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

Anyone else see this as the natural result of the right complaining about big government and the nanny state? That’s why they were told to inspect themselves for certification.


I would hazard a guess that sociopaths are often behind some of this kind of decision making and wouldn’t imagine a sociopath loses much sleep over such matters so long as it is not drastically hitting their pay check or immanently threatening their position.


Hmm. That’s a tough choice.


I basically can hear Airbus managers and union reps in France, Spain and Germany cry tears of joy. First Brexit which will bring back the british Airbus jobs to mainland Europe and now this debacle of their direct rival.


I definitely agree, though I’d add other intertwined issues.

For me the idea that jumps to mind is the perpetual-beta mentality that companies that deal with the real world seem to be trying to take from Amazon and Google (because of the money it appears to make them). It turns out the we’ll-work-the-bugs-out-later approach doesn’t work for hurtling 100 tons of metal full of human beings from one continent to another.


Well, Boeing is headquartered here in Chicago, and our senator happens to know some things about aircraft, so I’m hoping she’ll be the one who sits down with that executive and asks that…


This is beauty of the free market. If planes are crashing, airlines will buy the safety product. The more planes that crash, the more market pressure there is to support the product and Boeing. If planes continue to crash after purchase and installation of the product, sales will fall.

And Boeing cant just “give away” the safety product. As with requiring poorer people to pay income taxes, these poorer airlines need some “skin in the game.” It would be demeaning to them if they didn’t have to pay full market rate for this safety product.


This snark contains far too many elements of truth for my comfort level.


“So sorry your plane crashed. Please choose the ‘non-crashing’ option next time. Thank you for buying Boeing, Your business is very important to us.”


There’s an analysis at MoA, and it says that Boeing cheaped out on plane design and committed a number of unforgivable engineering mistakes which meant that a faulty sensor made the MCAS (which was very difficult to disable) crash the plane.

Extra safety features (sensor conflict alarm and level gauges) would help the pilots detect the problem, but unless there is also a way to quickly disable MCAS this won’t mean much - they would still have to fight the autopilot and eventually crash.


Last words heard on the Flight Voice Recorder: “Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t accept PayPal.”


I would argue that’s just capitalism. Early stage capitalism killed a lot of people too, which is why we started regulating it. Maybe this will remind people that the “free market” does a horrible job of protecting people and the environment.


I’d go one further. Late-stage assholes.

When I read this in the paper, I was gobsmacked that a safety feature would be optional - and that clever technical people at Boeing (not marketing wankers) did not realise that omitting it might lead to exactly the situations we have seen. I can only presume either that they are not that clever or marketing did not need their sign-off. Either way, massive corporate fail.

Here’s the more detailed article I read about it.


Can I interest you in rust proofing and undercoating?


I feel terrible for liking this, but it was brilliant.


And also discuss all the benefits, tax breaks and incentives that Boeing was given by the city of Chicago to move their HQ there.



Unfortunately for the world, the answer to that question is “quite comfortably, on this huge pile of money”


This. Exactly this.

And I bet none of the passengers of the affected planes had any idea this known problem was an issue, because customers opting out of taking that booked flight would mean… what… reduced revenue for the air carrier, who may have been opting out of the safety patch in buggy 'ware for… I dunno… reasons having to do with money.

It’s a lose-lose-lose scenario. Economics suck.


Culprits: BOEING and the FAA

Unfortunately, one is too big… the other too governmenty.


You were gobsmacked that a safety feature would be optional? A car buyer has long been faced with the question of if they should pay extra for the latest safety features; you can buy the 2019 Chevy Sonic for $19,690 and for only another $495 more, you can get Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Side Blind Zone Alert, all of which could potentially save your life and the lives of people in other cars. I suspect that Boeing, just like Chevy, is faced with the fact that used vehicles are cheap and it’s easier to sell a new vehicle if the price tag is cheaper but you upsell the safety features. (Moreso on cars than tightly regulated planes, but used cars can be a lot less safe than a new car without the safety package.)

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