Tech & Science A Boeing employee called Lion Air, the airline in the first 737 Max crash, 'idiots' for asking to have its pilots trained in flying the plane

15:10  14 january  2020
15:10  14 january  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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Boeing ’s 737 Max is the latest version of a plane that first went into service half a century ago.Credit Matt Mcknight/Reuters. And in the years that followed, Boeing pushed not just to design and build the new plane , but to persuade its airline customers and, crucially, the Federal Aviation

The Boeing 737 , owned by the low-cost airline Lion Air , went down after The incident is reported to be the first major accident involving a Boeing 737 Max - an updated version of the 737 . Image caption This Lion Air plane landed in the sea off Bali in 2013, but all passengers and crew survived.

a chocolate cake covered in snow: Shoes of passengers of Lion Air flight JT 610 were laid out at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta. Shoes of passengers of Lion Air flight JT 610 were laid out at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta.
  • Internal messages from Boeing employees reveal that one called Lion Air, the airline involved in the first fatal 737 Max crash"idiots" for wanting simulator training for its pilots.
  • Lion Air inquired about the training, prompting an employee to say that it might be "because of their own stupidity" in 2017, according to reports by Bloomberg and Forbes.
  • A Lion Air Boeing 737 Max plane crashed and killed all 189 people on board in October 2018, and the final report pointed partly to the plane's technology and how pilots were not fully trained to deal with it.
  • Boeing sold the plane on the basis that pilots who could already fly the regular 737 would not need simulator training, making it cheaper and faster for airlines to introduce it to their fleets.
  • It relented this month, saying it will recommend pilots train in simulators before flying Max planes.
  • The messages were part of a drove of documents released by Boeing, which show employees talking about concerns with the plane but still pushing its production forward.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boeing employees called the airline involved in the first fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max plane crash "idiots" for wanting training before it started to fly the plane model.

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The latest on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 Max 8. The concern after the Lion Air crash was that erroneous readings from poorly maintained sensors in the nose of the plane might have fooled the automatic systems into falsely concluding that the plane was traveling sharply

Since the Lion Air crash , pilots certified to fly the Max have complained that they were not Boeing introduced the 737 Max as a reliable fuel- and cost-efficient solution to air travel in the 21st century. In the first sign of trouble in its doomed flight on Oct. 29, the plane dipped around 700 feet, and in

Internal messages between Boeing employees revealed that employees were alarmed when Lion Air inquired about its pilots getting training in a simulator before they started to fly the new plane model.

The messages, released by Boeing, are redacted, but the House Transportation Committee gave Bloomberg some excerpts with Lion Air's name unredacted.Forbes also identified Lion Air as the subject of the messages.

The messages, which mocked the airline's inquiry, came as Boeing also convinced Lion Air that such training was not necessary - an idea Boeing used as a key selling point to sell the plane to airlines - both outlets reported.

They are from June 2017, the same month that Lion Air asked Boeing about additional training.

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The Lion Air pilots struggled to keep the plane ascending, with the jet’s nose forced dangerously downward over two dozen times during the There has not been a crash involving Ethiopian Airlines since January 2010, when a Boeing 737 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after it took off

Boeing Thwarted Lion Air ' Idiots ’' Calls for 737 Max Training Before Deadly Crash . Indonesia’s Lion Air considered putting its pilots through simulator training before flying the Boeing Co I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots ,” one Boeing employee wrote in June

In one exchange, an unnamed employee writes: "Now friggin [Lion Air] might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I'm scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! Idiots."

A colleague responded: "WHAT THE F%$&!!!! But their sister airline is already flying it!" - an apparent reference to Malaysian carrier Malindo Air, which was already flying the plane.

Lion Air did not comment on whether it was the carrier named in the messages, but people familiar with the exchanges told Bloomberg that Lion Air had inquired about simulator training before accepting Boeing's line that it was not necessary.

One of Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max planes then crashed in October 2018, killing all 189 people on board.

The final report into the crash criticised Boeing's design of the plane, and criticised the manufacturer for not telling airlines about new software on the plane which malfunctioned during both fatal 737 Max crashes.

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As the Lion Air crew fought to control their diving Boeing Co. 737 Max 8, they got help from an unexpected source: an off-duty pilot who happened to be riding in the cockpit. An off-duty pilot saved the 737 Max from a crash . The next day, the same plane on flight JT610 crashed into the sea.

When the Federal Aviation Administration announced it was grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes , the agency said it had identified similarities between last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia six months earlier.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed in March 2019, killing all 157 on board. The crash resulted in the Max planes being grounded around the world, where they still remain and cost airlines and Boeing billions of dollars.

Boeing is still working to get upgrades to the plane that would let it fly again approved by regulators.

Boeing had pushed back against the idea of simulator training as unnecessary

Boeing had argued that additional training was not necessary for pilots because of the plane's similarity to previous Boeing 737 models, making its adoption cheaper and quicker for airlines, and thus a more attractive purchase.

In a March 2017 internal email released in the documents, Boeing's 737 Chief Technical Pilot wrote:

"I want to stress the importance of holding firm that there will not be any type of simulator training required to transition from NG to MAX. Boeing will not allow that to happen. We'll go face to face with any regulator who tries to make that a requirement."

American pilots have been critical of Boeing for not telling airlines about the new software.

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In February 2018, a Boeing worker asked a colleague: "Would you put your family on a Max Boeing has said it is redesigning the automated control system thought to have been the primary cause of 29 October 2018: A 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air crashes after leaving Indonesia, killing all 189

Boeing has said that experienced 737 pilots needed little training for the new Max 8, an assertion that has now come under close scrutiny by regulatory officials and pilots at other airlines . Two of the planes have fatally crashed in the past five months, and regulators around the world grounded all

Then-Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg also defended the communication about the system after the second crash by saying it was "embedded" into the way pilots handled the plane, and so "when you train on the aeroplane, you are being trained on MCAS."

Forbes reported that Lion Air had inquired about its pilots getting one simulator session and 24 hours of classroom time before flying the plane.

a man sitting in a car: The cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max plane. The cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max plane.

Boeing only reversed its position in January 2020, saying that it would recommend pilots train in simulators before they fly Max planes once it returns to service.

One analyst then noted that this could up the cost for airlines - who are already struggling under the cost of the Max crisis - and removes one of the airlines' main incentives for buying the plane.

Jonathan Raviv, a Citi analyst, said in a research note: "This erodes one of the key selling points of the Max in the first place,"

A series of employee messages show they were concerned about the plane, but let it go to production

More than 100 pages of documents that show employee discussions about the Max plane obtained by Reuters reveal that some employees were aware of issues with the plane.

Two Boeing employees said eight months before the first crash that they wouldn't let their families fly on the 737 Max.

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Boeing launched its 737 - Max 8 model last year. The plane that crashed went into service just a Officials say the pilot had asked to return to Soekarno-Hatta airport before losing contact with air Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait said on Tuesday that the plane had been repaired before

When Boeing developed its 737 Max , regulators determined that pilots could fly the planes without extensive additional training because they were essentially the The plane , the 737 Max , was deeply rooted in the company’s psyche, a reflection of its engineering prowess and its enviable safety record.

And one employee said in May 2019, after both crashes: "I still haven't been forgiven by god for the covering up I did last year. Can't do it one more time. The Pearly gates will be closed ..."

Another employee wrote: "This aeroplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys."

Relatives of those killed on the planes described the release of the documents in harrowing terms to Business Insider.

Chris Moore, the father of 24-year-old Danielle Moore who was killed, said he spent "an agonizing night" thinking about the messages, and said that the families of those killed were the "punchline" of a joke among Boeing staff.

Boeing said the communications "do not reflect the company we are and need to be, and they are completely unacceptable."

"We regret the content of these communications, and apologise to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers, and to the flying public for them. We have made significant changes as a company to enhance our safety processes, organisations, and culture.

"The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response. This will ultimately include disciplinary or other personnel action, once the necessary reviews are completed."

  • Read more about Boeing and the 737 Max crashes:
  • Boeing's new CEO faces an uphill battle to restore faith in the company and get the troubled 737 Max back in the air

  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says Boeing's 737 Max disaster could erase half a point from GDP this year - and economists fear even slower growth

  • A major Boeing supplier in Kansas is laying off 2,800 workers because of the 737 Max production halt

History of planes brought down by missiles since 1973 .
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