Lawmakers criticized the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max and the way the company handled the aftermath of a deadly crash of one of the planes last year.
The aircraft has been grounded internationally since mid-March after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max less than 5 months the first Max crash, a Lion Air plane that went down shortly after takeoff from Jakarta in October. The two crashes killed all 346 individuals aboard.
“We anticipate you to be the entity that stands up and says this plane is totally safe to fly,” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., stated at a hearing before a panel of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “That does not seem to be the case in this situation.”
FAA officials defended the company’s long-standing strategy of delegating certification evaluations to manufacturers like Boeing in addition to its decision to problem a warning to pilots after the primary crash as Boeing worked on a software fix however admitted that they could make enhancements.
“We have been absolutely educated in dealing with the development of that airplane,” stated Carl Burleson, appearing deputy FAA administrator, regarding the company’s inclusion of Boeing within the process. “I’ll say it doesn’t imply that it’s perfect.”
Crash investigators implicated a piece of flight-control software that repeatedly pushed down the nose of the two planes. Boeing last week stated it is testing that software repair for the system, but it hasn’t yet submitted it to the FAA for assessment. Pilots stated they had been only advised about the system after the first crash.