The second documentary in 2022 to criticize the defunct airline firm Boeing, whose carelessness and avarice led to two jet catastrophes that killed a combined 346 people, is Amazon Prime Video’s Flight/Risk. The movie is Amazon’s response to Netflix’s Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, both of which use the relatives of the victims, journalists, and specialists to convey a tale of corporate greed and corruption that is horrifying and upsetting regardless of who is presenting it.
When Ethiopian Airlines Aircraft 302 crashed in March 2019, Zipporah Kuria, a Londoner, lost her father. She adds, “The world truly lost the nicest sort of individuals on that flight.” Lion Air Flight 610 had fallen into the Java Sea close to Indonesia five months earlier. And two months before, Ed Pierson of Boeing forewarned his superiors that such catastrophes would occur. The 737 MAX, a brand-new commercial passenger aircraft that was in strong demand, was being produced under the management of Pierson. Because the stakes were so high, Boeing began taking shortcuts to keep the production line going, the airlines satisfied, and the cash coming in. The corporation was recognized for its “great safety record” and “amazing dependability,” therefore this went against such a reputation.
So what took place? Capitalism. Airbus, a European firm, was its lone rival. After Boeing and aerospace giant McDonnell Douglas combined in 1997, analysts saw that monitoring and a dedication to quality had diminished. Pierson raised the alarm and obtained legal counsel. As a civil lawyer for Kuria and other relatives of 737 MAX disaster victims, Justin Green, a former pilot who survived a helicopter crash and a commercial airplane splitting in half just after landing, is introduced to us. Although he is aware that money cannot take away their suffering, the law establishes accountability and compensation in this manner. To counteract Boeing’s attempt to represent victims as lines on spreadsheets, he makes sure his clients attend hearings and protests with posters featuring close-up photographs of their deceased loved ones.
We also meet Dominic Gates, a reporter for the Seattle Times who covered the Boeing scandal: Gates receives a call from a source; he meets the source using a burner phone and another person’s vehicle; the source’s face is obscured. Boeing appears to be willing to intimidate and retaliate against whistleblowers. Concerning that, we spend time with Pierson and his wife Michelle, who tightly grips his hand and frequently sports a frightened look. When he finds out that Boeing is cozying up to the Federal Aviation Administration, the government agency tasked with overseeing safety, he becomes enraged and agitated and testifies at congressional hearings while investigators look into the disasters.
They conspired to undermine the crucial training that may have stopped the crashes. Boeing initially placed the responsibility on the pilots, then fired their CEO (who received a $62 million payout). Then, when more incriminating documents and evidence came to light, they shifted their focus to what they saw as the to be: a PR issue.