- A pilots union said that the second Boeing 737 Max crash could have been prevented if Boeing listened to its suggestions after the first crash.
- Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union that represents American Airlines pilots, told CNN that Boeing had a “poisoned, diseased philosophy.”
- The union met with Boeing after the first fatal crash, with pilots suggesting that Boeing make a safety feature standard and communicate better with pilots about what is on their planes, a recording of the meeting shared with Business Insider showed.
- Tajer also refuted Boeing’s suggestion that pilot error could have contributed to the disasters, and said Boeing had built a plane that was “irrecoverable” when it malfunctioned.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The second fatal Boeing 737 Max crash could have been prevented if Boeing listened to pilots’ suggestions to improve safety, a major pilots union said as it accused Boeing of having a “poisoned, diseased philosophy.”
Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, told CNN that the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157 people in March, could have been avoided if Boeing had listened to pilots at a meeting between the company and the union in November 2018.
That meeting, which the APA said is the first time Boeing executives have ever visited its headquarters, took place after a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max crashed and killed 189 people in October.
Audio recording from the meeting shared with Business Insider by the APA revealed that pilots suggested that Boeing make an optional safety feature mandatory on its 737 Max planes and that Boeing communicate with pilots about what software and what systems are on their planes.
“We flat-out deserve to know what is on our aeroplanes,” one pilot said.
In response, Boeing executives said at the meeting that many airlines did not want the optional safety feature as it might “confuse” pilots and played down concerns of a second crash.
Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, said Boeing felt pilots did not need to know more about the plane’s system automated anti-stall system, identified as having misfired in investigations into both crashes, given how unlikely it was considered to misfire.
Tajer told CNN that Boeing had a “poisoned, diseased philosophy.”
Tajer also refuted Boeing’s account that pilot error may have contributed to the disasters, mirroring the account of investigators who said that the pilots followed all of Boeing’s procedures.
He said that Boeing had designed a plane that could not be controlled when the automated system started to malfunction.
Taped conversation shows Boeing execs downplaying importance of absent safety feature on 737 Max
Boeing has apologised for the crashes and has completed a software update that will be reviewed by the US Federal Aviation Administration and global regulators before the plane will be allowed to fly again.
But it has also defended the plane’s design and safety.
It said that it has been working with airlines, pilots, and regulators and is introducing new training for 737 Max crews.
In a statement to Business Insider about the recording, Boeing said: “We are focused on working with pilots, airlines and global regulators to certify the updates on the MAX and provide additional training and education to safely return the planes to flight.”
International regulators and the FAA are meeting on Thursday to talk about the 737 Max, potentially leaving with a timeline of when the plane could return to service.
But international regulators may create deviate from the US on when the plane should return, with Europe’s aviation safety service having already outlined its own criteria that Boeing must meet.
Do you work at Boeing or the FAA, or are you a pilot? Got a tip or a story to share? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +353 86 335 0386 using a non-work phone, or email her at [email protected], or Twitter DM her at @sineadbaker1.
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