Boeing employee: I would not put my family on a Max plane right now

Jun 17, 2019, 7:23 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2019, 8:15 am

boeing 737, 737 MAX...

A Boeing 737 MAX. (AP)


He’s a Boeing employee, speaking on conditions of anonymity to The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show as the 737 Max controversy continues.

“I think about my children and I think about my wife and how much they mean to me, but my career means a lot to me as well,” he said. “If I had to go up to those test flights, I would. Would I send my family on a flight right now? No. Not in a million years.”

Stuart (not his real name) works more with the 777X model, not the Max that has garnered negative press. The 777x has made headlines, too, recently as the model has been delayed. The Seattle Times reports the 777X has an issue with its new GE9X engine. Meanwhile, the 737 Max plane remains grounded as the company scrambles to develop a fix for software problems that are blamed for two deadly crashes within a year.

Boeing morale

Stuart argues that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg inherited a range of issues from previous leadership. These issues include bad relationships with suppliers. He said previous leadership “despised engineers.” And he says he would hate to see Muilenburg go. Still, he doesn’t paint a picture of a happy work environment.

Aerospace analyst: Boeing issues result of poor leadership
Boeing cuts back on 737 Max production

“The way management kind of works is we never really know who our managers are sometimes,” he said. “We get shuffled around so much that our job codes, our job titles, everything changes. Because they are trying to make progress. With the Max being down, they are bringing other people down, trying to correct the issues and trying to make it a better place.”

“…And the morale around the entire plant is down,” Stuart said. “Seems like most people I work with don’t care about their job anymore, they are just there to collect a paycheck.”

Stuart said that there are rumors about changes or layoffs floating around the company as it weathers the current storm. He says that employees receive emails daily or weekly about the issues Boeing faces, some with videos from Muilenburg telling them to keep their chins up, talking about the crashes, and other issues.

“I’m trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t think we are going to,” Stuart said.

“…. grounding these planes is hurting everybody,” he said. “When you go out to any program, everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off not knowing what to do, where to go, and how to fix any kind of mistake before it happens.”

Boeing leadership

An issue with the recent Max crashes seems to be that pilots were unaware of new software systems on new models. Stuart alleges that Boeing leadership previously told employees that it was the responsibility of the companies who bought the aircraft to teach the pilots about these systems – such as the MCAS system that failed in two Max planes, causing crashes.

“All I know is that, the way things are going right now, as far as I’ve talked to my co-workers, a lot of my managers, is we were lied to,” he said. “We received emails, we saw the videos, we were told certain things such as ‘the companies that bought these planes, a lot of them, their countries didn’t require them to go through the test flight process that needed to happen.’ So we were told, ‘Hey, that’s not on us, that’s on them. We have this program, they’re suppose to take it, they don’t have to take it, that teaches them how to use this thing.’”

Stuart says that he wants to trust Boeing’s CEO and other management.

“I want to,” he said. “I want to think that I work for one of the best companies in the world. I want to think that when I come home from a 10-12 hour shift that I’ve done something good. But I don’t know because I see the lies. They’re going back on everything that they’ve told us. So it’s really difficult for me to feel good about any of it.”

Stuart does have faith in his colleagues he works with everyday, however. But he remains nervous about Boeing’s 737 Max planes.

“I’m going to be honest, I put faith in my company, I put faith in my co-workers, I wouldn’t have a problem getting on that plane myself,” he said. “I don’t know if I’d put my family on it. But I would never have a problem doing it because I trust who I work with.”


Candy Mike and Todd

guns, assault weapons, gun, 1639, 1639 gun initiative, gun tax...

Mike Lewis

Mike: We should not restrict guns but their owners are different story

If you are a commercial pilot or general contractor likely you understand the value of licensing; So why not license gun owners?

5 years ago

snow day...

MyNorthwest Staff

What’s better for kids: a school snow day or a two-hour delay?

The recent snow fall stirred up a debate: What's better for kids, a snow day or two-hour delay?

5 years ago

shoveling snow...

MyNorthwest Staff

Candy: Everyone should shovel snow as a chore

Shoveling snow is a unique experience here in the Pacific Northwest. Here are five reasons everyone should shovel snow as a chore.

5 years ago


Todd Herman

The theft of parental rights in Washington state is unconscionable and immoral

Quoting a law passed in Democrat-controlled Washington state originally designed to make sure girls could get secret abortions, insurance companies have been writing to parents informing them they no longer have any rights to be involved in crucial, life-altering decisions their kids want to make.

5 years ago


MyNorthwest Staff

Guilt tipping has got to stop

We are seeing tipping pop up in unusual places. I've seen new tip lines at a craft store, clothing store, and a 7-11 in the last few months.

5 years ago

Space Needle fireworks, New Year's Eve, seattle baby...

MyNorthwest Staff

Tell me I’m wrong: Everyone should have a New Year’s resolution

What is preventing us from reaching our fitness goals the rest of the year? KIRO Radio's Candy Harper weighs in.

5 years ago

Boeing employee: I would not put my family on a Max plane right now