Monday, 14 October, 2019

Review faults Boeing, FAA for 737 MAX troubles

More than 340 people were killed in two crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max More than 340 people were killed in two crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max
Steven Clarke | 12 October, 2019, 04:25

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not adequately review the new automated safety system in Boeing's 737 Max, an worldwide panel has found.

Earlier on Friday, an global aviation panel criticized USA regulators and Boeing over the certification of the plane.

The report goes on to criticize the FAA for lacking sufficient personnel with the expertise needed to fully evaluate such complex systems.

Boeing pledged to work with the FAA on the recommendations.

The JATR was established within weeks of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max near Addis Ababa that killed all 157 aboard and prompted the worldwide grounding of the jet days later.

American Airlines says Boeing 737 Max will be back in service in January.

Inquiries have shown the software - and the failure of sensors - contributed to pilots not being able to control the aircraft.

Much of the Max's design was approved by Boeing engineers who were effectively deputized to act in behalf of the FAA.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported a key certification test flight would likely not take place until at least November 1, a move that will push its approval to resume flights until at least December.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Vegas Golden Knights - 10/10/19 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
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The new report echoed AFP reporting showing company officials and the FAA knew about the issues with the flight handling system, but the USA regulators deferred to Boeing and approved the MAX without independently studying or testing the flight system.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said Friday the agency would respond to all recommendations in the "unvarnished" review.

But the problem remains: if certification depends on Boeing marking its own homework, how can the FAA be sure it's doing the job properly?

There were "an inadequate number of FAA specialists" assigned to the 737 Max's new design and they "had inadequate awareness" of the system implicated in the two crashes, the report said.

The review also found "signs of undue pressure" on Boeing employees performing tasks for the FAA, "which may be attributed to conflicting priorities and an environment that does not support FAA requirements".

"With adequate FAA engagement and oversight, the extent of delegation does not in itself compromise safety", states the report, which is scheduled to be released officially later today (Oct. 11).

The panel included members from USA agencies, and aviation regulators from Europe and eight foreign countries including Canada and China.

The FAA pledged it would act on the report's recommendations.

Boeing, which has blamed the crashes on erroneous data fed into the system, called safety a "core value".

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