Feds launch criminal probe of Boeing

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/11/feds-launch-criminal-probe-of-boeing.html


I wonder how much of this was because John Oliver forced their hand.


I realize this has been posted elsewhere on our bbs but this is what I was referring to, ICYMI:

ETA2: Ye gods.


“It is still not clear whether Boeing kept records about who removed the plug — a panel that takes the place of extra emergency doors when those doors are not required — on the Alaska plane last September.”

“If the door plug removal was undocumented there would be no documentation to share,” Boeing said.

Sure Jan.


IMHO some executives definitely should have gone to jail back then for that debacle. Among other things, relying on that single angle-of-attack sensor for the MCAS system (and thereby having a single point failure) was a criminally negligent design flaw, and on top of that Boeing offered upgrades to that system as a optional safety upgrade, at extra cost. Whoever suggested and implemented that idea, and anyone else involved with approving it, belongs in prison.


Sheesh it makes some people’s file storage methods look positively rational.


To me, this sounds more like just hitting a pocket of low air pressure. It’s a little unusual to happen in clear weather, but it can happen. I was on a flight that suddenly dropped like that. Luckily(?) that flight was in the middle of a thunderstorm, so the fasten seatbelt light was on, and the turbulence had been awful for several minutes before the sudden drop, so everyone was buckled in. It still scared the crap out of me. If I hadn’t had my seatbelt on, I definitely would have hit the ceiling.


Somehow the idea that individual owners/investors aren’t financially liable has metastasized into the idea that company executives aren’t responsible for decisions and actions. It was actually kind of shocking to me to hear that the DOJ was doing a criminal investigation. Then I read the article and saw that it was about paperwork. What about the people who sat at the table and decided to save money on bolts?


It’s my hope that this or a forthcoming investigation will include the groveling sycophants at the FAA who enabled the gross regulatory capture that lead to the deaths of so many, and forever destroyed their credibility. They are directly responsible. The laughable notion that any corporation can or should self regulate is the zenith of supply side BS, and that’s a very tall pile.


I thought so too, at first. But wouldn’t it being described as a technical event mean it’s something different?


Hope this probe extends to the agency and administration that thought it was a good idea to let Boeing self inspect.


Who knows. It is a weird description that raises more questions than answers. I don’t understand why they can’t just say, “We don’t yet know what caused the incident. We are actively investigating and will let the public know just as soon as we know.” But so many people these days think saying “I don’t know” is the worst thing you could do, that I think it sometimes never occurs to these companies to say.


Random Breathalyzer tests after shift would be very interesting.

1 Like

Caveh Zahedi What GIF by Eternal Family

The problems with boeing are not some workers drinking on the job. It’s a systemic problem within the corporate culture itself. It’s the same problem with the rest of our economy - some rich asshole believes making money for themselves is the only metric that matters. In this case, they don’t give a shit if people die because of their lack of quality. They care that they make more money by increasing sales of their planes. Stop blaming workers for the problems they do not cause.


It has nothing to do with boeing’s corporation culture. THAT is the problem here.


And NASA is committed to using the Boeing Starliner to ferry astronauts to orbit.

Fingers crossed.



condescending tone


Bless that man.


The “technical event” was the screens going blank, according to this


Clear air turbulence is a thing, and it’s a known thing that pilots have lots of experience with.

Interviews I’ve been hearing today with pilots point out that when a plane hits clear turbulence, it drops. As in: free fall. As in, you suddenly become weightless in your seat. A worse situation is a downburst, where the plane suddenly hits a strong downdraft of wind, and that can be more violent, but they’re associated with thunderstorms, and there wasn’t one.

For people to hit the ceiling, there has to be negative G, not just zero G. Which means an active dive. Also, the reports are that the pilot said his screens all went blank. “All” of them. That’s not supposed to be possible.

So… yeah. Something happened. Something that isn’t consistent with simple weather events. But no-one is sure what it was, so…