“Our arrogance we will lose”: Boeing described from the inside by employees

Contempt of regulators, airlines and their own colleagues: a series of messages that are embarrassing to the employees of Boeing announced Thursday book year unflattering picture of the aircraft manufacturer, and depicts year internal culture that is marked by “arrogance” and the attempt to reduce all costs.

These communications, tone is often acerbic and jumper, show that the current difficulties of Boeing go beyond the 737 MAX, shining the spotlight on malfunctions unimaginable in a company that manufactures the u. s. president’s plane Air Force One gold that has democratized air travel.

There we learn that Boeing has downplayed the importance of the anti-stall MCAS to avoid a pilot training on a simulator is deemed to be more costly and likely to be extended the time of approval of the MAX.

Yet it is this software that is involved in the two accidents of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines have been 346 deaths and led to the grounding of the MAX.

“We need to stay firm on the point that there will be no training on the simulator. (…) We will fight against any regulator that will attempt to make a” pre-writing, an employee to his colleague in march 2017, shortly before the registration for the MAX.

A few months later, the same employee, a test pilot, who boasts of having “allowed (Boeing) to save lots of dollars”.

His messages are contained in more than one hundred pages of documents, dating from 2013 to 2018, transmitted to the american congressmen by Boeing and consulted by the AFP. With A few exceptions, most of the names of the employees have been deleted.


In 2018, several employees working on the simulators to the MAX, worried that many of the technical difficulties encountered and their origin.

“Would you bring your family in a simulator MAX ? Me, I would not do it”, writes one of them in February, eight months before the first tragedy. “No,” responds a colleague.

Two other employees are afraid, them, the consequences for the image of Boeing, while their leaders seem to be obsessed by the idea of to catch up on the A320Neo from Airbus.

“All of their messages speak only of the respect of the deadlines and make little state of quality”, laments one of them.

“We are all alone in this mess, by choosing a sub-contractor to lower costs and imposing time limits untenable. Why the sub-contractor low-cost the least experienced he won the contract? Just because it was a question of dollars,” says his colleague.

“An apology will not suffice,” says Robert Clifford, a lawyer for families of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines.


The documents also show the employees of Boeing doubting the skills of the engineers of the company.

“This is a joke,” one employee wrote in September 2016, in reference to the 737 MAX. “This plane is ridiculous.”

“Design sucks”, thrashes another in April 2017.

However, Boeing has represented for decades, the nec plus ultra in terms of engineering. We owe him the 747, nicknamed “queen of the Skies”, as well as participation in the Apollo program that feels the first man on The Moon.

The Seattle giant and its network of sub-contractors are behemoths of the american economy.

“It is a problem of culture. It will take 5 to 12 years at least to change the culture,” written in may 2018 year employee.

“It’s systemic”, nods approval another a month later. “We have a team of leaders that understands very little about the industry, the purpose imposed on us targets as” unrealistic, ” he added while criticizing the fact that some “do not render accounts”.

Michel Merluzeau, an expert in Air Insight Research, believes that “Boeing needs to re-examine year operational culture of another era.”

“These documents do not reflect the best of Boeing. The tone and language of the messages that are inappropriate, particularly when it comes to issues as important,” says Greg Smith, the acting director-general, in a letter feels Friday to employees, and be consulted by the AFP.

Communications scratched also the regulators of the air, to begin with by the federal agency of aviation (FAA), which approved the MAX.

“There was no certainty that the FAA understands what it approves” or not, says a year employee in February 2016.

The demands of the airlines are considered to be at best unreasonable.

“Now, these bastards of Lion Air, will perhaps need a simulator to test the MAX, and this is because of their stupidity,” wrote one employee in June 2017. What “Idiots!”.

Lucid, another concludes in February of 2018: “Our arrogance we will lose it.”