Space and Aviation

Inspector General of DOT Finds Flaws In Boeing 737 MAX Planes Reviewed By FAA

The Inspector-General of the Department Of Transportation (DOT), US released a 55-page long report where it stated that the FAA’s Certification regarding the safety of Boeing 737 MAX had flaws.  The General office also suggests strengthening the regulatory process as it will hamper public safety and security. 

Boeing 737 MAX series was just about to fly after the worldwide groundings for 20 months. After the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) certified the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX in November, the aircraft had started its service in Canada, Brazil, the UK, and the EU. The aircraft was grounded after two deadly crashes that happened in Indonesia and Ethiopia in late 2018 and early 2019 repectively. 

The reported accidents were mainly caused by a new update called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which was made to push the noise of the shuttle downwards during the flight under certain circumstances. However, certain changes according to the FAA were made and the pilots and cabin crew were even provided training related to operating MCAS before the FAA lifted the ban.

Despite the changes, the FAA ended up being at the U.S Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. When DOT  reviewed the certifying process of FAA and the oversight of Boeing’s Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), they found that the guidance FAA provided wasn’t addressed integrating new technologies into existing aircraft models. 

In response to the following results, the General released a note where it suggests 14 recommendations to improve the  Agency’s aircraft certification process and oversight of the Boeing ODA. 

In addition to the report, DOT also mentioned that the FAA had little manpower – only 47 employees.  DOT recommends FAA to change their  ODA program where they take help from the third-party companies to do aircraft certification precedes of its certain portions.

The report also mentions – “We confirmed in interviews with FAA and Boeing ODA representatives that there were instances where the same company engineer worked on a particular design and then approved the design as an ODA unit member,”. “This may not provide enough independence and could cause a conflict of duties for those unit members”.

In the response to the Department of Transport, U.S, Boeing released a press statement saying that they appreciate the review by the Inspectors General of 737 MAX. Boeing co-operates fully and will work on all the recommendations to strengthen and improve its regulatory process.

The company also adds “Boeing is dedicated to the values of safety, quality, and integrity in all that we do. We have undertaken significant changes to reinforce our safety practices, and we have already made progress on several of the recommendations outlined in the final report, including implementation of an enterprise Safety Management System.”

To eliminate these kinds of problems, the company is making meaningful improvements across its premises regarding both organizational changes and training initiatives.

Dubai-based airline Flydubai was most benefited as the Boeing 737 MAX ban lifted in the UAE.  The airline has several Boeing 737 MAX aircraft ordered and is waiting for delivery.

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