Lawmakers blame Boeing, FAA for 737 MAX failures

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U.S. lawmakers blasted Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration over the failure of the 737 MAX jet following two fatal crashes.

A U.S. House committee report said the crashes were not the result of a single factor … but rather, what it called the “horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”

Specifically it said Boeing made faulty design and performance assumptions regarding its key safety system called MCAS. That system was linked to both the Lion Air jet that crashed in Indonesia in 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in 2019. The report said Boeing even concealed the very existence of MCAS from 737 MAX pilots.

It also said the aerospace giant had withheld crucial information from the FAA and its customers in addition to its pilots.

Boeing said it - in its words - “learned many hard lessons” from the accidents and from its mistakes. It said it had fully cooperated with the House panel and that revised design work on the 737 MAX had received intensive review.

The House report also said the Federal Aviation Administration had failed to ensure the safety of travelers. In a statement, the FAA said it is focused on improving its organization, processes and culture to boost safety. It also said it would work with lawmakers to implement improvements named in the report.