Images of crash sites of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302. Image: EPA-EFE, REUTERS

Why Boeing’s Willful Blunder Is Gluttony’s Horror Story

The spooky season is usually anchored by the delightfulness of feigning the fear that gives costumed little ones the joy of not comprehending just how scary it’s going to get, when they’re old enough to replace candy corn with gluten-free sweets that their parents couldn’t afford.

But for me, the absolute horror began months earlier, when on a bright Sunday morning on March 10, 2019, the unfathomable breaking news about Ethiopian Airlines 302 tarnished my timeline.

The terrifying details filtered in throughout the day, but the glaring evidence was the utterly violent way in which the 737 Max 8 crashed into the earth, with incredible force that reduced the jetliner and its occupants to pebbled debris.

Viral images of the crash site delivered the graphicness of what transpired, as bereaved relatives stationed at the location of the plane’s scheduled arrival, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya, had to contend with the unthinkable, unfolding instantaneously.

As information flowed in, it was becoming increasingly clear that the gruesomeness of this plane crash disturbingly matched the death flight of Lion Air 610, that plunged into the Java Sea on October 29, 2018, shortly after takeoff.

Another offensive aspect that linked both tragedies was Boeing’s initial response that seemed to indicate that both pilots of the doomed aircrafts were mostly to blame, due to their inability to successfully revert the inexplicable nosedive because of demonstrated inexperience with the “MCAS anti-stall system.”

But thanks to the sleuthing skills and endearing loyalty of a renowned world-class carrier, the top officials at Ethiopian Airlines, headed by CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, swiftly established that their prized pilot and co-pilots executed their job duties in a satisfactory manner that reflected their combined superior skillset.

These pertinent findings led to the re-examination of Lion Air Flight 610, particularly the pattern of uncontrollable descent immediately after takeoff, and how those pilots were also desperately scrambling for ways to regain control of an erratic plane, that wasn’t registering any of the maneuvers being implemented.

It took the slaughter of 157 additional lives that joined the 189 passengers and crew months prior, before a thorough investigation into the nefariousness behind the construction of Boeing’s most ambitious model to date, was finally launched with warranted vigor.

As it turns out, the 737 Max series was plotted into existence with a slew of inconsistencies that were primed to prove fatal for pilots who weren’t comfortably familiar with stealthily updated systems, that could prove alarmingly combative, with the promise of that death drop if ill-prepared crews in panicked cockpits failed to restore original settings in record time.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) recklessly bestowed absolute power to Boeing at a critical point of construction, and this resulted in the downplay of raised concerns from those at the control center, who internally critiqued the “anti-stall system” by elaborating on how untrained hands could be the difference between life and death.

It appears that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, who was shamefully against grounding the problematic and ultra-dangerous 737 Max planes, after the confirmation of the accumulated death count of 346 obliterated lives, was fully aware of the high-risk associated with green lighting the functionality of a sophisticated computerized system, that was maximized for profit.

Muilenberg is currently attended hearings to take accountability for the vital role he played in the senseless destruction of human lives, which didn’t have to happen if only he was humane enough to make the lifesaving decisions that he’s being paid millions in bonuses to honor.

There’s also the deplorable messaging from Boeing in the aftermath of each of these horrible events. The embattled company blatantly echoed the racism assigned to the heroic pilots based on their ethnicity, and how seamless it was to place the blame solely on “pilot error,” for those notable air disasters, because of the stereotypes that would have us assume that the background of these pilots may have contributed to their inefficiencies.

But the truth is that the 737 Max planes exhibited faultiness in basic functions way before it was approved for the skies by the gross negligence of the FAA, and that explains why shit hit the fan right after takeoff.

Both Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 experienced the same harrowing minutes in the air before the horror that followed, and that’s because of how the pilots were caught off guard by the “award-winning computerized system,” that was implanted to beat the competition at the expense of passengers and crew, who didn’t stand a chance in hell to survive the inevitable.

Boeing’s Willful Blunder Is Gluttony’s Horror Story!

Words can’t express the nightmare of watching stunned family members visit the deep crater in the earth, in a village near Bishoftu, Ethiopia, that bore no resemblance to the airplane that was filled with the bodies and souls of innocent humans, who never imagined that this would be the last journey on earth.

Muilenburg and his equally criminal enablers were motivated by dollars and cents, and the flawless reputation as unbeatable innovators, who will readily sacrifice human lives, as opposed to spending those millions to fix outstanding issues that could potentially create the worst case scenario, that should be avoided at all costs.

That’s a horror story that terrorizes those of us who never even contemplated the model of the aircraft we’ve boarded in the past, until we were forced to reckon with the real-life dreadfulness of the fleet of 737 Max 8.

And how those two plane crashes were ordained by the bloody greed of an evil CEO, who is still getting those million-dollar bonuses, despite orchestrating the demise of crew and passengers, who mistakenly trusted Boeing’s methods of operation without consideration how their very lives were at stake the moment they boarded those “flying coffins.”

It’s appalling to see Muilenburg still retaining his position as CEO, and it’s even more nauseating to recognize how he oversaw a criminalized establishment, that aggressively fought to conceal key deficiencies that should’ve been finessed with accompanying manuals and paid training.

It’s hard to believe that the grounded 737 Max 8 planes are being presently groomed for the skies in the near future. That shouldn’t even be part of the discussion at this point, especially when such premature actions only help to illustrate Boeing’s signature move of placing financial gain over the safety of cautious passengers.

This horror story is evolving into the epic battle for solid justice on behalf of the 346 lives lost. And inconsolable relatives will not rest until those beloved souls receive their due.

As for me, my only request when it comes to Muilenburg and his wobbly future is:


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store