As more reports show that airline pilots here in the United States raised red flags about their issues with the Boeing 737 Max 8 before a second deadly crash in less than 5 months, the Federal Aviation Administration has received criticism for failing to intervene. Today, they appeared before Congress…
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were on the hot seat today, as they were questioned by members of Congress during a hearing of the House Transportation Committee.
There seemed to be a mixture of support and criticism for the FAA. Some members of Congress were more critical of the FAA’s support for Boeing because they see it as having hurt the FAA’s credibility worldwide. They questioned why the FAA did not retaliate against Boeing when they learned that it has removed a key safety feature—but didn’t tell anyone.
But other members on Congress continued to argue that the 737 Max is completely safe, and that there have never been any crashes involving the plane here in the US.
One of the most interesting things from the hearing was the repeated claim from members of Congress that despite investigations showing that problems with the flight control systems caused the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, the pilots on board in actually did not do everything in their power to prevent those crashes.
There have also been complaints about how much information those pilots had about the planes they were flying. Members of Congress criticized that fact that reports have shown it took months for Boeing to update its manuals for the 737 Max aircraft.
During today’s hearing, FAA officials did claim that they were doing everything in their power to make sure that the problems the 737 Max’s flight control system are repaired, and that multiple investigations are conducted before it returns to the skies.
But passengers around the world now know that Boeing and the FAA waited until there were two deadly crashes, resulting in the deaths of 346 people before anything was done, when Boeing knew about problems with the flight control system before the first crash. So it remains to be seen how many people will sign up to fly on these planes, even if the FAA claims that they are safe.