The Criminal Prosecution of Boeing Executives Should Begin

Damning details of purposeful malfeasance by Boeing executives emerged in a Congressional investigation.
Comments (34)
No. 1-17
KidHorn
KidHorn

They will never be held criminally negligent. For the same reason car execs would never either. Because, generally speaking, you can't imprison someone for doing their job badly. The companies can be sued, but no one will be held accountable for company mistakes.

Sechel
Sechel

I totally agree there should be individual liability. And the report is correct that the FAA was a captured regulator. The irony is that the Senate and House probably contributed to that regulatory capture by way of budget pressure.

There are strong parallels to the Financial crisis of 2008 here

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Not only will Boeing execs not be held accountable, the taxpayers will eventually get to pay for their willful mistakes, I'm pretty sure. Because what's good for Boeing is good for America. Right?

Sechel
Sechel

Barr's DOJ does not prosecute crimes like these. It's vey unlikely they'll go after any Boeing executives

Mish
Mish

Editor

FAA, Boeing Blasted Over 737 MAX Failures

On Wednesday, the Transportation Committee Blasted FAA, Boeing Over 737 MAX Failures

The 238-page document, written by the majority staff of the House Transportation Committee, calls into question whether the plane maker or the Federal Aviation Administration has fully incorporated essential safety lessons, despite a global grounding of the MAX fleet since March 2019.

After an 18-month investigation, the report, released Wednesday, concludes that Boeing’s travails stemmed partly from a reluctance to admit mistakes and “point to a company culture that is in serious need of a safety reset.”

The report provides more specifics, in sometimes-blistering language, backing up preliminary findings the panel’s Democrats released six months ago, which laid out a pattern of mistakes and missed opportunities to correct them. 

In one section, the Democrats’ report faults Boeing for what it calls “inconceivable and inexcusable” actions to withhold crucial information from airlines about one cockpit-warning system, related to but not part of MCAS, that didn’t operate as required on 80% of MAX jets. Other portions highlight instances when Boeing officials, acting in their capacity as designated FAA representatives, part of a widely used system of delegating oversight authority to company employees, failed to alert agency managers about various safety matters.

Boeing Purposely Hid Design Flaws

The Financial Times has an even more damning take in its report Boeing Hid Design Flaws in Max Jets from Pilots and Regulators.

Boeing concealed from regulators internal test data showing that if a pilot took longer than 10 seconds to recognise that the system had kicked in erroneously, the consequences would be “catastrophic”.

The report also detailed how an alert, which would have warned pilots of a potential problem with one of their anti-stall sensors, was not working on the vast majority of the Max fleet. It found that the company deliberately concealed this fact from both pilots and regulators as it continued to roll out the new aircraft around the world.

In Bed With the Regulators

Boeing's defense is the FAA signed off on the reviews.

Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA.

 Only One Way to Stop This

There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.

Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution.

Mish

Zardoz
Zardoz

Prosecutions are for Little People

BLUEWIN
BLUEWIN

Too Bad . . . Nobody goes to jail these days . . . just a small fine . . .

Ninjango
Ninjango

Dennis Muilenburg is the man first in line who must be held responsible for the demise of Boeing

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

Laws are made for punishing small fries, not for big fish like Boeing executives and FAA officials

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Where there's smoke; there's fire.

ColoradoAccountant
ColoradoAccountant

My father-in-law was a high level police executive in Denver and his opinion was that in white collar crime it is almost impossible to get a conviction, because none of the jurors can understand it. Having served on a Federal jury and a state jury, I have to agree.

Greggg
Greggg

In the game of politics, no one goes to prison anymore. Boeing is just another political animal.

Webej
Webej

[May 17, 2019] I disagree. Quadrupling the authority limit (on the angle of trim) of the MCAS without telling the FAA and revising their submissions is surely black letter fraud.

[Oct 24, 2019] Not incompetence and greed. These are easy sins to admit to when not doing so would be worse. Fraud and the rule of law is what should be being discussed.

[Jul 7, 2019] It's not just the mistakes that were made. It's also the fraud committed in getting the thing approved. Nor is the FAA free of blame. But revising the authority of MCAS to 4× the original without resubmission of the plans is simply black letter fraud.

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

This read made me laugh. Very funny stuff. I’m am headed to the store on my unicorn now.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, I wholeheartedly agree. These bloody bastards operate as if the Deep State has their backs, which they do, of course.

Resonant
Resonant

This sentence below makes me think whoever wrote this doesn’t understand how regulatory agencies work with companies like this, because it’s utterly ridiculous:

“Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA.”

Nobody coerced or bribed anyone. These regulatory agencies, whether we’re talking about the FAA in aerospace or the FDA in medical devices - nobody coerced or bribes. They don’t need to. These agencies become like lap dogs for the biggest companies - I’ve worked at a high level in both industries for years.

Nobody is going to go to jail, and if anyone does it’s not going to be executives - especially when they regulators are the ones who abdicated.

Panderson721945
Panderson721945

The focus at the House Committee meeting, was the failure of MCAS stall avoidance system, for the Boeing 737 Max. It was the failure of the MCAS system, that resulted in the crash of 2 Boeing 737 Max Airliners.
The problem with this scenario is, management was encouraged, by senior members of the project, not to build the 737 Max, but to design a new plane. The 737 a forty year old design, would require a larger , heavier , more powerful engine. The CFM Leap engine, would require a modification to the engine pod, moving the engine forward and upward. This modification would allow for the proper ground clearance. The problem is, this modification would alter the Center Of Gravity of this aircraft, A crucial factor in maintaining control of the aircraft. An out of center condition, would most likely result in a stall condition. Instead of designing a proper airliner, Boeing decided to correct the stall problem with the MCAS software program with sensors.

Many attempts have been made to correct the stall problems have been made without success. Boeing has been deceitful in not reporting these issues to the FAA. Personally, I see no corrective action on the 737 Max, beside adapting the MCAS program. The program is nothing more than a giant bandaid.