Senate Report: Boeing ‘Inappropriately Influenced’ FAA on 737 Max Safety Tests

Boeing employees work on a 737 MAX jet at the company's factory in Renton, Washington -- the aviation giant has unveiled a fix to the software system of the jet, which has suffered two deadly crashes in recent months
Jason Redmond/AFP

A new report published by the Senate Commerce Committee alleges that Boeing  “inappropriately influenced” FAA test pilots during flight simulations. The interference allegedly took place when test pilots attempted to interact with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), the same function that led to two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) said: “Our findings are troubling. The report details a number of significant examples of lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership in the FAA. It is clear that the agency requires consistent oversight to ensure their work to protect the flying public is executed fully and correctly.”

According to a report by the Verge, a report released by the Senate Commerce Committee provides details about the process by which the FAA and Boeing worked to recertify the troubled 737 Max fleet, which was grounded after two fatal crashes. The report questions the integrity of the recertification process.

In a statement, Sen. Wicker said that the report includes information from 50 whistleblowers that reportedly had insight into the recertification process. The report alleges that Boeing “inappropriately influenced” FAA test pilots as they used the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

“Twenty months ago, the Commerce Committee launched an investigation into FAA safety oversight. We have received disclosures from more than 50 whistleblowers, conducted numerous FAA staff interviews, and reviewed over 15,000 pages of relevant documents,” Wicker said. “Our findings are troubling. The report details a number of significant examples of lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership in the FAA. It is clear that the agency requires consistent oversight to ensure their work to protect the flying public is executed fully and correctly.”

In its official response to the report, the FAA said that it is confident that the technical issues that led to the crashes have been resolved.

“Working closely with other international regulators, the FAA conducted a thorough and deliberate review of the 737 MAX,” the FAA said in a short statement. “We are confident that the safety issues that played a role in the tragic accidents involving Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 have been addressed through the design changes required and independently approved by the FAA and its partners.”

Breitbart News reported in November that American Airlines chartered five test flights without passengers on the 737 Max fleets prior to their return to the airways in December.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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