US blames Boeing, FAA failures for 737 MAX crashes

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Two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed all 346 passengers and crew on board was caused by failures by the planemaker and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This was contained in a report released on Wednesday by a US House panel after concluding an 18-month investigation.

The report claimed that the crashes were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event.

“They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA,” the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Democratic majority said in the report.

The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 near Addis Ababa which killed all 157 aboard. In October 2018, a Lion Air 737 MAX also crashed in Indonesia killing all 189 on board.

“Boeing failed in its design and development of the MAX, and the FAA failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft,” the report said.

Boeing said it had cooperated fully with the House committee and that revised design work on the 737 MAX had received intensive internal and external review involving more than 375,000 engineering and testing hours and 1,300 test flights.

The FAA said in a statement it would work with lawmakers “to implement improvements identified in its report.”

It added it was “focused on advancing overall aviation safety by improving our organization, processes, and culture.”

The report said Boeing made “faulty design and performance assumptions” especially regarding a key safety system, called MCAS, which was linked to both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.

It also criticized Boeing for withholding “crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 MAX pilots” including “concealing the very existence of MCAS from 737 MAX pilots.”

Lawmakers suggested Boeing was motivated to cut costs and move quickly to get the 737 MAX to market.

A Senate committee will take up a reform bill later on Wednesday.




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