Boeing Statement on the House T&I Committee Report on 737 MAX
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued Sept 16, 2020)
CHICAGO --- Boeing cooperated fully and extensively with the Committee’s inquiry since it began in early 2019. We have been hard at work strengthening our safety culture and rebuilding trust with our customers, regulators, and the flying public.
The passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, as well as their loved ones, continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
Multiple committees, experts, and governmental authorities have examined issues related to the MAX, and we have incorporated many of their recommendations, as well as the results of our own internal reviews, into the 737 MAX and the overall airplane design process.
The revised design of the MAX has received intensive internal and regulatory review, including more than 375,000 engineering and test hours and 1,300 test flights. Once the FAA and other regulators have determined the MAX can safely return to service, it will be one of the most thoroughly scrutinized aircraft in history, and we have full confidence in its safety.
We have also taken steps to bolster safety across our company, consulting outside experts and learning from best practices in other industries. We have set up a new safety organization to enhance and standardize safety practices, restructured our engineering organization to give engineers a stronger voice and a more direct line to share concerns with top management, created a permanent Aerospace Safety Committee of our Board of Directors as well as expanded the role of the Safety Promotion Center.
We have learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, and from the mistakes we have made.
As this report recognizes, we have made fundamental changes to our company as a result, and continue to look for ways to improve. Change is always hard and requires daily commitment, but we as a company are dedicated to doing the work.
Click here for our coverage of the House Transportation committee report on the 737 MAX crashes.
FAA Statement on House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Report
(Source: Federal Aviation Administration; issued Sept. 16, 2020)
The FAA is committed to continually advancing aviation safety and looks forward to working with the Committee to implement improvements identified in its report.
We are already undertaking important initiatives based on what we have learned from our own internal reviews as well as independent reviews of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents.
These initiatives are focused on advancing overall aviation safety by improving our organization, processes, and culture. Last month, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (PDF) (NPRM) for an airworthiness directive (AD) that will mandate a number of design changes to the Boeing 737 MAX before it returns to passenger service.
The FAA continues to follow a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to service.
US House Report: Boeing, FAA Failures to Blame for 737 MAX Crashes
(Source: Voice of America News; issued Sept 16, 2020)
WASHINGTON --- Two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed all 346 passengers and crew aboard were the "horrific culmination" of failures by the planemaker and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a U.S. House panel concluded after an 18-month investigation.
The crashes "were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event," the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Democratic majority said in its highly critical report released on Wednesday.
"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 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 had 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, detailing a series of problems in the plane's design and the FAA's approval of it.
Boeing said it "learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents ... and from the mistakes we have made."
It 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.
MCAS, which was designed to help counter a tendency of the MAX to pitch up, could be activated after data from only a single sensor.
The FAA is requiring new safeguards to MCAS, including requiring it receive data from two sensors, before it allows the 737 MAX to return to service.
The report 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."
The FAA "failed to ensure the safety of the traveling public," the report said.
Lawmakers have proposed numerous reforms to restructure how the FAA oversees aircraft certification. A Senate committee will take up a reform bill Wednesday.
Lawmakers suggested Boeing was motivated to cut costs and move quickly to get the 737 MAX to market.
"This is a tragedy that never should have happened," House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio told reporters.
"We're going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again as we reform the system."