Boeing executive defend safety decisions on 737 Max development
Two senior Boeing executives who oversaw the development of the 737 MAX defended the company's decisions on a key cockpit system later tied to two fatal crashes, according to testimony before congressional investigators seen by Reuters.
Michael Teal, then 737 MAX chief product engineer, and Keith Leverkuhn, who was vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, were questioned separately by investigators for the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in May.
The House panel is to release a final report next week on its investigation into the development of the plane, grounded since March 2019 after two crashes killed 346 people.
Interesting. The AoA issue has some odd details; "EASA is considering mandating introduction of a third AOA sensor, but it is not expected to be a prerequisite to allowing the MAX back into service." Surely EASA and BALPA know that there is a synthetic AoA reading used by another onboard system. I wonder why they are not suggesting to simply include that one in the poll. Meanwhile, how can a plane be safe to reintroduce just because the mandate for a missing safety feature is running a bit late? Is the failure mode not going to exist until it is officially recognised?
Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson piloted a Boeing 737 Max on 30 September, declaring afterward that the experience made him "comfortable" with the Max's systems, but insisting his agency will certificate the jet only when convinced it is safe.www.flightglobal.com
“It’s really important that a third angle of attack input, or synthetic airspeed, be available on this airplane,” Sullenberger said. “I would hope for a rapid adoption of that technology, and the sooner the better.”
EASA has said Boeing has agreed to develop a third angle of attack input after the MAX returns to service and to retrofit it to the MAX by the time the largest member of the family, the 737 MAX 10, is ready — likely one or two years away.
Sullenberger’s other main concern is that Boeing do something about the cacophony of false alerts that were triggered erroneously on the crash flights by one failed sensor.
Sources tell KING 5 that the Federal Aviation Administration will lift the 20-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in the United States on Wednesday.
Boeing’s 737 Max can safely return to the skies with an extensive package of fixes, US regulators ruled, after the plane was grounded for close to two years following two fatal crashes that killed almost 350 people.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said Boeing can fly its 737 Max jet again after the crashes - in Indonesia, 2018 and Ethiopia, 2019 - triggered regulatory scrutiny and corporate upheaval.
It marks the end to the longest grounding of a commercial jet in US history, of 20 months, and set the stage for airlines and other regulators around the world to put the plane back in the skies.
The crisis that has engulfed the company and cost former chief executive Dennis Muilenburg his job.
The decision sent Boeing shares up almost 3pc in New York, but the stock is still down more than a third this year.
Boeing posted revenues of $14.1bn (£10.9bn) for the three months to September, down 29pc on the same period last year. It has announced some 26,000 redundancies.
Just 28 jets were handed over to customers during the quarter, down from 62 in the same period last year, as it tried to get the 737 Max certified as safe to fly.
Steve Dickson, head of the FAA, had previously said the 737 Max would not be cleared to fly again until he flies the plane himself with his wife and children on board.
The decision on Wednesday marks a turning point for Boeing after more than two years of bad news surrounding its best-selling model.
However, returning the Max to the skies will not mean an immediate end to the controversy or help Boeing's financial woes.
A criminal investigation by the US Justice Department continues. Frayed relations with the FAA threaten to result in fines or other penalties and the Securities and Exchange Commission also has an open investigation.
Airlines have cancelled orders for the Max as the pandemic crushed the airline industry, thwarting Boeing’s plans to stem its losses.
“It’s Boeing’s most important program and the United States’ most important manufactured product, but you couldn’t ask for a worse market right now,” said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with Teal Group.
“It’s not a question of opening the floodgates and watching the cash pour in the way it would’ve been a year ago.”
“This thorough evaluation of the flight control system is an unprecedented milestone in the history of aviation,” said ANAC superintendent of airworthiness Roberto Honorato. “The revised modifications and procedures provided offer total confidence for the resumption of operations of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil.”
Boeing Co is hiring up to 160 pilots to be embedded at airlines in its latest bid to ensure its 737 MAX has a smooth comeback after a 20-month safety ban, according to a recruitment document seen by Reuters and people familiar with the move.
The new "Global Engagement Pilots" will act as instructors or cockpit observers on 35-day assignments at an equivalent annual salary that could reach $200,000, for a total potential cost of $32 million, one of the people said.
The unusual hiring spree is part of a Boeing campaign to protect the re-launch of its redesigned 737 MAX