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Westlake Legal Group > Boeing Company

To Get Boeing 737 Max Flying, Global Consensus Will Be Hard

FORT WORTH — Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration want global consensus to get the 737 Max flying again. They may have to wait awhile.

Aviation regulators from around the world, who met in Fort Worth on Thursday, are continuing to press the F.A.A. for details on the fix to the anti-stall system blamed for two deadly crashes involving the Max, as well as the process for assessing the software, according to an F.A.A. official. One big sticking point: whether to require that pilots undergo additional training on a flight simulator.

If regulators did require training, the condition would mean that the plane would be out of service for months longer than expected. Boeing had recently outlined a target of late June to airlines. But the F.A.A. has been more circumspect.

“We can’t be driven by some arbitrary timeline,” Daniel Elwell, the acting F.A.A. administrator, said on Thursday. “I don’t have September as a target, I don’t have June as a target.”

For Boeing, the uncertainty is another blow to its efforts to return the Max to service, which has weighed on its stock and its profit. The company has finished a software fix in recent weeks and has been answering questions from regulators over the changes and the design.

For the F.A.A., consensus is important. The agency has long been regarded as the world’s most influential aviation regulator. But it has faced sharp criticism for moving too slowly to ground the Max after the second crash and for underestimating the potential risks of the new software.

Approving the fix is complex balancing act. The F.A.A. is trying to appear thorough and independent, while at the same time working efficiently to get the Max flying again. And it is making an effort to get other countries on the same page, while allowing foreign regulators to dictate their own terms needed to lift the grounding.

“If they unground relatively close to when we unground, I think it would help with public confidence,” said Mr. Elwell, the F.A.A. administrator. “We will not let the 737 Max fly again in the U.S. until it is safe to do so.”

[Boeing 737 Max simulators are in high demand. They are flawed.]

Requiring additional training on a flight simulator would be a significant change.

The F.A.A. suggested last month that it would not require pilots in the United States to spend more time on a simulator. But that matter is not yet settled. There are some within the agency who are still advocating it, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

Other global regulators are also undecided. The European and Canadian aviation regulators were expected to work in tandem with the F.A.A. But recently, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has suggested it may act independently.

The regulator said in a statement that it had a list of conditions before allowing the Max to fly again, including “the completion of the additional independent design review” and “adequate training of Boeing Max flight crews.”

The Canadian transport minister, after initially insisting on simulator experience, has backed away from that position, according to people familiar with his thinking. But the Canadians would also prefer to act in conjunction with the European Union.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_152689170_3bd49f62-c7c1-4cb3-a7b6-7e66beb6dc3f-articleLarge To Get Boeing 737 Max Flying, Global Consensus Will Be Hard Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Federal Aviation Administration Elwell, Daniel K Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

Boeing has finished a software fix for the 737 Max and has been answering questions from regulators about it in recent weeks.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

“Transport Canada aims to move in collaboration globally with our aviation partners, including EASA,” the agency said in a statement on Thursday. “The Department prioritizes global confirmation that the aircraft is safe to fly.”

The Chinese aviation authorities and regulators from other emerging markets could be holdouts. They appear more likely to insist that their pilots — many of whom have less experience than their American, European and Canadian counterparts — train on simulators, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

Boeing has told its airline customers that the Chinese regulator is the biggest wild card. China was the first nation to ground the Max after the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, citing concerns over whether pilots could manually control the plane if it ran into problems.

Delaying its approval for the Max could also provide China leverage in the trade war with the United States. Boeing aircraft are one of the largest American exports to China by dollar value, and an obvious target for officials in Beijing if they want to further retaliate.

The divergent views about the need for simulator training point to a growing debate within the global aviation community over the capabilities of pilots from various countries.

The F.A.A. tends to make decisions based on the experience of the average pilot in the United States, many of whom have more flight time than those in emerging markets. Unions representing pilots at Southwest and American Airlines, which fly the Max, have said that they do not believe that the agency should mandate time in a simulator.

But there is broader pressure on the F.A.A. to reconsider whether it needs to modify its standards to account for less-experienced pilots. Boeing is selling more and more aircraft in emerging markets as global air travel continues to expand.

“We have been working closely with the F.A.A. and other global regulators on the process they have laid out for certifying the updated Max software, along with the associated enhanced pilot training and education that will help prevent accidents like these from happening again,” Boeing said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday in Miami, Boeing executives briefed pilots and operations personnel from airlines and leasing companies in the United States on its efforts to return the plane to service.

The meeting, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Miami, was led by Linda Mills, vice president of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, according to two people briefed on the meeting. Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy, also addressed the group, as did a representative from CFM, the company that makes the Max engines.

The conversation centered on what operators would need to do to reactivate the Max planes that have been sitting idle for months, once the F.A.A. says they are clear to fly.

The people briefed on the meeting said that those in attendance were in general agreement that each plane could require at least 100 hours or more of work. Southwest, American and United, the three carriers in the United States that fly the Max, have more than 60 of the planes between them.

Representatives from the airlines also raised what would happen the first time a Max made an unscheduled landing for whatever reason, according to the people briefed on the meeting. Such a situation could happen, with so many of the planes that had been idled for months coming back into service at the same time. Even if the incident had nothing to do with the software tied to the two crashes, there will be a flurry of concern and there was a recognition that airlines and Boeing will have to prepare for the attention.

Ms. Mills was asked whether Boeing was considering rebranding the Max, a move suggested by President Trump in a tweet last month. Ms. Mills said that was not happening, and that Boeing was focused instead on rebuilding trust in the plane.

Toward the end of the meeting, an attendee pointed out that Boeing’s reputation was damaged in the wake of its response to the two crashes. Ms. Mills acknowledged that was the case and said that Boeing was working on rebuilding trust in the company, too.

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Boeing 737 Max Simulators Are in High Demand. They Are Flawed.

Westlake Legal Group 17BOEING2-facebookJumbo Boeing 737 Max Simulators Are in High Demand. They Are Flawed. Pilots Lion Air Federal Aviation Administration Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters American Airlines Airlines and Airplanes

Since the two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 Max, airlines around the world have moved to buy flight simulators to train their pilots.

They don’t always work.

Boeing recently discovered that the simulators could not accurately replicate the difficult conditions created by a malfunctioning anti-stall system, which played a role in both disasters. The simulators did not reflect the immense force that it would take for pilots to regain control of the aircraft once the system activated on a plane traveling at a high speed.

The mistake is likely to intensify concerns about Boeing, as it tries to regain credibility following the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights. In the months since the disasters, Boeing has faced criticism for serious oversights in the Max’s design. The anti-stall system was designed with a single point of failure. A warning light that Boeing thought was standard turned out to be part of a premium add-on.

“Every day, there is new news about something not being disclosed or something was done in error or was not complete,” Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the American Airlines pilots union and a 737 pilot.

The training procedures have been a source of contention. Boeing has maintained that simulator training is not necessary for the 737 Max and regulators do not require it, but many airlines bought the multimillion-dollar machines to give their pilots more practice. Some pilots want ongoing simulator training.

The flight simulators, on-the-ground versions of cockpits that mimic the flying experience, are not made by Boeing. But Boeing provides the underlying information on which they are designed and built.

“Boeing has made corrections to the 737 MAX simulator software and has provided additional information to device operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative across different flight conditions,” said Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesman. “Boeing is working closely with the device manufacturers and regulators on these changes and improvements, and to ensure that customer training is not disrupted.”

In recent weeks, Boeing has been developing a fix to the system, known as MCAS. As part of that work, the company tried to test on a simulator how the updated system would perform, including by replicating the problems with the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight.

It recreated the actions of the pilots on that flight, including taking manual control of the plane as outlined by Boeing’s recommended procedures. When MCAS activates erroneously, pilots are supposed to turn off the electricity to a motor that allows the system to push the plane toward the ground. Then, pilots need to crank a wheel to right the plane. They have limited time to act.

On the Ethiopian flight, the pilots struggled to turn the wheel while the plane was moving at a high speed, when there is immense pressure on the tail. The simulators did not properly match those conditions, and Boeing pilots found that the wheel was far easier to turn than it should have been.

Regulators are now trying to determine what training will be required.

When the Max was introduced, Boeing believed that pilots did not need experience on the flight simulators, and the Federal Aviation Administration agreed. Many pilots learned about the plane on iPad. And they were not informed about the anti-stall system.

The limited training was a selling point of the plane. It can cost airlines tens of millions of dollars to maintain and operate flight simulators over the life of an aircraft.

Following the first crash, Boeing gave airlines and pilots a full rundown of MCAS. But the company and regulators said that additional training was not necessary. Simply knowing about the system would be sufficient.

In a tense meeting with the American Airlines pilots union after the crash, a Boeing vice president, Mike Sinnett, said he was confident that pilots were equipped to deal with problems, according to an audio recording review by The New York Times. A top Boeing test pilot, Craig Bomben, agreed, saying “I don’t know that understanding the system would have changed the outcome of this.”

[Before Ethiopian crash, Boeing resisted pilots’ calls for aggressive steps on 737 Max.]

Since the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March, lawmakers and regulators are taking a closer look at the training procedures for the 737 Max, and whether they should be more robust. At a congressional hearing this week, the acting head of the F.A.A., Daniel Elwell, testified that MCAS should “have been more adequately explained.”

Boeing said on Thursday that it had completed its fix to the 737 Max. Along with changes to the anti-stall system, the fix will also include additional education for pilots.

The company still has to submit the changes to regulators, who will need to approve them before the plane can start flying again. The updates are not expected to include training on simulators, but the F.A.A. and other global regulators could push to require it.

“The F.A.A. is aware that Boeing Co. is working with the manufacturers of Boeing 737 MAX flight simulators,” a spokesman for the agency said in an emailed statement. “The F.A.A. will review any proposed adjustments as part of its ongoing oversight of the company’s efforts to address safety concerns.”

Airlines have already been pushing to get more simulators and develop their own training.

Pilots at American Airlines, which began asking for simulators when they started flying the planes, ratcheted up their requests after the Lion Air crash. Regardless of what the F.A.A. requires, the union believes pilots should get the experience.

“We value simulators in this situation,” said Mr. Tajer. “It’s not a condition of the Max flying again, but it is something we want.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

As Trade War Rages, China’s Sway Over the U.S. Fades

China usually gets its way. In Washington, on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms, Beijing has used the country’s size and promise for decades to quell opposition and reward those who helped its rise.

Those days may be coming to an end.

As it struggles with President Trump’s trade war, a maturing and debt-laden China is discovering that it no longer has the same pull. Members of both political parties in the United States favor a tougher stance against Beijing. Some old business allies are standing on the sidelines or even cheering the Trump administration’s strong stands.

China could still prevail on the trade war’s major issues. But the conflict’s length and severity reflect the growing perception that the country no longer holds the promise that once enthralled politicians and businesses in the United States.

Many American companies with large, profitable businesses in China do not want to pay expensive tariffs and worry that the United States is antagonizing the Chinese public, said Ker Gibbs, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. But many of the same businesses also chafe at the numerous restrictions that China has long maintained on foreign companies.

“We’re looking at their expanding into global markets, and saying, ‘Wait a minute, why can’t we do that here?’” Mr. Gibbs said.

China’s economic slowdown, which could hinder growth globally, is a major reason its influence has ebbed. But there are other factors. The country’s heavy debts, built up over years of lending used to spur growth, limit its options. If it retaliates against the United States sharply by devaluing its currency or shutting factories crucial to global supply chains, the moves could ricochet and hurt its own newfound wealth.

Foreign businesses have found it less appealing to make or sell their products in China over the last several years because of heavy restrictions on foreign businesses, stronger local competitors and rising costs. Mr. Trump’s tariffs last year gave many businesses a final reason to look elsewhere.

Call it the ABC supply chain, as in “anywhere but China.”

On Wednesday, Kelly A. Kramer, the chief financial officer of Cisco, the big telecom equipment supplier, told investors that the company had “greatly, greatly reduced” its exposure to China because of the tariffs.

Morey, a company near Chicago that makes rugged electronics for bulldozers and other outdoor equipment, reluctantly paid more for printed circuit boards made in China after Mr. Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion a year in Chinese imports last fall.

With those tariffs now rising to 25 percent, Morey executives have begun talking to suppliers in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

“I was thinking this is a short-term issue that will go away,” said George Whittier, the company’s president and chief operating officer, “and I don’t think you can rationally think that any more.”

China holds a lot of cards. It remains a huge profit source for Apple, Boeing, General Motors, Starbucks and other major corporations. It can use its substantial financial firepower and the government’s control over crucial economic levers to endure a protracted trade conflict, while state-run media outlets help stem discontent at home.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154597056_e85bd9b3-655e-40f3-9d33-a1edf48fac22-articleLarge As Trade War Rages, China’s Sway Over the U.S. Fades ZTE Corp Xi Jinping World Trade Organization US Dollar (Currency) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Chamber of Commerce Trump, Donald J Starbucks Corporation Renminbi (Currency) Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Intel Corporation Google Inc General Motors General Electric Company Factories and Manufacturing Embargoes and Sanctions Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) Currency Credit and Debt Corporations Computer Chips Communist Party of China Cisco Systems Inc Caterpillar Inc Boeing Company Beijing (China) Automobiles Apple Inc Airlines and Airplanes Airbus Industrie Agriculture and Farming

China holds a lot of cards. It remains a huge profit source for Apple, Boeing, General Motors, Starbucks and other major corporations.CreditRoman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock

Chinese officials and experts say the country can stand firm against Western pressure. Even some advocates of more market-oriented policies say Beijing should just make its own decisions now instead of tying them to a trade pact with Washington.

“China should focus on its own reform, which will eventually solve some current trade war contentious issues,” said Zhu Ning, a Tsinghua University economist.

Still, China has lost some of the swagger and appeal that once opened so many doors in Washington and on Wall Street.

China has long used its tremendous size and growth potential as both carrot and stick. Companies that played by its rules could gain access to a market of more than one billion people who were becoming increasingly affluent and eager to spend. Companies that complained could be left out.

It worked. G.M. and other companies caved in to demands like being forced to take on local joint venture partners, knowing that they were training future competitors. General Electric sold one complete diesel locomotive from Erie, Pa., to China, then taught the Chinese to build their own. Apple censors its App Store in China. When Google protested censorship and hacking, it was mostly kicked out.

Businesses then helped make China’s case in Washington. When China wanted to join the World Trade Organization, the global trade club, it enlisted Wall Street’s help. Businesses helped persuade successive American presidents to refrain from punishing China for manipulating its currency, even as Beijing manipulated its currency. They fought efforts to raise tariffs.

China remains vital to many businesses, but the dynamic has shifted. It still grows at a pace that developed countries envy. But its economy has slowed significantly from rates that as recently as 2010 topped 10 percent a year. Since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, the government has taken a stronger hand in business, requiring foreign companies to forge ties with the Communist Party and demanding access to data.

Beijing has fewer ways to strike back against the United States now. Its tremendous success in nurturing its own homegrown industries, which has helped China’s economy rise up the value chain, has reduced its imports of American goods, giving it fewer items to hit with tariffs.

A decade ago, China bought Jeeps made in Michigan by Chrysler, bulldozers and other construction equipment made in Illinois by Caterpillar and huge diesel engines made in Indiana by Cummins. Now Chrysler makes Jeeps in Changsha and Guangzhou. Caterpillar makes construction equipment in Xuzhou. And Cummins builds engines at factories in Beijing, Chongqing, Hefei, Liuzhou, Xi’an and Xiangyang.

“China has been so effective at squeezing manufactured imports out of its market that it has really limited its options to retaliate,” said Brad Setser, a Treasury official in the Obama administration who is now an economist at the Council on Foreign Relations.

China’s imports from the United States now fall mostly into four big categories: Boeing aircraft from Washington State; semiconductors, mainly from Intel factories in Oregon; farm products and energy from the Great Plains and Texas; and German-brand sport utility vehicles from South Carolina and Alabama. Although China could still shake the American political system if any harsh retaliation hurt economic growth in the United States, it has fewer opportunities to target electoral swing states and hurt Mr. Trump’s chances of re-election next year.

An international trade fair in Shanghai last year. A decade ago, China bought Caterpillar bulldozers  produced in Illinois. The company now makes construction equipment in Xuzhou.CreditAly Song/Reuters

Slapping tariffs on those industries could also have big drawbacks. China needs those chips for its technology upgrades. Targeting Boeing planes would shift more Chinese business to Airbus, giving the European aircraft maker more leverage in negotiations with Beijing. On agriculture, China still does not grow enough soybeans to meet its needs, so higher tariffs on American crops might simply mean higher food prices down the line.

China has also shown surprising vulnerabilities, like its dependence on American semiconductor technology and software. Last year, when the United States briefly prohibited American companies from selling technology to the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea, ZTE ground to a halt.

“The trade friction has also been a cold shower that has made us see our structural shortcomings more clearly,” said a front-page commentary in People’s Daily on Monday that bore a pen name used to signal authoritative positions on international relations.

China has options besides tariffs, but they have disadvantages as well.

It could sell a large chunk of the $1.3 trillion in United States Treasury debt that it holds. That could temporarily push up American interest rates. But it would saddle China with large losses. Beijing would have to find someplace else to park the money. Its previous sales, undertaken mainly to shore up the country’s currency in 2015 and early 2016, did not affect the bond market much.

Another option would be for China to let its currency slide in value against the dollar, making its goods cheaper abroad and offsetting American tariffs. Doing that could prompt the Trump administration to raise its tariffs even higher. It might also tempt other countries to devalue their currencies, setting off a potentially costly currency war. And a Chinese devaluation could cause Chinese families and households to send their own savings out of the country.

China could crack down on American-owned factories in China or on those crucial to the supply chains of American companies. But that could lead still more multinational companies to consider leaving the country.

The dilemma for China is that the longer the trade war lasts, the more companies may decide to invest elsewhere. For now, domestic politics seem more important in China, with the leadership and the general public reacting angrily to what is portrayed in the country as peremptory American demands.

“We have the confidence and ability to withstand any external risks and impact,” Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Thursday.

Chris Buckley contributed reporting. Luz Ding and Elsie Chen contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

F.A.A. Chief Defends Boeing Certification Process at House Hearing

The acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration defended the agency’s certification procedures involving the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max airplane, telling the House Transportation Committee on Wednesday that the process by which company-paid employees inspected their own aircraft was “a good system.”

The F.A.A. executive, Daniel Elwell, said his agency was reviewing a decades-old practice that allowed F.A.A.-certified employees at 79 aircraft manufacturers to assist in the certification of airplanes. But he said he supported the idea of delegating “certain tasks and certain decisions” in the certification process to private employees, despite criticism that the practice has led to lax oversight.

Mr. Elwell, a former pilot and industry lobbyist, faced two hours of questions from skeptical members of the committee, the first of several hearings the committee plans to hold about the regulator’s role in the wake of two fatal crashes involving the troubled airliner.

“How can we have a single point of failure on a modern aircraft?” asked Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon and the committee’s chairman, who questioned whether the inspection system may have led to the problems with airliner. “How was that certified? We shouldn’t have to be here today.”

Representative Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington who heads the Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, pressed Mr. Elwell on the agency’s designee authorization process, and the F.A.A.’s role in the development of pilot training procedures for the 737 Max. Pilots were not told about an anti-stall system known as MCAS that was new to the plane and which played a role in both crashes.

[Read our article about how Boeing executives resisted pilots’ urgent calls to fix the 737 Max.]

“The committee’s investigation is just getting started, and it will take some time to get answers, but one thing is clear right now: The F.A.A. has a credibility problem,” Mr. Larsen said.

The 737 Max was grounded in March after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. Less than five months earlier, a Lion Air 737 Max flight went down in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

“I thought the MCAS should have been more adequately explained” to pilots around the world, Mr. Elwell said. He faced a number of questions about whether pilots were given proper training on changes to the plane’s navigation and stabilization systems.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154526991_0806b611-d08d-4766-9d40-0416397ee62d-articleLarge F.A.A. Chief Defends Boeing Certification Process at House Hearing National Transportation Safety Board House Committee on Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Elwell, Daniel K Dickson, Stephen DeFazio, Peter A Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019)

Boeing 737 Max airplanes at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Wash. “The committee’s investigation is just getting started,” said Representative Rick Larsen, a Democrat on the House Transportation Committee.CreditLindsey Wasson/Reuters

The agency, Mr. Elwell said, delegates to the employees of manufacturers only those aspects of aircraft inspection that do not pertain directly to an aircraft’s core safety functions. But Mr. Elwell did acknowledge that the problems with MCAS were, indeed, considered a critical safety issue — raising new questions about whether Boeing employees should have been allowed to inspect it.

Mr. Elwell also said he was “not happy” with the 13-month lag between reports of a “software anomaly” involving a warning light that notifies pilots of a disagreement in sensors that measure which direction the plane is pointed, and Boeing’s actions to address the problem. Boeing discovered in 2017 that the warning light worked only on planes with an optional indicator that displayed the sensor readings. That indicator was sold as an add-on, and only 20 percent of 737 Max customers purchased it. Neither the Lion Air not the Ethiopian Airlines plane had it.

Still, Mr. Elwell said he did not believe that problem contributed to either crash.

Boeing is expected to soon submit a software fix that would keep the automated system from activating based on erroneous data, a factor in both crashes, according to agency investigators. An early version of the new software is being tested in simulators, F.A.A. officials said.

Mr. Elwell gave no timetable for when the plane might be cleared to fly again. He said the agency would only clear the planes on the recommendation of a multiagency technical advisory board made up of experts from the F.A.A., the Air Force, NASA and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center who were not involved in the initial certification of the 737 Max.

F.A.A. officials convened a meeting with aviation officials from other countries this month to address their concerns about the plane, he said, an effort to bolster confidence in the “un-grounding” of the plane when it is finally approved.

Mr. Elwell was also pressed about why the F.A.A. did not ground the plane until China, much of Europe and Canada already had.

“Why did it take so long?” asked Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District of Columbia’s nonvoting delegate to the House.

“The public perception,” added Representative Dina Titus, a Democrat from Nevada, is that the F.A.A. “is in bed” with Boeing.

Mr. Elwell said the decision to ground the jets was based on consultations with Canadian authorities who provided radar tracking information that linked the two crashes to the MCAS system. He defended the F.A.A. as a “data-driven” organization and said that of the 24 reports of handling issues with the plane, “none” were related to MCAS.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 13boeing-promo-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 F.A.A. Chief Defends Boeing Certification Process at House Hearing National Transportation Safety Board House Committee on Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Elwell, Daniel K Dickson, Stephen DeFazio, Peter A Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019)

Boeing introduced the 737 Max as a reliable fuel- and cost-efficient solution to air travel in the 21st century. After two fatal Max crashes, all of the Max aircraft in the world are believed to have been grounded.CreditCreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

He also suggested throughout the hearing that the inexperience and actions by the flight crews in both accidents might have contributed to the crashes.

“They never controlled the airspeeds,” he said.

Earl Lawrence, the agency’s executive director of aircraft certification, said the F.A.A. was in the process of establishing a new office to oversee the public-private inspection process. He added that the 737 Max was approved only after five years and 10,000 “man hours” of work.

“We take advantage of the expertise of the people who are designing and building the aircraft to assist us,” Mr. Lawrence said.

“I’m proud of my team,” he added of the federal employees who oversaw Boeing’s work.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee questioned Stephen Dickson, the former Delta Air Lines executive whom President Trump has tapped to permanently lead the F.A.A., about the plane. He kept his responses relatively vague, saying regulators “must never rest” in their quest for a perfect safety record.

Over the past two months, Mr. DeFazio has requested a trove of documents from the F.A.A. and Boeing regarding the inspection process and the review undertaken to determine the safety of MCAS. He is especially focused on why Boeing did not require pilots to undergo further training with the anti-stall system.

Mr. DeFazio has received none of the requested documents yet, although the F.A.A. is expected to begin releasing documents to the committee soon. It is not clear when Boeing intends to reply — and Mr. DeFazio warned the manufacturer that it needed to supply the documents “voluntarily” or he would seek other means to the obtain them.

Senator Edward J. Markey, a Democrat of Massachusetts and a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, also sent a request to Boeing for answers on its procedures. He has received a two-page later that referred to Mr. Elwell’s previous public statements but provided little new information.

At times, members of the committee seemed impatient with Mr. Elwell’s reluctance to provide detailed answers about what internal improvements the agency was planning to undertake.

For his part, Mr. Elwell expressed concern that the criticism of F.A.A.’s actions was having a negative impact on the agency.

“I’m a little bit worried about morale right now across the F.A.A.,” Mr. Elwell said.

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Before Ethiopian Crash, Boeing Resisted Pilots’ Calls for Aggressive Steps on 737 Max

Weeks after the first fatal crash of the 737 Max, pilots from American Airlines pressed Boeing executives to work urgently on a fix. In a closed-door meeting, they even argued that Boeing should push authorities to take an emergency measure that would likely result in the grounding of the Max.

The Boeing executives resisted. They didn’t want to rush out a fix, and said they expected pilots to be able to handle problems with the system.

Mike Sinnett, a vice president at Boeing, acknowledged that the manufacturer was assessing potential design flaws with the plane, including new anti-stall software. But he balked at taking a more aggressive approach, saying it was not yet clear that the new system was to blame for the Lion Air crash, which killed 189 people.

“No one has yet to conclude that the sole cause of this was this function on the airplane,” Mr. Sinnett said, according to a recording of the Nov. 27 meeting reviewed by The New York Times.

Less than four months later, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 people on board. The flawed anti-stall system played a role in both disasters.

Boeing is facing intense scrutiny for the design and certification of the Max, as well as for its response to the two crashes. There are multiple investigations into the development of the Max. And in recent days, pilots from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have received federal grand jury subpoenas for any documents related to Boeing’s communications about the jet, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also under fire for its role in approving the Max, and its decision to wait for days after the second crash to ground the plane. At a Wednesday congressional hearing, lawmakers will grill federal regulators about how the Max was certified.

Boeing declined to comment on the November meeting. “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,” the company said in a statement.

American Airlines said in a statement that it was “confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the Max, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_152694372_13acc719-3df8-4add-8026-21942d726502-articleLarge Before Ethiopian Crash, Boeing Resisted Pilots’ Calls for Aggressive Steps on 737 Max Southwest Airlines Company Pilots Lion Air Ethiopian Airlines Deaths (Fatalities) Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters American Airlines Airlines and Airplanes

Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, balked at taking a more aggressive approach to issues with the 737 Max during a meeting with American Airlines pilots in November.CreditTed S. Warren/Associated Press

The hourlong November meeting, inside a windowless conference room at the Fort Worth headquarters of the American Airlines pilots’ union, was confrontational at times. At the table was Mr. Sinnett, along with Craig Bomben, a top Boeing test pilot, and one of the company’s senior lobbyists, John Moloney. They faced several union leaders, many of them angry at the company.

Michael Michaelis, an American pilot, argued that Boeing should push the F.A.A. to issue what is known as an emergency airworthiness directive.

The F.A.A. had already issued one directive after the Lion Air crash, instructing airlines to revise their flight manuals to include information on how to respond to a malfunction of the anti-stall system known as MCAS. But Mr. Michaelis pushed Boeing to consider calling for an additional one to update the software.

Such a procedure would have required Boeing and airlines in the United States to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the Max, and would have likely taken the jet out of service temporarily.

“My question to you, as Boeing, is why wouldn’t you say this is the smartest thing to do?” Mr. Michaelis said. “Say we’re going to do everything we can to protect that traveling public in accordance with what our pilots unions are telling us.”

Mr. Sinnett didn’t budge, saying that it remained unclear that the new software, which automatically pushes the plane’s nose down, was responsible for the Lion Air crash. He added that he felt confident that pilots had adequate training to deal with a problem, especially now that pilots — who were not initially informed about the new system — were aware of it.

“You’ve got to understand that our commitment to safety is as great as yours,” Mr. Sinnett said in the meeting. “The worst thing that can ever happen is a tragedy like this, and the even worse thing would be another one.”

The pilots expressed frustration that Boeing did not inform them about the new software on the plane until after the Lion Air crash.

“These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else,” said Mr. Michaelis, the union’s head of safety.

Another American pilot, Todd Wissing, expressed frustration that no mention of the system had been included in the training manual for the 737 Max.

At the meeting, Boeing executives acknowledged they were looking into potential flaws in the design of the jet.CreditJoshua Roberts/Reuters

“I would think that there would be a priority of putting explanations of things that could kill you,” Mr. Wissing said.

The Boeing executives, Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Bomben, explained that the company did not believe that pilots needed to know about the software, because they were already trained to deal with scenarios like the one on the doomed Lion Air flight. All pilots are expected to know how to take control of an aircraft when the plane’s tail begins moving in an uncontrolled way because of a malfunction, nudging the aircraft toward the ground.

“The assumption is that the flight crews have been trained,” Mr. Sinnett said in the meeting. He added later: “Rightly or wrongly, that was the design criteria and that’s how the airplane was certified with the system and pilot working together.”

When the pilots pressed Boeing to consider encouraging the F.A.A. to issue an emergency airworthiness directive, Mr. Sinnett made the case against moving too quickly.

“We don’t want to rush and do a crappy job of fixing the right things and we also don’t want to fix the wrong things,” Mr. Sinnett said, later adding, “For flight-critical software, I don’t think you want us to rush, rush it faster.”

Mr. Sinnett acknowledged that the company was looking into potential mistakes in the design of the jet.

“One of the questions will be, is our design assumption wrong?” Mr. Sinnett said. “We’re going through that whole thought process of, were our assumptions really even valid when we did this?”

But he remained steadfast that pilots should know how to handle a malfunction of the new software on the plane, given their existing training.

As the meeting was concluding, Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the union, asked the Boeing executives whether they were still confident in the Max.

“Do you feel comfortable that the situation is under control today, before any software fix is implemented?” he asked.

Mr. Sinnett replied immediately: “Absolutely.”

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With 737 Max, Boeing Wants to Win Back Trust. Many Are Skeptical.

A charm offensive by Boeing to persuade airlines, crews and passengers to rally behind its 737 Max plane is already running into resistance.

The effort, which includes daily calls with carriers as well as meetings with pilots and flight attendants, is being hampered by a problem of the company’s own making. After a bungled response to two deadly crashes involving the jet, Boeing is facing credibility problems.

When Boeing dispatched one of its top lobbyists, John Moloney, to the headquarters of the influential union representing flight attendants a couple of weeks ago, he arrived determined to win their support. He met a skeptical audience.

“Reading your body language, you look cynical,” Mr. Moloney said, according to three people who were present and took notes during the discussion with the Association of Flight Attendants. “If this explanation doesn’t address your concerns I’ll come back, I’ll bring a pilot.”

Sara Nelson, the head of the union, told Mr. Moloney that she was rooting for Boeing, but wasn’t ready to tell flight attendants and travelers to fly on the Max.

“I don’t know, sitting here right now, that I can tell you there’s complete confidence that everything’s been fixed at Boeing,” she told Mr. Moloney.

The meeting, punctuated by contentious moments between the two sides, underscores how difficult it will be for Boeing to restore credibility with airlines and passengers.

In recent weeks, the company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, updated the heads of Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines — the three carriers in the United States that fly the Max — on progress. On Tuesday, Boeing held a meeting in Amsterdam for European airlines to discuss new training for the Max, plans for a public affairs campaign and how to get idled planes ready to fly again. Similar meetings will happen Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Dubai and Miami in the coming weeks.

Boeing, a juggernaut with deep ties in Washington and one of the country’s largest exporters, is on the defensive. The company is facing multiple federal investigations into design flaws that contributed to the accidents, along with a spate of lawsuits from the families of victims. Company executives and board members are deeply worried about the damage that has been done to Boeing’s once-sterling reputation.

“Certainly there’s concern,” David Calhoun, the lead independent director of Boeing’s board, said in an interview. “There is recognition on all of our parts that we’re going to have to get out with restoring confidence in the Boeing brand broadly for years.”

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The company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, recently updated the three American carriers that fly the Max on the progress toward getting the planes back in the air.CreditPool photo by Jim Young-Pool

But there’s a limit to how much Boeing can say. “It’s an impossible situation because we’re not allowed to comment on anything related to these accidents,” Mr. Calhoun said.

“There’s only one thing to do and that’s to get a safe airplane back up in the sky,” he said. “I can’t message my way into it. Boeing can’t message its way into it.”

Boeing has been working furiously to get the Max flying again since its grounding in March. The company is preparing to submit a software fix in the coming weeks for American regulators to approve.

It hosted hundreds of airline officials and pilots last month at the 737 Max factory in Renton, Wash. And it is in constant dialogue with regulators ahead of a meeting that the Federal Aviation Administration is hosting with global aviation authorities in Fort Worth, Tex., on May 23.

“Ultimately, the decision to return the Max to commercial service rests in the hands of global regulators,” Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesman, said in a statement.

Simultaneously, Boeing is shaping a public relations strategy to reach passengers. Although the final media plan is still in the works, Boeing will not be relying solely on its executives to win back the public’s trust — a recognition that its leadership has lost some good will.

The company and airlines agree that the chief executive, Mr. Muilenburg, as the face of a company under intense scrutiny, may not be the most effective messenger. Instead, the initial plan calls for pilots to play a major role in the campaign.

“We think a key voice in all of this will be the pilots for our airlines, and their voice is very important,” Mr. Muilenburg said on Boeing’s earnings call last month. “That bond between the passenger and the pilot is one that’s critical, and so we’re working with our airline customers and those pilot voices to ensure that we can build on that going forward.”

Boeing has enlisted media agencies, including Edelman, to plan the strategy for reintroducing the Max, and is considering buying ads to promote the plane.

Airline executives in the United States are eager for the Max to return to service and for Boeing to succeed. But many are privately frustrated with the company’s handling of the crisis, according to three people briefed on the matter. They believe that Boeing has badly mismanaged the public response to the crashes, and are irked that the public relations blitz will fall to their pilots.

Pilots, too, are reluctant to become brand ambassadors for Boeing, which barely interacted with them before the Lion Air crash last October, the first of the two deadly accidents.

“Our response is yeah, that’s cute, but we aren’t going to hop into bed with you,” said Mike Trevino, the spokesman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. “We are still going to maintain an independent voice and call it as we see it.”

At La Guardia airport in March. Boeing is hoping pilots and flight attendants will help it reassure the flying public about its jets.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

In part, the reluctance stems from Boeing’s mixed messaging. Despite having said “we own it,” Mr. Muilenburg has not acknowledged that anything was wrong with the design of the 737 Max, saying that the design process followed standard procedures.

“We clearly have areas where we need to improve, including transparency,” Mr. Johndroe, the Boeing spokesman, said in a statement.

During the meeting last month, the flight attendants pushed Mr. Moloney to explain why the company didn’t inform pilots about the software that contributed to both crashes. He acknowledged that Boeing should have told them, but kept reiterating that pilots were expected to be able to handle the conditions on both doomed flights.

Passenger groups have demanded that Boeing take more responsibility for the Max debacle. “If they really wanted to fix the problem you would think they would admit that it’s their fault,” said Paul Hudson, the president of Flyers Rights, a nonprofit group advocating for passengers. “You can’t say ‘oh we own it, but we didn’t do anything wrong and it’s someone else’s fault.’”

Pilots and airlines say that Boeing has also struggled to communicate with them about how basic systems on the Max work. After the first crash in Indonesia, pilots criticized Boeing for not informing them about the new software, which automatically pushes down the nose of the plane when the system deems it necessary. They have also been concerned by revelations that Boeing provided incomplete information about features in the cockpit.

This week, Boeing said that it believed a key cockpit warning light was standard on all Max jets, but learned several months after beginning deliveries in 2017 that the light worked only if airlines had bought a separate feature, known as the angle of attack indicator. Southwest bought the plane without the indicator, on the assumption that the warning light was activated. It was only after the Lion Air accident that Boeing told regulators and some pilots that the light wasn’t functional.

Boeing told United something else entirely, creating even more confusion over Boeing’s understanding, according a person who took notes at the meeting. When United Airlines ordered 100 Max jets in 2017, Boeing told United that the alert and the angle of attack indicator came as a package deal. United declined the options at the time.

“Every day it seems like a new set of questions pops up,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union representing American Airlines pilots. “I’m not here to be your arm candy, I’m here to know about the airplane.”

Toward the end of the meeting with the flight attendants, Mr. Moloney made a last-ditch effort to win them over.

“We want you to be able to tell your members, this plane is safe to fly,” Mr. Moloney said, according to the three people in attendance. “Whatever it takes.”

Ms. Nelson, the union’s leader, rattled off a list of things she needed from Boeing before agreeing. One was a letter from engineers working on the software update, saying they felt confident in the fix. Another was a full-throated apology from Boeing. Mr. Moloney promised to follow up.

“We think that Boeing’s credibility directly relates to the credibility of U.S. aviation,” Ms. Nelson told him. “It’s important to us that the credibility and the leadership of U.S. aviation is maintained around the world.”

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Boeing Believed a 737 Max Warning Light Was Standard. It Wasn’t.

When Boeing began delivering its 737 Max to customers in 2017, the company believed that a key cockpit warning light was a standard feature in all of the new jets.

But months after the planes were flying, company engineers realized that the warning light worked only on planes whose customers had bought a different, optional indicator.

In essence, that meant a safety feature that Boeing thought was standard was actually a premium add-on.

Boeing detailed its initial confusion about the warning light in a statement released on Sunday, adding new details to what was already known about the flawed design and introduction of the 737 Max, its best-selling jetliner.

The initial lack of knowledge about the feature’s functionality, along with the delayed disclosure, add to the concern about Boeing’s management of the Max’s design. The revelations add to Boeing’s mounting problems, which include frayed relations with airlines and customers, multiple federal investigations, growing financial costs and the remaining work to get the Max flying again.

The warning light notifies pilots of a disagreement in the sensors that measure which direction the plane is pointed, a potential sign of a malfunction. This light could have provided critical information to the pilots on two flights that crashed shortly after takeoff in recent months.

In both doomed flights — Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 — preliminary investigations suggest that there were problems with these so-called angle of attack sensors early in the flights, activating new anti-stall software that sent the planes into unrecoverable nose-dives.

But the disagree alert worked only on planes with an optional indicator that displays the readings from the angle of attack sensors, Boeing said on Sunday.

Because only 20 percent of customers had purchased the optional indicator, the warning light was not working on most of Boeing’s new jets. Neither Lion Air nor Ethiopian had the indicator.

After discovering the lapse in 2017, Boeing performed an internal review and determined that the lack of a working warning light “did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation,” it said in its statement.

As a result, Boeing said it did not inform airlines or the Federal Aviation Administration about the mistake for a year.

Only after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October did Boeing discuss the matter with the F.A.A. The company then conducted another review and again found the missing alert did not pose a safety threat, and told the F.A.A. as much.

Boeing and the F.A.A. put out public updates late last year that described the warning light as available only if the optional indicator had been purchased as well.

But neither statement made it clear that Boeing had intended for the disagree alert to be standard in all planes.

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The cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max plane. The 737 Max has been grounded for more than a month, after an Ethiopian Airlines crash, as Boeing works on software fixes.CreditAbhirup Roy/Reuters

The F.A.A. said on Sunday that Boeing briefed it on the confusion in November, and that it deemed the issue to be “low risk.”

“However, Boeing’s timely or earlier communication with the operators would have helped to reduce or eliminate possible confusion,” the F.A.A. said.

The anti-stall system, created to compensate for the Max’s large new engines, will push down the nose of the plane if the angle of attack sensors indicate the plane is dangerously close to stalling.

But the system relied on only one of the two angle of attack sensors, introducing a potential single point of failure into a critical flight system. And the anti-stall system was also changed late in the design process to make it much more powerful.

Airlines and pilots were not informed about the system until the Lion Air crash.

When Boeing explained to pilots in one meeting how systems on the Max worked, the company said that the disagree alert would function on the ground. In the late November meeting, Boeing told pilots for American Airlines (which had bought the add-on) that their disagree alert would have notified them of problems before takeoff.

“We were told that if the A.O.A. vane, like on Lion Air, was in a massive difference, we would receive an alert on the ground and therefore not even take off,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union representing American Airlines pilots. “That gave us additional confidence in continuing to fly that aircraft.”

But in the last several weeks, Boeing has been saying something different. Mr. Tajer said the company recently told American pilots that the system would not alert pilots about any sensor disagreement until the aircraft is 400 feet above the ground.

A Boeing spokesman confirmed this, stressing that the disagree alert does not work on the ground, and thus could not have alerted the Lion Air pilots to a faulty sensor before takeoff.

Mr. Tajer said Boeing seemed to have “provided information that was not accurate” and said the pilots have asked for clarification from the company.

Mr. Tajer, who is also a 737 pilot, said he was concerned that Boeing did not seem to fully grasp how every aspect of the Max worked.

“You better start knowing things about the airplane you’re building and selling because my life and the passengers that I carry safely across the globe depends on it,” Mr. Tajer said.

The Lion Air crash also spurred Boeing to notify Southwest pilots about the disagree light. “We thought it worked,” said Jon Weaks, the president of the Southwest Pilots’ Association. “If they knew it in 2017, why did we get to nearly the end of 2018 until the manual was changed?”

In the months after the Lion Air crash, Boeing quietly worked to appease some customers, according to a person briefed on the matter. In several instances, it activated the angle of attack indicator for free, which then turned on the disagree alert.

The 737 Max has been grounded for more than a month, after the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Boeing is working on a software fix that it plans to submit to the F.A.A. soon, in hopes that the Max can return to flight later this summer. The update will make the anti-stall system less powerful and reliant on both sensors.

Boeing is also developing a separate software update that will unlink the disagree alert from the angle of attack indicators, which will also be installed before the Max can fly again.

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Boeing’s South Carolina Plant Subject to Increased Scrutiny

The Federal Aviation Administration has been increasing its scrutiny of Boeing’s plant near Charleston, S.C., where manufacturing errors have at times threatened to undermine safety.

Since September, the agency has investigated and confirmed three safety complaints made by employees who detailed problems with planes in the final stages of production, according to an F.A.A. official and an internal agency email. The regulator is also looking into a claim that an employee faced pressure to sign off on work related to the airworthiness of a jet during the last week of March.

In recent years, the F.A.A. has subjected the North Charleston factory to a high level of oversight, a sign that the agency has had concerns. As part of that added oversight, the agency has forced employees to take extra steps to demonstrate that they are complying with federal regulations, according to an internal F.A.A. memo reviewed by The New York Times.

From June 2013 to October 2014, the agency did not allow employees from the plant to certify aircraft, instead requiring that F.A.A. personnel directly sign off on all jets made there, the memo said. Typically, the agency relies on the manufacturer’s employees to help certify the aircraft. Even today, the agency is visiting the plant “every other week” to ensure that tools are not being lost, an extra level of vigilance by the regulator.

The memo, sent by a top safety official to the agency’s head of aircraft certification, directly addressed a recent Times investigation that revealed manufacturing problems and weak oversight at the plant, which makes half of all 787 Dreamliners.

The factory was built to meet the strong demand for 787 Dreamliners. But from the beginning Boeing pushed employees there to quickly turn out jets as it raced to meet deadlines. Current and former employees told The Times that the pressure meant that managers sometimes overlooked safety risks.

Boeing’s broader culture is under a microscope after two deadly crashes involving another jet, the 737 Max. Lawmakers, regulators and prosecutors are trying to determine whether lapses in Boeing’s safety and quality procedures contributed to flaws in an anti-stall system that played a role in a March crash in Ethiopia and an October accident in Indonesia.

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What You Need to Know After Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes

Boeing has come under intense scrutiny after its best-selling 737 Max jet was involved in two deadly crashes in five months.

“Boeing and the F.A.A. implement a rigorous inspection process to ensure that all our airplanes are safe and built with the highest levels of quality,” said Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesman. “All our planes go through multiple safety and test flights, as well as extensive Boeing, F.A.A. and airline inspections before they leave our factory and before the traveling public boards those planes for the first time.”

But at the North Charleston plant, current and former employees who spoke with The Times described systemic problems, particularly with debris being left on aircraft. Workers said that a stray bolt had been discovered in an engine and that a ladder had been left in the tail of planes that went up for test flights. Metal shavings were routinely left under floor panels, hanging over wiring that controls the plane.

The F.A.A. said in the memo that it “was unaware of the ladder” left in a tail, but did know about a string of lights left in a tail of another aircraft.

In 2017, the F.A.A. instructed Boeing to remove metal slivers from all of its aircraft. The memo said the agency was now requiring that an F.A.A. representative sign off on every floor panel installation at the factory, a rare instance of hand-holding by the regulator.

There are “several open compliance and enforcement cases” regarding debris being left inside aircraft and keeping track of tools in the factory, issues the F.A.A. describes as “a problem across all sites” at Boeing, according to the memo.

“Safety is the F.A.A.’s top priority,” Lynn Lunsford, an F.A.A. spokesman, said in a statement. “We thoroughly investigate whistle-blower complaints and take action if the allegations are substantiated.”

The agency, in the memo, also confirmed other details reported by The Times, including that Qatar Airways stopped receiving aircraft delivered from North Charleston in 2014.

That year, workers at the plant were told to watch a video of the airline’s chief executive chiding them for production delays, employees told The Times. Boeing now delivers all of Qatar’s airplanes out of its plant in Everett, Wash., the F.A.A. said.

“Boeing considers Qatar Airways to have higher than normal airline standards,” the agency noted in the memo.

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Boeing Reports Slide in Earnings and Admits Future Is Hazy

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Boeing’s earnings slipped in the first quarter, and the aviation giant said it would suspend its full-year forecast, as it tries to bring its best-selling 737 Max jet back to service following two deadly crashes.

Boeing said on Wednesday that revenue for the period fell 2 percent after the plane was grounded worldwide last month. The company said fewer deliveries of the aircraft pushed revenue for its commercial airplanes segment down more than $1 billion, while 737 production costs increased by $1 billion.

In late October, a 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air crashed after leaving Jakarta, Indonesia, killing the plane’s 189 passengers and crew members. Five months later, on March 10, a 737 Max 8 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people aboard. The jets were grounded within a few days of the second crash, as similarities between the two incidents became apparent.

Boeing is also facing a barrage of lawsuits and investigations over the accidents, as well as reports of other production problems. On Wednesday, the company said it faced costs associated with pilot training as well as with its delayed software update to an anti-stall system in the 737 Max, known as MCAS.

The company said that it was making “steady progress on the path to final certification” for the update, and had completed 135 test and production flights with the fix in place.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, said in a statement that the company was working through a “challenging time.”

“Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 Max to service and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public,” he said.

Core earnings per share for the quarter, which ended March 31, fell 13 percent, to $3.16 from $3.64 a year earlier. Adjusted profit slipped 10 percent, to $3.75 a share from $4.15 a share.

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Boeing 737 Max: What’s Happened After the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air Crashes

Boeing has come under intense scrutiny after its best-selling 737 Max jet was involved in two deadly crashes in five months.

Revenue sank to $22.9 billion from nearly $23.4 billion a year earlier. It had surged to a record high $28.3 billion in the previous quarter.

“We deeply regret the impact this has created,” Mr. Muilenburg said during a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

In the commercial airplanes division, operating earnings plunged 17 percent, to $1.17 billion. Revenue fell 9 percent, or more than $1.1 billion, to $11.8 billion. Boeing delivered 50 fewer 737 aircraft in the quarter, resulting in lower payments from customers and storage costs for the idle planes, said Greg Smith, the chief financial officer, on Wednesday’s call.

Boeing’s stock rose in morning trading on Wednesday. Adjusted for dividends, it is up from a year ago, although it has slumped nearly 15 percent since hitting a new high last month.

Sales increases in its defense and services divisions buffered the effects of the 737 Max grounding. But the company paused its share buyback program, which has helped boost its popularity with investors, in mid-March.

And some analysts, like Jim Corridore of the investment research firm CFRA, remain optimistic about the company. In a research note, he said that the 737 Max could resume service in the summer.

“Overall, these earnings paint a picture of a company with strong fundamental demand going about its business and not in any danger of a liquidity or financial crisis,” he said.

Still, the impact from the grounding could linger.

The company has a backlog of thousands of orders for 737 Max jets, worth billions of dollars in future sales. But in the first three months of the year, it collected just 32 new orders for the plane, compared with 122 in the same period in 2018.

Boeing said this month that it had delivered 89 737 jets in the first quarter, down from 132 a year earlier. It also said it was scaling back production.

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Boeing Earnings Slide After Two Deadly Crashes

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Boeing’s earnings slipped in the first quarter, and the aviation giant said it would suspend its full-year forecast, as it tries to bring its best-selling 737 Max jet back to service following two deadly crashes.

Boeing said on Wednesday that revenue for the period slumped 2 percent after the plane was grounded worldwide last month. The company said fewer deliveries of the aircraft pushed revenue for its commercial airplanes segment down more than $1 billion, while 737 production costs increased by $1 billion.

In late October, a 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air crashed after leaving Jakarta, Indonesia, killing the plane’s 189 passengers and crew members. Five months later, on March 10, a 737 Max 8 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people aboard. Boeing is facing a barrage of lawsuits and investigations over the accidents, as well as reports of other production problems. The company’s planned software update to the anti-stall system in the 737 Max, known as MCAS, has been delayed.

The company said on Wednesday that it was making “steady progress on the path to final certification” for the update, and had completed 135 test and production flights with the fix in place. It also said it was working on improved training for pilots.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, said in a statement that the company was working through a “challenging time.”

“Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 Max to service and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public,” he said.

Core earnings per share for the quarter, which ended March 31, fell 13 percent, to $3.16 from $3.64 a year earlier. Adjusted profit slipped 10 percent, to $3.75 a share from $4.15 a share.

Revenue sank to $22.9 billion from nearly $23.4 billion a year earlier. It had surged to a record high $28.3 billion in the previous quarter.

In the commercial airplanes division, operating earnings plunged 17 percent, to $1.17 billion. Revenue fell 9 percent, or more than $1.1 billion, to $11.8 billion, as Boeing delivered fewer 737 planes.

Boeing’s stock rose less than 1 percent in early trading Wednesday.

On March 13, President Trump, following safety regulators in dozens of countries, ordered 737 Max planes grounded. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines canceled all Max flights through August.

Now, Boeing’s costs are mounting.

The company has a backlog of thousands of orders for Max jets worth billions of dollars in future sales. But in the first three months of the year, it collected just 32 new orders for the plane, compared with 122 in the same period in 2018.

Boeing said this month that it had delivered 89 737 jets in the first quarter, down from 132 a year earlier. It also said it was scaling back production.

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