Boeing Is Said to Approach Banks for New Loan Amid Max Crisis
Boeing Co. is reorganizing its piloting staff to form a more cohesive unit after a disjointed reporting structure contributed to communications lapses while the 737 Max was being developed.
The move, effective Jan. 17, affects company aviators who train commercial airline pilots, prepare aircraft for delivery and develop training materials and flight crew manuals. Instead of being divided between two divisions, they will now join Boeing’s elite flight-test pilots in a single unit, Boeing Test and Evaluation, according to an internal memo viewed by Bloomberg News.
The shift is part of a broader shakeup of Boeing’s engineering corps that was announced last September. Joining the pilots in a single unit will “strengthen flight operations excellence across the enterprise, including by enhancing the rigor and transparency of our regulatory interactions,” Ted Colbert, head of Boeing Global Services, said in the memo. The affected pilots had been part of his division, which sells services, maintenance and spare parts to airlines.
“This action is not about any one set of discussions or events but is part of a larger enterprise realignment activity,” a Boeing spokesman said by email.
Former pilots and engineers described workplace tensions after Boeing shifted the teams of pilots who train customers and prepare safety manuals to a separate, profit-making entity. That organization, now part of Boeing Global Services, was trying to win a larger share of the market to train pilots worldwide. Boeing moved its Seattle-area flight simulators to a training center in Miami in the midst of Max development in 2013.
The changes left the Max’s cockpit designers and test pilots in Seattle with a lack of input from the instructors who regularly saw how the typical airline pilot responded to unusual situations, Bloomberg News reported in December based on conversations with more than a dozen people who participated in development of the plane.