Boeing 737 Max (04:29)
In October 2018, a Boeing jet crashed departing from Jakarta, killing 189 people. Black box data revealed horizontal stabilizer problems resulting from faulty software systems. The jetliner was kept in use and in March 2019, another crashed occurred in Addis Ababa, killed 157 people.
Investigating Boeing Crashes (04:29)
The relatives of crash victims recall learning about the Addis Ababa disaster. Boeing executives hope the cause is not connected to the Jakarta accident. Investigations reveal that the Manubrium Characteristics Augmentation System is faulty. Similar flight patterns prove the software system is problematic, resulting in jetliner groundings.
Competitive Business (03:53)
The Boeing 737, first introduced in 1967, was the best-selling jetliner. In 2011, Airbus’s A320Neo became the fastest selling program, threatening Boeing's status; the company responded by pushing 737 MAX production.
Boeing Cuts Costs (06:36)
After the second 737 MAX crash, the Federal Aviation Association conducted an investigation, focusing on development and certification. Boeing insider Rick Ludtke publicly revealed how management kept pilot training costs minimal and quieted a test pilot’s alarming experience with MCAS activation.
Internal Regulations (04:18)
The F.A.A. pushed regulation and certification work onto companies; the MCAS was delegated to airliner inspectors. Boeing told Congress they complied with the administration, and blamed crashes on ineffective coordination.
Boeing's 737 MAX Risks (05:19)
The 737 MAX’s first pilots reported that it did not handle smoothly, prompting engineers to increase MCAS reliance. Chief Technical Pilot Mark Forkner was unaware of the change when he requested the F.A.A. remove the system from the pilot manual, ensuring minimal training requirements.
Angle of Attack Sensors (09:53)
Expanding MCAS, engineers included probes for activation; miscalibrations caused the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air crashes. While Muilenburg pushed ideas that lack of experience and training led to accidents, black box data analysis revealed pilots followed protocol.
Boeing Ignores Risks (04:23)
During a congressional hearing, families learn the F.A.A. and Boeing ignored known risks associated with the MCAS and inadequate pilot training. After the Lion Air crash, the administration gave the company 150 days to fix flaws, wherein the Ethiopian disaster occurred.
Congressional Hearing (04:22)
During Fall 2019, Congress released the discovery of communications regarding MCAS failures years before the fatal crashes. Muilenburg appeared before the panel and families, where he was presented with the investigation.
Boeing Faces Justice (04:07)
Boeing removed Muilenburg as CEO soon after the congressional hearings. The company's new executive officer blames his predecessor for regulation mistakes while suggesting foreign pilots lack experience. Boeing settled criminal charges, paying $2.5 billion to families and airlines.
Credits: Boeing's Fatal Flaw (00:60)
Credits: Boeing's Fatal Flaw
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