Boeing – a wing and a prayer not enough

Plus ca change. Boeing continues on a downhill slide with nuts, bolts, doors and wheels falling off. In 2019 their planes were grounded after the second accident within a few months, both with high mortality.

  There is nothing to suggest an improvement in their fortunes ahead.

 Their start chart, 15 July 1916, with a Sun Saturn in Cancer sextile Mars in Virgo has been under assault from tr Uranus in Aries and then tr Pluto in Capricorn since 2016 right through till recently and no sooner had that lifted than tr Neptune made a panicky-failure opposition to their Mars through 2022/2023 up to early February this year. No sooner has that lifted than tr Pluto starts a two year trawl from this April in hard aspect to their Neptune in Leo square Jupiter which could bring more scandals to light. In 2026/27 tr Saturn Neptune in Aries will undermine the financial Venus Pluto and that runs alongside three unnerving Solar Arcs.

  Nothing that looks like a successful reboot anytime soon.  Though there may be one lucky break in 2025 with the SA Jupiter opposing the Uranus.   

Post: March 13 2019

The EU, China, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates and others have ordered the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8, while investigators work to find the cause of an Ethio­pian Airlines crash that killed 157 this week. It appears similar to the same Boeing plane crash last October in Indonesia which killed 189 people.

  After Trump consulted with the Boeing CEO U.S. aviation safety officials decided not to issue a temporary ban on the plane. This was later reversed when evidence emerged suggesting similarities to the previous crash.

  Boeing was founded 15 July 1916 in Seattle, Washington has has tr Pluto opposing the Cancer Sun exactly now, and on and off till late 2020. It’s also had the discouraging tr Pluto opposition its Saturn last year and throughout this year as well. So a period of heavy challenges, hardship, deprivation and forced change under significant pressure.

   When the October 2018 crash occurred tr Saturn was opposition the Boeing Pluto Venus in Cancer – which is the chart area that was being heavily stressed in 2008 and the aftermath during the crash by tr Pluto in opposition.

   The Boeing Jupiter in Taurus square Neptune in Leo is being elbowed from mid April for two weeks, and again across the year end which is tricky to evaluate. Tr Uranus conjunct Jupiter should bring luck and relief but with Neptune involved it could burst a false-happiness, over-confidence bubble.

  What’s for sure is that 2021 will see setbacks of a major order as the Solar Arc Saturn opposes the Boeing Jupiter and squares the Neptune; followed in 2022/23 by the panicky-failure tr Neptune opposition the Boeing Mars.

24 thoughts on “Boeing – a wing and a prayer not enough

  1. Larry and Visitor 2, Could you put a finger on roughly when you think the rot set in and standards fell. It was well before Pluto in Capricorn for several industries I can think of. Trying to track what astro-wise accompanied the shift.

  2. Just because a company buys another doesn’t mean they aren’t liable for the mistakes of the previous owners. Plenty of pharmaceutical companies find themselves having to pay out in class action lawsuits for just owning the copyright to an unfortunate drug that might have been responsible for immense suffering or deaths.

    Actions from the past often have repercussions in the future. Even if you don’t necessarily see it. Certainly what happens in the middle east today can be the result of decisions made and treaties signed decades ago.

    While I appreciate that my original posting was irrelevant from your point of view, most conversations, or musings or opinions on a subject don’t stay completely rooted to one spot, rather they go off on tangents. Which to me given that this site is predominantly an astrological site very compelling. But you, like everyone else, are entitled to your opinion. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Visitor 2 my problems with Hughes Airwest happened in 1970. And until a few days ago I didn’ even know about the horrific crash that happened that year. When you are 12 years old the news isn’t something that you watch. I would have probably been doing my homework listening to records or reading a book. I don’t recall anyone even mentioning it. Which seems odd, considering the amount of travelling we did, or maybe not that surprising. However nobody in my family ever flew that airline, maybe it was a good thing.

    • But why bring up anything at all about Hughes Airwest, when this is an article about problems at Boeing in the last couple of decades? The title of the article isn’t “What’s your least favorite airline from decades before what this article is about?” Nothing about Airwest’s mismanagement fifty years ago has anything at all to do with Boeing’s manufacturing problems in the news today.

  4. I worked at Boeing many years ago. I agree with the other direct knowledge comments.

    I agree that it’s politically impossible to conceive of Boeing under foreign ownership or substantial control. We’ll pay an admission fee to China to go into the Lincoln Memorial, before we see a foreign-owned Boeing. Remember that Boeing isn’t just commercial jets, which bring in huge amounts of money in international trade deals, primarily selling aganst Europe’s directly government supported Airbus (while Boeing subsidies are more indirect). It’s not just money, it’s a huge symbol of the nation any time people travel. Boeing also makes military equipment, and it directly employs over 150,000 across several states, plus many contractors.

    A jet airliner is an incredibly complicated machine. The joke is that it’s actually a million parts flying in formation. Building them is incredibly complicated. It really does require a lot of coordination. Those who’ve studied beauracracy say that whenever there’s a system of power, would-be empire builders try to put themselves into it and don’t care much about its original purpose of service. Boeing’s a perfect example.

    The rot had started when I was there. Most bosses wanted to build the best airliners, some only wanted to build personal empires. My boss was one of the good guys, trying hard to have design and manufacturing work together to streamline production so it could stay local. Meanwhile some empire-building management used trivial rules to hang on to personal power as their top priority, above reasonable engineering decisions.

    Up until a few years ago I wondered if I should have regrets about leaving when I did. The last few years have made me stop wondering that. Even if 155,000 of 156,000 employees are still conscientious and excellent workers, it might be best to not have it on a current resume.

    737 Max initial problems were from trying to have software lie to the pilots about physical reality of the plane’s condition, so that airlines would not need training costs for pilots in a new type of plane. The software was offshored to compliant lowest bidders in India. It’s tragic but no surprise that the same corner cutting mentality also led to bad bolts.

    I still hope for housecleaning at the top that could let the company be once more guided by engineers dedicated to making the best, safest machines.

    • In another sector, I cut my eye teeth in microchips at Western Electric. As you alluded, “some empire-building management used trivial rules to hang on to personal power as their top priority, above reasonable engineering decisions.” Fear of the Japanese chip industry was always the rallying cry – not to let them steal our marketplace. Still and all, upper mgmt, unions, and captive buyers refused to adjust to the reality of improved yields, reduced prices, and better reliability from offshore-foundried chips.

      Eventually, Ma Bell was put on life support…then put on the market..and finally placed into its grave.

      Same story with National Semi, Fairchild, Honeywell, Texas instruments, and Mostek. Fairchild would lay off employees with an innovative trick: trigger a practice fire alarm drill, and as employees returned to work, their badges were confiscated. Talk about trust in mgmt.

      The chip industry fell onto its face and sword. Never recovered. Now there is new “panic” to chip making…Intel to build a monster factory…but in Israel?

      • Interesting experience, Larry. I knew an early Unix guru from Bell Labs, who had some interesting stories about engineering and management attitudes there. Later he worked at Intel.

        Of course Fairchild itself came from the “treacherous eight” who couldn’t stand Shockley’s bullying. If the fire drill scam is true, what a brutal thing for Fairchild managers to then do themselves as the same kind of bullies. One rumor is that Itanium’s failure has a lot to do with HP, Intel’s design partner, having already gone into this corporate decline cycle. HP used bean counting mentality to get lots of inexperienced young engineers rather than invest in older experts. “They don’t know anything but look how cheap they are!” I don’t know of anyone who died from the Pentium math bug or the Itanic, but these hits to corporate reputation for excellence were on a comparable level as 737 Max for Boeing.

        IBM’s now been hollowed out the same way, with lawsuits about age discrimination. There may be an astrology story in “why do America’s most respected technology companies keep stomping on and throwing away the people who know how to do the best work?” I wonder if the Pluto from Capricorn to Pisces transition will signal an end to these destructive ways? Or given the need for both precision and ingenuity, are Saturn and Uranus more important?

        Intel long had an engineers-first culture, with no executive dining room or deluxe corner offices. Although a conference room’s readily available to him, they still have their CEO in a cubicle like any engineer. The Intel board is hoping an experienced engineer can turn things around, after a while with bean counters in charge. I’d like to see Boeing’s board put an engineering focused executive in charge for a similar return to engineering focus, for what should be an engineering company, not a stock buyback company.

        Israel has long had a history of excellent world-class mathematicians and engineers. Intel started with a design team there in 1974, based on good experiences with an Israeli engineer who’d emigrated to the U.S. Why not capture the lighting in a bottle of that expertise at the source? Intel has had manufacturing plants in Israel for decades, now with over 10,000 workers across multiple facilities. Some of its most important successful chip designs came from its Israeli design team. Intel’s in the middle of a 15 year investment plan for its Israel facilities. Search for “Intel history in Israel” for articles you’d like find interesting.

        It’s hardly something where you can instantly pull the plug without massive harm to the company. Replacing those facilities elsewhere would take many years and tens of billions of dollars, and risk breaking up decades of institutional learning about obscure and important aspects of chip making, one of humanity’s most complex endeavors ever… along with making jet airliners. If Intel completely pulled out they’d cause huge unemployment of some of the best & brightest for both Intel and Israel, while flushing away a big share of the company’s production capacity. Is even Intel big enough to survive chopping off a leg for the greater good, hoping the trail will still be available to walk on when the leg eventually grows back?

        I fear we’d be heading too far afield from an article on Boeing to continue the digression much further here, although the root of the rot seems similar with all these engineering giants that turn into embarrassing shells of their old selves. Boeing’s the most prominent example right now, but there’s something going on in the long term that’s much deeper than this one company’s woes. Boeing’s problems are a very large tip of a very big iceberg.

        • I don’t know anything about the engineering industry but in publishing, media and movies there has been a similar problem with a move away from the old professionals who knew and loved the business and the money men who came in who care about nothing other than what makes a profit. In the short term they make money but then they wreck the business since there is no love for the product and it shows.

          • I feel like that has happened in almost every business as we’ve gone through Pluto in Capricorn. It’s particularly because businesses employ MBAs who all follow the same approach to running companies which is basically to manage by budgets It’s also a result of the pay-for-performance culture that has slowly taken over many sectors.

            Many of the experienced teachers, police officers, soldiers, firefighters, nurses who did the job because it was a vocation have taken early retirement because they can and they don’t want to be managed by targets or proving their capability by reams of paperwork.

            The new influx are graduates, at least in police and nursing where it used to be enough to have 5 ‘O’ levels including maths and English and who are somewhat treated with contempt by the older staff who know what the actual job involves.

            As much as they may think they’re doing it because they love the job, the Pluto in Scorpio generation who are mostly taking up these roles are now in it for a career and earning money.

            As I say, Pluto in Capricorn – interested in the status and money rather than looking deeply over to Cancer to find its vocation and what it loves doing.

        • V2: the thought hit me yesterday afternoon: the local Boeing factory employed 21,000 some 15 yrs ago. I believe the word “institutionalized” comes to mind. Eveyone will live out their lives in lock-step with their colleagues. “Oops! It’s 11am! Time for lunch!”, and everyone heads for the escalaters. Same with Lockheed-Martin, Western Electric, and all the other big name companies “Texas style”.

          In 2009, Boeing mgmt tried blaming the culture on entitled, rich engineers who refused to “work hard”. How does someone “work hard” at a desk job…?

  5. Hughes Airwest was the one airline I refused point blank to fly. My family found this funny and would ask why? I would joke and say that it looked like it was held together with rubber bands. But the truth was that everytime I saw one of their planes, I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It just gave me the creeps! No other airline gave me that feeling.

    • Hughes Airwest’s problems had nothing to do with the airplanes Boeing made at the time. Hughes also had planes from other manufacturers. You’re right that Hughes was questionable, but the defective Air Force fighter and the hijacker were both not caused by them.
      In any event, that airline which was bought out all the way back in 1980 is irrelevant for this article about the decline in the quality and safety of the planes made by Boeing in recent decades.

  6. PNW native here. Many friends and family who work/ed for Boeing. Their corporate culture changed in the early 2000’s when they moved their corporate HQ from Seattle to Chicago. There are 2 Boeing Airplane plants in Washington State-Renton and Everett and many smaller assembly sites scattered about the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett area. Prior to the move workers and the union had an easier time alerting upper management and executives to issue w/ parts, assembly, etc. When the HQ move that connection was lost.

    Then 10 years after the Chicago move, they built their first plant in South Carolina, a “Right-to-Work” State, where they could play lower wages. All the plants in Washington are union-strong union. Eventually, workers in the South Carolina plant realized how much less they were getting than the union workers in Washington and started to organize w/ IAM. However, Boeing squashed that w/ lots of help of Nikki Haley when she was Governor. She is a proud “Union Buster”. They are have been some quality issues w/ that plant and one year several the fuselages that were being transported from South Carolina to Washington were ruined when the trains carrying them derailed (a touch of Karma, perhaps?).

    Anyways, it is sad to watch the former #1 airplane manufacturer decline so quickly in the past decade. Perhaps they should pay more attention when their workers raise concerns about issues w/ parts and assembly.

    • “… it is sad to watch the former #1 airplane manufacturer decline so quickly in the past decade. Perhaps they should pay more attention when their workers raise concerns about issues w/ parts and assembly.”

      Former Boeing engineer and SPEEA union rep here – some truth to what you post but the larger issue is that raising concerns will affect performance reviews…and bonus payouts. Boeing demands proskynesis from its worker bees…a solemn gesture of respect for the gods and people; among the Persians, it referred to a man prostrating himself and kissing the earth, or the limbs of a respected person.

      If no such solumn gesture of respect is offered, then the manager and employee find an empty room and the employee is given last rites.

  7. Live in the PNW and have tons of friends and family that work/ed at Boeing. In the 90’s the culture changed. Corporate used to be in Seattle and the union/workers could bring issues about the planes, parts, and manufacturing to Executives attention more easily. Boeing moved their Corporate HQ to Chicago. The newer plants are in South Carolina, a “Right-to-Work” state to avoid building more planes in the Seattle area were all their plants and workers are unionized. When the South Carolina workers found out how much better the union workers in Washington were doing, they tried to Unionize, but then Governor Nikki Haley blocked it.

    They have issues at the South Carolina plant and lost several fuselages when they were being transported from South Carolina to Washington serveral years ago when the trains carrying them derailed (a bit of karma, perhaps?). They have their West Seattle, Renton, and Everett plants, and tons of fulfillment center all over the Seattle-Tacoma area.

    Sad to see their standards slip. They used to be the #1 plane maker in the world.

    • “They have their West Seattle, Renton, and Everett plants, and tons of fulfillment center all over the Seattle-Tacoma area.

      Sad to see their standards slip. They used to be the #1 plane maker in the world.”

      Yes, tons of fulfillment centers.

      What in Ned does that mean? Someplace where we park our pickup trucks and load up on fullfilment toys?

      Boeing has become the trademark of laziness. Why else do recruiters chuckle over the nickname “The Lazy B”? When another a/c falls from the sky, will Boeing admit to just another “mistake”? Oopsie.

      As to your opening statements, you have romanticised the home team. But it is the only game in town…and keeps shifting HQ around the country.

  8. Intriguing to know more about Boeing’s hiring practices. Do they consider other qualities before merit?

    The doomed OceanGate Expeditions preferred not to hire “50-year-old White guys” with military experience to pilot the company’s vessels.

    They wanted “inspirational” over experience, noting that “anybody can drive the sub,” which is controlled with a $30 video game controller.

    Isn’t that sort of fantastical thinking unsurprising when Neptune is in Pisces?

    • Depends what job is being hired to fill. No easy answer. Also depends on the factory location and past ethnic/demographic/personality preferences exist.

      There are no easy answers. B prefers mgmt candidates who are 1)bottom boys or 2) hard-core/tough-love types.

  9. “In 2026/27 tr Saturn Neptune in Aries will undermine the financial Venus Pluto and that runs alongside three unnerving Solar Arcs.”

    Former acquaintence of mine strongly suggested that The Lazy B could become acquired by an outside/offshore party. Maybe Tata? India has money for such dalliances.

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