To the editor: Joe Nocera’s commentary on Boeing Co.'s obsession with its stock price struck a nerve with me. He speaks of the destruction of the engineering culture at Boeing at the hands of a technically ignorant management.
I was there, witnessing the damage first hand. In the late 1990s, as member of a subcontractor team, I worked on the ground-based interceptor missile software. After my retirement from that company, I worked as a consultant to Boeing.
Boeing’s decline from a culture of engineering excellence to putting shareholder value above all else is a microcosm of today’s aerospace industry, which was once at the zenith of technical excellence in the defense of the nation but now pursues profit over all other objectives.
What keeps me awake at night is the fear that the industry is woefully unprepared to respond to a genuine strategic emergency.
Roy Danchick, Los Angeles
To the editor: Nocera’s scathing review of Boeing’s cultural shift from a sound and safe engineering environment to a toxic cost cutting please-the-shareholder commitment comes right out of a line from the 1998 movie “Armageddon”:
“You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?”
Michael Yamashiro, Chino Hills
To the editor: I’m not a pilot, but whatever happened to focusing on manual stick-and-rudder flying? Did Charles Lindbergh have software flying him for 33 hours across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927?
William Utvich, Rosamond