Grand Jury Impaneled To Collect Data Pertaining To Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max 8 Crash

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It’s good to know that the DOT US Department of Transportation and at least one prosecutor from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have taken steps to insure that documents pertinent to Boeing and its development of the 737 Max 8 plane will not be inadvertently destroyed as 2 of these planes have been involved in 2 fatal crashes within 6 months with a similar pattern as to the problems that caused these tragedies.

Update on 3/22/2019: It has been reported that there were safety features which were not on some Boeing 737 Max planes that have been in use because Boeing charged extra for them. But in the future, these safety features will be standard on all 737 Max planes. There are reports out there indicating that both fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX 8 models in October 2018 flown by (Lion Air) of Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019, could have been prevented if the planes had been equipped with all the safety equipment.

Here’s the rest of the story…

As per a 3/18/2019 Daily Beast publication, “U.S. Grand Jury to Examine How Boeing’s 737 Max 8 Jets Are Made,” a news update on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302/ a Boeing 737 Max 8 model, that crashed on March 10, 2019, “The day after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff in Ethiopia, a Washington, D.C. grand jury issued a broad subpoena naming at least one person with knowledge of how Boeing’s 737 Max jets are made, TheWall Street Journal reports. The subpoena, dated March 11, seeks documents—including correspondence, emails, and text messages—regarding the jet’s development, the paper reports. The inquiry reportedly seeks to ensure that no records were destroyed in the days following the crash that killed 157 people from more than 30 countries. The probe also involves at least one prosecutor from the fraud section of the Department of Justice’s criminal division. The documents must be turned over to the jury within a month.”

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On March 17, 2019, Yen Nee Lee of CNBC penned the following report, “US is scrutinizing the development of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft: WSJ”

Excerpts:

“The U.S. Department of Transportation is scrutinizing the development Boeing planes involved in 2 recent fatal crashes, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.”

“The DOT inquiry was launched after a new Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea in October, according to the Journal, which cited people familiar with the inquiry. All 189 people aboard died.”

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“Five months later, on March 10, a second Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on the Ethiopian Airlines plane. Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said Sunday that preliminary data retrieved from the plane’s flight data recorder showed “a clear similarity”with the Indonesian crash.”

“The Journal reported in an update to the article that a grand jury in Washington issued a broad subpoena one day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash to at least one person involved in the development of the Boeing 737 Max. The subpoena, which reportedly involves a prosecutor from the Justice Department, was said to seek relevant documents, such as emails and other messages.”

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“It is not clear whether the probe by the Justice Department is related to the DOT’s investigation, according to the Journal report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.”

“Shares of Boeing, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 1.52 percent to $378.99 on Friday but have fallen sharply from their 52-week high of $446.01 reached earlier this month. They were down more than 2 percent in Monday’s premarket.”

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“The DOT inquiry is concentrated on a flight safety system suspected of playing a role in the fatal crash in Indonesia, the Journal reported. The WSJ reported in November that Boeing failed to warn the airline industry about a potentially dangerous feature in its new flight-control system.”

“When contacted for comment on the Journal report, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman referred CNBC to the DOT. The Transportation Department did not immediately reply to CNBC’s request for comment, which was sent outside U.S. office hours.”

For the full report on the DOT’s inquiry, read The Wall Street Journal.

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As per a November 2018 Daily Beast report, “Boeing held back information about possible malfunctions with the new flight-control feature that’s believed to have played a role in the Lion Air jet crash that killed 189 people in Indonesia last month, The Wall Street Journal reports. FAA officials and safety experts involved in the investigation told the Journal that the automated stall-prevention system on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models can kick in and send a plane into a steep dive even if pilots are manually flying the aircraft. Investigators are still working to determine if that is what caused the Lion Air flight out of Jakarta to plunge into the Java Sea on Oct. 29. Boeing warned airlines about that risk in a safety bulletin issued just days after the crash—but pilots who fly the latest models for U.S. airlines were reportedly left in the dark about not only the potential risks but the new system itself. “It’s pretty asinine for them to put a system on an airplane and not tell the pilots who are operating the airplane, especially when it deals with flight controls,” Capt. Mike Michaelis, chairman of the safety committee for the Allied Pilots Association, told the Journal. An unnamed high-level Boeing official quoted in the report said the company had decided to leave out certain details about the new models so as not to overwhelm average pilots with more information than they would need.”

Independent report: Boeing 737 Maxplanemaker’s safety analysis had profound flaws

2 comments

    • Dear Keith.

      I’m in full agreement. The Boeing brand has lost stature, its credibility is at stake.The stockholders need to take management to task as the news will inevitably end up going public. This requires a very public ‘Mea Culpa’ and strong corrective action. This can not be a drip-drip case of negative news while the stock holders hide for cover and do nothing.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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