Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Client Featured in Congressional Report on the 737 MAX
On September 16, 2020, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released the final report in its eighteen-month investigation into the development, production, and certification of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which paints a detailed and troubling picture of the 737 MAX and the fateful flaws that caused two deadly crashes. The report depicts a culture of profits over safety at Boeing that metastasized into an unstable production environment left unchecked by the FAA.
Report Confirms Whistleblower Ed Pierson’s Concerns About Production Quality and Deficient Oversight
Ed Pierson, a former Boeing manager turned whistleblower, features prominently in the report’s analysis of the relentless production pressures at Boeing’s 737 Factory in Renton, Washington. Mr. Pierson was the only Boeing whistleblower to testify publicly before the Committee as part of its investigation. He is represented by Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorneys Eric Havian, Chris McLamb, and Leah Judge.
The report confirms what Mr. Pierson has long believed: that production quality issues plagued the Boeing 737 MAX. In painstaking detail, the report recounts Mr. Pierson’s persistent efforts to warn Boeing leadership and federal regulators about the chaotic state of the 737 Factory. Ultimately, the report concludes that “in a rush to push forward to meet production goals and market demand for the 737 MAX, senior Boeing leaders chose to put production priorities above safety.”
“Please allow me once again to extend my sincere condolences to the families and friends that lost loved ones on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302,” Mr. Pierson stated in response to the report. “I want to thank the members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and their professional staffs for their comprehensive investigation and this final report. Under Congressman DeFazio’s leadership, the committee shined a bright light in areas where many people did not want to look. In doing so, the investigation uncovered some unspeakable truths and numerous improvement opportunities.”
“We must admit our mistakes if we sincerely want to prevent future tragedies. Any legislation that stems from this tragedy must incorporate specific production certificate management reforms that address the issues revealed in this report. Otherwise, we will continue to see production quality breakdowns that jeopardize the safety of the public.”
Chris McLamb of Constantine Cannon added: “This report confirms what Mr. Pierson has long said: the problems with the 737 MAX extend well beyond flawed software or pilot training. Time and again, Mr. Pierson’s warnings regarding Boeing’s relentless production pressure have proven correct. As more production flaws crop up on Boeing aircraft, it is imperative that Congress act on Mr. Pierson’s advice and give teeth to the FAA’s production oversight.”
Senate Commerce Committee Postpones Markup of Aircraft Safety Bill
Since Mr. Pierson first testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in December 2019, he has been emphatic that any conclusive probe into the Boeing 737 MAX must include meaningful reforms that ensure Boeing will never be allowed to manufacture airplanes from unstable production environments like he witnessed as a Senior Manager at the 737 Factory.
Days before the report was released, the Senate Commerce Committee announced plans to hold a hearing on its own bill to address aviation safety in the wake of the 737 MAX failures, but the bill was pulled from the markup schedule after the report became public. In July 2020, Mr. Pierson provided the Senate Commerce Committee with production management reforms that he felt any legislation must include to effectively address the problems described in this morning’s report.
Upon learning of the delay, Mr. Pierson stated: “I hope that the decision to delay today’s hearing on the aviation safety bill is a sign that senators are reconciling with the painful truths about Boeing and the FAA revealed in this morning’s report. I trust the Senate is doing their best to make sure their legislation hits the mark.”
Eric Havian of Constantine Cannon added: “The comprehensive approach of the House Committee stands in stark contrast to legislative efforts in the Senate. As currently written, the narrow Senate bill addressing FAA oversight of Boeing makes no mention of production quality. For years, Mr. Pierson has been the lone voice calling production oversight at the 737 Max factory woefully inadequate and inexcusably permissive. As new production issues continue to come to light, the malign influence of Boeing’s production pressures cannot be ignored. This report is the first step in translating Mr. Pierson’s warnings into the systemic reform necessary to prevent the next tragedy.”
For additional coverage on Mr. Pierson, see:
- Whistleblower Insider: Following Whistleblower Testimony, FAA Administrator Vows to Investigate Boeing.
- Whistleblower Insider: Watch: Partner Eric Havian Speaks with CNN About Client’s Congressional Testimony on Boeing 737 Max
- New York Times: Boeing 737 Max Was Plagued With Production Problems, Whistle-Blower Says
- NBC News: Former Boeing manager says he warned company of problems prior to 737 crashes
- NBC News Today Show: Former Boeing employee raises concerns about safety of its 737 fleet
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