09/15/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2020 03:24
From the Report: 'The MAX crashes were… a horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing's management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA'
Washington, D.C. - Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) released the Committee's final report on the Boeing 737 MAX. This report, prepared by Majority Staff, lays out the serious flaws and missteps in the design, development, and certification of the aircraft, which entered commercial service in 2017 before suffering two deadly crashes within five months of each other that killed a total of 346 people, including eight Americans.
The Committee's 239-page report, which points to repeated and serious failures by both The Boeing Company (Boeing) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), contains five central themes and includes more than six dozen investigative findings. These themes include:
'Our report lays out disturbing revelations about how Boeing-under pressure to compete with Airbus and deliver profits for Wall Street-escaped scrutiny from the FAA, withheld critical information from pilots, and ultimately put planes into service that killed 346 innocent people. What's particularly infuriating is how Boeing and FAA both gambled with public safety in the critical time period between the two crashes,' Chair DeFazio said. 'On behalf of the families of the victims of both crashes, as well as anyone who steps on a plane expecting to arrive at their destination safely, we are making this report public to put a spotlight not only on the broken safety culture at Boeing but also the gaps in the regulatory system at the FAA that allowed this fatally-flawed plane into service. Critically, our report gives Congress a roadmap on the steps we must take to reinforce aviation safety and regulatory transparency, increase Federal oversight, and improve corporate accountability to help ensure the story of the Boeing 737 MAX is never, ever repeated.'
'The Committee's thorough investigation uncovered errors that are difficult to hear, but necessary to confront about the 737 MAX certification,' Chair Larsen said. 'This report, combined with the findings and recommendations from the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines investigations, National Transportation Safety Board, Joint Authorities Technical Review and other entities, serve as a roadmap for changes to the FAA certification process. The 346 victims of the two tragic crashes and their families, as well as the traveling public rightfully expect Congress to act. As the Committee moves into the next phase of oversight, I will continue to work with Chair DeFazio and my colleagues to address the significant cultural and structural deficiencies identified in the report in order to improve safety.'
At the direction of Chair DeFazio and Subcommittee Chair Larsen, the Committee launched an investigation into the design, development, and certification of the 737 MAX, and related issues, in March 2019, shortly after the second crash involving a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. As part of the 18-month long investigation, the Committee held five public hearings with more than 20 witnesses; wrote nearly two dozen oversight letters, obtained an estimated 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing, the FAA, and others; received information and insight from former and current employees who contacted the Committee directly through the Committee's whistleblower link; and interviewed dozens of current and former Boeing and FAA employees.
To access the Final Report, newly released accompanying records, including transcribed interviews of both senior Boeing and FAA officials about the 737 MAX, as well as past statements, hearing video, and more, click here.
Kerry Arndt (DeFazio)
Joe Tutino (Larsen)