The 737-Max was born out of the need to offer a competitive aircraft against the Airbus A320Neo series.
Boeing thought it could adapt the 737 and avoid a new aircraft type. The 737 dates back to the 1960’s.
So it bolted on the new engines to a modified wing – the engines weigh far more and affected the aerodynamics of the aircraft. To rebalance it, Boeing developed the MCAS software that is now being seen as the cause of the two crashes.
First Boeing put the software in, then someone decided that pilots didn’t need training on it and it didn’t need a mention in the training manuals.
And now this whole saga is being seen as a startling indictment of Boeing, and the supposed regulator, the FAA. The willingness of US governments to hand corporate America the right to govern and certify its own behaviour and products, is starkly revealed as resulting in the corporate homicide of nearly 400 people.
US Corporations lobbied to obtain the right to be seen as the same as an individual human being. In a landmark ruling the United States Supreme Court gave corporate entities the same standing as an individual human being. They were able to give vast quantities of money to political candidates and lobby politicians without limit.
This may now be seen as a double edged sword. Because if you’re equal to a human being, corporates in America, you must be held accountable as an individual human being would be.
Endless de-regulation, constant efforts to reduce the FAA’s authority- even to privatise it – has worn away at what was a pillar of aviation regulatory excellence.
And once again this weekend, as even more stupefying revelations leak slowly into the public domain about the 737 Max and the scandal around its certification, the public who in the US especially are regular fliers, feel endangered.
People feel they’re lives are being put at risk for profit. The certification process has become complacent, corrupted not by individual greed but corporate expediency.
The FAA and Boeing – and there’s a lot of reasons to suggest Boeing is the FAA – were so distant and so blinded by there own rightness they couldn’t and didn’t want to see what they should have.
Scanning the global press for stories on this subject brings up a horrific number of articles – more than I have ever seen for anything aviation related in the modern age.
It’s not just aviation sites either. From the U.K. Guardian to Japan, Australia, Africa, the US and across Europe and South America, even China, but especially in Indonesia and Ethiopia two of the most advanced countries in their regions, news on the subject is consumed avidly.
The world trusted the FAA and now it doesn’t. The world trusted America to a point, but this murder of innocent people through a systemic failure of regulation and corporate greed has undermined not just Boeing, but the global view of Trump’s America.
It’s has done so in a way that will not be quickly reversed if it ever can be. It’ not just Boeing and the FAA that have suffered a loss of confidence and trust – its America as a whole.
Trump’s regulatory roll back policy and deregulation over years, coupled to the removal of any real process of accountability has led to this place.
It crashed two aircraft, murdered nearly 400 people and its simply not going to be forgotten any time soon.