Boeing Red-Faced on 'Appalling' Messages About 737 Max

'This airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2020 8:35 AM CST

(Newser) – Lawmakers are calling newly revealed messages from Boeing employees on the company's beleaguered 737 Max—involved in two horrific crashes that killed 346 people— and the Federal Aviation Administration "astonishing," "appalling," and "incredibly damning," in what the New York Times deems the "latest embarrassing episode" for the airplane manufacturer. The Verge has links to the emails and texts, redacted messages sent by Boeing to Congress last month, including one worker's 2017 slam that "this airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys." "Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," reads one worker's 2018 message to another, with the colleague's answer a simple "no." Yet another message from 2018 contains a more ominous-sounding "I still haven't been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year."

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The messages also show how Boeing tried to keep pilot training for the 737 Max, an expensive endeavor, to a minimum. In a statement, an FAA rep said that, despite the "disappointing" messages, no new safety risks have since been discovered, and all equipment has passed inspection. "We regret the content of these communications, and apologize to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers, and to the flying public for them," Boeing said in a statement to Congress. "The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response." That action will consist of "disciplinary or other personnel action," the company notes. It's still unclear when the Max will take to the skies again. (Boeing's most recent problem: Its planes are cracking.)

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