AAE Special Seminar on Safety, sales, and the 737-MAX

Event Date: October 5, 2023
Hosted By: Tim O’Brien
Time: 6:00PM-7:15PM
Priority: Yes
School or Program: College of Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics
College Calendar: Show
Tim O'Brien
Prof. Tim O'brien will host this talk, which will follow the timeline of events that led to the tragedies of the Boeing 737-MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, and will delve into the effects of decisions that put the MAX on the route to disaster.

In October of 2018, a brand new Boeing 737-MAX crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, diving straight into the Java Sea. Questions surfaced immediately about the possible role of a mysterious flight control system unknown to the airline or to aviation regulators. Five months later, as accusations of wrongdoing by the plane’s manufacturer created a groundswell of criticism and spawned a congressional investigation, another 737- MAX crash occurred in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under similar circumstances. The story that would unfold in its after- math has made the tragic saga of the MAX an essential case study in engineering ethics, corporate culture, regulatory capture, dynamics of the commerical aircraft business, and the behavior of ordinary people under extraordinary pressure. This talk will follow the chronology of events that led to these tragedies, and delve into the cascading effects of decisions large & small that set the MAX on the path to disaster.

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