Boeing 737 MAX crashes: report accuses ‘horrific culmination’ of failures Economic News

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An 18-month investigation into two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that left 356 people dead identified a “gruesome end” of outages at the company and among regulators.

The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released its highly critical report as the aerospace company continues efforts to bring the 737 MAX planes back to the skies after they were all grounded in March of Last year.

The decision to remove them from service followed the demise of Vol 302 d’Ethiopian Airlines outside of Addis Ababa.

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American Airlines 737 MAX passenger planes are parked on the tarmac at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma

All 157 on board were killed.

Six months earlier, a Lion Air The 737 MAX, carrying 189 passengers and crew, crashed in Indonesia.

The report focused on development activities at Boeing and on scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after official accident reports blamed flight control software for both crashes.

He accused the aircraft manufacturer of not disclosing crucial information to the watchdog and pilots and said the FAA “had failed to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”

He said: “The accidents were not the result of a singular failure, a technical error or a badly managed event.

“They were the horrific culmination of a series of flawed technical assumptions on the part of Boeing engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing management, and clearly insufficient oversight by the FAA. “

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Dennis Muilenburg resigned as chief executive of Boeing late last year to “restore confidence” in the company

The report detailed a series of issues with the aircraft’s design and FAA approval.

The focus was on the flight control software, known as MCAS.

The investigative team uncovered “faulty design and performance assumptions” in the system, which was believed to help counter a tendency for the MAX to rise and could be activated by data from a single sensor.

The FAA, which has vowed to work with the committee to improve its oversight regime, remains the biggest hurdle as Boeing continues efforts to return the MAX fleet to service.

A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft lands following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. - U.S. regulators conducted the first test flight of the Boeing 737 MAX on Monday, a key step in recertifying the aircraft that has been grounded for more than a year following two fatal crashes.  A MAX plane took off from Boeing Field in Seattle at 4:55 p.m. GMT, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said.  (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images)
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Boeing seeks clearance from US and EU regulators to return MAX fleet to service

Test flights were allowed to resume in June, but the regulator has since required additional design work.

The company has been forced to compensate airlines hit by the grounding as the global aviation industry is shrinking furiously to account for collapsing travel demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Boeing’s total bill is in the tens of billions of dollars.

In a statement, the company said it had “learned a lot of hard lessons” from the mistakes it made.

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