SEC Orders Fine for Lies Regarding Airplane Safety
(RightWing.org) – The US’s biggest exporter has just been hit with a massive fine after making misleading statements about safety. Boeing has been accused of covering up safety issues with the 737 MAX’s flight control systems. Now, it’s been ordered to pay $200 million in fines for its lies.
The planemaker and former CEO Dennis Muilenburg agreed to pay just over $200 million in fines to the SEC https://t.co/AOzUrI1Yjz
— TheStreet (@TheStreet) September 23, 2022
In March 2019, regulators around the world grounded Boeing’s new 737 MAX airliner following two fatal crashes. Boeing insisted that the plane was “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies” and implied that pilot error or poor maintenance had caused the accidents — but in fact, the company knew the 737 MAX’s flight control computer had a dangerous flaw.
The 737 MAX is a radical upgrade of the 1960s-era 737, and its larger, repositioned engines tended to push the nose up. Boeing wanted to market the plane as another 737 version that required minimal pilot retraining, so they programmed the MCAS flight computer to mimic the handling of older versions. The problem was, if the pilot made certain maneuvers, the MCAS would push the plane into a series of sharp nosedives — and the pilot couldn’t stop it.
Boeing tried to hide the problem with the computer even though an internal review had found it was an “airplane safety issue.” They kept insisting it was safe even after Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 people on board. Then, on March 10 of the following year, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 nose-dived into the ground, killing another 157.
Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission has hit the company with a $200-million fine for misleading its stockholders. The 737 MAX saga has already cost Boeing more than $20 billion in fines and compensation, plus an estimated $60 billion in canceled orders, making its critical MCAS error one of the most costly mistakes in history.
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