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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019)"

Boeing Faces $20 Million Fine by F.A.A.

Westlake Legal Group 06BOEING1-facebookJumbo Boeing Faces $20 Million Fine by F.A.A. Rockwell Collins Inc Regulation and Deregulation of Industry House Committee on Transportation Fines (Penalties) Federal Aviation Administration Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

The Federal Aviation Administration recommended on Friday that Boeing be fined nearly $20 million for installing equipment in the 737 Max and other aircraft before its approval.

The announcement came hours after Democrats on the House Transportation Committee slammed both the company and the agency for failing to ensure the safety of the Max jets. Two of the planes crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people and leading to the model’s worldwide grounding.

The F.A.A. accused Boeing of installing the equipment, the Head-Up Guidance System from Rockwell Collins, on nearly 800 jetliners from June 2015 to April 2019. The systems included sensors that had not been tested or approved when they were installed, though Rockwell Collins later conducted the necessary testing and risk analysis, the agency said in a statement.

In response, Boeing noted that the proposed $19.68 million fine did not involve a safety issue and said a review had found that the systems “met or exceeded” the original requirements.

“We understand the critical importance of compliance with all documentation requirements of the F.A.A.’s certifications,” the company said. “We are committed to doing better.”

The agency accused Boeing of installing the systems in 618 Boeing 737 NGs and 173 Max planes. Boeing has 30 days to respond to the recommendation. Typically, the final details of such penalties are worked out in legal negotiations between the agency and the offending party.

The F.A.A. proposed a $5.4 million fine in January after it accused Boeing of installing substandard components in the Max and other aircraft. That fine has not yet been made final.

Earlier in the day, the House Transportation Committee’s Democratic majority issued preliminary findings from a yearlong investigation into the Max disasters. The majority staff accused Boeing of overlooking safety in the interest of meeting production goals, making misguided assumptions about flight-control software known as MCAS and hiding information from the F.A.A., the public and Boeing customers, among other things. The report also accused F.A.A. management of yielding to Boeing’s influence and rejecting the safety concerns of its own experts.

“Our committee’s investigation will continue for the foreseeable future, as there are a number of leads we continue to chase down to better understand how the system failed so horribly,” the committee’s Democratic chairman, Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon, said in a statement.

The Democrats also argued that Congress should change the F.A.A.’s aircraft certification process. The committee’s Republican minority agreed that there were problems with the process and said it was open to bipartisan legislation, but dismissed the idea that the system was “broken or in need of wholesale dismantlement.”

The report was released just before the March 10 anniversary of the crash of a Max jet, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, that killed all 157 people on board.

“We have cooperated extensively for the past year with the committee’s investigation,” Boeing said in a statement about the findings. “We will review this preliminary report.”

Also on Friday, David L. Calhoun, Boeing’s chief executive, emailed senior leaders at the company to apologize for remarks he made in a New York Times article published on Thursday.

In the interview, Mr. Calhoun sharply criticized Boeing’s former chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, saying he ramped up production rates before the supply chain was ready and angered regulators with overly optimistic projections about the return of the 737 Max.

“I am both embarrassed and regretful about the article,” Mr. Calhoun wrote in the email. “It suggests I broke my promise to former CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the executive team and our people that I would have their back when it counted most. I want to reassure you that my promise remains intact.”

Mr. Calhoun, who was on Boeing’s board for the duration of Mr. Muilenburg’s tenure as chief executive, sought to soften his criticism of his predecessor. He added that he did the interview “in the interest of demonstrating transparency and straight talk about our leadership point of view and current situation.”

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

‘It’s More Than I Imagined’: Boeing’s New C.E.O. Confronts Its Challenges

FLORISSANT, Mo. — In his eight weeks on the job, Boeing’s chief executive, David L. Calhoun, has come to one overriding conclusion: things inside the aerospace giant were even worse than he thought.

In a wide-ranging interview this week, Mr. Calhoun criticized his predecessor in blunt terms and said he was focused on transforming the internal culture of a company mired in crisis following two crashes that killed 346 people.

To get Boeing back on track, Mr. Calhoun said he was working to mend relationships with angry airlines, win back the confidence of international regulators and appease an anxious President Trump — all while moving as quickly as possible to get the grounded 737 Max back in the air.

“It’s more than I imagined it would be, honestly,” Mr. Calhoun said, describing the problems he is confronting. “And it speaks to the weaknesses of our leadership.”

Boeing’s previous chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, was fired in December after presiding over a series of embarrassing setbacks that culminated in the shutdown of the 737 factory this year.

Mr. Calhoun formally took over in January, but he has been involved in this mess from the beginning. A protégé of Jack Welch from his time at General Electric, Mr. Calhoun has been on Boeing’s board since 2009, and was elevated to chairman late last year.

Before becoming the chief executive, he had vigorously defended Mr. Muilenburg, saying in a CNBC appearance in November that Mr. Muilenburg “has done everything right” and should not resign. One month later, the board ousted Mr. Muilenburg and announced Mr. Calhoun as his replacement.

“Boards are invested in their C.E.O.s until they’re not,” said Mr. Calhoun, sitting in a dim conference room at the Boeing Leadership Center, a corporate campus outside St. Louis where Mr. Muilenburg’s photo is still displayed prominently.

“We had a backup plan,” he added. “I am the backup plan.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_163519638_8218926c-95ea-4e8d-9b71-4d201d31311a-articleLarge ‘It’s More Than I Imagined’: Boeing’s New C.E.O. Confronts Its Challenges Muilenburg, Dennis A Calhoun, David L Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

Dennis Muilenberg, the former Boeing president and chief executive, at a hearing last year on Capitol Hill.Credit…Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Now that he’s in charge, Mr. Calhoun has become more willing to openly criticize Mr. Muilenburg. He said the former chief executive turbocharged Boeing’s production rates before the supply chain was ready, a move that sent Boeing shares to an all-time high but compromised quality.

“I’ll never be able to judge what motivated Dennis, whether it was a stock price that was going to continue to go up and up, or whether it was just beating the other guy to the next rate increase,” he said, adding later, “If anybody ran over the rainbow for the pot of gold on stock, it would have been him.”

Mr. Muilenburg declined to comment.

Mr. Calhoun and the rest of Boeing’s board never seriously questioned that strategy, in part because before the first Max crash off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018, the company was enjoying its best run in years. What’s more, the board believed that Mr. Muilenburg, an engineer who had been at Boeing for his entire career, was so deeply informed about the business that he was a good judge of the risks involved in ramping up production.

“If we were complacent in any way, maybe, maybe not, I don’t know,” Mr. Calhoun said. “We supported a C.E.O. who was willing and whose history would suggest that he might be really good at taking a few more risks.”

It was only after the Max was grounded last March following a crash in Ethiopia that Mr. Muilenburg’s optimistic approach became viewed as a liability. Airlines grew livid after he repeatedly voiced overly optimistic timetables about when the Max would return to service. The head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Stephen Dickson, was so frustrated that he reprimanded Mr. Muilenburg in a private meeting and publicly told F.A.A. employees to resist pressure from the company.

“They felt like they were being pushed into a timeline,” Mr. Calhoun said of the F.A.A., adding that the “regulator was never there alongside of us, but apparently our team didn’t quite come up to grips with that.”

One of Mr. Calhoun’s initial tasks as chief executive was to go on an apology tour, holding a series of what he called “greet-and-mend opportunities.” The first stop was the White House.

At a private meeting with Mr. Trump on Mr. Calhoun’s third day on the job, the president told him that he liked Mr. Muilenburg, but believed a leadership change was needed. The president said he hoped Boeing was investing all of its resources into getting the plane back in the air.

“He wants us to get back on our horse,” Mr. Calhoun said. “He wants us to get the Max flying again, safely.”

Mr. Calhoun said he recently asked Boeing employees to “lay out in gory detail what needed to be done” to get the plane certified. “And then when they told me exactly what that was, I added a day or two to it,” he said.

His conclusion was that the Max might be approved some time this summer, pushing back again the likely return of the plane by six months.

“Restoring credibility with the F.A.A. was not as hard as people think,” he said, “They just didn’t want to be boxed in anymore. They were sick of it.”

While he has been contrite about damaging internal messages released in January, Mr. Calhoun stopped short of saying that the company has systemic cultural problems. He called the messages, in which Boeing employees ridiculed the F.A.A. and denigrated their own colleagues, “totally unacceptable,” but said they were not representative of Boeing more broadly. “I see a couple of people who wrote horrible emails,” he said.

He also delicately maneuvered between accepting responsibility for the two crashes and pointing the finger elsewhere.

When designing the Max, the company made a “fatal mistake” by assuming pilots would immediately counteract a failure of new software on the plane that played a role in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents. But he implied that the pilots from Indonesia and Ethiopia, “where pilots don’t have anywhere near the experience that they have here in the U.S.,” were part of the problem, too.

Asked whether he believed American pilots would have been able to handle a malfunction of the software, Mr. Calhoun asked to speak off the record. The Times declined to do so.

“Forget it,” Mr. Calhoun then said. “You can guess the answer.”

He dismissed concerns about the board’s decision to give him a $7 million bonus based in part on whether the Max returned to service. “The objective is to get the Max up safely,” he said. “Period.”

When asked why he didn’t elect to forgo his salary altogether, he said, “Cause I’m not sure I would have done it.”

Pulling Boeing out of the hole it has dug will take years, Mr. Calhoun said. At a meeting with his senior leadership team on Tuesday, Mr. Calhoun introduced a new set of values intended to guide the company, which he hopes will inspire employees still working on getting the 737 Max back in service.

“You don’t just win this one,” he said. “You don’t just go out and fight and win and now you’re a hero. One airplane at a time.”

In the meantime, Mr. Calhoun is focused on the basics: producing jets at a pace the factory can handle, instilling discipline up and down the company, and hunting for bad news and acting on it.

“If I don’t accomplish all that,” he said, “then you can throw me out.”

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

Three U.S. Airlines Extend Halt on Boeing 737 Max Flights

Westlake Legal Group 14max1-facebookJumbo Three U.S. Airlines Extend Halt on Boeing 737 Max Flights United Continental Holdings Inc United Airlines Southwest Airlines Company Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

All three U.S. carriers that use Boeing’s 737 Max jetliner have again put off returning the plane to their schedules.

On Friday, United Airlines said it would operate without the jet until Sept. 4, while American Airlines said it would do so through Aug. 17. Southwest Airlines said Thursday that it would do likewise through Aug. 10.

The three airlines had previously said they expected to bring the 737 Max back in June, but none had provided a formal update since Boeing said last month that it did not expect regulatory approval to fly the jet until June or July. Once approval is granted, airlines will have to prepare the planes and train pilots, which would take weeks.

United said Friday that its decision allowed it to plan service during the peak summer travel season with greater certainty, even if regulators clear the 737 Max to fly sooner.

After it reported quarterly earnings call last month, Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer, said the company did not expect to fly the Max this summer. United has 14 of the 737 Max jets in its fleet. Sixteen more have been produced for the airline, with 155 on order.

Southwest said Thursday that it had chosen to extend its suspension of 737 Max flights in light of “continued uncertainty around the timing” of the jet’s return to service. American said it would formally change its schedule later this month and notify customers whose trips were affected.

The Max has been grounded worldwide after two crashes, in late 2018 and early 2019, killed a total of 346 people. An automated anti-stall system called MCAS was identified as a common factor in the disasters.

To fly again, the 737 Max must overcome a series of hurdles. Boeing will have to resolve several issues in collaboration with regulators, including fixing the problems associated with MCAS and determining whether the company needs to separate wire bundles that could, in rare cases, short circuit and possibly lead to catastrophic failure. Regulators will then have to test the plane and determine how pilots should be trained to fly it.

The problems with the 737 Max have created an opportunity for Airbus, Boeing’s European rival, but Airbus has such a lengthy backlog that it cannot immediately benefit from Boeing’s troubles.

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

Three U.S. Airlines Extend Halt on Boeing 737 Max Flights

Westlake Legal Group 14max1-facebookJumbo Three U.S. Airlines Extend Halt on Boeing 737 Max Flights United Continental Holdings Inc United Airlines Southwest Airlines Company Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

All three U.S. carriers that use Boeing’s 737 Max jetliner have again put off returning the plane to their schedules.

On Friday, United Airlines said it would operate without the jet until Sept. 4, while American Airlines said it would do so through Aug. 17. Southwest Airlines said Thursday that it would do likewise through Aug. 10.

The three airlines had previously said they expected to bring the 737 Max back in June, but none had provided a formal update since Boeing said last month that it did not expect regulatory approval to fly the jet until June or July. Once approval is granted, airlines will have to prepare the planes and train pilots, which would take weeks.

United said Friday that its decision allowed it to plan service during the peak summer travel season with greater certainty, even if regulators clear the 737 Max to fly sooner.

After it reported quarterly earnings call last month, Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer, said the company did not expect to fly the Max this summer. United has 14 of the 737 Max jets in its fleet. Sixteen more have been produced for the airline, with 155 on order.

Southwest said Thursday that it had chosen to extend its suspension of 737 Max flights in light of “continued uncertainty around the timing” of the jet’s return to service. American said it would formally change its schedule later this month and notify customers whose trips were affected.

The Max has been grounded worldwide after two crashes, in late 2018 and early 2019, killed a total of 346 people. An automated anti-stall system called MCAS was identified as a common factor in the disasters.

To fly again, the 737 Max must overcome a series of hurdles. Boeing will have to resolve several issues in collaboration with regulators, including fixing the problems associated with MCAS and determining whether the company needs to separate wire bundles that could, in rare cases, short circuit and possibly lead to catastrophic failure. Regulators will then have to test the plane and determine how pilots should be trained to fly it.

The problems with the 737 Max have created an opportunity for Airbus, Boeing’s European rival, but Airbus has such a lengthy backlog that it cannot immediately benefit from Boeing’s troubles.

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

As Boeing Jets Sit Idle, Airbus Can’t Make Planes Fast Enough

Westlake Legal Group 13airbus-1-facebookJumbo As Boeing Jets Sit Idle, Airbus Can’t Make Planes Fast Enough Faury, Guillaume Factories and Manufacturing Company Reports Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes Airbus Industrie

PARIS — The troubles plaguing Boeing after the yearlong grounding of its 737 Max plane have created an unusual opening for its chief rival, Airbus, to swoop in and grab business. There’s just one hitch: Airbus is in no position to benefit.

The European aerospace giant, which last year took the title from Boeing as the world’s biggest plane maker, has such a large backlog of orders to fill that it cannot immediately produce more of its popular narrow-body jets that airlines view as an alternative to the Max.

“It might look like a paradox, but in the short term, we don’t benefit from the situation with our competitor,” Airbus’s chief executive, Guillaume Faury, said Thursday at a news conference in Toulouse, France, announcing the company’s 2019 annual results.

Airbus has been unable to take advantage of the shortfall at Boeing partly because it can’t build planes fast enough. Production of Airbus’s A320 jets — the main competitor to the 737 Max and the bulk of Airbus’s commercial business — is months behind schedule because of slowdowns at some of its European factories.

As it is, the company’s A320 jets are sold out through 2025, Mr. Faury said, making it “difficult if not impossible” to make new planes quickly for airlines that have been left scrambling to find an alternative since Boeing stopped producing the Max.

Even so, in the long-running duel between the two rivals for the top spot in commercial aviation, Airbus is riding high.

In the year since Boeing’s most important plane was grounded after two deadly crashes killed 346 people, orders for the Max have dried up, and Boeing has been unable to deliver the roughly 400 Max planes it built since the grounding began in March.

Last month, Boeing said the costs associated with the Max grounding were likely to exceed $18 billion. Those costs may rise further, with airlines that were counting on the Max continuing to lose money and the 737 factory in Renton, Wash., still shut down.

Boeing said this week that it did not record any new orders for commercial airplanes in January, and that it delivered just 13 planes in the month. Though the start of the year is usually a slow time for orders, and the deliveries were dented by the Max grounding, the dismal numbers were a reminder of the depths of Boeing’s problems. It was the first time in decades that Boeing failed to record any commercial orders in January.

Airbus has won several competitive orders in recent months. In December, Qantas picked Airbus over Boeing to supply jets for what will be the world’s longest nonstop commercial routes, from Australia to the New York area. Also last year, United Airlines ordered 50 Airbus jets.

Still, on Thursday, Airbus reported an overall loss of 1.36 billion euros, or $1.48 billion, for 2019. The main reason for the shortfall was an agreement to pay $4 billion in fines to France, Britain and the United States to settle a lengthy global corruption investigation, removing a legal cloud as it sought to keep ahead of Boeing.

Despite the hit, Airbus reported record deliveries in 2019 of 863 commercial aircraft, up from 800 in the year before, and an increase in orders to 768 jets, from 747, as Boeing stumbled. With the Max grounded, Airbus also sought to shore up its advantage in the narrow-body market by raising its stake in the A220, a jet developed by Bombardier, a Canadian plane maker.

Delivering on orders is Airbus’s biggest challenge. Mr. Faury said the company planned to ramp up production of the A320neo, its best-selling single-aisle jet and an alternative to the Max, to around 67 a month in 2023, up from a target of 63 a month in 2021. Suppliers had balked when Airbus sought to accelerate the timetable further, he noted.

But analysts said splashing money on increasing production might be a problem if it made the planes more expensive, or if Airbus had to slow production again.

“They’re going to end up effectively over-geared,” said Andrew Charlton, the managing director at the consulting firm Aviation Advocacy. “They’re going to have all these people, factory lines that they’re going to have to shut down again.”

For now, however, even if Airbus continued to produce planes at the same rate, it is likely to stay ahead of Boeing, said Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at Teal Group. “By doing nothing, they’re doing a great deal,” he said. “Market trends are benefiting them hugely.”

Airlines have focused on flying point to point, rather than routing through giant hubs, a shift that led to the sunsetting of the Airbus A380, one of the world’s largest jets. For these sorts of flights, airlines prefer to use planes from the Airbus A320 family or the Boeing 737 Max 8 — and at the moment, all the orders are for Airbus A320-type planes, Mr. Aboulafia said.

“This is the best of all worlds for Airbus,” he said. “It’s an enviable position.”

The Max crisis is also affecting Boeing in ways that go beyond immediate costs, lost orders and delayed deliveries. Plans for the company’s next major commercial airplane have effectively been put off.

“There is a benefit to Airbus from the Max grounding,” said Scott Hamilton, managing director of Leeham, an aviation consultancy. “It has delayed any decision by Boeing for a new midmarket airplane.”

Still, the Max could be flying soon. The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said last week that a critical test flight could happen in the next few weeks, setting in motion the complex process of clearing the plane’s return to service. If no other major problems with the Max are found, airlines could be using the plane for commercial flights this summer.

And when that happens, Boeing can start delivering its stockpiled jets, and could start logging new orders for the Max again.

“When the 737 Max is released and cleared for flying, it’s going to be the safest airplane in the world,” Mr. Charlton said, pointing out that British Airways placed an order for 200 Max planes in June after the second fatal crash. “There’s going to be no bit of that airplane that hasn’t been crawled over a million times.”

If Boeing then opts to offer heavy discounts, Airbus could be forced to do the same. Airlines can seek discounts after their planes have been ordered.

“Suddenly, their order book becomes a burden, not an asset,” he said.

Liz Alderman reported from Paris, and David Gelles from New York. Amie Tsang contributed reporting from London.

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

Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion

Westlake Legal Group 29boeing1-facebookJumbo Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion Company Reports Calhoun, David L Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

Boeing on Wednesday said the costs associated with the grounding of the 737 Max were likely to surpass $18 billion, a significant increase over earlier forecasts.

The new estimate, announced during Boeing’s quarterly earnings report, is the company’s most recent approximation of just how expensive it will be to return the Max to service, compensate airline customers and restart the shuttered 737 factory.

Boeing continues to grapple with the fallout from the crashes of two Max jets in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people, leading to the worldwide grounding of the plane in March. In addition to the rising costs, the company is contending with a new chief executive, the temporary shutdown of the 737 factory and a range of challenges in other parts of the business.

Boeing on Wednesday said that the costs associated with shutting down and restarting the factory would amount to some $4 billion. The decision to temporarily halt production of the Max was only made last month, and Boeing had not previously given guidance on what the move would cost.

The company also said that the cost of compensating airlines that have suffered lost sales as a result of the grounding of the Max was now expected to reach $8.3 billion, up from a previous estimate of $5.6 billion. That figure represents a mixture of cash payments to airlines, as well as discounts on future sales.

And Boeing said that as a result of the grounding, which has lasted nearly a year now, it expected the overall cost to produce the 737 Max to rise to $6.3 billion in the years ahead, up from an earlier estimate of $3.6 billion.

In total, the anticipated costs now equal more than $18.6 billion, or nearly 20 percent of Boeing’s annual sales before the Max was grounded.

The Max crisis continued to weigh on the company’s financial results. Revenue for the quarter was $17.9 billion, down 37 percent from the same time a year earlier, before the jet was grounded.

Boeing also said it would incur a charge of $410 million as a result of its botched rocket launch late last year, when a space capsule it designed for NASA failed to reach the correct orbit.

This was the company’s first quarterly earnings report with David L. Calhoun at the helm, following the ouster of the previous chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg.

Since taking over this month, Mr. Calhoun has tried to set himself apart from Mr. Muilenburg, who was pushed out after alienating airline customers and the Federal Aviation Administration with overly optimistic projections about when the Max would return to service.

“We recognize we have a lot of work to do,” Mr. Calhoun said in a statement. “We are focused on returning the 737 Max to service safely and restoring the long-standing trust that the Boeing brand represents with the flying public. We are committed to transparency and excellence in everything we do.”

There is still no precise timeline for the return of the Max. Last week, Boeing said it did not expect regulators to approve the plane to fly until June or July, though that estimate was conservative. If regulators do not find any additional problems with the plane, the Max could return to service before then, though new issues cropped up earlier in the process.

The company has enjoyed rare bits of good news in recent weeks. It successfully completed the first flight test of the 777X, its new wide-body jet. And the trade deal that the White House struck with China included a commitment for the sale of new American aircraft to Chinese customers.

Yet Boeing still faces enormous challenges. The grounding of the Max is costing the company many billions of dollars, and costs are still rising. The fatal crashes and a cascade of damning revelations have badly damaged Boeing’s reputation, and the company’s own research shows 40 percent of regular travelers are unwilling to fly the Max. Other Boeing programs, including its work for NASA and the United States military, are behind schedule.

The Max is Boeing’s most important product, representing hundreds of billions of dollars in expected future sales. But just over a year after it was introduced in 2017, a Max crashed off the coast of Indonesia, after a new automated system triggered based on data from a faulty sensor. Less than five months later, a second Max crashed in Ethiopia under similar circumstances, leading to the worldwide grounding.

That has thrust Boeing into the biggest crisis in its history and led to the temporary shuttering of its 737 factory in Renton, Wash. Boeing has developed a software update and has been working with regulators to win approval to return the plane to service. But the grounding is now likely to last a year.

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

Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion

Westlake Legal Group 29boeing1-facebookJumbo Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion Company Reports Calhoun, David L Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

Boeing on Wednesday said the costs associated with the grounding of the 737 Max were likely to surpass $18 billion, a significant increase over earlier forecasts.

The new estimate, announced during Boeing’s quarterly earnings report, is the company’s most recent approximation of just how expensive it will be to return the Max to service, compensate airline customers and restart the shuttered 737 factory.

Boeing continues to grapple with the fallout from the crashes of two Max jets in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people, leading to the worldwide grounding of the plane in March. In addition to the rising costs, the company is contending with a new chief executive, the temporary shutdown of the 737 factory and a range of challenges in other parts of the business.

Boeing on Wednesday said that the costs associated with shutting down and restarting the factory would amount to some $4 billion. The decision to temporarily halt production of the Max was only made last month, and Boeing had not previously given guidance on what the move would cost.

The company also said that the cost of compensating airlines that have suffered lost sales as a result of the grounding of the Max was now expected to reach $8.3 billion, up from a previous estimate of $5.6 billion. That figure represents a mixture of cash payments to airlines, as well as discounts on future sales.

And Boeing said that as a result of the grounding, which has lasted nearly a year now, it expected the overall cost to produce the 737 Max to rise to $6.3 billion in the years ahead, up from an earlier estimate of $3.6 billion.

In total, the anticipated costs now equal more than $18.6 billion, or nearly 20 percent of Boeing’s annual sales before the Max was grounded.

The Max crisis continued to weigh on the company’s financial results. Revenue for the quarter was $17.9 billion, down 37 percent from the same time a year earlier, before the jet was grounded.

Boeing also said it would incur a charge of $410 million as a result of its botched rocket launch late last year, when a space capsule it designed for NASA failed to reach the correct orbit.

This was the company’s first quarterly earnings report with David L. Calhoun at the helm, following the ouster of the previous chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg.

Since taking over this month, Mr. Calhoun has tried to set himself apart from Mr. Muilenburg, who was pushed out after alienating airline customers and the Federal Aviation Administration with overly optimistic projections about when the Max would return to service.

“We recognize we have a lot of work to do,” Mr. Calhoun said in a statement. “We are focused on returning the 737 Max to service safely and restoring the long-standing trust that the Boeing brand represents with the flying public. We are committed to transparency and excellence in everything we do.”

There is still no precise timeline for the return of the Max. Last week, Boeing said it did not expect regulators to approve the plane to fly until June or July, though that estimate was conservative. If regulators do not find any additional problems with the plane, the Max could return to service before then, though new issues cropped up earlier in the process.

The company has enjoyed rare bits of good news in recent weeks. It successfully completed the first flight test of the 777X, its new wide-body jet. And the trade deal that the White House struck with China included a commitment for the sale of new American aircraft to Chinese customers.

Yet Boeing still faces enormous challenges. The grounding of the Max is costing the company many billions of dollars, and costs are still rising. The fatal crashes and a cascade of damning revelations have badly damaged Boeing’s reputation, and the company’s own research shows 40 percent of regular travelers are unwilling to fly the Max. Other Boeing programs, including its work for NASA and the United States military, are behind schedule.

The Max is Boeing’s most important product, representing hundreds of billions of dollars in expected future sales. But just over a year after it was introduced in 2017, a Max crashed off the coast of Indonesia, after a new automated system triggered based on data from a faulty sensor. Less than five months later, a second Max crashed in Ethiopia under similar circumstances, leading to the worldwide grounding.

That has thrust Boeing into the biggest crisis in its history and led to the temporary shuttering of its 737 factory in Renton, Wash. Boeing has developed a software update and has been working with regulators to win approval to return the plane to service. But the grounding is now likely to last a year.

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

Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion

Westlake Legal Group 29boeing1-facebookJumbo Boeing Expects 737 Max Costs Will Surpass $18 Billion Company Reports Calhoun, David L Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

Boeing on Wednesday said the costs associated with the grounding of the 737 Max were likely to surpass $18 billion, a significant increase over earlier forecasts.

The new estimate, announced during Boeing’s quarterly earnings report, is the company’s most recent approximation of just how expensive it will be to return the Max to service, compensate airline customers and restart the shuttered 737 factory.

Boeing continues to grapple with the fallout from the crashes of two Max jets in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people, leading to the worldwide grounding of the plane in March. In addition to the rising costs, the company is contending with a new chief executive, the temporary shutdown of the 737 factory and a range of challenges in other parts of the business.

Boeing on Wednesday said that the costs associated with shutting down and restarting the factory would amount to some $4 billion. The decision to temporarily halt production of the Max was only made last month, and Boeing had not previously given guidance on what the move would cost.

The company also said that the cost of compensating airlines that have suffered lost sales as a result of the grounding of the Max was now expected to reach $8.3 billion, up from a previous estimate of $5.6 billion. That figure represents a mixture of cash payments to airlines, as well as discounts on future sales.

And Boeing said that as a result of the grounding, which has lasted nearly a year now, it expected the overall cost to produce the 737 Max to rise to $6.3 billion in the years ahead, up from an earlier estimate of $3.6 billion.

In total, the anticipated costs now equal more than $18.6 billion, or nearly 20 percent of Boeing’s annual sales before the Max was grounded.

The Max crisis continued to weigh on the company’s financial results. Revenue for the quarter was $17.9 billion, down 37 percent from the same time a year earlier, before the jet was grounded.

Boeing also said it would incur a charge of $410 million as a result of its botched rocket launch late last year, when a space capsule it designed for NASA failed to reach the correct orbit.

This was the company’s first quarterly earnings report with David L. Calhoun at the helm, following the ouster of the previous chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg.

Since taking over this month, Mr. Calhoun has tried to set himself apart from Mr. Muilenburg, who was pushed out after alienating airline customers and the Federal Aviation Administration with overly optimistic projections about when the Max would return to service.

“We recognize we have a lot of work to do,” Mr. Calhoun said in a statement. “We are focused on returning the 737 Max to service safely and restoring the long-standing trust that the Boeing brand represents with the flying public. We are committed to transparency and excellence in everything we do.”

There is still no precise timeline for the return of the Max. Last week, Boeing said it did not expect regulators to approve the plane to fly until June or July, though that estimate was conservative. If regulators do not find any additional problems with the plane, the Max could return to service before then, though new issues cropped up earlier in the process.

The company has enjoyed rare bits of good news in recent weeks. It successfully completed the first flight test of the 777X, its new wide-body jet. And the trade deal that the White House struck with China included a commitment for the sale of new American aircraft to Chinese customers.

Yet Boeing still faces enormous challenges. The grounding of the Max is costing the company many billions of dollars, and costs are still rising. The fatal crashes and a cascade of damning revelations have badly damaged Boeing’s reputation, and the company’s own research shows 40 percent of regular travelers are unwilling to fly the Max. Other Boeing programs, including its work for NASA and the United States military, are behind schedule.

The Max is Boeing’s most important product, representing hundreds of billions of dollars in expected future sales. But just over a year after it was introduced in 2017, a Max crashed off the coast of Indonesia, after a new automated system triggered based on data from a faulty sensor. Less than five months later, a second Max crashed in Ethiopia under similar circumstances, leading to the worldwide grounding.

That has thrust Boeing into the biggest crisis in its history and led to the temporary shuttering of its 737 factory in Renton, Wash. Boeing has developed a software update and has been working with regulators to win approval to return the plane to service. But the grounding is now likely to last a year.

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

How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

Westlake Legal Group 00boeing-dutch-facebookJumbo How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’ Turkish Airlines National Transportation Safety Board Federal Aviation Administration Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Amsterdam (Netherlands)

After a Boeing 737 crashed near Amsterdam more than a decade ago, the Dutch investigators focused blame on the pilots for failing to react properly when an automated system malfunctioned and caused the plane to plummet into a field, killing nine people.

The fault was hardly the crew’s alone, however. Decisions by Boeing, including risky design choices and faulty safety assessments, also contributed to the accident on the Turkish Airlines flight. But the Dutch Safety Board either excluded or played down criticisms of the manufacturer in its final report after pushback from a team of Americans that included Boeing and federal safety officials, documents and interviews show.

The crash, in February 2009, involved a predecessor to Boeing’s 737 Max, the plane that was grounded last year after accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people and hurled the company into the worst crisis in its history.

A review by The New York Times of evidence from the 2009 accident, some of it previously confidential, reveals striking parallels with the recent crashes — and resistance by the team of Americans to a full airing of findings that later proved relevant to the Max.

In the 2009 and Max accidents, for example, the failure of a single sensor caused systems to misfire, with catastrophic results, and Boeing had not provided pilots with information that could have helped them react to the malfunction. The earlier accident “represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously,” said Sidney Dekker, an aviation safety expert who was commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board to analyze the crash.

Dr. Dekker’s study accused Boeing of trying to deflect attention from its own “design shortcomings” and other mistakes with “hardly credible” statements that admonished pilots to be more vigilant, according to a copy reviewed by The Times.

The study was never made public. The Dutch board backed away from plans to publish it, according to Dr. Dekker and another person with knowledge of its handling. A spokeswoman for the Dutch board said it was not common to publish expert studies and the decision on Dr. Dekker’s was made solely by the board.

At the same time, the Dutch board deleted or amended findings in its own accident report about issues with the plane when the same American team weighed in. The board also inserted statements, some nearly verbatim and without attribution, written by the Americans, who said that certain pilot errors had not been “properly emphasized.”

The muted criticism of Boeing after the 2009 accident fits within a broader pattern, brought to light since the Max tragedies, of the company benefiting from a light-touch approach by safety officials.

References to Dr. Dekker’s findings in the final report were brief, not clearly written and not sufficiently highlighted, according to multiple aviation safety experts with experience in crash investigations who read both documents.

One of them, David Woods, a professor at the Ohio State University who has served as a technical adviser to the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Turkish Airlines crash “should have woken everybody up.”

Some of the parallels between that accident and the more recent ones are particularly noteworthy. Boeing’s design decisions on both the Max and the plane involved in the 2009 crash — the 737 NG, or Next Generation — allowed a powerful computer command to be triggered by a single faulty sensor, even though each plane was equipped with two sensors, as Bloomberg reported last year. In the two Max accidents, a sensor measuring the plane’s angle to the wind prompted a flight control computer to push its nose down after takeoff; on the Turkish Airlines flight, an altitude sensor caused a different computer to cut the plane’s speed just before landing.

Boeing had determined before 2009 that if the sensor malfunctioned, the crew would quickly recognize the problem and prevent the plane from stalling — much the same assumption about pilot behavior made with the Max.

And as with the more recent crashes, Boeing had not included information in the NG operations manual that could have helped the pilots respond when the sensor failed.

Even a fix now proposed for the Max has similarities with the past: After the crash near Amsterdam, the F.A.A. required airlines to install a software update for the NG that compared data from the plane’s two sensors, rather than relying on just one. The software change Boeing has developed for the Max also compares data from two sensors.

Critically, in the case of the NG, Boeing had already developed the software fix well before the Turkish Airlines crash, including it on new planes starting in 2006 and offering it as an optional update on hundreds of other aircraft. But for some older jets, including the one that crashed near Amsterdam, the update wouldn’t work, and Boeing did not develop a compatible version until after the accident.

The Dutch investigators deemed it “remarkable” that Boeing left airlines without an option to obtain the safeguard for some older planes. But in reviewing the draft accident report, the Americans objected to the statement, according to the final version’s appendix, writing that a software modification had been unnecessary because “no unacceptable risk had been identified.” GE Aviation, which had bought the company that made the computers for the older jets, also suggested deleting or changing the sentence.

The Dutch board removed the statement, but did criticize Boeing for not doing more to alert pilots about the sensor problem.

Dr. Woods, who was Dr. Dekker’s Ph.D. adviser, said the decision to exclude or underplay the study’s principal findings enabled Boeing and its American regulators to carry out “the narrowest possible changes.”

The problem with the single sensor, he said, should have dissuaded Boeing from using a similar design in the Max. Instead, “the issue got buried.”

Boeing declined to address detailed questions from The Times. In a statement, the company pointed to differences between the 2009 accident and the Max crashes. “These accidents involved fundamentally different system inputs and phases of flight,” the company said.

Asked about its involvement with the Dutch accident report, Boeing said it was “typical and critical to successful investigations for Boeing and other manufacturers to work collaboratively with the investigating authorities.”

Joe Sedor, the N.T.S.B. official who led the American team working on the Turkish Airlines investigation, said it was not unusual for investigating bodies to make changes to a report after receiving feedback, or for American safety officials to jointly submit their comments with Boeing.

Mr. Sedor is now overseeing the N.T.S.B.’s work on the Max crashes. He acknowledged that reliance on a single sensor was a contributing factor in both cases but cautioned against focusing on it.

“Each of these accidents were complex and dynamic events with many contributing factors,” he said. “Boiling them down simply to the number of inputs ignores the many, many more issues that differentiate them.”

The F.A.A., in a statement, also emphasized the “unique set of circumstances” surrounding each accident. “Drawing broad connections between accidents involving different types of emergencies oversimplifies what is, by definition, a complex science,” it said.

The agency, also part of the American team in the Dutch investigation, declined to say whether the lessons from the Turkish Airlines crash factored into its decision to certify the Max — which was approved to fly in 2017 and became the fastest-selling plane in Boeing’s history.

But a senior F.A.A. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, praised Dr. Dekker’s study and said it identified important issues that had not received enough public attention. The official pointed to the similarities — such as the reliance on a single sensor — between the Turkish Airlines crash and the Max accidents.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch board, Sara Vernooij, said it was common practice to amend draft reports in response to outside comments, but she declined to address the specific changes. Other companies and government bodies involved in the investigation, such as the French firm that made the sensors and that country’s aviation safety board, also submitted comments, but the American submission was the most extensive.

Ms. Vernooij said the Dutch agency regarded the Dekker study as confidential. “The parts considered relevant by the board were used while writing the final report,” she said.

On the morning of Feb. 25, 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 approached Amsterdam, carrying 128 passengers from Istanbul. The first officer guided the plane toward Runway 18R, calling out changes to its speed and direction. He was new to the Boeing jet, so the crew included a third pilot in addition to the captain, who was a former Turkish Air Force officer with about 13 years of experience flying the aircraft.

Because of instructions from air traffic control, the crew had to execute a maneuver that could be challenging: slowing while descending more rapidly than normal. They engaged a computer that controlled engine thrust, known as an autothrottle, to help regulate the drop in speed.

As the plane dipped to 1,000 feet, the pilots had not yet completed their landing checklist. Strict adherence to airline procedure would have meant circling around for another try, but violations were commonplace at the busy runway, investigators later determined.

About a minute later, with the plane at about 450 feet, the pilots’ control sticks began shaking, warning of an impending stall. The jet had slowed too much. Immediately, one of the pilots pushed the thrust lever forward to gain speed, but when he let go, the computer commanded it to idle.

The captain intervened, disabling the autothrottle and setting the thrust levers to their maximum. Nine seconds had elapsed since the stall warning. By then, it was too late. The jet plunged into a field less than a mile from the airport.

The three pilots, another crew member and five passengers were killed.

Dutch investigators determined that the cause of the malfunction was a sensor on the plane’s exterior measuring altitude. The sensor had mistakenly indicated that the plane was just moments from touchdown, prompting the computer to idle the engines.

For 70 seconds, the autothrottle had done what the crew intended: steadily cut the plane’s speed. But the pilots failed to notice that the computer did not then maintain the target speed when it was reached; instead, it continued to slow the plane down. The pilots realized what had happened only when the control stick began vibrating.

Losing track of airspeed is considered a grave error. The pilots, who investigators believe were preoccupied with the landing checklist, also missed multiple warnings that the autothrottle was acting up. The Dutch board’s conclusions focused on the decision not to abort the landing, the failure to recognize the dangerous drop in speed and the incorrect response to the shaking control stick, possibly because of inadequate training.

At the request of the American team led by the N.T.S.B., the Dutch added comments that further emphasized the pilots’ culpability. The final report, for example, included a new statement that scolded the captain, saying he could have used the situation to teach the first officer a “lesson” on following protocol.

In their comments, reflected largely in an appendix, the Americans addressed criticism of Boeing in the draft report. A description of the company’s procedures for monitoring and correcting potential safety problems was “technically incorrect, incomplete and overly” simplistic, they wrote. In response, the board inserted a description of Boeing’s safety program written by the Americans and a statement that Boeing’s approach was more rigorous than F.A.A. requirements.

The draft had also referred to studies that found it was common for complex automation to confuse pilots and suggested design and training improvements. The studies, the draft said, included research by “Boeing itself.”

The Americans objected, saying the statements “misrepresent and oversimplify the research results.” In its final report, the board deleted the Boeing reference.

When the Dutch board announced its conclusions during a news conference, its chairman said, “The pilots could have prevented this.”

The Dutch Safety Board had also commissioned Dr. Dekker’s analysis of the accident, which applied an engineering discipline known as human factors. As planes have come to rely on complex computer systems, researchers and investigators have identified design and training practices that can make pilot error less likely.

Dr. Dekker, then a professor in Sweden who had investigated other serious crashes and had worked part time flying a 737, acknowledged fatal mistakes by the Turkish Airlines pilots in his 129-page study.

But he also found that Boeing bore significant responsibility.

While his study was never made public, copies circulated among some researchers and pilots. And his role in the investigation was cited in an appendix to the board’s report. He is now a professor in Australia and the Netherlands.

In the study, Dr. Dekker chastised Boeing for designing the autothrottle to rely on just one of two sensors measuring altitude. That decision, he wrote, left “a single-failure pathway in place,” raising the risk that a single error could lead to catastrophe.

Five years before the Turkish Airlines crash, Boeing was aware that a sensor malfunction could idle the engines improperly, but the company decided it wasn’t a safety concern, the Dutch investigators wrote. After receiving reports about autothrottle misfires that did not lead to accidents, a Boeing review board determined that if a malfunction occurred, pilots would recognize it and intervene.

In the meantime, Boeing developed a software update that allowed the autothrottle to compare the readings from the two altitude sensors. If they differed by more than 20 feet, the autothrottle wouldn’t be able to improperly idle the engines.

The safeguard was available in 2006, but the change wouldn’t work on some 737 NG models, like the Turkish Airlines plane, that used an autothrottle computer made by a different company. After the 2009 crash, Boeing developed a version of the update compatible with those computers, and the F.A.A. required airlines to install it.

The Dekker study found that another decision by Boeing — to leave important information out of the operations manual — had also hampered the Turkish Airlines pilots.

The 737 NG has two parallel sets of computers and sensors, one on the left side of the plane and one on the right. Most of the time, only one set is in control.

On the Turkish Airlines flight, the system on the right was in control. The pilots recognized the inaccurate altitude readings and noted that they were coming from the sensor on the left. This would have led them to conclude that the bad data coming from the left didn’t matter because the autothrottle was getting the correct data from the right, Dr. Dekker found.

What the pilots couldn’t have known was that the computer controlling the engine thrust always relied on the left sensor, even when the controls on the right were flying the plane. That critical information was nowhere to be found in the Boeing pilots’ manual, Dr. Dekker learned.

Erik van der Lely, a 737 NG pilot and instructor for a European airline who studied under Dr. Dekker, told The Times that he had not known about this design peculiarity until he read a copy of the study. “I’m pretty sure none or almost none of the 737 pilots knew that,” he said.

When the draft report criticized Boeing for not giving pilots information that might have helped prevent the accident, the Americans disagreed, citing general directions from the training manual and writing, “Boeing did provide appropriate guidance to flight crews.” The plane was “easily recoverable” if the pilots had followed the proper procedures, they said.

In its final report, the board retained its general conclusion but softened some language.

Boeing later made a similar assessment on the 737 Max. The company did not inform pilots of a new automated system that contributed to both deadly crashes, hindering their ability to counteract its erroneous commands, investigators have determined.

Over all, the final report by the Dutch Safety Board did mention some of Dr. Dekker’s conclusions, but the aviation safety experts who read his study said the systemic issues he raised received too little emphasis.

For example, while the report noted the design quirk not included in the manual, it did so only briefly amid other technical documentation, and the significance of it was unclear. Dr. Dekker estimated that the board included the equivalent of about one page of information from his study in its report, which was 90 pages in addition to appendices.

Today, faced with a public outcry over the Max crashes and demands for reforms, Boeing and the F.A.A. have agreed that more attention should be paid to the engineering discipline Dr. Dekker applied in his study.

Both the N.T.S.B. and a panel of international experts found that Boeing and the F.A.A. had not sufficiently incorporated lessons from this human-factors research when developing and certifying the Max.

But even though the research has been around for decades — an F.A.A. study recommended in 1996 that the industry and regulators embrace the approach more readily — accident investigations have tended to focus on pilot errors while minimizing or ignoring systemic factors, such as design and training problems, experts said.

“It’s really easy to blame it on the dead pilots and say it has nothing to do with our improperly designed system,” said Shawn Pruchnicki, who teaches at Ohio State and has worked on accident investigations for the Air Line Pilots Association.

Dr. Pruchnicki, who studied under Dr. Dekker, said he had participated in numerous investigations in which human-factors experts were largely ignored. “It just gets frustrating because we keep having the same types of accidents,” he said.

Dr. Woods, the Ohio State professor who has advised the F.A.A., wrote an email to colleagues shortly after the first 737 Max crash, in October 2018, of Lion Air Flight 610, which killed 189 people just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia. The initial details, he wrote, indicated it was an automation-triggered disaster of the sort that he and others had studied for almost 30 years. He cited research from the 1990s and pointed to the Turkish Airlines crash.

“That this situation has continued on for so long without major action is not how engineering is supposed to work,” he wrote.

After the second Max crash — in March 2019, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, killing all 157 people on board shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa — Dr. Woods said in an interview, “I was appalled.”

“This is such of a failure of responsibility,” he said. “We’re not supposed to let this happen.”

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

How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

Westlake Legal Group 00boeing-dutch-facebookJumbo How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’ Turkish Airlines National Transportation Safety Board Federal Aviation Administration Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Amsterdam (Netherlands)

After a Boeing 737 crashed near Amsterdam more than a decade ago, the Dutch investigators focused blame on the pilots for failing to react properly when an automated system malfunctioned and caused the plane to plummet into a field, killing nine people.

The fault was hardly the crew’s alone, however. Decisions by Boeing, including risky design choices and faulty safety assessments, also contributed to the accident on the Turkish Airlines flight. But the Dutch Safety Board either excluded or played down criticisms of the manufacturer in its final report after pushback from a team of Americans that included Boeing and federal safety officials, documents and interviews show.

The crash, in February 2009, involved a predecessor to Boeing’s 737 Max, the plane that was grounded last year after accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people and hurled the company into the worst crisis in its history.

A review by The New York Times of evidence from the 2009 accident, some of it previously confidential, reveals striking parallels with the recent crashes — and resistance by the team of Americans to a full airing of findings that later proved relevant to the Max.

In the 2009 and Max accidents, for example, the failure of a single sensor caused systems to misfire, with catastrophic results, and Boeing had not provided pilots with information that could have helped them react to the malfunction. The earlier accident “represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously,” said Sidney Dekker, an aviation safety expert who was commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board to analyze the crash.

Dr. Dekker’s study accused Boeing of trying to deflect attention from its own “design shortcomings” and other mistakes with “hardly credible” statements that admonished pilots to be more vigilant, according to a copy reviewed by The Times.

The study was never made public. The Dutch board backed away from plans to publish it, according to Dr. Dekker and another person with knowledge of its handling. A spokeswoman for the Dutch board said it was not common to publish expert studies and the decision on Dr. Dekker’s was made solely by the board.

At the same time, the Dutch board deleted or amended findings in its own accident report about issues with the plane when the same American team weighed in. The board also inserted statements, some nearly verbatim and without attribution, written by the Americans, who said that certain pilot errors had not been “properly emphasized.”

The muted criticism of Boeing after the 2009 accident fits within a broader pattern, brought to light since the Max tragedies, of the company benefiting from a light-touch approach by safety officials.

References to Dr. Dekker’s findings in the final report were brief, not clearly written and not sufficiently highlighted, according to multiple aviation safety experts with experience in crash investigations who read both documents.

One of them, David Woods, a professor at the Ohio State University who has served as a technical adviser to the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Turkish Airlines crash “should have woken everybody up.”

Some of the parallels between that accident and the more recent ones are particularly noteworthy. Boeing’s design decisions on both the Max and the plane involved in the 2009 crash — the 737 NG, or Next Generation — allowed a powerful computer command to be triggered by a single faulty sensor, even though each plane was equipped with two sensors, as Bloomberg reported last year. In the two Max accidents, a sensor measuring the plane’s angle to the wind prompted a flight control computer to push its nose down after takeoff; on the Turkish Airlines flight, an altitude sensor caused a different computer to cut the plane’s speed just before landing.

Boeing had determined before 2009 that if the sensor malfunctioned, the crew would quickly recognize the problem and prevent the plane from stalling — much the same assumption about pilot behavior made with the Max.

And as with the more recent crashes, Boeing had not included information in the NG operations manual that could have helped the pilots respond when the sensor failed.

Even a fix now proposed for the Max has similarities with the past: After the crash near Amsterdam, the F.A.A. required airlines to install a software update for the NG that compared data from the plane’s two sensors, rather than relying on just one. The software change Boeing has developed for the Max also compares data from two sensors.

Critically, in the case of the NG, Boeing had already developed the software fix well before the Turkish Airlines crash, including it on new planes starting in 2006 and offering it as an optional update on hundreds of other aircraft. But for some older jets, including the one that crashed near Amsterdam, the update wouldn’t work, and Boeing did not develop a compatible version until after the accident.

The Dutch investigators deemed it “remarkable” that Boeing left airlines without an option to obtain the safeguard for some older planes. But in reviewing the draft accident report, the Americans objected to the statement, according to the final version’s appendix, writing that a software modification had been unnecessary because “no unacceptable risk had been identified.” GE Aviation, which had bought the company that made the computers for the older jets, also suggested deleting or changing the sentence.

The Dutch board removed the statement, but did criticize Boeing for not doing more to alert pilots about the sensor problem.

Dr. Woods, who was Dr. Dekker’s Ph.D. adviser, said the decision to exclude or underplay the study’s principal findings enabled Boeing and its American regulators to carry out “the narrowest possible changes.”

The problem with the single sensor, he said, should have dissuaded Boeing from using a similar design in the Max. Instead, “the issue got buried.”

Boeing declined to address detailed questions from The Times. In a statement, the company pointed to differences between the 2009 accident and the Max crashes. “These accidents involved fundamentally different system inputs and phases of flight,” the company said.

Asked about its involvement with the Dutch accident report, Boeing said it was “typical and critical to successful investigations for Boeing and other manufacturers to work collaboratively with the investigating authorities.”

Joe Sedor, the N.T.S.B. official who led the American team working on the Turkish Airlines investigation, said it was not unusual for investigating bodies to make changes to a report after receiving feedback, or for American safety officials to jointly submit their comments with Boeing.

Mr. Sedor is now overseeing the N.T.S.B.’s work on the Max crashes. He acknowledged that reliance on a single sensor was a contributing factor in both cases but cautioned against focusing on it.

“Each of these accidents were complex and dynamic events with many contributing factors,” he said. “Boiling them down simply to the number of inputs ignores the many, many more issues that differentiate them.”

The F.A.A., in a statement, also emphasized the “unique set of circumstances” surrounding each accident. “Drawing broad connections between accidents involving different types of emergencies oversimplifies what is, by definition, a complex science,” it said.

The agency, also part of the American team in the Dutch investigation, declined to say whether the lessons from the Turkish Airlines crash factored into its decision to certify the Max — which was approved to fly in 2017 and became the fastest-selling plane in Boeing’s history.

But a senior F.A.A. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, praised Dr. Dekker’s study and said it identified important issues that had not received enough public attention. The official pointed to the similarities — such as the reliance on a single sensor — between the Turkish Airlines crash and the Max accidents.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch board, Sara Vernooij, said it was common practice to amend draft reports in response to outside comments, but she declined to address the specific changes. Other companies and government bodies involved in the investigation, such as the French firm that made the sensors and that country’s aviation safety board, also submitted comments, but the American submission was the most extensive.

Ms. Vernooij said the Dutch agency regarded the Dekker study as confidential. “The parts considered relevant by the board were used while writing the final report,” she said.

On the morning of Feb. 25, 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 approached Amsterdam, carrying 128 passengers from Istanbul. The first officer guided the plane toward Runway 18R, calling out changes to its speed and direction. He was new to the Boeing jet, so the crew included a third pilot in addition to the captain, who was a former Turkish Air Force officer with about 13 years of experience flying the aircraft.

Because of instructions from air traffic control, the crew had to execute a maneuver that could be challenging: slowing while descending more rapidly than normal. They engaged a computer that controlled engine thrust, known as an autothrottle, to help regulate the drop in speed.

As the plane dipped to 1,000 feet, the pilots had not yet completed their landing checklist. Strict adherence to airline procedure would have meant circling around for another try, but violations were commonplace at the busy runway, investigators later determined.

About a minute later, with the plane at about 450 feet, the pilots’ control sticks began shaking, warning of an impending stall. The jet had slowed too much. Immediately, one of the pilots pushed the thrust lever forward to gain speed, but when he let go, the computer commanded it to idle.

The captain intervened, disabling the autothrottle and setting the thrust levers to their maximum. Nine seconds had elapsed since the stall warning. By then, it was too late. The jet plunged into a field less than a mile from the airport.

The three pilots, another crew member and five passengers were killed.

Dutch investigators determined that the cause of the malfunction was a sensor on the plane’s exterior measuring altitude. The sensor had mistakenly indicated that the plane was just moments from touchdown, prompting the computer to idle the engines.

For 70 seconds, the autothrottle had done what the crew intended: steadily cut the plane’s speed. But the pilots failed to notice that the computer did not then maintain the target speed when it was reached; instead, it continued to slow the plane down. The pilots realized what had happened only when the control stick began vibrating.

Losing track of airspeed is considered a grave error. The pilots, who investigators believe were preoccupied with the landing checklist, also missed multiple warnings that the autothrottle was acting up. The Dutch board’s conclusions focused on the decision not to abort the landing, the failure to recognize the dangerous drop in speed and the incorrect response to the shaking control stick, possibly because of inadequate training.

At the request of the American team led by the N.T.S.B., the Dutch added comments that further emphasized the pilots’ culpability. The final report, for example, included a new statement that scolded the captain, saying he could have used the situation to teach the first officer a “lesson” on following protocol.

In their comments, reflected largely in an appendix, the Americans addressed criticism of Boeing in the draft report. A description of the company’s procedures for monitoring and correcting potential safety problems was “technically incorrect, incomplete and overly” simplistic, they wrote. In response, the board inserted a description of Boeing’s safety program written by the Americans and a statement that Boeing’s approach was more rigorous than F.A.A. requirements.

The draft had also referred to studies that found it was common for complex automation to confuse pilots and suggested design and training improvements. The studies, the draft said, included research by “Boeing itself.”

The Americans objected, saying the statements “misrepresent and oversimplify the research results.” In its final report, the board deleted the Boeing reference.

When the Dutch board announced its conclusions during a news conference, its chairman said, “The pilots could have prevented this.”

The Dutch Safety Board had also commissioned Dr. Dekker’s analysis of the accident, which applied an engineering discipline known as human factors. As planes have come to rely on complex computer systems, researchers and investigators have identified design and training practices that can make pilot error less likely.

Dr. Dekker, then a professor in Sweden who had investigated other serious crashes and had worked part time flying a 737, acknowledged fatal mistakes by the Turkish Airlines pilots in his 129-page study.

But he also found that Boeing bore significant responsibility.

While his study was never made public, copies circulated among some researchers and pilots. And his role in the investigation was cited in an appendix to the board’s report. He is now a professor in Australia and the Netherlands.

In the study, Dr. Dekker chastised Boeing for designing the autothrottle to rely on just one of two sensors measuring altitude. That decision, he wrote, left “a single-failure pathway in place,” raising the risk that a single error could lead to catastrophe.

Five years before the Turkish Airlines crash, Boeing was aware that a sensor malfunction could idle the engines improperly, but the company decided it wasn’t a safety concern, the Dutch investigators wrote. After receiving reports about autothrottle misfires that did not lead to accidents, a Boeing review board determined that if a malfunction occurred, pilots would recognize it and intervene.

In the meantime, Boeing developed a software update that allowed the autothrottle to compare the readings from the two altitude sensors. If they differed by more than 20 feet, the autothrottle wouldn’t be able to improperly idle the engines.

The safeguard was available in 2006, but the change wouldn’t work on some 737 NG models, like the Turkish Airlines plane, that used an autothrottle computer made by a different company. After the 2009 crash, Boeing developed a version of the update compatible with those computers, and the F.A.A. required airlines to install it.

The Dekker study found that another decision by Boeing — to leave important information out of the operations manual — had also hampered the Turkish Airlines pilots.

The 737 NG has two parallel sets of computers and sensors, one on the left side of the plane and one on the right. Most of the time, only one set is in control.

On the Turkish Airlines flight, the system on the right was in control. The pilots recognized the inaccurate altitude readings and noted that they were coming from the sensor on the left. This would have led them to conclude that the bad data coming from the left didn’t matter because the autothrottle was getting the correct data from the right, Dr. Dekker found.

What the pilots couldn’t have known was that the computer controlling the engine thrust always relied on the left sensor, even when the controls on the right were flying the plane. That critical information was nowhere to be found in the Boeing pilots’ manual, Dr. Dekker learned.

Erik van der Lely, a 737 NG pilot and instructor for a European airline who studied under Dr. Dekker, told The Times that he had not known about this design peculiarity until he read a copy of the study. “I’m pretty sure none or almost none of the 737 pilots knew that,” he said.

When the draft report criticized Boeing for not giving pilots information that might have helped prevent the accident, the Americans disagreed, citing general directions from the training manual and writing, “Boeing did provide appropriate guidance to flight crews.” The plane was “easily recoverable” if the pilots had followed the proper procedures, they said.

In its final report, the board retained its general conclusion but softened some language.

Boeing later made a similar assessment on the 737 Max. The company did not inform pilots of a new automated system that contributed to both deadly crashes, hindering their ability to counteract its erroneous commands, investigators have determined.

Over all, the final report by the Dutch Safety Board did mention some of Dr. Dekker’s conclusions, but the aviation safety experts who read his study said the systemic issues he raised received too little emphasis.

For example, while the report noted the design quirk not included in the manual, it did so only briefly amid other technical documentation, and the significance of it was unclear. Dr. Dekker estimated that the board included the equivalent of about one page of information from his study in its report, which was 90 pages in addition to appendices.

Today, faced with a public outcry over the Max crashes and demands for reforms, Boeing and the F.A.A. have agreed that more attention should be paid to the engineering discipline Dr. Dekker applied in his study.

Both the N.T.S.B. and a panel of international experts found that Boeing and the F.A.A. had not sufficiently incorporated lessons from this human-factors research when developing and certifying the Max.

But even though the research has been around for decades — an F.A.A. study recommended in 1996 that the industry and regulators embrace the approach more readily — accident investigations have tended to focus on pilot errors while minimizing or ignoring systemic factors, such as design and training problems, experts said.

“It’s really easy to blame it on the dead pilots and say it has nothing to do with our improperly designed system,” said Shawn Pruchnicki, who teaches at Ohio State and has worked on accident investigations for the Air Line Pilots Association.

Dr. Pruchnicki, who studied under Dr. Dekker, said he had participated in numerous investigations in which human-factors experts were largely ignored. “It just gets frustrating because we keep having the same types of accidents,” he said.

Dr. Woods, the Ohio State professor who has advised the F.A.A., wrote an email to colleagues shortly after the first 737 Max crash, in October 2018, of Lion Air Flight 610, which killed 189 people just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia. The initial details, he wrote, indicated it was an automation-triggered disaster of the sort that he and others had studied for almost 30 years. He cited research from the 1990s and pointed to the Turkish Airlines crash.

“That this situation has continued on for so long without major action is not how engineering is supposed to work,” he wrote.

After the second Max crash — in March 2019, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, killing all 157 people on board shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa — Dr. Woods said in an interview, “I was appalled.”

“This is such of a failure of responsibility,” he said. “We’re not supposed to let this happen.”

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