Boeing, FAA share blame in certification of the 737 Max

Royal Air Maroc suspends deal for two more Boeing 737 MAX planes: source

Those are among many findings made by a panel of worldwide aviation regulators in a report released Friday.

According to the report, the FAA had been made aware of MCAS, though "the information and discussions about MCAS were so fragmented and were delivered to disconnected groups" that it 'was hard to recognize the impacts and implications of this system'.

American Airlines said on Wednesday it expects its fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets to return to passenger service later than expected on January 16, 2019, after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) sign off on revisions meant to remedy flaws that led to the deaths of 346 people in two crashes.

Investigators say had the FAA fully understood the details of MCAS, the federal agency would've further scrutinized the system, which would've likely identified its flaws.

Boeing pledged to work with the FAA on the recommendations.

In both cases, pilots had mere seconds to fight the MCAS function, which automatically forces the plane's nose downward, after it was accidentally triggered.

In a report published on Friday, the panel found that the the agency's "limited involvement" and "inadequate awareness" of the automated MCAS safety system "resulted in an inability of the FAA to provide an independent assessment".


FAA Administrator Steve Dickson has said he will review every recommendation made in the "unvarnished" review.

Boeing said it had no immediate comment.

In Friday's report, the panel notes that the FAA's difficulty in finding and hiring certification engineers with adequate knowledge of aircraft's increasingly complex automated systems also contributed to deficiencies in reviewing aircraft.

According to the report, the FAA, in turn, failed to effectively analyze what Boeing did share about the new plane. Additionally, the report found evidence of "undue pressure" on employees, possibly "attributed to conflicting priorities and an environment that does not support FAA requirements".

The announcement came the same day an global aviation panel criticized US regulators and Boeing over the certification of the plane.

Boeing did not respond to criticism in the report but said it is "committed to working with the FAA in reviewing the recommendations and helping to continuously improve the process and approach used to validate and certify airplanes". It includes air safety regulators from the United States, Canada, China, Indonesia, European Union, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Japan, and the five-month review included FAA officials who were not part of the 737 MAX certification.

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