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Why Boeing is Going Special Report

“The overriding problem is the basic unstable design of the 737 Max.” 
Ralph Nader April 2019

"This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys."
Boeing company employee internal email


On May 25, 2020, I wrote a 109 page report explaining why the real problem with the Boeing 737 Max is that the engine is too high and too far forward – making the plane extremely unstable and requiring a software fix called MCAS to keep the plane from a nose up stall. I predicted that the FAA would not require Boeing to address this real problem of the engine being in the wrong place and instead would allow Boeing to merely add yet another software patch. On August 3, 2020, the FAA issued two reports – both of which signed off on Boeing’s software patch band-aid solution. In this update, we will explain why the new Boeing software patch can actually increase the risk of another plane crash.

Background Links
We will be referring to the following three reports. If you have not read them yet, you should take a few minutes to read them in order to better understand the safety issues involved as well as the proposed Boeing Band-aid solution. Here is a link to my original 109 page Report:


Here is a link to the August 3 2020 FAA Airworthiness Directive:


Here is a link to the August 3 2020 FAA Summary Report:


Key Band-aids applied to the new 737 Max

The two most surprising aspects of the new 737 Max compared to the version that killed nearly 400 people in a matter of months are:

#1: The initial power of MCAS to tip the Max nose down in the event of a nose up stall was not reduced.

The original version of MCAS was 2.5 degrees in the back of the plane over 10 seconds and the new version of MCAS is still 2.5 degrees in the back of the plane over 10 seconds. Because there is an 8 to 1 lever arm from the back of the plane to the front of the plane, this means that MCAS will drop the nose of the plane 20 degrees (8 times 2.5) over just 10 seconds. This fact alone – that the power of MCAS was not changed - vindicates the claim I made in my original report that the Max was so unstable that any reduction in the power of MCAS would only increase the chances of a nose up stall and plane crash. Boeing is basically admitting that the most powerful version of MCAS is required to prevent a nose up stall and crash.

#2 Despite the admission that MCAS is essential to prevent a nose up stall and crash, Boeing added several conditions that result in MCAS being automatically turned off for the duration of a flight.

For example, if there is a disagreement of more than 5 to 10 degrees between Angle of Attack indicators, MCAS will turn itself off for the rest of the flight. Here is a quote from the Air Worthiness Directive:

If the difference between the AOA sensor inputs is above a calculated threshold, (11) the FCC would disable the speed trim system (STS), including its MCAS function, for the remainder of that flight.

(11) More than 10 degrees difference for more than 10 seconds.

Welcome to our special 109 page report which explains for the first time why the Boeing 737 Max is such an unstable airplane that it crashed twice during its first two years of operation – killing a total of 346 people. This report, called Why Boeing is going… The deadly path from blackmail to bankruptcy” is the most detailed study ever published on the problems of the Boeing 737 Max.

The report explains step by step how Boeing made a trillion dollar error - inadvertently creating a plane that is so unstable that it is literally designed to crash. This is not a problem that can be fixed with any software patch. This report provides evidence that it was not merely a flawed MCAS program or a flawed angle of attack sensor or flawed pilot training that led to two devastating crashes. While these were contributing factors, none of these facts explain why Boeing engineers were compelled to increase MCAS from 0.6 degrees to 2.5 degrees after field testing the 737 Max in 2016.

In this report, I explain why it is likely that one of the most complex forces in all of nature, a force called turbulence, was responsible for the need to radically change MCAS. I provide calculations showing that moving the new LEAP engine one foot forward and one foot higher than it was placed on the previous version of the 737 leads to a sudden increase in turbulence when the angle of attack exceeds 15 degrees.


This hidden instability problem means that no change in MCAS can ever make the 737 MAX a safe plane. In fact, reducing the power of MCAS will actually increase the odds of another 737 Max crash in the coming years. The only solution to this turbulence problem is a complete recall of all 737 Max planes.

Unfortunately, because each 737 Max costs $100 million, a recall of all 500 737 Max planes currently in existence would cost Boeing $50 billion – in addition to losing the opportunity to produce 10,000 more planes over time – for a total loss of over one trillion dollars. These are losses Boeing simply cannot afford.

Most articles on the two Boeing 737 Max plane crashes have only scratched the surface of what happened or why these two planes crashed in nearly identical death dives. The corporate media would have you believe that some out of control computer programmer at Boeing wrote a bad software program called MCAS. This software programmer was so dumb that he or she failed to anticipate that the program might get a bad reading from a defective Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor located at the front of the 737 Max (as we will explain below, these sensors have been giving bad readings for years and everyone other then the public knew about it).

But back to the “simple” story told by the corporate media. MCAS was intended to keep the nose of the plane from going so high that it would stall. But instead of MCAS pushing the nose back down into a safe, level position, MCAS was badly written by our villain - the crazy computer programmer. MCAS went haywire and took over control of both planes – forcing both of them into a steep dive – causing them to crash into either the ocean or the desert. End of story.

According to this story, all Boeing needs to do is to have wiser computer programmers make the MCAS program less aggressive with a software patch. Boeing will then explain to pilots how MCAS works (especially how to turn MCAS off if it goes berserk again). Boeing will also use two of these unreliable sensors instead of only one - and the problem will be solved.

To reassure the public that the 737 Max is safe, the FAA will require Boeing and their highly experienced pilots to fly the 737 Max more than 100 times with this new patch. These test flights will not crash because these experienced pilots will stay below the deadly angle of attack. The FAA will then rubber stamp their approval of the new MCAS program just like they did with the old MCAS program. As they say in the Mafia, the fix is already in. Passengers will then be lured back into flying on this unstable plane - – at least until the next 737 Max crash in a ball of fire. But if you want to know the truth about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from a horrific death, then keep reading. You are in for a real shock. I am sure that by the end of this report, you will agree that another 737 Max crash is inevitable.

The first question that is rarely asked by the corporate media (or if it is asked is only superficially answered) is why the Boeing 737 Max needed the deadly MCAS program in the first place?

One of the primary changes being made by Boeing is to link two Angle of Attack sensors to MCAS. This will do nothing to change the fact that the engines of the 737 Max are in the wrong place. Even the head of the FAA agrees that the Angle of Attack Sensor problem was not the primary cause of the two 737 Max plane crashes. In a Congressional hearing on May 15, 2019, during questions about why the FAA concluded that the angle-of-attack sensor disagree light wasn’t critical to safety, FAA head Elwell claimed that the disagree light is only needed for maintenance purposes:

Question: “Should the AOA disagree light be a required feature?”

FAA acting chief Daniel Elwell:No. It is just a maintenance alert. The AOA disagree light is only a service advisory. The AOA disagree light would not have changed the outcome of either accident. “

His statement seems hard to understand given that a defective AOA sensor was clearly involved in at least one and likely both of the 737 Max crashes. While there are two AOA sensors on all Boeing 737 Max planes (and have been ever since the first test flights in the spring of 2016), only one of these sensors is actively connected to MCAS – the sensor on the pilot side of the plane. Here is what the AOA sensors looks like on a 737 Max:


Here is a close up view of one of these sensors:

The overriding problem is the basic unstable design of the 737 Max. An aircraft has to be stall proof not stall prone.” Ralph Nader

Boeing and the FAA have been extremely secretive about what their solution to the MCAS problem will be. All that Boeing has said was that they would have a software fix that would do four things:

First, they will increase the number of sensors from only using one sensor to using two sensors. This change will do nothing about the real problem – the instability problem - created when Boeing moved the new engines forward and up.

Second, the software fix will reduce the power of MCAS to push the nose of the plane down. This change will also do nothing about the real problem – the instability problem - created by moving the new engines forward and up.

Third, the software fix will eliminate the infinite loop problem of MCAS reactivating itself repeatedly. This change will also do nothing about the real problem – the instability problem - created by moving the new engines forward and up.

Fourth, Boeing will do a better job of explaining to pilots how they can turn MCAS off. This change will also do nothing about the real problem – the instability problem - created by moving the new engines forward and up.

Problem Solving 101 – Identify the Underlying Cause of the Problem
In order to solve any problem, it is important to focus on the underlying cause of the problem. The underlying problem of the Boeing 737 Max is that moving the large and powerful new engines too far forward in front of the wings and too high up in front of the wings caused the 737 Max to have an extreme tendency to have the nose of the plane tip up too high. This extreme nose up position is just as dangerous as an extreme nose down position because extreme nose up can lead to a stall and loss of control of the airplane just as extreme nose down can lead to a dive and loss of control of the airplane.


The reason stalling an airplane as large as a 737 Max is dangerous is that there are huge forces involved. There are also Positive Feedback Loops involved. This means that once the nose of any airplane (not just the 737 Max) gets too high (near a stall angle), the nose will start to rise even faster making the stall much worse and lead to a very rapid loss of control of the airplane. Bigger faster planes present exponentially greater surface areas making stall recovery much more difficult. The whole point of a stable airplane design is that the plane should be aerodynamically stable. The plane should be naturally balanced around its center of gravity and should not require a highly experienced pilot in order to avoid stalling.

The change in MCAS after the 2016 test flights from 0.6 degrees to 2.5 degrees is the smoking gun confirming that something must have occurred during these test flights which forced Boeing to make this radical change to MCAS. In this section, we will finally answer the question no one thus far has been able to answer: Why was such a radical change needed? How could Boeing engineers have made such a huge mis-calculation? The answer is turbulence – the most complex topic in all of physics. In this section, we will explain why even smart engineers might under-estimated the extreme effect that the turbulence of raising the engines one foot higher than it had been previously placed in the 737 NG would have on the 737 Max.

First, you need to understand that turbulence has been called the most important unsolved problem in physics. The American Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics Richard Feynman once described turbulence as “the most important unsolved problem of classical physics”, because an accurate mathematical equation of turbulence does not exist. We have quantum mechanical equations to describe the inner workings of the atom – but we do not have accurate equations for turbulence. In 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge/Massachusetts offered one million US dollars to any mathematician who could provide an accurate equation for turbulence. So far, no one in the world has been able to solve this problem. Note the sudden and chaotic expansion:


Even the inventor of Quantum Mechanics, and the winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics, Werner Heisenberg once said that if he were allowed to ask God two questions, they would be, “Why quantum mechanics? And why turbulence?” Heisenberg said he was pretty sure God would be able to answer the first question (implying that not even God can explain turbulence).

Given that not even God understands turbulence, it should not be too surprising that Boeing engineers might have under-estimated the adverse effect of turbulence when they designed the 737 Max.

There are two ways that engineers guard against turbulence. The first and most common way is to avoid turbulence as much as possible. This is why no previous version of the 737 had placed the engine so close to the top of the wing. Putting the engine at or above the wing would create unpredictable turbulence exactly where you do not want it – at the top of the all important wings where it might have huge and difficult to calculate effects such as pivoting the plane around the center of gravity.

Unfortunately, there was not enough room to put the new much bigger engines well under the wings – and Boeing executives insisted that the engine be moved up rather than redesign the entire plane to account for the bigger engines. So the engines were moved up about one foot – which as we will show later in this section, created a huge amount of turbulence right over the wings. Strike #1.

We saw in the previous section that the ideal angle of attack is about 17 degrees. However, beyond 20 degrees, an airplane actually loses lift rapidly due to the sudden appearance of turbulence. This is a very narrow range of angles between ideal lift (17 degrees) and quick death (about 25 degrees).


Pilots approach this angle of 17 degrees shortly after takeoff in order to gain altitude as quickly as possible. MCAS does not kick in until about one minute after takeoff. Even then, MCAS does not kick in until the AOA sensor(s) indicate that the angle of attack is above about 20 degrees. Using the current MCAS (before the new software fix), MCAS will automatically push up the tail about 2.5 degrees over a 10 second period. Due to the 8 to 1 lever arm effect, this will lower the nose about 20 degrees over 10 seconds. In short, the current version of MCAS is intended to bring the plane from a dangerous angle of 20 degrees back to a nearly level angle.

Calculating the Odds of a Crash with the current version of MCAS
Let’s assume that there were an average of 333 Boeing 737 max airplanes in service during the past year and that each one of them takes off and lands 3 times a day. That is about 1000 737 Max missions per day. Lets also assume that all of these planes were in service for about 500 days before they were grounded. This would mean that two disasters occurred in 500,000 missions. This would put the odds of a crash at 1 in 250,000.

If there is one chart that describes not only the history of the 737 but also the history of Boeing, it would be this chart of the market share of annual commercial airplane deliveries of Boeing from 1955 to today:


Until Airbus started in the 1980s, Boeing enjoyed a virtual monopoly. However, due to a series of blunders by Boeing upper management, even before the competition from Airbus, Boeing employees and the economy of Washington state was subjected to a very rocky ride.

We ended the last session by estimating that the Boeing 737 Max disaster might cost Boeing a trillion dollars or more in new orders. In this section, we will provide evidence that this is a hit Boeing cannot afford to take. All it will take is one more Boeing 737 crash and it is likely that Boeing will be forced out of business.

On January 30, 2019, Boeing reached a financial high water mark. They reported record revenue of over $100 billion in 2018 with more than $10 billion in profit:


This was a 50% increase over the 2011 revenue of $50 billion. Three months later, on April 30, 2019, it was reported that Boeing not only had no new orders for the 737 Max, they had not a single order for any of the other models of their airplanes. Instead, they were hit by a series of whistle blowers who alleged that Boeing had huge quality control problems on many models of their planes including the new 787. They were also hit by a series of lawsuits – not only from the families of the Indonesian and Ethiopian crashes but from investors who lost billions due to the plunge in Boeing stock. Investors claimed correctly that Boeing knew about the 737 Max problems but failed to disclose them not only to the FAA and to pilots but also to investors. Boeing stock price quadrupled. Its executives personally made tens of millions of dollars in bonuses, thanks, in large part, to the record-setting pace of 737 Max sales.

Here is the stock price and valuation charts during the time of this deception. Boeing market cap history and chart from 2006 to 2019. Market capitalization (or market value) is the most commonly used method of measuring the size of a publicly traded company and is calculated by multiplying the current stock price by the number of diluted shares outstanding. Boeing market cap as of May 15, 2019 is $202 B.

There are currently more than 50 lawsuits against Boeing. Some of these lawsuits have been brought by victims of the two plane crashes and others have been filed by share holders who were clearly deceived into buying Boeing stock on the false claim that the 737 Max was a safe plane. Some have estimated that these lawsuits will cost Boeing more than one billion dollars. In fact, once airline carriers start suing Boeing for selling them one thousand defective airplanes at a cost of one hundred million dollars each, the lawsuits will eventually cost Boeing more than one hundred billion dollars. These huge and unpayable losses will cost Boeing the loss of another hundred billion in declining stock prices and likely cause Boeing to go bankrupt.

While one purpose of all of these lawsuits will be to provide victims of Boeing corruption some financial compensation, another and perhaps even more important purpose will be to determine what the leaders of Boeing knew and when they knew it as well as who made the deadly decision to move the new LEAP engines above the wing and who made the deadly decision to change MCAS from 0.6 degrees to 2.5 degrees with a repeat function.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs will be allowed prior to the trials to ask Boeing executives questions that thus far Boeing has refused to answer. These questions should include the following:

25 Questions to ask during Deposition and release to the public

#1 How many inches forward and how many inches up were the new LEAP engines moved on the 737 MAX in comparison to the position of the 737 NG engine on the 737 NG?

#2 Did this move increase the distance between the center of lift and the center of gravity?

Decisions at Boeing are currently made by a small group of very rich corporate executives. Each year Boeing makes billions in profits. Boeing is making huge profits off subsidies from our tax dollars. Both the State and federal government give Boeing BILLIONS in tax breaks every year. Without these tax breaks Boeing would not make any profit at all. If we fund Boeing, we should control it, too. By taking the aerospace juggernaut into public ownership Boeing's profits and technology could be used for the benefit of all, rather than boosting the profits of the rich.

After the state legislature offered $3.2 billion in tax breaks for Boeing, even a mainstream columnist from the liberal Seattle Weekly demanded that Boeing be taken into public hands: “We could push to nationalize them. Boeing lives off the public dole anyway. We could either be done with their blackmail - which will only get worse - or take the controls of this flying porker ourselves.” (See Knute Berger, “Mossback: Boeing 7$7- The cost of keeping the company happy keeps going up”: Seattle Weekly, 6/4/03, www.Seattleweekly.com/features/printme.php3?eid=44618)

Public ownership is the only policy that has proven successful in controlling the activities of major corporations and industries.