The MCAS system design is just so obviously flawed I can't understand how nobody stuck their feet in sand and started saying no, under any circumstances, this is not happening.
I guess you could apply the same question to the people at the FAA, but even after reading the article I still don't understand how the FAA is involved in oversight at all. It kind of seems like they are just checking boxes, but I'll admit that as an outsider the whole FAA/regulatory system is not really something I think I can wrap my head around.
Nobody working at Boeing of FAA right now has witnessed one during their lifetime - all they saw were cautionary tales.
"Based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, only 21% of the 1800 whistleblower cases reviewed by the agency in 2007 had "a favorable outcome" for the whistleblower. The GAO found that the key issues were lack of resources for investigating employees' claims and the legal complexity of whistleblower protection regulations."
The SEC's may not be typical of whistleblower programmes in the USA, but I'm not sure presenting it as uniformly awful across the board is true either. There definitely exist those who have gained (at least monetarily) from whistleblowing.
- "They're shortchanging the engineering process to meet a schedule."
- "We uncover a whistleblower fired as he fought for safety."
The very things that you wonder why they never happened, did in fact happen.
The chilling effect is real.
What has likely also played a part: at-will employment and blacklisting.
We also seen how the public was trying so hard to blame the pilots so I could see how most of the public would defend Boeing and FAA since they had a very good reputation and they would ask for some unreasonable proof(one airplane crash was not enough so it is clear the proof would have to be extreme for something to happen).
To me it seems Boeing is still fully at it. They never changed their narative from (I'm paraphrasing here)
"There was a slight technical problem, which may have been a tiny link in the chain, which would have been no problem at all if those planes would have been flown by competent Murrican pilots and not badly trained third world dolts."
I see this argument pushed forward on discussion boards and social media (including HN) and can't rid myself of the impression that Boeing employs sock puppets to push such bullshit.
The arrogance of this company, which literally kills people, to me is beyond comprehension.
There is no hindsight argument in this case. This is an incredibly simple and easy to understand system, even for a layperson. The few people I know who have worked in real mechanical engineering systems are having meltdowns over how bad the design was.