Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing Board of Directors

Feb. 23, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week, Boeing announced that two members of the Board—Arthur Collins and Susan Schwab—will retire at the end of their terms in April. No replacements have been named yet.

Earlier, Ambassador Nikki Haley resigned over policy differences related to the COVID crisis CARES act. Haley was not replaced. More recently Caroline Kennedy resigned from the Board. She was replaced by the former CEO of the accounting firm KMPG.

Boeing’s 12-member Board is heavy on representatives of the defense and finance industries. It has ex- politicians, pharmaceutical and communications members. But other than Lawrence Kellner, who is from the airline industry, there is nobody representing commercial aviation manufacturing, design, engineering or production.

LNA’s podcast today takes a look at these facts and Boeing’s Board of Directors.

 

Leeham News and Analysis
Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing Board of Directors
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83 Comments on “Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing Board of Directors

  1. I think everybody was cheering Boeing until 2018 because of free cash flow and stock value. The accounting method, impressive outlooks/backlog suppressed any critical remark on buybacks, portfolio, debt. Many benefited, so didn’t intervene.

    Lobbied politics (congress, senate) gave Boeing free cards, handed them tanker contract, “streamlined” FAA, gave tax cuts,Ex-Im financing, blocked BBD, Airbus etc etc. Boeing became the invincible, above the law.

    Meanwhile a board without real knowledge about aircraft was easy to manipulate. And they got paid to be nice, agree. No pooking at all.

    I think they should pay Boeing fixed good salaries, not largely based on short term free cash flow -> buy backs -> stock value -> bonusses. But on long term company health, integrity. Smart investment instead of beach parties.

    • keesje, I agree that the board and C level executives need to have their compensation be more in line with long term objectives of the companies viability. Gordon Bethune in his book “From Worst to First” (his story of turning around Continental Airlines), makes a point of showing how people will bend common sense into a pretzel, depending on what they are measured by. For example, If a design and operations team is measured by not allowing any changes to require additional pilot training, then that is how they will build an airplane. If they are measured by saving costs at every turn, not being able to bring proper engineering cost/benefit analysis into the design, not properly holding design/review meetings, the inevitable will result. I call it spreadsheet management. Boeing was started by a Pilot Boeing and an Engineer Rensselaer. I don’t know if any good Pilot or Engineer would want to join Boeings board now. I don’t think Boeing is up against the wall enough to make the tough decisions needed to force a major change in course. When Bethune took over Continental, they were minutes from bankruptcy. When Alan Mulally took over Ford, they were looking towards bankruptcy. Until the Board of Directors can see the lights of bankruptcy headed towards them, I don’t think things will change.

      • And the major stockholders step forward and demand the company be run properly. The families, the institutions, the ETFs and Mutual funds. I’d presume CALPERS has a stake in BA. If they don’t, hedge funds and other private equity could do more wrong than good. Warren Buffett rescued GE. He possibly could be a positive force.

        • Sam:

          We own stocks, we get the notices of voting, I look at them, some seem common sense and others?

          Same for Board of directors. How do you choose? Its a yea or nay and for a focus stock like Boeing I could work through it (if I had it, mine are all Mutual Funds so I have no direct input)

          I have yet to figure it out any more than I can or have school board or the local Electrical utility sans a blow up and the paper has enough information to make a decisions.

          Many stocks are wrapped up in mutual funds, I don’t even know if I have Boeing in the mix.

          • Yes for the small retail investor it is hard to have much of a say in the large corporation they hold shares in. Boeing has suspended dividend payments. One would think the big owners would be up in arms about this. Many times there are proxy wars with different factions fighting to put their guy in charge and turn the company around.

          • Sam:

            Yea its been my observation that at times our best allies can be strange bedfellows.

            But greed trumps all so it runs off the rails.

            Just had a discussion with my Investor Guru, you are a bit too exposed in some areas, they have done well but have kept creeping up, suggest we pare those back.

            Agreed, I set policy and you keep an eye on all of it!

            ps: we are piss ant in the scheme of things investment wise, but its really important to us. Just luck of the draw we had money to invest. We have a very dedicated manager who care about small as well as big.

    • Keep in mind a large portion of salary is stock, and they can also buy stock independently. So either way stock value is a driver, whether for bonuses or capital gains.

      • Its one of the most corrupt parts of the allowed system.

        Stocks involvement with either direct compassionate or good buddy deal buys should be illegal.

        Its not the only part but its one important part.

        CEO and Board Chair should never be allowed to be the same person as well. That equally is a corruption of the intent of the corporate system for balance.

        Limit should be one lawyer on a boar as well as a balance of relevant industry people.

        Duke energy has no place on a board not a political hack like Haley.

  2. Forbes raised the possibility of Calhoun being granted an extension by the board at retirement. This was at his appointment, before COVID hit.

    His main task was getting the MAX back on its feet, so maybe that will be considered complete by next year. Surviving the COVID crisis and bringing out a new aircraft could be considered the next major tasks. Perhaps those are tasks for another person. I suspect the board will put that question to Calhoun and consider his views on whether a successor would be best.

    • “His main task was getting the MAX back on its feet”

      With rigged re-cert flights (“keep your finger on the pickle switch”), babysitter pilots, chaperoning fleet-wide flight monitoring by the FAA, a still-absent re-cert in China, and a deferred MAX-10 due to extra demands made by EASA, one could perhaps more accurately say “back on crutches” or “somewhat re-mobilized in a wheelchair”.

    • I’ve heard multiple times that Marc Allen is the supposed Successor to Calhoun. I don’t know if Scott wants to comment on that further

  3. Scott, very good analysis.
    I agree that the next CEO should be an engineer type but let’s not forget, Dennis Muielnberg was an engineer and came up thru the ranks, but and this is key, he was a protege of McNerney and the GE style as is the same with Calhoun. Calhoun though is not the engineer type, as a once insider I personally don’t think he nor the board care about any of this. It’s all window dressing.
    This safety board set shortly after the max max crashes was all window dressing, as employees we never heard nor received any updates. Stan Deal last name fits him perfectly and Leeann Carret for sure is not fit, she’s just the bubbly airhead yes person that they want, good grief her team can’t even get the space program squared away since the debacle in December 2019.
    I totally agree with Bryce’s comments.
    IMO, Boeing wants to continue with the status quo and appease the Wall Street masters.

    • William Allen, Boeing’s best CEO, was a lawyer.

      It’s the ethics. They were different then.

  4. While Boeing has specific US Corporate Governance issues that need correct (they are not along, Caterpillar also has the CEO and Board Chairman the same positions) the regulatory side is beyond pathetic.

    The FAA was studying the PW4000 problem and had done nothing until the blow off of the Denver 777. That is the third, all UN-CONTAINED !

    It should have grounded the PW4000 fleet after the first, but keep in mind that is the regulatory MO, we will study it.

    Its not just the FAA. EASA allowed two bad RR engines on the 787 and we had another near call at Rome. The one that failed was supposedly the BETTER of the two.

    The standard as minimum is you have a brand new engine paired with a questionable one until you can document, not computer model the issue.

    Equally flaws in software are let gone until its convenient to fix.

    4 years ago my wife was flying to Denver and there was one of those flaws on the A320. It was in the distracting ops are of MCAS 1.0 and they had 5 years to fix it. That is truly insane. It should be fixed NOW.

    The good old boy network need to change to a regulated environment and quit playing Russian Roulette with air safety.

    • this was not uncontained. the fan blade stayed in the case. the impact shock when it hit the case caused the cowling to separate.

    • Wow, that SF article is a bombshell!

      “During its earnings call yesterday, CEO John Plueger said that the planemaker should focus on getting its own house in order, specifically noting that a resolution to the ongoing problems with the 787 Dreamliner should be a priority.”

      “It’s clear that the production issues that have arisen on the 787’s seemed to have mushroomed, and there’s just greater and greater levels of inspection going on due to the non-conformity findings.”

      The issue, he said, is not so much that the 787 is undergoing inspections which are impacting operations and deliveries of the type, but that there seems to be no clear path out of the situation. He continued: “It is difficult to see a definitive fix that is agreeable by the aviation authorities going forward.””

      Every day that goes by, the Big B sinks further and further into the mire…

      • For anyone looking up, check out bloomberg or other publications that pick up the piece.

        Don’t forget the line going repeatedly: they are just making a safe plane safer™
        😜

    • Shows the various pressures within the industry. The suggestion is made that the 787 be used as-is, having been approved with the machining and assembly flaws, because that is the best result for the lessors.

      Boeing is not likely to agree to that, it would be far better in the long term to endure a few cancellations (which are happening now with COVID anyway) and fix the problems correctly. But there are always short-term viewpoints and pressures.

      Also better for the lessors in the short term for Boeing to not launch another aircraft, but not for Boeing in the long term. So although the lessors won’t get their way, these decisions will both result in a stronger Boeing in the end.

      • Shows the intense pressure on Boeing. The suggestion is made that the 787 be used as-is, having been approved with the machining and assembly flaws, because that is the easiest result for Boeing.

        Customers are not likely to agree to that, it would be far better in the long term to go ahead and cancel (which is happening now due to multiple 787 woes anyway) because the problems will probably never be fixable correctly. But there are always short-term Boeing viewpoints and pressures.

        Also better for the world in the short term for Boeing to not launch another aircraft, but not for Boeing in the long term. So although Boeing won’t get its way, these decisions will result in a safer aviation world in the end.

        • I hear the blender running again.

          Sadly there are not even lemons to put in it.

    • Boeing’s official forecast of restarting delivery in Feb. or even Q1 looks more and more questionable.

      What’s going to be the number of 787 undelivered at this quarter end? 100? Or more?? What further lever can Corp BA pull to paint a better CF picture?

      Another case of aim high, shoot low??

      More worrysome as more jets are delayed more than twelve months, customers now have the upper hand to renegotiate.

      • When it rains it pours.

        In flying its referred to as a death spiral. A series of horrible decisions leads to a crash.

        This is the Dutchboy on steroids, more like a dike like a Colander . Well except the Dutchboy in this case poked the holes in the dike in the first place.

          • It is more like the too short bedspread thing.

            At some point you can pull it whichever way:
            Things will be exposed: just different ones 🙂

        • ” (Bloomberg) — Boeing Co.’s hunt for the source of manufacturing flaws with its 787 Dreamliner extends deep into its supply chain, a sign the planemaker risks further delays as it works to resolve issues that have halted deliveries of the jetliner since October.

          Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc., which makes the Dreamliner’s nose and cockpit, is at Boeing’s request conducting an engineering analysis of so-called “noncomformities” on its portion of the carbon-fiber frame, Spirit Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile told analysts Tuesday. “

          • Well, this is — of course — good news for Boeing, because they can try to blame someone else. It’s a bit difficult to blame pilots in this issue (though they’ve probably considered it), but blaming suppliers is an acceptable alternative for them 🙂

            However, has anyone noticed that Airbus doesn’t appear to be having any critical problems with its suppliers?

          • Its up to Boeing to either check the quality of items brought in (which can be done in the case of the nose) or ensure that the documentation of the quality is presented with each part (sometimes batches per fasteners)

            But quality control is not a simple up or down. It has to be proven that if you do batch quality, the quality of the batch and process is adhered to so tightly that you cannot have escape .

            I saw an entire 747 hangar come down (1/3 main structure assemble) because of weld lack of quality to meet the seismic codes. The entire hangar was replaced with a completely different mfg structure.

            They could not cut out the welds (all bad) and re-weld at any rational cost. They gave up their bond when it was obvious it was not economical feasible (we guessed 4 to 5 times the cost of the whole original structure)

            They sold the package into a lower seismic rated area!

            There was no inspection anywhere in the system to check that they met it, not at the ori9ginal mfg, not at the Port of Seattle, not on arrival in Anchorage.

          • @Bryce: Airbus’s R&D is not spent on fixing current products like Boeing, money is invested for the future. That’s why Boeing’s carbon reduction strategy is renewable fuel, i.e. free ride.

          • Boeing is engaged in a review of quality control that reaches out to suppliers as well. If they didn’t do this, they’d be criticized. If they do this, they are criticized. It’s all noise in the end, the important thing for Boeing is to resolve the issues, which they are doing.

          • Boeing is engaged in a “review” of quality control that attempts to scapegoat suppliers. If they didn’t do this, they’d be failing their reputation. If they do this, they are justly criticized. It’s all smokescreening in the end, the important thing for Boeing is to resolve the issues, which they are seemingly incapable of doing.

          • Delta CEO: International travel will not come back in any meaningful form for probably another twelve months, may be spring 2022 for the real start.

            Boeing engaged a review of quality control … after delivery of close to 1,000 787.

            How good is Boeing quality assurance system? Is it working in the real world (vs. on paper)? Has Boeing initiate a quality control review of its production system? Why airlines complained FOD?? Has Boeing look into the mirror?

          • “However, has anyone noticed that Airbus doesn’t appear to be having any critical problems with its suppliers?”

            Airbus is king of interfaces ( design, execution.)
            from day one of its existence. Working across entity and national borders.
            Supplier or just different department : the differentiation is fluid.
            ( never a path to fix stuff over the fast lane at workforce / shop floor level that Boeing seems so proud of..)

          • “Boeing is engaged in a review of quality control that reaches out to suppliers as well.”

            Traditionally Boeing seems to “reach out” with knife and baseball bat !?.

            About the way they handle their workforce.

  5. Somewhat off topic: upcoming painful cancellations for Boeing/Airbus.
    Reuters: “Jetmakers to lose orders in Norwegian restructuring”

    “Norwegian has 88 A320neo-family narrow-body jets on order from Airbus, according to the manufacturer.
    The airline said last June it had cancelled orders for 97 Boeing jets and would claim compensation for the grounding of the 737 MAX and for 787 Dreamliner engine troubles.
    However, the orders for 5 Dreamliners and 92 MAX remain posted on the Boeing website”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norwegian-air-restructuring-aircraft/jetmakers-to-lose-orders-in-norwegian-restructuring-sources-idUSKBN2AN17Q

    • That is a funny area. I thought the new standard would remove them.

      Maybe loop holes in some decisions like going belly up and a final despite the writing on the wall.

      I only see Norwegians with A321 orders (30)

      • Further review Norwegian gave up all its Airbus stuff at least A320 and not sure where the A321 is.

  6. Suggestion for an addition to the board: Calin Rovinescu, who is retiring from Air Canada. Did a great job turning that airline around (including improving labour relations while controlling costs). Only problem is he is already 65.

    • Age I don’t think applies to the board, it does to the Executive officers

      He would be a good example of relevant aviation experience for the board.

      One area to give thought to is when a company like Boeing is split between defense and commercial aircraft (taken with a grain of sale right now) should there be two boards?

  7. Hopefully the money managers driving the board changes will insist on Alan Mulally having a seat at the table.

    Knows Boeing like the back of his hand – Check

    Knows how to turnaround companies in dire straights – Check

    Did not work for GE or McDonnell Douglas or other failed business models – Check

    Understands that more bean counters are not the solution – Check

  8. Would be interesting if Norm Augustine, Alan Mulally and Chesley Sully got onto the Boeing board and could direct and force the company forward…

  9. I like the last two a lot!

    Not familiar with Augustine other than a Volcano in Alaska though that might not be a bad move.

    • Normal response to a blade-out incident. Inspect the affected engines for possible additional instances of fatigue cracking. That had been ordered previously as well.

      • If you actually read it, the whole thing has been totally half assed and that is being kind.

        Lighting conditions , people hat don’t know what they are looking at, not trained, the usually.

        MAX all over again except its the FAA, Dickson is a much a failure as Muilbengerger and Calhoun.

        This should have been handled on the first go, not the third (or the 4th depending on finding on the 747 though that is a different Model of the 4000.

        Containment failure is becoming the norm. That is beyond pathetic.

        • The FAA requires inspection. The airline reported the blades were inspected and no issues found.

          On examination of records after a blade failure, it was found that the technicians mistook a small imperfection for a paint flaw. That flaw was real and resulted in a blade fatigue crack. The technicians were improperly trained.

          This goes to SMS and safety culture, things that Dickson is trying to implement across the industry. It’s proof that he is right, not wrong.

  10. I would love to see Elon Musk do a Tesla stock swap and get a controlling interest in Boeing. All he would need to do is fill the board with egineers and airline people. He could then be a silent owner. It wouldn’t cost him a cent and he would save Boeing.

    • An airliner undercarriage is more complicated than a Tesla car, and the whole design and construction business is very highly regulated …do you see Musk wanting that ?
      Then theres the profits Boeing made up till 2019, Tesla cars are a money loser except for the carbon trading made of selling pieces of paper to other manufacturers in 2020.
      “Tesla generated $24.6 billion in revenue in 2019, buoyed by a fourth quarter revenue figure of just shy of $7.4 billion.
      Tesla still didn’t turn an annual profit — in fact, it lost $862 million in 2019.”
      https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/29/21113987/tesla-q4-2019-earnings-results-profit-revenue-model-3

    • They should split up Boeing.

      No real synergy between the commercial and defense side.

      Main problem is the company does not have the internal talent to manage the whole enterprise.

      Maybe Bezos would be interested in the commercial side and would have the ability to manage it.

  11. In More Good News for a resurgent Boeing

    DOT FAA BA Update

    https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/38302

    Yet another DOT report critical, or very critical, of the FAA : one of a long series that resumes the same old same negative judgement on the FAA’s procedures behaviours and reliability

    Yet nothing changes with the FAA – witness hesitation after first Max crash == equivalent hesitation after first JAL engine flaming

    http://www.boeing.com/commercial/market/commercial-market-outlook/.

    Same day same co incidence : BA bull forecast for the market :

    Instead of Asia fueling the world market it will now be their own resurgent backyard Latin Am and South Am, a kind of Madison doctrine will ensure, perhaps, BA dominance

    The following quote contains more than a hint of official gvmt policy cum DoD global security zoning

    « Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth. »

    If one wishes to question this sudden surprise emergence of an undersuspected aviation powerhouse market one may contact Boeing Communications directly

    One may not be surprised to see a follow up on the Africa market predicting BA dominance over this very large segment with a list of gvmts signing up for protection

    So- back to glory days very soon ; the new normal resembles an efficient re organisation of the world to the tune of ‘who needs Asia’

  12. More Great News for Boeing

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-24/united-air-s-grounded-777s-had-troubled-history-in-debt-markets

    United attempted to use BA 777s as collateral – the market demanded 11% interest

    The planes the market said are not worth it – please note this was before the flaming engines and before FAA puzzling about what to do about……er..maybe look at ….no let’s go back to sleep*TM

    The market could see what United, BA and the FAA could not – in spite of this no-one did nothing

    « The aircraft that showered debris over a Denver suburb this past weekend was among assets that investors had been reluctant to accept as collateral last year when the airline sought to borrow billions of dollars to ride out the pandemic, according to flight records and debt documents reviewed by Bloomberg.
    United’s first attempt to sell debt backed by some of its oldest planes — including the 26-year-old 777-200 with the engine mishap, and dozens more like it — collapsed in May after investors demanded interest as high as 11% to compensate for the risk.
    A second effort to pledge the same aircraft for a new debt sale a few months later, along with engines and other spare parts that United had scraped together, was more successful. CreditSights analyst Roger King described the deal at the time, however, as a “kitchen sink” offering because of the poor quality of the underlying assets. »

    • Reason for the low collateral value was the age and remaining life of the aircraft, which unsurprisingly significantly reduce their value.

      The article mentions that the reduction in collateral, if the affected 777’s with the P&W engines are retired, is estimated at 4% of the overall valuation.

      • @Rob

        Yup low value aircraft is correct, low value engines ….well negative value engines, also correct

        You can read this part of the article right

        What you didn’t read was – how come these negative value planes are flying, sort of flying, and none of the concerned parties, BA, United, FAA, can see that they should not be

        But WS can

        Conclusion – the only people who have interest in making sure they are getting it right are WS, but not Boeing, nor FAA, nor United

  13. Downbeat report on the future of airtravel

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-23/quarantines-crushing-air-travel-are-getting-longer-and-lonelier

    Contradicts optimistic Boeing and upbeat FAA

    Vaccine passports are not being used, nor will be, especially in Asia, where quarantining of incoming is reaching ‘soul jerking’ standards of isolation and lengthiness

    In some extreme Antipodean cases a new form of apartheid is being introduced – these countries have long been preparing a vision of themselves as a post nuclear isolated luxurious haven, now’s their chance to live the dream

    « Rather than gradually being wound back, some quarantines are approaching permanency. The Australian state of Victoria has started looking at “long-term” solutions for separating overseas arrivals from the local population, with arrivals housed in newly-built complexes near airports. The review followed an outbreak of the virulent U.K. strain from a quarantine hotel in Melbourne. »

    • It’s likely that most countries will use vaccination certification in some form. If those are digitally issued as encrypted certificates, and displayable with QR code on cell phones, as some countries are now doing, then it would be relatively straightforward for countries to have honoring agreements and verification from scanners at check-in. This dispenses with the need for an immunity passport. The secured technology to do this already exists in e-commerce. Works for domestic flights as well.

      • @ Rob

        Bravo on maintaining the outlier dissident opinion and ideology

        The Honest thrust of debate with diverse non white privilege viewpoints is essential

      • @Rob

        Your vaccine passport dissident opinion follows in the footsteps of your former President

        Both of you disregard the WHO

        « ‘At the present time, it is WHO’s position that national authorities and conveyance operators should not introduce requirements of proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travel as a condition for departure or entry.’ »

        • WHO is developing guidance for universal digital certificates. As mentioned, this is something that is likely to happen as vaccination status is much easier to establish than immunity status, and many governments will require it internally anyway.

          https://www.who.int/groups/smart-vaccination-certificate-working-group

          Also in the WHO statement that proof of vaccination should not be required for travel, they still recommend that vaccination status be monitored and recorded.

          “Regardless of any technology implemented in future, the COVID-19 vaccination status of international travelers should be recorded through the International Certificate for Vaccination and Prophylaxis based on the model presented in Annex 6 of the IHR. The same format could be adapted once WHO pre-qualified COVID-19 vaccines become available universally and relevant recommendations are provided under the IHR.”

          Lastly the current reasoning of the WHO is that sufficient evidence does not yet exist for absence of transmission with vaccination. But real-world data increasingly show that this effect does exist, so given that and the developing presence of vaccination certificates, it’s likely to be adopted by governments at some point.

          • @Rob

            You are right

            One day, maybe, the WHO and everyone else will change their mind

            Let’s hope so

            Hope is a little bird that never says his name…

        • @ Gerrard
          Apart from that, there’s still no meaningful data on transmission (which, of course, is why the WHO sees nothing in the idea).
          Studies in Isreal *suggest* that vaccines are having *some* effect on transmission, but nobody can put a real-world, hard-data figure on it. Remember that, for the fishbowl countries (China, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and NZ) anything short of 100% prevention of transmission will not be acceptable as regards incoming passengers — although Singapore is creative and realistic enough to fall back on a stricter testing/tracing regime as an alternative. And, as regards the E484 mutation, every country outside SA and Brazil is effectively a fishbowl country.
          Countries (such as Israel) that are introducing such documents for domestic use are doing so in an attempt to encourage higher uptake. Interestingly, other countries proposing similar ideas are suggesting that CoViD-recovered patients should also get such a document, since they also have “immunity”. Though virologists on the sidelines still point out the emptiness of such documents from an epidemiological point of view.

          • @Bryce

            Exactly

            Just when everyone thinks they are successful at playing catch up, there is a new mutation or a recombinant which throws the cat at the pigeons

            One day maybe when the bug settles down and reaches his flu like goal then there’ll be ….er..no quarantine, nor testing, nor even WHO alerts, except when it comes to Covid-20 or 21 making his entrance

            But bureaucrats sure like paperwork, and some countries think that soothing speeches about certificates passports and indeed gold stars may make their populaces feel a little bit happier and less inclined to throw stones

      • It’s unlikely that many countries will use vaccination certification in some form. Regardless of whether those are digitally issued as encrypted certificates, and displayable with QR code on cell phones, as some parties are now proposing, it says nothing about the real-time virological status of the holder. This idea has been proposed at various junctures by different countries in the EU, only to be flagged down by epidemiologists as being an empty gesture. The secured technology to do this already exists in e-commerce, but it won’t help much in the cross-border travel industry.

  14. The new IG report is the follow-up to the investigative timeline report published in July 2020. That report said that recommendations would be forthcoming, and they are now published in the current report.

    Notably the FAA has accepted all 14 recommendations, and most are already in progress. In addition, in 2020 FAA closed out 4 prior IG recommendations. FAA also will have addressed most of the DOT Special Committee recommendations in 2021, finishing those in 2o22.

    The NPRM for requiring SMS for manufacturers is expected in September 2022. Complete rulemaking and compliance with all recommendations is expected by 2025.

    The IG thus considers the recommendations resolved, but they will remain open and monitored until final actions are complete.

    One important decision for Boeing will be next month’s FAA ruling on the 2015 Settlement Agreement. The settlement will be closed, but further action could be taken if Boeing has not met the settlement criteria.

    • @Rob

      FAA still asleep at the wheel if that’s the right industry insider phrase

      In spite of all the reports inquiries and recommendations FAA still manages to FaaUp everything they touch

      Please explain how they manage this

      • @ Gerrard
        Indeed…a whole stream of bad press for the FAA, which Reuters this morning is showing to be incompetent (first link), withholding documents (second link) and devoid of its old “authority” (third link).

        “U.S. audit report cites ‘weaknesses’ in FAA certification of Boeing 737 MAX”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-737max/u-s-audit-report-cites-weaknesses-in-faa-certification-of-boeing-737-max-idUSKBN2AO2P6

        “U.S. lawmakers urge FAA to submit delayed airline engine safety report to Congress”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-777-congress/u-s-lawmakers-urge-faa-to-submit-delayed-airline-engine-safety-report-to-congress-idUSKBN2AO2ZT

        “Boeing working with regulators, customers on return of 737 MAX in Asia”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-asia/boeing-working-with-regulators-customers-on-return-of-737-max-in-asia-executive-idUSKBN2AP0A7

        • @Bryce

          Crikey! That’s a lot of bad news for one small part of one day

          But there were no accidents ? Nothing at all ? : then perhaps the news is not all that bad, perhaps

          This quote reflects the general FAA sleep mode of operating

          « The lawmakers added they were concerned any “recommendations to improve airline engine safety have been languishing for well over a year. Even more concerning is the potential missed opportunity to address similar airline engine safety issues before they occurred again.”

          Before they occurred ? Who ? What ?

          And This quote appears to reflect a sensible decision to co operate/collaborate on certification, mindful of China and their common interests, economic etc political, but also logistical

          ‘So far, all Asian countries have held off from approving the MAX’s return, though Boeing said last month it expected to win remaining global regulatory approvals in the first half of 2021. »

          It’s a new world : one which is not favourably disposed towards either BA or the FAA, neither domestically US nor especially not in Asia, for some time now both have been running on empty

          • @ Gerrard
            What is particularly interesting is that Asian nations are also not following the EASA’s re-cert of the MAX: they evidently see EASA’s original approval of the MAX, followed by Ky’s minimalist re-cert modifications, to be an insult to their intelligence. It seems that they’re waiting for Chinese re-cert — if that comes at all. Not surprising, since most carriers in the region will want their shorthaul planes to be able to fly to Chinese destinations. But, as we’ve said before, China is in absolutely no hurry: it took China years to certify the A350 after that plane’s earlier certification by the EASA…not because there was anything wrong with the A350, but because China wanted to use the certification as a strategic pawn.

          • Australia and New Zealand have said they will follow EASA, but at their own pace since air travel is still heavily restricted there. Other island nations have said they will follow these two.

            Several nations have permitted ferry flights to begin preparations of the MAX aircraft.

            China remains opaque and their conditions are not yet met (Ethiopian final report). Also they have said publicly that relations with the US also matter, as well as recovery of the air travel market. All Boeing can do there is work with airlines and CAAC to make sure the MAX aircraft are prepared to resume service.

          • Australia and New Zealand have said they may follow EASA, but at their own pace since they want to be thorough. Some island nations have said they will follow these two.

            Some nations have permitted ferry flights as a preparatory gesture in case the MAX aircraft gets re-cert some time soon…but nobody is holding his breath.

            China remains resolute and their conditions are not yet met (probably a long list). Also they have said publicly that soured relations with the US play a role, as well as a restoration of tarnished safety of the air travel market. All Boeing can do there is hope and pray that the MAX aircraft are allowed to resume service at some juncture in the not too distant future.

  15. Biman Bangladesh Airlines has appointed Dr. Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal as the new Managing Director and CEO of the flag carrier on February 23.

    The former Biman MD and CEO Mokabbir Hossain has been made Chairman (Secretary) of Land Appeal Board at Land Ministry.
    https://bangladeshmonitor.com.bd/

  16. With a board like that, it’s almost as if Boeing is planning on exiting the commercial aircraft business.

    • @Matthew

      Yes – others have drawn to the same conclusion

      What management is doing to BA is a classic case of value destruction

  17. KC-46

    https://mobile.twitter.com/beverstine/status/1364661974332825600
    Yesterday I was able to get an up-close look at KC-46 RVS. It’s hard to really describe the challenges boom operators have with the current set up. I saved this slide from a recent presentation on what the boom operator sees through RVS 1.0

    Why reinvent the wheel??
    “There is not a camera in the world that will replace the human eyes. The job requires tremendous amounts of hand eye coordination, and depth perception. Nothing beats this. The USAF decided to go with the cheaper option of using a camera rather than the combat proven one.”

    • If you expand the photo in the tweet, the bottom two images are more typical of the system. It does have dynamic range issues under the conditions of the top two images, which are worsened by the LCD displays.

      RVS 1.5, which is now being installed, uses software dynamic range enhancement to improve the images, but does not totally resolve the problem. The RVS 2.0 system will use technology that is 10 years newer, together with a LIDAR grid representation. Also will display in true color with true stereoscopic collimated display.

      The comment about it being cheaper with RVS is not really valid. The KC-10 is large enough to have a seated operator position, the KC-135 has a prone operator. The RVS was meant to improve the operator environment. Also for the KC-46 that has the wing pods, the operator needs to have 180 degree views, to refuel 3 aircraft at once.

    • So, the serious issues on the NG include the pickle forks, engine cowlings and now this door failure problem. Have I missed anything?

      For the MAX we have the MCAS fiasco, sub-standard wiring, EASA’s objection that two AOA inputs aren’t enough and now this door failure problem. And, of course, the continuing lack of re-cert in China. Anything else to add to the list?

      For the 787 we have the ongoing fuselage problems front and rear, the never-ending FOD issues, lightning-conduction controversies, and of course the initial battery fires. No deliveries since October.

      I wonder is Alaska Airlines still proud to be “All Boeing”…

      • @Bryce

        Plus the 777 – here’s another incident

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-26/boeing-777-makes-emergency-landing-in-moscow-with-engine-trouble?source

        « A Boeing Co. 777 aircraft operated by Rossiya Airlines made an emergency landing in Moscow at 4:44 a.m. local time due to engine trouble, less than a week after a similar aircraft flown by United Airlines Holdings Inc. suffered a dramatic blowout over Denver, shedding debris onto neighborhoods below.
        The Rossiya Air flight was operating as a cargo service from Hong Kong to Madrid, according to an employee at Sheremetyevo International Airport, who declined to be named. Neither Boeing nor Rossiya Air were immediately available for comment.
        The crew of the plane requested to make the emergency landing after one of the left engine control channels failed, according to Interfax. No injuries were reported. The type of engine wasn’t immediately clear. »

  18. “””The Chicago airframer will also pay $1.2 million to settle two previously-disclosed enforcement cases, also involving the company’s ODA.
    In August 2020, the FAA had proposed settling those cases for $1.25 million.
    “The FAA alleges that Boeing managers exerted undue pressure or interfered with the work of FAA designees at the company’s plant in South Carolina,” the agency said in August 2020.”””
    FlightGlobal

    PROPOSING a fine is a joke and even more reducing the proposed fine.
    The ODA staff should wear a Colt to get the needed respect.
    Dickson isn’t able to do his job.

  19. The aviation regulator in Australia has lifted its ban on the MAX.

    Concurrently, the NZ regulator has declined to do the same, saying instead that: “The CAA will not issue a blanket approval for the Boeing 737 MAX to fly into New Zealand but will work with any future operators on a case-by-case basis to clear flight operations into New Zealand”

    Reuters –Australia lifts ban on Boeing 737 MAX, among first in Asia-Pacific:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-737max-australia/australia-lifts-ban-on-boeing-737-max-among-first-in-asia-pacific-idUSKBN2AQ09Q

  20. On CNBC yesterday evening, and now on other news channels:

    “Boeing fined US$6.6 million for failing to comply on safety accord”

    “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday (Feb 25) announced the penalties in a press release. The company agreed to pay US$5.4 million to settle earlier cases brought against the company and another US$1.21 million for two more recent cases, the agency said.”

    “Boeing failed to meet all of its obligations under the settlement agreement, and the FAA is holding Boeing accountable by imposing additional penalties,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a press release. “I have reiterated to Boeing’s leadership time and again that the company must prioritize safety and regulatory compliance, and that the FAA will always put safety first in all its decisions.””

    “Boeing fell 5.6 per cent to US$216.45 at the close in New York, the biggest drop on the Dow Jones Industrial Average amid a broad rout in US stocks.”

    https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/boeing-fined-us66-million-for-failing-to-comply-on-safety-accord

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