Friday, April 26, 2019

Boeing - Share-holders Before Safety

pilot of 30 years’ standing and a software engineer of 40 years’ experience has just written the most damning account of the recent Boeing 737 fiasco whereby the incentives of “shareholder capitalism,” meant basic safety concerns were repeatedly sacrificed at the altar of greed. 

The crux of author Gregory Travis  analysis: “Design shortcuts” led to safety hazards. “Market and technological forces pushed the 737 into ever-larger versions with increasing electronic and mechanical complexity.” There were two problems:

  1. Making the required hardware modifications would have been hugely expensive (to the point where Boeing would have had to build an entirely new aircraft, rather than merely modifying a popular, hitherto safe and easy-to-fly airplane)
  2. As noted above, the FAA was already overwhelmed, and consequently was beginning to allow Boeing to “self-certify” its own planes.
Safety is an optional feature that mustn’t be allowed to interfere with the bottom line; where the needs of employees are subsidiary to the profits of shareholders and management.

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