US Democrats blame engineering flaws, mismanagement on Boeing’s 737 Max crashes

Boeing 737 Max crash
Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max that crashed after taking off from Ethiopia in 2019.[ Photo Daily Mail]

A US congressional report has put an end into the 18-month long investigation of two Boeing 737 Max crashes that killed 346 people.

House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in its report indicted the manufacturer, Boeing, and the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A) for safety failures that resulted in deadly crashes and scores of lives lost.

The report cited from interviews carried out on Boeing’s employees and the Federal Aviation Administration officials, the crashes were occasioned by the manufactures clamour for profits over safety while the agency was blamed for allowing to be swayed in its oversight role.

Going by the Congressional report, the Boeing Max design, engineering and certification were all flawed adding that the plane focused more on cost-cutting than safety.

“Second, the company made deadly assumptions about software known as MCAS, which was blamed for sending the planes into nose dives. Third, Boeing withheld critical information from the F.A.A. Fourth, the agency’s practice of delegating oversight authority to Boeing employees left it in the dark. And finally, the Democrats accused F.A.A. management of siding with Boeing and dismissing its own experts,” New York Times quotes part of the report.

Representative Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, the committee chairman said that this tragedy should have never happened because “It could have been prevented, and we’re going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again.”

In the two crashes, adds the report, the MCAS system was partly to blame as the software activated faulty sensors which nosedived the plane at a time that the pilots were frantically trying to pull it up.

The congressional report termed F.A.A’s safety oversight as “grossly insufficient”.

Boeing failed to share critical information with US regulators on the change of the MCAS system which was later discovered that it was not an upgrade of the previous system but completely new software.

The Inspector general who is cited in the report said Boeing made this claim to ease the process of certification by F.A.A.

Democrats insisted that the issues spelt out in the report must be acted upon by F.A.A and Boeing to enhance safety and “correct poor certification practices” and also “enhance transparency to enable more effective oversight.”

Boeing in a statement following the release of the report said it is working on the recommendations by government experts and has learnt its lesson.