Boeing withheld crucial information on 737 Max

Boeing withheld crucial information on 737 Max
Boeing said it had "learned many hard lessons" from these two accidents. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: A congressional investigation has found that two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max aircraft were partly due to the planemaker’s unwillingness to share technical details.

The investigation blames a “culture of concealment” at Boeing, but says the regulatory system was also “fundamentally flawed”.

Boeing said it had “learned many hard lessons” from these two accidents.

But families of the victims accused the company and the regulator of continuing to hide information.

The US report is highly critical of both the regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the planemaker.

The 18-month investigation concluded: “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 Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019 after two crashes, in Ethiopia and Indonesia, caused the deaths of 346 people.

The nearly 250-page report found a series of failures in the 737 Max’s design, combined with “regulatory capture”, an overly close relationship between the federal regulator and the planemaker, which compromised the process of gaining safety certification.

The report says: “[The crashes] 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 leading airplane manufacturer said it had made “fundamental changes” to the company as a result of the accidents while the FAA said it would work with lawmakers to “implement improvements identified in the report”

The report said Boeing had failed to share information about MCAS, a key safety system, designed to automatically counter a tendency in the 737 Max to pitch upwards. The investigation found that Boeing was at fault for “concealing the very existence of MCAS from 737 pilots”.

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