How ‘Boeing’s Fatal Flaw’ Grounded the 737 Max and Exposed Failed Oversight

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Author/director Thomas Jennings
Reporters David Gelles, James Glanz, Natalie Kitroeff and Jack Nicas

Observe the new documentary by Frontline, in partnership with The New York Instances, on Tuesday, Sept. 14, on PBS and streaming at, on YouTube and in the PBS Video Application.

Airplanes are created to go up right after takeoff, but that is not what transpired to Lion Air Flight 610 when it still left Jakarta, Indonesia, in October 2018.

“You don’t see planes diving on departure,” 1 Indonesian aviation expert reported. And nonetheless the Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by an skilled crew, went into an irrecoverable nosedive minutes after takeoff. All 189 folks on board were being killed when it crashed into the Java Sea.

Four months afterwards, 157 persons died when a further 737 Max, operated as Ethiopian Airways Flight 302, plummeted to the earth, ringing new alarms about the plane. Times later, the jet was grounded.

“Boeing’s Lethal Flaw,” a new documentary by Frontline, featuring reporting by The New York Occasions, investigates the results in of the two crashes and how a application process that was intended to make the aircraft safer played a function in the catastrophes.

The Boeing 737 Max commenced as a achievements story: The airplane was the company’s finest marketing jet ever, with hundreds of billions of dollars in advance orders from airlines around the entire world. But our reporters’ investigation displays that, early on, the tale had all the elements of a tragedy in the producing.

Inside Boeing files and interviews with previous Federal Aviation Administration officers and congressional investigators reveal how aggressive pressures affected the efforts to bring the 737 Max to current market. And The Times’s investigation details how an vital computer software procedure acknowledged as MCAS was carried out with inadequate oversight and insufficient pilot education.

“Boeing’s Fatal Flaw” traces The Times’s investigation. Boeing declined to be interviewed for the film, but the documentary involves aspects from our reporters’ on-the-file job interview with the company’s chief government, Dave Calhoun. The film also attributes on-digital camera interviews with congressional investigators, aviation industry experts and spouse and children customers of the travellers aboard the two lethal flights.

You can watch on Tuesday, Sept. 14, on PBS and streaming at, on YouTube and in the PBS Online video App.

Producers Vanessa Fica and Kate McCormick
Senior producer Frank Koughan
Govt producers for Still left/Suitable Docs Ken Druckerman and Financial institutions Tarver
Government producer of FRONTLINE Raney Aronson-Rath

FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest jogging investigative documentary sequence, explores the concerns of our periods by way of strong storytelling. It is created at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS.