> In an email from June 2018, before the first Max crash, one Boeing worker wrote: “Best part is we are re-starting this whole thing with the 777X with the same supplier and have signed up to an even more aggressive schedule.”
> Another member of staff warns about a relentless cost focus...
> Last September, the 777X suffered a setback when it failed a ground test of its strength, suffering an explosive decompression that tore the fuselage and blew off a passenger door.
None of those are what I would call the "Max problem," (I'd consider that to be MCAS) but there does seem to be a systemic problem off cost cutting and aggressive deadlines.
As a non-aviation technologist, I initially thought it would be more surprising if the headline meant any of the specific technical failures that I've come to understand (like MCAS) which I've heard about through the ELI-5 and above coverage of the issues plaguing 737-MAX.
The root problem is the culture of disregard throughout many levels of decision making in an organization, such as Boeing has apparently demonstrated; the lack of regard for engineering quality and craftsmanship.
Edit: OK, here is another thread that has also made the HN front page with perhaps a more direct or less questionable title:
> Boeing's safety vs. cost-control culture may be what sent out fatal aircraft (cbc.ca)
when planes operate properly, nobody cares what business or engineering practices allowed that.
for passengers, airlines, and anybody other than Boeing, the only problem is the crashing.
If 40% of people walking on the earth got cancer today, and it was asymptomatic, it would definitely be a problem, even if nobody saw it as their personal problem in this moment.
Instead, the "Max problem" is the set of organizational, cultural and managerial issues that cut corners, misled regulators and prioritized profits over safety.
MCAS defects are not the problem, they're a symptom of the problem.
And these messages about the 777X are more symptoms of the same problem.
The former clearly was not involved in the Columbia accident, the latter certainly still was.
In the 777x It's not exact same software system, but the exact same "cheapest option on the menu every time" mindset that seems to be pervading Boeing and causing lots of problems.
No, the MCAS is to make the plane certifiable, full stop. It's less "handling characteristics of the previous model" and more "handling characteristics permissible on commercial aircraft".
If so, this line of thinking is utterly absurd.
The point is you can't just take the MCAS out of a MAX and retrain pilots - it's a vital fix for handling characteristics that were unsafe to fly, full stop. Without the MCAS, it - quite rightly - wouldn't have been allowed to carry passengers at all. It's an important distinction with wide implications.
(However, it does strike me that an MCAS-like device, an automated trim to paper over the inability of the airframe to fly stably under all flight regimes, is a fundamentally unsafe device and should never have been allowed in the first place, let alone with such a poor sensor suite. The MAX is an irredeemably unsafe plane, a result of bolting new engines on an ancient airframe that was not designed for them, and the resultant pile of hacks.)
Considering you accept that it's 100% certain it'll be be said it seems to be pretty telling data. I know we all laugh that management automatically fudges the numbers out of engineering, but mayhaps in Boeing's case the MBA logic of doing so is running into the issue of physics not being amenable to change just because management wants an earlier delivery date.
I was dubious before the crashes but after Boeing's reaction to the crashes I'm fairly sure I'd feel safer on their planes than Boeing's.
If you flew, say, 10 times a year rather than 365.25, all on the 737 Max, it's a fraction of a percent chance.
Boeing's behavior was very poor and they have been rightfully taken to task for it. Aviation safety standards are incredibly high and the 737 Max didn't live up to those standards. The focus on cost cutting, selling critical redundant sensors as an upgrade to milk a little more cash out of buyers, mocking customers who wanted simulator training for their pilots, and more are all indicative of a bad corporate culture.
But the 737 Max is still a very safe plane. I have no qualms about flying on it.
This works out to around 0.2% (1 in 2000) which is spectacularly poor odds for modern aviation where the typical risk of a crash on a single commercial airliner is around 1 in 5 million (less than 1 in 100 000 for 10 flights per year over 50 years - so basically 50 times less safe).
I'm not trying to defend the 737 Max or Boeing, I'm just trying to point out that even a plane which is dramatically worse than any other active airliner is still, in absolute terms, very very safe. Our safety standards are incredibly high and we are absolutely justified in enforcing those standards, but people shouldn't be scared to fly on the 737 Max when it comes back into service.
No, no it's not safe.
Your entire argument is complete nonsense.
When the AoE sensor is damaged, the chance of a MAX problem is 100%.
> But the 737 Max is still a very safe plane. I have no qualms about flying on it.
It's grounded world-wide, so you're the only one.
I believe you mean the AoA sensor.
> It's grounded world-wide, so you're the only one.
Yes I'm sure the reason it's grounded world wide is because, after a worldwide census, we determined that all but one person living on earth had qualms about flying on it.
If you want to disagree with me that's fine but don't make stupid arguments.
At the same time, I think we should recognize that our safety standards are extremely high. There's nothing wrong with that. But a plane can fail to meet our extremely high standards and still be very safe. In a parallel universe where we decide to accept a somewhat lower standard of safety, deciding not to ground the 737 Max would also be a reasonable decision.
Also....it makes me uncomfortable when news stations report "internal email says X". Like...a) if it's not a news outlet that's tech knowledgeable that's always scary b) let's say 5000 employees worked on this. 20x emails per day. 5 year period (10000 days). That is a lot of emails that went into discovery for the attorneys or forensic guys to parse. Theres probably a lot of knowledge in there but humans are smart about that they selectively email (I knew someone that interned in the Obama White House and a large email flow was "documenting for posterity what they wanted to be in the record" through emails to no one in particular, was what she said). The 777 could be messed up, but "staff emails" is such an uncomfortable source. Did the likely top tier law firm really leak email contents?
It's one very bad thing to have allowed shoddy engineering and all the other failures on the way to the MAX, and quite another much worse thing to then also stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is ok when the shoddy engineering kills people.
The correct term is “re-iterate the talking points on the record to help shape the narrative”. It’s not for posterity, it’s for ass covering.
If all corporate emails were to become a matter of public record, they would be filled with PR-speak as well.
It can end up a bit dangerous, because they'll be more than happy to drag you through the mud in court to try to discredit you, but a lot of people kinda expect that anyway.
The way I don't think twitter mobs represents correctly the sentiments of the general population, I also don't think that online I will never fly boeing again will be with the same share in the real world.
It's not terribly surprising this is causing all kinds of upheavals at Boeing.
Richard Feynman is right again. "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
Boeing changed my life. My family traveled a lot when I was a little kid. The advent of the 707 meant we no longer had to spend five days on a ship in the North Atlantic to get from Europe to New York or vice versa. I sure hope they can pull their company out of its present poorly controlled descent.
Yes. (Though IAG did agree a letter of intent—not an actual order, though—with Boeing for 200 aircraft. It was rumoured this was the biggest discount seen in the aviation world since Ryanair's large post-9/11 order.)
> If yes the will they be canceling orders of this one too?
Probably not? The 777X will be looked at incredibly closely prior to certification, and doesn't have the design oddities of the 737 MAX, so it probably is much lower risk, even with the cultural problems.
One would hope so...
Is it too much to assume that the government would try to figure out some rescue operations (whatever they may look like) to save Boeing financially in case that this is required?
One reason for the trade dispute with the EU is Airbus.
But from the lead in it doesn’t look like it really is ‘the same issues’ as in problems with a lack of redundant sensor and overly aggressive correction due to engines that are too big.
Anyone whose read the whole thing care to correct me?
If you stop diagnosing when you find a faulty part, you aren't diving deep enough. Ask why some more -- what allowed us to even ship a faulty part in the first place? The sensors in the plane are a faulty technical design, but what systemic issues enabled that faulty design to be shipped at all? Those are the root cause issues.
Why? No it doesn't.
Debit cards are not popular here because they tend to lack robust fraud protection - and even if they did, your bank account could easily be zeroed for weeks while they work to reverse the fraudulent charges.
Also, debit cards still have an interchange fee here. It’s cheaper than credit cards, but even for a small purchase there’s usually a $0.20 minimum fee - which is too much for microtransactions.
That’s funny. Debit cards have always been PIN based and way safer than credit. I’ve never personally heard of a single case of fraud.
There is nothing stopping micropayments from happening as a technology, except political/market incentives. It’s already a reality everywhere else, even north Africa. Rationalizing it just solidifies the status quo.
Yes, Boeing was too aggressive about reducing cost to compete with Airbus and they need some major reform because hundreds of people are dead. But let’s not forget that this drive towards cost reduction is what still allows you today fly across the country in perfect safety for $300. All these people saying “Of course Boeing should have designed a totally new plane from scratch with quadruple-redundant systems, only the most experienced factory workers to build it, all parts made out of unicorn tears for safety’s sake, etc.” have a misguided view of how engineering is done.
Perfectly reasonable decisions by Boeing to try to reduce costs for their customers and passengers are now being characterized negatively, merely because they are intended to reduce cost. People don’t seem to realize that it’s easy to build an expensive airplane - the hard part of engineering is not always choosing the easy, expensive option.
This wasn’t a quality problem. This is was a failure to recognize (or willful hiding) the importance of training pilots on MCAS.
Winning means jack shit if you're cheating or transmuting The cost into something that doesn't reflect on the balance scorekeeping..
At the same time obviously no one wants to cut a corner and cause danger.
Boeing is probably scared of Airbus and vice versa.
Its probably just a challenging environment.
"Yes, Boeing killed hundreds of people due to their negligence, but think of the cost savings!"
"All these spheres are made of asbestos, by the way. Keeps out the rats. Let us know if you feel a shortness of breath, a persistent dry cough, or your heart stopping. Because that's not part of the test: that's asbestos. Good news is, the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show a median latency of 44.6 years, so if you're 30 or older, you're laughing. Worst case scenario, you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into a calculator, it makes a happy face."
>allows you today fly across the country in perfect safety
Perfect seems to be a poor choice of words here.