Boeing employee e-mail to the head of the Boeing 737 MAX program during the plane’s production. The employee added that, “Our work force is exhausted. Fatigued employees make mistakes.”
At the time of the design of the 737 MAX airplane, Boeing was facing intense competition from Airbus and needed a plane that could carry more passengers for longer distances. Rather than design from scratch, the company started with its existing 737 plane and added bigger engines and made it wider. The result was an impact on the plane’s angle of attack, and a decision to not install an alert for the system tracking the plane’s angle. Cost was an issue as well. The result was pilots had only 10 seconds to react to flawed sensing of the plane’s altitude and automatic adjustments in the wrong direction. Two of the planes crashed, killing 346 people.
Boeing’s CEO testified before Congress this past week, and Boeing ran full-page ads twice in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today explaining what it has done thus far to address the issues with the still-grounded plane and the needs of the families of those who were killed in the two crashes.