Some things in life are almost too horrific to read. Every person on a plane has loved ones, people that rely on them and the endless possibilities, joy and laughter they can bring to the world. Losing even on person is sad, but when 189 souls perish in a plane crash, which could have potentially been avoided, it’s just incredibly sad. Really bad just turned much worse for Boeing, after a US Government committee unveiled its latest findings.
In them, are explicit requests from Lion Air for simulator training to address issues around the new aircraft type before flying it. Boeing employees practically laughed it off, as they dissuaded them from this idea. The partial transcript was released to Bloomberg by the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee…
“Looks like my jedi mind trick worked again!”
Those are the words of Boeing’s former Chief Technical Pilot, who did his very best to dissuade Lion Air from pursuing a rigorous simulator safety training program, in favour of Boeings preferred faster and less costly roll out preparation. This came just days after another Boeing employee remarked at what a burden an airline wanting simulator training for a brand new aircraft would be, stating…
“Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots,”
So why all this fuss from the Boeing team about an airline which flies the previous iteration of the Boeing 737 requesting a simulator to train on the new plane? Sadly, money.
Boeing always positioned the 737-MAX as a plane so similar to previous models that no simulator training was to be required. It was meant to save Boeing a considerable amount of money and was positioned like buying the slightly newer model of the car you currently drive. Read a few manuals and off you go. Airlines loved the pitch, because it would not only save Boeing huge money, but them too.
“WHAT THE F%$&!!!! But their sister airline is already flying it!”
One can’t help but be taken aback by the idea that these excerpts are the dialog of the very people Boeing put in place to safeguard passengers. Or perhaps, that’s the part I have wrong. Maybe they were put in place to minimise costs in delivering their big new cash cow program, and anything that could be done to save money was seen as the right way to go.
Unfortunately, two planes tragically crashed due to a variety of factors and a lack of proper training afforded to the crews about a system many didn’t even know had been installed. 345 souls perished, likely as yet another result of corporate greed. It’s unconscionable that had Boeing encouraged, or at least not actively discouraged additional training, that at least one of those results may not have been so.
Lion Air actively sought more information to prepare their pilots to operate a flying machine with full safety, and Boeing employees actively mocked them for it on official channels. Now, Boeing is fully recommending it to the FAA, in hopes of having its planes back in the skies.
It’s impossible to square the fate of both of these doomed planes entirely on Boeing’s wings, but the information we’re seeing through these investigations adds more every day. It’s hard not to see blood on the hands…