Podcast by Bloomberg
On Jan. 5, the plug door of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 blew out mid-flight, forcing the plane into an emergency landings with a large hole in fuselage. Miraculously, nobody was hurt or killed, but it could have been a disaster. And it was the latest in the persistent string of mechanical and engineering setbacks that have plagued Boeing over the last six years. Of course, the company went into crisis mode in late 2018 and early 2019 when two different 737 Max planes crashed, killing 346 people combined. So what’s wrong with Boeing? It’s a crucial question, since the company is arguably America’s pre-eminent manufacturer and one of the only two dominant global players in commercial jets. On this episode we speak with Bloomberg investigative reporter Peter Robison, the author of Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing. We discuss the company’s problems, its history and culture, and how it lost its focus on safety and engineering in favor of a focus on pleasing shareholders.
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