8 months before the first 737 Max crash, 2 Boeing employees talked about how they wouldn't let their families fly on the plane

acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)
boeing 737 max

JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

  • Reuters obtained more than 100 pages of documents on Thursday of discussions between Boeing employees during the construction of the doomed 737 Max airplane.
  • In one concerning internal communication, two Boeing employees said they wouldn't let their families fly on the 737 Max.
  • Eight months later, the first 737 Max would crash, killing all on board. The plane was grounded after a second crash in March 2019. A total of 346 people were killed in both crashes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Before the Boeing 737 Max jet caused two high-profile crashes, some employees at the company were skeptical of its safety.

On Thursday, Reuters obtained hundreds of internal messages from employees at the company during the plane's construction between 2013 and 2018. The communications were part of a cache of documents that Boeing turned over to the FAA and Congress in December, to provide insight to investigators.

Among the documents is an especially concerning instant message conversation that happened between two employees in February 2018, eight months before the first crash.

"Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," one employee asked another.

The second employee responded "No."

Boeing's reputation as as stalwart of the aviation industry suffered a blow last March when the 737 Max was grounded around the world following two crashes that happened just five months apart.

The two crashes are believed to have been caused by a new automated feature that mistakenly caused the planes to nosedive. Boeing is still working to fix the software, in hopes the plane will be allowed to fly again.

Following the release of the employee communications, Boeing released a statement apologizing for the messages.

"We have made significant changes as a company to enhance our safety processes, organizations, and culture," the statement said. "The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response."

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