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Review faults Boeing, FAA for 737 MAX troubles

11 October 2019

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

As a reform, the report suggest the FAA update its certification process to allow the agency to be more involved in the design process of new planes earlier on.

Bloomberg reported this week that European regulators are not satisfied with the changes that Boeing hopes will get it the all clear signal from the FAA, which could possibly mean that the plane will return to service without their support. In the interim, allegations that manufacturer Boeing rushed the plane out the door with a faulty design (particularly, its anti-stalling Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, MCAS), that it failed to implement stronger safety systems, that the FAA failed to properly inspect it have multiplied. The plane has been grounded since March, and Boeing is still working on updates to software and computers.

"We have cooperated fully with the FAA's independent review of the Max aircraft, and we won't put our customers and employees on that plane until regulators make their own independent assessment that it is safe to do so", the company said in a statement.

"We welcome this scrutiny and are confident that our openness to these efforts will further bolster aviation safety worldwide", FAA Chair Steve Dickson said.

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"Boeing 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 going forward", the company said in a prepared statement.

The JATR, which was commissioned in April by the FAA, is headed by Christopher Hart, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The JATR panel included members of the FAA as well as NASA and other regulators from around the world. It took five months to prepare its report, and received briefings from Boeing and the FAA.

United Airlines is latest and final US airline to push back service.

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

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Without the planes, United says it will cancel almost 8,300 flights from October through early January.

The Boeing 737 Max was grounded following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people late past year.

It's claimed the FAA has already taken steps to address these recommendations, which in large has contributed to the prolonged grounding of the MAX, which is now expected to return early 2020.

By acting months in advance, the airlines are removing the risk that their schedules around Christmas and New Year's could be scrambled by the absence of the Max.

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Review faults Boeing, FAA for 737 MAX troubles