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‘Deception’, ‘cover up’, ‘half-truths’: reaction to MAX fine

written by Adam Thorn | January 8, 2021

A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)
An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice fined Boeing US$2.5 billion for deceiving FAA safety officials who initially cleared the 737 MAX to fly.

Below, are some of the comments from key figures involved in its conclusions.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division

“The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers. Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception. This resolution holds Boeing accountable for its employees’ criminal misconduct, addresses the financial impact to Boeing’s airline customers, and hopefully provides some measure of compensation to the crash-victims’ families and beneficiaries.”

David L. Calhoun, Boeing president and chief executive

“I firmly believe that entering into this resolution is the right thing for us to do — a step that appropriately acknowledges how we fell short of our values and expectations. This resolution is a serious reminder to all of us of how critical our obligation of transparency to regulators is, and the consequences that our company can face if any one of us falls short of those expectations.”

Clifford Law Offices (representing the families of those lost in the Ethiopian Airlines crash)


“The FAA should not have allowed the 737 Max to return to service until all of the airplane’s deficiencies are addressed and it has undergone transparent and independent safety reviews — which to date still has not occurred.”

US Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas

“The misleading statements, half-truths, and omissions communicated by Boeing employees to the FAA impeded the government’s ability to ensure the safety of the flying public. This case sends a clear message: The Department of Justice will hold manufacturers like Boeing accountable for defrauding regulators – especially in industries where the stakes are this high.”

Special Agent in Charge, Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office

“Today’s deferred prosecution agreement holds Boeing and its employees accountable for their lack of candor with the FAA regarding MCAS. The substantial penalties and compensation Boeing will pay, demonstrate the consequences of failing to be fully transparent with government regulators. The public should be confident that government regulators are effectively doing their job, and those they regulate are being truthful and transparent.”

Special Agent in Charge Andrea M. Kropf, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG) Midwestern Region.

“We continue to mourn alongside the families, loved ones, and friends of the 346 individuals who perished on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. The deferred prosecution agreement reached today with The Boeing Company is the result of the Office of Inspector General’s dedicated work with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners. This landmark deferred prosecution agreement will forever serve as a stark reminder of the paramount importance of safety in the commercial aviation industry, and that integrity and transparency may never be sacrificed for efficiency or profit.”


  • Typical Septic Tank’s logic money will fix all.
    The individuals involved should have been personally made accountable not the company but we all know where the money lies.

  • Ronnie


    Unfortunately, holding Boeing accountable after the fact is not good enough. Boeing already knew that the stakes were this high, but yet lied, misled, withheld and denied the authorities information vital to the 737 MAX approvals. They carelessly disabled an AOA warning light, removed any reference to MCAS in the manuals and did not provide any training for it. They knew after the first crash there was a serious problem under certain circumstances yet all they did was issue a renewed checklist still without spelling out the presence of MCAS. Its all very well to speculate that the MAX would never crash when piloted by US airlines but those pilots didn’t have comprehensive training either and when they learned of MCAS they were pretty concerned it could have happened to them. In view of this wasn’t Boeing’s actions intentionally deceptive leading to two crashes and over 300 deaths. What would happen if I did something to cause that? The FAA is there to detect and check on these operational things and it failed, not only because of Boeing’s deception. The FAA is partly accountable too and must do far more to ensure it finds these issues before any plane kills people. Furthermore Boeing has not fixed everything that was found deficient in the 737 MAX yet it has been approved to fly again. This is astounding but at least I can make my own decision not to fly in one.

  • falaya


    Thanks its working.

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