to work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies worldwide on the development and certification of the MCAS software update and training program.”

The recent newspaper report: “Pilots at the controls of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX that crashed in March in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by the plane maker but still failed to recover control of the jet, according to people briefed on the probe’s preliminary findings.”

If we are to believe the Wall Street Journal, then, the Ethiopian Airlines pilot managed to disable MCAS but was still unable to get the aircraft to climb again. If that’s correct, Boeing may have provided inadequate advice to pilots and were too quick to declare the 737 MAX safe. This would increase the likelihood that Boeing could be sued for damages and those costs have been estimated at $1 billion by Bloomberg Intelligence.

All of this was undreamt of when Alastair Philip Wiper visited the Boeing Factory in Washington a year ago. Wiper is a British photographer based in Copenhagen and he travels the world taking extraordinary photographs of industry, science, architecture and people. He began his post of 14 March 2018 thus: “The Boeing factory in Everett, Washington, is the largest building in the world. Just north of Seattle, the 13,385,378 m3 building was constructed to build the first 747’s in 1968, and is currently the place where the Boeing 747, 767, 777 and 787 are assembled. The factory employs over 30,000 people.”

In light of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy, the next bit is poignant:

“I visited last year and got a special flight back to Oslo on the maiden flight of the first 737 MAX to be delivered to Norwegian airlines (also pictured). It was pretty fun to see the CEO of Norwegian sprawled over three seats in the row in front of me, trying to get a bit of shut eye. There were no business class seats on that plane, but the champagne kept on coming.”

Boeing Co. 737 MAX

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