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US Aviation Authority to review Boeing 737 MAX aircraft amid production issues

ANI | April 21, 2019 12:07 PM
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Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday said that it is planning to review control systems of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following dozens of complaints filed by the company's employees regarding production issues.

The company, in a statement, said that it will include experts from nine civil aviation authorities.

"The Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) will conduct a comprehensive review of the certification of the aircraft's automated flight control system, including its design and pilots' interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed," the statement said.

The review is set to begin on April 29 and is expected to continue for an estimated period of 90 days, the FAA announced.

The decision comes after The New York Times on Friday reviewed "hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees of the North Charleston plant, revealing a culture that often valued production speed over quality."

"Workers have filed nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations," the report said.

"Others have sued Boeing, saying they were retaliated against for flagging manufacturing mistakes," it added.

The model 737 MAX came under scrutiny after 346 people lost their lives in two deadly plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

On March 10, 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight -- a Boeing 737 MAX jet -- lost their lives after the flight crashed just a few minutes after it took off from Adis Ababa.

In October last year, a Boeing 737 MAX Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 181 people on board.

Investigations are ongoing into both the incidents.

The March 10 incident became the second instance that the Boeing 737 MAX jet was involved in a crash within a span of five months.

This triggered safety concerns, leading to several countries and airlines grounding the aircraft around the world.

Preliminary report of the investigations of the plane crash found issues with the jets' Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), an automated flight control system that can force a plane to dive down unexpectedly.

Boeing recently carried out an engineering test flight of a Max plane with an updated MCAS system, considered a key step on the path to re-certifying the plane for flight. Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, who was also on board, vowed to make the 737 MAX "one of the safest airplanes ever to fly." (ANI)

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