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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Boeing’s Bonkers: A Troubled Journey in the Skies

Boeing’s Bonkers: A Troubled Journey in the Skies

The aviation giant Boeing has been embroiled in a string of controversies and incidents, raising serious questions about its commitment to safety and quality control. From fatal crashes to manufacturing flaws, each new revelation adds fuel to an already raging fire of public scrutiny. Despite its storied history and technological prowess, Boeing’s reputation hangs precariously in the balance as it grapples with these challenges.

“As a recent traveler, the Alaskan Boeing plane incident has not affected how I feel about flying, greatly.” Senior Ben McCauley said when asked how “recent” Boeing incidents have affected him.

Maxed Out: A Saga of Woes

The troubles began around October 2018 when a Lion Air MAX plane crashed in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 189 people on board. This tragic incident was followed by another fatal crash involving an Ethiopian Airline’s Max in March 2019, which killed 157 people. In the aftermath, Boeing faced intense scrutiny over the design and safety of its MAX jets, leading to a series of investigations and regulatory actions.

“If these types of occurrences continue I will probably drive to destinations to ensure that I am not supporting businesses that aren’t taking public safety seriously.” SRA teacher Jannelly Herrera shares her concerns about how the recent Boeing plane crashes may affect her travel plans this summer.

Despite efforts to address concerns and resume production, problems persisted.
In January 2024, an Alaskan Airlines flight made an emergency landing after an exit door blew off mid-flight, exposing a glaring flaw in Boeing’s manufacturing process. Subsequent audits revealed alarming lapses in quality control, further eroding confidence in the company’s abilities to deliver safe aircraft.

529 aviation accidents and incidents involving all 737 aircraft have occurred as of February 2024. These incidents have resulted in 234 hull losses and 5,779 fatalities overall.

Grounded Expectations: Fallout and Legal Battles

As the fallout from these incidents continues to unfold, Boeing faces mounting legal challenges and financial losses. Shareholders have filed class-action lawsuits alleging the company prioritized profits over safety, leading to inflated stock prices and substantial losses.

Ms. Herrera expressed that “During the Covid-19 pandemic/closures, airlines received billions in emergency relief to continue operations. From my perspective, it is disappointing that it is evident that some of these airlines did not use funds properly to focus on safety.”

Whistleblower Revelations: A Grim Reality

Amidst the chaos, whistleblower John Barnett’s revelations shed light on the darker underbelly of Boeing’s operations. Barnett, a former quality control manager, raised alarming concerns about compromised safety standards and systemic negligence within the company.

His untimely demise, under suspicious circumstances, only served to deepen the sense of unease surrounding Boeing’s corporate culture. Despite vehement denials from the company, Barnett’s allegations struck a chord, prompting calls for accountability. Additionally, Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems, died from a mysterious and fast-moving infection just two months after Barnett’s alleged suicide.

John Barnett was found in the back of his truck with a bullet wound to his head just a day before he would be testifying against Boeing in court. (ABC News)

CEO Shuffle: A Desperate Bid for Redemption

In a bid to salvage its tarnished image, Boeing announced a sweeping leadership overhaul, signaling a new chapter in its tumultuous history. CEO Dave Calhoun’s impending departure, alongside other top executives, marks a watershed moment for the embattled corporation.
However, with mounting lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny looming large, the road to redemption remains fraught with challenges, Boeing’s future hinges on its ability to confront its shortcomings head-on, prioritize safety over profit, and regain the trust of passengers and stakeholders alike.

“The recent incidents have made me worry about what planes an airline uses. I typically would focus on the quality of the airline but now I feel uneasy if the airline is one I would trust yet they have Boeing aircraft,” SRA chemistry teacher Eduardo Paez said.

As Boeing navigates through this tempest of turmoil, one thing remains abundantly clear – a paradigm shift is imperative. The company must embrace transparency, accountability, and a renewed commitment to excellence if it is to emerge stronger from this crucible of crisis.

Mr. Paex went on to say, “On my last two trips, I flew to Japan with family through Zipair Tokyo but they use Boeing 787 Dreamliners and while I very much enjoyed both trips and the staff was wonderful, I worry if I will be as comfortable using the airline in the future.”

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About the Contributor
Harley Anderson
Harley Anderson, Staff Writer
Harley Anderson, junior, was born on November 11. Harley can be someone you could get along with, as she is friendly and social with others. She is open minded and can be someone you can depend on. Harley is also a hard-worker, as many things that she does in her daily routines in school show that. Harley is from Fountain Valley, Orange County, a city in California. Harley did not necessarily choose to go to SRA, but going here has had its benefits -- SRA may have helped her focus more, as you need this to thrive in this school. After getting through high school, Harley plans on going to community college, and complete the process to become an art teacher. If she could go to any concert rn she would want to see Deftones. Though this type of music is what she prefers, she is open-minded and would listen to any band.   
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