DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing
A searing investigation of a once-iconic company and its tragic failures, DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing exposes how Wall Street’s influence and Boeing’s crumbling internal culture resulted in two historic plane crashes, 346 fatalities, and a shocking cover-up. Directed and produced by Rory Kennedy. Produced and co-written by Mark Bailey. Executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.
In 2012, I became friends with a couple who were both mechanical engineers at Boeing. I recall a conversation in which they nonchalantly explained that the only thing holding a Boeing aircraft together were some bolts, and the likelihood that a crash didn’t occur more often was surprising. Everyone in the room immediately hushed, and I think they got the hint that we were terrified by those statements, especially considering a vast number of our spouses traveled on a plane twice a week. In the new Netflix documentary DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing, I came to realize just how haunting these seemingly off-the-cuff comments would become.
After 346 people died on Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, the ensuing blame game began. Their PR coming from Boeing was suspect. Then a second crash months later with Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019. Wall Street Journal writer Andy Pasztor started digging into the facts. What the hell is an MCAS? What did they know and when? Could these tragedies have been prevented?
The film uses heart-wrenching footage of recovered luggage and personal items, like small children’s shoes. Recreations show the viewer precisely what occurred based on the black box’s digital information. The film puts faces to those on board the two flights. We hear from family members about who they were. They each recall how they found out their loved ones had been on those planes. We see internal memos and hear from, you guessed it, former employees. It’s nothing less than stunning.
I sat shocked while watching this film and having heard the same concerns from former employees’ mouths… six years prior. Boeing makes its morals very clear. Speed over safety. Profit over people. When you see and hear about these shortcuts, you will gasp. DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing is now streaming on Netflix. I highly encourage you to watch and ask yourself, “Should I trust a company like this?”