Ethiopian Tragedy Families Protest At Boeing Meeting

Families of the victims of the Boeing 737 MAX disaster in Ethiopia held a silent protest at the Boeing shareholders meeting in Chicago yesterday. They hoped to raise awareness of the real impact of these crashes, and that those at Boeing were responsible.


Boeing chose the annual shareholders meeting to discuss the 737 MAX. Source: BoeingOne of the victim’s families spoke to Frequent Business Traveller, saying:

“We are faced with a choice of giving Boeing a free pass at their annual meeting and having no presence – or having even one person there, and that’s a very big difference,”

Why is Boeing holding this meeting?

Boeing is a publicly traded company. This means not only listed on the stock exchange, but some would also say they are such a big company they ‘are the stock exchange’.

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Thus they need to have yearly meetings to discuss how they are performing and any future plans they have. Naturally, one of the big questions they needed to address this year was the 737 MAX 8 disaster that killed over 300 passengers.

We feel the immense gravity of these events. There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our people who fly on our airplanes,” – excerpt from the speech of Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing.

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Will the Boeing 737 MAX fly again soon? Photo: Boeing

But they were clear to state that the pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX did not “completely follow the procedures that Boeing had outlined to prevent the kind of malfunction.”

They would go on to announce they are restarting 737 MAX production and are confident that these accidents could never happen again. The CEO made a point of flying on two of the 737 MAX 8 test flights to demonstrate that the aircraft is sound.

You can watch a clip from the CEO’s Twitter below:

Did Boeing acknowledge the victims?

Boeing did acknowledge the crashes at the start of the event with a minute of silence for the victims.

But some have said it is not enough, with demands from some shareholders that the Boeing CEO position should be split between a CEO and a Chairman role. This motion was defeated with only 34% of the stock voting against Muilenburg.

Outside the event, five protestors from Ethiopia stood with photos of the victims, demanding that someone at Boeing be tried for manslaughter.

The source of the above Tweet went on to state that these five protesters were standing outside in the freezing rain for hours.

While this author would never encourage mob justice nor take much stock in rumors, much of the Boeing incident ‘appears’ to be caused by a failure of design, in both the safety systems of the Boeing 737 MAX and the dated engineering of the 737 model.

Boeing 737 MAX 8
Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo: Wikimedia.

Boeing did suggest that the button to disagree with the angle of attack sensor, previously an additional item that airlines had to pay for, was supposed to be in all 737 aircraft.

The disagree alert was intended to be a standard, stand-alone feature on MAX airplanes. However, the disagree alert was not operable on all airplanes because the feature was not activated as intended,

Many people have called for an investigation into the design and authorisation process of the 737 MAX aircraft, but so far none has been announced.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. 

  1. In the referenced shareholders’ meeting, the Boeing CEO apparently distanced himself from his earlier “We own this” statement (initially accepting responsibility for the MAX problem), and — once again — intimated that both crashes were the fault of the pilots concerned. He probably did this at the behest of his lawyers, who are trying to minimize damage. But, of course, didn’t mind giving a slap in the face to the protestors outside, or to his customers (we know that Lion Air’s CEO is really ticked off about this blame game).
    So, what customers and potential customers — and the flying public — need to realize now is that the MAX appears to be un-flyable by anything less than a Dream Team of ultra-experienced, ace pilots — preferably ex-fighter pilots and/or astronauts! If you don’t have such pilots in your airline, then you should skip the MAX and consider buying another airframe.
    Paradoxically, Boeing is still maintaining that any 737NG-qualified piolt can just switch to the MAX after a 1-hour tablet course, without the need for simulator training…despite calls (screams?) from regulators and pilots unions to make simulator training mandatory.
    These people really seem to be on another planet!

  2. Nigel is fully right..The statements of the CEO are several times contradictory,as he was only lying on the shareholders.Never it’s safe to put the 737 Max 8 into the skies again,as the model is faulty cc engines and a failure of design.Boeing has to build a new plane! and accept victims lawsuits!

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