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Boeing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Mar 08, 2024
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tonight

is about airplanes, the place where you're going to say, "I'll read a little before watching." Nine episodes of The Office you've already seen and the planes landing in Tucson make a lot of us nervous even though commercial air travel is the safest way. of mass transportation, but accidents happen and there was one recently that drew a lot of attention. Passengers are sharing their terrifying experience aboard an Alaskan Airlines plane that lost a door plug during flights on what was supposed to be a short trip from Portland to Ontario, California. For Garrett Cunningham, it turned out to be one of the most terrifying experiences of his life.
boeing last week tonight with john oliver hbo
A gust of air looked to my left and part of the plane disappeared. My brain couldn't calculate what I was looking at, yes, of course it did. Our minds filter out things that shouldn't make sense. Mine, for example, refuses to acknowledge that tomatoes are fruits or that Bill's shoe is not extinct. Does that really seem like something that should exist at the same time as the iPad? I don't think so. Now, fortunately, that flight landed safely with only a few injuries, but experts say it was luck in the first place, if someone had been sitting in the window seat with their seat belt off, they could have been sucked out of the plane and secondly, this just happened. after takeoff, but if they had been at cruising altitude, the injuries could have been catastrophic and that plane was almost new, it had been delivered by the manufacturer Boeing about 2 months earlier and that is too early for a shoe to fall apart and much minus a multi-million dollar investment. dollar planes, now Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun was quick to take responsibility saying that Boeing is responsible, but when pressed about exactly what had happened he had a strange response: How did he fly an unsafe plane in first place? because a quality exhaust was produced.
boeing last week tonight with john oliver hbo

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boeing last week tonight with john oliver hbo...

Can a leak occur? it's a quality exhaust I think that's the description of what people find in their inspections um uh anything that could potentially contribute to an accident what quality didn't escape a part of the plane did that's a terrible answer when you ask how come an unsafe plane flew in the first place, we need more information that essentially the plane was unsafe yes, everyone knows that there is a hole in the side and the exact nature of the leak is quite alarming given that according to the preliminary investigation, four bolts that were supposed to be missing from the plug to hold the door plug in place and when Alaska checked their other max9 planes they found loose bolts on many of them.
boeing last week tonight with john oliver hbo
The next day, the FAA announced that all Boeing 7379 Maxes with a plug-in door would be grounded until they were inspected, which is a bit. of relief and, honestly, a fun image. I like to imagine the FAA Stern inspectors going to every plane and saying you're grounded, Missy, there will be no TV on board for a month and yes, planes are girls because think about it, they always have snacks and constantly. say get out right now and then not move for 15 minutes case closed is starting to feel like this could be a much broader problem within Boeing because it comes on the heels of a years-long string of alarming incidents, from onboard fires to a of two massive crashes that were blamed on defective Boeing planes, and just this

week

the FAA issued a surprising order to the company.
boeing last week tonight with john oliver hbo
The Federal Aviation Administration gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan to address the safety issues. This comes after a report released on Monday found that employees did not understand their role in safety and feared retaliation for raising safety-related concerns. Those are big problems when you have a factory that makes Jets, yes, of course, although to be fair, workers can't raise safety concerns. a big problem in a factory that makes anything no one wants, grocery stores that sell Captain Crunch, oops, rat poison, and all of this is surprising for a company that really used to be seen as one of the largest in America and which continues to be one of the most important in the country. larger exporters, so if such a large and important company seems to have so many problems

tonight

, let's talk about Boeing and start with the fact that Boeing used to be synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, it was founded by William Boeing in 1916 and, throughout Over the years, it built nearly 100,000 aircraft for the Allied Forces, the first stage of the Satin Five rocket and Air Force One, but they are best known for revolutionizing commercial aviation in 1967.
Boeing introduced the 737. More have been built since then. of 10,000 aircraft and the company's success depends largely on its well-deserved reputation for excellence, as in this video of an annual shareholder meeting, the first step to making a difference is believing that you can, we make the impossible happen regular so you can achieve it, you just have to think of a new way to do it, let's do it right, whatever it is, quality, safety, environment, do it right and make it something you can be proud of. I wanted to develop products that had global reach and impact and I'm doing that now.
I mean, that sounds pretty good, we do the impossible, cool, we love the impossible, let's do it right, yeah, let's do it wrong. It feels like a bad way to do it. I want to develop a product with global impact and I did it right for you. You are too close. to the camera, but generally I'm on board, in fact, Boe had a great reputation for safety among pilots, there was even a common saying: if it's not Boe, I'm not going, which the company put on t-shirts, lanyards and cups. that you can still shop on its website for all the perfect gifts for someone who loves name-brand products and doesn't love following the news, and that the company's stellar reputation has been credited to the company's open, engineer-focused culture, he once said.
William Boeing himself after noticing some shoddy work on his production line that he would close shop rather than submit such work and a project leader in the 80s and early 90s is remembered for not telling secrets and The only thing that will make me rip off your head and lower your neck is withholding information and I'm sorry, but that should be the cup you want, a change of merchandise, that's how it's done, but it's pretty clear that today we're a long way from that. culture and most observers will trace the change back to this pivotal event.
Big announcement today in the world of aviation Boeing and McDonald Douglas announced today that they would merge to form the world's largest aircraft manufacturer. I think it is a historic moment in aviation and aerospace. Yes, the Sky Boys got married. Boeing merged with McDonald Douglas. They were primarily known for military aircraft and had a terrible reputation for commercial airliners, particularly the DC10, which had multiple crashes resulting in the deaths of over 1,100 passengers and appeared to be merging with the McDonald Douglas Aerospace assassination emporium. Manufacturing Corporation SL, so the Boeing CEO's worst decision probably wasn't because he also, and this is true, married his first cousin, so the

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decision I would ask this guy to make is who he It is a good idea to partner and, although Boeing was the acquirer of the partnership, it soon became clear that the McDonald Douglas culture that was much more ruthless and profit-oriented was going to be dominant from the beginning, the McDonald Douglas management team even He gave his Boeing counterparts a plaque with an Economist magazine cover about the challenges of corporate mergers, which sounds benign until you see that the actual cover was this one. photo of two camels and the McDonald Douglas executive added the line who's on top and, leaving aside the weirdness of giving away camel porn to his co-workers, it begs the question of what was going on with the economist back then.
Consider the employee who dreamed of doing business journalism only to find himself researching photographs of horned camels hitting the ground a year after the merger was finalized. Boing announced a new stock buyback program by taking money from the company that could have gone into making airplanes and using it to inflate stock prices. and even the company's mechanics noticed the cultural change. A major campaign was launched called Stock Value and the idea was that they wanted everyone to be aware of the stock price and they wanted everyone to work together to increase the stock value, including technical meetings. revolved around Boing stock prices, yeah, that's not reassuring because that's not where you want their priorities to be focused.
He doesn't want to get on a plane and he, good afternoon, the captain is talking about him. We had some technical issues, but our maintenance team assured us that the stock price is still going strong, so let's take this big metal tube full of you and your loved ones into the sky, shall we? The cultural change was solidified with the decision to move the corporate headquarters from Seattle, where its commercial aircraft were actually designed and built 2,000 miles away from Chicago because, as its CEO said, when the headquarters is located near a major company , the Corporate Center is inevitably involved in day-to-day business operations and yes, it should be, you're essentially saying "hello, we." We're going to be making big business decisions here, so we don't need to bother with you nerds now keeping planes in the air.
CEO Phil Conit soon left the company amid a hiring scandal and was replaced by Harry Stoner, the former CEO of McDonald Douglas, was an aggressive cost cutter who pressured Boing's management to be tougher on its workforce and introduced the slogan less family, more team, which frankly would have been great advice for Phil Condit when he was choosing a romantic partner minus family Phil. You want to be a team, but not one that's related by blood, but problems with the first approach to stock price soon became apparent during production of the 787 Dreamliner. It was a new, lighter plane that Boeing announced in 2004, but Stone Cipher scaled it down drastically. the R&D budget knows the money to create the plane, even as the company authorized large stock buybacks and dividends for investors under its plans, the Dreamliner would be developed for less than half of what its previous new plane had cost. .
Bo also sought savings through outsourcing. production to about 50 suppliers, each of whom was responsible for managing their own subcontractor, so basically the plan was for Boing to create the plane the same way someone creates a gingerbread house from a kit, essentially assembling a bunch of pieces that other people made to come up with a finished product. product that structurally speaking was always going to be a disaster and years later Boeing itself produced a promotional video that admitted that the plan was a Fasco executing a project of such complexity it turned out to be more than some suppliers could handle.
Wrinkles were found in composite skins from one supplier Fasteners were secured incorrectly in tail sections there were gaps between units that were supposed to fit perfectly together we had our partners and then they had partners who had partners and the different cultures and the Communication was very challenging and added a lot of complexity, you know, it's never a good sign when you talk about the manufacturing process of an airplane in the same way that a condemned open thropple talks about his private life, we had our partners and then they had partners They had partners and communication was a big challenge. and added a lot of complexity and a long history, now we all have chlamydia and, on top of that, Stone Cipher was forced to resign following an affair with a Boeing vice president and was replaced by the company's third CEO in as many years, Jim McNerney. who, if anything, accelerated cost reduction, but despite all the hiccups of outsourcing, Boeing managed to launch the dream liner on time in an elaborate ceremony in 2007, except there was one small snag: we were all inside the factory with artificial lighting on a big stage Tom Brocca huge screens then they open the doors to this gigantic assembly bay and roll up this beautiful, beautiful plane, we learned that it was all a farce, beautiful, isn't it absolutely beautiful?
I noticed that the doors were made of plywood, this plane we were admiring was completely a shell inside what I realized as I walked around is that you could look into the wheel well and you could see the light from the day. Wow, what a historic moment, so exciting to see the unveiling of the first airplane made entirely of plywood and the plane lies. He was supposed to make his first flighttest two months after that release, but, unsurprisingly, that didn't happen; in fact, the Dreamliner did not carry commercial passengers for years and finally delivered the planes three years late and $25 billion over budget and almost immediately there were problems.
Several planes suffered onboard fires, including two in Boston and Japan within nine days of each other, which investigations linked to a faulty battery made by a subcontractor that Boeing had never audited, prompting the FAA to ground the Dreamliner in ground for the first time it has grounded an airplane model since then. McDonald's Douglas dc10 in 1979 again made it quite clear that the wrong attitude had prevailed after the merger. Basically, the wrong camel emerged victorious and investigations revealed that even the people who built the Dreamliner were concerned about its safety in 2014. Aler released hidden camera footage. of a worker at a Dreamliner plant asking his co-workers a fairly direct question: did you fly in one? um no, you won't fly in one.
Did you fly on one of these planes? did you fly in one of these? You wouldn't, why wouldn't you, huh, why wouldn't you? Because I see the quality video that is playing here. Did you fly with one of these? Yes, it is incomplete. I probably would, but I mean, I'm a killer too. It's true out of 15. The workers you asked 10 said they wouldn't fly on that plane and honestly the

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type is almost worse because if you had to choose between a plane that two thirds of the workers refuse to get on and one in which they would only be ridden by death wishes.
Dave, I would always choose the first, but while the Dreamliner had its problems at least it never had a fatal accident, but that can't be said for Boeing's next plane, the 737 Max, in 2011, when Boeing was launching the Dreamliner, its main competitor , Airbus, was introducing the A320 Neo, a fuel-efficient upgrade to its already popular A320 aircraft and it was a huge success. Boeing was caught completely off guard and quickly announced a new fuel-efficient plane that it hadn't even designed yet, the 737 Max. They wanted to get it off the market as quickly and cheaply as possible. McNerney even had a catchphrase.
More for Less, which became the company's driving theme as it embarked on the Max and, meanwhile, under McNerney and his successor as CEO, Dennis Mullenberg Boing, continued to approve massive stock buybacks from 2014 to 2018. Boeing diverted 92% of its operating cash flow to dividends. and share BuyBacks to benefit investors that far exceed the money it spent on research and development for new planes, workers on the max production line described a process that valued speed over safety and one military veteran worried that corners were being cut, what words would you use? to describe that factory at that time dangerous um unnecessary Take an unnecessary risk, he says, he urged the Boeing manager to close the factory for a few

week

s to fix things and what was his reaction to that and he said, um, you know we can.
It didn't close and then I got a little angry and said, you know, I've seen military operations closed for a lot less, what was your response to that? Something I'll never forget, he said, um, he said, well the military is not a profit Mak Organization, wow, what an answer, because in a way you're right, the military is not a profit driven culture, but they do have an appetite very high because of death and destruction, so if someone who worked there leaves, who is slow? Taking that down a notch seems like something that should give you pause, so design and production were rushed and, with tragic consequences, on October 29, 2018, a Lion Air flight bound for Indonesia carrying 189 people, including three children, disappeared from radar just minutes after takeoff and was discovered to have crashed into the water and no one on board survived.
Subsequent investigations revealed that the safety of the plane had been compromised by a series of short-sighted decisions that Boeing had made, starting with the fact that, to save money, Boeing decided that it was not going to build a new plane it was simply going to quickly modify its existing 737 model by giving it new, much larger engines, but that brought some significant complications because these engines are larger and had to be placed further forward and higher on the wings, so Boeing was worried about the plane tucking in too far. up and then the plane could stop, so if it starts to pitch, mcast was designed to help the pilot level the plane.
Yes, they added a system called mcass or maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, basically when the plane was close to a situation where it could stall. McAss, in technical terms, would rotate the horizontal tail fin to raise the tail and push the nose down or, in non-technical terms, he would make the trip upside down with his ass up, but there was a fatal flaw. mcass, which again could push a plane's nose down on its own, could be activated by a single sensor, the angle of the AAG sensors protruding from both sides of the fuselage near the cockpit, if a happy birthday myar balloon gets stuck In that vein, it becomes unreliable, but believe it.
Whether we hit balloons or not, we hit H Birds uh and all these things are not uncommon, it's true that the entire system could be compromised by one balloon, a testament to how problematic it is to use a single sensor and yet another reason to hate balloons. Think about it, they're exhausting to inflate, they scare you when they explode and deflate, they just look like a bunch of clown condoms. Balloons are terrible, but it's made worse because Boeing didn't tell the pilots about mcass because they remember they decided to do it. marketing the 2 Airlines plane as a money saver and a big selling point was that the maximum would not require pilots to be retrained in a flight simulator, which is a pretty big expense for an airline as it takes pilots out of the air for several days.
Boeing was concerned that if they emphasized mcass as something new, it might require more training, so they told airlines and regulators that training on the max simulator was so similar to the old 737 that it wouldn't be necessary and that's something they Even the mother of one of the Lion Air pilots whose flight crashed thought it was a bit strange at the time. I said you haven't had simulator training, how can you go for Max? and he is a more powerful engine, so without a simulator, how will you cope, said mom. They have given me continuous training, they have given me training on the iPad.
I said, what an iPad is crazy. It's bad enough that iPads are replacing half of Panera Breit's staff. It is worse when they replace the practical training for dangerous jobs that Boeing provided. Take a 2 hour iPad training course that never mentioned mcass, what's more, it wasn't in the manual at all unless you count the glossary which defined the term but didn't explain what it did and it turned out that faulty activation of mcast was what had doomed that Lion Air flight and when American Airlines pilots met with Boeing executives after the crash and angrily pointed out that no one had been informed about mcast, the response they received was ridiculous, these guys didn't even know that the damn system was on the plane. nor anyone else we try not to overload the crews with information it is unnecessary I would think there would be a priority in putting explanations of things that could kill you exactly how information about a system that could crash the plane is unnecessary is not everything Froot Loops are of the same flavor or identical twins do not have the same fingerprints or if you give a mirror to a dolphin it will admire its own genitals, that is all good information, but it is not necessary for a pilot to know it, but we put software. on the plane that could try to kill you, you feel important after the accident.
Boeing told us airline pilot that they would have a software fix for mcass ready in about 6 weeks and that the max was allowed to continue flying, but they didn't. The only thing they accomplished in those six weeks was (and you'll never believe this) authorize a record $20 billion worth of stock buybacks, so they were clearly concerned about security, specifically the security of the price of his actions, and so, just over four months later. the crash while Boeing was still working on its six-week software fix. Ethiop Airlines flight 302, a 737 maxjet, crashed after mcass was mistakenly activated again, killing everyone on board and at that time those pilots knew what mcass was but still could not correct their mistaken activation in time 3 days later , the FAA finally suspended the max, but only after all these countries did it first, it was suspended for almost two years until Boeing developed ways to make mcass less error-prone and easier to override and a damning investigation of the Congress later revealed messages showing that Boeing knew how dangerous mcass was throughout the plane's development in 2012, one of Boeing's test pilots had failed to recover from mcass activating in a flight simulator a situation he described as catastrophic. and some of the messages between Boeing employees were damning.
Hundreds of emails and instant messages show employees mocking the FAA, the company and the problems with the plane. One writes that this plane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys. That's bad enough, although part of my wish is that he was still there. designed by clowns who are supervised by monkeys who inform caffeinated toddlers who supervised by a group of floppy puppies were monitored by a wasted bachelorette party whose boss is just a big inflatable tube, so at this point You may be wondering where the regulators are. If the FAA had caught this before people died, and since the answer is definitely yes, what happened?
Well, the agency relied heavily on Boeing employees to ensure the safety of the Maxi because they lacked the ability to effectively analyze much of what Boeing shared about its new plane, one employee even said he thought that A presentation to regulators was like dogs watching TV because they didn't understand what they were seeing and I really hope that's not true. I hope dogs understand what they see on TV, otherwise I did that. Deep dives on squirrels breathing through a small upturned nose and poodle anuses for no reason and incredibly much of the oversight was done by Boeing itself for five decades.
Manufacturers like Boeing were allowed to use what they call FAA-appointed inspectors first to certify that planes were airworthy at first and then on the assembly line to inspect each plane as it went down the road. line, here's the problem, those FAA inspectors were employed by Boeing, there is a conflict of interest, of course, Boeing was paying. Boeing employees will regulate Boeing, it's the most incestuous relationship we've seen in this story so far, which is saying something because remember this guy was his first cousin and while this system of self-regulation has been in place for decades, it was boosted from 2005 onwards after Boeing successfully lobbied to reduce government oversight of airplane designs, essentially allowing it to become even more regulated, and unsurprisingly, several of these Boeing-employed FAA representatives have said they faced strong pressure from managers to limit security analysis and testing so the company could comply.
To meet its schedule and keep costs down at every point along the way, the FAA delegated responsibility to Boeing or gave them the benefit of the doubt, which hopefully they will never do again because Boeing, like so many American companies, appears to be taking advantage the reputation he built. for decades, even when you blow it quarter after quarter and if you're thinking, hey John, don't you work for a Prestige company that got taken over and had Max's name on their signature product? Hey, I don't know what we're talking about, the situation is completely different. New business.
Dad is so mad at us all the time. So what's up? Well, the truth is that Boeing is not going out of business anytime soon. They are one of the top two commercial aircraft manufacturers in the world, so we don't need them to go away, we need them to improve. The key question is: Can they fundamentally change well thanks in part to pressure from families who lost loved ones in those accidents? Congress passed partisan legislation that rolled back some of Boeing's oversight ability. its own planes and it is encouraging that the FAA is now insisting that Boeing come up with a plan to address safety in 90 days, although we will see what that brings andBoeing will say it knows it has made mistakes in the past, but under the leadership of its CEO Dave Calhoun You Know M Quality Escape they are addressing the challenges they currently face with a new spirit of responsibility and complete transparency, but it is really difficult to trust that, given that Calhoun served on Boeing's board of directors since 2009 through many of the worst decisions you've seen tonight and there's also the fact that the 737 Max 8 and 9 planes are still flying despite a directive from the FAA last August highlighting a serious new problem that warns that if pilots were maximally using an engine antifreeze system, which One Pilot described to us as the equivalent of a car's rear windshield defroster, in dry air during more than 5 minutes, could rupture the engine casing, causing a hazard to window passengers, decompression and possible loss of control of the plane, and although Calhoun says he is very confident they will have a Pilots once again be the last line of defense.
One we spoke to even sent us a photo of this sticky note he uses in his cabin to remind him to turn off the anti-icing system along with an iPhone timer and that's a lot of pressure for a Post-It note. They should not be the last line of defense against plane crashes. They should be the last line of defense against Sheila of marketing who eats your chabani. Boeing whistleblowers who want this company to improve have repeatedly said that it won't change until it has new leadership and that Boeing may not be able to maintain its reputation much longer, as evidenced by the fact that on booking sites like Kayak , you can use this menu to select specific Boeing models and exclude them from your flight search; in fact, they've moved that filter on the page after an increase in usage and you know things go wrong when the general public is informed about specific games.
Looking at the models, it's pretty clear that something has to change at Boeing and it has to be at the top of that company because if you're really too big to fail, that should mean you're big enough to put in the time and the resources needed to fix the problem. culture that you have destroyed and in the meantime the least you can do is advertise the type of company you are much more accurately at Boeing we make the impossible happen on a regular basis at Boeing we are proud of our work at Boeing we are sorry , can you back the camera a little closer on Boeing?
I'm sorry, that's how it is. It feels very tight at Boeing. We believe that the first step to making a difference is believing that you can and I'm not talking about that. Any difference, I'm talking about a positive difference in stock price, stock price should go up and stay high like our airplanes do almost all the time since their founding. Boeing has been built on quality, safety and trust, and so we thought we'd try something. new I joined Boeing because I wanted to invent things that no one had ever dreamed of and they told me that if I wanted to do that what I needed was to invent a time machine until 1992 I told them and I think the joke landed like our airplanes. we do almost all the time whatever we do at Boeing let's do it right or do it close enough that no one can tell the difference from the outside and then everyone will keep their mouth shut engineers don't always agree with our business decisions and we encourage them to speak and when they do, I usually say what I can't hear.
Our offices are very far from Seattle. The design of the plane is based on Precision Care's attention to detail and then someone tells you to work so fast that you make everything vulnerable to a balloon that we like. cultivate a profit oriented philosophy here at Boeing and we have the camel porn to prove it who's on top, look man I'm doing what I can, I try to report everything I see to the FAA, I see there's a ship missing. here so I'm going to report it to Boeing oh wait get a text yeah yeah wait you work for the FAA yeah I do FAA work but I actually work for Boeing it's super allowed , it's super allowed, oh, apparently there is a bolt. missing is okay, do you even know how many screws there are on a plane? too many, you lose one or two, that's a surrounding error.
The guys at the factory call me Usain because I love the ball and because I work very fast, it's scary. fast like people should be afraid of how fast I work, is it okay if I take them home? Quality is at the forefront of everything we do at Boeing, and sometimes it's so far ahead that it slips away. I'm not sure I want to get on one of these planes, oh I definitely wouldn't buy one of my own. I would, yes, but that's different because you have the death wish, yes, the death wish, mhm, it's Bo and us.
We are focused on the important things: raising stock prices raising stock prices raising stock prices or raising stock prices delivering value to shareholders at any human cost boing we went to business school get on our plane

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