Sunday, May 5, 2019

Redline, the Verge’s new feature about the 737 Max, is a good read covering of the issues that brought two jetliners down.

It’s not a story about a software bug—as so much of the coverage about the problems with the jet seems to be—but about the cascade of human error during the airplane’s design and certification.

The story of the Max is ultimately the story of the Darwinian business cycle where mature companies like Boeing face constant threats from new products, new competitors, and the search for new growth. Sometimes this motivates them to new heights of innovation and progress. Other times, it prompts them to pull everything back in the name of cost-cutting.

It’s that combined with regulatory capture that’s the real story. It won’t be enough to punish Boeing for this, but the FAA itself will need to address what it did wrong as well.