Boeing Manager Says He Warned Company Of Problems Months Before 737 Max Crashes | NBC Nightly News

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/10/2019

Description
Speaking out for the first time, Ed Pierson tells NBC News that he tried to sound the alarm over the conditions at the Boeing plant in Reston, where he says a push to increase production of the 737 Max planes created a factory in chaos. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC »...



Transcript
But the boeing 737 max still grounded after two deadly crashes. A whistleblower is going public nbc's cynthia mcfadden saying he warned the company about production problems before those planes went down. What did it feel like the the last day of boeing? The day you retired felt like i was abandoning titanic after 30 years in the military, much of it spent in an airplane at pearson, once a command ...
ng officer has a strong sense of duty. Why did you decide to come and talk to us to come and testify later this week in front of congress? Well, actually, um wasn't my plan i feel like. I didn't, really have a choice. Bottom line is you're, worried, aboutpeople dying in boeing planes. Absolutely in 2008 pearson went to work for boeing at their massive plant in renton washington, where all the companies 737s are built. The 737 was a magnificent airplane. Great safety record. Were you excited to work for the company and to be part of the 737 production? I could do not want to work for boeing. It'S amazing company, but in late 2017, as production of boeing's new 737 max ramped up edie pearson says he started to see things that alarmed him. It was just out of control and it was ridiculous.

The race to build the new planes and compete with europe's airbus pushed the production schedule into overdrive. He says insteadof 47 planes a month, 52 were being built. So how much overtime was going on at this point? Did it double more than double you work? Seven days straight, you're beat you know and you're tired. He says during this period many people work weekend after weekend as they're, worn enough engineers or electricians, and some ended up doing jobs. They had never been trained for a perfect storm for production problems. He says he sent this email to the head of the 737 team in june 2018, expressing his concern that workers were inadvertently embedding safety hazards into our airplanes. I know how dangerous even a small defect can be to the safety of an airplane. He sayshe urged the boeing manager to shut down the factory for a few weeks to straighten things and what was his reaction to that? He said you know we can't shut down and then i gana got mad and said you know: i've seen military operations shut down for a lot less. What was his reply to that? Something? I'Ll, never forget. He said um, he said well, the military is not a profit-making organization. What words would you use to describe that factory at that point? Dangerous, unnecessary, taken, unnecessary risk, chaotic disarray? Four months later, a lion air 737 max crashed, killing all hundred and eighty-nine people on board, and the irony that when you wrote that firstletter that lion airplane was on the factory floor, it was within our production system. At the time when i, when i saw that that was i really can't say i mean i don't know how to describe it, a lot did you yeah, i'm mad at myself, because i felt like that.

Maybe i could have done more over the next several months. He reached out to boeing ceo and their general counsel, but felt nothing was being done 19 days after sending this letter to the boeing board. A second 737 max crashed afterwards. The 737 max was grounded. Boeing has acknowledged mistakes, including that their anti stall system contributed to both crashes. Pearson says he doesn't knowof what he witnessed contributed to the crashes, but it's the uncertainty that disturbs him somewhere in the end of my letter to the board. I said you know no one wants to wake up one morning and and and and hear of another accident and that's exactly what happened. What do you say to americans who are planning to fly on the 737 even in the next few weeks? My family's in the same boat, i would demand that the faa, in their role as regulators, go in thoroughly investigate that factory. So cynthia. What is boeing saying about all this? Well, lester, while the 737 max fleet are all grounded, there are more than 6800 other 737s flyingnow boeing is pushing back strongly denied saying that the 737 is one of the safest planes flying and they say quote the suggestion by mr. pearson of a link between his Concerns and the recent max accidents is completely unfounded and they say so far. No investigators have found quote production conditions in the factory, contributed to the accidents, a nbc news fans, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch.

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