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World US transport department faults aviation body over Boeing 737 MAX

08:16  25 february  2021
08:16  25 february  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

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Safety fixes after the first Boeing 737 MAX crash became snarled in Federal Aviation Administration delays and repetitive analyses, wasting any chance U . S . regulators had to prevent the second fatal accident, according to an investigation by the Transportation Department ’s internal watchdog. Sluggish response, lack of urgency contributed to second deadly crash, inspector general indicates. Boeing ’s two 737 MAX crashes and the investigation that followed ruined not just the aircraft manufacturer’s reputation but also its bottom line. WSJ’s aviation reporters break down how the

The US Department of Transportation , Congress and the Justice Department are spearheading the inquiries into what the Federal Aviation Administration may have overlooked when it said the aircraft was safe. This comes as the White House announces its new pick to head the beleaguered agency.

The United States Department of Transportation inspector general has faulted “weaknesses” in US government certification of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that was grounded for 20 months after two crashes killed 346 people, according to a new report.

a large air plane flying in the sky: Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft re-entered US commercial service in December after the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes the planemaker made to an automated flight-control system implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia [File: Mike Siegel/Pool via Reuters] © The grounding of the 737 MAX and the coronavirus have severely dented Boeing's profits [File: Mike S... Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft re-entered US commercial service in December after the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes the planemaker made to an automated flight-control system implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia [File: Mike Siegel/Pool via Reuters]

The 63-page report released on Wednesday said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not have a complete understanding of a Boeing Co safety system tied to both crashes.

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The following is a list of accidents and incidents involving the Boeing family of jet airliners, including the Boeing 737 Original ( 737 -100/200), Boeing 737 Classic ( 737 -300/-400/-500)

The Boeing design requirements for the 737 MAX included the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature, in keeping with Boeing ’s fundamental design philosophy of retaining commonality with the 737 NG. In 2017, within several months after beginning 737 MAX deliveries, engineers at The Joint Operational Evaluation Board (JOEB), a multi-regulatory body established to look primarily at the order and priority of checklists and memory items. It is composed of pilots from civil aviation authorities and airline flight crews from the United States , Canada, Brazil and the European Union and is tasked

It also said “much work remains to address weaknesses in FAA’s certification guidance and processes” and cited “management and oversight weaknesses”.

The 737 MAX re-entered commercial service in the US in December after the FAA approved changes that Boeing made to an automated flight-control system implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing agreed to a $2.5bn settlement with the US Department of Justice in January into the MAX as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, a form of corporate plea bargain.

The FAA agreed to implement all 14 recommendations in the Department of Transportation report and said it “has already made substantial progress towards implementing reforms that address some of your recommendations.”

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The Transportation Department 's Inspector General has opened an investigation into the Federal Aviation Administration's approval of Boeing 's 737 Max planes, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Boeing is closer to getting the troubled 737 Max back in service as the Federal Aviation Administration said agency pilots will begin test flights of the plane as early as Monday.

Boeing said it has “undertaken significant changes to reinforce our safety practices, and we have already made progress” on recommendations outlined in the report.

The report noted “instances where the same company engineer worked on a particular design and then approved the design” as a Boeing employee conducting certification tasks for the FAA.

‘Adequately independent’

The report added FAA needs to do more to ensure personnel conducting certification tasks “are adequately independent.” It was the second report by the inspector general’s office into the fatal crashes. The first, issued in June, disclosed Boeing had failed to submit documents to the FAA.

In December, Congress passed legislation reforming how the FAA certifies aeroplanes, especially the longstanding practice of delegating some certification tasks to manufacturers.

The report urges the FAA to “incorporate lessons” from the accidents into “implementing a risk-based approach” in delegating oversight and said reforms “will be vital to restore confidence in FAA’s certification process and ensure the highest level of safety in future certification efforts”.

The new law boosts the FAA’s oversight of aircraft manufacturers, requires disclosure of critical safety information and new whistle-blower protections.

The legislation requires an independent review of Boeing’s safety culture.

The FAA said it is encouraging manufacturers to engage earlier in “their development process to provide the agency a better understanding of novel features.”

It is also working with other civil aviation authorities “to evaluate certification requirements for derivative aircraft, thus ensuring a consistent worldwide approach to safety and the similar evaluation and treatment of design changes.”

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