Updated: FAA grounds expansion plans for Boeing 737 MAX production, approves path for MAX 9s to resume flights


  • Hundreds of 737s scheduled for delivery this year and in coming years affected by FAA action.
  • IAM shares concerns with Boeing, FAA.

By Dan Catchpole

Special Coverage of the Boeing crisis

The Federal Aviation Administration froze Boeing’s 737 production rate at the current level (31/mo, 372/yr) and for now killed expansion of a 4th line in Everett. Credit: Leeham News.

Jan. 24, 2024 © Leeham News: The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it will not approve a planned expansion of Boeing 737 MAX production. The agency also laid out a path to get MAX 9 airplanes back flying.

The jetliners were grounded on January 6 after a door plug blew out the day before from a two-month-old 737 MAX 9 flown by Alaska Airlines. The FAA investigation found significant quality lapses in the program. Inspection of the MAX 9 fleet found problems in other airplanes.

A few of Alaska’s Boeing 737-9 MAXes parked at SEA-TAC International Airport awaiting return to service. Credit: Brandon Farris Photography.

After grounding the 171 MAX 9 airplanes operated by Alaska (65) and United Airlines (79), the FAA “made clear this aircraft would not go back into service until it was safe,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said Wednesday in a public statement (Emphasis added). “The exhaustive, enhanced review our team completed after several weeks of information gathering gives me and the FAA confidence to proceed to the inspection and maintenance phase.

“However, let me be clear: This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing. We will not agree to any request from Boeing for an expansion in production or approve additional production lines for the 737 MAX until we are satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved,” he said.

“The quality assurance issues we have seen are unacceptable,” Whitaker said. “That is why we will have more boots on the ground closely scrutinizing and monitoring production and manufacturing activities.”

Alaska Airlines CEO: “I’m mad”

Alaska Airlines “found some loose bolts on many of our MAX 9s,” the airline’s CEO Ben Minicucci told NBC Nightly News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

“It makes me mad. It makes me mad that we’re finding issues like that on brand new airplanes,” he said.

“I’m beyond frustrated and disappointed. I’m angry,” he said. “This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our passengers and it happened to our employees.”

Boeing issued a statement on Tuesday saying that “let down our airline customers and are deeply sorry for the significant disruption to the, their employees and their passengers.”

It is the latest disruption to the single-aisle airplane program. The aerospace giant has struggled to increase production rates ever since two crashes of MAX 8s in 2018 and in 2019 grounded the airplanes. Boeing executives in October reiterated plans to increase production this year.

Hammering Boeing

The FAA on Wednesday laid out parts of its plan for increasing oversight of the program:

  • Capping expanded production of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to ensure accountability and full compliance with required quality control procedures.
  • Launching an investigation scrutinizing Boeing’s compliance with manufacturing requirements. The FAA will use the full extent of its enforcement authority to ensure the company is held accountable for any non-compliance.
  • Aggressively expanding oversight of new aircraft with increased floor presence at all Boeing facilities.
    Closely monitoring data to identify risk
  • Launching an analysis of potential safety-focused reforms around quality control and delegation.

The agency also approved inspection and maintenance instructions to get grounded 737 MAX 9s back in the air. After completing the procedures on an aircraft, “the door plugs on the 737-9 MAX will be in compliance with the original design which is safe to operate,” the FAA said in its statement. “This aircraft will not operate until the process is complete and compliance with the original design is confirmed.”

The inspection process

The process requires:

  • An inspection of specific bolts, guide tracks and fittings
  • Detailed visual inspections of left and right mid-cabin exit door plugs and dozens of associated components
    Retorquing fasteners
  • Correcting any damage or abnormal conditions

The FAA also expects results soon from a review by 24 experts of Boeing’s safety management processes and their effects on the company’s safety culture.

IAM District 751, which represents the thousand of machinists who assemble Boeing airplanes, issued a statement Wednesday evening by the district’s President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden:

“We are eagerly awaiting the completion of the NTSB investigation and the release of its findings. The safety and quality of the manufacturing infrastructure are paramount in every task our members undertake at The Boeing Company.

“Recognizing this, IAM District 751 actively engaged in a recent tri-party agreement involving our Union, Boeing, and the FAA to address membership concerns related to manufacturing processes, airworthiness, and other related matters,” Holden said.

“Through this partnership, the agreement allows all parties to identify and investigate issues with full transparency. Our members are resolute in their dedication to maintaining quality inspections and strengthening the manufacturing and quality processes, ensuring that the production process reaches the highest standards of safety possible.”

Plans for the union and Boeing to begin contract negotiations in February were delayed after the 737 MAX 9 accident.

Customers face indefinite delays

With the FAA freezing production at the current rate of about 31 per month (372 per year), hundreds of airplanes can’t be delivered to airlines or lessors for an indefinite period.

Boeing hoped to be at rate 38/mo at the end of last year, but struggled to achieve this rate. Boeing deliveries last year included 737s that were in “inventory,” ie, those that were stored from the first MAX grounding from March 2019 for 21 months.

Boeing guided investors to achieving a production rate of 50/mo by the end of next year. Interim “rate breaks” increasing production were to be achieved this year and into next year to achieve the rate of 50 per month.

Boeing also planned to open a 737 production line in the Everett (WA) widebody facility in space abandoned when production of the 747-8 ended in January 2023. This line was to be dedicated to the MAX 10 and the MAX 8200. The latter is the high density version of the best selling MAX 8.

These plans are now on hold indefinitely.

United Airlines, Alaska and Delta Air Lines are big MAX 10 customers. Ryanair is a big customer of the MAX 10 and the MAX 8200. There are orders for nearly 1,100 MAX 10s worldwide. The MAX 8200 is being produced at the main Renton (WA) plant. The MAX 10 certification remains in limbo while the FAA sought more information.

This freeze of expanding production rates and the new line adds further uncertainty.

Scott Hamilton contributed to this story.


54 Comments on “Updated: FAA grounds expansion plans for Boeing 737 MAX production, approves path for MAX 9s to resume flights

  1. The phrasing sure sounds like a sop to Boing.
    Expansion of MAX production would be in the future; putting the MAX-9 back in the air (stupidly or not) is in
    the present, or nearly so.

    Nothing will change.

  2. The bizarre aspect of all this is built per specification, aka the drawings, mfg certificate, there is nothing wrong with the MAX.

    As noted, scandels (and this falls in that area though the critial safety aspects are above and beyond that) have a life of their own.

    The first part is denial, then blame the employees (we will have meetings until you workers fix what I have screwed up aka Captain Calhoun) and then the various deflections, admirals appointed to something etc.

    I don’t think this one is going away and I think Calhoun bails with a great retirement package, aka Mulenberg (though they may get the MAX bonus back).

    I certainly could be wrong but it has that flavor of Calhoun being canned (though I am sure Stan goes first, sacrifice him (ahem, spend more time with his family) and then see if duck and cover works.

    After that then its does the Boeing Board do something to correct Boeing or its just another plug in for Calhoun and the same oh same oh?

    In a mushroom driven haze, maybe Boeing sells the BCA division to Spirit!

    • I totally disagree with this TransWorld, which is not to say that I don’t have a lot of respect for you and almost all of your comments. There is a serious systems design issue that permeates all safety critical products that have designs newer than about about 2007. This is because of the marginal cost of software versus hardware, and what the financial pressures cause by that have done, all enabled by IC component densities on newer chips.

      Humans are very bad at dealing with large numbers, and large means anything much more than 1,000. Having a conceptual grasp of the difference between 1,000 and 2,000 does not come naturally. We have to stop and think about it. We see this in the way people talk about time, or almost anything else. When we start talking about the difference between millions and trillions, it’s almost hopeless. If you ask the average person to describe the difference in scale between the molecular and sub atomic levels, they can’t in any meaningful way. That they are as different as distances here on earth compared to the interstellar is just not something that we find easy to grasp.

      Well, integrated circuit component densities have gone into that realm of ultra large numbers, and it has serious implications for things like airplane systems. If you stop and think about the physical size of a storage device required to store a two hour movie in 2005 compared to today, the difference is so extreme as to be difficult to wrap your mind around. How many minutes of video can you capture on your phone? Well, that chip that is doing that is actually only using about half of its true IC components.

      Starting back in about 2007, there were so many surplus components that it became economic to make chips self healing. It became standard for them to ship with capacity labels of only about half of what was actually on board, with the rest being spares that would be automatically brought on line as failures occurred.

      So what has happened to the LRU count down in the EE bay of newer designs? Have they kept systems separate that should be separate? Are basic control systems independent of supplemental systems such as autopilots and MCAS? Does your typical systems engineer have a conventional understanding of what the public means by simple words like ‘on’ and ‘off?’ Sadly, and quite frightening to me the answer is no. There is extreme economic pressure for them to not see the world that way, because software effectively has zero marginal costs while hardware has to be produced on assembly lines.

      This gets us to the requisite Failure Mode Analysis that is required early in the design phase. Some prefer to call it the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, but it’s the same thing. What you are supposed to do is itemize every possible permutation of things that can go wrong in a system, and then make sure that there is a failsafe solution built into the design.

      Back when I was teaching FMA in the 1980s on the ICBM launch systems, the itemized list of failure modes was a stack of green bar about an inch and half thick. And that was with super simple software, all written in assembly language, and running on hand wired boards with IC component densities below 10,000. Now the densities run into the hundreds of billions. For example, the Intel Raptor Lake CPUs are estimated to have about 25.9 billion transistors that are potentially active. Add in the other IC components (capacitors, diodes, etc.) and then add in the self healing factor, and we are in the neighborhood of a 100 billion, and that’s just one chip.

      There is no meaningful limit to the number of concurrent threads or processes these chips can run, so the typical engineer sees no point in breaking things apart into separate boxes.

      Then there is the language abstraction problem. Raw machine code, a big step below assembly language is still well removed from the 1s and 0s, so there are at least two layers of abstraction there, not counting the self healing stuff. Early generation high level languages (not at all high level in current terminology) had to have either an interpreter loaded into memory, or be run through a compiler and linker. That link step is important, because it adds large numbers of routines also written in high level languages and written by many other people. This is extremely wasteful from an 1985 view of the world, but that’s a bit like the way medieval people though about fisheries resources – they were inexhaustible – which of course we now know is absurd. So the concept of waste is dependent upon one’s needs at the moment. With billions of IC components available, throwing them away millions at a time is no big deal – at least not until you want to do an FMA. If you have gone down that route the FMA is basically impossible.

      What can go wrong in these systems? The simple answer is that nobody knows and nobody can know. And that’s the MAX. In his open letter to the FAA after Ethiopia 302, Bob Bogash complained bitterly that the FMEA (his preferred term) was inadequate. This was wholly apart from the failure to even disclose the nature of the system. Ok, everybody know about it now – at least kinda sorta. The name is known, and there is an awareness that it needs to be disabled if it starts acting up, but what the heck does that mean in a world where chip densities are in the billions and doing multiple tasks? If it was in its own separate LRU and ‘off’ actually meant killing the power to that box that would be one thing.

      As I understand the system architecture (documented here: https://www.satcom.guru/2018/11/737-fcc-pitch-axis-augmentation-command.html) MCAS sure looks like a function hosted within each of the FCCs.

      The MAX is not a 1990s plane. It is something entirely different. It’s one heck of a lot of software and a lot less hardware. I would like to be totally wrong about this, but look at the system diagrams and tell me what I’m missing.

      • RTF:

        I appreciate the honesty and how its phrased. Its what it should be about, if you disagree you can say so politely and lay out your case as to why.

        I have no disagreement with the idea of the complexity and the inability to comprehend what the totality really is. I for sure spent years unraveling software that controlled things (boilers being the most critical from a safety standpoint as each one of those is thousands of pounds of explosive energy). For modern use they add the software controls onto the existing controls though they are supposed to run series not parallel (retaining the full safety of the boiler controls)

        I had one programmer (they are supposed to interpret the specs and design a controls ops that reflects that) – he used the safety as the operating control. He did not intend to, but due to a system oddity and his control scheme, its exactly what happened (and those are simple series circuits)

        Software and programing is just nuts. No disagreement. What I am typing on is crazy nuts and yes sometimes it faults. My wife asks me and I just tell her, its a computer. This is how to get around it (or I reboot it) – you can’t spend the rest of your life figuring it out (even if you could) its not worth it at this level.

        But the reality is, I am typing on a complex program and it works, most of the time. When it quits, someone figures out what the problem is, maybe they patch over it rather than fix it, reboot it but it works.

        The MAX (or any other aircraft with computers and they all have em) is an end of an iteration of software bugs being worked out. Its as safe as an A320 and probably safer. The following is a nightmare of a story of how software can go wrong and they never understood why, they changed it and crossed their fingers is my guess. The further you get into the computer control and its so called logic, the bigger the nightmare.


        Just by service those programs are proven the generally work though we see at times they do odd things that no one can figure out why.

        Its the best you can do in a modern world. The old world had other imperfections. Crash rates were much higher.

        They now have a lab working that tears down all the assumptions for bells, , alarms, voices and are looking at how human interpret things and what actually works. We ignore audibles after a short period of repeat. Same with voice alarms.

        Like the backup alarms on vehicles on a job site. You ignore them because there are so many and constant. But OSHA says you have to have them so we do, even thought they do no good.

        I knew one guy who broke down foot damage incidents. 15% occurred at the toe, the mandate is for steel toes. I have seen Tennis shoes that meet the spec but leave the rest of your foot unprotected.

        I had a number of damaging impacts on my foot. Heavy duty leather boots is what saved me.

        Yes its truly mind boggling on the software and Airbus is vastly more so and it all generally works.

        I spent 3 years on one building working with a former controls guy turned programer unrevaling what we called the onion and in the end it all got re-written.

        The guy who built it used graphic programming which is a license to create mayham. If it didn’t work they would just reverse a process and go on.

        Most of the time it worked, but then it would stop and you could not tell why. Reset it and off it went again.

        It was for a Simulator building and if the cooling did not work then the sim did not work. It was considered critial 1A (1 was the sort).

        At least at that level the programing was simple and I could lay out quickly how the mechanical ops and what was needed and he would program it, we would test it. We still had issues but it was things like timing and how much to give it and it was easily corrected as he knew where timers needed to be and it was a matter of finding out how long you activated or delayed an op for the next one to occur without faulting the system.

        Testing is a huge part of all of it. I worked on computer room power support ops, they always ran through an entire process cycle of 6 months before they would swap in a new system (that gave them an entire cycle of results and they compared the two). They still had issues from time to time, but those issues were miner as they sorted the ones they saw before they shifted it over.

        I did run into problems and I never understood what the entire thing did. But once I had a focus on the small area of the problem, I could tease out the failure.

        Somewhere in all that it can be gotten to work and it obviously does.

        That does not mean there are not surprises per the Airbus example. That also is why with MCAS it was not just bad software, it was having the software depend on a single point of failure (AOA) and no redundancy at all.

        My building systems always needed to know what the Outside Temp was. The processor controls people just used one and shared it on a network.

        I would change that to a point of use for each piece of equipment. Sure that piece could fail but one unit failing did not stop the whole system(s).

        So I have rattled on but I think you are correct but I think there is a realistic aspect of this that says the MAX is structurally find and the software is pretty good since MCAS has been sorted.

        They need to build it right with quality control in place and working not lip service and blame shucking.

        • TransWorld – Thank you for sharing this. Both the video and your commentary are very much appreciated. Taken together they stress just how important working on or with safety critical systems is. If I was still going into work everyday, I would probably build a brownbag course running for half a dozen sessions around your note and this video.

          One of my best friends and fellow retiree was a one man self appointed internal ambassador for trust. He would setup a booth or give a talk on the topic every chance he could find, even when having been given direct management directives to stop it. Trust really is the key though. When you are having a bad day and start relying on backups, and backups to the backups, you are deep into trusting that those who designed and built your equipment had a concept of what a bad day is like and did everything they could to give you a fighting chance to make it safely home at the end of the day.

          In order for that chain of trust to work in your favor, the optimum thing is for everyone involved to be passionately involved and focused. The second world war provided the generation that lived through it that kind of passionate engagement and focus. I think it can be recovered, but the metrics that have our greatest focus need to be reprioritized.

          Financial performance should be secondary – not discarded, but treated as a delayed measure of how well you are doing with the metrics that matter. Mullaly had a quip for that too. He said our mission was “Happy passengers, at their destination, for a profit.” That was a three part mission, in priority order. It was not profit, by selling some planes, that it is then the customer’s responsibility to shake out and use to service their customer’s needs. The task was to build the best airplane we possibly could, ask a fair price, so the flying public would always get where they were going safely. If we did that, and really focused our passions on it, the profits would take care of themselves.

          Boeing needs to get back onto that mission. Alas, so much time, goodwill, and capital has now been squandered, that I fear that it would take an injection of several hundred billion dollars and top notch leadership to get back on track.

    • Or could Embraer buy the whole shebang with Boeing’s money?😇
      More seriously, this is a huge development and I am wondering whether we are looking at the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning (apologies to Winston).

      • Boeing will continue.

        In defense end there is simply too much that the US cannot afford to loose (and won’t)

        BCA problems can be solved.

        They can run it into the ground that it (BCA) fails but I don’t see that happening as its also a US interest that Boeing keeps going

        • Read Aboulafia’s latest opinion piece on AW. BDS is not any better, actually it may even be worse than BCA. 😅

          • Pedro:

            Most of your comments I don’t find worth responding to, but I have shown I am fully informed on the defense end and I know all the issues of plus or minus.

            I don’t need RA or you telling me about Boeing defense.

            That has ZERO relevance as far as how well run. Boeing is a key supplier of a number of impossible to replace programs, the F-15EX being one, simply nothing like it made by anyone (closest is Russia) and the F-35 can’t get out of LMs way as its stalled right now with its own issues.

            The US defense standard is to maintain certain force levels which we do not, but F-15EX – KC-46A and T-7A to site a few can’t be replaced or it would take years to get new programs in place.

            The bottom line is Boeing defense good or bad is not going to be allowed to fail and likely will not even go to extremis.

            Worst case BCA is taking down all of Boeing and the US interventions anyway, both because of the military but also because of the jobs BCA rep0oresanet and the economic impact

            Its why the US bailed out the auto companies and financial constitutions and airlines etc (most of which they broke even on or got more money back that put in)

            That is a reality in the US just as its is in European with Airbus etc.

            Boeing is not going away, its what the fix looks like and under who that has some debate

          • Hahaha the poster who read hundreds but can’t really remember any and single-handedly created the whole debacle of “wing join”. The poster was also enthusiastic about conspiracy theory, trying everything possible to whitewash BCA’s involvement in AS 1282.
            Why would anyone trust BDS to design and engineer a clean-sheet top shelf aircraft if it failed miserably to deliver a tanker?

  3. Disclaimer – This is a political speculation but not without merits.
    We all know that it’s an open secret that the other superpower has infiltrated in all key areas(govt/universities/research/technology etc)/companies of most countries. Is it not a coincidence that all this is happening when their homegrown aircraft has started flying and customers are getting more tired of these current duopoly & their issues.

    • Is there evidence that customers are getting tired of Airbus?
      Their order book suggests not.

      • Ha ha, you can only order between these two as there are no other viable choices out there. I am not saying the products are bad, both have their planes grounded frequently these days for various reasons. and btw, I’ll cheer for Airbus any day but it’s the sad reality.

      • Boeing Management is fully capable of shooting itself in the foot without outside help.

        China can’t produce enough aircraft and in fact just bought their first US supplied MAX-8 (not restored to flying from the already delivered to China)

        Don’t attribute something that the full on reality is Boeing shooting itself in the foot.

        • The order was placed years ago, may be even a decade ago. It took delivery not purchase/buy. Fact matters.

          • I guess you missed they took delivery from the US end, not in China and it matters not a lick what the arrangements were

            You don’t seem to get final payment is made when an aircraft is delivered (under whatever percentage of the sale is)

            Boeing in fact sold off half the Chinese ordered aircraft, they would have returned any money down on those per the contract.

            You can be in as much denial as you want but its a big deal that a delivery was made as many have prophesied it never would happen.

            Leeham made the case when they showed Airbus could never deliver all China needed, nor COMAC and at some point Boeing would supply the missing numbers.

            Go Scott and Team. They have that data at their finger tips and present it. I don’t. My hat is off to them.

          • Aircraft purchase is long-term contract, the purchase is made when the agreement is signed and approved. Don’t you know?? 🙄

            IIRC Scott predicted many times those orders from China are coming back, but I haven’t seen a single one realized. I went thru’ the data and done my analysis, unlike you, I don’t have to rely on a ytuber or others to form my opinion.

    • Yes! After I was let go after 9/11 I worked as a contractor at Boeing Military in San Antonio they got rid of me I am a QAI QE for doing my job. I told them when I got there don’t lie to me I will nail you! They did and I kept my promise. People got fired including Gary Johnson the BS manager

      • And that is the reality, until they can’t get rid of you for doing your job, Boeing will flounder.

    • He can still be of great use working together with customers to improve Boeing procedures/tooling as build quality improves. Boeing is not alone having sloppy procedures as other aircraft manufacturers also leave drill residues/rivet parts and some small tools behind, there are differences in levels of sloppiness…

      • Bring him in as a temporary with a lot more support and a guy on his team to succeed him and be more or less the guy looking over his shoulder until the guy takes up the reigns.

      • No, he is the guy who needs to be in charge.

        The clean out has to start at the top and until that is well underway the rest does no good.

  4. As the FAA statement says, Boeing isn’t producing safe airplanes at the current rate. Keeping the rate the same isn’t enough, I suspect. You need to slow production down until you get the quality right then gradually bring it back up.

    The rest of the FAA program makes sense, I think.

    • Effectively they are slowing down,because they are not ramping up anymore.
      I’m not sure freezing the new production line is such a good idea,because it could be ramped up very slowly to properly train the workers and used to build 8200 and take pressure off the other lines.It does beg to question of how much confidence Boeing has in the MAX 10.More likely it’s just more short term cash preservation.

        • More precisely, Boeing doesn’t seem to have the capacity to produce planes safely at the current rate. Which is different from manpower. The current workforce needs to be given the time and space to be trained, to get on top of process, to validate their work etc. I think they will get there. The cultural problem is Boeing management pushing them to run when they can’t reliably walk yet.

          • The point is you hold and people no longer focus on ramping up, they focus on the current situation.

            So yes a hold can work, but the fix will include Boeing engagement clean-out and working down to correct that horrid mess.

            Boeing is counting on the ramp up, hold up the ramp up long enough, Calhoun is gone.

      • “I’m not sure freezing the new production line is such a good idea,because it could be ramped up very slowly to properly train the workers and used to build 8200 and take pressure off the other lines.”

        Well, there’s a fallacy in that idea, though. Because it implies the current and the new line are easily aligned, when in reality you need an established baseline, rather than adding – on top of getting that existing baseline FAL – the work required to establish a new line, which you also need to align properly with the existing baseline so you’re sure processes are actually aligned and comparable.

        I think getting the current FAL sorted and THEN build o that when establishing the new FAL is a much better approach.

        • Good point on growing production capacity. Boeing currently has out for quote and proposal, the replacing of original 737 wing riveters (dating back to 1960 and 70″) in Renton It will take 24-36 months to get to BOD and they been on this project for over a year and still no supplier selection. The project would be about $100 million investment based on using the same WRS track system. That said, you are out 2026 timeframe for production rate increase

        • I fully agree with anfromme.

          Part of the stop the presses fix is getting people in place and you are behind with any ramp up. Don’t make it worse, its dire enough.

          Reality also is the FAA can bring the lines to a crawl and tehcnialy its not a ramp DOWN, but the affect is hulls sit in the factory until they are done right and the processes and preprocess are in place to ensure it and they make sure there are not other gaps.

          People are forgetting that is exactly what they did with the 787. They did not ground it, they just did not approve any deliveries until the aircraft was right.

          Boeing kept the line going at very low rate so not to loose what they had, but a 120 x 787 stacked up before Boeing satisfied the FAA and they are STILL fixing those (Everett is still in the 787 business!)

          Don’t discount what this is doing to Calhoun. Boeing is going backwards again and his appointment was to fix it, he surely has not done that.

          So as I keep saying, they will throw Stan to the Lions first (who conveniently are on the West Coast this week) and then when that does not work, Calhoun will go.

          Now that is my opinion, but I also was the one that said there were NO bolts in that door. I could not tell you why, but I could tell you there were no bolts and they had not rattled loose.

  5. “We will not agree to any request from Boeing for an expansion in production or approve additional production lines for the 737 MAX until we are satisfied ..”

    FAA flexing it’s muscles towards Boeing and their helpers in congress. But it is reasonable to prevent the company prioritizing volume above quality.

  6. @Frank P
    What would BA say in its Q4 SEC filing? No more $10 b FCF 2025-2026-ish? A full revision of its forecast/
    budget for 2024, 2025 …?

  7. Essentially, many, many corporations in the United States are run by hedge funds, or are run like a hedge fund would run a company. Money, money, money – bonus, bonus are the mantra. Nothing long term – MBA style.

    Havi Sreenivasan on PBS a few days did a story on hospitals owned and run by hedge funds here in the United States. The facts are glaring: more sicknesses, more employee burnout and undeniably – more deaths. But ultimately this is what was wanted: less oversight, trickle down economics and by all means Wall Street is basically happy with the new ways of doing business.

    • Wanted by the companies, not those who use the services because we have no choice.

    • Yep, it tracks perfectly with what has been published.

      Jon does great work but it should be noted, the Boeing guy sent it to LEEHAM not Jon and it was on LEEHAM first.


    • Do you know what I’d like to know?

      It’s been reported that the door was cracked open and not take off. Taking it off would have required a full inspection and doc process. A door seal was then replaced.

      Anyone know, if this is possible?

      Can you actually replace the seal when the door is only cracked open?

    • “When former CEO Jack Welch retired in 2001, he was left with a retirement package valued at almost $420 million, and included items like the use of an $50,000-a-month Manhattan apartment, choice seats for the Yankees, Knicks, Red Sox, and at Wimbledon, and *the use of GE’s airplanes*.

      The size and excess of Welch’s golden parachute only came to light in his divorce filings, and its non-disclosure to shareholders became the subject of a SEC enforcement action.

  8. And in the news is this


    Do they write the hole hull off? Is there a software failure? I thought they had tail strike protection?

    Three weeks ago this would have been, Another A350 comes close to failure. Now, ho hum.

    For now Boeing MAX production holds the news and will until they make a fix at the top that they can at least pretend they (board) did something.

    The shoe to drop is will it be effective change or a rinse, wash and repeat.

    • Well the damage to the A350 tail doesn’t look to me as though it resulting the the plane ever being in serious danger, any more than this one of a 787 (picked at random) was – and bringing up the Tokyo accident is nonsense of course. In neither case did any bits fall off these frames, that seems to be a speciality of the 737!

    • I remember that soon after the 737 MAX crashes Mentour pilot made a video where he downplayed the (technical) seriousness of the incidents, and said that the problem that caused the crashes will be found and fixed soon, and the planes will be back in the air in three months (or something like that) and things will be back to normal. He also in his subtle manner ridiculed those who speculated that the incidents may be an indicator of a bigger problem at Boeing. I remember vividly the disappointment I felt when I heard him say that, thinking (as a pure layman) “what on earth do you base that on?”. I used to like his piloting videos, but at that point I thought that this guy should should have stuck with talking about what he knows and understands.

      I have noticed again and again that YouTubers who get popular for making good videos on some subject tend to expand the area they cover outside of their expertise, and with that the quality of their videos go down. The praise they keep getting from their loyal followers (who don’t know enough to assess the quality of the expanded content) seems to mislead them to think that whatever they choose to make a video on, the end result is golden.

      I don’t watch Mentourpilot’s videos anymore, but when I still did, it was easy to see that he was a fan of Boeing, using the opportunities to make it look better, unfortunately also by presenting Airbus in a negative light. Often he did that just by subtle choice of words, but it was clearly noticeable when you paid attention to it.

      As I said, I don’t watch Mentourpilot’s videos anymore, so I don’t know whether their quality has changed to any direction.

    • Yes and No is the answer to Airbus planes tail strike protection

      ‘The A320, A321, A330neo, and A350 aircraft are equipped with a tailstrike pitch limit. However, this indication is only displayed during landing as it is unnecessary during takeoff. Meanwhile, there is no tailstrike pitch limit indication available on the A318 and A319 aircraft.

      It is important to note that while this pitch rate limitation function helps minimize the risk, it does not guarantee complete tailstrike protection. A tailstrike can still potentially occur if a sustained nose-up input is maintained on the sidestick.”

      I dont think the tail strike indicates the plane was in ‘no danger’.
      Obviously many things had to go wrong to get to this point –
      One more small issue and its then called a crash.
      I dont think its part of the certification to find the point at which a tail strike becomes a broken/separated fuselage.

      Anyway theres one partly broken A350 stuck in Toronto

  9. What impact will the FAA’s decision have on the main suppliers, starting with CFM?
    Will CFM increase Leap 1-A output to compensate for the non-increase in 1-B output?

    • They are almost completely different engine architectures . The Leap name is shared but thats all.
      Not only are overall fan diameter different but the inner core is smaller as well (B) and runs faster rotationally and hotter
      Any way Airbus is at max output for its single aisles

      • Fully agree with the different engines architecture.
        My question is linked to information about current negotiations between Boeing/Airbus and CFM finalizing the number of engines to be produced by 2025 then 2026…. I don’t know the lead time for elementary parts, but given the large number of MAX engines not produced by 2025/26/27 IF the FAA-imposed limit is maintained for several quarters or even a year, it seems to me that engine manufacturers would be justified in asking this question, since a Leap 1-B stored at CFM means additional cost, and I think that some of CFM suppliers provide the chain for both engines. The question might be extended to all non-engine suppliers.

  10. Hi Dan

    ” …freezing production at the current rate of about 31 per month (372 per year)”
    AW reports the current production rate is at 38/month. Is there anyway to confirm with FAA what’s in their mind? Thanks.

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