Aerospace analyst: Boeing 737 issues the result of poor leadership, communication

May 3, 2019, 2:34 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm

You’ve seen a lot of reports on Boeing over the last few weeks that certainly sound scary, and sound like something to worry about before your next flight. But whether or not the details that trickle out are reason to worry is a different matter.

Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group joined Seattle’s Morning News to provide perspective on what’s happening of late at Boeing.

“I think the important thing to remember though is that all of these problems — which are myriad — relate to one system, and it’s not exactly the most essential enabling technology for this plane,” he said.

“In other words the product itself — the 737 MAX — I think remains quite fine. It’s really just this system that needs a lot of fixing.”

RELATED: Boeing CEO issues statement on status of 737 MAX

A recent Wall Street Journal article seems to feed into the overriding narrative that because of cost cutting, safety was sacrificed. Is that fair?

“Not really. I mean it doesn’t seem like costs were the driving factor; it sounds like company culture was. You know, you go back to this time and it’s not exactly like engineers were hugely empowered within the company’s structure.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued an official statement Monday, promising that his company is working to “fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX,” following a pair of crashes within the last five months.

RELATED: Seattle firm files lawsuit against over Lion Air crash

A total of 189 people died in a Lion Air crash out of Indonesia on Oct. 29, 2018, when the plane nose-dived into the ocean. A total of 157 people died in a similar crash in Ethiopia. Like the Indonesian crash, the pilot of the plane in Ethiopia sent a distress call shortly after takeoff.

“You had a very bad situation where the guy at the top did not have an engineering degree,” Aboulafia said. “The guy at the top of the company was quite notorious for an imperial style that did not reward anybody who told the truth about issues and problems, which explains an awful lot that happened with the Dreamliner, too.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: Far more than meets the eye when it comes to how we use emojis

We have words, yet sometimes they aren’t enough. That's where emojis come in, giving us a diverse way to express ourselves to loved ones.
11 hours ago
Holiday cheer, grief...
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: What if we shared our grief with our holiday cheer this year?

Its December and holiday cheer is everywhere, but not for all of us. So, what if this season we shared the cheer and the grief?
1 day ago
rain, meteorologist...
MyNorthwest Staff

‘Fingerprints of warming planet’ amid Seattle area’s year of record-breaking weather

When meteorologist Ted Buehner last joined KIRO Radio, the temperature was reaching triple digits. Five months later, there has been record rainfall.
1 day ago
World AIDS Day...
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: More hope now than ever for cure to decades-long epidemic

Decades after HIV and AIDS first surfaced, there's more hope than ever for an eventual cure within the next decade.
2 days ago
Tacoma police, South King County...
MyNorthwest Staff

South King County mayors demand action from state to end rash of violence

Multiple mayors in South King County are banding together to combat a violent trend after seven people were shot in four days. 
3 days ago
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: Focusing less on money and more on giving

What if we focused on giving more every day? And what if -- beyond money -- we gave more love, wisdom, and leadership?
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Aerospace analyst: Boeing 737 issues the result of poor leadership, communication