Aviation experts slam FAA for approving the redesign of Boeing's 737 MAX
THE US Federal Aviation Administration (F) has been heavily criticised by aviation experts for permitting design changes to Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft that were involved in two fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people
THE US Federal Aviation Administration (F) has been heavily criticised by aviation experts for permitting design changes to Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft that were involved in two fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people.
The F failed to adhere to its own regulations, followed out-of-date procedures and lacked the manpower and expertise to properly oversee the alterations, a panel of worldwide experts found, reported AFP.
The Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) was put together in March after a B737 MAX operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed, killing all 157 onboard. That followed the crash of a Lion Air flight that plunged into the ocean off Indonesia in October, with the loss of 189 lives.
The tragedies, linked to issues with a flight handling system unique to the MAX, led to the airliner being grounded and a step-up in oversight of Boeing from the F and international regulators.
Commenting on the F, JATR said there was 'an inadequate number of F specialists' in place to oversee a new design of the 737 MAX and they 'had inadequate awareness' of the system implicated in the crashes.
It said officials oversaw design changes 'in a way that failed to achieve the full safety benefit.'
Their damning 69-page report also found that Boeing had put pressure on some of its staff who had F authority to approve the updated designs.
The JATR panel included members of the F as well as NASA and other regulators from around the world.
A Boeing spokesman said the company appreciated the panel's work and 'is committed to working with the F in reviewing the recommendations and helping to continuously improve the process and approach used to validate and certify airplanes going forward.'
In response to the report, F administrator Steven Dickson said: 'We welcome this scrutiny and are confident that our openness to these efforts will further bolster aviation safety worldwide.
'The accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia are a sombre reminder that the F and our international regulatory partners must strive to constantly strengthen aviation safety,' he added.