The head of the FAA gave some startling testimony today before Congress. Administrator Steve Dickson spoke about the Boeing 737 MAX jet, the plane that was involved in two fatal crashes that together killed hundreds of people. He said the FAA knew about the problems with the 737 MAX before the second crash.
The agency did an analysis that predicted more of the planes would crash, and yet the FAA let them keep flying.
After the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet in Indonesia in late October of last year, FAA safety analysts estimated that 15 more MAX planes would crash over the next few decades if Boeing didn't change its new automated flight control system, the MCAS system that repeatedly forced the Lion Air jet into fatal nosedives.
“Despite its own calculations, the FAA rolled the dice on the safety of the traveling public and let the MAX continue to fly until Boeing could overhaul its MCAS software,” said Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation Committee.
“Tragically, the FAA's analysis, which never saw the light of day beyond the closed doors of the FAA and Boeing, was correct.”
A second 737 MAX crashed in Ethiopia in March. And only then did the FAA order all 737 MAX airplanes grounded. FAA administrator Stephen Dickson, who only joined the agency in August, tried to defend the decision. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the NPR website.
Click here for the a video replay of the House Transportation Committee’s Dec. 11 hearing on the FAA’s oversight of the Boeing 737Max certification.