Boeing 737 Max Disaster
Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise
Purpose: This exercise is designed to give you practical experience in handling real-life threats for their organization. Through this exercise, you will better understand how the types of events described in class are applied, take a shot at forming policy solutions, and sharpen your communication skills.
Deliverables: Prepare a sample press packet. This press packet should include the following items:
Press Release (1 page)
Short technical background sheet (1-2 pages)
• This section should describe in more detail the technical issues of the problem at hand. It may also include pictures and diagrams.
Frequently Asked Questions (1 page)
• This section should anticipate questions other stakeholders or the media would ask in response to the problem and should provide your organization’s answers.
Read the material found via the links below. Additional research on stakeholder positions is strongly suggested as well. You may use any resource you deem necessary to prepare your statement, press kit, and for Q&A.
There are important stakeholder roles in this cybersecurity crisis situation. You may choose to take on one of different roles:
• Airline and owners of the Being 737 MAX
• Software Developers
Scenario: On Sunday, March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, faltered and crashed soon after taking off, killing all 157 people on board. The incident was, of course, devastating. But making it even more disturbing is that it happened just months after a Lion Air flight taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, crashed in October, killing all 189 passengers.
Multiple countries have grounded the planes, including Brazil, China, and India. The European Union suspended all flight operations of Boeing Model 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 in Europe, and Canada and the US followed suit.
Apparently the 737 Max pitched up a bit too much for comfort on power application as well as at already-high angles of attack. It violated that most ancient of aviation canons and probably violated the certification criteria of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. But instead of going back to the drawing board and getting the airframe hardware right (more on that below), Boeing relied on something called the “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System,” or MCAS. Boeing’s solution to its hardware problem was software.
Investigators believe Boeing’s new MCAS anti-stall system was connected to two crashes: one in Indonesia last October and one in Ethiopia in March. The crashes killed a total of 346 people and grounded the 737 Max worldwide.
Sources and Additional Reading:
1. The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes and controversy, explained
2. Frustrated US lawmakers tear into safety officials over the government’s slow response to 2 Boeing 737 Max crashes
3. FAA defends handling of Boeing 737 Max after deadly crashes
4. Boeing 737 Max Simulators Are in High Demand. They Are Flawed.
5. How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer
6. Amid scrutiny over 737 Max, Boeing to replace 900 inspectors. And union is not happy
7. U.S. FAA meets with air regulators on fate of Boeing 737 MAX