Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
The head of aerospace giant Boeing has been fired after the company faced escalating criticism of its response to fatal crashes involving its 737 Max airliners. In a statement announcing the departure of its CEO Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing said the board had “decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.” Muilenburg, 55, who has worked at Boeing for his entire 34-year career, has been widely criticised for failing to properly acknowledge the impact of the crashes on grieving families. He had also been accused of appearing to mislead the aviation regulator which in turn has been accused of being a ‘captive’ of the industry. His dismissal came days after Boeing announced it would suspend production of the 737 Max, the aircraft involved in two tragedies which cost a total of 346 lives. The plane was grounded worldwide in March 2019, days after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed in similar circumstances to a Lion Air aircraft the previous October. For the past nine months, Boeing has been seeking to fix anti-stall software known as the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). In both fatal crashes, the system forced the nose of the aircraft down despite the pilots’ efforts to overcome it. In October 2019, a multinational taskforce concluded Boeing’s defective 737 Max jet design was able to get by regulators because the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was too reliant on the company to vouch for its safety. John Samuelsen, president of the US Transport Workers Union, which represents thousands of mechanics with American Airlines, said the international fact-finding report showed the consequences of the FAA becoming a captive of the industry it regulates (Risks 921).
Boeing statement. The Independent. Daily Mail.
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