House of Representatives makes mincemeat of Boeing and FAA


In the 250-page parliamentary investigation report, delegates concluded that the fatal crashes with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines are not due to a single defect, technical error or mismanagement.

“They were the horrific sum of a series of erroneous technical assumptions by Boeing engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management and grossly inadequate oversight by the FAA,” Reuters said in the report.

Earlier this year it appeared that Boeing presented the new Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) – the malfunctioning of which led to the air disasters in 2018 and 2019 – as nothing more than an extension of an existing system. In this way, the company wanted to avoid extra certification costs and costly pilot training. The FAA has not intervened.

In a response, Boeing dons the fine cloth. “As a company, we have learned a lot of hard lessons from the accidents with Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and the mistakes we made.” As a company, the aircraft manufacturer emphasizes that it has also implemented “fundamental changes”, which is recognized in the report.

“Multiple committees, experts and government agencies have investigated MAX-related issues, and we have incorporated many of their recommendations, as well as the results of our own internal assessments, into the 737 MAX and the overall aircraft design process,” said Boeing.

Once the MAX is found safe by the FAA and other regulators and ready for return to service, Boeing says it will be one of the most thoroughly investigated aircraft ever. “We have complete confidence in its safety.” The MAX, which has been grounded worldwide since March 2019, may be allowed to fly again at the end of this year.

The FAA states in a response that it will implement the improvements recommended in the report. Parliamentarians have proposed reforms to restructure the way the FAA oversees aircraft certification. A senate committee will consider a reform bill on Wednesday.

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