Published: Sat, October 12, 2019

Boeing strips CEO of chairman role as 737 Max crisis drags on

Boeing strips CEO of chairman role as 737 Max crisis drags on

The Times report says Boeing failed to adequately explain to regulators a new automated system that was a factor in the two deadly crashes involving 737 MAX planes.

The new report echoed AFP reporting showing company officials and the FAA knew about the issues with the flight handling system, but the USA regulators deferred to Boeing and approved the MAX without independently studying or testing the flight system.

The aircraft was later involved in two crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia, including Irishman Mick Ryan.

According to the report, the FAA, in turn, failed to effectively analyze what Boeing did share about the new plane.

Boeing announced the decision to split the CEO and chairman jobs on the same day that a review panel of global aviation experts delivered a scathing assessment of missteps by the company and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in the development and certification of the Max.

The report cited signs that Boeing put "undue pressures" on employees who worked on the certification of the plane, further damaging confidence in the FAA's program of delegating some safety-related work to employees of the companies that it regulates.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said Friday the agency would respond to all recommendations in the "unvarnished" review.

JATR panel Chairman Christopher Hart, a former chair of the National Transportation Safety Bord, told reporters on Friday he thinks the aviation certification system is not broken but needs to be improved, adding the review found "communication failures".

The report said the FAA had just 45 people in an office overseeing Boeing's Organization Designation Authority (ODA) and its 1,500 employees.

United is joining the two other US operators of the model, Southwest Airlines Co. and American Airlines Group Inc., in taking the Max out of its flight schedule until January.

The carrier, which had previously pulled the aircraft until December 19, is canceling more than 8,000 flights from October through early January as its 14 Max aircraft remain banned from flying.

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.

United States aviation regulators were slammed Friday for allowing design changes to Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft that have been implicated in two crashes causing the deaths of more than 300 people.

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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