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Boeing Employee Mocked the ‘Clowns’ Who Designed Crash-Prone 737 Max

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash., September 16, 2019. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Internal Boeing communications that have been revealed to congressional investigators showed company employees apparently mocking their own colleagues as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA_ regulators.

“This airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys,” one Boeing employee wrote in 2017.

“Would you put your family on a Max [flight-]simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t,” wrote another employee in 2018, before the first crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia. That crash killed 189 passengers and crew, while another 737 Max belonging to Ethiopian Airlines crashed several months later, killing 157 people.

The FAA said no new safety risks to the 737 Max itself were revealed in the latest documents produced by Boeing. The two crashes were caused by a software failure that the company is still working to update.

“We regret the content of these communications, and apologize to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers and to the flying public for them,” read a statement from Boeing. “The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response. This will ultimately include disciplinary or other personnel action, once the necessary reviews are completed.”

Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the FAA grounded all models of the 737 Max worldwide.

In December Boeing ordered a halt on production of the aircraft. The decision was projected to have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy, due to Boeing’s status as the country’s largest manufacturing exporter.

Boeing said at the time that the 12,000 workers at the 737 Max factory would be reassigned; however, thousands more jobs positioned in the aircraft’s supply chain were also affected. The aircraft is the best-selling model in company history, with 5,000 sold to airlines worldwide and another 400 unsold.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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