After fatal crash, Boeing reverses sales policy that locked out some safety features unless airlines paid for an upgrade

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/22/boeing-boeing-2.html

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#2

First of all why the hell is anything on an airplane an optional add-on for safety???

Seriously, WT flying F Boeing??

And it sounds like the add-on is something that corrects for part of the planes inherent design which screams that the add-on should be part of the basic design itself.

The screams marketing upselling bullshit to me. The plane is already over a hundred million dollars- if their profit margin is so tight that they need to nickel-and-dime over an accessory option they’re doing something wrong.

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#3

If this is true I see a massive Class Action Lawsuit in the making…

And it begs the question, what other features where locked out of the basic package?

This is the type of shite you find in AAA games!, not security on a frigging plane

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#4

Two points.

This is “the invisible hand of the market” at work. It almost always requires human life as grist for its mill. I make no judgement in this statement, only an observation.

I agree Boeing gets blame for the markup. What about the airlines for being too cheap to buy it?

EDIT: fixed a typo. “life”, not “lift”. Although airplanes need that too.

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#5

Fixed it for 'ya. Now we have to wonder which other Boeing flying airlines have skimped out on optional safety features.

Annnd an Indonesian airline says no thanks to Boeing:

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#6

Life belongs to those who can buy it.

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#7

“It looks like you are trying to regain control of a Boeing 737 Max airplane. Would you like help?”

Update: Source

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#8

Christ, what assholes. Late stage capitalism.

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#9

Keeping your passengers and flight crew alive? That’ll be extra. /s

I hope people go to prison for this shit. Probably won’t, but I hope I’m wrong.

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#10

I’d imagine Clippy would be filling up every display in the cockpit with this notification, too.

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#11

McMansion Hell summed it up nicely:

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#12

A Boeing spokesperson defended the company’s policies. “Boeing is committed to delivering the most cost effective solutions. That’s why we offer small regional and national airlines that don’t have unlimited budgets the choice between our standard Mostly Won’t Crash package and the more economical Only Crashes Sometimes option. Sure, once in a hundred flights or so, the whole $100 million dollar aircraft augers in like a cheap lawn dart and you have to spend the next nine months picking tiny chunks of metal and passengers out of three square miles of farmland … but you have to balance that against the important cost savings that come from not paying our inflated prices for a handful of electronic components and a quick software patch to tell you when one of the AoA sensors is futzing out again. The popularity of the Crashes Sometimes package proves that many airlines think that’s a saving worth making.”

The spokesperson also responded to criticism of the MCAS, the fly-by-wire software system whose interventions may be responsible for two recent fatal crashes. In response to comments from professional pilots who pointed out that the MCAS tends to act unpredictably at precisely the times when any error is most likely to be catastrophic — while the aircraft is traveling at low speed and low altitude —the spokesperson said angrily “What the hell do they want, anyway? The whole thing is like a poorly balanced brick. If we didn’t have software continuously rewriting the laws of aerodynamics in our favor, it wouldn’t clear the perimeter fence, let alone make it to its destination most of the time. You’d think that pilots would appreciate that, but oh no. It’s all ‘waah waah waah, the nasty old MCAS trimmed the nose down sixty-five degrees while I was lining up on final in a seventy-knot headwind’. Well, nobody’s perfect, let me remind you, and I think the least pilots can do is show a little gratitude for all the times the MCAS has stopped the whole shebang from cartwheeling ass-over-tit through the control tower window. Which, our tests have shown, seems to be the MAX 8’s natural inclination when left to its own devices.”

The crew and passengers of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302 could not be reached for comment at press time.

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#13

Somewhere in Boeing there is an executive, or maybe multiple executives, who thought charging for safety features was a great idea. A real revenue-generator.

Now that hundreds of people have died, the 737 Max is grounded across the world and serious questions are being raised about the relationship between Boeing and the FAA, I’d love to sit down for a coffee with that person and ask “So how are you sleeping these days?”

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#14

Or at least let the pilots upgrade in real time as their plane is hurtling to the ground. Kind of the ultimate in ransomware.

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#15

Boeing Salesperson: And, for extra $$$ you get a system that resolves conflicting data from our sensors.

Airline: Wait, your sensors don’t work? Maybe we should look at Airbus

Boeing: We have the best sensors in the world! This is really just an optional feature you don’t need.

Airline: Ok then, we’ll pass.

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#16

Boeing is all about spiraling into the earth rn

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#17

Optional equipment as in, in-flight movies? As in fully stocked drink cart? Or optional as in, you don’t smash into the ground?

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#18

The crew and passengers of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302 could not be reached for comment at press time.

Destroyed.

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#19

So airplane crashes are now a feature rather than a bug?

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#20
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