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The Origins of Boeings 737 Max Crisis


Hi I'm CEO Belgium. I make the daily you might know my name from the credits. You might know what more like Theo welcome because that's how Michael says it. A lot of people title ask us. How can we help you make what you make? We love it so much. We can't live without it and it's actually really simple what you can do. is you can become a subscriber to the New York Times. That's it's the fastest easiest best way to keep the daily going. Did you like Michael and freshness. We'll be right back from the New York Times. I'm Michael Barr. This is today. The crash of two Boeing seven thirty-seven Max jets has been linked to a new software system that helped send the planes into would deadly nosedive Natalie kidul investigates what federal regulators did and didn't know about that system. It's Tuesday July thirtieth breaking news overnight and we begin with the latest on the brand New Lion Air Boeing seven thirty-seven Max Eight passenger jet that crashed into the sea this morning with one hundred eighty nine eight people on board the mangled wreckage has been found the Boeing seven thirty-seven Max eight aircraft. I went missing just thirteen minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta Boeing facing intense scrutiny after all one hundred fifty seven people on board included gate Americans died yesterday when a plane crashed in Africa is the second catastrophic crash involving Boeing's popular 737 Max eight aircraft consent of being raised about the safety systems of this anti stall system. The CAST is being investigated as a possible cause. Why didn't they the F._A._A.? Stop Stop the airplanes from flying after they knew lion air have been caused by the cast was the F._A._A.. Giving too much authority to bowling to certify its own planes. They're saying saying that Boeing and the F._A._A.. Were conspiracy to get this airplane out whether that claim can be proven it remains to be seen Natalie. It's been weeks now since we've heard any updates on the Boeing story. What have you been up to? We've been trying to report report out exactly how Boeing seven thirty-seven Max was developed how it was certified and how it ended up with. This dangerous new system <unk> called M. S.. This is the software that was implicated in both crashes both crashes which killed three hundred and forty six people and at the heart of this story is is the relationship between Boeing and the F._A._A.. And we were coming to this with an understanding that four years the F._A._A.. Has Been Pushed by Congress to give Boeing more control over the process of approving its own plans and what we were interested in is understanding exactly how that shift how that handoff affected the F._A._A.'s understanding of this plane and its decision into certify it as safe to fly and it'll eat Y was congress pushing for that delegation of authority from the F._A._A.. which we think of as the guardian of for air safety to Boeing well industry groups have been lobbying for it? You know aircraft manufacturers like Boeing would like to have more control over this process and many of the top officials at the F._A._A.. Actually support this approach. Many of them are saying that they don't feel as though they have the resources necessary necessary to be as involved in the certification process. They're also having a tough time recruiting talent. You know this is a government government agency with government salaries. They're competing for engineers with companies like Boeing and so they are trying to do more with less and the way of doing more with less is to offload as much of the routine certification tasks as possible onto the manufacturer onto Boeing and to keep the critical safety items so you free up the F._A._A.. Officials that remain to focus on the most important stuff in the certification of an airplane but I guess now why would you be focused on this shift in relation to the system given that it would still fall. I have to imagine into the category of vital safety checks that are going to be done by the F._A._A.. Not Delegated to Boeing right that was the central central mystery this scene like the kind of critical safety issue that would have remained firmly within the control of the F._A._A.. And yet there was clearly really some kind of disconnect here and so my question was did this shift toward more reliance on industry have something to do with it. So how do you answer Your destination is on the left. I am here and Mike McRae's house is former Boeing employees of it. He <hes> he knows them coming. Mike McRae is one of them. Don't can you tell me about that so and you were going remind me. The years dislike in scituate I can't I mean I think I went to work there. In seventy slate seventy seven hasn't been important for a while. Mike is a former Boeing employee and a former F. A. A. Employees. I did the five seven job and then I inherited all of the Renton plant inherited. He's an engineer. He knows a lot about this world. He left the F._A._A.. Twenty thirteen and he wasn't directly involved in the Max is certification but he knows a lot of the players involved with creating the group that certified the Max and he is an expert on Boeing culture and the F._A._A.. Culture he's kind of the perfect person in many ways to explain the shift and what is Mike Tell you about how this shift in certification certification played out. I mean everybody has been happening except more and more delegation each manager that came along had to accept more because they just flat didn't have the ability to then have the money for salary to go out and get senior people and they didn't have the authorization to get body count. Mike says basically that the goal was in many ways totally understandable but to resource management thing he agrees that the expertise had kind kind of thinned out in the F._A._A.. Back in the day the average guy had at least four or five years of industry experience before he came to the agency but we started to get just kids fresh out of school or even you know coming out of companies that were pipe fitters or whatever whatever he agrees that there was a need to rely more on Boeing and he thought that the idea of offloading mundane tasks to the company company was totally worthy that sounded good to him. They had to do better with what they have had org smarter and they thought that this processing and allegation was a way to do it smarter and if the company stepped up to do at the age she used to do sounds fine but what he <unk> says is that it goes beyond its initial intention the more they trust the company. The less critical system is more the delegate and that's that's kind of gotten to be a runaway freight train. According to people I talked to and veers into something that comes much closer to a situation in which the agency is ceding in control over the certification process well all it was definitely one who would trust the industry I am Mike Identifies One person who is really at the heart of all of this. I'll barometer yeah is a guy named Ali. BARAHMI BARAHMI was was the head of the F. as Seattle operation for many years he then left for a period of time to become a lobbyist for an industry group that represented it manufacturers including Boeing then he came back to the F._A._A.. Now he is the head of safety at the F._A._A.. And he has spent his career advocating for for more delegation to companies all all he did not help that's for sure but he was a result of the culture he wasn't because of the culture culture and Mike is very careful to point out that Ali Barahmi is not the author of this shift towards delegation but he is a champion of it he he was trying to do a better job with the culture but he was he ended up in my opinion being kind of the tipping point under his as management everything kind of went the other way and it was intentional. I mean they they couldn't keep doing detail work. It didn't have the staff or and while he's running running the F._A._A.'s Office in Seattle he is responsible for staffing this new office which eventually handles the Mac certification and the office has such a singular singular focus that it is actually named after the company. It's called the Boeing Aviation Safety Oversight Office even though it's inside the Federal Zero Aviation Administration right and several current and former F._A._A.. Engineers had suggested to me that Ali Barahmi as he staff this Of whether M S was this important system in the beginning it wasn't seen as an important system at all in the very beginning of the development of the Max. M CASS was was a system that would be used in very rare scenarios that a passenger plane would almost never encounter high-speed sharp turns. That's not something that you will experience on your flight to Seattle and so when the first safety assessment comes in a failure of the system is not rated as particularly particularly dangerous so the MAC certification progresses and as Boeing's racing to complete this plane late in the process managers at the F._A._A.. Delegate delegate the approval of the safety assessment of 'EM CASS back to Boeing <hes> meaning Boeing now has final say over the safety assessment of the system. The logic here is that this isn't really a risky system so the F._A._A.. Doesn't have to be you know on it. In the way that it was in the beginning but at the same some time it is conducting a major overhaul of M S in a way that makes it much more aggressive how so so what happens is there are flight tests in two thousand sixteen inside Boeing and they realized that they need 'em cast in more scenarios than that rare one that I mentioned earlier that sharp turn earn at high speed right they actually now needed in low speed situations in which the plane is approaching a stall why because pilots of Boeing find that the Max is he's not handling. It's not flying the way that it's predecessor the seven thirty seven N.. G. Did in certain dangerous scenarios in low speeds and and so they decide that they need to operate in that low speed scenario so Boeing looks at the potential danger of the changes internally and they've find is that actually these changes don't make the system any more dangerous that when m s activates in low oh speeds they say it's GonNa be less of a big deal than when it activates in high speeds because lower speeds less risk <hes> and so so they think that's what they determine and they don't actually submit a new safety review because one is not required because they've determined that the system has not become any more dangerous. They're also assuming that pilots are going to intervene within seconds and they get to make the termination because the F._A._A.. Okay has delegated the process to that's right older right back. People are busy. 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They have to push the nose down much more for the same effect effect and our understanding is that the F._A._A.. Engineers who were initially responsible for determining is this system safe and for really picking it apart and looking looking inside it and figuring out how it works from an engineering perspective they didn't know that M. cast could move this part of the tail by two and a half degrees which is a lot. They didn't understand the real intricacies of how this system worked. I just want to be sure I understand this at the beginning of this process us when the F._A._A.. Is Heavily involved in the certification of 'em they understand that when triggered this software can move the plane lean a certain amount a pretty modest amount and when the certification processes delegated to Boeing unbeknownst to most of the folks at the F._A._A.. This system is being triggered in Function it presents a lot like another scenario that pilots should be familiar with. It's called a runaway stabiliser and they have a checklist an emergency checklist for that so what the F._A._A. believes is sufficient is to publish a notice with that emergency procedure the say in this notice that the plane has this potential for a repeated nose down. They do not mention M. cast by name. The agency at this point believes that the emergency procedures are going to be sufficient but just under five months later another Max crashed after m s activated it Ethiopian Airlines flight three two crashed shortly after takeoff when pilots again were battling an M. S. activation after that crash in March it took the F._A._A.. Longer than international regulators including in Europe and China to ground the Max but they eventually do and in the aftermath aftermath we have seen multiple investigations that are now looking into whether there were flaws in the fundamental system <unk> system the regulatory process and the hands off approach that gave so much control over the approval of the plane to Boeing only Nelly from everything you're saying it sounds like the crashes of these seven thirty seven Max jets and the deaths that resulted it really can't be divorced from this regulatory process where the F._A.. Relinquishes Its authority over certifying among the safety of these Boeing planes back to Boeing. It's really hard to say the F._A._A.. Has said the the goal of delegation is to give away the stuff that doesn't matter and this ended up mattering a lot so clearly there was a disconnect act. The agency in its own defense has said that it followed all of the rules and proper procedures but I think what federal investigators ears and lawmakers are now looking at is whether following the rules is enough <music>. Thank you very much. Thank you Ali Barani who ran the F._A._A.. Office in Seattle that oversaw Boeing and is now the agency's head of aviation safety is is scheduled to testify tomorrow before a Senate Oversight Committee Barahmi and two of his colleagues are expected to be asked about the certification ACACIA process for the seven thirty seven Max. What if someone told you that you have a disease but you have to wait to get really sick before you can be considered word for treatment? Many people with advanced liver disease are told they're not sick enough to be listed for transplant. Does this sound like you or someone you love if so don't wait eight learn about living donor liver transplants at U._p.. A._M._C. Today visit life-changing liver dot com slash U._p.. A._M._C. to learn more or to sign up for an evaluation in today. Don't wait contact you G._M._C. now. Here's what else you need to know day. On Monday. President trump mm said he would nominate Republican Congressman John Radcliffe of Texas as the next director of national intelligence despite his lack of experience in national security you wrote one hundred and eighty pages one hundred and eighty pages about decisions that weren't reached about potential crimes that weren't charged. Yeah decided Ratcliffe of former U._S.. Attorney and small town mayor is best known for his outspoken defense of trump including his is questioning last week a former special counsel Robert Muller so Americans need to know this as they listen to the Democrats Socialists on the other side of the aisle as they do dramatic readings from this report that volume two of this report was not authorized under the law to be written. I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not about the loft he's not but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law which is volume two of this report him if confirmed by the Senate radcliff would replace Dan Coats who shielded intelligence agencies from trump's criticism of their work especially their conclusion that Russia interfered in the two thousand sixteen election and

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