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Boeing forced to use employee parking lot to store grounded 737 Max planes

By midian182 · 23 replies
Jun 26, 2019
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  1. Back in October last year, 189 passengers were killed when Lion Air flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff. Four months later, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed six minutes after takeoff, killing 157 people. Both are believed to have been caused by the 737’s new Manoeuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

    Following the March crash, the 737 Max was grounded worldwide while it awaited a software fix and approval from aviation authorities to restart flights.

    With Boeing continuing to produce the 737 Max series jetliners but customers unable to take them, finding places to store the aircraft hasn’t been easy. Seattle news station KING-TV reported that a Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, is keeping the planes next to employees’ vehicles in the company parking lot.

    According to Bloomberg, Boeing is storing 500 grounded 737 Max jets around the world, including 100 at the Renton factory, at a cost of $2,000 per month for each plane. Boeing said the situation has already cost it $1 billion, with inventory costs predicted to reach $12 billion by September. It’s not clear when, or if, the planes will ever return to the skies.

    "We’re going to bring a Max back up in the air that will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters. "But we also know it will take time rebuilding the confidence of our customers and the flying public, and this will be a long-term effort."

    Permalink to story.

  2. kombu

    kombu TS Addict Posts: 96   +189

    Talk about ***hole parking, amirght?
    Hexic and Capaill like this.
  3. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +507

    "Boeing said the situation has already cost it $1 billion, with inventory costs predicted to reach $12 billion by September."
    I'm still amazed they haven't been sued for mass murder. How did they get away with making an essential safety feature an optional extra?
    Basically, the stock plane will try to kill you. But if you buy this extra feature, it won't try to kill you.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,525   +3,906

    That is part of the bigger issue. The FAA allows them to "self manage" the safety and approval process, thus leaving the fox to guard the hen house. If you've ever read that junk on the back of your airline ticket, there is a very specific disclaimer against death or dismemberment, but any decent lawyer can get past that easy enough. The other reason those lawsuits are holding off is the possibility of a collapse of Boeing, filing for chapter 11 and having all legal actions terminated by the judge (unlikely but possible).
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,128   +2,418

    I wonder if they are using the executive parking spots?
    TempleOrion likes this.
  6. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,238   +692

    Boeing has about 100 billion a year in revenue. 12 billion won't sink them. Once that software update is approved, you'll watch those planes get sold within hours - their customers are contractually obligated to buy them at this point. Now, that said, I do believe even with a software fix, the Max 8 line is dead - much like what happened with the DC-10 line.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  7. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 696   +385

    If only everything was a simple as that. The damage to Boeing's and the FAA's reputation is big enough to make the real cost in mid to long term hard to estimate. Now, you're quoting revenue, not profit. Any ship can sink with even the smallest hole, given enough time and inaction from the crew.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  8. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    You're awfully quick to toss out "mass murder." Murder is the act of killing someone by intent. Boeing is not in the murder business. They make planes and their safety record over the last 110 years is the best in the industry.

    I have an in-law that works with the Chief of Staff of the MAX program. What the media is not telling you is Boeing testers ran that software FORTY THOUSAND TIMES and under a variety of circumstances with no incidents. And then they handed it off to the FAA who did their own testing.

    I'm not saying Boeing isn't without fault. They should have grounded the fleet after the first accident until they were completely sure of the cause and had implemented a fix. That second crash is all on them. And they are paying for it in spades and will continue to do so for some time.

    But people who are throwing out "mass murder" phrases and calling Boeing the "worst company ever," have no idea what the real story is. And are feeding into slanted media coverage. If you feel that strongly about it, then never fly on a Boeing aircraft again. You'll find out very quickly that your travel plans will be near impossible to make.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  9. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +507

    There is probably a better legal description for a crash that kills a few hundred people where the manufacturer is aware that they are not perfectly squeaky clean in terms of their product's liability. "mass murder" was the best I could think of. Maybe "mass negligence leading to death"?
    TempleOrion likes this.
  10. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    What part of "running a test 40,000 times under numerous configurations with no defects noted and then the FAA did their testing with no known defects" did you not get? To imply that Boeing - again, with their 110 year safety record - deliberately released an aircraft that had known safety flaws is absurd. Total conspiracy thinking stuff.

    Having said that, I'll buy your "negligence leading to death" on the second crash.
    Capaill likes this.
  11. netman

    netman TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +112

    Boeing is doomed! Even after this flaw fix...
    TempleOrion likes this.
  12. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +507

    40,000 tests and yet 2 planes fall out of the sky within 15 minutes of take off. Something ain't right. Now, it might transpire that Boeing is completely guilt free. But not from what I'm reading: https://interestingengineering.com/boeing-whistleblowers-report-more-737-max-8-problems-to-faa
    TempleOrion likes this.
  13. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 883   +427

    I dont understand why 2 planes crashed. Assuming they have this feature on all max line, there could have been many more crashes because of this faulty feature.
    Also, arent both crashed Africa?
    If so, shouldnt they look very closely what exactly the pilots have done
    there before the crash?
  14. moral hazard

    moral hazard TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Pennywise, pound foolish. All those safety, training and engineering shortcuts to save money are really paying off now, Boeing?
  15. TempleOrion

    TempleOrion TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +28

    Err, no. At least read up about it before commentating, jeez!
  16. Tooooooot said
    "Also, arent both crashed Africa?
    If so, shouldnt they look very closely what exactly the pilots have done
    there before the crash?"

    So your implication is that foreign pilots are inferior, so it's likely their fault and its Africa anyway, so who cares.
  17. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 883   +427

    Thats exactly what I suspect. And as long as this is a viable option, there is nothing wrong with it. The best universities are in developed world, and so are many other things. Assuming these pilots didnt get the best pilot education, they could very possibly do something to turn it from a minor mistake to a critical error.

    I have closely followed 3 major crashes that happened in Russia within the last 2 years. Their pilot program is slowly getting worse and worse after USSR fell apart.
    In 2/3 situations they panicked. In at least one they simply acted wrong where an experienced pilot could save the plane.
    So back to the Boeing max crashes:
    regardless of the plane software fault,
    the black boxes should be very carefully examined
    for pilots' mistakes just because both crashes happened in Africa.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,074   +4,082

    Gosh, why do so many people from other countries come to the US for their educations. Is it because our universities are inferior?

    And yeah, pilot error has to be considered.

    And don't forget, none of these aircraft have been drilled by an American pilot.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  19. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,379   +1,011

    If it's Boeing - I AIN'T GOING.

    Take a good long look you corporate swine: this is what happens when you build an inferior product.

    The Free market is ALWAYS right.

    A380-800 FTW.
  20. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 884   +382

    what are you going to do on domestic routes?

    All the worry about Boeing failing is a little extreme, Boeing competes in all tiers of commercial aviation (excluding private) The 737 family serves the highest demand market that is expected over the next 10 years, companies will have no choice but to buy the 737 max. Airbus can't build enough a320's to fill the 737 cancellations, even if airbus started today to build extra capacity for a320 family production your talking about orders placed today being ready in the 2025-2026 window at the earliest, that's for customers that were expecting 737 maxs in 2021-2022 time frame. From there Boeing competes relatively unimpeded on the large wide body market (older 777 and newer 777 have almost no competition) and competes well in the wide body market (787 and 767 freighter conversions). This will hurt but there needs to be a much larger hole to sink the ship.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,510   +5,076

    How about multiple counts of "Involuntary Manslaughter"?

    If it were you or I in an accident. The authorities wouldn't hesitate in issuing that charge, if someone (anyone, much less hundreds) died.
    Capaill likes this.
  22. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,379   +1,011

    I typically don't travel around America.

    I don't mind driving - I have access to a Tesla Model X.

    Or I take Jet Blue AIRBUS models.
  23. Markoni35

    Markoni35 TS Addict Posts: 257   +115

    The main problem was caused when Boeing hired an Indian company to "improve" the software for Boeing 737 MAX. To reduce costs, Boeing fired their experienced engineers and hired some Indian engineers, which obviously didn't do their job very professionally.

    This outsourcing experiment costed Boeing a lot more than if they kept their experienced engineers, even if their salaries were 5 times higher than they paid the guys in India. Now they should hire the old crew back, with a rise.
  24. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,379   +1,011

    For anyone to put a system in a machine that can fight the driver/pilot of the machine for control was asking for trouble.

    To not tell the driver/pilots about it was the final nail in the coffin.

    I fly recreationally. Mostly Cessna Skyhawks or Citations/ jets... they are far less sophisticated in most cases than modern cars. If someone slipped one of these systems in my 172 and I didn't know about it I would be DEAD now.

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