Al Jazeera Investigates Boeing and the 787

Al Jazeera English’s investigative report titled “Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787”, which you can now watch in full on YouTube (embedded below), paints an unflattering portrait of Boeing in general, and the workmanship that has gone into the Boeing 787 in particular.

Be forewarned, this video is 48 minutes in length – so you might want to bookmark this page and watch it later when you have time to fully appreciate it.

Without giving too much away, the report essentially argues the following:

  • Boeing isn’t the company it once was – and the decline began right about the same time it merged with McDonnell Douglas.
  • The finance people at Boeing have wrestled control from the engineering people, resulting in less qualified employees, shortcuts and unsafe aircraft.
  • Though the current employees might not be as qualified as past employees, they evidently know enough not to fly on 787’s

Of course, this is a “shock” piece designed to attract viewers – but then again what investigative report isn’t. Even as one-sided as it is, it’s interesting to hear former Boeing engineers interviewed and hear what they think about the direction the company has taken.

And in the big scheme of things, unless 787’s start dropping out of the skies regularly this report isn’t likely to make a dent in people’s travel patterns. But don’t take my word for it – check out what members on the Australian Frequent Flyer forums are saying after having learned of this Al Jazeera report.

Spoiler alert: every single one of them who have posted at the time of this writing wouldn’t hesitate to fly a Boeing 787.

What about you? After watching this video would you avoid flying on a 787? And does this report change your perception of Boeing in general?

Read the thread in its entirety: Boeing Staff Say No To Flying 787

Image: “Boeing 787” by tataquax. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Comments

  1. I’d fly on a 787. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid it. If it were REALLY dangerous, the FAA and it’s equivalent agencies would ground them again.

  2. Al Jazeera is geared for islame and middle east and always bad mouthing America. Why are you even look at what they say??? As in any big companies, there are good and bad people work there. Drug use and sale is everywhere not just boing.

  3. Most of the piece is just restating facts in a sensationalized way. The plane has had reliability and quality control issues, but that does not make the plane unsafe.

  4. I’ve flown the 787 once before the batteries made headlines and will admit I’ll now only fly new aircraft at least a year after its inaugural commercial flight.
    After watching the video, I’m still leery of any plane that is assembled in South Carolina. From reading press releases in Boeing, it looks like all 787-10s will come from SC so I highly doubt I’ll ever fly a 787-10.
    http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-07-30-Boeing-to-Assemble-787-10-Dreamliner-in-South-Carolina
    For a list of which 787s are built in either Washington or South Carolina, check this link:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AtfsHdXQ5rl9dFp4b1hETmNQNzN0b2dSUlRNWEFOOVE&single=true&gid=9&output=html

  5. I didn’t see the video yet, but I have done everything I can to avoid this plane. Once it’s been in the air for a few years I’ll be more likely to trust it, but there were toooo many issues with this plane to make me feel comfortable with it.

    It was the same with the 380 in the beginning, now I feel safe flying it, but this plane is just worst in my mind.

    Additionally, carbon fiber concerns me, while there is little chance of surviving a plane crash anyway, some plane crashes on landing people survive, however, carbon fiber during a crash will not hold up the same way as metal… or am I wrong?

  6. I recently opted to book on a B777 flight that was almost $100 higher than the B787 flight. I understand all new planes have minor issues, however what I’m concerned with is that they still haven’t figured out the root cause for the battery issue.

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