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Boeing workers: 737 MAX is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys

Christian Fernsby ▼ | January 10, 2020
Boeing yesterday released hundreds of internal messages that raise serious questions about its development of simulators and the 737 MAX.
Boeing factory
Air industry   Boeing factory
In an April 2017 exchange of instant messages, two employees expressed complaints about the MAX following references to issues with the plane’s flight management computer. “This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” one unnamed employee wrote.

Topics: Boeing workers 737 MAX

In one message dated November 2015, which appears to shed light on lobbying methods used when facing demands from regulators, a Boeing employee notes regulators were likely to want simulator training for a particular type of cockpit alert.

“We are going to push back very hard on this and will likely need support at the highest levels when it comes time for the final negotiation,” the employee writes.

The planemaker said some communications “raise questions” about Boeing’s interactions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in connection with the simulator qualification process.

In releasing redacted versions of what it called “completely unacceptable” communications, Boeing said it was committed to transparency with the regulator.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, who has been investigating the MAX, said the messages “paint a deeply disturbing picture of the lengths Boeing was apparently willing to go to in order to evade scrutiny from regulators, flight crews, and the flying public, even as its own employees were sounding alarms internally.”

He added: “they show a coordinated effort dating back to the earliest days of the 737 MAX program to conceal critical information from regulators and the public.”