The saga involving the Boeing 737-9 has taken another twist, with the Federal Aviation Administration announcing it is now formally investigating Boeing.
Investigation Into Boeing Begins
Not for the first time, the FAA has said that an accident such as that of what occurred on the 737-9 should not have happened. As a result, the investigation is being taken to the next level following the findings.
The Federal Aviation Administration published a new statement that indicates they’ll formally begin an investigation into Boeing. The FAA says they’ve also notified Boeing this is what will occur.
As part of the new formal investigation, the FAA will determine whether Boeing failed to ensure that completed products conform to their approved design.
Additionally, a focus will be placed on understanding whether the aircraft were in a safe condition that saw them in compliance with the regulations laid out by the FAA.
The FAA says that as part of the letter identifying an investigation will begin, the circumstances do indicate that Boeing may have failed to ensure its completed products were up to standard for safe operation.
To conclude the letter, the FAA said they would appreciate receiving any evidence or statements that Boeing would like to make within ten business days.
Why Is There An Investigation?
The Federal Aviation Administration says they’re launching the investigation in direct response to the Boeing 737-9 accident that lost a “plug” type passenger door.
While this was the initial focal point for investigations and talk, further loose bolts were identified following technicians conducting preliminary inspections on their parked aircraft.
As a result, the FAA mentions “additional discrepancies.” These discrepancies likely relate to what has since followed the initial grounding, highlighting what appears to be a far worse problem brewing for some time involving the American plane maker.
Ultimately, the FAA must ensure that all aircraft comply with the rigorous safety standards outlined, and an investigation will dig deeper into the manufacturing practices at Boeing that have come under fire.
Such safety standards are ones that the American plane maker is legally accountable to meet; if they do not meet these, the repercussions will be severe. However, most of all, it damages a brand that cannot sustain much more.
Investigation Into Boeing, Not The 737 MAX
While the Boeing 737 MAX program has been the centre point following the accident involving an Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX, there’s more concern over Boeing than the series.
Unlike the incidents of the late 2010s, which identified critical internal issues but also saw a direct problem related to the MAX, the focus of investigations in this case has centred around quality and what Boeing described as a “quality escape.”
An escape of quality can happen on any aircraft, from the 737 MAX to the upcoming 777X. These quality escapes identify the continued failures to adhere to high safety standards and quality control that ensure such things slip through.
Praise For The Investigation
An investigation being carried out by the Federal Aviation Administration is receiving praise from onlookers as the regulator notes that time will be required.
For an extended period, especially regarding the MAX program, the idea was speed could increase profits and efficiency; however, with speed, cracks slip through that can later come back to bite.
There’s no timeline for when the 737-9 will return to service with airlines impacted. The NTSB and FAA will take all the time required to ensure the plane is safe.
Additionally, a critical focus will be placed on the practices undertaken at Boeing and whether, internally, the way they build and move ahead with aircraft needs to change as quality escapes become a more common occurrence.
The NTSB has said while the Alaska Airlines accident remains their primary focus, they will not be afraid in the future and, if necessary, will launch other investigations into Boeing’s aircraft portfolio.