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Boeing is Suspending Production of the 737 MAX in January

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Boeing will halt production of its 737 Max narrow-body jet in January, escalating the company's crisis as it prepares to end a year marked by accidents, scandals, and a plummeting public perception. (www.businessinsider.com) Más...

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dekenai
Richard Crispin 22
Sack the board. Install a new CEO. Scrap the Max altogether. Hire aeronautical engineers and designers to build an aircraft from scratch that is worthy of the company name.
milehighou
milehighou 5
Couldn't agree more. I'd go one step further and put some of these despicable people in jail.
btweston
btweston 2
If it were up to me things would be better!

(Applause)
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 2
I agree. The 737 had never a great plane for decades, but when before this, it was looking tired. They tweaked and fiddled one time too many, when they should have redesigned from the bottom up.
What that means for 400 parked planes, I really don't know.
BluSTi
James Willich 1
"The 737 had never a great plane for decades" (whatever that means)? So the best-selling airplane of ALL TIME hasn't been a great plane for decades? It's a perfectly suitable airframe, literally nothing wrong with it at all.
Boeing management, on the other hand, is a hot mess. Infected with Stonecipher's McDonnell-Douglas syndrome.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 3
Sorry, autocorrect struck and I didn't check. I meant to say "has been" a great airframe - but it's been tweaked too many times, and compared to more modern frames, it looks very tired. And it's clearly over-reliant on software, which is inherently dangerous, implying an unbalanced airframe. When you compare the aged, much-tweaked body to the competition, there's a lot wrong with it - which is why, if they fail to find a fix (and it ain't looking good after all these months), then 400 planes will have to be cannibalised.
You heard it here first. Shouldn't have, but brand-loyalty tends to stop people saying what needs to be said.
BluSTi
James Willich -2
The airframe itself is fine, excellent even. And which airframes are you comparing it to, the Airbus family? Those airframes have their own issues, not the least of which is higher fuel consumption. As for it's reliance on software, that's garbage. The pilots of the two crashed aircraft weren't trained on a system that is as basic as runaway trim. They were poorly trained.
I may be a brand loyalist for reasons I won't discuss, but the aerodynamics of the vehicle is just fine. The corporate culture of Boeing is the issue with Boeing.

Lastly, as far as the much-tweaked aspect, I'm guessing you ONLY drive first-generation vehicles. No tweaking or fixing issues for you!
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 1
30 years of tweaks is one thing; 60 is another.
Even Boeing admit it wasn't pilot error (finally after months of lies).
If it was as you say, WTF isn't the thing flying now?
(Answer: Because - unfixed - it's a death trap)
Your brand loyalty is making you look a little silly.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -2
Odd how that 60-year-old can't-fly-without-software hoodwinked-the-FAA crashes-despite-no-mistakes death-trap of machine is still selling months after being grounded.

Your torch and pitchfork are making you look a little silly.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 1
Don't be silly. And don't talk rubbish.
Southwest has just confirmed grounding until April - so anyone ordering now is either getting a very, very good deal (the price Boeing pays for fooling people like you), or is as gullible as you are.
I don't use a torch and pitchfork; just the facts, ma'am.
Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls.
TWA55
TWA55 1
How does the CEO work for you....
marymcelyea
Mary McElyea 1
Bring back Alan Mullahy....If you can get him to give up a well earned retirement.
ghstark
Greg S 1
Who sacks the board? They represent the owners of the airlines!
ghstark
Greg S 1
Sorry, I mean to write "they represent the owners of Boeing"
ImperialEagle
ImperialEagle 18
They really had to do it. With 400 or so idle aircraft it just doesn't make sense to keep going until they get the certification and make deliveries.
Douglas went through it with the DC-6's.
When MDD went through the grounding of the DC-10's, it was not as protracted. It SHOULD have happened in March of 1974, but that is another story. But, it effectively spelled the end of the DC-10 program. The name had just been associated with accidents and death too many times for the public to forget.
When Lockheed went through the design debacle with the L-14's, P-38's, L-049's they were all grounded. Oh,and the L-188's SHOULD have been grounded as well. The modification program didn't end until 1961 and nobody was ordering anything with the name of "Electra" unless Buick had built it. Fortunately, for Lockheed, the P-3 "Orion" program was successful.
Dehavilands went through the it with their Comet.
Martin went through it with the 202's.

So now it's Boeing's turn. They are paying a heavy price.
They will either rise above it or sink.
It is sure going to be interesting to see if the term "MAX" disappears in favor of something else. Considering that the airlines seem to have cooled on the wide-bodies, perhaps Boeing will move on to a real next generation of narrow-bodied aircraft.
DuncMa
DuncMa 34
Not only has Boeing taken a credibility hit but the FAA's reputation as the gold standard of air worthiness certification has been severely compromised. National aviation authorities throughout the world may or may not be increasingly skeptical of FAA certifications, but the real acid test will be whether the flying public will trust the MAX even with the software fixes. Billions of dollars have been lost so far and if Boeing can't regain the public trust on this aircraft, billions more will be lost also.
Relics
Relics 22
Well said. Boeing needs a culture change, management seems to be disconnected with reality at times.
TWA55
TWA55 0
The upper mgmt. must be drinking the same cool-aid as most of Seattle. SAD
dav555
dav555 11
Right on. The FAA reminds me of the "objective" financial ratings agencies during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. I'm guessing that a lot of the FAA upper-level staff are former airline and airplane manufacturer executives, kind of the like the ex-Defense Dept. officers getting hired by the private defense contractors. No conflict of interest at all, nothing to see here. Boeing needs to do something big and amazing in order to regain its tarnished reputation. Right now Airbus is winning big.
ImperialEagle
ImperialEagle 15
The FAA has survived numerous storms. It will survive this one. Eventually the flying public will return (especially if the price of the ticket is right) and forget all about it.

If they think it's going to be a problem they will re-name it and the uninformed public won't even notice.

After Lockheed modified them the "Electra's" became "Super Electra's", Electra II's", L-188's" or just plain "Jet-Prop's".
As one of my grandmothers deplaned an Eastern Electra, years ago, I mentioned what a cool looking airplane is was. She immediately replied that she was glad she had "avoided flying on an Electra!".
ekim125
ekim125 5
ImperialEagle, it's much more than "the flying public's short memory or renaming." Insurers will drive costs higher for Southwest and others. I'm not a pilot, but I am confident that pilots and their unions might have something to say about piloting an aircraft with "issues," coming from a company whose management has actively hidden and disregarded its own test pilot's feedback and expressed reservations about the safety of the aircraft. Indeed, the test pilot's memos supported in-house engineering memos, which were "addressed" by management.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Which test pilot? The one who went on to fly the same exact airplane for Southwest? That test pilot?
AndrewNZ
Andrew Bunker 8
The world wide press will ensure any name change is well know!
w2bsa
w2bsa 1
MKanzler
Mark Kanzler 6
How many passengers even know what type of airplane they are riding on?
jmadunleavy
John D 5
Maybe I am exception, but I know every time I fly what the frame is, mostly because I am curious. Also, on many flights the Flight Attendants often state the aircraft type during the safety presentation.
captrags80
Michael Ragsdale 1
You WOULD be the exception, my friend :-)
plupa
Paul Lupa 1
I guess I fall into that same small group, as I always read the plate on the door frame as I walk on, probably bothers the person behind me as pause for a second or two.
marymcelyea
Mary McElyea 3
I always check type of aircraft...Mainly because I have my favorites....But I would be very hesitant to fly this 737 Max.
E1craZ4life
Edward Bardes 3
The safety cards in the seatback pockets identify the type of aircraft.
Mikedryden
Mike Dryden 1
And it’s on the safety card that ‘everyone reads’
afe2
Afework Demisse 1
Just a few
chop12345
chop12345 -1
Passengers will read the safety card and not associate the 737 Max with anything that happened back in 2019. The passengers should be wondering if the co-pilot has 250 hours of total flying time. That fact is what everyone should be talking about!
ghstark
Greg S 2
If I were a betting man I'd let it all ride on: the public will trust the MAX *if* the FAA says to. But in my mind the real question is will the FAA let the plane back in service at all with the software fix. I'm not sure the FAA ever understood the pitch-up issue that necessitated the MCAS patch.

To everyone dinging the FAA, what would you have expected them to do? The rely on what aircraft manufacturers tell them. Should they have their own test pilots take these aircraft through their paces? That actually seems reasonable to me, but they obviously don't have enough work to keep test pilots busy. Would they borrow them from the military? I think that would require an act of Congress first.
w7psk
Ricky Scott 6
How is that Mac Dac mindset working for you now ?
ronash13
Ron Nash 5
Why would you keep on building the equivalent of 400 Edsels and filling parking areas with them, when every single person who sights a 737MAX, backs off, holding out a cross?
These 400 MAX aircraft will have to be given away in Santa stockings, along with chocolate enticers, for Boeing to be able to move them.
Even then, the general flying public will still become wild-eyed, and look for the exits, when they're told they're going to be flying on a MAX today.
Maybe someone will pick them up in a bulk purchase deal for next to nothing, and thus acquire a fleet that they can convert to cargo use.
At least that way, only a couple of pilots and a bunch of freight and parcels will be at risk.
Or perhaps they could all be turned into firebombers, because California and Australia would surely appreciate a fleet of cheap Coulson air tankers.
segulin
Tim Segulin 3
They had better fix MCAS for real, plus train water bomber pilots in how to fly the plane without it. I wouldn't want to be flying over those ferocious Australian bush fires when MCAS decides it's time to nose in!
w2bsa
w2bsa 6
There won’t be MCAS in a air tanker. One doesn’t use such flight aids when dropping water or flame retardant chemicals on a forest or range fire. It’s aerobatic type of flying that’s not compatible with anything but stick and rudder flying.
ghstark
Greg S 2
Since MCAS is just software they can probably ship an MCAS-less software patch for these types of specially purposed aircraft.
segulin
Tim Segulin 1
Fair enough.
mweiserny
Mark Weiser 2
Ron, maybe not, when that DC-10 fell out of the air in Iowa in 1979, I went to Barbados that week in a 747 Charter from YYZ, the next week was Friday the 13th return, as we walked out to the plane to come back I saw it was a DC-10 (on the first day they let them fly again) My wife said no way, My feeling was it was probably the safest plane in the sky - I'm not so sure now - with all the crappy politicians and lawyers, union bosses and bonuses....makes me nervous for sure.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
A little before my time, but I'm pretty sure the Edsel wasn't the best selling car on the planet when they pulled the plug.

And whoever just bought 20 planes is going to be pissed when they find out they could have just waited for christmas morning and got them in their stockings for free.
Gorgonzola323
David Schneider 5
When the p r flacks sell the public on the idea that the Max is safe we may well see the return of those vending machines in airports dispensing life insurance policies.
mariofer
mariofer 9
In my humble opinion, Boeing went the wrong way around getting an aircraft to fill the void as 757s retire.

They should have either come up with a clean sheet design or evolve the underutilized 757 airframe instead stretching the 737 platform to levels which its original design was not really made to entertain, thus requiring all sort of electronic wizardry to make it work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for electronic aids, when they are being used to help reduce pilot workload. But when it is required to make the plane stable throughout the envelop, and then make it rely on a single point of failure unless you are willing to pay for redundancy, it is just plainly pushing your luck.
Stanier
Geoff Stone 4
I am curious to know what the insurance industry response will be? Will premiums for Boeing or airlines flying the Max increase? Will this result in higher fares that impact customer numbers? Will airlines get insurance until pilots are Fully RE-trained in manually disabling MCAS and taking control? Who pays for RE-training? Are there enough simulators around the globe? Who provides their trainers?

These are just more questions that will be raised if not already addressed.
chop12345
chop12345 4
Airlines who have pilots with 1200 hours,(Captain, 29 years old), and 207 hours, (co-pilot 25 years old), in the 37 Max should have to pay more than airlines whose pilots have 15,000 hours in a 737. Any seasoned pilot in the 37 would never have been involved in either crash. I have no allegiance to Boeing or the FAA but pilot experience is the most important safety factor I look at when sitting in the back of a commercial plane.
Stanier
Geoff Stone 2
Good point. In any event pilots should be trained and then tested that they understood such events. You don’t do that in 20 minutes on an iPad.
ah6oy
Jim DeTour 4
Since the 737 Max didn't require recertification it figures changing engine attachments for a smaller engine that's lower would work for a true not needing recertification. The best part is writing off the Max loss making it in the long run a cheaper aircraft to make. The current Max engines ought to have an aircraft they can fit on retaining their purchase worth.
Frankshumate
Frank Shumate 3
The DC 10 crashed in Iowa in the late 80's due to a GE engine exploded. In 1979 the DC 10 was wrongly grounded due to shoddy maintence by AAL.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 3
Freddie laker, famous 'no frills' DC10 user, was caught using a fork-lift truck to remove/install engines, to save cash. Got off with lightly slapped wrist.
manarii
Dr Stephen Vadas 3
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft failed to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) during a critical test flight today in another setback for the aerospace giant.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 2
The vehicle went to the wrong orbit. Looks like another miles v. kilometers gaff to me.
LeftlySC
Stephen Leftly 3
This event was predictable once Boeing moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago. What happens is that you end up with a small set of people interfacing with senior management and "corporate headquarters" thinking takes over and reality is slowly but surely left behind. The seeds were sown many years ago in 2001.

Disasters like this are at the end of a chain of low probability events....in this case we had Boeing doing a poor job making some dubious design trade offs,plus a certification agency that was too accepting, plus Boeing minimizing the training requirement, plus the airlines going for the cheap option on aircraft specification and replacement parts , plus poor training by the airline, plus an inexperienced aircrew ......

Remove almost any one of those events and the crashes don't happen.

All of the companies and organizations in that list own a part of the responsibility. However Boeing's actions started the chain and Boeing probably owns the bulk of the responsibility.
euronorb
euronorb 2
I flew the Max twice, and survived 😀
ctudge
Clive Tudge 4
Very sad for Boeing but worse for the families of the people they killed. Someone in Boeing should go to jail as this whole episode is disgraceful. As someone who was involved in the development of the Eurofighter Flight Control system back in the 80s we would never do what Boeing has reported to have done. Where safety is concerned it doesn't matter whether it is a Commercial or Military project.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
That faulty ejection seat harness is sad for your company, but worse for the family of the pilot you killed. As someone who was involved in the development of the Eurofighter, maybe you should explain why someone from Boeing should go to jail but you shouldn't.

Where safety is concerned it doesn't matter whether it is a Commercial or Military project.
ADXbear
ADXbear 3
Forget this airplane.. desert, restaurants. Someones home... retool the 757 everyone loved it.. appologies to the country.. fire ALL senior staff there and at the FAA.. Maybe you will find your way back..
raytoews
Ray Toews 2
Seems to me Boeing is being punished for allowing two aircraft to crash. They had to know what the problem was after the first but didnt fix it.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 3
They stretched a 60 year old airframe and used software to paper over the cracks. Now they are looking at more software to fix it.
That isn't going to be easy. It isn't about punishing Boeing, is about making it safe.
The punishment will come later when Southwest seek compensation. And not only Southwest, though they're the biggest claimants.
aurodoc
aurodoc 2
I am not an aviation engineer so I have a couple of questions.
What is the physical difference between the Max and the NG other then engines?
Is the cockpit design the same and are the fuselage/wings similar?

If the real issue is the more powerful engines that are mounted too far forward creating a different center of gravity why cant you just scrap the MAX and convert 737s back to the NG with the NG engines? I am not sure you could do this with aircraft already built but with all the parts sitting around maybe convert them to a prior version that worked without all this computer crap.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 3
The center of gravity is different for every flight, so that's not the problem.

The problem is Boeing underestimated the consequences of an mcas failure scenario and the FAA didn't catch the error. And they both either failed to understand or failed to adjust for the human factor now being more of a variable than a constant. Whether due to automation, pilot shortages, or whatever else the assumption that aircrews all over the world are going to react correctly in 3 seconds or less is wishful thinking. It's also a slippery slope, but nobody is going to let that get in the way of a good (clickable) story.

And customers don't want the ng, they want the max.
flight2341
Robert Hagler 1
ADM and CRM: What was the Board at Boeing thinking ($$$) when they made the decision to retool the 737? I bet they wish they could go back and have a do-over decision. Proper investment of time and money would have started fresh, especially where SAFETY risks are involved. Red Flags by and from executives (shuttle challenger mind set)
ssobol
Stefan Sobol 1
There are pictures showing at least one aircraft rebranded as 737-8200. I believe Ryanair requested this.

https://www.google.com/search?q=737-8200&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwixy-WHtMXmAhVLTt8KHQrTA-YQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1920&bih=975
harristh
Tom Harrris 1
If Boeing wants employees and passengers to trust the Max's... All top Boeing executives, engineers, designers, and their families should fly around in some of the new and IMPROVED Max's and maybe even deliver some of them to airline companies around the world....
harristh
Tom Harrris 1
Suspending production does not mean CANCELLING production.....
nasdisco
Chris B 1
Subs like Spirit have to be kept afloat by Boeing and there is already a significant number of built airframes not assembled into aircraft.

Others like CFM etc can presumably reorientate their production towards the A320 neo etc.
Tough times for many.
MKanzler
Mark Kanzler 1
I suspect the people who say "Scrap the MAX" have no clue what actually happened.
chop12345
chop12345 2
I agree with you Mark. A 250 hour TT co-pilot scares the %#%*@ out of me. Shoot, 80% of the foreign airlines scare the #^%$ out of me!
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 1
It's no longer about what has happened - it's about who will trust a the plane, Boeing, and the FAA. Not to mention who will compensate all the airlines who have lost tens of millions with planes sitting idle and deteriorating on the ground.
It's about Boeing's survival.
I suspect the people think this is a minor issue have no clue what's actually happening.
Or worse, they're still frantically shouting 'Pilot Error' into the wind. One defense I read was that the pilots 'weren't American', as if no-one else knows how to fly a plane.
chop12345
chop12345 2
Look at my other posts Andrew. The Ethiopian crash had a 29 year old captain with 1200 hours in a 737 and the 25 year old co-pilot had 207 hours in a 737. The co-pilot had 361 total flying hours. Do you realize 1500 is required in the US? Foreign airlines are plain scary. Any seasoned 37 pilot would have flown those two planes and reported the discrepancies in sensors, (which was done BTW but the captain ignored it from the day before).
ghstark
Greg S 0
Your statement is contradicted by other commercial airline pilots and at least one famous one has gone on the record stating that *any* pilot would've had difficulty saving this Lion Air flight under the same conditions. The MAX was not a stable design, and the MCAS patch was also unsafely designed and intentionally left undocumented. And yes, the Lion Air captain was not very communicative and his F/O was utterly incompetent and let MCAS take the plane into a power dive into the ground when the captain handed him control.

Ultimately I do think that most flight crews with two competent 737 pilots from would've been able to land these planes, but the doesn't excuse the design flaws.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 1
And that is exactly the point: though an excellent, experienced pilot might have saved those planes, the design errors were there, and the information pilots were receiving was flawed and contradictory. I'm sure plenty of fully qualified, but relatively inexperienced American pilots would have made the same 'errors'. And aren't we always being told how easy it is to fly modern airplanes?
Gorgonzola323
David Schneider 1
Maybe we should rethink this deregulation frenzy they’re pushing in D.C.
sarafinc
sarafinc 1
I believe that a device which controls the timing of rocket ignition didn't activate, so the rocket couldn't achieve to correct orbit.
pilotjag
pilotjag 1
Some more great articles...
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/16/boeing-will-suspend-737-max-production-in-january.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-to-temporarily-halt-737-max-production-in-january-2019-12-16
https://www.wsj.com/articles/boeing-to-suspend-737-max-production-in-january-11576532032
linbb
linbb -7
Well now politics comes into it and Boeing is now screwed with people who know nothing about certing an aircraft. They will run this into the ground way beyond what was ever needed to repair the problems. If all the BS was removed from this it would have been flying months ago instead Boeing is now faced with more nonsense. How about requiring pilots to be qualified before they step into a loaded AC? Or the airline make sure the problems are fixed before launching a flight with pax on it?
ImperialEagle
ImperialEagle 7
Yes. Sadly the FAA IS POLITICS. And then there are the lobbyists. The lawyers, the insurers, the airlines, the Unions, the media, etc.
It's all about political pressure and money. It always was.
btweston
btweston 1
Sir, this is a Hardee’s.
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 1
Sure the politics is crap. But so is the MAX.

I'm sure they will find a fix, but I'm not the only one who won't fly in one for the first year or so, whatever the price. Thank you, Boeing fans for volunteering to risk it for a biscuit.
ianmcdonell
ian mcdonell 0
SURPRISE?
mbrews
mbrews 5
Although not a big surprise, it's a big IMPACT, from halting MAX production. Upwards of 10,000 employees affected near Seattle, plus further thousands at suppliers large and small.
Jackx9
Don Quixote 2
It's an impact, but good thing it's in Jan. and not months ago. With the MAX most likely getting approved in Jan or Feb, this should be a very temporary halt
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Over 400 Brand New Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Are In Storage

Boeing has over 400 brand new 737 MAX aircraft in storage, unable to deliver them to their customers until the FAA ban is lifted. This shocking number is further complicated by the logistical nightmare of how they will possibly deliver all these aircraft. Boeing plans to suspend production of the 737 MAX in January next year. Despite the fact that the aircraft has been grounded since March 2019, the airframe builder has kept production of the MAX underway.

http://simpleflying.com/boeing-737-max-storage/
mbrews
mbrews 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Shutdown possible at Boeing Renton as 737 Max crisis extends

There are reports the Boeing board is considering a management proposal to stop 737 NAX production at the Renton plant, possibly Dec 16 or 17

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/shutdown-likely-at-boeing-renton-as-737-max-crisis-extends/
Jaime1949
Jaime Terrassa 0
there is more to the aircraft that they don't want us to know they keep on saying the same thing all the time sack the aircraft.
sarafinc
sarafinc 0
A curious passenger asks: How do I know I have a seat on a 737 Max? Living within sight of rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center, a Boeing CST100 Starliner space craft didn't achieve the proper orbit to access the international space station. Hope its not a trend based on the information on these posts.
mweiserny
Mark Weiser 0
This is pretty sad, just like the Talcum with Asbestos, companies need to be held to a high standard, too much influence and money thrown around. Put Aviators in charge of certifications, make it work properly or you cannot put people on it. WTF if I build one myself I have to prove it works!
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 0
Boeing should scrap this crap. Well this would be the first step to doing just that.
SkyCargo
Calvin Chan -6
i feel confident boeing can regain public trust quickly if they invite mr trump to fly the first flight after the fix
Show the whole world "Look, its fixed!"
nasdisco
Chris B 10
They better check their weight and balance charts carefully if they do.....
Mikedryden
Mike Dryden 4
Ironic... many lament that there is already too much politics involved, and you propose turning it into a full three ring circus...
andrew5
Andrew Heenan 0
I'll pay for his ticket if he goes before Christmas. ;-)
E1craZ4life
Edward Bardes 1
Of what year?

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