Boeing fails to turn over 737 Max design records to investigators

Clay Curtis
Мая 18, 2019

The 737 MAX 8 is now grounded worldwide after the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that killed all 157 people onboard and drew scrutiny to the new Boeing model's anti-stall system, which investigators believe may have brought the jet down.

She said the FAA appeared to be rushing to approve Boeing's fixes to the MAX even before the accident investigations were finished - something that could take many months.

"The use of this outside third party review on un-grounding the airplanes in the future, and their establishment of a blue ribbon commission, using authorities that we put into the FAA law a year ago to look at the broader certification of airplanes is an important step as well", Congressman Larsen said.

They told Elwell that the closeness between Boeing and the FAA may be one of the reasons it took the agency a relatively long time to ground the Boeing jets.

ELWELL: I, at the beginning, when I first heard of this, thought that the MCAS should have been more adequately explained in the ops manual and the flight manual.

"If we have robust oversight, and we have all the protections in place to guard against conflicts of interest or undue pressure, which I believe we now have, it's a good system", Elwell said.

Representative Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat who chaired the hearing, said he would press for answers to ensure safety. In total, 346 people died in the two crashes.

CBS News obtained audio of American Airlines pilots complaining to a Boeing official past year that even they were not informed about the new system. Boeing said in a statement that the plane was certified "in full accordance" with FAA procedures.

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"I think we have a long way to go before we talk about autonomous ships because we need to have modern management practices in the office first, modern attitudes towards technology, and modern approaches to the implementation of the technology", he stated. A new feature on the plane called MCAS played a role in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. He described how the FAA was involved in test flights and was involved in the safety analysis of the MCAS system.

"These guys didn't even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else", said Mike Michaelis, head of safety for the pilot's union.

"The public perception is you were in bed with those you were supposed to be regulating", Nevada's Dina Titus said, while committee chairman Peter DeFazio wanted to know "How can we have a single point of failure on a modern aircraft?"

Boeing is refreshing the framework, known as MCAS.

Representative Sam Graves, Republican of Missouri, said the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes illustrated problems with pilot training and with the capacity of overseas regulators.

Boeing said last week it only discovered once deliveries of the 737 MAX had begun in 2017 that the so-called AOA Disagree alert was optional instead of standard as it had intended, but added that was not critical safety data.

The carriers also accounted for 65 per cent of passengers who flew Chinese airlines in 2018, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Of issue in particular is the credibility of the FAA, and whether these hearings helped to assuage some of the concern, since the United States was one of the last countries to ground the flights.

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