'Boeing 737 MAX was designed by clowns and supervised by monkeys'

Another employee asks if one would put his family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft.

A Boeing employee who was discussing issues with the flight management computer in Boeing 737 MAX said the aircraft was designed by clowns, an internal memo of the company showed. The 737 MAX was grounded earlier this year following back to back crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.

"This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys," an unnamed Boeing employee told a colleague, as per one of the internal memos the company released. The Boeing memos underscore allegations of widespread efforts to evade scrutiny during the development of the plane.

Boeing cuts thousands of jobs to retain price competitiveness
Employees are pictured near Boeing aircraft as a Boeing 737 MAX returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington January 29, 2016

The exchange happened in 2017, as per the documents. Another employee asked a colleague in 2018, eight months before the first crash: "Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't" The second employee in the conversation said he wouldn't.

An email by Boeing's 737 chief technical pilot, whose name has been withheld, seemed to suggest that Boeing would force foreign regulators out of a plan to make simulator training a technical requirement. "I want to stress the importance of holding firm that there will not be any type of simulator training required to transition from NG to MAX ... Boeing will not allow that to happen. We'll go face to face with any regulator who tries to make that a requirement," the pilot said, according to Reuters.

In another instance, one employee sighs off on the sickening company culture. "We put ourselves in an impossible position by picking the lowest cost supplier and signing up to impossible schedules," the employee said about the 737 MAX simulator supplied by TRU Simulation+Training.

Whistleblower on Boeing 787 Dreamliner

In November 2019, a whistleblower said in an alarming revelation that tests revealed that as much as 25 percent of the oxygen systems on Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft might not work when needed. Whistleblower John Barnett also said faulty parts were 'deliberately' fitted onto planes at one Boeing factory. Boeing denied the claims, saying that all planes conform to the highest safety and security standards

Key whistleblower charges against Dreamliner

  • Barnett says Boeing compromised on safety in its rush to get the aircraft on the production line.
  • He found out problems in emergency oxygen systems as far back as in 2016.
  • He found during decommissioning process that some oxygen bottles were not discharging when they were supposed to do so.
  • That out of the 300 systems that were tested 75 did not deploy properly
  • Barnett says his efforts to get the issue addressed were prevented by Boeing managers
  • Barnett alleges that Boeing forced under-pressure workers to fit sub-standard parts

737 MAX crashes and the aftermath

The first crash happened in October last year when a Boeing 737 Max operated by Lion Air crashed killing all 189 people. The second mishap took place five months later when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed killing 157 people.

Boeing last month fired its chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg following a disastrous year that saw the aircraft maker face a series of setbacks. Boeing move came in the face of looming action from regulators following the irregularities surrounding 737 Max aircraft.

Also in December, facing a crippling cash crunch, Boeing suspended commercial production of 737 jets. The decision was announced after the Federal Aviation Administration refused to let airline companies to fly the jet before 2020. It is the first time in more than 20 years that Boeing is halting production.

Read more