Jack Nicas
@jacknicas
Sat Jun 01 17:00:30 +0000 2019

Remember the two Boeing jets that crashed? A team of us at the New York Times have been working for months to uncover how the planes ended up with a fatal flaw. Today, we publish that story. This is the tale of the 737 Max: https://t.co/hJDPemlfxT

The Max's deadly problem traces back to a single, fateful decision late in its development. Boeing made a new automated system more aggressive and less reliable -- and many employees and regulators were left in the dark. https://t.co/hJDPemlfxT

At first, the system nudged the plane's nose down, relied on two types of sensors, and would rarely, if ever, activate. In 2016, Boeing overhauled the system to aggressively push the nose down, rely on just one sensor, and trigger far more often, including after takeoff.

Yet many people involved in the system told us they didn't fully understand the changes and made critical decisions based on wrong assumptions. Meanwhile, Boeing didn't disclose the changes to key FAA officials & even asked those officials to remove the system from the manual.

Boeing said it and the FAA followed standard procedures and the Max met all regulatory and certification requirements. “Boeing has no higher priority than the safety of the flying public," a spokesman said.

We got this story from good old-fashioned reporting. @Nataliekitro, @dgelles, @julie_creswell, @jamesglanz, others & I reached out to more than 275 people. (I kept a spreadsheet.) More than 50 spoke with us. We were led by the indefatigable @adriennecarter.

We made calls, sent letters and rang doorbells. Who leaves voicemails anymore? I alone left hundreds for this story. (And some led to key sources.) I crisscrossed the Seattle area knocking on doors. After driving 45 minutes for one important person, I was met with this dilemma. https://t.co/pbaERQhp9L

There are many, many more stunning details in this narrative of the 737 Max. If you haven't been following the coverage, this is the one story to read. Click: https://t.co/hJDPemlfxT