Boeing Reportedly Scrapped 737 Max Safety System as It Was Too Expensive

A Boeing engineer said the company "was more concerned with cost and schedule than safety or quality."

Following the two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets this year, a senior Boeing engineer has filed an internal ethics complaint, saying the company had vetoed a safety system to reduce costs.

This system, the engineer claims, could have prevented the two crashes of the stalling plane, which has now been grounded worldwide due to its safety issues.

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Cutting costs at the expense of safety

The internal complaint at Boeing, The New York Times reports, was filed shortly after the two crashes occurred this year, both of which killed everyone on board.

Curtis Ewbank, the senior engineer who flagged these issues, said the following in his complaint:

"I was willing to stand up for safety and quality, but was unable to actually have an effect in those areas. Boeing management was more concerned with cost and schedule than safety or quality."

As Business Insider points out, federal investigators looking into the two crashes have questioned at least one former Boeing employee about the complaint.

A Boeing representative said:

"Boeing offers its employees a number of channels for raising concerns and complaints and has rigorous processes in place, both to ensure that such complaints receive thorough consideration and to protect the confidentiality of employees who make them," they told the New York Times.

Sensor issues

Boeing 737 Max jets have been grounded since March dues to serious safety concerns after the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air 737s this year. Airlines have had to cancel and reschedule flights that were initially booked to use the model.

Reports from the preliminary investigation into the crashes have suggested that there were issues regarding sensor readings which adversely affected the planes' MCAS systems.

The readings caused the plane's systems to calculate the plane's position as being more vertically inclined than it actually was, causing the aircraft to nosedive automatically. 

Boeing won't be allowed to fly the 737 Max until a worldwide committee is satisfied with fixes made to the plane model. This process is estimated to go beyond 2019.

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