Documents obtained by The Verge and delivered to The New York Times revealed that Boeing employees were discussing issues related to the 737 Max aircraft long before the crashes that occurred in March and October 2019. These are internal chat messages and emails. include dialogues like this below:
- Employee 1: “Would you put your family on a plane whose pilot was training in the Max simulator? I wouldn't do it ”…
- Employee 2: "No".
In another 2018 conversation, another employee laments a colleague, saying, "God has not forgiven me for what I did last year." This conversation probably occurred after one of the accidents.
Source: Lindsey Wasson / Reuters / Reproduction
The order was to save
The messages show that Boeing was trying to reduce the training time required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enable pilots to operate the 737 Max.
One of the documents reveals a dialogue between Boeing's chief (unidentified) technical pilot and an undisclosed client airline, in which he argues: “There is no reason to require its pilots, which already fly the 737, train again. ” In the same conversation, he amended: "Boeing doesn't understand what should be gained in a 3-hour simulator session."
The 737 Max aircraft was the last update of the original 737, which has been in operation for many years. The company was in a hurry to enable pilots for the new plane, as the 737's main competitor, Airbus's A320neo, uses much less fuel. For this reason, Boeing was trying to sell the idea that no extra training was needed as the aircraft were similar. If any client insisted on training their pilots, this training should be limited because classroom time and the simulator are very costly.
Subsequently, Boeing's chief technical pilot dialogues with another airline employee, saying that his "Jedi mental trick" worked again as he managed to convince the customer that extra training was not needed.
The 737 Max crashes that occurred in March and October 2019 killed 346 people in all.
On Tuesday, Boeing said it would once again recommend full pilot training in preparation for returning to 737 Max aircraft activity.
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