(RightWing.org) – Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is facing more problems after a former senior manager told journalists he wouldn’t fly in one of the company’s jets. Ed Pierson claimed safety procedures at the giant manufacturer were often compromised in the rush to meet deadlines. Attention is focused on the 737 MAX, which has a checkered safety record, but the revelations could cause doubts about the whole Boeing range.
The Boeing 737 MAX, a radical upgrade of the popular and successful 737 airliner that first flew in 1967, was introduced eight years ago and promised to be a revolution in air travel, making flying cheaper and more fuel-efficient. Instead, the new model was quickly involved in a series of accidents, two of them causing mass fatalities. It caused 20 times more passenger deaths per million flights than older 737s.
The entire 737 MAX fleet, almost 400 aircraft, was grounded for 18 months in 2019 and 2020, and the scandal cost Boeing almost $20 billion in fines, compensation and legal fees. Now we know that even senior Boeing officials don’t trust the upgraded jets.
On January 30, Pierson told the “Los Angeles Times” that he would “absolutely not fly a MAX airplane.” He said he’d worked on the type’s assembly line and knew how much pressure employees faced to get the aircraft finished and delivered. He also claims he tried to get the company to shut down 737 MAX production before the first accident, the October 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 that killed 189 people in Indonesia.
Pierson, who’s now an aviation safety consultant, questioned the FAA’s decision to let the MAX 9 model return to passenger service last week, comparing it to a mechanic allowing a customer to drive a faulty car. Former Boeing engineer Joe Jacobson also blasted the MAX’s safety record, saying “I would tell my family to avoid the MAX.” How much confidence can passengers have in the 737 MAX when even the people who built it wouldn’t fly on one?
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