Former Boeing senior manager has ZERO confidence in 737 MAX 9 jets: ‘I would absolutely not fly’

Former top engineers and managers at Boeing have no confidence in 737 MAX 9 jets and are warning travelers to avoid them.

Boeing Max 9 planes were grounded after a terrifying Alaska Airlines flight in which the door panel blew out mid-air earlier this month. After inspections and maintenance were performed, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed the 171 grounded aircraft back in service and Alaska Airlines and United Airlines took to the skies again with their fleet of Max 9 planes.

However, some experts are still not convinced this was a wise decision.

“I would absolutely not fly a Max airplane,” Ed Pierson, a former Boeing senior manager, told the Los Angeles Times.

“I’ve worked in the factory where they were built, and I saw the pressure employees were under to rush the planes out the door. I tried to get them to shut down before the first crash,” he added.

Joe Jacobsen, a former engineer at Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, told the outlet, “I would tell my family to avoid the Max. I would tell everyone, really.”

According to The Times, Boeing has a “deeper problem” and “needs a cultural change.”

Giving the green light to the Max planes to fly again was “another example of poor decision making, and it risks the public safety,” according to Pierson, who is executive director of the watchdog group, Foundation for Aviation Safety.

Jacobson criticized the move as “premature” given the many problems the Max 8 and Max 9 models have been called out for by safety advocates like himself over the years.

“Instead of fixing one problem at a time and then waiting for the next one, fix all of them,” he said, comparing it to playing whack-a-mole. “Maybe it’s a week. Maybe it’s a month.”

“This blowout — we’ve seen this pattern before. Something big happens, and Boeing makes all of these promises,” Pierson said.

“These same issues that were there in 2018 and 2019 [at Boeing] that were the precursors to the accidents are still there,” he added. “This is a culture where money is everything. They measure success by how many airplanes are delivered, instead of how many quality airplanes are delivered. … When you factor all of this together, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen.”

Jacobsen concurred, telling The Times that Boeing  has been “trying to maximize profits” and “go with the lowest bidder.”

“For the last 20 years, they’ve gone in this continual direction of towards financial engineering instead of technical engineering,” he said.

Last week, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker asserted that it “won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing.”

“The quality assurance issues we have seen are unacceptable,” Whitaker said in a statement. “That is why we will have more boots on the ground closely scrutinizing and monitoring production and manufacturing activities.”

The FAA further noted that it was “Capping expanded production of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft” and “Launching an investigation scrutinizing Boeing’s compliance with manufacturing requirements.”

Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun shared a message with employees this week, saying that he has had “tough and direct conversations with our customers, regulators and lawmakers.”

“They are disappointed and we have much to prove to earn our stakeholders’ confidence. There is no message or slogan to do that. It will take transparency and demonstrated action – that starts with each of us along with a commitment to listening to each other and speaking up,” he added.

“We’ve taken significant steps over the last several years to strengthen our safety and quality processes, but this accident makes it absolutely clear that we have more work to do,” Calhoun wrote. “This increased scrutiny — whether from ourselves, from our regulator, or from others — will make us better.”

Frieda Powers

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