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Internal Boeing Documents Reveal Company Effort to Minimize Regulation of Unsafe Jets

By: Matthew Tievsky

Two recent crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets have led the airplane manufacturer to keep the model grounded in order to prevent future crashes. This has raised the question of why the Federal Aviation Administration certified the Max jet as safe and allowed the model to take to the skies.

Instant messages and other internal documents released by Boeing on January 9, under pressure from Congress, show company employees discussing efforts to manipulate U.S. and international safety regulators.

At issue in some of the messages was whether simulator training should be required for pilots flying the Max. Boeing went to great lengths to prevent such a requirement, in part because it would be costly for its customers, company documents show.

The internal messages show one Boeing employee bragging that he used “Jedi mind tricks” to convince regulators not to impose a simulator requirement. In another internal message, a Boeing employee wrote that the Max “is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”

The Boeing documents are a vivid illustration that some manufacturers may be more interested in cutting corners than promoting safety, and that government regulators may not be equipped to recognize and prevent unsafe practices.This is where the civil justice system can play a valuable role, because a lawsuit may hold a manufacturer accountable for injuries or deaths that regulators failed to prevent.

If you or anyone you know has been injured or killed in a defectively built airplane, automobile, or other vehicle, you should contact the injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., for a free consultation.