Panel faults both Boeing and FAA for failures in 737 Max development

More than 300 people were killed in two 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia

More than 300 people were killed in two 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia

Those are the only other USA airlines that operated the Max before it was grounded in March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

The panel said, "FAA involvement in the certification of MCAS would likely have resulted in design changes that would have improved safety".

Those are the findings of a multiagency task force due to release its findings Friday, according to a report in The New York Times.

At issue is the long-standing practice of the FAA delegating certification tasks to Boeing and other manufacturers.

"The JATR team found that the MCAS was not evaluated as a complete and integrated function in the certification documents that were submitted to the FAA", the 69-page report said.

The agency had faced criticism over its approval of Boeing's 737 Max, which has been grounded since March following the crashes.

The task force that crafted the new report said if FAA technical staff had been fully aware of the details of the automated system, the agency probably would have required additional scrutiny of the system that might have identified its flaws.

Plane skids off Runway in Kenya - International
Rescue teams attend the scene where a plane crashed while taking off from Wilson airport in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper .

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement he would review the panel's recommendations and take appropriate action following the "unvarnished and independent review of the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX".

It also found that Boeing staff performing the certification were also subject to "undue pressures. which further erodes the level of assurance in this system of delegation". The Southwest pilots' union, however, recently filed a lawsuit arguing that Boeing deliberately put profits before safety and "made a calculated decision to rush a re-engined aircraft to market to secure its single-aisle market share and prioritise its bottom line".

The report suggested that the FAA reconsider how much time it estimates pilots will need to troubleshoot a problem, because of that increasing complexity.

The panel included members from USA agencies, and aviation regulators from Europe and eight foreign countries including Canada and China.

The FAA pledged it would act on the report's recommendations. "The accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia are a sombre reminder that the FAA and our global regulatory partners must strive to constantly strengthen aviation safety".

Since the MAX's worldwide grounding in March, Boeing has been working on updating the MCAS system to make it less powerful, and will install the modified version of the software upon the plane's relaunch.

Separately, the source said that RAM is not concerned about its fleet of 737 NG planes after inspections that have taken place elsewhere in the world, saying the checks routinely take place on older jets or after a set number of flights.

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