Boeing 737 MAX Debacle

Should we trust Boeing now? 346 lives lost and they still want to rush it back to service!
The sacking of Muilenberg is far too late, and too little, and a lesson for those who want to cut cost by outsourcing to cheap software engineers from a 3rd world country.


They were so determined to expand and expand the 737 rather than invest in a new frame . The sacking of the CEO is too little too late.

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This is decision made by the management of a 1st world country sitting in their ivory towers

I object you your use of words - cheap software engineers from a 3rd world country.

Please do not demean anyone or any thing if you dont have information that whatever the engineers were told to do - they did not do it well…

what the was the management doing ??

was there no oversight ?

The sacking is too late and too little

In my books - he would have been out within a week…

and what about the 1st world management decision to continue to produce more MAX planes despite known defects ?/

There was ( in the press ) clear information that the training requirements were skipped over and under estimated - who took that decision ?/

A 1st world management in a western country ??

Sadly this ruins BOEING’s image - solely by 1st world western decision to offer a plane to the market ( hiding facts and training requirements ) and endangering lives ( and killing 340 plus innocent passengers and pilots )

and not to speak of the planted informations that cast aspitations on the pilots themselves

very bad.

what do you say to that ??


Not the most sensitive choice of words. Then again this is social media.


One more thing - the timing of the removal could have been better - could have been softer

everyone has a family including Mr Dennis

It will be sad for them i guess…

But maybe they wanted to stock market to react positively to buffer up the worth of the company…

we are all human

we all make mistakes - sometimes

some mistakes are very costly - like this one.

we can learn

we can be human still



I’m surprised Muilenberg isn’t in custody facing manslaughter charges.

Can you imagine the reaction if a third world country company had caused the death of over 300 Americans. They’d do everything possible to to get those responsible incarcerated in an American jail.


It’s the Safety Assessment that should have revealed the problem. It should not have been possible to get it signed off by the FAA and other bodies (CAA in UK).


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The biggest problem was not to do with software, but a fundamental design flaw in not ensuring redundancy in a critical flight component. The MCAS relied on a single AoA sensor: failure of that one sensor could leave the aircraft in an unairworthy condition leading to a non-survivable situation developing if it occurs at speed.

This is a critical design flaw.


Thank you for sticking to facts…

appreciate it @Xanthe


The only way BOEING can recover is to relentlessly drill down on the facts and make corrections based on data and cold logic and of-course the inputs of hugely experienced pilots from around the globe…

It may be hard to believe, but it’s a fact that the FAA actually delegated some certification tasks to Boeing engineers, who acted as authorised representatives of the FAA, but reported to Boeing management.


It’s also a bit more complicated than a design error because Boeing chose not to document the system in the pilot’s manual and neither were pilots trained the system’s existence, on what could go wrong and what they should about it if it did. There seems to have also been no way to disable the system if a pilot did consider it to be faulty, because the system would turn itself on again if disabled in what it considered to be an unsafe situation.
Appalling engineering management misjudgement in several regards.




And having done that, why did it take so long for the CEO’s head to roll?

My belief is that irrespective of the product or the industry the person responsible for corporate culture is the CEO and from all accounts, this man’s emphasis was on cutting costs and shareholder dividends


Indeed, for simplicity I was limiting my post to the fundamental underlying cause without highlighting the additional compounding reasons. After the first crash, Boeing admitted they had put in a system without telling the pilots and published a procedure to follow in case of failure. As demonstrated by the analysis in the investigation of the Air Ethiopia crash, even after the pilots know what to do and acted according to instruction, under some circumstance the published procedure it was still not physically possible for the pilots to save the aircraft. Worse still this could even be shown to be the case using a flight simulator - thus demonstrating that not only was the aircraft flawed and not properly evaluated, but even the corrective procedure wasn’t fully tested and was also flawed.

I believe that both cases the people designing the individual components in the aircraft can’t be held responsible as their components worked according to the specifications given to them (AoA sensor failure is a known even that can’t be completely prevented - it has an external component); nor can the pilots be in any way held to be at fault as in both cases they followed known procedure. In my view the responsibility lies with the senior management and the overall systems design team at Boeing, and secondarily with the FAA for failure of oversight.


Delegation is the choice of the FAA. The Independent Safety Assessor is the person ultimately responsible. That person has to have the power say no. The FAA issues the Air Worthiness Certificate. The FAA will have been looking at all the documents they received. There must be government inquiry if there is not one already.

The design appears to be flawed if a single faulty sensor can have that effect.


I started out as an apprenticed aircraft engineer, then moved into aerospace manufacturing, and then ended up in the medical devices industry, and worked in the very regulatory bodies that regulated both industries. I have, until my recent retirement, worked in Risk, Compliance, Quality and Regulatory Affairs for the most part of four decades. This is my take on things, having witnessed how these industries operate -

Boeing took an old dog of an aeroplane, put whizzy new engines on it to make it cheaper to run and, having found it upset the balance/handling of the finished product, fiddled with the flight controls so the pilots wouldn’t notice, and didn’t even tell them about it. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Result? 346 people sent to their deaths.

Now, let’s leave Boeing for a moment and fly a few thousand miles to the South of France. There was established there a medical devices manufacturer making breast implants. So, to save a few bob and make a bit more money, they used adulterated materials to make them. Result? Hundreds of women were injured when they (unsurprisingly) failed.

Both manufacturers were (supposed to be) regulated by their respective regulators.

Both debacles have the same root cause: a reluctance of the regulatory bodies to regulate in the public interest.

We can talk about MCAS and system redundancy, or delegated authority until we are blue in the face, but ultimately, this is about regulatory failure, brought about by a philosophy of government getting out of the way and allowing industry to regulate itself, and abandoning citizens to the vagaries of the market. Believe me I know! I’ve seen the whole framework rot from the inside out. It was only a matter of time before it all ends in tears.


I know, these words sound offending to some folks. It is well known that the 737 Max has engineering deficiencies and design issues, which, it is believed, can be masked by software. However, when these accidents happened, the software was written in such as way that there was no way that the pilot could override it?


Any system, including MCAS, can be shut down simply by pulling the relevant circuit breaker. The trouble is, they didn’t tell the pilots about it as it was barely mentioned in the manual. That’s the problem with MCAS.


I suppose we have been here before , lets hope lessons are learnt very fast


Is that right? AFAIK, the MCAS does not have the on/off switch, and the pilots were told fix it by applying a little nose down trim at high angles of attack.

My understanding is that it can be isolated by pulling the breaker, which is consistent with my knowledge of how aircraft electrical systems are designed (or at least they used to be)