Boeing's Fatal Flaw (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

  • Published on: 15 September 2021
  • What did Boeing know about the potential for disaster with its 737 Max airplane — and when did the company know it? FRONTLINE and The New York Times investigate the crashes that killed 346 people.

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    In October 2018, a Boeing 737 Max passenger jet crashed shortly after takeoff off the coast of Indonesia. Five months later, following an eerily similar flight pattern, another 737 Max 8 went down in Ethiopia. Everyone on board the flights died.

    "Boeing's Fatal Flaw," a FRONTLINE documentary in collaboration with The New York Times, tells the inside story of what led up to the crashes — revealing how intense market pressure and failed oversight contributed to tragic deaths and a catastrophic crisis for one of the world’s most iconic industrial names.

    "Boeing's Fatal Flaw" premieres Sept. 14, 2021 on FRONTLINE:

    #Documentary #BoeingsFatalFlaw #737Max

    For more reporting in connection with this investigation, visit FRONTLINE’s website:

    And read The New York Times’ coverage:

    "Boeing’s Fatal Flaw" is a FRONTLINE production with The New York Times and Left/Right Docs. The writer and director is Tom Jennings. The producers are Vanessa Fica and Kate McCormick. The reporters are David Gelles, James Glanz, Natalie Kitroeff and Jack Nicas. The senior producer is Frank Koughan. The executive producers for Left/Right Docs are Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.

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    FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
  • Runtime : 53:19
  • Documentaries documentaries to watch Boeing documentary Boeing 737 Max Boeing 737 Max crashes Aviation documentaries Plane crash documentaries Lion Air Flight 610 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing airplanes FAA Federal Aviation Administration


  • H T
    H T   14 hours ago

    This is Capitalism at work: 1- Build a new aircraft with a defective design, 2- Commission it without adequate testing (Cut the red tape (!) Because you are so clever. 3- Hide the design defects, Hide the shortcomings. 4- Start selling, making huge profits. 5- Disastrous Failures take place, Hundreds die because of your Greed and arrogance. 5- Keep denying responsibility, Keep hiding the truth, Blame inferior Others. 6- Make up clever (!) quick fixes if you can’t deny any more. 7- Blame safety regulations, Blame public safety advocates (Bribe?) 8- Repeat these steps

  • Todd Hollerson
    Todd Hollerson   1 days ago

    Can Lockheed start making the L-1011 again? It was the best airplane ever built.

  • YourFuneral Director

    I'm so f#$king happy I dumped my Boeing stock before they dropped like a rock. Airbus is the winner in my opinion.

  • John Johnston
    John Johnston   2 days ago

    They should be held for murder, but like all american companies, they lie deceive and are corrupt to the core

  • Matthew Roberts
    Matthew Roberts   2 days ago

    Every Boeing employee involved in this deadly MCAS flaw, from its software designers, sensor engineers, and their chain of command right up to, and including, the CEO should be brought up on trial for negligent homicide at the very least. Add to them all who lied to the FAA throughout the certification process. Add to them those at the FAA who made the horrendous decisions to delegate certification testing to Boeing itself, and then to bet a second crash would not occur. But justice will not be done in this case. CEO Muilenburg blamed the whole thing on inept pilots, even though the pilots were never at fault because they were never trained how to deal with the MCAS system. Mullenberg was "forced out," but took with him a golden parachute package worth in excess of $80Million. It is apparent that justice will never be served in this case. I say Boeing, given no justice as noted above, should be closed down by our government. But, of course, that will never happen, either. The whole thing is thoroughly disgusting. And so sad.

  • Adam P
    Adam P   4 days ago

    37:18 seeing Captain Tajer hold back tears is the most moving part of this documentary. Hats off to PBS for putting this together.

  • Nonrev Traveler
    Nonrev Traveler   4 days ago

    In Aviation there’s a saying; it us cheaper to pay for the dead than to fix the problem, and when the problem gets to the Max8 point, the engineering changes (EA’s EO’s etc) come and after the lawsuits and payoffs, everything goes back to normal.

  • Retired Disabled Veteran

    I will no longer fly on a Boeing aircraft anymore period if I fly at all because the FAA has turned into a joke. They kiss up to the aircraft manufactures and do not do what they were created to do monitor and hold the aircraft manufactures to strict standards and safety practicals. What the heck good is the FAA if they are letting the company people do the FAA inspections and certifications of aircraft. Has a level of independence my butt really if this idiot believes that he is stupider than a piss ant. The old saying applies to Micheal "You Can't Fix Stupid". Congress tells the FAA to revised the FAA's delegation process and we are suppose to believe that they did. NOT Mark Forestner should be held liable and charged with lying to a Federal Agency.

  • Dazzling Extremes
    Dazzling Extremes   6 days ago

    Yeah this MCAS was a total flop and absolutely a horror the pilots were not informed.

  • James Idso
    James Idso   6 days ago

    The 737 is now safe to fly. Period. Have you always enjoyed riding on them? You can now go right back to doing so.

  • AZGOAThings
    AZGOAThings   6 days ago

    22:18 anyone else get Jordan Peterson vibes from this guy??

  • ruzzell907
    ruzzell907   1 weeks ago

    Ali Bahrami also was involved in the 787 Dreamliner's faulty batteries catching fire.

  • Marc Kunze
    Marc Kunze   1 weeks ago

    So Boeing couldn't handle the pressure of building airplanes and was going through a tough time so that why those 2 planes went down??? Are they seriously making excuses on why the integrity of the company was faltering and caused accidents

  • JamesStuart Brice
    JamesStuart Brice   1 weeks ago

    irresponsible management of airplane builder Boeing, and also of other actors. Foreign pilots can be as good or better as American ones. The company is just another irresponsible big corporation looking out for itself. The customers are collateral damage. With their attitude, we just have to wait for the next crash and hope we are not on board for it.

    ADA FTW   1 weeks ago

    10,000 737s, that’s crazy.

  • Craig Bosko
    Craig Bosko   1 weeks ago


  • yussuf kurtuma
    yussuf kurtuma   1 weeks ago

    I can see the greed for leadership and blame games on Boeing new C.E.O. Ignoring the FAA, Thats how they dont care for all the people killed

  • Mike Klinkowski
    Mike Klinkowski   1 weeks ago

    Well Done "The New York Times"! May God Bless all who lost a loved one!

  • Jason C. Doelker
    Jason C. Doelker   1 weeks ago

    The problem....Boeing didnt heed test pilot warnings and had a defective device certified for flight as REQUIRED....and the wrong people leading the company!

  • Lorenzo Labrador
    Lorenzo Labrador   1 weeks ago

    Excellent documentary. The assumption, however veiled, by Boeing's new CEO that part of the problem with handling a situation triggered by MCAS has to do with the supposed inability or incompetence or non-US pilots is simply outrageous.

  • WTF
    WTF   1 weeks ago

    Easy to blame the pilots when they are incinerated into ash from burning jet fuel. Boeing is heartless, terrible company. No “backup plan” BS CEO will change that.

  • m Bak
    m Bak   1 weeks ago

    This is bullshit the CEO should be in jail for murder

  • Khanya
    Khanya   1 weeks ago

    You forgot that airbus ( French Government ) put an innocent man in prison after he proved the blackbox in court was not the one from the accident site

  • John Arrington
    John Arrington   2 weeks ago

    This video has sealed my thoughts forever about flying I will never ever flying on a plane. There are other ways to get around and those are for me. They lie to us and think I would be stupid enough to believe them again. Yea Right. Not Me... And on top of all of that they get away with multiple murders. 100% they are free... Wow

  • Flypurplecat
    Flypurplecat   2 weeks ago

    And how many planes have crashed bc of frozen or obstructed Pitot Tubes, also on the outside of the airplane, over all the yrs? The almighty dollar again. Can Boeing or Airbus design an airplane that doesn’t depend on fickle outside sensors????

  • Miss Mean
    Miss Mean   2 weeks ago

    Remind me the Titanic story… less costs, low safety and be the first

  • bgregg55
    bgregg55   2 weeks ago

    346 dead from negligent homicide. Who gets punished? Only the stockholders. What a world.

  • GoTeamUSA
    GoTeamUSA   2 weeks ago

    Around minute 23…”under the impression the MCAS was a relatively benign system, the FAA agreed to delegate it.” This makes me worry about whether or not the FAA was equipped to even determine what they should and shouldn’t delegate and makes me think that even if they hadn’t delegated, they would have certainly lacked the technical knowledge to be able to identify the design flaws.

  • KnowsPicker
    KnowsPicker   2 weeks ago

    Profit over people is so gross. It's sad to think how difficult it is to live a normal life without supporting a corporation that is doing wrong by people.

  • savagecub
    savagecub   2 weeks ago

    Wrongly placed blame once again ! The fault lies SQUARELY on the shoulders of the FAA ! The FAA can’t afford to pay enough to attract any talent smart enough to understand today’s advanced aeronautical technology. Instead they just let the fox in the henhouse with this self certification bullshit. SHAME ON YOU STUPID FAA !The FAA was once the gold standard for aircraft certification in the world - not anymore…………..

  • John Simon Ritchie
    John Simon Ritchie   2 weeks ago

    PBS is now producing youtube style documentaries. Creepy music throughout the whole piece, random quotes from unnamed sources, random unrelated video clips, opinion from supposed experts who aren't experts like the nitwits at the NYT.

  • Bhaskar D
    Bhaskar D   2 weeks ago

    Both FAA and NASA blindly trusted Boeing , both were bit in the ass when they had problems with the 737-Max and the Starliner.

    ХОРОШО   2 weeks ago

    Shit happens, quite frequently. I bought Boeing stocks after the crash a get a good return. The company is good and the big picture shouldn't be discouraged by events like this.

  • Zero Narrative
    Zero Narrative   2 weeks ago

    Boeing is a dead rot company. They're paid for by tax payers, not true market needs...complacency is leading to deaths in the air industry, and malfeasance in aerospace. If you can't see this you're not reading enough.

  • Feza Baydur
    Feza Baydur   2 weeks ago

    I avoid flying the Boeing 737 Max. Boeing and FAA have no credibility in my eyes

  • John Jan Popovic
    John Jan Popovic   2 weeks ago

    Accountants can not substitute engineers. Safety should not be a joke, but corporate profit is more important than lives.