MH370: Boeing break their corporate silence with…official silence.

15 Mar


The Boeing Company has uploaded their latest press release on their corporate website.

If you read their ‘About Us’ page, you will see that the company describes itself as ‘the world’s premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years’.

Boeing also proudly explains that:

“…Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) provides end-to-end services for large-scale systems that enhance air-, land-, sea- and space-based platforms for global military, government and commercial customers.  […]  BDS is developing enhanced capabilities through network-enabled solutions, communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies. BDS supports the U.S. government as a system integrator on several programs of national significance, including NASA’s International Space Station and, the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. BDS is also expanding into new markets and adjacencies, including unmanned systems, cyber security, energy management, and support and logistics….”

Judging by their own formidable description of their skills, it is less comforting to consider that so far, Boeing has effectively said nothing to the world’s press in connection to Flight MH730. Clearly, it (as a company) must have a considerable amount of data pertaining to this flight.

However, Boeing says that it is now acting as a ‘technical advisor’ to the American National Transportation Safety Board who have a team in Malaysia working with the Malaysian government. Investigators with expertise in air traffic control and radar are providing technical assistance to the Malaysian authorities who are working on locating the missing jetliner.

And the NTSB, who only investigate domestic air accidents, make it clear in their press release dated 12th March 2014:

“…The NTSB plans no further releases of information on the investigation…”

So there you have it. Since it is now an ‘advisor’ for the ‘official’ inquiry carried out by the NTSB, Boeing is now free from being questioned about any issues relating to its own product. Even though the NTSB doesn’t usually work outside the USA. The clue is in the title. They are ‘national’ and not ‘international’.

I’m sure that Malaysian Airlines are relieved to know that the manufacturer of their aircraft which has gone missing is sworn to NTSB secrecy and works closely with US Defense. The NTSB don’t actually have any business working out of their territory but the fact that they appear to have disconnected their phone just after Boeing knocked on their door seems…well…disturbing.

If I bake a pie and you got sick after eating it, would you feel better if I told you that I was closely involved with the local Police and neither they nor I were available to answer your questions?

This “say nothing” corporate approach to missing aircraft by manufacturers does have a precedent in the story of the aircraft manufacturer De Havilland.

11 Responses to “MH370: Boeing break their corporate silence with…official silence.”

  1. Linda Vernon March 18, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    I also think it’s interesting that Boeing is positioned “in the region” to offer technical assistance. It would be interesting to find out just exactly what region that is since no one knows what region the plane is in.

    And I like your analogy of the pie. Ha!

    Boeing probably sent Jeff from the mail room to go to the Malaysia and hang around the airport. Whenever anybody has a technical question like, do you think they could have run out of gas, technically, Jeff? Jeff can call his boss at Boeing. “Boss, do you think they could have run out of gas, technically?” Boss: ” Yeah technically.” And Jeff will relay that “Yeah” to someone in person thus preventing Malaysia airport authorities from having to put any overseas minutes on their cell phones. That Boeing! They are there when you need them! (Well, Jeff is anyway.)

    • roadwax March 18, 2014 at 2:06 am #

      Linda, I share that same vision.. ‘Accountabilty’ is not the same thing as ‘blame’. You have hit the nail on the head about what is going wrong with this tragedy. MH370 has been taken over by lawyers. Lawyers are not -a nd should never be – more powerful than judges.

      • Linda Vernon March 18, 2014 at 2:10 am #

        Yes that is a really good point. I wonder how long it will be until fades away in the news . . .AND WHERE IS THAT PLANE??

        • roadwax March 18, 2014 at 2:19 am #

          The plane is exactly where it was one week ago. The reasons why and how it got there are a different matter. Boeing are making poor quality judgement calls on their position as manufacturer. or – to put it in corporate-speak – “there are better ways of doing this”.

          • Linda Vernon March 18, 2014 at 2:32 am #

            Do you mean you think it’s on the bottom of the ocean and they know where it is but since they don’t know how it got there, they aren’t being forthcoming?

            • roadwax March 18, 2014 at 2:40 am #

              After approximately seven hours of flight, MH370’s fuel was used up. It is certainly waiting to be discovered but I dispute that its Black Boxes should be passed to Boeing. That would not be appropriate under these circumstances and I ask NTSB and Boeing to confirm that they have no legal power to control ownership of data when the flight is eventually found.

              • Linda Vernon March 18, 2014 at 2:46 am #

                Well that will be interesting to find out who ends up with them if they ever tell us. Is there even a slim outside chance that they could have landed somewhere do you think? Stranger things have happened . . well no maybe not . .

                • roadwax March 18, 2014 at 3:05 am #

                  Yes there is. It is a slim outside chance and I so wish that it were true. Against that possibility is a manufacturer who’s product (the Boeing 777) has a history of maintenance bulletins relating to hull fractures and the possibility of in-flight decompression. If the crew set the autopilot on a 777 and then they lose consciousness – along with their passengers – they would not be the first to find themselves in this situation.

                  • Linda Vernon March 18, 2014 at 3:33 am #

                    Oh. Yes. I can certainly see how that could have happened. But I thought I heard that they thought the plane had turned around to head back to Malaysia — which might indicate that they were told to turn around by someone on board or were having trouble and they knew it . . .

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