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Musk mocks Boeing

Musk mocks Boeing

The billionaire shared a screenshot of a satirical story highlighting the mechanical problems with the American aerospace giant’s planes

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has hit out at US aerospace giant Boeing by sharing a story joking that passengers can take sharp hand tools like screwdrivers on board their plane to help with maintenance.

The billionaire posted a screenshot from The Shovel, an Australian news satire similar to The Onion, saying that “Screwdrivers, drills are now allowed on Boeing flights so passengers can help with maintenance.” This story alludes to recent reports of mid-air malfunctions on Boeing aircraft.

Musk did not provide any description of the screenshot, which went viral after he posted it on his social network X (formerly Twitter) on March 17, garnering over 40 million views and 37,000 reposts. Internet users responded by posting their own memes exposing Boeing’s problems.

The US planemaker’s manufacturing standards have come under increased scrutiny around the world following a mid-air explosion on one of its 737 MAX 9 planes in January.

A US safety audit of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 manufacturing process reportedly found dozens of quality control flaws, including the use of dishwashing detergent and a hotel key fob as makeshift tools. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified the 97 “non-compliance” According to a recent New York Times report citing relevant documents, the aircraft manufacturer failed 33 out of 89 product audits.

The safety check was ordered after a California-bound Alaska Airlines flight from Portland, Ore., had to turn back Jan. 5 after a door panel blew off at 16,000 feet, injuring several of the 171 passengers on board. The FAA has temporarily grounded all 737 MAX 9 jets in the US for safety checks. Alaska Airlines said it had found loose screws on many Boeing planes in its fleet.

Boeing Safety Audit Reveals Multiple “Non-Compliance Issues” – NYT

Boeing jets have been involved in several safety incidents this month. A 737 MAX 8 operated by United Airlines skidded off the runway and tipped onto its side after landing in Houston on March 8. A day earlier, an Osaka-bound Boeing 777 operated by United was diverted after a tire fell off the landing gear in San Francisco during takeoff. At least 50 people on board a Boeing 787 operated by Latam Airlines were injured on March 11 when the plane, bound for New Zealand from Australia, suddenly nose-dived, sending passengers crashing into the ceiling in what the airline described as “technical action.”

The 737 MAX, Boeing’s best-selling airliner, was grounded by aviation regulators worldwide in March 2019 after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed a combined 346 people. The planes were cleared to return to service about two years later after repairs to their flight control systems.

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