Boeing is being hit with a $2.5 billion penalty from the U.S. Justice Department for deceiving the FAA about an automated flight system in the 737-MAX.
That automated system ultimately led to two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, in which nearly 350 people died.
Aviation consultant Scott Hamilton explains that being open about the new system would have required training for pilots using it — a massive expense for Boeing. Southwest wanted $1 million per airplane with this system. LionAir even asked Boeing for training. Instead, Boeing opted to cover up its existence … which had deadly results.
Hamilton calls the $2.5 billion penalty a “slap on the wrist,” noting that much of that was already promised in compensation to airlines for the grounding of the planes. He notes that Airbus paid nearly twice that for a bribery case — and no one died in that instance.
He says it will be tough to see how exactly this affects Boeing’s customers, as commercial flights are down so much from the pandemic. Ultimately, though, he thinks that while this has affected Boeing’s stocks, people will continue to fly Boeing and continue to fly 737 MAX planes.
Hamilton says Boeing is trying to make up for its mistakes, but he won’t fully trust the company until it drastically changes its leadership.
“The MCAS was so strong that a pilot could not overcome it — it triggered multiple times, every five seconds, so there wasn’t time for the pilot to really recover from it. And the real problem

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