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  Global Views
Boeing Facing Murder Charges in Asiana 214 Accident
Asiana 214 Accident

Murder charges have this week been filed in the Supreme Court of Washington State against the Boeing Company and several of its high officials, for their role in the willful suppression of vital flight safety information which allegedly contributed in a major way to the crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco on July 6, 2013.

The murder charges declare that Boeing officials were warned by three different industry specialists of the imminent dangers posed by existing anomalies in the autothrottle system of their Boeing 777 aircraft and associated illegal behavior within the company. Those sources include a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test pilot, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and a retired Senior Boeing Instructor Pilot.

FAA test pilot Eugene Arnold discovered the B777 autothrottle anomalies while testing a similar system on Boeing’s new B787 aircraft. The European Aviation Safety Agency, having been informed by the FAA of the anomalies, warned Boeing that inconsistencies in flight automation had in the past been a strong contributor to aviation accidents. Boeing callously disregarded the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency’s warnings.

At about the same time, a retired Senior Instructor Pilot for the Boeing Company, Captain Anthony Keyter, warned of the dangers to public safety posed by Boeing’s corporate culture of suppressing crucial flight safety information in favor of their own commercial interests. A historic case cited by Captain Keyter was the demise of Air India Flight IX-812 during 2010, in which 158 people died and 8 were injured when the Boeing Company suppressed vital safety warnings pertinent to that flight.

The Boeing Company acts as training organisation to Asiana Airlines and instructs their flight crews on the operation of the B777 aircraft. However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who investigated the accident of Asiana 214, found that despite the aforementioned warnings the Boeing Company made no mention of the autothrottle anomalies to flight crews.

The NTSB investigators established that Boeing did not include that vital information in the B777 Fight Crew Training Manual or the Operations Manual. The NTSB was further informed by retired Boeing training pilot, Captain Keyter, that Boeing did not train crews for the autothrottle anomalies during simulator training or during line flying training. According to Captain Keyter, the two autothrottle anomalies experienced on Asiana 214 occurred back to back and without those events the accident would in all probability not have happened.

In their recently released ‘Report Summary’ of the accident of Asiana 214, the National Transportation Safety Board assigned blame to the aircrew but allotted no blame to the Boeing Company. In the Report Summary the NTSB did nevertheless recommend that Boeing in future advise flight crews of the autothrottle anomalies and further recommended that a design review be convened to improve the system, thereby only tacitly admitting Boeing’s role in the accident.

In contrast to the one-sided NTSB assignment of blame, the murder charges filed this week against Boeing in the Supreme Court of Washington State allocates equal responsibility for the accident to the Boeing Company. While the flight crew was responsible for error, Boeing is held criminally culpable for willfully suppressing the vital information and warnings on the B777 autothrottle anomalies which, if trained for or corrected, would have avoided the accident. The charges assert that Boeing’s callous indifference created grave danger which led directly to the death and injuries suffered on Asiana Flight 214. The Washington Supreme Court criminal complaint states that Boeing’s extreme indifference to human life violates the Revised Code of Washington and constitutes murder in the first degree.

The full and final NTSB accident report is only due in some weeks. In the interim, the NTSB has been requested by Captain Keyter to take cognizance of the murder charges filed against Boeing and its officials, when assigning blame for the accident of Asiana Flight 214.

Information released by:
Anthony P. Keyter, Retired Senior Instructor Pilot for the Boeing Company.




 

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