Last week, Boeing held a meeting with industry stakeholders about its plans to restore confidence in the MAX. CBS news has leaked the presentation slides from that meeting, which outlined Boeing’s plans for the MAX and changes the company is making with respect to safety. But just as Boeing was trying to gain confidence, the FAA revealed that Boeing knowingly installed faulty parts on Boeing 737NG aircraft earlier this year, providing another negative as the company attempts to rebuild its reputation. In addition, the pickle fork repairs on the 737NG are taking longer than anticipated.
The company, in its meeting with analysts, airlines, pilots, flight attendants, and unions, recognizes that a “next step” is restoring customer confidence, and also outlined that it does not propose additional simulator training for pilots. This is an area that may be contentious with international regulators in returning the MAX to service.
The following slide from Boeing summarizes the changes made to the MCAS system that was the triggering factor in the two fatal MAX crashes.
These changes are critical and appropriate, but beg the question of how the aircraft was certified in the first place with a flight critical system that could be triggered by a single sensor with no redundancy for failure, and why the MCAS system did not operate according to its specifications, including repeated applications and stronger than specified forces?
With respect to the FAA fine of $3.9 million for knowingly installing faulty parts, the question is how this could also bypass the normal checks and balances that are a part of the Boeing production system without being flagged and immediately replaced? While Dennis Muilenburg indicates that safety is most important at Boeing, the company’s actions don’t support that statement. Boeing continues to shoot itself in the foot.
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