Review faults Boeing, FAA for 737 MAX troubles

Royal Air Maroc suspends deal for two more Boeing 737 MAX jets source

The manufacturer is also accused of failing to thoroughly stress-test MCAS" design, where "design assumptions were not adequately reviewed, updated or validated", as well as failing to consider the extra effort pilots needed to go through to handle MCAS, including "pilot recognition time and pilot reaction time to failures'.

It concludes that the FAA wasn't sufficiently aware of what MCAS was and so was unable to exercise proper oversight; and that "undue pressures" were placed on Boeing staff carrying out tasks on behalf of the regulator.

After three months of being grounded following two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, the 737 Max may be up for a rebranding.

The FAA's administrator, Steve Dickson, said in a statement that he would 'review every recommendation and take appropriate action.

Investigators say had the FAA fully understood the details of MCAS, the federal agency would've further scrutinized the system, which would've likely identified its flaws.

Bloomberg reported this week that European regulators are not satisfied with the changes that Boeing hopes will get it the all clear signal from the FAA, which could possibly mean that the plane will return to service without their support.

In the 737 MAX, the FAA initially delegated 40% of the certification tasks and boosted that figure as the five-year review progressed, including the review of MCAS.

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"With adequate FAA engagement and oversight, the extent of delegation does not in itself compromise safety", states the report, which is scheduled to be released officially later today (Oct. 11).

The agency had faced criticism over its approval of Boeing's 737 Max, which has been grounded since March following the crashes.

The FAA has just 24 engineers "to review and find compliance for retained items as well as conduct on-site and desk audits of the Boeing ODA". However, in another statement to the paper, the FAA said there is "not a prescribed timeline" for the 737 Max's return to service and it had not told airlines there is.

Those Boeing employees should be able to directly talk to FAA technical staff "without fear of reprisal", the review added. It took five months to prepare its report, and received briefings from Boeing and the FAA.

The FAA thanked the panel for its "unvarnished" report.

The JATR, which was commissioned in April by the FAA, is headed by Christopher Hart, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) officials told senior US counterparts that one element of the fixes, having two flight control computers operate simultaneously, goes against decades of prior design and has not been adequately tested, the news agency wrote.

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