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FAA Opens Boeing Investigation, Vows Closer Oversight

After multiple issues with the Boeing 737 MAX, the Federal Aviation Administration says they will keep a closer eye on the aerospace giant.
Boeing can expect to be under tighter scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration.


In a press release, the agency said they will increase oversight over the aerospace giant’s production and manufacturing processes.


Audits, Monitoring and Assessments Planned for Boeing

The new oversight procedures come after the FAA announced they would formally investigate the case of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. The Boeing 737 MAX-9 involved in the incident lost a plug door mid-flight, leading to other airlines finding issues with their MAX-9 airframes.


In a letter to Boeing, the FAA announced they would look into the manufacturing process to determine if 737 MAX-9 airframes conformed with the approved design for safe operation. The investigation is focused on allegations Boeing did not ensure the delivered aircraft were safe to fly.


Alongside the investigation, the new scrutiny of Boeing’s commercial aircraft production will focus on three particular areas, all around the 737 MAX-9 production. The FAA will begin auditing the MAX-9 production line and suppliers to determine “compliance with its approved quality procedures.” Additional audits may be necessary depending on the findings.


The agency will also closely monitor any in-service events involving the 737 MAX-9, as well as safety risks “around delegated authority and quality oversight.” The FAA may determine moving the functions to independent, third-party entities is the best way to move forward.


The move by the FAA comes after a lawsuit was filed against Spirit AeroSystems over allegations of relaxed safety procedures and retaliation against whistleblowers. The action currently remains in court.


Boeing could also face time in court from the passengers aboard Alaska Flight 1282. Portland NBC affiliate KGW-TV reports some of the flyers have come together to file a class-action lawsuit against the aerospace manufacturer on several allegations, ranging from injury claims to accusations the oxygen masks did not work properly.

Neither Boeing nor Spirit AeroSystems have not commented on the pending litigation.


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Feature image courtesy: The Boeing Company.