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The mess we've seen with Boeing's existence in the past years is exactly the kind of trouble I worried about as it became clear they were basically being allowed to police themselves. Except that, I thought we'd see it with Airbus first.

Anyway, the shenanigans continue:

 

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Boeing shares plunge on fresh 777X setbacks, array of charges

By Eric M. Johnson and Abhijith Ganapavaram - 4h ago
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(Reuters) -Boeing Co said on Wednesday it was halting 777X production through 2023 due to a fresh delay in its entry into service after certification problems and weak demand, with $1.5 billion in added costs for the mini-jumbo program.

Shares of the U.S. planemaker fell 11% to $146.62 in early trading - a nearly 1-1/2 year low - after it posted a quarterly loss and disclosed more than $1.2 billion in charges linked to supplier costs and technical problems on its Air Force One presidential plane, trainer jet, and the war in Ukraine.

"Another dreadful set of results," Agency Partners analyst Nick Cunningham said in a client note, adding that a "general sense of disarray continues" and flagging that net debt rose to a new peak of over $45 billion.

On the plus side, Boeing said it submitted a certification plan to U.S. air-safety regulators in a step toward resuming deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, halted for nearly a year by inspections and repairs in an industrial headache costing about $5.5 billion.

The twin-aisled Dreamliner, along with the 737 MAX, are vital to the financial health of Boeing, which is trying to bounce back from successive crises.

It has been producing the Dreamliner jets at a low rate while it undertakes inspections and repairs for structural flaws amid intense regulatory scrutiny.

Boeing has "completed the required work on initial airplanes and is conducting check flights", Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told employees in a memo on Wednesday, a development that should cheer airlines that have cut back on flying long routes due to delivery delays.

Boeing did not specify when Boeing would resume Dreamliner deliveries. Reuters reported last week it had advised key airlines and parts suppliers that the deliveries would resume in the second half of this year.

Boeing also confirmed reports of a delay in handing over the first 777X jet to 2025, from the previous target of late 2023, but said it remained confident in the program.

"We've got to give ourselves the time and freedom to get this right," Calhoun told analysts on a call after the company posted results.

Calhoun said the halt in 777-9 production was based on a longer safety certification timeline, a risk reported by Reuters in February.

He said the production pause would help minimize inventory and the number of jets requiring retrofits, while it adds to freighter capacity with a newly launched cargo spinoff of the 777X, the world's largest twin-engine passenger plane.

"We are concerned that this delay (in 777X delivery) may allow airlines to cancel without penalty," Citi Research analyst Charles Armitage said.

Reuters reported last month that the Federal Aviation Administration had warned Boeing that existing certification schedules for the 737 MAX 10 and 777X were "outdated and no longer reflect the program activities."

Boeing reiterated it expects its 737 MAX production rate to reach 31 planes per month in the second quarter, a slight delay from what some analysts expected, though industry sources have not ruled out a slip.

Calhoun reiterated Boeing was on track to return to positive cash flow in 2022 as it ramps up deliveries of the 737 MAX cash-cow narrow-body aircraft, with travel rebounding from the pandemic.

"Traffic is returning, and it's returning in a pretty big way," Calhoun said.

It reported a quarterly core loss per share of $2.75, compared with a loss of $1.53 per share a year ago. Revenue fell to $13.99 billion from $15.22 billion.

Like other aerospace companies, Boeing is grappling with supply chain shortages, inflation and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and war in Ukraine.

"Inflation continues to take a hard run at everything we do," Calhoun told analysts.

It booked a $660 million charge in the quarter on its VC-25B - commonly known as Air Force One - due to higher supplier costs and technical problems and schedule delays.

It recorded $367 million in charges for its T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet due to inflation, supply chain issues and impacts related to the pandemic.

It booked pre-tax charges of $212 million due to impacts of the war in Ukraine and international sanctions against Russia, which pose risks to materials supply and aircraft orders.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nishit Jogi from Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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Boeing: Plane-maker reveals losses from Trump Air Force One deal

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37 minutes ago
IMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS

Former US President Donald Trump's new deal for Air Force One was a bad one for Boeing, the plane-maker's chief executive has said.

Dave Calhoun spoke as the firm said it expected to lose $1.1bn (£875m) on the two planes for the White House.

Mr Trump had forced the company to renegotiate its contract, calling the initial deal too expensive.

The new agreement made Boeing, not taxpayers, responsible for changes to costs.

"We took some risks not knowing that Covid would arrive and not knowing that inflation would take hold like it has - and both of those have impacted us fairly severely," Mr Calhoun said on a conference call with investors on Wednesday.

'Unique set of risks'

Technically, "Air Force One" is a call sign for any aircraft carrying the US president.

 

However the term is mostly used to refer to the current fleet - two highly customised Boeing 747-200B jets, which have been in service since 1990.

Before Mr Trump was elected in 2016, the government had a roughly $4bn contract with Boeing to build two or more new planes. But in 2016, shortly after Mr Trump's victory, he tweeted that they were too expensive and called for cancelling the order.

Two years later, the two sides announced a new $3.9bn deal to convert two new 747-8 planes with a communications suite each, internal and external stairs, large galleys and other equipment and modifications to protect passengers.

At the time, Mr Trump - who prides himself on his deal-making - hailed the agreement, though critics said the savings weren't clear.

Boeing - a major government and defence contractor - faced "a very unique negotiation, a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn't have taken" during the Air Force One talks, Mr Calhoun said.

"But we are where we are, and we're going to deliver great airplanes."

 

The planes are designed to be an airborne White House, able to fly in worst-case security scenarios, such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defence system.

The planes were supposed to be delivered by 2024 but are behind schedule, according to reports. Boeing disclosed it has lost $660m this quarter on the programme.

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Boeing CEO regrets Air Force One deal amid big quarterly losses

 Apr 27, 11:32 AM

WASHINGTON — Boeing reported $1.3 billion in cost overrun charges among some of its major defense programs in its most recent quarter, lowering its defense unit’s sales in what its chief executive called a “messier quarter.”

Much of those charges — a little more than $1 billion — came from development of the new Air Force One and the Air Force’s T-7A Red Hawk trainer, the company said in its quarterly earnings statement Wednesday.

And in a call Wednesday, Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun suggested the company should not have accepted the Trump administration’s terms in 2018 on the new Air Force One, as the former administration engaged in hardball negotiations to drive costs down.

Boeing’s defense, space and security division saw its sales in the first quarter of 2022 drop to $5.5 billion, down 24% from the same period last year. This decline was largely due to lower volumes and its charges on fixed-price development programs.

Calhoun said in an MSNBC interview Wednesday morning Boeing reported a “messier quarter than any of us would have liked.”

The VC-25B Air Force One program saw the largest charge, totaling $660 million. This stemmed from schedule delays, rising supply costs and higher costs to finalize technical requirements. The aircraft was originally due to be delivered in 2024, but the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month it could be at least two years behind schedule.

Another $367 million in charges came from the T-7, the Air Force’s next jet training aircraft. Supply chain constraints, complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, and inflation complicated ongoing negotiations with suppliers, Boeing said.

During the call, Calhoun said Boeing still has high confidence in the T-7′s future and said other programs have weathered similar pressures. He added that he expects the MQ-25 Stingray program, a Navy aerial refueling drone for which Boeing won the contract in 2018, will also turn out to be another good bet for the company. Despite both programs having higher-than-anticipated development costs, Calhoun said, the military will be flying them both for a long time.

But he expressed regret over the path Boeing took on the new Air Force One during the Trump administration.

In December 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump tweeted “costs are out of control” for the more than $4 billion price tag for the new Air Force One and that he wanted to cancel the order. In July 2018, the Air Force awarded Boeing a $3.9 billion contract for two new Air Force Ones. The White House said that represented a dramatic price drop from the original proposal for the cost-plus contract, which it said was valued at $5.3 billion.

That contract represented “a very unique moment, a very unique negotiation, a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn’t have taken,” Calhoun said. “But we are where we are, and we’re going to deliver great airplanes.”

Calhoun said COVID-related inefficiencies were largely responsible for the cost overruns it experienced, and that they have been particularly acute for the Air Force One program.

“In the defense world, when a COVID line goes down, or a group of workers steps out, we don’t have a whole bunch of cleared people to step into their shoes,” Calhoun said. “It has always been a tougher implication, and for the VC-25B where the clearances are ultra high, it’s really tough. So we just got whacked in a number of different areas.”

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Major aircraft lessor Avolon says Boeing has 'lost its way'

3 minute read
A Boeing logo is seen at the company's facility in Everett

A Boeing logo is seen at the company's facility in Everett after it was announced that their 777X model will make its first test flight later in the week in Everett, Washington, U.S. January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

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DUBLIN, May 5 (Reuters) - The head of the world's second-largest aircraft leasing company said on Thursday Boeing had "lost its way" and might need new leadership to fix a flawed culture that overshadowed its revival.

The comments by Avolon Chief Executive Domhnal Slattery represented a rare public rebuke of Boeing by a significant customer, albeit one that cancelled orders for over 100 737 MAX jets during the COVID pandemic.

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Boeing declined comment.

"I think it's fair to say that Boeing has lost its way," Slattery told the Airfinance Journal conference in Dublin, a gathering of the world's aircraft lessors who together own most of the world's passenger jets.

"Boeing has to fundamentally re-imagine its strategic relevance in the marketplace," he said, adding that this would require "fresh vision, maybe fresh leadership."

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However, he said the issues could eventually be resolved.

"I have faith that they will figure it out," Slattery said.

Shares of Boeing fell to a nearly 1-1/2 year low last week after the U.S. planemaker posted a quarterly loss, unveiled $2.7 billion in charges and added costs and expressed doubts over hitting 737 MAX delivery targets. read more

Boeing also announced it was halting 777X production through 2023 and failed to specify when it would resume deliveries of its key twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner model after a year-long halt.

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"They are burning cash at an unprecedented level. They're probably going to get downgraded," Slattery said.

"Boeing has a storied history...They build great airplanes. But it's said that culture eats strategy for breakfast and that is what has happened at Boeing," Slattery said.

A succession of crises from fatal crashes that led to a two-year grounding of the 737 MAX, to external regulatory pressures that interrupted 787 deliveries and delayed the 777X, have left America's biggest exporter badly shaken, another top buyer said.

Underscoring Boeing's woes, European rival Airbus (AIR.PA) pushed ahead on Wednesday with plans to raise competing single-aisle jet production by 50% from current levels to 75 a month in 2025, just as Boeing is struggling to certify its 737 MAX 10.

Slattery voiced concerns that the market could tilt too heavily in favour of Airbus if it delivers on its production plans, though some lessors say it remains to be seen how soon Airbus can reach its target due to fragile supply chains.

Longstanding board member Dave Calhoun became Boeing CEO in 2019 promising greater transparency after the group's earlier handling of the MAX crisis drew widespread criticism.

On Thursday, Boeing announced plans to move its headquarters from Chicago to the Washington, DC, area, highlighting efforts to bring decision-making closer to customers and regulators. read more

But Calhoun's promise of a reboot has been eclipsed by fresh problems on several core civil and defence projects, while another influential customer, Emirates airline president Tim Clark, has urged Boeing to "get its act together."

Boeing says it is working through the multiple challenges.

Calhoun told investors after the company's board was reaffirmed by shareholders last week that Boeing would overcome new problems with the T-7 military trainer and Air Force One jets and also felt good about progress on the 787 and 737 MAX.

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Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Jan Harvey, Bernadette Baum and Diane Craft
 
 
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Exclusive-U.S. FAA finds Boeing 787 certification documents incomplete -sources

By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson - 1h ago
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By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. air-safety regulators have told Boeing Co the documentation it submitted to win approval to resume 787 deliveries to airlines after a year is incomplete, two people familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified a number of omissions in Boeing's documentation, submitted in late April, and has sent portions of it back to the planemaker, one of the people said.

A second person said it was too early to say whether FAA concerns would lead to a new delay in resuming deliveries, which have been suspended for the past year due to production flaws.

Boeing shares pared gains on Friday afternoon to trade up 1% at $125.12 after rising as much as 6.2% earlier in the session.

Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun highlighted the submission in the company's April 27 earnings call, calling it a "very important step" and saying it was preparing the first 787s for delivery, but stopped short of providing a date.

People briefed on the matter say the submission was made shortly before the call.

A Boeing spokesperson said the company continues to have a transparent dialogue and work closely with the FAA on the remaining steps.

An FAA spokesman declined to elaborate, saying only, "Safety drives the pace of our reviews."

Clearing a swollen inventory of twin-aisled Dreamliners and its best-selling 737 MAX jets is vital to the U.S. planemaker's ability to emerge from the overlapping pandemic and jet-safety crises, a task complicated by supply-chain bottlenecks and war in Ukraine.

Deliveries of the 787 have been halted for a year as Boeing worked through inspections and repairs in an industrial headache expected to cost about $5.5 billion. Boeing has more than 100 of the advanced composite twin-aisle jets parked in inventory, worth about $12.5 billion.

In February, the FAA said it would not allow Boeing to self-certify individual new Boeing 787 planes. Then-FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said the agency needed from Boeing "a systemic fix to their production processes. They've got to produce the quality on their production line that we're looking for and that they've committed to."

The FAA said in February it would retain the authority to issue airworthiness certificates until it is confident "Boeing's quality control and manufacturing processes consistently produce 787s that meet FAA design standards."

Reuters reported in late April that Boeing has advised key airlines and parts suppliers that deliveries would resume in the second half of this year, with one industry source saying deliveries could resume in a matter of weeks.

Boeing's certification package is a sprawling set of documents and data that shows the jet's compliance, though the FAA controls the final determination. The package lays out inspections and repairs Boeing will undertake on dozens of planes sidelined by production flaws. The documentation is a crucial step before Boeing can resume deliveries.

Boeing's chief financial officer, Brian West, made upbeat comments on the 787's progress at a Goldman Sachs conference this week.

"This certification plan submission was an important milestone, and it reflects a very thorough comprehensive set of documents that verifies that we are in conformance," West said. "And there's been an enormous amount of work into that, working side by side with the FAA along the way."

Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787 in late May 2021 after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. The regulatory agency had issued two airworthiness directives to address production issues for in-service airplanes and identified a new issue in July.

"I'll remind you that we haven't really seen anything new in a while," West added. "So we're working hard on making sure that that submission is thorough, and now the FAA has it, and we are standing by ready and willing to enter any discussion, answer any question and help them do their work as they move through their certain protocols."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and David Shepardson in WashingtonEditing by Matthew Lewis)

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https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/16/business/ryanair-ceo-boeing-attack/index.html

Boeing needs to get its 's*** together,' Ryanair CEO says

New York (CNN Business)The CEO of Ryanair let loose a scathing, obscenity-laden attack on Boeing management Monday, saying company executives need either an immediate "reboot, or a boot up the a**."

"At the moment we think Boeing management is running around like headless chickens, not able to sell aircraft, and then even the aircraft they deliver, they're not able to deliver them on time," said Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, Europe's largest discount carrier, which has ordered nearly 400 jets from Boeing since 2010.
O'Leary and Boeing had an unusually public dispute last fall about negotiations on a possible order for the next generation of the 737 Max, with Ireland-based Ryanair breaking off talks because of a pricing squabble.
The CEO's unusually blunt comments Monday were focused on Boeing's delayed deliveries of planes. O'Leary said Ryanair had to scale back its spring and summer schedules because planes it had expected the aircraft maker to deliver by the end of April probably won't arrive until the end of June.
 
 
He was livid about the delays, especially because Ryanair is purchasing planes known as white tails, which Boeing had built for other airlines. The original purchaser of those planes canceled the order during a prolonged 20-month grounding of the 737 Max that followed two fatal crashes.
"I can understand why there may be various challenges manufacturing new aircraft, but aircraft that you built and made two years ago that all you had ... to do was put petrol in them and f***ing fly them to Dublin, really I don't understand why you're taking two to three month delays on that," he said on a conference call with investors about the airline's financial results. "It is redolent of very poor management performance in Seattle."
Boeing did not respond to a request for comment on O'Leary's remarks.

Criticizing management

 
O'Leary said Boeing makes great planes, but it might be time to change management.
"Either the existing management needs to up its game, or they need to change the existing management, would be our view of life," he said. "We're very happy to work with existing management but they need to bloody well improve on what they've been doing delivering to us over the last 12 months. ... We're a willing customer, but we're struggling with slow deliveries and an inability to do a deal on new aircraft despite the number of white tails they have sitting on the f***ing ground in Seattle."
Boeing has faced numerous problems in recent years, including the 737 Max crisis that cost it more than $20 billion. The company also was hit with an FAA-ordered halt of deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner last June due to quality control problems. And it faced delays winning approval for its next-generation widebody jet, the 777X, that forced Boeing to push back the first deliveries of the plane by two years to at least 2025.
Boeing also took substantial losses in its military and space businesses, including a recent $660 million charge on the two planes it is completing that will be used as the new Air Force Ones. It's also combating delays in building a spacecraft to carry US astronauts to the International Space Station.
"If they get their s*** together, we'd be willing to take more aircraft for summer '23 and summer '24," O'Leary said. "There's growth there to be won."
He also said the airline is willing to restart negotiations on an order for the new generation of the 737 Max, although he pointed out that has yet to win FAA approval, making it risky to depend upon. So Ryanair is also looking at possibly purchasing 50 jets on the second hand market instead. And he had choice words for Boeing's sales staff.
"You wonder what the hell their sales team has done in the last two years," O'Leary said. "Frankly most of them seem to sitting at home in their f***ing jimjams working from home instead of being out there selling planes to customers."
O'Leary also criticized Boeing's recently announced plan to move its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington.
"Moving the headquarters to Virginia from Chicago, while it may be good for the defense side of the business, doesn't fix the fundamental underlying problems on the civilian aircraft side in Seattle," he said.

Other customer criticism

In addition to O'Leary, several other airlines have complained on recent conference calls — although in far less colorful language — about the problems they face from the 787 or 777X delays.
Domhnal Slattery, the CEO of Avolon, one of the world's leading aircraft leasing companies, suggested earlier this month that Boeing needs a change in culture — and maybe leadership.
"I think it's fair to say that Boeing has lost its way," Slattery said at the Airfinance Journal conference, in comments first reported by Reuters and confirmed by Avolon. "Boeing has a storied history ... They build great airplanes. But it's said that culture eats strategy for breakfast and that is what has happened at Boeing."
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34 minutes ago, deicer said:

"You wonder what the hell their sales team has done in the last two years," O'Leary said. "Frankly most of them seem to sitting at home in their f***ing jimjams working from home instead of being out there selling planes to customers."

🤣  That's such an Irish thing to say - I gotta go work there just for the punchlines. 

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Did Southwest Ask For A Modification To A 737 MAX To Deceive The FAA?

 

In a lawsuit about airfares, surprising allegations have surfaced about Southwest's role in the B737 MAX certification and training requirements.

Documents filed by attorneys pursuing a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines claim the airline proposed to deceive the Federal Aviation Administration. The filing alleges that in 2016, Southwest Airlines asked Boeing if engineers could install a new flight-control safety alert, required for the B737 MAX, on one of its older Boeing 737s.

Once the MAX was certified the new device was to be deactivated. According to the Seattle Times, the filing also alleges that the sole purpose of this proposal was to tell the FAA that the alert was not new on the MAX.s

The alleged goal

The aim of that ruse was to avoid additional pilot training, particularly simulator training, that Southwest did not want existing pilots to be required to undertake. The documents say that Southwest pressured Boeing to ensure that its pilots, and those at other airlines, required only minimal training to fly the MAX. There was a clause in the agreement between Southwest and Boeing that the manufacturer would pay the airline $1 million per plane if B737 MAX simulator training was required.

The report says former US Department of Transportation inspector general and airlines safety advocate Mary Schiavo said:

"It's hard to come up with any reason for that other than to deceive the FAA. It's really appalling." Southwest wanted to minimize the training its B737 pilots would have to do when transitioning to the MAX. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

 

Why was MCAS not in the pilot materials?

The filing cites documents that show Southwest didn't want existing Boeing B737 NG pilots to do either simulator or classroom training. Its argument was that the MAX was so similar to previous models of the B737 that simulator training would not be necessary. Southwest did get the outcome it wanted with, B737 NG pilots able to upgrade to fly MAXs after completing a three-hour course on an iPad. To placate its biggest MAX customer, the suit alleges Boeing directed its training development organization to collaborate with Southwest on the required pilot training. Ultimately, in 2019, after the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the FAA mandated simulator training before pilots could resume flying the B737 MAX.

The filing alleges that Southwest also pressured Boeing to remove any mention of the new flight control software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) from pilot materials. In November 2015 Southwest reviewed the MAX's systems, pilot procedures and flight manuals and came across a mention of MCAS in a pilot checklist for an emergency procedure. It contacted Boeing to remove the MCAS from the checklist and it was.
 

Southwest is the biggest B737 MAX customer on Boeing's list

Southwest has orders for 379 B737 MAX listed in Boeing's Unfilled Orders report. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

At the end of April this year, Boeing's unfilled orders report shows that Southwest has 379 B737 MAX on order. ch-aviation.com data lists Southwest currently operating 74 Boeing B737 MAX 8 and outstanding orders for 142 MAX 8 and 259 for B737 MAX 7 aircraft.

 

This lawsuit is basically about Boeing and Southwest concealing B737 MAX safety defects to 'buoy' demand for air travel, resulting in those passengers paying higher ticket prices. Perhaps an unintended consequence is that the revelations about Southwest's role in the MAX certification show another element to the MAX tragedies.

The Seattle Times report says that "Boeing had declined to comment on the legal case and that Southwest spokesperson Brandy King said: "Southwest vigorously disputes the plaintiff's characterization of the facts in this lawsuit." Simple Flying has contacted Boeing and we will update the article with any response.

 

The death of 346 people in the B737 MAX crashes and the trauma suffered by many others is the real tragedy here. However when this lawsuit is heard perhaps a lot more will be learned about the training provided to pilots, be they from Southwest, Lion Air or Ethiopian Airlines.

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2 hours ago, Kargokings said:

Did Southwest Ask For A Modification To A 737 MAX To Deceive The FAA?

 

In a lawsuit about airfares, surprising allegations have surfaced about Southwest's role in the B737 MAX certification and training requirements.

Documents filed by attorneys pursuing a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines claim the airline proposed to deceive the Federal Aviation Administration. The filing alleges that in 2016, Southwest Airlines asked Boeing if engineers could install a new flight-control safety alert, required for the B737 MAX, on one of its older Boeing 737s.

Once the MAX was certified the new device was to be deactivated. According to the Seattle Times, the filing also alleges that the sole purpose of this proposal was to tell the FAA that the alert was not new on the MAX.s

The alleged goal

The aim of that ruse was to avoid additional pilot training, particularly simulator training, that Southwest did not want existing pilots to be required to undertake. The documents say that Southwest pressured Boeing to ensure that its pilots, and those at other airlines, required only minimal training to fly the MAX. There was a clause in the agreement between Southwest and Boeing that the manufacturer would pay the airline $1 million per plane if B737 MAX simulator training was required.

The report says former US Department of Transportation inspector general and airlines safety advocate Mary Schiavo said:

"It's hard to come up with any reason for that other than to deceive the FAA. It's really appalling." Southwest wanted to minimize the training its B737 pilots would have to do when transitioning to the MAX. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

 

Why was MCAS not in the pilot materials?

The filing cites documents that show Southwest didn't want existing Boeing B737 NG pilots to do either simulator or classroom training. Its argument was that the MAX was so similar to previous models of the B737 that simulator training would not be necessary. Southwest did get the outcome it wanted with, B737 NG pilots able to upgrade to fly MAXs after completing a three-hour course on an iPad. To placate its biggest MAX customer, the suit alleges Boeing directed its training development organization to collaborate with Southwest on the required pilot training. Ultimately, in 2019, after the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the FAA mandated simulator training before pilots could resume flying the B737 MAX.

The filing alleges that Southwest also pressured Boeing to remove any mention of the new flight control software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) from pilot materials. In November 2015 Southwest reviewed the MAX's systems, pilot procedures and flight manuals and came across a mention of MCAS in a pilot checklist for an emergency procedure. It contacted Boeing to remove the MCAS from the checklist and it was.
 

Southwest is the biggest B737 MAX customer on Boeing's list

Southwest has orders for 379 B737 MAX listed in Boeing's Unfilled Orders report. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

At the end of April this year, Boeing's unfilled orders report shows that Southwest has 379 B737 MAX on order. ch-aviation.com data lists Southwest currently operating 74 Boeing B737 MAX 8 and outstanding orders for 142 MAX 8 and 259 for B737 MAX 7 aircraft.

 

This lawsuit is basically about Boeing and Southwest concealing B737 MAX safety defects to 'buoy' demand for air travel, resulting in those passengers paying higher ticket prices. Perhaps an unintended consequence is that the revelations about Southwest's role in the MAX certification show another element to the MAX tragedies.

The Seattle Times report says that "Boeing had declined to comment on the legal case and that Southwest spokesperson Brandy King said: "Southwest vigorously disputes the plaintiff's characterization of the facts in this lawsuit." Simple Flying has contacted Boeing and we will update the article with any response.

 

The death of 346 people in the B737 MAX crashes and the trauma suffered by many others is the real tragedy here. However when this lawsuit is heard perhaps a lot more will be learned about the training provided to pilots, be they from Southwest, Lion Air or Ethiopian Airlines.

Slimey...

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