New Republic has a very good recent article on the Boeing 737 MAX, titled “Crash Course.”
Overall, the article appeared to be written by a non-expert journalist. For example, airline accidents in Indonesia are in fact very common. But overall the collection of facts rings true and is a good summary to date.
It’s the first time I’ve seen the $1 million per airplane penalty mentioned that Boeing would owe to Southwest if sim training would be needed.
Essentially, that perverse incentive is likely the root cause for everything that followed.
It would be interesting to interview the people involved in negotiating that. Because airliner accidents often end airlines.
It’s also interesting that FAA staff didn’t want to work on the certification. The only other time I’ve heard of misgivings like that is for high-risk warbird and amphibious checkrides.