Yesterday the world was shocked to find out with the news that a brand new Boeing 737 MAX owned by Ethiopian Airways crashed flight on route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing 157 people. This is tragic news and comes after the same identical type of plane owned by Lion Air crashed on 28 Oct 2018, resulting in the loss of 189 lives.
Altogether, 346 lives were lost and countless families who are left to grieve the loss of their loved ones.
At issue is a fundamental question of who is to blame. Whilst the NTSB and the respective authorities conduct their investigation, the tendency is to “wait first” until the results of the investigations are released.
However, this would be a fair assessment if these issues were isolated and Boeing retained the benefit of doubt. However, they are not.
On the 01st of Mar 2019, the Boeing’s deliveries of its KC-46 tanker to the U.S. Air Force have been suspended as the service investigates a series of problems with foreign object debris. You can read more about it over here.
More tellingly however were the revelations by an ex-Boeing quality control inspector, Mr. Gerald Lee Eastman in his blog :The Last Boeing Inspector. Unfortunately, Mr Eastman passed away in February 2019.
The issues highlighted by the late Mr. Eastman deserves a full explanation by Boeing and the FAA. This includes complaints raised by Boeing safety inspectors on 787 oxygen bottle squib failures, Boeing South Carolina’s failure to ensure part serial numbers were recorded correctly during production and failing to notify Boeing customers that their Airplane Readiness Log (ARL) lists were suspect as a result of those errors, and the “lost” defective 787 parts that were likely installed on random 787s in service today. (see here) and Foreign Object Debris on Boeing 787 (see here).
The Pentagon themselves had cited Boeing for quality concerns going back over several years (see here).
Thus, I think the decision by Economic Affairs Minister Dato Seri Azmin Ali in requesting that Khazanah review (or in other words terminate) the deal with Boeing is spot on. There are far too many questions raised on safety by this company that can endanger the lives of Malaysians.