Boeing Whistleblower’s Complaint Says 737 MAX Safety Upgrades Were Rejected Over Cost - Deeper In HOT Water...
One of the proposed systems could have potentially prevented the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people
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October 2, 2019 - by By Dominic Gates, Steve Miletichand Lewis Kamb for seattletimes.com
Seven weeks after the second fatal crash of a 737 MAX in March, a Boeing engineer submitted a scathing internal ethics complaint alleging that management — determined to keep down costs for airline customers — had blocked significant safety improvements during the jet's development.
The ethics charge, filed by 33-year-old engineer Curtis Ewbank, whose job involved studying past crashes and using that information to make new planes safer, describes how around 2014 his group presented to managers and senior executives a proposal to add various safety upgrades to the MAX.
The complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by The Seattle Times, suggests that one of the proposed systems could have potentially prevented the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Three of Ewbank's former colleagues interviewed for this story concurred.
The details revealed in the ethics complaint raise new questions about the culture at Boeing and whether the long-held imperative that safety must be the overarching priority was compromised on the MAX by business considerations and management's focus on schedule and cost.
Managers twice rejected adding the new system on the basis of "cost and potential (pilot) training impact,"...
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