Boeing Employee: “I Just Want… Off This Plane”

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In 2018, Ed Pierson decided that he could no longer work as a senior manager for Boeing’s 737 MAX program.

At the company’s production facility in Renton, Washington, he had watched as employee morale plummeted and oversight and assembly procedures faltered. He told his superiors but retired soon after. But then fatal MAX 8 crashes occurred in 2018 and 2019. He decided to speak up publicly and was then called to testify before Congress on the problems he says he saw up close.

Five years later, after a door plug blew off of a 737 MAX 9 in the middle of an Alaska Airlines flight last month, Pierson is again trying to sound the alarm. Regulators ultimately approved the plane to return to the air nearly two years after the 2019 crash, but Pierson still doesn’t trust the MAX line — the modernized, more fuel-efficient version of Boeing’s predecessor planes.

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“The Boeing Company is capable of building quality airplanes,” says Pierson, now the executive director for the nonprofit Foundation for Aviation Safety. “The problem is leadership, or lack thereof, and the pressure to get airplanes out the door is greater than doing the job right.”

www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/02/26/former-boeing-employee-speaks-out-00142948

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