Updated: Oct 16
Boeing Co. (BA) has been outed in a 238-page report from House Democrats revealing stark flaws on both Boeing and federal regulators behalves that caused the two horrific 737 Max crashes.
The report outlines the cause of the crash, the MCAS system which is used to push the plane's nose down during manual flight to avoid a stall. Further the report recognizes lower-level engineers at both Boeing and the FAA who identified these flaws in June 2016, about a year before the FAA cleared the MAX.
Written in an email by a lower-level Boeing employee, "pilots could find themselves in a mistrim." A mistrim, as explained by the FAA, is essentially a nosedive in which the nose of the airplane is angled pointedly downward. And this was the number one safety issue recognized in the FAA report: "Erroneous data from a single AOA sensor activated the MCAS and subsequently caused airplane nose-down trim or the horizontal stabilizer." This email, written approximately a year before the first MAX crash, identified the exact scenario that resulted in each crash.
Originally, the blame for the crashes was categorized as "pilot error." The House Aviation subcommittee led by Republican Congressman Sam Graves of Missouri had determined the fault of the crash could be attributed to pilot error. He stated, "Pilots trained in the United States would have successfully been able to handle the emergencies."
Sam Graves was given $10,000 in a campaign donation from Boeing in 2018, a year before the subcommittee originally found no wrongdoing on behalf of Boeing.
The report provided by House Democrats also addressed concerns brought forth by lower-level Boeing employees, stating that problems with the MCAS system were eventually unresolved and dismissed.
Boeing will have many questions to answer before airplane passengers feel comfortable on their 737 MAX. And investors should be at the least, critical of Boeing's response to these investigations, as it is a fantastic indication of the company's culture and ability to progress forward.