Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (2022) - full transcript

Outline the tragedy that occurred between March 2019 and December 2020, when two Boeing planes mysteriously crashed, causing the deaths of 346 people. As a result, the Boeing 737 MAX passenger airliner was grounded. While the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration resisted grounding the planes initially, they quickly discovered evidence of similar accidents, and by March 18th, 2019, all 387 aircraft were grounded.

[upbeat instrumental music playing]

[narrator] Most people
feel comfortable flying.

I would say the majority of people
have gotten accustomed

to how safe the system is.

Every day,

tens of thousands of flights,

all over the world.

There's an old saying in aviation,

"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going."

Boeing has had such a storied history

and such an incredible stature
in the industry.

At any given moment,

roughly 10,000 Boeing aircraft
are in service

in more than 150 countries.

I've reported on aviation

for more than 20 years
at The Wall Street Journal.

Hello there. It's, uh, Andy Pasztor
from The Wall Street Journal.

I know that you've been asked not to talk,

but I'm hoping
that you can take a few minutes

just to answer some questions.

[Pasztor] By the beginning of 2018,

we'd come through the safest period
for commercial aviation

in the history of aviation.

There actually hadn't been
a big passenger jet crash

anywhere in the world the previous year.

Boeing has had so much success

producing incredibly safe,
reliable aircraft

that pilots and passengers
admire and love to fly on.

They had the public's trust.

And then two planes
dropped out of the sky.

[solemn instrumental music playing]

[woman] I don't remember the time.
I would say quite early in the morning.

It was dark, I remember.

[announcer speaking Indonesian over radio]

[woman] My husband
prepared his flight bag,

checked his schedule,

checked out with his colleague
that he's flying with.

[teapot whistles]

We had a meal
and had a chat for 20, 30 minutes.

That was the normal routine
before he left for his flight.

After he left, I went back to sleep,

and after a few hours,
I was expecting a call from him.

You know, just normal working day.

[air traffic control] Lion Inter 610
cleared for takeoff, runway 2-5 left

[pilot] Lion Inter 610
cleared for takeoff, 2-5 left.

[airplane engine revving]

- [on-board computer] V1.
- [pilot] Noted.

[stick shaker rattling]

[on-board computer] Airspeed low.
Airspeed low.

[pilot] Indicated Airspeed Disagree,

[on-board computer] Airspeed low.
Airspeed low.

[pilot] Feel Differential.

[on-board computer] Bank angle.
Bank angle. Bank angle.

[pilot] Altitude Disagree, Captain.

[rattling and whirring]

- [air traffic control] Lion Inter 610?
- [pilot] We have a flight control problem.

[on-board computer] Terrain. Terrain.
Pull up. Pull up.

[on-board computer] Terrain. Terrain.

[pilot] Fly up! Fly up!

[phone ringing]

[woman] I got a call
from one of his colleagues,

"We are not able to find his aircraft."

I'm like, "Don't worry."
Because I knew... I... I knew my husband.

I knew how he flew.

I was just expecting a call from him.

You know, "I've reached."
That was the norm that we used to follow.

So I was expecting that call
from him instead of anyone else.

And after that,
it's just been... Everyone knows.

[breathes deeply]

[news anchor 1] Lion Air Flight 610
went missing from radar

just a few minutes
after taking off from Jakarta.

A brand-new Boeing 737
with 189 people onboard

crashing moments after takeoff...

[news anchor 2 speaking Spanish]

[speaking Korean]

[news anchor 3] You mentioned
this was a... a Boeing aircraft.

What more do we know
about the plane, Benjamin?

Yeah, a Boeing, as you said,
uh, almost brand-new.

They had taken delivery of it
back in August.

It was a 737 Max.
That's the updated version of the 737.

They haven't been out that long.

[indistinct chattering]

[Sethi] That morning,

our families were trying
to find out information.

Trying to understand what was going on.

Very soon, everyone there
became aware of what had happened.

And that nobody was coming back.


[Sethi] What I was going through,
it was just pain.

I don't remember a thing.

Just except the pain,
there was nothing, purely pain.

To my husband,

all that mattered

was the safety
and security of his passengers.

He's flying with 188 people
along with him.

And the grief
that I felt for those families,



[camera shutters clicking]

[Pasztor] In the first day
or two days after a crash,

there's really very little information
about the cause.

[speaking Indonesian]

In this case,
the weather appeared to be good.

It was very close to the airport.

And this is a brand-new plane

built by America's
premier aircraft manufacturer.

And unless the black boxes
are found quickly,

it's all speculation.

[news anchor]Lion Air
has a spotty safety record.

Along with several Indonesian carriers,
the low-cost airline was banned

from flying into the United States
and Europe

but improved in recent years.

[Sethi] I was following the news,

reading each and every article,

anything that was online.

They all said the same thing.

They started blaming.

There was a blame game going on.

Blaming the country,

blaming the airline,

blaming the pilots,

saying that it was their incompetence.

The airline probably needed to do
a better job of making sure its pilots

understood exactly what to do
in case the aircraft was performing

in a unique, unusual way
and how to get out of the problem.

Should passengers getting
on a 737 Max be concerned?

I don't think so.
Certainly, in the United States,

they understand
how to operate this aircraft.

[man] No one thought it was the airplane.

I am in... in print being asked
what this could possibly be and I said,

I would be phenomenally surprised

if it was related to any...
any part of the airplane's design.

I mean, it was a Boeing.

[Pasztor] Everyone in the world
knew what Boeing stood for.

Their reputation for safety
was tremendous.

And at that point,

there really wasn't enough information
to draw any conclusions.

But then, the Indonesian investigators
found the black boxes.

[man] There are two black boxes,
both of which are orange, by the way.

One is called a cockpit voice recorder,

and the other one
is called a flight data recorder.

It records the altitude
and the airspeed and the direction

and what the throttles are doing.

Thousands of parameters,
eight times a second,

so it's a very comprehensive tally
of what happened on the airplane.

The flight data recorder
showed that right after takeoff,

there was a failure of
the left-hand angle-of-attack indicator.

That's a sensor that's located
on either side of the airplane

that measures the angle
of the nose during flight.

As soon as
the faulty angle-of-attack sensors sent

bad data to the aircraft systems,

the stick shaker on the captain's side
would have been loudly vibrating

his control column
to warn of an impending stall.

But that was a false warning.

The airplane wasn't stalling.
It was flying.

[man] Right away,
not only did the stick shaker go off,

but there was a master caution light,

airspeed disagree alerts,
and the altitude's not reading right.

You have this tidal wave of distraction.

And on top of all that,
something was putting

repeated nose-down pressure
on the airplane.

These pilots are fighting
and are pulling back up on the airplane

and trying to get it to come back up.

But it happens again
and drives the nose back down.

So they're having this oscillating battle.

I remember thinking,
"What's making that happen?"

[Pasztor] The official response
from Boeing was,

we're looking at it, we're cooperating,
we don't know quite what happened.

Our sincere apologies to the families.
What you would expect.

Dennis Muilenburg,
who was chairman, simply said,

"Well, you know, we can't really comment
on the investigation."

But we found out that behind the scenes,

Boeing was saying that an American pilot

would never have gotten
into this kind of a situation

and that the Indonesian crew didn't do
everything they were supposed to do.

[Sethi] I wouldn't say it was racist,

but I actually remember a point

where they spoke
about my husband's qualifications.

They wanted to know
where he completed his flight training.

In fact, he finished
his training in the US.

[Pasztor] By this time,
the second week of November...

It's Andy Pasztor
from The Wall Street Journal.

...we began asking questions
about the design of this aircraft,

rather than the operation of the aircraft.

I'm hoping to talk with you
about the 737 investigation.

We could not understand what was going on.

How could a single damaged sensor
make the plane behave like this?

[Cox] Finally, Boeing
released a statement,

saying it looks like the Lion Air airplane
had an erroneous MCAS activation.

And all of us went, "What's an MCAS?"

[Tajer] MCAS?
I've never heard of this before.

What is this?

I'm looking through the manual.
It was in the abbreviation section.

How could it be in the abbreviations
but nowhere else? What is this system?

[man] The MCAS,

or the Maneuvering Characteristics
Augmentation System,

really is just some software
connected to the angle-of-attack sensors.

Because of the flight characteristics
of the new Max,

when certain angle-of-attacks
were reached, at certain speeds,

the airplane tended to stall out.

So the MCAS was designed
to automatically push the nose back down.

Simple concept.

All they had to do was to add
a few lines of code to an existing system.

[Ostrower] MCAS was designed
to work in the background,

using the speed trim motor

to swivel the horizontal stabilizer

just a little bit each time it sensed

that the angle-of-attack
was... was too high.

It would smoothly bring the nose down.

But in the case of the Lion Air crash,

an angle-of-attack sensor was broken,

which erroneously activated MCAS,

and it activated repeatedly.

Boeing said that the crew did not respond
in a way that they expected them to.

They didn't switch the system off.

[Pasztor] The only problem was,

and everybody was
completely flummoxed and surprised

when they found out,

Boeing had never told pilots
that the MCAS system was on the aircraft.

Say what? [chuckles]

Uh, huh. Uh...

Yeah, I mean, that was
my response, like, "What?"

Um, yeah, uh...

[splutters] How... how the heck
could this happen?

[Pasztor] Hello there. It's Andy Pasztor
from The Wall Street Journal.

Is this a good time to talk?

Good. I just wanted
to follow up on our last discussion.

You were nice enough
to give me some time, and, uh...

After a lot of knocking on doors,

a very senior Boeing executive

told me, "We never informed
the pilots about MCAS."

"We never explained it to them."

"We never trained them on it,

because we didn't want
to overwhelm them with information."

That took my colleagues
and myself quite aback.

We'd never heard a senior Boeing official

talking along those lines.

Boeing had always prided itself
for being the pilot's advocate.

So we wrote a story

saying that Boeing
had proactively decided not to tell pilots

about the MCAS system.

New questions this morning for Boeing.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting
that Boeing withheld information

on its 737 model,
according to safety experts and others...

[Pasztor] As soon as it became clear
that this wasn't an oversight,

this wasn't just left out by accident,

pilots went berserk.

[man] We couldn't believe it.

And once we started learning more
about this MCAS system,

it became our number one priority.

I found it disrespectful. Um,

every pilot I ever taught,

I said you want to know
as much about your airplane as possible.

[computer trainer] In this series
of modules,

we will discuss the differences

between the Boeing 737 NG
and 737 Max aircraft.

The 737 Max is the successor
to the 737 Next Generation...

[Sethi] Facts should not be hidden
from the pilots.

The only training my husband was given

was an iPad training,
and it never mentioned MCAS.

[computer trainer] ...improvements
similar to existing aircraft...

I kept on insisting with the investigators
that this aircraft should be grounded.

But Boeing has
a big reputation around the world.

[phone ringing]

[Carey] Here's what Boeing did.

They started contacting pilots' unions.

So I got a call saying
that Boeing's gonna come down

and brief us on this MCAS system.

This was monumental. It's the first time
high-level Boeing executives

have ever come to visit
the Allied Pilots Association.

So, on November 27th,
I met them at the door.

First of all,
they brought their lobbyists.

Who brings a lobbyist to a safety meeting?

I could see that they weren't interested
in, uh... in exchanging pleasantries,

so, we went into our conference room.

We all sat down.

I just assumed they were gonna bring
PowerPoint presentations,

graphs, charts, data.

And they don't have anything.

It's just them.

I could see that they were worried.

So I taped the meeting.

[pilot 1] These guys didn't even know
the damn system was on here.

Nor did anybody else.

[executive] We try not to overload
the crews with information

that's unnecessary.

[pilot 2] I would think
there would be a priority

on explanations of things
that could kill you.

[executive] We take your point.
We really do.

[pilot 2] Is there something being done
where Boeing might address

ways to make sure it doesn't happen again?

[executive] We're looking at relatively
straightforward software changes

that we expect we can get out
in a fairly short period of time.

Maybe six weeks.

They've told us at that meeting,

they're gonna have
a software fix in six weeks.

Nothing gets done in six weeks.

So we asked, "Why don't you just ground
the airplane till you have this fix?"

[executive] 'Cause no one
has yet concluded

that the sole cause of this
was dysfunction of the airplane.

[Pasztor] They could have grounded
the plane,

but Boeing had the stature to say,
"This is a terrible thing that happened."

"We're working on it. Trust us."

[news anchor] Joining me
right now is the chairman,

president, and CEO of Boeing,
Dennis Muilenburg.

- Dennis, it's good to see you.
- Good to see you.

Thank you so much for joining us.
What can you tell us in terms of

what was told
to the pilots and the airlines

about any new equipment in that 737.

We've already issued additional bulletins
to our operators and pilots

around the world that point them back
to existing flight procedures

to handle that kind of condition.

The bottom line here
is the 737 Max is safe.

[news anchor] Our breaking news,
an Ethiopian Airlines flight

has crashed shortly after takeoff
from Addis Ababa,

killing all 157 passengers and crew

thought to be on board.

The airline told...

[man] My wife, Nadia, she stayed up,
and at night she would listen to the BBC.

And the BBC said that there was just a...

a crash

of an airplane
that had just left Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Our daughter, Samya,
had texted us earlier that night to say,

"I just landed in Addis.
Just a few more hours and on to Nairobi."

Samya had had a career in public health.

She had been to Africa
a couple times before.

You know, it's just another trip.

And, uh, so Nadia
woke me up and, uh, said,

"I think Samya was
on a plane that just crashed."

And I thought, "That can't be."

"That can't be."

"It can't be her flight."

And then we found out
it was... she was on Flight 302.

[exhales deeply] That was her plane.

[woman] Everybody else's dad, you know,
drinks alcohol, maybe smokes cigarettes.

My dad was addicted to tea.

He would have 20 cups a day.

He was going back to Kenya

because he wanted to better
the community that he grew up in.

He called from the airport,
and he just said, you know,

"Hey, Zippy, I just wanted to let you know
I'm about to board the flight."

It was about 8:00 p.m. at night,

and I remember I sat on my couch
and said, "Okay, Dad."

I just remember he said, "I love you."
And I said, you know, "I love you too."

[phone ringing]

The next morning, my phone was ringing,

and it's my brother calling.

And he said,
"I need you to brace yourself."

"There's a plane
that has crashed in Ethiopia,

and there's a high chance
that it's the flight that Dad was on."

And I was like,
"Dad never flew on Ethiopian Airlines,

so he definitely wasn't on that plane."
And he was like, "No, this time he did."

[Stumo] Nadia said,
"We... we have to go there."

So, we drove to JFK

and got on a plane.

When we got to Ethiopia, they wouldn't let
people go to the crash site.

So we stayed in Addis Ababa,

as did many other families.

It took us three days
to really verify that there just is no...

bodies to recover.

So finally they took us to the crash site.

[all crying]

[Stumo] There was
a few plane parts around,

not nearly enough
to make up a whole plane.

There were personal things
strewn all around the crash site.

Some clothes that were fluttering about.

Some papers fluttering about.

And there was a hole.

The plane went 500, 600 miles an hour

straight into the...
straight into the ground.


[Stumo] I saw people gathered
about the crater looking down.

Some brought flowers.

Nadia had brought flowers,
roses for Samya Rose and threw them...

threw them in.


[Pasztor] Just the idea that a plane
within five months, the same plane,

a new plane went down
in eerily similar circumstances,

close to the airport,
relatively low altitude, not bad weather.

All the obvious reasons
that planes would... would... would crash.

Boeing faces a lot
of safety questions this morning

because this is the second crash
in just five months involving

their best-selling passenger jet.

Major US carriers use this new aircraft.

Hundreds are in service,
thousands are on order,

and there are calls
this morning to ground all of them.

[Ostrower] Two crashes
of brand-new airplanes

within five months of each other.

That doesn't happen in modern aviation.

But Boeing would not publicly consider

that something was... was wrong
with the design of the airplane.

There are a lot of passengers
who are afraid of the Max.

Again, our commitment
to safety is unwavering,

and, uh, we do regret
the impact that this has had...

Safety is at the core
of who we are at Boeing.

And ensuring safe
and reliable travel on our airplanes...

The statement coming from Boeing,
"Safety is Boeing's number one priority."

"We have full confidence
in the safety of the Max."

"It is also important to note
that the Federal Aviation Administration

is not mandating
any further action at this time."

[Pasztor] The FAA,

the Federal Aviation Administration,

who's in charge
of aviation safety in the US,

had the power to ground the aircraft.

[Cox] The FAA said
it was waiting for data,

and until we have that data,

making a decision would be premature.

So they didn't make
a decision one way or the other.

[speaking Chinese]

[Pasztor] The day after the crash,
the Chinese absolutely floored everyone

when they, on their own,
unilaterally ground this aircraft.

[continues speaking Chinese]

And that started a whole series of moves

by other countries.

[news anchor] Australia,
New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore,

France, Germany, Italy,
UK, Ireland, Netherlands.

I could go on.

It does seem like
a bit of a rebuke of the FAA.

[woman] If an issue

that affects safety is identified,

the department and the FAA
will not hesitate

to take immediate and appropriate action.

[Stumo] To us,
to the families of the victims,

it was astounding
that the plane was still up in the air,

especially after two crashes.

We turn now to new developments
in the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

With a cause still a mystery,

the black boxes
are being analyzed in France,

as new details emerge
about the flight's final moments.

[Tajer] We're getting
more information on the flight path,

and it's looking
very similar to the Lion Air crash.

And then in Ethiopia,
they found the jackscrew.

Jackscrew is this long screw,
about so thick,

that operates the stabilizer trim.

They found the jackscrew
in a full nose-down position.

Hands down, it was the MCAS.

Within 30 minutes,

President Trump is on television,

grounding the airplane.

I'm gonna be issuing
an emergency order of prohibition

to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8

and the 737 Max 9.

Any plane currently in the air
will go to its destination

and thereafter be grounded
until further notice.

To my knowledge, it's the only airplane

ever to be grounded
by the president of the United States.

But even after the Max was grounded,

and the planes had to be flown
to storage facilities,

we had pilots calling to say
they don't want to fly them there.

When a pilot doesn't want
to fly a brand-new Boeing,

that's an issue.

[man] Two days after the second crash,

I started an investigation.

We knew something big was afoot here,

that this plane appeared
to be defective in some manner.

I had just hired my investigative staff,
and I said,

"Here's your first job, Boeing 737 Max."

[Pasztor] In addition to Congress
trying to get to the bottom of this,

the families of the victims
really took this on as a personal issue.

They felt that there
needed to be some explanation

of how two planes could have crashed
within such a short period of time.

[Stumo] The crash families
started coming to DC

to help put pressure on Congress
to hold Boeing responsible.

Peter DeFazio, we're indebted to,

because he made this
the biggest investigation

in the history of the Transportation
Infrastructure Committee.

Paul Njoroge from Kenya lost his wife,

his three children,

and his mother-in-law.

[Sethi] I've been in touch
with the crash families,

and we definitely talk
about how to go about it

and understand what
has to be done to get justice.

This is who we've lost.

This is the cost
of doing business as usual.

[Kuria] I remember looking
at the full list of passenger names

from so many different countries.

People all over the world
have been impacted

by what has taken place.

[speaking Chinese]

[speaking Spanish]

[speaking Swahili]

[speaking French]

[Sethi] We want this thing
to come out in the public.

We want Boeing to show all the papers.

We want them to come out
with the true facts.

[DeFazio] When we started
the investigation,

a lot of people around the world
were angry and appalled

at what had been allowed to happen.

Do you feel your story is getting out?

I... right now it is
because we're having a hearing.

My concern is that weeks will pass,

and... and the FAA
will just put the plane back in the air

without any scrutiny.

They have the power to do that.

[DeFazio] In the United States of America,

Congress has oversight duties,

plain and simple.

And the question was,
did Boeing put an unsafe plane in the air?

- [gavel knocking]
- [DeFazio] Meeting come to order.

We're here today in response
to two catastrophic crashes

that claimed 346 lives
in the span of five months.

We're very much in the beginning
of, uh, our investigation.

I would like to recognize
the family members of those killed,

uh, some of whom are here today,

and we're here to ensure
that the lives of your family members

were not lost, uh,
in vain and without response.

Today, we'll hear from pilots
and other safety professionals

who, uh, work on those planes.

Now, the question is,
what were the factors?

[Pasztor] Congress's goal, of course,
was first to lay out for the public

what happened and why,

and secondly,
to look at legislative changes

that could prevent future crashes.

After the second crash occurred,

Boeing was trying to push
the focus onto the Ethiopian pilots.

They acknowledged that MCAS had misfired

but maintained that the Ethiopian crew

did not do everything precisely
as they were supposed to.

It was the same argument
they used with Lion Air,

and they waged a pretty vigorous
public relations campaign

to try to get their point across.

We learned that Boeing's lobbyists
were hiring firms in Washington

to spread the message
that foreign pilots were to blame.

Captain Carey, uh, Ethiopia Air,
the pilot in the right seat

could not fly at our standards here.

We need to look at
their pilot qualifications and training.

You know, Ethiopian Airlines flies a plane
into, uh, Washington Dulles every day

from Addis Ababa,
and they have been doing it for years.

They have a proud aviation culture,

and you have to remember,
uh, sir, and members of the panel,

this is a sudden violent
and terrifying event.

[congressman] Captain Sullenberger,
is it fair to blame these pilots?

I just don't want to take the easy path
and blame... blame the pilots.

[Sullenberger] We shouldn't be blaming
the pilots,

and we shouldn't expect pilots
to have to compensate for flawed designs.

These crews would have been fighting
for their lives

in the fight of their lives.

[Pasztor] Soon after the hearings
got underway,

we managed to get more information
about what actually happened

in the cockpit of the Ethiopian aircraft.

We got the information from the FAA

within hours after they received it
from the Ethiopian investigators.

It was very late at night,

and we tried to put together
the most comprehensive story we could.

When it came out,

this was the first story that revealed

that the crew, in fact,
realized that MCAS had kicked off.

And they did
what Boeing instructed them to do.

[Tajer] When the MCAS kicks in,

it runs for ten seconds

and pushes the airplane
very powerfully nose-down.

Runs for ten, off for five.

Runs for ten, off for five.

[Cox] They've got
this cacophony of stick shaker,

master cautions,
airspeed disagree, altitude disagree.

All of these... these warnings going off.

The captain, who's flying the airplane,
is trying to figure out what's gone wrong.

[Tajer] The first officer called out,
"Stab trim cutout switches, Captain."

I think he said it twice.

He did what Boeing said.

He turned off the MCAS system.

I remember reading that,
and I said, "Man, the kid got it right."

"The kid got it right."

[Cox] The problem now
is that the airplane is going too fast.

And because of the force
on the tail itself,

they cannot manually trim the airplane

to be able to recover.

[warning siren blares]

[on-board computer] Terrain. Terrain.
Pull up. Pull up.

[indistinct chattering]

[Pasztor] The pilots in the first crash
had no inkling.

Their plane was behaving
completely differently

from the way that they had ever seen it,
and they didn't know what to do.

In the Ethiopian airplane,

it was a crew
that had been briefed by Boeing

on how this MCAS system worked.

And they did
what they were supposed to do.

They turned the system off,

and they still crashed.

For Boeing, this was a tremendous problem

and extremely damaging
to their reputation.

A reputation
that had been years in the making.

[man] My father was
a fighter pilot in the Air Force

and an engineer at the Boeing Company.

Boeing was headquartered
here in the Pacific Northwest,

and far and away,
it was Seattle's biggest employer.

The Boeing pay was good,

so my father was able
to provide us a nice house

and, you know, put himself
square in the middle of the middle class.

Boeing was an engineering firm first,

and it had always been engineering-led.

By focusing on quality and innovation,

they created the products
that made Boeing part of America's pride

and had a tremendous impact
on the country's economy.

[Cox] Boeing's signatures are on some
of the greatest technical advances made

during the 20th century.

Military airplanes,
unmanned vehicles, spacecraft,

and most notably,
commercial passenger jets,

starting in the late '50s with the 707.

That was followed by the 727

and then the workhorse
of the fleet, the 737.

[woman] There was just amazing engineering

that was coming out of Seattle.

Boeing's history of safety
and quality first

was something that the American public
came to understand.

People knew that if it's a Boeing plane,

they felt safe.

[Cox] It was the dawn of the Jet Age,

and Boeing excelled at it.

They were cranking out
new modern airplanes one after the other.

And then, in the late '60s,
Boeing took an almost unimaginable risk.

[announcer] The mostest of everything

describes the new giant
of commercial aviation, the jetliner 747.

Contrasted with conventional aircraft,
the 747 will carry 490 passengers.

Its engines will be
twice as powerful as today's airliners.

The first of these great birds
will be delivered by the Boeing Company

to Pan American Airways in 1969.

[Ludtke] The 747 program was a moon shot.

Boeing bet on itself
to put together a fantastic airplane.

And they'd said it's gonna be the safest.
It's gonna be the most innovative.

It's gonna be the best.

[Cox] The 747 revolutionized air travel.

For the very first time,
it became affordable

for people to travel internationally,

and it brought the world closer together.

[Ludtke] The moon shots like the 747

are what put
the Boeing Company on the map.

It was, we're gonna do this at all cost.
Whatever it costs, we're gonna do it.

[Cole] I worked
for the Boeing Company for 32 years.

It was a culture of mutual trust,

and we're in this together,
building a quality-engineered product

that makes us all proud.

- [employee] That looks good.
- Okay? Thank you.

[man] When I was working for Boeing,
they came out with this team-wear for us,

and it had the Boeing logo on it.

You know, and at first, we're like,
"Pfft, you know, who wants team-wear?"

But it was amazing
when you actually put that shirt on,

and you go out in public.

And I can't tell you how many people
that were just, "Oh my God,

you work for Boeing. That is wonderful."

[employee] Looking good, Don.

[Barnett] And it really instilled
a lot of pride.

- [employee 1] Perfect!
- [employees cheering and clapping]

All right, all right. Good job, you guys!

- [employee 1] There it is, first one.
- [employee 2] First one.

I really loved working there
because I had a say.

And when something wasn't right,

I could bring it up,
and I wasn't afraid of being fired.

Boeing management
knew that safety came first,

and if we'd said, "Hey, it's not safe.
It's not ready to fly,"

we're... we're not going.

[Barnett] The culture back then
was we're all in this together,

and, you know,
Boeing's gonna look out for you,

and we expect you to look out for Boeing.

[emcee] Now will you please join me
in welcoming

the 777 division vice president
and general manager, Alan Mulally.

[crowd cheering]

So, good morning to you all.

[Barnett] There was a sense
of belonging and a sense of structure

and a sense of family.

We were a family.

[Mulally] We've come a long way together.

[Barnett] It was
an excellent company to work for.

And then, imagine coming into work,
and you got a whole new set of bosses,

and everything you've learned
in 30 years is now wrong.

Good evening, everyone.
It is a multibillion-dollar deal

that is sending shock waves
through the aerospace industry.

The planned merger
between the Boeing Company

and McDonnell Douglas.

The thought that was going through my head
as I walked up here was, "Wow."

I will serve as the chairman
and CEO of the company.

Harry Stonecipher will serve
as the president

and chief operating officer
of the company.

And our intention, like we expect

of everyone in the organization
is to work together.

And with that, I'd like
to introduce Harry Stonecipher. Harry.

Thank you, Phil.

Ladies and gentlemen...

[man] The 1996 acquisition
of McDonnell Douglas by Boeing

was part and parcel
of what was happening across the country.

Merger, buyouts, consolidation.

That was the way companies viewed
their ability to stay competitive.

Boeing's place in the aviation industry

was preeminent.

They were the gold standard.

They were the people you looked up to
for their engineering excellence.

But that began to fall apart
when McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merged.

[Ludtke] Harry Stonecipher
was the CEO of McDonnell Douglas,

and he ended up
the CEO of the Boeing Company.

So, pretty quickly,

McDonnell Douglas
became in charge at the very top.

[Goldfarb] This was following
on the heels of the 1980s

when cash was king on Wall Street.

You know, uh, "Greed is good."

When Harry Stonecipher took over,
he believed that the most important thing

was to take a company
and create value on Wall Street.

He said, "Hey,
we're in business to make money."

I want to hear about product and margin.
I want to hear that it's cost-effective.

The McDonnell Douglas leadership

took Boeing
in a more accelerated direction

toward being a financially driven company.

Wall Street demanded
its shareholder returns.

And they wanted Boeing
to act like a big industrial company

that delivered those returns.

[Ludtke] Not long after the merger,

there was a major campaign launched

called ShareValue.

And the idea was that they wanted
everybody to be aware of the stock price,

and they wanted everybody working together
to increase the stock value.

Even the technical meetings,

everything revolved
around Boeing stock prices.

To turn around and see
the McDonnell Douglas executives

bringing their business plan
into the Boeing Company,

that upset a lot of us.

We knew back then
that that was a bad plan.

They drove the company as if it was
making washing machines, for instance.

[chuckles] Dishwashers.

All the airplanes had to be
manufactured more cheaply.

They were reducing
the number of people working,

expecting everyone to do more with less.

We saw the company
changing before our eyes.

[Cole] You know, I'd been working there
in the Seattle area for a long time,

and the environment
that we ended up merging with

was so different.

McDonnell Douglas was
the good old boys' network.

They weren't respectful
of our processes for our employees.

And then we were told they were moving
the headquarters to Chicago.

It is official.
Boeing is confirming that it's moving

its new international headquarters
to Chicago.

And all of us that had been there
more than a week was like, "You're crazy."

Because back then, Boeing was Seattle,
and Seattle was Boeing. I mean they were...

They were lockstep.

We looked at all the data,

and we believe that Chicago
is the best choice for Boeing.

[Ludtke] One of the arguments
for moving to Chicago

was to gain separation
from the technical people back in Seattle

so that executives
could make financial decisions

without as much pushback
from, um, engineers.

[Cole] Before McDonnell Douglas,
we just didn't take shortcuts

'cause it just wasn't the Boeing culture.

No shortcuts.

You do it right,

and you build in
the quality and the safety,

and the profits will follow.

But all that changed,

and it was just heartbreaking.

I think we all tried
to appease ourselves by saying,

"Well, maybe we're just upset
because it's a change."

But in reality, our gut concerns
were really valid at the time.

That... that this was going to affect
the company in... in ways

that we couldn't... couldn't even imagine.

It's been a bad year for Boeing

and a better year
for its European competitor, Airbus.

For the year, Boeing has 368 new orders,

and Airbus has 427.

By the time that the merger
in 1997 happened,

the competition had just chipped away
at the market share

that Boeing had fought
to acquire over decades.

Boeing found themselves
in a very unusual position.

They were being challenged
by other manufacturers,

and that pressure was primarily coming
from the Europeans,

meaning Airbus.

[Ostrower] Over the years,
there has been a lot

of bad blood between Boeing and Airbus.

But here's the thing about Airbus,

it didn't happen overnight

that it became
this incredible force in the industry.

It happened one little piece at a time.

It was a slow build,

little by little, little by little,

so that by 2003, Airbus ended up
overtaking Boeing's market share.

[Cox] Boeing was behind.

Boeing needed to catch up.

So they started to push
even harder to get the airplanes out.

And over time, the laser focus
on safety that had been traditional

was compromised.

[woman] My job
at Boeing was quality manager.

If something's not right,
you need to find it and get it fixed

or get it corrected.

To ensure safety, finding things
was what you're supposed to do.

But instead of fixing problems,
everything was about speed.

Everything was about getting stuff done.
Let's move it. Let's get it done.

You can't stop. You can't slow down.

[Barnett] Used to be
when you raise your hand and say,

"We got a problem here,"

they would say,
"Yeah, you're right. We're gonna fix it."

After the merger with McDonnell Douglas

and the Airbus coming on,

Boeing quit listening to their employees.

So every time I'd raise my hand and say,
"Hey, we got a problem here,"

they would attack the messenger

and... and ignore the message.

[Goldfarb] Historically, Boeing was
a culture of telling bad news.

They discussed concerns freely
in building planes.

Now it became a problem

that you do not bring
bad news to the boss.

Boeing had highly-paid CEOs,

whose main incentive was
to increase the stock price

and to please Wall Street.

These CEOs demanded
that all their managers hit their marks,

and they don't care how they do that.

[Kitchens] So I guess
to speed up production,

they got quality inspectors,
quality managers out of the picture.

A mechanic could speed up his job

by doing the work and then just saying
to the guy next to him, "Approve this

so that I can move on to the next spot."

[employee] Between me and you,

they didn't put a shim
on the landing gear yesterday.

On the lugs. Night shift didn't.

Oh, fuck.

[employee] They said we don't have time
to fucking put it on.

[Kitchens] They have,
like, one quality person

for almost a whole building on each shift.

We used to have, you know, 15.

[Barnett] I was getting
complaints about debris.

Every day, we were finding crap
on airplanes that people were leaving.

There was drawings, tools,


There was this one 787,

and after a test flight,

they found a ladder
inside the horizontal stabilizer.

All it would have taken was that ladder
to fall up against the jackscrew assembly,

and that... that plane
would have been history.

[Kitchens] These are pictures
of metal shavings in wire bundles.

These shavings can cause
a... a fire or a short.

And these aircraft fly by wire,

so if you have a... a short,

it could cause malfunctions
in your instruments,

in your landing gear. I mean, everything
that runs by wire would be affected.

[Goldfarb] Boeing whistleblowers have said

that anybody that reported
a problem at the South Carolina plant

was either fired

or let go or moved on.

[Barnett] My pay was docked
for putting quality concerns in writing.

They told us flat out they do not want
anything in documentation

so they can maintain culpable deniability.

They don't want anything documented.

[DeFazio] There are a lot of questions
that still remain unanswered,

and Boeing has yet to provide
a single document.

I'm hoping they will provide
the documents we've requested voluntarily,

uh, and in the not-too-distant future.

[DeFazio] From the start
of the investigation,

Boeing has been
very difficult to deal with

in terms of interviews and/or documents.

They have essentially ignored

the families of the victims.

[Kuria] Boeing has never reached out
to us directly.

It communicates their lack of remorse,
their lack of accountability.

And that's infuriating.

For them, it was business as usual.

But we're the ones
who were trying to make sure that

other families never have to deal
with what we're dealing with.

[Stumo] We've met with, I don't know,
55 congressmen and women and senators.

It's hard.

You go, and you relive this
55 times in a row

and talk about your daughter dying.

When we held up
pictures of our lost loved ones

in the hearing room, we were told,
"You're not supposed to do that."

"They're like protest signs."

And we said, "They're not protest signs."

"They're our loved ones."

I personally have probably been
at s... seven hearings.

Good afternoon. Thank you
for inviting me to testify today.

My name is Ed Pierson.

I believe production problems
at the Renton Factory

may have contributed
to these two tragic crashes.

I formally warned Boeing leadership
in writing on multiple occasions,

specifically once
before the Lion Air crash

and again
before the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Those warnings were ignored. On June 9th...

[Stumo] We've heard
lots of testimony about the 737 Max,

but the committee wanted
actual documents from Boeing.

No documents had been received, nothing.

[DeFazio] We fully expect
at a future hearing

to have Boeing into this committee,

uh, once we have, uh,
the documentation digested

that we need to ask the meaningful,
very pointed questions we will ask.

I was really frustrated. I thought
that Boeing was dragging its feet.

When will you talk to Boeing
as part of your ongoing investigation?

I really, uh, want to have
documents from Boeing

before I call them as a witness so we get
the meaningful information we want

and not just a pile of stuff this high.

[Pasztor] Congress expected answers.

The families of the victims
expected answers.

But Boeing actively tried
to keep emails and documents

and internal memos
out of the public domain.

You know, they say aircraft crashes
are a combination of events

that all come together uniquely.

In this case, one of those events

was back when Boeing
lost its competitive edge.

These days,
Boeing finds itself facing turbulence

caused not by the weather

but by a foreign rival
with some very big ambitions.

[news anchor] Airbus now leads the world
in building commercial airplanes,

a big stick in the eye to America
and to the Boeing Corporation.

[Goldfarb] In the 2000s,
Airbus was on a roll.

They had several years
of selling more planes than Boeing.

And that raised eyebrows.

[news anchor] In 1999,
Boeing delivered 620 planes.

Last year, 285.

[Michael Goldfarb] And then, in 2010,

Airbus introduced the A320neo.

For carriers, the ultimate goal,
of course, is maximum fuel efficiency.

A big part of an airline's cost
is what they paid for fuel.

[Ostrower] Oil prices
had gone to record levels.

Airlines were saying, "We need
fuel efficiency, and we need it now."

And Airbus delivered.

The 320neo.

You scored an absolute home run

by making that decision to get out there
and offer it before Boeing.

No airplane in aviation history
has ever sold so quickly and so well.

Back in Chicago, the neo
sent Boeing into a panic

because they didn't have
a plane ready to compete.

[Pasztor] Boeing thought
about a new aircraft,

but the price tag
would have been significant.

And they didn't have the luxury

of taking seven, eight, ten years
to develop a brand-new plane.

So instead, they decided to put
more fuel-efficient engines

on the existing 737 model.

[woman] We are making a decision

to invest in the 737 family.

We are announcing the 737 Max.

The 737 Max gives our airline customers

the most efficient airplane

in the single-aisle segment.

[Ludtke] We were disappointed.
We wanted a new airplane.

We really believed the 37 had...
was long in the tooth and had...

We had squeezed as much
as we possibly could from that airplane.

I mean, the design was over 40 years old.

[Pasztor] The 737 had been flying
for more than four decades,

and different versions
of them had been developed.

A little bit better of an engine,

digital cockpits,

a little longer.

The 737 Max was seen
as a slightly updated,

more fuel-efficient version
of the same plane.

For a manufacturer,

the advantage of these derivatives,

as they're called,

was they required less time
to get approved by the FAA.

And the added benefit to the airlines

was you might not need
any additional pilot training.

[Ludtke] Training pilots is
a major cost of operating an airline.

Despite how expensive the airplanes are,
it's the people that cost the most.

And training pilots
is a major piece of that pie.

[Goldfarb] If the Max turned out
to be too different from the existing 737,

that would have triggered immediately

an FAA red flag.

And simulator training
would be required fleet-wide

for all Max pilots.

[Pasztor] We're talking about
devoted simulator training,

taking pilots off the flight line,

not having them fly passengers.

Getting them to come
into a training center

and sit for, whatever,
two days in a simulator.

[Ludtke] So when Boeing
was designing the Max,

in order to remain competitive,

they made guarantees to the airlines

that their pilots
wouldn't need simulator training.

[Ostrower] The strategy worked,

and the 737 Max sold phenomenally well.

Boeing got orders
for hundreds and hundreds of airplanes.

[man] This is the largest firm order
that we've ever gotten,

in terms of number of airplanes
and also the value of this deal.

So, truly another historical day for us.

[Ludtke] Boeing thought
that they could do this project

very quickly and very cheaply.

That it wouldn't take much effort.

They just thought
a little bit of tweak to the structure,

and you can stick an engine on there
and lengthen the landing gear,

and you're good to go.

And because there could be
no additional pilot training,

there was tons of motivation
within the company

to either build a design
that doesn't have significant differences

or potentially to cover up
a design that does.

[DeFazio] We had to go through
very lengthy negotiations with Boeing

to receive documents.

We had engaged the House attorneys here,

and then we finally started getting

the first of the hundreds of thousands
of pages of documents that they gave us.

And my investigative staff

started going through it.

Virtually everything
was stamped "proprietary,"

and it took quite some time
to come to an agreement

so we could reveal
the contents of those documents.

And I think the reason is
because they are so damning on their face.

In that massive tranche of documents,

one was particularly telling.

We found out
that a group of Boeing employees

had held a meeting
and discussed the MCAS system.

This memo, discovered
by the committee, and this is early on

in the development of the aircraft,

revealed that the MCAS system
was a problem for Boeing

from the very beginning.

[DeFazio] Back in 2013,

when Boeing was just starting
to build the Max,

they were re-engining
a 45-year-old airframe

with these giant,
new fuel-efficient engines.

Because these engines are bigger,

they had to be positioned further forward
and higher up on the wings.

And so Boeing was worried about the plane

getting into, uh, too much of a nose-up,

and then the plane could stall.

So, if it starts to pitch up,

MCAS was designed
to help the pilot level the plane out.

[Pasztor] The problem was
MCAS was a significant new system

and could prompt the FAA
to require some additional training.

So, what's the solution
in th... in this memo?

[DeFazio] They said, "If we emphasize
MCAS is a new function,

there may be greater certification
and training impact."

Everybody at Boeing knew
you can't have pilot retraining.

No matter what we do,
no matter how we change this plane,

we've gotta pretend
it's the same plane as the predecessor.

[Pasztor] So they decided,

"Externally, we would communicate
it is an addition to Speed Trim."

Speed Trim is the existing system,
which pilots had already been trained on.

"Internally continue using
the acronym MCAS."

They determined
that they would conceal the existence

to anybody, uh, outside
of Boeing of the MCAS system.

[Pasztor] Once these documents
became public, it showed

that there were major, big issues
broiling under the surface

and a widespread pattern
inside Boeing of deceitful behavior.

This next piece of evidence was one
of the most important specific documents

relating to the design of the plane
and of the MCAS system.

It shows that MCAS changed
over the course of the design.

Boeing didn't end up with the same system
that they started out with.

To begin with,
it became much more powerful.

[Ostrower] It wasn't until Boeing got
into flight testing that they realized

that they actually had to expand
how the MCAS system worked.

They thought at first that it was
only gonna be for when the airplane

was at high speeds.

But what became clear
was that the Max needed MCAS

when the airplane
was flying at low speeds as well.

And it was this transition
to low-speed handling

that made the system far more significant.

The result was
is that MCAS gained more power.

So it had the ability
to make larger movements

of the horizontal stabilizer,

which could push the nose
of the airplane down very quickly.

[Pasztor] In addition
to this increased power of the system,

there was a second change,
something even more problematic.

Boeing changed the MCAS system
to only use one sensor instead of two.

[DeFazio] It turns out
this way more powerful system

was controlled
by just one angle-of-attack sensor.

The MCAS system is safety-critical.

And on an airplane, you never ever have

a safety-critical system
that has a single point of failure.

[Carey] The angle-of-attack sensors

protrude out of either side
of the fuselage, near the cockpit.

If a happy-birthday Mylar balloon

gets stuck on that vane,
it becomes unreliable.

Believe it or not,
we hit balloons, we hit birds,

uh, and all of these things,
uh, are not uncommon.

[DeFazio] If that sensor
is damaged or faulty,

it will send a wrong message
to the MCAS system,

which then tries to take over
the plane from the pilots.

[Reed] None of this
was communicated by anybody at Boeing

to the FAA engineer
who was in charge of oversight,

and yeah, it should have been.

[Ostrower] The FAA
was kept out of the loop.

Usually, there's a constant negotiation

between... between a regulator
and the regulated

about what parts of the airplane
are gonna change.

[DeFazio] But in the case of Boeing,

they had a culture of concealment,

deliberate concealment
regarding the MCAS system.

And the evidence kept mounting.

[Ludtke] Coordination sheets
are technical documents

written to archive information.

This coord sheet
is capturing the history of MCAS.

[Pasztor] This is basically
about the safety issues

that were analyzed inside Boeing,

and the most relevant part of this dealt

with how quickly pilots
would be able to react

if the system went haywire.

[Ludtke] I haven't seen
this particular coord sheet before.


With pilot training
to recognize the runaway,

a reaction time scenario
greater than ten seconds

found the failure to be catastrophic.

[Carey] So if you don't respond

in less than ten seconds
to this situation,

you can't recover.

Ten seconds,

which is ridiculous.

[Ludtke] But the problem here
is not just the reaction time.

The problem here is
the term "pilot training."

It says, "With pilot training
to recognize the runaway,"

they're saying
that we can't just throw pilots at this

without awareness of the system.

And... which... which that's
the real "gotcha" right in this statement.

Pilots need to be trained on MCAS
to potentially avoid killing people.

And Boeing knew that this was the case.

And yet pilot training never happened.

[keyboard clacking]

Our reporting and the memos
and documents that had been released

revealed an underbelly,
an underside of the company.

In this March 28, 2017,
internal Boeing communication,

the chief technical pilot
for the 737 Max writes,

"I want to stress
the importance of holding firm

that there will not be
any type of simulator training required."

"Boeing will not allow that to happen."

"We'll go face-to-face with any regulator
who tries to make that a requirement."

The tragedy of it is,

some of these emails
were actually conversations with Lion Air.

In a June 6, 2017 email exchange,

which took place
the year before the crash,

Lion Air says,
in effect, wouldn't it be better,

wouldn't it be safer
to have some additional training?

We want more
than you're... you're recommending.

And Boeing writes, flat out,
"There is absolutely no reason

to require a Max simulator
to begin flying the Max."

If they had said
what the true power of MCAS was,

simulator training would be required
fleet-wide for all 737 Max pilots.

Instead, Boeing literally mocked Lion Air,

mocked them for wanting
to have simulator training.

[DeFazio] Boeing had to,
you know, berate them.

"You cannot have simulator training."

"You can't do it.
It costs money. We lose money."

They talked about Jedi-mind tricking
regulators around the world

into adopting the standard
of no simulator training required.

So, we're supposed to react
in less than ten seconds

to a system that's never been
on any airplane we've ever flown before.

Boeing knew pilots had
a monster waiting for them

in the MCAS system,

but they conspire to not offer training.

It's just

unconscionable to me.

[splutters] It just...

It's nuts.

[Pasztor] In the end, Boeing succeeded,

and when the plane
was delivered to airlines,

it didn't appear from the outside

that there was something
fundamentally wrong with the aircraft.

I mean, they were making sales
all over the world.

[camera shutters clicking]

[crowd applauding]

[Ostrower] Boeing sold over 5,000 Maxes.

It's an unbelievable number.

It really was the product
that brought the financial performance

on Wall Street up to a... a level
that Boeing had never seen before.

[Goldfarb] Boeing's profit soared.

The stock value went through the roof.

And that was the whole idea.

Performance was being judged
in quarterly returns,

and the Max delivered.

The 737 Max was going to be
the major meal ticket for Boeing

for coming decades.

This is a company
that, yeah, 500's a reasonable number.

[Pasztor] And it was seen as a sure thing.

[crowd cheering]

[executive] Unprecedented value
for our customers,

in terms of saving fuel,
in terms of being reliable,

in terms of being maintainable.

And you know what we've done?
We've created an airplane

that's gonna exceed their expectations
by any way you measure it.

[Ostrower] Everyone thought
that the good times would never end.

And then, in October of 2018, they did.

[Pasztor] The Lion Air pilots
not only didn't know

how this system worked,

they didn't know the name of the system.

They didn't even know
that the MCAS system was on the aircraft.

[Carey] You just got the airplane
into the air, and all of a sudden, bang,

all these bells and warnings
and whistles and stick shaker going off.

[on-board computer] Airspeed low.

[Sullenberger] An angle-of-attack sensor,
which had either failed or was damaged,

was sending a bad input to the cockpit.

It would have taken
more than a few seconds certainly

for the pilots to determine
what the cause was.

And then as soon
as the flaps were retracted,

MCAS was activated.

You started the clock, right?

One Mississippi, two Mississippi,

three Mississippi...

[warning siren blares]

[Sullenberger] The way MCAS
kept pushing the nose of the airplane down

was maniacal.

And the pilots never understood

it was trying to kill them.

[on-board computer] Terrain. Terrain.
Pull up. Pull up.

[Carey] You've got ten seconds,

which is impossible.

So basically, ten seconds, you're dead.

[on-board computer] Terrain. Terrain.
Pull up. Pull up.

[crew speaking Indonesian]

[Sethi] We now know
that within few days of the crash,

Boeing knew what the problem was.

They knew what he had faced,

what my husband
had to go through in that flight.

Boeing knew what the problems were
with MCAS.

It's not that they were not aware of it.

There should be a sense of responsibility.

[Pasztor] Here in the US,

they never seriously considered
grounding the aircraft.

After the first crash,

Boeing was all about,

how can we justify
keeping the planes flying?

[DeFazio] We didn't know
at the time that after the Lion Air crash,

the FAA had done a very technical analysis

called a TARAM.

[Stumo] TARAM. T-A-R-A-M.

A Transport Aircraft
Risk Assessment Methodology.

They've projected
that there could be, without a fix,

15 more crashes

of this aircraft during its life.

[Pasztor] They projected that
there could be as many as one fatal crash

every two years of a Max.

That would make the Max
the most dangerous modern jet ever built.

At the time,
nobody heard about this report.

It wasn't made public.

But we verified
that Boeing knew about the results

at the same time
that the FAA knew about them.

Boeing argued that it's never possible

to actually predict
the timing of another crash

and that they would have a software fix

developed and tested
and implemented very quickly.

And in the end,
the FAA accepted Boeing's argument.

[DeFazio] There were people, a few people,
at Boeing who rang alarm bells,

but they were ignored.

Up there in the executive offices,

they were watching the stock price
and calculating their bonuses.

[Stumo] Just six weeks
after the Lion Air crash,

the Boeing board decided
to increase stock buybacks

and increase dividends.

Total disregard for what happened.

All of our customers are flying
all of their Maxes daily around the world.

The airplane is safe,
and we're very confident in that.

It's the corporate culture
that they had built up.

It was their greed.

Are the profits
more important than the human life?

[crowd speaking Indonesian]


[Stumo] You know,
once they got the TARAM report,

Boeing should have grounded the Max.

They didn't do that.

This was after the Lion Air crash,

before my daughter died.

They let it go up in the air.

[Pasztor] I think
that is the most disturbing

and most revealing part
of the whole story.

Boeing did the absolute least
that they could do

to cope with this situation.
The absolute minimum.

Basically, they were betting
that the problem would not reoccur

before a permanent fix
could be implemented.

And of course
that turned out to be a fatal mistake.

It's just a horrible, horrible story.

[indistinct chattering]

[Stumo] Boeing's failure
to do everything they could do

to prevent the second crash
made our lives miserable.

And this isn't just about Samya
and our family.

It's about everybody
that died on those planes.

And so, in October of 2019,

when Muilenburg was scheduled to testify

at the Senate hearing,

we were all highly motivated to be there.

Muilenburg walks in,

and for a moment,

he glanced at us, at the families,

but he never really looked at us.

A lot of the testimony that day was
about the internal Boeing communications.

You're the CEO. The buck stops with you.

Did you read this document?

And how did your team not run in
with their hair on fire,

saying, "We got a real problem here."

Senator, when I was made aware
of the existence of this kind of document,

I relied on our counsel to provide that
to the appropriate authorities.

[Cruz] How did you not say,

"We need to figure out
exactly what happened,

not after all the hearings,
not after the pressure,

but because people have died
and we don't want another person to die."

Senator, as... as you mentioned, uh... uh,

I didn't, uh, see the details
of this exchange until recently.

[Stumo] Our family at that time
still had heard nothing from Boeing.

We had heard Dennis Muilenburg

apologize to cameras

but never to us.

We began work on an MCAS software update
in that time frame.

[Stumo] When Senator Blumenthal's time
came to question,

he asked the family members to stand up

and hold their loved ones' pictures.

To the relatives who have lost loved ones,

if you could please stand.

[Stumo] And at that point,

Dennis Muilenburg had to turn around
and look at us.

[emotional music playing]

[DeFazio] In the 21st century,

to lose two planes
within months of each other

and kill so many people,

it just never ever ever
should have happened.

The safety culture at Boeing fell apart.

It was corrupted from the top down

by pressures from Wall Street,
plain and simple.

[DeFazio] Mr. Muilenburg,

we have seen
that, you know, pressures from Wall Street

have a way of influencing the decisions
of the best companies in the worst way,

endangering the public,
jeopardizing the good work

of countless, countless
hardworking employees

on the factory lines.

And I hope that's not the story
that is ultimately, uh, gonna be written

about this long-admired company.

[Pasztor] I've thought
about this story a lot

in terms of what it means
and what it will mean.

Some of the mistakes
that Boeing made were irreparable.

The people who died
and their families and their friends

and the lives that ended in tragedy,

those can never be repaired.

How many times
have you heard companies say,

"We're committed to excellence."

"We're committed to safety.
We're committed to our customers."

But no matter how big the company is
and how sophisticated

and what a fantastic past it had,
which is all true for Boeing,

we should be skeptical.

All of us should be skeptical.

The Boeing 737 Max planes
now back in the air.

Flight happening today
for the first time in nearly two years

after the planes, they were grounded

following two fatal crashes
that killed hundreds of people.

[news anchor] Yesterday, we spoke
exclusively with Dave Calhoun,

the president and CEO of Boeing.

[Calhoun] We don't want to hide anything
because we're proud of what we do.

The products that we make are incredible.
They're good for humanity.

And I'm very proud of our team,
and I'm very proud of that airplane.

It is a, uh, remarkable machine

and as safe
as anything... anything in the air.

[dramatic music playing]

[solemn music playing]