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March 2, 2024
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Airbus is testing new systems on an A350 that gather information on passengers and their in-flight behavior.  This article from CNBC talks about the data being gathered on an A350 testbed that has sensors on lavatory doors, overhead bins, and seats, with the data integrated through the in flight entertainment system.  Shades of George Orwell and Big Brother is watching you.

In addition, small camera have been installed on board to measure the queues for restrooms to determine wait times and optimize the number of bathrooms on board.  The era of big data appears to be expanding to include passenger behavior.  The question is how far it will go, and do others, as it do, find this a bit creepy?

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Mark Forkner, Boeing’s chief technical pilot on the MAX project, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in response to a grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in conjunction with their investigation into the design and certification of the aircraft.  

The use of the Fifth Amendment to resist a subpoena is uncommon, and is possibly being utilized as a negotiation ploy between prosecutors and defense attorneys.  Mr. Forkner is now a first officer with Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of the 737 MAX aircraft.

Compounding the MAX problems for Boeing, the 777X failed a pressurization test late last week, causing a likely further delay in that already behind schedule program.  This setback comes just after news from GE that engine issues will further delay the airplane.  This is not good news for Boeing, which can’t seem to get a plane finished on time and on budget that is trouble free.


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