On June 18, Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, attended the first hearing of the U.S. Senate on the frequent exposure of safety issues of Boeing aircraft. At the hearing, Calhoun admitted that Boeing had retaliated against "whistleblowers" internally.

6月18日,美國波音公司首席執行官戴夫·卡爾霍恩,首次出席美國國會(huì )參議院就波音飛機頻繁暴露安全問(wèn)題舉行的聽(tīng)證會(huì )。在聽(tīng)證會(huì )上,卡爾霍恩承認波音內部對“吹哨人”實(shí)施過(guò)報復。

Blumenthal, chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said at the hearing that his staff had talked to more than 20 Boeing whistleblowers. Those who dared to speak out were retaliated against and forced to remain silent. Calhoun told Blumenthal that Boeing had punished executives who retaliated against whistleblowers, but he could not give an exact number.

美國參議院常設調查小組委員會(huì )主席布盧門(mén)撒爾在聽(tīng)證會(huì )上表示,他的工作人員已經(jīng)和20多名波音公司的“吹哨人”進(jìn)行了交談。那些敢于發(fā)聲的人遭到了報復,被迫保持沉默??柣舳鲃t對布盧門(mén)撒爾說(shuō),波音公司已對報復“吹哨人”的主管進(jìn)行了處罰,但他無(wú)法給出確切數字。

When the U.S. Senate Special Committee held a hearing in April, a "whistleblower" pointed out Boeing's security loopholes. On June 18, another "whistleblower" came forward. Sam Mohawk, a quality inspector at Boeing's Renton, Washington factory, said at the hearing that Boeing chose to "systematically ignore" parts that may have safety hazards or did not keep production records in accordance with regulations.

美國國會(huì )參議院專(zhuān)門(mén)委員會(huì )4月舉行聽(tīng)證會(huì )時(shí),已有“吹哨人”指出波音的安全漏洞。6月18日又有“吹哨人”站出來(lái)。波音公司華盛頓州倫頓工廠(chǎng)質(zhì)檢員薩姆·莫霍克在聽(tīng)證會(huì )上說(shuō),對可能有安全隱患或未按規定做生產(chǎn)記錄的部件,波音選擇了“系統性忽視”。

The hearing was held after the U.S. Department of Justice determined that Boeing had violated a settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice in 2021. The U.S. Department of Justice has submitted relevant letters to the federal court in Texas and will inform the court whether to sue by July 7.

這場(chǎng)聽(tīng)證會(huì ),是在美國司法部認定波音公司違反了一項2021年與司法部達成的和解協(xié)議后召開(kāi)的。美國司法部已向得克薩斯州聯(lián)邦法院提交了相關(guān)信件,并將在7月7日前告知法院是否起訴。

After two air crashes, the blame has been shifted

兩場(chǎng)空難后一直在甩鍋

Boeing aircraft were once considered the safest civil airliners, but the continuous catastrophic incidents in recent years have punctured the Boeing myth.

波音飛機曾被視為最安全的民航客機,但是近年來(lái)不斷發(fā)生的災難性事件戳穿了波音神話(huà)。

On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX8 passenger plane of Indonesia Lion Air Group crashed into the sea 13 minutes after takeoff, with 189 people on board and no one survived. The crashed plane had just been delivered to Lion Air Group two months ago.

2018年10月29日,一架印尼獅航集團波音737 MAX8客機起飛13分鐘后墜海,飛機上共載有189人,無(wú)人生還。失事飛機剛交付獅航集團兩個(gè)月。
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The investigation report shows that there are design problems in the anti-stall maneuvering characteristics enhancement system of the crashed aircraft. This system is responsible for automatically lowering the nose of the aircraft when it enters a stall state at a high angle of attack (angle of attack, simply understood as the angle at which the aircraft lifts its head) to prevent the aircraft from stalling and crashing. Boeing allowed the adjustment angle of the aircraft's horizontal tail to increase from 0.6 degrees to 2.5 degrees, but did not inform the Federal Aviation Administration to upxe it, nor did it upxe the flight manual.

調查報告顯示,失事飛機防失速的機動(dòng)特性增強系統存在設計問(wèn)題。這個(gè)系統是負責在高攻角(攻角,簡(jiǎn)單理解就是飛機抬頭的角度)進(jìn)入失速狀態(tài)時(shí)自動(dòng)壓低機頭的,以避免飛機失速墜毀。波音公司允許對飛機水平尾翼進(jìn)行調整的角度從0.6度提高至2.5度,但沒(méi)有告知美國聯(lián)邦航空管理局進(jìn)行更新,也沒(méi)有更新飛行手冊。

On March 10, 2019, a Boeing 737 MAX8 passenger plane of Ethiopian Airlines took off from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and crashed shortly after, killing 157 people. There were 8 Chinese on the crashed plane. The investigation results showed that the problem still lay in the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system.

2019年3月10日,埃塞俄比亞航空公司一架波音737 MAX8客機從埃塞俄比亞首都亞的斯亞貝巴起飛,不久墜毀,造成157人死亡,失事飛機上有8名中國人。調查結果顯示,問(wèn)題仍出在機動(dòng)特性增強系統上。

In September 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives released a report stating that the crash of the Lion Air passenger plane in Indonesia was caused by a series of serious mistakes made by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing was aware of the errors and defects but deliberately concealed them, while the Federal Aviation Administration was seriously negligent in its approval and supervision.

2020年9月,美國國會(huì )眾議院發(fā)布報告稱(chēng),印尼獅航客機失事是波音公司及美國聯(lián)邦航空管理局“犯下了一系列嚴重錯誤”共同導致的。波音公司明知有錯誤缺陷卻故意隱瞞,而美國聯(lián)邦航空管理局在審批監管上嚴重失職。
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In January 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a criminal lawsuit against Boeing, accusing it of conspiring to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration. Within a few days, Boeing reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice: Boeing paid a fine of $243.6 million and $2.5136 billion in compensation, and the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to postpone the prosecution of Boeing, provided that Boeing must comply with the obligations stipulated in the three-year deferred prosecution agreement, after which the charges will be dropped.

2021年1月,美國司法部對波音提起刑事訴訟,指控其密謀欺騙聯(lián)邦航空管理局。沒(méi)幾天,波音公司就與美國司法部達成和解協(xié)議:波音支付2.436億美元的罰款和25.136億美元的賠償,美國司法部則同意推遲對波音公司的起訴,前提是波音必須遵守三年延期起訴協(xié)議中規定的義務(wù),此后該指控將被撤銷(xiāo)。

That was what happened. But Boeing was unable to recover from the scandal when it blamed two low-level employees and then the whistleblower died.

這就是事情的經(jīng)過(guò)。但是,波音當時(shí)把責任推卸給了兩名低級別職員,隨后又出現了“吹哨人”死亡事件,波音沒(méi)能從丑聞中擺脫出來(lái)。
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Two "whistleblowers" died one after another

兩名“吹哨人”先后死亡

Boeing employs thousands of quality control personnel, including John Barnett, quality manager at Boeing's North Charleston plant, which builds the 787 Dreamliner.

波音雇傭了數千名質(zhì)量監管人員,在波音北查爾斯頓工廠(chǎng)擔任質(zhì)量經(jīng)理的約翰·巴內特是其中一位。這個(gè)工廠(chǎng)主要生產(chǎn)波音787夢(mèng)想飛機。

As early as 2016, Barnett reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that some substandard parts were used in the production of Boeing 787, but his report was not taken seriously. The following year, Barnett was forced to retire.

早在2016年,巴內特就曾向美國聯(lián)邦航空管理局舉報波音787生產(chǎn)中使用了一些不合格零件,但他的舉報沒(méi)有得到重視。第二年,巴內特就被逼退休。

After two air crashes in 2018 and 2019, Boeing's quality issues caused widespread concern. Barnett once again stood up and broke the news to the media, saying that workers under high pressure deliberately installed substandard parts on the aircraft on the production line. In addition, tests showed that a quarter of the breathing masks installed on 787 passenger aircraft might not be activated, etc.

2018年—2019年兩起空難事件發(fā)生后,波音的質(zhì)量問(wèn)題引發(fā)普遍擔憂(yōu),巴內特再次站出來(lái)向媒體爆料,稱(chēng)高壓下的工人故意在生產(chǎn)線(xiàn)上為飛機安裝不合標準的零件。此外,測試表明,安裝在787客機上的呼吸面罩有四分之一可能無(wú)法啟動(dòng),等等。

Barnett thus became the representative of Boeing's "whistleblower" and actively participated in the "inside story disclosure" activities against Boeing.

巴內特由此成為波音“吹哨人”的代表,積極參與針對波音公司的“揭發(fā)內幕案件”活動(dòng)。

On March 9 of this year, Barnett was supposed to appear in court for an investigation related to Boeing, but was found dead in a truck in the hotel parking lot.

今年3月9日,巴內特本應出庭接受一場(chǎng)與波音相關(guān)的調查問(wèn)詢(xún),結果被發(fā)現死于酒店停車(chē)場(chǎng)的卡車(chē)里。

The US police confirmed in May that he had committed suicide. However, a close friend of Barnett revealed that Barnett had a premonition that something might happen to him, so he told his friends not to believe any news that he had committed suicide.

美國警方5月確認他為“自殺”。但與巴內特關(guān)系親密的朋友爆料稱(chēng),巴內特已提前預感到了自己可能會(huì )出事,因此告訴朋友,如果有消息稱(chēng)他自殺了,不要相信這件事情。

On April 30, the second whistleblower, Joshua Dean, died of a sudden illness at the age of 45. Dean was a quality inspector at Spirit Aerosystems, a major supplier to Boeing. After the cabin door of a Boeing 737 aircraft suddenly fell off in January this year, he reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that senior quality management personnel on the production line that Spirit supplied Boeing 737 aircraft had serious misconduct.

4月30日,第二位“吹哨人”喬舒亞·迪安又突發(fā)疾病去世,年僅45歲。迪安是波音主要供應商勢必銳航空系統公司的質(zhì)量檢測員。今年1月波音737飛機突發(fā)艙門(mén)脫落事故后,他曾向美國聯(lián)邦航空管理局舉報稱(chēng),勢必銳為波音737飛機供貨生產(chǎn)線(xiàn)上的高級質(zhì)量管理人員存在嚴重的不當行為。

The Seattle Times reported that Dean had always been in good health, lived a healthy lifestyle, exercised, and paid close attention to his diet.

而《西雅圖時(shí)報》報道說(shuō),迪安生前身體一向很好,生活方式健康,保持鍛煉,對飲食十分注意。

These two whistleblower deaths have once again drawn outside attention to Boeing's quality issues and internal scandals.

這兩起“吹哨人”死亡事件,令外界再次關(guān)注到波音的質(zhì)量問(wèn)題和內部黑幕。

The hearing confrontation did not touch upon the real key points

聽(tīng)證會(huì )上的對峙并沒(méi)有觸及真正的關(guān)鍵問(wèn)題

At a hearing on June 18, Boeing CEO Calhoun attributed Boeing's current problems to "safety culture" issues, while U.S. lawmakers attending the hearing criticized Calhoun for not resigning immediately after the safety issues were repeatedly exposed. Such confrontations actually did not touch the real key points.

在6月18日的聽(tīng)證會(huì )上,波音首席執行官卡爾霍恩把波音現在存在的問(wèn)題歸結為“安全文化”問(wèn)題,而參會(huì )的美國議員們則炮轟卡爾霍恩為何不在安全問(wèn)題屢遭曝光后立即辭職。這樣的交鋒其實(shí)都沒(méi)有觸及真正要害。
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Boeing once pursued an engineering culture that valued quality, but after acquiring McDonnell Douglas for a huge sum of money in 1997, the pursuit of maximum returns and providing the capital market with beautiful financial reports became the mainstream culture. At that time, of Boeing's 18-member executive team, only one person was actually from Boeing.

波音曾經(jīng)追求重視質(zhì)量的工程師文化,但在1997年以巨資收購麥道后,追求最大收益、給資本市場(chǎng)提供漂亮財報成為主流文化。當時(shí)波音18人的高管團隊中,真正來(lái)自波音的只剩下1人。

In the 1990s, especially after Clinton came to power, financial regulation was relaxed and many American companies, like Boeing, turned to pursuing huge profits in the financial market and abandoned their original manufacturing traditions.

而上世紀90年代,特別是克林頓上臺后,放開(kāi)了金融監管,許多美國企業(yè)都像波音一樣,轉去追求金融市場(chǎng)的暴利,放棄了制造業(yè)的原有傳統。
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On the other hand, in order to resist hostile takeovers in the capital market, large American companies have been competing to hire executives with high salaries and setting up golden parachute clauses, allowing executives to receive huge compensation after being fired or leaving their positions. Under this mechanism, the relationship between corporate executives and the company and employees has become increasingly alienated, and they are not eager to discover and solve problems.

另一方面,為了抵御資本市場(chǎng)的惡意收購,美國大企業(yè)爭相用高薪聘請高管,而且設置了金色降落傘條款,讓高管被解聘或離開(kāi)崗位后仍能獲取巨額補償。在這種機制下,企業(yè)高管與企業(yè)和員工的關(guān)系越發(fā)背離和疏遠,發(fā)現并解決問(wèn)題的態(tài)度并不迫切。

In 2023, Calhoun received approximately $32.7 million in compensation, an increase of approximately 45% from 2022. In stark contrast, Boeing has been losing money since 2019.

2023年,卡爾霍恩獲得了約3270萬(wàn)美元的薪酬,較2022年提高約45%。與之形成鮮明對比的是,波音從2019年以來(lái)一直虧損。

In fact, the average salary of American executives is soaring at the fastest rate in 14 years, and Calhoun is not the most special one. He has announced his resignation at the end of this year, and whether Boeing can get rid of the scandal is not so important to him.

其實(shí),美國高管的平均薪酬正以14年來(lái)最快速度猛漲,卡爾霍恩不是最特殊的一個(gè)。他已宣布今年底離職,波音能否從丑聞中擺脫出來(lái)對他來(lái)說(shuō)并不那么重要。

Another special feature of Boeing is that its main business consists of three parts, in addition to commercial aircraft and global services, there is also the Boeing Defense, Space and Security Group related to the military industry. This is the territory of the military industry, and not everyone can touch it.

波音的另一個(gè)特殊性在于,其主營(yíng)業(yè)務(wù)由三塊組成,除商用飛機和全球服務(wù)外,還有與軍工相關(guān)的波音防務(wù)、空間與安全集團。這是軍工業(yè)的地盤(pán),并非誰(shuí)都能觸碰。

Therefore, although the June 18 hearing was embarrassing for Boeing and Calhoun, it was actually just scratching the surface. Under the protection of a series of various "umbrellas", it is impossible for a "whistleblower" alone to uncover Boeing's inside story.

因此,盡管6月18日的聽(tīng)證會(huì )讓波音和卡爾霍恩頗為難堪,但它實(shí)際上只是觸及了表面。在一系列各種“傘”的保護下,僅靠“吹哨人”,不可能揭開(kāi)波音的內幕。